Watching You Crumble


We don’t provide support. We are too concerned with ourselves and our daily hunt for the fuel that we need to be concerned about you. We are engrossed in our own world and have no interest in yours. The only time we pay attention to you is when you are providing us with fuel or you stop providing us with fuel. Everything we do is focussed around us. This is because we have to obtain fuel, as without we will disintegrate. The hunger for this fuel is never ending and accordingly all of our energy must be applied towards obtaining it. This leaves us with nothing left over for anyone else.

Being a caregiver yourself, you would like to think that the person who you share your life with, or who you work closely with, would be amenable to providing you with support. That may mean giving you emotional support when you are experiencing a difficult time or taking the strain allowing you to lessen the burden on yourself. You give and you are happy to do so, therefore why should they not do so as well? That is the outlook of someone normal operating by the norms and rules of your world. Those do not apply to us. We cannot provide you with support since we have nothing available to do so.

Added to that we do not know how to provide emotional support. Yes we can see how chores can be done and the like. We also have observed the ways that you provide emotional support to other people and we know the phrases that are used, the expressions that are formed on people’s faces and the gestures that are made. We have seen all that and we could trot all that out. In fact we have done in the past. We did this when we were seducing you. When we wanted you to divulge about your weaknesses and vulnerabilities this will have invariably saddened you and upset you. It may even have caused an episode where you need emotional support. We were happy to go through the motions then because we were at the stage of investing in your in order to get our fuel. We were content to make the right noises, give you a hug and make the panacea that is the cup of tea. All of this was learned from others. We did not feel anything for you. We could not put ourselves in your shoes (heaven forbid that would ever happen) and we could not empathise with what you were experiencing and nor can we ever do that. Yet again, we conned you into thinking that we are a caring and selfless person. We demonstrated such an approach when we were first together and that attracted you to us. This raised expectations that you could rely on us and turn to us when the need arose. It is all false.

Furthermore, when you need support and expect it from us, you are showing to us how you are weak. We despise weakness. You will find that our kind is rarely found near children, the infirm and ill and the elderly. This is because they are all weak and want support regularly. We do not want to be reminded of that fact. We cannot be bothered with you cluttering up our route to fuel. An exhibition of weakness infuriates us. A normal person would see someone in a position of weakness and deign to help and assist. We have seen how this is a natural reaction in normal people. It will not happen with us.

If you are fortunate, we will absent ourselves from the situation in an instant. We will generate some urgent reason; find a pressing engagement we had forgotten about in order to ensure we can get away from you and your ailment, woe or injury. You probably will never see us move as quick when it comes to getting away from somebody who needs help. If we are unable to exit the situation then we may just stand and look at you. You could be reaching out to us, eyes filled with tears of pain, asking for help and we will just give you a blank stare. We know we ought to be helping you, convention and observation has told us this, but we cannot do so. We are unable to leave but we are also unable to help you. This requires compassion and we do not have any. It requires us to us our energies to help you out and we are forbidden from doing so.

Our ultimate reaction where you need support from us is to go on the offensive. The uncomfortable feeling that you have generated inside of us makes us feel less powerful and smacks of inferiority. We know of only one way to banish such a sensation. We need to reassert our power and that means we must lash out at you. It becomes necessary to subject you to further insults and denigrating comments, at a time when you are feeling hurt and vulnerable.

“What are you crying for? I have had worse happen to me.”

“I am sick and tired of you being pathetic. Deal with it.”

“I bet (insert name of triangulated individual) would not make such a song and dance about it like you do.”

“It’s only a dog, you can get another one. Seriously, what a display over a dumb animal.”

“You are hysterical, you need to get help.”

“Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about.”

“That’s right; make it about you on my special day.”

We will lash out at you with these words in order to make you feel worse and ourselves feel better because that is all we care about. We fooled you into thinking that we care about you. That is a fallacy. Do not expect us to support you.

Demonstrating our legendary hypocrisy we will expect you to always be there for us. When we have a need you must attend to it straight away, even if you are experiencing difficulties yourself. When we have a scratch we expect you to make it better even though you might be bleeding to death before us. As with so much of our behaviour we do not regard the way we act towards you as meaning you should behave the same way towards us. If you chopped us in half you would most likely find this stencilled through us like lettering on a stick of rock

“Do as I say, not do as I do.”

23 thoughts on “Watching You Crumble

  1. Mary says:

    HG, thank you. I so needed to read this today. Wow.

  2. Em says:

    Yes he watched me crumble. He’d press another button as I went further down. While I was at my lowest He even applied in the most subtle ways new and what I considered humiliating information he’d gained about me.
    I know now he’s was grinning as I tried to fathom out what he meant and did he really know or was it coincidence? But I was too low to puzzle it out.
    He came to visit when he heard I was off sick with stress. That was a year before I found out there was an IPPS.
    He enjoyed watching me sink.
    He came to visit to hoover when I’d found him out – he relished my agony.
    No more. No he’s nothing. He’s empty. He’s sick.
    I have a future now.

  3. Pam says:

    Dear HG,
    This is excellent, thank you for validating experiences I’ve had with narcs. It is hard to believe, when one is sick and the narc simply carries on, as though nothing were wrong. It’s also good to hear, from the horse’s mouth, that you are the way you are. You are taking responsibility for yourself, which is great. As usual, your writing is great. best to your sister, and
    Warm Regards,
    Pam B

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  4. purpleinnature says:

    This was probably the strongest piece of cognitive dissonance that pulled on me. I KNEW he wasn’t there for me, I just couldn’t believe it.

    A few weeks before I finally woke up, an old friend of mine died suddenly. She was a casual friend, and I hadn’t heard from her in a couple years, but I was very fond of her and very shocked at the news. Before I could tell him about it, my midranger started in on me for leaving my clothes in the dryer, and in my shocked state, I said, “Sorry. I’ll go get them. I just found out someone died, so… I’m not feeling good.” He didn’t say anything, disappeared, came back 10-15 mins later and said, in an irritated tone, “Well, since you won’t tell me, who was it?” (Nothing but tender loving care. Lol). I told him, he didn’t really say anything. That was that.

    Three days later, I had found out she had committed suicide in a particularly disturbing way. We were driving to the store and I spent maybe two minutes explaining what happened and how shocked and sad I was. As soon as I stopped talking, he immediately started cursing at a slow driver in front of him, completely ignoring everything I had said. I felt deflated and furious, but didn’t say anything and just ignored him, but when we got to the store, he asked me “Well, what are you upset about now? I can tell you’re upset. Come on. Let’s hear it.” So I told him. He got angry and told me that – A. She wasn’t that close of a friend. HIS friend that died a few years earlier was way closer to him than I was to my friend, and B. People that commit suicide don’t deserve any regard anyway. Like… “Big deal. Good riddance. Get over it. Shut up and stop whining about your stupid friend. I need you to concentrate on helping me find what I’m looking for in this store.”

    HE was angry at ME for feeling sad that an old friend had committed suicide. I could not wrap my head around it. I couldn’t believe he was that insanely insensitive.

    I really think this was one of the last events that really pushed me hard to find the answers. I FINALLY stumbled onto the real traits of narcissistic personality disorder a few weeks later, and was FINALLY able to twist the key and hear the lock click in the cage around my mind and heart. RIP sweet friend. Maybe some good came of it after all.

    1. SMH says:

      This is so sad and so shocking on so many levels, purpleinnature. It is amazing what we put up with. If I ever brought up anything disturbing, mine would turn it back to himself as if that was the only way he could understand it. He’d often do this when HE was the cause. For instance, I’ve been hurt too (so I know what it feels like when I hurt you). Oh, I know what it’s like to fail. It was almost retarded (pardon the expression) – as if intellectually he knew he was supposed to say something but he would have to make it self-referential even if he was the cause. Either that or he would just be silent. Glad you found the key and locked yourself up!

      1. purpleinnature says:

        SMH – thank you. Mine would do something similar to this too, and also in a “retarded” way (lol. I know. I know.) What he would do is draw relations in completely disproportionate ways. I remember one example in particular. When I would try to get through to him how deeply he was hurting me and breaking my heart, he’d say something like “I’m hurt too. That’s how I feel when I see the kitchen counter is dirty. It hurts me.” He would be totally serious, comparing his heart breaking, cruel, callous dismissal of my tears to having to look at a kitchen counter with crumbs on it. As if the two were on the same level of cruelty. How do you reason with that? You can’t. It’s just so hard to believe that someone can be that “off”, even when it’s staring you in the face.

        Oh, and the cage – I meant that the key clicked and UNLOCKED the cage, but I like your take. In a way, it did also lock me in. I put my shields up and stopped letting him into my head and heart. Maybe that’s a more accurate take. 🙂

        1. SMH says:

          Purpleinnature, I don’t know why I am laughing, but I am. It’s just so absurd. I swear sometimes I was so shocked at the things that came out of his mouth. But I was also fascinated. My moment of clarity, as I just wrote somewhere else, was watching the series The Fall. I recognized my narc in the serial killer, even though he isn’t violent. That’s when I started Googling, though I didn’t fully escape for another 15 months or so.

          Locked or unlocked, at least you’ve separated yourself from ‘it’!! And I’m sorry about your friend.

          1. purpleinnature says:

            Thanks SMH – Yeah. You either gotta laugh or cry. They just say the most aburd things sometimes. I did read about you watching the Fall. I’ve heard about that show on other forums too. I should check it out. I’m sorry it took 15 months afterwards to escape. Isn’t it frustrating to look back and think, “You’ve got it! The answer is right there! Look at it!” Lol. It takes a while for it to sink in. It’s just too unbelievable.

    2. WiserNow says:

      Thank you for sharing your comment purpleinnature, and I’m very sorry about your friend. You explained your story beautifully and I found it very touching. I’m sorry you were not supported at a time that must have been very sad for you.

      I also found your comment revealing. It’s revealing in terms of how our minds work. Going by my own experiences, when I look back I’m now surprised at myself that I didn’t seek the truth sooner. I play back certain memories from the past and the actions of the narc are so different to how I would behave or what I would do. Back then, I was irritated or angry but it wasn’t enough to motivate me to find concrete reasons for the huge psychological differences.

      When you say your experience with your narc after your friend died was the catalyst that made you start looking for answers, I get the feeling that an empath’s subconscious mind will justify or make excuses for the differences in thinking, until we reach a point where the differences can no longer be justified or excused. It’s like we reach a saturation point. That’s when we start looking for concrete answers.

      The saturation point makes the difference I think. Up to that point, we are hopeful that deep down the narc thinks in the same ways we do and we believe it’s worth persevering. Or there are other factors which are priorities making the relationship dynamics with the narc take second place in our minds in terms of importance.

      It’s an interesting glimpse into the subconscious blinkers we wear at certain times and what it takes to finally move us to remove those blinkers.

      Thank you for sharing and yes, maybe the saddest things we experience do actually have some kind of blessing in disguise for us.

      1. purpleinnature says:

        WiserNow. Thank you. I’m glad my friend isn’t in pain anymore. She was so funny and such a joy. She was a co-worker that always brightened my day. We would make each other laugh so hard. 🙂

        I actually had been searching for answers for about a year up to that point, but couldn’t find them. I got stuck on bi-polar disorder and couldn’t get any further no matter how much I googled. When this incident happened with my friend, I really started becoming relentless. The missing piece for me was realizing and accepting that he DIDN’T CARE. No matter how obvious it was that he didn’t care, I could not even entertain such a notion. Of course he cares! He’s my husband! He loves me! Something is just wrong with his cognitive function. What is it?

        My moment of clarity, like finally seeing an optical illusion I’d been staring at for years, was when I was driving in my car, listening to a YouTube video by “The Little Shaman Healing” as she explained what it is like to argue with a narcissist. Oh my God! I literally started yelling at my phone “Yes!! Yes!!! That’s exactly it!!” Everything fell into place after that. God bless her. She really knows her stuff. I suggest you check her out if you haven’t already. She finally gave me the answer and made me see that HE DOESN’T CARE. He LIKES it when you’re hurting.

        Then HG filled in the gaps and helped me see the psychological perspective of the narcissist, their motives and how “fuel” works and why it is needed, which was so important for me to understand.

        1. WiserNow says:

          I understand you purpleinnature, and again, you’ve explained your views really well. I totally get it.

          It takes time, but when you get that “moment of clarity”, it’s like everything makes sense. It’s such a relief!

          I will look into “The Little Shaman of Healing” videos because it sounds like they are very insightful.

          And I totally agree with you about HG filling in the gaps about narcissism. Without his thorough and helpful explanations, I really don’t know where I would be right now.

          1. purpleinnature says:

            Thank you WiserNow – Yes. She is amazing. Her level of understanding is incredible and she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. HG obviously doesn’t sugarcoat anything either. That’s what we need. I was listening to George Simon right before my break through, and he was saying that it is possible for “character disturbed” people to change. No… no it’s not. It’s called “narcissism” and it cannot be changed. Please don’t tell people that there is hope. That is not helpful.

  5. Windstorm says:

    This is all true of course. But the part that helped me most when I realized it years ago is that you all aren’t capable of offering real emotional support. It’s just not possible for you.

    It stopped being so painful for me to not get support when I needed it from my husband, when I understood that he just wasn’t capable. Just like I never could unload 100 pound feed sacks off a truck, he can’t be an emotional support. I realized it was silly of me to expect it of him.

    1. mollyb5 says:

      I would have to tell my husband …to please just listen and pet me or comfort me only …….this is what I want right now . It worked sometimes . I had to spell out exactly what I needed in an unemotional way.

      1. Windstorm says:

        I learned to explain what I needed too. My husband can never really be kind and supportive emotionally, but he can not be mean or demanding. I have to tell him when I’m having a hard time emotionally and he will back away and give me space. Sometimes he has to physically leave, but often he is able to stay and even be helpful (buy meals, drive me somewhere).

        I know never to count on him for emotional support, but often he surprises me by enduring situations that are uncomfortable and difficult for him and by making an effort to be supportive in the ways that he can.

  6. Michelle says:

    That uncomfortable feeling the narc experience is their conscience and brain trying to assess how and in what way to deal with the current situation they are in. The fact they want to get away, shows they are in “fight or flight” mode. And they feel extremely uncomfortable. That is why the Narc either leaves, or literally feels stuck to the spot unable to move, and then will lash out.
    They do not wish to be seen as weak, nor wish to lose control and superiority. If they help someone, they then become vulnerable and Narcs only do vulnerability in love bombing stage. Because they feel safe enough to do so. But it is a limited time.

    In love bombing stage, they are happy to be weak, vulnerable, and even feel inferior and lose control. But then during disengagement stage they flick a switch in their brain which is like “the abuse switch” which flicks from BEING ABUSED MODE now into ABUSE MODE… and suddenly it’s like they are getting that person back in revenge type style because the partner has been allowed to see the narc in their weakest state so to speak, and been allowed to almost take advantage of them, to see all of their vulnerabilities or how it must seem to the narcissist.

    Once narcissist is in this abuse or disengagement mode, they will use every opportunity to abuse someone they are with. Almost like a young child who is embarrassed because he wet his pants in front of all his school friends. What the Narc needs is lots of reassurance I guess. To know they are completely safe and that nothing bad is going to happen to them. But there is no way of making them feel safe enough for that switch not to go the other way…. or it would certainly be a challenge. The partner would almost have to take on a parental type roll in order to help the Narc feel safe and that they were in control and nothing would hurt them.

    The Narc is simply in a continual loop of abuse cycle which they seem unable to get out of. Not many people know or even can switch roles and become what a person needs at any particular time. To adapt and go from being a normal partner into perhaps a parental type role, where the Narc is the child that needs reassurance and safety. It is not something that everyone can do or is willing to do But it is needed in order to not make that switch go the other way. Because the narc’s brain is in a very entrenched pattern. They would need help to be able to form a new pathway.

    This is how it all seems to me anyway.

    1. WiserNow says:

      Thank you for your comment Michelle. It makes a lot of sense to me. When you say that the narc needs a lot of reassurance and to know they are completely safe, I have often felt that way with my own mother.

      I have found that she will try to get me worked up emotionally or will test my boundaries to see if she can get an emotional reaction from me. It’s like she is on a mission, like she feels she needs to “conquer” me in some way. She is also very negative about things in general and if I don’t consciously bring the conversation back to a more positive level, my mood will become more negative as well.

      Before I knew about narcissism, I would totally fall into these covert traps. Since learning about the hows and whys of it all, now when I am with her (because total no contact is not possible) I am much more aware and I consciously resist all of her attempts. I am either grey rock or calmly refute what she says in a gentle way that she can’t argue with. I try not to “wound” her pride or be obviously contrary, but at the same time, I try to maintain my own boundaries. I also genuinely praise everything she does that’s good and I tell her how much I appreciate her for those things, because I actually do.

      By doing this I have noticed that her demeanour relaxes at times when she can see that she can’t control my emotional energy AND the situation is safe. At these times, I do actually feel like the parent and I feel like I need to create a stable, reassuring and safe atmosphere. I want to make her feel that she is being listened to, but not at the expense of anyone else’s boundaries.

      I don’t think her personality will change, but I do believe that it creates a more peaceful environment and changes the overall dynamic of our relationship. Over time, I also think she can see that there is not much point in persisting with the manipulations.

      I need to add also, that doing this for a long time or in stressful situations is quite draining to me personally. Afterwards, I need some “me-time” or to do something I enjoy for a while in order to feel “normal” again.

      1. Windstorm says:

        Your description of being with your mother reminds me of being with mine. Especially that feeling of being drained and having to recharge myself after being around her. I didn’t realize she was a narc while she was alive, but I tried to deal with her like you described.

        Did your mother love to make you cry? I think it gave mine a power rush. Even after I was a grown woman with children of my own, she would come to my house and pick and pick at me until I would get upset or tear up. Then she would smile a small snarky smile and finally leave. On the times I successfully dealt with her and remained unemotional, she would eventually leave, but she would be very irritated.

        It was always very difficult and draining and getting away from her was always a cause of happiness.

        1. WiserNow says:

          Hi Windstorm,

          Yes, I’ve seen the small snarky self-satisfied smile quite a few times, especially now that I know what’s really happening. It happens for only a second, but it’s there.

          I can relate to what you say. In a similar way to how your mum made you cry, my mum will covertly start small and then build up her efforts to make me angry. It happens when we are together or having a conversation. I think narcissists hone in on their target’s vulnerabilities. Mine is that if I feel irritated or overwhelmed and the situation escalates, I lose my temper, and my mum knows that. It doesn’t work so well for her these days, but it used to when I was growing up and when I was younger. Like you say, I also think it gave her a power rush to see me get angry. I think it made her feel satisfied and gave her a sense of superiority that she could manipulate me to that point.

          I’ve seen the way she will push buttons with other people and she knows which buttons to push. For instance, if she sees that someone has made a passing and innocent comment about how they feel guilty, or sad, or ashamed, or concerned about something or other, she will remember that small, passing comment and play on that person’s emotional vulnerability at a later date. Now that I’m aware and more observant, I’ve noticed it. It’s quite amazing how she files away these kinds of emotional profiles of people and shapes her manipulations to achieve a targeted reaction.

          I’ve also noticed that when I’m behaving in a “grey rock” way and not giving away much about myself and what I’m doing, she will subtly love-bomb and be more attentive and complimentary in order to learn details and “soften” me up. It’s like playing a game of emotional give and take.

          When you don’t know, it’s all take, take, take and it leads to feeling drained and exhausted. I know what you mean Windstorm, and I’m very glad that I know much more about it now.

          1. Windstorm says:

            Yes. Knowledge is power. I thought about what you said about when you greyrocked your mom she would be nice and complementary. I had to think back if my mother did that. When I cut off my emotions around her, she did often say nice things and smile, but it was so patently false I never really believed her and she knew it.
            Still it never came near love bombing – never said she loved me or never hugged me. I think we’d both long passed that point by the time I was grown.

          2. WiserNow says:

            Hi Windstorm,
            It’s similar with my mum too, so I understand. I don’t think mine ever initiated a hug or even a touch or kiss or openly said she loved me. If we hugged, it was because I would initiate it. I don’t bother doing that anymore. If we kiss, even now, it’s more like a customary thing to do at certain times, like when saying hello or goodbye, or when saying goodnight etc.
            When I say “love-bomb”, it’s more a case of subtle positive things like saying, “you did that well”, or “your hair looks nice today”, or “thank you for doing xyz for me” etc. Or she’ll give me something.
            It’s not love-bombing as in open and demonstrative gestures of love. I guess it’s her style of subtle love-bombing that other people wouldn’t think was anything out of the ordinary. But I can tell that it’s unusual and it’s done for a reason. It’s never a case of just saying or doing something nice for the sake of it.
            It becomes clearer to me when I think of it, that to me it’s “normal”, however, when I describe her behaviour to you or other people, I see that my definitions aren’t quite the same as maybe yours would be for the same things. My mother is not openly demonstrative in a positive way at all. It’s all quite subtle. I’m so used to it though, that even her subtleties are quite obvious to me, but probably wouldn’t be to others. So, my view of “love-bombing” is really more like “subtle compliments”, than true love-bombing. I hope that makes sense.

          3. Windstorm says:

            Wiser now
            Yes, I think I understand you. My own relationship with my mother had probably degenerated beyond the point where she thought giving me any complements would benefit her. If she ever said anything complementary to me at all, she almost couldn’t help laughing and I could feel her sarcasm clearly. Which in itself was wounding for me, therefore fueling for her.

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