Category Archives: blame shifting

The Mind Games – Part Two

 

mind-games-2

 

Having detailed some of the mind games that we deploy against you, this leads to the inevitable question of why do we do this? I daresay that some of you will be tempted to answer

“Because you are all arseholes.”

Whilst this is understandable and potentially accurate (when viewed from your perspective) it is not going to provide you with any insight into the workings of our minds and behaviours. Accordingly, I will expand on why it is we use mind games to comprehensively.

  1. Fuel. An obvious one and rightly the first one that is considered. The application of mind games to the dynamic between you and us is done in order to prompt an emotional reaction from you and thus garner fuel from you. Whether you become upset, distraught, frustrated, annoyed or angry as a consequence of the games being played, it is all fuel which we will readily drink up.
  2. Control. We are obsessed with control. Our environment must be beholden to us. We have to control everything around us in order to ensure that we continue to exist, receive fuel, minimise and remove risks and so forth. By subjecting you to mind games, we are able to achieve this need for control, since you become trapped by them, you remain paralysed by their effects as you try to establish what is happening, rather than knowing them for what they are and moving away from them.
  3. Future planning. It is a common outcome from entangling with our kind that you will be labelled as The Crazy One once you have been discarded or escaped, as part of the smear campaign. The mind games bring about such a state of mind in you that it becomes easy enough for us to point to your behaviour during devaluation, your behaviour post discard/escape and demonstrate that you are indeed unhinged. There are very few people who can actually resist the proliferation of mind games and not be affected by them in some way and many people are left at the end of their tether creating an appearance of being “crazy”.
  4. Façade management. By engaging in games where we are I control, you are seen as histrionic and volatile, where we are calm and pleasant to everybody but you and causing people to form an adverse view about you, this allows us to manage and maintain the façade. We have an array of lieutenants and members of our coterie who all regard us as decent and kind, which then makes your life even harder in terms of trying to persuade people about what we really are.
  5. Superiority reinforcement. We operate from the perspective that we are superior to everybody around us and especially you. By engaging in games where we are able to pull the string, make you upset and angry and exert control, this allows us to emphasise that we are indeed superior to you.
  6. Self-defence. Many of the mind games that we engage in are because we need to defend ourselves from being challenged or criticised. Hence when we project, deny, deflect and blame-shift, although there may be a collateral benefit in terms of how it affects you, the primary reason for engaging in these behaviour is to protect ourselves by rejecting blame, preventing your challenge and addressing criticism.
  7. Exhaustion. With any situation, you respond to it more effectively when you are rested and able to think in a clear manner. The deployment of mind games causes you to become exhausted which results in your lacking clarity, experiencing a reduced resistance and diminished will-power. This means that you are far less likely to try to escape what we are doing and far more likely to accept doing what we want.
  8. Plausible deniability. By operating within the vestiges of the spoken, gestures and actions, we are often able to maintain being vague and amorphous. This allows us to manipulate you to a further degree but also serves an incredibly useful purpose in denying that we have engaged in such behaviours to begin with, especially with a third party. If we are challenged by, for example, someone in authority, we can point to the absence of proof or turn it into the word of someone calm and reasonable against some frazzled, ranting Crazy Person.
  9. Impact. The impact of emotional and psychological abuse is invariably more difficult for the victim to handle than physical abuse. Whilst physical abuse is understandably unpleasant, the insidious nature of mind games means that the victim cannot grasp what is happening, cannot ascertain if they are being subjected to a mind game (being punched is obvious and unequivocal) and cannot fathom why they are being treated in this manner. You no doubt will have heard victims state,

“I would have preferred to have been physically assaulted than be put through the mental torture.”

For someone to choose physical injury over this underlines just how devastating the impact is.

  1. Lack of detectability. Alongside plausible deniability is the fact that a bruise is a bruise and therefore raises questions. It is far harder to determine the effect of the mind games. Yes, someone may present as exhausted, anxious, hypervigilant, terrified and so on, but there is always the potential for us to suggest that it is put on and/or is related to something else. It is harder to do this with physical abuse (although not impossible). Indeed, some people do not allow the effect of the mind games to be seen, preferring to keep it hidden from other parties.
  2. Erosion. If you suffer a broken arm, you can still function. You can use your other arm, you can walk places, talk, you can hear and see and so forth. The mind games naturally affect that which controls and governs everything you do. By wearing down your mind, we are able to grind you down, causing your resistance to weaken and preventing you from functioning in a manner which might aid your escape from us.
  3. Tenderising. The application of mind games through achieving erosion and exhaustion as described above means that in effect you are being “tenderised” for further manipulations to be applied against you with maximum effect.
  4. Empathic vulnerability. As a person who has empathic traits and thus the reason why you were targeted by us, you are more susceptible to these kind of behaviours. Mind games work especially well against you as a consequence of your traits such as honesty, decency, telling the truth, needing to understand, wanting to help and your emotional responses.
  5. Endeavour. Some of the mind games end up making you try harder to please and do things for us with the additional benefit which naturally arises from this.
  6. Power. This is applicable to the Greater Narcissist only as the Lesser and Mid-Range are not aware of the true extent of the application of mind games. The Greater Narcissist revels in being apply to treat somebody in this manner, distort their world, have them jumping and moving at their say so, causing them to fountain with fuel and have no idea how or why this is being done to them. The various manipulations and their outcomes means this appeals to the omnipotence which Greaters believe that they have.

Needing Release

needing

Why will you not let me go? I just want to be on my own, I have had enough of you. Is it too much to ask that I am able to lead my own life free of your presence and influence? I need to do this for myself. I do not want to be with you anymore. I had to get out. I have other things I want to do and they do not involve you. In truth, I have been wanting to do this for some time but you always managed to prevent me from going. There was always some reason that came up to stop me from breaking free of you. Every time I girded my loins in order to achieve my freedom you would do or say something that would stop me from going. I don’t know how you manage to do it. It is a fearsome power you have when I stop to think about it. It infuriates me actually, the way you manage to keep this hold over me. It is as if you know exactly what I need and you just have to say the right words. It is like weaving a spell, yes, that is it, you are a sorcerer and when you utter the incantation I am stopped from getting away. You freeze me where I stand or you take control of my decisions and actions. Sometimes your dark magic creates a wall that I cannot see but it is there and I cannot get past it. I despise the fact that you are able to do this to me. It should not be like this. You should not be allowed to control me. I know I cannot expect someone like you to even think that what you do is wrong because all you ever do is think about yourself. I have realised this; eventually. It has come at some cost because I always gave you the benefit of the doubt. I have tried to understand you but so many times it is like trying to play a vinyl record on an ipod. Impossible. I still do not understand why you have done what you have done and perhaps I never will, thank goodness there are other people who I can turn to. I know they will not do what you have done to me. You really are inhuman at times.

What’s that? I gave you no reason for why I left? Why would I? You do not deserve an explanation. Why would I give you the pleasure of seeing me having to explain myself to you? Why would I give you a further opportunity to cast another spell and stop me in my tracks once again. I just had to get away from you but look where we are now. You just will not let it happen will you. Why not just get on with your own life? You are no use to me anymore. Is that the reason? It is part of the reason, yes. No, I am not going to tell you more because you will just use it as a way to worm your way back in and get hold of me once again because that is what you do. It is no good denying it, you have done it so many times. If I give the proverbial inch you take a yard. I don’t know why you are shaking your head because it is true. I don’t care if it hurts, how hurt do you think I am after what you did to me. I had to leave you. There was no hope for any other way. I had to escape you otherwise, well, I do not want to consider what might have happened if I had remained. Just let me go will you. Why do you keep contacting me? I have nothing to say to you. I do not want to speak to you, I do not want to exchange messages, I do not want to see you. No, I do not want to talk about it. No, I do not want to sort matters out. No I do not want to try to resolve our differences. There is no point. I have moved on. Yes, I have moved on. I thought I needed you, I really did but it turns out that this is not the case any longer. I have broken free of your grip and believe me it has been a long time coming. They all know by the way, my friends, your friends, our colleagues and families. I had to tell them because I knew this is what you would do. I knew how dangerous you are and I had to warn them to watch out for you because I just knew you would try and get to me through them. You have done it before but I anticipated this move. I am good at reading you. I have had plenty of practice you see and I always know what you are going to do and say. Your predictability has given me such an advantage now and I am using to ensure I stay away from you, so why don’t you just let go? How can this possibly help you or me? You keep clinging on but I don’t understand why? There is no point in your doing this. There is no point in keep ringing me, although how you got my number I am not sure. Don’t hang around my neighbourhood either, yes I have seen you from the window and my neighbours have told me you have been doing it. It is no good denying it, I know what you are like. You are crazy, you are obsessed, I just need you to leave me alone. Please stop it. I am trying to move forward and you need to do the same. I don’t want to discuss the past. There is no point it is done. What’s that, you don’t like it when I do this, it as if I have changed into someone else. Well, I suppose I have, I have had to, in order to escape your influence. Look, this is getting nowhere, I have been civil with you for the sake of the other people here but it won’t last if you keep this up. Go, go now and leave me alone. Please. Just do it. Move on. You can find someone else, I am sure there is someone equally crazy who will take you with open arms. Don’t look like that, I am just telling you how it is. How can I just change like that? It isn’t me that has changed, it was you, you conned me, but I am not going through all of that now, I know what you are doing you are trying to keep me talking in the hope of persuading me, well it won’t work and besides, you really must go now because my new girlfriend will be here in a moment and I don’t want her to have to deal with you and your lunacy. Go.

The Parasite

You fed off me and I am sick of it. You attached yourself to me drawn by my magnetism, but I never asked you to. You just decided that you wanted to be with me, you need me, truth be told and because I am magnanimous I allowed you to attach to me but as of late your taking and leeching has begun to annoy me. You cannot deny this is what you are. The evidence speaks for itself. You saw my charm, my attractiveness, my easy manner with people and how they are drawn to me and like some opportunist you decided that you wanted some of that. You realised that you could benefit massively by attaching yourself to me. You could avail yourself of my impeccable reputation, my scintillating presence and my esteemed connections. I do not blame you for wanting to be associated with me, who would not? Who would not want such a slice of the action as me? The opportunity to move in circles that you had never experienced before. The chance to be somebody. The time to clamber upwards from the tedious life you led and the doldrums in which you festered. I suppose I ought to admire your desire to improve yourself and better yourself by seeing what I am and what I do and wanting to be a part of that world. You certainly did become part of that world as well. You enjoyed my extraordinary largesse as you accepted my gifts, my invitations and my cold hard cash. You were delighted to be on my arm as we went to so many special places. You were granted access all areas. You consumed the love I poured in your direction, drinking deep of my passion, my affection and my dedication. I helped you, I listened, I advised. I called you often as you wanted me to. I made sure you felt safe and secure with my frequent messages and attention to your well-being. I allowed your friends and family to become part of my entourage, they certainly had no qualms about getting on the gravy train did they? You dominated my attention, engulfed me with your need to keep taking from me. Even when matters became difficult you did not stop with your neediness. You wanted reassurance still, to be told that I loved you, to be taken to those special places once again. You tried to stop me doing what I wanted to do, what I needed to do. You wanted to prevent me spending time with my friends and yes before you say anything they were always only ever my friends. Honest. You saw me as an easy target. I see that now and you kept taking, taking and taking. Is it little wonder that my irritation became annoyance? That my annoyance became fury? You just would not stop taking from me and in the end I had to stop this. I had to find someone who would give rather than take and that meant I had to be rid of you. That is why I chose someone else to escape your leeching and draining behaviour. That is why I cast you aside. You are a parasite.

 

You fed off me and I am sick with it. You attached yourself to me drawn by my goodness, but I never asked you to. You just decided that you wanted to be with me, you need me, truth be told and because I am the kind and caring person that I pride myself on being, I allowed you to attach to me but as of late your taking and leeching has begun to destroy me. You cannot deny this is what you are. The evidence speaks for itself. You saw my compassion, my attractiveness, my empathic manner with people and how they respond to such kindness and love and like some opportunist you decided that you wanted all of that for yourself. You realised that you could benefit massively by attaching yourself to me. You could avail yourself of my gushing compassion, my reflective presence as my emotional nature. I do not blame you for wanting to be with me, who would not when they are a creature like you? Who would not want such to erode me slice by slice? The opportunity to move yet again in circles that you had experienced before. The chance to be make yourself feel like somebody for once. The time to clamber upwards from the empty life you lead and the chasm which threatens to engulf you. I suppose I ought to admire your desire to improve yourself and better yourself by seeing what I am and what I do and wanting to make me part of you by swallowing me up. You certainly did make me become part of you as I struggle to remember most days who I am and what I was before I met you. You enjoyed my extraordinary love as you accepted my attentiveness, my invitation into my heart and my warm, loving nature. You were delighted to be on my arm as we went to so many special places. You were granted access all areas to who I was and you saw no reason to ever respect my identity. You consumed the love I poured in your direction, drinking deep of my passion, my affection and my dedication. I helped you, I listened, I advised and even when you began to abuse me, I never wavered from that. I called you often as you wanted me to. I made sure you felt safe and secure with my frequent messages and attention to your well-being. I allowed my friends and family to become part of your facade, they certainly had no qualms about forgetting me following your smear campaigns did they? You dominated my attention, engulfed me with your need to keep taking from me. Even when matters became difficult you did not stop with your neediness. You wanted reassurance still, to be told that I loved you, to be taken to those special places in side my soul once again. You tried to stop me doing what I wanted to do, what I needed to do. You wanted to prevent me spending time with my friends and yes before you say anything they were my friends until you banished them. Honest. You saw me as an easy target. I see that now and you kept taking, taking and taking. Is it little wonder that my confusion became despair? That my despair became desperation? You just would not stop taking from me and in the end I need to find a way to stop this, but I can’t seem to. You won’t stop.  I have to find someone who will give rather than take and that means I need to be rid of you. I know this has to happen but I feel I cannot escape you, you have drained and leeched from me to such an extent that I am barely able to think and function. That is why I need to cast you aside but how can I when you will not let me go and you will not stop causing me to love you. You are a parasite.

Who is the parasite. You, me or both of us?

The parasite is the one who benefits at the expense of the other.

Who is the parasite?

The Five Shirks of Accountability

 

It is fundamental that we remain unaccountable for our actions. Not only is it the case that we believe we are entitled to complete immunity for what we say and do, occasioned by our innate superiority, we also believe it to be necessary for us to be able to gather fuel as often and as effectively as we do. If we were slowed down by having to make meaningful apologies, explain ourselves, account for what we have done and accept responsibility for the consequences this would absorb time that would be far better spent in the pursuit of fuel. Hampering us in such a way would result in us becoming weaker since we would not be able to gather as much fuel as usual. It is therefore necessary, so we remain sleek, effective and light of foot, for us to never be concerned about accountability and also to never allow responsibility to rest with us. As with many of our machinations, this approach also allows us to gather fuel in itself by the imposition of blame on others, usually you and the astonished and outraged emotional response which then flows from this staggering act of walking away scot free. As ever, words are our best allies when it comes to throwing off the attempt to make us assume the mantle of responsibility. Here are five of our favourites.

 

  1. What do you expect me to do about it?

 

I regularly brag about how brilliant and special I am. That I have many talents and if I so chose I could remedy many situations within moments, but notwithstanding this being the stance that I adopt to the world at large, I am not going to do that with you. Not a chance. I am not here to pick up the pieces after you, although I expect you to do so for me repeatedly. I can do as I like and you are obliged to make good the damage that I cause – collect the broken pieces of crockery, apologise to the shell-shocked friend after an outburst, try to solve the financial headache that we have left. If you have caused a problem, and let’s face it, it is always your fault anyway, you cannot expect me to do something about it. I am above such menial tasks. I have important and bigger things to attend to. Such as? I don’t have to explain myself to the likes of you. If I caused the problem (which in reality is usually the case) I am not going to do anything about it.

 

  1. Deal with it.

That’s the way it is and you had better get used to it. This haughty declaration is par the course for our sense of entitlement to do as we please. We bulldoze through everything and you just have to put up with it. You can’t walk away; we will not allow that to happen. Issuing this barked instruction at you is an effective way of upsetting you. It is telling you that you are useless and you should just be getting on with the situation rather than complaining about it. You shouldn’t be complaining; you should have already guessed that you needed to sort the situation out. Don’t ask me for help because I just do not have time for this mickey mouse nonsense.

 

  1. You caused this to happen.

We like to maintain that we act with the omnipotence of a god but how many times have you found that you have somehow caused something to happen so that it would suggest that you exercise the powers of a deity? My late arrival was down to you. My failure to remember something was caused by you. My infidelity for the sixth time was wholly as a consequence of what you have done. At its most brutal this declaration is issued without any explanation as to why it is that you caused the problem to arise. We say that it is the case therefore that must be right. Does this exchange seem familiar?

“Why is that the case?”

“It just is.”

“But why?”

“Because I say so.”

Other than our kind, who comes out with such assertions bereft of reality or explanation? That’s right, children. That tells you all you need to know about our mentality when we accuse you of being the one who has caused the problem. If you are “fortunate” enough to be given some kind of explanation it makes perfect sense when viewed from our perspective, although it will not from yours. That is deliberate. We want you to feel astonished, bewildered and annoyed at our sheer audacity to make the connection between our wrongdoing and your causation.

“If you were more loving I wouldn’t go elsewhere.”

“What do you mean by that? I couldn’t be anymore loving towards you.”

“Oh that’s right, deny it is anything to do with you and make me about to the bad person.”

“Well, it is you who had the affair.”

“Caused by you.”

“How?”

“I have already told you and if you cannot accept that then there is no point continuing with this conversation.”

You get no answer no acceptance of blame. All you get is a tenuous (in your world but not ours) explanation as to why our wrongdoing is all down to you.

 

  1. Why do you have to spoil everything?

A cousin of the third shirking above but with an added layer of blame. In the above example, you have caused the problem although you may not necessarily have intended it. With this statement we are telling you that not only is the problem not of our doing, it is your fault and guess what? You meant to do it because you are such an awful and horrible person. Our rampant paranoia causes us to believe that you are out to get us, to topple us and that you are plotting to unseat us as a consequence of our behaviour towards you during devaluation. This is why whenever anything goes wrong you are the architect of that misfortune as you have purposefully set out to cause a problem for us, driven by your innate nastiness and jealousy.

 

  1. Why do you make my life so hard?

Poor us. Put upon by you and your terrible behaviours. This is often thrown at you when you begin to wise-up to our manipulations and either through choice or out of sheer exhaustion you are no longer  engaging with our provocations and machinations. What we are actually saying to you here is, “Why do you make it so hard to extract fuel from you?” Your failure to play ball and do what we want is causing us to expend more energy in order to get the negative fuel from you and in accordance with our outlook as a victim, you are doing this on purpose. We need to get that fuel and you should be helping us, not hindering us, no wonder we lash out at you as we do because you are horrible and you make our lives far more difficult and harder than you should or once did.

Ten Conversational Narc Grenades

1. You never….

The precursor to a criticism of how you do not do something for me. It is a twin explosive assault against you because not only do I tell you that you are failing me by not doing something for me I also choose something that you actually do carry out. By suggesting that you no longer do a particular act or say a certain thing, when you actually do so, I intend to leave you speechless with exasperation and confused as to just how I can say such a thing. You will be stunned by such a blatant contradiction and this will result in your emotional response coming to the fore, rather than a reasoned one. All the better fuel for us.

2. You always….

The flipside of the above and likely to be tossed in your direction not long after the above narc grenade. The allegation of “you always” will be followed by some put-down and criticism highlighting a behavioural trait of yours which we deem unsatisfactory. Once again we will actually highlight something that you do not do in order to perplex you. You will defend yourself against this scandalous accusation and once again erupt in an emotional manner.

3. I’m sick of you controlling me.

Thrown at you in order to project our own rampant control of you. This is also used to deflect any criticism of us when you chastise us for our behaviour. Any attempt from you to point out the error of our ways or even to try to help us in some way will be met with this response. We do believe that you are trying to control us, by trying to break our own control of you and we cannot allow this to happen. It is through our control that we gain what we want from you and therefore any threat to this must be met with something that will knock you off balance. Accusing you of the very thing that we are doing will cause such astonishment and consternation that our aim is fulfilled.

4. My ex wouldn’t do this

A narc grenade of triangulation and who better to do it with than your predecessor. By implying that your predecessor has some form of superiority to you, after all the smearing of her name we did when we first ensnared you, not only will you be taken aback by this sudden volte face, you will also be mightily offended at being compared to someone who we hate so viciously. Drawing you down to her apparent level always brings forth a reaction from you.

5. My ex would do it

Another flipside whereby we are seeking to coerce you to do something for us, something which you are evidently reluctant to do. You have reservations and no doubt with good reason, but that does not matter to us. You are our extension and therefore you ought to be complying with our wishes without hesitation or refusal. By triangulating you again with she who went before you we are threatening that you are inferior to her and raising the prospect that you will be soon dispensed with if you do not do what we want.

6. I love you but I don’t like you right now

This carefully crafted narc grenade will shatter you as it appears as a compliment before ripping your heart out as you struggle to comprehend what we have just said.Surely if we love you, then we must also like you? What do we mean by saying this? It creates confusion and will have you trying to persuade us to both love and like you. What we mean when we lob this grenade towards you is “You say you love me but you will not do what I want.”

7. If you loved me….

We know that you are a love devotee. A passionate supporter and believer in the concept of love and we use this as grenade to about compliance. We know that you take pride in your integrity and decency and therefore you have standards to always uphold. By suggesting that your failure to act in the manner we want or that your disagreeing with us is somehow representative of you loving us less, we are challenging what you stand for. This will always force you to react by stating your case, reacting in an emotional fashion and ultimately doing what we want, in order to prove that you do indeed love us.

8. You are over reacting

A favourite to make you react even more. You take matters seriously and there are many things that we shall do which will cause you to respond in a serious and concerned fashion. By using this grenade, we belittle you and cause the issue to be about your reaction rather than what we have actually done.It acts as a brilliant way to deflect discussion and dissection of our behaviour and instead causes you to try to prove that you are not over-reacting, which will invariably actually heighten your response.

9 I can’t deal with this right now

Our grenade that is thrown in order to provide us with an escape route from any crisis or situation that requires us to be either accountable or supportive. We do neither and we want to keep it this way. We will invent some other reason which means that we have to depart or that you have to deal with this situation as we hurl the grenade, leaving you to catch it and deal with the subsequent explosion as we walk away, free from involvement, responsibility and culpability.

10 I don’t remember

The blast from this grenade is used to eradicate the problem that you are facing us with. Whether it is an accusation that we have failed to do something or evidence of misbehaviour, this grenade is a failsafe way of enabling us to escape the problem. Often it will be used even when it is blatantly clear that we can remember, making your flabbergasted reaction all the more satisfying. There may be irrefutable evidence that we know and can remember but this never stops us from hurling this grenade at you and making good our escape from your attempt to blame us.

The Battle of Going Out

We do not like you to socialise without us. Why would you want to be anywhere other than by our side marvelling at how brilliant we are? Why on earth would you want to spend time with someone who is clearly inferior to us? What are you up to by going out with someone else? You are clearly being disloyal and that does not please us. Moreover, you are not providing us with any fuel by asserting some form of independence and that is a terrible and selfish thing for you to do. We do not like you to spend time with other people since we fear that they exert some malign influence over you. We know they will be trying to undermine us in your eyes and turn you against us. We know it is because they are jealous of what we have together and rather than be pleased for you, they are smearing my good name. You want to listen to them as well, otherwise why would you be going? Our careful and structured control of you, our calculated isolation of you, all stand to be damaged by your socialising with those who we have not got control over. We tried but for some reasons there are two or three of your friends who proved immune to our charm. I should feel sorry for them since they are selfish, bitter and twisted, but I don’t feel sorry for them because I don’t feel sorry do I, only for myself. I want you with me, where I can keep an eye on you and control you. I want you here where you are supplying me with fuel. This is your rightful place and by organising to go out for your meal with these friends you are telling me that I am not good enough to spend time with. You are criticising me and that wounds me. I have to stop you wounding me. I have to stop you going. I have to maintain the upper hand. Thus because of your selfish behaviour the Battle of Going Out is joined.

“You never said that you were going out,” I begin as I see you getting ready in the bathroom. You halt applying your make-up and turn to me.

“Yes I did, I told you last week and again this morning.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes I did, I remember.”

“No you did not. I would have remembered if you had told me,” I answer.

” I put it on the calendar.” You walk to the kitchen and return holding a calendar with the words ‘Girls meal out – Leonardos’.

“See?” you ask and jab a finger at the words.

“That? I thought that was referring to your nieces, not you, you never said.”

“Seriously? Come on, why would my nieces be going to Leonardo’s on their own?” you ask.

“You’ve just written that in when you were fetching the calendar. Look, the ink is still drying.”

You sigh in exasperation.

“I told you about it, it is in the calendar. I have not been out in weeks.”

“Well neither have I,” I comment.

“What? You were out last Friday,” you answer voice rising.

“That was with work.”

“It was still going out,” you reply.

“That is not the same. You know I have to schmooze clients, it is hardly pleasure. I have to do that for business reasons so I think you are being unfair by saying that is a night out for me.”

“Those clients you were out with are your friends, it was a right piss up.”

“Oh sorry, I forgot, you were there weren’t you, you know all about how I conduct my business don’t you?” I declare.

“No I don’t but they are your friends.”

“So I am not allowed to have clients who are friends now am I? Jesus, why don’t you just stop me from having any friends at all eh? Why not stop me going anywhere? You would like that wouldn’t you? Just having me stuck in here all the time.”

“What are you talking about, I let you do as you please.”

“No you don’t. You are determined to keep me on a leash. My friends take the piss out of me for how little time I get to spend with them.”

You halt your application of the lipstick.

“Who has said that?”

“Several people. Jim, Richard and John. They say I am under the thumb.”

“Huh, they have a cheek, Jim is completely under the thumb of Jessica.”

“No he’s not, but you just change the subject why don’t you. You should be staying in with me you never want to do that anymore.”

“Don’t be silly, I am with you most of the time. Look it is just an informal meal with a few of my friends, it is no big deal.”

“If it is not important then why do you have to go?”

“Because I want to,” you answer.

“Where are you going?”

“You know that Leonardo’s.”

“Really? Who with?”

“Jane, Sarah, Mary and Stephanie, oh and Carrie.”

“I don’t believe you, you have just made that up.”

“What? No I haven’t.”

“You are meeting a man aren’t you? Come on who is it?”

“No you are being stupid.”

“Don’t call me stupid. I am not the one going out and leaving their other half on their own,” I begin to shout and you jolt at the sudden change in volume.

“You are up to something, you have a different perfume on. Who is he?”

“Seriously, you are paranoid, I am meeting the girls.”

“No I am not, who do you think you are saying that to me, you are messing around. I know you are. You have been acting strangely the last few weeks. I know you are. Admit it,” I move towards you and stand over you barking into your face. You back away, eyes widening fearfully.

“I haven’t, honestly, I haven’t.”

“I should let you go anyway you whore, I don’t know why  I bother with you. I was planning a pleasant evening in for us. I was going to cook you your favourite and I have a delicious bottle of Chablis chilling but as usual you are being selfish.”

“Please don’t shout at me, I am just going out with my friends, I am allowed to have some friends aren’t I?”

“Not those harpies, they have it in for me, I hate them. I hate you.”

“Oh please don’t be like that, look I will be back by ten at the latest so we can still have some time together,” you suggest.

“Is that supposed to make me feel pleased? Why would I want to spend time with you, you slut. I see, you want to have your way with him and then rub it in my face. You are such a bitch.”

You have backed away from my tirade, wincing with each bellowed sentence. This allows me to snatch up your clutch bag.

“You can’t go out with no keys and no money,” I say holding the bag aloft.

“Please I only want to see my friends, I rarely see them as it is, please give me my bag back, why are you being so horrible?”

“Because you are cheating on me. I am not having you spend our money on some other man.”

“There is no other man, how many times do I have to tell you? Please let me go.”

“No. You are not going. You are staying here with me.”

“I can’t cancel, not this late,” you say in dejection.

“Of course you can. He does not matter.”

“There is no he. It is the girls.”

“So you say. You are not going. If you do that it is me and you finished.”

“What, just because I want to see my friends?” You slump on to the bed, shoulders hunched and your head in your hands.

“You don’t need them, you have got me.”

“Why does it always have to be like this, every time I try and do something you do this,” you protest and your voice breaks with the first sob of frustration.

“No I don’t stop trying to blame me when you are at fault,” I growl.

“You always do this, make feel guilty or do something to stop me going out.”

“Rubbish, you are making things up again. You are just trying to make me feel bad for you. It won’t work you know that.”

You begin crying as I stand power surging through me.

“Here,” I order as I pull your phone from your bag and throw it down on the bed besides you, ” ring them and tell them you can’t make it, say you don’t feel well or something. I will pour the Chablis.”

Still sobbing you fumble for the phone and pick it up before dialling the number. I stand triumphant drinking deep of the fuel you have given me during this exchange. I have won the battle once again and this time I did not even have to escalate it like I did last time. I suppose that was just as well really seeing as how you had only just replaced those mirrors I smashed.

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Ah, you recall those heady days during the golden period when nothing was too much trouble for me? Breakfast would be brought to you in bed. I would take your dog for a walk without being asked. I would leave those little love notes hidden around the house for you to find after your trip away. I would walk into the countryside and pick flowers for you to hand over to you with my dimpled smile. Something upset you? I would listen on the telephone or drive across to listen as you cried and emptied your heart. I was on hand, on time and on your side.

After a few months, longer if you are really lucky, my helpfulness and ever present assistance has eroded. If you ask me to do something you will be met with a sigh and a roll of the eyes and I may just do it. More likely I vanish when chores are required. I never answer the phone when you desperately need to speak to me to discuss your bad day at work. I flat refuse to do the things that I always did for you and indeed I will even deny that I ever did them. To reinforce this stark withdrawal of my services I will then always query what have you done for me? I will trot out the list of things that I have done for you (adding some fabricated ones in for good measure – go on, try and suggest I am making them up and see what happens next). Isn’t it curious how I have a foggy memory about agreeing to pain the fence yet I can recall with amazing recall the date, manner and duration of each and everything that I have done for you. I only ever did it so I could hook you and then throw it back in your face. Of course, as with everything I do, you frantically try to fathom out what has happened and to steer us back to my useful and helpful period. Thus the dance goes on.