Drunk With Fatigue

 

Are you reading this through bleary eyes as you desperately await the effect of a caffeine boost to kick start your weary self into life to endure another day? Perhaps you can vividly recall that drained sensation that haunted you and that nagging ache which was ever present behind your eyeballs? The need to close your eyes and slip into a deep and restful slumber. All you wanted to do was to close your eyes and allow the tiredness to evaporate and shrouded in the amnesiac qualities of sleep you would be given respite from the nightmare that enveloped you. Yet, you were never able to achieve that sleep. Your near permanent anxiety meant that as you lay in bed you were tensed, ready to respond to the next jibe or manipulation. You heard a click. Was that me exiting the study at long last and coming to the bedroom or was it just the house settling? You were hyper vigilant and you cannot now recall how long that state had existed but you did know that if caused a nightly battle where you tried to sleep but each sound made you twitch and ready yourself. Sometimes you must have fallen asleep, such was the extent of your exhaustion and you dreamed and then suddenly you awoke. What had happened? Why did you awake so suddenly? You twist and see me there lying fast asleep, unburdened by any concerns. Even now you want to reach out and touch me in the hope that my hand will be placed on your shoulder and then my arm will envelope you, making you feel safe and secure, like it once did. You have learned not to reach out though for the consequences of waking me from my rest are not worth experiencing again. Instead, your shaking hand retreated and you turned to look at the clock and you sighed with resignation as you realised that the fitful sleep you had endured was only about an hour in length.

You lay there, eyes stinging and head heavy giving thanks that it was not one of those nights where I repeatedly jabbed you in the back to stop you sleeping. How did I manage to do that and then bound from the bed refreshed and revitalised as you rose like a zombie? How had I been able to interrupt your sleep through the night by prodding you and yet I was energetic? Was I sleeping during the day like some vampire hiding from the sunlight? At least this time I am sleeping and you have been spared the intermittent prod in the small of your back. It is a small mercy since the questions and thoughts race around your mind, as they always do in the dead of night. Why is this happening? What has gone wrong? Why am I doing this? When will it end? How can you stop it? Should you ask me to talk about it or will that risk another argument? How much more can you take? When did you last sleep properly? These questions and more besides whirl around in your mind, having taken a hold in your head. Your eyes flick to the silent television set in the corner of the room and you debate watching something, anything, just to break the relentless churning in your skull, but even with the volume set at barely audible you know it will disturb me and then it will be your fault again.

You look to the door now closed. You managed to resist a lock being fitted to the bedroom door, wary of what further horrors might be unleashed against you if your exit was barred but each day you fear that on your return that you will see an invoice from a joiner on the kitchen table and a lock has been fitted. You ponder whether you should head downstairs and see if sleep will come on the sofa or at least you can put the headphones on and listen to a radio play or some music. That would provide some sanctuary but yet again, as if possessed of some sixth sense, you know that I will appear and demand to know what you are doing downstairs in the middle of the night. No matter how deeply I appear to be sleeping it as if I sense your absence and come looking for you. It is then that you face the accusations of texting some man behind my back even though your ‘phone is not to hand. It does not matter what the facts are does it? I always find a way of twisting the blame on to you. No, you cannot steal downstairs and instead you must remain board stiff in bed as your eyes watch the incessant march of time and sleep remains evasive. You can feel the hammering of your heart in your chest. Even though nothing is happening and all is quiet and still, that sense of foreboding remains. A cold hand of dread has gripped your heart and squeezes, driving the breath from your body and causing anxiety to spread across you. Perhaps you ought to see the doctor and see if he will prescribe something for this? You will need to do it without my knowledge otherwise I shall accuse you of attention-seeking by going to the doctor without consulting me first. I, of course, know what is best for you and I screen everything you do before determining whether I shall allow it. You know you ought to fight against it but you are so tired, so weary and you need what little strength remains to help you navigate a way throughout the day without treading on a mine and causing an explosion of fury. It is getting harder. You forget things now. Your memory used to be excellent or at least you think it did. Even thinking is becoming arduous and sometimes you just sit, staring into space, caught somewhere between wakefulness and hypnosis. If only one night of rest could come, if only this anxiety, this fear, this wariness would leave you and let you gain some strength, then you would not make the mistakes and I would not be angry. Perhaps then we could be as we used to be. You can still remember that and hope with all your heart that somehow this situation can be retrieved. You never felt tired then. You never walked with a shuffle or placed the milk in the dishwasher in error. You did not forget you were baking something until the acrid smell of smoke jolted you from your daydreaming and had you running into the kitchen, cursing your foolishness and immediately wondering if you could cook a fresh batch before I came home and witnessed another of your failures.

The clock shows 5am and sleep has evaded you once more. The dull throb in the centre of your forehead remains. You would have to be up in an hour anyway. There is no point trying to sleep now. You can see the first rind of dawn trying to permeate through the curtains and another day has arrived. You may as well rise and weave through this day, whichever day it is, is it Wednesday or Thursday? You cannot quite remember. You slide your feet from the bed and sit up, glancing at me over your shoulder, back now turned to you, my body rising and falling in a steady rhythm as I sleep on, oblivious to your exhaustion. You stand and sway a little as you ready yourself for another day of feeling drunk with fatigue.

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25 thoughts on “Drunk With Fatigue”

  1. Ohhh my God. i was getting used to that the fascinating articles resonated little or nothing to what had been my personal experience but this one did 200% and Even I noticed my pulse had accelerated by the time I finished reading. All except the intake of pharmaceuticals resonated.
    Its hard to rembember those tough times. Specially because it is when I start loosing sleep that all the alarms turn on. I am a very active person and therefor need a sound sleep. I dont sleep and my life looses stability, tiredness takes over and makes thinking and existing difficult. It is something I cant deal with. Its when I realize it does not make sense anymore to give it all for the relationship because I dont have the energies anymore to do it. I am a very good sleeper 😃😃 but as I al a good sleeper, emotional disturbances take away easily my sleep.
    In my 3 N relationships I have lost my sleep.
    The article is so perfectly writen that actually the memories come live. I could see myself waking up every hour, not falling asleep again….😖😖😖
    A deep breathe and I have to forget again,… That this is not the case anymore… I do sleep 😃… Hay fever does make some struggles at the moment but ai know this soon goes away.
    Have a nice day ☀️ HG. It is very nice to start the day with reading you. Its part if my morning routine now 💝.

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  2. I sleep so well these days and feel so grateful for the rest when my eyes first open – it took me two years after leaving for sleep and other semblance of health and normalcy to return.

    OMG…so resonated! And why HG do you N’s sleep like babies and wake up so happy? My ex N reminded me of a baby upon awakening…happy to meet the world …no burden…living in the present (so it seemed).

    Telly’s more about that Sixth sense! That could be a whole post. All the things you’re aware of that baffle us!

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    1. Hi Bethany, the question of our sleep is actually addressed in Ask the Narcissist which will be available presently. Point noted about the sixth sense, I shall apply myself to that.

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    2. I was going to ask the same thing Bethany . Ex was a cold . calculating man .Intelligent yes but he wouldn’t have the mental awareness to write any of this . Over to you Mr Tudor ?

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  3. I recognise that zombie !

    I only wish it was a prod- but no he liked nothing better than to wait for me to fall into a deep sleep then knee me in the back .. This could go on for hours, accept the nights where he wanted the bed for himself . He’d wait for me to fall asleep then tell me to go to the spare room ( remember this was my home ) If I went to the spare room 1st he’d wake me up , ask me to get into bed with him & the whole process would start again with me back in the spare room a few hours later .

    If we were on holiday and there was no spare room I’d be forced onto the balcony for the night while he slept . The sunrise in Morocco is amazing btw . 🙂

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      1. Thanks Alexis . All part of the control I imagine . When we went on holiday I would literally go with very little sleep & then when I did fall to sleep he would just kick me wake & happily see me out to the balcony . HGs blog is reminding me of sooo many things but I can cope with the memory’s now , thankfully xx

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      2. 🙂 Thanks so much alexis . I just might :).

        Has anyone head from Kaarra ? I haven’t seen any posts from her recently x

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  4. Mine woke me up to have sex…but I rather enjoyed that…😊.

    I most definitely would NEVER have tolerated waking me up in a mean way. He wiukd have been out on his ass.

    No his abuse was far more covert😠

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  5. So Sad, I am sorry you had to sleep on the terrace but I am glad you have good memories of your sunrise.
    Mine insisted I stay up late at night almost every night to keep him company while he was having anxiety, smoking a cigarette or feeling unwell physically. Victim N tactics. It is hard to distance from someone in distress right? Mind you I had 12 hour workdays. I worked in a fog for months. Drunk on fatigue. If I took a nap during the day he would wake me up after half an hour. “checking on me”. It got to the point where I could never relax. The anxiety was EXTREME as sleep deprivation truly is a method of psychological abuse or torture. This post is to be taken literally. IMHO. It really can get that bad. Again you summed it up well HG. Now that I have changed my locks (he is out!) I sleep a little better. Of course after that he would disappear and be unreachable so that I would end up calling him to all hours of the night to make sure he was ok. Of course he was just sleeping LOL.

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  6. Very true and very well-written.
    The N I knew would always wake me up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning (like 4am) because he had panic/anxiety attacks.

    This was when the *Creature* inside of him woke up and took over. He was deperate and terrified.

    Later, I realized that these were some rare moments of truths I experienced with him.

