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.

37 thoughts on “My Secret Garden

  1. Nadine says:

    Dear HG,

    you are the greatest writer ever!

    Do you think, do you write some books about other themes, not only narcissism. You could write drama, thriller, crime, erotic.
    And all we be best seller!

    Please, write some erotic thriller -with a litle be narc as juwel!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Have you accessed Dark Cupid?

  2. Rebecca says:

    Asp Emp,
    My husband was yelling at me during my lunch time today. He was on the phone, on speaker and everyone at work today had the live show. How embarrassing and it pissed me off. I had a few things to say before I hung up on him. He then sends me a text apologizing for yelling at me ,but he’s been so stressed out over all the mess with his family. His mother passed away recently and I’m floored by his response and his family’s response. Just no tears, discussing it like they’re talking about what’s for dinner. WTH?? And I’ve seen him cry before, like last year when I was leaving him for being verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to me, he starts crying and begging me to give him another chance….he begs for us to go to counseling and he said, if I agree and it doesn’t work out, that he’ll agree to the divorce without a fight. So I agreed. We’re still in the counseling stage, he’s seeing the therapist now. I’ve been getting headaches and having problems sleeping. Anxiety, doubts, fear and confusion…just highly emotional. I need a vacation away from his family and my husband. A good kidnapping would be preferred, not really, scratch that, they might not release me. 😆😫🥺

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Rebecca, I have just found this comment – I would have included more in the comment on ‘The Dirty Dozen’ thread. I understand now, mother in law passed away. I am sorry that you have this loss on your plate at present. The behaviours of the family can be considered as a response to their loss. So, everyone is having their own behavioural reactions to it. Did you share previously that your therapist was going to look, or, rather, pay more attention to your husband’s behaviours? Has your husband always been verbally / emotionally and physically abusive towards you, or was it as a one-off response to an ‘event’ ie something going on at his work or something like that (as you refer to last year)? As for the arrangements of the funeral, if it was me, I’d leave it to the family to sort out as you have enough to deal with? If they fk it up, that is their issue, not yours, ok?

      To be honest with you, as you have said it yourself, have a break away, if you can. The danger is that you can end up getting so burnt out that it would take you longer to bounce back before you can become ‘yourself’ again. I talk from experience in a different way but the “principles” of emotional and mental ‘derailment’ (with the additional and unresolved narcissistic abuse of your past, possibly more narcissistic abuse in your present) has similar outcomes for those who go through it. I believe that you have the strength to ‘come back’.

      But, it sounds as if you need some solid and trusted guidance, maybe have a consult with HG, he will advise you better than I can as he has the expertise. I would suggest that you consider talking with HG about your husband’s behaviours towards you, how long it has been going on and under what circumstances. I totally understand where you are ‘at’ presently and I’d give you a room in my house if I could. Please consider the consult as a starting point for your own personal well-being. Xx

      1. Rebecca says:

        Asp Emp,

        Their behaviors, meaning my husband’s family, are the same as always….when I go over to their home I feel as if I walked into a nest of narcissist and I’ve told HG this and have spoken to HG about my husband and his family, especially his daughter. I’ve been noting her behaviors for a while and I’m pretty sure HG agrees with my assessment of my stepdaughter being a narcissist or narcissistic. His step-dad and one of his brothers show similar behaviors. The other brother shows more empathic behaviors, but he’s on lithium from bipolar diagnosis. His mother was diagnosed bipolar too. Like I said, a nest….I had to get involved with getting the funeral arrangements done because his family were running around like chickens with their heads cut off and all they were doing was clucking at each other and not getting anything done. And they also threw their hands up and looked at me, or more accurately asked my husband to ask me. I reached out to the same funeral home who took care of my parents’ and brother’s funerals and a close friend of mine recently. They know me there and were more than willing to help me out again. They even gave my father in law a break on some of the charges. The owner is a very compassionate person and he always remembers me when we see each other around town.

        And my husband, yes I’m having my therapist look at his behaviors and I told him my concerns about his behaviors. I also told HG about my concerns and going to discuss it further soon. I feel like I’m in limbo right now and it’s very unsettling. I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop and I’m on edge. What else is going to hit me next?

