Houseguests From Hell
This is not a hotel, nor is it a large house. The only place we had for the two adults was the basement floor in sleeping bags; they didn’t want that. So one slept on the couch while the other was in a sleeping bag on the living room floor. Our house is plenty big enough for the three of us, but the living room is far too small for furniture and a sleeping bag.
The three children squeezed into my child’s twin bed while he squeezed in with my husband and me–making it hard to sleep, and giving me the ever-present dread of a wet bed. There was no privacy for the adults.
We only have one full and one half bath; the bathrooms, to allow for more living space, are very small.
The basement was half full with our storage, and only half finished, with a painted floor and a vent from the furnace. We “finished” it with dirt-cheap Wal-Mart rugs and some furniture to make a computer room/library. I sweep, vacuum and dust it regularly, and vacuum it out once a year to get rid of webs. It works for us, but there was no place to accommodate guests except on the floor.
I don’t know why on earth Richard did not listen to me and either keep them with his mother, or find a cheap motel to stay in.
Richard talked so much of Tracy’s emotional and verbal abuse while he lived alone with us, that for me to hear all this constantly, hear all the horrible things she was doing to him and the children, and then be expected to just accept her into my home with open arms and befriend her–Richard was in denial.
But I gave it my best shot anyway, hoping the abuse would end and she and I could be friends.
I had no idea I was being evaluated when Tracy and I first met and made acquaintance, since I don’t do that with my husband’s friends.
I thought we got along quite well, in fact. I suggested that Richard buy her flowers when he met her at the airport. I was very welcoming. I smiled and chatted with her.
I was uneasy because of what Richard told me, but made my best effort to be friends with her anyway. I told Richard we were getting along just fine.
I asked Jeff, who got coupons to fancy restaurants through work, if we could share one or two with Richard and Tracy so they could have a nice date. All this to befriend her and to help her and Richard resolve their differences.
When we were alone together while I was stuck on the couch, too sick with a stomach bug to do housework, we had long conversations, and I confided one or two girly secrets in Tracy. I asked her if Richard told the truth in his outlandish stories, but she didn’t seem to know.
I asked her to buy me some Coke from the corner grocery store because I needed fluids; somebody called her cell phone; she smiled at me as she told the caller that she was going out to do a favor for “a friend.”
So you see, she officially called me her friend within a very short time. Which means I passed her private test.
But shortly afterward, she forgot these things ever happened, and treated me as if I never had a long conversation with her, never confided in her, never was her friend. How soon she changed history and made Richard believe it!
By the way, I got sick quite often while they lived in my house.
One evening, when only Richard lived here, I had been feeling fine when all of a sudden I moved my head a certain way and got overcome with dizziness. My eyes went back and forth, back and forth; I couldn’t control them; I now knew what it meant for the earth to spin around and around. Eventually, I threw up.
Such a thing had never happened to me before and I had no other symptoms of illness, so at first we all thought I was pregnant. (He said, “How will it look, Richard comes here and Nyssa gets pregnant!” I about choked on something when he said that.)
Richard was very worried and attentive and Jeff put me in his care while out of the house–another reason I felt that Richard and I had bonded and become very close friends during these two months.
Then the vertigo left as mysteriously as it came, returning every now and then for the next year, with no other symptoms of illness, though not as intense as the first time. Even cleaning out my left ear caused me to cough so hard I nearly threw up at least once.
I never knew what caused it, if it was a bug, if I had developed a medical problem, what. I went to the doctor during one episode; he said it was probably an inner ear issue. He saw no reason to do further tests, though I could see a specialist if I wanted to. I took some medication and ginger pills. Then the vertigo stopped bothering me, leaving just as mysteriously as it came.
Also, right after Tracy and the kids moved into the house, they brought in a nasty stomach bug. Then another stomach bug went around the house a short time later.
I already expected the occasional illness from my young son picking things up at Sunday School. But all these illnesses coming in such a short time, and all the same kind–stomach bugs, even the grownups throwing up–made me suspect poor sanitation.
I began cleaning the doorknobs every time a child used the toilet, and asking them if they washed their hands. It was exhausting and disgusting to keep cleaning doorknobs and toilets, but the stomach bugs stopped going around.
I also–as the one washing the towels–noted their distinct lack of regular showers. The house was saran-wrapped for the winter, so I couldn’t even crack a window. I sprayed a lot of Febreze.
The filth described above–my own house began turning into this, as hard as I tried to fight it back. I had to clean up after everyone who used the bathroom, because they didn’t do it themselves, and that got GROSS.
I spent day and night cleaning, doing laundry, and running the dishwasher. Richard left his cigarette butts all over the parking lot.
