On Saturday, Mum packed few things while her husband was at work.
She spoke to her friend M and let her know what was happening. Around this time, Mum was a little bit uncomfortable with her. She always made excuses for her husband and made Mum feel she was very selfish person who was only thinking of herself.
M was against Mum’s plan of going to the women’s shelter. She said to Mum that there are many drug addicts with noisy kids sharing the place (I must say clearly that this was not the case at all.) and Mum’s illness would even get worse. M offered Mum to stay with her for a while, but she could not accept dogs. Mum explained her that she would be in her own unit. If she moved into the shelter, she can receive all the help possible, including her dogs, dealing with Centrelink and finding accommodation. Mum made the decision because she saw it was the best possible option for her. She really needed these extra help. M reluctantly accepted Mum’s decision.
M invited Mum to visit her unit the following day, and she would come to pick her up. M knew Mum was too ill to drive. Even if she could, her husband was driving her car and she could not touch the keys.
Next day, around lunch time M showed up. She cheerfully said hello to Mum’s husband. However, he completely ignored her. He even didn’t look at her. M looked bit confused and upset. She had been talking to him with the hope to make the situation better for Mum and him, and so far her impression about him was poor, gentle and stressed man who has to put up with his very ill wife. M tried again, “Hey A, I’m just taking your wife to my place for a couple of hours.” No response. Mum and M looked at each other. Mum was confused, too. She thought her husband was friends with M. But she did not say anything as she could tell that he was very grumpy even without seeing his face.
On the way to M’s place, M told Mum with a bit of hesitation, “He told me you have changed when you got the citizenship.” That was when Mum got very angry and could not control her anger. Her husband had been telling stories that she was using him to stay in Australia. (This could be also the reason why people think Mum was bossy, even she is complete opposit.) She had not changed at all. Well, she discovered that her husband was telling lies about drug use, and she realised that he was in the drug much deeper than he originally told her. She married him because she believed that he loved her as much as she loved him. As a start, she could have applied an independent skilled visa, but she went for spouse visa as she believed it was the respect to their marriage. When the permanent residency was granted, she did not think about leaving him, instead she was trying hard to convince him that she was not using him, which ended up doing all the house work while working long hours and doing extra study as a continuous professional development as an accountant. She gave him all the freedom to do whatever he wanted and not to do whatever he didn’t wanted. She couldn’t understand why he could not trust her, but now she knows very well it was paranoia caused by heavy drug use.
Then, M seemed to understand everything at last. She remembered he did not want to go to Mum’s University Graduation or Citizenship Ceremony. He on purposely screwed up with camera battery and Mum could not have photos for these ceremonies except for the ones taken professionally. He stubbornly avoided socialising with Mum’s friends even Mum was attending every family events and his friends’ gathering while she was not too ill. And no nice husband would ignore a very ill wife go without food or without shower, no matter how hard it is to live with a very ill person.
For Mum’s relief, M’s attitude melted and became the same M Mum had been known for a very long time.
That afternoon, Mum was spoiled by M. She cooked a nice lunch and served yummy cake. She was lying on her couch whole time except for using nice shower and washed her hair. It was so nice to chat with her and catch up. M drove Mum back and made sure that Mum would take extra food and cake home. This afternoon made her felt that she was a human again.
When M drove Mum back, her husband was not home. She had been noticing signs that he was seeing someone else. But it didn’t upset her at all. Her love to him had been completely dead. She thought when this woman would realise he was not a nice shy guy he made out to be.
Information book given by Domestic Violence Prevention Centre explains it as “Social Isolation”. The predator of DV tells stories and lies about his victim. As a result, the victim ends up with no family or friends who believe her. This makes the victim socially isolated and could not obtain any support. Accordingly it gets even harder to get out from DV cycle while degree of violence getting severe and more serious.
Mum was not sure if her husband was doing this consciously. (She guesses that it could be a behavioural pattern of a coward person.) He was obviously angry to see M was still being friends with Mum and helping her. It almost worked, but M had committed to help Mum even she was not sure if Mum wasn’t a nasty person.
Mum was happy to see that things were cleared between her and M.
Nice to see you here. Your Mum has had a very tough time, but I am so proud of her for getting out of her situation even though she had no idea of what the final outcome would be.She is very brave and I love her for her courage and bravery