Compartment Store

We view our lives as a series of compartments. The compartments are linked and there is an archway from one compartment to another but this archway has been bricked up by us and only we know the secret word that will open up the archway and admit us to the next compartment. You will try and search for an opening so that you may move from one compartment to another but your search will be fruitless. You will rhyme off all the passwords you can think of from ‘open sesame’ through to ‘abracadabra’ but none of them will work. There is a simple reason for that. We want you to stay in your compartment until we come back to it. We do not want you interacting with any of our other compartments because then it makes each area harder for us to control. A greater need for control mean more energy expenditure which will mean that there is less available for me to use to gather fuel and that is not something I can allow to happen.

A blissful domestic set-up will be in one compartment where I play the role of doting husband and caring father. To the external observer who looks in on the scene through the Perspex it appears to be a picture of harmony and good relations. Yet the observer cannot hear the shouting nor listen to your sobs as you are on the receiving end of another tirade. The fearful cries and the scathing admonishments fail to air beyond this compartment. You are not able to escape to another place and reveal what is really going on in this compartment. As soon as I depart to the next one then the brickwork closes behind me with lightning quick speed, trapping you where I want you. Of course I will tell you all about what is happening in the other compartments when I return, so that you will be subjected to tales of my magnificence in the work place and anecdotes about the new ‘friend’ I have in order to create some triangulated jealousy from you.

My work compartment show me as all conquering and masterful yet those that have been subjected to my brutal put downs and suffered from my repeated dumping of work on them as I breeze around town are forbidden from escaping this compartment to pollute the carefully constructed image that I have made for myself.

The members at the golf club who find my boasting odious and have seen me mark down a lower score than that which I had achieved on my score card are unable to blacken my name to my admirers beyond this particular place. Instead I depart the golf club and scurry to the bar where I regale my hangers-on with another story of my five under par round which won the competition. They coo over my success oblivious to what has actually gone on.

Home life, work life, mistress, friends, club, family and more are allotted these compartments. In each one I am a god. I rule supreme able to do as I please so that I can carry forth my stories of heroism into another compartment and there drink deep of their admiring fuel.

I spend much of my time ensuring that the inhabitants of each compartment know about one another, to multiply my fuel of course, but rarely shall I ever allow them to cross paths. This might lead to someone squaring the circle and working out what is behind my carefully orchestrated campaigns of divide and conquer. A must never speak to B who must not be allowed to tell C what really happened. I must maintain my constructed world where these people are little more than dolls in a huge segregated dolls’ house. I put them in poses and play with them so that I can create a scenario by which I can brag to others in the next room about. If they ever escaped and managed to follow me through these archways so they could compare what I have said with what has actually happened I would be truly finished. Sometimes this happens and then the compartment must be set ablaze, scorched from the record and denied an existence. Next time this compartment will be refurbished, repainted and with new dolls put in place. I must control everything around me. Everyone in their place and a place for everyone.

39 thoughts on “Compartment Store

  1. ST says:

    This makes sense. My mom was always one person for work, one for home, one for neighbors, one for friends, one for her side of the family, one for this social group, another for that social group, one for doctors, and even one for some individual people. This always bothered me as a child to see such consistent inconsistency. She was not one person, but unlike MPD she was consistently and deliberately inconsistent. Her only true face was behind closed doors at home and that was a scary face. My non-narc dad, sister, and myself were the same person where ever we went and whomever we were with. What you saw is what you got, but my mom was different. She was a chameleon changing from person to person and situation to situation.

  2. A Victor says:

    Huh. I thought this was a normal thing. I do it even, but I don’t care if there is overlap on occasion and I don’t get fuel from playing them against each other. It just simplifies life for me. I have been aware of a couple of men in my life doing this in a more diligent way than I, much more structured and intentional. But this makes sense with how the narc isolates the primary so she becomes more dependent etc also. Interesting.

  3. Kasia says:

    Everything you wrote here is true.
    I know a few people who are perceived as very good people and have a good reputation. But in reality they have their dark sides.
    For example I am an empath. And I am a person disliked.
    It is very sad because when someone tells me a secret I won’t tell anyone.
    I try to don’t hurt anyone.
    I help animals.
    But when I have an argument with someone they say that It is my fault and I am a madman.
    People are so STUPID!
    By the way great article. 😉

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you

  4. All out of Fuel says:

    I searched the blog for “compartmentalization” and here I am. Very interesting article HG. My mid range narc used this word on a phone call with me a few weeks ago.

    During the call, he told me he wanted to see me again. When I questioned his prior excuses for telling me before that he NO LONGER WANTED TO SEE ME (for reasons such as guilt and shame at cheating on his wife) he said he changed his mind because he was able to “successfully compartmentalize” his guilt.

    I wanted to see if there was an article about it so I searched and here I am.

    If mids do not know what they are I am wondering where he learned such a fancy word. And of course if he is aware of what he is by using such a word.

    1. Claudia says:

      “My” narc is also showing some signs of being self aware. He asked me if I know what he is, and I said yes but that I cannot say the words to him. He claims to be in therapy and trying very hard to get better. He then regaled me with a story of how he has been treating his current love target, detailing all his classic narc behaviors but claiming it’s her fault, of course. It’s so textbook it’s laughable.

  5. Foggy says:

    First I want to say thank you HG Tudor for your site. I dabbled a little in personality disorders back in college being a social work major and in working in the field. But, I lost touch to all of that after being out of the field for over 10 years and recently had my first run with a narcissist and this is someone I’ve known for years. You’re right in your response above to snow white. There are a lot of narc hater bloggers on the internet. Having a clinical mind, I find them humorous but I look for more informative sites. I’m very impressed with how you describe NPD. It’s almost eerie reading your articles. Too eerie! Every time I feel weak and want to reach out to the N I’m still in love with (and will always be), I read something from your site and it always makes me feel at ease and it’s because of how you describe narcissism. You are not bashing them or telling us to act out in revenge. you are just stating how it is and you are so on the money. Thank you.

  6. Snow White says:

    Hello HG,
    I just got around to reading this and it was very interesting. I had never heard of this concept before.
    When did you feel that you needed to start thinking like this?

    Is it because you see yourself as the puppet master that you see us as dolls in your dollhouse? Every compartment has its own story. And this must be why I saw my exes fury when I talked about some things that were happening in our relationship to another person. The dolls must not leave their story. It makes sense to me. You have a gift of explaining concepts.

    Are you enjoying having all the fairytale characters intertwining with the other stories and characters since it’s normal for you to everything in their own story?

    Checking out The Box of Dirty Secrets next.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Sw, I didn’t so much feel that I need to start thinking like this but instead I realised when looking back that this was how I was thinking. it evolved naturally. Yes it is about being the puppet master. Compartmentalising is a form of control, which as you know, is paramount for our kind.

      Interesting point in your penultimate paragraph. I am enjoying them more by playing god in writing them my own way and melding them together, but I see your point.

      1. Snow White says:

        As always HG I appreciate all your thoughts and answers to my questions.
        Trying to understand how you think and what your perspective is on everything has made my process of healing a lot more tolerable. You have been able to give me the key to my whole relationship and I thank you.
        It does amuse me when I see readers tell you how much they despise you. The difference is being able to see your things through your eyes and your honesty.
        I continue to learn a tremendous amount from you and I will continue my quest for others to know about your work.
        I enjoy everything that you write.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Thank you SW. The ones that despise me just provide some fuel and their attacks mean nothing. I understand why people do it, they have been hurt and remain hurting and therefore they lash out at me as being representative of the person that hurt them. It is actually a very small number that do. Nearly all who interact with me want to do so to harness the unique information available to them, to understand more and to move forward and others enjoy the debate and discussion surround the many facets of the narcissistic dynamic.

          1. Snow White says:

            I took a look and listen to your you tube work and read some of the comments there. I enjoyed listening to you.
            Out of all your media outlets where are your most loyal readers? Have you noticed a difference in the readers that choose to participate on the blog compared to FB or you tube?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Hello Snow White,

            The most loyal ans interactive are on the blog, though I do so many names which repeatedly like and comment on FB and Twitter. It tends to be the case that in the early stages of appearing on a new platform – for instance YouTube it draws out those people who are narc-haters (with good reason) who want to lambast me etc. Often they do so under a misunderstanding of what i am doing and once they realise, they settle down. Others aren’t interest, they just want to throw stones – so be it – they soon get fed up as I just drink in the little bit of negative fuel and they usually make themselves look stupid. They grow bored of stone-throwing and go and find someone else to troll. I find the blog draws more people who are respectful, who wish to understand and debate, advance their own views and experiences and do so in a constructive manner. There are many people like that on FB, Twitter and Youtube but it is more noticeable here and is probably the case because I interact the most here.

  7. Vanessa says:

    I remember when my N told me he compartmentalizes and said it was a normal thing that men do…..

    Interesting read:)

  8. Mr. Helpful says:

    Oops, above I left the first paragraph unfinished. I meant to say, “if I’m truly honest, I’m still hoping for signs of hoovering.”

  9. Mr. Helpful says:

    I’m starting to understand now what my crime was against my friend. Three months ago, I was discarded. Hard. Just blocked and cut out, and the few times I managed to confront him about it did not turn out well. I was devastated; now I’m piecing together fragments of what is left of my former life–and yet if I’m truly honest, I’m

    I was discarded by a friend who, over the course of a year, had become the center of my universe. I suppose to him, I was a NIPSS, although in some ways I may have been filling in for a nonexistent IPPS in all ways but sexually, (My friend is, as they say, “smokin’ hot.” God knows I tried hard enough to make it to IPPS, and would have been happy as the DSIPSS, and I became so obviously desperate for any kind of physical affection, the entire year became one long humiliation.) I guess now I understand a bit better why he derived so much pleasure out of denying sex and relegating me, with no warning, to “just friends” status after the first few weeks of our friendship.

    During the devaluation stage, I was subjected to silences that grew increasingly long in duration, and during those periods I had more free time than usual on my hands. (During the “good times” there was always lots for me to help out with: Driving him around, dealing with utility companies on his behalf, moving furniture, making repairs around his house, clearing out a guest room in my home for him to live in for a couple months, etc.)

    So, to occupy my time during the silent treatments, I took to investigating his past and some of the stories he told that didn’t add up. Ordinarily, I would never do this to any friend or acquaintance, but I sensed something was amiss with — let’s call him Smokey Bear. I was a journalist by trade for many years, and as my investigations proceeded, I soon found myself face-to-face with two of his exes. Both of them had eerily similar stories to tell, but they were both obviously still affected by their encounters with Smokey, in one case, many years later. (At a later date, I coincidentally met another ex — although at this point I can’t be sure whether anything conected to Smokey is coincidental, or if it’s all carefully planned by the Bear in his den. This ex, though, was convinced Smokey is Satan himself.)

    All of them, to a man, made me promise I would never tell Smokey that we had met. And it was a promise that I broke. Every last time. After I was back basking in Smokey’s intermittent glow, watching him peacock when he “accidentally” walked into the room naked and glistening from the shower (“Oh, I didn’t know you were still here,” he’d say, absently scratching his balls then yawning into a stretch that showed off his assets to great advantage. Then, it was as if he suddenly noticed I was watching, and he’d flash me a dirty look as though I were a bad friend or some kind of pervert–by wanting him, I was violating a central agreement of our friendship we had hammered out over long painful discussions when he would agree to allow our friendship to continue but I had to stop being sexually attracted to him. I could still be in love with him, but the sex thing was definitely out. In this way, he could trigger a betrayal at will, and before long I came to know real shame about my sexuality, the sort of which I hadn’t experienced since I was an adolescent coming of age in a hyper-religious family.)

    But during a respite from devaluation, I’d be overcome by warm feelings and start believing just being friends could almost be enough. After all his celibacy was understandable given what he said his ex had put him through — this was an ex whose existence I was never able to verify — and, who knows? Once he was ready again, I felt sure I’d be right there to help him emerge once again into a healthy active adult life. During these optimistic moments, I’d be gripped by a desire for complete disclosure and 100 percent honesty (either of which was obviously completely one-sided; I still hadn’t figured out that his continued “celibacy” was being interrupted regularly two or three times a week, by passionate romps with friends of his whose homes I was often asked to drive him to, and then pick him up from later, after they’d had a nice long chat. It was a while before I understood why I wasn’t allowed to attend these little chats. Ever.)

    And so, when I told him about having met the exes, he completely blew up. It was the worst I’d seen thus far. Turns out I was mixing up the compartments and making them all more difficult to manage. I believe it was at this point that he actively began seeking an actual IPPS, and when, a few months later, he announced that he was dating someone special, but I wasn’t allowed to be in the same room with him,. My discard happened soon afterward, but only after I was told several times about what great sex they had, and was finally permitted once to meet the new boyfriend.

    I’d been excited about Smokey’s birthday for months. So it was not surprising that, a few days prior, we suddenly had a senseless argument that seemingly sprung out of nowhere. I was excluded completely from his birthday proceedings, and afterward, when I finally was granted an audience with him, I was nervous to ask if he’d be good enough to unblock me. He agreed to, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

    It’s been 104 days since, and I’m still blocked.

    1. Claudia says:

      Well it’s two years later but you know how these things go. I wanted to extend a big hug to you for your sharing of your story and wish you the best. It’s so awful getting mixed up with these types of people. I love that we are able to support one another here.

  10. Magda says:

    seems clever but must be exhausting as the amount of them grow as You get older…what if a person won’t get jealous ?x

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Then I try a different form of manipulation Magda.

  11. Jax55 says:

    Ah yes, compartmentalisation. I was told on our first romantic reunion, “Like it or not that is how I live my life”.
    I guess H.G. you are all thrown from the same mould, but I see that it’s all in the detail, as in your individual creativity and savoir faire.
    Yet another illuminating piece, thank you.

    1. malignnarc says:

      You are welcome.

  12. TimeWasted says:

    Out of everything I have read about Ns, your descriptions are spot on. It is amazing how accurate you are.
    I was only introduced to his brother one time, and that was in a night club with loud music. He wanted me nowhere near him. When I asked him why, he said, “Because he’s an idiot.”
    Everyone had a negative label. His neighbor was a dumbass. His sister is a weirdo. His best friend is an alcoholic. His father is a liar. His mother was a drama queen (she passed away). His ex is a psycho that stalked him relentlessly and stole his stuff.
    He wanted no part of my family. At the holidays, he would be at my house Christmas morning, and be gone when it was time for me to go to my family gatherings. Then, he stopped being with me at holidays completely. One Christmas he vanished and didn’t bother to call. I was upset. When I asked him about it, he said, “I didn’t know we had plans.”. His tone was ice cold. It was like he was saying, “How dare you question me”. That resulted in a breakup that lasted 8 months.
    During that 8 months, he would call and tell me that he needed to come by to get things he had stored in my garage. At first, he would get what he needed and leave without a word. Then, he would work his way into making small talk. That progressed into smiling at me or hugging me. Slowly but surely, he sucked me back in. He was so sweet during those times. Of course, it didn’t last. He eventually vanished again.

    1. malignnarc says:

      Archetypal behaviour

    2. Freedom says:

      Time Wasted, sounds like my ex Narc, never wanted to celebrate Christmas, valentines etc. he used say you know I’m a private person I’m not into all that crap. In regards to valentines I’d get I’m not paying for flowers and chocolates at an over inflated price anyway I don’t need a designated day to tell you how much you mean to me. I like to do it spontaneously it has more meaning. Yeah right !!!!
      I did meet his direct family but think that was only because there was a chance we’d see each other as they did all his household chores well his dad and aunt did his mum just shouted the orders out.
      He was always putting his son down saying what a disappointment he was well I’d rather have 10 of him than one if my ex as his son is thoughtful, caring and kind must have got that from his mum!
      My ex used to work nights Christmas and new year on purpose and if by chance he wasn’t he’d text me but mostly wanted me to leave him be. He was probably sucking in a new victim!

  13. alexis2015s says:

    Freedom, I totally understand why you feel the need to do this, we all want to clear our name. It’s the hardest thing to come to terms with that others falsely believe we are something we are not.

    I’m honestly so pleased that I never did anything to get back at him or to justify myself to others or convince them what he says is not true. It took a lot from within me to hold my head up high and ignore what others thought. If they belwice him and don’t know the real you then they’re not good people anyway. The only people that matter are the ones who really know you and love you.

    If he tried to make me out to be weird or whatever, my husband (who I told about the whole thing and he has completely stood by me) would say to me, well you are weird so don’t worry about it. Which made me smile and helped with the cognitive dissonance.

    I know these thoughts are something you will wrestle with all the time, it’s normal to feel like that. But it really will only make it worse for you.

    Best thing is to be NC with him and delete anyone from your FB who knows him etc just completely eradicate him from your life. And don’t go on his FB. The longer you keep doing these things the longer it will take you to heal.

    The day I went NC and changed my number deleted my FB etc I felt instantly in control again, there was still a long way to go, but knowing he now has no means by which to contact me, meant that I would not be wondering whether he would or not.

    Freedom, please start thinking about yourself as much as possible xx

  14. Freedom says:

    Thanks HG

    So he’d make it his focus of destroying me ? Although he hasn’t really got anything bad on me not enough to destroy me, I never did the kinky stuff so not able to blackmail me or show any pics if me. I’m quite an open book so would be hard for him. Would it not also take an excessive amount if his fuel ??
    I look forward to your post on when Pandora’s box is opened.
    I’m so arguing with myself at the min I’m so so tempted to do the posts just to cause him so much loss if fuel.

    1. malignnarc says:

      If he is like me then he would look to destroy you for doing something which undermined him in such a way. He may have little in the way of dirt on you but he would just make things up in order to denigrate you and provoke you. It may take energy but if it results in seeing you crushed that provides a large amount of fuel. Then there would be the attempt to breathe life back into your corpse…….

      1. freedom says:

        HG to crush me he would need to to be in contact with me and people who he has in common with me. He shot himself in the food thrre, he never wanted to mix with my friends or introduce me to help his. Anyone who knows me knows the truth and wouldn’t believe him. So he’s no way there. To crush and breath life into me would involve him acknowledging me again he won’t do that. I won’t let that thing back in my life the person I love doesn’t exist and never did apparently.

        So its starting to sound like it may be worth doing? Decisions decisions !

      2. Angelic says:

        in my case sounds a lot like you.
        Is it that you Ernestino ?

      3. N/A says:


  15. Freedom says:

    Hi HG
    You would know when the posts had gone on and your friending increased but it would look like you’d posted it though as it would be through your fB login.

    Sorry if I’m not making sense

    1. malignnarc says:

      I understand what you mean. I would see that some posts have been made in my name although I know I did not post them – that is what you are suggesting. I would be utterly furious and would pledge the total and utter consignment to oblivion of the offender. Nobody does that me. Your question is quite apt as it would involve me opening The Box of Dirty Secrets which will be a blog post next week. When Pandora opened her box the things that flew out were nothing compared to what I have in The Box of Dirty Secrets. Its content will obliterate the offender.

  16. Freedom says:

    If one if your exes managed to unknowing to you gain access to your FB account and posted pics and messages exchanged between the tel of you to show they weren’t crazy. Then they went and accepted your new wife / GF prey friends request so they could see your FB profile ( as in my case intimate partners are never allowed in the FB domain) what would you do ??

    1. malignnarc says:

      Hi Freedom, there would never be any chance that this person would access my FB account. Let’s say for the sake of discussion your suggested scenario did take place I wouldn’t know about it would I? You wrote she would access my FB account without me knowing and I would not know they were looking at my FB profile through having made friends with my new GF so there isn’t much I can write! Give me a different scenario.

  17. survivednarc says:

    It is scary how well you describe this. How is it that I can recognize almost every word of this. Fantastic. ☺

    1. malignnarc says:

      Thanks survivednarc. You recognise every word because this is what happens.

  18. Freedom says:

    Very true, howevwer not all your kind are that smart. I do gave the power to expose him on his FB as I have figured out the password. But as a few people have advised its not worth my upset or energy.

  19. Very insightful. Very well written. Every sentence begs thought provoking responses.

    1. malignnarc says:

      Thank you Laurel.

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