Author Topic: Serious help needed  (Read 8039 times)

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Serious help needed
« on: April 15, 2020, 02:03:00 AM »

Offline Neurotic Guy

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Writing to you all on a whim because Iím not sure how to be of help and Iím involved in what feels like a very serious situation:

Iíve been contacted by friends son. My friend is 61, lives in Ct and in a terribly abusive marriage. He has history of depression, suicidal thoughts, no attempts.  Married about 2 years and His wife lives in Boston (she is in coast guard stationed in Boston; they see each other most weekends).  She has Borderline personality disorder and she is brutal to him.   He knows she is horrible but canít let her go.  She alternately mistreats him and then pulls him back.  And it continuously escalates. I believe she told him that sheís going to find a man this weekend (cruel).  Three nights ago my friends son texted me. Heís 20 and his sister (also home) is 24.  They are terrified: dad  is drinking heavily, crying...  same  thing for 3 nights.

My friend talks to me daily (seems more or  less ok on the phone during the day) and talks to a therapist weekly  who he says doesnít help.  Tonight things escalated.  The Wife was cruel and abusive on the phone, my friend was huddled in corner of his room crying. His kids there. I got him on the phone.  He admitted to suicidal thoughts but no plan and promised would not.  But he has the means (guns and medication), he was drinking, crying and doing circular thinking. Hopeless. Worthless. 

 I called a mutual friend who lives near  to come over.  He stayed till he thought my friend was asleep.  But he wasnít. He tried calling his wife again - more abuse.   My Friends sister was then  contacted and she spent time on the phone with him.  My friend then  fell asleep in his sons room.  When he did, his kids went into dads room and found 3 guns.  Texted me and Asked me what to do, i suggested hide them and then just stay nearby and try to rest.  In the morning we have few friends, his law partner, and his sister (who is planning to drive in the AM from NYC) and we can make a plan ....

Really unsure when to advise a 911 call. Especially in the current circumstances with hospitals.

So if he gets to morning, we need a plan.  Any advice on  steps?  If you think emergency services need to be called tell me so.  I donít think heís going to make that call or even call his therapist. His sister will be there in the AM which is really good. Also, his friend said heíd be checking in in the AN.  And 2 other friends are nearby and can be with him.  But these kids canít go through another night like this, they are terrified. Great young man and woman but (as I feel) way over their heads. 

Sorry - I donít have other places to reach out for advice (especially at 2am) so if anyone here has expertise in this area and are comfortable sending thoughts in what we should target for a goal tomorrow, Iíd appreciate it.  Thanks.

If this isn't an ok topic, sorry  about that. 

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2020, 03:28:52 AM »

Offline liam

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I'm not an expert but when people are thinking of hurting themselves it's time to contact someone. Sometimes all it takes is people being made aware of the situation. I realize these are not regular times but there are still services in place to help folks stay safe. Good luck with what is clearly a bad situation.

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2020, 03:58:51 AM »

Offline ozgod

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Sorry to hear about your friend's situation  :-\ You definitely need to call someone. Sooner rather than later. Alcohol, guns and suicidal thoughts make a terrible mix. The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. There are also these hotlines for CT:

http://suicidehotlines.com/connecticut.html

Alternatively you can call the local PD and get them to do a wellness check on him, they should be able to send someone over to his house.

If his therapist says he doesn't need help, he should get another therapist. If he's willing to. I know there's only so much you can do but maybe you can convince him, or his kids can.

Best of luck.
Any odd typos are because I suck at typing on an iPhone :D

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2020, 04:44:37 AM »

Offline gouki88

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Youíll always regret not contacting someone, especially if you should have - at most youíll only be embarrassed if you do and it was unnecessary. If youíre having worries, contact someone
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Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2020, 07:24:07 AM »

Offline Neurotic Guy

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Thanks.  Yes my instinct was to call 911 but my friends sister intervened with the kids and said not to.  Shouldnít have listened and wonít next time. Local police for a wellness check was also something I should have done - didnít dawn on me.  I got friend to go over and that was good but I already regret not doing more.  I havenít heard since late last night get which is good news  as his son was texting or calling with any worries.

After I check in with son and friend this am Iím going to alert the local police.  I feel a little ashamed at not doing that last night but it is what it is and Iím moving forward. 

Thanks.


Update: texted with my friend directly just now. Heís up and getting ready for work.  Says heís ok.  I am going to contact local police after I touch base with my friends son. I think he needs the support and for someone to do a safety check.  Thank you so much for your input.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 07:59:31 AM by Neurotic Guy »

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2020, 08:36:50 AM »

Offline nickagneta

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Contact the authorities regarding what to do with the guns and advice on what to do if there is another escalation

Get your friend to a mental health professional ASAP.

Lastly, there is another in the relationship and she is suffering greatly from a serious mental illness. Since she is active military, call VA mental health services and ask for advice regarding how to handle her situation.

If your friend won't leave her because he loves her, the best way to fix the issue is getting her into treatment and on medication for her problem, stabilizing and supporting your friend and then getting both to marriage counseling.

But one at a time. Make sure everyone is safe and the guns are neutralized and legally out of the equation. Then get your friend the mental health and counseling he needs, but also the cause of the problem needs to be addressed and that's getting someone that suffers from borderline personality the mental health care they so desperately need.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 08:47:40 AM by nickagneta »

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 08:52:27 AM »

Offline saltlover

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Contact the authorities regarding what to do with the guns and advice on what to do if their is another escalation

Get your friend to a mental health professional ASAP.

Lastly, there is another in the relationship and she is suffering greatly from a serious mental illness. Since she is active military, call VA mental health services and ask for advice regarding how to handle her situation.

If your friend won't leave her because he loves her, the best way to fix the issue if getting her into treatment and on medication for her problem, stabilizing and supporting your friend and then getting both to marriage counseling.

But one at a time. Make sure everyone is safe and the guns are neutralized and legally out of the equation. Then get your friend the mental health and counseling he needs, but also the cause of the problem needs to be addressed and that's getting someone that suffers from borderline personality the mental health care they so desperately need.

Connecticut has a red flag law, which could allow police to temporarily seize the guns.  If NGís friendís children are truly concerned about their father using his guns on himself or someone else due to his mental state, they should contact the authorities to get the guns out of the house.  He would be entitled a hearing after a short time to get them back, but my guess is that he wonít try once theyíre out of the house.

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2020, 09:05:37 AM »

Offline nickagneta

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Contact the authorities regarding what to do with the guns and advice on what to do if their is another escalation

Get your friend to a mental health professional ASAP.

Lastly, there is another in the relationship and she is suffering greatly from a serious mental illness. Since she is active military, call VA mental health services and ask for advice regarding how to handle her situation.

If your friend won't leave her because he loves her, the best way to fix the issue if getting her into treatment and on medication for her problem, stabilizing and supporting your friend and then getting both to marriage counseling.

But one at a time. Make sure everyone is safe and the guns are neutralized and legally out of the equation. Then get your friend the mental health and counseling he needs, but also the cause of the problem needs to be addressed and that's getting someone that suffers from borderline personality the mental health care they so desperately need.

Connecticut has a red flag law, which could allow police to temporarily seize the guns.  If NGís friendís children are truly concerned about their father using his guns on himself or someone else due to his mental state, they should contact the authorities to get the guns out of the house.  He would be entitled a hearing after a short time to get them back, but my guess is that he wonít try once theyíre out of the house.
Yeah, each state is different but most have some sort of law like you described. I think legally removing guns from the situation needs to be the priority. But though that is the priority, simultaneously try to initiate getting both the husband and wife the mental health care they need. And as I said, since she is active military, I am guessing the VA could give great advice about that.

I grew up in a household where a parent had  borderline personality disorder, among other mental disorders. It's extremely difficult on all the family loved ones. The mood swings, the massive amounts of anger and the paranoia wreak havoc and can cause terrible mental trauma to the others in the family.

But there is light at the end of that tunnel if you can get the person that is ill the proper treatment. My mom fought treatment for it for 30 years and it destroyed the family. But once she became dedicated to getting healthy, she became the person I knew as a little boy and the family came back together, to a point.

