The word ‘discard’ is well-known in the lexicon of the narcissistic world. It forms one of the four cornerstones of the narcissistic embrace. The seduction, the devaluation, the discard and the hoover. Discard brings with it a sense of finality. The impression that we have extracted everything we can from you and that we are finally done with you. You have served your purpose and we no longer have any use for you. I do not think discard is an accurate description. We certainly toss you aside with no concern for your well-being or emotional state. We suddenly stop communicating with you. You cannot contact us as we vanish, walking off the face of the earth. If you receive some kind of half-baked explanation, then you ought to consider yourself as lucky to receive even that. We are, however, never done with you. The discard as such is a temporary cessation to the dance that you and I engage in.

I have written elsewhere of the main reasons why we discard and chief among them is the fact that we have acquired a new toy. You are old, stale and no fun anymore so you are left at the bottom of the toy box as we become infatuated with our new shiny and glittering toy. Of course your discard is not permanent. Once I selected you, you had a role to fulfil for the rest of your life when it comes to me. You have no choice, so far as I am concerned, in respect of this role. I assigned it to you and I regard you as obligated to carry it out forever. I may decide that I require you again for the purposes of triangulation. I may want the new primary source to pump out even more positive fuel because they feel threatened by your re-appearance. Like some corpse, we resurrect you in order to unnerve the new primary source. We will hoover you and tempt you with the prospect of winning our favour once again. When we triangulate you in this fashion you can rest assured that what is being said to you will be said in a similar way to the new primary source. We may comment to you: –

“She is just someone to pass the time with, she is nowhere near as special as you are to me.”

Around the same time, we will be telling your replacement primary source,

“Don’t worry about her. She cannot let go. I am not surprised really because I did so much for her, but it is you I want, you are so special, far more than she ever was.”

You are spurred on by such encouragement and double your efforts to please me in the hope of winning me back. The replacement is spurred on by such encouragement and she doubles her efforts to keep me and ensure you prove to be no temptation to me.

We will bring you back if the new prospect turns out to be less effective than we thought. We decide that they need to be consigned to the scrap heap quicker than usual and therefore we will turn to that person we know. You. We know all about you and how you will react and therefore it is far easier to return to you and hoover you than seek someone new again. This has the added benefit that the passage of time will have allowed you to recover from our abuse but also the longing that we imbue in you, when we discard, will continue to gnaw away at you and thus when we decide we have ended the “discard” you are easy to hoover.

We may be utterly delighted with your replacement but decide we will end the “discard” in order to punish you further. At this stage we have no interest in engaging in a romantic and intimate relationship with you again. Your replacement serves that role most effectively. No, we want to punish you. We will hoover you in an unpleasant and savage way, smearing you and parading your replacement around to all and sundry and explaining how wonderful it is to be with someone who truly understands us, loves us and is not abusive as you were.

We may toss you aside and come nowhere near you for weeks, months and even years. We know that the nature of this “discard” is such that no matter how hard you try; you remain vulnerable to being sucked back in. This is because you have not been able to cope with the ever presence we created and your frequent reminders of the golden period. It is also because you want answers, finality and understanding and because we flounced off the face of the earth, you did not get those things and the desire to receive them remains strong even years later.

We do not truly discard you. We push you to one side but you serve many purposes afterwards. You recover so your fuel provision increases again, you are the provider of both positive and negative fuel, dependent on how we hoover you. You are needed for the triangulations we wish to deploy. This cycle of picking you up and putting you down again, as and when suits us, is one that will go on and on until such time as you decide to break the pattern of “discards” and escape instead. Of course when you try to escape us we do not regard this as ending our binding arrangement. You are mis-guided, perhaps listening to the biased voices of others which is affecting your judgement. You, in our minds, do not get to choose when the arrangement ends. All the way through our lives, we will use you and then push you to one side before coming back again at some future point. If you allow us the means of contact by drifting into our sphere of influence again then we will hoover you, because the opportunity is too good to pass up. You are then drawn in, the cycle commences once more and a further “discard” will happen. You can see by the repeated nature of this process that there is no real discard, only a temporary cessation to our entanglement, but one tendril always remains wrapped around, continuing the connection so that we can draw you back in at our choice.

Even if you take steps whereby you expose us for what we are or reveal us to other people who accept what you say, we will withdraw to lick our wounds but this discard is temporary also. We still want your fuel and we want it badly. We also have a desire for revenge. We may not resume matters in a benign method when this happens and instead opt for the malign approach in order to extract fuel, but the entanglement will begin again at some future point.

We put you down but you can always be picked up again. Rest assured that this will happen repeatedly and even if you think the nature of the discard was so harsh, so savage and seemed so final, it was not. We will return, if able and do it all again.

The only true discard of our toxic entanglement is when of us dies. Only then is there finality.

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The first battle that takes places post discard is the Emotional Battle. That is a battle that you are always destined to lose. You will always fight at least one Emotional Battle because you do not know any other way. In all likelihood, you will face several of these post discard battles because you will keep being hoovered back into our grasp until such time as you learn to recognise what you are dealing with and understand what you must do. Eventually and this may take several Emotional Battles before you realise this and are capable of achieving the appropriate response, you either evade the Emotional Battle by escaping as opposed to being discarded, or you prepare yourself for the eventual discard in a manner which means you no longer have to ensure the Emotional Battle. Instead, you move on to the next post discard battle, that of Head versus Heart (“the HvH Battle”).

