Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

Category: excessive bleeding after first time

The lies unravel as Phil admits to conning me; also, fright as my periods turn wacky–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–August 1994, Part 1

On August 4, I wrote in my diary,

I’ve just been with “him” [Phil’s “subconscious”] again, after several days of being apart….

Anyway, he tells me he’s not the soul, the soul is the life-force; that he doesn’t know if his part of the person survives after death; but that if Heaven, Paradise, is him with me, he’ll be there, whether apart or with Phil.  If he’s apart or if he’s with Phil also depends on my version of paradise.

…I asked why Phil’s always saying I get my own way, if it’s true or not; he said, sometimes it is, and sometimes Phil just thinks it is.

He says there are many different levels of consciousness, along with the conscious and the subconscious, and that they just don’t understand them all.  I’ll have to ask if he knows what those levels are.  And if animals have a subc.

On August 9, I wrote,

I believe I’ve just had a miscarriage, before I even knew the child was alive.  If you look at my temperature charts, you’ll see that my period was four days late, and that by now I’ve been bleeding for ten days straight.

I thought it was a normal period when I first saw the blood but it took forever to stop spotting before it went to heavy flowing.  My periods never go like that; the pattern is pretty predictable, and doesn’t deviate a whole lot.

The thought of a soul in Heaven now, belonging to someone that Phil and I created only a couple weeks ago, is so sad.  The only good things about this are that it is in Heaven and that I won’t be having a child quite as early as that.

Maybe this explains why my “thermal shift” ended up going down to very low temperatures instead of up to the more normal, very high temperatures it’s supposed to, or even the normal ones I myself had been recording–97.9, 98, 97.8, etc.

Phil is sad because he expected, if he were to make a child, it wouldn’t die–at least not so soon, especially not so early in the pregnancy.

When I told him it was quite likely that was the source [of this weird period], according to a book I read about it in, he said in his “kiddie” voice, “Ben-ny!” and made surprised, dismayed faces.  He tells me that at least we know we’re both fertile.

I wore a black T-shirt and hair tie yesterday, the day after the night we found out; I’m wearing a black hair tie again today, in honor of the probable child, now dead.  I’ve wept a little, but I haven’t gotten to sobs.  [The subconscious said he was sad about it.]

Nowadays, I think I never actually was pregnant, but had already started my strange irregular bleeding.  Such bleeding began happening periodically.  See my essay on this here: In 1997, I once bled for SIXTEEN DAYS, and was put on the Pill; doctors confirmed that I did not have a miscarriage.

Since my first abnormal uterine bleeding happened a few months after our first time (when I bled above and beyond what is expected), I suspect it’s somehow related.  Phil may have “broken” something.  I don’t know, but I do know this was when the excessively long periods began.

On August 11, I wrote,

After all that, he finally admits it [his “subconscious” coming out to talk to me] was all a stupid, elaborate joke.

[He said that at times he thought, “She isn’t really buying this, no!”]  I told him he was a good actor, because, after all, I watched him closely and I was quite certain it was real.

I told him he made a fool of me.

And he says all those dreams he’s had that he’s acted out in his sleep–all of them–even the one where he thought he’d taken my innocence away while I slept, and he felt so terrible–all were a trick as well.

Even the one where he thought I was dead–he wanted me to know how he’d feel.

I know I should forgive him, but only God can give me the strength and–as the prayer I use for forgiving people goes–the forgiving love it takes.

I believe he told me that the night before I wrote the diary entry, while lying or sitting on his bed.  He admitted to playing a trick on me.  I said, “Well, I’m sure it wasn’t a nasty one,” but he said, “It was.”

He told me other things as well.  He told me about this party he went to the year before at a college in Texas, before he transferred to Roanoke.  The hostess was a girl he liked.  He started drinking what they were serving, thinking to stifle his moral senses.

And why did he do this?  Because he thought he might sleep with her, and he wanted to deaden his conscience and make it easier to do.  Of course, he believed her friends would not have let anything happen.

