Ask The Question

 

ASK

You may remember Sophie who was one of my ex-girlfriends. She was a happy-go-lucky kind of person and loved dashing from person to person wishing them well. She was like a machine spewing out good wishes, pleasantries and compliments.

“You look really well,you have lost weight.”

“That skirt really suits you.”

“I heard you recently got married, you must be really happy. That’s really wonderful.”

“Hey great news on that new job. I am really pleased for you.”

“You look so content, I am really happy for you.”

She was really, really good natured. Oh and she used really a lot. There was not a bad bone in Sophie’s body and she always saw the good side of everything. I was by turns fascinated by how she managed it and also hugely attracted by her capacity to find victory from the jaws of defeat.

“He’s grumpy because he is tired, he works very hard you know.”

“I guess he didn’t have time to speak to me today, he has really huge responsibilities. He really has.”

“I don’t mind that he forgot my birthday, I am just really pleased to be with him, that’s a good enough present for me.”

“I haven’t heard from him so I guess he is out with his friends. It is really good to spend time with other people now and again, it keeps things really fresh.”

She just skipped along merrily handing out kindness and warmth as if that was all she was programmed to do. I reached this conclusion because behind the permanent smile, the twinkling eyes and elated expression she wore there really was not a lot else. She had no interest in politics, current affairs, sport, history, literature and so on. She would listen patiently if I railed against the latest proposals concerning immigration nodding and smiling and when I asked her what she thought she would say,

“Oh all of that is for people really clever. It’s not for me.”

She was never dismissive in the sense of pouring scorn on it just because she was not interested or she did not understand. No, she just had no interest because she felt it was beyond her, not something she had to be concerned about. She was concerned with just one thing ; skipping around like some modern day fairy sprinkling goodness everywhere. I do think she lacked much in the way of her own opinions and thoughts because she usually deflected any attempt to get her to critique something with a self-effacing comment like the one above. She never seemed to be caught in a moment of contemplation. She never seemed to pause for thought. She would just ask what I thought. She did this repeatedly. She was always concerned to know what I was thinking about.

“What’s on your mind?”

“Penny for your thoughts?”

“What are you thinking?”

“Where is your mind today?”

“What’s going on upstairs?”

Repeatedly throughout the day, as  we sat watching television, after we had made love, during dinner, going for a walk, when I was shaving and so on. Always wanting to know what I was thinking. So I told her. From the mundane (“This shaving gel is not as good as the last lot I bought”) through to the loving (“I was just thinking how wonderful it is being with you”) to the scathing (“I was just wondering why on earth I am with such an empty-headed woman as you”). That was all she wanted to know. What was I thinking? On and on she would go, asking and asking and no matter what I said, be it compliment or nasty comment or ephemera she would smile and give a satisfied nod.

 All of this made her very attractive to someone like me at the outset as she was a real high volume fuel generator but once that wore thin, it was rather difficult to denigrate her so she would react the way that I wanted. She put me in mind of that toy the Weeble. The catchphrase surrounding the Weeble was “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”Sophie was like that. I would be horrible to her and she maintained a smile (although I thought or at least hoped she was dying inside) and made an excuse and found a rationale for my unpleasantness. Insults just seemed to bounce off her. Smashing plates and ornaments caused her to stand and watch with a slightly perplexed look on her face before she tidied the pieces away. She did not cry or show fear. I would sit and flirt with other women online and comment to Sophie about how attractive they were. She would look over and agree with my comments and go on to compliment how white their teeth were or how she liked their hairstyle. If I wandered in during the middle of the morning she would just ask how my night had gone. I am sure she could smell other women on me but she did not seem to react. It was as if she was wrapped in this coating of pleasantness that was impervious to any nastiness thrown at her. She would either respond with a soothing comment, make an excuse for what I had said or done or just not react and get on with her day. I used to wonder if she had me worked out and this was her way of negating me. How had she done this? Who had put her on to this strategy?

One weekend she was staying with me at my house and I returned earlier than she expected. She had not heard me come in (it is often said that I manage to move around with a strange ability to be very quiet, popping up without warning) and I could hear her talking in the bedroom. I crept closer and through the slightly ajar door I realised she was talking to herself.

“Must not think, do not think Sophie. Just keep doing. Smile and shine, shine and smile. Keep going forward. Don’t think about it. We know what happens when you think about it. Bad things happen but we don’t do bad things do we? No. Only good things. I don’t do the thinking, he does. I need to know what he is thinking and then I can make him happy, it is only fair, he deserves it doesn’t he? Don’t think Sophie, must not do that, come on, you can do this, you always do. Do it don’t daydream.”

I stole away and then realised what I needed to do to break her.

After that, whenever she asked me what was I thinking about, I would respond by saying “Nothing.” She would look puzzled and ask again. I would repeat my answer. She then would look slightly anxious. I would turn to her and ask

“What are you thinking about”

She would try and deflect my question by asking me again or changing the subject but now I knew how to get to her. I would never tell her what I was thinking and instead pursue her to tell me what was going on inside that sugary head of hers. It worked. She became upset, angry, frustrated and anxious so I kept it going and going and going. I have no idea why it troubled her so much. Her eyes filled with panic when I kept saying nothing and then she seemed to shrink, her light dimming as I asked her about what she was really thinking. She could not cope with it. I did not work out what it was about thinking that caused her so much consternation and I did not care, all that mattered to me was being able to provoke her into giving me that emotional reaction. It seemed that too much thinking on her part was a dangerous thing indeed. The important thing was that I had worked out how to provoke the provision of negative fuel. Makes you think doesn’t it?

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158 thoughts on “Ask The Question”

    1. Interesting… Speaking from the left end of the spectrum, I would hazard a guess that Sophie was dealing with some level of co-dependency… If so, it would have nothing to do with intelligence, being a boring person or anything like that. Lots of co-dependent people are highly intelligent, interesting, wonderful, passionate people, but just like the NPD, they have no clue who they really are. None. You end up growing up and needing everyone else to reflect back to you who you are. They get to decide everything for you. I suspect that Echo (who needs someone else to tell her who she is by them speaking first), is just like Narcissus- who can live their whole life without experiencing their true self… My understanding (which doesn’t mean as much because I’m only an observer, so anyone, please correct me if needed), but an NPD can experience a narcissitic injury and feel incredible discomfort or pain in a way. So it would make sense that it is just as scary and painful when Sophie has to experience that as well. So, you end up fighting tooth and nail to keep that away.
      It can be incredibly painful and soul destroying needing to rely on others like that. Anyone could have ended up being a Sophie, and I suspect would have dealt in similar ways. She’s very human and beautiful that she still survived- in my opinion. She’s incredibly strong in some ways. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did she survive HG or is one of them that took her life because of your abuse?
        This hit home with me. Thank you. A codependent and I never knew it. I thought everyone went out of there way for people to help. I did always know something was not right but never understood what. I was such a people pleaser and yes I am an intelligent woman having been through university a few times but I was often scared to air my views as did not want repercussions. I knew this could make me feel sad and unworthy so avoided at all costs. It took meeting a narc female friend who now I see really took the pissed pulling me away from family and friends with helping out with all her traumas (now I don’t know what’s true and what’s not but I don’t care) and due to having problems myself at that time with a relationship and her carry on another narc of the male variety arrived in my life. Now I never thought there was evil in the world even though I saw it on the news but OMG has this experience woke me up. I now see that I had a disorder of sorts which was primed to me by my parents, be they know or not what they were doing. Without doubt I was emotionally abused by them. I am adjusting to a new way of life and it is much happier but as early days can be difficult sometimes. I donthink people please anymore, I am honest about my opinions and I share them. This life is lovely but every so often it’s a bit boring but that is dueasy to constantly being on edge before. Thanks to the Narc experience especially the male I feel complete in my life. That uncomfortable feeling of not belonging has gone. So shit few years has brought out only the best in me. Onwards and upwards. Good luck all. Find what you deserve and kick the crap to the side. HG now that’s a survivor is it not 🙂

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      2. SVR
        I mean no offense, yet you stated

        “Did she survive HG or is one of them that took her life because of your abuse?”

        If a person takes there life, it is a choice they made. They are many layers that contribute to a decision such as this, not just the actions of one person towards them.

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      1. one thing about those tables, they always turn. This is ever happen to you?
        Calculated, true love and goodness Always wins at the end of the day. Has this happened to you? Yet?

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    1. No offense taken Twilight as we are all free to air our views. If you read my question again at no point did I say it was not her choice. Speaking from experience though it may be the only choice out of the madness and that’s not really a true choice. I am sure some of you will understand this.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I must say it’s clever how you ‘dealt’ with Sophie, though cruel. Wouldn’t her praise and adoration for you not be enough as fuel? Do narcissists always need to try and annoy their victims? My narc today got no fuel, so he tried to piss me off by talking loud about some Katy. I do not know how on earth he knew I would get jaleous about Katy…. anyway, he was talking about another Katy, I figured it out myself. So clever though… how he comes up with ideas.

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      1. Yes, whatever he says has a hidden second meaning, I have come to realise this. It’s quite interesting how they operate. But exhausting, I need to be on guard all the time.

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  2. HG this resonates. The narc I knew would say something to me like for example: did you think that I smoked? I said I thought there was a possibility (even though I didnt). Then he said he had stopped with a big smile on his face. I said well how does that make you feel? He said “what is it with you always asking me what I think?” in an agitated manner. I said it does not matter what other people think, it’s what you think that’s important. Stop caring what other people think. Am I right in saying he was looking for fuel and I was not giving it? Was this rattling his cage?

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    1. Absolutely. He wanted praise for stopping smoking and when you did not provide it and instead you began questioning him, you either wounded him or if you provided some fuel with your question (but not the amount he was looking for) it became challenge fuel.

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  3. Cruel!

    My guess (only a guess from this blurb) is that she was dissociating from a history of significant abuse, most likely early childhood related. This level of dissociation is usually a significant past trauma reaction. Happiness was the rule…only happy, happy, happy. She closed off pain from her past, emptied her mind, in a fog. She put everything else in a container. She likely had poor self concept as well, thus the lack of opinion, preference, etc. She was attempting to compartmentize, like you, HG, though not successfully at all times as she had to repeat to herself the walls to make them more present.

    Sigh. Saddened by her. Hope she eventually sought some sort of help.

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    1. I agree with this, my thoughts exactly. I’m also wondering if she isn’t some kind of an unknown, unnamed type of a narcissist, because she seems flat emotionally, able to react negatively only.
      Maybe an autistic narcissist.

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      1. Hi Emotion Detective.

        Poor thing, I felt for her. I was thinking someone with a trauma history, perhaps with some personality disorder traits though not fully because she held it together until he pushed her hard (I am assuming). I did not think of her as a narcissist or on the autism spectrum. The reason I didn’t go there was she seemed “self-less”(sadly). And HG picked her for fuel. Those with NPD and those with Autism tend to be more self focused. I think the restricted range of affect you are picking up on in the description may be dissociation and compartmenting emotions. But, it is only a guess, as we are only seeing a snippet. She could possibly have C-PTSD (replaying situations in her head and verbally, only allowing herself to experience happiness out of fear and compartmentalizing, hyper-vigilance of what others are thinking/doing). Sometimes those with trauma histories also exhibit flattening as well.

        She is fascinating and I feel for her and hope she found help.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. May I ask how you found this information? Did she volunteer it herself? Her clinical diagnosis is protected sensitive data in the US and not easily accessible by people.

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      3. Mr Tudor/Indy,

        Very interesting – my understanding is that’s not uncommon in these scenarios and that cPTSD varies from PTSD as it develops from continued and/systematic abuse and can manifest slightly different than PTSD?
        Even in this scenario… Would you comment on your thoughts of Sophie before the development of cPTSD – would there have been an underlying issue beforehand (that was why I was curious and commented previously about co-dependency) when you met or do you believe cPTSD was already the issue before the commencement of your interaction?
        If you have the chance to respond, thank you in advance.

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      4. Hi Miss F,

        Based on the vignette, my guess would be she had this before meeting HG. I say this because healthy people have opinions, preferences, and express a range of emotion. They are usually not hyper vigilant of others thoughts. It appeared she was like this when he met her, though I could be wrong. The relationship with HG likely triggered her symptoms and after he applied his methods, they possibly exacerbated them. Again, only a guess and not meant as a clinical opinion.

        I also agree with you and think she shows co-dependence signs as well (12 step definition). She was so self-less that others seemed to fill her needs and identity. This part is also a symptom/trait shared by a number of personality disorders(cluster B particularly), though usually they have intense emotional reactions (she did not initially). You can have both codependence and C-PTSD/PTSD, and with trauma survivors that are more empathic in nature, this is usually the case.

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    2. “My guess (only a guess from this blurb) is that she was dissociating from a history of significant abuse, most likely early childhood related. This level of dissociation is usually a significant past trauma reaction.”

      That’s exactly what crossed my mind, Indy. I thought she was the one who took her own life. She wasn’t. Hope she is better now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bless her heart. She was a powder keg destined to blow. I remember times when I would think the words she spoke out loud but maintaining that disposition was short lived. The bitch in me would always rise like a viper eventually.

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  5. Sophie sounds like a doormat?
    Why did you get rid of her though? She was going to shower you with positive fuel and admiration forever and not question your authority. That’s what you want right? Why could you not keep sophie around for positive fuel and get negative fuel elsewhere? Or was her fuel getting stale? You narcs are really difficult to please Mr T

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  6. Sophie was a beautiful fairy. And you distinguished her light 😢
    But fairies are resilient. I’m sure her light is shining bright once again.
    Funny, when you wrote “I railed against the latest proposals concerning immigration “, I got very heated and wanted to write a lengthy rebuttal about your country’s history of colonization and occupation. But then I read her response “Oh all of that is for people really clever. It’s not for me.” Brilliant! Why cause herself unnecessary stress and turmoil? She refused to soak up your tumultous emotions. She let you keep them to yourself. Smart lady.
    Btw, Matthew Hussey encourages those types of compliments in ‘Get The Guy’. I think most narcs would eat up those words, showering in the fuel. I seriously doubt they are smart enough to figure out how to break the compliment giver.

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    1. You have to admit that Sophie is incredibly strong because she’s still surviving, having to live that way. Not everyone could. After all… what takes more strength, ingenuity and drive – building something or tearing it down? Even more so is re-building again after it’s been torn down. 😉

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  7. I believe I was a “Sophie” with the last Narc. He devalued and discarded me when the fuel shut down which in hindsight was a very good thing. Part of my recovery & creation of my new Narc free world is allowing the fighter out to keep them away to begin with. Hopefully Sophie finds that also someday.

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  8. poor Sophie… I hope she finally found her peace and healing… funny to say that you, HG, might have helped her stop keeping her issues bottled up and that is what a person needs in order to heal…to face what they try not to, out of fear… you forced her to stop ignoring it.

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  9. I have read this before and this time, when I got to the end, my thought was that she was panicking because maybe she sensed that if she told you what was going on, you would use it against her as perhaps had happened in the past. Some sense that you would not be there for her and would exploit anything she might tell you. It was easier to be nobody and focus outward than to risk hoping someone might listen to, validate and respond to what was going on inside. Abuse victims aren’t heard, here was a narc asking her to expresss herself and her alarms were going off. Or she really didn’t know what was going on but nevertheless, her PTSD was triggered. Happened with me and my Narc but I knew he had activated my fight or flight response. I was very aware of when this happened and told him as much.

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      1. Is it possible for a narcissist not to seek negative fuel from his IPPS and to only seek it from his IPSS or DLS? or only from one appliance in particular. Seeking only positive fuel from all others.
        Thank you for all your answers HG.

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      2. If the IPPS managed to maintain the potency, quality and quantity of the positive fuel so there was no need for negative fuel then yes. Of course therein lies the problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. But i still don’t understand it. He really does hate negative fuel frm me. Ill go back and read ur explanation again. Any idea where it might be?😄
        JK, i have a file.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The narcissist found the IPPS fuel to be stale, ennui set in, yet fury was never exhibited. The mask never slipped at home. Do only victim narcissists blame others, predominantly their mothers for all their mistakes and problems?

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      5. I remember HG saying that the IPPS is subjected to the most brutal and lengthy devaluation therefore the narc selected an IPPS with stickability. Am I right HG?

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      6. This appears to be the predominant norm among most narcissists. I agree they choose IPPS for those less likely to escape. But, there are anomalies among narcissists as well. Some narcissists save their brutality for other sources.

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  10. HG,
    It truly is unfortunate you have such insight. Its power is wasted on you much like youth is on the young.
    Do any of your articles shed any light whatsoever?
    Is it really true you have no choice but to act like this?
    How I wish as an empath I could heal your pain.

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  11. So then I ask of you, what about the empath? Do they allow your kind to tear them apart so much that they cease to be an empath? Can you actually bring about the death of their empathy?

    On Apr 25, 2017 10:10 AM, “Knowing the Narcissist” wrote:

    > HG Tudor posted: ” You may remember Sophie who was one of my > ex-girlfriends. She was a happy-go-lucky kind of person and loved dashing > from person to person wishing them well. She was like a machine spewing out > good wishes, pleasantries and compliments. “You look re” >

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    1. The empathy can be dimmed and dialled down through the sustained behaviour of our kind towards the empath, but I have never witnessed it vanish and never return. It appears to me to be part of that individual which cannot be erased and nor would I want it to be erased.

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      1. Indeed. It was not erased despite the attempts.
        HG looking for advice please:
        Thankfully horrid days are not frequent anymore but when they do sneak up I think of the narc and just feel to hell with it just go back to him. There is a pull. I am sure he would not want me anyway but I know I must never venture there again. From a narc point of view what would await me and we have identified him as a lesser? Thank you. Hearing what you say will help on the next testing day but I hope to see it not to soon.

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      2. HG
        good to hear that you do not wish for emphaty to be erased..
        even though it is also for your survival .

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    2. It is an excellent question, Kim!
      I wonder if this is what can happen when someone is very young, a child. Theories on the development of narcissism suggest this is a possibility, with other vulnerabilities present. I say this, because some kids in the same home, experiencing the same level of abuse develop differently. Some may be more codependent, some more narcissist, some develop addictions, mood disorders, even more typical development, etc, etc.

      It is believed in the research world to be combination of factors that lead to a reduced levels of empathy and development of personality disorders in general. Genetics combined with individual sensitivity to external world (biological factors), societal /cultural norms and personal early life experiences (abuses, traumas). Research is still being done to determine though, as no firm answers exist.

      Once someone is grown, they have usually developed a certain level of empathy (on a spectrum). When someone is terrorized and horrifically abused, they tend to develop PTSD or C-PTSD. They can appear to have reduced empathy, but it is actually a wall, they go into survival mode. If they were an empath when abused and going through the trauma as an adult, it usually does not disappear. However, some really good research on this topic is with war veterans. They often will engage in behaviors that appear (to nonvets) to lack morality and empathy while in the midst of combat, but in reality it is survival mode. This is similar to those who experience severe domestic violence. It is survival mode.

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  12. This is so interesting. I never ever let on that I was upset. My relationship was unusual in that it was very secret. I never once let him know I was frustrated by him. And actually was always quite confident despite his Silent Treatments. Was I discarded because I never got upset? I suppose I could let loose on him now with all my ragey thoughts. After many months NC. Then I would be good fuel again. What strange contraptions you guys are. If we are appliances, then you are contraptions.

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      1. So, the longest relationship you have had with an IPPS is four years, HG? How many IPPS last close to that time period, what is the average duration? Who long do your relationships with DLS and IPSS last in duration?

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      2. What is this an interrogation?!
        Yes.
        Do you mean for me or for narcissists as a whole?
        It varies because one dips in and out of the Shelf IPSSs/DLSs so with some the engagement might be years but on and off. With a Candidate IPSS it may be weeks or months and then they either become an IPSS or the IPPS.

