When Dave called from the airport to let me know he'd dropped Erin off, the sobbing that over took me was from sheer relief at being freed from the oppression her stay had been to me. Even knowing that I am not responsible for her feelings, just my behavior, had not been enough to alleviate the burden of living with someone so unstable.
I wish I could say having her gone was enough to end the torment but mind games are insidious. The effect of them has hung on long after Erin left. Already beat down by the illness and the victimizations by Kelly Panowicz, Crystal Baker and Jessica Mcgehee Thompson, I guess it only stands to reason Erin's work would pound me further into the ground. I didn't realize how far until I began writing about the darkness of these last two years.
As the words flow, sometimes as laboriously as thick mud, I have come to understand the depression that has gripped me. The process has been extremely painful. For two years I have been a doormat for those who saw an opportunity. Even without the illness that would have been depressing enough so it is no wonder I have labored.
Nothing has been as difficult to write as this part on Erin. It wasn't until the email she sent me titled "Closure" that I realized how raw my wounds were. Then when her suicide email arrived, I thought I just wanted to be done with her so I cut straight to the quick of the story thinking I could move on but instead I felt manipulated by her once again.
With her continued efforts to influence me, I have discovered how truly battered I feel by her behavior, past and present. The wounds buried, festering and poisoning my soul, influencing everything as victimization is want to do untreated. I knew it was there. I just didn't understand the true nature of it. Head games are insidious enough without life and death in the balance. Erin took my good heart and put a target on it.
There are so many slivers of pain pressing against my heart because, trying to live with her instability, I allowed her to poke at it over and over. Telling the whole story, exposing the details feels like finally standing up for myself against this bully. I need to do it to regain my personal power and the confidence stripped away by this ordeal so that's what I'm going to do.
I will begin with her "Closure" email since its dishonesty really smacked me in the face and caused all the pain inflicted by her to come boiling up.
Here it is. My impressions follow.
I did receive the reply to my previous email to you. I did not save it, but if I recall correctly you wrote that you could tell that I had not changed at all and that I still didn't understand the damage I had done.
I bring myself to asking why I am trying to reach out to you yet again. I certainly don't expect an email to change anything that happened over a year ago, nor your current opinion of me. I guess I am having a hard time with the way that things ended in Washington with you and it rankles me to know that I hurt you, your family and your horses. I am also hurt. I had no conscious intention of causing harm, though I admit in hindsight that I certainly did cause harm.
I guess I am bothered that you seem to think that I had intentionally plotted to come out to Washington and exploit you. I certainly did not. The details of the time before, during and after being in Washington are very sketchy to me now and I honestly remember only vague details of the two months that I was there. I am sure that there are things that I did that I do not remember. I am not AT ALL claiming that not remembering makes me unaccountable and at some point I hope to be able to access that time period better so that I can learn more about myself and what I need to work on. But at the end of the day I know my heart and my intentions despite how my actions may have portrayed me.
The months leading up to my departure from Washington and the following 9 months are the darkest, most confusing and vulnerable period in my life. My diagnosis of DID from the hospital in California that I came home from with no containment and cracked wide open, trying to find containment or safety or familiarity in a world turned on its end, and then the beginning of the nitty gritty trauma work last winter has completely changed me and my life. Some of the changes are very reassuring and many things that never quite fit or made sense make sense to me now. Some of the changes are harder, like accepting the reality of SRA and how being multiple affects my daily life. I have made huge progress learning to meet the needs of my inside world independently instead of indulging in repetition compulsion on the outside. I have become more frank with myself and with others.
I didn't intentionally try to deceive people, but the automatic thoughts and past lies of being nobody, of being worthless and useless blinded me to my own limitations in trying to prove my worth to myself and others. The drive to prove my worth was self destructive. It wasn't until I began to have little twinkle of belief of worthiness inside that I was able to have any understanding that it is circular to prove my worth to myself or anyone else. I have worth because I am. My worth cannot be proved by my love of horses, my college GPA or anything else. I still have a long way to go. I am unsteady in this changing set of beliefs but I am determined to continue to make progress to grow and heal so that one day I can function in a healthy manner within myself and also with those around me.
I think in writing this email I have found it to be a letter of closure and a declaration for me. I may not have known who I was, but I certainly know who I wasn't. I am not looking for a pity party either. I know that you have gone through the nitty gritty of the work of recovery so I can be honest with you about where I am at. I wish you, Dave, Lindsay, Delilah, Sugar and your entire herd the best. I hope that you are getting stronger and able to spend more time with your beloved horses and I do pray for all of you. I am open to a reply if you feel so inclined, but writing this was more about me being able to let go and move on and take responsibility to the best of my ability for mistakes I felt I had made while I was living with you. I will not try to contact you again unless you initiate.
For me her email has all the elements to evoke the "poor Erin" response that make her seem the victim. She recalls enough of my response to her previous email to quote it pretty accurately but she conveniently ignored my request for her to leave me alone. Her need to ignore the truth and pervert the facts to justify her actions are exactly why I requested she not contact me anymore.
The instability she describes, the very reason she didn't belong here but, instead of being sorry she put us through such trauma, it is her proof she has a good heart and meant no harm. How can that be true when she's still poking my heart with her stick? Proving her point is more important than any harm she has caused or continues to cause.
Her choice of words like "rankles" told me she is still angry that we did not live up to her expectations and/or see things her way. It is obvious she still only sees things from her defensive posture. She wants to be blameless for subjecting us all to her craziness but the only one, who could know how out of control she was, happened to be her. When she misrepresented her stability so I would let her come here, she knowingly put us at risk. Isn't that exploitation? And that's not even factoring in the status of my health. Doesn't that make her behavior all the more reprehensible?
We behaved appropriately and in a kind and loving manner at all times regardless of what Erin dished out. It is clear from this email she has no understanding or appreciation for how truly remarkable that is. She took everything we had to give, bled us dry and is wounded we couldn't give more and she doesn't think this was exploitation? What do you think? Am I being tough on Erin, like she thinks, or ......?
For me the fact she continues to poke at me, knowing I have been harmed and am still suffering, is what tells me the true status of Erin's heart. Kicking someone when they are down is not my style but it is Erin's. She doesn't think of anyone but herself so I am going to stand up against her the only way I can........I'm going to tell the whole story and finally get this bully out of my head.
To be continued......
Living with Selfishness......