My cousin showed up to dinner with-a black eye

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Grrr - I feel - MAD :mad:

    Although I had a wonderful thanksgiving with my family, my cousin that I am the closest to, and who is the baby of the family, came to dinner with a black eye, again. And the culprit sat beside her, again. They have been together 15 years, and I guess it will never stop. She has tried to leave him, comes back. Vice a versa. After my Dad's memorial we really connected, and I really hoped that connection would continue when I moved to the NW where she also lives. But not so much I guess. I have invited her up a few times to my place, but she has declined - which is fine - I know she is carrying the huge burden and secret of abuse. I have been there done that.

    When they walked in the door the first thing her husband said to me was, "oh, you see K 's face, haha. She didn't cook the chicken pot pie the right way. You know it needs to be golden not yellow. Haha." I just felt paralyzed. Then K, just as normal as any normal person could talk said some stupid thing about the car door hitting her on the face. Uh, huh. Right.

    My Mom later said, yea - "K said the door hit her." I was like REALLY? Do not buy into this anymore. You KNOW. I KNOW. She has told us the things R has done. It is not even a secret. Why stay in denial, just call a spade a spade.

    I guess the thing is that R has been doing "so much better" due to his new life coach, blah, blah, blah. Her parents, and my Mom seemed all encouraged as if this is really gonna change a lifelong abuser. (Sorry, I know it may change the 2% - but we all know the odds here.)

    I seriously want to punch this guy in the face, every time I see him. Like just drop kick him. I hate the lies, the false promises that the family believes, the pain she must be in and does not feel like she can share. I love K - so, so much. More than any other member of my extended family - we just connect. I told her at my Dad's memorial that she was going to end up dead, if she didn't leave R. (The things he has done, far surpass just a black eye.) I even paid for her to stay longer at that time, so she could hopefully get some distance from him.

    Geez - just had to tell someone. :angry-very:
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I know what the cycle of abuse can do to a person, and why they stay. been there done that... And won't ever go back.

    I will keep her in my thoughts. And him, too - only not the good vibes I'm sending her!
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. I think all you can do is make sure your cousin knows you care, and if the the time comes that she wants to leave? and I hope it does, that she can count on you for support.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't know if you can do this where you are, but here... if you are a family member (extended counts - even related-by-marriage, but not the next door neighbor, for some reason), you can call the police with a pre-incident report: you know that domestic violence is going on, involving these two people, living at address XYZ, phone numbers, etc. They will want details of what you have seen and heard already. What this does is... IF she ever calls police for help - they have an existing incident report, and so tend to react faster... if its a "first call", DV isn't always taken seriously.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    uggggggggg so sad. and frustrating for you. I hope she will one day decide to ask for support and make a plan to leave this jerk
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've known many many an abuser over the years and can't say I've ever actually known one to stop.......regardless of medications, therapy, whatever. If they stop, it's only for a short period of time. Which how can you count that as stopping when in the abuse cycle is the period where the abuse stops and they're "working hard to do better" crud. Based on a lifetime of experience, once an abuser crosses that line, it's a done deal forever. I'd like to meet someone who has actually overcome it, but even then I'd be extremely hard pressed to believe them.

    I do know the longer you stay, the harder it is to leave for various reasons. What your cousin needs is some intensive group therapy in a dv shelter. It helps a ton to listen to others who fell for the same old same old you fell for time and again......makes it easier for it to click it really is a pattern that runs in a circle without end......that helps them make the decision to finally walk away. It can take a lot of false starts before they finally muster the courage and the determination to be finished.

    It's a hard thing to watch knowing there is little you can do to actually help. I like IC's suggestion though, just to give the cops a heads up. I'd be sorely tempted to call that so called New Life Coach and tell him he's dropping the ball or being snowed out the wazoo.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm amazed you didn't punch him or at least escort him to the door. Or push his buttons until he goes after someone that will press charges.
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Totally get your anger and frustration - it's sad....

