Richard–though not the reason for the breakup–is also violent and volatile
Warning: The following summarizes and vents a period of narcissistic abuse and mind control.
But even though Richard was not the main offender, he did threaten my husband for sticking up for me, and tell him he gets “physically violent easily if triggered.”
All because one day (shortly before the blowup that ended the friendship) I confronted Richard with how he had been bullying me of late, telling me what to think, etc.
I’d tried already to get him to talk with me about various issues for the past couple of months–
only to get nasty e-mails back from him that blamed me for being upset, accused me of not addressing the problems properly (even though I was trying to deal with them in a reasonable, adult fashion), and didn’t allow me to have legitimate concerns.
He instructed me to be blunt with him when he did something wrong. So I followed his instructions to a T, even though I preferred to use diplomacy.
Even though I did exactly what he told me to do, he sent an e-mail to Jeff claiming that I “bit hard.” Jeff replied, “You’ve been biting hard yourself lately, and I’ll give examples if asked.”
So Richard wrote a threatening e-mail of what would happen if Jeff gave his opinions/examples.
Once again, I was the one apologizing, and this time Jeff was as well.
Here is the e-mail verbatim, and I’ll highlight the parts you especially need to notice:
I typed this out three times now, and it would be best if you said to me nothing about your opinion.
I do not want to hit you with a brick the next time I see you, as for some reason I am racing with adrenaline right now like back when I worked for the INS and was ready to open fire on the lineup with rubber rounds.
I am pumped and psyched out at the moment, ready to fight, verbally and physically.
I have to admit I have not felt this for years, and if could apply it to working out I just might get my metabolism back in line, which would be a good thing.
Problem is I get physically violent easily if triggered.
It’s no excuse and wrong, I admit. Hence why it would be best if you not say anything.
I am going to jog this off right now. Cheers! Contact me this week, and let’s drop the subject.
I cleared it up with Nyssa already anyways. But you already know.
That last sentence was a rip on me confiding my problems in my own husband.
Over time I began to realize just how dangerous Richard is.
He also blamed me for and minimized his wife’s abuse, enabled her abuse, which was baffling and heartbreaking.
I saw him do the same thing to mutual friend Todd two years previous, the one whom Tracy raged at and chased away because of an Internet game. (I go into more detail about this in the full version of the story, which is here.)
Richard seemed to have a confused sense of morality: Bad was often good, good was often bad. Some examples:
- He thought assaulting a person for cheating with your wife was justified.
- He had no problem with hating his political enemies.
- He posted a picture online for his horny IRC buddies of his wife’s breasts. Only the lower parts with the nipples were covered.
- He’d post that he was “sexing” women in the chatroom.
- He often ran a music webcast. One evening, he knew I was listening, along with his IRC buddies, because we were all chatting at the same time. Yet he started faking an orgasm–well beyond the bounds of good taste, especially when he knew I was listening. But he complained when I complained. (Yet jokes I made, which were extremely tame compared to these things, sometimes got strange reactions from Richard and/or Tracy.)
- He called me a prude for not liking gory movies.
- He considered it my problem that I got upset that he kept saying he’d call, or bring the family and come visit our family, or whatever, and then stand me/us up.
- When he told me his wife had been punching him, he said he would hit back if she hit his face, and no judge would convict him–something he’d been researching! What he should have done was get out of that situation, not put her at risk of death and him at risk of jail.
And all sorts of evidence has piled up that he has narcissistic tendencies, including his claim that he hypnotized me without my knowing, manipulated me into saying things when I resisted saying them. (I still have a printout of the chat in which he told me this.)
He also manipulated me in other ways, then allowed me to be the scapegoat. If I told him he did something that hurt me, he put the blame on my shoulders, saying he wasn’t responsible for my feelings (which is an a**hole thing to say).
He was charming and arrogant, constantly bragging and telling some amazing stories that I had no way to verify. Even my husband noted that Richard lacked empathy for my social struggles.
He began to seem like a chameleon, behaving differently around different people, or behaving differently according to which handle he used on the Net.
For example, one handle was gentle and pious, one was pious but occasionally argumentative, while yet another handle was downright mean.
He acted one way with me. But eventually I noticed him behaving differently–more crass and less like a pious man–with friends who were crass and of dubious morals.
He did complain about “pampering” me, but not until several years had passed, making me wonder how much of what I knew of his personality and character, was even real.
This was before I suspected him of narcissism. “Narcissists are empty vessels; they reflect back your personality so as to attract you” (Adrian Tempany, When Narcissism Becomes Pathological).
Then there was the way he’d pull me in, tell me how awesome I was, want to spend time with me–
Then another time he’d devalue and discard, treat me like I was annoying him, disrespect my time and feelings, ignore my e-mails, poke fun at or criticize everything I did in real life or on Facebook, make me feel like a stalker for saving all my letters or wanting to spend time with him.
(Odd–Shawn also expressed “concern” once that I wrote in my diary everything he did with me. Is there fear of exposure? I have no worries about people writing in diaries about me or saving all their letters to/from me!)
Then he’d start treating me like a close friend again and want to chat with me.
This is classic narcissistic behavior, make someone feel very important to him, then devalue and discard the person; the cycle played out again and again.
You’re always kept on your toes; I always wondered where I stood with him, but he called me paranoid.
He used to call me all the time, want to chat with me all the time. Then he barely called at all except when he wanted something.
I also saw him begin to replace me with another friend, a bright new shiny friend, who agreed with all his wacky politics.
When he and his wife were both together, they would gang up on me and make me feel like everything I did was somehow “wrong” or “creepy” or whatever. For instance, he called me a stalker and she made fun of me because I save all my letters to and from friends!
Or she would rip on me or make some snide comment and he would just ignore it.
Or the time she exploded on me in a jealous rage publicly on Facebook for saying I would miss him on his vacation.
“I’ll miss you dearly, but have fun!” is exactly what I said.
Meanwhile, he just let her go off on me for that statement, leaving Jeff to have to stick up for me.
But then another time it would just be Richard and me chattering away, and I’d feel like a very important person to him, someone he loved like a sister and wanted to spend time with and confide in or talk with about religion.
It was crazy-making behavior, and gaslighting. But during the good times, I very much felt like he valued my friendship, wanted me around, considered me one of his closest and dearest friends.
But when he was my friend, I didn’t see the narcissism. I thought he was gentle and bighearted, and too hard on himself.