Never in my life did I think I would have to run an intervention. Guess college really did provide me with all types of experiences, after all.
My friend, Madison*, was studying the same undergraduate degree I was. We had a ton of classes together and had lived next to each other since freshmen year. Junior year we moved off campus to an apartment with our friend, June*.
I couldn’t help but notice throughout freshmen and sophomore year, Madison was big into partying. I had never really drank alcohol before (other than that one time…which is a story for another day) so it was fun hanging out with her and stopping to get a frozen pizza in the convenience store on the way back from a party. (Side note: We MASTERED the art of microwaving that delicacy and eating the whole supreme pizza).
Madison had a lot of dates but the frequency (and volume) of her drinking started to concern me and June. Madison started missing class and her grades were slipping. Madison was dating a friend of June’s boyfriend that seemed to push her into a whirlpool and pull her under.
One night, she and I were walking home after a party at June’s boyfriend’s place. At his house, Madison was being argumentative, loud, and acting very strange. She was trying to gyrate around the living room and kept spilling beer on herself. I decided to take her back home. She was upset with me for ruining the night. I confronted her about her drinking and how she was acting. She started being graphic about how awesome it was to give a guy a blowjob in a stairwell. I tried my best to follow her drunken rambling. Somehow the bragging veered into her crying and saying she never actually wanted to do that. She described another sexual encounter with this “man” where she felt assaulted. I was blown away. I could tell she was serious. She was hysterically crying and holding onto my arm about how she needed my support and help to get back on track. I told her we needed to report the creep for taking advantage of her. She flat out refused and only cried harder. I put my arm around her and got her home to get some sleep.
Madison only continued to spiral. She was on the treadmill, singing out loud to Britney Spears and running her hands all over her torso to attract stares. She was shouting loudly and constantly offering herself for threesomes. One party where she tried to have a threesome and was falling down drunk, I again took her home. I was angry. I yelled at her about what a slob she was. Not my best moment in the supportive friend department. She cried and begged me to not walk away from her. She was screaming on the sidewalk in 30-degree weather, barely dressed. I stoically waited for her to catch up and I again took her inside and got her to sleep after holding her hair as she puked.
The following morning, after catching June up to speed on how Madison’s night ended, we decided to have a roommate meeting. June and I both expressed concern for Madison and tried to get her to open up and discuss her partying. She was defensive and told us to mind our own business. She denied the stories she had told me where guys were taking advantage of her. I didn’t know what to do. I had to take her word for it.
As far as intervention attempts go, that was a giant failure. Frustration with Madison’s behavior only continued to fester. And then THE NIGHT happened that will live in infamy.
We threw a Fiesta themed birthday party for June at our apartment. We had maybe 20 or 30 people over. The night went about as I expected. Fun mixed drinks, flip cup, Madison taking her shirt off and dancing in the kitchen, Madison projectile vomiting all over her bathroom and needing to be poured into her bed.
The next morning, June texted me to ask how the rest of the night ended up and made a comment about something being wrong with the kitchen. I said that I stayed up cleaning the apartment and took out the trash before I went to sleep but I would go take a look. NOTHING could have prepared me for what I was about to see. NOTHING.
The kitchen appeared to be fine except that the lid of our tall trash can was on the floor. Instant horror. The trash bag had been knocked down into the can by poop. Yes, reader. Human shit. Someone walked by TWO unoccupied bathrooms in the middle of the night to shit in the kitchen trash can. I unapologetically got everyone’s asses out of bed and demanded answers. No one knew a thing about it. Most defensive was Madison…and she was the most obvious suspect. She turned away from us while we were discussing who was going to clean it up. By doing so, she revealed her white lace thong showing above her jeans. Well, the thong used to be white. It was quite brown.
I donned gloves and used a solo cup to scoop the poop fully into the trash bag. I almost retched from the smell. When I lifted the bag out of the trash can, there was an inch of urine at the bottom that didn’t make it into the bag. I poured the liquid into the trash bag (again, nearly throwing up on myself from the smell) and Madison appears around the corner about how we need to keep the $10 trash can she bought from WalMart. My head exploded. Keep? Who is cleaning that? Someone took a shit in our trash can, and you want to keep it. She kept saying it is fine with bleach.
I was done.
June and I met up in the library to discuss Madison. I felt like creep, holed up in a study room, hoping she wouldn’t walk by and see us. However, our sanity depended on it. I couldn’t keep worrying about Madison partying too much or hurting herself. I couldn’t keep watch over her while trying to keep up with my own workload. I was frustrated and angry but I was also really concerned she was going to seriously hurt herself or end up in a bad situation.
It was time to tell her parents.
We lied to Madison about what we were doing that night. I met June in the gym parking lot with the script we wrote. Her mom sobbed into the phone. Her dad was blindsided. They had a lot of questions that we tried to diplomatically answer. I mean, Madison was still our friend. I didn’t want to parade her sexual experiences in front of her parents. That was the most awkward conversation of my life. I was literally shaking despite the heat blasting on us in the car. I hated myself because I felt like I betrayed my friend, but I knew deep down this situation was something she needed help with.
Madison’s parents ended up forcing her to live at home rather than on campus. Even though it was expected that Madison would be angry and put up a wall, it still hurt that the friendship ceased to exist because I did care about her.
I hope Madison is ok.