Category: bullying

Richard/Tracy, have you stopped the abuse?

Two articles headlined the newspaper this morning:

“Nothing seems to have changed”: Thousands of Wisconsin children abused, neglected despite all efforts to stop it

Domestic violence is Fond du Lac’s leading crime, police chief says

And the first thing that came to mind when I saw them was,

Have you stopped abusing your kids, Richard and Tracy?  I doubt it, but then, with DSS on your case after Richard choked Tracy’s girl, maybe they finally forced you to change your ways.

That girl must be about 19 now; I wonder what she’ll do now, where she’ll go, if she’ll still keep in contact with the one who almost killed her a decade ago and beat the crap out of her when she was little, or with the mother who screamed like a demon at her and called her stupid.

You tried to blame it on me when I avoided you, Tracy, tried to make all our problems my fault.  But no, it was all on your head: I wanted nothing to do with an abuser and a bully, someone who included me in her list of abuse victims.

And Richard, you tried to force me to be friends with such a person, even when I saw her abuse you and the kids.  I knew you had issues, but I thought you were trying to do better, until I learned what you did to your child.  I knew Tracy abused you, even hit you, but I didn’t know at first that you also abused her.  I also didn’t realize yet how you manipulated and abused me, too.

I don’t know why you guys still read here (happy 8th stalking anniversary in two months, BTW), because that won’t change.  I will never say I deserved any of it, or that you were innocent of child abuse.  I will never say you didn’t abuse each other.  I will never say you were kind to me.  I will never stop blaming you for everything that happened.  I will never want anything to do with you unless you repent.  And you couldn’t silence me: My friends and family know what happened and have seen your mug shot.

Meanwhile, I feel the same frustration as the professionals who try to stop abuse but don’t see results.  I post here, I share articles on Facebook etc., yet keep seeing the same old comments everywhere: “My parents hit me and I turned out okay!”  Um…no, not if you’re hitting and screaming at little kids.

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Reblog: When the Abuse Victim Becomes the Abuser’s Ally

John Crippen has just posted on Unholy Charade about abuse victims who help their abuser abuse others:

When the Abuse Victim becomes the Abuser’s Ally

What he writes of is just what I went through with Richard and Tracy.  I could never be entirely sure if Richard was just as abusive of Tracy as he told me she was of him.  There were indications that he could be just as nasty with her, that he himself was a narcissist.  But I can be sure of the abuse I witnessed from Tracy to other people, not just Richard, not just the kids, but other people they knew as well–even friends!

And one of those victims of Tracy’s abuse, “Todd,” experienced the same phenomenon I did: Even though Tracy was the one abusing Todd, Richard stood beside his wife’s abuse and then began abusing Todd as well.  Same thing happened when anyone–me, Todd, some other friend–complained about being abused by Tracy: Richard would stand by Tracy and help her abuse the person.

Pastor Crippen describes this exact same phenomenon, an abuse victim helping the abuser so much that it’s no longer clear who the real abuser is.  He explains that he is NOT talking about abuse victims who keep quiet out of fear of crossing the abuser, or victims who don’t understand what’s going on, but about abuse victims who are themselves mean and nasty to other people.  He describes, for example, a case in which the husband is patriarchal and abusive, but the wife herself targets and reviles the same people her husband does.  If anyone calls out her husband for his abuse, she speaks up and defends him and then holds a grudge against that person.

It was very hurtful to Todd when Richard did this to him; Richard then acted like Todd was the abusive one and that he was overreacting when he cut off relations with Richard over it.  He then went to Todd’s web forum and screwed it up, letting Todd blame it on a resident troll.

It was also very hurtful to me when Richard kept defending his wife’s abuses of me over and over again.  It was hurtful when she burst out at me in narcissistic rage one day, and he–instead of being apologetic and privately letting me know that she was wrong and misunderstood the situation and that he didn’t agree with her–participated actively in her abuse of me.  He also raged at my husband for sticking up for me, because my husband could see that I didn’t deserve what was happening.  When this happened, I felt so betrayed by Richard–yet when we cut off relations with them over it, they acted like we were overreacting.  Just like they did with Todd.

It felt like being on the playground with bullies making fun of me and raging at me, while I’m all alone, because there were two of them and this usually happened when they had me by myself.  With Todd, they made the disagreement public, and pulled in as many people as they could to help them abuse him.  With me, I know of at least one person they pulled in to their side, telling her lies to make her think that *I* was the abuser.  So instead of recognizing that I was legitimately complaining about how I’d been abused, she participated in the abuse, and became part of society’s problem of victim-blaming.

It’s triangulation, a tactic which abusers use on their victims, whether bullying, or domestic abuse, or spousal/romantic partner abuse, or whatever type of abuse.  It’s meant to convince the victim that she deserves what she’s getting, that the abuser is acting normally, that he’s the martyr dealing with her toxicity.

And when an abuse victim helps his or her spouse bully someone else, this is active participation in triangulation.  It’s frightening and confusing for the victim, who oftentimes is not equipped to speak up in his or her own defense.

I couldn’t understand it because Richard knew Tracy was abusive–he told me about it often–and told me even with her standing right there that friends would break off relations with HIM because they couldn’t handle HER.  Yet when she started raging at someone, he would step right in there and help HER.

Pastor Crippen writes:

These kind, sadly, are beyond help. I don’t presume to know completely what makes them tick, but in some way they have made the decision that the benefits of “standing by their man” outweigh the costs of exposing his abuse and leaving him.

This is a helpful post if you’ve been exposed to such behavior.  It helps me because I see that the baffling behavior I witnessed in Richard, does happen now and then.  It’s not unique to that situation, so it may have some psychological explanation (Crippen has a few ideas).  It validates me for statements I’ve made here before, that it’s wrong to stick up for and “support” your spouse when they’re abusing someone else.

Crippen both warns against getting close to an abuse victim who helps their own abuser–they’ll be “one of the angriest and harshest people you ever get sideways of”– and warns against becoming one yourself.

 

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It’s Stop Cyberbullying Day #StopCyberBullying #CyberBullies #CyberBullyingStories

I post this as a victim of cyberbullies myself:

  1. the trolls as described here, who also have been relentlessly cyberbullying somebody else for a few years now, and started cyberbullying me out of mistaken identity–yet kept stalking and harassing me until I finally found and blocked them all; these are frightening trolls who try to get into your real life and contact your friends, who have even tried to find their regular target’s house
  2. my stalkers Richard and Tracy, who have been keeping an eye on me for SIX YEARS now, trying to intimidate me into silence about how they have abused me, each other, their kids, and many others as well
  3. going way back, this chick on a BBS who cyberbullied a lot of people

It’s great to see this Stop Cyberbullying Day, which I learned about from a William Shatner tweet.  Just like the #MeToo movement, let’s get #StopCyberBullying trending and share our stories.

I’ll leave the comments open for people who want to share their stories–but no trolling is allowed.

Click on the badge to go to the Cybersmile website, with resources on cyberbullying.

It's Stop Cyberbullying Day #StopCyberBullying #CyberBullies #CyberBullyingStories 1

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