• Hey :) Just a reminder that Fort community is not equipped to discuss current ongoing abuse. If you're currently involved in an abusive relationship - please log out, contact hotlines and/or alternative sites (the Help tab on top of any page lists a few of each), and feel free to come back to Fort once you're safe and stable. Be safe.

Supporting others in abusive situations

Sunfl0wer

Rebuilding
Got Keys
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
5,099
#61
Folks of course are going to vary in opinions on this one, so only sharing my own fwiw.

Way I see things is we all are personally responsible for ourselves, our own feelings, our own ability to cope and to seek help. Full stop!

..................................

I personally do believe that folks can indeed recall and talk about what they did not recall or talk about for as many years as is humanely possible. However, does that mean this person was abused? Idk. Maybe, maybe not. I simply do not know.

Many folks define emotional abuse differently, so idk if you are being abused by this person, or not. I simply am not here to judge anyone's experience or behaviors.

I guess what it comes down to for me is delineating where my responsibilities are in relationships.

If my sis is accusing folks in the family of abusing her, ok...so she feels that happened... Now what is my role? I do not see it my role to believe her or not believe her, I can simply choose to leave it an unknown. If that is what she wants from me though, well, she is barking up the wrong tree. However, I can respond to and relate to her pain. If she was abused or not, I may be able to still see and relate to her pain and support that in some way... if I feel I want to. If I feel it is not causing me too much stress or grief to do so... cause remember, I am responsible for me and my stress. (She is not causing me stress)

If she insists I have to agree with her reality of things to deal with conversing with me... well, tough luck.
If she gets demanding of me well... I am going to let her know that I can in fact remain without an opinion if it is fact or not and if that is going to cause a tantrum, well, I do not remain around tantruming adults...I leave quite easily.

It is not easy to hear shocking things. I also may need time to process and come to terms with this, not to say I will eventually feel she was abused, but I still need to come to terms with the info faced with. So I need to respect that for me...and be kind to allow myself time to digest what I have taken in.

Same goes for me... if I reveal about an abuse, and the person listening does not believe me, well, ok, that sucks, I am disappointed, but now what? It is my job to take care of me. If I feel I need validation on my experiences, well, maybe I need to seek a therapist to help me cope with life without the confirmation I am not going to recieve from others. For me, it really doesn't matter if no one believes me, I am still left with what I am left with to manage...these intense feelings that are taunting me...that is mine to deal with..no matter how much Ii wish to move some of these feelings off of me, they are going to remain until I learn to face and manage them. Besides, most of my friends are not nearly capable of dealing with any of my abuse history so to dump it on them, really wouldn't contribute much to the relationship...I save it for my therapist, and here with others who understand.

So as for my family... much abuse happened within my family, by several. If I were to confront them, I expect them to deny it, to feel it unbelievable, too awful to accept, and likely want me out of their faces for the reminder of my truth. Ok, well guess what? I decided that because of our realities being so different and the emotional disconnect we have, meant I felt engaging with them did me more harm that anything positive. Actually, relating to them was not even neutral for me, it was damaging to my emotional well being. Same rule I mentioned above applies... not at all my job to convince them my truth, to convince them to side with me or take sides or anything. I control me only. So safest thing for me was to put distance between us until I felt I was looking out for my emotional well being. So I did that. I continued with the distance to feel more emotionally safe. Turns out I have been NC with them all over 10 years. This, imo, was safest. It is still, me taking care of my emotional needs.

Idk if that makes sense or is helpful, but it is what it is and the only way I keep my own sanity is by knowing whose job is whose. Never is my job to be there to provide emotional regulation for another. Now, I may decide to be comforting to someone, or feel like making a validating statement maybe... but that is kind or thoughtful of me, NOT my obligation... and I would never intentionally do so if the validating statement was not genuine for me and what my truth is as I know it.
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
Got Keys
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
26,093
#62
Is it ok to take the emotional abuse they are inflicting on us because they were abused as a child?
Imo short answer is no. Just like being angry/upset or such does not give any person the right to lash out at others.

