Category: exposing abuse

I confront Phil about his abuse–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–November 1994, Part 2

On the third, Persephone and I joked about how Phil squanders his money.  I mentioned the tithe-disagreement when he said he’d handle our finances, and she said, “I’m never gonna marry him.  I’m not crazy!”

On the fourth, I wrote in my diary,

“I’m a better person when I’m not around you.”  Hogwash.  [And also, from accounts of his next girlfriends, not at all true.]  You’ve got to take responsibility for your own actions, since nobody makes you act cruel unless they hold a gun to your head or something.

If you treat me like dirt, if you feel like a bad person around me, that’s your problem, not mine.

On the fifth or sixth, Saturday or Sunday, my roommies and I were walking back from lunch when lo and behold, I saw Phil and Persephone off in the distance, walking on the drive over by the marshy field beyond.

I couldn’t believe it.  I have recorded many different times when Phil and I somehow “happened” to be in the same place at the same time, no matter how unusual.

When we had class at the same time and in the same building, it was understandable, but this often wasn’t the case.  It was as if Phil knew where I was at all times and made an effort to be in my sight.

If, in those days, American society had already grown paranoid about stalkers (which they were in the late 90s), I probably would have asked the question, Is Phil stalking me?

As it was, I was very upset, seeing yet again a reminder of how quickly he threw me away and looked for a replacement chick, after having insisted for months and months that we were truly man and wife.

On November 3, I had just prayed for help forgiving Phil.  I had also just written in the Journal to my friends the day before about the hurt and anger I didn’t know how to deal with.

I had to shelve new books in the Religion section of the library.  So I looked around for books on knowing God’s will and other spiritual questions.

Then I saw this little, white paperback with the title, Forgive and Forget: Healing The Hurts We Don’t Deserve by Lewis B. Smeade.  (Here is an interview with the author which describes the book’s philosophy.)

I snatched up the book and put it on the cart to check out.

It said hatred was stage 2 of forgiveness.  It said that in order to forgive, first I must confront the person who wronged me–say how he wronged me, and that I hated him for it.  It had to be done, or I wouldn’t be able to release him in my heart, and he wouldn’t know that he did something wrong.

On pages 141-2, the author described a college teacher who trusted the chairman of her department to put in a good word for her.  Instead, he stabbed her in the back, and she lost her job.

She knew about it, but he didn’t know she did.  She pretended each day to day that it hadn’t happened; each night she’d go home and throw up.  Finally, she told him he’d done her wrong, “and I hate you for it.”  After that, she stopped throwing up after work.

Dr. Phil McGraw also says that sending a letter is sometimes necessary:

As you consider your own triggering event and the nature and degree of the suffering you’ve endured, what is your MER [Minimal Effective Response]?

Maybe you don’t feel the need or have the courage right now to do either one of the kinds of things that were contemplated for Rhonda. Maybe what you need to do is write a letter and write down all your thoughts and all your feelings. Maybe that does it for you.

Maybe you even need to mail the letter, if your event involves another person. Perhaps, like Rhonda, if you can’t mail the letter, then you might need to go to the offender’s grave and read it to him or her in the cemetery.

Whatever your MER is, you need to identify it and you need to do it. You need to emit that response until such time as you can say, “OK, that’s it. That’s enough. My lens is clean. My emotional business is finished and I am free to go back to being that person that I now know that I am.”

So I confronted Phil in a letter, which I let sit, told my dad about, and then showed to Pearl for advice before sending.  It’s often said that we should confront people rather than just complaining about them to other people, that the pain of confrontation is brief in comparison to the pain of having a problem continue.

The letter went into detail about the emotional abuse Phil had put me through.  

It made clear that I saw him with my last letter coming out of Muehlmeier, and that I felt there was nothing about that letter to upset him.  It chewed him out for showing it around rather than considering it.

It gave my perspective on the marriage, which is that it was real and valid.  

The letter explained that I had to confront him if I ever hoped to forgive him.

I prayed a lot over the letter, asking for guidance, for the proper words and content, for God to work his will through it, soften Phil’s heart for it, convict him through it….I felt it was God’s will for me to send it.

Phil never responded to the letter–probably because I told him not to unless he sincerely repented.  I didn’t want to talk about it.  I’d already had quite enough of his dismissals any time I tried to tell him he did something wrong.

I wanted him to stop sitting with us at meals and getting mushy with Persephone, to stop greeting me in the halls; I wanted to be left completely alone so my anger would cool down.

I wrote, “No more will I be walked over.”

Persephone found the letter accidentally, but after talking with me about it, decided she had nothing to be angry with me about.

After reading this letter over again almost 20 years later, I would have deleted some things, though I put them in there for a valid reason.  But they could be misunderstood or seen as arrogant.

But I understand them: I was furious with him because, as I have shown over the course of these memoirs, he had emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abused me since we started dating.

I expressed so much anger because he ripped my spirit in two with his constant psychological abuse, gaslighting, playing hoaxes, and attempts to force me into painful or disgusting sex.

He sexually assaulted me.

He tried to change history on me and lie to me numerous times about my own behavior, to make me think I was bad, when I never did what he accused me of.

He shamed me and cut me down over and over again for things which were not wrong, such as solving a puzzle on a game differently than he would, simply so he could control me with his fury and verbal abuse.

The pain was still raw, and immediately after breaking up with me, he started up with a new girl.  He sat with my friends and me all the time to be with this new girl, and got cuddly and cutesy with her right in front of me, deliberately rubbing in my face that he had moved on already.

He told lies about me to his friends, a smear campaign to make others think I was the abuser.  He was still trying to control and abuse me after the relationship was over.

5 years later, I still saw it as an excellent letter, though I already saw the things that needed changing.  Even 12 years later, when I posted these accounts on the Web in 2006, I still thought it was a good letter, with nothing to be ashamed of.

In any case, the letter never threatened or begged; it gave my point of view completely, and told him to stay away from me so I could calm down my anger.  It was brief, only about 4 typed pages.

I did not yet know the terms emotional abuse, sexual abuse (forcing me to do things I didn’t want to do), psychological abuse, or gaslighting.

But this and the previous letter described many of his abuses, and begged him to get counseling for himself.  It even directly accused him of abusing his authority as head of the wife.

It’s a relief to read this many years later, because I did indeed confront my abuser with his abuses, and do not have that “unfinished business.”

This part I would not touch; it is the best part of the letter:

During our marriage I may’ve done a few things I shouldn’t have, but you’ve done your own things that make me think you just don’t know how to respect or love a wife.  Some of the things you say to your own mother were warnings to me, but I hoped you wouldn’t treat me the same.

And your refusals to respond to my needs in so many situations–only your “subconscious” really knew the proper way to treat a woman, and that’s why I fell in love with him.

Then I discovered he wasn’t even real, and that it wasn’t easy to get you to act like him, even though you said it was.  He was you, you said.  Yeah, right.

He was reasonable, unaccusing, cool-headed.  He could compromise.  He didn’t demand his wants over my needs, nor make me feel like I had to be a meek little slave to please you. 

He wouldn’t flat-out refuse to do something I needed done just because he didn’t want to, he’d have a legitimate reason. He wouldn’t force himself on me in ways that pained me, he’d slowly get me to want them. 

He wouldn’t take and take all I was willing to give, which was a lot, and then not give me what I asked for. He wouldn’t be chauvinistic nor treat me like a silly and naïve woman, when really I could often reason better or was better informed. 

[At first this seemed arrogant, but then I saw that he treated me like “a silly and naïve woman.”  It wasn’t about arrogance, but protested being treated like an idiot.]

He didn’t abuse his authority as head of the wife, or be a tyrant.

This isn’t a question of being meant for someone, this is a question of examining yourself and the way you treat your wife, changing what you can change and not taking the defeatist attitude that you can’t, learning to compromise, and thinking how your stage of rebellion (which really isn’t against me) can be gotten through without hurting and alienating the people who love you the most.

I feel sorry for Persephone, who has yet to learn these things about you.

Since he never apologized or repented during that time (at least, that I ever heard), and carried on his behavior to subsequent relationships, I was probably talking to a brick wall.  But somebody had to confront him.

Persephone also confronted him, calling him an a–hole for things he did to me and told her about.  Knowing her, she probably also confronted him about things he did to her.

So there you have it: First, I went to him directly with my concerns.  Then I discovered that Persephone told him off for the things he did to me.

Yet he did not repent.

Since we had no church in common, and he no longer went to InterVarsity meetings, there was no way to “tell it to the church.”  The next stage, adapting Matthew 18:15-17 to my situation, was to stop associating with him.

On the 8th, praying on the way, I pinched the letter as a symbolic “laying on of hands,” then dropped the letter in the Campus Center mailbox.  I went into the Campus Shoppe for a bit, then started out.

But who should open the door for me, but Phil!  How did he, a commuter on a campus with more than 1000 students enrolled, always show up in the same place and time as me?

I stared straight ahead and walked past him.  As I wrote in my diary the next day,

It is done.  It makes me nervous, but there’s also that consciousness of doing the right thing–facing up to my tormentor, taking no more of this abuse.

Pearl also has a theory on why I keep running into him all the time: Maybe God’s trying to teach me endurance.  Hm.

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:

 

Different kinds of abuse–same feelings: How Mark Driscoll reminds me of Tracy, Phil, and others

One reason why I read blogs and articles of all different kinds of abuse, is that I find the reactions of the abuse victims are the same everywhere.

Of course you’ll have differences here and there: Being molested by a parent is not the same as being psychologically manipulated by an ex-boyfriend, for example.

But everywhere you find the same common themes: loss of trust, hurt, pain, confusion, longing for the abuser to acknowledge the abuse and make up for it.

The other day, I read this account of narcissistic abuse and a smear campaign at Mars Hill Church:

My Story by Jonna Petry

Her husband was a pastor with the church for a time, until he was abandoned and smeared by Mark Driscoll.

In this and in other stories I’ve read about abuse at Mars Hill Church, I was struck all along by things that sounded very familiar, in my own experiences with narcissistic abuse, from exes (especially Phil) and from Richard and Tracy:

  • A person/place who at first seemed like God’s gift to you.
  • Pressure to conform.
  • Shunning someone you are told is bad.
  • Abuse and getting kicked out for questioning, disagreeing, speaking up about problems.
  • A person who throws tantrums and verbally abuses you for the slightest offenses, even when the offense is only in his own mind.
  • A smear campaign.
  • Others encouraged to shun you.
  • A kangaroo court in which you have no real chance to defend yourself.
  • Others put through the same abuse if they stick up for you.
  • A “conference” which is meant not to hear your side or your grievances, but to coerce you into agreeing that the abuse against you is justified.
  • A refusal of the abusers to admit they’ve done anything wrong.  As Driscoll and his henchman wrote to Jonna and her husband, “We still believe we have done nothing wrong.”
  • Begging others to help, but no one will.
  • Discovering this abuse is a pattern, that it neither began nor ended with you.

The hurt, pain and confusion as you long desperately for reconciliation:

In shock and heartbroken, Paul and I tried desperately that first half-year to bring about some level of reconciliation.

We so longed to be restored to our friends, to have our name and reputation exonerated, and to have peace in our relationships.

This had become our family that we loved and served and ministered to as our own dear children and as brothers and sisters. These were our dear friends.

How could they do this to us? Words do not adequately describe the shock, horror, betrayal, and rejection we felt. The weight of the loss was excruciating.

The PTSD and shaking of faith:

During this whole season since the firing and the months that followed, I was emotionally and spiritually devastated.

I was often tormented by fear. I had nightmares and imaginations of someone trying to physically harm Paul, me, and the children.

If Mark had had ecclesiastical power to burn Paul at the stake I believe he would have.

I literally slept in the fetal position for months. I stayed in bed a lot, bringing the children in bed with me to do their schoolwork.

I became severely depressed and could hardly bring myself to leave the house except when absolutely necessary. I cried nearly every day for well over a year thinking I must soon cry it out, right?

But, the sorrow was bottomless. My faith was gravely shaken. How could a loving God allow this?

Later it became clear that I had typical symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression and that these reactions were common in someone who has experienced spiritual abuse.

Spiritual abuse occurs when someone uses their power within a framework of spiritual belief or practice to satisfy their own needs at the expense of others. It is a breach of sacred trust.

Christians are commanded by Jesus to love one another. When that is projected, articulated, enjoyed and then treacherously betrayed, the wounded person is left with “a sense of having been raped, emotionally and spiritually” not by a stranger, but by someone who was deeply trusted. (See Recovering from Church Abuse by Len Hjalmarson)

At the beginning, Jonna wrote,

This past summer I saw the movie, “The Help,” and a seed of courage was planted in my soul. One of the last lines of the movie:

“God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do.  But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free.”

This story is an earnest attempt to speak the truth in love that freedom and new life may flourish.

At the end, she wrote things which encourage me to continue telling the story of Richard/Tracy–and express the same hope I hold, that one day my abusers will recognize their abuse and change:

In Acts, Chapter 20, the Apostle Paul pleaded with the Ephesian elders to pay attention and guard the flock.

This admonition, along with the mounting stories of abuse and misconduct coming out of Mars Hill Church, has added to our conviction.

We believe that to remain quiet now would be unloving and disobedient to God. As my husband stated earlier–if we fail to remember our history, we leave it for others to re-write. And, unfortunately, some of that has occurred.

And, in Mark’s own words from his book, Vintage Jesus:

“People are not perfect. As sinners we need to be gracious, patient, and merciful with one another just as God is with us or the church will spend all of its time doing nothing but having church discipline trials.

“It is worth stressing, however, that we cannot simply overlook an offense if doing so is motivated by our cowardice, fear of conflict, and/or lack of concern for someone and their sanctification.

