I Cannot Do This Anymore

i-cannot-do-this-anymore

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 your, 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 occasion 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.

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18 thoughts on “I Cannot Do This Anymore”

  1. “I can’t”, my mother says…doesn’t matter if she’s talking about my drinking problem or my father’s playing the TV too loud or her manicurist sassing her in Korean. Doesn’t matter that my drinking problem nearly killed ME, she can’t deal with it (and she’ll tell you that’s why she forced me to quit drinking). Doesn’t matter that my father plays the TV so loud in the first place because SHE NEVER STOPS TALKING AT HIM and he can’t hear the TV over her, she can’t stand the blaring TV & that’s why she hid the remote. Doesn’t matter her manicurist sasses her in Korean because she refuses to put her goddamn cell phone down while having her nails painted, she can’t deal with it, and that’s why she had the girl fired.

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  2. I want to throw up reading this because it’s so dead-on. Except it was never for a “long time” that she seemed like she could be a good person.. it was on very short terms.. but always showing her true colors when we would talk about “other people”. She is one cruel person.

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  3. Heavens to Betsey! How exhausting all this manipulation must be for you poor dears. No wonder you need fuel. Sheesh

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  4. Will the mid-ranger return after saying this? He did suffer a major narcistic injury in December from his lover…

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      1. My ex-midranger said he does not hoover. He claimed he never did. Can this be possible if my fuel was top quality? He did not get his fuel after declaring that he can not do this any longer with me because by then I have realised what he is. I made it clear that for me we are over. It took me a long time to figure out that his selfplay is significantly influencing our time together. His performance became so-so. He seems to be under big stress at work currently. To ease this he uses selfplay even during office hours. But why does he do it couple of hours before he knows we will meet? Knowing this do you still think he will hoover if the trigger and the execution criteria are met? Will he move on or will he keep to himself until his wound is healed? I am trying to find answers in order to move on. Looking forward to reading your book on this matter, but until then if you could shed some light on this would greatly help. Thanks

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  5. “This is a great way of controlling you by threatening you with the loss of me…”

    The loss of you would not be a loss to her at all, not after all the abuse she suffered at your hands. That’s the gap in your logic.

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  6. This was the whole theme of my relationship.
    I can still see her long face and sad eyes when she said this a million times. I felt the anxiety immediatey when she said this or texted it to me. I really believed she was leaving every time.
    I followed with a series of the regular questions and statements:
    “Why”
    “What happened”
    “Are you ok”
    ” I can help you”
    “Please don’t leave”
    “I love you”
    It was a downward spiral and I got myself in the maze and couldn’t get out.
    “The loss of me” was a huge trap and I wished I had this insight earlier. She even contacted my friend after everything ended and told her she would be invited to her bonfire when she moved away at the end of the year.

    This article was sooooo accurate and no one else would be able to understand how that one saying can mean soo much.

    What’s ironic is that all the times that she made me believe that she was leaving she never ever was, just like you say.
    I was the one to leave but she still had “GUILT” in her toolkit. She set that up for me from day one just in case.
    I feel many emotions thinking about how this played out.

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  7. Two or three times he said ‘maybe we should stop seeing each other’ if we would disagree strongly on something involving the relationship. But i would end with ‘let’s form a solution we’re both happy with because i don’t want to lose you.’
    I think this caught on, because then he would start saying that too. For example, after being silent for a few days, he would apologize and tell me that he doesn’t want to lose me.

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    1. Hi PANA,
      How are you?
      I heard those exact same words many times. It was the “trap” of losing her that got me every time. I would always ask “why”? In my mind there was nothing wrong but she loved that game. She said she didn’t want to lose and was afraid. Then we would make up and it was a big production of her claiming how much she loved me.

      How are things going right now?

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      1. Hi Snow, yes indeed we were fearful of losing them. You seem just as sensitive as i am.
        Right now, i don’t text my ex. He texts me at least every wk, or more often some weeks. I don’t run to my phone like i used to. His effect on me is slowly decreasing. He has accepted that he’s a narc, and admits that his ‘miscalculations’ of how to handle our relationship eventually led to it’s downfall, some consequences, and his subsequent depression. His acceptance has surprisingly reduced his depression somewhat. Now i don’t feel so obliged to provide him with fuel (non sexual) since he’s doing better. Thx for asking.

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      2. Hi PANA,
        Sometimes it’s not that great being that sensitive. My eyes cry like a river some days and I wish I had a switch for them. Like HG says, you can’t change who you are.
        Those sound like all positive improvements. Congratulations. Not getting all the communication that you once did is hard. Mine was 24/7 and it was a painful withdrawal.
        One day at a time!!! ❤️🍎❤️

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