Warning: The following contains venting of anger, to get it out of my heart and onto the page, to make the story authentic, and to show other victims of abuse that I feel your rage.

When Jeff went over to talk to Richard alone after work, Richard claimed that Jeff didn’t know the half of how he and Tracy had been “bending over backward” for me–and Jeff considered this a load of BS.

If that’s what Richard and Tracy consider to be “bending over backward” to be nice to somebody, then I hate to see what they’re like when they’re not trying to be nice.  (Oh, wait, I did.  Dang, these people are evil.)

What happened to Richard reading the Philokalia? the Ladder of Divine Ascent? books which describe the Orthodox way of treating people kindly and with respect?  I’m sure those books don’t describe what Richard and Tracy were actually doing: demanding respect and kindness from others while showing no respect or kindness to them!

Is it really so hard to be kind and decent that you find it such an imposition? 

Is it so awful to accept that some people are naturally quiet and introverted, and that it has nothing to do with trying to tick you off? 

Is it so horrible to let your friends have their own ideas of what is proper behavior?  Yet another sign of sociopathy! 

Everyone else has to be nice to you, Richard and Tracy, but we’re supposed to let you treat us like crap!  Because treating others with respect is so frickin’ hard for you that you call it “bending over backward”!

Richard also acted in such a manner during the face-to-face conversation with Jeff–repeatedly getting up and into his face, raging, using his much larger height and girth–that Jeff felt very physically intimidated. 

This infuriated Jeff, especially after the threats he received from Richard in that e-mail several days earlier.

And why did Richard rage at him?  Because Jeff told him that there are two sides to this issue, that they kept putting all the burden and blame on me when there was plenty to go on Tracy’s shoulders.

So–No side is worthy of a hearing but Tracy’s?  No side is legitimate but Tracy’s?  I had been listening to her side and Richard’s side all these years, but they wouldn’t do the common decency of listening to MINE?

As for intimidating Jeff–It’s bad enough for schoolyard bullies to make you afraid, but for someone who’s supposed to be your friend–that’s unconscionable.  

Jeff finally yelled at him to STOP intimidating him and SIT DOWN.

Also, Jeff says that he tried to say things like, we needed to get into a circle and listen to each other, that all that swearing and verbal abuse was making things worse, but Richard would start hissing and getting angry.

Jeff left with a very bad taste in his mouth.  As for Richard, what a jackass.  And he wants to be a priest or a psychologist with an attitude like that?

If you don’t listen to any side but your own, not even when it’s your own friends,

if you defend your wife using swearing and ad hominems against your own friend, against someone you say is very dear to you and whom you know to be sweet, nice and sensitive–

–then you have no business counseling others on how to deal with relational problems or how to exorcise your own passions.

I gave him the Ladder of Divine Ascent; he said he read it; but did he really comprehend it?  Did he really comprehend why monks in the Divine Ascent icon are falling into Hell?

Jeff says Richard is like the Pharisees, that he doesn’t listen to anyone but himself, has a superiority complex (that both Richard and Tracy do), thinks the world revolves around him, is indeed a narcissist.

Note how Richard’s reaction to Jeff’s remarks, match exactly the following about telling an evil narcissist the truth:

So today’s dose of truth and reality is this: Evil must mask itself with good in order for it to make a living. Evil must hide itself by hiding the truth of who and what they are.

Therefore, full truth (light) is anathema to evil.  You know this is true. You’ve tried to bring just a smidgen of truth to the table with the narcissist and you saw the hissing, spitting and reviling it invoked.

The extreme reaction is the narcissist’s attempt to get you to drop the holy water before he gets burned.

That is not the moment to fumble or drop the truth. Thrust that stake deep into his heart and then put him in the ground. Metaphorically speaking, of course. –Anna Valerious, They Hide from Truth Because Their Deeds Are Evil

Also, Jeff is offended that they treated me as they did, saying “don’t go crying to Jeff because we don’t need the headache,” for confiding problems in my own husband.  He says it’s his job to listen to my problems and be there for me.

It sounds very much like the schoolyard bully saying don’t tell the teacher or we’ll beat you even worse.

Or the sexual molester saying, don’t tell your parents about our little secret.

