TheWendyVariety · Loving Landis: Episode 8

Content Warnings:
murder, suicide, self harm, eating disorders, predatory behavior

Wendy and Steph discuss an email with the attachment Virginia.docx sent to the object of Landis’s obsession over a year before he killed her ex-boyfriend and then himself. The email, with redactions and changes to protect the innocent, is below. It is recommended reading for full context, however, the same content warnings still apply.

Dear Virginia.

As you know, I very recently learned the reason you could not be with me when you first came out.  I now understand all the times when you asked “can’t you try to see it from my persective” and I was confused because it made no sense.  I thought you did perhaps not fully understand the reasons you rejected me, yet I now know you understood them well enough you could tell Wendy the very first time you hung out with her.

I loved and trusted you.  I trusted you more than I trusted anybody else, even if I perhaps not loved as much as [other object of obsession], [close friend], or [close friend]. I told you things that I literally told nobody else or only perhaps told [childhood best friend] when we were very young and he was my best and most trusted friend.  You told me that I didn’t know the reason you accepted my invitation to come out here, since you then confirmed it was not to be with me and I didn’t really understand your relationship with Edwardsville.  However you refused to explain it, even when I tried to bring it up later you refused to talk over it.  I admit I was angry, and I was sleep deprived and crazy because I had given you so much, but it was all in love.

You told me that any girl that turned me down was making a mistake, and I believed you.   This belief had let me function on a day-to-day basis throughout my college career because I “KNEW” that if you could care for me and believe that, somebody I would find another smart and beautiful woman that could believe that.   When you rejected me, and made the choice all those other girls made that you said were wrong with no explanation, who was I to believe then?

When I quit my job at [redacted], it was so that I could take a break /rest up/ and work on my career so that I would be sane enough that I could do what I could to help you and still be sane enough to rebuild our relationship.  You said when I told you that you worried about me because you knew I was suicidal and cutting myself.  That means at that time you made the conscious choice to let me continue to hurt myself and possibly suicide instead of explaining what lead me to me feeling so hurt.  I’ve experienced the worst year of my life, and I thought because I did not communicate with you properly and you were innocent.  But Wendy, in an effort to help me understand and perhaps stabilize, reached out and explained you had a secret you made her promise not to tell me.  

I have never experienced what it has felt like to have another person actively make a choice they knew might have a chance to ultimately result in my death.  Perhaps I should have known you felt this way because of how you scolded me for talking to [childhood best friend] about your boyfriend in an effort not to kill myself, or perhaps because when you rejected me the excuse you gave was “because everybody back home would lose respect for me” (a response that did not sit well at all, especially since from what I can tell you abandoned most of those people anyway) which showed that you valued the opinions of people back home over my happiness.  The greatest betrayers such as Marcus Brutus and Adolf Hitler are said to be in the mouth of Satan in the deepest layer of hell.  You did not know for sure keeping your reasoning for rejecting me a secret might result in my death, however you did so entirely to protect yourself and possibly the person who hurt you in the first place.  Brutus and Hitler at least had unselfish reasons for taking actions that lead to the deaths of other people around them.

Now that I understand how little you value my life, well being, and happiness; I hereby retract all nice things I’ve said to you,  the offer to rebuild our friendship, and promises I’ve made.   Normally I would NEVER break a promise if it could be helped, but based on the situation I feel that this is one of those rare exceptions I really should make.  I specifically promised to you before you left that you could call on me anytime you needed help because I knew we were going to stop talking, but no matter what I could foresee there was no way I would not stand by that promise.   At the time I had no idea that you were willing to let me kill myself rather than being open and honest with me after I had done so much for you.  

In case you need more information, or do not clearly remember the events that conspired to see them from my perspective, I have attached 2 additional pages: 

Here is a summary of what I’ve been fighting, but perhaps did not share with you because when you rejected me I lost my trust in you.  Specifically it is the first letter I wrote when I first discovered the answer I’d been seeking for so long:  the question being “Why?  Why has Virginia rejected me?”

I loved you, and I trusted you.  You told me things you had not told anybody else, and I reciprocated.  I told you more than I told any other person alive, including [close friend] who I was pretty open with on about every subject.   I invited you to live with me because I thought you wanted to change environments.  You wanted to stop being around bad people and sleeping with everybody.  You seemed willing to have phone sex with me, so I thought I could be your anchor to give you what you needed, get what I needed, and generally we would be happier because of it.   I gave you everything I knew how to give, and trusted you completely.  

When you rejected me, I was crushed.  I had told you before how much sex meant to me, how much I needed that support, how much it hurt for me to be turned away, and you knew what kinds of relationships I had come from.  It meant so much to me I cried, but I did what you asked because I loved you, I cared about your opinion, and I thought you had a reason.  You sounded like you did because you suggested I might not know the reason you came out to Arizona, but you would not tell me it.   You were in a way seeing [childhood best friend] at that time, and so I accepted that you will be with him.  I was still hurt, but I respected your choice.   When you started going out and coming home with guys, I started to lose that confidence.   I pleaded with you when you brought home Edward, I pleaded for you not to sleep with him and you said “it is not your place to ask that of me.”   

It was that night I started cutting myself.  I sat in my bathroom, able to hear Eddy’s heavy breathing, and cut on myself.   I couldn’t understand why?   After everything I did, why would you reject me and then go about sleeping around anyway.  I wanted to be a stable source of sex so that you did not feel that you had to go out with others, and I could get what I wanted too.  I did not expect a permanent relationship, and I would have happily stepped aside should you find one, but it made no sense to me why you so adamantly refused to be with me.  

After that I lifted you up on a pedestal, as you put it.  I looked for any excuse for why I brought you out there, why I gave you my trust and why I loved you since it was clearly not what I originally thought it was.  I looked for anything we could share, and you responded by telling me I was expecting too much for you and you couldn’t be my workout buddy or help me with my problems.

I developed eating disorders and confidence issues, because I thought there had to be a reason you rejected me and something wrong with myself was the only reasons I could find.  I tried to ask, I tried to talk to you about.  But you said “I don’t want to talk to about that ever again.” and threw me out.  

You said I should see it from your point of view, and I asked you to explain it to me.  But you wouldn’t.  You were the person I trusted, and I knew because I trusted you I could love and trust others.  When I lost that, my world fell apart.  And I would normally not expect another person go out of their way to take care of me, because it’s not your job to take care of me, but you said you loved me.  I believed I tried to stop and pull back, and let you have your space.  And you wouldn’t simply let me understand.  After letting me believe I could be “that friend” that you trusted with everything, you still could not tell me and why I could not imagine there was something so significant you were not telling me.

I quit my job to help myself be sane and rational to speak with you, because you said I should see it from your point of view.  I trusted that perhaps I was sleep deprived and not seeing some sort of big picture, which I’m certain was true.   I also wanted to focus more on my career, as a coping mechanism because I lost faith that I would be able to trust another.

When I was rejected by that other girl [potential other victim], I wasn’t crying in the hallway because she turned me down.  It’s because I came home you to with a dildo on my bathroom counter, something you lead me to believe over the phone you would share with me, fixing yourself up to see a guy I thought was bad news and represented the source of my frustration because it was the night he arrived I snapped.  

Eddy told me I was wrong to ever let a girl treat me the way you did without getting something back.  Its honestly one of the first conversations he had with me was about how he took advantage of 2 lesbians sleeping in his bed by having his hand on one’s boob and the other hand on the other’s ass.  He said I should have had something with you or anybody who has slept in my bed, or had I should have told you to “get the hell out.”   So I was beating myself up, and your ‘not-boyfriend’ at the time told me basically that I was in the wrong for not demanding sex.   How was I supposed to feel?  I was happy you found somebody special, but I was so infinitely in more pain because it didn’t make sense to me how you went about it.

I wanted to be happy for you, but how could I.   I didn’t see the complications in your life that made him worth it.  All I saw was drugs, bad company, and unprotected sex.  All things I wanted to keep you from.  If I understood why somebody you actually cared for in that way was important in that way, than I could have been able to express my happiness for you.  All I knew of Eddy was how he had children he didn’t know, he did drugs all the time, told me I should have kicked you out, and was a social manipulator… yet because you liked him I should be happy for you?  I couldn’t understand what the significance of you wanting to be with him meant, because you refused to talk to me about the contrast.  All you talked to me about was other guys who you had casual sex with, which I felt as a slap in the face because I wanted that but you rejected me when it was clearly something you were accustomed to.  I would become so angry behind the mask I started wearing, I would say mean things like “[redacted]” without even thinking it.  It certainly did not help I was sleep deprived and not thinking straight, but you never seemed to consider that when you approached me with topics I was struggling with. 

It all boils down to you asking me to see it from your perspective, when you made sure I couldn’t.   I couldn’t have any way of knowing what you went through, because you would not tell me.  You made me believe I was a friend you could tell anything, yet your primary motivation in it all was so significant that you couldn’t tell me that?   I wanted to talk to you more and more, but you never had the time for it.  I wanted to try to treat you to a good time and have a chance to talk by going to tuscon or something for spring break, but you wouldn’t have it.  You wouldn’t even let me see you the entire break.  You told me you were leaving after I quit my job to try and patch my life with you, and I only saw you twice since I quit until that point.  Even then, you only let me see you when Eddy was around who I clearly couldn’t be honest with you since you told me in the car that you had talked to him about how I felt and didn’t want me to talk about it anymore either. 

I can’t expect you to tell me everything, but you let me believe you would do the same.  I am filled with so many emotions because I’m sad I hurt you, and I’m hurting more than I have ever before.  I talked to you about my past relationships hoping you wouldn’t hurt me in the same way.   [Possibly first girlfriend] withheld information about the reasons she choose to turn me away too, as did [possible girlfriend] and [possible other girlfriend].  But none of them I trusted the way I trusted you.

Host: Wendy Fink
Co-Host: Steph Jurusz
Content Warning: Chris Fink
Sting: “Yessum” by Jingle Punks
Music: “Court and Page” by Silent Partner
Editors: Chris Fink, Wendy Fink

© 2020 Wendy “The Wendy Variety” Fink

A Message:
There are confidential, mental wellness resources available for every person, situation, and conversation style. You are not alone. Talk to someone. Anyone. Hell, even a kind stranger on the Internet. Do your research and know that you can reach out on someone’s behalf even if it’s a suicide hotline.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org/) is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. It provides Spanish-speaking counselors, as well as options for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. It is only available in the United States. A 24-hour an Online Chat in partnership with Contact USA is also available.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. This is for the United States. If you’re in another country, there are resources for you, as well. You’re not alone. Help is out there.

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