Category: borderline personality disorder

Could personality disorders explain the mean girls I know?

Something I’ve encountered all my life but just don’t understand at all: people who, for no reason at all, just don’t seem to like me.  I do nothing mean to them, say nothing mean to them.  Just as I have always striven to be nice to everyone, and am just a shy, quiet person, not out to hurt anyone.

But they say mean things to me, take anything I say the wrong way, and try to pick fights.  I’ve encountered people like this as a child, in adolescence, in college, and occasionally in adulthood as well.

I just don’t get what causes people to act this way.

Tracy was like this.  Most of the time I just avoid such people as much as possible, so as not to be near their negativity.  But Tracy and Richard tried to force me to be best buds with her, and you see that blew up.  If I’d been allowed to follow my natural instincts, that never would’ve happened.

One of my teachers in college, and one of my suitemates, were like this.  Just inexplicably had it in for me.  No matter what I did, they picked on it.  I got this “aura” off them, this vibe of bad feeling.

Sometimes girls like this just gave me a bad feeling and made a snark from time to time.  But some of them had a chip on their shoulder and tried to badger me into fights, such as a girl in high school who said she was a witch, and kept attacking my beliefs.  One day, a Jewish girl stuck up for me–not the same beliefs, but she saw I was being attacked unfairly.

In among my group of best buds from college is another person like this.  She even was my apartment-mate when four of us lived together back then.  Something she did to me once–even Sharon considered it intimidation.  And now I see it on Facebook, when this person seems to want to pick fights with me.  She did it again tonight, making some snarky comment out of the blue.  I could swear she was trying to pick a fight with me for some unknown reason.  Over *chickens.*  HUH?  Sometimes I think about unfriending her, except I don’t want drama.

I just don’t get people like this at all.  I don’t get why people would treat others this way.  I also don’t get why my other friends hang around people like that.  Don’t they see the negativity?  Especially when, as a young person, some guy I liked would date one of the girls who picked on me.

Some of these people I tolerate–at least for a time–because they are in a circle of my friends.  But I don’t get close to them, like I do to other friends.

I even put such people into my fiction from time to time.  In high school, I put such a character into my desert island novel, a mean girl who inexplicably has it in for the main character, a sweet girl.

And, of course, this means I can identify with Laura Ingalls, because I deal with my own Nellie Olesons.  But you never can figure out, reading the Little House books (or the recently-released Pioneer Girl), why Nellie and her three real-life models had it in for Laura.

Studying personality disorders at least gives me some idea of what’s going on.

Like, for example, Tracy has borderline personality disorder.  She also apparently is a narcissist sociopath as well.  That would explain her inexplicable behavior toward me.

Then there’s the girl who posted on Facebook, “Parents, beat your children.”  I started getting a “vibe” off her, too, before she posted this.  Then she verbally abused my husband.  She freely posts that she is bipolar.

Another old school friend, I don’t get a “vibe” of her disliking me, but she frequently gets into tiffs with people.  She freely posts that she is borderline, so I’m able to compare her behavior with others I suspect of borderline.

The woman I described above, who tried to pick a fight with me over chickens: She also ended a friendship with another of my best college buds, Mike, about five years ago.  He said she hates children, and well, I can see it in her posts.  Since she posts things from time to time with that familiar “Tracy” feel to them, I highly suspect she’s another borderline.

The only explanation I can think of, is that I’m dealing with people with personality disorders who single me out for some reason I can’t possibly know.

That they see something I do as offensive, which other people wouldn’t find offensive at all, because their personality disorder screws with their amygdala (part of the brain which regulates these things).

Some of them are more dangerous than others.  Some seem to have personality disorders, but not narcissism, so leaving them alone seems to keep the worst at bay.

But some are also narcissistic, like Tracy, making them dangerous, constantly trying to pick fights with me and carry out smear campaigns.

The best thing I can do is avoid them, don’t get too close–especially since I’ve seen, through Tracy, what can happen when I’m forced to violate this instinct.  Don’t poke the bear, don’t respond when they try to provoke me.

 

 

“Married to a Borderline” Blog

Here is a blog by a man married to a woman with borderline personality disorder.  It’s short, but fascinating–and should help people in his situation.

Let’s keep getting the word out about what it’s like to deal with abusers, whether narcissists, sociopaths, narcissistic borderlines, or whatever kind.

My own story about dealing with an abusive borderline woman is here (book-length but opening with a short summary), plus her stalking me after discovering this blog, here.

 

Narcissists/Abusers: Will they be the same with somebody else, or is it just me?

From what I’ve experienced and researched, it’s extremely common to get out of an abusive relationship of some kind (any kind of abuse, and any kind of relationship), and feel like you’re the crazy one.  “Is it all just me?”  “Will the next girlfriend get the nice version of him, and prove me to be the nutty one?”

But here is my experience with ex-boyfriends:

Peter made me believe he was the One, that he was just like me, that we had a psychic link proving we were meant for each other.  After he broke up with me, he began spreading lies about me, changed into a completely different person (mean, smoking, underage drinking, doing weed, cussing), then had a string of girlfriends after me.

I didn’t know them personally, or what happened, but one day, a girl working in the cafeteria told me he had broken up with her, too, so we both had something to be mad at him for.  At that point I had moved on and didn’t want to talk about such things, but still, there was another one.

Then senior year, when my roommates got a modem and we began going on local BBS’s, a couple of guys on one BBS told me Peter had been preying upon the girls there.  He’d get them to believe he was the man of their dreams, but it wasn’t true.  They had no idea I had dated him freshman year.  All this is in my college memoirs.

Phil, who emotionally and sexually abused me, had another girlfriend after me whom I knew.  I found out, through her, that he was exactly the same with her as with me, and even slapped her one day.  His depths of immaturity went even further with her than with me.  When she finally broke up with him for good after a string of short-lived breakups, her friends practically threw other guys at her.

I found out through my other friends that his girlfriend after that, after I graduated, was treated the same way.  They had to get married because he got her pregnant; they divorced several years ago.

As for my recent experience with abusive friends:

Richard, the narcissist fake friend who used and manipulated me, did the same thing to his friend Todd that he did to me.  He also choked his 9-year-old daughter, resulting in probation.  I also know, from Richard’s own admission, that he abused an ex (psychologically, I believe) as punishment for her cheating on him.

He even sent an e-mail threatening physical violence to my husband, which you can find posted here.  He also told me once that he used to be a Mafia thug, and that he planned to assault (it sounded like kill) the lady who just evicted him.  (His wife wouldn’t let him.)

But I bet the people still on his Facebook friends list think he’s a great guy with a “big heart,” as two people have described him.  However, not everyone is fooled, as I know from the enemies he has also made on forums–ones who said, for example, that he was a narcissist, or (to Todd), “He always was an a**hole, but you were his friend and didn’t notice.”

His wife Tracy, who abused him and her kids, bullied and psychologically abused me, then later terrorized me by stalking me online and off when I told what happened.  She pulled a lot of the same crap with Todd as well.

Also, she has so ticked off Richard’s friends over the years that many have told him, “Sorry, but we can’t be friends with you anymore, because we can’t take Tracy anymore.”  Richard TOLD me this with Tracy right there, so I know it to be true.

