To my college friends, to whom I wrote a bit in 2008 about how Tracy treated me while living in my house, I wrote on August 29, 2010:
First, some bad news. It seems the trouble from a few years ago, when Richard’s whole family was staying with us, never really went away. I kept thinking it had, only to find–months later–that it hadn’t.
It seems his wife holds grudges like nobody’s business, and she targeted me. I tried apologizing a year ago and thought things were fixed, but no.
Earlier this year, she’d been snarking at me for weeks until it seemed I could do nothing right, that everything I did was worthy of ridicule. (It reminded me of my younger brother, because he did that to me all the time growing up.) Some of her snarks seemed downright possessive.
It finally turned into a massive blowup. It sounds like a bunch of misunderstandings, but the trouble is, from e-mails Jeff and I exchanged with her, she’s just not willing to admit that she did things to contribute to the problem.
Won’t forgive, won’t apologize for ANYthing, thinks that I should just sit down and take all the verbal abuse and bullying she wants to throw at me, that I should admit that I deserve it, be the scapegoat for all our problems, and submit to her.
While Richard allows it, either because she’s talked him into agreeing with her and not listening to anything I say, or he’s afraid of what she’ll do if he opposes her.
I just plain don’t like her because I see her treating other people like this, too, including her kids and Richard.
Heaven help the person she gets mad at, because she throws tantrums (swearing, screaming, belittling, etc.).
Richard has lost other friendships because of her. I actually watched one friendship die over the Internet, as they argued with a guy [Todd] who’d been Richard’s friend (online and in real life) for 6 years, on a game forum.
It sounds like she didn’t like him in the first place, and when he did something in the game she didn’t like, she went on the warpath rather than talk about it first. He was offended and has a bad temper of his own, so things went very badly. This happened two years ago.
And now they’ve lost us, because I’m sick of being bullied for 3 years and won’t take verbal abuse, and Jeff is furious over the whole thing.
Richard had also been intimidating and practically threatening Jeff. So we looked at each other and decided this was nuts, we can’t take this anymore.
I was and still am heartbroken because Richard was a very dear friend. He was the cool and awesome [his main online persona] of my favorite online forums and games, and he enjoyed my company and told me I was the most awesome person he knew. We’d talk for hours upon hours about religion, music and life.
But he seems to have changed quite a bit in the last 6 months or so. I don’t know what happened, but there have been problems between us for a while, too.
It may be his heavy involvement in politics, including the TEA Party and some Anarchy and conspiracy theories he’s been getting into. I don’t agree with it, and he started getting rude to me on Facebook postings.
He used to be sweet, but lately he would just rip into me whenever I tried to bring up some problem and get it dealt with.
He started getting rude with Jeff as well whenever Jeff would post something political.
There were just so many little things that were adding up and getting very annoying and making me question the state of our friendship.
I do hope that one of these days, they will realize their own part in the break and apologize. At least Richard did apologize to me for some things [this comes in the next chapter].
But there can be no reconciliation between our families until they apologize for their harshness and are willing to put the past aside and be friends, to stop the power struggle.
I made my apologies, because I recognized I did some wrong and nutty things myself. But instead of calming down Tracy, they just seemed to spur her on and make her feel more righteous. Then she wondered why we finally said we need a 6-month (or more) break instead of a conference.
We’re not going to move to end the break. We want to know that we will find softened hearts, not make a move and get our noses bitten again.
My priest said it was wise to offer a break instead of having this conference, because it would’ve turned into a slinging of anger and resentment that would have done absolutely nothing to repair the friendship, but only make things worse. He said to be happy in the decision I made and not second-guess it.
My mom says not to contact them again, that Tracy’s manipulative.
They’ve blocked our entire family on Facebook, even our son. From things she said, that was probably Tracy’s doing, with Richard going along to have peace in his household, which has drama enough already. What kind of person blocks a 6-year-old child?
I do hope and pray her heart will soften. Not just for our sakes, or to restore a friendship, but for her sake and that of everyone around her.
She grew up in a horrific environment. It doesn’t excuse her behavior, but it does explain where it comes from.
Other people who hurt me in the past have apologized to me over the Net, many years later, so I know it can happen. I’ve done all I can do to try to repair things, so it’s her turn now.
I’m tired of trying to be her friend while she snarks at me and screams at the kids and/or Richard right in front of me. I’m tired of being to blame for not getting close to her when she, frankly, scares me.
It means I’ve lost a very dear friendship, but we had to walk away or I was going to be slowly destroyed.
Jeff–who, by the way, is not in any way controlling, so he wouldn’t do this lightly–won’t let me talk to them.
You see, they showed up at my church exactly one month after the blowup. I had some unfinished business with Richard, so I spoke to him. Our conversation made me believe that reconciliation was finally possible.
But, as usual, he was the agreeable one, but Tracy turned out to be immovable (a word which, by the way, he himself uses to refer to her in other situations).
Jeff was not happy to find me sitting at their table at coffee hour. So now he tells me if they show up at my church again, don’t talk to them, since I finished my business with Richard.
In this whole thing, I’m the weak one, Jeff’s the strong one. So I’m letting him protect me.
I’ve been reaching out to people we know in the surrounding communities, trying to reconnect.
Before Richard brought his family here, I was feeling very lonely because it was hard to find people to hang out with, what with church switches, different work schedules and friends who kind of faded away.
Finally we had a family to hang out with, friends for us, friends for our son. But now they’re gone again.
With the emergence of Facebook, it’s gotten much easier to find people I lost touch with, and start arranging movie nights and such.
The A– SCA group has started dance practices again, every other week, with about an hour of social time afterwards at a local bar and grill. It’s a late night for our son, but we figure he can sleep in the car on the way home, and we NEED social time.
Today I asked a woman at church (one of the very few who are my age) out for coffee, and she agreed.
So I’m working on connecting with old and new friends so that I won’t feel desperately lonely with the loss of my (former) best friend and all the things we used to do with his family.
I’m still grateful to him for leading me into Orthodoxy, and miss the good times, but he just doesn’t seem like the same person I used to know.
I sometimes wonder how much of the guy I used to know, was real, and how much was an act put on for me because he didn’t want to scare me off.
I wonder how much of the change is from him getting obsessed with politics and dealing with a wife who keeps going through abusive cycles.
He said he loved me like a sister, and that I was very dear to him, so I know that much was real. [Now I doubt that.]
I know he didn’t want to lose our friendship, because he told Jeff that a few days before the blowup (during an argument with me), and because Jeff heard through a mutual friend that he and Tracy miss playing a certain roleplaying game with Jeff.
[She asked what happened, Jeff was vague, she said, “So it’s high school drama?” Well, I suppose so, when you’re dealing with a 29-year-old who acts like a teenager. Now, Jeff and I also doubt that they ever missed either of us or ever cared to preserve the friendship.]
So who knows, maybe one of these days they’ll regret their harshness. But I can’t count on that, so I have to move on. This has been a very rough summer, so I look forward to the school year, hoping it will get my mind off things.
I also desperately hope that my church survives, and that Richard’s church survives. Because if either of our churches folds, we will all have to go to the same church.
(They go to the — church, which is tiny and struggling, and I go to the — church, which is tiny and struggling. They’ve been in talks with each other about things they can do to survive, such as merging.)
For right now, while there is a risk they’ll come to my church again, most of the time we’re still at different churches and can worship in peace.
My friend Cindy wrote,
I agree with Mike, someone that is so hurtful to you is not really a friend you want to have in your life. Friends accept us for who we are and support us. You are a nice person and should be treated kindly by your friends.
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