I Cannot Do This Anymore

Image result for picture of giving up



I cannot do this anymore. You may have heard this statement from one of our kind. It is uttered with a weary resignation, a long sigh and a tired look in our eyes. The glorious countenance has vanished and been replaced with someone who looks defeated, crumpled and exhausted. The polish and shine has been dulled, the accumulative impact of what has happened now looks to have taken its toll on us and with a wave of the white flag we surrender.

But when we say “I cannot do this anymore” to what are we referring. What is the this? Straight from the off, as we utter this phrase, we have set a trap for you. Do we mean that we can no longer maintain the relationship with you, this topsy-turvy roller coaster of a ride? Have we given up on the concept of us and this is the death knell for our relationship together? You can already feel the anxiety crawling over you as you contemplate the import of this phrase. The days without us already beginning to stretch ahead of you, the multitude of questions which start to form in your mind, the whys and hows drifting through your mind, gathering momentum and troubling you. Is that what we are referring to? Can we no longer remain in a relationship with you?

Or is it perhaps something else? Is this an epiphany? Have we seen that our repeated abuses against you, through many different forms and occasions, is too much and goes against the good person you have always believed that lurks somewhere inside of us? You saw that person (or believed you did) for a long time at the outset of the relationship but he has been missing as of late. He has taken a holiday from these parts but surely it is only a holiday, because if it is this means that he will be coming back. He has gone but not forever. Perhaps this is him returned and with that moment of revelation and realisation, we have seen the truth of what we have been doing and through this we now know that we cannot continue to behave in this manner any longer. Is this what we mean when we declare the statement of “I cannot do this anymore”?

Which is it? You dread it being the former and hope that it is the latter. This might be the breakthrough that you have been seeking all these months as you have hung in there, buffeted and assailed by all of our terrible torments, but now you have come good, you have achieved your great reward. That must surely be what we mean.

You wait for us to elaborate but nothing more is said. We continue to look at you and you stare into our eyes. What do you see? Is it despair or is it hope? You cannot be sure. You are confused but you do not want to be. You want clarity and you feel an alternating sense of worry one moment and then resurgent hope the next. You wait, your expression set in expectation, urging us to flesh out this statement, to expand and to elaborate but still our silence remains. Are we gathering our thoughts before making the next great pronouncement? Is there more? Will it be a hammer blow which obliterates your hopes or that triumphant clarion call which signals that the war is at an end and peace has broken out? Is this the very thing that you have dreamed about?

You wonder whether you should press us or would that affect the outcome and bring about a volte face? You have experienced enough of those during the tumultuous experience that is your union with us. Perhaps you are better served waiting and allowing us to express ourselves, but you need to know, you want to know. You want to know if you should commence your reasoning to ensure that the relationship is at an end. If this is to be the outcome, then you need to commence your bid for its continuation without delay, not least to stem the churning anxiety which is threatening to overwhelm you. If it is an end to the abuse, the games and the mis-treatment then you want to congratulate us on breaking through that final barrier and achieving the insight you have longed for, for such an extensive period of time. You urge us with your eyes to add to the comment, to help us over the finishing line and in so doing end your own uncertainty, but there is no more. We just keep looking at you.

This is where we like to position you. Gripped by uncertainty, emotions churning through you as we milk them through you all through one comment. We can see it all in your eyes, your frozen stance, the hunched shoulders, the clenched hands, the mask of uncertainty that is strapped to your face. In turn we see the hope, the worry, the optimism and the fear flickering through your eyes and as usual we are sustained by this nourishment. Those words have provoked this reaction in you, the emotional response pouring our way, even though it is silent and immobile.

If you eventually breach this impasse and press for more details, expect to be led by the hand into the maze of ambiguity, double-meaning and obfuscation. Your questions will be half-answered. Your queries will be met with more silence, an unwavering look as we force you to try and work it out. Morsels of encouragement may be provided, like breadcrumbs along the path as we lead you deeper and deeper into the maze. You continue to fuel us as you think you are being taken towards the answers, admitted into our confidence and shown the inner sanctum of our thoughts, but no, all we are doing is taking you into the bowels of our tangled forest where you will be caught on the thorns of unanswered questions, tripped by the vines of vagueness and blocked by the twisted branches of bewilderment.

Do we mean it when we say this phrase? It is really the case that I cannot do this anymore?

Of course I can. I can keep doing this forever because as I have mentioned on many occasions this is forever. Yes, there will be times where I will disappear. Yes, there will be occasions where I am good to you again, then bad and then good. The purpose of saying this is purely to upset you. I have no intention at all at leaving you. Why would I when you give me so much wonderful negative fuel through the period of devaluation? Why would I when you provide the delicious positive fuel again when I allow a period of respite and the application of the golden period again? I am going nowhere but it does not harm to suggest to you that I might. It keeps you on your toes and ensures that I am able to exert control over you. I keep you guessing, anxious and confused and I also ensure that your fuel keeps flowing.

