bullying stories

Poisonous Friend: Dedicated to my Stalkers

Sometimes I watch her kill
Cold eyes and no restraint
And I wonder how it feels
To annihilate a friend

You frighten me
It’s getting harder to conceal
You spy on me
All my secrets are revealed

You’re scaring me
A play on words for us to see
You care for me
I find this harder to believe

–Seabound, “Poisonous Friend”

This is obviously about a narcissist/sociopath.

Buy here.

It’s Perfectly Normal to Dread Seeing Abusers Again

…And not only is it normal, but that terror validates your impression that you’ve been abused.  Why would you be terrified if you had not been abused?

Vanci describes very well–and the commenters back her up (my own comment is at the bottom there)–that it’s perfectly normal to dread seeing your abusers again:

I used to be terrified of running into my Former Family Members.  Seriously, I’d be in the grocery store and see someone who looked like one of them and I’d turn on a dime to head a different direction.

I reacted to even the thought of running into them viscerally.  Nausea, headache, cold chills, hot flashes, muscle weakness, shakes; basically all of the terror reactions rolled up nice and neat into a gut bomb and dropped on me.

Then I had a couple of close calls, fast moving brushes of the shoulder type of deals.  I’d get out of the public place I was and slide in my car and then think, “Hey, wasn’t that….?”

I wasn’t given time to react until after the fact in those situations, and I noticed that I did feel the horror reaction, but to a lesser extent.

Then I realized one day that GCYB and my nephew were right behind me in line at the convenience store of all places and I just didn’t give a crap.  You can read about that here.

I saw the progression of my evolving reaction and interpretation of these events as a plus, a sign of healing, and I was grateful for that.

To feel nothing, to detach, is really the only option I have when it comes to these people.  There won’t ever be any relationships there, and my acceptance of that fact as a matter of small steps has been crucial to my journey to get well.

But this was different.  It felt a bit like the brass ring.  My ‘reaction’ wasn’t really that at all.  I didn’t get nauseous or scared.  I didn’t have to ponder or contemplate what I should do.  I didn’t have to run away….

But my point is this.  I used to be terrified of them.  Then I was scared.  Then I was sort of indifferent.

And now, as I was reminded earlier today of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut line ever, “You (they) can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut!  You (they) can take a flying fuck at the MOOOOOOOON!”  —Standing Ground (With Tired Feet)

I tensed in anticipation of that familiar gut-dropping, guilt ridden constriction of my chest.  In the past when I’ve suffered these brief interactions with the NFOO that come as part and parcel of living in the same small town that they do, I’ve been immediately terrified.

A lifetime of being the scapegoat, the reason for the problem, the cause of all harm does not, after all, disappear in four brief years of LC followed by NC.  I was waiting for that terror for a split second  before I realized that it didn’t come….

I thought for a brief moment of what I would say if GCYB initiated a conversation.  And realized that I would say nothing at all.

I mean, really, who is this person to me?  He’s a user and a fraud who claimed to love me but immediately blamed me for all the NFOO’s problems as soon as NM was cut off from her access to me as her primary source of narc supply. —Who’s the Brave One?

The best part is reading, at the end there, that you can eventually get to the point of not caring anymore.  That you won’t be frightened of running into your abusers, for the rest of your life.

It was easier the last time I saw my bullies at church.  I set boundaries, posted on my blog for them to read, which they actually respected for once.

And things went–fine.  Even when they were just inches from me, things went fine, and I could chat and laugh with my fellow parishioners and friends.  I was in a good mood.  It was amazing.  So it can happen.

Also see:

Seeing Abuser is Rough for Abuse Victims, Especially When Abusers & Enablers Blame the Victim: Annie’s Mailbox

Fighting the Darkness: Seeing the abuser again

Needing to Feel Safe: Going to same church as abusers

Fighting the Darkness: Mutual Friends

 

Anne Lamott and others on telling your abuse story

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better. —tweet from Anne Lamott, April 23, 2012.

A blog based on this quote, by Sophia Dembling.

“Note to Narcissists~ If you think you recognize yourself in something I write, then YOU owe somebody an apology. I don’t owe YOU one. It’s not MY fault if your own behavior embarrasses you.

I never identify the lowlifes I’m writing about, and if you behave like that, not to mention being arrogant and idiotic enough to actually think YOU are the star of something I write, then you SHOULD be ashamed of yourself.

So quit whining and start apologizing for acting like a jackass and hurting people who love you.” ~Rev. Renee Pitelli, originally posted on https://muldrfan.blogspot.com/2012/12/couldnt-have-said-it-better-myself.html, but now removed

Now a couple of other bloggers have been “found” by the subjects of their abuse blogs.  And they’re not backing down, either.  They’re posting things just for the benefit of their narcissists, just as I do.  And not taking them overly seriously.  In fact, one is laughing at her blog stalker.

As Paula wrote on one of her blogs:

I am 100% supportive of outing these fools by name. Unfortunately, there are many who don’t understand that outing them is a direct consequence and they should deal with it. They don’t.

Instead, they seek low-life attorneys willing to send cease and desist letters to scare us into thinking we’re committing a crime.

We’re not!! It’s called freedom of speech.

If they think we’re lying and hope to sue us for defamation, libel, or slander, they need to prove that in court.

The burden in U.S. courts is on the complainant, not the defender. I believe it is opposite in some countries, including Canada and the UK. 🙂

…Not that I’ll be doing this.  No, that information is for my friends, not the Net.

Also see: Anne Lamott: We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane

 

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

 

Washington Times Article on Abuse Blogs Just Like Mine

I am not the only abuse blogger by far.  There are many before me and will be many after me.

There are various categories, too: blogs about narcissists, blogs about sexual abusers, blogs about domestic violence or child abuse–and, quite often, speculations that the abusers are mentally ill or have personality disorders, such as narcissism or sociopathy.

Now there is an article about this phenomenon: Domestic violence victims are speaking out, handing out a dose of reality by Paula Carrasquillo.  Some quotes:

Once too ashamed or guilt-ridden to tell even their closest friends and family members about their abuse, more and more victims and survivors of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse are coming forward with their stories.

But not to law enforcement, lawyers, and judges as you may expect. Instead, survivors and current victims dedicate websites, blogs, message boards, and even self-published books to their experiences.

The possible reasons are countless and may never be measured or determined, but a movement is evident. Just do a Google blog search for emotional abuse, domestic violence, and verbal abuse, and you will be bombarded by more than 94,000 results collectively.

Herself a survivor of domestic violence who blogs and has self-published a book about it, Paula (I’ll use her first name because it’s easier to spell) notes that many people don’t understand why anyone would write such a blog.

But she says this is the only outlet many victims have to be heard.  They use it to find validation, support and a form of justice.  Paula blogs to purge her anger and confusion.

Interestingly, I recently read the following on a blog by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D: “Most of the clients I’ve seen who demonstrated features of Borderline Personality Disorder or presented with Bipolar Disorder symptoms also displayed features of narcissistic behavior, often involving outbursts of rage.”

Dr. Burgo goes on to explain that an episode of rage, whether by a person with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is an intense form of blaming, one of the primary defenses against shame….

If someone is raging on you, you need to find the strength and courage to walk away. If they have Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, bless them and wish them the best.

How much more of your life and happiness are you willing to sacrifice for someone who refuses to face their own disordered mind? —Narcissists, Their Rages, and the Blame Game