Picture this. Your friend just ran a marathon and she was tired. She was thirsty. She picked up a glass of what, to her, appeared to be the most refreshing water she’d ever drink. However, you knew the glass to be full of poison. One or two sips would barely hurt her, it’d maybe give her a stomachache. Massive amounts of this liquid, though, would definitely kill her. As thirsty as she is, you knew your friend would not stop after just one sip. She complains to you that the water smells funny, looks weird and she’s unsure. But even after you try to convince her not to drink it, put the glass down and you offer a sealed, untainted bottle of water to quench her thirst… She resists. For some reason, she’s really drawn to this water, this poison and you want to stop her but you can’t. So you watch…while she drinks.
Okay, I hope if that situation presented itself in real life, you’d have the good sense to smack either the glass out of your friends hand or her..whichever your passion desires. But what do you do if that refreshing glass of posion is actually a guy?
I know someone who’s run her fair share of marathons as far as relationships go. I’m talking the brutal, mud-tossing, types of marathons you see advertised on Facebook. I know she’s tired of these races. And, dear God, I know she’s thirsty. And here we are at the end of yet another of these races and she’s reaching for water. Poisonous, seductive water.
The way she describes this water to me sounds like it came from a cloudy, dirty, mosquito-infested marsh. I’ve never met him but the way she talks about him, the things he says and does to her…doesnt sound appetizing in the least bit to me. Granted, I have never run a marathon. Therefore, I accept that I do not know that panting feeling of thirst that she has turned to him to satiate. But whether or not I’ve “been there, done that, signed the guestbook,” I KNOW in my gut he’s poison. In fact, she’s admitted it too. He manipulates her. Lies to her. Possibly cheats on her. And thats just this week.
As her friend, it’s hard to watch. Unlike a literal glass, I can’t just smack him out of her hand (if I could, best believe…). So I’ve been thinking: what can I do? Of course, I’ve been her ear, her shoulder and everything I can up until this point. I’ve used all my resources and most of my energy helping her to either see the light outside of her situation with him or find the light within it. The latter has been very hard because I do not think there is any light there.
Clearly she has CHOSEN to continue this relationship with him. And although I do not support her choice, I support her. But at what point should I decide that I can’t even do that? How do you watch someone purposely hurt themselves over and over again? I am trying to protect her but there’s nothing I can do after the poison enters her body, saturates her mind… There is no antidote I can provide. So how much poison can I sit back and watch her drink?
I don’t know the answer to that yet. But I do know that WHEN (because its inevitable) her heart breaks, when she is holding on for dear life, I won’t say “I told you so.” I’ll just administer CPR then gear up to watch her run her next marathon.