smear campaign

Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk (Part 2)–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–The Long, Dark Painful Tunnel, Part 10

(Part 1)

Here’s what Dirk said about InterVarsity.  This is where it really got ridiculous–and threatening:

Dirk said that after the “stink” over the play last year, InterVarsity had really given itself a bad image on campus.

(Never mind the fact that we didn’t do it to ourselves.  It was forced on us by others and by public opinion and rumor.)

There were a few other things, too.  Supposedly new people did not feel welcome.  Supposedly we were cliquish, though I don’t know where that came from.

But this was lie and rumor started by I have no clue who: Almost nobody but us ever came to the meetings to begin with!  When somebody did show up once in a blue moon, they were lavished with welcome because we wanted the group to grow.  We were also friends outside of the group, same as any other group of friends on campus.

Plus there was the way IV people treated Phil, and since Phil was his friend–and he was a very loyal friend–he hated IV for that.  An enemy of Phil’s was an enemy of his as well.

He gave IV a month to shape up, or else he’d go to the school president and tell him what we were really like, and we’d be banned from the campus.  The president would be surprised because IV was his darling.

But Dirk said I was not to tell Pearl who told me this, or he’d be my enemy as well: He was a powerful foe, as well as a powerful friend.

He said I should distance myself from IV, one reason being that “our friends are reflections of ourselves.”

But how could I do such a thing?

They had not treated Phil badly at all; it was all Phil’s imagination–or deliberate lying.  What they objected to was how he treated me, which is a perfectly legitimate reason not to like someone.

They were my dear friends (and three were my roommies now), with me long before Phil ever was, and IV was my church when I couldn’t get into town.

I’d been called one of the “core” members, and I didn’t think IV or the people in it were bad at all.

They had been there for me and stuck up for me during the troubles with Peter and Shawn.

My friends supported me now and tried to help me out now that Phil had dissed me; why would I be ungrateful and walk away?

And how on earth were these good people a bad reflection on me?

Hmmm….What does it reflect on Phil to have a friend like Dirk?

I now see that this was actually Phil’s latest attempt, through Dirk his proxy, to separate me from my friends, fitting the question,

“Does your partner isolate you from friends, family or groups?…Or you may have been asked (or told) to reduce or stop contact with specific supportive people in your life (Lilac Lane, Symptoms of Emotional Abuse).

Phil’s actions since the separation/divorce, from unpredictability (one day he’d be nice, the next he’d be rude), to irrationality (suddenly telling me we couldn’t be friends), fit the “Unpredictability and Uncertainty” section here.

The depths of deception and lies coming from Dirk were staggering.  All that hate he carried toward innocent people, over things which never happened!  Where on earth did it even come from?

It must have been Phil, lying and manipulating his Flying Monkey into swooping in and manipulating me as well.

There were other things, too, which showed the black hole of manipulation into which Phil had put him: Ridiculous, baffling things with no anchor in reality whatsoever.  Insults to my character, overblown reactions, accusations that I did things that I never did, recommendations to Phil which were absolutely ridiculous.

Obviously Phil had painted me to Dirk as some kind of psycho abusive witch who deserved nothing but scolding, nastiness, even legal action.  Phil had put him into the rabbit-hole, and tried to use him as a pawn to get me down into the rabbit-hole, too.

It was a massive gaslighting scheme, meant to strike fear into me, and finally break me into a submissive puppet who would do anything Phil wanted. 

Who would let him screw me up the backside even if I screamed in pain and couldn’t go to the bathroom for weeks. 

Who would perform oral sex on him no matter how disgusted I was, and no matter if he had not bathed in two months. 

Who would say nothing to him but “yessir.” 

Who would let him go on and on about all the girls he wanted to screw, and say nothing in protest. 

Who would somehow see my friends dissing him even when they were not, stand up to them for something they weren’t even doing, and cut them out of my life–

–allowing in only people like Dirk, whom he approved because he listened to everything Phil said and could be used to control me.

Dirk decided he needed to lecture me, and give me pointers on how to get a man, or I’d end up an old maid:

1)    Learn to compromise.

(Which was odd, because I compromised as much as I could without endangering my principles.  I liked to keep peace.  Phil was the one who needed to learn to compromise, because he constantly refused to do anything I wanted or needed, while insisting that I do what he wanted no matter how degrading, disgusting or painful.  What a mindscrew Phil did on Dirk!)

2)    Dress to impress.  Wear red, since that’s Phil’s favorite color.  Wear great clothes.

(But then, I did that already, so I have no idea why he said I didn’t.  I mean, I wore nice clothes, vests, even clothes that showed off my figure when I was feeling particularly daring–like that black knit vest.  Two people complimented me on how nicely I always dressed, and Anna once said I looked dressed-up, a compliment to my sense of style.)

3)    Go to more parties.  Even frat parties.  The kind I hate because they’re full of weed and alcohol.  But he said guys wouldn’t find me unless I did this.

(I wouldn’t have liked those guys, anyway!  The guys I wanted, would go to church picnics, NOT cruise parties for easy lays or sit around smoking weed with the Zetas.)

I want to make an impression my last year, don’t I?  instead of being forgotten? Basically, go out with a bang instead of quietly passing, which he feared I would do.

(Though on afterthought, I’m not so sure I’m forgettable among the people who have known me, and I didn’t know or care much about the freshmen anyway.  What business was it of his if I was a serious student and introvert, and didn’t like stupid, noisy, wild parties?)

4) Positive outlook.  This one doesn’t need too much explanation.

(I’m not sure why he even said this.  It had nothing to do with me.)

Dirk asked me, “Don’t you ever look at a guy and wonder what he’s like in bed?”

“No,” I said.

“Come on–everybody does–it’s not a man or woman thing, it’s a human thing to look around and wonder this!”

But I insisted that no, I didn’t.  I was shocked at him.  I was a Christian, and not supposed to be looking around and lusting after the guys I saw.  So I didn’t.

Maybe what he said is a “human” thing is really a “young man” thing–or, rather, a worldly thing, and not fit for Christians to participate in, male or female.  So now he was trying to tell me my moral views were wrong.

One more thing: Dirk said he knew about the spiritual marriage.  I just wished he hadn’t said so in the library–there were other people in that room!

And he said I really didn’t know what was going on in Phil’s head when he agreed to it.  He said Phil did it because it was so important to me.

But one must ask the question: If it was all an act, as Dirk seemed to claim, wouldn’t that make it the cruelest joke Phil could ever play on me? 

That means he spent all summer telling me we were truly married whenever I doubted it, I bought into it, and lost my virginity to him under what were false pretenses!

Persephone later told me that at the time he thought he would marry me.

Though I don’t know who got the truth, and who got the lie, because Phil himself admitted to manipulating people during this time, letting them believe things that were not true.  More on this later.

After Dirk went back behind the circulation desk, he asked me if Phil was any “good.”  I didn’t want to tell him right there in the library, but he said I should be more open about such things.  So I smiled and nodded.

Actually, there’s no “should”: If I don’t feel comfortable talking about sex in public, that’s my right.  I should have remembered this and refused to answer his question.

Geez, Dirk was so frickin’ slimy, such a know-it-all, such a sycophant, such a tool. 

He’s probably a narcissist himself, because he was able to “hypnotize” me into this trance where I bought into the crap he spewed, but later my friends snapped me out of it again.  

After this I could not stand the guy, wanted nothing to do with him.

I heard he later married a nice girl, and that this disappointed Sandy, who dated him during this school year.

I could not understand why either one wanted him that much.  He was, after all, unattractive, nerdy, obnoxious and slimy.

I’m not a nerd-hater and don’t mind plain features, but personality plays a large part in whether I like somebody.

So in his case, it all added up to a big WHY?  What did the pretty girls see in him?  If he were nice and sweet, I would see it.  But no, he was obnoxious, a know-it-all, and probably a narcissist himself.

I see my old InterVarsity friends, friend him on Facebook, and I wonder WHY would they want to?  If he hated them so much, thought they were so awful, then why did he friend them?

I even got a friend request from Dave and accepted it, but when I see Dirk’s name, I feel a big, fat NO.  Dirk has not offered to friend me, but if he does, I might just block him in response.

But back to September 14.  Late that night or the next, I spoke with Pearl about IV, as I promised Dirk.  I didn’t tell her who said these things, but she guessed all by herself.

She was too shrewd not to, since she recognized his style.  But I didn’t tell her if she was right or not, because I didn’t want to get in trouble with Dirk.

His ludicrous threats struck fear into me, when I should have laughed them off.  I also told her what he said about Phil.

Dirk’s comments about IV angered her.  She said, “He’s never come to more than one or two meetings anyway, and we always invite him to things but he never comes, so who is he to call us unfriendly or cliquish?”

Besides, we were all friends anyway, so why shouldn’t we do things together as friends outside of IV?  We tried to welcome anyone who came to IV or wanted to sit with us at meals.

And, as I’ve seen in the years since, being considered “unwelcoming” is a problem common to all sorts of groups and churches, not just IV.

As for Phil, IV as a group was not ostracizing him. Certain people in the group just plain didn’t like him.  It had nothing to do with IV or him being Catholic or any of that, things which Phil told Dirk were the reason.  It was because of his annoying personality and the awful way he treated me.

Phil had tried more subtle means before of separating me from them–such as getting upset when I wanted to sit with my friends after dinner, and badmouthing them to me, telling me they hated him because he was Catholic–but now he was using Dirk to isolate me from them far more blatantly.

Dirk probably had no idea he was being used as Phil’s proxy, because Phil was feeding him all sorts of untruths about me, our relationship, and my friends/InterVarsity.

But I had friends not in InterVarsity who also hated him:

Why would Catherine hate him for being Catholic, for example?  Cindy was not in InterVarsity, was Catholic herself, and hated him.

And I had friends in InterVarsity who were not Evangelical or Fundamentalist.  Mike, Clarissa and Astrid were in the UCC, a very liberal church; why would they hate Phil for being Catholic?

Most of the people in InterVarsity, in fact, were not in churches which saw Catholics as somehow “not Christian” or the “enemy.”

Now Charles was both Catholic and in InterVarsity, and Persephone also, a Methodist and a liberal, had joined InterVarsity.  So it was not closed off to Catholics or full of Catholic-haters.

Religion had absolutely nothing to do with Catherine, Sharon, Pearl, probably Tara, probably Mike, and others hating Phil.  Tara was not even religious, though later she became Catholic.

It had everything to do with how he treated me, so that made them a threat, people he needed to isolate me from.  Meanwhile, I didn’t much like Dirk, but Phil would be perfectly fine with me being friends with him.

Dirk told me how depressed Phil was, how desolate he felt, that he came to Dirk’s apartment recently (probably the night of the 13th) and said he had no friends.  Everyone in the apartment tried to convince him otherwise.

So I pulled Mike into my room on what was probably the 15th and asked him to be a friend to Phil.  I still loved him, you see.  How could I just stop?  I didn’t like to hear that he was desolate.

However, he sure didn’t sound depressed or desolate when he controlled the conversation with me that night, telling me we couldn’t be friends.  And as I will describe later in the chapter, Phil told me this was actually a con he played on Dirk and the others.

I don’t think I told Mike a whole lot about what had happened, so I think he knew things from my roommates and from his own observations.  He said he would be Phil’s friend, and he also said,

“If Phil doesn’t like you the way you are, if he doesn’t think you’re good enough for him, you should just say, ‘Screw you.’  We like you, and you’re good enough for us.”

His support meant much to me, though I couldn’t (yet) imagine saying “screw you” to Phil.

During the day on Thursday, September 15, still under some of Dirk’s trance, I asked Sharon if she knew of any parties around campus.  She said she didn’t know and she didn’t care: She didn’t like the parties people had around there, nothing but drinking and drugs (marijuana) and loud music.

She shocked me back into reality, and then it hit me–Why did I even want to go to one, just because Dirk told me to?  Sharon and I had similar opinions about such parties: that they were worthless, and you could meet people and have fun in other ways.

I didn’t know how I could have listened to Dirk about this.  He was like Shawn, somehow weaving a web on me so I listened to whatever he said, but then I’d get away from him and with my own friends again, and realize he was full of crap.

My future “friend” Richard could do the same thing.  Why was I so susceptible?

Then I saw Clarissa, and told her Dirk was like Shawn: He could talk me into believing whatever he said, no matter how wrong it was.  I said, “I can’t believe I fell for it again!”

Clarissa also noticed that about Shawn.  He talked her into thinking she should pledge Phi-Delts to make friends.  She didn’t know why she’d listened to him, especially after seeing what happened to me when I pledged.

As for what Dirk said–Telling me to change myself.  To “learn to compromise” when Phil was the controlling one who never would be reasonable and absolutely refused whatever I wanted, while insisting I do whatever he wanted, no matter how painful, gross or degrading.

And all the other stuff Dirk said, a ventriloquist doll for Phil.  I had to keep a tighter rein on what I let myself listen to and believe.

By the way, all of these people are still my friends.  We chat on Facebook, meet up every now and then, and I have grown closer to them through e-mail than I even was before.  Before Facebook, we often shared group e-mails.

Mike has helped me through some difficult times, such as the trauma from abusive ex-friends Richard and Tracy, and opened my mind on religious and other issues.

He even advised me to report Richard and Tracy to CPS.  Sharon also advised me to report Richard and Tracy to CPS, when I did not know whether or not the state would consider them abusive. 

Pearl disappeared for a while, but has finally come back.  I see Catherine every now and then as well.  If I had done as Phil wanted, I would have missed out on all this.

My mom said Dirk’s opinions were bullsh**.  Gee, Mom, don’t hold back!  😉

Also, the support of my friends and family, and an hour-long prayer with Pearl the night before, caused me to write in my diary that the 17th was a good day, that I was cheerful and enjoyed the day.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

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

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:


Peter’s Smear Campaign–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–April 1992

April 5 was probably the first time I finally got to go back to church. I may have called up the couple who led the church, told them of my situation, and set things up so they would come get me for the evening services.

On April 26, they changed the service to morning, and came to get me for that and Sunday School.  I forget what we did while the kids were being taught their Sunday School lessons; maybe we chatted.

At long last, I didn’t need Peter to take me to church.  Each week, it was like another oasis, like the one I had at home during Spring Break.  I was to find that, after a breakup, church was generally the most comforting place to be.

One evening, I sat in the suite lounge and watched a wonderful movie: Say Anything, copyright 1989, set in Seattle, starring John Cusack (Lloyd) and Ione Skye (Diane).  It was about dating, breaking up, and getting back together.

It spoke directly to my situation.  It had tons of similarities: It was about the class of ’88, who were seniors when I was a freshman, so it was close to my generation; since I had just graduated, the graduation scenes and summer afterwards were familiar; Cusack looked so hot (handsome, not warm) in that coat; it actually mentioned The 700 Club once, and in a good way….

One character, a guitarist, wrote 63 songs about her ex-boyfriend Joe and the pain he caused her.  She tried to kill herself over him.  (This made me feel better about writing several “Peter” poems for Poetry class.)  Joe was clueless and kept playing with her mind, until she finally said no more.

Lloyd was a kickboxer, which reminded me of the movie Kickboxer which Peter had shown me.  I would’ve liked to know that Peter cried after breaking up with me the way Diane cried after breaking up with Lloyd, but all I ever saw was a dry eye.  To this day, I have no idea if Peter ever cried about it.

What Lloyd went through was so familiar: sadness, looking around at places where they’d been and remembering her, calling her several times (he called her a lot more often than I called Peter), and trying to get her to remember their love (in his case, blasting the song “Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel).

My favorite line in the whole movie was when Lloyd said to a group of loser teens, “If you guys know so much about women, how come you’re here at, like, a Gas ‘n Sip, on a Saturday night, completely alone, drinkin’ beers, no women anywhere?”  That line rocks. (They paused for a minute and then said, “By choice, man!”)

