I know one too…
One of my dearest friends is about to / trying to / lying about ending an abusive marriage. In this relationship she is the one that works and has the house income. She pays the bills, does the grocery shopping, pays for his/hers insurance. You may ask what his role was in here. He only slept all day, went to the gym to gain more and more muscles… that he used eventually to hit her at the end of the day.
On one day (her birthday) she took the final and last hit and decided enough was enough. But… was it? Was it really? She considers herself victorious after finally being able to kick him out of the house. But she still supports him (emotionally and financially), welcomes his (also abusers) brothers and their (also victims) wives; she still answers to each and every call he makes, text message he sends, threats and… allows his presence to be so alive in her life.
In her eyes, she’s still sees him almost as a child she’s responsible for. Like someone she can’t stand, and still, can’t live without. As a friend, I’ve offered her more than words: She lived in my house when the imminent fear of him coming back to finish the job he so many times had started, trying to dry her tears when the panic attacks were nearing, closing the door to make sure night noises were just noises…
But now, I question myself: How much does she really want him out? She refuses and denies therapy. She chooses what detail she’ll share to which of her all (so supportive!) friends… It’s hard not to give up on someone when apparently they, themselves, already have. It breakes my heart to see such youth and beauty taken away, everyday, even after the relationship was (apparently) over.
For someone like me who’s been fortunate enough to have had the support of a loving family, parents who are still happily married and full of great examples surrounding me, I can’t help but to lose hope. Hope in her, because it’s too hard to understand these choices. Hope in men, who are capable of such evil. Hope in myself, because, no matter how hard I try, I never seem to find the right words to finally enter her (so abused) mind.
I don’t know and can’t tell if it’s a matter of being stupid or not. But now I’m questioning who’s up for the challenge when she, herself, isn't.