I found my old high school friend Becky on Facebook in February 2011. On the 2nd, I sent her this message:
What a year it’s been. I actually saw a friendship crash and burn last year because of Facebook posts and messages.
I had a very close, dear friend, R., who I met on an Internet forum about 5 or 6 years ago. I was searching for a spiritual home, a church which I could believe in, and he helped me find my way, so he became my spiritual mentor.
A few years ago he needed to find a better life for his family, and couldn’t stand [old states] anymore, so he came to stay with us for a while until he found a job around Fond du Lac.
We were getting along great, he finally found a job, but then somehow the rest of his family followed and ended up staying in our tiny condo before he had the means to get an apartment lined up.
I don’t remember okaying it; one day he just told us they were coming, though it wasn’t part of the agreement. Wife and 3 little kids.
So we’re talking 4 adults and 4 small children in one 1100-square-foot condo. Who don’t clean up after themselves. For a month and a half. !!! And the wife, T., turned out to be abusive of her family and very jealous of me. Argh!
I kept wanting to toss her out on her ear for the things she said and did, but instead I was stuck with her 24 hours a day for weeks. I didn’t want anything more to do with her, but didn’t want to give up my friend R., either.
It had been so long since I had a good friend right in town to talk to. That, and my son loved playing with their kids, and Jeff loved playing D&D with them.
So I tried to tolerate her, even though she kept bullying me for being quiet and shy. The more she bullied me, the less I was able to speak to her.
But eventually, I thought everything was finally sorted out. Then early last year, R. started getting snarky with me on Facebook, especially over politics, and T. even more so; he and I had some arguments via e-mail.
Just when I thought he and I finally had things sorted out, T. saw something I sent him and completely misinterpreted it. (Remember the bit about her being jealous.)
The resulting fallout led to Jeff and me saying that’s it, we’re through with her drama, and we’re not too happy with R., either, for throwing me under the bus.
You’d think she’d be happy to have me gone, but no, she got mad at us for breaking things off and had quite a few choice words to say about it. I don’t get her at all.
Both of them seem to think that I should just roll over and take all the verbal abuse she threw at me, even though when I tried in a far more polite way to discuss the problems I had with him, he talked as if I should just shut up about it or leave him alone. It’s a huge double standard.
And after all we’ve done to help them out, too….
It’s been 7 months now and I’m still trying to recover from it.
It’s affected me spiritually as well because R. had so much to do with me choosing the Orthodox Church, and now I get so cynical about religion at times, especially when I see T. going up for communion without ever apologizing for the things she’s done to me.
(I’ve apologized to her, because I know I did some things wrong as well, but never got [an apology] from her.) When I met R. online I thought he was a different person from what he actually turned out to be. I thought he was pious, but it’s like he never quite left his old life behind….
I just keep hoping T. will realize her own part in things and apologize, but Jeff says it’s not likely. Until she does, the friendship is over….
Then while I was still reeling from that, one of my old high school friends suddenly remembered who I was. When I first friended him on Facebook, he didn’t recognize my name because it had changed. But then he figured out, “Oh, it’s YOU!”
Turns out he had this major crush on me senior year. We talked every day in class, but he never said a word about it, so I thought we were just friends. He tried to find me after graduation, but didn’t know how.
It makes me wonder how many other guys had a thing for me but never said anything. And I keep thinking that the summer of 1991 could’ve been like Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court (Say Anything)…..
Seeing me on Facebook brought it all back. He was going through a separation from his wife, so he didn’t have a stable marriage to keep him grounded.
He couldn’t deal with the feelings, since I’m happily married and can’t return them, so he finally unfriended me. It was very sad, surprising, shocking….I miss seeing his posts in my news feed…..
I had told him about the problems I had with R. and T., and he said, “Don’t take it personally. You’re beautiful and intelligent and any woman would consider you a threat.”
Of course, I had never thought of myself as a threat, but far too shy and reserved for that. I certainly never had problems with friends’ wives before this.
Becky responded on the 9th:
This whole thing with the friend is horrible! I think you are so much sweeter than me because the minute the rest of the family would have showed up … they all would have been dismissed and your friend would have received a full lesson on proper boundaries and etiquette.
…You are very gracious because his wife sounds like a manipulator and he sounds like a mess so you are actually better off without him.. because he sounds like he was a manipulator too and he was using you and your husband.
I am surprised your husband didn’t throw them all out and I really can’t believe he let a man come live with you guys. Most men would never allow that. I am amazed. He is either just a very nice guy or he trusts you completely or both.
You have always been shy and kind and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Those are very rare qualities -especially in today’s world and you should not feel bad about that.
Yeah, Jeff’s parents told him he shouldn’t have let things go so far, that as soon as I started hearing T. complain about the food etc., we should’ve politely shown them the door.
I remember getting Jeff alone in a spot on the stairs while they were in the basement one night, and telling him everything that was going on. He was so upset that I thought he was going to kick them out, but instead he just put on his mad face to them and said nothing….
After that I started overhearing some really catty remarks about me while T. would be on the phone….It was a year and a half before anybody told me she overheard my conversation with Jeff and got furious.
I noticed these last few years that I was always supposed to suck up to her and befriend her and such or else I wouldn’t be allowed to do much of anything with R. that his other friends could do with him. But she never apologized for her own behavior or admitted that it was in any way wrong….
She was mean, a bully, catty, crass….If it weren’t for R., I would’ve wanted nothing to do with her at all. But he had wrapped himself around my finger somehow and kept saying I was a very dear friend to him.
Yes, Jeff is both very nice and very trusting of me. He’s also used to SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) culture, where people crash at other people’s houses all the time when going to events far away from home.
At first he did wonder, Wait a minute, I’ve never met this guy and I’m letting him stay here with my wife and child? But after the first meeting, he decided he was harmless.
And at the time R. seemed very sweet. We’d talk for hours upon hours about life, religion, music. He was planning to become an Orthodox priest.
But over time it seemed like conspiracy politics started taking over his good sense, and he’d tell me things that showed a violent underside…. He gave me every reason to believe when he lived here that he had conquered it, but it started coming back out again.
I’m torn because on the one hand I keep hoping they’ll try to work things out with us. I keep dreaming about it. I keep missing R.
On the other, I just can’t stand T.! I never could. And she won’t allow R. to have friends who don’t like her. She made him block Jeff and me (and even our son) on Facebook and blocked my e-mail from him as well.
The thought of making nice with her to be allowed access to him again, just turns my stomach.
I’ve been writing all this stuff down [on my website] and trying to process it. I’ve been trying to determine, should I pray for reconciliation or decide I’m better off? The religious part is especially hard. I read some articles about narcissists and thought, dang, he’s a narcissist cult leader. lol
He was so integral to my conversion to Orthodoxy that everything about it reminds me of him, but I came here looking for what I didn’t find in any other church. I can’t just leave because of him. But my heart in it has gone, making it hard to pray or anything else.
The other thing is that twice since the blowup, his family has shown up at my church for a service. AND my church is dying, his church is dying, and our two churches have been discussing merging to survive. Or sharing the work at Greek Fests. (We live in the same city, but he prefers the church in A—.)
So the possibility of seeing them at church again in the future is rather high. I would prefer some sort of peace to come about, instead of the whole family completely ignoring me. The kids aren’t even allowed to speak to me, though they do look.
I feel sick when I see T. go up to the Eucharist, after she bullied me, humiliated me, and made me feel like a wretched whore. Somehow I have to keep from losing my faith no matter what happens….
Becky’s reply got me thinking that maybe Richard was a liar and manipulator, never actually my friend:
If you want my honest opinion Nyssa.. I believe you are better than them and I don’t think R was as good of a friend as you think.
I am an outsider but from reading the situation and between the lines, it sounds like you were a very good friend to them and they used and betrayed that friendship to get where they wanted and then made you feel bad after you gave so much and that is called SIN any way you turn it hon.
If it were me, I would ask the Lord to send someone genuine and true to replace that friendship you had with R…. You can appreciate the good things that came from you befriending R and let go of the poisonous things….
I would also suggest ignoring them but be polite to the children if they ever cross your path because T does not deserve your friendship or respect. You are special and scripture also says you do not have to cast the pearls (of your friendship, concern, or kindness) before swine, and she acts like a pig so if the shoe fits… you know the rest.
I also understand how your husband could allow that now that you explained about the SCA. I think maybe from now on you will have more wisdom in these situations with these type people so at least you can look at this as a learning experience you know?
