Helping a friend with family trauma

2022.01.29 10:15 karuvapatta Helping a friend with family trauma

I [27f] have another Indian friend [31f], she has been separated from her husband for a year. We are both in the UK, financially independent, living away from family, with good savings and steady jobs. She is currently depressed and I have run out of ways to help her.
She comes from an emotionally abusive family. They still continue to be horrible to her because they didn't approve of her inter-racial marriage and subsequent divorce. Yet she keeps going back to family events, is in WhatsApp group chats with them etc. The sad thing is that she's always upset because they post pictures of the family hanging out without her and post quotes of daughters disrespecting parents. Every time she visits them, she comes back crying.
I myself was in the same situation, and after a lot of therapy, I decided to become estranged from my family and have never been more happy and emotionally healthy. When I suggested the possibility of not attending family events (I did not suggest estrangement), she snapped at me, said I was extreme and that unlike me, she's too nice and wants to give people a second chance. She said all of this despite knowing that my estrangement was the result of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and a hundred chances. She apologised for this later, but now I do not comment/give advice when she comes to me for comfort after every interaction she has with her family.
The other thing is her dating life. She herself has admitted that she derives self-esteem from having a partner. Whenever we hang out, she is either ranting about her family or texting a potential date while I'm trying to talk. Many of our mutual friends no longer want to go out with her, since she only wants to hang out with us if a date cancels. They are especially angry because she never asks about us, and only tries to spend her time with us whenever a guy has rejected her, so we can comfort and reassure her. I'm one of the few friends she has left, and I've tried to stay neutral about this, but it's becoming very hard now.
We have suggested therapy several times. She has the means to access it, but doesn't want to. I understand that therapy isn't for everyone - both of us have had negative experiences with therapists before. The problem is that we don't talk or have a conversation anymore, it's always just her ranting and crying and me listening. I feel like a therapist more than a friend and it's draining me. I feel awful. I want to help and I'm all out of ideas.
Tl;dr: Friend has family trauma and unhealthy obsession with dating. Refuses therapy and instead rants to friends.
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2022.01.29 10:15 AutoModerator Daily Feedback Thread (January 29, 2022)

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