Jennifer Gimenez’s Sober House commentary continues! Below, the house mother talks about the rumors that circulated last week regarding Seth’s death, the wild goose chase in pursuit of Seth, the group’s harrowing visit with Jessica Jaymes and the immensity of Rodney’s forgiveness.
Do you want to talk about the rumor that went around last week that Seth had died?
I started getting all these emails and phone calls, like, “Is he dead?” At that point, I hadn’t heard from him in a while. I finally got a hold of his best friend and he told me that Seth is alive and about to perform.
I guess that came from the previews for this week’s episode.
Yeah. It’s an unreal episode. I think it shows diversity – it spans the pain of a relapse to the power of forgiveness. Rodney’s the biggest hero I’ve ever had. He blew me away. I was bawling watching that episode. Rodney Glen King is the most incredible human being that I’ve seen walk this earth. That guy is unreal. It’s not just because of the forgiveness. It’s so much more that you don’t get to see on TV. I think if he can forgive what happened to him, I should be able to forgive anything and everything that’s happened in my life. He doesn’t sit there with a chip on his shoulder, and everyone else, including me, does. “I don’t deserve this! Blah blah blah!” That’s not Rodney’s game. At all.
When Seth was broadcasting himself on the computer, giving you guys clues regarding his whereabouts, after a while it just seemed like he was f***ing with you. Was that frustrating?
It was excruciating. It was torturous to witness and experience. When Seth said, “Jenn, I love you, I’m gonna be home late,” he was referring to our pact. He knew he was supposed to tell me when he was going to be late. There was humor to that, but I don’t want to focus on that because the seriousness of his disease is so much more important. Seth must have a lot of pain in his life to go out and use over something that somebody said. I should have gone out and used a million times since the show started airing, if I was going to every time someone said something about me! Watching the intensity of his pain inside is so sad. But after a few of those messages, it gets a little annoying. It was late. The house was nervous, and I felt like I had to be the one at that point that had more experience, strength and hope, and to hold faith for them and show them how we go through this. After a few of those messages, it was exhausting. It felt like we were being toyed with.
And this meant even more sleeplessness for you.
Oh yeah, at that moment I had to play Mommy and say, “We can’t go.” There was a part of me that wanted to go, but then you have to consider who needs it more. It’s like the triage: who do you save? Finally, when everyone was put to bed, it was 6 or 7. We got up and went grocery shopping, and Mary starts getting calls from Jessica Jaymes. Talk about darkness. The group really wanted to go on a 12-Step call, like, “Let’s go over there!” I was like, “No.” In the 12-Step community, the last step is to carry on the message and help out another alcoholic, who still suffers, and so a 12-Step call is helping them, carrying on that message. I’d been taught in the 12-Step community that you do not do a 12-Step call if you have less than a year’s worth of sobriety. And if you’re over a year, you don’t do it alone if there’s a chance you’ll be putting yourself in a dangerous situation. I would never show up to a call by myself – you just never know what the power of alcohol and drugs can do. You don’t know who you’re getting with someone who’s using. Mary was determined to go, so I called Will at that point. We had the crew with us, too. I went in with the group’s understanding that if I felt uncomfortable for anyone, then we would immediately leave. So we finally walked up to see Jessica, and boy, that was just devastation. I thought ultimately, it was a good thing to experience with these people who are so new to recovery what that looks like.
What was your take on Seth taking the “has-been” label so hard? Is that a particularly sensitive area for you, too?
I think it’s terrible that anyone would make a call like that on anyone. Who are we to say who’s a has-been and who’s not? Especially someone who’s making money off you that you call a manager. It’s totally wrong on every level. If this guy thinks that, why would he be managing him? It’s so cruel and so low. Seth is a talented guy. He makes money. There are times that are brighter and times that aren’t. It really affected the house, too. Andy said, “If we’re has-beens, I like this life.”
When you went to the hospital to pick up Seth and found him fleeing and jumping over fences, did you want to check out then? You were putting so much effort into finding this guy who clearly did not want to be found.
I was mad. At that point, I’d reached my limit. His friends were so devastated. When Seth called me, he was very angry: “Get me out of here. I need you to clear this with the nurse.” His disease was so full-force, he was so aggressive, I knew it wasn’t Seth that was talking. He was telling us he had a cardiac arrest and his story kept changing, but part of me knew that I had to take it seriously. If he did have a cardiac arrest, how was he going to get out? The finally nurse told me that he was leaving on his own will. So we finally get there, he books it and the hospital kicks us out and it was like, this is too much. It was too much for one person to handle. The only reason I was with his friends is because they were losing it. It was different than Steven’s relapse because I was feeling the affects and toll of loved ones who are now really scared. They see how dark and deep the disease can be. Seth’s friends, Black and Tyree, don’t break ever, but you see how even the toughest of the tough can feel.
Check out what Dr. Drew had to say about this week’s episode here.