Is understandable that your family member is hurting...alright for her to vent, but in my book not ok to project her anger on to non involved parties...verbally or in any other way attack them. My thoughts for what they are worth.

:idk how much slack as a family you allow members when it comes to not ok behaviour (I know this can vary a bit) - maybe you need to discuss this as a group and decide how much is too much. Seems to me you have a couple of options...talk to your family member - let her know that you love her and want to support her but are no longer prepared to let her take her angst out on you. Other more gentle approach would be to not react and walk away if she starts getting nasty or you need a break.

As a person who has been in a similar situation - I know how emotionally draining it is to act as a support person for someone who is going through a crisis even when I choose to do this. I find that it is important for me to be attentive to my own needs - do not let things evolve to the point that I am on tap 24hrs a day...living and breathing the other person's problems. Helps me to be aware of this risk...make sure that when my friend contacts me I suggest that we do some ordinary stuff eg go to the movies...try to keep some balance in my and their life...to remind myself I am not a counselor, am a friend and the two roles are different and I do not have the skills and coping mechanisms needed to carry out the former one.

Hope what I have shared helps. :rs:rs
 

Manya

here an there
Admin
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Messages
17,831
#63
:agree
i believe natural responses are best in most situations, cuz they help everyone learn how the world works, you know. everyone has hardships. if im a nice person, i have lotsa people who care about me, and who would support me through my hardships. if i become nasty, i'll have less such people, and will have to deal with my hardships on my own. thats just how it works in life, for everyone, abuse survivors included. if people around me try to suppress these natural responses and cut me more slack than is due - i'll just get spoiled, will develop sense of entitlement, like the world owes me something, and, i mean, i'll end up having a real miserable life as a result. kinda a lose/lose situation.

i do believe that abuse can cause impairments in social skills - clear communication, boundaries, assertiveness, etc, these things do get impaired often, and result in awkwardness and glitches and fights and whatnot. but that doesnt mean everyone gotta accommodate me lol. it just means i gotta learn the skills, trial and error, and lots of practice. and so the more natural responses i get, the faster i'll learn :dk
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
Got Keys
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
26,093
#64
So agree with what Manya has shared. Was a lesson that took me a while to learn. Lots of reflection after the event to take on board that I enabled my abuser's behaviour - not intentionally, but by standing there and taking it when I could have walked away. In effect covertly (actually pretty overtly :clol) giving him the message that what he was doing was not crossing my boundaries. So really relate to how something as simple as not engaging and walking away rather than staying and trying to placate or endure can make a difference.

Not suggesting that walking away is always the answer or indeed is always possible...but in my case I can see that this was an option that I could have used a lot more than I did.

Mmmh - one of life's learnings for me I guess...one that did not come easily. :D
 
H

HELPFOR1212

Guest
#65
Direction

I myself was in an abusive relationship for about 5 years. I learned a lot about this relationship. I need direction on helping my sister. She was married for about 35 years. In the early years of her marriage she was in an abusive relationship, both physically and mentally. I do believe it got better. She withdrew from our family and sometimes we do not feel that we know her as well as we should. Her husband passed away over 3 years ago. She sits in her house with the new electronic picture frames and watches pictures of her deceased husband constantly. She quit her job and said she wanted live a little while she had a chance. But she does nothing. My parents recently needed help and as the brothers and sisters we reached out. She does not answer her phone, which still has her husbands voice on the recording. She said she does not leave the house, drive or want to be around people. When texting she sometimes indicates her life is over. She has been to some counseling but she did not like and and I believe she has withdraw.
The problem with counseling is the counselor will not be able to help her is she/he does not understand. I truly believe that in my abusive relationship my husband said he wanted to break me down to build me back up. I think she was broke down, conformed to her husbands wishes and learned to live with his instruction. Now that he is gone she does not know how to live.

