Victim or Volunteer – Part One

 

VICTIM OR VOLUNTEER _PART ONE

 

I seduced you. There is no doubt that this happened. I was the protagonist and I brought you under my spell. But let us go a little further back. I chose you. I identified you as a prospect and then undertook my investigative work to determine that you had what I was looking for (you did) and then I began to gather the material that would aid my seduction of you. You had no idea that you had walked into my sights. You had no idea that my gaze followed you around the room, that I observed where you worked, where you lived and began the careful assimilation of information about who you are from your friends and your online presence. In fact, your social media contribution was instrumental in allowing me to ascertain that you fitted the profile that I require in those I target. Not only that, your tendency to plaster your life over the internet provided me with a plethora of material to use in my seduction. More than most I felt I really did know you before I even met you. There are enough warnings about remaining safe on-line, plenty of guides about how to be secure in your internet dealings and to chart the waters of cyberspace in an enjoyable yet cautious manner. Not that you paid any regard to this as comments, photographs, location tags and such like were thrown like broadcasted seeds out into cyberspace. You posted photographs which showed inside your home, it was easy enough from your frequent location tags to work out the neighbourhood where you lived and then using the photographs to identify which was your house. You didn’t see me sat in the car outside as I waited one morning for the confirmation that was where you lived. I had a good look through your windows as well seeing as how you opened all the blinds and that hedge meant nobody saw me taking note of what lay within you house. Some might say that such an approach meant you asked for what happened. Would it be uncharitable to suggest that your lax approach to sharing your life on social media caused you to stand out as a ready target?

It was not difficult to engage you. You are after all a bright and vivacious person with many friends. Indeed, those friends enjoy talking about you to people and they offered up more information about you. Perhaps you should re-consider who you trust with information about you. I was always pushing on an open door with you and even the surprising hesitancy you showed when I suggested we sit in a booth together in that bar was soon overcome as I began to mirror you.

Did you not think it strange that I just happened to like jet ski-ing and was apparently a member of the same club as you, that I loved Thai food and enjoyed dance music? Our mutual love of rugby (I had to swot up on that admittedly) provided the opening for a date at a rugby match. Did you not think it was unusual that we clicked on so many levels or were you just swept away by the fact we did and therefore never gave it a second thought? Some might suggest that this was opening yourself up to my charms rather too quickly or are they being unduly critical of you?

We attended the rugby in the afternoon and I had already arranged dinner at a restaurant I knew you often frequented. You expressed such delight at this surprise by planting a huge kiss on my lips. I knew you are an excitable person but did you ever stop to think how, out of the thousands of restaurants in this city, I knew this was your favourite? You actually did ask me, as we dined, how I knew about this place and I explained a client had recommended it to me. When you explained it was your favourite I feigned surprise and added that I just thought you might like it. You did not pick up on how I was able to secure a booking on a Saturday and an excellent table to boot, but then how were you to know about the slipped notes passed to a member of staff. After all, I move with an air of considered confidence so it all fitted together didn’t it that I would command such close attention from the waiting staff through the evening.

You even missed the fact that somewhat inebriated I was able to tell the taxi driver where you lived. I had become somewhat amused at how easy this was proving to be. Your readiness to down glass after glass of wine in the company of someone you had not long ago met. Was that remiss of you or was it understandable given the way I made myself seem so familiar to you through my background work on you. I decided to let slip your address to the taxi driver, even though you had not given it to me, yet you completely missed this. As I helped you into the taxi, ever the gent, you missed the almost reptilian smile I gave. I didn’t. I saw it reflected back at me in the window of the taxi.

I had earlier plied you with plaudits and listened to you offer me up even more information, telling me where you worked, what you did there, information about your colleagues, taking me through your relationships with your family, your favourite musicals and so on. I logged it all as you opened up to me, pouring so much knowledge in my direction. There are those who might consider that to be a natural thing to do, the social lubrication which makes the interpersonal relationship easier and who is to say they are wrong? You accepted my compliments with good grace and returned them which pleased me considerably. I had to stop myself laughing out loud as you declared those phrases which told me that all lights are green.

“I feel like I have known you for years.”

“This is wonderful; we have so much in common.”

“You know me so well, it is fantastic.”

I threw a few of our well-used favourites back at you,

“I think we were fated to meet.”

“I’ve never clicked with anybody the way I have with you.”

“I know it is only the second time we have spent together but I feel a connection with you.”

I may as well have stood on the restaurant table and waved a huge red flag in front of you with klaxons blaring in the background. You did not notice. Was that negligent of you? Ought you, as a self-professed intelligent and independent person, to have seen these warning signs and acted on them? Perhaps you did and decided that the risk was worth taking. If that was the case, I know that there are people who would regard you as consenting to our entanglement with some degree of knowledge that something was not quite right but you were happy to waive this concern, it was too tempting to miss out on someone like me. Was that how it flashed through your mind?

The dates came and went and my tendrils wrapped around you. I stayed over in your house on the second date. You yielded readily to my overtures and we engaged in frenetic, athletic love-making which enabled me to play one of my aces. It was following one such energetic coupling that you held me and with sincerity shining from your eyes whispered that you felt you were falling in love with me. I smiled and nodded because after all, love comes quickly with our type and I was positively delighted that you had given this indication even before I had opportunity to play that particular card. Did you replay that conversation and all the other beautiful ones we had that evening of love-making? Of course you did. You always do because the recall of such scintillating times causes a soaring sensation in your chest. Did you evaluate what this meant? Did you consider it against other relationships in order to benchmark your feelings? Some might suggest that the cautious and sensible would do so and apply some slowing touches and undertake some verification of everything that you were being told, but you did not. Was that slipshod of you? You were given the signs. You were handed the warnings. They were plain enough to see. Many of them were conventional in nature. I only hid them in plain sight, as I always do. Perhaps you are at fault for not paying heed to them? Then again how could you be expected to resist me? I have done this so many times and you (surprisingly) have not been seduced by my kind behaviour. I bet you have said the label attached to my type less than half a dozen times. How could you be expected to put up any resistance when you are being flattered and wooed in such a convincing manner? Why would you stop someone from being so pleasant? Who would? Maybe it is an entirely unfeeling and harsh judge who expected you to know better and remain vigilant?

You let me in. You opened the door and left it open whilst providing me with a key to it and the back door too. You allowed me to permeate every element of your life from your bed to your buddies. Should you have listened to that one friend who cautioned you against moving so quickly? She was just bitter wasn’t she? After all, that is what we told you and why on earth would you have any reason to disagree with us? Your family all felt I was wonderful, even your sister who in the past has been notoriously difficult to please (actually she isn’t, you just need to know what to say but that’s a different story) so you could be forgiven for deeming their reactions as an accurate weather gauge of who I was. How could you have known what was coming? You are no clairvoyant and who would not have taken advantage of being chosen by such a wonderful, charming, magnetic and loving person as I? All my friends spoke highly of me. Did you not pick up on how rehearsed they often sounded when lauding my attributes? No, never mind, it was too much to expect you to do so wasn’t it.

On went our relationship, two entwined lovers, the world at our feet, happiness all around us, a beautiful and enchanting romance. Who would not want such a thing? You have to have an open heart haven’t you otherwise you can never be happy? You have to trust don’t you otherwise you will never find anybody? You have to bare your chest and lift your throat to the world. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and so on. Anybody else would have done the same, surely? Are you to be judged by the universal standard and forgiven for not seeing a predator making his way towards you, snaking his tendrils about you and sinking those sugar-coated fangs into your naïve neck? Or ought you have noticed but became too caught up in your fantasy of perfect love that you blinded yourself. Does that make you culpable? Then again, did you see the signs but actually ignored them, content to brush them to one side because your heart told you this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be with me.

Were you a victim?

Or did you volunteer?

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Victim or Volunteer – Part One”

  1. I don’t consider myself a victim or a volunteer.

    I consider myself an innocent. I don’t mean a perfectly angelic person… but I mean feeling light inside, with an instinct to overcome darkness.

    I did not know what the narcissist was… so I didn’t know the game that was being played.

    I did not volunteer for fakery. I noticed a flawed human being — but did not detect a fake persona.

    I also don’t feel like a victim. The narcissist was deceptive in getting what he wanted, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a victim…I think it has to do with what I’ve come to terms with and feel about it now – and about myself.

    I’m not bitter, nor do I feel he changed anything about me to the negative. I’m aware of NPD now, and I’m an even stronger person. I learned important things about myself — things I wasn’t aware I needed to absorb + heal… tragic things sometimes, about others I loved.

    Did I volunteer, however, for another narcissist engagement? I’ve wanted to ease things by being friends with the narcissist, and I’ve tried to make that happen… that was my dream – that something good could be accomplished; but knowledge of NPD (and HG input + empath care) made me look closely at that goal. Was it realistic? No. Was it possible? No. Would it help the situation? No. Was it even a *good* thing? No. Would I inevitably end up abandoning such a “friendship”? Undoubtedly, yes.

    Even being stalked doesn’t really make me feel like a “victim.” It makes me concerned about his obsessing, and also makes me very annoyed — it makes me want 100% freedom, because it feels smothering…it’s made me scared at times. But it’s making me more resilient. The stronger I am inside, the happier I am.

    My heart is still very soft… I still have deep faith, as well as belief in love… and I’m able to be real/vulnerable, yet remain joyful.

    He didn’t rob my soul.

    Has the narcissist victimized me?
    Have I volunteered for victimization?

    Maybe technically, someone can argue the answers to either could be “yes.”

    But I can’t define it that way.

    1. Caroline
      The only definition that matters is yours. Glad to read that you have not allowed him to take that from you.

    2. Caroline, to me it feels very similar: neither victim nor volunteer.
      Many years ago, in pre-internet times, two friends of mine were looking for a third person to play poker with. They stumbled upon me and found it funny that I didn’t know the rules. At first I played along, repeatedly asking them to explain the game to me, so I could be on a par with them. They denied, I walked away, because their conduct was so frustrating.
      In that situation it had been clear that there was a game going on, that there were rules and objectives: learning, understanding, playing, winning or losing.
      But with the narcissist nothing was clear. I couldn’t ask for rules because I had no idea that there was a game going on and that I was needed as a player. Although I was all questions and feelings, I didn’t see the analogy.
      Today it is very different.
      To me it makes sense to say that I was taught a lesson. After being hurt by the narcissist I reverse engineered the chain of events and at one point in time found myself in a position to understand. (Thank you, HG, your work helped me a lot to get there.)
      Being hurt by the narcissist is something I experienced as reversible. Being hurt is something that happens often: sports, handling knives, animals, hard work, etc. It’s life. (But I understand and know incidences of people having been hurt by Narcissists in a way that wasn’t completely reversible, e.g. by transmission of diseases.)

      1. I love your analogy, DF…

        And I love your “being hurt by the narcissist [similar to being hurt by other life events] was reversible” experience/perspective.

        Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. From ‘Exorcism’ by HG Tudor:

    “The infection was not your fault. Not one single part of it. You, although we want you to think to the contrary, are blameless.”

  3. Answer: Victim… nobody would volunteer for this.

    I realize that I, too, played a role in this fiasco. I won’t walk away from my responsibility there, but I made my decisions based upon deception. Any empathic “consent” for the narcissist to proceed is certainly not “informed.”

    Narcissistic lies are fraud at its finest.

    But I do appreciate another excellent description of the power of seduction. I am actually impressed by the skillful talent which allows strangers to feel like long-lost friends reuniting. I often told mine that I felt as if I had known him my entire life. I was so enamored by this that I referred to him as my new best friend, even as my life-long best friend rolled her eyes. He seemed to be a part of me in ways I couldn’t explain. Because of you, HG, I now have a better understanding.

    Thanks for what you do, man. ☺

  4. I just sent out an email to my greater narc with some of the phrases you used about “how I feel we have a connection like nothing I have ever experienced before!!!…” 🏩💕
    What happens when a narc gets fed fake information? I don’t actually feel this. ..
    Man again writing it, helps me to see how dangerous this is. I am an idiot…

      1. Thank you for explaining. It’s super clear now.
        For fun and games I was volunteering to be a victim. It entertains me now to say the things that narcs want and then leave them.

        But who am I kidding. I am playing with fire. I need to run. Once you know, you GO!

        GREAT WRITING.

  5. Do you guys think an effective way to interact with narcs is to give them fake information?
    I have been interacting with a greater and occasionally I am saying that t I care about X (something I don’t care about) so that his seduction will be less effective and also less hurtful.
    Thoughts?

    I guess now that I wrote it. I realized I am just playing with fire. I need to go no contact. Once you know, you go….

    Great writing HG! Great dialog!

  6. Victim at first, but the first time he triangulated me with another woman he didn’t know by kissing her at the pub when he was with me and I didn’t dump him then and there..and continued to allow him to abuse me even after HG set me wise, I became a volunteer.

      1. I am a shelf IPSS so I only have limited contact with him. Thanks to HG, every article makes me stronger and when pushed, I will eventually go NC.

