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.


We are strong, powerful and impervious to illness or injury. We are a bastion of invulnerability, a veritable shining example of radiant health and vitality. Our superiority means we stand head and shoulders above everyone else and the weakness that comes with ill health and infirmity is not something that affects us. Except when we decide it must. That is when we play the sickness card. There are three instances, in the main, when we do this.

The first is when we do actually suffer from some illness or an injury. It may just be a fractured eyelash but to us we have been blinded with a red hot poker. The pain, good Lord the pain, it is too great and intense. It wracks us and has us twisted up in agony. Come on empath, do something. Do something now. Soothe our fevered brows, splint our broken limbs and bind our wounds. You must drop anything and everything. Forget being at work today, you must call in and excuse yourself no matter how inconvenient, for you are required to don a nurse’s outfit and do your best Florence Nightingale impression for us. This slight snuffle is pneumonia you know and to top it all it is your fault. You insisted on the window of the bedroom being left open, now see what you have done. I may not last the week. You would like that wouldn’t you, you ungrateful bitch after everything that I have done for you. You did it on purpose. You wanted me to be ill so you could see me suffer. That is how nasty and selfish you are. Is it any wonder I have been off with other women when this is how I am treated by somebody who is supposed to love me? Yes the smallest spot, minor ache and slight cough are all that is needed to enable us to declare that we are on our death beds. It is good for several uses. First of all, we will use it to avoid doing things such as household chores or attending an event that you wanted to go to. Secondly, it means you must give us plenty of attention by looking after us. Those soothing words and hot water bottles brought to our bedside all provide us with fuel. Thirdly, we are able to provoke you by being demanding and castigating you for not living up to expectations. You didn’t bring that hot lemon drink soon enough or those are the wrong pills. We will compare you to others, ” My mother would do a better job of looking after me than you.” All of which is designed to cause a reaction from you.

The second occasion on which we will play the sickness card is when you are ill or injured. We are not here to look after you. Good Lord, not at all. Why should we? That is not our role. We are too busy looking for fuel and we do not have the time or energy to spend engaged in nursing you. Not only of course are we devoid of the concept of feeling that we should care and that we should feel sorry and compassionate for someone who is unwell, we do not regard it as a task that is worthy of someone as brilliant as us. If you moan enough so that we are compelled to call out a doctor we will pronounce our own diagnosis in order to align ourselves with the brilliance of the medic. When he concludes what ailment it is you are suffering from we will declare,

“Yes, I said to her that that was what was wrong with her, but she won’t listen to me doctor, she insisted on getting you out. I am sorry she has wasted your time.”

We get to denigrate you and upset you whilst showing off how clever we are because we knew what was wrong with you (even though we did not) and the doctor accords with us. We may as well steal a segment of the doctor’s brilliance for our construct whilst he is here mightn’t we?

We will then invite the doctor to examine our shoulder or leg as we go to great lengths explaining how much pain we are in. This keeps the spotlight firmly on us and has you annoyed that we have hijacked your consultation. We will look to declare we are far worse off than you. You have a cold, well we have flu. We will use this as an opportunity to accuse you of attention seeking (nice bit of projection there) as we point out how selfish you are for being ill when we are. We have no interest in tending to you and we need to make the situation all about us. Accordingly, we will fake an illness or an injury in order to trump yours.

The third reason as to why we will play the sickness card is when we are low on fuel and low on energy. There may be any number of reasons why this state of affairs has arisen. You may be getting wise to some of our manipulative behaviour and therefore you are not reacting as often so that the level and quality of fuel that you provide is reduced. We may also have a natural dip in our energy levels or feel some degree of vulnerability which means that our resources are being stretched rather thin. This makes it difficult for us to seek out additional sources of fuel. This diminution in fuel reduces our power and this risks the craven creature that lurks within trying to escape and making itself heard. When this happens, the creature’s whisperings remind us of our weakened selves. We are not ill. We are not injured. What we are however is feeling weakened, as if we are ill or injured. Accordingly, we play the sickness card in order to obtain an emergency injection of fuel from you or whoever else might be to hand. As an empathic individual you are programmed to respond to this and you cannot resist the opportunity to exhibit your caring nature in order to help us out and nurse us. The attention you lavish on us provides us with fuel and we begin to feel more powerful again. The creature’s catcalls fade as he is subsumed within the prison of our constructed edifice once again and our supremacy returns. Our weakness lifts thanks to this provision of fuel from you and this has been instigated by us playing the sickness card. We will do this to garner sympathy from you, from family and friends and also from health professionals. Our favourite ailments of course are of the invisible variety. Depression, a stomach pain or a bad back. We are brilliant actors and ham up our suffering. The portrayal of our poor sick self would please Ferris Bueller. As with most things it is just another fabrication designed to manipulate you and provide us with fuel but you must never dare question us. We of course have researched the symptoms thoroughly and our Munchausen Syndrome is most prevalent. You are duty bound to help us rise from our sick bed or you are a bad person and we will cut you out of our will in the event that this terrible affliction sends us to the reaper. You will be sick to death of our illnesses and injuries but you will be duty bound to attend to them.

I love my car. It is beautiful. Powerful, sleek and impressive. Just like me. The exterior is anthracite black and the windows tinted black which gives it a sinister appearance which is rather apt I suppose. I enjoy driving and especially since I am an excellent driver. My car is a fantastic instrument by which I am able to manipulate you.

To begin with I spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning it. I could of course get someone else to do this for me but I know how much it irritates you when on a glorious sunny afternoon you want to drive out somewhere for the day and all I do is spend it on the drive washing, waxing and polishing my car. You come outside and remonstrate with me, which is all good fuel and only causes me to spend longer cleaning the alloys before moving on to the interior. I manage to provoke an argument with you because you wanted to use the Hoover (you should know by now that only I am allowed to Hoover) inside the house but I have commandeered it for a lengthy period of time as I scrupulously chase after each speck of dust inside my car.

I also engage in long conversations about its performance and how it is running. I know you find this boring and when you are trying to tell me about something, I will continue to dominate the conversation by talking about my car. The irritation you express through your sighs and eye-rolling amuses me no end.

I am naturally a brilliant driver and have demonstrated this on days out on race tracks as I have taken various high performance vehicles out for a spin leaving you stranded on the trackside bored to tears. The occasional temper tantrum you throw when I tell you we are going out for the day, only to arrive at one of the race tracks enables me to demonstrate just how selfish you are and that you have no consideration of the things that I like to do. However, it is when we are in the car together that my vehicle’s potential as an instrument of manipulation is truly realised. I drive aggressively, tail gating the car in front, flashing my lights to get that car to move aside and gesticulating at the incompetent buffoons who have the audacity to be driving when I am. The reactions of the other drivers, from fear to anger all provide me with fuel, but it is your pleas for me to slow down as I hurtle along a country lane or your scream as we screech to a halt behind a lorry that really do it for me. The aggression in my driving provides me with an opportunity to demonstrate how superior I am on the roads and motorways. My vehicle is better, faster and more expensive than your scrapheap so move aside right now. At the traffic lights an admiring glance from another driver, especially if she is female, will please me no end and irritate you. I will purposefully drive at the same speed as the other vehicle flashing my winning smile at the other driver as she looks back grinning whilst we drive alongside one another.

Should someone not give way or cut me up I will chase them and do so until they stop, be it at home or their destination. I will leap from the car and berate them at traffic lights whilst they are stationery, smashing my fist on their window and kicking their wing as they grip the steering wheel in terror. How dare they drive like that near me? I return to my car, power raging through my body as I have put them in their place and find you sobbing with fear after I pursued this driver relentlessly. The driver’s reaction and your reaction fuelling me deliciously.

I use my car as a bolt hole, often sitting in it and listening to the cricket on the radio or an interesting radio play as you knock on the window trying to get my attention. I ignore you and you stalk around the car, fuming. I know you want to scratch it or dent it but you know better than to do anything like that to my precious car. I will walk away from you and get in the car and drive off leaving you stranded. This is a powerful way of letting you know that you are in the wrong. I park where I want and throw away the parking tickets or abuse the traffic wardens, accusing them of jealousy when they try to give me a ticket. I speed everywhere as I am not to be delayed, it is my time and my journey that are important.

I enjoy suddenly pulling over in the car and demanding you pleasure me. You always comply and as you lower your head I grin at my power over you as I select one of my favourite pieces of music and press down on the accelerator as we drive off. Such is my ability, I can drive at high speed even whilst you attend to me with your mouth. I am truly the king of the road. I will have you over the bonnet and then scold you for leaving hand prints on the polished metal, giving me a wonderful opportunity to criticise you after a seemingly intimate act. Of course, when I have you splayed across the bonnet, skirt hitched up and hair scattered across it, I do not see you beneath me as I thrust and buck. No, I am enjoying congress with my vehicle. We are merging together, two beautiful and powerful creatures that truly complement one another.

You are never allowed to drive my car. It is mine and only I am able to use it to frustrate you, anger you, alarm you and terrify you. It is my black bombshell that is there to draw emotional reactions from you and those around us, to serve my need for fuel. Just like me, my car does not provide many miles to the gallon and needs frequent refuelling, but then anything of quality is always high maintenance isn’t it?


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I thought I would compose this little ditty for you all to sing in order to imbue a sense of festive cheer as we approach Christmas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my narcissist gave to me

Twelve reasons why I am useless,

Eleven days of silence

Ten shifts of blame

Nine affairs so far

Eight different excuses

Seven times of gas lighting

Six temper tantrums

Five golden periods

Four frenzied hoovers

Three people in this marriage

Two black eyes

And a massive case of PTSD

The narcissist in your life may have turned to you and said,

“You are the one true constant in my life,” or words to that effect. Of course, when this sentence was said to you with faux sincerity shining in our eyes it was intended as another love bomb that rained down on you from up on high. What we were actually doing was engaging in a rare moment of truth.

We require a constant in our lives for a variety of reasons. To begin with it is because when we are seducing you, you provide us with all that delicious positive fuel and we cannot get enough of it. You are shiny and sparkling and that fuel tastes so glorious. We want to be with you all of the time to drink deep of your fuel but also to ensure that you become addicted to us as we love bomb you. We want you constantly with us so that you are exposed all the time to our charm, our wit and our affection so that as we drink up your fuel, you become addicted to the euphoria you feel by being with someone so wonderful as us. We also want you constantly by our side to isolate you from anyone who may just have the knowledge and temerity to shatter the fantasy world that we have created so you wriggle free from our grip. After expending time and energy in trapping you and clamping our jaws around you, the last thing we want is for you to be able to escape us.

Inevitably you let us down and your supply of positive fuel lessens in quality and quantity. Your dereliction of duty means we must draw fuel from other appliances. A normal and healthy person might think that if a person tires of the other in the relationship one might look at ways of rekindling what first drew those people together. Well, you know what? We do that, only we do it in our skewed manner. We have no interest in working at the relationship, that requires too much effort. We will however rekindle the golden period in order to enable our vacillating between devaluing and idealising to have the maximum effect. You may also consider that if someone no longer has any interest in the other person in the relationship and especially if that person is looking elsewhere then he or she would do the decent thing and end the relationship and move on. Not us. We need you. You might question why that should be the case since if we are treating you so badly, why on earth would we want to remain with you? If we are committing acts of infidelity with other people, why do we remain in a relationship with you? The answer is because we need a constant appliance. You are that constant appliance. We have decided that you would supply us with delicious positive fuel and although you would let us down and reduce that supply, we could keep you around as we drew negative fuel from you. You are the mainstay. There is no logic to us in having a relationship then ending it and moving on to another person some time later. That would not provide us with enough fuel, nowhere near enough. We need someone who will always be there so that he or she:-

  1. Provides positive fuel to being with;
  2. Provides negative fuel thereafter;
  3. Represents a good return on our investment (we are not going to throw away such an asset that readily);
  4. As a constant enables us to use others in our manipulation to draw more fuel from the constant and the other people (triangulation, smear campaigns and so on)
It is only when we have drained you of most of the fuel that you can supply us with that we shift to a new constant. Usually we have had them lined up for a while. Of course we do not let you go. You still serve a purpose for fuel once you have replenished your levels after a period of time and then it is time to hoover. In some instances we switch back to you as our constant and the most recent person becomes the discarded individual. We will switch back and forth between the two of you, for as long as you allow us to do this. This saves us having to hunt out new supplies as we rotate your roles in your obligation to provide us with fuel.
This is why you are kept despite the many affairs that we have. You are the constant and you may keep that role for years since much of it is dependent on how much you will take before deciding to try and escape us.
We also deploy you as a constant (yes I know you only deploy machines and it should be employ, but you are an appliance remember) because we like to compartmentalise our lives. We are the business ace at work, the champion sportsman on the field, the caring husband and father at home, the wild man on a night out and the sexual Olympian with our mistress. We like to show the world we have a steady wife who does not cause us trouble, one who runs the home and cares for the children. See how successful we are? We can attract someone who wishes to remain with us and provide that visage of stability and domestic bliss. The rest of the world does not need to know about the chaos we unleash on you behind closed doors.
Mentioning chaos identifies a further reason why we like you as our constant. Much of what we do generates chaos – the affairs, the gambling, the driving offences, the cheating and the lying – it is therefore a source of great comfort to us that we can return to you and find you waiting as usual. We have experienced so much upheaval and chaos when we were younger that this constant presence on your part provides us with a degree of reassurance. Of course, we abuse this by unleashing our chaotic nature on you as well, but we know you are not going to go and leave us and that is of great importance to us. Not only does this show the world somebody wants us it also means this appliance will remain and churn out fuel for a good while yet.
For all the other variables we introduce, the other women or men, the threatened departures and the bouts of silent treatment, we need you as our constant companion.

We have cast you aside after subjecting you to a litany of abuse, mistreatment and the full horror of our manipulative and disorientating repertoire. You have your absolute all in the pursuit of what you believed to be our perfect love. You have endured humiliation, denigration and belittlement yet you still hung in there, desperate to cure and to heal. You wanted us so much that it hurt and it still does. Not only have we discarded you with a callous disregard for your welfare and sanity, we have added to the pain by parading our latest conquest for all the world to see. You are no longer the recipient of our burning desire. You have been removed from our grace and favour and a new beneficiary has been installed. The monument to our supposedly everlasting love has been razed to the ground and on that once sacred ground we have erected a new edifice, lauding our new, shinier and much improved interest. What was once promised as lasting forever has been smashed into pieces and erased from the history books.

Your hurt, anger and indignation are tangible. The traitorous behaviour we have subjected to you has torn you apart. It is awful enough that after everything you have done, everything you have given and everything that you have endured, you have been struck from the record. The insult has been magnified and multiplied by reason of our infatuation with your replacement. How dare we do this to you. It is utterly unfair.

Your desire for retribution is immense. You want to cause our come uppance and warn the world about the monster that you see us as. You feel that all must be told about the awful toll that you have taken from our treatment but greater than that, you have that irresistible sense of needing to protect and warn. The empathic nature that made you such an attractive target to us has survived notwithstanding the mauling we have given you. You need to save our conquest from what you have been put through. Not only must you rescue the poor innocent from our toxic touch this will enable you to exact a delicious revenge on us. By taking away the thing that we crave, you know that triumph awaits. Our fresh acquisition may work out what has happened, but that will take too long. No, you owe it to her and you owe it yourself to intervene, to educate and warn. It is time to expose us for what you say we are.

You call us for the perfidious behaviour that we have engaged in. You decry our stories of your hysterical and unreasonable behaviour and yet here you are, ready to spread such lies about us to our new love. You hold yourself out as being a person of good nature and compassion yet you are hell bent on ruining our new-found happiness. You were not good enough for us. You let us down and thus you had to be moved to one side replaced. Out with the old and in with the new. That is the natural order of events. The appliance does not work anymore, therefore a new, faster and more effective appliance must be brought to the fore and installed. Why complain about that? Had you been fit for purpose you would still be the object of our affection, but you failed. We gave you every chance and yet you still came up wanting. You are to blame. You only have yourself to blame. Yet, exhibiting the malice that you laughingly accuse us of you go running to our new interest and tell tales about us.

Your poison-laden tongue weaves its malevolent words as you whisper fabricated stories in order to discourage our new love from remaining with us. Do you not understand that this is the very reason why we had to let you go. We tried. We really did, but you would insist on railing against us and not submitting to our will. There was no hope for it other than yo remove you from our lives. As people of substance and rigour, we have not gone with our tales of lament to others, seeking to draw sympathy from them. No, that is not for us. We chalked off our time with you as a mistake and we learn from it. Now we have found someone better. So what that we moved with what you regard as unseemly haste, we are entitled to drive forward. You should take heed of our capability in that regard, instead of remaining mired in what might have been. Imprisoning yourself in a tomb of melancholy is not the way of progress. This only underlines our superiority to you. We have moved on. If you cannot, then that is your problem and not ours.

We act with honour and do not stoop to your level. We know that our character speaks for itself with this new person. We allow them to make their own mind up and the extensive groundwork which we put in place has ensured that this person is impervious to your unsavoury behaviour. We know that our impregnable façade of magnificence cannot be pierced by your savage and twisted lies. Run to our new love, run to them and seek to pour your poison in their ears and we shall watch smiling as they turn to you and shake their head. They are immune to your campaign of smears. They know that we are truly wonderful and that you had your chance but you destroyed what we had as a consequence of your quite frankly unhinged conduct. She tells you how magnificently I treat her and you try to explain how it was like that for you in the beginning but your words are lost in translation. You are told that your jealousy has skewed your outlook, that your paranoia has warped your view of the world. Your craziness has been well documented. We have done the protecting. We have done the warning and as always we got in first.

Tell your tales but all you do is reinforce our brilliance and the reason we were oh so right to be rid of you. Nobody likes a tell tale. Nobody likes you.

You were predestined to meet me or one of my kind. It was written in the stars and was as likely to happen as the sun rising tomorrow morning. You see, you grew and developed as a healthy and normal person. One of the first gifts that you received was a moral compass and you have always found it to work. You were guided by a decent role model, one that showed you the value of compassion, caring and consideration. You have always prided yourself on being able to step into the shoes of others, see someone else’s point of view or imagine what it must be like to be in that other person’s position. It is natural for you to take an interest in the person you are talking with, to listen and engage with them. You are a shoulder to cry on, a pillar of support and a rock to others. Others turn to you in their hour of need. You are patient, tender and take great pleasure in helping other people. You might have made a career of it, becoming a doctor or nurse, an aid worker, a social worker, a counsellor or a charity employee. You have been shown the way by others and with your measured view of the world, developed a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong.

You believe in love. Love conquers all. All you need is love. Love changes everything. You believe that we should all show love to one another and in return we will be loved. That is all that you ask for, to be loved.

When you appear on our radar you shine brighter than everything else around you. The empathic radiance that emanates from you is a blazing beacon of benevolence. Our displays flash and light up, alerting us to your presence as the needles and gauges go off the scale. A massive fanker full of fuel has just cruised into view and we are duty bound to hijack it. We follow the path that is all too familiar to you now, of seducing you and dazzling you. You switch off your engines and weigh the anchor, content to dock with us. We have pulled alongside you and scramble over our bow to overwhelm you. It does not take long before we have burst onto the bridge, overpowered your captain and taken control of this tanker full to the brim of fuel. This hijacking is without violence or resistance, in fact your captain is not so much overpowered but rather he readily relinquishes control of the bridge to us, happy to place his trust in us. We have established our credentials through our repeated charm offensive. There can be no doubt that we have passed our mariner’s examinations and that we are fully qualified to control this tanker.

Yet this peaceful conquest does not satisfy us. There is no excitement or drama in achieving it so easily. Yes, at first we were content for this state of affairs to be the case. It was easy and pleasant and interesting for we had not been on this vessel before and its cargo, the ever so precious fuel was an unknown variety. Now we have been siphoning off the fuel for quite some time and we need to add a new ingredient to it to increase its potency as we maintain control of this vessel. We want to stir things up in the holds by charting a course through stormy waters. We might purposefully spring a leak, cut away the lifeboats and fire off the flares, before jamming the wheel so the tanker slowly drifts in circles, rolling and yawing through the mountainous waves giving the impression of vast movement but not actually going anywhere.

We have to annoy, provoke, irritate and rile you. This heightens the emotional responses and just like the storm battered tanker, we plough headlong into drama, turmoil and rage. In the same way that you were destined to care and exhibit considerable empathy, you were also damned to be the object of our games and manipulation, all with the aim of provoking you. You were blessed with the skills and traits of an empathic individual, but that blessing came with a price. You were cursed to become a prime target for our kind and to suffer the tortuous examinations of our warped minds that aimed to engender an emotional response from you. This would initially be benign but with that sinking sense of inevitable dread it would become one where you had no choice but to be subjected to manipulation, attack, insult and provocation. Riling you became the key objective. This would not work with those who are not of your stock. They would not be sucked in to begin with, or they would recognise what was happening and walk away and stay away. Not you, your empathic traits force you to try and heal and to fix despite the alarming levels of contemptuous harassment, abuse and demeaning treatment. Your empathy binds you to your tormentor as he or she delights in prodding you each and every day to garner that emotional reaction. You were raised to heal yet destined to be riled and all by our savage tongue and stinging hand.

