Category: seeing abuser

Why we should tell everyone we have been abused

[Note: This blog post was written in 2014 but back-dated to 2010 to fit with this series.]

Especially after Tracy told me not to “go crying to Jeff,” it was a relief to finally reveal to all my friends, using Facebook, that I had been abused for being an introvert.

It was a relief to post about the evils of jealousy, the traits of introverts and NVLD, and the abuses Tracy was guilty of. 

No more silence about how I had been abused for the past two and a half years by these narcissists: It was all coming out now.  (I also felt free to post whatever I wanted to politically.)

In e-mails to and chats with family, a Fond du Lac friend I had reconnected with, my college friends and, for the next couple of years, Todd, I named names and got into more detail about what went on.  Todd enlightened me on some things as well, and confirmed my suspicion that Tracy has BPD. 

That’s the advantage of two abuse victims of the same person talking to each other: They can compare notes, fill in missing details, and reassure each other, “No, it’s not you,” and “No, you’re not crazy.”

And having supportive friends and family, in general, has been helpful.  They know I don’t deserve this.  The Fond du Lac friend I gave details and names to, had also just broken up with a best friend who abused his girlfriend.  So we had something in common as well.

I posted a link to my blog post Fighting the Darkness, and got all sorts of positive feedback, as people tried to encourage me not to give up faith.  You can see some of this in the comments to that post.

When I discovered in September 2011 from the local newspaper’s arrest records that Richard choked his stepdaughter until she passed out, I also vented about this on Facebook.  It was just too appalling and shocking to keep quiet. 

I didn’t use his name, but everyone who had been following my updates knew it was about my ex-friend.

My friends were very supportive, saying things like, The breakup may have been painful but God was looking out for you.

We wondered why I saw him with the kids in between the charges and the trial.  One person feared they were the type who could manipulate a judge.

This is when Todd unfriended Richard on Facebook, disgusted at how much he had allowed Richard to influence him.

It was all extremely helpful, to know that I was not the terrible person Tracy tried to gaslight and brainwash me into thinking I was.

These were people I had known long before I even met Richard and Tracy on the Forum.  These included people who spent four years of college with me, day after day in each others’ company, and kept in touch after college.

These included people who grew up with me, and family.  These included people I went to church with.

They knew me and that I did not deserve abuse.

It was also helpful to discuss these things with virtual friends on online forums.

On Orthodox forums I could ask the religious questions this stirred up:

–how could this happen when God sent me this friend as an answer to prayer,

–how to stay in the faith and not become an atheist,

–how to deal with this,

–how to forgive,

–how to deal with seeing them at church.

We could share experiences of spiritual mentors who fell, and how this affected our faith.  I could ask for prayer.

I also consulted with my priest all through this: in July 2010, in August 2010, then again in October 2011 after Richard was convicted of choking his child.

In October 2011, I asked my priest if Richard could be ordained after choking his child, and he said no.  This was a great relief. 

I again went to my priest when Richard and Tracy threatened and began stalking me, even at church.  I also told all my friends and family again.

I found all sorts of blogs about abuse, such as Shrink4Men, Narcissists Suck, and various survivor blogs, which described the behaviors of narcissists, sociopaths, abusers and abusive borderlines.

They provided a chance to discuss what I went through and read about others’ experiences.  They helped me to define and sort out what had happened.

They helped me learn how abusers operate, far beyond what I had already learned from researching abuse between 1997 and 2010 (first because of Phil, then because of Tracy abusing Richard and the kids). 

They helped me learn that this is a psychological disorder, that how Tracy and Richard acted had nothing whatsoever to do with me.

I learned that no matter what the kind of abuser, their behavior is so alike that survivors keep asking, “Do they all have the same playbook?”

I discovered what a narcissist is, what borderline personality disorder (BPD) is.

And confirmed with Todd that BPD is indeed the most likely cause of Tracy’s behavior, because her mother has it and Tracy has the same traits. 

Though narcissism fits her behavior even more.  As I read Sam Vaknin‘s articles on abuse and the narcissist, the lightbulb went off in my head, not just for Tracy but–to my shock–also for Richard!

Somewhere around or before February 2012, I also made a few friends at my current church who were close enough to tell them more details about what happened, the abuse I suffered and witnessed from Richard and Tracy. 

They could support me as well.  This was incredibly helpful for my healing process, though it had not yet finished as of May 2012, and I was still in a risky emotional state.

But just having them nearby was emotionally supportive when Richard and Tracy began stalking me in May 2012, including coming to my church to intimidate and frighten me into silence and submission. 

One of the friends still goes there; we are like two peas in an introvert pod.

In the e-mail in the above link, Richard and Tracy claimed that I somehow threatened them, but this is a narcissistic lie pulled out of their backsides. 

Something about a threat to “go public” to “members of the church and community.”

Say what?  I never made such a threat, and as you can see, I had already told all my friends, family and priest what had happened, and written the blogs.

In the blogs I changed names, because that was public, and because I–having read Writer’s Digest for years–happen to know a little something about libel.  Everything I did was well within my rights of free speech, and I never, ever threatened to go beyond that.

This is yet another example of abusers trying to gaslight and frighten their victims into silence, the actions of thugs. 

We have to fight this, because that makes us into survivors, not victims.  It makes us strong, not weak for bullies to pick on. 

I stood up to my bullies, and they backed down, though they still stalk my blog constantly.

Then they will pull your face close to theirs and through snarling lips and gritted teeth tell you that if you try to expose their bad deed they will destroy you. This person knows what they are doing is wrong. –Anna Valerious, Narcissist or Psychopath, Narcissists Suck

I wrote this webbook and the related blog posts because I could not afford or trust a therapist,

I am a writer and deal with my worst emotional upsets through writing,

and like many abuse victims I needed to tell the story and talk about my pain over and over until it was gone–which I could not expect my friends/family to listen to.

In blog posts, I could perseverate as much as I needed to, without annoying anyone (except Richard and Tracy, who have been stalking my blog).  And fellow abuse victims can read as much or as little of this as they choose.

Meanwhile, I don’t keep my story or the process of my healing journey under lock and key, where it only benefits me.  I know from my own searches all over the Web, that abuse victims want to read stories like theirs.

So while Richard and Tracy tried, yet again, to threaten me into silence in May 2012, it was too late, because my friends and family–including some in town–already knew all about it. 

And it all falls within my First Amendment rights.  Their threats are meaningless and illegal.  You can see in the e-mails I copy here in my webbook, that my story is consistent.

On October 31, 2011, I even sent this letter to the editor of the newspaper:

I commend Jaymee Barton (“Surviving Violence,” Oct. 24) for speaking out on domestic abuse and [two local newspapers] for publishing stories about this issue over the past year.

An earlier article, “Injuries to Child Raise Questions” (Aug. 26), discussed sentencing for child abusers.

Recently, a local man who choked his young daughter was charged with two felonies. But through plea bargaining, his sentence became probation, no jail time.

How can this happen with such a despicable act? Is that child being protected?

Domestic abuse is far too common – husbands abusing wives emotionally, verbally and/or physically, wives abusing husbands in the same way, husbands and wives abusing each other, parents abusing children.

And keep in mind that “domestic abuse” [in Wisconsin] applies to anyone living together, including roommates.

People laugh at women abusing men, but it happens quite a bit, even physically. Even going to counseling can be a way for the abuser to control the abused by manipulating the counselor.

I also commend Social Services and the police in trying to stop abuse.

Anyone who witnesses or suspects abuse should report it to the police or Social Services to help them do their job protecting those who can’t protect themselves.

And I hope the abused, even children, will have the courage to tell someone who can help.

Abuse victims need to quench their fear of the abusers and break the silence.  This also breaks the control of the abuser over the victim. 

Abusers usually threaten their victims into silence, but I am surrounded by people who support me and protect me by their very presence. 

TELL!  TELL HOW YOU’VE BEEN ABUSED!  Gather supporters to yourself!  Your best protection against bullies is friends.

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

 

Richard mansplains me, denies that his friends sexually harassed me, and refuses to respect my wishes

In March of 2010, when Jeff came home from D&Ding with Richard and Tracy one Friday night, he told me we wouldn’t be able to D&D with them the following weekend: They were planning to have those jerks from the IRC channel come visit them.

Here in my town.

In their house.

?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was irate, telling Jeff, “It’s disgusting!”

If I saw somebody sexually harass one of my closest friends, I’d have nothing to do with him!

How could Richard not cut these people out of his life for being so horrid to women, to one of his best and closest friends, to the one who helped him above and beyond what most people would do?

And how could he invite sexual harassers to his house?  Wasn’t he afraid of letting these people anywhere near his little girls?

I couldn’t quite bring myself to tell Jeff just what these people had said to me in the chat, but tried to make him understand that he would’ve wanted to punch them all out if he saw it.  It took quite a while before I could tell him just what went on.

I ranted about it to Jeff, wondered what I should do about it, what should I say?  We pondered the wisdom, or lack thereof, of an ultimatum.

Jeff told me I had to make a decision on what to do, whether to say that Richard should drop these friends.  He also picked up some brochures about a circle of respect, which he was going to “plant” at Richard’s house so the jerks would find it.

The following day, I think it was, we went to their house for Dungeons and Dragons.  When Jeff had already left the house with our son and I was making final farewells to Richard, he and Tracy mentioned the party and said it had been cancelled or postponed.

I was relieved, but watched and listened intently to Richard as he spoke about it.  But then the thread of something he was saying got interrupted, and I had to leave, so I never got the chance to say how I felt.

But I began to ponder it, what to do about it, how to handle it, whether it was my problem or his.

A week or two later, I had almost forgotten about it, when something brought it back to my mind again, making me feel dirty and gross with the memory of what the creeps had said to me.

After all this time, it still haunted me and interfered even with my most private moments with my husband.  So I knew this was important.

So I wrote an e-mail to Richard about it.  This was around April 1.  It took me some three hours, carefully crafting it so he wouldn’t feel like I blamed him or anything, and carefully leaving out any hint that he should drop these friends.

I used all the tips that counselors recommend for dealing with difficult conversations, without putting people on the defensive.

I kept out how I found it disgusting that he would invite these jerks to his house.  I restricted my request to him please refraining from mentioning the names of these people around me, to help me to get past this and move on.

After all, the time he spent with me was only a few hours every week or so, most of which were taken up with D&D, and he rarely talked about them around me in the first place.  So this shouldn’t be too much to ask.

He said no.  In fact, he wrote such a scathing e-mail–saying that he had actually written other drafts which he scrapped, which were even more scathing–that I thought here was proof that no, he didn’t care about me at all anymore.  Our friendship was dead, and I didn’t know why.

I cried, and was so upset that it affected me physically.  I even had to ask a neighbor to take my son to school, because I just couldn’t handle it.

Richard didn’t care how I felt about anything.  He defended sexual harassers to me instead of breaking with them.  None of it made sense for someone who claimed I was very dear to him or that he was going to become a priest.

Instead of writing back, I called him up.  He told me I was being “ridiculous,” that I needed to get over it, that online sexual harassment isn’t “real” and he thought I knew that.  He said, “I love you like a sister, but you’re driving me crazy.”  (Jeff said to this, “What’s with the ‘but’?  Brothers and sisters drive each other crazy all the time!”)

For the first time, he said he loved me like a sister, something I had always wanted to hear from him–

–but at the same time, he blamed me, treated me like there was something hysterical about getting upset over guys online making personal remarks about my genitals and ripping into me for getting mad at them and not showing them naked pictures.

He complained about “pampering” me (more about this here), something I had no idea he was even doing, something I never asked him to do, but which he just assumed he should do.

Apparently, part of “pampering” me meant not being rude to me.  He actually complained because he felt he couldn’t be rude to me, saying that other people are rude with their friends all the time and it’s okay.

I said, maybe where you came from, but not here.  He said it was here, too.  Which surprised me, because most of the people I know aren’t rude to their friends, but understand that you shouldn’t do that.

It made me wonder just which circles he was running around in, anyway, that would be rude to their own friends.

It seemed like he excused bad behavior, and treated me like some china doll for believing–same as all my friends–that bad behavior is inexcusable.  It also seemed like he was being rude to me more often lately.

He also talked like there was something ridiculous about not wanting to hear the names of your sexual harassers spoken around you.

Yet even my husband feels the same way, cringing at the very name of someone who has abused or otherwise mistreated him.  My husband thought I was not being at all unreasonable, and did not like how Richard treated me over this.

Don’t confuse my use of the words “hyper-sensitive” to mean what the narcissist means when they accuse you of being hyper-sensitive because your feelings are hurt by their cutting remarks or cruel behaviors.

I’m talking about the kind of sensitivity we call “walking on eggshells” which describes how people act when they never know what will set that person off.

Which means that offense is taken where a reasonable person would never even think to get offended over such things. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?

During the same conversation, he also defended the way Todd treated people online (he had a temper of his own), just saying, “He’s a troll!” as if this made it somehow okay.  (And Richard wants to be a priest?)

This was one of the things that eventually led to the two of us having major falling-outs just a couple of months later, and contributed to my ending the friendship.

I just couldn’t stand that he would call this “ridiculous” or tell me to just “get over it”–or that he and Tracy were still friends with the main harasser, the Creep, after this incident, that a year later he was talking with them about a get-together at their house and in my city.

I told Richard I didn’t want these guys to know what city I lived in, who I was, or anything.  But he said they already knew.

He said the Creep was actually shy and quiet in real life, not like his online persona at all–but that didn’t impress me, because you’re still a jerk even if you’re only a jerk online.  He said he did tell these guys they were being jerks to me, but now he so downplayed what they did, made it sound like I was just irrational and silly, that I couldn’t believe it.

He talked as if these guys were just behaving normally and did this to Richard’s other friends, but those friends would play along and be good sports about it.  It made me sound like a combination of prude and party pooper.

He also complained that he “pampered” me whenever we came to visit them in 2008, until his wife complained.  I remember very pleasant visits in those days; isn’t that what visiting friends is all about?

He complained about how he was still doing all these things to bend over backwards and make me feel comfortable, but I couldn’t tell what the heck he was talking about.  I never told him he had to do that!

I’m pretty easygoing with friends, actually.  Even if they cuss around me, I learned in college to shut up and ignore it.  And I kept my mouth shut about other things, as well.

Was his wife complaining because he was being a good host and paying attention to a dear friend?

Were they feeling put out about being good hosts, cleaning up their mess a little for company, not insulting their guests, not being rude, not going around naked or in boxers, what?  

Is it really so terrible not to cuss around my son, and do they cuss like sailors around their own children?

Apparently Tracy actually got mad at him for holding back on saying things she could tell he wanted to say.  What things were this??  Was he about to be an a**hole to me and she complained because he held back? 

What kind of people ARE these, anyway?

His complaints made me wonder what the real him was really like.

When it was just the two of us getting acquainted and forming a friendship, and when he stayed at my house by himself, he seemed sweet and respectful, insistent on putting his violent past behind him, pious and gentle, willing to lend a hand when I asked him to.

I didn’t even know to what extent his past had been violent, but I knew he was determined to follow the practices of his faith.

We developed a camaraderie, poking fun at each other like brother and sister, joking around with each other so easily that our jokes played off each other as if they’d been rehearsed.  (One guy online said he loved being in IRC with us.)

I occasionally tickled him like a sister when he got too cheeky.  We were comfortable with each other, a comfort I felt around very few people.

But now, he seemed to want permission to insult me, to consider me weak because I–LIKE MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD–would get upset at this.

