View Full Version : Powerless

11-Sep-13, 00:25
I first met Mary almost 30 years ago at the wedding of mutual aquaintances, and we were to meet many more times over the years at other weddings, birthday parties or christenings etc. A very nice girl, quiet, softly spoken but a good sense of humour. Over the years, whenever I saw her, I always held back from saying what I really felt, that I must say something, anything, but 'it wasn't my place', and so it went unsaid. Mary always looked gaunt, and on her frame which stood at only 5' 4", the emaciated look disturbed me. She married and gave birth to two great kids, who are now grown and have started families of there own. I last saw Mary 4 years ago at my nieces 18th birthday party, and she hadn't changed. Still smiling but it didn't mask the pain. For almost 30 years Mary's husband had mentally abused her, had numerous affairs, but she worshipped him and so probably turned a blind eye to it or refused to believe anything she did hear. He continually told her she was fat. On seeing her, you could tell she needed to put on weight, not lose it. But anorexia had a grip of her and it didn't let go. Last year she ended up in hospital after her body couldn't take anymore. Her husband would visit but the callous beast still had his bit on the side.


Kim has been working in my local Co-op for about 2 months. She's pleasant enough, but on trying to chat to her she always seems distant, she's there, yet not there. She's only about 5' tall, I tower over her. And like Mary, she is slight of build, and gaunt. I suspected she too is anorexic, but it was only confirmed earlier when her name happened to crop up in a conversation I was having with my nephews girlfriend about the shop. Kim is 27, has a little boy aged 5, and a husband who 'works hard and plays hard'. He's the same as Mary's husband, a well known player on the local sports scene, has his drink with the boys, and cheats on his wife. And mentally abuses her by telling her she's fat. I'm seeing history repeat itself, but once again its not my business. But I want it to be my business. I want to save her life.

Mary didn't walk out the hospital. She died, aged 50, after being in ICU for a week. A huge turn out for the funeral, and as expected, people passing on their condolences to him, most probably not knowing of what he put his wife through. I don't want Kim to be another Mary. I drove home with anger building up inside and my eyes welling up. Wars aside, how can one human abuse another in such a way. To knowingly cause so much mental anguish is beyond my comprehension.

And I'm powerless to do anything about it.

11-Sep-13, 07:34
Say something Joxville. A kind word, a smile, it will make a difference if the situation is as you believe. You are not powerless to make a difference to her... Her day, her mood, maybe her confidence. Just knowing that you SEE her might help. It is hard because no one knows what goes on in a marriage... But be kind, interested and above all be genuine and, if she needs to, then she will take strength from that alone. Abuse, both violent and mental is a terrible thing and it is so hard to extract yourself from the situation. If it is subtle, persistent and not violent it can creep up on you almost unnoticed. Before you realise it you are a shadow of who you were. Bless you for caring

David Banks
11-Sep-13, 18:51
Squidge is certainly on the right track.

She makes me think maybe I could have done more in the last little while. A mannie (John Michael was his name), about the same age as me, lived alone right across the street from me. I had had brief blethers with him, and we always exchanged hello's and waves when we saw each other. A couple of weeks ago, he died of a heart attack. Thereafter, I saw his two sons, grandchildren, various other family and friends -- and their dogs -- all visiting the house, but I had never seen any of them before.

Some time ago, he had invited me to join his trail-walking group, but I declined.

I try very hard not to have any regrets about the various decisions I have made in my life, but this is the second time someone has reached-out to me and I have not responded adequately (as seen after-the-fact).

Then, whether I want to or not, I remember the biblical story of the Good Samaritan, and the question - who is my neighbour? (there were a few good stories in the "good book" along with loads of terrible stuff we all need to ignore!)

Thank you for being so honest about these situations, and I wish you peace as you decide what it is appropriate for you to do.

11-Sep-13, 19:02
say something any thing not once but every time you see her. if shes looking nice one day mention it give her a boost my guess is you would make a difference. None of us are powerless we just need to notice more so well done to you for noticing.

12-Sep-13, 02:16
You are not powerless, Joxville, just as the others have said. Kindness goes a long way to building self esteem. You never know what strength you can give another person by showing that you care.

12-Sep-13, 18:49
Another thing you have brought this to the attention of us all on here and maybe one of us will say something to someone. powerless never.