I wondered if anyone has been through or knows of situation which a positive outcome came about and how can we get there. Just looking for a way to help her turn to a new direction and choose a happy life.
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
Got Keys
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
26,093
#66
Imo we all deal with grief in our own way. Seems you sister's way is going to ground narrowing her focus down. Can relate. Know one of the things that I suffered from was inertia...a hopeless type of energy loss. Only thing that I could think about was all I had lost. Looking back I can see that I felt depressed.

Thing that helped me was for friends to call - not to focus on trying to 'rally' me or even to join me in my sadness - rather to talk about ordinary stuff...take me for a cup of coffee, show me something they had knitted. I hear you have your own feelings about the usefulness of therapy...I have a different view T was a life saver for me. Gave me a place where I could safely dwell on my sadness and express my feelings. By doing this I gradually saw that the partner I had lost (although he had good points) was not a saint...was a man who often lost it and unfairly lashed out and created chaos. That I had a life beyound my lost relationship. :rs
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#67
My mom is with an emotional abuser.

My mom has been with this guy for 3 1/2 years now. This issue has been going on for a few months. Every single night, he drinks a whole bottle of wine & then most of my mom's wine right after. He becomes a monster. He never used to be like this. He did used to drink wine but not as much as he does now. He's an alcoholic and it's getting worse and worse. Now he's a monster all the time- sober or drunk. He verbally abuses my mother and I so bad. When this first started happening my mom was just giving him the benefit of the doubt & thought it was just a phase and could be caused by all the stress. Now it's been a few months of this. He is very insecure and a jealous freak. He's literally jealous of me because of the relationship my mom and I have. We get into yelling fights & He gets in my face and crosses my boundaries as if he was trying to start a fist fight. He tells me "F*** YOU" Right in my face while pointing his finger towards me. Calls me a bitch. Tells me how lazy I am and always criticizes me for not having a job. Where we live, it's a tiny town and very hard to get jobs here, I'm 17 and most jobs here require 18 y/o or older. He ALSO criticizes my mom for not having a job. She's been on disability and he knows exactly what for but still criticizes her about it. I feel like he thinks since he's the one making the money then he has all power. He goes through her phone and looks at the cell phone bill to see who's she's been talking to. Anytime we're fighting, he knows that what comes out of his mouth is bull s*** and roams his eyes around the room as if trying to think of what to say. When we call him out on what he does He flips it on us. He tells me that every time I come to my moms, "everything changes"- implying that I cause all the problems. He will do anything to guilt trip my mom. After drinking all that wine he'll get in the car and act like he's going to drive somewhere just so she'll chase after him. He makes comments like "you're gonna make me live in a creek bed". He criticizes EVERYTHING. For example My mom and I will just be getting done cleaning the house, hoping he notices and is appreciative. But nope, he has to find one little thing wrong and be completely rude. He accuses my mom of cheating with our neighbor, who is married, 10 years younger, and has a daughter. Whenever our neighbor is outside and hangin out with my mom and I, her boyfriend will follow us and stalk us and listen to every conversation we have. He gives a very obvious stand-off ish petty vibe towards our neighbor and makes him uncomfortable. He makes my friends uncomfortable, too. Whenever they come over, he completely ignores them & doesn't acknowledge them and acts like they're not there. He won't look at them or even say hi. And my friends have talked to me about this without me bringing it up first. He controls how my mom spends her own money. He blames everything on my mom and I. If something of his is missing, he implies that my mom
and I took/hid it. He will intentionally do/say anything he can to hurt our feelings. He will bring up things from my past or my mom's past that were hard times for us, just to upset us. He tries to play victim all the time. I have done research and I'm pretty sure he's a vulnerable narcassist. I just can't handle this anymore, but I don't even know what to do to help.. My mom recognizes this and she knows that he verbally abuses us and she doesn't let him get away with how he treats us, but she still hasn't left him. I believe this is because she is worried about the money situation and that we cant make it without him. So now I just feel like we're trapped. I don't know what to do .. Please help
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
Got Keys
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
26,093
#68
Read your post...how life at your house is made difficult by your mother's partner's behaviour and how stressful this is for you.

