What is really going on in that dark mind?
I’m feeling generous. You may choose one super power and one only. It is exactly as described below, no modifications, no caveats, no conditions other than stated. Which would you choose and why?
Time Travel – you may go back in time and all that has happened is reversed. Your knowledge and memory remains preserved however.
Narc Detector – you immediately know someone is a narcissist as soon as they engage with you, whether in person, by message, by telephone call.
Automatic Enlightenment – you know exactly why the narcissist is doing what he or she is doing or saying
New Victim Awareness – this only works with regard to the narcissist you were ensnared by, but all future victims are immediately made aware of what the narcissist is and they fully understand as soon as the narcissist starts to engage with them
Guilt Free – your empathic trait of guilt is removed. All other empathic traits remain.
Knowledge Spreader – anybody you touch immediately understands about narcissism
Addiction Purge – you are no longer addicted to narcissists
Fuel Valve – you can shut off providing fuel at will
Truth Serum – the narcissist you are ensnared by or were ensnared by can now only speak the truth from the empathic perspective
Total Exposure – everybody within a five mile radius of the narcissist knows what he or she has done. This is a one-off hit activated when you choose.
Fear comes in many forms. It has the capacity to cause dread, anxiety and nervousness. Fear is one of the most powerful tools that exists to facilitate control over somebody. Think back to when you were a small child and the things that frightened you. Many of them have a universal applicability. How many times did you cry out to your mother and father in the night because you were frightened of the “monsters under the bed” and you were terrified that once the bedroom door was closed that something would come creeping out of the wardrobe and induce utter fear throughout you? Perhaps it was the strange shapes that formed once the light was turned off with only moonlight streaming through the crack in the curtains so that the shadow thrown across the room appeared like some old crone waiting to come and take you away and eat you. How many times were you warned as a child never to speak to strangers, never to get into a car with somebody you did not know and never to accept sweets from a stranger? Do you recall how this conjured up images of smelly old men in stained raincoats who waited to abduct you and spirit you away to be locked up who knows where? Perhaps there was that house on your walk back from school which had attracted a certain reputation. It was run-down, the garden overgrown, with bushes spilling onto the path, the windows grimy and paint peeling. You were never sure whether anybody actually lived there. Some said that a witch resided there and she waited for children passing on their own before grabbing them and stuffing them in her cellar to starve to death. Others told tales on stormy afternoons which made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, about the spirits that haunted the old house. A friend would swear that he had walked past, one wet and windy evening, just as it was going dark and he saw the face of a ghostly child staring at him from an upstairs window, the child’s spectral hands knocking against the window as if requesting help. After hearing that tale you took a different route home from school so you did not have to pass this particular house anymore. If that was not possible, you would run past, head down, shouting at the top of your voice to drown out any strange sounds that might come from the trapped ghost child, as you dared not even look towards the house. Fear often stalked your childhood and resulted in sleepless nights, nightmares and a reluctance to go to bed. Do you remember being sent to bed and staring up the stairs towards the darkness wondering what was waiting for you? How you did not want to appear scared in front of your parents (especially since they had let you stay up a while longer because you were a “big boy/girl” now). You wanted to hand those words back as you hovered at the base of the stairs, the hallway colder than the living room from which you had ventured. How many times did the noise of the house settling, resulting in strange groans and creaks convince you that somebody was waiting out of sight in a doorway, their heavy booted foot resting on the squeaky floorboard, rusty axe clutched in greasy, long-nailed fingers? Did the sight of a clown have you running to hide in the folds of your mother’s dress, that strange leering and accentuated mouth creating panic in your tiny mind? What did that eerie clown have in mind for you?
It might have been a reluctance to paddle barefooted in the sea or a river because you could not see where you were putting your feet. You felt something brush your foot, most likely seaweed, but in your mind some razor-toothed fish was about to take a bite from your ankle or a crab was about to affix a pincer to your big toe. You turned and ran hollering from the edge of the sea back to the safety of the sandy beach. There may have been a murderer’s alleyway in your town, a badly-lit passageway between two roads which was a convenient and easy short cut during the day but a night the purported preserve of lurking knife merchants and yellow-toothed stranglers who were just waiting to pounce and take your life. You stood staring down the alleyway trying to drive the rising fear from you but it just would not go and instead you opted to walk the long way around. It took twenty extra minutes but at least you got home safely.
Fear continued to stalk your life as you grew older. You might not be worried about the bogeyman anymore but he has shapeshifted into the fear that comes with finding a lump about your body and not knowing what it is. Uncertainty about the business for whom you work has you tossing and turning at night. Wondering where the next pay check will come from has you similarly fearing for the future. Walking alone along a road at night and hearing footsteps behind you still causes your heart rate to increase. A glance over your shoulder as you cross the road to the over pavement only serves to heighten your worry as a hooded figure also crosses the road. Your step quickens as your fear increases and your mind floods with images of robbery, rape or murder. When alone in the house at night the sound of a bang from downstairs has you sat bolt upright in bed. What was that noise? Did you dream it? Was it somebody breaking in? Was it something not of this world, a poltergeist perhaps hurling a book against a wall. You cannot see what caused the noise and immediately the fear forms in the pit of your stomach, your racing mind conjuring up a score of unpleasant scenarios as you debate creeping to the top of the stairs and peering down to see if you can ascertain what it was.
Fear takes hold of you and makes your reasoning faulty. It tightens around your throat stopping you from calling out and turns your legs into stone so you are figuratively petrified and unable to escape that unseen tormentor. Fear withers you, paralyses you and you will do anything at all to escape that sensation of fear. It is pervasive, damaging and controlling.
Your greatest fears always stem from the unknown. It is that which you cannot see which causes you the greatest terror. When you cannot see something you are plunged into fear, its icy grip takes hold and you crumble. The unknown and the unseen create the fear. That is why we are so devastatingly effective in our control of you. That is why we create such numbing fear in you.
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?
Thus this is the Incredible Sulk. Just be thankful no shirts or trousers were ripped in the process.
There are four schools of empath (Co-Dependent, Standard, Super and Contagion). There are many cadres of empath which layer on to those schools. These cadres include the Carrier, the Magnet and the Geyser, about which I have written previously. A further cadre is that of the Saviour Empath.
The Saviour Empath’s mission is to heal and to save, to ensure that good prevails. They are the archetypal believer in the idea that there is some good in everybody. With regard to our kind, the Saviour Empath does not consider that we are intrinsically ‘evil’ or ‘bad’. They prefer to adopt the view that there is good locked away inside of us and that it just has to be discovered, unlocked and set free. This notion of course and the desire to address this apparent goodness is a very strong binder which enables us to keep a hold on the Saviour Empath. Indeed, there are those of our kind who will play on this concept and this is addressed below.
The Saviour Empath feels an overriding need to save the world. They wish to right the wrongs, heal the sick, tend to the injured and ensure that injustices are overturned. It is this desire which is at the very heart of the Saviour Empath. The Saviour Empath is often someone who subscribes to a belief system (whether it is organised religion, karma, paganism or similar) although the absence of such a belief does not discount the person as being a Saviour Empath, but a reliance on a belief system is a hallmark of the Saviour Empath. How does this manifest with regard to each school of empath?
Standard Empath – the Saviour Standard Empath regards it as imperative that he or she comes to the aid of people. They will donate to charity, help out voluntary organisations and are giving of their time. With regard to the narcissist, this manifests as adopting a sympathetic and compassionate approach to the unusual behaviours (when the empath is not aware they are ensnared by a narcissist) of the narcissist. Accordingly, they regard the narcissist as a ‘good’ person (supported by the narcissist’s illusory behaviour during the golden period) and therefore when devaluation occurs they will ascribe the behaviour to arising from a third party event rather than seeing it as the behaviour of the narcissist at work. The Standard Empath wants to assist the narcissist and does so by trying to understand and offer solutions linked to the aberrant behaviour that is being witnessed. The Saviour Standard Empath whilst wanting to save the narcissist from whatever terrible third party event or influence that is causing the behaviour (for example, is the narcissist struggling at work, is he stressed, has he got problems with money or drink?). The Saviour Standard Empath will put themselves in the firing line when trying to assist, but they do not tend to regard the problem as much to do with them but rather another factor which they want to tackle and overcome.
Super Empath – the Saviour Super Empath is akin to a caped crusader who fires into action whenever he or she witnesses injustice. They cannot help but interfere when really it is not their business (this is the narcissistic trait of selfishness coming to the fore momentarily). The Saviour Super Empath will not turn a blind eye to someone in trouble, they will help the injured person and then look to tackle the perpetrator (or at least bring them to account through formal channels). Thus is the Saviour Super Empath sees someone being attacked, they will help the victim, look to fight off the attacker and/or chase them down, either themselves or enlisting help. They cannot let any kind of injustice go unaddressed. The Saviour Super Empath has a very strong moral compass and therefore when they see something that is wrong, it very much boils their piss so they spring into action. Whilst they always look to help people, what really matters to the Saviour Super Empath is bringing people to account for their actions. If they see a person cutting into a queue (line) they will upbraid the offender. If they witness a person stealing, they will look to stop them or report them. The Saviour Super Empath is a firm believer in the need for good to prevail, whether this is in a situation or in a person. With regard to the narcissist that a Saviour Super Empath is embroiled with, the Saviour Super Empath knows that this person has a kernel of goodness and if they only triedto embrace it, let it shine etc then such a difference will appear. They believe the narcissist has it inside of them to make adjustments, amend their behaviour and harness the intrinsic goodness inside of them. The Saviour Super Empath knows that they are a force for good and they believe that the narcissist can do the same. The Saviour Super Empath recognises that they themselves are good people but that they have some degree of edge to them (their narcissistic traits appearing from time to time) and they often regard the narcissist in the same light – a person who has edge but is intrinsically good – and this fools the Saviour Super Empath in to wanting to assist and save the narcissist.
The Co-Dependent – the Co-Dependent who is of the Saviour Cadre finds the world to be a terrible place and wishes to administer succour to the downtrodden, to assist the hurt, and to heal the wounds of the injured. They are less concerned about bringing the offender to justice and more about attending to the people who are left cowering and broken in the wake of oppression and violence. The Saviour Co-Dependent is a person who is extremely caring and compassionate – the type of person who would join Medicins Sans Frontieres and arriving at the scene of a humanitarian disaster would work themselves into the ground to try and ease the suffering of each and every person even though it is an impossible task. They are often overwhelmed by the cruelty of the world and despair at its evil ways, but this will not stop them from trying to save each and every person who is in need of help. This applies to the way they engage with the narcissist. The Saviour Co-Dependent (“SCD”) knows and is absolutely convinced that the narcissist is at heart a good person and with the right application of guidance, support, compassion and tolerance the narcissist will change, will improve and let that goodness shine. The SCD will not give up on the narcissist, even to personal cost to themselves. They know that redemption is just around the corner, that improvement is on the horizon and they will, with a zeal bordering on delusion, grasp at any sign of improvement or alteration in the narcissist’s behaviour as evidence that their faith has not proven incorrect.
The SCD will flagellate themselves in the pursuit of trying to help and heal the narcissist, their emotional thinking and innate desire to do good, plus their own need to achieve validation through their giving of themselves means he or she will continue to try to achieve the impossible. They will not wish to give up, they will see glimmers of hope, slivers of optimism and fragments of possibility in order to achieve their aim of saving the narcissist.
