The Trauma and Triggering Continues
The State of the World:
It’s the last week of April and in New Jersey, we’ve been in quarantine (shelter-in-place) due to COVID-19 since mid-March. This is a traumatic situation rife with blaming, unemployment, an economic crisis, and the spotlight on how inefficient the US healthcare system truly is. Those workers have done their best with with they had. In all this, the last thing anyone needs is more stress or PTSD triggering, but that’s exactly how trauma works.
The comic book industry came to a halt when the main distributor Diamond, announced that it had to stop deliveries. That left comic shops in the lurch. Then the comic shops had to close anyway because they aren’t essential businesses. Comic publishers and creators tried to pull together online to show support and raise funds when possible for those hurting the most. This is an example of how great the industry can be. I got involved in two fundraisers: one where I got to write a short comic for an anthology; the other by having a sort of “auction” on Twitter for #Creators4Comics which was really more like giving people rewards for them to donate directly to Binc Foundation. I mailed out four novels for that.
And during all this, I’ve tried to file for NJ unemployment which eventually responded that I can get $0 in benefits. They continued to mail and email me instructions for how to claim my zero dollars. I’m privileged that my support system still has income so they cover for my expenses; and my Patreon is still going steadily without drop-outs. But my anxiety and triggers are alive and well!
The Suspicious Behavior of Dirk Manning Continues:
So what does this have to do with Dirk Manning and his legacy of abuse? I hate to say it, but he’s still at it. His latest publisher Source Point Press which has a direct relationship with the workshop I’m a member of, Comics Experience, has been promoting Dirk’s work non-stop. They even held some kind of live auction online of his works and swag. He supposedly has an animation deal too. Source Point Press has not shown any interest in taking action to believe the victims. They are doubling-down on their support of him.
That’s not all.
Last night I got a very suspicious direct message through Instagram from an account claiming to be Dirk aka Aaron’s step-daughter. The account has only two posts and a bio description I can only call bizarre: “Daughter of my married parents Dirk Manning and Pamela.”
Sender: Hello Amber, were you the one who wrote the article about dirk manning?
My reply: Yes one of them. There are several women who have written their own stories. If you read mine you can see he lied to me for years about your existence and about being married.
First red flag, that’s not his real name that he uses in his daily life and work. And she is promoting that she’s a writer now (good for her!) and was scheduled for an appearance alongside “Dirk Manning” back in January. So are people supposed to believe that she and her mother go around referring to him as “Dirk” and not “Aaron”?
Second red flag, there is a real account for this person which has years of photos about her high school and college life. It’s beautifully curated and looks like what you’d expect of a 18-20-year old trying to look her absolute best with friends on the ‘Gram.
Third red flag, why write to me? I’ve done nothing to her directly. If anything, until this post today, I haven’t even mentioned his real name. I’ve left his family alone. The family that he said didn’t exist, by the way, for years when he was telling me he loved me.
Fourth red flag — even though Dirk Manning has blocked me and all other women and our supporters who have accused him of being a fraud, con man, and abuser — his wife’s Facebook account is public. She literally hadn’t made any posts since 2018 until this morning when she flooded it with all the sweet, charming, happy family images you would expect of a Hallmark Channel movie. She needs to pretend she has some security in her relationship — “mark” her online territory so to speak. His doesn’t. All he cares about is promoting himself and posting memes about how you should only care about people who care about you or some stupid shit. All these never before seen family photos suddenly appearing screams PR spin control to make him seem like a dedicated family man.
When I alerted the other women affected through a Facebook post, one of them who had been the one to encourage all of us to come forward with our stories, accused me of doxxing this girl, ruining her mental health, and she blocked all the rest of us that she begged to come forward. I still support her despite her unwavering support of Source Point Press. I still believe her. I know she suffered and I respect that she wants to move on. You can’t start a snowball on the Alps and not expect it to cause an avalanche while you back away. If she wants to believe that he’s a changed man, that’s her prerogative. I personally don’t believe he’s changed because I think he’s behind this fucked up email I received.
It’s not Dirk Manning’s stepdaughter who emailed me. It’s either him or his wife trying to phish information out of me. More catfishing by him or it has spread and his family is now trying to infiltrate my mental space through emails seeking more of my energy. I would not put it passed him to pretend to be someone else, not even his own step-daughter or wife because BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I had a different married man give me the “email address of his wife” so I could write to her and ask if their marriage was truly open — as if anyone can’t just create an email address. I could create an email address “officialangelinajolie at gmail” but that doesn’t make it anything but fraud.
To check my theory, on June 24, 2020, I decided to look up the alleged Instagram of his daughter. First thing I noticed was that the DM in my inbox was completely gone. I searched her name and only found the account that seems authentic and coincides with what she has posted on Twitter. I have the unblurred version of the message saved in my hard drive, so I looked up that Instagram account. ‘Lo and behold, it no longer exists!
Dirk Manning is a con man. It’s that simple.
Part One – my experience with a toxic person
Part Two – Science on abuse
Part Three – trolls don’t like crying
Part Four – How to identify toxic people
Part Six – The Catfishing Continues
Part Seven – Choose a Call to Action
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