Realizing I Was Used and Manipulated by My “Best” Friend Richard: The Proof Is In The E-Mail

Realizing your best friend was manipulating and playing you the whole time, is very disturbing.  But it finally hit me this week as I kept piecing things together, put 2 and 2 together and finally got 4.  My proof is right there in the e-mail Tracy sent me back in May of this year.

My blog stalkers twisted my words into threats I never made, and then used those imaginary threats as justification to threaten me with legal action.

(See Now I’m Being Stalked, where you can read about this, my dissection of the e-mail, and the full text of their e-mail.)

I looked through all my posts but could find nothing to back up their claims that I threatened to expose them to the local community and/or church.

(Just a note in one blog, not addressed to them, that I hoped they would move away so I wouldn’t have to see them around anymore, and a note in another blog, not addressed to them, that if their church merged with mine, I would have to go to the priest for help, for my own physical, emotional and spiritual safety.)

It was a documented example of gaslighting:

Twisting your words and managing to turn things around to use them against you is a ploy of the verbal abuser. —A Checklist of Verbal Abuse | eHow.com

But I reviewed all my posts and could find nothing to justify their threats, I have tons of documentation, and I am an eye-witness of, or got directly from my blog stalkers, practically everything I wrote….

It also went against something I wrote in one blog, that I had no intention of spreading around the church the story of what they had done.

My blogs were merely about personal release of metaphorical demons, and I had no intentions of revealing their real names on here or somehow publishing them to the whole local community.

(And how on earth I was supposed to do so, I have no idea.  Take out an ad in the paper, perhaps?  As if such an ad would even be run!  Pass out fliers?  Go door-to-door?  If they mean talking to my local friends–they can’t stop a person from confiding in friends.)

Their e-mail was so ludicrous, paranoid, absurd and revealing as to be laughable.  It gave me concrete evidence of their abuse, self-centeredness and vindictiveness, so I’m holding onto it.  It even gave me concrete evidence that they just used us for our generosity, and were never true friends.

Just think: Not only did they demonstrate the same utter lack of regard for the feelings and points of view of Hubby and me that they had shown during the “Incident” and that Tracy showed for me the entire time I knew her

…Not only did they demonstrate a feeling of entitlement to call all the shots and smack us down when we got uppity and asserted our rights to decent treatment

…Not only did they say they “owe” me nothing

But a lawsuit would be an attempt to get money out of us.

Didn’t we give them quite enough money over the years?

Considering the extreme lengths we took over the years to help them out, far beyond what most people would do, and the fact that we’re not even remotely related to them,

I think we are at least owed kindness, consideration, a restraint from verbal abuse and bullying, and apologies for outbursts.

But to not even get that from them, and have them come out and say in this e-mail that they owe us nothing and did nothing wrong, is clear, documented proof–which you yourself can read–that they feel entitled to bad behavior without apology.  It clearly shows a lack of conscience and empathy.

Me always getting blamed for that bad behavior, without the blamers taking any of it onto themselves, is another telling piece of the puzzle.

Me right there overhearing as Tracy would make passive-aggressive phone calls complaining to her mother or Richard about me.

Hubby has said all along that he does not want me debasing myself to her, that Tracy has to get down on her knees and apologize to me.  And he wouldn’t mind apologies for how he got treated, either.

I, Hubby, our parents and one of my old friends all have a distinct impression that Hubby and I were played for suckers.

For me, after two months of happily hosting only Richard, there was the sudden, unexpected announcement that the rest of the family was coming to move in–and Richard already had to sleep on the couch.

There was no room for another adult and three more children, but they came here with no other place to go, no move-out plan, and ended up staying for six long weeks.

Neither my husband nor I approved this, thinking the other one must have okayed it, but never being asked, just told they were coming.  My son was forced out of his bed and into ours.

When Richard made this announcement, I got him an apartment guide and told him to find a place.  I kept asking/begging him for a move-out date, but it kept getting put off, or he’d say he couldn’t give me one.

Yet Tracy complained that I did not make her feel welcome,

complained about the food we provided (who can afford fresh produce and no canned/frozen every night for eight people on a middle-class salary and ballooning utility bills???!!!),

they gave us no money when they had promised to pay for food,

they left messes all over the house (including a massive pile of dirty laundry in the living room),

and she was very rude and aggressive to me and abusive to Richard and the kids even while living in my house,

as if she expected we would just let her do this without kicking her out–That shows a sense of entitlement.

As does the distinct feeling I got that what I did or where I went in my home was subject to her approval.

(I got this from her complaints about me taking time to myself,

the way she’d follow after me if I went to talk to Richard by myself,

the angry look she gave when Richard invited me to play cards with them,

and her complaints to Richard about my “routine” and to her mother about who does the cooking in my house and what we served for dinner!)

Then, a year and a half later, when they were on hard times again and I bit the bullet and offered to let them stay here again,

I discovered from Richard that she refused,

that she spit on our hospitality,

accused me of being a bad, unwelcoming hostess (because I had to do housework and change diapers, and desperately needed time to myself every day with all these people and noise crammed into my 1100-sq.ft. condo),

and was very upset with me for overhearing me tell my husband she was bullying me and abusing Richard.

