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Author Topic: Boyfriend has problems getting places in life...
ScarcelyHeard
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My boyfriend, Justin, is 19. We've been dating a year, although that imformation isn't that important to what is to follows... I just got off the phone with him and that's when I realized how big of a problem this is and I don't know what to do and how to approach him anymore.

He works full time at Tim Hortons making minimum wage. He was supposed to recieve benifits by now, like healthcare, but he was never approached by his employers. He hates his job. He's a hard worker... his employers and coworkers are always telling him to go something, but when he does it, it either isn't good enough or he isn't thanked. He claims that he's the only one who does anything... he's always the one who is asked, and he always does things for others without being asked, because if he doesn't do them, the things won't get done. He complains to his coworkers... he's talked to his boss about this... nothing... his coworkers "hate him" because he complains... deep down, all he wants is to be liked and respected, but he never is. His boss always calls him in on his days off telling him to come in because she knows he's the only one who will. Last day he was off we made plans... she called him at 6:50 in the morning(after working till 10:15 the night before) and asking him to come in for 7:30.

He did pretty lousy in school and came back for a semester. His dream job is an archeologist, but he does not have the grades and he does not want to spend money, go to university, and risk not having a job. He found a community college program he's interrested in... law and security... we've talked about it... he admited to me a moment ago that he doesn't know where to start... I told him to start with applying. "But I need help," he said, "I need help with the application, and if I need help from other people, then maybe I'm not worthy of getting accepted."

He also said that he has trouble getting help and is scared about his future. He said he wants to be able to support a family someday but he said that he can't. Someone who is 19, making minimum wage and who is living with their parents paying board is not worthy of anything else.

He knows that I'm going off to university.. he wants to be with me, but doesn't know whether to follow me (the community college program is only offered at the campus in the town where I'll be attending university) or stay back. He's scared that he'll get out on his own, not know how to do something, and have no one there to help him.

He feels that in order to do something that he has to do it himself... I told him it's alright to get help... but his response was "If I'm always getting help, how am I going to learn to do it myself?"

He's had a hard life growing up. His parents can be difficult sometimes... sometimes they can't pick him up or drop him off at work and he lives a 15 minute drive away... when there is a misunderstanding, there is always an argument. Although he's never shown any agression or anger towards me, according to him he has a short temper, and there were holes in his wall(before he had to pay $700 to get his room redone for his parents to use it as an office if he moves) to prove it.

When I met him, he was struggling to get a job. He said if it wasn't for me, he probably wouldn't have had the motivation to get one. He got a job. I try to remind him about that. But his response now is "They only hired me because they were desperate and they treat me like s***. The other places didn't want me. I'm not good enough for them." He applied for another job at an electronics store which has better pay... a friend of his was leaving and a few people put in a good word for him... he got an interview and according to what he said the other night, the employer will call him around the 8th because he's on vacationand have him bring in references when he gets back... his response tonight: "He's never going to call me. If he wanted me, he would have called by now." Before that, his friend told him, and I was there, that "he wouldn't have asked for references if he wasn't going to hire you."

His response to all of this is that he wants to throw himself out in front of a car.

I've tried talking with him about it and about things I've went through. I've tried being positive and encouraging him to be positive and to talk to me. Everytime I see him I ask him how he is and how work is. For the past few monthes, he's been "Okay" and refuses to talk about work because it sucked or it was boring or that he didn't want to talk about it. I got my mom to get him information of correspondence. He wouldn't even read the information, just glanced over it, and said how he can't do "self teaching" and how he hates to sit down and study. I told him to go back to high school. His excuses "I'm going to be 20. I cannot stand the people who go there, they're immature. I'll just get so-and-so as a teacher and fail. How are my grades going to help me."

This is all just a gradual thing... once in a blue moon, he talks about how depressed he is about his situation...

