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where have you been all these years? oh, just being held prisoner...

September 1st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

So, I was just contacted by a friend on facebook that I have not talked to for over a year. She moved inland where the rent is cheaper, with a guy (that I was not fond of) and popped out three kids in four years. Our contact has been patchy since she left school in year 11 (2003). I've tried to keep in contact with her, I really did. I sent her money and stamps and wrote to her more than she wrote back, and visited her early last year once with a friend when she stayed in a place more than a few months. But she moved last year and sent me a card saying she would write soon with her new address, and then didn't. Then I moved (but redirected my mail) and haven't had any contact until now.

It turns out that the guy she was with was abusing her, keeping her prisoner and not letting her have friends, and made them move around a lot. She is safe now, many many hours away from where I live - and he is going to jail next week.

I am glad to hear her and her children are safe, and I do plan to keep in better contact with her from now on.

I know I should not be thinking of myself right now but I really cannot help it. It just brings back too many memories of my own past. Am I horrible if I do not want to hear any details? I guess I should swallow my own feelings and let her vent but it is very painful all the same. She is very blase about it all.

8 Responses to “where have you been all these years? oh, just being held prisoner...”

  1. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    Wow.. that is kind of shocking...

    I won't even attempt to advise you re letting her vent...

    I'll just say I'm glad that guy is going to jail and that she has at least her physical freedom back - for herself and the kids...

    I wish her all the best...

  2. Nika Says:

    You don't have to give details on the forum.

    I may be too synical and judgmental, but your friend does not ellicit much sympathy from me because she so casually chose to bring kids into that situation.

    I feel it extremely selfish and irresponsible thing to do and that women with kids who choose to stay in abusive situations for years just DON'T LOVE THEIR KIDS ENOUGH!!!!

    I mean when they finally leave, they want sympathy. "I have been abused all these years". Well, you allowed your children to be emotionally abused in their formative years, and you are an ADULT! And those who think that they manage to hide it from their kids, that the kids don't feel the atmosphere of that house, that they don't understand... they are in denial.

  3. north georgia gal Says:

    I completely understand not wanting details from her. If you can't handle it, just tell her. "I really want to be here for you, but I just can't go through this again." It is something I have had to learn the hard way...do what you are capable of and don't feel bad about it!

  4. whitestripe Says:

    nika: i am sorry but i cannot agree with you, i personally was in the situation as the child, my mother was abused for years and was unable to leave. there is so much more at play than being 'selfish and irresponsible'.
    when you are made to be dependant on another person who withholds everything from you, it is a very hard situation and not just as easy as 'leaving'. i know it may be hard for you to understand if you have not been through something like that, but those women do not CHOOSE to stay - they are held there physically or emotionally, by monetary restriction, threats and violence.
    my mother left after four years - that was in 1998. since then he set fire to our rental house, kidnapped my little brother for 6 months, appeared at my high school one day, has stalked my family here, my father (two states away), and my older brother and sister. We constantly see him around and every time I see him, or someone who looks like him, I start to shake and can't breathe. i am not ASKING for sympathy, and neither is my mother. he was not abusive at the start, he very sneakily and manipulatively got her to cut ties with all her friends and even family, and then the abuse started. she had not money, and we had one car, which he used for work. we did not have a phone for a long time. she was threatened with her death and the death of her family if she left. so i'm sorry, but i know that my mother does love her kids, you may not see it that way but your comment made me sad, i just had to explain an alternate point of view. i don't expect you to understand, because it seems you have not been in a siutation like that, but hopefully you will realise it is hurtful to say things like that. i apologise for the details if you did not want them - believe me, thats only the glossy veneer of what went on.

  5. cassandra Says:

    *hugs*

    My sympathies to you and your friend. I can't even begin to understand what either one of you went through.

    But I will say this: if you feel that you cannot listen to her talk about her experience, you don't have to. I'm sure it is hard to listen to someone else describe it and if you don't think you can handle it (or even if you don't want to hear it) just tell her nicely that you are not the person to talk about it with.

  6. Nika Says:

    Dear Whitestripe,

    I am sorry for your pain. You have been hurt by growing up in an abusive household. It affected you. You have strong reactions to this day. Your scars are there. That is my point. Women who believe that they are managing to shield their kids from the effects of what is going on in their house are WRONG.

    If the kids are never touched or abused themselves, that stress and that fear, not feeling safe and relaxed in their own house... that leaves an imprint on them and won't be forgotten.

    I have seen it myself too. Close to home. So I feel very passionate about this topic as well.

    And I do blame the mothers for staying. And only in a few extreme cases there is real fear of actual murder. Most of the time it is just difficult and scary to change ones life. Many choose to stay because it is all they know and one has to actually try hard and do something to change. It is ok when it is just your own life, but not when you have a child.

    But to stay for financial motives???? to put your child through this to have a nicer lifestyle or because you are afraid of poverty? A child would be far happier in a studio apartment with a mom and a sibling where she feels safe and relaxed in than a big house with a yard and all the toys, where stress is in the air and mommy is helpless. A home is supposed to be a place where you always feel safe. It is an emotional quality, not associated with income levels. And it is a parents responsibility to provide at least that for a child.

    So I do not accept the "held emotionally" or by monetary restrictions. These reasons do not supersede emotional needs of their child.

    And a woman who chooses to stay in this situations for her emotional reasons is doing exactly that - putting her needs ahead of her child's need to feel safe. I feel great sympathy for the children, but not for women who are complacent in allowing this emotional abuse.

  7. whitestripe Says:

    nika, i appreciate your opinion. i know we have differing stances on this and that's ok. my mother didn't stay for financial motives, but more the fact that she had absolutely nothing at all, and that her ex knew the whereabouts of every possible womens shelter in the state, he was very paranoid. he also did nearly kill us all, several times.
    i don't blame my mother for the situation we were in and i guess that is all that is important.

  8. Jerry Says:

    That's horrible about your friend. I understand wanting to protect yourself. That's your only insurance to keep your sanity sometimes. I hope this reconnection leads to deeper friendship with your friend.
    Jerry

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