I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a good friend that is dealing with a personal crisis. Up until now, I hadn’t wanted to get into too many details as my friend is a private person…but I’m at a loss right now, and well, I could really use some support and/or advice.
Several years ago my friend reunited with someone whom she was very close to back in high school. She had moved out of the area after she graduated, and had lost touch with almost everyone…but thanks to technology and internet social networking…they got back in contact and my friend paid her old friend a visit.
The visit went well and soon after my friend made the decision that she was going to move back to her old hometown with her old friend and his son. They soon got engaged and got married. I was the maid of honor, and I really, truly believed in their marriage. I thought that my friend’s husband was a good guy and I adored his son, considered him like a nephew.
Things seemed okay, though I only saw my friend a few times after the wedding…once when they came down for Thanksgiving, then she was my Matron of Honor in my own wedding (trivia, Hubby and I got engaged on the way home from her wedding) and then they visited when they were going to visit my friend’s family. Each time I saw them, everything seemed good and I honestly thought it was a good solid marriage. They were the reason I took a chance on my own Hubby, despite the physical distance between us.
Not long after my friend and her husband returned from their most recent trip to visit her family, my friend started telling me about some problems they were having…mostly with some trust issues she was having. I listened and gave her advice when I could but I didn’t get too super concerned as I still thought her husband was ultimately a good guy and that they needed to work on their communication skills, but ultimately it would probably work itself out.
About a month ago or so, my friend messaged me on Facebook and I could tell she was distraught. The problems that they had been having had magnified ten fold and he had taken his son and left my friend. It wasn’t clear if it was a temporary thing, just a break while they cooled down but over the next few days my friend opened up more and more to me and it was clear that her husband was NOT a good person. He wasn’t physically abusive, but emotionally he has been doing a number on her from the time she moved in with him. He was controlling, manipulative, a bully, etc. and Hubby and I spent countless hours that week talking to my friend, giving her as much emotional support as we could, and Hubby helped her get in contact with the right people at the VA who could help her get safe and help her get on her feet.
So right now she isn’t in any immediate danger from her husband…at least physical, but he is still playing mind games and harassing her and people she knows (he attempted to call me a few times, but I let his calls go to voice mail…). When they were together, he discouraged my friend from getting a job so now she is trying to find employment with little luck. She has no transportation, nor money. If it wasn’t for the VA’s assistance, who knows what could have happened…
I am worried sick about her. I sent her money a few weeks ago to help her out….but now aside from daily text messages and phone calls, I don’t know what to do. This situation is taking such a huge toll on her both psychologically and physically and I feel so hopeless. Every day I feel as though I should jump in my car and just start driving, but I know that once I’m there, there won’t be anything I can do really do. I want to get my friend out of there, but I know that until the paperwork is completed and signed, she won’t be able to go anywhere…and he’s holding up that process in order to attempt to control the situation even more. I’m trying to give her advice and emotional support but I don’t know what to say sometimes. She’s beginning to blame herself for putting up with that…and I just don’t know how to convince her that it isn’t her fault.
And this is also taking a toll on me. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting for me in trying to help but I can’t step away. I know if the situation was reversed, my friend would be doing the same exact thing for me. I do have Hubby who’s been a huge support…and tonight I talked to my Mom but up until tonight I really haven’t been telling her stuff as she was dealing with my Dad’s surgery and hospital stay.
I’d appreciate any advice or insight. Has anyone gone through a similar situation, and how did you deal? And if you were ever in my friend’s shoes…what did you most need from others?