Whenever Tracy’s abusive lies start creeping into my mind again, what I need to do is repeat to myself, “Those are lies. She does not define me. She is toxic.”
These are some of the things she said to me which were so toxic, the ones I still remember, and the ones I care to post on the Web:
“What are you, stupid?”
“A 5-year-old child could understand.”
“You’re too stupid to understand!”
From my chapter on this episode:
“Instead, I found a horrid message from Tracy, telling me to f— off [which no one has EVER said to me before or since),
which would be followed by other messages,
full of foul language, the most baffling accusations, the most horrid things anyone had ever said to me,
abusive, filthy, controlling, manipulative, demeaning, humiliating,
and completely undeserved.
“It was a bunch of deranged ranting, making her sound like some insane madwoman. It came completely out of the blue, blindsided me, baffled me, mystified me. I was horrified. THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE. THIS IS A NARCISSISTIC RAGE. ABUSERS AND THE CLUSTER-B PERSONALITY DISORDERED DO THIS.
“This was the last straw: I no longer wanted anything to do with her. I began to remove my posts from Richard’s Facebook page, and later that day, blocked her on Facebook.
“I was amazed that anyone could be so cruel and vicious to a friend, to someone who never harmed anybody but had done so much to help her. I sat in shock for some time before I could even start crying.
“The friendship I had worked so hard to build, maintain and restore–was just gone in the blink of an eye. Had slipped out of my fingers.
“For something I hadn’t even done or said,
but something that Tracy had intimated,
had put into that e-mail herself,
subtext she read into it that did not exist,
lines she had read between and found something that was not actually there,
because she had been bound and determined ever since we first met to be jealous and treat me as guilty until proven innocent.
(Witness this incident a few weeks earlier, in which she went off on me for wishing them a fun trip!)
“She told me, “Don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache.”
“Just like any bully on the playground, or any other kind of abuser:
“Don’t you dare go and tell anybody how I’ve treated you. Don’t tell your mother I touched you like this. Or don’t tell the police I’m slapping you around. Or don’t go crying to your friends/husband/ boss/teacher about how I’m beating you down verbally or physically, because I don’t need the headache….
“Abusers of any stripe deserve to be brought into the light and their deeds exposed.
“I wrote to Richard, saying I don’t understand, saying he told me that hugs were fine, that we’ve always been brother/sister, begging him to get into chat and talk to me, give me the dignity of that much if this friendship is over, explain this to me, why was I being treated like a whore when we had never done anything wrong and he had told me that hugs are okay?????!!!!!!
“But she, acting like an insane control freak, refused to even allow that much, just took over all his messages and wouldn’t let him respond himself, wielded control over him, treated him like a slave or a child.
“She said, “You’re too stupid to understand!” THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.
“She told me she was taking over his Facebook, said I couldn’t speak to him, and when I tried to defend myself and not listen to this screaming harpie and get him to give me the respect of talking to me about this,
she called me stupid for trying to talk to him. THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.
“Basically, I had been tried, judged a whore, and sentenced to jail without a chance to defend myself. It was ridiculous. It was overblown. It was nasty.
“Jeff noted the e-mail was perfectly fine when you knew the context, which Richard knew very well and should have explained to her, especially since I was referring to things he had done.
“It was truly ridiculous because if she’d waited to get the context before reacting, as Jeff did, she would’ve known there was nothing to get upset over, and our friendship would have continued.
“But she wouldn’t even allow Richard to call me and sort things out, and ranted and raved at me in an outrageous rage episode every time I tried to e-mail Richard or get him into Facebook chat to discuss this ridiculous crap and what the freaking HECK was going on. More of her power play.
“But no matter what Jeff or I tried to say in my defense, whether apologies or explanations, she wouldn’t listen to any of it, so trying to explain the e-mail was useless. (You know, like it was when she raged at Todd for something he hadn’t even done, but refused to believe his intentions had been to help her.)
“From her crowing on Facebook, she obviously didn’t want to believe that I was innocent of her charges, because she was getting far too much perverse pleasure from beating up on me.”
Even the most benevolent act can be turned into its opposite by the assignation of bad motives. The narcissist reserves to themselves the right to determine your own mind for you.
They will tell you what was really motivating you in order to take away from you the truth, reality or rightness of whatever you have done. It can be an amazingly effective sleight-of-hand. –Anna Valerious, Thought Crimes
When they are angry for something that they have imagined or misunderstood, you can try to prove the facts to them, you can drag in a hundred witnesses, present undisputable evidence — they will still not change their mind. –Joyful Alive Woman, Behaviors and attitudes of the narcissist
Just a day or so before this person she was addressing had emotionally abused her for an hour over the most unpredictable and irrational thing until HE felt better. Nothing she said or did could assuage him. He simply had to abuse her until he started feeling better. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?
They inflict pain on others and actually enjoy doing it. —Behaviors and attitudes of the narcissist
“Both Richard and Tracy–first Richard when Jeff spoke to him, then Tracy in the e-mail to Jeff–claimed that 99% of everyone else in the world would have reacted even more fiercely than Tracy had done during the “incident” which ended the friendship, to the e-mail I had written.
“What kind of horrid, abusive people do they normally hang out with, anyway, to think this?
“Also, note that here, as before when Richard told me that 90% of the world would disagree with me that the man is not responsible for all problems in a marriage, Richard and Tracy were now claiming that most of the world would agree with them–as if somehow this made their view right and mine wrong.
“But what about the way men in much of the world think women should be treated, with women subservient, so any problems in the marriage can be solved by the man asserting his dominance and swacking her over the head?
“What about the tyranny of the majority?
“And how do they know most of the world disagrees with me? Have they done a poll?
“This is typical of abusers, claiming that their abuse is kind compared to what other people would have done to you for your “crimes.”
“The appeals to these hypothetical “others,” the Grand Society who would treat you far worse for what you have supposedly done, to make you think you should be grateful for the “mild” way he’s abused you.
“The minimizing, rationalizing, and justifying of the abuse to make the victim seem like the abuser, or too sensitive, or too immature to accept responsibility for her behavior. (Ironic, isn’t it?)
“He’s “only” yelled and screamed at you. Or “only” hit you. Or “only” cussed at and belittled you for your horrible behavior.
“The slaveowner in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl did exactly this to Linda, telling her other masters would have killed her on the spot for saying she despised him.
(That’s what Tracy wrote to me: “Don’t go crying to Jeff about this because we don’t need the headache.”)
“Don’t tell your teacher or the police that I nearly choked you to death. You deserve what you got….
“THESE ARE LIES!
“Abusers of any stripe deserve to be brought into the light and their deeds exposed.
“Both of them were, basically, blaming me for Tracy’s actions. But the responsibility for Tracy’s behavior is on Tracy, not me.
“She could have chosen to step back, calm down, and then find out what was REALLY going on, before (over)reacting. This would have led to her getting the truth, (hopefully) accepting it, and then the preservation of the friendship.”
This is wrong! People have the right to express themselves. They should not be living in fear about what they discuss or share with others or what they post on the internet.
Living in this kind of fear of what they can or cannot say publicly or privately is an extension of the spiritual abuse – – – and it is happening to former congregants who left the church months ago and even years ago. —Julie Anne Smith on the lawsuit against her and anyone from her former church who commented on her blog about being abused there, Two Important Issues For Me
There it is, the whole evil abusive rage episode, which, from what I’ve researched, is typical of Cluster B personality disorders (narcissism, borderline, histrionic). Or even abusers in general.
And then the shunning which Tracy immediately instituted to force me into submitting to her abuse, accepting it as my due–or else–a common tactic of cults, I might add.
The trouble with such rage attacks, is that they get into the mind of the abuse victim.
If they’ve succeeded over time, an abuser can get you to believe that you deserved all this, the lie which Tracy tried to get me to believe in her comment that I needed to “grow up” and “stop feeling hurt over the consequences” of my “behavior”–which was not true at all, because none of my behavior/actions deserved this.
All of my actions were based in innocence and good intentions–and on the knowledge of abuse which I had witnessed and which she did to me over and over again. And this lie, that you deserve abuse, is the most demonic lie of all.
Recognize the reality that the narcissist will never give you “permission” to defend yourself against them. Quit being confused as to your rights to self-defense when confronted by the threatenings and breathings against you by the narcissist for doing so.
Is it reasonable to expect the despotic ruler to grant you the right to mount a defense against his capricious demands? Hardly.
It is time to recognize your fundamental right to live which is connected to your fundamental right to defend your life against threats. This is as true in the emotional, mental and spiritual realm as in the physical. –Anna Valerious, Your Most Fundamental Right
And of course the narc later makes excuses, saying he was just retaliating against some perceived offense. Narcs are pathological liars, duh, and everyone knows it. So, what kind of fool believes them when they say this without evidence to back it up?
What’s more, they lie to themselves as much as they lie to others, so they probably repress knowledge of what they’re doing, twisting things to rationalize their unprovoked attacks on others.
Only in moments of unwanted self-awareness do they know better. But they instantly repress such knowledge the moment it surfaces. –Kathy Krajco, What Provokes a Narc Attack
Oh, yes, I recognized this as bullying. In e-mails written way back in 2007, I called her treatment of me “bullying” and “abuse.” I wrote that very day of 7/1/10, “I’m SICK of being bullied, sick of it, sick of it!”
See, those messages that were sent to you were LIES and in your 2nd paragraph you get caught in the trap of believing THEIR LIES. That shows how powerful and destructive they not only were in your life, but still are in your life.
I wish you could just grab all of those ridiculous lies and dump them in a heap. Essentially, that’s what you need to do – replace the lies that you replay in your mind with the truth.
I think we all believe lies about ourselves to some extent or another and it especially happens in abusive environments. Here’s something that has helped me with that: when I acknowledge a lie has slipped in my brain and is sucking me in, I try to bring a truth from God’s word to hush it up.
I think I would keep a running list of those lies and then find as many verses that you can find to counter them and keep reading them over and over again. Ask God to help solidify the truth in your mind.
Ever since 7/1/10, any time I hear the term “I don’t understand,” my mind starts replaying, “You’re too stupid to understand!”
It’s been especially tough when studying Greek, when I come across the phrase, “I don’t understand.” Then katalavaino. Δεν καταλαβαíνω. “YOU’RE TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND!”
These “echoes” are what happen to abuse victims, a kind of flashback. They are poison, meant to kill your spirit through your own flashbacks. I’ve also heard Tracy call her daughter stupid.
This is why, when Tracy claims they “did nothing wrong,” that, too, is a lie straight from the pit of Hell. Satan himself put it in her mouth (or fingers, since it was typed).
All of Tracy’s lies are straight from Satan; he is the one trying to destroy me, using her as his instrument.
Whether you believe in Satan or that Satan is the personification of our own human evil, it still works in your own abusive environment. Because that is what abuse is: evil.
And if Richard truly agrees with her statement, then he, too, is the instrument of Satan, sent to destroy God’s child.
Attacks from Satan are common to all Christians. I was warned that when I came to Orthodoxy, because of its connection to the very first Church, Apostolic Succession and the power in the Eucharist, I could be subjected to attacks from Satan far worse than I’d ever had.
One person wrote on an Orthodox forum about all the exceptionally rough things that happened to him when he converted. I forget them now, but I believe they included a car accident right when he was to be chrismated (anointed with oil and accepted into the church).
It’s true. I’ve been through many different trials in my life, have been abused and bullied by many different people, including my own brother, who even choked me and–I’m told–tried to kill me when I was a baby.
But never, ever had my faith been anything but a comfort to me in all of this. Never had I lost faith in God’s existence.
Now I don’t even know if He’s real or just invented by man, because when I asked for a friend, He sent me Richard. When I searched for the true doctrines of the Early Church, he sent me Richard.
When I found the church I was looking for, had searched for for so long, it became tainted to me, because everything about it reminded me of the one who had betrayed me. And now in that same church, I’m constantly at risk of seeing my abusers again.
It’s actually kind of funny that Tracy claims they “forgot” all about what happened.
As my husband says, “That’s because we didn’t do anything to them!”
Oh, sure, that’s because what I did wasn’t all that bad, while they were both the abusers, Tracy verbally abusing me and Richard verbally abusing and intimidating my husband for sticking up for me.
They aren’t the ones who have crap to forgive and forget. No, we’re the ones who have crap to deal with, and we have not forgotten.
To an abuser, raging is basically the equivalent of a satisfying bowel movement: Once it’s over, you feel much better, and forget the pain you went through getting it out.
And the abuser expects you to just “grow up” and “get over” being crapped all over, thinks there’s something wrong with you if you don’t. But don’t believe this lie of the abuser, either: The responsibility belongs to the abuser that you got hurt, not to you! You are not responsible for someone abusing you!
So they attack just because this is a golden opportunity to dump a load of projection and projective identification on someone. It’s a golden opportunity to feel powerful by having a powerful effect on someone.
They feel great afterwards. They not only relieve their moral constipation by dumping their load on you, they get high off the power rush in trampling you or tearing you to pieces.
And what’s to restrain those urges? Any morals? Any conscience?
So, if this has ever happened to you, you probably just had a close encounter with a malignant narcissist. Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life. –Kathy Krajco, The Rewards of Befriending a Narcissist
I must do as Julie Anne suggests, and replace Tracy’s lies with Truth. She cannot win. Satan cannot win.
Is it necessary for me to state that I saw clearly that it would be a dishonour to myself to continue even an acquaintance with such a one as you had showed yourself to be? –Oscar Wilde, “De Profundis“
It’s highly unlikely that you can make a bully understand that the way he or she treats you is abusive. These people won’t take ownership for their bad behaviors.
They always have a justification and rationalization. It’s your fault. You ‘made’ them treat you badly.
In order for the emotionally abusive person to see their behavior for what it is, they have to be able to tolerate cognitive dissonance. –Dr. Tara Palmatier, Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies
If you live with an abusive narcissist, you cannot forgive him or her. Why? Because they deny what they do to you, let alone that it is wrong. They show no remorse. They don’t promise to stop.
In fact they make a virtue of doing it and show that they fully intend to keep right on. That is an offense in progress. You cannot forgive it. –Kathy Krajco, Forgiving the Abuser
The lies abusers tell you, are corrosive, are acid, are poison. You wouldn’t just let a venomous bite course through your veins, would you? You’d try to get it out so you don’t die, maybe suck it and spit it out. Don’t let abusive lies destroy you. Replace them with the truth!
I try hard to do just that. It’s hard because people like Tracy know just how to get to you. But we mustn’t be sheep who just sit back and let the wolves eat us: We have to fight back.
In the post linked above, Julie Anne speaks of shunning by her former congregation of anyone who leaves, as ordered by the pastor.
She tells how people get so sucked into their spiritually abusive environment that they believe this shunning is right–even if they shun family or close friends who are like family. That is Stockholm Syndrome.
Just as we have experienced shunning, they are too. I’m sure it aches their hearts when they see us in town and must turn away from us, avoid all eye contact with former friends with whom they were so intimately connected. –Julie Anne, Two Important Issues for Me
Try to imagine having a relationship with a close family member and then it is stopped immediately. No explanation. No closure.
Holidays that were traditionally spent together are now without that loved one or family. No more birthday celebrations together. No more camping trips, impromptu coffees, etc.
Death would be easier because there is something final, you can move on. This is heart-wrenching because you know they are alive.
It’s always at the back of your mind reminding you of what once was, what should be, and what you cannot have. You wonder if they think of you, what they are told about you, you remember those precious times together, but you can’t have it.
If this happened to me, I think I would go crazy. I’d probably drive by the house, hoping to see family. I’d drop off gifts. I’d frequent places I knew they would go to just to “happen” to run into them.
I don’t know what else I’d do, but family is so important and I’d probably do anything to break through that wall.
Good grief, I cannot even type this without getting teared up again. You guys have got to get a sense of what this does to families, relationships and how destructive it is.
And it is a complete FARCE – totally made-up rule only benefitting ONE person. –Julie Anne, Outside Family Members: Why Are They Shunned?
Ah, yes, Julie Anne, you get it! I don’t do the “stalking” like actions she describes here (LOL); no, I keep a firm distance between us, not wanting the pain and anguish of seeing Richard and Tracy.
But the rest of it is exactly how I feel about the friendship with Richard and his children being ripped from me all of a sudden, because I had adopted him as a brother and his children as nieces, because we were intimately involved in each other’s lives, attending baptisms and marriage dedications and birthdays, giving rides.
But he has been suddenly forbidden from speaking to me and blocked to me, my husband and my son on Facebook for more than two years, as punishment until I agree to submit to Tracy’s abuses (rather like that BGBC church discipline of shunning).
And all for no reason at all except for a sudden rage attack over nothing, just a baffling, out-of-nowhere rage.
Tracy’s control tactic of isolating me from Richard is the same as what the BGBC does. You could say this blog is my attempt to “break through that wall.” As long as they’re going to keep reading, I’m going to use it.
This next creepy control tactic pattern to discuss is a biggie. This is one that separates families and friends, possibly forever.
If you haven’t personally experienced this, please think about it carefully. Imagine going to church with your best friend of 20 years.
With a 20-year history, you may have gone to each other’s weddings, may have started families at the same time, gone on family outings together, shared meals and had many hours of fun, fellowship, trials, and joys.
And then imagine, out of the blue, you are told you are no longer to have any contact or relationship with this person, in an instant, just like that. Zilch. NO RELATIONSHIP. You may not call, you may not connect via Facebook (in fact, you have to “unfriend on FB), no e-mails, etc.
All relational ties are severed immediately. You do not even get a chance to say good-bye, it is OVER. BAM! DONE! FINISHED!
This is happening all over the world in creepy abusive churches and it is done in my former church. It is disgusting. It is an abuse of power over church members, controlling their personal relationships and destroying them in an INSTANT.
The sheep of this pastor’s church who remain are in the system pretty good by now and are convinced that this is a man of God whom God has placed over their care.
They are convinced that he has their best interest at heart, even though this “trial” is burdensome, they may be told God uses this to purify His remnant; they are being refined in this trial. They follow without question, like good obedient sheep.
The pastor convinces them that this is for the best for you, for the other person, and for God’s church. Other scriptures are to be used to show how good it is to keep the church pure, and clear from divisive people, people with Korah-like behavior who wage war with God and His church. –Julie Anne, False Teachers Who Mark and Avoid Church Members
Now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya!
–Rage Against the Machine, “Killing in the Name“
Some things I’ve found while reading Julie Anne’s blog about her former church, and the progress of the lawsuit brought against her for it by her former pastor:
And sometimes it is because they worry about this issue of possibly being sued by their former church or pastor.
I have even had current members email from time to time, who bring up the thought that I could be sued by my former church organization for things I write on the website. They don’t scare me and I am not afraid of such threats.
I don’t believe there is a fine line between sharing what happened and defamation. Defamation and slander/libel are not things one does unknowingly or accidentally.
I don’t believe former members of unhealthy churches need to feel like they have to walk on egg shells when they share. As long as they are telling the truth, they should be free of this fear.
Some may have felt she was crazy for doing so, but Julie Anne Smith continued to use the words “wolf,” “creepy,” “spiritual abuse,” etc. in her blog after the lawsuit was filed against her.
Why? Because those things are her opinions about her former church and pastor and by law she is free to express them.
Look at it this way. Unhealthy pastors and current members are free to call people like myself backsliders, reprobates, rebellious, witches, evil (yep- I had a current member call me evil once and we later became friends), lost, and much more.
Think about it. They are free to do this and yet we should be fearful of speaking up?
Do we run around filing lawsuits against them for these things? Would we win if we did? If these people are free and protected by law to openly say such things about us, why should we feel hindered in saying that we believe the church to be unhealthy, etc?
In the legal documents submitted by Julie Anne Smith’s attorney, she sites case after case where people’s statements were not considered defamation in a court of law. I think it would be good for people to take the time and read these legal documents. The first five are posted online here: http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/beaverton-grace-bible-church-v-smith#description at the bottom of the page. Download them and digest what has been shared and then better understand why the judge rightfully dismissed the lawsuit.
Bottom line is I did not lie. But also what you need to understand is the meaning of defamation. The burden lies on the plaintiff to prove that I intentionally lied (I did not), and my words showed intent to harm (malice). That also cannot be proven.
They could not prove that I intentionally lied (first level), so they didn’t even need to look at the second level (malice). Bottom line, this case was thrown out very early on. My words were clearly not defamatory. —Julie Anne in the comments of Judge’s Decision
Good riddance to Tracy and to all the lies. They cannot torment me any longer, because I know them to be false.
The Victim should understand the hurtful and abusive things their partner may say, are not true. Most likely they are only attempts to avoid responsibility or are said to make it difficult for victim to leave…These are some of common things abusers say:
- You’re so stupid…
- If you tell anyone else about the abuse… you’ll be sorry / no-one will believe you / I’ll report you to social services as an unfit mother. “You don’t know who you’re up against.(He means: I’ll have the last word.) —These are some of the common things most abusers say