I begin to wonder if the Richard I know–is real or a fake persona

At the same time Richard said my feelings about the 2009 harassment were “ridiculous” and I had to “get over it,” which I think was sometime in May 2010, Richard complained about having “pampered” me whenever we came to visit them in 2008, until his wife complained.  I can remember having very pleasant visits in those days; isn’t that what visiting friends is all about?

He complained about how he was still doing all these things to bend over backwards and make me feel comfortable, but I couldn’t tell what the heck he was talking about.

I never told him to do that!  I’m pretty easygoing with friends, actually.  Even if they cuss around me, I learned in college to shut up and ignore it.  And I kept my mouth shut about other things, as well, such as the state of the house.

Was his wife complaining because he was being a good host and paying attention to a dear friend?  Were they feeling put out about being good hosts, cleaning up their mess a little for company, not insulting their guests, not being rude, not going around naked or in boxers, what?

Is it really so terrible not to cuss around my son, and do they cuss like sailors around their own children?

Apparently Tracy actually got mad at him for holding back on saying things she could tell he wanted to say.  What things were this??

I recalled times when everything would be perfectly fine, but then she’d disappear for the rest of the evening into the bedroom to play on the computer or whatever.  It was very rude of her.  Now it sounded like she vanished because she got some bug up her butt for some unknown reason.

How on earth could Tracy see being a good host, or kind and polite to a friend, as wrong and terrible, something for her to scold him about?  How on earth could Richard see this as “pampering”?

The narcissist abuses his victim verbally, mentally, or physically (often, in all three ways).

He infiltrates her defences, shatters her self-confidence, confuses and confounds her, demeans and debases her.

He invades her territory, abuses her confidence, exhausts her resources, hurts her loved ones, threatens her stability and security, enmeshes her in his paranoid state of mind, frightens her out of her wits, withholds love and sex from her, prevents satisfaction and causes frustration,

humiliates and insults her privately and in public, points out her shortcomings, criticises her profusely and in a “scientific and objective” manner – and this is a partial list.

Very often, the narcissist sadistic acts are disguised as an enlightened interest in the welfare of his victim. He plays the psychiatrist to her psychopathology (totally dreamt up by him).

He acts the guru, the avuncular or father figure, the teacher, the only true friend, the old and the experienced. All this in order to weaken her defences and to lay siege to her disintegrating nerves.

So subtle and poisonous is the narcissistic variant of sadism that it might well be regarded as the most dangerous of all. –Sam Vaknin, The Narcissist as Sadist

All this nitpicking and criticism of me was obviously meant to make me think I was the problem, while taking the focus off how Richard and Tracy were psychologically abusing me. 

This is a narcissistic trait, a method of gaslighting and brainwashing.  And their most likely motive was that I noticed and commented on their abuses of each other and the children.

His complaints made me wonder what the real him was really like.  When it was just the two of us getting acquainted and forming a friendship, and when he stayed at my house by himself, he seemed very sweet and respectful, insistent on putting his violent past behind him, pious and gentle, willing to lend a hand when I asked him to.

I didn’t even know to what extent his past had been violent, but I knew he was determined to follow the practices of his faith.

We developed a camaraderie, a way of poking fun at each other like brother and sister, joking around with each other so easily that our jokes played off each other as if they’d been rehearsed.  (One guy online said he loved being in IRC with us.)

I would occasionally tickle him like a sister when he got too cheeky.  We were comfortable with each other, a comfort I felt around very few people.

But now, I began wondering how well I really knew him, as his violent nature began to swell up again, he complained about not cussing or showing certain movies when we were there (making me wonder what kind of movies he played when his own children were around), and just kept making remarks about bending over backwards for me.

I never asked him to, he kept complaining about it even when I told him he didn’t need to do it–

and it made me wonder how much of the sweet guy I got close to, was real.  Or if maybe his wife was somehow influencing him toward the violence again.

He told me before that he felt cussing was unladylike, he wanted his wife to stop doing it, and he wanted to stop doing it himself as a Christian man–

but now he complained that they had to cut the cussing when I was there (even though I never asked them to).  He was treating me like a china doll, which I resented.

