abuse by proxy

Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk (Part 1)–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–The Long, Dark Painful Tunnel, Part 9

I had been trying the past couple of days to get to Career Services, but they were closed each time I could make it.  The problem was finding a time when they were open that fit with my schedule.

I was thinking of finding a job in S– so I could stay around there, which I used to think I would do anyway, unless Phil and I went to live with my parents after the wedding.

Anyway, since this was right after the split and it still seemed possible that he would cool off and call off the divorce, it made sense to make sure I could stay in the area until then.

And it was also to stay near my friends.  I didn’t have many left in South Bend that I was still in touch with, but I had a bunch around S–.  I mention this for a reason that will soon become clear.

Wednesday evening I went to the library to take care of some class business, and Dirk was there, working.  He said he had a few things to discuss with me, if I wanted to talk to him.  I agreed.

He asked another student worker to cover for him while he took me into the adjoining room, the one with reference books and oversized books.  We sat on one of the couches by the oversized books, and talked.  This spot seemed too public, so I hoped our voices were low enough to not be overheard.

We talked about all sorts of things.  I could tell that Phil fed him all sorts of untrue things about me.  He gave me advice I did not need; told me to do things I was already doing, chewed me out for things I supposedly did or didn’t do.

He knew everything about relationships, me, and Phil.  He knew the real reason for the secret marriage (which he didn’t tell me).  He knew Phil was upset about particular things, and why, though I did not.  He knew how I could get Phil back.

He would tell Phil if I responded appropriately to this lecture.  Red flag warning!

He knew how a girl should act to get men (apparently, my dressing in attractive but modest clothes wasn’t enough to “dress to impress,” even though a Christian woman should not be “showing her wares,” so to speak).  He knew that I–Well, let’s just quote him:

“You’re the only girl I’ve ever thought I needed to tell this to,” he said, “but here goes: You’ll probably end up an old maid.”  (Yeah, tell that to my husband and child.)

He knew everything about the Bible and what it really said about sex; if he were wrong, he’d be struck down for the things he’d done.

He knew that I should convert to Catholicism if I wanted to marry Phil–even though I would have ended up one of those reluctant, “bad” Catholics who don’t really believe it.

He apparently didn’t know that there are ways for Catholics to marry non-Catholics so that even the Catholic church recognizes it, even without a Catholic ceremony or Mass.

Such weddings can be blessed by a priest, even if not officiated by one.  It sounds like Phil did not even bother looking into these alternatives, which is a shame, because they could have settled everything to the satisfaction of him and me.

Note how Dirk tried to shame me into abandoning my own beliefs and switching to Catholicism.  Red flag warning!

Unfortunately, Dirk was just like Shawn, and could talk you into believing anything he said.  Then later on, after talking to friends or contemplating, you’d realize, “He doesn’t know anything about me/the situation/reality!”

For one thing, it’s impossible to be an old maid when you’ve already been married.  For another, without adopting any of his suggestions of how to get men, but by being myself, I got three more boyfriends that year, and married one of them.

He told me that Phil thought my friends wouldn’t let him sit down when we were watching My So-Called Life, just because they gave him the only seat left, a cushioned milk crate we often sat on.

But that wasn’t all.  The time he came over after playing D&D with Dirk and his new girlfriend, and we were playing Spoons, Phil said he didn’t feel welcome, and no one let him sit down.  Both times, I didn’t defend him.

Well, I said, I didn’t know I needed to–I saw no such thing!   (Shows how much Phil communicated with me!)  So now Dirk thought I was horrible, over something that didn’t even actually happen, that wasn’t even true.  

And if Phil was so offended by something I had no clue about, why didn’t he speak up about it to my friends, instead of putting it all on my shoulders?  Am I his attack dog now, too?

Dirk chewed me out for telling Phil about my crush on Mike.  Apparently, Phil didn’t tell Dirk his rule that we confide in each other about attractions to others, or that Phil found it totally appropriate to tell me every girl he lusted after.

Apparently, what was good for the gander was verboten for the goose.  How dare I be attracted to a sweet, non-abusive guy after a summer of abuse, and how dare I mention it after my husband’s been repeatedly telling me I’m not enough for him.

Dirk also seemed to think I didn’t know what love is or what it means, and said I needed to learn that.  He asked, did I ever do anything romantic, like a candlelight dinner?–

While I thought, wait a minute, why in the heck is he telling me these things????  Why should he ask such a thing?

I stay faithful despite everything, and Phil leaves me without trying to work things out, yet Dirk says I don’t know the meaning of love?  If that were the case, then why did I stick by men until they left me, instead of leaving them first?

And who ever said I was not romantic?  I loved romance, and I liked special moments to be special however they could be.

I didn’t do candlelight dinners because I didn’t cook and I didn’t have any candles, and it wasn’t like we ever had the chance to anyway.  There was no place in the dorms, where they were verboten, and we lived with our parents.

