Puppet On A String



Becky (an ex girlfriend) would turn to me and some times say,

“I just feel like your puppet at times.”

I had to look the other way because I wanted to laugh. My nickname for her was poppet. She loved me calling her that. I used it straight away when we first met. It was actually a useful device as the other lady I was seeing, Susan, received that nickname from me too, but she was on the way out. It meant I could call them both poppet and not mix up their names with the invariable histrionics that would ensue. God, I am good.

What Becky had not realised that my calling her poppet was a corruption of puppet and every time I used it I would be laughing inwardly and beaming outwardly. She thought I was just smiling because I was pleased to be with her.

That is what it is all about. Making you my puppet. This is my aim. This is the means to my end of obtaining my fuel from you. As you will no doubt becoming familiar with, the means always justifies the end. Accordingly, by ensuring you become my puppet I am in the optimum position to control you to extract every drop of fuel I can from you.

I need to control you so that you admire me when I want it. I need to control you so that I can pull the strings and make you jerk to my tune. I am the puppetmaster.

To make you my puppet I engage on a two-pronged approach. Firstly, I make you utterly dependent on me. I open the doors and let you look upon heaven. That way you are in awe of what I can give you and you want it, oh you really, really want it. Secondly, I will then remove every method of support both real and potential that you might rely on to try and recover your free will (family, friends, colleagues and so on – I will be posting about how I do this through my slur campaign in a separate post) so that you have nobody to turn to. Thus, as you look on heaven entranced and enraptured, I am opening the trapdoor to hell right under your feet.

Once I have those strings attached to you we can begin our dance. It is long. It is exhausting. It is dangerous.


25 thoughts on “Puppet On A String”

  1. And while reading this post, I hear the song A Little Death Around the Eyes…it would make the perfect theme song for this post.


  2. Hello HG, I would like to ask if a person from my family can be a narcissist. It is difficult for me to tell because she is not a typical sexual attention seeker with many affairs, with wide circle of exes that she hoovers for fuel. But she has many narcissistic traits. Here are some of them:

    – She is intelligent, from wealthy family, she is a lawyer
    – She has a husband for 10 years, together they are for 16 years.
    – Stable relationship, no infidelity, sudden breakups or flirting with others known. It looks like happy good relationship.
    – She is a leader of her marriage, her husband is a person who have to do what she wants. She makes big decisions.
    – They have rather small circle of friends.
    – She accepts only friends who give her an ego boost, who are less wealthy than her, who praise her.
    – She doesn’t like those friends. There are not empathetic heart to heart friendships. She meets them, pretend to be friendly, but then she smears them to other people (how poor they are, how stupid they are, how much better her life is)
    – She would not accept friends who are as wealthy as her, as succesful as her, as happy in love life as her
    – When you deal with her you walk on eggshels. She doesn’t need to say anything. You just know that if you criticize her or say something she would consider criticism, she would say something very hurtful, give you a silent treatment or cut you off completely if you don’t behave.
    – She never agrees with you. But you have to agree with her.
    – She will never see your point of view.
    – She takes everything personal. If you criticize another lawyer she would think you just wanted to criticize her. She is paranoid and egocentric.
    – You can’t look better than her. If you do she would be unpleasant to destroy your good mood.
    – Seeing others happy and successful make her envious. She needs to put others down.
    – She is a perfectionist. Everything she does must be perfect. Perfect dinner, perfect party, perfect coctails. And she makes an affort to make it perfect.
    – She tries to isolate her husband from his family. She wants to control him. She wants him to think she is the only good in his life. It looks like a brainwashing, she tells him how bad his family is for him when it is completely untrue, his family always been loving and supportive. Even for her, trying to be as kind, even inferior as possible just to please her.
    – She doesn’t like her husband’s family because they are also succesful, more educated and respected in society.
    – She acts like a film director. In her life everyone has a role. And you can have good relationshs with her, you can be a part of her world (film) only if you do what she wants you to do. It means if you are successful, you have to pretend you are not. You can’t share with her your achievements or your happiness, you have to act miserable and inferior.
    – She has no boudaries or shame or respect for other people she should respect. She would criticize you in front of others and treat you like a stupid kid.
    – She has a child (3 years old) and she is unhappy when she sees this child loves the family of her husband, likes to be with them, misses them or acts happy when she sees them.
    – She tries to destroy the natural bond between her daughter and her grandparents. To do this she causes fights over meaningless things.
    – There are family members (in her family) she accepts only because they are wealthy and she would inherit so she keeps tem close but still she will be very unpleasant for them and will always act superior.

