Who Is Sleeping In Your Bed?



I am asleep and you are not. There I am. Sound asleep, eyes closed in blissful repose seemingly unaffected by what unfolded earlier. My chest rises and falls in a slow rhythm, my breathing relaxed and regular. There may come a time when you want to halt that breathing. You may wish to place one of those full pillows across my peaceful face and press down with all your strength and will. You may wish to press it tight against my mouth and nose, leaning what bodyweight you have in order to prevent my frantic scrabbling hands from ripping away the pillow so I can breathe once again. That desire, although you will not do it, few have the willpower to see it through, may well appear time and time again and sooner than you think. The image of snuffing out such a toxic life through the concerted application of something so innocuous as a pillow. It is unlikely to be the only image which takes up residence in your head. Pictures of slips off cliffs, a hit and run, a toaster in the bath, some obscure and undetectable poison administered in a setting where there would be more suspects that Cluedo. So many murderous scenarios which you may well come to envisage say exactly as you are now. In our bed. In the middle of the night.

I sleep soundly, the sleep of the just and the righteous. The earlier incident has not troubled me. Or is it that I have fallen asleep in the stupor of drink, the alcoholic fumes having coaxed me into a coma? Then again, might it be a reliance on certain prescription drugs that I repeatedly avail myself of which has rendered me dead to the world? It may be any of those things, but whichever it is, I am asleep and you are not. You remain awake because you cannot sleep. You are sat, knees drawn to your chest, eyes fixed on me as your mind whirls. Amongst all the tumbling thoughts, the whirling considerations and the surging memories, one thought above all dominates, repeats and looms large.

Who is he?

What has prompted such earnest consideration? It was an isolated incident. Perhaps a savage rebuke when all seemed peaceful. A pleasant day that suddenly was torn apart by the acidic tongue which sprayed cutting remarks in your direction. You remember how I looked. It did not seem like me. I appeared possessed. Eyes darkened, brow furrowed, mouth twisted and expression set in one of hatred. You had never witnessed that before. In fact, you found the way I looked more frightening than what I said. Where did that come from? You are struggling to remember how the argument began. Something to do with not listening, that was it, but how it escalated. The irritation lasted but a moment before anger, rage and fury erupted and you found yourself shrinking away from this verbal violence. This had never happened before. Everything had been so wonderful. Yes, you had heard a couple of people remark about my temper but in all those blissful months you had never seen it appear once. Even during testing times, I remained calm, serene, almost glacial at times when the pressure mounted. That was part of why you admired me. My ability to keep my head. So what just happened but a few hours earlier? Who was that? It did not seem like me, but it had to have been me, there was nobody else in the room.

Now you sit in the still of the bedroom. The low glow from the lamp to your left shining across my features. There is no anger etched upon my face now. I look just how I always look when I sleep, as if nothing in the world could matter. You have often stayed up and watched over me, happy to stroke my chest or my brow, my occasional murmurs of satisfaction and the slight upturning of my mouth denoting the contentment that I derive from your attentive ministrations. So, I lie there, just as I would any other night. Sleeping. Calm. Tranquil. I am just the same as I always am on every other night when you have watched over me. Yet, still the question comes again. Who was that who appeared earlier?

Following the eruption, I went out and left you. You did not know what to do at first. You felt shell-shocked. Once you had gathered yourself you telephoned your best friend and explained what had happened, providing her with every detail of the wonderful day beforehand and every frame of the storm which blew up in an instant.

“Oh it’s nothing,” she said in her familiar reassuring voice, “couples argue, Pete and me we are always having rows. Let him cool off, he will be fine. Now, tell me about that new book you mentioned the other day, is it any good.”

Your best friend brushed it off. Perhaps she was right. After all, don’t all couples fall out at some time? Of course. Your parents did not do so, not often anyway, so perhaps you have an unrealistic idea of how you should get on together. Despite her reassurances you remained worried and called your sister.

“Blimey, that is a surprise,” she remarked after hearing your recollection, “he is always so lovely, I didn’t think he had it in him. He will be back. They always come back, he is probably feeling a bit of a tit for shouting at you and just needs to go and have a beer or something. Seriously, it is nothing to worry about.”

