The Ties That Bind

 

 

 

One of our central aims when we have targeted you is to bind you to us. During our seduction we create this magical place and invite you and only you to inhabit it with us. We build a fantastic place and place you on a pedestal in the centre of this artifice. It is very difficult for you to realise this is a fallacy and even harder to do something about it. Every day, every hour that you remain close to our influence allows us to create more ties, more connections and increase the extent that you are bound to us. We make you feel fabulous, worshipped and loved. The dizzying, whirlwind nature of our passion is unlike anything else you have known and you readily accept it. It is of course not informed consent. You have no idea what we are, but nevertheless you accept all of this wonderful treatment. You allow us to permeate every aspect of your life. We draw you into ours and make you feel special and privileged for being allowed to do so. Consider how we penetrated your every network so everywhere you turned we were there.

We knew all your friends, we ingratiated ourselves with your family and got to meet your colleagues. We knew all the places you liked to go to and introduced you to some additional ones. We made sure we knew every favourite thing of yours, from books to plays to food. Your wine rack became stocked with the types of wine you preferred, your wear the jewellery that was bought for you after careful solicitation of what you deem pretty and I occasionally arrive bearing a new book from the stable of authors that you enjoy to read. Bit by bit I invade your life and as our relationship progresses at light speed, the gradual, creeping advance of my influence has actually gained more than a toehold. It has spread across your territory like some formidable weed that cannot be held back, covering and smothering. My clothes hang in the wardrobe, I have my favourite chair at your house, you now buy the cereal that I prefer to eat in the morning even though you think it is just a mouthful of sugar. You now wash my socks, my songs populate the iTunes playlist and the bathroom is testament to my occupation with the bottles, razors and accoutrements mingled amongst yours. You cannot fail to see my influence all around you, but you welcome this and from it you gain a great happiness. From dating, to staying over, to co-habiting and on to marriage, this inexorable march of sudden and frantic seduction, although this is only ever apparent with hindsight as at the time it was the right thing to do, results in our lives entwining as I wrap my tendrils around your life and drag you tight against me. So many links, connections, lines and ties between you and I.

These ties keep you in place despite the abuse that is to come. It is sudden and bewildering but you will not give up easily. Not only did you say those vows, you meant every word and we know this. You will not let what we have built up crumble to dust. Admirable as your fortitude may be, you may as well stand on a beach and command the tide to halt its own unceasing advance for all the good you will do. This will not stop you trying though. We know this. The ties are many and they are tight so you will not run for cover at the first administration of a silent treatment. You will not down tools and walk away when the shouting continues long into the night. You do not pack a bag and leave it in the hallway, sitting on the stairs as you wait for us to return, late at night, from whatever tryst we have been engaged in. You keep going, bound to the hope that everything will be good once more, that the golden period will return. You hang in there, you battle, you demonstrate misguided resolve as we lash out time and time again, drawing the negative fuel from your distress, dismay and disarray. You will not let go. The connections are too many. Our behaviour is reprehensible as we open up front after front after front against you, leaving you confused and crushed. We twist, blame, push and pull yet you will not waver. No matter how many times we knock you to the floor you keep coming back for more, dragged back onto your feet by the ties that bind you to us.

Then one day you remove yourself from our toxic influence or in some instances you are removed. Those ties remain but there is an elasticity which allow you to escape us. To be taken away from the acidic words and vicious schemes. The insults, the violent rages, the isolation and the denigration may have been halted. You may no longer be subjected to being spat at, your hair pulled, your money withheld, your social interactions curtailed and your self-esteem trampled underfoot. You may have escaped the daily devaluations which came at you in so many different and unedifying ways but your ordeal is far from over.

You may not have our furious face shouting into yours anymore. You may not be sat cowering behind a locked bathroom door as we pound on it demanding you come out. You may not lie crying in a bed made to feel empty by our absence. You may not stand outside the study seeing the glow of the monitor within, under the door and wonder who we are engaging with online, that knotted sensation in your stomach inducing sickness. You may have escaped many of these manipulations but the ties that bind remain.

The bond we have created with you is so strong, so deep and so far-reaching that every day you will feel a vast void at being parted from us. You will excuse the abuse as you hanker for those golden days. You will feel like something has been ripped from you by our absence. Even though you know how terrible we have acted towards you, you will still suffer that sense of illogical loss. Every day feels empty. You wonder what we are doing, who we are with and whether we are thinking about you. You see our presence all around you still, people still ask about us, you collapse on to your bed burying your face in that t-shirt we kept under our pillow and you still smell us on it. You drink deep of the scent, hoping the nagging pain will recede, that somehow you will be magically restored to where we once both were, when we were happy. Your run your fingers over the tub of hair wax which we left and you remember watching us as we carefully applied it. You cannot bring yourself to discard it, clinging on to these reminders of the joy that once abounded in these walls. You pass the bookcase, touching the spines of the volumes we bought for you, the words and letters all further reminders of our presence here in this house. You miss us you miss us so much, you shouldn’t do, not after what we have done. Not after the vile treatments you have suffered. It makes no sense that you should feel this way but you do. You ache for us, the ties that remain are still being pulled and yanked, even though we are not there with you. The searing pain rises as another reminder appears, the tie still strong. Unlike an umbilical cord which provides life, your cord to us continues to pain you. When will this end? When will this agony recede and be replaced by something else? Would it now not even be better to feel nothing? To be numbed and anaesthetised so you do not have to endure this ongoing pain.

The bond we create with you is so powerful, so deep and so long lasting that it is often the aftermath of the ties that bind that hurts more than the abuse itself. That is how dangerous we are.

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34 thoughts on “The Ties That Bind”

  1. Yes HG. Leaving hurts more than staying, but when the decisionis taken and we decide to go through that unbearable pain, after a long sufferement period, more painful than being in the relationship, somewhen starts being a little less, and a bit less and a bit less until you can breathe again. This is how dangerous you are. The pain never really leaves. It will get buried with us.

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    1. With all due respect…..you must stop providing the “persona” with fuel. I am fascinated too by these characters and how they process information but I will not give him any more ammunition.

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  2. Since we’ve established you mimic and reflect our feelings towards you back on us during the golden period, could one say since you feel “criticized” at our diminished fuel and questioning your behavior during value and discard, in your logic you are now mimicking feeling devalued first and getting the first swing in? You want the intensity of that initial adoration, love and affection. It creates a false soul in the empty void inside you. That’s why you Hoover. You want it back too. Binds you to us and makes us pretty powerful too.

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    1. I see what you are driving at. The devaluation does spring from the inherent criticism that arises when your positive fuel becomes stale, to us you are telling us we are not the brilliant person we are otherwise you would not do this. Perhaps there is some mimicry of feeling devalued in there as well. We hoover because we want the hoover fuel which yes is akin to the intensity of the initial adoration but is more so because we have got you back AFTER devaluation which shows how powerful we are.

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      1. Ok, but you can’t Hoover yourself so, yes it makes you feel powerful but it keeps you bonded to us, making us have some power over you too.

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      2. But what I find funny is that your so called power is all based on lies. So therefore the real you has no power . You have to present a fraud in order to get your so called power.

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  3. Yes, the aftermath is far worse. We relive the abuse over and over, our oxytocin ravaged bodies screaming for our abusers touch while our Higher Self (if it’s still intact) reveals all of our self betrayal and woundedness that kept us in a fraudulent exploitive relationshit.

    But remember my fellow Warrior Goddesses, it’s true the higher he lifted us…the further we fell. BUT…we climb our way back up…bloody knees, broken fingers , cold, hungry, scared shitless…we reach the top of that pit he dug for us…we hoist ourselves up and over and we lift our eyes to the Sky and we rejoice in our redemption.

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  4. ….I became “that” girl/woman….the one that covers up the bad behavior of my “man”….because others wouldn’t understand “our” relationship…it was easy to do….because my nearest and dearest know me as “that” woman. The one that has personally physically or financially helped her girlfriends escape abusive relationships…..the one that has personally confronted her girlfriends abusers to their faces…that woman with a heart of gold but a spine made of stainless like all of the other women in my family….the woman you could trust to always be honest and keep your secrets… surely…if I were being abused I would do something about it? I wouldn’t let things get so far…I should have been out of there when he told me what clothes NOT to wear…..right?

    My pride wouldn’t let me be “that” girl….surely this was just a temporary phase he was going through…he’s been under tremendous stress….and he’ll be back to normal soon…no need to make him look bad to my friends and family….no need to make myself look foolish….I’ll just hang in a bit longer…things will be back to normal…no need to give my mother’s intuition any merit…sure…she was beginning to see the truth about him…but she doesn’t realize that this isn’t the real him….

    I so wanted “pretend guy” to resurface…he never did…pretend guy NEVER existed….

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      1. This blog has been very therapeutic for me…..when I read my own posts….I realize just how much I have been through…and I still see the best in people…and I am still able to love and trust (in a guarded way).

        I am very proud of my heart for that…and I’ve only shared about a quarter of my experiences with N’s…..

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  5. Hmm,. I’ve been reading your books and this blog. Thanks for your insights and candor. I am an empathic co-dependent. But I’m also no dummy. I saw early on that I was being manipulated and that he had serious empathic failures. I allowed it to happen for awhile because I was getting something out of it; fake or not.

    I knew he was a sick puppy, but when i finally realized he was actually a narcissist, my yearning for the golden time evaporated because I see it clearly for what it is and it holds no romance for me. I was smart enough to protect myself all along, so when he tried hoovering (thanks for all the info on the several ways that happens, he tried most of them), I was able to say “Stop or I will use the info I have to destroy your life”. He went away. I’m moving on, life is better. I think it’s a bit grandiose to assume that the victims will remain emotionally tied in some way to the Narc for life. I don’t really feel anything for him except that he is a small man.who lacks substance. And the narcissist that I left 20 years ago holds no place in my head or heart either, except as an interesting study in psychology and human nature.

    So to the other victims, this is something you can put firmly and totally behind you. You have to remain totally clear that none of this (not the love-bombing nor the devaluing) was about you and that you could have been anybody. Forgiving yourself for allowing precious minutes of your life to be lost to feeding the gaping maw of the narcissist need is another thing, but it can and does happen.

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    1. Hello Cyborg and thanks for your observations. What caused you to realise that he was a narcissist? How did you protect yourself? Did you know what the golden period was as it was happening or looking back?

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      1. His empathic failures, the way he treated waitstaff, his interaction with his child, his gaslighting, his deflections, his withholding, his inability to apologize, his grandiosity, his completely irrational anger and his bullying. Yes, I realized it was a golden period. I actually recognized him as a manipulator right off, but he was fun, extremely good looking and a great lover. I knew there was a fair amount of destruction in his past and I had much more at risk than he did (I have a house, a successful career, a following for my writing, a somewhat public persona and a huge social circle). I always knew I would leave him. BUT, it was harder than I anticipated, which i chalk up to my co-dependency. However, I kept records of some of his worst behavior (including criminal behavior and behavior that could keep him from seeing his child). I never trusted him so I protected myself. None of that prevented my from falling in love with him. I do, however, have my own significant investment in my independence and success so my logical mind could not accept the abuse no matter how much I felt he had my “heart”. And I recognize now that the love I felt (since I wasn’t ever actually tricked), which is so well identified as feeling more like an addiction, was really my own co-dependent pathology. So I chose to leave and work on myself. The entire relationship was a big red flag in my life concerning my own mental health.

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    2. That is a tricky thing. It takes a lot of processing to wrap your brain around the concept that the golden period was an illusion and a slit that can be filled by anyone. So then you naturally think everything said to you during the devalue and discard is true and what they thought of you all along. They make it so personal and we struggle trying to find truth in some aspect of the relationship.

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      1. I don’t give a f*#k what he thinks of me. None of it (the love-bombing and the devaluing) was true or real. You should not spend time trying to decipher what was real. NONE OF IT WAS. It was a means to an end. He doesn’t actually think about other people beyond what he can get from them. But that doesn’t have to hurt, because it is not about me, it’s about his limitations as a human being. I have forgiven him completely because that is important for me (he doesn’t know that I’ve forgiven him and never will). IF I came across him lying bleeding in the street, I’d keep moving (but call 911 because I am not a sociopath).

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      2. right….that is why I take great pleasure in knowing that he knows that I will be hard to replace….I thought he was the Cat’s pajamas….I hung on his every word, thought he was brilliant, sexy, and handsome…
        and I loved him to the moon….anyone else would be a downgrade…and he knows this!

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  6. Oh, I forgot the most telling indicator that he was a narcissist: using my personal information against me. Happened repeatedly. This let me know that there was something seriously wrong with him and also really helped me detach. No love can survive that. At that point the relationship shifted and I felt trapped. For me, that’s an indicator that I have to leave! I was very glad that my inner voice had been saying “do not marry this man, do not mix assets”, that I had no children with him and that I have plenty of resources, financial, emotional and otherwise. That meant all I had to do was “ghost” him and go. Even before reading No Contact, I knew I just had to go, not announce it. I blocked him everywhere (all social media, all phone numbers, all email, don’t forget LinkedIn!!) He showed up at my house, I said “I’m not spending one more minute of my life with you.” and shut the door. He sent flowers to my work (haha, the receptionist said “you get more flowers than anyone” one of the dubious benefits of dating an a-hole) He tried one more time, showing up with a letter of apology and money he owed me (the letter was complete bs). I shut the door in his face again. He then got a job 1/2 block away from me and has been approaching my co-workers on the street. They know to not even tell me, fortunately many of them are my actual friends and they understand and completely have my back. I am quite sure he will find a new source of supply soon. Good riddance.

    This is the one thing I have learned. Relationships develop slowly. People are not entitled to your private information until trust has been built up over time. My ex has forfeited the right to know anything about me at all by using that knowledge against me. I am very very careful about with whom I share myself now. Healthy people understand this and are patient. N’s don’t get the result they want and disappear. I have probably deflected 4 Ns in the six month period since I left that relationship, They abound in the dating world.

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    1. A few hoovers there Cyborg and he certainly met his match with your resistance. Yes, we do gather as much as we can about you when we target you and then during the seduction in order to use this information for our agenda and against you. Was it a steady drip drip drip of misuse of information that caused a tipping point or one significant misuse which caused your lightbulb moment?

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    2. I am shocked that your story is almost identical to mine. Would love to meet you someday………..cheers and be well!

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  7. Hi HG

    Reading this was so painfull . But is all this really true ? Spat on face and hair pulled?
    Physical + mental bullying

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