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I, single woman, 34 years, in Mauritius, have been the victim of domestic violence and the authorities caused my dad and brother to stop their behavior. Deep down themselves, they have not changed but they know they will face consequences, so they are acting differently.

My problem is social life. Events like wedding, birthday, funeral, dinner at relatives, I used to avoid all the going out with dad and/or brother. First what it used to be was that talks about domestic violence was taboo. When with people, I have to be presented according to them, keep smiling and showing as if I am very beloved. As such, I stopped going out with them. Then, there was a period when seeing authorities, court, doctors and recuperating myself, I was never at any wedding, birthday, funeral, dinner at relatives.

Now, there are times I feel very lonely. Most of my friends are married and they have their life. So, no human interaction. Last time went to a birthday celebration for a cousin who returned from abroad after five years. In the presence of my dad and brother, I just fringe or crisp. I don't know how to describe that feeling when in front of my abusers. I just cannot enjoy. I feel disgusted when seeing them. At the party, there were people not recognizing me. Others were so happy meeting me, as if I have returned from abroad for some years.

I really need some social skills advice, how I can make friends and grow relationships or enjoy myself when my dad and/or brother are also at the event? Also, I don't want talks that I share, to fall in their ears. See, my cousin is his cousin. My uncle is his uncle. My aunt is his aunt. And will this ever change throughout my lifetime? They will always share the same network of people. When a relative invites a family, they also invite the whole family.

Please advise.

closed as too broad by Anne Daunted, Jess K., sphennings, apaul, Em C Jan 25 '18 at 21:17

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Hi Ladu, I'm sorry you're dealing with this :( I edited your post for a couple grammar mistakes and to change the tag (I didn't see anything about substance abuse in the post so I figured it was a typo). Can you share which country you are from and how old you are? I'm also not quite sure what part you are looking for advice on- ways to avoid dad/brother at events, dealing with comments from relatives about them, something else? PS don't be too worried about the "on hold" notice - that's just to keep people from answering before we understand your situation better, it can be reopened after :) – Em C Jan 25 '18 at 21:26
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    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes – sphennings Jan 25 '18 at 21:28
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    I don't see this question as too broad, and I'm not sure how she could narrow it without reducing its utility. The question as I understand is "how does one jump-start a social life in the face of abusers who are making it impossible to socialize within your tightest circle?" It's not ambiguous, and it's not at all impossible to construct a useful, meaningful answer. – Ben I. Jan 25 '18 at 21:29
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    @Ladu this is an important group of questions and I suspect you aren't the only person who needs to know these things. I'd suggest breaking this up into a couple separate questions, such as How do I make friends, how do I attend family gatherings where my abuser is present, and how do explain to my family that I do not want to be at events with my abuser? I think those as separate questions will provide a great deal of info for you, even if they are duplicates of existing questions. – baldPrussian Jan 25 '18 at 21:56
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    @MeganSullivan That's not how it works. I'm sorry. We all want to help and don't like seeing people in difficult situations but our need to help must be tempered by what's best for the site. We can not offer solutions without a specific problem and preferred outcome. – Catija Jan 25 '18 at 23:19