Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Alice and SarahTonight me, Jeff and Carter went out to dinner with our friends.  I was excited about going out, but there was another reason for us all to get together tonight.  We had to say goodbye to our friend Alice.  We’ve known for some time that this time would come.  She’s no longer hiding her story, so I feel that she wouldn’t mind my sharing it on here.

About a year ago she and her husband were living in a small town in coastal NC–the town where they grew up.  They were both heavily involved in their church and they had been there since they were very young.  They had a 3 year old daughter.  Her husband was a carpenter who built the house they were living in.  They had a good life and they were happy.  But, Alice battled depression and bi-polar disorder.  The pastor of their church had a 14 year-old son who also struggled with depression, so he thought they should talk and help each other out.  In the meantime, Alice went to a doctor to try and get her emotional issues under control with medication.  The doctor prescribed 2 medications that had a terrible effect on her.  She became impulsive and lost all concern for consequences for her behavior.  Her highs got higher and her lows got lower.  She began to imagine that her husband hated her and that their marriage was falling apart.  She began to spend a lot of time with the 14 year-old. His parents let him spend the night at their house.  You can see where this is going, right?  She begins to think that she has feelings for this boy and that they’ll be together.  They have sex.

Her husband gets a job in Greenville, so they sell their house and move.  She finds out soon after that she’s pregnant and she goes off the bad medicines.  Her actions and the consequences of them come rushing into her fresh, unmedicated mind.  She tells her husband and he chooses his family.  He chooses not to leave her.  He says he’ll raise the baby as his own.  At around 4 months pregnant, she can’t stand the guilt any longer.  She drives back to NC and tells the family what happens.  At first they are shocked, but they love Alice dearly and they forgive her.  They tell her that they do not want the baby and they will not press charges.  About a week later she wakes up in the middle of the night, gets in her car and drives to the police in NC to confess.  They keep her there and have her write a statement.  She tells the truth about all that happened and all the times.  They lock her up for 4 days while they “process” the information.  The boy is called in to give his statement.  He says that she came in while he was sleeping at her house, crawled on top of him and had sex with him in his sleep.  Uh huh.  Right.

Well, this pisses the boys parents off.  They don’t want the story getting out and now she’s let it out.  They start to worry about their reputation at the church and worry about losing the pastor position over a scandal.  They press charges.  

Alice had her little baby boy in Greenville.  They immediately ordered a blood test to be sure that Luke was really the result of their 14 year old and Alice.  The tests showed that it was.  Those results led to the custody case.  They wanted Luke.

After 8 months of fighting the civil and family courts, it’s all coming to an end.  Last week she made a decision that no mother should have to make.  She decided to give Luke up and signed over all rights to him.  She drove her baby to NC and knew when she let him go that she’d probably never see him again–that he would probably never even know that she is his mother.  I don’t know how she made it through that.

Monday she’ll say goodbye to her husband and her daughter when she accepts a plea bargain for 7 1/2 years in jail.  Tonight she had to say goodbye to all her friends.  Since I’ve known this day was coming, I’ve been pulling away from her.  I’ve tried to stop myself and I’ve begged myself to act normal.  How do you treat someone normally who is going through something so difficult?  Nothing I face compares to her agony and I know that she doesn’t want to hear my crap and my silly complaints about my life.  So I said goodbye to her tonight and I don’t know when I’ll see her again.

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One response to “Saying Goodbye to a Friend

  • Lauren

    here i am commenting again. i hadn’t read this before. i am so bummed for them. sherman must be feeling crazy. i know i told you how bad i felt for them before–now i feel even worse for them. i hope luke has a happy life. i wish we knew them better so we could do more to help. i want to tell sherman that we would do anything he needs but i don’t want to sound like a weirdo. i just can’t even imagine what they’re all going through. i had never thought about what it’s like for mothers/wives to go to prison before. and that is such a long, long time.

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