My ex is threatening to kill himself if I don’t go out with him again, what should I do? He already cuts himself, and when we actually were dating, I carved the words “I’m perfect” into my left arm. I don’t want to date him again, but I don’t want him to hurt himself anymore. What do I do?
Give yourself credit for writing to the Trevor Project. We are always here for you and you are not alone. It can be hard dealing with an ex, especially when you do not want your ex to hurt himself, but we care about you and your ex and you should feel strong knowing that you are reaching out to help your ex and yourself. If at anytime you would like to speak to someone about what you are going through, do not hesitate to call the Trevor Lifeline at 1866-488-7386.
Break ups can be hard, but suicide is not the answer for anyone. It always helps to talk to a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher, or doctor, about what you and your ex are going through. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to an adult, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1866-488-7386, 24/7, 365. You have a right to be happy, healthy, and safe, and shouldn’t feel pressured to go out with anyone if you do not want to. Sometimes, people think about suicide when they are depressed, but there are treatments for depression. It can be hard to help someone else, but help is always available including medication and therapy. Even if you do not want to go out with your ex again, it shows a great deal of care and respect by the fact that you do not want him to hurt himself.
In your letter you said that your ex cuts himself, but his actions are not your fault. People cut as a way of dealing with or managing difficult, painful, overwhelming emotions or stress. For some, cutting relieves stress or tension or they find that the physical pain of cutting is a distraction from the emotional pain. Some people are angry at someone in their life and take the anger out on themselves by cutting. Others feel that the cutting gives them a feeling of control when things in the life or their emotions feel out of control. Still others feel numb or “dead inside” and cutting helps them to feel alive. In dealing with your ex, you or your ex may be experiencing one or all of these things.
It’s important for you to know that cutting may help you to feel better briefly but the longer it goes on, the more dangerous it can become as it can cause many medical problems such as scars and infections, but while it can be hard to stop cutting, there are alternatives.
Think about how you feel before and after you cut yourself. If cutting helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans. If cutting helps you when you’re sad, do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted. There are websites available including www.safe-alternatives.com and
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about cutting as well as additional things you can do when you have the urge to cut. You can also talk to a trusted adult or call 1-800-DON’T-CUT. When you have the urge to cut, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor that can help you with other resources.
Remember that we are here for you and care about you. You are a strong and caring person and no one can make you do something that you don’t want to do. You deserve to be happy and there are resources for you and your ex. Remember, life is worth living. I encourage you to check out TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org. It’s the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others.