Tonight I learnt how it feels to watch somebody close to you selfdestruct, and all I can do now is pray.
After celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday I went off with Housemate B and the birthday girl (BG) to a dodgy night club in the city centre. The club was filled with under aged people, but that didn’t bother any of us for the first few hours. I felt old amongst the crowd and yet I was six years younger than my companions, but I found it quite profound that on my friends 30th birthday she could dance along to 80s music, which she was raised on, alongside 17 year olds.
I myself hate dancing but I tagged along purely to be socialable (which is something I have been trying to work on over the past couple of days – and as a sidenote, what is the difference between ‘trying to be socialable’ and ‘trying to please people’?).
As the night went on myself and the birthday girl noticed that Housemate B was missing. We went on various expeditions through the club and found her talking to some random young men. I wasn’t happy about it, given the amount she had drunk, and she asked me not to tell BG that she was smoking as well (which she had quit, but as you know, alcohol makes fools of ex-smokers).
BG checked her phone and found out that another friend would be meeting us at the club, so we waited around for a while until he rocked up – allowing Housemate B to continue her conversation with the random young men. Once her friend showed up he offered to take us all home (as it was now about 2:30am and we had started drinking at 5pm the previous day), however Housemate B wanted to stay.
At this stage Housemate B was rather inebriated and none of us would have felt comfortable leaving her alone in a house with strange men, let alone a whole club filled with them. As much as we tried to convince her that she should leave with us she wouldn’t budge.
BG and myself begrudgingly went outside the club and waited while her friend did a final check to make sure she was ok (which she clearly wasn’t). While we were outside we met a young lady which we had been talking to beforehand. Earlier the young woman was having trouble finding her sister, and she was waiting for her to come back from the dancefloor. The woman was quite drunk, admitted she was under 18, and was slowly sipping some kind of alcopop. However she explain to us outside the club that she had just been refused re-entry.
No big deal, the bouncers had freaked out over nothing, according to her. She was kicked out by the bar staff for being too drunk, and then she had thrown up about 4 metres outside the club, in plain view of the bouncers, and now she was angry that she was allowed back in. This woman’s sister was still inside, so we sent Housemate B’s friend back inside to search for her sister while we made sure she was ok.
In between comforting the young woman I decided that I was going to stay behind and watch my housemate. It was an awful place to be drunk and alone in. I knew that she wanted her independence and that being able to go dancing all night meant a lot to her, but I couldn’t leave her alone. After we had found the woman’s sister Housemate B’s friend went back in to look for Housemate B. I was already starting to fight back tears.
I explained to BG what I intended to do and she feigned resistance quite admirably. After the friend came back without Housemate B, BG and I went onto the dance floor trying to find her. BG was the first to spot her, and I let her do all the talking. After 30 seconds I snuck in from the rear and tried to look concern, but Housemate B looked at me with complete distain – I knew she didn’t want our advice right now. It’s not as though she wasn’t been to these places by herself before, but that doesn’t mean we should stand by and let it happen.
Finally Housemate B rejected our help and we left her alone in the corner of the dance floor – considerably drunk. I reached for BG’s arm as we left the floor but I couldn’t get hold of her. Once we were in the bar area I threw my arm around her and she burst into tears. Our pace slowed until we finally stopped in the middle of the crowd. Her put her arm around me while her other arm waved in the air. We put our heads together until she finally brushed her hair aside and looked up at me, her eyes puffy and her body language screaming out “What now?”.
“I know”, I mouthed to her, not even bothering to yell above the noise. By that stage I had begun to cry in full. We walked out of the club to the car holding each other.
Right now I’m reminded of what I put my Sister 1 through when I tried to commit suicide. She was forced to decided between my happiness and affection, and my own safety. And she chose love.
I was forced to decide between the independence of a close friend, something which my own heart aches for, and her safety. I chose her independence. I now know what my sister had to go through to let me out of hospital, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. I completely understand why Housemate B is doing this, and I would do the same thing in her position, but at the same time it’s gut wrenching to leave a friend in that situation.
It’s now 4:12am and I’m not sure how she is. Her friend dropped BG and myself back home and said he was going back to pick her up, but I don’t know if I can trust him to do that.
I don’t see myself getting much sleep tonight.
If anybody reads this…. please think of Housemate B. She is so vulnerable right now and there is nothing I can do to help her.