Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to remedy this situation. He apparently feels unable to leave his home or he simply can’t afford to live on his own. I imagine that if he had the funds to move out, he would have done so already. For now, he might be stuck living with his parents, however poorly they are treating him. He should strive to move out as soon as he’s ready, both emotionally and financially. That would be the goal but at this time, it doesn’t seem as though it’s a possibility. In that case, there’s very little that you have the power to do.
The best that you can do is support him from a distance. You’re going to be moving away soon and will likely be busy with your own life. Long distance relationships can be a challenge even in the best of circumstances. Hopefully, he will be undergoing treatment which could help him to overcome the current difficulties in his life. The fact that he had been in the hospital hopefully means that he was referred for outpatient treatment. With treatment, his symptoms could improve to the point where he could more effectively deal with his parents and his life in general.
Emotionally, he may not be in the right mindset for a relationship. Having been in the hospital suggests that his symptoms were severe. Despite being out of the hospital, he continues to experience a lack of stability, seemingly because of the way his parents are treating him. Being disconnected from his partner is likely contributing to his emotional instability but with time and the right treatment, his mental health could improve. Once he is more stable and his symptoms are under control, your relationship may prosper. Until then, it is important to adjust your expectations.
It is important to keep in mind that his parents may be reacting the way they are because they are worried about him. I’m not suggesting that their treatment is right or justified. I’m only attempting to explain why they might be behaving in a certain way. If he had recently been hospitalized, then his life was likely in danger. Psychiatric hospitalization typically only occurs when an individual poses an imminent danger to themselves or to others. His being suicidal either means that he was on the verge of harming himself or he did attempt to harm himself, an action which may have occurred in their home, under their roof. Because they are concerned about his life and condition, they may be overprotective of their son. Like you, they may be struggling with knowing how to react to a loved one wanting to end their lives. There is no “playbook” on how to respond to near suicides. It is disconcerting and disorienting and his parents may be doing the best they can.
Apparently, the two of you can’t physically be together and thus the best that you can do is attempt to support him from afar. Write him letters, make contact when you can via the Internet, email, text messaging, etc. Encourage him to stay in treatment. The more positive support and encouragement he has from those around him, the better the possible outcome.
I wish I had a more satisfactory answer for you but not everything is easily fixable. With time, maturity and the right treatment, there’s a high probability that he will overcome these issues. Hopefully, then the two of you can be together. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle