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Friend wants to give support to friend wants help
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October 29, 2001, 07:45:10 PM
­ Dear MaryAnne,
I'm a 16 yr. old girl and my girlfriend is having serious problems with her mother. I don't know the extent of the problems, but I know that they're causing her intense emotional distress. I think that I'm the only one she can talk to, but I don't know where to begin giving her the support she needs. I'm asking for advice on how to help her cope with the problems she's having at home.

If you could help thanku
Tyana

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October 29, 2001, 07:46:34 PM
#1
­ Tyana:

You are a very dear friend to do this for her and to want to give her the best kind of support. I envy your friend to have you.
OK, lets see what we can do for her. The best thing you can do is listen and NOT give reasons why. People seem to need to explain to other people who are talking about something, what to do, or why it is happening. I am sure you have had that done. When a person is in deep emotional distress the last thing they want is logic. Even though “normal” people think that is what is needed because the other person is already out of control and being emotional. But in reality it is the opposite. Now listen to me here, when a person is emotional they become more and more emotional the less validation they get. By validation I mean whatever she is crying, hurting or feeling is wrong, you agree with her that it is bad and not right for her to have to go through it. Believe me that is how emotions work. The more she is “understood” for her feelings being true the less emotional she will be and the more secure she will feel. It is the awful feeling we get when we are crying or feeling afraid and somebody says, “you baby” or “grow up.” That just shuts it all up inside and that is no good. Or they tell you to stop being so emotional and everyone has to live with that. Well, what that does is makes a person feel invisible and like no one is hearing them. So, when she is having feelings no matter how bad they are or if she is crying tell her to cry that she has every reason to cry. In fact you can tell her this truth about crying. Crying is powerful in a woman. Crying makes us stronger, it is not a weakness. If she is saying hateful things about her parents, don’t agree with those we don’t want her to “think” of anything real bad. But when she does say things like “I hate them” tell her you can understand why she would feel that way.
Tyana, we all have to find our own way in this world but just like you to your friend, we don’t have to go it alone. You can not save her which I think you already know. But you can be there for her and support her so that she knows that someone hears her and this will keep her from doing anything real drastic. If she does start talking about hurting herself you need to point out that what is happening is not forever but death is and that soon she will be on her own and can do things the way she wants. That she needs to stick around for that freedom and to find out what lies ahead of her in her future. If she becomes suicidal, you have to go to your parents and tell them. Don’t ever think you can “know” whether a person will or won’t commit suicide, even I wouldn’t make that prediction.
That is about it if you can be these things for your friend she can get through this. Oh one more thing, if she gets to the point where she can not take it, she can go to the county mental health center and talk to a therapist, they have to see you regardless of your ability to pay.
OK I think I have you covered on all fronts.
If you get stuck or have a specific situation you can’t figure out how to handle just write me and I will help you through it.
If you need me to explain more about what I have written just write me and ask questions and I will explain.
I am here for you because your job isn’t easy either. So you need some support too.
God bless you for being her friend and remember you need to reach out I will be there,
MaryAnne

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Where you know you can come for Professional, personal, right on target advice, life skills, crisis intervention,ask questions, confide in guaranteed help. With all the traps, scams, perverts and sites out there that are very unsafe, this site is your safe place. I have been doing this for 10 years.