I admit I skipped a few Intro to Christianity classes. But sometimes I just didn’t want to get up and run off to a 9:15 class. I’d either be tired or depressed about Phil again. Once or twice I actually felt under the weather.
(Maybe this is a symptom of depression; after all, up until this time, I wouldn’t dream of skipping class unless I was sick or had a bout with insomnia or had to tend to Phil’s nervous breakdown.)
So I’d skip it, and copy the day’s lecture notes from Mike.
I followed the syllabus, read the assignments, did the research essays and studied for the tests, so I didn’t miss much. Since I knew the material, I made an A or B in the class. And I didn’t have to tell the teacher where I’d been.
I did show up to most of the classes, though sometimes I think I barely made it on time. (I don’t remember now how often I was late or on time.)
But then, after all, I just took this class for the credits anyway. It was interesting, but I’d taken all the required courses and only needed a certain number of credits so I could graduate, so I took whatever looked like fun.
Sharon began giving us all titles, all in fun, not because she really felt this way about us:
Pearl was sometimes the Slut. I was also the Slut, but I don’t remember if I had another title.
Pearl was also the Druggie because of all the prescription drugs she had to take after her surgery. There may have even been a hypodermic needle involved.
Tara was the Alcoholic. I forget why, exactly–maybe because she sometimes liked to mix up Sloe Screws and drink Daiquiris and Sex on the Beach.
Sharon kept torturing Tara and me with the song “Zombie” by the Cranberries. She’d sing, “In your head! In your head!” until we pretended to hit her. One of us would say, “It’s in my head and I can’t get it out.” So Sharon would sing, “In your head! In my head!” and laugh.
Over the weekend, Mike joined us for a meal. Charles saw a picture of his sister Wendy. Mike told her age, which was closer to Charles’, and Charles said, “Could you introduce me to her?”
At another point, he said he was “twenty-four, and still not dating anyone seriously.” He smiled at me after he said that.
A twinge of insult lasted only one nanosecond. I didn’t feel insulted after that, just wondered what was going on.
Charles hadn’t been coming over much, I had given up on trying to be in love with him (I guess I no longer felt that “spark” as he called it), and after his comments I started to feel like we weren’t really seeing each other anymore.
I tried to work up the courage to break up with him. I’d even been depressed lately, wanting more and more to be with Mike (or Phil if he repented of his abuse) instead, so depressed Clarissa even noticed one day before dinner and asked what was wrong. (I didn’t tell her.)
We also had different political opinions: We were both Republicans, but his opinions were much farther to the right. One evening, he turned on Rush Limbaugh’s TV show, to my dismay. I kept my mouth shut to avoid trouble.
And he could get vocal with people who disagreed with him on politics. He recently embarrassed me when, to an innocent comment made by the elderly Southern teacher I’ve mentioned before, he blew up and yelled at her. He said he was so sick of people saying such-and-such.
I don’t remember what she had said or if she meant it politically, but he made it so. She was a sweet lady, and his elder, and didn’t deserve that at all.
I think that was when I first seriously considered breaking up with him. I knew this just wasn’t going to work out.
(Ironically, my future brother-in-law would be just like him.)
On the tenth, the group walked back from lunch and got to where the sidewalk forked, one way leading to Muehlmeier and the other to the apartments. Charles usually came along with us to our apartment, but lately he’d been splitting with us and going alone to his room in Muehlmeier. I thought he did this because Sharon complained about him coming over every evening.
He said good-bye to us again on the tenth, and I thought about pulling him aside right then and breaking up with him, but wondered if it was really necessary: As far as I could tell, we were just friends now, no more. Our dating status seemed to have dissolved without a word. So my roommies and I just said “bye” to him and walked on.
But then Charles pulled me aside and said we should break up. He could see the feelings I still had for Phil. There were things he’d heard, though he didn’t say what, and he said something about Phil and I wanting to get back together. The wording made me think Phil wanted me back and was about to come back to me.
My heart jumping, I said, “Why do you say that?”
But this wasn’t the case, to my disappointment.
Had he heard about the angry letter? If so–well, I had to send it. Confronting an abuser–whether by letter or otherwise–and cutting him off if he won’t repent, is common advice.
I never did find out what “things” Charles “heard.” All I knew was he said Phil and I needed to grow up, that he was older and knew better.
He said, “It seems to be a rebound thing for you after all.”
I said, “I didn’t mean it that way.”
“We can still be friends.”
And we truly were. I harbored no bad feelings, except for the “grow up” crack (which Pearl considered arrogant). He didn’t appear to resent me, either.
As far as I was concerned, he didn’t break up with me: We broke up with each other. It was mutual, the first time I’d ever experienced such a breakup.
Finally, I was free from trying to feel attracted to him, and from wondering if other guys realized I could still go out with them.
Table of Contents
- Meet the Suite
- Meeting Shawn–and a Ninja
- Campus Stories, Wisconsin, Campus Radio Station
- Campus, People, First College Boyfriend
- Dating a Ninja
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