I couldn’t believe this.  My respect for him drained away.

“I wish you hadn’t told me that,” I said.

There were other revelations that summer and maybe September that helped drain my respect: That he went skinny-dipping the summer before with girls, but didn’t see it as immoral.  That he saw nothing wrong with taking whatever was passed around at a party, even if it was illegal (he was still underage) or bad for his health.

That night, I still slept next to him.  I don’t think there was any sex.  I was upset, sad, but for some reason, I didn’t want to leave his side–maybe he, despite causing my hurt, was a sort of comfort.  I couldn’t tell my parents about this, and who else could I tell?  God, of course, but He wasn’t a warm, physical presence, and the cat was in the basement.

Phil was so depressed the next day, probably the eleventh, because of what he did to me, and because he didn’t think I’d pardon this grievous sin of his.

I left him lying in the bed and took a shower.  He wondered if I’d have anything good to say when I came back upstairs.

I pondered the words of Christ, that we must forgive.  And the verse that says if you don’t forgive your fellow humans, God won’t forgive you of your own sins.

We were married, and I took the vow seriously; I had to forgive my own husband, no matter what–providing he didn’t cheat on me or abuse me.

But then–could this be considered abuse?  I’m not sure I even thought of that, and I know I, like many abused women, didn’t realize I’d been suffering his abuse for months, because he didn’t hit me.  Back then, emotional and psychological abuse was not talked about much, just physical abuse.

But I did come back upstairs to him after my shower, and told him he could stay, he wouldn’t have to leave, and I would try to forgive him.  It was my duty as a wife to forgive my husband.

He was so happy that he hugged me.  However, I was still sad, and the hurt still fresh.  Part of it was the loss of a friend and lover, someone to discuss Phil with, someone who truly cared about me–his subconscious.  Another part was the betrayal, the practical joke on his own wife, the childish game that made a fool of me.

Remember the episode of MASH in which Hawkeye sleepwalks around the camp, dreaming and talking as if he were back in Crabapple Cove?  Phil’s “dreams” could get that elaborate.  What if Hawkeye had turned to the psychiatrist and said, “I was just playing a joke on everybody”?

Index 
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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Phil cuts down whatever is special to me (Bits of Abuse Here and There)–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–June 1994, Part 5

Soon after quitting his job selling vacuum cleaners, probably late June or early July, Phil found a job at a Mishawaka factory, second shift.  Second shift in Wisconsin, he said, usually meant two to ten p.m., but in South Bend it meant three to eleven.  (I think those were the times, but my memory could be a little off.)

Since he now missed Picket Fences on Friday nights, he had me tape it for him.  Whenever he wanted to see it he said, “Ficket Pences?”

June 22, my 21st birthday.  It wasn’t celebrated some mundanely typical way, like my friends taking me out to get smashed.  No, it was quieter and what I wished.  I said if I got any special drink for my birthday, it would be sparkling grape juice.  I didn’t get that, but I don’t think I cared.

I did get a pleasant dinner at a restaurant with my parents.  To my surprise, Phil gave me nothing, despite having a job, but gave no apology or explanation.  I just let it go, but it seemed odd to just dismiss your wife’s 21st birthday.

****

I loved Q101.  U93, and every other Chicago and South Bend station which played pop, played Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” every hour or two.  Even good songs can get on your nerves if they’re played too much.  But Q101 played it maybe once, if at all, each afternoon.

My favorite song that summer: “Shine” by Collective Soul.  I didn’t care how much it got overplayed on U93.  I told my parents about the line “Heaven, let your light shine down” to impress them with its spiritual content, since they hated rock music.

Other good songs from Q101: “Millennium” by Killing Joke, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails (though I didn’t like the lyrics), “Emperor’s New Clothes” by Sinead O’Connor, “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan, “Everybody’s 1” by God’s Child, “It’s Over Now” by Cause and Effect, “Burn” by the Cure, “Insanity” by (Oingo) Boingo, “Come Out and Play” and “Self Esteem” by Offspring.

