A little more than a week later, I sent Richard an apology message, apologizing for hurting Tracy in any way, trying to explain how I’d been gravely misunderstood–even though he should already have known how badly Tracy had misunderstood me.
It also made clear that restoring the friendship was impossible, at least for now.
I had spent all week in a burning grief, barely able to function. I just wanted things between him and me to be okay, even though we could not be friends.
On the way home from the store on Saturday, a long ride even at ten minutes, my mind had nothing else on which to focus. I could barely choke back tears as the words of this e-mail began composing themselves in my head. As soon as I could, I transferred those words to the computer.
This e-mail was not meant as reconciliation, because friendship with Richard was forbidden without being friends with Tracy, and I wanted nothing to do with Tracy. I had no choice but to respect her wishes, as painful as it was.
This e-mail was only meant to make peace with Richard. Then if we saw each other on the Facebook walls of mutual friends, on the Forum, at church or around town, we could be kind to each other.
The first paragraph also reflects my biblical basis for this e-mail: The Bible forbade me from partaking in the Eucharist without attempting to make peace of some kind, even if friendship was impossible. As in Matthew 5:23-24,
Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.…
You will also see that even though my original message was platonically meant, I still took responsibility for the effect it had, and apologized for that.
However, I could not say I meant, or apologize for, something I did not mean. That would be dishonest and soul-killing.
But I did attempt to find something that was my responsibility, so I could apologize, even though I felt I did nothing truly wrong. This is what you do when you care about someone.
But unfortunately, it seems that Richard and Tracy never cared for us as much as they said they did, because they never made true apologies of their own. As you will see later, all I got for this was more blame and justification from them both for how Tracy acted, even though Richard claimed to blame himself.
Tomorrow I hope to take the mysteries and confess with Fr. —, but first I need to leave my gift at the holy altar and try to make peace with the one who has something against me, as far as I am able.
I just wanted you to know that I am sorry for everything. I don’t feel the message I sent before is quite adequate. It’s obvious that we can’t be friends because of the way Tracy feels about me.
But I never did hate her or mean to hurt her or snub her or anything. I am sorry for that too. I was trying to be nice to her and do nice things for her and leave the past in the past.
I hope it didn’t hurt you when I returned the necklace; I know it was just a little gift for the hostess, but I feared Tracy would be upset if I kept it.
The message I sent last week was very poorly worded and embarrassing; it, however, was never meant the way it sounded.
I realize how it sounds, now, and I’m just mortified that I ever sent it. I wish I could take it back.
It was a stupid thing that was done in two minutes and not really thought about first, but it was meant well. I had no idea it would upset anybody. I am just appalled at the thought that it would have brought you trouble.
They were just hugs, and one was done in full view of Jeff if he were to look out the window. They were just something you would’ve given a sister or cousin, and I had no idea they could offend.
I don’t want any more than that, and never meant to give an impression that I did. I love my husband more than anything.
To me, you were a very dear friend, the one who led me into Orthodoxy, someone to tell my troubles and secrets to and talk about music and religion. A spiritual brother or counselor. I adopted you as family and treated you as such.
At times I think, Geez, was I clingy? I hope I wasn’t clingy. Or that I may have given you the wrong impression at times when I was just being playful. That, too, is mortifying.
[Aside not in e-mail: Ever since college, my friends have said that I occasionally say things that surprise them. From what Jeff tells me, people see me as “innocent.”
[I’m not sure why: My sense of humor has been playful and occasionally wicked and flirtatious for some 20 years. But that’s all it is: a wicked sense of humor.
[However, it can be endlessly frustrating when you say something playful and you get weird looks or responses like you meant it seriously. Blech!]
I never had any desire to offend Tracy or you. I did some stupid stuff without thinking first.
This e-mail is not meant to re-establish a friendship because that no longer seems possible. Though nobody knows what the future holds. You don’t even need to respond to this e-mail if you don’t want to. In fact, if you’re upset with me I’d much rather you didn’t.
This shows how delicate opposite-sex friendships can be: Misunderstandings can occur despite the best intentions. Then you have awkward conversations and say embarrassing things you’d rather not have to.
I showed it to Jeff before sending it, though I didn’t need his okay: I wanted his opinion.
He said the apology was more than Richard deserved, but he wouldn’t mind me sending it if it gave me peace. (After all, apologies had already been tried with Tracy. But this was specifically for Richard.)
As I wrote, the next day I discussed everything with my priest, and got absolution.
He asked if I knew why Tracy was upset; without having to go into detail, I said, “She doesn’t understand me.” I felt that summed it up succinctly and entirely.
He said that my sending the apology was Christ-like. So I felt that I had done all I could to resolve things.
I waited and waited for three weeks for a response, hoping he would say that he and I were cool despite everything, checking my e-mail in perturbation every day, but nothing came.
Which disturbed me, because as I wrote at the end, if he was upset with me, I didn’t want him to respond. Was he still upset with me, despite everything I put in that e-mail? Did he refuse to forgive?
Then I discovered that Richard had blocked all of us on Facebook–me, Jeff, even our little boy! What kind of person blocks a 6-year-old child?
I found this baffling and insulting after what I had written, and kept reading my e-mail over and over, trying to figure out if I misspoke somewhere or left something out–but it looked perfect.
As I wrote to Todd, “I send an apology and he blocks me on Facebook? What do they want, blood?”
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