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My Mother And Sister Are Being Threatened And Abused By A Man And I Don't Know What To Do

by Carli
(South Africa)

My mom met someone about 2 years ago, and they've been on and off ever since. I got the feeling that he wasn't good for her. And I recently found out that I was dead on!

Here are a few points :

1. When they fight he usually sends her text messages saying; "I HATE YOU"(he repeatedly sends them), "you're a worthless piece of sh*t", and a lot more.

2. He disappeared 4 times now for sometimes longer than a week and then comes back acting as if nothing has happened. My mom told me about a month ago (the 4th time he just took off) that he told her that he went to rehab. As if... This brings me to point #3.

3. He stays with my mom and sister (when he is around). He lays in bed the whole day, doesn't clean up after himself, doesn't even bother to flush the toilet and doesn't work (because he has had 5 jobs in the past 6 months where he called in sick the day after he actually statrted working there! What the hell??! ). So he sponges on my mom the whole month...well at least until all her money is used up. She has it hard. I know she earns around R9000.00 per month from which R6200.00 has to go for rent. Then there is my sister's school fees to pay, she needs to buy food (which there never seems to be enough of because she has to provide him with salt and vinegar crisps and a slab of chocolate every night. And let her try saying no! Then it's the text message story, but this time to her face.

4. I wrote about the whole so called "rehab" story earlier. Well you tell me, rehab costs money. My mom didn't pay for it, his family didn't pay for it, so I say he was talking a whole load of garbage. Anyway, he "used to be" a big junky. And I personally think he still is. I mean my mom and I have a pretty open relationship so she told me when I asked her when he last used drugs (5weeks ago).

The last 4 things I pointed out were some of the minor things.

5. I AM WORRIED ABOUT MY LITTLE SISTER!! She's 12 now and she understands more than she should. My mom of course shoves him a little when he says something inappropriate in front of her. I don't live with my mom anymore, so I'm not there ALL the time to protect them. I moved out right in the beginning of their relationship because I saw something bad coming.

6. He hit my mom this Saturday that passed. I thought I was going to kill him! He shoved her into the car which caused a massive bump on the back of her head, approx a diameter of 5cm. She showed me her eye the next day. And her arms her filled with about 4 bruises with a diameter varying between 1 and 4cm.

I only found out on Saturday that this was the third time he did something like this. Apparently the first time he just pushed her into the bedroom closet. The second time he almost broke her back when he pushed her into the corner of the wall.

I need help. My MOM NEEDS HELP.

I WILL kill him if nobody can give give advice. Because until now, the only thing people have been telling me it's not my choice to make. I DON'T want to hear that anymore! I need to know how to get my family out of that relationship or I swear he will drive me to kill him!

I am losing my mind!!

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Carli, and thanks for telling your story here. You're leaving out one very important person in your concerns...yourself. You need to come up with a plan for resolving this that does not cost you your own freedom or possibly your own life. I will try to help.

I can certainly see why this bothers you so much. Your desire to protect your mother and sister are good and right. But hear this: your desire to kill this man who is hurting them makes no sense whatsoever. If you kill him, you will go to prison, and who will protect your family then? You have to protect the family's protector--that is you.

So, it is up to you to come up with a plan to get this man to leave your mother alone. Apparently, she is not strong enough to do this herself, which is too bad, since there is a lot she could do if she were willing and able. Meanwhile, let's look at what you can do.

Report him to the police. He has physically assaulted your mother, so he's committed a crime. Tell him you have called the police and that you will continue to call the police. Tell him that you are watching him, and that you will protect your family no matter what. If you don't feel safe or comfortable telling him this to his face, then give the message to him in writing. It would also be good if you could get an attorney to write a letter, representing you and your mother, telling him to cease and desist.

I don't know if restraining orders are a possibility in your country, but if they are then check into the possibility of your mother getting a restraining order against him, with your support. Your mother is going to have to cooperate with all of this, for it to be effective. If she doesn't cooperate, then she is supporting his abusive behavior, and there is not much that you can do.

You talked a lot about killing him in your story. Please think about this. You will ruin your life if you kill him. It will change you forever, and your mother and sister will still be vulnerable to any man who comes along and wants to take advantage. See if you can get some counseling or some kind of help for your mother, so that she learns to keep people like this man out of her home and out of her life. If you see your mother as a helpless victim, you're not seeing clearly. She is participating in this, and she needs to participate in the solution.

Take care of yourself, Carli. This is not worth sacrificing your life and your freedom.

To control your anger better, try the techniques on this FAQ page. Keep in mind that I think your anger is justified. The point is, you want to make things better, not worse.

I think you're a smart person, Carli. I think you will make the right decision. Believe in yourself, and believe in your mother to do the right thing to protect herself and your sister, with your help.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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