Reflecting on A Year Ago….

In preparation for the third Hobbit movie, my family has been watching the previous two installments.  Tonight, we saw movie #2.  As Bilbo went up against the dragon, I remembered where I was last year as I watched this in the theater:

I was just beginning to revise and re-post the story of Richard and Tracy.  I saw my depression, Richard’s betrayal, my loss of a best/close friend (Richard) because of this, discovering that my spiritual mentor (Richard) was never actually my friend, loneliness, doubts about God, and Tracy’s bullying and abuse, as the Dragon.

I was Bilbo fighting it, wondering how I would ever get out of it.  I was Bilbo telling my story now, so others can know what happened and glean their own lessons from it, for fighting their own dragon.

Tonight, as I watched the dragon again, and little Bilbo finding his courage to fight goblins, Gollum and the dragon, I realized that those feelings were no longer in my head.

(I also noted that I could understand people’s expressions much better now.  As a child/teenager, I often said I preferred books so I could find out what people were thinking.  Now I can see it better.)

Sure my story is still about the dragon I had to face with courage and fortitude.  But it is now a story that is done, just as Bilbo could relate his story years later without the fear he once felt as the events took place.

The dragon has been slain.  The depression is gone, nothing now but a distant memory, not even a recent one anymore.

The loneliness still comes up now and again, but is diminished because I am building various friendships and acquaintances at various levels now.

Somebody in the writer’s group called me his friend, and he and his dad cry out welcomes when I come in.  The president said he likes my quiet and respectful demeanor, and there is no reason to change that because some people don’t understand it.

Richard’s betrayal only stings a little bit now.  It still leaves me with sadness at times, but more and more over the years since, I have realized the magnitude not only of his betrayal, but of his deceptions.  I see only too clearly the Pharisee behind the false piety.

I just plain don’t care anymore.

Just as I used to feel so hurt after severed relationships that I wanted to die, but eventually, I forgot all about that person, and moved on.  I might e-mail an ex occasionally or friend him on Facebook, but all the pain, hurt and even desire for his company, is gone.

Just as I was sad when my former boss left the company in a spectacularly bad fashion, and I missed him, but now I barely ever think of him.  Especially after I found out his wife divorced him for being abusive, and he went to jail for threatening and violent behavior.

I still have many doubts about God, and often about Orthodoxy as well, but I have stayed put in my church.

In it are people, services and events connecting me to this church, as they have begun to depend on my husband and me for many things: Bible readings, making candles, running the website, washing dishes at Greekfest, etc.

I feel that if I left, many people would be not only disappointed, but in the lurch.

I was once scared of Tracy.  This is why I never spoke up to her face about her abuses of others or her treatment of me.  This is why I did not stand up when she smacked her toddler upside the head, or started yanking/spanking/slapping/screaming at two little girls who had done absolutely nothing wrong.

I feared what she would do to me if I did speak up.  This is why I went into a tailspin of fear after she found my blog, threatened and began stalking me.

Now I no longer fear her.

Heck, now she’s become more of a symbol to me than a real person: a symbol of a pathetically self-deceived abuser who tries to force everyone to see her as what she wishes she were.  But instead of fear and loathing, now I feel something else:

Sometimes, it’s a laugh at how pitiful her antics were, at her pathetic attempts to be superior and keep others under her control, at how obvious she was.

Sometimes, it’s fascination at how someone can act the way she does, as I study the Cluster B disorders which obviously drive her behavior, no longer as an abuse victim but like a curious scientist.

But it’s a feeling which is oddly divorced from the fact that her abuses happened to me.  It’s not forgiveness exactly, but more like when you’ve watched a movie: You feel pain, anger, joy, etc., while watching the movie, as if you were the characters.

But when the movie is over, these emotions are now detached from you because it was only a movie, and the characters live only in one’s imagination.

In my case, the events and things I described really happened, and they happened to me, but when I revise old posts or remember something, I feel as if it were only a movie I watched once long ago.

Basically, the same way I feel when revising or writing memoirs about abuse or other things.

If these people ever repent of what they did, my Orthodox faith compels me to forgive.  So I have one little window perpetually open for that, never closing it because that could condemn me to Hell. 

I know they will read this, and just want to be clear on that in case–maybe twenty or thirty years from now–they reflect on their actions and feel remorse out of fear of Hell. 

But forgiveness does NOT necessarily mean restoring friendship.  I no longer have that pull toward Richard which would make me desire friendship in the least.

But the healing has finally come, without forgiveness.  The moving on.  The dismissal of all former feelings of fear and sadness, with no trace left over.  Like when every last bit of snow is finally gone mid-spring, even from the mall parking lot.

The dragon is gone and nothing is left but the gold.


The Love Rectangle–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–February 1995, Part 6

Sharon and I got into Absolutely Fabulous.  She said British shows were funnier than American shows because they just had the humor, and didn’t try to make a point or have a moral or deal with social issues.

Sometime during this period, Krafter and Stimpy came over to the apartment to watch my copy of the Doctor Who episode “Snakedance,” which included Nyssa.  Krafter explained to Stimpy that Nyssa was the hottest of the female assistants, and I said, “Yep.”

Stimpy looked at me and wondered why I, a female, said that about another female, and I said, “I’m just supporting what he said, because I’m [nicknamed] Nyssa.”  Of course I’d want to support my online-handle-namesake.

While I still wondered which one I wanted, Krafter or Stimpy, I talked with Stimpy online and he said Krafter was a Buddhist.  He was joking, but I didn’t know that at the time.

I feared to find out what religion either of them had, in case it was not Christian.  I didn’t want to have to give up on both of them, or find out that Sharon and I were going after the wrong guys.

Sharon eventually decided to see Krafter even though he wasn’t a Christian: He was searching, and interested in Christianity, even though he was still undecided about it.

I decided not to deal with the religious issue with Stimpy, not if we weren’t having a serious relationship.

I may have already decided along with Pearl that dating a non-Christian was okay, but getting serious with one wasn’t, because when you’re dating someone it may never get serious, but a serious relationship could lead to love and/or marriage.

Why set yourself up for pain by being serious with someone you’re going to have to break up with anyway?  Christians are forbidden from marrying non-Christians.  (Some do anyway, but I have no idea how they’re able to, unless they can get dispensations or they’re in congregations with looser restrictions.)

This is one reason why being in a “Christian” school with few Christian men to choose from, was so discouraging–and one reason why I had so few dates/boyfriends from high school through college.

Once I learned about the restriction midway through high school, I had to stop liking guys who weren’t Christians, which cut my potential “dating pool” way back, because most of the guys I knew were agnostic, atheist or some other religion.

And if the Christian guys I knew, did not want to date me, I had nobody left.

Now Sharon and I found ourselves in a strange and amusing situation: a love rectangle.  You usually hear about love triangles; well, this time, four people were involved.

It seemed we both kept liking the same guy at the same time–sometimes Krafter, sometimes Stimpy.  I thought Krafter was cute, but Sharon thought Stimpy was cute.  She didn’t think Krafter was cute, though I thought Stimpy was cute.  Yet as Stimpy later confessed to me, he and Krafter each ended up with the girl he wanted.

Once or twice, Sharon talked to Stimpy online, and he seemed to be coming on to her.  I didn’t know what to think about that, because I had the impression he liked me best.  We weren’t sure either of them had a preference.

One day, I sent Krafter, Stimpy and probably Speaker cybercards for Valentine’s Day.  There were three kinds of Valentine’s Day cards on TCB.

There were also other cards for birthdays (a big cake with candles) or other things, and you could even send someone a cyber flower or pizza.  (The pizza card spelled it “pizzia,” which became a sort of in-joke for me.)

When choosing a cybercard to send each guy, I didn’t go for the card with a big, beating heart that read, “I love you.”  I chose cards that a friend or flirt would send another friend.  When Sharon found out about this, however, she said,

“You should send Stimpy the ‘I love you’ card.”

Silly me, I thought she was serious, and prepared the card.  Then I chickened out and sent a different one.  She then confessed she wanted me to sabotage my chances with Stimpy by scaring him off.  It was hilarious.

Krafter and Stimpy both began to act like they wanted me.  Then Sharon finally said to me on Valentine’s Day, “You can have them both!  If they both want you, then I don’t want either one of them.”

That afternoon or early evening, I went online and found Krafter.  He asked if I wanted to be his Valentine.  (Maybe I was just the first girl to go online.)

I wrote, “But what about Stimpy?”  I now wanted Stimpy most, and didn’t want to disappoint him if he wanted me to be his Valentine.

Krafter finally sighed and wrote, “I’ll try for Sharon, then.”

I wrote I didn’t know about that, that she didn’t seem to want to date either of them.  But Krafter began singing her praises.  He said, “She’s got looks, brains, what more could a man want?”

As soon as possible, I ran to tell Sharon what Krafter said about her.  She went online that day or the next, and they went into chat mode.  The end result was, they decided to try dating, and see how it worked out.  Though Sharon still was not attracted to him, they had many things in common, such as philosophical ideas and books.

Krafter jokingly claimed to have baby llamas on a farm.  He talked about them in tele.  Sharon became the llama Mommy, and joked about them as well.

In those days, Farwest Trivia hadn’t yet stolen all the interest in teleconference.  Ever after, we remembered those days when tele was party central, sometimes with as many as sixteen people in it at once.

Sharon changed her online summary to, “I’ll twist your mind till you scream.”

Eventually Sharon fell for Krafter, and I said, referring to her and the fun times we were all having online, “And to think, you can thank my dad’s modem for it all!”

Back to Valentine’s Day.  I heard nothing from Stimpy about being his Valentine.

Sharon began gloating a little about getting Krafter, saying I couldn’t have him now.  I clammed up and eventually walked out of the room, went into the study, and closed the door.

Sharon came in and asked if I was mad.  I was, a little.  A part of me still wanted Krafter.  I tried not to be mad, and took the opportunity to move in on Stimpy.

In the last few minutes before midnight, I found Speaker online.  I probably cried out in a squeak, as I usually did, “Speaker!”  Speaker asked me to be his Valentine for the last few minutes of Valentine’s Day, and I said okay.  So even though I had no husband, fiancée or boyfriend, at least I had a Valentine on Valentine’s Day.

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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