You’ve been hearing about me for a long time. Andy called me “Louise,” which really is my middle name. I am the woman who was accused of leaving him after seven years, taking my son “Connor” away from Andy, who loved Connor as his own. I am the girl in the painting.
I don’t know what Andy is telling you about my writings now. He may have tried to brush it all aside, as he has always affected an attitude of extreme indifference to “kerfuffles” on the internet. However, I also know that he read Jeanine’s blog ravenously. We didn’t have a computer, but we haunted internet cafes, carefully downloading copies of everything she wrote onto discs. I still have some of them. I know that some of you are following along. I even know that some of you are visiting both sides of the fence and reporting back to him. That’s ok. I understand that, I really do. It was my job once too. It would not surprise me if he altered things just enough to fit his new Harry Potter theme and then kept the same story, exploiting how I had believed but then lost faith, and needed people to fill in where I had failed.
I know he goes by “Commander” and “Fearless Leader” these days. In my day, it was “Chief,” although that wasn’t necessarily what I was to call him. That’s what the people who came through him referred to him as. I was “the Constant,” and it was my job to keep track of all the “others,” to pass messages between them if necessary, and to keep the Chief informed as to what was going on, since he was “in the ether” when others came through.
I remember all the “therapy” he gave me. He made me feel like it was safe to open up to him. In fact, he was remarkably perceptive. He pushed me to face every personal shortcoming; I felt like I was growing into a better version of myself. I thought of him as my hero, my savior. He made me stronger. Braver. Better, because I was dealing with all the abuse I’d suffered. My “neglectful, cruel mother” (who was really just a working Mom; she wasn’t neglectful). My insensitive, uncaring friends (who didn’t support me as I got more and more into his world). He helped me remember horrible, horrible things and deal with them. Some of them were real things that happened to me, like my abusive high school boyfriend. Some of them were fanciful exaggerations – such as some of the extreme abuse. He’d keep telling me, in the form of my father figure/guide, that there was more to remember. It was like a game; unraveling these riddles that had (apparently) always been inside me, ruining me.
The big reveal, not long after Tentmoot, was that I had multiple personality disorder. I hadn’t “completely split,” so I was still sometimes aware of what my “alternate” personalities were doing, and sometimes he would claim that my “alters” had done things I was unaware of. He labeled my temper, my sexuality, my fear, my childlike, and my memories of abuse as different personalities, and one by one we had to deal with each of them. There were benefits to this – because of this “therapy,” I finally gained control over my wild temper, a control that I’ve only gotten better at over the years. I got past the sexual violence I’d gone through, so I no longer had panic attacks. And as I’ve said before, I was feeling a full range of emotions for the first time after years of feeling nothing but gray.
Later, there were interventions. I was a “control addict” and needed to recover from that, because I was ruining lives (his and Diamond’s specifically, at that point). I was utterly devastated, and did everything I possibly could to own my “addiction” and “make reparations.” Sometime after that, he got me to believe that my regular panic attacks were because I was possessed by a “secular demon” (because “demons” are real, but they don’t always conform to religion because religion is flawed and Andy, or rather, the elves, knew the truth.) I went through several weeks of careful preparation and finally went through an exorcism ritual.
What I’m saying is, I believed not only his stories, but that I owed him my life. I thought he had saved me from my misery, brought me to a better place, made me feel, made me face my fears, made me whole. More than once, I swore to him that “even if I didn’t believe you, I would stay, because this life is better than ‘normal’ life.” Beyond that, I also believed I had an important, special future because of him. That I had a duty to stay with him, that the world itself might be at stake.
Andy (or one of the others) regularly explained why I had been “chosen” to be his constant. He talked about other people on earth who might have had my place – there were a number of qualifying factors, including low-level telepathic/empathetic power (which allowed me to sometimes “sense” the Elves and Hobbits, in their own dimension, standing near me. Andy, of course, could just see them), my faith, my loyalty, the fact that in a previous life I had been Tolkien (In high school I got on a past lives kick, and used to believe I had been a professor in one. Andy knew this before he introduced the Tolkien thing). I was the one who believed Andy when he started channeling Merry Brandybuck (Kalimac Brandagamba, here’s that blog). I participated in several spiritual battles (there are chat records of this, which were published in Jeanine’s book When A Fan Hit The Shit).
Once I was the Constant, there were endless missions. While Diamond and Little Sam were with us, we had to help mend Frodo’s (Maura’s) six-thousand-year-old case of PTSD – he was still having ringfits, still terribly damaged. We listened to Sam (Ban) and Frodo’s true stories about the ring quest, and about how Tolkien’s wife was able to channel the hobbits too, which is part of how he learned the story himself. We helped Pippin (Raz) and Merry (Kali) come to terms with the rest of their post-quest lives, and from the curse that had tormented them for the next 6000 years. We also helped Jordan (who was secretly Elijah Wood, remember?) cope with a lifetime of hideous, crippling abuse. [NOTE: None of this has anything to do with the real Elijah Wood.] Jordan also had multiple personality disorder (unrelated to the channeling), so we had to help him deal with that.
Later, Jordan “committed suicide” (the same way Amy had previously) specifically to punish Diamond. And Andy came – that is, now he was the duplicate soul of Orlando Bloom, who also had a history full of abuse and unprocessed pain [NOTE: This also has nothing to do with the real Orlando Bloom.] We had to “help” him too. After Diamond left (or rather, was forced to leave, by Andy), there were many, many more quests. I became involved in war among the gods, because I might be a Maiar (like Gandalf) trapped in a human body. Later, it turned out that Gandalf was really Satan, the actual devil himself, and that most of the things I’d been involved with weren’t real after all.
That was when he switched over to Narnia, initially bringing just Peter (the real child from England, who had refugeed with C.S. Lewis), then the rest of the Pevensie children. Or rather, the Blakewell children – when he changed his name legally, he chose “Blake” as a short-form of that last name. I became a mother-figure to those children – they called me “Mom” and behaved as children. Peter figured out how to use The Mindhole (as we all called him, aside from calling him Chief) to teleport within his own time by “going back” to a different location then he started from. He also figured out how to “take things back” with him – apparently, it’s all about force of will and perception. So then Andy had an entirely new alternate world to work with – and that’s when it gets too complex for a single blog post.
What I’m saying is, I know how deeply you are invested. I know that you think that they need you. They love you. Maybe you have children in there. Or parents (remember, Elrond was my “adoptive father,” and my secret name, Elhorian, supposedly meant “adopted daughter of the elves”). Or dear, dear friends you are afraid to lose. And the bond you must feel with the other believers – there is nothing like it. I know. Diamond, Little Sam and I have talked about that, and we still feel that connection to each other. All of us felt it.
I know he’s made you believe you’ve seen things that no one else did. Little Sam and I both believed we’d seen a river run backwards. All three of us believed in the “Valar,” the “gods” from Lord of the Rings – and we believed we had seen evidence of them, such as the wind stopping when Andy told it to stop. When you want to believe as badly as we did, you can see things you wouldn’t otherwise. We never really used any drugs (although Andy would get completely puking-everywhere-trashed every time we had alcohol, which was rare), but once or twice he produced a joint from somewhere, then spent the entire time telling me what I was seeing “with my defenses down.”
All along, way deep inside, there was doubt. Tiny, niggling seeds of doubt that I pushed aside when I heard them, or chose to ignore. When I looked deep inside myself, I believed more than anything that this life was better than the one I’d left behind. I could not bear the thought of going back to my boring, bland life in front of a computer with nothing to feel, nothing to do. I sneered at “normal” people, who watched TV and went to work and never did anything that changed the foundation of the world. I couldn’t imagine living like that.
It turns out that the life I have after being with Andy is nothing like the gray, bland life I’d left behind. Yes, I watch TV and relax. No, I’m no longer on world-changing missions. Because once I let go of the fantasy, once I said no more, I realized I hadn’t been changing the world. I was playing pretend with someone who was using me to perpetuate his own imaginary world. All the tears I wept. All the sleep I lost. All the anguish. All the fear. The triumphs. The failings. None of it mattered after all. It was the greatest, most agonizing loss I’d faced in my life, and I had no one left in my life to turn to. Andy was my father, brother, child, lover and friend, and leaving him took me to the lowest I’d ever imagined.
But then. Then I learned that the stakes are not what he claimed. I am not single-handedly responsible for the fate of worlds. Multiple worlds – the undying land, the ghost cities, the alternate timeline in 1944, the children I adopted…None of it. It was the greatest burden I’d ever bourne. Having it lifted from my shoulders is indescribably freeing. I am able to enjoy the dailiness of my life so much more, because if I make a mistake? It’s ok. I won’t be punished for it.
I don’t know if any of this will matter to you. I don’t know if you’ll brush it off and cling tighter to him. I don’t know if you’ll even read it. But maybe someday, if you do leave, you’ll remember that this is here. You’ll remember that other people went through what you are going through. You don’t have to depend on him for all your needs. There are people who will listen to you, believe you, and not persecute you for what you embraced. It’s safe out here, it’s real out here, and you can be free of this. Life is so much better on the other side.