On August 4, I wrote in my diary,
I’ve just been with “him” [Phil's "subconscious"] again, after several days of being apart, and after several days of no sex for two reasons–One, I appeared to be ovulating as early as one of the first days of my period this month, and two, those two had just worn me out and satiated me, and I needed some time off to recover. Anyway, he tells me he’s not the soul, the soul is the life-force; that he doesn’t know if his part of the person survives after death; but that if Heaven, Paradise, is him with me, he’ll be there, whether apart or with Phil. If he’s apart or if he’s with Phil also depends on my version of paradise.
…I asked why Phil’s always saying I get my own way, if it’s true or not; he said, sometimes it is, and sometimes Phil just thinks it is.
He says there are many different levels of consciousness, along with the conscious and the subconscious, and that they just don’t understand them all. I’ll have to ask if he knows what those levels are. And if animals have a subc.
On August 9, I wrote,
I believe I’ve just had a miscarriage, before I even knew the child was alive. If you look at my temperature charts, you’ll see that my period was four days late, and that by now I’ve been bleeding for ten days straight. I thought it was a normal period when I first saw the blood but it took forever to stop spotting before it went to heavy flowing. My periods never go like that; the pattern is pretty predictable, and doesn’t deviate a whole lot.
The thought of a soul in Heaven now, belonging to someone that Phil and I created only a couple weeks ago, is so sad. The only good things about this are that it is in Heaven and that I won’t be having a child quite as early as that. Maybe this explains why my “thermal shift” ended up going down to very low temperatures instead of up to the more normal, very high temperatures it’s supposed to, or even the normal ones I myself had been recording–97.9, 98, 97.8, etc.
Phil is sad because he expected, if he were to make a child, it wouldn’t die–at least not so soon, especially not so early in the pregnancy. When I told him it was quite likely that was the source [of this weird period], according to a book I read about it in, he said in his “kiddie” voice, “Ben-ny!” and made surprised, dismayed faces. He tells me that at least we know we’re both fertile. I wore a black T-shirt and hair tie yesterday, the day after the night we found out; I’m wearing a black hair tie again today, in honor of the probable child, now dead. I’ve wept a little, but I haven’t gotten to sobs. [The subconscious said he was sad about it.]
Nowadays, I think I never actually was pregnant, but had already started my strange irregular bleeding. Such bleeding began happening periodically. See my essay on this here; in 1997, I once bled for 16 days, and was put on the Pill; doctors confirmed that I did not have a miscarriage. Since my first abnormal uterine bleeding happened a few months after our first time (when I bled above and beyond what is expected), I suspect it’s somehow related. He may have “broken” something. I don’t know, but I do know this was when the excessively long periods began.
On August 11, I wrote,
After all that, he finally admits it [his “subconscious” coming out to talk to me] was all a stupid, elaborate joke. [He said that at times he thought, “She isn’t really buying this, no!”] I told him he was a good actor, because, after all, I watched him closely and I was quite certain it was real. I told him he made a fool of me. And he says all those dreams he’s had that he’s acted out in his sleep–all of them–even the one where he thought he’d taken my innocence away while I slept, and he felt so terrible–all were a trick as well. Even the one where he thought I was dead–he wanted me to know how he’d feel. I know I should forgive him, but only God can give me the strength and–as the prayer I use for forgiving people goes–the forgiving love it takes.
I believe he told me that the night before I wrote the diary entry, while lying or sitting on his bed. He admitted to playing a trick on me. I said, “Well, I’m sure it wasn’t a nasty one,” but he said, “It was.”
He told me other things as well. He told me about this party he went to the year before at a college in Texas, before he transferred to Roanoke. The hostess was a girl he liked. He started drinking what they were serving, thinking to stifle his moral senses. And why did he do this? Because he thought he might sleep with her, and he wanted to deaden his conscience and make it easier to do. Of course, he believed her friends would not have let anything happen.
I couldn’t believe this. My respect for him drained away.
“I wish you hadn’t told me that,” I said.
There were other revelations that summer and maybe September that helped drain my respect: That he went skinny-dipping the summer before with girls, but didn’t see it as immoral. That he saw nothing wrong with taking whatever was passed around at a party, even if it was illegal (he was still underage) or bad for his health.
That night, I still slept next to him. I don’t think there was any sex. I was upset, sad, but for some reason, I didn’t want to leave his side–maybe he, despite causing my hurt, was a sort of comfort. I couldn’t tell my parents about this, and who else could I tell? God, of course, but He wasn’t a warm, physical presence, and the cat was in the basement.
Phil was so depressed the next day, probably the eleventh, because of what he did to me, and because he didn’t think I’d pardon this grievous sin of his. I left him lying in the bed and took a shower. He wondered if I’d have anything good to say when I came back upstairs. I pondered the words of Christ, that we must forgive. And the verse that says if you don’t forgive your fellow humans, God won’t forgive you of your own sins. We were married, and I took the vow seriously; I had to forgive my own husband, no matter what–providing he didn’t cheat on me or abuse me.
But then–could this be considered abuse? I’m not sure I even thought of that, and I know I, like many abused women, didn’t realize I’d been suffering his abuse for months, because he didn’t hit me. Back then, emotional and psychological abuse was not talked about much, just physical abuse. But I did come back upstairs to him after my shower, and told him he could stay, he wouldn’t have to leave, and I would try to forgive him. It was my duty as a wife to forgive my husband.
He was so happy that he hugged me. However, I was still sad, and the hurt still fresh. Part of it was the loss of a friend and lover, someone to discuss Phil with, someone who truly cared about me–his subconscious. Another part was the betrayal, the practical joke on his own wife, the childish game that made a fool of me.
Remember the episode of MASH in which Hawkeye sleepwalks around the camp, dreaming and talking as if he were back in Crabapple Cove? Phil’s “dreams” could get that elaborate. What if Hawkeye had turned to the psychiatrist and said, “I was just playing a joke on everybody”?