Fighting the Darkness: Richard and Tracy Story

“The violent intimidate the gentle”: I found this poem on “my” narcissists

Every week, I back up my files onto an external drive called a My Book.  I just finished backing up my word processor files.  While scrolling through them, I found a forgotten little file which I last modified on September 27, 2010.  I opened it up to find out what it was.

It was just written to vent privately about this, and most of it is just a rant I want to keep private.  But I also found this poem I want to share, because for a first draft of a rant-poem, it was better than I expected.  I suppose fellow abuse/narcissist victims can find something in it for themselves.  Also, it demonstrates the fear I was in during that time period, and the intense feeling of betrayal:

the violent intimidate the gentle
my idol has feet of clay
the hitting could turn on us
your threats have turned us away
betrayal by one who was dearly loved
you know what really happened
my gosh what is she doing to the children
if we report it we will be beaten
where is the love?
where is the Christian charity?
where is the fight against evil passions?
why must I take all the blame?
where is the friendship that was lost?
it’s all been blown away
you hurt the ones you love
and the ones you hate
and they need to grow up and take it

 

Healing from abuse by friend: “Our movie” no longer stings

Yet another milestone reached in healing my heart from the betrayal by my former best friend:

A few months ago, I DVR’d The Trial, a 1962 movie with Anthony Perkins and Orson Welles, based on Franz Kafka’s unfinished work of the same name.  I wanted to see it again, but I wondered how I’d take watching it again: My former best friend and I watched it–dang, nearly 9 years ago now–back when he lived with us.  We loved it, and it sort of felt like “our movie.”

You see, I don’t know how it is for neurotypicals, but I attach sentimental value to movies I see with close friends.  That movie now connects to them, no matter how many years have passed, especially if I saw it for the first time with them.  Such as Addams Family Values, which I saw in the theater with my best friend from high school.  Or Wayne’s World 2, which I saw with my college roommies, or Lord of the Rings, which I saw with several old college friends along with the Hubby.

I watched many movies with my former best friend while he lived with us and after he moved out.  I don’t remember them all, but the ones I do remember, have attached to him.  So I have avoided those movies ever since.

Last year, I watched The Apostle for the first time since 2008, when I saw it with Richard, my former best friend.  Then, too, I feared that it would twinge my heart to watch it, but no, it didn’t.  Same with many songs which attached to him back then; I hear them now and then on my favorite Goth webstream or in my MP3s, but they no longer twinge my heart.  They used to be so painful to hear that I didn’t listen to them for years after Richard–who turned out to be a narcissist–betrayed me.

I feared The Trial would hurt to watch, while at the same time looking forward to watching it.

(First I wanted to re-read the book, which I first read in 2010.  I then lent it to Richard, but the betrayal happened, so I got it back from him, and it was covered in spaghetti sauce.  I thought I cleaned it, but found yet another stain before reading it a few weeks ago.  Yet more evidence that he wasn’t the friend I thought he was: He didn’t even have consideration for my books.  😛  )

I feared it would hurt to read, but it didn’t at all.  I barely thought about Richard while reading it.  Then tonight I watched it and–no, no pain at all.  Well, other than the typical purist reaction to a favorite book being adapted into a movie and things getting changed.  I barely thought about Richard while watching, except to think, “Hey, it’s not painful after all.”

I guess time really does heal, even when you think the hurt is too deep.  Think of how it would feel to Sam if Frodo finally threw him over for good: That’s how deep the wound was for me.  Only to discover later that Richard apparently didn’t feel at all the same.

Of course, I don’t know if actually physically seeing him again would hurt like it did back in 2010 and 2011, when he came to my church.  Maybe, maybe not.  Probably not nearly as bad.

When I saw him back then, after a year of healing and recovering, I came home and bent over crying, then was plunged back into a deep depression.  So you see, this is why I haven’t wanted to see him at church again.  (I haven’t wanted to see his wife, either, but that’s because she’s probably the meanest person I’ve ever known.)

I have worried about this for years, especially when the hypothetical merger of my church with his, became reality earlier this year.  But I still haven’t seen him there, so I doubt he wants anything to do with my church.  So I don’t think I should worry and wonder about that possibility anymore.  Which would be good, because that worry has been gnawing at my stomach for years now.

There are several movies which I haven’t seen in about 9 years, since I saw them with him, even though they’re old favorites.  I have avoided them on purpose.  Maybe it’s time to pull them out again.

 

Former FBI special agent on right-wing extremism–and my ex narcissist-friend

This morning, I found this opinion piece by Erroll Southers in my local newspaper.  It sent up little flashes in my memory of a blog post written back in April 2009 by my former friend Richard, the narcissist.  A little bit of research–including re-reading Richard’s blog post–confirmed my memory.  No, I won’t link to Richard’s post, because it uses his real name, and I will not identify him here on my website.

Southers writes,

Another homegrown attack involving an American killing other Americans.  This comes at a time when police officers are being killed, government properties occupied, and immigrants threatened. And the response is predictable. We are fixated on a foreign threat instead of the diverse ideologies breathing life into their adherents, and we ignore the fact that American citizens have committed 80 percent of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11.

…Research and reports on anti-government movements have documented trends and forecast events. However, they have been all but ignored and even rebuffed.

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that white supremacist and violent anti-government groups, leveraging the real estate environment, unemployment and the election of the first African American president, could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past. Amid an aggressive political attack on the report from the right, the DHS report was withdrawn.

Richard saw the DHS report referred to here by Southers (which you can find here), and took offense at it.  He complained that “This is a crime against Liberty, my friends.  The Statists are seizing control while we watch Liberty get strangled in the name of National Security. ”

To quote his exact arguments would mean quoting the entire blog post, which is two paragraphs; not only would that violate copyright, but make it easily searchable through Google.  But basically, he complained that because he and some family/friends didn’t vote for Obama, or are returning vets, they are considered racists/extremists and being watched.  That he is now on a watchlist because of blogging against the government.

I just read over the report, and Richard’s post sounds like a huge spurt of paranoia.  What I see there is nothing like the way he characterized it.  The report was not stigmatizing all vets or all people who voted against Obama or disagree with the government.  Click on it and you’ll see what it’s really about: radical extremism, which has already led to terrorist acts.

But should Richard have been concerned about being on a watchlist?  I’m sure the government was not aware his tiny blog, with only 8 posts ever, even existed.

But the report does refer to the same kinds of conspiracy theories I heard from both Richard and his friend “Chris” during the late ’00s: anti-government fears of race wars and cataclysmic economic collapse.

Richard once warned me on the phone that white supremacists were planning a race war if Obama was elected.  (Was this supposed to frighten me into voting Republican?)

Chris warned me of a coming economic collapse; he even went to New Hampshire to join an anti-government group and live off the grid.  Chris believed in aliens and secret groups controlling all governments.  I first heard of militia groups and conspiracies about our government setting up new concentration camps, from him.

Richard also hated gun restrictions and Social Services.

The DHS report also speaks of stockpiling weapons; I’m not aware of Richard doing this, but I do recall wondering if he would eventually hole up in the woods with an arsenal.

And yes, Chris is the friend who soon replaced me as Richard’s bestie, taking up all his free time, causing all sorts of jealousy in me.  I guess I was just too liberal and statist for Richard’s taste.

As I read over the report and the warnings it gives about right-wing extremism being fertile ground for home-grown terrorism, and remember events of the years since 2009, I see that IT WAS RIGHT.

But because of pushback from the right (and, I saw in one of the linked articles, Democrats too), the report was withdrawn and not used.

Richard took offense at the report, but we have seen it borne out in recent times–including just last week in Orlando.  As Southers writes,

Among other elements, the DHS report described the Sovereign Citizens, a movement based on conspiratorial beliefs about the legitimacy of the founding of the United States. The report contained valuable law enforcement training information useful for officer safety.

Unfortunately, the report never reached West Memphis, where Arkansas officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans were killed by sovereigns during a traffic stop.

Over the past decade, officers died in the line of duty at a rate of one every 59 hours, and many of those murders were precipitated by a violent ideology.

And now we have lone-wolf shooters influenced by ISIS–which encourages lone wolves to help their fight–terrorizing the land while Congress refuses to pass more restrictive gun laws.  Yet more “moments of silence” with nothing done to stop the rise in shootings.  And people saying that common-sense restrictions on automatics/semi-automatics are restrictions on our constitutional liberties, while–get this–it’s legal to buy 50-caliber weapons which SHOOT PLANES OUT OF THE SKY!

Tennessee’s new official state rifle is so powerful it can ‘destroy commercial aircraft’

Little could we know that a man born on Long Island would enter a nightclub in Orlando and come close to matching the domestic terror death toll for an entire year in one night.

As we continue to focus on the threat of ISIL and its alleged nexus to immigration and concern regarding returning foreign fighters, perhaps recent events would suggest otherwise. The cold hard truth is that America has a homegrown terrorism problem, and holding up a mirror to our country offers a sobering notion of who tomorrow’s suspects may be. Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.

Would Richard himself be a terrorist?  I doubt it.  I also don’t know if he still is into right-wing extremism, which included anarchy and anti-police rhetoric.  But reading this opinion piece in the paper this morning is yet another reminder of why I’m far better off without this narcissist in my life.

