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He's threatening to kill himself - what should I do?
July 22, 2007
3:46 pm
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Anonymous
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I'm hanging firm in my resolve not to contact him anymore and he's tried everything... and seeing I won't respond, he's just now sent me a message saying he's thinking of killing himself. I see it for the manipulative ploy it is, and I'm DISGUSTED, but at the same time, what if he decides to act on it? I don't know if I should contact someone, like his parents maybe? Or just ignore him, since I know it's not the first time he's used that as a way of getting attention. This man is obviously sick. I want him out of my life, but I certainly don't need to have that on my conscience. Help!

July 22, 2007
3:54 pm
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StronginHim77
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Here in Florida, a person who threatens to kill himself can be "Baker-Acted," picked up by the police and transported to the County Mental Health Center. There, he/she is held for evaluation for 72 hours.

I don't know what the laws are in your State, but if possible, call him on his bluff and have him "Baker-acted," however your State handles it. When in doubt, contact the local police department and let THEM handle it.

You should NOT respond to his threat. It is PURE manipulation. And if he does decide to commit suicide, that is his freewill choice. It is not your responsibility. No guilt lies on your hands.

Suicide has been described as the ultimate temper tantrum. In many ways, it is.

July 22, 2007
4:04 pm
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Anonymous
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I don't think we have the "Baker-Act" here. And besides, if I DO send the police his way, then he'll know it was me and that'll just create even more drama. I'm so mad at him for using that card on me... does it make me really cruel that I don't really care what he does at this point??? He KNOWS I'm suffering from depression and he's using the ultimate threat and playing on guilt.

The ultimate tantrum. No kidding. If anything, it's a real eye-opener. But I really don't want to be responsible for not at least warning someone... thinking I should call his parents. Since they're his caretakers, let THEM deal with his crap.

Sorry. Am just so angry right now.

July 22, 2007
4:15 pm
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thewall
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I have worked in the psych hosp/field and I agree w/ Strong. Call his bluff and contact the police. You will need to show them his email. Do not contact him bc that is what he wants.

We are all legally responsable for acting on any suicide threat. It is not up to us to decide whether or not it is a serious threat. That is up to the professionals. When he gets mad at you for calling his bluff, just tell him that as a U.S. citizen you could not take the chance that he was serious, therefore you were doing your duty. lol.

It probably is a manipulation ploy and if he does it, it is certainly not your fault. You can not control what he does. If he wants to try something stupid thats his choice. You can not live your life staying in his life "just in case he tries to kill himself". That is not a life for you or for anyone. He's a jerk, a control freak and a manipulator. No wonder you want out.

Manipulators up the ante when they dont get their way, much like a 2 yr old screams louder in the store when mom says no . I doubt hes really going to kill himself. Hes just throwing a bigger 2 yr old tantrum. However, like I said, you can not take that chance. Report it to the desk sgt and your local police dept.

This man needs to grow up. He also needs to stop with the childish manipulations.

When I was 6 or 7 I got mad at mom and told her I was going to run away. She called my bluff and started packing my clothes. lol . I never threated to run away again. It taught me a lesson. Calling his bluff may be the only way he stops this childish game.

good luck

thewall

July 22, 2007
4:20 pm
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Anonymous
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I'm so enraged right now, I just feel like writing back to him and saying "do us all a favour and go jump off a bridge already". But of course I won't do that. Of course not. I just need to vent. sorry.

What I did do is I warned his parents, saying I could not/would not be held responsible for his nonsense. Let them deal with their two year old. Let them call the police if they want to. I'm so mad, I think I'll go out for a run, to burn off some steam. In a way he's done me a favour because I haven't gotten out of the house in several days now. What a major JERK.

July 22, 2007
4:20 pm
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thewall
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No, dont call his parents. Thats what he wants you to do. Call someone who can actually do something about it. Not 9-11 but just contact the desk sgt.

It doesnt matter what state you live in, the law is the same. You need to report any threat of suicide or violence to the authorities. When you talk to the desk sgt, let them know the situation (that the two of you have broken up and now hes playing this game). They will send a car out to chat with him, and will determine whether or not he is serious. If he isnt serious, they will tell him to stop playing games.

Every time he plays this "I'm going to kill myself " bull shit, do the same thing...report it again. Some ppl take longer to learn than others.

Trust me. I worked in ER and the psych hosp , doing psych assessments for yrs. This is what you should do.

