I've been away from MDC for a long time, but I have this very strange situation that I am seeking some help with, and knew I could find it here.
A longtime friend of mine started telling me a few years ago that her dh felt like he needed to be very strict with their oldest child. Then it continued to get worse and worse until one day she came over in tears, telling me that her dh had told the child the following things:
"You might be able to manipulate your mom by giving her hugs and kisses, but I know what you are really like and that you don't care about anyone but yourself."
"I have to leave for the holidays because I can't even stand to be around you right now."
"You are the reason I am depressed, you make my head hurt and make it so I can't even work."
The child was seven at the time. He also told my friend that he could tell that the child was inherently flawed and had no conscience and was probably a sociopath.
But, then, she starts going with the child and herself to counseling, incidentally a very wonderful therapist who I knew from another part of my life, and I thought to myself, "Great, said counselor will report abuse, friend will see light of day and kick out worthless dh." This never happens. Therapist has to stop seeing patients because of unrelated life issues, friend and child start seeing another counselor. Still, no report is made. I talk to friend again, she is distraught, reports that nothing is better, relationship is the same. At this point, I am extremely blunt and tell her I think it's abusive to stay with dh, she needs to leave, she needs to get out of there for her child and she is in the wrong to stay. Visit ends, I don't hear anything from her for almost a year.
Recently, she reached out and we have begun hanging out again and she tells me that dh now just avoids the child completely. He ignores the child at mealtimes, and spends most of his time away. She says she thinks it is better, but apparently this has only been for the last few weeks.
Sooo, if you've made it this far, the question is this. My dh thinks she made the whole thing up. He thinks that one of the two therapists would have reported the family, otherwise, and that for some reason my friend just gets a charge out of the fake drama. I kind of wonder, myself, especially because she told me I'm one of the few people who know about the situation. However, I think it's hard to tell what is really going on in an abusive situation and feel terrible for not having reported it long ago. I'm considering calling tomorrow, and just can't decide. If she is indeed investigated, it will probably be the end of our friendship either way. If it's true I'm one of the few people who know, maybe I can do more by being a supportive friend.