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2020, 09:25:39 AM »

Offline saltlover

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Contact the authorities regarding what to do with the guns and advice on what to do if their is another escalation

Get your friend to a mental health professional ASAP.

Lastly, there is another in the relationship and she is suffering greatly from a serious mental illness. Since she is active military, call VA mental health services and ask for advice regarding how to handle her situation.

If your friend won't leave her because he loves her, the best way to fix the issue if getting her into treatment and on medication for her problem, stabilizing and supporting your friend and then getting both to marriage counseling.

But one at a time. Make sure everyone is safe and the guns are neutralized and legally out of the equation. Then get your friend the mental health and counseling he needs, but also the cause of the problem needs to be addressed and that's getting someone that suffers from borderline personality the mental health care they so desperately need.

Connecticut has a red flag law, which could allow police to temporarily seize the guns.  If NGís friendís children are truly concerned about their father using his guns on himself or someone else due to his mental state, they should contact the authorities to get the guns out of the house.  He would be entitled a hearing after a short time to get them back, but my guess is that he wonít try once theyíre out of the house.
Yeah, each state is different but most have some sort of law like you described. I think legally removing guns from the situation needs to be the priority. But though that is the priority, simultaneously try to initiate getting both the husband and wife the mental health care they need. And as I said, since she is active military, I am guessing the VA could give great advice about that.

I grew up in a household where a parent had  borderline personality disorder, among other mental disorders. It's extremely difficult on all the family loved ones. The mood swings, the massive amounts of anger and the paranoia wreak havoc and can cause terrible mental trauma to the others in the family.

But there is light at the end of that tunnel if you can get the person that is ill the proper treatment. My mom fought treatment for it for 30 years and it destroyed the family. But once she became dedicated to getting healthy, she became the person I knew as a little boy and the family came back together, to a point.

Yeah, Iím with you Nick.  My ex-stepmother was not (to my knowledge) diagnosed with borderline, but most or all of the symptoms were there.  My relationship with my father was in part destroyed because of it.

I hope NGís friend can get out of this relationship before itís too late, and that it doesnít make his relationship with his son unsalvageable.  But the first thing needs to be focusing on everyoneís immediate safety, and then take it from there.

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2020, 09:45:02 AM »

Offline Fan from VT

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It sounds like he is at times open to help and his kids are involved, which is positive. Have them gather all guns and ammunition and move them either to a kid's/sister's house or to locked storage (or put trigger locks on them) and have only the kids/sister have the keys.

If medications are not active, get them out of the house. If they are prescription, leave him with just enough for whatever the visitation schedule is (ie if kids see him every weekend, leave him 1 week's worth at a time). Leave him a couple days of non-prescription medication if needed (Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, benadryl, etc).

Talk to him daily, and have a plan for him to call or text someone on a phone tree (child, sister, friend) any time he feels like calling his wife.

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2020, 11:16:03 AM »

Offline wiley

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NG, I am not a professional so please take what I say as opinion, as I will also be guessing...

Aside from the immediate concern for physical safety, there is the relationship.  From what I know about personality disorder, it is NOT one of those conditions that you can really work with, maybe a friendship would be possible years down the road, but from what you've said, PD plus abusive means no way this relationship can work.

I'm sure deep down your friend knows this, and probably the idea of separating from her or trying to separate is giving him intense panic attacks. 

These panic attacks can be deadly as they steal away your sense of reality so any clear thinking is gone.  But the longterm solution needs to include making your friend understand that separation by any means necessary is the goal, regardless of whether it can be accomplished quickly or if it takes longer due to the intense attachment (quick is better but not always realistic). 

He has to come to an understanding that
1.  they have to be apart, and
2.  He will survive the breakup, even if he feels like he'll die in the shortterm.

He is clearly afraid of this woman.  That cannot be rebuilt in this situation imo.

Your friend has good friends, a good job, two kids.  He must understand how his two kids are vastly more important than this two year old marriage. 

I wish him the best. Good luck NG.  Have always appreciated your thoughtful posting...

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2020, 12:59:52 PM »

Online Roy H.

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It sounds like he is at times open to help and his kids are involved, which is positive. Have them gather all guns and ammunition and move them either to a kid's/sister's house or to locked storage (or put trigger locks on them) and have only the kids/sister have the keys.