Yeah, I can feel your ingratitude from here, a lack of appreciation for how you forced yourself on us and then complained about the accommodations,

just how much your presence put us out financially and personally,

for how you were driving me crazy and making me want you OUT.

And because of this, they tried to force me into an uphill battle to please her and get back into her good graces if I expected to be friends with Richard.

Meanwhile, she had no intentions of changing anything about herself that caused me to call her abusive and keep her at arm’s length.  More entitlement.  And more evidence that we were sponged off, used, by fake friends.

On the very night of the “Incident,” Hubby said to me, “Do you feel used?  I do.  They were not good friends.”

On the part of Hubby’s parents, all it took was one long phone conversation describing what happened, to convince them we were taken advantage of.

They said Hubby shouldn’t have let things go on as long as they did, that as soon as they began complaining about the food we provided, he should’ve (politely) shown them the door.

My mother, also, keeps noting, “And to treat you like this after all you’ve done for these people!”

An e-mail to my old friend resulted in the friend’s observation that these two were very manipulative and were never real friends to us, that she’s met people like this.

Then that e-mail from Tracy/Richard? came, confirming these suspicions for Hubby and me.

I’m not even sure what all was real and what was fake, because Richard sure played a convincing part, I thought we had a special bond and that he truly cared about me,

but then he began complaining about “pampering” me, and started coming out with things he’d held back from me, which first made me wonder what was real.

His behavior since has belied the impression he gave Hubby and me both; he had fooled us both for years.

A true friend would never behave the way he has done,

would reflect on his own behavior and return your apologies (which I gave both of them not just that very day, but a week/month later) with his own apologies,

would apologize for blowing up at a good friend.

It’s hard to admit that he may never have actually cared and was just playing a part to get our monetary and other support, especially since it is hard to be sure, though his behavior the past few years has been steadily confirming this.

But with Tracy, I’m sure, and her e-mails to me are proof.

All you have to do is read in the e-mail at the above link that they “had a good laugh” at my pain and point of view, that they “did nothing wrong” and would not apologize.

Those lines in themselves are glaring proof not just of a lack of empathy and conscience,

but that these two are a couple of con artists and spongers,

that neither of them ever really cared about Hubby or me, or they never would have written such callous lines.

And because those lines prove that they never truly cared,

that leads to the obvious conclusion that they used us for our generosity,

because we were so willing to give them a place to stay to our own inconvenience and financial strain,

to open up the wallet,

to give them food and out of our other surplus,

to give them rides,

to lend them things which we had to remind them to return.  (We never did get the crib back.)

How often were we there for them?  All the time.  How often was Richard there when I needed him?  Not so much, often ignoring my phone calls or e-mails.

After all, how much did I really know about either of them before letting them in?  I met them on an Internet forum.  It’s easy to misrepresent yourself on a forum.

There were all sorts of things which Richard never told me until right before he was to move in, things which made me start wondering if I should let him stay here.

There were things which he didn’t tell me until after he moved in, which shocked me.

There were things which came out little by little over the years; I didn’t hear about the Mafia goombah stint until 2009.

An even more telling piece of evidence of their duplicity, is the way they just let us end the friendship without a fight, the way they kept putting their pride and anger above friendship even a month later, even two years later.

Obviously getting their own way is far more important to them than anything or anybody else.

True friends would have at least tried to change our minds.  Instead of dead silence, we would’ve gotten phone calls, visits, apologies and/or requests to talk it over.  That’s what another of my friends did when one of his friends broke off the friendship.

The way they just let us go so easily, then blocked us all on Facebook and e-mail, suggests very strongly that the whole Incident–heck, that whole last few months when even Richard suddenly began acting distant, rude and mean–was a setup, a plan to push us away.

Maybe it was because I showed signs of no longer believing Richard’s wild stories.

Maybe it was because we were not going for his politics.

Or maybe we had outlived our usefulness: Most of the time we knew them, they were both either unemployed or underemployed.

While Hubby, who lost his job when the economy tanked in 2008, did keep finding good-paying contract jobs,

but then in very late 2009 felt forced to take a job that barely paid the bills, made us buy poor-quality food at discount stores, but was permanent.

His employer was a miser, while Tracy finally found steady work.  So they didn’t need as much help from us, while we didn’t have as much help to give. 

It all fits together now, the more I think about it.  To still, two years later, defend your abusive and nasty behavior as “nothing wrong,” is a sign of narcissism and sociopathy–and proves to us that we did the right thing in cutting them loose.  True friends would not be proud of having mistreated you.

Their e-mail also references Richard’s criminal conviction, with a snide remark about “speculation” and not having “all the facts,” but I got all sorts of facts straight from the newspaper and court records, which are posted online, free for the public to access.

And though they tried in this e-mail with that snide remark, there is no way to spin what he did, to make him look good.  (He choked his 9-year-old daughter to unconsciousness.)

I’ve witnessed their vindictiveness to others and to me, and maybe they think everybody is like them.  But I am not the sort of person to do what they accused me of.

Their e-mail is proof that they felt the need to terrorize me into silence, rather than trying to work things out or even defend their actions through reasoned arguments. 

It shows Richard to be just like the government officials he hates so much, who he claims will hound and intimidate him if he ever publicly comes out with their secrets.

It’s also proof that if I had gone through with that “conference” Tracy kept insisting on, she never would have allowed me to have an opinion of my own,

because that e-mail is how she responded to all the arguments I made, everything I’d wanted to say to her, in plain language and detail in probably dozens of pages of blogs:

basically, to poke fun at me for thinking things were that way, to shut me up and say I had no right to say it, or even to make my own terms about how I would be treated, after she determined how I was to be treated.

Which, by the way, is also how she and Richard both responded to Hubby’s attempts to speak up for me and try to smooth things over, during the “Incident.”

More entitlement to do whatever the heck Tracy wants, and take and take and take from us, while giving us nothing in return.  And even to go so far as to threaten us into compliance and silence about the truth to those who could help us.

Their e-mail is all the proof I need that Hubby and I are right about them.  Their true character shines all the way through it.

Though at the time it felt like they’d put a huge pile of crap in my lap, I now see it as a golden egg.  I’ve shown it to the police, posted it online and shown it to friends [on the Forum where we all used to post] as proof of what I’m dealing with.

At the same time they sent it, they also a sent a friend, whom I will name “Chia,” to spy on my Facebook account.

I’m not sure what she did there, only that I did not know this person who friended me shortly before Tracy sent the above e-mail, that they were both on her friends list, she lived here in town–

and spikes from their IP address suddenly showed up on my website right after I friended her and it showed up on her wall.

We had absolutely nothing in common other than our city and knowing Richard and Tracy.  None of my friends were on her list.

There were even a few sentences in her profile about defending friends when they’re being attacked, or some such.

(I bet she wasn’t told the full story, that I had been viciously attacked by Tracy over and over again, that my blogs were about telling my story of abuse, and that what I actually did was tell Richard and Tracy to leave me alone.)

I sent her an e-mail asking how she knew me, but she never responded.  In fact, the following day I discovered she had unfriended me.

Am I being paranoid when I say she was a flying monkey, as the blogging community calls it, otherwise known as sycophant, abuser-by-proxy, or dupe?  No.  There’s far too much evidence to support the flying monkey theory.

Then at church, you could actually see Tracy’s feeling of entitlement in the way she carried herself, and the way she tried to intimidate me by getting right up behind me in the communion line, pressing up against me, and literally breathing down my neck in loud snarls.

It was ridiculous.  What did she think she was, a scary pirate?  Better put a few “arrs” in there for good measure.

And Hubby noticed, every time they came to my church and Greek Fest for the next several weeks, their false, exaggerated piety, a show for me, though I did not watch them.

They even took communion, which, from what my husband, father and I all understand about communion, is a huge no-no when you have conflict with another at the same church, lest you taint the sacrament, and eat and drink condemnation unto yourself.

(After the first week, I realized this, and refused to take communion when they were present, but they kept taking it.)

I need no further proof that I was right about her.

Their behavior in real life and online, including what they look at on my site and how often, is very much that of people with something to hide, trying to keep me under their thumb.

I don’t even care about seeing my blog stalkers in the stats anymore.  I know it’s them because of telltale signs, such as IP addresses and other things I won’t go into publicly.  I no longer worry about them.  When I see them in my stats, I go, “Oh, there you are.  I missed you!  Where were you?”

Here’s an example of not letting the bullies intimidate you–even at the risk of your own life: Pakistani Girls Walk in Shoes of Young Activist (the one who was shot by the Taliban).

It is very disturbing to discover just how badly you’ve been manipulated and used by people you thought were friends.

I now understand why most people are so reluctant to help non-family to the extent we helped these people.

Hubby’s parents told him you put yourself out like that only for family.  We will be keeping a tighter hold on our purse strings and offers to let people stay, after being so badly taken advantage of.

It’s rough to think that Richard would be this kind of person.  It’s very different from what I thought he was.

He had seemed like the perfect friend, with interests very much matching my own eclectic interests, giving us an overabundance of things to talk about: music, Goth, geek, Orthodoxy, theology, intellectual, ghosts.

I don’t know what went wrong, if it was always a ploy, or if it changed later on….I keep looking for hope in what blog posts he reads, hope that he still cares.

But the proof of a very different reality is in how he has allowed me to be treated in such a fashion.  The proof is in that e-mail

If he had ever truly cared about me, he never would have laughed at my pain.  Only sociopaths laugh at grief and pain caused by them.  It’s only denial that keeps me hoping.

Let my story be a warning to you, especially with the economy the way it is.  The blinders my husband and I had up, have led to financial and emotional pain.

My story of narcissistic abuse is here.

 

Quotes and blogs by people stalked by narcissists/abusers

The post here includes an e-mail Richard and Tracy sent me in May 2012, which proves my belief that they are sociopaths.  In it you will see every sociopathic trait–including empty threats and false accusations–and maybe recognize e-mails you have received from your own sociopath.  You will see how they began their stalking campaign. 

This post was originally posted in May 2012.  I wrote it while a baby blogger, and added to it over a period of months, so it badly needed editing.  However, I struggled for a long time to look through this blog post again because of the presence of that e-mail and its tendency to trigger all sorts of emotional reactions: fear, pain, hurt, anguish, rage, etc.

But now I am finally able to do some proper editing, and re-post it.  I want to sticky it so new readers can see it, as I have been doing for months with my old posts. 

It is, however, extremely long, which would take me all night to edit and an hour for you to read, so I will re-post it in chunks.  I have divided the original post into several sections, which I will follow in the re-post.  If you want to see the entire original post, click here.  Now for Part 7.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

I heard so many things against speaking about the past.  Questions which are actually statements and judgements more than they are actual questions such as “why do you want to talk about your problems in public” or “why do you want to air your dirty laundry in front of the whole world?”

These judgements always concluded with some version of “you are only making yourself look like a fool.”

Statements like that carried with them the all too familiar indication that the speakers (the judges) were concerned for ME; that they truly cared about what was “best for me”.

When I faced the cold hard truth, I began to comprehend the actuality reality; I realized that their concern was never for me. I didn’t need to make myself look like a fool, they did that for me all of my life. I think of the times they delighted in finding ways to embarrass me or humiliate me in front of others.

In fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.  They were not concerned about MY dirty laundry. They were only concerned about what I was exposing about THEM. They didn’t want me to expose THEIR dirty laundry.

And I think this would be a good time to add that if they didn’t KNOW what they were doing was wrong, if they didn’t “know any better” then WHY did they know that they needed to keep me quiet about it?

But an even bigger eye opener was when I realized the lengths that so many people went to, to make sure I kept quiet.  Like I said, if they did not know their behaviour was wrong, they would not have spent so much energy making sure it didn’t come out in the open.

I wish I had found a website or like this when I was searching for answers all those years. Nobody was talking about holding family accountable for abuse or about exposing abusers… everyone seemed to be talking about forgiveness or letting go of the past.

“Live for today” and “acceptance is the answer” but nobody wanted to talk about WHAT we were supposed to accept!

Were they really telling me to accept that people messed with my head, discounted and devalued me, took advantage of me, taught me that something was “wrong with me”, abused, mistreated and objectified me, and telling me that I should just “get over it”?

In that dysfunctional recovery system, everyone endorsed “keeping the silence” and no one wanted to talk about spending some time actually validating the dysfunction first.

I was never able to put the past behind me until I actually validated the damage that was done. There are even therapists out there that will refuse to work with you if you want to talk about the past!…

I spent only 2 years facing and validate it and all the results that I ever could have hoped for were achieved. So what is so wrong with my way? At least I am living proof that it worked!

I speak and I write EFB because it is my story and MINE to tell. I celebrate the permission I give myself to tell my story after years of being silenced.

It is validating for me and for others to hear the benefits of living in truth. Finding, facing and embracing the truth is what set me free from oppression, depression and the low self esteem that hindered me all of my life before I faced the lies so I could embrace this truth. –Darlene Ouimet, Being Told to Leave the Past in the Past

This post is about discussing the issues of forgiveness within the context of abuse. There is no need to define the type of abuse because all forms of abuse cause the same issues and damage.

It also discusses forgiveness within the contexts of no confession; no repentance; no admission of fault; betrayal; defiance; lies; denials and injustice….

As a victim of crime and a survivor of the most appalling sexual, physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and religious abuse I find myself grappling with issues to do with deliberate cruelty, betrayal, lies, denial, play-acting, justice, injustice, defiance and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is hard at the best of times, but is certainly easier if the person admits their fault, confesses and repents, maybe even apologises.

Forgiveness becomes virtually impossible when the guilty are faced with the truth, faced with the legal consequences, but do not respond with humility but with defiance, denials, play-acting and lies.

By doing so they evaded justice. By doing so they evaded exposure of their crimes. By doing so they stuck 2-fingers in front of my face and in front of the face of God. By doing so they showed no comprehension of the way their actions, lies and denials when confronted with the truth tore my life apart.

I’m left wondering how on earth can I forgive when my abusers deny any wrongdoing, carry on their lives hard faced, glorying in their win, going about as if cruelty is normal and as if it is normal to have nothing to do with your daughter?

I’m left wondering how God who hates injustice can allow such injustice to happen on top of all the injustices of all the other abuses. I’m left feeling that my life is just injustice piled on injustice until there is nothing left but injustice and devastation….

Speaking the truth of what they did helps to put the blame and guilt where it lies and that is on the shoulders of the person who did the wrong not on the person who is struggling to forgive and honestly grappling with the hurt and lack of closure. …

It’s very hard when people are deliberately and defiantly non repentant and hard faced – turning up in church as if nothing is wrong and nothing has happened. Having to cope with your abusers turning up in church whilst deliberately sticking 2 fingers up at God is beyond the capacity of describe.

Having to cope with your abusers continuing to use the church as their cover story is beyond awful and beyond hypocrisy. Having them do all of that on that back of having lied and denied to prevent justice and to prevent exposure is disgusting and distasteful at the very least.

It is utterly appalling for me as a victim, for those who gave evidence against them to the police and for the church leadership who now know the truth about them. It’s totally ghastly and repulsive to be brutally honest.  It is as if they have no conscience at all.

Sometimes when people have lied and denied for long enough they actually believe their lies and denials to be absolute truth regardless of evidence to the contrary. Thus they worm their way out of it and can be incredibly and frighteningly convincing in their true lies….