But worry you did. The succession of calls was made to other friends, your brother and your grandmother. They all rolled out reassurance and posited platitude in order to assuage your concerns.

“Oh don’t be so sensitive, you’ve had your first argument, welcome to the club.”

“I bet he is stressed, probably working too hard, you did say he has been working long hours recently. I bet he comes back with an apology and flowers. Just give him some space for an hour or two.”

“I would go berserk if I had to live with you sis, no, seriously, he is just letting off steam, you two are great together.”

“Oh your granddad had a foul temper but we never went to bed on an argument. That’s how we were married for fifty years. You expect too much; you have to work at a relationship my dear.”

They all thought along similar lines. It is part and parcel of a relationship. It just hurts because it is the first time. You want to hug me and say sorry for worrying so much but you do not want to disturb me. You chastise yourself for thinking too much into it. Of course, you always over-think things and as everybody said I came back. I returned after a couple of hours, smiled and took you in my arms as if nothing had happened. You did not want to talk about the incident. That black mark on an otherwise golden day and therefore you did not. Your relief at my smiling return was so great you did not want to let go of me and we stood hugging for several minutes. The rest of the evening passed with dinner and a film before heading to bed together where I fell asleep in an instant.

I showed no concern at what had gone on. There was no apology but you didn’t mind. You hadn’t any desire to re-visit what had happened, at least you did not want to do so with me, but you have not been able to help doing so for the last two hours as you have sat here in bed, looking at me, wondering and pondering. Those words were so venomous, that expression so hateful, even now the memory makes you feel on edge. Still, everybody you spoke to reassured you and they must be right mustn’t they, if they all thought along similar lines? People who have had longer relationships than you. They clearly know something about it and everybody played it down. It must be you over-reacting to a spat, a frightening one, but perhaps that was all it was. A one-off. An isolated incident. You hope it is because you did not like that person who I turned into, not one bit. You do not want to meet him again. He is not the person you fell in love with. He is not the person you adore and care for. He is not the person you moved in with and want to be with for the rest of your life. You did not recognise him. Whoever he was, he does not belong in your bed.

There I sleep. At ease. Content. Untroubled. You think you know me. You think you know who sleeps in your bed with you.

You have no idea.

That’s how easily it starts and neither you or anybody else knows the truth of who is sleeping in your bed.

7 thoughts on “Who Is Sleeping In Your Bed?

  1. alexissmith2016 says:

    HG is Ulrika Johnson one of yours or ours? She certainly has a bit of a history of short relationships but is that her or her choices in men? She seems really lovely yet hopelessly devoted to finding love.

  2. Fiddleress says:

    This is a great description of how it starts, and how unhelpful supposedly more experienced people can be.

    My closest friend is very empathetic, if not an empath, and she seemed even ‘better’ than me at finding Nex excuses; because like in the article, at least the N’s partner knows that something is seriously wrong, she can feel it. And other people’s reassurances only serve to reinforce the feeling of guilt at ‘complaining’. Then you find yourself with no one to turn to, around you. And you get trapped because it takes more than courage to go against everyone else’s uninformed views (except you don’t see it like this), and take flight.

    We need to trust our instinct. If we are viewed as ‘too sensitive’ for a particular situation, well then, so be it.
    Then one day, we come across someone who tells us “here are the reasons you feel/felt that way; you did nothing wrong”. To quote HG.

  3. lickemtomorrow says:

    That old gut instinct. Telling you something is terribly wrong, but no one else sees it. The narcissist makes sure they don’t. To others it appears as a glitch which is normal in all relationships. You convince yourself of the same.

    I used to get the blame for this from others at times. I can be challenging. It wasn’t him, it was me.

    He wasn’t the only one who had me second guessing myself.

    1. blackcoffee30 says:

      But did you know? Had you heard of narcissists?

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Hi BC30, no, I had not heard of narcissists in the heady early days of the relationship. What alerted me to the issue was a friendship situation. That started me on the path of discovery, but with my narc already entrenched, I was oblivious. LOL to the fact I was discussing all this with him!

