Articles from August 2012

As for my two blog stalkers…..

As for my blog stalkers, Richard and Tracy–Fine, let them go ahead and look.  Let them come to my church and GreekFest.  I no longer care.  My fear of them is gone.  Their power over me is gone.

The blockers weren’t working anyway on their cell phone, but I see every page they read, using my four stat counter trackers.  Maybe they’ll learn something.

They want me to fear them; they want to silence me; as long as they do that, they still have power over me.  I’ve lived in fear of them far long enough.  ENOUGH!

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great…For my will is as strong as yours, my kingdom as great… Damn.  I can never remember that line…..You have no power over me. Sarah, Labyrinth

But they must leave me alone, not speak a word to me except in repentance for the many hurtful things they’ve both done to me, which they’re already well aware of, since they read everything (or at least glanced over it).

If they don’t speak to me, especially in anger, if they refrain from nastiness if I’m serving coffee hour, if they stay away from me and don’t cause trouble for me, then going to my priest requesting a contract to protect the bullying victim–

(as I mentioned in “Mutual Friends,” which they seemed so enraged about and called a “threat,” but would be my right and duty to ask for, to protect myself as a bullying victim)–

would be unnecessary.  That is, after all, the entirety of what I would ask for in such a contract.

From what I could gather from context, this is the “threat” they referred to in “Now I’m Being Stalked,” of my going to “members of the church.”

Considering it was not addressed to them but was a musing over how I would have to deal with it if our churches merged, and was my right as a victim–

If they take it as a “threat” then it must have scared them to think I would do this and show the priest proof of Richard’s conviction (to establish my credibility and show I had reason to be scared).

But showing a criminal record is not in any way “defamation,” but truth, and it is not “defamation” for a victim to request help from her priest because she has been bullied or abused in some way.

This threat to sue me is merely an empty, groundless, baseless threat made by bullies to keep their victim under their thumbs.

Interesting how they felt they could say all sorts of terrible things to me and treat me like crap, but if I turn around and call them on their BS, tell them they’re abusers and need to knock it off, they act like I’ve committed a horrible crime.

Things could have ended so very differently, and I would never have felt driven to release the hurt and pain and frustration through writing, if not for their hard hearts.

If I never cared about Richard, if there weren’t some part of me which still cared even after all this crap and the choking incident, I would’ve been able to walk away from this whole thing, put it into a work of fiction perhaps (as I did with the sociopath who caused our shire trouble back in ’99, and with the “Avenger” back in college), and that would be that.

The depths of my pain and trouble getting past it, are testimony to just how much it mattered to me, how much I cared about my so-called best friend and the kind of person I thought he was.  I’ve tried to stomp on that piece of my heart that still cares about Richard, shoot it, rip it to pieces, hammer it, stab it, and yet that little piece of caring still remains.

And there was a time when I cared about Tracy, too, and craved her good opinion as well, wanted her to become a friend I could watch TV with and such.  But forgiveness is still there for the taking, if they only would ask.

But I don’t expect they ever will, because narcissists care as much and are just as sorry for the destruction they leave behind them, as a homeowner is when killing off the ants who’ve invaded his bedroom.

[Update 6/11/14: Up till I posted this, they had fallen down on their threat to stalk me at church all summer long.  They showed up a couple of times, showed up at GreekFest, then stopped.  Then I posted this, they read it in the wee hours of the following morning, and they showed up again on August 19. 

They were remarkably well-behaved–just as I laid out in this post as a requirement for the “contract” I would want, if they began going to my church full-time.

But that’s the last time I ever saw them at church or at GreekFest.]

Quirky “Friendship” with Shawn Heats Up Again–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–May 1992

Year-End Parties

I never wanted to go through again what I had just gone through in the past few months since the breakup.

Soon after the breakup, I discovered the British 70s sitcom Are You Being Served?  While looking for a distraction, I turned on the TV, and in walked Mr. Humphries (the flaming gay character) in an outrageous outfit.  What the heck was this show?  It soon became a favorite, and Catherine also watched it.

On May 1, Pearl, Sharon and I were talking about the warm weather while on the sidewalk after a party, so I suggested we go for a walk when we got back to campus.  We gathered up a few others there, including Catherine, Rachel and possibly Cindy, and went over to the bridge over the lake.

We talked about the ghost of the football field and probably other ones, which freaked out someone, probably Cindy or Sharon.  The cattails in the lake were now dried, big, round, cottony things which stuck up high out of the water.  I said, “Aah!  They look like human heads!”  This freaked out Cindy or Sharon even more.

