All posts by HG Tudor

I am letting you see my worldview for your own protection.

The Overload

 

the-overload

 

Intriguing. Curious. Interesting. Exciting. Fascinating. Absorbing. Compelling. Gripping. Riveting. Captivating. Magnetic. Engaging. Enthralling. Alluring. Diverting. Distracting. Titillating. Tantalizing. Stimulating. Thought-provoking. Amazing. Brilliant. Magnificent. Scintillating. Astonishing. Mesmerizing. Hypnotic. Happiness. Joyful. Elation. Stunning. Alluring. Ecstasy. Uplifting. Empowering. Glowing. Buoyant. Overjoyed. Euphoric. Blissful. Exhilarated. Enraptured. Cheerful. Merry. Gleeful. Carefree. Smiling. Jovial. Fascinating. Unique. Breathtaking. Glorious. Beaming. Shining. Glittering. Sparkling. Blessed. Jocund. Exuberant. Gregarious. Charismatic. Sensational. Thrilling. Startling. Staggering. Lovely. Handsome. Beautiful. Caring. Gorgeous. Wonderful. Bonny. Radiant. Unforgettable. Unmissable. Enchanting. Entrancing. Bewitching. Wonderful. Exquisite. Remarkable. Outstanding. Impressive. Memorable. Arresting. Eye-catching. Masterful. First class. Delicious. Delectable. Scrumptious. Formidable. Virtuoso. Swell. Awesome. Fabulous. Divine. Heavenly Majestic. Noble. Engaging. Loving. Passionate. Ardent. Zealous Fervent. Encompassing. Intense. Impassioned. Vehement. Fiery. Sexual. Sensual. Mysterious. Animated. Spirited. Consuming. Burning. Mercurial. Vigorous. Athletic. Energetic. Erotic. Lustful. Amorous. Sultry. Torrid. Steamy. Electric. Devotion. Tenderness. Intimacy. Adoration. Endearment. Doting. Attentive. Idolization. Worshipping. Ardor. Desire. Adulation. Infatuation. Friendly. Besotted. Obsessed. Beloved. Perfection.

Distant. Aloof. Remote. Detached. Unresponsive. Unapproachable. Isolated. Formal. Cold. Icy. Stand-offish. Stiff. Austere. Withdrawn. Reserved. Indifferent. Unforthcoming, Uncommunicative. Unfriendly. Cool. Chilly. Unsociable. Disdainful. Frosty. Frigid. Supercilious. Haughty. Cut-off. Separated. Removed. Reticent. Taciturn. Forbidding. Introverted. Retiring. Private. Reclusive. Diffident.

Furious. Enraged. Raging. Infuriated. Inflamed. Fuming. Boiling. Incandescent. Irate. Irritated. Incensed. Seething. Mad. Ranting. Shouting. Violent. Ranting. Raving. Angered. Livid. Outraged. Indignant. Wrathful. Explosive. Destructive. Riled Apoplectic. Aerated Turbulent. Tempestuous. Fierce. Wild. Howling. Roaring. Insinuate. Blame. Label. Castigate. Accuse. Demean. Belittle. Disparage. Denigrate. Downgrade. Deprecate. Trivialize. Deride. Mock. Ridicule. Criticize. Scorn. Condemn. Abuse. Malign. Revile. Decry. Reprimand. Censure. Control. Harm. Hurt. Maltreat. Wound. Decry. Injure. Damage. Cripple. Disable. Maim. Mutilate. Scratch. Hit. Punch. Kick. Throttle. Strangle. Beat. Assault. Molest. Damage. Torture. Maltreat. Imprison. Misuse. Pervert. Exploit. Maul. Oppress. Bully. Insult. Grope. Manhandle. Push. Pull. Slap. Curse. Jibe. Tease. Rebuke. Upbraid. Slight. Disrespect. Defame. Segregate. Foul. Terrible Horrible. Unpleasant. Awful. Dreadful. Abominable. Loathsome. Vile. Frightening. Terrifying. Scary. Petrifying. Revolting. Repulsive. Odious. Sickening. Repellent. Nauseating. Repugnant. Horrendous. Hideous. Appalling. Atrocious. Offensive. Objectionable. Obnoxious. Unpalatable. Unsavory. Filthy. Off-putting. Noxious. Rank. Ghastly. Gruesome. Diabolical. Dangerous. Bad. Nasty. Severe. Alarming. Painful. Ugly. Muzzle. Suppress. Stifle. Gag. Grotesque. Unkind. Grave. Critical. Serious. Annoying. Unwelcome. Frustrating. Aggravating. Maddening Vexatious. Pernicious. Mendacious. Toxic. Poisonous. Virulent. Deadly.

