Walking Away

Posted on Wednesday 10 August 2011

I have tried everything in my power to get Ellie’s family to try and see that she has a problem. I have given them all the evidence and documentation of Ellie’s problem, but they will not even look at it. It just seems that they can not or will not accept that this is a possibility.

In my previous post, A Prayer for Ellie, I spoke of trying to give Ellie’s mother the documentation. My first attempt failed, as Ellie’s father grabbed the package and left the room with it, returning a few minutes later without it. Inside the package was the book, Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic, as well as all of the documentation I had put together for Ellie’s mother. As far as I know he discarded the package without even attempting to read or investigate what was inside the package. There was a second book on addiction in families, and I do not know what happened to it. It may have survived and still be in Ellie’s mother’s possession, as it was not in the package that was confiscated and presumably destroyed.

Unfortunately, Ellie’s father is an alcoholic himself. I believe the fear and rage that he demonstrates every time someone attempts to discuss Ellie’s illness is brought on by his own inability to accept that he is an alcoholic as well. Confronting his daughter would require him to admit that he is an alcoholic, and that is something he appears to be incapable of doing, even at the cost of his daughter’s well-being.

Since the book was no longer an issue, I decided to try and e-mail all of the relevant files to Ellie’s mother since almost all of them are from Ellie’s own social networking posts and text that I wrote based on the events and conversations I had with Ellie this past summer. She apparently got the e-mail, but as far as I can tell was unwilling to read through the relevant documents, probably cowed by her husband’s enraged confiscation of the physical documents the day before. This is very sad.

Ellie’s older brother who I was asked to speak with about his problems with chronic depression as well as alcohol and drug related issues, reached out to me. I was hopeful that her brother, whom I had counseled on very similar issues when he was Ellie’s current age, would have the courage to try and help his beautiful sister. I asked him for his help in getting Ellie the help she needs. I said, listen to what I have to say, and look at the evidence I have, most of it in your own sister’s words, and then, if you don’t believe me and don’t agree that Ellie has a problem, walk away. He said he needed to check his schedule and would contact me later.

When I finally contacted Ellie’s brother, he was too busy spending time with his girlfriend to even look at the material that shows his sister has a very serious problem. This I thought was rather ironic, considering that he would not be with his girlfriend if it wasn’t for me. When he broke up with her a while back, Tara contacted me and asked me to speak with him about the breakup. When I did, he told me that he basically broke up with her because. He didn’t actually have any reason for it. When he had been hospitalized for his bout with depression, his girlfriend, who had only been with him about six weeks, was one of the few friends he had that actually stood by him. Friends of his that had known him since second grade abandoned him, but she was steadfast and supportive. I told Ellie’s brother that loyalty like that was something to be treasured, and that it was rare and should be rewarded, not discarded like yesterday’s trash. Whether he listened to what I had to say or not, the two were back together in about a week’s time. Apparently, not valuing long-term friendships and loyalty runs in the family.

Ellie’s brother was too busy to even listen to what I had to say. He also said that he needed to talk to Elie before seeing what I had to say. Given that he’s already heard all the lies she has been telling, I thought it was more important that he at least see the evidence and documentation I had put together before confronting his sister. Her lies have been very effective this summer, and unfortunately, she is a masterful liar and manipulator. Her addiction has made her better at something she had nearly perfected as a child.

Almost all hope is lost as far as I am concerned. I have decided that I have done all I could and am walking away. While I love Ellie very much and still wish to spend the rest of my life with her, she really no longer exists. The woman whose smile brought happiness to my heart is gone, as good as dead. All that remains is her physical body and her addiction. Until such time Ellie gets help, I doubt that anyone will ever see that smile again. I leave her and her recovery in God’s hands, and can do no more, at least until she or her mother ask for my help or for me to once again be the friend, confidante and protector I had been all of her life previous to this summer.

The documentation I had put together from her own words and our conversations and the changes I saw in her behavior show an accelerating descent into a world of drug and alcohol use with very high risk sexual promiscuity.

Her lies about me and her frantic and desperate efforts to isolate me from her family, as well as the long conversations we had following my revealing to her how my feelings for her had changed led me to believe that she was seriously considering my request. Many of the subjects we discussed, as well as the fact that she repeatedly told me she loved me in two languages, having asked me how to say “I love you” in Korean, all lead me to believe that she does love me. Addicts generally push away those they care about most, and the only one she has pushed away this summer is me.

I have not abandoned my beloved Ellie, but I am walking away from the enveloping disaster that is her addiction. I can not bear witness to her self-destructive behavior, like sleeping with a 25 year-old African American man who is likely the drug dealer supplying her the ever stronger drugs she is using. He is likely the person who lives in Mission Hill, where Ellie admits to having spent the night drinking, doing drugs and having sex, as she spelled out in her social media posts. I also can not bear to see her family allow her to let her self-destruct without a single one of them trying to help her.

It is very sad that this summer the only person who cared enough about Ellie, loved her enough and paid enough attention to her to figure out what was going on was me. Her parents were unaware of all she was doing, even as she lived under the same roof as them. And much of the time I had to figure out what was going on, Ellie and I weren’t even friends or even on speaking terms. I did much of the “figuring out” by cell phone aboard a sailboat at sea, and had a clearer vision of what was happening to Ellie than her own parents did.

According to one acquaintance of theirs, a local police officer, it really isn’t a surprise that Ellie’s parents haven’t been paying attention. They have checked out of their responsibilities as Ellie’s parents since she turned 18, as they did with their son. I can not understand how they can do this. Just because she turned 18 doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need her parents in her life, but that is what they’ve chosen to do.

I hope that Ellie gets the help she so desperately needs before she ruins her life and her future. Given the path she is on now, I would not be surprised if she is arrested for drunk driving or DUI, or injured or killed in a DUI accident, raped or impregnated or infected by some STD given her risky sexual behavior and general alcohol and drug use, or lost completely. I hope that isn’t the case, but given how quickly things have accelerated this summer, I doubt I will have to wait long to see this happen. These are just some of the bad ends I see happening. The bright future she had is rapidly dimming.

I love Ellie, and still do want to spend the rest of my life with her if she should recover. I believe she loves me. I do not believe she would have told me she loves me, discussed the wide variety of subjects we did, or have tried to push me away so hard when she fell victim to her addiction. I also believe that her social media posts were a cry for help, from me specifically. I have failed her.

In losing her, I have also lost her entire family. Her father is rabid when it comes to me, mainly because he uses my relationship and feelings for his daughter as an excuse to not confront his daughter about her illness, much the same way she lied about me to avoid having to confront her own illness with a person she said she loves and obviously cares a great deal about. Her mother is too cowed by her husband’s illness and anger to do what needs to be done to rescue her eldest daughter. Her brother is an addict and I believe that is a big part of his inability to confront his sister’s illness. He is also very much a coward, with out the strength to try and save a sister he professes to love. I do not know if her sister has any true idea of what is going on. She is also plagued with her own issues, and I think it is clear where they stem from at this point.

I pray for them all.



I love you. I am here for you, and I promise I will return to your side if you just ask me to. I miss you. I have always loved you for being yourself.

But you are no longer yourself, being nothing more than your addiction at the moment. I pray for you to get better and to return to being the wonderful woman I love so much. If you should return, and you want me beside you, all you have to do is ask.

If you fail to return, I will mourn and grieve for you as I have for no one else, as I love you like I have loved no one else. I am sorry I failed you.

As always, with love,


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