I Know Your Weaknesses

Do you remember those early, heady days when I first began to seduce you? Of course you do. Those moments have been branded into your memory and can never be erased, no matter how hard you try. So wonderful were those initial months of our courtship as we began our dance together that you cannot help but recall them and feel that bittersweet tinge. Many times as you have fought through your devaluation and discard you have harked back to those magical moments as you sought some kind of solace from them. Somehow, as you sat with tear-stained cheeks you would force a smile through the misery as you latched on to remembering the things that I said to you, those beautiful, loving and mesmerising words which gripped your heart and took it heavenward. It was impossible to resist the love-bombing which I unleashed upon you and similarly it is impossible for you to banish those memories as you sit amongst the debris of our relationship wondering what on earth has happened. You can easily be forgiven for seeking refuge from the misery amongst those golden thoughts. It is the obvious thing to do to try and take away the searing pain which now burns you. Naturally, this is all something which I planned and is a natural consequence of becoming entangled with me. Do not feel any shame in the fact that you keep running to those thoughts and taking hold of them as you seek to ease your agony. Keep doing it. All the others did and all the others will.

As you walk through those wonderful thoughts and memories, replaying our time together like an incessant loop of our “best of” moments do you recall what else you did during this seduction? Can you remember something else that was happening as we created these scintillating memories? Yes I know you can remember, how could you forget? It was one of the many things that I did for you which drew you closer to me and made you fall oh so deeply in love with the illusion. What was it that I did? I made you feel safe. I created that sanctuary and opened the door and ushered you in. I showed you how this gleaming and beautiful paradise was impregnable to the wretched and woeful world beyond. I assured you that being in here with me meant that you need never worry about those things again. I would keep the wailing tormentors from your door and ensure that those things did not trouble you any more. That was the sole condition for entry into this haven that I had constructed for you. Tell me about those things so I can shield you from them. You had never had someone make such a sacrifice for you before. The way we understood how badly those things affected you. We really seemed to grasp the impact that those things had had upon you as we listened with patience and comprehension. You were hesitant at first, the mere act of recollection being one that caused you consternation. You had no issue in confiding in us, no that was not the issue. We had banished any concerns you may have had about trusting us with these secrets within moments, such was our assured charm. No, what troubled you was bringing those dark memories, those fragile foibles to the surface once again. Yet as the words came from your mouth and the tears trickled down your cheeks you felt the cathartic effect of off-loading all of those things to us. From the minor concerns through to the deep-seated and life changing troubles you conveyed each and every one to us and it felt wonderful to do so. The burden came away from you and for the first time ever you felt freedom from those things as you passed the baton onto us and we readily took it from you. You exorcised those ghosts and stepped into our sanctuary elated and delighted to have been able to purge those things from yourself and embrace a new start with us. For too long those things had held you back. For too long you had walked a rocky road alone, stooped and bent double under the weight of your concerns. There had been others but you did not feel able to share the load as you did with me. I was different. There was something about me which made you feel like you could tell me anything and everything and I would deal with it. I would flex those angelic wings and extend them to surround and protect you. Unburdened by those things you walked taller, felt stronger and you had me to thank for this process. Your gratitude and admiration flowed incessantly and I was only too happy to wash myself in this fountain of praise although in keeping with the personae I had created I accepted your compliments with humble acknowledgement. You entered my sanctuary and told me all your weaknesses.

This was achieved in such a way that you felt no shame in telling me them. That was another difference. You knew I would not judge you for them. You knew I would not regard you as silly or stupid for having certain concerns.

“It is how you regard them that matters, not how everyone else views them.”

You remember that sentence and how you seized it with great gladness, thankful that at last somebody understood and recognised how to deal with your concerns. Your confidence in me was absolute and I even made it seem as if actually liked your weaknesses and that gave you great comfort.

