Sunday, January 31, 2016

Table of Contents

The following is a true-life account.  The names of the people mentioned have been changed, as has the name of the educational institution involved.  My real name is not Trevor Lenox.

Trigger Warning:  The contents of the piece, as a whole, make references to self-harm (cutting), rape, incest, and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.

Also please be aware that not all cases of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are like this; there is variation in cases.  Some cases are more severe than others.  If you experience any of the symptoms described herein and are disturbed by them, please seek out or return to regular mental health treatment; your well-being is paramount and you deserve to be happy and well.

The following has previously been read aloud by the YouTuber Be.Busta.  The following written work has been revised slightly from the version that he read; some of the words have been changed.  The posting of this blog was conducted by the original author who submitted the story to Be.Busta.





Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings (listen to it on YouTube).

Chapter 2:  The Unease (the start of Chapter 2 on YouTube, the 09:45 mark).

Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted (the start of Chapter 3 on YouTube, the 18:59 mark).

Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains, The Concluding Chapter (the start of Chapter 4 on YouTube, the 26:59 mark).



The Danger Remains (Chapter 4, The Concluding Chapter)

The following is a true-life account.  The names of the people mentioned have been changed, as has the name of the educational institution involved.  My real name is not Trevor Lenox.

Trigger Warning:  The contents of the piece, as a whole, make references to self-harm (cutting), rape, incest, and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.

Also please be aware that not all cases of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are like this; there is variation in cases.  Some cases are more severe than others.  If you experience any of the symptoms described herein and are disturbed by them, please seek out or return to regular mental health treatment; your well-being is paramount and you deserve to be happy and well.

The following has previously been read aloud by the YouTuber Be.Busta.  The following written work has been revised slightly from the version that he read; some of the words have been changed.  The posting of this blog was conducted by the original author who submitted the story to Be.Busta.


This is the concluding chapter.

In case you missed the previous chapters, they are:

Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings.

Chapter 2:  The Unease.

Chapter 3: Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted.





To skip to the start of Chapter 4 on the video, go here.


Chapter 4: The Danger Remains (Concluding Chapter)

I asked our mutual friends, most of them from Private Hawaiian College, including members of its SIFE team under Inger Johansen’s leadership, if they thought there was anything suspicious with respect to Inger’s public behavior. They admitted they could not miss the morbid gestures and were disturbed by them, but then they added quickly that they would never, ever, ever confront Inger about any of it. They were too intimidated. Inger was thin but she also towered over them and they did not dare to incur the wrath of someone who uploaded photoshops as ghoulish as Inger’s. Besides, she occupied a supervisory role over some of them. These schoolmates maintained it would be rude and bossy to tell Inger not to perform these morbid gestures. I replied:

It doesn’t have to be. When Inger kept making the self-administered wrist wounds more obvious years ago, she was playing a game of "chicken." The idea was that if no one called her on it, she could tell herself that what she was doing was perfectly normalized and therefore safe and acceptable. It’s important not to play along; that tacitly reinforces these tendencies. I propose telling her something like this: "It’s cool knowing you, and you bring value into my life. When I see the dark imagery—when I see the Fourth Reich video—I cannot help but think that you have a lot going on in your life. If you don’t want to talk about it, you don't have to. But I want you to know that if you ever do want to talk about it, I am here for you." If you put it as that, it’s not being bossy or demanding that she change. It's being caring. At the same time, it lets her know that of course you notice the morbid gestures and that it is concerning. You are letting her know that she isn’t fooling anyone and that you aren’t rejecting her, as a whole, as a person.

The so-called friends scoffed at my recommendation, proclaiming it would be too much trouble and that I’m a self-righteous jerk.

I decided to make one more appeal to Professor Rothbard on the matter. Bringing up her shouting “I like [Sao]” elicited a disappointing response from him months prior, but Professor Rothbard seemed too distracted that afternoon. Perhaps if I won his undivided attention, he would realize the gravity of the situation. I also mentioned to him that throughout May, she started switching back and forth on that on a nearly daily basis.

Upon my having gone over these developments, Professor Rothbard sighed and lectured to me in a resigned, paternal tone: “[Trevor], any girl her age would do that. All women are prone to scream false accusations of rape.” Then he started telling me horror stories about his ex-wives.

The extent of his misogyny stunned me. Something in the man’s psychology draws him to damaged women and he assumes all females are like that. I thought, “Is he including his own daughter—his real daughter, the ‘first daughter’—in that category?”

I tried to talk to him about a compassionate intervention and I told him why playing along—acting as if the morbid gestures are safe—reinforces the pathology. He got defensive and said that by always acting as if everything Inger did was safe, he was the one who was being supportive.

I had known that professor since 1997. My opinion of him has never recovered after this conversation.

