Eventually, we stopped sharing a house. No apologies ever came from Tracy for the many insults and jabs she made. When I begged Richard to get her to apologize and be kind to me, he talked like everything was somehow my fault and fat chance getting an apology from her, and I was just making a mountain out of a molehill.
Meanwhile, when I asked about making apologies to Tracy–because I felt bad about many things that happened during the six weeks they stayed with us, and wanted to try again–he told me not to, she only wanted that from him, it wasn’t necessary–and Jeff got the impression from him that it would actually be dangerous somehow.
I almost broke off the friendship right there and then, and once or twice afterwards, but Jeff dissuaded me from it and Richard didn’t want me to go. My son loved playing with their children, Jeff loved playing D&D with them, Jeff had just as much trouble finding friends nearby as I did, and I loved Richard like a brother.
Since Richard claimed to care a lot about me, said I was “very dear” to him, said he loved me like a sister, I had hopes that somehow, the friendship could be salvaged. Many times I got the impression it had been, that things were finally moving along at a nice, even pace. But then something would come out that shattered my illusions, and made me feel like Tracy loathed me and would never accept me.
There were huge communication problems: I was open and honest with Richard about all sorts of things. But Richard and Tracy constantly kept from me all sorts of things that I needed to know, such as ways I had offended Tracy, and then blamed me because we didn’t seem to get anywhere. I couldn’t apologize or repent of something I did not know I had done. We couldn’t resolve problems we did not talk about.
It was also exhausting, because I couldn’t just relax and be myself, and stop wondering if I’d done something to offend her yet again, or was she just joking. I felt constantly on edge, on the spot, on trial around her, because as an introvert with NVLD (and possibly selective mutism) who had objected to her abuses of me and others, it was impossible to please her.
This made me feel resentful, especially since she never apologized for the things she did to me, or for her abuses and controlling behavior toward her husband and children–and I kept seeing her do more of these things all the time.
How could I be expected to forgive and forget when she not only did not repent of what she did, but kept committing more emotional crimes against me, Richard, the children, and others?
Yet I was somehow expected to make up for my “errors” and act just the way she wanted me to act, or else I’d be punished by losing the best friend I’d had in many years.
Except that I had no idea what the rules even were. I’d think I was following them as well as I could, but many months later I’d find that she still wasn’t satisfied, that something I had always thought was perfectly fine with her, was ticking her off. This was emotional blackmail.
I often trembled and shook and felt dizzy (panic attack?) before calling Richard, and had to psyche myself up to do it, unless I knew Tracy was at work.
Once, I called and left a message with her, and she was so nice and cheerful–rather than short or brusque–that I thought, finally, finally she likes me! Then I found out later, to my disappointment, that it wasn’t her but the babysitter.
I told Richard once that I didn’t call him often because I didn’t want to annoy Tracy. He said, “Go ahead. Annoy her!”
He was my BFF, my best friend, so of course I wanted to do what best friends do, and talk with him often about everything.
I told Jeff everything, which inspired him to trust me, and if he had a problem or suspicion, he would’ve told me; he was okay with everything and didn’t mind.
So I was startled one day to learn from Richard that Tracy called me “that woman” when I wasn’t there.
And this despite the fact that our two families constantly did things together, them coming to our house, us going to their house, me babysitting their kids, us giving them presents at Christmas and birthdays, Jeff giving Tracy or Richard a ride, Jeff playing D&D with them–
So I was not some woman she barely knew and never saw socially. No, I was a family friend.
I kept thinking things were hopeless, wondering if I should break things off, and told him straight-out one day in an e-mail that I didn’t feel comfortable being friends with a man whose wife hated me.
But Richard kept telling me things could be resolved, that she didn’t hate me.
In 2010, I sometimes wished he had ended things long before this, out of respect for his wife’s feelings. While I was always out of the loop and clueless, always hoping and thinking that Tracy was now perfectly fine with me, he knew what was really going on in his own home.
Sometime in late January or February 2008 after they moved out, I discovered through a series of e-mails to Richard that–even though I thought for sure he could go get coffee with me–that he could not, that Tracy had restricted him from doing that with me, though he could do it with other friends.
See, I stopped asking to go to the bar and grill, because there seemed to be a stigma attached to going to a bar with him–even though it was actually a regular family restaurant with a bar, like Applebee’s, not a tavern. Like there was something “affair-y” about going to a bar with a guy. (Or, even more ridiculous, like there was something “affair-y” about going to a family restaurant with a guy.)
But I thought it was okay to ask him to meet me each week to get coffee and catch up. Public place, and not a bar.
That’s when I learned that I wasn’t even allowed to go to a coffee shop with the guy! What the–?
Restrictions kept trickling out little by little like this.
In August, I asked to meet him in a parking lot to talk, thinking that was a nice, safe place she wouldn’t possibly object to. My husband had just lost his job, and I needed someone to talk to, preferably my BFF.
But no, even a frickin’ parking lot was off-limits.
Yet it was okay for him to visit me in my house by himself when the kids were along. Like the kids were “chaperones.” It was crazy!
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