Thank you all for tuning in and letting us be a part of your lives once more. I found the events surrounding this episode shocking and life changing. I grew profoundly aware of the necessity to push beyond my discomfort with conflict and speak up in the group for what is right and challenge unhealthy bullying behaviors. I remember the events of this episode just like it was yesterday. I was left with a very clear picture of what I believe to be a triangulated destructive, abusive relationship often referred to as 15-20 year "friendship(s)."
I was cautiously optimistic about a birthday trip to our Austin Lake House. There is something about being in the comfort of your own home that makes you feel safe. I was sure our invited guests would have fun and make efforts get along.
On the way to Austin the "LeeAnne Locken pooping in a bag" story came up. After Taylor told us, Brandi Redmond and I ran over to Tiffany Hendra to get the story and she just asked, “How did you hear that?” LeeAnne, however, appeared to be embarrassed when it came up so we dropped it.
The first night in Austin actually went well. Brandi knows how to get the party started and was definitely our entertainment. The fun continued and her summersault on the table was the hilarious ending to a fun evening. We all shared sleeping rooms; Brandi and I, Tiffany and LeeAnne and Cary Deuber and Courtney. Marie had a room of her own. After going to bed, Brandi fell asleep immediately. I was almost asleep when startled out of my daze by ranting and blood curdling screaming. Next, I heard glass breaking and Marie hysterically crying and apologizing. It took me a few seconds to fully awaken and grasp what was happening. LeeAnne was yelling at her and I clearly heard her threatened Marie with, "Do you know what happens when people mess with me? I kill them! I slaughter them! I destroy them!" "I will gut you carnie style!"
I was terrified and didn't know what to do. Brandi woke up to the screams and was hysterically crying. I prayed for the madness to stop and for Marie's safety. We wondered why Tiffany wasn't going in to try to calm LeeAnne down. I had my phone in hand ready to dial 9-1-1 for help when the yelling stopped.
The room LeeAnne and Tiffany shared was located directly outside the kitchen where the threats took place. It is located next to the room Brandi and I shared. I heard LeeAnne and Tiffany talking quietly for a while. I could hear Marie sobbing as she walked up the stairs. Cary came downstairs to make sure Brandi and I were okay. She and Courtney were awakened and startled by the screaming. They heard everything, too. It was a terrifying experience for all of us and we could not imagine how Marie must have felt. This is the first time I have ever felt unsafe and terrified in my own home.
The next morning, I was stunned as Tiffany and LeeAnne nonchalantly talked about the event as though this was normal and there was something wrong with rest of us for being upset. In the special land of LeeAnneville, "I am going to kill you, slaughter you, gut you carnie style" actually meant "I am disappointed in you and am washing my hands clean of you." Yeah, right. It was also interesting to all of us that while everyone in the house was awakened to this outrageous episode, Tiffany claimed to be sleeping soundly the entire time. Really? Brandi was intoxicated beyond belief and it woke her. Cary and Courtney were upstairs on the other side of the house, it woke them and they talked about what they heard LeeAnne "say". I have no doubt that we ALL heard it. It was a glass throwing, a gut wrenching, screaming, vehement threatening, outrageous outburst at someone responding with tearful, wailing, pleading apologies. It was like living through a horror movie scene. It was terrifying!
This was ridiculous. I had to say something. I believe Marie was too scared to defend herself and LeeAnne and Tiffany were trying to make light of abusive behavior. The truth is that Marie's life was threatened! She was trembling, shaking and scared. This is what I know to be true. Marie did write Tiffany messages saying things about how she perceived LeeAnne's behavior, but we only got to see one side of the messages. Marie probably told Taylor the story of LeeAnne pooping her pants, but Tiffany backed the "whole" story minutes later.
Regardless of what happened during the course of the friendship, no one deserves the abuse Marie endured at our house that night. LeeAnne blaming her past and trying to sweep it under the rug the following day was exactly what I expected. Tiffany minimizing her actions and trying to prove her friendship to LeeAnne was typical, as well.
I looked around the table at dinner and realized that not one person was untouched by LeeAnne's behavior. Yet she sat there silently while we bickered. How very sad. That night changed me. I remember hearing that people only have the power we give them. I realized that we had all given her too much power because she demanded it. LeeAnne will bully to get her way. This has worked for her for a very long time but, it's unfortunate that the one who brags about all the good she does, has a legacy of tearing down those who do not agree with her or that she cannot control along the way. I do not believe her to be an evil person. This is her perceived survival mode. My heart aches for her. While she was a victim of the circumstances of her childhood, it cannot be the excuse for victimizing others. I pray she seeks help. She has many strengths that she can use to help others as she heals.