As I revise and sticky old posts on abuse, I realize: Now it’s about the writing

For weeks or maybe months, I’ve been revising old posts and sticking them to the front page, to bring them to the attention of my readers.  This is essential because my website and blog have been around for years, and have gone through a few format changes.

So there are hundreds of posts and pages, on various subjects, but the older ones are full of formatting issues.

Also, in the “olden” days I tended to write super-long paragraphs, which needed splitting for online readers.  A screen is not like a book….

I don’t have 16 hours a day to spend fixing the formatting, so instead I can do it one post/page at a time.  Slowly but surely, my pages and posts are looking sleek, with lots of white space, no weird formatting, and updated links.

And in the meantime, as I revise two- and three-year-old posts on the Richard/Tracy abuse story and their subsequent stalking of me, I notice something:

I don’t feel that way anymore.  I don’t connect with the grief-filled posts, except in memory.  Even the anger has tempered somewhat.  I have no fear of Richard and Tracy.  It’s just a reminder of how I once felt.

It’s amazing how far I’ve come since those posts were written.  And I can thank blogging for that.  It really does help heal.

So the reason for revising and reposting them, is all about the writing now.  It’s about polishing up the posts to make them more readable, and increasing their visibility through links to other blogs.

Because out there are thousands of people in the same spot I was two years ago, or three years ago, looking for stories like mine to help them along the way.

Perseverating on the abuse and feeling like I can’t move on, is in the past now.  It’s moving forward–but with all sorts of back-material which can still help many readers.  And I see them coming in all the time, along with the occasional subscriber.

 

Goewin the Bard

text and pictures copyright 1995 

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At the time of Beltane, near dusk, Goewin, daughter of Duncan, a young bard, sat on a tree stump to play her flute.  She was a fair maiden with golden hair and sky-blue eyes, and driven to play music on her whistle.

But, though certainly not destined to be a king, she had been given a personal geas by a druid, the seer who foretold her musical ability when she was born: She was not to play any song that would make herself cry.  Because of this, she was known throughout the land for her cheerful music and jigs, and never played sad songs.

(A geas is a taboo; breaking it brings death or dishonor.)

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“Brigit, give me a poem,” she said on this day of Beltane, “something to play my music to.”  Brigit was patron to poets.  Words began to flow from her mouth:

I saw my love on the field,
Newly back from war;
His sword shining in the sun,
His helmet gleaming,
Three heads hanging from his horse.

“Where is my brother Cadwallader?” he said
As he alighted from his horse.
I said, “He went to a feast
An hour past the time,
And therefore lost his head.

“There was great rejoicing when he died.
Whether rejoicing from the mead or dislike,
I do not know!”–“No matter,” said my love;
The land is better for his loss!”

–And there Goewin stopped.  She couldn’t think of how to go on, so she decided to wander around the fields and wait for inspiration.  In a wood, she saw a small shape flitting around.  Curiosity overcame her, and she followed it to discover what it was.

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The shape disappeared near a fairy mound.  Goewin had never seen such a mound before.  She’d heard about them, but with her mind so full of her poem, she didn’t recognize what this was.

A blackbird flew over and perched atop the sidhe (fairy mound).  Goewin said to it, “Is this mound meant to give me my song?”  It began to sing, which she took as a sign.  She sat beside the bird, which didn’t fly away, and began to play and to work on her song.

As she played, a beautiful, tiny young woman appeared before her.  She had slanted eyebrows and eyes, eyes of blue-green, a pointy nose and a small mouth.  Her hair hung in red-gold spirals.  A golden torque was around her neck, and her dress looked as if made of silken leaves.

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“Your music is enchanting,” she said, “and light and cheerful.  We have heard it within the sidhe.”

“Within the sidhe?” Goewin cried, finally recognizing the fairy mound.  Then hands reached from behind her and grabbed her.  The fairies carried her off and into the sidhe–their home.

So Goewin entered part of the glorious realms of the Otherworld.  At first she was frightened, but the fairies made her feel at home.

Elva, the beautiful elf with the red-gold hair, being the daughter of the king of the elves, gave her the title of chief bard to the fairies.

Goewin played for them as they desired; her happy and beautiful songs delighted them.  They had her play as often as she could without getting a sore throat or a light head, and nursed her throat so she could sing for them as well.

