If You Leave The Narcissist

 

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 The narcissist senses that the grip on the victim is under threat in the dynamic between narcissist and Intimate Partner Primary Source. A Preventative Hoover follows – can you establish which school and cadre of narcissist (or narcissists?) is delivering these Preventative Hoovers?

If you leave me I shall surely die and you cannot want that on your conscience can you? If you leave me now, everything that we have built up together will come crashing down around us. Why would you want to do that? Why destroy what we have. Yes, I know that things have not been as good between us lately, but it is not the time to focus on those few bad things but rather to remember what we had, what we have and to treasure that. We are meant to be together. We are bound together as one and I cannot allow you to leave and break what should be unbreakable. How could you countenance doing such a thing? We work so well together, have I not given you love that is beyond anything else you have ever experienced before? You said as such yourself. You have written about it so many times in those beautiful letters that you composed for me, a perfect partner to the expressions of love, passion and desire that I have spoken so many times to you. We have that perfect love, we have just lost our way a little, that is all. We can soon find it again, trust me. We found one another at the beginning didn’t we? Two lost souls who had both been hurt by others before, we saw enough in one another to trust one another with recounting those painful memories didn’t we? We were fated to meet. It was meant to be and if we were able to find ourselves amidst the fog of hurt and regret then surely we can find our way again now? I will do whatever is required to make you stay with me. I cannot let something this precious trickle through my fingers, not now, not after everything that we have said and done.

We have such plans for the future. We want to marry one another and raise a family. That desire cannot have evaporated overnight. No, I thought as much, I can see it in your eyes. Look at me and you will see a man who will be nothing more than a wretched soul if he was to lose you. You are everything to me, you are my north star, my guiding light, my sense of calm and serenity when all is chaos around us. I need you and you need me. We fit together so well. Everybody says that about us. What hope is there for the rest of the world if they see those icons of a perfect love torn asunder? Who will they look to for comfort and encouragement? We not only have an obligation towards one another but to them as well. There is too much darkness out there. Too much hurt, agony and cruelty and we can stand together and be that shining beacon of hope. Do it for me, do it for them, do it for us. Please, I am collapsing inside. The thought of never waking beside you ever again fills me with the most terrible dread. If you leave me, you will rip out the core of me and I will perish. There will be no purpose without you. Everything will become grey, ashen and dark. All colour will be drained from my world if you walk away now. Please do not do it. Please stay with me. I want you to be happy. I want to be happy. I want us to be happy together. There is so much we have not yet done, so many worlds to experience together, to conquer and rule. You are the one who sits at my left hand, my queen. Whatever is needed, just say the words and I will execute what is required but please, please, I am begging you, do not leave me. I love you.

If you leave me I shall ensure you die and believe me, it will not trouble my conscience. If you leave me now, everything that you know and cherish will come crashing down around you. Why would I want to do that? Why destroy what you have? Because you deserve it for your selfishness and your disdain towards me, after everything that I have done for you. Yes, I know that things have not been as good between us lately, but that is because you have not made the time to focus on me and you would rather forget what we had, what I gave you and to treasure me. We will always be together. You will not escape me. I will make it my sole mission in my life to ensure you never become free of me. We are bound together as one, you accepted that from the beginning and I cannot allow you to leave and break what I am entitled to. How could you countenance doing such a thing? How could you hurt the one who has done so much for you? I know how, because you are a fraud, a cruel temptress who swept me up and promised the earth and then delivered nothing. Oh wicked harridan, seditious slut and cruel crone you are. I worked so hard to bring us together, have I not given you love that is beyond anything else you have ever experienced before? You said as such yourself. You have written about it so many times in those beautiful letters that you composed for me, a perfect partner to the expressions of love, passion and desire that I have spoken so many times to you. Well understand this. I meant none of it. I have never loved you, you do not deserve my love, I will give it to someone who will appreciate it and give me what I want, but I will not let you rest. I will not let you walk away from me. You have a price to pay and you will keep on paying. I have created the perfect love and you have trodden all over it. If you try to leave I can soon find you again, trust me. My reach is far and wide. You have no idea of those who are waiting to help me and bring you down. I found you at the beginning didn’t I? That wasn’t me acting alone, I can promise you that. You a broken and lost soul who had been hurt by others before, I saw enough in you to endure you recounting those painful memories didn’t I? Oh I listened alright, storing all the details and I will use them against you now. I will scatter them to the four winds, posting and spreading details of your vulnerabilities far and wide. Not only those but all of the others I have collected whilst we have been together. Oh I have quite the collection and I will not hesitate to use them to destroy you. We were not fated to meet, I chose you. It was meant to be and I will find you again amidst the fog of hurt and regret that I will weave around you so you cannot see a way to escape. I will do whatever is required to make you stay with me. I cannot let something this precious trickle through my fingers, not now, not after everything that we have said and done.

I have such plans for the future. I want to marry another and raise a family and I will keep you updated as to that progress so you are tormented by what you could have had, but you chose to be selfish and leave. That malicious intent will not evaporate overnight, you do realise that don’t you? No, I thought as much, I can see the fear in your eyes. Look at me and you will see a man who will turn you into nothing more than a wretched shadow of your former self. I am everything to you, I will be the clouds which obscure your waystar, I will snuff out your light, I will eradicate any sense of calm and serenity by sowing chaos all around you. You need me more than ever. My machinations fit together so well. Everybody will know how treacherous you are if you dare to leave me. What hope is there for the rest of the world if they see this icon of perfection treated so unfairly? Who will they look to for leadership and brilliance? I not only have an obligation towards myself but to my supporters as well. There is much darkness out there for you, all created by me. Much hurt, agony and cruelty and my supporters will and can stand together and be that relentless machine that crushes you. Do it and see what happens. Please me or you will collapse inside. The thought of never sleeping properly again will fill you with dread because I will always be there, waiting and watching. If you leave me, I will rip your heart out and consume it. There will be no purpose left for you. Everything will become grey, ashen and dark. All colour will be drained from your world if you walk away now. Do not do it. Stay with me. I want you to be controlled. I want to control you. I want and I will get it. There is so much I have not yet done to you, so many worlds of yours to conquer and rule. You are the one who lies broken at my feet, my conquest. Whatever is needed, I will say the words and I will execute what is required to make your life a living hell but I am ordering you, you will not leave me. I hate you.

 

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Nothing’s Impossible

NOTHING'SIMPOSSIBLE

 

 

There are times when even my charm is in limited supply and is refusing to stretch. This often happens when I have subjected a victim to a fierce period of devaluation so that they have been pushed to their limits and they are at breaking point. Something stirs inside of them which causes them to decide that they need to escape me. They may not fully understand why but they know that they need to depart. It may be the case that an external influence is interfering in my carefully laid plans of denigration and this meddling threatens to puncture of even sever my supply of delicious negative fuel. It is at these moments when I am staring at the potential loss of a succulent supply of fuel that I make a particular play in order to prevent the cessation of supply. In such circumstances I will ensure that there is only you and I and that the potential for external interference is at a minimum. I need to ensure that I have your undivided attention and there will not be somebody else seeking to throw a spanner into the works. I want them excluded and banished so that I can concentrate entirely on you and make my last throw of the dice.

“I know that this time I will have to change,” I will begin as I fix you with my most earnest of looks. You stop what you are doing and look at me and already I can see the indecision in your eyes as I start with this sentence. It is always a good opening gambit. You and your like love to think that we can change, that there is some goodness deep within us that can be harnessed and used to get us back on track. You are great believers in redemption.

“I need a miracle to help me this time, “ I continue as I underline the gravity of the task that I am faced with. By according such gravitas to your stated intention to depart, I demonstrate just how seriously I am taking your threat. Inside I am exploding with rage at your audacity in daring to even to suggest that you will leave me. Me, of all people, me who has done so much for you. It is everything I can do to contain the fury but I know I must do so for an explosion now will be what finally pushes you away.