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      3. Goodness no, not an interrogation. I admit, it did read like one. I enjoy, metaphorically picking your brain HG. As you have observed. I find you incredibly fascinating and intelligent and of wonderful insight and humor. Especially the way you finesse reader comments on the blog.
        Asking questions, helps myself better know you and understand someone In my life with narcissism. Your answers are gold to me. Much appreciation to you HG for your answers, they and you help me learn and better understand.
        Yes, I meant you specifically not narcissists in general.

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  13. Do you look at Sophie as being weak HG? Or is there a tiny part of you that sees that in some ways she was very strong? I hope she has gotten stronger from this experience

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      1. HG!

        You consider her strong for staying in situ .
        1. How would you consider an IPPS for escaping you ( besides hating her and considering her a traitor) Would you consider her strong as well for escaping you?
        2. Has someone “escaped” you? And what happened to her?
        3. Where within you could you place your “sense ” of emptiness?

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      2. 1. I would consider an escapee as treacherous and as you point out, I would hate them. I am able to recognise that escaping takes strength as that is what is required to escape my clutches, you just do not amble away with ease. Nevertheless, I would never acknowledge that strength externally.
        2. Escape can be viewed in two ways. There is escaping the Formal Relationship and then there is escaping the Narcissistic Relationship.
        3. I don’t understand the question.

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      3. 1. Thank you.It is understandable that you do not say it externally..because it would affect your sense of superiority?
        2. Has someone escaped you from:
        a) The formal relationship? What happened with her after that?
        b) Since you differ the formal relationship from the narcissistic relationship : what is the main difference between the two of them? Does the narcissistic relationship end just when one of them dies?
        3. I am just wondering if the part of you as “an effective unit” which is mechanically
        programmed to “deliver” without any margin of error collides with your feelings of emptiness,hatred and fury?

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    1. As opposed to HG, I do not see her as weak at all. I see her as a woman that endured an abnormal situation (abuse) the way a typical brain is wired to, her brain could not process it as it was so traumatic and abnormal and could not make sense of it and so the brain sent all those memories down into the more primitive areas of the brain. That is why she had flashbacks, it is still in her lower parts of her brain, not in cognitive parts. Her brain went into survival mode. This is the current belief of trauma and PTSD in general. It is a survival mode. She could have lost her sense of self completely, like develop a dissociative identity disorder, but her brain protected from going that far.

      Developing PTSD is never weak in my view, it is survival mode. However, I see, with HG being an effective predator in this situation, he definitely saw her vulnerabilities (as noted above in the vignette) and took advantage of these.

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      1. Hi Indy. I have to disagree in calling Mr. Tudor an effective predator. With all due love and respect Mr. Tudor, you did not ‘see’ her vulnerabilities because you read people so well. You did it through unethical ways. First you spied on her. Then you pried personal information out of her sister. Your intent was to break her but you did not have the weapons until what you witnessed. So if you never caught her at that moment or spoke to her sister, you wouldn’t have been able to break her.

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      2. In fairness Love, you don’t have all of the facts with regard to this situation. The targeting was achieved beforehand in an effective manner. In addition, just because something is unethical does not mean it is not effective.
        Shooting an unarmed combatant may be regarded as unethical, but they are still dead aren’t they, so that is effective.

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      3. Hi Love,
        I understand what you are saying. I think you are saying that if had he never witnessed her “self talking” then he would never have the ability to break her. That is debatable. One hallmark of an effective predator is persistence. Sure, there are tests and failures, sort of like the scientist that experiments(so many more tests than successes). HG was experimenting and looking for an angle. This teaches him what to do next. He eventually found it with persistence. Here is an example: A jaguar will stalk, sneak and watch their prey for long periods of time, waiting for an opportunity. Some days, the Jag is super hungry and will pounce and miss the prey. They look for vulnerabilities purposefully. They look for the weaknesses, like a broken leg or a younger animal that cannot run so fast. They pounce again and again until they reach their goal, never giving up. They are persistent, observant, and learn quick. That makes an effective predator. I see this in HG’s descriptions on how he works. He did this precisely with this one. He tested many times without a crack but persisted. Other less experienced would give up but he didn’t. He looked and kept looking. Not everyone would have known, after seeing this moment of self talk on how to take her down. He did. He deduced that. That is pretty effective.

        Now, lets suppose he never saw this moment. Let’s say he learned C-PTSD after the fact (which I assumed was the case) Just for debate. Given her history, he would have worn her down in different ways….with time. Gaslighting could have this effect. Sort of like the water torture test. With time. It would have taken longer, but when you have a trauma history, it comes out eventually. I think he sped up the process by seeing this moment. Either way, it would be effective.
        Sad, and true.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Great description Indy. I do not think predators in the animal kingdom act in a devious manner to catch their prey. They stalk, observe, chase, pounce. They do not trick, manipulate, abuse, or lie. As to Mr. Tudor wearing her down…. Perhaps. But it sounded like she was not reacting to his negative words either. I wonder how effective gas lighting would be for her. Ex. It is Wednesday. She asks how his day was at work. He tells her its Saturday and there is no work. She responds by agreeing with him and carries on. All she wanted from him was a response … Be it good or bad. His words did not evoke emotions for her.

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      5. Because you are empathic and you are formulated to try to find hope in bleak situations and to find alternatives to what is actually the reality. You do not like to think that someone can be so precise, so calculating and so effective and therefore you try to diminish that effectiveness. I know you do not do it out of malice towards me, but rather as an instinctive response by somebody of your type.

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      6. Thank you. Yes I have absolutely no malice towards you. Quite the contrary. Perhaps I associated the word ‘effective predator’ with an animal not a human. Animals must hunt to survive. Yet their actions are not treacherous. They are acting purely on instinct. However, to be an ‘effective’ human predator, it appears that one must have no morals, boundaries, or ethics.

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      7. I don’t think you’re ‘morally bereft and ethically bankrupt.’ You don’t harm children. You aren’t physically violent with women like the lesser narcs are. You showed compassion for lennox in response to lesley’s horrible act. You just need a little improvement in the devalue and discard pattern lol, but otherwise I believe you can be a good man. Believe in yourself!

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      8. I have no interest in children of my own. I have little to do with children as a whole save my relatives who are children and my engagement then is purely for the purpose of maintaining my facade and it is not like I see them regularly anyway.
        I am not physically violent with women because it serves my purposes not to be that way for the reasons I have explained previously. If it was necessary, I would not hesitate.
        It was not compassion for Lennox but hatred towards Lesley for impugning my reputation through extension. Believe me, Lennox has been dressed down for his failures.

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      9. Hi Love,
        I think of stalking and hiding as devious. My damn cats are always hiding and getting my ankles (hehe). No, they do not verbally communicate with us, but if you ever watched a cat play with a semi-dead mouse, you know it is manipulating a bit….it makes it think it is free, then grabs it again. I see it as survival though. I give you that, HG is not just an animal without knowledge of morality, but a very highly skilled sociopathic predator.

        It is definitely up for debate on what would happen if he did not have this information. I think it would be over a longer period of time and eventually her defenses would weaken. In the vignette, she had to verbally convince herself to exist without thoughts. She was on the brink. His techniques were wearing her already, though he did not know it until he saw this. If it was not wearing her, she would not have to outwardly repeat this mantra “Don’t think”. This suggests inner crisis. So, even though she was not showing him she was crumbling, she was. And pepping herself up with these talks.

        But, lets say words do not work for her, for purposes of debate (Thank you Love, by the way, as I am liking this friendly debate). He would have to resort to less verbal/cognitive means. I hate to say it, but perhaps more physical in nature, getting close to her physically and intimidating by yelling, etc. Or sexual tools. He has a lot of tools. I know HG does not like to get physically aggressive in his manipulations, but just for arguments sake.

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Indy

        I don’t see her as weak either, we all have a different threshold. You have to be strong to survive, it is what survival skills we develop that determines which path we walk. Sadly we will either be prey or predator.
        I hope the best for her and she has found peace within herself to see the beauty of the world.

        Liked by 3 people

      11. Hallo Indy, I agree to you. It was a survival mode, nothing else. She did not see it coming, because he slowly increased the dosis of abuse. She could not identify it. She did not know any other way than to bear it. She did the same as if she was a little child. Three ways: escape, fight and some kind of ignoring the reality/ playing dead. I believe that in her childhood escape and fight were impossible, so she chose the third one. I do not know the right englisch/and/ or medical expression for it. And I remember myself the same. It is learned very early. I do know when I learned that kind of survival mode. I do not want to talk about it. I myself have to say, it was the only way to get out of the situation in childhood. Therefore it is the behaviour you choose at first , when something shocking happens. HG is different : his first choice is fight. He traumatized her again.

        Liked by 2 people

      12. Yes, Flight, Fight or Free and some Fawn as well. Dissociation is like escape and freeze mixed. It is a reaction to survive. You are totally correct. When small, even fighters use dissociation. When it is too much to process, this is what our bodies and minds do.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Although i feel bad for sophie, this gives me a good indication that your void is not as empty as you think. You wanted to talk to her abt immigration issues. You have certain likes and dislikes, certain passions, preferences , and opinions. I hope the good doctors help you to see that the ‘void’ is partly a figment of your imagination.

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      1. I like this destinction. Narc had raging views when he wants. A very string personality. This erroneously led me to believe this meant he had tons going on inside and hadna generous warm honest core.

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      2. Hi Jenna and HG,
        Just a guess here: Correct me HG, as this is your experience that I am attempting to understand and communicate. It helps me in my training as well. I imagine the emptiness HG experiences has more to do with emotional walls of select emotions he created (leaving an internal experiential “space” where they should be) and past experiences of abuse are segmented in another “space” and locked away. This impacted the development of a concept of self, as it was all about his MatriNarc mother, she fed off his “identity” and he was left with crumbs of self as a child. His emptiness doesn’t directly involve intellectual functioning. So, imagine a storage unit facility. He has several storage units locked with minimal/no current access (there is stuff in there, just no access right now) while others he opens and closes daily(opinions, ideas, planning, logic, etc). This creates the experience of emptiness, as they are not integrated and he was not allowed to develop the little boy’s identity. However, he fully developed his intellect. Does that make sense? Is that close, HG or am I wayyyy off. Trying to understand myself.