But what do you expect from someone who hangs out with people from 4chan?  I have no idea if he himself liked to go over to 4chan, but I know some of his online friends either were or behaved like 4chan people, posting 4chan “goatsees” in IRC or on the game forums.

(4chan, as he and others have described it, is for people who like to be nasty for fun, posting anything they like.  What I’ve accidentally seen of goatsees are bizarre porno pictures.)

Once, I typed to Richard after someone did this in the IRC channel for his group of creepy friends, that of course I wouldn’t click on any links they posted in this channel.  Then he said that he clicked on them all!!??  He knew that these kids/overgrown kids were probably posting hardcore porn, yet clicked on the links anyway?  (And even gave them a picture of his wife’s breasts???)

I no longer knew what to believe.  His wife crowed during the “incident” (next chapter) that she no longer had to be “quiet and nice,” making me wonder when she was secretly seething in my presence when I thought things were fine, and over what?

Her passive-aggression drove me mad, especially since it never seemed to be based in anything I actually DID, but just imaginary crap that was only in her own head.

What was real?  What was fake?  

I thought Richard was always honest with me; now I wondered if he had lied, when, and how often?  

Was he anything like the great and spiritual and caring man of God I had thought he was?  How many of his stories were true?  

How much of what he told me about himself, his dealings with his wife, and his past, was true?  

Or could it be that it was true, before, but she had corroded him so much with her abusive acid, convincing him of things about me that were not true, just as abusers do with their victims in order to isolate them from their support network–

that he had changed toward me and was not the same person he was before?

Two years before he had seemed a whipped and passive husband, who I wished would stand up for himself more.  But recently I saw him either fighting back or looking sick and tired of being scolded; could he be starting to give back what he was getting?

How many of his sweet words about me and our friendship, were true?  He used to apologize to me so much that I got annoyed; now he refused to apologize, ever, especially if I asked him to.

It’s even more baffling the more I learn about one of their other friends, who is also Orthodox.  She probably has Asperger’s or NLD herself, she wrote a blog about how we shouldn’t be cussing, she thinks South Park is filth….She seems to be even more strait-laced than I am.

(BTW, my blacked-out cuss words on these pages are the closest I’ve ever come to cussing.  It just isn’t something I do.  So for me to put such words in my account here, shows just how deeply this situation and Tracy’s words have wounded me.)

Does he “pamper” her, too?  Does he complain about having to do it, even if she never asked him to?

He complained about not feeling able to be rude to me–What the heck?  Why does he think it’s somehow a good thing to be rude to your friends?  How could he possibly think it was bad (or my “fault”) to not be able to?  Where did he learn manners, from Neanderthals?

One social rule I have picked up is that it is generally considered good form to adjust your behavior based on who you are with.  You don’t complain about it; you just accept it.

You don’t act the same to a preacher or head of state as you do to your drinking buddies.  You don’t act around a child the way you’d act at a house party.  You don’t cuss or show violent or sexy movies around children.

And you don’t be rude to your friends, or they’ll get ticked off and stop being your friends.

That sort of thing.  There are social rules that I have trouble picking up on, but not all of them.  He lectured me about manners as if he were learned on them and I was a social idiot, but many times it seemed to be the reverse.

Actually, paranoia began to fill my heart long before the 7/1/10 Incident as things kept trickling out, and little bits and pieces of Tracy’s hostility began reaching my ears.  Even a neglected promise to call or lack of response to an e-mail became a reason to doubt our friendship, no matter how many times he scolded me for it and claimed that I was very dear to him.

I told him to let me know right away when he couldn’t come over or couldn’t call, if necessary with an e-mail, apologizing and giving the reason, rather than leaving me hanging like that all.the.time, waiting by the phone all night, not doing other things I could have done.

But he still didn’t do that, and seemed to think there was something wrong with my request.

I felt like I may be the one with the problem, being too needy, and occasionally I told him I felt bad about it, but also that I was acting that way because Tracy was making me paranoid.

He said he knew this, that because of that he didn’t “strangle” me for it.  (He used a lot of violent language, I now realize.)

But there were so many of these neglected promises to call, so many times he said he’d come over but didn’t, said he’d call but didn’t.

