Articles from September 2010

Tracy tried to force me to submit to her abuse

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

From What Makes Your Control Freak Wife or Girlfriend Tick:

Schumacher cites the rapid phases this kind of woman goes through when she’s not getting her way or feels she’s losing control. For example, when you challenge her or threaten to end the relationship, she probably exhibits the following emotional states in quick succession:

  1. Angry and agitated. (You’re treated to a rage episode and/or nasty commentary, blame and accusations.)
  2. Panicky and apprehensive. (She exposes fleeting vulnerability as she tries to “feel you out” in order to see how and if she can regain control. She may worry that she’s gone too far and is testing the waters before gearing up for another control maneuver.)
  3. Agitated and threatening. (Because anxiety is ego dystonic–i.e., painfully uncomfortable–she quickly reverts to form and begins to bully you and issue ultimatums and threats of punishment.)
  4. Depression and despair. (When all else fails, she becomes sullen and withdrawn and suffers a temporary identity crisis.)

At the very least, I know she was going through phases 1 and 3.

From Forcing Submission on the blog Narcissists Suck:

All narcissists do this in one way or another: they don’t merely abuse, they FORCE SUBMISSION TO ABUSE. This makes them God, whose punishing wounds we are to shamefully accept as our fault.

We are not to resist: we are to simply hang our heads as deserving of them…   What Makes Narcissists Tick pgs. 104-105

Notice that what is required for this to work is for the narcissist to completely disarm their victims. No right to self-defense is allowed!

This is what they must strip you of first before they can go on to pretend that you are submitting to them of your own free will. Like they deserve such submission and like you’ve freely given it.

…Knowing that a narcissist is driven by their need for power over others, and knowing they are always in search of this headiest drug which is absolute power over others, then you’ll also be aware that they must force your submission in order to feel powerful over you.

All this leads straight to the fact that a narcissist must deprive you of your right to defend yourself to accomplish this.

They will always do this by fraud, lies, and threats. They will bring in their proxies [Richard] to help them get you to submit to that which no one should ever have to submit to.

They want to be able to pretend that your forced submission is a real submission…and this can only be done if they successfully deprive you of your ability to defend yourself.

Can you see how incredibly important it is to be fully aware of your right to NOT submit to abuse? I am convinced that no one breaks free of the power of a narcissist over them until they are able to claim for themselves the right to self-defense.

…It is important to mention here one very tricky sleight-of-hand that a narcissist does to disarm someone from self-defense. This is accomplished by intentionally mislabeling your defensive behaviors as being “retribution” or “vengeance”.

They accuse you of hurting them. They pretend to know your motives and lay the accusation that any efforts you make to defend yourself are actually coming from your desire to hurt them.

If they can convince you that you are being vengeful, or at least if they can convince you that others see you as being vengeful, then they can shut you down. Force your submission once again.

This happens very often when a victim of a narcissist goes into no contact. The pious howling of the narcissist contends that your cutting them off is itself abusive and is therefore coming from a spirit of malice and revenge on your part.

Your act of “no contact”, which is as mild and non-reproachful of a way of dealing with a serial abuser that there is, becomes conflated to be proof of your cruelty, malice, and vengeance.

Don’t fall for such insane logic! Don’t let someone convince you of having motives you don’t have! Don’t let the narcissist disarm you that easily!

I used “no contact” as merely one example of self-defense that can be mislabeled by the narcissist. Any type of self-defense can be characterized this way by the narcissist and will be. Expect it. Be prepared for it. Don’t fall for it.

It was amazing how, after Tracy let loose with these deliberately hurtful words on 7/1/10, she accused me of hurting her again and again over the years–when I had tried so hard to be kind to her and bite my tongue at her snarks, despite all the inner pain and turmoil it caused me to be kind to an abuser.

As if her abuses of me, her snarks and various punishments, were somehow not to be noted at all.  It was pure, narcissistic hypocrisy.

This blog post also describes how Anna Valerious’ mother flew into rages and pounded their butts several times a day, forcing them to put out their hands instead of shielding their butts with them.  She writes:

I have no doubt now as I look back on this scene repeated so many times over in my life that my mother could pretend I believed I was deserving of every ounce of her rage and punishment because I would cooperate by bending over and not in any way resisting my punishment.

She taught us from our earliest moments that if we ever attempted to run away from her when she came for us that it would be punished with overwhelming force.

So, there were no chases around that bed or the house. No, every vestige of resistance was removed before she would commence pounding our asses.

I have no memory of her ever spanking me while my hands were still covering my backside. She waited as long as it took to get the total compliance that must have made these sessions such a pleasure for her sadistic torture of her children.

My mother removed all other of my rights to self-defense as well, but the above is the most literal example of her demanding that I “bend over for it.”

