In My Shoes

I always wake before you. This allows me to slip into the en suite and lock the door and deal with the horror of confronting another day without you seeing me endure this daily ritual.  Already I can feel the hunger rising as I stare at my reflection. Is this what I have become? The bleary-eyed, stubbled, exhausted creature that gazes unwaveringly back at me. No, I do not recognise that thing. How old it looks. The lips are thin, the hair thinning and clumped. Its shoulders rounded and slumped in resignation. I feel refreshed from a solid night’s sleep yet whatever is looking back at me does not accord with that feeling. The fear crawls across my skin and I rub at myself trying to dislodge that cold grip but it never works. The inner dread rises as I contemplate another day at the grindstone trying to piece together what I am, that long arduous task which never gets easier. In point of fact, the task becomes more difficult with each passing month as my advancing age screams at me about my mortality. How that banshee tortures me as she howls in my ears about my waning powers. I feel the tears welling as every injustice I have ever suffered is heaped on my shoulders by an uncaring and oblivious world. Does it not see my pain or does it just not care?
My mobile phone is clutched in my hand. I rarely let it leave my side and I place it on the counter besides the sink and then grip the counter as I continue to look at my reflection. My knuckles whiten as I fight the urge to scream at how empty I feel, how bereft I am and how this is so damn unfair. I try to wrench my gaze away but I cannot. I am entranced by what I see. I do not recognise this person. Where has that shock of white come from in the hair above the left temple? That is not me. Its skin looks dry as if it has been subjected to the dehydrating suction of some foul shade that visited in the night. The horror continues to escalate and it is only the chime of my ‘phone which breaks this terrible appreciation of the thing in the mirror.

Grateful for this interruption I shift my eyes to the ‘phone and see that a message has arrived from one of my coterie of admirers, Samantha. The pilot light inside of me flares into life and there is the slightest surge as the fuel begins to flow. I should wait until I have showered but the hunger is too great already and it must be addressed. I open the text message and like a starving man being given his first meal after fasting I devour the words of admiration.

“Good morning handsome, I missed you last night, I will call you when you are at work xxx”

The flame increases in size and strength as I close the message and smile .I turn on the shower letting the stream of water heat up as I flick to the texts that Samantha sent last night whilst I sat on the settee preoccupied with my activity of flitting between her texts and a conversation I was engaging in with a new prospect on facebook. I re-read a handful of the texts from Samantha with their declarations of admiration for me and I feel my strength returning. I put the phone down and step into the shower and relish the hot embrace of the jets of water. The fear has shrunk away and the dread sensation has been pushed back down. I liberally apply the shower gel, enjoying the sophisticated scent as I use a different product on my face, scrubbing away the dead cells and then another to cleanse and wash. I turn the taps and the water stops. I reach for a thick towel and pat my face dry feeling rejuvenated. As I stood beneath the purifying water my keen mind raced whilst I formed my machinations for the day. Always plotting and always scheming. The prospective fuel that will be garnered from the new sources that I am pursuing coupled with the dose of triangulation I will involve you in is causing me to feel excited and powerful. I pick up a bath sheet and admire the toned nature of my body as I dry myself and embark on the next stage of my preparation for the day by shaving and brushing my teeth.

A little while later my phone has chimed again and this time it is a colleague wanting to arrange lunch as he wants my advice since I am an expert on a particular topic he has to present on. The flame inside rises higher now and this spurs on my delinquent mind to consider additional ways to garner that oh so precious fuel during the day. The hunt for fuel is unending. The craven hunger that rumbles inside of me cries out for it and it is my sole preoccupation. The beast inside must be fed. Yet, now I am feeling strong. I haven’t applied my after shave and already two admirers have seen fit to worship at my altar and the games have not even yet to be played. But they will. I reach for the fragrance and splash it into my cupped hands and apply it to my neck as I look to the mirror. The handsome me has returned. The piercing blue eyes shine, the tousled, shiny locks of hair await the application of some wax to style them, the unblemished skin and close shave accentuate my chiselled good looks. I flash that winning smile as another surge of power flows through me. God I look good.

I return to the bedroom, ‘phone in hand and find you have now risen and I can hear the sounds of movement in the kitchen downstairs as you prepare breakfast as you always do. You will shortly bring me a mug of fresh coffee but I think I will complain that it is not hot enough and criticise you, just to see if I can provoke a reaction from you. It should not be too hard, I know precisely what to say. I notice the bed has not been made and rather than attend to it and help you, when you pass me my coffee with a ‘Good morning’ and a smile, I will cock my head towards the dishevelled heap and tut. Ah, yes, the master of games knows his stuff. I dress as another text arrives from another friend who wants to organise a golf game and asks for help with his swing, praising my technique. He is after more than assistance with his golf since he wants me to place work with him. He will have to provide me with more fuel yet to even be considered and of course, I will send the work elsewhere since there is someone who will give me something I want in return in a sweeter form and in larger amounts than my golfing chum. Still, the disappointment on his face will no doubt provide me with a hit too.

I can hear you coming up the stairs and I decide I will take a look in the full length mirror since I am fully attired to admire how elegant I look. I dress in a manner which says to anyone who meets me that the first move is mine. I stand and give a contented nod at my statuesque reflection. I look fantastic. I start to smile and then a bolt of anguish shoots through me as the craven creature that first lurked in the bathroom mirror appears. It is only for the briefest of instances but it causes me to exhale. My expensively-dressed self returns and the relief washes over me in an amazing way. The creature has gone again. He does that though. He likes to make fleeting appearances throughout my day to remind me that I must keep finding fuel. My quest for the potent fuel must be at the forefront of my mind at all times. As if on cue, you enter the bedroom, a veritable reservoir of fuel. You greet me as I cock my head to the unmade bed and tut. I feel the rush of power as your smile evaporates and you look crestfallen. The games have begun and my day is off to a great start. I only hope that creature stays away from me.

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69 thoughts on “In My Shoes”

  1. Hi HG, is this not prove that your way is not really working underneath the facade and that it is exhausting ? I know your response will be , I don’t know any other way !! However you must be able to see it or you couldn’t write this post ? Thank you Lisa

      1. I also think that maybe reading the “fuel” point of view responses to your posts, since it is unfiltered and not personal in your life, that may assist you somehow in stepping outside yourself and seeing the aftermath of the behaviors on others. My guess is that can trigger you into becoming even more aware of your own behaviors, and although perhaps not truly empathize with the casualties of it, bring it to consciousness, so you can alter it. Or, just teach you how to manipulate people better. Which is also a distinct possibility. Yikes. Haha.

  2. I’ve watched this ritual daily for over 10yrs. I know it well. I watch the mask change. The depth of the eyes quickly alternating between vapid dark vortexes, insatiable indescribable angry hunger, and illuminated ecstasy. I can see it. Feel it. I’ve always seen it. Felt it. I used to empathize, thinking it was based in my perception of genuine emotion. Now I know better. It is generated by genuine emotion, yes, absolutely, just not of the same origin as mine. Real, but foreign. Alien. Like it is real, but in a string theory parallel dimension coexisting with my own reality, that appears the same, but is just slightly “off”. It is haunting to watch now.

    1. Wow. They let you watch? Isn’t this their most vulnerable state? I would think they would want this phenomenon to only occur in private.

      1. He isn’t aware that I notice it usually. And after many years of being together, and other tactics not working, I think he allowed me to see it because he thought I would feel empathy for his pain, which I did. It worked. For many years. The only one I would and still only see quick flashes of when he thinks I wasn’t/am not watching, that he doesn’t realize I have seen, is the cold non-emotional envy/anger “dead eyes” one. It is quite chilling. Freaked me the fuck out first time I saw it. I don’t let him know I have seen/can see that one. I keep that info filed and to myself. I have learned his different mask, and unmasked, tells and patterns. Yeah. I still live with him. I have my reasons. But I see reality, not the illusion. I have mourned the illusion. I know there is no great and powerful Oz. Just the man behind the curtain.

      2. No judgement here DGMB. You are a strong person for weathering the storm and continuing on. Plus, you have been privy to something most have never witnessed. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Love- Thank you. Weathering the storm. Ha. A couple of years ago when the illusory relationship was ripped off like a horror movie, I pondered just walking away. But my financial situation made it complicated. I knew then it would never be the same, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what the problem was, I could just see the facts. I decided to stay and try to figure it out. One thing led to another, like we all do frantically searching the web for answers, and slowly linked it all together, through trial and error, one epiphany after another, and after a year I figured it out.

      As for being privy to what others have not witnessed, I think we all witness it. We just were witnessing it from our own perception with our deluded filters. HG is absolutely correct, they will actually tell you. And they are right. As our romantic delusion morphs into reality, we think THEY changed. They didn’t. They don’t change, their behaviors stay eerily the same, we were just privy to the love bombing, and not the devaluation, at the time. WE change as we begin to see the reality and not the illusion. They are masters of compartmentalization and “need to know” information.

      I think that my “priviness” is due to what I have been doing since then, and that is strategically figuring out my own life, what I want to do post narcapocalypse, while simultaneously still being in the relationship, sans filters, which allows me to see shit from a different perspective. I am studying the native in it’s own natural habitat, like an anthropologist, without disturbing it I guess one could say.

  3. Uncle Bob = just a strange, weird ol’ dude. Ol’ cranky. Captn Skeletor.

    Aging is esp. NOT flattering to the n-word (narcissist)

  4. What does happen as they age and retire? Do they get better and finally find peace or do they get worse?

    1. Hello Loren, it varies. Some become milder in their behaviour as they trade off the need for fuel (not completely though) for the other benefits which come from keeping someone close as one ages. Others fight against the injustice of their fading looks, dulling mind and such like by becoming even worse in the clamour for fuel to prop up the construct. Have a read of No Time For Time which is on the blog for more.

      1. It is true HG. My high end N- Father is old and is now a bit calm but still acquires beneficial fuel especially from my Empath sibling (only one turned out). My other siblings walk on egg shells to evade any negativity. As for me, we’re attached to the hip hop. He is less verbal now, more of a stare but the love bomb and devaluation of others remain the same though in a calmer state (maybe he is saving energy). From time to time, I still hear him snap at my codependent Mother in confidentiality after attending family events, engagements my visit in their home or when my codependent Mother doesn’t agree or tries to change my behaviour A very good point and question. Do you think you will be calmer as you age HG? Thank you for your reply just the same.

      2. I am always cam and serene Leilani, like a swan, imperious and graceful. I know that my powers will not diminish with age and therefore I can address it with full confidence. If anything causes me to become calm, I doubt it will be aging.

      3. What an attractive response HG, feeling like you pulled it out of me and may I ask if anything causes you to become calm, what would it be? Or would you prefer for me to just imagine..

  5. Mr. Tudor, I sense you are still young. But I understand how your beast cruelly distorts and transforms your image. I’m sorry you go through this. As I know from experience, nothing I can say will console or soothe you. But you being a male gives you the luxury of aging with distinction. I love men with salt and pepper colored hair, glasses that indicate their intelligence, and crowsfeet to show confidence… the years indicate they have so much experience and skills. Your magnetism and charm will only increase with time, and it will be effortless.

    1. Indeed Love and thankyou. I agree and maintain that aging will only enhance me when people ask what will happen as I lose my powers on aging.

  6. A freaky place in that strange mind

    It bored me f.r.e.e. 😉

    I prefer + enjoy being with someone normal, conversational, & funny — like, normal people ♡ 😀

  7. I don`t experience this, but I suspect that is because I am still young.

    I also find I get more irritated with others than myself – in that it is rare I get annoyed with the way I am wired and thus, the way I am forced to operate and interact with others.

    This made me shiver. And not in a good way.

    Send the creature to me HG. I`ll see he gets what he deserves for causing you such grief.

    1. B_E The monster is there when you are young too. It is just prettier. Just saying.
      I was 20 when I confronted the monster in the mirror. Young and scared to death. I realized I had been on a path of trying to destroy the monster but I was taking myself out with it. I stood in front of the mirror that day and was broken. I use to walk with my head down always looking at the ground. For years I did this. But this day I looked right at the empty person looking back at me and said to this reflection that I liked her. I said it over and over. “I like you”. Each time I did this my conviction and will to survive was real. Then as time went on I said “I love you” to her, to the beautiful female looking back at me. I did not stop being selfish and self-centered, my family still talks about how impossible I was through my twenties, but I chalk this up to being youthful and very popular and I had the world at my fingertips. Still, I told myself “I love you” all the time.

      The I had my children, three in four years and with my 3rd I went into post-partum depression. I was in therapy but had a husband who was not supportive in the least. He would say “just get over it”. My therapist asked me if I would hurt myself. I laughed and told him I think of it every day and told him of my plan of how and when it would happen but I would never as I have three babies who need me. His response was “It is the 30 seconds of desperation, 30 seconds of not thinking there is a way out, 30 seconds of pain that you think will not pass and it is in these 30 seconds that many fall to their own demise.” I became hysterical, I sobbed and sobbed. I realized that the woman I said I loved so much and fought for so hard was so close to ending herself. I jumped up and said I have to leave him. I did and here I am. (he use to call me and tell me I should just kill myself as I was no good for anyone)
      For two more years I fought the darkness without meds (I couldn’t handle them). I feel that each day I was working on rewiring my brain. I cried for 2-4 hours a day for months on end. But I am here right now telling this story. I have not written this out before and have only shared this verbally. WOW.
      This is a snapshot into my psyche, part of the journey of my life to bring me to who I am today.
      I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent, sexy as hell, woman. I tell her this every day. I become more beautiful with age.

      I AM AMAZING.

      This is just a brief writing on the journey of being me. My friends tease me and say it is a fulltime job to be AH OH. I am a powerful force with my monster beside me but I now have the control.

      1. I am glad you`ve made peace with the beast and I respect your perspective on your journey.

        In my case, I was made this way. I believe (and so to the head shrinkers) that I am the product of genetics and the environment I grew up in.

        It is interesting to note, of my siblings, I am the only female to turn out this way. The females are all empaths (minus me) and the males are all on the spectrum, some more than others.

        I don`t see the monster because that is not how I view myself. I`m not delusional, far from it – I know what I am and how I behave. But I have no interest in changing. That may change as I get older (perish the thought!), but right now, I plan to continue being the best me I can be *flashes winning smile*

        🙂

      2. When I say monster it is the metaphor of the ugly inside. I actually am a very beautiful woman. Erotic looking with high cheekbones and superb facial structure. This is what I am told anyway.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      3. 🙁 Ah Oh, this was tough to read ONLY because I see your emotional battle and it could have gone either way. I am glad you came out on the other side! 😀
        You ARE amazing and STRONG!!! <3

  8. And once upon a time I would’ve quickly made the bed or got another coffee, now I would say nothing and walk away ….

  9. What I gather from this article is you are frustrated at the way you are programmed . Part of you does not want to be this way . You do not want the void. You do not want the bad thoughts and you want to care but something will not allow you to ? The question is why are you so empty and what is the root cause of the void . If we can get to the root cause of this void we can find hope .

  10. Well damn! That must be why DN looked at me so angry and hurt when I suggested he try my eye cream around his eyes. I was not trying to be mean at all but as he has gotten older the crows feet have really peaked and my eye cream is amazing! Funny, less than a week later he told me my skin looked splotchy and my lips were wrinkley. I still have very full, non wrinkley lips so I thought at the time it was a joke…now I know not to bruise a narcs ego…lol

  11. AHHH… the most annoying part of our relationship!
    I remember always hearing about how he thought he looked horrible one moment and then (rightfully) self centered the next. I could never see what he complained about. Even when he made me cry or made me mad… he was still so gorgeous.
    Also, I remember when we first got together I found a drawing of him… he wouldn’t tell me who did it (I am sure he drew it) BUT it looked nothing like how I saw him, it was hideous. (No one else would disagree if they saw the picture.) I drew him a picture of the two of us… I showed him how beautiful he really was.
    It is all a perception. If we all stare at ourselves in the mirror long enough we will start to see flaws of all sorts, even ones that aren’t there.

    1. DC, call it our gift or our curse, but we see the world in its beauty. If you are a kind gentle soul, you do not scrutinize your own or another’s appearence. The people we love are beautiful to us, flaws and all. You can pick any person on this planet, and I will find a lovely feature on them. How sad that they see monsters, when we see the beauty of God’s creation (whichever God you believe in, or if you dont, then the beauty of spontaneous creation). They have tried to tear me down… Projecting that self hate towards me, picking me apart. Those words wound, but my appreciation for the exquisite masterpiece that is all living things trumps any of their negativity. Its a shame they cannot see beyond themselves. This world is so vast. Open your eyes.

      1. Love! Yes! There is ugliness in this world but I choose to see the light. Whatever I surround myself with is beautiful… even when it isn’t so seemingly. The one thing I give my exN is that he never tore my looks apart… But what he thought he could tear apart…he never could. My mind was always too strong for his words. Call me wonder woman… I suspect you are from my same Amazon tribe! 😉

      2. Thank you DC ☺ I would be honored to be part of the same tribe as such a strong loving woman.

  12. When I was at the point of being so upset and feeling like he always seemed to get whatever he wanted… A friend who had gone through a relationship with a narc told me to describe him. I remember picturing him standing in the kitchen with his fists clenched always mad! I described the glare and the ever present anger. I remember one time asking him if we could just go somewhere where when we get there we don’t have to go somewhere else! He was always in motion having to go
    Somewhere. He could not wake up on a Saturday morning and ease into the day! He had to go somewhere. Your right.. He always got up before me and he would always wake me up when he didn’t have to!

    I would never want to live a day being him when I think about! He drank to stop the torment he felt! Alcohol is called spirits for a reason! ! Do you believe in The God described in The Bible? Do you believe in Satan and demons?

  13. Oh it’s a bitch, that first thing in the morning look at ourself in the mirror…the “is that a wrinkle”? and “that gray hair wasn’t there yesterday,” AND THEN I put my contact lenses in and I see clearly that oh yes, that IS a wrinkle (because I’m 39, not 29), but my phone goes everywhere I go because my Facebook friends will “Like” the photo I posted of last night’s look this morning…someone I was talking to last night will text me, I’ll get an important e-mail from someone needing my input on a project…my phone goes wherever I go because its buzzing and pinging makes me feel oh so important.

  14. HG,
    Does the creature appear because you really have low self esteem? The facade or construct is made to mask that feeling of non existence or emptiness brought on by being made to feel not good enough or worthless? Your overconfident portrayal is to be continually fed so feeling of unworth cannot get through and someone might see what you believe to be your true self? Nothing? Empty? Please don’t get offended. I am simply trying to understand your thought process. Thank you.

    1. Hello FTW, I do not have low self-esteem. The creature appears when my fuel is running low and it is allowed to make itself heard because it is breaking through the construct. The construct is there to protect me from the creature and its wretchedness. This creature is never going to defeat me. I am not offended by your observations and questions, I appreciate you are trying to understand.

      1. Thank you. But why does the fuel run low? Isn’t it because enough external esteem from others is not holding you together? Your internal esteem is occupied by a dark creature. It was built by abuse and trying to reach an unreachable approval. So no internal self esteem, just a pretend confidence, no? I’m saying that the creature is a feeling of underlying emptiness created by abuse. The facade or fake personality you’ve built as a confident capable person crumbles went not consistently praised. However, you really are the person you portray because you are all the things you portray yourself to be, but do not deep down believe it yourself. You believe your inside is a monster. It is simply unaddressed issues that blew your self esteem to bits as a boy, yes? Creature was created by abuse. It is held inside by external approval instead of internal self approval, yes? Your thoughts please.

      2. The fuel runs low because we are not being provided it from the relevant sources. Yes, external approval keeps the construct in place rather than internal self approval. This construct then acquires traits which then gains more fuel and keeps the creature imprisoned.

      3. You don’t need approval from others to be amazing . Who cares what they think ? You are your own person and your satisfaction should not depend on the complements and flattery of others . It should depend on how much love you have in your life . Love without abuse . You don’t have to abuse others to keep this creature in check . Maybe you need to detox yourself from fuel and see what happens and realize that it is not the end of the world and you will be ok and people will still care about you .

  15. Thank you for writing this! I now understand why my mornings were filled with so much anxiety and trepidation. It was as if he was a different person, so distant and cold. I was on edge, not knowing what this day would bring. Would I see him again? Was he done with me? How can I make his morning better, so he returns to the loving man he was last night?
    Now my mornings are filled with music as I watch the sun rise above the mountain. I see the river shimmer like diamonds, while the sky is painted in pink and purple hues. It is glorious and I’m humbled and incredibly grateful to be part of this magnificent existence.

  16. I see my monster in the mirror. I see the years coming at me more rapid with each day. They no longer creep up on me but slap me in the face each morning. This is why I have my plastic surgeon, hairdresser, massage therapist, life coach, therapist, manicurist, trainer all on speed dial.
    To hell with the monster, I am going down fighting.

    I play the role of John Wayne and say “get the hell out of here Monster.”

    Not to make light of your plight.
    I am sorry for the torture you can not control. I have educated myself with this infliction for many months now, and from what I understand, it gets worse.

  17. So. That is the dark world of the mind of a monster.
    The constantcy of the battle must be tiring.
    A peaceful mind IS powerful.

    This was very interesting and helpful for me right now in my journey out of darkness.

  18. Mr Tudor….
    i would just looove to know: “Killer Queen” from theeeee most Genius Mr. Mercury AAAnd: Sinead o” Connor…”nothing compares to u”….are those Songs….songs, which would appeal to a Narc?…does my question make sense?…same as;”you were always on my mind”..Elvis & etc. Love your explanations in my newsletters… 🙁 am unable to get hold of your books in Germany!…
    many people cant get hold of your books…..etc. such a pity! many greetings to you!

    1. Hello Conny, yes they would be songs which our kind would use in seduction. All of my books are available at amazon.de and you can organise paperbacks too. Ask Nikita (who posts here), she orders from Germany.

      1. I have never responded to a blog or left a comment on any kind of internet site but being a victim of a narc for the first time and it will be the last time.. I feel compelled to contribute. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that he wasn’t quite right…something was off. Unfortunately being the “super empath” I stuck around longer than I should have. in the end….I escaped. I didn’t realize he was a narc…greater one at that until months after I left. I came across this blog and honestly I am fascinated and intrigued by it. My goodness HG…do you ever read the comments to your blog’s and think just how ignorant they are…..still?

      2. Hello Kim, welcome on board and thanks for posting. I read all the comments posted here and there is a fascinating variance. There are those who now understand thanks to the work I have produced, there are those who understand pretty well but want to understand my perspective as well to complement their extensive reading and learning, others are trying to understand and are clearly caught in the emotional sea still and thus struggle to achieve the understanding (although it will come if they keep reading) and others are utterly confused. I do not judge anybody for their ignorance simply because that is precisely what we want and set out to achieve. Nobody ever gets entangled and thinks, “Hang on, I am with a narcissist” they think “Whats wrong with him/her?” “He is hurting me, why?” “He is an arsehole” “She is a control freak” “He is an alcoholic” and so on. The enlightenment comes down the line but when it does, it starts to seem so obvious even though the understanding may still take some time to achieve. Narcissism is such a huge topic, it has so many facets and effects that there is much to learn about it. Indeed, I still have a massive amount of information to convey based on my experiences as a narcissistic sociopath, the behaviours of my kind as a whole and my ongoing work with the good doctors. I do hope you will stick around and continue to contribute. How has your escape been going? What made you realise what he was? What caused you to escape?

    2. Fragen über Fragen: kommt es dir wirklich so vor, als hätten diese Menschen einen Hang dazu Lieder zu mögen, die über Liebe sprechen?
      Nothing compares to you? Wirklich? Lies dir mal “Alles Gute” von Faber an. DAS Lied beschreibt einen Narzissten wie Bilderbuch. Es ist so traurig!
      Und was Elvis angeht, dann eher Suspicious Minds. “Oh let our love survive. I’ll dry the tears from your eyes. Let’s don’t let a good thing die. Cause honey you know I’d never lie to you.”

      Mein Narc hat sowas ständig gesagt.

  19. I wanted to know how you started the day and when I read this I felt your agony that you have every morning. I can feel how the fuel slowly starts taking it away and how you amost transform into another person. ( I don’t intend for that to be mean or a criticism ) You can feel your burden and pain being lifted. So much happens in just one morning for you. Have you shared this with the doctors? Have they been able to help you with this routine at all?

    1. Hello SW, no I know it is not a criticism, thank you. Yes I have shared this with the good doctors and more besides. They have explained that they see the answer as gaining fuel internally rather than externally and this is a lengthy process to achieve, if it can be achieved at all.

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