Sometime in December, possibly the weekend of Saturday, December 17 (during finals, which ended the next week), Mike’s family held a Christmas party. They invited me, along with my friends and a lot of people I didn’t know. Several international students were there.
At times I felt depressed because Phil was gone; at times I felt angry at Phil’s lies. But this sorrow interlaced with joy at having fun with my friends.
When I walked into the party in the basement, Mike greeted me as “Estrella” in front of a bunch of people. That’s when I knew he knew who was writing him “Estrella” letters in made-up Spanish.
He distorted the name in whatever way he could to find new nicknames for me, and settled on “Australia” and “Store.” I finally had another nickname–and this one actually stuck, at least with him. Years later, he still calls me “Store” in e-mails.
We all sang along with a player piano. We sang Christmas songs, show tunes and popular songs, whatever people requested.
Now, normally I don’t like singing anything, especially show tunes. But there was something about this player piano that lured even this metalhead/alternative fan. I think Charles was there, and he was also a metalhead/alternative fan. I think Persephone was there as well, and she never struck me as the show tune type.
I requested “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” thinking it was like the pop version done in the ’80s, but the words were all different and I had trouble keeping up.
Mike showed us his new alarm clock. It was in the shape of a wolf dressed in jazzy clothes.
Every morning it woke him with “funky” background saxophone music and, “Hey, Hey, Don’cha know! It’s time to get up so you can get dowWWWWWWwwwwwnnnnnnnnn!!!”
Funny, yes–and potentially very annoying after the hundredth time it’s woken you out of blissful slumber.
Just before Christmas Break, on Sunday, December 18, Pearl invited us all to her hometown. There we ate dinner at the Olive Garden Italian Restaurant and went to see her church’s Christmas cantata.
I finally got to meet her mother, who was very pretty: She looked just like Pearl, except older and with dark hair. I also met her father.
I’d never been to the Olive Garden before, and this was the highlight of my evening. The cantata sang beautifully. Pearl’s mother was in the choir.
At the restaurant, all I could afford for the main dish was the pizza appetizer. It was a small pizza, but enough for me. Plus, we all shared the breadsticks that Mike bought.
I got a chocolate soda, a special Italian drink, not the typical American chocolate soda. It had an odd taste, somewhat sour, but also sweet, and took a little getting used to. Once you were used to it, though, it was good.
December 19, a Monday, was Astrid’s birthday, but that was finals week, and I left for home at 12pm. Finals started late in the week of December 12 and ended in the middle of the week of December 19. So the following may have happened on December 16, a Friday:
We “kidnapped” Astrid, and took her in Mike’s car to a local ice cream place (probably Culver’s). However, there was a slight problem:
Before we removed her blindfold, and while we were in Mike’s car with her, Mike and Tara stopped their cars in a church parking lot. Mike and Tara went outside and Mike said in a loud voice, “It’s Dr. P–‘s church!” (Dr. P., a professor, was also a preacher.)
We all thought, Oh great, they’ve gone and given away where we are! So we drove around in circles a little while longer to confuse Astrid. Then we finally pulled into Culver’s parking lot and removed the blindfold.
I couldn’t get her much, having little money or opportunity to get into town, so I gave her a candy bar. I was glad to have something to give so I wouldn’t look like a miser.
We had a fun time and the ice cream was yummy. She seemed to enjoy herself. Sharon’s birthday card to her had “Happy Birthday” on the front. Inside were all these psychological questions about “Happy Birthday,” such as, “What do you really mean by that?” It was probably the funniest of all our cards, since it was so-Sharon.
For Christmas, however, I had money to get gifts for my family and my Secret Santa recipient, Astrid. I got her a teddy bear angel at Sonlight Books. She named the bear Nyssa, and took her on choir tour with her that spring so she could say, “Nyssa went with us on choir tour!”
Sometime that school year, the movie Scarlett, made from Alexandra Ripley’s sequel to Gone With the Wind, finally came out. I hated it. It was awful, trite, and clichéd, and not at all like the book.
They even stuck a trial into it, after Scarlett killed some guy–which was NOT in the book. I thought that was the ultimate stupidity and sell-out to what was popular in TV-movies at the time.
The book was a lot better, and better suited the characters created by Margaret Mitchell. Someone in the bookstore said the book was stupid, but I disagreed. I especially loved the section in which Scarlett went to Ireland and the experience changed her into a better human being.
I didn’t watch the last night of the miniseries, which showed the trial.
On December 16, Mike came over and brought some kiddie Christmas movies, such as Jack Frost and Frosty the Snowman. My roommies and I and probably Astrid watched.
There’s something about watching a kiddie movie or even Sesame Street (as we did once or twice) with your college buddies. I guess if you do it alone at age 21 you’re just weird, but if you do it with friends, that’s fun.
A little later, something began banging against the outside walls. We looked out the windows: Several people were throwing snowballs at Morland House from the courtyard between the two buildings.
I believe they were aiming them at an upstairs apartment where their friends lived. It was somehow surreal.
Mike and I went outside and threw a few snowballs at them. Then our friends joined us, we went around the other side of the building, and we all had our own snowball fight.
