Just The One Time

Remember when you would wake up and reach for your mobile ‘phone and find that loving and uplifting message that I had sent you? I always rose before you and ensured that a delicious, tantalising text was sent to you ready for when you woke. Like a morning cup of tea on your night stand it was that little gesture which made you feel special. It told you that the first thing that I thought of when I woke up was you. This message of love, desire, passions and excitement would provide you with the first buzz of the day, a delicious reminder of how wonderful I am and how marvellous we are together. The first text of the deluge that would follow throughout the day, scores of little gift-wrapped presents which you open and smile, laugh and melt over. Little did you realise that these messages had been recycled from your predecessor and would be used again for your replacement. Little did you also realise that two other people were receiving these messages first thing in the morning.

Now there is nothing. There is no chime of that early morning text. There is no winking light denoting the text waiting for you to open it. It is silence. As your eyes open, the conditioning that I caused makes you immediately remember how you used to feel when that text arrived. Where once you woke with excitement in your stomach now it is just the sharp stab of pain as you know there is nothing waiting for you. You understand this is how it should be, the need to stay away from me, but it hurts. It hurts so much and how long will this pain remain with you? Will it ever go away? Those months of daily morning texts has ingrained a pattern and a longing inside you and no matter how hard you try the first thought of your day is always

“Four months ago he was still sending me those wonderful texts.” Last month it was the same sentence only it began with three. You roll on to your back and though you know you shouldn’t, you cannot help but allow me into your mind even further as you recall those mornings where we ended up late for work because of our passionate love-making. That quick dart to the en suite and then back into bed where I was waiting for you. You turn and look at the empty pillow and that all too familiar bitter sweet sensations sweeps across you. You know you should not do this. You know you ought now to seek refuge amongst the ghosts of once what was, but it makes the pain lessen, just for a while and it is just a memory isn’t it, thinking about me just the one time cannot do any harm can it? Just the one time. You give a twisted smile at that sentence which has somehow become your daily mantra as you struggle to escape the toxins that I have left inside you, the legacy of my oh so effective seduction and poisoning of you.ย Just the one time you check on my tweets and who is following me and who I am following. Just the one time you parked near where I lived and watched slumped in your driver’s seat to see who might appear at my door. Just the one time you sent a friend to watch me at an event you knew I would be attended and to report back on what she saw. Just the one time you re-read the e-mails I sent you. It was just the one time for them all and more, well one time a week then one time a day, but I dont know what you are doing do I, so where is the harm? Just the one time you return to my Facebook profile, scouring it, looking for clues like some desperate detective intent on tracking down the prolific killer. You check what I have liked, a picture here, a comment there, some meme about relationships which could be a dig at you but you are not sure. Any trace of you has been erased from my profile, gone are the messages, the comments and the pictures. Somebody else is there now, although there is some ambiguity. A red-headed woman appears in several pictures, laughing with me. You see one where her arms is draped around my shoulders and you feel the burning jealousy and anger and curse both you and I for this feeling. You fling your tablet to one side, muttering under your breath, just the one look having derailed your day before it has begun and vow not to look again. But you will. Just one look. A journey through the carousel of pictures, checking fingers to see if rings have appeared on them, of both me (it would be awful to see that rings on my wedding finger, something I always denied you) and of the women I pose with (it makes you feel sort of better if they wear a ring, that means that they won’t be with me, doesn’t it?)

You skulk amongst my twitter posts and return to my profile on my work website, reading the biography which you know off by heart. Your fingers rest on my profile picture as you see again the tie which you bought me for that particular photo shoot. Some days you wish it would be updated and then others days this once look makes you feel that perhaps I do not hate you, how can I if I still allow this picture to remain? You try not to think about me but somehow your mind just wanders there of its own volition, snaking through a thousand memories that spring up each day. Perhaps you will stay awhile amidst them, just the once minute of remembering. At the weekend you drove out to the forest path we used to amble along during sunny September mornings. Nobody else was ever there. Just you and I. You walked that path again, it was just the one time you needed to do it, to converse with the ghost of my presence as you found yourself talking aloud to me as if I was still walking beside you, holding your hand. It was meant to be just the one time but you have returned three times since, each time swearing that this time is when you exorcise those spectres.

What am I doing now? No doubt getting ready for work, perhaps showering and singing away as I once did in the shower we shared. Am I with somebody? Is somebody preparing breakfast for me or reclining in bed waiting for me to return to the bedroom towel draped about me? It seems so long since you have heard from me and so much remains unanswered, unsaid and unresolved. How would I react if you rang me? You cannot bring yourself to delete my number, just in case there was that one final conversation which could take place and put so many issues to bed, slay so many demons and close so many doors. That would all that it would take surely? Just the one conversation. Keep it business like, keep your emotions in check but just to get some answers so you can move on. Surely that is owed to you? You wonder whether I would answer if you rang me? How would I react if I saw your number on the display? You doubt I have blocked you, why would I do that? Your fingers toy with your phone, you need to know, just the once, just to make the hurt go away. You find my name. You want to hear my voice again, talk and no more but you feel anxious and the trepidation crawls over you. You need to know. You need the answers. What about ringing me and then stopping before I answer to see if I call back? Yes, that is a good idea, that would then show that I do want to talk to you, without the fear of having me hang up on you. That’s it. You will telephone me again after these months of nothing and let it ring and then this ever present agony can be eased. The questions can be answered when I call you back. You will not melt into my arms again. No, you are going to resist those sweet charms because you know what lies behind them. You have earned your stripes in that regard but you need to have this conversation, for yourself. You need to know I will talk to you. A text message isn’t immediate enough. I might not see it for some time or delay in replying, but a missed call, that brings a potential for urgency and immediacy and I am bound to respond to that aren’t I. You will call me. You will call and let it ring. Just the one time.

27 thoughts on “Just The One Time

  1. Iris says:

    Haha HG I’m sure you want your cake and eat it too :-).

  2. Iris says:

    My first 2 narcs I didn’t miss at all, but the last one (funny enough he was the plain one) I missed like crazy.

    But one day it stopped. It was like the favour was finally of my gum, so I spat him out. Just like that.

    So hang in here, it will happen.

  3. gabbanzobean says:

    Good Grief HG….
    You are definitely in my head with this one. From the paragraph about the “social media skulking” (replace tablet with I-phone) to the “conversing with your ghost” along the pathway to the “trepidation” in wanting to reach out and make that phone call but not knowing if it will be answered.

    You know exactly what we think and how we feel.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed and that is how it has to be in order to conquer and control.

  4. Noname says:

    Perfectly descried the psychological “anchor effect”, Tudor.

    The Narcs embed a lot of psychological “anchors” in their victims. They all serve to BIND the victims to Narcs.

    I’ve always been fascinated by that “mastership”. It is a real psychological art.

    They create the EMPTINESS inside of their victims first – isolation from family and friends, destroying the victims’ hobbies, external activities. The victims FEEL that emptiness (!), but, as usual, they don’t see it as a red flag.

    After that, Narcs start to FILL that emptiness UP with THEMSELVES – text messages (as described in the article), music songs, smells, certain places, certain activities, proximate everpresence, etc. The victims let the Narcs in. The Narcs become their “interntal world”, their SENSE of life from now. The victims feel RELIEF. They aren’t empty anymore! Woo hoo! And this is another red flag…

    And then the “cold shower” comes… Devaluation. Disengagement. And…EMPTINESS. Torturing, excruciating, painful emptiness. Now, the victims know exactly what the Narcs feel on a constant basis. The Narcs and victims are at the same page now. The brothers and sisters in pain…

    To avoid it, never let someone to change your life. The Normals never do it to their significant others. On the contrary, they all try to “integrate” their lives with your life in a harmonic manner. They never isolate you, they support your life style and your hobbies.

    The Normals aren’t self-oriented. They KNOW that they are the small part of this big world and they are absolutely in peace with that knowledge. They are capable to ACCEPT you as you are, without any “correction”.

    1. Iris says:

      Yep, when somebody says “I’m nothing without you” to you, it isn’t romantic but a huge red flag, so run for the hills.

      A partner is the cherry, not the cake.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        It is indeed a red flag.

        I like to have the cake. And eat it. Metaphorically speaking.

        1. Caroline says:

          Thank you for that very important clarification, HG, lol.

  5. demoneater says:

    It is fantasy to imagine that your discarded ex’s are sitting around obsessing over you and wishing you back. Whilst no doubt many of the softer-brained among us may be, that’s nevertheless not an accurate assessment of reality. Some of us are simply grateful to be rid of you (and would never take you back).

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are very much in the minority.

    2. Narc Angel says:


      Why is your name Demoneater if you are a demon?

  6. geyserempath says:

    This is my life right now. Itโ€™s miserable.

    1. Blank says:

      I am sorry to read this geyserempath. I really hope life will be better for you in the near future. Take care!

    2. gabbanzobean says:

      Ditto on all counts.

  7. Katie says:

    Jeeze, it’s like you’ve been in my head for the last three years. That is my life down to a tee. It’s been sad, thrilling and absolutely based on something that’s not real with no depth and yet we are still friends. I see through him to the brokeness below and can’t seem to walk away.

  8. SandraDee says:

    After weeks of silence I woke up to a Happy Thanksgiving. Days before was my birthday not a single Happy Birthday ๐Ÿ˜ž

    1. Kimi says:

      I understand SandraDee. Silence is a powerful weapon.

      1. SandraDee says:

        Hello Kimi it sure is and he knows it hurts me๐Ÿ˜ž He used to disappear on my and come back. He could tell I was worried. He would then tell me Don’t worry I am still here

    2. Caroline says:

      Of course not, Sandra Dee… because they have a really hard time allowing us to feel special for a day. Yeah, it’s sucky.

      I’m NC now, but not long before I went NC, it was my birthday, and the narcissist called me with (literally) 5 minutes to spare before it was the next day – at 11:55 p.m. – and even then, he didn’t say “Happy Birthday.” So right before we hung up, I said: Is there a reason you called me?” He said, “Well, obviously.” Then I said, “Oh?” He was quiet… waiting, waiting, waiting…so I had to say, “Because it’s my BIRTHDAY?” He said, “Of course.”

      But he still didn’t say it! Lol. I said, “Oh, well thank you.” Then he was all warm-sounding and said, “You are welcome, doll,” like he just did me a big favor!

      LOL. What the heck was I even thanking him for? Gawd. And he probably *does* think of me like an actual doll. Gawd again.

      1. SandraDee says:

        Caroline I think down deep inside. They have some empathy. They are just scared to show it. I think he feels some guilt from his behavior. But of course you know he is to macho and self absorbed to see

        1. Caroline says:

          I struggle with this myself, Sandra Dee. The way that I look at it is strictly as a disorder, so I don’t really bring “good v. evil” into it. I understand those who do, as there is deliberate calculation, but I keep going back to it being a disorder. So I look at it the same way I would, for example, diabetes – in that the person can’t help that they have it — did not choose it — and (seems to be) can’t rid themselves of it.

          It’s also hard for me to shake that the narcissist didn’t have moments of empathy and guilt, because I have felt many times that he did… I know HG would say those are not his real feelings/contrived for a purpose. I’m not disagreeing, but it’s still an uncertainty for me. Also, if I accept the disorder, then I am actually contradicting myself – in saying that I think the narcissist does have moments of empathy/guilt – because the definition of the disorder is that they do not (I think). So you can see that I am conflicted on that!

          But the bottom line are 3 truths for me:
          1) He has a disorder, and he will keep cycling.
          2) He may or may not have moments of empathy/guilt, but I will never know, one way or another.
          3) I do feel very sorry for those with this disorder, especially because of why they have it…I find it truly sad. But I also know I can’t fix it, so I can’t sacrifice myself on the NPD alter – and I don’t wish for anyone else to either.

      2. Jenna says:

        Caroline and sandradee,

        They have no empathy. None.
        Check it out:


        1. Caroline says:

          Thanks, Jenna. I will read this. I think it’s one of those concepts that I intellectually understand but emotionally have not fully absorbed. But if I think of the times when he seemed especially “empathic,” it was during the Golden Period, and my brain tells me he was infatuated and very capable of mimicking appropriate behaviors to please me… so it’s like my head gets it — but my heart just can’t yet fully grasp it. Even though I posted something on one of the threads about narcissists being like actors reading a script (and believe that)…I apparently still have a little bit of resistance to fully embracing it.

          I do appreciate you taking the time. I think it’s important that I not avoid unpleasant truths — and not let my emotional thinking leave room for any doubt on the cold, harsh realities. Maybe it’s a form of hope, in not fully coming to grips with it.

          1. jenna says:

            Hi caroline,

            Yw. I have been here for a little over a year now, and i have this ingrained in my mind that they have no empathy. With timely reinforcements, it will b ingrained in ur mind fully. Continued healing to u, caroline.

          2. Caroline says:

            Thanks, Jenna. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Caroline says:

    Don’t do it! Slippery slope…you will be pulled back into the crazy cycle – and they will mess with your mind and/or ignore you — and make you feel even worse, and markedly more confused/distressed.

    Step away from the phone!

    1. narc affair says:

      Hi caroline…so true! The phone is the enemy during no contact. Its better to power it off if you can. The constant looking if youve not blocked will wreak havok on your emotions.

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