My abuser's friend

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Cottonanx

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My abuser's friend
« on: February 20, 2016, 11:20:17 PM »
Closecousin (relative of my dad's who is like a sister to me, in both good and bad ways) is still friends with my abusive ex. She has been friends with him for over 20 years. He and I were together over 15 years ago, so it's been a long time. My ex is (was?) the biggest narcissist I have ever met in my entire life. He seriously makes my mother look like an angel sent from heaven.  :aaauuugh:

We were young, he had been brought up by parents who taught him to be a bully and dominate people, I had been brought up with parents who taught me to capitulate in any way the other person wanted. Neither of us had ever been in a serious relationship, although he'd had several one-and-two-night stands.

My ex never actually hit me, nor did I hit him. Nothing happened to leave marks that would be visible on the outside. Instead, he messed with my mind. He would do things like hiding rotten food in random places in my apartment, then claiming he was "just joking" or that I was "too picky" if I got mad upon discovering ants or mold. He would come over when I told him not to and yell at me through the door until I let him in. He was constantly criticizing what I wore, what music I listened to, what friends I talked to; and then randomly "being patient" and "forgiving" me and expecting me to be grateful. On at least three occasions, he physically prevented me from eating/drinking until I was desperate, then arranged for the only available food/drink to be things I'd specifically said I didn't like.

He hurt me during sex, and if I said it hurt, he either yelled at me for ruining his experience, or laughed and did it harder. If I refused sex through body language or through gentle, kind words ("I'm not in the mood right now, maybe later,"), he did it to me anyway, and if I refused more strongly ("STOP!"), he yelled at me and called me names, or refused to speak to me. He was my first sexual partner and I'd been raised to believe it's wrong to have sex outside of marriage, so I felt like I couldn't leave him or everyone would hate me. I finally did leave him when it got to the point where I was so sucked dry of all emotion that I didn't care about ANYTHING any more.

I'm writing this out so you get an accurate picture of what happened. It was a long time ago, I've had pretty extensive therapy including EMDR, and I'm in a good place in my life now. It's just, Closecousin is still friends with him. She seems to believe me when I say I was deeply traumatized, but she also seems to think that because there was no HITTING (either him aggressively or me in self-defense), it wasn't really abuse, just a communication problem.  :stars: I know it's none of my business who she's friends with, but when she talks about him, I get terrible stomach pain and start shaking.

Honestly, I would probably just stop talking to her, except I want to be a part of her baby's life, because deity knows her child needs an "auntie" who ISN'T friends with abusers. So: I put up with the stomach pain, for the baby's sake.

Is Closecousin out of line for being friends with my abuser, or am I out of line for feeling uncomfortable about it? Am I right that it WAS abuse, or is she right that we just had communication problems?
https://perfectpanicky.wordpress.com/
My story of growing up with parentification and living with anxiety as an adult.

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Packy

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 04:34:34 PM »
If it felt like abuse to you, it was abuse. No question, and it sounds extremely abusive to me. As for your friend/cousin, you are not out of line, she is. Why would she want to be friends with this person is the golden question - one you should ask yourself, as she may have an ulterior motive that may or may not include you. Only you can determine if the pain is worth being there for the baby or not, but even if you answer yes to that, there may be ways you can accomplish this without being in the line of fire. I personally would never subject myself to being "friends" with someone like this, but the baby may need you. Best of luck.

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TalenCrowhaven

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 01:03:08 PM »
I'm sorry if this is triggering...

Do you feel like rape was involved?

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Cottonanx

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 03:09:19 PM »
ABSOLUTELY yes, there were multiple rapes involved. But since I never screamed for help nor fought back, she doesn't seem to think it counts.
https://perfectpanicky.wordpress.com/
My story of growing up with parentification and living with anxiety as an adult.

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looloo

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 04:08:45 PM »
It's true, your friend can be friends with anyone she wants, but do you think it would be effective if you tried to draw a boundary, like "No more mention of ex to me - If you forget and bring it up, I'll remind you once; if it happens again, I'll hang up/leave; if the 'forgetting' becomes a pattern, I'll need to distance myself from this relationship."  I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that a lot of people just don't get it, and they never will, so it's probably a waste of time to keep trying with them.  But maybe if you can communicate your limits, and if she can respect them, your relationship can continue?
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Scout

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 05:38:31 PM »
It's true, your friend can be friends with anyone she wants, but do you think it would be effective if you tried to draw a boundary, like "No more mention of ex to me - If you forget and bring it up, I'll remind you once; if it happens again, I'll hang up/leave; if the 'forgetting' becomes a pattern, I'll need to distance myself from this relationship."  I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that a lot of people just don't get it, and they never will, so it's probably a waste of time to keep trying with them.  But maybe if you can communicate your limits, and if she can respect them, your relationship can continue?

I think that's about all that can be done--state the boundary and hope for the best.  But--as only a bystander, mind you--I don't have a lot of hope for this friendship, with such enormous differences.  I quite understand maintaining a friendship in order to have a kinship with a small child, having done it, but then again, denial of sexual assault wasn't on the table.  For myself, I don't think I could be friends with someone who denied that had happened to me.   No one could fault you for walking away from this association, Cottonanx.  She is not really a friend to you.

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Cottonanx

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 05:09:15 PM »
I guess if I have to be totally honest, I don't stop her when she starts talking about him, because I see him as being a sort of Queen of Spades in my Hearts game of life, where you sometimes choose to keep her in your hand just so you'll know where she is and she won't be sprung on you unexpectedly later. Like, if she talks about him visiting from overseas, I'll know when NOT to visit, and when the coast is clear, instead of getting anxious that I might have to see him someday.

Anyway. She rants to me about her FOO--she has an NM and an EF too--and her brother, I'm not sure which of them is the GC and which is the SG, she treats him like an SG but doesn't see the dynamic.

Right now she's talking with me about the custody battle with her child's father, whom I assume has screen caps of the horrifyingly verbally abusive texts she's sent him. Part of me wants to help her, out of genuine love and concern. Part of me is frustrated that every single bad thing that happens to her is something she's brought on herself via her own behavior. I don't know if she's BPD or what but she can go back and forth between wonderful and awful and give you emotional whiplash. I'm NOT going NC but I'm debating going LC except I'm really attached to her baby!
https://perfectpanicky.wordpress.com/
My story of growing up with parentification and living with anxiety as an adult.

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Dora

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Re: My abuser's friend
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 08:37:55 PM »
I agree with the people who advised a frank conversation with your friend.  Setting boundaries has been my saving grace. I divorced my NPD ex after 26 years of marriage. I have two adult daughters from that marriage.  My oldest has had NC with  her dad.  From the moment the divorce judgement became formal, my Sinlaw,my oldest and I have had NC with him or his entitled sister.  My younger daughter has much contact with her dad.  He has paid for med school and all living conditions.  This is the trick I use,  when she calls me to tell me about her dads bad behavior,  I gently remind her we have a deal in place. That deal is : No talking to me about her dad!  She pushes the boundaries in place, and then I softly tell her to have a nice day. Goodbye.