T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 94705
posted 03-27-2012 08:20 AM
My roommate was abused in every way except sexually. She has very low self-esteem, and a big glaring blind spot when it comes to male attention.
Her next-door neighbor, a mentally-ill teenager, has been getting creepier and creepier the more she tells me about him. He is friends with one of her step-brothers, but the entire rest of her family hate this guy with a passion. Things that put up red flags for me: -When neighbor guy found out she was still a virgin (she's 20) he straight-up went and told her that he'd be the one to take her virginity. -He texted her one night, saying he was gay, and then the next text said "I like your boobs". I've tried explaining that he's not just being friendly, and that her reply of "that's so cute" (or somewhere along those lines; she read them out to me a few weeks ago). -She went home for the weekend, and when she took her little sisters on a walk, the guy comes out of his trailer shirtless and starts killing a snake that was in his yard. -She told a friend and I that, when she'd go outside to stargaze at home, the guy would IMMEDIATELY come over and start talking to her and "get feelly". Every time. Like he's watching. And she refused to elaborate on the "get feelly" part. A friend and I have told her to bring scissors or a knife with her when she goes stargazing, to tell neighbor guy to back off, and to call the cops if he tries to touch her again; but for someone hoping to be a forensic detective she has very little faith in the police. (Her mother almost ended up in prison for failing to protect her from her abusive father, even though her mother was chained to the wall at the time and couldn't do anything.) She immediately said that the cops wouldn't believe her, because the guy's parents didn't like her parents. I don't know what to tell her. She doesn't get that this guy seriously could rape her the next time she goes home. Also, she's been upset lately about her ex, whose most recent lie was that he moved to New Jersey and dropped out and got a job, while he's still at the same high school he's been at for years. His previous lie involved faking his own suicide. She keeps feeling like she owes him more chances to redeem himself. She keeps turning to me for advice, and I see her making all these dangerous mistakes and not realizing that two mentally ill men think she's been flirting with them. She goes home this weekend and I am afraid for her safety. I don't know what to say to her anymore...
Member # 95393
posted 03-27-2012 12:50 PM
I'm no expert, but I've had some experience with people like your friend, and yeah, it can get frustrating when it seems like they're simply refusing to do the sensible thing. But we have to understand that they behave the way they do because they have problems of their own. If you can't convince her to get some help on this issue and feel that she may be in genuine danger, it might be time to become involved yourself or if you're not that close, maybe call her family/someone she trusts?
Member # 79774
posted 03-27-2012 09:32 PM
inkabink, I am very sympathetic to your concern for your friend, and agree that it sounds as though she may not be able to identify potentially unsafe people or situations as well as she might, and that her ex sounds like very bad news indeed, and that her response to him is concerning - but I need to ask you not to frame mentally ill people as automatically dangerous.
People with mental illnesses are no more likely to do harm to anyone than people without mental illnesses, and are actually the victims of assault and abuse much more frequently than people without mental illnesses. If someone with a mental illness is dangerous or is crossing someone else's boundaries, then it's the dangerous-ness and the boundary-crossing that's the problem and that we should be concerned about, not the mental illness - just as we would if it was a person without a mental illness. There's a number of us on the boards who have current or past mental illnesses, or who are close to people affected by mental illness. Mental illness is very often framed in our society as something dangerous or to be afraid of, and that is harmful and hurtful to people with mental illnesses - there are folk around here who haven't received the support they deserved at least partly because they had/have a mental illness - as well as being just plain untrue. I don't want to put you off posting here, or to derail from the discussion you need to have; but I did need to ask that you don't mix up references to people with mental illness with references to people who are dangerous, unsafe, or crossing boundaries. Thanks.