I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–October 1994, Part 3
On October 2, I went to Immanuel Bible Church with Pearl, driven by a middle-aged (or older) man who went to the church. We were to go there several times during the semester.
It was far too conservative for me, though I had no idea until reviewing the website just now, just how conservative it was. I would have–metaphorically–run screaming if I’d known!
I wanted to go to the Evangelical Free church, but our driver had graduated. So I went wherever I could, whenever I could–that is, until I got too used to sleeping in.
Once, possibly this first time we went, we passed Phil on the road as we left Roanoke. He saw me, and I think he smiled at me. I just sat there, stunned.
I started putting Dolphin Philosophy, complete with my usual drawing of a frolicking dolphin, on the message board we had by the bathroom door. I wrote this on 10/2/94, which the dolphin Darwin said on SeaQuest DSV: “Darwin scared. People bad!”
In a return to sophomore and junior year practices, I also started drawing little beetles on the board as well, every now and then.
Around this time, I’d look around at couples who’d been together a couple of years, and wonder, Will I ever have a lasting relationship, one that won’t fizzle out before the end of a year?
I’d look at people who were engaged or married and had been together for several years or more, and wonder, Will I ever last in a relationship long enough to get married and spend most of my life with a guy?
We had Cinemax and HBO in the apartments. But then at the general meeting for all the apartments, the meeting in which our Resident Assistant (RA) gave us cleaning supplies, somebody mentioned we were getting Cinemax and HBO.
The RA told us not to tell anybody from other residence halls, or they’d get jealous and complain. Soon after, the cable guy hooked up our bedrooms so we could get cable outside of the living room. (Without cable, not one channel came in on campus.)
We discovered that Cinemax and HBO were now scrambled. We feared this would happen!
I found one of my small packing boxes. I put in it the game “Crack the Case,” some mementos and pictures of Phil that he’d given me, and the porcelain bird. (I kept very little.)
I was glad to include that game, which reminded me of him verbally abusing me and making me feel stupid whenever we played it.
I also put in the books and pencils he left behind that night he made the final decision to divorce me, and the bowl and spoon he left behind on the previous weekend.
I had cleaned them; I may have cleaned them before his final decision. Otherwise, I probably would’ve been tempted to keep them dirty.
I put in a note that said simply, “These are some things of yours. I can’t keep the bird anymore.” I found our marriage contract, ripped it in two, and put it on the top.
I sent these to him through the campus mail. I remember packing the box in the living room by the TV, and Sharon might have been there.
Sharon thought sending the bird back (and the ripped-up contract) was a good move that showed him I was breaking with him.
He told me to keep the bird. I’d been tempted, even encouraged by my friends, to break the porcelain bird, but a dream told me I’d regret doing this. Instead, I gave it back to him, getting it off the living room shelf and out of my life forever. It’s sad that that woman’s piece of art ended up meaning what it did to me.
Phil found me the next day, probably around the fifth, on my way back to the apartment after lunch. He mentioned the “torn-up paper” and had a long talk with me. He was civil, though he wasn’t kind.
He seemed offended by the torn-up marriage contract, even though he had been the one to nullify it.
He told me he was interested in doing something with Persephone. He said he was going dancing on Saturday night in Fond du Lac–which we had planned to do together–and he was going to take her along instead.
I think he was going there with a group.
He also said, “It was never ‘us.'” What a cruel thing to say! And what was it supposed to mean? To discount the past eight months, to discount our entire marriage, like they meant nothing!
I don’t think I said much to that. We also talked about how maybe in the future we’d be ready for each other, and I said I just wondered, how long? (At the crack of doom, I guess.) I came back in the apartment and cried.
I later got the impression that he and Persephone went dancing in Fond du Lac all the time. It seemed like dancing in Fond du Lac was popular with S– young people. It seems odd, because Fond du Lac kids talk like there’s nothing to do here. And I believe the dance place where everybody went is now something else.
I traded a shift with Dirk, 9 to 11 pm in the library. I sat folding Roanoke folders. I kept one for myself because they were free. Some guy dropped off these folders for us, just as he did the year before.