The Contagion – the Saviour Contagion Empath (“SCE”) will manifest their desire to assist as a consequence of the severe impact felt by them of the negative energy, suffering and misery that accompanies the human condition. The desire to save and resolve, to eradicate the diseased and bring about the healing is different to that of the other schools of empath. The SCE needs to achieve this in order to secure balance, which is their primary aim. By redressing the bad, through their saving good works then balance is restored and the polluting impact upon them of the negative energy which they feel – the manifestation of the woe, misery and hurt that others feel – is removed and no longer (albeit temporarily) ceases to be a burden upon them. With regard to the narcissist, the removal of the dark energy surrounding and flowing from the narcissist’s behaviours has a considerable impact on the finely-tuned SCE. In order to alleviate their own pain, in order to prevent themselves from being consumed by the darkness which they acutely feel, the SCE seeks to save the narcissist from their dark self. They similarly wish to achieve balance with their own personal narcissist or narcissists.
How are these various schools of Saviour Empath regarded by our brethren? As you might expect, the SE is naturally desired by narcissists for their empathic traits, class and special traits too. Accordingly, no narcissist will ever shy away from the ensnaring of the SE. There are certain schools and cadres of narcissist however that desire the SE in particular.
Victim Narcissists desire the Saviour Empath owing to their need to be mothered, looked after and saved from their various ailments (real or imagined). The SE’s desire to bring about healing and resolution is savoured by this cadre of narcissist. Lesser Narcissists will not turn away a Saviour Empath, but they are not favoured (unless the Lesser is of the Victim Cadre) since the Lesser has no truck with the idea of being healed or saved. From what? Will be the mocking response as their complete lack of self-awareness means that they have no comprehension or need to be saved in that manner.
Mid Range Narcissists treasure Saviour Empaths because of the fact that some Mid Range Narcissists like to play the ‘troubled soul’ or ‘personal demons’ approach. Whilst unaware of what they are, their awareness that there is something not quite right, coupled with their passive behaviours and need for attention, means that the Mid Range Narcissist truly sees the Saviour Empath as the one who will save him from himself, even though this is just part of the manipulation to keep the Saviour Empath hooked. The Mid Range will revel in becoming the pet project for the Saviour Empath and will instinctively play along by tossing a bone of apparent awareness or improvement in order to maintain the hoped for glorious redemption that the Saviour Empath craves.
The Greater Narcissist is likely to prefer other cadres but again is not going to kick the Saviour Empath out of bed for eating crisps. The Greater may find tormenting the Saviour Empath a delightful machination by increasing the visibility of their dark side so that the Saviour Empath sees a challenge which has to be surmounted. Of course, the Saviour Empath is blind to the fact that the Greater cannot be healed or saved, but that will not stop the Saviour Empath from trying time and time again.
Once we commence our devaluation of one of our victims there is a vast array of manipulative techniques that can be used to fulfil our aim of extracting negative fuel from you. Some of these methods are subtle and may not be noticed by the subject, such as triangulation with an object. Others are brutal involving the smashing of property and the flailing fists and stomping boots. It is often the case that you do not realise that devaluation has commenced because you have yet to have any familiarity with this word or even with what it signifies. You will notice however a change in our behaviour. One of those changes is akin to us bringing down the shutters whenever we deal with you.
Once upon a time we exited our car and cantered across to where you stood waiting in the doorway as we wrapped our arms around you and embraced you passionately. Our face had lit up and our delight in seeing you appeared genuine enough. This happened each time we came to see you, as if we had not seen you for months on end, even though it was only the day before when we last held you. Now when we meet you there is no joyful skip towards you, the smile seems forced and there is no light in our eyes anymore. Whereas they once lit up a brilliant blue and sparkled, now they just seem lacklustre and dull, darker than usual. You try to lift our spirits in that indefatigable way of yours. You ask what is wrong and you are always met with an answer of “nothing”.
“Are you sure?” you ask, “you seem unhappy.”
“No there is nothing the matter.”
“You can tell me.”
We realise we must say something but we are pleased by your concern and the fuel that it provides.
“It’s okay. There is nothing wrong.”
“It does not seem like it. Please, tell me what is on your mind.”
Time to step it up a little and extract some further fuel.
“I said there’s nothing wrong,” I snap and pull my hand away from yours. Your face turns from concern to upset and the fuel flows.
This continues as once we used to talk for hours on the ‘phone about all manner of things and laughed and planned, now we still talk for a long time (or rather you seem to do more of the talking this time) as we draw the negative fuel from you. You try to find new topics to keep the conversation going but our responses are limited, our tone flat and then irritable as you try to remain chirpy and upbeat but the sadness and confusion is all too evident in your voice. It needs to be. We need that.
“I just don’t understand, “you protest pleasantly, “you seem so different these days.”
“Really? In what way?”
“It’s like, it is like I am dealing with someone else.”
“Well that’s nonsensical, it is me.”
“Yes I know that but you are not the same.”
“Of course I am the same, you are imagining things.”
“No I am not. You don’t seem to be into me as much as you once were.”
“I am, it is just, you know, I have a lot going on at present.”
“I understand that but it is more than that. It is like I am talking to a different person. You don’t seem to connect with me the way you used to.”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“How can I put it? It’s like you have made a conscious decision to distance yourself from me and you do not say the things you used to. You always used to sign off your texts with three kisses and now it is only one.”
“You are concerned about how many kisses I put on my texts?” I ask in disbelief.
“No, well yes, well it is not that. That is just a symptom of something else. It concerns me because I love you so much. It is like you have brought down the shutters and put up barriers when we are together. There is a distance between us that wasn’t once there.”
“I haven’t noticed it.” (Of course I have. I know precisely what you are talking about.)
You then spend many minutes trying to convey this sense of distance and alienation as I listen. I am not hearing the words that you say, nor do I pay attention to the explanation, I am too engaged focussing on the hurt in your voice, the frustration and the exasperation as I suck the fuel from your sentences. This technique is subtle. It is easy to implement and enables us to draw negative fuel from you without you realising what we are doing. It is often the beginning of the devaluation period when the simple cessation of the golden behaviour produces in itself a reaction which provides fuel. We do not need to shock you, we do not need to shout or yell, there is no need to lead you on a confusing and merry dance with our denials and deflections. The simple act of pulling up the drawbridge and no longer allowing you access to the wonderful part of us, illusion that it is, remains highly effective.
“I just feel like you bring the shutters down and I am dealing with somebody different. You are not the HG I know and love. You are someone else.”
Time to throw you a little lifeline to give you hope.
“I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less. Just last night I was staring at the chair where you usually sit wishing you were there opposite me talking to me.”
That should do it.
“There you see, that is the HG I know, back in an instant. I wish I had been sat in that chair too, I missed you so much last night.”
It really is so easy.
There comes a time when this must happen to everybody who has been ensnared by us. There is no hope for anything different. In the way that the world keeps on turning and the planets waltz around the sun, we will always cast you to one side. Of the many cruelties which we exact against you, this ranks as one of the worst. You might think that it is a blessing that the daily machinations and manipulations have ended but you will not see it that way when you are dis-engaged from. Indeed, you may not ever realise it.
You are given no warning that you are about to be dis-engaged, although if you know to look for them, there are actually signs that point to what is about to happen. Invariably you are unable to see them because you cannot see or think clearly for the maelstrom that continues to rage around you. There are times when the dis-engagement takes place that it is almost as if we have vanished into thin air. Yesterday we met you for lunch as normal and today you have no idea where we are. You have telephoned but our number is no longer in service. You call our work but you are told that we are unavailable as our assigned gatekeeper keeps you at bay. You wait around trying to catch a glimpse of us in order to speak with us and find out what is going on. You see hide nor hair of us and rather than be angry you are worried and concerned both for us and our relationship, or at least what was once our relationship. This form of the dis-engagement is swift and brutal. Here yesterday and gone today. We put in place a ring of steel which we will not allow you to penetrate. When this form of dis–engagement has been effected you are actually receiving a double whammy of discard and an absent silent treatment. This is designed to reinforce like a hammer blow that you are no longer of any use to us. We do not want to see you, we do not want to hear from you and we do not want to read your e-mails, messages and texts. At least not yet. This form of dis-engagement arises because we have already replaced you. We have found a new primary source of fuel and he or she is a thousand times better than you. We have brought down the shutters, raised the drawbridge and built our castle walls thick and high as we now sit in the throne room with our new, wonderful and perfect primary source by our side. You have been struck from the record, deleted and erased.
