The visit went well. In fact, the two hours sped by. Although we covered a myriad of topics, there was so much that we did not address. I was not ready to leave when our time was up. She seemed lonely and depressed, understandably. We were both nervous. When she came out we hugged and I asked how she had been doing. Then I told her I was there to discuss anything that she wanted. I had already written and gained her permission to do so; but I could still see a tiny bit of disbelief in her eyes as she replied “Just how the boys’ are doing.” So I began talking about Ethan and Evan which caused her to recount the night of the murder again. I listened.
The conversation soon shifted to me. Eliza loved the Closer to my Children journal I sent her the week prior. She also shared how in the beginning as I was reaching out to her she wondered what my motive was. I told her that was a normal feeling because I still felt the same about her sometimes. She also confided that she doesn’t understand how it could be that someone who used to be her “rival,” a person she hated so much, could end up being the one offering her so much support and encouragement. Eliza shared that I had written her more than anyone including her own family. She said she couldn’t explain why she had this “undefined love” for me. At this point tears came to my eyes and she was openly crying. She said she felt so bad for the way she had treated me in the past. I told her the story of my stepfather and how I DID NOT like him in the beginning. I had just graduated high school when my mother met him. However, when they announced five years later that they were getting married, I felt like my life was ruined. Flash forward twelve years later and I love him to pieces. That story made her smile.
On the way home I questioned her sincerity. I wondered if she was simply saying the “right” things to make me feel good. She had shared stories that could be “used” against her later down the line. My sharing was more guarded. Although I think this vulnerability is essential to develop trust, I still do not want to be betrayed or mocked if it turns out she has a different motive. I know she has trust issues as well. She even said so a few times. But I think for the most part she was being sincere. By the virtue of her telling me how unsupportive her family has been and how she hates her sister for her involvement in the crime, was a lot for her to admit. Eliza usually likes to present the perfect picture to me. It has taken her a while to reach this point. She was in denial for a very long time regarding her situation. I think she is finally beginning to accept the reality. Just her being able to express her gratitude, wariness, and problems to me in person, signifies something. We ate, talked, laughed, and cried. Had the setting been different, it could have been any conversation with one of my girlfriends. I know we still have a lot of work to do because whatever this “thing” is, it is still very fragile. And it might very well fall apart one day. But in the meanwhile it just felt sooo good to have made some progress. It also felt great to be of encouragement to someone. I do look forward to our next visit.