You do not give up easily do you? We are pleased that this is the case. You try to resurrect what we once had. You will look to resuscitate our relationship. You want to breathe new life into you and me. You want to salvage what you can from the wreckage and build something anew. You will not let the life slip from what we have, you will not step out of the tangled and twisted remains and walk away. No, you try. You try to make it work, you try to see what can be done, you try to sort things out. You try to make everything right again, you try to make us happy, you try to please us, how you try to please us. You try to fix us, you try to banish these demons which plague us, you try to shed light and joy. You try when everything seems lost, you try when all seems pointless and you try despite everything else suggesting that what we are is a lost cause. You try because you believe in hope.

But what is this hope that has you trying on a superhuman scale, which has you wiping away the tears, picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and standing up once more to try to do the right thing? If you were not with our kind but someone normal and the relationship was foundering would you try as you do with us? Of course you would try and steer the good ship towards calmer waters but you would not try to the same extent as you do with us. Where two people find they no longer have anything in common, they may be content to leave matters as they are and drift along in neutrality. It is not heady and wonderful but neither is it awful. Is beige such a terrible place to be? There is security, the children have grown up and you have your separate interests. There is no hatred, far from it, but neither is there passion any longer, but something in the middle. This is deemed as acceptable and you are happy to trundle along in this manner. You do not try to rekindle those early days of your honeymoon period. In other instances, this mediocrity is found to be stifling. If you hear another gardening anecdote or incident at the bowling club, you will go spare. You want to travel and experience new things. Your other half is more interested in the home brew and the latest episode on television. There is no hatred, there is no passion but this time the middle is deemed suffocating and unacceptable. You do not try to rekindle what you once had but instead decide you want something else. You move on to something else, be it a single life with new pursuits or finding a new person who shares your interests. The separation is amicable, fair-minded and there is no turbulence. The relationship ran its course and you saw no reason to try to make it anything different.

Yet with us it is so different isn’t it? You try your absolute best to get things back on track, you try until you are shattered and exhausted, bewildered and confused. How can you not achieve what we once had again? Why is it so elusive? Yet you do not give up. You keep on trying. Again and again.

Such is the intoxicating power of the golden period, such is the addiction of this utterly falsified state of affairs, such is the massive attraction of that seemingly perfect love, you try your damnedest to resurrect it. Sometimes there is a glimmer of a return or even a brief sortie to that promised land once again and you know that your repeated trying has succeeded. It never lasts. It never stays. Still, you exhibit that indefatigable spirit as you try once more, looking to rekindle that special love we once had.

You even begin to sacrifice pieces of yourself in order to try to bring it back. You try to guess what we want all the time. You walk on those eggshells in order to avoid disrupting the fragile peace. You agree to do things you would never have countenanced once upon a time but hey, it is worth trying isn’t it? You decide to spend more time with us, sacrificing your relationships with your friends and with your family, but you have to try don’t you? You cannot be said to have not tried to make this work and if you had it once then surely you can get it again can’t you? You submit to more and more of our demands, demeaning yourself, degrading yourself and suffering our repeated denigrations but you convince yourself that this is all worth doing because you are trying to achieve a greater aim. You have hope that you will succeed and bring back that elusive golden period. You forgo invitations to events because you know it will displease us. You do not invite people to the house to avoid causing a disruption to the evening, since we want peace and quiet. You try not to say anything when we return late from who knows where. You try to remain silent when we spend hours staring into the screen on our laptops, tapping away, our minds somewhere else. You retreat, back-off and compromise, giving away more and more of yourself and your life as you try to succeed.

Thus here is the awful warped nature of being ensnared by us. In a normal relationship you may not try to the same extent because the excitement and passion was not as it was with us. Yet, this relationship is one where trying will bring about success. Yes, you won’t establish that paradise that exists when we seduce you, but it never actually existed to begin with. It is a fiction. However, trying to succeed with someone normal and healthy is entirely achievable. You will not, by contrast, ever succeed with us. You can try over and over and over again but for all this effort and endeavour you will not get what you want. What we once granted you will only ever be given again in small doses and then only as part of this continuing manipulation so that you remain in our grip so we can gather fuel until we throw you aside. No matter how determined you are, no matter how great your resolve, no matter the fact that you put every breath, every ounce of effort in to trying to make things work between you and us so everything is golden, it will never ever work. It cannot because you cannot control the golden period. Only we can and we choose who is granted it and when in accordance with our need for control and fuel.

