The Sense of Loss


People always struggle with loss. It might be at the top of the scale where you have suffered a bereavement and lost a well-loved family member. It could be the loss of your home where you have lived for twenty years, owing to damage or repossession. It may be the loss of your job, a loss of good health all the way down to something far less important but a loss never the same, of your favourite restaurant when it closes or your daily caffeine injection from a coffee shop because you are economising. Take something away from someone and they will experience sadness, frustration, upset, anger and sometimes confusion. Since people are governed by emotions rather than cool, hard logic, the loss of something often has a devastating and traumatic effect, especially in respect of major losses such as a spouse or partner. Once uponย  a time your parents seemed as if they would live forever. They were always there. They raised you, guided you and supported you. They let you find your own way through life but if ever you needed them they were always there to listen and help and then one day you find they have gone and you are left with a huge black hole in your life. Your best friend who you have known for over twenty-five years was a huge part of your life. You spoke daily, laughed about your younger selves and the scrapes you got into, supported one another and cruised through life like the dynamic duo until they have gone and you feel a massive void since their departure to the next life or another continent, dependent on the circumstances. Remove something from a person’s life and they are left with hurt, despondency and despair. This is all the more so when it is something or someone wonderful and delightful. Then the emptiness becomes a howling wilderness.

Of course we are fully aware of how loss affects people from our repeated study of people. We also know that being able to gift someone something wonderful and then remove it, is a sign of considerable power. A power that can be wielded with considerable effects. The power of withdrawal,even if just threatened, can bring about an extreme reaction in the subject. This is something we are fully aware of and something which we take advantage of.

We gave you everything in the beginning. We provided you with a love beyond compare, a dizzying array of compliments, a barrage of desire and a tsunami of flattery. We raised you up, higher and higher and sprayed you with affection, passion and generosity. The light was bright, warm and golden and we let it shine every day just for you. We allowed you to bask in this golden period of utter ecstasy and in return you gave us everything that you had in pursuit of the maintenance of this golden period. Without warning we withdrew it. The door was closed and the shutters lowered and once where you had walked happily and freely you too found yourself transported to the howling wilderness where you stood alone beneath grey, leaden skies as a cold and unforgiving wind whipped around you. It felt like someone had died.

Whereas once we uttered such sweet, sweet words to you, there is now only silence. The reassuring embrace of our arms and lips has somehow vanished and you feel stripped and vulnerable. All of the places we took you to and shared seem so distant and you begin to wonder whether they really happened. Alone and distraught,you wander this wilderness searching for us. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of us but in an instant we have disappeared as you stumble along. The kindness has been removed. The long nights of sexual congress which went beyond anything you have experienced before has been taken away, leaving your bed a cold,hard slab where rest is to be endured rather than enjoyed. If we even grace you with our presence in that place where we once coupled each and every night, a writhing mass of limbs and mouths that explored and pleasured, all you know now is our back which is defiantly presented to you each night. That’s if we even come to bed at all. The spare room or the sofa seem to attract us more than you these days.

We know that taking away this passion, desire, interest, largesse and kindness is like a hammer blow. It is as if we have died but yet you can still see us, touch us and hear us which makes the sense of loss even greater and all the more confusing. Like a pet-owner dangling a bone in front of a salivating puppy, we occasionally open the shutters and allow the golden period to return and the joy and the relief which washes over you at the restoration of his oh most glorious time is electrifying and so is the extent of your gratitude and delight. Yet it is ephemeral. It is like a wonderful dream that has transported you away from all the hurt and misery, but just like a dream when you open your eyes in the morning, it has gone.

The power that comes with withdrawal and your predictable reaction to it, mean that it is a method of manipulation that cannot be ignored. To bestow and then deny has you caught in the strings of our puppetry as we jerk you back and forth between granting those things that you desire the most and then taking them away from you. Your reactions and the control this grants us means that it is so simple yet so effective and something we can never withdraw from doing.

21 thoughts on “The Sense of Loss

  1. K says:

    What if the victim simply laughed at the narcissist when he/she tried to pull their strings… how would that make a narcissist feel? For example when they ditch them and try to make them feel hurt by lording a new conquest over them – or any scenario where they would expect anger, hurt or insane grovelling?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It wounds.

  2. kimmichaud1 says:

    Easiest manipulation ever is to give then take away

    1. Antifragile says:

      Yep, exactly, but what a great energy they put into performing it…

      The first thought was “how much energy he puts – crazily inadequate amount”. Second – “what the hell he wants from me indeed, cos it is definitely not sex”.

      1. Tappan Zee says:

        AFโ€”remember sex isn’t sex. and it sure as shit isn’t love or intimate but power and control; it would seem it’s removal is exactly the same. Power. Control and the ole fav Manipulation. Nothing more.

  3. kimmichaud1 says:

    Yup very accurate

  4. This sense of loss the narc wants to implant in you is why you NEVER get The Clean Break

    (snuck in some baking there, but it is not appetizing ) : P

  5. 12345 says:

    HG, (sorry to ask so many questions lately) do you ever catch yourself smiling or laughing in satisfaction when you know how the loss or silent treatment or any other of the punishments makes us feel? Sometimes I imagine that his pleasure in hurting me was so great that he’d smile or chuckle to himself.

    1. 12345 says:

      I re-read Sex and the Narcissist yesterday and while your description of a sexual encounter was highly erotic, your thoughts during the encounter made me sick as I became keenly aware that those were probably the exact thoughts of my ex.

      Many times you had thoughts like “good, she loves this” or “good she likes that, duly noted, let us continue doing that.” It made me think that type of thinking must go along with punishments as well, hence, the smiling or chuckling. The greater certainly knows that his punishments are extremely effective and takes great pleasure in that. Are you thinking things like “good, she’s showing she is in extreme pain” or “good, she looks like she wants to kill herself.” Or are you just thinking they deserve it and you’re just angry?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I am revelling inwardly at my effectiveness and the delivery of justice for their transgressions.

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        That is relatable lol. I felt similarly when I would gorilla warfare my ex narcs ass – drop hints I knew things and then make him believe I didn’t – have him feed me information he didn’t know he was feeding me – say no ….. you get the point – but heyyyyy who is keeping score ????? Lol

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Did you have to dress up in a costume and beat your chest to perform this type of warfare Dr Q?!

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


        Sometimes I would dress up…

        But not like a gorilla and I’m classy broad – pshhh beat my chest? I’m a lady ๐Ÿ˜‚.

    2. HG Tudor says:

      I also stroke a white cat on my lap. A stuffed one of course.

      1. And of course your sharks with lasers keep us from swimming away, Dr E..errr I mean HG.

        Thanks for the humor..this mind pic made me laugh and cringe at the same time.

      2. 12345 says:

        Please attach photo of cat.

      3. narc affair says:


    3. Restored Heart says:

      It’s funny the things that can be a trigger especially when you believe you’re doing well. 12345’s question about is the narcissist laughing at us etc. was one I’d wanted to ask HG many times but didn’t because I knew the answer yet didn’t want it confirmed. I’d already sobbed at the thought of it many a time.
      I read this before work this morning & triggered so badly I nearly had to take the day off & after nearly 7 weeks of being suicide ideation free, went into reviewing my plans again.
      As a person terrified of intimacy, recalling times I gave little bits to the Greater & know they were laughed at was too much. He did also use that in some of his malign hoovers even some that seemed ambiguous yet I knew. That strange snigger, grin & twinkle in his eyes after the first time we had sex because he knew he had me. That he was actually laughing the whole time because he knew he had his 30 year long revenge on a broken 15 year old girl.
      And mine wasn’t stroking a cat but himself. Twice he said, ‘do you know how many times I’ve wanked over you?’ It never did feel like a compliment.


      Moral of the story for me, don’t read Narcsite before work… ๐Ÿ˜” Sorry HG, I have to keep you strictly for bedtime now…

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Just so long as you keep reading RH.

  6. Gareth says:

    Hi HG,

    I have a question for you. I was discarded for the second time about 4 or 5 months ago. Since then I have made no attempt to contact her in any way. I got a e mail about a month ago calling me names and how uncaring I was. I ignored it. I did not receive anything further. I’m pretty sure she’s a lower mid based on my limited understanding. Is this the best policy moving forward and how does a lower mid take the fact that I’ve not contacted her or respond to the e mail?

    Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Gareth,

      1. It is a disengagement not a discard.
      2. You did the right thing to ignore the e-mail. Block that address and if anything arrives which you recognise as from her do not read it, delete it.
      3. It will wound her.

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