Bring Down The Shutters

SHUTTERS DOWN

 

Once we commence our devaluation of one of our victims there is a vast array of manipulative techniques that can be used to fulfil our aim of extracting negative fuel from you. Some of these methods are subtle and may not be noticed by the subject, such as triangulation with an object. Others are brutal involving the smashing of property and the flailing fists and stomping boots. It is often the case that you do not realise that devaluation has commenced because you have yet to have any familiarity with this word or even with what it signifies. You will notice however a change in our behaviour. One of those changes is akin to us bringing down the shutters whenever we deal with you.

Once upon a time we exited our car and cantered across to where you stood waiting in the doorway as we wrapped our arms around you and embraced you passionately. Our face had lit up and our delight in seeing you appeared genuine enough. This happened each time we came to see you, as if we had not seen you for months on end, even though it was only the day before when we last held you. Now when we meet you there is no joyful skip towards you, the smile seems forced and there is no light in our eyes anymore. Whereas they once lit up a brilliant blue and sparkled, now they just seem lacklustre and dull, darker than usual. You try to lift our spirits in that indefatigable way of yours. You ask what is wrong and you are always met with an answer of “nothing”.

“Are you sure?” you ask, “you seem unhappy.”

“No there is nothing the matter.”

“You can tell me.”

We realise we must say something but we are pleased by your concern and the fuel that it provides.

“It’s okay. There is nothing wrong.”

“It does not seem like it. Please, tell me what is on your mind.”

Time to step it up a little and extract some further fuel.

“I said there’s nothing wrong,” I snap and pull my hand away from yours. Your face turns from concern to upset and the fuel flows.

This continues as once we used to talk for hours on the ‘phone about all manner of things and laughed and planned, now we still talk for a long time (or rather you seem to do more of the talking this time) as we draw the negative fuel from you. You try to find new topics to keep the conversation going but our responses are limited, our tone flat and then irritable as you try to remain chirpy and upbeat but the sadness and confusion is all too evident in your voice. It needs to be. We need that.

“I just don’t understand, “you protest pleasantly, “you seem so different these days.”

“Really? In what way?”

“It’s like, it is like I am dealing with someone else.”

“Well that’s nonsensical, it is me.”

“Yes I know that but you are not the same.”

“Of course I am the same, you are imagining things.”

“No I am not. You don’t seem to be into me as much as you once were.”

“I am, it is just, you know, I have a lot going on at present.”

“I understand that but it is more than that. It is like I am talking to a different person. You don’t seem to connect with me the way you used to.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

“How can I put it? It’s like you have made a conscious decision to distance yourself from me and you do not say the things you used to. You always used to sign off your texts with three kisses and now it is only one.”

“You are concerned about how many kisses I put on my texts?” I ask in disbelief.

“No, well yes, well it is not that. That is just a symptom of something else. It concerns me because I love you so much. It is like you have brought down the shutters and put up barriers when we are together. There is a distance between us that wasn’t once there.”

“I haven’t noticed it.” (Of course I have. I know precisely what you are talking about.)

You then spend many minutes trying to convey this sense of distance and alienation as I listen. I am not hearing the words that you say, nor do I pay attention to the explanation, I am too engaged focussing on the hurt in your voice, the frustration and the exasperation as I suck the fuel from your sentences. This technique is subtle. It is easy to implement and enables us to draw negative fuel from you without you realising what we are doing. It is often the beginning of the devaluation period when the simple cessation of the golden behaviour produces in itself a reaction which provides fuel. We do not need to shock you, we do not need to shout or yell, there is no need to lead you on a confusing and merry dance with our denials and deflections. The simple act of pulling up the drawbridge and no longer allowing you access to the wonderful part of us, illusion that it is, remains highly effective.

“I just feel like you bring the shutters down and I am dealing with somebody different. You are not the HG I know and love. You are someone else.”

Time to throw you a little lifeline to give you hope.

“I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less. Just last night I was staring at the chair where you usually sit wishing you were there opposite me talking to me.”

That should do it.

“There you see, that is the HG I know, back in an instant. I wish I had been sat in that chair too, I missed you so much last night.”

It really is so easy.

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50 thoughts on “Bring Down The Shutters”

  1. My goodness, do you all use just about the same language? I’m almost glad you do though because it helps quell the doubts that creep into my head. You know, those pesky thoughts of “maybe I’m judging him unfairly; maybe he’s not really a narc.” No, as you prove to me time and time again through your posts, he really is one.

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  2. I’m ashamed to admit it, (though the shame shouldn’t be mine) that I fully identify with the false conversation you have described, particularly about the three kisses (yes he did) which he reduced to one which I questioned. He replied I was too sensitive, but I knew in my heart it was the beginning of the end. And oh yes, he never, never apologised even to maintain his facade. Too proud I reckon.

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  3. “I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less.”

    This is, verbatim, what my middle range used to say to me. The term “depressed” was also thrown in there too. Depressed over his guilt and “bad choices”. Damn. Narc textbook yet again! Creepy HG!

    Oh I learned he recently adopted a dog too! I thought your kind hated animals.

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  4. As easy as taking candy from a baby — NO(!) — easier; because we assist you.

    I just can’t think of anything sadder than a person who assists a manipulator in manipulating them.

    I can remember one time in particular where I was in practically a robotic state. I had to catch myself because I didn’t know which way to go, which way to turn and he was turning me, figuratively and literally. It’s really too embarrassing to divulge the details.

    That experience took away the last shred of innocence (naïveté?) remaining in me when I met him. My eyes are wide shut, because discernment is increasing and self-revelation is decreasing. I see you, but I hide the windows to my soul, until I’m sure A person’s motives and sincerity are real.

    I keep telling myself, “If you I don’t stand for something, you’ll lay down for anything.”

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      1. “well practised” – well, that’s an understatement!!
        So, if it doesn’t tire you due to you being “well practised” in this art, do you find it fun, amusing, enjoyable?

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  5. Wow. This is how my hub is when he has me. If we broke up when we were dating, I was always happier with him than whoever I was dating. He always was attentive and affectionate when I didn’t belong to him. He was consistent as well. The contrast between him and the emotionally unavailable men I was into, it was dramatic. All of his rage vanished. He wanted to lure me back.

    Then, the very minute I might let on that our breakup could just be temporary, I would see the asshole version of him again, yelling and beating his fists on a steering wheel because he missed a turn… no, I “made” him miss a turn. And suddenly he wasn’t trying to hold my hand anymore.

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    1. When you have read, understood and engaged in purification. You are in the right place to end the hurt. It takes discipline and dedication but you have access to the tools to master it.

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      1. HG,
        Have you written on purification? did I miss this?
        I’m intrigued as to what this means.

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    2. Same place as you, Peaceful. Still curled up into a ball after being hurt by two narcs in quick succession. Cannot go complete no contact with either so it’s a nightmare. The hurt is so intense I collapse in a heap sometimes sobbing. Hate this state where I can’t think or care for others and I have children who need me, I can barely look after myself.

      Hope this site is helping you get through and arming you with the knowledge to get over it.

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      1. Hi Bliss and Peaceful……I hope you don’t mind me commenting on the intense hurt you both talk about……..I have been through it myself twice……I call it the “grieving process”……it’s like the death of someone that you loved and thought you knew, whilst realising they never actually existed …….it’s actually much worse than the grieving process that you go through when someone you knew and loved (and they loved you) has actually died….I have been through both situations and the narc “grieving process” is far worse…..there is no comparison……although I do not understand why this is the case. On a lighter note….one day, you wake up and it gets to midday and you realise you are actually humming a tune of your favourite song and it’s amazing, but you haven’t thought about him in a couple of hours……..then it starts getting easier……….then you move onto the next stage of wondering……what the hell was I thinking……then you somehow actually recognise that you dodged a bullet …you might not be feeling too lucky right now….but you will in time…….keep reading…….Diva

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      2. Of course I don’t mind. Always appreciate hearing someone else’s experience. Shocked to hear this is worse than grieving a death in your experience and glad that you’re past this stage, Diva. It must be such a relief, the best feeling, surely, to finally surface and distance yourself from all the wreckage caused by narcs. Really looking forward to the day they are both no longer in my life or mind.

        I now find that with each episode of intense crippling pain, I am bouncing back so much quicker because I have gained so much insight plus I always get invaluable responses from others on here. Very helpful in navigating me down the right path on this agonizing narc-recovery journey. It still doesn’t ease the pain when I’m actually hit, but I’m recovering much quicker with each bout. Posts like this really helps, Diva. So thank you.

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      3. Hi Bliss…..I meant every word I said……and although I have distanced myself from the wreckages…….for personal reasons my narcs will be forever be in my mind……there is no getting away from that for me, I don’t think. I had a friend that was an alcoholic, but he had not touched a drop of alcohol for 50 years. He still said that he was an alcoholic……..he knew he was only ever one sip away from that fate………I feel exactly the same way about narcs…..Pleased to read that you seem to be getting stronger though……keep bouncing!!!!!.Diva

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  6. I have stated before that I did not know I had already been living with a narcissist for years until I then met a midrange narc and then when I found this site, I got my full horror moment relating to both of them. This article describes the mid range narc to me but not the greater. I am not saying that the greater did not do such things……but if so they were much more devious or subtle about it that it went undetected. The midrange I met started these tactics that you write about very quickly……..I think everything was going too fast and he couldn’t handle me….he made some comment once that “this just isn’t real”..???????…he started distancing himself from me, he started turning up late, or not at all, busy at work, the silent treatment commenced in short bursts if I said anything that he didn’t want to hear and I too had a conversation about how many xxx on a text. Anyway, even though I did not know he was a narc at this point because I had not found this blog at this stage…….I was basically having none of it. He was treating me like an option and not a priority…….I told him so…….he text me “I will leave you alone for a bit but you know where I am if you want to chat or text”……..as difficult as it was I just left him alone…….I went completely no contact……I have a very stubborn streak and I knew that I would not tolerate this behaviour or type for long…..to me he seemed extremely childish and I knew this was not normal …..I prefer to have a good old screaming match, make up and then move on. Anyway even though he started the absent silent treatment……I subsequently ignored him and he carried on ignoring me……I met him by accident 3 months later…….this is a small town……he tried to contain his anger but he looked like a cross eyed rabid fox…..he could hardly look at me and seemed to be frothing at the mouth…….I had hurt him apparently and he was still hurting…….I just smiled as I always do and said…..I will take that as an apology……I knew at this stage I was never going to get one and I did not want to give out any fuel!!!!…..and I walked away. Maybe he was a lesser and not a midrange but I didn’t stay around long enough to find out. The point of this long text is……I saw most of what HG writes about very early on in this one particular individual…..and I quickly moved away. I never had a hoover from this one and after reading this blog I do not want one either.

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    1. Diva, I get what you are saying about this being worse than when you lose a loved one. When you lose a loved one, you mourn their loss, but you have your good memories. When you face this reality, you not only lose them now, you lose all the memories you thought you had because it wasn’t real. I have been in love w/my N for over 30 years. Before I even knew the words Narc and Empath, I knew something was wrong with us. Beautiful disaster. Beautiful for him, complete destruction for me. Or almost. He couldn’t have found a better mark. Now that I’m really figuring it all out, and reading these posts, I want to throw up. 30 years of my life, on and off, was a lie. I’m actually in a good relationship now, but all this old shit hasn’t been dealt with and I’m trying to work through it.

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      1. Hi IJ……I can agree with your post……I would add that when someone you love dies it becomes final immediately…….that is the way it is and you have to get used to it and you do accept it, as there is no other choice and although you don’t move on right away…..you can and will at some later stage. As HG states……nothing is completely final once you have become entangled with a narc……unless one or both of you snuffs out. Somehow (and I still don’t fully understand how they do this to us) the narc has conditioned you very quickly to feel a certain way that makes him difficult and maybe impossible to forget or move on from…….even though they may have gone from your life physically. So for me the trauma of dealing with the aftermath of having met a narc, is much harder to come to terms with and deal with than a natural death. (I should have stated “natural death” in my earlier post.) How you managed 30 years of it is simply mindboggling. Glad to hear you are in a good relationship now……it gives the rest of us a bit of hope. Diva

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      2. IJ
        Your are completely right. How can you grieve and mourn for something that was never real? You still feel all the pain and sorrow but also you feel stupid and used. Instead of being understood and comforted by others you just feel humiliated. At least I did.
        But it does end, like all grief. Glad to hear you’re in a good relationship now. Working through your past does help. It’s just the skeletons in the closet that scare us. Once they’re buried we can move on.

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  7. HG in normal relationships, this “detente” is a normal “ebb” in the majority of the relationships. We hold on to the commitment until we “fall back in love with the same partner. ”
    Does “The Beast ever stir from his slumber at this point? What does he say to you?
    Sincerely Pam B

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  8. HG,
    I need to know why,. All this routine. Of yours, doesn’t give any breathing room to The Beast? Why isn’t he snorting and huffing, pawing the ground in fury, railing at and pushing against the steel band you have locked above his head, why he hasn’t been rearing and Beating against you…while you are so EASILY and Expertly seducing. Your new source of fuel…
    Sincerely Pam B

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  9. Bliss and Diva, thank you. It’s such a wild process. I thought I was doing pretty well, but Bring Down the Shutters shattered me. I was really caught by surprise. At least I’m feeling the feelings. I let it wash over me and cry it out. I’m studying up on being an Empath, what it is, what it means, as well as following HG and healing. It’s all so fascinating. I’m glad I’m out of the darkness and not enduring being mind fucked every day. I really appreciate both of your support very, very much! I’m only away from my Narc since June 2nd. We were together for 5 years. So, I’m a newbie. I look for advice and guidance from those of you who have more time and experience in your process.

    HG, would you please expand on Purification?
    Thank you,
    Peaceful.

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    1. GB, conventional sources have suggested that it is a 75/25 split in favour of men. I regard that as too high. I suspect that the split is closer but it really turns on perception as opposed to reality.

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  10. Are the 3 kisses a secret narc code?! Kissed me 3 times and texted 3 kisses. One kiss as punishment. Sometimes I look to see if you are peeking in my windows HG. Scary.

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  11. HG,

    Thank you for sharing, HG.I do admire your writing style, and your details in your descriptions of your conversations. They are so intriguing to me, and inspire many questions.

    Tell me, are the Shutters in The UK total Black out shutters, like the ones they have in GE? I used to love them, as they not only seemed to protect the glass of the windows, but provide safety, total privacy, and complete darkness for the occupants.

    Tell me, HG, what does the Beast think about your interaction style? Does he ever enter your thoughts on occasions when you are extracting fuel? Do you ever consider his opinions involving your methods?

    By the way, I picture him as white. What is the way The Beast appears to you?

    When your focus is on extracting emotional content from your target’, where is The BEAST? What does he do? Does he attempt to assist you? Does he applaud your successes?

    HG, are you able to extract fuel from music? There are so many strong and powerful emotions which come through the different ways music is convyed.Will the fuel coming from the musical arts ever contribute towards your needs as much as the fuel coming through your other appliances?

    What is the difference between extraction of fuel from your target, and the extraction of fuel from your usic?

    Does The Beast remain sated during your enjoyment of, say, a joyful aria within a Rossini Opera? Does he share your musical taste?

    As A Greater, I know you avail yourselves of all the higher types of amusement that the mid-range and lesser of your kind would scorn.

    Do you allow The Beast to access any of the amusements to which you avail yourself? Do you ever consider his preferences do the two of you ever act in tandem? What about during your sexual activities? Do you ever let him play?

    Is the metal ring that chokes off the Beast’s presence in your life the only construct erected between the two of you?

    I look forward to reading your replies.

    Sincerely,

    Pam B

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    1. Hello Pam B,

      Thank you for your comments about my work.

      1. Most houses in the UK do not have shutters, but blinds or curtains instead. I have black out blinds in certain rooms.
      2. When you refer to the beast, what do you mean? Do you mean my dark side or The Creature as those are two different things.
      3. Depends on what you are referring to as per point 2.
      4. See point 2.
      5. Music does not provide fuel in itself, it provides a conduit for it.
      6. See point 5.
      7. See point 2.
      8. See point 2.
      9. What metal ring?

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  12. Wouldn’t it be funny if HG’s girlfriend/wife/aquintances found his blog/books/videos taking his own advice and applied it on him. 😀

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    1. K

      I suspect he would be very amused.

      I personally wouldn’t find it funny, the situation could become even more frustrating and emotionally painful for them. They would be using tactics that would prove unproductive for them.
      They are best left finding his material after disengagement.

      Just my opinion

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    2. K…it amazes me that they dont find hg online especially with his personal stories bc even if you change names intimate details are a giveaway. Im sure many of hg’s gf’s have figured out what narcissism is and looked online for help. Its a small world the internet. Unless the stories are analogy type stories and not exactly what has happened.
      Im careful on here and do worry for myself bc HG has become popular in the world of narcissism and many will check this blog out at some pt. I already see one person i know but they dont know my personal story or that its me. One pet peeve is being followed online and this person does this. Any fb pages i belong to they become involved in its very annoying and unsettling. I guess thats what happens online tho.

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      1. There is of course the possibility that they have found the blog but do not comment either here or contact me in real life. If they have found it, and there is always a risk of that happening and they recognise themselves, they will know better than to try and say something.

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      2. I do not connect to HG on some social media that is visible to others. I still observe but do not follow.
        HG is my DLS.
        If my inner circle really knew how much I do interact it would not be good.

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  13. What is the next step we take in response to this treatment? I have told him I am looking for a different kind of relationship in the past and he said it would be different. I have a hard time getting him to let me go. I am scared, I want him to want it to be over with.

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    1. You are submitting to his control with such a mind set Kris. You need to seize the power. In recognising that the shutters are coming down then you should see this as a sign to prepare for going no contact (see my book Getting Out) and then applying no contact (read Escape and No Contact).

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  14. Windstorm2 – Exactly. Thank you. It’s hard when no one else I know understands exactly what we’ve all been through and they don’t understand why I feel like I need to “deal” with it and can’t just “move on” and get over it. What you said is exactly how I feel. And mine still isn’t quite buried yet. It IS scary.

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  15. HG, I have binged through your sharings and must say it has been an enlightening experience – I’m impressed by how in depth, varied, creative and well-articulated you convey – written as in audio!

    Yet another splendid article of yours, evoking such strong recognition – how tragicomic spot on it truly is. Though it does not seem to me that the lesser and mid range has the ability of calm approch, such as the greater has in this premeditated strategy?

    What is your perspective on pointing out to the N, this, now explicit, method of retorical framing to gain “fuel”?

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