Hear you have discussed your feeling with your mother and she (as is her right) has told you she is going to stay with this guy. That she recognises things are not ok bur for her own reasons she is not going to leave at this stage. Seems this leaves you with the option of moving out...may mean putting up with things as they are until you are in the position to do this. Know this is not an easy situation for you, however in most juristrictions drunken ranting and general nastiness is not illegal.

I am glad that your mother is on your side - does not side with this guy against you. Oh and bottom line - this guy's snarky comments say much more about him than you or your mother, it helped me to remember that as I counted down the days till I could leave. :rs:rs
 

Manya

here an there
Admin
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Messages
17,831
#69
:agree
helps me to separate whats whose choice/decision/issue/problem, cuz when these things are blurry i blame everyone (including myself) for everything, and its just not constructive. i mean, if he wants to spend his money on your mom and you - thats his choice, its silly of him to complain about it cuz he's free to stop doing it at any point. if he wants to drive while drunk - also welcome to do that, get arrested or killed in an accident, his life, his business. if mom wants to stay with him - its her life, her choice. i live on disability, and while of course theres never enough money lol, even if youre a millionaire, i feel its plenty to survive on. i dont have children, but i figure disabled people who have dependent minors qualify for foodstams and cash assistance and such. btw, im not judging at all, im just saying people have choices, helps me to not try to solve their issues for them, cuz the ball is in their court really, not mine.

it does suck that you're stuck in that household for another year, i relate to the pain/frustration, really unfortunate position to be in. but its not likely that child protective services would remove you from there, just cuz foster care can be worse, and you only have a year left. i was also stuck in a dysfunctional household as a teenager, it helped me a lot to count the days like jane said, to focus on the future, to work towards that. to study - and i dont mean just school, but also various skills that might help me with employment once im out. to get a part time job and save up (cuz moving out is gonna cost). to spend less time at home overall, letting adults fight all they want, sort through their issues themselves, while im doing something else. for example, i spent a lot of time at a local library, they all knew me by name there, i used to do my homework there and generally spend a lot of time there. cuz it got desks, heat, light, and bathrooms, and its quiet, nobody is yelling at nobody. used to play basketball outside too, and other sports. made friends with other adults - neighbors, teachers, friends' parents, etc. just to see how healthy people interact with each other, you know, to have some experience of normal healthy interactions, to balance out what was going on at home. i was younger, and it was hard, but all of this truly helped, if only cuz i spent less time at home, and had many more interests, aside from the drama at home. cuz i was gonna move out of there and have a normal life, you know, so spending less time/energy on what was going on at home was kinda a part of that transition to independence.

:rs for you
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#70
Is this PTSD?

[Quick note: I am not the survivor, I am a supporter who listens on 7 cups)

A person I listened to was raped at one point and is now currently at a foster home.

At this point, she is taking a lot of medications (of which I do not know).

However, she is telling me that she is now suffering from a variety of conditions:
-Feels lost or unfocused
-Nightmares
-Feels jumpy at touches
-Cries often
-Foggy and blurry memory (takes great effort to recall anything)

After she moved in the foster home, she has not continued therapy (did not ask why yet).

My (unprofessional) instinct/research is telling me that these are all symptoms of PTSD, and from what I know of it, taking medication alone is not enough. Should I suggest that she should try therapy again, particularly CBT (which is, unless I'm mistaken, something that is used to treat PTSD)? She did not "like" therapy, and doesn't feel comfortable talking to others about it. How should I approach this viewpoint as well?

It's not that I dislike talking to her, I just feel that - as a layman- I would not be qualified to **EFFECTIVELY** treat PTSD, especially not online.

Thanks everyone!
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#71
Mother is burning and bruising our child, what can I do?

Hello,

My 2 year old son is currently in a violent environment
and in return he is being burned ,bruised
and mistreated on purpose by his mother to make me angry.