Jettison. Discard. Scrap. Hurl. Dispose. Repudiate. Abandon. Leave. Drop. Relinquish. Reject. Axe. Fling. Dump. Ditch. Trash. Shed. Forsake. Vacate. Disappear. Vanish. Flit. Evaporate. Dissipate. Retire. Retreat. Pass. Ebb. Fade. Silence.

Appear. Hoover. Surprise. Pester. Stalk. Harass. Surface. Arise. Materialize. Occur. Emerge. Visible. Apparent. Reveal. Badger. Hound. Harry. Plague. Bedevil. Smear. Slur. Persecute. Bother. Annoy. Worry. Disturb. Trouble. Ghost. Haunt. Vex. Stress. Agitate. Provoke. Nag. Chivvy. Bait. Hassle. Bug. Pressure. Interfere. Mither. Regretful. Penitence. Contrition. Repentant. Rueful. Remorseful. Abject. Guilty. Apologetic. Sorry. Sheepish. Shameful. Ashamed. Pitiful. Pathetic. Woeful. Lamentable. Tragic, Wretched. Miserable. Plaintive. Forlorn. Promise. Pledge. Honour. Assurance. Vow. Oath. Guarantee. Chance. Commitment. Undertaking. Covenant. Swear. Change. Convert. Transform. Adapt. Modify. Rebuild. Remake. Refashion. Reconstruct. Beg. Plead. Beseech. Entreat. Implore. Ask. Request. Adjure. Exhort. Enjoin. Petition. Humble. False.

Repeat. Parrot. Recurrent. Regurgitate. Replicate. Duplicate. Restate. Reproduce. Again.

Exhaustion.

Overloaded.

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Drunk With Fatigue

drunk-with-fatigue

 

Are you reading this through bleary eyes as you desperately await the effect of a caffeine boost to kick start your weary self into life to endure another day? Perhaps you can vividly recall that drained sensation that haunted you and that nagging ache which was ever present behind your eyeballs? The need to close your eyes and slip into a deep and restful slumber. All you wanted to do was to close your eyes and allow the tiredness to evaporate and shrouded in the amnesiac qualities of sleep you would be given respite from the nightmare that enveloped you. Yet, you were never able to achieve that sleep. Your near permanent anxiety meant that as you lay in bed you were tensed, ready to respond to the next jibe or manipulation. You heard a click. Was that me exiting the study at long last and coming to the bedroom or was it just the house settling? You were hyper vigilant and you cannot now recall how long that state had existed but you did know that it caused a nightly battle where you tried to sleep but each sound made you twitch and ready yourself. Sometimes you must have fallen asleep, such was the extent of your exhaustion and you dreamed and then suddenly you awoke. What had happened? Why did you awake so suddenly? You twist and see me there lying fast asleep, unburdened by any concerns. Even now you want to reach out and touch me in the hope that my hand will be placed on your shoulder and then my arm will envelope you, making you feel safe and secure, like it once did. You have learned not to reach out though for the consequences of waking me from my rest are not worth experiencing again. Instead, your shaking hand retreated and you turned to look at the clock and you sighed with resignation as you realised that the fitful sleep you had endured was only about an hour in length.