Try to understand that.

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There comes a time when this must happen to everybody who has been ensnared by us. There is no hope for anything different. In the way that the world keeps on turning and the planets waltz around the sun, we will always cast you to one side. Of the many cruelties which we exact against you, this ranks as one of the worst. You might think that it is a blessing that the daily machinations and manipulations have ended but you will not see it that way when you are discarded. Indeed, you may not ever realise it.

You are given no warning that you are about to be dis-engagement from, although if you know to look for them, there are actually signs that point to what is about to happen. Invariably you are unable to see them because you cannot see or think clearly for the maelstrom that continues to rage around you. There are times when the dis-engagement takes place that it is almost as if we have vanished into thin air. Yesterday we met you for lunch as normal and today you have no idea where we are. You have telephoned but our number is no longer in service. You call our work but you are told that we are unavailable as our assigned gatekeeper keeps you at bay. You wait around trying to catch a glimpse of us in order to speak with us and find out what is going on. You see hide nor hair of us and rather than be angry you are worried and concerned both for us and our relationship, or at least what was once our relationship. This form of the dis-engagement is swift and brutal. Here yesterday and gone today. We put in place a ring of steel which we will not allow you to penetrate. When this form of dis-engagement has been effected you are actually receiving a double whammy of dis-engagement and an absent silent treatment. This is designed to reinforce like a hammer blow that you are no longer of any use to us. We do not want to see you, we do not want to hear from you and we do not want to read your e-mails, messages and texts. At least not yet. This form of dis-engagement arises because we have already replaced you. We have found a new primary source of fuel and he or she is a thousand times better than you. We have brought down the shutters, raised the drawbridge and built our castle walls thick and high as we now sit in the throne room with our new, wonderful and perfect primary source by our side. You have been struck from the record, deleted and erased. We do not want you distracting us from this most precious person that we have found.

The truth is that the memory of us being linked to you irritates and infuriates us. We thought that you were the one who would supply us with positive fuel always. Despite the other failures that had gone before you, you showed such promise and we gave you everything in order to seduce you. Now you are placed on the appliance pile and broken, of no current use to us. You let us down and we bristle at the thought that we even considered you might be of use to us. Your failure and the fact we chose you means that we feel criticised and the ignition of our fury results in a cold fury that creates this icy hinterland that we place between you and us. We want nothing more to do with you. Until we decide of course it is time to hoover you. This sudden and unexplained cessation of the relationship is only temporary. We will look to reinstate it at some point in order to extract hoover fuel from you, but you do not know this. All you know is that we were once there and no we are no longer and it hurts. Your soul has been wrenched from within you. It does not matter how badly we hurt you, you still wanted that golden period and our sudden departure has denied that from ever happening again, or at least that is what you are led to believe. Your pain is absolute, combined with the confusion and bewilderment.

Another way in which we cast you to one side is akin to being repeatedly dunked in a barrel of icy water. Each time your dunking lasts a little longer and you fear you cannot hold your breath any longer and this time this is it, you are on your way out, only for us to haul you out and that sweet and precious air fills your lungs, if only for an instance before you are thrust back into the water. During that interlude, as the water cleared from your eyes and you gulped great lungfuls of air you saw someone else stood by our side, watching you with a look of curiosity on their face. This is your replacement but we have not yet decided that they are to replace you as we are giving you the chance to prove yourself and provide some further fuel before we push you away and leave you spluttering and gasping on the ground beside the barrel. We never finish you off. That would be pointless. We always need to come back, not that you will realise that as you lie panting and shaking on the ground, cold and soaked, watching as we stroll away, our arm around the new prospect. This steady and controlled dis-engagement takes place as we lose interest in you but we have no desire to make our departure sudden and swift. We want to hedge our bets as we firm up our arrangements with your replacement, fine-tuning that seduction as we continue to extract fuel from you through this dunking. We push and pull, toying with your emotions. This is not part of the devaluation even though we exhibit a similar behaviour during that time when we denigrate you and then grant respite. No, this is different. When this is undertaken in an accelerated fashion then you know that it is a form of dis-engagement. We may give you a week of hell and then several weeks of the golden period before hell again. That is the push and pull of devaluation. When this technique is applied as discard it is disorientating as one day is fine and the next is not and then fine again. You feel like you are being figuratively bludgeoned and as you try and get your bearings you stagger across the boxing ring away from us only to meet another opponent who continues the beating and then sends you on your way to the next one.

