Tuesday, January 8, 2008

when enough is enough

(preamble: I am not the friend in this story; no need to question it at all.)

Let's just pretend that you have a friend who is getting abused by her boyfriend. Your friend is now abusing her children as well because she feels an unbelievable amount of stress under the fist of her charismatic, good looking, and yet creepy boyfriend.

You've never liked the boyfriend. Not since she first introduced you two - but you couldn't pin him down on anything so you didn't say FLAT OUT to your girl that somethin' just wasn't right. You hinted around it. But that doesn't matter cause now she's in over her head. It's like she addicted to the drama and freakishly co-dependent on this dude. Oh, and by the way, boyfriend has cheated on her in the past and is almost guaranteed to cheat on her again.

But she doesn't want to hear that! She thinks that this is "the one" and that if she just sticks with this guy, it'll change. (Not like the last guy that she ended up getting a restraining order against because he controlled her every move. She wasn't even 'allowed' to leave the house without his permission. But she jumped over the restraining order and kept inviting the guy over to sleep at her apartment - I know they had a baby together but COME ON.) She thinks that since this guy is abusive in a new way and that since this guy is nicer around strangers (unlike her daddy) and that since this guy tells her she's pretty and smart - that it'll have a different ending.

You've told her that (in the nicest way possible) he's just manipulating her and that she deserves better. Not only does she not believe you, but she's beginning to push you away. Her boyfriend didn't like you from the start either (he could probably sniff your good intentions) and she's been fighting him off for a while on the subject of you. He's told her that you're not a true friend, that you don't know the truth about him (which is that he loves her more than he's ever loved anyone else), and that you just want her to hurt like you're hurting. He tells her that you're the ugly one, you're the controlling one, that you're the one who she should stay away from. He tells her that he loves her while he moves the hair out of her eyes. This is what she dreamed about as a little girl. A man who babies her - she so wants that that she is willing to ignore the other side of him that uses her for his own agenda.

And while this is your girl, the drama is getting so thick that you're not sure you want to be around them anymore anyway. Her kids are runnin' around uncared for and unkempt (the bullies at their elementary school) and she bruises them every once in a while to "knock some sense into 'em" but it clearly isn't working. It hurts you to watch those kids get worse and worse. It hurts you to watch your friend just go lower and lower.

So, my question to you is when is enough enough? When is it time to call it quits on the relationship? When do you just accept that she isn't going to change for you, her kids, or herself?

Or will she? Should you be on standby for when she's ready to leave the boyfriend (for good)?


Sarah said...

This is my sister's situation, same addiction to drama, a little different scenario but the same song and dance. I think everyone must know someone or has been that someone (like myself) at one time or another. In my situation with my sister, I can't handle the drama and it bothers me to think of the kids. I used to hang in there thinking I just MIGHT be the only thing that might help the kids, but I realized it was much bigger than that and out of my control. So, I actually phased out my own sister. Sad I know. She knows I am here if she wants to change. But if she doesn't change, she isn't welcome in my life, I can't handle the emotional stress and neither can my family. I have to put my energy into this family that God gave me. I stopped trying to fix things and make things better, stopped trying to talk some sense into her (because she really doesn't want to listen anyway) handed the reins over to God and I pray for her every day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her. I am here with open arms if she wants to change her life, I am not angry or hateful. The "Hows the weather" relationship might be best for now. Isn't it sad that woman (including myself at one time) fall for the same old lies that Satan throws at us? He certainly knows the heart of every woman's weakness.

Stephanie said...

I agree. People like that tend to push you away when they are in denial...Ive been in that situation (the trying to help and them pushing you away). Good luck with your friend. Ill get tough

Dancer said...

I think that catch phrase that I get so tired of hearing is appropriate here--"let go and let God."

It isn't our job to fix people and it is not something we are even capable of doing. God is so much more effective. Is the friend invested in the girl because she's a good project that she wants to fix or is/was there a true relationship there? The good friend should check her motives for being in the relationship.

From what you report it doesn't sound like a healthy relationship for anyone-good friend, girlfriend, or the dude.

No real relationship? Get out now and pray. We don't have to be everyone's friend...

A real relationship? Pray, back off, but do small things to let her know that you are always there to help (not enable) when she's ready to get out and change.

It would be Biblical to give the friend a flat out warning about the danger she is in, then let it go and give it to God.

Rebekah said...

seeing a lot of abuse cases and the victim becoming a "volunteer" in the relationship, my concern is for the kids. How bad is the abuse? How bad will the abuse get? The kids have no choice in the situation, they are the true victims.
I had a friend that loves this kind of drama and she ended up marrying a child molestor. So for me, the question is should child services be called?
I have seen some of the cutest kids walk through my office that through no fault of their own, got smacked around on a regular basis because their caretakers are selfish butt heads.
I didn't mean to come off angry or anything, but child abuses ticks me off to no end

Chantel said...

you gotta stick by. because that's what you do and that's how you help. because the day will come when she will need you. that's the great thing about you...your strength. i know that's a ton of pressure and if it's too much-you gotta put yourself first (and your family) but you are so strong that talking to you...only carries that over into their lives. you gave me strength to be okay when i went through my tough divorce. knowing i had you and that you'd tell me the truth always...helped me through one of the roughest in my life.

Aly Cat 121 said...

Dayum we have the same friend? Honey you can not help someone who isn't truly really ready to help themselves. You just can't, can not.

You can be there for her when she needs a safe house after he's whupped her azz and be on stand by to call 911. My mother and sister are domestic violence advocates and trust, that's what's coming next.

What your friend needs, you can not give her. You a praying woman, so pray for her - like I know you have been.

Raquel said...

you're makin me tear up girl!

Chantel said...

it's true. i woulda begged for him back but you as a friend kept me stronger...you did so well with zu that i knew. i was okay. it was going to be okay and that'd you would be there along the way. and you were.

Angie said...

I agree with Aly. You can be there to a point, but can not allow too much disruption in your life or the life of your family. Also, as hard as it is, it is time for someone to contact the authorities on the children. If one of them gets seriously hurt, you will never stop wondering if you could have prevented it. Smacking is one thing, bruising is another and how long until the abusive boyfriend starts smacking the kids around?