Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Walking Away Because You Care

When I first started this blog, it was never intended to tackle or address any serious issues. It was always meant to be light-hearted and an escape from reality.
I've come to realize that there has been a slow and steady metamorphosis, and while I hope I haven't completely lost the humour aspect, I do realize that it's taken on a much more serious note.

Tonight's post is a point in case.

I have a very dear friend whom I've known for about 10 years now. I say 'have' but the reality is that 'had' would be more accurate.

In the 10 year's that I know her, I've watched her slowly but surely lose her self-confidence and pride as it was methodically chipped away by her husband. He has a drinking problem. This was an issue for her which they were managing within their marriage. I say 'managing' but she will be the first to admit that it was more a case of accepting that he would not acknowledge having a problem, and she was forced to hide it.

Last year things took a turn for the worse.
He got caught cheating on her, with a family member. Her brother's wife.
Now one would imagine that a successful guy, a professional in his field of IT, would have a little bit of common sense and a slightly higher IQ than most, and acknowledge that he screwed up and try his level best to make amends.
Not our intrepid loser.
He decided in a moment of brilliance that his best defence would be to start accusing her of having had an affair too, with everybody and anybody under the sun. He tried to play the Victim card.
At one point, even I got accused. Unfortunately for him, I'm one of those men who doesn't play games and smells a rat before it even knows its a rat. I let him know that I'm onto his ploy, and that it wasn't going to work.

He'd go on drinking binges, emotionally abuse her, accuse her, their two kids would be traumatized, she'd end up crying, he'd be too drunk to care, and then they'd wake up in the morning to have him apologise and swear he'd never do it again.
Until the next night.
And the next.
And the next.

Through all of this, she'd speak to me and ask for advice and look for support. I did the best I could but knew that she needed professional help. He refused to go. She went alone. She ended up in hospital from a near nervous breakdown.
He didn't change.

Finally she decided that she had enough, and left on Monday intending to spend two weeks at a retreat for abused women.
She's back home tonight.
She was away for a total of 1 night.
Apparently he called saying he's sorry.
He didn't eat all day.
She says she needed to go back home. Her family needs her.
I wonder how much help she'd be to her family if, God forbid, she collapsed tomorrow from a nervous breakdown or  heart-attack? I wonder if her husband will starve because nobody made him a sandwich?

I told her I needed to close the door on our friendship.
If she's not willing to help herself, I cannot help her, try as I might.

Am I a bad friend, or am I just someone who cares enough to walk away in the hope that she opens her eyes before it's too late?