Everything is perfect otherwise, it's just our convsersation went from something about random thoughts to, "I was depressed today at work and so-and-so and so-and-so asked me what was up and I told them." He told me he wanted to tell me in person, but a few moments later, I didn't even have to say anything, he was talking about it. "I can't help myself. Look at my friend Brad... he works full time and goes to community college... I want a future but I can't see it. I don't know where to start." Basically... I can't remember the whole conversation... I was silently crying, thinking that I've tried everything... the only positive thing lately I've really done is had him want to go to community college.

I just don't know who to see to get help for him. This is random, but he thinks all guidance conselers are "out to get him" because our school guidance counseler didn't help him when he wanted information about working in Alberta. After that, he dropped the Alberta idea like a hot potatoe. I have to agree with him though... our guidance counselers are very bad... I overheard his little appointment... he asked about the law and security course and the counseler said that "it's only mall security" (when it's private security, ect) and that he's better off spending $25 000 to go to the police academy. We've talked about the police academy... its tough to get in, so Justin automatically went "I can't do all of that. And what if I spend $25 000 and cannot get a job like my cousin?"

I just give up. I told him tonight that I was scared that I can't help him anymore. I can't remember what he said... just tried to cheer me up I think and we said our goodbyes... and here I am.... since then I've just focused on getting this out there and see who can help me.

If I can think of anything else, I'll just post a reply. It's easier that way.

[ 08-05-2006, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: ScarcelyHeard ]

Posts: 80 | From: Canada's East Coast | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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ScarcelyHeard, that's a lot of stuff there. You are a very kind person to care and try so hard to help him.

He sounds very depressed: going to a therapist to be diagnosised and beginning treatment should be his first step. He's functioning, but just barely. It's hard to recognize depression when you're stuck in it, and even harder to get out of it. That's where professional help comes in. You're doing all you can, but he needs a wider support network: a romantic partner just can't bear all the responsiblity. How is all this for you? I can imagine it's terribly hard for you, too.

You know that old pyschologist-lightbulb "joke" of "How many therapist does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one but it has to really want to change?" Well, as bad as it is, there's a lot of truth in it. You can only do so much (and you're doing an incredible amount), he has to take steps towards positive change himself. Baby ones, but with genuine effort.

Work: A big step would be asking his employers about getting benefits like health care. If this is in his job description, then he has a right to this. Regardless of their feelings for him, they cannot deny him his benefits.

Ultimately, getting a new job is the solution. But I'd suggest he cuts back on the complaining in the meantime. Not to say it's not a crappy environment, but negativity really gets to people, who then try to avoid that person. (Chances are they also don't like the work but don't want to be reminded!) Of course, their being mean back is not an appropriate response either. I would suggest he apologize to them for complaining so much, that he's trying to work on it and hopes they'll understand.

School: He's just 19 with a future that can only get brighter, if he's willing to try. Doing archeology can be an ultimate goal, but either improving his grades or, better yet, going for the law and justice program at the community college sounds good for now. He should call or meet with an advisor at the school to see what he needs to do to get admitted. Community college is a great option, a great building block. But he has to apply.

Empowerment starts with little steps, keep on trying, and eventually watching success grow. Getting his driver's license so he doesn't have to wait for his parents to pick him up is another little but big step.

But going to a counselor would be the place to start: You can help, but you can't be his only motivation. Honestly, his dependence on you has become unfair and selfish, be it unintentional. He needs to start doing stuff for himself, doing whatever he needs to get started. Do you think he'd be willing to get checked out? Maybe even just reading your post could be a wake-up for him to realize how bad it's become?

[ 08-05-2006, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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ErinK
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"I need help with the application, and if I need help from other people, then maybe I'm not worthy of getting accepted.

There's nothing wrong with getting help with an application -- colleges don't expect that students will be perfect or able to do everything perfectly once they show up. If they could, why would they need to be there? [Smile] (Obviously we don't want someone to write the entire application for a student, but help is just fine.)

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ScarcelyHeard
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I don't know how to go about getting someone for him to talk to. I live in a medium sized town... when I think therapy, the only place that comes to mind is the mental health ward at the hospital... my mom mentioned that, lol, threatened to take me there a few times when I was younger, back when I had some issues... I do not know where to start in that aspect, so can anybody help me there?

I'm talking to a friend of mine who has a job for the summer at the community college. If I can get Justin up town on Thursday, I'll call them up tomorrow and see if I can get him a counseler to talk to. My friend recommended someone who may be able to help him there, but doesn't know how to go about getting an appointment. The best I can do is either give them a call or drop by. The college is a 5 minute walk from my house, so it isn't a big deal.

Work: I already told him that he needs to quit complaining and that it's not going to do him any good. I told him to start by going into work and asking how everyone is. That's what I do when I go to work, even to cranky old Faye, whom you're never sure what she's thinking about you. He told me he's done it once, and when I asked him how everyone was, he said "Fine.", which at first made me doubt if he even asked.

I've had a few talks with him... I sat down one night and made him list the positives about himself... just comething lighthearted and fun... I gave him a little kiss when he came up with something good... "I'm a hardworker." "I'm a good lover." and "I'm an excellent guitar player." were some of the things I remember him saying... I refused to reward him when he said stuff like "I like Stargate" ('cause what kind of a positive is that?) and gave him a big kiss when he went off on a tangent of what he wants to do in life... start a family, visit Egypt and Rome, have a cat like his cat Terr, which had to be put down a few years ago, and a cat lik Terr's brother, Rex...

Whenever he brings it up, it bothers me a lot. Whenever I'm worried about it, I talk to him. It's just last night kind of overdid it for me, and I just didn't know where to go next.

I'll tell you this... his coworkers were joking around about how he should take some antidepressants, long story, he said that they will turn him into a "mindless zombie"... he's very stubborn... one example is how when he's sick, he won't take anything for it and let it take it's course. One night we ended up going to the clinic because he was miserable, and ended up being put on a cheap medication that he needed to take four times daily... do you think he took them four times daily?! For the first day, yes.

But anyways... I appreciate your replies.

My friend who works at the community college and who is Justin's best friend although they don't see each other a lot.... I'm talking to him about this... he said he had an idea... an adult high school at the community college so he can upgrade his grades... the only thing is, in our "back to highschool talk" he said upgrading his grades are pointless because there is nothing else he wants to do. See how stubborn he is?

Thank you for both of your replies. I already told Justin that there is nothing wrong with getting help with applications... frig, I used the internet to help me with my resume format... I just changed some things to suit me.

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ScarcelyHeard
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He's being so stubborn... I don't even feel like talking to him until he starts being civil... argh, I'll drag my butt over to the community college tomorrow but it probably won't do him any good.

"Im not even sure if this is what I do. What if I dont like it?" (uh, upgrade your skills and go a level up) "But I dont want to. I'm not even sure if this is what I want to do." (if you upgrade your marks, you'll have more to choose from) "But in community college you dont need high marks" (that's why there is only one course out of hundreds that you're eligable for) "I need a student loan... I dont know if I can get one... I dont know how to get one (frig, either drag your butt over to the bank and ASK them, or ask an adult for help.... my mom keep telling me she'll bend over backwards for him!!!)

I'm upset. Maybe if I keep showing it, he'll get the point. I was very curt with my goodbye. I dont know if this is how I should be acting, but it's how I feel at the moment... frusterated, annoyed, helpless.

And of course the little bugger didn't email me like he promised he would. He's off to work now... yup... I've just had it... don't even think it's worth going up to the community college...

[ 08-08-2006, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: ScarcelyHeard ]

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Ecofem
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ScarcelyHeard, how are things going now?

You are doing the all the right things to help here: providing emotional support and pep talks, you're even willing to do the footwork for him. But he's totally fighting the problem: you're feeling "frusterated, annoyed, helpless" right now? Totally understandable.

So I'll ask again: are you sure you want to be in this relationship? He may be a good-hearted guy, but he's not treating himself (and, in turn, you) with respect. I worry he's unintentionally but selfishly pulling you down.

You totally have your s*** together and it's good to help others, but it's hard being a 24-7 momma to someone. I don't mean to be fatalistic here, telling you to break up with him and leave him behind, it just seems he's resistant to everything right now.

