1. You belong to me.
I own you. From the moment I first engaged with you, you became mine. That is the unwritten contract that forms between you and me. I engulf you, I possess you and I subsume your identity into mine. I do not recognise you as someone who is separate and distinct from me, with your own hopes, fears and desires. You have been plugged into me from the start, my appliance which is there to provide me with fuel, obey me and accede to my commands. This mind set is what governs the entirety of our relationship and is what is behind so much of what I do and say to you. By understanding that this is how I view you in relation to me you will realise that once I have begun to entangle you, the concept of you evaporates and you become part of me.
2. What is yours is mine
As part of this unwritten contract I immediately take power, custody and control of everything which you own. Your money is mine to spend. Your friends become my friends and ripe for recruitment into the ranks of my lieutenants. Your house is my house where I shall install myself before you know it, using your utilities freely although never paying for them. It is not your car, it is my car now. I recognise no boundaries and therefore you will find that your possessions will always be sequestrated for my use. You are not allowed to own anything in your own right. From the cake you have saved for later to your shower gel, I will take it and use it. This sense of entitlement extends beyond the material. I will take your dignity, your sanity and your self-esteem too. I have no use for those things, they cannot serve me in any way but I will take them all the same. I am an asset stripper and you will be stripped.
3. Blame belongs to you
I am never at fault. I am never responsible and I am never accountable. Culpability and I are not bedfellows. I escape liability for anything and everything that I do and instead the blame will always rest with you. Even if you have done nothing wrong I will pin the blame on you as this serves my purposes to draw fuel from you, control you and denigrate you. If I forget to remove something from the cooker, it is your fault. If I forget to pay a parking ticket on time, it is your fault. If I forget an anniversary, it is your fault. Each and every mishap, failure and problem which arises will always be attributed to you because I cannot be held to account.
4. I take what I want from whomsoever that I choose
I walk this world as a colossus and it is my right to do as I please. I will take whatever my eye rests on as I am entitled to do so. I will steal because I can. If I want something then I will take it. I will take the credit for achievements when they belong to someone else. I will pinch the partner of a friend because I want her in my bed and not his. I will park my car where I like and I am not to suffer any consequence. I will borrow from neighbours and never return anything. It is my right to take and you must never challenge or criticise me as I exercise this right.
6. What is mine stays mine
All resources that are mine remain mine and are for my exclusive use. I will not lend anything to anybody, they should go and buy their own. I will not share. I will stockpile money secretly, notwithstanding that we apparently have a joint account. I have my own shelf inside the fridge for my food which nobody else is to touch. Nobody is allowed to sit in my favourite chair, not even when I am not there. Nobody is to play my CDs or read my books. They are not for you, they are for me. My friends are my friends, yes they will pretend to like you, purely for the sake of appearance but they will never actually be your friends. Anything that is mine remains as mine.
7. I go where I please
I own the right to go anywhere that I like. I am not to be stopped or questioned as to where I am going or where I have been. I move in between and through, an unstoppable force in light of my vast sense of entitlement. I walk through doorways marked private, I attend meetings to which I have not been invited, I will turn up at your social occasions even though I was not asked to attend. I will step over the threshold, vault the red rope and penetrate all areas because I must always know what is going on. Besides, my presence is such that I am always welcome, who would not want someone as brilliant as I with them? I am access all areas.
8. I own the spotlight
The spotlight must be trained on me at all times as it belongs to me. It is for my use to highlight how interesting, witty and successful I am. It lights up my podium where I stand elevated and superior and woe betide you should you try to point it anywhere else. You must never interfere with my ownership of the spotlight for to do so will invite my fury at your transgression. It is a device that must be aimed at me so that the world is always to see me, so that I can receive the adoration which I am entitled to.
9. I owe you nothing
I owe you nothing because in the beginning I gave you everything. It does not matter that since then you have given me your all, your love, your affection, your time, your money, your dignity and your will to live. You can festoon me with gifts, run around after me, nurse me, pleasure me, support and soothe me but this is what you ought to be doing as I am entitled to be treated in this manner. I have no sense of needing to reciprocate, someone as high born as me need not deign to fawn over you, not any more, not once I have captured you and bound you tight to me. You are nothing without me, worthless and pathetic and therefore I owe you nothing, despite the fact you gave me everything.
10. You belong to me.
I thought I would remind you of this fact. It would not do to forget that now, would it?
Number 5? Of course there is a fifth rule – You are imagining things. Again.