My mother has for most of her life gotten most of her narcissistic thrills from the children in her power which included other people’s children that were entrusted to her care. (How well do you know your daycare worker, hmm?)

She worked tirelessly to ensure that I didn’t try to defend myself psychologically from her predations as well. All signs of resistance were squelched with ferocity and swiftness.

As I read this, I can just imagine Tracy having the same triumphant reaction as the blogger’s mother did when she got the children to put out their hands.  This reaction would have come when I began capitulating to Tracy’s demands over the course of those two or three days starting 8/1/10.

I was once in an emotionally abusive relationship (Phil) that had the elements of physical violence being very likely in the future.  My friends and family all grew to hate him, but I didn’t know why.

Yet I kept trying to hold it together, even debased myself by begging him to come back when he–disgusted with my refusal to just sit back and take his abuse without protest–left me.

When he came back again two weeks later, it was to a broken, submissive person who was desperate to do whatever he wanted, just to keep him from leaving again.

If I didn’t want to do something he wanted to do, it meant I didn’t care like I said I did.  I felt like I was walking on eggshells, and the slightest thing might push him away.  I felt I had to align all my opinions with his, do things exactly as he wanted even though I couldn’t read his mind, or he’d divorce me.  He seemed like a different person.

After he broke up with me, I was a broken, submissive person who was desperate to do whatever he wanted, just to keep him from leaving again.  That meant even oral sex, which disgusted me, but which he constantly insisted I do.

I kept saying no before, so now that he had me broken and submissive, afraid he would leave again, he pressed his advantage:

One day, when he got me alone, before I had a chance to even talk to him, and without a word, he pulled down his pants.  He got a strange, angry, stern look on his face, and pushed my head down–forced, really, since I couldn’t move my head whether I wanted to or not.

I didn’t want to–it was smelly, I didn’t know if he had washed it recently, and I never liked doing this–but I did anyway, because of the unspoken but well-understood threat that he would divorce me if I didn’t.

But a few days later, I did one thing wrong in his eyes, and off he went again.  This abusive relationship lasted nine months, but the baggage lasted for years.

Now it was happening again, as a desperate grief, longing to have my BFF and spiritual mentor Richard back again, and loneliness, led me to be that broken, submissive person all over again.

Tracy was emotionally assaulting me the same way that Phil did, forcing me to bend over and do whatever she wanted, if I wanted to be friends with Richard.

Yes, Tracy, you and my abusive ex Phil are exactly alike.  I see in you all sorts of things that he did to control and abuse me.

But fortunately, those 6 pages of grievances I wrote in preparing for a conference–and my conversation with my priest–forced me to see that this was not going to work.  I stopped capitulating and began defending myself again.

This broke Tracy’s power over me, so she became angry (angrier).

And this was the thanks I got for all the things I did for them, for her: taking in the whole family to our own financial detriment, expensive damages, and cockroach and lice infestations; putting up with all her crap; putting up with Richard’s lack of consideration for other people; giving them money; giving them Christmas and birthday gifts; providing them with free babysitting and use of the computer when theirs was offline; giving them food; treating them to dinner on game nights or their anniversaries; and another thing which I do not want to describe here, but that was major.

All we wanted for these things was kindness and consideration.  Instead, I was abused and gaslighted, and blamed for the abuse of me, for two and a half years, accused of “moving in on” Richard, and treated like my simple requests for consideration of my time and feelings, or to simply spend time with or chatting with my best friend, were unreasonable, “paranoid,” even ghastly fauxs pas.

It’s enough to put me off ever offering my home to any other homeless people, because it shows that no good deed goes unpunished.  It shows that we were not seen as their friends after all, but as people to use whenever they needed a babysitter or a taxi service, and abuse whenever they no longer needed us for a while.

And Richard sure sold me a bill of goods.  He kept saying that everything would be fine once she accepted me.  

But even though she did finally accept me, as proof of which he invited me to sushi (which had been forbidden before she accepted me), she took it all back again at some unknown point when she decided I wasn’t behaving properly again.  

Even though I had already been informed through that sushi thing that the “trial period” was over, here she was throwing me back into it again without even saying so or saying why, and then punishing me for every little thing I did that she decided to misunderstand.

Shortly after the August 1 attempt at peace, one of the people who came over for their Friday night D&D game, sent Jeff a message through Facebook to call her: She had lost her cell phone somewhere in Richard and Tracy’s house.  (Uh-oh.)

This was during the Friday night game, which Jeff no longer attended.  When he called, she asked, “What happened?”  They talked about it a little, but he gave no details.

She didn’t actually play the game, but was there with her husband each week, and watched the children (who really should’ve been in bed at that late hour, 9pm-1am, but weren’t).  Then she said, “They all miss playing D&D with you!”