That didn’t mean I didn’t make up for it in other ways.  Candlelight dinners are not the only romantic thing you can do.

I am a romantic soul, the one who writes about passionate love between aliens and time-travelers and such, and between humans and vampires.  I fell in love so easily with the people I dated, and longed for romance.  I didn’t/don’t know where Dirk even got the idea that I might be lacking in love or romance.

Phil abuses me in various ways all summer, fights everything I need or want, cuts me down constantly, even sexually assaults me because he refuses to respect my wishes that sex not involve excruciating pain, but I don’t know anything about what love is or what it means?

I don’t know what Phil had been telling him, but obviously it was a whole pack of lies.  Phil had his brain so screwed over that Dirk thought he knew everything about me and what happened, but he knew absolutely nothing.

I could tell Phil didn’t listen to me, but Dirk listened to him.  Dirk was a pawn in Phil’s Control by Proxy.  Nowadays, he’d be called a Flying Monkey or a sycophant.  I never had a thing to do with him after September.

For example, when Phil broke up with me, he kept saying, “You say you want to be a housewife,” as if that were a fault, as if I refused to ever work outside the home.

I’d tell him that’s not what I said, but he kept harping on it.  Over the summer, I told him again and again that I wanted to be a housewife so I could have time for my writing, because I saw writing as my life, not any other career.

But I said again and again that after we got publicly married and moved out on our own, I’d do my share to bring in money until he got his acting break–even work in a factory if I had to.

But my wish was to one day retire from this and write full-time–once we could afford it.  I also felt it was best to stay at home with our future children.

I never said I’d refuse to work no matter what.  I just said I preferred a traditional role so I would have time to work on my writing career.

Now, Dirk started harping on my wanting to be a housewife.  Phil must have ignored everything I ever said on the subject, and told Dirk I was not willing to contribute financially.  Here’s the gist of what Dirk said:

“You should have plans for something to do with your life.  You’re smart.  You can do something, make something of yourself.  Look at Margaret Thatcher–she’s a prime minister!  Just because you’re a woman don’t think you can’t do anything important.  Find a career goal.”

What I wish I would’ve said to Dirk: “I do have a career goal: I want to publish novels, as I told Phil many times.  It takes brains to do that, and it’s important. 

“And what the heck ever gave you the idea that I thought women could do nothing important?  Do you think I could be born in the 1970s and grow up in the 1980s thinking that women were fit only to look pretty in the drawing room?

And what’s so unimportant about raising children and running a household?  Just tell a stay-at-home mother of three kids that she’s lazy, she’s not contributing and her work is meaningless–and see what happens.

“Once upon a time, women were expected to be housewives; now that the pendulum has swung the other way, women are often expected to go out and get a job along with taking care of the house, and derided if they want a traditional role.”

I have to wonder if Dirk knew that Phil treated me like a disobedient servant, not a wife, a throwback to the days when men thought women couldn’t handle intellectual pursuits.

Just so you know I meant what I told Phil:

After college, I got a full-time job in insurance.  I worked for a couple of years, became a homemaker for a year after being downsized, then worked again part-time for four years to pay off some debts.  Then I became a stay-at-home mother.

All along, I have written; my books are now published (information here) and making a little bit of money.  I am also getting some success as a blogger.

Just what I said I would do, and all perfectly acceptable.  Despite how he and Dirk both scorned it, I’m living the dream, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

This article by Frederica Mathewes-Green, an Orthodox woman who used to be a feminist Episcopalian, describes how feminism–while certainly making good changes, such as the vote for women and more natural standards of beauty–also made some very bad changes.  One was the idea that women should find careers more important than staying at home, that “staying home and raising kids was mindless drudgery,” that “housewives were dumb.”

There’s nothing wrong with mothers working.  But the choice of a housewife should be respected, not derided.  Housewives with children are very busy, and have to use their brains all day long; calling them lazy is ludicrous, as is saying that a housewife is wasting her brain.  These jobs would have to be done by somebody, even if the wife didn’t do them.

And I certainly don’t waste my brain when I do finances, make out a menu, or act as the tech support for my household, since I understand computers much better than my engineer husband does.

But back to September 1994.  Though ticked and confused, instead of what I should have said, I said, “Tomorrow I’ll go to Career Services.”  (You’ll note I’d been trying to go there already anyway.)  He said that was good, and he would tell Phil that.

I should have told him off.  Of course, I don’t remember what else I said.  I might have set him straight, or tried to.

Right after I said I’d go to Career Services, I said that the next day I would also talk to Pearl about what he said about InterVarsity.  He was pleased with that as well, and said he’d tell Phil about that.

So you see, he got me under a bit of a spell, controlling my mind, getting me to think he was right even when his words made no sense and had no connection to reality.

Part 2

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

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.

 

Confronting Your Bully/Abuser

I have confronted abusers in my life before.  I confronted Peter via letters; I confronted Shawn in person and via letters; I confronted Phil in person and via letters (this is in my College Memoirs).  Because this was done, I was able to move on eventually, knowing that it had been done.

While revising the public version of my College Memoirs, I read the letters I had sent to Phil, and discovered that they already confronted him with how he abused me, even though at the time I only termed it “borderline abuse.”  I was greatly relieved to discover this, even though at the time he got angry at what I wrote.

When going back over the pages I had written as Richard and Tracy were reading them–many of which I hadn’t even looked at for quite some time, because there were so many–I felt horrified at times to realize what had been left in.  I do feel shame and sorrow for those things, and thought I had deleted them, wish I had deleted them, kept them in the private accounts where such venting belongs.

But as a whole, confronting the abuser was something I had wanted to do for a long time.  And I have gotten tired of being the only one apologizing for hurt feelings or going too far all the time, with no such consideration from Tracy; it’s her turn now.

There were many things in there–most of the things–which I was glad they had read, because they would see how badly they had mistreated me–or so I had hoped.

I explained many things which I had not had the chance to explain before, showed how I had been manipulated by Richard, showed how their bullying and abuse had affected me, showed this guy who wanted to be a priest how his actions had spiritually devastated me.

I thought it impossible for my words to not move anyone.  I thought for sure this would move them.

But alas, it did not.  Instead, they followed the abuser’s modus operandi, and called me crazy, even continued to insist they did nothing wrong and would not apologize, even though I specifically told them not to contact me with more justification or minimizing of what they did.

As Jeff has put it, Tracy needs to get down on her knees and apologize to me.  Otherwise, she has no business having any part of my life, and needs to stay the *@<# away from me.

I see now that they lack so much in empathy that they are focusing not on how their actions have caused me psychological and spiritual trauma and damage–

how for months I wanted to die because of Tracy’s verbal abuse and the loss and betrayal of my supposed best friend–

and how sorely they misjudged and abused me–

and on how this whole thing has left me still in the throes of doubt of the very existence of God, how hard it has been to stay in the Orthodox faith when it holds so many reminders of Richard–

but they are focusing on those things I should have left out, and on their reputation–

which has suffered nothing from a few minor blogs that most, or probably all, people they know will never even see.

In fact, their determination to destroy me could do far worse damage to their reputation, as they bring attention to the blogs and wreak their vengeance on me, when I had no intentions whatsoever of speaking about this openly in my own community.

I recall how even in the midst of Tracy’s narcissistic rages against me, I still tried to come up with things to apologize for, to calm her down, throw her a bone, soothe her hurt feelings so she would stop hurting mine and we could have a true, adult dialogue.

But I never have seen the same courtesy from her, after all the times she’s snarked at me, hurt me, yelled at me, cussed at me, judged and sentenced me without knowing all the details.

Those details she needed to know, they were in my blogs and accounts, and they vindicated me, yet she still insists she did nothing wrong.  The lack of empathy is astounding, and something we have always had to deal with with these people.

What’s even worse is discovering they also desire to transgress legal boundaries by forcing their contact on me when I had said to leave me alone.  Now they’ve crossed from abuse into creepiness, have become stalkers.

This season of The Big Bang Theory had an episode about this very subject (“Bully for Leonard”): Leonard’s old school bully wants a favor from him, but seems clueless about how he once treated Leonard.  So Leonard makes a list of all the things this bully did, and gives it to him.

At first, we think that repentance has occurred, as the bully comes in a drunken, tearful stupor to Leonard, apologizing for everything.  But then he crashes on the couch, wakes up sober the next morning, forgets his sorrow, and becomes the bully all over again, calling Leonard a “pansy” for being upset about the bullying.  (Summary here.)

Confronting your bully/abuser is sort of a mixed bag.  In googling this on occasion, I find stories of people who confronted their abusers and good actually came of it.  I have also had former bullies, apologize to me and become friends.

Several years ago, when reviewing my College Memoirs for online publication, I found things to apologize to Phil for, and sent him a message on an alumni website; he turned around and apologized to me!

Peter and I e-mail on occasion and he’s on my Facebook friends list; Shawn and I exchanged e-mails about 8 or 9 years ago about what was going on in our lives.

There are abusers who have decided to stop abusing, and have truly repented and changed their behavior.

But unfortunately, it seems far more common for confronted abusers to give the abused yet another abusive episode to process and get through.  In fact, while many people are counseled to confront their abusers as a way to finally heal, many are counseled not to because it can be dangerous.  An article on this subject is here.  Some quotes:

Directly confronting your abuser and/or those who knew of the abuse but did not try to help you is not for every survivor, but it can be a dramatic, cleansing tool.  If you feel you need to confront your abuser, do it, before the person dies and you never have the chance again; don’t let that desire haunt you forever.

(My reasons to confront, as quoted from the article:)

 Reasons to confront:
1) Validation of memories
2) Make those you confront feel the impact of what was done to you

Keep in mind:
1) Abusers don’t like to feel out of control and don’t like to be confronted.
2) Your abuser will probably not admit to the abuse or even think what s/he did was abuse.
3) It’s a good idea to bring a friend for support or have someone to meet up with afterwards.
4) It’s okay to change your mind about the confrontation; don’t feel obligated to follow through if you change your mind or have doubts about the outcome.

Remember that the purpose is to speak up for yourself, say what you want to say and ask for what you want, whether you will receive it or not, and know that you took charge of the situation. This will completely flip the situation around from what it was during the abuse; confronting is very powerful.

Here is a forum thread started by someone who confronted her abuser, but he denied the abuse and bullied her more.  Still, she was congratulated for having confronted him. [Update 6/2/17: The link no longer goes to the thread directly, and I don’t know when it was posted, so combing through the old threads is too time-consuming.  But you can search for threads on the same topic.]

Here is a blog post from “faithallen” about confronting the abuser.  Some quotes:

When you work through the healing process from child abuse, you will reach a place in which you must decide whether or not to confront your abuser. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some people find it to be very empowering to confront their abuser. Others wind up regretting this decision….

However, you might want to confront your abuser. Many people find confronting their abuser to be incredibly empowering. They are able to look their abuser in the eye and say all of the things that went unsaid throughout childhood. In some cases, they might even receive a sincere apology. (I would not hold my breath for this outcome.)…

Many abusers are unwilling or unable to take responsibility for their actions. Your abuser might tell you that it was all your fault and not show a bit of remorse….

Also, if you choose to confront your abuser, be prepared for the fallout.

In my case, confrontation, while desired, was not sought by me, because I feared it would just bring down more wrath.  It was, apparently, sought by my abusers, who read my blogs about them, without me ever telling them or any of their friends that these blogs existed or who they were about.  So I was forced into a confrontation.

It was exhilarating to finally stand up to them.  And, of course, there has been ugly fallout.  But if they didn’t want to read these things about themselves, if they did not want me to stand up to them and tell them off, then they should not have poked around in my blogs.

I am currently reading Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, and hope to write a post about it after I finish.  He wrote it in prison to his former friend/lover Bosie, whose manipulations led him to file the libel lawsuit, which eventually led to Wilde himself being imprisoned.  It was his means of confronting this person who not only helped ruin his life, but had also been subject to constant rages.

This was a problem with the men of Bosie’s family, showing that it was probably borderline or some other personality disorder, being passed on (whether genetically or behaviorally) from one generation to another.  The original of this massive work was sent to Bosie, but rather than read and reflect, he reportedly read three pages, and tossed the rest into the river.

Here is an article about abusers minimizing the abuse when you call them on it.  Some quotes:

Not all abusers are dysfunctional. Many of them are pillars of society. Abusers come in all shapes and sizes: successful professionals, or peripatetic con-artists, affluent or poor, young or old, well-educated or dropouts. There is no profile of the “typical abuser”.

Yet, abusive behavior often indicates serious underlying psychopathologies, such as personality disorders (Narcissistic, Borderline, Paranoid, or Antisocial are the most common among abusers). Abuse is often associated with alcoholism, drug-use, and other reckless, addictive, or compulsive behaviors.

Denying the Abuse:

Abusers deny the abuse or rationalize it. They tend to shift blame or avoid the topic altogether.

Types of Denial

1.Total outright denial

“It never happened, or it was not abuse, you are just imagining it, or you want to hurt my (the abuser’s) feelings”

2. Alloplastic defense

“It was your fault, you, or your behavior, or the circumstances, provoked me into such behavior”

3. Altruistic defense

“I did it for you, in your best interests”

4. Transformative defense

“What I did to you was not abuse – it was common and accepted behavior (at the time, or in the context of the prevailing culture or in accordance with social norms), it was not meant as abuse”

Abusers are concerned with their reputation and image in the community – neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, bosses, friends, extended family.

Forms of denial in public

5. Family honor stricture

“We don’t do dirty laundry publicly, the family’s honor and repute must be preserved, what will the neighbors say?”

6. Family functioning stricture

“If you snitch and inform the authorities, they will take me (the abusive parent) away and the whole family will disintegrate”

Here is a post from Narcissists Suck about forgiveness.  And a quote that reminds me of Richard in general, and in the latest dealing with Tracy:

There is no human alive who doesn’t fashion some code of conduct that convinces themselves they are “righteous”…i.e. that they are “moral”. Some fashion their moral code according to an objective source, such as the Bible. Others just make one up as they go along and construct their code according to their subjective and perverted feelings and ideas.