“How did we come to be this far apart?” I ask fixing you with a pleading look. By underlining that we were once so close, nay inseparable, I am appealing to your desire to bring us back to that closeness once again. This also allows you a chance to talk and talk is something you like to do. I let you trot out all the perceived injustices that you have supposedly suffered at my hands. I hear little of it because I know that you are mistaken and this is all based on your incorrect perceptions of me. This time I just have to let it wash over me in order to allow my influence to exert itself over you. I cannot stand to be criticised and inside I am dying but I am taking this blow for the greater good, the greater good of ensuring this precious fuel supply remains intact.

“Just tell me what you need me to do and I will do it,” I trot out next, conning you into thinking that you have some vestige of power and authority over me, when of course you have none. Again in order to serve my own purposes I am content to allow you to think that you can bring some influence to bear over me. Again this will give you a chance to detail all of the change and remedial behaviours you expect me to engage in. I will nod and make the appropriate noises as you ramble on about the changes you want me to effect. I pluck the lines which I have heard others use on so many occasions to enable me to continue my con. You are suckered by it on every occasion. I know it works and this is why I do it.

“I know we can get through this, nothing’s impossible,” I add as I take your hands and stare into your eyes. Invariably this line secures you giving me yet another chance and your relief eclipses my own as I know that I have you once again. Your joy at not parting provides me with even further fuel and I can allow you a brief golden period by way of reward. After all, you may as well enjoy it because it is not going to last for long is it?

Fighting Back – How To Handle the Narcissist in Court

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There is a good chance that you have either encountered your particular narcissist in a court setting or you will do. This is because of two factors which are especially prevalent with our kind:-

1.      Our behaviour results in the necessity of bringing court action;

2.      Our need to win prolongs such court action necessitating a court hearing.

Most people either avoid behaving in a way which causes a legal action to occur in the first place or if legal action occurs, they look to mediate and bring about a settlement without the necessity of a final court hearing. The three main arenas in which you will find a narcissist involved in a court hearing are as follows:-

1.      Proceedings involving children – whether it is proving parentage, addressing issues of residence or contact and similar;

2.      Criminal proceedings where the narcissist has committed a crime against you;

3.      Proceedings involving property or money – usually divorce proceedings, but will also include proceedings for child support, the return of money or property owed, or you may even be on the receiving end of a claim brought by the narcissist.

I am not referring in this article to the actual legal action itself, I have addressed that in the articles Courting Troubleand The Dirty Divorcewhich both give you insight as to how we approach the legal process. This article is about what you can expect and what you should consider doing at a court hearing where we will be present.

The first aspect of this is to understand our mind set. What do we want to achieve from this court hearing and how do we regard this hearing?

1.      As you would expect, we want fuel. We want fuel chiefly from you – whether you are angry, frustrated or upset – but we also want to gain fuel from the lawyers, the judge, the jury, the reporters, the police, the probation service, the experts and anybody else who happens to be in the court room.

2.      The hearing is a stage for us. We are the main attraction and as a consequence we regard this as an opportunity for us to make it all about us. This means that we will draw attention to ourselves, we will pass comment repeatedly about what is being said (even though it is not necessary or appropriate for us to speak), we will engage in exaggerated gestures to draw attention to ourselves – headshaking, nodding, waving our arms around, pointing and so on – even when we are not in the dock or giving evidence.

3.      Exhibiting our usual contradictory behaviour, we revel in the fact that we have been given this stage for the gathering of fuel but we also resent the fact that we are having to appear in court. If we are taking action against you, we resent having to give up our time to do so. If we are defending a claim brought by you or involving you, then it is all your fault that we are facing this imposition on our freedom of activity and you are impinging on our sense of entitlement to do as we please.

4.      We are here to win. We do not ordinarily engage in compromise (unless doing so provides us with a further advantage) and therefore we want to win by getting what we regard as ours, keeping what we regard as ours, defeating you and escaping charges. Whatever the nature of this hearing, our intention is to win because this accords with our sense of superiority.

5.      We do not recognise the authority of anybody inside the court room because we out rank them all. The judge is an idiot, the expert does not know what she is talking about, your lawyer is a fool, our lawyer is only good because we are his or her client, the jury consists of morons, the child psychologist is biased and so on and so forth. We are doing everybody a huge favour by turning up at court.

