Let’s Pretend


Here we are again. In that all too familiar place. I have lost count of how many times I have found myself here. Despite my very best endeavours, my valiant intentions and earnest dedication I am stood in his hallway of despair. Some time ago this hallway was a welcoming place where polished tiles gleamed and marble pillars glinted. The air was filled with the scent of jasmine, bright sunlight pouring in through the glass dome high above. So many corridors and doorways led from this hallway, offering exciting and intriguing possibilities, new experiences and enthralling opportunities. I can still picture you when you had crossed the threshold, invited into my world and you stood open-mouthed impressed and amazed by the grandeur. With a typically generous and expansive sweep of my arm I offered you the free run of those corridors and rooms. You took full advantage of my generosity and why not? You were a very welcome and special addition.

Now look at us. Your failure has made this a cold and desolate place. The dome has suffered as a consequence of you frequent eruptions of frustrated anger, the once clear panes now either broken or smeared with the grime of your betrayal. The sun has not shone into this hallway for a long time, in fact, neither of us can remember when it last did so. The tall pillars are cracked and chipped, testament to your unwarranted assaults on our person as your forked tongue of criticism lashed out at us. The tiles are fractured and uneven causing you to regularly trip and fall to the floor, the cold slap of your downfall a stark reminder of the change that has gripped this place. You can hear the low moan of the wind as it billows, wuthering and gusting, seeking entrance through the broken windows and dilapidated shutters. That is the wind isn’t it or is it the tortured protestations of the shades and spectres which still haunt this hallway? Sometimes you see them, the forlorn figures which glide haplessly along the dirty passageways, heads bowed as they seem to be seeking something. Whenever you see them you feel a strange sense of familiarity and understanding with their plight even though you are unsure who they are. No doubt a consequence of the empathic traits which still cause you to remain here.

I let you walk these beautiful corridors. I allowed you to marvel at the statues, the ornaments which adorned the walls and alcoves, mesmerising you with their beauty. You felt loved, you felt content and you felt safe as you walked this place never needing or wanting to step back through the door that you once entered all that time ago.

Now you are sat on the icy floor, your hands clasped together and raised in a gesture of contrition and pleading. Your face is etched with wounding woe and the lines of desperation evidence your determination to remain. I brandish the heavy iron key that will unlock the dark door which looms over you and which will reveal the doorway to the cold, uncaring and harsh would beyond, a world you have no desire to return to. I hold the key as I stand over you watching you and although I hear your voice I cannot discern what you are saying. You struggle to your feet, weakness pulling at you as you pull down the sleeve of the tattered garment which you wear and you begin to rub at a nearby pillar. You spit on it and frantically try to remove the grime as if you are showing me that the damage can somehow be undone. You turn and look at me, hand still moving back forth and I see that eternal optimism in your eyes. That look which once looked like paradise to me and now only serves to reinforce your selfishness in wanting to remain here after everything you have done and everything you have not done as you let me down. Again. The distortion that has surrounded your voice and now I can hear you as you are pointing to the windows and the doors which hang from their hinges, holes smashed into them.

” This place was once so beautiful and you have let it fall into neglect, why have you done this? I just do not understand. I helped you keep it shining and in a pristine condition but then you just lost interest, you would not work with me anymore and it began to fall into decline. It was too much for me to maintain alone though heaven knows I tried, I really did. Not only did you not help me but you then started to hinder me, stopping me from carrying out my tasks, holding me back and diverting me.”

Why are you saying such things to me? Why are you seeking to pin the blame on me? Why are you trying to make me responsible for the demise of this once grand place? I shake my head and point the key at you, a clear signal of my intent. Your face twists and the tears start to form in your eyes. Perhaps they might fall into the now dry fountain and bring about restoration. Does such restoration hang from your sadness?

“Don’t make me leave, please I do not want this to end,” you plead, your eyes, which once shone with delight and joy, which are now glazed as your fear of abandonment starts to rise.

“This does not have to happen, ” you continue as you place a hand against my arm, ” let me stay, I only want us to be happy, to be as we once were. Surely we can do that? Our laughter once echoed through this place and it can again. We can repair the damage, it is not about who caused it, I can put that to one side, I just want us to be together and for us to rebuild what we once had. We did it once, I know we can again, let us join forces and re-create that wonderful time once more, let us admit sunshine and clean away the dirt and the hurt that seeks to envelope this place. We can fix the glass, mend the doors, scrub the floors and clean and tidy and make good. We can do it. I know we can. I can sense it deep inside you, I know it to be the case.”

Your words are impressive and burgeoning with hope. Perhaps it can be done but then you let us down and for that you must pay the price. That momentary consideration of allying with you and recovering what we once had is dispelled. We shake our head.

“It cannot be recovered. There is no hope to do so,” we say slowly.

A tear spills down your cheek and hovers on your chin as if unsure of where to go.

“Then let us at least pretend that we walk through gilded and fragrant halls once more. Please? We can pretend can’t we?”

Yes, we can pretend. It is all we ever do.

22 thoughts on “Let’s Pretend

  1. NarcAngel says:

    Why would it make you cry and not angry? Hes saying youre weak, pathetic, bought into an illusion, and its YOUR fault, yet you have so little belief in yourself to find happiness with someone else that you will trade the opportunity for more of his abuse. Sure, its written beautifully, but once again you get caught up in the FEELING and are bought off with cheap and easy to use words and the POSSIBILITY instead of absorbing what he is really saying. That you will accept crumbs. Why WOULD he want you. I wouldnt even want to be friends with someone that weak. This is what he means by fuel going stale. Once they have you hooked they hate you for being so weak and themselves for being associated with it. What hes describing is weakness and abuse-not love. There never was any on his part. You were in love with yourself (remember the mirror?). Instead of longing for what you once thought was (it wasnt) and trying to get it back (with him) wrap your head around that so you can move on, learn from it, and possibly have it for real with someone else instead of living in a tired drama dressed up as LOVE. Jesus its frustrating to watch him shooting fish in a barrel with mere words.

    1. MLA - Clarece says:

      It’s the vicious cycle though NA. It was real love on our part and thought it was genuinely reciprocated. We accepted the mirror not knowing it was an illusion. Then when they start to pull away or act different we let our strong traits of compassion, loyalty, perseverance, etc. come out thinking that we are being supportive in trying to resolve issues or rationalizing that they are just experiencing a hard time. These are the traits that drew them to us in the first place. Personally, I shine professionally because of those trails. I have great friendships and get along with all of my family because of those traits. Why wouldn’t I think those same traits would guide me well in an intimate relationship? To top it off, if you’ve been raised with the strong religious angle that divorce is taboo and you stick it out for better or for worse, mixed in with some Catholic guilt (because they can do guilt like no other faith), we have no clue when in the thick of it, that we are settling for crumbs. That existence just becomes our new normal.
      I’m not disagreeing with you, NA. You are speaking from a completely logical point of view. I’m just passing along an answer with all the emotion that is involved.

    2. shantily says:

      Well Narcangel gotta say I’m far from weak !!! see above ⬆️ Let me explain why I cried at those words I cried because when I INITIALLY met the son of a bitch he sold me a pack of lies beautifully packaged just like HG’s post. What made me cry was the loss of the dream the hope and the promises !! I know the MF er is an abusive lying douche bag ..NOW !! I didn’t then. I’m still allowed to mourn the false reality that I was sold …he nearly FN killed me and I put myself back in harms way of course I realize how F up that was. If I want to cry over my split milk I’m going to and I’m not ashamed ! I don’t think we’re a bunch of snivelling whining victims longing for what was ! I’m grieving the situation in its entirety maybe you’re just at a different stage in your recovery. I’m perfectly aware it was all bullshit handed to me by a psychopathic demon that plotted against me and hated my guts. As exasperating as this sounds to you reading those words made me sad for what I initially thought this was ! I think you are just trying to help but wow

      1. MLA - Clarece says:

        The grief part is brutal and comes in waves. And it’s brave to truly feel it and work it out rather than bury and let it manifest into health or other mental issues. Or worse, try to numb it with other addictive things like drugs or alcohol.

    3. NarcAngel says:

      First let me say that I should have said why does it make anyone cry. I did not mean you specifically but rather addressing anyone who would react that way.
      I see by your anger with me that you are not weak and Im always glad to see anger over apathy. You know those hopes, dreams, and promises he sold you and that you mourn? Good news-they were yours that he just mirrored for you. Do you know what that means? You dont need to mourn them. Theyre yours and you can stil fulfill them-just not with a psychopathic demon ( I would have said shit stain but youre nicer than I am). Im glad youre not a snivelling whining victim. That means you can cut out the cancer that he was in your life and dispense with fairytales. Your happiness is your decision now. I hope you enjoy Mothers day in reality with those who love and value you, eating ice cream instead of crying over spilt milk which has never served anyone.

      1. shantily says:

        Narcangel I am going to eat a big ole ice cream cake for Mother’s Day with both of my hands !! You’re right regret and guilt serve no purpose in the long run. I just felt I needed to explain that I’m not a mindless twit pining over some soul sucking vampire. I attracted the dream part, it was my dream and it’s still attainable just not from that monster. Cheers Love ❤️!

