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Please help me help my friend (LONG)

(7 Posts)
wibblywobbler Thu 25-Oct-12 10:03:55

My oldest friend has come to me for help and advice but I am out of my depth. I have advised her to speak to Women's Aid at the first opportunity but she is scared they will contact SS and she has no confidence in 'professionals' since being let down years ago. She is an amputee and also suffers from constant pain and mental health problems

I am going to C&P what she has said to me so nothing gets lost in translation if I try and precis it.

(I am going to call her husband 'Dickface' and her children and DC1 and DC2)

I have come to the conclusion my marriage is based on mental abuse but I am not sure if it is perception because I am in a PTSD crisis or whether it really is... All I know there is nothing I can do about it, as I need to stay for various reasons, that actually are a part of what I am wondering is abuse... but the thing is knowing that is something different as cannot do anything about it as wouldn't walk out on my kids but been thinking about it tonight... I am lonely hun very
I actually looked up the description and he covers nearly all of it

isolated me from friends and family, won't let me work, undermines me with the kids, was persuasive sexually at first and I mean very would ask things that he knew triggered me, told me I would put my kids at risk,
no he is a fab dad

[would he apply for residence?] hun he has a stack of evidence against me including a box of self harm stuff
he has made it clear he would fight me

like now it has got to the point that i am in the kitchen every night and he is in the lounge [it's] because he gets pissed off with me being on the internet, but that is because he gets moody

I haven't visited anyone on my own since July. I rely on him to take me and he just says i don't have time (This guy doesn't work, he is a lot older than her and is retired, but prior to that was off long term sick)

ahh but the whole world see's a saint that is why i am not sure if it is my perception

[do the kids see him treating you like this?] well they know he undermines me
like DC1 will hit me or call me something bad and i will say i want your phone or whatever and then DC1 will go upstairs and i will say Dickface will you get his phone he will say i aint going up there

[dickface] has never physically hit me

DC1 put a hole in the wall and I was having a convo to DC1 about controlling his temper and in front of DC1 [Dickface] told me to stop winding him up

i am in ptsd crisis hun. that means my head is screwed with flashbacks and stuff
which means i have been [self harming]

[I need] morphine just to go to sleep
he doesn't know i am in crisis he knows i am not eating and i am sleeping loads so knows something is up but he hasn't asked
and to be honest he has even used my past against me too and i wont even tell you what he said but i did punch him for it
once and only time
by the way i am not using vasts amount of morphine just 1 or 2 tablets
i have to ration them because i only have 30
self harmed days ago hun
but i won't leave him because of the kids so actually knowing all this doesn't do me much good...
But it suddenly came to me, but the DC idolise him and I mean idolise him they hate me though

[Can you speak to social services?] no i can't when i had DC1 i had done nothing wrong and they threatened to take him to care because of my past
because i had been so ill
even the gp told me he felt sorry for my husband because i was such hard work but i really am not

no it isn't an option i have no family i have no friends
well no friends other than people who see him as a saint

it is like someone will ring and say Dickface will you do this or that can you go here or there and he doesn't think twice about doing it if i ask for anything and i mean like a cuppa etc he always says ffs

my mums husband offended against me and she stayed with him
not now but he is still about
in fact she didn't only stay with him she put me in care for coming out with such outragous lies

we get on [her mum and her] but superficially like as long as I don't talk about anything

i cannot lose my kids Wibbly i can't

and anyway they are old enough to chose
i am fucked i just have to live with it

i have to go to bed when he does
or he gets in a mood

it isn't as though this hasn't been a trend through out my whole life, i came out of 18 years of abuse at 18 and landed in a psych unit came out and met Dickface

well i was in hospital for 3 years but when i came out at 21 i was with Dickface almost immediately and moved in as well

within 3 months i was pregnant in 9 married
been married 13 years
but he doesn't seem to think he has a problem

it is like when i ask him not to undermine me he says he cannot agree with me if he doesn't agree

my kids see me as the bad one, yet it is me that goes that extra mile like today for DC1 sitting in a meeting with the governors and heads at his school to try and get him a resolution but he called me a fat whore before school and has been makingg allegations like me hitting him and that i make his life shit that he wants to die and the thing is his dad didn't go to todays meeting
and for the record DC1 hits me
not the other way around

but i will never persuade them to come with me
they would refuse hun

thank you [for the support] but i hate me so i am not sure how you can even like me xx

Everything I said happened but I do feel bad for slagging Dickface off, everyone else thinks he is this saint so perhaps it is me perhaps it is my perception... I feel bad as he has kept me a live although now he tends to tell me it is my choice and doesn't talk about anything. grrr why I do feel like this xx

I hate him sometimes but I do love him x
I am sure it is something I just need to learn to live with and get on I am so confused

