Shifting Sands

You feel like you are trying to deal with an opponent that always seems to be one step ahead. It is like trying to tie down a vapour or stop the tide from advancing and engulfing your sand castle. No matter what you do, we always seem to have a way of squirming free, walking away and carrying on as normal. It is like trying to fight a battle with a rusty and nicked sword and one hand tied behind your back. It is akin to those dreams where you try to run but find you cannot move. You try to scream but no sound come from your throat. Every move you make appears to have been anticipated. You play a full house in poker and I produce a royal flush but where did that extra king appear from? I always have something up my sleeve. You are chasing the end of the rainbow but it always keeps shifting, just a little bit further away. You are getting nearer, closing on your goal and then it moves again. You think you have mastered the rules and then we introduce a new one which suits our purposes.

Last week we complimented the steak pie that you made. Our praise was effusive and it was a delightful hiatus in the otherwise unpleasant treatment you had been receiving. You decide to play this winning hand again and proudly place it in the centre of the table only to be met with a sigh and a roll of the eyes.

“What’s the matter? You loved the steak pie I made last week.”

“I don’t want to eat steak pie.”

“Why what’s wrong?”

“Why must there always be something wrong. I do not want steak pie.”

“But you did last week?”

“That was then and this is now.”

Cue scathing put downs and storming from the table leaving you bewildered and upset. You don’t make steak pie again only to be scolded the following week.

“What’s happened to the steak pie? Why have you stopped making it when you know that it is my favourite?”

You dress up to the nines and you are called slutty. You dress down and you are upbraided for not putting the effort in. You try to cuddle us in the night and an elbow is jabbed into your chest because you are making us too hot. Two hours later we wake you up and ask you why you stopped hugging us. We tell you that we will be in by seven and then appear at nine. You are forbidden from questioning us about this. You are not entitled to do so. We do as we please. You buy an expensive gift for our birthday and you are told that it is not as good as last year. The following year you really push the boat out to be told you have spent too much and we just wanted something simple. You re-decorate and select a rich chocolate brown. We declare it to be the wrong shade and point to a colour that looks no different. We will not let the matter rest until you have changed it. Once applied it appears the same. We declare we want to go out for dinner and you get ready only for us to decide we would rather stay in and watch sport.

Whatever you do it is always wrong, never correct, not good enough and an erroneous choice. No matter how many times you ask what we want, you still make the wrong choice. You suggest that we do it ourselves and you are accused of not caring. You confirm you will deal with it and you are a control freak who will not allow us to breathe on our own. Whatever you decide to do or say we will find a way of twisting it around so it suits us. Our logic seems entirely warped to you but to us it makes perfect sense because the only logic we adhere is that which means whatever we say is right, even when we show rank hypocrisy or we contradict ourselves. We can reason away every contradiction you point out to us and if you somehow back us into a corner then we will just accuse you of badgering us, change the subject or walk away. In our minds we win every single time.

We cast you aside telling you that you have let yourself go and we cannot be with you. You see us the next week and we are with someone less attractive than you, carrying more weight and who holds down a job less prestigious that yours. You cannot comprehend why we let you go and chose her instead, especially after what we said. You stare open-mouthed and scratch your head. To us we win again because we have acquired someone new whose fuel is better than anything you have ever provided and in addition we have got to you, so you pour out the negative fuel. If we had suddenly appeared with a supermodel instead you might talk a small degree of comfort in thinking that you could not compete with this person but do not let that think you have secured some kind of small victory. In our minds this just reaffirms that we were right to leave you and trade up.

You catch us in bed with someone else. It is not our fault. If you loved us properly we would not have to stray. You show us complete love and devotion and nobody could ever accuse you of selling us short in the bedroom. We accuse you of having too high a sex drive because you must be getting it elsewhere. If you apply reason and logic, especially towards one of our lesser brethren, then they will ignore the force of your words and instead accuse you of trying to belittle and bamboozle them with long words plucked from the dictionary and why do you always have to patronise them with such words and sentences. Whatever you choose, whatever you decide, whatever you do it will always be wrong and whatever we do will always be right. Accuse us as much as you like for being twisted, illogical and difficult and we will be in your face pointing out how you always have to try and get one over us. Black becomes white and then becomes yellow. Nothing makes sense with us but that is because it makes complete sense to us. Our approach is to gather fuel and that means we can and must do so through any means even if that does not stack up when looked at from your point of view. This warped and stretched approach allows us to achieve our aims, we confuse and bewilder you, we upset and anger you, we control you and each and every time we know that we have succeeded. Like the most deluded Minister of Propaganda we claim to have defeated you even as your tanks roll past us in the background. We see only what we want to see and we are impervious to all of your reason. We will never accept what you tell us because that does not accord with what we set out to achieve and what we must achieve. Of course this will not stop you trying. You try to defeat us as we replace your arrows with celery sticks and your sword with a stale baguette. We never fight fair. Your frustration, annoyance and inability to comprehend why we do this is what keeps you bound to us and allows us to keep on doing what we must keep on doing. Extracting fuel.