July 22, 2007
4:23 pm
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Anonymous
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I'm not in the US, so I don't know how it works here. Besides, too late. Already called the parents (which, incidentally, I'm sure he DOESN'T want me to do, what he wants is for me to contact HIM, which isn't happening until pigs learn to fly).

July 22, 2007
5:16 pm
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fantas
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The girlfriend,

I am so glad you let his parents know. This is the next best thing to the police. You are right, they can decide what to do with him.

Why not block his e-mail. My ex threatened to commit suicide and I actually to go a head and do it then hang up.

He is still living and creating drama for another woman.

All the best to you...Keep us posted šŸ™‚

July 22, 2007
5:32 pm
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Anonymous
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The times I really attempted suicide I didnt tell anyone I was gonna do it. I failed for technicalities but a 10-min talk with a friend might have done the trick. One cannot underestimate the power of impulse whatever childish the reason may be. Contacting the parents was good. Contacting the police is very good. Packing the bag for a runaway is terribly smart! Or desperate! Still smart, though, cuz its a trick you can pull back on.

Being involved with someone who is suicidal must be a drag. It hasnt been my case, yet. Im also out of the US but here suicide is also a violence and ilegal offense. Being confronted with the mental health system has done me a lot of good cuz I know what it can do for me, which is, it cant do for me what only I can. People run scared from depression as it were contagious. Or they are babler positivism in a nice socialite tune. The reality is that the people that dont feed into the drama and / or dont help are the best cuz the depressed person can go elsewhere or nowhere faster and stand up for him / herself.

July 22, 2007
5:38 pm
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marypoppins
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Dear Girlfriend,

Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. He's played his last card. Where can he go from here? I don't know where you are, very curious now, but I do like that idea of the police picking him up. You might call and find out what your options are regarding the law enforcement agency that exists in the strange exotic land you're in. If he continues to harrass you, which may be beyond the control of the parents, you may need to go the next step.

I know it was very difficult for you, but if you hadn't set that initial boundary, he might have been able to somehow persuade you, as he'd done in the past, that he had something worth waiting for. I wonder if your therapist will still advise you to "stand by your man".

Did you go out for a run? I think you're doing so well.

Mary

July 22, 2007
6:35 pm
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Anonymous
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Thanks to all of you for your responsiveness and support. I guess it WAS bound to come to this. The ultimate passive-agressive attack! He really has done me a huge favour though because now I've realized I'm just past caring. I want to be there for the most important person in my life: ME!

And today I had an opportunity to take a very scary situation and turn it around by doing something good for myself. I know I did the right thing by calling the parents and passing on the responsibility to them, and then taking myself out for a run felt GREAT! I guess all of this makes me a very bad codependent which... is a very GOOD THING. šŸ™‚

My only hesitation now is I'm thinking I may need to actually spell it out for him, i.e. "don't contact me" because if, for some reason he still continues to harrass me and I need to call in the police or get a restraining order (and let's hope we don't have to get to that), then the police will be asking if I've told him, clearly, not to contact me.

Mary, you really made me laugh with your reference to the "strange exotic land" I'm in. Not so very strange nor so very exotic, I assure you. I'm just purposefully keeping details vague to retain anonymity... after all... this site is very popular and shows up right on top when doing a Google search...

July 22, 2007
8:35 pm
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_anonymous
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Contacting his mommy and daddy are the same thing as contacting him. If you dont want him to contact you, then you need to set an example by not contacting him either. Obviously he is a liar because I see that he is still around to harrass you. Again he is a liar and he is trying to play you. LET YOUR FEET DO THE TALKING. BLOCK THE EMAILS. BLOCK THE CALLS.

July 22, 2007
10:52 pm
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Anonymous
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I took myself out to the movies tonight. Decided I was more interested in seeing drama on the screen than enabling it in my own life.

When I came back home, I saw he'd sent more messages and tried to call me again. Well... at least I know he's alive. I also know, as you say Destiny, that he is a liar and will not hesitate to resort to empty threats to get attention.

Too late about the parents, as I had already alerted them. We (the parents and I) developed a relationship these past few months as we were all trying to help my ex. Unlike their son, I actually trust them. But of course he is playing us all and I can see now that we've all been enabling him. I did decide not to contact them once I'd decided to end contact with the ex. But today, with a suicide threat, I did not consider that to be "normal circumstances" and I thought calling the police at this stage might be a bit extreme, so I did the next best thing.

If he ever tries that crap with me again, I WILL call his bluff and involve the police. Now he's saying he is not clear on why I don't want to return his calls, which is why I thought might be a good idea to spell it out for him - maybe he thinks I'm playing games.

