This morning, as I tweeted just a few moments ago, I cried for the third, fourth and fifth times of my adult life. My wife saw me cry for the first time ever. My friend – whom I’ve known for about five months, but never met, and whose beautiful face I only saw for the first time last night – is determinedly headed to her death.
She has no illusions – mostly. Occasionally, she fantasizes that by returning to her husband, she can prevent some other unfortunate young girl from being sadistically tortured by him, as she has been, now, for years. Or that by allowing her husband to torture and kill her, she will somehow save her parents whom, inexplicably, she loves. (They have never shown her anything akin to what any reader of this blog would recognize as love.)
There remain a few hours during which she could reverse course, could decide to stay where she is, or go elsewhere. I still have the tiniest bit of hope.
As a wise woman I know says, the world is made badly.
I’m really sorry to hear about your friend. I’ve been following the story of this woman a little through your blog. You’ve done more than everything you could. Sometimes people have to take their paths and follow them to the end. There’s no-one and nothing that can change their minds or hearts. It’s hard to watch people make the wrong choices, especially when they make the same ones over and over but you can’t save everyone. Hugs to you and her.
I have done everything I could – and then some. I’m lucky that none of what I feel is self-critical (except, perhaps, of the folly of allowing myself to hope against hope that things would turn out different).
There were moments of hope, for sure – and I fed off of them. But in the end, it simply is too much to expect even the strongest person to escape a prison the bars of which have surrounded her since birth.
Thank you for your kind words, and your hugs.
I haven’t followed your story but my heart is with you. As hard as it is to accept, there may be a better place for her to go.
I confess – I don’t even know how to read those words that you write and have them make sense. But then, I’m more familiar with the details of the story than are you.
In any event, thank you.
Oh N, I’d hoped upon hope that she would be strong. You did everything you could and more, please don’t doubt that. Her need to sacrifice herself is heartbreaking…and useless. I wish she could love herself enough to save herself.
If she’s reads this: Even though you can’t love yourself, I do. I don’t need to know you to love you. I only hope you can learn to love yourself enough to save yourself. There is no reason to sacrifice yourself. Please don’t, you are loved.
She was strong. She was the strongest person I’ve ever known. As with a person dying of, say, cancer, I think it’s a mistake to understand the final successful pull to which she succumbed as evidence of weakness, or of a failure of strength. It was only her superhuman strength that allowed her to be alive as late as yesterday, to make the decisions she made.
I have learned so much through this, from her.
And thanks for your support.
My heart goes out to her, and to you. I know how difficult it is to leave a soul-sucking, life threatening situation. I was lucky enough to have somebody come in to my life and offer me an escape route. Taking that offer was the single most difficult thing I have ever done.
I perceive that your friend is romanticizing this sacrifice. If by returning to her husband she assures her death, what stops him from then pursuing some other woman and delivering her to the same fate? Your friend cannot fight this monster of a man if she is gone.
I wish her strength and good fortune. I wish I could hug you both.
Thanks for your good wishes and for your sympathy.
I don’t think she romanticized anything. I think she knew precisely what was happening, but was looking for a story to tell herself to make what she was doing make self in the logic of people not in her situation.
This is the problem: for HER, what she was doing made perfect sense. But not to anyone else. She was just looking for a fig leaf.
I have not idea what is going on, but it sounds as if the police need to be called. If she can’t get herself out, she must be pulled out. I know that is a simplistic answer, but with one 911 call you might be able to save her. God Bless You for trying
This is so far beyond that. The police were very involved. This is a far more complex story. If a person freely chooses to return to a known torturer and murderer, and refuses to serve as a witness against that person in court, it’s very hard for the police or the state to act to protect her. But thanks – both for the suggestion and for your wishes.
I knew my answer was overly straight-forward. We can’t save people from themselves.
No. And in this instance, the pull of her upbringing and family and history were simply too great.
im really sorry N. I know there really aren’t any words. I agree…it takes an amazing amount of strength to live that life, and to go back and do what you believe is right even when you know it may be the last choice you make. I am sorry you didn’t win this battle. i’m sorry she feels this is the right thing for her to do. I’m sorry for your pain and for the brokenness in all of this. I’m sorry I didn’t write, but chose to be too busy and distracted to help. You did so much and you know that. She knows it and I’m sure the care and solace you provided her will continue to bring her some measure of comfort. My heart goes out to you.
One of the things I told her was that the act of loving – of giving someone love – is so fulfilling, so gratifying, that I hoped she could stay alive long enough to experience it. She allowed me to experience it with her. For that, I’m grateful.