Without confession, repentance, admission of guilt or other things which lead to closure surely it will always be there at the back of your mind.  Having to watch your abusers behaving as if nothing untoward happened and all is normal fuels the fire.

When people have been so deliberately cruel to you and are so defiant when faced with the truth where can you go? How can such defiance be coped with, processed and gotten out of your mind.

It is in reality and in all truth extremely difficult. It’s almost impossible to forgive cruel people who lie, pretend all is normal and do all they can legally to silence you and keep their evil deeds secret. –Princess Fi, BETRAYAL, DEFIANCE, LIES, DENIAL, INJUSTICE, FORGIVENESS ISSUES

 

Why is it that so many Christians don’t get that you can be a Christian and be in such a mess. Why is that?

Instead of coming alongside me, giving me space to tell my story and helping, it was oh just forgive, forget, move on, it happened so long ago, stop harping on about it, stop dragging it up from the past. WHY IS THAT?

How can I ever forget 20 years of abuse and torture? It may have happened a long time ago, but I live with it every minute I’m awake and then in my nightmares when I do sleep. For me it’s not in the past but very much in the present.

How can I forgive when my abusers deny anything ever happened? How can I forgive when my abusers say anything bad that ‘might’ have happened was because I such a bad person, they did nothing wrong?

Why are churches and so many Christians so closed minded about the realities of living with past sexual abuse? Why are churches and so many Christians so closed minded about the realities of the deep damage of childhood abuse and the complexities of the healing processes?

Why do so many churches have systems in place to prevent abuse happening, but provide little or no support to REALLY help victims heal? Why is it that so many Christians tell you that as you are a Christian, you are a new person so your past is gone, so all the stuff from your past abuse should be gone too?

Why is it that so many Christians tell you that you are doing something wrong if you aren’t healing from the damage of the abuse or if you don’t have joy etc?

Why do so many Christians tell you that if you read your bible enough and pray enough you should be fine? Thereby implying that you cannot be reading your bible or praying enough because you are a screwed up mess!

Why is it that so many Christians think you don’t need counselling or anything; you just need to get over it, forgive your abusers and forget it? WHY IS THAT? –Princess Fi, Spiritual + Religious Abuse

 

As for your partner’s assertion, yes – you may have sent angry emails or yelled or slammed doors or called names. So your abuser claims YOU were abusing him/her.

But it’s more likely you were REACTING to being abused by your partner. What can make it even more difficult for you to see and understand at this point is that some of their abuse may be subtle and covert rather than obvious and overt.

This causes further difficulty for you in identifying the abuse – and makes it easier for your abuser to convince you that it’s all your fault, or the problem is really with YOU – that you’re “crazy”, or “imagining things”.

They’ll abuse you, and when you react to that abuse, they accuse YOU of abusing THEM and they play the victim role. They don’t call it “crazymaking” for nothing!

This is the stage at which an abused partner often describes as being in the “fog” of abuse. Their abusive partner has guilted them in to accepting ALL blame for the issues in the relationship, and caused them to doubt their own perceptions of the mistreatment they’re receiving.  —Let’s Talk About Reactive Abuse

The narcissist’s sense of self, which has not progressed past that of a very young child, they cannot deal with the reality of a mirror being held up before them.

Unlike the alcoholic who may in due course “see the light”, a narcissist simply does not have the emotional skills to step outside of themselves and glimpse the truth in the mirror.

The essence of NPD is that the sufferer lives in a bubble that can only accommodate themselves. Self-reflection is definitely not in the narcissist’s bag of skills and expecting them to be capable of doing so can court disaster.

Be prepared for rage and aggression to be aimed at you. Be prepared to not be heard.. Be prepared to have everything that you claim about them, to be reassigned to you.

When and if you are strong enough to cope with this treatment, then you may decide to go ahead. If you are hoping for recognition and a change for the better, more pain is in store. –Beth McHugh, Should You Confront a Narcissist About Their Narcissism?

 

Have you ever marveled at how your abusive wife, girlfriend or ex is able to do and say the most hurtful, underhanded and contemptible things and then portray herself as the innocent victim?

Have you ever wondered how she is able to convincingly accuse others, usually her victims, of the abusive behaviors and attitudes of which she is actually guilty?

Wonder no more, the answer may be DARVO. –Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, Presto, Change-o, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender

Many individuals with BPD and related personality disorders are masterful at portraying themselves as victims, when, in fact, they are the aggressors. There is a psychological phenomenon described by Dr. Jennifer Freyd, PhD of the University of Oregon who specializes in trauma called DARVO.

DARVO stands for Deny Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender.  Many abusers engage in DARVO when confronted with exposure of their disgusting behavior and/or when they experience unwanted consequences for their abusive behavior.

…Many of my clients and participants on Shrink4Men comment on the overlap of narcissistic and borderline behaviors in their wives, girlfriends, exes, parents, and siblings, etc.

This is because narcissism is very frequently present in individuals with BPD. In fact, the greater the degree of narcissistic traits, the more treatment resistant they are (and sociopathic), in my opinion. –Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, The new face of borderline personality disorder

 

DARVO refers to a reaction that perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.

The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.

This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation. –Jennifer J. Freyd, What is DARVO?

But here, more than anywhere else, find my advocate:

Of course, not everyone who denies wrong doing is engaging in DARVO.  Many partners and exes of abusive women are accused of things they didn’t do or of things that never happened. Naturally, when this happens, you deny the accusation and perhaps feel a little (or a lot) bewildered.

How do you know if an individual’s denial is the truth or an instance of DARVO? Freyd (1997, pp. 23-24) proposes:

“It is important to distinguish types of denial, for an innocent person will probably deny a false accusation. Thus denial is not evidence of guilt.

However, I propose that a certain kind of indignant self-righteousness, and overly stated denial, may in fact relate to guilt.

“I hypothesize that if an accusation is true, and the accused person is abusive, the denial is more indignant, self-righteous and manipulative, as compared with denial in other cases.

“Similarly, I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior.

This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks, on the whistle-blower’s credibility and so on.

“The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. The attack will also likely focus on ad hominem instead of intellectual/evidential issues.

“Finally, I propose that the offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed.

“The more the offender is held accountable, the more wronged the offender claims to be.” –Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, Darvo

 

The thing that you personally have long ago forgotten, or can easily forget, is happening to me now, and will happen to me again to-morrow.  Remember this, and you will be able to understand a little of why I am writing to you, and in this manner writing.  —Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

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.

It’s the most baffling part of Richard and Tracy threatening a lawsuit, because I never used and never intend to use their real names in these blogs–and anything I would tell my priest about this, would be the truth, and not in any way actionable.

Joyful Alive Woman also wrote about her abusive, narcissist, former female friend.

My Abusers’ Threats are Empty and Extortion

The post here includes an e-mail Richard and Tracy sent me in May 2012, which proves my belief that they are sociopaths.  In it you will see every sociopathic trait–including empty threats and false accusations–and maybe recognize e-mails you have received from your own sociopath.  You will see how they began their stalking campaign. 

This post was originally posted in May 2012.  I wrote it while a baby blogger, and added to it over a period of months, so it badly needed editing.  However, I struggled for a long time to look through this blog post again because of the presence of that e-mail and its tendency to trigger all sorts of emotional reactions: fear, pain, hurt, anguish, rage, etc.

But now I am finally able to do some proper editing, and re-post it.  I want to sticky it so new readers can see it, as I have been doing for months with my old posts. 

It is, however, extremely long, which would take me all night to edit and an hour for you to read, so I will re-post it in chunks.  I have divided the original post into several sections, which I will follow in the re-post.  If you want to see the entire original post, click here.  Now for Part 6.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

I have proof, and did what I said I would, but nothing happened (late summer/fall 2012)

I have done everything I said I was going to do:

  • I’ve told my priest what happened and gotten his counsel (and will continue to do so if they keep showing up, but they’ve only appeared a few times).
  • I’ve kept the blog up.
  • I’ve posted here and told my family and friends what Richard and Tracy have been doing to harass and cyberstalk me.

Yet Richard and Tracy have not done what they threatened to do if I did so.  They don’t have a leg to stand on legally:

  • This is the truth, there are absolutely no lies, no intentional falsehoods,
  • it has done absolutely nothing to harm their reputation in the community,
  • it has not hurt their jobs if they have any, does not even show up if somebody Googles their names, because the names are changed.

Without intentional falsehoods and real names, there can be no libel.  They are all fang but no bite.

I have:

  1. In my possession an e-mail and record of a phone conversation which prove I’m telling the truth.  (I held onto them just in case Richard would need an ally in court.)
  2. My husband and Todd as witnesses/character witnesses.
  3. The printouts of Tracy on a game forum doing the same things to Todd that she did to me.
  4. Several of her abusive e-mails to me.
  5. The abusive posts she made to Todd on that game forum.
  6. Printouts of IRC conversations in which Richard claimed to have hypnotized me and been a thug for the Mafia.
  7. Posts by Todd confirming the Mafia story.
  8. E-mails from Todd describing the things he himself witnessed.
  9. A public blog post by Richard from 2007, which expressed uncertainty about his marriage.

–All confirming my story as true and not the ravings of someone who is “not all there,” as Tracy called me.

I have copies of e-mails I sent to friends and family describing the situation from 2007-2010, and would swear in a court of law that I have posted the truth.

Results of a Social Services investigation (from my report and the choking incident) may also support my claims, depending on how thorough and truthful everyone was.

I have a file, started in mid-2010, in which I described everything I had witnessed while I could still remember it well, just in case I would be needed as a character witness for Richard.

I am witness of and privy to some things which I did not post online because of their sensitive nature, but which I would use as evidence for the court.

I would also gladly take my blogs, website, e-mails, and own private written accounts, print them, sign them in front of a taker of oaths, and use them as an affidavit, sworn to on penalty of perjury, as described by Wikipedia:

 An affidavit is a type of verified statement or showing, or in other words, it contains a verification, meaning it is under oath or penalty of perjury, and this serves as evidence to its veracity and is required for court proceedings.

  • To obtain a declaration on a legal document, such as an application for voter registration, that the information provided by the applicant is truthful to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. If, after signing such a declaration, the information is found to be deliberately untrue with the intent to deceive, the applicant may face perjury charges.

Some piece of Richard and Tracy must recognize in my story that they were indeed abusive, that what they did was indeed wrong.  If they truly did not recognize this at all, then why not just say, “Well, anybody can see how ridiculous she’s being, so we’ll just ignore it and let the whole world see it and laugh at her.”

