Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rescue and Recovery of Domestic and Emotional Abuse

Do you know someone who is in a bad relationship and they do not know how to get out of it?

They may be living with this person or involved with them from a distance and they just do not know how to let go of the dependency of that relationship in whatever capacity it may be.  It is more likely than not that you do know of someone in this situation and people have probably tried to help them in more ways than one with their efforts going nowhere…fast.  You probably learned that the only way out of this situation is if the person trying to get out actually wants to get out.  It is similar to that of a drug addict who says they know they need help but does not actually do anything to get the help they need.  It is a fact that it must start with the addict wanting help and enabling the people around them to act on it as painful as it may be.  It is the same for a person who is in a bad relationship, the addiction to the relationship, and the effort and emotions it takes to end it.  It is not easy no matter how you look at it but the truth is there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. 

This brings me to a case I recently put my heart and soul into that is still in the process of being resolved.  I tell this story, among others, in the hopes it will help somebody else that may know someone or is in a similar situation.  It all began when I received a phone call from a panicked mother of a daughter who was threatening to kill herself.

My client was a success as far as education and employment was concerned but she was not as successful in her personal life with self esteem or confidence.  She got involved with a man who was married with a child who was kicked out of his house.  She invited him to live with her after knowing him for a short time and pursued a “friends with benefits” relationship with him.  He had a good job and was ultimately ordered to pay child support that took the majority of his money leaving my client paying the bills including the mortgage, utilities, and food.  Sure, he went to work and came home, cooked dinner, and slept with my client but that is as far as it went.  There was no love on his part except for the material things my client gave him including a roof over his head.  In her own words, “I am missing the love being reciprocated but I can’t do any better so I am keeping him around.”  Does this sound familiar?

After secretly aborting his child knowing full well he was “not the one” she felt an enormous amount of guilt but was not willing to part way with him.  She knew he lied to her and believed he was the person vandalizing her car but was not willing to neither take action against him nor end the relationship.  She was at the bottom of her emotional scale and had absolutely no self esteem wanting to take her own life.  

After a couple of hours speaking with her I came to the conclusion that she wanted this man to leave her home and her life but she did not want to or have the heart to kick him out.  She felt the guilt of aborting his child and that was one factor that was keeping her from ending it not to mention the fact that she did not think she could do any better.  In her mind she deserved to be punished as she was punishing herself.  She was at the lowest that a person could go.  The minute I met her she poured her heart out to me with tears streaming down her face.  It was a sign of desperation and a literal cry for help.  Keeping in mind all the pain she was feeling and that she may not have been hearing what I was saying with my words I wrote down the steps she needed to take in order to move forward with her life when she was ready to make the move to rid herself of the man who shared her home and the emotional baggage that she was holding on to.  I assured her that she would not be going through it alone and someone would be there to hold her hand every step of the way. She was in a very dark hole that she could not climb out of by herself.  Her friends were there, sure, but they weren't really there.  They listened to her, advised her, and even promised to take matters in to their own hands and do something about it but they was only words.  Nobody followed through or did anything to help end the pain and suffering.  In this case it was my opinion that she would have been fine with her friends kicking him out on her behalf as long as she didn't have to be there to witness it.  But, even then it was predicted that he would call and text her and in her weak frame of mind she would have taken his calls allowing him back into her life.  

My advice comes with experience from working on domestic and emotional abuse rescue and recovery missions.  It is not an easy task to handle and requires proper planning in a short period of time with safety being the number one factor.  For example the first domestic case I worked on early in my career in 1998 involved the welfare of two children whose mother had planned to illegally take them out of state while a joint custody ruling was in place for my client, the father of the children.  His soon to be ex wife and her new boyfriend had planned to move all of the furniture out of my client’s house and take the children by airplane to California.  The tickets had been bought and the moving truck was scheduled.  My job was to protect the children.  It was a matter of taking the children out of school and taking them to a safe place until the mother agreed to stop the madness or go to jail.  It was her choice.  There was a lot more involved in this case but the important matter at hand was resolved.  Ultimately, the mother agreed to cooperate with the courts and honor the separation agreement.  Months later I received a telephone call from my client stating that everything worked out well for everyone in the end.

The other day I received a phone call from my client who said she was ready to move forward but was she really?  To be continued……………

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