Category: false victim

Phil’s Mr. Hyde comes out: controlling, manipulative, verbally and emotionally abusive–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–June 1994, Part 6

There were two distinct parts to the day: One part was my family and me, and not Phil.  The other part was Phil and me alone, because of his second-shift work schedule.  I kept going back and forth between them.  During the day, if things went wrong or were boring, I longed to be with Phil alone.

As the summer wore on, at times I preferred to be either alone or with my family, not with him.  He was just too hard to deal with after a while, and it was harder and harder to have any peace with him around.

I loved sitting in my chair, alone with All in the Family and Undine in my room upstairs, though I’d wait and often look forward to Phil coming home at 11:30.

By that time, I had spent hours translating a page of Undine.  I also spent hours writing the latest draft of Jerisland (a major rewrite, and my desert island novel which I’d worked on since high school) for my Senior Writing Project, and reading Gothic novels for my Senior Honors Project.

(The topic: how Gothic novels have changed from pre-Gothics, basically Clarissa from 1748, and Castle of Otranto, the first and supposedly a bad Gothic novel, to modern ones, such as Anne Rice’s vampire books.)

****

Some traits which came to light about Phil over that summer, though infatuation blinded me to them: stubborn, manipulative, controlling, emotionally abusive, used his acting talent to play tricks on me, picked fights.

He yelled at me and tore me down for not wanting to do things his way, then accused me of always having to get my way.

But we had made solemn promises before God to each other which I was determined to keep, so rather than telling him to go back to Wisconsin, I tried to work things out instead.

I found this book Mom had–something from the seventies about being a good Christian wife who pleases her husband so much he doesn’t want affairs or to leave.  It was written by a woman who discovered for herself what works.

It said not to nag about things like taking out the garbage, because the guy isn’t a child who won’t do these things without reminding.

But though I tried to hold to this, as the summer went on, it got harder and harder, because Phil didn’t do these things whether you nagged him or not.  I mean important, basic things which adult men should know to do on their own, without anybody’s reminder, such as:

He wouldn’t brush his teeth, wouldn’t shower.

When he worked at the factory, he set his clock for 1pm but slept until 2 or so.  I begged him to get up so he could have time to shower and eat a proper breakfast, but he yelled at me, later accused me of lowering his self esteem by “telling him when to get up” (what a load of BS) just for trying to get him up on time, rolled over, and deliberately slept so late that he could only throw on his work clothes and scarf down a Little Debbie snack.

Which meant he rarely showered.

When he came home, he didn’t wash off the soot.  Sure the full bathroom was in my parents’ bedroom, but he could at least wash his hands and arms.  The soot permanently stained the sheets, so I eventually had to throw them away.  I asked him to please clean up when he came home; he did it, but complained about it.

He neglected his worn-out brakes, until I finally had to beg him and drag him out of bed–on the last possible day before he drove me back to school–to get them fixed so we wouldn’t get killed on the long drive through Chicago and Milwaukee.

Though I asked him for reasonable things, he treated me like a nag.

(By the way, now-hubby Cugan constantly praises me to me, his father and others for not being a nag.  He says that even if I do nag occasionally, I do it nicely.  Of course, hubby is also a grown adult who knows to shower and brush his teeth daily, and get up on time to do all these things before work.  Nobody needs to remind him, which was such a relief that it was a big part of me falling for him!)

On November 13, 1998, a young woman on Montel told her ex she hated him because he physically abused her and cheated on her.  She said something chillingly familiar: that she got called many names–slut, whore, f-word, b-word, “and that was just to wake you up every day so you could go to work!”

Phil rarely used profanity, but his yelling and put-downs were just as bad when I woke him up for work.  It was another element of verbal abuse and control.

I wanted us to go to Sunday School together.  He refused–no room for discussion–because he feared they’d try to “convert” him from Catholicism.  I just wanted to go to Sunday School with my husband, and highly doubted they would try to “convert” him.  Sunday School was usually a time for studying issues and socializing.

Since I went to church with him now rather than with my parents, this meant, no Sunday School.  And I loved Sunday School.

(This was the last chance I had to go to Sunday School, because other churches I later went to when I moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, did not have adult Sunday School.  This was always strange to me, to have only the Sunday morning service, and no adult Sunday School, no evening service, and no Wednesday service.  Yet whatever denomination I went to in Fond du Lac, none of them had these things!  If they had more than one service, it was just a copy of the Sunday morning service, maybe changing the music to fit “contemporary” or “traditional.”)

One Sunday evening, the congregation (usually smaller for evening services) divided up into little classes in the Sunday School classrooms (I forget why–we had never done this before).

I was excited about it and wanted to go to one, but Phil refused to go with me.  I didn’t want to go alone.  He said he didn’t want to go, maybe for the same reasons he didn’t want to go to Sunday School–avoiding indoctrination or confrontation?  So paranoid!  If Catholic adults did Sunday School, I would have gone with him to his!

He said we should either leave, or he’d wait in the van for me as I went to a class.  I said people would wonder why he wasn’t with me.  He didn’t care.

I got frustrated, and really wanted to go to a class, but I refused to let him make a scene and embarrass me by sitting outside in the van, and said we might as well leave.

This was spiritual abuse, using verbal abuse and the threat of embarrassment to keep me from practicing my religion.  (Also see here, here, here and here.)

Christians believe that mixed skinny dipping is immoral, because you’re not supposed to disrobe in front of the opposite sex unless you’re married.  Yet Phil, the one who was once going to be a priest, told me that he skinny-dipped in mixed company in the campus lake once.

I think it was in the summer after his senior year of high school, which would make it the summer after my freshman year of college, when I was getting over Peter.  (He wasn’t even a student here, and neither were the people with him.)

I was not happy about this.  The thought of him skinny dipping with female classmates–seeing their naked bodies–them seeing his naked body–it horrified me, but he didn’t understand why.  He said they didn’t touch each other, didn’t do anything.

But that made no difference: It was still sinful, and he should’ve known that.  The thought of my own husband, with whom I was one flesh, thinking it was okay to skinny-dip in mixed company–I began to lose respect for him as a man and as a husband.  I thought he had more morals than that.

I told him a Roanoke student died in that lake one year.  I don’t know when it was, but it was during a picnic the college held for the students and faculty.  Counselor Dude rode in a boat, while this boy swam.

The currents took him under, and he drowned.  C.D. was distraught; this had been his favorite student.  Soon after this, the “No Lifeguard on Duty–Swim at Your Own Risk” sign was put up at the lake.  I think it was long before I came to Roanoke.  Phil said, “And I was skinny-dipping in that lake!”

He also said once that porn was not wrong/sinful.  Christians believe porn is also sinful for the same reason–disrobing in mixed company–and because it encourages lust, not love and respect for your sister in Christ or fellow human being made in God’s image.

The kind of man I had always expected to marry, wouldn’t just call himself a Christian, but actually live it, following Christian moral standards.

In September, he complained about us going to get lunch or dinner “just because you’re hungry.”  If I recall correctly, we got meals at a normal time or late.  If I don’t eat in a timely manner, I get migraines, and feel lightheaded and nauseated.  So he even wanted to control when I ate, no matter how hungry or sick I felt?

Once, when I pulled out a heating pad for menstrual cramps or a sore muscle, Phil said, “I hope you’re not going to end up like my mom, always sitting on a heating pad.”

So even using a heating pad for cramps is wrong somehow, and I have to be guilted into not doing it?  So I’m supposed to be in pain because you don’t want me using a heating pad?

By the way, his mom had health problems which caused her pain in that area, making his remarks not just knee-jerk (emphasis on the “jerk”) for me using a heating pad one night for cramps, but extremely insensitive to his mother.  Even if she didn’t have constant pain, if she wants to sit on a heating pad all the time, so what?

I eventually wondered why I kept ending up with the wrong kinds of guys, when I specifically looked for the right kinds.  I’d only date Christians, whom I expected to be godly men, but even the Christians turned away from the faith and/or mistreated me in some way.  I looked for nice, sweet, romantic guys; I ended up with guys who seemed that way at first, but turned mean.

I didn’t grow up in an abusive home, so why did I keep dating mean guys?  I thought I couldn’t trust my own judgment, that if I found another guy I wanted to get serious about, I’d have to ask my friends what they thought of him first:

Because of my nonverbal learning disorder, I was an easy target for these guys, and easily fooled with my trusting nature.  So they acted like what I wanted until I fell for them, then showed their true colors as time wore on.

My friends and family disliked the guys early on, but said nothing.  After the breakup, they gave their opinions, and I realized they were right, that I’d been blind.

 

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

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Phil’s fake dreams lead to a terrible fight (Gaslighting, Bits of Abuse Here and There)–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–June 1994, Part 3

A letter from Pearl on the 13th spoke of an infection, and that she could have died from it.   (She has rheumatoid arthritis and kept having problems throughout college.)  But a hurting hip led her to go to her doctor, so that’s how he discovered it, and in time.

She had to deal with a tube in her neck and weeks of intravenous antibiotics, then oral antibiotics, and this meant no knee surgery that summer–so she’d still need crutches.  But at least she was alive!  (Still is, in fact.  🙂  )

Another letter I wrote to somebody said she was at Roanoke a bit during the summer, finishing up exams; this must have been why.  She was also supposed to do her writing and honors projects senior year, and wanted to work on them, just as I was.

****

Phil often acted out his dreams while sleeping, and spoke coherently, as I’ve described before.  One night while he worked at the Kirby job, he told me he wanted a little “wedded bliss” before he went to sleep.  So after he went to bed, I went over and nudged him to give him what he wanted.

I don’t want to recount this incident in full detail because it is still too disturbing; I don’t have to relive everything.  But he kept his eyes closed the whole time, which always told me he was asleep and acting out his dreams.

I kept saying I didn’t want his subconscious, but his real, awake self, yet he kept his eyes closed all the while, which showed me he was still dreaming.  His sleeping self got mean and childish, even sleepwalked.

I kept expecting him to wake up and start acting kind, except that his subconscious was forcing him to stay under, refusing to let the real, kind, awake Phil take over again.

I was frightened by and angry at his subconscious, telling him to go away so the real Phil could come back.

Then finally he opened his eyes.  In relief I said, “Oh, now you’re awake.  I thought you never would wake up!”  His rational self was back, not that jerk of a subconscious!

But then he said, “I was awake.”

Huh?

“I was awake the whole time.”

I was confused, upset.  How could he have been awake and behaved in such a fashion?  How could he be awake and keep his eyes closed the entire time, even while walking?

But he said he wanted me to come to him!

Why didn’t he open his eyes and show me he was awake?  He was always talking in his sleep and acting out his dreams–How was I to know any different?

I felt cruelly tricked, set up by this evil charade.  All he had to do was open his eyes as soon as I nudged him, to show me he was awake!

I had directly called him Phil’s subconscious repeatedly, and repeatedly said I wanted the real, conscious Phil back.

He knew very well that keeping his eyes closed had always been a signal to me that he was talking in his sleep and acting out his dreams.

He knew very well that he had trained me to disregard anything he said while asleep, as being his subconscious and not the real him.

He knew very well that opening his eyes signaled to me that the dream was over and he was awake.

Then there’s all he said and did and yet kept his eyes closed the entire time (even going downstairs and making a huge amount of racket, so I feared he’d wake my parents).

So I do still firmly believe he kept his eyes closed on purpose to keep me thinking he was asleep, talking in his sleep, walking in his sleep, and his subconscious was doing it all, an episode of crazy-making me with something he knew quite well would fool me.

Especially since, a couple of months later, he finally admitted that he was awake every single time he acted out his dreams and talked in his sleep, that it was all an act!

As I’ve described in earlier chapters, he started doing this in February, and kept doing this until August.  (I describe these “dreams” all through these chapters.)

So he had me firmly convinced these were dreams, and in June, I was still under this gaslighting illusion, because he had not yet admitted the truth.

So to not open his eyes and show me he was truly awake, was diabolical, deliberately setting me up to act crazy and give him something to constantly remind me of–ie, gaslighting me.  This is a common tactic of abusers and narcissists, so they can deflect attention off what they’re doing to you, and call you the abuser.

I didn’t know all that, but I did want to tell him to go back to Wisconsin, that I was done with him.

After much anger, we finally got to talking and decided it was a misunderstanding, with him seeing how he contributed.  He saw he’d been a jerk about the whole thing, and that it wasn’t my fault; I believe he even apologized.

But for days or weeks after, he kept bringing up that night, as if he thought it was all my fault.  I never would have said or done what I did if I knew he was awake and I was dealing with his real self, not the subconscious; I would have known he was awake if he never pretended to talk/act things out in his sleep.  The narcissist had me fully in his talons.

As for your partner’s assertion, yes – you may have sent angry emails or yelled or slammed doors or called names. So your abuser claims YOU were abusing him/her.

But it’s more likely you were REACTING to being abused by your partner. What can make it even more difficult for you to see and understand at this point is that some of their abuse may be subtle and covert rather than obvious and overt.

This causes further difficulty for you in identifying the abuse – and makes it easier for your abuser to convince you that it’s all your fault, or the problem is really with YOU – that you’re “crazy”, or “imagining things”.

They’ll abuse you, and when you react to that abuse, they accuse YOU of abusing THEM and they play the victim role. They don’t call it “crazymaking” for nothing! —Let’s Talk About Reactive Abuse

 

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse used by narcissists in order to instill in their victims an extreme sense of anxiety and confusion to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment.

The techniques used in “Gaslighting” by the narcissist are similar to those used in brainwashing, interrogation, and torture that have been used in psychological warfare by intelligence operatives, law enforcement and other forces for decades.

The intention is to, in a systematic way, target the victim’s mental equilibrium, self confidence, and self esteem so that they are no longer able to function in an independent way.

Gaslighting involves the abuser to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from the victim, and replace it with false information.

Because of its subtlety, this cunning Machiavellian behavior is a deeply insidious set of manipulations that is difficult for anybody to work out, and with time it finally undermines the mental stability of the victim. That is why it is such a dangerous form of abuse.

The emotional damage of Gaslighting is huge on the narcissistic victim. When they are exposed to it for long enough, they begin to lose their sense of their own self.

Unable to trust their own judgments, they start to question the reality of everything in their life. They begin to find themselves second-guessing themselves, and this makes them become very insecure around their decision making, even around the smallest of choices.

The victim becomes depressed and withdrawn, they become totally dependent on the abuser for their sense of reality. In effect the gaslighting turns the victim’s reality on its head. —What is gaslighting? by Christine

People talking and even walking in their sleep, or acting out dreams, is a real phenomenon.  I even witnessed it in my pets, and would influence my dog’s dreams or my cat’s dreams by petting, barking, or whatever.  Using real phenomena is the best way to fool someone.

And I was already susceptible because my ex Peter talked in his sleep and acted out his dreams, and had convinced me of various telepathic abilities.  He said we had a psychic link, and that because of his ninja training, he went on time-traveling dream trips, was telepathic, could see things happening far away, and hoped to learn telekinesis.  (See here and here, where all these things are described.)

Because I believed Peter, I also believed Phil, making me perfect to gaslight with these fake “dreams.”  Also, my NVLD made me more susceptible to this, because it’s much harder for people with NVLD to notice when someone is lying.

 

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

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Reblog: Explaining how to tell true from fake victims

For outsiders, it can be hard to tell which is the narcissist and which the victim:

I bet my poor priest had this problem when Richard and Tracy went up to him a year and a half ago, before I had a chance to, and told him who knows what lies.

I heard Tracy’s indignant whispers, and thought I caught “self-righteous” as well.  I know they also persuaded some girl I didn’t know, “Chia,” that I was somehow falsely accusing them and being awful to them.

I also remember the smear campaign they conducted against Richard’s friend Todd, whose only crime was to try to help Tracy, and who then got mad at her when she continuously fought him and accused him for hours over it.

They got people–even me–thinking Todd was crazy.  But when I examined closely what really happened, I discovered that Tracy was lying to everyone.

I also remember two of my exes smearing me as well, telling their friends and anyone who would listen, lies about me.

But I found a blog post which sums up quite well in a series of bullet points, how to tell a true from a fake victim.  For example:

Let’s examine the traits of a well-trained pathological liar, a narcissist; with a history of duping others and manipulating to avoid responsibility vs a credible, honest, albeit “emotional” target of the narcissist.

….TRUE VICTIMS experience the grieving process. Shock. Denial. Anger. moving all the way through [to] acceptance.

Whereas a FALSE VICTIM will appear to get over the emotions of the experience rather quickly. They don’t appear to dwell, (ruminate / obsess) over the “abusive” experiences.

….Narcissists as FALSE VICTIMS don’t change a damn thing about their behavior. They don’t seek help. They don’t look over their shoulders. (Unless they’re paranoid about karma catching up with them) They don’t have trouble sleeping at night or difficulty breathing at times. They aren’t afraid of you in the ways they’ve claimed to be afraid.

They don’t hang out in support groups. They don’t share their stories with other survivors. They don’t endure the traumatic symptoms of PTSD.

TRUE VICTIMS can’t survive than by any other way than REACHING OUT for support. Seeking validation, seeking therapy, GOD, or other “SAVING” modalities is a revelation of our TRUE, inner state.

We’re shocked, scared and hurt. We give back and share our stories with others. We try to warn the next victim out of fear that the narcissist will victimize others.

We have the ability and show true empathy for other survivors because we KNOW what the abuse from a narcissist feels like. We KNOW how confusing it is. We don’t take the experience lightly, nor the feelings of those who’ve suffered this lightly.

TRUE VICTIMS become very involved in their own therapy. They are motivated by hurt, anger, fear and determination to never be made a victim again, and thus pour themselves into learning about their own behavior, vulnerabilities and areas in need of improvement. A narcissist believes it’s everyone ELSE that needs to change.

….The narcissist isn’t at home tending to their self-care and reading every tidbit of information regarding recovery they can get their hands on. They’re out meeting new dating partners, out selling themselves on websites for dating, flirting, laughing and gayly enjoying a life not fettered by consequences.

The article is here, from After Narcissistic Abuse: Will The REAL Victim of Narcissistic Abuse Please Stand Up

Some of my blog posts may seem disjointed at times; they also may seem quite sure of terms like “narcissist” and “abuse”….But keep in mind that:

–It took me several years to sort things out, starting in 2008.

–Initially, after we broke off the abusive friendship in 2010, my venting was done through vague Facebook posts and a private list of grievances.

–I knew there was abuse, but knew nothing about borderline or narcissistic personality disorders.  I think I came across this through Sam Vaknin’s website.

–It took me months to even begin to write a germ of a story on my website, which started as simply a few paragraphs on my page about abuse.  It wasn’t meant to be a novel-length account, but just a few paragraphs.  But it just kept building and building.

I wrote e-mails to friends and posts on Orthodox forums with basic descriptions, but to really sit down and write a narrative describing everything that happened?  I just couldn’t, not at first.  But once I began, it took many months after that to finish it.

–It took months of searching the Net for help, finding various blogs with other survivors, and writing down my experiences, before I could even figure out what the heck just happened, or stop blaming myself or feeling guilty.

My abusers yelled and screamed at my husband and me, online or off, while we tried to get them to calm down with my apologies.  I was the one left a puddle of emotional mush, while my abusers just went on with life and didn’t bother to even apologize.

Yet when they found my website and blog and I told them to leave me alone, they went to my priest and who knows how many friends (I found some interesting hits from various places on my blog), and cried “victim.”

They even wrote to me crying “victim,” poked fun at me for still being upset over what they did and not wanting to see them, treated me like what they did was nothing at all and I should just get over it.

Then they proceeded to force themselves in my face, coming to my church and shoving up behind me in the communion line, breathing and snarling down my neck, smearing me to my priest, then persisting in following my blog no matter how often I told them to go away or blocked them.

Do they sound like the victims to you?  Am I the one bullying them, as they claimed?

 

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Realizing I Was Used and Manipulated by My “Best” Friend Richard: The Proof Is In The E-Mail

Realizing your best friend was manipulating and playing you the whole time, is very disturbing.  But it finally hit me this week as I kept piecing things together, put 2 and 2 together and finally got 4.  My proof is right there in the e-mail Tracy sent me back in May of this year.

My blog stalkers twisted my words into threats I never made, and then used those imaginary threats as justification to threaten me with legal action.

(See Now I’m Being Stalked, where you can read about this, my dissection of the e-mail, and the full text of their e-mail.)

I looked through all my posts but could find nothing to back up their claims that I threatened to expose them to the local community and/or church.

(Just a note in one blog, not addressed to them, that I hoped they would move away so I wouldn’t have to see them around anymore, and a note in another blog, not addressed to them, that if their church merged with mine, I would have to go to the priest for help, for my own physical, emotional and spiritual safety.)

It was a documented example of gaslighting:

Twisting your words and managing to turn things around to use them against you is a ploy of the verbal abuser. —A Checklist of Verbal Abuse | eHow.com

But I reviewed all my posts and could find nothing to justify their threats, I have tons of documentation, and I am an eye-witness of, or got directly from my blog stalkers, practically everything I wrote….

It also went against something I wrote in one blog, that I had no intention of spreading around the church the story of what they had done.

My blogs were merely about personal release of metaphorical demons, and I had no intentions of revealing their real names on here or somehow publishing them to the whole local community.

(And how on earth I was supposed to do so, I have no idea.  Take out an ad in the paper, perhaps?  As if such an ad would even be run!  Pass out fliers?  Go door-to-door?  If they mean talking to my local friends–they can’t stop a person from confiding in friends.)

Their e-mail was so ludicrous, paranoid, absurd and revealing as to be laughable.  It gave me concrete evidence of their abuse, self-centeredness and vindictiveness, so I’m holding onto it.  It even gave me concrete evidence that they just used us for our generosity, and were never true friends.