This is probably the time when the wheels of Pearl’s scooter got caught in between the planks of the bridge.  This bridge was soon blocked off because it had become unsafe and had to be fixed.

On May 9, I visited Pearl in her room, and mentioned the prayer meetings with Mona.  Pearl wanted to join, and spoke to the Rev about starting a campus group (since there were no Christian groups on campus at that time).  Eventually, Anna and Shawn would also join this prayer group.

This meeting sparked the founding of an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at Roanoke.  Details to follow.

Quirky “Friendship” with Shawn Heats Up Again

The following evening, a Sunday, Shawn came over again, almost two months after the last time.  Around 7 or 8pm, I was in my room watching TV when Shawn called.  He said, “I stopped by your room several times, but you weren’t there.  Want me to come over?”

I kept thinking, But we’re not even prayer partners anymore because Mona is now.  I wonder what he wants to come over for?  

We set up a time for 9:30, when nothing was on TV.  He came over late, as usual.  We started talking.  There is a rather icky note in my diary: “I think it was before our last meeting as prayer partners, and not this, that I had to fish my decorative button out of the toilet.”  Ewww!  What button?  How did that happen?

Anyway, after a few minutes, Shawn asked if I’d written anything about him in my diary, and if he could read it.  I didn’t let him, but I did read some things from it to him.  He just didn’t want to hurt anybody in the way he’d been hurt.  He asked what I didn’t like about him, and I told him.

Then after I checked on a recording of Dr. Who and he looked at my music collection, all of a sudden he said, “Do you feel like you need to be kissed again?”  I made my “you silly boy” look, smiling and looking at the floor like I couldn’t believe he just said that.  But I didn’t say no.

For the next two hours, we acted like we were dating.  Then he asked if I wanted a hug.  While we stood with our arms around each other’s waists, he told me there are times when he has deep feelings, and would like to go out with me.  “But I’m only here for two years, and we’ve only got two weeks left, so it’s a little late to start anything.”

Though of course, looking back, he seems to be jumping the gun, thinking if anything is started, it’ll be serious and/or go long term.  Two years is plenty of time for most college relationships to run their course!  Couldn’t he have just let things happen and stopped finding reasons for them not to?

I wrote in my diary, “This time, no misunderstandings.”

The next day, we sat together at lunch, next to a group of visiting high schoolers, and I said we should scare them with stories about the campus ghosts and the “horrors” of Roanoke.

Before he left, as he rested his hands on his bag and his chin on his hands, he winked at me.  I smiled back.  I was happy again, as I hadn’t been since the breakup.

I told Mona what was going on.  She said it was normal and would probably strengthen our friendship, but be careful.  “Don’t let him break your heart, and don’t break his.”


The college sold May Celebration T-shirts which had “53082” (the college’s zip code) in a logo similar to the one for Beverly Hills: 90210.  My friends and I all got one.  That shirt lasted me for many years.


On May 15, a Friday night, Shawn came over again.  We were supposed to talk about something unrelated, but it turned playful yet again, with this conservative Christian–no sex before marriage, etc.–using my belt to tie me to the bed post and then–tickle me, then release me.  He said, “See, I’m a nice guy.  If I weren’t, I would’ve taken advantage of you.”

After a rather intense make-out session, during which it sure felt like he was in love with me–I asked, “What are we?  We’re obviously more than friends.”

Shawn said, “We act like we’ve wanted to go out for a year but we’re trying to make up for it in a week.”

He said this would probably happen again and again.  He couldn’t figure out why his feelings (heart) were so cool, and he said, “Whenever you want to get serious, I don’t, and whenever I do, you don’t.  We just haven’t connected.”

I wrote in my diary,

I still relish the memory of Shawn’s arms tight around me, and him wanting more and more….

Man, this is fun, this “secret romance.”  I suspect Heidi thinks we’re dating, from the things she says.  If she does, I’ll have to swear her to secrecy.  But the idea of rumors and puzzled whispers is so intriguing, and I’m hoping for it….

I’m starting to have so much fun again, and it’s getting easier to maintain my shaking happiness.

On the 18th, a Monday, I had Persuasive class with Shawn and a couple of my new friends: Carol and Sharon.  Shawn was late every day, so I said to the others, “Let’s see if Shawn’s late again today.”

Carol said, “I don’t see how anyone can be that chronically late.  I mean, they should know by now, the class starts at 1:45.”

Sure enough, he was late.  Another time, he was on time and somebody else was late; he said, “Even I was on time.  Where were you?”

On the 20th, I wrote,

This guy’s a handful to control, for a conservative Christian.  I suppose maybe this is training for dates that don’t know how to keep their hands to themselves.

(If I have any children that’re now reading this, you should be ashamed of yourselves for reading your mother’s old diary.  But you’d better take my warning: You need to set your limits and make a date conform to them (…the person with the strictest standards must win).  Know how to slap hands and say a firm “no.”)

This was after what happened on the 19th, Tuesday.  First, Shawn was half an hour late to Bible study in my room, but then so was Mona, so it all worked out.  Pearl came as well.

He read Philippians 4 from my Bible, but was so stressed out from a terrible Calculus test that he kept making funny mistakes–and I kept teasing him by correcting him (for example, “Cement” for “Clement”).

Then he prayed, and I couldn’t help smiling mischievously as he said, “Thank you for what’s going on in this room.”

Pearl left, then Julie called to say she and Dirk were going to show Black Adder.  Mona, Shawn and I talked about the prayer group/Bible study; we thought of names to call it, such as Campus Lite (instead of Campus Life), then Mona left.

I asked Shawn if he wanted to watch Black Adder, but first he wanted to watch Home Improvement in the suite lounge.  At 8:00 I wanted to go see Black Adder, but he found the movie The Jerk and wanted to watch that instead.  So I consented, feeling rather helpless: It was my suite’s lounge, and I didn’t want to just leave him there.

I thought we were just going to watch for a few minutes, but we ended up seeing the whole thing.  Shawn was a mischievous rogue the whole time, being an octopus, throwing my belt in my doorway, spinning me around (making us both dizzy), holding me upside-down, etc. etc.

Once, I got up and said, “You’re a handful!”

He said, “That’s the trouble.  You’re not letting me get a handful.”  And this from the same mouth that prayed at Bible study just a few hours earlier!

He’d keep asking me why I liked him.  It was hard to figure out, since he didn’t fit my ideal as well as Peter did (or, at least, how Peter presented himself to me before the breakup).  I didn’t like sports, but unlike Peter, he was into sports.

He acted like a little boy sometimes, and kept misunderstanding my signals.  But he was a spiritual Christian and knowledgeable.  He’d even been told he should be a pastor.  And this whole clandestine thing was more appealing to me than getting back with Peter: It was exciting and fun.

Heidi and Nicole had only planned to stay at Roanoke for one year.  But now, Nicole decided to keep to this plan, while Heidi decided to stay on another year.  Heidi had a new boyfriend, and Shawn thought he was the reason she wanted to stay.  By the way, this guy and Heidi are now married and live in the States.

Even though I kept warning Shawn that someone might walk in, he put his arms under my shirt and around my waist.  Before I could get away, the door opened!

I jumped away, wondering how much was seen by Heidi’s boyfriend.  He went to Heidi’s door, and I said to Shawn, “See, I told you!”

The boyfriend left, and we started laughing.  “I think Heidi already suspects something,” I said, “and with [her boyfriend] seeing us….”

Another time, Nicole walked in.  Heidi wasn’t around, so she left as well.  In fact, Shawn and I were alone.

After the movie and making out in my room, we heard Tom come in the lounge, and to avoid the appearance that we were more than friends, Shawn went out in the lounge.   He came back in the room and was about to open the door again, but I wanted a good-bye kiss first.

“What do you want?” he said.

“What do you think?” I said.

He said, “I think–I think–Nicole and Heidi are here!” and opened the door.

We all watched television for a bit; once, he followed Heidi to her room, and she said, “Did you come to see Nyssa or did you come to bother me?”  He said, “I can do both.”

At some point, Shawn mentioned the Kama Sutra; she said she read it once, but threw it away because the positions would hurt somebody.  He also made some saucy joke that made her cry, “I am still virgin!”

Shawn was my first exposure to conservative Christians with a wicked sense of humor–so perhaps you have him (and Phil) to blame for me developing one myself.  😉

On Wednesday, I went to Krueger Hall to watch Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in the lounge with my friends.  I invited Shawn to watch it with me in the suite, but he preferred to go to Krueger, saying, “There’s safety in numbers, you know what I mean?”

He and I were the only ones who’d seen it before, so Pearl, Rachel and Carol told us to be quiet.  Shawn, who didn’t know if his family was recording Quantum Leap’s season finale, kept flipping to it during the commercials.

The others left after the movie, but Pearl said she might come back after her shower, so I stuck around and watched more TV with Shawn.  I went to the bathroom and came back to find him gone.  So I watched the last few minutes of the show, hoping he wouldn’t make me remember all the details for him.

I did not know he had hidden in the room, and was watching to see if I talked to myself, or would leave without waiting for him.

I spilled some Orange Slice on my face and wiped it off, glad no one was there to see me (wrong-o!).

I flipped through the channels a bit, hoping he would return.  (He later told me what channels I flipped through.)  He didn’t, and I feared he’d left without saying good-bye, so I left.

I started down the hill behind Krueger on the way to the suites, when I heard running behind me on the sidewalk.  I either stopped and turned around, or was jumped on.

It was Shawn.  We went to the main suite lounge, and were in there for a minute, him wanting to pants me, something he had become obsessed with wanting to do, but which I did not want.  He gave me a hug, keeping his arms by my waist.  I put my hands in my jacket pockets, nervous.

“You’re not supposed to put your hands in your pockets,” he said.  “Why?” I said.  He moved to pull my pants down, but I grabbed them and stopped him.

We watched some TV with Tom in my suite, then I asked Shawn for his address, even though he said he wouldn’t write back.  We went in my room for that, I wanted a kiss, but he ran out, saying, “It’s safer this way.”  He told Tom, “You’ve got to watch her.”  I cried, “What?!”  He poked his head back in the door, grinned at me, then left.

On Thursday the 21st, as I packed for home and swept the floor, I turned around to see Shawn standing in the doorway.  “You startled me,” I said.  He said he’d just scared his friend Yukari, too, by walking behind her and matching her footsteps before making his presence known.  (What, trying to be a ninja like Peter, there?)

He closed the curtains to hide the hot sun and dried egg on the window, which I believe came from some unknown person during pledging.  I continued packing as he read to me the teacher’s comments on his Persuasive paper.

I really wanted to clean out the “Peter drawer,” which I’d left for last, so I did that while he talked.

No, I did not throw away my mementoes: I kept them, still have them.  Before the breakup, I felt that burning pictures or throwing away mementoes would be like a betrayal of the good, happy days in the beginning of a relationship.  I felt the same after breaking up with Peter.

I had to rinse off my hands in the bathroom after cleaning out some stuff left over from a vase, then after I came back, Shawn lifted me up again.  He loved doing that.  He carried me between the beds and spun me around, and put me down on Candice’s old bed.

The usual followed, him trying to push my limits, obsessed with getting to second base, me trying to keep him under control.  He said, “I’ll be gentle, not grab or pull or tear or bite or chew,” which made me laugh, but I said, “Not without a wedding ring.”

Afterwards he grabbed a Teen magazine and looked to see if I’d filled out some personality test.  We stood by the door.  He’d open it, and I’d push it back, until he finally admitted he knew what I wanted.

“This’ll be the last one for the year, so it’ll have to be special,” he said.

We took our leave of each other for the summer, unless we saw each other at dinner.  He wished me a safe trip home; he lived near the Illinois border, while I had a much longer trip.

I went to dinner right away, just to see what it would be like to go there with his kisses fresh on my lips.  Catherine and I went to get an Eskimo Pie.  Catherine said, “I smell roses.  Do you?”

I sniffed, but smelled nothing, so she said, “It must be just me.”  But I wondered if it was just me: the scent of Shawn’s cologne.

He did come to dinner, late as usual, so he had to drink diet pop.  He sat between Catherine and me.  He made some racy comments to her, so twice I hit his arm playfully (not out of jealousy, but because he was a conservative Christian and not “supposed” to say such things, so I had to tease him).

He helped put the reflector back on the back of Pearl’s scooter seat while she sat in it (she had rheumatoid arthritis and needed the scooter to get around).

Once, she said one of our catch phrases: “Don’t touch me theeeere!”  Rachel gave her a high-five, and we all laughed.

He left, saying, “It’s been real fun.”

Catherine said, “It’s been real and it’s been fun.  But it hasn’t been real fun.”

Ah, Shawn, why did you over-analyze our relationship and put so much pressure on it, refuse to even tell the world we were seeing each other?

Why didn’t you make me a legitimate girlfriend instead of (sophomore year) having a good time and then treating me like you hated me and we were sinning and it was all my fault?

We were having so much fun in the beginning.  It could have been all laughs and fun, not the psychological hell it became sophomore year.


