Life At Roanoke: My College Memoirs–September 1991 through May 1995

 

Copyright 2006

Synopsis:
My memoirs are a mix of good times, along with stories of verbally/emotionally/sexually abusive boyfriends, and probably some undiagnosed form of NVLD/Asperger’s.  How dark times finally gave way to coming out into the light. 

They reflect 4 years of apparently dealing with a little-known learning disorder, without the benefit of knowing I had it.  It has caused difficulties.  But it also gave me certain abilities which helped with my writing and later jobs.  

These memoirs are meant to entertain, to help young women avoid making the relationship mistakes I made, and to show how I finally came through my relationship struggles triumphant.  

Also note that while I still struggle with many things because of NVLD, I graduated college and have made a decent life for myself–the roots of which are in my college story.

Index: 

Link to my page on NVLD and a bit of my life story dealing with it
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Below: Links to all of the chapters of this web-book.

 

Freshman Year 

September 1991:

 

October 1991:

 

November 1991:

 

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

 

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 

February 1992:

 

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

 

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

 

May 1992:

 

Sophomore Year 

 

Summer 1992:

 

September 1992:

 

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

 

November 1992

 

December 1992

 

January 1993

 

February 1993

 

March 1993

 

April 1993

 

May 1993

 

 

Junior Year 

 

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

 

September 1993

 

October 1993

 

November 1993

 

December 1993

 

January 1994

 

February 1994

 

March 1994

 

April 1994

 

 

Senior Year 

 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There

 

July & August 1994

 

 

 

 

 

January 1995

 

February 1995

 

March 1995

 

 

April 1995

 

May 1995

(Disclaimer: These memoirs are from my point of view.  The points of view of other people may differ.  Whether or not mine is correct is subjective.  It’s also probably safe to assume that most, if not all, of the people in these memoirs who did something that hurt me would act differently in the same situation today.  

I keep the details of bad things here not to hold onto hurts, but to make the story complete, and to help others who may be going through a similar situation and don’t know what to do.  These memoirs are also for the amusement of my friends, some of whom have lived through these events.)

History of these memoirs: I began writing detailed diaries and letters to friends in 1991.  At first, these “diaries” were mostly notes written into my day planner to record special moments with my boyfriend, Peter, such as details of the Link (explained in my memoirs) and things he told me.

In 1992, I was given a diary for Christmas, and began filling it with accounts of my troubles, since I was going through a breakup.  Soon, I filled that up and began using notebooks, filling several notebooks and diaries by the time I graduated in 1995.  These diaries were like any diary: a mix of good and bad experiences.

In 1992 or 1993, I typed my freshman year day planner into my word processor to preserve it, in case of fire.  I included more details that came to mind.

In early 1994, I began making notes for novels based on my own experiences, because I felt that nobody was capturing the kind of college experiences I and my friends were having.  The closest thing to that was the TV series Class of ’96, which was criticized as being unrealistic, and soon canceled.  Yet that show came closer to my reality than any other show or movie I had yet seen.

In late 1994 or early 1995, I began putting my experiences into a semi-fictionalized form for future publication, but the events of senior year put them on the backburner.

As I began my first job as an insurance clerk, I also began working again on my memoirs, putting them into fictional form as a series of dialogues between the protagonist and a wise, older friend.

Yes, this was much like Felicity’s tapes sent to a dear friend, in the first season of Felicity–only this was 1995 and 1996, a few years before anybody ever heard of Felicity Porter.  So I had the idea first.  Nyah.

I could change events as I wished, having my protagonist do what I wished I had done.  But first, I would write down the truth, to be fictionalized later.  In the meantime, I still wrote entries from the point of view of my protagonist’s friend, which basically were my own, wiser view a few years after the events.

Because of my job, I couldn’t go very fast on the memoirs, doing most of my writing–of the memoirs and of fictional works–on weekends and vacations.  In 1998, I was downsized and became a housewife; during that time, I made lots of progress.

However, I also read an article about libel, and feared I couldn’t publish my fictionalized version without being subject to libel suits.  I kept writing the true accounts for my own use, but no longer intended to fictionalize them in a novel.  Instead, they would be my journal of college.

In 2001, I neared completion of the accounts of freshman year (I had started working backwards because Phil’s abuses were fresh in my mind and needed to be dealt with immediately).

Friends from college kept saying, “I want to read your memoirs!”  But how was that possible, when they filled two fireproof vaults, and much of them were actually letters and personal diaries?

It was for my own use, so it was not made into an easily accessible form for anyone else to read without going to my house.  It was also full of private details.

So I decided to clip and paste bits of my journals, sometimes including copies of diary entries and letters, into e-mails sent to all those who wanted to read my memoirs.  This e-mailing began right before 9/11, and was kept up twice a week for quite some time.

In the years following, I kept the e-mails, and sent them to anyone new who wanted to see them.  But this was impractical because there were so many e-mails to send at one time.

In April 2006, I discovered Myspace.  On my Myspace blog, I started posting various things I had written before, such as travelogues.  I also posted them on this website in case Myspace crashed.

Then I began posting my memoirs–risky, because strangers could read them (including the Avenger, who happened across her story in maybe 2007).  I expanded and edited them as I went.

I put a copy of each blog on my website, calling them the Archives.  Which means even more people could read them.  It’s risky, but if I didn’t want anyone to read them, why did I spend so much of my life writing them?

At last, the story is out.  And yes, this is the true version, not at all fictional.  Eventually, I hope to also include memoirs of my childhood and possibly adulthood.