Jeff told me afterwards that he didn’t want to hear that Richard and Tracy miss playing D&D with him.  He wanted to hear that they miss me.

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

 

Tracy blamed others for her abuse

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

 

Perhaps one of the most disturbing moments you will have in dealing with a personality-disordered person is their near-telepathic ability to sense the exact basis of your aversion to them. For example, if you consider them “toxic,” somehow you’ll soon find yourself being called “toxic”–by them. –Dr. Tara, Predator detection and the devil of plurality: personality disorders and the nature of good and evil

Yep–the things she herself was guilty of, the things I saw her doing, the things that even my mother said about her, she accused me of over the years: manipulation, lack of respect, childish behavior, needing to grow up, not respecting boundaries.

I understand and keep boundaries just fine, thank you very much, despite her accusations.

Richard, however, crosses boundaries with people all the time, which he himself admitted to, when he first moved in with us:

He made Jeff uncomfortable by pretending to be “after” him.

He made me think he was trying to start an affair with me.

He posts things on the Web to other women that are far beyond anything he ever said to me, such as “Richard is sexing [Internet name of some online woman].”

And Tracy herself constantly crosses other people’s boundaries, including mine, by her nasty behavior, and by expecting them to just shut up and take it.

Just as she accused Todd of a “power grab” and being “childish” and a “baby” when she herself was doing these things, and blamed him for getting upset over how she treated him.

She complained about me getting upset over the “consequences” of my “behavior,” while she herself was getting upset over the consequences (lost friendship, loss of free rides, loss of occasional free money or food, loss of free babysitting) of her own behavior (nastiness).

While it is good and right to accept constructive criticism, and ponder one’s own contribution to a problem, an abuser does not do this, and will use your own tendency to do so, against you.  Your apologies will be seen as capitulation, as her being “right,” as her winning the war, as an excuse to continue beating you over the head for your “crimes.”

Constructive criticism comes from someone who wants to work with you and preserve your relationship.  Blaming from an abuser is her against you, her needing power, her needing to win, her needing you as a punching bag and scapegoat.

Todd also said that Tracy yells but does nothing to help fix a problem.  I never saw Tracy help to fix the problems between us.  Rather, she got Richard to tell me how I needed to change, how I kept doing everything wrong.

In all those printouts of their argument, I never saw evidence of Tracy trying to resolve things with Todd, but only blaming him for everything.

The issue of her not helping out with chores kept coming up again and again and again, while she nagged Richard to clean the house.  Even Todd noticed this.

A person has to learn how to distinguish constructive criticism from blame, or else s/he could end up mulling things over and over again (as I did throughout the friendship and then for many months afterward), trying to figure out what s/he did that was so wrong, being puzzled, feeling terrible without cause.

Just as a writer needs to learn the difference between a helpful critique and suggestions which would damage her piece, a person needs to learn the difference between needing to accept responsibility for a shortcoming or wrongdoing, and being scapegoated by an abuser.

You will note that no matter how nasty Tracy behaved toward me over the years, I was always the one who ended up apologizing, as she threw the blame on me and took none on herself.

I was always blamed for her inability to let Richard be himself and trust him.  I was always blamed for every nasty word she said to me on other issues, every snark, every jab.

Even Richard joined in and blamed me for her nasty behavior the day of the Incident, and therefore showed that he expected me to apologize for her behavior.

And I was sick and tired of it.  I was sick and tired of being blamed for her nasty behavior because I’m naturally introverted and quiet, and because I naturally withdraw from mean people.  I was sick and tired of being blamed for Tracy’s desire to keep a tight rein on her husband and control his every interaction.

And her deciding that Richard had to block me on Facebook and by e-mail and not speak to me at all until she okayed it, because she didn’t like me sticking up for myself and objecting to her nastiness,

was the last straw, the proof that there was no way to reason with this person because she’s driven by emotion and does not know the meaning of “reason.”

It’s highly unlikely that you can make a bully understand that the way he or she treats you is abusive. These people won’t take ownership for their bad behaviors.

They always have a justification and rationalization. It’s your fault. You “made” them treat you badly.

In order for the emotionally abusive person to see their behavior for what it is, they have to be able to tolerate cognitive dissonance. –Dr. Tara, Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies

Narcissistic mothers are masters of invalidation. It’s part of their gaslighting armoury. They dismiss and undermine your feelings and emotions to make you feel only what’s acceptable to them.

This means that they get to treat you the way they want, and maneouvre the situation so you don’t get to feel the appropriate responses.

It is cruel beyond measure. Of all the abuses heaped upon daughters of narcissistic mothers, this might be the worst. If you can’t even trust and own your own feelings – well, what have you left?…

Because of this invalidation daughters of narcissistic mothers can grow up believing that they are abnormal or twisted.

This is because our totally natural and normal feelings are told to be wrong (either in as many words, or by implication), and so we absorb the message that we’re wrong to have them.  This is totally head-wrecking stuff. —Invalidation

I’m going to cast the net a bit wider than just narcissists here. Anyone who is in a relationship with an abusive person has seen how sensitive the abuser’s feelings are.

People who stay in abusive relationships seem to be those who can’t see the huge disconnect in their own thinking. The disconnect is this wide gulf between the abuser’s lack of empathy for you at the time they’re abusing you and yet how carefully you have to step around the abuser’s feelings at all times!

The common refrain among those caught in abusive relationships is “walking on eggshells”. The abuser’s feelings rein supreme at all times. Everyone else is expected to cowtow to, step around, coddle, soothe, and respect the feelings of the abuser at all times.

Yet, when the abuser needs to unload, he or she reserves all rights to decimating and destroying your feelings and self-respect until they feel better. It is a sick, sick dynamic. And it is perpetuated by largely by the victim’s non-recognition of the absolute unfairness of this system.

I have observed through my nearly half-century of life that those who are capable of being cruel and abusive emotionally to someone they ostensibly “love” are the exact same people with very tender regard for their own feelings.

They are so easy to offend unintentionally by a look or a word. Keep in mind as you continue reading that I’m talking about those whom we find ourselves time and again unintentionally setting off.

That is a red flag. Someone who is easily offended for reasons that are never clear to you at the time.

…Let me say it another way. The more self-involved someone is, the more hyper-sensitive their feelings become.

Many teens are a good example of the combination of insecurity and immaturity which makes it very easy to step on their feelings before you realize what you’ve done.

Adults who are emotionally arrested at their teens will continue to be very easily offended and will often justify being at least occasionally abusive to those close to them.

Don’t confuse my use of the words “hyper-sensitive” to mean what the narcissist means when they accuse you of being hyper-sensitive because your feelings are hurt by their cutting remarks or cruel behaviors.

I’m talking about the kind of sensitivity we call “walking on eggshells” which describes how people act when they never know what will set that person off.

Which means that offense is taken where a reasonable person would never even think to get offended over such things.

Narcissists often pretend to be offended in order to steer the behaviors of those around them to suit their purposes. It is a manipulation tactic to constantly be looking for reasons to be offended as the narcissist does.

But, in addition to the intentional offense that narcissists take over what would never be perceived as a slight by a normal person, the narcissist is easy to offend in actuality.

Pop their grandiosity bubble, fail to reflect their illusion of themselves back to them as they want you to, remind them of reality in any way they have chosen to ignore, fail in any way to give them what they want even if they haven’t told you what they want, and you’ll find yourself dealing with the intensely offended narcissist.

Most times you’ve unintentionally done it. That never gets you off the hook.

…Do you find yourself flagellating yourself when you “hurt” the feelings of someone who regularly abuses you and your feelings? What is up with that???

Why would you waste one more moment telling yourself you’re a mean, “bad” person when you see that hurt puppy-dog look in your abuser’s eyes? —Do They Have Feelings?

After all, what is so “offensive” about me being a naturally quiet and introverted person, that she felt I was somehow hurting her by being me?

Through my life I have made many friends who like me just fine and accept that I’m quiet!  Maybe one-on-one with them I can get into long, deep conversations.

But in groups, even small ones, I tend to be very quiet, even if I’ve known and been comfortable with the people for years!  They just accept this as “my way.”

But to Tracy, it’s such a horrible offense that I can’t even get coffee with Richard and I deserve her verbal abuse for it???  “Hyper-sensitive” is right!  And Richard called me very sensitive?  (There he was acting like the abuser in the quote above.)

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

 

I refuse to give in to Tracy’s emotional blackmail

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

It had to be Tracy’s way or no way.

She tried to force me to allow her to scream her narcissistic/borderline fury at me, to accept all her abuse as my due and grovel before her, or else I could never be friends with Richard, be friends with him on Facebook, e-mail him, contact him, etc. etc.

This was emotional blackmail, so I refused to go along with it.  My mom said Tracy was being very manipulative.

This meant I could not be friends with Richard, but the price was far too high.  I could not give in to her, could not sacrifice my self-respect to her, could not let her break my spirit the way she tried to break the spirits of her children.

Brian denied that he needed any help.  He thought he was fine the way he was and he had good reasons every time he exploded.  It was everyone else’s fault that he lost his temper, and they deserved what he said or did to them.

He told Carl clearly that if Carl didn’t do what he wanted and didn’t endure the attacks, Brian wouldn’t allow Carl to see his grandchildren.  There it was; not only attacks but also blackmail.

…So what did Carl do?

  • He and Vickie decided to tell Brian that they wouldn’t take the abuse any more.  They were going to create an Isle of Song for the rest of their lives.  Good behavior was required from anyone to get on that Isle; blood wouldn’t count.
  • They knew they’d said that before, but they’d always given in and had pretended that the bullying had never happened.  They knew also that Brian counted on that.
  • The next time Brian exploded at them in front of his 11 and 13 year-old children, Carl said publicly that they weren’t going to put up with that behavior any more.  They weren’t going to see Brian.  They’d love to see the kids but Brian probably wouldn’t allow that.  They wanted the kids to know who was responsible for the breach.
  • Carl told Brian they were taking a break from involvement with him for at least six months.  He’d have to make it on his own.  After then, if he wanted to resume contact he’d have to call and apologize and promise never to act that way again.  He’d especially have to apologize to Vickie.  Carl was going to protect his wife against all comers, even his son.
  • Even after that time, they were going to continue to withhold money because they wanted interactions to be based on fun, not need or greed. —How can we stop bullies if we’re compassionate?

Also see my blog post on emotional blackmail.

It seemed that apologizing to her got me nowhere.  She did not accept, did not respond with an apology for her own verbal abuse.

She kept going on about things which I had apologized for and/or stopped doing a long time before, things which she never forgot about and kept bringing up all the time with Richard (and he with me on occasion), so that I was embarrassed and wanted to hear no more about it.

She talked to me as if I were a seducing vixen who didn’t understand boundaries, when I had been careful not to cross boundaries.

After I showed Jeff the series of e-mails she sent me after my own apology on August 1, I said, “The things she wrote make me feel like such a whore!”  He said, furious with Tracy, “That stops NOW!”

What disturbed me further was when Chris–though he said Richard told him nothing about what happened–came on Facebook and started talking to me as if I had somehow been trying to start an affair with Richard!  I wondered where he even got this idea.

I wanted to tell Chris that Tracy’s complaint of me was a red herring, that there was no such thing going on, that the real issue was her abuse and bullying.  Instead, I told him that there was no attempt to have an affair with Richard, that I’m very much in love with my husband and he’s like my other half, that Richard was my spiritual brother.

I wondered if Chris had any clue about Tracy’s abuses, if Richard had ever told him what he told me, if Chris had any clue that Tracy was treating me, the same way Chris’ own wife was treating Richard.

Chris knew what it was like to have a wife who would punish him for wanting to hang around with a close friend whom she objected to.

I had hoped that Richard’s trouble with Chris’ wife would show Richard what it was like to be in my position, so he would understand me and stop making excuses for Tracy.  

But apparently–even though I made the connection during conversation with him one day–he just didn’t get it.

This little blurb sounds familiar because Tracy gave every indication of not being satisfied until she had her chance to go on and on and on about how horrible I’d been, no matter what apologies or explanations or white roses of peace I might give her:

Just a day or so before this person she was addressing had emotionally abused her for an hour over the most unpredictable and irrational thing until HE felt better.

Nothing she said or did could assuage him. He simply had to abuse her until he started feeling better. —Do They Have Feelings?

Though I can imagine that if I stopped biting my tongue and told her all the things on my own 6-page list of all the horrible things she and Richard had done, something like this would happen:

Yet, she makes this matter-of-fact statement and because REALITY sucked for him…his feelings were ‘hurt’. She told me in agonizing tones how horrible she felt immediately after saying it because she could see the ‘hurt’ in his eyes as he toddled off to his bedroom.–from above link

I was sick and tired of all these false accusations, of drama queens and know-it-alls, of people justifying jealousy, possessiveness and control.

I most likely have NLD or Asperger’s or both, but I can still tell when bad behavior is treated like good.  I can recognize injustice and hypocrisy.

So I was not allowed to be friends with Richard after all.  But then, after all that had happened, being friends with Richard again was not going to happen anyway unless Tracy had a complete and utter change of heart, mind and behavior.

I broke off the friendship with him for good reason, and wasn’t going to reconcile with him unless she did this.

But that’s a lot to ask of someone who just will not admit that her behavior is abusive, irrational, manipulative, but just keeps justifying it as her right and something you have to just accept.

Jeff doesn’t want to find me sitting with them in the church basement again.  Hopefully they won’t come to my church anymore unless they’re ready to apologize.  [Note: This was written in 2010 or 2011.]

I noticed before when Todd broke off relations with them, and now it was happening again, them being all mean and chasing off the friend, then complaining, “Well, you’re the one who ended it, not us.”

First time, Richard said it to the ex friend Todd; this time, Tracy said it.  What the heck?

And of course, guess who has to change, guess who has to apologize, for them to take you back: YOU!