I felt so much better after seeing that movie.  I was also hopeful because of the way it ended.  Cameron Crowe, who wrote it, has written other movies which are just as sensitive and insightful.


The fraternity and sorority Hell Week was April 5 to 11.  Peter was pledging Zetas, while a few of my girlfriends were pledging Phi-Delts.  Pledging was an odd time to go through even for spectators, as I would note in a letter to Stefan.  Refer to that (below) for some details.

Since frat pledges had to ignore women during this week, Tom told me I should torment Peter.  I didn’t, of course.  That just wasn’t my place, and it wasn’t wise, though the thought was delicious.

One day, two Zeta pledges had to wear beanies decorated in goofy ways.  I believe one even had a propeller.  One was Peter, hehehehe.  Some girl said, “Weanies with beanies!”


In late spring, or maybe even before, people (including Catherine) started wearing shorts while it was still cold.  Most of them may have been soccer players just arriving at dinner from practice, but Catherine did it to encourage summer and warm weather to come.

I kept seeing this in Wisconsin: The thermometer barely hits 60, and people start wearing shorts.

Here’s an English copy of the letter I wrote in German on or around April 14 to Stefan, as part of one of my Swiss meetings with Heidi:

How’s it going?  Here things are both normal and strange.  The food’s still bad, they still show movies in the Muskie, and all that.

But last week all the frats and sororities had their ‘Hell Week’ for the pledges.  Those poor pledges had to do so many humiliating things–singing kids’ songs in the cafeteria, yelling self-degrading things to actives, “wearing” the day’s menu, putting up with actives treating them like dirt.

They couldn’t even acknowledge the existence of members of the opposite sex except in class.

If they could get through the week, they got to be actives.  Otherwise, they were no longer in the frat or sorority.  Peter’s actually a Zeta now.

…Candice moved out a while ago because one of her friends needed a roommate.  She didn’t really want to, but her friend either didn’t know or didn’t like any of the people on the list given to her, and I wouldn’t have to pay for a single room.

Latosha had to move out, so she went into the new African suite across from us in Hofer.  Now it’s just Heidi, Tom and me.

I’ve started spending more time in the suite lounge, even though it looks like a waiting room.  At least we have a nice new floor lamp and a little round table now.

Candice’s fridge has been replaced by Tom’s.  I brought my TV and my now-better-working VCR from home after Spring Break.

I like having my own room to spread out in, especially since these rooms are so small, but next year we have to have eight people to a suite!

(This explains why Shawn and I watched the lounge TV instead of the one in my room: There was no TV in my room after Candice moved out, until Spring Break.)

Heidi reviewed my German and said I always used such long sentences!  In Germany, people were now encouraged to write much shorter sentences, and I was amazed because they seemed even shorter than many American sentences.  How did they avoid writing sentence fragments?  (Undine sentences tended to be far longer than mine.)


After the breakup, Peter kept denying to others and even to me just how serious we had been.  As I’ve already documented, from diaries I kept during our relationship, Peter was always saying how much he wanted to marry me, and making plans of our life together and what the wedding would be like.

My mom also saw how serious he was about me, and saw his expectations, as I wrote in my diary on April 12.  On the 18th, I spoke with the lady of the couple who ran the little Nazarene church, and I wrote,

She told me something Peter’d once said that I didn’t even remember: that we planned to wait until after graduation to marry.  This had caused her to think, Good, they’re not jumping into anything.  They’re going to be patient.

So I had witnesses to how serious he had been about me, but now he was spreading the story around–and even accusing me–of being pushy about marriage.

Not only was he gaslighting me, he was smearing me, and would continue to do so for some time, hurting my chances to find a new guy, and making me very angry with him.

He even told my future boyfriend Phil lies about me, and told Phil’s mom that I was obsessed with marriage, affecting advice she gave to Phil!

I was also angry because, when we broke up, he said he would have zero time for a social life, just work and school–and here he was pledging Zetas.  And a short time later, I discovered he had a girlfriend, which he told me he would have no time for.

What a liar!  If you’re going to break up with someone, at least give her the dignity of the truth!


On Easter, April 19, I had traditional Easter lunch with the couple who led the church.  They had a copy of the Sunday paper and comics, which I rarely got to see while at college, so it was a big deal.  We laughed because Sally Forth ate the ears off her kid’s Easter bunny, and called it an Easter chipmunk.

In the evening, some of the internationals (including Heidi) put together a little dinner for those of us in the suites who had to stay on campus.  This was the first Easter I’d ever spent away from home, and since the break for it was only four days long, I couldn’t go home.

As I walked to the Ley Chapel basement for dinner, I saw a rabbit by Chase.  This was another big thing for me, since back home I never saw rabbits except on the outskirts of town.


On April 27, I met Mona S, a sophomore and a couple years older than I was.  Bible class, led by Anna, was in the Main Suite Lounge each week.  I tried going there before, but hadn’t found anyone.

This time, I went to the lounge to watch Avonlea (based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novels) on the Disney Channel.  Since the Disney Channel was not supposed to come in on our cable system, it was scrambled, but if you caught it just right, you could still watch it.  It was easiest to see in the Main Suite Lounge.

Before the show finished, the Bible study group showed up.  Anna didn’t want to disturb me, and I guess I finished watching the show.  But after that, the group was still together, so I joined them.

I was amused and amazed to be led to the Bible study group through Avonlea.

The leader, a youth leader from Anna’s church who was probably near 30, looked uncannily like Shawn.  Mona, who knew Shawn or met him shortly thereafter, agreed.

The leader, being Pentecostal, began talking about speaking in tongues as a requirement for salvation.  Mona grabbed her Bible with both hands and said, “You are so wrong!”

They then began an argument, respectful but still an argument, about speaking in tongues; Mona with the usual objections from non-Pentecostals, the leader with the usual defenses from Pentecostals (“faith without works is dead,” etc.).

Afterwards, God put the idea in my mind to strike up a conversation with Mona, starting by asking her what her denomination was, since she obviously was not Pentecostal.  She told me she’d been praying or hoping for something like this, I suppose meaning an opportunity to start a prayer group.

We decided to meet the next day at 2 to pray together in my room.  The devotional said something about a vision for the spiritual future.  This campus, though called Christian, we saw as spiritually dead and in need of a spark.  I thought it was the responsibility of those of us students who were Christians, to light that spark.

That night, I imagined the college being transformed by the time I left there.   Though the campus did not turn into a Christian campus during my time there, attitudes did change: The college became a much nicer, more pleasant place to live even as early as sophomore year.

One of the many things Mona and I talked about over the next few weeks was the concept of cell groups sparking a new Great Awakening in the country.  She had a book about the spiritual Great Awakenings in America.

The first one happened in the 18th century.  The book said that cell groups, or young people (college students, especially) meeting together to pray about the country, were the sparks which started it.

We wanted to make our own cell group in this little prayer group we were now starting with just the two of us.  In a short time, Pearl and Anna heard about our prayer group, and in the last meeting they joined us.

I was already prayer partners with Shawn, but he wasn’t in this group.  He and I stopped being prayer partners because of Mona.

I remember sitting by the lake with Mona and her best friend late in May, as they talked about the campus’s summer beauty.  I thought maybe I should spend a summer there, working or studying.

Mona even knew Peter from high school, since she was from K–.


It may have been around this time when Peter stopped going to newspaper staff meetings.  I don’t remember if this disappointed or relieved me, but I do know it ticked off Darryl, who had to find a replacement Photo Editor.  Darryl didn’t know his reasons.


In April, as you may know, the L.A. riots broke out over the Rodney King trial verdict.  I was sitting in the lounge watching TV with several people when a news bulletin broke in.  The picture of L.A. in chaos filled the screen, shocking us all.


During one of my adviser meetings with Counselor Dude that semester, he asked me, “Are you happy?”  I said yes, so maybe I was more content by then.

