The Seven Sins of the Empath’s Self Doubt

 

 

In the beginning you are resourceful, confident and independent. Those attributes are there with no need for brazen displays but rather they exist in an understated and quiet manner. Then we arrive. The imposition of our manipulations is designed to bring life to these seven sins in order to leave you susceptible to our further machinations and control. These doubts will enable us to hoover you, draw fuel from you and maintain that connection we rely on to further our own ambitions.

 

  1. Is it actually my fault?

 

We will have you asking yourself and pondering whether what has happened is your fault. Did you do something to attract someone like us? Did you miss some sign which you ought to have seen and therefore it is your own failing which has caused you to be exposed to our control and abuse? We will have you analyse your behaviours as you become burdened with guilt. We are the experts in shifting the blame and through the repeated application of denial, deflection and projection, we will avoid any and all culpability for our actions, leaving them to impact on you. It must be your fault if we are so adamant that it is not our fault. The conviction by which we pin the blame on you will have you questioning yourself. It is natural for you to always reflect on your own behaviour, that is central to who you are and we know this. Add to this our incessant blame-shifting and this steady drip drip drip of the accumulation of blame will eventually take its toll and you will start to accept the blame and regard yourself at fault.

 

 

 

  1. Did I love him enough?

 

How many times have you been told, “You would do it if you loved me,” or “You wouldn’t do that if you actually loved me like you say you do”. You face the ultimate in supposed love through our love bombing and it sheers scale of apparent passion, affection and love would cause anything else to pale by comparison. You will always have this thrown in your face as we tell you time and time again about how much love we have shown for you, how we have loved you beyond anything else and nobody could love you any more than we do. Is it any wonder when faced with such repeated assertions and the behemoth that we are of love that you will query whether you gave enough love towards us? Perhaps we behave the way we do because we feel that we love you more than you love us? We will certainly tell you that and because you are such a devotee of love you will feel obligated to try to match what you have received. You cannot do so because the love we exhibit is smoke and mirrors, easy to conjure up, easy to say and what you understand as love takes more effort, but this will not stop you always wondering whether you do enough and whether a little more love might just be the solution that is needed to make everything perfect again. Thus, we keep you hanging on and trying all the harder.

 

  1. Was I wrong to leave?

 

This nagging doubt has to be created by us on order to keep alive the prospect of hoovering you. We know that you possess a near indefatigable spirit that causes you to stay and try to make things rights. So often it us that brings about the cessation (albeit temporary) or our relationship and we discard you. On the rare occasion where you decide that you have had enough and make a break for the border, to free yourself of our poisonous influence, we know that you will have reservations about doing so. You do not like to give up on people. You like to succeed. You desire for success is not the same as our self-centred drive for achievement but rather your success if for other people and we know this. We know that you want to achieve resolution, that is why we lead you around the houses and up the garden path with our circular arguments. We know that you prefer to achieve an outcome, hence why we never fully answer questions, deflect and deny. This desire for a conclusion means that should you ever walk away from us we know you will be plagued by some guilt that you should not have done it. What if he could have been helped? What is could change? What if he needed your help? Such doubts will manifest and mean that when we loom large as we seek to hoover you, this desire to leave nothing hanging (along with a host of other manipulative methods designed to get you to return) will leave you susceptible to being hoovered back into our twisted world.

 

  1. Should I have given him another chance?

 

Maybe if you had given us another chance (to add to the dozen or so that you have already given us) then the outcome might have been different? You invested so much and you gave us so many chances, perhaps you have cut loose too soon? Maybe one more chance was all that was required and now you are left wondering if you have made a mistake and lost the opportunity to help us and resolve our problems. Perhaps you had better try again and give that further chance? It would be such a shame not to do so, especially after all the effort you have put in? This might have been the point at which everything clicked and we finally made the changes and gained the understanding and insight that is required to return to a permanent golden period. You want to see good happen, we know this and therefore we know that you have that nagging itch that if you just gave us another chance this might be the one that is required to get us past the post. It won’t be, but we like to engender this hope in your mind so that you succumb to this doubt and return to us to try again. And again. And again.

 

  1. What if someone else makes him happy?

 

Have I been too hasty in making my escape? What if he finds someone else and she makes him happy? It shows it can be done and I let him go and now someone else is going to get the benefit of that wonderful golden period and she might get it all the time. Why should she get this when you have endured both the black with the golden? You are entitled to receive the golden period again surely? Perhaps it was something you had done and now she knows what to avoid because he will tell her what you did in the relationship and she will avoid making your mistake and reap the reward. How is that fair? Why should she benefit from the pain you have endured? It is your golden period and you want it back because it felt so wonderful. In fact, having checked his Facebook page for the sixth time today there seems to be a lot of mutual liking of one another’s posts between him and some new lady, whoever she is. What’s going on there? Has he found someone new already? Could she be the one? You had better act and do so quickly to avoid someone else getting the golden period for good. Why not ring him and arrange to meet up? Head her off at the pass? Yes, we instil such doubts in your mind in order to have you come back to us once more.

