Category: CPS

Marking another anniversary: abuse reports; my story of reporting child abuse; also, take courage when you witness child abuse

I forgot to note this one on the day of the anniversary: March 1.  That tells me that the emotional impact is beginning to lessen.

But it was two years ago, as of March 1, that I mailed my letter to Social Services, reporting everything I had witnessed and which Richard had told me of the abuse in their home.  It was nerve-wracking, and not done until I had gone through a full year of soul-searching, reflecting and research.

The year started in late winter 2010, when I witnessed Tracy smacking her tiny toddler hard on the back of the head.  I was so shocked and appalled that I could hardly believe my eyes–and that she could do it right in front of me.

For many days after, I was in turmoil, wondering how I could justify remaining friends with her after she did that, wondering if I was morally obligated to call CPS, if it was morally bankrupt of me to not call the police right when it happened, or at least stand up for that little girl and say to never EVER do that to her again.

I’ve done some research into slapping small children like that: You can cause brain damage, and children have been seriously hurt or even died when smacked like that, as they banged into furniture.

A short time after, another friend of theirs, Chris, complained that his abusive wife was smacking his son on the back of the head; they said they do this to their kids all the time, and even justified it!  I could see in Chris’ eyes that he was shocked by this.  I, also, tried to be a voice of reason, saying this is not right.

I hoped that would do the trick, and satisfy my conscience.  But there were so many other things going on that not only did I fear for the children’s emotional, psychological and physical well-being, but I also feared that the domestic violence in that household would lead to something horrible.

However, I was still not sure it was my place to say anything to CPS, because they were my friends.

When they proved themselves to not be my friends, I did not want to be vindictive, as I told a friend who used to work in a domestic violence shelter.  But he told me not to let friendship stand in the way of doing what’s right.

Still, it took a lot more research, many more months, viewing The Boondock Saints for a second time, and a series of e-mails with another friend (who works in group homes for kids in the system), to finally get the courage to write that letter and send it.

My friend wrote that Richard and Tracy both sounded very abusive, that she grew up in such an environment and her sisters still suffered the effects of it, so she begged me to make the report.

I wrote the letter to the best of my memory, including what I witnessed and what I had heard from Richard/Tracy themselves.

I trembled as I readied the letter and put it in the mailbox.

I was frightened that they would figure out who sent it, and do something awful to me in retaliation, even though I wrote in the letter, “I don’t believe they mean to harm their children (or each other), and they do love them very much, but they seem to desperately need help.”

But it was freeing.  At long last, my conscience was clear, knowing that I had done what was right for those children.

And it was also validated when I discovered, months later, that on the very same day, March 1, Richard was officially charged with child abuse, for an event/report which had absolutely nothing to do with mine.

This film opens with mass in a Boston Catholic church, where Irish American fraternal twin brothers Connor McManus (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy McManus (Norman Reedus) pray while a sermon is read, mentioning Kitty Genovese, a real-life crime victim brutally murdered while her neighbors watched without intervening.

As the priest begins his homily, the brothers approach the altar and kiss the feet of a crucifix. They depart as the priest reminds the congregation that they should fear not just evil but also the “indifference of good men”.

The brothers conclude that the priest finally understands, Connor stating, “I do believe the Monsignor’s finally got the point…” and Murphy replying, “Aye”. —Wikipedia article on The Boondock Saints

So take courage when you witness child abuse.  You could save a child’s life.

You will note that the incident which led to Richard’s charges, happened long before I made my report.  What if he had killed her, which he could have easily done?

But her angel kept that from happening.  And I became a material angel to her and the other children.

I noted with some surprise that I missed the date when it came.  I certainly remembered it last year, the one-year anniversary.  This tells me that some of the trauma is beginning to fade.

But I still get jumpy when around other parents and children.  I hope to not witness more abuse.  I keep a sharp eye out when deciding which new acquaintances should become closer, if I’ve seen them get too harsh with their children.  I don’t want to go through this again.

Also see: Marking an anniversary: reporting my bullies to Social Services (2015)

 

Never Be Bullied Into Silence. Speak Up About Abuse!

NeverBeBulliedIntoSilence

(This image is all over the Net, so I don’t know where it came from.)

Here’s how one court dealt with a narcissistic ex-husband suing his ex over her blog and book:

The Commission refused to hear the motion and threw it out while making it very clear that he does not want to hear about the book or blog ever again. He said that I have the right to write about anything that I choose. —One Mom’s Battle

When dealing with a high-conflict person, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.  Keep e-mails, make records, and toss none of it.

You may need it later, not just to prove your claims of abuse, but because abusers will try to gaslight you into thinking you’re crazy and it didn’t happen the way you said.

It also protects you from going back into an abusive situation, because our memories often will begin fading, until we start thinking it wasn’t as bad as all that.  It happens to me on occasion, then I go through my accounts again and remember, to steel myself.

I recall feeling a crisis, going back and forth for a few weeks about whether or not I should call CPS about my abuser Tracy smacking her child in the back of the head, right after I saw her do it–and whether I should’ve called the police right when it happened, and yelled at her to stop.

I agonized over it, felt I was betraying the child if I didn’t, felt I was betraying Tracy if I did.

I showed my husband the e-mail I had received in March 2009 which was proof of her abuse, told him what all I’d witnessed, discussed it with him.  I said, “How much more of this [watching Tracy abuse her kids and Richard] can I take?”

The crisis only stopped when mutual friend Chris unwittingly brought up the subject and I had the chance to say that was abuse.  Then Chris posted something on Facebook that gave me a chance to say what’s abusive.  This is in my accounts, which also describe the other things I witnessed Tracy doing.

But I couldn’t help feeling a huge crisis at being friends with an abuser and not reporting her.  It worked like acid on my conscience.  I’d breathe a sigh of relief whenever I’d get through a whole visit without witnessing her even verbally abusing the kids or snapping at Richard.

In February 2011, after seeing The Boondock Saints for a second time and hearing the theme of evil winning because good men do nothing, I decided it was time to be an angel to those children, before something terrible happened–and tell somebody about the violence between Richard and Tracy, before somebody got killed.

I had no idea, since it was not yet published online, that Richard had already strangled one of his children until she passed out.

I sent an e-mail to a friend in social work in the state, describing everything I witnessed and knew.  I wanted to make sure it all qualified as reportable abuse.  She begged me to report them, saying that she grew up in a house like that and it caused lasting damage, that Richard and Tracy both sounded very abusive, and that I should do it to help my friend, Richard.

My pastor friend had also begged me, back in 2010, to report them, because he used to work in a domestic violence shelter.

Coincidentally, I mailed my report–a 3-page letter–the same day that Richard was officially charged.  Right there is proof that I did the right thing, that my instincts were correct.  My conscience is now clear.

I also have various e-mails and drafts of e-mails written in December 2007 and very early 2008, which describe things I witnessed, and specifically refer to Tracy’s behavior to Richard and the children as abuse, and her treatment of me as bullying and abuse.

They also prove that I was having just as much trouble in the late winter/early spring 2008 dealing with how she had treated me and others, as I’m having now, that I was just as angry with her then as now, even while we were still all friends, that this is not just a reaction to how she treated me in 2010, or brought on by researching abuse in 2010-12.

No, I am in the exact same frame as mind now as then, about what she was doing.  The abuse in that family began long before they came to my house.

I also have a disturbing and shocking e-mail received in 2009 which proves it, and notes written on it by me which describe feeling gaslit until I got this e-mail, also giving more frightening information given to me over the phone the following day.

The list, the e-mails, and the letter in my previous post–written to Richard but never sent because it felt too dangerous because of Tracy’s restrictions on his communication with me–all confirm my web accounts and blogs to be my actual impressions at the time of what was going on.

They all confirm that I remember things as they happened.  They all confirm that I felt abused, and felt I was witnessing abuse, that this was not at all something that later crept in to my head to make me feel justified in ending the friendship.

No, we ended the friendship in 2010 precisely because of the abuse; this was not some story invented later.  They confirm that my claims of abuse came from a combination of observation and the victim’s own words.

They all confirm and back up the story that I have told as being factual to the best of my knowledge. That no, the issue was not, as Tracy claimed, me “snubbing” her or needing to “grow up” and accept her venom as my due, stop feeling hurt over it.

Another issue was that Richard was in exactly the same place with Chris’ wife, as I was with Tracy, and I even told him so, yet he never seemed to make the connection and show me compassion because of it.

No, the real issue was the way she abused me and others and got Richard to go along with it.  She made it very clear that we could only come back to them once I stopped “feeling hurt” over her abuse.

She made it very clear that she would accept nothing less than me submitting to all her abuse and venom as my due.

Which is never, ever going to happen, and proved to me without a shadow of a doubt that she is evil, that I do not want to be friends with her ever again.

My husband would get very angry if I did submit to her, and says that she has to get down on her knees and apologize to me for what she’s done to me.

No, I did not deserve her abuse, I will not accept it, and I’m not the one who needs to “grow up.”  That’s a very peculiar definition of “growing up”: accepting another’s abuse.  No, that’s not “growing up,” that’s “being a doormat.”

Only an abuser would require you to accept abuse without complaint.  “Growing up” means controlling yourself and getting the facts, not raging at and abusing your friends like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

A normal, healthy person would apologize for blowing up at you, and agree to a civil conversation, with give-and-take.

Whenever I start doubting my memories and impressions, I need only remember that e-mail–and re-read all my documentation.  And then I see that all her opinions of me are sewer sludge–and worth just as much.

This sounds so familiar, especially the coddling of the BS of the abuser:

Consistent with narcissism and other cluster B personality disorders is the need for constant drama from which the N personality derives attention.

For my mother, this was manifested in her constant need to be at war with someone. For years it was her sister, then various friends, my father, several coworkers, and eventually, her children.

She was in constant need of worship, consolation, pity, or some other form of manipulated obligation from those close to her.

For everyone else, appearances were everything. On the surface, she worked diligently to keep up with the façade that we were the “perfect family”.

At home, she flew into regular fits of rage which cycled into stoic depression. Her emotional pendulum swung between spitting rage and icy indifference with few stops in between. Everyone was always “out to get her.”

For my father, the cluster B’s were manifested through his enabling of my mother’s unhealthy bouts of behavior. While I do not believe he actually suffers from one of these disorders, he was extremely afraid of my mother’s reactions and reinforced her maladaptive traits as a result.

He would rage at us kids if he felt the threat of one of her tantrums looming. He became intolerant of noncompliance and the voicing of opinions that did not cater to my mother’s disorder.

He buried himself in work and checked out when it became evident that an avalanche of torrent was coming and showed up in the aftermath to make sure we didn’t rock the boat any further.

He too took on the role of authoritarian abuser in support of my mother, but at the same time cowered to her alpha personality. —One Mom’s Battle

In high school, I did not tell my teachers about the boys who sexually harassed me.  I did not tell my parents, even though I began to get an ulcer.

In college, I told no one how my fiancé Phil was treating me, though people did notice some of it and hated him for it.  I will be silent no longer, will not even be bullied into silence by my blog stalkers.

I stood up for the truth and for what’s right.  I was an angel for those children.  I’m standing up for abuse victims everywhere.  Every day I get stronger as I continue to tell my story.

My story of narcissistic abuse is here.

