Tracy blamed others for her abuse

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.


Perhaps one of the most disturbing moments you will have in dealing with a personality-disordered person is their near-telepathic ability to sense the exact basis of your aversion to them. For example, if you consider them “toxic,” somehow you’ll soon find yourself being called “toxic”–by them. –Dr. Tara, Predator detection and the devil of plurality: personality disorders and the nature of good and evil

Yep–the things she herself was guilty of, the things I saw her doing, the things that even my mother said about her, she accused me of over the years: manipulation, lack of respect, childish behavior, needing to grow up, not respecting boundaries.

I understand and keep boundaries just fine, thank you very much, despite her accusations.

Richard, however, crosses boundaries with people all the time, which he himself admitted to, when he first moved in with us:

He made Jeff uncomfortable by pretending to be “after” him.

He made me think he was trying to start an affair with me.

He posts things on the Web to other women that are far beyond anything he ever said to me, such as “Richard is sexing [Internet name of some online woman].”

And Tracy herself constantly crosses other people’s boundaries, including mine, by her nasty behavior, and by expecting them to just shut up and take it.

Just as she accused Todd of a “power grab” and being “childish” and a “baby” when she herself was doing these things, and blamed him for getting upset over how she treated him.

She complained about me getting upset over the “consequences” of my “behavior,” while she herself was getting upset over the consequences (lost friendship, loss of free rides, loss of occasional free money or food, loss of free babysitting) of her own behavior (nastiness).

While it is good and right to accept constructive criticism, and ponder one’s own contribution to a problem, an abuser does not do this, and will use your own tendency to do so, against you.  Your apologies will be seen as capitulation, as her being “right,” as her winning the war, as an excuse to continue beating you over the head for your “crimes.”

Constructive criticism comes from someone who wants to work with you and preserve your relationship.  Blaming from an abuser is her against you, her needing power, her needing to win, her needing you as a punching bag and scapegoat.

Todd also said that Tracy yells but does nothing to help fix a problem.  I never saw Tracy help to fix the problems between us.  Rather, she got Richard to tell me how I needed to change, how I kept doing everything wrong.

In all those printouts of their argument, I never saw evidence of Tracy trying to resolve things with Todd, but only blaming him for everything.

The issue of her not helping out with chores kept coming up again and again and again, while she nagged Richard to clean the house.  Even Todd noticed this.

A person has to learn how to distinguish constructive criticism from blame, or else s/he could end up mulling things over and over again (as I did throughout the friendship and then for many months afterward), trying to figure out what s/he did that was so wrong, being puzzled, feeling terrible without cause.

Just as a writer needs to learn the difference between a helpful critique and suggestions which would damage her piece, a person needs to learn the difference between needing to accept responsibility for a shortcoming or wrongdoing, and being scapegoated by an abuser.

You will note that no matter how nasty Tracy behaved toward me over the years, I was always the one who ended up apologizing, as she threw the blame on me and took none on herself.

I was always blamed for her inability to let Richard be himself and trust him.  I was always blamed for every nasty word she said to me on other issues, every snark, every jab.

Even Richard joined in and blamed me for her nasty behavior the day of the Incident, and therefore showed that he expected me to apologize for her behavior.

And I was sick and tired of it.  I was sick and tired of being blamed for her nasty behavior because I’m naturally introverted and quiet, and because I naturally withdraw from mean people.  I was sick and tired of being blamed for Tracy’s desire to keep a tight rein on her husband and control his every interaction.

And her deciding that Richard had to block me on Facebook and by e-mail and not speak to me at all until she okayed it, because she didn’t like me sticking up for myself and objecting to her nastiness,

was the last straw, the proof that there was no way to reason with this person because she’s driven by emotion and does not know the meaning of “reason.”

It’s highly unlikely that you can make a bully understand that the way he or she treats you is abusive. These people won’t take ownership for their bad behaviors.

They always have a justification and rationalization. It’s your fault. You “made” them treat you badly.

In order for the emotionally abusive person to see their behavior for what it is, they have to be able to tolerate cognitive dissonance. –Dr. Tara, Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies

Narcissistic mothers are masters of invalidation. It’s part of their gaslighting armoury. They dismiss and undermine your feelings and emotions to make you feel only what’s acceptable to them.

This means that they get to treat you the way they want, and maneouvre the situation so you don’t get to feel the appropriate responses.

It is cruel beyond measure. Of all the abuses heaped upon daughters of narcissistic mothers, this might be the worst. If you can’t even trust and own your own feelings – well, what have you left?…

Because of this invalidation daughters of narcissistic mothers can grow up believing that they are abnormal or twisted.

This is because our totally natural and normal feelings are told to be wrong (either in as many words, or by implication), and so we absorb the message that we’re wrong to have them.  This is totally head-wrecking stuff. —Invalidation

I’m going to cast the net a bit wider than just narcissists here. Anyone who is in a relationship with an abusive person has seen how sensitive the abuser’s feelings are.

People who stay in abusive relationships seem to be those who can’t see the huge disconnect in their own thinking. The disconnect is this wide gulf between the abuser’s lack of empathy for you at the time they’re abusing you and yet how carefully you have to step around the abuser’s feelings at all times!

The common refrain among those caught in abusive relationships is “walking on eggshells”. The abuser’s feelings rein supreme at all times. Everyone else is expected to cowtow to, step around, coddle, soothe, and respect the feelings of the abuser at all times.

Yet, when the abuser needs to unload, he or she reserves all rights to decimating and destroying your feelings and self-respect until they feel better. It is a sick, sick dynamic. And it is perpetuated by largely by the victim’s non-recognition of the absolute unfairness of this system.

I have observed through my nearly half-century of life that those who are capable of being cruel and abusive emotionally to someone they ostensibly “love” are the exact same people with very tender regard for their own feelings.

They are so easy to offend unintentionally by a look or a word. Keep in mind as you continue reading that I’m talking about those whom we find ourselves time and again unintentionally setting off.

That is a red flag. Someone who is easily offended for reasons that are never clear to you at the time.

…Let me say it another way. The more self-involved someone is, the more hyper-sensitive their feelings become.

Many teens are a good example of the combination of insecurity and immaturity which makes it very easy to step on their feelings before you realize what you’ve done.

Adults who are emotionally arrested at their teens will continue to be very easily offended and will often justify being at least occasionally abusive to those close to them.

Don’t confuse my use of the words “hyper-sensitive” to mean what the narcissist means when they accuse you of being hyper-sensitive because your feelings are hurt by their cutting remarks or cruel behaviors.

I’m talking about the kind of sensitivity we call “walking on eggshells” which describes how people act when they never know what will set that person off.

Which means that offense is taken where a reasonable person would never even think to get offended over such things.

Narcissists often pretend to be offended in order to steer the behaviors of those around them to suit their purposes. It is a manipulation tactic to constantly be looking for reasons to be offended as the narcissist does.

But, in addition to the intentional offense that narcissists take over what would never be perceived as a slight by a normal person, the narcissist is easy to offend in actuality.

Pop their grandiosity bubble, fail to reflect their illusion of themselves back to them as they want you to, remind them of reality in any way they have chosen to ignore, fail in any way to give them what they want even if they haven’t told you what they want, and you’ll find yourself dealing with the intensely offended narcissist.

Most times you’ve unintentionally done it. That never gets you off the hook.

…Do you find yourself flagellating yourself when you “hurt” the feelings of someone who regularly abuses you and your feelings? What is up with that???

Why would you waste one more moment telling yourself you’re a mean, “bad” person when you see that hurt puppy-dog look in your abuser’s eyes? —Do They Have Feelings?

After all, what is so “offensive” about me being a naturally quiet and introverted person, that she felt I was somehow hurting her by being me?

Through my life I have made many friends who like me just fine and accept that I’m quiet!  Maybe one-on-one with them I can get into long, deep conversations.

But in groups, even small ones, I tend to be very quiet, even if I’ve known and been comfortable with the people for years!  They just accept this as “my way.”

But to Tracy, it’s such a horrible offense that I can’t even get coffee with Richard and I deserve her verbal abuse for it???  “Hyper-sensitive” is right!  And Richard called me very sensitive?  (There he was acting like the abuser in the quote above.)

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