I have called Child Services twice and they are not doing anything. All I can think of is try to get a Family Court lawyer, can anyone give me more advice?

More details on gofundme
https://www.gofundme.com/my-son-mother-is-abusing-our-child
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#72
extreme emotional damage

I dont even know where to begin , i feel so stupid for letting myself fall so deep into depression.. well i was with this guy for about 4 years about 5 months ago he started acting different not wanting to see me as much not wanting to talk as much untill i finally questioned him about it and he told me he was confused he didnt feel the same about me anymore , and that he didnt know why but he just did , he also made it clear he still cared about me and loved me but just didnt know if he wanted a "relationship" anymore , it broke my heart but because i have alot of family issues where me and my family dont even communicate i feel alone 24/7 so he was all i was counting on. He told me he just wanted to be friends untill he figured out what he wanted .. so i gave him that .. i was being friends with someone who had mixed feelings but i knew what i wanted . 4 months had passsed and he was still just being my friend , but at the same time telling me he loved me coming to hang out everyday even for just 15 minutes he would still come see me , i started to get the ipression he was doing things i didnt know about and just wanted to make sure i wasnt moving on. During this time there were alot of fights where i wouldnt act myself id have suicidal thoughts and i would feel like someone else was controling my temper , and when i would get bad like that he wouldnt talk to me he wouldnt check to make sure if i was okay not realizing he was messing me up mentally by confusing me .. i just didnt understand why he didnt know what he wanted ..recently he still told me the same thing , he still didnt know and for me to be patient .. i didnt know why he had me waiting 4 months to know if i was wasting my time .. we constantly fought and stopeped talking for a few days at a time and during that time i would try to talk to other people even guys just to cope with my breakup even if it was just a normal conversation some were mentioning him , he recently went through my fb msgs and see it all and switched tables on me and started to treat me so bad because i "cheated on him " & because i "lied" about loveing him, truth is i never did .. he confused me , he made me feel alone , insecure , everything in the book because he would always treat everyone good but me when i would break my back for him , i did things his own family wouldnt have done .. he continued to blame me without realizing he was gonna push me away even though i agreed to be his friend and focus on our own futures and maybe see how he felt down the road thigs changed we fought he made me feel alone and i would also see him acting happier without me posting everywhere likeing other girls stuff , girls liking his stuff , it broke my heart i felt like i lost him . i did what i did so i wouldnt hurt not because i wanted to really talk to other guys .. ive also had times where i seen him writing exs and loooking at girls right next too me but he would have no explaination and id always let it go idk if he got used to it or what but idk what to do anymore i cry almost everyday ! i was 110 when we first met now im 83 lbs and 18 yrs old im so depressed i can abrely eat or sleep, he has made it to where i feel like the world is ending if hes not in my life because i really am inlove with him .. idk what i should do idk how to cope if i dont have many friends & if my family doesnt even care about my personal life ..
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#73
I need advice....My GF was raped by a "friend"

Recently my ex partner contacted me to tell me she needed a familiar friendly face to talk to. I obliged and met her for a walk. After hours of tears and confusion not knowing what was wrong, she told me she had fallen asleep (not intoxicated in any way) and woke up to her friend of many years having sex with her.
While we were in a relationship, this "friend" was always in the background, messaging, declaring his love for her, how she deserves better than me and he can give her all the things that i cant...always trying to buy her affection, being there building up her trust, the trust of her family, while maintaining a constant negativity towards myself and the relationship i had, there was no respect for what my partner and i had.
She fell asleep on her bed in shorts and pants and a top, as she had many a night before and expected him to let himself out and post her key as he had previous. Only this time when she fell asleep she awoke to his penis already inside her, when she told him to stop he responded by saying he couldn't help it, and quickly carried on until she pulled away enough to make him come out of her.
She immediately asked him to leave and reluctantly he did, but messages have not stopped, hes turning up at her house. She has made it clear to him the same day that it wasn't meant to happen and if it was, that she would have been awake and encouraged it to continue but this was outright not what she wanted.
I trust my ex with all my heart, we have only been apart 8weeks, she blames herself for ignoring signs which i flagged to her during our relationship, that he was obsessed, and something was a miss. She feels stupid, manipulated and that maybe it was her fault this happened to her.
We have been together for forensic examinations and at the moment she is wondering if she should go to the police but is worried she is "making a big deal of it and it could ruin his life" Last night he was at her doorstep for an hour, pleading to be let in as she has since ignored his calls and his messages because he wanted to talk. He's said in text he acknowledges that it shouldn't have happened that way but "wasn't sure if she wanted it when she was awake because she never lets on" that it was "perfect" and he "wouldn't change it for the world"
I must get this across that all the years i have been with her, she has always been honest about who he is, what hes said to her and that she has made clear she does not see him in that light, it was a friend she wanted and he said many a time, that he was ok with that, rather than not have her in his life at all. The messages of loving her, wanting to make her happy, that she shouldn't blame herself for it happening and not to regret it because they "clearly have chemistry"

I, and the professionals we have spoken to, have a fear for her safety, but she is so terrified, she wont tell her family, her friends, or the police.
I know what needs to be done, i know what i want her to do.....how am i meant to support someone in this situation, how can i make her see she isn't the cause, that she was the victim in all this. Words like "groomed" have been used to her and "rape" and non of them make sense to her. She is the most caring, loving and trusting person i have ever had the pleasure to be with and not a day has passed where i wish i was there to protect her like i did when we were together. What can i do?
What are your thoughts on the entire thing?
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
Got Keys
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
26,093
#74
I am sorry that your ex experienced the wrong that you describe, but am glad you are there for her.

Thing I find when acting as a non-professional support person is to not to get confused between my role as a friend move into an expert role. Secret I find is to be there (if this is my and their wish) but not to tell the person how to manage the situation or give unsolicited advice.

Seems like others have told her about the option of reporting this guy...however as an adult it is up to her to decide if this is one she wants to pursue.

I am glad that she sees his explanations as him making excuses and is reframing this incident for what it is...as a non-consensual sexual violation ...rape. The act of a predatory man. That you are reinforcing this message. Also glad you are reassuring her that nothing she did or didn't do gave her attacker the right to criminally violate her. :rs
 

weepingwillow

Resident Bandito
Got Keys
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
14,329
#75
In a somewhat similar situation I did not contact the police, and he talked me into being his friend again (I was gullible) and it happened again. He stalked me like this after, too - even after I told him to stop contacting me. I did eventually have to call crisis services because he was threatening to kill himself, but otherwise probably never would have called. People wanted me to file a report, but not only was I afraid of him and ruining his life, and his parents, and his brother, I did not want to put myself through the stress and pain of filing a police report while trying to deal with how betrayed I felt. For me, more than anything, it was the betrayal itself that hurt me. I had tried to be kind, had tried to help him etc. I knew he was attracted to me, but I was engaged and pregnant towards the end of everything. Many people told me I was selfish, and a coward.

Thing is, he was the coward not me, but it took a long time for that to sink in. I'm glad I didn't let anyone push me into filing a report. I have other mental health issues and truly believe I would've wound up in the mental hospital. Given the situation, he would've gone free also. There was no evidence or anything really but my word to give the police. 17 years ago, that wasn't enough and the police would have probably laughed at me tb perfectly h.

I can't give advice or tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I wanted from the people around me. Sympathy/empathy was nice at first, but quickly felt like pity. Idk if that was the intent on their part, probably not, but that's how it felt. Yes, it sucked (as an understatement) but hearing that and "sorry" over and over again made it harder to try and move forward with my recovery. If it came up to me on my own - flashbacks/triggers and such - I wanted someone to lean on about the flashback/trigger, but not necessarily the reason for it. I'ma try to explain that, but idk if I can. I needed to deal with the trigger itself, not go back and process the attack. I needed to say "wow, that reminded me of {blank}, and I need to find a way to not be triggered by {whatever it was} in the future." So my focus would not be the memory itself, but the thing that bothered me. Triggers can be weird. Taco Bell can trigger me, being near or in an enclosed space. I'm 37, and I'm afraid of the dark. Mallocups. Weird random stuff that you can't avoid, so I had to learn to be around those things and still function. A lot of times I wanted someone to come with me for support, but I didn't want to bring it up because the point was to separate the two in my brain for me. One friend came with me to Taco Bell several times. They'd sit and crack jokes, or we'd play word games. Just something fun that helped me to relax and not think of the fear.

Touch was another big thing for me. I needed space, needed to not randomly be touched, but some people need extra affection. It really depends on the kind of person. Not feeling forced to hug people helped me though. Some people mean well, but to have someone hug you when you don't want to be touched is really hard for rape survivors. Not being told over and over again that I should file a police report would have been nice. On person in particular, I know, was trying to be supportive but failed miserably. Again, I don't think people really meant to be so mean, they just didn't understand what I needed and didn't know what to do. I did not communicate very well at all about what I did need though, which didn't help anyone. That's something I'm learning to work on, to understand how I'm feeling and communicate that to the people around me when appropriate. If I had been able to do that, someone asking me what I needed in that moment probably would have been helpful. My fiance was really good about this. He'd just kind of ask me what I wanted to do and maybe suggest stuff I might want to do. A card game, a nap if I seem exhausted, lunch, a walk, etc. Sleeping while my fiance was awake I did a lot too, because I was able to sleep if someone I completely trusted (and he was the only one really) was awake keeping watch. That doesn't work for some people I guess, but was immensely helpful for me. Sleep can still be a battle all this time later, but it got so much better.

I guess it all boils down to me needing someone to be there with me, but not be pushy.

What he did is truly awful, but like Jane said, I'm glad she has your support. Having someone I trusted, and that I knew cared about me, helped my recovery. I also found a therapist very helpful and would suggest it to anyone dealing with trauma. Not for everyone, but generally people find it helpful. I hope for the best for you both. :rs
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#76
Thank You

I wanted to thank you both for the kind responses and support not only for my partner but for me too. A lot of the things you both said speak many truths and great volumes to the things she has tried explaining to me on how she feels and the way she would like to deal with the situation.
My apologies for the late reply, I have just been doing all i can to take her mind away from things such as trips out, going for walks, the cinema....anything that i know she enjoys and at times she seems the person she used to be...then you see her hit a wall, facial expressions change and that look of "zoning out" comes across her and reality hits home and tension seems to build.
Understanding the thoughts of a victim and what they need and crave from a man or someone close to them is a struggle in itself, being a man, instinct tells you to grab hold and hug them or give them a kiss on the head or even just hold a hand for comfort but those things spark those triggers and escalate the situation, and when words dont come out right you seem like the bad guy and that every frustration and built up anger inside that they have had bottled up is vented on you.
I struggle to contend with the daily uncertainty of how each day is going to be, i'm not sure if that does make me a bad person and that the last thing she needs is me complicating things for her.
We have a councilor coming to talk things through and due to the fact she is still receiving messages and attempts of contact through other forms of social media she is hoping the police may be able to put an end to him contacting her if nothing else.
In terms of the law and prosecution, i dont care if he gets done or not, i honestly only want the fear of her phone ringing, a knock at her door, or notifications from apps on her phone to disappear. i cant describe the anxiety and fear you see in her face and her actions when those things happen, nobody should have to live in fear. But.....as these things are still coming through and messages are being received, i see that it is all further evidence towards some form of justice being served if she wished it. My hope is hearing this from a person of authority helps with a bit of closure to know she isn't and wasn't to blame for anything that he chose to do.
Time will tell.

Again, many thanks for your kind words and support
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
Got Keys
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
26,093
#77
Thanks for your update. Is not easy supporting someone following a traumatic event...imo it takes patience, caring and a lot of energy. Thing I found that helped was to ensure I remembered my own needs in the midst of all else that was happening...to recognise that to be emotionally available I needed to self care...sometimes this meant having a day 'off' focusing on doing things that I truly enjoyed.

For you and your friend...I hope life soon gets back on track for both of you. :pg
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#79
Helping a family member

Hello, I feel like someone in my family is being abused and I need some affirmation and advice how/whether to proceed with helping her. In short, this 30+ year old female has 3 small kids with her husband. Her husband is a narcissist and she mainly complains that he has no repsect for her, it's his way or else, and that he constantly puts her down. But, I feel she likes the role of being take care of, in that, she does not want to get a job (even though she can), she'd rather take his attitude (abuse?) in exchange for finanacial stability that he provides. She really jst wants to stay at home and dode on her kids. As far as I know, it never gets physical. The worst part of all, and what I least undestand - is that she seldom confides in anyone or complaints to others. 95% of the time she acts or pretends all is great, treats her husband like a king to the point of being his servant - and she does so with a smile on her face! Even though he's not so nice back to her. Which has me perpelexed, is she happy or unhappy? Does she vent only when she has a bad day and overall it's not so bad and they're just suffering from typical marriage problems? She has never used the word 'abuse', but rather 'disrespect'. IMO, he is abusive if he puts her down constantly. I'd like to add, this woman is quite dramatic, cries over the smallest things - which makes me confused even more because I don't know if she's making a bigger deal out of the situation. She likes playing the victim constantly.

Lastly, she has the support of her parents and sibling should she want to leave, so she's not alone. She could also get a job or apply for benefits.

Wondering if anyone encountered a similar situation?
 

Manya

here an there
Admin
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Messages
17,831
#80
i like asking questions. i think it helps both me and the person i wanna help. cuz i get a better grasp on their situation, and they are taking another look at it too, in order to explain it to me, to answer my question. like "are you happy?" - makes them think, you know. and obviously clarifies things for me as well. i think the crucial question is "could you leave if you wanted to?" cuz abuse is non-consensual by definition, its a crime committed by one person on another, the victim has no choice, they are trapped without escape. what kinda trap it is doesnt really matter, whether its physical danger coming from the perp or vic's own internal fears and insecurities; if they feel trapped - they need help. and if they feel free to leave at any point - the relationship is consensual, however dysfunctional it might be (or seem).

i understand what youre saying, that constantly putting someone down is abusive - but you cant force this opinion on your family member, rescue her against her will. whether shes being abused or not has to be her decision. some people enjoy put-downs (idk, bdsm comes to mind). some define put-downs differently, e.g. in some cultures women dont speak unless spoken to - and don't perceive it as abuse, are perfectly happy with this arrangement. and yes, some people allow jerks to treat them like crap - but still its their life and their choice, as long as they arent in any physical danger. i personally make plenty of choices that some people dont support - but i wont have anyone telling me what to do with my life. had enough of that from my abuser, you know, dont need it from my supporters.

also wanna add - relationships are dynamic, especially dysfunctional ones. things get worse gradually, and tend to cycle through bad/good phrases too, so it can take years for the victim to start wondering if they could be being abused, then to get convinced that they are, then to start thinking if they should leave, then to start planning their escape, then to actually reach out for help. likewise, some people start off by claiming abuse whenever they are unhappy about something their partner does, and it takes years for them to realize that labels dont resolve anything. if you want to leave, you can leave regardless if youre being abused or not, people break up sometimes, no justification necessary. and if you want to stay - calling yourself an abuse victim wont have any practical consequences. aside from short-term sympathy i guess (cuz nobody gonna offer perpetual sympathy to someone who is choosing to keep their hardship, you know).

i guess what im trying to say is - what matters bottom-line, imho, is whether your family member is happy staying where she is, at this point in time. cuz whether you call it abuse or not (or whether she calls it abuse or not) is of no practical consequence. the outcome is stil the same - she can stay or she can leave, and this choice is up to her...

:rs for you and for your family member
 
Top