Just think: Not only did they demonstrate the same utter lack of regard for the feelings and points of view of Hubby and me that they had shown during the “Incident” and that Tracy showed for me the entire time I knew her

…Not only did they demonstrate a feeling of entitlement to call all the shots and smack us down when we got uppity and asserted our rights to decent treatment

…Not only did they say they “owe” me nothing

But a lawsuit would be an attempt to get money out of us.

Didn’t we give them quite enough money over the years?

Considering the extreme lengths we took over the years to help them out, far beyond what most people would do, and the fact that we’re not even remotely related to them,

I think we are at least owed kindness, consideration, a restraint from verbal abuse and bullying, and apologies for outbursts.

But to not even get that from them, and have them come out and say in this e-mail that they owe us nothing and did nothing wrong, is clear, documented proof–which you yourself can read–that they feel entitled to bad behavior without apology.  It clearly shows a lack of conscience and empathy.

Me always getting blamed for that bad behavior, without the blamers taking any of it onto themselves, is another telling piece of the puzzle.

Me right there overhearing as Tracy would make passive-aggressive phone calls complaining to her mother or Richard about me.

Hubby has said all along that he does not want me debasing myself to her, that Tracy has to get down on her knees and apologize to me.  And he wouldn’t mind apologies for how he got treated, either.

I, Hubby, our parents and one of my old friends all have a distinct impression that Hubby and I were played for suckers.

For me, after two months of happily hosting only Richard, there was the sudden, unexpected announcement that the rest of the family was coming to move in–and Richard already had to sleep on the couch.

There was no room for another adult and three more children, but they came here with no other place to go, no move-out plan, and ended up staying for six long weeks.

Neither my husband nor I approved this, thinking the other one must have okayed it, but never being asked, just told they were coming.  My son was forced out of his bed and into ours.

When Richard made this announcement, I got him an apartment guide and told him to find a place.  I kept asking/begging him for a move-out date, but it kept getting put off, or he’d say he couldn’t give me one.

Yet Tracy complained that I did not make her feel welcome,

complained about the food we provided (who can afford fresh produce and no canned/frozen every night for eight people on a middle-class salary and ballooning utility bills???!!!),

they gave us no money when they had promised to pay for food,

they left messes all over the house (including a massive pile of dirty laundry in the living room),

and she was very rude and aggressive to me and abusive to Richard and the kids even while living in my house,

as if she expected we would just let her do this without kicking her out–That shows a sense of entitlement.

As does the distinct feeling I got that what I did or where I went in my home was subject to her approval.

(I got this from her complaints about me taking time to myself,

the way she’d follow after me if I went to talk to Richard by myself,

the angry look she gave when Richard invited me to play cards with them,

and her complaints to Richard about my “routine” and to her mother about who does the cooking in my house and what we served for dinner!)

Then, a year and a half later, when they were on hard times again and I bit the bullet and offered to let them stay here again,

I discovered from Richard that she refused,

that she spit on our hospitality,

accused me of being a bad, unwelcoming hostess (because I had to do housework and change diapers, and desperately needed time to myself every day with all these people and noise crammed into my 1100-sq.ft. condo),

and was very upset with me for overhearing me tell my husband she was bullying me and abusing Richard.

Yeah, I can feel your ingratitude from here, a lack of appreciation for how you forced yourself on us and then complained about the accommodations,

just how much your presence put us out financially and personally,

for how you were driving me crazy and making me want you OUT.

And because of this, they tried to force me into an uphill battle to please her and get back into her good graces if I expected to be friends with Richard.

Meanwhile, she had no intentions of changing anything about herself that caused me to call her abusive and keep her at arm’s length.  More entitlement.  And more evidence that we were sponged off, used, by fake friends.

On the very night of the “Incident,” Hubby said to me, “Do you feel used?  I do.  They were not good friends.”

On the part of Hubby’s parents, all it took was one long phone conversation describing what happened, to convince them we were taken advantage of.

They said Hubby shouldn’t have let things go on as long as they did, that as soon as they began complaining about the food we provided, he should’ve (politely) shown them the door.

My mother, also, keeps noting, “And to treat you like this after all you’ve done for these people!”

An e-mail to my old friend resulted in the friend’s observation that these two were very manipulative and were never real friends to us, that she’s met people like this.

Then that e-mail from Tracy/Richard? came, confirming these suspicions for Hubby and me.

I’m not even sure what all was real and what was fake, because Richard sure played a convincing part, I thought we had a special bond and that he truly cared about me,

but then he began complaining about “pampering” me, and started coming out with things he’d held back from me, which first made me wonder what was real.

His behavior since has belied the impression he gave Hubby and me both; he had fooled us both for years.

A true friend would never behave the way he has done,

would reflect on his own behavior and return your apologies (which I gave both of them not just that very day, but a week/month later) with his own apologies,

would apologize for blowing up at a good friend.

It’s hard to admit that he may never have actually cared and was just playing a part to get our monetary and other support, especially since it is hard to be sure, though his behavior the past few years has been steadily confirming this.

But with Tracy, I’m sure, and her e-mails to me are proof.

All you have to do is read in the e-mail at the above link that they “had a good laugh” at my pain and point of view, that they “did nothing wrong” and would not apologize.

Those lines in themselves are glaring proof not just of a lack of empathy and conscience,

but that these two are a couple of con artists and spongers,

that neither of them ever really cared about Hubby or me, or they never would have written such callous lines.

And because those lines prove that they never truly cared,

that leads to the obvious conclusion that they used us for our generosity,

because we were so willing to give them a place to stay to our own inconvenience and financial strain,

to open up the wallet,

to give them food and out of our other surplus,

to give them rides,

to lend them things which we had to remind them to return.  (We never did get the crib back.)

How often were we there for them?  All the time.  How often was Richard there when I needed him?  Not so much, often ignoring my phone calls or e-mails.

After all, how much did I really know about either of them before letting them in?  I met them on an Internet forum.  It’s easy to misrepresent yourself on a forum.

There were all sorts of things which Richard never told me until right before he was to move in, things which made me start wondering if I should let him stay here.

There were things which he didn’t tell me until after he moved in, which shocked me.

There were things which came out little by little over the years; I didn’t hear about the Mafia goombah stint until 2009.

An even more telling piece of evidence of their duplicity, is the way they just let us end the friendship without a fight, the way they kept putting their pride and anger above friendship even a month later, even two years later.

Obviously getting their own way is far more important to them than anything or anybody else.

True friends would have at least tried to change our minds.  Instead of dead silence, we would’ve gotten phone calls, visits, apologies and/or requests to talk it over.  That’s what another of my friends did when one of his friends broke off the friendship.

The way they just let us go so easily, then blocked us all on Facebook and e-mail, suggests very strongly that the whole Incident–heck, that whole last few months when even Richard suddenly began acting distant, rude and mean–was a setup, a plan to push us away.

Maybe it was because I showed signs of no longer believing Richard’s wild stories.

Maybe it was because we were not going for his politics.

Or maybe we had outlived our usefulness: Most of the time we knew them, they were both either unemployed or underemployed.

While Hubby, who lost his job when the economy tanked in 2008, did keep finding good-paying contract jobs,

but then in very late 2009 felt forced to take a job that barely paid the bills, made us buy poor-quality food at discount stores, but was permanent.

His employer was a miser, while Tracy finally found steady work.  So they didn’t need as much help from us, while we didn’t have as much help to give. 

It all fits together now, the more I think about it.  To still, two years later, defend your abusive and nasty behavior as “nothing wrong,” is a sign of narcissism and sociopathy–and proves to us that we did the right thing in cutting them loose.  True friends would not be proud of having mistreated you.

Their e-mail also references Richard’s criminal conviction, with a snide remark about “speculation” and not having “all the facts,” but I got all sorts of facts straight from the newspaper and court records, which are posted online, free for the public to access.

And though they tried in this e-mail with that snide remark, there is no way to spin what he did, to make him look good.  (He choked his 9-year-old daughter to unconsciousness.)

I’ve witnessed their vindictiveness to others and to me, and maybe they think everybody is like them.  But I am not the sort of person to do what they accused me of.

Their e-mail is proof that they felt the need to terrorize me into silence, rather than trying to work things out or even defend their actions through reasoned arguments. 

It shows Richard to be just like the government officials he hates so much, who he claims will hound and intimidate him if he ever publicly comes out with their secrets.

It’s also proof that if I had gone through with that “conference” Tracy kept insisting on, she never would have allowed me to have an opinion of my own,

because that e-mail is how she responded to all the arguments I made, everything I’d wanted to say to her, in plain language and detail in probably dozens of pages of blogs:

basically, to poke fun at me for thinking things were that way, to shut me up and say I had no right to say it, or even to make my own terms about how I would be treated, after she determined how I was to be treated.

Which, by the way, is also how she and Richard both responded to Hubby’s attempts to speak up for me and try to smooth things over, during the “Incident.”

More entitlement to do whatever the heck Tracy wants, and take and take and take from us, while giving us nothing in return.  And even to go so far as to threaten us into compliance and silence about the truth to those who could help us.

Their e-mail is all the proof I need that Hubby and I are right about them.  Their true character shines all the way through it.

Though at the time it felt like they’d put a huge pile of crap in my lap, I now see it as a golden egg.  I’ve shown it to the police, posted it online and shown it to friends [on the Forum where we all used to post] as proof of what I’m dealing with.

At the same time they sent it, they also a sent a friend, whom I will name “Chia,” to spy on my Facebook account.

I’m not sure what she did there, only that I did not know this person who friended me shortly before Tracy sent the above e-mail, that they were both on her friends list, she lived here in town–

and spikes from their IP address suddenly showed up on my website right after I friended her and it showed up on her wall.

We had absolutely nothing in common other than our city and knowing Richard and Tracy.  None of my friends were on her list.

There were even a few sentences in her profile about defending friends when they’re being attacked, or some such.

(I bet she wasn’t told the full story, that I had been viciously attacked by Tracy over and over again, that my blogs were about telling my story of abuse, and that what I actually did was tell Richard and Tracy to leave me alone.)

I sent her an e-mail asking how she knew me, but she never responded.  In fact, the following day I discovered she had unfriended me.

Am I being paranoid when I say she was a flying monkey, as the blogging community calls it, otherwise known as sycophant, abuser-by-proxy, or dupe?  No.  There’s far too much evidence to support the flying monkey theory.

Then at church, you could actually see Tracy’s feeling of entitlement in the way she carried herself, and the way she tried to intimidate me by getting right up behind me in the communion line, pressing up against me, and literally breathing down my neck in loud snarls.

It was ridiculous.  What did she think she was, a scary pirate?  Better put a few “arrs” in there for good measure.

And Hubby noticed, every time they came to my church and Greek Fest for the next several weeks, their false, exaggerated piety, a show for me, though I did not watch them.

They even took communion, which, from what my husband, father and I all understand about communion, is a huge no-no when you have conflict with another at the same church, lest you taint the sacrament, and eat and drink condemnation unto yourself.

(After the first week, I realized this, and refused to take communion when they were present, but they kept taking it.)

I need no further proof that I was right about her.

Their behavior in real life and online, including what they look at on my site and how often, is very much that of people with something to hide, trying to keep me under their thumb.

I don’t even care about seeing my blog stalkers in the stats anymore.  I know it’s them because of telltale signs, such as IP addresses and other things I won’t go into publicly.  I no longer worry about them.  When I see them in my stats, I go, “Oh, there you are.  I missed you!  Where were you?”

Here’s an example of not letting the bullies intimidate you–even at the risk of your own life: Pakistani Girls Walk in Shoes of Young Activist (the one who was shot by the Taliban).

It is very disturbing to discover just how badly you’ve been manipulated and used by people you thought were friends.

I now understand why most people are so reluctant to help non-family to the extent we helped these people.

Hubby’s parents told him you put yourself out like that only for family.  We will be keeping a tighter hold on our purse strings and offers to let people stay, after being so badly taken advantage of.

It’s rough to think that Richard would be this kind of person.  It’s very different from what I thought he was.

He had seemed like the perfect friend, with interests very much matching my own eclectic interests, giving us an overabundance of things to talk about: music, Goth, geek, Orthodoxy, theology, intellectual, ghosts.

I don’t know what went wrong, if it was always a ploy, or if it changed later on….I keep looking for hope in what blog posts he reads, hope that he still cares.

But the proof of a very different reality is in how he has allowed me to be treated in such a fashion.  The proof is in that e-mail

If he had ever truly cared about me, he never would have laughed at my pain.  Only sociopaths laugh at grief and pain caused by them.  It’s only denial that keeps me hoping.

Let my story be a warning to you, especially with the economy the way it is.  The blinders my husband and I had up, have led to financial and emotional pain.

My story of narcissistic abuse is here.

 

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My Abusers’ Threats are Empty and Extortion

The post here 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.  Now for Part 6.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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.

I have proof, and did what I said I would, but nothing happened (late summer/fall 2012)

I have done everything I said I was going to do:

  • I’ve told my priest what happened and gotten his counsel (and will continue to do so if they keep showing up, but they’ve only appeared a few times).
  • I’ve kept the blog up.
  • I’ve posted here and told my family and friends what Richard and Tracy have been doing to harass and cyberstalk me.

Yet Richard and Tracy have not done what they threatened to do if I did so.  They don’t have a leg to stand on legally:

  • This is the truth, there are absolutely no lies, no intentional falsehoods,
  • it has done absolutely nothing to harm their reputation in the community,
  • it has not hurt their jobs if they have any, does not even show up if somebody Googles their names, because the names are changed.

Without intentional falsehoods and real names, there can be no libel.  They are all fang but no bite.

I have:

  1. In my possession an e-mail and record of a phone conversation which prove I’m telling the truth.  (I held onto them just in case Richard would need an ally in court.)
  2. My husband and Todd as witnesses/character witnesses.
  3. The printouts of Tracy on a game forum doing the same things to Todd that she did to me.
  4. Several of her abusive e-mails to me.
  5. The abusive posts she made to Todd on that game forum.
  6. Printouts of IRC conversations in which Richard claimed to have hypnotized me and been a thug for the Mafia.
  7. Posts by Todd confirming the Mafia story.
  8. E-mails from Todd describing the things he himself witnessed.
  9. A public blog post by Richard from 2007, which expressed uncertainty about his marriage.

–All confirming my story as true and not the ravings of someone who is “not all there,” as Tracy called me.

I have copies of e-mails I sent to friends and family describing the situation from 2007-2010, and would swear in a court of law that I have posted the truth.

Results of a Social Services investigation (from my report and the choking incident) may also support my claims, depending on how thorough and truthful everyone was.

I have a file, started in mid-2010, in which I described everything I had witnessed while I could still remember it well, just in case I would be needed as a character witness for Richard.

I am witness of and privy to some things which I did not post online because of their sensitive nature, but which I would use as evidence for the court.

I would also gladly take my blogs, website, e-mails, and own private written accounts, print them, sign them in front of a taker of oaths, and use them as an affidavit, sworn to on penalty of perjury, as described by Wikipedia:

 An affidavit is a type of verified statement or showing, or in other words, it contains a verification, meaning it is under oath or penalty of perjury, and this serves as evidence to its veracity and is required for court proceedings.

  • To obtain a declaration on a legal document, such as an application for voter registration, that the information provided by the applicant is truthful to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. If, after signing such a declaration, the information is found to be deliberately untrue with the intent to deceive, the applicant may face perjury charges.

Some piece of Richard and Tracy must recognize in my story that they were indeed abusive, that what they did was indeed wrong.  If they truly did not recognize this at all, then why not just say, “Well, anybody can see how ridiculous she’s being, so we’ll just ignore it and let the whole world see it and laugh at her.”

But no, instead they’re trying to intimidate me into silence, taking offense at the story, threatening to sue me for telling my story, trying to gaslight me into thinking that it did not happen the way I said it happened.

They’ve traumatized me severely, so severely I had to take to blogging to deal with it, and are now re-traumatizing me, on purpose!

Their threat is extortion (written 10/28/12)

Just think: Not only did they demonstrate the same utter lack of regard for the feelings and points of view of Hubby and me that they had shown during the “Incident” and that Tracy showed for me the entire time I knew her

…Not only did they demonstrate a feeling of entitlement to call all the shots and smack us down when we got uppity and asserted our rights to decent treatment

…Not only did they say they “owe” me nothing

But a lawsuit would be an attempt to get money out of us.

Didn’t we give them quite enough money over the years?

Considering the extreme lengths we took over the years to help them out, far beyond what most people would do, and the fact that we’re not even remotely related to them,

I think we are at least owed kindness, consideration, a restraint from verbal abuse and bullying, and apologies for outbursts.

But to not even get that from them, and have them come out and say in this e-mail that they owed us nothing, demonstrates a sense of entitlement on their part–and gives me, Hubby, and our parents a distinct impression that Hubby and I were played for suckers.

Post by Prozac Blogger: Major Breakthrough: Exposing the Truth

I will NOT be silent.

To be continued.

 

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Psychological Hell as Shawn Turns Dark and Moody (sexual user); Irish Writers Class–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–January 1993, Part 1

Irish Writers Class 

Now I started my second year of reading My Utmost for His Highest, in totally different circumstances now, but still desperately needing the messages it and the Bible had for me.

Pearl got a present from a relative which inspired Rachel to make up this tune:

Some little Christmas thing
Sitting on my mantel
I don’t know what it is
I got it from some corny relative
It killed my cat
What do you think about that
As the world blows up

As far as I can explain a tune in words, it was a simple, alto melody sung mostly in low notes.  The line “I don’t know what it is” sounded similar to the beginning of the Aerosmith song “Living on the Edge,” which, incidentally, came out soon after Rachel made up this song.  (I always jokingly wondered if Aerosmith stole it from her.)

“It killed my cat” ended on a higher note, “What do you think about that” on an even higher one, and “As the world blows up” even higher.

Pat Robertson actually predicted the spring/summer Flood of 1993 on or around January 5, according to my diary.

My Winterim class, Irish Writers, taught by a tall, thin teacher named Todd, was a lot of fun.  It was held from 9 to 12 each day.  We learned not only about Irish Writers, but about the Irish people.  I had no idea just how colorful they are.

Todd had been to Ireland, and showed us pictures of a man he met there.  He said the man tended to walk with his arms behind his back and his hands clasped, an Irish thing.  Todd passed around a brick of peat, which is dug out of bogs and used for fuel.

We learned about Irish history, and that the Irish are passionate about everything (including freedom, and in such a way that, until 2000, it seemed impossible to stop the fighting over it).  The Brits looked down on them, at least in previous centuries, for loving sex and alcohol so much.

We learned about stout (no, we didn’t drink it).  We read books, plays and stories by Irish writers.

James Joyce said he was no good at making things up, so his stories were based on things that really happened.  As far as I was concerned, he had little sense of plot and most of his stories were dull.

We read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man–the second time for me.  I had to trudge through that novel in high school.  It was just as bad the second time.  (What is the point of that 42-page Hellfire Sermon, anyway?)

The only part I liked was the beginning, with the stream-of-consciousness stuff about a moocow and some bird plucking out the kid’s eyes if he didn’t apologize for something: “Pull out his eyes, apologize, apologize, pull out his eyes!”  I like to repeat that now and then.

We read his collection The Dubliners, and the only stories I liked were “The Dead” and “Araby” (which I had also read in high school).  “Araby” would show up again in a Lit class junior year.

We saw My Left Foot, a filmed version of “The Dead” with Colm Meaney (from Star Trek: TNG), and a John Wayne movie, The Quiet Man, set in Ireland.  Though we didn’t like Foot, and I think we liked the movie Dead, we loved The Quiet Man.

I loved the very end of The Dead, focusing on snow falling on tombstones in a graveyard.  It reminded me of my own musings at that time whenever we passed cemeteries in a car: that the people in those graves were fortunate to not have to feel the snow or the cold, or have heartaches, or go through any more of life’s many problems.  I just hoped their souls were in Heaven.

Our first day of class, we chose or were assigned partners and days to do presentations.  I ended up with Clarissa, and we had to do the next day’s presentation on “Araby.”

Clarissa and I had no examples of past presentations to go on, and had to just make everything up, not knowing what would work and what wouldn’t.  We thought we did all right, and certainly our best from what he’d told us to do.  But afterwards, Todd told the class with a grin,

“Maybe tomorrow’s presentation will be better.”

He often did this, ripping on people and grinning at the same time.  It was the only fault in an otherwise pleasant guy who actually loved Jane Austen but wasn’t gay.

One day, I brought in some of my Irish pen pal’s letters.  I said she would talk about the noise of bombs going off and helicopters constantly flying overhead, and about the constant violence in Belfast, where she lived.

Shawn had Irish ancestry, so one day I said to him with a grin, “I understand you now.”  I explained what I had learned about the Irish.  I told him I had Scottish ancestry, which I thought meant we had a lot in common.  But I forgot that the Scots and Irish fought each other.  Shawn said, “That must be our problem, then.”

****

I talked to Steve about what Peter told Memadmin.  I asked if I needed to apologize to Peter for anything I did freshman year.

He said, “No, you did nothing wrong.”  Others told me this, as well, such as Julie.  “It would be good to let him know you never meant to hurt him.”  I didn’t want to say anything to Peter, though, but Steve did.  When he did say this to Peter, he got no response.  To describe Peter’s reaction, Steve thought a moment, then said, “Indifference.”

Psychological Hell as Shawn Turns Dark and Moody 

On the 5th, Shawn wanted me to come over, but I had to unpack.  He called up the next night, and said to call him when I finished my homework.  I tried, but kept getting his answering machine, so I went over there to find out what he wanted.  (It couldn’t be the usual; he said firmly that the physical stuff was going to stop!)

I found him in the lounge, watching one of the movies rotating around the dorms that month–the end of Poison Ivy.  Blech!  A few other guys and Frank, the RA, were watching it.  I came in during one of the sex scenes.  I went up to Shawn and said, “What is this?”  Another guy said, “It’s a porno.  Wanna watch?”  Um, no.

I went to the vending machines; Shawn stood by me to wait for me, but went back to watch the end of the movie.  The other guys kept making perverted comments, which angered Frank, no saint himself; one said, “Oh, you’re just mad at us because there’s a female here.”

Whatever Shawn wanted with me, I never found out; after the movie, he just sat there flipping through channels, so I got to know the remaining guy better.  He’d been in the Special Forces, and had interesting information about the Japanese mindset and the sterility of drinking urine on the battlefield to stay hydrated.  He seemed to be flirting with me; I hoped so, and hoped that Shawn would notice and get jealous.

But Shawn was persistent, asking me over again the next day.  I had to write a paper first, and didn’t finish until 9 or 9:30.  He called to ask if I still wanted to come.

He didn’t even hint that he was calling to cancel because it was getting late, and we know what happens when it’s so late.  But since he did not actually tell me this, and I can’t read minds, I did still want to go, so I went.

What was this about?  I expected it would be nothing but talk.  Part of me wanted more, but part of me just wanted to talk.

He let me in, but started reading his homework and watching TV.  (I guess he must have brought a TV from home, because I’m pretty sure he did not have one before.)  It seemed so rude.  So I started watching the TV with him and occasionally making comments, which got him to at least glance at me now and then.

Finally, he put down the book and said, “Could you do me a favor?  Could you give me a back rub?  My back is killing me.”  Back rub?  Seriously?  Those always led to more with us.  But I didn’t expect it to, this time, naive person I was.

He lay down, I sat beside him and began using the knowledge he’d given me about giving back rubs.  When I stopped, he gave me one; he tried to behave, but almost transgressed a couple of times, then stopped himself.  But then he kissed my back.

Soon, he lay down beside me, held me and told me to try falling asleep, “just to see what’ll happen.”  I put my arms around his neck, full of tenderness, and nestled my head on his neck and played with his hair.  Some things happened….

It got close to midnight, so he said I’d better be getting back to my room.  I began arranging myself as he got up, smiling, and sat in the chair.  He didn’t seem to feel guilty this time, so I was happy.

Then all of a sudden he said, “What are we doing?”

I paused, upset at this turn, and said, “Well, I know my reasons.”  I love him, that’s it.

“What are they?”

“There are some things I’d rather keep a secret.”

I was irritated, especially as the same old conversation over the same old stuff began, the hyper-analyzing.  He seemed mad at somebody, hopefully himself and not me.

He asked, “Where do you want this relationship to go?”  I couldn’t answer.

Where did I want it to go?  The hope of marriage, but only if it seemed right; the hope to go out and be a true couple, with romance and not just being some chick he fools around with on the sly; but the fear of commitment while other guys still interested me.

You can’t tell a guy you want to marry him in a couple of years, if he doesn’t feel the same: You’ll just scare him off.

He said, “I’m probably not Mr. Right.  You’ll probably meet a lawyer.”  He thought a lawyer would be well-read and my intellectual equal, unlike Shawn, who would be an engineer.  (This is funny because I ended up marrying an engineer.)

He said he was afraid of commitment.  (Well, so was I; so what?)

Once, he asked a question and I paused to form an answer.  Introverts have to think before we speak; we do not form our thoughts while speaking, like extroverts.  But Shawn snapped, “And I don’t want to wait four days for an answer.  That’s what I don’t like.”

And I don’t like people who snap at introverts for taking the time we need to think before we speak.  But unfortunately, I was not able to say this, not knowing about introversion, NVLD or the art of verbal self-defense.

He kept snapping at me like that, once because I thought he was talking about me but he wasn’t.  He said he doesn’t like it when I do that.  (Well excuse me for misunderstanding and not reading your mind!)

“I’m not a book reader like you, not so smart.”  (What?  He was a math-brain and was in the National Honor Society!)  “I don’t think I’d give you the attention you need.”  (What?  I liked spending much of my time with my friends or alone in my room, recharging.)  “A girl from Taiwan asked me, ‘Why are you so rude to her?  It seems like she has to seek you out.'”

Then came the revelations of what kept going through his head, what he would do to me if I let him, overpowering thoughts of what he could get away with if he tried, how badly he wanted to try.

(It was only our fear of offending God that kept us from going all the way; I would have allowed him, otherwise, because I was just as full of lust as he was–and from what he said, he may have started to realize this.)

He asked, “Do you do all the things we do because I force you?”

I said, “Not all of them.  I must make it hard for you to do things I don’t want.”

He said, “No, you don’t.”

He said, “I wish our friendship could be like mine with Frank or Pearl.”

I said, “It could never be that way, now.”

He thought maybe, if one day he scared me enough, I’d turn tail and run; I said, “You really think scaring me will–You’ve already scared me to death!”  I was thinking of the “Dreadful Night.”

He told me he was into one of my friends.  (Fortunately for me, she had a boyfriend and was not interested.)  What a thing to tell a girl who loves you after you’ve just been using her body and making you think you want her!

He insulted me, made me feel like some cheap whore, no better than the pop tarts.  He referred to us as “sexually active,” which I objected to–though legally, he was correct.

I no longer knew what was right or wrong, beyond the sex act itself; he told me I should read the textbook for his class, Understanding Morality.

He almost seemed to blame me for things he himself had chosen to do even when I tried to get him to go away, times when he himself chose to come over and do all these things, but I was too much in love to stop him, like now.

He called me a source of stress, but all he ever had to do was stop coming over, stop asking me over, stop starting things he knew I would not want to stop, and let me get over it; no one was putting a gun to his head and forcing him to touch and kiss me.  Sure I wanted him to, but it takes two people, and he had the right to refuse to do it anymore.

He was being such a jerk, saying such things, almost making it sound like I was to blame if it didn’t stop–then he tried to start it all over again, while telling me he felt nothing, which made me bat his hand away.

After all this scolding of me for allowing him to have his way with me, he turned creepy, tried to get me to do something in front of him which I did not want to do.  I said, “I’m not a pervert!”

He smiled and said, “Yes, you are.”

“No, I’m not!”

“Yes, you are.”  He began doing things I did not like….I told him to stop….He suggested doing to me what I did not want to do to myself….I said no….

Is this why he kept wanting me over the past few days?  He’d had time to reconsider, this was premeditated and not spur of the moment, but every night he asked me over until I finally came, after he had insisted he would not do this to me anymore.

Then he bumped my arm, which was holding a can of pop.

I said, “You’d better be careful, or my pop might spill.”

He said, “It already did.  It’s on your shirt.”

I looked down at my shirt, saw a dark blotch in the dim light, and said, “You’re dead.”

He laughed and got me something to wipe it up with.  He said, “Maybe I shouldn’t let you come over here anymore,” but with a smile, so I said, “I hope you’re just joking.”

He finally helped me sneak out around 1:30, with my long hair tucked into my coat, then told me to call him that afternoon if I wanted to talk more–which I did not.  I knew how it would go: the same as always.

It felt like we’d lost the ground we gained with that tearful phone conversation, all because he could not keep his hands to himself and I was too in love to stop him.

I spoke to Sharon about it; she said no one would care if they saw me leave, because I’m of age, so don’t worry about my reputation, which Shawn kept warning me about.  She said we should make up our minds soon, and either commit or snub each other.

This seemed to turn a corner, but not the one I’d hoped for at the beginning of Christmas Break: We went from the fun we were having before, to a new and more disturbing phase, where we did things we’d never done before, went farther than ever, while he often treated me with contempt.

The thing I did not want him to do to me, he eventually did in February, suddenly and forcefully from what I recall, taking away my innocence and filling me with thoughts I could barely control.  Not what is clinically called “coitus,” but another thing.

And even though he himself had similar thoughts and told me about them, he judged me for them when I confessed them to him.

In fact, considering his mental health history, I can’t help wondering now if something happened over Christmas Break that led to this, if he was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, and I was the unlucky one caught in it.

From January through the end of the school year, he kept going from manic hyper stages where he treated me kindly, to foul moods which ended up hurting me.

I had told Shawn so many things, including deep, dark secrets.  We usually seemed like best friends.  But sometimes, like January 10, I wondered if we were even friends.  Some weeks he’d call all the time and sometimes stop over, but I wrote on the 13th, “some weeks, like this one, he won’t call and he won’t even sit by me.”

I had hoped things would change for the better between us, but instead they got worse.  He was moody.  I was too afraid to call him or go over without being asked.

On the 11th, he was in a bad mood, so I didn’t want to sit with him at a meal; I was surprised to see him come sit with us.  But he just started writing in notebooks instead of attending to the group’s conversation.  Why bother sitting with anyone, then, especially me?

He was having troubles with his Winterim class and the two joint teachers, who he felt were against him.  At 2 or 3 in the morning, he kicked in the door of someone who woke him up with their stereo!

****

Shawn had told me to sit with my friends whether Peter was there or not, so on the 12th I did so.  I sat with Steve, and Peter was right across from me.  He didn’t stay long because of class, but it seemed to go well.  I stayed cheerful despite fighting to control my shaking.  Even Peter seemed cheerful.

On the 12th, I saw my old suitemate Tom checking out a display for some date rape movies.  A guy with him said, “You saw the word ‘sex,’ and you went right to it.”  Tom denied it, but I said, “Yeah, we know you, Tom.”  He gave me a kind of lecherous smile.

That night, my suitemates held a seance in the suite lounge.  Clarissa and I stayed in our room, hoping they wouldn’t call something into the suite that wouldn’t leave, and keeping our crosses nearby.

Pearl and Tara were in England for their Winterim class, which was led by my old Expository Writing teacher.  They visited such places as London, Bath and Stratford-on-Avon, and included a showing of Phantom of the Opera.  I was envious, but had no way to afford such a thing.  It did, however, make it into my story “Bedlam Castle.”

Then on the 14th, Shawn sat at my table for a minute, then, as he passed behind me on his way out, tapped me on the back.  I looked up; he smiled and said “bye”; I smiled back.  This made me feel better; kindness from him again?

Index

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

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How my emotional trauma proves the abuse–and I realize Richard conned me

The post here 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.  Now for Part 5.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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.

I recognize Tracy’s malicious style in that e-mail, from her past messages to Todd and me both, and from posts she’s written to people on forums as well.  But it must have been at least approved by Richard as well.

A certain loathing comes from being betrayed not once, but twice by what you thought was your best friend.

To think of all the times he was so kind and caring to you before, so you thought he was your friend.

But now you discover that it was all an act meant to con you.

Why he would do such an elaborate con, I don’t know.  But I do now see very clearly, from the above e-mail, that he never meant anything he said about “loving” me.

Maybe the act was meant to get various things out of me: concern, a place to stay, food, money, whatever.  Maybe it was meant to get the narcissistic supply he so craves.  But it was all a lie, an act.

How do I know?  After all of Tracy’s unkind words, her snarks, her lies, her power plays, all the behaviors, all Richard’s going along with whatever she did or said about me, without allowing me to defend myself or say I did not deserve this–

Instead of apologizing for his part in things, or getting her to apologize, all I got from them was this b**chy e-mail which

  • twisted my words into all sorts of crazy things which they never did say,
  • denied my right to stand up for myself and go no contact with them,
  • denied that what I actually did say was true,
  • said they did nothing wrong and would not apologize,
  • and said they laughed at my pain.

Obviously they think they’re allowed to throw all sorts of crap at me, but I’m not allowed to stand up for myself.

If he ever actually cared about me at all, then he would have realized just what he had done.

He would have realized that his passivity allowed a Christian sister, and one whom he once claimed to love like a sister (what a lie), to be bullied, hurt, torn apart, and screwed over without remorse.

But no, it was just more minimizing, justifying and defending Tracy’s verbal abuse and constant overt/covert bullying of me.

It is appalling to see behind the mask and discover that you put your love and trust into a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It is horrifying to realize just how badly you were deceived, just how easily.

A real friend would never stab you in the back and then, when they discover how much it hurt you, twist the knife even further, and then stomp on it until you die.

Beware such friends, and do not grieve when you lose them.  They are not worth it.  Such toxic “friendships” should be grieved just as much as the snake you shot when it tried to bite you, or the mosquito you slapped.

If I’m telling “false facts,” if I’m accusing an “innocent” person, then why have I been suffering for the past two years from the aftereffects of Tracy’s abuse, both witnessing it and being the victim of it–

even going through a period where I must have had Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of the constant rumination, fear, hypervigilance, and memories playing back constantly?

Why did I cry so many tears both during and after the “friendship”? 

Why did somebody on a forum say I sounded spiritually traumatized? 

Why did I feel for at least a year like I couldn’t get close to anyone I didn’t already know, for fear they would turn out to be abusers just like Tracy?

Why have I had so many triggers that–just when I think I’ve put an issue to rest–bring it all up again so my mind would have to go through and process it, figure it out, all over again?  (This happened continuously for at least a year.)

And why on earth would I break off a friendship just like that with someone who was sweet and wonderful and innocent of any wrongdoing, especially since I’m so introverted and shy that I can’t just go out and make another friend to replace ones I lose?

You may ask why I didn’t go to therapy.  There were two reasons:

  1. My husband’s job sucked so bad that I had no resources for therapy, no health insurance, no money, and
  2. I was even afraid of trusting therapists!

Since my friends could only handle so much, blogging (since I had to get my message out somehow) and writing down the whole story, was my only outlet.

To be continued.

 

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I Will NOT Be Silent

My Trip to Oz and Back is much like my own blogs, an account of two years spent by the writer with her girlfriend, which was actually a 50-page letter sent by the author to her ex-girlfriend.

That was in the late 90s, when the author had never heard of borderline personality disorder, so there had been no official diagnosis for her to point to.  But the more she learned about BPD, the more she knew her ex-girlfriend had it, so she posted this letter to help others who are dealing with someone with BPD.

It has been on the Web since 2003, and by November 2006 had received 53,000 hits.  As the author wrote on the main page,

Writing this was cathartic. It doubled as a form of therapy. I actually did send the letter; however, I doubt that it had much effect.  The more I learned about BPD, the more I realized that the likelihood of this person ever really understanding, was probably close to zero….

Why would I want to put such a personal document online?  There are several reasons. First, I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of what it is like to be in a relationship with a person with BPD. There are many books and websites on BPD, but relatively few from a significant other’s point of view.

Second, I am hoping that someone out there might read a bit and identify with it.  When one is in a difficult situation, sometimes just hearing about another person’s similar experience can be affirming–as in, “I’m not the only one.”

Finally, I consider myself a success story–see the final chapter, the epilogue.  My wish is to give hope to others.

Like me, the author changed names and identifying details.  This is to protect the guilty as well as the innocent.

It’s the most baffling part of Richard and Tracy threatening a lawsuit, because I never used and never intend to use their real names in these blogs–and anything I would tell my priest about this, would be the truth, and not in any way actionable.

Joyful Alive Woman also wrote about her abusive, narcissist, former female friend.

Post by Prozac Blogger:

Why the past still haunts me is for that exact same reason. As long as they aren’t exposed for who they truly are, I can’t rest.

All this time I thought it was because of the horrible things I’ve seen that I can’t let go. Actually it’s the fact that I’ve been forced to keep it inside that makes it impossible for me to move forward.

It’s not only that, the fact that they are moving on with their lives makes it all even harder.  I need justice. I need them to be exposed.  —Major Breakthrough: Exposing the Truth

I know how you feel, Prozac Blogger.  The more my bullies try to silence me, the more I speak up.  The more they try to threaten and intimidate me to get me under their thumb, the more I wriggle back out from under it.

I will not stop going to my church because of them.  I will not let them frighten me away from my own church, a church which they have always hated anyway, so the only reason they’re coming to it now is to intimidate and oppress me, a sinful, black-hearted attitude straight from Hell, which God will deal with.

I will not shut up to pacify my bullies.  I will not remove my blogs.  I will fight any and all attempts to silence me.

They will find that I’m not as weak as they thought I was.  The stubbornness of my family is proverbial.

I’ve been speaking out about Richard and Tracy’s bullying ever since the very day of 7/1/10, when they told me, “Don’t go crying to Jeff, because we don’t need the headache.”

And I will continue to speak out about it.  I will document here, online, every single thing they do to continue to stalk and intimidate me.

I will not let them bully me at church and cut me off from my support system.  The more they oppress me, the more I will tell.

The only thing that would stifle my need to tell, would be if they repented for what they did–and they have made it very clear (see “Now I’m Being Stalked” for their e-mail expressing this) that they have no remorse.  I will not let them censor me like some government book-burning fireman (Fahrenheit 451).

This is not about revenge.  If it were, then I would’ve used their real names so Google searches on them would lead to this.  I could even have made things up, written lies.  But I did neither.

No, it’s about sharing a story in my own life for a few different reasons:

  1. to vent/get it out
  2. to share with others who are also dealing with abuse/bullying and validate their own experiences
  3. and because as a writer, I am driven to write down and share the interesting or bizarre stories I see happening in real life.  As you can see from my College Memoirs, it’s hard to explain why I feel the need to share my stories, just that I do.

They seem to think they can intimidate me into silence, but they can’t.  I would fight them even in front of a judge for the right to tell the truth about what they did to me and others.  If they do sue me, I will win because I am telling the truth and have done nothing illegal.

Forcing abuse/bullying victims to be silent about their abuse, would have a chilling effect, as other abuse/bullying victims continue to hold their silence and continue to be victims rather than survivors.

Just because the abusers/bullies don’t like what we have to say, does not make it a “false fact.”  The truth is not libel or slander or defamation, and it is not gossip to tell how we’ve been abused and bullied.

We must not be silent: That’s what the abusers and bullies want of us.  We need to turn the tables and speak up without fear of retribution.

And I’m not just fighting for myself.  I’m fighting for Todd, too, and what Tracy and Richard did to him.  I’m fighting for Phoebe Prince.  And I’m fighting for all of us who have been bullied.

As posted on Exposing Online Predators and Cyberpaths:

TRUTH is a 100% defense to defamation, slander or libel. Accusing someone of defamation, slander or libel when they are telling the truth or giving an OPINION, however, CAN BE actionable.

The irony is that when they came around, I was finally done writing about this, had gotten most of it out of my system, did not plan on writing much else about it.  They weren’t coming to my church anymore, and I thought I wouldn’t have to see them again.  But then they started harassing me over sharing my story, and are giving me all sorts of new fodder for blogs…..

As if it weren’t bad enough that they spiritually and emotionally traumatized me through this whole experience, as if it weren’t bad enough that they bullied me and then Tracy verbally abused me, now they’re trying to silence me from telling the truth, trying to threaten and intimidate me for speaking out.  Their narcissism is confirmed.

This quote from Princess Fi’s BETRAYAL, DEFIANCE, LIES, DENIAL, INJUSTICE, FORGIVENESS ISSUES sounds especially familiar:

It’s very hard when people are deliberately and defiantly non repentant and hard faced – turning up in church as if nothing is wrong and nothing has happened. Having to cope with your abusers turning up in church whilst deliberately sticking 2 fingers up at God is beyond the capacity of describe.

Having to cope with your abusers continuing to use the church as their cover story is beyond awful and beyond hypocrisy. Having them do all of that on that back of having lied and denied to prevent justice and to prevent exposure is disgusting and distasteful at the very least.

It is utterly appalling for me as a victim, for those who gave evidence against them to the police and for the church leadership who now know the truth about them. It’s totally ghastly and repulsive to be brutally honest.  It is as if they have no conscience at all.

Sometimes when people have lied and denied for long enough they actually believe their lies and denials to be absolute truth regardless of evidence to the contrary. Thus they worm their way out of it and can be incredibly and frighteningly convincing in their true lies….

Without confession, repentance, admission of guilt or other things which lead to closure surely it will always be there at the back of your mind. Having to watch your abusers behaving as if nothing untoward happened and all is normal fuels the fire. When people have been so deliberately cruel to you and are so defiant when faced with the truth where can you go?

How can such defiance be coped with, processed and gotten out of your mind. It is in reality and in all truth extremely difficult. It’s almost impossible to forgive cruel people who lie, pretend all is normal and do all they can legally to silence you and keep their evil deeds secret.

And so does this from From Chrysalis to Beautiful Butterfly:

One thing’s for sure I’m not going to protect them anymore by keeping silent about what ‘THEY’ did.

Another thing’s for sure, I ain’t going to spend the rest of my life feel intimidated by ‘them’ and living in fear of ‘them’ anymore.

The last few months have shown me ‘they’ are the weak ones. ‘They’ are the ones who have stuff to fear NOT ME. ‘They’ are just bullies and cowards and may choose to spend the rest of their lives living in delusion and denial BUT I choose to speak and live in the TRUTH. There is enormous strength in doing that!!

Afraid to Expose the Abuser?

“It is the right of every victim to speak about the crimes committed against them!” —How Dare You Expose a Child Abuser?

When you seek out your abuser

You may find yourself wanting to search for your abuser on Facebook. You may have questions like What is he/she up to? Is he/she successful? Is he/she hurting other people? You may find yourself wanting to tell your abuser’s friends what he/she has done or to contact him/her to have your say.

All of these feelings are normal and many survivors have struggled with the same things. It is always a good idea to think through any decisions and to not act spontaneously. If you find yourself feeling like this, give yourself time to process these feelings and to think about why. You might ask yourself:

Why do I want to contact him/her?

What do I hope to accomplish?

What will I do if I do not get the reaction I was hoping for?

How will this affect me and my healing?

Giving a decision like this proper thought can help you. You need to make sure you aren’t damaging your own well-being in order to find out more about your abuser’s current life or exposing them to others. It’s important to take time to think about what you hope to achieve and why you have this urge to make contact.

You may well find that actually having contact with them is not at all what you want and discover other ways of releasing the things you want to say to your abuser or their friends, through letter writing (sent or unsent), art, therapy and so on.

When your abuser contacts you

You may find that your abuser uses Facebook to try to make contact with you, which can be something very difficult for a survivor. If this happens, you should consider immediately blocking this individual. Please see below for how to block someone.

If your abuser is sending you harassing or threatening messages, you might consider reporting them. You can find information on reporting them to Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=798

Although it may be your instinct to delete any messages from an abuser, we recommend saving any threatening messages and keeping a log of any contact with the abuser. This will come in handy if you decide to speak to the police about what has happened.  –Ash, Facebook and Survivor Issues

 

You told me that if I wrote to you again that you would flush my letter down the toilet, “a proper receptacle for your crap,” is how you put it. That’s fine with me. That is your right to do so.

But it is also my right to express myself about the violation that I suffered as a child. A crime was committed against me and I have a right to speak about it.

If that makes you or anyone else uncomfortable, then that is something you ought to look at within yourself.

Your behavior is why child sexual abuse continues. Those who try and silence victims by calling them names, by trying to demean them, and by using threats against them is what throws a blanket of protection around child abusers.

So go ahead and flush this letter down your toilet because you can’t flush the truth and won’t stop me from speaking it.

Your pretending that I do not share this planet with you will not stop my book from existing, nor will it stop me from getting my book into the hands of other survivors of child sexual abuse. I intend on helping people, even if you don’t want to help yourself. —A letter by “Alethea” to a sister who denied abuse

[Update 6/2/14: From an update to the above letter, which Alethea finally sent to her sister:]

It is always curious to me when people who have hurt someone so profoundly will totally deny any responsibility or offer an apology.

Do they not understand that a sincere, honest, heart-felt apology and an offer to make some kind of amends is all we ever want from them? For them to be honest with themselves and then with us?

 

 

Consequently, Jesus commanded us to continue the disciplinary process, (if at all possible,) by calling in the help of one or two fellow believers, or people the abuser might respect. 

We follow this step in the hope that abusers may be convicted by the fact that their victims no longer stand alone.  When abusers realize they cannot bully their victims in secret any longer, our united confrontation might shame them into conviction of sin.

Should our abusers fail to listen to one or more witnesses as well, Jesus commanded victims to take the matter one step further by “telling it to the congregation.”

Make his or her abuse public, in other words.  Expose your abuser to greater conviction.

If at all possible, stand up in the presence of your abuser and in front of the whole congregation, family, or whomever you are able to call upon for help; tell them of the abuse and the steps you have taken, and ask them to investigate and judge the matter. —Dealing with Abuse and Abusers God’s Way

Have you watched the movie Gaslighting with Ingrid Bergman? In the movie, a woman’s lover slowly but surely makes her feel as if she is insane.

The movie title lends itself to a type of abuse, oftentimes the gateway mode of abuse clearing the path for grander abuses later in the relationship. Gaslighting occurs when someone persuades you to “believe the unbelievable” (The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life by Dr. Robin Stern) despite your instincts’ whispers of “Something is not right here…” –Kellie Jo Holly, Gaslighting

  • A history of conducting frivolous, vexatious and malicious legal actions and threats, especially (but not exclusively) against anyone who can recognize the sociopath for what he is
  • Only after the sociopath is exposed and relieved of position, or they move on, can the full depth of their destructive behavior be fathomed and the consequences calculated
  • Is skilled at identifying, undermining, discrediting, neutralizing and destroying anyone who can see through the sociopath’s mask of sanity at all times
  • Restricts the actions and rights of others (especially those holding the sociopath accountable) whilst aggressively protecting his or her right to do anything without being hampered by social norms or legal requirements
  • Pursues endless vindictive vendettas against anyone perceived as a threat or who attempts, knowingly or unknowingly, to identify or reveal or expose the sociopath, or who makes efforts to hold the sociopath accountable
  • Is adept at appropriating rules, regulations, procedures and law to manipulate, control and punish accusers regardless of relevance, logic, facts or consequences persists in and pursues vindictive vendettas using self-evidently false evidence or information, even after this is brought to the attention of the sociopath
  • will often manipulate minor bullies of the Wannabe type (who on their own might or would not merit the label ’serial bully’) into acting as agents of harassment and as unwitting or unwilling conductors/ proxies of vendettas —Sociopathic Characteristics–Is Your Cyberpath One?

By sharing your story, you can validate the experience of hundreds of other abuse victims who are unsure about what is happening to them or who believe that abusive relationships are “normal”. —Break Your Silence

A blog post from someone also being accused of libel and threatened with legal action, for speaking out about her abuse.

Also, another such blog post: Oh, I’m Sorry, am I Blogging Too Loudly?

 

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How DARVO could prove which of us is telling the truth

 

DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.

DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.

This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.  –Jennifer J. Freyd, What is DARVO?

While re-reading this article on Shrink4Men, I came upon a section which hit me as proof to my readers (who can read Tracy and Richard‘s bizarre, intimidating and remorseless e-mail to me in the “Now I’m Being Stalked” post, and how they’ve been trying to stalk and intimidate me online and off for the past few weeks) of which of us is telling the truth:

Of course, not everyone who denies wrong doing is engaging in DARVO. Many partners and exes of abusive women are accused of things they didn’t do or of things that never happened.

Naturally, when this happens, you deny the accusation and perhaps feel a little (or a lot) bewildered. How do you know if an individual’s denial is the truth or an instance of DARVO? Freyd (1997, pp. 23-24) proposes:

“It is important to distinguish types of denial, for an innocent person will probably deny a false accusation. Thus denial is not evidence of guilt. However, I propose that a certain kind of indignant self-righteousness, and overly stated denial, may in fact relate to guilt.

I hypothesize that if an accusation is true, and the accused person is abusive, the denial is more indignant, self-righteous and manipulative, as compared with denial in other cases.

Similarly, I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior.

This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks, on the whistle-blower’s credibility and so on.

The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. The attack will also likely focus on ad hominem instead of intellectual/evidential issues.

Finally, I propose that the offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed. The more the offender is held accountable, the more wronged the offender claims to be.”

The original paper (“Violations of Power, Adaptive Blindness and Betrayal Trauma Theory” by Jennifer J. Freyd) goes on to say:

The offender accuses those who hold him accountable of perpetrating acts of defamation, false accusations, smearing, etc.  The offender is on the offense and the person attempting to hold the offender accountable is put on the defense.

BINGO!

More relevant stuff:

The divorce process triggers these fears and pushes all of their hot buttons, which explains why many escalate their controlling and abusive behaviors during a divorce.

Divorce represents a final loss of control and means that their flaws and faults might be exposed to friends, family, mental health professionals and the court system. Most Cluster Bs fight tooth and nail against having their abusive traits and other nasty qualities exposed.

Now that you’re no longer together, you know too much about her and, therefore, must be discredited and destroyed so that no one will suspect that she’s actually the one with the problems. This is her logic.

…3. High-conflict people feed off conflict and chaos. It gives them a buzz. For many, the only way they know how to relate to others is through aggression, blame and playing the victim. Once it ends, what does she have left? Nothing.

4. Oppositional withholding. This is more leftover baggage from your marriage. Many of these women are withholding partners. Meaning, if there’s something you really want, she doesn’t want you to have it.

The more you want something, no matter how insignificant and small, the more she finds reasons that you shouldn’t have it or actively obstructs you from getting it.

In this respect, these women are like oppositional, defiant toddlers. The more you want to wrap up the divorce; the more she digs in her heels and tries to delay it. –Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, Divorce and high conflict people: borderlines, narcissists, histrionics, sociopaths and other persuasive blamers

Sociopaths blame others for their bad behaviors and do not take personal responsibility for their actions. At their core, they are filled with rage, which is often split off and projected onto their victims.

Sociopaths have poor behavioral and emotional controls and can be impulsive. They often alternate rage and abuse with small expressions of love and approval to keep their victims under their control.

Sociopaths lack boundaries and do not care how their behavior affects others. They may become enraged and/or desperate when their victims try to enforce boundaries on their abusive behaviors. They have difficulty maintaining friendships, and, is it any wonder given how they treat others?

They typically end relationships and/or try destroying former friends who have seen behind their masks.

Some may have long-term friendships, but they either seem to be long-distance or friendships with incredibly damaged individuals with low self-esteem who admire the sociopath, i.e., sycophants. –Dr. Tara, Rethinking female sociopathy, part one

Do they do this on purpose?  The expert, Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, has some insight into how NPD’s/BPD’s think:

Basically, she doesn’t have a James Bond evil villain-esque plan for world domination; everyday is a battle to protect herself from being assaulted by the truth of what a damaged, flawed being she is.

These women create a distorted bubble of un-reality in which they are wonderful, misunderstood creatures who have to put up with lesser beings like you, me and everyone else on the planet.

Verbally abusing you and making you believe you’re a jerk is how she keeps her version of reality undisputed and household tyranny alive.

She may know that her behavior is hurtful, but doesn’t care. She feels justified because you “deserve” it for some imagined or minor affront to her ego. However, I wouldn’t say this is “premeditated” or even conscious. It’s instinctual survival behavior.

She has learned how to manipulate you, others, and her environment through trial and error, like a child who has discovered cause and effect.

These women see the world in terms of rewards and punishments—much like a 5-year old.

Calling a NPD/BPD’s behavior “premeditated” gives her credit for a level of self-awareness I just don’t think she possesses.

Also like a 5-year old, these women are totally egocentric. They believe the world revolves around them, that everyone else is like them, and motivated by the same desires and fears.

As for her threatening divorce; you should be so lucky! Here’s the most crazy thing about these women; they do everything in their power to drive even the most patient, tolerant, and forgiving soul away, yet their greatest fear is abandonment.

Because of her egocentrism, if her greatest fear is abandonment, then you must also be deathly afraid of abandonment. —Is a Borderline or Narcissist Woman’s Emotionally Abusive Behavior Premeditated?

Also, “Narcissists/sociopaths do not feel remorse for their hurtful and/or criminal actions and believe that their targets deserve to be screwed” (Do Narcissists Feel Remorse?).

Also, why would I make up a story like this?  Why would I expose myself to the Net as emotionally vulnerable if it were all a lie?  Why would I tell all these personal things, exposing my gullibility and mistakes, for a lie?

I keep wanting to remove some things from my story, things I had only told my husband before this.  So I start thinking, “What if my family/friends read this,” but keep these things in because they’re a crucial part of the story.  Why would I expose myself like that for a lie?

And especially, what would be the purpose of lying about people, whose names I refuse to even reveal on the Net?  Why would I research narcissism, BPD (borderline personality disorder) and abuse in the first place, if not to try to figure out what the heck was going on here?

I might google abuse because of my college memoir stories of abuse, or to add something to my webpage about abuse, but why would I google it because of Richard and Tracy if there had been no abuse?

I never heard of BPD until I began googling about abusers during my grief, did not know much about narcissists, was not aware of the connection between NPD/BPD and abusers.

After I began to suspect BPD/NPD based on Tracy’s behavior, which fit the traits and behaviors I kept reading about, Todd told me that according to Richard, BPD is indeed in her family.  As the author of Narcissists Suck put it,

I am sure there are people who can justify leaving a relationship based on simply calling on incompatibility as justification. My blog isn’t for those people. They don’t need to read what I have to say.

In fact, this person is very unlikely to go to Google to type in some search in order to demystify what they’ve gone through or are going through. They have simply shrugged off the parasite and moved on. No damage done. The person you describe has likely never even seen my blog. —Calling Narcissists Evil

My Trip to Oz and Back is much like my own blogs, an account of two years spent by the writer with her girlfriend, which was actually a 50-page letter sent by the author to her ex-girlfriend.

That was in the late 90s, when the author had never heard of borderline personality disorder, so there had been no official diagnosis for her to point to.  But the more she learned about BPD, the more she knew her ex-girlfriend had it, so she posted this letter to help others who are dealing with someone with BPD.

It has been on the Web since 2003, and by November 2006 had received 53,000 hits.  As the author wrote on the main page,

Writing this was cathartic. It doubled as a form of therapy. I actually did send the letter; however, I doubt that it had much effect.  The more I learned about BPD, the more I realized that the likelihood of this person ever really understanding, was probably close to zero….

Why would I want to put such a personal document online?  There are several reasons. First, I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of what it is like to be in a relationship with a person with BPD. There are many books and websites on BPD, but relatively few from a significant other’s point of view.

Second, I am hoping that someone out there might read a bit and identify with it.  When one is in a difficult situation, sometimes just hearing about another person’s similar experience can be affirming–as in, “I’m not the only one.”

Finally, I consider myself a success story–see the final chapter, the epilogue.  My wish is to give hope to others.

Like me, the author changed names and identifying details.  This is to protect the guilty as well as the innocent.

It’s the most baffling part of Richard and Tracy threatening a lawsuit, because I never used and never intend to use their real names in these blogs–and anything I would tell my priest about this, would be the truth, and not in any way actionable.

Joyful Alive Woman also wrote about her abusive, narcissist, female former friend.

In searching the Net for other people who have been threatened and accused of lying/defamation for telling the truth about abuse, I found this by Christina Enevoldsen:

When I was in my early forties, I stood before a group of people and named my father as my abuser.

It felt good to let go of the secret, but when I went to bed that night, I felt horrible guilt for “betraying” my dad. I heard a little girl’s voice tell me that I was going to get in trouble.

I knew that was a voice from the past and assured myself that I hadn’t done anything wrong, but deep down, I believed I deserved to be punished for telling.

I didn’t know what the “punishment” might be until I got a letter from my mom. For years, she’d accepted that I’d been sexually abused, but when I uncovered my father as my primary abuser, she accused me of lying:

Christina-
I am writing to inform you that your malicious slander of your father has not gone unnoticed. You have built an entire world out of your fantasy. In dreaming up your sexual abuse you have maligned your father’s character and deeply hurt his heart and mine. Your lies shall surely catch up with you.

I want you to know that if you have any plans of writing a book, we will sue you and anyone who has anything to do with it. Your defamation of your father’s character will stop. You will not enjoy one penny from any book published about this gross lie.

And I should let you know that we filed some of your inflammatory statements about your father and me, along with your threat against me, with the Mesa Police Dept.

And I will always be your mother whether you recognize me or not as such.
Your mother-
Mary Schamer —I Blamed Myself for my Abuse Since I Didn’t Tell

Comment #30 on this blog post, by “PS,” reads:

The letter from your mother was chilling… and reminded me so much of the threatening email I got from my brother several years ago.

This after he’d spent the better part of a year cyberstalking and harassing me when I confronted him and my parents over the abuse (my parents knew and did nothing to help me, in fact my mother labeled it “normal experimentation” and tried to convince me “all families fool around”), and after I told the rest of the family (who never responded and, from what I heard, sided with them, so they’re no different than any other abusive family structure).

He told me in his email he was going to contact a lawyer to “seek remedy” and accused *me* of being the one harassing him, told me that my letter was a “poison pen” and essentially called me a liar, among other things.

I turned the tables on him at the advice of two attorneys and called the police on him. They said they couldn’t pursue charges as he lived in another state, but they were willing to call him and tell him to stop contacting me.

I don’t know what they told him, but they must have scared him good, because the most he was able to muster was “I’ll stop bothering her if she stops harassing me.” Outside of when he notified me – politely – that our grandfather died two years ago, I haven’t heard hide nor hair since.

I read more of Christina’s story:

My next stage in disclosure was speaking to a group of about forty people, many of whom knew my father. I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be, but I felt ready to share it, no matter their response.

I had enough of a support system, within myself and with others, so I was secure and didn’t need anything from them. I just wanted the opportunity to share the truth. They were overwhelmingly supportive.

I was validated by the group, but when I went home that night I heard a little girl’s voice in my head saying, “You told,” in an accusing tone. I recognized that the little girl was the little girl inside of me.

She was the one who was warned not to tell. She was the one who was afraid and felt threatened.

But as my adult self, I wasn’t under my father’s power anymore and he couldn’t do anything to hurt me. So I comforted myself with that and validated my progress—and continued to tell.

After that, I published the story of my abuse history online. I wanted it to be public. I wanted the whole world to see it.

I wasn’t afraid of my dad finding out. I wanted my parents to read what I wrote. I wanted them to know I was talking about it. I felt empowered and strong. —How Do I Disclose My Abuse?

I believed that there was a rule that I was allowed to share a bad experience with one or two people at the most and then I had to stop talking about it or I was “just being a victim”. Yet I was compelled to keep talking about it even with the internal accusations and the guilt that it caused.

I was warned that “dwelling” on things doesn’t serve any purpose—that it would just make me feel worse.

But I was already depressed and it wasn’t from talking about my abuse. I was depressed because my trauma and the feelings that went with it were locked up inside of me.

As I started to see some benefit from talking about my abuse, I started to question the limited talking “rule”. —Why Do I Talk About My Childhood Abuse Over and Over?

Patty:  When I first read a survivor’s story from a book, I cried for days. I was so relieved to know that I was not the only one. Her abuse was different, but the trauma from the abuse was the same as mine.

Even though I didn’t know her and never spoke to her, I felt so close to her. As I continued to read about her abuse, I grew stronger. I was no longer alone.

For a period of time the only books I read were stories about survivors; I didn’t want to read about healing.  I wanted to become a part of a group of survivors. There were no survivor groups where I lived and there were no computers at the time, so the only connection I had was with the survivors who so graciously shared their stories.

It was life changing for me. I continue to read survivors stories because it continuously brings me into the circle.

Jennifer:  I wasn’t able to admit that I was a victim of sexual abuse until I started reading other people’s stories. They described the same types of things that happened to me as a kid. The only difference was that they had a label to define their experiences.

I had always thought of it as “stuff that happened”, stuff that I didn’t think about, let alone talk about. It never occurred to me until then to attach the word abuse to my memories. If I hadn’t read the accounts of other survivors, I would most likely still be in denial today.

I am so grateful to all the brave men and women that have opened up and shared their stories. They have paved the road for me and future generations to tell our stories and begin the healing process. —Why Do I Need to Tell?

I felt like poison was being spewed at me but at the same time, I was surprised how calm and rational I was able to remain. I refused to accept the abuse and told them as much.

I was able to stand up for myself in a way that I never could have before I began to heal. I could see that what they were doing to me wasn’t my problem.

I didn’t ask for it or deserve it. I was just the current target but, they soon discovered, no longer an easy one.

As difficult as it is to realize that some people can no longer be in my life, if they can’t give me the basic respect that I deserve as a human being—they don’t belong there.

I am the first to admit that I still have a long way to go. I have breakthroughs and setbacks.

In times like these I can see that I have made progress and it feels good. I am no longer powerless. I am exposing the lies for what they are and in the process, reclaiming my self-worth.

I didn’t deserve to be abused then and I don’t deserve to be abused now. I am worth just as much as anyone else and that knowledge gives me the power to reclaim my life. –Penny Smith, Standing Up for Myself: Reclaiming My Self-Worth

Post by Prozac Blogger:
Major Breakthrough: Exposing the Truth

I will NOT be silent.

The emotional abuser will play up the “pathos” in an attempt to garner sympathy, all the while, continuing to (cyber)stalk his ex, making jokes about things he could do to upset her, and invading her personal space and boundaries …

(almost all the Cyberpaths we have exposed have gone to their target’s personal sites, boards on which they post, etc. saying they were “just protecting THEMSELVES against their Target’s relentless abuse. Turnabout!! and projection, readers.

Prime Example: Campbell filing a frivolous lawsuit against his victim that was thrown out!)

Like physical abusers, emotional abusers will often stalk their former partners. The stalker’s objective is often to control her through cultivating fear rather than making direct or specific threats, or confronting her.

This is a subtle form of terrorism, because abuse victims are often very emotionally (if not physically) afraid of their abusers once they wake up. ….

People who ARE capable of genuinely loving you in a healthy and safe way, DON’T WANT TO HURT YOU, and do not DELIBERATELY DO THINGS TO HURT YOU.

They don’t play on your insecurities and they don’t wage psychological warfare on you. They don’t blame YOU for all the relationship problems, and they don’t fabricate problems just so you can be the scapegoat. –Natalie P., Emotional Abusers–The Heart of Cyberpaths

This post from the Whispers of God blog goes into the issue of how to tell when someone is falsely accused of abuse.  In her context, she’s talking about child abuse/molestation.  But I can imagine this applies to those accused of bullying as well, such as the psychological and verbal abuse I was put through by Richard and Tracy.

Richard would be the one who claimed to love me like a sister, that I was “very dear” to him, but I have accused him of being a party to the bullying, of even threatening Jeff in June/July 2010, of manipulating and using me in 2007 and then betraying me in 2010, letting Tracy believe I was guilty when he knew I was innocent.  Also, Tracy claimed to Jeff on 7/1/10 that they “valued” our friendship.

As WOG says, if someone you loved accused you of abusing her, and you knew you were innocent, you would be desperate to talk to her and sort things out, would be visibly shaken.

Yet I have received absolutely no such communication from Richard, only an e-mail from him and/or Tracy accusing me of defamation, ridiculing my pain, expressing no remorse whatsoever, and even showing no remorse over Richard’s criminal conviction.

WOG, too, is being threatened with a libel suit for speaking out about how she’s been abused, and you can read about this in her various posts.

 

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