The Sense of Loss
People always struggle with loss. It might be at the top of the scale where you have suffered a bereavement and lost a well-loved family member. It could be the loss of your home where you have lived for twenty years, owing to damage or repossession. It may be the loss of your job, a loss of good health all the way down to something far less important but a loss never the same, of your favourite restaurant when it closes or your daily caffeine injection from a coffee shop because you are economising. Take something away from someone and they will experience sadness, frustration, upset, anger and sometimes confusion. Since people are governed by emotions rather than cool, hard logic, the loss of something often has a devastating and traumatic effect, especially in respect of major losses such as a spouse or partner. Once upon a time your parents seemed as if they would live forever. They were always there. They raised you, guided you and supported you. They let you find your own way through life but if ever you needed them they were always there to listen and help and then one day you find they have gone and you are left with a huge black hole in your life. Your best friend who you have known for over twenty-five years was a huge part of your life. You spoke daily, laughed about your younger selves and the scrapes you got into, supported one another and cruised through life like the dynamic duo until they have gone and you feel a massive void since their departure to the next life or another continent, dependent on the circumstances. Remove something from a person’s life and they are left with hurt, despondency and despair. This is all the more so when it is something or someone wonderful and delightful. Then the emptiness becomes a howling wilderness.
Of course we are fully aware of how loss affects people from our repeated study of people. We also know that being able to gift someone something wonderful and then remove it, is a sign of considerable power. A power that can be wielded with considerable effects. The power of withdrawal, even if just threatened, can bring about an extreme reaction in the subject. This is something we are fully aware of and something which we take advantage of.
We gave you everything in the beginning. We provided you with a love beyond compare, a dizzying array of compliments, a barrage of desire and a tsunami of flattery. We raised you up, higher and higher and sprayed you with affection, passion and generosity. The light was bright, warm and golden and we let it shine every day just for you. We allowed you to bask in this golden period of utter ecstasy and in return you gave us everything that you had in pursuit of the maintenance of this golden period. Without warning we withdrew it. The door was closed and the shutters lowered and once where you had walked happily and freely you too found yourself transported to the howling wilderness where you stood alone beneath grey, leaden skies as a cold and unforgiving wind whipped around you. It felt like someone had died.
Whereas once we uttered such sweet, sweet words to you, there is now only silence. The reassuring embrace of our arms and lips has somehow vanished and you feel stripped and vulnerable. All of the places we took you to and shared seem so distant and you begin to wonder whether they really happened. Alone and distraught,you wander this wilderness searching for us. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of us but in an instant we have disappeared as you stumble along. The kindness has been removed. The long nights of sexual congress which went beyond anything you have experienced before has been taken away, leaving your bed a cold,hard slab where rest is to be endured rather than enjoyed. If we even grace you with our presence in that place where we once coupled each and every night, a writhing mass of limbs and mouths that explored and pleasured, all you know now is our back which is defiantly presented to you each night. That’s if we even come to bed at all. The spare room or the sofa seem to attract us more than you these days.
We know that taking away this passion, desire, interest, largesse and kindness is like a hammer blow. It is as if we have died but yet you can still see us, touch us and hear us which makes the sense of loss even greater and all the more confusing. Like a pet-owner dangling a bone in front of a salivating puppy, we occasionally open the shutters and allow the golden period to return and the joy and the relief which washes over you at the restoration of his oh most glorious time is electrifying and so is the extent of your gratitude and delight. Yet it is ephemeral. It is like a wonderful dream that has transported you away from all the hurt and misery, but just like a dream when you open your eyes in the morning, it has gone.
The power that comes with withdrawal and your predictable reaction to it, mean that it is a method of manipulation that cannot be ignored. To bestow and then deny has you caught in the strings of our puppetry as we jerk you back and forth between granting those things that you desire the most and then taking them away from you. Your reactions and the control this grants us means that it is so simple yet so effective and something we can never withdraw from doing.
