Why Does The Narcissist Compartmentalise Appliances?



As narcissists we often engage in compartmentalisation. This articles concerns how and why we compartmentalise various appliances in our fuel matrices.

We view our lives as a series of compartments. The compartments are linked and there is an archway from one compartment to another but this archway has been bricked up by us and only we know the secret word that will open up the archway and admit us to the next compartment. You will try and search for an opening so that you may move from one compartment to another but your search will be fruitless. You will rhyme off all the passwords you can think of from ‘open sesame’ through to ‘abracadabra’ but none of them will work. There is a simple reason for that. We want you to stay in your compartment until we come back to it. We do not want you interacting with any of our other compartments because then it makes each area harder for us to control. A greater need for control mean more energy expenditure which will mean that there is less available for me to use to gather fuel and that is not something I can allow to happen.

A blissful domestic set-up will be in one compartment where I play the role of doting husband and caring father. To the external observer who looks in on the scene through the Perspex it appears to be a picture of harmony and good relations. Yet the observer cannot hear the shouting nor listen to your sobs as you are on the receiving end of another tirade. The fearful cries and the scathing admonishments fail to air beyond this compartment. You are not able to escape to another place and reveal what is really going on in this compartment. As soon as I depart to the next one then the brickwork closes behind me with lightning quick speed, trapping you where I want you. Of course I will tell you all about what is happening in the other compartments when I return, so that you will be subjected to tales of my magnificence in the work place and anecdotes about the new ‘friend’ I have in order to create some triangulated jealousy from you.

My work compartment show me as all conquering and masterful yet those that have been subjected to my brutal put downs and suffered from my repeated dumping of work on them as I breeze around town are forbidden from escaping this compartment to pollute the carefully constructed image that I have made for myself.

The members at the golf club who find my boasting odious and have seen me mark down a lower score than that which I had achieved on my score card are unable to blacken my name to my admirers beyond this particular place. Instead I depart the golf club and scurry to the bar where I regale my hangers-on with another story of my five under par round which won the competition. They coo over my success oblivious to what has actually gone on.

Home life, work life, mistress, friends, club, family and more are allotted these compartments. In each one I am a god. I rule supreme able to do as I please so that I can carry forth my stories of heroism into another compartment and there drink deep of their admiring fuel.

I spend much of my time ensuring that the inhabitants of each compartment know about one another, to multiply my fuel of course, but rarely shall I ever allow them to cross paths. This might lead to someone squaring the circle and working out what is behind my carefully orchestrated campaigns of divide and conquer. A must never speak to B who must not be allowed to tell C what really happened. I must maintain my constructed world where these people are little more than dolls in a huge segregated dolls’ house. I put them in poses and play with them so that I can create a scenario by which I can brag to others in the next room about. If they ever escaped and managed to follow me through these archways so they could compare what I have said with what has actually happened I would be truly finished. Sometimes this happens and then the compartment must be set ablaze, scorched from the record and denied an existence. Next time this compartment will be refurbished, repainted and with new dolls put in place. I must control everything around me. Everyone in their place and a place for everyone.

25 thoughts on “Why Does The Narcissist Compartmentalise Appliances?

  1. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

    I have an update to my situation that I felt like sharing…
    So I reached out via email (our silent periods are usually 1-2 months MAX)…..But anyway I reached out and the usual pleasantries were exchanged. When he asked how I was doing I was blatant and I said “Well when I wanted to reach out, I remembered that you were professionally advised not to talk to me” (he was told this from his supposed therapist during his supposed therapy regime). This is the response I got:

    “I figured that is why you were silent. My darling girl, my therapy is not because of you” (okay this is fair because he did tell me that there were also other reasons in ADDITION to me…but yet he continues…)

    “But you WERE the catalyst.” (ummm okay)

    And then….

    “I am fine where I am right now in regard to you in terms of my therapy. Because the outcome in terms of my time with my therapist is not contingent on whether or not I sever ties with you. Do you understand? I am not going anywhere. I am always here for you and I love you. Reach out to me tomorrow, if you feel like it”

    WTF? :: head wall ::

    1. Getting There says:

      I read that and the southern term “bless his heart” came to mind.

      Are you making most of the initial contact for discussion now? If you are, when you feel that want to contact, can you contact a new friend or do something else to temporarily distract you. Then if you feel that want again, do something else.

      As you prepare to hit your head against the wall, think about how you want to spend the rest of your life. What about this weekend? Can you give yourself a real no contact weekend where you even force your mind on something else when it wants to make sense of him?

