Sunday, October 01, 2006

Self-Destruction Part II

Last week, I posted about a friend of mine who is in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic, by whom she is pregnant. Someone, an anonymous poster, lambasted me for appearing judgmental and cruel. I took down that post for that reason, and because the person in question may end up reading my blog at sometime. I don't want to betray her confidence, or make her feel that I wouldn't be there for her if she needed me. Therefore, that post is no longer available.

To whoever commented on that post, thank you. I didn't realize that I came across as judgmental. It is difficult for me to understand why any woman would stay with someone - and beg and plead for that person to come back - after he cheated on her, beat her up repeatedly, and endangered her and her unborn child. This person had a history of alcoholism, broke every promise he made to her, and routinely left her with bruises after his many drunken rages. Why anyone would go back to that, and beseech for more of the same, baffles me. So if expressing that was judgmental, then I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to be.

But on the same token, I understand where she is coming from. She's a beautiful, funny woman with a quick wit and a hysterical sense of humor. She has so much to offer, but she doesn't believe she deserves anyone who will treat her with love and respect. She wants so desperately to have someone who will stay with her, that she will accept any type of bad behavior, including physical abuse, to avoid being alone. All my attempts to build her up, to compliment her, to express my caring for her and to convince her of her worth have failed. I encouraged her to go to counseling, which she is doing, but so far her opinion of herself has not changed. I feel helpless. Powerless. Sad.

I can't just hand her a sense of self-esteem. I can't make her believe that she is worthy of nothing less than respect. Nobody can stop her from continuing this pattern if that is truly what she feels she must do.

I know now that she is back with the man who beat her. He will hurt her again. He will hurt their child. And there's not a damned thing I can do to protect her from that.

I'll always be there for her when she needs a friend. I'll love her, support her, and be her shoulder to cry on. I'll never speak badly of this man, but instead, will just be there for her whenever she needs someone to talk to. I know that's all I can do, and perhaps, the best thing I can do for her. Unconditional support, without judgment. That's a promise.

So why, then, do I still feel like I've failed ?


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