The Steps in a Confession: Excerpts From E-mail
Excerpts from E-mail between Larry Froistad and fellow members of Moderation Management, a support group for problem drinkers, as obtained from the groupís archives. Idiosyncracies of capitalization and spelling are from the originals.
LARRY: ĎAMANDA I MURDEREDí
My God, thereís something I havenít mentioned, but itís a very important part of the equation. The people Iím mourning the loss of, Iíve ejected from my life. Kitty had to endure my going to jail twice and being embarrassed in front of her parents. Amanda I murdered because her mother stood between us. . . .
Has been extradited from California to South Dakota and is now awaiting trial
ELISA: 'WHAT DO YOU MEAN?'
Okay, Larry, what do you mean, you murdered your daughter? Is this emotional hyperbole or cold fact? And are you getting professional help? Worriedly, Elisa
LARRY: 'LISTENED TO HER SCREAM'
OK, it seems to me that thereís a great deal of risk to this; my email can be traced, Iíve been wide open about my identity. But somehow Iíve unintentionally left the impression that Iím flailing myself for some sort of weird self-gratification. Maybe I do that to some extent. But when I talk about killing my daughter, thereís no imaginative subcomponent.
I suffered for years trying to get custody of her after her mother divorced me. When I did, I still had to deal with her motherís constant attempts to take her back. I had the upper hand; in fact, her mother gave up her summer custody just before I killed Amanda. But I always felt that I was not in complete control. My mother told me that I was too hard on her, that I expected too much from her. When I brought her home from her motherís, I abandoned the rules I had set and let her do whatever she wantedóin fact my mother and grandmother visited the next day and she forgot that she was supposed to get dressed before receiving visitors. :) It really was very cute when she woke up and started to walk into our living room, buck-naked. I loved her for her willingness to be fun in simple ways. I would do anything to have her back; but the conflict was tearing me apart, and the next night I let her watch the videos she loved all evening, and when she was asleep I got wickedly drunk, set our house on fire, went to bed, listened to her scream twice, climbed out the window and set about putting on a show of shock, surprise and grief to remove culpability from myself.
Dammit, part of that show was climbing in her window and grabbing her pajamas, then hearing her breathe and dropping her where she was so she could die and rid me of her motherís interferences. Hearing her wheeze in the smoke which I could barely standólooking at her bedroom door burningóthese are things I canít forget.
Those last two screams that I tell everyone saved my lifeóthey are wounds on my soul that I canít heal and that Iím sure Iím meant to carry with me. I am damaged goods, and as much as I feel I need the comfort of someone in my life that I can be good to, someone I can build a new family withóthe simple fact is that I donít deserve those things and Iím meant to suffer a thousand times longer than my little girl did.
I cried like a baby in the emergency room at the hospital; I was very disappointed that I couldnít see her after they pulled her out of our house (where they took her before they carted me off); I was stunned and shocked the whole time they flew me down to Rapid City for observation and such, and Iíve been destroyed ever since. . . .
KAY: 'WHAT YOU DESCRIBED DOES NOT SOUND RATIONAL'
Whew Larry ó I for one have been thinking about your post just after you wrote it and I happened to be on line. I guess I feel that I should say something ó even though I am not one that has been corresponding much with you recently but because I am a pediatrician and a mother.
I must admit to being a little confused in that Iím not sure, other than numbing the situation, what role that alcohol played in this. What you described does not sound rational ó even in drunkeness and I suspect, from what you said, you donít understand it a well either. ó obviously, you should have been prosecuted and managed not to be ó I would assume your ex-wife does not know this which makes your sharing with this group very very weighty I think.
But I think you do need something very specific for what has happened ó and I donít think this group is enough. What a very painful thing, in many many ways.
ELISA: 'DO THE POLICE KNOW'
Okay, Larry, second question: do the police know you murdered your daughter?
FREDERICK: 'THINK ABOUT CONTACTING A THERAPIST'
Larry, Several folks have sent me private emails expressing genuine concern over some of the stuff that youíve posted very recently. They are concerned, that you might be contemplating suicide or other drastic, harmful and ultimately counterproductive actions aimed at dealing with what seems to have become for you an awful situation. Iím writing for all of the folks who wrote me offlist, and I believe for all of the folks on this list, to urge you to seriously think about contacting a therapist and working things through with yourself in a safe manner. Take care of yourself, my friend. And let us all know how things are going. The people here really care about you.
LARRY: 'IíM SORRY'
Iím sorry to everyone I hurt by my post. I certainly donít want to drive anyone away from the list, but I was hurting and continue to, and itís a BIG part of why I drink as much as I do.