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Feeling awful for turning away friend in need

(107 Posts)
feellousy Fri 11-Oct-13 23:07:58

Name changed.

New to area have known neighbour / friend for 8 months now. She has a lot of issues in her life, and seems to lurch from one disaster to another. I have always tried to be there for her, and at times can find her very draining.

She has been with her partner for 6 years, they have a dd 4. Her partner is an alcoholic and he up until a week ago was very emotionally abusive, she was often round having a coffee saying what he had said, I have always tried to be there with a good ear and support her. She mentioned a few days ago that he seems to get into a pattern and kick her out at least every 12-18 months, full screaming in the street etc etc.

She has come round tonight in tears as he asked her to leave she said no so he opened the door and physically threw her out sad. He must of grabbed her throat at some point as that looked bruised to.

She came round and said she is fed up with the same pattern, she leaves about 2 am he sobers up a bit and then goes round her mum's banging/shouting/swearing for her to open up and see him. She then asked in the next breathe if she could sleep on my sofa. I wanted to be there as a friend but DH heard and said "Look sorry I can sympathize with your situation, but I need to think of my kids" they are 6 m, 3 y and 7 y.

She was tearful said ok she understood and I then drove her to her mums, who said I did the right thing as this is a habit, she has begged her to leave him, but she always goes back and if her mum says anything she wont speak to her mum or let her see her dd for months.

Her dp is really a horrible piece of work and very intimidating, I think I know deep down I did the right thing, but why do I feel so shitty.

greenbananas Fri 11-Oct-13 23:12:44

You feel crap because you want to solve all her problems... but you can't. You did the right thing, and your dh is right about putting your own children first.

Bless you for being such a good friend and listening to her and supporting her.

Should you report this to the police? I don't know.

Nombrechanger Fri 11-Oct-13 23:13:35

You did the right thing. Don't get involved. You've got your family to think about. You haven't known her long enough to start letting her sleep over. You were kind enough giving her a lift. She has to sort her own life out.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 11-Oct-13 23:16:36

You did the right thing. Point her in the direction of women's aid/police and be her friend but you have your own family to care for. With her ay yours he would just pitch up and kick off

thebody Fri 11-Oct-13 23:18:18

call the police anyway and say you think she is in danger.

your dh is right. you are lovely. you can't live for other people.

greenbananas Fri 11-Oct-13 23:18:22

Where is her four year old daughter? Is she safe?

notanyanymore Fri 11-Oct-13 23:18:45

Where's her dd?

feellousy Fri 11-Oct-13 23:18:49

Thank you smile

I can go to bed now feeling better smile love mumsnet.

greenbananas Fri 11-Oct-13 23:21:23

Before you go to bed, op, please tell us where the little girl is. Is she safe?

feellousy Fri 11-Oct-13 23:24:30

Her dd was already staying with her mum .. Thankfully.

greenbananas Fri 11-Oct-13 23:29:30

Thank goodness for that! But keep an eye on the welfare of that child...

Sleep well. You really have done the right thing x

geminigirl Fri 11-Oct-13 23:31:33

I think you did the right thing, just take a step back and don't get too heavily involved. Would you think about sending her a text just to let her know that you're thinking about her and still there for her? In situations like this it can be easy for someone to feel that everything is against them....just let her know that you are not. She's probably feeling very vulnerable and in need of a bit of hand holding. Her DH sounds delightful shock

AgentZigzag Sat 12-Oct-13 00:04:04

How much of the shit do you think the 4 YO sees?

Because I can't imagine they save it up for when she's at her GP's.

I know it's a very complicated and emotionally charged situation, but I'm surprised you've managed not to be a bit harder on her after all this time.

I'm not saying you are, but it could seem as though you're condoning his behaviour by picking up the pieces of the violent situations he's created.

YADNBU to not want him round creating all sorts round at your house, what kind of a friend would even ask that of you knowing you have small children??

To me that says she's so wrapped up in herself that she can't see this doesn't just affect him/her.

Harsh, and I don't want to blame her as a victim because being a victim can make you understandably selfish, but this is about your children and hers, not her and him.

chateauferret Sat 12-Oct-13 00:29:00

YABU to feel bad. It's not wise to give more, financially or emotionally, than you can afford.

BarbarianMum Sat 12-Oct-13 02:55:51

It's not like you shut the door in her face! You drove her to a place she could be safe. You are a good friend.

YABVU to feel that you've let her down, OK?

If you want to help her in the long run you'll need to pace yourself a bit or you'll burn out. And please remember you can't rescue her, no matter how much you want to.

AndYouCanDance Sat 12-Oct-13 03:06:15

I really don't understand why you wouldn't let her stay the night and break the pattern.

AgentZigzag Sat 12-Oct-13 03:11:03

Because chances are AndYou, the bloke will come 'banging/shouting/swearing' outside her door.

Whether you've got small children or not, who would invite that into their home? (knowing it's not a one off, they've tried everything they can think of, their friend has accepted this as part of the relationship they have with their P - the OP hasn't accepted that, and shouldn't).

AndYouCanDance Sat 12-Oct-13 03:31:42

I would invite that into my home - and have in a similar situation.

If the husband did come around I would call the police, but chances are, knowing the OP's DH was there, he wouldn't.

Who knows? It's hypothetical now as the OP turned her away. I just couldn't do that.

AgentZigzag Sat 12-Oct-13 03:58:49

There's no way I would invite that near my 6 MO, 3 YO and 7YO.

Bollocks to that.

The friend's an adult who's made choices, the children don't have a choice and should be protected from violent adults.

Calling the police doesn't stop some scrote from burning the place down/knifing someone/creating a scene the children will never forget. Sometimes they couldn't give a monkeys about one more scrote when they've got 50 others who are more violent.

AndYouCanDance Sat 12-Oct-13 04:14:36

Well we're all different.

There's no way I could look at my children and say "Yes, DFriend WAS here needing our help, but we sent her away."

AgentZigzag Sat 12-Oct-13 04:22:31

Even with a 7 YO it's not something you'd voluntarily bring up, and if they've seen it or the consequences, then you've failed in protecting them and they've seen too much.

I've been in need of help because I was being beaten to a pulp, and I know from experience what children watching adults being violent can do to the child.

I would choose my DC over everyone else's needs, every time (in something as serious as this).

runawaysimba Sat 12-Oct-13 04:24:40

She didn't "send her away". She drove her to where her daughter was. At her mother's house. Who said that was the right thing to do.

ILoveMakeUp Sat 12-Oct-13 04:34:19

She is an extremely selfish human being for allowing her DD to grow up in this environment. People always seem to be very sympathetic towards these women, however I really struggle.

OP, you did the right thing.

AndYouCanDance Sat 12-Oct-13 04:35:19

Oh for goodness sake Agent I am not advocating TELLING the seven-year-old or even showing them, but kids have a way of knowing these things.

Imagine the world we would live in if everyone said "No I can't help you, there is too much risk to myself" or even, "No, it's all too hard."

ILoveMakeUp Sat 12-Oct-13 04:35:55

... in fact, no, I am not sure that was the right thing to do. I think maybe if it happens again in the future, you should hand her the phone and tell her to call the police.

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