Since Mike was the only man in our group, the rest of us chased him and pelted him with snowballs. Yet we felt sorry for him at the same time.
In a wide, grassy space between the sidewalk and the trees of the lagoon, now covered with snow, someone had built a large ape’s face out of snow the night before. We built a snowman nearby.
I remembered that Lucy Van Pelt of “Peanuts” cartoons liked making snow bunnies. I made little snow bunnies and a snow kitty near the snowman. Two Asian girls came by and saw us. I’m not sure what country they were from. Excited, they joined in. I don’t think any of us knew them.
Table of Contents
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
- Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy”; Jigging at College Dance
- Library Tales
- Happiness Returns
- Living with Friends in Krueger
- Funny Library Stories
- Shawn Calls
- Psycho Roommates and Bug Wars
- Return of Rick
- Adjusting to New Dorm
- Spitball-Throwing Teacher
- Rat-Obsessed Teacher and Doctor Zhivago
- A Teacher Dated a Student; InterVarsity Fun
- Charlie Peacock Concert
- Random Stories
- Letter to Shawn
- Erotic Vampire Dream (Inspiration for Alexander Boa)
- I Ask Out James
- Peter Calls!
- The Fateful First Meeting of Phil
- The Birth of Dolphin Philosophy
- Our Group of Friends Splits Apart
- Spring Classes
- Big Red Flag: Phil’s Dysfunctional Family Life
- The Drunken Stork (Phil’s Controlling Nature Manifests)
- Idealizing Phase and Early Sign of Control
- Phil Tries to Control my Friendships, Unfair Accusations from his Dad and Brother
- Phil Gaslights Me with Fake Dreams, Ridicule and Psychological Abuse
- Another Pre-Engagement
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
- The Abuse Worsens in the Summer of Hell
- Phil rapes me anally
- Phil tries to control me through refusing everything I want–even proper hygiene
- Phil’s cruel hoax on me: his “subconscious” coming out to be with me
- Phil’s “subconscious” explains why he’s coming out to talk to me
- The lies unravel as Phil admits to conning me; also, fright as my periods turn wacky
- How Phil’s behavior fit the signs of abuse
- Phil Mindscrews Me: changes history, blames me for things that were not my fault, treats me like an idiot during games
- Phil says if he abuses me, it takes two people to sign the divorce papers
- Pearl reveals that Phil is costing me social invitations
- Hints that Phil is checking out of the marriage
September 1994–Divorce: The Long, Dark, Painful Tunnel:
- Phil picks fights and avoids responsibilities to make me feel like a shrew
- My husband Phil, Dave and Pearl call me a party pooper for getting a Grade II concussion
- I’m ecstatic to be back with my friends (the ones Phil hates); I meet Charles
- Phil vanishes without a word of why
- Phil wants a divorce
- My friends tells me that Phil is controlling and possessive
- My first Pentecostal church service: They speak in tongues
- Phil refuses to accept responsibility for the divorce
- Phil cuts off contact
- Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk
- Phil the narcissist admits to manipulating people and using them as pawns in his game with me
- Phil comes crawling back to me–and we put our marriage on paper
- Phil demands my complete submission and forces me into oral sex–and my will is broken, for fear he’ll divorce me again
- Phil walks away from me again–because I dare to have my own mind, opinions and needs–and because he’s a sociopath
- Fierce anger against Phil and PTSD from the abuse
- My friends tell me Phil is psychotic
- “Soul Ties”
- I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends
- My letter to Phil
- Phil shows my letter to his friends; I’m triggered by reminder of forced oral sex
- I start dating Charles
- Friends tell me Phil is controlling
- I feel stalked by Phil
- Poem about being stalked by Phil
- Fury at Phil stalking me and rubbing my face in his new relationship
- A Date with the Vampire
- Celtic Class: Knotwork, Tin Whistles, SCA–and Drinking from a Skull
- The Teddy-O Incident; Birth of These Memoirs
- We Hook Up to the Internet–and Shawn Fixates on My Sex Life
- New Guy Begging at My Feet
- Life on TCB
- Meeting Cugan (Hubby)
- Learning my ex Peter was a love-fraud; New Men
- Before Tracy, There Was the Avenger (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 1)
- Torn between three men as Catherine pushes me toward Cugan
- The Love Rectangle
- Torn between FIVE men! Me?
- Persephone’s Own Outrageous Stories of Phil’s Abuse
- College-style living
- Online Shenanigans
- Phil Finds TCB; Meeting a Hit Man
- Gypsy’s Party: Healed friendship with Peter
- The Avenger Starts a Flame War (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 2)
- Meeting the elusive Speaker
- First Date with Future Hubby Cugan
- On Breaking Up with Kindness
- Loony Roommies and Flying Gargoyles
- The Goddess of Pleasure and Salt
- A Conversation with Oscar Wilde
- My First SCA Event
- Cugan: a vast improvement over Phil
- Easter with Cugan’s family and SCA
- Cugan breaks up with me
- After breakup: Phil’s return and trolls
- Cugan comes back
- SCA hippies; college senioritis: anxiety!
- Or should I move back in with my parents?
- Peace with Phil
- Defending my Thesis; Graduating with Honors
- Graduation: Trapped at school
- Epilogue and Apology from Phil