Sometime soon after the breakup, Phil told me he’d been bathing now–actually bathing, soap and everything–and brushing his teeth, so he could attract women. He even shaved sometimes as well.
I don’t know why he told me this, but it was insulting. So, he wouldn’t bathe more than once every two months for his own wife, but he’d bathe daily for complete strangers?
And he’d even been watching a dating network on S–’s Marcus Cable. He just breaks up with me, and the bed’s not even cold before he starts looking around for another girlfriend! Man, what a loser.
Before September 19, and probably around the 14th, Pearl told me about a journal that she and some others were going to start. I asked to be a part of it. It was going to pass from one hand to another, with each person writing a little something in it. It would be me, Pearl, Sharon, Tara, Mike and Astrid.
While Carol was still at Roanoke, she and Pearl did this with each other. When they wrote in it often, they got along just fine; when they neglected it, their relationship suffered. We carried on this journal for maybe 16 years using group e-mails and a Yahoo group, before Facebook made it moot.
Friday, September 16. It was odd to eat breakfast each morning at the dining table, because since late sophomore or early junior year, I didn’t get up for breakfast at all.
Junior year, my only breakfast was a handful of M&M’s from a big bag, which got me through the few hours before lunch. Of course, after a while they seemed to do odd things to my stomach, so I figured they’d gone bad and stopped eating them. I may have then started eating dry cereal from those little individual-serving boxes.
I loved eating breakfast from our own little kitchen on our own big dining table. I also washed my dishes each late morning or early afternoon, depending on when I had free time, since I only had one set and needed to use it each morning.
However, as I did I felt restless, alone, like a part of me was gone and I was waiting impatiently for its return. I think that usually, no one else would be in the apartment at that time.
At 11am on the 16th, I went to see Counselor Dude about my Senior Writing Project. This project was required for Writing majors to graduate. I told him I’d decided to work on Jerisland, the desert island novel I’d been writing and revising since 1988 (and periodically mention here), and I said,
“I’d better warn you that it’s a Christian novel!”–since, after all, his atheist beliefs were well-known.
“That’s OK,” he said, probably not too surprised–it was me, after all. “I’ve read Christian novels before.”
On possibly Saturday the 17th or the previous Saturday, Anna invited me into her suite room after dinner. It was homey to be in a suite again, if only for a few hours. We had a long talk, and I discovered, in some amusing incident with a fly in the room, that I could joke and even belly-laugh. We both noticed I was taking this much better than the time Peter broke up with me.
In fact, I might wake up in the middle of the night and feel despair and/or a restlessness, a sense that time was oppressive and I had too long to wait before Phil came back to me. But it didn’t make me lie awake all night. I could get a decent night’s sleep each night, even the Friday night after the breakup, instead of just lying there waiting for morning to come (as with the breakup with Peter).
Over the next few months as I read through the biblical book of Job, I felt the loss, the wondering why, practically everything Job went through. Job asked for a trial, him against God; I wanted a trial against Phil that vindicated me against Phil’s actions, claims and complaints. The ending of Job gave me some hope for the future, though I didn’t yet know what it would mean for me to be given back more than had been taken away.
Monday, September 19. I wrote in my diary that I’d just had a long talk with Phil, and things weren’t as bad as Dirk made them seem. He had the wrong idea about the situation.
Not only did Dirk have the wrong idea, Phil said he could act in front of Dirk and control what Dirk thought of things, what he thought was going on, how he thought Phil reacted and felt.
Even when Dirk said Phil was so depressed one night that he felt he had no friends, and everyone in Dirk’s apartment tried to tell him this wasn’t true–IT WAS AN ACT! Phil said, “I’m that good of an actor.”
Why would he manipulate his own friend like that? Unfortunately, this question did not come to mind. I was so much in love and grieving that I missed this huge red flag, that Phil was playing us all like chess pieces: Dirk, Persephone, the people in Dirk’s apartment, even me.
But now, Phil revealed that he wasn’t nearly as angry as I had been led to believe. Phil’s manipulation of Dirk caused Dirk to suggest he get a restraining order, but Phil said that was ridiculous.
Dirk, however, had been so controlled by Phil’s great act that he told me (probably as a scare tactic) that Phil was thinking of getting such an order (which Mom called the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard). Phil reassured me now that he had no such intention.
So from Phil’s own lips, I got confirmation that Dirk was a pawn used for Phil’s Control by Proxy. This explains why Dirk would get such a daffy idea as a restraining order on a harmless person who would never think of stalking or harming anyone.
This is a tactic used by abusers and narcissists, controlling their prey using third parties, as you can read if you click on the above link.
Not only that, but months before, Phil admitted he was spoiled like his nephew Taylor at about age four. He recalled wanting a certain book, and manipulating his mother by throwing a tantrum until she got it for him. So he started this behavior early.
In my diary entry, I mentioned Phil was in the fall play. He got a part in Measure for Measure. He said the theater director chose Shakespeare plays this year to avoid the controversy of the previous year.
He said a relationship with him right then would be hell anyway because he’d have no time for me: the play, work, school, pledging Zetas, etc.
(Though that didn’t stop him from starting one with Persephone a couple of weeks later. That’s the second time a guy gave me the “I won’t have time for you” line. It proves that if you want something, you’ll make time for it.)
My leaving him alone completely after he told me to, probably influenced what he said now (and made an RO especially ridiculous).
Phil agreed that we could be friends and write letters to each other, so one day I wrote him a nice, friendly letter. He came to talk to me about it in the laundry room.
He said that even though we weren’t “engaged” (as he now called it, rather than “married”) anymore, I was still one of his potential “buyers,” and we could go on dates.
On Tuesday, he said we could only be acquaintances and I had no more chances; now, he reversed that, and began saying again, “Keep the faith.” He said, “I’m tempted to kiss you, but I won’t because it wouldn’t be fair to you.”
The outcome of the laundry room conversation was so wonderful and comforting and encouraging that it made me happy for a time. I felt Phil and I were now friends, despite everything, and told Dad about it. I told Dad why Phil wouldn’t kiss me, and that it was so noble, honorable, of him.
So far, it seemed that this breakup was much better than the one with Peter, not just because of how I took it, but because of how Phil acted.
Sharon said if Phil never came to see me in the library again, the librarians wouldn’t be sad: When he hung around the circulation desk when I worked, not only did he make it hard for me to do my homework, but he scared people away from the desk and annoyed everyone.
I tried to keep him from drinking his Big Slam Mountain Dew bottles in the library, and Seymour complained about it to him. He kept trying to get around this, drinking over by the chair under the window near the door to the lobby, saying it wasn’t actually “in” the library. But I kept getting after him for it.
Pearl didn’t think Phil was a Christian, because he didn’t act much like one. At least, not anymore. I said, “I think he is; he’s just misguided.” He was going astray and didn’t care.
“There are so many people,” Pearl said, “who claim to be Christians, but they don’t act like they’ve made God the Lord of their lives.” This isn’t about whether you drink or dance, but about how you treat people. And as an abuser, Phil gave Pearl plenty of reason to doubt his salvation.
I soon got to the point where I called my parents less and less often for advice on this.
My dad told me about fleeces, like in Gideon’s story in Judges, which I could put out to see what God wanted to tell me. It’s not really “testing” God: That’s something different.
Dad said I could ask God to open or close a door (not literally, of course), and He would do this. He also said that fleeces should be put out twice, as Gideon did his, to make sure that the answer was really from God and not just a coincidence.
What you do is, you either ask for your friends to do something a certain way, maybe something they often do, or you ask for something else specific to happen, and that will be a yes. The answer can also come at a time when you least expect it: It pops into your head.
You can also do a series of things: ask for fleeces, then ask God to open and close doors for you. (By the way, I am NOT recommending this, but telling you how it was explained to me, and how I used it. The outcome will come later. I also write about this here.)
On my dad’s advice, I prayed that God would open a door if Phil was meant for me, or close a door if he was not.
Dad also kept saying Phil was emotionally unstable, that he had better talk to a priest or a counselor soon because otherwise he was going to go over the edge. He said Phil was a yo-yo, always going back and forth.
On the 21st, I put out my first fleece–for my roommie Sharon to make a certain sigh she often made–and she did so.
I wrote in the Journal around this time, “If God means for men and women to be together and married, then why the heck did he make it so hard for us to understand each other??”
But something must have clicked in my head on the night of the 21st, because after going to bed, I wrote a diary entry by the light of my clock, which was fluorescent and gave out a lot of light: I was very angry with Phil at the time, and wrote it all down.
I won’t reproduce the entry here, which was a vent session, but I will quote the most interesting parts:
Me shifting blame, eh? I don’t think so. Up till now I’ve accepted just about all the blame that’s been heaped upon me. Well, I say, no more!…
If you don’t think I’m worthy of you, then screw you! You’re not worthy of me.
…You told me [many times during our relationship] to go find somebody better because you weren’t worthy of me. Well, you have your wish. I see your unworthiness, so off I go to find someone who is worthy.
“I didn’t treat you bad,” I wrote.
At the end, I wrote, “You take my virginity away and then say we’re not really married. What a scumball thing to do. Good-bye forever.”
The next morning, I was still angry, though a part of me wanted to see things work out.
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