A Bowl of Cherries

I have an Inner Circle Friend. He is what people would generally regard as a ‘good man’. He is older than me, not old enough to be a father. More of the younger uncle who is solid but enjoys a little spice to his life. He tackles fraud in government organisations, enjoys a beer, loves his sport, a keen family man, devout and plays a part in his local church, plays musical instruments, writes poetry and every Saturday he picks up the shopping and spends an hour chatting with a housebound friend of his. He and I enjoy Italian food and a good debate as we set the world to rights. He enjoys a fierce discussion and it is all good fuel but there is never any grudge afterwards, even when I have twisted and spun in order to avoid conceding a particular point. Every time we meet up he always begins by reminding me that my life is a bowl of cherries.

“Yes HG it is bowl of cherries. Look at you. An educated man with many friends, good job, well-read, able to do as he pleases and you travel. You organise your time so you can spend time with lots of people and most of all the girls. Holy Toledo, the girls. You get through them and no mistake but you are never troubled by it are you? Sometimes I wish I was single and younger so I could join you in these adventures. You are a man comfortable in his own skin. I can see that and this means you are able to have a life which is a bowl of cherries.”

I always enjoy this little speech of his. It is important to people to recognise my elevated position and the rewards that come with it. He never displays any jealousy nor does he judge what I do (albeit of course he does not know it all). He regards my behaviours as ‘hi-jinks’ and ‘ capers’ . The preserve of the younger man with the world at his feet. I will relay the latest tale of my activities as he sips from his rioja. He laughs and shakes his head as I detail to him what I have been doing, but he is never alarmed by what I tell him. He is a big believer in living life to the full, seizing opportunities and setting the world alight. All of which I naturally do. There is only topic where he passes comment in a slightly adverse way. Children.

“So HG,” he will begin before swallowing more of his wine and lighting yet another cigarette if we are dining at his house,”when can we expect some children? All these ladies and you cannot tell me that they do not want a little HG to share the cherries with?”

“Maybe one day,” I lie since I have no intention of having any children. He is unaware I took care of that some time ago.

“Well you are in your prime so those cherries will keep on appearing, juicy and ripe, but seriously, a man should have children. I have four. Two by each wife. Children are a great comfort. Tells you that someone can bear you if they want to carry your offspring, they give you something to strive for, something to live for and then you have a legacy as you see them go into the world making their own way.”

I smile and allow him to say all of this. I hear it each time that we meet up.

“You must have met the right lady by now, surely? You have no problem attracting them with your big bowl of cherries now do you?”

“True enough but there is so much to do and sharing those cherries isn’t really on the agenda.”

“Come now,” he smiles, “you have more than enough and you should share. You should be showering your gifts on someone special and your offspring. It is the right thing to do. You have no need to worry, my lad, about sharing those cherries you know. You always have a bowl full and if you share a few around then you will always be able to pick some more won’t you?”

“There is never enough though and I have to be careful you know, there are too many who would steal my cherries from me and leave me with nothing.”

“No there isn’t,I have told you before, the cherries are there to share, not to hoard. You need to listen to me. Share and keep picking.”

I smile and let him continue with his monologue about cherries and children. He is right though I am the cherry picker. I am up on high,elevated above everything else around me and I reach those places that the little people can never reach. I can move from side to side, up and down and ensure that I always obtain the tastiest and most succulent cherries before anybody else. I can see them dark red and with that polished lustre just waiting to be picked by me and me alone. So many out there to collect in order to try and fill my bowl. If only I could figure out some way to plug the hole in my bowl, maybe then I might just be tempted to share.

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50 thoughts on “A Bowl of Cherries”

  1. Lovely relationship. Oldies can be such a joy and blessing. I find some of them most interesting.

    If anyone can come up with a way, it’s you. You know all of the variables that you have to work with and have your ways of knowing others intimately. Perhaps “therapy” with the Dr’s may open up other avenues you have yet to see. Your intellectual intelligence combined with your emotional intelligence may just be altered…and so too life as you know it. Or maybe that’s exactly the problem. What you have works and can be controlled. I believe you are too intelligent to not investigate the possibilities.

