Help for a friend

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      Hi Jennifer,

      Your friend is in my thoughts and prayers. I think, the one thing

      your friend needs more then anything, is someone to listen and not

      judge. Statistically, it is probably not the first time and odds are

      she may go back to him, even now…. I know from personal experience.

      My abuse was 20 years ago. In the short 3 months we were married

      together ( it took me longer to get the divorce then we were actually

      together) I was beaten 3 times and held at gun point once. In the

      year of dating there was no abuse what so ever. Even in my situation

      where the abuse was so extreme (one doctor in the E.R. actually

      thought I had been hit by a bus – I was black & blue from head to toe)

      and the short marriage, it was hard to get away and there were no

      children involved (even though I was scared to death that I might be

      pregnant). The most dangerous time for the woman is when they have

      left. It is a terrifying time. I felt like a failure. The system

      was difficult, to say the least. Judges who thought I wasn’t serious

      because I didn’t have an attorney at the time. Once I did get an

      attorney, the shear expense of it was staggering. I was actually told

      that my dear husband could come after me for support because I

      wouldn’t risk a beating by waking him up to go to work, so he stopped

      working and I paid all the bills….. His attorney who called me at

      work to ask if I really believed that my husband deserved to spend 2

      years in prison for ‘my marital problems’ ( I replied that he should

      spend at least 2 years in prison, because he tried to kill me….)

      The good news is that you get through it, you survive and you become a

      stronger person for it. I won a lifetime injunction for protection

      against my husband. (but truthfully it is just a piece of paper, he

      violated it numerous times, the thing, in my case, that finally put an

      end to it, I told him that if he ever came near me again, I would blow

      his f-ing brains out, and I meant it. I had bought a gun and I was

      willing and able to use it). He was sentence to 2 years in the

      Florida state prison. He served 7 months and 9 days of that sentence

      (he was a good boy in prison, no one to beat on) He wrote me

      constantly from prison, the letters went anywhere from I love you and

      can’t live without you, to, you are the f-ing reason I am in here. I

      received phone calls from other inmates: Mrs.
      .
      , we are glad we

      found you,Steve and me will be out soon. My unlisted phone number and

      address was on the prison files because if he escaped I would be

      contacted immediately and he got a copy of that somehow. Abusers are

      very resourceful. After he was released from prison, he stalked me. I

      ended up leaving state and severing ties with everyone there. I

      finally learned tolove and trust again. I have been with my boyfriend

      for 15 years, we do not live together and we are not married, but this

      is what works for me. I survived because I had some good close

      friends who listened and cried with me, without judging the stages of

      anger, grief and loss that I went through.. I would not wish that

      experience on my worst enemy. Again, your friend and her children are

      in my thoughts and prayers.

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