My Story

From ever since I can remember, I’ve felt a physical and emotional attraction towards women, but not men. I’ve always loved and respected men as people, and found them easy going. As much as I feel that connection with women over men, it has been my personal experience that they have been somewhat on the bossier side, generally more so than men. In the playground, as a 1970’s child, there would always be the girl who would order the playtime duration with; “we’re playing Charlie’s Angels today – you can be Sabrina,” while the boys would simply get on with it and climb things – no ordering about of anyone, just getting on and playing.

As much as I was attracted to females, I never related to being a girl. I was placid, I was shy, and girls were bossy and controlling!

The bossy girls would grow into bossy women, while placid and weak Debra grew into a woman who was not armed to deal with the bossy and controlling woman.

As a consequence, adult life landed me with three.

Was it me who was attracted to such powerful and strong women, through my own lacking in power and strength, or was it they who were attracted to me, in order for them to put their power and strength into action? Without a doubt, they were all powerful and all controlling, but were they really strong?

My life has been a good one, and I have been richly blessed with loving family and friends. The female negativity I have endured in my life has not been the worst it could be.

I am not the victim of beatings from my all loving Mother, nor am I a survivor of unbearable physical abuse from a woman, but the last of my three manipulators is the motive which has pushed me to raise my passion on this matter. Sometimes it takes far larger red flags to be hoisted, in order to shed light on the smaller red flags which came before.

My initial red flag came in the form of a power hungry woman who loved to ‘tell people off.’ Telling people off was her mission. This individual had an inflated ego and sense of grandiosity. You could not tell this person anything she didn’t already know, and her opinion was the only one which mattered, and was the only one to go by. 

As she was spending her time judging the lives and salvation status of everyone around her, including her own family, she was conveniently overlooking the fact that she was living far from a pure life herself. Whenever she was confronted with her own hypocrisy, she would judge the messenger as judgemental! The puppets on her string never did receive as much as an apology for her behaviour. It is of no surprise that this woman is now a church Minister, impressively clad in dog collar, who has been specially selected by God to be placed in a position to tell people what to do and how to live.

My second red flag came in the form of a partner – a teacher. It was interesting to observe similar traits, while still at a time prior to understanding what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was. Ms Teacher was still very much teacher while outside of the classroom. Much like red flag number one, number two also had the inflated ego and grandiosity.

She couldn’t bear to be at fault or incorrect about anything. It was her way or no way. A conversation is impossible with someone who is always right. But with this person there was something extra. Not only could she not bring herself to ever apologise, she had no awareness of her own rudeness or unkindness. She had a preference for dark skin. I’m as white as a sheet! She thought nothing of buying me skin colourant, and ordering me to change the colour of my skin for her benefit, as “white skin is unnatural, and I don’t like it.” To the average mind, this gesture and statement is considered very rude, unkind, and hurtful. To a rude and inconsiderate person by nature, with black and white thinking, they are merely stating the obvious; “But if I don’t like the colour you are, you need to change it.” No comprehension of it being hurtful is in the equation. Narcissists really do believe they can pull the wool over your eyes with their irrationality. My partner was so clearly head over heels in love with this other person, although to my face, in complete denial; “I wanted to take her where she needed to go – (on an hour long journey on an unfamiliar route,) but not for a million quid would I have picked you up from the local train station, as you know I don’t like driving.” This was a ten minute journey from her house, and on a familiar route. She even confessed that while I was under her constant criticism, she had found no fault in this other woman … “but I’m really cross with you that you should think I loved her, not you!”

She would eat her sandwich in the dry, in her car, but make me eat mine outside in the pouring rain. She made me leave behind the jumper that she didn’t like, for her to wash, then return it to me with a gaping hole she had torn under the arm, so that I couldn’t wear it again. She punished me for not paying close enough attention to how she loaded her dishwasher, by means of grabbing my hand, and angrily pushing my cuticles back.

There was one occasion – her birthday meal, when her seven year old nephew turned to his Mum, (her Sister,) asking if he could say something to Debra. “Of course you can,” she said. He then pulled back my hair, whispered in my ear; “Does Auntie ‘M’ always tell you what to do?” Seven years old!!! I replied; “Yes, she does. What do you think I should do about it?” He proceeded with his wisdom; “Well, next time she tells you what to do, tell her; “No, I shan’t. Got it?” I promised to obey his firm instruction. I wanted this little lad to be my therapist!

This relationship held many other circumstances where she would make upsetting comments, put me down, be constantly critical, blame me for things beyond my control, or for things which were the fault of her own, then once raised, it was ‘your problem’ or ‘you’re too sensitive.’ Such a person is impossible to reason with, or to deal with. It came to my attention that I was not alone … there were children involved too – her pupils! The ‘Rate My Teacher’ forum consisted of such heartbreaking comments as; ‘Harsh and always grumpy. She is always having a go.’ ‘Never liked my art homework. What was the point in me doing it? Very critical.’ ‘Always gives the feeling she wants to be somewhere else.’ ‘No words to compliment and encourage us at all.’ ‘Makes me feel uncomfortable, and drops my self confidence by miles. She has never said one nice thing to me. Criticizes all the time.’ ‘Not very nice to us.’ I was a 45 year old woman with an adult awareness that I should be seeking help. These, on the other hand, were minors being influenced by their superior, quite possibly growing with the emotional scarring embedded in their brains.

So, after this ordeal, it was a welcomed relief a few years later to find someone who was friendly and charming … or was she?!

In the March of 2018, I had met an angel, failing to recognise that some angels can be angels of death.

I had met the friendliest person you could ever wish to meet … but never confuse a friendly person with a nice person. Friendly people are our child groomers who don’t lure their prey into their car by aggressively ordering them to ‘get in or else!’ No – they perform their luring via the lovely compliments over the pretty dress, or the promise of sharing their candy, and meeting their puppy dogs. It’s hard to believe how charmers can be monsters, and when the realisation hits, you’re left with shock, betrayal, confusion, and devastation. I had most certainly met Princess Charming, but not for long.

Right from the beginning, I had overlooked huge red flags which were blinded by her charm. I’d noticed how she would constantly repeat stories of her life, past and present, where she was either the hero or the victim, but never the villain. I hadn’t once witnessed her express how in hindsight she perhaps shouldn’t have done this, or had felt bad for saying that, as the majority of decent humans are capable of doing. She had an ego larger than life, and a grand sense of entitlement. She would brag endlessly over the way she would manipulate people into doing things. As with the others, she could never be at fault, stand corrected, or apologise. Her whole life’s mission was getting one over on everyone who crossed her path, and oh the joy in achieving this. All of her exes were deemed ‘bitches and whores’ for the crime of ‘disrespecting’ her. ‘Disrespecting’ this individual could come in the form of your home not being tidy enough for her standard, or even laughing at someone else’s joke! She was the one who needed to be responsible for your laughter, not anyone else. She forbid me contact with MY friends of HER choice, and she came with her book of rules which had to be abided by, while she was free to do anything she pleased, breaking the rules she had set for you. If you failed to abide by those rules, you would receive your punishment due. You were not her partner, you were her possession, her rag doll, whom she owned. 

Fairly soon into the relationship, I could see how she lacked the emotion of empathy. She felt no feelings for anyone but herself. Any tears she shed were over her own emotions. Any supposed ‘compassion’ would only be an attempt for getting feedback on how well she had scored on ‘giving compassion.’ Any supposed ‘nice’ gesture she made would only be an attempt for getting feedback on how well she had scored on ‘being nice.’ Nothing came from an honest heart, yet she would constantly boast to everyone around her of how kind, selfless, humble, and thoughtful of others she was. Even when she had ended the relationship, she delighted in telling me that she would have been the one woman to have loved me forever – making herself the ultimate judge on me being unlovable to any future partner.

While giving this persona, she relished in hurting and upsetting people, and the habitual lies were too bizarre for words. She was a pathological liar, who would spiel the most ridiculous lies that even a child would feel too embarrassed to tell. Then she would get angry at you when you didn’t believe those lies, all the while, pointing the finger at everyone else for being a liar – a narcissistic tactic known as Projection. They project onto others what they are guilty of themselves. A narcissist lies with the transcendent attitude of; “But if I tell you so, why wouldn’t you believe me?” 

She had finished our brief relationship over my crime of a stranger touching my shoulder.

It was my dear friend’s birthday event held in her home, where I was seated next to a pleasant young man who was talking to me about his Bipolar condition. He had made a brief touch on my shoulder with his hand, as he was talking to me. The touch was not of a sexual nature, neither was the conversation. The root cause of my crime was that my partner was not given an opportunity at this event to show off. It was not a disco where she could flaunt her peacock feathers! Narcissists are tantrum throwing toddlers when they are not receiving enough attention. This was a tantrum throwing adult who had instructed her dying Grandfather over Skype, in the presence of her siblings, to tell her that she was his favourite child – even making her very own Grandfather’s death about her.

Narcissists use various forms of punishment, which I had received throughout. On one occasion, it was in the form of a forced sex act, where I was to be punished for a gynaecological procedure awaiting me, where penetration was painful, accompanied by the unsympathetic words of; “you need to get this thing sorted, because I NEED TO be able to f*ck you any way I want to.” But on this particular occasion, it was punishment by silent treatment. After a whole night’s worth, she stormed out from my house, as she had been ‘disrespected.’ What followed was a string of Gaslighting. Gaslighting is a tactic narcissists use in the attempt to make their prey question their sanity.

Her route of Gaslighting for me was to try to programme me to believe that I was sexually promiscuous, that this pleasant young man had his ‘hands all over me,’ that I was touched inappropriately, and that he was playing with my hair for minutes at a time! (That’s a long time, especially for me to not notice!)

She had made things up, in order for me to question my sanity, to keep me punished, and to justify her overreaction. Because the narcissist is so influential and so convincing, you fall into their trap and their plan of questioning your sanity. They are masters of deceit and manipulation. These people are so good at making us feel so bad through their Gaslighting and control. You could record the words of a narcissist, play it back to them as evidence of what they had said, and they would still insist that you’re hearing things. They cannot take responsibility for anything. 

I had a subconscious awareness that this was psychological abuse, yet her initial charm and degree of upset over this stranger at the party prevented me from gaining a full knowledge of that.

In my attempt at resolving the matter, wanting her to feel better, and understanding what had truly happened, the more I invited her to talk, the more Gaslighting I received – bare faced lies made up from scratch that just did not happen, apart from in her head. How can you have a rational conversation with someone who is insisting that you explain yourself why you’re a pot of paint? You can’t, because you’re not. 

As a result, I became physically and mentally unwell. She had shut down the relationship, forbidding me to ever mention her name to anyone, as it is rare, and to never speak of the abuse. 

A year had passed, and by chance, I had met someone who was in close contact with my former partner. I could not believe what had hit my ears. I had been dating an absolute con woman – a complete stranger who had lied to me about who she was. I was left in shock and in disgust. After I had healed so well, I suddenly spiralled downhill. With this person’s kind permission, I messaged this Monster. I had exhausted myself in attempting to answer her trick questions concerning things which did not happen, but only in her head. I now needed my answers concerning the abuse which did happen for real. In doing so, she either made a manipulative threat to me, invented a lie about me, called me mentally ill, or told me that I hadn’t asked her about the abuse nicely enough! Narcissists provoke people with the utmost cruelty, then blame their reaction on their ‘oversensitivity,’ or mental instability. 

I had remembered all of her manipulation tactics she had used on her boss, work colleagues, and friends. Knowing how her Gaslighting and deceit had driven me to the point of insanity, I reached out. I reached out to a total of five people, in the attempt to open their eyes, to support them, and to save them from this despicable poor excuse of a human being. I was a complete stranger, yet her close friends, her boss, her former girlfriend – all of them wanted a conversation with me. Not one of them told me where to go. Doesn’t that speak for itself?! Horror story upon horror story began to surface, the unbelievable number of lives she had damaged, the unbelievable amount of surreal lies she had told, and level of manipulation she had used. I was not prepared to be hushed up any longer – there were too many casualties. On behalf of myself, and on behalf of those known to me, and those who were not, I decided to speak. Sometimes when we’ve plummeted to our lowest point, we somehow find the strength to rise up and take a stand. 

I reported the sexual offense to the police, and I reported her sham marriage to the Home Office. One of the victims I had met with was her long term ‘husband’ she was in a fake marriage with, simply to gain permanent stay in the UK. Not only was she manipulating and deceiving individuals, she was manipulating and deceiving the government too. This was a lesbian, married to a man purely to fulfil her need, failing to tell her girlfriends of this.

She had made so many lives a misery, she now had to be stopped. One cannot expect to behave in such a manner, then swan off like a princess, or curl up into a ball, playing the victim. 

To her mind, it was perfectly acceptable to abuse me, while the unacceptable part was in me daring to ask her why, which apparently deemed me a stalker who was harassing her. 

When words of confrontation got back to her, she called me on the phone, angry that I had contacted people from her life – that I had opened their eyes to her manipulation and deceit, and to get to learn the truth about this fraud. She ordered me to get back to the police, to tell them that what she did to me was a ‘misunderstanding’ on my part, and that she had forgiven me for reporting the incident! And, she instructed me to never tell of her abuse to her place of work, as she was a well respected figure there. (Too late!)

A narcissist can batter you over the head with a hammer, and you would be the bad one for asking them why they’re doing it. 

Abusers of narcissistic nature do not require a therapist, they require an exorcist. Therapy is only successful provided the subject recognises their problem. 

Many years ago, I heard of the public reaction conscience test;

You are in a room with a baby and a gun. The future enters the room informing you that the cute little baby you see before you will grow to be another Hitler. Do you shoot the baby, taking one life, but saving many lives, or do you allow the baby to live, while allowing many more to be killed? 

I decided to pull the trigger on the baby. 

Abusers need to bear in mind that for each anti narcissism, anti abuse, anti bullying activist out there; running their awareness causing websites, Facebook groups, counselling sessions, and giving their motivational speeches, there is a narcissist, an abuser, a bully who has been behind them, pushing them on their way to do so.

So, never mess with a person you’ve targeted as weak and vulnerable … because when they’ve grown strong, and educated themselves on your manipulation tactics, it will all backfire, as they return to beat your butt, then fly away with wings of steel.

As a consequence of the experience of myself and others, I host The Debra Rufini Show, with ArtistFirst Radio Network in New York, which largely focuses on the issue of abuse of various forms.