rape

Phil rapes me anally–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–July 1994, Part 2

[And Richard, you made fun of Todd and tried to make me feel like a prude, when I’ve been traumatized by being forced and coerced into oral sex.  For some of us, it makes us sick to our stomachs, along with any and every webpage, forum post, or day-to-day comment in conversation, that women must do this to make guys happy (I’ve seen a few of these), or that anybody should or must do this, or that if you don’t like it then it’s not being done right (what you said).]

Trigger Warning: Rape Described

Phil kept wanting to do my backside.  I didn’t want him to.  I let him once or twice, but it was too painful–like my horrible first time all over again.  He had never heard of lubrication or the need to wear a condom, but was obsessed with anal sex.

I didn’t (still don’t) understand how anyone would like it, but Phil’s last girlfriend (number six) said it was the most pleasurable way for a woman.  (Say WHAT?)  But it was not–it was some of the most excruciating pain–so she must’ve been a masochist.

He knew it hurt me, but thought it was like vaginal, and would only hurt the first few times.  But the anus doesn’t have a hymen, and is not meant to be used that way.

Also, the pain was a gift that kept on giving: I felt it afterwards, and bowel movements also hurt.  It was even worse than getting a rectal exam from a doctor.  At least a doctor knows how to do his job safely.

I hated to hear Phil whisper in the middle of sex, “Please–give me your backside!”  No means no!

But one day, Phil said if I didn’t let him do that, he wouldn’t be able to have sex with me in any other way for several weeks: He wouldn’t be able to get excited enough.

He didn’t understand, but that hurt me emotionally just as bad as anal sex hurt me physically.  I still didn’t want to do it anally, despite what he said.

He was using emotional and sexual manipulation to get me to do this horrible, painful thing.  He even accused me of always having to get my way, because I refused to do this.

The next morning, I took my temperature and recorded it for Natural Family Planning, but then started crying, wanting to throw the notebook aside.  What was the use of watching my cycle if we weren’t going to have sex for a few weeks?

I cried at least once more that day.  I told Phil about it, probably that night, and he said, “Is it really that important to you?”–like he was surprised.

But why wouldn’t it be?  I had my own desires, for normal sex and not some aberration, but these were not being recognized, just constant pressure for something bizarre and painful.

He said maybe anal is the “natural” way in some cultures, but I really doubt that.  I had to explain to him that the Clan of the Cave Bear’s “back entry” scenes didn’t involve anal sex, but rather an animalistic version of vaginal sex.

Once, before our marriage, he said he could go without sex if I didn’t want it.  If he could abstain from sex in general, couldn’t he abstain from anal sex if I didn’t want it?

After I told him how I felt and we talked about it, everything seemed back to normal.

But one night, what a horror!  In the middle of things he said, “Give me your backside.”

I kept saying, “No, not that way!” but he kept pressuring.

Before we finished, while still on top of me, he withdrew and moved down to my anus, not actually in but trying to get in.

I pleaded with him to move.

I clearly said no, and I also struggled, trying to push him away.

But he didn’t listen and didn’t move, and he ejaculated like that.  It got all over, and I got mad at him for not respecting my wishes.

At one point, as he sat hunched over on the side of the bed in the darkness, I said that rape could be grounds for divorce.

He said in a trembling, petulant, upset voice, “So are you going to divorce me now?”

I said no, but our reconciliation was probably painful.  It felt like a rape.  I still think of it as one.  He did to me sexually what I didn’t want him to do, despite my pleas.  The trouble is, in a situation like this, how would you even prove it in court?

At least, that’s how I thought at the time.  Indiana law in 2013 would indeed consider it Criminal Deviate Conduct, Class B Felony.

However, it’s been almost 20 years and laws on all sorts of things have changed since then; I don’t know if this law was on the books back then:

  • Criminal Deviate Conduct, Class B felony: knowingly or intentionally causing another person to perform or submit to deviate sexual conduct* when:(1) the other person is compelled by force or imminent threat of force; …

* Deviate sexual conduct, according to IC 35-41-1-9, is any act involving “(1) a sex organ of one person and the mouth or anus of another person; …”

[Update 9/17/14: The laws were changed just since I posted this in December 2013, thanks to the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault.  Now it is indeed called “rape,” rather than “criminal deviate conduct,” and the law reads,

“Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person who knowingly or intentionally has sexual intercourse with another person or knowingly or intentionally causes another person to perform or submit to other sexual conduct (an act involving a sex organ of one (1) person and the mouth or anus of another person) when the other person is compelled by force or imminent threat of force; commits rape, a Level 3 felony.”]

As you can see, this also applies to unwanted oral sex.  This was another point of contention: It was gross, no matter who did it to whom.  I didn’t want him to kiss me afterwards, but he would whine that none of his other girlfriends said that.

I didn’t want to do it to him, didn’t want to put anything like that in my mouth, did not like the taste, would not do it long enough to get him to ejaculate, because it was absolutely disgusting.

But he kept trying to get me to do it.  (His “subconscious” tried to ease me into it.  More on that later.)  But I got no pleasure from it, was grossed out by the whole thing.

I may have been traumatized by this and the constant coercion: When the cafeteria served okra that fall, I couldn’t eat it, because it was slimy and reminded me of oral sex.

Ever since then, I have never engaged in this disgusting practice again, and have been blessed with a husband who also finds it gross and wants nothing to do with it.

Late summer, during sex, Phil sometimes tried to turn me over to do my backside–with a petulant, angry, stern look on his face, like he wanted to control me and I’d better do what he wanted or else.  I would refuse and resist his hands, and push myself back down.

But what really got me was that he’d pick a fight with me practically every time right after we’d made love.  This is the time to bask in the glow, not pick at the person you’ve just been sexually intimate with!

I would lie there naked and vulnerable, all satisfied and happy, and he would yell at me for one thing or another.  It really, really hurt.  Instead of being most satisfied and happy with me and our marriage, my “loving” husband would turn on me.  Yet another trauma.

I’ll jump on ahead to September to include another incident of sexual coercion.  In September, he broke off the marriage and spent a couple of weeks psychologically abusing me.  Then he came back to me.  I thought he wanted to be married again, but he just wanted sex and a submissive puppet.

By now, my will was broken, and I was desperate to do whatever he wanted, just to keep him from leaving again.

If I didn’t want to do something he wanted to do, it meant I didn’t care like I said I did.  

I felt like I was walking on eggshells, and the slightest thing might push him away.  I felt I had to align all my opinions with his, do things exactly as he wanted even though I couldn’t read his mind, or he’d divorce me.  

He seemed like a different person.  After he broke up with me, I was a broken, submissive person who was desperate to do whatever he wanted, just to keep him from leaving again.  That meant even oral sex:

One day, when he got me alone, before I had a chance to even talk to him, and without a word, he pulled down his pants. 

He got a strange, angry, stern look on his face, and pushed my head down–forced, really, since I couldn’t move my head whether I wanted to or not. 

I didn’t want to–it was smelly, I didn’t know if he had washed it recently, and I never liked doing this–but I did anyway, because of the unspoken but well-understood threat that he would divorce me if I didn’t.

 

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:

 

Discovering long-forgotten psychological abuse and attempted sexual assaults in my college memoirs

I’ve been going through my public college memoirs, which are published here, along with my private memoirs, to decide what to put in the public version that has not previously been there.  Right now I’m going through the July and August 1994 chapter.  And I must say…..

That part should include trigger warnings for people who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused.

Over the years since I wrote it all down (1994 through 1998), I completely forgot a lot of it.  I remembered Phil’s attempts to guilt and verbally coerce me into anal sex, and the time he tried to force me into it and I tried to push him off me….

But I completely forgot there was more.  That he repeatedly tried to turn me over, with a stern, angry look on his face like I’d better obey, but I’d refuse and resist his hands.  Amazing what you can forget in 20 years.

It also amazes me because over the years, I started to fear that I was to blame for some of his abuse.  You mature and start to wonder if you behaved badly at times in previous relationships.

But as I go through these old logs, I see the extent of his verbal, psychological and sexual abuse was even farther than I remembered.

It must have been some of his “time bombs” being planted in my head, going off years later, making me forget what really happened.

I begin to read and remember just how extensively he tried to gaslight me by changing history, telling people deliberate lies about me, yelling at me over things I could not help (like not being able to keep up with his fast walk), then complaining about me at work (smear campaign).

Oh, yeah, and don’t forget the hoax he kept up for some eight months, tricking me into believing that he was talking in his sleep and acting out his dreams, including his “subconscious” coming out to tell me all his little secrets.  I forgot the extent of the “subconscious” hoax, as well.

I begin to see that, as painful as it may be to review these things and put them into the public, they serve an important purpose and must be put out there.

We need to keep educating each other about abuse, because despite decades of awareness campaigns, Lifetime movies and the like, people still get abused, people still feel entitled to abuse.

My story also shows that it can be survived, and that you can eventually break the emotional bond with your abuser. 

Now, I can be friendly to Phil online maybe, but there’s no way in heck that I would ever get back together with him.  I don’t WANT him.  The love I once felt, is dead.  The emotional bond was completely severed years ago.

