What's the protocol for dealing with people in messed up relationships? (1 Viewer)

flashback

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I've learned that two people close to me are in damaging relationships in the space of a couple of weeks.

I talked to both of them about it... one conversation went very very badly, and one merely went quite badly.

Is there a protocol for dealing with this sort of thing?

I guess in the two cases above; one was physically and emotionally abusive, and one was extreme gaslighting/manipulative.

It's a very uncomfortable topic for me to talk about, because of my past. But I'm thinking that it must be extremely common to have friends and family in these kinds of relationships, no?
 

flashback

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I don't know what i'm looking at
Assuming I am learning stuff as I get older, the older I get the more I learn the more of unsure I am of everything.

I don't trust my opinions all that much, but abuse and gaslighting is shit, and my lizard brain told me I should probably tell them what I thought I saw. But... yeah, I don't know what I'm looking at either.

fuck it. Life goes on. I'm going to put more effort into the female getting physically beaten up over the other one, because... dunno, judgement. But, once again, fuck it.
 

egg_

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Assuming I am learning stuff as I get older, the older I get the more I learn the more of unsure I am of everything.
I think that's called "maturity". My idea of how much I know peaked in my early 30s - since then everything new I learn just emphasizes the fucking vastness of shit I haven't a clue about
 

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Don't offer advice unless you know the services available to them and the ins and out of domestic abuse and how it fucks up your head. Listening to them is more beneficial.
Encourage them to speak to Women's Aid or Men's Aid, they will assist with applying for protection from the Courts (Barring/Safety Orders), they offer counselling and outreach support also. Women's Aid can organise a bed in a refuge and support with dealing with Councils in relation to HAP if necessary.
If there's kids involved and they are exposed to any kind of domestic abuse, it is essential they can access services to process the abuse because of the psychological harm of witnessing violence or abuse in their home against a parent or other family member. If the child is in immediate danger ring 999. Contact your local Duty Social Work team if believe the child is at ongoing risk of harm.
If you want any more info send me a message.
 

riath

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Don't offer advice unless you know the services available to them and the ins and out of domestic abuse and how it fucks up your head. Listening to them is more beneficial.
Encourage them to speak to Women's Aid or Men's Aid, they will assist with applying for protection from the Courts (Barring/Safety Orders), they offer counselling and outreach support also. Women's Aid can organise a bed in a refuge and support with dealing with Councils in relation to HAP if necessary.
If there's kids involved and they are exposed to any kind of domestic abuse, it is essential they can access services to process the abuse because of the psychological harm of witnessing violence or abuse in their home against a parent or other family member. If the child is in immediate danger ring 999. Contact your local Duty Social Work team if believe the child is at ongoing risk of harm.
If you want any more info send me a message.
This is all excellent advice.
The fact that they felt safe to confide in you (even if you may have originally figured it out or however the conversation came about) is pretty brilliant. Actually being able to discuss the situation with someone is a huge thing so whatever other support you offer, you’ve already done something.
 

flashback

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This is all excellent advice.
The fact that they felt safe to confide in you (even if you may have originally figured it out or however the conversation came about) is pretty brilliant. Actually being able to discuss the situation with someone is a huge thing so whatever other support you offer, you’ve already done something.
Well... they kinda didn't really confide in me, in both cases I initially found out through someone else.

They then later talked, and conversation wheeled around to the subject. In both cases I more than likely would not have known what was going on unless someone else had told me. I think in general we might not see this because we don't want to see it.

I guess I'm trying to look for common themes. One pattern I've noticed in all abusive relationships is the ability of the abuser to occupy this space of fake helplessness, and use this as a tool to enable them to carry on behaving in the way they are doing.

I dunno. Abusive relationships are probably something that needs to be outed more in general. The issue is that no one wants to talk about it. Not the abuser, not the abused since it's mortifying, and not any of their friends or family, because it's so awful. People that work with this as a career... yeah... harder cases than most.
 

flashback

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+1
An old friend of mine was in an abusive marriage for 18 years before he told anyone
I was in an abusive relationship/marriage for >10 years before I even accepted the truth to myself, despite having been explicitly told three times, by three different mental health professionals.

It's still absolutely humiliating. Years later I've still more or less told nobody, other than strangers on the thumped winterwebs.

I hope your buddy is doing better these days, and I hope he has the option to not interact with his former partner.


I guess to give you an idea of how mangled people's thinking becomes when they are in this kind of place: I developed a phobia of phones, refused to carry one, was bought one by my job, which I left on silent and regularly lost. I vitriolically HATED phones, didn't have a mobile, didn't have a smart phone, couldn't use them and refused to try. The reality behind this was the phone was a main tool that was used for control, but instead of acknowledging the toxicity of the person, I blamed the phone. You will jump through almost every bizarre take conceivable to avoid confronting reality.

I dunno if any of this is useful. I think it is though.
 

Burgerbarbaby

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I hope you can stay the course for your friends, especially given your own story. It's a long long process, and a big ask for a friend. You do have a role to play, insofar as you can be a sounding board and as non-judgmental as possible. You don't need to be an expert to do this but you have to be careful, and stay level when you're hearing the disturbing stuff. Having got this out in the open a little bit will make it easier when/if your friends feel they can talk to the more qualified people. As Boobee points out, there's a lot of really important stuff to unravel - if there's a child in danger or a vulnerable adult, that has to take precedence over any more organic approach. In fact you're legally obliged to. Getting your friends to the place where they are able to be a bit objective and confident about improving their situation might take a while, but the point of it is that the person's agency over their own life-decisions is never taken away.
 

seanc

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Pretty shit. Pretty very shit. Needed to happen though. I prefer that it came to a head now rather than the 10 or 18 years of problems that have been mentioned above. And not an unsolvable problem.

Don't really want to go into more detail than that at the moment.
 

flashback

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Aaaaand guess what happened in my world the day after this thread started...
Fuck.

Really?

I'm very fucking sorry indeed.

The word sickening is used a lot, but... yeah, it's the best word I can find for this.

At the same time, it reminds me of that tree saying, in an oposite kind of way: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time to plant one is tomorrow.

As in, it would have been lovely if none of this happened at all, but given it has the sooner even the first step is made, the better.
 

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