My Secret Garden

MY SECRET GARDEN

Would you like to know what my garden is like? Before I tell you, why don’t you stop and close your eyes and picture in your mind’s eye what you think my garden looks like? That’s right, conjure up the image that forms when you think of me and what my garden might be like. Take your time, move around it and ensure you have given it due consideration as you generate the image. Have you done it? Did it take you long? I suspect you managed to envisage it rather quickly didn’t you, after all, you are well-known for your amazing imagination aren’t you? I often find I have to apologise for your fantastic tales and over the top comments, but that is to be expected of somebody like you. Anyway, let’s leave your behaviour to one side for the time being (although I will return to it when nobody is looking, you can be assured of that) and let’s consider what you created in your mind.

I should imagine that the landscape you have formulated is one of two outcomes. I expect that some of you will have pictured nothing but concrete. All plant life and flora banished by a solid slab of grey cement that has solidified into an impenetrable barrier that stretches in all directions, lifeless and uninspiring. Once there might have been a flourishing and verdant garden but it has been banished by this concrete covering which has extinguished anything that grew or blossomed. If the concrete carbuncle is not what you saw in your mind then you will have opted for the alternative. You will have pictured solid, barren and lifeless soil which will not sustain anything of beauty. A toxic and poisonous stream flows through the centre of it, dead fish floating on their backs as they drift lifelessly along. Not even algae grows on this polluted stream. The few trees there are in this garden are dead. The bark grey and lifeless, forlorn limbs stretching into a dark grey sky, where there is always cloud. The branches and twigs are leafless. The bushes consist of brambles which hinder anybody who might try and move through this uninviting place. There is no grass and there a few brown, dried-out husks which suggest there might have once been something greener and vibrant. There are no sweet smelling flowers here, only the awful stench which rises from the slow-moving stream which looks more like treacle than water. Even the weeds are few and far between, struggling to find any sustenance from the sterile soil.

Is this what you saw?

Come and follow me as I take you into my secret garden. I produce a key from my jacket explaining that very few people ever get to see my secret garden but I am letting you inside because you are special and I like you. I open the thick gate and usher you inside. You do not see me hurriedly lock it behind you since you are busy staring at the beautiful garden that rolls out before you. Capability Brown must have laboured long and hard here. The lawn is flat and even, the grass has been rolled so that stripes have formed and there is not one blemish to be seen amidst the green, green blades. The edges of the lawn have been carefully cut so that no grass overhangs so that there is a distinct line between the lawn and the flower beds. The soil looks fertile, well-nourished and is free of weeds. A dazzling array of flowers grow from this well-tilled soil. Strong stalks reach up towards the azure sky, shiny leaves sprouting from the stalks before the injection of colour appears. Every shade of the rainbow is represented amongst the many varieties of flower that flourish in my secret garden. Brilliant blues, fiery oranges, ruby reds and sunshine yellows abound. The flowers have short petals, long petals which move in the gentle breeze, there are bell-shaped flowers, trumpet shaped flowers and others shaped like stars. White, purple, scarlet and ochre all combine to create this tapestry of beauty. A stream gurgles as it passes through the garden, cutting across the magnificently manicured lawn, so that an intricate bridge has been created allowing one to traverse from one side to the other. Bushes ring the flowers, an expert in topiary having crafted them into sensational shapes. Beyond the bushes are the trees, tall and trimmed so that they form a fence around this paradise. You stand on the edge of this magnificent garden utterly transfixed. The scents waft from the roses, from the lilies and the sweet William combining to create a heady concoction of fragrances. You are over awed by this display.

“Do you like it?” I ask.

You are dumb-founded, unable to speak. All you can muster is a slow nod as you feel a tear trickle down your cheek from your left eye as you are overtaken by how beautiful it all is.

I beckon to you and you follow me to a nearby apple tree which is festooned with fruit. The red and green apples hang from the branches and I pluck one and pass it to you. You smile and take a bite anticipating how fresh and crisp the apple will be. Your teeth easily sink in as you are surprised to find the flesh of the apple soft. You taste bitterness in your mouth and instinctively spit out the piece of fruit.

“What’s wrong?” I ask as I select an apple too.

“It is sour,” you explain. I take a bite from my apple and you hear the crunch as I take a chunk from it. I chew and through the mouthful explain that mine tastes fine. I hand the apple to you and you bite into it. It is soft and again tastes sour. Confusion rises inside you as you look at the apple and see a maggot wriggling beneath where you have bitten into the apple. You hurl the apple away as I invite you to sniff a magnificent rose nearby. You lean in and inhale its perfume, pulling the petalled head towards you. There is no scent and instead you sneeze. As you let go of the rose you give a short cry of pain and find that a thorn is wedged in your finger, the blood already spooring from the wound and trickling down your finger. You sneeze again,your nose irritated by something and you keep sneezing as your eyes water. You stagger away from the rose still sneezing and into a bush but it is not the sculpted creation you saw moments earlier. Instead, you feel a prickling sensation as you are stung and realise you have stumbled into a bed of nettles. Pain rising you stagger away, eyes streaming and make for where you recall the stream is hoping to use the cool, clear water to wash away the irritation you have suffered. You can just make out where it is through your blurred vision as you drop to your knees only to cry out again. You have knelt on some thistles.Where did they come from? This lawn was flawless before. You reach out flailing for the stream but there is nothing, The water has gone and the stream has dried up. You feel something wrap around your left wrist and as you try to wipe away the tears from your eyes with your free hand, you feel pain as a vine begins to tighten about your wrist. You pull trying to free yourself from it and twist around to call to me for help.

The smooth lawn is no longer there. Gone is the rolled grass. Instead you are looking at a mountainside, rugged and steep. You yank your arm as the vine is trying to pull you and look upwards. You can see me standing there smiling at you, looking down from my lofty position atop this mountain which has sprung out of nowhere. A cold wind begins to blow as you shout for help, another vine beginning to snake towards you. I tilt my head as if I cannot hear you, a smile still plastered across my face.

“Help me, what is happening?” you shout.

“Nothing,” I call back, ” I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“This. The garden, it has changed,” you yell above the gathering wind. You see that I am shaking my head.

” Not it’s not, everything is just the same, Beautiful isn’t it?” I reply.

You frown. How can I not see what has altered? The beautiful glade has become a hostile and hurtful place. How has this happened to you? You try and crawl forward and I stand watching you, offering no help as more vines snake towards you, the ground beneath you hard and stony. The vines wrap about you and threaten to pull you into the abyss below you. All the while I stand and watch smiling.

Welcome to my secret garden.

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29 Comments

  1. Angie
    Mid-Range grandiosity, a Greater would know what they are but wouldn’t tell you. They like for you to not see them coming.

  2. I have a question, if a narcissist acknowledges what they are and says it aloud however you don’t know precisely what the word means ( as you don’t know anything about narcissism) is that indicative that you are dealing with a greater? Or can that possibly be a Mid Range Narcissist?

  3. I agree with singasongy it is a little predictable, but I guess that’s part of the purpose of the stuff in this blog, isn’t it? I like this metaphor though, probably because it has different kinds of roots in my own history. I tried to play along and imagine it in my own mind as I was reading, but soon realized what I pictured was mostly my own mental projections. I think it’s because this “secret garden” analogy is way too loaded for me in various ways, my mind cannot easily detach from that. And not enough realistic information on HG beyond what I know of HG Tudor. If anything, I would definitely imagine something far more complex than what’s presented here but maybe that’s also projection. Can definitely do this fantasy exercise and tailor it for people I know from real life, including some of the narcs I’ve met and got to know better – I do think it can be a useful exercise for victims who are good at visualization, once they have gotten out and established emotional distance. I did a version of this during my recovery from my addiction, we often called it “urge surfing” or “playing the tape through”. Basically mentally visualizing in a complete and realistic way what would happen if we gave in and picked up our drug of choice again. It can really help to curb cravings and impulses.

    It also reminded me of a book by Stephen King, ‘Lisey’s Story’. I am not a big fan of King because his quality of writing varies greatly and sometimes it is really sloppy, but I like his themes and fantasy world. Lisey’s Story can actually be a not too inappropriate comparison here because it is about a writer with a very captivating and often terrifying inner world and his intimate relationship with a wife that really wanted to understand him and handle his legacy well. The element that reminded me was a both intoxicatingly beautiful and dangerous “place” that writer went to for inspiration and took others, a world his wife wanted to understand after his death and also get away from the grip of it.

    So what would be the version if this garden that the narcissist sees on his own, without anyone else being there? Or is it an impossible question given that as soon as an effort is made to describe it, it is showing it to someone (even if not a fuel source) and that will inevitably distort it? Also, if I could get a chance for a glimpse for my own perception, I would prefer to somehow sneak in there on my own, in secret…although maybe that curiosity is not very constructive if one wants to maintain mental peace.

  4. A friendly reminder that not everyone subscribes to God, the devil, or souls that go anywhere. So they are empty threats that do not affect the behaviours.

    1. Everyone is free to believe or not , NA.
      For you are empty threats, for me some extraordinary events and experiences in my life are more than sufficient basis to believe.
      Each to their own.

      1. Claire
        I was actually referring to them being empty threats to the behaviours of narcissists, but they are to non-narcissists as well. You believe in to each their own, but you corrected Tina’s statement to favour your own belief. Interesting.

        1. NA, I did not correct Tina’s statement to favour my belief. My faith doesn’t need to be favoured. As a Christian I accept the Doctrine of Divine Justice. Thus, my reply to Tina.
          I don’t impose my beliefs on anybody, I merely cited the Doctrine based on my own faith.
          As we have the opportunity to express our views on this blog I am well aware that some readers would disagree with mine ones and that’s OK.
          I don’t want to offend anybody nor to argue with anyone on the blog.

          1. Claire
            Tina made a statement to HG. You “corrected” it with a “friendly reminder” that “only God’s judgement will determine one’s soul”. That is your belief and not universal (which is what a friendly reminder indicates). So it does appear as imposing your belief, as you were not in the initial conversation, and didn’t enter it by saying: this is what I believe……but rather a “reminder” to others of what you believe. That is imposing a view. Big difference.

          2. NA, I respect your opinion. My interruption to the online dialogue between Tina and HG was a mere projection of my thoughts when I read Tina’s comment about HG ‘s fate . I thought “ Nah, only God can decide that”.
            As Tina’ s comment is in the context of the Christian beliefs , so it was mine.
            And it is a friendly reminder yes, because
            a) I didn’t want to offend Tina
            b) I assumed Tina was a Narc’s victim, her pain, anger might be strong, thus no need to “ snub” her being harsh to HG but rather calmly remind that our Lord decides our souls’ fate.

            In my everyday life when I refer to God no one in Australia blinks an eye regardless their religion or lack of . So I do when people refers to God using the names in accordance with their religion.
            Nobody here makes a comment starting or ending a conversation” This” is my opinion as a Christian/ Jew/ Buddha/agnostic, Muslim”, etc .
            A Muslim co worker once ( I am no loger at that job) asked me to pray for her to God to give her something she really wanted . As she shared to me and she knew that I am a Christian. She said “ Please Claire, pray to God to give me …, and I also will pray to Allah for you “.
            Did I feel offended? Just the opposite- I felt so touched.
            And I never had discussed with her my Christian beliefs. I wear a small cross down on my neck , often hidden from my tops, sometimes visible.
            It did not offend my Jewish boyfriend nor any other non Christians or non believers that I interact with.
            Nor I ever asked my Narc ex husband to accompany me going to the Church. He did it once because he wanted.
            He is a non believer.

            NA, I won’t comment further on that topic.
            My mind is elsewhere these days so maybe my comments are not quite clear.

  5. yes, nice visual and I get it. A little on the goopy side but okay..are we “allowed” to be honest about are reactions to HG’s essays? I wouldn’t say anything critical because it is most beneficial. Just the delivery on this one was a bit predictable. Perhaps its the LOGIC kicking in.

    For the record….I NEVER imagined anything other than perfection the minute you told me to imagine. I mean why wouldn’t you want perfection? LB has a perfectly manicured lawn in front of his most prominent house in the town. That’s why I knew you would have perfection. Its the facade you keep. Anything less would be diminish your power. Anything less would allow someone else to be better than you.

  6. Just WOW! No one can flourish in your toxic garden. Why must you continue the damage? I know it feeds your toxic fuel. The monster in you never rests. In the end your soul will burn…

    1. Tina, From my perspective, the ‘toxic’ seeds that spoil the garden were planted by the generation prior. The child sows the seeds the parent planted on many levels (genetically, epigenetically, behaviorally, psychologically). Why would you carelessly pass judgement on such a child or the adult that endured such treatment? How such a child copes is a direct result of the GDP and LOCE sewn by the parent. Would you send their soul to burn? So much for empathy and compassion. Perhaps your attention is best reserved for picking the weeds from your own garden?

      HG, You have a soul.

      1. Wow. Wasn’t meant to be disrespectful. HG said he has no soul. Perhaps take that matter up with him.

        1. Tina, Mr. Tudor’s beliefs are his own and I respect that. I already shared my view. What I take issue with are those who pass judgement without full understanding or compassion. It reveals far more about the person passing the judgement.

          1. Trust me I have lots of empathy and compassion thus the reason I was entangled by a narc for seven years.

          2. You’re judging me because you say I have no compassion. I’m just following what HG Tudor says about narcs… they are evil and destroy lives and have an empty dark soul. His judgment isn’t mine. I’m not in this to banter . I’m following his guidance… stay away ::get out and stay out. from these evil people. If you want to bless him and those like him. That’s your choice.

          3. Tina, I am not judging you, I know nothing of you. I am stating that your judgement, “In the end your soul will burn…,” is indeed your own and not HG’s nor God’s.

            I am sorry to hear of your ensnarement with a N; that is no doubt what elevated your ET and lead you to your harsh comment. I trust you possess empathy and compassion in other areas. What I am suggesting is you take a broader view to see all sides and seek to understand instead of judge. I wish you well and hope you heal your wounds from N abuse and remain N free.

      2. FYC,

        I agree with your comment. I also agree that Mr. HG Tudor has a soul and that only God’s judgment determines the soul’s destiny.

        Mr. HG Tudor is loved by many people. Even the man behind the pseudonym is loved.

        1. Nifilly—I know I’ve been a secondary and adored a few narcissists when aligned in this way. So I agree. Yet, I often think of those they weren’t so kind to. It’s an unusual situation.

          1. Lorelei,

            I agree it’s an unusual situation. Yes, sometimes they are not very kind but in my opinion, other than in extreme situations “bad behavior” can be exhibited in many forms, including weakness and laziness.

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