The HvH Battle (also known as the Logic v Emotion Battle) is a battleground where you stand some chance of victory. This battleground is one where you have gained understanding. It might be through your repeated exposure to our kind so that eventually something has “clicked” into place or more often than not it is as a consequence of an external agent who has explained matters to you. It might by a therapist, a friend, the content of a book, something you saw on YouTube or even something that I have written. Whatever has caused this understanding to increase, it is this which provides you with the fighting chance to win this HvH Battle.

You have been discarded and run the gamut of emotional fall-out thereafter. You may understand what we are. You may understand some of the things that we have done. You may be familiar with the fact that we will try to hoover you back into our grip. You may even be starting to comprehend that what has happened was all predicated on an illusion. The degree of understanding will vary but what is important for you is that you are allowing logical thought to be heard above the raw heat of your emotions. You once again will not just be battling against us but also yourself. We will be looking to hoover you in order to draw you back into our grip or perhaps we will be unleashing a malign hoover since we are unable to draw you back into our false reality and therefore we opt to keep extracting negative fuel by way of punishment for your treachery. You have us as an opponent, but you will also be fighting yourself as your emerging logic grapples with the still churning emotion. You have learned many things and you know you should apply what you have learned but still there is the emotional pull that you experience. You are not removed or detached from your emotions, they have not dimmed either, they are still there, raging away. The hurt, the love, the longing, the passion, the fear and the upset. An ocean of emotion which you once tried to cross but that was the Emotional Battle and you had barely taken four strokes as you began to swim before you were engulfed by the emotion and sank to the bottom of this sea, drowned by your own emotion. Now you have built a vessel. It is made from cool, hard logic. Critical thinking, once a stranger to you during your savage devaluation, has re-appeared. You can analyse and assess. It is unlikely you are able to do so at the level you once enjoyed before we came along but it is there. Whether this vessel is a tiny raft, a dinghy, a boat or a hulking great liner depends very much on the extent of your understanding. The choppy emotional seas will smash against your vessel of logic. A wave of sorrow will buffet you, a tsunami of longing will threaten to swamp you once again. Wave after wave of emotion will try and capsize your vessel as you try to navigate this emotional ocean. Chances are your life raft will be smashed to match wood and you will be tipped into the sea to drown once again as emotion subsumes you and you find yourself back in our hold. Your clipper may be holed beneath the waterline and you start to take on board more and more emotion as steadily you sink beneath the emotional waves once again. It is during this HvH Battle as you try to cross the emotional ocean, because what you must do is reach the dry land beyond and in effect put an ocean but you and us, you will be subjected to the push and pull of your emotions trying to guide you, to control your decision-making, your head will tell you one thing as your heart screams something else at you. This is probably the harder battle for you to fight. In the Emotional Battle, you do not stand a chance and your defeat is swift and total. During the HvH Battle you will make gains, suffer losses, seem to making a breakthrough and then out of nowhere a tidal wave will flip you from your boat and into the churning ocean and you drown once again. All the while we will be whipping up the waves, firing our torpedoes at you as we endeavour to cause you to sink into this emotional ocean yet again and you fail to cross it and win this battle. How might this HvH Battle manifest in the real world?

  1. You will know you ought not to contact us but you need to send a message to see if we respond.
  2. You will keep checking our social media profiles to ascertain if you are mentioned, if we are with somebody else and/or to find out what we are doing.
  3. You will ask about us to our coterie and lieutenants, often unwittingly doing so, so this is fed back to us.
  4. You will go on dates but find you are always comparing this new person to us and they are always found to be wanting.
  5. You know what the outcome will be but you just want one more night with us.
  6. You realise that we are unlikely to change but if you do not try you will ever know, so it is worth one more attempt to talk isn’t it?
  7. You understand much of what we did and said was a lie, but surely it could not all have been an illusion? There must have been times where we really did love you and you need to ask us about this.
  8. You know we are bad for you, but you cannot help what you feel. Surely it would be better to stop this pain from being there all the time and just have it occasionally?
  9. You know you should not reply to our messages but it feels so good to have a conversation with us again. It has been too long.
  10. You know we are using you, but it feels so damn good.
  11. One kiss cannot hurt can it?
  12. You know better now, so going back will be different because you know what to expect. Armed with this new knowledge you can enter the lion’s den again but be better prepared.
  13. You know we are bad for you but you cannot bear the thought of someone else being with us and perhaps being the one to work.
  14. What if this time the apology is sincere and the desire to change is real? If you walked away from that, you would only be denying yourself happiness wouldn’t you?
  15. You understand engaging with us is dangerous but there are things you really need to tell us.

These and others besides are all examples of the inherent tension that arises in this tug-of-war between your cool intellect and your burning emotions.

Can you win this battle that rages post discard? Unlike the first battle, the Emotional Battle which you can never win, you can be victorious. You may have to fight this HvH Battle many times before securing the win. In the beginning you may be clinging to little more than a log as you desperately try to sail the emotional ocean and you are swept from it. However, by reading and understanding, by disciplining yourself to apply logic, to prevent your emotions from engulfing you, by reading more and increasing your knowledge you will begin to increase your logic vessel. From log to raft to dinghy. Still you may be swamped and drowned again. But then it becomes a small boat, a yacht, a clipper, a steamer, a passenger liner, a frigate, a destroyer and a super tanker. Each time you rebuild, better, bigger and stronger as you learn more, making the vessel more seaworthy. You begin to chart routes so you avoid the most tumultuous emotional areas, finally beginning to steer through calmer waters until there it is, on the horizon, the sight of land and the final battle that occurs with our kind post discard.

The HvH Battle is not an easy battle. You will fight it several times, but each time you should be better prepared to cross the emotional ocean and improve your prospects of success. Sometimes you are taken unawares by some of our provocative tactics and dumped unceremoniously into the water once again, but it is a battle you can win through the dedicated application of knowledge and understanding.

 

 

So your break-up was hard and it left you wounded, the injuries both physical but mainly emotional and you have kept yourself locked away for months now. Seeking isolation as a means to address the upset that you have experienced and vowing never to date again. Your resolve has increased, with daily deliverances as to what he did mounting up as you hear about an accumulation of abhorrent actions. You decided to focus on what mattered to you and thus relationships were consigned to the back of your mind. Feeling stronger, the wounds healing yet not healed you face repeated invitations from your well-meaning friends, friends who have supported you through this unpleasant period of your life, to come out of hiding and let yourself shine once more. You agree and after extensive preparation you emerge,like a hibernating creature and join your friends in that bar that has been refurbished and is a honey pot for all the beautiful creatures.

I see you stood there at the bar. You are stood slightly apart from your friends as if seeking to preserve your personal space. I see conversation is directed your way and recognise that your friends are paying you what I would regard as an excessive level of attention as if they are repeatedly checking that you are okay. Occasionally hands touch your arm by way of reassurance and heads lean in as soft faces radiate kind expressions. I know you are being looked after. I know that you are being protected and that means you have been wounded. I scent the blood that has been spilled in your past and wait until the ‘phones are wielded to take various posed photographs. Time to approach.

I make my way to the bar and slightly turn to observe you and your friends as the photos continue. One catches my eye and I smile. She responds with her own smile and nudges her friend.

“Would you like me to take one of you all?” I ask as I move alongside you. Nods of appreciation follow and I am handed phone after phone as I commit your group photo to a digital memory. I engage in polite yet playful conversation with you all but remain focussed on your reactions. You are hesitant but laughing at my words, seemingly wanting to embrace them yet unsure as to whether you should. I pull out my own phone and take a picture of you all and then alter the focus so the lens homes in on you and you alone as I take a burst of pictures before wishing you an enjoyable evening and withdrawing to my waiting lieutenants. It is not long before a search of your image has given me your name and I am able to ascertain some of your interests from your Face book profile which include the fact that you are a keen dancer and have won several dance competitions. I do some research into dance competitions for young men and prepare my hook of having been a dancer in  my youth although a football injury put paid to my burgeoning progress. I absorb a few key elements of terminology and then make my move towards you. I flick the first domino and it begins to fall into the second.

We talk. We drink. We dance. I learn more about you. I impress judging by your friends’ responses. I secure your number and give you mine. I text courteously the next day. A dinner date is secured. The date goes well. I learn more about you, compiling my dossier about you as a follow-up date is readily agreed to. I surprise you with tickets to a ballet performance. You are delighted. The dominos keep tumbling. Your resistance evaporates. Date three is a pushover and then the dates become more frequent. I am in your house. I am in your bed. I am inside you. Three weeks becomes three months. The dominos keep tumbling as I know all about your past. I know all about your present too from my snooping. I engulf you in my world my lieutenants circling about you. I grab the wool and pull it over your supporters’ eyes, recruiting two of them into my fold. I raise you up. I draw you in. I flatter and charm.

Your time is with me. Your phone full of my love. Your weekends are filled by me. I stay at yours and you at mine. The toothbrush appears and then the overnight bag which remains in place. You wash the clothes for me and then I am there more than I am not. I disconnect those who serve no purpose from your network but you seem not to notice. Your eyes show me how enchanted you are as those dominos continue to tumble. The holidays are booked as I start to invade your future. I check your phone for you and relay messages. I read your post but you do not mind as I do it when you are busy to help you out. Naturally. The salami slices as I impose my world on you and you readily submit. I know all your friends, I know all about your work, your hobbies and your family. I am regarded as the ideal tonic after ‘him’ who we laugh about and who I know is one of my brethren but I never tell you. Your days are mapped out for you by me and you tell me often how lucky you feel. I do not disagree. I move in but keep my own house as ‘the market is not right to sell just now’. That bolthole is going nowhere. The social circle is established. You are elated. The world is offered to you and as the dominos clack clack clack you accept it all. The ring appears and you say yes. A date is set and plans are made as I give you the future. The tendrils are all around you, the fuel lines in place but of course you do not notice. I am with you, in you and around you. You sit at breakfast admiring the glinting ring on your finger as you remark.

“Do you know it is six months since we met in that bar? Who’d have thought it?”

I send you that special smile and you fail to notice my eyes blacken for an instant because you are still yet to discover that one thing leads to another.

 

 

Fuel is our lifeblood. Whether it is positive fuel from admiration, delight and love or negative fuel from hatred, anger or upset, we want fuel. There are many, many different ways in which we will manipulate you, many different machinations, some wonderful and others terrible, that we will use against you to extract fuel from you. These different methods appear during the six phases of fuelling.

 

  1. Seduction

A period when everything is rosy in the garden. We are the most wonderful person you could every meet. Kind, considerate, amusing and entertaining. We are generous with time or money, sometimes both. We are impressive in terms of our achievements, our abilities, the people that we know, the places that we have been and we just happen to like all the things that you like as well as we engage in our tried and trusted practice of mirroring. If we have chosen you to be our intimate partner we will gushing with love as we sweep you off your feet with borrowed love quotes, gifts and sensational love-making. It is irresistible and you will succumb to this intense love-bombing whether we want you as our partner in love, friend, trusted colleague or reliable family member. Our seduction is powerful, effective and is aimed at getting you hooked on us as we begin to drink from your positive fuel that you will provide to us during the golden period.

 

 

 

  1. Devaluation

In this second phase we have found your positive fuel has lost its potency. You are no longer providing us with the earnest and amazing admiration that we require and this is entirely your fault. The consequence of this is that we must continue to draw fuel in order to sustain our existence and now we must do this by extracting a contrasting fuel, negative fuel. This is derived by treating you badly, meting out silent treatments, shouting at you, provoking you and unleashing the whole malevolent content of our Devil’s Toolkit against you. We want you to shout insults at us in anger, we want you to plead with us to stop our torment of you, we want to see you sob in desperation at our continued abuse of you. Tears, frustration, anger and hatred are all delicious emotions which will fuel us and they provide such a magnificent and stark contrast to all of the positive fuel that you once gaze that the effect for us is considerably edifying and invigorating.

 

  1. Respite

 

We do not want to keep the devaluation in place all of the time otherwise you will break too soon and deprive us of our primary source of fuel. Accordingly, the third phase is one where we allow you some respite from the devaluation. We reinstate the golden period and you provide us with relief tinged positive fuel. This is of an excellent quality as it is heightened by your relief and joy at returning to the golden period. It also allows us to convince you that the golden period can be resurrected to you will not leave us and instead keep trying to recover it. We will alternate between devaluing you and offering you respite, back and forth between these two states in order to confuse you and keep you in situ. The contrast between treating you well and treating you badly also provides us with a greater degree of fuel as your emotions are pushed and pulled by us. This phase may last for years as we move you back and forth, one week everything is wonderful and then you are plunged into a fortnight of awful treatment with you completely bewildered as to why this is happening.

 

  1. Preventative

You may be pushed to a point of no return. You may have received some outside help from a friend or a professional who understands what is actually happening to you or it may be that you do not know what is happening but you know that you cannot allow it to continue any longer. In such a situation when you warn us that you are thinking of leaving us or that you intend to end our relationship we will instigate the preventative phase. This is designed to stop you from going. We will provide a massive dose of the golden period but we will also ally it with promises to mend our ways, seek help and change. None of it is meaningful but it is a desperate measure to prevent you from leaving us. We decide when we no longer want you, you are not superior to us and therefore you are not allowed, in our minds, to make this decision. By applying these preventative moves, which might be seeking pity, forgiveness, understanding and sympathy, we aim to stop your departure and then drink deep of the fuel that you will provide as you soothe away our concern, responding favourably to our stated intention to better ourselves. Your delight at hearing us say these things provides us with further fuel.

 

  1. Benign Return

Whether you escaped us or we cast you to one side through one of our callous discards we will also seek fuel through the benign return. Similar to the preventative stage but this takes place after there has been a cessation in our relationship. You try to stay away from us or you have been trying to get back with us but we have kept you at arms’ length for some time until we decide that we want your positive fuel once again and we approach you taking you back. We may seek forgiveness, express we made mistakes, that we were not thinking clearly and so on, all done in order to con you into resurrecting the relationship. If we ended it, you will return with joyful open arms. If you ended it, you will return delighted you have got us to agree to making changes. Of course nothing changes. It is all about the fuel and as you respond in a favourable manner, admiring us again, expressing your love and gratitude, portraying relief we will take all this fuel.

 

  1. Malign Return

 

This also takes place post cessation of the relationship. You may have ended it and resisted out attempts to hoover you back in. We may have ended it and you want to return to the fold but we will not let you as we have a replacement. In either instance we will not forgo the opportunity to extract additional fuel from you by continuing to administer terrible and hurtful manipulations against you. We may no longer be in a relationship but this will not stop us from lashing out, lying about you, invoking the assistance of others as we smear your name and doing everything we can on a repeated basis to cause you to become angry and upset and thus provide us with fuel. You may not have heard from us for some time but there will be some trigger, some opportunity and whilst we may not want you back or we may be unable to cause you to come back, we will still look to provoke and emotional reaction from you and obtain fuel. It is always about the fuel.

 

 

 

Words are our tools. They come readily to us and we much prefer them over actions as they use so little energy. We have no sense of guilt, remorse or conscience that we are easily able to make promises with no intention of ever keeping them. You on the other hand hate to break a promise and we know that your adherence to this means that the effect our broken promises is significant against you and will allow us to draw fuel. You will be familiar with the nature of the broken promises if you have danced with our kind already but you may not know what we actually mean when we say certain supposed promises to you. If this dance is new to you, not only will you not know what is being really meant when we whisper these words to you, but you may not realise that this promise will not be kept. Here are five of the most-used promises we issue, that we always break and this is what we really mean when we say them.

 

  1. I will always love you

I know that you love to hear such bold proclamations because they appeal to you as a love devotee. Indeed, you have been conditioned to believe strongly in the concept of love. I won’t always love you, in fact I will not even begin by loving you because I am incapable of feeling what you know to be love since it has been denied to me as an option. I understand what love is to you however because I am surrounded by people like you telling me what it means and it appears in books, on the television, on the internet, in films and advertisements. It is easy to understand what love means to you but impossible for me to feel it and therefore I can never love you. What I mean when I tell you this is that I am telling you what you want to hear so you will remain with me and provide me with the fuel that I crave. I am telling you that I will actually always want you so long as you give me what I need. My desire to be with you is entirely conditional on you furnishing me with fuel.

  1. I will repay you

I will borrow money from you because of my sense of entitlement since either I have none and I want yours or I have plenty and I still want yours. If I have no money I need it and therefore I will want to borrow it from you. I will of course promise to repay you in order to induce you to lend it to me in the first place. I will then make repeated promises to pay you: –

“I am a little short this month, I will have it for you next month.”

“I am due a bonus in two months so I will pay you from that then.”

“I had an emergency and had to use the money for that.”

“I am not able to work at present but since you love me you won’t mind waiting will you?”

“If you really loved me, you would not ask for it back.”

Those of our kind who lack financial resources want the money for obvious reasons but also in order to strengthen the link between them and you, so that you have reason to remain in contact with them and to allow them to trot out excuses and reasons which will eventually provoke you through exasperation, frustration, irritation and upset.

Those of our kind who have ample financial resources do not have any intention of making repayment. Instead we use this borrowing of the money as a bridge between you and I and as above it is all about keeping a hook into you.

When we promise to repay you, we will not do so. What we are telling you is that we want to create a method of ensuring you are connected to us and able to draw fuel from you.

 

 

  1. I won’t hurt you

 

Of all the broken promises this is perhaps the one which does the most damage. We are actually telling you this: –

“I won’t hurt you as long as you comply with what I want.”

It just so happens that we always omit the last nine words. We regard you as our appliance, an extension of our will and you are expected to do what we want. Provide potent positive fuel, succumb to our demands, run around after us, say yes when we want yes and no when we want no but you must guess which is correct. We want you obedient, compliant and submissive. Navigate your way through this maze successfully and you will not be hurt. Unfortunately, for you nobody is ever able to do this because you will always have to be hurt because we want fuel. You have to be hurt because no matter how hard you try you will always cause a criticism which will wound us and therefore we have to defend ourselves by lashing out and hurting you. You have to be hurt because there are even those of our kind, the malignant and the greater who delight in doing so.

The hurt will always visit you somehow.

 

  1. I will be faithful

We cannot be faithful. We need fuel too much. Although most of it will come from you we need it from other sources as well and this will result in our infidelity. Infidelity comes in many forms, just as fuel does. To some it may be sharing long and intimate conversations, to others it is a kiss, to others it is sexual touching and to others it is full blown sexual intercourse. Our desire for fuel combined with our massive sense of entitlement and our failure to recognise boundaries means that we will be unfaithful. Add to that our lack of accountability, our failure to feel guilt or remorse and you stand no chance of ever ensuring that we remain faithful.

We say this because you want to hear it. This is most often used after we have been exposed as committing an act or acts of infidelity and we are concerned that you will leave us and thus take away our primary source of fuel when we have not secured a replacement yet. We will pledge that we will be faithful moving forward in an attempt to prevent you from causing a cessation to our supply of fuel. These are empty words. We will be unfaithful within the week, maybe not even that long, just so long as uttering such a promise stops you from going.

 

  1. I will change

No I won’t. Even if I could, which is highly unlikely, why should I when there is nothing wrong with me. Everything I do is necessary to ensure my survival and my remaining elevated and superior. Just because you and others do not like the way that I behave does not mean that I have to alter what I am. I know however that you love to think that we can be cured of whatever ill it is that we suffer from. You want us to become better and different and naturally if this means we can get you to stay, do what we want and keep providing us with fuel we are content to tell you that we will change. We are experts at adopting false expressions of contrition as well to accompany this empty promise.

This vacant promise actually means

“I will carry on doing what I am doing and nobody will ever stop me.”

 


 

 

A little while ago one of our contributors, K, undertook a short survey which many of you kindly responded to. K then spent some time collating the responses and has provided the same along with some interpretation of the results which make for interesting reading. Here detailed report on the survey is below.

 

Apologies for the delay everybody but finally I have the results of the survey. I’ve presented the facts with little interpretation as hopefully there should be some lively discussion. Feel free to ask about any relationships in the data that I haven’t reported and I’ll be happy to have a dig. However, what follows is probably more than enough for now!

As is generally the case where narcissism fora are concerned, out of 212 respondents to the survey the vast majority (97%) were female and only 3% were male. The most common age at which relationships with narcissists began was 35-44 years (34%), closely followed by 25-34 year olds (31%). Only 13% of respondents began relationships with narcs later in life at 44-54 years and 11% became involved at a fairly young age (19-24 years). Sadly, 10% of respondents began such relationships at a very early age (14-18 years old) while only a few (2%) became involved at 55+ years old.

In terms of relationship duration, most relationships were medium term, i.e., between 3.1-7 years (27%) although this still represents quite a substantial relationship. Shorter term relationships (1.1 – 3 years) were also quite common (19%) as were longer term relationships (7.1 – 15 years: 18%). A fair proportion of respondents (15%) had very long term relationships (15.1 – 25 years). Perhaps surprisingly, only 14% had relatively brief relationships (up to 1 year) and a very unfortunate few (7%) had a narcissist as what can only be described as a life partner (25+ years).

Using some fancy statistics that I won’t explain as I doubt you’d be all that interested (Univariate ANCOVA if you are), the strongest determinants of how long relationships lasted were age and how early red flags were spotted. Those that began relationships with narcissists at a younger age were more likely to have long relationship, perhaps because of a lack of relationship experience or because the narcissist valued younger victims. The average length of relationships for those that began them at 35-44 yr olds was just over 5 years. Those that began N relationships at 45 or older had shorter relationships (less than 3.5 yrs on average), while those that began relationships at 25-34 yrs were with the N for an average of just over 9 years. For those that became entangled at the youngest ages, relationships tended to last for a very long time. For 19-24 yr olds, almost 18 yrs on average and for 14-18 yr olds, just over 19 yrs. The oldest victims (55+) noticed red flags within around 5 months; 45-54 yr olds noticed with a year; 35-44 yr olds noticed within 1yr 7 months; 25-34 yr olds noticed within 2.5 yrs. It took almost 4 yrs before 19-24 yr olds noticed red flags and just over 3 yrs for 14-18 yr olds which indicates that relationships were already well established in these youngest age groups before it became evident that things were not as they should be. However, once those flags had been spotted, relationships generally continued for quite some time. On average, flags were noticed around a quarter of the way through relationships in the 45+ age categories and around a third of the way through relationships for those younger than 44 and the later red flags were identified, the longer relationships lasted.

The duration of relationships, however, was not significantly influenced by whether or not victims suffered either physical or financial abuse. Nonetheless, and surprisingly on first look, relationships that included either type of abuse lasted longer than those that didn’t. It may be that the longer the relationship lasted, the more likely that abuse occurred but, alternatively, heightened trauma bonding through physical abuse might have resulted in victims staying in N relationships for longer. Information on when the abuse began would have clarified this question but that question was not included in the survey unfortunately. Overall, 59% of us experienced physical abuse: 39%, mild (spitting, pushing); 26%, moderate (hitting, kicking); 10%, extreme (requiring medical attention/hospitalisation – and some of the descriptions shared were positively nightmarish). Financial abuse was even more common and was experienced by 74% of us: mild, 43%; financial control, 41%; serious exploitation, 18%. Almost half (47%) experienced both physical and financial abuse. Younger victims were slightly more likely to experience both kinds of abuse.

As far as the end of the relationship is concerned, 46% were discarded while 54% left of their own accord and there was no relationship between how the relationship ended and how long it lasted. Victims that entered into these relationships when young (14-24 yrs) were more likely to leave of their own accord (around 70%, and after longer relationships). Among the other age categories, whether they were discarded or not was roughly 50:50 although for those that began relationships with Ns when 45-54 yrs old the relationship ended with discard more often (70%). Those that were physically abused were more likely to leave of their own accord (64%) as were those who were financially abused (63%). Conversely, those that were not abused were more likely to be discarded than to leave.

Infidelity was common with 48% reporting infidelity while in the relationship, 24% only during the Ns transition to a new relationship and 28% reporting not having detected infidelity at all although it was suspected in some of those cases. Those in longer relationships were not more likely to report infidelity than those in shorter relationships although relationships in which the N detectibly transitioned from one supply to another were shorter, on average, than those in which there did not appear to be a transition. Those that reported infidelity during the relationship were more likely to leave (72%) than to be discarded. Age did not affect the likelihood of infidelity.

The end of the relationship is, of course, rarely the end in fact and 69% of Ns attempted at least one hoover. Contrary to expectations, perhaps, an attempted hoover was just as likely after a discard as when victims left of their own accord. Victims were just as likely to experience a hoover after a long relationship as a short one and age at the beginning of the relationship did not affect the chances of an attempted hoover either. An attempted hoover occurred within only 2 or 3 months on average for those aged 25 or older when they started the relationship but younger victims (who also tended to be in longer relationships) tended to receive a hoover attempt after a year or two.

Finally, the taxonomy. 36% of us identified our N as somatic, 36% as elite, 18% as victim and 10% as cerebral. 14% were unsure. Cerebrals were the most likely to discard (53%), followed by elites (49%), then somatics (41%) and finally, and unsurprisingly, victims (35%). Also unsurprisingly, somatics were the most likely to be found to be sexually unfaithful during the relationship (64%), followed by elites (47%), then victims (42%) with cerebrals trailing far behind (6%). However, cerebrals were much more likely to be discovered to be unfaithful during a transition to a new partner (44%) than the other categories of N (around 20-25%). Victim Ns were the most likely to hoover (72%), followed by elites (69%), somatic (67%) and then cerebrals (50%). There was no difference between N types in the age of their targets or the length of their relationships. Victim Ns were the most likely to become physically abusive (61%) followed by somatics and elites (58% and 57% respectively) and then cerebrals (44%). Cerebrals were very rarely more than mildly physically abusive (mild, 31%; moderate, 6%; extreme, 6%) while victim Ns, elites and somatics were more often moderately physically abusive (29%, 22% and 33% respectively) and mild abuse in these N types was also used by around 30% of each. Somatics were twice as likely to use more extreme violence (12%) compared with the other N types (elite, 7%; cerebral, 6%; victim, 3%). Victims were also slightly more likely to exploit their victims financially (85%) with cerebrals, somatics and elites following behind a little (just over 70%).