So, go ahead, build that tower, build it high with the stones that adhere to your beliefs and principles, from stone that is beautifully cut and polished, that anybody would admire and cherish, but let us see how you build that tower was the sands beneath constantly shift and alter. This is what it is to be entangled with us.

71 thoughts on “Shifting Sands

  1. Gia says:

    WOW!!! This so describes my life over the past 18months.
    Nothing has made sense, i have questioned my own sanity, my own character, my own self esteem and self worth, everything!
    I was a very strong woman, but i became so weak with this guy, he was the only person that has ever made me feel this way. He had such a hold over me, and i didn’t know how or why. He made me fall in love with him and used my kindness and good heart against me. I became a person i no longer recognised, that my friends no longer recognised.

    I managed to get to the ‘HATE’ stage with him, where i was accused of being a ‘manipulative b*tch’, ‘a psycho’….’obsessive’, i was told to ‘burn in hell’……..that i was ‘dead to him’……the list was endless…..All because I turned my back on him, and did something that no longer served him.

    Now he hates me and has blocked me on everything, i think this is known as ‘The silent treatment’ stage. (he has done this many times before, to punish me) but this time i have done the same, i have blocked him, so there is no coming back.

    I am not sure if he will try to contact me again – i hope i have served my purpose with him.

    it’s a relief to not have all the drama in my life, he brought so much drama and unhappiness, and i finally came to my senses and saw the opportunity to to run…..and run i have!!!!

    Now i can see clearly everything that he was doing to me, all the little things that didn’t make sense, but at the time i just accepted because i loved him and wanted to trust him and see the good in him.

    i’m free! 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There remains work on your no contact regime Gia, as evidence by what you have written. You have made a decent start, but there is work that remains to be done.

    2. lisk says:


      It never ceases to amaze me that I want to ask the question of almost every KTN participant, “Were we in the same relationship with the same guy?”

      You are lucky to be in the midst of a Silent Treatment.

      However, as I know, that’s a very vulnerable place to be in. It could go either way: either you escape now or you allow the silence to be an opening to his return.

      Your choice.

      Choose HG.

    3. Renarde says:


      No. You are wrong. You are still that strong woman. She is there. She’s just been knocked sideways. But SHE is still there.

      Can you do one thing today? Look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I. Am. Me.’

      Just that. You are valid. You have been abused. Now you need to find that woman again.

      You will find her. I guarantee it.

      And we will help. Promise.

      1. Tamla Edmundson says:

        I need to find myself again.

    4. blackcoffee30 says:

      Welcome, you got this! I recommend HG’s writings on NC. The regime is not what I thought it was. You need to know to continue building space for your rebirth. I’m with Renarde; do as she suggests.

      I was also advised to look down at my feet. They are where they are supposed to be and away from that narc.

    5. Heather says:

      Oh I’ve been there too. I turned into a raging alcoholic and drug addict during the process. I’ll tell you what works though…..NO CONTACT NO CONTACT NO CONTACT. If you can remain firm with the no contact then eventually their attempts at making you look ‘crazy’ will most definitely backfire on them….but it is absolutely mandatory that you disengage. Don’t even check to see if he unblocked you….ever. Wash your hands and walk away and I promise you that the narcissist will begin to self destruct!

    6. Robert Austin says:

      Like being in a small boat in a storm , back and forth never stable. Like being handcuffed and beaten with a psychological bat .

  2. Trevor says:

    My narc wife left and has made me feel like this for years! Now it seems if she is trying to make me look and feel like a narccist. It’s very confusing and heart breaking, as I never know what is comming next. My kids are paying the ultimate price but unfortunately unless i can prove there is something off with her, we will continue to have to subject them to her fantasy world. Sadp, sad people indeed.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Acquire the evidence.
      2. Give her enough time and she will show what she is.

      I recommend you arrange a consultation so I can assist you with this.

    2. Anm says:

      If you have children in common with a narcissist, and you are worried that you will not be able to present something “big enough” to show the courts what has been going on with your ex’s behavior, consider learning how to create Summary Documents. Sometimes, your smoking gun, is not neccesarily one huge thing to prove, but daily incidents that add up.

  3. bjk12B says:

    OMG… This describes my life for the last year. We’ve been married for 7 years and are in our mid 50’s. We got together in 2004 and married in 2013. I always knew deep down that he was narcissistic but it wasn’t too bad. He just always thought of him self first and that he was special. Last October he had some medical issues, the Dr had him thinking he was gonna die and I didn’t give him the attention and babying that he thought he needed because I knew the Dr just likes the insurance money so they keep him going back for more tests. Anyway, he was off work for a few months and when he went back to work in January things got really bad. I never caught him physically cheating but he has become addicted to the hook up sites and the things he has written on there he might as well have cheated. I was thinking he was going thru a mid life crisis until I read this article. He broke my heart with the hook up sites, porn, young girls texting, nothing I did or said was right, etc… If I ever said anything about it I was badgering him. He, to this day, denies the internet stuff, says someone hacked his phone and they are doing it to cause problems. I even doubted myself many times, thought maybe I was crazy, my head was just spinning. I know he is lying because I have become very good at tracking his internet visits and locations. 2019 was the worst year of my life. Shifting Sands describes my year… Things are getting better, for now. He seems to have snapped out of it for the time being and is trying very hard to please me. I do love him. When things are good they are really good, but I hope to never go thru a year like last year again… or I will have to leave. My heart can’t mend from that hurt again and my head knows better than to try to go thru it again or I will go crazy.
    I am so glad I stumbled on this article. Nobody knows what I have been through, I keep it all to myself and it feels pretty good to let some if it out.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Welcome BJK12B, if he is a narcissist (and you should use this to find out) your hope that never go through a year like last year is not something you will address with hope, but instead with logic. Utilise it and keep reading the material here.

    2. monica whittaker says:

      mine does the same he is addicted to them we have only been having relations maybe 2x year he will not have anything to do with me but i seen where he was taking sex pills to get hard and stay hard bottles and bottles and he was getting them monthly in mail when I asked his answer is always i am not arguing with you I have caught him in the past texting and deleting and meeting so he bought a new phone with fingerprint so now i cant see what he does it kills your heart especially when you don’t know.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Oh so many times I wanted to leave

  5. I have gotten lucky, is one way to look at it, but it sure is lonely…..

  6. Jess says:

    @MB: nope, you are not the only ine fantasising about disappearing and starting over. If it was possible, I’d do it in a flash.

    1. MB says:

      Jess, thank you for replying. At least I know I’m not crazy. Or at least not the ONLY crazy one! I’m not running from anything or anyone. I just wonder what it would be like to be somebody else sometimes. Get a fresh start. Maybe do things differently. I’d probably just end up the same ol me with the same ol patterns. A change of scenery would be nice though.

      1. Carolyn says:

        Me too…just to see what it would be like with someone different. Better yet, see what its like to be happy!

  7. Shon says:

    I appreciate you given the empathic worldall your insight HG. Narcissistic people are ALL crazy and plaguing these games are overfor me. Hoover, chop your hand off or date a billion more there id’s no way I’ll do this dance again.#ecapedandglad

  8. Susan Day says:

    I love reading and learning; however, I am fully aware at this point what Im dealing with. I have been ZERO contact for 7 months no matter his antics, and now I am dealing with stalking, restraining orders and court. The longer I stay silent, the worse it gets… I do not think he will stop, even if that means prison for him. The more I learn, the more control he loses and it is driving him nuts that he can no longer control me.

    1. lisk says:

      I’m sorry you’re going through that. It sound scary, almost like you need to be relocated via an Empath Protection Program (if only there were such a thing).

      It seems like the controlling actions of a narc reflect what is going on (or not) within—the more a narc controls or acts out, the emptier they are inside.

