Pondering forgiveness vs. giving in to the dark vortex
The letter to Mike continued:
I pray every night, trying to remember the prayer my priest gave me. Of course, the prayer he gave was so long and detailed that I can’t possibly remember it all, so I go with the main ideas.
It’s a prayer for softening of hearts, forgiveness, peace, blessing. I can only hope that my former friend’s priest has given him a similar prayer, that one day he will realize that fierce anger, the belittling his wife did of me, and refusing to apologize or listen to another’s point of view are the wrong things to do if you want to preserve a friendship.
Just before I spoke to my priest–it was more than a couple of weeks ago, now–I sent an apology e-mail. I hope and pray it actually got to its destination and was read, because I couldn’t think of a better mode to use.
Calling seemed dangerous because SHE might answer and rip me a new one. If I sent a letter, the wife would probably rip it up without even letting him read it.
But the e-mail was sent; it’s out there….Unfortunately, the only response I got was to get blocked on Facebook. Looks like Jeff and I are both blocked.
It’s weird because the wife has not blocked either one of us. I would’ve thought it would be the other way around. Jeff says he doesn’t want to even try to figure them out.
He also says they weren’t good friends, to do what they did. That they weren’t grateful, since we’ve done so many things to help them out the past few years.
He says we do have other friends, good friends, NICE people, and shouldn’t think we’re so desperate for friends that we’d keep bad ones–It’s just hard to get together with them these days.
My little boy is very sad because my former friend has four young children who loved to play with him. He’s lost friends because the adults couldn’t get along, and it just isn’t fair to him.
It makes me wish I could change things for his sake, but there’s nothing I can do–other than become the sacrificial lamb who must submit to verbal abuse to satisfy the wife’s long-held grudge.
A year ago I was told that she kept calling me “that woman” and bringing up a mistake I made way back when we were all living together. She just didn’t let go. I thought we settled this a year ago.
In the interest of burying hatchets, I decided to Facebook friend the pastor of our old Evangelical church, even though we had problems there that made us resentful.
And Jeff, evaluating his own behavior compared to the wife’s, decided to give a certain SCA person a second chance. He realized that just because their personalities clashed, doesn’t mean this SCA person was a bad guy.
I also think back to old exes. I had bitter estrangements from Peter and Phil, lots of hurt feelings and anger, and also from Shawn, who was not exactly an ex but not exactly not an ex. (Friend with benefits, you could say.)
And yet–Two years later, Peter called me out of the blue and befriended me again. Then he “warned” Phil about me, which put me on the outs with him again, but we became friends again later on.
In 1996 we had an e-mail argument over religion, but a year or so later, I apologized and we reconciled. I forget who befriended whom on Facebook, but a couple of months ago he chatted with me online–his idea. The old bitter past is long in the past.
Same for Phil: I still don’t want to be friends with him, but we’re no longer enemies. A while back I found him on one of the alumni websites, and apologized for some stuff. He apologized as well.
And get this–He said that he shouldn’t have let me go. He was going through a divorce at the time, and thinking of me.
Even his mom said I was the one girlfriend he should’ve held onto.
Of course, I let him know I was happily married, so he wouldn’t try to start anything again. That was more than 3 years ago, and I haven’t e-mailed more than once since then. But the bitterness is over.
Shawn started calling me again, a couple of years after he made it clear he wanted nothing to do with me. He had a breakdown which made him want to hold onto the friends he had. He called once or twice after graduation as well, and we also e-mailed each other about 6 years ago.
There are also people who teased me in elementary/middle/high school but were friendly at the 10-year reunion, and also those who friended me on Facebook and apologized for teasing me. So I do know that time can heal even bitter estrangements and make people reflect on what they did to contribute to the situation.
I’ve already sent my apology to help things along, so I’ve done my part. I can do nothing more except pray and try to move on. Everybody says that’s all I can do, that the ball is in their court now.
Our conversation continued into the weekend, and I spoke of needing to confess to my priest on Sunday.
I spoke of Richard and Tracy sniping at each other. I said that I vented on Facebook because I wanted to counteract whatever our mutual friends might be hearing from Richard/Tracy or seeing on their Facebook walls. But I felt guilty, and removed the posts.
Mike had his own struggles with forgiveness of toxic people, so I wrote, “You tell me to forgive and let go, I can tell you to forgive and let go, but actually doing it is a huge struggle. We can help each other keep from giving into the dark vortex.”
On Saturday night, July 31, I saw Boondock Saints for the first time. This movie becomes significant later.
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