Choices

Posted on Tuesday 10 January 2012

We make choices every day. Some we are conscious of, others we are not. Some of these choices can affect others, not just ourselves, and not always in good ways.

I recently found out that Ellie had been in a car accident. From what I have heard, it wasn’t a serious car accident. And as far as I know, no one was injured because of it. I do have to wonder at what led to the accident.

Did it occur because she was high or drunk when she was driving?

The chances are pretty good that she may have been, since I believe she has been driving drunk or high quite a bit over the last seven months. What I do not believe she realizes is what kind of consequences her choice of driving while drunk or high can have.

It was such a choice that lead to the death of my twin brother almost 25 years ago. A young man decided to get behind the wheel of his car and drive, even though he was clearly drunk. His choice led to the car accident that killed my twin brother. The years of grief and sorrow—the years I lost while recovering from my twin brother’s death are something that I can never get back. My twin brother is gone forever because of one person’s choice.

I live with the loss of my identical twin at the hands of an under-aged drunk driver every day. I see the consequences of his decision to drive drunk every day. I don’t know if the man who killed my twin lives with the consequences of his actions every day, but I have to.

I am writing this post because I hope to warn Ellie of the possible consequences of her driving while drunk or high. She may injure or kill someone, because she chose to drive while she was drunk or high. This will be the result of one of the choices Ellie has made. The person she injures or kills may be herself, or it may be one of her friends, or it may be a total stranger. We won’t know until it happens. I do not know if she will be able to live with the guilt of this, should it happen.

I hope that she will take a hard, long look at what has transpired over the last seven months—since I first confronted her about her drinking on June 29th, 2011. I hope she will see that the people she has surrounded herself with since that time are not people who truly care about her or love her. I hope that she will see that they will not be there for her if she should get seriously injured or ill because of her drinking and drug use. I hope she will finally understand that they will not stand by her if anything bad should happen to her.

I hope she will realize there are people who truly do care about her—people who have a solid and long-term commitment to her and her well-being. These are also some of the people that truly love her and will stand by her no matter what. I am one of them. That is what I have promised her. In many ways, I am the only one that has loved her enough to see what she had been doing to herself the past seven months. I was the only one who paid close enough attention to see what she was doing, and the only one that cared enough to try and do something about it.

I hope she will take a look at what happened to her academically last semester. I hope she will ask herself why did she do so poorly, when she was taking only four classes, instead of the five she had each semester of the previous year. I hope she will see the drop in her grades as a warning sign—one I predicted and warned her and her mother of last August.

From what I see, her choice of courses is far more difficult this semester and I doubt that she will succeed if she is still drinking and using drugs the way she was last semester. She also has someone that will tutor her in three of the four courses she is going to be taking, if she would ask him to. I tutored many people in both macro-economics and micro-economics as well as statistics when I was in college. While it has been some time since then, I am sure I could help her.

I hope she will finally realize that her addictions—her choice to use drugs and drink alcohol—affects people other than her. Her illness has affected me—it has robbed me of the company of the woman I love. It has caused me grief, sorrow, pain, anger and frustration, because I am helpless to help the woman I love and must stand by and watch her slowly destroy everything I love about her. It has cost her my friendship, my company, my advice and guidance, and my help in many areas of her life. It has cost her family my friendship and help. It has probably cost her some of her friendships in many ways as well—at least among those that aren’t using drugs or drinking as she has been.

It seems to me that her parents have abdicated all responsibility for her as parents. Of course, this has been the case in many ways since she was 13 or 14. I know, because I was the person they often asked to speak with their two older children—because they would not. I think it is highly irresponsible of them to think that their duties, their responsibilities to their children end just because they turned 18. I have spoken with many of my friends that have children, and almost all of them are horrified of the idea that they would stop being parents to their children just because they had legally become adults—but that seems to be what Ellie’s parents have done.