I resolved that there might be another route. On Twitter, I noticed Matt Pennington following a rather strange woman in Minnesota, Judie, who was apparently in her fifties. When I got a gander at this Judie woman’s Angelfire website, it said she ran a nonprofit for at-risk youths who suffer from suicidal depression, nurse body-image issues and gender-identity issues, and cut themselves. I thought, “These are Inger’s symptoms! Who is this Minnesotan woman—perhaps a psychologist from whom Mr. Pennington sought advice about Inger some years ago?”

I reached out to this woman and confessed to her that I was worried for a friend. I also inquired if this Minnesotan woman was a psychologist; I mentioned that I feared that maybe she knew my friend and therefore she might evaluate it as a professional conflict of interest if I approached her about someone she knew. The Minnesotan replied that she is not a psychologist and she wanted to know what bothered me. I disclosed it to her; I didn’t provide Inger’s name, but I did state that my then-unnamed friend’s father was originally from Minnesota and that my friend was born and raised in northern Europe. I didn’t specify the exact country.

I also went over the suicidal ideation and the corpse pictures, but I didn’t bring up the obsession with child molesters, the dynamic with the boy at age thirteen, or the frequently reasserted belief that American men are just itching to rape her.

Minnesotan Judie replied, “I figured out you’re talking about my niece [Inger].” Judie remarked that this was quite strange, because what I had revealed was both familiar and unfamiliar. It was unfamiliar because Judie was not aware that her niece, who dwelt an ocean’s distance from her, carried this burden. Yet, Aunt Judie said, this was familiar in one respect: Judie assembled that website and founded that nonprofit organization because the symptoms she described were her own. Aunt Judie went on that she herself had attempted suicide in three separate instances; this disclosure is even on her Angelfire website, though I hadn’t read that paragraph prior to contacting her. Judie said that when I described Inger’s issues, it was as if I were reciting Judie’s own life story.

Before I could raise any topic pertaining to the child-molester obsession or the phobia of men, Aunt Judie inquired if Inger was bedeviled by any extreme hang-ups concerning sex. This startled me. I wanted to know why that was one of the first questions Judie advanced to me.

Aunt Judie stated, “Sexual abuse is common in my family.” Both an uncle and cousin of hers killed themselves, and the other relatives long suspected the uncle and cousin were child molesters.

In the beginning, Aunt Judie told me she planned on talking with Matt Pennington, her half-brother, about this. But then she quickly changed her mind, imparting that although she grew up with Matt Pennington, he remained a stranger to her; he is terribly secretive and doesn’t show emotion. His face is usually blank. Judie said this was not a moral condemnation but she doesn’t respect his judgment. Therefore, she concluded, she planned on having a heart-to-heart directly with Inger.

Aunt Judie went through the following cycle. About every three weeks or so, she told me she would finally have the talk with Inger. Then she would say something else came up and defer this plan. She didn’t go through with it. Then, unsolicited, Judie started emailing about something else: first she wrote about Matt Pennington—then Matt Hokkanen—learning the truth about the circumstances under which he was born, him being the result of their mother’s extramarital affair. As you can imagine, Matt took this much harder than Inger let on to Professor Rothbard and me. Through his own sleuthing, Matt tracked down his biological father and met him, but the man wanted nothing to do with him. Crushed, Matt thereafter departed for Tromsø, which he had made his new home. Judie was unclear on the precise reason why Matt changed his name to Pennington, other than that it must have been, at least in part, due to his feeling forsaken by the man who raised him.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Aunt Judie emailed me that she herself was sexually abused as a child by Walt Hokkanen—Walt being her biological father and Matt's secretly adoptive father. In Judie’s estimate, Matt must have been aware of the sexual abuse the entire time. But when she tried to talk with Matt about it, he replied, unconvincingly, that he could not recall anything of that nature. Shaken by the news, I asked Judie if Inger had ever been left alone with Walt. Judie replied yes, during Matt’s return visits to the United States, Walt had babysat Inger alone on a number of days.

I do not doubt Inger’s story about her friend forcing himself on her when both he and she were thirteen years old. But that does not account for the enduring focus on child molesters specifically. I began to wonder if maybe, when Inger ascribed her fears about men and sex to the incidents from when she was thirteen, she still omitted another likely cause, something that happened to her years earlier.

Then, over the next few weeks, Aunt Judie went through a new phase. She told me that she would initiate that caring talk with Inger . . . after she took care of her own business with her own father. Judie wrote out a draft of a snail-mail letter she planned on sending to her parents. She emailed the draft to me and I retain possession of it. The letter is to confront both parents with a description of the sexual abuse in graphic detail. While most of the grievances are directed toward Walt Hokkanen, the letter also reproaches Dorothy Pennington Hokkanen for looking the other way, being an enabler to Walt.










