Here’s a letter to the school newspaper editor in 1952, reprinted in the fall of 1994 in a special edition. You can see things hadn’t changed much:
Would you please tell me why something hasn’t been done to solve this unfortunate transportation problem on campus? It is a shame when a student cannot move from campus without becoming a parasite on some person owning a car.
Many college students are working at the present time to support themselves in school and thus do not find that they have the money to pay for the up-keep of an automobile. Does this mean that they have to continually be shut within the walls of this campus?
An individual gets sick of asking a friend or acquaintance for a ride into a neighboring town or community, and so does the driver of the car get sick of hauling five or six passengers every time he leaves the campus!
This transportation problem also makes it hard for dating (a natural pastime at all colleges). The fellows who do not own cars have no means with which to take out their girls. On Friday and Saturday nights, when it is most likely for them to have their dates, the book store isn’t open to the students. Where are they going to go?
Maybe a few are lucky enough to be able to double date with a friend who has a car, but maybe they are not that fortunate. The dorms are closed to the students of the opposite sex after certain hours in the evening and therefore only one solution comes to the couple: sitting in someone else’s parked car! It is only due to the many inconveniences around campus which force the students to take this undesired course. Can you blame them?
It is about time for the students on this campus to get busy on solving this transportation problem. It is a sure sign that if we don’t do it, someone else will!
(What would you do in the book store on a date, anyway? Buy some textbooks or a college sweater? And it’s funny because I don’t recall guys having trouble just hanging out with their girlfriends on campus.)
By our day, the campus did have shuttle vans to S– on certain days and at certain times (I think on Sunday afternoons), though it probably hadn’t started up for the year yet when I needed Phil to take me to get milk and orange juice.
I usually got haircuts and stocked up while at home on breaks so I wouldn’t run out of toiletries at school, except for ones available in the Campus Shop. Senior year, Mike started a “shuttle service” of his own, taking a bunch of us in the Group to S– on Friday nights to go grocery shopping. Now that we had our own kitchen, we liked to keep food in it.
As the Mirror said, some of the dorms had now put computers in the lounges for people who couldn’t get to the computer lab. The following year, they’d even get Internet access.
Every other college in the country seemed to already have Internet access, so it’s funny to see how times have changed, reading on the Roanoke website  that now they’re “one of the ‘most wired colleges’ in the nation.” Wow, they even have access ports in the dorm rooms now!
In 1994, the Internet was only just starting to get popular, having been a little-known service for academics and government researchers before then. Beyond users of Compuserve, Prodigy and AOL, few people had heard about it until the mid-90s. (A source.)
Anna met Persephone through the Mirror, and seemed to like her. She liked her sense of humor; Persephone would say things that made Anna look at her in surprise. I think Anna said I was the same way.
Wednesday, October 26. Sharon and I went to third-floor Jubilee, and sat outside an office waiting for our turn or maybe for Pearl. To my consternation, Phil showed up there as well. (Why did this sort of thing keep happening?)
He said hello.
Sharon said nothing. I just looked away.
He said, “Okay.” He hung around for a few minutes, and tried to say one or two things to me or Sharon, but I just kept quiet. He even congratulated me on dating Charles! (Seriously?)
Sharon went in one of the offices and Phil went through the door to the stairs, saying to me in a surprisingly non-sarcastic voice, “Good-bye. Nice talking to you.”
I asked Sharon if I’d done the right thing in snubbing him. She said maybe I should coldly say hi and bye–but that he was an idiot to try to keep talking to me when I clearly didn’t want him to.
Pearl said I gave him the treatment he deserved. So it’s hard to say. Anne of Green Gables would probably agree with Sharon, though. 🙂
I see from my diary at this time that I felt like these constant instances of running into him, were not coincidence. On the sidewalks, at meals (he was a commuter, yet kept sitting with Persephone, who sat with my friends), coming out of the Campus Shop….
He had my work/school schedule from the beginning of the year, which I gave him before the breakup; was he watching for me, so he could pass by?
It seemed the more I wanted him to go away and leave me alone, the more he came near me. It infuriated me. I felt stalked.
