Knowing the Narcissist : Try Walking In My Shoes



I always wake before you. This allows me to slip into the en suite and lock the door and deal with the horror of confronting another day without you seeing me endure this daily ritual.  Already I can feel the hunger rising as I stare at my reflection. Is this what I have become? The bleary-eyed, stubbled, exhausted creature that gazes unwaveringly back at me. No, I do not recognise that thing. How old it looks. The lips are thin, the hair thinning and clumped. Its shoulders rounded and slumped in resignation. I feel refreshed from a solid night’s sleep yet whatever is looking back at me does not accord with that feeling. The fear crawls across my skin and I rub at myself trying to dislodge that cold grip but it never works. The inner dread rises as I contemplate another day at the grindstone trying to piece together what I am, that long arduous task which never gets easier. In point of fact, the task becomes more difficult with each passing month as my advancing age screams at me about my mortality. How that banshee tortures me as she howls in my ears about my waning powers. I feel the tears welling as every injustice I have ever suffered is heaped on my shoulders by an uncaring and oblivious world. Does it not see my pain or does it just not care?

My mobile phone is clutched in my hand. I rarely let it leave my side and I place it on the counter besides the sink and then grip the counter as I continue to look at my reflection. My knuckles whiten as I fight the urge to scream at how empty I feel, how bereft I am and how this is so damn unfair. I try to wrench my gaze away but I cannot. I am entranced by what I see. I do not recognise this person. Where has that shock of white come from in the hair above the left temple? That is not me. Its skin looks dry as if it has been subjected to the dehydrating suction of some foul shade that visited in the night. The horror continues to escalate and it is only the chime of my ‘phone which breaks this terrible appreciation of the thing in the mirror.

Grateful for this interruption I shift my eyes to the ‘phone and see that a message has arrived from one of my coterie of admirers, Samantha. The pilot light inside of me flares into life and there is the slightest surge as the fuel begins to flow. I should wait until I have showered but the hunger is too great already and it must be addressed. I open the text message and like a starving man being given his first meal after fasting I devour the words of admiration.

“Good morning handsome, I missed you last night, I will call you when you are at work xxx”

The flame increases in size and strength as I close the message and smile .I turn on the shower letting the stream of water heat up as I flick to the texts that Samantha sent last night whilst I sat on the settee preoccupied with my activity of flitting between her texts and a conversation I was engaging in with a new prospect on facebook. I re-read a handful of the texts from Samantha with their declarations of admiration for me and I feel my strength returning. I put the phone down and step into the shower and relish the hot embrace of the jets of water. The fear has shrunk away and the dread sensation has been pushed back down. I liberally apply the shower gel, enjoying the sophisticated scent as I use a different product on my face, scrubbing away the dead cells and then another to cleanse and wash. I turn the taps and the water stops. I reach for a thick towel and pat my face dry feeling rejuvenated. As I stood beneath the purifying water my keen mind raced whilst I formed my machinations for the day. Always plotting and always scheming. The prospective fuel that will be garnered from the new sources that I am pursuing coupled with the dose of triangulation I will involve you in is causing me to feel excited and powerful. I pick up a bath sheet and admire the toned nature of my body as I dry myself and embark on the next stage of my preparation for the day by shaving and brushing my teeth.

A little while later my phone has chimed again and this time it is a colleague wanting to arrange lunch as he wants my advice since I am an expert on a particular topic he has to present on. The flame inside rises higher now and this spurs on my delinquent mind to consider additional ways to garner that oh so precious fuel during the day. The hunt for fuel is unending. The craven hunger that rumbles inside of me cries out for it and it is my sole preoccupation. The beast inside must be fed. Yet, now I am feeling strong. I haven’t applied my after shave and already two admirers have seen fit to worship at my altar and the games have not even yet to be played. But they will. I reach for the fragrance and splash it into my cupped hands and apply it to my neck as I look to the mirror. The handsome me has returned. The piercing blue eyes shine, the tousled, shiny locks of hair await the application of some wax to style them, the unblemished skin and close shave accentuate my chiselled good looks. I flash that winning smile as another surge of power flows through me. God I look good.

I return to the bedroom, ‘phone in hand and find you have now risen and I can hear the sounds of movement in the kitchen downstairs as you prepare breakfast as you always do. You will shortly bring me a mug of fresh coffee but I think I will complain that it is not hot enough and criticise you, just to see if I can provoke a reaction from you. It should not be too hard, I know precisely what to say. I notice the bed has not been made and rather than attend to it and help you, when you pass me my coffee with a ‘Good morning’ and a smile, I will cock my head towards the dishevelled heap and tut. Ah, yes, the master of games knows his stuff. I dress as another text arrives from another friend who wants to organise a golf game and asks for help with his swing, praising my technique. He is after more than assistance with his golf since he wants me to place work with him. He will have to provide me with more fuel yet to even be considered and of course, I will send the work elsewhere since there is someone who will give me something I want in return in a sweeter form and in larger amounts than my golfing chum. Still, the disappointment on his face will no doubt provide me with a hit too.

