exposing narcissists

Trudging Through Five and a Half Years of Hell…..Do I See Light Up Ahead? (Surviving Depression After Abuse)

I thought I had found a religious and spiritual mentor in my search for the True Church, and a best friend here in my own town instead of far away, one who would always be there for me throughout life.  But I believe this is what really happened:

I fell prey to a con man who eventually decided my husband and I were of no further use to him and his wife.  He used to be a Mafia thug, and was easily provoked to violence.  He hypnotized me without my knowledge.

They wanted to get political connections, but we were too “liberal” and not politically driven; he kept getting money and stuff from us, but the economy tanked and we had money trouble; I was his confidante of his wife’s abuses of him and the children, so she, who has a family history of personality disorders, smeared me to him to drive a wedge between us; and I spoke up against the way they both had been treating their kids.

So instead of addressing the real issues, they made me a scapegoat, made up offenses and kept me always jumping over hoops.  Then because we no longer had much money to give them, I started doubting Richard’s wild stories, and I had let them know they abused their kids, they started treating my husband and I both very badly.

They found an imaginary complaint to skewer me over, so we would break off the friendship in disgust, but they would still be able to claim that it was my fault and not theirs.

Richard threatened my husband with physical violence and intimidated him.  Then in 2010, I was proven correct about the abuse, when Richard choked his oldest daughter until she passed out.  He plea bargained and served a year of probation.

I have often wondered why it has taken three years to get through this depression after abuse, despite functioning normally by carrying on with life, traveling, making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, taking care of my child and house like normal, helping out with my church.

It took many months for the occasional tears to stop, but they did stop eventually; however, I still feel sad often.  I have been depressed in the past, but it would pass within a year or two.

Then I remembered: This depression has not lasted for three years.  It has lasted for five and a half years, six years this December, and I know when and why it began:

My Hell began in the middle of December 2007, a few weeks after Tracy arrived in my house, when her fangs began to show and I saw that Richard’s claims of verbal abuse of him and the kids were true, along with the occasional smacks on his arm and a disturbing possessive and vindictive streak.

What seemed like a special friendship with Richard, a very dear friendship, began to deteriorate as he stuck up for not only his wife’s various snarks and other nasty behavior toward me, but her abuses toward him and the children, contradicting what he had told me before.

I felt alone, abandoned by the person I thought cared and had my back, like all my other closest friends through life had my back.

With my other friends, even though we disagreed on occasion, I could count on them sticking up for me whenever somebody dissed me.  But Richard joined in, not only allowing the dissing, but constantly criticizing me as well.  Nothing I did or said was right.

The depression began then.  I remember breaking down in tears more than once while they lived in my house.  I cried often during our friendship.

I spent a weekend in tears and sobs shortly after they moved out, because the way they were screwing me over made me think I had to break off my friendship with Richard.  My husband tried to ease my mind by making the decision for me, and saying I would not break it off.  (No, he’s not controlling; he was trying to help.)

I don’t want to go into detail because it’s all in my blog, and especially in the long version of the story.

But that weekend was repeated other times as well, as well as a time when I could barely get through walking my son to/from school without breaking into embarrassingly public tears on the sidewalk.

In between those times were constant tears, sadness, or resentment of Tracy’s lack of apologies for her nastiness.

This proves that the toxicity began in December 2007, dooming the friendship from the beginning of Tracy’s time in my city, because I was targeted by two very selfish, self-centered, abusive people, manipulators and users.  I thought Richard was a good person, but he, too, was toxic.

After my husband and I could not take the abuse anymore and broke things off, I had to tell my friends everything, so I could drain out the poison Richard and Tracy had filled me with over two and a half toxic years.  Also, for five years I had told Richard about things that upset me, but I no longer had him to talk to.

I vented on Facebook.  I told Todd everything.  I told high school friends.  I told college friends.  I told a few new church friends.  I told people on my favorite forums, begging for answers on how to keep in Orthodoxy, and how God could allow this.  I told my family.  I told my priest, starting back in December 2007.

I read and posted on blogs about narcissists and abusers, which showed me that my feelings and difficulties in healing, are all perfectly normal, that it often takes years to heal, that seeing the abuser again is traumatic.

I leaned on my husband, who recovered much more quickly because he was not the main target of abuse, but who became enraged at Richard and Tracy for putting me through this.

What our friends kept telling my husband and me: These people are toxic, manipulators, moochers, abusers, narcissists, a**holes; people on a couple of Orthodox forums used the word “evil” to describe Richard’s actions (choking his child).

