Month: January 2012

Tracy’s abuse of Richard and the children

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.

Hoarder houseguests

Warning: The following summarizes and vents a period of narcissistic abuse and mind control.

Meanwhile, I felt pushed into letting them stay with us–and they were bad houseguests, complaining about the food and making it impossible for me to keep up the cleanliness of the house.

They brought their filthy habits into my house, such as dirty laundry constantly piled on my living room floor, and even brought cockroaches and lice.

For six weeks, I fought to keep up the place, and tried not to go crazy as an introvert with no place to go to recharge (it was winter)–while dealing with this jealous, hostile person in my house (Tracy) who complained about everything I did.

First Richard stayed with us for two months by himself, and that was fine.  But then one day he just sprang it on us that the rest of the family was coming as well.  He didn’t even have an apartment secured yet!

He didn’t ask either one of us, just said they were coming.  We had zero room for them, and it was extremely inconvenient to put them all up, with no spare beds, no spare rooms, and no spare money–while they gave us absolutely no money for their own upkeep.

Then Tracy began acting mean all the time to the kids, to Richard, and to me.  Tracy had the nerve to complain about the food we served, to say she felt “unwelcome,” and to become hostile to me.

Tracy was on very thin ice, bringing this filth into my house and treating me like crap.  So I almost threw her out, but it was a cold, harsh winter, and there were three small children as well.  Instead, I kept begging Richard to find a new place and get out.

Tracy’s need to control everyone

Tracy’s irrational jealousy and need to control everyone

Warning: The following summarizes and vents a period of narcissistic abuse and mind control.

Tracy seemed to think that I would react the same way she did in her place.  But no, I would act nothing like that:

Jeff has many good female friends whom I barely know; I trust him with them.  I don’t need to hover, don’t need to “approve” them, don’t even need to meet them.  And if something raises an eyebrow, I’d ask him about it without blaming.  He would then reassure me, and that would be that.

If I saw some girl fall asleep on his shoulder in a bardic circle around a campfire at an SCA event, I would just think, Hey, it’s the SCA, and people are friendly here.  Or the girl is passed out drunk.

In fact, when we were first going out, he had a friend who I was sure did not like me, even though I tried to befriend her.  But I let him go off and talk with her, because it was not up to me to allow or deny him talking with his friends.  He just did it, and I said nothing about it, because it was not my place.

I feel that marrying has made no difference in that, either: If she came around again now, I’d have no objections to him talking to her.

And Richard allowed Tracy to behave irrationally, to control him, to treat me in a manner I did not deserve–

rather than stand up to her and say her behavior was wrong and insulted their hostess and benefactress–

the one who had shown her friendship, by being so kind to them both as to let them stay in her house and find jobs in a new state.

Tracy kept trying to tell me I was wrong for wanting to chat with my best friend without her hovering, but I was not.

For one thing, Richard and I were Internet/phone friends for two years already before I even met her, and for two months in person, watching movies and chatting for hours.

To suddenly tell me that I was behaving “inappropriately” by wanting to continue doing this, that “everybody” knows this, was ridiculous, crazy-making behavior.  It was changing the rules on me in the middle of the game.

It was making a behavior a “sin” when it never had been a sin, for the purpose of labeling me a sinner.  And not because I really was one, but because it pleased her to make me seem like one.

For as long as we knew each other, she kept treating me like I was the problem, but I was not.

When, while they lived with us, she overheard me telling Jeff privately about her icy glare at Richard and all that was going on, and that Tracy was possessive and controlling (her behavior infuriated him), she got furious with me.

She told Richard I was manipulating Jeff.  She made Richard think there was something wrong with me for not behaving as she wanted me to.  She influenced him to actually accuse me of disrespecting and insulting her even though I did neither.

She began ripping on me to him or her mother on the phone when she knew I would overhear.  She began driving a wedge between Richard and me by constantly going on and on and on to him about my horrible lack of character.  She began making his life miserable as long as I was in it.

My mother told me that Tracy needed to grow up.

Jeff noted that Richard showed no empathy, no desire to see another side of things.  He couldn’t get him to see that Tracy’s treatment of me was insulting.

This lack of empathy has continued for all the time I’ve known Richard in person.  I also tried to get him to understand that Tracy was pushing me away and into my shell with her nastiness, that I couldn’t be blamed for that, but he just refused to see it.

Richard gets too friendly

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.

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