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Topic: Dealing with a friend's abandonment issues...

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. RamblingGirl
    RamblingGirl avatar
    3 posts
    16 September 2021

    My friend has severe abandonment issues that lately I have been struggling to deal with. We're very close, he's my closest friend really, we talk almost every day normally. Since COVID and lockdowns hit he's been struggling a lot more, and recently he has had a lot of friends stop talking to him, apparently because they found his mental health too much of a burden (his words, I have never met them so not sure what the situation is exactly). He suffers from depression and repeated suicidal thoughts, and I have tried to support him as best as I can whenever those moments come up, trying to remain calm and caring even though I'm usually panicking inside. Overall in the last few months he seemed like he was doing a little better but in the last week things have gotten worse again. He's shut down and I misguidedly thought it was my job to try to distract him so I have been trying to keep him talking to me and rambling on about things, which I acknowledge was the wrong thing to do, I should have been listening to him and giving him space/support as he needed and following his lead.

    He called me out on that and keeps bringing up his friends, saying I don't really care about him and its only a matter of time before I abandon him too. I tried apologising and acknowledged my mistakes but he twisted my words, claiming it just shows that I (and everyone else) don't care about him. It's not the first time he has said that to me, pretty much whenever his depression is hitting him hard he will say things like this, and it's really hurtful. I feel like I should have thicker skin because I know it's his depression making him say that and I know his abandonment issues are valid and not his fault, but still, I feel really hurt and upset. And that makes me feel terrible because I also suffer from anxiety/depression so I know how hard it is. I want to tell him that I understand how hard things are for him but at the same time I don't think it's ok that he treats me that way, but I don't know how to say it without making things worse. I'm so afraid if I upset him more it will lead to those suicidal thoughts again and that he'll hurt himself. I guess I am looking for some advice on what to do next because I have no idea. Sorry for rambling so much, and thanks for reading until the end of this post.

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9216 posts
    17 September 2021 in reply to RamblingGirl


    There is some relevance to the saying "birds of a feather flock together" in terms of those with mental health issues. Most people cannot get a grip on the problems we face a high percentage actually. Some have the empathy level (not to be confused with kindness) that can elevate their reasoning with our difficulties. Others will never get it.

    I suggest you pass onto your friend this forum details so they can join and be among their own.

    You have your own sensitivities and that isnt a crime, its you. HSP - highly sensitive people make up for 15-25% of all humans so you might be one. Nevertheless he should make way for the problems or deficiencies other have but it isnt always as easy as it seems. Due to such complex situations you could consider counseling.

    You are such a caring soul but there is some guidelines that you should take- take care of yourself first, report any suicidal threats to lifeline or ring the number at the bottom of this page and determine if a situation deserves professional guidance/intervention if needed rather than tackle something beyond your knowledge.

    You are caring for him greatly which is admirable but you cant save the world either. Take care.


  3. Goldwing03
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Goldwing03 avatar
    27 posts
    17 September 2021 in reply to RamblingGirl

    Hi Rambling girl,

    You know I've actually been in the exact same situation! A few years ago, my best friend was struggling with really severe anxiety and depression and would often shut herself off from me and our other friends. For a long time, I blamed myself for the way that she was acting and constantly thought that her angry outbursts towards me were my fault. Over time, I've come to realise that as a friend, the best thing you can do is understand that someone's behaviour is reflective of how they feel about themselves and so your friend is probably overwhelmed with self-loathing at the moment. He's going through a really rough time.

    Remember to take time away from the situation if you need, and try to understand and support him- even if his behaviour is irrational.

    Just remember- it is NOT your fault. The best way you can support someone is to take care of yourself first. In terms of your friend, I think just continue being a good listener, and make sure that he's getting professional help ASAP. That way he can talk to somebody who's a little more qualified to help with the situation.

    Take care <3

  4. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    276 posts
    17 September 2021 in reply to RamblingGirl

    Hi rambling girl. The sucky thing about abandonment or rejection, especially when young, creates an expectation that everyone will. Which leads people to act in ways that lead to it coming true. He is likely to interpret your distractions and space as rejection- which is not your fault at all. You are a human deserving of love And support too.... It’s hard to a judge what one wants and or needs during depression. However, as long as you can keep talking when needed (if you can handle that), then 20 years later people will remember that you didn’t abandon them more than they will remember that you didn’t say or do the right thing...

    Take care dear

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