Jane Pratt has finally weighed in on Cat Marnell's decision to leave xoJane, and she's justifiably heartbroken.
Pratt's sub-head for her post reads, "I'd rather be on a rooftop smoking angel dust than writing this post," riffing on Cat's comments in the Page Six story that announced her decision to quit. Pratt says she initially wrote a longer post about her own past struggling to maintain relationships with addicts, but decided to scrap it in the end. In the end, Pratt says she's struggled to deal with the addiction of those close to her in the past:
I can be a bit oblivious about drug use, eating disorders, addictive behaviors. Once an editor of mine lost about a third of her body weight, was staying up all night, had a drawer full of pills and fainted in the office to be carried out to an ambulance to the hospital and I STILL thought she was just stressed from work (she was probably that too, of course). Kurt and Courtney were nodding out and I thought they were just tired. I believe what people tell me.
Pratt says her struggles come, "partly from growing up with an addict dad. My sense of sober is off." The most heartbreaking part of her post, though, is when she details how she struggled to deal with Cat during her last few months working with xoJane:
I thought about whether still providing her with a paycheck was akin to the moms on "Intervention" giving their kids money for drugs.
I thought about how her behavior was affecting others on staff. I didn't really think about how or whether it was affecting me.
I had told her in the months leading up to this that I didn't want her to be sitting in my office telling me she was sorry anymore.
Pratt's post is short, but her admiration for Cat as a writer and her love of Cat as a person is as clear as day. She deeply cares about Cat, and says at the bottom of her post that Marnell is still welcome contribute to xoJane in the future, but now she's not on staff. Pratt details how she struggled to deal with the problems my colleague Jen Doll highlighted. When someone you love is suffering from addiction, it's hard to differentiate whether you're supporting someone or enabling them. Pratt clearly struggled to figure out if Marnell's employment was helping her overcome a problem, or at least helping to keep a problem from spinning out of control, or if she was simply enabling it. In the end, they agreed Marnell wasn't doing her job, Pratt says. "On her last day in the office, Cat Slimed me with some smelly lotion and ran off," Pratt writes. "Yep, I adore her."