I don’t see much about Shawn in my diary from this time, so there were probably no “make-out sessions” during this month, but things sure picked up in May.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

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

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:



How DARVO could prove which of us is telling the truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


More relevant stuff:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I read more of Christina’s story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post by Prozac Blogger:
Major Breakthrough: Exposing the Truth

I will NOT be silent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer: References to Shrink4Men were made before I knew anything about MRAs. I just thought they were against abuse; I didn’t know about the sexism. Use at your own risk.

My Answer to Richard and Tracy’s Narcissistic E-mail

The post here includes an e-mail Richard and Tracy sent me in May 2012, which proves my belief that they are sociopaths.  In it you will see every sociopathic trait–including empty threats and false accusations–and maybe recognize e-mails you have received from your own sociopath.  You will see how they began their stalking campaign. 

This post was originally posted in May 2012.  I wrote it while a baby blogger, and added to it over a period of months, so it badly needed editing.  However, I struggled for a long time to look through this blog post again because of the presence of that e-mail and its tendency to trigger all sorts of emotional reactions: fear, pain, hurt, anguish, rage, etc.

But now I am finally able to do some proper editing, and re-post it.  I want to sticky it so new readers can see it, as I have been doing for months with my old posts. 

It is, however, extremely long, which would take me all night to edit and an hour for you to read, so I will re-post it in chunks.  I have divided the original post into several sections, which I will follow in the re-post.  If you want to see the entire original post, click here.  Now for Part 2.

Part 1

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.

The message they sent me:


We read this in amusement. It gave us a good laugh to find
that almost 2 years later you are still fixated on something that we
forgot about a long time ago. As for your threats, promises whatever to
expose us you can take out a law book and read about defamation laws.
Richards’s court case may be public access and you are free to speculate
all you want without having all the information and facts. However the
rest of your writings about how horrible a person Tracy is and abusive
mentally deranged etc. have gone beyond statements of opinion. You have
represented in your writings false facts, not just opinions, about Tracy
that constitutes an actionable lawsuit. You are free to have your
opinion and feelings however the minute you go public to the members of
the church or community as you have threatened to do we will exercise
our rights to sue you for defamation against Tracy’s character.

talk about threats and bullies yet what are you doing? You are
threating to falsely accuse and expose lies about an innocent person if
they do not concede to your demands. We will not be threatened or
intimidated. We are free to go to church to worship our Lord God without
fear of retaliation from someone we see as not all there. You want
closure here it is. We are not sorry. We did nothing wrong. You will
never get what you want from us because we do not feel we owe you
anything. We will continue to be active in our church our community and
our town; if you cannot handle that then that us your problem not ours.
We will not move or change our faith to make you happy and comfortable.
As for the local parish being ‘your’ church. I think the archdiocese
would have a thing to say about that. The church is for everyone. We
have stayed away out of respect to give you time. We have gone to other
churches in town outside of our faith when gas prices or work schedules
prevented us from driving 40+ miles one way to church. However we miss
going to a church of our faith, participating in the mysteries having
that commune with our Lord, so we decided that when we can’t drive out
of town we will go to the local parish. We will not be pushed out of the
church by you, two years is enough time. So as fair warning for the
perceivable future our work schedules make long distance an issue as the
other parish is moving to summer hours and Divine Liturgy starts early.
So we will be attending locally A LOT this summer, we will even show up
on Saturday nights.

Here it is in all its ugliness.  The clarity of Richard and Tracy’s narcissism is shining through every word they wrote.  [See here when I run it through my “narc decoder.”]

My Answer to this E-mail

It’s hard to tell which of them actually wrote it, though it has Tracy’s malicious style all over it: I saw the same from her in 2010, saw the same from her to Todd in 2008, saw the same in her posts on the forum to people she didn’t like.

Jeff says he laughed at the idea that they “forgot” about this a long time ago–showing that I obviously never did anything to hurt Tracy, or she would’ve had to deal with that for a while.

They say they “forgot” about it–well, as Jeff says, that’s because they weren’t the ones who got hurt (which, he says, also belies her claim on 7/1/10 that I had somehow been hurting her).

For them to “forget” about it, tells you the true caliber of their characters.  To so abuse somebody that she’s left in tears and PTSD for years, then just forget it ever happened, is a hallmark of abusive and narcissistic behavior.

These claims of defamation and “false facts” are bogus:

Not only did I tell the truth about everything I witnessed Tracy doing (backing up my opinion with examples and research rather than just throwing out some baseless accusation–also, normal, healthy people don’t abuse)–

–not only did I clearly and accurately tell what Richard told me–

–not only have I kept them both anonymous–

–but Richard truly did get convicted by a court of law of choking his child.

You might as well accuse the writer of Narcissists Suck of defamation for all her posts describing the narcissistic traits of her sister and mother.

Or countless other writers of blogs about abusive experiences, in which they say they believe narcissism and/or BPD is driving their abusers’ actions, even without official diagnoses–because the actions are still there, still causing damage, with or without an official diagnosis.

And the behaviors I witnessed in Tracy–they’re all described in various online sources about NPD/BPD (narcissistic personality disorder and the malicious version of borderline personality disorder)!  I have also been told that Tracy’s mother has BPD, that Richard himself said so.  And this e-mail Tracy/Richard sent to me–It oozes, it drips with NPD/BPD!

No, I give my opinion on NPD/BPD, state it as opinion, and then back it up with facts–things I witnessed with my own eyes/ears, and things Richard told me about himself, including in an e-mail which I still have–and research into abuse, narcissism and BPD.  This allows the reader to decide for himself if I’m full of crap or not.

[Update 8/17/12: I just discovered that, two days later, they even went to the trouble of sending this message to my alternate Facebook account.  They had not known about the second one, opened up after the breakup, yet somehow found both the new and old account and sent this same message to both.]

Also, I got all my information about the court case straight from the official online court records, and from the newspaper.  It’s not a secret, or the newspaper would not have published it in both its online and print versions.  The state also saw fit to publish the information online.

Because these are publicly accessed resources, I am clear of any charges of defamation for publishing what I found there, or telling anyone I choose, even though Richard and Tracy say I don’t have all the facts.

It’s just the same as if I published information found in an encyclopedia that turned out to be false: I cannot be guilty of defamation for that.  I also cannot be found guilty of defamation for telling people what I found there on the public records, because it is both public and true, and because it was published by the local newspaper.

You’ll note that this e-mail does not say anything like, “Richard is sorry for what he did,” “Richard is trying to do better,” “Richard wants to be a better father who does not do things like this.”

No, it just says I don’t know all the facts.

So what if I don’t know all the facts?  What facts could possibly make this better?  If it wasn’t your 9-year-old child–what, did you choke somebody else’s child? 

Why did you admit to doing it if it wasn’t true? 

If there was enough there for the courts to convict you, if you did not go to trial to defend your innocence but pled no contest, if the newspaper published this conviction (as it did) and said that you admitted to choking your daughter, then don’t try to make it sound better than it was!  There’s yet more narcissism.

I also have looked into laws about defamation, slander, libel, false facts, malicious intent, etc.  Writers have to deal with such things all the time, and I have often worried about them when writing my fiction and nonfiction, which incorporate my life experiences.  So I have several articles from Writer’s Digest about this which I collected over the years, and have also found information on the Net.  A few things stand out:

  1. Truth is an absolute defense.
  2. Opinion is not actionable.
  3. For it to count as defamation, malicious intent, slander, etc., it has to be something you know is a lie but publish anyway.

And I state right here, right now, for all my readers, that I have not and have never lied about this situation.

My family and friends can also be my character witnesses that I do not spread lies about people, that I avoid lying in general.  If there were something which I knew was false, I would not have put it in these published, online accounts.  Everything in these accounts on Richard and Tracy, I know or believe to be true.

I can trace each statement of fact I have made here to its origin, whether I was an eyewitness, or Richard told me that, or Todd told me that.  As for what Todd told me (second-hand information),  it is only in a couple of cases, and I can back them up with what Richard and/or Tracy told me and my own observations.  So I have every reason to believe Todd is telling the truth as well about those things.

