Tracy’s abusive nature was pushing me away, but if I wasn’t befriending her in the way she prescribed (since my means of befriending her weren’t good enough), it was somehow my fault.

She just didn’t seem to understand that nobody wants to hug, play with or get close to a porcupine.  It’s hard enough for shy people to approach a friendly person; she was unapproachable, unfriendly.

For many months it would seem I finally met all her criteria and she accepted my quiet nature and we were getting along all right.  But then all of a sudden I’d find out that she was upset with me still, and once again the restrictions on my friendship with Richard were back up.

One day I’d hear she was perfectly fine with something, such as me hugging Richard, then later hear that she was fuming at me for it.  It seemed she kept giving out permission and calling me a friend and then taking it back again later, or else pretending to like me while calling me “that woman” behind my back.

This happened three times.  I never knew which end was up.

At least once, I felt driven to do things out of desperation that appalled me in saner moments.  (You’ll see from that link how narcissists can affect the people who live with them.)

She didn’t use the word, but through her jealous actions, she treated me like a whore so much that I began to feel like it at times–even though I had no intention of such things, and even though I had followed Richard’s lead of what was okay behavior.

He’d tell me that some old restriction was gone, and naturally I’d think they were all gone.

For most of the last year of our friendship, everything was fine, as far as I knew: Richard gave me the “signal” I asked for to demonstrate that Tracy was finally okay with me and he and I could have a normal friendship like with his other friends, without offending her in any way: late night chats, going out for coffee.

I played games with her on Facebook, “liked” her posts, that sort of thing.  I figured the only reason Richard and I weren’t going out for coffee was our financial and family situations.

During a conversation in late spring 2010, when we discussed the sexual harassment of 2009, I talked about how he kept neglecting to return my calls.  I said I’d wonder if he wasn’t allowed to talk to me.  But he said no, that was over with a long time agoI.e., the old restrictions and jealousies were long gone.

It wasn’t until the last couple of months of our friendship that things began falling to pieces for no reason anyone ever told me.  (And I was blamed for behaving as if the old restrictions and jealousies were long gone when they were not.  Um…um…WHAT?)

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

How many of us have asked ourselves, “How could I have done that?” “What was I doing?” “What was I thinking?”

Lately when I think back to that time in my life it is more like thinking about another person, perhaps a friend or star in a tragic drama. I think, “That wasn’t me!”

I’ve realized that those instincts are right on the mark. It truly wasn’t me. The shell of a woman that was his possession was the manifestation of his pathology. I was buried in an hypnotic trance, unable to surface.

So, while I think that living well is the goal we all need to strive for, it is important to remember that living wholly and fully free from the grip of pathology isn’t revenge so much as a gift to ourselves. –Laura Kamienski, “Resurfacing Hope

Richard and I had built up the kind of close friendship where I felt I could tell him anything at all, be frank with him about every issue between us, and he would tell me his own deep, dark secrets.

In the beginning, things were wonderful, like we were a mutual admiration society.  I often sent him e-mails describing various things about myself, hoping he would find me interesting, and understand me better.  I wanted him to know what makes me “tick.”

But I was often unsure if he even read them, since he was so unresponsive even when I asked direct questions.  He used to be very open about himself as well, but now his e-mails were short and unsatisfying.

One day in March 2009, he mentioned that he lets Tracy read some of our chats and my e-mails–and that she got mad at him the night before because he wouldn’t let her read a chat about some personal issues I was having.

I felt exposed, as if I’d caught a brother sneaking in to read my diary.  I told Richard things I told nobody else before, along with various personal and private things that are only told to close friends: things about my past, religious questions and doubts, fears, things like that.  They were for him and him alone.

For Tracy to read them was a real invasion of my privacy.  I didn’t want her to know these things because I didn’t trust her enough to tell her.  I didn’t trust her not to use them against me somehow, make them into a joke.

I said I didn’t tell Jeff about the private, personal things Richard told me!  Also, Jeff didn’t show me his private e-mails or chats.

This should have been understood as part of the rules of friendship, that you don’t betray your friend’s privacy by showing his/her private e-mails to your spouse.

It was yet another way that, in reality, Richard just wasn’t a good friend.  Yet another huge red flag that I missed.  If your friend goes showing your private e-mails to his/her spouse, that’s a huge violation of your privacy, and must not be tolerated.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing