Shifting Sands


You feel like you are trying to deal with an opponent that always seems to be one step ahead. It is like trying to tie down a vapour or stop the tide from advancing and engulfing your sand castle. No matter what you do, we always seem to have a way of squirming free, walking away and carrying on as normal. It is like trying to fight a battle with a rusty and nicked sword and one hand tied behind your back. It is akin to those dreams where you try to run but find you cannot move. You try to scream but no sound come from your throat. Every move you make appears to have been anticipated. You play a full house in poker and I produce a royal flush but where did that extra king appear from? I always have something up my sleeve. You are chasing the end of the rainbow but it always keeps shifting, just a little bit further away. You are getting nearer, closing on your goal and then it moves again. You think you have mastered the rules and then we introduce a new one which suits our purposes.

          Last week we complimented the steak pie that you made. Our praise was effusive and it was a delightful hiatus in the otherwise unpleasant treatment you had been receiving. You decide to play this winning hand again and proudly place it in the centre of the table only to be met with a sigh and a roll of the eyes.

“What’s the matter? You loved the steak pie I made last week.”

“I don’t want to eat steak pie.”

“Why what’s wrong?”

“Why must there always be something wrong. I do not want steak pie.”

“But you did last week?”

“That was then and this is now.”

Cue scathing put downs and storming from the table leaving you bewildered and upset. You don’t make steak pie again only to be scolded the following week.

“What’s happened to the steak pie? Why have you stopped making it when you know that it is my favourite?”

You dress up to the nines and you are called slutty. You dress down and you are upbraided for not putting the effort in. You try to cuddle us in the night and an elbow is jabbed into your chest because you are making us too hot. Two hours later we wake you up and ask you why you stopped hugging us. We tell you that we will be in by seven and then appear at nine. You are forbidden from questioning us about this. You are not entitled to do so. We do as we please. You buy an expensive gift for our birthday and you are told that it is not as good as last year. The following year you really push the boat out to be told you have spent too much and we just wanted something simple. You re-decorate and select a rich chocolate brown. We declare it to be the wrong shade and point to a colour that looks no different. We will not let the matter rest until you have changed it. Once applied it appears the same. We declare we want to go out for dinner and you get ready only for us to decide we would rather stay in and watch sport.

          Whatever you do it is always wrong, never correct, not good enough and an erroneous choice. No matter how many times you ask what we want, you still make the wrong choice. You suggest that we do it ourselves and you are accused of not caring. You confirm you will deal with it and you are a control freak who will not allow us to breathe on our own. Whatever you decide to do or say we will find a way of twisting it around so it suits us. Our logic seems entirely warped to you but to us it makes perfect sense because the only logic we adhere is that which means whatever we say is right, even when we show rank hypocrisy or we contradict ourselves. We can reason away every contradiction you point out to us and if you somehow back us into a corner then we will just accuse you of badgering us, change the subject or walk away. In our minds we win every single time.

          We cast you aside telling you that you have let yourself go and we cannot be with you. You see us the next week and we are with someone less attractive than you, carrying more weight and who holds down a job less prestigious that yours. You cannot comprehend why we let you go and chose her instead, especially after what we said. You stare open-mouthed and scratch your head. To us we win again because we have acquired someone new whose fuel is better than anything you have ever provided and in addition we have got to you, so you pour out the negative fuel. If we had suddenly appeared with a supermodel instead you might talk a small degree of comfort in thinking that you could not compete with this person but do not let that think you have secured some kind of small victory. In our minds this just reaffirms that we were right to leave you and trade up.

          You catch us in bed with someone else. It is not our fault. If you loved us properly we would not have to stray. You show us complete love and devotion and nobody could ever accuse you of selling us short in the bedroom. We accuse you of having too high a sex drive because you must be getting it elsewhere. If you apply reason and logic, especially towards one of our lesser brethren, then they will ignore the force of your words and instead accuse you of trying to belittle and bamboozle them with long words plucked from the dictionary and why do you always have to patronise them with such words and sentences. Whatever you choose, whatever you decide, whatever you do it will always be wrong and whatever we do will always be right. Accuse us as much as you like for being twisted, illogical and difficult and we will be in your face pointing out how you always have to try and get one over us. Black becomes white and then becomes yellow. Nothing makes sense with us but that is because it makes complete sense to us. Our approach is to gather fuel and that means we can and must do so through any means even if that does not stack up when looked at from your point of view. This warped and stretched approach allows us to achieve our aims, we confuse and bewilder you, we upset and anger you, we control you and each and every time we know that we have succeeded. Like the most deluded Minister of Propaganda we claim to have defeated you even as your tanks roll past us in the background. We see only what we want to see and we are impervious to all of your reason. We will never accept what you tell us because that does not accord with what we set out to achieve and what we must achieve. Of course this will not stop you trying. You try to defeat us as we replace your arrows with celery sticks and your sword with a stale baguette. We never fight fair. Your frustration, annoyance and inability to comprehend why we do this is what keeps you bound to us and allows us to keep on doing what we must keep on doing. Extracting fuel.

          So, go ahead, build that tower, build it high with the stones that adhere to your beliefs and principles, from stone that is beautifully cut and polished, that anybody would admire and cherish, but let us see how you build that tower was the sands beneath constantly shift and alter. This is what it is to be entangled with us.

28 thoughts on “Shifting Sands

  1. TryingtoEscape says:

    HG you write all of these wonderful/ helpful articles for us who are still entangled with or healing from being entangled with one of your kind. Your articles you write show or seem to show that you know the hurt you/they cause on their victims. Is there any part of you since you have come to realize who you are and the damage you have caused your victims the women or woman in your life now do you treat her any different than the ones bfore bcuz you know what you do is wrong and hurtful? Bcuz of your knowledge of what you are do you try and be a better person bcuz you know what you do is wrong???

  2. Victoria says:

    Another wonderful article-I love your analogies because I can see it so much clearer!
    Is all this back and forth purposely planned and achieved only by the Greater? Are the lesser schools capable of such precise cognitive manipulation/control or do they just act in a similar fashion without being aware?
    Thanks again!!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      They act in a similar albeit less advanced and effective fashion and do so through instinct and not being aware.

      1. Victoria says:

        When you say instinct, do you mean they just act this way because they enjoy seeing your reaction-being able to manipulate you?
        Thanks 🙂

        1. HG Tudor says:

          When I say instinct I mean a knee-jerk response which happens automatically.

  3. Gabrielle says:

    HG, as I read through your books and blog entries I often find myself nodding my head and saying “holy crap YES that is spot on” in terms of the man I became entangled with, but other times I am shaking my head saying “nope that has never happened to me”. This is the latter. Everything I have done for him has always been praised to high heaven. I get mind games in other ways (more so in regard to communications that occur such as “I never said that” or “you’re overthinking that”….)….but then again I do not live with him, see him on a day to day basis, have children with him, etc.

    IPPS….is this really how it is? From what I have read I have classified myself as an “Intermittent Appliance” which is why this entry does not fully apply to my situation. He is married, and despite all his dalliances (myself included) he insists he will never leave the wife, and he stays. And she stays with him despite knowing of his infidelity. Am I to assume that this is how she gets treated most likely day in and day out?

    And to think, here I still sit, jealous of her. Jealous of her because he said he would never leave her for me. WHY????!!!!! I know I should feel sorry for her. I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and yell “TAKE YOUR DAUGHTER AND LEAVE!” She does not even know who I am. And I am still jealous. Jealous because I want him and still wish he was mine.

    About 2 months ago I called him nearly every day for a week and he ignored all my calls. I backed off and went 5 weeks no contact and then stupidly caved and reached out a week ago. He answered his phone on the first ring, pretended like he did not know who was calling and then “oh I am so glad to hear from you!” And as to why he did not reach out….he had the most head-spinning story of how his phone broke and he lost everyone’s phone numbers that he stored after February 2016. (which was when we began phone communications). Hmmm how convenient. I accused him of lying to me, he denied it. I then questioned why he’d answer the phone if he did not know who it was (having lost my number). He then said “well the state you live in was on the caller ID and I only know ONE person who lives there so I figured it was you”. The remainder of the phone call continued with the indifference and the lies.

    Is that a lie that is most often spun by Narcs? Talk about specificity! All the phone numbers lost after February 2016. My head hurts.

  4. Sweetsoul says:

    Spot on as usual HG! I remember one time in particular when we had a dressy event to go to. Rather than wear a dress I already had, and since my narc had been mentioning I had a lovely figure and didn’t show it off enough, I decided to shop for a new dress. In a shop I visited often I tried on a gorgeous figure hugging dress in fire engine red, I felt amazing, and several women stopped their shopping to pass compliments. When I got home I proudly modelled it for him with some high heels. His response was barely a glance and “its ok, I guess, a bit too clingy maybe”. I was gutted & to the surprise of the women I knew in the shop returned it the next day.

  5. Katarina says:

    Yes I had this nightmare 10 yrs and you don’t know till you get the shitty end once they make you in love and see your hooked the nightmare starts! Beware these people predators walk among us! It’s a nightmare to live and a nightmare to survive!

  6. Joanne says:

    I used to feel slightly offended that I was never granted an IPPS position. I’ve always been an IPSS with my last couple of Narcs, but I’ve learned that it’s because I was never willing to be fully submissive when I had suspicious vibes and gut feelings… so I questioned a lot. And I’m glad I did. I feel too deeply as it is and being put through what an IPPS is put through would’ve sent me straight into extreme mental breakdown / depression mode.

  7. DJ says:

    Bloody hell HG I’m exhausted reading that. Absolutely spot on, to a T and, as always, well put. These and the circular ‘arguments’ were the most frustrating traits and biggest response triggers for me. I fuelled him up good with my tight lipped, fist clenched, I want you dead right now responses. But then I’m hypersensitive… Yadayada

  8. Shelly Leinenger says:

    I hope this is what your saying to the Dr.. If your not….why fucking go….. Cause this is you Thanks for shitting on me again…. ________________________________

  9. Insatiable Learner says:

    Ms. Brown and Patricia, thank you for confirming, ladies! My heart is going out to you. I am so sorry for the pain and torture you have been through. Wishing you speedy healing and complete recovery. You deserve all the happiness in the world.

    1. Patricia says:

      Thank you so much. At least I have some measure of peace now and true periods of happiness again thanks to HG and other resources. We all deserve that, even the Narcissists.

  10. Patricia says:

    Oh how I wish I had understood this before losing so much time, energy love and countless brain cells,

    1. DJ says:


  11. Beautifully written-dreadfully true.

  12. Insatiable Learner says:

    What a nightmare! I got tired just reading this. Those who were IPPS’s, Is this really true? Was it that bad? I was an IPSS.

    1. Ms brown says:

      true, IL, and then some…

    2. Patricia says:

      Yes it’s all true and yes it is utterly exhausting. I have so much free emotional and mental space now, although the after effects linger and they are a motherfucker! I comtinue to read here and Mr. Tudor’s books as well and I am getting clearer and stronger daily.

      1. Star says:

        It is all true isn’t it Patricia? Such a relief these days to wake up without that knot on the stomach , that sick feeling of never knowing whether he will choose to love or leave. Never second and third guessing your own words( or sanity). Just being comfortable in your own skin again( or beginning to) But yes, the residues pain does make its presence. I do wonder if that will ever truly end?

      2. Sweetsoul says:

        Right with you there Patricia!

    3. KDB says:

      What a mindfuck it truly can be. A roller coaster of incredulous surrealism at times. It is a life long learning experience however. You can only get stronger.

      Down, down the rabbit hole we go
      Where it stops we never know
      A twisted grip and absent hope
      Playing games from their thrones
      Its all too easy to take advantage
      When we’re as blinded as little Alice

    4. Katarina says:

      Yes these creatures predators walk among us this is very sick and twisted way to live and to love a person like this is hard I had 10 yrs of this from a narc they will mess your head heart life and meaning of love to the max

    5. Sweetsoul says:

      Sadly it’s totally accurate Insatiable Learner. I was a IPPS, now 18 months since discard. I try not to think of these examples of the crazy making too much now but my mid-ranger was an expert at these types of manipulation.

    6. Victoria says:

      So true! There were days that I couldn’t wait until Monday! I would usually start to get annoyed or irritated which I know now is what he was after-my negative fuel.

    7. TryingtoEscape says:

      Yes!!! It is really this bad!! I have been an IPPS for 7 1/2 yrs to my husband and it is horrible! I have known something isnt normal for a long time but bcuz of the manipulation…games…gaslighting…the silent treatments..then the hoovers…i have stayed bcuz after all of these years i have felt our problem is me bcuz that is what he had convinced me of. After i have recently experienced the loss of my 1st husband of 21 yrs..the father of my children due to suicide and then 1 yr to the date i lost my step father that i and my girls were very very close too my focus turned too trying to take care of my childrens emotional needs. This put fury in him and the emotional abuse..lies..etc etc..bcame so bad that i started doing research online trying to find answers to his behavior and this is when i came across what a narc was and then found HG. This has all been in the last 5 months. I am working my way to getting it out but i have to tell you..its not easy!!! So to answer your question…YES being an IPPS is horrible…and the trauma from him i have experienced..emotionally and spiritually is something i will probably ever be able to get over 100%. I am not the person i once was and i am not sure i will ever be again.

      1. TryingtoEscape says:

        Sorry for the typos. Never be the person i was bfore i met him. Its so damn exhausting…i spend more time sick with head colds..the flu..bcuz my immune system is so low from sleepless night…worrying…the list goes on and on.

      2. Victoria says:

        Trying to Escape,
        I totally sympathize with what you wrote. I was with my Narc. 10+ years and felt I would never be the same. Albeit it is taking time, 3 months of No Contact, despite his hoovers. All of this has been possible because I found HG and have read 18 of his books and come to this blog daily. It might help if you read: Escape, Getting Out and No Contact to start. HG will guide you step by step on what to do and not to do for minimal damage by your Narc. Hang in there he tried but could not destroy you! You are stronger than you know and you will realize this when you get him out and are away from the drama and chaos.

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