I was waiting tables at Chili's. It was in the afternoon and it was really slow. I only had one table. A couple, sitting in the corner, nobody nearby. They were in their late-twenties. He was a fairly big guy, worn t-shirt and jeans. She was average build. She also had several partly-healed cuts on her face, some with stitches. Maybe some kind of auto accident?
At one point I noticed that her drink was empty. I asked if I could bring her a refill. She started to say, "Yes." but he cut her off,
"She doesn't want any more."
I said, "No charge for refills."
Meekly, she said, "No, I don't want any more."
"Can I bring you some water?"
She glanced at him. He was staring at her very hard.
With a hint of resignation mixed with fear, "No. I don't want anything."
I felt so helpless. It was blindingly obvious what was going on. But what could I do?
The really sad part is, I strongly suspect that just by me being nice to her, that he probably beat her for it later. That's what those monsters do.
I have a young chat buddy who's in an abusive relationship. They actually broke up a few weeks ago. But all he has to do is show up at her place and she lets him back in. It's only a matter of time before they're "back together."
The difference here is that I know the girl. I like her. We've become friends.
But, like many women in an abusive relationship, she refuses to acknowledge just how awful his behavior is. She excuses it. Says that she made him mad. That nobody can see the good in him the way she does. That there's nobody else for her. She isn't strong enough to turn him away. And he's different now, anyway. It's not going to happen again.
With a likelihood approaching certainty, it will happen again.
But what can I do? I've pointed out how this is classic abusive relationship behavior. She's even given much the same advice to friends of hers (albeit those weren't physically abusive situations.) But she refuses to accept that the advice applies to her.
I'm at a loss. I can do nothing to avert the oncoming disaster.
I feel so helpless.
Update 2/Feb/06: She started allowing herself to notice other guys. And she noticed how much nicer it was to be out with them. That she wasn't walking on eggshells. That they allowed her to be her own person. And there's one guy in particular who has caught her eye. He shows her a lot of respect.
It appears as though she's finally over the monster.
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