Richard had a strange way of making me feel inadequate.  First, there was the way he’d make me feel like a stalker for, say, saving all my letters to/from people, or for knowing what channels in IRC he was subscribed to (they showed up automatically whenever I opened a private chat with him, just part of the regular workings of the program, nothing I asked for).

Then there was the way he tried to make me (and, from what he said, anybody else he spoke to about this private issue) believe that his idea of fun sexual practices was what everybody should do.

Different people have different tastes, but he had this idea that his way was “enjoying yourself,” and more plain and simple ways were not, even though others might find it painful or gross or weird.  (No, I don’t know what all he did, fortunately, but he told me enough to make me want to take an ice pick to my brain to get it out.)

And now there was this “pampering” crap.  I think the first time I heard about this was on IRC one day.  This may have been earlier in 2010, or maybe late 2009, though I think 2010 is more likely.  He complained that he had to do this for both Jeff and me.

For example, when he lived with us, he didn’t wear just boxers and no pants in front of Jeff and me.  (Um…  Actually, that’s not “pampering” us, that’s just plain good manners!)

Apparently to him, it was “prudish” for Jeff to not be the sort who wanted to see another man in boxers.  He made it sound like it was prudish for me as well, even though another time he said he was taught by his parents to only do this in front of men.  (More confusing doublespeak….)

He also called me “prudish” for wearing a robe over my nightgown around him.  I saw this as proper modesty around a man I was not married to, but he called it prudish??!!  

He said one of his female friends had no qualms about going around in her nightclothes in front of him. 

Er….So you WANT me to put everything on display for you, hmmmmm?  You do realize nightgowns tend to be see-through or at least poke-through? 

The most repulsive thing is realizing that I LISTENED to this guy, when I should have seen right through his obvious manipulation. 

I felt like a prude, when I should have realized that he was trying to get me to put myself on display for him against my better judgment, that he was playing me like a fiddle.  (Probably more of his hypnotism.)

Then he told me about something his family does which I found repulsive, but I won’t say what, just that it was really a very private thing that he should not have told me.  This is also why I suspect the brown stains all over the furniture were actually butt skid marks.

He made me feel “prudish” not just because I wore a robe around him and he didn’t feel “free” enough to wear boxers around me, but because I didn’t do this repulsive, unhygienic thing!  Ew!

Once again, I was under the influence of someone who could talk me into believing anything at the time, then when I got away from his influence, I’d realize he was full of crap.  (This happened before in college: first Shawn, then Phil’s friend Dirk.)

But he always had a way of reassuring me on the phone when we were having problems.  (Probably some more of that hypnotism.)  He talked me into calming down.

He told me that this kept happening: The house full of kids and wife would finally all be asleep, he’d think, “I should go see Nyssa,” but fall asleep on the couch from exhaustion instead.  Or he’d go driving off by himself, intending to see me, but be so glad to be alone that he’d just drive off somewhere.

I was touched, having no idea this was going on, and told him to actually carry through these ideas once in a while.  (Keep in mind that at that time of night, Jeff would be home and probably still awake, so there was nothing improper about this.)

I said that whenever he didn’t respond to my calls, I wondered if he wasn’t allowed to call.  He said, “No, that was over with a long time ago.”  Which was yet more proof for me that Tracy’s restrictions were long since over with.

Somehow, he softened me yet again, like usual when I was mad at him.  He finally agreed to stop mentioning these people around me.

But that didn’t quite end the subject for me.  I was still hurting over the sexual harassment, still wincing every time I came across something that reminded me of what the creeps had said–

–such as a disturbing article I stumbled upon on the Net.  It said that the newer generations of women were being taught in the Millennial culture to believe they must be clean-shaven.

Apparently this was being driven by guys wanting their women to look like porn stars.  It sounded like a modern version of foot-binding, forcing women to do this to please men, or else they’ll get tossed aside as not “sexy” enough.

And it stung that Richard mansplained away my claims of sexual harassment.  Any time you’re a victim of some kind of abuse, bullying, rape or harassment, to be told it didn’t actually happen–

–That’s part of our culture’s problem with victim-blaming.  It inspires people to shut up and not talk about what happened, because they won’t be believed anyway.

I bet Richard and Tracy are still friends with these creeps, but they just let Jeff and me go without doing what it would take to get us back, after all the love and caring we showed them.

In August 2014, old college classmate Persephone shared this webpage on Facebook, Next Time Someone Says Women Aren’t Victims Of Harassment, Show Them This.

I then shared it myself, along with a short description of the above incidents.  My friends responded:

cyber bullying isn’t real bullying either then I suppose?  And cyber sex with minors isn’t real pedophilia is it??  The one who needs to get over it is the person who wants to diminish what your truth is.  If you feel like you were victimized then you were.” –(my old friend Mike)

what the h*?  Also, that his wife participated is equally disturbing but all too common.” –(Persephone)

I replied,

Oh yeah, he also told me he had other friends who would go in that particular chat room with him, and could handle that kind of ‘joking.’  Making me sound like I’m just too sensitive.  Yet for some time afterward, I felt dirty because of the things they said.

Persephone wrote,

ew, that SUCKS – and so much wth?  The ‘you’re being too sensitive’ is such a go-to from narcissists, usually when they’re enjoying your pain.  🙁  “

So even from this little bit, Persephone–herself a victim of narcissists, including my ex Phil, in her past–recognized Richard as one.

And after what I wrote to him about past sexual harassment and how I was adversely affected by what happened in that chatroom–

It still baffles me how he later blew it off as me being too “sensitive” and “ridiculous,” and said, “I just thought you didn’t go in that chatroom anymore because you didn’t like it.” 

!!!!!!!!

Did he even frickin’ READ what I wrote to him?

This was yet another sign of Richard’s true character, of his false friendship, but I did not want to believe it.

Funny thing: After Richard convinced me that his “pampering” of me was somehow my fault, I felt guilty, and told him not to pamper me (though I did not say to be rude).

Our very next D&D session, he, the game master, set up a world which was full of–basically–zombies.  I’m almost certain this was done on purpose, to test me, gross me out to my limits, and, well, screw with my mind.

Then I foiled him by not reacting as he expected, but taking it all in stride.

HA!

Frickin’ narcissist.

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

 

Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

In late May or early June of 2009, while I was in an IRC chatroom with Richard–there only because I could find him there, not from any particular love of the place–two of the admins started sexually harassing and bullying me.  Several of the other members–including a woman!–egged them on.

I did nothing to bring this on, was just sitting in the chat waiting to start talking with Richard.  I had said nothing for some time, and probably wasn’t even watching the screen at first, while doing other things online.  I sat there in silent disbelief when they started doing this.

(As for the woman who egged them on: At an earlier date in that same IRC channel, Richard posted, “Richard is sexing” [her handle], and Tracy posted that she was grabbing popcorn.

(I was amazed because I thought Tracy got insanely jealous and furious over that sort of thing.  So I wrote him privately, asking about it.  He wrote back that Tracy is friends with that person.

(Um…What was I, chopped liver?  I was friends with Tracy, so why was I not allowed to do the same thing?  And how could Tracy know this person from the Internet better than she knew me?–

(–Not that I wanted Richard to post “Richard is sexing Nyssa.”  On the contrary, I directly told him I didn’t want him to joke like that with me.  It was too–weird and icky to say you’re “sexing” someone other than your wife.)

Here’s what happened: I was just sitting there in the channel, which did sometimes amuse me.  I may have been completely silent on the channel, maybe chatting a little with Richard in the channel or privately, because he was the reason I went there in the first place: It was easiest to find him there.

Then the Creep, who was one of the admins, because my handle was a hobbit, began making cracks like, was I hairy all over.  His comments turned to my private parts.

I was just sitting there quietly and in disbelief, not responding at all, when he started going on and on about how awful it is for women to not shave that area, and how his girlfriend shaves.

And then one of the other Creeps, also an admin, started insisting I post pics of that area.  I said nothing to these guys to bring this on; I don’t think I said a word through much of this.

I thought Richard would stick up for me, but he said nothing, at least not publicly so I could see it.

Richard quickly went onto a channel I myself had made recently for personal friends, so I could get away from these people and still talk with him.  (He knew about this channel, which I hoped he would use all the time so I wouldn’t have to go into that nasty IRC channel.  But he rarely used it.)

While this stuff was going on, Tracy came in the main chatroom.  I expected that she had seen everything and was going to give these creeps a piece of her mind, complete with her usual cussing.

But instead, when one of the admins told her I was being a b**ch for refusing to show him a picture of my private parts, she just said, “You know how hobbits are,” and started joking around and chatting with them about having a get-together at her house.

I finally told the main harasser to bite me.  The other admin said that was a stupid thing to say.  Then they kicked me off the channel, and banned me for several days.  I kept checking to see if I could get in, but just for information’s sake: I intended to have nothing more to do with that channel and those jerks.

These filthy creeps were actually friends of Richard and Tracy!  Nearly a year later, I learned that Richard told them they were being jerks.  But he never made them apologize or anything.  And they knew I was his real-life close friend, but did this anyway.

I was shaken and upset for days, trying to watch movies on TV, but this was constantly on my mind.  It was disturbing, made me feel gross. 

For probably at least a year, even making love to my husband would bring it back to mind, because of how gross it made me feel. 

This was no joking around–This was sexual harassment!  And Richard and Tracy did absolutely NOTHING to stick up for me!

On this page, I describe guys who sexually harassed me in high school, not just students but even a teacher!  And here it was happening all over again!

I once mentioned the teacher to Richard.  And as I wrote in an e-mail to Richard on June 5, 2009,

I’m sending this by both e-mail and [online game] because I obviously have no idea which one you’ll check first.

I’ve been feeling this massive boredom and sadness the past few days because of so many things happening at once….Family and friends dealing with problems, and being blindsided with my own issues at the same time….

This strange feeling of not knowing if I want to be around people or just hide away even from my best friends, waiting and waiting to hear that something has changed or been resolved….

I try to be happy and it almost feels like I’m manufacturing it, it’s not really felt.

I try to ignore the [IRC] thing, try to act like it’s not a big deal, but it just isn’t working.

I have to be honest with myself.  I have to put my finger on the problem: Why should I be upset about being banned from a place with people I don’t even like?

If that’s all it is, then I’d feel like an idiot.  So it can’t just be that.  Is it pride because I’m not the sort of person who gets banned from *anywhere*?  It’s part of it, maybe, but not all.

Is it the crying out for justice?  Maybe that’s it.  I want somebody to get chewed out.  I want apologies.  I feel humiliated.

That’s part of it: The humiliation.  I’ve been in flame wars before; I recall once sticking up for my friends and getting ridiculed for it, until finally the sysop put a stop to the whole thing.  I learned how not to feed the trolls.

But in this case I wasn’t even feeding the trolls.  I was just bored and playing a little here and there to pass the time, not being mean or nasty to anybody.

Another part is that I went there in the first place simply so I could find you and play with you on IRC.  We could all play off each other instead of me trying to think up something to do or say with just you….

It was fun to play with you and your friends and now for no fault of my own, I can’t do it anymore, I feel cut off, pushed aside like the kid nobody wants to play with.

I have nowhere else to go; none of my friends seem to want to play on IRC even though it can be like the old BBS’s we miss so much.

The humiliation comes from, mostly, being verbally abused for no reason and the others standing by and letting it happen–heck, some even joining in, saying don’t let the door hit me in the a** etc. etc., even a *girl* playing along like it was funny.

I remember it was [The Creep], [a few others], and possibly one other though I don’t remember now.  You say you were chatting with [The Creep];

I want to hear that you told him to knock it off and that he’s being an a****** to a dear friend of yours and that he’d better be apologizing to me ASAP because his “joke” is not at all funny.

