posted by 💡11 Encouraging Sienna Toucan on 08 August, 2020
(content warning: talks about some pretty traumatic things) i have been dating my girlfriend for a year and a half (i’m 23, she is 22 btw). she is literally my best friend, we live together and we are planning marriage. but i’d really love some advice on helping her deal with depression. it breaks my heart to see how much she is hurting sometimes and i don’t always feel like i know what to do. basically the reason she is going through this is she has had a really tough life and it has left deep scars. she grew up in poverty with her alcoholic mother, who neglected them and had lots of boyfriends some of whom beat her up in front of my girlfriend. her only friend was her little sister, the two of them were often hungry and scared and they literally had to steal from supermarkets sometimes to get food. my girlfriend kinda had to shoulder all the responsibility of taking care of her sister from a young age, she became like her mum cos their real mum was no use. so it broke her heart when her sister got addicted to drugs as a teenager. my girlfriend tried so hard to help her get clean, she even dropped out of art school and got a job so she could pay for her sister to go to rehab. but nothing helped and eventually her sister ran away after stealing half my girlfriend’s stuff to pay for drugs. they aren’t in contact anymore which was heartbreaking, it was like losing her best friend. also she couldn’t go back to art school cos she’d given up her scholarship, so it felt like she had messed up her only chance in life for nothing. so she kinda sank into depression and ended up in an abusive relationship which ended when he sexually assaulted her and she tried to kill herself. anyway she has got her life back on track, she is now working as an illustrator and has a good career, and she has never considered suicide again. but i can still tell how much she has been hurt. she is a very tough person and hides her depression so well that most people haven’t any idea about it. thats partly cos she kinda has trust issues and doesn’t really let anyone except me know her feelings, she says that she has been betrayed so many times that she feels like i am the only person she is comfortable trusting. so i am the one who sees how she is at the end of the day, when sometimes she is fine but some nights she can barely stop crying and she barely sleeps cos of all the nightmares about her past. its just sometimes i struggle to know what to say or do cos i come from an upper middle class background, i had a happy childhood, and i have no experience of the kind of hell she went through. i try to be there for her wherever i can and just to listen or to be there to let her know i love her. i think it helps (she says so anyway) but i still hate seeing her hurting this badly and feeling powerless to help her deal with it all.