Over the years of reading blogs by and about survivors of narcissistic abuse, I’ve come across the concept of checking up on your abuser even after you’ve broken off contact with them. This seems to be a natural human tendency: checking their blog, website, Facebook timeline, Twitter. Of course, the common advice is not to do this because you need to cut yourself off, go through the withdrawal process, then move on and heal.
But I have another reason to put forth: Maybe with Facebook or Twitter they won’t know, since those platforms (from what I can tell) don’t allow you to collect stats from your visitors. But many blogging and website formats do allow it in some form. Even Wordpress.com allows you to install a Statcounter–You get limited information, but enough. Blogger blogs allow both a full Statcounter and Google Analytics. Especially if you have those two stat collectors working together, if you have a stalker after you–such as your abuser or narcisssistic family or sociopathic ex–you can track that person’s activities on your blog for years.
This is helpful for a blogging abuse/rape/other trauma victim. But don’t forget:
It works both ways.
One of my stalkers has recently revealed to me where she works now. It’s not through direct contact, but by checking my blog from work. She has also been checking my church’s website from there, even though she hadn’t looked at it for some time.
(And yes, this makes me wonder a bit, the day after nearly getting into an accident on my bike. I was riding with traffic, on the right, following all the laws, when somebody turned right in front of me. My son said this person looked at me before they turned! A few months ago, the same color vehicle started backing up into me right in the middle of the road. I don’t want to live in fear or paranoia, but it’s enough to make a person wonder if somebody’s gunning for you.)
I had no idea where she was working. Last I knew, the newspaper said she’d graduated college, but that was a few years ago. I never would’ve thought of this place. I wasn’t looking. I avoid Googling her as if it were going to burn me. But here was the information, given to me on a silver platter, unasked-for.
So keep that in mind when dealing with your narc ex-whatever. Maybe they already know where you live, but you’ve changed jobs. Or maybe you’ve moved. Keep in mind that stats do NOT reveal home addresses without a subpoena, but work IPs reveal employer information because it’s a public place of business.
Now, I’m not some crazy stalker out to track down and harm my abusers. But information like this in the wrong hands–I began to think I should post a public service message for my readers:
Don’t check the website/blog of your abuser/rapist/stalker/narc family/troll/etc. Don’t think they won’t know. Don’t give away where you are. Just let them go. Cold turkey! I know at first it can be tough, but over time, it becomes easy.
On probably Sunday the 26th, the most likely date, one of the sororities held an 80s party in the Pub. It was part of a theme week held by the fraternities and sororities. There was a party each night, starting with a 50s party and ending with an 80s or 90s party.
I just went to the 80s party, since I was most interested in that. On the day of it, 80s pop music was piped into Bossard during meals. Charles complained because those weren’t the 80s metal songs he knew. But the rest of us enjoyed it because we were into pop rather than metal in the 80s.
During the party, however, somebody apparently forgot it was an 80s night, and played a mix of songs none of us knew or that seemed to belong to the present day. It may have been a radio station.
In getting ready for this party, I found a shirt I’d never worn, that my mom gave me. The collar was torn–apparently a garage sale find. It was really one piece, but made to look like a sleeveless sweater worn over a long-sleeved shirt. The sweater part was green, and the shirt part was white and green-striped.
This kind of shirt was popular in 7th and 8th grade, but by the time my mom got it, it had gone out of style, so I hadn’t worn it. It was perfect for 80s night, however. I didn’t know how to roll the handkerchief-necklace that was so popular in 6th grade, but tried it anyway, rolling my big, brown scarf and pinning it around my neck.
Astrid remembered kids folding over and rolling their pant legs and pinning them tight, though I didn’t remember that; I just remembered fighting with my jeans every morning, wondering why the legs of all my new pairs had such tiny hems that I could barely even get my feet through them.
Nowadays, I only had two pairs of jeans, both either straight-legged or gently tapered, nothing like those mid-80s jeans. I wore one pair and pinned the cuffs as Astrid described.
I still had a big, plastic hair clamp lying around, popular in 7th and 8th grade, and held up the hair on one side of my head with it, just as the clamps were worn back then.
Several TV’s were set up with Ataris on the Pub platform; I sat there along with several other students. Both of my absolute favorite games were there: Pitfall and Demon Attack. Frogger was also there.
I played them the best I could, though I had a hard time working the joystick and fingering the button without my thumb getting tired. I guess I was rusty. There were two kinds of joysticks there: the small, black standard and the long-handled, easier-to-use deluxe version.
