I feel increasing coldness from Richard and Tracy as I “unfriend” their Republican candidates and “friend” Obama and Feingold

As I noted above, Richard used to say “Sorry” for things so often and so freely that it got annoying.  Now, getting him to say sorry for anything was like pulling teeth; meanwhile, he was hurting me more and more all the time.

I also noted that he and Tracy seemed to begin snarking at me on Facebook (and in real life) around the same time I “unfriended” their political choices and “friended” Feingold and Obama.  You could see on your news feed when somebody friended a candidate, so they must have seen me friend the “evil” Democrats.

I had grown tired of the things Ron Johnson and Scott Walker were posting, which seemed far off in left (or, rather, right) field: wacky, delusional stuff.  This was before the November 2010 state election nominees had been chosen.  Johnson was even against science!

I realized their reality was just as skewed as that of the Tea Partiers’, so to vote for the good of Wisconsin, I had to vote for the Democratic candidates.

Johnson and Walker, by the way, won the election–and Walker began causing turmoil in the state by stripping long-held rights, balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and teachers, slashing money to the schools, taking away the ability of counties and cities to balance their budgets without cutting essential services, and refusing to listen to thousands who protested his draconian measures.

He refused to do things that would help Wisconsin, such as taking federal money to expand Medicare or allowing the high-speed rail system to be built. 

He tried to remove everything that was good about this state.  What he did was absolutely disgusting and it infuriates me still.

And this was the guy who Tracy, one day, recommended that I “friend” on Facebook.  Blech!

I saw some of it in his Facebook wall, though I had no idea just how demonically he would act after elected.

Many of my Wisconsin friends were appalled when he started this up, especially teachers who realized how much money was about to be taken from their already meager paychecks.  Don’t believe the myths about high-paid teachers which the Republicans tried to push on us during that time.

Our fine senator Feingold was out after almost 20 years, which caused Jon Stewart to shake his head in dismay.

Many times since the late 90s, I had written Feingold on human rights issues through Amnesty International, only to find that he was already working on that very issue.  His platform was sound, his record impressive, especially his work with McCain.

He won his debate with Johnson, resoundingly, making Johnson look like an idiot.  But he got pushed out by the wacky Tea-Party platform of Ron Johnson.

I could not believe how insane my normally sensible state had become in the 2010 election and after.

But back to the spring/summer of 2010.  Richard kept making snarky little comments about things I posted on his political posts.  It really ticked me off because he was putting politics ahead of friendship, and making his Facebook page so much into a political forum that I couldn’t even play with him like I used to or he’d get snippy.

What happened to playful little posts between friends?  What’s all the seriousness?  What happened to you using this page to reconnect with family and friends and play games and chat?

Make another page devoted to politics, or at least warn a person that your Facebook page has turned into a sterile political platform rather than a fun place to play with your friends and family!

He complained to me about his political “friends” (probably not actual friends, but political connections) complaining about my posts.

I was offended that anyone would react in such a way on what is supposed to be a lighthearted social networking site, to a guy’s friend behaving as friends do with each other on Facebook.  I wanted him to tell them off, not complain as if I were embarrassing him or annoying him.

I was also greatly offended when, after having a little disagreement about the President in a thread on one of Jeff’s posts, he told me that one of my oldest, dearest friends was an “idiot.”

From the conspiracy theories and wacky websites Richard was posting, I half expected him to hole up in the woods with an arsenal, to defend ‘Murica.

But apparently, because I believe in good sense, not relying on wacky websites or rumors, not hating or doubting the Christianity of people who voted for the other side, and compromise and respect for the other side, I’m a socialist who doesn’t care about the freedoms he would die for?

In fact, I lost a great amount of respect for Richard and the Tea Party, because this was how they were treating their opponents on both sides of the political spectrum, while taking on a whole lot of ideas that sounded like they would dismantle everything that made our country a great and safe place to live (unlike many other countries): police force, fire department, public schools, that sort of thing.

But anyone who disagreed with him, or with Chris, was now a socialist, a statist, sheeple.

Hoping to influence him, on March 25, I posted on my Facebook wall a link, How to Debate Politics Like a Gentleman, taken from the Art of Manliness website, on the need for civil debate in political discourse.

Richard certainly had been behaving as if his opponents were morons for disagreeing with him, something this webpage spoke against.  In fact, pretty much everything this webpage spoke against, I saw him doing.

But he just took my post lightly, posting jokes instead of taking it seriously.  He didn’t seem to care about gentlemanly discourse, which I considered a terrible attitude for a Christian man to have.

