Month: July 2013

What an age we live in!

[Update 11/20/14: The newspaper just ran a story on the man in this post.  The link is here.]

A few weeks ago, I discovered that my city has installed a system of paved trails for walkers and bicyclists, going around the outskirts of the city.  One leg of it is just a little ways from my house, a short distance from my gym.

We’re on the edge of town, so just a short ways from my house is prairie and farm fields, making the trail beautiful even right next to the highway.  It’s become my new favorite bicycling route.

Today, I saw a guy–probably around retirement age–with no legs, but with a special bike: It was set up so he could use his hands to turn the wheels.

When I was growing up, losing a limb or two meant crutches and wheelchairs.  Now, it means prosthetic limbs (Star Wars finally turned to science fact) and special bicycles.

Even autistic kids who can’t talk, can finally communicate using computers, as we discover that autism does not mean mental retardation as we had thought.

What a miraculous age!

From the newspaper article:

Often accompanied by his two black Labrador dogs, Floyd Freiberg is among the most frequent users of the Loop despite the fact he’s missing his legs. A rare nerve and muscle disease caused him to lose both legs by age 62.

“The prognosis I was given by my doctors in 1999 was that I’d only live about 10 more years,” Freiberg said, noting the disease is killing his muscles and nerves.

Freiberg, 69, who is retired from a cabinetry and home-building supply business that his father started, is still with us because he’s relentless about exercising daily to keep the muscles that he still has.

….”I go too fast a pace for my dogs to keep up,” he says, noting his trail speed averages 12 miles per hour. “I mainly take them with me on errands around town.”

In addition to helping postpone the advancement of his muscle disease, the exercise routine Freiberg maintains has helped him lose 30 pounds and rid his body of the diabetes that he once had.

….”He’s very determined,” he observed. “He’ll go out kayaking no matter what the weather or the waves. He’s fallen out many times and his family members have rescued him many times.

He’s the kindest, most soft-spoken gentleman I know. He’s become a good friend and an inspiration to me.”

He often passes me on my manual bike!

Reblog: The Narc and Male Friends

Sofia Lee tells her story of a jealous, possessive husband in The Narc and Male Friends.  I especially noted how he would lecture her on her “inappropriate” behavior, even though there was nothing wrong with it.

Tracy was the same way, raging at and lecturing me and, apparently, keeping her husband beaten down as well, over innocent behavior, calling it “inappropriate” and not allowing me to disagree.

It wasn’t just me: I heard the stories from him about other women as well, ones who didn’t pass her approval, especially during hormonal spikes.  Meanwhile, the rules she put on him and on me, she did not follow herself.  It’s all in my story, linked here.

One of these “inappropriate” behaviors was wanting to speak privately with Richard.  Sofia Lee also writes,

Friends, especially girlfriends, are all too likely to point out his douche behavior and convince you to do something about it, so they are a risk. Private conversations are a risk for the abuser. He needs you to be isolated, scared and insecure in order to torture you some more.

Then there was Kym railing on Sabrina in a narcissistic rage on Breaking Amish; my post about that is here.  On blogs and Facebook’s Breaking Amish pages, a lot of people hated Kym’s rage at Sabrina, calling it “trailer trash” and “ghetto” behavior, and sticking up for Sabrina.

That’s how I felt, too, and it was just like Tracy’s behavior with me.

“Kym has no business trying to control Sabrina, but needs to get Jeremiah under control,” they said.  (Or better yet, she needed to break up with Jeremiah because he’s a player who was screwing with Sabrina’s head.)

Then there were my exes.  I never was jealous of Peter’s female friends, yet he accused me (not to me, but to a mutual friend) of a “jealous look.”

This was ridiculous because I was not jealous of his friends, whether male or female.  He had a female friend he wrote to often; I was not even jealous of her, though I’d never even met her.

If anything, he may have misinterpreted my frustration the last few weeks of the relationship, when we’d be at lunch but he gave me zero attention, focusing instead on the other people at the table.  Then whenever we walked around campus, he’d act like he didn’t want to be with me.

He spent very little time with me outside of class and lunch during those last few weeks, yet gave me no, or angry, attention when we were together.

My feeling ignored, is no reason to break up with me or use as some kind of justification for the breakup, telling all his friends I was jealous when I was not.  If you read my college memoirs, you can see how he manipulated me, and later conducted a smear campaign against me.

Phil told me we should tell each other when we were attracted to someone else, so a breakup wouldn’t be a surprise.

Then he spent all summer telling me he wanted three wives: me, his brother’s fiancée, and some other girl who liked him.  We’d go get some fast food and he’d tell me he wanted to take the big-breasted girl at the drive-thru window, into the back of his minivan.

He also told me he was a sex addict who–if we weren’t living together that summer–would not be able to control himself from sleeping around.

When I got upset at him telling me about all these women he wanted to sleep with, he called me “possessive.”

Then, near the end of our relationship, when I told him (as per his instructions, above) that I was attracted to our friend Mike, he went ballistic.  Tried to force me to tell Mike.  Tried to force me to make a decision between us, even though I was already with Phil.

Even got a friend of his, Dirk, to lecture and harangue me because I told Phil I loved him but liked Mike.  It was hypocrisy.

Oh yeah, people like this are everywhere, male and female.  They’re the jealous ones, but accuse you of “inappropriate” behavior while they’re allowed to do whatever they like. 