I liked them, but one of the librarians hated them. She didn’t like how they were made, that they were unsolicited, and that since they were dropped off in the library, we student workers had to spend time folding them. They were then left in a pile on the desk for anyone to take.
I liked mine, and later on in Winterim class, I decorated it with Celtic drawings and markers. I ended up storing in it some papers I wanted to keep. So she complained about them, but I loved mine.
Working at that time of night was scary, especially in what could be a haunted library. And even if it wasn’t haunted, it was still scary to be out and about on the campus at night.
I was alert to shadows and bushes as I walked home, as I often would be that late at night, watching for guys who might want to jump me. I didn’t use to be so jumpy at night on campus, until the rapist sophomore year put the fear of darkness into all us women without even stepping foot on the campus.
October 7-8. I went to the InterVarsity Lock-in at Mike’s house. It was held in the basement, which was made up into a rec room, and in one corner was the door to Mike’s bedroom.
It was nice to be there with my friends and not see Phil at all, but I was also depressed. Persephone was there, and once asked me, “Is something wrong?” I didn’t tell her it was Phil.
Guess what? Phil dropped her off! She apparently considered him weird, and just thought of him as a friend, but he insisted and she thought, Okay, whatever.
I tried to enjoy myself as best I could. After all, many of my friends were there, and especially Mike.
While standing around the pool table eating and watching people play, Persephone’s roommate Trina said to me, “Right now, P is in his room having sex with a girl who Phil and I both think isn’t that pretty.”
This girl, apparently, was considered a slut, who all the guys (except Phil and, I hope, Mike) were hot over, and other girls didn’t understand why. I didn’t know her, and didn’t know what she looked like, so I could say nothing about her.
As for P, a freshman, he had a girlfriend, but was known as a womanizer. The girlfriend wasn’t on campus. (Shortly before the end of the school year, according to Pearl, he said that his girlfriend taught him the value of a relationship without sex.) In her absence, he slept with whomever he could find.
Spring Semester, Charles kept going on and on about him–P did this, P did that, P is so funny, P is so cool–so Pearl began saying, “I think Charles is in love with P.” We’d laugh, especially since Charles was very much heterosexual.
We watched the Saved by the Bell movie which aired that evening, in which the blond kid married his girlfriend, the girl with the lovely, long brown hair (which she later cut off! ergh! when she went to 90210).
I didn’t watch the show myself, but some of my friends did. I didn’t like watching someone get married, though, after my own marriage to Phil broke down before we even had a public wedding. But I forced my feelings down so my friends could enjoy the movie.
We spent the night camped on sleeping bags, blankets and pillows on the floor in the basement. Once I got up to go to the bathroom, stepped around my friends, and reflected on how life went on without Phil, that I was doing this apart from him and still having a good time.
Mike’s mother made us breakfast pizza the next morning.
We had made Mike an honorary woman and Phi-Delt because he hung around with us instead of guys, and acted “womanly” at times. He loved the distinction.
Also, my friends and I recently went to Country Kitchen. We were Tara, Pearl, Sharon, Astrid and me. I don’t remember anyone else being with us.
I think that was the time I had a strange desire for the car to crash and I’d die (because of Phil), but I fought it off because that was so awful and would kill my friends as well. I get thoughts like that when severely depressed.
There, we had ice cream desserts, and somebody asked who of us had crushes on Mike. Astrid didn’t like admitting it, but we discovered or knew that she did or used to. Sharon did or used to. And I did. Pearl thought Tara did, but she didn’t.
We wondered why so many of us liked him, because he was basically a dork (we meant that in the best possible way; we liked him the way he was). We wondered if we didn’t have a big enough circle of guy friends, and that’s why we all kept falling for the same guy.
Of course, it could also be that he was one of few truly nice guys on that campus, not a drunk, druggie or out for all the booty he could get.
This may have been the time when a waitress kept banging drawers and snapping at us, so we thought she was having a nervous breakdown.
I don’t think it was anything we did or said. Working at the S– Country Kitchen at night was said to be very stressful because of groups that come in and sit and have something to drink but nothing more, making the place very busy but with small tips.
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)
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