[Update: The full web book is here: The Darkness Engulfs Me: Abuse by Two Narcissists–and Betrayal by a Best Friend and Spiritual Mentor. A summary is here.]
The narcissist blames others for his behaviour, accuses them of provoking him into his temper tantrums and believes firmly that “they” should be punished for their “misbehaviour”.
Apologies – unless accompanied by verbal or other humiliation – are not enough. The fuel of the narcissist’s rage is spent mainly on vitriolic verbal send-offs directed at the (often imaginary) perpetrator of the (oft innocuous) offence.
The narcissist – wittingly or not – utilises people to buttress his self-image and to regulate his sense of self-worth. As long and in as much as they are instrumental in achieving these goals, he holds them in high regard, they are valuable to him. He sees them only through this lens.
This is a result of his inability to love others: he lacks empathy, he thinks utility, and, thus, he reduces others to mere instruments.
If they cease to “function”, if, no matter how inadvertently, they cause him to doubt his illusory, half-baked, self-esteem – they are subjected to a reign of terror.
The narcissist then proceeds to hurt these “insubordinates”. He belittles and humiliates them. He displays aggression and violence in myriad forms.
His behaviour metamorphoses, kaleidoscopically, from over-valuing (idealising) the useful person – to a severe devaluation of same. The narcissist abhors, almost physiologically, people judged by him to be “useless”. —The Soul of a Narcissist by Sam Vaknin
I hope this will be cathartic, get the truth out, so that I can heal from what has emotionally and spiritually traumatized me. I hope to make it (and my private account) a repository for all the hurt, pain, anger and bitterness, so that I can transfer it out of my heart.
I have dealt with previous abusive situations in this way, putting them into writing and then posting them on the Web, and it has been largely successful in helping me move on past those times.
I feel that if I just make it vanish, hide the story, it will do no more good than it did with my previous abuse stories.
For example, right after college I began writing College Memoirs, which were a combination of good things and life during that time, and the terrible things that happened with guys who used and abused (I hesitate to refer to them as “men”).
I was going to publish them, but feared libel suits, so I began putting the stories into my fiction instead.
But since the demands of fiction are that you don’t put your own life stories into your stories exactly as they occurred, or else your stories will appear pieced together like Frankenstein, I didn’t feel like my stories of abuse were quite dealt with yet.
I also read an article in Writer’s Digest about writing and publishing abuse stories, and the healing it can bring:
Harrison told her editor that she wanted to write a nonfiction book about her relationship with her father. Because the editor had published Harrison’s autobiographical first novel, she asked if she was sure she wanted to do that.
Harrison was sure. In fact, she’d been trying to write about her father in an essay but felt she was trying to do too much in too short a space. Feeling as if she’d betrayed herself and her story by first writing about the affair as fiction, she had a compelling need to set the record straight.
…“One of the solaces that art can offer you is the chance to make something out of what’s hurt you. You can objectify an experience, put it on paper, craft it and shape it. There’s perhaps an illusory control over it. But it is significant.” –Sandra Hurtes, Spilling Secrets
So I posted a public version of my College Memoirs, first in e-mails to friends, then on a Myspace blog, then on my website.
Even though they don’t get many hits, the stories have been read by some, and in the past several years, I feel myself finally moving past these things that happened 15-20 years ago. They are on the Webpages now and don’t have to be carried around inside me.
I also have a full account of what happened in this new case, but it is so personal and private that I keep it locked away from anyone but myself. Just as with the College Memoirs, I have a personal and a private version.
My hope is that this blog will have the same effect as those public Memoirs. It has been said many times that the abused need to get their stories out into the open, not hide them for fear of “airing dirty laundry,” because that just victimizes them further.
I’ve been revising a full account of the abusive situation with Richard and Tracy–book-length–which I wrote before I wrote these smaller summaries and blog posts. I intend to post a link to it when I’m done, because it’s far too long for a blog post.
[Update 1/22/14: It’s been up since May 2012, and now I’m revising it again, and putting it in small chunks on this blog as well.]
As I work on it, it answers questions that come up. For example, I was starting to feel like Tracy was right and the disagreements were my fault. But as I reviewed the details of the time we lived in the same house, I began to remember:
No, what really happened was that I saw her behavior as a mix of jealousy and abuse, of control, and it was part of a full picture of abuse, not just about her objecting to a couple of things I wanted to do.
It was about all the crap I saw her doing to Richard and the kids every day. It was about a battered man defending his battering. It was about her smacking his arm and giving him looks so full of anger and threat, that he looked scared.
It was about her overhearing me telling my husband not just about her jealousy, but about her abusive behavior of Richard and the children.
It was about her starting a smear campaign against me, deliberately to drive a wedge between Richard and me.
Because it was never about me being a woman friend of her husband (he has lots of those), but about me recognizing that she is indeed a domestic abuser and violent.
Jealousy was just her red herring, the thing she seized upon so she could make Richard and anybody else think it was all about me behaving “inappropriately.”
Even though the things she objected to were all perfectly harmless, and Richard’s idea to begin with, she twisted them around to make me look bad, because she couldn’t let anybody think that she is abusive, controlling and possessive.
The things I wanted to do were perfectly harmless, and there was nothing wrong with me wanting to do them. Richard does them, my friends do them, people do these things with their friends.
She actually accused me of disrespecting her by wanting to go out for coffee/ice cream with Richard, but that’s ludicrous BS, as anyone can see. As long as the wife knows you’re going out for the coffee/ice cream, that’s all you need for it to be perfectly “respectful,” so she knows her husband isn’t sneaking around having an affair.
No, she had to put the spotlight all on me with all her ridiculous “rules” which I couldn’t possibly meet–
–so she could continue doing her bad behaviors in the darkness–
–so that Richard would never break free of her control.
The trouble is, she so successfully convinced Richard of her smears, and so successfully turned things around on me, that on 7/1/10, she still made it all about me, still tried to insist that I was the one in the “wrong”–
–not because I was actually wrong–
–but to take the focus off her and her own abuse and bad behaviors.
The other trouble is that abusers can so worm their way into your head, that even though a part of you screams that you’re not the one in the wrong, you’re not the one behaving badly–another part of you keeps thinking, “What if she’s right? What if I really am the one behaving badly?”
I’ve been fighting this for years, not since 7/1/10 or the e-mails she sent me 8/1/10, but since January 2008.
It gets imbedded so deeply that it almost seems impossible to get out. It’s like a parasite.
Blogging is helping me to get it out, finally, because:
- not only can I write about what happened,
- but I have all sorts of private writings which I can look back at later and see what I wrote,
- and I also have this foundation already written, on which I can build with more memories and insights as they come to me.
I thought maybe I shouldn’t blog about this, just keep it under wraps. But now I see that it must come out, that silence is just what bullies want out of their victims.
And if Richard or Tracy sees it, so be it. This is what Richard and Tracy are truly like. I am not lying.
And I have online court records and newspaper reports to prove that I am telling the truth about them.
[Update: They found it just two months after I posted this, and both accused me of lying and threatened me, as you can read here.]
I must keep blogging to get the parasite out of my system once and for all, so I can be free at last of Tracy’s influence.
Learn more about the dynamics of what happened to you by reading the personal accounts of victims recovering from similar abuse. When you find out that you are not alone and how others are coping with the same type of abuse, it will assist your recovery progress significantly.
With severe abuse, often the abused individual is locked into a fixed and rigid perspective about what has happened to them and what will happen because of the abuse.
From the personal stories of other similar abuse victims in the recovery process, you will begin to unlock your perspective of things and see your abuse from other new and important perspectives.
This simple change of perspective and seeing new perspectives has amazing healing powers.
These personal stories are not professional “How to” recovery manuals. They do what professional abuse recovery manuals simply cannot do, because no matter how expert the professionals are (unless they were also similarly abused), they cannot see the specific abuse experience from the complex inside dynamics as only another abuse victim can.
For example, at FACTNet we suggest that an individual who was sexually abused as a child by a cult that condones the sexual use and abuse of children should read the stories and recovery debriefings of other victims of that cult or similar cults who were sexually abused. Read and heal! –Lawrence Wollersheim, How I healed the psychological injuries from my abuse in a cult
I have all parts of this story now up and running. Here it is, the whole ugly story, here for various reasons:
- to defend myself and my innocence
- to break the silence which abusers want their victims to keep
- to get Tracy’s parasite out of my head
- to have peace and remove Tracy’s destructive poison through this surgical removal (ie, writing about it) out of my heart and onto the [digital] page
- to warn others about how narcissists and other personality disordered persons can work
- to sympathize with those with NLD, Asperger’s and introversion who are bullied by those who do not understand them
- to stick up for all abused and bullied people
- to provide help for those abused people who feel driven to read the abuse stories of others
I recall how hard it was to find stories of people who had been abused by friends or spouses of friends rather than by family, co-workers, classmates or significant others; this adds one more. I know what it’s like to constantly search the web looking for stories of other people, in various stages of their healing journey, who have been through abuse in some way.
They may rage at their targets in verbally and emotionally abusive ways. Yet they have the gall to blame the target for the abusive language and emotions they are showing. This is known as projection.
It seems they want to distract from their own questionable behaviors, so they will blame somebody else for doing worse. And they love to play victim of imagined hurts and spites from their targets.
Borderlines are often very controlling, frequently while accusing a victim of theirs as being controlling or uncaring.
Using emotional blackmail and threats of false reports to the police or others who might be duped into taking their side are some of the ways they establish and maintain control.
The discussion is primarily about them and their inner emotional turmoil, not so much about the target. They are upset and somebody else has to be blamed for it whether it’s accurate or not.
Imagine living with these kinds of exchanges on daily basis. The frequent unpredictability, jabs, blaming sessions, and insults make you feel insecure and cut down your self-esteem over time. You’re being abused, but are at the same time are being falsely accused of being the abuser.
This is particularly difficult for men to handle as they are socially conditioned to try to take responsibility for fixing problems. Yet BPD is not a problem a significant other can solve. –Rob, Talking with a borderline
My Trip to Oz and Back is much like my own blogs, an account of two years spent by the writer with her girlfriend, which was actually a 50-page letter sent by the author to her ex-girlfriend.
That was in the late 90s, when the author had never heard of borderline personality disorder, so there had been no official diagnosis for her to point to. But the more she learned about BPD, the more she knew her ex-girlfriend had it, so she posted this letter to help others who are dealing with someone with BPD.
It has been on the Web since 2003, and by November 2006 had received 53,000 hits. As the author wrote on the main page,
Writing this was cathartic. It doubled as a form of therapy. I actually did send the letter; however, I doubt that it had much effect. The more I learned about BPD, the more I realized that the likelihood of this person ever really understanding, was probably close to zero….
Why would I want to put such a personal document online? There are several reasons. First, I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of what it is like to be in a relationship with a person with BPD. There are many books and websites on BPD, but relatively few from a significant other’s point of view.
Second, I am hoping that someone out there might read a bit and identify with it. When one is in a difficult situation, sometimes just hearing about another person’s similar experience can be affirming–as in, “I’m not the only one.”
Finally, I consider myself a success story–see the final chapter, the epilogue. My wish is to give hope to others.
Like me, the author changed names and identifying details. This is to protect the guilty as well as the innocent. Joyful Alive Woman also wrote about her abusive, narcissist, former female friend.
The contents of the web-book:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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