narcissistic injury

Part One: Tracy’s narcissistic rage against me–but I am innocent of all her charges

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.

INCIDENT or “Acting Out” phase

–Any type of abuse occurs
–Physical
–Sexual
–Emotional
–Or other forms of abuse as found in the power and control wheel. –hidden hurt, The Cycle of Abuse

Instead, I found a horrid message from Tracy, telling me to f— off [which no one has EVER said to me before or since),

which would be followed by other messages,

full of foul language, the most baffling accusations, the most horrid things anyone had ever said to me,

abusive, filthy, controlling, manipulative, demeaning, humiliating,

and completely undeserved.

It was a bunch of deranged ranting, making her sound like some insane madwoman.  It came completely out of the blue, blindsided me, baffled me, mystified me.  I was horrified.  THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.  THIS IS A NARCISSISTIC RAGE.  ABUSERS AND THE CLUSTER-B PERSONALITY DISORDERED DO THIS.

This is when I felt beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was a crazy, abusive monster, just as bad as any man who beats his wife, with an irrational hatred toward me because I knew what she really was. 

(This has also been proven by how she’s been acting ever since finding my blog, by threatening, stalking and trying to intimidate me.  You can follow the progress of her terror campaign on my blog, starting in May 2012.)  

This was the last straw: I no longer wanted anything to do with her.  I began to remove my posts from Richard’s Facebook page, and later that day, blocked her on Facebook.

Her accusations of me were all false.  Her justifications of raging were all false.  I prove that here, here and here.

I NEVER snubbed her, but they tried to make me think I did it all the time!  I was always polite and kind to her, holding my tongue even as she was rude to me, yet she accused me of snubbing her. 

Sometime in just the past few weeks, I gave her a lily from my garden, and sent her an e-mail telling her she was gorgeous last time I saw her, and asking for a recipe for that wonderful dish she makes.

I NEVER tried to steal her husband away, but she talked and acted as if I were some slut ho-bag after her husband.

It sounded like my e-mail would have been perfectly fine with her if she had approved my friendship with Richard and I had met all her requirements. 

But I HAD met all her requirements, I HAD been approved as Richard’s friend, and I WAS allowed to hug him, banter with him, go for coffee with him, as I prove here–but now they pretended that this never happened.

Richard told me himself that “the hugs and the whatnot” were “all good” with Tracy, but now they pretended that they never were–and told Jeff that the hugs etc. would have been fine if I had met requirements that I never met.  Even though the proof I give here shows that I had met her requirements a year previous.  !!!!!!

This is also proven by the exchange I reproduce here, which came just a few months previous to July 2010.  In it, he stated that her getting mad and restrictions on him calling me were “over with a long time ago.”

Does it sound confusing?  Because it is!  Does it make no sense?  Because it makes no sense!  More gaslighting!  And also proof that the e-mail itself was not the problem, and that Tracy was deliberately trying to confuse (gaslight) me.

Also, the e-mails I posted here prove this to all be one big lie which Tracy told to justify her rage episode. 

These e-mails are all more evidence that her true reason had nothing to do with what she claimed here, but with her desire to drive me away before I either called CPS on her or got Richard to admit she was abusing him. 

(Actually, he admitted this back in 2007 while by himself, but conveniently forgot after she arrived, apparently sucked into the FOG machine.)

Or maybe they both used this as an excuse to drive me away, because I was turning Democrat and openly said their actions were child abuse.

Also note that one of Richard’s exes, a longtime girlfriend, sent him a passionate e-mail back in 2007.  It overtly said that she wanted him back as her lover. 

For the time being he put her off, but a couple of years later, she was back, calling him this time. 

He once spoke with her at the same time he carried on an IRC conversation with me. 

YET HE WAS NOT FORBIDDEN TO TALK TO THIS OLD GIRLFRIEND. 

Also, after Tracy came here, she discovered he talked to some old friend which she did not like.  They were never lovers, and this girl made no romantic overtures. 

YET TRACY WAS FURIOUS THAT HE SPOKE TO THIS OLD FRIEND.

Yet more evidence that this was not all about jealousy, but about control, weeding out Richard’s friends who saw her as abusive.

I was amazed that anyone could be so cruel and vicious to a friend, to someone who never harmed anybody but had done so much to help her.  I sat in shock for some time before I could even start crying.

The friendship I had worked so hard to build, maintain and restore–was just gone in the blink of an eye.  Had slipped out of my fingers.

For something I hadn’t even done or said,

but something that Tracy had intimated,

had imagined,

had put into that e-mail herself,

subtext she read into it that did not exist,

lines she had read between and found something that was not actually there,

because she had been bound and determined ever since we first met to be jealous and treat me as guilty until proven innocent. 

(Witness this incident a few weeks earlier, in which she went off on me for wishing them a fun trip!) 

The neurotypical (normal) practice of reading subtext into things is far more trouble than it’s worth, so I’d rather stay literal-brained.

And of course, borderlines are quick to take offense where it does not exist.  If it weren’t this, it would’ve been something else I did or said eventually.

She told me, “Don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache.”

Just like any bully on the playground, or any other kind of abuser:

Don’t you dare go and tell anybody how I’ve treated you.  Don’t tell your mother I touched you like this.  Or don’t tell the police I’m slapping you around.  Or don’t go crying to your friends/husband/ boss/teacher about how I’m beating you down verbally or physically, because I don’t need the headache….

Abusers of any stripe deserve to be brought into the light and their deeds exposed.

I wrote to Richard, saying I don’t understand, saying he told me that hugs were fine, that we’ve always been brother/sister, begging him to get into chat and talk to me, give me the dignity of that much if this friendship is over, explain this to me, why was I being treated like a whore when we had never done anything wrong and he had told me that hugs are okay?????!!!!!!

But she, acting like an insane control freak, refused to even allow that much, just took over all his messages and wouldn’t let him respond himself, wielded control over him, treated him like a slave or a child.

She said, “You’re too stupid to understand!”  THIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.

She told me she was taking over his Facebook, said I couldn’t speak to him, and when I tried to defend myself and not listen to this screaming harpie and get him to give me the respect of talking to me about this,

she called me stupid for trying to talk to himTHIS IS VERBAL ABUSE.

Basically, I had been tried, judged a whore, and sentenced to jail without a chance to defend myself.  It was ridiculous.  It was overblown.  It was nasty.

And yet she had the audacity to write, “No, the friendship is not over.”

Um…after what you just said to me?  You do realize you’re not the only one who gets to decide if this friendship is over?

What kind of frickin’ DOORMAT do you think I am?

Maybe Richard coddles your abusive crap and lets you get away with this,

maybe your kids have no choice but to let you get away with this,

but I am allowed to cut my own arm off if necessary (what it felt like to give up Richard) to get away from you.

I felt betrayed by Richard as well, Richard, who after all these years, knew I didn’t deserve things like this.  Richard, who had called me “sweet, innocent and nice.”  Richard, who had said I was “very dear” to him.

The one whom I had poured out my heart to, my secrets, my fears, my religious musings, all the thoughts I’d have over books and movies, the one who had stuck up for me on Internet forums.

And now he was allowing his wife to flay me alive over something I hadn’t even done, when he knew full well what had really happened.  

I had only just re-read Gone With the Wind, watched the movie the night before, and felt like Scarlett and Ashley being treated like adulterers over an innocent hug.  (That’s where the comparison ends, by the way.)

Even the most benevolent act can be turned into its opposite by the assignation of bad motives.

The narcissist reserves to themselves the right to determine your own mind for you.

They will tell you what was really motivating you in order to take away from you the truth, reality or rightness of whatever you have done.

It can be an amazingly effective sleight-of-hand. –Anna Valerious, Thought Crimes

I have a history of saying things to people that sound entirely different from what I actually meant.  It’s caused me much grief because I can’t seem to forget what I said or how it affected them, so years later I’ll still beat myself up.  This, or at least the long memory, may be from NLD or Asperger’s.

Anyway, it happened yet again: Apparently some rule had been broken yet again, some rule I was not aware of, one of the many little rules that I thought–as soon as Richard sent me the “signal” by inviting me to sushi–had long since been set aside because she had finally accepted me, with full friendship benefits.

I did absolutely nothing wrong here.  Richard had always reassured me that hugs were okay with Tracy, and I even have an e-mail from him saying so.

Also, he had let me know that things were fine between Tracy and me, the previous winter.  In the spring, when I said I got concerned when he ignored my calls that Tracy was upset, he said, “No, that was over with a long time ago.”

There was absolutely nothing wrong with our hugs, or with my reminding him of them or remembering them fondly, because I was friends with him and Tracy.

But now, Tracy decided for some unknown reason that I wasn’t friends with her, had never been, and for that reason, the hugs were not okay.  ????

This tells me that it had nothing to do with the hugs or the e-mail, but that it was all about my telling them their actions were child abuse. 

Or that we no longer had the money to keep giving them handouts, while Tracy now had a full-time job, so they no longer needed us. 

Or that I was turning Democrat.  Or all of the above. 

But she had to gaslight me into thinking I had done something wrong, to justify her narcissistic rage episode and abuse. 

And God help Richard if he doesn’t go along with her, though he knows full well that I’m innocent and have done nothing wrong.

Jeff noted the e-mail was perfectly fine when you knew the context, which Richard knew very well and should have explained to her, especially since I was referring to things he had done.

It was truly ridiculous because if she’d waited to get the context before reacting, as Jeff did, she would’ve known there was nothing to get upset over, and our friendship would have continued.