        I need a break, you’re right. I know I need it. I want to go home, home where my family is. I have to make arrangements and I’m dealing with a mess here right now,so no break for me right now. Gotta get stuff done. Ches’ mother is buried, funeral is done, now it’s just getting the insurance policies processed, the funeral home paid and things settled. I can’t stop until it’s done. I just handed in the last paperwork for the insurance policy yesterday, so it should take about 2 weeks for all that to be done. I hope. I do wish I could just pack my bags and just leave all these toxic people behind, but I feel obligations to settle things for them. Shit! I read about that in a HG article….empaths and obligations and how we’re caught by them….name of article will come to me….Sins of the empath? Or was it, OBLIGATIONS and the empath? Shit there’s the web I’m ensnared in…..

      2. Rebecca says:

        Asp Emp,
        Forgot to answer you another question. You asked if my husband has been abusive previously. Yes, it’s why I was divorcing him last year. I paid for the divorce, had him served papers and he flipped. Yelling and shoving me. I barricaded myself in the bedroom and told him to stop or I’d call the police. He left and then came back calmer and begged me, and then started crying to give him another chance. He asked to try therapy for us. We had couples’ therapy, I had my one on one therapy and now my husband is in one on one therapy.Its been a long process. His behavior was getting better, but now he’s getting verbally abusive again. I don’t want him or give him a chance to get physically abusive again. I reached out to HG through email consultation and scheduled audio consultation. I don’t know what else to do. The therapy is taking forever and the therapist isn’t an expert on narcissist like HG. My therapist thinks I know more than he does,which doesn’t make me feel confident in my therapist. I’m at a lost here. I need help. I’m overwhelmed, feel disoriented and I’ve been crying off and on since I got back from the DMV. I feel like I can’t handle anything more on my plate.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Rebecca, thank you for further updates in regard to your situation. That is good that you and the funeral owner have ‘worked’ together previously. The owner is generous to offer a discount, obviously that would have benefited you all in your own ways.

          Yes, I understand that you wishing to see things through RE: funeral, insurance etc. You also recognise that you need a rest (ie get away). This, in itself, shows how much strength (willpower; obligations etc) you have within yourself, despite how weak (ie reaching almost ‘crisis’ point) you may be experiencing at the same time. Wow. Kudos to you.

          RE: your second comment about your husband. It is not for me to actually say what I think you should do because I believe you already know, by reaching out to HG via consultations and by talking about it here (with me). I would suggest that maybe you could consider making some plans, to go separate ways because it seems to me, from what I have read here, that your husband will not “improve”. It also seems that your therapist’s understanding is not as strong as as a house built on concrete foundations compared to a house built upon sand, if you can understand what I mean?

          HG is the only one who knows the ‘systems’ – ie the behaviours of – your husband; your therapist; your family around you right now (not the other family at ‘home’ you have mentioned); you (yourself); how the divorce process may go (ie the speed; length of time etc); how you may be ‘manipulated’ to stay and not leave. What I would also suggest, from what I am reading here, is possibly consider ditching the therapist too, that is my opinion but it may not necessarily be the right one – HG can and will advise you better in regard to this. I don’t know if HG can give some idea of which organisations ie legal services you can approach where it may be outside HG’s ‘remit’ if you will (he can advise not necessarily act as your lawyer if you went down that route). Maybe you would consider a legal support team nearer where your ‘home’ is ie nearer your family that you mentioned?

          Apologies to you, HG, if I have overstepped anything here. Apologies also for the length of my comment.

          I have to say here, that I admire your strength. It serves you well. I can also ‘see’ how deep into the ‘crisis’ you find yourself in. Continue to talk here, more importantly, continue to obtain HG’s assistance, he will give you the guidance to help you ‘solidify’ the foundations to move forward – you are already moving forward. Hang in there. And pack your bags, quietly 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you xx

          1. Rebecca says:

            Asp Emp,

            Thank you for your continued support. I’m getting the narc detector done asap because I need to know 100%, no guessing on my part and then, when I get my answer I’ll know what to do. I’m nervous about the results and I’ve been worrying off and on all day. Thanks for your encouragement too. I’ll keep you informed. Xx

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Rebecca, I am glad to read that you have considered the NDC. I can totally understand your thinking and concerns here. Thank you for sharing your update on this. Hang in there 🙂 x

  3. Contagious says:

    I recall someone saying a relationship is like a garden if not tended it dies. So if one of the gardeners is a narc, the ending is guaranteed.

  4. Kat says:

    I imagine it not unlike a stroll through The Alnwick Garden….

  5. ST says:

    Well written like the real life horror story it is.