I am trying to rationalise this isn't it a wife's duty to do stuff in bed? Don't most dad's have conflicts with parenting x

not if you say yes even if it is under duress,
but then that is partly because i was scared if i said no then he would anyway, [have sex with her]
but he used to wake me up in the night and stuff but doesn't now as it he has an innability thank god
when i read the definition, it says stuff about isolation and he made me give up my friends because he said they used me, he goes mad and tells me i can't work because the kids need me at home,

my confusion is why everyone else thinks he is a saint? I changed and evolved for him, i did tell someone at the time and they said marriage is about give and take and making sacrifices and it was my therapist
I told her what he was asking of me and stuff
she didn't think it was a problem

i told her he was asking me to do something i didn't want to do
but she said to talk to him so i did but he didn't stop

i also didn't tell her he used to wake me up by touching me and ask me to have sex in the middle of the night

but i am not meaning to divulge too much but when i was about 9 that actually happened to me in an abusive way so i would freeze
and he knew that
but obviously this hasn't happened as he now has diabetes and stuff

i know what you are saying but i told him i didn't like it and he just said i have a high sex drive

honest to god if i told anyone this that knows us as a couple they wouldn't believe me
everyone even my therapist says he is good for me and has kept me alive and so does our psych but we always see the psych together at the same time

I have to run he will be back in a minute, for the first time since july he is letting me out even if we did have a row about it because i am leaving him!

Like I was told by one [social worker] I wouldn't be able to decide the best for my children because I had mental health problems

I wanted to tell you that I spoke to a friend today and tested the waters about Dickface, was talking to my very good friend 'Annie', obviously didn't tell her everything as not sure about her loyalty to Dickface, but told her about him dictating what I wear (although he doesn't now as I just wear what he wants me too) and also about him being angry when I look or speak to a man, her response was, Dickface is so quiet, and added that when we have experiences in life like we have (she has also been in my situation) we tend to see the bad in people and not the good.. So as I thought! See I tried but it didn't work, and 'Annie' is a good friend of mine too xx

no she definitely said it was my perception having been badly treated by men and pointed out he does so much for us a family.
I'm starting to really, really think this is my problem and my perception and perhaps I just see him as bad

perhaps I am acting borderline and putting him on a pedastall and idolising and then hating him
because I always agree when people say how lovely he is and how hard he works, mind you people have this generalisation that I sit on facebook all day or sleep which actually isn't quite true in fact someone actually asked me to do more and remember he was a 64 year old man
which actually pissed me off as although i don't cook and clean i get up at 6.45 make sure the kids shower, do their teeth, bags are packed, DC1 takes his tablet, then i always do homework with them and make sure DC2's spellings are learnt and his reading is done daily...
people see me as lazy and don't do anything
and I feed the dog and take him out the front and put rules and boundaries in place

but people are very loyal to Dickface as he does anything people ask

OK I have this conflict too, you know I told you how if I didn't try things or have sex etc he would say oh you don't love me etc and get angry and that well he has touched me like once in 3 years if it was that important to show love (and for me it is) then why does he not do what he says?

I mean in a way the only way affection has ever been shown to me is through sex but I feel like he doesn't love me because he isn't demanding and getting angry, now how fucked up is that??
She [the therapist] even asked me if he sends me cards and stuff I was like no he even forgot our anniversary

I will email womens aid but you know I really am scared that they will see Dickface as the man he portrays
he does have form too

no he doesn't he only goes out at 8.10 and is back at 9 and then goes out at 2.30 and back at 3.30 and he walks the dog at night

one sec he is behind me
sorry he was actually making me a cup of tea although when I said would you mind making me a cup of tea his reply was yes I fucking would but he did do it but he doesn't see anything wrong in saying that if I moan he will say oh I am joking

I spoke with my therapist She said I am a good parent and she would stand up and say that any time
Scared but I don't know why in case she tells someone else I think

I had therapy, then had a nice time with the DC shooting pictures, and DC1 just upset me so I guess it is back to normal

I did have quite an indepth discussion with my therapist and told her that I cannot forgive Dickface for past behaviours or that he has turned the kids against me... She totally understood.

he's out in the morning for about 2 hours he's going to Harvest Festival but they can't get my [wheel]chair in there
she [therapist] did say that men make different judgements about sex too
in that they think it solves the worlds problems I kind of felt normalised it even if she understood
He's pissing me off I told DC1 to go to bed and he said no I asked about 4 times so said to Dickface could you ask him to go up so he said for fuck sake its only 10 minutes! I can't win!!!!

I asked DC1 to get something down from the cupboard and he was watching TV his reply was for fuck sake too

I hate my life but DC1 is old enough to choose you weigh up the options what would you choose?