 

  1. Maybe I didn’t help him as much as I could have

 

There was something clearly wrong with him but maybe he could not help doing all those things. Perhaps something terrible once happened to him and this is why he behaves in such an abhorrent manner? Surely you should show some compassion and understanding in order to help him be free of whatever demons that plague him, after all, are you not a kind and considerate person. This is what you do isn’t it? Help people. You should not run out on him now, he needs you and you are the only one who can save him. Just be understanding, help him, give him what he needs and then together you can overcome whatever it is that has taken hold of him. You have seen him bleed, he is human just like you and it is help that he needs not condemnation. Yes, what he did to you was terrible but what if that could not be helped, what if he was trying to ask for your help and did not know how to ask for it? Now you have walked away from him, right when it is his hour of need. That’s not very empathic is it? That isn’t who you are. You are kind and caring, a healer. Go back and apologise and help him. Submit to his demands and help him walk through his personal hell, surely it is the least you can do, yes?

 

  1. Did I deserve it?

 

You spoke out of turn too many times so what did you expect him to do? He is a proud man and it was inevitable he would lash out. If you had not been so weak, you would have not annoyed him. Perhaps if you had done more of what he wanted, gone along with his demands just for the sake of quiet, things would have been drastically different? If you had not been so stubborn or had tried to change him? If you had not tried to mother him? If you had tried to mother him? If you had been someone else? If you had stayed true to yourself? If you had been more like his mother? Less like his mother? More like her? Less like her? You did try but somehow you always seemed to rile him and then the insults and assaults would fly. Maybe if you had kept a civil tongue in your mouth it would have turned out differently? Perhaps if you had tried to look at things from his perspective more often rather than thinking about yourself, then the outcome would have been better? You wish you were stronger and you needed to be stronger for both you and him, but you weren’t and that must the reason he treated you the way he did. Your weakness irritated him. Maybe if you had not been so pathetic then he would have continued to love you like he once did. Perhaps if you had not fought back when he was despondent he would not have felt the need to put you in your place. Maybe you just did not do enough of what he needed because you were too busy focussing on how you felt and that is why it all came tumbling down? Maybe you failed to understand him because you were too wrapped up in yourself? Maybe, just maybe, you got what you deserved?

 

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The Crying Game – Part Two

 

 

Having ascertained that the commission of tears arising from physical and/or emotional hurt resulted in a sympathetic reaction from certain people, I committed this to memory. I have rarely encountered much physical pain, enjoying good health and my profession being one where one is at most at risk of a paper cut rather than an errant chainsaw, collapsing ceiling or chemical ingestion. The early conditioning that I have been subjected to, as I know understand, appears to have resulted in me being impervious to many emotional injuries that others suffer from. Even the horrendous sensations which arise from my wounding as a consequence of criticism does not cause the tears to fall. Instead, I must focus on repairing the wound through retreat or the instigation of fury in order to gather fuel. The attention this requires means that I do not suffer the immediate reaction of becoming upset. I must feign upset in order to attract the required sympathy and in doing so I use that issued sympathy in order to bring about the control I require over the subject.

My tuition in the art and use of crying later embraced a different catalyst and one which has served to drive me ever onwards and upwards. I have many gifts and of those the one that was cherished most by my father was my academic ability. As I have mentioned beforehand, he was a very intelligent man, well-read and with an interest in the world at large, something which be bestowed on all his offspring. This served him well in both his careers of commerce and then academia. His was the steady hand at the tiller of our academic progress and he sought to steer a path through the choppy waters of my mother’s ambitions for us, our own desires and what he felt would serve us best. The three, as might you expect, were not always compatible.

I excelled at school which naturally resulted in my progression to sixth form college and I was always destined for university. Naturally it was to the most prestigious that I was directed towards and I achieved admission whereupon in such a fertile environment I began to flex my tendrils as I embraced my dark art, but that is a tale for another time. Alongside this I flourished at my chosen discipline and eventually I graduated with a double first. It was this achievement which Dr E honed in on in one of our discussions.

“So a double first, quite the achievement,” he remarked. I nodded. He was not wrong.

“What did your parents think about it?” he asked.

“My friends once they had their results went racing away to telephone their parents to let them know the outcome. I didn’t.”

“Why?”

“It had already been arranged that I was meeting my parents for dinner that evening and I would tell them my degree result once we ordered.”

“What did you think of that arrangement? Weren’t you keen to tell your parents sooner of your success?”

“I suppose so but I knew there was little point. Even if I had tried to telephone them, nobody would have answered. My mother would have deliberately absented the house so I could not reach them so as to avoid spoiling the anticipation at dinner.”

“So this arrangement was at your mother’s behest?”

“Of course. Who else? If I achieved the expected outcome the evening would pass pleasantly, if I did not, I would be subjected to a lengthy cross-examination unable to avoid it by putting the telephone down.”

“I see. It was fortuitous then that you achieved such an excellent result.”

“Fortune had nothing to do with it. This dinner was placed in the diary as soon as my mother knew when the examination results would be posted. It was a further incentive for me to achieve what was expected of me.”

Dr E nodded and made a note.

“How did the meal progress then? How did they react to news of your achievement?”

“Once our orders had been placed and the waiter walked away, my mother turned to me and asked ‘Well?’ I responded with, ‘I obtained a double first’ and she answered by saying, ‘As expected. I will make the call,’ and she left the table to telephone the other family members to let them know, probably her brother first of all out of them all.”

“No mention of well done or congratulations?” asked Dr E.

I shook my head.

“And your father?” he asked.

“My father waited until my mother was out of earshot and he reached across and placed his hand on my arm and said, “Well done HG, very well done, that is a fantastic outcome. I know just how hard you have had to work for that result. It is a magnificent result, truly outstanding. I am so very proud of you son, very proud indeed,” and then as he said the word proud his voice cracked and I looked up into his eyes and I could see that he was crying. I had never seen my father cry before. Ever. I had seen him concerned, downcast, worried and so much more, but never the tears. His face was fixed with a huge smile and he tried to speak again but he was overcome with pride. Pride for me. Just me. I had not seen anything like it.”

“How did you feel about him showing such pride for you?”

“I was taken aback but then I felt this surge through me and it felt amazing. It was visceral and ever so powerful as I continued to look at him, the tears filling his eyes and he kept nodding. His hand patted my arm, I can still picture it now. He wasn’t able to speak but the look on his face and that nodding told me that somehow he felt that the job was done, the mission had been accomplished and he was proud of me for doing so. I have never forgotten that moment.”

“Why?” asked Dr E.

“Because the way I felt when I saw my father cry tears of pride at my achievement made me want to see that again. The sense of power that he imbued in me, his praise, his pride, his adoration of my achievement was so edifying that he made me strive even harder. Oh, my mother thinks she is the driving force behind my success and it would be wrong to say she has not been. She has been a huge influence but from that point onwards, my postgraduate achievement, my securing employment and advancement through the hierarchy to where I am now and also in terms of what the future may bring has been driven by my father. I wanted to feel that power again and for that to happen I wanted to see those tears of pride again. So I worked damn hard. I never knew that pride would make someone cry. I never knew that someone’s proud tears would make me feel so powerful.”

“I see. Did you see those tears of pride again from your father?”

I felt the first flicker of the ignition of my fury at this question.

“No. Once again something special to me was taken from me.”

Outrageous

 

 

Fury is the instrument of the narcissist. It is a tool that we deploy in furtherance of our aims. The narcissist’s toolbox is a thing to behold. It contains many devices, objects and instruments that we deploy in order to secure our objectives. Other people may use these devices in a similar if diminished form but they will not be anywhere near as dangerous and effective as the ones that lurk in my toolkit. Some of these instruments are used to subjugate, others are deployed to control and yet again there are others that will be used for the purposes of manipulation. The placing of fury in this toolbox recognises its use to the narcissist as one of his prime instruments.

All of our kind bring the fury but what is it? It will be instructive to start by considering what it is not. Fury is not anger. Anger is below fury on the scale of violent responses. Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. It is greater than vexation, it is something more than feeling cross and it is beyond exasperation. Notwithstanding this, it is less than fury. It does not contain the unbridled vitriol that is synonymous with fury. Nor does it contain the violent hostility that one finds with fury. What is most important to know about anger is that it is a normal emotion and thus by comparison, fury is an abnormal emotion, hence why fury sits in our toolkit. Anger is an intense emotional response that is normal in nature and arises as a consequence of real or perceived provocation. Anger in itself is neither good nor bad. It can be used for either purpose and it is down to the manner in which that particular person handles it. An individual may direct it into violence towards another person in order to protect him or herself from a threat. Alternatively, it may manifest in the destruction of property. You as a normal and empathic individual become angry. Indeed, as part of our mission to obtain fuel we strive to provoke anger in you, either through angry gestures or through angry words on your part. This provides us with fuel when you react in this emotional fashion. It is an acceptable and understandable response for an individual to become angry.

It is a normal response to a threat or harm. It also releases pressure that builds up inside a normal person. The expression of anger enables people to dissipate this pressure and thereafter feel spent but better for having been angry, as opposed to suppressing the sensation and allowing the pressure to build even further. Some normal people can only take a small amount of pressure before they blow a fuse whereas other people may be regarded as slow-burners who take a long time before they express anger. In either instance the response is an entirely normal one. People become angry for a host of different reasons.

You may agree that anger certainly serves a purpose and concur that helpful and beneficial consequences can arise from this normal emotion. I should imagine that you will also venture to suggest that there is a downside to anger, that results in destructive behaviour and violence. That is not anger. That is fury. That is when something beyond anger is experienced and this fury is more prevalent amongst my kind.

Interestingly, anger also results in a suspension of empathy by those who behave normally. The individual, through anger, becomes focussed on his or her own needs and requirements. This is not applicable to me. There is no empathy to suspend. That is why we do not deploy anger. We have no need of a device to suspend our empathy because we do not have any. This is a further reason why anger serves no actual purpose to us and why we must deploy fury instead. Anger is a normal reaction. We operate outside of the usual normative values. This normal anger serves certain purposes. None of those purposes are of any use to my kind and me. Anger can be regarded as a force for good. That is not something that we are interested in.

Fury is beyond anger. It is wrath, frenzy and savagery. Someone who is furious has gone the extra emotional mile. One might even consider it to be madness. The wild nature of fury causes it to surpass anger and fury is not to be found in the responses of the normal person. I will emphasise that point. You will not find fury as a response of a normal person. Anger? Yes. Fury? No. The deployment of fury is the hallmark of the abnormal. If fury were a normal reaction there would be chaos as explosions erupted everywhere. Most relationships would disintegrate, more people would be injured, and property broken and destroyed and the repercussions for society as a whole would be severe. The cost in terms of money, emotion and well-being would be enormous. Consider the number of times you have been angry. It has happened has it not? You will also be able to recall when your parents or at least one of them became angry, a friend, a stranger, a colleague or a partner. You have seen anger in everyone and that is because it is normal. They may have used that anger for some purpose, kept it in check or let it flow over them and dissipate with no consequence. For those of you have had an encounter with fury, you will also know it. It will have happened amongst fewer people than the categories that I have just mentioned. This is because the development of people has been such that fury cannot become the norm. If it does then society would begin to break down. You may have seen many instances of fury from one particular individual. That is because that person is not normal. They are the exception.

Are You Being Manipulated?

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You are being manipulated and you may not even know how.
This will tell you.
Beat the narcissist and know their machinations.

The Eight Exploitations of Empathy

You are an empathic individual. This is why we chose you. This is why we want people like you because you have certain traits which appeal considerably to us. You have traits which are ripe to be exploited by us and only someone like you can provide such an opportunity to our kind. You have certain traits which we need to exploit for our own purposes; these are eight of them

1. Trust

You cannot operate without trust. You trust us with your heart from the very outset. You readily give it to us and allow us to place our hands around it. You trust us to keep it safe and protect, unaware that our nefarious hands covet the provision of your heart. Your trust is absolute and unconditional and this enables us to exploit it repeatedly by doing as we please,acting behind your back and breaching your trust over and over again. Your reaction when you learn of our breach of this sacred trait is enormous and fuel-filled and the driver behind our need to take and shatter your trust. The concept of trust is so inviting that even though we will fracture it, we will endeavour to repair it and win it back just so we can breach it again.

2. Honesty

Your openness and honesty results in your signing your own fate by furnishing us with so much information about yourself. From your hopes and desires through to your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. You are content to detail it all to us as you live by a code of honesty, always wanting to tell the truth and for the truth to be provided to you. We know you operate by this trait and we will feign to be an honest person at the outset, free with our expressions of how we truly feel about you. How more honest can we be than to tell you that you are the person we have waited our whole lives for? Yet, honesty is for you and never for us because we operate in the shadows of dishonesty. Your honesty may be a strength in your eyes but to us it is a weakness as you have opened yourself up before us, exposing yourself to us, showing your neck to us as our forked tongue slides across our sharpest teeth.

3. Decency

You must always do the right thing. To do anything else is anathema to you and we know that this attribute of yours leaves you susceptible to our many machinations. You are polite and well-mannered. This means that you will accord with our initial overtures and listen attentively to whatever we say. You accept graciously our gifts, not realising that they are bribes to ensure you become chained to us. You always answer our calls, reply to our messages and open your door when we appear, not matter how often or how unannounced. This requirement to be civil and decent allows us to frequent you to such a degree that our charm is in and around you so often that you have no chance other than to succumb to it. You will not turn away, you will not slam the door in our faces but instead give us the toehold and time of day to weave our malign magic over you and seduce you.

4. Equality

You expect to be treated as you treat others and when the devaluation eventually commences and you find that such concepts as consideration, reciprocity and equality of treatment are missing, your alarmed and emotional response is the engine for the fuel we need. You operate by the maxim of do unto others as you would have them do unto you and thus you treat us with love, affection and kindness. Its absence by return causes you considerable consternation and upset, which enables us to draw the fuel from you in significant amounts.

5. Fidelity

To be faithful and receive fidelity in return is of significant importance to you. Your own dedication to the ideal of faithfulness means that we have little concern that you will have your head turned by others, no matter how badly we treat you. You will not transgress this ideal, even though you may suspect or even know of our own flagrant disregard for the concept of fidelity, you will remain true to it. It pains you, it hurts you but as a person of principle you will abide by it. You do not do this through any notion of pride or to seek some kind of accolade, but you do it because it is part of you. A constituent part of your moral fibre and full in the knowledge of this sterling attribute of yours, we shall do as we please with little concern that you will treat us in the same way.

6. Tenacity

You do not give up. You exhibit an indefatigable spirit which invades every element of who you are. You will not give up on the idea of you and me. You will do whatever it takes to please me, to win back my golden grace which you once delighted in. You will hang in there determined to ensure we get back on track. You will not walk away because to do so would be to admit failure and this is not something that you can countenance. No matter how bad the abuse, no matter how terrible your treatment, you will cling on as a consequence of this trait. We are well aware of this and welcome such a tenacious approach, for it provides with a guarantee of your attention and support.

7. Healing

You desire to heal and to fix is perhaps one of your most notable traits. The desire to nourish the good in people and bring it to the fore. You believe that everybody is capable of becoming better, including yourself which is why you are so selfless and giving. You strive to find the ways of making a situation better for somebody, you want to make the sad person become happy, the worried person calm and to ease the concerns of all you come across. Most of all you want to fix us because you believe we can be fixed. We will not disavow you of such a notion, not at all, it serves our purposes to keep you thinking that you can make a difference.

