I’m not sure when I found out that, while I was out of the room one day during Easter Break, Cugan’s parents told him he shouldn’t have a girlfriend while looking for a job. (He recently lost his job.) Cugan disagreed, and they argued.
But after that, he began acting distant and easily upset with me. I knew I couldn’t possibly have done anything, yet whatever I did was wrong. I’m not going to “throw him under the bus” like Dr. Phil’s wife supposedly did with him in her new book, so I won’t give details.
On Monday afternoon, Cugan drove me back to Roanoke, stopping to get some fast food, which we ate in a S– park. We had a long conversation; I remember seeing deer off in the distance as I shocked Cugan with accounts of the abuse I’d suffered from Phil.
In the parking lot, he said he had to get back, I forget why. He almost left me at the Campus Center, but I got him to take me to the apartment parking lot. I didn’t want to leave him right away, since I couldn’t bear saying good-bye and not seeing him again until Thursday.
That’s only natural at the beginning of a relationship, but he yelled at me for not letting him go right away! That shocked me, and was uncalled-for.
He sometimes got mad at other times, when I had trouble saying good-bye at night, even though I certainly didn’t intend to stop him from leaving. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t feel the same way I did about him leaving, or why he would treat me like I was doing something wrong just for not liking to say good-bye.
After all, in the first few weeks/months with Phil, every time he left me at my dorm for the night, we’d spend forever saying good-bye. He’d wave even as he left.
I expected Cugan to be the same, but instead he treated me like there was something wrong in being sad to say good-bye!
This time, it seemed even worse, and it colored the rest of the afternoon with melancholy and an unease. I knew I did nothing wrong, so why was he so cold all of a sudden?
Catherine explained that she had the same problem with her old boyfriend, that it was a guy thing, and that guys seem to think girls are manipulating them into not leaving right away, when they’re just mourning the fact that the guy has to leave.
Yeah, it’s crazy, I know. Guys seem to have a strange tendency to think women are manipulating them when they’re not. I just don’t understand guys. It’s like you’re not supposed to show you care.
I talked to Cugan on the phone on probably Tuesday, but he seemed distant. There were long silences. I felt very uneasy about this. He made a date with me for Thursday, but didn’t sound enthusiastic about it.
I told Catherine about it on probably Wednesday, and said I feared he was going to break up with me. She waved that fear aside.
She told me to make a little card for him, so I worked on it that night. I covered it in Celtic knotwork on the front, including a yellow snake with a knotwork tail, and colored it with marker.
Around dinnertime Thursday afternoon, Cugan showed up. We were to get dinner at Burger King. I went out with him to his car and gave him the card; he sat there reading it. He later told me that card made what he was about to do, so much harder. (I was glad to hear that.)
He then said he was breaking up with me because we were too much alike, we had too much in common. But the way he treated me afterwards was far different from the ways Peter and Phil had acted: He was actually nice to me. So I knew he was different–which made it even harder to say good-bye to him.
He said, “I may change my mind: I’m always second-guessing myself,” and to call him on Monday, when he got back from an archery trip to Canada with Donato. He would be gone all weekend.
No guy had ever told me to call him after a breakup. If anything, they didn’t welcome my calls, or want to hear anything I had to say, even though I had a right to say it.
(I go into much more detail in my private journals, but since he is now my Hubby, I don’t want to put it here on the Net.)
We finally parted. I took my food inside to the study room, where I could barely choke it down. I called Catherine and left a message on her answering machine.
I needed to talk to someone, so I asked Sharon to come talk to me. However, I had a hard time getting anything out, though my tears had abated. I think I had this weird feeling like things weren’t so bad. Before I could say much, I heard the phone ring from the bedroom: Catherine.
I told her what happened. She said about my suspicions, “Well, you were right.” Then I called Mom.
Mom was mostly cheerful, thinking it wasn’t hopeless and she didn’t think this breakup was going to last.
Dad had a similar attitude. When I told him Cugan said we were too much alike–which was odd, because Phil and Peter said, “We’re too different”–he said, “I’ve never heard of people being too compatible.”
Incidentally, the date was April 20, 1995. The day before was the two-year anniversary of the fire in the Branch Davidian compound, in which David Koresh and his followers were killed. April 19, 1995 was also the day of the Oklahoma City bombing. I don’t remember if I knew about the bombing; I may not have watched the news that day.
Two years later, April 19 was our wedding date. We had no idea that it was the anniversary of these two horrible things.
We just wanted an April wedding, the pastor gave us two choices for dates, and we picked that one arbitrarily. How’s that for irony?
When I first discovered it was the two-year anniversary of the bombing, I wondered if it was a sign not to get married, along with the terrible out-of-season snowstorms that kept hitting whenever we tried to go to Indiana to get wedding preparations done.
(Once, we even had to stop, stay with Cugan’s parents overnight, and reschedule the next morning’s premarital counseling for the week of the wedding.)
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