What Do We Feel?



It is often said about our kind that we are effectively dead. This refers to an emotional demise. This emotional demise is linked to the perception that we do not feel. This state of emotional deadness is also connected to the concept that our kind feel empty, that there is a vast chasm inside of us, a howling wilderness where there is nothing. If we are emotionally dead, what caused that? Who or what might the slayer be? Is there any prospect of resurrection? Do we feel nothing? Is there this all-pervading sense of nothingness inside of us?

I am not emotionally dead.

Why do I write this? It is because I do feel things. I feel the burning harshness that flows from criticism of me. I feel jealousy when people are listening to somebody else in the group and not me. I feel envy when I see a car that is superior to mine. I feel frustration when I am not causing someone to do as I want. I feel hatred for those who have turned against me and through their perfidious treachery they seek to do me harm. I feel the fury when I respond to the criticism. Those feelings are strong, visceral and real. I also feel power. I feel that familiar surge as the first flames of power spark into life, brought into being by the application of fuel and then they grow. The surging sensation increases and courses through me, invigorating me and edifying me. It drives me forward, causes me to feel like I am bursting as it enables me to shine, to dazzle and to perform. The intensity of this feeling is substantial and not only is it necessary for me to feel like this, it is addictive.

What then of those other emotions, sadness, joy, happiness, fear, concern, compassion and so forth? Where are those emotions? They are absent. I do not feel them. I have seen in those around me certain responses and listened to people describe them so that I know what happiness looks like and I know what it feels like to you, but I do not feel it. It is clear to me that when you feel happy, I feel powerful. When you feel joy, I feel a greater sense of power. Accordingly, it is correct to state that in respect of those emotions I am dead, or is that entirely accurate. For something to die it must first have once lived. Something must have been there to begin with and then have vanished, been obliterated or removed. Was I once happy and then the capacity to be happy was taken away from me? Who removed it? Was it the act of someone else or did I decide to strip happiness from myself and arm myself with power instead? Then again, is it the case that certain elements of my emotional spectrum are not dead at all but instead I have experienced some kind of emotional paralysis. Are those emotions somewhere but they have been halted, capped, muted? I know from my reading and observation that, for example, compassion appears to be learned from others. Was I once learning to be compassionate and then for some reason it stopped and has never been allowed to develop again? Was I once able to experience joy but then that was stunted and halted and kept from me?

Alternatively, it might be that with regard to certain emotions I am neither emotionally dead or emotionally paralysed. In both those instances it must follow that the emotion was once there but has either been removed (death) or halted (paralysis). What if the emotion was never there to begin with? What if I was created without the capacity for joy, for sadness of for compassion? What if I was created in a different way? What if my creation and development meant that it was necessary to forgo such emotions in order to facilitate a certain way of being which allowed me to achieve and accomplish more effectively without being hampered or hindered by such emotions. I have no concern for who I might tread on, on the way up, so I climb that much quicker and that much higher than other people. Might it be the case that in order to have those who excel in so many fields it was necessary for us to be denied certain emotions to ensure we were effective? I readily admit that not everyone who is a leader in their field, an achiever and a winner is necessarily one of us, but we are over-represented. Even if someone might not be regarded as one of our kind, I know that they will possess more of our traits and to a greater degree than they do not. Perhaps this was a necessary trade-off so that the pioneers, conquerors and leaders would advance but at a personal cost in terms of the provision of certain emotions. Perhaps we were never granted those emotions to begin with? Through my increasing awareness with the good doctors I am forming a view.

Do I laugh? Am I amused? Do I have a sense of humour? Yes, I do and I know I have an excellent sense of humour (aside from when you do not do what I want or criticise me). I have been asked what do I feel when I laugh? If I am laughing along with others at something I have said, then I feel power because I am being fuelled. What do I feel if I laugh when I am watching a comedian on stage or on television? I laugh because I know it is expected of me in such a scenario. I laugh because I can work out that what was said was witty or amusing, but I do not feel any power. I do not feel any uplifting sensation in the way that you have described to me. Often I feel a sense of unrest and the clamour of jealousy because people are laughing at someone else’s wit and not mine.

What do I feel when I see one of my country’s athletes securing gold at the Olympics? Am I proud of them? I know to say the correct things to provide recognition for their achievement but again I feel a sense of envy that it is not me on that podium receiving the accolade of the crowd in the stadium. I can see you sat next to me clapping and smiling and I am jealous that you are clapping this person on the television and not me. I can feel the first prick of the wound because your applause for them and not me suggests they are better than me and thus you are criticising me. I feel the need to tell you about my sporting achievements so you give me praise and thus the criticism is abated before it has caused too much damage and before my fury is ignited. I may instead allow the fury to ignite and find some way of lashing out at you so you react and provide me with your attention through being hurt and upset. This is why on so many occasions you will be doing something with us that is pleasant and enjoyable and then in the blink of an eye an argument has come out of nowhere or a brag or boast appears linked to what we are doing. I cannot feel happy for that athlete. I can acknowledge the achievement because he is a winner and I love to win. I will acknowledge the achievement and apply what I have learned in order to show the correct feelings if I am in a situation where it would not be appropriate to unleash some heated fury, for instance if it would crack my façade, but I will be desperate to bring the conversation or attention onto me by remarking how I won gold in the country championships as a teenager or start talking about my latest achievement at work.

What do I feel when I see an advert for a charity on the television? Am I moved by the images and the mournful accompanying soundtrack. Do I feel pity, sympathy and compassion? No, I do not. I feel nothing. If I hear you making sympathetic noises then just as in the example above I want your attention on me, not on the orphan on the screen. I may comment about my charitable work so your praise me. I may pass a scathing remark about how it is a waste of money because very little of the money donated actually reaches the person who needs it, the bulk of the money being swallowed up by administrative and advertising costs in order to make you react. I may go further and blame the subject of the charitable activities as culpable for their own predicament in order to bring a heightened emotional reaction from you at my callous remarks.

I do feel. I feel many emotions and many emotions I do not feel at all. I also do feel a sense of emptiness which I seek to fill through the sensation of power. I need to fill up with this power to remove this sense of emptiness. This emptiness makes me feel uneasy and unsettled. I feel like I am disappearing and that by gathering fuel to make me feel powerful I am asserting my existence again. I am recognised, venerated and lauded.

I know what I feel. I also know what I do not feel. I have an awareness and growing understanding of why I feel as I do. I have an awareness as to why I must act as I do with regard to those feelings. I am ascertaining and working out why I feel in a different fashion to you. I understand my need for power and what it does for me. I understand the effects of this power and the consequences of its generation.

I am not the walking dead. I am walking towards something.


15 thoughts on “What Do We Feel?”

  1. I’m Incorrect I think , according to my readings the psychopath doesn’t rely on admiration , fuel from others ,they have a solid intact ego and do not need fuel to bolster them but do possess the self awareness you have HG.
    The narcissist has a more fragile ego needs recognition,admiration ,attention as these fuel the ego .

  2. Hi HG

    I love your articles ,and your insider knowledge is extremely powerful however and this is not a criticism sir ,just an observation.
    Many of the scenarios , manipulations and descriptions actually strongly align with full blown psychopathy not just narcissism.
    I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist but a lot of what you describe goes beyond narcissistic personality disorder I think , or is a more extreme version.
    I think it is the self awareness of what you do that separates you from the garden variety narc.
    Do you think you are an extreme narc or on the psychopath spectrum.
    Either way I love your blog and help Mr Tudor.

    I’m just curious and mean no offence .

  3. This article of yours always makes me sad. It’s a small glimpse into your vulnerability if for no other reason than not appearing grandiose.

    You’re human. You’re flesh. You feel.

    Yet it is these moments that cause us to reach for you and want to comfort and reassure what can never be enough.

  4. HG, how exhausted you must be from trying to be one-up from any/everyone in the world at any given time. Even how you experience feelings isn’t “right” according to you. It’s like you need to choreograph and correct the spinning of the whole world or it will all fall apart. I wish there were a magic word to convince you that YOU are the sustainable source of your own power and the greatest way to elevate that power is to connect with and exchange power with others, not to syphon it by any/all means. You deserve better than that – to have to essentially steal power/fuel instead of freely exchanging it reveals so much about the damage and pain from your original traumas/shames, inflicted, born into, and/or predisposed to.

    IMHO, everyone experiences “happy” or “joy” etc. differently. I could even argue that in some cases, “joy” or “happy” comes from some sense of conquering an insecurity (power over) or triumphing over something OR someone else (more power). So the sensation is often fleeting and there is a need for more (this is different from our baseline happiness/overall gratitude etc.). And don’t give we Empaths too many halos – compassion is often an unconscious disguise for guilt in “our kind.” It’s why we are often succeptible to “giving” – it’s lets us off the hook for the moment because we did our part to alleviate some ethereal collective guilt over the condition of some poor soul or creature. So when you point out, for example, that money given to charity goes mostly to admin costs, the fact is, you are right (because you are gifted at the same manipulations designed to elicit our compassion as the marketing people are who put out the advert) but now we cannot be relieved of our “guilt” and we say FU for being so cynical.

    But we really are not so far apart and the need for outer validation and fulfillment is often something we have in common – we just come at it from different sensations of “emptiness.” Your kind demands it (takes it from others for yourselves because you don’t believe you have any self-sustainable power on your own- hence the taking can be so random, inconsistent, unpredictable, cruel, and insane from “our” perspective). Our kind tries, consciously or unconsciously to earn or deserve it (gives it consistently/unconditionally hoping to get it replenished in return). But “it” is fundamentally the same and we both often get it “in defiance of” what norms/expectations/losses etc. tell us, and so we each have the ability to rise to epic heights in our careers, social standings, influence, and so forth- neither narc nor empath is ordinary, yet I believe we each started out in early childhood expecting then seeking the comfort and acceptance of “ordinary,” rejecting it (or ourselves or others) each time we didn’t “fit,” feel “enough,” or became discontent, repeating and expanding this until we were stand outs in some way that further separated us from “normal.”

