WECT anchor emails support to Commissioner Berger; Says he’s lived through similar issues
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The following email exchange was discovered Friday on the New Hanover County computer server. It’s between WECT morning anchor Bob Townsend and County Commissioner Brian Berger:
From Bob to Brian
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Nice Statement. Hang in there. Many of us have experienced some of what you have been going thru and have survived it. Just not as wide known as yours. Keep strong.
From Brian to Bob
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thank you Bob. That was a nice thing to say…I don’t hear alot of nice things like that. I really appreciate it.
Don’t you work in a couple of hours? Do you sleep or do you just manage with a few hours?
Granted nobody does as disturbing and outlandish and irrational things in these situations like I did, and I’m incredibly embarrassed by behavior, but I would think most people would be able to relate a little to relationship issues. I had to sever three in a week after learning Heather was cheating, and sever ties with her two sons who have a very close attachment to me and I love them. I was the first person they called dad (I put a stop to that and had them call me Brian so if their real father who abandoned them ever came back, I didn’t want them to be confused. The three year old didn’t understand what was going on but the five year old did and after saying goodbye he started crying in a way I’ve never heard anyone, child or adult, cry. It was very heartbreaking to see that. Put that all together and throw in Heather’s borderline personality disorder and my “issues” and I did not express my emotions appropriately, but there was never any violence or threats of violence contrary to what I assume people must think (and with the way some media outlets didn’t quite get the stories right, the obviously crazy behavior, and all the police calls I don’t blame people for thinking that…) Not to mention the false assault charge a few months ago and my trip to the New Hanover County Detention Center and Resort and seeing me in chains like Hannibal Lecter it’s probably somewhat instinctive to perceive danger and assume the subject is violent and thus the chains.
I can’t wait to see and hear what gets said about the protective order Heather took out…which is a long story in itself (assuming Heather told me the truth before she filled out the paperwork…) we did discuss it this afternoon so it wasn’t a surprise for me. The only impact it has on me is I have to go to at least one hearing, maybe more (WWAY will definitely be there…I’ll give you a heads-up it’s the morning of September 16…although I do hope the judge doesn’t allow cameras in the courtroom…I’ve seen enough cameras for a lifetime!) The order is not based on any violence, it’s basis is “emotional distress” from the whole fake suicide thing and photo. And I have to wait longer to get my gun back. That’s the only real effect. Well, it just occurred to me the biggest effect will be the potential to use that to keep me in the news.
So that’s why I didn’t get back to you about coming on, in addition to be extremely embarrassing and hard to talk about and drawing attention (some people crave attention, but I do not like attention, positive or negative), its rather complex. The situation doesn’t justify my behavior, but it didn’t just pop out of the blue, there was a trigger that sparked it…a very complicated one some people might understand (not the irrational behavior, but the “why” that triggered it). And that is just way too complicated for a poor storyteller like me and probably a bit much even for print media.
I did forgive Heather, in about a day, but I will NEVER be in a romantic relationship with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder. There is almost 100-percent chance things will end in some way that is explosive and severely damaging and this is also a very high likelihood that you will need a therapist for yourself if you are involved in a relationship with someone with BDP. Unfortunately I didn’t learn this until after I was in love with Heather and the kids, so I figured there was no way about 100-percent end badly, it couldn’t possible be that certain, and I could avoid that with Heather, we might end, it might be painful, but it won’t be that damaging and I won’t need a shrink if it does end. Another example of poor judgment on my part, but I just couldn’t end the relationship before the inevitable disaster happened. I know you must think that’s crazy or me being dramatic, that’s what I thought, only death and taxes are certain. But now I understand that it’s not so crazy after all – the inevitable disastrous ending and needing a shrink after being in a relationship with someone with someone with BDP. I know BDP played a very large role in the week of drama. (I like boring, quiet and peaceful not frenetic and dramatic.)
I think in the future I’ll steer clear of dating anyone with BDP. (I’ve seen statistics showing 5-6 percent of the population has BDP, but that seems oftly high so I think its got to be less than that). Now if only I could find a way to get out of the news and back to my quiet, boring and perfectly fine life!
Thanks again for the kind words of support. I really appreciate it.
From Bob to Brian
Friday, September 9, 2011
Apparently none of your peers have ever had a personal experience to where they maybe acted out of the ordinary, and in some people’s cases, acted as being temporary insane. I know exactly how you have felt with Heather. I have experienced it as well. Without going into detail, I had a friend who shared some positive feelings about me. We became good friends, but not in any romantic way, but definitely more than just a friend. Maybe romantic later on, but definitely not in the immediate future.
Last year, that person and I parted ways of that friendship. It was the other person’s decision, and I, quite honestly, was devastated. After being in somewhat of a bad situation for a long time, I had finally found someone that I thought would be a person I could count on, for a long time, and perhaps, for life. I was all ready for whatever changes were required to make that happen. But I think I became to intense in moving the relationship along, that the person (she) backed off completely. And I mean completely, no contact, cold turkey.
I about went crazy, and believe that temporary insanity was what happened to me. That was in the spring of last year. I don’t feel that I am over it yet, it still consumes me sometimes.
So what has happened between you and Heather is perhaps some of what has happened to me. Of course, you and I took different paths to try and recover from our circumstances, but because of your professional role as a County Commissioner, and with the news industry that it is now, your position became very public. That is a shame, but again, the world is different, depending on the roles we have in our lives.
Don’t beat yourself up. Keep going. The last thing you need now in your personal life is to let the others control what you have in your professional life. You don’t have to be defiant, but just be strong. Get thru this thing on September 16, hold your head up high, take whatever comes, and move on.
I do know of a good doctor that I go to, and he has helped me tremendously, not saying you need the help, but maybe someone to talk with about this. If you want his name, just let me know. He is really good and has been a blessing to me. In the meanwhile, if you need to talk with someone who has had a very familiar role with some of what you are going thru, don’t hesitate to call, you have my number. I am not expert, but a victim of a circumstance that I am still trying to get a handle on.
As fas as tv, you may want to consider it after September 16, just leave it where you did yesterday. You made your feelings known, you spoke up and gave your position, now don’t do anything until they do the next step (court hearing). You are safe in the Commissioners role, just have to put up with people who don’t know the circumstances and quick to judge without that knowledge. Just do your job, show up (on time) at the meetings, and as my doctor told me, put on my “big boy pants” and move on. Time will heal everything, or at least I am hoping that will happen. Just hang in there. People who have experienced the same circumstances know what is going on, just a bunch of real asses out there in the world who thinks they know everything and want to bully people. Screw them. Keep strong.
Call if you need anything. Wanna meet for lunch someday, just let me know. I hate eating along. Thanks.
Kevin Mauer at the StarNews reports in his story on these emails that Townsend did not respond to an email seeking comment. And WECT’s General Manager Gary McNair and News Director Scott Saxton declined to comment. The StarNews and WECT are local media partners who share content with each other.
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