The Octopus of Contrariness

The Contrary Octopus is a minion we use to keep you ensnared and under our control. He has eight tentacles of contradiction which repeatedly coil around you, keeping you in their grip and squeezing your self-esteem and confidence from you.

1. You’ve put on weight

You haven’t of course, in fact you look fantastic and we resent that because now you look better than we do. If we are inclined to take pride on our appearance we hate the fact that you are outshining us. If physical perfection is not something we tend to major in, then we are resentful of the fact that other people will admire you and give you attention and not us. We once basked in this reflected admiration, proud of how attractive you looked, but that was when we seduced you. Now we do not want you looking better than us or drawing attention away from us or even worse still attracting suitors so you might even consider leaving us. Few people are secure about their weight and with our repeated sniping, this tentacle will squeeze some self-esteem from you as you worry about how you look. You are forbidden from attending the gym or going running though, we don’t want you do anything about it.

2. You need to eat more

You don’t. You had a healthy appetite once and these days it takes more effort to swallow your meals because of the anxiety that grips you as a consequence of our behaviour, but once again the issue of weight is something we know causes people concern and therefore it is low-hanging fruit in terms of undermining your confidence. You may resist, fearing gaining weight and this will only provide us with an opportunity to emphasise how you never do anything that we want and you are so argumentative. We want you cooking hearty meals so that we can indulge in them too. We want you running around after us. Naturally we will have wrapped the first tentacle above around you last week and then follow-up with this one, pushing and pulling in order to maximise your confusion. Don’t even try to suggest we said last week that you have gained weight, you are just being awkward again.

3. You need to dress up

You are so exhausted through our manipulation of you that you rarely wear make-up anymore. It is too much effort and usually attracts some scathing comment if you do so. It is far easier to pull on those jogging bottoms and a sweat top, after all, there are so many chores to attend to, because we will not help, that you are best dressed this way for reasons of practicality. We will criticise you for appearing like this and remark how you once took pride in your appearance. This will be said to make you feel guilty for letting us down because you are our extension and you are expected to look immaculate when we want you to. You of course need to second guess when those occasions will be because you will often be caught between the pull of this tentacle and the next one.

4. You dress like a slut

You managed to order something online for that forthcoming night out. Usually any suggestion of you visiting the shops is met with annoyance and criticism by us. We remark about you spending too much time and money shopping. You needed this new outfit and it fits perfectly, elegant and classy, showing off your legs which you still remain proud of. You have spent time doing your hair and make-up and you smile with satisfaction as you look in the full-length mirror at how you still scrub up well. The smile disappears in an instant as we loom up behind you and ask you where do you think you are going dressed like that? We don’t want you going out and enjoying yourself. We do not want you commanding attention and therefore we wrap this tentacle about you and apply the pressure, denigrating your clothing choice, berating you for wearing “too much slap” and bandying words such as whore and slut around until the tears start to flow.

5. Hurry up

This tentacle will always make an appearance when you are doing something that you enjoy. If you are browsing in a shop, you will be castigated for walking too slowly and told to get a move on. If you stop to talk to some friends who you have bumped into one afternoon we will hover nearby coughing and harrumphing in order to unsettle you in front of those people before taking you by the arm and pulling you away, hissing at you that you are showing off. Whenever it involves you, you are wrenching the spotlight away from us and therefore your event needs to be over as quickly as possible. Expect early departures from parties where you are given more attention than us, from concerts when it is your favourite band playing and from family events where your supporters outnumber ours. The octopus’ tentacle will wrap around you and haul you away.

6. Stop rushing me

Naturally when it something we want to do or where the attention is on us then we can take as long as we like. It does not matter if we need to go and pick somebody up, reach the shops before they close or get back for dinner, it is our time in the spotlight and we are damned if you are going to cut it short. No matter how politely you may remind us that we need to be somewhere else you will always be cut down for trying to undermines us and rushing us. It will provide us with the basis for criticism, even though we have stood in the bar for an hour longer than necessary regaling our coterie with stories of our brilliance.

7. Shut up

Nothing you say has any value. Who are you anyway? You are nothing without me so shut up and listen. Do not dare to speak and point out my many faults and contradictions, you are not allowed to do that. You are not permitted your own voice or opinion, those are denied to you. Mine is the only voice that must be heard, strident and bragging. You are not allowed to defend yourself when I am wrongly accusing you of something. You are not allowed to talk when I am reading, flirting online, watching a television programme or staring into space as I plot my next move. Your silence is expected and when I tell you to shut up, you had better do it.

8. Well, say something

What’s wrong with you? Speak. Anybody would think that you are not allowed to say something. You stand there mute and idiotic. You are making me look stupid by not joining in with the conversation. This is my evening remember and you had better shine and sparkle so everyone realises how great I am by choosing you. Make them laugh, say something of note and don’t embarrass me. Make sure you speak highly of me and keep the praise going, laugh at my jokes, prompt the praise and fulfil your role as my number one cheerleader. Don’t ever stand there in silence when I am ruling the roost. What do you mean I just told you to be quiet? Don’t start with those games again, how many times have I warned you?


24 thoughts on “The Octopus of Contrariness”

  1. Hello HG,
    You did it again!!!! Another piece to the puzzle. I met my ex at the gym. She is the manager there and told me frequently I needed to eat more. Something else I never understood. I went to the gym to stay in shape not to eat more. She complimented many times about my physical appearance but then would turn it around. Always contradictory. One minute she loved me wearing short skirts and the next she wondered why I couldn’t just wear sweatpants. I really enjoyed that piece. 🍎

  2. O.M.G. 7 and 8 were switched to back and forth in a heated text exchange with JN (on his part), with being told to shut the f*ck up repeatedly then demanding an apolig

      1. I realized you were away. I wanted to write the post while it was fresh in my mind. You’ve seen many exchanges and I’m curious if you will denote a different undertone on one or both of our parts. I know you prefer NC. But I have not spent a year on here to stay silent if he reaches out. Lol If I’m Rocky, he’s Apollo Creed and you’re my Mick! I may not win the match, but I will go the distance! Lol

    1. *demanding an apology for insulting his character. I couldn’t even type it fast enough without getting texts of “you don’t know what to apologize for…” and “how hard is it to type yes or no that I deserve this.” “I’m so sick of how you to talk to me…” I reminded him I was pulling back and shutting up, why does he keep reaching out? Why did he even unblock me? He couldn’t answer those.
      Not feeling so crazy 2 days later, especially after reading this. I hope my silence now continues to annoy him and that I could care less about getting his attention now.

      1. he cannot answer the questions you pose because
        1. He does not really know;
        2. He feels no obligation to explain himself to you of all people.

        He keeps doing it because every time you answer him and thus his hoover succeeds because he is getting you to respond and invariably there is an argument.

  3. So true! 😉

    last ones I heard were, haha…:

    1) “you’re not in as good of shape as women around here”…ong, a total joke!

    2) “you’re not as good in bed as women around here”…lol now THAT’s *really* a total joke, lol…

    3) “i’ve never been with a woman who’s smarter than me”…lol, smh

    Still laughing…maybe he was talking about himself…?! 😉

  4. Ah, I know these well…confidence is so important in ignoring half of these… The other half is just child’s play… Want me to shut up? Or my favorite…close your mouth. I suppose y’all like to see women with open mouths…
    I know the anger of your kind when we steal the spotlight…of course the complements you receive about us fuel you enough to keep your anger at bay but not when another man has taken notice.
    I wonder how you choose if your mouthy but incredibly sweet fuel source is worthy of your fantical façade or if you’ve had enough of her stepping out of line. I know how mine handled each situation but I am not sure if you have more control than he.
    It’s unfortunate that I was able to read him better than he read himself in the end… If you continue your mundane game too long you become a broken record and that’s how YOU narcs become the discarded ones!

      1. I am too much of a free spirit to be caged. My wings are majestic and I enjoy spreading them often, if not my feathers start to fall off and I won’t be able to take flight. 🙁 NO MORE!

  5. Number 1 for sure. Narc said I needed to lose 10 lbs. I did put on 7 lbs from my normal healthy weight in 2015 as I had a double hip replacement. Left hip in March and the right in September. My life of being very physical stopped like hitting a freight train. All damage accelerated from running and skiing. To only put on only 7 lbs in the year of such surgeries was a feat in itself. ( The weight is gone. I am stronger than before. YEAH ME!)
    OH, he took this ball and ran with it for sure. Even used my scars, two posterior method scars about 4 inches long on each side in my hip area. At first, he would kiss them and then in the devalue stage; he asked if they would always be there.
    Battle scars as I see it. Shows I didn’t have a sedentary life and was always on the move. I will ski this year again for the first time since surgery.

  6. Nice writting, as always. I had to laugh when I read the first one because he tried to make “fat” jokes towards me, but since I weigh 110 lbs I just smile and say “ok”. He even said once “I can’t even make fat jokes, to get to you since you’re not even close.” Still didn’t stop him from trying. Shortly after that he took a pic of us together and followed it with the comment ” You look fat in this picture…. compared to me.” It seriously made me laugh not to mention I took it more as a compliment. What he doesn’t know and what I would never say, is that I am quite insecure about my weight just not the way he would expect. I actually struggle to keep weight on and I am probably judged more than a person who is over weight. Guess he’s got some learnin to do lol.

  7. True and true to 1 and 2. Horrendous. Cooking food v eating it. Cooking is fun. What is my secret ingredient in French Onion Soup? Can you guess correctly? Only if you can will I reveal. You get 3 guesses.

      1. I forgot to buy flour. I used to use it to deepen the soup so it wasn’t runny. So I had to improvise, adapt and overcome with what I had. It wasn’t cornstarch. It has a similar conistency to flour.

  8. 5, 6,7, and 8…. If he dared to touch weight, I would have slugged him (with my little hands lol) and left. He actually was not one to say things about weight, at least my most recent one. The first one said I put on weight while pregnant, behind my back to friends! WTH, there was a baby in there. And I gained the usual preg weight…shaking my head. No wonder so many women in this society, particularly women from traumatic histories, have, in addition to ptsd symptoms, but also eating/body image issues. Grrrrrrr….


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