When I accidentally come across something online which presents her “religious woman, pillar of the community, smart and successful” persona, this is so entirely different from the Tracy I knew (or that Todd knew) that I start to feel like the crazy one.  Her e-mails to me sure didn’t help, as they blamed me for everything and treated me like sh**.

It also doesn’t help when I come across something which makes it look like they both cared so little for me that they just moved on with their lives after we broke off relations with them, without bothering to make things right, without caring about us at all, without grieving our loss.

But then, I remember–since we had mutual friends on Facebook and she wasn’t blocked at that time–her commenting “lol” on a friend’s post in the few days right after Richard had been to the court, got his mugshot taken, and started the course of getting convicted of choking her daughter.

So I have seen firsthand how her public persona does not reflect her real life.  And I also noticed another mutual friend’s profile showed absolutely no sign of knowing that Richard had been convicted of choking his daughter, even though they were close friends.

The community persona she presents, is not the real her.  I’ve seen the real her, nasty, abusive and lazy.  So has Todd.  So have others.

I can tick off on my fingers the people whom I know she has ticked off so badly that they broke off relations with Richard, too (since she forces his friends to be friends with her, too): Todd.

A woman whom Richard was good friends with, also a popular forum moderator.

Another of his female friends, with whom Tracy was “at war,” and this was AT CHURCH; the friend told Richard that Tracy was going to cause him trouble; Tracy later hit the roof when she discovered Richard phoned her while he lived with my husband and me.

Then there are others I have seen her go off on, online.  That included a girl who made the same mistake Tracy did at 19, but Tracy ripped her apart for it.  I also know that Richard’s family would scold Tracy for being mean to him/the children, and that she complained his family treated her like a child.

She got upset with Richard for not sticking up for her when they said she was mean to him, even though she had indeed been mean to him.  Oh, yeah, and don’t forget the ex, at whom Tracy would scream obscenities over the phone (they shared a child and still had to contact each other).

That persona your narcissist/abuser presents to other people, that sweet, nice, wonderful person who couldn’t possibly abuse anyone, so you must be lying?  That is not the real narc.

You’ve SEEN the real narc.  You’ve had the–as Shrink4Men so delicately puts it–WTF moment, when the narc’s mask came off.  What the narc shows to everyone else, is the same mask she showed to you, pulling you in.  It isn’t real.

Remember that next time you start missing the narc and thinking it was all your problem.  Next time you start wondering, Is he treating her better than he treated me?  Even if he’s treating her well right now, the mask will come off eventually with her, just as it did with you.

Narcs can have the ability to fool an entire community or church for years; this is why it’s often hard for their victims to come forward.  If they do, nobody believes them, and the narc paints them as crazy.  But the victims have seen the real narc.  Some of those people the narc has fooled, will one day be their victims, and think again about what you said.

Narcissists often display a façade self based on impressive and admirable traits. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, if it weren’t mere window dressing. Their façade self is fake, covering up a real self that’s insecure and vulnerable…..

  • Narcissists are great masters of disguise, describing their behavior in the best of terms, (i.e. I’m only doing it for you!) Hence, it may take awhile for you to ‘get’ what’s really going on.
  • Though narcissism has a bad rep (egocentric, egotistical), narcissists also have positive traits. Indeed, they may be quite charismatic and charming. Hence, it may be hard to believe that narcissism is driving their behavior. –Linda Sapadin, PhD, How to Live With a Narcissist

 

 

Is he/she really a narc? If you were idealized, devalued and then discarded, just say yes, he is and be FAIR TO YOURSELF.

If he/she isn’t a narc, by the time that conclusion is drawn with clarity from enough distance through NC, you will have moved on from the encompassing toxicity of a dysfunctional relationship – regardless of what labeling helped you to be able to do that.

Allow yourself to heal. Doubt only holds you back and keeps you holding onto a fantasy of what you wanted it to be and are now afraid to let go of, instead of embracing reality and the emotional freedom that acceptance of truth brings. –Lisa E. Scott, Who Really Benefits from Doubt? (read the whole thing–excellent help!)

 

Working on Healing from Richard and Tracy’s Damage…Day by Day, Crawling Upwards

It’s an uphill climb, but it’s getting there.  Occasionally, I feel sort of happy.  This was one of those days.

I spent part of the afternoon reading The Brothers Karamazov, the first 100 pages of which are so wonderful I want to savor every word.

The rich characterizations, the humor of the narrator, the character Alyoshev (Alexey)–whom I identify with….The father, Fyodor Karamazov, is a narcissistic sociopath…..

I saw the movie (with William Shatner as Alexey) a while back, but I don’t believe they went into the philosophical/religious parts of the story.  I recorded it recently so I can watch it again after reading.

The brothers and the people who visit the starets (elder), Father Zossima, have the same questions and concerns I do–the same overriding question: How can we prove immortality does or does not exist?  And the scenes from Russian Orthodoxy are very appealing to this convert….

The best part was knowing that yes, I was reading at home, but I could have easily been visiting friends.  My husband went to run his steampunk game, and I could’ve gone to visit the wife of the house, but neither of us were feeling well.

Hubby and I saw The Hobbit with her husband and stepson, and the couple has now invited us to a New Year’s Eve party.  We have other friends as well, old friends, though scattered in other counties, making it harder to see them often, but they are there.

Hubby just got me the latest Birthday Massacre CD for Christmas.  I opened it up on the drive to visit family for Christmas, looked through the liner notes, and said, “Oh, this time they’re dressed like axe murderers.”

(In earlier albums, it’s more of an emo/goth look.)

Hubby said, “And how do you know they’re dressed like axe murderers?”  I said, “One’s holding an axe and covered in blood.”  (See picture here.)  He liked that so much he posted it on Facebook.

My favorite song so far: the first, about a drowned girl….

The trouble is, this new album sounds so much like the “Walking With Strangers” album that a certain song, #8, “Remember Me,” keeps going through my head.

It bugs me, not out of dislike–that’s my favorite song from that album, and addicting–but because the whole album reminds me of Richard.

I got it when he lived with us on his own, and I played it over and over– So it reminds me of happy times, the “honeymoon period” of our friendship, when all was right with him and I thought our friendship would last forever, two peas in a pod, bonded in deep, abiding friendship, a platonic mutual admiration society, Frodo to my Sam.

Even while we were still friends, I often had trouble listening to that album because it reminded me of that time, of happiness which had later been tainted by Tracy’s abuses and bullying and Richard’s toleration of it.

Ever since the friendship breakup, I haven’t been able to listen to it at all.

Which really sucks because it’s one of those albums you can barely keep out of the CD player for weeks and weeks after you get it.  It’s just that awesome.  When one of the songs comes up on my random Windows Media Player playlist, or on Pandora, I skip past it.

The other day, in fact, it popped up on Pandora again.  I tried for a minute to listen to it, but it made me too sad.  But the song won’t leave me alone for long when the radio is off.

So I thought, Maybe my soul is trying to get me to listen to it again for some reason, maybe a kind of healing.  Just now I played it, thinking, Maybe if I play it once a day, I can handle it again…

I keep having to remind myself, I’m not lonely anymore: I have friends.

Sure I still miss Richard, but as time passes and he makes no move to repent to us, I grow firmer in my opinion that he was not at all what I once thought he was.