****

Once, Phil and I took an IQ test on the computer, which claimed to be the fairest and most accurate you could find.  It wasn’t: It was biased in favor of mathematical brains like Phil’s, not NVLD brains like mine.  The questions I missed were all math questions, and Phil got the same ones right.

He bragged that he scored around 140 while I scored only around 130, but I said it wasn’t a true test of my abilities.  A year or two later, Cugan and I would take another IQ test.  This time, I scored around 150, and Cugan scored around 130.

****

My old jam box’s CD player had been broken for quite some time, since just before I got the newest Alice in Chains CD, Jar of Flies, in the spring, so I hadn’t heard it yet.

I had that box with me since my junior year of high school; sophomore year I had to spend a few months without it because my dad kept it at home and had the radio and antenna fixed at Radio Shack.  (That’s when I got into MTV and a Walkman.)

I really missed playing my CD’s, since some of my best music was on them, such as my other Alice in Chains CD’s.  I’d been waiting and waiting for the new jam box my parents got me for my birthday.  It had everything I asked for: CD player, tape player and recorder, radio.

I was desperate to listen to my new CD, and I guess I didn’t get a chance until late that night or the next, when Phil was home and we were about to play D&D.  I’d waited for months and I just couldn’t wait any longer.

But Phil hated Alice in Chains and kept saying, “If you play it, I’ll go somewhere else.”

I kept trying to make him understand how important it was to me to listen to it, and I wanted him in the room because I hadn’t seen him all day and because I wanted to play D&D.  I finally did get to play it, despite what he said, and I think he gamed with me at least part of the time, though he may have left the room for part of it.

It was strangely mellow all the way through.  He protested so much and it wasn’t even the hard “made in hell” stuff he protested.

But note the way he tried to withhold from me something I very much wanted.  He also hated my music, something that was important to me, and criticized it.

He even said that, had one of his friends not introduced him to some of the harder music and gotten him used to it, like hard rock and heavy metal, he’d break up with me just because I listened to it!

He said in the spring that in time he might learn to like alternative, because of me.  But he didn’t like it much.  However, once he said it was the popular trend in music.  I smiled in surprise and said, “Really?”

He said the alternative songs crossing over into Top-40 were the best ones on the radio these days, because regular pop music had become so dull.  But as a whole, he didn’t like it.

(Note that the following spring, when I was out of the picture, and alternative was popular with everybody now, he claimed alternative was his “favorite” music.)

I told him why I liked Alice in Chains, that the music took me to another place.  He said it was a place he didn’t want to go.  But I thought/think of it as a good place, a place in the mind or another part of consciousness, which only in-the-pit music can reach.  That place was special to me, but all he did was cut it down.

He also told me that the only good Christian music was a tape he owned by Michael W. Smith.  Obviously he had never heard much of the genre.

I had been listening to Christian contemporary, rock and pop for 8 years; there was far more, and once you sifted out the wheat from the chaff, real talent began to come through:

Mastedon, Undercover, Guardian, Whiteheart, Holy Soldier, Matthew Ward, Charlie Peacock, Steve Taylor/Chagall Guevara, Mike-E, The Choir, etc. etc.–bands which I bet he never even heard of.

But of course, he had to be right–and cut down whatever meant something to me.  Just as he cut down my friends, or my religion, or my Sunday School, or the church I liked best in S–, or even said my beloved childhood diary was “boring” because it talked about 9-year-old things like spiders walking across the ground.

It wasn’t just my perception: His next girlfriend, Persephone, went through the same thing, him always cutting down her participation in the campus newspaper, which meant a lot to her.

As Dad suggested, Phil said he was going to read the Bible so we could talk about it on an even level.  But he started and didn’t follow through on that promise.

Yet he wouldn’t even let me quote verses to him or tell him anything about the Bible, because then he wouldn’t see much point in reading it if he already knew what it said.