But she wouldn’t even allow Richard to call me and sort things out, and ranted and raved at me in an outrageous rage episode every time I tried to e-mail Richard or get him into Facebook chat to discuss this ridiculous crap and what the freaking HECK was going on.  More of her power play.

But no matter what Jeff or I tried to say in my defense, whether apologies or explanations, she wouldn’t listen to any of it, so trying to explain the e-mail was useless.  (You know, like it was when she raged at Todd for something he hadn’t even done, but refused to believe his intentions had been to help her.)

From her crowing on Facebook, she obviously didn’t want to believe that I was innocent of her charges, because she was getting far too much perverse pleasure from beating up on me.

I think now that she also was getting perverse pleasure from believing that every woman is after her husband and that she must defend the household from attack.

She just doesn’t understand that letting your husband be himself and befriend whomever he likes and express himself to them however he likes (within reason), is the way to freedom, joy and peace in your marriage, rather than constant vigilance and stress.

I would post her e-mails to show you just how bad they were, since I still have some of them.  But that would require me to go back into a bad place, a dangerous place, and I just can’t do that yet.  Not even five years later.

I wrote to Jeff at 1:06pm,

Tracy has just gone ballistic on me.  I don’t know why because she won’t let Richard even talk to me.  I’m afraid the friendship is over with because I can’t deal with jealous spouses anymore.

I also sent him a copy of an e-mail Tracy sent him, because I saw an alert for it in the corner of the computer screen.

I won’t go too far into these e-mails because there are bombs (ie, copies of Tracy’s e-mails) in there, and I just can’t deal with that again.  You know, like anyone who has been traumatized.

But I explained what was going on, and he said,

Ok: stay low, stay out of sight, and don’t rile her.  Let Richard & I deal with it.

I’ve since learned, after reading an article in probably early 2011 about Aspie women having trouble understanding other women who use subtext, that people with neurotypical brains read subtext into everything.  She and Richard both seemed to read a subtext into the e-mail that did not exist: I, being literal, mean what I say and say what I mean.

I said nothing suggestive because I meant nothing suggestive, meaning just what I wrote: only that the hugs were sweet and meant a lot to me.  Why shouldn’t they mean a lot to me?  They were given in friendship and caring!  I took them as being meant in friendship and caring!

Yet somehow Tracy apparently read something suggestive into the e-mail, just as she did when I posted a simple “I’ll miss you dearly.  Have fun!” a few weeks earlier.

I still don’t know where she got it from, in either case.  Even Jeff, who doesn’t seem to have my neural problems, can see where she got it from in the Incident e-mail, but nowhere did I state or imply anything about romance or sex or passion or romantic love, so I don’t know where she got it from.

Basically, Jeff had to explain to me that it came across that way, because I was completely baffled at her reaction and Richard allowing it.

I had expected that when Jeff went to talk to Richard, he would find that Richard was upset at Tracy’s reaction, knew the truth, remembered the hugs and what they were really all about, but was afraid of angering Tracy further by countering her.

I did not expect to hear the things that Richard actually did say, the ways he reacted to Jeff.

But I still don’t know why or how the e-mail came across that way: I never even said “I love you,” and expressed only platonic caring for a dear and close friend. 

I certainly would’ve expected Richard, of all people, to know that any suggestive “subtext” was not there, because he was the one who gave me the hugs.

I expected him to explain them to Tracy and reassure her, that this would calm her down and make her realize that she was misreading and misjudging, that there was nothing to worry about or get mad about.

You don’t treat friends the way they treated me: You give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them for the truth before freaking out, especially with e-mails, which are so easily misunderstood, as everybody knows.

But then, should I expect any different from the same people who freaked out on good friend Todd over a game? from the same person who went into rage episodes and started ripping Todd to shreds over a game?

As Todd said, she doesn’t try to change anything herself, just keeps yelling at other people to do it.  And I was told by both Todd and Richard that people keep breaking off friendships with Richard because of Tracy.

So should I expect any different from her toward myself?  And why should I take any of her criticisms or accusations to heart?

Heck, in June 2009 I had e-mailed Richard, regarding a discussion on a Christian forum we were both on:

As for other kinds of love, I want [my son] to be able to say it freely, that he loves his friends, loves his family, loves his fellow workers at whatever task.

[My pastor friend Mike] once brought up how reluctant people are to say it.

On the one hand, I see the wisdom of saying “philia” when referring to how you feel about friends.

On the other hand, I want to be able to say “I love you” to a guy friend without having to qualify it with “philia” or “But not in THAT way,” especially when they might have a crush on you or there’s a spouse who might misunderstand.

So much is tied up into that one word in our language that it has so much baggage.  But if you use a different word, like “philia,” it doesn’t feel like you’re saying what you mean, because it comes from Greek, not your native tongue.  You know what I’m saying?