(By the way: Also check out Pitfall 2. I played that all the time on our Radio Shack CoCo computer in 1986 or 1987, usually listening to Whiteheart’s song “Fly Eagle Fly,” which fit with all the bats flying around.)
Persephone was also there; after a while we got to talking. We were there so long that my friends left without me.
She had finally broken up with Phil for good. (At least, that’s what she said then. I don’t know if they got back together later. I do know they were finally “done” before December.)
We had many things to talk about and agree on. She told me her own problems with him; we laughed, complained and agreed about the ways he treated girlfriends.
She still went dancing with him as friends on Saturday nights, and laughed as she watched him flirt with girls there.
She said, “Phil practically lived with me and Trina” in Muehlmeier for a few months. He didn’t like going home, where the dysfunctional living got worse. (Either that, or a summer with my family showed him how a functional family lives, and made his own unbearable.)
He was at least as bad with Persephone as with me, if not worse. She said:
“Once, he even slapped me. I slapped him right back so hard that he never did that again.” Good! Persephone didn’t seem like the type of person to allow abuse.
“He didn’t want me to be friends with you. That was suspicious. Was he afraid of something?”
“We were very unstable: We broke up five times!”
“He’s not to be trusted.”
“I couldn’t believe his immaturity. One night, one of his friends came over to my room to visit Phil and me.”
(It sounded like his Vampire Friend S–. He didn’t want to introduce me to this guy, for fear he’d steal me away–as he sometimes did with Phil’s other girlfriends.)
“This guy thought I was pretty, and tried to steal me away from Phil. Things ended up in a huge argument, and Phil ran away. We finally found him hiding under my bed!”
“This guy even got my roommate Trina to spy on me!”
“Phil’s minivan finally died because he knows nothing about taking care of a car.”
“Trina even had a crush on Phil. She and his friends used to spy on me for him!”
(That reminded me of September between our first and second breakups, when I felt like Phil’s friends were spying on me. Now that I knew he did this to Persephone, I felt less paranoid to think he did it to me. Since Trina was also her roommate, this was especially hard for her.)
“Oh, it was a major rebound for him. He’d call me by your name, and I’d say–” with an angry tone–“I’m not Nyssa.”
“He treated me like a child.” Just as he did me, and just as he did his mother. “He respects you if you’re his friend, but not if you’re his girlfriend.”
“I think he has an Oedipal complex. He complains about his mother but is trying to get a woman like her.” To be fair, wanting a girl “just like Mom,” especially if Mom is a wonderful person, is not so bad, but treating a woman like a child is bad.
“After he got your last letter, he called Pearl over Christmas Break to ask what was going on. Then he saw the school counselor, who advised him to stay away from you.” I was glad, because I’d asked him in the letter to do just that, because he was being cruel to me and I didn’t want to see him.
“I didn’t play Dungeons and Dragons with Phil. One night he complained to his D&D group because I wouldn’t have sex with him! Then one of the girls in the group came to me and scolded me!”
This woman should’ve known better than to scold another woman for not giving her body when she didn’t want to. Persephone didn’t buy it, of course, and was very upset about this.
I said, “What a loser.” If she didn’t want to have sex with him, she didn’t have to.
All these revelations confirmed to me that it wasn’t me, it was him. And that I was well rid of him, as painful as the breakup was at the time. He was not just immature, but controlling and abusive, while pinning the blame on others.
Back in May 2012, my abusers, Richard and Tracy, discovered this blog, then threatened and began to stalk me. You can read their e-mail below.
Especially note that whichever of them wrote the e-mail (it “sounded” like Tracy’s “voice”), accused me of making things up and accusing Tracy falsely, downplayed Richard’s criminal conviction of choking his daughter, warned me not to go to the priest/church, and threatened to sue.
And yet–Through our own local version of a “police beat,” Crime Reports, published for all to see on the Fond du Lac city website, I have discovered that a domestic dispute occurred in May.
The report points to Richard and Tracy’s last-known address, at least according to Google Earth, which is used by the website to locate each crime event. A follow-up occurred about a week later, so it appears that an investigation was begun into the incident, beyond the initial police report.
No charges have been filed as of yet, so I don’t know what happened, who was involved, or if charges ever will be filed.
But it–along with Richard’s conviction of choking his daughter–supports my statements that Richard and Tracy are abusive, and that I am not making up “false facts” out of a “not-all-there” brain.
And gives more strength to my mind to resist their attempts to gaslight me, and attempts to intimidate me into silence through constant surveillance of this blog. This discovery has even more emboldened me to not be silent–and to laugh at their attempts to scare me.
It gets easier all the time, when reading old posts or remembering things that my abusers said or did, to laugh it off.
Yes, laugh it off. I see how ridiculous it all is, and see right through it all.
Not only does it help pull me out of the pit and back where life is beautiful again, and I am no longer a “victim,” but it should help me identify such behavior in others, before I get pulled in again.
(Not that it is in any way a character failing to be a victim of someone abusing you. Victim-blaming and -shaming is a huge problem these days. The only one who should be ashamed of how the victim is affected by the abuse, is the abuser.)
Nowadays, when I remember what happened, it no longer affects me, just as it no longer affects me to remember what Phil, Peter or Shawn did back in college. It’s become a story I revise for the masses to read, which may inspire a brief burst of anger, but then I forget about it again.
I see right through the things my various abusers did, and no longer let it worry and oppress me the way it used to for years.
Yes, it took me years to get past what those guys did, just as it has taken years to deal with what Richard and Tracy did. But eventually I got through. As Trent Reznor titled a song, The way out is through.
Because of this, and the discovery above which provides even more evidence that my abusers were full of bullsh**, I am now ready to turn my abusers’ threatening e-mail to me in May of 2012, into a piece of high comedy, by running it through my own brand-new narc decoder.
Blogger Tina Swithin has popularized the idea of a “narc decoder,” through which you run messages from your abuser. This handy little “machine” translates those messages which fill you with fear, dread, anger, and the like, into what they really mean.
First, read the e-mail from Richard and Tracy:
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.
And now I run the e-mail from Richard and Tracy through the narc decoder…..
Snap, crackle, pop….
And here it is, all decoded:
How dare you ever speak a word to anyone about how we bullied, abused and gaslit you for years? How dare you ever speak a word about Tracy’s abuses of Richard, the children, and others?
Tracy tried her hardest to shut you up so that only you knew what was happening, so we could keep you under our control and even your husband wouldn’t know the truth. We wanted even him to think you were crazy. We wanted you to think you imagined it all.
How dare you break out of our control and think for yourself? How dare you tell your husband and all your friends and family what we did? How dare you have a mind and will much stronger than we gave you credit for?
You were so nice and easily intimidated that we thought for sure we could twist you every which way we wanted to, and continue to use you and get money/stuff/living space out of you.
It scared us when you showed signs of wanting to kick us out of your house years ago for bullying you and being generally abusive, so we had to re-assert our control and make you think you were in the wrong. We had to make you think YOU were the one with the problem, so we could stay put till we were good and ready to leave.
Now, a few days ago, you actually stood up for yourself and told us to stay away from you. But we don’t want to leave you alone.
We’ve always hated your church, and barely stepped foot in it even while we still pretended to be friends with you. But we want to guilt you into thinking we’re pious Christians who long for the Mysteries, even though we have never lifted a finger to resolve this like Christians, have never behaved like Christians.
We have no interest in actually behaving like Christians, or in getting the Mysteries out of any sense of longing for Christ. No, this is only so we can harass you and pretend to be pious, by making big shows of making the sign of the Cross, just like Pharisees!
We want to shove up against you, breathe down your neck and snarl in the Communion line. We want to pretend to everyone at your church that we’re just innocent Christians, so that no one will believe you if you try to tell them what we really are.
We want free reign, so we can control you at church, too, by forcing you to keep quiet and telling everyone you’re a nutcase and not all there.
We know it’s a lie.
We still think you’re easily manipulated through threats. The truth is that we are afraid of anyone else knowing what kind of people we really are. We don’t want your priest to know, either, especially since you spoke of showing him Richard’s criminal records. This is why we repeatedly threaten you and tell you to shut up.
We don’t want you to get help from the church. We want you to be destroyed because you know what we really are.
We are well aware that you never made threats to retaliate against us.
But just as Tracy did with Todd, when she accused him falsely and smeared him all over the game forum years ago, we will try to make you think you made threats. We will tell others that you made threats you never actually made, to get them on our side and turn them against you, make them think you’re crazy, just as we successfully got all those people thinking that Todd was crazy.
We have already done that, by telling some person Tracy goes to school with, Chia, that you did these things you never did, that you lied when you told the truth. She never even met you before. Then she changed her profile to a passive-aggressive diatribe against you, and “friended” you on Facebook. But it was only so we can peruse your Facebook for posts about us.
Of course you never threatened to push us out of the church or Fond du Lac. We just suffer from poor reading comprehension, combined with our fear of somebody exposing our real selves to the whole world.
We have worked very hard to suppress our real selves around other people in Fond du Lac, so that we can make inroads in politics and other circles, but your very knowledge of our true selves–and Richard’s conviction–threatens our feeling of security.
It is all a lie. But you’re not supposed to recognize that. You’re supposed to doubt yourself and come under our control.
The true threat is that because you know the truth about us, your very existence is a threat. We are scared that because of you, that perfect image we want to present the community, will come crashing down as the facade that it is.
You have kept careful notes of our abuses, and that frightens us. We want you to think even those records are fake. Even though everything you wrote is the truth. Even though Richard sent you an e-mail years back which proved your assertions.
This is why, years ago, we tried to make you think you were a stalker for keeping such notes, so you would stop doing that. This is why we are now trying to gaslight you into thinking that Tracy has never abused anyone and that you’re just lying.
So we will ridicule you and make you think you’re the one with the problem (even though your reactions to being abused and seeing your abuser again are all perfectly normal), because we never matured past elementary school.
We will pretend to be amused by your blog, when in truth it scares us to death–or we never would’ve threatened you. Especially your knowledge of Richard’s conviction. We read that page of your blog constantly.
Though your pain, your desperate suffering, caused by us and our actions and words, so much so that only blogging could get it out, does amuse us, because we are sociopaths.
Though we are so faulty with reading comprehension that we did not get that it’s not “closure” you need, but for us to recognize we have done wrong, and make it right, through apologies and changed behavior. This would make a Christian restoration of friendship possible.
But that won’t happen, because we are superior to all others and never do anything wrong. And because we were only pretending to be your friends to begin with.
We even laugh at the collapse of your faith, even though Richard claimed for years to want to be a priest. Which shows our own faith is actually an act put on to fool you and others, to give us an air of respectability.
We want you to think that even your perception of Richard’s conviction is wrong, even though you have official, public information saying otherwise. We want you to think Richard is innocent, even though he himself admitted to choking his daughter. All to further gaslight you into our control.
We easily got over the breakup because you were blameless, so we had nothing to be angry about. Well, other than the fact that you broke free of us before we could dump you first.
But you had been showing signs of breaking free from our control for years, which is why we let you go so easily. We knew you would be trouble, that you already saw Tracy’s true nature and were beginning to see Richard’s as well. We knew you may even report us to the police or Social Services–which you did eventually do. That scared us.
We would never admit to being to blame for the suffering you’ve gone through. It’s your fault, after all. It’s never the abuser’s fault. How dare you try to make us take responsibility for how we treat and hurt people, including our own children? We are perfect, can’t you tell? It’s never our fault when we abuse someone! It’s always the fault of the person we abuse!
It infuriates us that you are sticking up for yourself and telling about what happened! So we will make empty threats, hoping to shut you up, even though we know we could never have the legal basis to carry them through, and no lawyer would take us on because we have no case or money! We talk about Constitutional Rights, but that’s for US, not for you!
How dare you insist that we never contact you? Just by sending this e-mail we are violating your rights and request to be left alone! Because we don’t care about anybody but ourselves.
–Richard and Tracy Doe
Ah, that was therapeutic. This is a good way to turn the horrid e-mails/messages sent to you by your abuser, into a piece of see-through garbage that no longer bothers you.
Attempting to obtain closure with an abusive, narcissistic and/or borderline woman (i.e., Crazy) is almost always a maddening exercise in futility.
You’re not going to get closure with this kind of woman for several reasons. First, she doesn’t meet the three most important prerequisites for giving and receiving closure:
A reasonable degree of sanity
A foothold in reality
Being able to give an ex closure means you’re able to accept your share of responsibility for the demise of the relationship and when has your BPD and/or NPD ex ever taken responsibility for her behavior, especially when she was clearly in the wrong?
…I hate to break it to you, but if you’re waiting for this to happen or, heaven forbid, an apology from this woman; IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. If you try to get closure from your NPD and/or BPD ex by detailing the many ways she hurt and tortured you, she’s unlikely to acknowledge what she did. –Dr. Tara, Shrink4Men, There is No Closure with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman