I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my father and Bea, Ellie’s little sister. They were both born on this day, though many years apart. I would like to wish them both many more birthdays to come, as well as hope that they both have a fantastic day and a good year to follow.
One serious concern I do have is that Bea is now the same age as Ellie was when Ellie started drinking. I hope that Bea will get herself into something like Al-Anon, where she can learn to deal with the issues that she will confront as the daughter and sibling of alcoholics. Back in August, when I tried to get a package of documentation to Ellie’s mother about Ellie’s illness, I included a book in it for Bea. My hope was that she would be able to read it and it would help her avoid the fate that has befallen her brother and sister. Unfortunately, I think that book was also destroyed by Ellie’s father, when he confronted Ellie’s mother and confiscated the documentation and books I had sent her.
While her brother doesn’t want to admit it, he did have a serious problem with alcohol and drugs in the past. I know because I was asked to talk to him about those issues and his chronic depression when he was hospitalized two years ago, during the spring of his freshman year of college. He flunked out of college because of those problems. That may have been the turning point for him though, since he started treatment to deal with his depression. I believe the only reason he has not fallen down the path that his younger sister has, is because he was hospitalized and got treatment for his depression, which was likely the underlying cause for his alcohol and drug addiction problems. I believe that by getting treated for the depression, he avoided the self-medication downward spiral that Ellie is currently trapped in.
As far as I know, Bea doesn’t drink yet. I hope that when she does start to drink, she learns to do so responsibly and avoid what has happened to her brother and what is happening to her sister. I would still be there for Bea and the rest of her family if it wasn’t for the lies that her father and sister are responsible for and their denial of their illness. I haven’t stopped caring for any of Ellie’s family, nor stopped being their friend.
In many ways, I may be the only true friend they have, since I am the only one willing to face the truth about Ellie’s, her brother’s and her father’s problems with alcohol and/or drugs. Too many of their other friends and family members are too frightened of Ellie’s father to even try and tell the truth about what is going on–I am not.
Ellie’s father is both a bully and a coward as far as I am concerned, and while I still consider him a friend, I understand that his limitations and poor behavior are caused by his illness and unwillingness to accept that he is ill–much like what is currently happening with Ellie. I can not blame him for his illness, as I do not hold Ellie responsible for her actions and behavior while under the influence of her addictions.
As I promised Ellie and her mother, I will be here for them. I think Ellie’s mother knows this, as the last text message I got from her was “Dan, I know you will always be there for us.” I want Bea to know that I will also be here for her. While I do not love Bea the same way I love Ellie, she is also someone I have known all her life and loved and cared for all of her life.