How could that even be likely, considering how much is in there and how little of it I could/can actually quote, in comparison?

Dad told him devotions can be just prayer, but of course, Phil used that as an excuse–that, since it doesn’t matter if you don’t read as long as you still pray, he didn’t have to read the Bible.

I don’t think Dad meant it that way.  It is important to read it, and Dad did so every morning; he suggested Phil read it so he and I would be on the same level of knowledge about the faith.

Phil’s flippant disregard of this advice, while also forbidding me to talk about the Bible, showed how little he cared about resolving our religious differences in a healthy, equal manner.

Phil even took issue with my use of the word “current,” though I checked the dictionary and found nothing to say it was wrong.  Phil said you can only use the word in the present tense, and can never say a song “was current in the past.”

But when you say a song “was current in the summer of 1992,” I see nothing wrong with the usage.  Songs are current, then they’re old and not current anymore, but at one time they were current.  I’ve never seen anything that said I can’t say “current” in the past tense in this context.

Phil’s objection sounded pedantic and nitpicky.

A quick Google search shows that people use it my way all the time.  On 3/11/14, I found it used my way in Green Suede Shoes by Larry Kirwan, page 217: “To my surprise, I already knew them all, for they [19th-century songs] had still been current in the Wexford of my boyhood…”  HA!

Trivializing and undermining: abusive behavior which makes light of your work, your efforts, your interests, or your concerns. —The Verbally Abusive Relationship

 

Verbal abuse can include:

  • yelling or shouting at you
  • being sarcastic or mocking about or criticising your interests, opinions or beliefs —Emotional Abuse

****

I read The Thorn Birds that summer and found, to my surprise, that I wasn’t alone: Meggie, on page 329, had a similar experience to my own–a horrifically painful first time, plus terrible pain that she felt every time she had sex with her husband.  Mine went away eventually.

****

On the 25th, I wrote to a friend that

Phil’s been spending a lot of time at the computer, beating my brother L–‘s scores at one-player and two-player games.  My smug brother has finally met his match, and he’s not happy about it….

Phil beat him at computer Risk, so L–stayed up late one night with his friend D–, trying to win before the night was over.

…My little Hazel [cat] has been glad to have me around, but I don’t know what she thinks of Phil.  I think she likes him, but not always.

The other day Phil, who was asleep, started petting me and calling me Hazel.  I said something, which surprised him.

He talks in his sleep too, and said, “Hazel, I didn’t know you could talk!  Why do you hate me, Hazel?” and I said, “I don’t hate you.  I just don’t like it when you tease me.”

We kept trying to contact a natural family planning clinic here, but nobody ever answered.

It was beginning to look hopeless, like I’d be forced to go by that rhythm method that doesn’t have a good rep, and end up the stereotypical Catholic wife with a brood of children.  But then I found the information I needed in a book right in the house!

 

Index 
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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Hemorrhage and excruciating pain after first time: My Secret Marriage to Phil, Part 2–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–April 1994, Part 6

A bunch of us planned to go to a Choir (Christian alternative band) concert that evening.  I wanted to finally get my own copies of Pearl’s Choir CD’s.  My friends and I rode in a car to the place of the concert.  They were Pearl, Mike, probably Sharon, and probably Tara or Astrid.  They had no idea I was now a married woman.

The place was an hour and a half away.  When we got to the place, it was deserted: no concert, no sign that there ever was to be one!  We were confused, especially Pearl, who had read about the concert in her CCM magazine.  The others decided to go to a movie, rather than just coming out all that way for nothing.

I wasn’t entirely convinced that our marriage was real and not just playacting.  So in my heart I felt that if we were delayed that night, if I got back very, very late, it was a sign that God did not actually consider us married, that He was trying to keep us apart.

I believe I started to feel this way before we found out the concert wasn’t there.  Then I thought God most certainly did consider us married, because I would be back far sooner than I’d expected.

But then my friends decided to go to a movie.  All during the night I said nothing when they made plans, because I felt I should let the results of the test be whatever they were supposed to be, and not tamper with them.

I’d never heard of the movie The Paper and the movie poster didn’t interest me, but my friends wanted to see it.  I ended up loving it.  These are my impressions of it:

Yes, as they said in the beginning, the whole world can change in twenty-four hours.  After all, all of a sudden I was married!  I hadn’t expected that when I got up that morning.

I had no idea what the movie was about, especially when I saw the opening scene with two black teenagers finding horrors.  I feared it was one of those gross action films, but it was not.

I watched Henry and his wife Marty interact, and thought, They’re married, and now so am I!  And one day, we’ll be about to have a baby, too!

Alicia telling her extramarital lover that “This is the last time” reminded me of Shawn (see index below for his story), who said that often.

The movie was wonderfully loony, with “Let Marty talk to her husband,” Robin the green, fourteen-year-old photographer (I didn’t know that was legal), and “A bullet came out of the wall–why did the bullet come out of the wall?”  (Our group loved this and began reciting it.)

Pearl cried out in dismay and shock, which I also felt, when Marty found blood instead of water on the floor when she was near her time.  I wondered if Phil and I would ever be in that situation, with me nearly dying from hemorrhaging during a pregnancy, and how we would deal with it.

These thoughts and my own marriage made the movie both significant and special to me, yet Phil preferred to make light of it and pointed out a movie review that said it was bad.  We never did see it together.  But my friends and I all loved the movie.

On the way back to Roanoke, maybe an hour or two earlier than we’d originally expected, I sat on the right side of the car and watched the moon.  It was midnight blue behind the clouds.  It was so beautiful that night, the perfect end to a perfect day for a wedding.  I kept silent and thoughtful, thinking of my new, secret status as wife.

Rather than go directly to Roanoke, the others decided to go on to S– and have a snack at Country Kitchen.  I had something with hot fudge and ice cream, and maybe a Dew or Root Beer as well.

The others spoke of staying up all night and watching the sun come up.  I don’t remember if they actually did it, but I said I didn’t want to do that this time.  (I had a husband to get back to.)

It began to rain hard.  I don’t remember how long we stayed there, but we finished our snack and the time finally came for us to go back to Roanoke.

At Roanoke, I forget where exactly I found Phil, but he was standing outside–and soaked.  He was angry at me 1) for not coming home when I said I would, and 2) for not saying anything to the others to hurry them along.  But you can see my reasons for not doing that.

He was also mad at me for something that was his fault: that he’d been standing in the rain, waiting for me!  I couldn’t believe he had done this.

When I got back, I expected to find him warm and dry in either the Phi-Delt suite or Krueger.  If no one was in the Phi-Delt suite to let him in, he could have picked up the phone outside Krueger and called Clarissa to let him in.  He knew the number, and there was a directory by the phone in case he forgot.

Failing that, he could have waited in the minivan, maybe parking it near Krueger or the suites so he could see me get home.  By the time I got home Clarissa would certainly have been in the room, and she could hear the phone even when her hearing aid was out and she was in bed.  If she was in bed, she could have opened the door and had him sit in the lounge.

Or he could’ve gone in the suite laundry room, which had a door open to the outside 24/7, or stayed on the ground floor of the suite building, where the upper walkway made a huge frickin’ overhang.

But he did none of these things, and it’s hardly unusual for people to come home from a social event much later than planned, especially one with a long drive.  (Which seems odd now, because I noted above that we were way ahead of schedule.)

Yet he was mad at me as if it were my fault somehow!  Now I see it as yet more controlling behavior by an abuser, another red flag of abuse which I missed, an element of narcissism to blame you even for things that are beyond your control.

This was hardly the wedding night I had expected, or that I had always wanted.  Phil arguing with me when we had been married only several hours?  Once we got to his room, he also got mad about my test, saying I was “testing God.”

But “testing God” means to live a life of selfishness and sin and throw it up in His face.  I was just laying out a fleece, something my dad had taught me about, so I figured it was perfectly fine.  It was simply an indication of whether or not God considered us married.

