Try Walking In My Shoes

I always wake before you. This allows me to slip into the en suite and lock the door and deal with the horror of confronting another day without you seeing me endure this daily ritual.  Already I can feel the hunger rising as I stare at my reflection. Is this what I have become? The bleary-eyed, stubbled, exhausted creature that gazes unwaveringly back at me. No, I do not recognise that thing. How old it looks. The lips are thin, the hair thinning and clumped. Its shoulders rounded and slumped in resignation. I feel refreshed from a solid night’s sleep yet whatever is looking back at me does not accord with that feeling. The fear crawls across my skin and I rub at myself trying to dislodge that cold grip but it never works. The inner dread rises as I contemplate another day at the grindstone trying to piece together what I am, that long arduous task which never gets easier. In point of fact, the task becomes more difficult with each passing month as my advancing age screams at me about my mortality. How that banshee tortures me as she howls in my ears about my waning powers. I feel the tears welling as every injustice I have ever suffered is heaped on my shoulders by an uncaring and oblivious world. Does it not see my pain or does it just not care?
My mobile phone is clutched in my hand. I rarely let it leave my side and I place it on the counter besides the sink and then grip the counter as I continue to look at my reflection. My knuckles whiten as I fight the urge to scream at how empty I feel, how bereft I am and how this is so damn unfair. I try to wrench my gaze away but I cannot. I am entranced by what I see. I do not recognise this person. Where has that shock of white come from in the hair above the left temple? That is not me. Its skin looks dry as if it has been subjected to the dehydrating suction of some foul shade that visited in the night. The horror continues to escalate and it is only the chime of my ‘phone which breaks this terrible appreciation of the thing in the mirror.

Grateful for this interruption I shift my eyes to the ‘phone and see that a message has arrived from one of my coterie of admirers, Samantha. The pilot light inside of me flares into life and there is the slightest surge as the fuel begins to flow. I should wait until I have showered but the hunger is too great already and it must be addressed. I open the text message and like a starving man being given his first meal after fasting I devour the words of admiration.

“Good morning handsome, I missed you last night, I will call you when you are at work xxx”

The flame increases in size and strength as I close the message and smile .I turn on the shower letting the stream of water heat up as I flick to the texts that Samantha sent last night whilst I sat on the settee preoccupied with my activity of flitting between her texts and a conversation I was engaging in with a new prospect on facebook. I re-read a handful of the texts from Samantha with their declarations of admiration for me and I feel my strength returning. I put the phone down and step into the shower and relish the hot embrace of the jets of water. The fear has shrunk away and the dread sensation has been pushed back down. I liberally apply the shower gel, enjoying the sophisticated scent as I use a different product on my face, scrubbing away the dead cells and then another to cleanse and wash. I turn the taps and the water stops. I reach for a thick towel and pat my face dry feeling rejuvenated. As I stood beneath the purifying water my keen mind raced whilst I formed my machinations for the day. Always plotting and always scheming. The prospective fuel that will be garnered from the new sources that I am pursuing coupled with the dose of triangulation I will involve you in is causing me to feel excited and powerful. I pick up a bath sheet and admire the toned nature of my body as I dry myself and embark on the next stage of my preparation for the day by shaving and brushing my teeth.

A little while later my phone has chimed again and this time it is a colleague wanting to arrange lunch as he wants my advice since I am an expert on a particular topic he has to present on. The flame inside rises higher now and this spurs on my delinquent mind to consider additional ways to garner that oh so precious fuel during the day. The hunt for fuel is unending. The craven hunger that rumbles inside of me cries out for it and it is my sole preoccupation. The beast inside must be fed. Yet, now I am feeling strong. I haven’t applied my after shave and already two admirers have seen fit to worship at my altar and the games have not even yet to be played. But they will. I reach for the fragrance and splash it into my cupped hands and apply it to my neck as I look to the mirror. The handsome me has returned. The piercing blue eyes shine, the tousled, shiny locks of hair await the application of some wax to style them, the unblemished skin and close shave accentuate my chiselled good looks. I flash that winning smile as another surge of power flows through me. God I look good.

I return to the bedroom, ‘phone in hand and find you have now risen and I can hear the sounds of movement in the kitchen downstairs as you prepare breakfast as you always do. You will shortly bring me a mug of fresh coffee but I think I will complain that it is not hot enough and criticise you, just to see if I can provoke a reaction from you. It should not be too hard, I know precisely what to say. I notice the bed has not been made and rather than attend to it and help you, when you pass me my coffee with a ‘Good morning’ and a smile, I will cock my head towards the dishevelled heap and tut. Ah, yes, the master of games knows his stuff. I dress as another text arrives from another friend who wants to organise a golf game and asks for help with his swing, praising my technique. He is after more than assistance with his golf since he wants me to place work with him. He will have to provide me with more fuel yet to even be considered and of course, I will send the work elsewhere since there is someone who will give me something I want in return in a sweeter form and in larger amounts than my golfing chum. Still, the disappointment on his face will no doubt provide me with a hit too.

I can hear you coming up the stairs and I decide I will take a look in the full length mirror since I am fully attired to admire how elegant I look. I dress in a manner which says to anyone who meets me that the first move is mine. I stand and give a contented nod at my statuesque reflection. I look fantastic. I start to smile and then a bolt of anguish shoots through me as the craven creature that first lurked in the bathroom mirror appears. It is only for the briefest of instances but it causes me to exhale. My expensively-dressed self returns and the relief washes over me in an amazing way. The creature has gone again. He does that though. He likes to make fleeting appearances throughout my day to remind me that I must keep finding fuel. My quest for the potent fuel must be at the forefront of my mind at all times. As if on cue, you enter the bedroom, a veritable reservoir of fuel. You greet me as I cock my head to the unmade bed and tut. I feel the rush of power as your smile evaporates and you look crestfallen. The games have begun and my day is off to a great start. I only hope that creature stays away from me.

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31 Comments

  1. What I find astonishing is how quick the change comes. In between “Is this what I have become? … I do not recognise that thing” and “God I look good” is basically just a text message and a shower.

    HG, you speak of fear that crawls across your skin when you look at yourself. What exactly is it you fear so much?

    You know, you talk about this “creature” inside you like it is some other person that lives inside you and wants to harm you. I don’t know much about it, but I think this “creature” is the last bit of reality inside you and I think it shows you the only possibility how you could be helped. When early in the morning you “piece together” what you are, you already create the illusion that will probably last until the night when you fall asleep, I imagine. Like that you would be a victim of your illusion yourself. What do you think?

    “Does it (the world) not see my pain or does it just not care?” you ask. Well, for one thing I think you know how to hide your pain very well. As for the second part, I fear the world – for the most part at least – indeed does not care very much. Not really. But there is one who does see and who does care. He who says “Not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14,27). He is the “God who sees me” (Gen. 16,13). He keeps count of your tears and treasures them (Ps. 56,9). “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out,” He says (John 6,37).

    But I think before you would ever be ready to take that step, you will have to face the creature inside you. You will have to look very closely at the horrible thing and admit “Yes, this is me. Please help me because I do not want to stay the way I am.” This is a very hard thing to do and takes enormous courage but it is worth it (I know what I am talking about). In my opinion this would be the only chance of healing for you. If you actually wanted it, of course. Just don’t be a coward.

      1. HG, I’ve just been reading Fuel again this morning and I have to say the chapter, ‘The Loss of the Prison’ is nothing short of breathtaking. I felt physically breathless reading it. Amazing insight (as always) and superbly written. Pure genius x

      2. Hope the book will be out soon. For me to understand more about why you need to keep the creature at bay may clarify a huge part of the puzzle that is you ( and other narcs I encounter). You are terrified of the construct crumbling and the creature escaping which would put you in oblivion. I know what you are saying but in truth it would not put you in oblivion. So what would oblivion look like to you?

        Looking forward to the book. It should be brilliant.

          1. Spot on. You won’t operate or function the same way. Operating and functioning the way you do isn’t desirable is it? It’s exhausting and bleak. Constrictive. You will be thrown into the unknown. How much worse could it be? Have you ever asked yourself that?

  2. My narc always woke up an hour or two before me, once the devaluation began at least. Is that a thing? I would awaken in bed alone around around 7am, and find him in the other room fully dressed with coffee and phone in hand. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but knowing about the infidelity as I know do, I wonder if those extra couple hours were used to further his pursuits of other women.

    1. brynnstar. I would say you are correct about getting up and starting his fueling early. When I was a CIPSS, my texts started coming sometimes at 4:00am…………………….

      1. Kim,
        I have met extroverted narcissists who sleep very little (4 hours is not uncommon) and without interruptions. It also depends on how old they are.

        Emails and texts can be scheduled to be sent at a later time. It is not necessary to wake up at 4.00 to send them. However, some narcissists will sacrifice their time if necessary. One of the narcissists targeting me woke up in the middle of the night just to drive to a certain place to smear me. She did it when she knew I was not there. I found out she had been at that place during the night because somebody told me. She still spends a lot of time and energy on her malice campaign against me.

        1. E.B. I know my N was getting up that early to text me as it was a continuation of the text the night before just like no time had passed at all. Only change was Good Morning was added to it.
          Strange thing is to this day, I have a really had time typing Good Morning on emails that before the N I would have no issue with.

  3. It’s insanity, and no wonder the insults and abuse make us a little temporarily insane too. Their being unaware of their narcissism and thinking it’s normal is also a common symptom of insanity. If they’re not evil intentionally then they are insane. Freud thought we all are at least a little insane here and there, and I’m not sure I would disagree, but there’s a difference in having an insecurity to having full blown chronic insecurities that cause you to constantly lash out and harm and manipulate others as in this article. Some might be less harmful, some more graceful and more intelligent, but since we’re recognizing the signs and symptoms of narcissism, since the safest and only defense to it is GOSO, then let’s see it for what it is. It’s chronic, it’s incurable, those who have it are mostly blind to it, it’s harmful to others. The world should recognize it for what it is in order for us to cope with them in this world and coexist. Some can do remarkably good things and contribute to the world, but that doesn’t excuse the wretched things they inflict on individuals, projecting their insanity and smearing people who unknowingly threaten them, or stepping over others to win and get to the top at all costs. We have to recognize it for what it is in order to deal with it because we can’t just run from it, we have to figure out how to handle them in this world.

  4. Thanks for opening up and allowing us to see how the gears churn in this dynamic we find ourselves in. It’s all so much more simple than I ever would’ve thought, so thank you. Interesting that the mirror catches you from time to time and reminds you you need fuel. I have to say everything you say makes total sense. You state it impeccably, quite humorously often (in the comments) and I can now see how the GN and MR->LN (haven’t cracked that nut yet) in my life operate. When you have a moment, can you recommend some articles and/or one of your books that delves into the differences between the different classes/schools/cadres of N’s?

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you.

      You ought to read the book Sitting Target and the book Sex. With regard to the articles, just use the search function to find out more.

  5. I see you. I know your pain. Disassociation is the deepest pain; the heaviest albatross anyone of us can carry. To reject oneself is the ultimate act of abandonment.

    HG, we are all fools. Dying fools. Our greatest triumph is in embracing the fool. Perchance even laughing lovingly at the fool.

    Te deseo un momento de paz, un momento de felicidad infantil para que sepas lo que tu miedo y tu deseo de control te está robando.

  6. Cheer up, HG: think how many empaths you have lured away from their previous narcs. You will no doubt maintain that the change is to our benefit (though that’s not why you do it), but given what a low-functioning specimen my previous narc was, I’m inclined to agree with you.

  7. And I also asked you about aging of a narcissist. It does get much harder as yes the skin wrinkles, the body changes, for many men cannot get it up anymore. I do hope you find a switch in your thinking process and except that if a woman wants to give you her trust, loyalty and love take it before you will be left alone with the demons. Love ya Mr. H . You will still have your audience from a technology source always. A machine like you. None of this is written to insult you it’s all based on my Opinions

  8. Another good one Mr.H. I have already gave my opinion on how exhausting this may be for but you of course denied it is. All humans of all kinds have an exhausting life but most don’t try to destroy others with power of mind control, like a Hitler of some sort. I disagree with your answer of it not being exhausting. I call BS!

  9. is the creature a demon? maybe narcs have demons living in them that want to dominate their souls?
    i think hg has written abut how it is not demons . but, why is there a constant reference to the creature?

    1. It is not constant, it is occasional. The reference to the creature is because it is relevant to all of our kind.

  10. Pingback: Try Walking In My Shoes ⋆ NarcTopia
  11. Interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    I don’t feel sorry for you as its not any less exhausting being an Empath. We may not need fuel but we ruminate, self flagellate, worry, feel anxious, depressed, constantly think about others and their needs ahead of our own. The list goes on and on. And we manage to do it all… with out abusing other people. Why? because we don’t believe anything is owed to us, we have matured past the point of thinking everything is everyone elses fault. Your kind has NOT suffered any more injustice then anyone else has… you just have dealt with it differently.

    1. Good point e007. Yes the never ending quest for fuel is exhausting but so are those points you make above, and then some. I’m not sure if it was HG who said that the narc is in the enviable position. I am coming to believe this 😣

      1. Yep. It’s exhausting being me 😂 lol. Would be an amazing social experiment if just for a day a narc and an empath could switch… to really understand.

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