My dad lives by the moral code of the mobster. No matter how angry he may get at my mother, no matter how loudly he may condemn some behavior of hers to her face, no matter the long emotional estrangements from her….let some “outsider” (everyone is an outsider to those two including their children) come along and dare to contradict or attempt to hold his wife to accountability in whatever form and his mobster code of conduct is immediately visible.

No one else is ever allowed to “dis” his wife. You make her unhappy and HE is unhappy. You will be yanked on as hard as possible by him in order to bring you back into line and make his wifey happy again.

I see this dynamic as yet another iteration of his dedication to his principle of selfishness. If the wife is unhappy….she makes him miserable, too, because she cries, she rages, she whines, she mopes, she sinks into depression, she tortures him with her misery. He sees the only “moral” thing to do is to make her happy again whatever the human cost may be to the “outsider”.

No one else matters. There is no claim for redress, accountability, or justice that he will admit to be valid. The mobster code of “la familia” applies only to the two of them. The rest of us can rot in hell. –Anna Valerious, Dad, mom’s evil henchman

This post is also relevant, since Narcissists Suck is a very popular blog which also exposes the deeds of narcissists in the author’s life, but she’s kept it up for 6 years:

Before I close this post I will respond to a question posed in the comments to me from “Poe”.

But I have one question. I have read all your posts and there is one thing I can’t understand. Your sister is not stupid. Doesn’t she know that you have this blog? That her emails will be publicly exposed and scrutinized?

She isn’t stupid, but she also isn’t terribly smart. The thought has not even crossed her mind that I have a blog let alone a blog where I have talked about her at length. That thought would require her to think bigger than herself. She isn’t very good at that as you might have noticed.

Since the earliest days of my blogging I have kept an eye out for her through Sitemeter and Statcounter. I know beyond all shadow of doubt that she has not found my blog.

Keep in mind, too, that she is proud of her letters. She thinks she is right and has expressed herself in a way that no one can see her game or object to her words.

She does not possess the ability to know how she is perceived by me. She can’t get out of herself enough to get it. She sorta seems to get it in her latest email, but it is too little too late.

Anyway, it hasn’t occurred to her and I doubt it ever will. Writing under a pseudonym makes the chances of her finding what I’ve written vanishingly small.

As I’ve said before, I don’t care if she finds what I’ve said here about her. I don’t care if she finds herself publicly exposed and scrutinized. She deserves whatever she gets if she should find me here. In any case, she still has her anonymity. She isn’t “publicly exposed” in the truest sense.

In the comments of another post:

When I saw you in my stats I wondered for just a moment if my sister had found my blog. I keep an eye out for her. The day she finds my descriptions of her here is going to be a very interesting day indeed.

Since she stopped blogging a few years ago but still has the blog up, I do wonder if her sister has ever found it.

A blog post about the Psycho Ex-Wife blog being shut down, by another blogger writing about her experiences.  And here’s a blog by someone else who also wrote about her experiences, only to be found by her family.  [Update 5/27/14: One Angry Daughter’s blog no longer exists.]  As One Angry Daughter wrote in “Bear With Me,”

 In case you haven’t already heard the exciting news, my FOO [Family of Origin] has discovered my blog. I really don’t care if they are reading or not.

What I do have a problem with is NM [narcissistic mother] leaving comments spreading FOG [fear, obligation, guilt]. Out of the 300 + comments I have gotten on this blog, her comment was easy to spot. The comment has been deleted.

She has yelled over me and put me in my “place” my whole life. Well, she doesn’t get a voice here.

I have been able to block them from accessing (A how-to guide is in the works). I know eventually they might find a way around it (as I type, they are continuing to try to reload my page, click on various links to this page, and view cached versions of this site — I’m sure they think they are very clever).

I kinda feel like a kid whose mother just read her diary… but I am not ashamed. These pages are my point of view, my honest account, my journey. The only reason I blog anonymously is to protect their identity, not mine.

So FOO – if you have sneaked your way back in and want to read, fine by me. Be warned, you may not like everything I have to say. If it bothers you, by all means, do not come back again. Please keep your opinion to yourself. I will find you and I will block you again.

This video [link no longer works] on narcissistic rage sounds very familiar.  It’s the “how dare you disagree with me” which showed up very clearly on 7/1/10 when Jeff confronted Richard, and a month ago when Richard and Tracy found my blog.  [Update 3/23/15: I don’t know what video this originally linked to, but you can easily find such videos on Youtube.]

Another post on this subject: Reblog: What Happens When You Send Your N the Letter

Describing Richard’s narcissism

They Believe What?–The NonVerbal Cues Argument: Alan Eisenberg started his own blog to share his stories of childhood bullying, but it grew into a crusade.

Here, he questions the argument that kids get picked on because they miss nonverbal cues.  While this may have some truth to it–I come across this all the time when researching NVLD–Eisenberg makes a very important observation: This does NOT excuse the bullying:

While there may be truth to the study, to say that the victim has brought on the bullying by their inability to read non-verbal cues is equal in my eyes in saying a woman who is raped should have been able to predict this based on the way they behaved with the rapist.

Part of Tracy’s bullying was–according to what she and Richard said–because I didn’t pick up on her cues to start conversations, and apparently other cues may have been missed as well.  Their response was to excuse her bullying and hound me to pick up on the cues.  Which doesn’t work if you’re missing the cues….

I don’t know how long the long-term effects will last for me.  But I do recognize these traits which have sprung up in me because of the Tracy situation:

lingering feelings of anger and bitterness,

difficulty trusting people (as much as I want to make healthy and lasting friendships),

avoidance of social situations to some extent,

drifting into being a loner again,

wondering if I’m somehow easy to victimize or overly sensitive,

thinking of myself as a worm or a tramp even though I know I’m neither.

It’s just stupid to give into such negative thoughts, especially since I know they’re not true.

I’d like to think that if she knew I felt this way, Tracy would repent, apologize and become a better person, a true friend to me.  But I fear the reverse is true, based on how she reacted when we broke off the friendship abruptly after she verbally abused me.

[Update 4/27/14: I was correct about this, as proven by the stalking and intimidation campaign she started when she found this blog two years ago, and which continues to this day!]

Even a month later, she still blamed the abuse on me and claimed that I should “grow up” and just accept it as a consequence of my own actions.

But I call BS.  If I told her how her bullying and abuse has affected me, she’d probably just sniff and think I was being stupid or childish, that she has nothing to apologize for or repent of.

[Update 4/27/14: Once again, I was correct.  See here.]

This is probably how she feels about her children crying when she abuses them, too.  And this is why she has been booted from my life, why she is blocked from my Facebook profile, no matter what she might think.

It doesn’t help that I have this aspie trait: “Perseveration and the Broken Record.”  For more information on how it applies to me, see here.  [This blog post by Aspie Teacher no longer exists, but I think it may have been moved here.]  Pertinent quote:

I especially have trouble derailing myself when I am having trouble processing something. This can cause me great stress. I can feel that I have gotten stuck in a feedback loop.

My husband has been known to get very irritated with me when this happens. This only makes it worse, because I end up feeling guilty, stupid, and helpless that I can’t do anything to break the feedback loop.

Since receiving my official diagnosis over a year ago, my husband has tried to think of better ways of helping my brain switch gears when it gets stuck. Usually I just need to talk and have him listen without him judging me or trying to solve any problems.

I have come to realize that verbalizing what in in my head helps me process it, but this is not always an easy thing for me. I can’t always find the words to convey what I need to say.

Writing has become my voice. It helps me process the chaos that can develop in my brain. I also have found that what I need is understanding and encouragement. These two actions can do so much for a person.

Another blog post by someone diagnosed with perseveration:

Sometimes it happens when I am trying to diagnose a problem and I keep barking up the same solution.  Other times, it happens  emotionally.

My brain can get stuck on something emotionally and I keep going over it again and again.  Ruminating over past incidents becomes a bit of a tape that gets played over and over again.  I find I can ruminate over unhappy or unfair things a bit excessively. —The Broken Record of Perseveration

The thing is, I don’t think I did anything all that terrible.  I just wanted to spend time with, have fun with, and confide in my BFF (“best friend forever”), just like everybody else does.  I just wanted my BFF to know I cared, same as everybody else does.

I didn’t violate my personal beliefs or principles.  I don’t believe I crossed any boundaries.  (For that matter, someone who abuses others verbally and physically, does not get to lecture me about boundaries.)

So I refuse to let her get the upper hand or cuss me out or make me feel like a whore just because she’s insecure.

Should I put up with her crap just so I can have an active social life?  Of course not!

She’s the kind of person who has, time and again, driven me into isolation from others so I don’t have to deal with them anymore.  It happened in elementary school, middle school, my first job out of college with all the drama llamas who kept taking everything personally and treating work like it was supposed to be social time–and here it is happening again, me feeling the pull back into isolation.

As Klank says, I don’t need no friends like that.

Jeff is so furious with both Richard and Tracy that he feels used and wishes he could get something–vengeance, a pound of flesh, money for damages (broken couch, broken futon) and other money we spent on them (food, utilities, something else later on).

(Though this memoir is not about vengeance.  It’s about expressing what I’ve been through, finding healing and release through my usual manner–words, and helping other abuse victims.)

Jeff hears about–

How Richard kept pushing the boundaries with me [with my NVLD gullibility], and then reassured me that everything was innocently meant and we didn’t have to stop doing it.

How I got treated like a slut for believing him, but then he seemed to conveniently “forget” that he’d been the instigator.

How the lines for what was “okay” for me to do were constantly shifting and I was somehow supposed to know where they were now.

How Richard used to be a dog with women (which neither of us knew about until Richard stayed with us and started telling me these things about himself).