Yet, at the last minute, Aunt Judie decided against sending the note. She rationalized that Dorothy is too old and therefore such a distressing topic would harm her health physically. At that point, Aunt Judie became somewhat uncommunicative and rude toward me. I suspect it finally occurred to Judie that if she looked further into the matter with her niece, she might uncover something incriminating about Matt Pennington and then there would be no plausible deniability.

I was alone when I tried to engage in that compassionate talk with Inger. She had previously told me of the times her ex-boyfriends pegged her as a "lying, cheating whore," and she just laughed. I did not express moral disapproval; I informed her that I was concerned her symptoms had taken over and that this was unsafe. She reacted as if my confronting her was the most evil, hateful atrocity perpetrated, and my speaking with her on this aroused more anxiety from her than did her once believing that Sao intended to assault her.

Then, suddenly in the conversation, she feigned memory loss—she pretended there was no retention of her having told me anything of her past, and she wanted me to act as if there could not possibly be any connection between her corpse pictures and what she said previously of wanting, since childhood, to be dead.

For my own safety, I had to sever contact from Inger. But I never stopped caring. And on into 2012, she kept insinuating herself into my social sphere—people who I thought were my friends but behaved as Inger’s sycophants when she was around, and tacitly treating the public morbid gestures they witnessed as if they were safe. Prominent business executives and prominent elected officials indulged in that. It was noxious. To avoid any run-ins with Inger, I had to be a complete recluse.

In the summer of 2012, Inger returned to Tromsø to keep near her mother.

Entertaining the prospect that maybe the passage of time might have offered new insights, I decided, in July of 2015, to think over these events once again. At that point, I noticed Inger posting as PRO user on the BiggerPockets real-estate networking forum. She finally stopped using the photoshopped corpse pictures; she looks alive and is beautiful again, except that her grin looks more maniacal in her new photo than it looked anytime I saw her up close; the smile seems phony and reminded me of the Joker’s from Batman.

I wanted to believe that Inger ditching the corpse photos signified recovery on her part, but she unmistakably underwent another conspicuous change: she is going by the names “[Inger Johansen Pennington]” and “[Inger J. Pennington].”  People might consider that a touching tribute on Inger’s part to someone important to her. But given Inger’s obsession with child molestation and, in consideration of what Aunt Judie revealed about the patriarchs of the family, I think the name change is not a good omen. It seems to me to be yet another morbid gesture, albeit one less obvious than those previously exhibited.

As a PRO on the BiggerPockets forum, while being an assisterende butikkleder (assistant store manager at an Ikea Service-and-Pick-Up Point), Inger happily proclaims herself an ambitious real estate investor who owns a parking garage and, bizarrely, putting up images of New York City architecture. I remembered what she had told me earlier—that she tries to come across as having lots of authority and responsibility, overselling it exactly because if everyone projects that image of her, no one will question her. She is trying to network with people near her. If those people become very close, they are in danger that Inger may repeat the Sao incident with them.



I noticed Inger’s mother, Lilith Johansen, on Facebook. As I think Inger already mentioned me to her, I sent Lilith a private message re-introducing myself. As gingerly as I could, I told her of the morbid gestures Inger had displayed during her stay in Honolulu, and I gave the URL to the murder threat Inger wrote for her. Hours later, Lilith Facebook-blocked me. It felt tempting at that juncture to say, “If Mrs. Johansen is going to be like that, then I guess she doesn’t deserve a heads-up about the hazards that await.” But the truth is that Inger’s mother is not the only one at risk. Inger could falsely accuse someone in Tromsø of sexual harassment or violence toward her, ruining that person’s life.If you work at a particular IKEA Service-and-Pick-Up Point, you should be very concerned.

I wrote to the Tromsø police about the still-online homicide threat. These police were not especially responsive. I additionally wrote to police in Minnesota on this matter. First I mentioned Aunt Judie informing me of her having been sexually abused by Walt Hokkanen, and of my storage of the emails that describe this in detail. I then explained that Judie’s niece, Inger in Tromsø, still has online her murder threat against her mother. I went over Inger’s fixation on child molesters and how, subsequent to learning new details from Aunt Judie, I am concerned that Inger’s morbid gestures might be connected to what Walt Hokkanen allegedly did to Aunt Judie. Finally, I explicated my concern over the remaining perils of Inger’s condition going untreated. The Minnesotan police told me that they cannot take action here unless Aunt Judie approaches them herself. Sadly, it’s unlikely she will come forward.



I fear Inger very much, but that does not diminish my wish for her well-being.  I am afraid . . . both for her and of her.  Absent of an intervention, it is likely that she will one day do something extremely dangerous, possibly acting on her threat against her mother, or falsely accusing someone else— possibly an IKEA co-worker—of a crime. And the target of any violence on her part could still be someone other than her mum—it could be anyone to whom she feels emotionally attached. Inger might take this dangerous action tomorrow or she might do it fifteen years from the date on which you read this. But, if there is no compassionate intervention, it will happen.
___

End of this account, though not the end of the danger, as of this posting.

If you have missed the previous chapters, go to:

Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings.

Chapter 2:  The Unease.

Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted.

Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted (Chapter 3)

The following is a true-life account.  The names of the people mentioned have been changed, as has the name of the educational institution involved.  My real name is not Trevor Lenox.

Trigger Warning:  The contents of the piece, as a whole, make references to self-harm (cutting), rape, incest, and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.

Also please be aware that not all cases of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are like this; there is variation in cases.  Some cases are more severe than others.  If you experience any of the symptoms described herein and are disturbed by them, please seek out or return to regular mental health treatment; your well-being is paramount and you deserve to be happy and well.

The following has previously been read aloud by the YouTuber Be.Busta.  The following written work has been revised slightly from the version that he read; some of the words have been changed.  The posting of this blog was conducted by the original author who submitted the story to Be.Busta.


This is the continuation.

If you have missed the previous chapters, go to Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings or Chapter 2:  The Unease.

If you have already read Chapter 3, you can go to the concluding chapter, Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains.







  To skip to the start of Chapter 3 in the video, go here.



Chapter 3: Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted

In late May of 2010 over the weekend, near the semester’s end, Inger Johansen simply broke out sobbing to me, “I . . . DON’T . . .WANT . . . TO . . . EXIST!!!!” Upon some quick introspection, she ascertained that it was not in response to any immediate happening; that was just her default mood; it epitomized her childhood and middle school and high school in Tromsø, and the sensation had been periodically returning, haunting her throughout the semester. She also mentioned how all men—especially American men—are lascivious and secretly yearn to rape her.

She put her hands in mine and, tearfully, she said, “[Trevor], promise me you will always protect me.” I did as she asked. But, as was becoming increasingly evident, the greatest danger to Inger was not anything external to her.

She also reflected on her father, Matt Pennington, in a manner similar to how she spoke of Sao—as if he were two completely different, opposite people: one being entirely benign and nurturing, the other wholly cruel and predatory. And in every instance wherein she reflected on this one single-dimension personality of a man, be it Sao or her father, her mind seemed unable to access her interpretation of that man’s other personality. It wasn’t just that Inger acted like Jekyll-and-Hyde: she reacted to every man as if he, too, were Jekyll-and-Hyde. Fortunately, she unsolicitedly promised me that once she flew to Tromsø for the summer, she would pursue regular mental health treatment.

I did not have a Webcam and could not video-chat back then, but when Inger returned to Tromsø in June, we were on Google Chat very often. As gently as I could, I queried as to whether she had yet made a renewed visit to a mental health professional. She brushed this off and sounded as if nothing of the sort had ever been deposited in her memory bank. When I reminded her what she promised, she typed back that there was no need for fulfilling it, for everything was fantastic and she was as happy as could be. I had to fess up, “When you told me you would go back to periodic mental health treatment, I was greatly relieved.” She typed back, “Ouch.”

Once Inger landed in Honolulu for the autumn 2010 semester, her symptoms intensified. Back in May, she had taken me to her apartment and showed me all the clothes in her closet and drawers; she had many tops of different colors. Except for two black garments—one of them backless—every garment was obviously distinct from the others. But in the autumn, she put on the exact same backless black top to class every day for over a month.

Then, on her LinkedIn page, she uploaded photos where she was realistically photoshopped to look like a fresh corpse ready for burial—one experiencing pallor mortis. Her face was rendered chalky white, and this was not for Halloween; it was up year-round. On her LinkedIn page, she has up her résumé and describes herself as a stable, responsible, ever-professional businesswoman. Next to that description is a photo of her photoshopped to resemble a corpse (III; IV).

I think some people assumed Inger was—quote-unquote—“just being a Goth or a fan of Black Metal music.” But I have known Goths. In high school I studied under an eccentric Public Speaking teacher who was one; she wore black lipstick and was in her thirties at the time. There is always variation with individuals, but none of the Goths I have known have given me the impression that they genuinely wish to end their lives. By contrast, for more than a decade, Inger has literally wanted to be dead. I therefore had to treat the corpse pictures seriously.