That night, we had a sleepover at Krueger Hall.  We put beds or mattresses in the main lounge.  I don’t remember who all was there, but I do know Steve, Pearl, Rachel and Tara were.  Carol may have been there.

It was partly Sharon’s idea, but she had to work on the yearbook and couldn’t come.  Some other girl was there.  She said the girl who lived in her room before her wrote “so and so loves so and so” on the mattress.  “She must have loved him quite a bit, because the bed’s all broken down,” she said.

We played several board games.  One had the question, who would you like to see get a pie in the face?  I voted for Rachel, and she voted for me because she wanted to see how I’d react if I did get a pie in the face.

We then tried to start gossiping.  I wrote some of the gossip in my diary, but probably shouldn’t tell it here.  Then Steve left, but not before giving each of us a hug.  Rachel told ghost stories.  We finally went to bed, but stayed up talking until around 3.  I got four hours of sleep, but had to travel some five hours that day.

Afterwards, somebody said, “You probably talked about guys.”

We said, “No, we talked about ghosts and UFO’s.”

We woke up to the alarm at 7, but the person closest to it turned it off.  That is, Pearl and I and that person woke up to it.  Rachel was dead to the world.

I wondered if we’d sleep through Poetry.  Pearl woke up about 15 minutes later and woke up Rachel, then I got up.  Pearl later said, “If we were late to Poetry, how would I explain it to Counselor Dude?”

Somebody said, “Think of how embarrassing it would’ve been if we’d slept until noon right out there in the lounge.”


For Poetry finals, we would do a normal workshop class during the scheduled period, and also do individual meetings with Counselor Dude.  Everybody in the class got together and conspired what to put in that day’s Poetry packet.

Counselor Dude had told us he had this thing about women’s toes.  I guess they freaked him out.  So all the poems were about–toes!  He was amused.  Mine was,

Mermaids once had toes
Back when dinosaurs roamed.
The evolutionist knows
Man’s ancestors had to separate.

Dinosaur woman on land
Heard the continent’s call,
But by the sea, dinosaur woman
Was lured by ocean’s cry.

Feet divided by toes
Became fins.
Legs merged together; toes merged with toes.
Legs became tails; feet became fins.

Dinosaur woman became dinosaur mermaid.
Toes transformed into fins,
The spaces between now like marmalade.
Toes once there, are toes now gone.

After I read it, Counselor Dude said,

“That is the–” his voice boomed–“BEST poem you’ve written all semester!”

All the poems were awesome, mostly demented (such as disembodied toes (Rachel) or sucking toes), all funny, but it would probably violate copyright to publish them here.

Summer Begins

I longed to go home and get away from Peter, though I would greatly miss Shawn.

Soon after returning home on Friday the 22nd, I sorted through all my school papers, circulars and mementoes, tossed what I didn’t want, and put the rest in a box.  Everything Peter gave me went in the box, as well.  I marked the box FRESHMAN YEAR; for the next three summers, I would do the same.

When I wrote these memoirs, these boxes were very helpful.  So, packrats, even when your mother complains about all the things you keep, don’t let this stop you: You just might need them.

Sophomore year, I would no longer have a male suitemate.  Though it seemed a bit weird at first, it hadn’t been all that different from living with a brother–a flirty brother who didn’t tease me mercilessly, that is.

I already missed “Big Ben,” our campus clock, bonging the time every hour; the campus; seeing everyone at meals; Shawn.  I’m not sure why I still thought about Peter, maybe because Shawn refused to call our relationship anything beyond “friends.”  I missed cable and Mystery Science Theater 3000, Donna Reed, Doctor Who.

I looked forward to getting letters from my new friends, and writing to Shawn.  My mother had just been given an old family trunk, full of stuff going back 110 years, including a stereoscope with a series of slides of a funny courtship.

It ended up in my room, where I put my sheets on top of it, instead of in my drawers (which were infested with those little segmented worms which get everywhere in houses, including in the trunk).

I had expected in March that by May things would be so much better, that I would love being home again.  At first, everything was fine: We had a new, powerful antenna instead of cable, and it picked up Wisconsin PBS stations, such as channel 10 and sometimes 36.  Whenever I got channel 10 in well enough, I would watch it.  Both it and channel 34 from Elkhart played different episodes of Are You Being Served?, so I would often see it twice a day.

However, summer began to drag.  I missed everyone, and felt bored doing my usual things.  I had too much time to think about Peter, though I rarely cried.

