Christmas is on the horizon. A veritable fuel frenzy for my kind and a period anticipated with dread by many of our victims. There are those who know only too well the behaviour that will be engaged in which will cause Christmas Day and the surrounding days to descend into misery and chaos. They fear the encroaching festival having endured it year after year. There are others who may be in that first difficult year after their discard and will look back on how Christmas with the narcissist, that first Christmas exceeded any Christmas which had taken place beforehand. Everything was perfect. From the gift shopping together, the family parties, the romantic walks in the snow on a crisp afternoon to the exchange of thoughtful gifts amidst the seasonal and festive surrounds. It was picture perfect and of course was just us hijacking the most wonderful time of the year for our own purposes, using the heightened emotional experience of Christmas to meld with our seduction to make it simply irresistible. The joy and rapture experienced, whether it was attending that first Midnight Mass together, kissing under the mistletoe or singing carols on the way home from the pub, is long gone. All that remains is the memory of that wonderful time and it hurts to be reminded of just how wonderful it was last year, compared to how empty and barren it now feels.
The appetite for Christmas in either case is hugely diminished. The latter, the discarded victim finds no joy in anything any more. There is no desire to deck the halls, no want to attend parties and instead they want the whole thing to be over with as soon as possible. For the former, there is the expectation of grinning and bearing it, making it as good as he or she possibly can, albeit with that lurking fear of it all being brought crashing to the ground as a consequence of the narcissistic temper tantrum that will inevitably appear. Just when you thought it was safe to breathe a sigh of relief, having apparently got through the day unscathed, the narcissist will unleash some kind of fuel seeking behaviour from out of nowhere. Thus, you want the whole thing to be over with as soon as possible.
Yet for our kind, Christmas presents an extravaganza of fuel-gathering activities. From the antics that will be engaged in during the Secret Santa at work, through the attention-seeking activities over Christmas lunch through to the opportunities afforded to draw in addition fuel at alcohol-infested parties, Christmas is a time of optimum fuel gathering. Chief ingredient however amongst this is the sense of expectation. It has been drummed into you to want a perfect Christmas – chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose – the elegant Christmas tree, carols drifting across the frozen air from outside, the feast prepared for all to eat, the beautifully wrapped presents sat beneath the tree, the family traditions, the mandated goodwill to all. There is meant to be peace, happiness and joy. Expectations are raised and of course this just creates more targets for us to aim at.
You have worked hard to ensure the house is spotless, festooned with festive finery, presents bought and wrapped, relatives organised to attend, cupboards fit to burst with fayre and drink. You have endured the mayhem at supermarkets and department stores, anxiously waited for the delivery drivers to bring your online purchases and so forth. You have created the perfect Christmas tableaux and we are ready with our wrecking ball all in the name of fuel.
For the fortunate few who are in the heady days of seduction, Christmas will be truly magical. Nobody does Christmas like our kind – be it the amazing or the abhorrent. As creatures of the extreme, we surpass all belief. For another lucky group, Christmas may well coincide with a Respite Period and thus all is golden, if only for a few days as we put on our best behaviour and drink up the positive fuel lavished on us by grateful friends and family who are relieved not to have to tread on egg(nog)shells this year.
For the majority however, it is to be endured as we disrupt, spoil, wreck and bring drama on the one time when you really, really do not want it. All in the name of fuel as we greedily drink up your frustrated tears, your angry rants and sobbing hysteria as we ruin yet another Christmas.
So, since all we want for Christmas is fuel, what can you expect from our kind at Christmas? The list is almost endless and here are but some of the behaviours that we roll out at this time of year.
- Failing to buy you anything or something inappropriate such as a flashlight from the garage last minute.
- Berating what you buy for us no matter how thoughtful, how expensive or even if we asked for it.
- Refusing to participate in party games or engaging in them and throwing a hissy fit when we lose or engaging in excessive pettiness about the rules.
- Turning up late or not at all for scheduled festive events.
- Talking in church so people turn and look at us.
- Eating food that was to be saved for other people
- Making the carol singers stand and sing for some time without offering them anything
- Not helping you at all with preparation for Christmas
- Arguing about which visitors to receive and when
- Telling the children that Santa Claus is not real so they cry.
- Telling people what has been bought for them before they can open their present.
- Failing to thank people for gifts or putting their gift choices down
- Sending obviously recycled gifts to other people
- Attending other people’s parties and being drunk and obnoxious
- Excessive flirting with other people much to the embarrassment of our other half and hosts
- Refusing to play carols and insisting on unseasonal dance music or thrash metal being played
- Fiddling on our ‘phones at every opportunity – during Christmas lunch, at church, when the children are opening their presents, when attending drinks at someone else’s house
- Purposefully disappearing at inopportune times – Christmas lunch, carol concert, present opening
- Picking a fight over trivial items such as the pigs in blankets not being done the way we like them, or too many red baubles being placed on the tree.
- Purposefully breaking gifts
- Inviting people round and then refusing to answer the door to them
- Telling children that you have spoken to Santa and he will not be visiting because they have been bad
- Photoshopping a picture of Santa lying in a pool of blood and showing the children telling them that Christmas is cancelled
- Refusing to give you sufficient money to buy things at Christmas or claiming that certain things cannot be afforded and then spending a large sum on ourselves
- Preventing you from attending social events without us
- Putting down your choice of attire when attending a Christmas event
- Not clapping and even booing when attending a Christmas show or pantomime
- Making grand entrances at parties, grand flourishes when giving presents and ensuring that all eyes are on us.
- Getting drunk and insulting people
- Competing with the neighbours for the most illuminated and decorated house in the street
- Refusing to get out of bed on Christmas morning
- Attending sporting events around Christmas and not family ones
- Hogging the television and selecting non-Christmas programmes
- Demanding the decorations be taken down the day after Christmas
- Switching off the oven part way through your cooking so it is either delayed or ruined and then blaming you
- Watching you slave over a hot stove and then suggesting to everybody that you go out to eat instead
- Turning up empty-handed at parties and blaming you for forgetting the gift/food/drink.
- Lavishing attention on one person and ignoring everybody else
- Walking around with mistletoe and kissing people for far too long
- Disrupting/being awkward concerning co-parenting over the Christmas period.
It all adds up to bah humbug!
What have been your narc nightmares at Christmas?