One day at Phil’s house, we talked about going to “Maverick” with Dave and Pearl. I was excited because we hadn’t been to the movies for a while, and this one looked like fun.
Then Phil and Dave started wrestling on the floor in front of the couch where I sat. I thought it was all in fun, just two brothers playing around. I used to wrestle with Peter, too, though not quite so roughly as two brothers might.
Dave got the better of Phil. Then Phil wrestled me a little bit, and I thought it was all in fun.
Then it turned to pain–I think he was bending my arm back or something. His mom yelled at him.
I’d been having fun, but now I got upset. I don’t think I yelled. He might even have yelled at Dave for something.
Then he went into his own room. His mom mumbled a few things after he left, and was put out.
A few minutes later, I went into Phil’s room after him. I found him lying on his couch, upset at himself.
He said he didn’t like how Dave always got the better of him, and it hurt his pride. He didn’t like that he’d hurt me, either.
There was some of the usual–him saying I should find someone else who was better for me.
We ended up talking for a while. And, well, we never went to the movies that night. We were all too upset, and talking things out with him was too important.
On probably April 9, Seymour said to me at work as James sat next to me at the desk, “Did you hear that Kurt Cobain died?”
He told me at least some of the lurid details, that Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, had just killed himself at age 27, and been found on April 8. I sat in shock and disbelief.
Seymour said, “But you don’t listen to Nirvana, do you?” and I said I loved Nirvana.
James didn’t like Nirvana, and was satirical about the whole thing. I, however, was devastated. Though not one of those people who held up Cobain as some sort of god, I loved his music.
I wrote the following to Pearl in my notes during Botany class on the 15th, describing the night of April 12:
Want details? Don’t tell Maura or Dave–they don’t know yet–he’s afraid to tell his mom.
That may be because we had only been together for two and a half months.
4/12 late evening, probably 10 or 11; my parents know already; we wanted to keep it a secret at first, but, as you see, it didn’t work–who told you?
She said that Jennifer’s Mike overheard Phil calling me “fancy,” his cute version of “fiancée,” while we were in the library.
He didn’t plan to–he got the idea all of a sudden: Why not now? Why wait? Let’s just make it official; we’re already talking about it. He had a vision of himself doing it.
A minute later, he was on his knees in front of me (main lounge–one of the couches) [we were alone in Krueger lounge], asking me if I loved him. I had a suspicion.
Then he asked me if I’d marry him, and I said yes.
I didn’t mention a nagging feeling that I shouldn’t say yes so soon.
When would he tell his parents?
When he gets the chance and the nerve; my parents are OK with it.
When will I get an engagement ring?
Next fall, when he (hopefully) can afford it–right now I have the “engagement bird.”
That is, the porcelain bird I mentioned before. Somebody later joked that Phil “gave me the bird.”
Pearl may have asked me earlier, and I may have tried to evade the question, according to some notes I made a couple years later. But I don’t remember that now.
Nowadays, people talk like it’s “creepy” and a “sign of future abuse and control” if somebody wants to make you “theirs” so fast.
But back then, we were more concerned about people rushing in too fast without really knowing each other, and living to regret their legal and religious bond. Otherwise, it was simply called a “whirlwind courtship,” and considered romantic, nothing at all pathological.
It’s weird to hear people call this a “sign of abuse,” when my parents, my husband’s parents, and my husband’s brother, all got married quickly. Peter’s parents got married within days of their first date–that very day, I believe it was.
One episode of Make Room for the Daddy, from 1959, depicted Danny and Kathy pushing Pat to get engaged to their daughter Terry–only two months after they started dating! Pat agreed, and the happy couple got engaged.
This was considered a happy ending, no “warnings for the future,” showing 50s attitudes.
The modern idea of “creepiness” and “red flags”–I never heard of such an idea until maybe in the last few years, while researching abuse. [written 2013]
On the night of the 12th, Phil and I went to get the bird from his house, and it felt so very weird to be engaged. Not pre-engaged–formally, officially engaged. After so long being lonely, I finally knew whom I was to marry!
I said as we walked away from Krueger, thinking that I didn’t want the engagement to end, “I hope it’s the only time someone will propose to me.”
Phil smiled and said, “So do I!”
Isn’t it a good thing that hope was not fulfilled!
On April 18, I spoke with Pearl through my Botany notes again. I wrote, “His mom did think he was joking.”
We’d stopped on the way out the door one day, and Phil had told his parents as they sat in the living room. His mom thought he was joking, and I think she laughed or joked right back.
I wrote that before he told her, “Someone went up to her to congratulate her and she said, For what? She wants him to wait until he graduates. That’s too long! There’s got to be a way around that.”
Phil decided to work with his adviser so he could graduate, even with a double major of Theater and Math, half a year early and half a year after I did.
It still seemed like too long to wait, especially after I had been waiting for my own graduation to get married, not for anybody else’s.
(It was my own idea freshman year to wait till after graduation to marry, if I found someone by then. It was not my parents’ idea. I wanted to focus on college, not babies, and Donna Reed once said 22 was a good age to marry.)
One day my old roommate Candice sat with her best friend, probably her new boyfriend, and a few others in the cafeteria. I sat with them during lunch. I told Candice I was engaged to Phil, and she said, “Is that Dave’s brother?” She knew Dave?
My old boss Nancy found out I was engaged, and had me point him out to her one day at lunch. “Ooh! And he’s all yours!” she chirped.
Table of Contents
- Meet the Suite
- Meeting Shawn–and a Ninja
- Campus Stories, Wisconsin, Campus Radio Station
- Campus, People, First College Boyfriend
- Dating a Ninja
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
- Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy”; Jigging at College Dance
- Library Tales
- Happiness Returns
- Living with Friends in Krueger
- Funny Library Stories
- Shawn Calls
- Psycho Roommates and Bug Wars
- Return of Rick
- Adjusting to New Dorm
- Spitball-Throwing Teacher
- Rat-Obsessed Teacher and Doctor Zhivago
- A Teacher Dated a Student; InterVarsity Fun
- Charlie Peacock Concert
- Random Stories
- Letter to Shawn
- Erotic Vampire Dream (Inspiration for Alexander Boa)
- I Ask Out James
- Peter Calls!
- The Fateful First Meeting of Phil
- The Birth of Dolphin Philosophy
- Our Group of Friends Splits Apart
- Spring Classes
- Big Red Flag: Phil’s Dysfunctional Family Life
- The Drunken Stork (Phil’s Controlling Nature Manifests)
- Idealizing Phase and Early Sign of Control
- Phil Tries to Control my Friendships, Unfair Accusations from his Dad and Brother
- Phil Gaslights Me with Fake Dreams, Ridicule and Psychological Abuse
- Another Pre-Engagement
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
- The Abuse Worsens in the Summer of Hell
- Phil rapes me anally
- Phil tries to control me through refusing everything I want–even proper hygiene
- Phil’s cruel hoax on me: his “subconscious” coming out to be with me
- Phil’s “subconscious” explains why he’s coming out to talk to me
- The lies unravel as Phil admits to conning me; also, fright as my periods turn wacky
- How Phil’s behavior fit the signs of abuse
- Phil Mindscrews Me: changes history, blames me for things that were not my fault, treats me like an idiot during games
- Phil says if he abuses me, it takes two people to sign the divorce papers
- Pearl reveals that Phil is costing me social invitations
- Hints that Phil is checking out of the marriage
September 1994–Divorce: The Long, Dark, Painful Tunnel:
- Phil picks fights and avoids responsibilities to make me feel like a shrew
- My husband Phil, Dave and Pearl call me a party pooper for getting a Grade II concussion
- I’m ecstatic to be back with my friends (the ones Phil hates); I meet Charles
- Phil vanishes without a word of why
- Phil wants a divorce
- My friends tells me that Phil is controlling and possessive
- My first Pentecostal church service: They speak in tongues
- Phil refuses to accept responsibility for the divorce
- Phil cuts off contact
- Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk
- Phil the narcissist admits to manipulating people and using them as pawns in his game with me
- Phil comes crawling back to me–and we put our marriage on paper
- Phil demands my complete submission and forces me into oral sex–and my will is broken, for fear he’ll divorce me again
- Phil walks away from me again–because I dare to have my own mind, opinions and needs–and because he’s a sociopath
- Fierce anger against Phil and PTSD from the abuse
- My friends tell me Phil is psychotic
- “Soul Ties”
- I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends
- My letter to Phil
- Phil shows my letter to his friends; I’m triggered by reminder of forced oral sex
- I start dating Charles
- Friends tell me Phil is controlling
- I feel stalked by Phil
- Poem about being stalked by Phil
- Fury at Phil stalking me and rubbing my face in his new relationship
- A Date with the Vampire
- Celtic Class: Knotwork, Tin Whistles, SCA–and Drinking from a Skull
- The Teddy-O Incident; Birth of These Memoirs
- We Hook Up to the Internet–and Shawn Fixates on My Sex Life
- New Guy Begging at My Feet
- Life on TCB
- Meeting Cugan (Hubby)
- Learning my ex Peter was a love-fraud; New Men
- Before Tracy, There Was the Avenger (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 1)
- Torn between three men as Catherine pushes me toward Cugan
- The Love Rectangle
- Torn between FIVE men! Me?
- Persephone’s Own Outrageous Stories of Phil’s Abuse
- College-style living
- Online Shenanigans
- Phil Finds TCB; Meeting a Hit Man
- Gypsy’s Party: Healed friendship with Peter
- The Avenger Starts a Flame War (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 2)
- Meeting the elusive Speaker
- First Date with Future Hubby Cugan
- On Breaking Up with Kindness
- Loony Roommies and Flying Gargoyles
- The Goddess of Pleasure and Salt
- A Conversation with Oscar Wilde
- My First SCA Event
- Cugan: a vast improvement over Phil
- Easter with Cugan’s family and SCA
- Cugan breaks up with me
- After breakup: Phil’s return and trolls
- Cugan comes back
- SCA hippies; college senioritis: anxiety!
- Or should I move back in with my parents?
- Peace with Phil
- Defending my Thesis; Graduating with Honors
- Graduation: Trapped at school
- Epilogue and Apology from Phil