Spoiler Alert

When I was with Siobhan (an ex girlfriend) her birthday arrived just four weeks after we had begun seeing one another. I took her away for the weekend, bought her a beautiful Tiffany bracelet, organised a huge bouquet to be delivered to the suite where we were staying in our hotel and then took her shopping for a couple of new outfits and some new shoes. She was swept off her feet. Just as I intended.

When it was her birthday a year later I didn’t give her a present and begrudgingly went for dinner with her that evening. I ensured she paid. I talked down to the waiter and insisted we leave without dessert and subjected her to silence on the drive home. I wanted to spoil her birthday because it was about her and not me. I hate attention being focussed elsewhere. My nephew told me he had come first in his school’s 100m race. I told him I ran a faster time than him when I was at school. A colleague showed me his new watch. I told him I had one which was similar but mine was better. You’ve got tickets for a performance tonight? I went last week and it was rubbish. You recommend a new Mexican restaurant that has just opened? I tell you that it is attracting the attention of environmental health. Bought a new car? I don’t like the colour and criticise its miles per gallon ratio. The thing is that these comments just spill from my mouth before I even have a chance to think. Whenever the spotlight is shining elsewhere I need to smash it and train a new one on me. My response is automatic.

If you have an important function you want to attend, I will pick a fight with you before you go and then text you incessantly whilst you are at it so you do not enjoy it. I have to ruin it for you. I cannot control this urge. Sam (an ex girlfriend) loved to garden. She would spend hours at the weekend tending her beds. I would call round during the week when she was not there and take a strimmer to her plants. As the stalks and stems were obliterated I could feel myself feeling better. I have to cut people down. From my extensive discussions with Dr O I have come to realise that this is wrong but I cannot help myself. The urge to destroy, denigrate,criticise and belittle is overwhelming.

I have to spoil. There is no hope for an alternative.

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3 thoughts on “Spoiler Alert”

  1. Its just so difficult to make sense of, to non narcissists I guess. I cannot comprehend how things that are so devastating to ppl u interact with can bring any joy to you..because Ive been through it idk how many times, and it is truly devastating. I havent actually enjoyed a holiday or birthday for years. My children’s birthdays and mine, every single holiday no matter how minor has to have drama and conflict because of my husband. He puts on quite a show at times for absolutely no good reason. Its infuriating. I know that people are definitely wired differently, its just so intriguing reading from your point of view. As much as I HATE these behaviors in my life, its compelling to know what he must be thinking and the thought processes behind the manipulation. Very enlightening, thank you

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    1. You are welcome Amanda. Your recounting of holidays and birthdays having to have drama in them at your husband’s behest is a familiar story. He, like me, cannot stand to have the spotlight on anyone else. We need to do something to drag it back onto ourselves and it does not matter if it spoils someone else’s day. We know that is often the outcome, but we need our fuel so much that the collateral damage we cause is of no concern to us. I am pleased that my writings are giving you insight into his behaviour.

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  2. I was flat out told, as soon as my children and I were moved hundreds of miles from family and friends, that my birthday would never be celebrated, and if I wanted to celebrate the holidays with my family I’d be going alone. Our anniversary is meaningless. I mean, who would give up playing in a softball tournament for an anniversary? I should’ve walked away years ago. I even “owed him” for “watching” my children while I was in the hospital.

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