6.      We will not accept anything which goes against us. This is as a consequence of our sense of entitlement and also our inherent need to escape accountability. Any witness which gives evidence against us is a liar, any ruling against us is biased, the expert which provides evidence against us is bent, the police officer who testifies against us is corrupt and we can stand when we want, sit when we want, speak when we want and we will argue with anybody and everybody who tries to shackle us in some way.

7.      This hearing is a marvellous opportunity to provoke you, intimidate you and punish you and we will be looking to use this court hearing to achieve these things. Be in no doubt that the instigation of court proceedings against you is a hoover. Any court hearing (whether you started the legal process or not) is seen as an opportunity to hoover you because you are there. You have entered our sphere of influence, so there is a Hoover Trigger, we know there is fuel on offer (because of the heightened emotional nature of a court hearing) and we have a direct means of engaging with you, thus the bar is lowered on the Hoover Execution Criteria, accordingly we will want to engage with you and we will keep trying throughout the hearing. We will stare at you, try to speak to you, goad you, make comments when you are giving evidence, gesture at you and engage in any action which allows us to interface with you in order to draw fuel.

It is worth explaining how the three schools of narcissism will generally behave so you can factor this into your considerations.

The Lesser Narcissist will not be able to keep his fury under control. He will engage in frequent outbursts, threats and protestations. This means his lawyer (if he has one) will be tasked with trying to calm him down, there are likely to be frequent adjournments (continuances) to allow the over heated Lesser to cool down for ten minutes or so and the smooth running of the hearing will become fractured. Do not be surprised if a brawl breaks out and the Lesser is held in contempt of court and removed from the court room.

The Mid-Range Narcissist will see this as an opportunity to provide an Oscar worthy performance as if she is starring in a Shakespearean tragedy. Frequent pity plays, turning on the water works, fluttering eyelashes, dramatic pauses, feigned fainting fits, requests for adjournments so she can compose herself, asking for a glass of water and so on. All attention seeking, all designed to delay and garner sympathy from all of those in the court room and most of all designed to test your patience because you have seen it all before and can see through it.

The Greater Narcissist poses the most significant problem for you albeit you are far less likely to have been ensnared by one since the Lesser and Mid-Range are far more common. The Greater, having a far more scheming mind, greater level of control and a Macchiavellian mind will apply considerable manipulation in order to secure the win for himself and therefore his approach will be more subtle, more effective and harder to displace.

Knowing our mind set and how we approach the court hearing, what should you do?

1.      Ensure your lawyer, if you are using one, fully understands narcissistic personality disorder and has dealt with our kind previously. This is fundamental. If you do not, not only do you run the risk of not being believed by your own lawyer (and probably regarded as a fantasist, histrionic and so on) he or she stands to be manipulated by us so that they pressure you into accepting a situation which is less beneficial for you – expect comments such as “He seems like a decent enough chap and wants to put this behind him, so you might want to consider this new proposal” or “It is clearly upsetting her having to deal with this, so I should imagine we can get a settlement sooner than later.”

2.      Ensure anybody who is invited to conduct an assessment of the narcissist for the purpose of the court proceedings – for example a court appointed psychologist or a probation officer – understands what NPD is and has dealt with it before. Similar reasons to those advanced at one above are applicable to this as well.

3.      Arrive at court early. Do this to ensure you are not arriving flustered but also so you can secure a consultation room prior to court. In criminal proceedings you may have victim support available to assist you in this regard, but in matrimonial, financial and child applications there is no guarantee of this. Securing a consultation room is very important. This is so you can have discussions with your lawyer etc privately, but also because it creates a barrier between you and us. If you have to sit or stand in a public area, we will be hovering trying to catch your eye, we will walk over and speak to you, we will stand nearby and speak in a loud voice, cracking jokes etc to unnerve you. Get a consultation room and sit with your back to the door so that you cannot see us keep walking past through the window because we will do this.

4.      Ensure you are prepared. Arriving early allows you to compose yourself, gather yourself, get your bearings and ensure you are focused. This is especially important if you are representing yourself. We are more likely to try and wing things because of our expected right to win owing to our sense of entitlement.

5.      Do not expect our lawyer to see through us. They will have little idea what we are, they will be manipulated by us and ultimately they are our hired gun. Accordingly, whilst it may seem that our lawyer is just as bad as us, keep in mind why this appears to be the case and this will provide you with reassurance.

6.      During the hearing ensure as far as possible that there is somebody between you and us who will block a direct eyeline. When we give evidence from the witness stand or appear in the dock we will be eyeballing you in order to draw fuel. Do not look at us. You ignoring us will criticise us, wound us and may cause an ignition of fury. An ignition of fury is likely to assist you because in such a situation we are far more likely to lash out at other people, thus showing the true colours and inviting the disapproval of those in attendance.

7.      Give us enough rope and all (save the most controlled Greater) will hang themselves. Your aim is to bring about an ignition of fury. This should not be done by goading us (as this is fuel) but by ignoring us. This will wound us and our need for fuel will mean that we will lash out at others. This might be arguing, shouting, insulting, being sulky, storming from the court room and so forth. Whilst you will be explaining to the court about our unreasonable behaviour the best thing to rely on is us exhibiting this ourselves and the best way is to cause the ignition of our fury. This will not take much with the Lesser at all and thus the court will be able to see our true colours in all their glory which will damage our position and improve ours.

8.      By comparison we will be doing all we can to make you react and accord with the picture that we will have painted you as, namely a liar, violent, unhinged, crazy, promiscuous, hot-tempered and so on. Not only will your reaction give us fuel and tell us we can keep provoking you to get more, we are also damaging your prospects of success. We have always known how to draw a reaction from you and we will be counting on this in this final court hearing, so prepare yourself and increase your resolve to give no reaction. No reaction means no fuel. No fuel weakens us. No fuel means we have to draw it elsewhere. No fuel increases the chance of your comments and actions wounding us resulting in an ignition of fury.

9.      When giving your evidence, do not look at us or our lawyer but rather direct all your replies to the judge. Not only will this make you feel calmer but it will criticise us because you are ignoring us. It also lessens the control we have over you (either direct or through our lawyer).

10. When giving evidence do not challenge us or our lawyer with your own questions. That is not the time to do it. It will fuel us and also indicates to us that we are getting to you, which will encourage further provocation.

11. When giving your evidence or making submissions, do so in a fuel free manner. Remember we are just waiting to lap that fuel up and therefore you need to get your emotions under control and deny that to us.

12. Ensure your lawyer understands that all discussions are lawyer to lawyer and take place outside of the consultation room. Your lawyer can then return to you and convey the upshot of those discussions.

13. Ensure you take a trusted friend with you who stays with you throughout and acts as barrier should we try to speak to you, enter the consultation room, follow you to the toilets, cafeteria and so on.

14. Always refuse any attempt we make to get you on your own by having a “heart to heart to sort this out”. This is just a ruse to isolate you and drawn fuel from you. If you are not represented, use your trusted friend to convey messages so you keep a barrier between you and us. Your whole approach should be as if we do not actually exist. That way you will provide no fuel, feel less anxious and you will cause criticism.

15. Be aware that we will use third parties to approach you and also turn up with Lieutenants and coterie members in tow. They should also be ignored and not engaged with in the ways described above.

16. Refresh your mind beforehand of all the forms of manipulation that we engage in so you know to spot them when they are rolled out at court.

17. Do not give in unnecessarily just to make the matter go away. We are counting on that. The longer you stick to your guns (without being patently unreasonable as to what you wish to achieve) the more likely you are to cause us to erupt which will either cause us to walk off and thus matters are more likely to go against us, we lose interest in the process and agree to a deal (be mindful you will have to enforce it as we will not stick to it even if agreed) just to be able to go and do something else or the eruption in itself will go against us in some way.

18. Be aware we will try to get messages to you to draw a reaction from you. This means passing notes, texting you/ringing you (you may consider it prudent to switch off your ‘phone and organise for urgent messages to be sent to your lawyer/trusted friend instead) , through social media,  through third parties and even using the court tannoy under some pretext.

19. You will experience frustration with how we are behaving. Whether it is milking the situation through pity plays, engaging in a character assassination when giving evidence and/or asking questions, smearing you and raking up sensitive matters, this is all being done to provoke a reaction from you and gain fuel. Understand this will happen and know it will feel unpleasant but focus on keeping yourself fuel-free which will aid your outcome.