These guys remind me of this “popular” guy my freshman year of high school who spent the whole year sexually harassing me every lunch period. He even exposed himself to me twice.  His “popular” friends just laughed.  

It gave me an ulcer; after lunch I would practically double up in pain.

Actually, come to think of it, he wasn’t the only one: There were also two guys in Biology class who [sexually] harassed me.  Once they even got so loud that the teacher had to stop his lecture and tell them to be quiet.  I never did anything to these guys; I was just minding my own business.

When Tracy came in I thought she’d seen everything and was going to chew out [The Creep], especially after he said I’m being b*****y for not posting obscene pictures of myself, but instead she just says “that’s how hobbits are” and starts joking with him and arranging some get-together….

They start talking about doing it here in [our hometown]….

I don’t want these people anywhere near me if that’s how they treat women.  All I ever did was be nice; I thought being your friend would mean good treatment; in return I got sexually harassed and verbally abused and banned. As far as I’m concerned, these are not good people.  Even as a joke–That just isn’t funny.

Now after I get it all out I finally understand why I’m having trouble getting past this as just some other stupid Internet thing that can vanish simply by not going to that forum/channel/chatroom/newsgroup/mailing list anymore.

And also why I have to tell you how I feel.  I feel sick inside.  I know you were disgusted by the whole thing as well; I’m not blaming you for anything.  I just can’t keep bottling it up.

On June 9, I wrote to Richard,

Oh, look, I’m banned from [the IRC channel] again.  Whatever.  I have no time or energy for [The Creep’s] games.  I only go there for a split second to see if you’re around, anyway.

I just finished watching Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal.”  A knight, Antonius Block, returns from the Crusades to a plague-ridden Sweden, only to confront Death in a fateful chess game.  Death is bloodthirsty and begins stalking his traveling companions as well.

There’s also a cool fire-and-brimstone sermon which is made even better by the Swedish language, with its accents and trills.  What Baptist preacher can match that?

What’s up with the baby having no diaper?  The baby is only a year old, yet I never saw a diaper on its butt once.  In fact, I never saw *anything* on its butt.

To think it only got made because another of his movies was successful at Cannes.  The theme seems to be that we can’t know if God, Satan, Heaven or Hell are real until after we die; even Death tells Antonius that he doesn’t know.

We see the fear of various characters that they’re going into emptiness.  The supposed “witch” is full of terror as she faces emptiness at the stake; she says she sees Satan and talks with him, but we can’t tell if she’s crazy or lying, so Antonius still can’t get his answer.

This is why I don’t understand atheists who say it’s a wonderful thing that after death is nothing.  Who wants to go into emptiness?

(The last part shows that spiritual doubt and despair already plagued me, and had for a few years.  Richard’s betrayal of me in 2010 was the last straw plunging me into a spiritual pit of fearing that death truly is the end and nobody is up there helping us.)

I thought he would distance himself from them, stop hanging out with them, because they were so horrible, because they would treat a woman like that, because they were sexual harassers.

But no, he still kept going into that channel, still kept talking to the worst offender on the phone.  He occasionally brought them up in conversation.  I couldn’t understand how he could do this.

But he only mentioned them once or twice over the next year, so I said nothing–until I heard he was going to have them all over to his house in 2010.  More on this below.

And after what I wrote to him about past sexual harassment and how I was adversely affected by what happened in that chatroom–

It still baffles me how nonchalantly he kept associating with these people, especially the Creep.  I can excuse my other Internet friends, who weren’t there, since I never told them about it.  But he was an eyewitness!

Then, as I describe below, he later blew it off as me being too “sensitive” and “ridiculous”!!!!!!!!

This was yet another sign of Richard’s true character, of his false friendship, but I did not want to believe it.

I don’t care if you’re sick of hearing about internet trolls. I’m sick of hearing about them too—but I’m also sick of hearing from them.

I’m sick of women being treated like shit and then being treated like shit for complaining about being treated like shit.

So anyway, don’t shut up. Keep complaining. This is your internet too. –Lindy West, We must not shut up about how women are treated on the Internet

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