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Thread: Letter to a friend suffering abuse

  1. #1
    Huck Finn Guest

    Letter to a friend suffering abuse

    I wrote a letter to a friend who is in an abusive relationship. The main reason I wrote it is because I want to help her leave this guy for the benefit of her children. She is unaware that I know about him hitting her, so I didn't mention it much in the letter. There are plenty of other reasons for him to leave him, and I want some feedback as to how this letter sounds. Does it read well enough that it could have an impact? I am open to all suggestions.

    I left out names to protect their identity.
    Dear Female,
    Please do not mistake the fact that this letter is not hand written as lacking sincerity. I feel it is much more important that it be legible and have an impact than be difficult to read and the message be lost. It is difficult for me to write a letter such as this, seeing how the effect may be very negative. That being said, I can no longer maintain keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself despite the consequences. If I am to make the world a better place, I need to start with those around me.
    It is no secret that the people in your life dislike Abuser, some much more than others. While I have no ground to dislike him personally as he has never had a negative interaction with me, such as yelling or threatening or the like, I can and do dislike him by proxy. Your children have told me that they strongly dislike him, on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the worst, Girl was at 10 and Boy 8/9. Girl has told me that she is afraid of Abuser, and that Boy has been reduced to tears because of Abuserís behavior. There is little reason for me to doubt the validity of their statements or question if they are simply exaggerating. With the stories YOU have told me, I feel they may even be downplaying the severity of the situation.
    Your children should be first and foremost important in your life. If Boy and Girl are so dramatically effected by Abuser, he should be removed from their lives in their best interest. I have already seen their thinking as being skewed by what they have witnessed. They have become accustomed to fighting and yelling and you leaving the house as a result. When you are not home when you typically would be, they attribute it to a fight with Abuser. Boy would rather stand in the freezing cold outside my car window and ask pointless questions than be inside because he doesnít want to be around Abuser.
    Relationships are complicated, I will not deny that there are probably more complex aspects to your relationship with Abuser than can be expressed. However, I fail to see enough redemptive qualities explained by you or demonstrated by his actions to understand why he is allowed to remain in your lives. I have seen the house when he is there, he is no housekeeper. The kidsí rooms were a mess along with the common living areas. Laundry was piled and unwashed and garbage was strewn about with all sorts of other items everywhere. He didnít keep the house clean and organized with his ample free time.
    Abuserís ample free time is due to the fact that he is unemployed, which is another redeeming quality that is missing. I understand that it is difficult for a twice convicted felon to find employment, but I have seen him sleeping at 3:00pm after what was no doubt a long day of NOT looking for work. A twice convicted felon, a statement that should stand alone as another quality that is missing. His disregard for law and order should not be overlooked, this should be a major factor in your decision to keep him a part of your life or remove him permanently. If he was remorseful and truly changed by his run-ins with the law, he wouldnít exhibit the behavior that prompted a restraining order. A restraining order, I feel as though this factor stands examination alone.
    You have been so effected by Abuserís behavior and actions that you felt the need for legal intervention in the form of a restraining order. This is quite an extreme act, and one that is not undertaken easily. They do not simply hand out restraining orders without reasonable cause. I also feel it is important that you are aware that you are committing a criminal act by allowing Abuser to violate the restraining order. Both parties are responsible for not committing violations and both parties can be arrested if a violation occurs. I would be considerably upset if you faced legal ramifications by allowing such a simple and preventable situation to occur.
    Along with the legal, financial (implied by the unemployment) and housekeeping issues, Abuser has also cheated on you. The relationship between you was not sufficient to keep him from seeking something from somebody else. I am not talking only about sex which is why I didnít simply say sex. The significant emotional, romantic and intimate connection was not enough to keep Abuser satisfied. It seems unlikely that a relationship will be possible between you if this type of action takes place. And even if a faithful relationship were possible, could you overlook the fact that he has cheated? Or all the other factors that I have mentioned thus far in this letter?
    The cheating thought brings me to my next point, Abuser thinks you have cheated on him with me. I know he has accused you of cheating with other people, but that bears little relevance to my point of him accusing you of cheating with me. As long as I attempt to be a positive male role model in your childrenís lives, Abuser will always be suspicious of my presence. I will be a point of contention in your interaction with him. There will be fights over my presence in your life, which effects the kids. I would simply disappear if that would solve the problem, but I know it will not.
    I cannot sit idly by and allow Abuser to be a part of your life without taking action to resolve the negatives of the situation, which are plentiful. As long as Abuser continues to be present in your life, he will cause turbulence and strife. I am aware that he struck you in the past, never mind how I came to this knowledge. It is only a matter of time until he strikes the children or beats you so severely you cannot take care of your parental responsibilities. I know your inclination is to deny this, but that is a classic sign of an abusive relationship. Abuser continues to be harmful, both emotionally and physically, and you continue to take him back believing things will be different.
    I am willing to help you remove Abuser from your life. I will help you pack his belonging and I will take them wherever they need to go. I will do whatever you need me to do as long as it accomplishes his removal. I will NOT simply ignore the situation or allow you to defend this harmful relationship. The time for you make the tough choice has arrived. If you do not allow me to help you, I will have to seek other means of helping you. I want to make this as easy as possible for you to move into a healthy life with your children, but I need to make sure that it happens somehow.
    I care too much about you and your children to do nothing. I understand the stressful situation this presents, but I am just as effected by it as you. I am a very empathic and sympathetic person, and I suffer right alongside you and your children. The emotional impact of this has driven me to tears and caused me to vomit. I want only good things for you all, and I know that removing Abuser is a step in that direction. You have said how bad/guilty you feel for all the things I have done for you and you wish you could do something in return. You can. Allow me to help you with this, and prove that my effort to be a good influence is not wasted. Please do not allow me to fail in helping improve your lives.
    If you want to talk in person about this letter I am more than willing. There are too many things I couldnít fit into this letter without going on for pages.

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW YOU THINK THIS LETTER WILL IMPACT HER.

  2. #2
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    ok, going to be honest. if i got this letter, i would not feel compelled to change. clearly it is very fact driven, logic based and while that presents a good argument, we most often need emotional support. what keeps us in bad relationships, is fear, fear of our abusers, fear of change, fear of making a huge mistake, ending up worse off. we hope things will get better, we often hang onto a thread trying to create some form of union, a family. many of us come from dysfunctional families and have no understanding of what a good family looks like, what a parent should be, a partner.

    for me, i need empathy when i'm at my worst. i know the facts. what is helpful is to hear from the beginningÖ

    "i'm concerned about you."
    "i want better for you and want you to know that you deserve better" (we often don't think we do)
    "i'm here for you, to support you."
    "i'd like to see you take steps to have a better life, you and your children"
    "how can i be of help?"

    finally, she needs to be ready for change. no one can make her see what she is not willing to see. i understand that it's tearing you up, particularly watching innocent children trapped in this mess but pushing her will only alienate her imo. a gentle nudge is ok, carefully chosen words delivered in a sensitive way at the appropriate time could help but it's important for those words to be delivered compassionately so as not to cause a defensive reaction.

    i would likely react negatively to having all the facts spelled out as they were. if you can speak from your heart more, i think you might open a dialogue.

  3. The following 2 users say thank you to terry for this useful post:

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  4. #3
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    "If you do not allow me to help you, I will have to seek other means of helping you." - i would freak totally an probably cut you off. last thing i need in an abusive situation is someone who i thought was a friend threatening me. sorry for being blunt. i understand youre concerned, but at the end of the day its her decision what to do with her life. if youre worried about kids - you can call cps...
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  6. #4
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    Hi, I agree with what's been said already. Going from your letter, it's clear that you really care for your friend and want what's best for her, but I think if it was me, I would react negatively as well.

    She has to make the choice to leave him herself. Unfortunately, you can't rush her to make that choice.

  7. #5
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    Hi

    Understand your concern...but its not your problem.

    Think it works best to be a good friend in this situation...if she asks for support be there.

    Otherwise suspend your personal judgement...accept this is her problem. That she is an adult and like you, me and every other adult has the right to make her own choices...like the rest of us sometimes these will work out - sometimes not...like the rest of us she is responsible for the consequences of her choices...and if she wishes she can choose to discuss her issues with others, however this choice is hers.

    If you have evidence that her children are being abused like all citizens you have a responsibility to present evidence of this to the child protective services so they can investigate.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  8. The following user says thank you to Jane for this useful post:

    Tasha1701D (12-16-2013)

  9. #6
    Huck Finn Guest

    Letter undelivered

    I never sent this to my friend. CPS was called by the school and she is on the verge of a break-down. She has cut ties with everyone except the people in her house. Apparently she kicked out the abuser, but more than likely she will have him back. I realize now that she is afraid of people finding out about what is happening in her house. And instead of trying to fix it and eliminate it as a source of stress, she wants to stress over keeping it a secret. As for this whole situation being her choice, I understand that as fact. My concern is for the kids. She is an adult and if this relationship kills her, it would have been her choice (although that is not what I want). Again, the kids would be the ones to suffer, having to bury their mother, uproot everything they have known and learn to live in a totally different world. I can't stand seeing the pain they poorly hide, and that is what I really want to see changed.

  10. #7
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    In my opinion If you have firm evidence that the children are being abused you have a duty (like all citizens) to report this to child protective services...so they can investigated and take whatever action is needed to maintain the children's safety.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  11. The following 3 users say thank you to Jane for this useful post:

    Manya (12-19-2013),nancy (12-20-2013),Tasha1701D (12-20-2013)

  12. #8
    Huck Finn Guest

    The children

    Believe me, once I have my evidence, this twice convicted felon is going to prison for life. He already has his 2 strikes, the third puts him away for good. In the meantime, if she allows him back and he isn't physically abusive to the children, my position is much weaker. She is very protective of this guy, and is shutting out the people who are looking out for her children. My goal is to keep him from being there and giving him the opportunity to strike the children. Even though he isn't physically harming the children now, he is emotionally scarring them and skewing their reality. I want to see the children grow up well adjusted, not abusers or victims themselves. As to your point about it not being my problem, I highly disagree. I cannot take a selfish stand and worry only about myself. Regardless of anything else, I mean anything, I care and that is all that matters. Whether it is a religious calling, moral upbringing, self penance, what ever the case, I am involved and I will not let anything happen to my friend or her children.

    It is this, "it's not my problem" attitude that is endangering our population. We may be plentiful in numbers, but our quality of life is ridiculous. I certainly hope that when you need help, there isn't somebody there to say, "it's not my problem." And should I ever become your friend in person, I would hope that isn't a sentiment you would express if I needed your help. We are all here together, we depend on each other for many things, let's make the best of it. I am not planning on taking insane actions to accomplish my goal, but I cannot wait for her to find the desire for my help.

  13. #9
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    Having the school call CPS must have been a relief in a sense, that someone else is aware and acting on the children's behalf. Parents often take these measures as a wake up call, that they need to be more diligent about the welfare of their kids. It's so easy to get caught up in emotionally volatile moments and forget that their are young witnesses to these events. Second, those heightened emotions can carry out in discipline in a totally inappropriate manner.

    I hope this message is the motivation for true change for everyone.

  14. #10
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    Hope things work out for you, your friend and her children.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

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