Or the spouse saying don’t tell anyone I beat you or I’ll kill your sister.

But then, after the bizarrely jealous and possessive rant Tracy made publicly against me on Facebook a few weeks before this, after I posted a simple “I’ll miss you dearly, have a nice trip” on one of her posts about a possible family trip out of state–

–can I really expect any less than such an overblown and verbally abusive reaction from her to that misunderstood e-mail?

I have made many comments to people in the past which were not meant as offenses, but were received that way (i.e. foot-in-mouth disease), yet in their angriest reactions, they never, ever spoke to me the way she did.

There were so many things she did that day and in the following month that were just bizarre, over-the-top, ridiculous, incredibly insulting.

All because of what she thought the e-mail was about, but it really wasn’t.

And Richard just sat back and let her do it, while she crowed on Facebook that she was finally allowed to.  She seemed to think she was entitled to do this because she’s the wife of Richard.

Yet based on what I’ve seen him do in other situations with other people, if someone did the same thing to her, Richard would be all over them for it, want to beat them up.

And just because you’re married to a person doesn’t mean you “own” them like some piece of property.  They’re not a dog or a couch or a house.  They’re a human being with their own rights to think for themselves and decide for themselves what is right and who they should be friends with.

Jeff and I were both disgusted with Richard’s behavior.  When I heard of it later that evening, I began to sob and said, “That makes me never want to see him again!”

Tracy judged and sentenced me without a trial, without giving me a chance to defend myself.

And Richard knew full well the truth behind my e-mail, but pretended to Jeff and Tracy that he didn’t, that I was making a pass at him, when he knew full well that I wasn’t–probably to avoid a beating from Tracy.

For all his claims that I was very dear to him and he loved me like a sister, he showed me then just how much his friendship was worth.

I find it rather telling that Richard–

–when he showed Jeff the e-mail in question, along with Tracy’s e-mails–

–rather than telling Jeff what he told me when I questioned the gestures he made while he lived alone with us,

that they were done in friendship only,

and explaining how the hugs had been meant in friendship and brotherly love rather than romance,

he said he’d been distancing himself from me lately.

(Distancing himself?  As of when?  And–WHY?  Was he ever going to tell me?  What kind of a BFF does that without a word?  Yet more lack of communication from him to me!)

Why didn’t he tell Jeff they were innocent gestures and that my e-mail was equally innocent?

Was it because he was lying to me when he said we were doing nothing wrong?

This makes it sound as if they were not innocent, that he had more in his head than he’d admitted to me, and had been backing off for that reason.

While I had put my full faith and trust in him for more than two years that he had meant the gestures solely in friendship and would do this with any of his closest friends and relatives.

I feel manipulated by him, betrayed, used, played for a naïve and gullible fool, toyed with.  I’m furious with him for all of this.

Richard’s allowing Tracy to go off on me like this, and then defending it, made him into Judas, so that I can never trust him again–

–and it also appalled and disgusted Jeff, who is used to true friends laughing off gaffes or waiting to get more information before blowing up.

Then a month later I caught Richard in an outright lie (more on this later).

As for the gaffe–Richard himself had made at least two gaffes of his own, just like this:

One was an issue with someone close to him, which I won’t get into because it’s private.

The other was when he was living with us and put his head on my lap and shoulder, called it “flirting” when he did it, and gave me some very affectionate hugs, making me think he was making the moves on me.

But according to him, both times, he was innocent of the charges, hadn’t been “flirting,” had been acting with me as he would act with relatives such as sister, mother, cousins, sisters-in-law, had been misunderstood, and these were things which platonic friends could safely and innocently do with each other.

Yet when I made a gaffe, when I was innocent and misunderstood, instead of explaining to Tracy what it was really all about (which he knew very well), or giving me a chance to explain first, he allowed his wife to tear me apart over it.

Hypocrisy!  I bet he’d looove to find out what Jeff thinks of Richard’s “gaffe” with me after how he treated me over mine: Basically, he believes that Richard’s actions during the Incident reflected a guilty conscience.

Another time in the mid-90’s, you cried publicly on M.B.’s shoulder when you thought I had revealed something personal about your marriage in public (something about the possibility of your marriage breaking up).

It was stated offhandedly in a vague way, and no one had overheard it. You made sure that everyone–especially M.B.–knew I had committed a horrible gaffe against you, and you humiliated me in front of him and others at dinner.

(More traits of the Narcissist: payback for perceived slights; public humiliation for perceived slights; hanging on to excuses for committing character assassination.) —Joyful Alive Woman, “Abusive Female Friend”

I’d like to insert at this point that abusers will act like they care about your feelings. This is strategic, intermittent, and shallow.

Whenever the rubber hits the road, for all the times the abuser has acted concerned about how you feel, you find yourself once again treated like crap on his or her shoe when you most need a kind word or some concern.

They will sometimes, maybe even often, mouth words of caring and concern about you and your feelings, but it never seems to translate into something real when you most need them to give a damn.

Remember my maxim: when the words stand in contradiction to the behaviors you must believe the behaviors!  What we do (or refuse to do when action is called for) is the measurement of our character and our intentions.

Our words don’t mean jack if they are not followed through with and supported by our action. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?

I’ve told Jeff the things that happened, how Richard kept pushing the boundaries, how I told him he was freaking me out,

then Richard said, Don’t worry, it’s all done in friendship, I do this with relatives, it’s not romantic, we didn’t “do anything,” we can keep doing it.  

I told him how persuasive Richard was.  

Then when Tracy found out, guess who got blamed?  Me.  Guess who got accused of not understanding boundaries?  Me.

But back to 7/1/10.  Jeff had earlier instructed me to say nothing more to Tracy for the time being, to lie low and let him deal with things.

After Jeff spoke with Richard, he sent Tracy an e-mail trying to calm her down and say that I was sorry for having done something stupid and didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, that apparently Richard had been very unclear on what was and wasn’t okay over the years.  He also said that “f-bombs” are not helpful.

In response, she sent him an e-mail full of the worst barrage of verbal abuse of me yet.

Richard once told Jeff that we shouldn’t mention the NVLD to Tracy, that it could actually be dangerous for me.

But now here she was, somehow knowing about it, and saying horrible things about me in the e-mail to Jeff,

because I believed that it

(and, though Jeff didn’t say this, a lot of doublespeak from Richard and double standards from them both)

was the reason I had trouble figuring out her social requirements, rather than me just being childish and deliberately hurtful and hateful.

It was humiliating, demeaning, belittling.  She even said that Richard told me things that a 5-year-old child could understand, basically making me into some stupid idiot.  

But I knew myself and I knew that I never deliberately hurt her, that when I was upset with her it was because of her own hateful behavior toward me, Richard and/or her children.

Tracy pounced on NVLD as yet another reason to vilify me and falsely accuse me.  She went on about a “self-diagnosed learning disorder” and how I needed to “grow up and TALK.”

To quote Klank, “You don’t know what it is to be me.”

Tracy doesn’t know what it’s like to have a brain that makes most social situations extremely difficult, if she thinks I can just change because she wants me to.

She also has no idea what it’s like to be an introvert, that we’re born this way, born being quiet and eschewing small talk.

This shows the huge bias against introverts among extroverts, thinking our lack of speech has anything at all whatsoever to do with our maturity level,

and also shows Tracy’s unwillingness to understand anything at all about me, that there are other ways of being than hers.

Also, Jeff complained to me during this time about Richard’s doublespeak, because Jeff also dealt with it all the time.  It frustrated him just as much as it did me.

The narcissist’s sense of self, which has not progressed past that of a very young child, they cannot deal with the reality of a mirror being held up before them.

Unlike the alcoholic who may in due course “see the light”, a narcissist simply does not have the emotional skills to step outside of themselves and glimpse the truth in the mirror.

The essence of NPD is that the sufferer lives in a bubble that can only accommodate themselves. Self-reflection is definitely not in the narcissist’s bag of skills and expecting them to be capable of doing so can court disaster.

Be prepared for rage and aggression to be aimed at you. Be prepared to not be heard.. Be prepared to have everything that you claim about them, to be reassigned to you. When and if you are strong enough to cope with this treatment, then you may decide to go ahead.

If you are hoping for recognition and a change for the better, more pain is in store. –Beth McHugh, Should You Confront a Narcissist About His Narcissism

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

 

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