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.


16 thoughts on “I Cannot Do This Anymore”

  1. Reading this like re-living the final moment of my last relationship of 20mths. It was nearing Xmas and I had been walking in quicksand for mths, sinking with every step. We had planned to spent the holiday at his parent’s, but I needed to know what his intention for the relationship. We had met in a public neutral place and he had my Xmas present on the table – some kind of jewelry but the tag was blank. I asked him how long has he had felt out of love with me and replied wks & it stems from my insecurities (caused by him). I tried to explain myself and I stopped when I realised he had already switched off. He said we weren’t worth it with the vacant look in his eyes. Those eyes broke my heart, and I thought that was the point of no return and stood up to leave. He got hold of my arm & asked where was I going and I said that we’re done. He asked me to accept the gift and sort of persuade me to reconsider going to his family for Xmas. I thought: Really? And have this doomed uncertainty looming over my head? I didn’t say anything and walked out. It was painful, I cried so hard once I was out of sight.

  2. My x would say he couldn’t do this any more…..blah blah blah.

    When he left me – 3 weeks before our house sale went through, I let him go. He left me to sort out the 5 bed house, get rid of a car. Sort all the legal things out. He probably got a lot of fuel thinking about me slaving away while he took it easy at his parents house.

    It was worth every effort. To be rid of him. It was hard, very – but I did not call him back to help me. He probably thought (being low on fuel) that he would leave me and it would create this massive drama and I would ring him begging him to come and help me,

    I didn’t.
    I am now in my own home. Rented. About to buy my OWN first home.
    He made his bed he can lie on it.

    He was sending me texts declaring his undying love and that he is broken without me. I had to get a new phone.
    I am grateful to HG for the enlightenment and the truth does set you free!

      1. HG I told X about you – Not your name just that I had learnt a lot from an American Narcissist. and learning all about narcissism. His reply – “Well, maybe he is getting fuel thinking about breaking all these couples up”! Seems like my X had that NARC mindset!!

  3. I never got this exact statement but I understand the sentiment. I was far more likely to be the one saying “I cannot do this anymore” and then I would get something back from him like “Sigh, maybe that’s best, my life is chaotic and I don’t have it all figured out” Can’t decide if that is a mid-ranger feeling the inner angst or reverse psychology so I wouldn’t leave – HG?

  4. “Accordingly, it you hear this, do not think that I am going to leave you. I am not.”

    Well this explains the repeated random line given to me that often comes out of left field either in a text or an email.

    “I am not abandoning you, I promise.”

    I guess for once there is a sliver of truth to that as he does always come back again. Pause button. Play button. Pause button again. Play button again. And so on.

  5. Your writings and videos, H G, gave me the knowledge to say that I cannot do this anymore. Instead of the confusion you described above, I will be clear to say that by “this” I mean the roles of doormat and Pollyanna (only in regards to relating to your kind).
    The good news is that you were able to do what I couldn’t do on my own: see that I am a pretty decent person. Heck, I married who turned out to reflect me. I fell in love with who turned out to reflect me. You taught me that and I thank you!

  6. If the host of the blog doesn’t mind….The narcissist’s anthem….

    Tool Enima album “Stinkfist”

    Something has to change.
    Un-deniable dilemma.
    Boredom’s not a burden
    Anyone should bear.
    Constant over stimulation numbs me
    And I wouldn’t have
    It any other way.
    It’s not enough.
    I need more.
    Nothing seems to satisfy.
    I don’t want it.
    I just need it.
    To feel, to breathe, to know I’m alive.
    Finger deep within the borderline.
    Show me that you love me and that we belong together.
    Relax, turn around and take my hand.
    I can help you change
    Tired moments into pleasure.
    Say the word and we’ll be
    Well upon our way.
    Blend and balance
    Pain and comfort
    Deep within you
    Till you will not have me any other way.
    It’s not enough.
    I need more.
    Nothing seems to satisfy.
    I don’t want it.
    I just need it.
    To feel, to breathe, to know I’m alive.
    Knuckle deep inside the borderline.
    This may hurt a little but it’s something you’ll get used to.
    Relax. Slip away.
    Something kinda sad about
    The way that things have come to be.
    Desensitized to everything.
    What became of subtlety?
    How can it mean anything to me
    If I really don’t feel anything at all?
    I’ll keep digging till
    I feel something.
    Elbow deep inside the borderline.
    Show me that you love me and that we belong together.
    Shoulder deep within the borderline.
    Relax. Turn around and take my hand.


  7. You had me worried for a minute when I saw the title! I thought you had had your epiphany.

      1. Thank you for clearing all that up, HG. Nothing is at face value, it would benefit one to keep that in mind for the future. All done to extract more fuel.

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