  2. shantily says:

    I used to believe in fairytales….In the gilded fragrant halls of a hospital was where I lay a year ago. The night before Mothers Day he had beaten me for wanting to go to dinner with my friend. He stomped his foot right through my arm trying to wrestle my phone out of my hand. My arm lay on the floor beside me I knew it was no longer a part of my body, 13 screws and a metal plate to put it back together.

    Happy Mother’s Day my love just tell them you slipped they’ll never know I love you darling we can make it through this together I’ll take care of you I promise we can start over we can do this you are my life my everything ….let’s not pretend 🖤
    #ptsd #bigbadwolf

    1. MLA - Clarece says:

      My wish for you this year is you are surrounded by loving, supportive people of your choosing and your child (children), depending on their age and proximity. I’m not sure if they may be grown or not yet. You are most deserving of a Happy Mother’s Day!

      1. shantily says:

        Thank you darling MLA I intend on doing just that ! I am very blessed to have them they definitely bring me sunshine on grey days. This Mother’s Day will indeed be a good one 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          Awesome! I hope you have lots of love, laughs and peace with your kids this weekend! It is the best path towards healing.

  3. Victoria says:

    Wow, this really made me cry, so sad. To evoke such emotions HG-incredible. Thank you Dr. 🙂

    1. shantily says:

      Made me cry to V 🙁

  4. Cc says:

    Thanks be to God I never asked to stay. I was told I would, but I didn’t. I never begged or behaved as though it bothered me much. Always breathing a sigh of relief once I was allowed to go back home.

  5. mistynolan01 says:

    I compartmentalized our relationship and told him so from the beginning. “You are not husband material,” I told him. Mostly I did it because of my perception of him as conceited, and manipulative. Yes, I saw that from the beginning, but his handsome allure was too much to resist; I had to have some.

    So, I pretended … to ignore his manipulative ways, to ignore his surly pouting, his snide remarks, his punishing withholding of his marvelous body, at times that same body used as a weapon to batter me, but most of all and frightening to behold I pretended to be unaware of his underlying seething fury. Of course, I didn’t know what it was then, but I knew it was dark and I perceived that it was something he wanted to keep under wraps and in control. Thanks to my research here, and with others, I now know.

    He warned me — exact words after a particularly hot night of sex (never lovemaking), “if we keep this up, feelings will come.” Ha! Oh, my narc was definitely not talking about his developing feelings, no he was referring back to my stated ability to compartmentalize our relationship. This was a declaration of war!

    I kept my resolve, determined to hang in there and fight like a soldier against his control. Determined to enjoy all he had to offer, while keeping my heart to myself. What a battle!

    In the end, I was discarded – – he disappeared, calling me the next day to let me know he was gone.

    We had only talked the night before when he invited me over and I told him I was working and didn’t want to leave home but he was welcome to come see me. Oddly, he made some off-hand excuse not to come and I brushed it off and ended the conversation.

    What had he planned for me had I visited that last night before the Grand Discard? I’m glad to have missed it. I was made aware of the nasty tricks of which he was capable on another occasion. I shudder.

    Now, I realize that for six years while I was resisting and withholding as much of my heart as possible, I repeatedly wounded him, withholding praise and compliments, asserting my own self-esteem, and never ever expressing my growing feelings for him.

    He’s a large, muscular man and today, in my mind’s eye, I see him as a great wounded beast struggling for dear life as he recklessly and suddenly abandoned everything he’d established to get away from me — little empathic me(!) — because in the end, even though my discard was sudden and brutal, I held the power. And he’s still searching for it.

    Yes, narc, let’s pretend!!
    [Insert cackle here]

  6. karen1303 says:

    Breathtaking HG.
    A very enjoyable read.
    Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  7. Teresa Farrell says:

    Sacrifices must be made…polarity, yin-yang, darkLight…its really an act of love. All of my work shining for nothing…

  8. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:


  9. Angelic says:

    Most of human beings pretend ..
    or fortunatelly…?
    can work wonders…

    1. MLA - Clarece says:

      They pretend and take the path of least resistance in order to avoid any conflicts or discomfort.

  10. Jenna says:

    Pretending aka mirroring aka reflecting- right frm the beginning. If i only knew…

  11. Salome says:

    You are such a poet!
    The painter…
    I can see everything you write…

    Reading you I have realized that we don’t have to fight agains you.
    We have to neutralize “the shades and spectres”.
    Why it takes you so long time to take decision of separation from those creatures?

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