You’d expect my thoughts to revolve around Shawn after everything, but no, I still thought of Peter.  Shawn was that intimate friend I would tell everything to, but not a boyfriend, since he would kiss me and flirt with me and turn into an octopus and act like a boyfriend–but kept resisting, kept the relationship a secret, refused to make it anything beyond “friendship.”

I wrote long letters to Shawn and my other friends, writing them late at night when the house was quiet, about whatever struck my fancy, deep thoughts or happenings around town or church or home.

Most of the people in the college/career class at church were several years older than I was.  My friends were still in the high school class, or left for college and then rarely showed up even in summer.

I had lost track of all but one non-church friend.  I thought I was just weird, until I went to my 10-year high school reunion and discovered that lots of people lose track of their friends when they leave high school.

So I was lonely, and began marking out days in my calendar, each one a milestone that would bring September closer.

There was a bit of excitement in Sunday School one day: One woman in my class had just decided to divorce her husband.  It sounded like he was cheating on her.

But even though she made the decision, she sounded just like me back in late January/early February: devastated, barely making it through the day or the night.

One of my old youth group friends was there (a guy I once had a crush on), and several of us sat talking with her even during the church service, because the woman needed support.

So much of the advice she got from people at church was confusing and contradictory; we seemed more united.  I told her I went through something similar with an ex-boyfriend.

She smiled and said something soothing, your typical cliché, but I didn’t want her to sympathize and try to comfort me.  I was just trying to make her feel like she wasn’t alone.

I loved to listen for the South Bend accent during the singing at church.  I wondered if I now had a bit of a S– accent that would be noticeable as I sang (as if anyone could hear me sing anyway).

This may have been the summer when a squirrel in the tree next door seemed tame.  It would go up to our neighbors, probably to get treats.

One day, as she hosed off her car, the neighbor lady played with him.  He’d run up to her, she’d turn the hose on him, he’d run off, then he’d run up to her and do it all over again.

From my diary entries, you could say I was obsessed with Jesus.  This was because I had almost no one else.  (Actually, I think many Christians would say I was not obsessed with Jesus, or that how I felt was a good, natural thing.)

After all, according to Shawn, some people would get upset when they saw me coming over to sit at their table, because I would “bring them down” (not a good thing to hear when you’re already depressed).

Shawn would listen but was far more concerned in changing me and tearing down the way I was than letting me grieve; I didn’t want to annoy my family or friends by talking about Peter; my friends were in another state; Peter treated me like a pariah; people told me I shouldn’t get this way over a guy; yet I could not shake the feelings I had.

Nobody understood me.  It’s normal, especially for women, to process emotions verbally after a breakup or trauma.  But for those with nonverbal learning disorder, talking becomes especially important for releasing anxiety, and we don’t know when to shut up.

That’s probably why I talked about Peter so much in the early days.  But when people began telling me not to, the need to process the situation did not stop, so I had to pour all my feelings into journals.

I now know that what I had was depression, not just the blues, and that I tried to deal with it alone when I should have had the help of a counselor.

Various things can work together to make a person so depressed that she can’t function properly.  The depressed person doesn’t want to be this way (though some, like Shawn, might think she does), and would give anything to be normal again.

As I wrote this part of my memoirs in 1999 and read articles about depression, I saw that I was not odd or at fault for the things I felt, did, and said.  The “words of knowledge,” though they misguided me, were an attempt to find something to hold onto, something that said this would pass.  I believed in those days that this could only pass if Peter came back to me.

The writer of the article “When Depression Hits Home” in a 1999 issue of Today’s Christian Woman expressed my feelings exactly when she said, “I wasn’t crazy–I was depressed!”  I had feared I was crazy.  Now I know that I wasn’t.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:


Musings on Researching NVLD; Link to Newsgroup

It’s awesome to see all the hits on my NVLD pages, both on my website and the re-print on my blog (start here).  There seem to be more and more all the time.

Not only was it cathartic to write my life story and how I believe I have NVLD (or maybe even mild Asperger’s), but it was very informative, a gathering of links and research I have gleaned over the years as I wrote and updated that page, even information I’ve gotten from the NLD Yahoo group I belong to.

It’s good to see other people finding it so helpful in their own research.

(That group is NLD Adults.  Their description: “Meeting place for adults diagnosed or self-diagnosed with NLD (nonverbal learning disability.)”  Among our members is Peter Flom, a self-diagnosed NLDer who has been quoted and interviewed for various articles and books on NLD.  We also have Pia Savage, an NLD blogger for Psychology Today.  Feel free to join if you fit the criteria.)