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

 

I suggest a six-month break

Now, again Tracy tried to manipulate, control and emotionally blackmail me by insisting on a “conference,” or I would continue to be forbidden from speaking to or e-mailing Richard, and his Facebook/e-mail accounts would remain blocked to us all.

I could not imagine what else she could possibly have a problem with, and wasn’t so sure I wanted to hear all her nitpicky little complaints.  I almost gave in, but Jeff was vehemently against it.

I could see nothing in it but an airing of grievances (her hurtful accusations yet again, my own list of grievances which was 6 pages long at that point, 30 pages now), a degeneration into yelling and screaming, and a friendship even more in tatters than it was already.

I wrote the list of grievances so I could discuss my own problems with them, rather than it being all “Let’s beat on Nyssa day.”  If Tracy thought it would be all her yelling at me about all my supposed crimes and me listening with nothing to say in my own defense, with nothing to say about her own many crimes–she had another think coming.

The list was supposed to be part of working things through.  But with each thing I wrote I grew angrier and angrier, with both Tracy and Richard.  I finally put down my pen and said to myself, “I can’t do this.”  I e-mailed to Mike at 1pm on August 2,

I just wrote out 6 pages of grievances….She still has more for me and I don’t know what they could be….I’m not sure if I can do this.

Mike wondered why I cared so much.  He said, “Honestly, these folks seem to be toxic, hurtful, not nice kinds of people.”

I said it was because not too long ago, Richard and I were very close, that we were dear friends and he was a kind of spiritual guide.

I then called my priest for advice on how to conduct this conference, but he said there should be no need for a conference after I’d already apologized.

I said I never hurt them intentionally.  My priest asked if I knew what I had done, other than what I apologized for and what she had already said.

I didn’t, just got some vague reference to things I had supposedly been doing all this time, that she hadn’t told me about yet, various ways my behavior supposedly had to “change.”

My priest said, “You can’t put your finger on it, can you?”  

He could see nothing anybody would find offensive in me. 

He said if there’s to be any relationship, Tracy must accept my apology and not keep going on about how I acted badly.

I saw it as being steamrolled yet again, like always, my thoughts and opinions having no weight, while she gets to call the shots in everything.

She didn’t follow my conditions for talking to them about reconciliation, that she not speak more abuse to me, so why should I follow her conditions and keep talking with her any further?

And the following Sunday, when I told my priest what ultimately happened, he said, “Friendship is not about conditions!  It’s about respect!”

I was sick to death of dealing with Tracy. 

Jeff’s blood pressure had spiked around the same time she came into our lives, and over the day or two we spent messaging each other the first days of August, he was furious with her.  

He was so angry and disturbed by Tracy’s hateful, controlling and manipulative attitude in these messages that he tossed and turned all night. 

It seemed to me that the only way to reconcile was to stop dwelling, forgive and move on, without re-hashing crap again and again.

I had tried to do this for two and a half years–even shredded the diaries, letters and e-mails I wrote about her behavior during the time they lived with us.

I even asked Richard to pray for me during Lent 2008 so I could squash thoughts which I did not describe to him, thoughts about how evil she had acted.

Heck, for those two and a half years, I couldn’t even clean the basement without thinking of how she had ripped on my “routine.”

She had to stop going on and on about me, and I had to rip up the 6 pages.

Jeff and I wanted to have a six-month break instead, an amicable break during which we could say hi at church and they could ask us for help if they needed it, and let everyone’s anger die down before trying to talk again.

My priest said this was wise, that a conference would do no good at all, that I apologized so why have a conference? that friendships should have no conditions, but respect for each other.  

(He later said her reaction to our offer of a break showed what kind of a friend she truly was.)

I explicitly wrote in my e-mail to her that we wanted an amicable break, in which we could say hi to each other and they could ask for help.  I wrote that Jeff and I wanted this.

One of my friends broke up with his best friend for abuse around the same time we broke things off with them.  He told his friend that they could meet again in “a year and a day” to talk it over.  The friend did not take this well, though when the year and a day passed, he was calmer and more pleasant.

I had this in mind when I wrote this e-mail to Tracy, because I wanted to have this chance to meet again when tempers had cooled, and try again.

I had grieved terribly over the loss of Richard and the children, and wanted them back in my life, but Tracy’s demands were impossible.

I wrote to Mike,

[Jeff and I] decided to take a break.  I don’t know how they’re going to take the idea, but I looked at the situation, Jeff’s anger, Tracy’s anger, my anger, and realized that a “conference” would devolve into shouting and more anger.

We don’t need to keep airing grievances; we need to forgive and put it behind us.  That’s what my priest said as well.

I hope that time will do the trick, time and prayer and talking with spiritual fathers.  As soon as I wrote the e-mail asking for a long break, not permanent and not as enemies, I felt some of the stress begin to lift.

But Tracy saw it as yet another offense.  She told me off with words like, we threw their olive branch back in their faces, “Have a nice life” and “You know where we live if you decide to GROW UP and stop feeling hurt over the consequences of YOUR behavior.”

(Amazingly horrid, isn’t it, how she deflects responsibility for her abuse onto other people?)

Um, no, you know where we live if you decide to grow up and realize that abuse is wrong and that what you did was wrong.  

(Especially since they’ve moved several times since 2010, and I no longer know where they are.)

But of course, I couldn’t say so because she immediately blocked me on Facebook, where we were having this conversation.

So she can dish out abuse but can’t take criticism.  LOL

And she speaks like such a child.  That’s the child’s way of arguing: low blows and hurtful comments wherever possible, throwing mud at someone as they walk away from you.

I wrote to Mike, “Just no willingness to look at her own behavior as being nasty and contributing to the problem.  We’re sick of dealing with her.  Done.”

On August 7 I wrote to Mike, “The more Tracy acts this way, and the more Richard allows her, the more they push us away.”

What I should have written in reply if she hadn’t blocked me, since obviously diplomacy was going nowhere:

Dang, Todd was right: You ARE a horrid person, AND nuts.  You are jealous, possessive, controlling, verbally and physically abusive to everyone, ungrateful, spiteful, snarky and bullying, truly evil and downright nasty.

That’s why I never liked you, so don’t get some idea in your head that it was about wanting to “move in” on your husband.

You haven’t yet recognized the consequences of YOUR behavior are that you and Richard are losing one friend after another, and you don’t recognize that YOUR behavior has been the source and cause of all this trouble over the past few years, that things were going great until you decided to be suspicious, possessive and controlling.

But I doubt you ever will, unless and until you decide to get help for your personality disorder.

So good riddance to you, I hope I never see you again as long as I live, and don’t ever come near me again.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have written that if given the chance.  In fact, I was still in “catch more flies with honey” mode and was going to write something much kinder when I discovered she’d blocked me.  But it is how I felt, and it feels good to vent it out here on my blog.

Apparently, it was wrong of me to say things that accidentally hurt her feelings (when she eavesdropped as I complained to my husband about her many abuses), but I should just accept it as my due if she said things that deliberately hurt my feelings, so I could hear her.

Even though what I said was privately to my husband in an attempt to figure out what to do about things as a united front, or privately to Richard hoping he would help get her to stop her hurtful behavior,

while what she said was directly and deliberately said in order to hurt, to belittle, to demean, to humiliate me.

Apparently, during this whole thing, for us to consider her deliberate verbal assault, deliberately hurtful words, to be an insult that could not be resolved, an offense worth ending a friendship over, especially with her lack of apology for it–over my unwitting and unintended offense that was made while trying to patch up a dear friendship which I feared was slipping away from me for no known reason–

–was a terrible insult to her and somehow childish.

Apparently, wanting to cool down for a while, give her venomous anger a chance to go away, and offering to still be friendly and help them out during the break, was somehow an insult and childish.

Apparently her mind, formed in an extremely abusive environment itself, could not fathom that verbal and physical assaults could go too far, that such assaults are the true childishness, that the adult thing is precisely what Jeff and I were doing.  

Someone who throws tantrums like a 2-year-old, doesn’t get to tell me to grow up.

She complained that we threw their olive branch back in their faces–hogwash.  (As my priest said, “What olive branch?”)

Um, no, I’m the one who extended an olive branch, they dug in their heels, and then she threw it back at me.

Me submitting to her abuse or else, and not being allowed to have a voice or opinion of my own, is her idea of an olive branch?

She was certainly playing the victim.  Did she or Richard honestly think that ANYONE would remain friends with them after such treatment?

But of course, Tracy blames me for everything, thinks I’m being childish, thinks I’m the reason the friendship is over, told me to “have a nice life” because I refused to restore friendship on her tyrannical terms.

The consequences of her behavior are ended friendships, time and time again, yet she just doesn’t get it.

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

 

How Tracy’s e-mails displayed narcissism

Secondary Arguments. If you decide to withhold raising the white flag, you will find your battlefronts broadening in scope as you engage in “topic warfare.”

The topics of conflict will stray far from the original infraction. Every problem you have encountered since the beginning of your relationship will come up.

Any sensitive information you have shared with her will be misconstrued against you. The attacks become very personal in nature.

You don’t make enough money. You’re a lousy lover. Every relationship she has ever had is better than this one. It goes on and on until she gets a very pivotal reaction I call the “nugget.”

The nugget is any bad or politically incorrect reaction on your part. Heaven forbid if you defend yourself or call her a name.

Unknowingly, you have just been read your Miranda rights. Anything you say can and will be used against you. As soon as she gets the nugget, this theater of operation is over. –Dr. Tara, High-conflict phases of abuse, blame-shifting, distortion, rage and manipulation diagram

Narcissistic Rage is something you, as the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, will no doubt have experienced.

Narcissists hate being challenged. Because they’re such superior, perfect people, how dare you, a mere nobody, challenge them in any way?

This is why Narcissists react out of all proportion to the smallest slight, or perceived slight.  Or even, to the slightest request for better treatment.

Any challenge threatens their wellbeing. Their persona is so fragile that it cannot withstand any challenge whatsoever.

This is why they go on the attack so viciously. They really are fighting for their life, or it feels like it to them.

There are no limits to what they’ll do or say in the throes of this rage.  They’ll eviscerate your personality, your very Self.

It’s like soul-annihilation. It’s so destructive and vicious. It’s a self-esteem destroyer.  Sometimes this Narcissistic Rage can turn physical, but even if it remains at being verbal, it’s terrifying. —Narcissistic Rage

Perceived Insult. It is easy to think of this as the “trigger.” Problem is, this is no ordinary trigger. It is a hair-trigger.

Anything that portrays her as less than perfect or holds her accountable will trigger her for sure. You need to evaluate what triggers your partner.

If you were the one that actually triggered the response, it will be easier to identify. However, sometimes it wasn’t your finger on the trigger. More on that later.

Disproportionate Rage. This phase could easily be labeled “shock and awe.” You will be in awe because in your mind the perceived insult will not warrant the level of rage you receive.

If your infraction is deemed serious enough, she is most likely to use nuclear weapons first. Don’t be surprised if you are subjected to flying objects, yelling, divorce threats, and false 911 calls. There will definitely be memories that last a lifetime!

Defensive / Retaliation. This is basically a scaled down, less violent version of the previous phase. Cluster bombing comes to mind.

She has done nothing wrong! You are wrong! It’s just that simple. Anything you say is wrong. Even an apology would be wrong.

Your recollections of the events are inaccurate. Nobody has ever treated her as poorly as you do.  She claims that all of her friends, doctors, therapists, parents and the mailman agree with her. They all know you are an abusive jerk.

She claims she will continue to do whatever she wants. You will pay for your infraction. She is the judge, jury and executioner all in one. You are not able to get a word in edgewise at this point. All you can do is hunker down and let the bombs fall.

Submissive Route. As previously noted, if you are willing to accept her phony apologies and “drink the Kool-Aid”, you can take a shortcut to the Cloud phase.

Just remember, there is no amnesty granted. You still caused her to act poorly in the beginning. You are basically on parole. If you violate your parole, the conflict will immediately pick up where it left off. —High-Conflict Phases of Abuse, Blame Shifting, Distortion, Rage and Manipulation Diagram

When they are angry for something that they have imagined or misunderstood, you can try to prove the facts to them, you can drag in a hundred witnesses, present undisputable evidence–they will still not change their mind. —Behaviors and attitudes of the narcissist

This blog post on the dangers of apologizing to a narcissist, is just what happened here.  In summary,

Narcissists always have to be right. This makes it your job to be wrong. The trouble is, you’re actually often not wrong.  This annoys the narcissist you know immensely.

The narcissist hopes and prays that you will make mistakes more often, and they can’t wait for you to have to admit it to them.

They look forward to this day “The Day You Will Finally Have To Admit You Were Wrong” just like a little child waits in eager anticipation for his or her birthday. Like an addict craves a fix.

This makes the thought of apologizing to a narcissist feel awful.  What’s most likely to happen when you do apologize?  Well, it’s not generally very good stuff…

Apologize to a non-narcissist, and you’ll probably be forgiven. Apologize to a narcissist, and the most likely result is smug, victorious expectations of more subservience, more apologizing from you, more admissions of inferiority and more demands to please the narcissist.

These actions are all driven by their massive egos, and their egos must remain convinced the narcissist is superior.  You’ve finally admitted what they’ve wisely known since meeting you–you’re completely inferior to them. It took a long time to teach you this, so there’s no way they’re going to let the lesson go un-reinforced.

The Dirty Laundry List 
When you apologize, sometimes narcissists will launch into a list of all the other things you supposedly need to be extremely sorry about. Things you did last week, last month, last year…the list is long, and they are fuming.

You are vastly and immensely wrong on a regular basis, and they’ve been such a good person, never bringing it all up!  But…now that you mention your shortcomings…come to think of it, while they have you, there are PLENTY of other things you need to get oh-so-very-sorry about!

They figure they’ve gotten a few drops of blood out of you, so they feel encouraged–why not try for a gallon and see just how far down they can make you hang your head?

She did make sure to throw in there phrases like, “You were wrong!”–about something I still do not feel I was wrong about.

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