The Relational Tower
I sit up on high in my Relational Tower. I can see so much from this throne.
I look to the north and see the golden and shimmering lines which extend from me to my loyal subjects across the land. I see my supporters, my followers and my coterie going about their daily lives but all the while connected to me. They feel such privilege to be linked to me, their liege and I feed on that sense of privilege and the admiration and that adoration which is entwined around it.
I look to the south and see yet more lines of sparkling gold which link between me and my most devout lieutenants. From my vantage point I can signal to them and they will obey, carrying out my commands, executing my diktats and honouring my instructions. It is a source of great comfort to gaze in their direction and observe their industry on my behalf.
I look to the east and frown at the assembled legions which march towards me. The malcontents, the rejected, the fools and the idiots, all those who have taken up against me and now march in the expectation that they will unseat me. Yet further lines span out from me to these traitors. Dark purple lines, nearly invisible against the glowering firmament, these multitudinous lines which have those transgressors permanently attached to me and through which I pull, twist and yank. They moan, they wail and they lament their fate but there is no hope for any other for these are those who bear the stain of betrayal, the putrid stench of sedition emanates from their shambling frames. Let them come, let them advance towards me and I shall watch them as they break against my tower, like waves against the rocks as they are sent scattering and dissipating into so much spray. I watch them from afar, sometimes commanding my lieutenants to enter the fray to cajole and direct, a myriad of gold and purple shimmering and glinting as the lines combine. From time to time the purple becomes golden as by my most glorious bounty I bestow the wondrous joy upon the select few.
I look to the west and there I see you. You shine with such glory, the golden line between you and I fizzing with effervescence. A thick line which coils about your wrists, torso and throat, sending that precious essence towards me. There are days when that connection will dim to the purple of guilt, the thick line becoming stretched and thinned, but never ever breaking. I watch you as you journey towards me, face upturned, eyes rapturous, hands outstretched as the light burns brighter and those who are less than me would struggle to gaze upon you, but I always will. Though I may turn my face away from you from time to time, my dark eyes will always look for you.
I watch you all as you journey towards me, the supporters, the lieutenants, the outcasts and you. I can see it all from this elevated position as I organise, direct and orchestrate. I know what you want. I know what you all want, each and every one of you.
I am attached to you all, you are bound to me, some tighter than others, some with those chains which bite and burn, others who raise no objection to their silken bondage, but all are bound to me. I made it so. I wanted that. I am connected to so many of you. I have a relationship with each and every one. Our relational proximity varies from stranger to intimate partner, from minion to inner circle friend, from colleague to family member and so on. Relationships. I have them by the hundred and create more each day, reaching out with my tendrils of gold and purple in order to remain exactly where I want to be – at the centre in my tower.
I know why you all head towards me. You want to enter this tower and thus gain admittance to me. You wish to unlock the vast gate and pass through the imposing portal to enable you to climb the winding stone steps, each time passing without hindrance or complication through the many doors and gates which guard my inner sanctum.
I know you want to enter my inner sanctum.
Some of you want to cradle what you find there. Some of you wish to possess what your eyes will rest upon. Some of you wish to claim a portion for yourselves and be forever imbued with its effects. Some of you wish to release what is in this inner sanctum. Some of you wish to understand what lies there. Some of you wish to destroy what is revealed.
Whatever it might be, the hundreds of relationships which I have, no matter how long, how strong and how tightly bound or otherwise these may be all seek to enter my Relational Tower and penetrate the inner sanctum.
This cannot happen.
I made this tower. I built it high. I built the walls deep and thick, constructed from the stones of denial and the slabs of deflection all held in place with the mortar of fuel. I fashioned the thick timbers of the door from projection, the timber bolted together through triangulation and the lock created from a steely gaze and iron resolve. The heavy bar that is set against it arose from the blame-shifting. I have set many traps and pitfalls within this tower in order to prevent anybody reaching the inner sanctum. The stone steps are smeared with vitriol, the walls spiked with character assassination, cauldrons wait to pour their heated fury onto you and cast you in deep pits of despair. The stone is so thick that there is only ever silence here, it as if the very walls are giving you a cold and baleful stare. Everything that I have learned will be used to impede your progress, hamper and hinder you so you may not ever reach that inner sanctum.
I know you all want to go there. I know you want to reach deep inside of me, into my inner sanctum but I must not allow it. I dare not. I cannot admit anybody. Ever.
I built this tower high. I built it thick. I made it impenetrable.
I built it to keep you out.
I built it to keep me in.
We are always connected but so long as I remain in my Relational Tower in such splendid isolation then my inner sanctum remains preserved and so do I.
3 thoughts on “The Relational Tower”
Um, I’ll just leave this oblation on the doorstep, then.
I really like this article, and had such a moment of clarity reading it. The closest narcissist to me emotionally for many years was a close internet friend. I realized what he was very early on in correspondence. Initially my interest in him was because of this and my plan was to never become too emotionally involved. I only wanted to learn more about your kind from a direct source with safe boundaries between us. Being what I am and him what he was I did get drawn in emotionally over a period of years. I still love him, and I think I always will. I am 5 months out from no contact. I have never wanted revenge of any kind.
I believed I could help him with self awareness and from there help him modify behavior so he could be a good husband someday and a good father. He seemed so close many times to grasping what he was, but I now realize even if he had that capability like you it would not have mattered.
I love the imagery in this piece. Once I became emotionally invested in the relationship I was essentially on a quest to reach his inner sanctum and to have real emotional intimacy. I only had the most genuine and pure intent, to cradle what I found there so carefully. I want to show him that all would not be lost and shattered into oblivion if he let someone in. I wanted to open the path for others and for him to have the ability of healthy close relationships with his future spouse/children. I believe I got further on this path than nearly anyone else in his life. But in the end, I suppose no one is actually allowed in, ever. The way this path is guarded and booby trapped I realize now I was always destined to fail.
The cost to my own well-being became too high to persevere further and I left the relationship. I still miss him. While your blog helps me understand the dynamic further, in some ways I empathize even more now because I can see he was doing what he felt he had to do for his survival by keeping me out.
Thank you Laura and I am pleased that you found it interesting to read.