Help me help my friend...

Discussion in 'After Effects' started by JustTryinToHelp, May 23, 2010.

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  1. Hey, neat to see resources here to help people dealing with suicidal thoughts. I would like your input on how I can reach my best friend through this time of need.

    My buddy, 'T', lost his father when he was about 10 years old (10 years ago). His father committed suicide in his basement, I won't go into details because I don't think they allow it here and I want to be respectful to your rules. Anyways, last night T, myself, and two girls that I know (but T doesn't) were hanging out and chatting. one of the girls 'J' was giving some back story on a friend she had that was going through some rough times. She said "yeah, he came from a messed up family, like his dad committed suicide" and at this point my friend T cut in and said "My dad committed suicide too. THANKS FOR THAT."

    It really killed the atmosphere in the room, and I found out later it really, really upset J. She said things like "I shouldn't have brought it up, I shouldn't have said that". I kept reassuring her that it wasn't her fault, and he was overreacting and acting out of line.

    My thoughts on what he said revolves around the fact that my friend J had no intention to hurt anyone, she was just stating a fact about someone unrelated. T decided to take something completely irrelevant as an insult to himself, and took offence to it and got angry. Its like someone saying "I like playing catch" and then you get mad at them because your favourite baseball team lost. They had NOTHING to do with that team losing, yet you still get mad at them for just talking about something similar.

    I waited a day and then went to talk to my friend about this. I approached him gently, and know a lot of the right things to say and not to (I have suicide intervention training, as well as am a volunteer emotional support/etc for Emergency Disaster Response in my city). I asked him how he felt about the situation, and he said he was pissed and wanted an apology from J for bringing up suicide. I said that she didn't do anything wrong. T said that she shouldn't have said that the family was 'messed up' because the dad in her story committed suicide. I said that everyone is affected by suicide, and it can really mess people up inside. T said that she should have said 'the family had problems' and left out the suicide. I said that people can't spend their lives walking on eggshells trying not to offend people by saying simple non-flammable things, and that he can't live in a bubble like that.

    He continued to get frustrated at me, saying that he can't and won't change. I personally feel he is being very selfish with his actions. It seems he is using his father's death of 10 years ago as a crutch, an attention-getter. He keeps the wound fresh so he can go "look at me, look at me, I can act this way because I'm hurt and damaged, look at me".

    I feel he needs to grow up and accept the fact that someone mentioning it in a conversation is NOT an excuse to get pissed off. Its unacceptable and childish behaviour.

    I understand he needs to heal. He needs to START healing. He needs time for that. I TOTALLY understand. What I am disagreeing to is the fact that he is taking it out on random people for mentioning suicide, and thinks he has the right to do so.

    What are your thoughts? What can I do now? He doesn't have money for a therapist, and he also doesn't think he is in any way in the wrong.

    Any input would be great.

    Thanks for reading this.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2010
  2. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    I don't show anger on here often but wow did that make me angry...
    I can understand where he's coming from and maybe he could have reacted differently in company but that's not always possible when you feel hurt like that on the spur of the moment....
    She said "yeah, he came from a messed up family, like his dad committed suicide"
    I understand also the girl didn't mean to offend but to anyone whos' lost someone to suicide (I have ) it would be offensive and hurtful.....
    it's that stigma that anyone who suicides is 'messed up' and so that means the whole family is messed up he is probably now thinking he is messed up....
    people who take their lives are suffering an illness..same as if they had any other illness like cancer, etc...
    you wouldn't say a family is messed up because someone died of cancer or pneumonia,
    your friend will always carry his dads loss around with him...he will never 'get over it'
    obviously it's still very painful for him to cope with ....

    I personally feel he is being very selfish with his actions. It seems he is using his father's death of 10 years ago as a crutch, an attention-getter. He keeps the wound fresh so he can go "look at me, look at me, I can act this way because I'm hurt and damaged, look at me".

    well I personally feel what you said sounds really selfish and it made me feel angry........he has been deeply affected by his fathers death and as I said before he will never get over it.....he has a right to feel as he does for as long as it takes for him to deal with his grief...10, 20, 30, whatever years it takes...and to say he is using it as a crutch for attention??...:eek:hmy: I can't even respond to that or I'll be banned.....
    I pray you never have to go through the same as your friend because that's the only way you will ever understand how he's feeling....
    so stop laying guilt on him because he was offended ...that's how he feels....
    accept it and support him....

    and why are you more worried about Js feelings than your friends?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2010
  3. rx4brdm

    rx4brdm Well-Known Member

    He needs to grow up?!?! At 20 y/o after losing his father at 10, you think he should be over it? That pain will never go away! Before saying something like that put yourself in his shoes, or can you even imagine that pain?

    Maybe J is not really at fault, it was just the way it came out, but just out of courtesy should apologize. Or is courtesy dead and no one knows what it is anymore?

    I still can't believe you call that childish behavior.
  4. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    Well said Ben...
    I couldn't help myself..had to come back and read that post again and I'm no happier about it....
    (I have suicide intervention training, as well as am a volunteer emotional support/etc for Emergency Disaster Response in my city).
    I think you need way more training........I hope your friend T is okay after the way you treated him...
  5. I think you are all missing the point, and I haven't explained myself clearly enough.

    He has at times joked about his father's death, saying that if he really wanted to be around he shouldn't have done it, that he now he has to find someone else to show him how to tie a tie, so he asked a bum on the street, that sort of thing. He will be OK with it for a little while, and then when it suits his purpose he decides that he wants the attention and takes a semi-irrelevant thought and makes it all about him.

    I know you guys might not actually understand what I'm saying, but I'm saying that what he is doing (with relation to EVERYTHING ELSE he does) is not LEGITIMATE, its not where he is mentally; its something he goes to when he wants attention. Please understand that, I'm not being a jerk. He is just using an EXTREMELY unfortunate event of his father passing as a way for him to draw attention to himself. If thats all fine and dandy with your crowd, I will ask for sane advice elsewhere. I know this is a sensitive topic, but you don't have to jump to conclusions just because of it.

    People all cope differently, but this semi-fake 'coping method' is really hurting a lot of other people. THATS what I'm trying to say.
  6. will respond more later, thanks for the imput
  7. shazwackers

    shazwackers Well-Known Member

    Has it never occured to you that his dad's suicide has messed his life up? And that he is trying massively when he is acting normal? ...........there is a terrible stigma to suicide that never goes mum committed suicide and you wouldn't believe the things people say to me..............they have no idea whatsoever how to deal or talk to soemone who has lost someone............and you...........shame on you for not understanding your friend better and allowing him to grieve/get attention however you want to put it.................go back to him and cheer him up or ask him if he wants to talk about it?
  8. Hey, thanks for the response. I do understand that it has messed his life up; I have been helping him deal with it and trying to be the best friend I can be for the last 6 years of my life. I am his best friend after all. Shame on me for not understanding my friend better? Isn't that being a bit presumptuous?

    Sorry, can you clarify- is it OK for someone to bring the memory of a tragic loss of a family member up *in a way that insults, belittles, and harms other people* JUST to draw attention to themselves? To justify drawing attention to themselves even though they have made it obvious (over the last 6 years) that that form of grieving is not where they are mentally any more? If it was LEGITIMATE, I would 100000% percent understand. Please, read that again. I would 100% appreciate how he feels under those circumstances, he has the ability to greive any way he wants. Its just that now, he goes BACK to that in order to hurt people and draw attention to himself, not as a form of grieving.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2010
  9. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    you came here and asked us to tell you how to help your friend but you are not listening...
    "My dad committed suicide too. THANKS FOR THAT."
    if that's all he said he did well...thats fairly restrained....
    your friend is NOT looking for attention....if that's what you think then that's not being supportive of him...
    your friend has lost his father to suicide..SUICIDE....SUICIDE!!!
    he was reacting to someone saying something that HURT HIM..
    he wasn't trying to hurt anyone else and too bad he upset someone else with HIS pain....(your friend J )
    and why didn't you warn those 2 girls beforehand about Ts Dads suicide if you're such a great friend?
    he will always be sensitive to anything to do with suicide for the rest of his life....forever...
    he probably tells you he's ok now because of your attitude towards him.....
    what happened at the restaurant was his speak up before something else was said about suicide...
    J should've apologised on the spot to T when she saw how she'd hurt him..
    as I said seem more worried about J than you do about T.......
    and you can ask anyone on here....I do not get agro towards anyone ...until I see them being so insensitive towards another human being feeling the same pain as we do ...(the survivors of suicide)...
    I wouldn't be suprised if he isn't already a member of this forum looking for support from people who truly understand how he's feeling.....
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2010
  10. I'm done here guys, if you can't understand or comprehend what I've written, then I'll ask elsewhere. Thanks though.
  11. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    As a point of clarification...firstly, what you have written hits very close to home for many ppl here; secondly, there are no easy answers...I am saddened for both you and your friend...using a critical event to hurt others does fortell how hurt he is is not 'fair' but understandable...have you spoken with him re ppl's reactions to what he is saying and can you suggest to him other ways to vent so that noone is hurt? Also, is he receiving professional help for PTSD or alike? No matter how this is viewed, it is clear you are a good friend, one who is both frustrated and concerned...J
  12. ChillCash

    ChillCash Active Member

    Okay since you think you know everything and wont listen to peoples advice you asked for, what do you want from us? You seem to think your friend is a fake so there isn't anything to help, is there?
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