“In the end, it is the glory of God, the reputation of Jesus, the well-being of the church, and the holiness of the individual that must outweigh any personal desires for a life of ease that avoids dealing with sin biblically.

“Sometimes God in his providential love for us allows us to be involved in dealing with another’s sin as part of our sanctification and growth. It is good for us and for the sinner, the church, and the reputation of the gospel if we respond willingly to the task God has set before us.”

What happened to us was very wrong. The way it was publicly described by Mark and the elders at the time was completely exaggerated and deceptive. The way the media and blogs have since reported on it has many holes and errors. Now it is open and plain to everyone.

If Mark and the organizations he leads do not change, I fear many more will be hurt, Mark and his family included.  To not speak is to not love or care and shows no thought or consideration for those who have been wounded and those who will be in the future.

We are witnesses. There is a pattern. There is a history. There is an ethos of authoritarianism and abuse.

Mark is the unquestioned head of Mars Hill Church and the Acts 29 Network. His elders have no way to hold him accountable. Those under him likely fear him and want to garner his favor so they don’t dare say nor do anything that might anger him. This is tragic.

Perhaps at some point, with enough outcry and exposure, Mark will come to his senses, own his harmful behavior, and get the help he needs to change. I hope so. Our common Enemy can make terrible use of our weaknesses and blind spots.

Our Lord’s harshest words were for leaders who used their status, power, the Scriptures, and God’s people for their own self-aggrandizement. Surely this is not what Mark meant to do.

We are all in this together, no matter what kind of abuse we suffered, or from whom.

We did not deserve it, and need to learn and remember this.  We need to put the responsibility for the abuse, and our subsequent hurt and pain, where it belongs–on the abuser–and take none for ourselves.

And we need to NOT look at each other and think, “I got it worse than you, so why should I bother with your story and pain?”

We also need to learn from each other, take courage from each other to speak up and tell our stories, and heal each other.

 

Phil’s “subconscious” explains why he’s coming out to talk to me–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–July 1994, Part 5

On July 24, I wrote the reasons the “subconscious” told me he was coming out.  One was that Phil “doesn’t know what he wants and won’t listen to him.”

I don’t want to publish everything here on the second point, but basically, Phil was clumsy and tried to get me to do things I found gross (oral) or painful (anal), which didn’t work, so he lost his passion.

He wasn’t passionate enough to satisfy his subconscious, so the sub. came out to rectify things by going more slowly and teaching me to do the things I didn’t want to do.  Once I was ready and able to do these things, and Phil became more passionate again, the sub. would stop taking over.

Looking at this with more knowledgeable eyes, it basically sounds like the “subconscious” was yet another attempt to coerce me into doing things which grossed me out and/or caused excruciating pain.

Especially since me doing these things, was the way to get Phil more passionate so the subconscious would no longer “need” to come out….

Basically, it was my “fault” he was losing his passion.  And if he could behave so “tender” and “passionate” and “gentle” as his subconscious, why not drop the act and just do this as himself?

Also, the subconscious said he could tell from my “aura” that my own subconscious actually wanted to do the things I didn’t want to do.  So Phil’s purpose in this big hoax was to manipulate me into things I did not want to do, in every way possible!

Then I wrote,

He says Phil’s forgetting about this diary, but that it’s probably better if I don’t tell him things.

Last night, Phil told me he felt his subc. was more intriguing and “neat” to a person like me, and that when it’s me and his subc., he can have no part of it.  Even in dreams, he can have a good dream and remember it when we do something.  He doesn’t like that his subc. is with me.

So now there’s guilt-tripping, when in reality Phil was awake and present the entire time, playing a joke on me.  He was practically accusing me of an affair–with himself.

And, from this and the parts I’m not quoting, he used this as a ploy to get even more sex than usual, so “Phil-awake” wouldn’t miss out.  A couple of times I sent the subconscious away because I needed sleep; the third time, guilt came out again, as he said, “Please don’t send me away again, or I’ll never come back.”

Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you.  When he came back, maybe the first time, I told him Phil feels like he’s competing with his own subc.

“So?” he said.

“Don’t you care how he feels?  He is you,” I said, upset.

“No.”  But later on I found that wasn’t because he was bad, but because he wanted Phil’s passion to return, and this was the way to do it.

…After [the subc.] left again, Phil woke up once while I slept, and sat whispering to our stuffed rabbit-son Benny, “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?  Yes, she is!”  I heard him and woke up.

On July 25, I wrote,

He, the subc., whom theory says cloaks the messages into images in dreams, really doesn’t know what they are, either.  They aren’t always messages, either.

Phil does still dream when “he’s” around, sometimes, and whether or not the sleep is refreshing depends on the sleep, not on the subc. who’s visiting me.