  2. A Girl Is No-One says:

    Love the doll house description. I envisaged a little boy, playing in his own make-believe world, away from reality. A ‘refreshing break’, where he gets to control the people for a change.

    A clear (raw) example of a Narcissist’s world.

  3. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

    Piano Boy often discusses compartmentalization (which makes me wonder yet again if he knows what he is and what he is doing) but anyway yeah he frequently says he is able to compartmentalize but then there are times that he cannot and his “guilt” is too much.

    The last time we spoke he said he was in therapy. He said that his therapist told him he needed to go “no contact” with me (he is married and won’t leave her). Yet there he was not only communicating with me but saying what his therapist said (IF he is even seeing one which I doubt he is). He said his wife does not know that he is going to these sessions but he will “eventually tell her”. Oh but there are “other reasons” why he is in therapy aside from me. Things that have nothing to do with me. I had about 50 follow up questions to that but I asked nothing.

    1. Kelly B says:

      Sounds so familiar but he said he had no guilt. And did not care as well. He can do as he wants he’s entitled. Its a triangulation with the therapist and he’s devaluing you. And feeding the wife some BS. Next thing he will throw everyone in the mix and its a fuel frenzy.

      1. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

        I hear you. I am mainly wondering if he is even seeing a therapist. I recall an article HG wrote that said MR’s will see a therapist to throw it back in their IPPS’ face that they are such good angels for wanting to get help. Why tell me, a mere DLS that he is seeing a therapist? He is not losing anything on me but if his wife leaves him he loses a lot and he is always hell bent on making sure that she does not leave. Why attend sessions if she does not even know about it?

        I am less interested in the triangulation part of it than wondering if it is actually true that he is attending sessions or not. Just wondering what his angle is with sharing that with ME, a mere DLS.

        1. Getting There says:

          Hello, FFOTS.
          I hope you don’t mind if I comment on your thoughts.
          Either he is attending or he is not, unless you stalked him (not recommended) or he took you to a session, you will probably never know the truth.
          If he isn’t in therapy, then he is lying and you have experienced that he is capable of doing so.
          If he is in therapy, why tell you? Maybe he is trying to maintain the facade. You haven’t shut him out of your life so there is that door that is cracked open for him. Him telling you about getting therapy works for the facade. If you both end up in bed together again, he can fall back on expressing his “guilt” as he believes he feels one way about it and thus therapy. Secondly, the facade of “sharing” with you something that is personal and not even his wife knows means he trusts and relies on you allows you to keep that door open for him for when he wants to come back. Him telling you what his supposed therapist tells him is for triangulation, as Kelly B stated, but I can see it also being a way of him trying to relay that you are so important to him that he is ignoring professional advice. While you know that that is a facade, he will do what he can and try to get you to believe what he needs you to believe to keep you hooked and under control.
          As for his wife not knowing. It is possible she does know and he is lying. It is also possible she doesn’t know and he will use it later to help him. Let’s pretend that he is concerned some of his secrets are about to be exposed, and thus he loses her, he can say “I stopped that behavior and felt so horrible and love you so much that I have been going to therapy for months to become the husband you deserve and the man God made me to be. I didn’t want you to know the struggle and wanted to show you how great I can be.” (I am remembering he is involved in his church and thus would tie to God.)
          I understand the feeling to want to know “why.” One thing I have to remember is that I don’t know everything, so the “why” is going to be based on what is known and may not be the truth. What you do know: he lies, he cheats with multiple partners, and he has no regard for how you feel. Keep taking those steps to find your freedom!
          I have to tell you, I was thinking of you a couple of weeks ago. You sharing here is brave and has helped more than you know. I really hope that you finally get away from him completely and find the peace that comes from not wondering why, what, where, what the heck.

          1. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

            “Him telling you what his supposed therapist tells him is for triangulation, as Kelly B stated, but I can see it also being a way of him trying to relay that you are so important to him that he is ignoring professional advice. While you know that that is a facade, he will do what he can and try to get you to believe what he needs you to believe to keep you hooked and under control.”

            ~I kind of thought this too at first, that he is ignoring professional advice IF he is even going. Back when I was in therapy, my therapist knew all about him and not once did she say to “cease contact” with him. I think his story has holes yet it is still making me overthink.

            Part of me also feels badly that he has sought therapy and I feel like him continuing to engage with me is going against the grain but then I think “he’s probably just lying about it anyway” because really if it was genuine and his intent was genuine then he really would not have told me, nor would he even be talking to me to begin with!

            My final theory is that he is saying all of that to make ME feel bad. And….it’s working. It has made me back off and withdraw from him. Maybe that is what he wanted, damned if I know.

            I also wonder if he is sexing his therapist too.

            “I have to tell you, I was thinking of you a couple of weeks ago. You sharing here is brave and has helped more than you know.”

            ~Thank you, I appreciate that. It is not easy when he occupies my thoughts nearly every moment of the day.

          2. Getting There says:

            There are probably holes to keep you thinking of him. You would probably move forward if he didn’t give you things to think about in regards to him. You will not know if he is going to therapy; you will not know when his wife found out, if he does go; you will not know the relationship between him and his therapist; and you will not know the truth to why he is telling you what he tells you. What you do know is that he is playing you and playing your emotions. You know it is for his own benefit and your feelings and you don’t matter to him.

            Are you worried that he is conflicted? Are you worried that you are leading him to actions that he wouldn’t do otherwise and thus why you feel bad? While you may be a strong woman, he is making his choices. He is an adult who understands consequences (example is his concern of his wife leaving and what he does to hide you from her to prevent that).
            If he is trying to keep you at a distance (using words to assist that or not) until he wants to pull you closer, then my question to you is what do YOU really want? Do you want to be a toy (I imagined myself as a yo-yo but any toy works)? I hope you don’t really want that as you are worth more than that! You are caught in the cycle and the only one to stop it is you. He won’t because he gets what he wants.
            I understand that you can’t stop thinking about him. It is hard to stop. There is no magic answer but is the alternative better?

            Have you had a consultation with HG?

          3. Getting There says:

            I am sorry! Thinking about what I wrote last, it was harsh and I am sorry!
            I know you are struggling, and I am sorry! You deserve so much better, and I do hope that you find the better in yourself and for your life.
            I’m sorry for my last message!

          4. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

            Getting There,

            “Are you worried that he is conflicted? Are you worried that you are leading him to actions that he wouldn’t do otherwise and thus why you feel bad?”


            “If he is trying to keep you at a distance (using words to assist that or not) until he wants to pull you closer”

            ~This makes sense as his comments about being in therapy and being given the advice to not speak to me have made me want to withdraw from him. But if I have learned anything from this it’s that is not really what he wants.

            “Have you had a consultation with HG?”
            ~No, not recently. I may need to do an email one soon though.

            And about your follow up reply…you do not need to apologize to me!

          5. Getting There says:

            Thank you, FFTS!

            I like the honesty you have in how you feel! I wish there was a way to show you all that he has done as if it were happening to another (not hoping it happens to another but have a fake movie with actors), so you could see the truth and not be in the moment.

            He’s an adult making his own decisions. He cheated on his wife before you knew of his existence. You don’t know if you are the only one he has cheated with since you two started. He knows what he is doing is considered wrong by his wife and others and so he controls himself enough to hide you. He knows that you are not as all in as before, so he is working that as well to have you ready and willing when he decides to return.
            How about your confliction? How about your confusion? Who is going to care for those? He won’t; they work in his favor. That leaves you to be your best friend.

            On another set of comments, HG listed the different types of infidelity as not all are physical. It isn’t that he has ended his affair with you; he seems to have switched up the type he is currently using.

            Have you thought that he is trying to scare you? Is it possible that he wants you to think you can lose him and then you do what you can to keep him? You took a step once to go no contact. Falling back happens but I hope you realize that the strength it took to make that first step is there in you; the strength to not try for the physical relationship again is in you; the want to be loved and chosen is in you; and the want to feel like you aren’t bringing out the bad in others is in you. Embrace what is in you. It is an ember right now but you aren’t blowing out the fire, so that says a lot about you!

        2. SMH says:

          FFOTS, mine went and mentioned it to me. At first I thought he was having individual therapy and said ‘have you talked about us/this?’ His response: ‘no, my wife is sitting right there.’ So yeah, MRN trying to prove to his wife that he is committed to the marriage. My jaw actually dropped when he told me. I don’t know why I was so shocked that he would go to couples counseling while having an affair, but I was.

          1. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

            Yeah he was having an intermittent affair with me for the last 3 years. He “claimed” that many years ago when he got caught (with the girl before me) that he went to therapy then. My only thought with that was that either he got caught again (with someone else in his mix) and went back to therapy. But that would not explain why he did not tell his wife about it. Unless he wanted to have it as an alibi in case he got caught again. “Oh I am in therapy to fix myself blah blah blah…” etc.

            There were a few times that he “needed a break” from me because he was under scrutiny with her. And when I asked “are you ending things” he would say “no, I am not ending anything”. He would bemoan the fact that his wife was “losing faith in him” … well gee….you ARE cheating on her are you not? Dumbass.

            I just really wish I knew the angle he was going with sharing the whole therapy thing with me….IF it is even true.

          2. SMH says:


            I was thinking of you too and am glad to see that you are okay.

            MRN also said he got caught with someone years before me. From what I pieced together, IPPS kicked him out and the therapy came when they were ‘reconciling’ (with my knowledge). About 7 months after this conversation and 6 months NC, he tried to get me back into the FR. He said something along the lines of IPPS being compliant or steady, and he didn’t want the boat rocked. And then he headed to my place uninvited while I told him to go home! Who was rocking the boat? It wasn’t me at that point. The therapy was clearly to maintain the facade with IPPS. Of course it meant nothing to MRN because he is a narcissist and neither does it mean anything to PB.

            PB is trying to maintain the facade with IPPS. With respect to you, he told you in order to control you – he wants you to think that he is ‘working on’ himself so that you will wait for him while he sorts things out with IPPS. He will then be back. You did just go through a period of NC, correct? To me, that would explain why he is telling you this – he feels he might lose you and wants to keep you in limbo-land.

          3. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

            “You did just go through a period of NC, correct?”


            Limbo-land. Yeah, sounds about right. Your entire paragraph sounds eerily similar except PB has not reinstated the FR. Yet, anyway. I keep telling myself if he REALLY loved her he would not talk to me. I guess it’s refreshing to know she isn’t really that special to him. Then again neither am I.

          4. SMH says:


            Very true that we are not special and neither is IPPS. Before I was aware of everything I’ve learned here, I said to MRN, if you really love IPPS you need to commit to her, and we agreed to stop. Two days later, I was beginning to come out of the fog and I emailed him about lying and coming clean with IPPS, realizing that I was just the flip side of what he was doing to her. He responded that he was going to try to be the best person he could be going forward!! I believed him then, which is why I did not realize that he was indirectly hoovering me over the next six months that I was away. Then when I returned came the attempt to reinstate the FR, which went on for a few weeks until I said no and held my ground. And post escape, the GIH and follow up hoovers every week. As HG says, there is never a discard. They do not want to let go. That is why PB is keeping you on the back burner, so to speak. He will never discard you. You are going to have to take the decision to escape!!

        3. Caroline-is-fine says:

          I just read through your comments…

          The only thing you can know for sure is that you can’t trust him… and nobody else can either. So you’ll never have a role in his life where you can feel safe, secure, loved. I’m sorry, but it’s the reality. He will always bring you to feel doubt, anxiety, fear and pain. Would you want to be his wife? Look what she gets. Then you. That other girl — whomever else.

          He’s not faithful to anyone & plays everyone… because he’s a master to his needs alone. He’ll lie. He’ll betray. He’ll pick up & put down. How can that ever be love? It’s not that any of you are not special enough. It’s that he’s not enough — not capable of feeling that deep way about any person, and he’s driven to hurt others to make up for it.

          I don’t know if therapy can help him, but I personally wish for anything that keeps him away from hurting more women.

          1. Kim e says:

            It amazes me that when I thought I was sipss I was ok with it but when I found out from HG I was dlsipss I was applauded. ( please do not take offense to that Gabby)
            I am done. Blocked. Avenues of contact gone. Will change up my routine again if need be
            As I am not sure how hard he will try to hoover me I will make adjustments as needed
            This shelf elf is GONE
            Now comes the hard part😔

          2. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Kim! I am so proud of you!!! I hardly ever use three exclamation points — that’s how darn proud I am!:D

            Deciding what you have is already something you need to really proud of yourself for… yes, as you know, you are going to have your emotions to deal with now, but those always fluctuate, and it is okay…keep in mind you are doing this to get to a healthy, free, good, strong place with your emotional health overall and inner being — so that you’re not IN a state of anxiety and feeling pulled like a puppet by a narcissist…

            So it’s either all kinds of continued (chronic) pain with a toxic entanglement V an emotional detox period that will NOT last forever. Good, calm, better daily living is on the other side of that detox. And peace is there, Kim. Remember peace? When you weren’t overanalyzing every word coming from a narcissist — when you weren’t scared about being abandoned or when you’d next be dropped or picked up by him again? Remember when someone else didn’t dictate if you’d have a good or bad day? Some could argue freedom/peace are most important of all in life — more than even love. But one thing you do know: there is no love nor peace in a toxic, abusive relationship. It just slowly eats at you, from the inside-out.

            You want to feel good… so you’re going to have to feel some bad first. It’s okay. The pain is perhaps a kind of signal of how entrenched the sickness was in the entanglement. Accept that — maybe even embrace it! You’re in the process of getting well. Don’t let the bad feelings panic you… think of the emotional pain, as you move through it at times, as all the sickness of the dynamic that was hurting you finally coming out. This just popped into my mind (I know it doesn’t apply to you personally — just by way of example)…

            So an alcoholic gets to a point of near alcohol poisoning & decides to come off the booze, as all it does is destroy them bit by bit… but their system has been masking the pain of living through that numbing, so coming off that numbing agent is a massive purging, where their hands shake and they sweat and are just so ill…it’s ugly, because their true, light essence was being poisoned by a dark, ugly agent.

            But they embrace the ugly process, knowing it will free them and get them back to well. They detox… and then see that the world is not so harsh as they thought, and there are still touching, beautiful aspects and smiles and care and laughter and things to enjoy… they can appreciate just going for a walk — the birds and trees, and sun on their face — they can be at peace again. They were never weak as they had fooled themselves to think at times. They had beautiful inner strength all along… they just had a dark agent to get rid of. They didn’t let that destroy them.

            Don’t be afraid. Everyone on here is for your doing this for yourself, and you are doing what you need to do…to be well again with yourself.

            Ping me anytime you need me. XO.
            Much Love,

          3. Getting There says:

            Caroline- is-fine, your comment is great! I wish I could push “like.”

            Kim, I’m sorry for what you discovered and the pain you are feeling! This no contact regime you immediately put in place is a great sign of self respect and strength!

          4. Caroline-is-fine says:

            Thanks much, GT 🙂 I can’t “like” comments either. 🙁 It’s so nice of you to cheer Kim on~so very true, what you said.

        4. Carece says:

          FFOTS – My wish for you is that the repetition of overthinking Piano Man’s behavior to crack his code in order to win him over fades. You are now on year 3 of the same thing. He may not be “paying” a therapist. This could be a colleague or friend from his church he’s just talking to for advice and that’s why it’s easy to “hide” from his wife. Otherwise an EOB from insurance is bound to come in the mail and tip her off.
          Why did he tell you? Because they live in the moment and it worked that day with the flow of conversation with you. It’s really that simple. Don’t let 3 years turn into 5 like it did with JN for me.
          On that note, he resurfaced for me a month ago. Almost exactly one year to the date of telling me he started dating someone seriously.
          They broke up. (Shock, gasp).
          It was very validating to see him tick all the boxes of behavior and not have a need to analyze it.
          For example:
          He said he wished he would have seen me more when he had the chance when he lived by me (attempt at being charming).
          He wanted me to know he got a promotion, raise, title change and started working on his master’s in childhood psychology (grandiose behavior).
          When I asked him what does he want at this juncture in his life he answered, “I just want good in my life and to not be made to feel shitty by shitty people.” (Victim)
          With that final statement, I knew. I knew his recent girlfriend probably beat her head against the wall dealing with the same Jekyll and Hyde, hot and cold behavior with endless circular conversations leading nowhere. I felt so free of his spell over me because it’s really him who is messed up. I healed the most this past year focusing on myself. I wish for you that you grow bored and completely unenthralled by Piano Man.

          1. Fuel FREE on the Shelf says:

            Hi Clarece,
            For some reason I missed this in my emailed comments. But I came back to post an update and then saw your comment. I’ve thought of you and wondered how you are doing. I cannot believe JN is still reappearing. Everytime I think I am starting to move past Piano Boy, I fall back into it. I was starting to get a crush on a new coworker but then BAM! I learn he is gay! I kind of had an idea after he complimented my shoes and outfits but I told myself “maybe not….maybe I will be lucky for once”. Nope….gay. He could tell I was sad but said we could still hang out. Yeah I will be alone forever hence my crumb chasing from Piano Boy.

            I do miss being on social media. I will eventually be back. I hope everything else is well with you.

  4. Kate W says:

    Bravo! Definitely sums it up! One of the narcissist favorite sayings might be “it’s none of your business “— I heard that line a few times and was shocked… But this was towards the end… And I can’t remember the exact scenario’s-But anyone that says that to you whether friend or partner or romantic entanglement- Is telling you exactly what you mean to them… You are to stay in your box and you’re not to ask questions!
    It’s embarrassing to admit… But it gives me satisfaction now of knowing exactly what I was dealing with without a question.

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