Her father has a pretty good excuse. He is a coward, a bully and an alcoholic in denial. Any one of those would be a pretty good excuse to be a lousy parent, but he has all three. He is also one of the most emotionally abusive people I have ever seen. A mutual friend has argued the point about his treatment of his wife dozens of times over the quarter century they have been friends. I doubt he is much better to either of his daughters, given how he treats his wife.

Her mother’s main excuses are fear and shame. She is terrified of her husband, and understandably so. He is a bully and a coward and desperately terrified of facing his own alcoholism. She is also ashamed of having to admit her daughter is an alcoholic and a drug addict—thinking that somehow it reflects poorly upon her skills as a parent. This is not the case. Ellie grew up the child of an alcoholic and has a strong genetic predisposition to the illness. It is why both she and her brother, as well as much of her extended paternal family suffer from the same illness. Ellie’s mother is also Ellie’s only hope of help within the family. She was strong enough to ask me to help Ellie’s brother two years ago. I hope she can find the strength to ask me to help Ellie now.

Ellie has to make her own choices.

She can choose to be the drug-addicted alcoholic she has been the past seven months. The toll that her choice to be such for the past seven months is starting to show in the photos of her pretty clearly. If she continues on that path, I fear where she will end up. It may be that she doesn’t realize that she has a problem with drugs and alcohol and must hit rock bottom like most junkies and winos do before they can ask for help. But, this is her decision to make, and she is the one that has to live with the consequences.

It is likely that she will fail or do so poorly in her classes this semester that she will lose the scholarship that allows her to attend the school she is currently at. Then, like her brother, she will have to decide whether she wants to go to a state university or college, or drop out entirely. Her current school will be beyond her reach at that point as far as I know.

She can choose to be the successful, smart, ambitious woman that managed to get the merit-based scholarship that allows her to attend the elite private college that she currently is at. She will have to work very hard to overcome her addictions if she chooses to go this route, but I know she has the strength, stubbornness, and will to do so if she wants to. She is one of the smartest, strongest, stubbornest, fiery tempered, feisty spirited women I have ever known. These are some of the many multitude of reasons I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her, even now.

But, she has to decide now—before classes start. I do not think that she will be able to decide during the semester, as that will be too late. She needs to get a treatment plan in place and more importantly setup a support system that will help her avoid relapsing to drugs and alcohol abuse like she was doing last semester.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are both progressive diseases. The longer they are allowed to run rampant, the harder they become to treat. The damage they do to the body—to the brain’s pathways, the brain’s structure, the liver, the kidneys, the heart and the digestive tract are all cumulative. The longer she is an addict and an alcoholic, the more likely she is to have complications from the marijuana and alcohol use.

Unlike Gee and her cancer, Ellie has a choice. She can choose to get better. She can choose to remain an alcoholic and a drug addict. Gee never had the choice to get better or not. Ellie can choose to live her life to the fullest of her potential or to live it as a shadow of what she could have been. Ellie has all the support, the love, the strength and the courage that it will take to get better if she wants to. All she has to do is decide she wants to beat her addictions, and someone as smart, stubborn, brave and strong-willed as she is can do it. This is really her choice, and a choice that will affect how the rest of her life turns out. I hope she chooses to live, rather than to stay the drug-addicted alcoholic she is now.

She says she is:

Hyped for school in one weeeek

But, how does she want this semester of school to turn out? Does she want a repeat of the last semester or worse? Or does she want to succeed academically as she typically has before. That is what her choice will determine. And the time to choose is now.

I love Ellie. I have loved her in some form for all of her life, and it is likely that I will always love her. If she should decide that she wants help in getting better, I am here for her—as I have promised I would be. But she has to decide she wants my help and ask for it. She has to make her amends for the lies she has told. She has to show me that she is as committed to having me in her life as I have been at being in hers. She must make a place for me in her life and ask me to be there—to show me she wants me there.

Her recent accident has terrified me for several reasons. First, I know that she could have easily been seriously injured or killed. Second, I know that she was very lucky she didn’t seriously injure or kill someone else. Third, I don’t want to lose her. And finally, I know that such an accident could easily destroy much of the bright future she still could have for herself.

When you are 19, you think that you are invincible—that you will live forever. But, Ellie is almost exactly the same age my twin brother was when he was killed. She is not invincible. She is destroying her health, in tiny steps that she won’t even realize until it is far too late. Unless she chooses to be other than the drug-addicted alcoholic she currently is, she will never realize any of her dreams. I doubt she dreamed of being a junkie or a wino when she was younger, but unless she chooses otherwise, that is where she is heading. Once her health is gone, so is everything else.

But we must all follow our own path, no matter where it leads. These choices are up to her now. The time for her to decide is now. I honestly fear what will happen if she doesn’t decide to seek help and get treatment before she starts back into the spring semester. If she asks me to, I will be part of her support system and walk her long road to recovery beside her. In many ways, I am quite well suited to help her resist the temptations of alcohol and drugs, since I don’t use either myself. It can be hard for a person to resist the temptation of drinking or smoking marijuana if they are the lone hold out in a crowd. It becomes much easier to do so if they have one person with them that will do so with them. I would be that for her if she asks me to.

Note: Yes, I know I promised that I would not be posting about Ellie… but my fear at the news of her accident and the hope that it may be part of what allows her to see she is ill made me write this post. I wanted to warn her of the consequences of driving drunk and how much making a choice to do it can affect her and others. I would do anything for the woman I love, to help her get better.

Ellie- if you are reading this, please read the comments on the other posts as well. I love you and want you back in my life…but only you can decide what you want for yourself. If you want my help and me in your life—show me you do—ask me to be there.


2 Comments for 'Choices'

  1.  
    Dan
    January 10, 2012 | 1:50 pm
     

    I guess denial runs deeper in her family than I realized. I just found out that her maternal uncle died in an accident, high and drunk. I guess the illness does run fairly deep on both sides of her family—deeper than I had realized anyways.

    I feel really sorry for Ellie and her little sister, since they are both likely to suffer the consequences. While her little sister is not yet an alcoholic, it certainly seems that she is doomed to follow in her sister Ellie’s footsteps.I’ve tried to get Ellie the help she needs to no avail. I’ve even tried to get her little sister some help before she falls victim to the family curse. But, Ellie’s denial and lies and her father’s denial have shut me out from them.

    Good luck to you both. I feel you’re going to really need it. I hope that you remember that I love you and promised to be here for you if you should need me. I hope to keep that promise, but the longer it takes you to ask for help, the less likely it is I will. That is just how things go. My life goes on with out you and once I am used to not having you in it, I don’t know if I will allow you back in. It is just too painful a process to watch what you have been doing to yourself, and I deserve far better than that.

    As I said Ellie, it is your choice. You can choose to have me in your life or not. If you choose not to have me in your life, don’t try looking for me later on for I probably will not be there…you will have made your choice and you will have to live with the consequences of it.

    If you want me in your life…the time to choose is now. I am done with the games, with your lies, with your addictions. Either you want help to become who you once were—the amazing, successful, proud, beautiful and smart woman I love so much—or you can decide to remain the drug-addicted alcoholic you have been since May. It is your choice. Even doing nothing is a choice…it is a choice to remain a drug-addicted alcoholic. Is that what you want for yourself?

    I guess you don’t realize that I would do anything for you, except enable your illness to destroy you. I have always been your biggest supporter. I have always tried to help you make your dreams come true. Do you remember when I started calling you Ellie. It was when you wanted to make bath salts and sell them. You wanted me to design the packaging and I did using your given first and middle names. I told you that it would work since both names are associated with high fashion and elegance and style. It seems like it was a long time ago, but that was when I first knew I would always care about you and always want nothing but the best for you. You have been my Ellie ever since then, though it took me a while to realize it.

    I have always tried to protect you. I have always tried to give you the best advice I could. I have always cared about you. Look in your heart and see if what I am saying is the truth. If you can really look into your heart and see what really is there, you will know that I am telling you what your addictions don’t want you to see. That I am the only person who has tried to help you fight your addictions. That I am the only person who has cared enough about you to see you destroying yourself and want to try and stop you from doing more damage to yourself.

    One of my friends said this on a thread on relationships:

    A good partner doesn’t hold you back, they hold you up and give you wings to do what you dream. Something else that I think is very important is the gift of respect, thoughtfulness and of compliments. Hearing that something you do is appreciated, or that they’re proud of you for how you handled a situation means the world. If you think your partner looks great, tell them!

    I have always supported you. I have always been there for you. I’ve told you when I’m proud of you. But, I’ve also told you when you’ve done something that upset me or I thought was wrong. I have always told you the truth.

    Your addictions are clearly taking a toll on your health. A look at your most recent photo shows it. You look exhausted, tired beyond normal and show little if any emotion.

    Ellie posted this after a long night of work, drinking tea with her mother, and smoking weed--in her own words, she said: "Tired af...worked mad, smked mad, shower bathrobe bedtime night *"

    Is this what you really want for yourself—to be nothing more than a drug-addicted alcoholic shadow of your true potential? You had great dreams and goals. You said you want to go to law school. You said you want to be your own boss, to be successful, to change the world. These are things you have told me over the years. Are you still that person? Right now, the only thing you will be successful at is destroying your future given the path you’re now on.

    This is who you really are—cool, confident, beautiful, strong, ambitious, smart and successful:

    Ellie--cool, confident and beautiful--and she knows it as you can tell from her Mona Lisa smile.

    Do you really want to be this instead:

    Ellie's profile photo for November 2, 2011

    Don’t you deserve better? I KNOW YOU DO!!!

    Is this who you really want to be with?

    Jarrod

    He calls women “Bitches, skeezas and hoes”. Is that what you think of yourself? He feeds your addictions and then threw you away when he got tired of you. Don’t you deserve better? Funny, how I haven’t seen a single photo of the two of you together, even though you had been “dating” for months. Why is that?

    If you want to be a drug whore… go ahead, go back to Jarrod or find someone else like him. That’s pretty much all you were when you were with him—your addictions were giving him the sex he wanted for the alcohol and drugs it needs. Remember who pimped you out to him—Chelsey did from what I can see. What did she do when he threw you away—NOTHING, yet she’s your friend??? I am not judging you, just telling the truth as I see it. You were trading sex for drugs and alcohol—that’s the fact. There was no love, there was no commitment in your relationship with Jarrod. Trading sex for drugs and alcohol is selling yourself out. You are worth so much more than that.

    Or would you rather be back here once again:

    With someone you clearly care about, someone you have said you love repeatedly, someone who clearly loves you and cares about you and has been there for you all your life.

    I think you know where you really belong, but I don’t think you believe you deserve it.

    Where is your anger about how your family has treated you? Where is your anger about how you did last semester? Where is your pride about being a successful, smart, beautiful and strong woman? Where is your fear at what you are becoming? Get angry about being a victim of your addictions, get scared of what they are making you become, get angry that you did so badly last semester—God dammit…do something to help yourself. If you put your stubbornness towards getting healthy rather than using to keep drinking and doing drugs, your life would get so much better.

    Don’t you think that a smart, beautiful, strong, and feisty-tempered woman deserves to be loved and adored and believed in—rather than thrown away like yesterday’s newspaper? That’s what Jarrod did to you—he threw you away. So did Ian—he cheated on you and threw you away. He and Chelsey basically turned you into no more than a drug whore. You deserve better—you are so much better than that. You deserve someone who is devoted and committed to you—someone like me.

    Yes, I am saying this to piss you off. I want you angry, even if it is at me. Then ask yourself why you are so angry. Is it because you recognize the truth of what I said. Then change it. It is all up to you.

    Choose what you want for yourself.

    Drug-addicted alcoholic or successful, ambitious woman who is loved unconditionally. Those are your choices.

    Jarrod or me. Those are the people you can choose to be with.

    Someone who feeds your addictions and throws you away or someone who loves you and supports you and your dreams. What do you want for yourself?

    God damn it. Help yourself. Help the woman I love. Help the woman that loves me. Don’t let the drug-addicted alcoholic become your reality.

    I know you love me. You said so in two languages dozens of times. So pick me. Choose to be with me. Love yourself enough to let me help you. I am here for you. I always have been. I have always loved you. Let me help the woman I love become all that she wants to be, to reach her goals and see her dreams come to life. I don’t promise you everything will be easy. I don’t promise you that we’ll always succeed. But I do promise you that I will always love you, support you, protect you and guide you—as I have done for years. I promise you that I will always be there for you if you give me a chance and pick me. I will always love you and love you more each and every day—but you have to ask me to be there—make a place for me.

    I still want to marry you. I’ve got your claddagh ring sitting right here. You can still have it, if you still want it, but you have to ask for it. You have to make your amends for the lies you have told and ask me to be in your life. It is that simple. Are you too proud to do that? Are you going to let your pride in your lies prevent you from being the person God meant you to be? Are you going to let your insecurities turn you into something that you know you will despise and loathe—a drug-addicted alcoholic for the rest of your life?

    This is probably your last chance in many ways. You don’t have to believe me. But I have never, ever lied to you. I have always told you the truth, even when it was something you didn’t want to hear. I was right about last semester, and I am probably right about this semester. If you don’t choose to get help now, I seriously doubt you will be able to before you destroy the bright future and all the dreams you have. I don’t want to see that—I don’t want to see you destroy yourself.

    If you choose to be the drug-addicted alcoholic—that is your choice. But remember, your choices affect other people—like me, the man that loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you.

    CHOOSE, and don’t blame anyone but yourself for your choices. It is your responsibility. You have to live with the choice you make. I can’t make the decision for you. I can’t change your mind. I can only tell you I love you and still want to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you, like we talked about. IT IS YOUR CHOICE. CHOOSE NOW.

    If you haven’t made a decision to get help by the time classes start, I will know that you have chosen to remain the drug-addicted alcoholic shadow of the woman I love. That person has no place in my life. The person who chose to be that has no place in my life. Eight days remain. That is the deadline I have set for you, as I promised you in a previous post. I will wait until classes start. If you have not chosen me by then, I know you never will and that Ellie—the woman that said she loves me, the woman that told me “sarangheyo”—my beloved—is truly gone—a victim of her addictions. After all, if you don’t love yourself enough to want better for yourself than to be a drug addict and an alcoholic, why should I love you any more?

  2.  
    Dan
    January 11, 2012 | 6:06 am
     

    I hope you had fun at the frog pond. I miss spending time with you doing things like that. I keep hoping that you are still there, somewhere under the layers of lies and addictions. I hope you will decide you want to be better than what you have been the past seven months. Please, please come back to me. Please choose to be who you were meant to be.

    I know you are so much more than the drug-addicted alcoholic that you have been for seven months. I know you can do so much more than that—be so much more than that. But you have to decide—you have to choose whether you want to stay the drug-addicted alcoholic shadow of what you really should be or if you want to be more than that…to be your beautiful self again.

    I doubt it was ever God’s will for you to be a drug addicted alcoholic. And I doubt that God’s grace can protect you while you are one. You are so much better than that. Go make your amends tomorrow….then call me. Come see me….ask me to dinner….do something to let me know you are still the woman i love so very much.

    I want to help you. I am here for you, even after all you have done. I want to be with you. You are still someone I love, someone I care about, and someone I am friends with. Our friendship is the foundation of the love I have for you.

    I am so scared that your time is running out. I fear what will happen to you if you go back to school without getting help—without having a support system in place. I fear you will flunk out and lose the scholarship you need to go to school where you are. I also fear what you will do if you do flunk out.

    You need to make the choice to give yourself a chance. To be more than what you have been for the past seven months. To be the amazing woman I love so much once again.

    Please, please choose to be better than you have been—choose to be more than the drug-addicted alcoholic that is slowly destroying herself—destroying everything I love about her. Come home to me.

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