To you and to Mike I’ve signed letters/e-mails saying, “In philia.”  But it didn’t “feel” like what I really meant.  I want to freely say “I love you” just as I would to, say, [my female college friends].

It’s the same emotion and loyalty to each.  If Mike [or various female and male friends] were to die, I would be devastated.  If I had to, I would stick up for any of them, and occasionally I have done so.

But in this culture, you start fearing the wives will freak out if they read a note saying “I love you,” or your friend will misunderstand and think you’re professing your undying passion, and freak out.

How did Americans end up so screwed up, anyway?

Mike once wrote in an e-mail to friends that he wants to break down our society’s barriers that make people think they can’t say “I love you” to friends or colleagues without making people uncomfortable.  That he’d told a colleague in a staff meeting that he loves her, and she just sat in uncomfortable silence.  I loved the concept.

An NLDer on a support forum I frequent, recently had to deal with his father reading subtext into something he said, when he had meant it literally, no subtext–and he got into trouble for something he had not even said.

It seems to me that while subtext may be considered “normal,” it’s more trouble than it’s worth, and having a literal brain is much safer.

Even neurotypicals misunderstand each other’s subtext all the time, especially by e-mail and on Internet forums.

Somewhere recently I read an article by a guy who assumed a friend was sarcastic in an e-mail to him.  This greatly offended him so much that he didn’t speak to this person again for months–only to find the friend wasn’t being at all sarcastic, and was actually paying him a compliment.

Subtext can more easily be read and understood in person, but over the Internet, everyone becomes “Aspie” or “NLD.”  It’s dangerous to read subtext into any e-mail or Internet post.

Everyone must be willing to recognize that misunderstandings happen by e-mail, and calm down and accept explanations of misunderstandings as being valid.  In fact, we are told this again and again by moderators who try to calm people down on forums and e-mailing lists.

(I do seem to use a kind of subtext, but it’s basically using an explanation to communicate why something can or cannot be done.  That message is included in the explanation.  It drives me nuts when my husband keeps asking a question I’ve already answered, and then says I didn’t answer it.  But this is not emotional subtext, the kind women supposedly use.  I try not to presume an emotional subtext in e-mail because e-mail is so easily misunderstood, even among neurotypicals.)

Narcissistic Rage is something you, as the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, will no doubt have experienced. Narcissists hate being challenged.  Because they’re such superior, perfect people, how dare you, a mere nobody, challenge them in any way?

This is why Narcissists react out of all proportion to the smallest slight, or perceived slight.

Or even, to the slightest request for better treatment.  Any challenge threatens their wellbeing.  Their persona is so fragile that it cannot withstand any challenge whatsoever.

This is why they go on the attack so viciously.  They really are fighting for their life, or it feels like it to them.

There are no limits to what they’ll do or say in the throes of this rage.  They’ll eviserate your personality, your very Self.  It’s like soul-annihilation.  It’s so destructive and vicious.  It’s a self-esteem destroyer. 

Sometimes this Narcissistic Rage can turn physical, but even if it remains at being verbal, it’s terrifying. Narcissistic Rage

 This type of individual has dysfunctional problem-solving skills. Instead of holding herself accountable for her bad behavior and making positive changes, she tries to solve problems by shifting blame, making excuses, verbally attacking others, vilifying others and fighting or fleeing.

In her reality, these are problem-solving techniques. To a rational adult, these behaviors create the majority of the problems and conflicts in a relationship. –Shrink4Men, Blame and Rage: What Abusive Women Call Problem-Solving

Perceived Insult. It is easy to think of this as the “trigger.” Problem is, this is no ordinary trigger. It is a hair-trigger. Anything that portrays her as less than perfect or holds her accountable will trigger her for sure.

You need to evaluate what triggers your partner. If you were the one that actually triggered the response, it will be easier to identify. However, sometimes it wasn’t your finger on the trigger. More on that later.

Disproportionate Rage. This phase could easily be labeled “shock and awe.” You will be in awe because in your mind the perceived insult will not warrant the level of rage you receive.

If your infraction is deemed serious enough, she is most likely to use nuclear weapons first. Don’t be surprised if you are subjected to flying objects, yelling, divorce threats, and false 911 calls. There will definitely be memories that last a lifetime! –Shrink4Men, High-Conflict Phases of Abuse, Blame Shifting, Distortion, Rage and Manipulation Diagram

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

Tracy drives away another friend (Todd) with narcissistic rage, manipulation, lies and a smear campaign

I was hardly the first friend of Richard’s to be driven off by Tracy, or even the third, and probably won’t be the last.  I don’t want to enumerate them all–especially since I don’t know how many there are–but there are several I’m aware of.  I take solace in this, because it shows I must not blame myself: It’s not me.

It also wasn’t just about her being jealous of other women.  She had various reasons to drive away these friends.  She also was nasty to and ran off one of Richard’s close male friends, “Todd,” in June 2008, because he did something on an online game which she did not like.

Richard later told Todd that she did this because, back when Todd first came to visit them, he nearly beat Tracy at Risk.  This made him her secret enemy.  So one day, she had her revenge:

I still have the printouts, because most of the argument was posted online, except for some private conversations which weren’t posted, and I wanted a full picture of just what th’ freaking heck was going on.  So I printed up dozens of pages, in order to read them closely without the glare of the computer screen.

I even have the original, private conversation between members of their alliance “government,” because Todd opened it to the rest of the gamers some time later.  So I can go back and read it over closely, without Richard whispering in my ear all the bad things Todd was doing, unlike the first time I read it.

Right here in the printouts is a fully documented case of DARVO, or Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.  Because I can see it so clearly here, involving a different target than I, I can see how easily Tracy can pull that DARVO trick on any target.

And what I see burns me with the injustice Todd suffered from her.  People in these games argue and war and flame each other all the time, but Todd was supposedly Tracy and Richard’s friend–and one of Richard’s best friends, not just online but off.  This got personal.

Have you ever marveled at how your abusive wife, girlfriend or ex is able to do and say the most hurtful, underhanded and contemptible things and then portray herself as the innocent victim?

Have you ever wondered how she is able to convincingly accuse others, usually her victims, of the abusive behaviors and attitudes of which she is actually guilty? Wonder no more, the answer may be DARVO. –Shrink4Men

This was a browser-based game in which you set up your own moon colony, could form alliances with other colonies, and the alliances could declare wars on each other.  Todd and Tracy were in the same alliance, and in the “government.”

One night, they disagreed on the rules of the alliance’s hierarchy.  Todd had set up the rules for the alliance, a system of government which he worked hard to write, and which was his baby.

Todd was just trying to keep to the rules as he wrote them, while helping her get what she wanted regarding who got what position in the government.  She wanted some things which he said were against the rules.  She disagreed with him over this.

So in an effort of peace and helping a friend, he posted for the alliance to vote on an amendment so she could shuffle around some “ministers” the way she wanted.

But she completely misunderstood what he was doing and suddenly went off on him, posting a profanity-laden message publicly to the alliance’s main forum, also cussing him out in chat, accusing him of acting like a spoiled child and pouting.

Instead of picking up the phone and asking him in a non-blaming fashion what he was doing, she publicly posted this rage episode in the forum, and then, as he put it, he woke up to her screaming at him in chat the next morning.

I read this part of the printouts closely, but could not figure out where the heck she got the idea that Todd was somehow trying to thwart her or do a “power grab,” as Richard claimed.

All I saw was Todd doing his darndest, even staying up late, to bend the rules to help her get what she wanted.

This looked like someone with a Cluster B personality disorder finding insult where none existed, and using it as an excuse for a narcissistic rage episode.

(In fact, this reminds me of someone I encountered on a BBS back in college, a teenager with the handle Avenger who started a huge flame war with my friend Sharon and me.  It was all because Sharon wanted to be considerate of the kids on the BBS when setting up times for an evening BBS bowling party.  The Avenger and Tracy are very much alike–both mean girls who take offense at the weirdest things–and I could not stand the Avenger.)

Jeff and I both wondered where on earth this came from after a 6-year friendship.  Shouldn’t Todd be cut some slack?  Todd was also baffled, just as I was on 7/1/10 when Tracy raged at me about an e-mail I sent to Richard.

In re-reading the printouts, I saw absolutely no evidence that Todd pouted about anything, or acted spoiled or childish.  He just had concerns about what was allowed by the rules.  He did not argue about it, just decided to help her by requesting an amendment to the rules so she could do what she wanted.

Just as it did with me, her raging, cussing, accusations and cuts on Todd’s character, shocked him, dismayed him, and put him on the defensive.  At first, he tried to be more diplomatic, but it was completely understandable when he noted, “And as for that utter tripe you stated about my character?  It’s offensive….”

She continued raging at him and telling everyone he was being awful.  It’s amazing how much stamina this woman has for rages.  I also wonder where she found the time, with four kids.

They went into a chat on IRC, which went on for many hours.  He tried and tried but could not get her to see things from his point of view.  A mediator tried to calm her down and tell her to stop taking things personally, but even he couldn’t do it.  Eventually, both sides turned ridiculous, not just Tracy.

As I read this thread over again, I really feel for Todd, because I see Tracy going on a rage episode for some imagined slight that did not actually occur, all because she thought she wasn’t getting her way–when Todd’s actions were specifically meant to give her what she wanted.

