A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 65

 

JAH'S LETTER

Dear Narcissist,

I deserve one last communication before I permanently disengage.

I have reached the point where I can look back into my experience with you from the perspective of an outsider and see exactly what I was up against. At first I blamed myself for every thing that happened, because if I did not open the door, you could not have come in and wreaked havoc on my life. 

You see, I assumed that my relationship with my ex was the worst kind of abuse there was. So I guess God had some more lessons for me to learn before he sent me my real husband and he chose to use you. I needed to heal my childhood wounds and see the worst type of abuse that existed for two reasons. Firstly, I needed to forgive my ex for what he did, because despite the horror I suffered with him, he was instinctive and he did not do it to hurt me.  I guess he was a lesser narcissist and he did it to defend himself. 

You were a different story. You set out from day one to hurt me. You saw my weakness and vulnerability and sought to take advantage. I did not realize that you were lying from the get-go. I felt it from the first time I saw you, but for some reason did not trust my intuition. I wondered about all your stories about your money and fame, since for some strange reason I had never heard of you before I met you. Your plans to buy large houses and even a school, were the personification of largesse.  You even had me draft a plan for a restaurant we would open together was your way of trapping me in a financial mess. My co dependency was still high. I thought the best of you because that is just what I do. 

I do not hold it against myself for not knowing that there were narcissists who did far more than just over-love themselves and exhibit arrogance. I assure you that if you did not force yourself into my space, you would have never had the type of power it took to manipulate me. See, if it were a fair fight, you would not have beaten me at it. I never loved you, I loved who I thought you were and I do not hold that against myself. One cannot blame herself for believing that someone meant well. Those emails and texts message in the immediate aftermath were as a result of the love/sex seduction drug still in my system. So I forgive myself for that. It was nothing but withdrawal symptoms from your venom.

I found myself at first being jealous of your ex/crazy ex/girlfriend/business partner until I understood how you devalued her even more than you tried to do me. Even when you were driving her car and screwing her, spending her money and debasing her with threesomes, you were tearing her down; so I am not perturbed by what you may say about me. I did not give you anything I did not want to give. Fact is that as hard as you tried, I came out if this without losing one cent. The car you sold me is a trophy which reminds me that I got out and learned valuable lessons in the process. Each time I look at it I remember how strong I was in avoiding the financial ruin you obviously wanted to subject me to. My dignity is still intact, my self esteem is being restored, and I will be stronger after this than I was before. So what did I lose? You won the battle you staged, but I won the real war. I will grow from strength to strength while you will get lower and lower. So what did it profit you to even enter my life? Was the fuel that potent for you?

According to you, your other exes may be gawking at you and, a thousand women may want to sleep with you. I am not one of them, and I know they would want nothing to do with the real you. As a matter of fact after the initial seduction, sleeping with you was not all that. I found you boring most of the time. It was too much work wondering who you had been with or if I would get another STD. I kept praying “Lord how do I get this man to leave me alone”. I played your game against you. You thought I adored you and loved having you here. Most times it was just the sick addiction. Your presence was toxic. I lost respect for you a long time ago when I sensed how false you were. It was too much; unbelievable at first, but disgusting in the aftermath. 

The flip-flopping of emotions is normal after an escape/discard, so I do not feel any shame for the see-saw of emotions I experienced. The anguish is normal too, so I cannot be mad at myself for reacting in a normal way. I am aware that that is not something you can understand. 

I do not miss you. At first I missed the activities, until I remembered how fake everything really was and how the euphoric high would eventually land me back into the darkness wondering why you would not answer the phone. No man is worth all that. That fake-ness is not attractive to me anymore. I pity the ignorant empaths who have no clue what is waiting for them at the end of the love/sex seduction phase, when the creature comes lashing out in all his fury. I pity those who are not enlightened enough to escape or to decipher the coded language and ambiguity because they have been love-bombed out of their common sense. I pray their eyes will be opened. I pity your co-dependent partner who needs you as much as you need her. No one needs to be that desperate. She is my motivation to completely heal my co- dependency, so that I can avoid creatures like you. I can only imagine her state of mind and I deeply sympathize with her. Talk about a fool’s paradise. 

So, you can say what you want about me, call me crazy, try to smear my name all you want. God knows the truth and he will judge. The truth is that you projected your weakness and fears onto the weakest and most vulnerable among us. How strong does that make you when you prey on those who are so weak that they cannot even defend themselves? You are like a buzzard, a vampire of sorts, feasting on the dead and half dead hearts of abused women. Not a picture of strength if you ask me. But I know harsh words provide fuel. Your tirade about me calling you ‘criminal” and “crooked” being the reason for the break up, was utter bull-shit. Unless that is what constitutes a narcissistic injury. Oh well!

I am pretty sure you will never try to hoover me. That spate of benign hoovers and triangulation was something to behold. But that is ok. It served the purpose. I have never heard so many lies in one sitting in my life. You thought you were fooling me, but I was on to you from the night you showed up at 11:45 p.m. to fix my car, after giving me a spate of future faking promises. I know you must hate me, and that was the intention. Let that knowledge keep you far way from me, because if you ever come near me or mine, you will be repelled like a vampire at sunrise. This is no gas station. No fuel here. Find another fuel pump.

There is no point in my lamenting the hurt you caused and the pain which resulted from your triangulation and manipulation after my escape. That is to be expected from cowards. I know you will paint it to your friends that you dumped me. You will tell them my mind was not right. That is what you say about everyone, even your mother. Their opinions do not matter to me, but that’s fine if that is what you need to say to keep your construct in place. What matters to me is that you are gone. I can admit my weakness and learn from it, which is something you will never be able to do. 

I can hold my head up high and drive or walk anywhere in this area without shame or fear. I have seen you dodging and hiding, being afraid to go into stores and always thinking someone is out to get you. That is Karma enough for me. I can be single for as long as I choose without needing anyone. I can live comfortably and well without any partner to prop up a weak ego. You cannot do the same. I can move on without the baggage of shame and destruction again and again. I can give and receive true love and heal and move on, because I have the strength to look within.

