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.