These are just two forms of the way we will discard you. Why do we do it? As ever it is all about fuel. With the first it is because we have new and brilliant fuel and no longer wish to be reminded about your faltering and weak fuel. In the second we have not yet confirmed that the new source is as potent as we require and in the meanwhile we decide to continue to extract further fuel from you as your severance from us takes place in typical salami-slicing fashion. In every entanglement with our kind you will eventually be discarded. You won’t see it coming but it is always in the post, coming along the highway, wending its way towards you.

Don’t be too concerned though. No dis-engagement is for ever. We always come back for more.

Vent your spleen. Have your say. Give us both barrels. Let us know what you really think. Such sentiments towards my kind are entirely understandable and they invariably occur post discard and sometimes post escape. There are differing rationales associated with this almost overwhelming need to speak to us about your experience of being entangled with our kind.

1.      Anger. You realise how you have been manipulated, abused and taken for a fool. Your anger is substantial and you feel a pressing need to unleash that anger against us with a litany of insults and some choice language.

2.      Enlightenment. You have had your epiphany and realised precisely what ensnared you, how it happened and why. You have seized this knowledge and now feel elated that you have done so. There is a sense of superiority in finally having all the pieces of the puzzle click into place and you want to confront us. You may not actually tell us what we are but you will certainly want to use the words, “I know what you are now.”

3.      Unfinished Business Part One. Nearly all discards occur without you being told that the Formal Relationship is over and if you are given such notice you are rarely given any proper or adequate explanation as to why this has happened. This results in the need to confront us at a later stage in order to try to find out why what has happened, has happened.

4.      Unfinished Business Part Two. This is akin to the situation above but the basis of this confrontation is in order to demand of us how we could do what we did and address your need to have us explain ourselves for what we did during the relationship.

5.      To Understand. You do not know what you were entangled with and you are unable to comprehend how somebody could behave in that manner towards you after everything that you did for us. This tirade details all of the help you gave us, the advantages that you conferred on us and each and every thing you did for us in the name of love.

6.      Clear the Smear. Predictably enough, you will have been smeared following your entanglement with us. You have heard all about the lies that have been peddled about you and you want to set us straight about how those comments were wrong, that you did not behave in the manner which we have described to other people and ultimately how you need to clear your name.

7.      The Right to Be Heard. You have a significant desire to want to be heard, especially as our manipulation of you will have caused you to feel that you have not been listened to during the Formal Relationship. You want your voice to be heard, you need to articulate your thoughts and feelings and an opportunity to avail yourself of discharging this need is too good to pass up.

8.      Convey the Pain. You remain horrendously wounded by your experience of being entangled with us and you want to let us know how badly we hurt you, how much it pains you still and how upset you are to have been treated this way.

9.      Sing the Praises. Sometimes you exhibit a capacity for nobility which manages to transcend the hurt, the pain and the anger. You remain bewitched by the golden period and all those magnificent attributes that you believe we still possess and therefore rather than attack us, expound bitterness or lash out, you declare all the reasons why you still love us, why you find us mesmerising despite what has happened and you wish us well for the future.

10. Justice. It is only right that are given the right of reply to the treatment that has been meted out against you.

11. Medicine. You put up with the tantrums, the lengthy invectives, the oral onslaughts and you were pummelled by our words. Now it is the time to give us a taste of our own medicine.

Whatever the motivation may be, your need and desire to have that final confrontation with us, to purge yourself of all those thoughts and considerations is huge and is very difficult for you to resist. Indeed, most of the time you do not resist it at all, instead you look to engineer situations whereby you are able to speak to us and deliver this tirade, this riposte, this howitzer. You will seek us out in order to provide us with a piece of your mind. Is this a good thing? Well, there are two potential upsides when this is looked at from your perspective. The first is that you are able to get things off your chest. All those thoughts which have whirled around your mind for weeks on end, the ifs and buts which prevented you from sleeping, the imponderables and the unanswered have been released as you allow your words to explode from you in an outburst of emotion applicable to whichever rationale which has driven you to this point. The second is that you may well feel that you have achieved some kind of closure by engaging in this step of giving us a piece of your mind.

But what about our perspective on all of this? What does this blast, this sounding off and this diatribe mean to us? This is where giving a piece of your mind in such a manner is actually not a good thing for you to do. Why is this?

1.      Sounding off in such an emotional manner, whether it is insulting us with angry words, crying with pain, savagely mauling us with a sneering and twisted face or even expressing how you still love us, just provides us with fuel and it is plentiful. You may have collared us on the telephone to vent at us. Anybody normal would end the call as they are repeatedly harangued and insulted, but not us, we will listen as we soak up all that fuel. Yes, we will be argumentative, defensive and belligerent but that is just to keep your tirade going owing to the plentiful fuel you are providing to us.

2.      This is a prime opportunity for us to hoover you. If we see you are angry, we may express false contrition, if you are hurt and upset we may declare how we will make changes so everything is right, if you reminisce about our wonderful times we will offer that golden period again to you. You are giving us a glorious opportunity to hoover you and in your heightened emotional state there is a good chance this will succeed.

3.      If we do not hoover at this point, you have just given us several reasons to execute a hoover at a later juncture by confirming to us that you remain adrift in the emotional state, you are fountaining with fuel and still beholden to us. The signs are good and it all points to a successful hoover in the near future.

4.      You confirm to us that you have failed to grasp the logic and reason of the situation and therefore your defences are weak. This means that further manipulations can be used and they will prove effective in terms of fuel and control.

5.      We take no notice of what you are actually saying. You may think that your speech is devastating, that you are landing telling blows on us, that you are assassinating our character and making us look terrible. You are not. You are playing into our hands. We are laughing at you inside.

6.      You are confirming that we continue to have considerable control over you. We may be busy with a new primary source but this confirmation acts as a green light to further unleashing of manipulations against you because you are not able to let go.

The temptation to give us a piece of your mind is vast and overwhelming but if done in the usual emotional fashion of the typical empathic individual you are just giving us more of what we want, failing to hurt us and extending your own entanglement with us.

Remember when you would wake up and reach for your mobile ‘phone and find that loving and uplifting message that I had sent you? I always rose before you and ensured that a delicious, tantalising text was sent to you ready for when you woke. Like a morning cup of tea on your night stand it was that little gesture which made you feel special. It told you that the first thing that I thought of when I woke up was you. This message of love, desire, passions and excitement would provide you with the first buzz of the day, a delicious reminder of how wonderful I am and how marvellous we are together. The first text of the deluge that would follow throughout the day, scores of little gift-wrapped presents which you open and smile, laugh and melt over. Little did you realise that these messages had been recycled from your predecessor and would be used again for your replacement. Little did you also realise that two other people were receiving these messages first thing in the morning.

Now there is nothing. There is no chime of that early morning text. There is no winking light denoting the text waiting for you to open it. It is silence. As your eyes open, the conditioning that I caused makes you immediately remember how you used to feel when that text arrived. Where once you woke with excitement in your stomach now it is just the sharp stab of pain as you know there is nothing waiting for you. You understand this is how it should be, the need to stay away from me, but it hurts. It hurts so much and how long will this pain remain with you? Will it ever go away? Those months of daily morning texts has ingrained a pattern and a longing inside you and no matter how hard you try the first thought of your day is always

“Four months ago he was still sending me those wonderful texts.” Last month it was the same sentence only it began with three. You roll on to your back and though you know you shouldn’t, you cannot help but allow me into your mind even further as you recall those mornings where we ended up late for week because of our passionate love-making. That quick dart to the en suite and then back into bed where I was waiting for you. You turn and look at the empty pillow and that all too familiar bitter sweet sensations sweeps across you. You know you should not do this. You know you ought now to seek refuge amongst the ghosts of once what was, but it makes the pain lessen, just for a while and it is just a memory isn’t it, thinking about me just the one time cannot do any harm can it? Just the one time. You give a twisted smile at that sentence which has somehow become your daily mantra as you struggle to escape the toxins that I have left inside you, the legacy of my oh so effective seduction and poisoning of you. Just the one time you check on my tweets and who is following me and who I am following. Just the one time you parked near where I lived and watched slumped in your driver’s seat to see who might appear at my door. Just the one time you sent a friend to watch me at an event you knew I would be attended and to report back on what she saw. Just the one time you re-read the e-mails I sent you. It was just the one time for them all and more, well one time a week then one time a day, but I dont know what you are doing do I, so where is the harm? Just the one time you return to my Facebook profile, scouring it, looking for clues like some desperate detective intent on tracking down the prolific killer. You check what I have liked, a picture here, a comment there, some meme about relationships which could be a dig at you but you are not sure. Any trace of you has been erased from my profile, gone are the messages, the comments and the pictures. Somebody else is there now, although there is some ambiguity. A red-headed woman appears in several pictures, laughing with me. You see one where her arms is draped around my shoulders and you feel the burning jealousy and anger and curse both you and I for this feeling. You fling your tablet to one side, muttering under your breath, just the one look having derailed your day before it has begun and vow not to look again. But you will. Just one look. A journey through the carousel of pictures, checking fingers to see if rings have appeared on them, of both me (it would be awful to see that rings on my wedding finger, something I always denied you) and of the women I pose with (it makes you feel sort of better if they wear a ring, that means that they won’t be with me, doesn’t it?)

You skulk amongst my twitter posts and return to my profile on my work website, reading the biography which you know off by heart. Your fingers rest on my profile picture as you see again the tie which you bought me for that particular photo shoot. Some days you wish it would be updated and then others days this once look makes you feel that perhaps I do not hate you, how can I if I still allow this picture to remain? You try not to think about me but somehow your mind just wanders there of its own volition, snaking through a thousand memories that spring up each day. Perhaps you will stay awhile amidst them, just the once minute of remembering. At the weekend you drove out to the forest path we used to amble along during sunny September mornings. Nobody else was ever there. Just you and I. You walked that path again, it was just the one time you needed to do it, to converse with the ghost of my presence as you found yourself talking aloud to me as if I was still walking beside you, holding your hand. It was meant to be just the one time but you have returned three times since, each time swearing that this time is when you exorcise those spectres.

What am I doing now? No doubt getting ready for work, perhaps showering and singing away as I once did in the shower we shared. Am I with somebody? Is somebody preparing breakfast for me or reclining in bed waiting for me to return to the bedroom towel draped about me? It seems so long since you have heard from me and so much remains unanswered, unsaid and unresolved. How would I react if you rang me? You cannot bring yourself to delete my number, just in case there was that one final conversation which could take place and put so many issues to bed, slay so many demons and close so many doors. That would all that it would take surely? Just the one conversation. Keep it business like, keep your emotions in check but just to get some answers so you can move on. Surely that is owed to you? You wonder whether I would answer if you rang me? How would I react if I saw your number on the display? You doubt I have blocked you, why would I do that? Your fingers toy with your phone, you need to know, just the once, just to make the hurt go away. You find my name. You want to hear my voice again, talk and no more but you feel anxious and the trepidation crawls over you. You need to know. You need the answers. What about ringing me and then stopping before I answer to see if I call back? Yes, that is a good idea, that would then show that I do want to talk to you, without the fear of having me hang up on you. That’s it. You will telephone me again after these months of nothing and let it ring and then this ever present agony can be eased. The questions can be answered when I call you back. You will not melt into my arms again. No, you are going to resist those sweet charms because you know what lies behind them. You have earned your stripes in that regard but you need to have this conversation, for yourself. You need to know I will talk to you. A text message isn’t immediate enough. I might not see it for some time or delay in replying, but a missed call, that brings a potential for urgency and immediacy and I am bound to respond to that aren’t I. You will call me. You will call and let it ring. Just the one time.

Realisation has finally arrived that you have been sucked into the nightmare world of the narcissist. No contact is the way forward but have you got what it takes to resist the machinations of the Narcissist as she or he does their utmost to derail your campaign? You need to prepare for no contact and who better than to tell you how to do it than the dark-hearted master narcissist. Invaluable techniques are delivered so you can prepare and maximise your chances of attaining no contact and beating the narcissist.

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