        As the relationship unfolded, gradually I became subject to elements of devaluation. I didn’t know what they were, of course, and didn’t always divulge these instances as I tried to work it out myself, often blamed myself, and generally didn’t want others to think poorly of him. Or me. Now there’s a kicker … There wasn’t anything ‘blatant’ about it. Most things could be easily explained away. What was the point in telling anyone if that was the case? No one would believe me, or play down the issues. And for the times I did bring it up with others, the fact was I had protected him, he had made a good impression and I am known to be outspoken as well. It was easy to see me as the culprit and these the machinations of any normal relationship.

        Having endured narcissistic relationships in the past/all my life, in some ways I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. But, what I did see is what I would refer to as temper tantrums, which were rather odd for a mature adult and at times I compared him to a toddler, and triangulations which ultimately were unacceptable to me. That was the thing that brought the relationship to its knees on more than one occasion. And it was one such triangulation which ended the relationship permanently.

        So, I didn’t know he was a narcissist, had a gut reaction to some things that were happening, but ultimately chose not to reveal those at times and when I did they could be viewed as the normal machinations of the relationship. There was no overt abuse. The subtleties all lay within he confines of the relationship and would be hard to prove outside of it.

        I would have loved someone to be a fly on the wall and see what was happening, point it out, tell me to GOSO. But, the truth is I probably would not have taken their advice. I would have been glad to be validated in the circumstances, but that would not have been enough to make me leave. I had to be brought to the end of the road. He had to bring me there and I had to say enough was enough.

        1. blackcoffee30 says:


          Thank you. If someone had told me, I may not have believed it. I’ll never know. What I do know is that none of it made sense to me. When I found out about narcissists post-escape it was like I heard the tumblers and levers slam into place, and everything became crystal clear.

          I was not IPPS, so my devaluation was a bit different. I remember once him very proudly telling me that he was good at cutting to the quick because he always knew a person’s insecurities. I was flabbergasted that he thought that was a positive thing. He didn’t do it to me but once.

          He brought me carrot cake, which is my favorite, and as I was eating said I was really “putting it away.” I was hurt, but shrugged my shoulders and carried on. I never liked when he did the small things to hurt me, especially the triangulation. I never let on. I was bullied as a child and got good at not letting the hurt show. It probably frustrated him.

          I didn’t know, but he went a bridge too far, and I ghosted.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi BC30, I love the way you describe the tumblers and levers falling into place and things becoming crystal clear. The was my experience exactly. I didn’t discover HG’s site until post relationship (nearly two months later), but I had been watching videos on YouTube and read various articles which were giving me greater insight. I remember the very first time I came across HG while I was watching these videos and narcex and I were still together. I clicked into the topic and as I started listening I thought “this is weird, this guy is talking like he’s the narcissist” 😛 Little did I know I would end up in this space one day! But, what a benefit it has been so far. That still surprises me, and disconcerts me at times, too.

            My awareness had been building prior to the end of the relationship and those old cogs were whirring away in an effort to expose him. When it came to the final episode of triangulation, I knew exactly what he was doing. I called him out on it without naming it. As I did so, I knew it signalled the permanent end of the relationship for me. Everything now added up, and I wasn’t going to be his play thing anymore. I’d finally taken hold of my dignity and self respect again. No battering ram was ever going to break down the defences I was now putting into place.

            I think somehow BC30, you already had some of your defences in place. That is a very good thing. That some of those might pertain to past experience is not a bad thing in itself, but being bullied as a child is a very damaging thing. It can cause us to take more crap than we should because we’ve taken crap before. We’re used to it. We’ve hardened ourselves to the slings and arrows, so to speak. So, while he mightn’t have been able to get a reaction out of you, it sounds like it was also a wake up call related to past experiences.

            To my mind the fact you got out of there says that you have taken those experiences and used them to your benefit now, and that’s exactly what I intend to do with this situation.

            And don’t forget. We’ve all got insecurities. Even the narcissist.

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