I also say this to make it sound like what we have is arduous and horrible. It is for you because I treat you badly but this is enjoyable. I get to do what I want, I am never wrong and you have to bear the brunt of my shocking behaviour towards you. It is a playground for me and I am not going to give that up. Never. Still, I want you always one heartbeat away from thinking that I am going to walk out on you, that you are not doing enough for me so you will try harder, you will avoid the egg shells more effectively and you will keep on trying and trying to please me. This is a great way of controlling you by threatening you with the loss of me although it is never going to happen. By a similar token, I want you a breath away from thinking that a breakthrough has been achieved, that I have seen clarity through the fog of malevolence and realise that this abusive treatment, this game-playing and inventive fabrications are at an end. You keep hoping that day is just around the corner, so you remain locked into your investment with me and you dare not give up, not now, not when redemption might be a week, a day or an hour way.

Accordingly, it you hear this, do not think that I am going to leave you. I am not. Do not think that I have realised what it is that I do and that it is wrong and must be stopped. I may well realise, but I will not stop.

I am just continuing to control you and seeking a reaction from you.

Of course, you are forbidden from ever saying these words.

25 thoughts on “I Cannot Do This Anymore

  1. HC says:

    Holy shit… to see this phrase written here when I heard it multiple times after calling my now separated wife (but still legally married) out on her behavior, is just chilling. I had always believed her dramatic and over-the-top behavior was because of difficult life experiences during our relationship; granted some could and would be legitimately difficult scenarios for even normal people to get through – but there was always something new. Some other kind of stress. She was very covert with her abusive comments and behaviors. As I clamped down and punished her for her bullshit tactics, she found new ways to squirm out of being accountable to the point of her having no choice to but scream, yell and move to physicality as there was no way I was letting that bitch try and control me any further once I realized her personality wasn’t merely “stressful life situations affecting her mood”.

    Going to therapy with her seemed to just give her new tools and a new level of insane drive and determination to be as stubborn and unwavering as humanly possible.

    Thank you for this site and these articles. Far better than any of the sorry excuses for therapists she had individually, as well as couple’s therapist that ultimately didn’t accomplish anything.

    We are not yet legally divorced, but she’s now moved out and taken her stuff out of our once shared house. I wonder what’s next… her, her family and a gaggle of friends have completely blocked all communication from all angles except one email address I can reach my “wife” with – which seems like I have a 1 in 10 shot of getting her to respond to any hint of emotional discussion. However, anything “business like” when it comes to belongings, or shared expenses – she’s right on top of it all. I suppose she figures this is her only hope of continued control over me. Keep her claws in financially; and hope to see me squirm when she stonewalls my need for closure/connection.

    I am inclined to think her family could be referred to as the ‘narcs nest’ – boy would I love to speak more about my experience with someone like you HG.

  2. charliebath says:

    I got all this, but he did leave me a week later. I got it throughout the horrendous anxiety ridden post break up too. “I’m lost”, “i’m trying to be a friend to you”,”you’re making this worse by not letting go”… all whilst he was smearing me online and dating someone new. I keep reading accounts of the on going pull/push abuse that some people have gone through but this is one thing i can’t relate my experience to.

  3. Clary says:

    This statement reminds me if the lady gags song Alejandro which statements that very phrase which is what I tell him all the time but he has no ears no not at all whatsoever sir now I know why he’s just full of shit as I previously knew he’s like an emotional drunk nobody understands what he says and he speaks a bunch of nine sense 24/7 that’s the resin I left him before he left me its all about strategy. Hi I’m a newly welcomed vampire because I was bitten by one although I’m on my way to recovery I do understand the joyment of biting your victim although I do it for a beautiful little word that few understand REVENGE yes I am talking about myself he ever you figured it out yet hahahaaaaaa don’t worry I won’t bite anybody from here I don’t have a rush I think nagging is a tiring old sport which I quoted to a long time ago and that’s that fluid ugly everyone you’ve been a lovely assurance can’t wait to see Tudor reaction to this HAHAHAAAAAA

  4. Clary says:

    More reason to hate you and why be afraid of you leaving me when you’ve already left me? He’s never said that to me us I who say it all the time to try to end it since I already knew ahead of time you did t had the covcurnce to realize what you did contraire to moi who has one and is always juicily right

  5. karen519 says:

    So what happens if we leave? Hide for 3 years and is found . He brings new supply and moves close to where I live.

  6. seekingwisdom says:

    Wow! That’s an eye-opener. Heard it several times and never really knew the ‘true meaning’ behind it. You are providing such an education on this subject. Thanks HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  7. cjhawkes03 says:

    Good answer lol. I’m inclined to agreed with you on this i must admit

    Cheers for answers HG 😉

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  8. cjhawkes03 says:

    Very well written as always HG!! I admire how you have a real way with words. You are an excellent writer HG!!

    Thank you again for more excellent insight. L has most certainly pulled the “I can’t do this anymore” card on me a number of times so it was very interesting to read this!!

    I do have a question that im fairly sure I already know the answer to given everything im learning from your writting HG…. but yes…. is there ever a “cure” as such for you guys?? Will you ever be able to rid a narcissist of their disorder??! I’m assuming not given what you have written here… “I may well realise, but I will not stop”. And many other words of yours that I have also read. However i thought that there was no harm in asking out of curiosity any how!!

    Cheers HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you CJ I appreciate that.

      There is some debate as to whether there is a cure. It appears to be fairly widely accepted that there is no cure, but there are others who will disagree with this. I do think that behaviours can be managed and lessened through the application of certain thought processes and behaviours by both parties to the relationship, but the lure of fuel and what it does is very hard to resist.

      1. Nadine says:

        Commendable when a narcissist seeks professional help, and clergy help on his own. (I’d hope)

  9. nikitalondon says:

    Never heard that sentence from anybody but I did tell my husband but then followed by lots of explanations.
    Readinf the above was not triggering ir better said it triggered sadness of the many times I wanted to say it didnt and today I regret not having said thaf before. I woukd have saved myself lots of sufferement…
    Thanks for the posting. Excellent writing as always you 😍 So good 😍

  10. I love that phrase and I say it often because, as you stated, it makes the other person feel that what we have is too much to bear, not worth any more of my time or effort, not worth fighting for, is beyond arduous and pointless.

    Then comes the flood of “But I can do better….be better….I can change just tell me what to do” and things become all the more interesting until the next time, head in hands, faux pained look on my face I am forced to utter in an exasperated whisper…..I just can’t do this anymore.

  11. 2mpathetic says:

    Dear Pan,
    Thanks for explaining why my comments get half answered, ignored, told you will answer tmrw, must have went to spam, my dog ate it, etc, etc. I now know to expect nothing so I won’t be disappointed. I will walk in your forest and try to avoid the poison ivy. If I see you there and you grace me with a comment, I will remember that the forest is for your enjoyment not mine. Now where is that rumored house made of candy Hansel? (H).

    1. Miss_stress says:

      Or the witch burned them in the oven for being naughty 😏

  12. mlaclarece says:

    Agreed! Helps explain the constant push pull while adding a new layer to the illusion that you really do care / love us back and that there has to be some kind of breakthrough to be had to this emotional impasse.
    I read recently that Co-dependents can do a thing called complimentary projection which by someone assumes that others have the same abilities and core beliefs as themselves. For me, putting trust and faith in someone becomes toxic when I cannot believe or accept that the other person cannot or will not match or meet me half way. Interesting concept for me to wrap my brain around.

    1. Miss_stress says:

      D told me I do that, assume others think and feel the same way I do, have the same values and respectful nature. He told me I encourage abuse for being so open and honest with others. Hmm, referring to himself, I suppose.

  13. Di says:

    I heard this statement many times! I often said “Me either!” and sometimes I even left…. Of course I went back later. Often he would say “What? Are you giving up so easily? It’s just like you to always run away from our issues instead of dealing with the problem.” I can see how my behavior kept him coming back for fuel. However, I was discarded three times during the course of the relationship. I don’t remember exactly how I responded to that statement on those occasions. Would your response, after making a statement like this, be determined by my reaction to it? I believe when he felt I was about to discard him, or mutually end the relationship , he changed tactics. I feel slightly satisfied that I kept him on his toes, but annoyed that I provided so much fuel by being so emotionally volatile. Leave it to a menopausal woman to change a narc’s game plan! LOL We don’t even know what we will do next!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Di, yes we would gauge your response to such a statement and act accordingly. We will always shift our gameplan if we realise that you are changing the position in some way, in order to assert again our control.

  14. Jessica says:

    Very insightful and thought provoking as I continue to educate myself on this behavior

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Jessica.

      1. Jessica says:

        Thank you for giving insight on what I am up against

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome Jessica, keep reading.

  15. Miss_stress says:

    Oh yes, I heard this a few times. I always took it I can’t deal with your questioning me and you knowing what I might be, I need to silence you for a time and let you amend this bad behaviour, then when I come back you will have forgotten all those questions( ahh, no I never forget..I just bide my time to resurface them after a return from silence) and then all is good again and you shower me With your love and attention and relief that I have returned to you…..
    Does we are fucking finished also equate to I can’t do this anymore…same idea, different words? Here’s yet another question …HG..he did not want my negative fuel…..he couldn’t handle it, the distrust and questions were criticism enough, but any display of negative emotion and he was gone. Why, I used that to end things , I knew his reasoning and getting angry at him, he cannot cope with it and he battens everything down, ushers in hate for me and scrambles to secure new fuel lines. I carefully observed his Modus operandi, I can handle negative emotion, as he knew, I never lobbed it back at him during his rages. So, when I gave it to him unsolicited it created an internal chaos for him and he fled into silence and plugged in two dormant appliances. As I knew he would. It was a tear plan then revenge. He would always blame me regardless, now he be validated I. such.
    I welcome your thoughts on this, if you think I am correct and if this is abnormal operating for an N. He sought negative fuel through my upset, tears and Emotional reactions, but anger and jealousy he did not know how to cope with, other then to shut me down, after a raging tirade of blame at me first.

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