Social Question

MilkyWay's avatar

Don't know what to do now, advice? (details inside).

Asked by MilkyWay (13152 points ) September 20th, 2012

As some of you may know, myself and my family have been victim to domestic abuse through my father for a number of years now.
I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and yet couldn’t bring myself to do… I phoned the police.
It’s currently past 1:30 in the morning here. A few hours ago, my parents starting arguing downstairs and I heard shouting and crying. I heard all of my siblings shouting at my dad to stop, and I dialled 999.
My father is now in the police station, and won’t be home until at least the morning. I have college tomorrow, and yet I’m unable to sleep. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the coming day, I can’t afford to not go either.
I feel weird, and I guess I just want someone to point me in the right direction of what I should do and how I should cope with all of this.
Thanks jellies <3

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106 Answers

janbb's avatar

First, a hug. Second, know you did the right thing. Third, just go tomorrow and do the best you can but be gentle with yourself. Sometimes one just has to coast through a day after a bad night’s sleep.

And fourth, another big hug!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You did the right thing. No one has the right to harm someone else. It’s Friday, just go easy on yourself tommorrow.

bkcunningham's avatar

(((@MilkyWay)))) Just relax and enjoy the peace. It will be okay. You took a first step in learning to walk. Everything will fall into place. Get some rest and take care of yourself. It is going to be okay.

Does your dad know you are the one who called? What did your Mom say?

Jeruba's avatar

I’m so sorry that you had to face this terrible situation, sweetie. You were right to call the police. That took courage, and I’m proud of you for doing it.

I understand how hard it is to sleep in the midst of turmoil. Somehow in the movies, Frodo can fall asleep on the edge of a rocky precipice ten thousand feet up and with the dark clouds of Mordor looming overhead. I don’t know how he does it. I’ve had my share of distraught nights, for other reasons.

The best thing is to try to keep things going as normally as possible and to stay on an even keel yourself. This means going to bed now and getting to your classes tomorrow even if you feel like a wreck. Warm milk is supposed to help you get to sleep; you could try that. Lie down and rest now, even if you don’t feel like you can sleep, and make sure your alarm is set.

Is alcohol a part of this picture? If so, I strongly urge you to get to an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting. There’s a lot of help available to you there.

Dsg's avatar

I’m very proud of you!!! That is one of the hardest things to do….call the police on a loved one. I went through domestic violence myself, but with my ex. I let him get away with hurting me for close to 10 yrs and I finally snapped about 2 yrs ago and called the police. I too felt very wierd and kinda numb. Its okay to feel like that. You kinda think YOU did something wrong and you didn’t. It was your dad and you were protecting your family. Let him think about what he did in jail. If it has continued for years, you might want to consider a restraining order. I can give you more information about that if you would like. I don’t want to push you. You did the right thing! Wish I could give you a big bear hug cuz you could probably use it now. You will probably be running on adreneline in the morning. So, you will want to keep yourself busy. Make yourself go to school. Hang in there and you are awesome!! You did a wonderful thing to teach your dad he needs to stop. You are very brave! Feel free to send me a message any time and I’ll try to help you any way I can.

linguaphile's avatar

From me as well—a gigantic hug and sending much, much reassurance your way.

I regret not calling the police when I should’ve in the past. By calling the police, you and the police both now have record of what is going on. If nothing else, having the visual and legal proof outside of your home is hugely validating. You did the right thing.

Try to go about your business as usual and stay busy. That will help keep your mind off things. And hang in there—with your strength, wonderful personality, intelligence and perseverance, things will get better.

MilkyWay's avatar

@bkcunningham He knows I’m the one who called… and he’ll be coming back home tomorrow… I don;t know how I’m going to face him, live with him… and my Mum didn’t put in a statement against him. The reason he’s being held is because the officers saw her injuries.
@Jeruba No, no alcohol. He has anger problems…

Kayak8's avatar

If you are afraid of your father’s wrath when he returns home, you need to prepare yourself to be willing to phone 999 again because you did NOT do anything wrong. He may not know what inspired the police to come or he may very well know and I can see how that might keep you up until you figure out what he knows about the situation.

You took the first step toward breaking the cycle and that takes real courage—I never had that kind of courage with my abusive mother and one day my baby sister called the police. I was so grateful to her for having the guts to let someone else outside the family know what was going on. I actually remember being surprised at myself that I never thought to call the police, but my sister did the right thing. Mom wasn’t taken away, but I think she was shocked (as much as an alcoholic can be shocked) that one of us called the cops. None of us kids ever let her know who made the call, and Mom was pretty chilled out for a while after that experience.

DWW25921's avatar

You did the right thing. I am sorry you have to deal with this. I hope and wish you only the best.

CWOTUS's avatar

Like everyone else, I’m sorry that you’ve had to endure this, and sorry that you felt – rightly, I’m sure! – that you had no other option than to call the police. Your safety and that of your mother and siblings is paramount. If the house was burning down, you would not think twice about calling the fire department. If there was a thug at the door trying to break it down to wreak havoc, then calling the police would also be a no-brainer. It’s harder, obviously, when the damage is being done from the inside, by one of the people who should be doing the most to keep you safe and secure. You have to do what you have to do.

There is no shame in being upset by this, even to the point of missing class or an important test or other event, if that’s the final result. It’s not lack of sleep that will be your enemy tomorrow (surely you could function, even if non-optimally) on no sleep tonight. But what’s happening – and this is perfectly natural – is that your attention is distracted by such a life-changing event.

If you can get through your classes tomorrow (assuming something doesn’t happen in the morning that makes that not even possible), then try to do so. If you can’t, then don’t let that distract you from whatever might be more important at the time. You can always make up missed work.

I would suggest for your own peace of mind that you call the police again to discuss your options for tomorrow. They should know better than to simply release him back to the home if he is still angry in an irrational / unreasonable way – or if you think that he may be. There may be some kind of “supervised release” that’s part of a normal program for cases such as this.

bkcunningham's avatar

@MilkyWay, how does it work where you live as far as the charges against your dad for hitting your Mum? Is there any way that the charges can be dropped by her or will he definitely be prosecuted now? Has it ever gong this far before? I mean has he ever been arrested?

I hate you are going through this and that you are having to be the responsible one and the parent/protecter in this situation. It sucks. It sucks so bad. But you aren’t in the wrong in any way, shape or form. Don’t ever forget that. It is going to be okay Sweetie. Take care of yourself.

MilkyWay's avatar

@bkcunningham It’s going to be complicated. From what the officers briefly told us, because my mum hasn’t put in a statement against him, they’re having to act based on the little physical evidence alone. They can’t prosecute him yet. He has been arrested twice in the past, both for physical assault.
Thank you everyone.

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay _
and my Mum didn’t put in a statement against him. The reason he’s being held is because the officers saw her injuries.

Does that mean that your visibly injured mother is not pressing charges against your father? She needs someone to give her some counselling advice asap.. Next time your dad might kill her.

You should not have to shoulder the responsibility of being the adult in this case. If your mother can’t, find out from social services and the police who can.

Do you have grandparents or aunts and uncles who can step in?

MilkyWay's avatar

@gailcalled No family who can support us I’m afraid. And yes, she’s not pressing charges :/

blueiiznh's avatar

Know that you are not alone. You did the right thing. I know it was difficult, gut wrenching and will be unsettling in your mnd. But know that things (with hope) will begin to evolve.
The biggest thing right now is the uncertainty of it all. Just know you certainly did the right thing.
While it may be difficult to focus, please keep your normal routine. Find a support group or therapist to discuss this and your feelings with someone. This is key. It will help you know in conversation about it, that you did the right thing and that it took all the strength you had.
Follow through in a knowing manner. Many times the fear or shame makes you allow it to be swept under the rug with blank promises from the offending party. Know that most times those are words that come from them trying to simply get out of the mess they caused.
Real change (if even possible) takes a long time. Statistics show that the pattern does not change, even with anger management training for the offender.

Foremost, be alert and aware and protect yourself.

gailcalled's avatar

Encouraging but vague platitudes do not help MIlky Way, given that she can expect no adult responsible behavior from her frightened and cowed mother.

How, precisely, does she protect herself?

What are the options in Britain for social services to offer support?

@Milkyway; Can you and your sibs have an intervention with your mother where you spell out the pending tragedy in this family if she does nothing but capitulate to an out-of-control man who does not have any self-control? Does she get it?

Men such as your dad kill family members.

blueiiznh's avatar

I am unsure of what the Laws of Domestic Violence are where you live, but in many places, once the injury is noted, then there are procedures that HAVE to be followed. This could mean a court appearance or a non return to residence for a set period of time before courts review.

Kayak8's avatar

One other thing just struck me. I don’t know where you live, but I am guessing the UK by the 999 emergency number (we call 911 where I live). In my area, I have been able to go to the police station myself and provide information about my mother’s erratic behavior and to let them know if they get another 911 call from our address (when I was a teen), that they need to get there quickly based on her behavior. I would encourage you to do the same. Being alone (without Dad around) at the police station, you may feel more confident in giving them additional background information about the family situation.

This way, should you need to call 999 again in the future, you won’t have to say anything in the presence of your dad, but the police will still know more about the history and will take any call seriously.

MilkyWay's avatar

@blueiiznh @gailcalled
My mum was asked if she wanted victim support but she refused. The officers didn’t go into detail, but said that my dad would return tomorrow after a warning and that a court appearance would depend on his statement.
They left us with a number to call if he gave us any trouble, but that’s it.

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay: I repeat. your mum’s behavior is just as dangerous as your dad’s. What will it take for her to take notice?

MilkyWay's avatar

@Kayak8 Yes, they said they had our household flagged, which meant if anyone from our house even dialled 999, they would be there.
@gailcalled I’ve tried talking to her, really I have. I don’t know what else I can do.

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay: Have you asked her, point blank,” Mum, What happens if dad kills you?”

Dsg's avatar

@MilkyWay…I don’t want to scare you but your Dad might get even more violent and you need to be strong and stand up to him. Don’t Back Down!! He may say a lot of scary things and you can’t let him get away with it….not now!! Be prepared for this because its almost a given. He’s going to make you feel bad and try to get you to change your mind. When you are at school look into some services that they offer. They may offer some free assistance for you on domestic violence. Usually they post stuff up on a bulletin board. Be careful and I’m here to listen and help any time!

bkcunningham's avatar

@gailcalled, I know you mean well. I sincerely do. But you have to understand that @MilkyWay has no more control over her Mum’s behavior than she does her Dad’s behavior. She can only control her own behavior. It is a fact that @MilkyWay is being the parent in this situation.

It is what it is. It is sad in some respects, but I am going to choose to say that it is amazing and she is amazing and strong and is going to survive and escape this situation with a good heart and a golden spirit.

@MilkyWay took the first step in letting other’s know that SHE is not going to take the abuse and will call the police to protect herself and her family.

blueiiznh's avatar

^^ PERFECTLY STATED!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If there is any other woman out there that has suffered abuse, and responded like MilkWay’s mum, that is the true enabler. For your families sake, please stand up to the asshole.

MilkyWay's avatar

@gailcalled No. I don’t think I could…

gailcalled's avatar

^^^. Nothing I have said belies your strength,courage, your maturity, your good heart and golden spirit. Those qualities may not be enough, however, under the circumstances. Do your younger sibs know that they also can dial 999?

How old are they, by the way?

I am feeling very alarmed for you and your sibs and wish I had a suggestion that made sense.

MilkyWay's avatar

@gailcalled The youngest is 3. I’m the eldest, and the one after me is 14. But I love you for trying to help dear.

bkcunningham's avatar

@MilkyWay, does your dad have a pattern you are familiar with after an episode like this? Does he blame everyone else? Does he feel remorseful and apologize and play the victim? Does he just act like everyone is suppose to carryon like nothing has happened?

What is his MO in these situations?

MilkyWay's avatar

Sometimes he’ll try and butter you up, but it doesn’t last. Other times he’ll act like nothing happened.

Bellatrix's avatar

You are a brave and strong young woman. Perhaps your father won’t know who called the police. It could have been a neighbour perhaps?

You can’t force your mum to press charges or to act in any other way. All you can do, you have done. I am guessing here, so tell me if I am wrong, but perhaps there are cultural issues at play here too that would make it even more difficult for her to act? It isn’t unusual for victims of domestic violence not to do what seems so logical to everyone else. Can you seek some advice yourself from a domestic violence counsellor/helpline? They might have some tips you can use to try to persuade your mum or just to help you cope if you can’t.

When you get to college tomorrow, is there a teacher you connect with? Can you talk to them and let them know what you are dealing with at the moment? There may also be student counsellers and I would suggest you speak to them. You need people, who are there in person, to help and support you now.

I too send you a big hug. I’m glad you shared with us.

bkcunningham's avatar

So, he does actually have periods where he’s not raging and he actually seems like a normal, nice person?

MilkyWay's avatar

He’s not constantly raging, but I don’t remember him being normal and nice.
@Bellatrix No, he knows I phoned. I might try and talk to someone at school…

bkcunningham's avatar

What do you think is going to happen now, @MilkyWay? When you phoned the police, what did you hope would happen?

Bellatrix's avatar

When you know he will be coming home, can you go and stay at a friends? Just until things quieten down? I just don’t want you to suffer any violent attacks.

Please do talk to someone at school. You need support too right now. Not just your mum.

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay: I think the suggestion to talk to a cousellor at school is a good idea. At least you have alerted someone other than the police about the problems.

And I also encourage you to stay with a friend for a while, if that is possible.

Your dad is behaving in the classical manner of an abuser. Sometimes he’ll try and butter you up, but it doesn’t last. Other times he’ll act like nothing happened.

There is no show of remorse of of self-awareness. I fear that this will not change under the circumstances.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I respectfully disagree with your statement “If there is any other woman out there that has suffered abuse, and responded like MilkWay’s mum, that is the true enabler.” on two parts. One, an abuser can wear down a healthy person’s self-esteem over time, making them an enabler; but it is rare for an enabler to “create” an abuser out of a healty person. Two, Domestic Violence abuse can come from male or female.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@blueiiznh That’s perfectly okay. I have a temper. It comes out at times. Let me think on it a bit.

MilkyWay's avatar

I know it seems abnormal, but this is the only way of life I’ve ever known. Our family is not supportive at all. The last time I saw any of my relatives was 10 years ago I think.
And my dad’s controlling behaviour has resulted in me not being able to get that close to any of my friends, so staying at one of their house is out of the question.
And I don’t really know what I hoped would happen to be honest. I just wanted it to stop.

bkcunningham's avatar

See if this is any help, Love. I wish I could make you understand that there are plenty of other people who have experienced exactly what you have experienced. There are people who could finish your stories, @MilkyWay. It doesn’t make it any better or make it right. It does mean that you aren’t alone in things that you’ve felt or things you are feeling now.

I think you did what you felt you had to do and it was the right thing to do. Take it a day at a time. A step at a time. It is going to be okay. It really and truly is going to be okay. You will get through this. It sucks, but you are strong.

You have proven that you are strong and that you are really amazing. Take the next step and talk to someone at school. I think that is the right thing to do.

Kayak8's avatar

@MilkyWay You did the first right thing to help make it stop. Eventually you will be old enough to move out, but I still worry (obviously for you) but also for the 14 and 3 year old in the situation. I was the oldest kid in our family and the huge sense of responsibility and feeling like the only sane adult in the house (when I was a kid) can be overwhelming all by itself.

You can’t suddenly change your Dad’s behavior (or your Mom’s), but you can make good decisions for yourself (and you seem to be on that path). Just don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with responsibility for your siblings because that can make you stay very stuck (I know, I lived it).

What you ARE doing is demonstrating to your younger siblings a NEW way to handle the situation and you are setting an excellent example of a different way to do things in your family. Depending on the consequences, the 14 year old and your mom may become annoyed with you, but you ARE doing exactly the right thing! Just keep doing it! It only takes one person to stand up to a bully to start a new dynamic—you really are doing what is best for the mental healthy and physical safety of those around you.

CWOTUS's avatar

Based on the foregoing, @MilkyWay, there’s no reason that you can’t insist on Social Services support, regardless of your mother’s refusal. It seems obvious, base on your concerns and the experiences that many of us have had – or even read about – in such cases, that you need the assistance, even if your mother is incapable of recognizing her own need, responsibility or capability of asking for it.

In fact, if you’re a minor, your father has the demonstrated lack of control that has led to this situation, and your mother is enabling that behavior by refusing to deal with it or ask for help, then you appear to need protection from both of them, or maybe just a safe place to go by yourself.

harple's avatar

Hi @MilkyWay Just woken up to this now. I hope you got some sleep honey. I’m sure it will be feeling rather odd this morning around the breakfast table. You did a very strong thing, and it was the right thing to do.

Definitely talk to someone at college today (is it attached to the same school you used to go to, or is it completely seperate? I know your school wasn’t overly supportive in the past.)

Schools do have a duty of care for their pupils, and can/should report to social services if they become aware that their pupils are in danger at home. The key thing is to talk to the right people at those schools so that they take you seriously (sadly). Our social services here in the UK have been shown to be lacking over previous years, but cases such as the “Baby P” case should have shaken them up enough to get them back on their toes.

And you can also approach social services. Do a internet search for social services and the name of your area and that should bring up a number.

There is also childline who can listen to you from an informed and experienced position, and give you support and advice. There’s no shame in making use of services like childline – they exist exactly for situations like this.

Finally, I know that in the UK we can be a bit scared of cultures that aren’t identical to our own, and that can make us reticent to step in when abuses like these happen. That is unforgivable on our part. Keep on talking to authorities – police, school, social services… whoever you need to to make yourself heard.

You are being incredibly strong, and I know how hard it is to stay strong when everything around you is crumbling, and when you feel all alone. Believe me, you are strong. It’s okay to break down and cry too, it’s okay to find it all overwhelming. These aren’t signs of not being strong, they’re signs you have had to be strong for too long. Let yourself be whatever you are feeling and don’t be hard on yourself. You’re doing grand and support is out there, and out here for you. Feel free to PM if there’s anything I can do to help as someone living in the UK.

augustlan's avatar

I have nothing to add to the excellent advice already given, but just wanted to say I’m so proud of you, girlie. You absolutely did the right thing. {hugs}

effi's avatar

My heart goes out to you. I hope and pray that light comes out of everything you have experienced so far. In the meantime, lean on the support of your friends (here and IRL); my own support network has gotten me through some pretty nasty times. hugs

Dsg's avatar

@MilkyWay…I was thinking of you this morning when I woke up. I even said some prayers for your continued strength. Please let us know how things are today. Only if you feel comfortable sharing. We are all here for you for moral support. Remember you are strong!! I don’t know if you believe in God or not but there is this quote that has been around. It says that God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle. He helps us get through anything. Sorry fellow jellies, I didn’t mean to get religious on you but its important if you believe. I will continue to think about you and give you some positive strength and energy through my body. Hang in there!

MilkyWay's avatar

Thank you everyone. I think I’ll be able to get through this, with some help. I’m a soldier I guess, I always do.
Here’s an update.
I went to college, was late in the morning because I didn’t have a lift but they were understanding when I told them. They were very helpful and comforting, and offered me counselling, which I agreed to check out.
My dad came home in the afternoon, whilst I was away. They’ve let him out with a caution, because my mum wouldn’t press charges. But my mum told me that he acted like an arse when he got back and left home soon after. She said he packed a suitcase and didn’t say where he was going… we don’t know where he is right now.

janbb's avatar

@MilkyWay Thanks for the update. Hugs and hang tight!

bkcunningham's avatar

Are you all going to be okay with him packing and leaving, @MilkyWay? Do you think it is temporary? (((HUGS))) You are a real trooper. And, yes, you are going to be alright through all of this. Much love to you.

MilkyWay's avatar

@bkcunningham I doubt it. My mum is a housewife and hasn’t got a job. To be honest it not about the money, as the goverment is really helpful here, but just the idea of being single that is so daunting to my mother, especially as she has no family here.
But I don’t think he will be gone for long… He’ll be back. We’ll just have to hang on and wait and see what happens.

Jeruba's avatar

Perhaps going away is a serious effort on his part to make sure he stops harming his family.

rooeytoo's avatar

@MilkyWay – I know you said there is not alcohol involved but Alanon would still be helpful because it teaches people how to cope and when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired it helps you to get out. Your mom would benefit. And I think you would benefit from Alateen, again lessons in coping, other people your age who understand because your dad is not that different from a vicious drunk, the behaviour is very similar.

They probably have meetings at your college, if I were you, I would stop in and have a look. If you don’t like it, so be it but you might find kindred spirits and there is power and solace in a group.

janbb's avatar

I think the idea of going for counseling at your college is a great one!

MilkyWay's avatar

He’s back… he hasn’t talked to anyone. He came back late last night, I was asleep by then…
He’s still sleeping so… I dunno what will happen next.

Bellatrix's avatar

Just stay out of his way as much as you can @MilkyWay. Take care. We are thinking of you.

gailcalled's avatar

This is not very helpful but I am really so enraged that I can hardly breathe when I think of the power that this man wields over his terrified wife and his children.

Please, please talk to the counselling center at your college. With no support from family and friends and with your mother too frightened to function, and with you thrust into the role of adult, you need someone besides the police to be aware of the situation.

If you have the energy, and you may not, use this Q & A as a journal and a diary of events.

Has he ever struck out at you and the younger sibs? Are there more than the three of you?

How does your mom handle this?

Your ability to not only write clearly but to encapsulate a complicated series of events is staggering. I know you do well at school but this is a real gift.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay He’s still messing with you guys. He left for a bit just to scare your mom and make her feel dependent on him. Be careful. And get the counselling.

CWOTUS's avatar

If he had packed much in the suitcase, or if he had made other indications or promises of going away for an extended stay somewhere – at a clinic of some sort (though I don’t know of clinics for anger management) – then I’d have been inclined to agree with @Jeruba‘s hopeful response.

But since he’s back, I’m foursquare behind what @gailcalled has said, and I lean towards @Adirondackwannabe‘s more cynical assessment of his intent.

Be careful. Get help where you are, which will amount to much more than all of our good wishes and hopes for you.

linguaphile's avatar

I agree with Gail—- I am definitely worried about you too. Get help. Maybe also exchange phone numbers with someone you trust with an emergency code word so you can call to get IRL help if necessary.

I had this drawing on my wall through some tough times. Don’t ever, ever give up.

MilkyWay's avatar

He’s acting like a complete arse. I tried to avoid him, but some contact was inevitable. I was doing my homework on the PC, whilst my sister was doing hers on the laptop.
He told me to get off the PC, because he “needed to do something”. I told him I was working. He said “I told you to do something.”
I didn’t argue but left. He didn’t even touch it. Just told me to get off it.
I’ve got 2 essays and 1 presentation due on monday… he’s acting like such a bastard.
We’re running low on groceries,I had to go get some milk and bread but i can’t do that every day. He’s refusing to do anything arund the house except sleep.
He’s eating outside, and spending all the evening and night outside. How much longer is this going to go on for?

Kayak8's avatar

It will go on until it stops. Social services WOULD be interested in the fact that your parents are not providing food. The crap with the PC is just plain bullying! He is also (at some deep gorilla level) realizing that the power dynamic is shifting and he is trying to demonstrate (in a really stupid way) that he has power over you.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay I’m scared for all of you. Document everything somewhere where he couldn’t find it. He’s a vicious bully and a predator. it will go on for as long as he wants until someone intervenes.

Jeruba's avatar

@MilkyWay, I think you have to find someone, at school or elsewhere, that you can check in with every day and who will check on you if they don’t hear from you by a certain time. That’s just a kind of insurance. At some point that arrangement could give you leverage that you might need.

Bellatrix's avatar

@MilkyWay, you need to pick your battles and the rest of the time stay under his radar as much as you can. If he tells you to get off the computer, don’t argue. Leave the computer. If he goes to attack you or a member of your family, that’s when you act, other than that keep your safety at the forefront of your mind. It isn’t worth arguing with him and risking him becoming aggressive over time on the computer.

I wish you had somewhere you could go. If he becomes violent towards you, you should leave. Go to a hostel. There are shelters and I would recommend finding out where your nearest is now. Look on the internet or call your local police station, women’s advice group. The key here is ‘information is power’. Have a contingency plan.

With your homework, tell your teacher what is happening. An assignment can be submitted late. I know how stressful this is, I realise it feels humiliating but your safety is more important than any essay.

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay:

”...I was doing my homework on the PC, whilst my sister was doing hers on the laptop.
He told me to get off the PC, because he “needed to do something”. I told him I was working. He said “I told you to do something.”

“I didn’t argue but left. He didn’t even touch it.”

“We’re running low on groceries,I had to go get some milk and bread but i can’t do that every day.”

How old is this sister?

Why can’t your mother at least go grocery shopping? If she is that paralyzed and can’t protect her kids, you are back where you started several days ago..except that your dad is even angrier.

What does she continue to say? Does she truly have no understanding of the crisis that the family is in and how it might escalate?

CWOTUS's avatar

@MilkyWay some of the advice you’re being given is predicated on an assumption that the people around you are capable and rational and can and should act as capable and rational adults. Only you know how far from the mark that assumption is.

It sounds like it’s time for you to begin to make plans to rescue yourself from this situation. You had said earlier in the thread that staying at a friend’s house was not an option. It needs to be. Consider what you would do if your house burned down and you were the sole survivor. Who would you turn to for help tonight, right now? You need to consider making that appeal now, and laying all your cards on the table. The story may horrify some people who figured that your family is “just an everyday family like everyone else”. Yours is not. You may be astonished to find how normal people live with each other. (Don’t be surprised if some people hear the story you tell and actually recoil from you. Some will feel the same as if you have an infectious disease that they don’t want to catch. That’s not “normal”, either, but it’s not completely uncommon. So be aware and try not to take that reaction personally.)

While it may be an unreasonable assumption to expect anyone not related to you to take you in “for good” until you finish your studies and can become self-supporting, in terms of “rescue” (which you need), it’s not at all unreasonable to expect that someone could put you up for a week or a month, and during that time you could begin to make more permanent arrangements. You can do this. I think, based on what you’ve said, that you have to.

You need to do that. Obviously, you are right now your father’s target. You’re the button that he hasn’t flattened yet, but he will intend to. Don’t be at all mistaken about that. After you’ve made arrangements to make yourself safe, then you can start to think of how to rescue your sister and your mother (in that order), if that is still necessary. With him in the picture, it will be.

Your studies may be interrupted. Don’t lose sight of the main object here: You need to save your life, maybe literally, before you can get back to what should be normal life.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay Listen to@CWOTUS That was about the best summation anyone will ever come up with. This is serious. He’s cowed your mum. He’s coming after you next. You stood up to him. He will try to push you around and see how far he can push you. He’s an animal.

MilkyWay's avatar

He told me he doesn’t want me in the house.
He said that either he stays, or I go, but he hasn’t actually done anything yet…
He also said that “school’s over” and that he’s going to pull me out, but I don;t think he can do that…

gailcalled's avatar

A legal guardian is just that; your father is not allowed to throw you out on the street or pull you out of school. You mean either you go or he goes? Call his bluff; call the number the police left with you.

What’s your mother doing? Does she not yet see that you are all heading for a serious crisis that has nothing to do with the fantasy of wanting a lovely, two-parent home?

What is your 14-year old brother doing in the midst of all this storm and fury?

MilkyWay's avatar

@gailcalled Yes, sorry. He said that either he goes, or I go. Technically though, I’m old enough to be kicked out.
My mum isn;t talking to him, avoiding him, acting like she isn’t seeing or hearing anything.
I;ve got a 14 year old sister, but my brother’s eight. My sister is trying her best to get by, but often arguing with him when he refuses to do things like moving out of the way or getting the shopping.

gailcalled's avatar

The problems are escalating, it seems. I am out of ideas and too far away to be of any practical help.

Just how tragic an event would it take to make your mother stop pretending? Maybe it it really the time to get right in her face and ask her that. What have you got to lose? Things can’t get much worse without turning into an actual tragedy.

MilkyWay's avatar

@gailcalled She just came up to me and said I’ve ruined everything, that I’ve broken the family.
Oh my fucking god. Now it’s all my fault.

gailcalled's avatar

I can think of nothing else helpful to add other than that I am very sorry.

Kayak8's avatar

@MilkyWay Stop. You didn’t “ruin anything” or “break the family.” What you did what change the dynamic of the family (to a healthier approach) and you upset what has been the sickening and unhealthy norm of the family for far too long. You have done the only thing that will allow anyone to continue as a family in something that resembles what normal is supposed to be. While she is “blaming” you, when you are older and standing outside the situation looking back, you will see that she is actually giving you credit for starting a change that must appear very scary to her at the moment. She is frightened because she can’t depend on the status quo anymore. At least when he hits her, his behavior is predictable. Some people prefer predictability to the unknown. It is not you she is afraid of—it is change and the unpredicability of the situation.

If it really is “you have to go or he goes” stop and think what is the better choice for you and what is the better choice for the family. If he goes, do you think the rest of you can survive financially? Is he likely to really go or just stay away for a short time only to come back and start the cycle all over again?

If you go, where will you go? This is key—I would look for resources in the community for run-away children and completely get the lay of the land so you go TO something rather than running FROM something!

linguaphile's avatar

@MilkyWay To be honest, you are in an insane situation that’s going to get worse before it gets better. You have to hold onto all the strength and rationality that you have because you are going to face a tumultuous ride—and if you stay strong, at the end it will all be better.

Think about the end-result of the situation—imagine yourself in a happier, healthier and a more stable place. Imagine yourself being a confident and knowledgeable role model for your siblings. Imagine yourself getting out and having the peace you deserve. Get these images burned into your head and hang on to that. Between now and then is just a mess, but hold on to the end-result images. And do what you must do to get out.

You came here and asked for advice—all the jellies here gave you excellent advice and suggestions. It’s clear that everyone’s rallying for you and really, really want you to be safe. But, we can’t do the work for you—you have to do the actual work to get out and be safe.

Take the advice on this thread— and stay rational and clearheaded. Your parents will only win when you lose your rationality.

Bellatrix's avatar

@MilkyWay by standing up to your father, you have removed your mother’s ability to remain in denial and she doesn’t like it. As has been said (and I have said privately), don’t buy into this blame game. You did the right thing.

Unfortunately, you are now becoming the scapegoat. This is not a safe place for you to be. I really, really hope you will seek out a safe place to go. I understand about wanting to protect your siblings, but that may not be something you can do. You certainly can’t do it if your mother won’t join you and instead blames you.

harple's avatar

Here is the Women’s Aid website, which is probably the largest organisation in the uk for dealing with domestic abuse. The helpline number is 0808 2000 247.

This is Refuge’s website – it’s the same helpline number, they work in partnership.

As above, and as I’ve said privately, I urge you get yourself somewhere safe.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, sweetie… I am so sorry you’re going through all this. I remember what it’s like to be blamed for exposing family dysfunction, and it’s no fun. Please remember, no matter what your parents say or do, you did the right thing. It was the only right thing, for that matter. Stay safe, and keep us updated.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay First thing I want you to do is stop blaming yourself. You did absolutely nothing wrong. Get that through your head. Please.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m with @gailcalled, @MilkyWay. I wish I could hug you up and tell you everything is going to be alright. I can’t do it in the physical world, but; I’m doing it in the from my heart world. ((( @MilkyWay))))))) ))) )))) )))) ))))))))))))))) ))))))))) )))))))))))))) ))))))))))) Mmmmmmmmmmmm I love you my dear, darling, sweet wonderful, young, strong, faithful, strong, young, strong, beautiful, Wonderful, magnificent….You are going to be okay, @MilkyWay .

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Anyone know what’s happening with this situation?

rooeytoo's avatar

@MilkyWay – I should have shared this with you before also. Unless things have changed the cops won’t keep coming if no one presses charges. There isn’t much they can do unless they see something happening. So they just stop coming. And often they think it is domestic and between the man and his wife. With this in mind, you should have an escape plan set up for yourself and your siblings. Your mom has choices, the kids don’t. You should have money and clothes stashed somewhere outside of your house and a game plan. Check with local shelters, etc. if they would take you in. I have a friend whose dad was a vicious brutal man, his mom left home. When his dad would go off, he would grab his little brother and run. He had clothes and money buried in a plastic bag in the yard, he would get that and they would catch the bus to a safe house until he figured he could go home again. It is not a good thing to have to do, but it beats staying in the house. So that is what you should do, have an escape plan ready, have what you need stashed where you can get to it and if things get too bad, get the hell out of there with the little kids.

MilkyWay's avatar

Okay, here’s an update.
I talked to people at school, they were very supportive and understanding, and have helped quite a lot. I talked to their own child protection officer, and she told me that she will alert the Social Services as to what is going on at home.
She said that although they won’t be able to do much at this point, due to both parents not wanting any intervention, she said that it was important they are made aware of the happenings just in case anything happens in the future.

I also made an appointment to see the school counseller, which is in a day’s time. I’m quite taken aback at how much support I’ve got from them, I wasn’t expecting them to be so helpful and understanding.
Things at home took a turn for the better today, as last night someone came over to talk things through with mum and dad. Dad’s been advised to join a kind of anger management course. It’s especially for men involved in domestic violence, but we still don’t know if he’s going to go or not. However, today he went out and did some shopping, which is good.
He’s still acting a bit awkward, but not as bad as before… let’s hope it will last this time.

He hasn’t kicked me out (yet), and I don’t think he will anytime soon. He’s the kind of person who wants to look good in front of people, the local community. But I’m not taking any chances. I’ve got an “emergency bag” at the back of my wardobe with all the essentials and money. And now I’ve got some contacts too, just in case. (Thank you @harple)

I know, sometime in the future, I’m going to have to leave home. I’m preparing myself for that. Right now, getting by day by day is something that takes a lot of effort. But through the things you guys have said, and all the love and support I’ve got from you, I know I’ll be able to make it through. Thank you all for giving me the love and support I needed (and need). You guys have helped me in ways I find hard to explain in words. It’s like you’re not here with me physically, but in my heart I know there are loving and caring people out there who care for me. And knowing that is a great strength.
Thank you and love you guys lots <3 <3 <3

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay: This is all reassuring.

“Social Services…
won’t be able to do much at this point, due to both parents not wanting any intervention, ..it was important they are made aware of the happenings just in case anything happens in the future.” This is the vital part.

I am feeling somewhat relieved, but still am concerned about your dad following through. At least there are people who are aware and will pay attention.

Who came over and talked to your parents about anger-management classes? Will s/he follow through? Are there classes for your mom… the paralyzed and frightened victim?

Continue to update us, daily if you like. (I’d certainly like that.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay Thanks so much for the update. That’s at least a positive start and you’ve got things planned out if it goes bad. Hugs and love to you. The usual pattern in abusers is short term improvement and then back to abuse so keep your guard up. If there is anything we can help you with let us know. And keep us informed. Thank you.

Dsg's avatar

@MilkyWay Thank you for the update. I know I have been concerned and I am sure all the other jellies here have been too. Tons of hugs and much strength coming your way from my vibes to you.

janbb's avatar

@MilkyWay Great report and so glad we could be helpful. Online support has gotten me through a lot too in the last year as many of you know.

linguaphile's avatar

@janbb Count me in for those who owe their sanity to online support, too.

@MilkyWay I’m so relieved you’re getting help and that your community’s rallying behind you. Big, big, big HUGS!!!!!

augustlan's avatar

Thanks for keeping us posted, @MilkyWay. Love and hugs to you!

MilkyWay's avatar

Update:
A social worker’s been coming round out house the past two days. I haven’t talked to her yet, as I was at school, but she will talk to me soon. The process has been painstakingly slow.
My dad has hit my mum multiple times since the last time I gave an update. Although I didn’t call the police, I made sure to let my councilor and child protection officer know at school, as he always did it when I wasn’t there.
My mum seems more willing to talk to them now, and told me that she’s glad we’re finally getting some help. My dad wasn’t too happy about the social worker visiting, and he’s now acting really sweet… towards everyone.