    Can she be a narcissist? I see there many narcissistic traits, this person feels superior, put others down, lacks empathy, is egomaniac and paranoid, toxic and manipulative. But I know nothing about infidelity or sexual charm that narcissists are known for. I wouldn’t consider her a sexual predator who wants men’s attention or something like that. I would be grateful if I know your opinion, if someone could have a long and stable relationship and be a narcissist at the same time.

    1. KatyAsks
      pathological need for control? ✓
      is obnoxious and overbearing? ✓
      jealous of others’ love and happiness, and can’t participate in that in any degree? ✓
      no-one likes her? ✓

      Sounds like a yes so far.

  3. Pingback: Puppet On A String ⋆ NarcTopia
  4. Hi HG and fellow readers,

    I have read about exact similar pet names or romantic song choices, favorite books, or whatever used over and over by Narcissists with victims, in my case I believe the name was “Queen”. Kept him from making a simple mistake, as you said, HG. I think I have seen the Queen reference in your writings as well. In the “golden period” your victims do wear a crown of sorts, do they not?👸

    Now that I know about your kind and know many of the details about my Narc through investigation, I do believe he also has a distinct methodology that he simply repeats again and again…the only change being is his particular facade regarding interests, political views, etc that change as the customized mask created for each victim is developed. For identity, he used his brother’s first name as his first name as his identity but used his first and middle name as his middle and last name. I still can’t imagine how he didn’t make a mistake in over 5 years. I learned later he used all variations of his name and similar names to keep his lies straight, such as Dan versus Van and that sort of thing.

    One bizarre behavior I think he did between victims is he took items from their homes and brought them to others and exchanged them-in a way to connect all of us in the folds of his empire. Not expensive items, things like a shirt, a casserole dish, a decorative items…several items of no particular importance or value disappeared of mine, but he also was constantly bringing me items he found “antiquing” or “thrift” shopping. In hindsight, they probably belonged to other victims. I misplace things all the time so never considered the few items I eventually missed likely ended up in someone else’s kitchen or closet!😆

    He worked in a high end retirement home and also probably took many items from there as residents expired. I know he stole from that facility like crazy but when he was exposed, they simply terminated him because of course they did NOT want the publicity. The shame in that however is that he went straight to another similar facility and will likely repeat all of the behaviors he did at the previous one, including photographing, videotaping and coercing these elderly residents to pretend they are his family members and God only knows what else he was doing to them. He focused upon the memory unit in particular, and as a maintenance man he had access to their individual rooms to manipulate them outside the observations of the other staff members. He used his concern for the elderly as a great character reference…NO ONE would question his innate kindness, same as attending church regularily and serving in the choir….and performing at retirement facilities all around the Southeast. This persona was the thing in him that truly cemented my adoration of him as an empath, I had never met a man that oozed with so much concern for others, much less the elderly!

    I am filled with dread knowing that the most vulnerable in our society remain at risk in homes such as these. Families have no idea what is going on with their loved ones behind closed doors, even in the top of the line facilities. I ethically cringe at not knowing how to protect these people-when both the facility and the police department refused to pursue formal charges even though I had evidence of both many stolen items, and video, photos, and incriminating texts… thus once again his record remains whistle-clean. As an empath I also feel such sorrow towards all the other women who will be used and destroyed by this man as well, but know there is nothing I can do to protect them, since he uses a false identity, background checks come out clean, just as mine did.

    HG I think you would be a fascinating subject for the program Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR, I tried to recommend you to her program but couldn’t find a way to offer a suggestion online. She is currently one of the greatest producers/interviewers on radio.