The bolthole is a very important location to my kind. It can come in many forms but the message it sends to you is very clear; you are not welcome. Our kind must always have a bolthole to which we can retreat. This is our sacred territory where you are not allowed to venture. When we first engage with you, you should notice two things which invariably occur. We will spend most of our time where you live. This enables us to stay by your side as often as we can in order to continue our seduction of you. It also means that your resources are the ones that are used up. It is your food, your cable bill and your utilities that we use and since it is your home we will not contribute to those bills. If asked we will point out that we have our own overheads to cover although of course they will be reduced as we are rarely there. We stay at your house and ensure that you provide us with a set of keys so that we may come and go. You are invariably not given a set for our house. When we decide that we want to engage in our methods of gathering fuel and/or we decide to subject you to a period of the effective silent treatment, we return to our house. You cannot enter and we are able to watch you pleading and begging from through a gap in the curtains as you turn up wanting to see us as you try to work out why we have just disappeared.

On the occasions we do allow you to stay at our property then this is little more than a licence which is revocable on a moment’s notice. If we want you out of our space then we will turf you out, irrespective of time, weather or convenience. We like to do this to reinforce that it is us who are in control in this relationship and not you.

Even if we properly move in together at one property or buy another one together, we shall manipulate the situation so that your house is sold and the proceeds used towards the joint property whilst we keep our house on. You will be puzzled by such a move but we will find an excuse to do this.

“It represents a useful investment opportunity so I am going to keep it.”

“Now is now the right time to sell in that area.”

“I need a pied a terre for when I work late in the city.”

“I want the market to pick up first before I consider selling the property.”

“I don’t want to sell it because my ex-wife will come sniffing around for a share of it.”

We will find the reason not to sell it. This is of course not the real reason. We want to keep it as our bolthole. We might decide to provide you with a set of keys for this property but then when you try to use them to go inside to find us, the door is bolted so you cannot access the property. Your shouts of frustration prove to be delicious fuel as we sit and listen to you.

Some times we will use hotel rooms as boltholes or the office or a bar. As long as it somewhere to which we can retreat and have you guessing as to where we have gone as you frantically telephone and text us, then it serves its purpose.

If there is not another property we will create a bolthole within the house that we share. The study will have a lock fitted and we keep the key on our person all the time. It may be a man-cave in the basement or the garden shed, but there is one simple rule concerning this bolthole. It may be in or around our joint property but you are not to enter it ever. We regard this as our throne room where we sit and plot our schemes. The chosen few will be admitted in order to emphasise to you how you are not special enough to be allowed in and thus prompt a reaction from you. We know it will drive you crazy wondering what we are doing in this place, especially if our guests are of the opposite sex. We will spend hours in this place, secreted away, often sleeping there too. Here we can send our messages and engage in our telephone calls with other sources of fuel, free from interference yet still gaining fuel from you as we know you will be in a spin thinking about what we are doing. We can enter the chat rooms, work our way through the dating sites and blitz social media, all entrenched in our control room. We will delight in sending you a message compelling you to bring us food or a drink and leave it at the door. You of course will comply in order to try and sneak a glimpse of what is going on inside or to try and talk to us, yet the door will be pushed closed in your face.

On occasions the bolt hole will be temporary in nature. Should we decide that we wish to exercise some withdrawal late at night when you are expecting intimacy and love-making, we will move to sleep in the spare room, sliding across the lock we had fitted. We will lie there smiling as we hear you tapping on the door and sobbing for us to come back to the shared bed.

The bolthole is very important to us. It allows us a clear way of reinforcing our control and superiority, it provides a base from which we can engage in our schemes and plotting and it is crucial in the implementation of silent treatment.

If you realise that the person you have a relationship with creates and uses boltholes there is every chance that he or she is one of us. Now you know it to be the case but you are still not coming in.