It was late, and I wondered if that meant we weren’t really married, but Phil didn’t put any stock in that.  In fact, over the next several months, whenever I doubted our marriage was real in God’s eyes, he would tell me we were definitely truly married…only to change his tune completely in September when he wanted to break things off.

Looking back, the anger and the refusal to consider my concerns, were huge red flags that he wanted me in his control–listening to his guidance on whether or not we were truly married in God’s eyes, so that I would be his subservient wife and willing sex partner.

Somehow we got through the arguments, however, and got ready for bed….I don’t want to go into detail, but it was…awkward, didn’t go the way it was supposed to, because we didn’t know how (despite all his fancy sex-ed education).  I mean, we knew some basics, but neither of us knew the vagina was separate from the urethra, and no, I had never used a tampon…..

The morning after the wedding, Phil said to me as we lay in each other’s arms, “Good morning, Mrs. O’Hara” or “How does it feel to be Mrs. O’Hara?”  It felt wonderful.

The next night, we tried again, with a little more knowledge this time of how things were actually supposed to work.  But because we found the correct way, I was in intense pain the whole time, and couldn’t wait until he finished.  He felt bad about it, but nothing stopped the pain.

Some say that you only bleed a little bit, but when I went to the bathroom I found lots of blood.  I just got over my period on probably Sunday, yet had to wear pads again.

They say it only bleeds the first time and that you only have pain the first time, yet I bled and felt pain for days.  (I had just finished my period, so it wasn’t that.)

I could barely sit down, which made Advanced Writing the next morning particularly uncomfortable.  At least the seats there were cushioned!

After the pain went away a bit we tried again.  But for days or weeks afterward, sex hurt, and this was very scary.

But because the marriage was secret, and we didn’t want anyone to think we were having premarital sex, I had no one to talk to.  I really could have used a website like this, but we had no such thing back then.

Also, from what that site says, I should’ve seen a doctor for my excessive bleeding, but I don’t believe this ever occurred to us.  We didn’t know what was “normal.”

Ironically, months later at a party, the subject of first times was brought up; I asked, “What if after your first time you bleed for days?”  I didn’t tell them that was me.  Pearl laughed and said, “That sounds like hemorrhaging to me!”

****

After the marriage, I told Phil about a picture I once saw in a Bride magazine back when my brother married his first wife:

It was part of a black-and-white ad, and showed a newlywed couple lying in bed.  The husband had his arm around the wife, who nestled her head on his shoulder as they slept.

It was sweet; I waited years for that to be my future husband and me.  Phil did this to me, and nearly cried, since he was so happy to fulfill that dream for me.

Now, when he’d have arguments with his parents, probably over me sleeping over so much or him going home with me for the summer, he’d say to me, “You are my wife!”  He wanted to tell them I was his wife and didn’t deserve such remarks, but he couldn’t.

I’d look at the family pictures on the basement wall and think, “Now I’m a part of that family and married to him,” while looking at Phil’s childhood pictures.

I didn’t know until maybe a year or two later that Catherine wrote a poem one day when I came in late to class.  I believe she noticed me wearing the same clothes I had on the day before, or maybe it was just because I was late.  In the poem, she wondered what we had done the night before, and if we were just using each other.

I marked the date of the marriage and the date of the true consummation with hearts in my day planner.

****

I used the rhythm method for a while, not knowing much about natural family planning, and because Phil was Catholic and believed artificial birth control was a sin.  He did a paper in high school about natural family planning, and wrote that if done correctly, it’s about 99% effective.

I knew that a woman was supposed to be fertile around the 14th day of the month, but didn’t know that people with irregular periods, like mine, might be fertile on a different day.  But for the first month of our marriage, I didn’t get pregnant, so I must have been doing something right.

Starting in the second month, I knew about taking my temperature, so I avoided my fertile days and didn’t get pregnant.  Phil assured me once or twice that if I did get pregnant, we would push up the legal, public wedding.  However, I got very frustrated with the rhythm method, since I didn’t know what to do and had to abstain for five to ten days mid-cycle.

Probably around May 4, which I marked with a diamond (it was probably day 14), I got upset and told Phil I wanted to use birth control.  You would think he’d agree, since birth control is much safer than the rhythm method, but as a Catholic he said, “Then I wouldn’t be able to sleep with you.”

He said he would be too conscience-stricken, even if I used the Pill and was the only one using the birth control.  He would feel that he contributed to my sin–even though, as a Protestant, I didn’t believe birth control was a sin.

Eventually he said that he couldn’t force me not to use birth control, and that I could if I wanted.  I think he even said he would still sleep with me.  But I would have felt bad for putting his conscience in such a position, so I decided to stick with natural family planning.

****

Soon after the marriage, as we went through the Burger King drive-through (maybe getting French toast sticks for breakfast or something), I had misgivings: Is my money now his, too?  Have I lost my independence already?  Am I really ready to be married?  Yet it’s too late now to turn back: I already am married.

I told him not to call me “wifey,” like before he called me “fancy,” because somebody might overhear like before.  Phil wanted it kept secret from everyone, even my best friend back in Indiana.  He didn’t want somebody to tell our parents, and he feared she would tell mine.  He didn’t want our parents to find out and get angry, maybe even try to keep us apart.

I often doubted that we were really married in God’s eyes, but Phil would say that yes, I was his wife, and yes, we were married: He had no doubt of it, he said.

What we did was a type of marriage: We bound our hearts together and spoke the same vows legally married people speak.  Over the summer, we shared the same house and food.  Also, some people have secret, legal marriages and yet don’t live in the same house or share the same food, so that isn’t exactly a perfect way to tell whether or not two people are truly married.

One day, Phil asked if I wanted to do as the advice column advised and register our marriage at the courthouse.  It was tempting, but I finally said, “If we do, our parents might find out, and I don’t want mail for Nyssa O’Hara to be coming to our parents’ houses.”  I also may have feared problems on our official wedding day.

Basically, even though we would be legally married, we still wanted the marriage kept secret.  I don’t know if these were good reasons or not, but they were good enough to me at the time.

For one thing, I didn’t know that before you got mail addressed to your new name, you had to officially change your name with Social Security and many other places.  If I had known that, then maybe we would have actually gone to the courthouse and registered our marriage.

And maybe Phil would have taken the marriage as seriously in September as he did in April, and not divorced me.  And I would have been terribly unhappy as time revealed him to be a bad husband, an emotional and potentially physical abuser–and I would’ve had to go through the courts to divorce him.

****

The song “Don’t Turn Around” by Ace of Base came on around this time, and I’d listen to it as Phil and I sat at the computer at his house.  We often listened to WIXX while sitting at the computer and playing games or working on homework, and those were happy days.

Some of the lines were, “Don’t turn around–I don’t want you seeing me crying.”  It was about a woman whose boyfriend had just broken up with her, and though she was devastated, she didn’t want him to see what he’d done to her.

I’d hear this and their song “I Saw the Sign” (about a woman who finally realized her ex was not the one for her and she could find the one who was), and be glad that–since we were married before God–the song would never apply to me ever again as long as Phil and I both lived.

There was yet another Honors Convocation on Friday, April 29 at 6:30pm.  Phil and I were both honored in it because we were both in the Honors CORE program.  It was odd to be honored for something that basically amounted to being in one Studies class instead of another.

Tables were all set up and covered with cloths in Bossard, and our parents all came, taking this chance to meet each other.  Little Taylor came along as well.  We met them at the Campus Center at 5:50, and the banquet was at 6.

It was funny that our mothers had the same name.  Our parents seemed to get along really well.

And through it all, they didn’t know Phil and I were already married.  This must have been how Romeo and Juliet felt around their parents after their secret marriage.

Index 
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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