A poster at school advertised SEEK, a temporary employment agency. I asked Catherine about it; she said it was a good company, where she worked herself a few summers before.
(I had no idea that she’d worked as a temp at the same company where I got my first post-college job. I got it as a temp-to-permanent position through SEEK.)
I didn’t know much about temping, so when I was accepted by SEEK, I thought my job situation was secure and I would have all the money I needed to support myself in S–. I didn’t know that job assignments could be sporadic.
On Monday the 24th at 9:30 a.m., Catherine drove me to the tiny SEEK office in a white house in S– to take tests on typing (I think I got about 70 words per minute) and other skills, such as proofreading.
Afterwards, the branch manager/office specialist interviewed me. She assigned jobs to the temporary workers. She said I did remarkably well on the tests.
The proofreading test had, I believe, maybe one or two things wrong, if anything, and most people didn’t do so well as that. She noted that I was quiet and would probably prefer a job in which I could sit quietly behind a computer and work.
It took me a lot longer to take the tests than Catherine expected, however, so we got back to Roanoke late. (I guess I’m just slow and careful to avoid mistakes. It could very well be an NVLD thing.)
I hurried to the library and explained to librarian Flora why I was so late. She didn’t care.
They were very laid-back about such things, but I think the facts that I told her and it was because of a job application made her even more lenient. After all, work-study bosses aren’t like real-world bosses. They don’t care if you’re out looking for a job to replace your present one when the school year ends.
Also on that day, before going to the library, Catherine took me to her house for lunch. She let me try some of the dill pickle potato chips she always ate in her sack lunches.
While I worked in the library and had nothing else to do, I showed her my list of complaints. She told me which ones seemed fair and which ones didn’t.
On Mondays, I had no classes and worked until 4 p.m., so it was either late afternoon or early evening when I called Cugan as he had asked me to.
When he said hello, I said, “Hi, Cugan,” just as I usually did when I called him. He got very quiet for a moment.
I had no idea he thought how good it was to hear my voice. I thought he didn’t really want to talk to me.
I asked him to come over so we could talk. He said, “I guess I owe you that.” Wow, Peter and Phil had not been so fair or reasonable. The conversation was short, and we soon hung up.
Maybe an hour or so later, he arrived as promised. I turned on Pearl’s Brent Bourgeois CD to calm my nerves. Songs such as “Blessed be the Name” had comforted me in the past when dealing with a breakup, and comforted me now.
We sat on the couch and talked. I read some of the complaints on my list. I won’t repeat everything, just say the outcome was better than either of us expected: We got back together. We made a date to go to an English country dance practice in a nearby SCA shire on Wednesday night.
Over the next few days or weeks, he explained that our time apart showed him what I meant to him, what he really felt for me.
He also got sick from the same flu I had over Easter. He brooded and felt miserable all that weekend. Once or twice over the next few years, I teased him that he got sick as a punishment for breaking up with me.
He also went to an event with Donato, and spent long periods in the car with him. So the breakup came up in conversation. To my surprise, Donato told Cugan the very same thing I wrote in my diary at 1:31 a.m. on the 21st: that if it comes back, it’s yours, and if not, then it never was.
I was shocked to hear that someone said that to the dumper for once and not just the dumpee. I mean, after all, the dumper is the one who would go back to the dumpee, not the other way around.
I called my parents and told them what happened. Mom said, “I didn’t think this one would get away,” or “I didn’t think we’d lose this one.”
Things were still rocky the first several months we were together, but they gradually got better. Phil had made me defensive, and Cugan wasn’t used to a girlfriend. He didn’t always realize that certain things I did were normal for a woman.
It was weird to hear Sharon talk about her relationship with Krafter, as well, because our relationships seemed to parallel. We seemed to be living the same relationship, and this lasted at least until Christmas. Sometimes she had complaints about Krafter that Cugan had about me, or that I had about Cugan.
At first, Cugan was afraid to tell his parents we were back together, at least until after he found a job. He wasn’t sure when or how to tell them.
When I was in his apartment, even in, I think, May or June, I wouldn’t answer the phone for fear it would be them calling. But when they did find out, they weren’t mad after all, and didn’t seem surprised. All our worrying was for nothing.
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
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