Once upon a time, Max went to a residential rehab where we hoped he would finally be saved from his addiction. There, he was assigned a therapist who was working toward his MFT license.
Lawrence was a nice guy who genuinely liked Max very much. Who wouldn’t? Max liked Lawrence too, especially because he didn’t preach about god. In rehab, Max relapsed several times. It wasn’t going to be the magic ticket, I came to realize.
I visited often and soon became friends with R, a ‘spiritual adviser’ there. She was single and wondering if she’d ever meet someone nice. I suggested Lawrence, who she barely knew. R and Lawrence went out and fell in love, bam. They were soul-mates.
Lawrence left the rehab after falling out with the administration. He offered to see Max on the sly, a breach of the rules.
Max left rehab and got a job. But he was pretty shaky. Lawrence was seeing Max alone, and with us, his parents, for family therapy. We wanted to support Max any way we could, but I had my doubts about Lawrence. He didn’t seem to know what he was doing.
Max started using dope again and Lawrence kept his secret. One night a friend called to say that Max was in her living room, fucked up. We raced over to get him, our darling baby, and got him admitted to a rehab where he could detox.
That rehab was a bad mistake. They discharged him early, suffering from insomnia and withdrawal. Max called Lawrence that night but Lawrence didn’t call him back. In the early morning, Max jumped onto a busy highway.
Here’s the thing. For the next nine months that Max was alive, Lawrence offered to resume counseling him but didn’t try to direct him to a real doctor who knew how to treat depression. Lawrence was still trying to get his MFT.
At Max’s burial, I hugged Lawrence and said, ‘I’m not mad at you.’ He replied, ‘I’m not mad at you either.’ He offered his business card to someone.
Time passed and R was one of my dearest friends. I could talk to her about anything, but not about Lawrence, who was now her husband. I accepted this as the price of our friendship.
One night at my computer, I read something scary about the drug Neurontin. I knew that Lawrence took Neurontin and that he had suggested Max try it, too.
So I emailed Lawrence for the first time. I sent him a link to the study and wrote these words.
I came across an article about Neurontin in my email tonight. You should probably not be taking this drug, nor should you have urged Max to take it.
In the morning, I received an email from R:
you just sent an email that crushed Lawrence to the core. it was cruel. it was unnecessary.you also betrayed my trust.i dont understand. You crossed the line with me. i ca’t trust you. what was the point of that? He does not deserve this.Weve had this conversation before. what you set out to do you accomplished. You really hurt him and me by proxy.What ever he did he was only trying to help Max.Lawrence can never see or look at you again. That was just so cruel. I really wish you had not done that because it means we can not be friends. You are too dangerous.My husband is lying here tortutred. Good job.
R never spoke to me again, and blocked me from contacting her again. But before blocking me, she wrote this:
Max walked in the [rehab] broken very very broken, already.
Last week on the TV series Web Therapy, the worthless therapist character told someone defensively that her patients were ‘already damaged when they come to me.’ It was a funny line because no one would ever say such an awful stupid thing.