PS: Kudos to Congressional Democrats, first the Senate and now the House, taking protest measures to force votes on gun control.  Even if the measures fail yet again, at least they’re making Congress vote rather than just another “moment of silence” and ineffective prayers!  They are my heroes!  😀

Life is good now: Looking back at 6 years ago

Around noon today, I reviewed an old post describing my depression nearly 6 years ago, caused by breaking off relations with my narcissist abusers, Richard and Tracy.  I hadn’t forgotten how bad it got, but I did note a huge contrast to how my life is now.  For example, I was deep in a funk, probably suffering from a type of PTSD caused by emotional abuse, and having trouble connecting to people in my town.

Another thing is, the older I get, especially as another birthday looms, the more my mind keeps balking at how many years have passed and my aging body.  I’m not old, though my age says I’m going firmly into middle age–but I could swear I don’t feel a day over 25.

The calendar says it’s been nearly a decade since Richard first came to my town, while I could swear it was only a couple of years ago at most.  I see the cool young rock stars of my youth–Prince, Henry Rollins, etc. etc.–with gray hair or, occasionally, dying.

Instead of Gen-Xers, everybody now focuses on Millennials.  We’re not the cool youth fighting tradition anymore, even though I could swear my musical taste gets harder and crunchier the older I get.  (Love that German Industrial.  😉  )

But then this morning I thought, “Hey, wait a minute, when I was 6 years younger, still in my 30s, I was going through this nasty depression.  When I was even younger, the depression was still in my future.  Now I’m over it.”

Another thing I thought: When I was 6 years younger, I wasn’t in the Writer’s Club.  I didn’t join it back then because it was more of a class, and I didn’t want another class or assignments after getting a college degree in Writing.  I already knew how to write, and just wanted to get better and get feedback.

Anyway, it has a different president, and now I’m in it, meeting people and making friends.  One young friend nearly quit, but changed his mind, and that made me happy.  He’s always arguing with the club president, who doesn’t “get” his youthful spirit and writing, but he makes me laugh.  Another friend, in his 80s I believe, writes short memoirs for the local newspaper; when I walked into the meeting on Monday, he said I always look pretty and have this big smile on my face.

And I have friends at church as well.  I’m making friends through Greek School, along with coffee hour.  Then there’s the one I consider my best friend here, a fellow introvert, writer and German-speaker, and also a goofball.

Then this evening, I got a new thing to add to the list of what didn’t happen when I was 6 years younger and still in my 30s: I never rode in a 1929 Model A before.  But now, on the edge of my 43rd year, I have ridden in one.  After Greek School, I walked outside the church and there it sat in the parking lot.  It belongs to a member of the church and her husband, who took out a few of us.  He took us through Lakeside Park and honked the horn (yes, Ooga Ooga) at anyone who stopped and looked.  😀

And we have a family of skunks living nearby, one big one and three little ones.  They’re cool to watch, though don’t get too close!  Tonight they chased a rabbit.  I guess rabbits don’t want to get sprayed, either.

I also didn’t have the formation of a new novel filling my head 6 years ago.

Another thing is glancing through the obits and seeing somebody my age, or younger, and realizing it’s not so bad to be just about to turn 43.

So yes, those of you going through the aftermath of abuse of some kind, it does get better.  I saw in my old post that I wanted to die.  But I didn’t, and now look how things are.

Comfort in not being alone dealing with my narcissist abusers

For some time after my stalkers found my blog, I kept seeing them around town, even at church.  Then for a long time, the only place I saw them was a digital record here in my website stat trackers.  Lately, however, my husband keeps seeing them around town, first Tracy at the store, then Richard at a local soccer field, which happened on June 1, I believe.

I noted a few things: It used to be me seeing them, but now it’s him.  He hates seeing them around town.  He wishes they’d go away.  Seeing Richard as he drove to the store became, for him, one of two reasons that particular drive upset him.  (A raging driver at the store was another reason.)

Then tonight, as he told me about some totally unrelated subject, having to do with a discussion online about ret-conning fiction and history being an established fact you can’t change, he said,

“For example, it’s an established fact that the [last name of Richard and Tracy]’s stayed here for a month.”

“A month and a HALF,” I said with a groan.  He spoke of it as something that he really wishes we could change, but it was an unfortunate established fact.

This tells me I’m not alone.  This tells me that even though he wasn’t the one they bullied and abused, he still feels the same way I do about them.  There is comfort in that, because here is someone who understands.  Heck, once-mutual-friend Todd, whom they also bullied and smeared, feels the same way I do about them.

It feels like I can shoulder my burden with two other people, which makes it a bit lighter to carry.