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I would like some advice to help in DV case where she won't acknowledge there's a problem

16 replies

Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 21:59

Blah blah regular poster etc

I'm posting here not in Relationships because I'm more likely to trust the advice - I don't hang out in Relationships so I won't know the names iyswim plus I feel safe here.

I have a close relative who lives with a man who maimed her in an attack last year. Allegedly this was the first time he had done such a thing. He got a suspended sentence: she ran around getting everyone (ex wife, family etc) to write about what a great gentle guy he was. It was just some medication he was on that was to blame etc etc :(

In the last year he has trashed her flat when she moved to get away from him (but then invited him round but afaik hasn't hit her although she lives in another town and we see her only intermittently.

he has just attacked her again leaving her visibly bruised. She is now saying it's just a slap, he's not like that etc. He has been arrested and I'm not sure how that is progressing but I'm very worried and feel completely powerless to do anything :(

they are both extremely serious alcoholics and had been drinking heavily at the time of both attacks.

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AyeRobot · 20/05/2011 22:08

Sounds hellish.

She won't really appreciate what is going on until she properly sobers up but she won't properly sober up because of what is going on. Is that the long and the short of it?

Inspired by a post by PrinceHumperdink earlier, I would be inclined to spend time with her and do things that remind her that there is more to life than living like this. I sense that anything more direct would backfire, unless she gives you an "in".

What a horrible situation for her. And you too.

Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 22:21

Thanks AyeRobot :)

I can tell this is going to just be one 'But I can't...' after another.:(

I think that's really good advice but I hardly see her - I have a very young dd and when I say 'serious alcoholic' I mean wake-up-in-a-park-with-no-money and I need to protect dd from that. We also live 60miles from each other. So it's difficult anyway.

Plus I have to say my feelings towards her aren't clear cut. The alcoholism has blighted many lives in our family and I know she's not able to make choices in any meaningful way under the circumstances so it's not her fault but I can't help feeling angry at some of the things that have happened, then I feel guilty about that :(

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Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 22:25

...and yes re being sober. But also massive lack of self esteem and I'm not sure my presence doesn't make this worse as she sees my life as being charmed compared to hers. Which I suppose it is :(

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AyeRobot · 20/05/2011 22:30

Namechange, it's such a shitty scenario for everyone, but of course more so for her. I have experience of a functional (if you can call it that) alcoholic and that was bad enough and I ended up walking away. He is still functional, as far as I know, and just ended up finding someone else to prop him up. And for him to manipulate and abuse. It goes with the territory, I'm afraid.

Is she at all receptive to changing her life?

Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 22:45

I'm sorry you have had that experience AR - it's horrible :(

Periodically she acknowledges that there are issues. Usually after a particularly godawful bender which has ended with her being missing for two weeks or after the incident last year which put her in a special care unit :(

but then it's back to denial. (she is a binge drinker so sometimes says she's not an alcoholic because she can go days without a drink). He is the only kind of partner she feels she could deserve and she does feel awful about some of the effects of her drinking (on her elderly parents, on her children who've had to see her blind drunk and been frightened by it etc) but that only makes it worse when they're derlying issue is that she hates herself.

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Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 22:46

Fucking autotext: 'the underlying issue'

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AyeRobot · 20/05/2011 22:57

I hate to say that I am out of my depth here, even though I know more than most about alcoholism and its effects. But I am. Sad

To give you a little ray of hope, though, I know someone who was a total pisshead for years, still has no contact with 2 of her 4 children because of her behaviour when she was a drunk, and who is now 75 and sober for almost 25 years and very active in recovery circles. Whilst her estranged children would probably not agree (and I would wholly empathise with them), I think she has given more back to recovering alcoholics (and therefore their familes) since she has been sober than she ever took when she was in her drinking days.

All I can suggest is that you have the phone numbers of every relevant source of help (AA, her local Drug and Alcohol team, Womens Aid etc) available so that you can strike whilst the iron is hot.

Thinking of you all.

Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 23:01

Thanks :)

I do know you on here (and you me :) ) so it's just good to have someone hear me and to talk it over to be honest.

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Namechangevariant600 · 20/05/2011 23:03

Maybe I'll tell her that story. I think she thinks it's too late, but of course it never is is it?

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AyeRobot · 20/05/2011 23:04


Names are not that important to me. It's the people behind them that matter, innit?

darleneoconnor · 20/05/2011 23:09

are they co-dependent?

AyeRobot · 20/05/2011 23:11

No, it's never too late, if you take the option. Many don't, though, so I don't want to get your hopes up too far.

I could tell you some more tales if you like. There's some real inspiring shit out there that most of us never get to hear about. And some sad stuff too, of course. But I like the good stuff. Loads of people find recovery late in life and then really make up for what they've done in the past. Same goes for the (usually former) partners.

Ooh, I always feel bad talking about alcoholics when I have a drink in my hand.

dittany · 20/05/2011 23:32

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AyeRobot · 20/05/2011 23:41

Exactly, dittany. She is making both rational decisions based on the abuse yet is probably making irrational yet rational to her decisions re the alcohol.

These situations all stump me. And yes, the more feminism I get under my belt, the less I like AA and its spin-offs. Ever read the To The Wives section of the Big Book? Yet Al-anon was a big piece of my own exit and I have a lot of time for the people (mainly women) who are a part of it. AA I only have arms-length knowledge of and from that distance I think it is a tough gig, especially for women. There is such a thing as the 13th Step and it is not pretty. But the alternatives are either hard to come by or a lot worse and that is an appalling state of affairs.

dittany · 20/05/2011 23:48

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Namechangevariant600 · 21/05/2011 05:13

Yes I think her relationship with the father of her (now grown up) children was emotionally and sometimes/increasingly physically, abusive - hence the self-esteem, hence the drinking.

She did go to AA for a time but now she has this man who she met on a particularly awful bender.:( Codependency is possible - what would that mean for the situation?

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