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S22.E05: Erika

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Born in Las Vegas, Erika overcame a heroin addiction due to childhood trauma, but now anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused her to relapse, placing her life--and her dream of being a loving mother to her young daughter--in jeopardy. Interventionist: Vance Johnson.

Original air date 2021.04.12

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The sisters in this family were so oddly smiley, even when talking about sad and painful things. The brother & the mother had the saddest faces I’ve even seen. Shame on mama for blaming her for the rape & not owning up to the knowledge of Erika’s trauma in the intervention. Tsk-tsk on the gay best friend for aiding & abetting her sex work so that he could share in the drug spoils. At least the boyfriend tried to curb her usage.

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1 hour ago, Supagirl said:

Shame on mama for blaming her for the rape & not owning up to the knowledge of Erika’s trauma in the intervention. 

Yeah, I had to yell at the screen a couple times, thanks to mama. She was so overwrought at the intervention that she couldn’t even read the letter?! Criminy, woman — it’s one of the few things you can do to help your daughter get on the right path! 

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4 hours ago, Supagirl said:

Shame on mama for blaming her for the rape & not owning up to the knowledge of Erika’s trauma in the intervention. 

I was surprised that the rape wasn’t mentioned in either the pre-intervention (which seemed really short to me)or the actual intervention. It felt like the elephant in the room. 

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Hey, Vance Johnson! As a Broncos fan who remembers the 80s, even before he mentioned he played in the NFL, I was like, hmm, could it be? And then yes, he was THAT Vance Johnson. I was sad to hear that he had a drug problem at some point, but glad to see he's doing well and helping others.

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4 hours ago, Pandora said:

I was surprised that the rape wasn’t mentioned in either the pre-intervention (which seemed really short to me)or the actual intervention. It felt like the elephant in the room. 

She's been through a lot, between the rape and the kidnapping (!).

Erika's daughter is adorable.

Erika's face when her mother couldn't read her letter was like " ...Mmm-hmm [side-eye]." Her mother was overwrought with emotion in the intervention but she read very cold to me leading up to it.

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Maybe we didn't see the whole thing, but she was talking about being so excited to see her daughter and then she barely acknowledged her when she walked into the barn at the rehab. Something seemed off with her bond with her daughter. And that mom goes into the hall of fame for worst moms on Intervention. I feel like she was reslly detatched from everyone as well. Maybe it's a cultural thing, or that she didn't speak English, but I wonder if she has some trauma history of her own. 

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5 hours ago, sara416 said:

Maybe we didn't see the whole thing, but she was talking about being so excited to see her daughter and then she barely acknowledged her when she walked into the barn at the rehab. Something seemed off with her bond with her daughter. And that mom goes into the hall of fame for worst moms on Intervention. I feel like she was reslly detatched from everyone as well. Maybe it's a cultural thing, or that she didn't speak English, but I wonder if she has some trauma history of her own. 

I definitely think the mom’s reaction to the rape etc. had a lot to do with their culture. In her mind, Erika defied the house rules and the rape was a consequence of that. Thus no sympathy from her for what happened. Really none of the family seemed to acknowledge the rape or be sympathetic about what happened.

I too was side eying the mom when she was so overwrought with emotion at the intervention she couldn’t read her letter. She should’ve taken a moment to get herself together and pushed through to read it. It certainly would’ve made a bigger impact, I think, on Erika. 

The friend who was helping Erika with her sex work was creepy. I’m surprised her baby’s father hasn’t fought for full custody. Maybe he will after seeing what she’s been up to. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. 

I’m glad she accepted treatment and is in sober living. If possible, staying in Utah may be a good choice cause I didn’t see anything about her parents getting counseling, specifically her mother. So the issues that are between them likely haven’t improved much. If she returns to Vegas it could trigger a relapse, especially if she has to return to her parent’s home. 

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1 hour ago, Enero said:

I definitely think the mom’s reaction to the rape etc. had a lot to do with their culture. In her mind, Erika defied the house rules and the rape was a consequence of that. Thus no sympathy from her for what happened. Really none of the family seemed to acknowledge the rape or be sympathetic about what happened.

I think the mom is the only one who knew about it. I'm pretty sure Erika said she hadn't told anyone else, and the one sister specifically said she didn't know of any trauma in Erika's past.

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This poor girl, Her mother is the reason for 50% of her issues! I’ve never seen a more horrible mom on any one of these shows. Don’t cry me those crocodile tears because this poor girl can’t even chop the veggies right according to you! Oh and news flash you have been in america for decades and still can’t speak English?? No wonder you are so clueless! When I moved to America my parents and I both went to tutors and classes at the community college to learn English and within 6 months we all spoke English. I hope this girl divorces her family it’s the only way she can make it. 

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So I’m going to just say it: I think Erika greatly exaggerated her trauma (including the rape) to excuse her addiction. 
 

There’s a difference between self medicating and loving your addiction to the point you post social media updates swimming in Xannie bars like Scrooge McDuck in his gold coins! She was flaunting her addiction. 
 

Erika seems like an attention seeker who wore her addiction loudly and proudly.  She seemed to really glorify the (literal) Heroin Chic aesthetic and personified this line i always remember from a Garbage song: “I’m riding high up on a deep depression.” She was also awful eager to take her top off and pose for nude photos in front of the camera crew. I don’t think the kidnapping traumatized her very much. And frankly I don’t think the rape did either; she seems to care more about the resulting never ending ammunition to use against her mom. I actually think the sisters were unaware of it because I don’t think Erika really ever made it a big deal until she started spinning an addiction origin story to the documentary crew  

Erika reminded me of a much milder Kristy - quite happy in her addiction - with the annoying Gen Z habit of using trauma, PTSD, anxiety etc etc as an excuse to misbehave. Even her junkie boyfriend wasn’t having it when she was crying anxiety and PTSD and her mom and sister with the glasses certainly had her number. She just wanted to inhale Xanax and get high! 

Sorry to be such a downer but I come from a Mexican American background and was really glad to see a modern Mexican American family shown on TV. I was disappointed that Erika seemed more attention seeker than sick addict.

My heart broke for the brother - he seemed to be taking the brunt of a this in the family  

All that said - enjoying this new incarnation of “Intervention.” 

 

Edited by HelloOutThere
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Yet another addict who loves her child more than anything, except the drug(s) of choice.

I’ve come to the point where I don’t trust anything the addicts say any more. Addiction = lying +manipulation. I also believe that Erika was well aware of Intervention and played along.

 

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On 4/17/2021 at 7:56 AM, HelloOutThere said:

So I’m going to just say it: I think Erika greatly exaggerated her trauma (including the rape) to excuse her addiction. 
 

There’s a difference between self medicating and loving your addiction to the point you post social media updates swimming in Xannie bars like Scrooge McDuck in his gold coins! She was flaunting her addiction. 
 

Erika seems like an attention seeker who wore her addiction loudly and proudly.  She seemed to really glorify the (literal) Heroin Chic aesthetic and personified this line i always remember from a Garbage song: “I’m riding high up on a deep depression.” She was also awful eager to take her top off and pose for nude photos in front of the camera crew. I don’t think the kidnapping traumatized her very much. And frankly I don’t think the rape did either; she seems to care more about the resulting never ending ammunition to use against her mom. I actually think the sisters were unaware of it because I don’t think Erika really ever made it a big deal until she started spinning an addiction origin story to the documentary crew  

Erika reminded me of a much milder Kristy - quite happy in her addiction - with the annoying Gen Z habit of using trauma, PTSD, anxiety etc etc as an excuse to misbehave. Even her junkie boyfriend wasn’t having it when she was crying anxiety and PTSD and her mom and sister with the glasses certainly had her number. She just wanted to inhale Xanax and get high! 

Sorry to be such a downer but I come from a Mexican American background and was really glad to see a modern Mexican American family shown on TV. I was disappointed that Erika seemed more attention seeker than sick addict.

My heart broke for the brother - he seemed to be taking the brunt of a this in the family  

All that said - enjoying this new incarnation of “Intervention.” 

 

Re: the bolded part
I'm a therapist who works with people with trauma and I think the mild reaction to the kidnapping is her dissociating. It's a coping skill. I think the trauma of the rape was compounded by her mother's reaction, which may have been more a trauma for her. She's been self medicating since then and I don't know if she was even able to feel the impact of the kidnapping because of all the drugs she was pushing into herself. I do agree that she seemed to really like her addiction and I was surprised she even went to treatment. 

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5 hours ago, sara416 said:

Re: the bolded part
I'm a therapist who works with people with trauma and I think the mild reaction to the kidnapping is her dissociating. It's a coping skill. I think the trauma of the rape was compounded by her mother's reaction, which may have been more a trauma for her. She's been self medicating since then and I don't know if she was even able to feel the impact of the kidnapping because of all the drugs she was pushing into herself. I do agree that she seemed to really like her addiction and I was surprised she even went to treatment. 

Thanks for sharing your insights, which obviously carry a lot more weight than my bitchy comments. 😉 I certainly don’t want to come across as a victim blamer, but her stories all just seemed a bit thin. Plus the general reactions from the wise sister. But your observations make total sense. 

Erika’s twitchiness in her THs reminded me of whatever video effect they used in the Christina Aguilera music video for “Fighter.” Where Xtina looked all twitchy and insect-like and I think turns into a spider at some point?
 

Anyway. Erika was definitely a character - again, light traces of Kristy for me from Erika (which to her would probably be an honor). She puts on a SHOW and loves it. 

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I’m  definitely sorry that she was raped.  Although I must have mis-heard because I only heard abused/ touched  which could mean lots of things other than rape.  Although I also must have zoned out because I didn’t know she told her mother.  I thought she hid it because she would then to have to have admitted she wasn’t where she was supposed to be. 
 

Count me in as one of those that thinks she enjoyed her addiction - her 4 month addiction.  She says she only started using again in June 2020 after she moved home. There wasn’t a long term addict to save somewhere?  
she definitely enjoyed the exhibition of posing for photos in front of the camera crew. 
For someone who felt isolated due to the virus, she sure seemed to have plenty of things to do. Including a boyfriend of 5 months. Which means she started dating him in the height of the virus isolation. 
I was also very surprised she went to rehab and actually stayed there. She seemed very immature to me.  Much younger than her younger siblings. 

Edited by mythoughtis
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@mythoughtis I’ve been following her for awhile on social media, probably since 2007. This girl is and has been a long time addict. She would flaunt her addiction on social media as long as I’ve been following her.

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