  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It's a very painful situation, Steely. As has been said, the longer the abused party stays, the harder it is to get out - I think there is an enormous well of self-hatred that accumulates, however suppressed, after staying with an abuser for a long time. It then becomes almost as if leaving means having to face the cowardice and fear of all the years one did not leave...
    I wasn't physically abused in my marriage but I was certainly verbally abused. We lived for a long time in a kind of toxic cycle of him (not me) saying he wanted a divorce and me begging him to stay when it got to crunch point. Sounds awful, doesn't it, particularly when it was so clear to all and sundry that we were desperately unhappy together - with little islands of reconciliation and mutual effort to be happy. But mainly it was just hellish and some of the things he did were just mad. And bad. Yet I wouldn't leave. I think I feared being alone. Feared failure and probably feared myself. Kept believing in the illusion that it would change, despite all the evidence. I complained about it endlessly to friends but would not act.
    And then... I became close friends with some dear, good Moroccans, husband and wife. They saw some of the madness, condemned it. Maybe I began to see some of the reality, admit it... I began to see that the abuse was unliveable and that I didn't want to live it any more. I began to want, more than having a husband or not being alone, peace of mind, sanity and wholesomeness. From that moment, it was clear - I wanted a divorce and stuck fast to that through all my husband's subsequent attempts to keep us together (when it came to it, he did not want to split up - also part of the madness).
    Physical abuse is that much more terrifying than verbal abuse (though verbal abuse can be pretty terrifying). I don't know what it would take for your cousin to stop agreeing to the madness. One's self esteem gets so completely shattered and that, more than anything - even the practical, material considerations - is what keeps one coming back for more. Are there children in the marriage??
    I hope she can come to her senses. It is really difficult for you to have to see her suffer like that.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. in my opinion the sickest thing about DV is that the abused often becomes convinced that they deserve it, or worse that everyone is like that so why bother reporting or leaving. even when they logically know that everyone is NOT like that, they still deep down think they are.

    There is no way he will change. No life coach or medication or whatever will stop it. the call to the cops and the one to the life coach sound like good, do-able ideas.
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes - It is all super sickening....I was in 2 marriages that were abusive. I know how this all works in the person's mind, and how hard it is to leave. I told her my story, several times when we were in Dallas together.

    The most angering thing is that even her own parent's believe her stories about her black eyes. (She is accident prone they say.)

    Last night Matt had a dream that he stood up at the Thanksgiving dinner table and told R off. Matt said, "it's weird, because I had a really nice time with him, and I thought I liked him, but obviously my subconscious knows differently." Yup, I said. (I chose not to bring up K's black eye to Matt, but on some level it is obvious what is going on.

    Thankfully she doesn't have kids. K knows I am here for her - that is all I can do.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It evidently is such a wide spread problem and in recent years they have discovered it often begins with teen couples who are dating. How I wish there were mandatory classes in middle school and high school for both sexes in hopes the early signs of abusive behavior could be recognized. I'm sorry your cousin is a victim. DDD
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yeah, should have realised you perhaps know the ropes, Steely. Don't know why I went on about my stuff - I think a lot of traumatic stuff is coming up for me at the moment, probably at the forefront of my mind.
    The secrecy and collusion are some of the most frightening aspects of abuse, I think. The pretending not to see... There was a wonderful Danish film Festen about this if anyone here has seen it? I recommend. Meantime, for your cousin, what hope? May she find a way out.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    ABSOLUTELY.....the secrecy and collusion. And how even their own family weave tales of denial to defend themselves from the truth. I just couldn't believe that my Aunt and Uncle chose to believe the story of a car door.

    Malika both of my marriages were mind numbing with verbal abuse, like yours. The physical rarely happened - but sometimes, like you, I think they are one in the same. I still have PTSD issues from both of those marriages. With R and K I know it is both physical and verbal. K has a huge drinking problem, has turned to drugs at times, struggles with anorexia. Her esteem is shot - and it does take a slight bit of confidence to be able to leave abuse. Just even a sliver, which is what I found back in 1994 - but it took me 7 years - before I could find a bit of self confidence.

    K has told me the stories of his abuse - so I know that the black eyes and bruises come from him. However, I think she has pulled back from talking to me because she is fearful that I will tell my mom who will tell her mom.

    Anyway - thanks for listening. I would call the police to report it, like you guys suggested but I just don't have enough concrete evidence. These are all stories she has told me, perhaps things that happened years ago.