That he was indeed a narcissist using me for supply, a convincing con, not a true friend.

It’s disturbing to think that I could have been so deceived, but overwhelming evidence and proof of this, keeps staring me in the face.

And I remember how badly I was also deceived by my exes Peter and Phil, their systems of lies which did not begin to come to light until much later.

Of the complex web of lies Phil wove to keep me under his control, which you will see as I go further into my college memoirs, elaborate schemes which I believed until he finally confessed they were an act, little hints his friends began to give me after the breakup.

So I know my own gullibility, though I thought I had gotten more discerning over the years.

1. “I did nothing wrong. You’re just oversensitive.”

It’s not that there aren’t people in the world who are highly sensitive. It’s just that even if the person being spoken to were oversensitive, this comment is only going to make them feel much worse! It offers no help, and only rubs salt in the wound.

It is a critical statement of low empathy — there’s no effort to truly understand the other person’s feelings or to consider that maybe the speaker could possibly have done even one small thing a little more considerately to try helping matters.

In addition, it’s most often said by people who are not actually dealing with someone who’s “too sensitive”, but instead, someone who is actually expressing normal dismay about a valid concern.

–Light’s House, The top 10 most dysfunctional things ever uttered, link no longer works

One thing that keeps this going in my head is false nostalgia, which is common among abuse victims:

You start forgetting the bad, remembering the good, and thinking maybe it wasn’t all that bad and you were just overblowing it all.  You just don’t want to believe that you could be so deceived, that someone you loved so much is not what you thought they were.

This is one of the reasons abusers can reel a victim back in, so you have to watch out for it.  That’s one reason why keeping journals, letters, e-mails and the like, is crucial, so you can remember why you left.

Another thing is my natural desire to give people the benefit of the doubt, because I’ve been misunderstood and misjudged all my life due to introversion/NVLD/Asperger’s.  I don’t want to judge others wrongly.

But this natural desire, generally a good and honorable trait, is very dangerous when you’re dealing with an abuser/Cluster B personality disordered person/sociopath.  This is why it’s so important to recognize the traits of such people:

Let’s see: no professional was able to help the victims of Drew Peterson, Scott Peterson, Josh Powell, Michelle Michael and numerous other murderous sociopaths.

This blog isn’t about diagnosing someone to help the person with the disorder. It’s about helping potential and current and past victims stay away, get out, and NEVER go back. If we wait for a proper diagnosis, we’re all f*cked. I say, “F*ck the abuser. Assume the worst.”

Any experienced health professional will tell you that they even get fooled by these lying, cheating, and manipulative monsters. —Paula Carrasquillo

So I keep going back and forth in my mind, wondering if it could possibly be the way I remember, though my journals and e-mails and IRC conversations back it all up.  I have it all written down so I won’t forget.

My husband says that yes, going to my priest for help with the situation (as in Matthew 18:15-17, and as I described here and here) would be right, correct and absolutely necessary if they start going regularly to the same church as mine.  And that no, they can’t sue me for this, no matter how much they may threaten to do so.

A.2.The target of the narcissist or psychopath may be unaware that they are being exploited, and even when they do realize (there’s usually a moment of enlightenment as the person realizes that the criticisms and tactics of control, etc are invalid) –

victims often cannot bring themselves to believe they are dealing with a disordered personality who lacks a conscience and does not share the same moral values as themselves.

Naivety is the great enemy. The target is bewildered, confused, frightened, angry – and after enlightenment, very angry. —How do the ptsd symptoms resulting from a narcissist or psychopath’s abuse and bullying meet the criteria in DSM-IV?

My husband tried to set my mind to rest, saying, “I don’t think you’re wrong.  I believe you have [Richard and Tracy] both pegged correctly [as narcissists etc.].  For one thing, you ask Richard not to do something, and he does it.  I believe you scare him with all your records, and that’s why he keeps looking at your blog.”

(And just as he told me this, there was Richard on my blog again, checking out my re-blog of Paula’s post above.)

Everything I’ve seen, especially their behavior since finding my blog (typical abuser behavior to silence the victim), keeps proving that I’m correct, yet I keep doubting–but my husband does not.

I believe if I can stop doubting my own impressions and experiences and research and the cold, hard proof of the child abuse conviction, my mind will also be set to rest at last.

And then maybe I can set aside the crushing loneliness and depression, and get it into my head that I do have friends, good friends, sweet friends, caring friends.

Problems caused by bullying do not necessarily cease when the abuse stops. Recent research at the Universitiy of Stavanger (UiS) and Bergen’s Center for Crisis Psychology in Norway shows that victims may need long-term support.

This study of 963 children aged 14 and 15 in Norwegian schools found a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among bullied pupils. These signs were seen in roughly 33 per cent of respondents who said they had been victims of bullying.

– This is noteworthy, but nevertheless unsurprising, says psychologist Thormod Idsøe.
– Bullying is defined as long-term physical or mental violence by an individual or group. It’s directed at a person who’s not able to defend themselves at the relevant time. We know that such experiences can leave a mark on the victim.

…The study measured the extent of intrusive memories and avoidance behaviour among pupils. These are two of three defined PTSD symptoms. The third, physiological stress activation, was not covered.

High levels
Recent research on working life has found that 40-60 per cent of adult victims of bullying reveal high levels of these three defining signs. But few national or international investigations have been conducted on the relationship between being bullied and PTSD symptoms among schoolchildren. —Being bullied can cause trauma symptoms

On Tracy calling me (and one of her children) stupid, and saying I’m too stupid to understand:

6. “You’re not smart enough to do that/you’ll never amount to anything/you’re an idiot.”
This one needs no explanation. It’s just abusive, plain and simple. If this has been said to you, remember, it’s projection — people who say this have a tremendous fear that they themselves are the “stupid” one.

Everyone has something to offer. Everyone is good at something, and a comment like this is nothing but a reflection of the speaker’s own insecurities and fears.

Typically, abusive people will pick the moment of a mistake to utter this, but everyone makes mistakes, including the person saying it, and their comment means nothing about the listener. People are not their mistakes, and are not necessarily what other people say they are. 

9. “You wouldn’t understand”.
This kind of dismissiveness and condescension is seen in people who harbor the belief that they are superior and should ideally be the one in control, because of their supposed superiority.

The arrogance of such a statement is more than rude and devaluing — it indicates that the person’s intention is to shut you out and shut you down so they can propagate the perception that they are “better” than you. –Light’s House, The top 10 most dysfunctional things ever uttered, link no longer works

 

Men Don’t Tell…About Being Abused

I post because of Richard, because of Chris, because violence and abuse against anyone must be stopped.  And Richard’s abuser constantly stalks my blog because she knows I’m telling the truth.

Here is a fascinating page about domestic violence against men, Men Don’t Tell About Being Abused.  It begins with a description of the movie Men Don’t Tell, which can be watched on that page:

On March 14, 1993, CBS aired “Men Don’t Tell”, a TV movie about domestic violence starring Peter Strauss and Judith Light. The twist: Strauss’s character, construction executive Ed MacAffrey, was abused by his wife Laura, played by Light.

Based on a true story, it dramatizes the story of a loving husband, who is terrorized by the violent behavior of his wife.  He had long endured the physical and emotional abuse heaped upon him by his neurotic wife.

Ed MacAffrey tolerates this not only because he loves her and is concerned over the welfare of his daughter, but also because men are traditionally regarded as weaklings if they allow themselves to be battered by their wives.

After one of Laura’s destructive tantrums brings the attention of the police, Ed is suspected of being the aggressor!

Finally, Laura goes too far and Ed tries to defend himself–whereupon Laura crashes through the front window of her home and is rendered comatose. Ed is arrested for Domestic Violence and Attempted Murder.

It also links to a page which reads,

After its initial broadcast, CBS came under pressure to never show the movie again, or allow for its release on VHS. Nor has any other movie of its type ever been made again. 

WHY? The movie had a twist to it. Based on a true story, the main character, construction executive Ed MacAffrey, was being abused by his wife, Laura.

Starring Peter Strauss and Judith Light, the movie was the first of its kind to ever be made addressing the problems and issues of 40% of domestic violence victims, who happen to be male.

March is the 20th anniversary of the original broadcast. Join the effort to get CBS to rebroadcast the movie, and bring together the still surviving members of the original cast and the director, Harry Winer, for interviews of the making of the only movie ever made addressing the problems of male victims of domestic violence.

Actually, I have seen other such movies.  One is the movie version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

Another is an independent movie about three men who share a lodge for annual get-togethers: One marries a woman who begins battering him, while sitting home and doing nothing, until he tries to leave and she starts physically stalking him.

She even goes to an agent hoping to get a song? published, but abuses the receptionist in a psychotic rage.  (One of the men is a college professor who cheats with a co-ed.)

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, just that it was an independent movie made in the late 1990s or 2000s.  I have seen the actors in other movies, but forget who they were.

Also on the original page is a video of an investigation by ABC News, showing bystander reactions to men being abused by women.  This video disturbs me greatly.  The couple may be actors, but the bystanders don’t know that.

What is the matter with people that instead of reacting to this apparent abuse the same way as if it were done by a man to his girlfriend/wife, they walk on by and even cheer her on, saying he “looked guilty” and they figured he deserved it?  I’m glad that somebody, at least, called 911!

I can understand if they were scared: Women who abuse their husbands/boyfriends/children are just as scary as men.  If you confront her, or if she discovers through other means that you feel she’s abusing her husband and children and needs to STOP, she’ll turn on you.

I saw this firsthand, which is why I’m so concerned about this subject.  I saw things Tracy did to her husband and children (such as verbal abuse, ridicule, hitting, screaming at the top of her lungs, smacking a tiny child on the back of the head), I heard from the husband about even more things (such as hitting and punching him, even worse verbal tirades, verbally abusing the children and spanking them too hard).

She tried to force me to be friends with her or else she’d punish me in various ways, such as accusing me of moving in on her husband, ridiculing anything I did or said, trying to shame me, going off on me in jealous rages, acting all sweet to my face while telling her husband how horrible I was, accusing me of nefarious motives for keeping my distance from her.

The psychological torture was subtle but strong.  She kept pinning the blame on me for everything, just as she did her husband and children and anybody else she had a disagreement with, and saying I was the one who needed to change my behavior, that I deserved what I got.  (You don’t EVER deserve abuse!)

She convinced her husband to go along with it, even to agree with her.  She crowed in triumph, not just privately but publicly, when my friend finally betrayed me.

He allowed her to pull out the stops and verbally abuse me full-force, accusing me of things that were not true–when he knew DANG well that I did not deserve any of it, that I was innocent of her charges, that she was blaming me and yelling at me for things he had done, things that had been his idea.

The emotional fallout has been devastating as I try to sort out what happened and crawl back up from feeling just the way she wanted me to feel, like a worm, like I should be ashamed, even though I had done nothing to be ashamed of.

Imagine what it’s like to be related to or married to such a person, unable to just walk away and cut them out of your life.

So I would certainly understand if these bystanders were scared of her, because there is something to be scared of.  Women like this are dangerous.  They could turn the beating on you.  They could tell you to mind your own d*** business.

It takes courage to stand up and say hey, stop doing that!–courage that I wish I had had.  But no, these people walked by because they didn’t think it was that big of a deal!  One even said that she herself is too nice and should do more of what the actress was doing.

Women should know very well what other women are capable of verbally and physically, that they’re not all angels, because we deal with such females as this all the time growing up and in the workplace.

And imagine what it must be like to be the husband or child of someone who feels she has free reign to abuse you–and you can’t get out, whether because of the stigma, love, lack of resources, or the very good chance that you’ll be the one arrested or losing the children to her.

But there’s still a stigma against men who are abused, that they either deserved it or are wimps.  That a small woman couldn’t possibly harm a larger man.  It just isn’t true, and what about the children who are smaller than the woman?

Then people try to tell their stories and hear things like, “What did you do to get her so mad?” or “You should forgive!” or “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.”

I post to raise awareness.  I feel helpless because I did all I felt I could do, but it wasn’t enough, I couldn’t stop it.  But if society starts treating men who are abused the same way it treats women, maybe things can at least improve.

But this post at the bottom of the page, from Male Victim on 2/20/11, makes me feel better about stepping in, disastrous as it may have been:

Please please please, if you see anything that might even remotely look like abuse, for a man or woman, step in. Error on the side of thinking there is instead of ignoring.

Myths and Realities of Domestic Abuse Against Men

I post because of Richard, and because of Chris.  Richard’s wife stalks my blog because she knows I’m telling the truth, and she can’t stand it, because abusers don’t want the truth about them to get out.  Her constantly stalking me–rather than just laughing it off–is proof.

It’s amazing to hear of people not believing that women can abuse men.  Does nobody remember “The Taming of the Shrew” anymore, or words like termagant?  Is it a man’s fault if he’s henpecked so heavily that his spirit is broken?  Is it really okay for women to hit men or verbally abuse them?

I’d hear girls say to boys on the playground, “Boys can’t hit girls, but girls can hit boys.”  This was between first and second grade, and yet I already knew that was a screwed-up attitude, that it was neither just nor fair.

Growing up, I could identify girls who were just as mean as any boy bully could be.  Their bullying could be verbal and emotional, as girls do to screw with each others’ heads, or physical, such as when I saw clumps of hair all over the girls’ locker room one day after two girls had been fighting.

I avoided such girls as much as I could, though unfortunately they would come after me anyway.

In high school, one day I sat in a classroom as a girl and a boy passed the open doorway–and I heard a loud smack as the girl punched the boy in the arm.  I knew that wasn’t right.

So why do people act like it’s no big deal for a woman to abuse a man, or like it’s not even possible?  Maybe some men think all women are angels and couldn’t possibly do this, but us women should all know better!

Here is a website naming 8 Myths and Realities of Domestic Abuse Against Men.

MYTH #1–ONLY MEN WHO ARE WIMPS ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE ABUSED BY WOMEN….Men who are physically assaulted by their abusive partners via punches, bites, kicks to the groin, attacked while they are driving and hit with hard objects etc. without retaliating are the real men.

I see this attitude on occasion, that abused men are wimps.  I even saw it in Youtube comments on the movie Men Don’t Tell.  What do they expect men to do to stop the abuse against them–smack the b**** up?

