We have cast you aside after subjecting you to a litany of abuse, mistreatment and the full horror of our manipulative and disorientating repertoire. You have your absolute all in the pursuit of what you believed to be our perfect love. You have endured humiliation, denigration and belittlement yet you still hung in there, desperate to cure and to heal. You wanted us so much that it hurt and it still does. Not only have we discarded you with a callous disregard for your welfare and sanity, we have added to the pain by parading our latest conquest for all the world to see. You are no longer the recipient of our burning desire. You have been removed from our grace and favour and a new beneficiary has been installed. The monument to our supposedly everlasting love has been razed to the ground and on that once sacred ground we have erected a new edifice, lauding our new, shinier and much improved interest. What was once promised as lasting forever has been smashed into pieces and erased from the history books.
Your hurt, anger and indignation are tangible. The traitorous behaviour we have subjected to you has torn you apart. It is awful enough that after everything you have done, everything you have given and everything that you have endured, you have been struck from the record. The insult has been magnified and multiplied by reason of our infatuation with your replacement. How dare we do this to you. It is utterly unfair.
Your desire for retribution is immense. You want to cause our come uppance and warn the world about the monster that you see us as. You feel that all must be told about the awful toll that you have taken from our treatment but greater than that, you have that irresistible sense of needing to protect and warn. The empathic nature that made you such an attractive target to us has survived notwithstanding the mauling we have given you. You need to save our conquest from what you have been put through. Not only must you rescue the poor innocent from our toxic touch this will enable you to exact a delicious revenge on us. By taking away the thing that we crave, you know that triumph awaits. Our fresh acquisition may work out what has happened, but that will take too long. No, you owe it to her and you owe it yourself to intervene, to educate and warn. It is time to expose us for what you say we are.
You call us for the perfidious behaviour that we have engaged in. You decry our stories of your hysterical and unreasonable behaviour and yet here you are, ready to spread such lies about us to our new love. You hold yourself out as being a person of good nature and compassion yet you are hell bent on ruining our new-found happiness. You were not good enough for us. You let us down and thus you had to be moved to one side replaced. Out with the old and in with the new. That is the natural order of events. The appliance does not work anymore, therefore a new, faster and more effective appliance must be brought to the fore and installed. Why complain about that? Had you been fit for purpose you would still be the object of our affection, but you failed. We gave you every chance and yet you still came up wanting. You are to blame. You only have yourself to blame. Yet, exhibiting the malice that you laughingly accuse us of you go running to our new interest and tell tales about us.
Your poison-laden tongue weaves its malevolent words as you whisper fabricated stories in order to discourage our new love from remaining with us. Do you not understand that this is the very reason why we had to let you go. We tried. We really did, but you would insist on railing against us and not submitting to our will. There was no hope for it other than yo remove you from our lives. As people of substance and rigour, we have not gone with our tales of lament to others, seeking to draw sympathy from them. No, that is not for us. We chalked off our time with you as a mistake and we learn from it. Now we have found someone better. So what that we moved with what you regard as unseemly haste, we are entitled to drive forward. You should take heed of our capability in that regard, instead of remaining mired in what might have been. Imprisoning yourself in a tomb of melancholy is not the way of progress. This only underlines our superiority to you. We have moved on. If you cannot, then that is your problem and not ours.
We act with honour and do not stoop to your level. We know that our character speaks for itself with this new person. We allow them to make their own mind up and the extensive groundwork which we put in place has ensured that this person is impervious to your unsavoury behaviour. We know that our impregnable façade of magnificence cannot be pierced by your savage and twisted lies. Run to our new love, run to them and seek to pour your poison in their ears and we shall watch smiling as they turn to you and shake their head. They are immune to your campaign of smears. They know that we are truly wonderful and that you had your chance but you destroyed what we had as a consequence of your quite frankly unhinged conduct. She tells you how magnificently I treat her and you try to explain how it was like that for you in the beginning but your words are lost in translation. You are told that your jealousy has skewed your outlook, that your paranoia has warped your view of the world. Your craziness has been well documented. We have done the protecting. We have done the warning and as always we got in first.
Tell your tales but all you do is reinforce our brilliance and the reason we were oh so right to be rid of you. Nobody likes a tell tale. Nobody likes you.
This is a capricious, arbitrary and hostile world. It must be brought to heel, tamed and subjected to the exertion of control. My control.
This is why I must cause every appliance that I come across to become attached to me. From my next door neighbour who I say hello to and exchange banal pleasantries with for the sake of my façade (even though I would readily drive a rusty meat hook through his malformed cranium if he tells me again about the refurbishment details of his latest property acquisition) through to my friends who join me for drinks on a Friday evening through to the latest girlfriend that I parade, all of them must be attached to me.
The creation of my construct is the device which causes these individuals to become attached to me. That magnificent edifice which is created from the mirrors which I show towards those whose paths I cross. Make the ticket inspector smile on the train by supporting him dealing with a obstreperous teenage passenger, encourage a friend in his plans to lose weight, show that prospective IPPS her own hopes and desires so she begins to fall in love. All of that is the work of the construct which is designed to draw each and every source – from the tertiary through to the ever-so-crucial Intimate Partner Primary Source – to me and cause them to attach to me.
Whether the barista thinks I am a pleasant and loyal customer, a junior colleague considers me an inspirational boss, the lady I pass every other day whilst out running gives me a smile of acknowledgement and admiration, whether a friend considers me someone he can turn to for advice, whether she falls hopelessly in love with me; there are thousands of different ways for these appliances to attach to me.
It might be a jealous co-worker who seethes at my arrogance, the nervous supplier who dreads my call demanding what is behind his company’s latest cock-up, the weeping cast off who was once the apple of my eye but is now a maggot-infested windfall, all of them remain attached to me.
It is through causing these appliances to be attached to me that I can exert control as I assimilate them into my world. They are mine to control, to utilise, to extract from and through this I can then control my environment. By controlling my environment I aim to minimise the traitorous ambush or the treacherous mutiny. Keeping everything in its place, subject to my control and functioning as I require it, means I drive forward and order is maintained.
Attachment is the key to achieving this. I have to draw you in, hook you, grip you, I have to bond you to me, bind you so you do not escape me, clamp you in place, tie you down and secure the attachment. I will give you the illusion of the golden period, I will lie to you, I will give you generosity, I will show you largesse, I will even exhibit some form of manufactured intimacy, kindness and support, the promise of fuel and the years of practised scrutiny enabling me to give you what you want so I secure your attachment.
Yet for all these fuel pipelines that are connected to me, for all of the bridges that have been built, the links which have been carefully constructed, they are all one-way. It is you being attached to me. I feel no attachment to you.
That is why I am so able to turn on the person that I supposedly love and watch as the tears trickle down the disbelieving face as I lambast her for wearing the wrong shade of red or turning up two minutes late. That is why I can lie between the silken thighs of another and promise her the world whilst you lie awake wondering where I am and praying that I have not been involved in a road accident. That is why I can assure you that you will be promoted by year end and in the next meeting offer it to somebody else instead. That is why I can decide not to turn up to the dinner party you have spent a month planning and go and watch a film elsewhere. That is why I can smash your grandmother’s watch with a ballpein hammer as you observe, in a fit of hysterics.
My lack of attachment allows me to disappoint, renege, cheat, lie, provoke, hurt, torture and abuse. It gives me fluidity, mobility and efficiency. I am not hampered by guilt, nor remorse or a sense of obligation. I form no attachment with you. I do not feel it.
You may ask me what I might think of those who I interact with and I can conjure up the tributes and platitudes in an instant:-
“John? Excellent worker, never lets the company down, a key member of the team.”
“She is a wonderful woman, I do not know what I would do without her. She is my world.”
“He is amazing. First name on the team sheet every week.”
“NarcSide Inc? Fucking brilliant. Use them. I did once. Never gone anywhere else.”
But for all of this I feel nothing by way of attachment. I bolt you on to me, but I will not attach to you. What does attachment bring? Nothing but misery. Look around and you will see the woe and pain that being attached brings for people.
You become attached to a pet dog which will die in 10 years’ time and you cry for the loss of your furry friend. Why? Why attach to something that is only going to leave you?
You are attached to your employer and show loyalty? What for? So they can bend you over and shaft you by making you redundant and show you the door without even a tub of lube to ease the pain of the experience?
You are attached to your house, but you have to sell it, or it burns down, or it is flooded, or someone breaks in and yet more pain is dumped on you.
You are attached to your friend and share everything with that person and then one day he is mowed down by an articulated lorry and is left nothing but a smear on the road. You are distraught, besides yourself with grief because of your attachment.
You attach yourself to a lover, a girlfriend, a husband, a partner only for them to cheat on you, to leave you for someone else, to shuffle off this mortal coil pumped full of morphine or grasping their chest as a heart attack takes them from you. Your world comes crashing in, you are shattered, besides yourself with grief and it is all because of your attachment.
You attach yourself to offspring only for them to disappoint you, leech from you, turn to an unsavoury lifestyle which embarrasses you and dismays you because you are attached to them. Or you are always worrying how they are getting on at school, will they secure that job, pass their driving test, find a good man or woman? Your feelings are put through the mill owing to this attachment.
Oh I know you will tell me that you gain so much from these attachments, love, happiness, support, understanding, companionship, joy, loyalty, a sense of achievement and more besides. I have heard it before, but I see over and over again the misery that always arises from these attachments. It is not worth it.
It is far better to never become attached in the first place. I cannot trust. How can I when I was given a salutary and compelling lesson that if you try to attach all you receive in return is rejection and misery. Better not to bother. Build the wall, dig the moat, put up the barriers, do not allow anybody in and in so doing you prevent these weakening attachments from occurring and you save yourself the inevitable, and it is always inevitable, misery that is waiting around the corner.
Yet for me, I do not even have to contemplate creating that tower or ensuring that the ditch is dug deep. I do not have to roll out the figurative barbed wire and electric fences to keep people out. This is all done for me because I do not know how to connect with someone. I have no idea how it is done.
I can attach them to me. That is easy. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. A combination of brilliance, charm, magnetism, manipulation and the identification of those from the strong to the weak and back again who are the best for succumbing to being attached to me. I can bring that about through all of the various seduction techniques I have described before.
Yet for all of that power of attraction, which few can resist, from tertiary to secondary to primary source, I do not know how to form an emotional attachment with someone. I may align interests and outcomes and sense a mutuality of purpose but I feel nothing for these appliances. There is no bond. There is nothing attaching me to them. The emptiness within me, the void which I seek to fill with fuel from all those in my fuel matrix pervades my relationship with those in that matrix. I am hollow and that echoes in my relationships with all those around me.
Whatever it is that compels you to feel connected to somebody else, whatever you describe it as and I have heard people do so on many occasions, I remain unable to sense and experience it myself.
There is just nothing there.
Does this trouble me? No. I see the misery that comes with attachment and I see my inability to connect to anybody as an advantage so I am spared what happens to so many others.
The Creature had all of that and it can keep it.
I rose from the seat of misery and I found a new throne.
You ought to have read Perfect Sense. If not, stop now and go and read it. If you already have, good, let’s proceed. The word salad is an occurrence of several disorders and is invariably an unintended consequence of certain mental health conditions. This differs when word salad is considered in the context of narcissism. What is it? It is where we communicate with you in a method which does not make sense, fails to progress a discussion or results in a lack of an outcome. As opposed to a stream of consciousness, it is a mechanism deployed by our kind to achieve several outcomes which I detail below. The use of word salad is most effective in a face to face discussion but it also appears in telephone conversations with our kind, text messages and e-mails.
How does it manifest? The Lesser Narcissist engages in this behaviour as a matter of instinctive reaction. He does not realise that he is doing it (which is one of the most confusing elements for the non-narcissist to grasp since it appears deliberate). With the Lesser it is an instinctive response by him in order to maintain the upper hand in the engagement with the victim. He does not deliberately engage it to achieve the various outcomes I will refer to, but instead he just does it. The Mid-Range engages in it and whilst he may recognise some force in the comments of the victim, his need to remain holding the whip hand in the discussion results in him immediately continuing to behave in this manner without being fully aware of what he is doing. The moment he might start to reflect on what the victim has said with regard to his conduct, his reflection is overruled by the need to deflect and deny and thus the word salad continues. If the victim makes reference to the behaviour once again, the reflection may start but as soon as it does, it is pushed aside by the need to deflect. It is akin to points on a railway starting to move but then a greater force comes along and pushes the points back to the original position. The Greater knows what he is doing. He knows the upper hand must be obtained and he revels in being obstructive, frustrating and evasive. He regards it as a game and is entirely aware of what he is doing as he deploys this manipulative technique.
Word salad can appear in many forms. For instance, there will be circular conversations where the topic just keeps repeating without there ever being a resolution. We will repeatedly project and we will also bring up the past (whether real or manufactured). It is common as well in this word salad to play the victim. We will make incredible leaps of logic which will make no sense to you, but make perfect sense to us because they are necessary in order to achieve our aims and to keep the upper hand. We will twist, contort and engage in all manner of spoken and written gymnastics to ensure that the effects we require or desire are achieved.
Why do we do it? There are several reasons why the word salad is deployed by us.
- Words are easy to use. They are low in terms of energy expenditure.
- If we engage in spoken word salad then words disappear into the ether once they have been spoken which allows us to deny what was just said and suggest that your recall of the conversation is impaired and that there is something wrong with you and not with us.
- We want to confuse you. If you are confused then you will struggle to drive through what is happening. You are also less likely to realise what is happening. By being caught in the web of confusion you will struggle to make sense of the word salad.
- Naturally using word salad provides us with the necessary fuel that we require. You will invariably become irritated, frustrated, angry and upset. All of which provides us with negative fuel. Furthermore, if you give up on the conversation, the relief that manifests when you do so also provides us with fuel.
- Word salad is used to control you. By keeping you on your toes, suggesting you are in the wrong, that we are not, we maintain control. Control is fundamental to the narcissistic relationship and we must always have control over you.
- Lack of accountability. We regard ourselves as blameless and that we have no culpability for our actions. Utilising word salad allows us to maintain this state.
- Entitlement. We can do as we please, say what we want and you are not allowed to stop us. By engaging in displays of word salad we are exercising our sense of entitlement.
- Guilt. We want you to feel guilty. By making it seem like you are the one at fault you may well become apologetic which asserts our superiority and provides us with fuel. This also assists us in asserting control because if you feel guilty you are more likely to do what we want.
- Deflect challenges. We do not like you to challenge us and therefore by unleashing a word salad against you, we can deflect your attempt to challenge us.
- Create obsession. The whole exchange will make no sense to you and therefore afterwards you will obsess over it because you want to try to make sense of what has happened. You will replay what was said, analyse the content of messages and most likely discuss it with third parties. This maintains control over you because you continue to talk and dwell on us which is something we want.
- Plausible deniability. By talking in riddles, in amorphous and vague terms this allows us to adopt plausible deniability which can later be used against you or to further our denials at a later stage.
Why does it affect people like you in particular? Anybody “normal” would be perplexed by such behaviour but it is especially effective against those empathetic victims who are intimate partner primary sources. There are a few reasons why this is the case (and this accords with why you are selected as our victims).
- You try to understand somebody else’s position. A normal may give up and walk away in frustration but you feel obligated to try to understand what we are talking about;
- You place considerable value in resolving matters and you want to achieve this with us, which causes you to continue engaging with us;
- You need to be heard. You want to have your say and feel that you must be listened to. Of course we never listen to what you have to say, we only want your fuel, but you fail to recognise this and your repeated attempts to say your piece, speak your mind and air your views will play repeatedly into our hands.
- You need to understand. You want to work out what is going on. In the maelstrom of devaluation you do not know what you are engaging with. You think you are dealing with someone normal and intelligent who should understand what is happening and you need to understand why we do not appear to understand.
- You need to get us to understand. In tandem with your desire to heal and fix, you feel a considerable urge to make us understand that what we are doing makes no sense. You are on a hiding to nothing. The Lesser and Mid-Range have no insight and the Greater will not allow you to know he has insight.
- You feel you have to defend yourself against what is being said as you hate the world and especially us to have the wrong impression of who and what you are.
The consequence of all of this is that you are very easily drawn into the effects of a word salad and you remain gripped by it.
How do you toss the salad aside then?
- The most important step is to understand that you will never ever win the argument or the discussion. Stop trying to achieve this. It just will not happen and the more you try, the more you play into our hands. Once you have grasped that you cannot succeed you will then be able to cope with the word salad much more effectively.
- State your position once and leave it at that. You then know you have set out your position and you have told us. Therefore you know that you have spoken up and asserted your position which will make you feel better. You have not backed down.
- Understand that if you state your position seven times you have done so six times too many and wasted your energy. Learn to save your energy. You need it for other things when you are caught in the devaluation.
- Do not feel that you must defend yourself. The allegations we make are invariably projection but you fall for it every time. Do not do so. State that you have nothing to say on the matter rather than become drawn in.
- Avoid providing fuel. This becomes easier once you apply steps 1-4 above. It will also eventually bring the word salad to an end when we realise it is no longer proving effective.
- Walk away. Remaining and staying embroiled in the word salad is not going to achieve anything. Remove yourself from it. Do not just go into another room but leave the vicinity and go elsewhere. Your removal will be regarded as a criticism which will ignite our fury but if you are not there to be the recipient of this fury we will have to seek fuel elsewhere and you avoid the ramifications of this ignited fury.
- Eat some steak instead. It is tasty.
“Why do you spend so much time looking at porn?”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do. I know you do.”
“No you don’t know, you don’t know me at all, that’s part of the problem, if you took some time to know me, you would understand.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh that’s right, pretend you do not know what I am talking about. Absolutely typical. It is any wonder I get so pissed off with you?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“There you go again.”
“What are you on about?”
“Look, repeating it won’t make it any different. You always do this when you are in the wrong.”
“Hang on, me in the wrong? We were talking about you and your massive porn addiction.”
“Only because you are trying to deflect from what is really going on.”
“No I am not.”
“You just did it again.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did. Every time I try and point something out to you, you do this, you will never accept you are at fault. You always try to blame me. It is unfair and quite frankly troubling.”
“Wait, wait, this is all wrong.”
“You’re telling me.”
“At last an apology.”
“No, I wasn’t apologising.”
“No I should have known shouldn’t I? You don’t do apologies do you, you are so holier than thou, always so bloody right. Jesus, I suppose your crap doesn’t stink either does it?”
“There’s no need to be like that.”
“Like that, crude and vulgar.”
“I was just expressing myself.”
“You don’t have to do it like that.”
“Oh so now I am not allowed to voice an opinion.”
“I didn’t say that. Stop twisting things.”
“Ha, you have some cheek haven’t you, accusing me of twisting things? You do it all the time.”
“When? When have I ever done that?”
“Last week, you tried to make to make out that I was at fault for staying out.”
“Staying out when?”
“I know, but which day?”
“It was night.”
“Sorry, I mean which night?”
“Blimey, another sorry, mind you, you probably didn’t mean that one either did you?”
“Will you stop doing that?”
“Twisting things around, making out I am saying things when I am not.”
“But you are.”
“No I am not; you are putting words in my mouth.”
“You did say sorry just then.”
“Yes I know, but it wasn’t an apology….”
“Oh I know that; I have learned better than to expect you to be sorry for the way you treat me.”
“Why are you saying that? Look, please, just stop for a minute, I want to talk to you, have a sensible conversation.”
“Are you saying I cannot have a sensible conversation? Oh that is just charming. I am not the one getting worked up and…”
“Please stop it.”
“Have you heard yourself? You keep cutting across me and now you are telling me when I can and cannot speak.”
“No I am not.”
“Another denial. I swear you forget what you have just said or are you doing it on purpose? Trying to mess with my head are you? That is just sick.”
“Me mess with your head. Jesus Christs! You are the king of the head fuckers!”
“Here she goes, it is all coming out now, she cannot have a normal conversation, oh no, she has to be always right, always high and mighty, she cannot do anything wrong can she?”
“Look, let’s stop this.”
“Well you started it and now when I defend myself you cannot hack it.”
“You are making this about something else.”
“No that’s your tactic.”
“No it is not.”
“It is, you start talking about something and then you turn it into an attack against me.”
“I just wanted to discuss your porn addiction.”
“No you didn’t, you want to wind me up, make me angry and when it doesn’t work you keep on and on at me.”
“No, please, I am just trying to talk to you about something important, I cannot stand it when this happens.”
“When what happens?”
“What are you on about?”
“Oh God, it is so frustrating, why won’t you just shut up for five minutes and listen to me, is that too much to ask?”
“Why on earth should I when you talk to me like that?”
“Sorry, sorry, I am just….look, please,”
“Now you are not making any sense.”
“It is just impossible to talk to you.”
“There you go again, always blaming me when you are the one that cannot even form a sentence properly. I am sick of you treating me like this, telling me when I can and cannot speak, accusing me of things that I haven’t done, it isn’t right or fair.”
“I am not doing those things, please, stop saying I do.”
“But you do, there is something wrong with you, you cannot seem to see it.”
“What do you mean?”
“All this, the endless accusations, the going around in circles and it is not just me that thinks it.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Other people have noticed it.”
“It wouldn’t be fair to say.”
“You can’t do that. You can’t accuse me of doing something but not tell me who said it.”
“There you go again, telling me what I can and cannot do.”
“Christ you are so infuriating.”
“And now the insults, nothing changes. You always do this.”
“No I don’t.”
“Oh yes you do. You never listen to me, you always try to pin the blame on me, I can list so many times in the past when you have done it.”
“No I haven’t, have I?”
“Not so sure now are you?”
“It is you, you are messing with my head, I cannot think straight when you play these games.”
“I am not playing games, you do. You started this. I was just watching television on my own and you start up with your usual evening attack on me. It is outrageous the way you treat me. You have the audacity to suggest that I am messing with your head, good Lord, your head is already messed up.”
“No it is not.”
“Oh yes it is, you should see somebody. I don’t even think you realise what you are saying half the time.”
“Yes I do; I am sure I do.”
“You see, you are not sure, you perhaps don’t mean to do it, but you do, you keep accusing me of doing the things that you do and it is unfair. There must be something wrong with you. You need to see a doctor before this gets out of hand.”
“I don’t need a doctor.”
“I think it is for the best.”
“Honestly, no I am fine, I just feel like I am wading through treacle at times.”
“I suppose that is what it is like when you have a mental condition.”
“I don’t have one.”
“You know people who have usually think they do not, that is part of the condition as well. I can tell by the look on your face that this is surprising you but it shouldn’t, I have put up with this for months, you are lucky I have not left you.”
“Yes, you are intolerable at times.”
“Me? But, but….”
“Sssh, don’t make it any worse, we will get you some help.”
“I don’t need any help.”
“It’s okay, we will see a doctor for you, I will explain everything to him. You need some help and then maybe we can get through this.”
“There is nothing wrong with me.”
“That is what they always say.”
“No, there isn’t anything wrong with me.”
“Look, there is, there is no point denying it.”
“No it is you, not me.”
“Oh here we go again, I thought we were getting somewhere. I thought you might be seeing some sense at last. I am not sitting around listening to you blaming me for your shortcomings. I am going out for a few hours, use the time to sort yourself out. I will be back when I am back.”
“What on earth just happened? That was nonsense.”
“Made perfect sense to me. Bye.”