    Im order to chase away and quiten the scary Creature, he either needed to have sex with me immediately to draw fuel and energy, or to talk endlessly about his state. Afterwards he fell asleep like a baby and looked replenished the next day, whereas I hadn’t been able to sleep any more that night because I’d have tried to figure out how I may help him to heal or at least feel better. The next day, I would be exhausted and drained.

    As to your posts H.G.: it is interesting how much time you spend trying to figure *us* (empaths/targets) out and ‘walking in our shoes’. You must find us very fascinating and enigmatic since you are spending that much time and energy analysing and describing how we feel what we feel, and why!

    Maybe that’s because you have no access to your own feelings, your own true self? Or because you can’t allow yourself to feel any pain and hence need to project it on your various sources of supply (we understand that only one primary source could never hold a bargage bag with *that much* pain so you need several recipients)?

    Another remark: you have written a lot about your need for fuel, how you choose and ein over your targets, the toxic dance and why that cycle happens and repeats itself endlessly. Those articles are really great, spot-on and enlightening!

    However, you have been reluctant to enlighten us about *The Creature* within you! I know you have mentioned it here and there, and there was even one post about it (I think the title was “Try Walking In My Shoes”. But you kind of stopped there and unfortunately did not delve any further into that issue.

    But this is the issue that I find most interesting!

    So my suggestion to you is: please write a book about *The Creature*.

    I am aware that it would be Quote a challenge for you and possible a painful process.

    Will you dare?

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    1. Hello Alice, that is interesting about how your narcissist woke during the night because of the creature, I can entirely understand that although it has not happened to me. If he does make an appearance it is when I am awake, I shall have to ensure he remains at bay during the night. Yes, I do find you empaths most interesting. I am reliant on your for fuel and therefore it is necessary for me to study and understand you so I can ensure my supplies of fuel are the best they can be, reliable and plentiful. I listen to much of what is described to me by those I interact with and retain it. I am also able to imagine what you must feel although I feel no connection or positive emotion towards you when I do so. I think that lack of feeling is as a consequence of the way I have been created but I think there is merit in your suggestion that we project it on you our various sources of supply. I know we project but I have regarded it as a method of control in the whole as opposed to being used, even in part, as a method of unloading something I may have on to you. I will give that some further consideration. I know I feel nothing when I consider how you must feel, no compassion, no empathy and no sympathy. Is that all down to how I have been created or perhaps there is some jettisoning through projection? Interesting. Back to the creature. Much as I despise even acknowledging him, yes it was Try Walking in My Shoes (well remembered!), there will be a book about it. I can only advance its writing spasmodically however so I cannot say when it will be available but rest assured it is in hand, so yes, I dare!

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      1. Great answer, HG! I am excited that you are daring enough to write about the Creature:-)

        As regards projection: I am convinced that that is exaclty how it works. The N projects his pain, confusion, chaos and unhealed parts onto the Empath to free himself of the load. At the same time, he punishes the victim for mirroring that `load´ back to him. The Empath can sense, see, feel the pain, anxiety, chaos, confusion, denial and powerlessness the Narc constantly suppresses by sucking up supply and tending to his false image. We literally see and feel it for you, we are able to uncover what you dare not uncover or allow to surface, just as you are able to uncover our unhealed, childish parts, wounds, our dark side, the scary stuff. The difference is that we embrace that process whereas you want to avoid and escape it at all cost. Probably because it would be just too painful to acknowledge the existence, role and power of the the Creature and grant it permission to come to the light and take the room and place it deserves.

        When we get closer to you, we catch glimpses of the Creature. We too have such a creature inside of us or lingering nearby, but we don´t panic about it. Rather, it has always been there, so we are familiar with it. We don´t suppress or resist it, we don´t beat or fight it, but we don´t tend to it either – it is just there and the reason why we feel like we cannot live up to our full potential. The Creature tells us we can´t, that we are great but maybe not wonderful enough for the very best so it´s better to compromise. Instead of overcoming our own Creature, we have learned to tame other people´s creatures. Over time, we have become very good at that. We can read between the lines, take up and process vibes and other people´s moods, adjust our behaviour according to their needs and make it all fit so that everybody is happy and content. Most people don´t even realize what is going on when they interact with us, and why they feel so energized, comforted and safe after being in our presence. That´s because we have a rare gift: we can delve into another persons sphere without hurting them, and we like to make the other people feel special. When they feel happy and special, we too feel that way. Of course, we too have our bad or week days, but if we find someone with a greature Creature than ours, we know it is going to be a good, purposeful day. Dealing with that is a great task. In your words: We are created for that task.

        Since we naturally gravitate to righting those wrongs of the past (someone else´s wrongs and pasts, that is;-)), we feel a strong urge to deal with your Creature, we want to uncover it for you, name it, expose it to you so that you can cast it away with our help. Unfortunately, your Creature is of a different calibre that ours. The more we try to expose, battle, tame or satisfy your Creature in order to help you make it go away, the bigger and more cruel it becomes.

        And the worst thing is that you hate us for doing that. You have developped your own ways of dealing with the Creature, you have deleopped your own routine and it worked fairly well most of the time. So who do we think we are feeling compelled and entitled to disturb that routine, fumbling around the house of cards, trying to change or criticise the order we piled the cards of that house or arranged its compartments?

        You make it clear to us that we are nobody. We are just some random woman who happen to be around sometime.

        I once confronted the Narc in my life with certain inconsistencies in one of those strange, twisted stories he had made up. In fact, he had decided to sue his employer for mobbing him. I had read the files he had prepared and they were full of inconsistencies. Especially, no reliable evidence was presented for his allegations. Furthermore, he had been promoted to a very good position by then and would´ve run the risk of destroying the new, better situation and the great opportunities of a new beginning in Brussels. I just wanted to express my concerns about him taking the step to sueing his employer, instead of letting go of the past and embracing the future.

        He reacted with a narcissistic rage. We sat in a café and I was, as usual, drunk with fatigue after one of those sleepless nights. Suddently, the Creature took over: “Who are you? WHO ARE YOU daring to rip up the plasters of my wounds of the past, wounds that have barely healed? I have been dealing with this for ages now, I have talked with plenty of people and therapists about that and now you think you can just come into my life? So you think you can question my decisions and push me to think it all over again? No, you can´t. You have no idea what this is all about.”

        I remember that I stared at him, devastated. Then, I started to cry. I told him: “If you want to stay stuck in misery, revengefullness, bitterness and anger, if you insist to create confusion and chaos and risk everything good you have, then be it. If you consider me as just a random person, if with a flick of a wrist, you make me the ennemy because I am opposing your views or questioning a decision you made, be it. If you want to f*ck it all up, go ahead. But don´t count on me to join in that craziness! I won´t go for it, I´m outta here!” And then, I left the café. I had no money, no keys, no town map, not even a bag. Just my mobile phone. He didn´t stand up and follow me. He didn´t phone me. He didn´t search for me. It didn´t matter to him.

        My luggage was still at his place, so he knew I would eventually be back sometime. When I rang the door, he opened it but did not welcome me. He layed on the couch, pretending to read. I packed my luggage, ready to leave with the last train. He didn´t try to hold me back. Before leaving, I came to the living room. I said:

        – “I need to talk to you, because I need to make a decision. The last train to leaves at 18.38 h. Otherwise, I will have to stay another night. I don´t want to leave without saying good-bye, because if I leave, I won´t ever be back. Do you REALLY want me to leave?”

        -“I don´t know.”

        -“You don´t know?”

        – “As I said: I don´t know. I guess I want you to leave.”

        – “Okay, then I am leaving now. I won´t be back. But I want you to look into my eyes and take my hand and tell me good-bye.”

        I sat down on the floor before him. I put my hand on his chest and said his name. I said “Goodbye, A. I´m sorry if I hurt you earlier today. I didn´t mean to do that.”

        This is when he changed and switched over to, well, another state. He started to cry and sob, tears running down his cheek. He pulled me close to him.

        – “Please stay. I don´t want you to go! I feel so hurt and wounded. Everything has come up again. I don´t know what exactly happend, but that situation in the café overwhelmed me. I need you here by my side, please stay!”

        And then, he lay in my arms like a little boy, crying a year-long pain out of his heart, he was totally devastated.

        I loved him so much in that moment. I even told him so for the first time.

        – “Look, I didn´t mean to hurt you ever. Why should I want to hurt you? I love you way too much to do you any harm.”

        He did not return any of the love. Instead, he fuelled up. About an hour lalater, we took a bath together. That was something we had done in the very first month and I´d enjoyed the deep conversations we´d had. On that evening, however, he once again turned the situation around: he suddenly suggested that we should have a threesome in the near future. I remember that I felt like the walls were crumbling down around me.

        There was even more intermittent reinforcement on that night as you may guess. But I will leave it at that here.

        I hope that I was able to show what it is like when an Empath tries to deal with the Narc´s Creature. There is no way to get around that in a good way. It´s a battle you can´t win. Narcs will always project his stuff onto us, again and again and again. They are in pain even if they has found very effective ways to escape that pain. In the devalue and discard phase, we are left holding the bag with all their painful stuff and on top, our own Creature that has fully come to light and grown during the toxic dance. He feels better because he has unloaded that onto us. Our angst and despair is his fuel plus he feels much lighter without the pain baggage. Whereas we spend months or even years trying to untangle his pain from our, seperating from his Creature and dealing with our own Creature, he has come undone relatively unaffected and even energized.

        That is why we should never ever underestimate the missile of narc projection.

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