Is there any way to help my friend?
May 9, 2014 1:44 AM Subscribe
Someone who's been a good friend of mine for nearly a decade is going through a long rough patch (a rough field?). Is there anything concrete that I can offer her?
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper to Human Relations (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We met almost 10 years ago during university. Things were pretty much "normal" back then, at least in the context of her being an American college student, but after she graduated, her parents (who are from a very "traditional" culture, for lack of a better word, although she is American-born) and her family forced her to participate in something that has pretty much changed her life irreparably. She is still living with them because since we graduated she hasn't been able to really get any kind of career going, has no savings and a ton of debt, and even if she magically had a million dollars I don't know if she'd leave because she says she feels an obligation to take care of them, as they are much older than parents of people our age typically are.
We haven't seen each other in seven years (I left the States after I finished school and haven't gone back), but we've been in touch and she's been moderately to severely depressed seemingly non-stop for the past seven years. She's been trying to rectify the situation she was forced into, but her family members have all been threatening and intimidating her, saying that she'll bring shame to the family if she goes through with it, and she told me this morning that she wants to kill herself. (This was through e-mail, I sincerely hope she is speaking in hyperbole, rather than letting me know that she is going to attempt suicide.)
I understand depression, I understand being broke and feeling (and being) trapped, I understand having to live with relatives from a part of the world who have a very, very old-fashioned idea of what woman are supposed to be, but I want to know can I offer her anything concrete besides just commiserating? Because if she goes through with her threat of this morning, listening will have done nothing.