Life At Roanoke: My College Memoirs–September 1991 through May 1995
“Roanoke” is a pseudonym to protect identities.
My memoirs are a mix of good times, along with stories of verbally/emotionally/sexually abusive boyfriends, and probably some undiagnosed form of NVLD/Asperger’s. How dark times finally gave way to coming out into the light.
They reflect 4 years of apparently dealing with a little-known learning disorder, without the benefit of knowing I had it. It has caused difficulties. But it also gave me certain abilities which helped with my writing and later jobs.
These memoirs are meant to entertain, to help young women avoid making the relationship mistakes I made, and to show how I finally came through my relationship struggles triumphant.
Also note that while I still struggle with many things because of NVLD, I graduated college and have made a decent life for myself–the roots of which are in my college story.
Below: Links to all of the chapters of this web-book.
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
(Disclaimer: These memoirs are from my point of view. The points of view of other people may differ. Whether or not mine is correct is subjective. It’s also probably safe to assume that most, if not all, of the people in these memoirs who did something that hurt me would act differently in the same situation today.
I keep the details of bad things here not to hold onto hurts, but to make the story complete, and to help others who may be going through a similar situation and don’t know what to do. These memoirs are also for the amusement of my friends, some of whom have lived through these events.)
History of these memoirs: I began writing detailed diaries and letters to friends in 1991. At first, these “diaries” were mostly notes written into my day planner to record special moments with my boyfriend, Peter, such as details of the Link (explained in my memoirs) and things he told me.
In 1992, I was given a diary for Christmas, and began filling it with accounts of my troubles, since I was going through a breakup. Soon, I filled that up and began using notebooks, filling several notebooks and diaries by the time I graduated in 1995. These diaries were like any diary: a mix of good and bad experiences.
In 1992 or 1993, I typed my freshman year day planner into my word processor to preserve it, in case of fire. I included more details that came to mind.
In early 1994, I began making notes for novels based on my own experiences, because I felt that nobody was capturing the kind of college experiences I and my friends were having. The closest thing to that was the TV series Class of ’96, which was criticized as being unrealistic, and soon canceled. Yet that show came closer to my reality than any other show or movie I had yet seen.
In late 1994 or early 1995, I began putting my experiences into a semi-fictionalized form for future publication, but the events of senior year put them on the backburner.
As I began my first job as an insurance clerk, I also began working again on my memoirs, putting them into fictional form as a series of dialogues between the protagonist and a wise, older friend.
Yes, this was much like Felicity’s tapes sent to a dear friend, in the first season of Felicity–only this was 1995 and 1996, a few years before anybody ever heard of Felicity Porter. So I had the idea first. Nyah.
I could change events as I wished, having my protagonist do what I wished I had done. But first, I would write down the truth, to be fictionalized later. In the meantime, I still wrote entries from the point of view of my protagonist’s friend, which basically were my own, wiser view a few years after the events.
Because of my job, I couldn’t go very fast on the memoirs, doing most of my writing–of the memoirs and of fictional works–on weekends and vacations. In 1998, I was downsized and became a housewife; during that time, I made lots of progress.
However, I also read an article about libel, and feared I couldn’t publish my fictionalized version without being subject to libel suits. I kept writing the true accounts for my own use, but no longer intended to fictionalize them in a novel. Instead, they would be my journal of college.
In 2001, I neared completion of the accounts of freshman year (I had started working backwards because Phil’s abuses were fresh in my mind and needed to be dealt with immediately).
Friends from college kept saying, “I want to read your memoirs!” But how was that possible, when they filled two fireproof vaults, and much of them were actually letters and personal diaries?
It was for my own use, so it was not made into an easily accessible form for anyone else to read without going to my house. It was also full of private details.
So I decided to clip and paste bits of my journals, sometimes including copies of diary entries and letters, into e-mails sent to all those who wanted to read my memoirs. This e-mailing began right before 9/11, and was kept up twice a week for quite some time.
In the years following, I kept the e-mails, and sent them to anyone new who wanted to see them. But this was impractical because there were so many e-mails to send at one time.
In April 2006, I discovered Myspace. On my Myspace blog, I started posting various things I had written before, such as travelogues. I also posted them on this website in case Myspace crashed.
Then I began posting my memoirs–risky, because strangers could read them (including the Avenger, who happened across her story in maybe 2007). I expanded and edited them as I went.
I put a copy of each blog on my website, calling them the Archives. Which means even more people could read them. It’s risky, but if I didn’t want anyone to read them, why did I spend so much of my life writing them?
At last, the story is out. And yes, this is the true version, not at all fictional. Eventually, I hope to also include memoirs of my childhood and possibly adulthood.