    The child of a narc though the story is the opposite. The child is born into the rocky, harsh mountain with thorns and thistles poking the tender soft skin that has never had a chance to toughen up for the real world. The child is just born into the harshness while the narc parent asks the child “why do you cry when the thorn pricks you?” as she picks up a stick to beat the child for being a baby for crying, for annoying her by crying, or not appreciating the garden she so generously lets you live in, or what ever whimsical reason she has at the moment.

    She laughs as she beats you and then smiles and says, “You like being pricked, don’t you? You would never trade this garden for anything would you? This garden is perfect isn’t it?” You agree. She is satisfied, presses a button to transform the ugly harsh garden into a magical, beautiful garden, and opens the door to show off her fake beautiful garden to guests and to show off her well trained, obedient children. Her children are as much objects of the garden as the fake flowers to bring her admiration. They are nothing more. They will be tossed aside with the fake flowers when the guests leave because they are of no more value to her.

    The guests ooh and ahh over the garden, never looking behind the flowers to see the weeds, thorns, and rubbish hiding behind them. They never touch or smell the flowers to see they are fake. They then turn to the child and declare how lucky the child is to have such a beautiful garden and such a wonderful mother who gives them this garden, the child smiles and agrees.

    The gate will be opened for guests to come in and admire the garden countless times as the child will hear and agree to the praises of the mom and her garden over and over again throughout childhood.

    That is the other side of the story.

    1. A Victor says:

      Yes, and then as adults we are drawn in by the fake beautiful garden of some other narcissist convinced this new garden is the real thing and we will have happiness ever after. Once it begins to change and show it’s own ugliness, we accept it because we know it, we feel at home, we think it’s what is normal, for us anyway. We can see that others gardens seem to stay beautiful and we think either they are good at hiding the ugly or that we don’t deserve to have the beauty go on, because we know deep down we are bad, we are undeserving. And do the cycle goes.

      Thank you for your comment ST. Profound.

      1. Rebecca says:

        AV,

        And when we leave their garden, nothing feels comfortable or homely without the thorn pricks, name calling and abuse. When we’re treated good, we either feel bored, waiting for the shoe to drop, or we don’t know what to do without feeling the fight or flight symptoms, everything feels off center and strange without the abuse. The need to have someone to fight, to argue with, stays for the longest time. I find myself drawn to more abusers or addictive personalities. I was born in the thorn bush, didn’t feel the soft petals of the rose.

        1. A Victor says:

          Rebecca, I just wrote a reply to LET on the Parental thread regarding this. I can change my behaviors but first I need to know what needs changing and then I have to talk myself through it every step of the way, and then I have to practice it over and over. It is hugely challenging. But I’m going to keep trying because I want to have a healthy relationship, even those with my kids I am now learning, have been affected. They love me anyway, but those behaviors are hard for them. This later if the onion was just peeled off recently, so it is in the beginning stages. It makes wonder how many other layers there are, is it even possible. The one hope I have is that there are people here who have done it. So I will keep trying. But it is a painful process.

          1. Rebecca says:

            AV,
            I’m always adjusting myself for others, too loud, quiet down, too aggressive, soften a bit, too much energy, try calming, make happy those around me, try,try,try and try…..never really getting there, never good enough…so hard to make happy, everyone, at all times.

          2. A Victor says:

            Stop doing that! You are fine as you are! Believe it!

            I understand exactly what you’re saying. We need to stop though, and really accept ourselves as we are. We are the ones we need to make happy. No one can make anyone else happy, they need to deal with it themselves. If they are a narc, they will not like it, if they are not a narc, they will love us as we are and even be excited for our awakening. My kids are very happy that I’m learning and getting better, even as they reject narcissism generally, it is too much for them. Okay, don’t do it for me though (a little joke), do it for you! 🙂

          3. alexissmith2016 says:

            Do keep going with it AV. It can be achieved.

          4. A Victor says:

            Thank you Alexissmith! You are a wonderful cheerleader and example! PS – are you the Alex that commented from the blog on my YT interview? I have assumed so and didn’t know if it was okay to ask, I hope it is!

        2. ST says:

          Rebecca, “I was born in the thorn bush, didn’t feel the soft petals of the rose”, is so poetically true.

          As for making people happy, it is impossible so don’t even try. I am serious about that. I am not saying to be a jerk and not care, I am saying it is impossible to please everyone so the best route is just to follow the Golden Rule. Do what is right and if you do that, you have done enough. If you believe in God, then just seek to please God. If you don’t believe in God, the principle is still the same, just follow human decency.

          No matter what you do, say, or how you look and dress, there will ALWAYS be someone it doesn’t please, ALWAYS. So if someone isn’t pleased and you did your best to do what is right, then that is their problem, not yours. Let them go swimming and complaining in that nonsense and you just happily move on and continue doing right. So the key is not to seek to please others but to just do right. At least that’s the way I see it.

          I hope you can find the right solutions to the issues you are having with your husband.

      2. ST says:

        Victor, the poison of narcissism is it is the gift that keeps on giving isn’t it. It is like an invasive weed that once it takes root in your life no matter how many times you pull it up, another shoot comes out from somewhere else. Anyone that has been injected with the narc poison as a child just has to be extra vigilant with weeding our “gardens” don’t we! But I can tell you this, you are deserving to have a real, beautiful garden of your own. Don’t ever give up on that, but just don’t look for people to make that garden for you. It is fun to plant and tend to your own garden with the flowers, colors, smells, and plants that YOU like!!!!

        1. A Victor says:

          Thank you for the encouragement ST. You put it beautifully, how it feels and the response we can have.

          1. Rebecca says:

            Thanks AV and thanks ST for the clear and accurate description of tending to your own happiness and watching out for abusive people.

            AV, I’m still working on my own happiness and trying to make others happy too. You’re right, I need to stop that. I’m so used to it, I just automatically adjust myself to my surroundings. It’s been a survival technique for so long, it’s difficult to unlearn it. I was conditioned and trained throughout childhood and my teens, and I just got used to it and find myself doing the same shit over again, adjust and accept…..no, stop this shit! I’m now looking at my relationship with my husband, went to marriage counseling and did one on one with just me. Now my husband is doing one on one with the counselor. It’s been a process. I think my husband maybe a narcissist or narcissistic and I told my counselor how I felt. He’s seeing him now to get a closer look at his thinking etc. I’m doing my own thing by reaching out to HG about it. I see red flags,but I’m also worried I might be paranoid….so looking for guidance from HG. I’m a bit worried about the answer,but I will make the decision that has to be made, when I have my answer.

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Rebecca, wow, reading what you say about your husband. I did wonder something about him, not necessarily from a narcissistic view, based on what you shared that he was not ‘getting’ it about narcissism. I can understand your concern about the ‘answer’. You are going through quite a bit at present and I hope it gets easier sooner than later for you. It is good that you have both your counsellor an HG to reach out to (as well as here on KTN blog).

          3. A Victor says:

            Aww Rebecca, I’m sorry to hear about your concerns with your husband. It is good that HG is helping you, he will be able to see what is going on and give you the best guidance available, whichever way it ends up. We can retrain ourselves, thank goodness. It is a lot of hard work, but it is possible! And I’m excited at the possibilities as I do more of it! Hang in there! You’re doing great!

      3. ST says:

        Victor, you have a YT interview video? What number is it? I would like to watch it, but if you don’t want to share that, it is okay. I understand. Share only what is comfortable for you.

        1. A Victor says:

          ST, it is number nine. HG posted it here also, a while back.

          1. Witch says:

            @AV
            I read this comment and “ran” to YouTube to listen to your interview!
            Now I’m going to watch videos on what it’s like to live in Minnesota 😆

          2. A Victor says:

            MN is beautiful! I only wish there was an ocean nearby, otherwise, it’s perfect here.

          3. Alexissmith2016 says:

            Agh is love to watch too AV. I can’t recall what the series was called for empath interviews. Please can you let me know

          4. A Victor says:

            https://youtu.be/JJMBxcitWBQ

            HG also posted it on the blog on April 28.

            So….I guess you are not the Alex from the blog that commented on YT, haha, I’d been wondering!!

          5. ST says:

            Thank you. I am going to watch it with a supportive heart.

  6. Pingback: My Secret Garden - Dark Triad Personality
  7. Vicki says:

    Your story telling is superb, H.G., but you are one helluva scary guy

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Correct on both fronts.

  8. Sweetest Perfection says:

    Your secret garden’s not so secret anymore…

  9. A Victor says:

    If your garden starts as beautiful as Tudor Towers is, it must be very easy to entice new victims in. It is only sad to know that by the end it is all turned so dark and terrifying. What a great visual with the disparate view of the end, thank you, this end is what I need to keep front and center in my mind.

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