Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Failure

Yesterday I stood and watched while my friend went home with her abusive partner and their son.

She had called a cab to go to a shelter. The cab arrived at the same time he did, and although I locked the door, she said to let him in. He took the baby out of her arms, and neither of us could get the baby back without hurting him (the baby, not the father). Once he had the baby, she said she had to leave with him. I hugged her and told her I was sorry. I can't even imagine how she was feeling.

This all transpired at a friend's house - not even at my own. I was there to care for the homeowners 7-yr-old daughter while she ran an errand. My responsibility wasn't just to my abused friend, but also to my other friends' daughter, to keep her safe.

When the homeowner got back, she called the police and explained the situation: that our friend had spoken to a shelter intake worker that day, who had said that she shouldn't be going home again. That he has a prior history of violence against objects near her (doors, walls, windows). They took us seriously. They said they'd send a car. They got a lot of information from us, and said that they'd let us know the outcome.

We were having tea, a group of women who have known each other for years, friends, and some not-exactly-friends-but-we-can-all-spend-time-together, but all people who know and love the woman I let go home yesterday. We waited until 10:30 for news, but no one called, so we don't know what happened.

I don't know what I should have done differently, what I would do differently if I had to do it over again. I only know that I feel like I failed when it was most important that I succeed.

6 comments:

allison said...

I don't know what you could have done differently. I know that doesn't really help, but once he got his hands on the baby, he had the edge. I am glad you and your friends called the police and I hope that your friend and her son are safe. These situations are never easy, but I believe you did the best you could under bad circumstances. (hug)

tigerleo said...

Oh honey ... I am so sorry. If you want my thoughts, you know where to find me. The only way to do it (I think) would be to make sure he doesn't know where the baby is, even if she has to be without the baby for a few days. Once she knows her baby is safe, she can think about getting herself safe.

No matter what, you did a mind bogglingly awesome thing.

Jenn said...

Oh my dear - there was nothing you could do differently so don't go there. You didn't fail, the situation has been a horrible affair so long before last night happened, I'm sure.

You made the best decisions you could in a moment. And then calling the police was perfect. I hope they just got her out of there.

CosmicAvatar said...

What the other said. You did everything you possibly could in the circumstances. What a horrible situation.

MadCarlotta said...

I gave you love and bewbs. And I think you did the right thing.

songbirdy said...

According to the 'workshops' I've taken you did everything right, and yes it feels so wrong. You showed your friend you listen to her. You showed her that no matter what, you supported her decision even when it broke your heart to let her go. You stood by her and you didn't 'force' your thoughts on her even though they were more right in regards to her safety.

Prayers for her safety and thanks that you did what you did and that now she *knows* you will be there when, and it will be when, she calls again.