Once he even promised to call the next day on the way home from church to set up a time for our families to get together that afternoon.  But instead he turned off his ringer, they went to sleep, and they left us all hanging all day long until we finally heard from him near evening!

Jeff and I tried to call him all afternoon, while our own afternoon was shot because we’d planned for a get-together, but just sat around doing nothing, waiting for a phone call!

Once again, my son was disappointed as well, because he always looked forward to playing with their children, his best friends, his dearest playmates–only to be let down, time and time again.

I began to stop believing Richard whenever he said he would call, so I wouldn’t be disappointed yet again when he didn’t.  Jeff and I began fake bets about whether or not he would call at the last minute before a scheduled get-together of our two families, canceling for one reason or another.

But there was more: Other hints of things kept from me, kept coming out….

One day he told me (maybe in 2010) that he had somehow gained a reputation among the homeless, who would come to him for rides.

This reinforced my view of him as a good, righteous man (despite things I now knew which should have countered that).  But I told him everything, so why did he keep this secret from his BFF?

Another thing, however, seemed darker, more sinister–but made no sense.  It was more of a hint than anything else.  He spoke of ghostwriting horror, and people coming to see him about it–

but he only let them come in when his daughters weren’t around, because he didn’t want them near the girls–


I wish I had made notes about this conversation, or printed it up (I forget if it was phone or online), because it makes no sense.  What’s shady about ghostwriting?  Or was there something more he was doing?

He held back on purpose, so I never did know what he was hinting at, what he was doing, if it was illegal or if he was ghostwriting for shady characters or what.

I just remember him wanting to impress on me that he was holding things back from me that he did not want to tell me about himself, hinting at doing shady things but not telling me what they were.

I doubt that anyone could have responded with a more trusting heart in such a situation.  In 2007 he gave me every reason to believe that I was one of his dearest friends, that he prized spending time with me–and he even told me I was the most awesome person he knew.

But over time, he began treating me like an annoyance, disregarded my feelings or my time if it inconvenienced him, then complained if I complained or doubted his friendship.

I saw how he kept making more and more phone friends via the Internet, how he was spreading himself so thin that it seemed like everybody wanted to talk to/e-mail him, but he had little time for anybody–and had so many obligations at home that needed tending.

I’d try to chat with him online and he’d tell me he had a bunch of other people chatting with him as well, so I’d have to wait and wait for each response.

Then he found a friend in town who agreed with him politically, who was even more of a political kook than Richard, and I began to wonder over time if I’d been supplanted.

It began to seem like he’d make a new friend, a shiny new friend, spend all his time playing with that friend while spending less time with older friends, then eventually move on to another shiny new friend.

I was that shiny new friend for a while, but then the newness wore off and I didn’t know where I stood with him anymore.

It also sounded like he and Tracy both spent so much time on the computer that more important things were put off, meaning less time with friends who were right here, not pixels on a screen.  It was all very frustrating.

Then in the late spring of 2010, I saw Richard–who was getting heavily involved in Tea Party politics despite all the claims on his time–post a comment to some important political person on Facebook, apologizing for not calling the night before, and explaining why. 

Exactly what I asked him to do for ME, but he treated me like I was needy and clingy. 

Okay, so you’ll do this for somebody you have to impress, but you won’t do it for me?  Oh, yeah, that didn’t escape my notice.

Richard told me in spring (May?) 2010 that he loved me like a sister, which made me so happy because, as I told him, I wanted him to think of me as his sister.  

He had a sister who was very dear to him and a confidante; a cousin who was like this, as well; I wanted to be that way to him.  

I wasn’t close to my own brothers, and had always wanted a brother I could be close to.  So for him to finally say he loved me like a sister, meant a great deal to me.

He told me he often wanted to come visit me late in the evening when everyone else was asleep in his house, that he would go out driving planning to come visit me, but he never actually did this (falling asleep or wanting to be alone after being with all those kids all day, were his reasons.)

(Yet another confirmation to me at the time that Tracy was finally completely okay with our friendship and all her restrictions on me were gone….Before you get any ideas, note that Jeff also would have been home at that time of day, and probably still awake.)

Yet more good intentions not carried out.  His unreliability was infuriating.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing