Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t


Society and people need rules. The requirement for regulation looms large in everyone’s life. Pay your taxes, don’t park in that place, don’t drop litter, say please and thank you and so on. From laws to rules to codes of conduct, through to convention to procedures to etiquette we are bound up in rules wherever we go and whatever we do. People grumble and complain about them but ultimately they prefer the world to have these rules. People like to know where they stand. You know what you can and cannot do. You may not agree with it, but you at least have some certainty. Those that found themselves in the horror of concentration camps complained that there was never any certainty to the day. You could be subjected to punishment for walking too slowly one day and too fast the next. It was random and awful, yet such a system is horrendously effective at undermining someone’s will and paradoxically causing them to try harder in order to avoid a sanction.
Our behaviour is much the same. There is no rhyme or logic to it. Last week I said I liked sugar in my tea and this week I do not. I deny that I said I liked sugar in my tea and moreover this triviality causes me to erupt in rage when you put sugar in my drink this week. You are confused and anxious by this random control that I exert over you. It is all intentional. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we cannot recall what we said or did the previous day, that we are somehow blind to our previous likes and dislikes as if affected by some form of amnesia. This disorientating tactic is deliberate. You may as well ascribe outcomes to the numbers two through to twelve and roll two dice. That gives you just as good a chance of determining how I will behave. One week I sleep with the bedroom window open, the next it must be closed. Yesterday I want silence in the kitchen in the morning, today I want the radio on. Each day you are put on parade and then awaiting the inevitable criticism as I will find some fault in order to control you, demean you and provoke a reaction. I am like an insane regimental sergeant major who deems the buttons on your uniform to not shine enough despite the hours you spent polishing each one. Like his parade ground bark, I will unleash my haphazard criticism of you with a barrage of abuse, raising my voice and making you wince with each syllable. We understand the effect of repeatedly being shouted at and it causes you to submit to our demands Invariably I will see what you are doing and pick the opposite as being what I want. I am a natural contrarian. All of this is done to maintain your heightened sense of anxiety, forcing you to second guess and thus become conditioned to our will. Periodically we will approve of what you have done and your sense of relief is so overwhelming you receive a natural high. This in turn causes you to want to repeat it and therefore each and every day you are walking on those eggshells as you try to please us and avoid our erratic and groundless rage. There is no system you can depend on, no method of working out what is safe to do and what should be avoided, yet still you will try. As ever, you want to make matters right and keep the peace.

24 thoughts on “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

  1. Scout says:

    Amber. I’m confused by your response. I’m not judging anyone directly, I assumed we were discussing NPD… (perhaps you are an NPD sufferer …?) I don’t recall suggesting that people are ‘wrong’; we are all somewhere on psychopathy scale with weak or strong traits… Neuroscientists, who have researched human models, do refer to the 7 yr age bracket, but dealing with them at so young an age is complex hence why research has been carried out on 20+ year-olds with astonishing results. Break throughs are being achieved with the help of MRI scanners and therapy. That’s all I was saying. Imo, that’s got to be a good thing.

    1. Carey says:

      Lol i wasn’t upset at you at all, but only at the profession that hasn’t sufficiently helped me or any one who has destroyed my family or others in 40 years. No, I’m not npd. There are corresponding disorders. But I’ll accept that clapback and stop responding. My apologies. 🙂

      1. Scout says:

        Carey, (or is it Amber?), no apology needed. You have explained your pov. I do see where you are coming from and I do understand why you feel the way you feel. Just pleased we’ve cleared things up and put the world to rights. 😉 BW Scout.

        1. Amber😉 says:

          Omg!! I hope mr. Tudor can delete that!!! Rofl 😂 i use an alias so my ex can’t identify me from my posts. Aghgh 😂😂 yes tyvm for that. I had no idea i came across so abrasive, but the second i read it, i realized i did and also that the frustration is with the lack of knowledge and insight and timing. I myself am not helpful, because i do believe my gender should be feminine and submissive. And as a result, I’ve been in chronic pain for 20 years this month, from domestic violence… oh maybe it’s the anniversary that’s got me down. Thanks for helping me talk it out. Lol 💖

  2. NarcAngel says:

    Thanks for the memory of polishing his army boots for hours and them always being unsatisfactory or just satisfactory and needing his 2 swipes to make them perfect and announce that if you wanted something done right you had to do it yourself. My mother ironed the shirts until I got old enough to do them. Then when I got old enough he wanted to know why I wouldnt join because it was so great in teaching discipline. I wish he was still alive so I could watch him die again.

  3. Tappan Zee says:

    There was a “safety” in living in this regime. Knowing what to expect. The unexpected. Disordered? Yes. Provided a sense of order. I know this is why I found it so hard to leave. And still struggle out side of the regime. Now I must create my own. The only thing more difficult (for me) than living in this regime. Was leaving it. My “truth” not up for debate. Healing is begun. Warp speed. Much like the narc abuse. It prepared me well.

