This was a rough couple of weeks:
- On June 1, I learned that Richard (claimed to have) secretly hypnotized me while he lived with us.
- Probably between the 1st and the 5th, the sexual harassment occurred.
- On June 5, I learned that Richard used to be a Mafia thug.
- On June 6, he told me they were about to get evicted again, and he was plotting to kill his apartment manager in retaliation–then called back and said his wife told him not to.
I didn’t even know that going out for coffee was verboten again, until Richard now told me on the phone that it was–and that, as he fervently put it, “I want to go out for coffee!”
(This did come up once during the fall or winter of 2008/2009, when I wanted to do something and Richard said he couldn’t. I forget what it was.
(Exasperated, I sighed and said we could make sure the kids were with us so we weren’t alone–but he said, no, it was NOT about me, but because Tracy was pregnant and hormonal–and would have the same reaction to him doing the same thing with ANY woman.
(Basically, no, the restrictions were NOT back up on me: He couldn’t do this with anyone during her pregnancies or she would get jealous. That was a relief.)
Now on June 6, however, he told me the restrictions were up.
Again? Not only that, but the way he talked, it seemed like they never had been taken away.
He said something about Tracy wanting to have a certain kind of conversation with me. It’s hard to remember his words now, but basically, a kind of easy back-and-forth conversation–which is notoriously difficult for both NLDers and introverts.
I believe the next day was my church’s name-day celebration; they attended that and the reception afterwards.
I carried on such a conversation with her, because for once there was something to talk about (her hair color change)–and things naturally flowed out of that.
I later asked him how I did; he said I did well–and she told him we never had a conversation like that before.
- She approved me and called me her friend shortly after she met me,
- then both she and Richard acted later on as if this never happened.
- Then she approved me in August 2008,
- then at some unknown time during winter or spring of 2009, took it back again–and it was as if she never did approve me.
- And while she would approve me again shortly after these events of June 2009,
- in July 2010 she would act as if she had never, ever approved me at all.
What the heck was WITH this woman????!!!!
Now I know this is a common trait of narcissists and abusers, called gaslighting or crazy-making. Because yeah, it’s meant to make you feel like you’re crazy.
He said that if they couldn’t find a place, they’d go back to their previous state. I couldn’t bear the thought of my BFF Richard leaving, so I offered to let them stay with us, but done differently this time:
I told Richard I would be a better host and treat Tracy differently.
I came up with ways to make things run more smoothly, such as pooling laundry and setting up a makeshift room in the basement.
You see, I didn’t just say everything I did before was right and Tracy just had to suck it up: I felt bad about the past, and said I would do better.
On June 10, I called Richard to ask what he thought about my ideas and offer.
That’s when he shocked me with the revelation that Tracy spit on my hospitality: Even with all the offers I made to make things easier on everybody, and saying I would be a better host, Richard said Tracy refused to do this because of how “badly” I supposedly had behaved to her before.
This is when I discovered that Tracy spit on my hospitality because I hadn’t spent all my time chattering away with her instead of keeping up with the house and getting time to myself.
(See here to find out what really happened, however:
At this distance, away from the FOG machine, I see more clearly–and believe that they finally gaslit me into thinking I had been the problem, when they actually had been horrible guests, taking advantage of us and manipulating us.)
Richard told me some revelations that floored me, that devastated me, that overshadowed the sting of sexual harassment which I was still dealing with.
These things went all the way back to the time they stayed with us–
things they never told us–
things that would have made a huge difference, if only we had known and had a chance to discuss them as a group–
things that explained why Tracy had turned so hostile to me.
Yet they had decided to mention none of them to me!
One of the revelations was that she eavesdropped when I vented to Jeff. I always thought this was a private conversation.
Richard said she “heard every word.” This wording and his tone were like she caught me lying.
She even told him I was “manipulating” Jeff.
Note that she was the one listening; she then told Richard what she heard.
Which tells me now, very clearly, that she actually lied to Richard about what I said to Jeff, just as she lied to everyone in the game forums about what Todd did a year earlier.
Every word I told to Jeff was the truth.
I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT MANIPULATE HIM IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.
Especially since my husband is the type to resist and resent any form of manipulation. And he says that no, I did NOT manipulate him. The very accusation offends him, because it’s his JOB to listen to my complaints.
As you can see if you click on this link, what I really told Jeff, then and at other times during those few weeks, was how Tracy had been abusing everyone, including me, and how it made me feel.
He then, like a man, came up with a way to help the situation. I probably hoped he’d lay down the law with our offensive houseguests, but instead he suggested a way to make things better.
This and the following revelations prove to me now that Tracy had motive all this time for psychologically abusing me, manipulating me, constantly changing her rules, and giving me permission/taking back permission to be friends with her husband:
(see chapter 5, which starts here)
Her motive was that I saw her for the abuser that she was.
So she had to destroy me, had to drive a wedge between me and her husband–
so I couldn’t wake him up to the truth of her abuse.
But in June 2009, I didn’t yet recognize this, did not yet understand the mindscrew capabilities of abusers and narcissists.