        Best,
        Indy

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      3. That is in the right direction yes, it will all become apparent in greater detail when The Creature is released (not the one inside of course, that must never happen, but the book).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If the creature inside is released, can we expect a horror movie, like a zombie movie or the hulk breaking out of it’s shell? 😂😂😂
        Sorry, don’t mean to make fun of the dreaded creature but couldn’t hold back!

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      5. Thx indy. I value your comments greatly due to you being compassionate, and an intelligent therapist. So it is an emotional emptiness (certain emotions) not an intellectual emptiness, is that right?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Hi Jenna,
        You are so sweet, thank you for your kind compliments. Don’t discount your own compassion and intelligence though 😊 Narcissists are not intellectually empty. Based on HGs self report and what I’ve heard and seen in my exes, certain emotions are less experienced than ochers and possibly blocked out. I don’t know the research on it but they definitely experience some emotions quite intensely (some including anger, rage, irritation, annoyance, pride, and contempt and bitterness for sure). I’ve noticed contentment and satisfaction as well. HG also says he feels “power” as an emotion too.

        I cannot speak for HGs own experience of emptiness though and so he’d be best to describe this for him.

        My emptiness I feel when depressed is a lack of meaning in life. Some feel empty due to lack of a sense of ones values or sense of self (common in BPD too). This emptiness experience people sometimes feel can vary in reasons why, person to person.

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      7. Btw, i kind of like the “Hi jenna and HG,” addressing both of us together 😊
        It makes me feel almost as intellectual as HG. Who am i kidding? 😆

        Like

      8. How is it distinct? I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind arnd this. Maybe i’ll have to wait patiently for ‘the Creature.’ I hope the answers lie there. My ex used to say ‘i’m nothing but i can be anything.’ I think he means he can change his opinions about any subject at any time.

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  15. Whoa!!!! This sounds a lot like me except for being on fantasy island lol! I think everyone has hidden secrets (I do) some I wish I could forget , I’m sassy with confidence I try to think positive most of the time because when I get started(angry) I don’t got any brakes!
    Thanks Dr. H.G for the diagnosis (post) it’s an eye opener for sure

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  16. She was a people pleaser like you. Both of you had the same aim. To get the appreciation of others. First you liked it, then you hated it. Yes, think about it. You told in one of your topics, that you never had an imagination which colour you should prefer. Or another example: you talk about sports, but you are not interested. On and on… She faced you with your own problem. You make people “happy” with a whole amount of lies, she made people “happy” through showing interest, smiling and being an “echo” of your words. Not the same tactic but the same aim in the end. I do not see such a huge difference between you and her. Maybe she was boring in your eyes, but maybe that is one of your projected fears too. Every coin has two sides.
    What will be yet there, if there is no drama created?
    Why did you choose her as as I….? Because she was lovely, everybody liked her, she was pretty and she would help you thus to achieve appreciation of others. Normally everyone tries to find out in the first month of relationship, if the other one has the same interests, if these interests could fit together and so on…? What did you do in the first month? Telling her, how beautiful she is and telling mostly about yourself. Bragging about all your achievements to impress her. Maybe she was the wrong one, but it was your decision. So it it your fault.

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  17. ****And what I mean by triggered(in my statement above), is set them off. I do not think he was the originator of her C-PTSD. Though, again, I could be totally wrong.

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    1. ***I also forgot to add, boredom. With sociopathic narcissists, this is particularly important too. Boredom also adds to this urge to fill and intensifies the feelings of emptiness.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HG, as indy states, sociopathic narcissists feel boredom. I have read this elsewhere as well. Do you get bored easily HG? It seems you have so much on your plate, that you barely have time to breathe, so i cannot imagine you getting bored. Or do you keep yourself excessively busy in order to avoid the boredom?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. HG in my healing as a codependent I was doing the actual same. So busy no time to get bored. Can you answer me this: is it always abuse that results in you turning out a narc. What book do I need to get to understand your family dynamics. It was interesting you spoke of them as children. Also you get engaged giving the women false hope. How many times have you been engaged? You really really have no plans to marry them? Do you see you are doing harm like harm was done to you and you did not like it? Good few questions but when you get a min I will appreciate as always.

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      3. I am of the view that it is a combination of genetic predisposition and this being ‘activated’ by a particular form of nurture.
        With regard to the family dynamics, if you work your way through the Confessions series and the various alliterative titles, along with Chained and Fury, you will gain a lot of information about the Tudor family dynamic.
        I am not going to answer your question re engagement because that is a quiz question!
        Re engagement and marriage see the article The Narcissist and Marriage.
        I do what is necessary for my existence. Sometimes good occurs because of that, sometimes bad, it matters not, they are collateral consequences.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Very efficient. Thank you. I will have a look at those titles. Just read something else: are all lesser physical abusers also? He is a twin. When we met he said to me do you think I will kill you when I told him I have a friend who knows exactly where I am. What the hell was that about. I just said you can never be to careful but no I don’t. How do I know if he would or not as had just met him. Then he went on to rape me. I challenged him a lot and at one point out of the blue came well go no contact, I thought what the heck I had never heard those words like this before. Did he just know that’s what happens always or does he know what he is. He is the one with the shark tattoo also. You lot are something else to understand although I am getting there. Thanks for your help along this recovery path HG.

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      5. I imagine that gathering fuel would also keep boredom away as well. I wonder, is this fuel (emotional reactions that create drama) also used to chase boredom as well as keep the “creature” contained.

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  18. HG,
    Nice analysis of Love there. If I didn’t know any better, I would think you would make an wonderful psychologist (Researcher especially. Psych researchers are brutal! Believe me, I have worked in several labs. Hehe). ***and just so you and Love both know, none of what I said is meant with malice either. I actually admire HG in many ways. It is the human observer in me**

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Enjoyable reading HG. This thread is a great example of healthy debate. Here is my like to everyone who contributed. My 2 cents. He would have broke her eventually with or without her talking to herself and she had the right traits to be picked to begin with so she was damaged. Why don’t the Empaths ever ask themselves why they are attracted to the narcissist? It takes two right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ABB,
      You make a great point, he is already an efficient predator. He would see those traits and target them early. That is exactly why he picked her from the get go. And, indeed, it does take two. Thus, reading Sitting Target is sooo important.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My first book was Sitting Target. It is nostalgic for me because I was laying on the beach on vacation in South Beach. I downloaded the book on Kindle based on a search for empaths and narcissists. After reading Mr. Tudor’s introduction, I turned to my friend and said ‘Oh sh*t, the author is an actual narcissist!’ I was intrigued and a bit scared to write on your blog but to be honest, I thought you were writing from prison. I thought the laws might have been more flexible in the UK about internet usage for inmates. Lol 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s hard to choose! So many have helped me escape, stay away and get him out of my life and helped me understand what narcissism really is. So, I’m gonna say Evil, because it was the book my supervisor stumbled on that introduced her to HG and then she recommended the book to me. Once I read Evil, I had to know more and came to HGs FB page and found out about his other books that helped me avoid a marriage with my last ex, a midranger.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I would have to say Fuel.
        To this day I have no idea who placed this book in my desk, but it was my introduction to HG. It was from there I found his FB page and this blog. To have someone that not only understands what I have dealt with my entire life and valadate what I knew to be true, this has left me eternally grateful.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My favorite book has to be Why? I had read Sitting Target and several others previously (all the ones with alliterative titles). While having learned a lot, I was still left with many questions. When I read Why?, the missing pieces seemed to fall into place. Maybe this is because I wasn’t searching for how to escape or protect myself. I was trying to understand how one of my narcissists thinks and what his motivations were.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I asked myself this question and I know exactly why . In my case , it’s because they’re fearless, confident, brilliant, entertaining, ambitious, dominant and charming. Combination of good look, intellect and great sense of humour makes it difficult to resist.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, ABB, you are right. In my case it was
    – I have been alone for a long time before I met him.
    – I did not have the adventures anymore that I had in my past.
    – My life was boring, I had too many duties, I felt responsible to fulfill.
    – I had buried all my dreams. I only functioned.
    – He was an attractive man, full of testosterone.
    – I missed good sex for a long time. He gave me that.
    – He was not as responsible like I was. He showed me a lot of fun again.
    – He seemed to live his life. I did not. I wanted to learn that again.
    In my youth all said to me, that I am a “crazy one, full of crazy and funny ideas.”
    I missed that so much and he promised. And there have been some lovely and extraordinary events in the beginning. Lovebombing of course. Wow, I thought we could be a very nice couple. I wanted to be a woman again. Selfish? Yes, of course.

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      1. Hi NA! Just wanted to wish you a happy sunday! You keep being you as i do enjoy your humour! Pls do forgive me for the past, as i am borderline and my feelings are up and down. I’m working on it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jenna
        My middle aged excess flesh and I forgive you and wish you a happy Sunday also.
        I cant be anybody else so youre all stuck with me Im afraid.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. NA, haha! Haven’t you heard, 50’s is the new 20’s! I have seen many beautiful women in their 50’s, inside and out. So i totally take back anything i said. I think u had partially given me a panic attack (i’m v v sensitive) and during panic attacks i don’t think straight. Like i said, i’m working on it, so i hope you can be patient with me. Sometimes your over the top comments really make my day and i find myself looking for them! If i can improve myself, then i am happy to at least try. I’m pleased to be stuck with you! I hope you can warm up to me too ☺️💗🌹

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      4. NA, “over the top” comments meaning your bold, tell it like it is, without holding back comments. I am sometimes surprised, sometimes shocked, sometimes aghast, and often very amused by them. In fact, i look for your comments. They usually make my day 😀 😉
        I didn’t understand you at first, but you are a fun, jovial person. I’m glad you’re here!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. HG
    Just wanted to let you know that despite the things I sometimes say and what you may think, I greatly appreciate you and your extraordinary talents.

    Like

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