20. The reason most court hearings have to go to a final hearing is as a consequence of the unreasonableness of one of the other parties, otherwise it will settle beforehand through agreement being reached. We of course revel in unreasonableness owing to our sense of expectation, refusal to accept blame and desire to draw fuel. There will be occasions where we can pull the wool over people’s eyes and get the result we want, but this is usually because the non-narcissist has fallen into one of the traps detailed above and failed to maximise their chances. If you adhere to these points the unreasonable position of the narcissist will eventually come to the fore and be rejected by a judge.

21. When leaving the court wait for some time to ensure that we have left the vicinity (this also applies to lunchtime adjournments) as if we remain at liberty we will be looking to pounce on you to draw fuel. This might be gloating if we have been successful or to berate you if the hearing has gone against us. Be mindful of being ambushed by us in this manner.

22. Don’t use social media to comment on the forthcoming court hearing, comment during it or afterwards. This is likely to fuel us in some way and may invite response from us or our coterie.

Knowing who you are dealing with, how we will seek to manipulate you, how we want to use the platform to gain fuel from you and applying the above recommendations will serve you considerably well when you have a final court hearing involving our kind.

Except when Judge Tudor is presiding.

Provocation

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We repeatedly provoke. The act of provocation is one which is designed to cause a strong and often unwelcome emotion in the recipient. On one level, it can be said that everything we do is provocative because we are always looking to cause you to be emotional, to react in an emotional fashion to what we do and as a consequence give us the fuel that we need. Thus when we tell you that we have finally found our soul mate, we are provoking you into generating an intense feeling of being loved (or at least thinking that you are being loved) which causes you to exhibit your love towards us and thus we gain our fuel. We pay a friend a compliment in order to provoke that person into at least thanking us, thus a small dollop of positive fuel or more hopefully (and indeed more likely because this empathic secondary source is well-mannered, honest and decent) we pay them a compliment so they will pay one to us and thus more fuel is garnered. There is no unconditional giving with our kind. We only give to receive.

Thus all of the things that we say and do, the manipulations, the chicanery, the machinations and the mind games are all designed to provoke you into giving us fuel. However, in its strictest sense, we provoke you in order to generate that intense response and one which is negative in nature. We provoke you so that you will explode in anger, erupt in a stream of profane insults and vent your frustration through a slap to the face or a mug hurled towards us.

We will push and push and push. Yes, many of you have a remarkable capacity to absorb these pointy sticks which jab you. Your kind are well-versed and skilled in the turning of the cheek, the adoption of the high ground and the making of allowances. You will bury the hatchet and we will dig it up again in order to give you a dig from the sharp point. You will let bygones be bygones and we will resurrect the memory of an age-old issue in order to rankle you.

Nothing is off limits in terms of provoking you. It might be focusing on a vulnerability of yours that we know about (having acquired this information when we seduced you) so that we remind you of a frightening episode from your childhood or capitalise on your terror of spiders. It might be homing in on your sensitivity about the size of your nose, the shape of your head, the bright red of your embarrassment. If you owe us money, we shall remind you of it and comment on your poor financial position. We may flirt because we know how much you hate the notion of us being unfaithful. We may repeatedly turn up late because you are an advocate of punctuality. We may criticise your parents, your choice of film, your culinary skills, your attempts to loser weight; whatever we have identified as a means for causing you to erupt at us we will do it.

We know which buttons to press. We have a knack and an instinct for doing so. This is because we are able to gather information about you when we seduce you which will be stored away and used against you at a later stage. This is also because empathic individuals are more likely to respond in an emotional fashion. Yes, you will soak it up at first by making allowances for our behaviour and indeed making excuses, exhibiting this selfless understanding for which you are famed. This will not dissuade us. We know that everybody has a limit of what they can take before they snap. Sometimes it is bursting into tears, running from the room or screaming. Other times it is exploding with a volley of curses, coming at us with flailing arms or shouting and screaming at the top of your voice about how awful we are.

Push, prod, niggle. Aggravate, rile, irritate. Ruffle, vex, bug. Irk incense and annoy. We will chip away at your defences, jabbing and poking as we look to make your blood boil, get on your nerves, get under your skin,  work you into lather and try your patience until you can take no more. We can sense the emotion rising in you. We notice the slight tells, the narrowing of the eyes, the rolling of the eyes, the sighs, the shake of the head, the hands on the hips, the raised palm, the jutting jaw and so on. The more you try to tell us that we are not getting to you, the more we are encouraged. We know that your emotion is building up inside of you. We know that it is increasing and no matter how much you are trying to maintain that cool exterior, we understand what is building up.

We not only have a medley of ways by which we provoke you, but we are experts in choosing precisely the best (worst) time to engage in this behaviour. Do any of these instances seem familiar?

When you are trying to get ready to go out.

When you are trying to have a telephone conversation with somebody else.

When you are trying to cook.

When you are trying to perform some chore.

When you are trying to get to sleep.

When you first come through the door after a long day.

When sat next to us in the car on a long journey.

When sat across from us in a restaurant.

When at some event of your choosing.

We will pick an inopportune time to commence our provocation so that you are caught off guard, when you are tired, when you are hungry, when you are anxious or stressed. The moment must be right for us and wholly inappropriate for you and then we can unleash the relevant form of provocation. We know what really gets to you. It may be the subject matter. It might be the way of conveying it, for instance patronising you or acting in a condescending fashion. It could be jabbing you with a finger on the shoulder to punctuate or words or giving you a dig in the back as you lie on your side in bed, after each savage sentence.

Eventually comes the eruption. You can only take so much and invariably when this provocation comes allied with an emotional state which makes you more susceptible to our provocations the explosion is all the more satisfying. Copious amounts of negative fuel fountain from you as you shout, scream, bang doors, slam your hand on the work top, swear and so forth. Inside we are soaring with the power that comes from the provision of this most excellent fuel. You, the paragon of virtue, the most patient of saints has been brought to boiling point and we achieved it. You have responded to our control. Our superiority is once again affirmed, we are the puppetmasters, we are omnipotent in our actions and you have responded as we wanted. Such marvellous fuel that sprays from you and we relish every drop.

Of course as it fountains and flows from you we will not want it to stop and the provocation will continue. Not only are we ensuring that we get to bathe in your overflowing fuel, we are using this eruption as evidence of how unhinged you are. Do not be surprised if this niggling, poking provocation occurs where others will see it. You can expect the whispered and insidious provocations to be used, the acts which are open to interpretation (although we both full well know exactly what was meant by our remark, our look or our gesture) and our good friend plausible deniability will be given an airing.

“Who me officer? I did nothing. She just exploded. I get this all the time, she has an anger management problem. John here will confirm she just went mental and started hitting me.” (Cue obliging Lieutenant).

“I don’t know what gets into her dad, she just erupts. You saw what she was like at mum’s birthday party. That is what I have to live with.”

“I feel sorry for you Mrs Johnson, having a daughter with a temper like that.”

We will provoke you. We will draw the delicious fuel that you will provide to us and then we will use your eruption against you as evidence of your unhinged mind, nasty temperament and unbalanced mental state.

Provocation is a mainstay of our behaviour. It comes in many forms, it is used in many different ways and on a range of occasions but its effects are always the same.

  1. The provision of a massive dose of negative fuel from a primary source;
  2. The exertion of control over you;
  3. The reinforcement of our image of superiority, lack of accountability and omnipotence;
  4. The creation of an emotional state in you which hampers your ability to think clearly and logically;
  5. The creation of a situation where you can later be made to feel guilty for erupting in the way you have at us;
  6. The manufacturing of a scenario which is used to reinforce our façade – we were calm and bewildered by this outburst.
  7. The manufacturing of a scenario which is used to smear you to third parties.

Provocation is a very useful tool to us. It is used extensively and repeatedly. Know why it is being used. Do not try to outlast it and exert your capability for patience, tolerance and understanding. You are just goading us to try harder. Remove yourself before your threshold is reached to avoid giving us points 1-7 above.

Provocation will always be used against you.

Anyway, who do you think you are looking at?