The Sense of Loss

the-sense-of-loss

People always struggle with loss. It might be at the top of the scale where you have suffered a bereavement and lost a well-loved family member. It could be the loss of your home where you have lived for twenty years, owing to damage or repossession. It may be the loss of your job, a loss of good health all the way down to something far less important but a loss never the same, of your favourite restaurant when it closes or your daily caffeine injection from a coffee shop because you are economising. Take something away from someone and they will experience sadness, frustration, upset, anger and sometimes confusion. Since people are governed by emotions rather than cool, hard logic, the loss of something often has a devastating and traumatic effect, especially in respect of major losses such as a spouse or partner. Once upon  a time your parents seemed as if they would live forever. They were always there. They raised you, guided you and supported you. They let you find your own way through life but if ever you needed them they were always there to listen and help and then one day you find they have gone and you are left with a huge black hole in your life. Your best friend who you have known for over twenty-five years was a huge part of your life. You spoke daily, laughed about your younger selves and the scrapes you got into, supported one another and cruised through life like the dynamic duo until they have gone and you feel a massive void since their departure to the next life or another continent, dependent on the circumstances. Remove something from a person’s life and they are left with hurt, despondency and despair. This is all the more so when it is something or someone wonderful and delightful. Then the emptiness becomes a howling wilderness.

Of course we are fully aware of how loss affects people from our repeated study of people. We also know that being able to gift someone something wonderful and then remove it, is a sign of considerable power. A power that can be wielded with considerable effects. The power of withdrawal,even if just threatened, can bring about an extreme reaction in the subject. This is something we are fully aware of and something which we take advantage of.

We gave you everything in the beginning. We provided you with a love beyond compare, a dizzying array of compliments, a barrage of desire and a tsunami of flattery. We raised you up, higher and higher and sprayed you with affection, passion and generosity. The light was bright, warm and golden and we let it shine every day just for you. We allowed you to bask in this golden period of utter ecstasy and in return you gave us everything that you had in pursuit of the maintenance of this golden period. Without warning we withdrew it. The door was closed and the shutters lowered and once where you had walked happily and freely you too found yourself transported to the howling wilderness where you stood alone beneath grey, leaden skies as a cold and unforgiving wind whipped around you. It felt like someone had died.

Whereas once we uttered such sweet, sweet words to you, there is now only silence. The reassuring embrace of our arms and lips has somehow vanished and you feel stripped and vulnerable. All of the places we took you to and shared seem so distant and you begin to wonder whether they really happened. Alone and distraught,you wander this wilderness searching for us. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of us but in an instant we have disappeared as you stumble along. The kindness has been removed. The long nights of sexual congress which went beyond anything you have experienced before has been taken away, leaving your bed a cold,hard slab where rest is to be endured rather than enjoyed. If we even grace you with our presence in that place where we once coupled each and every night, a writhing mass of limbs and mouths that explored and pleasured, all you know now is our back which is defiantly presented to you each night. That’s if we even come to bed at all. The spare room or the sofa seem to attract us more than you these days.

We know that taking away this passion, desire, interest, largesse and kindness is like a hammer blow. It is as if we have died but yet you can still see us, touch us and hear us which makes the sense of loss even greater and all the more confusing. Like a pet-owner dangling a bone in front of a salivating puppy, we occasionally open the shutters and allow the golden period to return and the joy and the relief which washes over you at the restoration of his oh most glorious time is electrifying and so is the extent of your gratitude and delight. Yet it is ephemeral. It is like a wonderful dream that has transported you away from all the hurt and misery, but just like a dream when you open your eyes in the morning, it has gone.

The power that comes with withdrawal and your predictable reaction to it, mean that it is a method of manipulation that cannot be ignored. To bestow and then deny has you caught in the strings of our puppetry as we jerk you back and forth between granting those things that you desire the most and then taking them away from you. Your reactions and the control this grants us means that it is so simple yet so effective and something we can never withdraw from doing.

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50 thoughts on “The Sense of Loss”

  1. Trauma bonding. I know it all too well. I am not even 3 months free so mine are still quite tight but loosening a little more with each day of no contact. The weekend nights are the worst. I am glad it is Sunday and a dazzling, warm one at that. I took the dog for a long walk and managed to not be fearful that my ex would “happen” past us as we walked and just let myself be lost in the soft whisper of the pines and calling birds, already hot into mating season here. Today is one month no contact. I need more healing before I can face him or deal with a hoover attempt. Coming here helps, immensely. Thanks again, HG for a needed service.

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  2. It all makes so much sense and yet he claims ‘he did it for me, to shelter me from his illness’! Does that mean he just says it to keep the door open for him to come back in at a later time… when he feels like it ( read: when his fuel supply is low)?

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  3. HG, can you also validate another interesting pattern I’ve noticed among Your Kind and that is after they do the takeaway and we do not respond with the hoped-for fuel, indeed we say absolutely nothing, the narc comes around to get it. It’s as though they plant the withdrawal, hide behind a bush waiting to see your reaction and when there isn’t any it pisses them off and they have to ring you up to see what the hell happened. Am I correct in this assumption/pattern? Also, other than being nonreactive to the takeaway is there anything I could add to it to further erode their attempted power rush?

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  4. Hi HG,

    First time here. 
    Buying “Sex & The Narcissist” today. 

    Thank you for turning our confusion into literature, with such finesse. Yet, you can’t feel love. You’re like a blind person accurately describing a landscape in minute details. Amazing! That’s why your blog is so addictive.

    If I may ask:

    1. Do you at least “like” your primary source? Do the laughs and great conversations you both share mean nothing at all? 
    “Loathing” is such a hard word for us to read.

    2. What is your average relationship duration between seduction until discard? Three to six months?

    Thank you. 

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    1. Hello Ballerina9, thank you for reading.

      1. I like the fuel.

      2. I have not calculated an average but I would say it is longer than the period you have suggested, probably nearer to 9 months. I shall have to work it out.

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  5. HG, can you also validate a pattern amongst your kind that I’ve noticed and that is after the narc has administered the takeaway and you do not react to it as he hoped, in fact you do not react at all, the narc then contacts you looking to get the reaction you deprived him of? Also wondering when that call does come, other than using a gray rock response is there anything else we could do to piss him off ?

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      1. yours of course. of course you know that you are not normal (the majority of the population). why are you like that? it’s always about winning but where does that come from? what fkc up your makeup? how did you get there?

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      2. Of course I am not normal, I wear that as a badge of honour. I am like this because I have to be this way in order to preserve my existence. What caused me to act in this manner? This continues to be the source of debate. I take the view that I had a genetic predisposition to this behaviour and this was ‘activated’ by what I endured with during childhood. The need to win comes from the need to survive.

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      3. HG, I have 2 sisters like you. We met so many boyfriends of one of them, that we didn’t even acknowledge their presence. She called them all Chérie (we’re French) so that she would not get mixed up with names. The other one (the eldest) is all about winning at ANY cost. Absolutely no conscience! I guess you guys are not concerned about ascension and getting out of this prison planet.

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  6. Nightmare…never saw it coming…25 years Never knew what narcissism was until i found it on this site..Signs were always there.
    It’s going to hurt,but I have to move on. Dont know how….The mental anguish is devastating.Silent treatment,blame,degrading..etc.Now left with bills,bad credit,home that need major repairs and a mind that’s so lost..Can’t believe one could be so cruel.I dont see it but I pray that my days get better..

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  7. Funny how the right article pops up every time. It’s like you’re inside my head.
    Been feeling the loss immensely today. Weekends are bad, all alone with my thoughts. The day is just dragging. Never thought I would want the weekends to be over quickly and to be glad for Monday and work.

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    1. Hello ANK,
      I know exactly how that feels. There are days when the loss feels overwhelming and you just want the hours to pass so that you can go to sleep. I felt paralyzed on some of those days and I went from pacing the house to just laying on the couch. I had no purpose.
      I had zero motivation. It has taken me 10 months since I left my ex for me to find reasons to get up and out of the house.
      Do you like to read?
      Reading HGs’ books was the only that I accomplished for many months. They helped me pass the time.
      The feeling I felt from being without my ex was excruciating and like no other that I felt and I am still going through the grief stages. I just talked about this in therapy with my counselor.
      It takes a lot of time for some people.
      Take all the time to do whatever you want. If you want to cry, then cry.
      If you want to lay around, then do that.
      You will pick yourself up when you are ready.
      Sending you many hugs❤️🍎❤️🍎❤️

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      1. Snow White,

        How kind you are.

        You’ve just described my weekend. It’s been the worst so far. I spent most of it on the couch, just lying there yet agitated that time was going too slow. The TV was on all day for some form of distraction. Messaged some friends for a bit hoping someone would reply to make me feel less alone.

        Yesterday just dragged, every time I looked at the clock the time just did seem to have moved on much, and in the evening checking to see if it was time to go bed yet….. Ended up going to bed at 8.30 pm, just wanted to sleep to sink into oblivion!

        Like you I have no motivation to do anything. Work gets me up and out during the week.

        I have no desire to read at the moment, although I have bought HG’s books Fuel, Sitting Target and Sex and the Narcissist. Read them all already. May be I will attempt to pick up another book or read these again to familiarize myself more with Narc behaviour.

        I started counselling. Second session this evening. At least the counsellor will listen and hopefully understand. Friends don’t really get it.

        So glad you are getting there, despite the pain. Still a ways to go I imagine?

        All good wishes
        ANK

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    2. Don’t know how long since you cut bonds with your narc but in my case the first year I also preferred the working days. Now I enjoy my weekends, I actually enjoy every single day, even the bad ones;)
      Time cures everything and in no time he will be a distant memory if a mistake that made you realise you had to change some things about yourself and you won’t blame yourself for being so stupid to fall in the trap with the understanding that knowledge provides.
      Everything happens for a reason and I’m sure in time we all find ours.
      Take care:)

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      1. Me,

        The bonds haven’t been fully severed yet.

        Last contact was a week and half ago. Need to stick to no contact, but the temptation is always there. Previous to that managed two week with NC. This time hopefully I can be strong and go NC full stop.

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      2. Exactly how I feel. I needed this lesson and I guess that at 62, it’s never too late to learn. I know, I will never fall for that BS again. Today is another Narc free day! Yeah!

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    3. Hi ANK! I have been free for 11 months now (no hoovers) and one thing I do that helps relieve the lonely weekend hours, it’s to hear meditation/relaxation music playing in the background. I listen to it while reading, while washing dishes, while doing anything other than watching Tv. It really does wonders in a way that you can’t even imagine and my suggestion to you would be to give it a try. I subscribed to Pandora so I could have constant music playing and I also purchased a small portable speaker ($15 U.S.) so I could hear the music anywhere in my home. Dealing with the type of loss we’ve dealt with is excruciatingly painful and the music really does help to revive your soul.

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      1. Hi Braveheart,

        Not been on here for a while. Work has kept me busy and tired which I guess is a good thing.

        He has hoovered – texting more frequently and no longer blocks me (I know I should be NC). Guess he’s worked out you don’t have to avoid the new IPPS knowing that you’re texting another woman. He wants to be intimate with me again but I have been strong.

        I have been spending time at weekends with a friend and have been having counselling. It is all helping. However on the occasions I have seen him at work I feel that he is still lying. Yesterday was a good ex example of him probably lying and it irked me, made me feel crap again and asking myself why does he bother lying when I know what he’s up to????

        I have to keep reminding myself not to take anything he says at face value, to question if it is the truth, so I don’t get sucked in with the hoovers.

        Time is our saviour.

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  8. No, HG, a normal loss is different. When you loose someone who was friendly and a loving person, you feel sorrow. You are sad, confused, maybe you have a depression. That is all normal. You need time to handle it. You will cry a lot . Then you start to think about the good times you had with this person and you worship God or whatever that you could have this special time with this special person. You are thankful,that you met this person , that this person belonged to your life. You and your kind leave us with horror in our minds. We should be bonded by trauma. That is what you want and that is what you probably experienced in your childhood. And you and your kind hate the feeling of being bonded to those persons. When we really leave you, let you alone in your misery, you cannot understand that. It must work. It worked on you. So you do nearly everything to hold contact. Trauma bonding must work. We are not allowed to forget you. Yesterday I saw a film about men and women in jail, who were member of a gang. They all look for a place to belong to. They said that family members can let you down, but never the gang. If someone tries to leave the gang he will be punished. There is no escape.
    They replaced their family by a gang. The gang is loyal to them all time. To belong to the gang they all suffered violence by the gang, did crimes, but were happy. You HG, create your own gang. Even you need other people. And sometimes I have the suspicion, that , when you start to like or to bind to someone you start with your bad behavior. It is just the opposite behaviour of normal people. When you notice their is some kind of bonding on your site you punish your object or toy, because it becomes a subject to you. And that is the most fear you have. We have to be objects, puppets or playthings. Otherwise you cannot handle it. And you have to replace it soon.

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  9. Losing my dad last year was terrible but “losing” my narc after 17 years is utterly devastating. I am 3 weeks no contact.
    I have a question HG: My narc didn’t come to my dads funeral (he went to Hawaii- we live in Switzerland…) Why didn’t he come to the funeral? Wouldn’t there have been so much fuel for him? Or did it give him more fuel leaving me alone like this?

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    1. He did not come because the funeral was about somebody else and not him. He felt that he gained more fuel abandoning you. Some of our kind use the funeral to gain fuel, others avoid it because it is not about them and also some of our kind do not like to be reminded about our mortality.

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      1. My eldest sister, the NARC, is afraid of dying. The last time she said so, I told her that the devil was waiting for her in HELL. She hasn’t spoken to me since. Didn’t know it was that easy to get rid of her.

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  10. I threw my Narc out the end of October because of his online activities (he had been warned many times). We’d been together 11 months and devaluation had not started, probably because I was financially supporting him. He is a somatic greater, and very scheming. Within three weeks he had snared a new primary source, but he kept this a secret from me until recently (I’ve known since Xmas). I allowed him to come by every couple of weeks until the beginning of December and then cut things off.
    Three days before Xmas he did a hoover version of the dangling bone trick to me: he called saying he desperately needed to see me, arrived full of apologies and proclamations of love, stayed the night and then left quickly, no further communication. I contacted him two days later to find out what was going on with him. He happily agreed to meet and told me he needed to work on himself alone because he’d hurt me too often in the relationship. The next day I realized that the visit was to suck me in so HE could discard me! I called him on this and on all the lies he’d told me (he was stunned that I’d seen through him), and I blocked him everywhere.
    Early in the morning two weeks ago he showed up at my door with a fake crazy story that he was leaving the country in two days – so I let him in. He immediately started apologizing and begging for forgiveness. I asked why he was doing this because I’d told him before that I forgave him. Then the proclamations of love, that I’d been the best thing in his life, yadda yadda yadda. He asked twice if I would take him back and I said no. He was extremely loving the entire visit, and I was very kind to him, but I knew something was up. Right before leaving he told me he was soon going to get involved with someone (lie, he’s still with the same woman from November). We did communicate the next day and he kept saying we’re now “over” because I wouldn’t take him back. I realized it was same trick! Shows up all loving only for the sake of dumping me – but 3 months after I dumped him! It’s so crazy. The idiot actually fully expected that I’d say I wanted him back, and then he would have really delighted in telling me it’s “over” because he has a girlfriend (now fiancée). I suppose this goes into the category of malign hoover.
    I called him on all the lies and the trick and told him to stop coming by with his bullshit and to get a life. He then offered to have an open relationship – “just for you” (!!!). I laughed at him, told him to keep dreaming and leave me alone. I haven’t reblocked him on Viber because I don’t want him showing up unannounced at my door again. But on Valentine’s Day he texted me at 8 a.m. to wish me a happy day. When I didn’t respond he wrote at 7 p.m. asking me out for dinner. I only answered because I didn’t want him showing up – I said I was going out with someone else and to stay where he was and make his girlfriend happy. I haven’t heard from him since.
    HG, is this guy going to keep pulling these nasty tricks on me? I’m quite sure that he’s still in the golden period with the new woman and he really has no intention of trying to get me back. He’s only marrying her for permanent residency in the country. If he is pulling these tricks on me when he’s satisfied with her, what will happen when problems start with them? From my experience with him, problems start around 6 months.

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  11. I am freshly abandoned in discard number 7 by my narc. This one is more final with a one month of not seeing each other. He seems to experience no remorse or loss. We had a trip planned that the promised to be at and then just a few short hours before the flight, shared that he wouldn’t be coming. I find myself trying to contact him and he has blocked me on all avenues. So I now have a forced no contact. He is a Greater per your definitions. I don’t believe a hover will ever happen and I know he has already been out on a date. How is it that he experiences no loss and such an easy transition after being so cruel. The devaluation happened over two years and yes. I will die trying for the golden period. I have educated myself but still cannot step away. So I don’t think no contact is possible.

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  12. This does not work for any prolonged period of time because she will go numb… and soon enough, she will not respond to your temptations. That’s when your stupid game backfires.

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  13. It is just like the death of a loved one..
    And what makes it feel worse is the realisation that that loved one never really existed in the first place.

    It is that realisation (that he was a carefully constructed mirage) that finally freed me to escape.

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      1. Good stuff, keep it up! Just stop calling him “your narc”. He is just “the narc”. I think I’m around a year of no contact too, although he has tried to hoover several times and his new fiancee has also gotten in touch.

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