In many cases, I even have e-mails, online chats or other printouts to prove timelines and that I was told these things by Richard.  I even have an e-mail from Richard, and notes from a follow-up phone conversation with him the next day, which prove I’m telling the truth about her abuses.  I also have at least one of Tracy’s e-mails verbally attacking me, one she sent to my husband Jeff.

If something is an opinion, I have done countless hours of research (which is what people with NLD/Asperger’s do, far more than other people might) which has given me that opinion, so I can back it up.  I have fact-based reasons for all of my opinions, even if it turns out that my opinions are off-base.

I have also used fake names for Richard, Tracy and others in this story, use a pseudonym (I avoid using my real name on the Net as much as possible and use a pen name for my fiction), and the names I used for Richard and Tracy are in no way similar to their real names.  I have kept out various identifying details.  As for the very few physical traits, they can describe countless other people, especially in Wisconsin.

And as I wrote before, they tried to turn everything around on me, tried to make me into the bully for speaking up about how they bullied me, cried about being bullied–after Tracy had constantly bullied me for two and a half years in various ways.

I see clearly here that Tracy considers it her right to say all sorts of horrible and untrue things about and to me, but cries foul if I speak up about what she did, show how she bullied and abused me, even though everything I said happened, happened.

They denied the abuse, tried to gaslight me into thinking I did not see and know what I saw and know.  They also denied abusing me, even though I have shown, here on my blog and in more detail on my website account, how outrageously they behaved on 7/1/10, how they verbally abused and intimidated both Jeff and me, behavior which cannot be justified in any way, shape or form–yet they still insist they did nothing wrong and will not apologize.

This shows their lack of recognizing right from wrong in their own behavior, and justifying their own abusive behavior, a typical narcissist trait.

They had read in one of my blog posts:

If the churches merge, I will have to go to the priest with my concerns, and show him the proof that Richard is a convicted child abuser.

Because Tracy has abused me as well, I will have to also show him an article I found on a contract one church drew up with a member who had been charged with molestation, a contract which was meant to help the member find redemption, but also consider the needs and fears of the victims.

If Richard comes to my church again, my husband and I will have to address the elephant in the room, and confront him with the child abuse case, tell him we know what he did and he can’t keep coming here, intimidating me and bringing up all my feelings of grief and anger all over again while I’m trying to worship God.

This–me saying I would tell the priest about Richard’s conviction and Tracy’s abuses of me, IF OUR TWO CHURCHES EVER MERGED–must be what they meant about me allegedly “threatening” to take this “public” to the church and community, which I never threatened.  (Richard and Tracy go to a church in another county.  Both our churches risk closing if we don’t merge, but neither of our churches wants to.)

Since the e-mail was not clear, I am forced to go by context/subtext.  And after scouring through my posts, including the ones I wrote to them (which only told them to stay away from me and said absolutely nothing about me going to members of the church or community), this is the only thing I can find that could possibly be what they meant by this “threat” to go “public.”

They also read the page (in the long version of my memoir) numerous times which described Richard’s criminal conviction and how upset I was about it, what a scum he was to choke a kid, along with other blog posts which also referenced it.

On the night they first discovered my blog, they read that page seven times, and the other pages only once or twice.

Every time they went back on my website, that’s the page they kept looking at.

There was only a small amount on that page about Tracy, things barely even mentioned, which had already been detailed in full in previous pages which they only looked at a couple of times.

Nearly all of this page was about what Richard had done and the evidence of his violent nature which I found as I thought back over the past couple of years.

When I removed the pages from my website for a time, that’s the page they looked at to make sure it was gone.  When I copied the pages onto my blog in June, that’s one of the first pages they looked at, and spent some time on.  (I also noted that they spent 20 minutes reading about how Richard had behaved with me.)

I have every reason to believe (from this and other evidence) that Richard wants to keep this conviction quiet, even though the newspaper published the information.

After all, since they read that page numerous times, they knew quite well that I had already reported them to CPS a year previous.  And, well, reporters in good faith to CPS are immune from lawsuits.

Oh, yes, and I had already told my priest and a couple of friends at church about what happened, including Richard’s conviction, before Richard and Tracy even found my blog, though I didn’t mention this in my blogs.

Which means that they must have been referring to me telling the priest about Richard’s conviction and Tracy’s bullying of me, that not only do they not want me telling the truth about how Tracy treated me, but they also don’t want word of his conviction getting out.  The evidence I see from their hits on my webpages, is that the story of his conviction worries them far more than anything else.

But this was no “threat”: This was me telling my readers, if there were any, what I would do if the churches merged, and not addressed to Richard or Tracy at all, who found it months after I posted that.

The closest thing to a “threat” was me telling them directly to apologize or stay away from me; that I was not using their names and was using a penname and had every right to blog about what they did to me; that if they bullied me again I would tell again; and that if they so much as left an angry message on my answering machine, I would report them to the police. 

There was absolutely nothing in anything I wrote threatening to “go public” to the church and the community, just what I had already done, writing about my experiences with fake names on my blogs, and continuing to do so.

See for yourself here and here to see what I actually wrote.  Use the password “thetruth” to access.

The only thing that even faintly resembles their claims here of a “threat” to go public to members of the church/community, would be the above quote about going to my priest for help and counsel, and showing him my printouts of Richard’s criminal record to prove that I am telling the truth about their abuse.

And I had also mentioned in that same blog post that I would show the proof of his conviction to any mutual friend who asked, but that I was not directly telling the mutual friends (all of whom were on the Internet) whom I meant, nor was I certain they were paying any attention to my Facebook wall.  I’ve since edited the post, but as proof, this is the version that Richard and Tracy read:

When you have been abused by a friend, or when you have discovered that your friend is a narcissist, or when you have discovered that your friend has a dangerous personality disorder such as borderline, mutual friends may or may not believe you.

I have posted on Facebook and my blogs what really happened, that Richard and Tracy abused me, abuse their children and abuse each other, and that Richard has been convicted of choking his daughter.  But I didn’t use their real names in these posts.

Mutual friends have seen the posts, but only one has acknowledged figuring out who I was talking about.  That one, Todd, already knew what Tracy was really like, having been her target two years previous.  When he found out about the criminal case and saw the proof for himself, he dropped Richard on Facebook.  So somebody believes me!

The others–I don’t know if they even know who I mean.  Richard and Tracy are still on their friends list, so even though I can’t see the blocked posts, I can see the mutual friends responding to their posts.  If they do know who I mean, do they believe me?

One mutual friend dropped me from Facebook almost a year ago now, with no word at all of why; this was Chris, my replacement as Richard’s BFF when I kept thinking for myself instead of following everything Richard said about politics and everything else.

Websites often warn that you can lose mutual friends after being abused and/or being caught in the web of a narcissist.  They’re still caught in the web, and don’t believe this person could do what you say he’s done.  Maybe one day they, too, will come to the truth about the narcissist, but for now they think you’re crazy, bitter, whatever.

I wonder how the mutual friends can possibly not know who I mean, since I haven’t posted on the walls of Richard and Tracy for a year and a half, when I used to post there all the time.  (These people are connected via Internet and don’t live near each other.)

The mutual friends may occasionally respond to my posts of what happened, but they don’t acknowledge knowing who I mean.  They never ask for proof of my assertions that Richard has been convicted of choking his little girl, and is now on probation for it.  But if they only asked, I would give them three links which would prove to them beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m telling the truth.

These are three publicly available links; one is from the website of the local newspaper, and two are free, public, state-run websites, one with court cases and the other an inmate/community supervision locator.

All the information is on those three links, including mug shots, name, birthdate, addresses, what happened over the course of the case, details of the choking incident.  Yet they never ask; they keep Richard and Tracy on their Facebook; apparently they are in denial.

Maybe they’re afraid to face the truth, that their friends are abusive, violent people who have hurt many and who have already lost many friends, both individually and together.  Yeah, well, the truth is right there if only you want to face it, the proof is all on the Web that he’s not the amiable, big-hearted person he pretends to be.

It’s hard for me to deal with this.  I avoid poking around too much in the posts of mutual friends, for fear that I’ll see them reply to Richard or Tracy, because I get a sour feeling in the pit of my gut when I see that.

There is still too much grief; there is still too much disbelief that Richard is a narcissist, even though I see the proof in his mug shots, the lack of remorse, the contempt instead of shame.  There is still too much anger at the injustice of Tracy’s projection of guilt onto me, at her abuses of me, at her gaslighting and vicious, nasty behavior.

Hubby wants me to no longer care what she thinks of me, and that’s what I want, too, but the anger and feeling of injustice still burn hot.

But when I do accidentally see a mutual friend responding to a post that is blocked from me, as I did last night, I start wondering,

“Are Richard and Tracy acting like nothing has happened and they’re just normal, healthy people who wouldn’t hurt a fly?

“Is Richard pretending to all his friends that he never got charged with choking his child, never got convicted?

“Are they pretending to all their friends that Social Services is not involved in their family, even though it says right there in Richard’s signature bond agreement that he was ordered to cooperate with Social Services?

“Or do the mutual friends know all this, but not care that Richard and Tracy claim to be Christians but are severely lacking in morals, just as Richard kept being friends with the creeps who sexually harassed me in 2009, and got upset when I suggested their morals were lacking?

“Do they believe Richard or Tracy if they say that I’m the crazy one?  Does Tracy still post things like she did on 7/1/10, when she posted on Facebook that she was having a GREAT day because she no longer had to sit back and be quiet and nice, that she finally got to say what she wanted to say?”

(My husband said to that, when I told him yesterday about her post, “Say about *what*?  When was she keeping quiet and nice, and about what?”  Which is what I wonder as well, because I really don’t know.  I tried to be polite and kind to her all the time.)

I wonder,

“Is Tracy still staying with Richard even though he almost killed her daughter?  Is Richard still staying with Tracy even though she hits him and he once told me he had to hold himself back, but if she ever hit his face, he’d tell her, ‘You’re not a woman,’ and hit her back like she was a man?

“Doesn’t Richard realize that this never ends well, that if he doesn’t get out now, the violence will escalate over time, until one day he’s beaten her up or even killed her, and the law won’t care who hit first, and will throw him in jail?  Especially now that he already has a child abuse conviction against him!”

I’ve done all I can.  I told Social Services what I witnessed and what Richard told me.  I told my priest what happened, and though I did not tell him Richard’s identity, I believe he’s figured it out.

I’ve tried to tell my friends the truth, whether mutual friends believe me or not, or even know who I mean.  I suggested to my husband that he report the threat Richard sent to him back on June 28, 2010, but he doesn’t want to.

The rest has been done by their oldest daughter, who had the amazing courage to report her own step-father to the police, and by law enforcement and Social Services.  I really should let myself rest with that, but I keep feeling like there’s something else I need to do [to help the children].  But what else would there be?

Richard’s church and mine are both very small and in financial trouble; the archdiocese has suggested they merge.  The two churches don’t want to merge, since they’re in different counties, and somebody would have to move.  But the option is still on the table.

If the churches merge, I will have to go to the priest with my concerns, and show him the proof that Richard is a convicted child abuser.

Because Tracy has abused me as well, I will have to also show him an article I found on a contract one church drew up with a member who had been charged with molestation, a contract which was meant to help the member find redemption, but also consider the needs and fears of the victims.

If Richard comes to my church again, my husband and I will have to address the elephant in the room, and confront him with the child abuse case, tell him we know what he did and he can’t keep coming here, intimidating me and bringing up all my feelings of grief and anger all over again while I’m trying to worship God.

I thought, the last time he came, that he was showing signs of repentance for what he did to his little girl.

I hoped again, hoped he was cooperating with Social Services, hoped they were making him go to anger management and parenting classes, hoped he was working on those violent tendencies that drove him to tell me he was going to kill the lady who evicted him in 2009, to want to hit his wife [if she hit his face], to choke his daughter until she passed out just because she wasn’t cleaning up after herself.

Those violent tendencies that drove him to tell my husband that he’s easily provoked to physical violence, that he was ready to fight verbally and physically, that because my husband was sticking up for me against Richard’s bullying, Richard felt angrier than he had felt in years.

I hoped that Richard now realized, thanks to his conviction and nearly killing his daughter, that he needed help desperately.  I hoped he was full of shame.  I hoped he would finally come to Hubby and me, and try to make things right.  I hoped that good side I thought was there, would finally get him to do the right thing, and this grief would end, I would get my friend back….

But then I saw the five mug shots taken a few weeks after he came to my church, and they were full of contempt.  Hubby says Richard also looks like the cat who swallowed the canary, like he got away with something.

There are also the many things he himself told me which show him to be a narcissist:

  • using conversational hypnotism to get me to open up to him,
  • his boast of arrogance,
  • his boasting about all his past women and getting them fighting each other,
  • telling me that his exes would sit around at the same table talking about how evil he was,
  • joking about his big ego,
  • faking speaking in tongues to his congregation while preaching….

There were so many things he told me which painted a distinct picture of narcissism in his youth.  But he had led me to believe that he had turned away from such things, respected women now, was being saved by the Church.  I had this image of him, this friend, that may never have truly existed.

In 2009 or 2010, he complained about having to “pamper” me, even though I never asked him to, said that Tracy actually got angry with him for not saying things she knew he wanted to say while I was visiting.

This makes me wonder, WHAT things?  How much of what I believed was his personality and character, was real?  Was it all an act?  Did the person I saw as my friend–Did he ever even exist, or was he just a persona invented by Richard to lure me as his narcissistic supply?

I’ve been a victim of narcissists in the past; now I was vulnerable because I’m very shy, have trouble making close friends, all my close friends were living so far away that I hadn’t seen them in some time, and I have always wanted one of those platonic friendships like Frodo/Sam, Bill/Ted, Anna/Clarissa, Anne/Diane, Gus/Shawn….

After all, in one of his favorite chat rooms, the other people were very surprised to hear that he wanted to be a priest.  I have every reason to believe that Richard is truly a narcissist, that I’m not just making up some idea in my head to make myself feel better.  The proofs are at least as clear as the proofs of Tracy being a malignant narcissist and/or borderline personality disorder.  The biggest proof is the look in his eyes in his mug shots.

I thought he had changed from the violence and “dog” days of his past, was now gentle and sweet, especially because he wanted to be a priest and we were always talking about theology, the Church and God.  But now I see him as just as much a predator as he was in his younger, “dog” days, just more subtle.

After all, why should I believe him anymore that he’s changed in this way, when he also claimed to have changed in other ways–turning away from violence in general, no longer abusing his kids–only to be proven a liar when he planned to kill that lady in 2009, threatened my husband in 2010, and choked his daughter a few months later?

I’m very disappointed in Richard, very disappointed to have to let go of the belief that he could still be saved from himself.  It’s very difficult because for all this time, I’ve hoped that the good in him would one day win out and I would have my friend back.

Even at my angriest, I’ve been sad over having to give up his friendship, and hoped it was only temporary.  It had been such an important friendship to me, and I had thought for so long that it was important to him as well, that he didn’t want to lose my friendship or my husband’s.

So why won’t he man up and talk to us, why won’t he fight for our friendship, apologize to us?  Why did he plead no contest and still show, in his pictures, contempt for law enforcement, which is only doing its job protecting our weakest citizens?

Somehow I must accept that I now have proof of his narcissism, that he’s not the man I thought he was, and somehow I must stop longing for his friendship back.  But I don’t know how I’ll do that.

When I speak of new evidence I’ve found for Richard’s narcissism, my husband doesn’t sound surprised at all.

I keep remembering things that make me think Richard really does have a good heart, but my husband keeps remembering things about Richard that rubbed him the wrong way, made him think that Richard is actually heartless, such as his politics, or that he lacked in empathy and wasn’t a good, caring friend, such as when [first I and then] Hubby tried to explain to him why I resisted Tracy and how I was being unfairly treated, but Richard did not listen.

My giving nature keeps looking for the good in Richard, despite all the evidence in front of me, or how angry I am with him.  But Hubby seems to just nod whenever I have some new revelation.  For example, when I showed Hubby the mug shots taken a month after the conviction and a couple of weeks after Richard seemed repentant and humble at church.

For Richard to act this way at church but act contemptuous while dealing with law enforcement over his despicable acts–I was shocked and dismayed, but Hubby didn’t seem surprised at all.

…You will note that I stayed friends with Richard and Tracy even though I knew they were both being asses to Todd.  Of course, Richard told me enough things about Todd to make him sound like a horrible person in general, even though he’d been close friends with Todd for years, so I began to disregard the crap being slung at Todd over the game.

So maybe it’s not so surprising that Richard’s other friends are still with him, even though I’ve exposed the abuse.  If they’re still caught up in his web, they may not realize just how badly he’s acted, even with the evidence in their faces.

I still stayed with Richard even though I knew he almost assaulted that lady.  As one person wrote to Todd about Richard after finding out about the court case, “He always was an a–hole, but you were his friend and didn’t notice.”  Several people also said that Richard is a narcissist.

…Todd was one of those loyal friends, even though they lived far apart, and when he stayed with Richard on vacation, he wrote on the forum about how much he loved being with Richard, wanted to move in with Richard for good, was actually planning it for a time.

But then, a couple years later, the blowup and fallout happened, and he began to come out of the spell.  Now, he’s the only other friend of Richard I’m aware of who no longer wants a thing to do with him because of the choking incident.

If I had still been friends with Richard when it happened, I wonder if somehow he would have convinced me that he was being persecuted by the guvmint, and I would have stayed friends with him, even though he had done a despicable act that goes against everything I believe in.

…Mutual friends, face the truth, or you’ll be next.  Richard and Tracy are both unstable people, and without me around, they need a new target.  Face the truth, try to get them to face the truth, do something!  I’m sick of being afraid to run into them at church or on the street, for fear of what they’ll do.

If Richard doesn’t take his conviction seriously, if he keeps complaining about police states and the police and how we need to defend our own homes and get rid of the police and fight CPS–one day, he’s going to be the one shooting his wife or killing one of his kids.  Or Tracy will be the one killing him, because she’s crazy, too.  Or at the very least, those kids are going to be so screwed up.

I don’t want to see that happen, but I’m so afraid that with the light sentence, they’ll somehow fall through the cracks and the dysfunction will continue.  After all this time, I still worry like a mother hen over what will happen to Richard, what will happen to the children.

And now that he can no longer be a priest, and any political aspirations are no longer possible because of his criminal record–what will he go after next?  Will he be like Elmer Gantry and just move on to the next thing?

Keep in mind that the references I made on Facebook were vague and sketchy, with no names.  I also made no mention on Facebook of the blogs/webpages about the situation, only telling some details of the story to Todd because he had been in my situation before.

(My Facebook wall is private and mostly made up of friends/family/old classmates; it’s my main way of telling my friends what’s going on, and getting support.

(I don’t believe people should be quiet on Facebook about being bullied and abused, because speaking out can be a great help for them.  Everyday drama can be tiresome and TMI, but abuse/bullying victims should tell everyone they can, to decrease the power of the bullies/abusers.

(More full, explicit details were put in e-mails and chats to certain friends/family, NOT to my Facebook wall.)

I did not tell the other mutual friends whom I meant, and even distanced myself from them, never sending them e-mails, just occasionally responding to something they had posted on their Facebook walls.  I often pondered just how much I should tell them, wondered if I should ask for their help, but was afraid to be too detailed, too explicit in what I wrote on Facebook.

I wondered if it was right or wrong to tell them what happened, if it would be seen as gossip, or if it was my duty to warn them about the narcissism, or if it was my obligation to tell them about the bullying or abuse so they could do some sort of “intervention.”

I never asked them about Richard or Tracy, never let on to them just who I meant by “ex-friend,” just occasionally vented in my statuses vague sentences about the crap I’d been put through and that I’d witnessed.

We weren’t close to begin with, didn’t run in the same real-life circles, and even saw each other on the Net only occasionally in places where Richard and Tracy no longer went.  So I never tried to tell them the whole story or identify the “ex-friend” or “my bully.”

But if they did figure it out and ask for proof, I would show them, in hopes that they would not only believe me, but try to get Richard or Tracy to stop abusing and bullying.

[Update 9/27/14: At least one more mutual friend does know now, possibly two, because in 2011, Todd brought the story to the Forum where we all used to congregate.  And that one believes me, as well. 

I also no longer have qualms about using real names on my Facebook, part of my growing courage to tell the truth. 

Of course, I dropped several of those mutual friends after Richard and Tracy’s threatening e-mail, because I did not know whom to trust.  But then one of them found Todd’s posts on the Forum, and then another re-friended me recently.]

I had just read through this blog shortly before reading Richard and Tracy’s e-mail to me.  So this must be what they meant, what they’re so afraid of, me showing the priest the conviction records (to establish my credibility and Richard’s violent tendencies) and asking for a contract to protect me from my bully Tracy.

So–Why are you more worried about whether people at church find out what you did, than turning away from this horrible deed and bettering yourself?  And why are you so concerned about me telling the priest?  Shouldn’t you be telling him yourself, asking for his help and absolution?  (This goes for both Richard and Tracy.)

So–Not only do they deny what they’ve done, to my (virtual) face, but they accuse me of and rail at me for wild threats which I never made, and accuse me of threatening them and rail at me for telling them to either apologize or stay the f*** away from me? 

I saw they were reading through my blogs pretty fast; I see their reading comprehension suffered quite a bit.

In another blog post, I say that I wish they would move away so I wouldn’t have to deal with running into them anymore.  I also spoke here of how the Bible itself says to deal with people like this in the church, how church discipline is supposed to be administered.

Though I only quoted it to provide examples that Christians are not supposed to fellowship with unrepentant abusers and criminals, that we are indeed supposed to watch out for such people, even though so many people think you’re supposed to “not judge” them and “forgive” no matter what they do and keep fellowshipping with them.

I had no intentions of trying to get Richard and Tracy out of the faith entirely; I just wanted them to be kept away from me, to keep going to their own church, which they decided 4 years ago was far better than mine because they hated my church.

I wrote that for me to keep in the faith, I’d have to disconnect it from Richard, and that would require him staying away from me.

You can see all this for yourself at those links, how I really meant and worded it, and that it did not even imply that I would try to push them out of the church or community, but only that I wished they would move away so I wouldn’t have to see them around anymore.  This is a perfectly natural desire felt by everyone who has been mistreated.

I also had no idea they’d ever find and read that; I thought they cared so little about me or what I thought, that they’d never read any of my websites again.  I also wrote:

It is a huge relief to be among family, friends and church members who do not judge me for being quiet, who do not tell their husbands that I hate her and can’t be trusted with him because I blend into the furniture, who may make a little joke once in a while about my quietness but nothing nasty.

To be among friends who freely do the things that Tracy once wanted to kill me for. To not get snarked at or criticized for every little thing I do or say, not just by Tracy but by Richard.

To be myself, without being accused again and again of disrespecting her or snubbing her. To relax and not worry about two people–one my best friend–ganging up on me because of my selective mutism/NVLD/Asperger’s/extreme introversion/whatever it is.

I can’t help the way my brain works, and I don’t want to; I just want to be accepted as I am, same as anybody else.

To have these two people just waltz back into my church and then back out again as if they’ve done nothing wrong and I deserve nothing but to be ignored–disrupts my life, disrupts the gradual loosening of tension that I’ve been feeling by being around decent people again.

I go to coffee hour to relax with my church family and work on understanding Greek, but if I see Richard and/or Tracy I feel tense, nervous, shaky.

These are honest and natural thoughts and reflections, not me telling them to leave their religion or their community, but you see here that they twisted them and turned them into “threats” somehow.

They lack empathy for their victim, not only laughing at her pain but proclaiming that they will do what they can to make her pain even worse, by showing up at church where they know she does not want to see them–out of some weak, pathetic claim of worshipping God, while their very own words accuse them of doing it out of spite and malice.