8. Loving

Your love is immense. Unconditional, vast and seemingly unending. Like the largest reservoir, your love is that which we must ensnare and once achieved we drink from it with an unending thirst. You are devoted to the idea of love and we will exploit this repeatedly. We exert control over you by suggesting to you that you must not love us if you will not do that what we want. We test your love for us by placing immense demands upon you knowing that you will always rise to the challenge. Your love for us is such that it is sweeter than that which might be obtain from others but it also remains intact for far, far longer. It endures the torrid devaluation and the heartless abandonment so that we know we can count on being able to come back once again and take hold of your love yet again for our own unsavoury and malicious purposes.

The Crying Game – Part One

Tears. One might consider them the ultimate embodiment of emotion. Tears appear when you have experienced some kind of extreme emotion. I know because I have watched on so many occasions as I have sought to understand the circumstances in which somebody cries and why it is that they do so. I understand that when tears appear, whether it is a welling-up in the eyes, the single full teardrop which slides down a cheek or the cascading waterfall which leaves the eyes red-rimmed and blurry, it is as a consequence of you experiencing emotion in a huge dosage. What I had to learn was which emotions were associated with the emission of water from the eyes. The first emotion that presented itself for my understanding as to how it caused tears was pain. I remembered as a child that my younger brother was somewhat accident prone. If there was tree branch he would fall off it, if there was a wall,he would fall off it and once he even managed to “fall” off a rug and sprain his ankle. The cuts and bruises would have him howling in pain as he lay there sobbing or limped away tears trickling down his face in search of our father. I saw how a physical injury such as a scraped leg or bruised forearm would bring forth a flood of tears. My younger brother would await the attendance of my concerned father, usually brought to the scene by my always caring sister and his tears would be wiped away with a large white handkerchief as consolation and soothing words were administered. I was not accident prone and therefore rarely susceptible to physical injury save the deliberate. I do recall once catching my hand on the edge of the grill and instantly a sore red weal appeared. I presented myself to my nearby mother as I felt the tears forming in my eyes.

“No tears HG,” she announced firmly, “tears show fears, be fearless,” she instructed me as she cast a cursory glance over my injury and directed me to the cold water tap. Tears came from physical hurt but it was not to be for me.

Around the same time I also understood that tears were generated by sadness and it was sister who exhibited this the most. I would find her in one of her many hiding places (I knew them well as I used them myself) and she would be quietly crying.I would ask her why she was crying because I wanted to know. Thinking back, I never felt anything other than curiousity when I saw her with puffy eyes and tear-stained cheeks.

“Why are you crying Rachael?” I would ask.

“Mother shouted at me because I hadn’t tidied my room, she said I was a bad and dirty girl and I don’t like her saying that to me, it upsets me.”

I would nod in understanding and walk away, leaving her alone. She was instructive in showing me that sadness caused tears. Her rabbit escaped from its hutch and went missing so she cried because she missed it. She missed a birthday party because she was ill so she cried because she was sad that she could not play with the other children. If she watched something on television she would often be in tears as she felt bad for the starving children in Africa or the victims of some earthquake. She would cry and ask my father why God did these things and he would do his best to comfort her and explain. He was always good at finding an explanation, but he was a very bright man, well-read and with a keen hunger for knowledge which he invariably retained. There was at least something that I had inherited from him then. I would watch in fascination as Rachael would cry and he would scoop her up and make gentle noises to try to soothe her. Just as he laid a gentle hand on my sobbing injured brother, I saw how this demonstration of tears, be it through physical or emotional hurt engendered sympathy and caring from him. He never rejected them, he never barked at them to deal with it or get on with it, but he would always pander to their upset until he had chased it away and made them feel better. It always got them attention from him, more than I ever did. All they had to do was cry and the sympathy would flow with the attendant attention. I learned that quickly enough.

I, by contrast,never recall feeling sad. I have tried and the good doctors have asked me about this on numerous occasions.

“How did you feel when something bad happened to you?” Dr E would ask.

“What do you mean by bad?” I often have to help him provide some context to his questions. I thought he would have learned by now.

“If you did something wrong for example.”

“I was well-behaved as I child. I did as I was told. I saw what happened if I did not.”

“I see, did your parents ever tell you off?”

“Yes.”

“How did you feel then?”

“Resentful, angry, determined,” I answered quickly.

“Sad?”

“No.”

“Upset?”

“No.”

“How about after the incident?”

I glared at Dr E as I did not like him springing that on me without adequate warning. At least he had remembered to refer to it by the label I required.I remained silent.

“Did you not feel sad after that?”

“No.”

“How did you feel?”

I paused. I did not want to revisit this but I knew he would not stop until he had extracted something from me. He would prod and probe in order to fulfil his selfish desire to know how I felt. I felt empty and I felt angry but I had realised by now that if I told him this he would only go on even longer. The truth would not serve me here. I remained still and silent.

“How did you feel?”

I noticed his tone had become gentler, more searching.

I then thought of all the injustices that I had ever suffered, the hurt that had been meted out against me, the denial of my brilliance, the shunning of my achievements, the lack of recognition when I deserved so much more. I focused on the times when I had been ignored by the foolish, the fact that I am consigned to an unending quest for fuel. I brought to the fore the hurt that I keep under control except for moments such as this and I banished the room and Dr E from my mind as I allowed the floodgates to open. The desired effect eventually came, although it took some time and I eventually felt the welling in my eyes.I blinked theatrically to ensure that Dr E noticed and finally I felt a tear, only a small one though, squeeze out and make it was beneath my eye. I brushed at my other eye, features set in melancholy and still I said nothing. Dr E remained quiet as well as I stared at the floor willing another tear to join the first and thankfully it too finally came and rolled downward, a larger one this time which landed on my left thigh. He will have seen that. I did not look at him but concentrated on the floor still, summoning up all of the hurt I could muster in the hope of maintaining this appearance.

“I can see it is troubling you, perhaps we should move on. We can revisit this at a later time,” he said softly.

I nodded.

Those early observations of how the crying game worked had paid off once again.

Shooting You Down

A plaintive wail which I often hear is along the lines of,

“Why do you always have to shoot me down? I give you everything you could ever want. Why can’t you just be happy with that?”

As usual you delude yourself with such a statement. You do not give me everything I could ever want. You think that you do, but that is the self-centredness that you often exhibit creeping in once again. You certainly care, I will grant you that, but you make the mistake of assuming what you do is what we want. What we want is fuel. I know what comes next.

“I always told you how much I loved you, I admired and complimented you often and frequently. How much more could I make you feel good about yourself?”

Therein lies the problem. No matter how good your intentions and how frequent your worship of me, my kind and me will always grow tired of it. We have heard your kind words and seen your appreciative gestures too many times and it, well, it just does not do it for us anymore. I am sure that you emotionally in touch people would be the first to complain if a long established partner engages in the same routine in the bedroom. It does not hit the spot anymore does it? Well, it is just the same for us. You may ultimately accept that things cool somewhat in the bedroom and I know from what I have seen and heard that you trade this passion off (although not always, there are some sexual thrill seekers amongst your kind) for other qualities that you find attractive – humour, companionship, security, warmth, good parental skills, intelligence and such like. There is no hope for any such trade with us. We only want one thing from our relationship. Fuel. We do not care (ultimately) how good-looking you are, how much of a whore you are between the sheets, how wonderful a mother you may be, what a raconteur you are or how much you earn. We will never accept those things or anything else as a substitute for fuel. True enough, the more aged of our kind sometimes accept these things when their need for fuel diminishes but that need never goes away. They may decide to accept these attributes alongside largely positive fuel, but they will still need to stir things up from time to time.

That is not going to happen with me. I am at the peak of my powers and therefore my need for fuel remains substantial. There can be no substitute for it at all and nor can there be any co-existence between the provision of fuel and other attributes. It is fuel or nothing. In order to achieve this I have to shoot you down because once that is done you start to flow with the potent negative fuel and my cravings start to be addressed. You can beg and plead with me, you can point out how you will always only ever have eyes for me, you can express your love, desire, adoration and admiration on an hourly basis but there comes a point when it just does not have that sweetness anymore. It is then that I pull the handgun from my jacket, attach the silencer and fire several vitriolic bullets into you. Your pain from these wounding bullets gives me the fuel that I need and therefore your shooting is necessary. Moreover, it is your punishment for letting me down. You really ought to be capable of pleasing me the whole time but so far, all that I have chosen have failed. That is why I now expect you to fail and have that gun to hand at all times.

When I shoot you down, I become more powerful as the fuel flows from you. Moreover, it is easy to get someone to admire and adore. Those reactions come naturally to your kind. It is far harder to extract tears, anger, frustration and regret from the empath. Managing to do so imbues your emotional reaction with greater potency, your fuel becomes supercharged and this is what we want. We cannot shoot you down from the beginning, we need you stood on a pedestal first, after all, you present as such an inviting target then and your toppling as the bullets slam into you becomes all the more satisfying.

I sense your dismay as you read this. You had hoped that by keeping me sweet and onside through a dazzling and tireless display of love, affection and admiration you had hoped to avoid such an attack. Your concerns should not be absolute. There is an upside you know. Firstly, when we find someone else after we have shot you down, keep in mind they will eventually be riddled with bullet holes no matter how happy we both appear at first. It is coming to them as it came to you. I am sure that makes you feel a little better doesn’t it? Secondly, there is a huge saving grace.

We never shoot you dead.

We need you alive so we can raise you up again as we re-load.