I did have an incident once with an ex who ended up stalking me. Had to get a restraining order to get him to stop and the police had asked me if I'd made it very clear to him that I didn't want to pursue things, which I had, repeatedly.

This time around, I think I may have been too vague and given him hope. Probably because I was still hoping that he'd shape up and do the right thing and we could eventually get back together. He's obviously very unwell and it's very likely he doesn't perceive his threat as being out of line, since he himself has been interracting with a crazy ex who'se threatened him with all kinds of unspeakable things for many years now. And as we all know, as codependents, we all tend to lose our sense of what is "reasonable" and what isn't.

This is why I'm still left wondering if I should state very clearly that he is not to contact me any longer. Might help us both get some sort of closure.

July 22, 2007
11:10 pm
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fantas
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The girlfriend,

I think it's okay to make it very clear you don't want to be with him but you need to do it your way. I'd suggest an e-mail that states very clearly that you do not wish to be in contact with him which includes no response to the e-mail. Then like it has been suggested, block his e-mails, phones etc. Or change yours. All the best. Keep us posted.

July 23, 2007
8:35 am
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thewall
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Very good suggestion. Email him and state very clearly that you do not want to be contacted any longer, IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. And you might want to state what you will do if he does contact you or tell him that all emails are blocked and so is phone #. If he goes to your house or work, the police will be called or he will be escorted out by security. I would especially tell him that the next time he threatens to kill himself you will call the police.

You have to let him know how serious you are. Hes not getting your subtle hints so hes left you with no choice but to be very stern and direct.

July 23, 2007
8:45 am
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sad sack
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Girlfriend,

No advice from me (you really have received such wonderful advice/suggestions already).

Just wanted to say that I think you are remarkably strong. I have been reading your thread and find it refreshing how "emotionally together" you are. Keep doing what you're doing.

I have the utmost confidence that you will come out of this okay. Your latest reaction to his manipulitive threat has been perfect.

Good for you. YOur strength should serve as an inspiration to others on this site.

sad

July 23, 2007
10:09 am
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lettingo
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the girlfriend,
My ex-h also used the suicide tactic when I wouldn't accept contact. I have to admit I was very upset because he was high and his brother had killed himself BUT I just held tight because really could I really stop it? I just saw it for what it was. Manipulation...Today he is alive and well sitting in jail. Hang in there and not sure if it was discussed but to save yourself alot of unncessary grief and headache change your phone numbers, email, etc. anything that enable him to contact you. I changed both my phone numbers and it help so much!!

July 23, 2007
1:13 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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If you think you need to be able to argue your defense for a future restraining order, then cover your butt and send him a precise email stating to end call contact with you, or you will contact the authorities regarding this matter.

that's all, nothing else, no need to tell him that he will be blocked, etc, as it will enrage him and make him up the ante.

just state that you want no further contact and any futher contact will warrant a call to the authorities.

all you want to do here is cover your backside and make sure you have what you need for the police if you need a restraining order.

any futher details is "too much" and is actually causing more harm than good.

and I would also stop contacting his family on all levels too...at this point, the only way to end his presence in your life is to cut ALL ties.

July 23, 2007
2:01 pm
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That was hard. Am shaking right now. But I know I've done the right thing. I had a sleepless night last night, so slept in late today. I decided I'd send the "NO CONTACT" email to him when I got up, and not in the middle of the night. That way if he needs to call people for support he can do that as I can imagine he won't take the news very well and it will hit him "completely by surprise"... since he's obviously in denial and not seeing that anything is wrong.

When I woke up there was an email from him. He tried calling repeatedly. I ignored all of that and did a bit of exercise. Arranged to see a friend today. Decided the drama could wait. I finally read his letter. More about how he loves me more than anything, etc. He tried calling again as I was reading it.

I had writen a very concise email in the middle of the night. I revised it, made a few adjustments. It very clearly states that our relationship is over and he is not to contact me anymore. It's so very sad that it had to come to this, but at this point, he's fallend into stalker territory and I won't stand for it. So that's it.

Off to take a shower and going to meet a friend now. Life must go on. And it's up to us to decide how we're going to face the day. Whether we're willing to be victims and continue the crazy codependent dance or not. Today I decided... the person who loves me the MOST in the world is none other but ME.

Amen to that. šŸ™‚

p.s. Thank you ALL for your support. Means the world to me and it's helped me be strong in these very challenging times. You've all helped me find strength and resources within myself... and inspired me to just do the right thing. God bless you all.

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