Thursday, October 27. My friends and I went on the Halloween tour through the woods that night. There was a huge line by the Pavilion, but we finally got through it.
The Hall Council advertised that the tour would be scary and we’d learn all the legends of the haunted Roanoke woods. Instead, it was funny at times, and had rusted cars and other debris here and there, but I don’t think the stories we heard were true.
It wasn’t scary. It was a walk at night through the woods with a flashlight or two.
We saw Persephone in the line while we waited, and she grinned to see us. She was friendly with me and I was friendly back, especially since last I knew she and Phil were broken up, but I still felt weird around her because of Phil. It’s possible that, by then, they’d gotten back together and then broken up again.
(Websites say the CD came out in January of 1995, but I could swear she had the CD before then, when I was still in deep depression.)
She also got one by a group called Pray For Rain. I thought it was new, but it was copyrighted 1992. (Not surprising, since my sources of Christian pop at school and at home were limited.)
Two were sad and fit my present situation without being unbearable, unlike many secular songs based on sad situations. One was based on Job, and one was about a marriage in trouble.
“My Time” was about devotional time. That one took me away from my situation.
They were also musically superior songs, with original, innovative tunes that I loved (love) to listen to over and over again.
Sharon said, the first time she heard the Bourgeois CD, “That sounds like something I’d listen to over and over.” It had a calming effect on me, as did plenty of Christian music.
I’d been playing my Christian CD’s more than anything else, especially Shape of Grace by Out of the Grey. Unlike romantic-love-soaked pop music, they took me away from my situation and reminded me of God’s love for me, that He doesn’t leave me alone, ever.
I didn’t want my music to remind me of the breakup. Pop music would remind me constantly.
(By the way: Pray For Rain had to change their name because of a pre-existing group with that name. Yet the secular group Mastodon has the same name as pre-existing Christian group Mastedon, yet never has to change its name? What is up with that?)
Trina didn’t like to hear that Charles was dating me now. One day he saw her through the Campus Center window (she was sitting in the lounge), and waved.
He left the window and re-joined me on the sidewalk, then said, “I really shouldn’t have done that. You’re not supposed to rub it in your ex’s face when you start dating again.”
That made sense to me, especially now that Phil kept rubbing it in my face that he had a new girlfriend.
For example, even though none of us liked him except Persephone, he would sometimes sit with us at meals. On November first, he even flirted with her while sitting right across from me.
I don’t think Charles did things like that to Trina. I don’t think she sat at our table when he was around. After a short while, she seemed to get over him and start looking around again.
Charles said Phil congratulated him on dating me, too–and right in front of Trina. That’s weird: Congratulations are for engagements and weddings and the births of babies, NOT for dating somebody casually.
Those machines! We only had one washer and one dryer for the whole building. We didn’t have a lot of people using it, so this would be okay, except that our brand-new machines kept breaking down, and other halls were locked to non-residents.
The suites’ laundry room, last I knew, wasn’t locked, but that was all the way over on the other side of the campus. The Phi-Delts heard a rumor that their sorority suite key cards would also open up all the other hall doors, but I didn’t have such a key card.
When we first got there, the washing machine would fill up with water, not drain properly, then the water would get all over the floor and soak your clothes, so water would stream out of them when you took them out of the machine. I learned this the hard way, thinking it had been fixed.
Then they finally fixed that, but I think the dryer broke, or the washing machine again. So I had to go over to Muehlmeier, but the only way to do that was to call up Persephone and ask her to open the back door for me.
It was a short walk, just to Muehlmeier in decent weather, down the hallway to the other end of the building, then downstairs to the laundry room in the basement. But carrying a load of laundry made it harder to handle, and added to that was having to ask Persephone to help me.
By this time it must have been late in October. We were friends, but for me it was a wary friendship, since she was seeing my ex-husband only a few weeks after our final separation. I just didn’t understand how she could do this if she wanted to be my friend.
When I talked to her, it was hard to keep unwelcome images out of my head–her dating Phil, kissing him, talking with him, laughing, dancing, maybe even worse. I didn’t know yet that she refused to go past kissing him.
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