Richard gets too friendly–then convinces me this is normal and natural
Warning: The following summarizes and vents a period of narcissistic abuse and mind control.
Tracy’s other rip was on things which Richard had originally done. Some of them at first freaked me out, so he convinced me they were perfectly fine and normal, natural things for platonic friends to do. He, my guru, taught me that Americans are too uptight about those things.
I knew I was too reserved, I’d experienced the openness of SCA culture, and I had a girlfriend who for years had been trying to get me to open up more to people.
Jeff also saw these things as harmless.
No, it was nothing “illicit”–basically things like hugs, using a shoulder for a pillow, going for coffee, or even talking in the parking lot, innocent things that close friends or siblings could do.
I always keep Jeff informed on my friendships, not out of compulsion, but voluntarily.
There was no affair, no professions of love, no sneaking around, none of that. And, to be honest, Richard had not aged well, was morbidly obese, and had poor hygiene, so he was not sexually attractive.
I also did not want to leave my employed (and in much better shape and hygiene) husband for him, and end up living dirt-poor.
Neither one of us had any intention of taking it beyond platonic friendship.
But “Tracy” talked as if the things above had all been my idea from the beginning, and treated me like some skanky ho.
To me they were completely harmless, now that Richard had woven his web on my NVLD gullibility and naivete, and made me believe whatever he told me, no matter what the subject (such as, that there would be martyrdom of American Orthodox believers in our lifetime, because of Obama’s election).
They also hadn’t been done for more than two years because we found out they upset her.
But her rules and requirements (as noted here) kept changing back and forth, back and forth, and were applied without any prior warning. So I never could get a handle on what they even were. They were apparently deliberately placed so high that I could not meet them, and she kept sabotaging them.
She even got angry when I did something to help her, which Richard had begged me to do, and which I thought would make her happy.
So it was impossible to please her, and she kept punishing me for it.
It did not feel like an equal relationship as friendships are supposed to be, but a constant attempt by Tracy to subjugate and control me, a power struggle, probably because I recognized her abuses of Richard and the children for what they were.
The author has noticed how girls with Asperger’s Syndrome seem more able to follow social actions by delayed imitation. They observe the other children and copy them, but their actions are not as well timed and spontaneous. —Tony Attwood Answers Some Common Questions About Asperger’s Syndrome
The above certainly applies to me, since I kept copying what Richard was doing as a guide to what was okay for me to do, but then got treated like some kind of slut for it.
I got the impression Richard wasn’t explaining to her that these things were his idea in the first place. See, he kept reporting to me how she would b*ch about me for doing or wanting to do them–even though these things were only done a few times, and never again after she complained.
It reminds me very much of Shawn from college, a “friend” who kept luring me and pushing me to do things I otherwise would not have done, and then afterwards treated me like a cheap whore who had lured him.
Yet in Richard’s case, these were just little things like wanting to go out for coffee, talk in the parking lot about my husband losing his job and me wanting a friend to cry to, or falling asleep leaning against a friend’s soft shoulder.
Going out to a nearby restaurant for ice cream, falling asleep on my shoulder, and giving me long, sweet hugs expressing his gratitude and friendship, had been his idea from the beginning.
He reassured me they were perfectly fine, nothing to worry about, all meant in platonic friendship, all perfectly innocent, things he does with people all the time.
Nothing even close to what Shawn got me doing, yet I was treated by Tracy as if it were, and by Richard himself as if it had been all my idea and what on earth could I have been thinking.
It’s very confusing, because I see my other friends doing all these same things and nobody treats them like cheap whores.
But Tracy seemed determined to make sure I felt like one for doing or wanting to do things that were harmless–
Even for wanting to get coffee with my best friend.
Even for wanting to chat with him about music for a bit while we were roommates, without her hovering over us like we’d start making out if she turned her back on us.
Even for wanting to go out in the parking lot for a few minutes with Richard so we could talk over the many problems that had arisen.
(I was astonished to see her actually give Richard an icy glare one night during our roommate days. He looked at her like she was going to beat him up, just because I asked him–in front of her, so hardly sneaking around–to go outside with me for a few minutes to talk! Then she insisted that she be nearby in the parking lot while we talked! It’s as if she expected us to start doing the nasty if she left us alone!)
I feel manipulated by Richard, that he identified my gullibility and naïvete and preyed on it, then let me drown in Tracy’s fury. The best lies are mostly true. It makes me very angry with him.