Phil [in the van], as I tried to explain the subc.’s purpose in coming, said, “My subc. is a jerk.  He’s seeing you behind my back.”  I hooted with laughter.  “Hey Jealousy” was playing; I said, “Hey, Jealousy, you sound like a house divided against itself.”

Later, I said to the subc., “I suppose you know what Phil called you today.”  He laughed.  “What do you think of it?”

He said, “If only he knew what I’m doing for him.”

I paged through books and encyclopedias looking for any references to the subconscious coming out, often while sitting right next to Phil at the computer.  On July 27, I wrote:

This is no deception by Phil, neither is it him dreaming.  I’ve talked to him both ways, grilled him, watched him, and detected no tricks, no lies, nothing but what points to it being as he (subc.) says.

Here’s what the subconscious does all day: He takes in what the five senses detect.  He prioritizes things, puts them in order, tries to tell them to Phil.  He can’t see me unless Phil can.

He has no part in dreams, despite all those dream “codes” they talk about and all those theories that dreams are cloaked messages from the subc.  (As a matter of fact, he called those codes “a bunch of hocus-pocus like fortune-telling and astrology.”)

He’s awake pretty much all the time.  (I asked when he’s not awake, but all he said was, “How should I know?”)  He’s got so little to do, so few jobs, that he has a lot of free time on his hands (so to speak) and likes to fantasize.  And what about?  Me, of course, and a lot….

He needs me so badly that if I don’t have sex with him almost every time he appears, he may not be able to come back to me ever again.  He says he’ll probably disappear for a while during my fertile period.

And I can’t wake up Phil directly; he has to do it, or else the shock of jumping from one mind to another could make him mentally and emotionally unstable, or make him forget years of his life, or even kill him!

So he’ll have to be very careful with his appearances back at his house, where family members like to burst into the room unannounced and make life very perilous for us.

He says I’m the ember for his fire; he needs my passion; he needs my carnal desires.  Without them, he can’t return.

He also says he’s the part that comes out under hypnosis.  I told him I got hypnotized a couple times, and that a link [with Peter] was set up for a while which I’m glad no longer exists.  Maybe I’ll tell him more details later.

Oh, yes, I mustn’t forget what he said the other night: That the love he felt at first sight was the knowledge that I was the one.  We’re meant for each other, meant to be together for our whole lives.

And he says he loved me first [instead of Pearl], he loved me when he first laid eyes on me; Phil-conscious loved me when he decided he did.

And when Phil-conscious told me he wasn’t the guy who called my name from an upper window in the library [happened junior year as I walked by, and I never knew who or why], he was right, but he wished it had been him.

On August 2, I wrote to Clarissa,

Speaking of minds, the following is something I only want to tell a few people because I don’t know how the hearer would react to it.

There were some times that Phil himself didn’t really believe it, and I’ve had to test to see that it’s true and not him tricking me or talking in his sleep.

Don’t tell anyone about it, or they might get the wrong idea or think I’m crazy.

But lately truth has certainly been stranger than fiction.  I don’t know how, though I’ve tried to research it, but Phil’s subconscious has been using Phil’s mouth to talk to me while Phil’s asleep!

I figure I might as well tell you because, for one thing, you’ve been my roommate for two years and I’ve told you a lot of things, and for another, I don’t think you’d decide I’m just either gullible or nuts.

But this happens without any hypnotism; “he” comes out on his own volition, or when I call to him in a whisper.  Phil has to be asleep because both can’t be “present” at the same time, and I can’t wake Phil up myself when his subconscious mind is “out.”

“He” has a theory for the why, why he comes out, which is too personal for me to tell even you, but has no idea about the how.

I’ve been asking him about the subconscious, what it’s like and what it does; it doesn’t have a whole lot to do, so in its spare time it likes to fantasize about things.  At least, he does.

And forget all that stuff they tell us about dreams being messages cloaked by the subconscious mind.  He says he doesn’t even know what dreams are, and that those dream interpretations are a bunch of hocus-pocus, like astrology.

I’m going to have to talk to our psychology major, Sharon, abut some of this, and probably my Intro to Psych teacher as well.  Suddenly I’m quite glad I’m taking Psych, and that I’m taking it this next semester.

So you see how Phil’s hoax was beginning to spread, how I even planned to discuss it with my Psych teacher.

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:

 

The healing of getting it all out

Going into my college memoirs and publicly exposing the abuse that my exes put me through (without revealing their names because this is not about revenge)–This does seem to be helping a lot.  There’s just something about getting it all out into the open.

Going through the Phil files to post them has been draining and exhausting, but it’s good to get it out there.

As I do so, I see new things I did not know before, based on my research into abuse, and I can validate that former, scared self I was 20 years ago.  And I know that countless readers could identify with my story.  (See here.)

The same thing is happening with posting the Richard/Tracy story here in the blog section of my website.  I did that already, a year and a half ago, but it got few hits.  My blog wasn’t so big back then.

It’s on my website, but except for a few pages, my website doesn’t get many hits in general.  [Note 1/3/15: When I posted this, I had not yet combined my website with my blog, as it is now.]

But now that I’m rewriting the story and posting it here in little chunks, the writing is improving, and people are starting to read parts of it because they can see the chunks are relevant to their own experiences.  [Note 8/21/15: I am moving these “chunks” to the 2010 and 2011 archives.]

I’m also adding things and making connections which I didn’t get before, because I had not yet done the research into abuse which I have done since I finished it in 2012.

Exposing the story like this is scary–the usual, “What will people think of me?”  It wasn’t quite as scary when few people were reading it.

But writing our stories of abuse is not about being judged by others, or about vengeance: It’s about the healing journey.  The first part is to get out the story, and not worry about what others think of us.

We MUST tell our stories in some way.  Keeping it secret will kill our spirits, even if not our bodies.  We must expose what our abusers did, not keep the secret for them, as if we owe them a favor.

This extensive rewriting and posting of both the Richard/Tracy and Phil stories has been very draining and exhausting.  But I can feel the healing come into my spirit.

I see new connections and insights which I did not have before, from three years’ distance and research.  I see red flags and lies which I did not see before.

I see that I can forgive myself, both for fleas caught from my abusers, and for falling for the lies of the narcissists.

I see how I was being used and manipulated from early on.  I see that my theories of what happened with Richard and Tracy, make a lot of sense, answer all the questions.

The more I rewrite and revisit these experiences, the more I see how Richard and Tracy both manipulated, used and deceived me, how their lies were woven.  The more I see that my husband and I do not need these people back in our lives, no matter how much grief I held over losing my supposed “BFF.”

I see that it’s not my fault I was abused by Richard and Tracy.  I see that it was not my fault I was abused by Phil, or that he lied to and manipulated his flying monkey Dirk, and then sent him to break my spirit and get me under Phil’s control at last.

And hopefully I can recognize such people if they come into my life again.  And help others recognize such people as well, after they read my stories and get validation for their own experiences.

I have also read of people telling their abusers what they have done to them, and how healing that is, even though normally the abusers call them crazy and refuse to apologize.

We can’t expect apologies or depend on them for our healing, though we do deserve apologies and they would be a healing bonus.  We can’t let the abusers keep us under their control, as if they get to decide whether or not we can heal.

Well, my abusers have been reading my blog and website for the past year and a half.  Let them read what I’m posting now.  It’s healing for me to lay it all out here, and in small chunks, hoping they will actually READ it this time.

(They went over it so quickly last year, and got such bizarre interpretations of what it said, that I doubt they truly *read* it.)  Maybe now they’ll finally GET it.

Or not, because that requires empathy, and the willingness to admit to doing wrong, abusive things to me and to others.  I saw very little of that when I knew them, but a whole lot of justification for every nasty word, every act of vengeance.

They’ll probably just find some way to call everything I write “baloney” again, or say it never happened that way, or that they never did that, or that they were justified, even though everything I write is true and this is how it all happened.

Which is exactly why we broke off relations with them.

That’s how abusers act when you confront them with the abuse, so you can’t expect apologies or even acknowledgement that you tell the truth.  It’s extremely common for abusers to call their victims “liars,” “crazy,” and continue the abuse, even when faced with documentation proving their abuse.

I hope that the current bitter cold weather will inspire them to say as soon as Tracy graduates, “Screw this, we’re going back home where it’s warm!”  (You know it’s been cold when you consider 15 degrees and an above-zero wind chill “springlike.”)  Then they’d be thousands of miles away from me.

They’re banned from former mutual friend Todd’s Forum, I don’t see them on my other forums anymore, and I dropped current mutual friends on Facebook to protect myself.

While I do see the mutual friends sometimes on the Forum, or on Todd’s Facebook, there’s no chance of interacting with them in the same threads as Richard/Tracy.  So even online is much safer now.

The emotional pain of seeing them at my church and fearing what they will do there, or what they will say to whom to smear me (such as my priest, which they did already do), no longer happens.

It’s the same as when Peter and Shawn stopped going to my college two years in, so I no longer saw them around every day.  Or when I graduated and moved away from S– and to Fond du Lac, so I no longer saw Phil, Persephone or Dirk every day.

Not seeing your abusers around, and not hearing their names all the time, is incredibly helpful when you can manage it.

It also feels like the events I write about here–even though they still can stir up anger at times–are becoming just another part of my past, something that happened long ago.  The more I write, the more it seems like just words and pages on a screen, and no more real than fairyland.

I spent the 90s still smarting over the things that Peter, Shawn, Phil and others did in college, but the more I wrote about it, the more it seemed to fade.  And then so much time passed that, even though I can channel old feelings long enough to write a blog post on abuse, after I’m done writing about it and tweaking the posts, it fades away again as if it never happened.

Now that the threat is gone and Richard and Tracy have finally turned into nothing but an IP address in my blog stats, I feel like revising and re-posting the book I wrote about that experience, is all I need to do.  Maybe even publish it on Lulu for those who prefer that form.

Then after that, it will all fade as if it never happened.  Much faster than it did with the exes, because I didn’t have a blog back then, just a private journal and occasional e-mails or forum posts…..

Phil’s cruel hoax on me: his “subconscious” coming out to be with me–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–July 1994, Part 4

Ever since early February–yes, the very beginning of our relationship–Phil pretended to talk and move in his sleep, making me think he was dreaming when he was actually conscious the whole time.  He did this with all sorts of “dreams.”

It is well known that people sometimes sleepwalk, talk and/or act out dreams in their sleep, and I saw Peter act out dreams a few times.  One of Cugan’s college friends once took on too many activities at Gen-Con, the gamer’s convention; he finally collapsed into his seat at a Dr. Who roleplaying game.  He dozed off, then woke again to hear, “You won!”  He had sleeptalked through the whole game, doing voices and accents and cracking jokes so well that no one had a clue he was asleep.

With my NVLD, I didn’t realize Phil was playing a hoax.  With my trusting nature, and being in a relationship based on trust, I never imagined how well an actor can act when deceiving his own girlfriend, fiancée or wife, the one he claims to love.  I never realized that he was Lovelace to my Clarissa.

I have rarely mentioned this to anyone before, because it was so humiliating.  Putting it here on the Web is to finally release it, and put it where it can help others recognize the tactics of abusers.

(Also, I would love for Dirk to find it and realize he was the pawn of a manipulative abuser.  Though that probably will not happen, because Phil has no idea this blog exists, and I do not use real names.)

As I described before, in February, Phil pretended to go into a dream state, and then said, “Your purpose is–to destroy me!”  I was horrified that he would say such a thing, whether in a dream or awake.

Over the summer, while his conscious self became more and more controlling and manipulative, his so-called dreaming self was the same kind, gentle spirit I had fallen in love with, telling me this was all a “test” to see if I’d stick around.  Naturally, I began to prefer the dreaming self.  The most elaborate hoax was played from July 19 to August 11–almost a month:

On Tuesday, July 19 at 7 in the morning, I wrote in my diary,

The oddest thing just happened to me.  [We were sleeping in the guest bedroom when] Phil’s subconscious “awoke” twice while he slept, and talked with me.  After the first time, when Phil woke up, I despaired of hearing the rest of a sentence he’d been saying, but later on “he” came back out and restated his sentence.

Then we had a long talk about many things the subconscious knew that Phil (who he referred to in the third person) did not.  Two of the most important things were:

His conscious believes he first fell in love with me that night we had our long talk about him and Tracy, and then stayed overnight in [a Phi-Delt’s] room, and also that he only liked Pearl as a friend when he first met me.  But his subconscious knows that he did like Pearl romantically, and that he knew it was either me or Pearl.

And most importantly, he fell in love with me soon after he first laid eyes on me–truly love at first sight.  I guess it does exist, after all.  His conscious mind first knew he loved me when we went on our very first date, but convinced himself it wasn’t until the night of our talk/sleepover.

The second most important thing is, his conscious mind doesn’t know the biggest reason why we keep arguing so much and worse.  He thinks it’s hard day taken out on me, being mad at me, being mad that I’m not making sense–but that’s all he knows.  His subconscious knows he’s testing me–making sure we’re right for each other and that I can put up with him.

On Saturday, 7/23 at 1:43pm (yes, pm), I wrote,

He came out again just now, while Phil was sleeping.  Phil had been dreaming about me and keeping me awake for the past hour with his gropings and pullings, etc., when he asked me to kiss him.  He asked me to make love to him (yes, we are married, common law–if we’d not been married, Phil and his subconscious tell me, Phil would’ve hated me for taking away his virginity).  I said, “You’re asleep.”  He said, “No, I’m not.  I’m subconscious.  You wanted me to come out again.”

He thinks he comes out when Phil kisses me with his eyes closed, but that happens a lot, so obviously that’s not the whole reason.  I kept asking him questions…. Here’s what he told me:

First, that he–the subconscious–has wanted me from the first time he laid eyes on me.  That he knew I wanted him–not a psychic thing, but a subconscious one.  He saw my “aura”–that told him things about me, that I was a virgin and not a slut, that I was a good person–and that I would be good in bed.  Hmm!  I was also, he said, more desirable than anyone else in the room.

He didn’t want to tell me more, because he could go on for days!  The main reason for his attraction was the way I looked, he said.

….I asked him if he was the superego, or what part of the subconscious he was.  “I am the subconscious,” he said.  “Superego and id?” I said.  “In Freudian terms,” he said.

“Was Freud right?” I said.

“On some points,” he said.

“Is the id really that bad?”

“Ssh.”

“What?”

(Several shushes.)

“Don’t talk,” he said, “just experience.”  Even though he didn’t know if Phil would stay asleep or wake up afterwards.  He woke up, to my disappointment because I had more questions, and he didn’t want to hear what his subconscious had told me.  He started reading my diary over my shoulder after I wrote “First,” but then he went downstairs to work on a Dungeons & Dragons character.

My men–first Peter, now Phil–sure have a way of keeping it interesting for me!–2:03pm

–3:30pm  Oh, yeah: This is definitely a unique experience.  When Phil’s talked in his sleep before, it’s been Phil asleep.  His subconscious says that he’s never done this before, talk to people like he does to me, and he doesn’t know why he’s doing it now.

Maybe I could tell some of the less-private things, things about the subconscious itself, to Sharon, my psychology-major friend and, now, roommate.  [Around this time, I did tell my old roommate Clarissa in a letter, telling her not to tell anyone else because they’d think I was gullible–but she did tell Sharon.]–3:23pm

–8:26pm  “He” came out again….I’ve heard of joining body and soul, but this–would it really fit to say it’s “ridiculous”?  I don’t know what to think about it; it’s all so weird.

He told me his purpose in coming is to make love to me….[Earlier Phil] said he “must sleep now.”  I asked him why; no answer.  I tugged on his ear and said, “Phil’s subconscious!  Why?”  He answered then, and told me his purpose in being out.  He kept telling me…that I want him more than Phil’s conscious–“I’m more intriguing to you,” he said….

I asked him who he was, based on the division of body, soul and spirit.  I told him Pat Robertson’s description of it, that the spirit is what God talks to and the source of the psi function, and that the soul is the mind.  At least, I think that’s roughly how P.R. put it.  Maybe psi is in the soul, not the spirit.

But whichever way it is, the subconscious said he’s the part that knows more than Phil-conscious knows, and only tells him what he needs to know without being overwhelmed.  I think he said he remembers things but I’m not sure now.  He said he’s part of the mind.  So I guess he’s part of the soul.

…He said we’re meant for each other.  I said, “You mean, me and you and Phil, or just me and you?”  He said, me and him.  “This is getting spooky,” I said.

“How?” he said.

“For one thing, how do you come out?  Why did you?”

“I come out because you want me to.  You wanted me to come out.”

“I was curious if I could get you to come out.  I kissed Phil with his eyes closed.  How’d you know I wanted you out?”

Somehow, he knows.  Can he see or feel what my subconscious knows?  Things I don’t necessarily know?  (Oh, yeah…He said I’ll never know how many times he’s been out.)  [Either he didn’t answer or I didn’t write it down.]

“Is it wrong for me to want you more?…I mean, you are Phil, after all….”

“What do you want me to say, that it is?  Then you wouldn’t want me anymore.  I couldn’t come out anymore.”

“This is spooky.  How can the subconscious do something like this?  How can it ‘come out’?”

“It’s magic.”

“Magic?  What kind of magic?”

“Fate.  A miracle.  Don’t question it.  We were meant for each other.”

…How in the world is this whole thing possible? Sometimes I wonder if Phil’s just playing a trick on me.  Or going nuts.  Or if it’s not really Phil or his subconscious speaking to me through his mouth.  [I probably meant demon possession.]

I said, “Why doesn’t he want me to tell him what you say?”

He said, “He doesn’t want it from you.  He wants it from me.”

“Will he read it in my diary?”

“He’ll try.”

“What does he expect to find?”

“He wants to understand himself.”

“Have you told me anything he doesn’t already know?”

“Not much.”

“Should I write down what you’re telling me now?” (meaning, all I have written in this entry so far)

“That’s up to you.”

“What’ll he do if he reads it?”

I don’t even know that.”

So there you have it, what he told me.  I have so many questions for him….Am I right or wrong to keep wanting him out?  He is Phil, after all.  I love all of him, conscious and subconscious.

?

–9:04pm

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: