Category Archives: withdrawal

What’s It All For?

 

 WHAT'S IT ALL FOR_

The sudden silences. The periods of no communication when before the airwaves crackled with the send and return exchange of text messages. The repeated calls throughout the day to talk of something and to talk of nothing, now gone and empty. The absence of a morning greeting. The absence of any greeting. Just absence. Cold and unremitting silences which stretch from hours, to days, to weeks. What was once there has been banished. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just wants some time alone?

The inability to ever say sorry. The frustrating failure to ever issue an apology, it is as if those words cannot be formed or do they manifest but something causes them to freeze so they never find the light of day? The denial of fault, the deflection of blame, the resolute and forthright rejection of any accountability. All you want is to hear her say it the once, to say sorry, to hear that admission and sense some humanity exists there after all. What’s it all for? Perhaps she believes that I will think less of her if she apologises to me?

The never-ending carousel of blame and accusation. The merry-go-round of that dizzying discussion which never reaches fruition. The whirling array of “I never said that”, “you do the same”, “you can’t keep accusing me” and so much more leaves you disorientated and nauseous. Just once, just one time, can’t something be resolved without this round-the-houses farce? Must it always be this way? Why is nothing ever put to bed? Why is everything buried alive? What’s it all for? Maybe he just doesn’t understand me, perhaps I need to be clearer about what I mean?

The broken engagements. The no-shows. The promises to meet and then the failure to appear leaving you upset, annoyed and miserable. He promised. He promised that this would not happen again. The frequent ringing and all you receive is the notification that the cellphone you are calling is not available right now. Where is he? Has he forgotten? He cannot have done, you spoke to him only four hours ago to remind him of the arrangements, especially after what happened last time. You miss him and you were so looking forward to spending the night together after a period of not being able to do so. Surely he should have remembered? The chasing messages “Where are you?”, “Are you near?”, “I have been waiting twenty minutes, where are you?”, “What’s happening, I am worried”. What’s it all for? Perhaps he has had to work late, or he is stuck on the subway or he has run out of charge for his ‘phone?

The repeated alterations to arrangements. The tears, the shouting, the disappointments, the rolling out of false explanations to try to ease their upset. Yes, he did say he would take you out today, he must be caught up with something else, why don’t we do something instead? How can he let the children down like this? The turning up without agreement and demanding to see the children. Forcing you into a corner in order to placate him so the children are not scared. You back off again and again. Always you making the compromises. Always you trying to explain away the increasingly unexplainable. The arguments about the arrangements, the lies about what was arranged, the confusion over details. What’s it all for? Is he going mad? Maybe you are?

The insults and slurs, the nasty words, the harsh put-downs and the savage comments. The vicious text message tirades sent at 3am, the blistering verbal attack down the telephone, the dressing-down in person just before a night out. The personal cutting remarks, the swear-words, the name-calling and the labelling. So hurtful, so demeaning, so upsetting. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just doesn’t love you anymore?

The chopping and changing. Last week’s steak had to be well done and now it has to be bloody. How were you expected to know, but you were? The eruption and the tantrum which followed demonstrated that you were the one to blame. Red is good, now it is bad. No soda with the vodka, but now he is banging doors and shouting because there is no soda. Sit there, no there, be quiet, say something, leave me alone, you never speak to me much these days, do it like that, no don’t do it like that, who taught you to do this it is brilliant, who taught you to do that you are an amateur, back and forth, push and pull, right then wrong. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just cannot remember or just wants to keep changing for the sake of it? Perhaps the pressure of work is really getting to him these days?

The argument over nothing. The argument out of nowhere. The argument when everything was going well. Why is she angry all of the time? Nothing is ever right but rather than discuss it in a civil manner and be reasonable with one another, there always has to be a fight. She could start an argument in an empty room. She seems to thrive on creating a scene. So many days, so many occasions, so many events all spoiled by the epic tantrum which she throws. What’s it all for? Perhaps she has anger management issues?

The sudden bouquet of flowers. The expensive perfume. The sudden trip away to somewhere exotic and exciting. The sensitive poem carefully written in copper plate and placed under your pillow. The sudden proclamations of love. The dizzying romance. The grand gestures. What’s it all for? He must really, really love me.

The accusations, the challenges, the pointed finger and the sneer. The demands for the truth when you are telling the truth. The inquisition and the interrogations over anything and nothing. The way you answered the phone, the way you wear your dress, the friends you said you were visiting, the time you came home. Always the questions, the allegations of lying, cheating and skullduggery. Every time this happens when you want to do something and he never seems to realise he does all of these things himself. What’s it all for? Perhaps he is just possessive because he cares so much?

The lies. The tales. The fabrications. Every day a new boast which is so outrageous that she must surely know she is telling a porky pie. The flagrant omissions of the truth. The repeated protestations that this is the truth even when you know she is lying again. The lies when the truth would serve her better. The inability to know she is lying. The fact she really does seem to believe her lies are her truth. What’s it all for? Perhaps she is just a born liar and a fantasist?

The disappearances whenever you need help. The excuses that he has something else more important when you require support. The sudden coldness when you call and explain how you have been bullied at work again. The distant look and the eye-rolling as you try to explain why you are crying. The sudden lack of availability when you need a hand. The fact you must fend for yourself even though you are too weak to stand and feel dizzy. The shirking of responsibility, the rejection of assistance and the distancing when you are injured. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just cannot stand the sight of blood or does not know what to do when somebody is ill?

The flirting, the staying out late, the drunkenness, the drugs, the gambling, the smell of perfume on his clothes, the receipts from lap-dancing bars, the hours and hours and hours spent watching porn online, the obsession with his video games, the sudden and mysterious trips away. What’s it all for? Perhaps he has an addictive personality?

The tears, the pleading, the begging, the demand for one more chance, the assurances that it will never happen again, the promises to get help, the panic in his eyes and the wailing from his mouth. The neediness, the repeated requests to make things right, the long involved explanations, the repetition of how we should be together and how good we are for one another, the promises, the future, oh the promises of what the future can hold for us both. What’s it all for? Perhaps he is broken and you should not walk away from someone in such need?

Maybe he struggles to express himself?

Maybe he just has never had anybody stand up to him?

Maybe she has problems with trusting people?

Maybe he is just disorganised?

Maybe he struggles with being a single parent?

Maybe he cannot help how he feels?

Maybe he is indecisive?

Maybe he feels unappreciated?

Maybe he really does love you?

Maybe that’s his way of loving you?

Maybe she is just different?

Maybe he doesn’t love you anymore?

Maybe he can’t help but feel jealous because he really does love you?

Maybe she tells lies to make herself feel better?

Maybe he struggles with responsibility?

Maybe she is tired?

Maybe he is lost?

Maybe she is over-worked?

Maybe he is stressed?

 

Maybe you don’t know what you are entangled with?

Maybe you make too many excuses for them?

What’s it all for?

Fuel.

17+
Advertisements

The Incredible Sulk

THE INCREDIBLESULK

Who is the Incredible Sulk?

Unsurprisingly, he or she is a Mid-Range Narcissist. Lesser may occasionally sulk but it is rare, they are far more likely to explode with heated fury, either lashing out at your by name-calling or windmilling fists. The Greater may also sulk, but that is a very rare occurrence as the Greater regards such a passive-aggressive behaviour as beneath him and would rather use threat and intimidation as the expressions of his heated fury and escalate them from that point.

The Mid-Range Narcissist utilises passive aggressive behaviours in order to draw fuel. Chief amongst those behaviours are pity plays, cold shoulders, baleful glares and silent treatments. There is however a particular manipulation that some Mid-Rangers will use and this is when they become the Incredible Sulk. What are the main features of the Incredible Sulk?

  1. It is a Present Silent Treatment. The Incredible Sulk is never an Absent Silent Treatment. This is because the Absent Silent Treatment serves two functions. The first is to draw fuel from you as the main victim by making you worry where the narcissist has gone and also to have you trying to effect contact which in turn provides fuel to us. The second function is that it usually (although not always) enables the narcissist to focus on seducing someone else. Accordingly, that two week disappearance or two day vanishing act is being used to upset and anger you, but at the same time this will be used to draw somebody else in. It stands to reason therefore that if the charm et al is being used against someone else there cannot be an Incredible Sulk taking place. Even if (unusually) this absence is not being used to seduce someone else, there is not a sulk in progress. The Absent Silent Treatment is a   Cold Shoulder whereby the Mid-Ranger is being more aggressive in his ignoring of the victim.
  2. The Incredible Sulk occurs when the narcissist remains present to the victim for the whole purpose of enabling the victim (usually the IPPS but will also include family member  Non-Intimate Secondary Sources “NISSs”, family NISSs and sometimes colleague NISSs). When the Incredible Sulk is in progress, it is not just a case of the IPPS being singled out for the silent treatment and the narcissist speaking with everybody else, not at all. The Incredible Sulk is with everybody.
  3. The Incredible Sulk is a manifestation of cold fury. The Mid-Range Narcissist will have been criticised (usually unintentionally) and this has then ignited his or her fury, leading to the silent treatment.
  4. Whilst it is criticism which is the catalyst for the Incredible Sulk, one of the defining features which remains at the heart of its operation is envy. Just as the Incredible Hulk went into Hulk mode by turning green, the Incredible Sulk is also green, but it is with envy. Huge, visceral envy for others and how they are outflanking, outgunning and outperforming him or her. The Mid-Range Narcissist who is prone to engaging in the Incredible Sulk is one who has a huge envy issue. Envy is a common theme for all of our kind, but especially so for some and if they are Mid-Range it manifests as the Incredible Sulk. The Mid-Range Narcissist will be envious of something said and/or done by the victim (usually the IPPS) and whilst this is part of the criticism it is this envy which is perpetuating the Incredible Sulk. The narcissist will be envious of the victims prowess in some regard, for instance if the victim has passed an examination or secured a new and prestigious job, been given a significant pay rise, been complimented by somebody or has achieved an accomplishment. The spotlight (even if not asked for by the victim) is on the victim and the narcissist hates this. It underlines to him how mean and cruel the world is, how unfair his life has become and it is of course all the fault of the person that the narcissist envies.
  5. Whilst engaged in an Incredible Sulk the narcissist is sullen, uncommunicative, self-pitying and doleful. There is no baleful glare directed at anybody. There is no curled lip in readiness for a snarl. There is no blackened look. Instead, the Incredible Sulk will stare at the floor as if willing it to open up and consume him. He will gaze with wistful angst from the window or pick up some personal object and fix his eyes on it as he turns it over and over in his hands, depicting how wrought with dejection he is.
  6. The Incredible Sulk is maintained for a considerable period of time. This is not a fifteen minutes or two hour present silent treatment. This will last for at least a day and most likely longer. Any attempt to communicate with the Incredible Sulk will be met with him or her not responding at all, shrugging or fixing the recipient with a hangdog expression as if every woe in the world is pressing down on and being experienced by the narcissist.
  7. The Incredible Sulk wants everyone to be looking at him, flocking around him, asking what is wrong, suggesting ways to break this state. He wants his IPPS trying to establish whatever is the matter. He will expect his children to be pulling on his sleeve asking “Dad, what’s up?” If the children are young, their uncomprehending tears will only add to the fuel. He does not care for their upset. In the narcissist’s mind, he feels only dejection, rejection and self-pity. He knows the world does not care about him, but it should and this state is a representation of how he knows the world regards him. Even if the IPPS invites friends, family, colleagues around to try and break this almost catatonic state that the narcissist has entered, those trying to inject a smile or at least some kind of positive reaction in the narcissist will only be met with the doleful stare of the narcissist which seems to saying “There is no hope for me anymore”. It is an instinctive response of the Incredible Sulk and is designed to draw yet more fuel through consternation, bewilderment and redoubled efforts to help.
  8. There are two reasons why the Incredible Sulk operates by involving everybody around him or her, rather than say the IPPS (which is the usual outcome of a Present Silent Treatment). The first is that the more people which are responding to the Incredible Sulk, the more fuel is available The second reason is that if the IPPS becomes fed up of trying to elicit a positive response, there will still be others (children, friends, other family members) who will keep trying and thus the fuel continues to flow.
  9. The Incredible Sulk wants fuel from this behaviour. He wants to be fawned over, mollycoddled, told how much he is loved, apologised to and made to feel special. Even when the wound that arose from the criticism has been healed, the Incredible Sulk will keep this behaviour going because it is so effective at drawing fuel. He also regards it as his right to do this – the world owes him it. It should be lauding him, respecting him and idealising him and its failure to do so means that instead he is entitled to withdraw (yet remain) and drink up all of the consequential fuel from the appliances affected by the Incredible Sulk.
  10. The Incredible Sulk is unlikely to eat (again for effect by making it appear as if there is something seriously wrong), they will miss certain activities they would usually engage in (for instance not going out with friends) in order to draw more fuel appliances into the catchment of the Incredible Sulk and will give the impression that he or she has entered some kind of depressed state. There is no such depression but the Incredible Sulk is content to make it appear so as this will generate more concern and fuel.
  11. He or she will sit for hours on end in a chair, staring at the television, apparently not really taking in what is going on. Mealtimes will be ignored and even food brought to the Incredible Sulk will be ignored or just picked at. He or she will walk slowly, moping about, emitting occasional sighs of dejection and flopping listlessly into bed or onto the settee.
  12. The Incredible Sulk has no difficulty in maintaining this state because he or she is initially wounded and then the huge envy that this particular Mid-Range Narcissist suffers from will perpetuate the behaviour over several days. Work will be missed with a concern spouse calling in on behalf of the narcissist, doctors will be consulted and the Incredible Sulk will continue as of course this is all fuel.
  13. The only way to break the Incredible Sulk is to ignore it wholesale. This means everybody in the vicinity. Nobody ought to pay the Incredible Sulk any attention At first this will cause the Mid-Ranger to respond by trying to draw more attention through loud sighs, slumping, holding his or her head in her hands, muttering under his or breath. These are just further manipulations and should be ignored. Once the Incredible Sulk realises that this showcase silent treatment is not having any effect any more he will slowly emerge from it. He or she will not just snap out of it, but rather emerge like some kind of hibernating creature. Once this happens, resists the urge to ask “what was all that about” as you will only be fuelling the narcissist. Act as if it never happened. This will be difficult to do and offend your sense of empathy to assist someone and establish what was going on, but once you recognise that an Incredible Sulk is in hand you will now how to address it.
  14. The Incredible Sulk is not just rolled out at home. It might appear in a social setting whereby the Incredible Sulk will suddenly just not speak with anybody and will sit staring at his or her drink, looking through people and appearing as if ‘not there’ in order to garner attention. It might be during a meet gin with colleagues where the narcissist will just look out of the window as if pre-occupied before giving a dejected and puppy dog look at someone as if to say “I am so troubled and you have no idea.” It is all about garnering sympathy and pity. It is not an aggressive sulk that is telling people to stay away, not at all, it is one which is designed to draw people and thus their fuel as they try to work out what is wrong and help.

Thus this is the Incredible Sulk. Just be thankful no shirts or trousers were ripped in the process.

9+

Fuel, Fight or Flight?

FUELFIGHTOR FLIGHT?

When you engage with our kind, you can expect one of three responses from us. Whether you are a primary source, secondary source or tertiary source, the way you interact with us will generate one of three reactions from us. This is because those responses are designed, engineered and geared around providing for our needs or preserving our position. There are, as you will read, sub-divisions within those reactions, but there are three broad responses which are applicable to every kind of involvement you have with our kind. Various factors influence which outcome it will be, but it will be one of these three.

Fuel

The most common interaction between us, is one of fuel. If you greet me warmly with a smile and your tone is welcoming, you are providing me with positive fuel. A waitress smiles as she passes me my drink, that is positive fuel. If a colleague congratulates me on a success with a particular client then that is positive fuel. Applause from assembled colleagues provides yet more positive fuel. The way you speak, what you say, how you express yourself and what you do all amounts to fuel. Whether you are a remote stranger interacting with me through the internet, a proximate stranger in a bar who I have started talking to, a long-standing inner circle friend, a family member or my girlfriend. All of you are appliances and your positive interactions – praise, love, admiration, joy, happiness, congratulation, adoration, caring – are all forms of positive fuel. You readily provide them and we regularly act in various ways, some subtle and others not, that provoke you to give us this positive fuel.

There is also negative fuel. Thus if I insult a stranger and he tells me angrily to go boil my head, then that is negative fuel. I may just lap that up from him as I stroll down the road, edified by this dollop of fuel. I may criticise a colleague on his performance so he sulkily defends himself. More fuel. I may ignore a friend’s telephone calls so his repeated texts asking what is wrong gives me more fuel. I may call you names so you cry and thus I gain fuel. Whether it is hatred, jealousy, anger, pain, fear, envy, irritation, annoyance, misery and so forth, these are all negative emotions and thus negative fuel.

As you know from the Prime Aims, fuel is the most important aim that we wish to secure from you.

Most people can grasp why we would want positive fuel from our appliances. After all, who does not want to be loved and admired? Sure, some people may want it more than others, but everybody likes to be well thought of don’t they?

People struggle to understand why we want negative fuel. I have explained before that it is about creating a contrast and also because negative fuel is more powerful because people are more inclined to be pleasant and provide positive fuel (especially those who we target in the empathic group) and therefore it underlines our power when we can draw negative fuel from somebody. Of course, other than tertiary sources, we do not look to draw negative fuel straight away from a primary source or secondary source as if this is done before they are embedded then we will lose them. The positive has to come first.

Often one major revelation for our victims is that we want both positive and negative fuel. They understand why we would want to be admired, adored and loved, but why would we want to be insulted, have somebody angry with us, somebody attacking us in a petulant manner. We do because it is negative fuel BUT this leads to the second category concerning our reactions.

Fight

This is where there is a sub-division when we decide that we are going to fight.

Fight – Challenge

Where we decide to engage you and in effect ‘fight’ you this because you have challenged us. There are two crucial components behind this decision. Firstly fuel provision and secondly exerting control.

Let us take for example that you react angrily to the fact that we have walked in at midnight smelling of drink when we had promised to take you out. Your angry response is negative fuel and is the fuel provision. Although you may be calling us names and thus an ordinary bystander would regard this as criticism, it is not wounding criticism because the name calling and the savage words are wrapped up in fuel.

We might just accept this negative fuel, push past you and head for bed. More usually however we consider this to be a challenge.

You are giving us fuel which is what we want but we want more. We can readily tell there is more to be obtained and therefore we know that if we argue back,  unleash our manipulations and so forth we can provoke you to give us more fuel. This is an instinctive response on our part. Thus we are maximising the fuel provision.

Secondly, although we are not wounded because your critical comments are bound up in fuel, you are still challenging us and this cannot be allowed. We must have the upper hand, we must be in control and therefore we see this as an opportunity to not only gain more fuel from you but to exert control over you. Thus, we strike back.

Accordingly, if having read my work you wonder why on earth we respond in such a fashion that looks like our fury has been ignited, but you know it could not be because your comments are fuel, the reason we fight back and argue, lash out etc is because this is a way of gaining more fuel and also exerting control.

Fight – Fury

The other sub division of the fight category is where you have ignited our fury and we decide to unleash fury against you.

If you have wounded us through criticism (which is fuel free) this will usually (unless control can be exerted) cause the ignition of our churning fury. Your criticism might come from words but more usually it is from actions which wound us in some way. This wound has to be addressed and the usual way is for the ignition of fury.

Fury, when ignited is either heated (shouting, physical assaults, sexual violence, breaking things, name calling, issuing threats) or cold fury (sulking, silent treatments, cold shouldering, glaring).

In either instance the heated fury or cold fury is an instinctive fight response to what you have done, namely you have wounded us. This response is designed to draw fuel from you (which heals the wound) and also to exert control over you again by stopping your criticism of us and forcing you give us fuel instead.

