Knowing the Narcissist : Attachment Is The Seat Of Misery
This is a capricious, arbitrary and hostile world. It must be brought to heel, tamed and subjected to the exertion of control. My control.
This is why I must cause every appliance that I come across to become attached to me. From my next door neighbour who I say hello to and exchange banal pleasantries with for the sake of my façade (even though I would readily drive a rusty meat hook through his malformed cranium if he tells me again about the refurbishment details of his latest property acquisition) through to my friends who join me for drinks on a Friday evening through to the latest girlfriend that I parade, all of them must be attached to me.
The creation of my construct is the device which causes these individuals to become attached to me. That magnificent edifice which is created from the mirrors which I show towards those whose paths I cross. Make the ticket inspector smile on the train by supporting him dealing with a obstreperous teenage passenger, encourage a friend in his plans to lose weight, show that prospective IPPS her own hopes and desires so she begins to fall in love. All of that is the work of the construct which is designed to draw each and every source – from the tertiary through to the ever-so-crucial Intimate Partner Primary Source – to me and cause them to attach to me.
Whether the barista thinks I am a pleasant and loyal customer, a junior colleague considers me an inspirational boss, the lady I pass every other day whilst out running gives me a smile of acknowledgement and admiration, whether a friend considers me someone he can turn to for advice, whether she falls hopelessly in love with me; there are thousands of different ways for these appliances to attach to me.
It might be a jealous co-worker who seethes at my arrogance, the nervous supplier who dreads my call demanding what is behind his company’s latest cock-up, the weeping cast off who was once the apple of my eye but is now a maggot-infested windfall, all of them remain attached to me.
It is through causing these appliances to be attached to me that I can exert control as I assimilate them into my world. They are mine to control, to utilise, to extract from and through this I can then control my environment. By controlling my environment I aim to minimise the traitorous ambush or the treacherous mutiny. Keeping everything in its place, subject to my control and functioning as I require it, means I drive forward and order is maintained.
Attachment is the key to achieving this. I have to draw you in, hook you, grip you, I have to bond you to me, bind you so you do not escape me, clamp you in place, tie you down and secure the attachment. I will give you the illusion of the golden period, I will lie to you, I will give you generosity, I will show you largesse, I will even exhibit some form of manufactured intimacy, kindness and support, the promise of fuel and the years of practised scrutiny enabling me to give you what you want so I secure your attachment.
Yet for all these fuel pipelines that are connected to me, for all of the bridges that have been built, the links which have been carefully constructed, they are all one-way. It is you being attached to me. I feel no attachment to you.
That is why I am so able to turn on the person that I supposedly love and watch as the tears trickle down the disbelieving face as I lambast her for wearing the wrong shade of red or turning up two minutes late. That is why I can lie between the silken thighs of another and promise her the world whilst you lie awake wondering where I am and praying that I have not been involved in a road accident. That is why I can assure you that you will be promoted by year end and in the next meeting offer it to somebody else instead. That is why I can decide not to turn up to the dinner party you have spent a month planning and go and watch a film elsewhere. That is why I can smash your grandmother’s watch with a ballpein hammer as you observe, in a fit of hysterics.
My lack of attachment allows me to disappoint, renege, cheat, lie, provoke, hurt, torture and abuse. It gives me fluidity, mobility and efficiency. I am not hampered by guilt, nor remorse or a sense of obligation. I form no attachment with you. I do not feel it.
You may ask me what I might think of those who I interact with and I can conjure up the tributes and platitudes in an instant:-
“John? Excellent worker, never lets the company down, a key member of the team.”
“She is a wonderful woman, I do not know what I would do without her. She is my world.”
“He is amazing. First name on the team sheet every week.”
“NarcSide Inc? Fucking brilliant. Use them. I did once. Never gone anywhere else.”
But for all of this I feel nothing by way of attachment. I bolt you on to me, but I will not attach to you. What does attachment bring? Nothing but misery. Look around and you will see the woe and pain that being attached brings for people.
You become attached to a pet dog which will die in 10 years’ time and you cry for the loss of your furry friend. Why? Why attach to something that is only going to leave you?
You are attached to your employer and show loyalty? What for? So they can bend you over and shaft you by making you redundant and show you the door without even a tub of lube to ease the pain of the experience?
You are attached to your house, but you have to sell it, or it burns down, or it is flooded, or someone breaks in and yet more pain is dumped on you.
You are attached to your friend and share everything with that person and then one day he is mowed down by an articulated lorry and is left nothing but a smear on the road. You are distraught, besides yourself with grief because of your attachment.
You attach yourself to a lover, a girlfriend, a husband, a partner only for them to cheat on you, to leave you for someone else, to shuffle off this mortal coil pumped full of morphine or grasping their chest as a heart attack takes them from you. Your world comes crashing in, you are shattered, besides yourself with grief and it is all because of your attachment.
You attach yourself to offspring only for them to disappoint you, leech from you, turn to an unsavoury lifestyle which embarrasses you and dismays you because you are attached to them. Or you are always worrying how they are getting on at school, will they secure that job, pass their driving test, find a good man or woman? Your feelings are put through the mill owing to this attachment.
Oh I know you will tell me that you gain so much from these attachments, love, happiness, support, understanding, companionship, joy, loyalty, a sense of achievement and more besides. I have heard it before, but I see over and over again the misery that always arises from these attachments. It is not worth it.
It is far better to never become attached in the first place. I cannot trust. How can I when I was given a salutary and compelling lesson that if you try to attach all you receive in return is rejection and misery. Better not to bother. Build the wall, dig the moat, put up the barriers, do not allow anybody in and in so doing you prevent these weakening attachments from occurring and you save yourself the inevitable, and it is always inevitable, misery that is waiting around the corner.
Yet for me, I do not even have to contemplate creating that tower or ensuring that the ditch is dug deep. I do not have to roll out the figurative barbed wire and electric fences to keep people out. This is all done for me because I do not know how to connect with someone. I have no idea how it is done.
I can attach them to me. That is easy. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. A combination of brilliance, charm, magnetism, manipulation and the identification of those from the strong to the weak and back again who are the best for succumbing to being attached to me. I can bring that about through all of the various seduction techniques I have described before.
Yet for all of that power of attraction, which few can resist, from tertiary to secondary to primary source, I do not know how to form an emotional attachment with someone. I may align interests and outcomes and sense a mutuality of purpose but I feel nothing for these appliances. There is no bond. There is nothing attaching me to them. The emptiness within me, the void which I seek to fill with fuel from all those in my fuel matrix pervades my relationship with those in that matrix. I am hollow and that echoes in my relationships with all those around me.
Whatever it is that compels you to feel connected to somebody else, whatever you describe it as and I have heard people do so on many occasions, I remain unable to sense and experience it myself.
There is just nothing there.
Does this trouble me? No. I see the misery that comes with attachment and I see my inability to connect to anybody as an advantage so I am spared what happens to so many others.
The Creature had all of that and it can keep it.
I rose from the seat of misery and I found a new throne.