Something is wrong.
The fact that something is wrong has many manifestations in the narcissistic dynamic. You may experience a sudden eruption of temper, the instigation of a silent treatment as you follow us around the house trying to draw from us what on earth is the matter. It might be that you plead with us to explain as all we do is fix you with a malevolent glare and say nothing. It may escalate into you being accused of various transgressions which make no sense and certainly cannot be what is truly wrong since the allegations have no bearing in fact. You are faithful yet accused of having repeated affairs. It makes no sense. You are told you never listen, but that is all you ever seem to do. The subject matter of the vitriolic accusations is clearly not what is really wrong.
We may vanish, subject you to a bewildering word salad, drag you into a circular conversation, triangulate you with the angelic other person but still you are none the wiser as to what is actually wrong.
Repeatedly you exhort us to explain, to elaborate, to detail what is causing this behaviour, just to talk and help you understand. Surely it is a reasonable and sensible request? Whether it is silent treatments, triangulation, verbally abusive accusations, a beating and so many other manifestations they will all have a common thread; we will not tell you what is wrong.
Why is this so troubling? Leaving aside the unpleasantness of being hit, called names and all the other effects of the various manipulations which are used against you, the simple fact is that people do not like not knowing things. Being in the dark is perplexing and causes anxiety. Not knowing something unsettles people, has them uncertain and bewildered. Just like not knowing whether you have secured a promotion, got the grades from your exam results, where your youngest child is when you are in a supermarket or what the outcome of a life-changing decision will be, the sensation of not knowing is one which causes anxiety for most people.
This becomes especially problematic for empathic individuals. Not being told what is wrong by a significant other, a family member or a friend, is even worse for an empathic individual because this offends many empathic traits.
All of these factors means that our failure to tell you what is wrong offends so much of what is important to you with the result that you become concerned, confused, hurt, anxious and even angry. This naturally leads to one place; fuel.
From your perspective, you know that if you talk about a problem you feel better. A problem shared and all that. You also know that you have the skill set and the tools to make everything okay. You have that selfless willingness to attend to the needs of others and remedy the ill. You want to collaborate, resolve the problem and that way we will feel better and in turn so will you. You cannot walk away from not knowing what it is. You have to know.
This near inescapable desire to know what it is that is wrong results in people falling into traps in terms of finding a reason why we are not talking about it to you. This is because the victim does not know what they are dealing with. He or she does not understand that they are dealing with one of our kind so instead, they will become ensnared in one of the many misleading traps. These are propounded by popular and incorrect reasons as to why some people will not talk about a problem and arise from ignorance about our kind. In such an instance you will hear comments such as
“He is the strong, silent type.”
“She has trouble trusting people, that is why she says nothing.”
“He feels silly admitting to having a problem.”
“He wants to sort things out for himself.”
“She won’t rely on other people. It is pride.”
“He has always learned to deal with things on his own.”
“Stiff upper lip I guess.”
“He doesn’t do feelings.”
Whilst there may be a kernel of truth in the applicability of these comments to the situation they are not the whole and sole reason for the failure to communicate the problem to you. The reason that someone who is of our kind will not tell you what is wrong goes beyond these comments.
If you are entangled with a Lesser Narcissist he will not tell you what is wrong because he does not know what is wrong. His less well-developed ability to control his environment means that the slightest disruption threatens his control as a whole. You are not doing what he wants but he does not know what he wants. All he realises is that something is wrong, but he cannot identify it. He cannot articulate what it is and this manifests as his increased irritation and annoyance. Indeed, the restlessness he experiences from the sensation of feeling like he is losing control is what is behind his need to lash out at you.
Your desire to help only serves to annoy him all the more. As you keep asking what is the matter, you are actually reinforcing the shortcoming and repeatedly reminding him of the problem that he cannot identify. Accordingly, his skewed logic will readily conclude that you are the problem. You are the problem and your repeated reminders of this shortcoming constitutes as criticism. The fury is thus ignited and it will erupt as heated fury. You still try to ascertain what is wrong but all you are then doing is pouring fuel (in both senses) on the fire that rages inside of the Lesser.
The Mid-Ranger reaches the same conclusion as the Lesser, namely you are the problem. He does so far quicker as a consequence of his increased cognitive ability. He cannot put his finger on what it is that you are doing that is causing his sense of dread, that feeling of instability and vulnerability, but he recognises that it is something to do with you. It has to be you. He will not say however that it is you because the attention which is generated by you keep asking him is making him feel better, because of course it is fuel. He senses that you are the problem therefore it make sense to keep you guessing as to what his problem might be. After all, you should be able to work out what is wrong without him needing to tell you if you truly love us. You should be able to ascertain the problem and remedy it because we expect this level of telepathy and second-guessing.
The Mid-Ranger cannot tell you what is wrong, because just like the Lesser, he does not know, but he knows straight away that it is something to do with you. Therefore he wants you to work it out and resolve the problem and he will not provide you with any input, why should he? He may talk in vague terms in order to keep the guessing game going so you are lead down dead ends and blind alleys and all the while fuel is obtained.
As you would expect, the Greater knows full well what is wrong. He knows you are at fault (because of course everything has to be your fault) and this is because you are failing in your role. If you were performing as an effective appliance he would not feel this way. You are clearly not functioning and therefore you need to be punished until you eventually start to function again. Note this does not mean that you actually identify a problem and solve it, but rather that you start to provide fuel, comply with the Greater’s demands and submit to his or her control.
The Greater is never going to tell you what the problem is. To do so would be furnishing the enemy with secret information and that cannot happen. To tell you that you are not functioning and you are eroding his sense of control would be tantamount to ceding further control to you. Our sense of wariness will prohibit us from disseminating such information. Instead, as part of regaining control, the Greater knows that having you flow with fuel and pleading for him to talk to you is all part of the game which must be played. He is superior and not in the business of giving you any insight into his dark mind. You are there to have your strings pulled and he will delight in doing the same keeping you in the dark, upset and begging for him to talk to you. He may embark on lengthy but ultimately meaningless monologues, grandstanding and pontificating but all this is done purely to tie you up in further knots.
What do you do?
Recognise it is happening and now understand why that is.
Ask once what is wrong. Don’t expect to receive an answer or if you do, do not expect it to be meaningful or helpful. You have however discharged your obligation by asking us what the problem is.
Understand that repeatedly asking us what is the matter is only providing us with fuel and allowing us to regain control. If you keep asking, we will just keep going with the game of not telling you. Once we see fuel flowing we want it to keep flowing.
Instead, ask and if you receive no answer or a meaningless answer just state
“Okay, I am sure you will tell me when you are ready.”
Then walk away.
You are not giving fuel, so we have not scented ‘blood’ and thus there is no feeding frenzy. Your comment is not a criticism however because you have allowed power to vest in us by leaving the decision with us. You can then get on with what you want to do. Yes, you will be accused of not caring, but do not respond. Yes, you are likely to face further pressure to draw fuel from you, but move away from us or if you cannot engage in a different task and if you feel the need to say something, just state in a neutral fashion.
“I have asked and I understand you will tell me when you decide you want to. That is fine.”
By asking once, leaving the decision with us, re-stating that position (if need be) not encouraging a fuel-frenzy and not wounding us, the particular manipulation that is being allied with not telling you what is wrong will fizzle out. You will then have saved yourself worry, energy concern and anxiety.
You’ve changed and I don’t know why. Have I done something wrong? Have I done something to offend you or upset you? Why have you changed? You aren’t interested in me anymore. Once upon a time you would sit in rapt attention as I explained things to you, as I told you about the things I had done. The things which mattered to me. I thought you liked them too. You seemed interested and it was a genuine interest as you asked me questions and admired me for what I told you about. Do you remember those conversations? I do, although I must admit there are days when they seem such a distant memory to what we have now that I wonder if I made them up or dreamt them. Those afternoons where we lay in bed, the world so far away from us as we held one another and made plans. The world was ours to conquer wasn’t it? We made such grand plans, you and I, with nothing to stop us or hold us back. Except ourselves. How have we come to be so far apart? Where did it go wrong? How did these changes happen? What caused them? We were united as one. We did not know where one of us started and where the other ended, we were so entwined. I was happy. I thought you were too. You seemed happy. Tell me you were happy.
We did everything together. I never wanted to be anywhere other than by your side. You completed me. I completed you. Two halves at long last united. Two lost souls who were wandering through the wilderness and then we found one another and all became wonderful. I did not dare to believe it was happening at first. After so many had failed, those who offered so much yet turned out to be pretenders with nothing but failure dripping from those promising lips. How I yearned to find the right one and just as I had almost given up all hope, along you came. My saviour. I knew from the moment I saw you that we belonged together. I could sense it and that first kiss, well, I can still feel the tingling up and down my spine even now, after all this time, after everything that has been said and done.
Why did you change? I did nothing wrong. I gave you my all. I believed in us but perhaps I have let you down, perhaps I have failed you in some way. Is there another? Is that why your eyes no longer shine when you look at me? Is that why your special smile has not been seen in these parts for too long? Do my tales and stories bore you now? Does the re-telling of these famous tales grow stale? Perhaps you have found someone else, someone who gives you what you want, someone new and exciting? Is that it? Is that why you have changed. Have you found sanctuary in the arms of another and now you have become malleable in their hands as you once were in mine? Do you remember how you said that my touch brought you to life and how you had merely existed beforehand? Do you remember taking my hand as we walked mile upon mile, never faltering from having something to say to one another. How we used to talk? Now I am lucky if I get a sentence from you as you take refuge in a monosyllabic citadel, seeming as if you are more content to reside there than with me. Your words used to flow, enchanting and marvellous and how I delighted to hear what you had to say. You could make the mundane magical and all through that perfect and delicious mouth of yours. Does that mouth still weave its magic for someone else now? Do the words feel leaden, your mouth full of dust when you talk to me? I still listen. I still give you the attention but it no longer works as it did before. I know it is not me that has changed. I never do. I can see that it is you that has changed but I am at a loss to understand why this happened. Believe me, I have spent long hours working out everything that has been said, what has not been said and all the acts and omissions. I have played them, replayed them and chopped back and forth, like some detective analysing CCTV footage in the hope of finding that one clue. That one lead, that certain something that will allow me to understand how we lost that certain something.
Is it that you want me to change? Do you need me to transform into something different? Is that it? I will be whatever you want me to be if only we can have what we once had. You have changed but if you need me to do so too, if that is what it takes to recover ourselves then I am willing. Tell me, just give me a sign, some kind of signal so I know what to do. Your wall of silence gives me no indication of what I must do in order to save us. Do you do that because all your time and attention must be saved for someone else and therefore you have none to give me? Have they come like some silent-footed thief and stolen away the person who I want more than anything on this earth? Perhaps that is what has really happened. You have not changed but rather the real you, the you that makes everything matter again, has been acquired by a pilferer. Has your soul been stolen by another? Have they taken it when I was regrettably distracted and have they now placed it in a gilded locker, far away from me, leaving me with just the husk, the image of what once was? Perhaps that is what has happened. I know you have changed but perhaps, just perhaps it was not of your doing. Maybe an outside agent has influenced you, brought about this alteration, neither seeking nor obtaining our consent to this heinous act. Yes, that must be what it is for I know you would not willingly leave me. How could you? Why would you? Why leave what we have and leave me with so little when once we had so much? You have changed but it is at the sordid and filthy direction of another which gave you no choice. Did you warn me? Perhaps you did but I did not notice. Did you cry out and seek my help? Maybe you did but I was distracted and I did not hear. Tell me now, tell me how I can help you. I will do anything to win what we had back. That brilliant, loving, passionate and above all seemingly perfect union that you and I created before this change occurred.
Please, I am begging you, just tell me what I have to do. I am lost for ideas, I have no more ingenuity or guile to achieve what needs to be done and I need your assistance more than ever before. Don’t let them win, do not let those who are jealous of what we have, the green-eyed interlopers who have watched and waited for that moment to drive a wedge between us. Don’t let them make your change permanent. Fight, fight with me, for me so we can succeed and shine again. I cannot stand where we are now. The pain and weakness that sweeps me tears me apart, makes me feel disgusting and wretched. I cannot stand to be this way for it causes me such great distress as I look over to you watch you, unnoticed by you. You are not who I knew you once as. I do not recognise the person who sits across from me now. So much is alien, so much has become foreign. I don’t feel like I know you anymore. Or that I ever did.
A letter to a somatic upper lesser narcissist;
“Do you know that I know what you are? Do you know that I know that when you text me, call me or see me you look at me as an object of your self-prevalence? Do you know that I know that everything you tell me or share with me are all lies? Do you know that I know that you don’t love your children and that you can’t feel love at all? Do you know that I know that the only feelings you are able to feel are the dark feelings like envy, jealousy, fury, hate, and shame? Do you know that I know that when you look at me from across the room, and you see me talking and smiling to people around me, you are jealous of my contentment? Do you know that I know that when your daughter calls me instead of you she doesn’t do it to criticize you? Do you know that I know that your aim in every situation is a product of your jealousy, envy, anger or mistrust? Do you know that I know that all your lies are cover-ups for a very dark and evil side, a side you spend your everyday trying to camouflage? Do you know that I know that every human being in your life is an object and is for you to use as you see fit? Do you know that I know that you always think you have won every outburst, every argument, every silent treatment? Do you know that I don’t care anymore?
