blogging

Richard and/or Tracy were here.

I don’t know why they came here or what they wanted to get out of it, but my bullies (at least one of them) have now seen and read nearly everything I posted about them.

I have no idea if they plan on doing anything about it.  It’s a waiting game, wondering what they’re going to do, if anything.

I saw every page they read in my three trackers.  The referring URL shows that they first came here by clicking on my blog name in a friend’s blogroll.  But why did they do that, when they haven’t even been to my blog in the past two or three years?

I didn’t shut anything down, as hope springs eternal that somewhere in their hearts is a willingness to understand me now…. I suppose it’s too much to ask.  But you never know.

Why were they so interested?  I just don’t know….Their curiosity means they now know probably more than they wanted to know…yet they just kept reading.

I know I don’t like to read unpleasant things about myself, so why did they keep reading everything, sometimes two or three times, sometimes more than that?

The only blogs I’m aware of for them have been inactive for three years, but if I knew of an active one, I certainly would not visit it.  I don’t check Richard’s Twitter, don’t wish to read his Facebook wall.

So why did they come to my blog in the first place?  Does it give them the jollies to read about my hurt and pain regarding them?

But I’m not sorry for blogging about this.  The bullied need to speak out more, make our voices heard, break the silence and become survivors instead of victims.

And even though I did not blog intending for them to read it, this “accident” gave me the chance to finally confront them and vindicate myself with the truth, something I felt I could not do (except maybe in a letter sent posthumously).

I did not want a dialogue with them, did not want to send them a letter and find myself hit with Tracy’s fury, had read about how dangerous it can be to confront an abuser, so I felt my hands were tied.

I certainly did not want to mention the narcissism or BPD to them, because that, also, can be dangerous.

Them finding this blog was an accident I did not intend.  But I did not mention my blog anymore on Facebook, and the mutual friend did not appear to be reading my blog anymore, so I figured the chances of Richard or Tracy returning to it again were remote….

Whether it will make any difference in how they treat me, I have no clue.  But at least it’s done.  I can be at peace now…or soon.

I think about shutting down the blogs, but I don’t want their presence here to intimidate me into silence.  Their abuses and bullying were real, as was their attempt to silence me before (“Don’t go crying to Jeff about this, because we don’t need the headache”).  No, no, the bullies can’t win this time.  I have to fight back.

[Update 2/13/14:] It amazes me now that I even thought about shutting down the blog.  But then I thought, “It’s my blog; I’ll do what I want!”

Where would I be without this blog now?  All my angst has been poured into this blog and taken out of the rest of my life.  I no longer feel the need to talk about it to friends/husband all the time.  I no longer feel sad or scared or unable to move on.  I only rarely miss Richard.

Now I’m just revising my web-book and posting it here, rarely needing to write anything new on the subject.  I’m basically taking what I already wrote, and making it better, easier to digest, and more visible to fellow sufferers; it’s not about processing current grief/anger anymore.

And I see in my stats that other people connect with it, and are finding help here.  I want to get through the web-book as soon as possible so I can move on to some new topic, some new novel perhaps, or revising old stories for publication.

I no longer fear seeing my blog stalker Tracy in my stats all the time; rather, I just chuckle.

 

Why I put this story on the Web–at great personal risk

I keep putting up this story and taking it down again and putting it back up again.  I take it down because I wonder how much I really want to post on the Web.

Then I put it back up because the issues in here–child abuse, domestic violence, bullying, women who abuse men–are very important and need to be addressed.

It’s a risk which sometimes I do and sometimes don’t want to take, but there are many things in here that need to be said about modern society–and it’s hard to make a complete picture of what happened without posting all of it.  However, there are some private details which must be kept private.

1. This page is for NLDers, introverts, fellow bullying victims, fellow abuse survivors and friends of abuse victims.

2. I want to help raise awareness that women do abuse, too, not just men.  If the roles were reversed and Richard did the things I saw Tracy do and heard that Tracy did, nobody would question that he was a jerk and abuser and that she needed to get out.  But because the woman was the abuser, Richard kept trying to hold it together.

It takes great courage or stupidity to post this, because I’m scared the bully Tracy will find it and retaliate.  She is, after all, physically violent when she chooses to be.  (But then, she thinks I’m stupid anyway.)

There’s also still the faint hope that one day soon Tracy will regret the things she’s done, apologize and try to change.

But if she does find it, or Richard finds it–who knows, maybe reading this will show them just what they’ve done and that theirs are not the only opinions that matter.  Maybe it will inspire them to make amends and changes in their own lives.

If they just look and laugh and make no apologies, then that would be childish and prove they have no business coming back into our lives.  If Tracy beats me up, I’ll finally have physical proof of her true character.

[Update: The above was written somewhere between 2010 and 2011.  They did indeed find this in May 2012; see here.]

3. But I’ve read other people’s accounts of how they’ve been bullied and abused.

So my story burns within me to be told as well, expressing to the ether what happened, hoping other abuse victims will be helped by it and learn from it–especially people who deal with NVLD, Asperger’s or selective mutism, or who are introverts, and whose social understanding is hampered.

I have been betrayed and thrown to the wolves by the very person I thought had my back.

4. You will see that it’s useless to deal with someone who is jealous, controlling and/or abusive, but won’t deal with her issues properly.

You will hopefully learn that it just isn’t worth trying to pacify such a person, that it’s best to just cut them out of your life early–before they infect you with their emotional damage and leave you to deal with the pain, the post traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms, the lies they spread about you, etc.  Even a dear friendship isn’t worth that.

5. I hope to demonstrate the evils of jealousy, to make a plea for all those who are judged by advice columnists and bloggers and the like as whores and “inappropriate” based simply on one side given us by an upset wife in a short letter.  There may be more to that story than you realize.

6. I hope to help NLDers realize their naïveté can make them far too trusting, far too easily taken advantage of.

7. As a writer, I am driven to tell stories, even and especially my own stories, whether positive or negative.

8. There’s a huge lack of stories, even on the Net, about the friends and families of people who are involved in domestic or child abuse situations; friends who are being abused by friends; the friends of friends who are being abused by friends.

You read about them, but mostly a sentence or two about how friends and family are driven away by the abuser and/or subjected to abuse as well, because they object to how the abuser treats their friend.

I searched and searched to find stories about friendship abuse, but kept finding very little (except occasionally in comments to blogs or advice columns).  There are plenty of survivor stories from people who were abused by parents or romantic partners.  The dynamics are obviously different, making it hard to relate if you’re the friend being abused.

So that’s another reason I put these stories here, because this is about a friend who sees her best friend’s verbally and physically violent marriage, objects, then finds herself subjected to abuse and accusations because she objected, until finally she cuts these people out of her life at great personal grief.

This story is for people who are abused by friends, or the spouses of friends, or who feel helpless as a friend or family member is domestically abused.  Perhaps you will see that while the abuse of me did anger me quite a bit, what angered me the most was how Tracy abused Richard, the children, and others.

9. I want to help raise awareness of different types of domestic abuse.

10. I want to help raise awareness of bullying and abuse in other contexts.

11. We need to get our stories out there so others learn how to recognize bullying and abuse–to get away from it, to stop doing it, to help others out of it.  Despite decades of attention, this problem persists.

12. I want to help others learn from my mistakes, of which you will probably find many.

13. I want to record my struggle with loss of faith and trying to hold onto it, after the most significant person in my conversion to Orthodoxy, became my betrayer and manipulator.  The fall of a spiritual mentor into some kind of sin does happen now and then, shaking the faith of the ones who looked up to him, so this story is universal.

14. I want to raise awareness for what it’s like to be an introvert, or to have NLD/Asperger’s/selective mutism, and how people like us are constantly bullied in today’s American society, which values extroversion and looks down upon introversion.

15. And, well, this story is true from my perspective (that last bit added for legal reasons).  I wouldn’t be so confident with a lie.

Here is another story of a woman abused by a friend, as seen through the eyes of another woman who eventually became subjected to abuse as well, for sticking up for the abused.  And here is what appears to be the story of the friend being abused.

Here is another story of a woman being abused by her female friend, who is a narcissist.  From what I have observed, Richard and Tracy both have narcissistic traits.  Note the following paragraph from this link, from JoyfulAliveWoman’s blog.  Note that her friendship was heterosexual, that there was nothing sexual about it, and yet this woman hooked in JAW so much that she wrote this:

I was under H’s spell. I couldn’t get enough of her. I became Codependent with her. It was pathetic.

No one else had that effect upon me, nor had they ever. My relationships with others were different.

That isn’t to say those relationships weren’t challenging, but there was a “hypnotic and obsessive quality” to the relationship with H (strong characteristics of a codependent, dysfunctional relationship).

H had her so enthralled that, even though she didn’t acknowledge that JAW had wisdom and insight of her own, and her own superior attitude sometimes inspired JAW to rebel, JAW was always the one to go crawling back, contrite, while her objections were swept under the rug.

It wasn’t like this in the beginning between Richard and me, not until later on, but it was always that way with Tracy and me.

Although it is a common belief that grooming is most relevant to children, the same or similar psychological processes are used by perpetrators to exploit adults.

In the case of adult grooming, the victims family and friends are also manipulated into thinking the perpetrator is a “nice guy” and that he can be trusted.

It is not only a perpetrator’s victims that are groomed (which would be considered emotional abuse), but the victims’ family and friends, the perpetrator’s own family and friends, and even public servants and medical professionals (in which case it is purposeful manipulation). –Mel Stewart, The Fine Art of Grooming

I’ve described the Richard and Tracy story in little bits and pieces, interspersed here and there in my reviews of Gone With the Wind, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Mysteries of Udolpho.

For more than two years I was bullied for being different by a grown adult, bullied by Tracy by proxy through Richard, verbally abused by Tracy only to have both of them act like what I did (basically, being shy, quiet and wary of Tracy, who bullied me, Richard and her children) was somehow worse than her bullying and abuse of me.

At first, Richard and I bonded over religion, music and Goth.  He was my spiritual guide.  He was my best, closest and dearest friend, the one I trusted so much that I told him things I hadn’t told anyone else.  We were like a mutual admiration society.  He told me I was the most awesome person he knew; I felt the same about him.  But he betrayed me.

The first thing is, you were born this way. It is in your nature, and thus cannot be wrong.  On average, one out of every three people is an introvert, if being quiet was wrong, that would make 1/3 of the total population born lesser. –serjicaladdict, Why are you so quiet?

16. [This part was written somewhere between late 2010 and early 2011.]  Another reason is to try somehow to understand this perplexing situation.  Only over the past several months, as I’ve been writing and adding to this story, have I started to see the whole picture and make connections and understand little bits of pieces of it.

I noticed the same thing over the past 15 years as I wrote memoirs about my life: Certain events that upset me greatly, long-term abuse and other such things, I wrote about as they happened, and put them into my memoirs several years later.  I began to understand, but not quite yet.

Then several years after that, I put these memoirs online in public versions.  As I did this, and did more research into abuse, I saw connections I never saw before.  Things began to make sense, how guys would manipulate me, and that sort of thing.

I see this happen now as I write about this horrible situation.  I see clues to what may have happened, that I didn’t see before.

All my life I’ve written diaries, letters, e-mails, journals, memoirs and other accounts describing my life, its various events, my emotions.  This may be related to NVLD, being confused by life, not seeing the whole picture for the details, and needing to journal about it to figure things out.

It may also be related to Aspergers, having a long memory, going over things again and again in your mind long after other people have forgotten about it.

Or maybe I simply want to be a modern Laura Ingalls Wilder.

What Makes Your Control Freak Wife or Girlfriend Tick sounds to me very much like Tracy, and you will recognize various elements of it as you read my story, such as:

  • her being happy as she cuts you down
  • having to be in control (which she did to me, to Richard, to an ex-family friend named Todd)
  • histrionics I witnessed when she dealt with her ex
  • steamrolling me time and again, no compromise or concession, this coming back to bite her as people kept bolting from friendships or other relationships with her
  • two or three of the emotional states listed under “Losing Control” (when I challenged her for raging at me and she realized Jeff and I were ending our friendship with her).

Todd, who was friends with Richard for six years–from before Richard and Tracy got married–and stayed with them twice, for a month each time, said she yells at you but does nothing to work on her own part of the problem.

I witnessed a few arguments between her and Richard that got nasty, so I knew it wasn’t just me.  If she were this way with nobody else, I’d have to look harder at myself, but this was not the case.

17. Tracy did her hardest to make me think I was the problem, but I knew this wasn’t true, and wrote this to remember why.

As the above article states,

Yes, this woman is deeply troubled, but it is NOT your responsibility to tolerate, accept or change her. The only way to gain mastery over a relationship with this kind of woman is to end it. Otherwise, you’ll begin an endless replay loop of your own misery.

18. This article, and my story, should help you recognize such people in your own life, and that it’s not worth waiting around for change.  Take warning from what happened to me.

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 dismisses my experiences

I got frustrated and angry with Richard because it seemed he didn’t care what things were like for me: He just wanted to lecture me on what he thought was right, and everybody else should agree with him.  (This was the same approach he took in many other areas as well, which was maddening.)

Richard just laughed it off whenever I tried to explain NLD, not even entertaining the possibility that I might know myself well enough to see myself in these conditions, that they explained my entire life and meant I was not a freak.  (I shed many tears over my life because I thought I was a freak.  Discovering NLD was a lifesaver.)

I thought maybe he would finally believe my brain was different from his when he showed Jeff and me Batman Begins:

Jeff understood what was going on, Jeff and Richard both enjoyed it very much, while I couldn’t make heads or tails of the plot, the explanations, or anything.  It was such a garbled, jumbled mess that I found it very disconcerting, almost alarming and disturbing (not because of the story or violence but because of the incomprehensibility).

I asked on an NLD support forum if other people had the same problem with such movies.

On IMDB, the reviewers keep saying it’s the best Batman movie or comic book movie ever, while I thought it was terribly done and should have been slowed down a lot to make it understandable.  (Give me Christopher Reeve’s Superman, not this!  I can understand those movies!)

Occasionally, movie trailers and the new, revamped episodes of Doctor Who, confuse me.  They go by too quickly with so few words I can understand, and people talking too fast in their different British accents on Doctor Who.

Meanwhile, my husband catches every important detail, understands the trailer for next week’s episode, understands the Doctor’s explanations, etc.  According to some other posters in an NLD support forum, if these trailers were hard for everyone to understand, then the marketing department would have failed and have to do things differently.

Yet still, Richard didn’t believe me, thought I just had to push myself harder.

He never heard about the mental stimming or the repetitive behaviors or most of the other little things that support my supposition that I have either Asperger’s or NLD.  (Most likely NLD because I don’t do stimming that’s obvious to others.)

He didn’t know me when I was a kid and did not make eye contact at all, was very disorganized, and had all sorts of social and academic issues that I have since overcome (though I still struggle socially and with eye contact).

But he presumed to declare me a neurotypical and an excuse-maker or “victim” based on what little I had told him, and because he had this idea that NLD requires autistic traits.

(That’s not NLD, that’s Asperger’s, and the two, while related, are not the same.  A new study shows that 25% of NLD subjects have benign cysts or legions in their brains; 1 Aspie subject; 1 neurotypical (normal) subject.  It’s a minority in any of the three groups, but far larger in the NLD group than even the Aspergers group.)

He only knew me as an adult who had already overcome many of the things that caused me trouble in childhood, yet decided he knew better than I did if I had it or not.  Jeff and I both found this to be very arrogant.

Amazing how they would poo-poo the NLD, while Tracy kept getting offended at and making fun of the very things that showed I do have it: routines, particular behaviors that others don’t understand, “weird” as Tracy called it (chapter 7), extreme reserve and quietness, isolation, gullibility, the occasional remarks from Richard or Tracy that “I shouldn’t have to tell you this–everybody knows it!”

(I express myself much better via writing, and talk normally with people I know well, such as mates, roommates, family.)

Heck, even one of my brothers made a comment once–only several years ago–that I would come for a visit and not talk to anybody.  Well, I do talk to Mom and Dad, but my big brothers have always been a bit scary for me, picking on me all the time and such.

[sarcasm on] Oh yeah, I couldn’t possibly know myself better than you guys do–and it couldn’t possibly be anything other than stubbornness or malice.  [/sarcasm off]

(Yes, despite NLD, I do understand sarcasm fairly well.)

Richard acted as if it were better for me not to “label” myself as NVLD, as if deciding I’m just introverted and bad at sports would somehow make me feel better about myself and what I can accomplish.

But I had already been “labeled” all through school as “weird,” and my struggles with driving made me feel like a “freak,” so “NVLD” was far better.  As a matter of fact, NVLD meant I could pinpoint where my problems lay and possible ways of dealing with them.  As Peter Flom puts it here:

If you are weird in some way, you are going to get labeled. You can choose the label, or have it chosen for you. If you (or you, for your child) insists on not having a label like “NLD” then you will get a label like “lazy”, “crazy”: or “stupid”.

But labels can be more useful than that. They can help find services, they can reduce isolation, they can even help with solutions to the problems you face.

The problem comes when we let the label dictate to us, instead of the other way round–because a label can be a box, and people don’t fit in boxes.

 

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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