Baby Steps

I am just a baby in your arms. I am fragile, brittle and vulnerable. You see I was broken when I was so, so young. I did not know any different and all I wanted was to be told that I was good. I did everything I could to please them but it was never deemed enough. I don’t know why I could not make them love me but it just did not happen. Perhaps if I had tried harder. I know it is my fault really but I did not know any better. They took something from me, I still do not know what it really is, but I think you do. I think you hold the answer because of who you are. I try to be a good person, I really do but there is just something that stops me from being that decent and compassionate person.  I see what you and people like you do and I cannot help but wish I was the same. Sometimes I want it so much it makes me do things I should not do because I cannot control the jealousy that rises and makes me do those Bad Things. Believe me, I fight against it but I have not had the strength to defeat the wickedness but I have you now don’t I? You will shield me and give me the fortitude I require to complete my journey to redemption. Everything that has happened before was borne out me lacking you. Those things that I have done, well, I am not proud of them but I was weak and knew no better. I did not have you to lead and guide me. The others, you see, those others promised me that they would take care of me but they were just pretenders and charlatans who took from me and left me twisted and beaten in the dust. Sometimes I had to fight back. That was when I struck out at them. I did not want to, truly I did not want to do those things, but sometimes I was given no choice. I know all that has gone now because you are here. You are the person I have waited for for so long. I believe in you and how you can save me. You are my caretaker, my salvation and my rock. I look to you and you give me such hope. You show me that there is a better way, a road that leads to salvation. It is a road that will take me away from the Badlands and the darkness. I understand the road may be long, it may wind through difficult places but ultimately, with you holding my hand, I know what I will reach that place where I need not be afraid any longer. I need not hurt and lash out but instead I can harness the real goodness that is somewhere deep inside me.

You told me that it is there and I believe you. You know about these things. That is the way you have been made. You are the carer, the healer and the peacemaker. You must understand why it is that you are so special to me. You are the only one who truly understands what is to be me and you are the only one who can save me. I will place my heart in your hands and let you care for it. I have been broken, I have been broken for far too long, a shattered and fractured creature who has had to endure living this way without any hope of redemption, until you came along. Please, make me a better person. Please care for me and nurse me and hold my hand when the demons come. I look to you and only you and in those optimistic eyes of yours I find absolution.

All I want is to be loved. It is not too much to ask is it. I am a noble yet broken person and you hold the power to make me what I want to be, what I should be. I am like a baby in your arms. I am vulnerable yet with you there anything becomes possible. I know you will love me, care for me and protect me. You will save me. You are the only one.

You fall for this speech.

Every time.

Shell Shock

I was in a consultation with Dr E. We had been discussing the various methods by which I obtained fuel and the conversation had largely been given over to the question of the methods of obtaining negative fuel from those that I had ensnared.

“Tell me,” continued Dr E, ” about one of your favoured states to place a victim in.”

“Tough call that Dr E, I have several.”

“Select one then and tell me about it.”

“Why?”

“I am interested to ascertain what one the states is and in particular what you get from that.”

“Haven’t you been listening? I told you that it is the fuel that I obtain from their emotional reactions, especially the negative ones. That is what I get from these situations.”

“I recognise that but I have seen, through our consultations, that everything you do serves a multiplicity of purposes. Everything of course leads to the harvesting of your fuel but I have seen you gain other things beside your fuel.”

“Such as?”

“I have made notes but I do not want to prime you, I want you to describe the situation and then explain to me what you get from it,” pressed Dr E. I sat and regarded him for a moment. I tried to ascertain if he was getting something else from asking me about this. You see, I have worked out that Dr E is a rascal for projecting. He cannot help himself. He will suggest a methodology applicable to me when in fact what he is talking about is a methodology he wishes to apply. In this instance he was trying to get me to talk about the multiple benefits of a given scenario whereas what I knew was that he was getting more from this discussion than just receiving an answer to that question. I know your game Dr E. You think you are smarter than me but you are not. Still, I decided to indulge him. There was no need to let him know that I was on to his method.

“Okay. One of the situations that I like to create is one of a shell shocked silence.” Dr E began to write. I waited for his reaction before proceeding.

“I see. Please explain more to me.”

“Well, we have discussed at length the various manipulative methods that I apply to get fuel which bring about control and the diminution in my target’s capability to resist me. I lower their critical thinking,  maximise their isolation and increase their reliance on me. The sustained and repeated application of these techniques often leads down the road to my target being left in a state of shell shock.”

I waited as Dr E continued to make his notes. He scratched his nose and then spoke.

“Do you do anything in particular that brings about this shell shocked state?” he asked.

“It is the culmination of a variety of manipulative techniques but there needs to be a final flourish, something that will tip this person over the edge into their numbed silence.”

“Such as?” he queried.

“Well, I find that a sudden escalation of a certain act or behaviour tends to tip the balance. It might be the violent destruction of something that they love right in front of them that causes them to stand shaking unable to speak. On another occasion I may reveal that I have been engaged in an affair with someone they trusted and felt close to, say a best friend or a family member. I do recall that once I was having sex with Alex and part way through I told her ‘By God Joanne you are so much better at this than Alex’. Truth be told it is really about the build up, the campaign has to be such that any resistance and ability to fight back must be totally eroded so that when this coup de grace is applied they are just plunged into a broken silence.”

“I see but how does silence provide you with fuel?”

“Easily. It is the tortured look on their face that provides me with the fuel, the strangled sob, the look of total and utter defeat in their eyes. Those tears which trickle down their face as they look at me in a mixture of horror and disbelief. I have told you before about how a wildebeest has that strange expression on its face, something between terror and confusion as a lion eats it alive. It is the same there. Bringing about such an expression combined with this silence produces premium fuel.”

I stretch as I savour the memories which flood my mind at the mention of this technique.

“What is it about that reducing this person to such a state that appeals to you beyond this level of fuel that you obtain?” asked Dr E.

