"If you knew what happened last weekend, you'd jump in a car and come get me."
Less than a month ago a friend made a train wreck of a life decision so she could be with a man instead of having to be on her own. Everyone who knew her told her it was a colossally Bad Idea. She knew it, too. But that didn't stop her from going through with it.
Since then, she has accepted countless abuses of privacy -- any one of which I would consider an outright dealbreaker.
* She gave up a steady job in order to leave, only to have her Significant Other refuse to pay for her acute emergency medical treatment.
* She has had her phone use limited and monitored.
* Her e-mails and correspondence have been censored.
* She discovered that the Dream Job that was the Significant Other's reason for moving does not exist.
And still she stays. Not only that, but she can still find ways to make herself feel responsible for the Other's bad behavior.
"I moved out here to try to work it out," she said after the "My E-Mail Is Not Secure" incident. But I see that I have been in the wrong frame of mind... I have been hoping it would fail so I could come home. If I wasn't going to actually try, then why did I move?!"
Now, any person who is even moderately removed from the situation could tell her that an Epic Fail has already occurred in the relationship. And not only has she stayed with it -- but she has deliberately uprooted herself from friends, family, church, employment, a support system, and all that is familiar to follow that situation and remain in it.
So when she said the "If you knew what happened" line, she made me think... And I'm not sure that she's right.
If I thought for a MOMENT that my jumping in a car and driving several hundred miles to intervene would get her out of that situation, I'd stop typing and start driving. But until she comes to the conviction that being on her own is preferable to being with the Other, it wouldn't do any good. Like a horse that runs back inside a burning barn, she would find a way to rationalize returning to a relationship on life support.
I hold out hope that someday (soon!) she will decide that she's had enough tyranny in her life. If she needs help escaping, she has an entire battalion of friends, family, and supporters just waiting for the word to mobilize. But she has to want to be free as much as we want her to fly...
"What does this have to do with writing?" you may ask.
Nothing. It has to do with life. And it just goes to show that one person's decisions -- both good and bad -- have far reaching repercussions.