The day of Christmas eve I get a call from the mother of the son of a former client of mine (you know, his ex-wife) whom I helped move house to an Asian country to get away from drugs and alcohol last year, if I would be willing and able to talk to her that evening at her house (and because of the huge snow/ice on the road if I would come to her instead of she to me) and talk about what to do with her son’s coming out of the closet when coming back from his dad on holiday in that Asian country. So I put my Suzuki Samurai in 4×4 mode and ice-skate over there, and we talk about going to the country’s national homo/lesbian organization together, so he can maybe meet up with same age groups for support and hopefully fun (he is kinda young) Afterwards she gives me a token of appreciation.
3 days before New Year’s Eve I get a call from a girl I know, if I have time to listen to her for a bit, and hear the seriousness in her voice as the words are spoken. Sure I say, and she begins to tell me what a wonderful time she recently had being away from her longstanding relationship/boyfriend on a small business/pleasure trip to another country for a week or so, and in coming back felt so completely lost, empty and mal-treated, that she tried to take her own life. When she rang me she just came from the hospital, where they pumped her stomach and she was somewhat groggy from the sedatives she took. We talked about their relationship extensively, and both their ‘shortcomings’, her accepting all negative things coming out of his and other people’s mouths which in the end she starts to identify with making her self-esteem even lower, on and on. Still undecided what to do and how, we closed off the conversation, me wishing her well, and she thanking me for the time and advice.
The morning of new years eve the wife of a long known friend came to my house to look at my unused cappuccino maker, when she told me, sort of out of the blue, that he has become such an outrageous bad drunk, she wondered if she should kick him out. So not much later that day, I took him out for a ride in my car, and discussed intensively what to do, why and how. Noticing that he tried to get some help 3 weeks earlier, but not really because he did not ask me, because then he would have been in recovery by now. He and I go way back, many years, with lots of substance abuse, where I forcefully quit, and he at least managed to combine it with a working life and getting married, kids and stuff. Over the years we talked about it and discussed all the excuses one could imagine to not do anything about anything. But now finally, it became to be not so funny anymore, so now we have to -really- deal with it. So while driving the most bizarre route through the surroundings of my city we discussed the options before us some more. And after some time being in my house also, I send him back for dinner with his wife, and have some alone time for myself before going over to them for New Years Eve itself, earlier than I usual would.
The other girl rang me again later that day, and now he also tried to commit suicide because of the troubles in their relationship, and now he too was being overly emotional to everything. It dawned on me that they were both very emotional but also childishly stupid in their responses to each other. “if s/he does this, than yaddayadda will be the consequence” So they’re both with mental fingers in their ears blaming the other, while doing exactly the same. Unfortunately he does not contact me, cause then at least I can tell them both to quit whining and ‘man up’ to their own behavior, and start loving themselves and the other again. But apparently he now left angry because what she said and she now says because of that not to take him back in (sigh)
Around 10 that evening I pick up the cappuccino maker and head over to the other couples house, I brought along the genekeys book so I read shadow and gift of the 24 to them while eating some ‘oliebollen’ and ‘appelflappen’. Where usually I would drink a glass of champagne with them each year (they live round the corner so in looking at the fireworks I usually stroll over there too) but this time we would be in solidarity with him not drinking, because by now he made an appointment with his doctor later the coming week and I asked him to stop drinking all together, as we now all knew that he more and more does not remember what happens when he does drink. Especially when she is away for only a few hours to work herself, and he drinks an amazing amount in this short period, and then feels somewhat guilty and as a reactions starts behaving very abusive (mentally/verbally). He acknowledges lying a lot, to everyone, especially about the drinking but about a lot of other stuff too. Even his boss thinks he is already treated for his drinking, when in fact he only has failed attempts for now. So we make a list of what to tell the doctor for what is really going on, including the lying. And discussing openly with the both of them, if she will give him this chance to get help, or if maybe she has given up herself already. She squarely says that she doesn’t know yet, that maybe when he is taken into rehab, she might genuinely miss him, or maybe she’ll cry out in cheers of him being gone. And I really do love that answer, not only because of the obvious honesty, but also because of him not being able to take anything for granted. After all this talk I do place a little bomb myself, and that is that I will be charging a fee for my help. And I think I will add ‘troubleshooter’ to my soon to be new businesscard…
It is 2 at night when I go to bed, and on new year’s day my (now) 8 year old niece has a birthday, but had to fix my shower first because for the enniest time the flame of the burner would go out after being under it for a minute or 2 (aaaargh) so with all the tools and the old not thermo-tap changing totally naked was something else, and I give her my copy of Anastasia part 1, cause I think it is a nice story to give to her, whether she’ll ‘believe’ it to be true, or that she’ll take it is a nice fantasy. Have to get a new copy for myself though. In driving back from my niece I called the girl from the first troublesome couple, and she was so busy with whatever that she did not have time to talk, and would call me back later, which until now she never did, but at least she is still alive and apparently consumed in mind and body with the new life she seemingly already started for herself, and silently I giggle about that.
Yesterday I talked to the sobered up dude again, we drank a smoothie, install a laptop together, and work on the list for the doctor again. Thinking of maybe going with him on his appointment, to help him make sure everything needing to be said is spoken about, as they both feel that he should really be taking into rehab for some period of time instead of doing some weekly program, and continuing the outside life too.
So, what else was I going to do these holidays…? 😉