A Mother's Heartache
Last night our daughter talked with us about her ex-boyfriend. Her dad was present for part of the conversation & I was present for it all. She broke up with him in January of this year. She had been struggling to do so for about a year prior to doing so. I knew something was up right about the time of the break-up, but it was three weeks before she let me know.
The break-up occured at the start of semester & she put in a difficult four months though she was able to maintain a 4.00 GPA (A's & A+'s.) I'm not sure how she pulled that off because her stress level was off the charts.
Her boyfriend (just a little over two years) really had not been a jerk that she could ever see. Her dad & I were very concerned about him from the start because he domonstrated no ambition & his energy level didn't match hers at all. I was also concerned that being too young to realize it, she was in a way, his counsellor.
Unfortuantely, after the break-up the young man fell apart emotionally & as a result, started to emotionally taunt her, verbally abuse her & stalk her. He also engaged their mutual friends in this attack on our daughter.
When she shared in the spring, the details, her dad & I were very upset. We were very close to calling the police & reporting him. As it turned out, he eventually apologized for his behaviour & we thought it was over. We were very relieved. (As it turned out, this was just he honeymoon phase. If you've worked in abuse, you know what the 'honeymoon phase' is. I can explain it later, if you'd like me to.)
Last night, she shared more of the story. She's home for the summer & the ex lives only two blocks away. She avoids him, though living in the same town means they have crossed paths a little. The last situation involved him following her home after a baseball game in May. She dropped her friend off & he came up behind her flashing his car lights & waving his arms like a madman. She ignored him & promptly came home.
She has lost almost all of her friends over this because they have all taken the side of the ex. They tell her she broke his heart & that she was in the wrong. As I sat & listened, I was sickened.
How sad. An intelligent maturing young woman grows to understand that a relationship has run it's course & it was over. She ends the relationship. The right thing to do for both of them. Then the ex goes abusive on her & the friends don't get it or see it. They keep saying, you were wrong & look how you've hurt him.
Finally last night I passionately said: "I don't get it! Why do they keep saying this? What, they want you to get back with him? They think there's a chance? It's over. My goodness, a young woman decides a relationship is over & the friends tell her she's wrong?" (I haven't taken the time to write this out beforehand, so pardon me if it appears disconnected & all over the place. I'm so angry.)
Her dad & I are very concerned. We are livid! Here she is at home, trying to calm herself after a rough year & he's here & apparently continuing to taunt her. She should be relaxing (though her summer job keeps her very busy) & enjoying a breather. Instead, last night, she opens up about the fall. Already she's stressed about returning to school in the same city where he will be living in the fall.
This is driving me crazy. Even as I type I feel like I'm losing my mind. I've worked with & counselled abused women. Our daughter's education is in social work. She's at the top of her class & because of that has obtained a position in mental health (a prestigious position & not given to just any student, you have to come highly recommened by your teachers.)
Here's what drives me crazy. In typical fashion our daughter, the abused is scared to death to report him or have us report him because the abuse will get worse! OMG, where have I heard THAT before!? Yes, from the mouths of every single woman ever abused. 'You don't understand, it will get worse, you don't understand, he'll be all sweet & wonderful to everyone else & no one will believe me & then they will abuse me, you don't understand, he'll kill me." Time out for some tears. Damn...all these years helping the abused, educating my daughter, her helping others & crap, the shit has hit the fan with our own daughter. And you know, she's right.
The abuser does go stark raving nuts when they are outed. Look at how many women get restraining orders & end up dead within a week or two of the order taking effect! Wow, big hunky doo doo, that restraining order did piddly squat to protect her. I know countless women who reported abuse & telling the police did nothing to help their cause.
I cannot believe that I so easily feel powerless. I think, damn, look at that, he's got us.
Thanks for letting me share this. I've got to stop writing for now. I'll be back.