E-mails to Todd describing what happened

Some parts of my Facebook messages to Todd, starting July 3, 2010:

Yeah, you figured it out…I don’t want to say much about it.

Just that I think Tracy felt threatened by me because Richard and I got close while he was staying here by himself for 2 months.

And that she was determined not to like me no matter what I did. I did try to be nice to her, but it was never good enough.

My relationship with Richard was strictly brother/sister, a very dear friendship but no more than that. You know how he flirts with everybody, male and female, but it’s just for fun. But I don’t think she was ever comfortable with our relationship.

She greatly misunderstood something the other day and blew up, and he threw me under the bus.

They said they didn’t want to end the friendship, but Jeff and I figured it was best to just say goodbye and never go back, rather than deal with more drama.

[I referred here to Tracy writing to Jeff that they “value” our friendship, and, when Jeff went to talk to Richard, Richard saying he still wanted to be friends.  Also, Richard writing Jeff a few days earlier that he didn’t want us dumping each other as friends.  But their behavior that day and for the subsequent four years, has belied their claims.]

It makes me wish Richard had ended things two years ago, because of all the struggle and tears. I think the relationship was doomed as soon as he walked in the door, and there was no way to help that.

I miss him but jealousy is poison and hers was killing me. So it’s over.

…She didn’t like my personality. I guess she doesn’t like shy, quiet people who don’t like noisy houses and need to spend some time alone and need to spend time cleaning the house.

She didn’t understand that just because I’m open and verbose with Richard, that doesn’t mean I’m like that with everyone, or that it’s easy for me with everyone. Everyone who’s ever met me will tell you, “Yeah, she’s nice but she’s so quiet!”

Richard brought me out of my shell. We talked about everything from life histories and day-to-day crap to theology and music. I wanted to be like that with Tracy, and we started out getting along and chatting.

But then she started yelling at Richard and the kids all the time over stupid stuff, and I got turned off by it.

And because I was put off, I wanted even more to get some time in the basement away from the noise.

I became the bad guy and Richard was apparently directed to get me to change MY behavior, even though MY behavior was caused by HER behavior.

I also kept getting confused because the rules kept changing. I’d be told one thing and then another thing. Richard would tell me something’s okay and well within boundaries, and then I’d hear she saw me do it and wants to kill me for it.

For example, all along I hear, I can hug Richard. Hugs are okay. I’m not a huggy person and figure if she wants a hug she’ll ask for it. She even tells me she’s not a huggy person herself and it’s all right. Now I hear hugs were not okay and she was put off by it???

I kept trying to explain to Richard what I needed for Tracy to help me feel more comfortable so I could open up to her more. And that I seem to be having trouble recognizing when she’s trying to start a conversation.

But no, everything was still my fault and I needed to try harder and push through the shyness and it’s ridiculous to think I may have trouble reading people’s body language.

He got hung up over me thinking it might be a learning disorder which causes social issues. Yeah, well, whether I have an actual LD or not, I still have these social issues and they are not a personal attack on Tracy. And her getting so mad all the time is making it even harder for me to get close to her.

She started snarking at me no matter what I did or said, whether in person or on Facebook. I’ve spent so many nights crying myself to sleep because of just discovering some other thing that Tracy’s mad about, or that Richard and I are still not allowed even to go to a coffee shop or stand outside to have a private chat about Jeff losing his job, or whatever.

I don’t know if you saw it, but several weeks ago she posted that they might be going to —- to visit in September. Or at least Richard and the kids. They’ll see who can go. I posted, “I’ll miss you dearly, but have fun!” Richard said, “Um, it’s only for a week.” Which seemed like an odd response, but I said, “What difference does that make? 🙂 ”

Then Tracy just went OFF on me. She said you miss someone who’s going away for a while, going off on a mission trip, etc. etc., but you don’t make a fuss over a man going on a vacation with his family for a week. What the HECK? It sounded so–possessive.

Jeff stuck up for me by saying, “But we fuss over you all the time!”

I promptly removed my post because I was so weirded out.

This snarkiness tells Jeff and me that it doesn’t matter what I did to set her off this time. She was fuming and building up for a while and SOMEthing would’ve set her off eventually.

I’m also sad because my son and [daughter #2] were always cuddling and such, [daughter #1] wants to marry him, and I had this hope that one day, he would marry #2 or #1 and we’d be a big happy family for real.

I’m just so sick and tired of everything I do being wrong somehow, some personal attack on Tracy, of my quiet nature being put in the worst possible light.

I miss Richard and genuinely liked him and still like him, but he’s got to learn to lighten up on people.

…Yeah, things aren’t much better here. [This referred to the state of their dwellings in Fond du Lac vs. their last city, which Todd saw.  He told me just how bad their house was in their last city, and that the state had to intervene.]  There is some attempt to clean, and no roaches or mice that I’m aware of, but the house is still filthy. When it was just Richard living here, I could keep things under some amount of control, but all of them….

I enjoyed having Richard here. The girls are adorable. Tracy, I wanted to throw out on her ear. All the insults I had to put up with, and the yelling.

And, of course, it was all “my” fault. She complained that I was always cleaning instead of sitting and talking with her, that I was snubbing her and should give her some chores.

Well, I had to clean constantly to keep up with 8 people: all the laundry, all the dishes, and of course they had laundry, too, so the machines had to get cleared out for them.

I’m not a neat freak but I am a bit of a clean freak, so I was slowly going crazy. And I didn’t trust her to clean because I’d already heard how “well” she cleaned their house. I wanted her to watch the kids so I could concentrate on cleaning…..

Another thing I noted was that when Richard was here by himself, he was sweet, accommodating, open, a bit eccentric, but treated me like a sister. Not an annoying sister, but like I was taking the place of his favorite sister or his favorite cousin. He loved spending time with me and talking with me for hours upon hours.

But shortly after Tracy arrived, he got critical. Kept telling me over the years about all the things I was doing wrong. Became hard to get ahold of (except when she was at work). Just–different.

I do have a streak of paranoia already, but normally I don’t worry about how my friends feel about me; I just know things are okay even if I don’t hear from them for a while.

But with him, I got worried all the time because he just didn’t act the same as he used to. I was even afraid to call him because Tracy might answer and get all cold.

But normally I still felt he cared. When I got the chance to speak with him on the phone or in person, things felt okay again.

He’s been acting funny lately, though. The last few weeks, he kept getting snarky with things I posted and sending me snarly e-mails. Then he complained about me getting “vicious” with him because one day I used the “assertive bluntness” he told me I should be using. But he had been really ticking me off.

We were always open and honest with each other about all sorts of things, deep dark secrets and the like, things that had happened while he stayed with us, and it was all okay. But lately, he’s been closed off.

And an e-mail I sent him–something that he should’ve immediately understood the way it was intended–got wildly misunderstood and misrepresented and turned Tracy into a rampaging machine. And he didn’t stop her. That’s the part that feels like a betrayal.

Like my dearest non-familial friend in the world just betrayed me and left me for the dogs to rip apart.

I think there was something going on over there that I’m not aware of, something that turned him against me. What a mess. They have to sort it out for themselves now. And I hope I don’t run into them anytime soon….

I just don’t understand how anybody could get so mad at my quiet, unassuming nature as to want to yell and scream and cuss at me. She even makes the kids I grew up with and my bullying brother seem loving.

Jeff was there most of the time when I was around Tracy, and he said my behavior was just fine.

I feel like a part of me has been ripped out. By my own choice. The pain is just staggering….

My husband is also letting me vent as much as I need to. He also feels hurt and rejected by this.

Posted on Facebook more than a year later, on September 24, 2011, after discovering from Todd that my suspicion–

that Tracy behaved this way because of Borderline Personality Disorder–

was not only valid, but probable:

For the first time in nearly four years, I’m finally free:

I was dealing with someone who really got into my head and twisted it around. For nearly four years, I was made to feel like everything wrong was my fault.

I was wrong, I had to change, or I’d be punished. Even if you resist, they can still get to you.

But now I discover that what I suspected and have been researching for the past year was probably true: a personality disorder. Meaning, it’s nothing I did; it’s all in her head. So I’m ejecting her from my head and no longer care what she thinks of me.

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