I’m falling apart right now. I’ve been taking a steady dose of Klonopin since Sunday night to keep the panic attacks at an even keel and they’re not going away. I can’t stop crying, I am a mess, I just don’t know what to do anymore. I posted a few months ago about my best friend and her abusive husband. So you don’t have to go back and read it, unless you want to, I”ll summarize briefly. They’ve been married 15 years, he was not abusive when they were dating but became abusive once they were married. He has beaten her into submission and hospitalized her, but that stopped 3 years ago and now he verbally and emotionally abuses her and their two children on a daily basis. In December he was near the point of assaulting her and she threw a can of Pledge at him and hit him in the head. He became over dramatic and went to the ER where he filed a police report against her and got her arrested, and then she was sent to a psychiatric hospital for a week. The police all said they knew she was the real victim but because she had hurt him they had to arrest her. That is the basic gist of what started back in December.
She has continued to live with him in their house mainly because she needs to protect their children from him. Both kids have special needs and he doesn’t give a shit about that. Both kids are terrified of their father and have told me they wish I was their dad, and that breaks my heart. I have ended up in the middle of this abusive situation because she is my best friend, and both her family and his family don’t believe that a married woman should have any male friends. He is convinced we have been having an affair even though I am gay and he knows that and she repeatedly tells him that I am gay. So I have become the “other man” aka he is jealous that she wants to spend time with me and she cares about me but not him because all he does is abuse her, why would she want to be around him? I am not welcome in their house or near their kids, partially because that is what he wants, and also I don’t want to be near him and make things worse for her. I really miss her kids, and I miss seeing her. We maybe get to see each other once a month if that now, because he does not allow her to see me.
So they hit a brief “honeymoon” period and she honestly thought he was changing but I knew better and not to trust him. Of course he turned again and began abusing them again. One night he stormed out of the house because my friend has not been offered a contract in her new job, as if that is something she can control. When he returned, the first thing he did was open up his gun safe. My friend thought he was coming to kill her. She thought they had an agreement that while he kept the guns in the house, he would keep the ammo at his parent’s house, and apparently just today he told her he has been keeping ammo in the house as well. One time he pointed a gun at me in the kitchen and thought it was funny because it was unloaded. All he talks about is wanting to teach his son how to shoot guns, and all his son talks about is wanting to kill himself and shoot up his school. Great father, right? So then this past Friday night he started screaming at the kids and they were so scared they were hiding in their closet crying. He continued to berate my friend, who finally took the kids and left the house. I was so proud of her for doing that. The next morning he acted like everything was fine and nothing had happened.
We had dinner plans for Saturday, but her daughter got sick, so we moved them to Sunday. We were both really looking forward to it. He spent all day harassing, berating, and belittling her in front of the kids, blaming her for the kid’s disabilities, saying she “fucked the kids up” and that it was her fault they have disabilities, and maybe if she wasn’t such a fuck-up herself things wouldn’t be this way. She was trying to get ready to meet me for dinner and he asked her “who she was going with, where she was going, if she’d be drinking alcohol, how much money she had, and when she’d be home”. He didn’t like her answers apparently, and he gave her a curfew and said if she wasn’t home by 9 the door would be locked and she could find somewhere else to stay. We met up at the restaurant and were having a good time. About 20 minutes into our meal, I happened to look up and I first recognized the jacket then I saw his face – her husband came storming into the restaurant dragging their 7 year old behind him and he started making a scene calling her a “liar”. Apparently she told him she was going to a different restaurant, and she didn’t say I would be there. She had to do that because otherwise he wouldn’t have let her go. He stormed out and I spent the rest of our meal looking out the window waiting for him to come back with a gun.
She texted her ADA friend and her lawyer, who both said to go to the police and report it so we did. They took down the information and she said she wanted to go home and be with her kids, this was around 8. I stayed in the area just in case. She called me not even 5 minutes later and said he had already locked her out, was standing inside the door screaming at her, then threw a packed suitcase in her face and slammed the door shut. We went back to the police station and this time the officer who had arrested her in December was there and she knew of the husband’s behavior and got really worried for my friend. She actually called the husband, who became quite irate and nasty on the phone, since a woman was telling him what to do and he doesn’t believe women should tell him what to do. The police ended up deciding it wasn’t safe for her to go home and she should stay somewhere else, so she stayed with her ADA friend. The police told the husband she would be home in the morning after he left for work, and he said his mother would come watch the kids.
She got home Monday morning and the kids weren’t there like they were supposed to be. She texted her husband and he told her since she didn’t come home in the morning to relieve him for work that his mother would take the kids all day and take care of her son’s doctor appointment, even though a) the police told him when she’d be coming home, and b) he told her not to come home. My friend started arguing with him and finally he “agreed” to let her take their son to the doctor, but she was “not allowed” to take their daughter. The next morning they went to their first marriage counseling session which HE requested at the court hearing in December, and then since has refused to go. The therapist ended the session within minutes because he wouldn’t stop screaming and yelling and she asked them not to come back, which confuses me since that is her job to deal with stuff like that, but oh well. Then the next 2 days they went away as a family to an indoor water park which they had promised their kids they would go to, and she said even though they did argue, it was overall a good trip and she had a lot of fun.
So last night the last I had heard from her was about 9:30 pm. I was sitting at my computer and around 9:50 my phone rang, it was a number I didn’t recognize, and I thought since it was so late maybe it was an emergency so I answered. He identified himself as my friend’s husband and I went numb. All I could manage out was “Ok?” and he said “Go ahead, do it, tell me what you think, put me in my place”. I panicked and hung up the phone. A minute later he called again and I let it go to voicemail, but he left a silent 3 second voicemail on my phone. My heart was racing, my stomach was sick, I was shaking. How the hell did he get my number? I figured he had threatened my friend over it to get the number but she said that didn’t happen and she doesn’t know how he did. I texted the ADA friend who said to take screenshots of my call logs page on my phone and email her what happened so she could forward it to the lawyer. The ADA and I both agreed not to message her last night because he was probably waiting for me to do so since he had called me twice. I couldn’t sleep at all last night.
This morning I went to therapy and unloaded all of this on my therapist (lucky her). I went to bed with a panic attack and woke up with a panic attack. She tried to talk me out of the anxiety but I was too far gone. After therapy I drove to the police station by her house and asked to speak to an officer, hoping the woman who helped us on Sunday would be there but she wasn’t. I spoke with two officers and told them what happened last night. Apparently they are familiar with his name, which I guess is good he is getting a reputation. They said unfortunately since he did not officially threaten me by saying “I am going to kill you” or something, I could not file an official report, even though I feel threatened because I know what the situation is. They said a judge would throw it out, but they were going to write down a report and add it to what happened on Sunday. They said the best thing I can do now is block his number which I did. By this time it was nearly noon and I still hadn’t heard from my friend. I had messaged her around 8:30 this morning and said we needed to talk and to contact me when her husband wasn’t around.
I finally heard from her this afternoon. Apparently last night she had a grand mal seizure (she is epileptic) and nearly died. She was foaming at the mouth and turning blue. Her husband actually called 911, which to be honest I’m kind of surprised he did. She was rushed to the hospital and was returned to her home around 4 am. During this time period, her husband decided to tell her parents about her arrest and ongoing depression, which was something she did not want her parents to know because she knew what their reaction was going to be, but he did it anyway. Her parents became upset (with her) and decided to side with her abusive husband, even though they know he abuses her, because she didn’t tell them first. Her mother also blamed her for having the seizure last night, saying “she almost killed her father”.
At this point in time she is so depressed I worry that she is leaning on suicidal. I made her promise me if she feels like harming herself that she will contact me first. She has been so berated and belittled over the past 15 years she has no self-esteem left. She honestly believes all of this is her fault and that she fucks up everything she touches, at least that is what her husband constantly tells her. I keep trying to tell her the opposite, that she is brave and strong and she can fight through this and that I will never leave her side and that I am there for her 100% but it’s just not working. She feels like she has lost all support, including her husband, parents, kids, and friends. Because of the seizure she is now not allowed to drive for the next 6 months, meaning she will confined, trapped, and isolated in her house with HIM. I know I will not be able to go pick her up to hang out because he will not let her out, so I can now plan on not seeing my only friend for the next 6 months. She said she wants to go back to the psych hospital, which I am starting to think is a good idea, but she is scared of losing her kids. She said she will only divorce him if she is guaranteed full custody, and right now she is the one with the record and his is “clean”. She keeps telling me she doesn’t want to live this life anymore and I know she doesn’t but she is so stuck because he has so much control and power over her. He is a fucking monster, a sociopath, a psycho. He is delusional and insane. I don’t know what I can do anymore to help her. I feel so useless talking to her only helps so much and at times I feel like I don’t have the right words to tell her and I am failing her because I have not saved her and her kids yet.