In my reply, you can see the wheels turning as I pondered the possibility of Richard being deceptive:
When I think about it and the fact that I do know other people who know them, I don’t think R. was out to get us or use us up or anything. [This changed the more I pondered it, however, now that Becky got the wheels turning.] (T., however, I don’t trust in the slightest.)
However, he has told me so many outlandish stories over the years that I had no way to verify, that I think he may be a habitual liar….I do see ways he could very easily have been manipulating me, whether to get us to help him or just to feed his ego. He has a very big ego, after all, and his wife keeps beating him down….
T., on the other hand, struck me from the very beginning as someone I did not want to be around. She’s chased off other friends as well, male and female, with her temper.
Here’s one of the strange things he told me: Some time after they moved out, he told me that during our talks while he lived here, he sometimes used hypnotism to get me to open up to him.
That he learned it from a hypnotist, it was something about eye tricks and psychology, and he used to use it to get girls to go out with him. He said he would do it without even meaning to. Then some time later, he told me he didn’t do it anymore.
So…he can control it, or he can’t? Which is it? When did he use it, and what did he make me do or say? Was he some Svengali or Rasputin? And is he telling the truth about hypnotizing in the first place?….
I have trouble believing that everything was a lie; I think there’s a good chance that some of it was genuine, at least from him. (Not from her.) However, too much stuff just doesn’t add up. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to unravel it….
Table of Contents
- Bullying of an introvert and probable NVLDer
- My NVLD in a nutshell
- Richard dismisses my experiences
- Summarizing this story
- Why I put this story on the Web–at great personal risk
- I was Sam in search of a Frodo, Anne in search of a Diana
- I finally find my Frodo–who moves in
- Discovering they live in squalor
- Richard reveals his wife’s abuses
- Houseguests From Hell
- Tracy turns jealous of and hostile toward me because I’m an introvert with NVLD
- Tracy’s narcissistic/BPD rage episode at Richard–and Richard reveals his own abuse
- Tracy’s control-freak behavior–to me, in my house
- Tracy overhears me telling Jeff she’s abusive–and wreaks vengeance
- Verge of nervous breakdown as houseguests from Hell abuse our hospitality
- Richard gives me the fateful hugs good-bye
- Tracy’s smear campaign and emotional blackmail begin full-force
- I almost break off the friendship because of Tracy
- Tracy’s unreasonable jealousy even as I take pains to be above reproach
- Their doublespeak and double standards
- Tracy snarks and Richard nitpicks
- The emotional vampires suck me dry–and accuse me of being too sensitive
- My Friend Richard, the Narcissist
- Richard says he hypnotized me without my knowledge
- More on Richard’s hypnotism–and his narcissistic stare
- Richard’s past in the Mafia–and his plot to kill the apartment manager
- Tracy bullies me and tries to control Richard by weeding out friends she doesn’t like
- E-mails and phone call describe how Tracy abuses her husband and children
- More details of Tracy’s abuse of her children
- Early 2010: I speak up about Tracy’s child abuse–and ponder reporting her to authorities
- Early warning signs of Tracy’s abuse and volatility
- I get an inkling of Richard’s own abuse of his children
- How to Bully an Introvert–and Assets of NVLD
- Two Narcissists Tag-Team Bully an Introvert with NLD
- Tracy is nasty to me on the phone
- Fed-up, I decide to end the friendship if Tracy does not stop bullying me
- Tracy Mindscrews me with Constantly Changing Rules, “Okays” me then takes it back without telling me, Violates my Privacy by reading my e-mails to Richard
- I must be accepted as I am–introversion, NVLD and all–or you’re out
- Now Richard Screws with my Mind
- Tracy drives away another friend (Todd) with narcissistic rage, manipulation, lies and a smear campaign
- I discover the restrictions are still up after 7 months–and ponder ending the friendship
- Tracy tells Jeff a different story: I have already been “approved” as Richard’s friend
- Richard gaslights me into thinking I’m a stalker
- Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends
- Disturbing Revelations from Richard about Tracy and our time sharing a house
- Revealing e-mails I drafted to Richard: proving I felt abused and bullied, and witnessed abuse
