Warning: The following summarizes and vents a period of narcissistic abuse and mind control.
In the weeks after they finally moved out, I kept finding their stuff and putting it in a bag with their mail, then asking Richard to pick it up.
Then one day, Richard told me that Tracy was fighting him “tooth and nail” just for wanting to come over for ten minutes and pick up their things! Even though supposedly we were all still friends who kept having get-togethers, and even though it was their own stuff!
In April 2008, she even yelled at me for trying to get ahold of Richard when he promised we were going to make plans to do something that day!
Just the night before, we had been at their house, socializing like friends, while dropping off/picking up my son for babysitting, but now she was yelling at me.
Yet somehow, they both expected me to forget all that, accept it as my due punishment, act like she was a wonderful, sweet person, and befriend her, have long conversations with her, share secrets with her, etc.
And somehow, on 7/1/10, when Jeff tried to sort things out with Richard, Richard got into his face, raged at him, towered over him, intimidated him, and got furious with him for even suggesting that Tracy held some responsibility for our problems!
Either Richard is so entrenched in Stockholm Syndrome and the FOG that he can no longer see things for how they really are instead of how he wishes them to be (out of fear of being beaten)–or he is an a**hole himself and just hid it from me really well so he could get free food/babysitting out of me.
It’s exactly the same kind of enabling behavior that so angers him about Tracy’s family and her BPD mother.
If you think any of what Tracy did is somehow “okay” or “her right” (as she thought), then switch roles and think how you would see a man treating his wife’s friend this way.
Wouldn’t you think he was a controlling, abusive b**tard? And wouldn’t you think the wife was behaving like a beaten-down, abused wife who thinks she’s to blame for everything he does?
And Richard knew what it was like to be in my shoes, because the wife of his friend Chris constantly fought Chris over being friends with Richard. She fought him “tooth and nail” over going out for coffee with Richard, kept trying to separate Richard and Chris!
On March 22, 2009, I received an e-mail. I won’t post the e-mail, out of privacy concerns for Richard, but it spoke of domestic disputes and child abuse, specifically using the terms “assaulting” the children with “verbal abuse.”
The conversation ended because right then, she came into the room. She got upset with him for shutting down the e-mail, because she was jealous of his friendship with me (even though we never so much as kissed and had kept up boundaries), and felt she had the right to see anything he wrote to me.
(I was upset by this, because my husband respects my privacy, and I didn’t want this woman who liked to bully me, snooping into and reading my e-mails about my private thoughts, painful history, hopes, fears, etc. etc.)
He reassured her that it wasn’t about her, even though it was. We were exchanging e-mails on a (now-defunct) online game, so I saw the green light go out that showed he was online. I wondered what happened to him.
At first I was going to let this message vanish automatically, because private messages on that game vanished after a certain amount of time. But then I realized it was evidence I might need some day, if Richard or Tracy were to go so far one day that the police became involved.
So I printed up the message and saved it, along with a record of the conversation Richard and I had the following day over the phone:
He told me that she hits him. I had seen her smack his arm on a few occasions, but this apparently was worse.
I asked if it was slaps or punches; I believe he said punches. It sounded like she’s been physically battering him.
He doesn’t hit back because she’s a woman. But he says that if she ever hits his face, he’ll tell her, “You’re no longer a woman,” and fight back.
He says you never hit a man in the face, and that in our state, she’d be the one going to jail because she started the fight and male judges will recognize that she started the fight by hitting him in the face.
He says it goes in cycles, where things are fine for a while, then problems begin again. Sounds like the classic abuse cycle.
This information was frightening. But I was still forced to be best buds with her, or else.