Less than Charitable

 

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How many times during your dance with the narcissist did you dread your home that you shared looming into view as you drove towards it or the taxi neared it? How many times did you sit wishing that you were still out and away from its dark, hulking menace as you fumbled for your house keys? How many times did you endure that drive back to the house with us at the wheel as the once vibrant conversation slowly dried up and a heavy, foreboding silence engulfed the interior of the vehicle. Can you feel that knotted sensation in your stomach again as you see our silhouette at the window where we have been evidently keeping watch for your return? The sickness rising in your chest as you see the door slowly open and left ajar, beckoning you inside but we do not stand there waiting to greet you as we foreshadow what awaits you.

It seems that it is only you that suffers this treatment in your own home. It is meant to be a place of sanctuary a place where the toils and troubles of the world outside your window are meant to halt at the door. It should be a place where you feel warm, loved and safe. Goodness knows you have attempted to instil these things in your home as you have worked hard to make it a pleasant and inviting environment, a place to relax and be yourself. Unfortunately, with us you succeeded too well in respect of that last part. Visitors to your home are always warmly greeted by us, cheeks kissed and hands shaken, a firm pat on the back as words of welcome are aired. We act the perfect host, accommodating guests, never hurrying them to leave, always offering a further drink. Of course you play your role as we order you about so you are the one organising the food and relaying the drinks, but it is done in a warm and appreciative manner which belies the reality of our standing over you. You pour the wine into the four glasses as you reflect on how this is the third set you have to buy this year and you are only in May as once the guests have disappeared into the night those glasses are thrown to the floor to shatter as some minor and entirely inconsequential transgression on your part is seized on and becomes the platform for a bout of intimidating fury. How quickly the host becomes the beast once the audience has departed. So many times you have insisted on our guests staying longer and on some occasions offered the spare room in order to keep what invariably follows at bay. Sometimes you have managed to stretch out their attendance until we have nodded off, infused with alcohol and a hearty meal which has enabled you to say good bye to our guests as we have snoozed as you prefer nor to wake the beast in two senses of the word. You tiptoe past us only pausing, ever the caring person, to place a blanket over us as you then quietly head for bed relieved to avoid one of those scenes.

When your taxi halts outside after you have managed to escape the house for a rare night out and you pay the driver, eyes flitting back and forth from that ajar door, the gateway to hell that has yawned open and is beckoning you in, your despair and apprehension rises. The outside world has no comprehension of what goes on between those walls. To everyone else you appear a content couple, enjoying a good lifestyle. Our carefully constructed façade ensures that we are afforded the recognition and status that our kind is entitled to. We ensure that everyone else knows us to be capable, successful, entertaining and personable. That is the reason we receive so many invitations to drinks receptions, dinner, evenings out and prestigious balls. You know that you must never decline them for attendance is mandatory to allow us to walk amongst our people and shine, drinking deep of their admiring fuel. We give speeches at charitable functions and announce a healthy donation as we maintain the gloss of decency and respectableness whilst kicking you under the table so that you smile to all who are looking our way. Our greatness is acknowledged by all in our community and the maintenance of this façade is hugely important to us and not something we can allow to be pierced or destroyed.

Yet all of the charm, the apparent generosity (those donations never come from our pocket but from those of a business we belong to our others we have persuaded to sponsor the event but we of course always take the credit) and the warmth evaporates once the threshold to our house has been crossed. At times, as we have driven away from an event, you have wanted to open the car door and jump out and run away down the road away from the impending horror which you know is waiting for you. You recognise the signs. There is the reduction and eventual extinguishing of conversation after we have muttered some terse criticism of you. You know better than to try to argue back. The drive seems to take an age and you can feel our churning fury as you sit beside us in the passenger seat. As we round the corner and the house comes into view you want to pass out, you want to be removed from the situation but you know you cannot. You walk with heavy footsteps towards that door. We always enter before you and leave it open, in the same way we do when you have gone out without us. It is a clear signal. You are entering our domain now and you will answer for your failure to smile at one of our jokes, or the fact you spent twenty minutes talking to someone else rather than stand laughing and supporting me amongst my coterie. You did not fill up my glass and attended to someone else rather than me. You wolfed down your starter which lacked elegance and decorum. You failed to make a bid during the charity auction. You went to the toilet during a speech. You rolled your eyes at one of my golden anecdotes (having heard it a hundred times before). The list of transgressions, both real and imagined, is long and we will always find something that you have done incorrectly during our time away from the house and once returned you will be punished as we unleash one of our manipulative tools from our devil’s toolkit in order to devalue you. We hope you might argue back and unleash some anger, but more often than not as we push the front door closed with a click and move towards you it is the upset and tears that flow. As our shadow falls over you, already your eyes are welling with tears as you know what will come behind that closed door. The charitable largesse we ladle out to the world at large always ends at home.

 

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21 thoughts on “Less than Charitable”

  1. Wow HG,
    I’m pretty sure even the devil takes Sunday off.
    This really hits home.
    Had it not been for my horses I would have packed up my children and disappeared.
    I absolutely would drive through the gates and sit in my car in the drive for as long as I could dreading going in, back in to live with the chain dragging ghost.
    Many women is these psychologically abisive relationships oddly enough become terribly agoraphobic, feeling there is no escape they just never leave, the horror of coming back is so overwhelming they just stay.
    Thank you for this HG, I know there are many of my kind out there who may not even have recognized why they want to sit in the garage, door closed, motor running and music blasting rather than go back into the nightmare house.

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  2. Yep I remember that very well. Dreading going home, not knowing what I was going to get when I walked in the door. He use to make sure I overheard him on the phone with his ex wife saying how much he loved her. That would cause me to have anxiety attacks all the time. It was obvious he did it on purpose….monster

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  3. Dear Charity Case,
    Sooooo abusive. Who in your past inflicted fear and pain? Why did you become like them when you swore you never would? Why does inflicting pain feed you so? To make u feel impervious to pain. If you dish it out then you don’t have to take it. At what exact point does it flip? Do you add the grievances up and then decide or do you just have a sudden rage that needs releasing? What you really should ask yourself is when are you going to grow up and stop letting a scared little boy rule the grown man you are.
    Cue I’m gonna knock you out……..
    LL Cool J
    Sincerely, Mike Tyson.
    P.S. I’m not sorry I bit your ear off when you tried to beat me up. Want to come over and watch the fights?

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    1. Matrinarc did the most.
      When did I swear I never would?
      Because of the fuel that is generated by those actions.
      If I dish it out, I receive the fuel I need to keep my pain locked away and to deal with any fresh pain caused by criticism.
      I have a lot of control. I will apply the appropriate manifestation of ignited fury when required (usually cold fury – I had an excellent tutor) but there will be occasions where heated fury is best deployed and I am able to control and determine when I will do this.
      I am not Evander Holyfield.
      You cannot knock out an opponent which you cannot see.

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  4. A heathy relationship should bring out the best in each other. When you start hating the person you become when you’re with your significant other, run!

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  5. I live in a war zone,although it’s an expensive apartment there is no warmth, no live. At least for me. Wonder what the hell I am doing here. He doesn’t care as long as we fight over him. HG this is a crude question but I wonder if there is arousal ( sexually) when two women fight over you. Kind of pathetic in my mind but I don’t think like you do I?

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    1. The arousal is one of power, from the fuel, but it might manifest in a sexual manner, it may manifest in performing brilliantly at work, it may manifest in being especially entertaining. There are many outlets.

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  6. Have you ever had one of your Vs refuse to live with you? Would you admit if they did? This post is more than a flesh wound but less than a fatal blow. I maintained my own place and it drove him nuts bc I could just go home. It doesn’t negate how I allowed him to treat me before the guests came to the party or after they left. The fact that I could retreat to my own place helped.

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    1. No I haven’t had them refuse. There is no reason for them to do so. In fact it is more often the case that I will not allow them to live with me when they are desperate to do so in order to make them more committed so that when I do allow it, their loyalty is undeniable.

      Yes if you can return to your own “bolt hole” and thus have a place of relative sanctuary away from our control it will be annoying to us. That is why we will lure you into living together when the going is good so you have nowhere to hide once the devaluation occurs.

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      1. Thank you, HG. That happened to my best friend. She sold her place and had nowhere to go at the end. It was so messed up.

        I never thought of it as keeping a bolt hole. It was. Don’t think this makes me like your kind. It didn’t stop the middle of the night drive bys but at least I was at peaceish knowing that I didn’t have to let him in…bc it was MY place.

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  7. Great HG and you hit a point that I have had since long in mind. Those doing charitable work, which is just doing networking or fund raising and taking all the praise ARE most probable sure NArcissists and yes they are the bad ones at home, the ones that are at home like you describe breaking the china collectiom. I know seveveral and I have tied ropes with all this knowledge…
    I will not believe anymore on the good heart of those who network and fundraise ns talk about their good position in the organizatiom.. So common.
    Thanks for posting 😘

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  8. Oh yes…how many times did we go to an event as a family & my mother smiled at OTHER PEOPLE and then when we got home, she berated my father for eating too much, she slapped me for drinking too much, she cursed my sister for having made a rude remark in front of people. She let everyone have it.

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  9. This is a vivid description of My worst nightmares! I’ve been with three different doctor Jekyll’s (because each time I was different when we met) but all the Mr. Hyde’s were the same and grew worse ! I had a very hard time reading this it triggered too many terrible memories and made me sick ! I will have to come back to this one another day .. It’s so sad..

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  10. Used to feel a sinking feeling in my stomachs when he drove in the drive , or I would sit in the car before going inside . Obvious red flags ,wish I didn’t ignore them for so long ….

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  11. To echo Deb here, I had panic attacks at the sound of their vehicles. Locked inside cars with Mr. Hyde barreling down the road.. ! Door knobs broke off my house, broken objects. Cell phones whipped at me at close range that broke the glass on my stove. Spit on my face. I’ve seen stars from getting pushed down so hard. My boundaries began with by walking out the door. I’ve sat at the corner for hours in my car. I took deprecate cars. Refused to let them drive me. Slept in separate rooms. Changed the locks.. Filed for divorce. Moved far away.. Broke it off. It’s like looking at one big nightmare

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