Eliza has very few connections between her exterior and internal selves. Her unconscious choice of a career in television that emphasized the external didn’t help. Her abuser was her stepfather. She survived her childhood by retreating into a world of books and journaling. Eliza has a large, loving family and drew her security from them.
“I had a dream last night. I was on an operating table and when they cut me open, there was nothing there.”
The world sees her as fearless, soft hearted with friends and the down trodden and ruthless with people who are sexist or racist. She wishes she was less admired and more liked but that has never been true anytime in her life. She is filled with her secret shame and the belief that if people knew about the abuse, she would be ostracized.
Eliza is at heart an investigative journalist with high ideals who is not afraid to go after politicians and others who have hidden agendas. She is also extraordinarily kind to the people she interviews who are transparent.
Her trauma includes fear of dark, tight places. Because of that fear she has always insisted the bed she sleeps in faces her bedroom door. She is also terrified of men who are aggressive. She sometimes lies when she is cornered, a common residual damage of sexual abuse.
Her primary relationship is with Stephanie, her nemesis and a clear love-hate relationship. At first she feels less connection to Mia and Crystal but comes to value and love them, including a revelation that close relationships don’t have to be contentious.
Eliza believes her drug addiction is a secret, but is easily identified by others. She only comes clean about being an addict with those she loves after an epiphany when she is lost in a forest overnight.