I’ve been on both sides. I had a female friend that was an intelligent, talented, pretty & vivacious blond who was full of life. Her ex-husband became a convicted felon who did nothing but beg, borrow and steal money from her to pay for his alcohol and drug abuse. He was physically strong, a smooth talker, and a violent psychopath. She was addicted to him. She needed help, She refused to get it or protect herself. The guy attacked me at her house. She refused to press charges. I did and moved away with my young daughter. Several months later, a voice mail from a mutual friend gave me the inevitable news. I was numb, couldn’t understand how she could willingly become a victim. Not long after that phone call, I began to understood. I found myself seriously addicted to a seriously messed-up woman. She was insanely beautiful, sexy, intelligent, charming, addictive. funny, erotic, innocent and adorable. I couldn’t believe how wonderful being with her was. I also couldn’t admit to myself she was dishonest & playing me. The more I tried to rationalize my commitment to her, the more abusive and angry she became towards me. I started to sleep and eat less. I was distracted at work, raising a few eyebrows, and then more than a few. friends of mine intervened and tried talking sense into me. They went from subtle to frank to exasperated. Eventually, they couldn’t take my seemingly willful blindness and crazy rationalizations, and we drifted apart. That was fine with my abusive “girlfriend”. She didn’t want any of my friends around anyway. She left me. I crashed and burned badly. She came back to me. I lost the few marbles I had left. After two years of the horror-show with her, I was unemployed, friendless, broke, desperate and otherwise fully-dysfunctional. And still, I couldn’t let go of my wanting her. I pains me deeply to recall how much I sacrificed in my delusion. My step-mother–a wise woman–told me in sad resignation “Dear god, you aren’t go to let go of your fantasy with her until you’re done for.” That’s, indeed, what happened. In my case, I was saved by some very bizarre circumstances, an appreciation for reaching the end-of-the-road, and willingness to be saved, Nevertheless, I think I have a better understanding of how vulnerable people can become deluded and destroyed when their abusers manipulate and validate the worst feelings they have about themselves. My heart is with both you and your friend. Neither of you deserve the deep pain you’re going through. Regarding the friend I lost, I imagine what good things she would want for me to do for myself and my family, and I do them knowing it would make her happy. I have learned a great deal about human vulnerability, about what I can and cannot control. I have learned to cherish my ability to make anyone I’m with smile and laugh. Lastly, I must tell you a hard fact I recently learned. The guilt and loss you feel will probably never go away 100%, and that’s normal. Last year I watched someone I cared deeply about get hit & killed by a car. The “I could have’s”. “should have’s” and “would have’s” still loop in the back of mind, and often detract from a restful sleep at night. I’ve been told that life is unfair, and that time heals all wounds. I think life is neither fair or unfair, just weird and indifferent. As for healing, i feel like I’m waiting for the world’s slowest paint to dry. In the meantime, I am making new friends, am learning to laugh heartily again, and I try to bring joy into other people’s lives when they are open to it. Doing so helps me ease the pain and numbness I succumbed to in the past. Remain open to new people and experiences, and invest more into your child(ren) if you can. Grieving is human. There’s a list of steps people go through to get beyond the loss. Perhaps work through the steps. It’s helped me more than once. Good luck to you, man. I appreciate your blog. You are refreshingly human. World needs more of that.
Thank you for this extraordinarily thoughtful, and personal, and heart-wrenching, comment. You describe painfully the miserable logic of the delusion that people can suffer, whether they’re addicts, or simply suffering from a limited perspective that renders addiction a meaningful and helpful metaphor.
I really appreciate your kind words, as well as your wishes. Thank you.
Your welcome. In my case, it was truly an addiction, with PTSD as well, no less. Funny, but the one thing I want more than anything, and would probably make me feel way better than some pills I still take, is making out with a fun women. What I would give for a friend with benefits. A lot of incredible and nasty things happened to me on my way to the bottom and back. So, I’m still gun shy with women. Also my living situation and income is crummy at the moment. I’m working on that. Seriously, I have a lot of attractive attributes, and I’m a very erotic person, But, I’ve have been able to make a woman arch her back as I pleasured her pussy in 3 years. I’m looking forward to ending the drought. You might say I’m living through you vicariously at the moment. Hope your feeling a bit better. If you ever need a big distraction, let me know. The experiences I’ve been through the past six years are enough to spawn a trilogy ;/
I meant for my reply above to read “I have not had the opportunity to make a woman arch her back…[
Cut and Paste can be so overrated.