Knowing the Narcissist : The Creation of Unusual Milestones
We narcissists create unusual milestones for the purposes of maintaining our narcissistic grip on our victims.
The calendar is festooned with milestones. There are those which are applicable to everybody, for example, a person’s birthday. There are others which are applicable to a large proportion of people on the planet, Christmas, Easter Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Eid, Nirvana Day (not the band before you ask), Yom Kippur, and Diwali. There are people who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (even on the flimsiest of reasons) and others who mark the Chinese New Year. There are many days of observance or festivals, including Freedom Day, Independence Day, Bonfire Night, Hallowe’en, National Woman’s Day, The Day of Our Lady of Africa, Remembrance Sunday and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck’s Death Anniversary (no that isn’t made up). These days and events are commemorated by people in different parts of the world.
These milestones in history are replicated at a more personal level by individuals, for instance wedding anniversaries, an anniversary based on how long a couple has been together (from a week, to a month, then six months and then years) or remembering the anniversary of somebody’s death. There is a multiplicity of milestones which will include it being ten years since somebody graduated from university, a year since somebody left prison, five years since they were made redundant, six months since that relationship ended. Some of these milestones are not celebrated, some are briefly remembered, sometimes fondly and often with concern, relief or slight surprise at the swift passage of time.
People like to commemorate particular milestones. They will record their child’s first day at school and years later tell their son or daughter that on this day twenty years ago you attended nursery or took your first steps. A veteran may recall with a mixture of regret and optimism that it is two years since he took his first steps on prosthetic limbs. Such remembrance and commemoration is done for many different reasons, it might be a wild celebration, fond nostalgia, solemn reflection or upsetting recollection. Notwithstanding what it may be, people accumulate these milestones throughout their lives, either applicable to themselves or others that they are entwined with.
We are no exception to this behaviour.
We, however, do this for entirely different reasons. We recognise and use the more obvious milestones of birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and so on and I have explained how those are used in Birthday Blues for example. Yet, this is not enough. We go further than the milestones which the world has created for various people. We make our own. We regularly and repeatedly engage in the creation of unusual milestones. This is done by creating Golden Milestones and Obsidian Milestones.
The Golden Milestones are created during our seduction of you. If your birthday falls within our seduction of you, then naturally, you will be treated to marvellous gifts, a wonderful evening or day out and made to feel ultra special. All part of the idealisation but this birthday is not a milestone created by us. It was already there and just happened to coincide with the golden period of seduction. A Golden Milestone is one which is specifically created by us, to manifest as something delightful and special in the Kingdom Of You and Me. You can easily spot these Golden Milestones as they will range from the romantic to the endearingly silly. Consider, if you will, these examples :-
I send you a card to tell you that it is a week since we first kissed
I write you a poem to commemorate that it is a year since I fell in love with you (even though we have only been seeing each other two weeks)
I send you a text to remind you it is one whole terrible hour since we last saw one another
I send you flowers to thank you for filling my life with light and love for the past month
I send you a gift to mark the fact that we made love five times in one night
Viewed dispassionately, these occasions and the fact of commemorating them are absurd. However, when deployed within the illusion of the seductive golden period, they appear cute, endearing, amusing, heart-warming and loving. How much must we be in to you if we telephone you to explain that we have been in love with one another for 1.2 million minutes or that last night was the 100th time you told me that you loved me. Sometimes these milestones are fabricated but more usually they are actually real and there are those of our kind who have calculated the number of times we have kissed, made love or called you by a pet name.
These Golden Milestones are viewed favourably by our victims, silly and wonderful reminders of how delightful our relationship together is. Monuments to the unique and special coupling that has been occasioned between you and I.
From our perspective, whilst they may appear fun, slightly throwaway and romantic, these Golden Milestones serve an important purpose. They enable us to keep binding you to us, they allow us to demonstrate just how infatuated we are with you and to gauge our control over you. They allow us to draw fuel from you, positive fuel occasioned by your laughter at the daft statistic we have just explained to you, or your tear-brimming eyes as you realise just how much thought and effort we have gone to, to calculate how many times we have been to a particular restaurant which you love, so since we are on the cusp of the twentieth visit we have booked it this weekend. These Golden Milestones actually come draped in red flags because you will not find them in any normal or healthy relationship. Those relationships celebrate the one week, the one month and then a year of the relationship’s existence but will not descend into the detail. The detail evidences our obsession with you, how we regard our relationship as one really of statistics – how long we have spent with you, how many times you have said something to us, how many times we have been to a certain place, how often we have done a particular thing together. This is hugely indicative. Notice how it is devoid of actual feeling but is all based on frequency, content and quantity. Mechanical. These are capable of calculation which equates to control.
Whilst the creation of Golden Milestones may be endearingly silly, it is the creation of those Obsidian Milestones which arise during devaluation which truly show our penchant for being self-absorbed. The purpose of the Obsidian Milestone is to create our own special event at which we are the special guest, the revered recipient of attention and of course furnished with fuel. The Obsidian Milestones are breath taking in their absurdity and triviality from your perspective (and they need to be in order to have the correct impact on you), but of course we do not see them that way. Consider these:-
It is the seventeen-week anniversary since Tiddles the cat died
(It was your cat not ours and we always hated it)
It is nine years since our mother passed away meaning we cannot do anything all day long
(Some people may be upset on the anniversary of the death of a loved relative but they do not become paralysed for the day nine years after the event and moreover you know that we did not get on with our mother and we did not even attend the funeral)
It is the five year anniversary of the disappearance of a child and we weep and wail about it
(We do not know the child or even anybody vaguely related to the child)
It is a month since our brush with death
(A car beeped its horn at us as we stepped out into the road, but it was nowhere near us)
We have been in our newly promoted position for two months
(You bought the champagne when we got promoted, but we expect more acknowledgement and recognition on this two month anniversary)
It is 25 years since the death of our beloved friend
(We have never even mentioned this person previously).
The creation of this Obsidian Milestons has various common themes:-
- Notice how they are nothing to do with you or our relationship with you;
- They will be about something unrelated to you and invariably something to do with us, either our loss or achievement or someone we know who has achieved or lost
- The Obsidian Milestone will often be a complete fabrication;
- If not a fabrication it will be premised on not only the most tenuous of connections but the flimsiest of reasons for there to be any commemoration
These Obsidian Milestones are used for the following reasons:-
- To berate you for being so cold and callous to forget that on this day eighteen years ago we lost our job – we scold your lack of recall about an event you either knew nothing about or could not reasonably be expected to be concerned by as a means of exerting control by making you feel bad and to draw negative fuel;
- To bring the attention of you and others onto us so as to give fuel;
- To detract from credible commemorative events of other people (your 30th birthday celebration coincides with the devastating shed fire which destroyed our collection of car magazines ten years ago)
- To make you feel sorry for us so we are provided with fuel
- To use as excuses not to do certain things (“I would come to dinner at your parents’ home but I am besides myself right now over the anniversary of the death of Bugle the Budgie (who never existed))
The creation of Obsidian Milestones will not be seen outside of the narcissistic dynamic. They are milestones created to gain fuel and to exert control, through their sheer absurdity and drama creation which leaves you bewildered as to why it has impacted on us so much, potentially feeling guilty for not knowing (should you have known that today was that particular anniversary?) and concerned (owing to your empathic state) to ascertain what is wrong (we may not at first actually explain what the Obsidian Milestone is but instead keep you guessing as we wail, cry, sulk, mope around or look angry).
Which Golden and/or Obsidian Milestones have you experienced?