By October, Inger had someone back in Norway upload, onto YouTube, a video where Inger delivers a monologue in English about being a fascist—quote— “of the Fourth Reich”; unquote, alluding to Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. Privately Inger said this was a joke. But that it was supposed to be humorous was not obvious from the video itself. The description says “News & Politics.” An English-speaker who saw the video would be reasonable if he or she deciphered it as some indication that Inger admired something about neo-Nazis. Again, it didn’t behoove me to dismiss this as the sort of "shitposting" one might find on 4chan or 8chan; because Inger really has wished for death, I could not write this off as merely perverted satire. I notice that, around 2014, this bewildering video was finally “privated.” But the website known as Radaris still has a record of this video having existed, and Inger’s real full birth name is still visible on the Radaris record.



And it got worse. Inger showed me the publicly viewable Livejournal she wrote mostly in English from 2003 to 2007. A lot of it is about the self-cutting and about how she wants to cut her face up so severely that no one would recognize her anymore. I am thankful she did not slash her face but, with the corpse pictures, she nevertheless accomplished that part about becoming unrecognizable. There is also an early entry from 2003 admitting that she is disturbed that people act as if they don’t notice the self-cutting but that she also thinks this is good because it conveniences her ability to cut herself.

And then there is an entry from 2004 where she elucidates on her fantasy of killing her mother. Inger does not say this is some long-term, conscious plan. Nay; she imagines one evening she will finally become so aggravated by her mother’s nagging that she will grab a knife on impulse and plunge it into her mother. This was not the sort of dumb, terse, empty threat that regularly appears on Twitter or on Facebook, those along the lines of “How dare you disagree with me? Go somewhere and die. X-(” No, the description of how Inger expects the stabbing to commence is long, graphic, and dire.



[You can click on this screen capture to enlarge it and make it easier to read.]

Below that murder-threat entry (at the same URL) is a follow-up from four months later where Inger says it—quote—“stings like a bitch”—unquote—to read this pathological reverie, because now she is allllllll-betterrrr...  But she wasn’t. She told me how she often contemplates using her knife to extract violent retribution from parties in Tromsø who had wronged her. She was not specific about the identities of those parties. I have that murder threat open in a Web browser at the very moment as I type this.

Because the blog entry is from over a decade ago, I worry that people try to dismiss this as long passed. Yet, in the ensuing years, the gestures indicating an enduring fascination with violence and death and child molesters surged on, unabated. Fretful of the direction Inger had taken, I rushed to the local library and devoured its books on abnormal psychology.

As these events transpired, Professor Rothbard put Inger into higher and higher positions of authority and responsibility. She became the president of his SIFE club. She made an official website for Private Hawaiian College’s SIFE chapter and prominently exhibited one of her corpse pictures on it.
___



End of Chapter 3.

Go to the concluding chapter, Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains.

If you have missed the previous chapters, go to Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings, or Chapter 2:  The Unease.

The Unease (Chapter 2)

The following is a true-life account.  The names of the people mentioned have been changed, as has the name of the educational institution involved.  My real name is not Trevor Lenox.

Trigger Warning:  The contents of the piece, as a whole, make references to self-harm (cutting), rape, incest, and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.

Also please be aware that not all cases of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are like this; there is variation in cases.  Some cases are more severe than others.  If you experience any of the symptoms described herein and are disturbed by them, please seek out or return to regular mental health treatment; your well-being is paramount and you deserve to be happy and well.

The following has previously been read aloud by the YouTuber Be.Busta.  The following written work has been revised slightly from the version that he read; some of the words have been changed.  The posting of this blog was conducted by the original author who submitted the story to Be.Busta.


This is the continuation.

If you have missed the previous chapter, go to Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings.

If you have already read Chapter 2, go to Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted, or the concluding chapter, Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains.



To skip to the start of Chapter 2 in the video, go here.



Chapter 2: The Unease

 As the spring of 2010 went on, Inger Johansen periodically bored me with overeager and nauseating reminiscences about her ex-boyfriends back in Tromsø, such as Franz from Austria. She cooed, “You’re really kind and sweet and care about me . . . just like [Franz]!” She then turned from me and stared into nothing, wistfully. She weirdly put the tip of her pinky between the outermost edges of her lips. In spite of her usually carrying herself with grownup deportment, she often took on the body language of a four-year-old girl, such as in this instance. She giggled and said girlishly, “[Franz] always joked he was a pedophile.” I wanted to snap, “That’s sleazy, and I don’t appreciate being compared to someone like that,” but I didn’t say anything; I just gaped, confused as to why Inger would want me to hear any of this.

On another night, as we were about to leave her apartment for our date together, she blurted, out of nowhere, “Why do people always get hysterical when they learn they have a child molester in the neighborhood?”

My eyes bulged out and I stammered, “Whah? . . . Wh-wh-what do you mean?”

She elaborated, “Society is so bigoted against child molesters. If an eight-year-old girl has sex with an adult, the community should give consideration to the possibility that she consented to it.” Inger maintained that a prepubescent child should be deemed legally competent to agree to sexual relations with a grownup caregiver. No protestation could sway her on this.

