Is this abusive? What should I do?


Both me and my girlfriend deal with depression, but when she gets depressed, she always self-isolates. I, on the other hand, always want to be able to talk to her and feel like she’s around (were currently long distance, shes serving in the Air Force). Usually, when im depressed she’ll comfort me and help me, and when shes depressed, ill leave her alone as much as possible since that’s what she wants. The problem is when we’re both depressed. Which is right now. So, currently, im trying to reach her because im basically having a break down because im completely overwhelmed about life and everything, and shes actively ignoring me. ive only sent her a few texts, most of them funny things or pictures of my dog to try andcheer her up, but a couple asking her to please call me because Im not doing well and would really like to talk to her. she hasn’t responded to any of them. Even though I can recognize that this is because of depression, and shes not doing it to hurt me, its really killing me. The last time we had a proper conversation was over a month ago, because she was in training and had no access to cell phone reception or wifi, and then her phone broke. whn she finally contacted me, it was for her to talk about whats been going on in her life to cause her to feel so badly, and crying, and essentially telling me that shes going to need a bit of time alone. she asked me if we could take things on her pace this time, but I really need to be acknowledged in the relationship too. I need to feel cared for. I’ve been wanting to talk to her about it for a week now, but she still hasn’t spoken to me. it hurts me so much that Im always trying to spare time for her if she needs me, but she has no trouble ignoring my texts and calls when im crying for help. it only makes my depression worse, and I don’t know what to do. we’ve broken up abut this before, and talked about it. technically, I only asked her to tell me and give me notice when she was going to withdraw, so shes not doing anything outside o our compromise. I really want her t stop self-isolating, its really unhealthy for her and all of her relationships.

I don’t know what to do. how can I help her stop self isolating? do you think this pattern is abuse? all I can do is wait for her to talk to me again, is there a way I can stop myself from being angry with her or feeling resentment when she does contact me again?

p.s. I don’t think that actions caused by mental illness are abusive in nature, but imworried because they cause the same sort of emotional response…its to a point right now where I feel embarrassed and shamed for even trying to reach out to her. weve been together for three years now, I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed for calling her twice to ask her to be there for me, but I do.

Category: Tags: asked July 31, 2015

2 Answers

Hello! I totally understand where you're coming from, its very hard to be there for someone time after time when they aren't there for you nearly as much! And since she's also going through depression, you feel selfish asking her to be there for you more. A relationship takes two people though and she should know that. Its totally not okay for her to vent to you when she needs it but totally ignore you when you need it. From what I've heard, it kinda seems like she's using you. I think you should have a talk with her and say that since you're there for her all the time, she should be there for you also. Most people isolate themselves when they have abandonment issues. Maybe she has been abandoned in the past so she's scared to get too attached because if you leave, yet again she'll be left alone. If you make sure she knows that you aren't going anywhere, it might help her stop isolating herself. I think that the angry emotions you feel when she finally reaches out to you again are totally normal. And the reason you feel ashamed asking her to be there for you, is because you shouldnt have to ask! If you ever need to talk and she's not there, my inbox is always open! :) I hope everything goes well with her!!
As a former Servicemember myself, I can advise you that once your relationship has grown to the level where you are a source of stress to one another without having an element of stress relief, all you are doing is triggering one another's depression, because you are each depressed about the other.

The truth is that you both need individual counseling and therapy. Your S/O has that available through her chain of command, and you should advise her to immediately begin seeing the chaplain for counseling. We need solace from time-to-time, but depression becomes lethal when a person is alone and needs company. It is time for you to work on you and for her to work on her. You must each put individual efforts into yourselves, because the strain of trying to force yourselves to be together is only achieving the opposite.