Tracy saw everything I did through green-colored glasses. I was always careful to not cross the boundaries, to dress modestly, cover my cleavage when bending over in front of Richard, to only kiss his head or cheek if I kissed him at all (which was rare), to make sure my e-mails to him were about life and religion and such, etc. etc.
Yet she still saw everything I did through her jealousy, even my ingrained personality trait of being quiet!
Everyone I’ve ever known has commented on how quiet I am. Yet to her, my being quiet with her was proof that I was not to be trusted with her husband.
It was inevitable that one day it would all blow up, that somewhere I would mess up and she would refuse to believe she had completely misunderstood me.
I have already described why he was not sexually attractive, including poor hygiene. I occasionally find an overweight guy attractive, but he was morbidly obese.
Hygiene aside, I find infidelity to be disgusting. If I even get tempted, my moral objections flare up; while I can’t help being tempted or being attracted to someone else, my conscience keeps me from acting on it.
I love my husband, who complements me quite well; we get along quite well most of the time, which–from what we can tell–is more than can be said for far too many couples.
There were many things about Richard that I wouldn’t be able to stand in a husband, while Jeff wasn’t like that at all.
Jeff is like my other half; he’s my main confidante, so there is no danger of me confiding far more in any of my friends, male or female, than I do in him.
For me, Richard was someone to whom I could tell the things that would bother Jeff, such as details about past boyfriends, or religious musings that would actually upset Jeff (make him wonder if I was turning atheist or heretical or the like). While Richard was no stranger to religious questioning, and on the side of Orthodoxy.
So there was no danger of Richard usurping Jeff’s role, and I also did not want to usurp Tracy’s role.
In fact, whenever we went out in public, such as to church or the grocery store, I took pains to distance myself from Richard physically and tell anyone who misunderstood that no, we are not married, we are not “together,” we are just friends.
When he lived with us alone, I anxiously looked forward to Tracy’s arrival (once Richard secured an apartment) so she would be at his side during church, leaving my relationship to him more obvious.
(We sometimes went to other churches where our relationship to each other was not known. I’d spend the entire service worried that people thought we were married. Heck no!)
While visits with Richard were far too short, I was still quite happy to have him go to his own filthy house, with his own children and his own wife, and his extreme politics and coffee and other things I couldn’t stand–
while I stayed in my clean house with my little family and its moderate politics, no coffee, no alcohol (because we don’t like it), and other things that I preferred.
Also, after I had worked so hard to find the Truth and get access to the Eucharist–the very source of Life itself, direct access to the Holy Spirit and union with Christ–I wasn’t so stupid as to risk excommunication from the Chalice with the very person who brought me there.
I also kept my husband updated on our conversations and such. He never objected to the friendship, so it was never some shady, secret thing.
In fact, I’d often say, “Hey, I got to talk to Richard for an hour on the phone today,” or “We chatted for two hours online just now,” and Jeff would say, “Oh, good, I’m glad you finally got a chance to talk with him again.”
It’s also quite ridiculous that I even have to explain myself. One adult shouldn’t have to explain/defend his/her friendship choices. Yet I’ve actually encountered people who thought our relationship was somehow wrong–simply because Richard is a man and I’m a woman and we’re married to others!
It made me wonder if I’d slipped back 100 years or so. I thought such backward thinking had been eradicated a long time ago!
Until Tracy’s jealousy flared up and I encountered these people, I never felt the need to explain or defend this friendship to anyone!
If Tracy had been sweet, kind and accepting like most of my friends’ significant others, I would’ve loved her like a sister and freely given her hugs (once I got comfortable with her).
She’d probably make a terrible animal trainer, because instead of using love and kindness to draw me to her, she punished me with harshness for not being comfortable around her, chasing me further into my shell.
If only she would take the lesson from my son and one of our cats, a shy and skittish little thing: When he was little, he kept harassing her, so she became afraid of him and ran away from him. She still gets nervous around him and will sometimes bat at him.
But he grew out of his meanness, and I taught him to be kind and gentle with her, which, over time, is winning her over. If he kept being mean to her, she would never want anything to do with him. But now she’s finally beginning to warm up to him, take pets from him, even curl up on his lap.
Whenever I had to deal with false accusations (whether from Tracy or from clueless people on the Internet who don’t understand male-female friendships can be platonic and that it is possible to love without lust and sin), it was ridiculous:
There was no infidelity, no attempt from me to start infidelity, no attempts to get into his pants or even kiss him, except on the head or the cheek (like with a child or beloved brother).
Yet Tracy kept treating me like some kind of ho who doesn’t understand boundaries, as if I were her own ex-friends who apparently did try to screw around with her boyfriends.
To me, she was the one acting extremely inappropriately–Heck, an ex (Phil) had called me “possessive” for far less (not wanting to hear about his lust for others)! A friend (Catherine) accused me of having Jeff “on a long leash” for far less (not wanting him to share a hotel room with her)!
If I behaved with any of my boyfriends or husband the way she behaved with Richard, I would’ve been unceremoniously dumped immediately.
Tracy’s behavior transgressed boundaries, showing her belief that she could yell or scream or bully anybody she liked, showing a desire to gain control over others/her husband. It was possessiveness, jealousy without cause.
I believe no one has the right to behave this way with a spouse:
- to pre-approve his/her friends
- to control what he/she can or can’t do with friends who haven’t been “approved” (short of infidelity)
- to tell him/her to stop being friends with someone and get mad because that friend’s name was on his/her cell phone call list
- to chase away his/her friends (such as Todd or me)
- to act jealous of his/her friends
- to yell and scream and/or want to kill as a knee-jerk reaction to anything less than a liplock or groping or finding proof he/she has slept with somebody else
- to go through his/her cell phone logs, e-mails or pockets without legitimate reason/permission
I believe that anyone who thinks a spouse does have the right to behave this way, has serious control and boundary issues–unless the spouse slept with somebody else.
This is a serious red flag of abuse from this person, so it’s best to get out ASAP, before you find all your friends/family gone and yourself locked into marriage/parenthood with a control freak and domestic abuser.
Every website on abuse I check, seems to list jealousy and isolation from friends/family as major signs of abuse.
In fact, on Facebook an old classmate asked if his girlfriend’s behavior (checking his phone, calling it her “right”) was legitimate. The responses were a resounding NO, this is not right, and you need to trust someone and give him room for friendships. One said RUN!
But Tracy blamed others for this behavior and grew angry and accusatory when they objected. It was all quite maddening, more of Alice in the rabbit hole.
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