Warning: The following summarizes and vents a period of narcissistic abuse and mind control.
There were times, shortly after the blowup, when I told Jeff I thought I was supposed to go to them and try to patch things up. But he’d say, “NO! SHE needs to apologize, not you!” He got furious with me for even thinking I had anything to apologize for.
To this day Tracy has expressed no remorse, guilt or repentance over what she did and said, which tells me very clearly that she’s not worth trying to be friends with.
In fact, when I tried a month later to patch things up, she said snottily, “You’re the ones who ended it and unfriended us on Facebook, not us,” and how Jeff had “stormed in” to their place (as opposed to her “rational” behavior, I suppose?).
Then, without any sort of apology for her rage episode, she started going on and on about all the supposedly horrible things I had done–things which were actually harmless, or things which I had actually been manipulated into with Richard’s lies. But she twisted them into something else entirely.
I kept trying to apologize and bite my tongue, but she did not relent, did not let up. I showed Jeff the e-mails; he got angry and said, “Oh baloney!” at what she wrote.
He said while she reacted one way to things I had done, he reacted completely differently, that I didn’t deserve how she treated me over it.
She obviously didn’t care about the truth, but only what she wanted to believe. So there was no point in trying to set her straight.
She refused to believe that I could act with pure intentions; she refused to see how she contributed to the problems.
She did the exact same thing two years previous with Todd (see below), who also found it maddening. So there was no reason to think she might be persuaded of the truth.
Also, she went over–yet again–things which were harmless, but which bothered her, so they hadn’t been done for more than two years. Yet she talked as if they constantly happened!
All I actually did was have a different philosophy and opinion to hers of what is okay behavior. All her bullying is not going to change that.
Then she wrote that there were even more things I supposedly did wrong. She wanted to tell me these things in person–or else I’d never be allowed to so much as contact Richard. I was forever barred from him–no Facebook, e-mail, or speaking to him–unless I allowed her to yell at me.
My mother called this very manipulative. Jeff was adamant that I should not let her do this.
(It is the same manipulative tactic used by cults, such as stories coming from Mars Hill Church in January/February 2012: Former members were shunned by all the other members. The only way to stop the shunning was to submit to either heavy-handed discipline, or meetings with leadership. In these meetings, they’d face interrogations about why they’re leaving the church. Who’d want to do that?)
I had no idea what else she could possibly be upset about.
But I was sick and tired of being blamed for everything, of being criticized by both of them for every little thing I did, of being expected to change everything about my natural personality to please her.
(Like being very quiet and shy, probably selectively mute. I was supposed to change this, rather than her accepting me the way I am–which would have allowed me to stop tensing up around her, in turn allowing me to open up to her.)
While she was allowed to have her way in everything, and I was expected to sit back and let her be as nasty as she wanted.
And whenever she did something hurtful or Richard was inconsiderate, I was expected to just “deal with it.”
Also, I saw what a “conference,” as she called it, with her was like:
Two years earlier, she pulled Todd into such a “conference” on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) because of what he did on an Internet game. She accused him of a power grab, working against her and being childish–when, in reality, he had been putting himself out trying to help her.
For hours upon hours, she yelled at him and made accusations. Meanwhile, he tried to tell her the truth. But she refused to listen to anything he said, ripping it apart instead.
When–out of frustration–he finally broke down and began to say bad things himself, she used this against him, and turned Richard against him as well.
Jeff saw nothing good coming out of a “conference” with her. He did not want to allow it, not when she first demanded it of me, nor a month later when she insisted on it again.
I did not know what supposed “behaviors” of mine were still left unsaid, what I did that was so horrible she couldn’t just let it go.
Her complaints were two years old and worn out already with retelling over the years. They had long since been dealt with. She said nothing new, and I knew of no other thing that could possibly be left to say.
Yet she insisted there was more.
She was not excluded. In fact, she was nearly always included in our get-togethers, especially since she did not allow Richard and me to even go out for coffee. So why did she keep saying I hadn’t “befriended” her enough to be allowed to go out for coffee etc.?
We invited her over for holiday dinners with the rest of the family. We went to their house to play Dungeons and Dragons with her and Richard. I invited her to do a movie night with me, but she never took me up on it.
I gave her things she desperately needed but couldn’t afford. I lent her my mixer, gave her fresh garden tomatoes, things like that. I occasionally paid her little compliments, or suggested local web forums. I gave her a lily cut from my garden.
Jeff said I behaved just fine when we were all together. He had no clue, either, what I had supposedly “done” that upset her so much.