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Help me help a friend please ....

(7 Posts)
Tillyscoutsmum Thu 08-Sep-11 19:43:02

I have a friend who split up with her "D"P and father of her DD about 2 years ago. He was abusive - physically, emotionally and verbally and had numerous affairs throughout their 12 year relationship.

He continues to be a shit. He changes access arrangements with his DD as and when it suits him (often just not bothering to turn up or cancelling at the last minute because he's too hungover hmm). His maintenance payments are also very hit & miss. He continues to be nasty to my friend - calling her names, sending nasty texts, questioning her parenting skills (often publicly).

The biggest problem is that my friend is still really affected by him and his behaviour. She hasn't moved on at all. She acknowledges he was abusive and would never go back to him but still refers to him as "the love of her life".
Her self esteem is none existent and she still questions herself all the time (what did she do wrong ? why wasn't she "good enough" for him to be faithful to her ?)

She is really depressed. Has said that she would kill herself if it wasn't for her DD. She has been on anti d's and have a few counselling sessions but can't afford private ones and only got 6 sessions on the NhS ?? They clearly didn't work sad.

I just want to be able to say something or do something to stop her effectively blaming herself.

Soooo. Any suggestions ? Any books that perhaps I could give her ? Is there anyone who has felt like this and had some kind of lightbulb moment and if so, can I help her to get there ? Its been 2 years and she's no less fucked up by him that she was when she left angry

Sorry its long

peanutbutterjellytime Thu 08-Sep-11 20:07:57

It sounds like she's still in desperate need of further counselling. Are there any voluntary organisations near where she lives? you make a voluntary contribution based on what you can afford.

Her self esteem is obviously at rock bottom, and not surprising after 12 years in an abusive relationship, but it's because of that, that she's unable to let go and move on with her life.

I've read on other threads that the Lundy Bancroft books are helpful and enlightening, although I haven't read them myself.

Sounds like you're a really supportive friend and just keep listening and be there for her.

BlobChob Thu 08-Sep-11 20:13:06

What about could be the way to go:

The Freedom Programme

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 08-Sep-11 20:18:40

Thanks both. I've also heard about the Lundy Bancroft books. The Freedom Programme looks good as well (albeit both seem to be aimed slightly more towards women who are still in the relationships ??). Definitely worth a try though. Thank you

neuroticmumof3 Thu 08-Sep-11 21:42:56

I'd also recommend the Bancroft book 'why does he do that'. If she can't get to a Freedom Programme she can buy the book, 'living with the dominator' by Pat Craven very cheaply on Amazon. Either of these books would help her to make sense of her experiences and to move away from self blame. Another programme that is available in some areas is The Recovery Toolkit. This is aimed at increasing self esteem in women who have left abusive relationships. Women's Aid will be able to tell her if these programmes are running in her area. Sounds like she could also do with support with the ongoing problems he's causing. Again, Women's Aid could put her in touch with a local service who could support and advise her.

DontGoCurly Thu 08-Sep-11 22:15:54

It doesn't sound like her medication is working. Depression is a right bugger at times. It can be very hard to read books when depressed as concentration can be badly affected.

If she is feeling suicidal she needs a lot more support. Could you go along to her GP with her (or whoever is prescribing the medication) and help to speak on her behalf. It can be very difficult to articulate how you are feeling when depressed and at times it's impossible to get over to GP's how you are really feeling.

She might be 'masking' to the GP. Trying to make out everything is alright but it's not.

Anyway you are a good friend and fair play to you for caring. Hope things improve for her soon.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 08-Sep-11 22:28:10

Thank you. Very helpful. I have ordered the Lundy book and the Pat Craven one and will look into the Recovery Toolkit for her.

DontGoCurly. She's not actually suicidal. I know she wouldn't do anything because she has her dd. To be honest, she's not taking medication at the moment. She's got it into her head that she doesn't want to get addicted to pills hmm. I don't know enough about anti d's tbh but, whilst they did seem to help her a little bit when she had them, the fundamental issue was really the lack of self esteem and blaming herself for everything. The anti d's just seemed to "mask" things a little bit iyswim ?? Maybe some different ones may be better though ??

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