Need Advice about Depressed Friend...
I am looking for some insight on depression. I have a friend who is clinically depressed and she has been repeating a mistake by dating an abusive *******, recently just went through her 5th time giving him a chance. Keep in mind I now live across the country so I am not able to physically be there for her.
Here are the facts…
1. She is mid 40s, has 3 kids. Only full custody of the youngest (8), and the oldest is in college.
2. Her Ex-husband is the local sheriff of a rural county. He already shacked up with another woman rather quickly after the divorce.
3. Her ex was never physically abusive, but was kind of a dick to her. He continues to claim he can’t afford to pay half of the children’s extra expenses because he is “broke” which is a lie obviously he has more money than a single, unemployed mother.
4. She has been on Eharmony and other dating sites, but she hasn’t found anyone she likes. So she gets quickly discouraged.
5. Prior to her divorce she lost 30 lbs, looking great, and had the confidence to actually do the divorce.
6. Her job was outsource last fall, so she is unemployed. She is taking classes.
7. Her family has a history of depression and anxiety.
About the abusive *******.
1. He is in his 50s, lives with his mother. No kids, never been married.
2. She met him at her old job. He is now unemployed and hasn’t made an effort to get a job.
3. He is a cheap ass…and by that I mean he would make her drive on the dates and pay for meals. If he paid he made her eat off the dollar menu while he had the value meal. This ******* was even so cheap he wouldn’t fix the furnace…in other words he had to constantly go home and start the furnace for mommy.
4. For the first several months he would never let her look inside his bedroom. They slept in the living room on the couch while the mother slept nearby in the chair. Even having sex in the same room as the sleeping mother.
5. So there’s a lot I hate about this dick…but the straw that broke the camel’s back is when he PUSHED her down a flight of stairs back in November. When she got up he continued to pusher he down into a table...and then out the door. She was ok minus some bruises…she did take pictures and had a friend chiropractor document the injuries.
6. He has a baby penis. (which she states he has never pleased her)
So I went home for Christmas, after the stairs incident. She swore she was done with him, for the 3rd time. After blocking him on her phone, he shows up to her place. She lets him in, again. My wedding reception (several months post wedding) was on one evening during my Christmas visit. (She was a bridesmaid). She had promised my mom she would help decorate. I came down with the stomach flu that day, and when I spoke to her she had stated my mom said they were “good” so she wasn’t going to go help. Later I find out from my mom, that she had indeed asked for her to come help. Later I find out my friend was with that piece of ****. She had ditched out on my mom for him. The next day I invited her over to have a dinner with me and my family. She said she couldn’t…when I asked why, she said she had company…of course…and he had spent the night. So I told her to come over and have him go home since she already saw him…she said she couldn’t…so I hung up as I was furious that she could choose that piece of **** over her “best” friend who is home for 2 weeks out of a year or more.
So that was my breaking point. I wrote her a long letter confronting her about how I felt. She had in the past backed out on my mom to be with this dickhead when she promised to help her. My mom and dad have helped her out a lot….even with money…as she complained she didn’t have enough money for groceries, my mom gave her money and then we found out that same week drove him to the nearest city and paid for his meal.
During her times of dating this ******* she also has a pattern of not answering her phone or taking a LONG time to call me or my mom back. She also disappears from facebook. I know now that it is probably a shame thing as she knows everyone hates this guy. But it is something that has bugged us from the start.
She has told everyone who cares about her about what this piece of **** did to her. NOBODY likes him, yet she STILL goes back. She readily admits that she knows it’s stupid. I have given her many motivational pep talks and tried my best to boost her confidence. Yet for some reason she just lets him back in (and he knows it). Her own son (the college aged one) stated that next time he saw him he would shoot him (after she told him about the stairs).
So back to the letter…I told her that it pissed us off that she would do all these things. I wasn’t calling her names, but I wasn’t sugar coating anything. It was basically a big guilt trip…in which I feel she should have felt bad about the way she treated me and my mom…making us less important than an abusive jerk. Rather than her having it click…she got really defensive. She denied choosing him over us. She denied the times she ditched my parents by saying she either didn’t know or that my mom said she didn’t need the help (which my mom said she did ask for the help).
It didn’t dawn on me till after that fight that I realized she was clinically depressed. I didn’t see the signs but she told me she wasn’t sleeping right…among a few other things. Every time I saw her she seemed happy, but as I researched depression more it made sense. So I told her she needed help, she agreed as though she already knew and I told her to get in to get some meds and counseling.
She did, according to her. I have barely spoke with her since then but she claims to have been taking the pills and seeing the counselor…all the while AGAIN dating the abusive *******. I knew she was because she again disappeared on facebook…and wouldn’t take the time to call me or my mom unless she needed something (which she denied that being the reasoning that she even called.)
She reappeared last weekend because she got into a fight with him. Again she had drove him and his mother 3 hours away to go work on his crappy fixer upper house. I am surprised she actually left him there this time as on Black Friday he was stalking her in another city…forced her to acknowledge his presence…then his truck wouldn’t start so she gave him a ride to his house an hour out of the way. Anyways she facebooked me saying she needed to get away and wished she had money to visit me. (I paid for her plane ticket after her divorce to come visit me and let off steam).
I didn’t reply right away. I was pissed off that she did it again. And even more because now we know he could physically hurt her. I do not believe he is abusing her on a consistent basis…but he opened the door to it. And by the way, she did not call the cops after the stairs because she was afraid that any police interaction would affect her custody of the kids. I tried and tried to get her to press charges and/or get a restraining order and she kept on about fearing that her ex-husband sheriff would take away her kids. I don’t believe that would be the outcome, but I respected her fear of it and did not call the cops, yet. (yes her ex is a douche so he would probably try to find any excuse to get the kids, even though he doesn’t really give a **** about them.)
So alas I was mad and told her that she kept making the same mistakes over and over… and I told her she knew better as she was admitting that she was better than him and deserved better. The only reason she said she thinks she keeps going back to him is because “if a looser like that doesn’t want me then who will”…(which she knows is bullshit because she has had a few different men locally that want to date her.)
So my questions to you guys who have had experience with depression or depressed people:
Why is she repeating her same mistake when she KNOWS he is never going to make her happy?
Why does she deny and get defensive when I tell her the truth?
Why does she give him chances after her own son want’s to shoot him? What if he does and then it ruins his life because he has to sit in jail for 20 years???????
Just because your depressed does is it a legitimate excuse for making bad choices over and over??????
I am having such a hard time trying to understand her. It does drive me bananas thinking about it. I want to be her friend but I cannot continue to go through this with her time and time again. I told her that, and she got all mad saying a true friend would never judge or stop being a friend over that. On my side I keep telling her that we are her true friends who love and care for her, but are sick of seeing her getting hurt because she refuses to tell him to get the **** out of her life. I know I can’t make her stop seeing him, but it seems like and dry situation for her…the pros and cons scale isn’t even balanced…its ALL CONS.
I don’t understand if I am just not understanding how depressed people think…or what….? I am having a struggle where to draw the line…should I blame her for digging her own hole…or should I cut her even more slack because of the depression? I do feel like babying her is letting her off the hook. I tried coddling her many times before…trying to boost her self esteem..etc. I just can’t do it anymore because NOTHING works.
So please offer up your opinions and advise. I don’t want to lose her as a friend but moreso I do not want to see her end up in a worse situation than before she was divorced. I have literally said about everything I can think of, many times, to try to help her.
What am I missing? Or do I need to just stop talking to her?????