But two and a half years of abuse, including both covert and overt verbal and emotional abuse, especially without physical abuse you can point to as proof, essentially gaslights you.

You wonder about your sanity, if you saw things correctly, especially when the abusers will tell you one thing then contradict it later on, and when only a few of their friends see the real them.

Every day I pray for Richard and Tracy’s children, that they be kept safe from abuse from their parents, because I worry about them and fear that the system has failed them by sending Richard back home with them instead of putting him in jail.

Richard’s lawyer ran for city council and won, but not with my help: I refused to vote for her, because I wondered about her character, getting such a sweet deal for him.

I have no way of knowing if CPS forced Tracy into counseling for abusing the kids as well.  I have no way of knowing if CPS finally convinced her that what she was doing to them was evil and would scar them for life, would cause them to want nothing to do with her when they grow up, just as she hates her own mother for treating her the same way.

If she doesn’t shape up, and if Richard doesn’t stop his own physical violence and narcissism, then their kids are going to grow up and write blogs of their own about Richard and Tracy.

I am an intensely analytical person.  I must know the hows, whys, whats.  Being targeted by narcissistic abusers is extremely hard to figure out, especially when you don’t understand why a person can act that way, how they can live with treating someone that way.

I am certain I have been depressed for five and a half years, starting in December 2007.  I am also fairly sure that I have had a form of PTSD, or a similar stress disorder, for the past several years, caused by the abuse and gaslighting of Richard and Tracy.

It was starting to heal, until they found my blog and began gaslighting me anew, adding threats as well, so I plunged back into the pit–in a year with several new emotionally traumatic experiences to add to the stress disorder.

Unfortunately, as a middle-class housewife and mother of a young child in the middle of the recession, with no health insurance provided by the husband’s job and no money to pay for it, and with heavy debt–professional diagnoses and trained counseling have been an impossible dream, at least during the worst of the depression and stress disorder.

All our money had to go toward physical necessities.  (This also explains why my 13 years of research into NVLD and Asperger’s has to suffice for now, because getting an actual diagnosis for NVLD is beyond our means.)

You can’t expect a pastor to know how to treat stress disorders.  My family and most of my friends live far away.  I have had to do this the hard way: by myself.  I’m sure that’s one reason why it’s taken so long to get through this.

Also, when you’re being abused, you don’t want to go to therapy to help you feel better about being abused.  First, you want the abuse to STOP, and justice of some kind to be done; then you can work on feeling better about being abused.

My abusers still justify their actions and haven’t stopped spying on me.  Rather than somebody telling me how to feel better about it, I want somebody to tell them to STOP, and to tell them their actions are wrong and sinful.  Not just me, but someone they’ll listen to.

That’s why, if they were to start going to my church full-time, I would be forced to request mediation from my priest or someone else in the church.  Because no one can expect you to be in the same church with your abuser/stalker for years on end without it causing all sorts of stress and anxiety disorders.

Not to mention, sharing the Eucharist with that person, contaminates the Eucharist.  There are Bible passages on how seriously we are to treat taking the Eucharist, lest we bring condemnation on ourselves.

Or is it depression now so much as it is anger, disappointment, and sadness?  Disappointment that as a shy introvert with NVLD/Asperger tendencies, I thought I had finally found a friend, one who lived here in my town, someone to talk to about everything and hang out with, only to find that friend was narcissistic, abusive and probably conning me the whole time?

I recall spending the entire 90s pondering and writing about the abuses of Peter, Shawn and Phil, analyzing everything, writing my college memoirs.  Then in the 2000s I would post about Phil on forums whenever the topic of abuse came up.

Maybe I’m at that stage now, moving out of wanting reconciliation, but figuring out what happened, labeling it, analyzing it, just as I did with my college abuse experiences, long after the trauma had passed.  Putting it into fiction or poems, posting memoirs, but seeing it as part of the past instead of the present.

Or, rather, it would be the past if my abusers would do as my past abusers did: make peace with me instead of stalking me, especially if their church closes.  [Update: Their church did close, but they did NOT start coming to mine after all.]

People disparage blogging, but sometimes that’s all you’ve got to really dig into what happened.  Not everybody can just go to a therapist, and even then, a therapist only gets an hour with you at a time.

(I also had a disappointing experience with counseling in college: I only had 6 sessions free, an hour each, and while I wanted to work on getting over Shawn‘s sexual and psychological manipulations and breaking free of him and Peter, the counselor kept talking about my shyness and how to fix that.  I didn’t go there to fix my shyness!)

People also don’t always realize that the Internet is the only way some of us have to communicate about these things, especially transplants into small cities where everyone has known each other since high school, and doesn’t think of inviting you out for coffee because they already have their circle of besties from Kindergarten.

Where, when you finally found someone to be your own bestie and go out for coffee with you, you were treated like a f—ing whore by that person’s spouse for wanting to go out for coffee, so even that concept brings back bad memories.

It’s the reality of modern life in a disconnected age where even neighbors don’t know each other: It takes time and breaking through cliques to get to the point of sharing such intimate details of your life with people.

So many of us have to use Facebook and e-mail to communicate with old friends, rather than just going out for coffee with a new friend to tell them everything you’re going through.

And even those friends don’t want to hear about it after a while, so if you don’t have a therapist, you have to get your emotions out somehow.  And sometimes even therapists recommend blogging; I occasionally visit an ACON (adult child of narcissists) blog which was started because the blogger’s therapist recommended it.

It’s also worth it when you see comments such as this one just posted on Paula’s Pontifications:

To Paula, Anonymous, and others who have described what it’s like to be subject to emotional abuse:

You are putting words to experiences that are most difficult to explain and it is immensely helpful to all of us trying to grapple what we’ve been through and why we weren’t able to understand what was happening at the time; how our vision was shrouded and our judgment systematically deluded by sociopathic influences.

Recognizing that the reactions of others have parallels to our own alleviates feelings of guilt or shame, and also, sharing your experiences helps us realize that we are not alone or impossible to understand and believe.

Thank you all for your efforts! You are making a big difference in the world.

Blogging is an outlet.  The names are changed because it’s not about revenge.  It is exposure, but if the subjects don’t out themselves, no one knows who they are.  (My close friends and some others know who the subjects are and what they’ve done, but they have not read the blogs.)

No, it is an outlet, a way to pour out all those feelings which bottle up inside, without annoying your loved ones.  A reader can read as much or as little as he/she likes, but be helped by whatever he/she reads.

For me, as a writer, blogging is also working through various ways of saying things until I find a gem: a book, a blog post with a thousand hits, a poem.  My blog is a writing journal, where the best way to figure out how to express a thought, is to keep writing it different ways until you find the best one, the best metaphor, the best wording.

I often repeat myself in my blogs as I think of a better or different way of expressing something, an insight I did not have previously, or just something that springs to mind that was not there when I wrote about this a year ago.

I see this in my old diaries as well, where I wrote endlessly about my experiences with Peter, Shawn and Phil until I finally got them out of my system, then later–when writing my memoirs–found these records valuable.  I would come across a passage or poem written 20 years before, and think, Dang, that’s beautiful.

I will write a post which gets a little attention, but not much.  Several months later I’ll write another one on a similar topic, which will get all sorts of hits.  It’s trial-and-error, see what works, what doesn’t, so that if I decide to turn all of this into a published book, I’ll know what to use.

Also, this record will be invaluable one day if I turn the emotions from this experience into fiction.  When writing stories for The Lighthouse, which drew on my college relationships for inspiration, I tried to, for example, write Jenny’s love letter to Scott, but could not write it authentically.

So I pulled out letters I wrote to Peter, and adapted them to my needs.  The result was an authentic-sounding love/grief letter.

If I wish to turn the Richard/Tracy experience into fiction as well, then these blog posts will help me write true emotions which readers can feel and identify with.

We blog because narcissists and abusers get their tentacles down deep into your psyche, so deep that it takes an enormous amount of work to pull them back out again–without damaging the rest of yourself in the process.

It takes an enormous amount of work to peel away the layers of two and half years of abuse and gaslighting, to figure out what criticisms may have been genuine, and which may have been the products of a (Tracy’s) deranged and/or personality disordered and/or bipolar mind (made that way by abuse, then spreading that abuse to everyone nearby).

It takes an enormous amount of work to get through the sadness of losing your closest friend due to betrayal, when everything around you reminds you of this person, so you have to give up beloved music/movies/activities which remind you of this person.

It takes an enormous amount of work for your heart to catch up with your head, for you to reconcile what you thought was a pious man, with the reality of his threatening your husband with physical violence and his almost murdering his little girl; and to do this while being endlessly stalked and threatened by this person because you dared to speak the truth and say it loud.

It takes an enormous amount of work to survive when every day you fight just to keep from stepping in front of a bus, and you fight this solely because your child needs a mother.  (It took me many months, possibly a year, to get past this stage.)

But I see the end coming.  I see the light up ahead.  I see the strength returning.  I’m beginning to stand and walk instead of crawling toward it.

I think it helps to write about it and to have confronted my abusers in this way, to have a church family, to realize my true friends are still there for me and love me, to have reconnected with a few old friends, to have made two new friends, to go from a daily walking/exercise bike routine to strength training at the gym, to buy a bike which widens my range of travel without a car.

It is coming.  I just have to keep going forward.

Maybe my faith will return as well.  Maybe that light is God’s beacon to me, leaving His light in the window so I don’t miss my destination as I fight through the darkness.

(As I titled another post which has long since been taken down, but was written in fall 2011, “The Light is Shining Through.”  I was going to revise it, but forgot about it.  But if you click on that link, you will see the revision I finally made in August 2013.)

Some time ago I answered a comment in which the commenter noted that the feelings surrounding the narcissistic injury still hurt after a considerable period of time.

That has had me thinking about why these injuries hurt us so deeply.  There are many kinds of hurt in our lives and people do mean things almost regularly.  Why do these seem to last longer than others?…

So, you see, there are several reasons why the pain continues.  Like a sore that never quite heals, narcissistic injury can last a long time.

But how do you move on then? …

You can move on with your life, even though the memory of the offense still brings pain. —For the answers to these questions, read Why Does It Still Hurt? by David Orrison.

Unfortunately, this is how many of us learned how to get through the tough times. We have learned to use denial as a coping mechanism. What we fail to realize is that the very method we thought was helping us is really killing us inside…..

When something hurts in life, we typically avoid it. We rarely think of it as something we are meant to learn from. In fact, we immediately try to find a way to get rid of the painful feeling. We run away thinking we can avoid our reality, but what we don’t realize is:


We can lie to ourselves or run all we want, but the lesson will keep returning in different forms and manifestations until we learn what it is trying to teach us about our reality.

The very first noble truth the Buddha points out is that pain is inevitable in human beings. It is part of the human condition. We cannot avoid it.

We must accept pain and open our hearts to look at what we can gain by facing it. Only then can we discover that the very thing that terrifies us is in fact a way for us to reconnect with our true self and experience a rebirth.

Facing reality shows you who you are and what is true. Confronting our pain and fear tells us something about ourselves. We must get to know fear, become familiar and intimate with it.

It teaches us something. When we stop running and don’t act out, repress or blame, we encounter our true self. –Lisa E. Scott, Experiencing Your Rebirth After a Narcissist

On smear campaigns from the abuser…and victims speaking out

While revising my online college memoirs, I noticed that my ex Peter didn’t want me, yet conducted such a smear campaign against me that he must have wanted no one else to have me, either.  He even told lies about me to the Dean of Students, to get me into trouble; she never did believe me about anything after that, was often mean to me.

I finally found love again, someone whom he tried to “warn” with his lies, but this person (Phil) didn’t listen.  Then he told Phil’s mom lies about me, which Phil then had to deal with all the time.

There were people whom Peter knew, who didn’t want to date me; nobody asked me out at all on that campus between Peter and Phil; I suspect this was Peter’s work.  That he told all his frat buddies, who then spread the lies, just as he told Phil and Phil’s mom and brother.

I wondered if this was a narcissist sign, so I googled.  The following website came up: Psychopath/Narcissist: the Smear Campaign by Kelli Hernandez.  Some parts which especially struck me:

My ex’s smear campaign of his wife was not as successful as other predators who have attempted this. His ex wife was so angry, she told everyone she knew what he had done (GOOD FOR HER!), including all their friends and those in their church.

He didn’t leave her or the church without losing many of their friends. His wife was very well liked and a kind, faithful woman with a huge supportive family.

She got angry. She felt her power in that anger. She had done nothing wrong except marry this man and stay too long, like many of us. For many survivors, this is not the case and often  her own family can be turned against her with the psychopath’s attempts to isolate and undermine her from any support.

The one thing that I swore to myself that I would never, ever do, is to remain silent about my experience. My silence would mean my abusers still had control in my life, even after they have been long gone. I will not allow them to have power in my life anymore. The abuser’s greatest weapon, is silence.

I encourage survivors to speak out about their experiences, providing it is safe to do so.

If you are dealing with a stalker or some other very serious issues that would put you in danger, it’s best not to react in any way until you are in a safer place and some time has passed,

but when you reach a place where you can begin to speak out about your experiences and share them with others, it will be an incredibly empowering milestone and in doing so, you eliminate his power in your mind and in your life.

The more you talk about it, the more ridiculous the predator will look and seem to you.

This validates my decision to speak about what all my abusers have done to me: my brother, my exes Phil and Peter, Richard and Tracy.

Abuse victims are often made to feel like, if we speak about the abuse, we’re the ones conducting the smear campaign.  Richard and Tracy tried to make me feel this way when they discovered I was not silent about their abuses, then went to my priest and told him who knows what before I had a chance to speak to him.

One of the most painful things a survivor deals with during the smear campaign is that she loses people that she wholeheartedly believed cared for her. This can happen literally overnight.

It’s very difficult to put things into a balanced and healthy perspective when you are under a heavy burden of the distortions created by the psychopath and those who find him remotely credible. If people believe the predators narrative of you, you are better off without them.

It was painful to detect signs that a couple of friends of Richard and Tracy did not believe me, including Chris, and the friend through whose blogroll Richard and Tracy found my blog.  I thought they were my friends as well.

I did not use names on Facebook when venting, but eventually Chris vanished from my friend list.  I feared that Richard and Tracy had filled his head with lies.  [Update 12/9/14: Who knows?  Some time after I posted this, Chris re-friended me.]



Finally healing from the narcissistic abuse and toxic friendship

I can feel the healing at last.

It’s not as if the pain and hurt are all gone, never to return.  I do still feel pangs from time to time, when something reminds me of happier days of friendship with Richard (and there are a lot of reminders).

But several major things have happened to bring this on:

1) I confronted my abusers.  Even after they made fun of and threatened me, I never backed down, kept writing the truth, kept confronting them through my blog, kept pointing out that they are abusers/bullies not just of me but of each other, others and their children.  I kept confronting them through my blog since they kept coming back to it.

They could have ignored the blog, but didn’t, so I kept writing whatever the heck I felt like writing about what they did.  The well-being of four beautiful children–and of any other people they may befriend, get to care deeply about them, and then betray, since they have done this to others besides me–was at stake.


2) I told many others, who believed me.  I told them what Richard and Tracy did to me, and about the abuse in their household.  This was long before Richard and Tracy even found my blog.  Then after they found my blog and threatened me, I told the police–and told the same people as before, all about their stalking and threatening me.

All these people became allies.  Some even wanted to carry out elaborate vengeance which would make R and T’s names and crimes public in this city, but I told them NO, because that would just make things much worse.

I never had any intention of some kind of public exposure on the blog or in the newspapers including names etc., since that isn’t in my nature, and was amazed at just how inventive and vindictive these friends could get.  Their scheme actually brought on an attack of PTSD.  But it was touching to know they would do such a thing for me.

(I haven’t a clue how or where, but Richard and Tracy seemed to have gotten some crazy idea that I had threatened to do such a thing.  But no, I never did.  And the newspaper already exposed that Richard choked his daughter.)

The irony is that, as you can see in the above linked post, Richard and Tracy threatened to sue if I went public to members of the church/community.  But I had already gone to members of the community (friends who live nearby, and CPS) with my story, and had already gone to members of the church (my priest and a few friends in the church) BEFORE Richard and Tracy ever found my blog.

Reporters to CPS are immune from lawsuits, unless it can be proven that the report was deliberately false; my report was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  We don’t run in the same circles here in town; I don’t even know who employs R and T these days, if anybody; they won’t lose income because of me.

Richard can’t become a priest no matter what, because my priest told me (in October 2011, BEFORE R and T found my blog) that Richard cannot be ordained, because he choked his child.  The police told me that no, R and T CANNOT sue me for talking to my priest, and they also cannot sue me for an anonymous blog with changed names.


3) I used my blog as a toxic waste dump, a healing device, to remove all the anger, hurt, pain, and the various time-bombs Tracy had tried to plant in my brain (damaging messages which keep coming back over and over long after the relationship ends).

Once they were removed onto the electronic page, I could begin to replace them with brighter things, so that one day, forgiveness and letting it go could be possible.


4) When I finally got the chance, I blocked them from my blog, which–after a couple of months in which they kept trying to find the blog’s new location but were blocked–led to them finally going away at last.  I saw them check the service schedule and possibly the Greek Fest page on my church’s website (I’m the webmaster), but they have not come to my church since August, did not come to Greek Fest two Sundays ago.  They just seem to have vanished from my life.  FINALLY.

The third anniversary of our friendship breakup is in just a few days.  For much of these past three years, healing has seemed like an impossible dream.  But I’m here to say that it’s not.  Even if it takes a long time, if you purge the toxicity, and if you let it, healing will come!

[Update 6/11/15: As soon as I posted this, they found my blog with a new IP address and computer.  But all they ever do now is look.  I rarely see them around town anymore, either.  Their threats were nothing but bluster.]

I sense another wave of narcissistic attack coming my way…..

My stalkers have been blocked from my blog since late March, when I moved it to self-hosted WordPress.  I could see them going to the old blog often, until my plugins were fixed so that all visitors are redirected here–where my stalkers’ IPs are blocked.

I’ve seen no sign of them here, or trying to come here, for weeks, so I hoped they were going to stop trying to bug me.  I haven’t seen them at my church since August, or on the street since January.

I have been coming down off the constant feeling of threat and trauma, beginning to relax, beginning to get over what I’m quite certain was a form of PTSD.

They know how I feel about the things they did.  They know I know about Richard’s child abuse conviction, and that I have documentation proving my claims of their abuses of me, the children and Todd, as well as documentation proving they’ve been stalking me online for months even though I’ve posted for them to stop.

They know I consider them hypocrites and fakes.  They know I’m not going to back down and beg for their forgiveness for them treating me like crap.  They know the priest knows all about our situation, their threats, their abuses, and that they were stalking and frightening me, because I went to him for help.

They know I consider them both narcissists, and do not want them anywhere near me.  They know I will call the police again if they contact me again.

So I began to hope they’d never show up at my church again.  Especially after a post I wrote to Richard which said he can end this war by apologizing and having a chat with us on Forgiveness Sunday, which offered him forgiveness, said that it was about resolving our differences in a biblical manner so that I could take the Eucharist with him–

–but said if he was just going to keep defending what he did and what was done to me, then walk away because we have nothing to say to each other.

He never responded, so I hoped to never see him again.

As the webmaster for my church’s new website, I can see the traffic coming in there as well.  Today, I saw a very familiar IP address on the church’s website–looking at the service schedule.  I see they have another cellphone (an iPhone).  (You’d be amazed at what Google Analytics and Statcounter pick up.)

My husband wondered, a couple of months ago, if blocking them from my blog would lead to them showing up at my church again, to annoy me that way.  You’ll note they don’t try to apologize and make peace; they don’t leave me alone when I tell them to (which is why I had to block them); they only try to intimidate and annoy.

Why would they even want to visit my church?  If they can afford two fancy, expensive smartphones, which my engineer husband can’t even afford, then they must have found well-paying jobs which make gas prices no longer a concern.

So why come to a church they never even liked, which is too “ecumenical” for them, too “Greek,” and had the gall to tell them there’s a kid’s play area in the basement?

(They hated my church so much that they started going all the way to the next county for church instead!  They couldn’t afford the gas then, either, but they kept going there and did not come to my church at all, even though we were friends then.)

If it’s to annoy me–then why on earth is that so important to them, especially a year after their threats?  Just leave me alone already!

They know very well that they are not allowed to contact me, or I will charge them with harassment.  It will be very interesting to see if they plan to make some kind of trouble at church.

I can’t just stop going, especially with my responsibilities there and my son going to Sunday School, but as they say, Forewarned is Forearmed.  The key is to ignore, ignore, ignore.  I hope that blocking them from this blog, and ignoring them at church, will lead to them getting bored and going away.

I read recently that when you start to heal, the narcs come back for another round.  I wish I could remember where that was; I think it was on one of many narc abuse survivor blogs…..

My ex-husband has been on a public relations campaign at church since I left him.

Leaving him after almost 30 years of marriage was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and when I go to church, I see him being Mr. Wonderful, and at first he was so pitiful that people were angry at me.

Amazing because I am the one who was more involved, I’m the one they really know. But they are believing him.

I don’t want to change churches because I grew up in this denomination and it suits me, and because my kids go to this church, and because I have been the more involved at our church all these years.

To him, everything is a game that he must win…and I must lose. Much of the time it looks like that is happening. He’s good at this. (Joy)

You could leave the church and then return later, when he is gone. Just don’t let anyone know of your plan. And you could just stay and hold your ground. After all, why should he dictate this area of your life as well as so much of the rest? But the fight is hard and draining. You have to be healthy to get through it.  (Blog Author)

I finally went to the head pastor who was supportive and “got it” I think almost immediately. Once the Elders were informed, they also got it. I have finally received care and validation, and my husband has been repeatedly asked to leave. He refuses, blames me, says he has done nothing to repent of, lies about me and has continued to come.

It has been so very hard to continue, but I was the one that was involved in the church body life, not him. You’re right Joy, it’s all about winning with a N personality. My husband must “win” and drive me out and take away this support.

My journey has been mind-boggling. God’s tender, merciful Love is the only thing that has kept me alive. I am so broken; our children are broken. Hope is so hard to sustain, and yet I know He is able to restore.

Evil and cruelty are always a hard storm to weather, but mental manipulation is beyond the pale. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.  (Rita Cizek)

There is no excuse for excusing an abuser. Abusers do NOT belong in church. Abusers need to be exposed, and the abused need to be healed.  (Penny)

–Comments from The Christian Narcissist by Grace for My Heart, someone who “gets it”!

[Update 10/29/14: To my surprise, despite their checking out my church’s service schedule, the narcs never showed up at my church after all.  Since their own church has been closed for at least a year now, they must have found somewhere else to go–if anywhere.]

Dodging a Bullet: Friends of Narcissists Who Are Also Narcissists: Or, Discovery on Richard’s Friend Chris

So a few days ago, I remembered Chris, one of the friends from Richard’s circle who lived in my town and became my friend, too–until he unfriended me one day on Facebook.  This was after moving away and after my husband and I broke off relations with Richard and Tracy.

Chris had always seemed like a nice guy, and he agreed with me about child abuse.  I secretly hoped he would help influence Richard and Tracy to stop abusing their kids, when they saw I was not the only one who felt this way about slapping kids upside the head.  He is mentioned several times in my story which starts here.

I knew he was a political kook, into wacky extreme-right-wing conspiracy theories, and die-hard Libertarian/Constitutionalist/Tea-Partier.  His Facebook posts became increasingly politically paranoid and crazy.  But still, he seemed like a nice guy.

Our only link to him after he moved away was Facebook, and I had stopped chatting with him online like I used to, because he was so close to Richard.  So the unfriending led to losing touch.

I wondered what had happened to him in the 2 years since the unfriending (which had also led to my post Fighting the Darkness, as I wondered if Richard had turned him against me as he turned me and others against Todd).

So I Googled Chris.  To my shock, the very first hit that came up–with his real name and photograph, so I knew this was the same guy–was a blog post calling him a psychopath!

The post was on a blog for the anti-government community experiment, which Chris had left our state to join.  It was posted last September, several months after my stalkers found my blog.  The post was written by a guest writer, not the owner of the blog; the owner of the blog called Chris “someone of whom to beware.”

The guest writer, “Sherry,” titled it “Working With a Psychopath.”  (!)  Sherry wrote of her own experience with Chris; her husband, “Wayne,” had run for local office, and hired Chris as his campaign manager.

They soon became disturbed by Chris’ campaign tactics.  Not only do people in that area prefer clean campaigns, no mud slinging, unlike what my state allows from time to time–but Chris was accused of being pushy and aggressive while talking to voters.

One woman was so upset that she complained to Wayne, and was offended by how Chris derided the respected town manager.  There were more problems which I won’t detail here; Wayne tried to sort them out with Chris, but got shut out.

Chris directed Wayne to write a “letter bomb” (position paper) and give it to Chris for “tweaking.”  Wayne wrote a positive letter about what he planned to do; Chris turned it into mudslinging against the opposition and others in government.

Wayne refused to send this letter, said he would now run the campaign his own way.  Because Chris could not accept that, he relieved Chris of his duties.

Chris began a smear campaign against Wayne and Sherry to other campaign volunteers, and to the community using a “letter bomb” which alleged Wayne was “mentally unstable” and unfit for the office.

The same day he distributed this letter, Wayne, Sherry and volunteers were also out and about, campaigning.  Sherry wrote that Chris “decided that he would try to intimidate” them, by driving slowly past them four separate times.  She wrote, “Now, I’m no expert on the law, but I would say that’s borderline stalking.”

On election day, Chris drove around the polling places with a sign on his van reading, “Re-elect a SANE [official]!”  Then after the election, he kept going, smearing Wayne and Sherry to people in their community experiment, to people who had nothing to do with the campaign.

Sherry called him “a poison flowing into the veins of the liberty movement,” who needs to be cut out of it “before he can do real damage.”  She wrote that many others have ostracized him already.

Chris saw the blog post, and responded.  He posted a link to his side of the story and the “letter bombs” he wrote, but those no longer exist on the Web, so I could not review them.

Even though he had scathing words against the opposing candidate during his stint as campaign manager, he now wrote that the opponent “is a good man” and intimated that Wayne “is itching to create controversy and problems.”  He blamed Wayne for losing because he wouldn’t follow through with “the plan.”

In another forum, he again defended his actions, writing about doing what’s right, that it’s not “negative campaigning” but “telling the public the truth,” and accusing Sherry of “false statements,” but saying he wasn’t going to “waste” his “time” by explaining them all.

But–If Wayne was so terrible, and the opposition so much better, then where was Chris’ “honesty” in the condemning words he wrote/spoke against the opposition?

He also claimed to “have run two successful campaigns before this one.  My own and [another one].”  Wait–WHAT?  I just caught him in a lie: He LOST his own campaign!  I know because that campaign was here in my town in 2010!  How is that “successful”?

There’s more, too.  For one, he has a habit of not paying his taxes or court judgments, and still (from what I can determine from online court records) owes thousands of dollars for claims going back to 2007!

Also, back in 2005, he was accused on a web forum of being a con artist, trying to steal a certain long-established depository of files used by computer geeks (I can’t name or describe this further without making it possible for anyone to Google the depository and find his real name), and asking for donations to keep this depository running, which would actually go to his computer-based business.

He had no connection to this depository, which, by the way, did not go down, despite fears to the contrary.  He kept claiming he was being misunderstood, even apparently threatened a libel suit at some point, but his threat was laughed at.  And, well, when I reviewed all the posts I could find on the subject, whether he meant to con or not, it was very easy for any reasonable person to take it as a con game.

There is no question this is the same guy I knew, as his full name, location, and company name (which I recognized from an e-mail address and some information he had on Facebook), all matched Chris.  He posted other things as well, in an unrelated forum thread, which got people calling him clinically paranoid.

My husband pointed out that Chris’ website giving his side of the campaign story is completely gone from the web, no caches or even anything on the Wayback Machine.

Meanwhile the blog calling him a psychopath–with his real name and photograph–are still up.

Given how potentially libelous such a blog post would be if it is false, why is it still up while Chris’ website is gone?  Especially when Chris had threatened a libel lawsuit to the 2005 accusations of theft and conning (which are still on the Web as well)?

I also noted the similarities in his behaviors to those of Richard and Tracy:

1) Threatens a libel suit (for being accused in 2005 of running a con) even though nobody appears to have actually lied, and accuses a person (Sherry) of “false statements” while not bothering to explain them.  Not explaining what is false is considered by the Popehat blog as a mark of a false legal threat:

Third, remember my mantra: vagueness in a legal demand is the hallmark of frivolous legal thuggery. Mr. Overstreet does not specify exactly what part of the Yelp review is false. Bogus legal threats rarely do.

He intimates that Casey Movers is being criticized for following “federal moving procedures,” but does not explain.

If you look at Ms. Buckley’s review, and his response, you’ll see that she complained of the amount her parents were offered for compensation of damages, and Mr. Overstreet’s response explaining insurance rates — but you won’t see anything Mr. Overstreet has called out as a specific false statement of fact.

2) Drives past the former associate more than once, making that person believe they’re being stalked and intimidated.

3) Runs what appears to be a con.

I began to wonder a couple of things: Did Richard tell Chris about my blog?  Did Chris suggest a libel suit?  Did Richard (or Tracy, I couldn’t see the driver) not accidentally, but deliberately drive past me the second time, to match the intimidating behavior used by Chris to Wayne and Sherry?

In various places, I’ve read that the friends of narcissists are usually sycophants, innocent dupes under the spell of the narcissist, or narcissists just like them.  I always thought Chris was an innocent dupe like me, but now I fear he’s just as bad as Richard.  That not only do they match each other in political kookery, but in sociopathic behavior as well.

After all, how well did I really know the guy?  I never met him before Richard invited him to a party, and only saw him occasionally after that.

So my husband and I dodged a bullet when Chris unfriended us on Facebook.

[Update: So Chris has re-friended me on Facebook]

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