We do not want you distracting us from this most precious person that we have found. The truth is that the memory of us being linked to you irritates and infuriates us. We thought that you were the one who would supply us with positive fuel always. Despite the other failures that had gone before you, you showed such promise and we gave you everything in order to seduce you. Now you are placed on the appliance pile, rejected and broken, of no current use to us. You let us down and we bristle at the thought that we even considered you might be of use to us. Your failure and the fact we chose you means that we feel criticised and the ignition of our fury results in a cold fury that creates this icy hinterland that we place between you and us. We want nothing more to do with you.
Until we decide of course it is time to hoover you.
This sudden and unexplained cessation of the relationship is only temporary. We will look to reinstate it at some point in order to extract hoover fuel from you, but you do not know this. All you know is that we were once there and no we are no longer and it hurts. Your soul has been wrenched from within you. It does not matter how badly we hurt you, you still wanted that golden period and our sudden departure has denied that from ever happening again, or at least that is what you are led to believe. Your pain is absolute, combined with the confusion and bewilderment.
Another way in which we cast you to one side is akin to being repeatedly dunked in a barrel of icy water. Each time your dunking lasts a little longer and you fear you cannot hold your breath any longer and this time this is it, you are on your way out, only for us to haul you out and that sweet and precious air fills your lungs, if only for an instance before you are thrust back into the water. During that interlude, as the water cleared from your eyes and you gulped great lungfuls of air you saw someone else stood by our side, watching you with a look of curiosity on their face. This is your replacement but we have not yet decided that they are to replace you as we are giving you the chance to prove yourself and provide some further fuel before we push you away and leave you spluttering and gasping on the ground beside the barrel. We never finish you off. That would be pointless.
We always need to come back, not that you will realise that as you lie panting and shaking on the ground, cold and soaked, watching as we stroll away, our arm around the new prospect. This steady and controlled discard takes place as we lose interest in you but we have no desire to make our departure sudden and swift. We want to hedge our bets as we firm up our arrangements with your replacement, fine-tuning that seduction as we continue to extract fuel from you through this dunking. We push and pull, toying with your emotions.
This is not part of the devaluation even though we exhibit a similar behaviour during that time when we denigrate you and then grant respite. No, this is different. When this is undertaken in an accelerated fashion then you know that it is a form of dis-engagement. We may give you a week of hell and then several weeks of the golden period before hell again. That is the push and pull of devaluation. When this technique is applied as discard it is disorientating as one day is fine and the next is not and then fine again. You feel like you are being figuratively bludgeoned and as you try and get your bearings you stagger across the boxing ring away from us only to meet another opponent who continues the beating and then sends you on your way to the next one.
These are just two forms of the way we will dis-engagement you. Why do we do it? As ever it is all about fuel. With the first it is because we have new and brilliant fuel and no longer wish to be reminded about your faltering and weak fuel. In the second we have not yet confirmed that the new source is as potent as we require and in the meanwhile we decide to continue to extract further fuel from you as your severance from us takes place in typical salami-slicing fashion. In every entanglement with our kind you will eventually be dis-engaged. You won’t see it coming but it is always in the post, coming along the highway, wending its way towards you.
Don’t be too concerned though. No dis-engagement is for ever. We always come back for more.
Why? The ever present question about why the narcissist did as he or she did? A host of questions which overwhelm, confuse and paralyse the victim. Not any longer. A range of fascinating questions, some common, others rare, have been selected dealing with the various elements of the narcissistic entanglement. Forthright and accessible answers are given to these key questions, jargon-free and in an enlightening manner which will aid any reader. The key to freedom starts with understanding. Read this and stop asking why.
By now you all know that I am driven by the hunger that rages within me as I must seek out fuel to feed the beast. To begin with, my fuel comes from the compliments and admiration you send my way during our golden period. Yes, that blissful, wonderful time when everything tastes better, smells more fragrant, looks brighter and sounds sharper. I was asked why can I not contain my need for fuel to receiving admiration and plaudits? Why must I embark on such a destructive course which brings mayhem to everyone around me. Why must it hurt so much? A fair question.
In my case, there are two reasons for this. The first brings forth that old adage of familiarity breeds contempt. Imagine that strawberry is your favourite flavour of ice-cream. I bring you a large strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone. You take a lick and it is delicious. So fresh tasting, so creamy and there are even little pieces of strawberry contained inside of it. It simply is the most sumptuous ice cream you have ever introduced to your taste buds. These strawberries have been grown in God’s garden, tended to by angels and grown with the purest water, the most fertile soil and vibrant sunshine. The milk has been taken from cows which graze on nothing but the most verdant grass, free from pollution and contamination. In fact, every ingredient that has been used in the creation of this magnificent iced confection is the best and perfect. Not only that, it has been crafted by the Supreme High Creator of Gelatos. I bring you a second one. Why not? This is an ice cream fit for champions. You eat this second one but by now you are feeling full. I bring a third, the taste is still great but not as good. Now I give you the good news that you are eating strawberry ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner and nothing else. Soon, the amazing taste of the ice cream no longer brings you pleasure. In fact, you start to dread the sight of the ice cream as it is brought to you and then it makes you angry that you have to eat it. You are sick of it now, it has lost its allure.
This is what happens to me. It always happens. Since I am wired to seek out instant gratification, even the most wonderful sensations soon pale to me. I am not built for the long-term, I have no desire for longevity. If it was me eating the ice cream, I need to go and seek out mint choc chip or even vanilla or perhaps a juicy steak instead. I need something different in order to give me that hit. Why not then just leave the strawberry ice cream along and seek out that new taste sensation, why do I have to subject the ice cream to a campaign of savage and nasty behaviour. One reason is that since I have invested so much energy in securing all that strawberry ice cream I am not going to let it go. I need to treat it differently and thus generate a break from its taste. With you, I need to have a break from the now stale praise and admiration you provide to me. It just does not do it for me. Similarly, I have invested energy in ensnaring you and I do not want to let you go. I have to treat you differently to change the dynamic. I need to keep you around so I embark on a confusing campaign that means you cling tighter to me. I will of course be seeking out new admiration from new sources. There are so many flavours for me to taste. You were once shiny and new. Not any longer. Someone else is shinier and newer.
I will return to you, like I will return to the strawberry ice cream. I have forgotten how it sickened me so I will eat it again and wow, it tastes good. Similarly, I will grant you a short return to the golden period. You lavish me with praise and love borne out of relief and I enjoy it. The law of diminishing returns applies however and soon I tire of your admiration as I tire of the strawberry ice cream and once again I must take a break from it, whilst never actually severing ties with you or giving away the ice cream. Back and forth I will go, occasionally being good to you to receive your admiration as I occasionally have a scoop of the strawberry ice cream. Thus this familiarity and unwillingness to let you go means that I have to treat you badly in order to resurrect the positive fuel on an infrequent basis whilst drawing on the negative fuel to provide the contrast.
I mentioned two reasons. The second reason arises from occasional glimpses of reality. For the most part we dwell in our false construct that we have dragged you into. You may achieve something or a colleague may secure a new contract or we notice a friend purchase a flash, new car. This provides us with a painful reminder of our own limitations and our hatred of the limelight being moved elsewhere, however temporary. In such a case we have to lash out. We must denigrate, despise and demean in order to create that contrast again, we make you look bad and we look good. By putting you down, or the friend or the colleague we feel powerful and in control again. The horrible sensation vanishes. On these occasions, envy and fear drives us to be horrible to you. We have to do it to make ourselves look superior in comparison.
In both instances we need to provide a contrast in order to maintain our fuel. Thus, all cannot be rosy in the garden, we need to spray the weed killer over the flowers you have grown to ensure we receive the fuel that is our primary aim in life.