All I was doing as you sat there on those many occasions where you shared your concerns, your vulnerabilities and weaknesses with me (for they did not all come out in one session, no, it took weeks of careful extraction on many different occasions to amass them all) was stockpiling my armoury. Your admission that you cannot swim and thus are terrified of deep water was moulded into a missile. Your explanation that you were bullied at school because you had short hair arising from having to have it shorn because your brother poured glue over your head one time became a hand grenade. The fact your suffer a noticeable red flush across your chest and neck when you feel agitated created a bullet. Your confession that you suffer excessive wind formed another bullet. The abuse you suffered at the hands of a family member when you were eight became a thermonuclear device ready to detonate at a later date. Each and every weakness, from your inability to resist eating a packet of biscuits in one sitting through to your fear of public speaking was noted, recorded and fashioned into a weapon. You thought you were safe in the sanctuary. That was just an illusion. You were actually sat in my armoury and I was there with you creating these weapons to use against you at a later date. Each weakness you admitted to me you thought you were handing to me for me to carry on your behalf. The reality was you were giving me the material from which I could create a weapon – be it a sharp stick with which to prod you or a nuclear missile to obliterate you. You thought it was some form of absolution but all you were doing was arming me.

I always want to know about your weaknesses. Your weaknesses become forged into my strengths in readiness for the war of devaluation that I shall wage against you. Keep talking, there is an arsenal to be created.

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82 thoughts on “I Know Your Weaknesses”

  1. This sounds anxiety driven, frenetic in its expression, unsettled and agitated. Similar to, not all, however many of the other posts and is a detectable difference from the most recent sharing of yesterday. I send you love and gentleness to be with what is percolating.

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    1. Over compensating now? Maybe?
      (What a try hard :P)

      I wonder if the same way his victims replay the golden period in their minds, HG has to replay some of his moments of devaluation, to be able to get through the day, sometimes?

      Just a thought.

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    2. It sounds calm and rational to me. It sounds like the premise of an ideal relationship, gone horribly wrong by the end. My relationship, or chose anyone’s here.

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  2. This is most true, he did know all my weakness. But, I knew his as well. He did invite me to share them with him, as he openly shared his with me. He never once used them against me though. He never once made me feel shame or guilt for who or how I am, as a person. In fact, he always empowered me. He always called me beautiful, loving, kind, impassioned, talented, creative, strong. The list of accelaides he bestowed upon me far outweighed any disparages flung unto me.
    The only times he ever belittled me, was when I caught him in a deception. It was then, he would call me paranoid or too much too handle, all consuming, selfish untrusting n so forth. It was only in his own shame, did he ever feel the need to shame me.

    Only in his own shame and guilt, that he felt he needed to lower me. After which, when he calmed down, when I listened to him rage and subsequently reassure him. That he would apologize for what he said, admit he was wrong. Say things like, I thought you were going to leave me, I wish you didn’t make me so angry, I nevr want to lose you. It was then and every time, I forgave him. I did anger him, not purposely, he never angered me. He wrestled with such guilt and shame within himself , that even the slightest comment that reflected criticism or challenge to him, would ignite that shame into a raging fire of emotion.

    He never amassed such an Arsenal. He never had a need to. He knew his secrets were safe with me.
    He trusted me. I loved him, recall.

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  3. a) When you have to defend yourself against the good docs (or anyone for that matter) does it trigger anxiety?
    b) Do you have obtain extra fuel specially to counteract the threat?

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    1. It depends on the nature of the attack. If it is just asking me questions I may find some uncomfortable and I will choose whether I engage or not. If I choose to do so I may find some of the questioning uncomfortable because of the subject matter but I can deal with it. If the attack criticises me in any way then my fury is ignited. I will either shield myself from the attack or go on the attack or withdraw, subject to the circumstances in which it happens. Thereafter I will need fuel.

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  4. Here is a question for you, tell what you see my weakness to be, other then love.? You cannot claim it as love though. It must be something else. I wager what you deem a weakness, I herald as a strength.

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      1. Explain how you see me as a martyr? I agree I the second choice, I do apologize far too much, even when I am not in the wrong, I am far too considerate of the feelings of others, that have no consideration for mine.

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      2. You sacrifice yourself even though you know it is no good for you, all in the name of being the person you have been persuaded to be who may not actually be you.

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  5. karaa34 your experience sounds very close to mine. I suspect my ex of being a narc but of the more benign variety. He was full of anxiety and shame, although to be fair he may well have done a very good job of not letting his mask slip too much as our relationship was predominantly long distance.
    I have systematically read through all of HG’s posts and I have to admit for the first few there was the thrill of the peptides coursing as they took me back to the early stages of my relationship. That very quickly disappeared.
    I feel neither pity nor compassion for these people. They care nothing for those whose lives they touch and attempt to destroy. I have walked away from my relationship relatively unscathed compared to some people who have had the great misfortune to be “victimised” by these emotional vampires.
    Reading the inside account, written here by HG has opened my eyes and armed me with the knowledge to combat future attack from any of his sort again.
    I doubt HG you will benefit emotionally or psycholgically from following your present course of treatment, other than not being disspossed of an inheritance, as you have so cynically admitted as being the reason for this blog. But being a true empath I wish you well on your journey.
    I hope like me, the others who read your posts will come away stronger and filled with a strong dose of self compassion.
    On that note HG, adieu.

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    1. I am glad Jax that you did remain relatively unscathed by that experience, I fared better in the second relationship with an N then the first. Mind you the first tried most hard to violently destroy me, he couldn’t.
      H.G.s insight into the mind and ways of an N is of great value to us. One that I hope we may all learn from.

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  6. Ouch. Kara you and I have that in common I feel for you.
    I gave in to N to flee a terror that was one of the worst of my life. Now I am trying to detach to stop feeling terrified all of the time. And the issue/threat was exactly the same then and now. This post is so true. Thank you.

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    1. A flight or fight response, choose that which serves you best, which. is survival. ❤️ I hope you can release that fear and live the life that brings you peace and joy, free from tyranny, anxiety and deceit.

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      1. Not sure if this is for H.G., DD or me. Is the he, your narc or HG? Some are very cruel, my first husband was quite aggressive and violent, it was very easy to leave him. I am better prepared now,as with the others I didn’t know that they were Narcs. So, the approach will be different. I would like to say easier too, but one never knows until embroiled in it.

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  7. I am a champion of others, I always have been, it is my calling. To advocate for the welfare of others, for those who are voiceless and disenfranchised. To forgive, not hate and find compassion and the good in others, where many focus on the negatives. This is to me a strength of character. I would welcome such a champion, my N claimed he was such. That he would see no harm came to me, he would protect me, as I protect others. He failed.

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  8. I think it takes a better person to admit they are wrong and apologise HG. It’s a good quality not a bad one or weakness. It actually shows strength.

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    1. Often my apologies are a recognition In that I was wrong. And that I need to right my wrongs. It would be unjust of me to allow someone to feel guilt, if I was at fault, unintentionally or not. I will not back away from my flaws or faults. I wish to know them and be challenged if I am wrong and correct them, accordingly. The only shame is not admitting one is wrong, due to being ruled by ego and pride. It is a difficult thing to do at times, admit one is wrong and make amends through words or action. I am ruled by soul, not ego.

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  9. Kara was reading your post of how he was do kind, nice always complimenting, I have experienced this with the person in my life, only showed me silence if I called him out on knowing there are others that he does this too. Whats so difficult is breaking communication when he’s always so complimenting, shows compassion, even if it is false, it doesn’t seem like its is yet I have overheard conversations he has had with older supply and I know this is what he’s doing but I can’t bring myself to ever mention this or cut off all communications due to his kindness and the extreme attraction he continues to show me. I have tried many times as this is all toxic for me. Were u able to move and and break away? I find that I hate what I know deep down, that keeps me away for a little, then when I do answer that all falls apart. Hope to hear back from u as your story sounds so similiar!

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    1. Hi Kelli, I am sure Kara will add by way of response. Your failure to keep away is as a consequence of the Power Plays that we will make when we see that our supply of fuel is threatened. We have many different Power Plays and they are all a sham purely designed to keep you with us or if you have begun No Contact, to break it.

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    2. Hi Kelli ❤️ I haven’t had contact with my narc since December 31st. He put me in another silent treatment at that time. I didn’t know he was a narc at time, I thought it was related to other mental health. And physical health issues. So in past, I gave him the space, distance he needed. During this last silent treatment, I became informed through HG blogs and books and many other readers here of what he truly is. That he will never change that, as HG says he never loved me, everything was a lie. That was hard to rummage through three years together, being false, every kindness, romantic gesture, sex, simply it all. I did question him, confront him in the past on the deceptions I found out. He of course denied them all, especially other women. Always claiming there was no one but me. Making me feel paranoid and untrusting.
      I will not contact him, if he hoovers me it should be soon based on his pattern of behaviour. I have blocked him on social media, Skype, phone and other areas. I understand that he cannot see his behaviour as destructive, but only sees a need within himself he must fill. And that myself and everyone else is that means to fuel.No one has value to him, outside himself. It isn’t me or my fault, nor is it you or your fault, Kelli.
      His kindness in disingenuous , it feels real as you love him and you equate it to how you feel love. He doesn’t feel anything remotely close to how you think or feel. It is disheartening I hear and know, believe me.
      I would never judge you for any choice you make. To stay or leave , keep contact or not. Every situation and person feels differently. I cannot tell you 100% I will not respond to him if he contacts me. I want closure to it all, that may be a reason I might. As time grows longer in no contact I will feel stronger. Keep your self informed, talk to friends and family about all this and keep reading the valuable insight in find here. It really helps so much.

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  10. Thank u for your reply, hard to think that it is all an act. Like I said I have known for sometime this has to be who he is, some kind of N. He desn’t socialize w/ many male friends, maybe one, is well respected in his profession which is how we met and I was employed by him, which he ruined, has many old supply that we have spoke about yet he didn’t call them supply and tells me I’m the only one and what excellent sexual chemistry we have, has only been charming, sweet, patient!! And keeps this up all the time! Never puts me down unless I bring up the others than he says please dont bring this up again, i see no point letting him know everything I have figured out.. It will only make him feel bad so whats the point? I don’t want him to feel bad but sometimes I am so angry at him after reading information about it that helps me for a day or so then I get, when will I see you? In person everything I know falls apart and I’m back to square one. We both have lives outside this so u see how toxic this is, I need a peaceful way to stop it, most of it is up to me. Thank you!

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  11. This is probably the single most difficult thing that has made it next to impossible to make no contact effectively work for me. He knows the one thing I wanted to share most with someone after my divorce while there was a window of time for that to happen. He used it constantly as a Hoover technique hanging over my head. I still struggle to process someone would callously manipulate someone like that for over a year. So I’m left grief stricken at the loss of vital time that could have been with someone not fragmented into pieces /parts but also that Golden Period. I was told recently he still has his claws deep into me. No contact just seems such a passive way to combat such vile behavior.

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      1. It appears they don’t skip a beat and have the next in line for a primary source primed and ready to go. It doesn’t seem like this wounds or criticized them at all. At least from this side of the fence.

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    1. I agree it does seem too passive of an approach. I think of the time and years lost too, MLA…I try to remedy such thoughts in that I know I spent them loving and at least at the time feeling loved.
      It is the end result of knowing the truth for me, the reveal of the lie that is most hurtful.

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  12. HG aren’t N afraid if they stay away to long that we may move on or start the no contact? How do you know when it’s time to start hovering or breaking a silent treatment? Btw. My weakness is N! But I’m working on that!! 🙂 Xo

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    1. There is a risk that when we effect a silent treatment you may decide to move on but it is rare because you will be too busy fretting over the silent treatment and trying to end it. If you try and break a silent treatment you are giving us fuel. You are better off doing nothing and we will realise it has no effect and thus end it. How do I know when it is time to start Hoovering? Read No Contact (out tomorrow) and it is all in there.

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      1. My narc may be regretting acting indifferently towards me… I broke and sent him pathetic messages, he could have used that opportunity to really put on the charm. But the insincerity and indifference was way too obvious and I blocked him from all social media. He would have had to work very hard to win me back though because I’m fiery and so I would have flooded him with criticism. Maybe he realised it wasn’t worth it.

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      2. He clearly had a new primary source of fuel in place and was more interested in that than you. Add to that, as you point out, he may have realised that you would be too much energy would be used to Hoover you when he found he had no way of easily getting in touch with you (because you had him blocked) he gave up on you. Of course, if you ever (not that I suspect you will) offered the chance to re-connect ona plate he would take it in an instant.

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  13. only a true narcissists could write this out so well, great writing and you just described what happened better than I could have. thanks for the insight. I already knew this but hearing it from you kind of makes it more real.

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  14. My last ex was professionally a coach, specialized in psychology and communication so the communication was really professional from his side and all so perfectly told and designed that I am still discovering manipulations and for example this, how my weaknesses were used against me, but it was in a way I discovered afterwards. Never directly. I never ever heard an insult nor a scream never. In fact either its true what he says and he never acts in such a primitive way or he knew exactly that I do have very few clear boundaries that I could somehow build up and this one is i would have walked straight out the door with an insult or a scream.
    Just like you and the doctor M if he would have worn short sleeve shirt under a jacket.
    I have to say I laughed alot when I read this part of that posting 😂😂😂.

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  15. HG please humour me and give me your thoughts:
    If you had prodded your partners weaknesses so hard for a response and the response that you received was a tirade of abuse that pointed out all your faults and what you have done to your child in order to gain control of the other parent, would you get fuel from this or would what has been said rattle the monster inside you? Could a partner rattle you by calling you out?

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    1. It is fuel because it is delivered in an emotional fashion. We do not hear the words (well we do but we pay no regard to them) as we are focussed on savouring the anger and frustration which pours as fuel from you. If you want to attack the narcissist you need to deliver the criticisms in a calm fashion, devoid of emotion. This provides no fuel and instead the criticism will wound us. Read Fury to understand how criticism wounds us.

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  16. Yes I suspected that he had new fuel, but I also suspect he’s aways had that through out our relationship.
    He hasn’t given up completely. He very recently did something to provoke me 😉
    I’m ignoring it.

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  17. may I ask you a question? when you tell your sociopath at the end of the relationship that you have realized what they are and that you now know they are a sociopath, I mean you have called them out on what they are is that enough to keep them from contacting you again or does it not even phase them? will they still feel they can try to enter your world and contact you again? curious what you think. thanks

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  18. HG. The more I read, the more I learn. He wanted to know all about me. I didn’t have a whole lot to share. I am private and he was persistent. He flattered me. He called me a caring person and that my empathy showed from top to toe. If I showed any of that to anyone else he asked if I didn’t care about him anymore. Now when people say that I’m caring, I cringe a bit bc lies.

    Despite the fact that I didn’t cosign on the house, I paid utilities. I felt guilty. I had to stop. He later lost the house. People asked if I felt happy. No. I felt sick. Shadenfreude is not my thing. When I question whether or not i am an N, this grounds me.

    After years of NC, i let him know about my bil dying. They were so alike that they hated each other. Fuel competition. This totally fueled him. He reached out to sis. I haven’t contacted him again.

    In the beginning, I told him something he couldn’t have. I never let him have it. I told him he could leave if it made him unhappy. I was his challenge.

    Moving on to other posts. Thank you for the insights.

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  19. H.G
    I have started my own form od therapy… a collection of poems detailing my relationship with a narcissist. So far, it has been very cathartic
    Anyway, I wanted to share with you a poem that I wrote detailing my “Dance” with him. I hope you enjoy it..or at least, the meaning behind it..

    Shall We Dance?

    Shall I dance with you knowing again what will happen, if I dare?

    Do I welcome you with my arms spread open, and curl my fingers through your dark hair?

    This dance with you I remember so well because it ended with me all alone.

    I was embracing the man I thought was my knight, only your heart turn out to be made of stone.

    Around and around we twirled to the music, you whispered my name oh so sweet.

    The promises made and the dreams we shared left me dizzy, and my defenses, weak.

    I laid my head upon shoulder, and closed my eyes, feeling the rhythm of love.

    The music was perfect and we danced as one, our bodies fit together like a glove.

    Then it changed, I remember the pain when you stopped dancing with me.

    I opened my eyes and you weren’t there, and I wondered why I didn’t see.

    I was only a fancy, someone who caught your interest, for just a dance or two.

    I had to dance by myself and learn to love me, starting over again without you.

    Then again you appeared standing, looking at me with those eyes beckoning to dance.

    I have only known pain in being with you, there was only the beginning romance.

    It hurts me still because my love was boundless and my intentions of us were forever.

    I’m sorry, my love, I know that I can’t dance with the devil and expect to feel pleasure.

    I have discovered this truth; that it’s only myself I can dance with and be free.

    The one person who really wanted me happy the whole time we danced wasn’t you, but me…

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  20. Are there varying “degrees” of narcissistic behavior? By that I mean, it is easy to recognize fullblown narcissist.
    But are there intermediate stages in a personality which exhibit SOME qualities described, but only intermittently?
    Would such a person be capable of changing those behaviors if they really wanted to do so?

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    1. There are. It is on a spectrum. Have a look at an earlier article Narcissist or Sociopath for more on this. The traits (whether they are low or high on the spectrum) are there all of the time but in terms of them appearing intermittently that is more a case of the individual keeping them hidden behind the various masks.
      Could they change? Why would they want to? The lesser of our kind don’t realise what they are and therefore would not change. The greater of our kind see no reason to change because of the effective way that they operate.

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  21. Wow it’s looking a lot like I had more than one 1 N in my life. This describes my youngest Son’s father to a T along with some of the other information I have read.. This is very insightful.

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