Jennifer Gimenez’s Sober House commentary continues! Below, the house mother talks about Steven’s arrest, the bruises she revealed on this week’s episode, the group’s decision to hit a night club and Seth’s resulting violation of curfew.
We see Steven arrested as a result of your 911 call at the beginning of the episode. You say that you didn’t feel like you had to justify anything to anyone, but did you have any doubt at that point?
It wasn’t doubt. I knew that it was ultimately the right thing. Like I said before, we called the cops to have him escorted to Las Encinas. I didn’t know he was going to be holding drugs on him. If he didn’t, none of this would have happened. I had reservation, though. His life at that point was in serious jeopardy and so was all of ours. But my heart hurt for him. That’s where doubt came from. I felt like I was the one punishing him, but I know that I wasn’t – I was trying to save his life.
Regardless, it caused animosity and resentment from the group. Were you expecting that?
I knew automatically they were going to start turning on me. The disease is stronger than they are, at this point so early in their recovery. The sentiment was how dare I take their Steven away, the one they were in treatment with, the nice guy they know. They didn’t get to see what I saw. Someone has to be the bad person, and I felt that they needed a target and I was it.
Dr. Drew told the group that he was “OK” with what went down. Was that reassuring to you?
Yeah. When we went into group process, the members of the group got its chance to express themselves in a safe environment, because our house had not been safe up till this point. Nikki had serious issues with what I did and so did Amber. So did everyone pretty much. But when Dr. Drew said I did the right thing, they kinda went, “Ah!” They needed a leader and having Dr. Drew say that to them was a relief.
You made reference to it last week, but this week you show the bruises that resulted from your altercation with Steven. How exactly did you get them?
Furniture was being thrown and there were drawers and doorknobs to contend with. He had a little table that he lifted and threw. It hit my legs and was pushed against me – that kind of stuff. It wasn’t like he was swinging at me, it was stuff being shoved while we were just standing there trying to talk reason to him.
Another point is that some of the house members go out to get jobs. This seems particularly humbling for people in the entertainment industry. Do you have any experience doing this sort of thing?
There was a time when I needed to go back to basics, because I never was taught basics. I was discovered (as a model) really young, so I kinda had to learn basic stuff like filing and paperwork and answering phones. I worked as a receptionist for a quick second, but it helped me a lot. I became accountable, did simple tasks, learned how to quick and then moved on to the next place I wanted to go in my life.
When everyone decided to go out to a nightclub, you were vocally against it. Can you talk a little more about why?
We all get choices. Hollywood nightlife was most of those people’s scene, and I just wonder so early in recovery, how do you say no to drugs and alcohol in your old haunt? How is that not tempting and luring? Why put yourself in a situation when you’re tempted, and when you don’t really know the word “no?”
Are there any benefits from testing yourself in this way and passing, though? Everyone came back that night still sober.
There will be a time when they can say no, once they amass the tools. At this point, they just don’t have them. I can go into a bar or a party for the most part. It doesn’t bother me today. This group goes out one time, and “Yay! The war’s over!”? I don’t think so. And there’s no reward at the end of that day, anyway. And as you’ll see, my assumption was correct.
Dr. Drew says Mary’s manager/boyfriend David is a threat to her sobriety. Did you get that sense, as well?
Yeah. It didn’t seem to me that David had Mary’s best interest in mind. By toying with her and showing her alcohol when she’s three days, four days sober, he’s not being helpful. He denies her alcoholism, but then it’s like, why is she trying to get sober on her own will? I don’t think David’s a very positive influence in Mary’s recovery, especially at that point.
Seth ends up violating curfew. How disappointing was that for you?
I was frustrated with Seth. He comes in thinking that it’s a joke. He was playing with our time. We were concerned about him, and he thinks it’s all funny and that he got away with it. If you break the rules, what benefit are you getting? It’s not going to hurt me. I’m not the one getting penalized. If you don’t want it and you think it’s a joke, allow someone else to come in to get the care and guidance and support and the tools to get better.
Will suggests that you’re lenient – he says that he’s been in sober living where a five-minute violation of curfew is enough to get you kicked out.
I followed the guidelines. There were consequences to Seth’s actions. Was I lenient? No, I followed the rules. But I did realize that Seth was in more danger than I thought. It made me a lot more aware of him and I became really concerned. All I could do was give him suggestions and let him know I was there for him.
Check out what Dr. Drew had to say about this week’s episode here.