We couldn’t afford to feed them, yet got no financial help, and then they complained about the food and how I ran the house. They violated every rule of houseguest etiquette, and showed very little sign of trying to get full-time jobs or their own place.
They made me feel like sh** for going about my normal, everyday routine, taking care of business, and carving out time for myself.
Tracy considered it a personal offense to her, for me to try to get back to normal life, have clean towels/clothes/dishes, keep my son in clean diapers, and take a break from all the noise and crowding that went on for weeks.
I only did what any host would do, must do, with guests who stayed for more than a few days with no sign of leaving.
But she punished me for this through passive-aggression, forcing me over the years to jump through hoops to get her approval to be friends with her husband, giving her approval and then taking it back again and again without word or warning, smearing me to others, raging at me for imaginary offenses, and then claiming that she “owed” me nothing–not even apologies or kind treatment.
(Actually, they “owe” me well over $2000 for damages, food, utilities and various other things. Kindness and hospitality were the only reasons I never presented them with a bill. In other words, I was a sucker.)
I was also punished for being naturally shy around her (especially after her fangs came out), but wanting to spend time with my BFF, to whom I had grown close over the past couple of months.
Well, excuse me for caring about and wanting to spend time with my best friend! I did nothing wrong here!
I finally gave up on vacuuming the living room, longing for the day when they would move out and clear that filthy mound of dirty clothes off my floor. And of course, there were the cockroaches and lice they brought into the house.
At first, I thought Tracy and I were indeed friends. I told Richard that when they found their own place, I wanted to visit her one day and him another day. I did not notice her abusing the children or Richard.
But then little things started happening here and there. First, one morning as we got out of the car at church, she screamed at her oldest (who was 6), “You tucked your pantlegs into your boots? You know how to dress! That’s tacky!” The shrill tone of her screams was bizarre for what this poor girl did.
I mean, come on, the girl, who was now enrolled in a nearby school, probably saw all her classmates do the same thing.
I took it as personally insulting because I know how to dress, I’d been tucking my pantlegs into my snowboots for 34 years, and nobody ever called it “tacky.” Everybody does that around here out of practical necessity, because it protects your pantlegs from the snow and mud, and your legs from the wind.
That poor girl had done just what she was supposed to do, but got screamed at and belittled for it.
I mentioned it to Richard that night, asking him to calm her down and get her to ease up on the poor child, because that’s how we wear boots here. He already knew that the place where he grew up (no snow there) and this region have different ways of wearing boots.
He also said that I witnessed what his own family complained about, Tracy picking at the children.
Soon after, I began hearing Tracy scream at the kids all day long. During the six weeks she lived with us, then the following two years, I witnessed her tirades, online and off. I also recalled her rants on the Forum before she ever moved in.
Video Number Two made me think of Tracy, the way she goes off on people. I heard her scream at the kids like this, only around me she kept out the cussing; I have it documented that she cussed at them, too. Sometimes it frightened me; sometimes it angered me.
This is what I mean by screaming, not “scolding,” not even “yelling.” Screaming like this is indeed child abuse. I’ve also heard her scream at Richard like this.
I’ve heard her scream at others like this, only with all that cussing included for adults. Her online tirades, both to me and to Todd, were exactly like this.
In fact, this video is indeed triggering me a bit, as the blogger warns can happen. Not just the tirades, but the hitting, because I saw Tracy smack her kids around, and because Richard told me she almost killed me once.
(In the comments to the above blog post, I wrote about Tracy stalking my blog. The blogger responded, “The fact she stalks your blog tells me she knows the truth, and hates the fact you tell it.”)
I’ve heard other parents yell at their kids, but not normally like this. My mother yelled on occasion, but she sure never sounded like this. It just is not right! Screaming like this severely damages people, no matter how old they are, or what their relation to you.
Her very voice grated on my nerves so much that even a few years later, it still was like fingernails on a chalkboard whenever she even raised her voice at the kids.
(I couldn’t tell you if her voice aggravated me because of NLD making me more sensitive to loud noises and yelling, or because it would aggravate anybody, but the NLD certainly didn’t help.)
And the yelling and screaming seemed to happen every two minutes, often for reasons I couldn’t fathom. It seemed the kids weren’t even allowed to act like kids!
I became convinced that she was at the very least a verbal abuser of her children and Richard, because I saw and heard it constantly.
On December 17, 2007, I wrote in an e-mail to my mother,
I already heard that Tracy can be hard on the kids at times, and I’ve seen some of it. It seems her mom was emotionally abusive, her dad was abusive in other ways, and when she and the kids stayed with them the past few months, she started acting like her mom.