I can hear you coming up the stairs and I decide I will take a look in the full length mirror since I am fully attired to admire how elegant I look. I dress in a manner which says to anyone who meets me that the first move is mine. I stand and give a contented nod at my statuesque reflection. I look fantastic. I start to smile and then a bolt of anguish shoots through me as the craven creature that first lurked in the bathroom mirror appears. It is only for the briefest of instances but it causes me to exhale. My expensively-dressed self returns and the relief washes over me in an amazing way. The creature has gone again. He does that though. He likes to make fleeting appearances throughout my day to remind me that I must keep finding fuel. My quest for the potent fuel must be at the forefront of my mind at all times. As if on cue, you enter the bedroom, a veritable reservoir of fuel. You greet me as I cock my head to the unmade bed and tut. I feel the rush of power as your smile evaporates and you look crestfallen. The games have begun and my day is off to a great start. I only hope that creature stays away from me.

16 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : Try Walking In My Shoes

  1. annaamel says:

    Carole, I recognise your benevolent feelings towards HG. I’m assuming that as well as following his work you’ve had consultations where you have established a more personal connection with him. We all have such different ways of interacting with others or connecting or appreciating and it interests me that our schools and cadres often very clearly reflect those differences. Would you be willing to share what your schools or cadres are, even if only vaguely?

  2. TBS says:

    Last night I dreamed that my much loved adult son living half a world away (now married to a MMR-A narcissist) had a catastrophic, life defining and debilitating accident .. I awoke crying so hard, which has never happened to me before. I do not want to describe it fully because it was so devastatingly real to me.
    I had to fight the urge to check his WhatsApp in the middle of the night because I was so worried, but I knew he and/or my adult daughter would worry about why I was awake at such an hour.
    I’ve read this particular post of your’s before HG, more than once. It affects me deeply each time.

  3. Carole says:

    There are many on this blog who have been involved with a narcissist in one way or another, I to have been in a romantic relationship with one so I understand that not everyone here will agree with my opinion and I respect that.

    On reading the first paragraph I felt an immense amount of sadness, ‘deal with the horror confronting the day’, the thought of anyone waking up and immediately having to deal with the emptiness and uncertainty of the day, knowing, or in most cases being unaware that you need to seek out that precious fuel just to get you through the day without being destroyed by the creature must be terrifying.
    I understand that many of you will have experienced an incredibly traumatic time while you were with the narcissist, and my heart goes out to you, but I cannot move past the fact that narcissists do not ask to become one, they do not study or take an exam, it was not their choice they became a narcissist due to a genetic predisposition and a lack of control environment, meaning that they SUFFERED as a child.

    An abused or traumatised child does not have challenging behaviour they have coping strategies.

    If you follow HG’s work you will be aware that most narcissists are unaware and thus they do not know that they need to seek out this fuel to survive, therefore it is their narcissism that causes their behaviour, and even with an aware narcissist it is still their narcissism which causes them to act in the way that they do, gathering those all important prime aims.

    I do not condone this behaviour when a person is experiencing violence or abuse that harmful to them but I accept the behaviours of a narcissist as part of their disorder, their behaviour is their coping strategy.

    I will not judge you for what you have done, are doing or intend to do, it is not you it is you narcissism and/or psychopathy, you did not choose to be abused as a child and you are now living to survive, this does not mean that I pity you or have sympathy, just benevolence.
    If someone suffering with dementia lashes out at a person it is considered to be part of their condition, accepted and forgiven by those around them so why is it that we cannot accept and forgive the behaviours of narcissists, we can remove ourselves but we can also accept and forgive.

    I can only speak for myself but I accept your behaviour HG.
    Sending you unconditional love ❤️ xxx

    1. WiserNow says:

      With due respect Carole, HG has stated repeatedly that he knows what he is and he **chooses** to keep doing what he does.

      HG has studied himself, studied his own behaviours and the behaviours of others – both narcissists and empaths. He describes his devaluations *in detail*.

      He is aware of how his love-bombing and devaluations con and slowly destroy people. He deliberately chooses targets who he *knows* will be easily ensnared and will stay in the relationship for the longest time.

      He also describes *in detail* the destructive and damaging effect his abuse has on his targets.

      He does all of this *knowingly* and with awareness. He says he relishes doing it and will continue with the same behaviours.

      In addition, your ‘unconditional’ love has no effect because he doesn’t respond to love. It is a smidgen of fuel for him.

      Ask HG to cry you a river instead and wait to see how he responds.

      1. TBS says:

        WN, you had me at, “with all due respect” .. such a good comment.
        After logging out and logging back in again, WordPress will no longer allow me “like” any comment, which is I wanted to do in your case .. but when it has been stated as well as yours, it deserves a supportive reply. 👍🏽

        1. WiserNow says:

          Thank you for your supportive reply to my comment, TBS. It is appreciated.

