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The Rules of Ex Club – No. 12



Excuses Equals Endangered




The fact for so long you had no idea what you were dealing with resulted in you engaging in an anticipated behaviour. This behaviour is one which we regularly rely on in order to keep you in the dark. I have made mention of the various traits which we look for in those who make the most useful victims to us. One of those traits concerns your ability to try to find the good in everyone and everything. This is a typical empathic trait and along with all of the others which you possess causes you to flare up on our radar when we are seeking an excellent primary source. Your desire to see good means that it obscures your ability to see the bad or perhaps more accurately, to accept the bad. This is something we desire because it prevents you from truly recognising what it is that is happening to you once your devaluation has begun. We of course love to operate from a position of plausible deniability, we court ambiguity since we enjoy and need to twist and turn in order to achieve what we want. If you saw everything as stark and clear as I now describe our machinations to you, you would be more inclined to escape us and bring about that unwelcome cessation of our primary source of fuel. It would also make it harder to apply those hoovers when we wish to return you to the fold and have you engage in our cyclical endeavours once again. We present you with the truth of what we are on a repeated basis but although we offer it up in front of you, we never let you see it clearly. We draw a veil across certain elements, apply a smoke screen, obscure some parts and distort others. The reality is there before you. It is evident and plain but because of the way in which we purposefully manipulate you, you are unable to see it. It is akin to us pointing out a ship on the horizon. It is obvious for us to see but when we hand you a telescope to gain a better look at this vessel, the lens has been smeared with something which distorts the view, or we place our finger over part of the lens blocking your view.

The consequence of this distortion is to prevent you from truly seeing what we are. This in turn means that you are unable to form a clear and coherent view of the person which has taken hold of you. This becomes infuriating for others who we have not been able to drag into our façade, but who recognise full well what we are. These observers tell you what you are dealing with. They may be circumspect to begin with, hoping not to offend your sensibilities but over time their increasing exasperation causes them to come out and say it straight. Yet, such candour rarely finds favour with you because you do not like to be told something about someone as wonderful as us (or at least someone who was wonderful). You do not like to think that the golden period has gone. You do not like to be deprived of the idea that what you once had will never come back or even that it did not exist to begin with. Most of the reasons why you think like this is as a consequence of our manipulative behaviour, which further goes to underline that it is not your fault. Even your desire to see the good in people is not your fault either. That is who you are. We know that and we exploit it. It is our fault again but of course in the midst of the battle that we engage in with you, we will never admit that anything is our fault. That will never do.

Thus, your view of us is obscured and because of this you will always issue excuses to explain away our behaviour, our words and our actions. You make these excuses time and time again, to others and to yourselves. You believe these excuses because this is how you think and you have been led towards this train of thought by the schooling you have received at our manipulative hands and mouths. You also utilise these excuses to continue to convince yourself that the unsavoury elements of our behaviour are just an aberration, an occasional blip in respect of an otherwise magnificent person. Your charity is amazing and naturally most welcome for through this blinkered approach you divest us of responsibility for the things we do, something which aligns with one of our many stated aims. You prevent yourself from examining further the reality of what has now ensnared you and the repeated application of these excuses keeps you in situ. We want you to utilise these excuses. We want to hear them. We want them said to us and to others. Your excuses frustrate and alienate those who are against us, your excuses support our manufactured façade and most of all they ensure you deny to yourself that which is directly before you. Here are twenty-five of those such excuses. You will have said them and probably more than once. Understand that each time you utter one you have used a further death knell for your prospects of escaping us.

  1. He is just tired; it makes him snap.
  2. He doesn’t mean it, not really.
  3. You don’t have to pretend with me, I just want you to be yourself.
  4. He has a lot on his mind at the moment.
  5. Work is particularly stressful for him.
  6. He sometimes has a bit too much to drink, but hey, who hasn’t been there?
  7. I think perhaps I am too harsh on him at times, it is my fault really.
  8. He is in a bad place but he will come through it.
  9. He is a complex person; you don’t understand him like I do
  10. It is just the way he is; I have got used to it.
  11. I know it seems bad but he does so much that is lovely; this is only a small part of what he is like.
  12. Nobody knows him properly, that’s why you think bad of him.
  13. He is a popular guy so he is always going to have women hitting on him.
  14. He has a temper, I know, but that’s part of what he is and it’s not for us to change him.
  15. I need to be more supportive and then he will be better.
  16. He’s not well at the moment but I will help him get through it, you will see.
  17. You’ve only heard one side of the story; he is not like that at all.
  18. Yes, well, his family would say that about him to cover up what they did to him.
  19. All he needs is to be loved and I am the one who is going to do that for him.
  20. You don’t know what you are saying anymore, it is okay, I do understand.
  21. It was a one-off, it won’t happen again.
  22. I know it was wrong but this time he has promised that he won’t do it anymore.
  23. You don’t understand the way that me and him are together.
  24. You are just jealous of what we have. Why can’t you be pleased for us, for my sake?
  25. I’m sorry, it was my fault.

Sound familiar?





Do you remember when you were at school and your friends all appeared to know something that you did not? They gave each other knowing looks, made sideways references to “this thing” and smiled and giggled. Unsettling wasn’t it? You asked them to tell you, you pleaded and you may even have become upset or angry, threatening your friends with some repercussion if they did not tell you what it was that they knew. Usually it was nothing. Just a device devised to play a game with you, to provoke a reaction, to cause you to react and it worked. Then you were in on the secret and you could join in and play it against the next unsuspecting individual. Nevertheless, you did not like that sensation of not knowing did you? Few people do. How many times when someone has gone missing, have anguished people declared,

“It’s the not knowing which really gets to you.”

The apprehension you experience when you wait to receive your examination results. You know you studied hard during the year, carried out the revision in the right way and you felt the examination went well, but you can never be sure can you, it is the lack of knowing which gnaws away at you until you receive the result.

Waiting for some test results concerning your health causes anxiety and concern. Even if it is bad news, once you have those results you can then take action, make plans and formulate a way forward but whilst you do not know, you are stuck, paralysed and frozen. It is an unpleasant sensation at best and an utterly debilitating one at worst.

You do not like secrets. We thrive on them.

So much of what we are is a secret. We are like a series of chests, compartments and vaults in which various secrets have been placed. Some have been placed there with the intention of never being revealed, either to you or even to ourselves. Others are those secrets about what we really are or what we actually do and we close the lid, slam the door shut and turn the key in the hope that you do not find them out and expose us for what we truly are. We do not want you to find out that the honey-coated façade is just that as you open a dark box and find the full horror of our true behaviour lurking inside. The past behaviours and historic actions are consigned into the depths of archive storage to prevent you from knowing what we really did to our ex-partner, what was said to our brother that has meant we have not spoken in ten years or the catalogue of infidelities that we engaged in. If you were ever allowed admission to those dark corridors you would pass the vaults, chests and caskets into which the secrets of our kind have been placed. Wife-beater, alcoholic, smack head, fraudster, closet homosexual, expenses fiddler, serial cheater, elder abuser, fence, conman, contemptor of court, distant parent, liar, convict, tax fraud, cross-dresser, sexual degenerate and so much more besides. Many secrets, some which you may eventually look upon, so many you may never know about. So many secrets hidden away, pushed into the recesses, concealed and secreted so that prying eyes do not learn the truth of what we say and do.

Yet, our secrecy goes further than that. We delight in letting you know that we have some kind of secret in order to exert control over you. We revel in giving you a glimpse of something but then pulling it from view. We engage in half-comments, low whispers and veiled comments in order to pique your interest but then we relish withholding the full tale. We take pleasure in these insignificant mysteries that cause you to question and probe. After all, we do know how you behaved when you were so much younger and how the sensation of not being able to know troubles you. It troubles you and your kind more than others. Like the older boy at school, we have snatched your lunch money and now hold it above your head, almost in reach as you hop and jump, frustration increasing as you attempt to recover it. You want to get hold of what it is that we know so you can satisfy your own need to know. We recognise this and therefore engage in the playing of games where we suggest, hint, partially reveal and allude to so that your interest is gained. We tease as we make oblique references to something in the expectation that you will bite. We will sit staring into space, cultivating the appearance of depth and intrigue as you observe us and wonder what we are thinking about. You will of course ask and we will give you some cryptic response which as you pondering and probing further. Whatever we told you is nothing to do with what we were actually thinking about. We may have been admiring the view from the window, we might have been wondering how the match would turn out and most likely we were considering which of the growing stable of prospects to message next. Instead we will trot out some comment or line which gives the appearance of us being pre-occupied with some weighty matter, something possibly beyond the wit of you, something which makes us appear mysterious and heavyweight. The intrigue adds to the allure but it also plays to your desire to need. The keeping back of information, the withholding of knowledge, the cloak and dagger routine is all part of the act. The true secrets will never be revealed to you. The secret we allude to is non-existent. It is just a device to control you. It is a means of keeping you bound to us, asking, wondering and probing. The half-answers and titbits are there to confuse, bewilder and cause your anxiety. The mysterious murmurs, the ponderous gaze and the comments to ourselves which you can only partially hear are mere ruses. They are to give us the appearance of depth when it is lacking. The creation of so many apparent secrets is to keep you away from the real secrets by leading you in a different direction and to make us appear deep and of substance. We look to snatch your consideration and scrutiny and make it belong to us instead.

The playing of secrecy continues after the cessation of our formal relationship. Always when you have been discarded and often even when you escape, how many times are your night bedfellows not some other person but the ghosting questions of how, what, why, when and where? You are given no answers as to what has happened and this is when the secrecy takes on the greatest significance as we have entered you into the maze where you try to find a way through it in order to understand how we could have done what we did, what on earth happened to you, why did we do those things, when will we come back and where did it all go wrong? We condition you throughout your dance with us to be intrigued by us, to wonder, to speculate, to pontificate and so forth so that it builds and builds until when we cast you to one side you can do nothing but keep wanting to learn our secrets, to open those doors, to slide back the bolts and open the portals, to raise the lids and lift the covers. This keeps you coming back to us, it keeps you hanging on in the hope that one day there will be a momentous reveal and it will all make sense. You wait in the expectation that all the secrets of this person that you still love will be revealed to you. But it never happens. Not by him or her. The unmasking comes from another place.

It is  no secret that you have the key to the narcissistic universe in your hands now.


The Mid-Range Narcissist




Meet Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist. Say hello Malcolm.


Ever obliging is Malcolm, part of his charm. He doesn’t have the ubermensch mentality of the Greater and nor is he governed by the almost rash instinctive behaviour of the Lesser. Malcolm is not so much defined by what he is, but by what he is not.

“Isn’t that right Malcolm?”

“Isn’t what right my dear?”

“You are a Mid-Range Narcissist.”

Malcolm laughs. It is an affable laugh. He knows that a veneer of self-effacement is effective to get what he wants. He is not prone to the wild outlandish boasts of the Lesser (based on what he thinks he is and therefore says as such as a matter of immediate response) or the Greater (who actually has the achievements and accomplishments to back up those boasts, but boasts about them the Greater always must).

“Hey, what can I say, I like to look good and you know, you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, that’s what I always say.”

You see, Malcolm thinks that is what a narcissist is. Somebody who loves themselves. He lacks the higher function to know what it really means and lacks the cunning to know it himself but to deny it to those who would seek to topple him. He has some understanding so the comment does not present as a criticism to him, but since he has a moderate degree of function, he knows enough to use it to maintain his façade of being a decent, likeable and reliable fellow.

“You are a likeable chap, I must say.”

“Why thank you and may I say how lovely you look today.”

“That’s most kind, mind you, you are not the first person to compliment me on my appearance.”

Let’s see how he responds to that little piece of provocation. Did you see it? There was a flash of the inner fury but he kept it under control. Watch again. You see the sudden frown and the narrowing of the eyes as his jealousy started to climb inside of him as he felt the injury from this criticism. My comment suggested that someone else might be interested in me, that I am not just Malcolm’s. Of course, it was just a well-meant and polite compliment, but like all of their kind, Malcolm views the world from a position of suspicion and wariness. Wariness is an apt description for Malcolm. He doesn’t erupt in the way Lee the Lesser might have done if I had made the same remark. Lee would have responded with insulting questions to my comment. The Greater would show no sign of concern but file the remark away to be used at the appropriate time, when the moment is exactly right. Anyway, let’s get back to Malcolm. There is that flash of fury but he has enough control to keep it held back. For now. He won’t let it go though, he cannot.

“Oh really, who said that?”

He asks in a tone of relative disinterest but he is dying to know. He wants to know because he feels uncomfortable at this revelation. He does not know precisely why, although he knows he has to be wary about someone interfering with his partner because after all, he wants to maintain his façade of family man with the dedicated wife and so forth. Steady Malcolm who knows he is not amongst the elite of the world, but he is also far from the underclass too. He has abilities and people should recognise that. Okay, he is not the best, but he is still good, very good actually.

“Oh you know the attendant at the petrol station, he chats to me every time I am in there, he probably fancies me.”

There it is again. The brief look of consternation. The fury is rising but he is managing to keep a grip on it, but he won’t be able to do so for long. He does not want to erupt, he knows that will not do, that is not how he behaves, but he knows he needs to do something to counter this threat. He does not like the fact that I am accepting compliments from this interloper, I should only receive them from him.

“Yes well, I was told by Lucy at the florists that I look ten years younger than my real age.”

There we are. He is switching to an alternative fuel source. His level of function allows him to rely on a past event and still draw fuel from it. The Lesser would not be able to do that. Firstly, his fury would have erupted already and secondly even if it had not, he would struggle to bring up the previous compliment. His mind does not work that way. Malcolm can though and this is his way of switching the spotlight back on to him. He is also looking to get a reaction from me as well to provide him with some fuel. Let’s pretend I haven’t heard him.

“Yes the guy at the garage, Luke he is called, strapping lad, so pleasant. He always tells me that my hair is looking nice or that I smell gorgeous. He fair makes my day.”

“Yes well he can’t be too bright though can he if he is working in a garage.”

Malcolm doesn’t say it as a question but it’s a statement. He is losing control; the fury is coming. His comment had a dual purpose. You see, his mid-range function provides him with some weaponry in that regard. He wanted to cut down my comment in order to provoke a reaction from me but also by stating that Luke is not very bright he is undermining the compliments that Luke has sent my way. He’s a little bit clever with it you see.

“Oh, he just works there in between his studies. He is going to be an architect, he wants to show me some of his designs, I think I might do that.”

Let’s push it a little more. You can see Malcolm’s face is now set in a frown. He doesn’t like it at all that I am not giving him any fuel and moreover by fawning over Luke I am implicitly criticising Malcolm, at least in his mind that is the case.

Malcolm won’t respond in an outwardly aggressive manner. It’s there if he is really pushed, if he feels cornered in some way or has a frantic need for fuel then the fury will erupt as heated fury and he will lash out. He can only keep the fury under control for a short while. The Lesser can barely do so. The Greater can and will or will not, dependent on how the Greater has calculated whether the unleashing of the fury will provide him with the greatest return at that instant. Malcolm is caught between the two. He can exert some control but not enough to really deliver and savage aggression is rarer with him. Watch now and see how his ignited fury manifests.

Do you see? He has snatched up his ‘phone and rings one of his secondary sources. He knows he does not like this feeling of being ignored and he knows that to deal with it he needs attention from somewhere else. He does not know it as fuel of course, only that when this happens, if I, his primary source, is letting him down, he has to either up his game with me and/or draw attention from somewhere else.

“Hi Janice, just wondering if you were still on for lunch today?”

There’s no arranged lunch but he knows that Janice likes him, he makes sure that this remains the case and she is usually available. Notice the sideways glance to ensure I have heard him. There are not the bold assertive moves of the Lesser (through instinct) or the Greater (through calculation) but the wary steps that are the hallmark of the Mid-Range Narcissist.

Janice is cooing down the ‘phone and he feels better already but he also wants a reaction from me.

“Who are you calling?” I ask in a loud voice.