But no, instead they’re trying to intimidate me into silence, taking offense at the story, threatening to sue me for telling my story, trying to gaslight me into thinking that it did not happen the way I said it happened.

They’ve traumatized me severely, so severely I had to take to blogging to deal with it, and are now re-traumatizing me, on purpose!

Their threat is extortion (written 10/28/12)

Just think: Not only did they demonstrate the same utter lack of regard for the feelings and points of view of Hubby and me that they had shown during the “Incident” and that Tracy showed for me the entire time I knew her

…Not only did they demonstrate a feeling of entitlement to call all the shots and smack us down when we got uppity and asserted our rights to decent treatment

…Not only did they say they “owe” me nothing

But a lawsuit would be an attempt to get money out of us.

Didn’t we give them quite enough money over the years?

Considering the extreme lengths we took over the years to help them out, far beyond what most people would do, and the fact that we’re not even remotely related to them,

I think we are at least owed kindness, consideration, a restraint from verbal abuse and bullying, and apologies for outbursts.

But to not even get that from them, and have them come out and say in this e-mail that they owed us nothing, demonstrates a sense of entitlement on their part–and gives me, Hubby, and our parents a distinct impression that Hubby and I were played for suckers.

Post by Prozac Blogger: Major Breakthrough: Exposing the Truth

I will NOT be silent.

To be continued.

 

For Fellow Bloggers of Abuse/Narcissistic Experiences: Dealing with Gaslighting Legal Threats

Please note: This is a diary on my recovery from abuse/stalking, and NOT legal advice.

My blog stalkers twisted my words into threats I never made, and then used those imaginary threats as justification to threaten me with legal action.  (See Now I’m Being Stalked, where you can read about this, my dissection of the e-mail, and the full text of their e-mail.)

I looked through all my posts but could find nothing to back up their claims that I threatened to expose them to the local community and/or church.

(Just a note in one blog, not addressed to them, that I hoped they would move away so I wouldn’t have to see them around anymore, and a note in another blog, not addressed to them, that if their church merged with mine, I would have to go to the priest for help, for my own physical, emotional and spiritual safety.)

It was a documented example of gaslighting:

Twisting your words and managing to turn things around to use them against you is a ploy of the verbal abuser. —A Checklist of Verbal Abuse | eHow.com

But I reviewed all my posts and could find nothing to justify their threats, I have tons of documentation, and I am an eye-witness of, or got directly from my blog stalkers, practically everything I wrote….

It also went against something I wrote in one blog, that I had no intention of spreading around the church the story of what they had done.

My blogs were merely about personal release of metaphorical demons, and I had no intentions of revealing their real names on here or somehow publishing them to the whole local community.

(And how on earth I was supposed to do so, I have no idea.  Take out an ad in the paper, perhaps?  As if such an ad would even be run!  Pass out fliers?  Go door-to-door?  If they mean talking to my local friends–they can’t stop a person from confiding in friends.)

Their e-mail was so ludicrous, paranoid, absurd and revealing as to be laughable.  It gave me concrete evidence of their abuse, self-centeredness and vindictiveness, so I’m holding onto it.

It even gave me concrete evidence that they just used us for our generosity, and were never true friends.

And I’m not the only one who’s been through this.  [Update: There was a link here to a blog post by Upsi called “Buzz Off.”  But she has removed her blog, so I removed the link.]

There is an extensive blogging community who write about their experiences with abuse, narcissism, borderline and other Cluster B personality disorders.

I have looked over countless such blogs, and it is the normal way of things to describe your experiences, in however much detail you like.

Some people use their real names, but most use pseudonyms and fake names or “titles” for the people in their blogs, such as “NM” for “narcissistic mother.”

Oftentimes the blogs are found by the people described.  Sometimes these people get upset, but don’t do much except be nuisances by leaving nasty comments or sending complaining e-mails denying the truth of the blogs.

But I have come across various cases of bloggers being threatened with legal action.  One narcissism blogger wrote this very helpful post for fellow bloggers, Airing the Family Laundry: Libel, Slander and Defamation of Character.  I’m reblogging this for all such bloggers who might happen upon my blog.  Some quotes:

“…context matters: courts have held that given the nature of online forums, online comments cannot be taken as seriously as those made in real life or in the media. Because of these requirements, bringing a claim for internet libel is a challenge.” —the Legality ….

I read several articles in preparation for this post and most of them suggested it was ill-mannered and probably not-very-wise to write about family and friends.

However, in context of the recovery community, personal narrative and disclosure are de rigueur. Readers expect a certain type of blog when reading about narcissism.

We don’t expect love stories—unless the blog is seriously pathological and merits being flagged as inappropriately ludicrous like Chicken Soup for the Soul-less or something.

We expect bloggers to write from the gut, interspersing emotion-laden anecdotes, not clinical appendages suitable for publication in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

We expect to see a cooperative blog where people share their troubles with one another; i.e.: airing out the family linen together.

On blogs like mine, self-disclosure is i-m-p-e-r-a-t-i-v-e. Bloggers connect the dots between past and present which will, if we are doing our recovery work, focus on family dynamics.

Bloggers write about sensitive topics such as: family patterns and dysfunctional behaviors; internalized beliefs and assumptions; distinctions between normal and pathological behavior; traumatic events; intimate details in relationships; our thoughts, behaviors and reactions to other people’s thoughts, behaviors and reactions; and never forget: the armchair diagnosis based on accessible information about pathology.

We do not expect bloggers to be professional psychologists so whatever diagnosis bloggers have determined best fits, is not libelous. It’s opinion.

Don’t let the fear that you ‘might’ be sued stand in the way of speaking your truth.

I would imagine that more than one blogger writing about narcissism has been warned—finger in the blogger’s nose—that should she write even ONE WORD disparaging the narcissist’s most excellent reputation and untarnished character, that she would be sued into the netherworld of Hell.

And yet, here we are—still blogging, still learning, still fighting for healthier relationships by opening the doors on dysfunction…whether people like being written about or not.

The chances that you will be sued are slim-to-none if you follow Good Faith practices protecting your anonymity.

If you’re the one being unjustly written about, be careful reading websites sponsored by ambulance-chasing attorneys who’ll feed your greed and your desire for revenge.

You’re better off toughening your own thin-skin and keeping the narcissist away from your blog, than you are engaging in litigation that could cost thousands of dollars and a decade of your life.

And what for? So you could tell the narcissist she was a scuz? So you could stick it to the person who said you were scuzzy?

I am preaching to myself as much as anyone because it isn’t easy defending people’s right to free speech when you’re seriously butthurt from something they said or wrote about you.

….Cyberspace is most definitely a new world from the print-world I grew up in when the printed word (newspapers and magazines) was the only source of information.

Retractions for false information couldn’t be edited at a moment’s notice and people had no voice for opposition if they didn’t own a printing press.

Libel suits were integral to a fair and just society because reputations could be ruined and financial losses irreparable by the time a retraction could be published.

This is not our reality today. Our first action ought be contacting the author. Working things out. Resolving our differences. Not hiring an attorney.

…I hope my blog inspires an army of ACoNs [Adult Children of Narcissists] to start writing since nearly every person who does, discovers a power within they didn’t realize they had.

Writing puts things into perspective and for some of us: restores our SANITY.

I was thinking about the ACoN community and why blogging is so important. If you ever attended 12-step meetings, you’ve likely heard the cliche: “Your head is a bad neighborhood to visit alone.”

Talking with other people interrupts unhealthy rumination and even obsessiveness. That’s been my experience and believe you me, I know a lot about obsessiveness. ha!

… Where do you go to talk about dysfunction and narcissism? If you join your local quilting group and start talking about patriarchal abuse, they’ll stick you with their needles and sew your mouth shut. I mean seriously, who are you going to talk with?

A lot of people have the resources and the time to spend years in therapy. Some of us don’t have extra cash for that and our insurance policies won’t pay for it anyway.

To just sit in our ‘shit’ and let it fester rather than working through our issues with people who don’t shame, blame and “sue” us for defamation, perpetuates dysfunction.

We start out with unhealthy behaviors and if left uncorrected, those behaviors turn into traits and pretty soon, you’re the lonely old cat lady shooting passersby and muttering to yourself.

The last two paragraphs were in response to a comment that there are no support groups in real life for victims of narcissists and Cluster Bs, so this is why we turn to blogging.

My comments are turned off because my narcissists found my blog.  But just writing my story, and occasionally commenting on other narcissist/abuse blogs, and reading their similar experiences, has been very helpful.

These are people who understand because they’ve been there, and don’t judge you.  They don’t give you pat answers like, “just let it go,” because they know that the only way to move on is to face the problem head-on and work through the pain and anger.

The biggest words to keep in mind are, of course, “falsely” and “knowingly.”  You have to be deliberately writing things you know to be false, for it to be libel.

I steer clear of such behavior, having always had an innate sense of honesty.  Whatever I write, I have reason to believe to be true.

Using real names is also a big no-no in most cases.

So avoid both and may your blogging lead you to emotional health.  Your blog gives you a voice, something which you may have been denied–as I was–in dealing with your narcs/Cluster Bs/abusers.

I don’t even care anymore when I see my blog stalkers in the stats.  I know it’s them because of telltale signs, such as IP addresses and other things I won’t go into publicly.  I no longer worry about them.  When I see them in my stats, I go, “Oh, there you are.  I missed you!  Where were you?”

Here’s an example of not letting the bullies intimidate you–even at the risk of your own life: Pakistani Girls Walk in Shoes of Young Activist (the one who was shot by the Taliban).

[Update 11/10/12:] Another blogger who’s been threatened with a lawsuit, this time blogging about a narcissistic ex-husband, but it went nowhere:

The bottom line– he saw my blog and wants it removed.  He wants the custody orders changed and is throwing out words like “defamation” and “slander”.

He threw out accusations of Parental Alienation Syndrome which is the furthest thing from the truth.  He is a bully and he is trying to intimidate me. –Tina Swithin, Intimidation Tactics

After receiving the paperwork yesterday with his request for an emergency hearing, I spoke to many knowledgeable people.  Professional bloggers and people with a background in law.

I was assured that I was in compliance since I haven’t publicly named him. —Hearing Request: Denied

 

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