Don’t let them; if you have never slept with the people they’re jealous about, then get away from them if they won’t listen to reason, because it won’t get better over time. 

As you can see from Sofia Lee’s post, jealousy is used to isolate you from people who see the abuse for what it is, and can help you.


Students Recall Special Schools Run Like Prisons–Reblog: New York Times

From New York Times: Students Recall Special Schools Run Like Prisons:

During the past 15 years, a network of Utah-based “tough love” boarding schools for troubled youths has closed nearly two dozen programs amid claims of child abuse, which the schools have denied.

But Horizon Academy and at least half a dozen other schools with business or family ties to those who ran the network are still operating, and others with those ties are newly opened.

And once again, former students, parents and former staff members say that children at some of the schools, Mr. Chomakhidze among them, have been routinely mistreated.

…..WWASP Survivors Post Note: The WWASP Company may be defunct in name, however their program model and dangerous policies are alive and well in the remaining facilities formerly associated with WWASP.

Many WWASP programs have been reportedly shut down, but the very same staff members who ran these abusive schools are still very much in business…..

Many instances of child abuse, torture and endless torment are reported to WWASP Survivors on a daily basis…

We are not just a few disgruntled teens out for revenge. We are adults, professionals and advocates for the families and youth who have been conned and abused at these facilities.

Our intention is to warn the public in hopes that soon, no child will have to suffer what we and so many other families have been through.

We do not aim to destroy anyone’s reputation, we only speak the truth so that the children who are locked away and refused the right to speak out can be heard and saved by their families.

We do not feel the need for revenge, our time of healing has come and passed because of the work we do here and how many families and survivors we have made connections with.

When Mr. Robinson speaks of those of us who supposedly have a vendetta against him, he fails to mention that he was the man who laid hands on us, who hurt us, who terrorized us for years…

He also fails to mention that he has attempted to sue his victims into silence.

We have every right to speak the truth as is our 1st amendment right, and we see it as our duty to educate the public, encourage our lawmakers and make every effort we can to protect these children from further harm.

The Drunken Stork (Phil’s Controlling Nature Manifests)–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–February 1994, Part 3

Phil was good friends with Dirk, the obnoxious one.  It was maybe the next week after we got together when Phil asked me to go to Muehlmeier, where Dirk lived.  There in the lounge I found him and Dirk sitting at a table near a window facing the lagoon, and playing Magik.  I played a few games with them, losing them all, and it still bored me.


As always, I waited for the guy to say “I love you” first.  But Phil said it even sooner than Peter did: on one of our first dates, as I’ve already mentioned.

This time I didn’t say “ditto” as I did with Peter; often I didn’t say anything.  It was too soon; I didn’t want to confuse infatuation with love, because love meant marriage.

Phil may have complained about this.  Then when I did feel like I loved him, I would answer his “I love you” with “I love you.”

He complained that it didn’t sound right when I didn’t say “I love you too.”  It may have been something about not acknowledging that he loved me; I don’t remember now.


Sometime in February, we went to a party in the Phi-Delt suite for Ralph Z.’s birthday.  Cindy and Catherine had both dated a guy named Jason.  He showed up; Phil kept telling him his name was Bruce.  A year or two later, Jason still remembered him as Bruce at the party.

Phil kept putting his arm around me and talking like the drunken stork from Looney Toons, telling everyone, “We’re going out.”  People thought he really was drunk, but I tried to tell them he was just drinking Mountain Dew.  People got annoyed (even me), and I tried to get him to stop, but it didn’t work.

Phil got up once; Mike sat down and cuddled up next to me.  Mike pretended to try to steal me away, to which Phil said I cost a buck fifty (running gag between us).  Mike said, “That’s all it takes?  A buck fifty?”

All evening, people kept saying, “Shut up, Phil,” especially Pearl.  I was mortified at his behavior, and how he disregarded everyone else’s feelings.

Finally, he left the suite, and someone closed the door behind him, pretending to have thrown him out.  It was a game, though partly they meant it, being so very annoyed by him.  They thought he’d come back in a few minutes.

Instead, we got a phone call.  Mike answered and tried to talk to Phil, but Phil just kept plaintively wailing, “Nyssa.  Nyssa!”  So I had to come to the phone.

I said hello, but for a moment he said nothing.  I tried to get something out of him, but it was harder than pulling a tooth.  Finally he said, “I’m at the phone outside Krueger.  Are you going to come here, or stay there?”

I didn’t want to leave my friends, but didn’t feel I had much of a choice.  He wasn’t coming back to the party, either.  Cindy had long since left the party with Ralph Z. and some others, and then returned to Roanoke after bowling; she found him there at Krueger.  He said to her,

“She’ll come here, if she knows what’s good for her.”

If I’d known Phil said such a thing, I might never have gone back to Krueger for him.  But I didn’t, so I went, and spent long hours comforting him.  I don’t believe I told him that what he did at the party was okay, because I still thought he’d been obnoxious and annoying.  Mike thought he shouldn’t have made me leave the party like that.

Cindy told me his words a few years later (we were co-workers), and that they left not because of Phil being obnoxious, but because they planned to go bowling at a certain time.  It was Ralph’s birthday party, but he left it early, so we all thought Phil was the reason.  Well, okay, maybe he was partly the reason.

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:

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