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Goewin found her home to be the sidhe.  Here was a place more wondrous than she’d ever imagined.  The sidhe looked so small from the outside, but within it was the kingdom of Elva’s father, Aubrey.  Goewin composed more lyrics within the sidhe:

An honor ’tis to be bard to the elves,
Fed by fairies, nursed by nixies.
Wander the world and you won’t find
The wonders of the Otherworld.

Birds of all types, birds with purple feathers, peacocks–
They flit here and there and sing with my flute.
Gold houses and a copper castle,
Green, fertile fields that know no blight.

No sweeter music is ever heard than this of the birds;
No sweeter song than the ones the gate-tree hums to you.
Tree of glass, topped with green glass leaves,
Gives you shade from a sun of gold.

And at night, a silver moon shines.
It shines on the doors of lapis lazuli
At the east, the west, the north and the south.
It shines on fairy feasts and dancing.

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I go to a feast, with tables laid
With wine, pork, mutton and bread.
The elves cover me with silken, leaf dresses, yellow and blue and red;
They give me jeweled torques with gold and red gold, laurels for my head, a gold branch for my hand.

As I play, the elves dance in rings in the fields,
Little lights leaping in the moonlight.
May Day every day
That they choose.

An elfin poet named Brí, son of the chieftain Bran, soon caught Goewin’s eye–a goodly youth with hair like flax and eyes of sea green, a long nose, and muscular arms; tall for an elf, but not gawky.

His eye was keen like that of the eagle that perched on his shoulder, little Craig as he called it.  Brí wore a leaf tunic, leather shoes and a magnificent tuigen (poet’s mantle)–the lower part made of swan skins, the neck of a swan hanging down from the collar and down the back.  In his hand he carried a gold branch.

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Though Goewin’s own tuigen was made all of swan and her dress was made of the finest silk leaves, this tuigen made her eyes widen.  Here was a chief poet, worthy of her; whenever she saw him, her songs turned to love ballads.  She hoped to work a kind of love charm on him through her music.

One day, Goewin saw Elva gaze after Brí when he passed by, and heard a sigh that showed she loved him, too.  Goewin knew it would be risky to compete with Elva, but she had never seen so worthy a youth as Brí.  She would fight for him, even with the daughter of the king of the elves.

Elva soon realized she had a rival, and that her rival was preferred.  This enraged her.  One evening at a feast, as Goewin played and the fairies danced, Goewin began singing a love song.  It described Brí, though it did not name him.  Brí recognized himself in it, and danced over to her.  After the song, he kissed her.

Elva leaped from her purple glass chair, rage in her eyes, and said, “I invite you to my father’s kingdom, and this is how you repay me?  You steal the man I wanted to make my husband!”

“No one, mortal or fairy, will do such a thing to my daughter,” King Aubrey said.

“Banish her forever from the sidhe, father!” Elva said.

“So I shall.”

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He called over a black horse, which carried Goewin out of the sidhe and dropped her onto the ground.  She began to sob when she saw the horse disappear into the mound, and the entrance hide itself from her.  Her silken clothes turned to the frock she’d worn before entering the sidhe.  Her head and throat ached with tears.

She found her way back home, and discovered that what had been months to her, were centuries to her people.  Her family and friends had long since died and turned to dust.  She ran back to the mound, all alone in the world, separate from Brí and even from the world of the sidhe.

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She calmed herself and sat top the mound as she had once before, and began to play her flute.  She hoped to comfort herself with music, but played along with her grief, until she began to play a melancholy melody.  She composed lyrics for it in her mind:

Gone, gone, all are gone;
All my life has gone with them.
My family’s gone, all from the earth;
I can look, but never find them.
I’ve seen their tombs.  My house is crumbled.
The people have all forgotten me.
Goewin daughter of Duncan, who is she? they say.
My cheerful, charming melodies have not survived.
I am the chief poet of the elves!
Or I was.  And my songs have gone with the wind to the Cailleach.

Oh, the agony of being forgotten as if I’d never been.
The elven world is closed to me–
My love is exiled from me.
No more shall I play for the elves–
For the fairies who loved me,
For palaces of purple glass,
For trees that hum my tunes.
I’ll die before a day is gone for them,
And I’ll be gone–gone–forgotten
By the elves I made happy–

And here a tear fell from Goewin’s eye.

Thus Goewin daughter of Duncan broke her geas, and died.

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Her body lay over the mound, and Brí carried it off to bury it.  Elva felt terrible about her death, and allowed the fairies of the sidhe to mourn for her.  In time, Brí forgave her because of her abject heart, and after a year they married.

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Celtic Class: Knotwork, Tin Whistles, SCA–and Drinking from a Skull–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–January 1995, Part 2

Sharon wrote in the Journal,

Nyssa, answering your inquiry about how I used to see you.  For a long time you were very quiet and never said anything.  You sat with all of us at meals but you never joined in the conversations.  We didn’t really know you.  You were a part of the group, but you were a stranger for a long time. 

I asked you to room with me this year for a reason.  I didn’t know you and I could tell there was an extremely interesting person in that shy, reserved exterior.  And I was right.

You talk so much more than you used to.  You are a completely different person than I had once thought.  I love the ‘you’ that I have gotten to know this past year.  Meeting the real ‘you’ has been one of the highlights of my year 🙂 .

I wrote,

I’m surprised you say you didn’t really know me before and that I didn’t talk much. It seemed different to me. I had long talks with you and Pearl and others, and I felt closer to you all than I did to almost everyone else. Like here were people that actually knew me. Now I’m a bit confused about the whole thing.

Sharon replied,

I didn’t mean to make you doubt yourself or the way you see yourself now or in the past. You really didn’t talk to me as much as you talked to Pearl (and Cindy when you lived in Krueger).

You did talk a lot when you were with one person, but I usually saw you with the “group” and you really didn’t say much. But that’s not bad. Usually I don’t say much in the midst of a large conversation. I just can’t keep up and my mind goes blank.

****

I was the only one in the apartment with a Winterim class.  Sharon and Pearl were probably working at their work-study jobs, giving them an excuse to stay in the apartment during Winterim.  Tara had an internship, and also stayed in the apartment.

For me, the studying wasn’t at all bad, though, because I enjoyed the Celtic Roots class.  I think I often read the chapters at work in the morning.  In the afternoon, I practiced playing the tin whistle while my friends were out of the room.

Yes, studying the tin whistle was part of the class, since Dr. Bard, the teacher, played French folk music with his wife.  They even played at the campus Open Mike and at gigs around the area.

Dr. Bard, a 30ish, social science teacher with glasses, had red hair and a beard, and combed his hair down over a bald spot to look like bangs.

We had two textbooks, little paperbacks.  The Celts by Nora Chadwick was one.  The class and even the teacher agreed that this, though informative, was very dry.  Still, I found it useful when writing my novel Tojet.

We liked The Elements of The Celtic Tradition by Caitlin Matthews a lot better.  It was a fun book, going into the religion of the Celts, from pagan days to after they converted to Christianity.

She, a Druid, included exercises in the back of the book for such things as finding your totem or your destiny through meditations.  But in the rest of the book I noticed no bias for or against any religion.

Helene and Catherine had Celtic class along with me, and I would usually sit between them.  The class was held in the Honors classroom, room number 24 in Old Main.  We had a lot of fun in that class, and would talk about it afterwards.  It seemed everyone in the class had a good time.

I believe we all had to pay for our tin whistles, but once we did and Dr. Bard gave them to us, we’d practice simple songs for the first fifteen minutes of each class.  The tin whistle played like a recorder, with very little wind, which was good for me because I didn’t have enough wind in me to play anything more strenuous.  (It’s hard enough for me just to talk loud.)

When the course ended, Dr. Bard asked how many of us would continue to play our tin whistles.  Most of us raised our hands, including me.  However, though I still have the music sheets we used, along with sheets showing examples of knotwork, I haven’t played my tin whistle since 1998.

This class helped me get over Phil by giving me something fun to do that wouldn’t remind me of him, and by proving I didn’t need him to have a good life.

One day, in fact, Catherine and I and maybe Helene went to check mail in the Campus Center, as we did every day (though I, of course, couldn’t check mine there anymore).  We took out our tin whistles and practiced a particularly challenging and beautiful tune, which we learned in class that day.

The door to the Pub was across from the mailboxes, so I happened to see that Phil was in the Pub.  I hoped he’d see and hear us, that he’d realize I moved on and was now doing new and interesting things.  I wanted him surprised to see me standing there playing a tin whistle.  I wanted him to think he’d lost a talented, imaginative, and intelligent person, and would never get her back again.

