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.