Let’s Pretend


Here we are again. In that all too familiar place. I have lost count of how many times I have found myself here. Despite my very best endeavours, my valiant intentions and earnest dedication I am stood in this hallway of despair. Some time ago this hallway was a welcoming place where polished tiles gleamed and marble pillars glinted. The air was filled with the scent of jasmine, bright sunlight pouring in through the glass dome high above. So many corridors and doorways led from this hallway, offering exciting and intriguing possibilities, new experiences and enthralling opportunities. I can still picture you when you had crossed the threshold, invited into my world and you stood open-mouthed impressed and amazed by the grandeur. With a typically generous and expansive sweep of my arm I offered you the free run of those corridors and rooms. You took full advantage of my generosity and why not? You were a very welcome and special addition.

Now look at us. Your failure has made this a cold and desolate place. The dome has suffered as a consequence of your frequent eruptions of frustrated anger, the once clear panes now either broken or smeared with the grime of your betrayal. The sun has not shone into this hallway for a long time, in fact, neither of us can remember when it last did so. The tall pillars are cracked and chipped, testament to your unwarranted assaults on our person as your forked tongue of criticism lashed out at us. The tiles are fractured and uneven causing you to regularly trip and fall to the floor, the cold slap of your downfall a stark reminder of the change that has gripped this place. You can hear the low moan of the wind as it billows, wuthering and gusting, seeking entrance through the broken windows and dilapidated shutters. That is the wind isn’t it or is it the tortured protestations of the shades and spectres which still haunt this hallway? Sometimes you see them, the forlorn figures which glide haplessly along the dirty passageways, heads bowed as they seem to be seeking something. Whenever you see them you feel a strange sense of familiarity and understanding with their plight even though you are unsure who they are. No doubt a consequence of the empathic traits which still cause you to remain here.

I let you walk these beautiful corridors. I allowed you to marvel at the statues, the ornaments which adorned the walls and alcoves, mesmerising you with their beauty. You felt loved, you felt content and you felt safe as you walked this place never needing or wanting to step back through the door that you once entered all that time ago.

Now you are sat on the icy floor, your hands clasped together and raised in a gesture of contrition and pleading. Your face is etched with wounding woe and the lines of desperation evidence your determination to remain. I brandish the heavy iron key that will unlock the dark door which looms over you and which will reveal the doorway to the cold, uncaring and harsh world beyond, a world you have no desire to return to. I hold the key as I stand over you watching you and although I hear your voice I cannot discern what you are saying. You struggle to your feet, weakness pulling at you as you pull down the sleeve of the tattered garment which you wear and you begin to rub at a nearby pillar. You spit on it and frantically try to remove the grime as if you are showing me that the damage can somehow be undone. You turn and look at me, hand still moving back and forth and I see that eternal optimism in your eyes. That look which once looked like paradise to me and now only serves to reinforce your selfishness in wanting to remain here after everything you have done and everything you have not done as you let me down. Again. The distortion that has surrounded your voice has gone and now I can hear you as you are pointing to the windows and the doors which hang from their hinges, holes smashed into them.

” This place was once so beautiful and you have let it fall into neglect, why have you done this? I just do not understand. I helped you keep it shining and in a pristine condition but then you just lost interest, you would not work with me anymore and it began to fall into decline. It was too much for me to maintain alone though heaven knows I tried, I really did. Not only did you not help me but you then started to hinder me, stopping me from carrying out my tasks, holding me back and diverting me.”

Why are you saying such things to me? Why are you seeking to pin the blame on me? Why are you trying to make me responsible for the demise of this once grand place? I shake my head and point the key at you, a clear signal of my intent. Your face twists and the tears start to form in your eyes. Perhaps they might fall into the now dry fountain and bring about restoration. Does such restoration hang from your sadness?

“Don’t make me leave, please I do not want this to end,” you plead, your eyes, which once shone with delight and joy, which are now glazed as your fear of abandonment starts to rise.

“This does not have to happen, ” you continue as you place a hand against my arm, ” let me stay, I only want us to be happy, to be as we once were. Surely we can do that? Our laughter once echoed through this place and it can again. We can repair the damage, it is not about who caused it, I can put that to one side, I just want us to be together and for us to rebuild what we once had. We did it once, I know we can again, let us join forces and re-create that wonderful time once more, let us admit sunshine and clean away the dirt and the hurt that seeks to envelope this place. We can fix the glass, mend the doors, scrub the floors and clean and tidy and make good. We can do it. I know we can. I can sense it deep inside you, I know it to be the case.”

Your words are impressive and burgeoning with hope. Perhaps it can be done but then you let us down and for that you must pay the price. That momentary consideration of allying with you and recovering what we once had is dispelled. We shake our head.

“It cannot be recovered. There is no hope to do so,” we say slowly.

A tear spills down your cheek and hovers on your chin as if unsure of where to go.

“Then let us at least pretend that we walk through gilded and fragrant halls once more. Please? We can pretend can’t we?”

Yes, we can pretend. It is all we ever do.

16 thoughts on “Let’s Pretend

  1. Mb says:

    Absolutely chilling. Last line killed with truth. Thanks for the verification HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

      1. Sophia says:

        “There would be exclusivity.” From what I understood there is always another fuel source. There is always infidelity with a narcissist. At best, I may have had a month of his fidelity. I think that may have had more to do with his lack of options and inability to hook another catch. He struggled to keep his creature caged.

        Are you saying there is actually a period of time when you aren’t thinking the grass may be greener elsewhere?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes during the golden period with the IPPS.

  2. SadSteffi says:

    Seasons Greetings!


    So the mid range narcissist’s switch flicks and he realises this victim is no longer “the one” and he devalues her and the golden period is over. Then his switch flicks again (for whatever reason) and reinstates the golden period with her. By reinstating the golden period does he believe her to be “the one” again or are his actions purely for fuel purposes?

    Does this also apply to current and/or shelved IPSSs and DLS?

    Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He regards her as the one but the actions are of course to draw fuel.

      IPSSs and DLS are not regarded as the one.

      1. SadSteffi says:

        Thank you for your prompt reply.
        I am a shelved DLS – I started out as a friend and when he was ready we became intimate but I never experienced lovebombing to the extent as described in your previous articles. I don’t think I made the grade to become IPPS as I am not always easy to control. In all other respects I am a narcissist’s dream.
        Is there a chance I could become his IPPS and how would I know I am being promoted?

        Thank you

        1. HG Tudor says:

          There is a chance yes. You would spend a lot of time together, likely move in together, become engaged, there would be exclusivity.

      2. Blank says:

        Sad Steffi.. it looks like you are hoping for promotion. If you think you are sad now, I can tell you you really will find out sadness once you are promoted. I can only advise you to stay away from any narc unless you love to be hurt badly.

      3. SadSteffi says:


        Thanks to you I now know what the warning signs are to look out for.

        One thing I didn’t understand that you said though – “there would be exclusivity” – please expand on this comment.

        Many thanks

  3. Blank says:

    You really are theatrical HG 🙂
    If I could make one wish right now I’d wish narcissism to not exist anymore.
    Let’s pretend for now we all love Christmas (especially being around nars) and therefore I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Sending you love (and strength). XX

    1. Blank says:

      narcs that is, not nars

  4. Mary says:

    I have had the most wonderful day. Baking, listening to music, drinking champagne, laughing with my kids who have come home for the holidays. Love fills my house again. I thought he would be here with us this year sharing in the joy of the season. But, for some unknown reason, I am just left wondering, “what the hell happened?” It hurts. I am mad that it hurts!

  5. Nina says:

    So well written, much much better than those “50 Shades” books. Invokes so much emotion in me.

    But one question, how are so many of his colleagues, friends and family fooled? There are literally hundreds who would claim he is the nicest, most charitable friend and boss. Why are only the intimate partners privy to the pain?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Firstly we need a facade from which fuel is derived. This facade is also the contrast to the darkness that is unleashed. IPs are usually the ones who receive the pain (other appliances do also but it is less likely and less intense) because of the need for contrast and the fact that you have let us down, thus your treachery must be addressed.

    2. Natalie says:

      In my experience, I have found that their supporters aren’t always fooled. Lots of them are quite narcissistic themselves! They actively participate because they are of the same “brethren” as HG would say. They play stupid if it is to their benefit. It’s bewildering! My ex was a highly intelligent greater, but he sometimes played a fool..and played it WELL, to his advantage!

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