It’s been a long time coming
And the tables’ turned around

I’m not running, it’s a little different now
–Sick Puppies, “You’re Going Down”

 

Center provides safe place to interview abused children

Children who tell about their abuse are very courageous, especially with the control abusers try to keep over their victims.  For links to websites about child abuse, see my page here.  This article is about a center in Madison used to interview children:

It’s a long walk for youngsters who have been physically or sexually abused to get to the small room at the end of the hallway at Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center where a forensic interviewer will ask them to tell what happened.

The 50 adult paces are easily doubled or tripled by the feet of a child as young as 3 being led to the room with pale blue and white walls and two facing gray chairs — one draped with a deep blue blanket printed with orange and white suns, moons and planets.

It’s here that youngsters sit down with an impartial interviewer to describe who did what to them, while detectives, prosecutors, child protection workers and other professionals gathered in a monitoring room next door watch on closed-circuit television and feed questions through an earpiece worn by the interviewer.

It was where, in February, an emaciated 15-year-old girl began telling how she was allegedly starved, tortured and confined to the basement of her family’s Southeast Side home…….

 

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child

I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse.  This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help.

There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors.

So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful.  I have them arranged by category. 

The first part is on the general topic of abuse.  The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.

From my page Abuse in all its forms: My Thoughts, Quotes and Links to help:

 

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child

Yes, you can stop violence against women

How to help a friend who’s being abused/survived sexual assault

How to help a co-worker who’s being abused

Avoiding Victim-Blaming

Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA)

MOSAIC Threat Assessment System

Safety Planning–Extensive Guide

How to clear your browser

GOOD NEWS: STEALTH GENIE HAS GONE DOWN: See articles Pakistani Man Indicted for Selling StealthGenie Spyware App and Maker of StealthGenie, an app used for spying, is indicted in Virginia.

How to Help Someone who is being Abused

Helping an Abused Friend

How to Help a Friend who is Being Abused

Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook

How to Work with CPS

CPS brochure

CPS FAQ

Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence

How can I help a friend or family member who is being abused?

How to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

For Domestic Violence Survivors and their Family, Friends and Co-workers

Care and Protection Cases

Identifying child abuse

Child Welfare Information Gateway

What we can do about child abuse

Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse

Domestic Violence Handbook (though it does concern me how much this focuses on women as victims and men as abusers, when it’s often the other way around, or mutual)

What happens when you report someone to Social Services

Is my friend being abused?

But since Karen’s death, I have learned that it’s all right to say to your friend, “I don’t think your partner is treating you well.” That’s being a good friend (Liz Welch, Redbook Magazine, You May Think Domestic Violence has Nothing to do with You).

Speaking up about someone else’s abuse, or walking away from your own, is never easy. It takes strength, support, and a courageous spirit.

Share your inspiring stories of survival, as well as your experience with a friend or family member who was — or still is — in an abusive relationship.

No matter the voice, no matter the story, there is power in sharing our truth. –Redbook Magazine, Time to talk, link no longer works

Reporting child abuse can be difficult on a personal level. You may feel that you are “meddling” in someone else’s affairs, breaking up a family or disrupting people’s lives.

However, by reporting suspected child abuse, you are making a difference in the life of a child. Sometimes we have to intervene to stop damaging and destructive behaviors that are being done to people who are weaker or have no voice, no power to stop it.

When you step up and take action on behalf of a child in this position, you will not only make a difference in that child’s life, you may also touch the lives of all of the people involved. –Stephanie Partridge, Signs of Emotional Child Abuse

Even if you just suspect that someone is abusing or neglecting a child, report it. If you are afraid to report the suspected abuse or neglect because you might be wrong, do it any way.

If you are wrong, you can always apologize. If you are right, you may have saved the life of a child and you have definitely changed the life of a child for the better.

As a child, I always wished someone would ask about if I was being sexually abused. I couldn’t voluntarily ask someone for help. I was too afraid.

This is true for many children. If you suspect a child is being abused, ask. Please ask.

Not all children will tell you the truth, but some will. They, like me, are just waiting for someone to care enough to ask. –Patricia Singleton, Be a Voice for Children–Speak Out About Child Abuse

The Topic of Abuse (General)

Abuse Specifically Against Husbands/Boyfriends 

Borderline Personality Disorder 

Bullying 

Child Abuse

Domestic Abuse (anyone who lives together or is in a romantic relationship, including roommates or family members)

Emotional Abuse

Gaslighting

Getting into the Psyche of the Abuser

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS 

Narcissists

Personal Stories

Physical Abuse

Recovery

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child 

Toxic Friendships/Relationships

Understanding the Abused

Verbal Abuse

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS

I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse.  This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help.

There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors.

So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful.  I have them arranged by category. 

The first part is on the general topic of abuse.  The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.

From my page Abuse in all its forms: My Thoughts, Quotes and Links to help:

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS

Because there have been so many reported cases involving an abuse of power, the Department of Child and Family Services has done much to ensure that each individual report of alleged abuse is handled consistently within the agency and follows a specific procedure.

While this certainly doesn’t eliminate abusive or unreasonable treatment by some social workers, it does greatly reduce irresponsible behavior and does much to protect law-abiding citizens and innocent children from being subjected to harmful ordeals.

The agency has also developed an informative web site that is available to the general public.  Their Department Policy Handbook is included on the site, which gives detailed descriptions of their policies and procedures.

I would highly recommend those who are involved with any kind of counseling within the church body to obtain a copy of this manual and become familiar with it.

…Are Christians obligated to report criminal child abuse?  Yes!  Are those who fall under the mandatory reporting laws obligated to obey them?  Yes!

Should believing offenders be subject to the same judicial consequences for criminal acts as unbelievers and be held accountable in the same way?  Yes, yes, yes!

Should we become involved in these cases as a church?  By all means, yes!

And should we forgive and work to restore fellowship to repentant offenders and minister to victims as well?  Yes, of course!

…It is important for Christians as well as social workers to note that God’s definition of abuse is actually much more demanding than any court’s.

The Scriptures condemn any behavior toward another that is demeaning, unkind, oppressive, hateful, vindictive, or self-serving (to mention just a few).

God vehemently warns against abusing ones authority and power over another, and does not give anyone in any situation the right to impose unlimited authority over others who are subordinate.

The Scriptures clearly forbid any kind of cruelty, sexual exploitation, neglect or failure to provide for ones children.  Christians are to regard children as God’s lambs who need protection, loving guidance, and tender care.

Furthermore, God holds parents responsible for the way they deal with their children and the way they protect their children from harm.  Those who willfully inflict harm on a child, neglect a child, or in any way oppress a child are harshly spoken of. (Matt. 18:6).

Bringing harm to a child in any form is a serious matter from a Biblical point of view.

…First and foremost, Christians need to conduct themselves in a calm and gentle spirit, remembering that “a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” (Pro. 15:1)

It is important to cooperate with the social worker to the extent he or she does not violate one’s rights as a parent or one’s child’s right to privacy and protection from harm.

When parents become defensive and refuse to cooperate, it only increases the suspicion of the investigator.  The social worker has no doubt learned from experience that people who have something to hide tend to act defensive and uncooperative.

So cooperate and keep a sweet spirit even in the midst of a very frightening and uncomfortable situation.  Remember that your child will mimic your attitude and response.

If you are matter of fact and cooperative, your child will accept the investigation much more calmly himself.  This is to the child’s benefit as well as yours, and is the best way to defuse suspicion. —Debi Pryde, How to Work with CPS

 

REPORTING IS NOT “MEDDLING”

Deciding to get involved in a situation of suspected abuse or neglect can be difficult. It is, however, a decision that may be crucial to a child not only today, but also in the future.

Parents who have abused or neglected their children may need services and support to provide safe care for their children. —CPS brochure

The Topic of Abuse (General)

Abuse Specifically Against Husbands/Boyfriends 

Borderline Personality Disorder 

Bullying 

Child Abuse

Domestic Abuse (anyone who lives together or is in a romantic relationship, including roommates or family members)

Emotional Abuse

Gaslighting

Getting into the Psyche of the Abuser

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS 

Narcissists

Personal Stories

Physical Abuse

Recovery

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child 

Toxic Friendships/Relationships

Understanding the Abused

Verbal Abuse

 

Richard and Tracy are stalking me online and at church

This post includes an e-mail Richard and Tracy sent me in May 2012, which proves my belief that they are sociopaths.  In it you will see every sociopathic trait–including empty threats and false accusations–and maybe recognize e-mails you have received from your own sociopath.  You will see how they began their stalking campaign. 

This post was originally posted in May 2012.  I wrote it while a baby blogger, and added to it over a period of months, so it badly needed editing.  However, I struggled for a long time to look through this blog post again because of the presence of that e-mail and its tendency to trigger all sorts of emotional reactions: fear, pain, hurt, anguish, rage, etc.

But now I am finally able to do some proper editing, and re-post it.  I want to sticky it so new readers can see it, as I have been doing for months with my old posts. 

It is, however, extremely long, which would take me all night to edit and an hour for you to read, so I will re-post it in chunks.  I have divided the original post into several sections, which I will follow in the re-post.  If you want to see the entire original post, click here.  [9/27/14]

Now I’m Being Stalked (Part 1)

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

Now Richard and Tracy made a fake account on Blogger for the sole purpose of following my blog, of stalking me, watching everything I post.  They named it “Tracy Richard Doe” so I’d know who it was.  So I blocked it.

One of their friends, nobody I know, “Chia,” even friended me on Facebook at around the same time, then unfriended me the next day–probably there to spy on my wall.

I didn’t know what to make of it when she first sent me the request; Jeff thought maybe she was the mysterious visitor to my blog who lived in my own town, and not Richard or Tracy.

Not only did I not know Chia, not recognize her name, but I had not been on Richard or Tracy’s Facebook for nearly two years, we had no mutual friends, she was not Orthodox, we were not the same age, did not go to the same college/high school, so there’s no way she could’ve seen me on their Facebook and decided to friend me because we lived in the same city or whatever.

We had nothing in common at all, no explanation why Richard and Tracy’s friend would friend me.

I sent her an e-mail asking who she was, and friended her so I could check her e-mail address service provider against the service provider showing up in my trackers.  Almost the moment I did so, and the news of this showed up on her wall, I saw a sudden spike from the mysterious visitors on my blog.

I waited and waited all the next day for a response from her, so I could find out if she was the actual visitor, rather than Richard or Tracy, but never got one.

Finally, that evening, I went to her profile and discovered that she had unfriended me without one word to me.  I saw in her “about me” section that she wants to defend friends who are being treated badly (I forget the wording; I blocked her, and can’t double-check).

Yeah, this is what you call a minion of a narcissist, someone so caught up in the narcissist’s web that she believes all his/her lies and will stick up for the narcissist–even against the person whom the narcissist has bullied/abused.

This girl is being manipulated by Richard and/or Tracy into thinking she’s doing the right thing, when she’s actually participating in Richard and Tracy’s evil.

She’s being manipulated into thinking she’s helping friends who are being defamed, when in truth I am speaking up about how Richard and Tracy bullied me.  I’m the whistleblower being punished by the evildoers.

I blocked this person, feeling fairly certain that she was sent to my Facebook as a spy.

Richard and Tracy made a fake Facebook account for the sole purpose of sending me a harassing e-mail, with classic abusive tactics: deny, twist, blame, isolate.

Right after I found their e-mail to me, and filed a report (though not an official complaint) with the police about it, they came to my church.

I hurried to get to the communion line before they went through, but then Tracy came up directly behind me, practically pressing up against me, even though there was no reason for her to do that.  I could hear her heavy breathing.  I knew she was doing it on purpose to intimidate me: the classic tactic of “breathing down your neck.”

Then they hurried to the priest after church, probably to tell him all about how I was “oppressing” them, probably making themselves into the poor, persecuted victims of my “lies.”

You will note from their e-mail to me (quoted below) that they threatened me with a defamation suit if I told the priest about what was going on, even though Richard’s conviction is true and is on the public record, has been published by the newspaper, and Tracy’s abuses of me really happened!

[Note: This interpretation of the e-mail was based on this blog post, which they appeared to be addressing, because it’s the only explanation that made any sort of sense to me. 

You see, I made no “threats” whatsoever, and had to guess what they meant.  I told them I would call the police if they threatened violence against me for writing about them on my blog or for reporting them to CPS.  I told them if they bullied me again, I would tell again (i.e., write on my blog, tell my friends/family). 

My only “demands” were for them to apologize or leave me alone. 

As you can see, neither these “threats” nor “demands” warranted their response or lawsuit threat.  What I actually did was stand up for myself and tell them to bugger off, which is generally considered a good, healthy thing. 

So the only thing I could think of was that they meant the “Mutual Friends” post, though it was void of “threats” and written months before they found my blog. 

So you see how their response shows a huge amount of paranoia, and of an abuser’s typical intimidation/scare tactics.  (9/27/14)]

Jeff had hoped we wouldn’t have to talk to the priest, but when he saw Richard and Tracy go up, he knew it was necessary.

I have done nothing illegal, but stalking and harassment are illegal. Richard and Tracy are making it very clear that they are going to intimidate and harass me online and at church, and keep me from telling anyone to protect myself.

This is precisely how bullies operate.

I never even tried to control what they said about me when or where.  I just assumed they were saying nasty things about me.  But I didn’t go poking around looking for what they were saying. I just left it alone, let them say what they want, I’ll say what I want to my own friends.

I keep looking over what I wrote and seeing everything checks out.  I saw that, he told me that, he did that, she did that, Todd told me that, Todd and Richard both told me that, yet they claim “false facts”?  Eh?  I see none here.

Everything I wrote, I either witnessed or was told (by Richard or, in a couple of cases, by Todd, which I could corroborate with my own observations and what Richard said), or it was published by official sources.

There are no lies here.  Conjecture is in clear language to show conjecture.  There is no misrepresentation, no “false facts.”  If something is incorrect, then blame the person who gave me that information, not me.  I can verify where I got all my information, and make the defense of “truth or reasonably believed to be true.”

But more importantly, as the Narcissists Suck blogger put it in her stories about her sister, they still have their anonymity, and I have zero intention of revealing on my blog whom I’m talking about.

This blog is not about vengeance, but about sharing my story to help me get it out and to help others going through similar situations.

It’s the same as my College Memoirs, which are full of stories about how a few guys abused or used me, but I’m on more cordial terms with these guys today.

Then Richard and Tracy poked fun of me for still being upset about this etc.  Obviously they can’t read very well.  Did they not note the many datestamps on the blog posts and website pages?  Most of the blog posts were written months ago, and most of the website pages were first written a few months to a year after the events.  I have merely revised and added/changed things since then.

I see from context that they were complaining, for example, about “Seeing the Abuser Again,” which–along with being an honest portrayal of how abuse and bullying victims feel no matter how much time has passed–was written last November!

Also, this post, “Mutual Friends,” and others were not written for them!  They were written for other people going through this!

While some things were occasionally on the Web, most of the time, none of it was.  The site pages didn’t go “live” until about less than a month ago, after I scoured it for deletions.  The site pages have gotten extremely little traffic, and a check of Google Analytics shows no evidence of that one mutual friend [who subscribed to my blog back in 2009 or 2010] reading any of those blogs.

These were up for abuse survivors to find and read, to help them, and not advertised on Facebook because I wanted to keep them even from my friends.  I never told the mutual friend about the blogs or who they were about.

They were for people who are going through this and who understand the hurt and pain and anger.  They were so I wouldn’t overtax my friends–a form of therapy, because the aftereffects of this trauma have been far too much of a burden for my friends to share.

I have no regrets about posting them.  They constitute my story of abuse, which I have every right to share with the world if I wish.

As Patricia Singleton puts it so eloquently:

I have discovered that those people who tell me to “Let it go now. Move on.” are usually one of two types. They either have never experienced what I have and therefore know nothing about the process that it takes to heal. Or, they have their own abuse issues that they want to stay in denial of.

If you see me going through my issues and haven’t dealt with your own, then my struggle threatens your denial. That is why you tell me to let it go and to move on so that you don’t have to become aware of your own unresolved issues.

I feel sad for those who are still in denial of their own issues. I have little sympathy for those who don’t know what they are talking about because they have never experienced what I have.

If you haven’t been there, you have no idea of what it takes to live my life and to struggle to get better. Don’t tell me to get over it.

If you have been where I am and were able to let go of your issues by healing them, then tell me how you did it.  Share your experiences and what worked.

Don’t share your denial of your issues. I don’t need that. I did that, on my own, years ago and I know that denial just helps you continue to live in the pain. Denial heals nothing. When you are in denial, you aren’t happy. You aren’t free. The only way to freedom is through the pain, not around it.

…Some of you choose to share your own experiences, as I do, by blogging about them online. Others choose to write in private journals. Some of you still continue in the silence because you haven’t found your voice yet. It is for other incest and childhood abuse survivors that I write of my experiences.

Any time that someone survives abuse in any form and can write about that journey, that is inspirational. It isn’t light, funny inspiration. It is sad, thoughtful, sometimes tearful. It is always heartfelt. Sometimes it comes from a deep well of hurt.

It is always healing to be able to bring these thoughts and feelings to the surface and share them with others. It can be educational to share with others who have never experienced abuse in their own lives. Without awareness, you can stop nothing.

Residual anger is perfectly natural when you’ve been abused, and it’s perfectly natural to want that person to stay far from you even years after the abuse.  Nobody wants to see their bully or abuser again, whether they’ve healed or not.  Why would they?  They know what’s coming, after all.

Standing up to and confronting your abuser makes you a survivor rather than a victim, so I did the right thing in standing up to them, telling them to leave me alone.  [THAT is what I told them.  I did NOT threaten them–except to say that I would call the police if they threatened me.  And that is just what I did.  (9/27/14)]

And to poke fun at someone else’s pain, and call them crazy for trusting their own senses and recognizing that they have been abused, is callous and cruel, especially when that person had been extremely kind to you for so long.

Their reaction shows the true nature of their souls, in black and white in that e-mail.  They can’t complain about misrepresentation when every word they wrote to me, and every action they take, proves me correct.

I suspected narcissism, but they have now proven it.

  • “Normal” people do not start stalking and seek to destroy the one who stands up to them.
  • “Normal” people do not go through life wreaking and disregarding destruction left in their wakes, blaming the victims for the abuse, and laughing at them for not just getting over it and being glad to see them at church etc.

Their behavior is classic narcissism.  It’s as if people like this are all following the same playbook.  You can’t take it seriously.

I’m so over caring what these people think about anything, that I laugh at their criticisms.  They’re not worth taking seriously.

And I’m just waiting for them to do something that makes this an easy case to prosecute.

Their threats are empty because I’ve done nothing illegal; their nastiness will soon become apparent at church by the way they harass me.  The parishioners love and accept me, so such behavior can’t possibly go unnoticed for long.

If I block anybody who’s not Richard and Tracy, I apologize, but I must cover my bases. I’m seeing evidence that they are using friends to spy on me as well–a friend of theirs and not mine who tried to friend me on Facebook out of the blue and then vanished–and now somehow Richard and Tracy got around my IP block to make a fake profile to “follow” my blog.  Oh, hey, they used cell phones.  That answers that question.

I already had all sorts of mental stims (NVLD thing?), which had been acting up in the past couple of years; now I have even more of them. (See my NVLD page for explanation.)  Which shows how ridiculous they were to reject my talk of NVLD.  Their opinions of me are worthless.

These people are targeting me because they perceive me as weak–and because they know I have proof of my claims.

The message they sent me:

Nyssa,

We read this in amusement. It gave us a good laugh to find
that almost 2 years later you are still fixated on something that we
forgot about a long time ago. As for your threats, promises whatever to
expose us you can take out a law book and read about defamation laws.
Richards’s court case may be public access and you are free to speculate
all you want without having all the information and facts. However the
rest of your writings about how horrible a person Tracy is and abusive
mentally deranged etc. have gone beyond statements of opinion. You have
represented in your writings false facts, not just opinions, about Tracy
that constitutes an actionable lawsuit. You are free to have your
opinion and feelings however the minute you go public to the members of
the church or community as you have threatened to do we will exercise
our rights to sue you for defamation against Tracy’s character.

You
talk about threats and bullies yet what are you doing? You are
threating to falsely accuse and expose lies about an innocent person if
they do not concede to your demands. We will not be threatened or
intimidated. We are free to go to church to worship our Lord God without
fear of retaliation from someone we see as not all there. You want
closure here it is. We are not sorry. We did nothing wrong. You will
never get what you want from us because we do not feel we owe you
anything. We will continue to be active in our church our community and
our town; if you cannot handle that then that us your problem not ours.
We will not move or change our faith to make you happy and comfortable.
As for the local parish being ‘your’ church. I think the archdiocese
would have a thing to say about that. The church is for everyone. We
have stayed away out of respect to give you time. We have gone to other
churches in town outside of our faith when gas prices or work schedules
prevented us from driving 40+ miles one way to church. However we miss
going to a church of our faith, participating in the mysteries having
that commune with our Lord, so we decided that when we can’t drive out
of town we will go to the local parish. We will not be pushed out of the
church by you, two years is enough time. So as fair warning for the
perceivable future our work schedules make long distance an issue as the
other parish is moving to summer hours and Divine Liturgy starts early.
So we will be attending locally A LOT this summer, we will even show up
on Saturday nights.

Here it is in all its ugliness.  The clarity of Richard and Tracy’s narcissism is shining through every word they wrote.  [See here when I run it through my “narc decoder.”]

To be continued.

 

I learn that Richard choked his daughter

[On September 12, 2011, I found out the truth.  I was waiting anxiously for the police department to release its investigation into the Cruckson case that day.  James Cruckson had raped his ex-girlfriend, and while holed up in his house, shot and killed a police officer–then himself. 

Because the ex-girlfriend was reportedly physically abusive to him and her child, this case was highly controversial in the community, as people argued over whether or not she was really raped, did she try to set him up, etc. 

I followed a conversation in the comments of a local blog, and was especially interested because this was supposedly a woman abusing a man. 

I had become an advocate raising awareness, on Facebook and my website, of women abusing men, because of Tracy abusing Richard, and Chris’ wife abusing him as well.  So it was a big deal when the reports were released to the public.

While watching the website for the Fond du Lac newspaper, waiting for the reports to be released, I happened to come across a feature I did not previously know about: weekly court cases, presented with mug shots and a short description. 

I had been watching the print version’s court cases for years, but lately they’d been missing.  So that’s where they put them! 

I began poking around, scanning through the archives, looking for information on what Richard did.  And there it was, in the March 4, 2011 court cases! 

No more doubt that it was the same Richard, because the address was different–That was him in that mug shot!  And with such an angry look!  I yelled at the picture for what he had done to that girl.

The old court cases were purged from the Net in 2013, but I still have the printouts. 

As I had been doing ever since the “friendship” ended, I went to my real friends for support, expressing my shock and anger at what he had done to his own daughter. 

(My friends are far away, but we are connected by e-mail and Facebook; I also reconnected with some old friends here in town who had drifted off.) 

Their comfort and support helped me realize that my reaction matched the situation, that this was an evil deed. 

This was important, because my own Stockholm Syndrome still affected me a year after the end of the friendship, still made it hard to tell myself that Richard was not the kind, gentle, loving soul I always thought he was. 

I wrote the following two days later.]

Now I know what happened, something so terrible that Todd is so disgusted that he has dropped Richard even from Facebook, and regrets ever having let Richard into his life, let him influence him, etc. etc.

[Added 3/17/14: I don’t know if Todd told Richard why he dropped him from Facebook.  But I do know that he said that Richard is a “f**king scumbag” and that Richard–who at the time had an icon of a saint for his Facebook profile picture–is a hypocrite

Todd also said that if Richard kept coming to my church, then Richard and my husband needed to have a little talk about Richard not going there anymore. 

Todd has also seen some of the nasty e-mails Richard and Tracy sent to us, and knows about the abuse.]

The details are on the local newspaper’s website, in its weekly listing of court cases and mug shots, from the week of 3/4/11:

On September 21, 2010, the oldest child, who was 9 at the time, was being a typical child, not listening to Richard or cleaning up, when he strangled her until she passed out, and she awoke on a couch.

(He often complained that the kids did not listen to him and clean up.)

She told the police the following day, he admitted to the police that he did this and why, and said that he apologized to her when she woke up.

He was summoned to court and officially charged on March 1, 2011, the same day I posted my letter to CPS, and released on bond.  His court date is very soon.

Now I’m told that when this same daughter was very small, he got so angry with her once that he beat her mercilessly.  This poor girl has been through so much crap in her young life, and now this?  Kudos to her for telling the police instead of pretending everything was okay.

This incident tells me that Richard is not worth my grief, that I should not regret losing his friendship, that his and Tracy’s opinions on anything and everything–including me–are suspect, questionable, and not to be taken seriously or sleep lost over it.

He and Tracy are just big, violent bullies who want to push other people around and intimidate them until they get their own way, and punish them–verbally or sometimes physically–for having their own minds and feelings about things.

I thought for so long that he was so awesome and cool; turns out he’s just a big bully.  He had told me a couple of times that he had abused the children in the past, but that he wasn’t doing that anymore.  

But this incident was in 2010, not 2006 or 2005 or 2004 or whenever he might have done the previous abuse.  This shows that he is not reformed, after all.

Especially because of his size (6’5 and 400 lb.) and strength, this shows that he is not safe for anyone to be around, whether small child, woman, man, anybody.

He deserves to sit in jail for a long time, and he just might.  It puts his comments that he wanted to “strangle” me for something once, into a whole new, disturbing light–because it may have been literal.

This LIAR told me that Tracy was the abuser, when he himself was also abusing the kids.  This also means that when he told me Tracy was abusing him, while I could see that she was truly abusing both him and the kids, he was probably abusing her as well!

This, at last, is the “ah-ha” moment I needed to put this issue to rest in my mind, all the self-reflection, wondering if something they said may have been correct, wondering if I should’ve done something different.

It shows me that I was correct to think they are abusive and manipulative bullies, vindicates my letter to CPS, vindicates me.

It shows me that they have absolutely no business lecturing anyone about right and proper behavior, or boundaries, because they don’t respect the boundaries of others and behave very poorly, selfishly and boorishly.

It tells me that Richard manipulated me into thinking that Tracy was the problem, and that he had learned to control himself through religion, when he himself still has violent tendencies.

It tells me that Tracy’s opinions of me and my behavior, and her justifications of herself, are just so much dung to be thrown into the sewer.

It tells me that when Richard blamed me for anything, or lectured me for anything, or told me it was stalkerish to save all my letters, or told me I shouldn’t get upset about him not calling when he said he would or responding to my e-mails, or told me that even little kids know that giving a compliment is your cue to start a conversation–that his lectures also needed to be thrown into the sewer.

It tells me that yes, Tracy is indeed a malignant narcissist and/or narcissistic borderline personality disordered person who only seeks her own twisted ends and doesn’t care about the rights or opinions of others, that I was probably right to suspect that she twisted anything I did or said when reporting to Richard about it, so that he believed her and thought badly of me.

(Once he told me she said I had manipulated Jeff into doing something, when that wasn’t true at all!)

[2014 note: I added “narcissistic” to “borderline” after discovering that there are different kinds of BPD.  I want to distinguish between those who do and do not wish to cause harm.]

It tells me that yes, Richard is indeed a narcissist who twists his way into your heart (whether you’re male or female), manipulates you into doing what he wants you to do and then lets you take the heat

(such as when he began manipulating me into thinking it was perfectly right and proper for him to give me long hugs or put his head on my shoulder when Jeff and Tracy weren’t around and then let Tracy blame me when she found out, when he knew full well what Tracy’s temper was like while I had never even met her before),

then sucks you dry and tosses you aside when your narcissistic supply becomes old or inconvenient.

It tells me that I’m done grieving over the loss of his friendship, done wishing things were different, because there is no way on this earth that I’m going to be friends with child abusers.

[Addendum written 2014:] On September 12, 2011, at 8:13pm, 6 hours after posting a link to the Cruckson case report, I posted to Facebook in a fury I could no longer contain for social niceties,

The one I thought was my awesome, best friend–I was SO fooled. Whatever he and his wife may have thought, the true reason we “broke up” with them was that they’re both violent bullies–verbally and physically.

I witnessed and was told of domestic & child abuse. The LIAR, he told me SHE was the abuser.

But the local newspaper says that HE *choked* his eldest till she passed out. CHOKED her. Confessed to it. And will probably go to jail for it. I NEVER want to see those creeps again!

Todd replied,

What the F**K? They did sh*t so bad it’s in the newspaper? That’s disgusting. And to think I was friends with them once, too. Do you have the link to the article?

He was especially disgusted after seeing the mug shot and court records for himself, since they were freely available online.  One friend said to let CPS protect the kids and not dwell on it.  I responded,

It’s hard not to when for about 5 years I thought he was so cool…when we had seemed like such close friends…when he told me the awful things his wife was doing and that he had to be around to protect the kids from her….

Now to find out that HE is also capable of awful things.

Then I think back and remember: some details of his violent past, being arrested dozens of times for I know not what, how he almost assaulted his landlady until his wife talked him out of it, how he threatened physical violence against my husband for sticking up for me when my “friend” and I were having problems, how he used to be a thug of some kind (I didn’t get many details) when his friends were doing shady activities back in college [that’s the Mafia thing], that he told me if his wife ever cheated he’d take a baseball bat to the guy (just like the Apostle), that if she ever hit him in the face while punching him he would fight back as if she were a man….

Keep in mind that he’s very big and powerful…..I shudder to think what it was like for the eldest girl, only 9 years old at the time, getting choked by him.

It makes me wonder why my husband and I both witnessed the family all together back in June, three months after the charges were filed. I can only hope CPS is working closely with them and getting them to make changes, for him to be allowed to be so close to them.

Another friend wrote,

Oh Nyssa.  That is so very sad. I can’t even imagine why that child is still with parents like that. I agree with you and hope CPS is working closely with them. Also, I’m sure that must be difficult news to find out about your exfriend. Prayers!

The first friend wrote,

Ok, that is too much to forget about. Maybe you should write about your experiences with them to start yourself on the path of recovery? Please know that your true friends would never manipulate you like that and we support you whatever your decisions.

If you saw them in a public place in June, maybe CPS was nearby. But then again, maybe not. This seems like the type of couple that can play a part to manipulate a judge.

I wrote,

Yes, I’ve been writing down my experiences….It seems that the more I remember, the angrier I get….

I saw plenty that the wife was doing–screaming, cussing, smacking around, belittling the children. I heard her yelling at my “friend” and screaming and cussing at others….

She made all sorts of nasty comments to me and deliberately in my hearing and kept getting angry at me. I didn’t get too close to her because of that, but of course, she acted like *I* was the one with the problem, that I was making excuses of shyness etc. for not talking with her much, and tried to force me to befriend her to “prove” that I wasn’t out to “move in on” her husband. (We were just friends!)

And he just kept enabling her. Who needs that kind of drama?

After she became especially nasty one day after an e-mail which she read into all sorts of things that weren’t there, and posted on FB that she’s having a GREAT day because she finally was allowed to scream at me, Jeff and I dropped them like hot potatoes.

But I thought that my “friend,” at least, was a gentle person trying to tamp down his violent past and be pious…. Then I began to write and remember….

My husband told me how, on the day we ended the “friendship,” this guy tried to get into his face and tower over him (he’s very tall) and scream at him, and Jeff yelled at him, “You SIT DOWN! Don’t intimidate me like that!”

And they both went on about how 99% of people would react even more severely than his wife did, etc. etc…..

For so long I’ve been mourning the loss of the friendship and wishing things were different and wondering if maybe, someday, it can be restored. Constantly going over my own part in things and wondering if I should have done some things differently.

But now that I have proof–from our local newspaper and the state’s public court case website–that my “friend” has done something horrible–NO WAY. All the self-reflection can now STOP. All the grief can stop. There’s nothing here that I want back.

My friend wrote,

And there is nothing you did that was wrong. You’ve turned the other cheek to them so often you’ll be spinning for the better part of a year. Keep on writing and maybe go to the batting cages to release the anger.

I wrote,

And yes, I have reported them to CPS–ironically, posting my letter to them the same day he was charged with child abuse. So they know what I know. I’ve done all I can.

At the time, I thought the report would lead to services offered to the family, such as parenting classes and anger management and the like, and CPS would work with them to improve their lives.

When a guy shot a cop and himself after a domestic abuse situation with his ex-girlfriend here in town, I thought, “I hope that my letter to CPS means that my ex-friends won’t turn out like this!”

I had no clue that the same day I sent the letter, one of them was being charged with intentional child abuse causing injury (high probability of great harm) and 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, both felonies which could lead to many years in state prison.

At the time, I was very low spiritually, wondering how God could have led these people into my life and then ripped them out again in such horrible circumstances.

Now I see His leading, helping me find the spiritual answers I was seeking 6 years ago, but also putting me in position to witness things that needed to be brought to the attention of authorities.

I was there to try to influence them if possible and save them from themselves, I think, because I did try, but they scoffed at my opinions.

Then God yanked me out of the situation just in time–only two and a half months before this horrible thing happened.

And kudos to that little girl for having the courage to tell the police what happened.

Another friend wrote,

God works mysteriously, and thank God that girl had such courage. I’ve been in situations as a teacher where I knew abuse was occurring, but the child had been so well trained to lie and protect the parent.

Nyssa, you are a beautiful soul. It is so Christ-like to see the good in such a person. I remember the pain you suffered when the friendship ended, but in hindsight: what a blessing!

I’ve made some really sorry choices sometimes in friendships too, so please don’t beat yourself up about it. Lesson learned. Blessings and prayers!

I wrote,

Thanks! It’s painful to think of someone I trusted and thought was a good person, doing something like this….

But I’m told that when this girl was very small, he beat her mercilessly once. What kind of person does such a thing to a little girl??? And now he’s proven that he’s not reformed, after all.

The only good place for him is in jail, sad to say.

And of course, when it became clear that Tracy was still with Richard, some of us wondered WHY?  HOW can you stay with the man who nearly killed your daughter?  One person said she had seemed too smart for that.  We were all quite puzzled by the whole thing.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing