I am self-sufficient. I do not need you and therefore I do not appreciate you. I never show any thanks for what you do for me because I am entitled to it anyway. You should be doing all those things for me by reasons of being so fortunate to have someone so special as me in your life. When you give me a present, or cook a sumptuous meal or arrange a day out for me you are just fulfilling your duty. That is why I never say thank you. Instead, I will look to turn it around and suggest you are only doing it because you feel guilty about something (I won’t point to anything specific that you are guilty of because I prefer to gave you in a near permanent state of anxiety and accuse you of doing something wrong, without giving any detail, is a great way to do this). Then again, I will accuse you of selfishness as I project my own behaviour onto you. I will declare that you have only arranged the day out because you wanted to go or that you cooked the meal as it was your favourite food. Anything to diminish the gracious and pleasant thing that you have done. I cannot stand to think you can act selflessly because it reminds me so much of my complete inability to do so. You are reminding me of my weaknesses and that irritates me. In fact, it chews away at me so much that I have to try and wipe the thought away. This means I will do what I do best. Lash out at you.

How many times have you been left feeling bewildered and upset after you have tried to do something you thought I would like only for me to either shrug and barely acknowledge your kind-hearted gesture or even worse I have erupted in a rage and gone on the offensive. You are left shell-shocked. You hear yourself apologising even though you have no idea why but you are so conditioned to my behaviour, the instant apology trips off your lips before you have even had chance to think about it. You are left belittled and upset, no doubt holding the present you looked long and hard for in your hands after I threw it at you and stormed out of the room. The terrible thing is, you will keep trying to win my gratitude. It is not going to happen.

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When you have been discarded, you face three battles in order to secure your freedom. The first is the Emotional Battle which you always lose until you learn not fight it. The second is the Heart V Head Battle which must be fought many times until you finally overcome the powerful effects of emotion and allow your cool, hard logic to dictate. Once that battle has been won, you have managed to navigate a way through the emotional ocean and then you have reached dry land on the other side. This is where the third battle is joined. This dry land provides you with a firmer foundation and just like the discovery of the New World, boundless opportunities. You are no longer prone to the vagaries of the swelling and dramatic ocean of emotions. That is not to say that your emotions have been switched off. Far from it. Instead, the solidity of this land is a reflection of the greater control you now have over your emotions as you ally them with the logic that you have regained. No longer do you feel overwhelmed. You are not beset by anxiety. Fear does not maintain a near permanent grip on your stomach. You were repeatedly drowned as you tried to swim the emotional ocean alone in the first battle. You saw yourself swamped and capsized on numerous occasions as reach time you increased your intellect and understanding as you built larger and more seaworthy vessels until finally you navigated your war through that broiling sea of feelings and now you stand on firm, dry and solid land. Your critical thinking has increased, your sense of calm has bloomed and you have gained greater control.

     You stand before a land of opportunities and this is where you are now able to make the decisions. In the previous two battles you were overwhelmed and then often on the back foot. Here, in this final battle, you have the opportunity to seize and maintain the upper hand. You have so many choices available to you now.

     You may decide to build a large tower and secrete yourself inside. You have the sturdy foundation now on which to construct this edifice. You are safe and secure high up in this tower. You admit visitors but only those that you know can be trusted. Occasionally you hear a knock in the dead of night. You make your way to the balcony and look down from your towering height to see us stood outside knocking on the door and seeking admittance. You may feel the surge of those emotions once more but you have greater control now. You may call out and wave, issuing a polite greeting and no more. You may decide just to turn around and leave us to our ineffectual knocking. Either way in this battle you have seized control and you are far better equipped to make rational decisions which suit you and prevent you from being wholly governed by those turbulent emotions.

     You may decide to forge ahead and seek out new adventures in this land. You meet new people and form fresh and lasting friendships, perhaps even finding someone with whom you can share intimacy and romance. As you trek through this land, gathering new friends and revisiting those who were conned into severing the ties with you, you remain vigilant for out of nowhere we might appear. We might strike, lurching through a crowd hurling insults. You are better armed this time and able to shield yourself before moving away, refusing to be drawn into responding and a war of words like you once might have done. It may be the case, as you embrace these new horizons that we appear, smiling and benign, sidling up to you and taking you by surprise. The risk always remains, for if you are abroad within this new land, you cannot place yourself behind sturdy defences. Thus, you remain exposed to ambush and approach. You remain better equipped than you were, as a consequence of your gathered learning, your increased understanding and ongoing recovery. You are in a better position to rebuff the ambush, refusing to engage and making your departure to safer ground. Sometimes you may be caught and those emotions wash about you as we try to haul you back across the sea to a time when you were alone and going under the lashing waves. This risk always remains.

     You may opt to establish an estate where you do not take refuge in some tower, but instead you create a place of familiarity where everyone is known to you and you are known to them. You have your supporters in clear view and whilst you may not tread down the path less travelled in search of new territories you reduce your risk of us appearing out of nowhere. These familiar places enable you to maintain clear lines of sight so that if we do make an appearance you are able to take suitable evasive action.

     This final battle takes the form of repeated skirmishes as we seek to catch you unawares and drag you back to an earlier battle where our prospects of success are maximised. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes one of our devious ploys catches you unaware and we scale your tower and appear on your balcony like that once desired Prince Charming again and your defences are breached. Other times you repel our approaches, turning your back or cutting us down with new learned techniques which force us to withdraw. You may see no action for weeks, months and even years as new reaches you that we are fighting on other fronts, seemingly content to leave you be. At least for the time being. Then out of nowhere you may reduce your vigilance and we are by your side, seeking to snake our tendrils around you once again. In this final battle you now know what to look for. When we march on to the battle field you see and take heed of the red flags which stream behind us. You have learned methods by which you can counter and neutralise our manipulations. You have established safe territories to which you might retreat if the need arises. You have fashioned your own armoury in this new land of hope and promise. You now know how you can wound us and now, exerting greater control, you do so which gives us no option but to disengage from the skirmish and skulk away to lick our wounds and regroup.

This final battle takes place in a land where the battlefield, for the first time, is more of your choosing than ours. You have better equipped to fight this battle and whilst there remains a risk of defeat and you being ensnared once again, it is far less than in the previous two battles. You are battle-hardened and those scars are worn as badges of honour as you stand tall for the first time in, well, you cannot recall when that last happened, but it has happened at last.

     Thus, this is the final battle post discard. The battle that takes place on dry land. Should you overcome the first two battles, this is where you will find yourself. Now you understand where you will end up as you deal with the fallout from being discarded. Now you are aware of what will happen, what to expect and how you are in a better position to keep winning the skirmishes in this final battle. This only leaves one question remaining. How long will this final battle last?

It will continue until one of us no longer lives.

 

 

How do you know how to love? Did you sit wide-eyed in front a large screen as colourful costumed characters hugged one another to a saccharine sound-track so this imbued you with the concept of what love was? Did those cartoon characters explain to you what it is to love? Did their exaggerated voices and crazy antics, followed by the moral of the story teach you what love is? Perhaps you read about it in love, heard it in songs and studied the many ways in which this ultimate emotion appears and affects people. Chances are that you have been affected by those hugely affecting passages from the great works dedicated to love. Chances are you have been captured by haunting lyrics and catchy jingles which also profess to tell you what love is. They have all played a part. You may have learned about love from the version churned out by the media, of Hollywood romance, dashing heroes, fair maidens, tarts with golden hearts, the good man who rides to the rescue, the wayward soul saved by love. Love may have been explained to you from the pulpit as a higher love, something which transcends all earthly manifestations, a love so powerful and complete that it sacrificed its only son in order to demonstrate its love for humankind. This godly love is all around you, it touches each and all and is mighty in its effects. Love may have been learned from furtive fumbles down alleyways, sneaking into bedrooms when so young, the exploration of warm and urgent body parts accompanied by those every so sincere protestations of love. A haphazard journey through galloping teen years as nothing and everything makes sense all at once. Then again, love might have appeared to you in the form of something small and furry, an unconditional (so long as it was fed) love which was loyal, giving and ever so cute. So many erudite tutors, learner lecturers and wise proponents of what love is. Love thy neighbour, love yourself, love is all you need, woman in love, it must have been love, crazy little thing called love, to know him is to love him, we found love, how deep is your love? Love is all around us, in us, between us, lifting us up and letting us down. It is everywhere and you may well have been taught by many of the above and more besides as to what love is.

However, love most likely will have been taught to you by those who created you, those two people who came together and through their own pleasure created you. Two people who decided that they would shoulder the responsibility of creating life, nurturing it and bringing a new person into the world. Those two people accepted many, many responsibilities from such a decision and act. Chief among them was the responsibility of teaching that person what love is. Through their offices they have furnished each and every one of us with the notion of what love is. A deep-seated and visceral understanding of this is how love feels, this is what it looks like, this is what it sounds like. This is love. From those two people more than anything else we are first grounded in the concept of what love is. This grounding lasts a considerable time and whilst there are other factors to be considered, as I have mentioned above, it is this lesson which is learnt invariably first and the one lesson which resonates beyond all others. So often we are in their hands when it comes to being taught about love. So, what is this taught love? It has so many, many facets.

Love is being told to never trust anybody.

Love is being made to re-write the entire essay because of one spelling mistake.

Love is being sent to stand outside on a cold winter’s day until all three verses of Ode to Autumn are recited correctly.

Love is knowing nothing is ever good enough.

Love is understanding that someone else knows better than you what is best for you.

Love is turning away from the reality.

Love is standing straight against a wall for several hours for speaking out of turn.

Love is for the weak.

Love is being told that when I am gone nobody else will look out for you.

Love is succeeding.

Love is building a wall as high as possible.

Love is trying until it hurts and gaining that final curt nod of approval.

Love is being seen and not heard.

Love is fulfilling your potential and securing that legacy.

Love is hurting you even though it hurts me, but someone in this household has to do it and it won’t be him will it?

Love is reading to yourself than being read to.

Love is living in the shadows and hoping not to be noticed.

Love is being the best.

Love is the preserve of the powerful.

Love is being denied a birthday party because the other children are too stupid.

Love is being undermined in order to prevent conceit.

Love is a begrudged recognition and the injunction to try harder, go further, climb higher, run faster, study longer.

Love is burning your hand but not crying.

Love is a righteous beating.

Love is being distant and pretending things never happened.

Love is being sent away.

Love is not being told.

Love is splendid isolation.

Love was taught this way.

 

Becky (an ex girlfriend) would turn to me and some times say,

“I just feel like your puppet at times.”

I had to look the other way because I wanted to laugh. My nickname for her was poppet. She loved me calling her that. I used it straight away when we first met. It was actually a useful device as the other lady I was seeing, Susan, received that nickname from me too, but she was on the way out. It meant I could call them both poppet and not mix up their names with the invariable histrionics that would ensue. God, I am good.

What Becky had not realised that my calling her poppet was a corruption of puppet and every time I used it I would be laughing inwardly and beaming outwardly. She thought I was just smiling because I was pleased to be with her.

That is what it is all about. Making you my puppet. This is my aim. This is the means to my end of obtaining my fuel from you. As you will no doubt becoming familiar with, the means always justifies the end. Accordingly, by ensuring you become my puppet I am in the optimum position to control you to extract every drop of fuel I can from you.

I need to control you so that you admire me when I want it. I need to control you so that I can pull the strings and make you jerk to my tune. I am the puppetmaster.

To make you my puppet I engage on a two-pronged approach. Firstly, I make you utterly dependent on me. I open the doors and let you look upon heaven. That way you are in awe of what I can give you and you want it, oh you really, really want it. Secondly, I will then remove every method of support both real and potential that you might rely on to try and recover your free will (family, friends, colleagues and so on – I will be posting about how I do this through my slur campaign in a separate post) so that you have nobody to turn to. Thus, as you look on heaven entranced and enraptured, I am opening the trapdoor to hell right under your feet.

Once I have those strings attached to you we can begin our dance. It is long. It is exhausting. It is dangerous.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.”