I even heard from a shocking source, “If she hits me in the face, I’ll fight back, and no judge in the state will convict me.”  This from a man who is much larger than his wife and could smash her like a bug if he got angry enough.

Is that how you’ll protect yourself–by killing your wife?  Is sitting in jail for assault or even murder going to keep you safe?

MYTH #2 – THE ABUSER IS THE BIGGER, STRONGER PERSON AND THE VICTIM IS THE SMALLER, WEAKER PERSON….Callers to our helpline have reported that they have had their arms broken, been stabbed and shot at, been hit with heavy objects that caused them to go to the emergency room to get stitches and had their intimate partners try to run them over with a vehicle.

Numerous abused men have reported life-threatening injuries at the hands of their intimate partners.

Not just that, but women can be skilled at twisting your mind through emotional, verbal and psychological abuse.  Just ask any target of mean girls in school.  Do you think those mean girls grow up to be sweet and kind?

MYTH #3 – WOMEN ONLY USE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN SELF DEFENSE.

I’ve seen a woman smacking her husband on the arm in anger.  Not play, anger.  That is domestic violence.  And as a witness, I saw absolutely no reason for her to do this.  He was not smacking her or in any way intimidating her; he was just sitting there, and something he did or said–I did not know what–had upset her.

He also tells me she’s gotten so angry that she would punch him, that he would restrain himself, but if she ever hit his face during these sessions, he would lose control and fight back.  How is it self-defense, then, for her to hit him, period?

MYTH #4 – IF THE ABUSE WAS THAT BAD HE WOULD LEAVE BECAUSE A MAN CAN EASILY LEAVE A RELATIONSHIP.

Can he, when he’s the one taking care of the kids and house while she makes the money because she makes more?  When it’s been ingrained in his head that men are not supposed to leave, that it would be a sin against God to divorce his abusive wife?

For the most part, incidents of domestic violence have been found to increase in severity when a victim leaves. Leaving an abusive situation requires resources such as money, housing, transportation, and support structures, all of which may have been eroded by life with an abuser.

Men stay for many of the same reasons women stay in abusive relationships. These are just a few:
• to protect their children from an abusive parent;
• family is important, when they got married it was for life;
• their abuser controls the finances;
• the abuser makes promises to change and/or get help for their violent behavior;
• they love their partners and don’t want the relationship to end, just the abuse;
they feel and/or are told they are responsible for the abuse that is perpetrated upon them.

MYTH # 7 – RESEARCH SHOWS THAT IN 95-98% OF THE CASES WOMEN ARE THE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND MEN ARE THE PERPETRATORS.

I know of at least two men (Richard and Chris) who have been physically battered by their wives.  And those are just people with whom I’ve been close enough in contact the last few years that I would know this.  Or wait, maybe that’s three, based on some Facebook posts I’ve seen….

My Facebook friend count is in the low 200s, so out of that, 3 is about 6%.  Even 2 would be 4%.  Or maybe that’s 4 men, come to think of it, which would make it 8%…..Who knows how many of the guys just on my Facebook have been battered?

And as the article goes on to note,

Patriarchy and oppression of women does not account for the high rate at which domestic violence happens to lesbians, gay men, transgendered people or heterosexual men. Domestic abuse is said to occur in approximately 30 to 40% of GLBT relationships.

An Abuser’s Lies Are Demonic

Whenever Tracy’s abusive lies start creeping into my mind again, what I need to do is repeat to myself, “Those are lies.  She does not define me.  She is toxic.”

These are some of the things she said to me which were so toxic, the ones I still remember, and the ones I care to post on the Web:

F– bombs
“What are you, stupid?”
“A 5-year-old child could understand.”
“You’re too stupid to understand!”

From my chapter on this episode:

“Instead, I found a horrid message from Tracy, telling me to f— off [which no one has EVER said to me before or since),

which would be followed by other messages,

full of foul language, the most baffling accusations, the most horrid things anyone had ever said to me,

abusive, filthy, controlling, manipulative, demeaning, humiliating,

and completely undeserved.

It was a bunch of deranged ranting, making her sound like some insane madwoman.  It came completely out of the blue, blindsided me, baffled me, mystified me.  I was horrified.  THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.  THIS IS A NARCISSISTIC RAGE.  ABUSERS AND THE CLUSTER-B PERSONALITY DISORDERED DO THIS.

This was the last straw: I no longer wanted anything to do with her.  I began to remove my posts from Richard’s Facebook page, and later that day, blocked her on Facebook.

“Her accusations of me were all false.  Her justifications of raging were all false.  I prove that here, here and here.

“I was amazed that anyone could be so cruel and vicious to a friend, to someone who never harmed anybody but had done so much to help her.  I sat in shock for some time before I could even start crying.

The friendship I had worked so hard to build, maintain and restore–was just gone in the blink of an eye.  Had slipped out of my fingers.

“For something I hadn’t even done or said,

but something that Tracy had intimated,

had imagined,

had put into that e-mail herself,

subtext she read into it that did not exist,

lines she had read between and found something that was not actually there,

because she had been bound and determined ever since we first met to be jealous and treat me as guilty until proven innocent. 

(Witness this incident a few weeks earlier, in which she went off on me for wishing them a fun trip!)

She told me, “Don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache.”

“Just like any bully on the playground, or any other kind of abuser:

“Don’t you dare go and tell anybody how I’ve treated you.  Don’t tell your mother I touched you like this.  Or don’t tell the police I’m slapping you around.  Or don’t go crying to your friends/husband/ boss/teacher about how I’m beating you down verbally or physically, because I don’t need the headache….

“Abusers of any stripe deserve to be brought into the light and their deeds exposed.

“I wrote to Richard, saying I don’t understand, saying he told me that hugs were fine, that we’ve always been brother/sister, begging him to get into chat and talk to me, give me the dignity of that much if this friendship is over, explain this to me, why was I being treated like a whore when we had never done anything wrong and he had told me that hugs are okay?????!!!!!!

“But she, acting like an insane control freak, refused to even allow that much, just took over all his messages and wouldn’t let him respond himself, wielded control over him, treated him like a slave or a child.

“She said, “You’re too stupid to understand!”  THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.

“She told me she was taking over his Facebook, said I couldn’t speak to him, and when I tried to defend myself and not listen to this screaming harpie and get him to give me the respect of talking to me about this,

she called me stupid for trying to talk to himTHIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.

“Basically, I had been tried, judged a whore, and sentenced to jail without a chance to defend myself.  It was ridiculous.  It was overblown.  It was nasty.

“Jeff noted the e-mail was perfectly fine when you knew the context, which Richard knew very well and should have explained to her, especially since I was referring to things he had done.

“It was truly ridiculous because if she’d waited to get the context before reacting, as Jeff did, she would’ve known there was nothing to get upset over, and our friendship would have continued.

“But she wouldn’t even allow Richard to call me and sort things out, and ranted and raved at me in an outrageous rage episode every time I tried to e-mail Richard or get him into Facebook chat to discuss this ridiculous crap and what the freaking HECK was going on.  More of her power play.

“But no matter what Jeff or I tried to say in my defense, whether apologies or explanations, she wouldn’t listen to any of it, so trying to explain the e-mail was useless.  (You know, like it was when she raged at Todd for something he hadn’t even done, but refused to believe his intentions had been to help her.)

“From her crowing on Facebook, she obviously didn’t want to believe that I was innocent of her charges, because she was getting far too much perverse pleasure from beating up on me.”

Even the most benevolent act can be turned into its opposite by the assignation of bad motives. The narcissist reserves to themselves the right to determine your own mind for you.

They will tell you what was really motivating you in order to take away from you the truth, reality or rightness of whatever you have done. It can be an amazingly effective sleight-of-hand. –Anna Valerious, Thought Crimes

When they are angry for something that they have imagined or misunderstood, you can try to prove the facts to them, you can drag in a hundred witnesses, present undisputable evidence — they will still not change their mind. –Joyful Alive Woman, Behaviors and attitudes of the narcissist 

Just a day or so before this person she was addressing had emotionally abused her for an hour over the most unpredictable and irrational thing until HE felt better. Nothing she said or did could assuage him. He simply had to abuse her until he started feeling better. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?

They inflict pain on others and actually enjoy doing it. —Behaviors and attitudes of the narcissist

“Both Richard and Tracy–first Richard when Jeff spoke to him, then Tracy in the e-mail to Jeff–claimed that 99% of everyone else in the world would have reacted even more fiercely than Tracy had done during the “incident” which ended the friendship, to the e-mail I had written.

“What kind of horrid, abusive people do they normally hang out with, anyway, to think this?

“Also, note that here, as before when Richard told me that 90% of the world would disagree with me that the man is not responsible for all problems in a marriage, Richard and Tracy were now claiming that most of the world would agree with them–as if somehow this made their view right and mine wrong.

“But what about the way men in much of the world think women should be treated, with women subservient, so any problems in the marriage can be solved by the man asserting his dominance and swacking her over the head?

“What about the tyranny of the majority?

“And how do they know most of the world disagrees with me?  Have they done a poll?

This is typical of abusers, claiming that their abuse is kind compared to what other people would have done to you for your “crimes.”  

“The appeals to these hypothetical “others,” the Grand Society who would treat you far worse for what you have supposedly done, to make you think you should be grateful for the “mild” way he’s abused you.

“The minimizing, rationalizing, and justifying of the abuse to make the victim seem like the abuser, or too sensitive, or too immature to accept responsibility for her behavior.  (Ironic, isn’t it?)  

“He’s “only” yelled and screamed at you.  Or “only” hit you.  Or “only” cussed at and belittled you for your horrible behavior. 

“The slaveowner in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl did exactly this to Linda, telling her other masters would have killed her on the spot for saying she despised him.

Don’t you dare go and tell anybody how I’ve treated you.  Don’t tell your mother I touched you like this. 
“Or don’t tell the police I’m slapping you around. 
“Or don’t go crying to your friends/husband/ boss/teacher about how I’m beating you down verbally or physically, because I don’t need the headache.

(That’s what Tracy wrote to me: “Don’t go crying to Jeff about this because we don’t need the headache.”)  

“Don’t tell your teacher or the police that I nearly choked you to death.  You deserve what you got….

“THESE ARE LIES!

Abusers of any stripe deserve to be brought into the light and their deeds exposed.

“Both of them were, basically, blaming me for Tracy’s actions.  But the responsibility for Tracy’s behavior is on Tracy, not me.

“She could have chosen to step back, calm down, and then find out what was REALLY going on, before (over)reacting.  This would have led to her getting the truth, (hopefully) accepting it, and then the preservation of the friendship.”

This is wrong!  People have the right to express themselves.  They should not be living in fear about what they discuss or share with others or what they post on the internet.

Living in this kind of fear of what they can or cannot say publicly or privately is an extension of the spiritual abuse – – – and it is happening to former congregants who left the church months ago and even years ago. —Julie Anne Smith on the lawsuit against her and anyone from her former church who commented on her blog about being abused there, Two Important Issues For Me

There it is, the whole evil abusive rage episode, which, from what I’ve researched, is typical of Cluster B personality disorders (narcissism, borderline, histrionic).  Or even abusers in general.

And then the shunning which Tracy immediately instituted to force me into submitting to her abuse, accepting it as my due–or else–a common tactic of cults, I might add.

The trouble with such rage attacks, is that they get into the mind of the abuse victim.

If they’ve succeeded over time, an abuser can get you to believe that you deserved all this, the lie which Tracy tried to get me to believe in her comment that I needed to “grow up” and “stop feeling hurt over the consequences” of my “behavior”–which was not true at all, because none of my behavior/actions deserved this.

All of my actions were based in innocence and good intentions–and on the knowledge of abuse which I had witnessed and which she did to me over and over again.  And this lie, that you deserve abuse, is the most demonic lie of all.

Recognize the reality that the narcissist will never give you “permission” to defend yourself against them. Quit being confused as to your rights to self-defense when confronted by the threatenings and breathings against you by the narcissist for doing so.

Is it reasonable to expect the despotic ruler to grant you the right to mount a defense against his capricious demands? Hardly.

It is time to recognize your fundamental right to live which is connected to your fundamental right to defend your life against threats. This is as true in the emotional, mental and spiritual realm as in the physical. –Anna Valerious, Your Most Fundamental Right

And of course the narc later makes excuses, saying he was just retaliating against some perceived offense. Narcs are pathological liars, duh, and everyone knows it. So, what kind of fool believes them when they say this without evidence to back it up?

What’s more, they lie to themselves as much as they lie to others, so they probably repress knowledge of what they’re doing, twisting things to rationalize their unprovoked attacks on others.

Only in moments of unwanted self-awareness do they know better. But they instantly repress such knowledge the moment it surfaces. –Kathy Krajco, What Provokes a Narc Attack

Oh, yes, I recognized this as bullying.  In e-mails written way back in 2007, I called her treatment of me “bullying” and “abuse.”  I wrote that very day of 7/1/10, “I’m SICK of being bullied, sick of it, sick of it!”

In reading the spiritual abuse blog of Julie Anne Smith, I found in the comments to this post about shunning, Julie Anne wrote,

See, those messages that were sent to you were LIES and in your 2nd paragraph you get caught in the trap of believing THEIR LIES. That shows how powerful and destructive they not only were in your life, but still are in your life.

I wish you could just grab all of those ridiculous lies and dump them in a heap. Essentially, that’s what you need to do – replace the lies that you replay in your mind with the truth.

I think we all believe lies about ourselves to some extent or another and it especially happens in abusive environments.  Here’s something that has helped me with that: when I acknowledge a lie has slipped in my brain and is sucking me in, I try to bring a truth from God’s word to hush it up.

I think I would keep a running list of those lies and then find as many verses that you can find to counter them and keep reading them over and over again. Ask God to help solidify the truth in your mind.

Ever since 7/1/10, any time I hear the term “I don’t understand,” my mind starts replaying, “You’re too stupid to understand!”

It’s been especially tough when studying Greek, when I come across the phrase, “I don’t understand.”  Then katalavaino.  Δεν καταλαβαíνω.  “YOU’RE TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND!”

These “echoes” are what happen to abuse victims, a kind of flashback.  They are poison, meant to kill your spirit through your own flashbacks.  I’ve also heard Tracy call her daughter stupid.

This is why, when Tracy claims they “did nothing wrong,” that, too, is a lie straight from the pit of Hell.  Satan himself put it in her mouth (or fingers, since it was typed).

All of Tracy’s lies are straight from Satan; he is the one trying to destroy me, using her as his instrument.

Whether you believe in Satan or that Satan is the personification of our own human evil, it still works in your own abusive environment.  Because that is what abuse is: evil.

And if Richard truly agrees with her statement, then he, too, is the instrument of Satan, sent to destroy God’s child.

Attacks from Satan are common to all Christians.  I was warned that when I came to Orthodoxy, because of its connection to the very first Church, Apostolic Succession and the power in the Eucharist, I could be subjected to attacks from Satan far worse than I’d ever had.

One person wrote on an Orthodox forum about all the exceptionally rough things that happened to him when he converted.  I forget them now, but I believe they included a car accident right when he was to be chrismated (anointed with oil and accepted into the church).

It’s true.  I’ve been through many different trials in my life, have been abused and bullied by many different people, including my own brother, who even choked me and–I’m told–tried to kill me when I was a baby.

But never, ever had my faith been anything but a comfort to me in all of this.  Never had I lost faith in God’s existence.

Now I don’t even know if He’s real or just invented by man, because when I asked for a friend, He sent me Richard.  When I searched for the true doctrines of the Early Church, he sent me Richard.

When I found the church I was looking for, had searched for for so long, it became tainted to me, because everything about it reminded me of the one who had betrayed me.  And now in that same church, I’m constantly at risk of seeing my abusers again.

It’s actually kind of funny that Tracy claims they “forgot” all about what happened.

As my husband says, “That’s because we didn’t do anything to them!”

Oh, sure, that’s because what I did wasn’t all that bad, while they were both the abusers, Tracy verbally abusing me and Richard verbally abusing and intimidating my husband for sticking up for me.

They aren’t the ones who have crap to forgive and forget.  No, we’re the ones who have crap to deal with, and we have not forgotten.

To an abuser, raging is basically the equivalent of a satisfying bowel movement: Once it’s over, you feel much better, and forget the pain you went through getting it out.

And the abuser expects you to just “grow up” and “get over” being crapped all over, thinks there’s something wrong with you if you don’t.  But don’t believe this lie of the abuser, either: The responsibility belongs to the abuser that you got hurt, not to you!  You are not responsible for someone abusing you!

 

So they attack just because this is a golden opportunity to dump a load of projection and projective identification on someone. It’s a golden opportunity to feel powerful by having a powerful effect on someone.

They feel great afterwards. They not only relieve their moral constipation by dumping their load on you, they get high off the power rush in trampling you or tearing you to pieces.

And what’s to restrain those urges? Any morals? Any conscience?

So, if this has ever happened to you, you probably just had a close encounter with a malignant narcissist. Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life. –Kathy Krajco, The Rewards of Befriending a Narcissist

 

I must do as Julie Anne suggests, and replace Tracy’s lies with Truth.  She cannot win.  Satan cannot win.

Is it necessary for me to state that I saw clearly that it would be a dishonour to myself to continue even an acquaintance with such a one as you had showed yourself to be?  –Oscar Wilde, “De Profundis

It’s highly unlikely that you can make a bully understand that the way he or she treats you is abusive. These people won’t take ownership for their bad behaviors.

They always have a justification and rationalization. It’s your fault. You ‘made’ them treat you badly.

In order for the emotionally abusive person to see their behavior for what it is, they have to be able to tolerate cognitive dissonance.  –Dr. Tara Palmatier, Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies

If you live with an abusive narcissist, you cannot forgive him or her. Why? Because they deny what they do to you, let alone that it is wrong. They show no remorse. They don’t promise to stop.

In fact they make a virtue of doing it and show that they fully intend to keep right on. That is an offense in progress. You cannot forgive it. –Kathy Krajco, Forgiving the Abuser

The lies abusers tell you, are corrosive, are acid, are poison.  You wouldn’t just let a venomous bite course through your veins, would you?  You’d try to get it out so you don’t die, maybe suck it and spit it out.  Don’t let abusive lies destroy you.  Replace them with the truth!

I try hard to do just that.  It’s hard because people like Tracy know just how to get to you.  But we mustn’t be sheep who just sit back and let the wolves eat us: We have to fight back.

In the post linked above, Julie Anne speaks of shunning by her former congregation of anyone who leaves, as ordered by the pastor.

She tells how people get so sucked into their spiritually abusive environment that they believe this shunning is right–even if they shun family or close friends who are like family.  That is Stockholm Syndrome.

Just as we have experienced shunning, they are too.  I’m sure it aches their hearts when they see us in town and must turn away from us, avoid all eye contact with former friends with whom they were so intimately connected. –Julie Anne, Two Important Issues for Me

Try to imagine having a relationship with a close family member and then it is stopped immediately.  No explanation.  No closure.

Holidays that were traditionally spent together are now without that loved one or family.  No more birthday celebrations together.  No more camping trips, impromptu coffees, etc.

Death would be easier because there is something final, you can move on.  This is heart-wrenching because you know they are alive.

It’s always at the back of your mind reminding you of what once was, what should be, and what you cannot have.  You wonder if they think of you, what they are told about you, you remember those precious times together, but you can’t have it.

If this happened to me, I think I would go crazy.  I’d probably drive by the house, hoping to see family.  I’d drop off gifts.  I’d frequent places I knew they would go to just to “happen” to run into them.

I don’t know what else I’d do, but family is so important and I’d probably do anything to break through that wall.

Good grief, I cannot even type this without getting teared up again.  You guys have got to get a sense of what this does to families, relationships and how destructive it is.

And it is a complete FARCE – totally made-up rule only benefitting ONE person. –Julie Anne, Outside Family Members: Why Are They Shunned?

Ah, yes, Julie Anne, you get it!  I don’t do the “stalking” like actions she describes here (LOL); no, I keep a firm distance between us, not wanting the pain and anguish of seeing Richard and Tracy.

But the rest of it is exactly how I feel about the friendship with Richard and his children being ripped from me all of a sudden, because I had adopted him as a brother and his children as nieces, because we were intimately involved in each other’s lives, attending baptisms and marriage dedications and birthdays, giving rides.

But he has been suddenly forbidden from speaking to me and blocked to me, my husband and my son on Facebook for more than two years, as punishment until I agree to submit to Tracy’s abuses (rather like that BGBC church discipline of shunning).

And all for no reason at all except for a sudden rage attack over nothing, just a baffling, out-of-nowhere rage.

Tracy’s control tactic of isolating me from Richard is the same as what the BGBC does.  You could say this blog is my attempt to “break through that wall.”  As long as they’re going to keep reading, I’m going to use it.

This next creepy control tactic pattern to discuss is a biggie.  This is one that separates families and friends, possibly forever.

If you haven’t personally experienced this, please think about it carefully.  Imagine going to church with your best friend of 20 years.

With a 20-year history, you may have gone to each other’s weddings, may have started families at the same time, gone on family outings together, shared meals and had many hours of fun, fellowship, trials, and joys.  

And then imagine, out of the blue, you are told you are no longer to have any contact or relationship with this person, in an instant, just like that.  Zilch.  NO RELATIONSHIP.  You may not call,  you may not connect via Facebook (in fact, you have to “unfriend on FB), no e-mails, etc.

All relational ties are severed immediately.  You do not even get a chance to say good-bye, it is OVER.  BAM!  DONE!  FINISHED!

This is happening all over the world in creepy abusive churches and it is done in my former church.  It is disgusting.   It is an abuse of power over church members, controlling their personal relationships and destroying them in an INSTANT.

The sheep of this pastor’s church who remain are in the system pretty good by now and are convinced that this is a man of God whom God has placed over their care.

They are convinced that he has their best interest at heart, even though this “trial” is burdensome, they may be told God uses this to purify His remnant; they are being refined in this trial.  They follow without question, like good obedient sheep.

The pastor convinces them that this is for the best for you, for the other person, and for God’s church.  Other scriptures are to be used to show how good it is to keep the church pure, and clear from divisive people, people with Korah-like behavior who wage war with God and His church. –Julie Anne, False Teachers Who Mark and Avoid Church Members

 

Now you’re under control
And now you do what they told ya!
–Rage Against the Machine, “Killing in the Name

Some things I’ve found while reading Julie Anne’s blog about her former church, and the progress of the lawsuit brought against her for it by her former pastor: 

And sometimes it is because they worry about this issue of possibly being sued by their former church or pastor.

I have even had current members email from time to time, who bring up the thought that I could be sued by my former church organization for things I write on the website. They don’t scare me and I am not afraid of such threats.

I don’t believe there is a fine line between sharing what happened and defamation. Defamation and slander/libel are not things one does unknowingly or accidentally.

I don’t believe former members of unhealthy churches need to feel like they have to walk on egg shells when they share. As long as they are telling the truth, they should be free of this fear.

Some may have felt she was crazy for doing so, but Julie Anne Smith continued to use the words “wolf,” “creepy,” “spiritual abuse,” etc. in her blog after the lawsuit was filed against her.

Why? Because those things are her opinions about her former church and pastor and by law she is free to express them.

Look at it this way. Unhealthy pastors and current members are free to call people like myself backsliders, reprobates, rebellious, witches, evil (yep- I had a current member call me evil once and we later became friends), lost, and much more.

Think about it. They are free to do this and yet we should be fearful of speaking up?

Do we run around filing lawsuits against them for these things? Would we win if we did? If these people are free and protected by law to openly say such things about us, why should we feel hindered in saying that we believe the church to be unhealthy, etc?

In the legal documents submitted by Julie Anne Smith’s attorney, she sites case after case where people’s statements were not considered defamation in a court of law. I think it would be good for people to take the time and read these legal documents. The first five are posted online here: http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/beaverton-grace-bible-church-v-smith#description at the bottom of the page. Download them and digest what has been shared and then better understand why the judge rightfully dismissed the lawsuit.

Be empowered with knowledge of the law, so you cannot be bullied into silence! —Lois in the comments of The News and My Thoughts

 

Bottom line is I did not lie. But also what you need to understand is the meaning of defamation. The burden lies on the plaintiff to prove that I intentionally lied (I did not), and my words showed intent to harm (malice). That also cannot be proven.

They could not prove that I intentionally lied (first level), so they didn’t even need to look at the second level (malice). Bottom line, this case was thrown out very early on. My words were clearly not defamatory. —Julie Anne in the comments of Judge’s Decision

Good riddance to Tracy and to all the lies.  They cannot torment me any longer, because I know them to be false.

The Victim should understand the hurtful and abusive things their partner may say, are not true. Most likely they are only attempts to avoid responsibility or are said to make it difficult for victim to leave…

These are some of common things abusers say:
  • You’re so stupid…
  • If you tell anyone else about the abuse… you’ll be sorry / no-one will believe you / I’ll report you to social services as an unfit mother. “You don’t know who you’re up against.(He means: I’ll have the last word.)  —These are some of the common things most abusers say

 

Journey to Healing: Things Are Looking Up Socially…..

Not sure what’s going to happen with my struggling church.  But at least socially, things are looking up.

I decided I wasn’t doing enough to rekindle an old friendship with “Ted,” even though we are occasionally invited to parties by him and his wife, and my husband now runs a steampunk roleplaying game at their (awesome) house.

Some 10 years ago, my husband and I were friends with him, and I’d chat with him on ICQ.  I had made friends with him through other friends, all of whom were on the same local BBS.  (A BBS is how geeks used the computer to connect with each other before the Internet.)

But he did some things which were very immature and selfish, so the rest of our little group of friends got very angry with him.  They started shunning him, but I didn’t go along with it, because he had done nothing to hurt me, and–even though I very much disagreed with what he was doing–I hoped to influence him (catch more flies with honey).

I still invited him to D&D and to parties.  I strongly suspect this is why the other friends stopped showing up at D&D and parties, stopped even acknowledging the invites.  As the years passed, we lost track of each other.  A few years later, I think in 2005 or 2006, Ted and I started e-mailing again.

He had grown up, and become a very different person than he was before.  He also met a woman who he said influenced his change.  From what he e-mailed me about her, she sounded like an angel.  Then Facebook came along, and I started re-connecting with the old group that way.

Considering that most of the old group occasionally comes to his parties and they all communicate with each other now, it appears their rift has been completely healed.

The rest of the group has scattered so I don’t know who’s where anymore, but I have seen them a couple times at parties in the past couple of years.  I have also met his wife, and one Sunday as my husband ran his game upstairs, she and I visited and watched Stargate.  It was very pleasant.

But I guess I’ve been waiting too much for invitations and not being proactive enough.

My husband spoke with them and discovered that I’m welcome to come over and chat with her on Sundays.  So during today’s game, I did so.  She seems like such a nice, sweet person.

From what she says, maybe she was different during high school, but I don’t see that old delinquent in her now.  It sounds like their parenting philosophy is similar to ours, as well, that they are firm, but not harsh, and have even watched Supernanny.

And the great thing is, I don’t have to come up with a bunch of things to say to keep the conversation going with her.  That’s a relief for quiet people like me.

It is good to reconnect with Ted.  I always liked him, even during his immature days.  He’s a reader, like me.  And after the game, I discovered that the steampunk players would very much like to come over for a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy party some time.  (We have the whole BBC series.)  Yes!  A geeky social life again!

…This is a big deal for people like me who are extremely shy and quiet, and live far from family or the people I grew up with, in a city which other people have noted is very closed off to newcomers (not intentionally, just so close-knit they don’t think of reaching out).

Especially when I’ve been so badly abused by people I thought were friends and adopted as family, that I’ve been far more skittish and untrusting than usual.  Especially when finances are threatening to disintegrate my church family, my main social life.

This, more than anything, would help in the healing process.  Sort of like Shawn helped me get over my ex Peter, Phil helped me get over Shawn and Peter, and Hubby helped me get over them all.  (See here.)

(I have trouble making a comparison to broken past friendships rather than romances, because other than my blog stalkers, I don’t recall any fallouts or rifts with completely platonic friends.  Shawn doesn’t count because we weren’t quite platonic.

(My husband has had them, and occasionally they have affected me as well, but I was not the one who had the fallout.  As noted above, those friends from before just drifted off, most likely because of Ted, and then drifted back, and I did e-mail them occasionally in the interim.)