Season 19, Episode 3
Location: Marquette, Michigan
What’s Memorable: That the ex-boyfriend who horrifically abused her and triggered her addiction, after having gone through anger management, has somehow become the better parent. That’s saying a lot. When he apologizes during the intervention for hurting her, her response is really emotional and I imagine pretty cathartic. Also it’s amazing how powerful the force of wanting to be a better parent is to most addicts. It’s quite often that the children are the reason why they decide to go to treatment and it was definitely the biggest reason in Abbie’s case.
Official Synopsis: Abbie was a young mom with dreams of going to college for photography. But she was hiding a dark secret from her family. Her boyfriend, and father of her daughter, had become physically and mentally abusive. The beatings escalated, and Abbie ended up in surgery after a punch to the face shattered bones and required three metal plates. Abbie began drinking excessively to cope with the abuse. Though she finally pressed charges after he threw boiling soup on her, Abbie is now a fullblown alcoholic. Her parents are raising her daughter while Abbie lives nearby with a new boyfriend who enables her addiction. Her alcoholism has gotten so bad that Abbie already has chronic liver, kidney, and bone marrow damage. Without help, Abbie’s family fears that her daughter will lose her mom for good.
Date Aired: June 2018
I think Ken made a bit of a boo-boo on this one. Ray, Abbie’s abusive ex-husband, should not have been allowed to participate in the intervention process, and I don’t really understand Ken’s logic for allowing him to do so. Ray can apologise to Abbie until his tongue falls out, but it still doesn’t change what he did to her. His presence at the intervention only brings up the painful past for Abbie and her family, and if I were the interventionist I’d tell Ray that I appreciate his concern and his willingness to participate, but due to the past circumstances concerning their relationship he will not be welcome to participate in the intervention process.
i see where you’re coming from but i disagree. i think the apology meant so much to her and she needed to hear it. she even said, “an apology is all i ever wanted” as she started crying.
I agree, Brooke. Though it could have really messed things up if she reacted differently and I wouldn’t have blamed her.
I agree. I initially was kind of angry to see her abuser being given any legitimacy and being part of the intervention. Then I saw her reaction to what seemed like a well worded, even if possibly not sincere, apology, and it seemed to make all the difference.
Yeah, I think Ken took a risk and it paid off.
I completely 100% agree with you, Janelle. The fact that Abbie did not talk to either her then-boyfriend OR Ray, the abusive ex-husband, during her treatment speaks volumes to how destructive any contact with him is to her. The WORST THING possible for her was to get an apology from him; it was probably meaningless (all for the cameras) and it made her extremely vulnerable to slipping into a relationship with him again. Anyone who has been in a narcissistic relationship knows just how dangerous their “apologies” are. Her story is so much like mine (the only real difference is I do not yet have children), and I am passionately rooting for her to stay safe, sane, and sober. People have no idea unless you’re in that situation yourself exactly what it’s like. Much love everyone!
I think Ken mentioned that the main reason he wanted Ray to participate was so that he could finally apologize to Abbie for all of the horrible things he did to her. After his apology Abbie herself even said something like all she ever wanted to hear from him was apology. I think maybe having Ray there to acknowledge the horrible things he did and to apologize for them was the very first, tiny step towards her beginning the healing the process. I hope she’s doing well, she deserves to be healthy and happy!
Yes, I remember that, but the intervention wasn’t the appropriate place. Ray’s presence could have created a major distraction, and made the intervention more difficult, because it would have brought to the surface everyone’s anger toward Ray, and made the whole thing all about Ray and what he did to Abbie, not about Abbie’s addiction and her family wanting her to get help. Ray should have been kept away from the intervention because keeping him away would help Abbie realise it’s time to move forward with her life, and Ken should have told him that he needs to apologise to Abbie after she returns from treatment, and that it would be better for her recovery if he kept as much distance from her as possible. Luckily it all worked out in the end and she went to treatment, and that’s what matters.
Ray didn’t seek out participation in the intervention – he didn’t even know about it until the morning it happened. I think it was pretty astute of Ken to realize that Abby was unable to move on without an apology from Ray. I would have thought differently about his presence if he had not a) been actively involved in an anger management program; b) taken responsibility for what he had done; c) not been a permanent part of Abby’s life because they have a child together; d) most importantly, not been safe to be around Abby. I think his participation was a major factor in her agreeing to treatment as was her realization that Ray was, as long as she was active in her addiction, a better parent than she was.
In other words, I don’t think that Ray’s participation was about Ray – I think it was about Abby. And it worked.
YES! YES! YES! Absolutely!
I totally agree, hearing the apology and his accepting his wrongfulness absolutely helps with beginning to heal. For both parties.
Did anyone else notice Ken is getting seriously buff? He’s popping out of his clothes! He’s my favorite interventionist (tied with Candy anyway lol) and I’m so happy to see him doing well.
Abbie….wow. Her absolute insistence on driving while drunk really bugged me. It bugged me even more that the family didn’t call the police immediately when she DID drive drunk. As blasted as she was all the time, it was only a matter of time before she crashed. She needed to go to jail and pay SAFE consequences rather than killing herself or an innocent family while driving drunk. By protecting her they were enabling her behavior.
I’m still amazed at how beautiful she was before she became an alcoholic and how unbelievably horrible she looked after a couple of years of heavy drinking – her episode would be a good one to play at high schools to show how alcoholism seriously destroys your looks.
My opinion on having Ray the ex-husband on the show is that Ken made a 100% correct decision. She needed to hear his sincere apology for her own healing. I doubt she would have gotten help without it, so great job on this one, Ken!!
Yes I thought Ken looked jacked (he’s really got the DILF thing going lol)! I never noticed he has a tattoo on his left arm.
I never noticed either Zaza!
I definitely love me some Ken but I think he’s taken sadly.
Abbie is someone you can tell is just an awesome person when sober. She has a big heart and cares so much about those around her.
Looks like she and Ray are back together, they both have posted pictures of themselves with their daughter as profile pictures on facebook. And she has indicated she is in a relationship so its most likely them being together
How unfortunate considering how terrible he was to her. Even his apology was a half-assed abuser’s type of apology, “I didn’t meant to hurt you like that”. I just wanted the dad to turn to him and ask “oh so how did you want to hurt her then?”. What a shame…..
I truly hope that their relationship doesn’t revert to what it once was because that poor girl’s voice when asking where her mom was going broke my heart for her.
Seriously, are they seriously back together????!!!! GAH!
wow that’s insane! some things you can never come back from and what he did is certainly one of them! his apology seemed very insincere. he seemed very unmoved by the entire intervention, maybe he’s a sociopath? i’m not kidding.
Who isn’t an alcoholic in Marquette? I lived there for ten years and that is not an uncommon problem. I was a bartender in the area, so I know whereof I speak. It is winter like nine months of the year, and if you aren’t into outdoor activities (which, often include drinking as well), you end up doing as the natives do; drinking yourself into oblivion.
As for her comment about the police knocking her tooth out at the beginning, I believe that wholeheartedly. The police are absolutely awful there; real backwoods pieces of crap.
The best thing I ever did for myself and family was to get the hell out of there.
This is why I will never work with, or understand, abused women. Back together? There is nothing in the universe that will ever make this make sense for me.
Then you need to do some serious self-education and self-evaluation, period. It is a blessing to all abuse survivors that you do not work in that field.
Wow, that was unnecessary. This person meant exactly what they said. I too understand the pathology behind battered women, but know myself well enough to know that I do not have the patience for it. As a child of a battered woman, I’ve been on the other side. Not everyone is cut out to do that kind of work, but you probably can’t do my job, either. You don’t need to be so hateful. It’s honestly frustrating and it’s a tough job, andy many of us couldn’t do it. You don’t exactly seem to be making a great case for yourself though by acting like this.
Thank you Laura for this reply. Please know that if you are a victim of domestic abuse, your own unique feelings are valid, no matter how complicated they are, and regardless of who understands or approves.
I’m sorry, he could literally kill her. I will never see this as a good thing. I’m dealing with it in my personal life right now and I have to worry if the person is going to live or die if she goes back. I wish I could fix them, but it appears nothing I do or say helps.
I have never felt compelled to comment here even though I’ve been a reader for years but after this episode I could not help myself. I honestly have nothing but hatred towards Ray and I wish Abbie and her daughter would stay far away from him forever. It saddens me to even think they have possibly gotten back together. There is tremendous research and evidence (Google Lundy Bancroft) that abusive can rarely if ever be rehabilitated even with intensive therapy.
Abbie is a bright light and a beautiful person and that Ray ws allowed to participate in her intervention is a disgrace and an affront. I hope someday she can get away from him for herself and her daughter’e sake. Of course I am happy she got sober and wish her continued health and wellness and safety and sobriety.
I am speculating but I think the reason Ray was brought on board for the intervention had to do with the idea that drugs are the symptoms and going away for therapy and care has as much to do with the underlying issues as with the addiction itself.
So, the spirit might have been to release at least some of the tension related to what had happened before she went. Abuse victims often feel guilty and responsible for their own predicament; getting Ray to say that it was his fault, that he did this to her (through the apology) was about her giving herself permission to start to heal. The blame was his and it put her psychologically in a situation where she didn’t have to feel guilty for taking back power over her life.
And of course we don’t know everything. Even before the news they at least temporarily reunited later, the mere fact she had refused to banish him from her daughter’s life and insisted he stayed around means that, for better or for worse (and I think we can all agree it is very likely to be for worse), she still had a lot of unresolved emotions towards him. If the interventionist wanted all the people who cared for her and that she cared for in the room, he needed to be there.
Let me put it another way: I have been discovering and binge-watching the show this past week and it strikes me that many many family members (generally parents) who are clearly emotionally abusive and partially responsible for the situation are inevitably present during the intervention. Physical abuse is of course a lot more obvious a type of abuse but it doesn’t strike me as such a diversion from the usual choice which is to include everybody in the intervention.
If you look at their facebooks, Ray and Abbie ARE NOT and WERE NOT in a relationship after the intervention. They are both dating other people and Abbie still lives in Texas. She looks incredible. Such an awesome person underneath that addiction.
I am so, so happy to know she is doing well!! I have watched this episode a couple of times and it makes me so sad and angry. Domestic violence AND a terrible addiction?! God bless her for having the wherewithal to make it to the other side!
Dessa’s fiance was a little creepy for my taste.
I knew it couldn’t have been just me who felt so. I thought he seemed way more interested in Abbie than he should have, and it was really weird.
I thought it was just me! I wasn’t paying close attention at first and I thought he was a brother or something. He was way too interested
Man, I’ve never commented before and likely won’t again, but this girls story really touched me. I have lived abuse as well and know how damaging it can be, and she’s SO strong really. I’m so mad he only got 2 days for physical abuse, but she got months for possession…. That’s crazy!! And backwards if you ask me. He got help ordered instead, and she really needed it. Why is it like that? I truly understand her anger there. I also understand Ken having Ray there because they DO share a daughter and he will be a part of her life until her daughter is an adult and can separate the need for each parent as well as getting an apology from him for her, to own what’s he’s done. How heartfelt can it be with such short notice and not being able to write anything down? He did own what he did fully… that means so much to the victim. Most abusers won’t own anything at all. It was the most important piece for her and her future. Her reaction really said it all, didn’t it… “An apology is all I’ve ever wanted from you”… I felt that on such A DEEP level and there are no words. I’m so happy she chose to go in the end and I hope she can conquer the beast for the rest of her days. Her daughter is so beautiful, and I’m certain she’ll have the beautiful soul her mother has. The goodbye between them was so beautiful. Even in the short time between when she was home and when she was at treatment she looked so much healthier… And seeing her pursue the photography was wonderful! I’m cheering for this family!
You’re welcome! You got this 🙂
I second this. Keep fighting the good fight.
Ray was recently arrested for possession of child porn. This is why I never believe someone as violent and despicable as he was to Abbie could change, even if they go through the motions to get what they want. I hope to god their child wasn’t hurt. Here’s an article detailing his arrest: https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2021/05/13/marquette-man-arrested-on-child-porn-charges/
Oh my god.
Is this the same guy? You must know his real name.
That is him! OMG. Same neck tattoo and everything! Disgusting!!!
Oh no! How awful to read about this!! That makes me sick!! I always felt there was something sinister and void in his eyes. Just from Abbie’s episode you could tell he was a violent and unstable man. Poor daughter!! I recently found Abbie on FB and it looks like she is doing well, her daughter got so big!! I pray Abbie and her daughter stay safe and healthy!!
I was so deeply disgusted by this episode. Not by Abbie, but by her ex Ray. To see that he only went to jail for TWO DAYS for nearly killing her multiple times, but she had to go to jail for FOUR MONTHS on her cocaine charge?? It really says a lot about how domestic violence and women’s pain is not taken seriously by law enforcement and perhaps by extension society as a whole. I can’t BELIEVE that they allowed him to participate in her intervention!! He is an abusive piece of shit who I don’t think will ever change, as evidenced by the article linked here of him being arrested for child porn (oh my god???). I feel so terribly for Abbie, and for her daughter.
IKR??? So shocking and disgusting. I honestly can’t really watch these new episodes too often because of the shit these producers pull. nowadays. It’s honestly so disturbing.
I’m 8 months sober after a long few years!
Your episode, experience of abuse and situation has stuck with me for years. I have always wondered how you are doing and am sincerely happy to read you’re sober. I wish I was (alcohol). You didn’t deserve any of the abuse put on you and you’re such a beautiful woman with a loving soul. Stay strong Abbie, you deserve every great thing life has in store for you. 💚
8 months!! That’s amazing Abbie, congratulations to you! Absolutely badass. So much respect!!
That’s awesome Abbie.
Your episode tugged on my heart strings much more then others. I’m so happy you are living life and clean. Love that your family rallied around you and helped you get a second chance at life. Sending lots of love your way.
I spent some time on her Facebook page and she seems sober from alcohol, and more like a mild stoner. No sign of Ray or any other men. She’s spending quality time with her kids and posting frequently little jokes, a few drug references. Her eyes are always glassy and she is still going with a street look. Seems like she’s way calmed down and living a typical lifestyle. She shared some very heartwarming things about her daughter.
I’m very happy she’s being a good mom and if she just smokes weed then good for her.
Abbie just sending you lots of love from Toronto
Just watched your episode I really liked you and wanted to send you some love
Ps I’m also an alcoholic and I understand how hard it is to stop
It’s so accessible I can have it delivered to my door in 20 mins.
It is a disease it consumes you, it ruins your life and you’re left alone on your couch with a bottle
Dizzy, why does it not say that she is also addicted to meth and heroin? I know that her drug of choice might be alcohol, but during the episode, she did meth and heroin… I’m just wondering?