Category: healing from abuse

As of tomorrow, it will be two months since my stalkers’ last visit here….

I probably can stop calling them my stalkers now.  😉  They just seem to have dropped off the face of the earth for some reason.  🙂  It’s almost as if they don’t exist anymore, except as an unpleasant memory.

In the meantime, I am so heavily into rewriting the Unwilling Time-Traveler series that I can barely think of anything else.  My muse has finally returned after some time gone, giving me ideas and helping me fix various plot holes.

I also have, at my fingertips, a whole wealth of historical information to make the story ring authentic.  I didn’t have anything like the Internet when I first wrote it.  So far, any question I have, a simple Google search brings up the answer.

I have changed some things to give the story a whole new element that also makes it more grown-up.  It has charged the entire thing with a new energy.  I’m not going to spoil it for you, but just write and see where it leads.  But keep the old story up, because I am rather fond of it.

See?  A post began about my former stalkers, becomes a post about my writing project.  It used to be that dealing with my stalkers was always on my mind.  Now, my writing is, and it is far more pleasant.

I feel alive again.  Happy.  🙂

(Well, except when I think about pending WWIII.  But this post is not about that.)

 

Reblog: Stop telling me to forgive my abuser

From Christina Enevoldsen, Stop telling me to forgive my abuser:

It’s easy to understand why there would be so much disagreement considering that there are so many definitions of forgiveness. To some it means accepting the past. Others define forgiveness as letting go of negative emotions. To some, it coincides with reconciliation or feeling no ill will toward towards the abuser, while others believe it has nothing to do with a relationship the abuser.

Added to that, forgiveness is very often preached as necessary for other survivors. It’s one thing to say that forgiveness is important to you, but quite another to insist that it’s important for all survivors or to tell others what’s best for their own healing. That’s when forgiveness discussions turn into defenses against boundary violations and condescending remarks.

….Saying that we all need to be forgiven isn’t helpful. That discounts the serious and repetitive nature of sexual abuse. It’s a shame-making statement to compel a survivor into doing what they “should”. It’s each survivor’s decision to work out what’s best for him or her.”

….“holding a grudge”
“resentful”
“bitter”
“angry”

Those are all very triggering words to most survivors that I know. Why wouldn’t they be? Who wants to be around someone who is bitter? Who wants to extend support to someone who is resentful? Being labeled as angry means rejection. Those accusations are intended to get us “in line”—to make us conform to cultural norms and to put the happy face back on.

….What’s wrong with feeling ill will toward your abuser? What wrong with complaining about them? What wrong with feeling indignant about their abuse? What’s wrong with expressing anger?

Those are the things I needed to do to heal. Previously, I was numb to the things that happened to me. Coping with the abuse required me to agree with my treatment and to shut down my feelings. But unfeeling isn’t the same as being healed.

….To heal, I had to do the opposite of what forgiveness demanded. I had to finally become my own ally instead of my abuser’s. I had to acknowledge the depth of betrayal and offense that I’d experienced. I had to get in touch with my emotions and feel the pain and anger that was buried. I had to turn with compassion toward myself and give myself the comfort I needed.

While I was pressured to forgive, I didn’t make any progress in my healing. I only healed once I started to make me the focus of my healing without worrying about my abusers or my feelings toward them.

I highly recommend reading the entire post.

Reblog: Justice for the narcissist’s victim

From Grace for my Heart’s new post, Justice:

I have heard so many stories of narcissists who just go merrily on their way, leaving behind trails of broken victims. Narcissists destroy churches, businesses, careers, marriages, even children and seem to pay nothing for the damage they do. These abusers seem to get by with so much.

Some of the stories break our hearts. Spouses left with almost nothing after the divorce because the narcissist managed to get the best lawyers and convince the court that he/she was the victim. Children stuck with the narcissist parent, then nearly abandoned as the parent seeks new relationships.

Church members who feel forced to leave their church home because of the ruthless focus of a narcissistic pastor or church leader. Employees nearing retirement pushed out before their benefits can begin because a narcissistic boss found a loophole in the contract. So many stories. So much pain.

….When the abuser is allowed to walk away, to do evil to other victims or to prosper from the cruel actions, the victim is harmed again. In a sense, the victim is told that no one sees the pain, or no one cares. The victim in a narcissistic relationship is often painted as the abuser, and the truth is so twisted that the victim’s mental and emotional health is challenged.

When the rape victim is blamed for the crime against her, and the rapist is allowed to continue to lead in the church or community, the victim’s reality is turned upside down. Nothing can be right.

….We get justice when we know that what was done to us was wrong, when the doubt and confusion are gone and we choose to look toward the future. When we can look at the pain and lay it at the feet of the abuser—then we can be free.

When truth comes alive in us and pushes out the accusations and condemnations and manipulations spoken by the abuser, then justice happens in us. The light of truth shines again in our hearts.

–Grace for my Heart, Justice

 

Reblog: “It’s Okay not to be Okay” after Narcissistic Abuse

From Grace for my Heart by Dr. David Orrison:

Narcissistic relationships, whether in marriage, the family, at work, or wherever, are painful relationships. They cut deeply into our hearts.

The narcissist takes life from us, goodness and strength. The narcissist often causes us to doubt ourselves and do things we don’t want to do.

The narcissist messes with our heads and takes advantage of our own weaknesses. And, no, we are not okay.

Some women and men are suicidal in and after narcissistic relationships. I know pastors who left the ministry after dealing with narcissistic leaders.

Some adult children of narcissists can barely function in the world. Some look in fear on new relationships. Some live in various ways of hiding.

Some can’t seem to get it out of their heads. No, we are not okay.

…Sometimes the most healthy thing you can do is say, “No, I’m not okay.” It acknowledges the truth of what is happening in your heart. Living in truth may be the first step to becoming “more okay.”

…You see, we all carry around the broken part of our lives….We hold memories and bear scars and sometimes live with circumstances caused by the things we did and others did to us. That pain and sadness may never fully go away.

 

Epilogue and Apology from My Abuser Phil–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–May 1995, Part 4

Sometime during the next few weeks, I went to Laura’s house with Cugan, and sat down next to a black cat with white patches on her chest and paws.  This cat looked up from her nap and let me pet her while she purred.

Laura saw this cat, Gizu (GEET-soo), took a liking to me, and said, “Want a cat?”

This poor thing was the low cat on the totem pole in this house, and all the other cats beat up on her.  (When I took her away, a different cat took this position.)

She came away from Laura’s with a liking for “beatings” (all the Laura cats had a strange, masochistic streak), but with hatred for other cats and distrust of small children.

When I brought her to Indiana, she was quiet in the car, and took to her new home immediately.  She seemed blissfully happy, with no cats or small children to contend with.

By the beginning of July, I got my insurance clerk job in S–, and new adventures began.  For examples:

Cindy and other Roanoke students worked there with me.  Catherine used to work there, before I did.

I married Cugan (no secret weddings this time).

As I mentioned previously, Phil showed up on my doorstep right before Christmas as Cugan and I packed the car for a visit to Cugan’s family.  My mom and others wondered what he would have done if Cugan weren’t there.  They thought he’d hurt me somehow.  But with Cugan there, he just greeted me and gave me my old D&D character sheets.

Oh, and don’t forget my thoughts as Cugan and I first drove into our new city: Here was a new place with no Peter, Phil, Persephone or Avenger (though I found her again when going on TCB long-distance).

I moved in with Cugan in July 1995, and never moved out again.  So even though we didn’t get married until April 19, 1997, more than two years after we started dating, it feels like we married on July 4, 1995, just four months after we started dating.

On December 9, 1995, I went to a party in my old apartment with my old roommies and other Roanoke friends:

Persephone told me she didn’t realize just how dysfunctional their on-again, off-again relationship was, until her friends started “throwing” new guys at her to get her away from Phil.  They saw how dysfunctional it was before she did, while she was still with him.

She also said that now the girls were staying away from him.

She was surprised I didn’t know that Phil’s brother Dave and his Pearl broke up a long time before.  I recalled Phil saying they’d been fighting just like his parents.

One of the girls at the party, who knew his Pearl, said her friends wondered what Pearl saw in Dave, anyway.  His Pearl wanted nothing to do with Phil, who kept chasing her now that she was free.

There was also another girl at the party, a transfer student, who Pearl declared to be my “replacement” in the group, since I graduated and several of my friends–even in my own class–stayed another year or so.

Ironically, she ended up being my “replacement” for Phil as well, who later dated her, got her pregnant, and married her–but divorced her about 10 or 11 years later, after two kids.

I don’t know the circumstances, just that he claimed on his Classmates.com account that she wasn’t “supportive” of his job in a new city.

In any case, my friends told me various things about Phil and this new girl:

In 1996, they all went to a restaurant one day, she asked to bring a friend, and to their shock, she brought Phil.  She and Phil ended up all alone at their table because nobody else wanted to sit with Phil.

Watching them together was like him and me all over again, but worse, because she’d skip out on sorority meetings and not admit it was for Phil.

It scared them all when I was engaged to him.  Phil had not changed: He yelled at her like they heard him yelling at me.  He wanted his way, only, and that’s it.  He was mean to her.

Cindy considered him a jerk for getting her pregnant, because, since he didn’t believe in birth control, he shouldn’t have been having sex.

Pearl and others tried to talk her out of marriage.  Pearl even sent her a letter about it.

Since this girl was in an abusive relationship before, apparently she thought this one was nice as long as Phil wasn’t hitting her.

I also see through the state’s public access court website that Phil did have some sort of disorderly conduct conviction in the early 2000’s.  There are no details, but there was a victim, and it shows that he was capable of violence.

I met this girl again at another party, given at Mike’s house in February 1996.  She sat beside me on a couch, and talked to me and nearby people about her life story and the places she’d been.

She even said she went to a store with her “friend.  I saw a stuffed rabbit I liked, and he got it for me.”  She thought he was so sweet.

I feared she meant Phil, and really hoped she didn’t.  I felt weird around her, thinking that she had actually gone out with Phil.  Ugh!

I showed off my engagement ring.  Sharon said, “He didn’t give you a bird, did he?” and laughed.

Cindy later told me this girl was so excited to have talked to me, that Phil told her all about me, and talked me up as this wonderful person.  

Cindy felt he did this to control her, by presenting me as so perfect that she felt she had to live up to it.  Cindy said she was also very submissive to him.

I got in touch with Peter and Shawn again.

Shawn used to call on occasion when I first moved in with Cugan; I even invited him to my wedding, though he wasn’t able to come.

He lives just a couple of hours away, but we haven’t seen each other in nearly 20 years.  Once in a great while, we exchange a few e-mails to catch up, though I haven’t heard from him since 2005.

As for Peter, we had both arguments and apologies about new things (religion, mostly).  Peter and I both discovered Goth around the same time.  Now we’re on each other’s Facebook, and once in a while exchange a comment or have a little chat.

As for Phil, on Eastern Orthodoxy’s Forgiveness Sunday in 2007 (February 18), I sent him a message through Classmates.com.  I apologized for giving him a hard time about Catholicism, and also for some things I said in the past which were too harsh.

At the beginning of Lent the next day, he messaged back that he should be the one to apologize: Religion was not really a problem for him, and he said harsher things to me than I said to him.  He said that I and my family were very good to him, but we moved too fast.

He even expressed regret at how things turned out between us, especially now that he was getting divorced.  He said he still wished things went differently and worked out between us.  His mother still told him I was the only girl he should’ve stayed with.

So never give up hoping for an end to bad feelings between people.

How do I think of these things now?  When I’m revising some little bit of my memoirs, I obviously have to channel the old hurt, frustration, etc.  If I don’t, the writing will not resonate as “real.”

But once that’s done–all this again becomes a part of the past.  The hurt, the pain, the embarrassing moments, the desire for revenge–it all belongs in the long-past.

I did not marry Peter, Phil or Shawn; I have had no contact with their families or friends for years; what they did to me once, has nothing to do with my life now.

I might e-mail Peter, Phil or Shawn occasionally, but they’re not a part of my present.

The old angst makes for good stories, and occasionally I can use it when advising somebody who’s going through similar issues.

It’s taken a long time, but I think I may have finally forgiven Peter, Phil and Shawn.

Update 3/29/19: In 2018 and 2019, more information came to light thanks to social media:

I blogged about this here, here, here and here.

Phil’s next, legal marriage, only lasted for about ten years, ending 12 years ago.  In all those years since, he has not remarried–but was about to in July of 2018.  I learned about his new fiancée through Facebook.

But the following August, she revealed that Phil is severely mentally ill.  She said he has Bipolar II, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and other disorders which she did not name.

Her description of him as “wouldn’t hurt a fly,” and her friends’ descriptions of him as this wonderful human being, threw me for a loop because of how he treated me.  But she was beginning to see that “other Phil” that I had known–and said the illnesses were to blame.

They broke up; she said it was a combination of her not wanting to be treated the way the “other Phil” treated her, and him wanting to deal with his mental illnesses on his own.  She said he was on suicide watch.  She was supposed to be there as his friend, but then he “ghosted” her and she felt hurt.

Well, now she has revealed something else.  I’m not sure when she found out about it (November?), but recently she began posting memes about narcissism, liars, and the kind of man who has a string of “soulmates” who they wooed in the same ways with the same words–then tossed aside when they got bored.

(Some time ago, she re-posted a Facebook post he made about her: He listed all the things he loved about her.  The wording was the same as a list he made of all the things he loved about me.)

As she put it, he “checked out” months before August 2018, with “promiscuity” that put her “health at risk.”

So he cheated on her.  (I wonder if he still believes birth control is evil?)  Even this one, could not tame his inner beast.  Even this one, he tired of and threw away.  If she could not, then no one could.  She no longer speaks of his mental illnesses being to blame for his bad behavior.

And I can’t say I’m overly surprised: Remember, this same guy told me he wouldn’t be able to control himself over the summer if I went back home without him, which is one reason why I wanted him to stay with me at my parents’ house.  This guy would praise the physical attributes of every girl he saw out of the house, and every woman he saw on TV inside the house, and say he wanted to take them into the back of his van–then call me possessive or jealous for being upset.  This guy would tell me he wanted a harem, and which girls he wanted in it (including his brother’s fiancée), and then call me jealous.  But when I found myself falling for Mike, Phil became enraged with jealousy and then tried to force me into confessing my little crush to the guy.

If even Doris was not enough for him, then nobody can be.  If even she no longer excuses his behavior because of mental illness, then I have no reason to.  Earlier I wondered if a person with Bipolar and FAS can be excused for abusing and otherwise mistreating another, because that “isn’t really him.”  But it was really him.  It’s not just an illness, but Phil’s character.  Phil is a narcissist and to blame for what he did to me.

It also says that I am not to blame.  I still get little “time bombs” going off in my head when I hear or read something that reminds me of Phil saying I did something bad.  I start thinking, Was I really the one in the wrong?  But this tells me there’s no way I could have brought better treatment on myself from him.  Now there is somebody else, without my input, coming to the conclusion that he is a narcissist.  He hurt somebody else even while she still thought he was wonderful.

Meanwhile, he and his immediate family are estranged.  There have been lawsuits and restraining orders, and a mother who (according to Doris) wanted to keep her son under her thumb, even in middle-age.  I don’t know who’s wrong or right, or even most of the details.  But I see very well what my life would’ve been like if Phil had gone ahead with our planned legal marriage:

Dysfunctional in-laws.  Mother-in-law who Persephone called “Dragon Lady.”  Husband with severe mental illness and narcissism who sleeps around and is abusive.  Best friend of husband who is obnoxious and also husband’s tool.  Husband who can’t hold down a job.  And all this is assuming that we could stay married for long, since he has eventually grown dissatisfied with every woman he’s ever had, even the one he married legally.

So remember: Sometimes that breakup really is for the best, no matter how much you thought you were “soulmates.”

And that’s it for my college memoirs.

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:

 

My Priest has retired–and realizing my church no longer connects to my narcissist

It was sudden, even to the parish council.  And nobody has yet been found to take his place.

We hope we do not go the way of Richard and Tracy‘s church, which shuttered some time ago because of the lack of a priest.  (Note: Richard and Tracy do NOT come to mine, and I have no idea where they go, if anywhere.)

I hear and read the comments from various people, and know it’s not just me jumping to the worst possible conclusion, but that many of us worry.  Over the years, people have also grumbled about lack of support from the archdiocese.

You can’t blame our priest: The guy’s in his 80s, and lives in the next county.  He also had two near-misses with deer when driving the long way to our church, two and four months ago.  I’m sure that had something to do with it.  And he says he’s traveled 500,000 miles over the past 23 years, dealing with our church, the church in the next county, scattered parishioners, and various small Orthodox communities around the state.  You can’t expect to work your priest to death.

We could, and hopefully will, still get a new priest.  But this concern has me seriously thinking about what to do if we don’t.

The nearest Orthodox church is our sister parish in the next county.  It’s right across the street from an old and dear college friend, so we could visit.  But my husband goes to a Lutheran church, my son is going into confirmation with that church, and there is just no way I could get there more than once a month, unless I bum a ride with somebody.

I thought about going back to Protestantism, into a liberal church which, these days, would probably suit me quite well.  Even the PCUSA allows gay preachers now.  In a liberal church, there would be no talk of submissive wives, head scarves, or arguments over whether women should read the Epistle in church.  Hell would diminish into nothing.  Gay would be Okay.

But a great deal of thought reminded me of how much trouble I’ve gone to, to become Orthodox.  The many books, the study, the changing of my thinking from Protestant to Orthodox–even kissing icons.  Even praying to saints and Mary.  As a Protestant, I thought that was idolatry.

I’ve even been studying Greek so I can start understanding my fellow parishioners!  I can now pick up words here and there.

As I revise my website, I see Orthodoxy all through the theological sections and the reviews of Left Behind.

It’s gotten into my blood.

Five years ago, after breaking off relations with Richard and Tracy, I was so distraught–so constantly driven to tears–because my very religion reminded me of my former BFF, Richard.  His friendship had been so dear to me that I could no longer even go on Orthodox forums.  You see, his influence led me to become Orthodox, as I describe here.  And I had deeply philia-loved him.

I struggled just to remain Orthodox.  I could barely hold back the tears during Divine Liturgy each Sunday.  Every aspect of Orthodoxy, was about Richard.  And when I saw him at church once in a blue moon, I trembled, and feared just looking at him would send me into a sobbing fit.

Then when he and his wife refused to repent of abusing me, and proved to be so callous as to threaten to come every week, because they knew it upset me, church became a battleground.

So you see, I have gone through a LOT to be and remain Orthodox, more than the typical convert, probably.

It would be SO easy, if no priest is found, to just give up on Orthodoxy.  Maybe become Methodist or UCC or return to the Presbyterian church just down the road.  I even thought about doing so, back when I feared just going to church because Richard might be there.

But I can’t.

Fortunately, God and time seem to have done a blessed miracle: I also just realized that Richard is no longer Orthodoxy to me.  Going to church no longer makes me think of him.

I don’t go on Orthodox forums, but that’s because Net ‘doxy is full of constant rehashing of the same old threads, legalism, and political conservatism that I just don’t see in my local church.  It has nothing to do with being reminded of Richard anymore.

I have a good friend at my church now, someone other than Richard, who understands what it’s like to be a convert.  (Most of the people there are born into the faith.)  I realized he is a close friend now, that I care about him and he seems to care about me as well.  (Don’t worry, there’s nothing improper: I’m much older than he is and don’t need to invite Graduate jokes.  Richard, who reads my blog, will understand what I mean.)

I have friends.  My faith is deeply ingrained in me.  I feel at peace.  I am no longer fighting the darkness.

Now, hopefully this will not be disrupted by the lack of a priest….Our church was in this predicament 23 years ago, too, and then somebody stepped up.

 

Cugan: a vast improvement over Phil–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 13

The next day, the 26th, Cugan drove me home to South Bend.

On our way to South Bend, we stopped in Milwaukee in the suburb of Wauwatosa to see Cugan’s parents.  This was the first time I saw them, and I was impressed.  His mom was from Wisconsin and had a German background.  His dad was from West Virginia and still had a Virginian accent.

They seemed like nice people, respectful of each other and Cugan, and glad to see me.  Cugan’s dad seemed like a nut, constantly joking.  This first impression turned out to be true, to my delight.  That was where Cugan got his sense of humor from.

I told Cugan my impressions, and he said that he felt lucky with the parents he had.  I had finally found a guy who didn’t have a dysfunctional home life, and that boded well for our future.

Now that I was at home, I finally felt the loss of my cat Hazel.  I kept expecting to see her.  Mom showed me where she was buried: beside my brother Jake’s garage.  I think a tree or flower was planted over her.

As Cugan and I sat on the couch the night we got to town, my dad also in the room, my other brother left the family room, came over, looked at Cugan, then left, no words at all.  He’s an odd one.

Though I felt secure in my relationship with Cugan with him around, during this week apart, I feared that I’d get back to school and he’d say he wanted to break up.  I even wrote this poem:

Why does the thought of him scare me to death?
Will it last?  Is he half of what he seems?
Will I do something to push him away?
God knows why I feel so terrified:
Failures in the past?
As if love’s a beautiful snake–
Within its coral stripes–venom.
Fear, fear, you beast,
Go away!  I can’t breathe.
Let me be free.

****

I found my middle school friend Josh online again (“Modem Menace” on PanOptic Net), and told him about Cugan.  Just before I returned home, Josh also called me on the phone.  His voice sounded so different and deep.

I found Stimpy and Krafter on AOL, and sent them messages.  Stimpy wrote back about the wonders of the Internet, connecting friends who are many miles apart.

I also read or skimmed many books I checked out of the library on Friday the 24th, and took notes.  These were biographies on the authors I wanted to include in my senior honors thesis: Victorian women who broke away from society’s expectations.

I enjoyed the books, but the account of Louisa May Alcott‘s life was depressing.  Apparently, Little Women expressed what Alcott’s family should have been, but wasn’t:

The sisters were plain, though the one who inspired Amy was the best-looking of them all.  (Though a picture of Louisa, age 25, strikes me as pleasant, not plain.  Not a great beauty, but “normal,” not ugly.  She looks like she’d be your favorite tomboy bud in high school.)

None of them treated Louisa, Jo’s inspiration, very well, and neither did her parents.

Louisa’s father was just awful.  He wanted her to become a little woman and not act so “manly,” so Jo became what Louisa’s father wanted her to be.

Reading Little Women with this knowledge now became bittersweet, because the story was so ironic.

Louisa also wrote sensational stories with murders, chases and melodrama just as Jo did, and these were always her first love, even though books like Little Women were considered much “better.”

(In 1995 or 1996, I bought and read one of these books, A Long Fatal Love Chase, and saw a TV-movie version of The Inheritance.  Neither quite measures up to Little Women, but what do you expect?)

In the February 1995 chapter, I wrote,

Despite one biographer’s thoughts that Louisa May Alcott deliberately took a passionate relationship with Laurie away from Jo and gave her a passionless relationship with an older man–which, to the biographer, couldn’t be passionate because he was much older than Jo–I thought those two had marvelous chemistry.

And come on, a young woman can certainly have a passionate relationship with an older man!  Just ask Celine Dion.

Basically, the biographer (Martha Saxton) suggested that Louisa didn’t allow Jo to marry Laurie because Laurie was too sensual and Jo wasn’t womanly enough.  It was her parents’ criticisms, carried out in the novel on her family’s idealized and fictional counterparts, in a strange psychological punishment of herself.

For an excerpt of Saxton’s work, the part which goes into this, see here.

Another take on this is here.  I was disappointed that she turned down Laurie, but then again, in the 1995 movie, Gabriel Byrne was hot and I totally got that.

****

Since Cugan had gotten me Dido, I wanted to find him a gift, as well.  Mom and I went shopping in a Walgreens one night.  She pointed out some cute, stuffed bunnies.  Though Cugan loved his two March Haire rabbits, I knew he’d think these were cutesy-cute, not just cute, and passed them by.

I found a key chain with a tiny Etch-A-Sketch attached to it, and decided to give him that.  He was glad I passed up the bunnies and got him the key chain.  A few months later, when he started his new job, he put the key chain in his cubicle and labeled it a back-up CAD tube in case the ones there stopped working.

When my parents took me back to college, we met Cugan at Marc’s restaurant in S– for lunch, so they got a good chance to get to know him better.  He impressed them.

One day in Cugan’s apartment, we turned on a talk show with makeovers.  We hated that the women’s long hair was cut and everyone was dressed in professional suits, which Cugan hated especially.  We’ve noticed this since, that makeover shows are too annoying to watch because long hair is always cut when it should be left long.

Through this, I also discovered that Cugan liked my long hair.  He said long hair is elegant.  After Phil’s constant badgering to cut my hair, it was healing to hear two guys in a row (first Stimpy, then Cugan) say how wonderful my long hair was.  Cutting it to please Phil, would have been a huge mistake.

Whenever Cugan came down to S–, he tried to catch 102.1.  He didn’t have an alternative station in M–.  I said to Catherine, “Whatever I like, he likes too–and turns up!”

This was quite a change from Phil, who kept ripping on my favorite kinds of music–alternative, modern metal, hard rock, Christian rock.  He even said once that he would’ve broken up with me for liking hard rock and metal, if it weren’t for a friend of his who liked it!

(The strange thing is, I started listening to a hard rock/classic station in the first place because I thought he liked it, and ended up liking it myself, only to find that he didn’t even like such music.)

****

In late March and early April, Pearl and I read Hard Times by Charles Dickens for Brit Lit.  We were interested in what happened to the characters, but with its lack of the usual Dickensian melodrama (which we loved), it seemed too hard to get into.  It was also very depressing.

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 payoff of sharing my abusers’ sociopathic e-mail: Part 2 of my “Stalked” series has been pinned

Statcounter constantly reveals interest in various sections of my “Now I’m Being Stalked” series from 2012.

In this series, which was originally one long post, now split into 7 parts starting here, I described how Richard and Tracy had begun stalking me, and posted the sociopathic e-mail they sent me.

Then in 2014, I re-visited the e-mail with Running my abusers’ e-mail through the narc decoder.

The latest numbers, gathered about a month ago, showed that this series had received 528 views.

In Part 2 and “Running,” I tore apart the sociopathic e-mail by showing the truth behind my stalkers’ ludicrous, lying words.

And these posts are being read.  “Running” has received 33 hits just in the last month.  The various parts of “Stalked” have received 43 total in the last month.

Recently, Part 2 and “Running” have been getting more attention.  Someone in Canada has read “Running” 13 times over the past few days.  And now Part 2 has been pinned:

Gratitude Girl has pinned my post, just before 6am this morning her time, onto the Psych/Narcissism/Sociopathy/Abuse/Codependency board on Pinterest.  (She also pinned Breaking the Power of Narcissists.)

She runs the board; it has 407 followers.  Here’s hoping this pin helps the post go viral, just as a post to a Facebook group last spring made this post go viral: Wasted Years Mourning a Narcissist: Reclaiming Our Lost Selves and Thriving

[Update 4/4/15: And now somebody read “Stalked” (whole page) and “Running,” and subscribed to my blog.  🙂  )

My blog just contains diary posts, not the “expert” advice of life coaches or psychiatrists.  These detail my struggles and the lessons I learn from them.

Yet so many people are connecting with various posts, whether on narcissism or abuse, that I continually see yet another Facebook share in Statcounter, or a reblog.

It felt so risky to post on these subjects–especially when my two recent abusers discovered them and began stalking me for it.  It felt risky to continue posting even as they watched my blog every week–sometimes more often–to intimidate me into silence.

I didn’t know if they were laughing, if they were looking for a reason to sue, or what they wanted.

It was risky, intimidating, frightening, foolhardy.

But I did it anyway, to prove to myself that I wasn’t just some weak-willed, easily-dominated target of bullies.

And over time, my blog has grown.  My site currently averages 148 views a day and is maybe two months away from 100,000 views.  Others have found comfort and lessons in my posts.  Comments are often turned off, but I see it in repeat visitors, likes, printing my posts, subscriptions, and online shares.

It is particularly comforting to see this in the past week, right after I revised the formatting for the “Stalked” posts and sticky-posted a few of them on my front page for a bit.  Part 2 includes the sociopathic e-mail.

It is comforting to see others read Part 2 or “Running,” because they, too, see this e-mail for themselves.  They then read my response, and find something of value in it for their own struggles with abusers.  I see people click on the link that prints the post.

Just as it was comforting to share that e-mail with the members of the Forum, and know they understand and believe me.  And now, in the past month, new members of the Forum have gone through the 3-year-old threads, read the e-mail and empathized with me, then asked me if things were resolved, and if Richard was properly punished, because child abuse is disgusting.

Just writing these blog posts, and including the sociopathic e-mail from my abusers, was emotionally taxing, because the e-mail meant to rip me apart.

It made me practically catatonic when it first came in.  I was appalled and devastated to discover just how evil both Richard and Tracy truly are, to send such an e-mail and to even plan to stalk me at church!  To call themselves Christians, and then behave in such a manner–!!!!

The e-mail is so horrid (and proves me correct even while objecting to making Tracy out to be a “horrible person”) that I could not even open the original “Stalked” post again for two years.

The same as other e-mails sent by Tracy back in July and August 2010, which I kept as evidence, but have not even peeked at in five years.

Tracy’s style of writing would be familiar to many of you: the kind that tears you apart and makes you afraid to even open an e-mail from your abuser.

(Obviously, Tracy does not feel this way when reading my blog, since she reads here so often.)

When I read Oscar Wilde’s account of Bosie’s telegrams and letters in De Profundis, I realized that Bosie and his father were male Tracys.

Bosie and his father both had a raging dysfunction which Wilde said ran in the family, so it must have been some sort of Cluster B personality disorder.

From what I know of Tracy, abuse, narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and Bosie’s family, writing such horrid letters appears to be a common trait among abusers.

There is absolutely no concern for nor respect for the recipient, but rather a desire to make him or her feel smaller than a dust mite, to make her feel like the slime on the wall of a sewer pipe.

And it makes no difference whether the recipient did anything to deserve this: No, all that matters to the abuser is that the abuser THINKS he did.  Wilde would get such letters and telegrams from Bosie without rhyme nor reason to it.

So it was emotionally risky to open those posts again in order to revise them.  But I did it anyway.

It is wonderful and healing to see that my pain in doing this, is helping others to heal.

It was worthwhile not only to share those blog posts and the e-mail, but to keep them up.  Sometimes it takes a while, but others find them and use them to glean their own lessons.  They find validation for their own struggles.  They find a way to no longer care when their own abusers send them e-mails like mine sent me.

Then, sometimes, they share with others.

It’s all part of raising awareness and helping to heal abuse victims.

[Update 4/5/15:]  Also, the more I see people subscribing to my blog and connecting with the posts that skewer my abusers’ sociopathic e-mail to me, the less and less power that sociopathic e-mail retains over me.  I realize that my abusers have not been back at my church for two and a half years.

I realize that I feel mostly content these days, because I’m busy at church and Writer’s Club, and people in both places call me Friend.  This helps remove any residual emotional attachment to Richard.

My abusers do not have the ability to sue, no legal leg to stand on, so their e-mail had only an emotional power to hurt me.  Once I remove the emotional power, all their power to hurt me is gone.

BLOG HARD!