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Need help with a situation

N

nikias

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Joined
Sep 2, 2009
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7
I have met a girl who is obsessing on me and I need to know some advice on how to deal with the situation.

In a nutshell, she is 20, has a history of severe family abuse. She drinks heavily, and is starting to get in to substance abuse. She has attempted to kill herself several times in the past few years, and ended up in hospital a few times (I don't belive these attmepts were a "cry for help", they were genuine. ). Her self-esteem is chronically low. She suffers from sudden mood swings. She has been receiving help from the age of 13, but things seem to be a reaching an all time low. I dont know her that well, so can't really say any more than that.

She seems to have constructed a fantasy that involves me. I say fantasy, because we have had virtually no real contact. I post on a forum, and it seems she has read all 1000 of my posts and based the fantasy pretty much on that, and has fallen in love with me.

We have spoken over the past few weeks, but she actually is fairly reluctant to talk to me. She is playing out the fantasy on the forum, and seems somewhat less interested in the reality.

At first I thought I would just back the situation off, but it seems that because it is largely fantasy based, this is not possible. She has attached to me like a limpet mine, and I can't control matters, because it is all acting out on the forum.

What I need to know is how do I respond to this to minimise the damage to her. Her problems are way out of my league to deal with. But I don't wish to take action that would harm her unnecessarily.

My plan at the moment is to not respond to any of her posts on the forum, to force her more towards real contact, and then just push her in to some harmless activities, such as watching tv together and so on, and progessively cut contact with her.

But I have also wondered whether it is better to do the opposite, let the fantasy play out on the forum and cut real contact with her right away.

I feel that cutting all contact would have a very bad effect on her. I truly believe that at the moment she is on the edge of total collapse.

I know that sounds absoltuely terrible, but I really don't beleive that I am able to do her any good. If I feel at any point I can, I will, but at the moment I am just concerned with not causing her harm.

I need some really blunt and honest opinions on this. So, please, fire away...
 
unlucky

unlucky

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I've not had any experience of this so this is purely my opinion. I think I'd cut all contact completely even going so far as to not go near the forum you have been posting on for a while. I certainly wouldn't have any 'real' contact as to me this could be construed as encouragement and would quite possibly push her over the edge when you withdrew contact. For you to be offering any sort of contact to me is probably making her worse because then she might think there ie a real chance something is going to happen.
 
N

nikias

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
7
Unfortunately, there has already been "real contact".
I realised immediately that she was obsessing, but only in the past few days have I realised how bad it is. I honestly believe the fantasy is keeping her alive at the moment and I am so worried about destroying that fantasy.
I am so unsure.
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
In my opinion I would cut all contact on the forum, and keep contact firmly in reality.

You can do this safely by only agreeing to meet in coffee shops or in town and public places. That way she gets out of the house as you wanted, keeps the relationship 'real' as you wanted, and you can have a time limit on when you meet her and how long you meet for.

And she won't feel like you are abandoning her, she knows that you are there in real life at set times.

I feel encouraging fantasy is not the way forward. However well or unwell she is i feel it would be unfair to encourage her to believe what is not true because this can can have devastating consequences in the long run.

When you speak with her or meet with her, I would challenge any fantasy she might try and construe. You can do this sensitively but make sure she knows that you are not going to go along with it. See it as giving her a reality check.

I am not being judgemental, but I would also think very carefully about whether she is also constructing a fantasy to you, with regards to her current situation and past. If she is constructing a fantasy about you, then it is not impossible to believe that she would be constructing fantasies about other parts of her life that she told you about. It does make me wonder why she is reluctant to speak with you in real life when she is so obsessed with you online?

However if she is doing this, I would say that it does indicate that she does have some serious issues, and may need understanding with these, rather than criticism.

In the meantime why not recommend this forum to her if she is suffering with mental health issues?

And make sure you look after yourself too. :)
 
N

nikias

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
7
Thank you.

I think part of it is that she is using the fantasy relationship with me in a public forum amongst her friends to boost her self-esteem. Her lack of interest in the real me perhaps reflects just what her motives are, which seem to be all about her needs at this time. I would happily go along with the fantasy if I thought it would do any good, but now that I have actually had real contact, I think he fantasy is rather dangerous. Her interest has started to grow in the real me and it just seems to be making the fantasy worse at the moment.

When I met her and talked to her, I quickly realised there was something terribly wrong. And, unfortunately, like many people with low self-esteem, she is very sure of her opinion, which makes it rather difficult to talk to her at times.
Anyway. I am proceeding with your advice. I am cutting the "fantasy contact" stone dead as of tonight and will immediately define limits for the "real contact".

I have to say that I am absolutely heartbroken by this, but I am strong enough to do what is right.
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Let us know how you get on.

And I liked your way of putting 'define limits for real contact' . I think that is instrumental in this case. I would say she needs to know her boundaries with you, and you need to assert how you do feel about her if she tries to make more of your relationship than it is.

If she crosses those boundaries by incessently phoning for example or continuing to construe a more intimate relationship I would let her know it is not acceptable. You are trying to be a good friend but if she keeps not listening and respecting your boundaries then you will have to end the friendship.

I think most people would feel that is fair and kind but firm.

Take care :)
 
N

nikias

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
7
Well the situation is over!

By stopping all the forum contact, everything quickly moved to reality, and then the bubble burst. Literally within days she started to realise that we didn't actually get on at all, and that she didn't like me. In the past 24 hours, she has broken all contact and siad shs is not interested in even talking to me again.


niki xxx
 
unlucky

unlucky

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Result!! i hope you're not upset about it now though!! You men can be a bit funny that way!!:p
 
N

nikias

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Messages
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No I am not upset. During the "reality" phase, she suffered several mood swings that scared me a bit actually, so it made it easier to be relieved about her ending things.

I'm a woman by the way. :)
 
unlucky

unlucky

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:oops: Sorry!! You've not got your wee male/female bit at the side, I'm a bit too good at assumptions!! Glad its all sorted out for now!
 
N

nikias

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Joined
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Messages
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Ha ha! No, it's fine. It's a natural assumption to make.
 
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