We were supposed to practice our tin whistles outside of class.  One day soon after we started playing them in class, Brigitte said she was practicing hers in her dorm room one day when a girl went out into the hall and cried, “What is that?”

On probably the 18th or 19th of January, Dr. Bard taught us how to draw Celtic knotwork.  Mine wasn’t very good, but during class I began to practice.  During the lectures and while we listened to various types of modern Celtic music, I drew knotwork all over my plain Roanoke folder (which was my Winterim folder) and colored it with my yellow highlighter.

At night, I filled in the knotwork with other colors as well, using a set of markers.  I drew spirals, knotwork, snakes and torques, and I even filled in various letters and other things with the highlighter.  In the end, it was a folder to be proud of.  Of course, by then I was probably done with the course, so I used it for other things.

We sometimes listened to old- or new-fashioned Celtic music in class.  When we did, there was little else for us to do except listen.  Helene said to me once, “Dr. Bard should notice how uncomfortable people get during the music, and maybe play it in the background while we’re doing other things.”  We liked the music, but it would be more pleasant to listen to it that way.

At least several people in the class were Christians like us.  One girl, however, was vehemently anti-Christian.  She was bad-tempered and seemed to like nothing better than to sit there and rip on Christians.

She spoke of a Christian couple who used to live next door to her when she was a child, and treated her awfully.  We Christians wondered what they had done to her, and wished she’d realize that one couple did not represent all Christians or Christianity.

When a group of Wiccans spoke to the class, she was intrigued and asked many questions.  But religion should not be about running away from or rebelling against another religion.  It should be about true beliefs.

We learned about the head-cult of the Celts, that they displayed the heads of defeated enemies and sometimes even drank out of their skulls.  Dr. Bard also told us that the one who came late to a revel (or meeting?) got his head chopped off.

I looked at Catherine, and we joked that if we lived back then, we would be dead before we reached age 21.  I drew a stick-figure cartoon about this: First there were the feasters, then some guy came late and got his head chopped off, and then the feasters went back to their revel.  I wish I could find it now.

On the 16th, three speakers explained to us the modern-day Wiccan religion as it relates to the Celtic nature religions.  I wasn’t sure what to think about them at first because at least one of them wore a black T-shirt and an upright pentacle on a chain around his neck.  This one also had long, dark hair, and looked to be no older than his 20s or 30s.

(I knew nothing about the pentacle other than its supposed “Satanist” associations.)  The other two were a married couple, not yet middle-aged, who were Christian Wiccan.  Dr. Bard had invited them.  (I have no idea what Dr. Bard’s religious beliefs were, by the way.)

(For the truth about the pentacle and pentagram, click here.)

They gave fascinating information about Neo-Pagans and their beliefs, and how Celtic nature religions fit into the Middle Ages.  The class took notes.  The speakers said the Church Christianized certain holidays to help keep new, formerly pagan converts from turning back to their old ways.

Now, since then, I’ve heard various theories about why holidays and pagan deities were Christianized.  This is one; another is that the pagans-turned-Christians themselves made deities into saints and pagan holidays into Christian ones because they didn’t want to give up their beliefs.

Another view is that the Christian missionaries were wise and adaptable in incorporating the local festivals rather than just forbidding them.  And, of course, a view you commonly hear is that the Christian church just wanted to steal everybody else’s religious practices.  I reject that view wholeheartedly.  See here for more information.

The speakers said some Wiccans, like them, actually believe in both Christianity and Wicca, and are called Christian Wiccans.

They also explained some of the magic they use, that it’s a science, that it isn’t always so much casting a spell as it is positive thinking and changing yourself to get what you want, just as a businessperson might wear power suits to be more successful.

They also explained other kinds of magic that actually used spells and the powers of creation.  They said love spells weren’t charms, but learning how to change yourself and your traits to be more attractive to the person you love, so he/she will want to date you.

One of the traditional students, a girl, her religion unknown to me, said, “But if you have to change yourself to be more attractive to this person, aren’t you better off finding someone else who appreciates you the way you are?”  She was right, of course, though I don’t remember what, if anything, the speakers said in reply.

One day, on Catherine’s request, a friend of hers from the SCA, Ayesha, came to speak to the class.  (I can use her name because she has long since passed away.)  She was about 35, with short, dark hair.

I’d just heard about the SCA, or Society for Creative Anachronisms, a medieval re-creation group, over Christmas.  A couple met in the South Bend SCA group, then the Shire of White Waters, and had an SCA wedding ceremony.  The South Bend Tribune ran an article about it.  I thought the SCA sounded neat.

Though my friends apparently knew all along, I had no idea that Catherine used to go to SCA meetings when we were freshmen.  Ayesha was a member of the Catherine’s group, which I later discovered was a certain shire, based in S– and M–.

After Ayesha spoke to the class, I went with Catherine as she helped Ayesha take her speech props back to her car in the Jubilee parking lot.  They tried to talk me into joining the SCA, and I thought about giving it a shot.

Catherine told me there were “hot guys in the SCA, and they love to flirt with you.”  This attracted me: Now that several months had passed since the breakup, the Vampire train had derailed, and neither of my crushes were interested, I felt ready to find a new man or two.

She said the meetings would suit me because they were always late and laid-back.  They’d go on for hours, constantly getting sidetracked, and then someone would say, “Hey, isn’t Star Trek:TNG on?” and turn it on.

(She hadn’t been to a meeting for some time, so neither of us knew they’d become more businesslike and boring.)

These SCA people were also like Catherine and loved to hug.

I wrote a story for my presentation, which was in place of a final.  I sat down with paper and my Iona (Christian Celtic) tapes, made a list of Celtic names I found, and wrote a story about a girl named Gwyn Duncan.  I thought Gwyn was a girl’s name, but later found out it was probably male.

The story was short and simple, with a few sets of lyrics and a typically Celtic, unhappy ending.  It was about a girl taken by the sidhe, or fairies.  It took a few hours to finish, and once started and put into a Celtic mood by Iona, I didn’t want to break the spell for anything.

Here it is, including my pictures.

I later revised the story, typed it up, and decorated it with various Celtic-style pictures.  I read it in class on the 27th.  As I read, I tried to forget myself and just read, because if I remembered I was reading in front of a classroom full of students I’d get nervous and self-conscious.

When I finished I passed it around before giving it to the teacher, so everyone could see the pictures.  I didn’t know what people would think of my story, and feared they’d think it was stupid, but this wasn’t the case at all.

Dr. Bard liked it and gave me 50 points out of 50, along with this note: “A good story integrating much Celtic terminology and imagery.  I enjoyed reading it.  Good work!”

Helene complimented me on it and its simplicity, though she didn’t like Brì marrying Elva at the end.  I think one reason for the sad ending was my own cynicism about love at the time.  Another reason was to make it seem more Celtic, since Celtic stories were typically depressing.

I’ve made a few minor changes: Gwyn Duncan became Goewin daughter of Duncan, the tin whistle became a flute–basically, grammar fixes and things which fit better historically.  I also added short definitions, since the story was originally written for a class familiar with the Celtic terms.

One of the non-trad women in the class made a variety of Celtic foods for her presentation.  She feared she hadn’t made them right, but I told her they were delicious.  There were different types of breads, including one that was called barmbrak or something like that, and there may have been other kinds of food as well.

Remember the girl who detested Christians?  She did a Celtic pre-battle ritual.  She even passed around a real, human skull full of sparkling grape juice.  She said it was clean, but I passed it on without drinking from it.  Ewww!  Catherine and Helene also took a pass.  But Dr. Bard took a big swig.

Brigitte did her presentation on her clan’s history (she had a Scottish last name).  She discovered that it was related to Kenneth MacAlpine.  After class I told her we were probably related, because my own ancestry goes back to MacAlpine through Duncan I.

Some people said Brigitte had a crush on James, whom she knew from Circle K.  James was sure popular that year!  He wasn’t a handsome stud, either, so you can’t blame it on that.  Some men don’t have to be handsome to be desirable.

I heard that she was amusingly obvious about her crush, and asked James to take her places all the time.  She succeeded, and the latest Roanoke alumni book shows that James married her and moved to Green Bay.

Dr. Bard showed us beautiful medallions his mother made, which were painted with figures of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John from the Book of Kells.  They had metal loops at the back so they could be strung onto necklaces.  He told us we could buy them for about $3 (if I remember correctly).

