Category: sycophant

Why we should tell everyone we have been abused

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They knew me and that I did not deserve abuse.

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

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

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

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

–how to deal with this,

–how to forgive,

–how to deal with seeing them at church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

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Part Three: Jeff’s WTF moment: Judas (Richard) knows I’m innocent, but psychotically rages at Jeff

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.

When Jeff went over to talk to Richard alone after work, Richard claimed that Jeff didn’t know the half of how he and Tracy had been “bending over backward” for me–and Jeff considered this a load of BS.

If that’s what Richard and Tracy consider to be “bending over backward” to be nice to somebody, then I hate to see what they’re like when they’re not trying to be nice.  (Oh, wait, I did.  Dang, these people are evil.)

What happened to Richard reading the Philokalia? the Ladder of Divine Ascent? books which describe the Orthodox way of treating people kindly and with respect?  I’m sure those books don’t describe what Richard and Tracy were actually doing: demanding respect and kindness from others while showing no respect or kindness to them!

Is it really so hard to be kind and decent that you find it such an imposition? 

Is it so awful to accept that some people are naturally quiet and introverted, and that it has nothing to do with trying to tick you off? 

Is it so horrible to let your friends have their own ideas of what is proper behavior?  Yet another sign of sociopathy! 

Everyone else has to be nice to you, Richard and Tracy, but we’re supposed to let you treat us like crap!  Because treating others with respect is so frickin’ hard for you that you call it “bending over backward”!

Richard also acted in such a manner during the face-to-face conversation with Jeff–repeatedly getting up and into his face, raging, using his much larger height and girth–that Jeff felt very physically intimidated. 

This infuriated Jeff, especially after the threats he received from Richard in that e-mail several days earlier.

And why did Richard rage at him?  Because Jeff told him that there are two sides to this issue, that they kept putting all the burden and blame on me when there was plenty to go on Tracy’s shoulders.

So–No side is worthy of a hearing but Tracy’s?  No side is legitimate but Tracy’s?  I had been listening to her side and Richard’s side all these years, but they wouldn’t do the common decency of listening to MINE?

As for intimidating Jeff–It’s bad enough for schoolyard bullies to make you afraid, but for someone who’s supposed to be your friend–that’s unconscionable.  

Jeff finally yelled at him to STOP intimidating him and SIT DOWN.

Also, Jeff says that he tried to say things like, we needed to get into a circle and listen to each other, that all that swearing and verbal abuse was making things worse, but Richard would start hissing and getting angry.

Jeff left with a very bad taste in his mouth.  As for Richard, what a jackass.  And he wants to be a priest or a psychologist with an attitude like that?

If you don’t listen to any side but your own, not even when it’s your own friends,

if you defend your wife using swearing and ad hominems against your own friend, against someone you say is very dear to you and whom you know to be sweet, nice and sensitive–

–then you have no business counseling others on how to deal with relational problems or how to exorcise your own passions.

I gave him the Ladder of Divine Ascent; he said he read it; but did he really comprehend it?  Did he really comprehend why monks in the Divine Ascent icon are falling into Hell?

Jeff says Richard is like the Pharisees, that he doesn’t listen to anyone but himself, has a superiority complex (that both Richard and Tracy do), thinks the world revolves around him, is indeed a narcissist.

Note how Richard’s reaction to Jeff’s remarks, match exactly the following about telling an evil narcissist the truth:

So today’s dose of truth and reality is this: Evil must mask itself with good in order for it to make a living. Evil must hide itself by hiding the truth of who and what they are.

Therefore, full truth (light) is anathema to evil.  You know this is true. You’ve tried to bring just a smidgen of truth to the table with the narcissist and you saw the hissing, spitting and reviling it invoked.

The extreme reaction is the narcissist’s attempt to get you to drop the holy water before he gets burned.