They show absolutely no understanding that their behavior was bullying and abuse, no understanding that victims need to go through a long, hard, painful process–which can take years–to recover from abuse.

They accuse her of threatening them because she told them, If you bully me again, I will tell [about the bullying] again.  They get upset because she told them to stay away from her, because she feels their presence is meant as intimidation, especially since they freeze her out and do not speak to her even in greeting–and she tells them to stay away, because their presence hinders her healing process.

They then proceed to try to cut off the victim from her support systems, by threatening her with a defamation suit if she goes to her priest for help!  (It’s not defamation if it’s true, and this court conviction and Tracy’s abuses are for real.)

It’s also stalking, because I clearly wrote that I did not want a dialogue with them, did not want to hear anything at all from them–no justifying, no minimizing what they did to me–except for an apology.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I came home from church to find “Tracy Richard Doe” (as this e-mail was signed) as a new follower on my blog.

It’s just the same as when Tracy told me on 7/1/10, “Don’t go crying to Jeff, because we don’t need the headache.”  As I wrote before, this is just the same as any bully on the playground telling you not to go telling the teacher, or a molester warning you not to tell anyone about your little “secret,” or a domestic abuser threatening to kill your family if you tell anyone what he’s done.

It’s just the same as what they did to Todd.  In reviewing the printouts of their online argument, I discovered how Tracy made everyone think he was the crazy one for defending himself and telling what really happened, even though her initial rage episode was over something he did to help her, but she decided to accuse him of hurting her.  And that she called him a “baby” for getting upset about her rage episode.

Jeff says Richard is afraid of me because I know about this and so many other things he’s said and done, and that he wants to keep me under his thumb.

I need no more proof than this that I have them pegged correctly as a combination of malignant narcissism/narcissistic borderline personality disorder.  Every word they wrote, every action they take, oozes narcissism.

I have clear proof that they are abusers because of Richard’s criminal conviction, the contempt in his mug shots, and the lack in this e-mail of any sign of remorse for what he did to his daughter.  I can move on–stop wishing he would come to us and apologize–because I know him to be dangerous.  They both are violent.

See this post for how abusers minimize, justify and try to excuse their abuse when you confront them with it.  They complain about me painting Tracy as “deranged” and try to call me the crazy one, which is what abusers do all the time to their victims.

[Update 9/27/14: I removed that term, but by “deranged” I meant crazy, volatile, violent–all words I still use and believe when referring to Tracy.  And all three words are perfectly legal to use.]

But stalking with malicious intent is not the behavior of a sane person, and neither is hanging out the window of a moving minivan or going off in a rage at someone for writing “I’ll miss you; have fun on your trip!” 

I’m not sure if they’re sociopaths or psychopaths, but at least one of the two -pathies seems to be in here as well.

This makes it crystal clear to me that when I lost Richard’s friendship, I lost nothing of value, just the friendship of an abuser and narcissist who does not care about anybody except himself.

And if they send me just one more e-mail, try once more to contact me, I will file charges.

It’s amazing and astounding: Even though I told them they do not have the moral high ground, even though Richard choked his kid and they know I know about it, they’re still trying to claim the moral high ground! 

They’re still saying they did nothing wrong to me, still showing no remorse here in their e-mail about what Richard did to his kid.  These people are unbelievable!

If you had any doubts at all about my claims that they are both Cluster B, look at their e-mail and banish your doubts.  Their e-mail is here in its entirety, and unedited: I just clipped and pasted it.  Yes, they even used the fake names “Nyssa,” “Richard” and “Tracy,” which is bizarre, considering we all know and use each others’ real names in real life.

I think Tracy actually wrote it, since it has her markings all over it.  And because, despite the many complaints I had made about Richard’s behavior, narcissism, political extremism, betrayal, coming on too strong, threatening Jeff, threatening the apartment manager, violent past, and criminal conviction of choking his kid–this e-mail focused mostly on what was said about Tracy.

To be continued.

Working through the grief, pain and anger

Others have emotionally abused and bullied me in the past, such as kids at school and my college boyfriends; then, as now, the experience left me very angry, and the anger lingered for some time.  Eventually, however, it went away, and I began to rebuild my self-esteem and build a new life without that baggage.

So I know the Tracy/Richard incident will heal eventually as well.  But for now, I feel furious at the bullying, psychological manipulation and gaslighting of me, and the spousal/child abuse Tracy inflicted, and want the pain to end.  (Keep in mind this was a very recent breakup after more than two years of covert and overt bullying.)

I’m having a lot of trouble trusting again or getting the gumption to try to build bonds with people, except for ones I’ve already known for years.  Even then, I keep wondering, “They seem to like me, but do they really mean it?  Or are they hiding something?  Do they secretly hate me?  If I tell them my deep secrets, will they betray and abandon me later?”

I feel lonely but keep crawling into my shell.  As a very shy person and introvert, it’s hard for me to make friends, so losing one is far more devastating than it might be for an extrovert.

I feel numb or gun-shy or cynical when I hear about anything connected to love or marriage or friendship, even though I have good friends (still connected via Internet) and a good, trusting, supportive marriage.

Despite apologies and confessions and absolution, the thoughts keep spinning around in my head.  Seeing Richard or Tracy on the street or at church, or even Tracy’s name on a mutual friend’s Facebook post, makes my heart race, and I feel shaky long afterward.

I’ve distanced myself from mutual friends on Facebook, out of fear they might mention Richard and Tracy to me.

Many times I’ve wished for death, in the first months of grief, but that’s finally abated.

This combined with an NVLD/Asperger’s tendency to ruminate long after everyone else has forgotten an incident.  Hopefully writing about it will help.

The way out of the morass of depression, and at times even feeling like I’m a whore who somehow deserved it, is slow, but I’m making my way up again.

Some people might think they have the right to treat a spouse like property and control the spouse’s thoughts and actions, and feel justified in bullying opposite-sex friends.  The spouse might even act flattered, like this must really be love.  But it’s never okay to bully, whether for jealousy or whatever reason.  

If you feel you have to monitor your spouse’s friendships to keep him/her faithful, if you feel you have to okay the friendships, check up on them, read their online chats and e-mails, etc. etc.–then either you’re an insane control freak or you need to divorce this person for not being trustworthy.  

If your spouse has no actual history of cheating, then don’t put your spouse and their friends through this hell because of your own insecurity and lack of trust.  

This behavior is NOT okay, and don’t expect your spouse to “respect” your feelings when you’re not respecting his ability to choose his own friends and stay faithful.

I felt very strongly that the Lord had removed me from a very toxic situation that he no longer wanted me to be a part of. So I did not call her or make any attempts to get back together.

I figured that she had been the one to end our relationship- if she had a change of heart, then she needed to be the one to restore it. I was heartbroken at first, but eventually I became at peace with it.

And after a while, I felt relief, joy, and profound gratitude.   I understood that my Father was protecting me, and that he loved me so much that he had taken this burden from me. –Rev. Renee, Desperate Measures–When they sense they’re losing their grip on you

This experience has made me appreciate my own marriage much more, with its trust and mutual respect.  Sure we’ve had our problems, but we’ve worked them out.  And we never, ever get jealous over opposite-sex friends or try to control each other.

I read online and in advice columns, about spouses suspecting affairs or blaming friends for trying to start affairs or whatever.  Commenters go on and on about how you can’t trust people, what’s “inappropriate,” etc.

But I can attest that just because you read one person’s letter to a columnist about a suspected affair, doesn’t mean there is one.  Just because the writer thinks they have reason to be jealous and suspicious, doesn’t necessarily mean they do.

I got a very strong impression that some of their friends had no idea of Tracy’s dark side, that she hid it from them, because they seemed too sweet to want to be around a mean, manipulative, aggressive person.  

But I knew of other friends who had broken off relations with Richard because of Tracy.  How many, I don’t know.  Many of their friends are through the Internet.

I bet Tracy has told people that I was after her husband and now she has proof, gives her reasons, and they nod their heads and say yep.  But there is another side of the story which is quite different.  Always take care who you meet through 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