From a letter I wrote a friend on October 1:
Everyone says Phil is psychotic, unstable, in urgent need of professional help. My dad says he’s on the edge.
Even Phil’s friend Dirk, who’s trying to be objective but is Phil’s confidante much more than I’d even want him to be mine, says that pressures of school are probably getting to him as well as problems with me.
His home life is probably the biggest cause of this “psychosis,” especially since he lives at home instead of on campus. Arguments are the way of life there, and it’s doubtful whether his parents even love each other anymore.
[When I asked Sharon, a Psych major,] if he was having another nervous breakdown…she said, “No, it’s a psychosis.” She says he was already acting weird last semester.
(Maybe that’s why my friends started to not like him, even though the semester before they tried to get him to do things with us, and seemed to like him.)
Dad says he’d better find some counselor to talk to or maybe his priest, before he goes over the edge.
…Why do I keep falling for guys with problems? I don’t even know about the problems until later, usually. Why do the sweet guys I find keep turning out to be jerks? I like weird, not psychotic!
For months my guy seems like a rare find, and then all of a sudden he changes on me. I plan to send my story to [a magazine] as a warning to other people: Don’t get a “spiritual” marriage that isn’t legal!
I don’t want to regret the special times when Phil and I have “been” together, but I have been starting to. I don’t know what to think of myself as: divorced or “fallen”?
I hope we do end up together, because our spirits have joined [Evangelical belief] and I don’t want to explain to my future husband that he’s not my “first.”
…Nothing makes any sense anymore. My life was going along great and I knew where I’d be after graduation.
Now I don’t know what’s going to happen anymore. I just want to leave this place, this whole world, but there’s no way I can myself without sinning [suicide=sin].
I feel like Job when he said, “Why does death come to those who don’t want it, and some seek for death and don’t find it?” (paraphrase)
I’ve been turning to my friends for a place to keep my sanity and make life bearable. I don’t feel so lonely as I would have. I’m not always inclined to do a whole lot, but I force myself to get out and do things.
This is one benefit I see in today’s more open society: Spiritual marriages and even sleeping with a boyfriend have become more “acceptable” than they were when I was in college.
I do see a spiritual marriage as real if the two people are truly joined in their hearts, and would no longer advise against it, unless it would cause problems with your religious leaders.
I don’t think I’d have such a moral quandary if I went through this now, in 2014. But in 1994, I felt like I’d fallen morally.
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