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Need help...I just don't know what to do :(

(31 Posts)
YouBastardSockBalls Sun 02-Aug-15 22:56:00

I really don't know what to do.

I have a Facebook friend who I 'met' on another forum a few years ago. Facebook friend (FBF) was going through a fairly tough time, lost a lot of money, homelessness, sofa surfing, injured etc. FBF had no living family and sounded quite depressed.
The forum had a collection (without her knowledge) and sent her abut of money to keep her going. I didn't contribute but did send a small Christmas gift in an attempt to cheer her up. I really did feel for her.

I don't post on that forum anymore (and neither does she iirc) but do have her as a friend on fb.
Her luck has gone from bad to worse and she sounds severely depressed and lonely. She often talks of suicide and I'm really struggling to cope with it. I know that must make me sound selfish but I can't help it.

She has periods of being extremely upbeat, such as a recent crowd funding effort for her career goals, but it didn't reach the target and she just seems to have spiralled downwards.

She has terminally ill pets and says often that she they die, she will go next.

It's like watching a tragedy play out and I find it so distressing as there seems to be nothing I can do to help.
I think of her all the time and dread checking Facebook in case she has posted about it again.

She writes eloquently and her pain is palpable. I wish wish wish that I could help her but how???

It's getting to the stage where I just want to click 'unfriend' so I can stop worrying about her all the time, but I'm aware of how awful this sounds.

What can I do? sad

CalleighDoodle Sun 02-Aug-15 22:59:43

You could click infollow instead and just check in when youre feeling strong enough.

Find out the numbers of organisations who can help her locally and email them to her.

CalleighDoodle Sun 02-Aug-15 23:00:15

Unfollow not infollow

chairmeoh Sun 02-Aug-15 23:02:05

Wow, I'd be feeling the same way as you.

The cynic in me wonders whether everything she posts is true, but at the same time I'd be worrying in case it is all true.

Are you friends with anyone else on her FB? Have you ever met in RL?
Does she ever offer friendship, advice support to others?

In terms of what you can do, I suggest you simply remain a friendly acquaintance. When she posts about her troubles, comment that you hope things improve soon. Ask her if there is anything she needs practically that you can help her find for herself.

I don't envy you.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 02-Aug-15 23:04:01

What were her 'career goals' and how much money was raised?

Do you know, or have you met, anyone who knows her in rl and can establish that she exists she's ok?

I don't think wanting to unfriend her sounds awful and I suggest you click the button with a clear conscience knowing that you did what you could, but there's no helping those who won't help themselves.

YouBastardSockBalls Sun 02-Aug-15 23:09:51

I don't think she's a troll. In fact, I'm almost certain. I've been forumming(?) since AOL message boards and usually quite good at spotting.
I wish she were a troll sad for her sake.
The crowd funding money never reached her, it goes straight to the uni but only if the target is reached.

She has mainly internet friends on her fb and not many pictures. She doesn't often post on other peoples stuff, no. She never likes or comments on my things. I don't mind though, it's just never occurred to me before.

I think she's on ADs, and has recently been diagnosed with ASD.

I don't think I can help her - she's miles away and I have young children.

It makes me feel guilty as I have such a comfortable life in comparison.

I'm just finding it so hard to watch someone writing about how they just want to end it all the time, and not being able to help.

YouBastardSockBalls Sun 02-Aug-15 23:11:02

There are people on fb who have met her. I really don't think she's a troll.

She just seems to have had such a hard life.

fuckweasel Sun 02-Aug-15 23:35:59

99% sure the person you refer to posted on MN the other night. I think the post has been deleted though as I can't find it. Too many similarities to be someone else.

springydaffs Sun 02-Aug-15 23:46:10

The best thing you can do for her is stand alongside her - not above as a helper. The severity of her difficulties naturally brings isolation in its wake - just tip up even if your hands are empty: it's not what is in your hands that matters to her, is a bod at her side. I expect she knows full well there isn't a solution anyone can provide. She may even feel insulted if anyone tries.

But it's not 'just' is it re 'just' tip up. If you can't take it (and not many people can, to be fair) you need to protect yourself by limiting how often you access the info. You are not expected to save her, it may help you to know that. I doubt very much if she is expecting you to 'save' her so you can scotch that requirement off the list, which may lighten the load? I'm not being snarky when I say that - you are not expected to DO anything

Some people just do suffer terribly - often through no fault of their own. It sounds like she is in need of professional input ie people who are trained to support her effectively while keeping their boundaries secure. You don't have that training (?), it is a specialised skill, so don't be hard on yourself. You could tell her you care for her very much but you are out of your depth, that this needs specialised input re agencies who have the appropriate skills. As much as you may care about someone who has eg broken their back, they need specialists to address the damage - it's no different here. If she is intelligent, as to say, she will value your honesty and hopefully seek support through the appropriate channels.

springydaffs Sun 02-Aug-15 23:49:14

It's the trouble with being a kind and caring sort, but we have to recognise when we're out of our depth xx

springydaffs Sun 02-Aug-15 23:55:27

How is that relevant fuckweasel?

Joysmum Mon 03-Aug-15 00:33:54

Relevant or not, I thought that too.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 03-Aug-15 00:40:16

It seems to me it's relevant in that it may some of the load off the OP if she has reason to believe her FB friend is also receiving support from concerned mumsnetters.

littletwinkletoesx Mon 03-Aug-15 00:55:52

I fell for a lady who posted on a very big well known forum, and so did a lot of other members on there.
There was a collection for her which at that point i decided to opt out of as i had doubts. No one else did at that point and i did feel a bit shit as everyone else seemed so convinced
Small amounts were sent to her and other bits and bats she needed for her kids before the big collection started.
It really opened my eyes to the lies people tell online.

littletwinkletoesx Mon 03-Aug-15 00:56:42

She no longer posts there either

YouBastardSockBalls Mon 03-Aug-15 06:52:07

I'm sure she's not lying.
I wish that she was sad

She doesn't have children little.

joysmum and weasel, can you remember anymore details from the other thread? Why was it pulled?

I was pretty sure she wasn't a mumsnetter. But if she's reading this....I just really care about her situation, and think about it all the time. I wish I could help.

I don't know what to as I can't just sit by and watch somebody kill themselves because of depression, but I don't see what I can do.
De friending her would just be cowardly though. And I'd always wonder what happened and if I could have done something.

It's just all so sad.

I thought about messaging her to say that I just can't be a spectator to it all anymore but I don't want to make her feel worse sad

YouBastardSockBalls Mon 03-Aug-15 06:52:35

Thanks springy

YouBastardSockBalls Mon 03-Aug-15 07:56:21

Anyone?

CalleighDoodle Mon 03-Aug-15 09:07:42

Do you know her address? If someone threatens to kill themselves, phone an ambulance. For one reason or another, they need help.

YouBastardSockBalls Mon 03-Aug-15 09:11:53

I don't know her address, just area.

She won't kill herself now as she's looking after her ill pets. She says that once they die, within hours, is when she'll do it. She's been talking of how her life is over, nothing but suffering left, and talking of the practical plans like ending her lease etc.

She's clearly depressed (with some reason) but I'm not sure if her doctors know the extent.

I'm dreading checking fb and finding that last status. I just feel so helpless.

springydaffs Mon 03-Aug-15 11:30:58

Perhaps you could view it that you're accompanying someone to dignitas? I know a family who accompanied the (relatively young) mother who had decided she didn't want to face years with a painful and ultimately fatal illness. Tough call but they found a way to do it.

I only say this because if you back off now you'll struggle in the future (from what you're saying). I don't want to influence you either way but it may be a great solace to her to have someone there with her as she goes about practically dismantling her life - literally sad

springydaffs Mon 03-Aug-15 11:32:07

But, blimey, it's a bloody hard call flowers

springydaffs Mon 03-Aug-15 11:35:14

To that end, perhaps get some professional support yourself (somehow?). A therapist, however, will 'tell' you (not that they 'tell' anything but they influence) it's not your concern and will give you skills and support to back out if that's what you want to do.

HPsauciness Mon 03-Aug-15 12:23:39

I think moving yourself mentally away from this situation would be better. For whatever reason, this person needs professional help and it does seem that sharing all their most intimate thoughts about their situation isn't really helping them, and it is making you feel bad.

I look at it this way, you have limited energy yourself in life, and there are literally millions of people that need help and support and guidance. You can only offer what you can.

I would sit and watch and help (and do) with close friends where there's an ongoing reciprocal relationship, with family, but not in this situation.

If you feel you need to get away from it, just do so, you could post something like 'having a hard time myself at the moment and cutting down Facebook use, wishing you all the best in your situation' and then just defriend.

Otherwise the trouble is, this person's problems are now causing you distress and anxiety but to no productive end. Your upset isn't helping them at all. I would leave them to it, which sound awful, but sometimes I have spare energy to give advice on MN and sometimes I don't, even though people are in distress all the time. You have to keep yourself emotionally healthy and it's hard to do in an online world in which we find out about the (very genuine) misery of others on an almost hourly basis.

chrome100 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:32:08

I have an acquaintance I know from a singing group. I haven't seen her for a few years, but we are friends on Facebook.

She started messaging me out of the blue - long streams of consciousness about how unhappy she was. I was sympathetic and tried to offer solutions to the things she said were upsetting her, but she never really acknowledged my replies and just kept messaging me about her woes.

In the end I stopped replying. I felt awful, but I didn't see her any more and felt very helpless. Also (and I do feel ashamed about this) but I felt annoyed that she doesn't work and lives at her parents' house whilst I am struggling for with my job and making ends meet.

Ultimately, she she is suffering from depression/mental illness and there's no real solution to either of those.

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