Pull me out of the water? No, that just won't work.
July 13, 2012 12:15 PM Subscribe
My friend is in an abusive relationship and refuses help. How do I cope?
posted by fearnothing to Human Relations (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I realise that the "refuses help" part probably means "nothing for her". How do I deal with this in our friendship? When the subject of the abuse comes up I find it impossible to say nothing, but when I do anything beyond saying "you poor thing" and changing the subject, she takes umbrage.
Despite having moved out of home years ago, her mother remains the final authority in her life. She is frequently yelled at over the phone on any number of issues; I once had coffee with her and she received a call berating her for not having checked in (and I understood the checking in was supposed to happen more than once a day, regardless of whether she was meeting anyone). Things she doesn't want to be harangued about must be kept secret; I don't think her mother has caught wind of any relationships, or she most likely would have been ordered to end them.
Although all of this seems to happen at a distance, she is convinced that if she tried to take any kind of control, it would end up with her mother arriving at her flat, unlocking the door (mother has a copy of the key, this was probably a requirement of her moving out though I haven't asked) and shouting at her in person.
I know all of the advice MeFi would give for helping this person out of the situation, but she doesn't let me say much about it. She doesn't believe that there is a way out, and thinks that her only option is to suck it up and live with it. I find this immensely troubling and struggle with not saying anything every time it comes up in conversation, which is at least twice a month.
So, MeFi, do I just suck it up as well? What else is there for me to do?