I wrote these drafts of an e-mail to Richard, after the phone conversation I describe above, which was not quite finished–and left me with all sorts of complaints:
You said you’d talk to Tracy….Did it do any good?
It’s ripping me apart inside but it feels like the efforts I have made have been forgotten, the nice things I did for her and little things I said here and there and conversations I had with her….
I was hurt deeply by many things that happened, but for your sake I tried my hardest to get past them and forget them.
It hurts not only that these things have been forgotten but also that you seemed to believe so many bad things about me, too, or think anything she did to me was in any way justified. I thought you knew me better than that.
I KNEW something was up but you kept insisting I was just paranoid. I have lost so many hours and so much sleep to this issue.
Nothing I do is ever good enough. I am not this evil person she seems to think I am. I would never snub her. I would never manipulate Jeff into anything.
To be honest, I haven’t cared about “going for coffee” or “going to the Bar & Grill” or whatever the point of contention is, for some time.
I care only about being trusted and not fearing my head’ll get bitten off. I don’t think it’ll ever get better.
You seem to have forgotten various details which will put that overheard conversation into perspective. Especially if you think you were working too hard to “keep the peace.”
I’m not sure you’re aware of all the abusive behavior I’d been witnessing for some time before I had that conversation [with Jeff]. My primary concern was not myself but how you and the girls were being treated. Also, I felt like the abuse was beginning to get directed toward me, and I had no clue where that was coming from.
I think you’ve also forgotten the series of letters I used to try to talk things out with you, because I wasn’t allowed to talk with you one-on-one.
It wasn’t about going out for coffee, it was about not being allowed to discuss important things with you in private. It was about feeling cut off and forgotten, like my best friend had been taken away from me.
Jeff was well aware of all of this; he had already comforted me as I sobbed over how it felt like I was being pushed aside.
[On the day I spoke to Jeff about everything and Tracy overheard] It wasn’t me manipulating him into it; I merely told him what was going on and how I felt;
[Jeff’s suggestion to show Tracy a movie so I could watch a movie with Richard for once] was his fix-it response to a problem [and he had already done this a few times before we had this conversation].
He never would’ve done it if he thought it was some sort of manipulation to get a man alone with his wife [for nefarious purposes]–are you kidding?
[This shows how I was guilted and manipulated as my/Jeff’s actions were twisted way out of proportion into the worst possible interpretations–same as they did to Todd in 2008.]
He trusted us both enough to leave us alone for long periods of time. He did it deliberately. He was happy I had found a friend.
As for the shoulder thing–You and I had those conversations already [Richard had started the practice and taught me it was perfectly innocent and appropriate];
we both knew it was completely innocent; we had established firm boundaries of what was and was not acceptable.
And–“don’t know you”? She’d been living in my house for a few weeks already! I was no stranger!
[He told me that she got upset over the “shoulder thing” because she didn’t know me, but that if a certain other friend did it, Tracy would think it was cute, and join in.
It was also distressing to hear about this yet again, because I hadn’t done it since January 2008, because it upset her so much. Yet it kept getting brought up over and over and over!]
I KNEW things weren’t quite right. I got worried when you didn’t call me [whenever he promised to]. I thought a number of things: You were being yelled at, you thought I was acting weird….
You told me I was just being paranoid…told me you were trying to find the right time is all….Now come to find you were getting yelled at because it was “THAT woman”….Like I was the one with the problem.
I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Jeff says he would’ve ended the friendship a long time ago, that he would have exploded by now.
In later drafts:
I worked hard to remember details and put that overheard conversation into perspective.
My primary concern was how you and the girls were being treated. I had already witnessed various incidents of abuse. I felt like I was now being abused and did not deserve it.
I already felt cut off and forgotten, like my best friend was pushing me aside. Now I felt my best friend was being taken away from me for no good reason.
Jeff was already aware of this. I wasn’t manipulating him into anything; I merely told him what was going on and how I felt; it was his fix-it response to a problem.
Do you think for a moment he would’ve done it if he thought we were going to do something we shouldn’t?
Do you think for a moment he would’ve done what he did without the best of intentions? He wanted to befriend Tracy!
And about the “incident”–You and I had those conversations already; we both knew it was completely innocent, that Americans are too uptight; we had established firm boundaries. And–“don’t know you”? She’d been living in my house for a few weeks already! I was no stranger!
Things we both did [either Richard and me, or Jeff and me, not sure which] with the best of intentions and innocent motives are being painted with an evil, underhanded light, and that hurts deeply. This talk of violent thoughts [Tracy almost killing me] is very troubling.
I don’t need you to “bend over backward” because of my shyness/quietness; I merely ask for understanding. It hurts that you’d even think I’d be deliberately rude.
I don’t know how much more of this I can take. My illusions that things were now fine have come crashing down and I don’t know where I stand with you. You say you don’t want to lose a friendship over it. Neither do I, but I also can’t take any more sleepless nights and endless crying jags.
Even later drafts:
I worked hard to remember details and put that overheard conversation into perspective. I had already witnessed various incidents of abuse. My primary concern was how you and the girls were being treated. I felt like I was now being abused and did not deserve it.
I felt cut off and forgotten, like my best friend was pushing me aside. Now I felt my best friend was being taken away from me for no good reason.
I merely told Jeff what was going on and how I felt. He responded by trying to fix the problem.
Various things we both did with the best of intentions and innocent motives are being painted with an evil, underhanded light, and that hurts deeply. This talk of violent thoughts is very troubling.
I don’t need you to “bend over backward” because of my shyness/quietness; I merely ask for understanding. It hurts that you’d ever think I’d be deliberately rude, or that you’d let these things build on themselves without talking with me about it first.
I don’t know how much more of this I can take. My illusions that things were now fine and the past was left in the past, have come crashing down and I don’t know where I stand with you. You say you don’t want to lose a friendship over it. Neither do I, but I also can’t take any more sleepless nights and endless crying jags.
I think I know what she meant about being too worried about “keeping the peace.” If you knew what Jeff was doing (and I remember telling you about it) and it bugged you, you should’ve said something. Now it’s festered.
If you knew about an “incident,” [her seeing the shoulder sleeping one afternoon when I was sick and desperately needed a nap] you should’ve told me.
You also should’ve told me, “It’s not okay right now, even when she’s out of the room, but it’ll be perfectly fine once she gets to know you. I will tell you when that day comes, so you don’t have to guess.” All I remember hearing is something about jealousy.
I keep hearing “you ignore it when she tries to start a conversation,” but I have no clue what you mean because all I remember is being kind and pleasant and smiling where appropriate and occasionally saying something. If you see something happen, come to me and say, “THAT’s what I mean.” Then I can say, “What? I had no idea!” and be more watchful.
In my childhood, I had absolutely no clue that I was supposed to say “hi” and “bye” when people said it to me, until my mom and aunt pointed out that it was rude not to. I think I was something like 10 or 11 by then. Here I had no idea I was ticking people off for all those years, so I started forcing myself to say it. Of course, it was still many years before I started initiating the “hi/bye,” but at least I knew to say it back.
In my teens, I had no idea that I was supposed to thank a person for a ride until a girl in my youth group chewed me out. While it was embarrassing and I felt bad, I was also grateful to her for pointing this out. I became a very gracious ride-taker after that.
I also didn’t see the point of saying “thank you” to a waitress because she was just doing her job, not a favor. But in time I began to see how much better it is to do so.
I am not intentionally rude. I just never picked up on some of the social rules that other people figure out instinctively. If nobody ever points it out, I miss it completely.
I don’t want to be chewed out, just have it gently mentioned. Now Jeff never heard of the “compliments starting a conversation” rule, either, so it may very well be a difference between [their region and our region] culture.
I didn’t actually send this e-mail because I spoke to Richard on the phone between the last draft at 3pm and an e-mail to Jeff at 4pm. But I wrote it because our talk got interrupted before it could be finished.
So you see, old stuff was being drudged up again that I thought had long since been put to bed because nobody was doing them anymore, and because Tracy had made it very clear back in August of 2008 that the old restrictions on me were gone!
But when I called him about it after 3pm, I said I was tired of the whole thing (had been for a while, in fact). I said I had a list of defenses but wanted to just drop the whole subject, and he said he did as well.
(The only one who actually kept the subject going in the first place, was Tracy. Richard and I had wanted to drop it a long time ago.)
I told him I was sorry for my own part in things, and said so, to him and in an e-mail to her, which she accepted. It sounded like he and I had so resolved things that their misunderstandings of me were cleared 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