Dear Readers - This column has always been open to readers’ feedbacks and commentary, and will continue to be as many of you share your own experience and reactions to situations which letter-writers have described.
A recent column brought such responses and they deserve added study of this difficult 10-month on-off relationship (April 9):
Reader – “The man NEEDS THERAPY. And so do she and her son if she stays with him. She should RUN from him.
“Stop trying to fix someone who won't even tell you his address. Get therapy yourself, raise your son and get stronger.”
Reader #2 – “She needs to end the relationship before she loses any more self-esteem and her son gets damaged.”
Reader #3 – “Red flags: *He says that only he, not Jesus, can save her. * He believes he’s chosen to deliver messages as a son of God. *He has “13 different personalities.” *He won’t divulge his address. *He manipulates, keeps secrets.
“She needs to tell the police should he not leave her and her son alone.”
Reader #4 – “Signs of serious mental health issues: sleeping only a few hours for weeks at a time; having multiple personalities, etc.
“She must protect herself and her son by keeping her distance and only re-establishing a relationship if and when he gets professional help.”
Reader #5 – “He manipulates people, regularly isolates from her, cheats on her, won’t tell her his address. She needs to cut ties completely. He could ruin her life.”
Reader #6 – “Turf him from your life. Your son will be harmed by this man. I'm 81 and have seen a fair number of these types during my life as a nurse, mother and wife.”
Reader #7 – “She should change the locks and her phone number.”
Reader #8 – “I’m a psychotherapist and alarm bells are going off. He sounds delusional with symptoms similar to schizophrenia. He should be assessed although unlikely to agree, being so secretive and passive aggressive.”
Ellie: The descriptions of his behaviour all come from the letter-writer. She still considers him her “boyfriend” and wishes for “communication and trust” between them. From all your responses, that appears hopeless.
I lost my daughter, 23, two weeks ago. She had a history of mental illness and drug addiction. I kept hoping she’d seek help and think she sometimes tried. She leaves three beautiful sons.
I feel guilty that maybe over recent months there was something I could’ve done to help more. The coroner said he couldn’t find any outward trauma to the body.
I know there was someone else involved with her who was arrested involving human trafficking last January.
Her sister doesn’t want to accept that she could’ve died of an overdose. Do I tell her what the toxicology report eventually says?
But why can’t “an overdose” be admitted if true? Why is there still such a stigma attached to drugs? It’s no different than dying from any other illness and no less a tragedy. She was a really good mom at one time.
Drug addiction is an epidemic and there’s still such a lack of help out there for those who suffer!!
The death of a child is deeply painful, no matter the cause. She was an addicted adult who needed professional help beyond what you could give her, despite your love.
You’re correct about the drug addiction epidemic, which has increased during the pandemic. More on where help is available in a future column.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband who keeps insisting that his wife’s “a cheater” regarding a years-past relationship when she was single (April 10):
Reader – “A spouse who regularly calls his faithful wife a cheater, who’s obsessively stuck on the idea that other men are checking her out, who keeps track of her comings and goings at work and who has trouble keeping a full-time job, are indicators of the “Power and Control Wheel” used in determining whether someone’s an abuser.
“This wife needs to take the children and get them and herself to safety. Things will get worse from here.
“I know, because my spouse started with these behaviours and eventually began physically assaulting me.
“That was over 30 years ago. I’ve spent the past 10 years representing women who are fleeing intimate partner violence. These comments and behaviours are hallmark signs of a dangerous marriage for the wife as well as the children.”
Tip of the day:
Listening to readers is as much a part of being an advice columnist as answering questions from letter-writers.