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I don't think there's any way to quantify which type of abuse does the most damage. I've been physically and emotionally abused at different points in my life and even I don't know which damaged me more, although I suspect it was the
I don't think there's any way to quantify which type of abuse does the most damage. I've been physically and emotionally abused at different points in my life and even I don't know which damaged me more, although I suspect it was the emotional wearing down, but physical abuse can cause emotional damage.
The only advice I can give is to get her to talk to a councilor or a women's shelter worker.
My BFF, Kkay, referred me to this forum, and asked me to give some advice. Without delving into too much of my personal life, I somewhat recently went through this myself. I had a somewhat physical, though much more verbal/emotional abusive (now ex) husband, who I struggled to get away from for, no exaggeration, over 6 years.
For the first few years of my relationship, things were alright. Not great, but alright. But as time went on, they got worse. The problem is, in these situations, that they do exactly what you're talking about - they turn someone into a shell of a person. Often times, the depression, the lack of self-esteem and self-worth are things that do much more damage than the abuse, because the abuse is short-term, where as the effects are long term and lasting.
I have been away from him for two years now. I am with someone else now, who loves me more than anything in the world except our daughter. I have not been abused in two years, but I still have the lasting effects of my ex. I still have severe trust issues. I still have self-confidence problems and self-worth issues.
Kkay tried to get me away from the ex for more than five years, but the problem is that you end up trapped. Often times you're in financial situations that require you to stay. Or you just don't feel like there will be anyone better for you, because the abuser has made you feel like you're not worth shit. Worse still is when you start to believe that you aren't worth shit, or that you actually deserve the abuse.
The only thing you can really do for your friend is what Kkay did for me - you have to be there to listen, first and foremost. Don't get mad. Don't get accusational - because the last thing she needs is someone who is supposed to love her and care for her making her feel even worse. Don't judge - if you haven't been there, you WON'T understand. Try to help her, if you can. Do you have a couch she can crash on? Can you help her get away from him? Encourage her to involve law enforcement, if it's physical. Document EVERYTHING. Get an order of protection. Contact your local battered women's shelter. Call EVERY DAY, see if they have room.
There ARE options, and there ARE ways out. Sadly, statistics show that it often takes a woman leaving her abuser 7 times before she finally stays gone. If she DOES find the courage to get away from him, SHE NEEDS TO STAY THE FUCK GONE. Help her STAY GONE. No matter what sweet talk he says, keep her gone.
But, most importantly, even if she does go back, be there for her. You do no have to agree with her decisions to go back or stay with him, but turning your back on her (likely very stupid choices, to be honest) is going to do nothing but reinforce everything he's said about her, or done to her.
She isn't worthless. Only through real friends will she realize that. (thanks, Kkay, for that <3). Pass along 1-800-799-SAFE that number. And best of luck, to her and you both. It's not an easy road.