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led astray

January 2013

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led astray

So I found myself really angry yesterday and I had a bit of a fight with someone.  This girl is in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship.  She keeps telling us how he destroys thier apartment, throws things, tears things, breaks things, punches walls in fits of rage.  And these are not isolated incidents.  She missed weeks of classes because she was pretending to oversleep in the morning because she was afraid to get up and walk around the apartment while he was there.  But she tells me that it's not an abusive relationship because he hasn't hit her.  YET.  I have been offering her a place to stay while the show is on, or until the semester is over, just so she can get her work done and graduate on time.  But she tells me it's not that easy.  And I know it's not that easy, so I offer to help her, to be there when she needs the final punt to get out the door.  But she thinks she's in love.  And I can't force her to go to a safe place.  But I can't listen to her tell me about the shit he pulls with any ammount of patience if she's not willing to do something about it.  And it makes me feel helpless.  I loathe feeling helpless.  So we argued, then I appologised.  And I don't know how to keep talking to her.  Part of me has lost respect for her, and I feel like that makes me a horrid person.

Comments

Oh, how I can empathize with that frustration. I think it's natural to have those negative feelings - when it's so easy to see from the outside that it's abuse. You know that it's hard to recognize abuse, so it's not like you're making a judgment of her without knowing a good amount of what she's going through.

You're going through something really tough - trying to support someone who's in an abusive situation that doesn't realize how dangerous their life is. There's a livejournal mepss_abuse that tackles a lot of the signals of a non-physically abusive abusive relationships, and they have a few articles that might help this gal to realize that what he's doing is abuse.

Those articles were:
The Checklist for Mental/emotional abuse
and Recognize abuse which has a short section on non-physical abuse.

Another one that might help her is Why adults stay in abusive relationships - as it's a pretty clear description of the pattern of abuse/honeymoon/peace/abuse. That particular one helped a lot of the folks at _survivors_ recognize the patterns of abuse in their life.

Since those articles are all written by the psych field, sometimes it's easier for people to accept the info they contain - as many folks doubt info that comes from familiar people.

I'm sorry you're in this position - feeling helpless is such a horrid feeling. I'm here for support if you need to vent or just some empathy for what you're going through. Every time that you hear about her being in danger, you want to protect her, but she won't let you help her - it's like you're having to experience the abuse with her, but you can't do anything to stop it. That's a heartbreaking thing to go through ::big hugs::
You can't do anything to make her leave. Period. Trust me on this one. The worst fights my mother and I got into were about her relationship with Greg. The absolute worst period of our relationship was because she was with him, and in spite of his emotionally and verbally abusing her, she wouldn't kick his worthless ass to the curb. If I couldn't get my mother to do so before she was finally ready to (considering our close relationship), you aren't going to be able to get your random friend to.

I can't tell you if it will work or not, but I can tell you what I did when they were still together and I was at college. Tell her straight out that you are here to help you get out of this horrible relationship with whatever she needs (if, in fact, you mean it and are going to help her if/when the time comes in whatever capacity you can) but that unless she is leaving or willing to take advice to leave, you don't want to hear about her gripes with him, because the only solution to help her is for him to leave.

In the end, no one can help her unless she wants to help herself. Unfortunately it may take quite awhile, and destroy several of her relationships, before she finally wises up. It took 8 looooooooooooong years for my mother.