My grandfather (my dad’s dad) who lives in another city quite far away, heard about my dad getting arrested, and all the problems going on. He invited us round a couple of weeks ago after over 7 years. We went, and he tried talking things over with mum and dad, but it hasn’t seemed to work, as dad still hit mum after the visit. Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen… But it’s a pivotal moment in my life.

It’s very stressful, as I’m in higher education now and the workload is immense. I’m struggling to keep up with my work in college, the teachers tell me ‘I don’t know how you cope so well with all of this.’ I’m in a confused state, as I don’t know what to do or what’s going to happen next. I’m having to play the waiting game in very tense circumstances. But I’m glad I still have so many supportive friends here, who I’m sure will see me through.
I’ll let you guys know when something happens. For now, all I need you guys to do is to wish me luck, or pray for me.
Love you guys <3

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Here’s a wish for luck and a prayer for you lady. College is a stressful time and this has got to be so stressful on top of that. Keep trying lady and keep your head up. Here’s some more love for you Milkway.

bkcunningham's avatar

Prayers for you and your family, @MilkyWay. Dammit. I hate that this is happening in your life. (((HUGS))) I pray that your family gets help and finds peace. Is it a good thing, in your eyes, that you grandfather is now in the picture. I mean if you needed him, he’s there…right?

gailcalled's avatar

@MilkyWay: Can you photograph your mom’s bruising and/or other injuries?

I am relieved to know that you do have other responsible adults who are paying attention.

augustlan's avatar

Thank you for keeping us updated, @MilkyWay. <3

janbb's avatar

Sending love.

Dsg's avatar

Keep us posted. You are important and don’t forget that. Hang in there. You are doing great during all this tourmoil. You are strong! I have some words ofwisdom and strength to send you, but I’m not at home. I will send them later! God’s blessing to youand your family. Keep your chin up! I’m proud of you. Prayers are coming your way!

MilkyWay's avatar

Thank you <3 <3 <3
The social worker came today, she just left about half an hour ago.
She talked to me in private (as she did with all my siblings) and I told her everything that was happening, and everything I was concerned about.
She said that the home environment isn’t good for us, and that we would no doubt be emotionally and psychologically affected, to which I agreed.
Due to this being a complicated and difficult case, she said she’s going to be visiting again soon, and that it will go on for a bit longer…
She also said that she will visit my school soon as well, and hopefully talk to me there.

Mum and Dad are still fighting, still arguing, though there’s no more physical violence. I’m used to it being like this all the time, to be honest, but now there’s a part of me that knows all of this can be stopped, I’m getting tired of it all pretty quickly. I have a feeling it’s going to go on for a while, because the process is quite slow, so we’re all going to have to hang in there…
I’ll let you guys know if anything substantial happens, until then, love you all :)
<3 <3 <3

janbb's avatar

@MilkyWay Good report! Thank you!

harple's avatar

It sounds like positive steps forward. You were so brave, (still are) and it sounds like it is going to pay off for the better. Thank you for the update, I’m sure I speak for more than just me when I say we’ve been thinking about you.

bkcunningham's avatar

Yes, @MilkyWay. Hang in there. You are very, very brave and strong. You have set a positive force into motion and there is no turning back now Lovely. You are amazing! It will get better. <3 (((HUGS)))

MilkyWay's avatar

He left.
After months of arguements, bullying and tension, he left.
Its been five days now, he left last tuesday night, packed a suitcase and said “you’re not my responsibility any more.”
We’ve been trying to cope with the sudden change, as now we haven’t got any steady means of transport and everything’s come down to my mum and me.
My mum’s trying bless her, but she isn’t coping too well. She’s always in a bad mood and picks on everything we do. She oftens throws a fit about him leaving and her having to do everything etc.

It’s hard to not get support from either parent, and instead having to be the one supporting them… but we’ve held on so far. I’m not sure (as often is the case) of what will happen now, as he hasn’t “officially” left, or divorced or anything. He just walked out.

Unfortunatley, I haven’t been able to talk to the social worker since, but I have been going to see my school counseller every week, so she’s aware of everything.
I’m sorry I haven’t been around on here much lately, I must have worried some of you. I missed being on here. Missed you guys.

I’m just going to take it one day at a time for now. Love you guys. <3

Bellatrix's avatar

@MilkyWay – I don’t have time to write a proper response as I am going to work in a second. I just wanted to say thank you for the update and while right now your lives are in flux and you have a lot of ‘practical’ things to sort out such as transport – this may (very likely is) the best thing in the long run for your family. It will take time to sort things out but in the end, you won’t be dealing with a violent family member. Sending you a hug. I know the rest of the community will be here and may have some suggestions for how to manage this transition.

harple's avatar

Just relieved that you’re alive and well honey… One day at a time will get you through. Glad you’re back.

augustlan's avatar

So glad to hear from you, @MilkyWay! I hope things are smoother once this transition period is over. <3

Dsg's avatar

Hang in there. Your doing great! Keep talking to the counselor. Your Mom will come around. She’s having to go thru her own pain and still try to be a Mom. She’s a bit overwhelmed. Be strong! Sending you Big hugs.

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