- We seem to have things sorted out–and they seem to finally take responsibility for causing drama (but there’s more to come later)
- E-mails proving my innocence, that Tracy lied in 2010, that I respected boundaries, and that I asked for a “signal”
- Richard mansplains me, denies that his friends sexually harassed me, and refuses to respect my wishes
- Without warning or explanation, tensions build as Richard and Tracy both begin acting like lunatics
- I begin to wonder if the Richard I know–is real or a fake persona
- Richard decides I’m no longer worth his time or respect–because of POLITICS–as he gets into the TEA Party
- Richard goes off the deep end and disses us for not buying into his extreme right-wing politics
- Richard grows distant and Tracy’s insane jealousy flares up
- Richard rips into me publicly and I suspect our friendship is all a fake
- I feel increasing coldness from Richard and Tracy as I “unfriend” their Republican candidates and “friend” Obama and Feingold
- Time to scapegoat me into thinking I’m the problem–and I realize my “BFF” is a fraud
- I confront Richard with how he’s been treating me–so he stonewalls me and threatens to beat up my husband
- Resolution: I apologize–and write the fateful e-mail about the fateful hugs
- Part One: Tracy’s narcissistic rage against me–but I am innocent of all her charges
- Part Two: Tracy enjoys verbally abusing me, then tries to silence me–so I tell everyone
- Part Three: Jeff’s WTF moment: Judas (Richard) knows I’m innocent, but psychotically rages at Jeff
- Part Four: Their DARVO lies lead us to break off relations with our abusers
- Why we should tell everyone we have been abused
- E-Mails to Friends About the Incident, written in first two months
- 1. To Mike and my mother
- 2. E-mails describing pain of breaking up with a close friend
- 3. E-mails spilling all the abuse, to my closest friends
- 4. E-mails to Todd describing what happened
- Why we should not be forced to befriend a BFF’s abusive spouse
- Why I refused to “confer” with Tracy–and how Richard betrayed me
- Tracy refused to accept the NVLD and introversion–but they are real
- Resolving conflict: The difference between friends and frenemies
- I send an apology–and we’re all blocked on Facebook
- Struggling to process what the F**K just happened
- E-mail to Mike: processing my pain
- Pondering forgiveness vs. giving in to the dark vortex
- Shock: Richard and Tracy at my church
- About Richard justifying Tracy’s verbal abuse because I am shy and quiet
- The monster comes back out: Tracy punishes me for long-dead issues
- How Tracy’s e-mails displayed narcissism
- I suggest a six-month break
- I refuse to give in to Tracy’s emotional blackmail
- Tracy blamed others for her abuse
- Tracy tried to force me to submit to her abuse
- Grief over losing my best and closest friend–for no good reason
- Written 2010: Grief over being falsely accused
- Written 2010/2011: Grief over being abused–and the abuser getting away with it
- Written 2010/2011: I see Tracy hanging out of the window of their minivan, like a crazy woman
- Written 2011: Grief that my abusers kept coming to my church but not apologizing to me
- Blog Post for my friends: Fighting the Darkness (Written in February 2011)
- Can we destroy something God put in place?
- An old friend shows me that Richard and Tracy were deceivers, never friends
- The long, dark night of my soul as I doubt God exists–because my spiritual mentor betrayed me
- I start doubting Tracy was ever truly a Christian–so it’s okay to separate myself from her fellowship
- Grief felt on 6/12/11
- 2011 Facebook post: Original form of Losing Your Best Friend?–Or, Narcissistic Webs
- Describing Richard’s narcissism
- Realizing how Richard manipulated me into doing things I shouldn’t
- Was Richard’s betrayal driven by Narcissism–or Stockholm Syndrome?
- Tracy: a woman who abuses a man
- Richard’s lack of action made him a passive abuser
- Fear of it all happening again with new friends–but relief as well
- Written early or mid 2011: working through the grief, pain and anger
- How Richard and Tracy’s views on parenting are wrong
- Running into Richard and Tracy at church/the store/Greekfest a year later
- Introduction to this section: Richard’s Criminal Charges
- UPDATE 7/26/11: Richard is charged with abusing his daughter; I report them to CPS
- UPDATE 9/14/11: I learn that Richard choked his daughter
- UPDATE 10/4/11: Richard is convicted of choking his daughter
- UPDATE 10/23/11: After his conviction, Richard comes to my church