Seeing abuser again: Running into Richard and Tracy at church/the store/Greekfest a year later
[Edited since first written] It’s been a few years, but from what I can recall, after the sudden appearance on August 1, 2010, Richard and Tracy came to my church once more. Maybe twice, but this is the time I remember:
I came to my church’s Christmas service in 2010, and sat in my usual spot. I heard a voice like Tracy’s, saying the hymn on the handout was all in Greek. But I didn’t turn to look, and just assumed it was somebody else.
I wasn’t able to partake in the Eucharist because I was not aware one was offered during the Christmas service, being a new convert. So I had not properly fasted from all food and drink, which you have to do for many hours.
As I stood waiting for the communion line to go through, I happened to look to see who passed me, as I often do absent-mindedly. My usual spot is right next to the aisle.
There, right next to me, was Richard and Tracy! In disgust, I drew myself up and turned away. Just who I did NOT want to see while celebrating the birth of Christ.
The anger and bitterness filled me, especially as I saw Tracy, that unrepentant abuser, that bully, take the Eucharist without ever having lifted a finger to apologize for her disgraceful, unChristian actions against me. She was the worst hypocrite I had ever known.
I felt, basically, the same way so many other abuse victims feel when they see their abusers again, especially their abusers pretending to be good Christians.
Fortunately, they all cleared out of there so quickly after the service that they were already gone when I left my pew. So I did not have to encounter them yet again.
Why did they do this? Why did they keep coming to my church without even trying to make peace? How could they violate my right to be left alone by them?
Heck, Tracy forbade Richard and me from even talking to each other unless I allowed her to scream all my “offenses” at me, so why would she take him anywhere near me?
How could she tell me I’m so horrible, treat me like a whore, treat me like a stalker because I made the horrible “offense” of sticking up for myself against her rages, then come to my church?
How could they so transgress every rule for dealing with your fellow Christian, yet still take the Eucharist as if they were in good standing? You’re not supposed to do that without trying to make peace, because the Bible actually warns that you’ll bring condemnation on yourself for partaking in “an unworthy manner.”
They had listened to the still, small voice of Satan, and tainted the Eucharist with their actions, so it’s a good thing I did not share it with them. (Whether you believe Satan is a person or the evil within humans, it still applies.)
[The following was written, some of it taken from e-mails to my mom, between June 19 and 30, 2011.]
I doubt that Tracy would have acted the way she did if she thought I was ugly or plain. This thought does make it easier to start forgiving her, as it makes her seem less like a monster and more like a deeply flawed and scared human being.
But extreme jealousy is still wrong, and recovering from abuse is still a long and hard road of anger, hurt and pain.
It also makes our decision to break off the friendship seem ever wiser. We were caught up in a bad situation, with two people in a tumultuous marriage. Being involved with them just drew us into their own quagmire, and we couldn’t help them at all.
I never had a problem with Jeff being friends with beautiful women, even though I know people will look no matter how happily they’re married.
You just have to accept that your husband will look, and realize that getting upset and jealous will annoy him and make him feel like he might as well do the thing if he’s being punished for it anyway. I feel secure in our marriage and trust him implicitly.
It must be horrible and exhausting to feel like you have to keep vigilant with your husband to make sure he never strays, but I have far too many and far better things to do with my time.
I hope that one day Tracy learns how to trust Richard–before he finally loses his resolve and she pushes him into the arms of another woman. Or at the very least, out the door.
Jeff saw Richard and Tracy at the store on June 12, 2011, almost a year after the Incident. He knew this would happen eventually, since they and Jeff go there a lot.
They said nothing to each other, but Jeff did make sure the kids knew this wasn’t about them: He saw the three younger children in the store’s daycare, hugged them and talked with them, and let our son play with them.
Then he went off to find the items we needed, passed the adults and the oldest child (who quietly and secretly waved at Jeff), and nobody said a word to each other.
Jeff did not want to speak to these people, gave them the cold shoulder on purpose.
The oldest child was sitting with Richard while Tracy went off and got some stuff. [This became a lot more shocking after I learned that Richard had been charged with choking this same child. But that’s for later.]
But sure enough, Richard was getting henpecked again, for who knows what reason. Jeff hated the sound of Tracy’s criticizing voice: “Bark bark bark bark RICHARD!” Jeff wondered how Richard can stand that.
Exactly one week later, I ran into them at my church’s Greekfest. Almost literally.
I didn’t go to their church’s Greekfest and hoped they wouldn’t go to mine, but there they were. I was passing through the crowd to get to work in the kitchen, at a distance behind my son and Jeff because I had to throw away our lunch trash.
Because of the crowd, I didn’t see Richard and Tracy and the kids until I was right upon them. And suddenly, there was Richard, just inches from me.
Though I couldn’t look in his eyes, he appeared to have seen me. I had heard that you should coldly nod at your enemies in passing, but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. All I could do was pass by without saying a word.
By the way, I had only just checked with Social Services to make sure they got my letter about Richard and Tracy’s child abuse. They reassured me the letter had been received. So that was on my mind as well.
There was no shrinking away as if I were ashamed–no, I kept my head up, and may have changed my expression to one of disgust, though I’m not sure now.
There, Richard, that is what snubbing is. It’s not about being quiet around Tracy. A real snub is this. And it has been done to you because of what you’ve done to me.
[Note written 5/3/12: This was after the choking incident and after Richard was formally charged and posted bail, but before I heard about it.]
Is it necessary to view the narcissist as evil in order to go no contact? Is just seeing the situation as being a case of incompatibility enough rationale to make an escape?
I am sure there are people who can justify leaving a relationship based on simply calling on incompatibility as justification. My blog isn’t for those people. They don’t need to read what I have to say.
In fact, this person is very unlikely to go to Google to type in some search in order to demystify what they’ve gone through or are going through. They have simply shrugged off the parasite and moved on. No damage done. The person you describe has likely never even seen my blog….
If someone doesn’t call the narcissist’s so-called good what it really is…evil…then there is likely little hope of helping the victim out of their victimhood.
They will continue on believing that the evil is centered in themselves, that they are the one who is crazy, that they are the problem. You know, all the lies the narcissist has taught them to believe in order that the narcissist can escape accountability….
If someone was able to just cite “incompatibility” as a rationale for leaving the situation do you think they’d need to come to my blog for insight? People who come here are suffering. There is a reason for their suffering and I’m not afraid to name that reason. —Calling Narcissists Evil: Stumbling Block or Life Line?
I hesitate to call Richard “evil” or even a full-blown narcissist. Perhaps the evil he’s done has been because of Stockholm Syndrome, not narcissism. Maybe he has narcissistic tendencies but not full-blown NPD (narcissistic personality disorder).
But Tracy is the reason I began Googling to find out what the heck was going on here, first in 2008 to research abusers and jealousy because of her treatment of Richard, then in 2010 and 2011, to find out how anyone can be so cruel to the same person who had put herself to great financial and personal trouble to help Tracy find a better life.
I do not hesitate to consider Tracy “evil,” a malignant narcissist, maybe even a psychopath. Who portrayed me as the evil one and herself as the offended, virtuous one. While Richard was the lackey doing the bidding of the narcissist, and also doing sneaky things of his own.
If this had been of the more common variety of disagreements between friends, even breakups between friends, I would have had no need to Google it, as noted in the above quote from “Narcissists Suck,” and I certainly wouldn’t feel the need to write such a long memoir about it.
Most of the time, it really is a misunderstanding or a difference of opinion, nothing “evil” that can’t be resolved either by not being close friends anymore, or by dropping the subject and moving on.
But Tracy has a history of blowups and ended friendships, of “wars” with people.
If I saw her as a basically good person with whom I had a difference of opinion, this could’ve been resolved, especially with the amount of guilt and reflection I’ve dealt with over the past year [July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011].
I’m willing to deal with my own issues, and tried very hard to do so all through this relationship. My apologies were sincere, and I tried to mend what I could.
But it has to go both ways, and Jeff and I both saw nothing but more pain and fighting in our future if we didn’t write her off and go no-contact.
Well I was there and I saw what you did,
I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a pack of lies
–Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight”
You wear a Sunday suit and tie
Everybody thinks you’re such a guy
You’ve got the glow, a shining face
Respectable man with holy taste
Got that family pew reserved
When the hymns are sung your voice is heard
But late one night you got your plan
You’d be religious on demand
Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Christian, it’s a mask you wear to hide
Got a notion God’s a potion and it works most every time
I really think you do believe
Yet you use religion to deceive
–Whiteheart, “Dr. Jekyll Mr. Christian”
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
4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children
- 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
6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends
- 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
7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build
- 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
9. The fallout; a second chance?
- 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
11. Struggle to regain normalcy
- 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
12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other
13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary
14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges
- 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
Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing