I Cannot Do This Anymore



I cannot do this anymore. You may have heard this statement from one of our kind. It is uttered with a weary resignation, a long sigh and a tired look in our eyes. The glorious countenance has vanished and been replaced with someone who looks defeated, crumpled and exhausted. The polish and shine has been dulled, the accumulative impact of what has happened now looks to have taken its toll on us and with a wave of the white flag we surrender.

But when we say “I cannot do this anymore” to what are we referring. What is the this? Straight from the off, as we utter this phrase, we have set a trap for you. Do we mean that we can no longer maintain the relationship with you, this topsy-turvy roller coaster of a ride? Have we given up on the concept of us and this is the death knell for our relationship together? You can already feel the anxiety crawling over you as you contemplate the import of this phrase. The days without us already beginning to stretch ahead of you, the multitude of questions which start to form in your mind, the whys and hows drifting through your mind, gathering momentum and troubling you. Is that what we are referring to? Can we no longer remain in a relationship with you?

Or is it perhaps something else? Is this an epiphany? Have we seen that our repeated abuses against you, through many different forms and occasions, is too much and goes against the good person you have always believed that lurks somewhere inside of us? You saw that person (or believed you did) for a long time at the outset of the relationship but he has been missing as of late. He has taken a holiday from these parts but surely it is only a holiday, because if it is this means that he will be coming back. He has gone but not forever. Perhaps this is him returned and with that moment of revelation and realisation, we have seen the truth of what we have been doing and through this we now know that we cannot continue to behave in this manner any longer. Is this what we mean when we declare the statement of “I cannot do this anymore”?

Which is it? You dread it being the former and hope that it is the latter. This might be the breakthrough that you have been seeking all these months as you have hung in there, buffeted and assailed by all of our terrible torments, but now you have come good, you have achieved your great reward. That must surely be what we mean.

You wait for us to elaborate but nothing more is said. We continue to look at you and you stare into our eyes. What do you see? Is it despair or is it hope? You cannot be sure. You are confused but you do not want to be. You want clarity and you feel an alternating sense of worry one moment and then resurgent hope the next. You wait, your expression set in expectation, urging us to flesh out this statement, to expand and to elaborate but still our silence remains. Are we gathering our thoughts before making the next great pronouncement? Is there more? Will it be a hammer blow which obliterates your hopes or that triumphant clarion call which signals that the war is at an end and peace has broken out? Is this the very thing that you have dreamed about?

You wonder whether you should press us or would that affect the outcome and bring about a volte face? You have experienced enough of those during the tumultuous experience that is your union with us. Perhaps you are better served waiting and allowing us to express ourselves, but you need to know, you want to know. You want to know if you should commence your reasoning to ensure that the relationship is at an end. If this is to be the outcome, then you need to commence your bid for its continuation without delay, not least to stem the churning anxiety which is threatening to overwhelm you. If it is an end to the abuse, the games and the mis-treatment then you want to congratulate us on breaking through that final barrier and achieving the insight you have longed for, for such an extensive period of time. You urge us with your eyes to add to the comment, to help us over the finishing line and in so doing end your own uncertainty, but there is no more. We just keep looking at you.

This is where we like to position you. Gripped by uncertainty, emotions churning through you as we milk them through you all through one comment. We can see it all in your eyes, your frozen stance, the hunched shoulders, the clenched hands, the mask of uncertainty that is strapped to your face. In turn we see the hope, the worry, the optimism and the fear flickering through your eyes and as usual we are sustained by this nourishment. Those words have provoked this reaction in you, the emotional response pouring our way, even though it is silent and immobile.

If you eventually breach this impasse and press for more details, expect to be led by the hand into the maze of ambiguity, double-meaning and obfuscation. Your questions will be half-answered. Your queries will be met with more silence, an unwavering look as we force you to try and work it out. Morsels of encouragement may be provided, like breadcrumbs along the path as we lead you deeper and deeper into the maze. You continue to fuel us as you think you are being taken towards the answers, admitted into our confidence and shown the inner sanctum of our thoughts, but no, all we are doing is taking you into the bowels of our tangled forest where you will be caught on the thorns of unanswered questions, tripped by the vines of vagueness and blocked by the twisted branches of bewilderment.

Do we mean it when we say this phrase? It is really the case that I cannot do this anymore?

Of course I can. I can keep doing this forever because as I have mentioned on many occasions this is forever. Yes, there will be times where I will disappear. Yes, there will be occasions where I am good to you again, then bad and then good. The purpose of saying this is purely to upset you. I have no intention at all at leaving you. Why would I when you give me so much wonderful negative fuel through the period of devaluation? Why would I when you provide the delicious positive fuel again when I allow a period of respite and the application of the golden period again? I am going nowhere but it does not harm to suggest to you that I might. It keeps you on your toes and ensures that I am able to exert control over you. I keep you guessing, anxious and confused and I also ensure that your fuel keeps flowing.

I also say this to make it sound like what we have is arduous and horrible. It is for you because I treat you badly but this is enjoyable. I get to do what I want, I am never wrong and you have to bear the brunt of my shocking behaviour towards you. It is a playground for me and I am not going to give that up. Never. Still, I want you always one heartbeat away from thinking that I am going to walk out on you, that you are not doing enough for me so you will try harder, you will avoid the egg shells more effectively and you will keep on trying and trying to please me. This is a great way of controlling you by threatening you with the loss of me although it is never going to happen. By a similar token, I want you a breath away from thinking that a breakthrough has been achieved, that I have seen clarity through the fog of malevolence and realise that this abusive treatment, this game-playing and inventive fabrications are at an end. You keep hoping that day is just around the corner, so you remain locked into your investment with me and you dare not give up, not now, not when redemption might be a week, a day or an hour way.

Accordingly, it you hear this, do not think that I am going to leave you. I am not. Do not think that I have realised what it is that I do and that it is wrong and must be stopped. I may well realise, but I will not stop.

I am just continuing to control you and seeking a reaction from you.

Of course, you are forbidden from ever saying these words.

7 thoughts on “I Cannot Do This Anymore

  1. sarabella says:

    Yep. heard those, too. I saw right away, the pattern of his version of “I can’t do this” followed by willingly interacting with me. One of his favorite was “Chill out. I am not going anywhere. I am here… and I have 99 problems and you aren’t one of them” or however that song goes. So all the threats of “I am not going to read what you wrote” and maybe I will or won’t reply was always followed at some point, by a reference that showed me he had in fact read everything I wrote. It was another version of “I can’t do this anymore”.

    Me neither. I couldn’t either in the end. He just wasn’t worth it. I found my way out, where I felt I had my version of the acceptable last word and that’s that. When I get to March of next year, then I will know, its history…. And this new year’s setting a new goal of ending all dips into viewing his online life. Its fake anyway, and I know that, so there was no point to have ever taken it seriously.

    All I have to do is remind mysel of my last words, “I hope you are proud of what you did.” To which he responded by a round of rage and that was that… Bye-Bye Narc. I stopped doing this.

  2. Mb says:

    Wish I’d have read this last year! I heard these words delivered EXACTLY as stated here. Luckily at the time though I was internally flabbergasted at the irony (HE was weary?!?!? When HE was the one dishing out the pain ) but I had my mind made up to leave so I forced myself not to react visibly and kept doing what I was doing. He really is the height of audacity. Been out 5 months and he’s still making it a toxic roller coaster ride from hell as much as he can with the extremely limited contact . I pray for the day I am free of this waste of 10 years total of my life love energy beauty , all could have gone into someone who could return my love. I pray I will get ‘me’ back . Thx HG for the valuable information. Could you write a book for counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists so very many are so in the dark . I wasted years in every type counseling when with Nex to zero avail. No matter how awful it was, at the time I didn’t comprehend what his comment ‘you don’t give up on me you still talk , interact, that shows me you love me’even though there was never ever resolution on anything , now I see he was only after fuel so unless I walked away or stopped caring ( investing any emotion or energy ). He was happy. I got only lied and a persona with no real intimacy ever. Just brief periods of ‘normalcy’.

  3. Ex-Mrs. Lamb says:

    The comment that was made to me out of the blue was “You’re going to destroy me.” I was shocked because for the second time in a year I was given divorce papers. I reacted with the normal tears and need to know why. The reason my narcissist was ready to let me go forever this time was because he had systematically taken everything – every dollar and every asset I ever had and he was finished taking everything – even my paycheck from the day before (left me $163 which which to start over). He needed to get a new source of fuel while I was devastated. He needed to show me how smart he was and how stupid and trusting I was. He was sure I would be so destroyed that I wouldn’t have the wherewithal mentally or financially to fight back and a divorce would go through in 60 days before I knew what had hit me.

    I suppose that I will never be Hoovered because he took everything without having to answer (he fooled his attorney, the judge, and even MY attorney). But, I was able to severely injure him by standing up in court and telling my truth of physical abuse, bruises, bloody and broken noses (three times!), being beat up several times over our eleven-year relationship, marital rape, and the fact that he gave my teenaged daughter a concussion and tried to seduce her at 15 (unknown to me at the time) because she stood up for herself during a bout of horrible verbal abuse. I also got to bring up the fact that he was calling people (my mother, my daughters, my sister, and even my employer and coworkers) in order to smear me.

    I received a two-year Order Of Protection. In the State of Texas that’s as long as you can get. He had to sit there and listen. He was ENRAGED, and immediately caught me outside and threatened me before roaring off in his truck so that I didn’t have time to snap a picture proving that he had already violated the Order. I have been total NC for 14 months now. I’m getting a little stronger every single day, but I’m pretty sure that if he tried to pull me back I would buckle – as I always have in the past. 😢

    1. K says:

      Ex-Mrs. Lamb
      Never say never. There is always the chance that you will be hoovered. Excellent job regarding the two-year Order of Protection, those can be difficult to get, now is the time to switch your emotional thinking to logical thinking so you will be prepared for the inevitable hoover.

  4. Kelly says:

    Well I am clearly already hooked. Just subscribed a day or two ago, saw the first sentence in this email and thought “No! He’s not ending the blog is he?” Seems narc addiction is becoming a way of life for me…ugh!

  5. geyserempath says:

    Oh, but I have uttered these very words, tears streaming down my face, clutching my sides tightly as I rock back and forth. And it is when I get that low that I really mean it…thanks to reading your articles, HG and taking your advice finally.

  6. Sniglet says:

    I’ve heard these manipulative words “I cannot do this any more.” from someone I was seeing. Although I didn’t want it to end when the words were said my reply was “I agree!” in defiance with indifference to show that my life will go on. And I won’t crumble, I won’t run after him, I won’t stalk, I just vanish because I have options. I won’t permit love dicktate the path of my life. When I utter “I cannot do this any more.” I mean it and the plans to leave have been in the works for some time. And leave I will.

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