46 thoughts on “The Sense of Loss”
Have you never consulted with HG? I was just curious because of the questions you ask Cloudy. Oh sweetie if you have never consulted with HG please do so as soon as possible. Even though you have said you do not miss your narc and would never go back, there is still an undertone that I believe I feel which I’m sure HG can help you with. If I’m wrong and you were simply trying to guide Cloudy in that direction, I apologise.
Oh, I have consulted with HG and know it’s value! I need to consult again, however, due to a recent turn of events.
I asked Cloudy those questions because I recognize the pattern of turning away from one’s own hurt by offering supportive statements to another and I was hoping that Cloudy might share a bit more personally instead of deflecting. I have a tendency of doing that type of behaviour myself. But I also respect Cloudy’s choice not to and I could be reading more into the situation.
Plus, I recall Cloudy organizing a consult and I was genuinely wondering if it occurred and if it helped.
Just like you with cloudy WC, I thought I also recognized the pattern of turning away from one’s own hurt, by offering to help and support someone else. A true empath you are dear WC. Purchase that consult dear! 💞
Thank-you FM1T 💙
Feels like I need a compass to find my lost route
For a while I felt completely rudderless after escaping my narcissist. At times it still takes everything in me to stay on course.
Take heart. As long as you steer clear of the narcissist’s manipulations, the route will become clearer.
Keep up the great work staying away from your narc.
Doing my best. Thank-you Cloudy.
Do you miss your narc?
The only time I missed my narc was in the beginning – when I missed the illusion of what he represented.
I am not one that continues to feel a draw towards my narc. In fact, if laws and finances permitted I’d take myself as far away as possible from him. (Now I know why his previous ex did just that: stole herself and her children away from him. And I used to think she was a terrible person.)
I understand, however, why some do miss their narc.
Hang in there.
Sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience.
It’s okay; I am free and never going back.
Have you consulted with HG? Was it helpful?
This piece re-emerges at the perfect time for me, but not in a romantic context.
I felt something strange happening at work in the last couple weeks and I now am sure this is what my Narc boss is doing with the team—giving a desired project to one team member while taking away from another and then giving the project back.
It’s gifting, withdrawing, and triangulation at the same time.
It’s a relatively new team and my guess is Narc boss is testing out the control.
I was in ET territory in recent days about it because it was unclear what Narc boss is doing (instinctually, it seems). With this piece, I can let the Logic reign as I navigate the situation.
Thank you, HG.
You are welcome.
“The power that comes with withdrawal and your predictable reaction to it, mean that it is a method of manipulation that cannot be ignored.” Withdrawal was my narc’s favorite method of manipulation after triangulation. Unfortunately for him, when we still were just “friends,” he happened to tell me his ex-wife (a very attractive and super successful woman) left him because she complained he was too childish and he withdrew affection from her. She also said to him she was tired of having to work extra to make it work. He started withdrawing every time he considered I wounded him for anything trivial. He hurt me very deeply, making me feel ignored and replaced, triangulating me with another woman. I know this is very narcy, but he had been using my vulnerabilities to abuse me so I did the same. I knew this would ring a bell on him.
I told him I was tired of dealing with a child; I told him I didn’t like how he withdrew affection from me; and I told him I didn’t need him because he was just an extra in mi life. I know it wounded him in some way because months after that he was still posting things about being “extra special.” Yes damn extra you are. Extra ridiculous. Extra embarrassing. Extra premature in you know what. I still have episodes of high ET because I miss the friend he never was. Then I remember the triangulation and the withdrawal in times of need and I wish I had been more vile even. But I couldn’t because I felt sorry while I did all that.
More vile is more fuel.
Yes but sometimes I feel like being the bad guy. And then I cry because I’m fluffy and soft and stupid.
You are not fluffy, soft and stupid! Well maybe fluffy and soft, definitely not stupid! It’s ok to be sensitive and have feelings, there is nothing wrong with being someone who genuinely cares about other people and there feelings. I had someone tell me just recently that they wished they could be a SE and let everything just slide off of them and not care. I don’t believe that is true at all. I think they hurt just like the rest of us do, they are just able to move on and use that hurt and pain differently. But it is still there. We have quite a few SE right here on the blog, NA and Alexis being two of them. If you have ever read NAs story you will know there was very much pain involved in her life, but she took that pain and turned it into a shield to protect herself with! She didn’t have time to worry about her pain as she was trying to find away to survive her situation. But even NA will show that fluffy side once in a great while ( God I’m going to hear about that one ) I think honestly Sweet Pea some are just better at hiding and controlling that soft fluffy side then others are, but unless you are a narcissist, it is in all of us empaths. Don’t feel bad or change who and what you are Sweet Pea. Stay fluffy and soft! 💞😘
Well the fluffy and soft is figuratively of course because I’ve been working on these planks really hard, hahaha! Thank you, FM1T! I believe if you are an empath, no matter what school and cadre, you suffer. Whether you have more resilience or show it more or less doesn’t make a difference, we all care too much. I can be mean for a moment and then lose sleep questioning my integrity. But I prefer to be like that than being a human icicle. Btw, life is better here on the blog since I downloaded the app and can receive notifications! Viva!
You will never be an icicle SP! I’m happy you figured out and downloaded the app. I’ve missed seeing reading your comments. 💞
Your words to SweetP made me cry this morning. Very perceptive.
I’m sorry I made you cry WC, it wasn’t my intention at all. I just become tired of people always telling me I’m to sensitive or emotional! If I am well then that is who I’m suppose to be and I’m tired of people making us feel as if there is something wrong with us because we are like that. If you think about it, we are actually stronger then most, we have come through some life altering shit in our lives and yet in the end we still have feelings and emotions for other’s. We still see good in everyone. 😘💞
Yes, “you’re too sensitive / you take everything too personal / you care too much / you are way too passionate about things / you are too emotional / why are you a drama magnet?…” I have heard things like these my whole life. And I wanna scream and answer: because I feeeeeel!!!!
Well, that makes two of us Sweet Pea! 🥰
No need to apologize FM1T. I was already emotional today, to start with, and the honesty and perception in your words touched me. You’re right, we can turn our emotional tendencies into a strength to use on our own behalf – with the right focus – and when we no longer feel at the mercy of them. It isn’t always easy but definitely possible.
“If you think about it, we are actually stronger then most, we have come through some life altering shit in our lives and yet in the end we still have feelings and emotions for other’s”
You said it!
WhoCares, Mondays suck! Hope your day gets better 😘
It got better just commenting with the two of you SP! 😘
There you go again FM1T – honest and perceptive.
Aww thanks WC! It must be the geyser in me, or it could be the CoD, and yet it just might be the Contagion!! Hahaha! I’m definitely a Hienz 57 that’s for sure!! 🥰
FM1T – haha, it might be mix of them all ! That’s what I have been learning about myself lately.
Oh WC I know for sure that’s what it is for me! I’m still not sure if finding all of this out is a good thing or not?I definitely understand though why HG calls me a work in progress! Hahaha!
“I’m still not sure if finding all of this out is a good thing or not?”
I think it is! Knowing my empathic strengths – and limitations – has helped me (especially recently) in making some horrendously difficult decisions. Knowing how and why I do the things that I do, in the way that I do them, gives me power over them. That puts me in the driver’s seat and not some unconscious motivation that has yet to see the light.
HG might call you a work in progress, but you’re an original, one-of-a-kind FM1T. Don’t ever change.
Thank you WC, I’m one of a kind all right! Haha. Can’t wait to see what I do Friday night? It’s Friday the 13th plus a full moon! Jesus I should just lock myself in HGs dungeon until it’s all over! Hahaha!
It makes me happy to know that you are working with your empathic traits WC and are finally the one that is in control! I still have trouble with that from time to time but recently I have been studying trauma and the effects it has on someone who has lived a physical and emotionally abusive life. I’m actually surprised at what I’m discovering. Please don’t ever give up WC, there is always someone here to listen and offer help if we can. Never forget HG can get you through anything! 💞
Whocares, I’ll butt in on you and Foolme—I get what you are saying about understanding limitations and using that to take some control. Excellent statement! I also think that we have one edge in that we don’t require control in the moment. We can calculate and be level headed & strategic when absolutely necessary in some situations. For instance, my ex is making double my salary and I was told this by someone he thinks likes him. (he switched companies and is making a hefty salary) I am able to really plot out what to do and whether or not I take action because I don’t need control of the situation by “taking his money” right now. I discussed it with my family, we are doing a wait and see. If he leaves me alone I will stay quiet because ultimately I am getting exactly what I want. Dare he inflict malign behavior for some reason and I’ll bite if necessary. We can calculate and plan based on a multitude of factors that override their innate need for control that mid rangers and lessers have to have in the moment. I also have to be careful depending on some other secondary income issues and I’m able to be multi-faceted in my thinking and not hot headed/reactive. So, while I hate the “empath” thing it does have advantages in some areas.
SweetP – you’re right, Mondays do indeed suck sometimes. Thank-you.
Have a good week ❤️
There you go WC!! Chin up!! 😘💞
WC, Whatever the challenge, I know you will prevail and things will look up soon. Nonetheless I am sorry you are dealing with another hurdle. I’m sure your adorable puppy would love to take your mind off whatever it is! Sending you a hug too.
WC, FM1T & SP, I agree, it takes greater strength to have deep emotions and emotional empathy and a degree of bravery to honor both and remain authentic (whether these emotions are shown on the surface or kept deep within). It seems those who are critical lack these emotions, or have not yet accepted or know how to deal with their own emotions.
“….I have heard things like these my whole life.”
Stay fluffy and soft, but carry a bottle, in case you need to glass someone.
I can do that. Though I will drink it first and then use it as a weapon.
But I said it without anger. Just because. The least thing I wanted is to cry or get mad in front of him.
I can’t believe I was drawn in by another one. I just spent the past few months enthralled with a quiet, unassuming man who just seemed to want some good friends and maybe a date. When I called him out on some strange behavior, he responded by lying, gaslighting, lying some more, accusing me of jealousy, accusing me of having mental health problems, and then pretending to take the high road by letting me see our mutual friends this week.
What baffles me is how each and every narcissist I’ve encountered responds the same way when the bottom falls out of the relationship: they double down on what they did in the hopes that you’ll cave and agree with their take on reality. I didn’t budge an inch this time and got in the first blow of saying I didn’t want to see him as we had planned. It’s so satisfying to be able to recognize immediately what is happening and just walk away. I feel no sense of loss this time, just a bit of shock at watching it all repeat itself again.
HG, what does an initial grand hoover typically look like?
Please see the book No Contact.
It’s the quiet and unassuming ones that some of us really have to watch out for.
Good for you, paying attention, making the call and getting out!
For mine, I’m pretty sure he’s a dismissive-avoidant attachment style. And I know enough about him and his upbringing/ life, that I think Complex PTSD isn’t out of the question, either. I was on Pete Walker’s website the other day reading about the 4Fs (fight, flight, freeze and fawn), how they had to be using in dysfunctional upbringings when there was no escape, and how the behaviors manifest in adulthood. He said non alpha males tend to end up a flight/ freeze hybrid. Mine is like that. And I also know from my own history, which parts I relate to for myself. Interesting stuff.
Also with mine, I’m reminded of that Sartre play No Exit, where the 3 people were trapped in hell (hell being trapped in a room together). And they were constantly seeing themselves reflected back, through the eyes of the others. “Hell is other people”. Mine is like that, all okay with himself when he acts like an a**hole and withdraws, and the feedback he gets from others is, no you’re not, you’re an a**hole. He’s lost many, many people in his life because of his behavior, and I also know he does go through crippling bouts of loneliness (there’s a lot more going on there than just the narcissism), but he’s isolated himself and pushed everyone away because it’s all about him and what he’s thinking/ feeling at any given moment, so then when he wants contact or human interaction, there aren’t many people left to give it to him because of his previous emotionally abusive / pushing away behaviors. Yet he does have that “toxic logic” as described in an article here- he does what he wants, when he wants, and screw the consequences, or how it’s going to affect anyone else, when he’s spinning in that present – hedonistic mindset.
That “hedonistic mindset” sounds familiar to me.