Why I put this story on the Web–at great personal risk
I keep putting up this story and taking it down again and putting it back up again. I take it down because I wonder how much I really want to post on the Web.
Then I put it back up because the issues in here–child abuse, domestic violence, bullying, women who abuse men–are very important and need to be addressed.
It’s a risk which sometimes I do and sometimes don’t want to take, but there are many things in here that need to be said about modern society–and it’s hard to make a complete picture of what happened without posting all of it. However, there are some private details which must be kept private.
1. This page is for NLDers, introverts, fellow bullying victims, fellow abuse survivors and friends of abuse victims.
2. I want to help raise awareness that women do abuse, too, not just men. If the roles were reversed and Richard did the things I saw Tracy do and heard that Tracy did, nobody would question that he was a jerk and abuser and that she needed to get out. But because the woman was the abuser, Richard kept trying to hold it together.
It takes great courage or stupidity to post this, because I’m scared the bully Tracy will find it and retaliate. She is, after all, physically violent when she chooses to be. (But then, she thinks I’m stupid anyway.)
There’s also still the faint hope that one day soon Tracy will regret the things she’s done, apologize and try to change.
But if she does find it, or Richard finds it–who knows, maybe reading this will show them just what they’ve done and that theirs are not the only opinions that matter. Maybe it will inspire them to make amends and changes in their own lives.
If they just look and laugh and make no apologies, then that would be childish and prove they have no business coming back into our lives. If Tracy beats me up, I’ll finally have physical proof of her true character.
[Update: The above was written somewhere between 2010 and 2011. They did indeed find this in May 2012; see here.]
3. But I’ve read other people’s accounts of how they’ve been bullied and abused.
So my story burns within me to be told as well, expressing to the ether what happened, hoping other abuse victims will be helped by it and learn from it–especially people who deal with NVLD, Asperger’s or selective mutism, or who are introverts, and whose social understanding is hampered.
I have been betrayed and thrown to the wolves by the very person I thought had my back.
4. You will see that it’s useless to deal with someone who is jealous, controlling and/or abusive, but won’t deal with her issues properly.
You will hopefully learn that it just isn’t worth trying to pacify such a person, that it’s best to just cut them out of your life early–before they infect you with their emotional damage and leave you to deal with the pain, the post traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms, the lies they spread about you, etc. Even a dear friendship isn’t worth that.
5. I hope to demonstrate the evils of jealousy, to make a plea for all those who are judged by advice columnists and bloggers and the like as whores and “inappropriate” based simply on one side given us by an upset wife in a short letter. There may be more to that story than you realize.
6. I hope to help NLDers realize their naïveté can make them far too trusting, far too easily taken advantage of.
7. As a writer, I am driven to tell stories, even and especially my own stories, whether positive or negative.
8. There’s a huge lack of stories, even on the Net, about the friends and families of people who are involved in domestic or child abuse situations; friends who are being abused by friends; the friends of friends who are being abused by friends.
You read about them, but mostly a sentence or two about how friends and family are driven away by the abuser and/or subjected to abuse as well, because they object to how the abuser treats their friend.
I searched and searched to find stories about friendship abuse, but kept finding very little (except occasionally in comments to blogs or advice columns). There are plenty of survivor stories from people who were abused by parents or romantic partners. The dynamics are obviously different, making it hard to relate if you’re the friend being abused.
So that’s another reason I put these stories here, because this is about a friend who sees her best friend’s verbally and physically violent marriage, objects, then finds herself subjected to abuse and accusations because she objected, until finally she cuts these people out of her life at great personal grief.
This story is for people who are abused by friends, or the spouses of friends, or who feel helpless as a friend or family member is domestically abused. Perhaps you will see that while the abuse of me did anger me quite a bit, what angered me the most was how Tracy abused Richard, the children, and others.
9. I want to help raise awareness of different types of domestic abuse.
10. I want to help raise awareness of bullying and abuse in other contexts.
11. We need to get our stories out there so others learn how to recognize bullying and abuse–to get away from it, to stop doing it, to help others out of it. Despite decades of attention, this problem persists.
12. I want to help others learn from my mistakes, of which you will probably find many.
13. I want to record my struggle with loss of faith and trying to hold onto it, after the most significant person in my conversion to Orthodoxy, became my betrayer and manipulator. The fall of a spiritual mentor into some kind of sin does happen now and then, shaking the faith of the ones who looked up to him, so this story is universal.
14. I want to raise awareness for what it’s like to be an introvert, or to have NLD/Asperger’s/selective mutism, and how people like us are constantly bullied in today’s American society, which values extroversion and looks down upon introversion.
15. And, well, this story is true from my perspective (that last bit added for legal reasons). I wouldn’t be so confident with a lie.
Here is another story of a woman abused by a friend, as seen through the eyes of another woman who eventually became subjected to abuse as well, for sticking up for the abused. And here is what appears to be the story of the friend being abused.
Here is another story of a woman being abused by her female friend, who is a narcissist. From what I have observed, Richard and Tracy both have narcissistic traits. Note the following paragraph from this link, from JoyfulAliveWoman’s blog. Note that her friendship was heterosexual, that there was nothing sexual about it, and yet this woman hooked in JAW so much that she wrote this:
I was under H’s spell. I couldn’t get enough of her. I became Codependent with her. It was pathetic.
No one else had that effect upon me, nor had they ever. My relationships with others were different.
That isn’t to say those relationships weren’t challenging, but there was a “hypnotic and obsessive quality” to the relationship with H (strong characteristics of a codependent, dysfunctional relationship).
H had her so enthralled that, even though she didn’t acknowledge that JAW had wisdom and insight of her own, and her own superior attitude sometimes inspired JAW to rebel, JAW was always the one to go crawling back, contrite, while her objections were swept under the rug.
It wasn’t like this in the beginning between Richard and me, not until later on, but it was always that way with Tracy and me.
Although it is a common belief that grooming is most relevant to children, the same or similar psychological processes are used by perpetrators to exploit adults.
In the case of adult grooming, the victims family and friends are also manipulated into thinking the perpetrator is a “nice guy” and that he can be trusted.
It is not only a perpetrator’s victims that are groomed (which would be considered emotional abuse), but the victims’ family and friends, the perpetrator’s own family and friends, and even public servants and medical professionals (in which case it is purposeful manipulation). –Mel Stewart, The Fine Art of Grooming
I’ve described the Richard and Tracy story in little bits and pieces, interspersed here and there in my reviews of Gone With the Wind, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Mysteries of Udolpho.
For more than two years I was bullied for being different by a grown adult, bullied by Tracy by proxy through Richard, verbally abused by Tracy only to have both of them act like what I did (basically, being shy, quiet and wary of Tracy, who bullied me, Richard and her children) was somehow worse than her bullying and abuse of me.
At first, Richard and I bonded over religion, music and Goth. He was my spiritual guide. He was my best, closest and dearest friend, the one I trusted so much that I told him things I hadn’t told anyone else. We were like a mutual admiration society. He told me I was the most awesome person he knew; I felt the same about him. But he betrayed me.
The first thing is, you were born this way. It is in your nature, and thus cannot be wrong. On average, one out of every three people is an introvert, if being quiet was wrong, that would make 1/3 of the total population born lesser. –serjicaladdict, Why are you so quiet?
16. [This part was written somewhere between late 2010 and early 2011.] Another reason is to try somehow to understand this perplexing situation. Only over the past several months, as I’ve been writing and adding to this story, have I started to see the whole picture and make connections and understand little bits of pieces of it.
I noticed the same thing over the past 15 years as I wrote memoirs about my life: Certain events that upset me greatly, long-term abuse and other such things, I wrote about as they happened, and put them into my memoirs several years later. I began to understand, but not quite yet.
Then several years after that, I put these memoirs online in public versions. As I did this, and did more research into abuse, I saw connections I never saw before. Things began to make sense, how guys would manipulate me, and that sort of thing.
I see this happen now as I write about this horrible situation. I see clues to what may have happened, that I didn’t see before.
All my life I’ve written diaries, letters, e-mails, journals, memoirs and other accounts describing my life, its various events, my emotions. This may be related to NVLD, being confused by life, not seeing the whole picture for the details, and needing to journal about it to figure things out.
It may also be related to Aspergers, having a long memory, going over things again and again in your mind long after other people have forgotten about it.
Or maybe I simply want to be a modern Laura Ingalls Wilder.
What Makes Your Control Freak Wife or Girlfriend Tick sounds to me very much like Tracy, and you will recognize various elements of it as you read my story, such as:
- her being happy as she cuts you down
- having to be in control (which she did to me, to Richard, to an ex-family friend named Todd)
- histrionics I witnessed when she dealt with her ex
- steamrolling me time and again, no compromise or concession, this coming back to bite her as people kept bolting from friendships or other relationships with her
- two or three of the emotional states listed under “Losing Control” (when I challenged her for raging at me and she realized Jeff and I were ending our friendship with her).
Todd, who was friends with Richard for six years–from before Richard and Tracy got married–and stayed with them twice, for a month each time, said she yells at you but does nothing to work on her own part of the problem.
I witnessed a few arguments between her and Richard that got nasty, so I knew it wasn’t just me. If she were this way with nobody else, I’d have to look harder at myself, but this was not the case.
17. Tracy did her hardest to make me think I was the problem, but I knew this wasn’t true, and wrote this to remember why.
As the above article states,
Yes, this woman is deeply troubled, but it is NOT your responsibility to tolerate, accept or change her. The only way to gain mastery over a relationship with this kind of woman is to end it. Otherwise, you’ll begin an endless replay loop of your own misery.
18. This article, and my story, should help you recognize such people in your own life, and that it’s not worth waiting around for change. Take warning from what happened to me.
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