Of course, you don’t know.
Your brain’s frontal cortex is under developed and lack the important emotions to live a full live. Nothing or no one can ever change that. That is why I win. I too can feel the dark emotions you can, and use your perspectives to see the world, but since I am fully developed I don’t. I almost always use the perspectives that brings me closer to the people around me without manipulating them. I laugh, I love and I am nice to people, because that makes them and me feel good. That’s why I win.
Do you know why?
Of course, you don’t, but I will tell you anyway. I win, because even if you don’t care and even if your world functions just fine from your perspectives, I know and you don’t. So even if you are left with your fuel and self-righteousness after reading these words; remember that when I am free and move on, you don’t.
For everything you don’t know, know that.
You have been dis-engaged from. The all too inevitable entanglement with our kind. Whether we disappeared without a word, told you we needed space for ourselves or hurled insults at you as to why we hated you and wanted you to drop dead, the fact remains you have been dis-engaged from. Your emotions are raw as this event was only a couple of weeks ago.
To exacerbate this unpleasant, bewildering and upsetting situation you know that we have a new love interest. With what seemed to you to be unnatural haste, we have been seen with a new lady on our arm, your stalking of our Facebook profile reveals we have a new boyfriend from the plethora of loved-up comments and repeated pictures of us arm in arm, grinning out at you as if we are revelling in your misery. You have not yet ascertained that as we devalued you, your replacement was being seduced and to all intents and purposes we appear to have dumped you and secured another partner in the blink of an eye. How could we do this? After all the things we said to you and all the deep and unwavering love that you have showed us, how could we be so uncaring, so nasty, such a downright bastard?
Your head is a whirlwind of questions? Why did he end things? Why did she do it that way? Who is the new person? What if they are happy together forever? What did you do wrong? What about sorting out those joint financial commitments? Could you have done something differently? Is there a chance of working things out? How can someone change like that? These questions and hundreds more torment you and it becomes unbearable. You need to talk to us. You alternate between hurt and angry, shifting between wanting to plead with us for another chance and then wanting to kick us in the balls. Most of all however, you want answers.
What then will happen if you decide to approach us during the aftermath? What reaction will you be met with if you send a message asking for answers to your questions or if you turn up somewhere to meet us in person for the purpose of obtaining some explanations? Naturally, at this juncture, undoubtedly unaware of who you have been entangled with, you do not know that you will not be given those answers. In part this is because there are no answers to give – why should we deign to answer you and do something that you want? Furthermore, many times we just do not have an answer because of the different perspective from which we operate. Add to that we will purposefully avoid giving you answers in order to keep you primed for a later hoover, to draw fuel from you and to frustrate you also.
As you may imagine, the reaction of our kind to being contacted during the initial aftermath of the dis-engagement will vary dependent on the school of narcissist that you have been dealing with. Before that is addressed, you should be aware of our general mind set at this time. You failed us. You may not have done anything wrong from your perspective but we regard you as having failed us and this led to our fuel needs being sought elsewhere and once they were secured, you were dis-engagement from. This is the most common reason for being discarded; we found a new primary source and once we were satisfied that this person was embedded, then we tossed you to one side. There are other reasons why you are discarded (see 5 Reasons We Discard You ) but the fact we have a new primary source embedded is the most common one.
When that happens we are infatuated with the new primary source. You are effectively forgotten about. You were once idealised, then you were demonised and now it is as if you do not exist because we have someone new and exciting to focus on. We do not want anything spoiling this golden period least of all the last appliance which failed us and malfunctioned and had to be placed on the scrap heap. Accordingly, if you make an appearance in some way by entering a sphere of influence (The Spheres of Influence) then our reaction will be based on you being persona non grata and if you persist our view of you is one of antipathy, dislike and you are painted black.
Turning to the three schools of narcissism for their nuanced response to your appearance.
There is a good chance that the Lesser will have blocked you from social media and contacting him as part of him considering you effectively dead to him. If he has not done so and you send a message it will be ignored. He has no interest in drawing fuel from you at this point, someone else is servicing his fuel needs and you are just an irritant. If you persist in ringing or sending messages you can expect the following responses:-
“Stop ringing me I hate you.”
“Stop sending me messages, I don’t want anything to do with you.”
“Keep contacting me and I will come down there and give you a kicking.”
The message is clear; you are unwelcome and the Lesser Narcissist wants nothing to do with you.
If you see the Lesser Narcissist and try to talk to him, he will evade you, tell you where to go and make a hasty retreat. He is not interested in you and if you try to stop him you can expect a savage verbal assault or even a physical assault as he wants you to leave him alone so he can concentrate on his new primary source. He has nothing to discuss with you, has no interest in fuel from you at this point and would prefer you to be dead.
If you are attempting to contact the Mid-Ranger through messages and telephoning you will also be ignored initially. If you persist in trying to make contact with him or her for the purposes of getting some answers, you can expect the following responses:-
“Leave me alone, I have nothing to say to you.”
“Stop stalking me.”
“Keep this up and I am informing the police.”
“Just stop, it is over, you have to accept it.”
The paranoia of the Mid-Ranger will mean that he is concerned you will wreck things with his new primary source by telling lies (the truth) about him. Whilst you’re contacting him, he will be showing the new primary source that you are pestering him to accord with the smearing you will have already received. This smearing will continue as you are painted as an obsessive who will not let go, a stalker with mental health issues and a bunny boiler who cannot accept the relationship is over. The new primary source, the façade, the coterie and the Lieutenants will all be told about this ongoing behaviour (suitably embellished) so you are regarded as crazy and out of order. The Mid-Ranger thus preserves the façade and creates a toxic environment so if you do manage to see him or her face to face, you will not be believed and seen as trouble maker.
If an in person encounter takes place, you can expect the Mid-Ranger to want to get the hell out of there. He is preoccupied with the new primary source, he does not want you spoiling that arrangement and wants you to disappear. Lacking the aggression of the Lesser, he will wheel out Lieutenants to make you go away, threaten the use of law enforcement and appeal to others to see exactly why he needed to get rid of you in the first place. He also does not want fuel from you, he just wants you to clear off and leave him to get on with his new play thing unhindered.
It is the Greater who welcomes you foolishly getting in touch during his new golden period with the replacement primary source. Suitably confident of his abilities and this new entranced primary source, if you begin to message him, he will seize on this chance to triangulate you with the new primary source, to punish you for failing him and to manipulate you further.
Your text messages and calls will be met with a friendly and amenable response. All the while, the Greater, already having smeared you left, right and centre, will be revelling in you trying to broker a meet-up in order to talk. He will be telling the façade and coterie that he feels sorry for you, that he needs to humour you so you don’t do anything crazy and thus paints himself as the good guy to all those watching. His responses will be along the lines of:-
“Good to hear from you, I hope you are well, what do you want to talk about?”
(What he really means is, good to hear from you because I can manipulate you, I know you aren’t well but what do I care, make me feel special by telling me what you want to talk about.)
“Well, yes we can meet-up but you do know I am with someone else now don’t you, so don’t get any ideas okay?”
“I don’t really see what there is to talk about, but I am willing to listen, I am reasonable.”
“Yes okay we can meet up if it will help you deal with what has happened.”
This apparent caring attitude and pleasantness is all fake. You are being strung along.
When you do meet the Greater, you can expect the new primary source to be there to add to your humiliation as the Greater looks lovingly at her, says good things about her and then when she goes to get a drink, the Greater will lean across the table and snarl at you for having the audacity to get in touch.
If the new primary source is not brought along, the Greater will toy with you, like a cat with a mouse. Letting you speak, enjoying the fuel as you plead, cry and become angry with him or her. He will feign dismay at your behaviour whilst inside he is laughing at you, pleased with this further boost of fuel, supremely confident that you cannot wreck his new golden period because you have been smeared and character assassinated to a figurative death. Nobody is going to believe you and therefore he is not going to pass up the chance to draw fuel from you, both positive and negative once again. He of the three is the one who is content to respond and meet with you, not that it will get you anywhere at all.
Tempting as it is to want to contact the narcissist when you have been dis-engaged from and he is in a new golden period, you will get nowhere. He has someone new now and wants to focus on her. You are an irritant, an annoyance, a reminder of failure or in the case of the Greater something to toy with further for the purpose of gaining fuel. Instead, use the period whilst the narcissist is distracted with his new plaything to build your defences, gain understanding and prepare for the hoovers which will be following down the line.