So there are the results. I am interested to learn of your reactions to it.

 

th (7)Dr E wanted to discuss with me the consequences of my behaviour. I agreed to listen. The sneaky head doctor had only gone and obtained testimonies from various people who have apparently suffered at the hands of my kind. I recognised a few of the comments and suspect that he had spoken to people that I know although he denied this. We argued for ten minutes as I demanded that he tell me who he had spoken to but he maintained that the information had been given on the basis of preserving anonymity. I challenged this and explained that if he could not attribute the comments then he had surely made them up. He assured me that he had not. I then told him that these comments were lies. He conceded that he could not confirm the veracity of the comments since he had only heard their side but he asked me, for the purposes of the discussion, to just accept they were accurate. I knew if I didn’t I would have to spend longer with him so I nodded. The first comment was that I was like a tornado that blew in without warning and caused carnage wherever I went. I agreed that I was intense in my desire for somebody but they always enjoyed that. I said I did not understand the reference to carnage. He moved on.

The next comment was that I shattered people’s self-esteem and took away their identity. I laughed at that. How could I take away their identity? I countered that their self-esteem was invariably broken when I arrived and I helped to try and repair it. He jotted down something at this point. Next up was the comment that I trampled over people’s feelings and left them a broken shell.I pointed out that sometimes people could not cope with the fullness of my personality, especially if they were a wallflower. Next up was the observation that I ruined financial stability and had no concept of what belonged to others. I responded by explaining that when you are in a relationship you are meant to share and if they could not handle sharing their property with me then that was their issue and not mine. Dr E ploughed on with comment after comment all essentially suggesting that I caused heartache and destruction left, right and centre. I am pleased to report that I batted back all the observations successfully. He sighed and lowered his clipboard. He paused and then said,

“Last one, you came in like a wrecking ball.”

I just stuck my tongue out to that one.

 

You may not think it but we do actually listen to you. I appreciate that may seem odd because you think the way we act means we cannot possibly be listening to you. We take no notice of what you say because we still go ahead and do the same things that we have done before. We keep repeating a comment as if we have never heard your answer the first time around. You remind us about the time we are meeting and we turn up late or not at all. You could be forgiven for thinking that we are very poor listeners. The reality is that we are very good listeners. The difference is that we choose to hear differently.

When you are shouting at us, advancing your argument in a forceful manner we will be responding to what you are saying, usually with denial and deflection. We are not interested in what you are saying, we are concerned with hearing your feelings. We want to hear the strangulated and seething anger that manifests in your words because then we know (along with seeing your contorted and reddened face) that you have reacted to our provocation and accordingly you are providing us with fuel. If you are hurling insults at us, calling us names and berating our dress sense, weight and intelligence we are not wounded by these criticisms because the fact you are spitting with venom, shouting them in a rage or shrieking with delight as you insult us means you are providing the emotion that equates to fuel. The harsh names just dissipate because we are not hearing them. We are hearing the emotion of what is being said, that is what matters. You can devise the most original insult the world has ever know but if you throw it at us with emotion then all we hear is your emotional reaction. Have you often wondered why we are smiling when you are arguing with us? It is because you are giving us what we want; fuel. Oh and also because we know that smiling at you will infuriate you all the more.

We listen to you with considerable attention during the initial stages of the seduction. We ensure that every snippet of information, every morsel of knowledge that will assist us in seducing you and binding you tight to us is heard and absorbed, filed away in readiness for use at the appropriate time. Each time you reveal to us a new restaurant you have found or a new play that has just opened which you like we take notice. When you tell us about your friends we listen in anticipation of bringing them under our spell also. When we listen at this juncture you think we are attentive and interested in you. Indeed, we are and your reaction to this is to praise us, thus providing us with fuel, and to feel attracted to us, thus binding you to us. Our interest however is not as you would normally perceive because our interest is borne out of the use we can make of what you tell us, in order to further our own agenda.

We also listen to you to understand how out behaviours affect you. We listen to the praise and delight you gush forth and we note what we did that caused this. When we subject you to devaluation we soak up the fuel your pour towards us but we also listen to how it is affecting you. You tell us about how it hurts, how you cannot sleep, how you feel anxious, how you feel sick, how you are frightened, how you do not understand. We do not care how you feel but we are most interested in you telling us this. This forms feedback based on our various manipulations. As we gather the fuel from your tearful pleading we also ascertain how what we have said has had an effect on you. We listen to you explaining to us how you feel because we do not feel it ourselves. We need to learn from you in this respect. We need to learn so we can mimic is when the need arises. We need to learn that if somebody feels a sense of loss then they will cry. Accordingly, if we anticipate losing you then an appropriate reaction would be to cry. We have learned from what you have shown us and what you have told us. See, I told you that we pay attention to you. We also listen so we know just how effective our manipulation has been. Is what you are telling us explaining a minor degree of hurt and sadness or is it more substantial? We do not know ourselves because we do not feel sadness ourselves. That redundant emotion was either stripped from us or never allowed to develop in the first place. Accordingly, in order to understand what makes someone sad, a little bit sad or devastatingly sad we have to observe your responses and listen to what you are saying. We do not stand and listen because we are concerned and because we want to find a solution to your state of sadness. That serves no purpose to us at all. What we are doing is listening to the detail of your misery so we can replicate it. We can replicate both in terms of pretending we feel miserable when the occasion suits us and we also replicate it to make someone miserable for the purposes of control and the gathering of fuel.

It is through listening that we hone our manipulative skills. It is through listening that we learn all about you, what you like and what you dislike, what your hopes are and what vulnerabilities you have that we can exploit. Through listening we understand how you feel so we can mimic this. It is through listening that we are able to comprehend how you are affected by what we do. Yes, we spend a lot of time talking, telling the world about how brilliant we are and this is of course the way of what we are but you would be surprised at just how much we listen. Just because we may not be listening based on what you deem to be important is does not mean we are not listening at all. Far from it.

Accordingly, next time you plead that we listen to you for once or that you beg us to “listen to what I am saying” you will find that we are and you will come to regret it.

 

 

 

I have lost count of the times that I have been told “never again”. I have heard it said by other people who have met my kind even more often. I am entirely relaxed when I hear this phrase because I know that although your intentions are to never go through that dance again with me or one of my kind, it will happen. We may be gone for some time but we will return and when we do we will resurrect all those wonderful memories as we seek to Hoover you back into our reality. The emotional attachment that we create is so great that even though you looked in the mirror every morning and mouthed “Never again” to yourself you will struggle to resist. You cannot help but wonder if this time it will be different. You do not want to say no for fear of someone else receiving our amazing and scintillating love. You want it. You learned the lessons and as the introspective empath that you are (as well as suitably conditioned by us) you will blame certain things on yourself. You will convince yourself, because you want to taste that mesmerising kiss once again, that we have changed and that this time it will be different. Why should someone else get to experience that wonderful love? That is not fair. You put up with the rough and the smooth. You have earned your stripes so it is only right that you get to have us again isn’t it? That is what you want. When we first departed and you saw (for we wanted you to see) that we had found someone new it ripped you apart. Notwithstanding the full horror of your dance with us you hated the fact that someone else now basked in our glorious light. You wanted to warn them not because you cared about that person but because you wanted us back. You wanted us to yourselves. You felt a sense of unfairness that she was now with us. You would lie awake wondering if I was saying the same things to her as I had said to you. You wondered how she would respond to that blazing, heavenly love that you once relished. Would I be the same for her as I was to you? You kept telling yourself that it was only a matter of time before she befell the same fate that you endured, yet the postings and pictures told a different story. You began to worry. Had I changed? Had I become a better person after you? Was she somehow able to please me in a way that you could not? You had to know. You had sworn never again but now you wanted me back. You wanted her to go away and free me to be yours again so that you could apply your learned lessons and everything would be wonderful again. She did not deserve me did she? But you did. You made such sacrifices. You opened your heart to me despite the daggers I drove into it. You served your time and you are entitled to your reward. Not this Jane-come-lately. You want to give us that chance to prove we can do it. You want to show you brought benign influence to bear. You want to prove that the beast can be brought to heel in the most compassionate manner. You might say never again but you do not truly mean it. Not in your heart of hearts.

By contrast when we say “Never again” we most definitely mean it. Never again will your life be the same after meeting us. Never again will you feel able to trust anybody after being subjected to our acid reign. Never again will you be able to smell certain scents, hear certain songs and see certain places without breaking down in tears. Never again will you love someone in the way that you loved us. Never again will you want somebody as much and in such an intense way as you wanted us. Never again will you be able to feel calm and relaxed since for too long you have been subjected to a heightened state of anxiety. Never again will you experience that euphoria you once had with us. So when you declare never again it is never truly meant, but what you fail to realise is just how many things will never again be the same for you.

 

thXDBH43GT

I like it when you are lonely. That is my favourite place for you. When we first meet if you make mention of feeling lonely, or send a self-pitying tweet decrying your loneliness then I am straight on to you. You may as well have taken a knife to your chest, slit it open and shouted, “Come and get me.” Those in a state of loneliness are massively susceptible to my overtures when I decide to engulf you in my bombardment of flattery and zealous appreciation. Those who have tired of their single status and wallowing in solitary confinement seize on this interest of mine. The red flags may be fluttering but you never see them or if you do, you think “how pretty”.

I may make you feel wanted and special but all I am doing is moving you. I am transporting you from loneliness in the real world to isolated splendour in my false reality. Once I have positioned you there I shall busy myself cutting you off from family, friends and acquaintances. You will readily go along with my fabricated denigrations of people you once held dear and who you saw regularly. You want more of the sugar that I am pouring on you. To do that you need to spend more time with me and thus less with anyone else. It is hardly a sacrifice though is it? Any dissenting voices are marginalised by cleverly constructed smear campaigns against these people (watch out – that campaign will be used against you in the not too distant future). You are an eager co-conspirator happy to discard these people (how can you be so callous?) with the repeated promise and reward of more of my intoxicating attention.

Once all those ties have been cut you are mine. You are dependent on me for everything. You have nobody to turn to and thus your focus will always be on me. As you try harder to please me, the realisation of your isolation becomes all the more apparent. You can feel the tendrils of loneliness wrapping around you once again. I know you will feel this and I know you will do all the more to cling onto me, your life raft, your beacon of hope in the wilderness. Anything to avoid being left alone. I am afraid it is too late. Your isolation was sealed the moment you listened to me. You are so alone nobody can hear you scream.