You can’t say the same. I do not have to run and hide and build a wall of lies to shield me, despite the fact that I am “only a woman”. Who is the stronger one now? I am finally off your string of exes which you rotate to keep your fragile false self in place.

Who is the winner now?

 I ride off into the sunset, free in mind, soul and spirit. While you are stuck in your cage, hiding behind the construct; scared of the beast which rages inside you. 

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Secrets

SECRETS

 

Do you remember when you were at school and your friends all appeared to know something that you did not? They gave each other knowing looks, made sideways references to “this thing” and smiled and giggled. Unsettling wasn’t it? You asked them to tell you, you pleaded and you may even have become upset or angry, threatening your friends with some repercussion if they did not tell you what it was that they knew. Usually it was nothing. Just a device devised to play a game with you, to provoke a reaction, to cause you to react and it worked. Then you were in on the secret and you could join in and play it against the next unsuspecting individual. Nevertheless, you did not like that sensation of not knowing did you? Few people do. How many times when someone has gone missing, have anguished people declared,

“It’s the not knowing which really gets to you.”

The apprehension you experience when you wait to receive your examination results. You know you studied hard during the year, carried out the revision in the right way and you felt the examination went well, but you can never be sure can you, it is the lack of knowing which gnaws away at you until you receive the result.

Waiting for some test results concerning your health causes anxiety and concern. Even if it is bad news, once you have those results you can then take action, make plans and formulate a way forward but whilst you do not know, you are stuck, paralysed and frozen. It is an unpleasant sensation at best and an utterly debilitating one at worst.

You do not like secrets. We thrive on them.

So much of what we are is a secret. We are like a series of chests, compartments and vaults in which various secrets have been placed. Some have been placed there with the intention of never being revealed, either to you or even to ourselves. Others are those secrets about what we really are or what we actually do and we close the lid, slam the door shut and turn the key in the hope that you do not find them out and expose us for what we truly are. We do not want you to find out that the honey-coated façade is just that as you open a dark box and find the full horror of our true behaviour lurking inside. The past behaviours and historic actions are consigned into the depths of archive storage to prevent you from knowing what we really did to our ex-partner, what was said to our brother that has meant we have not spoken in ten years or the catalogue of infidelities that we engaged in. If you were ever allowed admission to those dark corridors you would pass the vaults, chests and caskets into which the secrets of our kind have been placed. Wife-beater, alcoholic, smack head, fraudster, closet homosexual, expenses fiddler, serial cheater, elder abuser, fence, conman, contemptor of court, distant parent, liar, convict, tax fraud, cross-dresser, sexual degenerate and so much more besides. Many secrets, some which you may eventually look upon, so many you may never know about. So many secrets hidden away, pushed into the recesses, concealed and secreted so that prying eyes do not learn the truth of what we say and do.

Yet, our secrecy goes further than that. We delight in letting you know that we have some kind of secret in order to exert control over you. We revel in giving you a glimpse of something but then pulling it from view. We engage in half-comments, low whispers and veiled comments in order to pique your interest but then we relish withholding the full tale. We take pleasure in these insignificant mysteries that cause you to question and probe. After all, we do know how you behaved when you were so much younger and how the sensation of not being able to know troubles you. It troubles you and your kind more than others. Like the older boy at school, we have snatched your lunch money and now hold it above your head, almost in reach as you hop and jump, frustration increasing as you attempt to recover it. You want to get hold of what it is that we know so you can satisfy your own need to know. We recognise this and therefore engage in the playing of games where we suggest, hint, partially reveal and allude to so that your interest is gained. We tease as we make oblique references to something in the expectation that you will bite. We will sit staring into space, cultivating the appearance of depth and intrigue as you observe us and wonder what we are thinking about. You will of course ask and we will give you some cryptic response which as you pondering and probing further. Whatever we told you is nothing to do with what we were actually thinking about. We may have been admiring the view from the window, we might have been wondering how the match would turn out and most likely we were considering which of the growing stable of prospects to message next. Instead we will trot out some comment or line which gives the appearance of us being pre-occupied with some weighty matter, something possibly beyond the wit of you, something which makes us appear mysterious and heavyweight. The intrigue adds to the allure but it also plays to your desire to need. The keeping back of information, the withholding of knowledge, the cloak and dagger routine is all part of the act. The true secrets will never be revealed to you. The secret we allude to is non-existent. It is just a device to control you. It is a means of keeping you bound to us, asking, wondering and probing. The half-answers and titbits are there to confuse, bewilder and cause your anxiety. The mysterious murmurs, the ponderous gaze and the comments to ourselves which you can only partially hear are mere ruses. They are to give us the appearance of depth when it is lacking. The creation of so many apparent secrets is to keep you away from the real secrets by leading you in a different direction and to make us appear deep and of substance. We look to snatch your consideration and scrutiny and make it belong to us instead.

The playing of secrecy continues after the cessation of our formal relationship. Always when you have been discarded and often even when you escape, how many times are your night bedfellows not some other person but the ghosting questions of how, what, why, when and where? You are given no answers as to what has happened and this is when the secrecy takes on the greatest significance as we have entered you into the maze where you try to find a way through it in order to understand how we could have done what we did, what on earth happened to you, why did we do those things, when will we come back and where did it all go wrong? We condition you throughout your dance with us to be intrigued by us, to wonder, to speculate, to pontificate and so forth so that it builds and builds until when we cast you to one side you can do nothing but keep wanting to learn our secrets, to open those doors, to slide back the bolts and open the portals, to raise the lids and lift the covers. This keeps you coming back to us, it keeps you hanging on in the hope that one day there will be a momentous reveal and it will all make sense. You wait in the expectation that all the secrets of this person that you still love will be revealed to you. But it never happens. Not by him or her. The unmasking comes from another place.

It is  no secret that you have the key to the narcissistic universe in your hands now.

The Mid-Range Narcissist

 

THEMIDRANGENARCISSIST

 

Meet Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist. Say hello Malcolm.

“Hello.”

Ever obliging is Malcolm, part of his charm. He doesn’t have the ubermensch mentality of the Greater and nor is he governed by the almost rash instinctive behaviour of the Lesser. Malcolm is not so much defined by what he is, but by what he is not.

“Isn’t that right Malcolm?”

“Isn’t what right my dear?”

“You are a Mid-Range Narcissist.”

Malcolm laughs. It is an affable laugh. He knows that a veneer of self-effacement is effective to get what he wants. He is not prone to the wild outlandish boasts of the Lesser (based on what he thinks he is and therefore says as such as a matter of immediate response) or the Greater (who actually has the achievements and accomplishments to back up those boasts, but boasts about them the Greater always must).

“Hey, what can I say, I like to look good and you know, you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, that’s what I always say.”

You see, Malcolm thinks that is what a narcissist is. Somebody who loves themselves. He lacks the higher function to know what it really means and lacks the cunning to know it himself but to deny it to those who would seek to topple him. He has some understanding so the comment does not present as a criticism to him, but since he has a moderate degree of function, he knows enough to use it to maintain his façade of being a decent, likeable and reliable fellow.

“You are a likeable chap, I must say.”

“Why thank you and may I say how lovely you look today.”

“That’s most kind, mind you, you are not the first person to compliment me on my appearance.”

Let’s see how he responds to that little piece of provocation. Did you see it? There was a flash of the inner fury but he kept it under control. Watch again. You see the sudden frown and the narrowing of the eyes as his jealousy started to climb inside of him as he felt the injury from this criticism. My comment suggested that someone else might be interested in me, that I am not just Malcolm’s. Of course, it was just a well-meant and polite compliment, but like all of their kind, Malcolm views the world from a position of suspicion and wariness. Wariness is an apt description for Malcolm. He doesn’t erupt in the way Lee the Lesser might have done if I had made the same remark. Lee would have responded with insulting questions to my comment. The Greater would show no sign of concern but file the remark away to be used at the appropriate time, when the moment is exactly right. Anyway, let’s get back to Malcolm. There is that flash of fury but he has enough control to keep it held back. For now. He won’t let it go though, he cannot.

“Oh really, who said that?”

He asks in a tone of relative disinterest but he is dying to know. He wants to know because he feels uncomfortable at this revelation. He does not know precisely why, although he knows he has to be wary about someone interfering with his partner because after all, he wants to maintain his façade of family man with the dedicated wife and so forth. Steady Malcolm who knows he is not amongst the elite of the world, but he is also far from the underclass too. He has abilities and people should recognise that. Okay, he is not the best, but he is still good, very good actually.

“Oh you know the attendant at the petrol station, he chats to me every time I am in there, he probably fancies me.”

There it is again. The brief look of consternation. The fury is rising but he is managing to keep a grip on it, but he won’t be able to do so for long. He does not want to erupt, he knows that will not do, that is not how he behaves, but he knows he needs to do something to counter this threat. He does not like the fact that I am accepting compliments from this interloper, I should only receive them from him.

“Yes well, I was told by Lucy at the florists that I look ten years younger than my real age.”

There we are. He is switching to an alternative fuel source. His level of function allows him to rely on a past event and still draw fuel from it. The Lesser would not be able to do that. Firstly, his fury would have erupted already and secondly even if it had not, he would struggle to bring up the previous compliment. His mind does not work that way. Malcolm can though and this is his way of switching the spotlight back on to him. He is also looking to get a reaction from me as well to provide him with some fuel. Let’s pretend I haven’t heard him.

“Yes the guy at the garage, Luke he is called, strapping lad, so pleasant. He always tells me that my hair is looking nice or that I smell gorgeous. He fair makes my day.”

“Yes well he can’t be too bright though can he if he is working in a garage.”

Malcolm doesn’t say it as a question but it’s a statement. He is losing control; the fury is coming. His comment had a dual purpose. You see, his mid-range function provides him with some weaponry in that regard. He wanted to cut down my comment in order to provoke a reaction from me but also by stating that Luke is not very bright he is undermining the compliments that Luke has sent my way. He’s a little bit clever with it you see.

“Oh, he just works there in between his studies. He is going to be an architect, he wants to show me some of his designs, I think I might do that.”

Let’s push it a little more. You can see Malcolm’s face is now set in a frown. He doesn’t like it at all that I am not giving him any fuel and moreover by fawning over Luke I am implicitly criticising Malcolm, at least in his mind that is the case.

Malcolm won’t respond in an outwardly aggressive manner. It’s there if he is really pushed, if he feels cornered in some way or has a frantic need for fuel then the fury will erupt as heated fury and he will lash out. He can only keep the fury under control for a short while. The Lesser can barely do so. The Greater can and will or will not, dependent on how the Greater has calculated whether the unleashing of the fury will provide him with the greatest return at that instant. Malcolm is caught between the two. He can exert some control but not enough to really deliver and savage aggression is rarer with him. Watch now and see how his ignited fury manifests.

Do you see? He has snatched up his ‘phone and rings one of his secondary sources. He knows he does not like this feeling of being ignored and he knows that to deal with it he needs attention from somewhere else. He does not know it as fuel of course, only that when this happens, if I, his primary source, is letting him down, he has to either up his game with me and/or draw attention from somewhere else.

“Hi Janice, just wondering if you were still on for lunch today?”

There’s no arranged lunch but he knows that Janice likes him, he makes sure that this remains the case and she is usually available. Notice the sideways glance to ensure I have heard him. There are not the bold assertive moves of the Lesser (through instinct) or the Greater (through calculation) but the wary steps that are the hallmark of the Mid-Range Narcissist.

Janice is cooing down the ‘phone and he feels better already but he also wants a reaction from me.

“Who are you calling?” I ask in a loud voice.