    So I agree, you (like my croc) are absolutely not the walking dead. You ARE walking towards something. Just be clear that that “something” may not be what you think because if you have halos of idealism about “OUR” true nature, you will be forever disappointed with us and will never want to “join” us. We are all equally flawed, lacking, and have the capacity to do shitty or self-serving things and to feel empty as well as powerful. Our anger (if we have allowed ourselves to acknowledge this emotion) is often directed inward at ourselves, then fueled into advocacy “out there,” (or to “fix” you) where yours seems to be directed outward (at us), and fueled inward to power or “fix” yourself. Both approaches can be extreme, self-destructive, and neither can be self-sustaining. But integrating or balancing the two (personally and in relationship) is to create an independent force that, in its wholeness, would be fawsome. Be more whole and you attract those more whole. Be less of a disappointment (to yourself and/or others) and you’ll attract those who disappoint less. It can’t be faked.

    To that end I invite you to be conscious of terms like “our kind/your kind.” While your use of it was the identifying distinction that initially released me personally from the merry-go-round of good/evil insanity, it ultimately further divides us and makes your walking towards something even more of a challenge. Words of power such as “us” and “them” are designed to keep “us” apart from “them.” Until there is an inclusive “we” (Narc/Empath as two sides of the same coin mirroring, accountable for, and creating a third truth/option), you’ll have a very long and ever-extending walk “towards.”
    Maybe “we” IS the magic word. Just my 2 cents.

  5. Reading all this (again) I wonder if an empath will ever be able to really understand the mind of a narcissist. When I think of my narcs, I still always think with my own emotional understanding. Trying to put myself in their shoes is just about impossible. My eldest son, like his father, never shows emotions and I always wonder what is going on in their minds. My youngest son is like me and for me better to understand. It is hard to deal with people with poker faces in every day life. Especially loved ones. You want to love them and please them, yet you are always full of doubt and confusion.

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  7. Mr. Tudor, if you’re still doing your therapy I wish you all the best. I pray that you get the answers that you need to get.

  8. This is so powerful and resonates with me so much. I am truly thankful to have found your blog. There’s no other place that can provide me with this much understanding about my mom. I never thought that anybody would understand what my mom is. I thought that I understood her but apparently I had no clue.

    Now I understand why she looked like that on my wedding day, like she was just there because she had to.
    Why she always seemed bored when I enthusiastically talk to her about my friends.
    Why she was so disgusted with me when I get so excited for my friends achieving something because she doesn’t understand why I would be happy for someone else’s success.
    Why as she watched me on school plays playing the main part she never looked proud of me, instead she looked like she was critically assessing if I am performing well enough.
    Why I never saw her cry.
    Why she was always looked so disappointed in me and thought of me as a weakling and naive because I am not like her.
    I am her only child and I turned out so differently from her, how disappointing that must have been for her. And how the heck did that happen?
    I still love her though.

    Thank you so much Mr. Tudor for providing us with the tools to understand your kind.

  9. “I have an awareness and growing understanding…I am walking towards something.”
    YOU have been working with “the good doctors.”

    HG, you’re a good man. I know nothing more of you than your willingness to help heal the broken-hearted; however, that alone does not a good man make.
    Your willingness to become vulnerable to yourself…..ah, now THAT makes you a good man.

    I’m happy for you.
    No, you most certainly are not the walking dead.

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  11. HG, I think your facade comes from trying to fit in with everyone, and you learned to fake emotions to be socially acceptable. And if you can’t love anyone, then you can’t love yourself either. You don’t have that emotion. That’s why you need us to love you. If you didn’t have love in your life, it Would be a panicked oblivion of no self. You need your Amygdala fixed, as that’s the malfunction in the wiring of your brain. I think it’s very possible you could be born that way. I think it would make you more susceptible to inflating criticisms and perceiving those abuses worse than others would, hense why some siblings are narcissistic and some aren’t. The problem with your theory about narcissists rising to the top is that you don’t necessarily get there honestly, you don’t see anything wrong with cheating or sabotaging someone else to get there, you’re view of things isn’t completely accurate. I know you do work hard, you’re disciplined, AND you cheat because it’s efficient to you. That the world needs you to be a leader, and that’s why you were born that way? I think you pillage and destroy far too much and only for the sheer sake of winning. Narcissism breeds dictators. I suppose you can believe in right not wrong and be humanitarian too. Your narcissism warps your viewpoint though that positive emotions cause negative effects of mediocrity and weakness. Because we might not be driven to rise to the top, maybe because we might place family above career, because we don’t care about keeping up with the Jones’s or impressing others with our bling. Truth is we might be the millionaire next door that you’d never suspect, because we’re not wearing it on our sleeves like you are. Another consideration is you don’t even care about the bling, you’re a slave to maintaining an image. Rethink superiority, because maybe it’s the weakness.

  12. I thought of you today HG. I did computer training for my new job and Erickson came up. Trust vs. Mistrust. Maslows Hierarchy of needs etc. What fascinated me most was Erickson though. While my introduction to him was brief what caught my eye was the VS. Versus. The opposite of. The negative.

    The empath in me wants to apologize, to hope you can change.

    Cold hard logic has me redirecting my efforts where they are of most use.

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