I see her picking a fight and poking and prodding Todd, calling him a baby, not listening to his point of view, accusing him of having a temper tantrum.  (This is called projection.  Abusers will accuse you of doing things they’re actually doing.)

A common tactic of a narcissist is to project their own issues on to their victim. This is an attempt to hide any actions or truths they do not want brought to light about themselves.

It is their hope that by projecting issues of their own onto you it will distract you from their malignant behavior. –Lisa E. Scott, The “Crazy-Making” Behavior of a Narcissist

I see her trying to get her own way and THAT’S IT.  (My abusive ex Phil was like that, as my friends noted.)

So–like anyone else who keeps getting poked and prodded–he got angry.  Abusers will do this to provoke you into doing something mean, so that they can point to you as the abuser.  This is called baiting.

Then Tracy took it from the alliance forum to all the other alliances, making it a gamewide argument, using her more “mature” language (just as she did to Jeff after writing foul obscenities to me) to accuse Todd of starting a coup and being childish.  Then she declared war on him.

Her explanation to the other alliances of what happened, is not what I actually saw happen in the alliance forums.  She changed some important details to make Todd look bad and her look right.  She made it sound like she was being rational and adult while he was flying off the handle.

Basically, she bald-faced lied and kept on lying blatantly about Todd to everyone in the game.  Then she booted him from the alliance.  This was a smear campaign.

She continued twisting facts while arguing with him publicly in the gamewide forums.  Then other people–who were not in their alliance and did not have access to their forum, so did not see what really happened–started backing her up and accusing Todd of going crazy.

This is all part of an abuser’s modus operandi, making the target of abuse appear to be the abuser, appear to be crazy, so no one will believe him.

And things went out of control for days, with both sides doing terrible things, including Todd calling her nasty names.  She baited him, and unfortunately, he took the bait.

This also happens in physically abusive relationships: An abusive woman will slap, smack, etc. until her husband fights back–then he ends up in jail.

Then Tracy posted that as long as she’s going to be called a b**ch, she might as well act like one.  Which is totally not the way to solve problems with a friend, and a horrible attitude.  Nice people would not behave that way.

(It also sounds very familiar, because after she found out I thought she was being possessive and controlling with Richard, over the years she did everything she could to prove me correct.)

It makes me wonder how often she twisted facts when telling Richard things I supposedly had done.  I am aware of several times that she lied.

I see firsthand how she manipulated things with Todd, flying off the handle over a slight which only existed in her mind, and then lied to others with just enough of the facts to make it believable.  I see how she refused to let Todd tell her that things were not the way she thought they were.

So I see that with me, she was able to manipulate things to make me seem like I was trying to move in on her husband, and her seem like the rational principled one, leaving me feeling for quite some time like I didn’t know what was really true.

But now I see far more clearly just how easily she manipulated Richard and me.  I see how she refused to hear that things were any different than what she thought, how she refused to listen to reason, or to let anybody else have an opinion different from hers.

So she got her own way while I felt steamrolled over–and like not even Richard cared.  There was no compromise here: It was all her way or the highway, and she had to be right, because nobody else’s feelings mattered.

I see in the printouts from the Todd situation that she did the same thing to him, making him feel like Richard didn’t care anymore, like he was stabbing Todd in the back.

It is yet more evidence that I need to take everything she ever said about me, all her opinions on my motivations and actions and what was “appropriate” or not, all her cuts on my character, all her quick insults, and throw it all in the trashbin, because this is something she does.  And refuse to let Richard back into my life until he sees just what she did.

I know of two other former friends of Richard whom she used to butt heads with as well (though I don’t know details), so this is a pattern with her.

Nowhere do I see her calming down during the arguments with Todd and saying, You know, a longtime friendship isn’t worth all this; I should step back and cool off.  And I see Richard getting pulled into it and feeling he had to stick up for Tracy, which was unfair to Todd.

I see it becoming, for Todd, not so much about a game but about a long, close, dear friendship which suddenly blew up in his face for no good reason.  I see him trying desperately to keep it from happening, but going totally the wrong way about it.

But I understand how he felt, because being publicly condemned by your friend over a game, is madness and infuriating.  All Todd wanted was for Tracy to stop accusing him of things he didn’t do, and see that he was actually trying to help her out, so he wouldn’t feel like his best friends were backstabbing him over a stupid game.

But Richard and Tracy both began doing things that made it worse:

Richard helped Tracy write a declaration of war, worded in such a way to appear that anyone who agreed with Todd, was one of her alliance’s targets–though later he said it didn’t mean that.

(So he really should understand how easy it was for my own e-mail to him to not mean what Tracy thought it meant.  Unless, of course, he lied about the meaning of that DOW.)

Richard also kept telling me that Todd was doing a “power grab,” and telling me the horrible things Todd was saying to Tracy, while here was Tracy being nasty all along to Todd.

Her lies were obvious, cold and calculated, all because she imagined a slight that did not actually exist.

I saw how other people on the board got her side of the story and assumed she was right, but they didn’t have Todd’s side.

I saw Todd accused of going crazy because of a game, by people who had no access to the logs of what really happened.  Or when they got access, they didn’t care enough to actually read it all.

It all fits the behavior of an abuser or narcissist going on a smear campaign.

Even though she was the first one to make nasty cuts on Todd’s character in public, Richard got angry at Todd for making nasty cuts (“quick insults”) on Tracy’s character, and said Todd couldn’t take it back even if he wanted to.

But what about the nasty things Tracy had said to Todd long before he got fed up?  Did they count for nothing?  Was it okay for her to say things for which Richard yelled at Todd?

The problem lay with both sides, two very volatile and young personalities who had to be right.  But Tracy fired the first shot, took it from an ordinary discussion of game politics and made it personal, made it nasty, all over a frickin’ GAME, and all over a slight which was only in her imagination.  She ruthlessly libeled him and defamed his character.

And Richard kept trying to tell me that it was all Todd’s fault, that it was a “power grab,” when I could see different, from what was posted on the game forums, and when I already knew some of Tracy’s temper.  I can see that same pattern all through my own interactions with her.  By seeing what happened with Todd, it’s obvious that I’m not crazy or imagining it.

Both sides were to blame for what happened: One person said Tracy had a “stubborn as a rock mentality,” and Todd, who has a temper of his own, really shouldn’t have cussed at Tracy and called her names.  But I saw that Todd did try to give her some of the things she wanted.

And to be fair to Todd, as I wrote above, and find in various accounts on the Net (see here, for example), abusers can get after you so much that you finally snap and start behaving badly yourself.  The abuser then uses this as proof that you’re the abuser.  This is “crazy-making,” “projection,” “gaslighting,” “baiting.”

And no, in the beginning Todd was not being nasty at all:  His own nastiness appears to have started after hours in chat of Tracy’s refusing to back down and listen to him, and continuing to accuse him of a power grab.  Then he began lashing out in frustration.

None of his concessions were enough; they went on for hours online, arguing about this, back and forth, posting much of it on the game forum.

He wasn’t “power grabbing”; he just understood the alliance constitution (which he himself constructed) differently than Tracy did.  Richard should have called Tracy on her insults of Todd, but didn’t.

So of course Todd felt ganged up on, like Richard backstabbed him and let Tracy get away with whatever she wanted.  It’s very familiar, in fact….

Todd was like me, wary of Tracy because he knew she was evil, but friends of a sort with her because she was married to Richard.

Yet, after the way she kept treating me, the things I saw her do or say to Richard, the kids, Todd, and others, and the things Richard told me she did to him and the kids–Richard and Tracy kept acting like it was somehow my fault, my problem, something I had to fix, that I couldn’t get close to her, didn’t want to confide my secrets in her, didn’t seek out her company.

[Update 11/16/11: Note also how narcissists and abusers can turn things around so that you appear to be the manipulator, such as with Judge Adams, who has made his daughter Hillary appear to be manipulative and spoiled, after she posted the smoking gun video of him beating her.]

More details of this story are here, including her sociopathic smile over something Todd supposedly did, but I don’t have room to put everything in this post.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

Fed-up, I decide to end the friendship if Tracy does not stop bullying me

The night of April 30, 2008, some hours after the incidents in the above section, and into the following day, I wrote this list in an e-mail to Richard which I never sent:

–last straw

–tired of getting rudeness in return for all my attempts at generosity and niceness

–you don’t treat friends this way; abusive

–don’t have to put up with this–will not be spoken to this way

–don’t want to deal with her anymore

–feel like for the last few months have been treated like “the other woman”–treated like dirt–more tears shed over this the last few months than for anything for the last year all together

don’t want to be enabler and lose all self-esteem and get damaged psyche

–tried to ignore and move on for sake of our friendship [with Richard]–very dear to me–but Jeff and I both are fed up

–mean to me almost since the beginning–didn’t seem to appreciate what we were doing, how much work I had to put into keeping the household running, how much money we had to spend to pay for groceries [about $340-$450/week in today’s dollars], how I had to give up some of the things I did for my health–lots of milk, healthier meals–in order to stretch the food budget, and exercise because of the little kids running around [didn’t want to hurt the little ones with the spokes of my exercise bike]

I feel like maybe I should never open my house up to strangers again, if this is how I get repaid for it–with suspicion and rudeness

–don’t like being treated as guilty until proven innocent; lived here for a month and a half–what else does she need to know–she’s gotten to know me a lot better than most people do–but has suspicion and mistrust that is not warranted and is not good for her–every other wife/girlfriend who has met me is fine with me, even after a short meeting–I just don’t go after husbands

–apparently suspicious because I don’t talk directly to her? well, I have in the past–don’t trust her, not “safe”–maybe I don’t talk directly to her and don’t want to be around her NOT because I’m out to get her husband, but because I don’t like how she treats people [I was scared of her]

I felt bulldozed–seemed to be all what somebody else wants, but none of what I wanted

The below quote sounds like Tracy–and also explains why I preferred to go through Richard when I had problems with her:

Confronting an abusive woman about her behavior only makes her nastier and you’re then subjected to a narcissistic rage episode and/or histrionic drama queen performance.

She’ll just blame you for everything or deny what she did anyway, so why bother saying anything? –Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, Signs your narcissistic or borderline wife/girlfriend is traumatizing you

Also, this comment from a Shrink4Men reader, “Mr. E”:

Another possible addition [to the Shrink4Men quiz, “Is she a crazy b**ch]:

Do mutual friends/roommates confront you when they’re upset with her?

I can recall several instances where a friend / roommate has come to me about her behavior (frequently with some hostility). I always figured this was because I was an easy target, and felt weak.

I definitely think poor boundaries on my part encouraged this behavior (I should have stopped them and told them to talk to her, not me), but I think the root problem is that they were afraid to confront her directly.

When I foolishly bring up whatever the friend/roomie complained about to her, I get interrogated and eventually raged at when I freeze up and stop talking. She’ll also hold a grudge against the person in question for ages.

The good news is, I’ve finally figured this out, and have started telling people to just talk to her. Curiously enough, they never do…

I’d love to know if this is a common experience.

The following evening, May 1, I wrote an e-mail which I don’t believe was sent to Richard, though I probably conveyed at least some of the message to him in other ways:

–When you say you want me to call, or you want to call, or you want to get together and do something, I put priority on that, rearrange my schedule, make myself available, and work as hard as I can to be ready in time.  If I can’t do it for some reason, I say so right away, or call as soon as I find out (as long as it’s a reasonable hour).

When you say you’ll call and don’t, or you want to get together but don’t show up, don’t let me know what’s going on, I try to call and can’t connect with you and nobody answers either phone, my messages aren’t returned, you call/I call at the last minute and you say something else has come up, I feel like you don’t value my friendship.

I have had other people do this to me, sometimes for years.  When this happens to Jeff, he assumes the person is sending a message that they don’t want to be friends anymore; he stops calling.

I know that sometimes people are just being flighty, but I get tired of it, and eventually scale back the friendship.  This is why I start getting worried.

–When someone doesn’t answer the phone, it’s normal and expected to call back later, especially if there is no answering machine.  It gives the person a chance to get home, get done in the bathroom, or whatever else they were doing that made them unable to answer the phone.

I personally detest answering machines when dealing with friends, because I know firsthand that they are even less reliable than e-mail: they can malfunction, be ignored, be erased accidentally, run out of tape….

At least if your e-mail doesn’t get through, the Mailer Demon bounces it back, and message trackers can tell you if a Personal Message was read. I’d much rather connect with my friend personally than talk to a machine, because I know my message got through.

So being chewed out for doing a perfectly normal and reasonable behavior–I do not appreciate being talked to in that manner.  

If Tracy keeps treating me this way, I will consider it to mean that she just does not want to be pleasant with me or even consider the option that I am no threat to her.  

I do not wish to deal with jealous spouses or abusive behavior towards me.

If it keeps happening, I will start considering all of my options, even though the last thing I want to do is end my friendship with you or [my son’s] friendship with the girls.

So here is proof that from the very beginning, I considered Tracy not only to be abusive to Richard and the girls (since I used those very words in e-mails to my mom in 2007), but to be abusive to me as well.  (There are more e-mails like this to come, speaking also of her bullying me.)

Despite the DARVO e-mail she sent me in 2012, this was not some crazy idea that came to my addled brain in 2012 to justify the breakup and make me feel better.  Nor was it taken from my imagination to write some blog full of lies to defame her character.

No, this was my feeling from the very beginning–showing that my mental state has been fine all along, and evidence that I have told no lies, because it is all my legitimate opinion since 2007, and my e-mails record the details of what happened.

No, Tracy just refuses to admit that she’s abusive, and would rather put the responsibility of it on other people–and tell everyone her target is crazy.  That’s what abusers do.  I just saw yet another example of it on Dr. Phil at the gym yesterday:

“My father is here to tell me what I remember, what I can say, what I can talk about,” she says.

“I have come to know that, in cases of abuse, when abuse has happened, very rarely does the abuser admit to that, and there’s nothing productive for me to be here with my father because I will not go back to that girl, to be silent, to be in my corner and to recant what I’ve said.” –Rebecca Musser, Dr. Phil episode, Facing Off with my Polygamous FLDS Father

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

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