All posts by HG Tudor

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

The Narcissistic Truths – No. 218

never-underestimateour-capacityto-hoover

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What the Hell Just Happened?

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–         One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall and called me a fucking selfish bitch –

–         I only asked how his day was and he just turned around and walked back out; that was yesterday evening and I haven’t heard from him since –

–         I mentioned I was going away with my friends for the weekend and before I know it he is accusing me of having an affair and telling me I have to cancel the trip and stay at home –

–         All I said was that the blue shirt suited him better, he tore both of them in half and pushed me over –

–         How did I end up looking like this; I said that maybe he had had enough to drink –

–         I was sat watching television and she came in full of hell and laid into me, I had no idea what I was supposed to have done –

The overriding response to such scenarios and others is what the hell just happened? At the time these instances happen, the recipient of the behaviour does not know that they have become entangled with one of our kind. The recipient expects the other person to operate by their standards of behaviour, their own mature and reasonable responses and their own healthy reactions. Not only do they find that the response is anything but like how they would respond, they struggle to discern any logic in or reason in how we have behaved. Common reactions to such instances as the above along with asking what the hell just happened would include

–         She blew it up out of all proportion –

–         I don’t know what got in to him, there was nothing the matter –

–         It was such an extreme reaction I am at a loss to understand why she did as she did –

–         Everything was going really well and then wham; I’ve no idea what set that off-

Indeed, you would have no idea at all what is going on and why would you? At the time you did not know that you had become entangled with a narcissist and this is an entirely typical and standard response. Even when you ascertain, most likely sometime after the relationship has been brought to an end through a callous discard, that you had become involved with a narcissist, these eruptions, disruptions and volcanic responses still mystify and bewilder. In order to comprehend what on earth has just happened in such instances it is necessary to adopt the narcissist’s perspective. Despite the boldness, the grandiosity and the confidence, we are suspicious of the world. The world has treated us badly. It is a treacherous place which has sought, from the very beginning, to destroy us and this remains our mind set. As we move through life, climbing higher and higher, driving forward and conquering, we remain vigilant, wary and indeed often paranoid. There are those traitors, those betrayers and those plotters who would love nothing more than to do us down, dethrone us and topple us. Hence we often strike first before those who conspire to harm us can do so. Our view of the world means that we see criticism, which we despise and hate more than anything else, lurking around every corner, in the words of those who speak to us and most of all through the actions and gestures of the shadowy snakes who infest the world.

Oh we are not stupid, we know only too well that you prefer to criticise us through actions and gestures, that way you are able to diminish the impact by suggesting that we are over-reacting, reading too much into it and seeing things that are not there. Of course we often accuse you of doing this but we are never guilty of behaving in this manner. We are always right when we see a criticism arising from something. We are finely tuned to pick up on these criticisms and therefore we spot them straight away.

Notwithstanding our ability to spot these criticisms, we are unable to evade them and instead like a serrated dagger they wound us and make us feel weak, vulnerable and pathetic. They are an unwanted and horrendous reminder of the very thing we seek not to be. In order to cope with this unwarranted wounding of us, we have an excellent self-defence mechanism. Fury. Our fury is always there, churning away beneath the surface and when we are wounded by criticism, this fury ignites and manifests either as heated fury or cold fury. This means that we lash out at you and others, smash things up, assault people, stand and glare, dole out silent treatments and so forth. This will nearly always cause the recipient of this manifestation of ignited fury to respond in an emotional manner – fear, hurt, anger, surprise, annoyance, upset and so forth – which of course equates to fuel.

The provision of fuel as a direct consequence of the manifestation of this ignited fury means that the wound caused by the criticism is healed and eventually the ignited fury will dissipate as it has served its function. A Mid-Range narcissist has some control over the ignition of his fury and if he deems that exploding in a certain situation would be detrimental to how he is viewed he may switch to cold fury or even withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere to quell the ignited fury and heal the wound. A Greater Narcissist has substantial control and for instance if he deems it necessary to preserve the façade he will keep the fury under control until there is an appropriate moment to unleash the fury and gain the fuel. Thus in some instances the ‘what the hell moment’ may not happen at the time the criticism occurred but be a time afterwards. You can see now just how bewildering and disorientating it is.

Be aware that a criticism which is allied with emotion is fuel and will not wound us. Thus shouting at us and calling us all the names under the sun only provides us with fuel. Crying and telling us that we are a complete bastard and useless in bed is fuel. That is why the criticism often arises from perception and from actions and gestures as they tend to be fuel free.

Returning to the instances at the outset of this article, let’s examine how the perception of criticism manifested in my kind’s mind.

–         One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall and called me a fucking selfish bitch –

The criticism arose because the narcissist was served with his food behind everybody else thus insinuating that other people were more important than him.

 

–         I only asked how his day was and he just turned around and walked back out; that was yesterday evening and I haven’t heard from him since –

The criticism arose because the speaker failed to smile and look delighted at the return of the narcissist, thus implying that he was not worth shining for.

 

–         I mentioned I was going away with my friends for the weekend and before I know it he is accusing me of having an affair and telling me I have to cancel the trip and stay at home –

The criticism was spending time with other people and therefore suggesting that the narcissist was not interesting enough to spend the weekend with.

 

–         All I said was that the blue shirt suited him better, he tore both of them in half and pushed me over –

The criticism was to suggest that the shirt he preferred was not the one he looked best in. This not only criticised his choice but also how he looked.

 

–         How did I end up looking like this; I said that maybe he had had enough to drink –

The criticism is to suggest that the narcissist has a drink problem and that his activities ought to be curtailed, by you, somebody who is inferior to him.

–         I was sat watching television and she came in full of hell and laid into me, I had no idea what I was supposed to have done –

This may be an example of delayed fury arising from an earlier criticism and/or it might be the fact that the person was watching television and not providing attention to the narcissist.

 

You will have no doubt deduced from this that occurrence of a what the hell just happened moment can happen at any time, can come out of nowhere and is not based on anything significant, from your perspective. From our perspective there is the potential for criticism on a repeated and frequent basis. This is what leads to the second-guessing, hypervigilance, anxiety and treading on egg-shells that is so often associated with our kind.

In terms of dealing with it, it is nigh on impossible to predict. You will at least know what it is and why it has happened. In certain circumstances it can be used to your advantage to cause a wound and then not to provide fuel when the ignition of fury takes place. This will weaken us and cause us to go elsewhere, but care should be exercised in doing this as it may escalate the reaction initially with severe consequences. The most appropriate way to deal with this is to be able to know what it is, understand why it has happened, that it will blow over and that you may be best providing positive fuel, rather than becoming scared, bewildered or upset, since you know what is behind it. You can then manage it in that way until such time as you can escape the effect and influence of the narcissist as a whole.

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The Dirty Divorce

 the-dirty

Divorce. There is a high chance of this happening when you have been ensnared by one of our kind. You might think that a narcissist would want to hold on to a source of supply and would never instigate divorce proceedings against their intimate partner who is a primary source. This is not a concern to our kind at all, for the following reasons: –

  1. It is your fault. It is always your fault;
  2. If we want a divorce, we are entitled to divorce in accordance with our sense of entitlement;
  3. We have a new primary source who we may well want to bind to use through marriage, therefore you need to be divorced. (There will be some of our kind who won’t let a divorce stand in their way and will commit bigamy but that is a matter for a different topic.)
  4. If you are financially superior to the narcissist, it is a means of obtaining our share, because we are, of course, entitled;
  5. If you are financially inferior to the narcissist, it is a method of denying you getting your share. You deserve nothing because you have failed us.
  6. There is no concern on our part that we might well be regarded as a failure for having to engage in divorce proceedings. This is because it is your fault and we are never accountable.
  7. We like to get in first;
  8. Divorce proceedings provide us with a vast range of fuel opportunities, from provoking you, gaining sympathy from our supporters, admiration from others as to how we are handling it and so forth.

If you instigate divorce proceedings, then our attitude to proceedings is governed by: –

  1. A massive sense of injustice. We gave you so much during the golden period and this is how you treat us?
  2. It is never our fault. You are a greedy, nasty, horrible person who just cannot be satisfied;
  3. Your action amounts to a considerable criticism of us. This ignites our fury and this fury will drive our attitude and behaviour towards you during the divorce;
  4. We will look to cross-petition for divorce by demonstrating that it is your fault and not ours;
  5. We will defend your divorce petition, because we have done nothing wrong;
  6. Your awful behaviour towards us provides us with material to smear you, “how could he/she do this to me after all the things I have done for her/him?”
  7. It provides us with material to maintain our façade by showing how “noble” we are (to the outside world) under such provocation from you.

