Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Feeling Guilty For Walking Away” Responds

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Feeling Guilty For Walking Away,” who was feeling guilty about walking away from her friend in an abusive marriage. “After twelve years of being by her side, I had to walk away from the friendship because the day-to-day phone calls, text messages, and e-mails about the things her husband has said or done, or the re-tellings of how her children have become injured because she’s not properly supervised them, or her parents keeping me updated about their daughter’s living conditions have left me drained in the wake of her news.” Keep reading for an update prompted by advice from all of you.

I wanted to send an update based on the comments posted on the letter about calling CPS (child protective services). I made the call based on the information which had been shared with me through Leigh’s parents and what I personally saw for myself the last time I was with Leigh and her children.

CPS is currently investigating. Leigh’s mother called me and screamed at me for the better part of twenty minutes about how she could not believe how I involved the authorities in “an extremely private, personal, family matter” and that she and her husband were making sure their grandchildren never had to be exposed to CPS visits. Since I am the only non-family member aware of the circumstances going on in Leigh’s home, her mother felt the only other person to call to report was me. Oh well.

Her phone call at least made me feel like I had done the right thing in reporting the abuse that Leigh suffers and how her children are also affected by it. Leigh’s parents, I know, must be embarrassed and beside themselves about the investigation. Maybe the phone call to CPS made them feel like I was pouring salt in the wounds after the clean break from their daughter. If it helps Leigh see that she needs to get herself help, then being berated by her mother will have been worth it.

I sincerely hope that, once CPS had completed their investigation, the children are safe and happy and Leigh gets the help she needs.

Thank you for listening.

 
Oh, man. My thoughts are with those children, too. I hope they get the protection and security they deserve and need. Thanks for the update.

***************

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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6 comments… add one
  • avatar

    dinoceros September 11, 2017, 1:35 pm

    Good for you. You did the right thing. Now, I think you can concretely feel that you did everything you can reasonably be expected to have done.

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  • avatar

    Northern Star September 11, 2017, 2:01 pm

    I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant, but at least you can take some comfort in knowing it had to be done. Leigh’s parents put so much burden on you as the only “secret keeper,” which isn’t fair. But the children’s safety has to come first. Definitely before making sure Leigh’s issues stay “personal and private.”

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  • avatar

    Nadine September 11, 2017, 4:41 pm

    Protecting them from CPS sure but not from abuse?? Those grandparents suck and their priorities are whack.

    You did good LW.

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  • avatar

    Ella September 11, 2017, 6:33 pm

    I’m glad you called CPS. That was the right thing to do, LW. Her mother will eventually see that the best thing for her daughter and grandchildren was to have outside authorities come in to evaluate the situation and take action to keep those children safe.

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes September 12, 2017, 8:22 am

    I agree – good job standing up and doing the right thing, LW! It took guts.

    Abuse is horrendous for so many reasons, especially the secretive aspect. This is NOT something to keep “private, personal.” WTF to her parents. Ugh

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  • avatar

    wobster109 September 12, 2017, 11:00 am

    LW, you did the right and difficult thing even though it meant the grandparents would be angry with you. It’s real strength to do the right thing when you know you’ll be trashed instead of praised.

    There’s a lot of stigma around CPS, just like there’s still stigma around discussing mental health, and this is really sad for vulnerable children. I can’t believe the grandparents think talking to CPS is worse than the kids being unwashed and unfed.

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