    I also think you would be an excellent presenter at a TED talk, because your ideas ARE WORTH SHARING, which is the premise of TED. I bet you could pull off a talk without publically identifying yourself. TED talks often go viral, and your message to empower the Empaths of the world needs to go viral. If you simply did a regional TEDX, I think the exposure of your message would be significant. I assume you are British so I doubt you would travel to the US for one but I will recommend you to our TED in Birmingham (AL). Your persona is very negative, and that is an obstacle in giving out your message-and being suspicious of it to be honest, but there are many negative topics presented within the scope of TED to raise awareness.

    In my little experience most people were astonished and mesmerized by my story. They also firmly believe they would never become a victim themselves…I tried to remind people of the statistics of meeting a Sociopath are 1 in 25 but even then, they scoffed at my attempts to educate them.

    Talking about it publically or socially, people look at us victims as being just slightly more gullible than they are-and we also look obsessed with our tormentors if we try to warn others of the dangers of your kind. As much as your lack of empathy and need to harm others makes me despise you, there is great value in your brutal honesty and awareness of your condition to educate the rest of us. Even astute Psychiatrists, Psychologists and other experts in ASPD do not have the same insight as you possess and offer as you know. And you have the ability to verbalize it and orate it in such a way that lends to your credibility. Similar to the way this is a powerful weapon used within your Narcissistic world, utilized within the golden period to seduce and then also used negatively within the devalue and discard stages as you destroy. Emotionally, the talents of your language skills must provide levels of fuel in all three stages the lowers of your kind could not even imagine. And without legal ramifications that lowers must endure due to their lack of control and mental capacity.

    Your writing is very disturbing regarding what your victims likely endure.

    I somehow feel gratitude however because I do believe your take on Narcissism is INSTRUMENTAL in empathetic recovery, and absolutely unique in approach. I also delight in excellent writing and orating skills which you you seem to posess. “Seem”…I knew that would infuriate.

    My narc had neither, he used boyish charm and his extraordinary vocal talent along with an entire fake identity to manipulate my unsuspecting dumbass. In hindsight I most certainly did have experience online with narcs that could write but logistically, thank God, I did not take the bait. My narc occasionally would use some bizarre word he googled to try and impress me with his academic knowledge or he stole writings from others so I would assume they were his own, but his poor grammar and spelling gave it away. He never went to college but claimed to have a Masters. I often wondered why he made such grammar and spelling mistakes when he had a Master’s degree. As you describe in detail, it is the idealism of the perfect companion that causes our grip on reality to slip. I am forced to acknowledge and take responsibility for behaviors I overlooked because I wanted to believe the illusion. In my gut I knew it was too good to be true-NO ONE loves someone like that. But as with so many others, the picture that was custom painted for me was beautiful and what I had been waiting for all my life. Silly, emotional empath. I look back and can almost appreciate how fascinating it is to your kind as to what we will believe WITHOUT CHECKING due to our distorted frame of reference that most people are truthful and good in the world. It has got to be damn intoxicating to manipulate us foolish people. Like we almost deserve it for being so naive!

    Education, I agree, is your number one weapon against your kind; logic over illusion. Realizing our kindness and point of reference is what caused us to become a victim is instrumental in forgiving ourselves for taking the bait. New abilities will develop with awareness of our lack of boundaries and the remainder of our lives we will have enhanced armor to protect ourselves.

    Thank you HG.

    1. Hi Empath,
      thanks for taking the time to share about your experiences.

      One thought that come to me today from your post and what I’ve been reading this week is that we empaths can use projection just as much as Ns, in that we assume that
      1) their goals and aimed-for endpoints of human interactions are the same as ours
      2) the things that hit their pleasure centres, and therefore motivate them, are the same as ours
      3) their needs for emotional satisfaction are the same as ours
      4) their values are the same as ours
      5) their ethical and moral frame of reference is the same as ours
      6) their view of human dignity is the same as ours
      7) their reactions in any given situation will be the same as ours
      8) their emotional responses in any given situation will be the same as ours
      9) that they have the same set of emotions that we do.

      We assume from the outset that this is true, and with time realise with horror the gaping chasm between us and them.
      This contributes to the cognitive dissonance we experience.
      The cognitive dissonance contributes to the devastation and prolonged emotional pain we feel, and makes us vulnerable to their hoovers.

      Projection is not bad per se, it saves time to make some assumptions in many social or work related situations. We can assume certain social norms with a relative level of confidence. This works well generally in life.

      I’ve read that with autism some individuals (especially children) can struggle with not being able to predict human behaviour, and in situations they have to think through every word, gesture, and facial expression. It requires such an intense amount of thinking, rethinking and overthinking. Endless amounts of “why did he say…? Why did he do…? What did that expression mean?”
      Which accounts for the downtime and quiet they need.

      Empath’s code of conduct:
      do unto others as you would like to have done to you
      N’s code of conduct:
      do unto others, then leave.

      1. Caroline R
        “Empath’s code of conduct:
        do unto others as you would like to have done to you
        N’s code of conduct:
        do unto others, then leave.”

        Very good! I’d leave off the “then leave” part though. Some of them are fueled by staying and watching the chaos they’ve created. My Pretzel MnM has always said, “Do unto others, before they can do unto you.”

  5. HG , please I need your help .
    I took the no contact steps , I honestly did not expect any Hoover , we haven’t been in proper contact for over two years.Just emails , jerking my chain , false hope ,then prolonged silent treatments in between.
    I went into a depressed state until I came here.
    Lo and behold he is carrying out an aggressive Hoover since I blocked my email It happened instantly..Letters , money , contact through my phone , my work .I’m getting confused and scared.
    He hasn’t called my phone in 2 years WTF.
    It’s like he has pressed rewind , and we are still in a relationship , despite discarding me , and not giving a damn for years.He wants me back in my box , under his control.How dare I move on , how dare I think he doesn’t own me .
    He won’t let me go easily , I know now , I need help I’m not strong enough , my emotional thinking is high now , I really loved him but he is frightening me , not in a physical sense but his ability to just rewind all the past and suddenly turn into a man possessed.
    Help help

    1. Kiki,
      You will be OK.
      You can do this.

      Quite a shock for you, but ex-N is only acting true to form, as predicted by HG.
      So far so normal!

      You’re holding your ground.
      You’re stronger than you were before.

  6. You are the real puppet. You are puppeted like a glove by the fear creature inside you. You are isolated from human relationships by the inability of the creature to separate people from things. How pathetically bacterially primitive. Everything about you is based on fear. Starting with what drives you. Your FEAR.
    Hahahahaha. Sad puppet prisoner.

  7. It is sad and at the same time liberating to read all these things.
    I can see how I’ve been manipulated and used and it does me good in a way because now I know that nothing I do would change it.
    The “creature” said that I looked like a “glue” because I always wanted to be close to him. Then he started calling me “Glue.” One day he opened the door and said “here it is, my GLUECIFER”, the mix of glue and Lucifer. But I was not aware that it was a narcissist so I was very sad thinking that I could be as bad as a demon.
    It is very painful to read all this. 🙁

    1. RD
      being called “Glue” is a passion-killer!
      It’s also a bit creepy.
      “Gluecifer” is even creepier.

      He was creative, your N, but he used his talents to make you feel lesser-than, not beautiful and loved.

  8. I meant to mention another similarity i see in this to my narc is hes made backhanded remarks or passive aggressive barbs and i know has found it humorous especially when ive not been able to prove it and dont confront it. Its a definite smugness. Narcs think theyre so smart and were oblivious. Its a game to them to lie and decieve. They will lie even when they dont have to.
    My narc is exceptionally good at being careful not to expose his deciet. He rarely makes mistakes unless “intentional”.

