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.
[Update 2016: In 2011, it was popular online to say the trauma and symptoms I experienced were a form of PTSD or C-PTSD , said to often result from narcissistic abuse. But after revisions in the DSM-V (diagnostic manual) to require threats of death, something like “Narcissistic Victim Syndrome” may be more accurate.]
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
- Bullying of an introvert and probable NVLDer
- My NVLD in a nutshell
- Richard dismisses my experiences
- Summarizing this story
- Why I put this story on the Web–at great personal risk
- I was Sam in search of a Frodo, Anne in search of a Diana
- I finally find my Frodo–who moves in
- Discovering they live in squalor
- Richard reveals his wife’s abuses
- Houseguests From Hell
- Tracy turns jealous of and hostile toward me because I’m an introvert with NVLD
- Tracy’s narcissistic/BPD rage episode at Richard–and Richard reveals his own abuse
- Tracy’s control-freak behavior–to me, in my house
- Tracy overhears me telling Jeff she’s abusive–and wreaks vengeance
- Verge of nervous breakdown as houseguests from Hell abuse our hospitality
- Richard gives me the fateful hugs good-bye
- Tracy’s smear campaign and emotional blackmail begin full-force
- I almost break off the friendship because of Tracy
- Tracy’s unreasonable jealousy even as I take pains to be above reproach
- Their doublespeak and double standards
- Tracy snarks and Richard nitpicks
- The emotional vampires suck me dry–and accuse me of being too sensitive
- My Friend Richard, the Narcissist
- Richard says he hypnotized me without my knowledge
- More on Richard’s hypnotism–and his narcissistic stare
- Richard’s past in the Mafia–and his plot to kill the apartment manager
- Tracy bullies me and tries to control Richard by weeding out friends she doesn’t like
- E-mails and phone call describe how Tracy abuses her husband and children
- More details of Tracy’s abuse of her children
- Early 2010: I speak up about Tracy’s child abuse–and ponder reporting her to authorities
- Early warning signs of Tracy’s abuse and volatility
- I get an inkling of Richard’s own abuse of his children
- How to Bully an Introvert–and Assets of NVLD
- Two Narcissists Tag-Team Bully an Introvert with NLD
- Tracy is nasty to me on the phone
- Fed-up, I decide to end the friendship if Tracy does not stop bullying me
- Tracy Mindscrews me with Constantly Changing Rules, “Okays” me then takes it back without telling me, Violates my Privacy by reading my e-mails to Richard
- I must be accepted as I am–introversion, NVLD and all–or you’re out
- Now Richard Screws with my Mind
- Tracy drives away another friend (Todd) with narcissistic rage, manipulation, lies and a smear campaign
- I discover the restrictions are still up after 7 months–and ponder ending the friendship
- Tracy tells Jeff a different story: I have already been “approved” as Richard’s friend
- Richard gaslights me into thinking I’m a stalker
- Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends
- Disturbing Revelations from Richard about Tracy and our time sharing a house
- Revealing e-mails I drafted to Richard: proving I felt abused and bullied, and witnessed abuse
- We seem to have things sorted out–and they seem to finally take responsibility for causing drama (but there’s more to come later)
- E-mails proving my innocence, that Tracy lied in 2010, that I respected boundaries, and that I asked for a “signal”
- Richard mansplains me, denies that his friends sexually harassed me, and refuses to respect my wishes
- Without warning or explanation, tensions build as Richard and Tracy both begin acting like lunatics
- I begin to wonder if the Richard I know–is real or a fake persona
- Richard decides I’m no longer worth his time or respect–because of POLITICS–as he gets into the TEA Party
- Richard goes off the deep end and disses us for not buying into his extreme right-wing politics
- Richard grows distant and Tracy’s insane jealousy flares up
- Richard rips into me publicly and I suspect our friendship is all a fake
- I feel increasing coldness from Richard and Tracy as I “unfriend” their Republican candidates and “friend” Obama and Feingold
- Time to scapegoat me into thinking I’m the problem–and I realize my “BFF” is a fraud
- I confront Richard with how he’s been treating me–so he stonewalls me and threatens to beat up my husband
- Resolution: I apologize–and write the fateful e-mail about the fateful hugs
- Part One: Tracy’s narcissistic rage against me–but I am innocent of all her charges
- Part Two: Tracy enjoys verbally abusing me, then tries to silence me–so I tell everyone
- Part Three: Jeff’s WTF moment: Judas (Richard) knows I’m innocent, but psychotically rages at Jeff
- Part Four: Their DARVO lies lead us to break off relations with our abusers
- Why we should tell everyone we have been abused
- E-Mails to Friends About the Incident, written in first two months
- 1. To Mike and my mother
- 2. E-mails describing pain of breaking up with a close friend
- 3. E-mails spilling all the abuse, to my closest friends
- 4. E-mails to Todd describing what happened
- Why we should not be forced to befriend a BFF’s abusive spouse
- Why I refused to “confer” with Tracy–and how Richard betrayed me
- Tracy refused to accept the NVLD and introversion–but they are real
- Resolving conflict: The difference between friends and frenemies
- I send an apology–and we’re all blocked on Facebook
- Struggling to process what the F**K just happened
- E-mail to Mike: processing my pain
- Pondering forgiveness vs. giving in to the dark vortex
- Shock: Richard and Tracy at my church
- About Richard justifying Tracy’s verbal abuse because I am shy and quiet
- The monster comes back out: Tracy punishes me for long-dead issues
- How Tracy’s e-mails displayed narcissism
- I suggest a six-month break
- I refuse to give in to Tracy’s emotional blackmail
- Tracy blamed others for her abuse
- Tracy tried to force me to submit to her abuse
- Grief over losing my best and closest friend–for no good reason
- Written 2010: Grief over being falsely accused
- Written 2010/2011: Grief over being abused–and the abuser getting away with it
- Written 2010/2011: I see Tracy hanging out of the window of their minivan, like a crazy woman
- Written 2011: Grief that my abusers kept coming to my church but not apologizing to me
- Blog Post for my friends: Fighting the Darkness (Written in February 2011)
- Can we destroy something God put in place?
- An old friend shows me that Richard and Tracy were deceivers, never friends
- The long, dark night of my soul as I doubt God exists–because my spiritual mentor betrayed me
- I start doubting Tracy was ever truly a Christian–so it’s okay to separate myself from her fellowship
- Grief felt on 6/12/11
- 2011 Facebook post: Original form of Losing Your Best Friend?–Or, Narcissistic Webs
- Describing Richard’s narcissism
- Realizing how Richard manipulated me into doing things I shouldn’t
- Was Richard’s betrayal driven by Narcissism–or Stockholm Syndrome?
- Tracy: a woman who abuses a man
- Richard’s lack of action made him a passive abuser
- Fear of it all happening again with new friends–but relief as well
- Written early or mid 2011: working through the grief, pain and anger
- How Richard and Tracy’s views on parenting are wrong
- Running into Richard and Tracy at church/the store/Greekfest a year later
- Introduction to this section: Richard’s Criminal Charges
- UPDATE 7/26/11: Richard is charged with abusing his daughter; I report them to CPS
- UPDATE 9/14/11: I learn that Richard choked his daughter
- UPDATE 10/4/11: Richard is convicted of choking his daughter
- UPDATE 10/23/11: After his conviction, Richard comes to my church