I told Richard at various times and in various ways what I needed from Tracy to give her what she wanted:
- that I was obviously missing her nonverbal cues to chat; I may have said or implied that I needed more verbal cues (making it clear that you want to converse rather than you’re just making some little comment that only requires a yes or no answer), such as, “Hey, let’s chat”
- Tracy needed to stop treating me as an enemy, hating me, punishing me like a naughty child for everything she didn’t like
- stop pressuring me to talk on pain of losing my friend and being treated like a jerk
- I speak up far more during one-on-one conversations sitting next to each other, than in a group
- (not a need, but an aside: ) once, I mentioned that I would hug her back if she ever hugged me, and she said she wasn’t bothered that I offered hugs to Richard, that she understood that she and I were the same about hugs: giving them out to certain people, but not to everybody
But these things were not provided to me. Instead, I got:
- a prickly person who would sit at her computer, hunched over and mumbling occasionally, never smiling at me or even saying “hello” or “goodbye” first
- constant pressure to talk through various changing rules and punishments
- ridicule, jabs, snarks
- still no, or very few, verbal cues
- no offers for hugs, and when I gave her one a couple of times, she made it into a joke or growled at me–then after I’d always been told that hugging Richard was okay, on 7/1/10, I start hearing through Jeff that they were now saying it wasn’t okay??
- never took me up on my offer to watch movies together, never offered to come visit or chat
- continued abuses–even in front of me–of her husband and children, making her friendship distasteful to me
- Richard’s own behavior, constantly changing, something okay one day and not okay later and then okay again after that, while he kept me constantly guessing as to whether certain behaviors were acceptable to him or not
(This webpage, by the way, demonstrates how, for children with NLD, a system of rewards and punishments for their social behavior is counterproductive–and how behavior problems in them are rarely manipulative. I can imagine that an adult with NLD, being treated like a child, would react the same way.)
I have little trouble warming up to and opening up to my husband’s friends or spouses of my friends who are nice–which is most of them–if in a small-group situation, if I feel I can break into the conversation.
But Tracy was not nice.
I’m often quiet even when our friends are visiting, if there are more than one of them together and we’re all in a group. Yet I feel comfortable being quiet around them, that they’re not judging me for it, that they just accept that as my way.
When Richard would mention times that I supposedly snubbed Tracy, I didn’t remember them at all, or Tracy ever trying to start conversations, and figured NVLD must be to blame for me missing her cues–if indeed she was telling the truth that she was trying to start conversations.
But as for me not opening up to her in general, she wasn’t “safe.” I told Richard directly that I didn’t feel I could be good friends with her, that I was scared of her, that I couldn’t open up to her, that I didn’t like how she was treating him or me (and maybe the kids, though I forget if I mentioned that to him or not).
I never promised to be Chatty Cathy with her or take her into my confidences. I told him I needed to feel “safe” before I could open up to anyone.
My husband says that I sensed she was dangerous, and did what any rational creature would do: tried to become invisible.
Blaming me for this and accusing me of making excuses or “being a victim” was hugely unfair–and wrong. Self-preservation is instinctual, and I sensed that Tracy was not the Christian she claimed to be. The Bible says to have nothing to do with such people (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
I tried and tried to explain things to Richard, that by constantly expecting me to perform social leaps with Tracy, or else I’d be punished by her–they were making things worse. I had to feel comfortable, like she was not my enemy. But it fell on deaf ears as they both kept attributing it to “excuses” or Tracy just plain not believing it.
Apparently they didn’t understand what I meant by feeling comfortable: Did they think it was about the temperature of the house or not cussing around me or not playing zombie movies or not sitting around in boxers? Those things had nothing to do with it!
So the cycle kept continuing: The more Tracy punished me for not being talkative with her–
–the more I heard what terrible things she was saying to Richard about me–
–the quieter and more reserved I became with her out of fear and resentment–
–and the more she punished me for being quiet and reserved, by her hostility and by restricting my friendship with Richard (often in ways I wasn’t even aware of until long after an offense occurred).
I remembered every cutting remark she made about or to me; they were legion. I tried to remember the compliments, but there were very few.
Every punishment she made, every judgment she made which was opposite to how I really felt or what I really meant by some action toward her or Richard, stung like a sock in the eye. Especially after all the kind and loving things Jeff and I did toward her and her family at great financial or emotional expense.
It drove me crazy that Richard didn’t understand that you don’t just stand by and let somebody bully your friend, even if that bully is your own wife! I understood this, and in my past had often stepped into the verbal fray to defend a friend.
So many things were kept from me, which I didn’t find out about until it was far too late to change Tracy’s mind or explain or make any sort of difference. Imagine all the paranoia this inspired when, little by little, things trickled out to my ears.
Imagine being on the playground, getting pounded by the school bully, who with every blow of his fist screams, “Befriend me, you a**hole! Befriend me, you a**hole!”–while your best friend just stands by and watches, even tells the bully to hit harder. That was my situation. And the following is, in every detail, my situation:
Once a potential victim exhibits social constraint, or responsibility, the bully knows he or she can safely maneuver the situation to the very brink of disgrace.
Counting on the integrity of the victim’s constraints to keep them both from tumbling over, the bully stands on the crumbling edges of socially acceptable behavior and demands that the victim either jump or submit.
This assumes that social, professional or familial circumstances force the victim [ie, me] into relationship with the bully. Otherwise, the victim would simply disengage.
It also assumes the victim’s world view and social skill level do not provide alternatives beyond submission or escalation….
This type of aggression uses the threat of social isolation to hurt the victim. The bully’s advantage resides in the value the victim places on belonging to a family, school, workplace or other group…. [ie, being friends with Richard]
Consumed by self-reliance and the need for control, relational aggressors project the source of their inadequacies and fears on to others. Some have termed this projection as “hostile attributional bias” or paranoia.
Accordingly, relational aggressors [ie, Tracy] see provocation and, thereby, justification where it does not exist.
Typically, they [Tracy] take inappropriate revenge for imagined offense and externally impose on others the solutions to problems arising from within.
Surprisingly, bullies see themselves in a positive light, probably because they have so little awareness of what others think of them.
No one wants to suffer a bully’s wrath by telling them the truth, and so the bully’s confidence survives simply because they lack the feedback to perceive themselves correctly in social situations.
In fact, blindness to the feelings of others permeates the behavioral style and outlook of bullies. Lacking social awareness, they certainly don’t see the impact of their own behavior on themselves and others.
They abuse their spouses and children, creating a miserable family life and still another generation of bullies. In the end, bullies bring at least as much unhappiness upon themselves as upon their victims. (Ken Cox, Relational Aggressor).
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