  9. Yet another ive not read from the vault. This one reminds me a lot of my narc but the jokes on him bc i give him what he wants too and have created a great fuel source. Its easy to turn the faucet off or dribble it. I know my fuel is valuable by his reaction when i do so. Thats not to say he doesnt have backup appliances bc i dont for one second pretend to think im the “only one”. Sometimes you can be a puppetmaster by pretending to be the puppet. Ive laughed at his lame jokes, pretended to be “ok” with all his political bantering, resisted the urge to tell him what a fkn schmuck his president is, been all ears to hear about aspects of his day…the list goes on and on… Not all has been put on but there is a lot ive taken a so called interest in or not told him what i think in the name of keeping him from playing his narc games. When he starts to be a jerk the faucets turned off completely. Whose the puppetmaster?

    1. Exactly Chihuahuamum how I have become ..when he starts the games or salad speak I turn off and he gets no reaction ..I have suddenly got something to attend too .. so then I get a see you later in case I dont respond to a message after an hour or so … he has to know I will be back .. Im getting quite good at this self protection thing Its about time I woke up after all the misery and heartbreak I put myself through ..and yes i blame me for not seeing it all sooner !! I just have to figure out a way to get to the end of this without consequences if it possible ..

  10. My ex called me Stanley…and told i was a filmmaker. He didn’t want me to see. That’s why he was worried…

  11. Wow! You went on a tear on the archives digging up the ex girlfriend articles. I feel like I’m back in Month 4 of the Blog. It’s awesome!
    (Note to Chihuahuamom – Notice he doesn’t talk about Becky with the same “softness” he does about Karen.) After so many more educational articles from you HG, I would even guess Becky may have been a side squeeze and not an IPPS.

    1. Hi clarece…youre definitely more seasoned where HG’s works are concerned. I love reading your posts and advice which i admire greatly!! Your posts really get me thinking and in other angles from my own.
      When i reread caretaker i still come away with a different feel for it. I detect sarcasm and smugness. I dont detect softness. The way karen is described is of being manipulated into seeing a project she could fix and him being proud of the fact of that manipulation. I do think greaters take pride in their npd and how they outsmart people to get what they want and why shouldnt they bc they lack empathy. I dont detect softness towards karen i detect pride in the extent of his manipulation on this lady and the lengths she would go to please him. He probably views her as weak and pathetic and has no soft spot at all for her aside from her sweet fuel. He loved her fuel.
      In tiddly boo and pucker HG admitted he grinned at his mums personality shifts during the trip which is very telling of his admiration of narcissism.
      Greaters enjoy their npd its a game to them.

  12. Is positive (happy) fuel not higher quality than negative fuel?

    It’s so much easier to make and receive happy fuel, I struggle to understand why narcissists wouldn’t just use their energy to keep making people around them happy. At some point the histrionics and tears has to get tiring and dull, which I understand leads to the discard. If the happy girlfriend/lover fuel is high quality, why not just keep the pace for that as a constant supply?

    I realize I am a super empath and am struggling with a NARC situation of my own..I read here and feel just..WTF WOW. My heart doesn’t want to believe what is happening. I am both horrified by, and enjoying (immensely) the blog and website…however some of it seems formulaic. Reading is helping me peel away the emotional misery and let’s just say I have a little paper boat at the moment.

    I am more keen to understand those murky depths of why (???). Being loving is also powerful and maintains steady supply in a way that is far easier than the negative tactics used by a narc. Do any narc ever see this or it is impossible? Making people feel happy keeps empaths happy and in a position of power, what makes it that the narcissist needs the negative fuel for power? I’ve done perverted and submissive deeds because I was happy and safe…not because I was threatened. It works in the opposite way for me. Perhaps this is confusing for my own relationship as well….I will do anything when I feel loved and safe but the second I feel threatened or distrusting I shut down and that’s that in the power exchange.

    PS: I do enjoy the story formats, they deliver the message in a way that most people will digest as your lexile is quite high. Interesting work and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    1. Thank you. If you read the book Fuel it will explain why negative fuel is of a higher quality to positive fuel.

    2. Hi Debedgar
      interesting reading your thoughts. The comment you made about feeling safe jumped off the page (phone screen?) at me. “Feeling safe” is a big theme for my life at the moment, and I shut down too without it.
      My body will feel like a wooden statue in some cases.

      I have learned to withdraw emotion and be self-protective when my Narcdar light is flashing.
      It’s an essential app for an empath to have installed.

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