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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » I don't know how to help...?

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Author Topic: I don't know how to help...?
zalmentra
Neophyte
Member # 77859

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I'm new here and have been through a bit of the boards and I'm sorry if my problem seems a little insignificant and petty compared to some of the other ones, but I can't talk to anyone else about it and I really don't know what I can do...

My boyfriend and I (both 17 years old) have been together just about 6 months now and I have never been happier. We both feel exactly the same about each other and were both each other's first time having sex. Anyway, that's probably all irrelevant.

My boyfriend's dad is an alcoholic. He's been pushed by my boyfriend and his mum to stop drinking for a long time now. Anyway, about 5 days ago he said he was going to work and instead went down to the pub and just didn't come home. My boyfriend is shattered, to put it lightly.
He keeps telling me how much he needs me right now, but I have no idea how I can help him :/ he isn't letting me in a lot, he isn't telling me anything about news they get of him, so I don't know much about the situation.
I feel so useless because all I am doing is watching my boyfriend shut himself away and it kills me whenever he tells me there's nothing I can do for him. The last time I was with him he got a phone call about it and after he hung up he just rolled away from me and told me to leave [Frown]

How can I help him? This post was long I know, and my problem is probably very insignificant, but I can't ask anyone else for help (my boyfriend has never told anyone outside his family about his dad before me) as I don't want to betray his trust by spilling his secrets.

So basically, I don't know what, if anything, I can do for him to help him through this?
Thank you for reading all that, I really appreciate it.

Posts: 30 | From: Australia | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
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It sounds like your boyfriend is going through a hard time right now. [Frown] He might feel like being alone though if he says there is nothing you can do and wants you to leave. I know it's hard to feel like you can't help. Just let him know you will be there for him if he needs comfort or support or just someone to talk to.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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Redskies
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Zalmentra, you don't really say how You feel about this situation, so you might be doing ok with it - but I just wanted to say anyway, try not to take personally your boyfriend not wanting to communicate about the situation. When someone has a parent in that kind of situation, they can sometimes feel bad, ashamed or angry about "dragging in" even more people. Sometimes someone can feel very angry or ashamed about an alcoholic parent. I just mean that him not talking to you is very unlikely to mean that he doesn't trust you, if your relationship is otherwise good. It just means that He doesn't know how to handle the situation, or perhaps his own feelings.

Let him know that you're there for him, and also as someone who he could have a nice few hours away from it all with, whatever he needs. Make sure that you have other friends around you, too, so that you still have happy social contact and activities so that you're ok and so that he doesn't feel bad that his situation is affecting your life.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
zalmentra
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Member # 77859

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Thank you both for your responses [Smile]

Redskies - I think I'm doing okay on the whole, and I definitely understand that he doesn't want to talk about it much to anyone. I'm trying not to push him to talk to me about it if he doesn't want to. Having said that, though, its just seeing him struggling so much that upsets me a lot.
I'm also worried about his dad - he's always been such a nice person whenever I've been around him, nothing like I'd have imagined an alcoholic to be like (I've never had any contact with an alcoholic person before). He's always been lovely to me, but obviously a lot more went on when I wasn't there.
I hope it all comes right again soon [Frown]

Posts: 30 | From: Australia | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
zalmentra
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Now I'm definitely not doing okay [Frown]
I don't know if it was the right thing to do, but i had to tell my mum everything. She knew something was wrong and she pushed it out of me.
Now my boyfriend is furious with me and won't even talk to me at all anymore. He says I've betrayed his trust and that he can't love someone who he can't trust. He's sent me a few text messages that are a bit mean [Frown]
I think I did the right thing - I couldn't cope with it on my own...and my boyfriend's family isn't talking to anyone, mum just wants to give them a place to come that they can trust [Frown]
Did I do the right thing? I'm fairly certain this is going to be the end of our relationship, and that's going to shatter me...

Posts: 30 | From: Australia | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
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I'm sorry to hear about that.

Now that she knows, it sounds like you can go to your mum for support. That's good.

Alcoholism is a really tough thing for anyone who it impacts. I think it's important that you take care of yourself, for example, talking to your mum, now she knows, if and when you need to. Make sure you keep seeing other friends and doing things you enjoy. To respect your boyfriend's privacy, I'd suggest you don't mention his father's situation to any friends, particularly if you can get the support you need from your mum.

In terms of helping your boyfriend, I think this is the best suggestion that I, at least, have right now: I guess you've heard of support groups for people with addictions, like Alcoholics Anonymous? Well, there are also often groups available for people who are affected by someone else's addiction - family members, or sometimes specifically for young people affected by someone else's addiction. Sometimes those groups are separate to the actual addiction ones, and sometimes they're within the same organisation. To the best of my knowledge, family members can be supported whether or not the person with the addiction is getting help or not. What you could do is try to find out what's available in your/your boyfriend's area; you could ask your mum for help with that, as you're feeling vulnerable right now.

I'm thinking of two purposes with that: one, to see what support could be available to your boyfriend/his family, and to give him that information, so that he knows it's there and has the option to use it if he wanted. It can make such a difference for dealing with something like this to share the experience with people who have similar experiences. Two, organisations like that might be able to give you some pointers as to how to best help your boyfriend (and take care of yourself while you do that). If you did give the information to your boyfriend, you can tell him that you didn't mention names, so that he knows that you didn't break his trust.

Right now, it sounds like your boyfriend isn't able to talk much, but if/when you get the chance to talk with him, perhaps you could tell him something like: keeping his confidences is very important to you, and you take that very seriously, but in this case, something so very serious was wrong that you simply couldn't deal with it by yourself. You didn't disrespectfully blab to people who wouldn't really care, you told your mum so that you could get the care for yourself that you absolutely needed.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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