[possible triggers, ongoing domestic violence – not toward or from me]
A good friend of mine’s husband threatened to kill her a couple of weeks ago. She called the cops who hauled him off in handcuffs. They put a two month no contact order on him, which unfortunately expired yesterday, when she refused to give a statement and press charges, because she thought the two months would be long enough to get started on the divorce stuff, and didn’t realize it was contingent on her pressing charges. He was to be coming over tonight, to ‘talk’ to her and pick up the car. She was going to call us after he left. It’s 11 pm. She hasn’t called.
We were over there earlier today and I gave her my cell phone because the last time he threatened to kill her he’d said that if she tried to call the police she’d be dead before they arrived. He’d tried to unplug the phone from the wall to prevent her.
My mother took a very long time to leave my dad, and near the end, as she was working up the guts to leave, she’d tell me she was leaving and then wouldn’t do it. In the end, I finally couldn’t take the stress of waiting and being disappointed, waiting and being disappointed, and asked her to call me when she had left. She ended up writing me several months later, after she’d been out for about two months. My cutting her off seemed to form some sort of catalyst for her.
I’m afraid of allowing myself to be pulled into that kind of pattern again, where I drop everything to help a woman who thinks that she can handle it. Handling it is getting the hell out with your kids, immediately, not trying to do it gracefully, or bargain with the situation, but just to get out of his control.
My father is not someone to have in one’s life even a tiny bit, and this guy is a piece of work too. I officiated at their wedding. My friend told us her fiancee had threatened the life of their tenant, and the police had been called. Me and another friend told her we thought that made her then fiance unmarriageable. We were apparently right. He did some ‘anger management’ course and she went ahead with the wedding.
I don’t blame her. I know enough about her childhood to know that people develop a sense that things are normal that really aren’t. I get it. I just don’t know how to support her. I have therapy tomorrow, so hopefully I can sort out how to be helpful, but still have boundaries. I sense quite a bit of mommy work tomorrow.
I hope my friend is still alive tomorrow.