“Yes I thought so too Janice, thanks for saying that, I appreciate that.” He is ignoring me. I repeat the question but there is no response as he continues to talk into the ‘phone and lap up the fuel from Janice whilst enjoying my irked expression. This is a silent treatment from him as he refuses to acknowledge me. The Mid-Range uses the silent treatment more than any other cadre of narcissist because the Mid-Range is a creature who is passive-aggressive. The Lesser uses them, of course he does, but they tend to be short-lived. The Lesser will storm out of the house and disappear to a friend or a bar for an afternoon. The Greater will organise the silent treatment and apply it for maximum effect, it will not be a knee jerk reaction. The Greater will apply them for a long time as well but does not use them as often as the Mid-Range. The silent treatment is the main method of manipulation for the Mid-Range Narcissist. This is because it allows him to exert control, it can be used whilst preserving the façade (there won’t be a sudden eruption and storming away with slammed doors and cries of “You’ll never see me again”) but rather he will quietly depart for a period of time, or more likely use the present silent treatment. The Mid-Range is a sulker. He has enough control to sit and say nothing to you and drink up the fuel as you keep badgering him. He can sit and sulk for hours, days if need be. He can breeze around the house as if you aren’t there. Yes, Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist revels in the effect of his silent treatments and his dual approach here is providing dividends for him.

I walk over to him and stand in front of him, hands on hips. He sees the gesture and this fuels him further but to the him it is as if I am not there. He just looks through me. Again this is some of the discipline that I afforded by him by virtue of being Mid-Range.

He ends the call and walks off ignoring my comments as they drift fuel-filled through the air to him. He won’t shout back (he rarely does) he knows it is more effective to sulk and also then the neighbours won’t hear so he remains seen as pleasant, good neighbour Malcolm. He will probably head next door and hide there with Margaret for a couple of hours. He is good at cultivating a wide range of fuel sources. The Lesser keeps his circles tighter, lacking the discipline to operate too many fuel lines. The Greater of course has hundreds of fuel lines because he can draw them in through his outlandish greatness, his achievements and golden accomplishments. The Mid-Range doesn’t shine as bright but he has charm and ability which he uses to develop many different fuel sources and he can always rely on them. He does not have a high turn-over, keeping many of them in the golden period for years. The Mid-Range is most likely to have long-standing friends going years back. The Lesser and Greater may have as well, but not in the same number of the length of time as the Mid-Range.

So, Malcolm will be away giving me the silent treatment as he draws fuel from Margaret and then Janice. He knows how his silent treatment affects me and that is why he also uses it so often. Oh well, that’s my day spoiled already and he knows it. I suppose I had better go and fill up the car with fuel. I know a good garage and a sympathetic ear to hear my woes.

The Lesser Narcissist

the lesser

 

Here comes a Lesser Narcissist. We shall call him Lee.

“What did you call me?”

Hello Lee. A Lesser Narcissist.

“No I’m not, it’s you that’s the narcissist, I’m sick of you saying that there is something wrong with me, when it’s you that has the problem. You do it on purpose, always trying to wind me up, I’ve fucking had enough of it.”

Sigh. That’s another plate broken and a panel punched in the door. Again. He’s gone, but he will be back. You see, that’s a typical reaction of the Lesser. He doesn’t know what he is. Often he will not even know what a narcissist is, but if you try to tell him, even if you do it in a calm and pleasant way, he doesn’t hear what you are saying, he just hears the criticism. When that happens his fury ignites and usually he will lash out. That’s why he insulted me, tried to shift the blame on to me, smashed the plate and punched the door. He didn’t think about doing any of that. It just happened. He reacts and responds by instinct. He is a creature of instinct. I didn’t hear the front door slam so he must be in the house still. Let’s go and find him.

Here he is. Locked in his den. His bolthole and sanctuary from the criticism. He is tapping away on his ‘phone. Let’s see. Yes, he is texting a couple of ladies who he has been flirting with online. You see, he didn’t hang around to see my reaction to the ignition of his fury, but he knows it will have troubled me. Sometimes knowing that reaction will be enough but not today. His fuel supplies must be low. That’s why he is tapping into some secondary sources by texting or probably sexting these women. Let’s see if we can coax him out of his bolthole. I will knock at the door.

You see he has turned his head and smiled, but hasn’t answered my knocking. He is pleased that I have come to try to find out if he is alright. That makes him feel powerful. My reaction, of tip-toing to him and gently rapping on the door reinforces that he is the one who is superior in our relationship. Again, he doesn’t think this through, so do be grateful for your humble narrator explaining this for you, but that is what is happening inside of Lee. I knock again and call out his name. He remains silent. Lee knows that silent treatment makes him feel powerful. Add that sensation to the flirtatious messages I can see that he is receiving and he is receiving fuel from three sources. Me and two supplementary sources. They are probably acquaintances now since mobile numbers have been exchanged. The fury that Lee experienced at my perceived criticism will now be subsiding as the fuel is provided. This makes him feel calmer. Lee knows that certain things make him furious and then other things makes him calmer. Let’s ask him if he knows why.

“Hey Lee, don’t hide in there, why did you get angry like that? All I did was say that you are a lesser narcissist.”

Notice that I haven’t said this in a pleading way, or through tears, or even shouted it at him. I have made this point and asked the question in a neutral fashion. Watch what he does now. See how fast the irritation has arrived. This is because I am not giving him any fuel with my comment. I have also interrupted the flow of the fuel from the two women by distracting him. To make matters worse I have repeated the comment and he will perceive this as a criticism. Again, he won’t have worked any of this out, he is a Lesser so it doesn’t happen. Whereas I have explained the process. This is what actually happens in Lee’s mind.

  1. He hears my comment;
  2. He feels wounded by that comment. This manifests as irritation;
  3. His fury ignites.

It is as quick and as straight forward as that. Here comes the fury.

Lee marches from his desk and flings the den door open.

“How many fucking times have I told you not to disturb me when I am in my den? You never listen to me!”

Notice the contorted features as the fury takes over.

“I only asked a reasonable question.”

I say this in a neutral tone again. No fuel is being provided. This annoys him further because this is a criticism and it wounds him.

“Are you saying I am unreasonable?” he demands jutting his jaw forward in an aggressive manner.

Of course dear reader I said no such thing did I, but Lee doesn’t process it that way. My neutral remark is taken again as a criticism, hence his response.

“I’m just pointing out what you are and besides, you are always in there, messing around doing who knows what, you should be working.”

Lee rarely works. He doesn’t see any reason to. He believes I should keep him after all, in his mind he is the superior one and therefore I should run around after him. He only does chores when he knows he can get some fuel, for instance, chopping logs in the yard so people can admire his physical prowess, otherwise he won’t bother. Again Lee doesn’t think about chopping the logs in terms of receiving admiring looks from our neighbour Josie, he just knows when he does it, she smiles and talks to him and he feels good inside. But I digress. Back to the foaming Lee who is stood in the doorway of the den. He won’t let me in there. It is his domain. What is his is his and nobody else’s.

“What are you saying that for?” he growls. His fury is increasing at the criticism that he should be working. Here it comes. The right hand swipes and he slaps me across my face. You see he cannot control the fury and with Lee it manifests as heated fury as he lashes out.

I let out a cry and raise my palm to my face, eyes showing the pain arising from his physical abuse of me. Look at that small smile on his lips. That is because my fearful reaction has given him negative fuel. He wanted that. He doesn’t know that he wanted that but he knows that seeing me scared, upset, angry or frustrated, amongst other things makes him feel stronger and more powerful.

“You should be working,” I repeat but the neutral tone is gone now and it comes out part comment, part sob as the tears well up. His hand is raised to deliver another blow but he doesn’t because my tears are fuelling him. Although I have criticised him by stating he should be working, it will not feel like criticism to Lee because it is surrounded in emotion. That is what he wants. He doesn’t know that, but that is what he wants.

His fury is still there but it has receded within his parameters of control, low as they are. If I had kept on he would have erupted further and probably punched and kicked me down the hall. It has happened before. And will again. As a Lesser his control threshold is low and regularly his fury boils over into verbal and physical violence. Notice how he is standing there grinning. The provision of my fuel is making him feel powerful and that is why he looks happy. It is not true happiness. Lee doesn’t know what that is, but he knows that feeling powerful makes him feel good and that is why he is smiling. I am going to back off now.

I walk away and Lee content with the fuel he has extracted from me (although he does not know this) turns and goes back into the den. He will text the two ladies for a while longer, gathering more fuel and then with the fury receded and his fuel levels higher, he will feel more settled so he will watch one of his action films or play on his Xbox for a while. He won’t be thinking about me. He doesn’t have the function to do so for long when I am not in front of him. Lee as a Lesser is very much about dealing with what is on his plate. Yes, I will invade his consciousness from time to time but he is not given to planning. It is all spur of the moment, reaction, responses, instinct, seat of the pants. That is why he is seen as such a whirlwind, bouncing from one ignition of fury to the next. He has no overarching strategy, no grand design, but he is an aggressive hunter gatherer who knows that I, his longstanding and long suffering partner infuriates him but he keeps me around because, well, I do the chores and lie there and think of England when he is grinding away on top of me. Writing of which, let’s fast forward to bed time. I have retired first and here comes Lee padding up the stairs, a belly full of Scotch (he likes a few drinks when he is watching his films).

“Hey,” he says as he enters the darkened bedroom. He doesn’t lower his voice or gently shake me. Why would be bother when he is entitled to do as he pleases. Again, Lee doesn’t think that way, he just does it, he just acts in that manner of the entitled Lesser.

“What is it?” I ask blearily.

“Move over, I’m getting in.”

That’s his way of saying he wants sex. If he wanted to sleep he would just climb into bed. Notice how there is no apology for hitting me, no expression of concern or remorse for the earlier altercation. That’s because he has forgotten about it. Imagine Lee’s mind like a small external hard driver. It only has so much memory and automatically jettisons so much information. If in a few days’ time I refer to him slapping me he will give me a confused look and say,

“What are you talking about?”

That’s because he cannot recall it. It has been wiped from his mind. It is an instinctive reponse and demonstrates why with the Lesser he denies so much of what he is accused of and does it with sincerity because he really does not remember. There is no pretence, not like those from other schools. He does not remember, but that is a few days away. Let’s return to now.

“I said, move up, I am getting in.”

Still no apology. He continues as if nothing happened earlier. This is because he sees no wrong in what he has done. He responded. It was instinct to him and therefore for him, instinct is natural and correct. If I challenged him about his behaviour from before, now, it would be a criticism. His fury would be ignited and with the additional accelerant of the alcohol I would be dragged from the bed, beaten and forced to sleep downstairs. He may even throw me in my night clothes on to the street. All an instinctive reaction to the criticism and his lack of control over his ignited fury. I won’t challenge him though. I have learned not to, it is safer you see. It took me a long time to realise that this was the best course of action. I used to stand up to him you see. I thought that it would make him respect me if I did but it won’t. The Lesser regards any denial of their authority as criticism and, you’ve guessed it, the fury ignites.

Time to put on a performance then. If I refuse his advances he will kick off. If I don’t put in feigned enthusiasm, he will kick off. As a Lesser he is not very good at distinguishing between real and faked emotions at times. He is better with some than others. For instance, he knows real fear and upset compared to any that is faked. This is because he has the most experience of seeing people scared, upset and frightened so he instinctively knows when it is real and when it is not. When it comes to matters between the sheets although Lee believes himself to be the champion of sexual technique (he has certainly had plenty of partners as he regularly likes to boast about them to me) he could be rutting a slab of steak for all the variance and finesse he deploys. He wasn’t always like that. He did make an effort during our golden period, but that is long gone. Now he just wants to exert his dominance over me and be made to feel powerful so you will have to excuse me as I make the relevant noises, say the stock phrases and pull my porn faces. That will please Lee the Lesser and provide him with a final burst of delicious positive fuel before he slumps besides me and falls into an undisturbed sleep. He always sleeps well does Lee. His lesser function means that there is not a lot racing around in his mind as slumber approaches. So, there’s a glimpse of how a – I’d better whisper this so he doesn’t hear – Lesser Narcissist is. Now, turn around please, you shouldn’t be watching what comes next.

Jealous of Your Contentment

 

JEALOUSOF YOURCONTENTMENT.jpg

 

Granting you contentment is part of our design when we seduce you and grant you the golden period. The provision of your contentment at that juncture in our entanglement provides the luscious positive fuel to flow in our direction and all is well. We truly do delight in seeing you content with the illusion that we have woven for you. It is when you and us move into the stages of devaluation and discard that we regard your state of contentment in a wholly different manner,

During devaluation if we witness you appearing content, we are overcome with jealousy. Why should you be allowed to sit there satisfied, happy and relaxed? Why do you not suffer the repeated unease of the desire to gain fuel when those supplies become low? We look across the room at you, your features composed in an expression of peace. The envy rises and we despise the fact that you are sat in pleasant repose, seemingly all at ease with the world. We invariably associate that your composed appearance is achieved in order to annoy and frustrate us. You know don’t you? You know that we have this churning fury inside us which shifts and slides. You know that we have the growing hunger for fuel and how this creates a restlessness in us. You know all of this and yet you sit there, revelling in our discomfort. If you cared you would not be enjoying that book, talking on the ‘phone to a friend or watching your favourite television programme. No, if you loved us properly then you would be ensuring that this restlessness was banished and that our sense of power and might was reinstated. Your content state is being bandied about in front of us, teasing and provoking. You are mocking us because you are achieving something that is denied to us at that time. How dare you behave in this manner? How dare you forget about our needs? This is symptomatic of the selfishness we knew you possessed and now you wave it in our faces suggesting that somehow we are inferior to you. This will not do.

Your contentment at this stage amounts to a provocation and is tantamount to a criticism of us. You have achieved contentment whilst we experience restlessness and you know this don’t you? Oh, we know that you will pretend to be unaware of what you are doing, but we know your game. We are not fooled by these protestations of innocence so when we fling the dinner plate to the floor, shattering the plate and silence, causing you to jump up in fright, you knew it was coming. The plate lies broken and your contentment in one swift move is similarly smashed. You are not allowed to be content unless it is by our say so. We want you on tenterhooks, your nervous eyes looking to us for approval and consent. Exhibit any sign of being relaxed, at ease or content and we will take action to destroy that state in an instant. We will pick a fight, create an argument, call you a name, break something, interrupt you with an insult walk out and slam the door and so many other actions all designed to remove you from your contented position. When we see you like that, you remind us of what we cannot achieve at that time and we hate you for it.

It becomes worse when the relationship has ended. Whether you escaped us or we discarded you, there will come a point when we turn our sights on you again in order to extract that wonderful hoover fuel. It may be weeks or months later but we will have been undertaking observations in order to determine the most effective way of hoovering you. If we see you getting on with your life, radiating happiness and an air of contentment it infuriates us hugely. How dare you seem happy without us? You are meant to be broken and distraught, that is how the aftermath is supposed to be. Admittedly, it usually is, but every so often we may find that one of our victims has seized the power and advanced his or her position, forging through the emotion and formulating their recovery. It may be the case that we have seen you on one of the few good days, the bad days taking place where the world cannot see, but that does not matter to us. Should we witness you looking well, smiling, having lost weight, or looking fitter, dressing elegantly, meeting friends with laughter and smiles it wounds us considerably. You seem to have forgotten us. You are bound to us, forever, have you forgotten that this is the case? You are at our beck and call until the day either of us breathes our last, yet here you are striding across the street, hair glossy and styled, posture confident and uplifted and meeting somebody with a kiss and a broad smile. This was not meant to happen. You exude contentment, a confidence that we thought was shattered and unlikely to be rebuilt for some time. How did this happen? Who has caused this transformation from the sobbing wretch we left without so much as a goodbye to the contented person we now look at from the shadows? It may be a one-off, it may be a glimpse of something that is a work in progress, but such considerations do not matter when we see it. We are wounded by this display. You appear to no longer need us. Where is the stooped figure? The haunted individual with dark-circled eyes and pallid skin? Where is the comfort-eater that we mocked so horribly? Where has the lank-haired, nervous shuffling person we tormented gone to? This was not meant to happen. Ever.

Seeing you so content post escape or post discard is a massive criticism to us. The lesser or mid-range of our kind will most likely slink away, regarding this show of strength (temporary even though it may be) as evidencing somebody with defences high and radar warily sensitive. Any hoover would be doomed to hoover and might even result in further injurious harm. No, the lesser or mid-range will retreat and return to the new prospect that has been acquired and other sources of fuel and make a mental note that a hoover at this juncture is unlikely to meet with success. The Greater of our kind will seethe and glower, dismayed and wounded by this peacock performance. Unseen, we will send baleful glares your way as we formulate a way to pierce this shield of contentment. Schemes will be concocted once again in order to hammer this contentment into nothingness. The Greater may, if sufficiently motivated, spring forward and unless malign actions for the purpose of drawing negative fuel, preferring to adopt such a tactic rather than seek to draw the target back in. It is time to lash out and destroy rather than capture. Our fury is ignited and our calculating minds will ascertain that this can only be a veneer. It is far too soon for you to appear to content again, no matter how much it appears genuine. We want to halt the recovery before it gathers any more momentum and thus the Greater will unleash a savage malign hoover, smearing and hurling insults, dredging up those historic vulnerabilities in order to break the contentment again, just as we did those many months ago during devaluation. The ignited fury drives the Greater forward to shatter, break and destroy and if successful, then he or she knows that further malign assaults can be rolled out to cripple the recovery. Once the recovery has been derailed, the contentment eradicated and the veneer of confidence stripped, then the golden period can be dangled again before the quivering victim.

It never does to see you contented. This is why when we see it during devaluation you will suffer and adverse reaction. Following the cessation of the relationship it wounds us considerably and will generate a certain response dependent on the type of our kind that you were entangled with. The maintenance of contentment is indeed a blow against us.

Ghosted and Gilded

ghosted-and-gilded

The opportunity to understand the way that the narcissist thinks and behaves is a rare occurrence. Here you will find an array of explanations across different topics and scenarios which will give you unrivalled insight into this dark and destructive individual. Gaining understanding of how this person regards you and the world around him or her is the key to unshackling yourself from the confusion, bewilderment and distress that accompanies any entanglement with a narcissist. This book provides a multitude of observations which will illuminate your understanding and assist you in gaining comprehension of what you are dealing with.

UK e-book here

US e-book here

CAN e-book here

A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 64

 

the dancer letter

We never danced.

Not at a wedding, nor at a stag and doe.
Not at the bar, nor at a dance club.
Not at a rock concert, nor at a party.
We certainly never took dance lessons.
We never danced.

I used to lament that we had never danced.

We never danced.
Not to the titillating tango. Not to a wandering waltz. Definitely not to the passionate paso doble. While you were accomplished at the horizontal mambo (I’ll give you that); that dance is apparently no great feat for your kind.

We never danced.
We never swayed to a slow, lilting love song. Sadly,we never rocked out to a sternum strumming singalong. And we definitely never danced a jig. We never danced.

Ah, but dance me you did.
You danced me around in circles. You danced me in patterns that I could not see – yet somehow I knew innately – you hardly had to lead. That was your one area of expertise. .you chose your dance partner well. And I responded, for somewhere inside me I already knew this dance by rote. Somehow the steps were stamped into my soul. A dance best done with eyes closed shut.

I used to lament that we never danced – that we never had “a song,” that we never danced cheek to cheek, or with arms tightly clasped around each other – we didn’t even dirty dance…

Yet we did dance…a deadly dance indeed. I never realized that we were dancing the whole time.
And then something changed. In your confidence you danced me too far, too hard, or too long – my steps faltered. You saw, but too late. You tried to back me off the dance floor into a corner so far removed no one could even witness. And then you tried to engage me in the same dance. “Talk to me” you would say, but you meant “dance with me.” And I didn’t acquiesce…I faltered; you called me out but it was too late. My dancing shoes had worn out beyond repair…

What did you expect? That we could buy a new pair of shoes for me? How so? When there was nothing left.

And did you think I’d dance down to threads and bloodied toes?

You walked away. You didn’t care.

And when you returned, you simply expected that I’d just be there waiting on the dance floor, with thread-barren shoes, for you to pick up the dance again? Ha.

I had cast off the shoes and ran away, bare toes exposed, tender feet unprotected but free – you didn’t expect that did you?
You didn’t think I had it in me.

So now, in retrospect,  I celebrate the fact that we never danced; a real dance. A true dance. The one area of my life (the one corner of my heart) that you didn’t manage to infiltrate. To taint.

I hear that narcs can fake a lot of things – but we never danced – because you can’t fake rhythm. And I will relish that thought until the end of my days. And I will relish that thought every time I dance, without you

Your World In My Eyes

 

YOUR WORLD

I want you to look into my eyes and there you will find yourself. You will see everything that you have ever desired in my eyes. Every hope you have will shine from my eyes, everything you have every wanted will be visible to you. However, you will not look on the ordinary version of those things that you covet. You will see the enhanced variety, the shining and gleaming types of those things which you hold dear. I want you to stare deep into my eyes and focus on what you find there. Allow yourself to become absorbed by those deep pools of desire as you begin to lose yourself. It is only natural to want to fall into what you see, to let go of those constraints and inhibitions so that you become consumed totally by what you are looking upon. No harm can come of it for you are only staring at the very things which matter to you. Honesty, humility, humour and desire. Integrity, values and passion. Everything which you regard as a virtue can be seen in the world that I have created in my eyes. What you tell me, both directly and indirectly, will invariably come into your view within a matter of moments. It is like a far flung barren planet which has been discovered by intergalactic explorers who commence terraforming of the planet in order to make it habitable. Everything you want becomes a reality as they are formed in this world right before you. The interests you have appear; the places you enjoy visiting come into view and the events that you like to attend flare up. You are hypnotised as this wonderful world forms in my eyes, all generated by you although you are so taken by the process and what you see that you do not realise that all I am doing is taking the materials that you are furnishing me with and replicating all those things that you want to see. I am skilled in ensuring you tell me everything about yourself to add to all the preparatory work that I undertook before I made my move. Like ingredients in a particularly delicious cocktail I combine all of these things which matter to you and weave my magic to create a drink which you will never want to stop drinking. It is intoxicating and invigorating, an addictive concoction that once you have taken your first sip you will continue to draw deep on. You have no chance to escape because from the moment I cause you to look deep into my eyes I show you all the things that you want. I show you the world where you are queen, where nothing will ever hurt you, where your true worth has been recognised by me. This world is perfect. Everything is in its place and accords with your values. You ever stop to question how is it that I have been able to create this world so accurately and so brilliantly. You do not query how this creation is so magnificent because it is everything that you have always wanted. From the fairy tale existence you promised yourself as a young girl through to the correct treatment that you deserve as the decent person that you are, everything appears on this world which I have tailor made for you. It is captivating, mesmerising and alluring. You want this world more than anything you have ever known. You want to be absorbed by it and to fall deep into its fabric, cossetted by the security that it provides. Nothing goes wrong on this world, it is a clear utopia and best of all it is right there before you. All you need to do is maintain my gaze, letting yourself fall deep, deep into this marvellous world and everything will be alright. Everything will remain wonderful.

What you never realise is that this world will be consumed in an instance. In just one blink, this utopia will be obliterated and it will be as if it never existed. The dark inky pools that are the reality of these eyes will devour this created world, erasing it just as readily as a black hole consuming a planet. Once again the darkness will take hold and annihilate the fabrication which you held so dear. Even when this happens you will go on searching though. You will stare deep into my eyes, trying to find this world again amidst the ink-black darkness. There is no light that can shine any longer which may just happen to illuminate where this world has gone to. The darkness is absolute because it is the darkness that is the reality. Not that it will stop you trying. You will keep looking and searching, trying to find the perfect world once again, hoping for it to emerge into the light once again. You will keep trying and that is why we show you the world in our eyes.

Why Are The Arguments Never Resolved?

WHY ARE THEARGUMENTSNEVER RESOLVED?

Disputes between people always arise. You might label it a debate, a discussion, a reasoned exchange of views, an argument, a fight or a blazing row. That label depends very much on the participants in the exchange.

When one of the participants is one of us, a narcissist, it always seems to be the case that it is never resolved, at least, not to your (the non-narcissist’s) satisfaction.

Let’s start however with a dispute between two people who are not narcissists. Person A states that person B owes him £ 50 000. Person B denies that he owes anything. If they cannot resolve it between themselves, they will have to resort to other means to achieve an outcome, which would invariably mean going to court with the attendant cost in time and money. The dispute is however capable of resolution because of the mind sets of the two participants.

Person A’s mindset is – “I would prefer £ 50 000 but I recognise that in order to reach a resolution I will have to accept a lesser sum. So long as this lesser sum is within a certain range, the problem will be solved.”

Person B’s mindset is – “I would prefer to pay nothing but I recognise that in order to reach resolution I will have to pay something. So long as this something is within a certain range, the problem will be solved.”

You can see from this that there is potential for the parties’ mindsets to align. Neither will be out and out happy but the dispute will be resolved and they can get on with other matters. If they agree at £ 30 000 Person A has made a recovery which is less than he desired but more than nothing. Person B has made a payment which is more than he desired but less than everything. The two people have mindsets which can and do align and thus there is resolution.

This non-narcissistic example demonstrates precisely why there is never any resolution (or at least it seems that way to you as the empathic victim) when engaging with our kind. The reason is that there is no alignment of interests.

Take for instance a situation between narcissist and victim. The victim does not know that they are in a romantic entanglement with the narcissist. The victim is an Intimate Partner Primary Source and the narcissist is a Mid-Range Narcissist. The two attended an event in the afternoon. The narcissist felt ignored by the IPPS and this ignited his fury and now the narcissist, in order to provoke and gain fuel has accused the victim of flirting with a member of the opposite sex. The victim knows that she did not do so and is upset by this accusation as well as bewildered. An argument about this ensues.

What is the victim’s mindset?

  1. As a truth seeker establish the truth that she did not flirt with anybody and the narcissist accepts she did not.
  2. The narcissist apologises for the false accusation.

What is the narcissist’s mindset?

  1. Gain fuel;
  2. Assert and maintain superiority over the victim

Both parties have entirely different aims.

Can the victim’s requirements be fulfilled by the narcissist?

The narcissist will not admit that the accusation was a lie because issuing the lie is causing the victim to be upset, to be angry and thus is providing fuel. Accordingly, the narcissist will maintain the lie in order to preserve the supply of fuel.

The narcissist will not apologise because that is ceding superiority to the victim by admitting that the narcissist is wrong. It will also bring an end to the victim’s hurt/upset/anger and thus the fuel ends.

There is nothing for the narcissist to gain in fulfilling what the victim wants.

Can the narcissist’s requirements be met by the victim?

Yes, but not in an intentional way by the victim. Owing to the fact that victims do not know what they are dealing with, that they do not know they are engaging with one of our kind, that they do not understand the concept of fuel or that we have a different perspective to them, the victim cannot decide to keep giving fuel nor can she decide to give superiority to the narcissist.

Instead, she remains bound by her own mindset and desires which are as a consequence of her perspective. She sees this as the ONLY outcome which is right, because from her perspective she did not flirt, therefore she cannot understand why the narcissist cannot accept that this is the case. She cannot understand why he will not apologise when he is wrong. She does not know that he needs to keep extracting fuel from her. She does not know that he needs to assert and maintain superiority over her.

Accordingly, she keeps trying to get the narcissist to see her perspective and to achieve the apology. This will not happen. She does not achieve the resolution she wants. Moreover, she is bewildered as to why the narcissist cannot achieve this resolution when it seems so obvious (to her) that she is right and he is wrong.

The resolution will not occur on her terms because they are not aligned with what the narcissist wants. Instead, the resolution will only occur when the narcissist is satisfied with the fuel received (thus the wounding has been healed and the ignited fury of the narcissist abates) and that his perception of superiority has been attained. He then halts the argument by walking away, changing topic or even completely perplexing the victim by suggesting going out for dinner together. This rapid switch from argument to suggesting something pleasant, when (from the victim’s perspective) there has been no resolution leaves the victim puzzled and open-mouthed at this sudden switching.

From the narcissist’s perspective it is entirely logical. He has gained fuel and healed the wound, thus the ignited fury abates so he has no need to continue the provocation in the argument. He feels he has asserted his fury because the victim is upset, looks dismayed or dejected. He has achieved his aims which the victim (unintentionally) has fulfilled. He thus ends the argument. The victim is puzzled because from her perspective nothing has been resolved. If she presses on, she is likely to provide Challenge Fuel ( seeFuel, Fight or Flight ) and thus the narcissist will respond to this by deflecting, denying, projecting and a whole host of other manipulations.

Accordingly, whenever a victim argues with our kind, the victim never feels like there is any resolution because their aims are never fulfilled. Even when the narcissist’s aims are achieved and he halts the manipulation, the victim still understandably believing the matter to be unresolved, keeps going. This causes the narcissist to respond to the challenge and then the narcissist sees the victim as maintaining an argument unnecessarily.

It is only when the victim understands that they are engaging with a narcissist and that we adopt an entirely different perspective, which alters the aims we seek from the argument, that the victim can achieve an alternative outcome. Armed with this knowledge, the victim can either:-

  1. State their case once so they know they have, offer no reaction and withdraw;
  2. State their case once, offer a positive reaction to fuel the narcissist whilst avoiding feeling dismayed and hurt in trying to achieve an outcome they cannot ever achieve; or
  3. Withdraw, preferring not to engage and save themselves the aggravation of being subjected to repeated manipulation because of the different agendas of victim and narcissist.

Once you become empowered with this understanding of why you never reach resolution with us, you will approach such entanglements in a completely different and edifying manner.

I Cannot Do This Anymore

I CANNOT DO THISANYMORE

 

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.