Easter with Cugan’s family and SCA–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–April 1995, Part 1
I got jealous of Krafter sometimes, when we talked about doing things together or at BBS parties: We college students had to make time for homework and he had none.
He went to work and came home; his day was done, and he could do whatever he wished. We went to school, came home, and spent our evenings doing homework! Ugh!
It made it hard to plan anything, because we didn’t always know if we’d have tons of reading to do that night.
In probably March or April, my friends told me my ex Phil asked Astrid’s roommate Chloe to breakfast on a Saturday. I believe this was before April 21. Before the meal was even finished, however, she got so annoyed by him that she made him take her home. LOL
In probably April or May, Sharon and I found a preacher on TCB–the same preacher who taught Mike, Randy and me in Intro to Christianity! He posted messages in the forums, especially the religion forum.
He posted a message once about not liking to teach college-aged students. I said to Sharon, “Hey! I was in his class!!” Sharon replied to his post with a remark about his prejudice.
Some favorite songs, usually alternative: “Starseed” by Our Lady Peace, “She’s a River” by Simple Minds and “December” by Collective Soul.
“Lightning Crashes” by Live was beautiful with an unusual, haunting video. It depicted a mother dying in childbirth and then becoming a bald angel, and made you want to cry. Though many videos of the time had already turned derivative and boring, this one wasn’t.
(Note: According to the band, this is a misinterpretation of the video, where the dying woman was completely separate from the childbirth. But it was a common one, and we all thought the woman was dying in childbirth.)
As Cugan and I picked up Tatiana in M–, just a short distance from MPB (the gaming store), for an SCA meeting one Sunday, she sat in the backseat (which had to be cleared for her) and said she and Nadine just stared at the screen when they first saw it.
Unfortunately, in 2003, I heard “Lightning Crashes” on the radio the same day I went into labor. Then I had a long, traumatic labor, because my child was nearly 10 1/2 pounds and I’m small. Even with the epidural, I was often in pain, and finally had to be cut open. I was frightened, and later felt strong empathy and connection with women who die in childbirth, that moment you longed for causing your death, and you can’t escape. I’m fine now, but after that, I couldn’t listen to this song for quite some time because it made me cry.
“Down by the Water” by P.J. Harvey was lovely and strange. “Can’t Speak” by Danzig was both a cool video and an excellent metal song.
White Zombie had a new album, which Lima praised in the music forum on TCB. The debut “More Human Than Human” was wonderful. Well, except for the opening, which always makes me cringe.
Soon, shire business meetings would be held every week because of the upcoming M– event, which the shire held each May for the past two years. This was M– III.
Cugan was the Autocrat, or the one in charge of the event–and the one most frazzled. I went to the meetings with him, even though M– was on graduation weekend and I wouldn’t be able to attend or help out, except with cleanup.
(Sometimes, I may not have gone to these meetings, since I wasn’t going to be at the event and had to do laundry.)
I even got to see the site, a campground near M–, which had a lake, trails, cabins, a few large, grassy areas for tents and archery and fighting, and real restrooms in the big lodge with its fireplace, main hall, and kitchen. There was also a dormitory building with showers. It was modern convenience mixed with camping out.
M– sounded like a lot of fun and I longed to go, but couldn’t, promising myself to go the next year.
Otherwise, meetings were on the first Sunday of each month. I probably went to one on Sunday, April 2nd with Cugan. This was at a different house.
Once, as I went down a flight of stairs to the outside, I heard Ayesha say in an excited, happy tone to probably Donato, “Elspeth and Cugan!”
(At the time, I wanted my SCA name to be Elspeth, though later it became Nyssa when I discovered a popular person in our region had the same SCA name.)
Probably at this same meeting, Cugan turned over the Chronicler’s (newsletter writer’s) office to someone else. Cevantè went up to him, put her hand on his back, and said, “See anything different about him? His back is so straight now that the burden is lifted!”
Probably on Sunday, April 9, Sharon’s birthday, we held a surprise party for her. My 7th grade science teacher used to sing a certain song whenever somebody had a birthday. It had depressing but funny lines, such as, “You’re one year closer to your grave.” I discovered now that this was a popular song in the SCA. I warned Cugan not to sing it for Sharon, however.
When it came time to get Sharon to the restaurant we planned to take her to, I don’t remember how my friends got her in the car, but I think they told her they were taking her somewhere else.
She was suspicious even before they blindfolded her, and was a bit miffed because she saw me sitting at the computer while everyone else was going to her birthday party.
This just got her off the track, however: Cugan picked me up later and took me to the party. Charles and Krafter also went.
When we got there and sat down with our friends, Sharon was still blindfolded. I believe we planned to let her know her location when the cake came.
Krafter started talking about a recent TCB user party; Nobody got into trouble there, just as he often did online.
Krafter said, “If I tried to explain this to somebody who didn’t know about Nobody, they would be very confused to hear, ‘Nobody was there, Nobody was causing trouble at the picnic, Nobody was mouthing off.'”
On the 13th or 14th, Cugan took me to his parents’ house for Easter Break. I had the flu. It made the rounds in the apartment; for days I watched my roommates get depressed as the flu dragged them down. Now it was my turn. By the way, I took a flu shot back in the fall. 😛
Cugan now had a pente board and some colored glass beads, so we played it for a little while. It bored me quickly, however, since it was just us.
Cugan told me he used to live in Florida until he was about 11 or 12; they left because of the humidity and to be with his mom’s family. Oh, yeah, and don’t forget the oversized bugs. I got to see the gigantic cockroa– er, pimento bugs–when we went there for our honeymoon. Cugan’s grandmother and aunt still lived in Orlando.
Cugan used to go on long walks around the neighborhood all the time, and showed me a park and a wall he used to climb. There were geese in the park.
We got back, and I realized we shouldn’t have gone on the walk, or at least not such a long one, because now my throat was sore. Cugan apologized, and made me some hot chocolate. He was a mother hen over me the whole weekend, and I thought that was sweet.
On Easter morning, we went to their Lutheran church. The church service seemed very formal to me, and was also strange to me because of the liturgies.
We went a couple of hours away to see Cugan’s aunt, her Filipino husband, and Cugan’s cousins. One girl was about my age. Sara was a senior in high school. The boy was the youngest.
The girls were gorgeous, with their mix of Filipino and German. In 2006, I found a picture of the eldest girl with one of her children; she was dressed up, and looked like a supermodel. I said to Cugan, “I’m glad she’s your first cousin and you couldn’t marry her!”
I’d heard a bit about these cousins: Sara was much like Cugan, and he loved to talk with her. Once, I found Cugan talking with her in her room. I joined them, since I didn’t want to keep sitting with a roomful of strangers.
I had a lot in common with her: We’d both taken French, we liked Christian music, and we were intellectuals. In other ways she was a lot like Cugan: She’d say, “Things are going really good, so something bad must be about to happen.”
The family was very welcoming to me, and Cugan’s aunt told me to come back again soon. Well, that would depend on whether or not Cugan and I stayed together long enough.
Cugan’s parents had two cats and a big, white dog named Sn–. I believe she was a white Siberian husky. Sn– kept barking at me because I wasn’t family.
The little black cat, Sh–, was supposed to be Cugan’s, but he moved to an apartment that didn’t allow pets. The other cat, Zu–, was white with dark and light patches, like brown and white sugar mixed together.
Sh– was nervous with strangers, but Zu– –typically a cat who didn’t like anyone to touch her except for Cugan’s mom, except when she was in the mood–loved me. She kept coming up to me and wanting me to pet her. Cugan said that when he went back to his parents’ house the next time, she was probably going to look up at him as if to say, “Where is she?!”
In time, these things happened: Zu– got friendlier, letting people (especially me) pet her, as long as we kept to the proper “zones,” especially the face. Sn– sat near me one day, and I started petting her. She let me pet her for some time. Then she suddenly looked up, realized it was me, got up and ran away. She started barking to reinforce that I was not family.
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)
Table of Contents
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
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