Apparently they thought it was somehow wrong of me to even talk to Jeff about what was happening! So, of course, I objected about that to Richard. (How dare they tell me not to tell my own husband how they were bullying me!)
Richard and I had long, revealing talks on the phone that made tears of remorse run down my face, that made me shut down and be quiet and thoughtful all evening long, until finally our son was in bed and I could tell Jeff something of what had happened.
This is when I discovered how they reacted to what I told Jeff and the solution he came up with.
Yet they never mentioned it to us, never got it out into the frickin’ open,
just dealt with it passive-aggressively instead, through Tracy’s constant punishments of me and remembering what I “did.”
(Yet somehow Jeff wasn’t punished for this at all, even though it had been his idea and I just passively went along with it. Why is that? Just how badly did Tracy paint me when she misrepresented me to Richard, I wonder?)
Now I discovered that she knew full well that I overheard the snarks she made on the phone to her mother about me–and that this was why.
So it was on purpose!
This is when I discovered that she almost killed me one night–
which made me shake and wince, every time I saw someone on TV get beaten up, at the thought that it could have happened to me–
Over and over again the following year, I imagined her fists coming at me, Jeff coming into the room (whether from the basement or his bed), screaming at her and throwing her out of the house.
Me going to the hospital (or grave). Her going to jail.
All because I, who was very sick and very sleepy, desperately needed a nap but couldn’t sleep on that crowded couch until I found a soft shoulder. Heck, I did the same thing one night while she was right there on the couch, but she said nothing then!
Also, at some point–I’ve long forgotten when–Richard wrote to me in a chat that he’d tell Tracy I was just shy, and she’d say I wasn’t shy because of sleeping on his shoulder.
- For one thing, I am indeed extremely shy, but why on earth would I be shy with my besties?
- For another, I know people who do things like this with their friends.
- And for another, HE TAUGHT ME that sleeping on shoulders is perfectly innocent and appropriate among friends.
- And for yet another, ever since I learned in January/February 2008 that it upset her, I NEVER DID IT AGAIN.
But this was not enough for Tracy, who refused to ever let me live it down–
or stop reminding Richard of it, since Richard told me she’d bring it up periodically to him–
which you can see was meant to smear my character to him.
Now, hearing that she actually wanted to kill me over it, the depths of her violence troubled me greatly, and I told him it was probably impossible for her and me to ever be close friends.
He was surprised to hear that I was scared of her. (Why would that surprise him?)
He said that he was telling me these things because he now felt he could be more open with me.
This shocked me, because for the last year and a half, I thought he could be open with me about anything!
I was open with him about everything, after all, and encouraged him to do the same.
During the two months he lived here by himself, we bonded; he opened up his heart about all sorts of things, even things that scared me. Also, whenever he told me a complaint about me, I listened.
As I later told him, I may get upset about it at the time, but I need to hear it, and afterwards I would think it over and try to make changes.
But now he said he’d been keeping things from me this whole time? that he didn’t feel he could be open with me?
It felt like our entire friendship for the past year and a half had been a lie!
That he treated me like some China doll instead of being honest with me, and I had no clue WHY, when I always tried to be the person he could talk to about anything!
Unlike narcissists, normal people are willing to acknowledge wrongdoing, and get distressed at the thought of hurting somebody. Through Richard’s smooth words and manipulation of this natural tendency, he got me to feel like a horrible host, when in reality they had been horrible guests.
I believe they used and abused my hospitality, were freeloaders taking advantage of my generosity–not just when they stayed with us, but for the following two years–then used these weasel words to make me think I was the problem, not them.
When I caught their narcissistic FLEAS and did something I shouldn’t have (the solution Jeff came up with), to them it was somehow far worse than all the insults and bad behavior they were themselves guilty of.
(In reality, the solution seemed okay to me because Jeff had already been doing this on his own–
his own idea, which he told me about AFTER he started doing it–
as I describe in earlier e-mails to my mom.)
This is a form of gaslighting which narcissists and abusers are good at.
These revelations made me feel like a horrible person. I did not yet see how they were manipulating and gaslighting me into thinking the problem was all mine, and that they had behaved above reproach.
When I could finally bring myself to tell my husband what they said, he could see this better than I could, and got angry again.
But I was so into a remorseful funk that I could see nothing but my own sins, that I was nothing but a worm who deserved to be punished for what I did, that I was lucky they were so graceful and forgiving with me so far as to still be friends with me.
When a non-personality-disordered individual (Non-PD) begins imitating or emulating some of the disordered behavior of a loved one or family member with a personality disorder this is sometimes referred to as “getting fleas”.
…Sometimes, when a person has been exposed to an abusive situation for a sustained period, they will look for ways to escape – and sometimes they will experiment or resort to behaviors which are not characteristic but serve as a mechanism to demonstrate their anger.
These behaviors are often destructive and counter-productive and rarely get the abuse victim what they want. These behaviors usually result in regret, shame and apologies from the abuse victim towards their perpetrator.
Some perpetrators may seize on such incidents as justification for their own abusive behavior or as a diversion from it. —Lie Down with Dogs & You’re Bound to Get Fleas
I wrote down some things I was upset about, my side of things, for a later conversation, because we weren’t able to finish before he had to hang up.
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