Sunday-Update 4: Overwhelming gratitude are insufficient words right now for the response here. I am here now, right now my child is safe, but these children are dying.You've done so much to support me in helping my child. The best thing for our spirit right now, and my daughter would agree, would be to unrec this diary and Rec up Jaxdem's diary. If you can't afford to donate, getting it on the Rec list for more eyes in this escalating tragedy is a great form of support.
Again, my thanks to each and every one of you.
As I write this I'm flying to the city where my second of three daughters lives.
She lives in hell, a controlling, abusive relationship.
Several times she's left and gone back.
Countless times she's called and asking for a way back to her home state.
This time I'm going not to get her or save her, although that miracle would be wonderful, but for a much different reason.
At this stage things have escalated to a point I'm have to see her because I'm not sure I'll see her alive again if I don't go now.
I have to see her because maybe, just maybe, this will be the time I get through to her,
As I sit in this plane I had to do something, anything, to be able to be objective somehow, so I use teh Google to focus on what to do and what not to do.
I found this:
If you have a friend who is the victim of domestic violence, you're not alone. Relatives and friends are those who victims will confide in in these situations. But don't feel helpless as your relative or friend confides in you about the abuse. There are practical things you can do to help at this time of trial and difficulty. Here are some tips:
This is one of the most important things you can do. Remember that they are confiding in you while they have kept this problem a secret from others. Find a quiet place where you can talk safely and without interruption. Encourage them to talk about the abuse.
- Believe them
Do not deny the abuse is happening. Do not judge them. Show them that you support them no matter what they decide to do about their relationship, whether it is staying with or leaving the abusive partner on a temporary or permanent basis or not doing anything about it.
- Respect them
Show your friend that you respect their ability to handle this situation and their ability to cope with it. This can help them regain their own strength and build confidence to deal with it.
- Respect their feelings
In cases of domestic violence, victims need their feelings validated. To ignore the abuse and sweep it under the rug is wrong and will only serve to keep their feelings inside and the problem to worsen. This is dangerous and destructive.
- Do not advise
As difficult as it is, it is necessary to do this, especially when your friend first confides in you. The best thing to do is to help your friend reach their own decisions about what to do and when to do it. Help them identify their own options and consequences which might follow. For instance, mention that if the victim does not seek help, she is exposing her kids to abuse as well. Just spell out the options without forcing her to take a specific step.
- Tell them they are not to blame
This is important because blame is how the abuser often justifies the abuse. Let them know that no one has the right to abuse another. Tell them what you have learned about spousal violence and cycle of violence. Remind them that Allah does not allow a man to abuse his wife.
- Discuss safety
Talk to your friend about shelters and other safe places. Discuss how to obtain their services and tell them about creating a protection plan (see tips for victims of domestic violence in the West for more details).
- Encourage them to seek help
Persuade them not to ignore the problem and to deal with it for the sake of themselves and their family. Accompany them if they need your support to places like shelters, legal aid, etc.
If you have an Imam you can trust to deal with this situation appropriately, encourage them to seek his help first. It is more likely your friend will feel comfortable with an Imam and an Islamic center than in mainstream social services.
- Do NOT speak to the partner
This is a big no-no and can worsen the situation. If the abusing partner finds out you know about the situation, he will most likely get even angrier and take it out on the abused partner more than before, as a punishment for telling others about the problem.
- Keep in contact with them
One of the things abusers do is isolate their victims from family and friends. This makes it easier to perpetrate the domestic violence, since there is no one around to object. Keep in contact with your friend as much as possible, by phone or e-mail at least, to ensure that she has a link with the outside world and that she is not alone, suffering in silence.
Another article I found focuses on what the victim needs to know.
Sharing this has the dual purpose of venting and at the same time raising awareness of what we can do as friends and relatives of victims of abuse.
Number ten is a big reason for this trip. One more time I must reach out and let her know she's not alone.
Pass these tips on, don't give up and get angry at the victim.
I know too well while you're in that cycle there is unexplainable blindness and denial.
So I fly high and pray to whatever may hear and be grateful that in a few hours I can hug her and let her know, once again, that she's not alone.
This I share not for sympathy, but for sanity, good thoughts, and even prayers if that is comfortable for you.
UPDATE 1:My battery is going. I'll catchup with comments when I land for my layover. Thanks to all of you for helping me exhale a bit, being a sounding board, and sharing hope.
UPDATE 2:My layover is shorter than I planned so I cannot respond to many comments right now. When I opened this diary again I was overwhelmed by this
Your thoughts, prayers, suggestions, and resources are inspiring. Especially those who have shared their own experience, whether past or present, in their own life or with a loved one
The last my youngest heard from her sister she was walking to somewhere safe, he had taken her clothes away, and now he's turned her cell phone off.
UPDATE 3: First, and most important, is that she is safe at this time. I'm close enough to where she is that I won't be here for long.
The fact this is still on the Rec list speaks volumes about this community.
Pain shared is pain lessened.
I will be back to read more comments and reply, as I'm able.
As I type I realize that I'm just babbling out text because I'm not sure what words express my gratitude and how touched I am.
In less than an hour I can put my arms around my baby girl.
That doesn't mean she'll leave, or stay gone, but thanks to the feedback and input from these comments I am a bit wiser and stronger.
And for a brief moment when I wrap my arms around her all the world will be good, and all of you will be with me in spirit.