Resolution: I apologize–and write the fateful e-mail about the fateful hugs
This is jumping the gun a bit, but here’s an e-mail I wrote Jeff on July 22, 2010, after I finally read the threatening e-mails for myself:
Actually, near the end of “The Burning Bed,” I was suddenly inspired to go into the e-mails and find out just what Richard wrote you on Facebook on about 6/28, when we were arguing about NLD and such.
I saw 3 messages he wrote to you that night, including the one about hitting you with a brick and not having been that mad in years and being easily provoked to physical violence.
It was…scary. It was hard to say if he was actually threatening you, but it was scary that he would even think that–and that there were at least two earlier drafts which could’ve been even worse.
I mean, WHY? What about what you wrote, or what I wrote, could’ve provoked him so much?
It reminds me, also, of how Tracy blew up a few days later, and that when she was living at our house, there was a time when she got so mad at me that she, according to Richard, almost killed, or could’ve killed me…I forget the exact wording. I don’t know if he meant it literally or verbally.
I remember Tracy’s e-mail to you included something about “self-diagnosed learning disorder.” Which I thought Richard said should never be brought up to her. I remember this sense that it could make her mad, that it might be dangerous to mention it to her. And I wonder when/why Richard mentioned it to her.
These are violent people. And something seems to have been stirring them up, because I don’t know what we could’ve done to inspire the verbal tirades we were getting those few days.
Or what I could’ve said in my e-mail to him, near the end of March, about [the Creeps on IRC], because that also provoked him to write a rather nasty e-mail (the final draft of many).
All I know is that for the past year, I’ve really struggled with getting friendly with Tracy because on some night that I can’t identify, she could’ve attacked me in my own house–for something that seemed to me perfectly innocent.
The thought of her possibly taking her fists to me has haunted me many times.
I imagine you coming into the room, whether from the basement or your bed, screaming at her and throwing her out of the house. Me going to the hospital.
This has gone through my mind many times for the past year, since it was a year ago that Richard told me about this. And yet, somehow, *I* am painted as the one who has just been too stubborn or mean to treat Tracy right.
Right now, rather than wishing to have my friend back, I just feel this weird sense of having escaped but still dealing with the traumatic fallout…..
But back to the evening on June 27th, 2010. All this came while I was reading the last few chapters of Gone With the Wind, which are dark, surreal and depressing. As I wrote in my review for Mysteries of Udolpho,
It amazes me how, lately, the books I’m reading keep matching my mood. I read the last chapters of “Gone With the Wind” on the night of a terrible e-mail argument with my former best friend. I apologized and we tried to patch things up, but it left a pall over the evening, and the next few days as well.
(Incidentally, in an attempt to finally fix things and restore our friendship to the kind and sweet way it used to be, several days later I sent an e-mail–which, unfortunately, got taken wildly out of context and misunderstood, and left me vilified and the friendship in shambles, much like Shirley Sherrod without the later apologies [from Obama].)
At the same time, in between e-mails that evening, I was reading about Scarlett’s devastating last night before Rhett left her for good.
First Melanie dies, just as Scarlett realizes she loves her and Melanie has been her strength. Then she finds out that Ashley was only infatuated with her, that his true love was for Melanie. Then she realizes that her own true love is Rhett, and she’s been terrible to him.
She goes out into the night, which is foggy and appears supernaturally terrifying. Her long walk finally leads her to her safe place, Rhett–only Rhett is fed up and leaving her.
I didn’t know yet about the threatening e-mail Richard sent Jeff. I didn’t want to lose my BFF, my Frodo.
It seemed the only way I could get anywhere with Richard was to apologize–even though that meant my complaints were tossed aside as if I had no right to make them, while Richard made petulant little remarks to Jeff that we had resolved things, but Jeff already knows.
I was getting the distinct impression, from this and other times, that I was not supposed to confide in Jeff, my own husband, about my problems with them.
Jeff then discussed the e-mails with me, though I did not see them myself for nearly a month. To calm him down, he sent Richard an apology. On the morning of the 28th, Jeff wrote to me,
( He tells me that an apology wasn’t necessary. He says he wants to hit me in the head with a brick, but I don’t have to apologize … I trust when he talks about “Drama”, he’s talking about *himself*. )
It was unbelievable. It also shows another way that NLDers need to be careful in choosing friends, because if your friend arrogantly dismisses your NLD without knowledge, tells your husband that you just need to push yourself harder, warns you not to mention the NLD to his wife because it could be dangerous, and dismisses your explanation of what you need to help you socially, then this “friend” is no good for you.
Especially if he’s married to a very abusive person who could turn around and rip you a new one because of these social problems which you could not help being born with, which she took personally.
Who could demean, humiliate and belittle you with filthy language and unChristian words for having social problems with her that you could not help.
Leaving you with a huge, gaping wound emotionally, lasting for years because people with Asperger’s or NLD tend to ruminate over things long after other people have moved on.
It was always me who went crawling back. It was always me who was contrite.
There was no winning with H–not that I was the one making it a competition…far from it. Rarely did she acknowledge that I had wisdom or insight.
Occasionally we would spar when I began to push back on her superior attitude. More and more often, there were periods of estrangement, yet there was always that “makeup session” followed by a brief “honeymoon period.”
Yes, those “makeup sessions,” where everything was glossed over or more often simply ignored altogether, never to be discussed!
Those “honeymoon periods,” during which our respective motives for being in the friendship were quite dissimilar–even though a trained therapist would probably conclude that at the time, I was an Invert Narcissist and Codependent–therefore possessing some of the same characteristics as H.
Recently I came across a comment on a message board: “Sometimes I believe a Narcissist can almost cause these other defects in people who fall for them.” How true that is! How insidious it is. It’s called FLEAS.
Neither of us understood the extent of our dysfunctional relationship, nor did we want to. We had many things in common. We had a history together that was unique.
We had many long and deep discussions about spirituality, various esoteric methods, and the history and intricacies of our spiritual community. We had similar music tastes. We had children the same age.
We were both married to men who eschewed the spiritual life. We needed each other (she would probably deny that). Still, there was an ever-present undercurrent of tension and conflict. —Joyful Alive Woman, “My former [platonic] girlfriend, the cunning abusive narcissist”
But after the apology, it seemed that we were starting to make headway. I thought he wanted to take a break from me for a day or two, and didn’t say much to him, though I missed him terribly.
Then I pinged him, wondering if we were still “estranged.”
He was surprised and said that was over with already. We had a conversation that demonstrated that we were still good friends and that he wasn’t angry with me anymore.
He sent me a link to a video, since we often shared music videos with each other from the genres we both liked. I sent him a heart and a rose on Facebook as a demonstration of goodwill:
After thumbing through my Language of Flowers book and reading that white roses stand for innocence and purity and in no way mean romance or passion, I sent him a white rose for peace.
To show restoration of goodwill, I sent a simple friendship heart, one of those Facebook hearts that people were constantly sending to their friends and family at that time.
(By the way, I have never sent these flowers or hearts to anyone since, when I used to send them all the time to my friends and family, because they were now associated in my mind with Richard.)
I don’t know if he saw the white peace flower, but he posted the heart on his wall saying, “From me Nyssa [sic].”
Then the following morning, July 1, 2010, I woke up happy that our friendship issues were finally resolved, happy for the first time in weeks.
When he lived with us and the day he moved out, he gave me some sweet bearhugs which I took as being meant strictly in friendship, and in gratitude for what I had done to help out his family in their distress.
Therefore, there was no harm either in mentioning them, or in doing them again, including in front of others, including Tracy.
Especially since a year earlier, Richard wrote to me, “She knows about the hugs and the whatnot. It’s all good.”
I thought Jeff or the neighbors had seen these hugs, as well, and I had felt no qualms about this, because the hugs were completely innocent.
I always wondered why Richard hadn’t hugged me that way since. Once, in maybe late winter or early spring 2008, I asked him online about them, and he said he’d been holding off because of how jealous Tracy had been acting.
But that was long since in the past, we had been sharing quick hugs in front of Tracy for the past two years, and in that e-mail a year earlier, he said the hugs and “whatnot” are good with her.
Also, through a signal I had asked for in late 2009, he showed me that Tracy was completely fine with me doing all the things his other friends could do with him.
In some old posts to friends on a web forum, friends whom I believe he knew in person, he asked them for and they offered “huggles,” showing me that he’s just a “huggy” type of guy.
Yet he still had not hugged me like he did in November 2007 and January 2008, making me feel like our friendship had lost that bond.
I desperately needed reassurance that our friendship was still like it was back in 2007, which I think you can understand after all I’ve described.
His friendship was so special to me because he was my spiritual mentor, my “brother from another mother,” the Frodo/Diana/Ted/Gus I had always wanted. I was scared of losing his friendship.
Those hugs were like a symbol of our special friendship. You can see this in the e-mail I wrote him a year earlier, which said,
“Yes, I’ll hug you and such on IRC and you’ll just sit there or scream, when I was hoping for a bearhug back, etc. You know, signs that despite everything that’s gone on, our friendship is intact.”
So I wrote a Facebook message to him the morning of 7/1/10, reminded him of those specific hugs and said they had meant a lot to me.
I was happy after sending the message, because I knew he would say something like “Awwww, how sweet. Yes, I remember those hugs” or–like he did to an e-mail I sent him a few months before about how much his friendship meant to me–“You’ve made me cry–like a chick!”
Since he gave me those hugs many times,
and since we had already spoken about them without him acting like there was something wrong with me bringing them up,
and since he had never, ever said they were “verboten” now, and
since he talks like that with his friends all the time,
and since he specifically told me many times that hugs are okay with Tracy,
I expected this to be a perfectly fine topic for an e-mail.
I went on about my day, exercising, doing housework, and the like, expecting the day to be absolutely wonderful, full of caring and friendship.
Then maybe a couple of hours later, I checked Facebook, hoping to see some wonderful little message from Richard.
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
4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children
- 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
6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends
- 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
7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build
- 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
9. The fallout; a second chance?
- 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
11. Struggle to regain normalcy
- 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
12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other
13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary
14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges
- 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
Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing