Battered Van Halen-fan syndrome

Look, I appreciate your concern, but, really, I’m OK. He’s not going to hurt me again.

Yes, I know it’s not the first time he’s said he’d change … not the first time he’s said it won’t happen again … that he’ll stop drinking … that I can trust him … that he really loves me. I know.

But, seriously, I think he really means it this time. I mean, look: he went and got help. Real help. Professional help. That month he just spent in rehab … I mean, c’mon, that’s a big step. He’s making a real effort. He’s so different this time. Just look at him. Look how happy and healthy he looks compared to how he was before he sobered up. Can’t you see that it’s really gonna be different this time around?

No, I haven’t forgotten what happened in ’96. Ugly. Very ugly. After making me believe for all those years that the magic would never end, he just … just cut things off, so … so abruptly. Yes, some very nasty things were said. It was awful. And then … then, that whole thing in ’98 … when he tried to convince me it was the real deal again, when I just knew it wasn’t.

Yes, I remember that thrashing he gave me in ’04. Years of silence suddenly broken by the reunion for which I had so longed. My long-shattered faith was restored. The magic was back. The ’96 trainwreck wasn’t the end after all. I was so happy. He sucked me in good that time, only to turn around and blow it all to hell.

It’s been a bumpy ride since then. The unpredictable behavior, the boozing, the lashing out, the downward spiral, bad decision after bad decision. Yes, I had pretty much written him off, too.

But now … well, how can I not give him another shot? How can I turn him away? I mean, as bad as it ever was, he’s given me so much joy, touched me in a way that no one else ever could. How can I not take the chance? I have to. I have no choice. I want to believe.

Please, Ed … do the right thing. For me. For us. I’m begging you.

Jon & Ed 5150

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