“The fact that is demonstrates that I have total hegemonic control over them.”

“Leaving you able to do what?”

“Anything I like. After all, nobody prevents me from doing what I want.”

“By rendering them into this state you remove their capacity to object to whatever you do?” he queried.

I nod.

“But surely that makes them little more than an automaton and if that is the case how can they be of use to you in such a state? I should have though that they would now be devoid of providing you with the reaction that you require?”

“But this state is a reaction in itself Dr E, it is a pinnacle of the campaign and represents triumph on my part, it exemplifies my supremacy and my power and the desolate eyes, trembling mouth and forlorn expression all amount to a reaction and a satisfying one at that.”

“I see,” said Dr E and he continued to write. I waited for him to finish the sentence in his notebook before he looked at me.

“And of course ultimately there is something else that arises from this shell shocked silence.”

“What is that?” he asked.

“Silence gives consent.”

The Sextuplet of Silence

The use of and imposition of silence are two of the most powerful weapons in our abusive arsenal. Silence is easy to deploy and horrendously effective in securing our aims of compliance, control and fuel.

1. My silence is always meaningful

You may sit quietly because you have no need to say anything. You may remain silent because you are listening to somebody else or just enjoying the silence.  We do not allow silence to be used in such a passive and redundant fashion. Our silence is used to convey contempt. It is used to draw concern and cause anguish in you. When we fall silence that pregnant pause is an indicator of the fury which will be unleashed against you. The longer silence is the imposition of our cold fury as you are banished to a sustained silent treatment. When we sit in silence we are not savouring the lack of noise, we are thinking, planning and plotting, calculating our next step. Our silences are weapons, they are our operations headquarters, our defence against your critical wounding of us. We use silence to hurt you, warn you, scold you and indicate you have overstepped the mark. Every silence has a meaning, it would be remiss of us to use it any other way.

2. Absence makes the silence longer

The deployment of an absent silent treatment where we remove ourselves from you, invariably with no warning or indication is a confirmation to you that this silence treatment will not be short-lived. The need to absent ourselves sends you a clear signal that we will be gone for some time. It is designed to have you come after us, try to contact us and beg and plead so that you fuel us. When we impose a period of absence by vanishing we are reinforcing how easily we are able to consider you gone from our lives. You may not even be able to contact us but we gather fuel from our knowledge that this sudden disappearance will cause you considerable consternation and worry. The absent silent treatment is also a key indicator that we are engaged in the seduction of a new prospect and providing this person with our false love and attention, which we have removed from you.

3. The silent gesture

Our silences are not just occasioned by us not talking to you or absenting ourselves for a period of time. We deploy silence through gestures. We may not turn up when we have agreed to a date with you, in order to reinforce how your mean so little to us and that we have any number of more pressing engagements to attend to than dine with you in a restaurant. Leaving you alone in bed, our side of the bed now empty and cold is also a hammer blow to your confidence and self esteem as we choose the spare room, the sofa or the bed of another in preference to being with you during the night. The silent telephone call from a withheld number, used when we are hovering you, is designed to put you on edge. Is it us calling you this late? It must be mustn’t it, but you cannot be sure? The failure to buy you a gift on your birthday,  creating a gap which ought to have been filled stand out considerably and allows us to apply maximum hurt through such a silent gesture.

4. The silent presence

By giving you the cold shoulder when everyone else is met warmly and enthusiastically, we cause you to feel completely alone even when you are surrounded by others. You try to carry on as if nothing has happened but you know that people will be wondering why we are not speaking to you. You feel the flush of embarrassment as once again you try to speak to us and you receive only a glare and then we sweep away. You want to challenge us but as ever it is you that will be criticised for creating a scene. You want to upbraid us for our childish sulking but you have learned that the consequences of doing so are not worth suffering. We of course know all this and we know how powerful our freezing you out in the company of others really is.

5. Suffer in silence

You are never to speak of what goes on between you and I to anyone else. Should you ever do so you are committing an act of heinous betrayal and your punishment for such a transgression will be malicious and fierce. You are not to betray me and speak of what you are subjected to. You are to endure it so that you become a better person, one who is compliant and obedient. Do you understand? I also know that you fear the repercussions of speaking out and this enforces my curfew. I also know that you feel compelled to remain loyal because of the golden period and how you feel duty bound to remain and try to resolve matters, work this difficult period through and fix what has become somehow broken. Your indefatigable spirit teeters on the brink of misplaced pride at not telling tales and instead knuckling down, irrespective of what is thrown at you, in order to bring about a resolution to our problems. You cannot succeed but you do not know that yet. For now you must suffer in silence.

6. I speak, you stay silent

Never interrupt me, never talk over me, never steal my thunder. When I speak everybody listens because what I have to say is brilliant, great and of tremendous import. You would do well to listen to improve yourself, please me and avoid angering me. You are my sounding board, Horatio to my Hamlet, a listener and in my presence you only speak when it is required to honour my achievements and laud my greatness. You are to be seen but only heard when I deem in necessary. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway? You only get invited to events because of me. They are only friends with you because they are friends of mine. Nobody is interested in you. Nobody. So stay quiet and listen.

Read and understand all about narcissists from the best source possible. A narcissist himself.

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