I couldn’t get mine until at least Wednesday, February 15, after Winterim was already over, and he was afraid I would never buy it, but I was just in time to get the St. John.  I chose that one because I liked the eagle, and it was the prettiest.  Catherine bought the St. Mark.  (Anyone who knows us personally knows why this is ironic and funny.)

I strung the medallion on a spare chain.  Maybe it belonged to one of my old watches, or maybe it was a chain my Irish penpal sent me for Christmas 1991.  Later, Cugan cut me a leather thong for it instead, making it more “period” for SCA events.  (More about him later.)

Index 
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:

 

When our abusers get honored: Dang newspaper tells me about my abusers

Recently, the newspaper told me Tracy graduated college, and her major.  I’ve also seen her back in town recently, right in the same parking lot I pulled into.

From various IPs linked conclusively to them, it looks like one of them has been in town this whole past year, even while she went to college on the other side of the state–even though her IP location came from a city near the college for much of the year.

Her main IP address is screwy, because the locations keep changing even though the IP does not.  Sometimes she’s in Eau Claire, or Madison, or Rochester MN….

And now the same IP shows up as Fond du Lac, then Madison, then Fond du Lac, then Madison…. Other local IPs from that Internet Service Provider, including mine, always show as Fond du Lac.

She recently used one other IP that showed Missouri, but it was identified by my stat trackers as her cell phone–and she used that same phone on my blog a short time later, from Fond du Lac.

And sometimes I get hits from Texas, someone who has used Richard and Tracy’s unique search terms.

I have no clue what’s going on.  All I know is that now she’s graduated and was in Fond du Lac again back in June.

I’ve heard of people leaving town to get away from their abusers, but that’s not possible here: We own this house, and were in this town long before they were.

The other day, I open up the newspaper and it tells me that Tracy got some kind of honor at her college.  A couple of years ago, it said she was in an honor society of some kind.

I did not want to see that.  She does not deserve honors after the way she has treated so many people over the years.

But unfortunately, academic-based honors often have little to do with the kind of person you are, and are based solely on grade point averages, so even sociopaths and various forms of abusers can get degrees and honors.

Abuse victims want justice.  We don’t want our abusers getting accolades.  Just ask the daughter of Woody Allen what that’s like:

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime.

That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself.

That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong.

Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines.

Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart.

For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away.

But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Just ask any girl who’s been raped in college, but her abuser went on to get a degree.  Even a degree seems too good for our abusers.  This does actually happen, as a victim’s concerns are minimized and the rapist is allowed to graduate:

Woman is accused by college of harassing her rapist

A graduating senior at Central College who was found responsible for “non-consensual sex” with a fellow student was given a choice: be expelled a month before graduation or stay in school with the conditions that he not walk in the ceremony and allow the college to notify a future employer and other schools that he’d violated the code of conduct….

A year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that students deemed “responsible” for sexual assaults on campus often face little or no punishment from school judicial systems, while their victims’ lives are frequently turned upside down. –Lee Rood, Central College lets rape suspect select punishment

 

Scott is a graduating senior, so some people may wonder why I care anymore. He’ll be gone soon enough, so what if the school didn’t do anything?

When he was first found responsible, I was told that the purpose of these sanctions was to help him learn from this. It is clear to me he hasn’t learned anything, and that scares me.

When he gets his diploma, he will officially be a representative of what Macalester stands for, and I fear that he will represent my school as a place that protects rapists at the expense of the people they victimize.

If I return to Macalester for my senior year in the fall and get my diploma next year, I will also be representative of Macalester.

For better or worse, I will be tied to Scott forever. I will also be tied to what I see as a pattern of survivors of sexual assault who are forced to watch their school choose to protect the future of criminals over their own safety.

My fear is that if I stay, I will become a silent accomplice to rape. Not just to my own rape, but to the future people I believe Scott will victimize. –Anna Binkovitz, Sharing a degree with your rapist

Just finding out that my ex Phil is a math teacher or professor, makes me cringe.  Him, molding young minds?  The guy who psychologically abused me and even tried to sexually assault me several times?  And of course, to be a math teacher, he had to get a couple of degrees.

Years ago, I told people I hoped he would become a monk, so he could not hurt more women or, as a priest, advise married couples.  Instead, he went on to marry, have two kids, and get divorced, making me wonder how that woman and her children have been abused.

My bullies, Richard and Tracy, denied the truth of what I wrote in this blog about their many abuses of me and others.  I had already told Social Services about the abuse in their home.  They threatened to sue, and began to stalk me at church for a while, then by keeping tabs on my blog.

And that’s despite the fact–or maybe because–Richard had been convicted of choking one of his kids, proving I wrote the truth.  I kept my blog up despite all the hell they put me through, because the truth needed to be told.  I told my friends and family about it, too.

The Forum we all used to belong to, was convinced of my credibility when they saw the facts of Richard’s case on the state’s and newspaper’s websites.

Yet still Richard and Tracy imagined they could somehow threaten and scare me into believing I was a liar.  Apparently they were the only ones who did not see Richard’s conviction as proof I was telling the truth about domestic violence in their household.

Yet I opened up the paper yesterday and read that Tracy had received some sort of honor at college this past school year.

I previously learned that Richard, while convicted, plea-bargained and got merely a fine and year’s probation.

So he’s out walking free despite nearly killing a 9-year-old girl, and I still see the kids with them both despite Tracy’s verbal (and sometimes physical) abuse, despite my detailed report describing how Tracy had been tormenting the children and exposing them to her domestic violence against Richard.

I want these people in jail for abusing their kids and terrorizing me.

I want Richard to have gotten the sentence he deserved: many years in prison, which he would’ve received if he hadn’t plea-bargained.

I want Tracy put in jail for punching Richard.

I want them to either shape up or get their kids put with better parents.

I want them to apologize to me on their knees.

I do NOT want them moving on with life, getting honors, manipulating and abusing other people, being told how wonderful they are, continuing to physically abuse and psychologically torture and scar their children.  (They have hurt a lot of other people besides me.)

One consolation is, while Richard wanted to become an Orthodox priest, my priest tells me that’s impossible because of the child abuse conviction.  And a friend who sometimes has to help hire people, was directed to screen out anyone with domestic abuse on their record, because of the nature of the job.

It boggles my mind (and my husband’s) that Tracy got a degree in business management.  HER, a MANAGER?  She can’t even manage her own household or temper!  I fear for anyone who, in the future, is put under her supervision–just as I fear for her children under her supervision.  I pray for her children’s safety nearly every day.

And I’m not the only one who has to deal with this.  I see the same frustrations, anger at the injustice of it all, permeating other abuse blogs.  For example, this one, because this woman, a PTSD sufferer, was spiritually abused by a predatory pastor, then reported him–yet now he’s been made senior pastor at a new church:

Just found out that Pastor Andrew Allison has been promoted to Singleton Baptist Church

I am really angry and I have a right to be. It is righteous anger.

Allison also occasionally checks up on her LinkedIn profile, which is creepy.  Yes, those of us who have been abused know how creepy it is to be “checked up on” by our abusers!  I get “checked up on” every week or so by mine!  Keeping my blog up has required a lot of courage, and has earned me a strength I did not have before.

This kind of thing happens in our churches, and it should not.  It’s not just a Catholic problem.

It’s also not just a Christian problem:

Narrow Bridge, movie addressing problem of Jewish leaders who are predators

Hopefully the more we spread awareness of these things, through our blogs or other means, the more things will begin to change.

Already there is an outcry about abusive pastors going on to other churches, or keeping their current posts.

Abuse victims of all kinds are spreading the word that this evil exists, so that hopefully society can begin to stamp it out.

“Narcissist” is becoming a household word, and Cluster B (abusive) personality disorders are becoming better-known.

Talk hard!

 

 

Wondering just how many of Richard’s stories were lies….

Sometimes narcissists tell you all sorts of stories to make you think they’re the most interesting person in the world.  But a little digging proves them to be false, or taken from other people’s lives.

I have spent the last 6 years combing the Net for verification of Richard‘s wild stories about his past.  (Yes, even while we were still friends, I doubted them.)

If they are true, they would reveal corruption in high places.

But if they are false, they would have been meant to make himself look more awesome in my eyes while brainwashing me into becoming anti-liberal.  Because after all, liberal presidents were doing horrible things while conservatives fixed them.

And, well, it provides some amusement when I’m bored.

Doubtful story #1: That his brother invented a car which runs completely without gas, which was about to be introduced publicly with the help of Bono, but Al Gore blocked it.

But for years I have searched the Net and found absolutely nothing to support this.  Rather, I discovered that such cars have been in development for decades, publicly–and without Al Gore blocking them.

Also doubtful because his brother supposedly would have a large salary because of this, but when Richard needed a large sum of money, I asked why his brother didn’t give it to him–and he said he didn’t have that salary yet.

This was two years after he told me his brother had been offered this salary.  This is one of the reasons I now highly suspect Richard of running a con job on my husband and me.

Doubtful story #2: That Obama changed policies dealing with a certain tribal group that plundered its wealth.

But research I uncovered told a different story in a tribal newspaper, that Obama had resolved this issue some time ago, to the tribe’s satisfaction.

I don’t go into more detail here, to hide identities, so sorry if this is too vague.

Also, apparently some tribal members were getting jailed for speaking out about this.  This violates human rights if true, but is it true?

Doubtful story #3: That Clinton signed an executive order that Border Patrol guards were to shoot illegally crossing immigrants on sight, but Bush rescinded it.

I have combed the Net for years, especially recently as some Border Patrol controversies have hit the news.

I discovered that yes, Border guards have indeed been doing all sorts of illegal acts, such as shooting people without justification.

But this has been an ongoing problem for decades, NOT starting with Clinton, NOR ending with Bush.  And I found absolutely no evidence of Clinton issuing such an order.

On the contrary, organizations such as Amnesty International have been quite vocal for years about any sort of mistreatment of illegals by border guards, and I think they would’ve been able to uncover if such an order justified the guards’ behavior.

Rather, the Border Patrol is often criticized because these actions are NOT legal and they are not being properly screened/trained/disciplined.

There are even people (usually the more radical right-wingers) who say the Border Patrol is hindered because it never has been allowed to shoot on sight, but should be.

A certain story which Richard told me, must have led to an outcry from somebody, a disciplinary process, a report to Amnesty, something, because everything I find says that he was NOT allowed to do that.  So yes, some border guards do these things, but not with the President’s permission.

This is the most frustrating part of his stories: the lack of a means to verify them.  Some I can toss aside as some fanciful BS he told me to see how gullible I was, such as that story about the sweat lodge…. (I won’t go into detail, but he knows what I mean.)

And I can chuckle at the very idea that he would be somehow connected to, or have stories about, every single interesting person/activity on this planet.

Let’s see…he knows ghost hunters with pictures that prove ghosts/chupacabra…

AND knives were thrown at his ghost-hunting party by a spirit…

AND he was related to an guy in the Freemasons who could prove their link to the Illuminati…

AND made a successful movie…

AND wrote a movie that was nearly made by a huge director but Richard never got around to a rewrite…

AND gave ideas to a friend who turned it into a popular movie, but conveniently kept Richard’s name out of the credits…

AND knew practically everybody in Hollywood…

AND was personally addressed by a demon during an exorcism…

AND some guy sicced demons on him when he was a kid….

I can just figure he was either lying or taking stories of other people’s lives, because these stories strain credibility and I have no one to confirm or deny them.  The people he grew up with, are thousands of miles away from me.

Some stories I can verify through Todd, who either witnessed them himself, or Richard told Todd these things as well.  This is why I am reasonably confident that Richard was indeed in the Mafia and was once a preacher–and that his previous residence was far worse than I ever saw.

Some other stories I can reasonably believe because of things Todd and I both witnessed, ie, that the abuses by Richard’s wife Tracy got far worse than what I ever saw, and that she and Richard have domestic disputes.

I don’t know what to make of his hypnotism claims.  Was he just putting me on, or did he really do this?  Or was he like my ex Peter, truly believing in his ESP abilities, but that doesn’t mean he really could do this?

But the above stories have more sinister implications about the government, and would be easier to confirm or deny through news organizations or blogs, and that drives me to keep searching.  SOMEBODY out there should know if they’re true or not, without having to be connected with Richard.

If anybody has concrete evidence about these things, I would love to see it.  No, it won’t turn me conservative, because my liberal ideals are based on my system of morals and much research.  It’s more for curiosity.  And no, I won’t approve political rants.

More on narcissists and their personas.

 

 

 

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