Richard and I really hope that being away from there, and around Jeff, Richard and me, will influence her away from that. Poor Richard tries to get her to stop doing something, then gets an earful.
But I’m trying to look past that and remember that he loves her, he married her, so I can’t just judge her and reject her. [Proving that I also made a good-faith effort to befriend her.]
She kept ordering around and making fun of and trying to control Richard. He seemed like such a great person to me, yet she kept treating him like dirt and cutting him down. She even said one of the children was cuter than he was, when with his weight and health problems, he needed his wife to say he was handsome.
She accused him of not wanting to spend time with his family, of staying away from the house just to get away from them, when for two months I saw how sad he was at being separated from them.
Then a few weeks in, she began to act jealous and hostile toward me. I had no idea why, after all I had done for her and her family, and how nice I had been to her, even though she and her children invaded my house without my okay.
I had no idea how she could justify behaving this way toward her benefactress and hostess. Didn’t she realize I could turn her out at any time?
She complained about not knowing me, but after living with me 24 hours a day for weeks, and socializing with me every evening for some six hours, how could she not know me, how could I still be a stranger to her?
This made everyday life in my own house ten times more stressful than it already was with all these people here. I had nowhere to go to get away from the stress, except for the computer, in a long and bitterly cold winter.
And I had no idea when these invaders were going to leave. But she even resented and hated me for that temporary respite on the computer, as if I were supposed to slowly boil away in all the stress and constant company.
Yet it wasn’t as if she arrived and I started spending a couple hours hid away on the computer every day. No, that did not start until days had passed after they all moved in, and they became roommates instead of guests, so my job as hostess had relaxed a bit.
I believe I had already gone through a bout of stomach flu before that happened, so it had to be at least a week, long past the time most hosts would feel obligated to keep a guest entertained.
And I had no idea when they were going to move out. It was not supposed to be for long, yet they ended up staying six long weeks!
Table of Contents
- Bullying of an introvert and probable NVLDer
- My NVLD in a nutshell
- Richard dismisses my experiences
- Summarizing this story
- Why I put this story on the Web–at great personal risk
- I was Sam in search of a Frodo, Anne in search of a Diana
- I finally find my Frodo–who moves in
- Discovering they live in squalor
- Richard reveals his wife’s abuses
- Houseguests From Hell
- Tracy turns jealous of and hostile toward me because I’m an introvert with NVLD
- Tracy’s narcissistic/BPD rage episode at Richard–and Richard reveals his own abuse
- Tracy’s control-freak behavior–to me, in my house
- Tracy overhears me telling Jeff she’s abusive–and wreaks vengeance
- Verge of nervous breakdown as houseguests from Hell abuse our hospitality
- Richard gives me the fateful hugs good-bye
- Tracy’s smear campaign and emotional blackmail begin full-force
- I almost break off the friendship because of Tracy
- Tracy’s unreasonable jealousy even as I take pains to be above reproach
- Their doublespeak and double standards
- Tracy snarks and Richard nitpicks
- The emotional vampires suck me dry–and accuse me of being too sensitive
- My Friend Richard, the Narcissist
- Richard says he hypnotized me without my knowledge
- More on Richard’s hypnotism–and his narcissistic stare
- Richard’s past in the Mafia–and his plot to kill the apartment manager
- Tracy bullies me and tries to control Richard by weeding out friends she doesn’t like
4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children
- E-mails and phone call describe how Tracy abuses her husband and children
- More details of Tracy’s abuse of her children
- Early 2010: I speak up about Tracy’s child abuse–and ponder reporting her to authorities
- Early warning signs of Tracy’s abuse and volatility
- I get an inkling of Richard’s own abuse of his children
- How to Bully an Introvert–and Assets of NVLD
- Two Narcissists Tag-Team Bully an Introvert with NLD
- Tracy is nasty to me on the phone
- Fed-up, I decide to end the friendship if Tracy does not stop bullying me
- Tracy Mindscrews me with Constantly Changing Rules, “Okays” me then takes it back without telling me, Violates my Privacy by reading my e-mails to Richard
- I must be accepted as I am–introversion, NVLD and all–or you’re out
- Now Richard Screws with my Mind
- Tracy drives away another friend (Todd) with narcissistic rage, manipulation, lies and a smear campaign
- I discover the restrictions are still up after 7 months–and ponder ending the friendship
- Tracy tells Jeff a different story: I have already been “approved” as Richard’s friend
- Richard gaslights me into thinking I’m a stalker
6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends
- Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends
- Disturbing Revelations from Richard about Tracy and our time sharing a house
- Revealing e-mails I drafted to Richard: proving I felt abused and bullied, and witnessed abuse
- We seem to have things sorted out–and they seem to finally take responsibility for causing drama (but there’s more to come later)
- E-mails proving my innocence, that Tracy lied in 2010, that I respected boundaries, and that I asked for a “signal”
- Richard mansplains me, denies that his friends sexually harassed me, and refuses to respect my wishes
7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build
- Without warning or explanation, tensions build as Richard and Tracy both begin acting like lunatics
- I begin to wonder if the Richard I know–is real or a fake persona
- Richard decides I’m no longer worth his time or respect–because of POLITICS–as he gets into the TEA Party
- Richard goes off the deep end and disses us for not buying into his extreme right-wing politics
- Richard grows distant and Tracy’s insane jealousy flares up
- Richard rips into me publicly and I suspect our friendship is all a fake
- I feel increasing coldness from Richard and Tracy as I “unfriend” their Republican candidates and “friend” Obama and Feingold
- Time to scapegoat me into thinking I’m the problem–and I realize my “BFF” is a fraud
- I confront Richard with how he’s been treating me–so he stonewalls me and threatens to beat up my husband
- Resolution: I apologize–and write the fateful e-mail about the fateful hugs
- Part One: Tracy’s narcissistic rage against me–but I am innocent of all her charges
- Part Two: Tracy enjoys verbally abusing me, then tries to silence me–so I tell everyone
- Part Three: Jeff’s WTF moment: Judas (Richard) knows I’m innocent, but psychotically rages at Jeff
- Part Four: Their DARVO lies lead us to break off relations with our abusers
- Why we should tell everyone we have been abused
- E-Mails to Friends About the Incident, written in first two months
- 1. To Mike and my mother
- 2. E-mails describing pain of breaking up with a close friend
- 3. E-mails spilling all the abuse, to my closest friends
- 4. E-mails to Todd describing what happened
- Why we should not be forced to befriend a BFF’s abusive spouse
- Why I refused to “confer” with Tracy–and how Richard betrayed me
- Tracy refused to accept the NVLD and introversion–but they are real
- Resolving conflict: The difference between friends and frenemies
9. The fallout; a second chance?
- I send an apology–and we’re all blocked on Facebook
- Struggling to process what the F**K just happened
- E-mail to Mike: processing my pain
- Pondering forgiveness vs. giving in to the dark vortex
- Shock: Richard and Tracy at my church
- About Richard justifying Tracy’s verbal abuse because I am shy and quiet
- The monster comes back out: Tracy punishes me for long-dead issues
- How Tracy’s e-mails displayed narcissism
- I suggest a six-month break
- I refuse to give in to Tracy’s emotional blackmail
- Tracy blamed others for her abuse
- Tracy tried to force me to submit to her abuse
- Grief over losing my best and closest friend–for no good reason
- Written 2010: Grief over being falsely accused
- Written 2010/2011: Grief over being abused–and the abuser getting away with it
- Written 2010/2011: I see Tracy hanging out of the window of their minivan, like a crazy woman
- Written 2011: Grief that my abusers kept coming to my church but not apologizing to me
- Blog Post for my friends: Fighting the Darkness (Written in February 2011)
- Can we destroy something God put in place?
- An old friend shows me that Richard and Tracy were deceivers, never friends
- The long, dark night of my soul as I doubt God exists–because my spiritual mentor betrayed me
- I start doubting Tracy was ever truly a Christian–so it’s okay to separate myself from her fellowship
- Grief felt on 6/12/11
- 2011 Facebook post: Original form of Losing Your Best Friend?–Or, Narcissistic Webs
11. Struggle to regain normalcy
- Describing Richard’s narcissism
- Realizing how Richard manipulated me into doing things I shouldn’t
- Was Richard’s betrayal driven by Narcissism–or Stockholm Syndrome?
- Tracy: a woman who abuses a man
- Richard’s lack of action made him a passive abuser
- Fear of it all happening again with new friends–but relief as well
- Written early or mid 2011: working through the grief, pain and anger
- How Richard and Tracy’s views on parenting are wrong
- Running into Richard and Tracy at church/the store/Greekfest a year later
12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other
13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary
14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges
- Introduction to this section: Richard’s Criminal Charges
- UPDATE 7/26/11: Richard is charged with abusing his daughter; I report them to CPS
- UPDATE 9/14/11: I learn that Richard choked his daughter
- UPDATE 10/4/11: Richard is convicted of choking his daughter
- UPDATE 10/23/11: After his conviction, Richard comes to my church
Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing