I am driven by envy. You might wonder how someone who is naturally superior to everyone else could be envious of other people. After all, if they are inferior what is there to be jealous about? Therein lies the problem. Since I perceive most other people as inferior, if I find that they have something better than what I have, I immediately find myself angry. How dare they have a car that is more attractive than mine, they have no right to that. The anger rises inside and I must lash out. In the example given I will find some reason to denigrate their vehicle by adversely commenting on it. I will then puncture a tyre later or run a key down the paintwork. Once I have spoiled it I feel a tremendous relief and the power washes over me in an awesome way.
I am always looking around for the better deal, the trade-up and the improvement. Meet me at a drinks party and I will half-listen to you drone on until I can start talking about my achievements to you. All the while, I am looking over your shoulder to see if there is someone more interesting I can talk to, someone who is better known than you and will make me good. If I see such a target talking to someone I know, the envy rises again. Why are they giving that loser such attention and not me? Does that mean they regard me as people that fool? I cannot have that. I leave you and march over, barging into the conversation and grabbing the hand of my target for a firm handshake.
If I find someone has a larger television than me or one that is technologically superior, I must ensure I immediately buy one to beat theirs. It does not matter if the existing television is only six months old, I am jealous and I must address that envy immediately to state my superiority. I will look to improve my position and if possible, reduce yours. Doing both gives me a delicious sense of omnipotence that courses through me.
This is a never-ending process.My green eyes are flicking left and right as I seek out the larger, the bigger, the faster, the ore attractive, the higher, the sleeker, the more expensive and the superior. Upwards I must go driven by need to outsmart all around me. Yes it can be tiring and it is certainly expensive but nobody remembers who comes second do they ? My engine of envy drives me forward in my mission of improvement and betterment and surely that is a good thing, yes ?
Ah, you recall those heady days during the golden period when nothing was too much trouble for me? Breakfast would be brought to you in bed. I would take your dog for a walk without being asked. I would leave those little love notes hidden around the house for you to find after your trip away. I would walk into the countryside and pick flowers for you to hand over to you with my dimpled smile. Something upset you? I would listen on the telephone or drive across to listen as you cried and emptied your heart. I was on hand, on time and on your side.
After a few months, longer if you are really lucky, my helpfulness and ever present assistance has eroded. If you ask me to do something you will be met with a sigh and a roll of the eyes and I may just do it. More likely I vanish when chores are required. I never answer the phone when you desperately need to speak to me to discuss your bad day at work. I flat refuse to do the things that I always did for you and indeed I will even deny that I ever did them. To reinforce this stark withdrawal of my services I will then always query what have you done for me? I will trot out the list of things that I have done for you (adding some fabricated ones in for good measure – go on, try and suggest I am making them up and see what happens next). Isn’t it curious how I have a foggy memory about agreeing to pain the fence yet I can recall with amazing recall the date, manner and duration of each and everything that I have done for you. I only ever did it so I could hook you and then throw it back in your face. Of course, as with everything I do, you frantically try to fathom out what has happened and to steer us back to my useful and helpful period. Thus the dance goes on.
Everyone is familiar with the adage, out of sight,out of mind. That does not quite apply to us. During our seduction phase we need to know that you are repeatedly there. It is almost constant. We assail you with a battery of texts and telephone messages and we demand instant replies. We want you to leave voice mail messages which we will listen to over and over. We are delighted (and also need) to find our mobile waiting with a message from you when we first wake up. We want to arrive at work and check the voicemail thereto find the first message waiting is an overnight declaration of love and admiration from you. If we do not hear from you, in some shape or form for a short period of time and by short I mean fifteen minutes or so, then we believe you have ceased to exist and that you no longer want us. That means that our fuel has suddenly vanished and this leaves us on edge, jittery and restless. Of course, with this being the section phase we do not act in any way horrible (that as you know comes later). Thus there are no texts of “where are you?” or “why are you ignoring me?” instead we will send these beauties:-
“I know fifteen minutes might not seem long but when I don’t hear from you it feels like an eternity”
“How are you? I am fine but my day will improve so much when I hear from you”
“Our connection is so deep that I need to feel in constant contact with you. Can’t wait for your message.”
“Quick,tell me something good in just one word”
You will regard these messages as sweet and delightful. This approach also serves to ensure that you will keep your ‘phone available at all times. Have you noticed how you keep checking it during dinner with your friends? How about the fact you now keep popping out of meetings just to make a short call or send me a message? Consider how you are not watching the sports match as intently since you are texting me? You may think it is another example of how lovely I am, but in reality it is to feed out need for attention and condition you to do it for us. Of course, as with many of my early actions, it also allows me to withdraw this behaviour in the devalue stage.
The bedroom is one of my favourite rooms. One of my ex-girlfriends used to call it the torture chamber. Another called it the freezer. Their appellations amused me. I don’t like to be touched. Dr O has suggested this is because that touch reminds me too much of what I am missing. I laughed at her remark. I prefer not to be touched, so how on earth would I miss that? I soon learned in the bedroom however that there was an expectancy to touch and hold. At first I would go along with this ritual but I soon tired of it and the thought of ‘spooning’ made me gag. I then learned however that my dislike of being touched and touching was actual a very useful weapon. I initially refrained from touching purely because I did not like it. No more. No less. The person in bed with me however would make such a scene about it that I learned they had to be touched or held to affirm that I felt something for them. Accordingly, by withholding any form of contact this would really upset them. It was marvellous. I was able to turn an idiosyncrasy of mine into a tool to cause upset and distress. If I refused to cuddle up (I’m shuddering just typing that) then I would be met with loud sighs and pleading requests. This emboldened me to not even face their way. In fact, I would lie looking at them and then purposefully turn my back on them. Moments later the sobbing would start and I would feel the power flowing through me before I drifted off to sleep. From what they told me, they endured many a lonely night trying to sleep. If they tried to place an arm around me, I would shrug it off or if really irritated (and this was a body blow) I would get up and sleep in the spare room. I love doing this. Not only do I get to really isolate the other person but then I can criticise them in the morning for forcing me from my bed and into the spare room. That gives me a delightful boost as I butter my toast.
Dr O asked me how I choose to lash out. I corrected her straight away. I do not lash out. That suggests a loss of control. I do not lose control. She accepted my point. I think she is beginning to realise who has the greater intellect in these sessions and is bowing to my superiority. I also noticed she was wearing a short skirt again. I think she is doing that in an attempt to distract me when we are having a discussion. Not so fast good doctor, your legs are good, defined and toned but their comely diversion is not going to win you this battle. Having conceded her error she tried again and asked when I wish to hurt somebody what method do I most often use to do so? This interested me as I had never considered that I have one that I use most often since I like to deploy the entire arsenal I have available. Not all at once, but over time with those who have injured me. Of course, certain weapons are not applicable in some scenarios. After all, I am hardly going to withdraw from bedding a colleague of the same sex am I?
Sometimes it is rage, other times I withdraw affection or sex. On other occasions it is belittling or odious comparisons to others. Then again, I may commence an affair and lack any discretion in doing so. I might decide to break or throw away a precious possession or spread some nasty comments. There is a wide range of harmful actions I might take. I sat thinking these through prompting Dr O to ask “Have I stumped you, you have fallen silent.”
I smiled as realisation dawned. The method I used the most was the silent treatment. It is fantastic. It requires minimal effort (always a good thing) and can be used immediately. What I like most about it is the fact that the recipient will have no idea whatsoever why I am doing it. This really messes with their mind. They cannot understand why I will not communicate with them as they cannot work out what they have done to receive this treatment. If they had any understanding of me, they would just walk away and let me get on with it. That would annoy me as they would no longer be giving me any attention so I would halt the silent treatment as it was no longer working. Instead, they HAVE to know and understand why I have gone silent. It burrows into their minds and twists away as they ask question after question. I can see them wracking their brains to establish what has caused this treatment. I see them mentally flicking through what has been said and done, ascertaining different scenarios as they helplessly grope for an answer. The not knowing slaughters them. I can keep it up for weeks if need be and the longer it goes on the more desperate they are to achieve an answer. Their increasing frustration fuels me and spurs me on to maintain this condition. Marvellous. I have broken several people this way and when I choose to end the silence, their eruption of gratitude fills me with a huge sense of power.
Yes, this weapon of choice really is the silent killer.
One of the reasons I chose you is that I know you have this overwhelming, almost insatiable need to know. I am fully aware of this and I utilise it to my advantage. When I have cast you aside (or even on the rarest of occasions you decided to leave me) I always find someone else pretty quickly. I need to. I also make sure that you find out about this with one of my Relationship Bulletins (see separate post). I know you will find out about this relationship because you cannot help but keep an eye on what I am doing. You will check my Facebook page, you will follow me on Twitter (with an obscure handle of course). I know you talk to mutual friends and casually try and ascertain what I am doing, pretending that you don’t really care when inside it is eating away at you as you have to know.
Why do you do this? What is it that you desperately need to know? You need to know if I am happy with my new relationship. You are doubting yourself as you wonder why I am in love with her and not you. You cannot help but wonder at that. The thought manifests in your mind repeatedly. You see the pictures of me coiled around my new girlfriend, beaming smiles lighting up the page and you immediately query what has she got that I haven’t? Try and deny it, but I know this is precisely what you are thinking.
What makes it even worse is that my new-found love is posting updates about how happy she is and how wonderful I am. This makes you remember our golden period and I know you still hanker for a return to that. You still want to have that with me again and you wonder if it will be permanent with this new person. Perhaps she has some magic ingredient that will cause that intoxicating, spellbinding honeymoon period to continue forever. You try to convince yourself that she has not and that the wheel will come off eventually. Yet why do you still keep checking and foraging for more information about my new lady and me? What you need to realise is that the reason it did not succeed was down to you. You broke it. You spoilt it. Your obsessive questioning of me and your unbridled jealousy damaged that wonderful relationship we once had and look where it has left you? Alone and obsessing over my every move. It is a powerful, nagging itch and one you cannot scratch away.
In one of our sessions Dr E asked me to tell him what one of my favourite games was. I replied that he was presuming that I played games. He apologised and asked me what was one of my favourite things to do. I replied that I enjoy playing games. He started to sigh but managed to stifle it (that reminded me of an ex-girlfriend Becky, she used to do that a lot. She was quite sensible as she knew that sighing infuriates me. It suggests boredom. How can anyone be bored with me around?) and then asked what one of my favourites games was. I said I did not have a favourite game because I only played one game. He nodded and asked me what it was.
I explained that I love to confuse people. He invited me to elaborate. I was happy to do so. I explained that I derived enjoyment from seeing people bewildered and perplexed. I would, for example, accuse them of ignoring me. They would protest and explain that they had been regularly texting me. I would point out a gap between the texts, say of fifteen minutes (which is an eternity when I am waiting for a reply) and show that as clear evidence of them ignoring me. They would frown and state that I had not been in contact with them for a week and that was ignoring somebody. I would then tell them they were trying to pin their own problem on me and that they would regularly do this, that it was hurtful and if they loved me, as they said they did, they would not behave in such a way. I would explain therefore that they must not love me. They would then protest that they did love me yet maintain they had not ignored me. I would accuse them of hypocrisy and walk away. A quick glance over my shoulder would confirm to me, by the puzzled, anguished expression on their face, that they were indeed confused.
Alternatively, I might arrange to meet someone for dinner and then not show up. They would call me and ask where I was. I always ignore the first two telephone calls. On taking the third and listening to them demand to know where I was (because their temper was rising at this point) I would calmly point out that they had got the date wrong, that I was engaged elsewhere (although I usually was not) and why had they interrupted what I was doing to chastise me for their mistake? They would at first insist I was wrong, but I would calmly explain that I was not. How could I be wrong? I had another engagement and therefore would not have agreed to meet them for dinner when already engaged. I would feel that rush of excitement as the doubt crept into their voice. This encouraged me. I would then point out that they were clearly having some kind of memory lapse, probably bought on by excessive drinking and I would counsel them to moderate their consumption and indeed seek help. In some instances (Samantha was a prime proponent of this) she would shout and lose her temper. I would explain then that I could not deal with her when she was like this and not to call me until she had calmed down. I would then end the call and bask in my delight. It sometimes got even better when others would apologise and the piece de resistance would be when they would meekly say “Sorry, you might be right.” Bullseye! I would remind them I always am and would then let them end the call with another apology.
I spent three hours taking Doctor E through my many derivations and variations of this game. He only interrupted me when his secretary reminded me that he had another appointment. He was clearly fascinated to learn about this game that I play. After his secretary had exited the room he looked at me and asked me if I had a name for this game. I confessed that I had not (which irked me as he had found something I had not thought of) and I immediately raced through my mind a variety of names I might attach to my game. Before I could settle on one, Dr E told me had a name for it. I was curious (although I feigned disinterest by saying nothing) and waited. He said nothing.
“Well, what is it then?” I snapped, irritated by his dilatory response.
“It’s called Gaslighting.”
I nodded. I had a name for my game. I liked it but I didn’t thank him, he has probably seen it as a name of a shop or a book and pinched it. His type is a flagrant pilferer of other’s ideas. I didn’t muse on the source of the appellation, the important thing was that my game now had its own name. Gaslighting.
Reach into the mind of a narcissist and see what reaches back
I cannot stand to be criticised. I do not remember a lot about my childhood but I do recall that I tried very hard to ensure that my parents, in particular my mother were proud of me. This was difficult. She set high standards which of course were for my own good and to ensure that I strove to be the best because as she told me, I was the best. If I fell short then her scathing criticism of me left me crushed. I felt like my insides had been ripped out and waved about in front of my face and I needed to extinguish that feeling fast.
That sensation of utter devastation if I am criticised has never left me. In discussion with Dr O I have learned that it blossoms from two things. The first is that this feeling of massive vulnerability and wretchedness still persists and I cannot stand it. I think this is peculiar to me because God has made me brilliant but He wishes to remind me of my mortality and therefore causes me to feel such an horrendous pain when I am attacked. It sickens me and leaves me wracked with agony. The second is the fact that I should not be criticised and especially not by those who are beneath me. I cannot fathom out how those who are inferior to me have any standing by which they can actually pass judgement on me. That is entirely valid and logical. However, this second element ignites inside me something which I have learned overrides the devastation and that is important to me. The sense of injustice and indignation that arises from this undue and unnecessary criticism ignites a fury that is immense. It explodes inside me with unrivalled speed and then erupts with such violence that the initial wretchedness I feel is blown away within moments. I need this rage. I need it to extinguish the horror of the devastation. It needs to burn with such magnificent fury that it strengthens me again. This rage cannot however sit inside of me. It must be poured out and directed. You criticised me, you created the devastation and thus you must feel my immense rage in order for the devastation to be obliterated. In that time you will be obliterated too by my anger, my rage and my fury. But that is collateral damage to my need to remove the emptiness inside. You caused my pain so you must feel the cure. I can see it is unpleasant for you, the shouting, the venom, the accusations and vitriol that I send in your direction. Sometimes the cure erupts from my fists. I cannot help it as I must let the rage burn to remove the emptiness. You can help it though ; don’t criticise me.
When I first seduce you, you I will tell you with such great earnest that I want to be your world. I really do mean that. I want to create the world that you live in. I want to formulate your reality so that it is shaped to what I want and thus it will grant me what I require far more readily. I achieve this (and believe me I always succeed because as I keep telling you, I chose you because you are grade A material for my machinations) through a number of means. My total seduction of you results in all your focus falling on me. You will ignore what others say to you. You will hear only my voice. You only want to hear my voice. I will carefully an methodically remove your support networks so there can be no outside interference from the real world, in the reality that I am creating for you. With the distractions utilised and your mind set on me and nothing else, you are a blank canvas for me to weave my magic upon.
Utilising my trusty friend silent treatment I will have you anxious. I will throw in the occasional bout of unprovoked rage which will similarly heighten your anxiety and ensure you want to avoid any repetition in the future. I will then push and pull and push and pull, just as I might if I were kneading some dough until you have delightfully pliable and malleable. You will begin to see the world through my eyes because you will want to ensure you know the right thing to do. You will second guess me. I will play my games (gaslighting as I recently learnt) so that you are perplexed, doubtful and your sense of self-worth disappears down the plughole. You become utterly reliant on me for anything and everything so that I become your world. See what a magnificent world you and me have created together. The astonishing thing is that you don’t even realise what is happening to you as this world of mine springs up around you. Suddenly, it is complete and you are stuck inside it. Scream as loud as you like because this world is soundproofed.