If medications are not active, get them out of the house. If they are prescription, leave him with just enough for whatever the visitation schedule is (ie if kids see him every weekend, leave him 1 week's worth at a time). Leave him a couple days of non-prescription medication if needed (Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, benadryl, etc).

Talk to him daily, and have a plan for him to call or text someone on a phone tree (child, sister, friend) any time he feels like calling his wife.

I think this is a good idea.

Also, he needs a new therapist, pronto.

I also think itís appropriate to call the police for a wellness check if heís getting particularly acute. 

Would he consider moving in with one of his children?

óóóóóóóóó-

I understand to some degree what heís going through.  My former fiancťe was BPD.  We dated for 7+ years, and she was both the best and worst partner Iíve ever had, and the cruel parts would come seemingly out of nowhere.  It was extraordinarily hard letting go.  Itís going to take a long time for him to realize whatís best.

Thereís no chance that she would leave him, is there?
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Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2020, 01:27:36 PM »

Offline wiley

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just to add to mine and above posts....at some point, as part of the separation process, any threats of violence against him, should they occur, should be reported to the police.  Hopefully there won't be a need for that...

Re: Serious help needed
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2020, 06:03:29 PM »

Offline Neurotic Guy

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Such great advice and support -- can't thank you all enough.

Some of the things mentioned are in place.  Was already working on the guns -- they are now out of the house and secured at a friend's house.

There is a network of folks currently communicating with him with at high frequency. I spoke with him twice today at length (he did go to work today and functioned pretty well).  He says that he is OK.  I take his assessment with caution as I know that he is extremely vulnerable to another round similar to last night and he is not accurately assessing his capacity to stay rational and safe  (I appreciated the reference to "panic attack" in the comments here -- I think that is a good way to frame his response to when his wife tells him she's done with him).  I believe alcohol is now out of the house and his son has taken his prescribed medication (****).   I have had resistance from others involved about contacting police -- I know that I can call regardless, and though I agreed not to call now -- I provided the conditions that if they were to occur I wouldn't hesitate.  I've advised those closer to his children than me to provide a plan for them if they were to get frightened again by his actions.  First, the police, then a nearby friend who would come over immediately.

Re: therapist -- this is an ongoing discussion (he's been in therapy for years).  His therapist has been  helpful at times, but the fact that she was not someone he wanted to call during this episode or in the aftermath tells me she isn't the right one for him.  I told him this but he won't agree to find a new therapist.  His psychiatrist in my opinion has committed malpractice (longer story) and I think I did convince him today to get a referral to a new psychiatrist.   I'll follow up tomorrow.

Re: MH issues with spouse.   First, I agree with the assessment that this relationship is beyond repair and that his best pathway to health is to break from it.  Of course you all know that this isn't something he's in alignment with right now -- even though he knows and accepts the basic premises that the relationship is destructive to him, to her, to his and her children -- and that there are no indicators (at present) that things can get better.   She is very ill, I get that -- and when she isn't abusing and belittling him, I have compassion for her.   I've spoken with my friend over the course of the marriage (about 2 years) about her getting help.  She will not.  Nothing is about her, everything is his problem, his fault, his mistakes.  And the vast majority of her examples are irrational, hyperbole to the absurd, or delusional.  She is a brilliant woman and a professional (I won't be specific but she is doctor) -- but she is not getting, and will not seek help. 

I am aware that BPD like any personality disorder is brutally difficult to treat -- she's been in destructive relationships throughout her life -- she was mistreated as a child (not just saying this, she's referenced).  My friend would do anything for her, but at this point he's got to get past the "addiction" of her and get himself healthy. 
FYI: his responses and his kids as well are undoubtedly influenced by the fact that my friend's first  wife (their mother) passed about 8 years ago from pancreatic cancer.  Kids are home due to Covid -- and are really struggling to handle all of this.  They are crazy about their dad, and really scared.  It's hard to not be able to take the burden off of them.

All that said -- today is a lot better than last night.  Thanks for all of your kind words, your advice and support.  Can't tell you how helpful it's been.