          On the subject of giving my comment a ‘like’, I can appreciate the hiccups sometimes encountered with WordPress. I now find I comment or reply on the blog directly, avoiding WP altogether. It can be more time-efficient that way, although it also means that ‘likes’ cannot be given.

          On a side-note, I used to give a ‘like’ to comments as a way to acknowledge to a commenter that I had seen and read their reply and that I appreciate that they had replied to me, rather than to say that I actually ‘approved’ or ‘admired’ what they said in their comment. I think a ‘like’ can be interpreted in different ways.

          Also, TBS, please note that I said to Carole, “with due respect” rather than “with all due respect”. It may seem like a minor and inconsequential difference, however, I worded my comment intentionally.

          I actually did want to say to Carole that I respect her comment about ‘unconditional love’ for HG. I have been there and done that with narcissists, so I can relate to Carole feeling compassion for narcissists and the way they were treated as children. There was a time when I thought that ‘unconditional love’ could solve any and all problems, including narcissistic abuse. I no longer think that way.

          I also wanted Carole to see that even though my reply may seem negative or challenging to her, I do not want to hurt her feelings or make her think that I disrespect her.

      2. TBS says:

        C. For balance .. I want to also say, I have a deep respect for HG in terms of his dissemination of his knowledge. To say that his works have been invaluable to my recovery from 20+ years of narcissistic abuse would be an understatement.

    2. TBS says:

      C. Pedophiles and serial killers are also well known to be the victims of child abuse in one form or another.
      Does your unconditional love extend to these types of narcissists/psychopaths also, and/or toward the narcissist/s that inflicted the abuse upon HG?

  4. Allison says:

    I’m grateful that you’ve shared such profound work.

    1. Heidi says:

      A great writer sparks emotion and empathy in the reader.
      This definitely sparked my anger against this shithead and my empathy for the victim. If I am honest, it is transferred emotional memory.
      The writing has done its job — I am infuriated and want to scream at the victim to get out of that house.

      1. Carole says:

        Hello Heidi, I fully understand where you are coming from, but are they not both victims ?
        My thoughts go out to you as I understand the impact of being involved with a narcissist but I look at this from a different perspective.

        1. Hello Carole, and thank you for your question.
          I read your earlier reply to the post to understand your point of view.
          Although H.G. offers the view that narcissists do not know what they are doing, I agree only up to a point.
          If a narcissist is “made” as a child, either from nature/nurture or a combination thereof, then yes, I agree that the child’s behaviors are a form of a mental illness or disability.
          Your comparison to someone who has Alzheimer’s, though, is one to which I take exception.
          In the months preceding my mother’s death, she had dementia challenges and said and did things that were overlooked based on that disease of the brain.
          However, I also believe she was a Victim Narcissist, after reading through H.G.’s blogs and listening to his videos.
          The behavior she exhibited towards me before she had the dementia was, in my view, not a mental illness. She knew perfectly well how her words and actions affected me as the Scapegoat child. How do I know this? Well, prior to her death, she said she was sorry for one particular thing that I had suffered as a child. This was the only time in my life that she apologized for anything. In that moment of clarity that she showed, the mask came off, and she addressed the issue. To say the least, I was stunned.
          I also was married to a narcissist who abused me. I also believe he knew exactly what he was doing. Why? Well, during my separation from him during numerous hoovers, he begged and pleaded and asked for forgiveness for specific things he had done.
          This goes to the question of right and wrong — do we know the difference? I have a family member with an intellectual disability (about age 6 in his 60-year-old body). Even he knows the difference between right and wrong.
          I know this was a lengthy reply to your question, but I needed to give this context before I give it to you, and it is this:

          No. Both of them are NOT victims.

          The abuser narcissist knows exactly what he is doing and is a highly intelligent human being with cognitive empathy. He can stop at any time and chooses not to do so.

          There is only one victim in this scenario — the IPPS.

          Submitted with respect,

        2. Allison says:

          I was reacting in a similar way, Carole. It seems to me they are both enslaved. As the internal experience of the narcissist is not my own, it could be that the newness of it, the addiction, and my tendency to seek out abuse and domination made him sympathetic to me. I can, however, see how it could cause a painful reaction.

          In any case, I found it to be an enjoyably weighty writing, and if aligned in any way with actual experience I feel even more appreciative for the insight offered.

        3. WiserNow says:


          Your comments make me curious. Do you also have unconditional love for Harry’s wife?

          Harry’s wife is a narcissist, like HG. You say HG is a victim; then it follows that Harry’s wife is also a victim according to your perspective.

          As you have said in another comment, HG didn’t choose to be abused in childhood. Neither did Harry’s wife. Both are narcissists, therefore both had a genetic predisposition and a LOCE in childhood.

          I don’t think I’ve seen any of your comments saying that Harry’s wife should be accepted and forgiven though?

          1. TBS says:

            WN, this is a very good, well thought through, comment.👌🏼

          2. WiserNow says:

            Thank you, TBS, I appreciate you saying so.

            Curiously, it hasn’t received any notable unconditional love so far from Carole, though. Perhaps that’s something in reserve for HG only 😉

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