“Yes I thought so too Janice, thanks for saying that, I appreciate that.” He is ignoring me. I repeat the question but there is no response as he continues to talk into the ‘phone and lap up the fuel from Janice whilst enjoying my irked expression. This is a silent treatment from him as he refuses to acknowledge me. The Mid-Range uses the silent treatment more than any other cadre of narcissist because the Mid-Range is a creature who is passive-aggressive. The Lesser uses them, of course he does, but they tend to be short-lived. The Lesser will storm out of the house and disappear to a friend or a bar for an afternoon. The Greater will organise the silent treatment and apply it for maximum effect, it will not be a knee jerk reaction. The Greater will apply them for a long time as well but does not use them as often as the Mid-Range. The silent treatment is the main method of manipulation for the Mid-Range Narcissist. This is because it allows him to exert control, it can be used whilst preserving the façade (there won’t be a sudden eruption and storming away with slammed doors and cries of “You’ll never see me again”) but rather he will quietly depart for a period of time, or more likely use the present silent treatment. The Mid-Range is a sulker. He has enough control to sit and say nothing to you and drink up the fuel as you keep badgering him. He can sit and sulk for hours, days if need be. He can breeze around the house as if you aren’t there. Yes, Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist revels in the effect of his silent treatments and his dual approach here is providing dividends for him.

I walk over to him and stand in front of him, hands on hips. He sees the gesture and this fuels him further but to the him it is as if I am not there. He just looks through me. Again this is some of the discipline that I afforded by him by virtue of being Mid-Range.

He ends the call and walks off ignoring my comments as they drift fuel-filled through the air to him. He won’t shout back (he rarely does) he knows it is more effective to sulk and also then the neighbours won’t hear so he remains seen as pleasant, good neighbour Malcolm. He will probably head next door and hide there with Margaret for a couple of hours. He is good at cultivating a wide range of fuel sources. The Lesser keeps his circles tighter, lacking the discipline to operate too many fuel lines. The Greater of course has hundreds of fuel lines because he can draw them in through his outlandish greatness, his achievements and golden accomplishments. The Mid-Range doesn’t shine as bright but he has charm and ability which he uses to develop many different fuel sources and he can always rely on them. He does not have a high turn-over, keeping many of them in the golden period for years. The Mid-Range is most likely to have long-standing friends going years back. The Lesser and Greater may have as well, but not in the same number of the length of time as the Mid-Range.

So, Malcolm will be away giving me the silent treatment as he draws fuel from Margaret and then Janice. He knows how his silent treatment affects me and that is why he also uses it so often. Oh well, that’s my day spoiled already and he knows it. I suppose I had better go and fill up the car with fuel. I know a good garage and a sympathetic ear to hear my woes.


The Lesser Narcissist

the lesser


Here comes a Lesser Narcissist. We shall call him Lee.

“What did you call me?”

Hello Lee. A Lesser Narcissist.

“No I’m not, it’s you that’s the narcissist, I’m sick of you saying that there is something wrong with me, when it’s you that has the problem. You do it on purpose, always trying to wind me up, I’ve fucking had enough of it.”

Sigh. That’s another plate broken and a panel punched in the door. Again. He’s gone, but he will be back. You see, that’s a typical reaction of the Lesser. He doesn’t know what he is. Often he will not even know what a narcissist is, but if you try to tell him, even if you do it in a calm and pleasant way, he doesn’t hear what you are saying, he just hears the criticism. When that happens his fury ignites and usually he will lash out. That’s why he insulted me, tried to shift the blame on to me, smashed the plate and punched the door. He didn’t think about doing any of that. It just happened. He reacts and responds by instinct. He is a creature of instinct. I didn’t hear the front door slam so he must be in the house still. Let’s go and find him.

Here he is. Locked in his den. His bolthole and sanctuary from the criticism. He is tapping away on his ‘phone. Let’s see. Yes, he is texting a couple of ladies who he has been flirting with online. You see, he didn’t hang around to see my reaction to the ignition of his fury, but he knows it will have troubled me. Sometimes knowing that reaction will be enough but not today. His fuel supplies must be low. That’s why he is tapping into some secondary sources by texting or probably sexting these women. Let’s see if we can coax him out of his bolthole. I will knock at the door.

