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Abstracted and absent

A little more than a year ago I met the love of my life, we were both dating at the time but we both knew that we would end up together, though we never said it. Both of our relationships ended about the same time and we ended up together. 


We've had our ups and downs. Because of her traumatic past with sexual abuse and lack of emotional support she has trouble trusting people, we have now dated 3 times but finally on the 3rd time we've found equilibrium; heres the problem:


So my girlfriend was raped at a party and its been nearly six months, the court date isn't till next year and we're distraught because its going to go over both her 17th birthday and into the new year. We can start anew and its eating at both of us. She is distant some times but ive felt myself slipping into depression as well, she can't go to her place of study because we've seen him there and so she's trapped at home doing nothing all day every day and I can't do much to help her. 


I can't talk to anyone at school because of the nature of all this and if I did id be scared they would act the way I want them to or not understand. She is perfect to me, she often takes her anger out on me by icing me out but I understand. I just find that im struggling to do it all... Im her only support and I have no support but her either, im losing weight and falling behind on school work and im worried im going to have to give some things up. 


To add to the feeling of hopelessness I crashed my bike this morning, Im fine butty bike is a write off and now my only form of respite is gone. I just dont know what to do I mean im 16 and I dont have a job, I can't find a job; its not like I haven't tried. Ive been trying to start my own side thing in tutoring primary school kids but its taking time and the cards were wrong and idk what im going to do. 


Im out of money and Im out of hope for most things, im taking 14 units because I love learning but I put no time into homework and with assessment week coming up I find myself in a really tough spot. To put it in a different sense looking after my girlfriend is a full time job and Ive added school to the mix and taken away my only mode of transport the nearly 50 kilometres to school. 


I can't sleep most nights and I find myself slowing down, forgetting everything and not paying attention, fazing out and being absent. I often get a tap on the head from people like "hey are you listening" and honestly im not.. I dont have many friends anymore but go figure I guess. To tell you the truth a part of me wishes I died on my bike today. Dont worry though im not going to kill myself, calm down; I just realise how easy that would have made all this, but I can't leave my love behind. 


I just need some advice... Im out of money, out of energy, out of time, behind in school, running out of patience, getting sore and sick, losing weight and I can't even seem to help my girlfriend properly. I do everything I can for her but idk what else there is to do, I throw myself away for her needs every day and I can't physically do more, but its still not enough. I know she needs time to heal and I give her space and everything she asks for; I just need something.. anything, some sign that there is light there to look for. 


- Teenager at large.

Re: Abstracted and absent

Hi @Teenageratlarge


You said you're slipping into depression and losing weight (assuming because you're not eating or eating very little), have you gone to see a doctor? Maybe they can prescribe you with something to lift your mood up and allow you have a bit more energy for school etc. 


Looking after your girlfriend shouldn't be a 'full time job'. I get that she is the love of your life but you are no doctor or health professional. She needs to see a counsellor or psychologist to lift some burden off of you. You are putting yourself ahead of her at every occasion, sacrificing your mental health so she can improve hers. I get that, that is very sweet and amazing what you're doing for her. But we're reached the point where you have nothing left like you said. We (as friends/partners/family members) can only do so much, the bulk of the help should come from professionals who knows how to help and what they are doing. 


Try to take a step back from helping her so much, I know that will be extremely difficult for you because you love her so much but you need to focus on your mental health as well. Encourage your girlfriend to speak with a counsellor or psychologist, hopefully she can get some help and allow you to catch up to things you've been falling behind in.

Re: Abstracted and absent

Thank you, I appreciate the time for the reply, she has actually gone to see someone and she's going to go back, I think it could work well. Ill still be helping her a lot but it could bring some better times too.

- Teenager at Large

Re: Abstracted and absent

That's great to hear @Teenageratlarge, I hope everything works out!

Re: Abstracted and absent

hi @Teenageratlarge 

Thank you for sharing on the forum about your experience - sounds like you've got a lot of things going on that are stressful. You sound exhausted - like you need a break. Does that sound right?

It sounds like you've got a beautifully supportive relationship, and I can hear how much you care for and love your girlfriend by the way you write. As @LeoTheLion said - it is really important that she gets other sources of support as well - for her sake, and for yours. No-one can do all the supporting for someone else. 
With that in mind, I think it would be good to get yourself a bit more support as well - considering how you felt about your bike crash, I think thats a sure sign that you're in need of some TLC. 

What are some ways that you can think of to prioritise your own wellbeing, and physical or mental health? Taking some active steps towards your own wellbeing might help you to feel more in control of the situation as well. 
Let us know your thoughts Smiley Happy

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Re: Abstracted and absent

Thank you for your reply I appreciate the thought, things are going a little better I guess. But I don't think that 'getting help' is for me, but I guess that's why I'm here.  I'm trying to support while continuing to study, I guess it's stressful not that I've failed most of my subjects when I'm normally a straight a student. Anyways thanks for te response.

Re: Abstracted and absent

Glad to hear things have been getting better over the past couple days - how are you doing now?


And for what it's worth - totally agree with what the others have said before. It's fantastic to hear how hard you're trying to be there for your girlfriend, but if you want to be her "rock" in the midst of all this, you need to have something you can anchor yourself to as well, so you can keep both of you steady, even as the storm grows and grows around you both. You can't lift someone else up if you're in freefall yourself, after all. People get grouchy when they're tired, which leads to stress and stress leads to short tempers and limited patience...all in all, not a great recipe for being supportive. It's okay if you don't want support for "you" (it's a big step to take, and you probably don't want to feel like you're shifting the focus away from your girlfriend), but might I suggest at least getting in touch with a few resources on how you might support her at least? Talking to her counsellor about how you can help, or using a resource like 1800RESPECT, could make things a little easier as you continue to support her - it helps to know that you're not the only one out there looking out for her, and it's never a bad thing to learn more about how you could support her. 1800RESPECT actually has an online webchat and phone service, so they should be pretty easy to get in touch with (contact details here). They also have a bunch of resources about supporting victims of sexual abuse. (Link here.)


That sasid, it's great that you've reached out to us, and we're happy to support you as best we're able - I'm just being mindful of our limitations as a service since we aren't strictly speaking, a therapeutic or crisis counselling website.


In the meantime - it's been a while since I've been in high school, but might I suggest dropping a unit or two? I totally get where you're coming from re: wanting to learn, but I tried doing 14 units as well and I just found that I ended up doing kinda "meh" in a lot of subjects rather than doing exceptionally across a smaller subset - spreading myself too thin, as it were. You sound pretty ontop of your grades, so maybe you could make it work better than I did, but I don't think the tradeoff was worth it for me, personally. And you have a tonne more on your plate than I did at that age...