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ScarcelyHeard
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Thank you for the reply.

Tuesday I went to the community college, got a calendar and application form... they have some kind of career specialist, but she won't be in until Monday.

Tuesday I called Justin and got all of my frusteration out... we both did our fair share of yelling and crying... but letting him know how stressed he had made me really helped me to feel better.

He was upset... he had to do an online test to apply for a new job... he didn't understand it... he got a 5 out of 100. The manager called him and asked him about his low score and told him to retake the test. Justin tried... halfway through re-taking it, his computer just shut down. He went to try again and the website said that he had already taken the test. Even my mom agreed that this kid has the worst luck. The manager called and told him to bring in his references. I went in with him. They gave him a few forms to fill out and he had to photocopy his ID.

I was over his house the next day when one of the supervisors at his work called him. She said that someone had called looking for a reference and told him what she said. I overheard the entire conversation. His supervisor said that Justin was a hardworker... that he does things when told and even when he's not told. He's always ontime and he's even come in on his days off when they needed someone. If he does something wrong, he'll listen to what the others have to say, but if he thinks he did it right, he'll tell you that too. The supervisor said the last thing was pretty good. That I think boosted his confidence.

He has a friend there who is trying his hardest to get him hired. I've been talking to him. They have two full time positions and one part time position available and he's pretty sure Justin will get the job. His manager wouldn't go through all that with Justin if he wasn't going to hire him.

I was talking to Justin the other night about taking "baby steps". I compaired it to a diving board. He seemed to believe that he was still ont he edge of the pool. I told him he was halfway up the ladder, and if he gets this job and enjoys it, he'll be a step away from the top of the diving board. He still has a ways to get to the edge... but the whole idea is to take baby steps... do little things to get you further, but if you find you change your mind or you dont like a choice you've made, it's okay to take a step back and try again. Tonight he told me that this job would be his next baby step. I'm happy that he remembered what I said and brought it up again. He should be getting a call any day now.

He still complains about work... I just bite my lip and bear it... I tried to get him to tell him the funny things that happened... he didn't, but naturally later on in the conversation, he started talking about some funny things that happened at work... I try to focus all of my attention on the funny things and not so much on the negative... it keeps me sane.

I don't know how long this is going to last... all I can do is pray that he gets the job and that he <i>likes</i> it. Until then, I'm fine for now...

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ScarcelyHeard
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He got the job!

To celebrate, we're getting our beginners license. Yay.

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Ecofem
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This is great to hear! I hope he realizes that things are looking up for him, starting with his (always) supercaring girlfriend. [Wink]
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ScarcelyHeard
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He really likes his new job... which makes me happy... Im praying though that he doesnt turn around and hate it. He said last night that if it wasn't for me, he wouldn't be where he is now.
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ScarcelyHeard
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My parents said this was going to happen once he got his new job...

He likes his job so much that he doesn't want to go to community college anymore. He wants to get an appartment in town!

I told him if that was the case, I was going to send myself to university two provinces away for four years, become a vet, and make a starting salary of $50 000.

Then since I didn't want to yell or cry about it, I pretended to fall asleep. It was pretty late at night.

He told me that if I didn't like his decision, he'd get whatever job he could for me, but somehow I don't believe it.

I had a dream he was leaning over my bed, asking me if I was upset over this and that he wants to make me happy. Just as he was about to lean over and comfort me, I woke up.

All I have to say is, here we go again..........

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by ScarcelyHeard:
I told him if that was the case, I was going to send myself to university two provinces away for four years, become a vet, and make a starting salary of $50 000.

If this is your dream, please follow it, regardless of his plans!

It's hard: you helped him when he was between a rock and a hard place. (With a super negative attitude at that...) Now he's doing better and his plans have changed. I'm glad he's now standing more on his two feet, but I'm sorry he's less interested in your former plans together. Thing is, he doesn't really owe anything to you. Of course he should be grateful, which I'm sure he is, but it's ultimately his decision what he should do with his life... with or without you.

I'm hoping for the best for the two of you, but just give it time and see how things pan out...

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