Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's A Long Story

So, I know things have been weird around here.

It comes down to this:

either you believe a victim or you blame a victim.

Mr F and I fall into the former category,

while sadly a SHOCKING number of people in my extended family fall into the latter.

It's a pretty sickening discovery.

And sad.

How someone can believe a boyfriend's story hook line and sinker...

even after the police had been called...

so willing to write off their own daughter as an hysterical idiot rather than abused?

Not willing to drive 1 hour to verify her safety, when no one could locate her.

While Mr F drove 600 miles there and back TWICE in one week to do so.

Not for his own sister... but for MINE.

Only to have him accused of overstepping his bounds (not by the boyfriend but by my own father).

We've been threatened, maligned... it is unbelievable.

People, our minds have been blown.


It never occurred to me that I was supposed to get approval from my father to help my adult sister.

Or that he would be so threatened by our doing so.

And, yet, the abusive relationship makes a LOT of sense now.

So the question is:

If you have opened up your home for an extended period of time, how did it go?

What things worked and what did not?

What do you wish you had known or done differently?

Did you have some kind of set agreement about responsibilities?


Julie said...

Wow. wth?

My oldest sister was in an abusive relationship when she was in her early twenties. She is 48 now. I clearly remember the day that my Dad & 2 other guy friends of my sister (one of which was an ex-boyfriend of mine) came & moved her out of their apartment.

You can't take any chances. This shit DOES happen. No one EVER 'deserves' it.

This is so messed up. I am so sorry that this is going on. The stress & anxiety must feel like a hug pit in your stomach.

I am dealing with some murphy stuff (he's home 'sick') but i will get you my number at some point. I have a feeling your situation isn't going to clear up anytime soon. Sorry kiddo.

Andrea said...

I can't even imagine, glad you are there for her. Sending some good thoughts your way. As for the living situation we had my eighteen year old sister live with us for a year good lord I needed Valium lol I think it was more the 18 year old part but geez she had to pay us rent very modestly, other than that she had her own restroom/room so I didn't have to see it but the main living areas she always vacuumed and if she used a dish she washed it but didn't pay for food or even personal products I was a crazy coupon person at the time ha. It was nice to have a sitter at the last minute (if she wasn't working)or if I needed to make a quick run to the store with out having to drag a baby and a two year old with me hallelujah it was glorious. The hardest part was trying to help her grow up seriously the teenage years are not something I look forward to at all with my kids.I would say the one thing that helped was setting expectations up front, i.e we expect you to know you can't bring guys over, no illegal anything in our house obviously. I hope it works out and it can be a blessing if you can call it that to have two extra hands around.

Kellie said...

I was in an abusive relationship myself for about 3 years...age 16-19. My parents ended up taking out a restraining order, taking my car, and anything they could think of to keep him away from me. And even though I slept in their room for 3 months out of fear, I still snuck around to see him for 4 more months. Sounds crazy I know. I feared him, but I was so brainwashed that I thought I couldn't live without him....and that he wouldn't let me live without him. One day I went to see him and I actually 'saw' what everybody else did and I never saw or talked to him again. I have seen him a few times since then and I don't even have to lay eyes on him to know he's there. As a matter of fact I was one of those 'use my husband's facebook' people because I didn't want to put my name on my own. I finally did and within 12 hours I had a friend request and a message.

I think that what people don't understand is that most of the time the abuse is progressive. I mean if someone punched you on the first date then most likely you wouldn't go out with them again! It irks me when people say they would never stay in an abusive relationship because until you have experienced it you can't understand it. While it seems as simple as choosing yourself and your safety, it isn't. Everybody loved this guy...guess he saved his 'special' side for certain people.

So, honestly....screw the people who are being discouraging you and Mr. F and who are being judgemental. She needs someone willing to fight for her until she can fight for herself. You get a big high five from me! Praying she sees the light sooner rather than later.

Mrs Furious said...

" I feared him, but I was so brainwashed that I thought I couldn't live without him....and that he wouldn't let me live without him.

"I think that what people don't understand is that most of the time the abuse is progressive."
Yes, I keep trying to explain that to her. She is having a hard time understanding how it got so bad. She keeps saying "it used to be great" and hoping there is going to be a way to go back to that if she just follows all his rules and stops upsetting him.

While she was here for 5 days she was able to see things much more clearly and *knew* she needed to leave. He actually broke up with her yesterday (because he was getting agitated with her independence) but when she didn't cave to that as he expected he was telling her he loved her again. She went back yesterday "to pack". Today she texted me that everything is "great so far". So one step forward two back. I worked on a DV hotline for 4 years so thankfully I went into this fully prepared for the back and forth. Unfortunately we're 600 miles away. I'm still hopeful that she'll move forward and come back out the next time she is scared or realizes that there really is no "great time" to go back to.

that is what I've been trying to tell her! It escalates. She moved in and things intensified very quickly. She had had a bad feeling and her intuition was telling her she shouldn't move in... within one week it had become physically threatening and was worse 5 days later. She keeps describing it with the relationships old terms "I know his pattern, he gets mad but always apologizes, I'll be fine" and you have to point out... "No, not anymore. He used to apologize but he's making you apologize now." It's pretty scary. She sit here and have 99.5% negative interaction with him and still want to describe it as 50% good. I have to point out that 50% good/50% bad is a pretty bad relationship... by no means a healthy goal.
I'm 100% sickened by my fucking Dad's response to all this. It's very disturbing. When we couldn't figure out if she was dead or alive after she posted on FB for someone to call 911 and gave her address... he didn't drive down to find her... he called me to berate me and demand I convince him that she was being abused because "I just saw them on Saturday and they seemed perfectly happy." Yeah, well, one week later she needed the police... not everything is what it seems... get with the fucking program.

I told her we'd need her to pay the difference in our utility bills if they go up (and with her hair care they will) Contribute toward our food bill ($20/week), and clean up Baby's room (which Kid, Mr F,and mom all responded to with hysterical laughter... her room is a nightmare) since it can be done at any time... unlike dishes or cleaning that I'll need done when I need it. She also would need to watch the girls one night a week and I'd assume that if she was home I could leave them when I did errands, etc. She was on board with all of that. I think that is extremely fair and will keep down any resentments on either side. We definitely want to help but with a hand up not out. I told her I'd be happy to charge her more for rent and funnel that money into a savings account she could use for a security deposit and furniture when she was ready to move out, once she's got a full time job. I really hope she accepts our offer, there will be some stress and drama (for sure) but we'd love to have her and help her start over.

katieo said...

oh geez. I'm so sorry. That is some serious drama all around. I'm sorry you're in the middle of it (and yet SO GLAD you are!)

Mrs Furious said...

thank you, Katie.
I'm tired. But I know we are doing the absolute right thing and if that unearths hard truths may we all be better for it.

Brenda said...

Thanks for sharing this. Sending all my positive energy to you, Mr. F. and your sister.

Mrs Furious said...

tonight feels like we just slipped back to where we started. Trying so hard to stay level at all times... the pattern with her is that she'll frustrate you and then you'll get angry and then she'll totally withdraw. So I keep just telling myself that and try not to let it get to me. Also trying to find the middle road... figure out when I need to call it out.. when I need to give it a rest. I had to finally say tonight "so you are playing this amnesia style?... like nothing that happened in the past week actually happened?" and she said "yeah." Oh God... it is so trying. This has been my whole life for 2 straight weeks. I can barely do anything else. We haven't been able to sleep our usual hours (she might start texting me at 4:30AM) . The girls are over it. It stresses them out... Baby said at Target "I can't talk about her... it's stressing me out!"

Mrs Furious said...

And yet I know that what she's doing to me (or the way this out-of-control push-pull all the time is doing) is EXACTLY what it has been like for in this relationship. And two weeks of being consumed by something you can't control that demands all of your attention... that you can't anticipate... that never responds the way it should... can break you down, and she's been living this way for a long time. Much longer than the two weeks I've been suffering through. I tell her that, so she can feel less crazy. Of course she doesn't know which way is up anymore... nothing makes sense. It is too hard to try and figure it out and you just want to pretend it isn't happening. I get it. I just have to *keep* getting it for as long as it takes.

Elizabeth said...

Thinking of all of you. We missed you at Thanksgiving, but it was great to see the girls.

Julie said...

Oh God, Mrs. F. It is such a fine line between supporting & encouraging and alienation. I remember now that my best friend in college had a boyfriend on & off all through college who slowly crept into being controlling, abusive, but still "such a great guy." I lived with this woman all 4 years & it was painful to watch and try to support, but not alienate her--especially when he was back in her life. Oh, and this guy was from a very well-to-do family from CT. And my friend, a gorgeous, smart girl. It took several years even after college that she finally escaped that relationship. She is married & living in Vermont with a sweetheart of a guy, has 3 beautiful kids. Want to know where that 'super great, kind guy' is? Freaking prison for assault & battery on another girlfriend. It escalates. I hope your sister is able to get away from this. I can't believe I didn't think of this right away. Probably because she never had a bruise on her. I instantly thought of my sister's story because of her black eye.

My mom is so aware of this type of shit because of her daughter (my sister) that even NOW if she sees a few bruise on my leg or arm, she looks at me very seriously and asks to make sure that no one is hurting me...meaning Tom, who she LOVES more than anything. I always let her know she should be more concerned about Tom, than me, because I would kick his ass;). Just kidding.

Damn, my parents would have gotten in the car (or enlisted someone else) to check on your sister if they saw that post on FB. You don't mess around with this shit.

And Kellie, thanks for sharing your story. Sadly, people, this stuff is real & can happen to anyone.

Mrs. F, thankfully she has you and Mr. F. as a role model in how a relationship works. I would always try to tell my best friend that it doesn't have to be so hard. But I would bite my tongue from really letting her know how I felt because I was afraid I'd lose her.

Kellie said...

Mrs. F,
"He actually broke up with her yesterday (because he was getting agitated with her independence) but when she didn't cave to that as he expected he was telling her he loved her again." He isn't very original is he? Sounds like a classic abuser to me. I have always loved reading your blog, but I have a whole new respect for you now. I know how hard it is for you to stand by and be patient. Thankfully my family stood by me, but he managed to run all of my friends off.

"And Kellie, thanks for sharing your story. Sadly, people, this stuff is real & can happen to anyone." Thanks for that...I debated for quite a bit before I hit publish. Ultimately I figure the only good that can come from that happening to me is that I know what to look for in a person with my own daughter and to show others that it CAN happen to anyone.

Mrs Furious said...

Oh I'm so glad you did post your original comment! It makes me feel like there is hope that we can get her to see the truth (soon). She said yesterday she thinks she'll be back here before xmas. That it is just hard for her to leave because she loves him... then admitted they'd had a "tiff" and then later admitted she can only text me if she is in the bathroom... which is EXACTLY how this whole cycle started 2 weeks ago.

In a rather unconventional move I signed her up for here, made a simple free profile, which lets me look at available guys (fun I'm not going to lie) and guys can email her. SO she is getting tons of emails of guys who are interested in her... out here. I figure I she has tangible proof that there are other guys out there maybe that will help her see that it isn't this guy or no one. PS she was onboard... which also gives me hope that she really does want to want to leave.

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