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Monday, 30 May 2011

Scared of Friend Turned Goth

Written by  Erin Donovan

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QCan you help me? I have a friend, well actually she's not really my friend that much anymore (my parents told me to stay away from her.) Anyway, I've known her for 3 years - since 7th grade. (She was such a sweet person in 7th grade -we're in 10th now). In eighth grade, she seemed to be really depressed (I think it was depression or so she said ). She would cry for no reason, or if she got a bad grade on a test she'd cry and sob for along time right there in class. And she started eating less and wearing more black (nail polish) and occasionally dressed in all black. She bangs her head into her bedroom wall real hard several times when she gets mad at her step-dad or something. Things seem to be getting worse. She is losing interest in her grades. She wears black and joined a "religion" where you have sex with your god and have horny Thursdays! She tried to get me to join and said "you can keep your old religion too." I told her that I can't betray my beliefs. Then she ignored me. One day she turned around to me and she said "you need to get shot." I said, "Excuse me?" She started laughing and said she was kidding. I'm a little scared she might hurt me or someone or do something. I've told my parents and they think I should tell the police or something. What should I do? I need some advice please.

AIt sounds like this girl is really in need of some help. Her parents could actually be making it much worse (or even, sadly, be the root of the problem)

It's been my experience that people usually start into the 'Goth' phase (wearing all black, idealizing death or making light of it) to get needed attention. It sounds like this girl is trying to draw attention that she needs help, that something is not right. Maybe she doesn't know what kind of help she needs, or doesn't trust enough to get help, so she's just acting out her pain.

My advice to you would be to tell someone that you know she is in need of help. You could tell your guidance counselor at school that you are concerned and that you wish to remain anonymous when they speak to her; that you would like your name totally left out of the matter. If you don't trust that they will let you remain anonymous, and you do not want her to know it's you, write a letter of your concerns, leave it on the office desk or mail it to the school with no return address and leave it unsigned.

In addition to that, you could write an anonymous letter to her parents. Leave out specifics that only you know about if you don't want her to know that it was you, and stick to the general reasons you are concerned (wearing all black, losing interest in grades, speaking of death, loss of faith in God, etc...) Also tell them that you think she needs understanding, not more punishment or trouble.

You could have your parents talk to them or write the letter. If your parents want to say who they are, then you could ask that they not tell their daughter who wrote this letter because you are afraid she will be angry at you and may even hurt you.

This is a tricky situation because there is not a whole lot you can do, especially when you are just trying to be a friend the only way you are able now (since you don't want to really hang out with her and stuff, understandably) but you are also afraid she will hurt you. Just keep telling your parents everything that's happening, and I hope that someone can guide her to the help that she needs.


Last modified on Monday, 30 May 2011 06:05
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Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan's contributions were written in the year before she began college, at which time she was WholeFamily's Senior Teen Advisor.

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