Last night, when I was dining at Sweet Ginger, one of my favorite Chinese restaurants down near the marina, I got this fortune in my fortune cookie at the end of the meal.
It says, “Your companions are your mirrors and show you yourself.”
I think that this is very true. The people you choose to surround yourself with say a lot about what kind of person you are.
If a person chooses to surround herself with liars, drug addicts, drug dealers, and alcoholics, what does that say about her. I’m afraid that is what Ellie has been doing for the last year. It reflects poorly on the woman I love and the choices she has made for herself.
Sadly, some of the alcoholics, drug addicts and liars she has surrounded herself with are her own family. Her father is an alcoholic in denial, a liar, a coward and a bully. Her brother is a drug addict and an alcoholic. I think her mother and sister are just scared of her father.
I wish that Ellie would remember the advice I gave her so many times when she was younger. I told her to surround herself with people that make her want to be a better person than she would be without them in her life. The people she has chosen to be with make her so much less than what she should be.
The person she calls her best friend is the woman who basically pimped her out to a high school classmate last summer. Jarrod was using Ellie for sex and giving her the alcohol and drugs that her addictions required. From what I can see, he was sleeping with possibly half-a-dozen other women while he was “dating” Ellie. As soon as he tired of her, he dumped her and didn’t think anything further of it.
This is rather tragic, since the Ellie I know would never allow anyone to treat her that way. She kicked her previous boyfriend to the curb for cheating on her. But, I think it was his cheating on her in January of 2011 that caused her to fall to her addictions. I think the blow to her self-esteem caused her self-doubts and anxieties to fuel her need to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
Most of her friends are people who think nothing of using fake IDs to buy alcohol, committing felonies regularly because they don’t see themselves as needing to obey the law. Ellie is no better and has admitted to regularly committing felonies by using her fake IDs–a Rhode Island and a Maryland one–to buy alcohol.
The Ellie I love was one of the most honest people I know. Even now, as far as I know, she has never lied to me. Since I confronted her about her drinking, she has lied about me to her family–I think as an attempt to ostracize me from them so I could not tell them about her problems with alcohol and drugs. But, she has refused to speak to me at all.
I think that Ellie, the basically honest woman I love, needs to be able to say to herself that she has never lied to me. So, instead, she just refuses to talk to me or even acknowledge me. This way, she can, in some twisted logic, tell herself that she has never broken faith with the man she loves or lied to him. In some ways that is true…and I think she needs for that to be true.
I hope she is still reading this blog and reads this post. I hope she takes a look at the people she has chosen to surround herself with and what kind of people they are. I want her to think about what kind of love and commitment they really have to her.
Are they like Jarrod–the man she prostituted herself to that dumped her like trash? Someone who took advantage of Ellie’s addictions to trade alcohol and drugs for sex. Someone who didn’t care enough about her to not allow her to debase herself this way.
Are they like her best friend Chelsey–who pimped her out to Jarrod and then stood by and did nothing when Jarrod tired of her and dumped her? Someone who doesn’t see a problem with “selling out” a friend or letting her be used and debased that way.
Are they like her friend Suzy–who dropped out of school and used to post photos of her BAC meter, bragging when ever she made a new record high after waking up. In one case I saw the photo for, Suzy was bragging she blew a .19, or over twice the legal limit for DUI, after sleeping almost seven hours. This means she was likely close to alcohol poisoning when she went to sleep, or more likely passed out.
These are the people she has chosen to surround herself with.
Or are they like me–someone who has spent the last year trying to get her help in spite of what it has cost me–someone who has kept his promises and commitments to her in spite of how she has treated him–someone who has loved her, cared for her, protected her, guided her and advised her all her life.
I am the person whom her parents trusted enough to ask to counsel her and befriend her when they chose to check out of her life. I am the person that her parents trusted to teach her how to drive safely. I am the person her family trusted to protect her, care for her and always put her best interests first–prior to her fall to her addictions and the lies she has told because of them. Her mother’s last text message to me was: “Dan, I know you will always be there for us.”
I was also the person they trusted to talk to her brother about his problems with drugs, alcohol and chronic depression when he flunked out of Bentley College three years ago. I was the person they asked to speak to Ellie’s little sister about her problems with bulimia and other issues. I believe the only reason I have not been asked to help Ellie is her father’s denial of his own alcoholism and his anger at me for confronting him about his own illness. Her mother would probably have asked me for help, but she is too scared of her husband–who is a violent, emotionally abusive, cowardly bully.
I hope she takes a really hard and honest look at who will stand by her when she hits rock bottom. As far as I can tell, her family and her friends won’t stand by her–something I have promised her and her mother I would do if she asked me for help.
I love Ellie. I have loved her all of her life and I always will–whether she chooses to recognize that or not. I have never stopped being her friend or caring for her. I have not broken my promises, vows or commitments to her. I have not broken faith or trust with her. She is the one who has done all that.
Even though I have walked away from Ellie, mainly because I have seen no sign that my beautiful, smart, funny, stubborn and feisty Irish rose still exists, I still pray for her every day. I still hope that she will recover from her illness and ask me to be in her life again. I still hope that we can have those Asians with freckles that she adores and raise a family together. There is still time to do all that. But, it is up to her.
Ellie has to show me that she wants me in her life once again–that she has made a place for me beside her and is willing to fight to keep me there–that she is as committed to me as I have always been to her. Ellie has to make amends for the lies and damage her addictions have caused. Ellie has to show she realizes the truth of what we are and always have been to each other. Until she does all that, there is no hope for us. It is up to her–she knows how I feel about her; she knows where to find me and how to reach me. She has to ask for help before anyone can help her.
May God watch over my beloved Ellie. God bless her and protect her, even from herself. May God grant her the strength, courage, and will to fight her illness and return to being her true self. May God grant her the wisdom to see the truth—both about her illness and about us.