You lay there, eyes stinging and head heavy giving thanks that it was not one of those nights where I repeatedly jabbed you in the back to stop you sleeping. How did I manage to do that and then bound from the bed refreshed and revitalised as you rose like a zombie? How had I been able to interrupt your sleep through the night by prodding you and yet I was energetic? Was I sleeping during the day like some vampire hiding from the sunlight? At least this time I am sleeping and you have been spared the intermittent prod in the small of your back. It is a small mercy since the questions and thoughts race around your mind, as they always do in the dead of night. Why is this happening? What has gone wrong? Why am I doing this? When will it end? How can you stop it? Should you ask me to talk about it or will that risk another argument? How much more can you take? When did you last sleep properly? These questions and more besides whirl around in your mind, having taken a hold in your head. Your eyes flick to the silent television set in the corner of the room and you debate watching something, anything, just to break the relentless churning in your skull, but even with the volume set at barely audible you know it will disturb me and then it will be your fault again.

You look to the door now closed. You managed to resist a lock being fitted to the bedroom door, wary of what further horrors might be unleashed against you if your exit was barred but each day you fear that on your return that you will see an invoice from a joiner on the kitchen table and a lock has been fitted. You ponder whether you should head downstairs and see if sleep will come on the sofa or at least you can put the headphones on and listen to a radio play or some music. That would provide some sanctuary but yet again, as if possessed of some sixth sense, you know that I will appear and demand to know what you are doing downstairs in the middle of the night. No matter how deeply I appear to be sleeping it as if I sense your absence and come looking for you. It is then that you face the accusations of texting some man behind my back even though your ‘phone is not to hand. It does not matter what the facts are does it? I always find a way of twisting the blame on to you. No, you cannot steal downstairs and instead you must remain board stiff in bed as your eyes watch the incessant march of time and sleep remains evasive. You can feel the hammering of your heart in your chest. Even though nothing is happening and all is quiet and still, that sense of foreboding remains. A cold hand of dread has gripped your heart and squeezes, driving the breath from your body and causing anxiety to spread across you. Perhaps you ought to see the doctor and see if he will prescribe something for this? You will need to do it without my knowledge otherwise I shall accuse you of attention-seeking by going to the doctor without consulting me first. I, of course, know what is best for you and I screen everything you do before determining whether I shall allow it. You know you ought to fight against it but you are so tired, so weary and you need what little strength remains to help you navigate a way throughout the day without treading on a mine and causing an explosion of fury. It is getting harder. You forget things now. Your memory used to be excellent or at least you think it did. Even thinking is becoming arduous and sometimes you just sit, staring into space, caught somewhere between wakefulness and hypnosis. If only one night of rest could come, if only this anxiety, this fear, this wariness would leave you and let you gain some strength, then you would not make the mistakes and I would not be angry. Perhaps then we could be as we used to be. You can still remember that and hope with all your heart that somehow this situation can be retrieved. You never felt tired then. You never walked with a shuffle or placed the milk in the dishwasher in error. You did not forget you were baking something until the acrid smell of smoke jolted you from your daydreaming and had you running into the kitchen, cursing your foolishness and immediately wondering if you could cook a fresh batch before I came home and witnessed another of your failures.

The clock shows 5am and sleep has evaded you once more. The dull throb in the centre of your forehead remains. You would have to be up in an hour anyway. There is no point trying to sleep now. You can see the first rind of dawn trying to permeate through the curtains and another day has arrived. You may as well rise and weave through this day, whichever day it is, is it Wednesday or Thursday? You cannot quite remember. You slide your feet from the bed and sit up, glancing at me over your shoulder, back now turned to you, my body rising and falling in a steady rhythm as I sleep on, oblivious to your exhaustion. You stand and sway a little as you ready yourself for another day of feeling drunk with fatigue.

5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No. 2 Thinking We Will Not Hoover You

5-common-no-contactmistakes

A second common mistake which occurs when somebody implements no contact is thinking that there will not be a hoover from us. As I have explained, the hoover takes place at various points in the dynamic between narcissist and victim. In this instance, it concerns the post escape or post discard hoover.

Where you have escaped us, you will almost always face the Initial Grand Hoover as we unleash a frenzied attempt to bring you back under our control. This will happen where you tip us off and also once we realise you have embarked on your escape without giving us any notice of what you are doing. (You can read more about how we react in such instances with these articles How No Contact Feels – Part One   How No Contact Feels Part – Two  How No Contact Feels – Part Three ) Should you manage to resist the Initial Grand Hoover you are usually granted a period of respite as we seek fuel from our supplementary sources (secondary and tertiary ) and look to find a different primary source.

Where you have been no discarded of course there is no Initial Grand Hoover. We have a new primary source and we focus on that person, effectively deleting you from our minds. You may try to contact us, to get answers, to win us back, to try and resolve unfinished business and you are rebuffed and receive malign hoovers which cause you to back off.

Accordingly, in the case of escape you have rejected the Initial Grand Hoover and there is silence. Or, you have been discarded and your attempts to connect with us have been rejected and there is silence from us. You implement or maintain no contact going forward and the fact that you have heard nothing from us, no messages, no phone calls, nobody calling around to see you, no enquiries from our friends or family causes you to think that you have weathered the storm and that it is all over.

It is not.

I will return to this presently.

The other common mistake that people make with regard to thinking that we will not hoover is making use of the phrase ‘final discard’. I have seen this used many times and I do not know where it has originated from. It appears to be the case that people seem to think that there is some final flourish from us as we tell you that this time it is REALLY over and this time I mean it (although didn’t I say that last time?)

There is no such thing as a final discard. I have written previously that the word discard is not accurate because it really is a dis-engagement. In our minds, our relationship with you lasts until either you die or we die. It is for life because you belong to us. Yes, we will put you from our minds at certain times (when enjoying the golden period with someone else, when we place an IPSS on the shelf) but this does not mean that it is over.

Just because you have weathered the sustained effort of the Initial Grand Hoover to win you back does not mean that we have got the message and we will leave you alone. It is a temporary cessation in the hostilities. Our need for fuel will send us elsewhere as we hunt down a new primary source but we will be back. You have a period of respite by which you can build your no contact and recover but do not be drawn into thinking that this one off blitz of hoovering was the end of it. Similarly, do not think just because we have told you that we wish you would fuck off and die, or disappear off the planet that we will not come back for more. Just because you have tried to speak to us but we have rebuffed you does not mean that that is the end. Not at all.

We are contrarians, hypocrites and engage in contradictory behaviour. This is because of the narcissistic perspective that we adopt. We do what the fuel requires of us. All is as the fuel dictates it to be. If that means in January you are persona non grata, it does not mean that by May we will declare our love for you once more. What has gone before is the past and we have no sense of shame or reluctance in coming back to you again. It does not matter that we once cast you aside because you failed us. That was then and this is now. Now somebody else has failed us, they have been pained black and this means that you are back in favour. You have recovered and we see you through the lens of being a ‘good’ person once again, someone who is going to give us what we need. It is irrelevant that you let us down  previously. What matters is that our perspective causes you to be seen as a good source of fuel and we want it.

It is understandable why you might think we might not hoover, this may be for any of the following reasons:-

  1. We were so savage in our discard of you;
  2. You exposed us to people when you escaped;
  3. Significant time has passed;
  4. You believe there was a ‘final discard’;
  5. You hear we are with somebody else;
  6. You are with someone new;
  7. You sent us packing when we tried the Initial Grand Hoover.

Whilst these may influence the likelihood of a hoover occurring they will not in themselves mean that it will not happen.

Accordingly, just because of the circumstances and the passage of time, you decide you can go back on social media, you can accept friend requests from strangers, you can go to this places you had avoided for some time, you can talk about us freely again with your friends or even our friends and so on. This is dangerous.