Going through my diaries from 20 years ago is also bringing in more tidbits I had completely forgotten about, such as that I used to be far more resistant to schedule or routine changes, even if the change would be for a fun activity, and that my psychologist in elementary school helped me a great deal socially.

This brings more pieces to the puzzle, a puzzle which has intrigued and obsessed me for 12 years, since with a perpetual lack of resources to see a neurologist for expensive tests, I’ve been forced to do this on my own.

I put it with the old elementary and middle school papers which my mom found in the attic and gave me several years ago, and all sorts of old forgotten information:

–the unreadable chicken scratches of my early grades,

–Ds and Fs despite an IQ in the 140s,

–my French and Social Studies teachers constantly yelling at me in red ink for not following directions when I know I would not have deliberately gone against them,

–and all sorts of other difficulties which I have described in detail on my website, things which fit the NVLD profile.

It also amazes me just how far I’ve come over the years, from complete quietness and no eye contact and never greeting people to at least some more talking and much better eye contact,

from terrible grades in middle school to graduating college with honors,

from resisting schedule changes to going with the flow,

from a room so disordered and dirty it was called a tornado to keeping my house clean and being an organized file clerk.

There is still much farther to go, which a neurologist could probably help with, if one of these days I can afford one.  Such as, driving and socializing are still constant frustrations.


Obsessed With Old Shows From Childhood–The Hunt Continues

I have always been obsessed with retaining as many memories as possible throughout the years.  I still remember things that happened when I was only a year old.

I keep diaries, journals, letters and e-mails to try to hold onto those things, not forget them, from a childhood desire to do one better than Laura Ingalls Wilder, and remember/write down everything that ever happened to me.

Maybe it’s a fear that if I lose these things, I lose myself.  Maybe it’s just in case I ever get stricken with amnesia.  Maybe it’s to help with story and memoir writing.  Maybe it’s so that if there is no afterlife, I will still live on in that form, my experiences and dreams and imaginings not lost to time.

In any case, part of that is remembering old shows and movies.  Some of them have been easy to identify and track down, such as The Red Hand Gang and Time Bandits, which I overheard my dad watching one night after I was supposed to be in bed, but it sounded dang interesting.  Or the Thief in the Night series, which I saw in Sunday School the summer of 1991.

But many have been much harder to identify, since even others who watched them with me, can’t remember them.

Ever since I was five years old (when it aired), I’ve been haunted by memories of a show my brother watched, with a girl in a frilly dress being thrown to a spider-like creature in a wood full of mist, thrown by a man suited in such a way that I thought he was a vampire.  I then went to take my bath, and in the suds I acted out the scene with my hands: one hand as the spider, the other as the girl.

It haunted me so much that I put a version of that scene into my book The Lighthouse, and into a piece of unpublished Labyrinth fanfiction.

There was also a witch running a hotel, a Frankenstein, and a vampire, along with others.  But when I asked years later, my brother could not remember what it was, even though I could swear he had a poster of the vampire on his bedroom wall for years.  (What did that poster say?  Come stay at the Horror Hotel?)

In the 90s, I thought it was Dark Shadows, until I actually watched DS all the way through on Sci-Fi Channel in 1995-1997 and discovered that it was not it.

For years, I have searched, and finally, I have found it:
The Krofft Superstar Hour with the Bay City Rollers

The girl was named Barbie and wore an old-fashioned dress.  The guy who threw the girl to the spider, was Dr. Deathray.

It was actually two shows, “Horror Hotel” and “Lost Island,” segments of The Krofft Superstar Hour.

It just figures that the insane world of Sid and Marty Krofft, who also made many of my other childhood favorites (which I do happen to remember, because I still have a Krofft show comic book), originated these two shows that have haunted me all these years.

Unfortunately, I keep searching the Net, but any videos which have been posted of Lost Island, keep getting pulled for copyright violations before I get to see them.  And there are no episode guides such as I found for all the other Krofft shows some 10 years ago.  So I still haven’t seen that spider creature again.  ARGH!

One episode, but not the “spider” one.

The Internet has made tracking down these shows still puzzling, but much easier.  In the olden days (ie, pre-Internet), you had to wait until the show/movie came back on TV to find out what it was.

Such as, the 1978 movie with the turtle which has haunted many Gen-Xers: The Bermuda Depths.  My brother (same one) watched it twice, and its disturbing images of a satanic nymph (Jenny) with green eyes and a monstrous turtle stayed with me.  But when I asked my dad what it was, he thought I dreamed it.