I wouldn't risk them going into care or being left here without me, it isn't an option

I don't have a lot of trust in professionals they scare me

in the last two weeks i have eaten very little

I am sorry I am telling you again, but what is the point, just said DC1 it's bed time and an argument between me and DC1 well DC1 was arguing I was explaining that it was already past his bed time and it was too late to watch a TV programme, so he said oh fuck off back to your virtual life in the kitchen!
AND daddy said nowt

I said no TV when Dickface took him to bed Dickface let him put his TV on
he also added no one wants you here
It's like I said to Dickface yesterday about him laughing when DC1 said for fuck sake when I asked him to get me something down from the cupboard, Dickface said ahh leave him it was funny! But it's not because he has said it least 3 times today

I feel angry but I talk to Dickface and he just says chill out
or here we go again

my kids hate me although DC2 doesn't say much

like again tonight, I have made it clear if the kids want sweets they earn it but nope off to the shop and back with sweets
I have no life but no other way out of it

I have failed my children

I am fed off him saying, chill out, stop winding the situation up or his favourite are you ill?

Just one morning, I can wake up, not be called a fucking bitch by my darling son, or be told to go and kill myself! It would make my life so much easier... Well such is life, I have a whole week of it to look forward too, how much fun!!! XX Maybe I should take his advice. I'm only here for my kids, that's no joke, but he obviously doesn't want me here.
Problem is, he can hate me, from here to eternity, but he'll never hate me as much as I do.

Its not usually DC2, as he is such a nice lad. But I suppose I was annoyed at him this morning, as was waking him for 20 minutes and I said get up a little sterner and he said what so you can stay in bed, but I get up every morning. I just am hurting I suppose I won't opt out because frankly I'm crap at it, I should have been dead years ago but I'm still here, can't even get that right sad

Sorry for my post being so long, I just wanted to give as full a picture as I could and not drip feed. I feel so powerless, how can I help her? I live in a different town and don't have a car right now so can't get over to her to help practically

CrazyCatLady13 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:36:54

Sorry that I don't have much to say that could help.

The things that spring to mind are:

Social services would surely work with your friend to ensure that she has the support she needs - it's not right that she's relying on her H to get her out and about.

Women's Aid are excellent and can help her build up her confidence.

Her GP can offer support as well.

I think you being there for her is the most important thing at present. Sorry I couldn't help more.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 25-Oct-12 11:43:08

disclaimer: I did not read the whole post.

Your friend is clearly depressed and ground down. The first and best thing you can do for her is to get her talking, listen to her, and validate her feelings.

- Ask her open questions: those that start with "who, what, where, when, why, how?" (rather than closed "yes/no" questions). This is because the best way for a person to emerge from denial and hit upon the answers they need and the solutions that will work for them is to hear these coming out of their own mouths. Seriously - much more effective than just being told what to do and what to think: that is easily resisted. And she needs to take control of her own life and decisions. As a DV it will be harder for her to do than most - she is so used to being controlled - but that makes it all the more necessary that any decisions come from her own self.

- When she describes her home life, be open about how it makes you feel: "Oh poor you!", "That sounds awful", "that must have been so hurtful to hear". This is because she is used to normalising the abuse, so the more she hears from an external source that what she is experiencing is not OK, the more she will be willing to trust her own buried instinct that it is in fact not OK.

IF she seems like she wants concrete help to leave, then you can recommend that she turn to the following sources for help:

- individual counselling for her (NOT couples counselling - really not recommended in cases of domestic abuse, as it can be used as a tool for further abuse by the abusive partner).
- Women's Aid 0808 2000 247
- Police DV unit, to log any violent incidents
- Refuge
- GP (anti-depressants, referral for counselling)
- family lawyer

wibblywobbler Fri 26-Oct-12 11:50:38

Thanks for the great advice, that's some amazing stuff I can help her with.

She feels she can't take control because to do so would mean losing her kids into care or to her husband. She said she'd leave tomorrow but is refusing to leave without her children

Last night her 10 yr old said 'fuck off fat bitch' to her and her husband laughed. She is miserable, lonely, isolated and says she would be suicidal if not for her children

I have convinced her to phone WA, initially she was resistant as she was scared they would phone SS because of the mental abuse her husband is inflicting on them. I hope they arrange something so she can leave and take her kids with her

HotDAMNlifeisgood Fri 26-Oct-12 13:57:12

The SS thing is an excuse so that she doesn't have to act, as she apparently doesn't want to yet.

However, you could point out to her that SS are more likely to view her favourably as a parent if she acts to end the abusive home environment (by leaving her H, as he will obviously not voluntarily end his own abusive behaviour).

wibblywobbler Fri 26-Oct-12 20:22:21

That makes a lot of sense hotDAMN. I told her SS will be looking at her to protect her children and phoning WA for help would be part of that

So I finally convinced her to phone WA even though she was shaking but she was off the phone in two minutes because they told her to contact her local DV centre but it's run by the police so she is refusing to contact them. She is distraught and says she is trapped and totally fucked

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sat 27-Oct-12 08:46:07

she is trapped: by her own beliefs. But those can change.

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