      1. Lisk: `Empath Protection Program` So true.

      2. Susan Day says:

        I did relote and now he came here and bought a place a mile down the street. It has been a nightmare, however, I still remain zero contact, not that it has done any good so far. Weeks or a month will go by and all is quiet and then he pops up and starts all over again.

        1. lisk says:

          Oh, my. That is very scary. I hope you stay safe and get completely free of him, Susan Day.

      3. MB says:

        HG, since you are an expert at disguise and blending in, would you consider helping with Empath Protection in extreme cases? I bet you could show one how to fake their own death couldn’t you? That would be the ultimate no contact!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Possibly but I would need to ensure that emotional thinking has been lowered considerably first otherwise the empathic victim would fail in the endeavour.

          1. Lorelei says:

            Can we do like a chalk outline like in the movies?

          2. MB says:

            Sometimes I fantasize of disappearing and starting over as somebody else in a new place. Am I the only one?

          3. NarcAngel says:

            I have fantasized in the past about starting over somewhere else, free from the influences I was under. Never as someone else though.

          4. Dearest HG: Many times it would be so much more productive to just handicap the perpetrator.

          5. MB says:

            HG007 might be your man to achieve that too PSE. I’m beginning to think there’s little the man can’t do!

          6. ava101 says:

            I did MB, but in this controlled world, it’s not possible to vanish altogether, unless you have a lot of money and “connections” and really buy new papers / ID (I would have no idea how to do that), – or otherwise to live on cash for the rest of your life. Everything else, you’re not getting rid of your ID. Enough though to leave people behind and make it very hard for them to find you. And in any case you can leave all that crap behind.

            But as HG says, it’s my own fault that the exnarc and matrinarc still know which country I am in, though they could never find out my address. Either way, I’ve never felt so safe in my life, but guess what … narcs still flock to me (and I still know how to pick them, as you know, and my own patterns / conditioning haven’t vanished either). But I’m healing, also because I’ve also the most empathic people in my life, now, and am rebuilding a social circle with the knowledge at hand, I’ve aquired.

          7. ava101 says:

            And where did my nice symbol avatar go, HG?

          8. Alexissmith2016 says:

            Ah it’s totally normal to fantasise about running away from it all!

            But stick with it and it all works out in the end x

        2. MB: I practically am starting over right now, after ghosting essentially everyone I know because the tentacles were deeper than I had realized. I doubt if I will accidentally encounter them much at all in NYC. I don`t know. Maybe, if I were I wealthy I would try to go through this in a different city. But, I have no city in mind. NYC is not bad under my circumstances of starting over. I would have to visit quite a few places and visit a while first. Right now, it is just weird. Do have any city in any country in mind to relocate, if you could?

          1. MB says:

            PSE, NYC wouldn’t be my choice because I’m a small town country girl. I’m too naive for a big city IMO. My choice would be someplace tropical by the water. Salt water does my soul good. I’ll live by the ocean one day and I won’t have to become somebody else to do it. Disappearing is a fantasy. I’ve got no reason to do so. The reality would not be pleasant. I’m sorry that you’ve had to leave everything you know behind. You are very brave and very strong.

          2. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

            MB: It is easier to go from a small town to a big city than to go to a small town from a big city. Relocating is a weird thing to do, I am sure, especially if one is forced to do so. Remember the movie: GoodFellas, when the lead character felt he ended up in a small town full of schmucks, I believe he called the people, after he was relocated in the witness protection program. His marriage finally failed in that town, as well, from what I remember. I found that movie close to perfect. PSE approved.

          3. Lorelei says:

            I love NYC for 2-3 day jaunts Princess! It’s a reasonably easy place to hide:)

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Hg hits NYC later this year and he won’t be hiding.

          5. Lorelei says:

            I’ll be there in Oct for a few days before departing for Beijing. Stay on your side of the street!

          6. MB says:

            OMG HG! I threw a penny in a fountain and made a wish several hours ago. My wish was to meet you! When should I book my flight to NYC?!?

          7. HG Tudor says:

            Whenever you’d like to visit FYC.

          8. MB says:

            What? PSE is in NYC. Is FYC in NYC also?

            I realized I made a mistake. You’re not supposed to tell what you wished or it won’t come true. I need another penny!

          9. FYC says:

            Haha, I am not and will not be in NYC.

          10. MB says:

            I’ve never been to NYC. Nobody I know wants to go. Guess I’ll be going by myself if I ever decide to explore.

          11. FYC says:

            Sorry to hear that, MB. It is worth seeing. I have been there many times on biz travel, but would not choose to vacation there.

          12. MB says:

            FYC, NYC is one of those places that every American should visit at least once. I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I would like. That is beginning to change and will continue to do so.

          13. FYC says:

            MB, If you want to travel more often for free, sign up for a frequent flier program like American Airlines. Logon to their promotions page and sign up for the ones you like. Do your online shopping via their eshopping portal. In a year or two you could earn a free flight without ever flying. Many credit cards will give miles too by linking that account. And all flights earn miles of course. There are many ways to work it out. I’d say more but it’s really off topic. Enjoy!

          14. Lorelei says:

            MB—I’ll meet you there anytime. Oops no fraternization allowed!!

          15. MB says:

            Lorelei, something tells me you’re the kind of girl that would get me in trouble. But it sure would be fun!

          16. Lorelei says:

            Oh no MB. I would take you to a proper Broadway show, Central Park, and for a drink. I’m not misbehaved at all.

          17. MB says:

            Lorelei, we should go see Pretty Woman! Isn’t it playing on Broadway?

          18. MB says:

            It won’t be the first time I wasted a good wish on a narc.

          19. lisk says:

            HG in NYC? Not hiding?

            Book tour? Narc conference?

            Either way, exciting!!!

          20. strongerwendyme says:

            1. you’re going to reveal your real identity in NYC later this year?
            2. Does your girlfriend know what you are yet? I may have missed that revelation amongst all of the comments.

          21. HG Tudor says:

            1. No. I said I’m not hiding, I’m going there but not hiding.
            2. She’s very clever.

          22. strongerwendyme says:

            “She’s very clever” more so than you are?

          23. HG Tudor says:

            Of course not.

          24. MB says:

            HG, are you insinuating that The SM has worked you out?

          25. HG Tudor says:

            I am not insinuating anything.

          26. Lorelei: In a perfect world I would just love having multiple homes all over the planet. NYC is fine for me. No complaints really. So many people visit this place. It’s amazing.

          27. Lorelei says:

            I stayed in Times Square last time I believe at a Crown Plaza. Convenient. It’s like Disney for adults.

          28. MB says:

            Thank you for the recommendation Lorelei. Crown Plaza Times Square it is!

          29. Lorelei says:

            Not opulent but perfect location and very nice.

          30. Lorelei says:

            HG will be at the local Red Roof Inn. He will have the free continental breakfast of bland muffins and cheap (not from Florida) orange juice. Even the toiletries aren’t worth pocketing at the Red Roof Inn!

          31. FYC says:

            HG in NYC: Since you will not be hiding, do wear your own swag to promote KTN! I will look forward to your IG picks of you in NYC in a tee that says something like…

            Click On




            Enjoy your travels!

        3. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

          MB: I would love to handicap a few perpetrators myself, If I could do it without repercussion. Some need to be restricted by any means necessary.

      4. WokeAF says:

        The EPP! Yeah you know me!

  9. WokeAF says:

    “You catch us in bed with someone else. It is not our fault. If you loved us properly we would not have to stray” my MMR (DLS)had told me this as what his logic is on his gf

    – when I caught my LMR in bed ( 5 hours after I left it) w his narc replacement for me, he said “why are you here so early!” With fury


  10. WokeAF says:

    Lmao “Have you been reading one of your books again!!” My b.d . Classic
    ML I think.

    I never got hit TOO too hard with the narc stuff bc I always escape.;
    B.d was 11 years together but during this I’d leave him and we’d live apart often. We lived apart more than we ever lived together, really. He couldn’t contain me.i had a good solid family and so enough of an inner foundation to leave if even I’d get hoovered. I was too slippery and I’d toss him out for months if he blew up at me too often so he was (is) usually trying for good behaviour.

    Had short flings w a MMR cerebral , LMR elite, a relationship w a LMR somatic (I think) , and DLS to my MMR elite ..but never lived with any of them THANK GOD.

    Shifting sands I’d see w the b.d to a degree

    Don’t recall seeing shifting sands w the LMR narcoholic. Lots of other manipulation tho

    I imagine you see shifting sands only if you live together and are IPPS , yes?


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