You see he has turned his head and smiled, but hasn’t answered my knocking. He is pleased that I have come to try to find out if he is alright. That makes him feel powerful. My reaction, of tip-toing to him and gently rapping on the door reinforces that he is the one who is superior in our relationship. Again, he doesn’t think this through, so do be grateful for your humble narrator explaining this for you, but that is what is happening inside of Lee. I knock again and call out his name. He remains silent. Lee knows that silent treatment makes him feel powerful. Add that sensation to the flirtatious messages I can see that he is receiving and he is receiving fuel from three sources. Me and two supplementary sources. They are probably acquaintances now since mobile numbers have been exchanged. The fury that Lee experienced at my perceived criticism will now be subsiding as the fuel is provided. This makes him feel calmer. Lee knows that certain things make him furious and then other things makes him calmer. Let’s ask him if he knows why.

“Hey Lee, don’t hide in there, why did you get angry like that? All I did was say that you are a lesser narcissist.”

Notice that I haven’t said this in a pleading way, or through tears, or even shouted it at him. I have made this point and asked the question in a neutral fashion. Watch what he does now. See how fast the irritation has arrived. This is because I am not giving him any fuel with my comment. I have also interrupted the flow of the fuel from the two women by distracting him. To make matters worse I have repeated the comment and he will perceive this as a criticism. Again, he won’t have worked any of this out, he is a Lesser so it doesn’t happen. Whereas I have explained the process. This is what actually happens in Lee’s mind.

  1. He hears my comment;
  2. He feels wounded by that comment. This manifests as irritation;
  3. His fury ignites.

It is as quick and as straight forward as that. Here comes the fury.

Lee marches from his desk and flings the den door open.

“How many fucking times have I told you not to disturb me when I am in my den? You never listen to me!”

Notice the contorted features as the fury takes over.

“I only asked a reasonable question.”

I say this in a neutral tone again. No fuel is being provided. This annoys him further because this is a criticism and it wounds him.

“Are you saying I am unreasonable?” he demands jutting his jaw forward in an aggressive manner.

Of course dear reader I said no such thing did I, but Lee doesn’t process it that way. My neutral remark is taken again as a criticism, hence his response.

“I’m just pointing out what you are and besides, you are always in there, messing around doing who knows what, you should be working.”

Lee rarely works. He doesn’t see any reason to. He believes I should keep him after all, in his mind he is the superior one and therefore I should run around after him. He only does chores when he knows he can get some fuel, for instance, chopping logs in the yard so people can admire his physical prowess, otherwise he won’t bother. Again Lee doesn’t think about chopping the logs in terms of receiving admiring looks from our neighbour Josie, he just knows when he does it, she smiles and talks to him and he feels good inside. But I digress. Back to the foaming Lee who is stood in the doorway of the den. He won’t let me in there. It is his domain. What is his is his and nobody else’s.

“What are you saying that for?” he growls. His fury is increasing at the criticism that he should be working. Here it comes. The right hand swipes and he slaps me across my face. You see he cannot control the fury and with Lee it manifests as heated fury as he lashes out.

I let out a cry and raise my palm to my face, eyes showing the pain arising from his physical abuse of me. Look at that small smile on his lips. That is because my fearful reaction has given him negative fuel. He wanted that. He doesn’t know that he wanted that but he knows that seeing me scared, upset, angry or frustrated, amongst other things makes him feel stronger and more powerful.

“You should be working,” I repeat but the neutral tone is gone now and it comes out part comment, part sob as the tears well up. His hand is raised to deliver another blow but he doesn’t because my tears are fuelling him. Although I have criticised him by stating he should be working, it will not feel like criticism to Lee because it is surrounded in emotion. That is what he wants. He doesn’t know that, but that is what he wants.

His fury is still there but it has receded within his parameters of control, low as they are. If I had kept on he would have erupted further and probably punched and kicked me down the hall. It has happened before. And will again. As a Lesser his control threshold is low and regularly his fury boils over into verbal and physical violence. Notice how he is standing there grinning. The provision of my fuel is making him feel powerful and that is why he looks happy. It is not true happiness. Lee doesn’t know what that is, but he knows that feeling powerful makes him feel good and that is why he is smiling. I am going to back off now.

I walk away and Lee content with the fuel he has extracted from me (although he does not know this) turns and goes back into the den. He will text the two ladies for a while longer, gathering more fuel and then with the fury receded and his fuel levels higher, he will feel more settled so he will watch one of his action films or play on his Xbox for a while. He won’t be thinking about me. He doesn’t have the function to do so for long when I am not in front of him. Lee as a Lesser is very much about dealing with what is on his plate. Yes, I will invade his consciousness from time to time but he is not given to planning. It is all spur of the moment, reaction, responses, instinct, seat of the pants. That is why he is seen as such a whirlwind, bouncing from one ignition of fury to the next. He has no overarching strategy, no grand design, but he is an aggressive hunter gatherer who knows that I, his longstanding and long suffering partner infuriates him but he keeps me around because, well, I do the chores and lie there and think of England when he is grinding away on top of me. Writing of which, let’s fast forward to bed time. I have retired first and here comes Lee padding up the stairs, a belly full of Scotch (he likes a few drinks when he is watching his films).

“Hey,” he says as he enters the darkened bedroom. He doesn’t lower his voice or gently shake me. Why would be bother when he is entitled to do as he pleases. Again, Lee doesn’t think that way, he just does it, he just acts in that manner of the entitled Lesser.

“What is it?” I ask blearily.

“Move over, I’m getting in.”

That’s his way of saying he wants sex. If he wanted to sleep he would just climb into bed. Notice how there is no apology for hitting me, no expression of concern or remorse for the earlier altercation. That’s because he has forgotten about it. Imagine Lee’s mind like a small external hard driver. It only has so much memory and automatically jettisons so much information. If in a few days’ time I refer to him slapping me he will give me a confused look and say,

“What are you talking about?”

That’s because he cannot recall it. It has been wiped from his mind. It is an instinctive reponse and demonstrates why with the Lesser he denies so much of what he is accused of and does it with sincerity because he really does not remember. There is no pretence, not like those from other schools. He does not remember, but that is a few days away. Let’s return to now.

“I said, move up, I am getting in.”

Still no apology. He continues as if nothing happened earlier. This is because he sees no wrong in what he has done. He responded. It was instinct to him and therefore for him, instinct is natural and correct. If I challenged him about his behaviour from before, now, it would be a criticism. His fury would be ignited and with the additional accelerant of the alcohol I would be dragged from the bed, beaten and forced to sleep downstairs. He may even throw me in my night clothes on to the street. All an instinctive reaction to the criticism and his lack of control over his ignited fury. I won’t challenge him though. I have learned not to, it is safer you see. It took me a long time to realise that this was the best course of action. I used to stand up to him you see. I thought that it would make him respect me if I did but it won’t. The Lesser regards any denial of their authority as criticism and, you’ve guessed it, the fury ignites.

Time to put on a performance then. If I refuse his advances he will kick off. If I don’t put in feigned enthusiasm, he will kick off. As a Lesser he is not very good at distinguishing between real and faked emotions at times. He is better with some than others. For instance, he knows real fear and upset compared to any that is faked. This is because he has the most experience of seeing people scared, upset and frightened so he instinctively knows when it is real and when it is not. When it comes to matters between the sheets although Lee believes himself to be the champion of sexual technique (he has certainly had plenty of partners as he regularly likes to boast about them to me) he could be rutting a slab of steak for all the variance and finesse he deploys. He wasn’t always like that. He did make an effort during our golden period, but that is long gone. Now he just wants to exert his dominance over me and be made to feel powerful so you will have to excuse me as I make the relevant noises, say the stock phrases and pull my porn faces. That will please Lee the Lesser and provide him with a final burst of delicious positive fuel before he slumps besides me and falls into an undisturbed sleep. He always sleeps well does Lee. His lesser function means that there is not a lot racing around in his mind as slumber approaches. So, there’s a glimpse of how a – I’d better whisper this so he doesn’t hear – Lesser Narcissist is. Now, turn around please, you shouldn’t be watching what comes next.