On February 10, 2008, I wrote an e-mail to my mother that said Richard told me they patched things up. I wrote,
I had trouble with Tracy because I’d hear her pick at Richard and yell at him when he was trying not to argue; if she’s not doing that anymore, then a major barrier to our potential friendship is removed.
Unfortunately, this honeymoon period didn’t last, and I later witnessed her doing stuff like this at him and the kids again.
Tracy poked fun at anything I did or said, in real life or on Facebook. Jabs from Richard and Tracy kept adding up over time and driving me crazy.
Richard told me I didn’t feed my family right because I didn’t do it like they did. He got upset with me for being happy when a citywide controversy with a local business was resolved a way that I wanted but he didn’t.
He jabbed at me for bringing Kleenex to their house (I have always, always had a bundle of Kleenex in my coat pocket wherever I go, just like in the olden days people carried handkerchiefs).
He and Tracy criticized so many things I did that in 2010, I complained to Jeff that everything I did, said or thought was “wrong” somehow.
I kept in touch and tried to deal with things as well as I could online, but sometimes the chats led to their own misunderstandings and disagreements. Especially when I’d see a ping from him and think, oh cool, Richard wants to talk to me–but he’d start ripping on me for having a different political opinion.
Or he’d make some personal remark late at night and out of the blue that I thought was unfair, but get upset that I wanted to talk this over and get it resolved right away. Then I’d have trouble sleeping because it wasn’t resolved.
It was harder than heck to get him on the phone: Either Tracy answered and said he was in the middle of something and he’d call later, but he never did, or nobody would answer/return my calls. That made me think she told him not to call, though he later told me that was not the case.
I kept telling him we needed to get together and talk about things in person. I told him our issues were not getting properly resolved because we didn’t do this.
But it fell on deaf ears, and I was stuck with e-mail and the occasional phone call, which was not as effective–especially when Tracy was nearby, or he scolded kids every two minutes.
We were eventually “allowed” to get together and talk if he brought the kids along, but it was hard to get him to even do that. You’d think he’d come over more often, since at my place the kids had room to roam inside and out that they didn’t have at home, and a playmate, my son. And my son and Richard’s kids kept wanting to play with each other more often.
I have described the snotty comments Tracy made while living with us. But there were even more after she moved out.
For example, one day, the eldest child saw Ronald Reagan on TV. I told her I watched on a TV in my classroom as Reagan first went into the White House in 1981. I was excited to share this with her, and had so much to tell her.
But as I began the story–Tracy suddenly snarked that I was really showing my age. (She’s almost a decade younger than Richard and me.)
I was only about 36 years old! Hardly ready for a cane and the nursing home just yet!
In shock and indignation at her rudeness, I could not say another word. But, of course, since people say you’re supposed to ignore the bully to get her to stop, that responding will only feed the troll, I ignored her.
How amazing that they kept accusing me of rudeness, when I was polite to her but she was constantly rude to me!
I thought we had settled things: I believe this was in 2009, after Richard and I had a long phone chat that (I thought) sorted everything out. But here she was being mean again.
Did Richard ever notice any of this? He knew she insulted me several times on the phone while I was nearby, loud enough for me to hear. Why did he act so surprised that I held her at arm’s length?
They basically told a sheep to befriend a wolf or the wolf would eat her up, wondered why the sheep was nervous around the wolf, and then blamed the sheep when the wolf devoured her.
In I think 2009, Richard asked me to please please help with a problem his wife had, by finding and sending any links I could find on it. He said I had an amazing ability of finding things on the Net.
I did as he asked, and stayed up late that night, giving myself mouse-cramp from all the Googling and clipping/pasting of links. I did this to please her.
But it made her furious.
She convinced him that he did an awful thing by having his friend send her links. The next day, when he picked up my son for school, he asked me to stop sending links.
He was very apologetic to me, because he knew he asked me to do this.
He also seemed psychologically beaten down, upset, on the verge of tears. This tells me that her fury must have been frightening and emasculating–over something meant to help her, to make her happy.
I saw him sad and crying once before because of her. It made me feel protective of him and angry with her.
So not only could he not do anything right, but it was passed along to me, his defender.
Shortly after this, I found a “how-to” video on Youtube, how to deal with friends going through what Tracy went through. One of the suggestions was exactly what I did! (If I were more clear you’d understand, but due to the personal nature of the situation, I can’t be.)
And when Jeff was in the same predicament later on, she had no problem at all telling him how to search a certain website and find links etc., giving him all this information. He found this hypocritical.
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. –Anna Valerious, Do They Have Feelings?
Other examples of perverted behavior are:
…–reacting with anger to what should please (such as finding some mysterious offense in an attempt to suck up)
–getting angrier in reaction to what should appease (Narcissistic Rage)
In short, whenever you see a backwards reaction to something, believe your eyes and ears. Accept this behavior’s perplexity and know what you know — that there is something seriously wrong with that person. And don’t forget about it tomorrow when he’s Dr. Jekyll again.
Are you in a relationship with someone who has made you want to pinch yourself to see if you’re dreaming? Have you often found yourself confused, afraid, and distressed at this person’s inexplicable backwards reactions to things?
Please, please see this for the red flag this is and get the hell away from them. Carefully. Don’t threaten to leave. Just leave. Plan your escape and run away! Change your name if necessary. Seek a shelter if you know this person is unlikely to let you just leave. –Anna Valerious, The Reddest Red Flag of Narcissism
Another time, in 2010 I believe, somebody asked my height. I answered the question the way I usually did: “5’4 and three quarters.” To me, just a simple answer to a question. But Tracy said, “Only little kids use fractions of an inch. Are you insecure about being short?”
HUH???? My mother uses fractions of an inch all the time when giving her height! In fact, if you say she’s 5’1, she gets indignant and says, “5’1 and three quarters!” My mother is not at all childish.
When I told Jeff about this in 2011, he said, “Tracy just had it in for you, didn’t she?”
Tracy snarked at or got highly offended by things that Jeff either supported or shrugged at. So he stuck up for me whenever he could. He kept getting upset at her barbs or jealousies.
But you shouldn’t have friends who treat you so badly that your husband needs to stick up for you! Several times over the course of that “friendship,” I researched “toxic friends” on the Internet. (“Frenemy” is a good word.)
By the way, he is not a “yes man”: He tried to get me to see Tracy’s point of view in many things. I respected that he didn’t just say what I wanted to hear. (Of course, later on he discovered my powers of observation were greater than his, and told me wished he had listened.)
I suspected that saying what the other person wanted to hear, on the part of Richard and Tracy, was sabotaging our friendship, because they didn’t even consider my point of view.
Sometimes I’d discuss an issue with Richard (always on the phone) and then try to explain Tracy’s point of view to Jeff, but Jeff would still be upset with both of them. So when Jeff got upset at Tracy, I knew it was genuine, not just keeping his wife happy.
The snarking really stepped up in spring 2010; more on that later, and how Jeff defended me.
More on this subject in the next section.
Why did I stay in this friendship? Because Richard didn’t always act like this, and many times acted like he still cared about me. If not for him, I’d have nothing more to do with Tracy.
His criticisms didn’t come as often as hers; I thought he was well-meaning, but flaky and know-it-all. Many times, we had fun online or sharing videos or chatting while the kids played.
Just like any abusive relationship, if it were bad all the time, you’d flee at the first opportunity.
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