What can i do for my friend??

Avatar for parislver
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What can i do for my friend??
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 1:00pm
Hi everyone,

I lurk here sometimes and would like to ask ya'll for some help. I, myself am free of my sorry dh, someone who would not work and help pay the bills. We were together for 6 yrs and on April 1 (next week) we will be divorced. Well, i have been living with my parents since i left him and took on a part-time job at a local country grocery store, about a mile from my house. My mom works there also. I used to work there about 12 yrs ago when i was in high-school and college. One of my co-workers then was married to a man that wouldn't work steady and was on drugs. She and her family has been friends with our family for years (it's a small area where we live). She had left her husband two other times, but went back both times.

Well, last fall she found out she had breast cancer. She immediately had a lumpectomy done and started with radiation treatment, we just found out that she had stage 3 cancer. While taking radiation, she was extremely tired and couldn't eat, etc. And her husband quit his job, we are thinking because he wouldn't pass a drug test. If he was laid off he could have gotten unemployment, but he never came into the office where i work, to apply for it.

At the store where we work, we are allowed to charge groceries and then the boss takes it out of our paychecks. Which is great, but for my friend, her husband would come in and charge over $100 a week to her in cigarettes, so he could resell them for money for drugs, crack being his choice right now. I mean, while she is going through cancer treatment and not working that much, he was charging her whole paycheck away no cigarettes, steaks, anything so he could get money. Well, our boss said he couldn't do that any more, so that helps alot.

Anyway, she lives behind the store, across the street. On tuesday, when the butcher came back to work, he heard her husband raising holy h**l at her. He was in the yard and she was in the house. He didn't hear or see the butcher pull up to work, but when he turned around and saw him, he went in the house. She has told me my mom that she couldn't deal with everything when she was going through the radiation, and actually she says that her mind was very clouded then, so that was probably a good thing. But now she is taking chemo (i may have the treatments backwards, she has already taken the ones that make you real sick, now she is doing the other) she is feeling alot better now and i think is getting tired of it all. But i know her self esteem is very low and probably wonders how she would make it without him. But he hasn't worked in months. he has told her and his mom that he was going to rehab, would go for a few hours and then leave.

He makes me sick. To think that she had breast cancer of all things and he has done like this totally disgusts me. My mom has told her that she could move into her house, as i am moving on my own soon. I would even share my place with her. i just don't know what to do for her right now. I WANT to go up to her house and tell her to get a few things and come on with me. But that's not very realistic. His family has said that they would help her anyway they could. Two of his brothers actually got so mad at him a few years ago and beat him up.

I guess after all this message writing, i just need to know what i can do for her. I keep hoping that after going through this she will really see where her life is heading. It took me going through a miscarriage last year to realized what type of man i was married to and where my life was heading. So i'm hoping that this will make her see how precious life is and that everyone deserves to be happy. She has been married at least 20 yrs and has a son that won't really have anything to do with his dad. Her son has a child not quite a yr old, which i believe is the only thing that has helped her get through this. Thanks for hanging in here this long, i just can't believe that she has put up with this. Which i know what i put up with, but finally i got to a point where i couldn't stand it any more. what can i do to help her?



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 2:37pm
Hi Marie, Welcome to the board!...

Your friend certainly has been through a lot, I am very sorry that she has had to deal with such a miserable partner in her life, especially while she was going through cancer treatment.

You are already doing the best thing you can do for her, you are there to listen, to be her friend, to help in any way you can and even to offer her a place to stay. I hope she takes you up on that offer. I know how tempting it is to walk up to her door and tell her to just pack a few things and let's go, and it wouldn't hurt to let her know you are ready to do that, but in reality the final decision has to be up to her and if she leaves before she is ready, there is a good chance that she will just end up going back. Breaking the conditioning abuse has over you is tough under the best circumstances, and for a person to stay out they have to be completely ready and resolved not to live in the abuse anymore and to cut all ties with the abuser.

Have you read 'How To Help A Victim' on our homepage? I am sure you have since you said you lurk here sometimes. That article really sums it up, and from what I am reading in your post, you are already giving your best to this situation. I just hope your friend listens, and is ready to step out and get free from this abuser, she deserves so much more!

Hang in there hon, she is very lucky to have someone like you to care so much for her and her situation.


Avatar for cl_mizlizzy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:18am
Hi Marie! Welcome to the board. Your friend is very fortunate that you care and want to help her.

Jeepster's suggestions above are excellent, but I wanted to welcome you too. It's great that you were able to break free from your abuser. Best wishes in court next week!!

While it's hard to understand why someone stays, your friend is dealing with a number of issues, and when the time is right for her, she will take steps to break free also. Knowing that someone cares, and really understands what she is dealing with, including her "reasons" for why she stays, will help her so much. The more information she has about abuse, along with support, and resources, the more likely she is to get out and stay out.

Please, keep reading, all you can, and post as much as you want/need to. We are all here for you, and her, completely understanding and caring.

Best wishes to you, as you continue to heal, grow, and move forward with your life.