Thus, it is similar to the sub division above but it is different because it is caused by wounding, rather than the instinctive knowledge that more fuel can be obtained and control exerted through a fight challenge.

Flight

The third category is one whereby we withdraw.

This is not a silent treatment (although this may follow). Instead it occurs in situations where we have been exposed to ourselves, to others or criticised so that we are wounded. We may well have had our fury ignited but it has failed to draw fuel and instead you keep wounding us. In such circumstances we have no choice but to dis-engage, withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere to heal the wound, thus avoiding your failure to give us fuel and your repeated wounding.

Accordingly, when you deal with us you either.

1 Give us fuel

2a. Give us fuel but we fight back to gain more fuel and exert control ; or

2b. Our fury is ignited and we fight back to gain fuel and exert control

3. We withdraw – flight.

By way of example, suppose a tertiary source bumps into us on the street and immediately apologises. That is fuel. We may accept the fuel and that is the end of the interaction.

We may decide that this person should be taught a lesson and we can get more fuel from them so we fight back and call them an arsehole for not looking where they are going. This annoys them because they apologised to us. They respond angrily and thus give us more fuel. We keep arguing with them in order to provoke them.

If a person bumped into us and did not apologise, we would regard this as a criticism. This would wound us and therefore there is a risk of our fury igniting. If it does (subject to the control threshold of the relevant narcissist) then we lash out at them telling them they are  a sleep walking turd in order to cause them to give us fuel either by being upset at our tirade, or to apologise or for them to argue back at us because we have insulted them. We gain fuel and this is drawn until the wound heals.

By way of a further example, the IPPS tells us how wonderful we are. This is positive fuel which we accept.

If the IPPS accuses us of having an affair and if they do so in an upset manner, we gain fuel. We will most likely see this as a challenge – there is more fuel to be gained here AND they are telling us what we can and cannot do, so we need to assert control. We will insult them telling them that it is no wonder we speak to other women because the IPPS is frigid. This causes further upset, generates more fuel and also allows us to exert our control.

If the IPPS fails to give us our birthday present early enough on our birthday, we feel criticised. Our fury ignites and we lash out through cold fury or heated fury to gain fuel from the IPPS for the purposes of healing our wound and at the same time this also ensures we demonstrate who is in charge and thus we exert control.

Accordingly, in all your interactions with our kind be aware that what is happening is that you are either giving us fuel, there is a fight challenge or fight fury or we flee. Being aware of these responses provides you with understanding and also enables you to marshal your responses accordingly.

 

 

 

9+

Icing on the Awake

icing-on-the-awake

The bedroom is one of my favourite rooms. One of my ex-girlfriends used to call it the torture chamber. Another called it the freezer. Their appellations amused me. I don’t like to be touched. Dr O has suggested this is because that touch reminds me too much of what I am missing. I laughed at her remark. I prefer not to be touched, so how on earth would I miss that? I soon learned in the bedroom however that there was an expectancy to touch and hold. At first I would go along with this ritual but I soon tired of it and the thought of ‘spooning’ made me gag. I then learned however that my dislike of being touched and touching was actual a very useful weapon. I initially refrained from touching purely because I did not like it. No more. No less. The person in bed with me however would make such a scene about it that I learned they had to be touched or held to affirm that I felt something for them. Accordingly, by withholding any form of contact this would really upset them. It was marvellous. I was able to turn an idiosyncrasy of mine into a tool to cause upset and distress. If I refused to cuddle up (I’m shuddering just typing that) then I would be met with loud sighs and pleading requests. This emboldened me to not even face their way. In fact, I would lie looking at them and then purposefully turn my back on them. Moments later the sobbing would start and I would feel the power flowing through me before I drifted off to sleep. From what they told me, they endured many a lonely night trying to sleep. If they tried to place an arm around me, I would shrug it off or if really irritated (and this was a body blow) I would get up and sleep in the spare room. I love doing this. Not only do I get to really isolate the other person but then I can criticise them in the morning for forcing me from my bed and into the spare room. That gives me a delightful boost as I butter my toast.

8+