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  2. You’re a tease, HG. You have no intention of sharing your cherries, you just want to keep up the illusion that you might, if you ever found the impossible never-let-you down fuel source. (Which you’ve already acknowledged doesn’t exist)

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  3. The Cherry picking analogy, is quite apt for one such as yourself. As by definition, it relates to the exclusion of evidence, an argument by selective observation.
    Refer to the concept of Occam’s broom, which is similar, but differing in that several crucial facts to understanding the truth are hidden, as opposed to being chosen to be revealed as In Cherry picking …what is permitted to be known.
    This is to done mislead for ones own purpose. Which begs the individual On the receiving end of the facts to listen closely to all that is being and not being said.

    So, in that, what are you attempting to say or suppress from your readers? Clues to your identity, the real you?
    If I were to imagine…I would have said that you had child, a son perhaps, from a long term relationship, for whom you derive your social stability and normalacy. Your prime source of fuel, albeit negative fuel from displaying apathy, rejection, anger, blame and of course, with holding affection and sex at whim.. engaging with copious amount of strangers and connections through various social means to provide you with most of your positive fuel. But, still maintaining a single lifestyle akin to your status.
    Do you know why you do not want children, is it the responsibility, the care taking aspect that is foreign to you or your own childhood experiences? Was there ever a time in your youth, that you thought about being In love and having family and if so , can you recall when that prospect left you ?
    But then, again I have a huge Imagination and I read into things and the lines I read between are akin to motorways.

    Do you recall the Gershwin song ..it played rough my thoughts as I read
    “..So keep repeating it’s the berries,
    The strongest oak must fall,
    The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
    So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
    Life is just a bowl of cherries,
    So live and laugh at it all.”

    This post is laced with many meanings..if life is a bowl of cherries, then what am I doing in the pits. Hmmm, because a Narcisist put someone there….the pit of depression, self loathing, denial, shame….

    That you questioned the ability to share the cherries is natural, but what of the pits, what is left over after you devour the succulent and ever so tasty berry, the pit, the remainder of that which was so sweet, is discarded….sound familiar?
    I will say this, I am certain. No one has ever accused you of being one dimensional. You are ever thinking, ever knowing, ever present.

    Do you respond to readers questions for Insight on individuals in our own lives. I Have posed several questions in the previous two blog entries on someone in my life, relating to your topics on betrayal, loss, and the need to win.
    I wonder how many of your readers are here to seek help and advice on coping with and escaping Narcissists in their lives, opposed to Those who are here due to an addiction to Narcisistic personalities, a cult like mentality to fed their own needs and fuel yours. Even those who are here to punish you or blame you as a scapegoat for those in their own lives they never could. Regardless, everyone, including you is benefitting from positive or negative fuel. I am sure most readers are here to heal, as I am, to gain knowledge and understanding of the Narcisist in their own life.
    I find the insights from Your books and blog most helpful. Along with the insights of the other readers. I am Hoping to figure this all out and find that which serves me best.

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    1. Karaa34
      May I say that you have a talent for writing and most importantly appear to have an open mind. Dare I suggest you, yourself start a blog. I believe you have much to say and the ability to deliver it in a manner as to be truly heard and so, well received. Also, to enable others with enough “food for thought” to begin to question the world amd the ways of themselves and others. If you are unable to due to your current life situation, perhaps keep it in mind for when you are finally more “free” of your narcissistic issues. May you be blessed by your healing and subsequent freedom being realized much sooner, rather than later. Blessed be ❤

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      1. Thank you, Crystal. That was really kind of you to say, I appreciate your comments. A friend suggested years ago I should blog, based on my relationship experiences and outlook on people and life. I do enjoy writing and expressing my thoughts on issues and ideas. I only use WordPress to comment on blog, as I didn’t want to use my fb account again.
        I do have an open mind and also like to express my opinions. Some times that can get me in trouble. It is good to entertain others line of thinking as a barometer to our own. I believe we can always learn from others, as much as we can teach. One must never discount a potential learning experience.
        I am still engaged with my Narcissist to a certain degree, this page and blog were serendipitously presented to me and I will happily absorb what HG can teach me and not disavow anything at this point.
        I look forward to communication with you as well Crystal, as I am sure we share similar experiences and learn from and support one another.
        Those who stand up and stand together can be the reckoning of any wrong.
        As an aside, I did a NPD test on line the other day, not because I think I am one, but to be fair, we all probably have certain traits that can fall within that spectrum. Regardless of empathetic qualities. I consider my self an atypical empath and him, an atypical Narcissist. So I was curious of the questions and the results.
        According to the test, I scored 5 out of 40 , stating my score was higher then 14.3 % of the sample. It then rated according to seven different facets of NPD. I only scored on three of the facets, medium on self sufficiency, then low to medium on exploitativeness and entitlement and nothing for the following: exhibitionism, authority, superiority and vanity.
        For one to fully understand such results one must take the test honestly, carefully reading and responding to answers. I was actually surprised On the exploitative facet.
        I will post link, and perhaps you , Crystal and other readers could also take the test and we can compare results. HG , obviously would rate high on all facets, but I would be Most interested to know which is rated highest for each of us and lowest as well.
        I think this would make for valid discussion for each of us.
        Hope your day is good to you, Crystal.

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      2. Hi Karaa34.
        There are a couple of active followers that actually have blogs on this topic from here. (Click on their names to see) perhaps they might prove useful to you also due to their experiences shared and discussions that follow 😊

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      3. Thank you Crystal, for responding to my posts. I will check out the other blogs and see if I can gather some advice there. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond to me here and your advice ❤️

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  4. Perhaps, it is about having more then one bowl to eat from, then losing something from only one bowl. Maybe numerous bowls, filled with varying berries, so that in variety you never feel loss or potential emptiness. As in cherries and fuel, the demand can often be greater then the supply, diversify to ensure demand is always met. Plus to be able to share, one must be able to give. It isn’t so difficult to share. The difficulty comes in not expecting what you have shared to be returned to you as well.

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  5. You have my type of friend there. That’s the best kind to have. A person who can care less as to the why, just accepts you as you are and can see the good in it. That he can see the need in having people like you (as for all) in this world. You play a part that is needed in humanity for it to function. You are a narcissist. No one should act surprised when you behave as such. We know you exist, just as racist, bipolar, or any other disease, personality disorder or whatever label you choose to use. At the end, we are responsible for the choices we choose to make in spite of why. Even manipulation from a narcissist. We made the choice to believe in what was being fed to us. Either way, I am drifting from my point, that I like your friend and enjoyed hearing about his analogy about the bowl of cherries. 🙂

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    1. I was interested in what the test would be like and decided to take it too. I scored 2 out of 40, apparently higher then 3.1 of the sample. Within the 7 different facets of the NPI structure I placed medium on self-sufficiency, low-medium on authority and nothing for superiority, exhibitionism, exploitativeness, vanity and entitlement.

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      1. Thank you Sheila, did any thing surprise you? We both scored similiarily on self sufficiency. I wonder if that might be a commonality for empathetic types.

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      2. Hi karaa, the questions were pretty straightforward but I found the choice of answers available was kind of a ‘black or white’ type of response. Admittedly there has to be structure around the test to keep the playing field level in reading and interpreting the data. I wasn’t surprised with the results. I wonder whether an empath would score at all on the scale in self sufficiency unless they’ve been through a relationship with an N? I don’t think I become self sufficient until after I left my MN husband.

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  6. Excellent point. Sheila, I have always been self sufficient since childhood really. Taking care of myself, my family, partners, my child, clients and patients. It is just how I am made. But that is a good question, if self sufficiency is increased once released from the N’ s clutches.
    HG does a N prefer a self sufficient women, empathic or not? I like being in a relationship, because I am affectionate and loving and I trust until it is broken. He always said he liked that no matter what was thrown at me, I preservered, hmm, doubt he thinks that today.

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      1. Strangely that comment makes me feel better…. I dealt with a multitude of issues before meeting N, from my husband’s illness, to his creepy business partners ( I was sued for 5 M six weeks after he died – I won) to selling off the various businesses and keeping others…. I forgot at times that I AM strong and can take care of myself…
        But my question is: how does that equate to extracting MORE fuel? If someone is self sufficient, wouldn’t they be more immune to the various “treatments”? We don’t need you to survive? ( although I guess I fell for it and got hurt anyway)

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      2. Probably why he kept me then. I’m still strong and self sufficient I’m just not on tap hence he needed a new source.

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  7. Yes, but my definition of special is vastly different from yours or his HG…I found him special. It was the combination of sweetness and sensitiveness contrasted with the passionate and Tempetous persona. That he could be two people at once and separately. He wasn’t boring, but alas, he wasn’t real either. He was manufactured according to my specifications. Only I never put that order in.

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      1. I only wanted him to be himself, who ever that was. He misjudged what I wanted, so guess he never knew me either. Game, set , match.

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      1. That’s the thing a sharp blade doesn’t hurt as much as the blunt blade ( devaluing and discard)

        Also our current / ex narcs should know an important rule of business is to know your customer needs and wants. The higher level narcs know this very well but the lower functioning narcs haven’t quite mastered it.
        Just wish that when the thing we ordered fails to work for us ( empaths) we could have our money, time and love back rather than the pain we are subjected to.

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  8. If I could have faked it. Pretended, feigned not knowing, didn’t ask question, acted oblivious, then I guess it would, have worked…for him. Mind you I knew things and I chose to ignore them for my own reasons. I admit and fully accept fault there. I could have left him, I didn’t then. He never made me stay, he often said things like: I should never have entangled you, I don’t deserve you, you’re too good for me, I don’t deserve your love. Perhaps he knew it was wrong, but couldn’t stop. I will never know.

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    1. Yes, Freedom, the blunt knife that slowly makes it way, Torturously destroying, as it emotionally destroys and tears you apart inside.
      Yes, me too Freedom, a refund on the time lost , the love spent and the tears expelled.
      The thing that causes me the most distress is the similarities between him and I, that were genuine. Not the ones he contrived, He said he was my soul mate, but I felt it before he ever communicated that to me. Someone once said to me, if he is your soul mate, then what does that say about you? She was referring to the negative qualities that surfaced throughout. I still think about that. Mind you it has only been 48 days.

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      1. Yes KARAA34

        I to felt the connection before he communicated it towards me. However once he started it was very intense and he was very intent on securing the engagement, moving in together but due to my previous violent marriage I held him at bay. Over the 4 yrs I felt we were made for each other, the flags were there but a filter had been placed over my eyes so I couldn’t see them. It’s still very early days for you, it’s been 8 mths for me and he’s now due to visit his family in the uk so I’m very stressed at present.

        Take care KARAA34

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      2. Thank you for reply, Freedom xx
        Be safe when he visits Uk, are you still in contact with a family member that can alert you of time of his visit. I am certain he will use opportunity to Hoover in some fashion, if you still live in same location, he may be bold enough to just show up or call you. HG would know more on this.

        I had a previous relationship years prior to My current N, and no offence HG, he was classic masochistic narc, he was polar opposite of current N, who is not indicative type. He too rushed us into a marriage, I didn’t want that, but claimed it was only way to get permanently into country. I even consulted an immigration lawyer and he advised that was correct, curse that lawyer btw.
        Long story short, after living with me six months, he attempted to kill me, cutting phone lines etc…I had him successfully deported, after which he tried to sue me for £ 30 000 pounds, which he got nothing from me, and I actually made sure he even paid for the divorce. He was horrid, had family members harass me over the phone. Messaged friends on fb. Threatened to burn my house down. Make issues for me at work. It was a true nightmare. He even posted personal videos made between us on a online site, utter humiliation. For that reason I won’t even video chat any more, he used videos from those as well. He has been out of my life, no contact for years since he found another victim and married her. He was classic to what HG has written, he used a short love bombing phase, rushed marriage then proceeded straight into devaluation and discard. He had a well defined agenda. He was evil. So,the latest Narc, is nothing like him, other then he follows some of same principles, he wants fuel to feed his wounded ego, he uses women to attain said fuel,but even if both N s they are night and day, he is the angel to the darker demon. So, you see, I didn’t even know what the original one was then, I did after. So, why I never thought my last N was that way, his stories about exhaustion, SAD and so forth seemed plausible reasons for absences aka silent treatments as I am now aware of.But, he knew of the first one, I recall his response once when we talked about it…wow, you sure don’t know how to pick men. i replied, well actually I don’t pick them, they choose me. I have only chosen two men. That is a key. I must be the one to choose, with eyes wide open and very alert to the signs around me.
        Sorry, as we chat about movies, my previous story sounds like one. Compared to the first type, I do not find the second as harmful, he is more filling his own need for fuel, then haplessly and purposely destroying my life. I created most of my own upset in Second scenario in it trying to know why he was doing what he did.
        Love is blind, we close our eyes to certain things because we believe, we trust, our hopeful and want to be loved the way we love. Hence why I am taking me time, sans relationship. I love the idea of love, so I will never say, never again.
        To quote Audrey Hepburn : I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.

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      3. Hi KARAA34

        Yes I’m in contact with a family member of his, but I really don’t think he will pay me a visit as I hear he is bringing his new wife with him.
        My last ex narc sounds like a combo of your last two. Mine was never violent ( well not to me ) he is certainly just out to feed his lust and fortune. She can give him the life living like a king in India. I do feel If I’d gone to India he would have kept me as his primary source but almost certainly used her in triangulation with me. I don’t know what he has in store for her devaluation and it’s not really my job to worry about her. I just feel its a shame that he was fake. He also used to play on the I’m not as good looking and like a good empath I’d always build him up, as to me I loved him dearly.

        You’re quite right love is blind and I was totally blinded.

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  9. “Yes HG it is bowl of cherries. Look at you. An educated man with many friends, good job, well-read, able to do as he pleases and you travel. You organise your time so you can spend time with lots of people and most of all the girls. Holy Toledo, the girls. You get through them and no mistake but you are never troubled by it are you? Sometimes I wish I was single and younger so I could join you in these adventures. You are a man comfortable in his own skin. I can see that and this means you are able to have a life which is a bowl of cherries.”

    He is attempting to empathize with you, and placing normal human desires to your character. It’s a natural desire to embark on parenthood. As a parent with more narcissistic traits than other I am curious. Does the idea of a child breed contempt in your mind? I have done a lot of research as to how a parent should behave. Timeouts at younger years as constant stimulation is important. Matching eye level to bring yourself to their level. Rationality when they can understand, and taking away possessions, free time, and liberties when unwholesome acts are committed at older years. I actively learned these things out of concern for my behavior and upbringing. My question is can a narc do the same, or have you instinctually/consciously made the choice to not to? Do you believe you could achieve as a parent in regards to conventional standards?

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    1. The idea of a child causes me to regard uninvited distractions to the gathering of fuel, the diversion of fuel away from me to this child and a potential spanner in the works. I have written before about why many of our kind crave children but also how some of us regard them as stealers of our fuel and therefore they are not to be countenanced.
      Of course I would be an excellent parent (as I am an excellent uncle) for the world to see, but the reality is my needs come first and that is not what the parent-child dynamic ought to be.

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