It is a recognised truth that we select you. We are able to sense the empathy flowing from you and our sights become locked on to you. We move in and through a combination of our experience at recognising your kind and our subtle and informed questioning we soon establish whether you will fulfil our needs and have that sweet, delicious fuel flowing for us. If the answer is yes, and invariably it is, we do not often get it wrong when we first target somebody, then all of our seductive and manipulative charm is deployed to ensnare you. The love-bombing begins and we soon bind you to us, wrapping our tendrils about you and holding you close as our claws sink into your flesh, our hooks drive deep into your soul and the fuel lines attach and thus the extraction begins. You can shoulder no blame when this happens. You are unlikely to know what one of us is. You see the warning signs but do not recognise them. The red flags flutter but you just think how beautiful they look. The klaxons blare but they cannot be heard above the noise of our silky, honeyed words which pour into your ears. You may be fortunate enough to have somebody in your support networks who knows exactly what we are. Nevertheless, their kind and thoughtful explanations never dissuade you. How can they when you are being made to feel like a queen? How can they when we are giving you everything that you ever wanted? How can they when your soul mate has appeared and gathered you close? You smile and nod and thank them for their concern but you dismiss it and especially when we tell you that they are to be ignored, he or she is only jealous of what we have, they want to cause trouble, I have seen it before believe me and of course you will always believe me. You are a sitting target. You anticipate nothing of what is to come and you cannot be blamed at all. You do not know what we are, our seduction is virtually impossible to resist and why would you want to spurn this opportunity of a lifetime. Your ensnaring is a given and you are blameless in that.
Yet after this when the glow of the golden period fades and what was once shiny becomes tarnished and dull, when those sweet words have become barbed and thorny, when the lustre has gone and the brilliance has been diverted to a more deserving appliance, this is when you become culpable. You are no fool. Although you cannot work out why we switch back and forth in the blink of an eye in our behaviour. Although you cannot fathom why we lie and lie and lie. Although you are unable to comprehend why we show such rank hypocrisy, crass contradiction and sheer contrariness, you know that you are being badly treated. You know our words are harsh and hurtful. You know that our disappearances are unwarranted and leave you upset and worried. You recognise that our repeated taking, our ignoring of your needs and our calculated and systematic tirades are abusive. Yes, there is much of our behaviour during this devaluation that is insidious and purposefully so. Much of our manipulations continue without you really appreciating they are happening or their full effect but everyone knows that being shouted out and called names is abusive. Everyone knows that the broken promise to call you or meet you is unfair and unnecessary. You do recognise that our behaviour towards you is unpleasant and abusive. Yet, despite this recognition what do you do? You stay. You are picked up and put down, treated as the appliance that we see you are to be used when it suits us and pushed to one side when someone else proves of greater interest. You see this happen yet you put up with it. You know we flirt with other women and seem to have a string of relationships which have never quite finished somehow. You see how those other women are all vying for our time and you resent that. Notwithstanding how badly we treat you, you do not want them to be the recipients of the golden largesse you know that we are capable of. You want it. Thus you remain, trying to keep them at bay, fighting further battles with these other members of my coterie most likely unaware that this triangulation upon triangulation is all by design. You make excuses after excuse for our rotten behaviour. You trot these excuses out to your friends who look on with weary faces. You tell these excuses to yourself as you sit sobbing after another violent outburst. He is tired. He is stressed. He has a lot on at work. If I try just that bit harder, I know I can help him. If I can just make him see what he is doing to me I know we can work things out. I just want to cure whatever ill it is that is eating away at him and making him someone he is not, I know deep down he is a good man, I have seen it with my own eyes. The excuses come thick and fast and frequent. You clothe the abuse in these excuses seeking to make the abhorrent behaviour seem more acceptable as you continue to hang on in there in the hope that today we will give you a dose of the golden period. Occasionally it will happen and you are elated. All is well in the world and you knew that your fortitude would bear a reward. Now everything will be fine again. Only you could achieve this, not those other harpies. Why do they hang around so much? What are they waiting for? You bask in the golden light only for it to soon fade once again. The cycle continues but you do not depart, you do not leave and instead you remain hoping that we will pick you and spend time with you. You hang on in there in the hope of picking the lucky ticket which means you experience our brilliance once again. You will do anything to gain our attention and our golden love again. You will sacrifice your self-esteem, your confidence, friends, family, job, money, looks and health just for the prospect of feeling that golden, delicious love once again. Just like a hopeless addict everything else will be given up for that fix of us. You know how bad we are for you yet you keep on staying. You cannot blame us for that. You cannot blame us for the fact that you become the willing volunteer.