That is not the moment to fumble or drop the truth. Thrust that stake deep into his heart and then put him in the ground. Metaphorically speaking, of course. –Anna Valerious, They Hide from Truth Because Their Deeds Are Evil

Also, Jeff is offended that they treated me as they did, saying “don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache,” for confiding problems in my own husband.  He says it’s his job to listen to my problems and be there for me.

It sounds very much like the schoolyard bully saying don’t tell the teacher or we’ll beat you even worse.

Or the sexual molester saying, don’t tell your parents about our little secret.

Or the spouse saying don’t tell anyone I beat you or I’ll kill your sister.

But then, after the bizarrely jealous and possessive rant Tracy made publicly against me on Facebook a few weeks before this, after I posted a simple “I’ll miss you dearly, have a nice trip” on one of her posts about a possible family trip out of state–

–can I really expect any less than such an overblown and verbally abusive reaction from her to that misunderstood e-mail?

I have made many comments to people in the past which were not meant as offenses, but were received that way (i.e. foot-in-mouth disease), yet in their angriest reactions, they never, ever spoke to me the way she did.

There were so many things she did that day and in the following month that were just bizarre, over-the-top, ridiculous, incredibly insulting.

All because of what she thought the e-mail was about, but it really wasn’t.

And Richard just sat back and let her do it, while she crowed on Facebook that she was finally allowed to.  She seemed to think she was entitled to do this because she’s the wife of Richard.

Yet based on what I’ve seen him do in other situations with other people, if someone did the same thing to her, Richard would be all over them for it, want to beat them up.

And just because you’re married to a person doesn’t mean you “own” them like some piece of property.  They’re not a dog or a couch or a house.  They’re a human being with their own rights to think for themselves and decide for themselves what is right and who they should be friends with.

Jeff and I were both disgusted with Richard’s behavior.  When I heard of it later that evening, I began to sob and said, “That makes me never want to see him again!”

Tracy judged and sentenced me without a trial, without giving me a chance to defend myself.

And Richard knew full well the truth behind my e-mail, but pretended to Jeff and Tracy that he didn’t, that I was making a pass at him, when he knew full well that I wasn’t–probably to avoid a beating from Tracy.

For all his claims that I was very dear to him and he loved me like a sister, he showed me then just how much his friendship was worth.

I find it rather telling that Richard–

–when he showed Jeff the e-mail in question, along with Tracy’s e-mails–

–rather than telling Jeff what he told me when I questioned the gestures he made while he lived alone with us,

that they were done in friendship only,

and explaining how the hugs had been meant in friendship and brotherly love rather than romance,

he said he’d been distancing himself from me lately.

(Distancing himself?  As of when?  And–WHY?  Was he ever going to tell me?  What kind of a BFF does that without a word?  Yet more lack of communication from him to me!)

Why didn’t he tell Jeff they were innocent gestures and that my e-mail was equally innocent?

Was it because he was lying to me when he said we were doing nothing wrong?

This makes it sound as if they were not innocent, that he had more in his head than he’d admitted to me, and had been backing off for that reason.

While I had put my full faith and trust in him for more than two years that he had meant the gestures solely in friendship and would do this with any of his closest friends and relatives.

I feel manipulated by him, betrayed, used, played for a naïve and gullible fool, toyed with.  I’m furious with him for all of this.

Richard’s allowing Tracy to go off on me like this, and then defending it, made him into Judas, so that I can never trust him again–

–and it also appalled and disgusted Jeff, who is used to true friends laughing off gaffes or waiting to get more information before blowing up.

Then a month later I caught Richard in an outright lie (more on this later).

As for the gaffe–Richard himself had made at least two gaffes of his own, just like this:

One was an issue with someone close to him, which I won’t get into because it’s private.

The other was when he was living with us and put his head on my lap and shoulder, called it “flirting” when he did it, and gave me some very affectionate hugs, making me think he was making the moves on me.

But according to him, both times, he was innocent of the charges, hadn’t been “flirting,” had been acting with me as he would act with relatives such as sister, mother, cousins, sisters-in-law, had been misunderstood, and these were things which platonic friends could safely and innocently do with each other.

Yet when I made a gaffe, when I was innocent and misunderstood, instead of explaining to Tracy what it was really all about (which he knew very well), or giving me a chance to explain first, he allowed his wife to tear me apart over it.

Hypocrisy!  I bet he’d looove to find out what Jeff thinks of Richard’s “gaffe” with me after how he treated me over mine: Basically, he believes that Richard’s actions during the Incident reflected a guilty conscience.

Another time in the mid-90’s, you cried publicly on M.B.’s shoulder when you thought I had revealed something personal about your marriage in public (something about the possibility of your marriage breaking up).

It was stated offhandedly in a vague way, and no one had overheard it. You made sure that everyone–especially M.B.–knew I had committed a horrible gaffe against you, and you humiliated me in front of him and others at dinner.

(More traits of the Narcissist: payback for perceived slights; public humiliation for perceived slights; hanging on to excuses for committing character assassination.) —Joyful Alive Woman, “Abusive Female Friend”

I’d like to insert at this point that abusers will act like they care about your feelings. This is strategic, intermittent, and shallow.

Whenever the rubber hits the road, for all the times the abuser has acted concerned about how you feel, you find yourself once again treated like crap on his or her shoe when you most need a kind word or some concern.

They will sometimes, maybe even often, mouth words of caring and concern about you and your feelings, but it never seems to translate into something real when you most need them to give a damn.

Remember my maxim: when the words stand in contradiction to the behaviors you must believe the behaviors!  What we do (or refuse to do when action is called for) is the measurement of our character and our intentions.

Our words don’t mean jack if they are not followed through with and supported by our action. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?

I’ve told Jeff the things that happened, how Richard kept pushing the boundaries, how I told him he was freaking me out,

then Richard said, Don’t worry, it’s all done in friendship, I do this with relatives, it’s not romantic, we didn’t “do anything,” we can keep doing it.  

I told him how persuasive Richard was.  

Then when Tracy found out, guess who got blamed?  Me.  Guess who got accused of not understanding boundaries?  Me.

But back to 7/1/10.  Jeff had earlier instructed me to say nothing more to Tracy for the time being, to lie low and let him deal with things.

After Jeff spoke with Richard, he sent Tracy an e-mail trying to calm her down and say that I was sorry for having done something stupid and didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, that apparently Richard had been very unclear on what was and wasn’t okay over the years.  He also said that “f-bombs” are not helpful.

In response, she sent him an e-mail full of the worst barrage of verbal abuse of me yet.

Richard once told Jeff that we shouldn’t mention the NVLD to Tracy, that it could actually be dangerous for me.

But now here she was, somehow knowing about it, and saying horrible things about me in the e-mail to Jeff,

because I believed that it

(and, though Jeff didn’t say this, a lot of doublespeak from Richard and double standards from them both)

was the reason I had trouble figuring out her social requirements, rather than me just being childish and deliberately hurtful and hateful.

It was humiliating, demeaning, belittling.  She even said that Richard told me things that a 5-year-old child could understand, basically making me into some stupid idiot.  

But I knew myself and I knew that I never deliberately hurt her, that when I was upset with her it was because of her own hateful behavior toward me, Richard and/or her children.

Tracy pounced on NVLD as yet another reason to vilify me and falsely accuse me.  She went on about a “self-diagnosed learning disorder” and how I needed to “grow up and TALK.”

To quote Klank, “You don’t know what it is to be me.”

Tracy doesn’t know what it’s like to have a brain that makes most social situations extremely difficult, if she thinks I can just change because she wants me to.

She also has no idea what it’s like to be an introvert, that we’re born this way, born being quiet and eschewing small talk.

This shows the huge bias against introverts among extroverts, thinking our lack of speech has anything at all whatsoever to do with our maturity level,

and also shows Tracy’s unwillingness to understand anything at all about me, that there are other ways of being than hers.

Also, Jeff complained to me during this time about Richard’s doublespeak, because Jeff also dealt with it all the time.  It frustrated him just as much as it did me.

The narcissist’s sense of self, which has not progressed past that of a very young child, they cannot deal with the reality of a mirror being held up before them.

Unlike the alcoholic who may in due course “see the light”, a narcissist simply does not have the emotional skills to step outside of themselves and glimpse the truth in the mirror.

The essence of NPD is that the sufferer lives in a bubble that can only accommodate themselves. Self-reflection is definitely not in the narcissist’s bag of skills and expecting them to be capable of doing so can court disaster.

Be prepared for rage and aggression to be aimed at you. Be prepared to not be heard.. Be prepared to have everything that you claim about them, to be reassigned to you. When and if you are strong enough to cope with this treatment, then you may decide to go ahead.

If you are hoping for recognition and a change for the better, more pain is in store. –Beth McHugh, Should You Confront a Narcissist About His Narcissism

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

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

Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

INCIDENT or “Acting Out” phase

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

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

which would be followed by other messages,

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

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

and completely undeserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For something I hadn’t even done or said,

but something that Tracy had intimated,

had imagined,

had put into that e-mail herself,

subtext she read into it that did not exist,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wrote to Jeff at 1:06pm,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did Americans end up so screwed up, anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

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Without warning or explanation, tensions build as Richard and Tracy both begin acting like lunatics

TENSION BUILDING –

  • Tension starts and steadily builds
  • Abuser starts to get angry
  • Communication breaks down
  • Victim feels the need to concede to the abuser
  • Tension becomes too much
  • Victim feels uneasy and a need to watch every move –Kim Eyer, The Cycle of Abuse

Something I read on 1/5/14 which made me go hmmmmm:

To draw you closer, the psychopath creates an aura of desirability—of being wanted and courted by many. It will become a point of vanity for you to be the preferred object of their attention, to win them away from a crowd of admirers.

They manufacture the illusion of popularity by surrounding themselves with members of the opposite sex: friends, former lovers, and your eventual replacement.

Then, they create triangles that stimulate rivalry and raise their perceived value. (Adapted from “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene).

Psychopaths, like most predators, seek power and control. They want to dominate their partners sexually, emotionally, and physically.

They do this by exploiting vulnerabilities. This is why they love-bomb you with attention and flattery in the beginning of the relationship—because no matter how strong or confident you are, being in “love” makes you vulnerable by default.

Psychopaths don’t need physical aggression to control you (although sometimes they do). Instead, relationships provide them with the perfect opportunity to consume you by manufacturing the illusion of love.

This is why it’s so damaging when bystanders say: “Well, why didn’t you just leave?” You never entered a relationship with the psychopath expecting to be abused, belittled, and criticized—first, you were tricked into falling in love, which is the strongest human bond in the world. Psychopaths know this.

…The psychopath’s ability to groom others is unmatched. They feel an intense euphoria when they turn people against each other, especially when it’s over a competition for them.

Psychopaths will manufacture situations to make you jealous and question their fidelity. In a normal relationship, people go out of their way to prove that they are trustworthy—but the psychopath does exactly the opposite.

They are constantly suggesting that they might be pursuing other options, or spending time with other people, so that you can never settle down into a feeling of peace. And they will always deny this, calling you crazy for bringing it up.

….The final triangulation happens when they make the decision to abandon you. This is when they’ll begin freely talking about how much this relationship is hurting them, and how they don’t know if they can deal with your behavior anymore.

They will usually mention talking to a close friend about your relationship, going into details about how they both agreed that your relationship wasn’t healthy. In the meantime, they’ve been blatantly ignoring frantic messages from you.

You’ll be sitting there wondering why they aren’t chatting with you about these concerns, considering it’s your relationship.