I am not suggesting that you must spend the rest of you life always looking over your shoulder. That is unsustainable but you ought not to think that there will never be a hoover because if you do this you will instinctively lower your guard and in so doing you will cause two things

  1. You are far more likely to activate a Hoover Trigger by entering the spheres of influence; and
  2. You will lower the bar on the Hoover Execution Criteria and thus increase the chances of a hoover happening.

Of course you may well be in a better place and thus far more able to repel the hoover when it happens but there remains a risk, because of your inherent susceptibility to our kind, that as I explained in Part One of this series, you will allow exposure to us cause your emotional thinking to rise and over take your logical thinking which means you are risking being dumped into the emotional sea once again.

If you think a hoover will never happen you will become complacent and you will then start to the very things which will result in a hoover being MORE likely to happen. Thus, by always reminding yourself that there is a risk (even if it is very small) of a hoover taking place you will continue to maintain a degree of vigilance which ensures this risks stays small and you do not begin to engage in behaviours which encourage us.

I see repeatedly people state that they know their narcissist will not hoover again. They write that it will not happen and they are safe. The only way you are safe from a hoover is if we have died.

I have hoovered somebody after a 12 year hiatus. I would do it after a longer period of time if there was a Hoover Trigger and the criteria are met. There is fuel available and we will take it and assert our superiority and control over you. Remember, we made an investment in you, all that time ago and we will want to keep drawing on it. The fact you have not heard from us for a long time is because our attention is elsewhere and your no contact is proving effective so even if there is  Hoover Trigger, the criteria are not met and therefore no hoover follows.

If you start thinking we will never hoover you, you will become complacent and that is when you run a greater risk of a hoover actually taking place.

The 6 Phases of Fuelling

 

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Fuel is our lifeblood. Whether it is positive fuel from admiration, delight and love or negative fuel from hatred, anger or upset, we want fuel. There are many, many different ways in which we will manipulate you, many different machinations, some wonderful and others terrible, that we will use against you to extract fuel from you. These different methods appear during the six phases of fuelling.

  1. Seduction

A period when everything is rosy in the garden. We are the most wonderful person you could ever meet. Kind, considerate, amusing and entertaining. We are generous with time or money, sometimes both. We are impressive in terms of our achievements, our abilities, the people that we know, the places that we have been and we just happen to like all the things that you like as well as we engage in our tried and trusted practice of mirroring. If we have chosen you to be our intimate partner we will be gushing with love as we sweep you off your feet with borrowed love quotes, gifts and sensational love-making. It is irresistible and you will succumb to this intense love-bombing whether we want you as our partner in love, friend, trusted colleague or reliable family member. Our seduction is powerful, effective and is aimed at getting you hooked on us as we begin to drink from your positive fuel that you will provide to us during the golden period.

  1. Devaluation

In this second phase we have found your positive fuel has lost its potency. You are no longer providing us with the earnest and amazing admiration that we require and this is entirely your fault. The consequence of this is that we must continue to draw fuel in order to sustain our existence and now we must do this by extracting a contrasting fuel, negative fuel. This is derived by treating you badly, meting out silent treatments, shouting at you, provoking you and unleashing the whole malevolent content of our Devil’s Toolkit against you. We want you to shout insults at us in anger, we want you to plead with us to stop our torment of you, we want to see you sob in desperation at our continued abuse of you. Tears, frustration, anger and hatred are all delicious emotions which will fuel us and they provide such a magnificent and stark contrast to all of the positive fuel that you once gave that the effect for us is considerably edifying and invigorating.

  1. Respite

 

We do not want to keep the devaluation in place all of the time otherwise you will break too soon and deprive us of our primary source of fuel. Accordingly, the third phase is one where we allow you some respite from the devaluation. We reinstate the golden period and you provide us with relief tinged positive fuel. This is of an excellent quality as it is heightened by your relief and joy at returning to the golden period. It also allows us to convince you that the golden period can be resurrected so you will not leave us and instead keep trying to recover it. We will alternate between devaluing you and offering you respite, back and forth between these two states in order to confuse you and keep you in situ. The contrast between treating you well and treating you badly also provides us with a greater degree of fuel as your emotions are pushed and pulled by us. This phase may last for years as we move you back and forth, one week everything is wonderful and then you are plunged into a fortnight of awful treatment with you completely bewildered as to why this is happening.

  1. Preventative 

You may be pushed to a point of no return. You may have received some outside help from a friend or a professional who understands what is actually happening to you or it may be that you do not know what is happening but you know that you cannot allow it to continue any longer. In such a situation when you warn us that you are thinking of leaving us or that you intend to end our relationship we will instigate the preventative phase. This is designed to stop you from going. We will provide a massive dose of the golden period but we will also ally it with promises to mend our ways, seek help and change. None of it is meaningful but it is a desperate measure to prevent you from leaving us. We decide when we no longer want you, you are not superior to us and therefore you are not allowed, in our minds, to make this decision. By applying these preventative moves, which might be seeking pity, forgiveness, understanding and sympathy, we aim to stop your departure and then drink deep of the fuel that you will provide as you soothe away our concern, responding favourably to our stated intention to better ourselves. Your delight at hearing us say these things provides us with further fuel.

  1. Benign Return

Whether you escaped us or we cast you to one side through one of our callous discards we will also seek fuel through the benign return. Similar to the preventative stage but this takes place after there has been a cessation in our relationship. You try to stay away from us or you have been trying to get back with us but we have kept you at arms’ length for some time until we decide that we want your positive fuel once again and we approach you taking you back. We may seek forgiveness, express we made mistakes, that we were not thinking clearly and so on, all done in order to con you into resurrecting the relationship. If we ended it, you will return with joyful open arms. If you ended it, you will return delighted you have got us to agree to making changes. Of course nothing changes. It is all about the fuel and as you respond in a favourable manner, admiring us again, expressing your love and gratitude, portraying relief we will take all this fuel.

  1. Malign Return

 

This also takes place post cessation of the relationship. You may have ended it and resisted out attempts to hoover you back in. We may have ended it and you want to return to the fold but we will not let you as we have a replacement. In either instance we will not forgo the opportunity to extract additional fuel from you by continuing to administer terrible and hurtful manipulations against you. We may no longer be in a relationship but this will not stop us from lashing out, lying about you, invoking the assistance of others as we smear your name and doing everything we can on a repeated basis to cause you to become angry and upset and thus provide us with fuel. You may not have heard from us for some time but there will be some trigger, some opportunity and whilst we may not want you back or we may be unable to cause you to come back, we will still look to provoke an emotional reaction from you and obtain fuel. It is always about the fuel.

Muddy Hell

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I have a busy day today. Much to do and many people to do it to but when you have someone’s interests at heart, well, this is what you have to do isn’t it? I have the list of telephone numbers which I have noted down from your telephone when I gained access to it. It was not difficult to do so. Using my famous ability to move around without making much of a noise I stole up behind you and watched you enter the passcode for your phone and I stored that in my memory to enable me to use it when you were sleeping. Naturally I had a good look through all your messages, your diary and e-mails but that is for another discussion. I recognised the names of numerous people and made a note of their numbers inside my little book and then hid that in readiness for when I decided it was time I needed to use it. Now that time has come and it is incumbent on me to take this step.

The first number I enter into my phone is that of Sarah, a friend of yours. She answers after two rings. Like many people she is surgically attached to the ‘phone.

“Hello Sarah it is HG. Listen, I just wanted to let you know, since you are such a good friend of hers, that Gemma is, well I think the easiest way to describe it is that she is not well, not well at all. What do I mean? She has been acting rather strangely. The slightest thing seems to either have her shouting or crying. At first I wondered if it was just, you know, women’s things, but it has been going on for months now. You had no idea? No I know, I have not said anything before because well I was hoping I could help her  deal with it but it is beyond even me. I am going to get her some help. I try and talk to her about it but she just clams up on me, gives me silence and then a little later accuses me of not caring. I don’t think she is sleeping properly either and it takes me an age to get her to eat. Should you come round? No, thank you, that is kind of you, but I don’t want her to do anything which might upset you. She is very erratic in her behaviour but it is something more than just mood swings. I am going to get her the proper help but I am just forewarning you that if she contacts you just be aware that she is not herself. She has been saying things about people, me included, which are not very nice and I don’t want this period of illness to affect her relationship with her friends, you know how some people can be overly sensitive to what someone says and they miss the point they are unwell. Yes, that’s right. Yes I think it would be a good idea if you just give her some space. Yes, absolutely. If she does contact me, let me know, you have my number on your ‘phone now. Yes I will pass on your kind words and thanks for your help Sarah, it is much appreciated at this difficult time.”

I end the call and place a tick next to Sarah’s name. She was most understanding and fully appreciate the need for space in order to allow you to get better. Now, who is next. Ah yes, another of your friends, Helen. I call Helen and explain the situation almost word-for-word as I did with Sarah. She asks more details about what is wrong and I reluctantly tell her about the violence and the lying. She is shocked I can tell and she spends some time searching for an amateur diagnosis as to what it might be. I listen as she drones on, checking my watch and noting I have other names to get through too. Eventually I am able to conclude the call and place another tick. I continue working my way through your list of friends, the ticks adding up. Next is John, your fitness instructor.

“Hello John, this is HG, Gemma’s partner. We haven’t met. Look John, difficult call to make but Gemma is unwell at present. It is pretty serious. Yes, thank you, it is a difficult time but I am doing the best I can to help her. It is unclear at present what it is, I am organising for a doctor to come and see her today but it is making her very difficult to be around. She may be suffering from some kind of breakdown brought on by exhaustion. Yes, it is a worry. I know you would not have thought it to look at her outside of our house but I think this has been brewing for some time, you know, she even started telling me that she was going to marry you. Yes I know that is ridiculous isn’t it? You are already married? I thought you were. Don’t worry, I know nothing is going on, I am sure you are far too professional for that kind of thing, but this is part of the problem, she keeps coming out with outlandish comments and I can handle it but I worry others might not so she won’t need your services until further notice. Payment? Well yes if she has an agreement with you then just continue to take her monthly payment after all this is not your fault is it? I will let you know when she is well again but just in case she tries to contact you I think it would be best if you don’t take her calls, I don’t want her causing you any trouble especially between you and your wife. Thank you John, your discretion is appreciated.”

Another tick and a similar call is made to your choral group and your book club. Next is your employer. I made you take today off under the pretence of you gaining a lie in and then us doing something together. We stayed up late last night so you are still fast asleep upstairs allowing me to make these important telephone calls. Your employer is understanding and I can confirm that arrangements will be made to provide the relevant doctor’s note because I explained this situation is likely to last a number of weeks. My preparation thus segues into arranging for the local doctor to make a house call after I explain to the receptionist, in worried tones, that having you leave the house in your current state might be a risk to both you and other people. She was most understanding and confirmed that a doctor would attend after surgery, around 5pm. Next on the list are your family members. I secured the advantage of persuading you to move with me away from them and they are now a flight away. The inconvenience of having to fly and the distance is something I play on as I call your parents and your sister, forewarning them that they may experience some unpleasant comments about them and especially me given her condition. I assure them that I am taking care of you and there is really no need for them to come all this way. I confirm I will keep them updated and they are pleased I have taken time off work to care for you and that I have arranged for a doctor to attend. I spend considerable time reeling off examples of the terrible behaviour you have exhibited, explaining the awful things I have been subjected to and the lies you have told about me, your friends and family. I explain that I can deal with it but I just feel so sorry for your parents and your sister having to hear such things and in order to prevent it happening again the best thing is to contact me and not you and to keep you at arms’ length. I explain I understand that it is hard but it will be the best outcome for all concerned if you are prevented from lashing out and hurting people. My explanations and good intentions are accepted and thanks is offered for my understanding and support.

The final tick is placed on the list and I place both ‘phone and pen down. I really should go and wash my hands now after smearing all that mud around.