  7. This is a very important question to ask ourselves, only through brutally accurate reflection can we truly answer it.

    A “victim” – a person who is injured, harmed or killed, a person who is tricked or duped, a person who comes to feel helpless or passive in the face of ill treatment.

    I did not Perceive myself as a victim at any point, I was too aware of my part to play in our dance.

    I was targeted for sure, I was seduced ( if you can call it that).
    After that I was a volunteer.

    “ we see what we aim at”

    I believe that we enter into any interpersonal relationships, communication with an aim, usually founded in good intentions for the average person.

    For the narcissist I have come to understand that the aim was fuel, power/superiority and control.

    For me it was to gain a further friendship, and to offer my friendship and support to him.

    His aims did not change at any point! but mine did.
    I liked how he complimented me, I liked how he looked at me,I liked that he found me attractive. I liked the excitement that this person brought into my pleasant, ticking over nicely world. I opened myself up to the tests and the games, and I played along ( not 100% knowingly but I knew my gut instincts were telling me this is not right, and in the early days I ignored them)

    His pattern was definitely repeated tests and punishments, I’m sure I passed and failed equal amounts in the early days but he was persistent.

    The things that I thought were awful, I also felt excited about, when I came to realise that he had absolutely no boundaries, and did not care about my world, or my need for him to understand my perspective. I kind of threw my hands up in a f**k it let’s see what happens kind of way.. the DE streak had risen to the forefront of my being and had taken control of the helm as it were. I regularly questioned my actions, decisions and the ease in which I seemed to make them. I felt taken over by this part of me, yet aware, it freaked me out / I was a split person and didn’t know who I was anymore.

    The tests and type of punishments evolved as we danced, I failed more then I passed as my aims changed yet again . I became defiant, I shifted my perspective back to my own worth / value and I devalued him whilst I was on his shelf. My ET from the DE persona lulled, and my “normal” self became strong again. I knew I was not going to play the game anymore..

    The narcissists I have encountered have been my teachers, repeated and varied lessons, that were most often painful and unpleasant but required.
    I needed to burn down, deconstruct myself, to then make myself whole again, letting go of the parts of me that were useless and acknowledging the previously unknown parts of me that made me stronger.

    I was a volunteer
    If I ever get into another dance with a narcissist again, it would be as a volunteer. I know too much to be blind to it. Would I choose to be a volunteer again?

    But what fun would it be for a narcissist to ensnare a knowing volunteer now? Very little I imagine.

    The combination of his omnipotence and fear will stop him from making direct contact with me, I’m supposed to be weak, and thinking of him, wanting him, and instinctively contacting him to beg for his time and his presence..
    it is for this reason that I am free of him, I have no intentions to play the game with him again.

    I observed him intermittently from afar last night, I heard his fake self, his fake laugh across the room.
    I witnessed his desperation in seeking attention, and the new women he was seeking this from, wondering if they had the awareness to see the flags.

    My heart rate was unaffected, my emotions remained consistent with continuing to enjoy my evening with friends; I knew he was there but I was relaxed, confident, laughing and expressing myself with my friends. It was reported to me that he looked at me often, this did not evoke questions or wanting in me..

    Volunteer status in exposure to the narcissist has for me- made me braver and stronger.

    1. Quasi….. IF you ever get into another dance with a narcissist?
      I could be wrong but it almost sounds as if you are waiting for it to happen or hoping it might. Obviously you cannot know what will happen in future. But I refuse to get into another dance with any narc. They do not own me. They cannot have me or my fuel. I see them for what they are which is imature, selfish little boys in adult bodies who cannot deal with reality, and none of them will ever have any kind of power over me again. The knowledge that HG provides us with, should help us to get out and stay out! If it doesn’t, then there is a problem with us, not the narcs. All they do is take advantage of what’s already there. We all have to learn to hate them, and what they do in every way. Leave no room for any doubt! They don’t! They are not half hearted about things. They will leave us, be unfaithful, hurt, abuse and destroy us and think absolutely nothing of it!
      We mean NOTHING to them! Let that sink in!
      We have to be as ruthless with them as they are with us. Nobody fucks with empaths!!!

      1. Hi tigershelle,
        Sorry for delay, I have been trying to respond to your comment in between work stuff…it’s an epic so bear with.. lol..

        Your last line made me smile btw.
        Firstly thank you for responding to my post, I understand your perspective completely.

        My statement was an If , because as you say I actually don’t know what my future holds, I can not say that I will never meet another narcissist or be duped by them. I know I’m fallible and I kind of embrace that because it keeps me real. I do not want to pretend to be someone I’m not, I fluctuate in my strength, my resolve and conviction. I am so very vulnerably human, and I do not really want to be any other way. I am of the belief that vulnerability is in itself strength, a strength that allows us to do and be so much more.

        “Vulnerability is at the core of fear, anxiety, and shame, but it is also what allows joy, love and belonging “ Brene Brown – she has done so much research into vulnerability, and what she says resonates with me deeply. I agree with her in regards to vulnerability and I do not want to loose my capacity to be vulnerable, as I do not want to loose other capabilities that I have which make me who I am.

        Now when it comes to the narcissist I knew, I do not hate him, I never did and never will. I allowed myself to be hurt by him to a very deep level. I say allow because I did much of the damage to myself by ignoring my gut instincts in the early days, and wanting him in a role that he could not fit and did not want to fit. – a friend- ( my duality of mind wanted him to want me as I liked the fact that he found me attractive- but I didn’t want him to do anything about it- that is me being totally honest – what a bitch right?)

        I don’t think I want to be able to hate, I can only hope that I never experience the level of pain that it takes to potentially feel hatred for another.

        My perspective is very much of a person who has not been destroyed by a narcissist, It was only 1 narcissist, my engagement with him was under a year and in an ipss role. I was not hurt to the depths that many have endured, or for the length of time that many have endured.
        I think I over explain to an extent so that people can see this, and I hope that my view is not hurtful to others. It is just my experience and perspective based in this.

        When I comment on the blog it is very much with this in mind, I can’t discount the effect the narcissist had on me, but I also can not profess to be broken by him. He did not break me.

        When we speak of them being unfaithful and hurtful, I can not put that in his court alone. Again in my situation I was also unfaithful to my husband by being intimate with the narcissist. The knowledge of which would hurt him beyond measure.

        I am brutally honest about myself when I comment here, I am open and vulnerable here, I express myself wholeheartedly here. It is quite literally a case of what you read- is me, the ups the downs, the strong person, the weak person, the conviction, the uncertainty, the hurt, the optimism, the nurturing/ caring, and the defiant bitch… The crazy combination of contradictions that make me – me. I speak of the contrary nature of the narcissist but I do acknowledge that this is within me too, as I try to get all parts of me to fit a jigsaw. The difference between he and I is my intentions and heart, and capacity to feel.

        I know I would mean nothing to a narcissist, I meant nothing to him. I am acutely aware of that feeling, but I used it to learn from.

        My view expressed is me just trying to be realistic with myself and as honest with myself as possible. I am susceptible to narcissists, I have a part of me, a dark part of my personality that becomes more dominant when I’m in their company/ interacting with them. I am aware of this now. So if I engage with a narcissist now it would be voluntarily, unless they were a higher mid range or greater, and generally more proficient in their facade. I need to acknowledge that regardless of what I know I could still be ensnared.

        But I do not want that knowledge to stop me. I do not want to live my life afraid, hiding, restricting.
        I want to live wholeheartedly, vulnerably, fully, and honouring the ordinary.
        Narcissists thrive with the excitement of their facade, if I had truly acknowledged what I had and luckily still have- the love, the family, the belonging, I would not have been so intrigued and excited by his facade.

        A fundamental part of my learning is to be so grateful for what I have, who I am and how I love.

        I am hopeful that continuing practicing this gratitude will ground me in the real, so any possible future narcissists facade will not excite me or draw me in- and I won’t volunteer for the dance, but trot off in the other direction…
        one thing I always have is hope ..

      2. *tigerchelle not tigershelle – apologies it has been a long ass day … lol

      3. It’s not at all a problem. Thank you for your comment back in expressing your thoughts and feelings. I am busy myself this weekend, so I apologise if I’ve not got back to anyone.

  8. My goodness, that first bit where you talk about doing investigative work through social media and then find out where a person lives, and even sit outside?! ..OMG!!….Reading that made me tense up all over! Puts me in fight or flight mode. So freakin creepy!
    I’m guessing to find out all this stuff, someone would have to have all their stuff public.
    If someone even says: “yeah me too” because they like the exact same thing I do, even just once or twice I get suspicious. But lots of times? I cannot believe someone would not pick up on that. That’s crazy!
    I feel for anyone that’s targeted like this. But some people do ask for it perhaps.
    Glad my door is bolted shut and have a partner to protect me. Just wow!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.