On yet another one of my visits to her apartment, she elucidated on her general fear of men. When she was thirteen years old, her best friend—also thirteen—forced himself on her, reaching into her shirt through her collar and groping her breasts. Then, on about six occasions, he begged her for much more intimate contact. She did not want to relent to his entreaties, but she only had one other friend—also a boy—besides him, and she despaired that if she declined the boy’s pleadings, he would revile her and tell their other friend of this disappointment, casting Inger out of their priorities and leaving her friendless altogether.

On the seventh occasion where the boy begged that she let him fondle her, Inger cried out, “NO! I HATE YOU AND NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!” The boy burst into tears and fled. In the years that followed, they would silently catch sight of one another in the halls of their school. She would gawk at his new girlfriend and fume jealously, wishing he would concede, “[Inger], it is you whom I love.” One day she and he crossed paths at an outdoor shopping center. On impulse, she threw him a hug, and they stood in that embrace for several minutes. Afterward, they stopped and resumed their diverging paths. In that entire duration, not a single word traveled between them. She told me that that was the last interaction she had with him. She attributed her fear of men and rape to these events, but, to me, this didn’t explain the fixation on child molesters in particular. Furthermore, Inger soon admitted that when she was small, years prior to the incident with the boy, she had already come to loath her own femininity. She was not yet a ‘tween when she concluded that female anatomy is sickening, rendering her weak and vulnerable to predation by males.

“My unwillingness,” Inger sobbed, “to get my friend to back off much sooner hurt my self-image. I didn’t respect myself.” She grew numb and, to feel anything again, she resorted to slashing her wrists with a blade several times a day. This was her routine back in Tromsø. Inger kept making the wounds more and more obvious, and, for a long period, those around the neighborhood conducted themselves as if they did not notice. She was of two minds in this predicament. On the one hand, she imparted, she was disturbed that people didn’t speak up to help her. On the other hand, she continued, it was good that people around her were like this because it made it convenient for her to continue the self-cutting and to escalate the damage.

Around this same phase in her life, Inger frequented anonymous internet message boards and announced her plans to kill herself; it took strangers on the forums to talk her out of it. For more than ten years, she desired to be dead literally. Unequivocally, she did not covet some afterlife where she ascended to some heavenly plane. On the contrary, she hoped that her death would amount to the extinguishing of her consciousness—that she would return to the same absolute nothingness that there was for her prior to her embryonic conception. She wanted to lose every memory of her experiences and to undergo no more sensations, to cease to be.

Ultimately, though, a schoolmate caught her as she was self-cutting and, unlike the others, this one notified the principal. Officials had her consult a mental health professional but it was mostly for the self-cutting, not as much for her other personal issues. And once the self-cutting stopped, the adults were satisfied and let Inger terminate mental health treatment around 2007.

Inger gazed musingly into space and acknowledged to me that she could not have braved through any of this strife had it not been for the mental health professionals. Following hours of these reminiscences, I shuffled to her bathroom. Upon my rejoining her minutes later in the middle of her apartment, Inger put on a weird smile and shouted with her eyes bizarrely stretched wide open, “I am now fully recovered. And I did it ALL . . . BY . . . MYSELF!!!!!!!!!” She then avowed that everything would have turned out for the best if the schoolmate had not snitched on her, if her mother never learned the truth, and especially if she never received psychiatric counseling. I wanted to remind her that she was contradicting what she had been articulating throughout the evening. But I apprehended that she was already exhausted from reflecting upon her past, and therefore I didn’t point out the inconsistency.

Then on still another night in April, Inger and I were telling each other about the sort of day we had. Very casually, Inger giggled and smiled and said, “Oh, [Sao] came around me.” My relaxed posture instantly gave way to alarm. My slouch disappeared as my back straightened, tense everywhere. “What happened?,” I pressed. She chuckled and answered that she was in the school library studying for Professor Rothbard’s upcoming exam, and Sao strolled by. She got into a conversation with him, she recalled, and she smiled to me and remarked that Sao was such a nice, fun, friendly flirt. She seemingly held no memory of her prior accusation about him. Finally, Inger stared into space, giggled, and said, “Hee-hee; I . . . like [Sao]!”

My jaw dropped open and hung ajar. I stared at her in that fashion for what must have been at least a minute; it felt an eternity. Inger elicited no comment on the sudden silence; she simply began talking about a different subject.

The next day I marched into Professor Rothbard’s office and said, “Do you remember when [Inger] told us about [Sao] threatening her?” “Oh, yes,” Professor Rothbard replied. “How could I forget?” I recounted to him Inger going over the conspicuously carefree conversation with Sao. As I spoke, Professor Rothbard elected to look at some papers related to his SIFE chapter. When I finished, he disinterestedly rasped, “Oh, yeah, that’s weird.” As he said that, he didn’t even look at me; his eyes were on the SIFE sheets.

Hey-hey-hey!” I raised my voice. “It’s not ‘weird.’ It’s disturbing.”

Professor Rothbard shrugged it off. This greatly harmed my trust in him.

Almost every day in the first two weeks of May, Inger changed what she said about Sao, back and forth. First she went back to saying that Sao did proposition her and threaten her. A day later, she talked about Sao being such a good friend. Two days after that, she went back to talking about him being a would-be rapist. Every time Inger switched what she said about Sao, she sounded as if she bore no recollection of what she expounded concerning Sao the previous time, even if it was the day before.
___

End of Chapter 2.

Go to Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted, or the concluding chapter, Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains.

If you have missed the previous chapter, go to Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings.

Innocent Beginnings (Chapter 1)

The following is a true-life account.  The names of the people mentioned have been changed, as has the name of the educational institution involved.  My real name is not Trevor Lenox.

Trigger Warning:  The contents of the piece, as a whole, make references to self-harm (cutting), rape, incest, and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.

Also please be aware that not all cases of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are like this; there is variation in cases.  Some cases are more severe than others.  If you experience any of the symptoms described herein and are disturbed by them, please seek out or return to regular mental health treatment; your well-being is paramount and you deserve to be happy and well.

The following has previously been read aloud by the YouTuber Be.Busta.  The following written work has been revised slightly from the version that he read; some of the words have been changed.  The posting of this blog was conducted by the original author who submitted the story to Be.Busta.

If you have already read Chapter 1, you can go to:

Chapter 2:  The Unease.

Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted.

Chapter 4: The Danger Remains (concluding chapter).








Chapter 1: Innocent Beginnings


Sometimes it is the people you care about who frighten you most—and the more you care, the more frightening they become.

For the following narrative I have altered the names of the parties. I have not included everything significant to this story; many important details, even some of the most harrowing, have been excised. Had I divulged everything vital, this account would be the length of a novel. Here I present what I consider to be only the most essential aspects. Some details I share might initially seem trivial, but I think they clue us in on a palpable explanation for what unfolded. Although I employ pseudonyms, it is crucial that I assign first and last names for specific players; I think you will know my reasons by the end.

I was born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu (pronounced oh-AH-hoo). From 2008 to 2011, I was enrolled in Private Hawaiian College. One of its instructors, Professor Rothbard, I had known since 1997 and cherished as a good friend. He was a major reason why I chose to invest these years in this particular institution of learning. This man served as the academic advisor to two school-sponsored clubs. One was where students held roundtable discussions on philosophy, politics, and current events—I was the president of this group. Rothbard was also the advisor to PHC’s chapter of Enactus. Many universities have an Enactus chapter or team. Each Enactus chapter performs a project and, at the closing of the school year, an Enactus team from each state travels to the U.S. mainland to present the projects to executives from major corporations, who serve as the judges. During the incidents I shall describe, Enactus went by another moniker, SIFE—Students In Free Enterprise.

Professor Rothbard urged his students to attend the meetings of our philosophy club and, in the September of 2009, one of those students of his showed up. “[Trevor], you’ll love this one!” he announced as he beamed at me.

I will call her Inger Johansen. She was reared in Tromsø, Norway [Norge], yet her father was an expatriate from Minnesota, and, though in her twenties, she happened to be several years older than most of our Private Hawaiian College classmates. At the height of six feet and one inch, she loomed over my five-foot, eight-inch body. She informed us she was a finalist in a nationwide modeling competition back in Norway in 2005, and, for anyone who glanced at this blonde, it was not difficult to believe. One of the attributes that jumped out at everyone most quickly was that Inger speaks authoritatively. Some young women talk as if they are tentative in everything they say. Even when they staunchly declare something, they sound uncertain, as if they are asking a question. On the converse, everything that leaves Inger’s mouth in public comes in the form of a firm assertion, even if she is unsure on the matter and interrogating others. On the day we met, as we would learn was her tendency, Inger dressed herself in conservative casual attire. Although I would learn she sported a closet full of colorful clothes, being in black and white was her favorite. In spite of some pretenses at habitual formality, Inger’s body language was not too uptight—she seemed very together and bold, subtly flirtatious.

I remember the first joke she told me, which was at one of our philosophy meetings. She said that out of every signature she spotted on Web forums, her favorite remained, “The internet: where men are men, women are men, and children are undercover FBI agents,” alluding to FBI agents posing as children in chat rooms to root out child predators. I didn’t find that funny, but Inger definitely did; she giggled to herself as she recited it.

Because Inger shared in my love for Professor Rothbard, she decided to partake in a second course of his, this one going from January to May 2010. By February of that year, Inger and I had become very close. Professor Rothbard treasured her company as well. He invited us to dinner at his home, where Inger gushed to him, “I think of you as my second father.” And he replied, “I think of you as my second daughter.” On that topic of her outward confidence, Inger proffered that she obsesses about climbing into positions of authority and responsibility. It is, she whispered with some uncharacteristic shyness, so that people won’t notice that she feels the opposite of reliable and sane. If people saw her as successful on the outside, they would assume everything was fine on the inside. I assured her, “It’s very normal for people to want to be seen as responsible, and for them to nurture private doubts about themselves.”

She also volunteered a rather strange explanation about her name—she always had the last name of her mother, Lilith Johansen, and not her father. As she articulated, her father went by Matt Pennington, but that was not his birth name. He was born Matt Hokkanen, to Walt and Dorothy Hokkanen. Upon discovering that Walt Hokkanen was not his biological father, stated Inger, Matt changed his last name to Pennington, his mother’s maiden name.  As for the man’s reason for moving to Tromsø, Inger continued, it was “because he was disgusted by U.S. military intervention in Vietnam; the USA was a place where he didn’t want to be anymore.”

 When it came time to put a last name on Inger's birth certificate, Inger's mother, Lilith Johansen, supposedly told Matt, "If we name her [Pennington], how do we know you won't just change your last name again? We'll give her my last name; it's simpler!"  Inger laughed gaily as she recited this part of the tale.  Throughout this telling, Inger kept up a huge smile, as if there was nothing particularly painful or difficult about what her father must had gone through.

This same February, Inger came to Professor Rothbard and me in tears, whereupon she unloaded on us a distressing incident regarding a classmate of hers—a classmate who sat near her during Professor Rothbard’s lectures. This was Sao Thein-Sein from the nation of Myanmar. As Inger told the tale, she and Sao went to a bar late at night to acquaint themselves with one another. There, Sao regaled her with some stories. She feigned approval but secretly found them creepy. First, Sao boasted about being a tremendous womanizer, providing a litany of his various conquests. Secondly, he waxed zealously of his exploits for the Burmese military, claiming to have tortured enemy soldiers.

Later that night, she continued, Sao walked her to the front of her apartment building in Waikiki, and they exchanged their goodbyes. A few minutes later, she received a call from Sao on her iPhone, where Sao announced to her, “I accidentally locked myself out of my residence. Can I crash on your couch for the night?”

Sao’s various escapades of bedding college women fresh in her mind, Inger demanded to know if his calling her was some pretext for getting into her apartment so that he could solicit sex from her. According to Inger, Sao chuckled and replied something to the effect of, “No, I really did lock myself out of my home by accident, but, if we end up fucking, that would not be bad. Ha-hah.”

Inger told us that she consequently panicked and yelled, “I . . . I don’t have a couch!” Sao got angry and they had a heated argument, but eventually Sao gave up. Still, Inger told Professor Rothbard and me, “Because of what he said about women and because of his war stories, I was afraid he wanted to rape me.” Thereupon she whispered that a few minutes subsequent to the argument, she drifted into sleep and dreamt that she awoke to Sao cupping his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams, his other hand gripping a blade. Tears bubbling from her eyes before me, Inger said that in the nightmare Sao ravished her and she complied with what he wanted rather than struggle against him. Through her tears, she whimpered, “I want to believe that in real life, I would fight back and risk dying, as opposed to giving in.” Professor Rothbard and I did our best to console her. I suggested she go to the security team of her apartment building, describe Sao to the team, and ask that they keep on the lookout for him.

In that particular course Professor Rothbard was teaching to Inger and Sao, Rothbard had planned that the students be bunched together in groups of four. The teams would compete in formal debates for that class. Inger requested to the professor that because of the incident with Sao, he ensure that she not be placed in the same team with Sao. Normally, Professor Rothbard would not comply with such a request as “please don’t let me be in the same group as that person because I do not like him.” But because of the gravity of the charge against Sao, Professor Rothbard acquiesced.

Inger filed no formal complaints to the school, and she sternly insisted that neither of us report the incident to campus officials or the police. I reluctantly yielded to this command. A week later, Inger approached Professor Rothbard and me, and proclaimed that Sao vindicated her wariness of him. She told us that he followed up by approaching her and hissing, “If you tell anyone what happened that night, I kill you!” Inger said that Sao then smiled and broke out into a menacing cackle—it was clear he meant this. She was more afraid of him than ever, and I felt particularly protective of Inger. She wanted us to defend her violently if it ever came to that.
___

End of Chapter 1.

Go to:

Chapter 2:  The Unease.

Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted.

Chapter 4: The Danger Remains (concluding chapter)