Divorce proceedings are another stage for us to appear on, to draw fuel, to exert control and to manipulate. There is so much material for us to use against you and to our advantage. It is a battlefield which we relish appearing on. This process will be covered in greater detail in the work Divorce and the Narcissist along with steps that you can take to handle the process.

Given these attitudes to whether we divorce you or whether you divorce us, what can you expect in the arena of divorce?

  1. The allegations in the divorce petition (or cross petition) will be trumped-up, outrageous and designed to provoke a huge reaction on your part. It does not matter if there is no evidence to support these allegations, from our perspective the allegations are true because of your treachery;
  2. If you are divorcing us and we expect it (e.g. you tell us, you are doing it) you can expect us to evade service of your proceedings to slow the process down and to frustrate you;
  3. There will be a tooth and nail battle over finances;
  4. There will be the hiding of assets, diminution of assets and accusations that you have done this, not us;
  5. Documentation will be hidden, altered and destroyed in order to protect our position;
  6. We will deny the provision of documents and letters to slow proceedings down
  7. We will fabricate documentation in order to support our position;
  8. There will be intransigence over the most minor of items;
  9. There will be a battle over the children. This is nothing to do with their interests but all about fuel. This behaviour will draw fuel from you and is designed to maintain a grip on the children for further fuel manipulation;
  10. You will face repeated accusations concerning your mental health, propensity to violence, drink/drug/other addictions, multiple partners and sluttish behaviour, your neglect of the children. Invariably this is all projection;
  11. There will be use of lieutenants in order to support the spurious allegations at point 10;
  12. We will place heavy reliance on the façade to demonstrate good character;
  13. There will be considerable propaganda concerning the divorce with you being subjected to savage smear campaigns;
  14. Court dates will be missed, appointments forgotten about and such like in order to slow the process and provoke you;
  15. There will be agreements to engage in mediation. This is a sham, there will be no attempt to settle. The mediation will be used to hoover you for fuel;
  16. Spurious applications will be made to cause delay, expense and frustration;
  17. Repeated tactics will be deployed which aim to wear you down;
  18. There will be sudden attempts at reconciliation which come out of nowhere, but are usually a result of us feeling that proceedings may not be going our way;
  19. It may appear that an agreement has been reached but we will change details at the last minute or refuse to agree;
  20. We will renege on agreements repeatedly forcing you to further court time and expense;
  21. There will be manipulation of lawyers, court staff, court officials, court appointed experts and judges. This is done to gain fuel, smear you and preserve the façade;
  22. Don’t expect our lawyer to bring any sense to bear. He or she will have been hoodwinked and charmed by us. We will try and charm your lawyer too;
  23. You will be subjected to malign follow-up hoovers if matters go against us;
  24. We will make applications against you for restraining orders on trumped-up evidence;
  25. Everything you have said and done will be twisted and used against you;
  26. There will be no concessions, even in the face of overwhelming evidence;
  27. Out of the blue there may be “white flag” waving asking for you and us to talk without others being involved. This is just a ruse to hoover you and delay proceedings;
  28. There will be misrepresentation to third parties about what is happening in the proceedings;
  29. We will engage in apparent reliance on others for financial support in order to deny you anything.

Divorce is regularly described as a stressful and upsetting experience. What people fail to realise is that those divorces are the ones which involve our kind, it is just that nobody has spotted that that is the case.

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Horns and Halos

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Further revelations on a wide range of highly relevant topics allowing you to understand the narcissistic sociopath and how to deal with him or her. Includes the revealing chapters “Ten” and “Twelve” detailing formative episodes in the creation of a narcissistic sociopath.

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Horns-Halos-H-G-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01K5R42II

US https://www.amazon.com/Horns-Halos-H-G-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01K5R42II

CAN https://www.amazon.ca/Horns-Halos-H-G-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01K5R42II

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Save the Children

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If there is one thing which will often scupper an attempt to escape our clutches, it is the existence of children. On the one hand the existence of children created by you and our kind often results in you continuing to endure the relationship for the sake of the children rather than separate. On the other hand, even if you do decide that it is better to separate than stay with our kind, you are rarely able to truly escape because of the shared connection that exists because of the children. Even though you wish to escape the roller coaster existence of being with our kind, as an empathic person you behave fairly and recognise that the children should see their other parent and thus you either make provision or allow for contact to continue between our kind and the children which in turn means that there must inevitably remain contact between you and us. You may however take the draconian step of deciding that it is in the best interests of the children to have no contact with the narcissistic (although usually you only realise the other parent is abusive rather than narcissistic at this juncture) parent and cut all contact off. This then results in our kind turning to formal means through the courts to establish contact with the child or children again.

Your concerns in respect of the involvement of our kind in the raising of children cover numerous factors.

  1. You are concerned that our behaviour will affect the children so that they in turn become narcissists;
  2. You are worried that our behaviour leads to the children witnessing abusive behaviour towards you which will upset the children;
  3. You are concerned that our behaviour will lead to the children not receiving a stable and nurturing upbringing;
  4. You are worried that the children will be used as pawns between you and us and adversely influence so they are turned against you;
  5. You are concerned by our failing to provide emotional and financial support which will in turn impact on the children; and
  6. You are worried that our behaviours will effectively spoil what should be happy moments in childhood.

These, along with others, are legitimate concerns. It becomes especially difficult for you when you find that you face a battle between doing what is right for a child even though this may clash with what they want. They want to spend time with us but you see such time as toxic and having an influence on the child (who as a child cannot see or comprehend what is happening) which is at best unhelpful and at worst downright damaging. How do you deal with a situation where you need to do what is right and best for a child, even though they will not see this at the time? First of all, what must you understand about our attitude towards children and parenting?

  1. Children are regarded as appliances by us. There is no distinction made for the fact that they are children nor that we are their parent. We see children as appliances and devices which are extension of ourselves and therefore there to do our bidding. You should never be under any illusion that a narcissistic parent loves the child. Do not be fooled into thinking that any benign act exhibited by our kind is a manifestation of love towards a child. It is not;
  2. This pervading mind set means that children will be used in order to gather fuel. This will be done directly by obtaining fuel from them. Initially this will manifest as wanting to spoil them when we have time with them so that their positive responses to this will provide us with positive fuel. We will upset, anger and frustrate children in addition to draw negative fuel as and when it is deemed appropriate. This is not done because the positive fuel has become stale (as is the case when devaluation occurs in the context of an intimate partner primary source) but is an adjunct of wanting to achieve some other aim. The two most popular aims are control and triangulation. We will provoke a negative fuel response from children in order to exert control over them, for instance, taking a toy away or forbidding them to do something that they enjoy such as watching a certain television programme or being allowed some sweets. This reinforces our control. A child is no different from any other appliance and must be subjected to our control. This control is not exerted for the benefit of the child, for instance, stopping the child from eating sweets every day because it is unhealthy, but is only done so we can establish control. In terms of triangulation, the negative emotional response will be achieved for the purposes of triangulating you. For instance, we may suggest to the child that mummy does not love the child so it becomes upset. We only care about the reaction, not the well-being of the child. We may say that the child cannot do something on your instruction, in order to both upset the child and thus gain negative fuel and at the same time smear you through this triangulation. Thus, when negative fuel is sought from a child it arises in conjunction with the desire to control and/or to triangulate.
  3. The traits and achievements of the child are up for grabs in the same way that we steal and acquire traits from adults in order to furnish our construct and make ourselves look even more appealing. Our sense of entitlement is such that the child has only won the race, come top of the class, swum that distance, secured a place on a vacation scheme as a consequence of our brilliance. We will remind you, the child and third parties that this is the case. Repeatedly.
  4. We will smear and brief against you at every available opportunity. Irrespective of the reasons why the relationship between you and us ended, we will not rise above the desire for smearing for the sake of the children. If there is an opportunity to take a pot shot at you, it will be taken. The needs of the children do not ever come before our needs. Thus if they are upset by what we say about you, we receive fuel and do not care how it affects them. If they begin to dislike you because we suggest you are too strict, we will not counter that but rather we will cultivate this position to our advantage.
  5. Just like you, children can cause criticism to us. Rather than soak it up as a mature, well-adjusted parent would, we will lash out when there is a perceived or actual criticism of us delivered by the words and/or actions of the child. This will as ever result in the ignition of fury and the manifestation of heated fury or cold fury. We will sulk with a child, turn away from them if they want support and/or shout at them. The fact they are a child is meaningless to us. The fact we as a parent owe obligations to them to behave in a mature and responsible fashion to them does not matter because our needs come first.
  6. We have no sense of responsibility or obligation to children. A lesser narcissist will see no need to maintain maintenance payments and will be content not to see work. A greater may well make such payments, not because he cares about the children but it is done to show to everybody else how generous he is and also to make you look bad if your financial contributions are not as substantial. The payment or otherwise of financial support will be used as a carrot and stick against you throughout the duration of childhood. We will only become involved in the lives of the children if we regard there as being some kind of benefit to us. Their emotional needs, education, safety etc. are irrelevant to us. We will attend a school performance not to show support to the child so they feel happy, but to show to other parents that we apparently love and support the child, so we gain fuel and infuriate you. We regard obligations as beneath us, we have no sense of accountability, our sense of entitlement means we can do as we please, our lack of guilt or conscience means there is no mechanism causing us to adopt an alternative stance.
  7. Understand that children are pawns which will ALWAYS be used to our advantage. Whether it is to bind you to us during the golden period, to make us look good to others, to draw fuel, to exert control, to triangulate, to perpetuate abuse and so forth, our interactions with our children are governed by our needs. In the same way that our interactions with you as intimate partner, or our involvement with an inner circle friend, or our dealing with a stranger are all governed by our needs first, the same is applicable to children.
  8. Attempting to curtail our involvement with the children is seen as a criticism to us, irrespective of how morally and factually correct your action may be. That is irrelevant to us. We will use the court system for our purposes. We do not wish to spend time with our children for their sake, but instead it is for our sake. We may find it boring having them but if we know the fact they stay with us one night a week upsets and angers you, we will do it in order to draw this fuel from you and therefore we will use the court system to fight. It is not a fight for the benefit of the children. It is a fight for the maintenance of our needs – fuel, control, triangulation etc.

With this mind set of ours now apparent in our interactions with you and the children, how do you deal with us?

  1. Minimise the interaction you have with us. Establish a system for messages to be sent by e-mail or text. If this is deviated from by a telephone call, do not take the call but allow voice mail to pick up the call and then you can establish how best to respond thereafter and you will not provide fuel by being tricked into answering a call. If possible, prevent any face to face contact between you and us concerning the children. We draw the most fuel from seeing your emotional reactions face to face. Remove this (where practical) and you are denying us fuel. For instance, utilise the assistance of other family members or friends for the handover of the children until such an age as when they can use transport or walk between venues safely.
  2. Ensure all communications are to the point, business-like and contain no emotion. This again denies us fuel. Establish a five-minute rule so that you never immediately respond to our communications (when you are more likely to do so in an emotional fashion as we try to provoke you). If five minutes is too short, extend the time.
  3. By denying us fuel we will (initially) try to provoke you in different ways concerning arrangements and interaction with the children. Weather that storm and because we must obtain fuel we will have to seek it elsewhere. You are not a viable source so we will eventually look to obtain fuel from you less and less. You will also eventually notice that this manifests by us losing interest in the children. Remember, we are not interested in the children per se but how they as appliances can serve us.
  4. You will face an ongoing battle between your influence and our influence. This is deliberate as it is used to provoke you into confronting us about what we say about you, what we say to the children and what we do with them. We want you to engage. You must resist the need to do so. Remember, you will not make us change. We will not listen to you. We want to control you and draw fuel from you. We use the children to achieve this. Accordingly, if the children comment that we are making disparaging comments about you: –
  5. Do not confront us about the issue, it is futile;
  6. Do not seek to influence the view of the child by saying “Dad is a bad person” this will trouble the child and the response will be conveyed to us which will secure Thought Fuel for us and also provide us with further ammunition to use against you for your comment. Instead, move on to discussing something else  and the child is likely to forget about the comment. If the child persists in wanting to discuss the matter, then explain that Dad does things differently to you and then move on. Provide reassurance and listen to the child but do not, however tempting it may be, do or say anything disparaging as this plays into our hands. Your role is to maintain a positive influence for your children as often as you are able. By doing this (and starving us of fuel so the interaction will lessen) your positive influence will progressively outweigh our negative influence. The more you expose your children to a positive influence and avoid walking into our traps and playing into our hands, you will tip the balance so that they will, through the effluxion of time and exposure to this positive influence flourish under it and make their own minds up.
  7. In a similar fashion to how you must deal with a smear campaign, do not tell the children what to think, but allow them to make up their own minds. This will be difficult at first and you will no doubt find yourself on the receiving end of hurtful and challenging behaviour. Keep in mind that this is our influence (not what the child really thinks) and that as you weather the storm, the effects of your positive influence will eventually manifest. As the children become older you can present them with independent evidence of behaviour (not just hearsay and say so) so they can evaluate this for themselves and make their own minds-up. Like third parties, children do not want to be involved in a conflict between two people and they do not want to be told what to do. Cater for this and you will minimise disruption and increase your positive influence.
  8. Your approach is one of ensuring the “light side” overcomes the “dark side”. This can only be achieved by repeated reinforcement of positive behaviour and influence. If you engage in behaviours similar to ours, you enter onto our home turf and you will not only encourage us to keep going with our behaviours but you will find there is a negative outcome for both you and the children.
  9. If our behaviour is serious in terms of impact on the children – for instance violence or neglect – involve the relevant authorities. You will not be able to cause us to recognise we have done anything wrong because we either do not recognise that we have or we will not admit it for the purposes of maintaining control.
  10. If you regard it as appropriate, save messages and e-mails which exhibit our behaviour and allow the child access to them when an adult. This is again the presentation of independent evidence when they are in a position to make their own minds up. You must not engage in a popularity contest or sling mud; you will lose as this is playing into our hands.
  11. If you find yourself having to engage with us through the court system, ensure those representing you are familiar with our kind. Rely on independent evidence as much as possible rather than “he said, she said”. Recognise that we are experts at duping people and our lawyers, your lawyers, psychologists, court officials and judges can just as easily be duped. If a hearing does not go your way, resist the urge to lash out at us – it is of course just fuel – and instead continue to adopt a positive approach towards your children. That must always be your focus. We want you to engage with us and we will use children and the court system to provoke you to do this. Fail to engage and you take away much of our power.

It is hard. A narcissistic parent is a fact. We will not go away so long as we are getting what we want or believe we can do so. Prevent us from getting what we want, demonstrate to us that we are unlikely to get what we want and we will turn our attention elsewhere. This will then allow your positive influence to have an even greater bearing on the children and undo any harmful effects from our toxic influence. You will face challenges but by trying to address our behaviour, cater for it and pander to it, you will not succeed in protecting your children. I have seen this first hand.

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Will ‘O The Wisp

 

will-o-the-wisp

You feel like you are trying to deal with an opponent that always seems to be one step ahead. It is like trying to tie down a vapour or stop the tide from advancing and engulfing your sand castle or catching an elusive will ‘o the wisp. No matter what you do, we always seem to have a way of squirming free, walking away and carrying on as normal. It is like trying to fight a battle with a rusty and nicked sword and one hand tied behind your back. It is akin to those dreams where you try to run but find you cannot move. You try to scream but no sound come from your throat. Every move you make appears to have been anticipated. You play a full house in poker and I produce a royal flush but where did that extra king appear from? I always have something up my sleeve. You are chasing the end of the rainbow but it always keeps shifting, just a little bit further away. You are getting nearer, closing on your goal and then it moves again. You think you have mastered the rules and then we introduce a new one which suits our purposes.

          Last week we complimented the steak pie that you made. Our praise was effusive and it was a delightful hiatus in the otherwise unpleasant treatment you had been receiving. You decide to play this winning hand again and proudly place it in the centre of the table only to be met with a sigh and a roll of the eyes.

“What’s the matter? You loved the steak pie I made last week.”

“I don’t want to eat steak pie.”

“Why what’s wrong?”

“Why must there always be something wrong. I do not want steak pie.”

“But you did last week?”

“That was then and this is now.”

Cue scathing put downs and storming from the table leaving you bewildered and upset. You don’t make steak pie again only to be scolded the following week.

“What’s happened to the steak pie? Why have you stopped making it when you know that it is my favourite?”

You dress up to the nines and you are called slutty. You dress down and you are upbraided for not putting the effort in. You try to cuddle us in the night and an elbow is jabbed into your chest because you are making us too hot. Two hours later we wake you up and ask you why you stopped hugging us. We tell you that we will be in by seven and then appear at nine. You are forbidden from questioning us about this. You are not entitled to do so. We do as we please. You buy an expensive gift for our birthday and you are told that it is not as good as last year. The following year you really push the boat out to be told you have spent too much and we just wanted something simple. You re-decorate and select a rich chocolate brown. We declare it to be the wrong shade and point to a colour that looks no different. We will not let the matter rest until you have changed it. Once applied it appears the same. We declare we want to go out for dinner and you get ready only for us to decide we would rather stay in and watch sport.

          Whatever you do it is always wrong, never correct, not good enough and an erroneous choice. No matter how many times you ask what we want, you still make the wrong choice. You suggest that we do it ourselves and you are accused of not caring. You confirm you will deal with it and you are a control freak who will not allow us to breathe on our own. Whatever you decide to do or say we will find a way of twisting it around so it suits us. Our logic seems entirely warped to you but to us it makes perfect sense because the only logic we adhere is that which means whatever we say is right, even when we show rank hypocrisy or we contradict ourselves. We can reason away every contradiction you point out to us and if you somehow back us into a corner then we will just accuse you of badgering us, change the subject or walk away. In our minds we win every single time. 

          We cast you aside telling you that you have let yourself go and we cannot be with you. You see us the next week and we are with someone less attractive than you, carrying more weight and who holds down a job less prestigious that yours. You cannot comprehend why we let you go and chose her instead, especially after what we said. You stare open-mouthed and scratch your head. To us we win again because we have acquired someone new whose fuel is better than anything you have ever provided and in addition we have got to you, so you pour out the negative fuel. If we had suddenly appeared with a supermodel instead you might talk a small degree of comfort in thinking that you could not compete with this person but do not let that think you have secured some kind of small victory. In our minds this just reaffirms that we were right to leave you and trade up. 

          You catch us in bed with someone else. It is not our fault. If you loved us properly we would not have to stray. You show us complete love and devotion and nobody could ever accuse you of selling us short in the bedroom. We accuse you of having too high a sex drive because you must be getting it elsewhere. If you apply reason and logic, especially towards one of our lesser brethren, then they will ignore the force of your words and instead accuse you of trying to belittle and bamboozle them with long words plucked from the dictionary and why do you always have to patronise them with such words and sentences. Whatever you choose, whatever you decide, whatever you do it will always be wrong and whatever we do will always be right. Accuse us as much as you like for being twisted, illogical and difficult and we will be in your face pointing out how you always have to try and get one over us. Black becomes white and then becomes yellow. Nothing makes sense with us but that is because it makes complete sense to us. Our approach is to gather fuel and that means we can and must do so through any means even if that does not stack up when looked at from your point of view. This warped and stretched approach allows us to achieve our aims, we confuse and bewilder you, we upset and anger you, we control you and each and every time we know that we have succeeded. Like the most deluded Minister of Propaganda we claim to have defeated you even as your tanks roll past us in the background. We see only what we want to see and we are impervious to all of your reason. We will never accept what you tell us because that does not accord with what we set out to achieve and what we must achieve. Of course this will not stop you trying. You try to defeat us as we replace your arrows with celery sticks and your sword with a stale baguette. We never fight fair. Your frustration, annoyance and inability to comprehend why we do this is what keeps you bound to us and allows us to keep on doing what we must keep on doing. Extracting fuel.

          So, go ahead, build that tower, build it high with the stones that adhere to your beliefs and principles, from stone that is beautifully cut and polished, that anybody would admire and cherish, but let us see how you build that tower was the sands beneath constantly shift and alter. This is what it is to be entangled with us.

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