Posted by: addictionstinks | April 30, 2012

The Awakening

I have a friend – we’ll call her Em. Em and I have been friends since our youth – since about 5th or 6th grade. We hung out together all the time. There was a group of three of us that were inseparable as kids. Me, Em and my other friend Shelley. We went to Shelley’s house to swim (she had the pool), to my house to eat (my Mom bought all the good munchies), and to Em’s house – well we didn’t really hang out at Em’s house. She hung out at ours.

So we went through all those milestones that young ladies go through together. Ya know, “I’m more mature than you” when Em got her first period. We went through high school together, and me and Em even went to beauty school together. We graduated and moved forward with our lives. Em met Dave, and they moved in together. That was 20 years ago.

Em has always had health problems. She suffers from a congenital hip disease and has had both hips replaced. She also has Multiple Sclerosis. So all these years Em has been on Social Security Disability while she lived with Dave. Dave had his own business working on cars out of the garage of their home. He was not a very good business man though and they were always broke. Somehow the house payment would get made and all the other utilities, but they would often go to the food pantry for their food because there wasn’t anything left. Me and Shelley and Em’s other friends just thought Dave was doing the best he could and everything was ok. Em would call us on the phone every few weeks, most of the time drunk off her ass, and reminisce constantly about the old days. It almost got to the point where I didn’t even want to take her phone calls, and a few times I would tell my son to tell her I wasn’t home.

Then one night she called me at 2:00 AM to tell me Dave had passed away. At the tender age of 48 he had a heart attack and she found him on the kitchen floor. Gone. This was on January 31st.

This is where the story gets a bit twisted. And I haven’t written about it yet because I’m still trying to figure it all out and process it. But from what we are seeing now that Dave is gone, he was NOT in fact the really nice guy who took care of Em all these years. He was more like the really control-freak weird guy who shut Em in her room in their house, fed her all the alcohol she wanted, and ignored her. She says, “He was such a sweet guy. He took care of everything for me.” We see, “He took care of EVERYTHING for her.” Em hasn’t eaten out in a restaurant in 20 years. Em has NO IDEA how to work a cell phone. Em has NO IDEA how to work a computer, or even what the internet is. Last week she told me that at one point she told Dave, “I’m gonna get a job” to help out with the bills more, and he told her, “NO!” and then he somehow convinced her that it would be “dangerous” for her. Another time, me and Em went to the local Italian restaurant down the street from her house, and the hostess there was a “friend” of Dave’s and told me that she used to bring Dave food from there all the time. When I asked Em if she had ever eaten the food from there, she said, “No”. So Dave would get the food and not ever give her any of it. And they were ALWAYS “Dave’s friends”.

He put her in her room and left her there. For 20 years.

Now, me and Shelley did visit occasionally, and when we did we would sit out back with Em in the yard, and Dave would pretty much ignore us all the whole time and go about his business of pretending everything was normal.


We also found, and threw away, pornographic pictures and videos that were his. Now these were not normal pornographic pictures and videos, but hypodermic-needle-stuck-in-her-ass, fists-up-the-hooha sort of horrific pornographic pictures and videos.

The dude was sick.

We have been with Em since Dave died. Since they never married, his family will get the house (they can have it – its a total piece of crap), and we’ve bought Em a new house. Its a cute little place right by the river that’s perfect for her. After 20 years of ALL of her posessions being covered up under blankets or stuffed in the attic in the old house – Em finally gets her stuff back!! She was always very into antiques and has a lot of very beautiful pieces that for whatever reason Dave did not allow out at the old house. She’s having a blast revisiting all of her favorite pieces, and is even working on some of them in the basement of the new house.

She has a cell phone. She doesn’t know how to use it very well yet, but she’s learning.

Next up – a computer!

Its been kind of like watching a butterfly come out of its cocoon.




  1. Whew, that is really creepy. One never knows about people and their relationships. I wonder why Em didn’t say anything. Stockholm syndrome?

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