I realize I’m also venting here with words like that, but after several years of watching the madness out of the Tea Party, I throw up my hands at any attempt to disguise what I see there.

There was a time when Republicans were more sensible, but not since they allowed the Tea Party to take them over.

The Rush-Limbaugh-wing of the Republican Party has always been full of insult and manipulative rhetoric, but at least you could ignore them when weighing candidate platforms.

The Bush-era Republicans seemed more evil than moronic as they justified the worst parts of the Patriot Act, and used weasel-words for torture.

However, back in 2010, I still tried to temper my words when discussing the Tea Party, especially with friends who were in it.  Instead I would basically nod and bite my tongue with Richard and Chris.

Even now, I ignore every bit of Tea-Party or Republican ranting I see on my Facebook wall or hear from relatives, because I don’t want to get into it.  But here in my blog, I’m saying how I really feel.  😛

But back to the story.  This political nuttery also seemed to correspond with Richard and Tracy becoming short and snippy with me as well on various occasions, and with each other when we were visiting, and leading into the big blowup between us and them.

The way they, especially Tracy, behaved about the big blowup, a personal matter, violated all the rules on the webpage for political discourse.  It made me think that their political vitriol (both were involved in politics and skewering the other side) was now spilling into their private lives as well.

I felt that if they had taken my posts more seriously and the need for civil discourse on any matter, this blowup never would’ve happened.

In fact, during that phone conversation in late spring 2010 about the sexual harassment issue, Richard defended rudeness even to friends,

defended just saying “deal with it” when somebody has a problem with something you’re doing,

said he was too apologetic to people and didn’t want to do that anymore,

defended the trolling and occasional vitriolic posts Todd did on Internet forums.

So I told him, “I’m an introvert.  Deal with it!”  But of course, he didn’t.  I guess other people have to “just deal with it,” but he never does.

It just blew my mind.  I thought he was a better person than this.  I thought he was a pious Christian who understood the need for civility and showing love for your neighbor.

Now I began to feel like he should never join the priesthood, because the ones guiding us should have wisdom, humility, patience, love.

Like my priest, the one who Richard told me had driven people away from the local church by being too “ecumenical.”

Another baffling thing: I forget when this happened, but one day he told me that the people he hung out with back in their old region, would consider Jeff and me “prudes” because of the “small” number of people we slept with before marriage.  The way he talked, I was not sure he disagreed with them.  Wait a minute, I thought he was a Christian?

Also, along with the political divide, I may have offended his narcissism on Memorial Day, when we had them over for a cookout.  He started talking about how he used to play some card game with the crew of Drew Carey.

I said in a sarcastic tone–having heard so much of his name-dropping over the years–“So, you know them, too?”

He looked at me and said, “Whaaat?”

In the last month or two of the friendship, with the way Richard started treating me, and the drama that I could tell was going on at his house, it seemed like Richard was taking the things that Tracy did, or things that he himself did, and somehow projecting them onto me.

Tracy created drama with him, so if I was upset about something and tried to bring it up with him, I was creating drama–when I was just trying to kindly and respectfully work out the problems that were now arising.

He accused me of things that he himself did, of things that Tracy did.

Like, for example, he complained about me complaining about things so long afterwards that he couldn’t remember them (one of the things he said in the last part to shut me down before I had a chance to talk to him).

But I tried to deal with problems with him as soon as possible, while I kept hearing from him, complaints that Tracy had of me, about things I couldn’t remember happening, because they had happened weeks or months before!

Also, I was often stymied by Tracy’s ridiculous “rules” and Richard’s lack of response to me, whenever I wanted to sort something out.  I just wanted to see him in person and talk to him the way that works, but always came up against roadblocks.  Yet here he was pushing the blame onto ME for things not getting worked out quickly.

When I finally got him to talk about his nasty e-mail to me, he referred to “the drama” going on at his house.  So yes, the drama at home was coloring his interactions with me, even though I had nothing to do with it.

Also, the “drama” that Jeff and I both saw, was further proof that pregnancy hormones may make her even more jealous than usual, but they certainly don’t cause her to be abusive–despite Richard using this as an excuse for her rages in early 2009.

Jeff and I knew her for two and a half years, and she was only pregnant for nine months of it, giving birth in July 2009.  She was not pregnant after that.

Having no job could not be an excuse either, because when these things were going on in 2010, her youngest child was nearly a year old and she’d been working full-time for months.

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