Well, the reason is that they’ve already made the decision to dump you—now they’re just torturing you. They only seek advice from people they know will agree with them. That “friend” they’re talking to is probably their next target. –Peace, Torture by Triangulation

Richard’s relationship with me was a platonic friendship, but the same dynamics were at work: The first couple of months he stayed with us, his cell constantly rang with all sorts of friends.

He’d ignore them to talk with me, or answer and then say he was in the middle of a conversation, and get back to me.

He’d tell me about all the women he had to fight off–not just in his single days, but after getting married.

After this love bombing phase ended, the criticism began and I was discarded for a month, I could do nothing right, and he didn’t want to spend time with me anymore.

Then he gave me bearhugs–throwing me a bone to keep me thinking that things would be as they were at first.

But after that, despite the occasional bone-throwing, he kept me off-balance.  Other friends were constantly clamoring for his time, and I became lower on the totem pole than they were.

Then a new friend, Chris, came along, and got all the attention that I used to get.  They’d go out and do things, talk, etc., and I would be the one sitting at home, or abandoned at the picnic table while they went walking along the beach.

The last part also reminds me of mid-2010, when I could feel things were going wrong, but when I tried to discuss it with him, he shut me down, made me feel paranoid.

He also told me that his political friends were messaging him on Facebook complaining about the things I posted on his Facebook threads (which is ridiculous because it’s Facebook, where you’re supposed to have fun with your friends, and that’s what I did, rather than getting all political like him).

This article also makes me wonder how much of this whole situation was Richard manipulating me to make Tracy jealous, to keep her from leaving him.  If he played each of his friends, family, spouse, the way he played me, on purpose to control us all.

In the last month or two of our friendship, after the bullying had been mostly confined to the occasional snipe, it ratcheted up all of a sudden; was it because of several comments I made on Facebook and at Tracy’s house about what constitutes child abuse?

Of course, bullies will say you deserve it.  You don’t ever deserve it.

(I just read an article about a girl who beat up another girl, kicked her in the head, caused a concussion and bleeding on the brain, and then bragged on her Facebook page that the girl she beat up, had it coming.  Despicable.  She’s been sentenced, though it’s a slap on the wrist.)

Friends are supposed to relieve your stress, not cause it.  They’re supposed to be there for you when you have problems, not cause your problems.  Imagine being forced–on pain of losing your dearest friend–to confide in someone you don’t trust because they keep bullying that friend.

I remember getting very sick at the end of April 2010, so sick that for a time I wondered if I would survive (swine flu?).

When I finally found out it was just a bad flu and then got better, Jeff drove my son and me to the grocery store.  In the car, I pondered whether my friendship with Richard was worth fighting for, and decided it was.

So things must have been going on then, too, that I don’t remember now.  Though I do remember chatting online with Chris during the winter or spring and asking him if Richard treated him the way he treated me: unreturned phone calls, suddenly dropping out of a chat without a word, things like that.

Early in the winter I had every reason to believe that my friendship with Richard was cemented, that Tracy was perfectly fine with it and we had freedom to do what he could do with his other friends, and that Richard was starting to remember just how good of friends we had been, all the jams I helped him out of, all the emotional support I gave him.

But sometime in the late winter or spring, I began feeling fed up, that he was treating me very badly.

So one day in April I figured our friendship was worth fighting for, while in early May I felt like it was all falling apart, and I had no clue why.

I had not changed; I still treasured the friendship.  I had no clue why Richard would act so differently toward me.

You may recall the incident I described before, of Tracy smacking the 3-year-old upside the head around the turn of the year, and the inner turmoil this sent me into.  Also, other abusive incidents I witnessed during 2010.

On April 15, 2010, is this blurb in an e-mail from Richard: “and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and getting yelled at for not cleaning when I do clean.”

During these few months before July, I’d hear about “drama” in his house, and see it as well.  It seemed like things were getting worse and worse all the time, so bad that Jeff and I could even see it for ourselves, and discussed it. 

Jeff thought Tracy was bipolar.

He also thought the trouble at their house, and how they started treating me, was caused by stress and sleep apnea, and hoped that would change with treatment. 

But even if it did, it wasn’t soon enough to salvage our friendship, as their own personal drama spilled over onto Jeff and me.

On May 30, 2010, Jeff was about to drop me off at church when we saw Richard and his children in the parking lot.  Richard’s priest was gone at some conference, so he came to my church, only we then discovered that my priest was in the hospital!  (He recovered, by the way.)

So we discussed going over to this Episcopalian church which Richard liked to visit.  But when Jeff dropped me off there, I got this weird vibe off Richard.  What, he invites me but doesn’t want me there?

Still, we both seemed to enjoy the service together.  Then he took me around the church, showed me the various awesome things they had there.

People kept thinking we were married, so we had to say NO.  So I joked about it, but Richard didn’t laugh, which was weird.

But then when I asked if he could take me home–a reasonable request, I thought, especially since there was plenty of room in his van, and there was no point in making Jeff come all the way back to the church–he got this look on his face like I was being weird or annoying somehow.

It made no sense at all, and I couldn’t figure out what the heck I could’ve possibly done to deserve these reactions, especially from the guy who normally enjoyed spending time with me and liked driving me to/from church.

During this time, on May 8 or 9, 2010, at a birthday party in the park for one of the children, Richard told me about a silly dream he had.  Tracy got upset at him for this, saying, “Why didn’t you tell me about that this morning when we were laughing and bonding?”  I couldn’t tell if she was really upset or just joking, but as usual, it made me very uncomfortable.

She did that sort of thing a lot, jabbing at him in front of me with what seemed to be anger, though I wasn’t sure if it was anger or a joke.  And the possessive, jealous tinge of the “joke” also bugged me.

Simultaneously with her increased bullying of me, Jeff and I noticed their own family stress increasing and erupting into screams and jabs and spanks whenever we went over there.  

Not only did Tracy scream at the kids, but she screamed at Richard as well.  Then he’d turn around and yell at her in the kitchen for “screaming at the kids all the time.”  It made me extremely uncomfortable for them to do this with me right there in the room.

Every time we visited, they’d be bickering, worse than I had seen it, and occasionally the kids got something as well.  

I saw Richard’s face when he got yelled at, like he was seething inwardly but checking out. 

While Tracy did already occasionally yell at Richard with me in the room, I don’t recall seeing Richard yell at Tracy in front of me before this.

(Well, there was that time when he screamed at her on the phone in the basement back in November 2007….But I never saw him do it when she was actually in the room before.)

Something was stirring them up to a boiling point, and had been for weeks.  And it had nothing whatsoever to do with me.  I just became the convenient scapegoat a couple of months later, the lamb sacrificed for the peace of the household.

Probably early in June 2010, Jeff and I went over there; I forget if this is when we went to watch the kids while Richard took Tracy out on a birthday date, or when we went there to play a game of D&D.  I seem to recall her wearing a dress as if for a date, but I also recall being there with Richard and Tracy all evening, so it must have been for D&D….

Anyway, I sat on the couch, vaguely watching as two of the kids (the older ones, I believe) began dancing around and being joyful.  They did absolutely nothing wrong, and looked sweet and happy.  It was cute; they were being children.

Then all of a sudden, with no warning whatsoever, and for no reason I could possibly fathom, Tracy stormed over and went from 0 to 60 in two seconds: She flew over and began screaming and whacking fury at them. 

She screamed her head off at the kids, yanking and jerking them around by the arms, and screaming louder and louder at them as she threw spanks left and right. 

I had no idea what on earth the kids could have done wrong.  They didn’t say a word or fight back, just seemed to go limp.  Even their faces were blank.  Yet Tracy grew madder and madder, screamed louder and louder, yanked their arms around, and whacked spanks every which way.

It reminded me of the time they were living in my house and she started yelling and screaming louder and louder at Richard, even though he did not fight back and agreed with everything she said.

Helplessness: Children are inherently helpless and subordinate.  They cannot escape a dangerous situation and are easily taken advantage of.

When a child realizes they cannot protect themselves they believe they are helpless and eventually stop trying to protect themselves.

They often withdraw, go limp, or dissociate, or a way in which some children survive abuse by escaping mentally. 

While the abuse is occurring, the body and the mind seem to separate and while the body is being hurt; the child no longer feels it and is disconnected from the abuse. 

There are many ways to dissociate and each child may do it differently.  One may seem to leave the body floating overhead where the abuse is occurring or one may be able to completely withdraw or go inward and not mentally exist therefore not experiencing anything. —Source

This incident of child abuse right in front of me was frightening even for me, an adult, and also infuriated me.  

I was too frightened of her in general to do anything (she’s bigger than me, violent and nasty).  For the rest of the evening, I was very nervous and scared of her.  Unfortunately, Jeff wasn’t there to see this, having stepped out to buy some things for dinner.

Or should I say, of course he wasn’t there–she kept doing these things when he wasn’t there or wasn’t looking.  So I’d have to tell him later just what happened.

Shortly after, when things calmed down a bit, Richard started playing a song for me, a song which he had just posted about on his Facebook page.  I didn’t really know the song, had heard it maybe once or twice before (one of the times being when I clicked on his link).

It had been popular several years back, a dance song, something about a train, by a lady singer.  He had compared her to Lady Gaga, whom I also didn’t know at all, since I swore off ever-increasingly banal popular music about 10 years before.  I was surprised he knew about Lady Gaga, either, since he was a Goth fan….

Anyway, he played this song for me because it had been his earworm the past couple of days.  But then Tracy began yelling at him because he’d already played it numerous times over the past couple of days.

I’m sitting here thinking, Geez, lady, he’s a grown man and you’re not his mother!  Can’t he play it 100 times if he wants to?

I could understand being annoyed, but her yelling and screaming at him was way out of proportion, especially dealing with her husband, not a child.

He got an angry, henpecked look on his face, and told her to turn it off if she wanted to.  

(This may have been the same day when she began yelling at him for undermining her when he popped in Fifth Element for me to watch, while apparently she had just told the kids not to watch a movie.  He got the same look on his face and kept the movie running.)

More arguing….

Later in the evening, probably during dinner, he apologized, but even the apology quickly turned into an argument as they started picking at each other again.

Also during dinner, Tracy was in the kitchen asking or talking about something.  My son, who sat eating pizza beside me at the dining room table, made a comment about it.  She snapped at him for it, telling him to be quiet.  He got an angry look, and I was furious at her for yelling at my son.

Tracy started constantly ripping on me and bullying me no matter what I said or did, including on Facebook. 

It was absolutely nothing I did or said: It was something going on in her own head that I had nothing whatsoever to do with. 

It was probably her cycling again, going into an abusive phase where nobody was safe and nobody could do anything right. 

In other words, it was not my fault, but all hers, yet I was the one blamed for it in July and August, when imaginary complaints about me were brought up by both Richard and Tracy as “reasons” for her actions. 

This is what abusers do to try to justify their abuse, and Richard, as her abuser-by-proxy, went along with it–probably to keep the peace in his own house, keep the abuse away from himself.

She ripped on me on Memorial Day 2010 simply because I put bug spray, Kleenex and sunscreen in a bag and brought it with me to sit outside.

She talked as if a “normal” person would go back and forth into the house every time they wanted something.

Well, I didn’t want to bother with all that running all over the place when I could just put everything into a bag!

And what the heck difference did it make to her?!  Jeff stuck up for me, because he saw how ridiculous she was.

Richard started treating me like crap, as well:

One day, probably late winter or early spring 2010, while preparing for our latest D&D game, I saw what looked like honey on the table.

So rather than be stupid and put my books on honey, I did what any sensible person would do, and acted like any guest who wants to do for herself and not overburden her host by being a princess:

I pulled out a wipe from my purse and started wiping off the honey.

But then Richard, who was sitting right next to me, stunned me by screaming in my face for cleaning his house! 

(This was one of several WTF moments I had with him.)

Then Tracy said, “Oh, come on, you’ve always known she’s weird.”  I didn’t know whether Tracy was getting after him for yelling at me, or snarking on me again.  Or both.

They keep their house in filth most of the time, say they “clean it” before I come which makes me wonder how bad it is when I’m not coming over, and I’m the weird one for not wanting to get honey on my books?

Somebody must have made a crack about the stash of wipes in my purse (just one 15-piece travel package, not a ton), because I said, “I’m a mother.  Of course I have all sorts of things in my purse.”

(My mother had all sorts of things in her purse when I was growing up: Kleenex, gum, etc.  A married, pregnant woman, a non-traditional student, in one of my college classes whipped out a bottle of aspirin when somebody needed it, and commented that because she’s a mother, she has a well-stocked purse.  And at a Little League game in 2011, when a little girl had a nosebleed, three mothers–including me–rushed over to her parents with wipes to clean her up with.)

Then Tracy got huffy and said, “Are you saying I’m not a mother, then, because I don’t?”  Even though I hadn’t said a word about her, having no clue what was in her purse.

So…You can call me weird but I can’t say this is a motherly trait without you getting upset?  Jeff stuck up for me, saying he often wishes he had my stash with him when at his church alone with our son.

I felt like running out of the room or crying or something, but tried to be the adult and suck it up.

But oh, how it hurt (and shocked and appalled) to be yelled at out of the blue by my best and dearest friend for such a silly thing, and to be ripped on by Tracy just for being an organized mother.

The WTF moment is when the non-abusive partner, typically after weeks, months and sometimes years of love bombing, hoop jumping, guilt, manipulation, obligation, fear, self-doubt and blaming and shaming tactics, has a moment of clarity.

It’s when you finally realize, “Wait a minute. Something’s wrong here, but it isn’t me.” Shrink4Men

Jeff tells me that when they only expected him and a few other friends for D&D, they didn’t bother cleaning up much at all–so the filth I saw, got even worse when I wasn’t there.

It made Jeff feel like he wasn’t worth cleaning up for, because he was used to a clean house and didn’t appreciate the filth, either.

When Richard’s mother-in-law visited for three weeks and did some housework, Richard got mad at her, too–even though the MIL was probably just of my own mother’s school of thought, that if you stay for a few weeks, you should help with the housework or you’re a lazy bum.

(When we stayed with our in-laws for several days in 2011, I made our bed, my son made his bed, and I cleaned up after us in the bathroom.)

They didn’t clean their own house, but nobody else was allowed to, either?  How on earth could they expect her to just grin and bear living in a place so filthy without trying to clean some of it?  I couldn’t have lasted one night in that place without scrubbing down the bathroom!

And I’ve since learned that Richard also yelled at Jeff for this on nights when he went over there alone to play D&D.  Jeff said Richard yelled just as nastily as he did at me for cleaning honey off the table, and that made Jeff angry.

He went over there around 9pm, yet the kids would still be up, the house and table a mess, and they’d still be cleaning for quite some time after he got there.  So Jeff would grab a rag and start cleaning stickiness off the table before putting his books down, or do other things to help clean up, so they could get to the frickin’ game already.  And he’d get screamed at.

You’re supposed to say “thank you” when somebody helps you clean.  Yet somehow, they were the ones who felt that I didn’t know proper etiquette and behavior and had to be lectured on it by them?

I have since learned from hoarding shows that this is a common reaction when someone tries to help clean a hoarder house.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

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

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

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

 

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