I found devotional books and Bible readings, both for devotions and InterVarsity, to be soothing, a reminder that there was more to life than Phil.
I tried to get on with life and not spend too much time dwelling on the divorce.
Some say it’s bad to push your emotions down, that they come up later and don’t get better, but this was the only way I could deal with the intense pain. I did spend at least some time trying to deal with my emotions, such as in my diary. I tried not to talk about Phil too much.
But when I look back over how dark this time still was and how hard it was to control my hatred for Phil, I wonder if it would have been better if I’d let my grief come out freely for a time.
What made things even worse was that Phil wouldn’t leave me alone. He’d try to talk to me, sit with me and my friends at meals even though only Persephone wanted him there, get all lovey with Persephone (holding hands, etc.) while I was sitting right there.
At the beginning of the year, I gave him my schedule; I wonder if he kept it and sometimes contrived to show up where I was. We showed up in the same place an awful lot, not just between classes but in other parts of the school. Once, he held the door open for me in the Campus Shop. Sometimes I wonder if he was stalking me.
I didn’t let myself harm him or his car, didn’t threaten him or become a stalker or anything like that, since I knew it was wrong, but the struggle was so intense it frightened me.
According to Wikipedia (an earlier version of the page), being stalked can cause intense, even violent anger–just as being abused can do. I’ve never felt this way before or since about anyone, thank God, though I came close when someone harassed my husband and our SCA group, back in 1999.
(This person–more on him here–repeatedly posted derogatory comments about the group and particular members on the group’s website, and has no qualms about using viruses to “punish” companies or corporations he feels has wronged him or someone he knows. I suspect he even sent us an e-mail bomb, or a large amount of e-mails, all saying “karma.” This is stalking behavior.)
[Update: This was written in probably 2006. This guy who harassed my SCA group, was thrown in jail in 2009? for taking naughty pictures of a teenage girl. Also, I did feel this anger again in 2010, after I was abused once again, this time by “friends,” over two and a half years. I felt it again in 2012 when they, too, began stalking me, refused to admit wrongdoing, and threatened me. The story begins here.]
When someone you’ve been married to and lived with all summer starts flaunting his new girlfriend to you, you feel like he’s ripped out your heart and served it back to you on a platter. And that infuriates you.
Around this time, I started to distrust the stories The 700 Club ran each Halloween on the evils of rock music and heavy metal. I once thought they found the truly bad lyrics and exposed only them.
But now that I had been listening to secular rock music again, I discovered these lyrics were subject to interpretation. They showed part of the lyrics to the refrain of one of my favorite songs (“Man in a Box” by Alice in Chains), but took them out of context.
Some of my favorite bands were listed as “bad” when I didn’t think they were. I complained about this to Tara as the Halloween episode aired.
Once during early fall, while Phil was gone and I was still hurting, I tried to feel better by doing good for humanity: I believe it was Circle K, James’ group, which put on a Hunger Banquet. They had a spinner set up, and you’d spin it to see if you’d get a first, second, or third-world meal for dinner that night. (I forget if any money went to charity or if it was just a hunger awareness thing.)
First-world got a regular cafeteria meal. Second-world got rice and some other things. Third-world, which I got, got only rice and water, and you had to eat it while sitting on the floor by one of walls. I was disappointed to get this one, but it was a good experience.
On Halloween, I went to dinner with my roommates, preparing for another evening of InterVarsity’s annual praying for the buildings.
To my dismay, Phil sat with Persephone at our table, right across from me. We didn’t want him there. And Persephone seemed insensitive because she let him be there.
He started joking around, she said something, and he said to this, “She’s so demanding lately!” It seemed suggestive.
Later on, as my friends and I got up and began leaving, I passed by the table and saw Phil and Persephone sitting across from each other. They held hands and read from Measure for Measure playbooks, rehearsing Phil’s lines.
I believe the handholding was part of the script, but if they’d been at all sensitive, they would have done some other scene. Instead, Phil seemed to be doing this just to make me miserable, since he didn’t even bother to wait until I left the cafeteria.
Didn’t Persephone think about how her own actions helped him to hurt me?
I felt like taking my key chain and smacking him with it, though I wouldn’t dream of actually doing that. Even worse, I was supposed to be feeling all spiritual because it was time to pray for all the buildings.
Finally the IV group left, and I didn’t have to see him anymore. I could just leave him in the dust.
He was obviously an insensitive lout who cared nothing for my feelings. He must have known this would upset me. And if that thought never crossed his mind, then he must have been very stupid. He knew I was still hurting from the way he’d just dumped me, and he rubbed his new “love” in my face.
The dumped person has a right and almost a duty to show a dumper who’s also a jerk that they’ve moved on–that just because they were dumped, they’re not going to curl up and die, which the dumper might expect.
But the dumper has no right to hurt the dumpee with such a display. The dumpee already is the one who hurts the most, and is going to hurt whether the dumper does or not.
Such displays only rub in more the fact that the dumpee has been rejected–basically, it’s deliberately pouring salt on a wound.
The InterVarsity group was Clarissa, Pearl, Charles, Astrid, a new member, and me. Just in case you think this was something only Evangelicals would do, Charles was Catholic. Pearl’s scooter did not run down this time, unlike last year, when it ran out right as we got to her dorm.
When we started out, I was still fuming about Phil’s obnoxious and jerky behavior at dinner, and didn’t feel very spiritual. But after only two or three buildings this changed. I felt much better by the time we finished.
Near the end, we went outside the Pub, which was dead, and sat on the benches to pray for the Campus Center. As we did our “popcorn prayers,” basically anybody praying anything whenever, two girls–just a few yards from each other–yelled greetings to each other outside the Pub door and went inside.
Charles, who was praying, said, “I’d like to thank You that I still have my hearing.”
A few minutes later, those two girls started singing “Jesus Loves Me” at the tops of their voices. Charles prayed for them, and we laughed that they praised God while trying to make fun of us.
I said, “If we’re being persecuted we must be doing something right.”
Astrid or Pearl said, “Thanks for the compliment, guys!” We smiled and waved as we left.
Pearl noted that things didn’t seem so scary this time, and didn’t things change after the last time we prayed for the buildings?
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