Then in 1991, I saw it again, while at college–and that it wasn’t near as good and scary as my memories.  Jenny didn’t seem quite as evil, and what happened to the cave scene?

I remembered watching the 70s version of the Mickey Mouse Club, and some of the segments (such as one of the girls in a dream sequence that she was Alice In Wonderland), but I did not make the connection to a cartoon of a Betty Boop-like character being captured by Martians.  For all these years, I thought it was a Betty Boop cartoon, but could find no trace of it.

I don’t remember how exactly I found it, but a year or so ago, I finally tracked it down on Youtube: “A Comic Look at Mars,” a cartoon segment of the MMC first aired when I was three and a half years old.  It was so wonderful to see it again and feel that burst of recognition.  Oh, yeah, I forgot about that scene, but I remember it now!

It’s no longer available on Youtube, unfortunately, but at least I’ve watched it twice and shown it to my son so he can remember it.  But one part of the cartoon has a secretary turn into a character who dresses much like Boop, and fight the Martians who have captured her.

The scene with the Martians turning into bugs, gives an eerie chill of recognition as I wonder if that inspired a nightmare, my parents and me in the kitchen, trying to get on a platform to escape an infestation of bugs, but my dad falls off and the bugs kill him.

Then there was a version of Cinderella where she has short brown hair and they sing, but the fairy godmother is actually an eccentric kleptomaniac, which I saw as a small child.  I finally found that one a few years ago: The Glass Slipper.

Then there was a movie shown on TV around the same time; about 35 minutes into it, the ship’s crew kills a plesiosaur, which they then eat.  I thought the captain saved some of its cells in a bottle.

My mom also served us all some grape jelly on crackers as we watched the movie in the family room, and we ate as this part came on.  I very easily connect food with gross things and then can’t eat it, which is one main reason why I don’t watch gross horror movies.  I connected the jelly with the plesiosaur’s supposed cells, got grossed out, and couldn’t eat jelly for a long time afterwards.

Turns out I also saw the end of this movie as a teenager, with my brother, noting at the end that the two characters who survived exchanged vows before God since there were no ministers and they were the only modern humans around.  I remembered this scene whenever I wrote stories about people on desert islands who wanted to marry, and a few years later, with my fiance/spiritual husband Phil.

But I must have missed the first 40 minutes, since I didn’t recognize the movie which put me off jelly for years.

Maybe a year ago, I finally saw it on TV and identified it: The Land That Time Forgot, 1975 version.  And those cells did not belong to the plesiosaur, but to the water they were sailing in.  If only I understood that when I was a little girl, maybe I wouldn’t have been put off my jelly and crackers.

There was a movie shown at my church when I was little, with a guy who gets killed, but in the last scene is in Heaven and says, “That was my first life.”  Finally, in July of 1992, they showed the movie again and I remembered what it was: Ordinary Guy.

Pity the acting was so terrible, typical of Christian movies of the time–and this got awarded Best Film of the Year 1981 by the Academy of Christian Cinemagraphic Arts.

But unfortunately, some movies and shows still elude me after all these years: My parents watched them on TV when I was small, so probably 70s/very early 80s.

In one, a girl, her mother and sisters dressed in the style of the 1600s; the girl goes to them and says she has discovered they can all go to Heaven.  But the mother says no, we’re going to Hell, and hands her a ticket to Hell.  They go into the gateway, maybe a tunnel, and give the guard their tickets.  In Hell things are not what they expected, as they get whipped.

What the heck was this trippy movie, and why can’t I find it?  Was it some old Christian movie shown on channel 46, our local Christian station?  Was it a Ron Ormond movie?  (I’ve scanned the videos for his movies, but they don’t appear to be it, even though the guard dressed much like the Commies in If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?)

In another movie, a comedy, some turn-of-the-century scientists/inventors take a rocket back in time (very steampunk-y).  They crash in the Neanderthal days, and one woman tries to eat one guy’s pocketwatch.

Another was a 1970s TV miniseries, with a married woman being stalked by a vampire who keeps biting her, but she doesn’t remember.  She only knows that if she’s bitten three times, she’ll become one herself.  I remember her seeing two bites in her car’s rearview mirror, and gasping.

You’ll note that it’s mostly the strange movies and shows which I want so badly to remember.

Please, Internet, don’t fail me.  Maybe by 2022 I’ll have them all identified.

And if anybody knows what these movies are, please post in the comments!

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