My story also shows that I can eventually get to this point with Richard, too.  The breakup with Phil was emotionally devastating to me, despite the abuse, and it took months and a new boyfriend to get over it.

But it was easy to get over the breakup, compared to the aftereffects of the abuse: They lasted for years.  But I did get past them, finally.

Now it’s basically a short blip in my life, an episode of only nine months out of 40 years, which no longer affects the present.  Well, except for avoiding certain people even on Facebook because they were his minions…

It also tells me that the story of Richard/Tracy needs to stay out there, too, even though parts of it might embarrass me because of my gullibility,

or discovering that some people still believe we should control the friendships of our spouses,

or discovering that some people actually think it’s immoral to be close friends with the opposite sex when one or both of you is married.

(Are you frickin’ kidding me?  I thought we abandoned those ideas DECADES ago!)

Or that innocent, playful flirting is somehow immoral after you get married.  (They’d have a conniption fit if they ever visited my old workplace, which was full of flirty married people, or met some of the SCA people I know!)

The full story must continue to be told, because abuse stories like this are desperately needed.  They’re needed to warn the young and the naïve.

They’re needed to educate the public on what abuse is, that verbal and psychological abuse is very real, and that its damage to victims must be respected.

They’re needed to educate the public on narcissism and how severely it traumatizes its victims, even though it’s often not physical abuse.

 

Another Example of Abuser Playing the Victim: Man Blows Up at Judge for Sentence

[Update 11/28/14: The victim of Sease found this blog post and thanked me for it.]

[Update 4/30/15: His previous case has been dismissed.  It is now being retried, case file here.]

[Update 8/21/15: He has gone through a jury trial today, and was found guilty of two counts of Strangulation/Suffocation, and Battery.  He was found not guilty of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault/Use of Force, and two counts of Kidnapping.] 

[Update 10/21/15: His re-sentencing is complete: 15.5 years in prison.  See here.]

From the article:

A 36-year-old Fond du Lac man convicted in the 2011 assault of a Menasha woman was sentenced Wednesday morning to 23 years in prison and 8 years of extended supervision.

Daniel Sease was also sentenced to 30 additional days in prison for shouting obscenities at Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Robert Wirtz and the victim after Wirtz handed down the sentence.

“Twenty-three years!” Sease shouted at Wirtz. “(expletive deleted)! You gave me 23 years? (expletive deleted) you (expletive deleted)!”

Sease also shouted at the victim, who attended the hearing. “You see what you did?”

How about blaming yourself for doing the behavior that got you arrested/sentenced?  How is that the fault of the victim?

See how delusional abusers can be?  This outburst proves to us how truthful the following was:

The outburst by Sease occurred just minutes after Sease explained to Wirtz he had “found God” and was a “changed man” due to his time in jail. He said he is now “on the right path.”

Sease also said he hoped for a minimal sentence so he could be around for his six children, who are “suffering” because they do not have a positive male role model in their lives.

“I am in constant fear of passing the torch of abandonment down to my kids,” Sease said before he sat down.

Yeah, I see what that was: an attempt for sympathy from the court, not his true heart.  Go by behavior when it contradicts the words.

Here’s what he did:

According to the criminal complaint, Sease punched a Menasha woman multiple times while driving from her home to Fond du Lac on the night of Oct. 29, 2011.

He continued to punch and choke the woman at his home on Second Street and told her she was going to die, the complaint stated.

Sease took her to another Fond du Lac home before driving to a local motel, where he physically and sexually assaulted the woman, according to the complaint.

A manager at the motel came to the room after the assaults, but did not call police, according to the complaint. The woman went to St. Agnes Hospital on Oct. 31, 2011, and hospital staff called police.

Wirtz called the attack one of the most “savage” assaults he has seen. The Menasha woman was present at the hearing, along with her family and friends. The woman, her mother, father, sister and best friend spoke at the sentencing.

Sease’s mother also spoke at the hearing. She told the court the Menasha woman should have driven to the police station during the time Sease was in the car allegedly brutually assaulting her.

Wait–Say what?  His mom is blaming the victim, too??!!

The woman said she feels “very good” about the sentence handed down by Wirtz.

“This was a savage, savage beating,” Wirtz said. “I’ve seen a lot of bad pictures. I’ve seen a lot of cases of people who’ve been beat up, strangled. But these pictures, along with the description of what happened, were monster-like. It was one of the more savage acts of behavior that I’ve seen.”

Fond du Lac man blows up at judge during sentencing for “savage” assault

 

Clarissa & Sociopathy

If you want to get into the mind of a sociopath, I suggest reading Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.  Or the quick version, watching the movie (with dreamy Sean Bean).  🙂  (Somebody posted the whole movie.  Better watch it quick before Youtube yanks it for violation of copyright.  Though the DVD is available for purchase.)

But the book–all 1500 pages of it–goes far more into the psychological drama.  It was written in the 1740s, but is surprisingly modern, with a thorough understanding of the sociopathic mindset (and a feminist character, Clarissa’s friend Anna, who refuses to “obey” any man).

You get into the heads of everyone, including the sociopath (Lovelace) and his prey (Clarissa).  He alienates her entire family and engineers an impossible situation, so that she finally feels she must throw herself on his protection.

He then proceeds to gaslight her, and use various unsavory characters to hold her captive in a brothel.

He makes her think the brothel is a respectable house, while the inhabitants, who are carrying on the charade and are his abusers-by-proxy, think Clarissa is his frigid wife.  They help him arrange a rape.

She tries again and again to escape, but he keeps following and recapturing her, telling everyone she is his wife, so they will put her back with him.

I first read this book in 1992, and it’s been a favorite ever since.

In my diary and letters from 1992, I gushed over the book, which I found in my college library.  I read some of it while sick with the flu, since I had nothing else to do.  Over Christmas Break, I had no homework and nothing else pressing (except lunch dishes).

This was a wonderful, wonderful book; since my massive version (1200 pages) was abridged, I didn’t yet know that there were even more wonderful parts to it which would explain parts of the plot even more.

I read 100 pages a day–which for me is a tremendous amount, since normally I probably would have gotten through 50 at the most, even reading all day long–and finished on New Year’s Eve.

I loved the Gothic feel of many scenes, such as Lovelace showing up in Clarissa’s hotel as a gouty old man.  I’m not sure if it’s called pre-Gothic or Gothic; it’s been described both ways.  On Masterpiece Theatre, which showed the movie version in the spring of 1992, it was called a Gothic.

It came out before the supernatural tales of the 18th and 19th centuries, but had the traditional elements of an old Gothic: A young, virtuous virgin is abused and locked up by a dirty, usually old, man.

Richardson’s book Pamela, an earlier work, had a similar theme, except that the dirty man was young and handsome, and eventually “reformed.”  In this one, the man was young and handsome, but did not reform.

The book was far more intense and intricate than the movie could possibly have depicted, with a remarkable understanding of psychology and the thoughts/motives of each character.

I laughed when Clarissa’s coffin arrived and she had it dragged up the stairs to her room.  She shocked everyone in the hotel, who said, how could she bring her coffin into her room?

She said, how could they be so surprised, since it was just a box to hold her earthly body?  She expected to die and go to Heaven, where everything would be beautiful and peaceful.

Two songs became associated in my mind with Clarissa.  The first was “Unchain” by Whiteheart, on a CD I got for Christmas.

I listened to it over and over during Christmas Break, and the beautiful melody seemed to fit somehow as I read.  Maybe it was the plea for God to “release my soul” and to “unchain.”  After all, Clarissa kept pleading for Lovelace to release her, and no longer keep her a prisoner in the brothel where he had taken her.

The second song was “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran, a song which came out over Christmas Break and was played over and over as I listened to the radio while reading.  I also taped it.

The melancholy music and lyrics fit Clarissa well.  The song may have been about a breakup, but Clarissa’s sadness was due to the rape, betrayal and abuse from someone who said he loved her.  When she died, all the pathos made my eyes mist and my nose tickle.

I drew pictures of the characters, to help me visualize them and their period clothing, since characters are often a blur of emotion and action as I read.  They rarely take on a concrete appearance unless I can look at a picture.  This may be because of NVLD.

I based the first picture of Clarissa on a plate in the “Fashion and Clothing” article from our 1960s Collier’s encyclopedias.  This was my masterpiece.

I somehow got her hair color mixed up: I thought she was a brunette and her friend Anna a blonde, though it was the other way around.

But Clarissa’s features–based on beautiful British actresses I’d seen over the years–were lovely enough to fit her description.  I tried to draw Lovelace, but I preferred the one in the movie, Sean Bean.  I’ve never been good at drawing men.

I admired Clarissa, the paragon of virtue, and the ending brought me close to tears.  I admired her as my ideal.

Maybe I connected with her on a subconscious level, since I knew what it was like to be lied to, lied about, and emotionally abused by men, though I did not yet know just how bad it could get (Phil, a year and a half later).

I had no clue why this happened.  I suppose the natural gullibility caused by NVLD, and the ostracism I’d often experienced throughout my schooling for no reason I could see, made me an easy target.

Boyfriends were never easy to find, especially when my faith said they had to be Christians–and even the Christians could be jerks.  I wanted to stop the abuse, but had no idea how.

Here are two of my best “Clarissa” pictures.  The bottom one was drawn in 1997.  When I showed the first one to my friend in South Bend, she grabbed it with an “Ooh!”:

Clarissa
Clarissa2

The Fire Burns Hotter; The Dreadful Night (Shawn Almost Goes Too Far); Accidents Will Happen–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–December 1992, Part 1

InterVarsity Group is Organized

My RA friends, Sharon and Rachel, now jokingly insisted, whenever we referred to the dorms, that “They’re not dorms, they’re residence halls!”  Apparently this was some mantra the school tried to teach the RA’s.

Sometime probably in December, when Pearl connected our Bible study group with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, we began organizing it and making rules.  A bunch of us who were interested in the group got together in Pearl’s room for a meeting.

We began talking about the politics of it, such as officers and how officers are chosen.  I don’t remember who suggested that officers should follow Christian beliefs.  This may have been when a questionnaire was suggested, asking what an aspiring officer believed.

The beliefs seemed to go a bit beyond the Apostle’s Creed and trespassed into denominational dogma territory.

I said that some people of other denominations might not be able to serve with a questionnaire like that, and that it excluded people who were going through a period of questioning and searching but were still Christians.

But Pearl said the officers of the group needed to be held to a high standard because they were the leaders of the group.

A vote was taken, and the majority agreed with Pearl.

I knew, however, that even I couldn’t stand up to such standards.  I had lots of questions about my religion, and when I heard the questionnaire questions one day, I knew that even though Pearl and Sharon and maybe others kept saying I should be an officer on the executive board, they probably wouldn’t actually let me be one after seeing my answers.

InterVarsity meetings, based on a slip I found, were: Bible study, Mondays at 9pm in Old Main (room 22, it says, but we also did room 14, same time, during Winterim and Spring Semester).  Spring Semester, we often used the Phi-Delt room as well.

When we met in room 14, Pearl and other discussion leaders liked to leave on the board whatever they had written there for our meeting, hoping to amuse or witness to the first class to use it the next morning.  We left some pretty strange messages up there at times.  We had a lot of fun with this.

We had some cool people show up that year, even a few guys.  Unfortunately, two left for UW-Madison, one may have left the school, and we were left with only one guy most of the time.  This was Mike, the brother of the pledge master.  But more about him later.

We discovered in Bible study meetings that Dori, my fellow pledge, was quite a flirt.  She was engaged, yet still flirted with all the guys just like she did when she was single.  She told of being a big heartbreaker in high school.

One day after a snowfall, Rachel built a cute little snowman on Pearl’s scooter, in the basket.

One week in December, I got the flu and had to spend at least a couple of days in my room.  I didn’t even go out for meals; my wonderful roommate went out and got me sick trays, or rather styrofoam boxes, from the cafeteria.

Besides homework and MTV, I passed the time by reading about 100 pages of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.  I mentioned this book before; I had seen the movie on Masterpiece Theatre, and now I found the abridged book in the Roanoke library.

Shawn said once that, rather than sitting there feeling bad about his criticisms, I should turn it around and say, “I don’t care what you think, I don’t want to do my hair/wear my clothes that way.”

I began doing this, telling him to let me be the way I wanted to be and not always try to change me.  But you see, until then, it just hadn’t occurred to me.  I didn’t realize that just because he thought I didn’t look right or act right, didn’t make it true.

Shawn told me once that Cinemax came in quite well in Grossh Lounge, even though it was supposed to be blocked because we weren’t supposed to get it at RC (Roanoke).  The guys there often watched it.

After we had a maintenance guy come in and fix our heater knob, Clarissa and I kept our room nice and warm (often hot) during the winter.  This was a wonderful change from the year before.  Only extreme cold outside made the inside cold.

Some more things about Steve: He had Siouxsie and the Banshees posters plastered all over his dorm room walls.  He said he liked the band, but Catherine believed it was because Siouxsie didn’t wear much clothing in many of the posters.

Also, whenever someone would say, “You’re weird,” he would say, “Thank you!”  Pearl jokingly said, you truly are weird if you respond like that.

The Fire Burns Hotter; The Dreadful Night (Shawn Almost Goes Too Far)

On Sunday November 29, back at school, Shawn called me up when he got back from home.  Then he came over because he was tired of Calculus; before he left, he hugged me and gave me a kiss on the neck that made me curl up.  He was acting so much like a boyfriend that it was hard to believe he wasn’t one.

The next night, we had Bible study; Shawn was there, teasing me unmercifully for being late and a klutz.  He winked at me once.

He stopped in my room for a while, then called me up around midnight; we talked until almost 3:30.  Once, he said, “If there weren’t a curfew, I’d be over there in a minute.”  (Actually, there was no curfew in the suites.)