  4. Diva says:

    Thankfully I have not had much experience of this kind of treatment……….this would definitely be a deal breaker for me though………it would be a massive red flag that I would simply not be able to contend with. Diva

  5. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    Being yelled at and what not makes me actually want to do the opposite.

    It makes me not want to perform and actually not bother or purposely frustrate the person.

    1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

      Then again that is part of my personality.

      If I’m yelled at or spoken to a in a particular way that pisses me off my immediate reaction will be not to comply and will have no motivation to do anything to please the person.

      1. Amber says:

        Abusers aren’t always stupid enough to just walk up and break your boundaries the first time they meet you. I think it’s just human nature to act in self defense if feeling attacked, but they are smarter than to act like that in the beginning. They learn you, charm you, then test you, and ever so slightly push what you think your boundaries are until you change them. The hard limits you thought you had become soft limits then become no limits. They are self teaching robots, so they study, they learn, and if they fail with you, and you retract, then they will go to the next person and use their new found knowledge they gained with you on them. A red flag for a narcissist or sociopath isn’t going to be by the time they reach full narcissistic rage. It will be much sooner than that. Hence the developmental work in The Mask of Sanity. And, also, as mr. Tudor points out, their ability to mimic a human is more adept depending on how advanced they are, regarding greater versus lesser. I’m probably not sharing info you don’t already know. I just wanted to point this out, being that I’m on disability as a result of domestic violence. One really should not wait til the rages start to head out. They will get you to fall in love first, and one must be wary instead for the reptilian like activations in the brain that mark them as different than we are (no offense to them; i know they can’t help it… one just must be watchful). Unless of course it’s your own child, in which case one still must remain watchful but should never avoid them, instead throwing oneself head first into the chasm to bring them back out. 💖

      2. Meredith says:

        Are you dealing with a narcissist Dr. Quinzel? Because, yes, when a normally adjusted person yells about something or at you, most of us just maintain composure until the other regains his or hers. A narcissist will accuse you of things you never did, often in a cyclical and confounding way to build up your frustration and dismay. They will not communicate like a other people. So you find yourself unable to defend yourself, and your emotions tend to take over logic (logic telling you that this person is unstable, ill and you need to leave). So you become the yelling, gross person that you never thought you were or could be.

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        I have dealt personally (intimate relationship-wise) with two narcissists – so yes I am very much familiar with the dynamics you speak of and how it all unfolds.

        The type of behavior we are talking about never made me want to please him and that is why I was in constant battle with him. I couldn’t take on hobbies, think, and behave in a certain way and ultimately be someone I’m not …. in the beginning I tried… thinking this would be a compromise or I would get something in return…

        Here is brief summary of events pertaining to this topic lol:

        The start of the relationship I was overly giving and was waiting for him to start giving something back. Time went on …not only was he taking but he was taking advantage and continued to give me nothing. This resulted in me becoming hurt and angry so I began saying the marvelous word ‘no’. He continues to give nothing and was more awful to me because he was punishing me. This behavior only motivated me to continue saying no. I would cave here and there purely to shut him up but I was saying no much more and had no desire to please him.

        what the the point of pleasing him? Even when I pleased him I got nothing in return. I didn’t even get relief out of pleasing him. I told him I would eat shit and die than be someone other than myself.

        I stayed for all the wrong reasons and basically fucked myself up more along the way.

        I have no desire to please someone who disrespects me and that carried over into my twisted relationship.

        I would constantly say the following lines to him:

        “You’re not motivating me in any way to do what you want.”

        “That is not the way to get what you want.”

        “You know…usually when people want something they will at least be nice or kiss ass…”

        “The only think I can deduce from the way you are speaking to me is that you want me to not do what you want – you are self-sabatoging.”

        I failed at pleasing him because I couldn’t please him at the expense of myself anymore. In order to please him I would have to be someone else and I couldn’t/wouldn’t do that. I refused. I became more and dead yet full or rage.

      4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        I have also dated psychopaths – the more con-artist type….

        The narcs, sociopaths, and psychopaths can’t get enough of me…

        Especially the psychopaths…

        I have no clue why the psychopaths have a hard on for me lmao 😂

  6. Melody says:

    I’m curious if your taste actually changes, are you just confused as to what you like, or do you adapt to unsweetened tea just for the sole purpose of being confusing?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am not confused as to what I like. I like what is required at the appropriate time for the purposes of securing the most effective outcome for me. In certain instances, it may require masking distaste or lessening it, often the “white” thinking means that it is very easy to like and mirror those things which you like. Where control is recognised as high, one can state that something is disliked without concern for any deleterious impact on the extent of the control and of course it still will generate fuel,

  7. Scout says:

    “..try to please us and avoid our erratic, groundless rage.” With this level of self- awareness, I find it difficult to understand why you are unable to let the penny drop and use the knowledge to re-wire your brain. I suppose your response will be needing fuel, but there must be other ways of gaining fuel other than emotionally destroying innocent women?

    1. Amber says:

      Scout, sadism is a “paraphilia” and can not be helped any more easily than the sociopathy. People with it struggle to contain their own destructive nature and at times are just as confused or frustrated as we are as to why they do what they do. Even while they are the ones doing the harm on occasion, they are also victims of their disorders, and as such, are therefore co-victims of the damage, both genetic and environmental, even as they turn and harm others at times. What many of us don’t realize is how many times, countless times, around the clock, they hold back and do not hurt us. How many crimes are not committed through sheer willpower alone. The amount of fantasizing some of them do about killing or raping women, even children, and so on. It’s such a destructive force that the fact that all along the npd spectrum, they are struggling with the same demons we are fighting in them. They just occasionally lose the battle, for some of them, and then the brain gets rewired to either accept this act as comfortable or even eventually pleasurable. You probably know about the paraphilias and the triad and i apologize for the length. I just wanted to explain that there is so much going on, internally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and historically with them that they have to fight against a huge army of demons, to put it mildly, and most often just do not have the combined spiritual, medical, and mental health resources they need to overcome the genetic programming as well as the abuse. In every case ive seen, they don’t believe in a spiritual solution, making it harder to get them to accept spiritual intercession or intervention (even if they say they believe in a higher power, i should clarify that it’s satan they believe in). Of course, i can’t answer for mr. Tudor. 😊

      1. Scout says:

        Hello Amber. Thank you for your explanation and I see where you are coming from. I understand the internal fight against the inner demons must be extremely hard as you eloquently describe. I would never suggest this is easy for a sufferer, I just figured that a Greater like HG equipped with a knowledge of his NPD, perhaps has the luxury to change certain aspects of his disorder with medical help. There are now incredible breakthroughs taking place in neuroscience to help some Cluster types ‘re-wire’ their brains, although initial tests have been carried out on youth offenders because their brains are more plastic. However, all brains are capable of readjustment to aid different thinking/learning patterns, for e.g. a stroke victim can learn to use the healthy working left hand after the right hand dies. I believe most people on the extreme right of the psychopathy scale – with the exception of Cluster A – can be helped if only in a small way. Yes, it would take time and total commitment on behalf of the sufferer but I would suggest that’s the real rub. Of course there are those here who have more experience than me in this subject; perhaps they can expand further on this..? Scout

        1. Amber says:

          …But why commit to fixing something that you don’t think is wrong? The first jump in your logic is that you think any of us believe we are wrong, for a sustained amount of time. I only see the error of my ways, once I’m suffering as a result. Otherwise, i resent outside interference. The key time to fix these people is before the age of seven. By the time you’re trying to reason with adults, their personalities are formed, and it’s a bit late. Any effort to fix this would be a massive, global initiative to reach families and educate them on the extremes of adult survivors of abuse and how detrimental it will be and to identify npd in very young children, etc. But there’s nonsensical do-gooders who say not to label children and so on who would try to stop any such movement and thus are agents of satan. But yes, i know very little about it either. Maybe someone can comment.

      2. Amber says:

        Oh! Haha I’m so sorry, i was referring to paraphilias in general. I don’t have the end of the sadism scale. And i didn’t mean that you in particular are having a jump from one thought to assuming the next. I mean that the “helping professions” are not going to get very far, and haven’t, because they don’t pay attention to abuse early on or catch it, till the damage is too late. I reread my response. My bitterness is towards the entire system at this point. We are destined to fail from the time we are born into these families. No i haven’t committed suicide. No i haven’t committed murder. But i have nightmares constantly and it will never change. And the counseling system isn’t set up to help. But again, I’m sorry because clearly I’m at a bitter place right now. Lol

  8. Amber says:

    Tyvm, as always, for your posts. I’m becoming more aware of my own narcissistic tendencies as a result of your invaluable (am i using that word right?) insight, and becoming more disturbed at it. Lol do you think you would ever offer advice on how to “cure” it? I know that its often said that there is no cure, but for people like me, would you ever consider a program on how to cross that chasm, or what you’ve learned in the realm of self discovery regarding self control, perhaps? I have asked you this before regarding helping those who are in prisons and so on, as i think you would be able to offer insight that their normal therapists can’t. The main reason i was going to comment is that what you’re describing, as you know, goes beyond npd and down the continuum towards greater sociopathy/psychopathy as it is mental and emotional torture, and is not so much about just narcissism but also sadism, which is another level. 😊 i assume you’ve addressed the Dark Triad in your research. Blessings 💖

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There may come a point, dependent on what happens, where I might be in a position to advocate ways of adopting a more pro social approach, however this is some way off.

  9. Meredith says:

    How is this behavior (which I experienced on two differing levels: intimate primary source and then also business administrative support) not exhaust the narcissist? Yelling, texting, anger, all of it is so absolutely depleting. Is that why Narcs are actually kind of lazy (except when sex comes into play)?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hi Meredith, it provides us with fuel and therefore is not exhausting.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article


Next article

Just The One Time