How Richard and Tracy both would push the limits of flirting beyond what we were used to even in the SCA, online and off–then keep moving the lines for what was okay for me to say to Richard, making the lines far tighter for me than they were for Richard and Tracy….

And Jeff doesn’t believe that Richard was acting innocently with me.

Richard says that Tracy trusts him, but Jeff says that’s not true at all, as we saw, or she wouldn’t put those restrictions on him.  And that he himself would not have allowed Richard so much freedom with me if he knew that Richard used to be a dog with women.

I feel like such a fool.  Jeff and I don’t have a problem with friends being attracted to each other, since such things happen when you spend a lot of time with someone and get close to them.

Jeff and I don’t have a problem with the occasional light flirting, but there are certain lines you don’t cross–but Richard crossed them with me and used his persuasive powers to convince me they were perfectly fine.

The whole situation was a freaking mind game which both Richard and Tracy played on me.

Maybe he used that hypnotism he claimed to be able to use.  He never told me what he got me to say using it.  I don’t know if he used it to get me to do or believe anything.

I know that he formerly used it to get girls to dance with him, not just to get me to open up, and that this very same type of hypnotism is used to attract women.

Richard also convinced me that he was a pious man of God, a righteous man who had put his dog days and his violent days behind him–only to begin showing them again.

Saying you’re going to assault the woman who was just doing her job and probably had good reason to evict you, and that you’re going to make it look like you weren’t there…

excusing and defending abuse of your children

excusing and defending abuse of the person who has been your loyal and close friend for five years…

excusing and defending abuse of Todd, who was your loyal and close friend for six years…

then hacking into Todd’s beloved Forum, screwing it up, and letting Todd think that the resident troll did it….

That is no man of God.  That is a Pharisee.  A narcissist.  I never want him to darken my door again.

I also recall, a year or two before Richard moved here, watching online as he went to the forum of a female friend–where he was an administrator or moderator–and posted a message to the posters there.

Considering the nature of the forum, a place to delude yourself into thinking you’re descended from mystical beings who don’t even exist, most of it appeared to be deserved.

But there were also judgments of the characters of the posters which make me wonder how he could possibly know if they were true or not.

The friend was so offended that that friendship, too, ended–the post removed, Richard and Tracy booted from the forum.

She wrote on our Forum something to the effect of, he was the leader and we were the worshipful followers in lockstep doing whatever he wants.  (I don’t remember the exact wording, but that was the gist of it.)

It basically sounded like she was accusing him of being like a narcissistic cult leader.

Todd also complained that he didn’t get a fair hearing during his falling-out with Tracy, because everybody listened to Richard.

So you see history repeating itself with Richard, again and again–and more support for the idea of narcissism.  My husband, too, sees him as narcissistic, refusing to see other points of view, not just during our falling-out but in politics and other things.

This would frustrate me to no end whenever Richard told me what I should be doing–food, taste in movies, sexual preferences, religious ideas regarding pews and ecumenism and such, the troubles with Tracy–and I’d try to explain my point of view.

Or when he’d tell me I was wrong about NVLD without really listening to why I believe I have it.

Or when he’d tell me kids should be screamed at and I should “let” my husband get mad or cuss more.  But I feel kids should be nurtured not tortured, that my husband should treat me with kindness and respect, and by the way, Jeff would rather get mad and cuss less, not more!

Richard seemed to think I was keeping my husband from watching “The Passion of the Christ” because of my aversion to gore and violence, and that he had convinced Jeff that it was a good movie to watch.

When in reality, Jeff has no desire to see it, for the same reason I don’t want to see it, and it has nothing to do with me keeping him under my thumb.  (I bet Jeff did a lot of nodding and “uh-huh”‘ing during that conversation, but didn’t actually say he agreed.)

Richard seems to have lots of ideas about what other people are thinking and feeling, but that doesn’t make him right.

The author has noticed how girls with Asperger’s Syndrome seem more able to follow social actions by delayed imitation. They observe the other children and copy them, but their actions are not as well timed and spontaneous. —Tony Attwood Answers Some Common Questions About Asperger’s Syndrome

The above certainly applies to me, since I kept copying what Richard did as a guide to what was okay for me to do, but then got treated like some kind of slut for it.

The trouble with so many articles about abuse and personality disorders is that they focus on romance.  So if you’re dealing with another kind of relationship involving abuse–such as friendship, colleagues or family members–you have to ignore the parts about dating and sex, and adapt it in your head to your own kind of relationship.

But so much of this sounds familiar (adapting the parts about romance to platonic friendships), that I wonder if what I thought was a close, meaningful friendship, was really Richard’s means of seeking attention, narcissistic supply.

If what I thought was philia and emotional openness was actually manipulation and using:

Telling me things were okay that weren’t.

Trying to get me to open up to nonsexual touching I wasn’t used to.

Telling me it’s prudish to wear a robe over my nightgown when he’s around. 

Telling me that Jeff and I are prudish.

Telling me the horror stories behind the Democrats and Progressives and how they’ve ruined his home state.

Molding me, shall we even say grooming me through charm, testing boundaries, making me feel special, instructing me–until the drama at home became too much, and he began to devalue and discard me.

If he noted my trusting nature and lack of social intuition, and exploited it.  Nyssa is a sweet, innocent and nice person, and I’m slowly corrupting her. (He said that to somebody online.  What did that mean??)

I’ll remember his claims of hypnotizing me to get me to open up.  Of course, as usual, I don’t want to think these things about him, but keep getting this nagging feeling, given what I know about him, and things Jeff, also, has noted about him.

I’ll remember his bragging about past women, about how he used lies and deceit to get women, about his sexual prowess, about women chasing him even now.  I wasn’t sure if he was lamenting or bragging that his exes would sit around talking with each other about how evil he is.

I’ll read articles about abusers, narcissists and borderlines (such as Sam Vaknin’s extensive archive), thinking of Tracy when I start–then begin thinking, “Hey wait a minute, that sounds like Richard–and that–and that.”

Apparently, it’s common for narcissists to end up with borderlines.  One guy on the Forum, married to a borderline, was familiar with such a pairing from his research, and expressed compassion for Richard and Tracy’s children.

I’ll also hear people talk about Richard’s “heart” being so big–but remember that I, too, thought the same thing while he had me under his illusions.

There were many times when Richard could seem like a great person to talk to, but so many times when he seemed not to care about my needs or concerns, contrasted to what it’s like to deal with my other friends.

In the beginning Richard loved chatting with me, in person or on the phone or on the Net, but later on it would often be hard to tell if he wanted to talk to me or not.

You’ll have Richard getting short and suddenly disappearing from Facebook chat, for no reason you can think of–but then another friend (Mike) saying, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re here!” and chatting with you for an hour.

It makes you wonder if maybe the friends who live far away from you and you rarely see, are still far better friends than this one you see every couple of weeks.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing

 

Richard’s lack of action made him a passive abuser

I thought that Tracy was the abuser, and Richard the long-suffering victim.  In many cases, he did note Tracy’s abuse of him and of the children, and did try to stop it.

But as I’ve already shown, he excused far too many of her abuses.

He excused her jealousies toward him, said that she would get jealous because of pregnancy hormones or abusive because of stress,

excused her bullying of me because I wasn’t being social enough for her (as if she’d ever be satisfied),

excused her smacking their tiny 3-year-old on the back of the head,

sometimes got mad at her for screaming but at other times excused screaming as somehow necessary in raising a respectful child,

excused her verbal abuse of me and even got upset with Jeff for objecting.

He already knew she was never satisfied, since a family member had noted it, so how could he expect me to ever satisfy her demands of me?

He was right there as she bullied me again and again with snarky comments, yet he defended her verbal abuse of me as somehow “justified” because I was pulling back from her to avoid more snarks.

(Why shouldn’t I stop posting on her Facebook if she twists everything I write?  Why shouldn’t I avoid talking to someone who ridicules me just for putting sunscreen and bug spray in a backpack and taking it into the backyard?)

So even though he may not have been abusing the children or me himself directly, he became an abuser by excusing the abuse:

When I was forced to admit by dint of my father’s letters to me over the summer and fall of 2005 that his sympathy was all for my mother I labeled him an abuser from that point onward.

This is because of the bedrock reality that those who excuse abusers are themselves abusive.

No matter the appearance of a mild-mannered nature — if a person excuses abusers it is because there is some space in their minds which accedes to the notion that in at least some cases abuse can be justified.

In the case of my father there was some evidence of aptitude for abuse, but it was rare enough that I could easily forget and thereby resume my opinion of him that he was not abusive.

His unmitigated support of my mother, his lack of having ever protected myself or my daughter from my mother’s abuses, his absolute demand I be the one to apologize, move on and forgive my mother in the absence of any sincere effort on her part to make things right,

his unsubtle reminders of the sins of my youth to try to prove I had no right to hold my mother to any account…all these things proved to me once and for all that he is an abuser himself.

Only abusers are willing to grant other abusers the right to abuse! It is at its very root a pass they are giving to themselves. Excusing abuse is abuse in itself. It is a red flag that the person has themselves a propensity for abuse.

Granting absolution to abusers is always an extremely selfish thing to do; it ignores the humanity of the person abused and preserves compassion for the one doing the abusing and by doing so gives the person excusing the abuse a pass for the abuse they may decide to dish out themselves. —They DO Have Empathy…Just Not For You

[Note written on 5/2/12: This turns out to be true.  I wrote this section before learning that Richard is indeed an abuser himself, that in September 2010, he nearly choked one of his daughters to death!]

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing

 

 

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