He said that someone told him a while ago, “Don’t you think you’re just leading her on by always going over there?”  He agreed, and stopped coming over so much.

But from the way he said it, I got the impression that he changed his mind since then.  I asked him to clarify; it seemed to confirm this.  I also told him, “I know I’m not in love with you.”

We had Music History the next morning, so we both were dead tired.  He told me to give him a wake-up call so he wouldn’t sleep in and be late yet again (which the teacher teased him unmercifully about).

That night, Tuesday December 1, even though I planned to get some sleep, he stopped over again, and didn’t leave until 2 or 2:30–even though we both had morning classes.

We began fooling around.  That was the night of the trouble.  Things happened.  I kissed him so long and well that he went into overdrive.  I’ll keep details out, out of respect for him.

Then the phone rang–a wrong number.  He did not do what I feared he would, but he felt terrible, and I was shaking.

He hurried into the lounge, put on his jacket, and I joined him, sitting on the floor.  We talked for a while.  He was afraid Clarissa saw him get the phone and would ask why he was there so late.  He asked what I’d say, and I said, “Only what I have to.”  She never did ask.  He said he’d stop and go home when I said stop.

I longed for him to hold me.  As if he read my mind, he put his arm around me, drew me near, and I put my head on his chest.  I felt like crying, but couldn’t.  I put my face in my hands once; he wanted me to look at him and answer a question he asked.  He thought maybe he should stop coming over, but I didn’t want him to.

“Then maybe I shouldn’t come over for a few days,” he said.

I felt this was wise, so agreed, but said this weekend would be all right.

He said, “I’m not sure how I feel about you, if there’s really something there or if it’s just lust.”

Later, after more fooling around, which he insisted on until I finally agreed, he said, “Now this is a goodnight kiss,” and gave me a much shorter and less intense, but still great kiss.  “Anything else is more than that.”  He also finally spun me around again.

In April he said he would not have taken my virginity that night, but it sure didn’t feel that way to me at the time.  For some time, I thought that was his intent, and referred to it in my diary as the “Dreadful Day.”

For all his talk of not wanting me as a girlfriend but as a “best friend,” we were drawn to each other like magnets.  And also like magnets, we would repel each other.

It was a strange dance, sometimes loving him, sometimes hating him, him sometimes persuading me into all he could get, and in the same evening ripping me to shreds with his words.

But when the words would cease, when we were no longer out and about around campus but alone together, heat filled the room, and it felt like he truly cared for me, somewhere deep inside.

This was one night when he did not scold or criticize.

As we kept skirting the actual “deed” over the many months of our friendship with benefits, he led me into all sorts of sensuality.  He stirred up passions in me that even Peter had not, things I intended to keep repressed until my wedding night.

But the more he stirred them up, the more I did not want him to stop–but felt I had to stop him.  Our bodies are made to keep going, after all, to perpetuate the species; this is not from the Devil, but from our own animal nature.  So when you stir it up when you’re supposed to be abstinent, it’s difficult to stop….

I found a Christmas card to him which I must not have sent, since it was unopened–probably because I wrote on the inside that he made me miserable much of the time.

I have no idea what all the rumor mill thought was going on, since from my diaries I see that even my own best friends had no idea how often he was coming over or what all we were doing.  (I’m keeping out details here, too, not from lack of record in the diaries, which are full of description, but from tact.)  It was just the sort of thing to set tongues wagging, too.

Clarissa was the only one who knew how often he came over or I went over there, though we were seen together or coming out of each other’s dorms on occasion:

I was supposedly still hung up on Peter, though people also knew I had a thing for Shawn; Shawn was the obnoxious and over-analytical engineering geek who told people he didn’t want me as a girlfriend; did the rumor mill have any idea just what was really going on?

It’s possible, since I–wanting to get people to stop thinking I was so “innocent”–made comments like, “I’m not a pop tart but still a frequent visitor at Grossheusch,” and “Sometimes I have to beat Shawn off with a stick.”

All I know for sure is that even Peter heard about it; maybe that’s why he eventually softened toward me, because there was another guy in my life now.

Accidents Will Happen

On Wednesday the 2nd, Shawn and I were both tired.  He told me to call him if I was awake at 7 or 8, but I didn’t get up until almost 8:30.  We both took naps; once he called and said, “Did I wake you up?  Are you napping?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“So am I,” he said.

At lunch he sat next to me; I felt glad but uncomfortable, because of what had happened the night before.

I wore shoes instead of boots to class because I looked out the window and saw no ice left on the sidewalks.  But the sidewalk outside the library, which was on a small hill, was one big sheet of ice, the only ice anywhere.  On the way to work from class later that afternoon, I slipped.

After I fell the first time, I was too scared to move over to the snow beside the sidewalk, since that would mean moving sideways and possibly falling again.  I took another step or two, then fell again.

Shawn later said with a smile that an intelligent person would have known to get off the ice, that slipping–twice!–is the mark of a klutz.  But hey, it was a big hill of ice and even non-klutzes could have fallen.  Getting off the ice was hard for a short person on a wide sidewalk.

Though the report says the hill was salted, and though Memadmin said she saw maintenance crews salting it all day, this is not what I saw.  From my close-up view of the ice, there was no salt on it at all.

A non-trad from one of my classes saw me and asked if I was okay.  She helped me up.

“I got so worried about you when I saw you fall twice,” she said.

At that time I felt little pain, though my left arm had been pulled down by my heavy bookbag and did hurt somewhat.  But I figured it was enough pain to make Food Service horrible.

I went on to the cafeteria and found Nancy.  I said I’d fallen and was too hurt to work.  She and Arthur were concerned, though I thought I was just bruised.

“Come see me if the pain gets any worse,” Nancy said.

I went back to my room.  As I sat on my bed studying, the pain grew worse and worse.  I either called or found Nancy, and told her what was going on.  She told Memadmin.  Memadmin found someone to drive me to a clinic in S–.  My arm hurt so bad now that my eyes teared up.

The doctor did the usual things, but I hated the X-rays because my arm was put into positions that hurt even more.  After he put the cast and sling on, however, it felt better.  It wasn’t a plaster cast; I just had a hairline fracture in my elbow.

I got back before 9pm, in time to get into a suite group-picture for the yearbook.  Daphne yelled out, “Nyssa, what happened to you?”  She and the guy at the information desk found out, and one said, “You can sue Roanoke for millions!”

So there it is, immortalized, a good picture of me because I remembered to take off my glasses, but with a sling.

The next day in Music class, Thursday the 3rd, Shawn walked in (15 minutes late) and I smiled at him, but he didn’t see my sling.

He sat down in his usual spot near me, looked at me and smiled, looked away again–then did a double take and looked at me again.

He looked me over and made a wry face, like “What happened to you??!!”

I smiled.  I took after my dad: When he came home with a broken arm one day, he snickered at Mom.

At one point, my arm swelled up because I didn’t know I was supposed to use ice and keep my arm elevated.  When Arthur and Nancy saw this, they grabbed some ice packs, and insisted I keep my arm packed with ice.  Arthur adjusted my sling so my arm pointed up like it was supposed to.

The swelling went down within probably a day or two.  Clarissa and I didn’t have an ice tray in our little fridge, so we got the ice from the kitchen.  We used a rubber ice pack, sometimes using cold water if nothing else was available.

The next year, I rented a fridge with an ice tray.  Though I never needed it, at least it was there.

I still took showers, but with difficulty.  I had to learn how to shampoo with only one hand, and wash my right arm with an arm that could barely move.  I could only wash my right hand one-handed.  Everything I used to take for granted, was now a chore.  At least it was not my dominant arm.

My contacts weren’t in, either, due to my funk over the night before, so I did not have to take them out and clean them one-handed.  (Contacts further irritate already-irritated eyes.)

I may have asked people to carry my meal trays at first, but I must have learned how to hold them myself.  At one meal, I balanced my tray so skillfully that Sharon said I would make a good waitress.

****

On Thursday, Shawn said to Pearl, “This week, I’ve been going to bed too late and getting up too early.”  Hmmm, just the same problem I had.  I wonder why….

Shawn tried to find me on Friday, but on a bad time.  Then I didn’t see him at all, except to wave at me as he passed the tray window.  I began to worry that something was wrong, but he was just swamped with homework for some time.  Considering how close it was to finals, and that he had Calculus, this was probably true.

Rachel came over on Saturday to help me carry my laundry, and told me that once, he said he didn’t like me that way, so she and some of my other friends said, “Don’t you think you’re just leading her on by always going over there?”

She said he said some nasty things about me (she didn’t say what), and they stood up for me.  It happened around the same time I got really ticked off at some things he said to me, until we talked them over and I saw he didn’t mean them the way they sounded.

I told Rachel that he isn’t so sure anymore that he doesn’t like me that way.

“He sat by me a couple of times this week,” I said–especially since Tuesday night.

“I noticed that,” she said.

See, we’d agreed weeks before that I could sit with him if I wanted, but he wouldn’t sit with me–to show other people that no, we are not going out.  He’d planned to do this if he ever got a girlfriend in college, just in case she wanted to talk girltalk about him with her friends.  So by sitting next to me at meals, he surprised both Rachel and me.

I showed her a hickey on my neck.  Her mouth fell open.

“Who?” she said.

“Shawn.”

“When?”

“Tuesday.”

“You’d better watch yourself, girl.  Don’t get yourself pregnant!–No, I’m just kidding.  No, I never noticed it.  If anyone else [in our group] had, they would’ve told everybody, and I never heard about it.”

“I covered it up and tried to hide it because I knew people would wonder, ‘Now, who in the world gave that to her?”

“That’s right, they would.”

****

On Sunday, Steve (Head Psycho) sat with us.  Get him and Demento Rachel together, and you get salt shaker wars, loudness and tug-of-war with one of Pearl’s crutches.  They flipped one salt shaker at each other by pushing two other salt and pepper shakers together at its small end.  A few times, it went as high as their heads.  We all rolled with laughter.

I joined in some of the craziness, and we made so much noise in that nearly-empty cafeteria that Shawn, Heidi and another guy kept looking at us like, “What are you guys doing?”  Once, when Heidi got up to go get something, she said to us, “A loud table!”

On Monday, December 7, I saw the school nurse.  She checked my arm and may have given me pain pills.  We talked about the incident, and she said, “Oh, yeah, the school’s gonna pay for your medical expenses.”  I even recorded this in a letter on that same day.

The cast was taken off a bit before Christmas Break.  This was my best Christmas present.  I still couldn’t do much, but I could do more than before.  I was glad to carry my tray more normally and–especially–shampoo my hair with two hands again.

My elbow was tender for some time even after the sling came off, and if the weather turned cold, my elbow hurt.  But it was set well, so within a year or two, even the cold-weather aches went away.  Today, you wouldn’t know I ever had a fracture.

I do, however, have a healthy respect for ice.  Though falls rarely hurt more than my pride and some muscles, I still wear boots for only a tiny bit of snow.  Ice frightened me for some time after the fall, even small patches.

I expected to get sick pay, since the fall wasn’t my fault; I thought everybody in every job got sick pay.  But when I asked Arthur about it, he said I’d only be paid for the hours I actually worked.

I’d have to ask my parents for money again!  Contrary to the student stereotype, I did not like asking my parents for money when I had a job, and when I called them each week it was merely to chat.  My arm needed rest all through Winterim, so that was two months without pay.

A hypnotist did a show on campus on December 8.  Actually, the students sitting onstage as volunteers did the show.

What I remember: One of the guys thought some monstrous thing made out of sausage-shaped balloons was important.  Another guy thought the microphone was the most gorgeous lady he had ever seen.  He caressed, kissed and even licked it.

Daphne, the RA of the suites, sitting in the audience, let herself go under hypnosis along with the students onstage.  (I didn’t because I wanted to watch people make fools of themselves.)  When she came out of her trance, whenever the hypnotist said a certain thing, she ran around and yelled, “The Indians are coming!  The Indians are coming!”

Afterwards, I went up to the hypnotist and asked if he knew anything about mental links.

(I saw James in line behind me, also waiting to ask him questions.  I wondered what James thought about my question about mental links: He watched me so intently that I wondered if he heard about my mental link with Peter.  In any case, Peter wanted me to stop talking about it, told Memadmin I made it up.  But he was a liar, and I did not stop talking about it.  So there!  Nyah!)

I was afraid he’d say they don’t exist, but no, he did know about them.  He said they’re rare, but do happen, and that a breakdown could be caused by a subconscious fear of it, wish for it to end, or several other things.  He said it may or may not be permanent.  If it wasn’t, I could get a professional to hypnotize me, help me find out what went wrong, and maybe set it up again.

I didn’t want to set it up again.  I had also read about them in an old book on ESP in the Roanoke library.  Now, Shawn told me it was probably all just an elaborate ruse of Peter’s.  He may have been right, but at the time I could not believe that Peter would lie to me about something like that.

One night, after a Bible study meeting in Old Main, Pearl, Sharon and I went to the head of the staircase.  I went down, But Sharon stayed up, leaning over the railing.  She said, “Do you ever feel like throwing yourself over?”

She wasn’t suicidal.  Pearl laughed and said no, but I knew exactly what she meant.

Somebody else felt that way!  Maybe I wasn’t so weird.  It wasn’t suicidal, just the thrill of danger, something you weren’t supposed to do–probably some primal urge, such as the Id.

In the midst of everything, the daily routine went on.  Our mailboxes usually held junk and campus circulars, not “real mail,” or letters from friends or family.  Catherine came up with the term “EMS,” or “Empty Mailbox Syndrome.”  But our group would send each other various holiday cards.

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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