Ever So Silent

 

I think I have said enough. I wish you would think the same. You have never shut up asking me about my day at work as I try to watch the sport on television. On and on you have gone asking question after question. It makes me wonder why you are so bloody interested. Fishing for something are you? Trying to catch me out? You won’t do that. I am cleverer than you. Much cleverer. What I do at work is nothing to do with you and you won’t find out about my plans there until such time as I decide that you should know. And it isn’t time, so I wish you would just be quiet and let me watch this game. You keep on going, talking over my television viewing which tells me that you regard my viewing experience as unimportant and that tells me you obviously think I am not important and you really ought to know by now that I am important. I hate you doing this. I can feel the burning from your selfish and treacherous action and it is paining me, but I know what to do. I know how to stop this pain and believe me I am going to do it and do it now.

You never know when to shut up do you? I suppose you think you are being plessant asking me how my day has been, but you don’t care, you just do it for the sake of appearances, to make you look good, the caring and interested partner. I know your game. I have you worked out, you are a fraud. Yap, yap, yap,like some irritating puppy around my ankles, on and on you go. Just shut up will you? I cannot concentrate with your wasp like buzzing around me.

“How is the new recruit getting on?”

“How is the project developing?”

“Where did you go for that business lunch? Was it good? What did you have to eat? Who was it with?”

Just shut up. No, you are still chattering away. I don’t think you are even waiting for an answer are you? Just asking questions to seem like you are involving me in the conversation when all you are doing is engaging in another of your pointless and egotistical monologues. Do you know how boring you sound? If I wasn’t trying to concentrate on this match I think I would slip into a coma listening to you drone on with your worthless opinions and your anodyne observations.

Just shut up. No? Very well. I will. No, I am not saying anything. I am not even going to nod, shake my head or make an affirmative grunt. Nothing. A total silence.

My goodness me, you have stopped. Perhaps you have remembered that you need to breathe? Ah, excellent you have noticed that I no longer appear to be listening. Believe me, I am listening and I am doing so with considerable attentiveness, because I need to listen to what is coming my way. Let me guess, I think you will lead with “are you listening to me?” any second now and yes, there it is as predicted. I am not going to answer. Go on, repeat the question and true to form you do so. Now I have your attention haven’t I? I can see you from the corner of my eye as I stare at the screen pretending that the figures running around with the ball are more interesting than you. They are not because what you are starting to do is what I am interested in. I can see you leaning forward, trying to catch my eye. I know you are there but I am not going to acknowledge you. Sometimes you throw something towards me to get my attention, usually a cushion. It is not a nasty action,not like when I throw things at you. That reminds me, I must replace that coffee mug which I hurled at you. You were light on your toes that day as it sailed past and smashed against the wall. Anyway, that was last week and this is now and I can hear you asking the question a third time. Will it be the cushion? No, you have chosen to stand up instead. Gosh, you must be looking to assert some authority from the get go.

“I am talking to you.”

I know that you are but I am not answering you but already I can hear the mounting irritation in your voice and already I can feel the flames rising inside of me as they burn away the cold, harsh iciness of your criticism. That pain is already receding.

“Will you answer me please?”

No I will not. I have to turn my head so you do not see my smirk at your attempt to be commanding. It amuses me. I can see your hands move to your hips and I half expect you to stamp the ground with your foot.

“What’s the matter? Why won’t you answer me?”

The voice rises higher, signalling your anxiety and frustration and the flames continue to build inside of me. I maintain the stony faced expression, ink black eyes staring at the screen. I can see the movement on the television but it as if I am watching it from very far away as all that I am concentrating on now is your voice and the continuing delicious flaming sensation that is sweeping across me.

“Why are you not answering me?”

The questions have altered now haven’t they? A switch from your nosiness about my work to you now asking why I have fallen silent. You can keep asking and I know you will. You will go on for some time. You will storm out of the room trying to force a response from me, but your slammed door just keeps the flames burning. You will come back in. you always do. You will return contrite and apologising although you won’t know what you are trying to apologise for. Still, that won’t stop you going through a carousel of reasons in the hope of breaking my silence.

“Did I upset you?”

“Did I say something wrong?”

“Did I not listen to you?”

“Did I say something offensive?”

“Please, what did I do wrong?”

“Please will you just talk to me?”

“I hate this. I hate falling out. What is that I have done?”

Every time you ask these questions, the pain and concern in your voice keeps adding to the sense of power that I am feeling. The wound you created has long since closed and now I am savouring the growing power that courses through me. You have no idea what you are doing as you try, as you always do, to make things right. I will stay seated here, not even looking at you. You won’t try and stand in front of me whilst I am watching the television. You will not dare do that or switch it off. You remember what happened last time when you did that don’t you and I know you won’t be in a hurry to experience that again. I can sit and revel in my power over you and you just keep adding to it with your pitiful and plaintive questions. You will try to find out what is wrong, you will blame yourself next and start to apologise as you scramble to guess what it is that you have done wrong in the hope that you stumble on the right subject matter and make things rights. But you will fail. Then you move on to trying to bribe me into speaking to you, suggesting we go out, or my friends come round for drinks tomorrow night or that you will cook me something special. Keep at it, I won’t respond. I will not even look at you. You are completely invisible to me as far as you are concerned.

     I wonder how long I will maintain this silence with you? You haven’t worked out what to do yet, I am pleased to say. You keep on asking, pestering and questioning, driven by your own anxiety that causes you to want to ascertain what has happened and make things right. This means you might break off for half an hour but then you resume, trying a different tack. If all you knew you had to so was do exactly what I am doing and it would stop. Go silent and get on with what you want to do and I will start speaking to you and acknowledging you once again as I consider a different manipulation to use against you to gather my precious fuel. Fortunately, your empathic nature which means you want to understand and you want to fix and heal, will make you hang in there and all the while you provide me with fuel and power me. So long as you do so, so long the silence will continue.

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36 thoughts on “Ever So Silent”

  1. And after 44 (almost 45) years of marriage, my mother has my father trained to NOT ask questions…in fact, he goes & hides in the basement when she gets home.

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  2. I could make the movie in my mind! So enjoyable to read and get the message…
    Part of respect is to not interrupt when somebody is busy with something else. Daddy taught me that..
    Women specially fail to do that. I have some colleagues that even if they see you are concentrated on an email or other they just come with a request or question without asking if I have time. I never say no and stop what Im doing but I do know its the same people doing thaf to everybody. They dont have many fans
    To reconize the need of the other for silence is a virtue to be developped and its very important. It also allows to listen to the soul.
    Great posting as always 😘😘😘

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  3. Seriously!!?? One day it’s a blog on how you want our undivided attention, 100% of the time. Here appears a normal conversation following a day’s work and one partner trying to engage and share the day. You’re getting positive, doting fuel here until you go silent. What was really happening in that mind of yours? This also reminds me of your blog from a long time ago about switching from nice to ice in a blink of an eye. One day you spend a wonderful day with your loved one. The next, the wall is up and you go silent.
    What really happened here? If it was a stressful day at work, can’t you just say “I need quiet time tonight. I just don’t want to deal with anything and lose myself in the game. You’ll be the first to know when I feel like talking.”
    Or, is a devalue beginning here? Did you source out potential new fuel that you’re thinking would be better primary and enjoyed a day of flirting, do you need to shut down current primary and drown her out so you can mentally enjoy your high with potentially someone new?
    About 2 years ago, after an especially nice time together, JN shared he had been having anxiety attacks and had to go to the doctor for a prescription. It made me feel especially close to him and it was a really nice talk.
    True to form, he then went silent for almost 2 weeks. I let it go for a few days, but then tried nice texts at first just to check in. Finally after 2 weeks I popped off about his rudeness to which I then got a nasty text back about how annoying I’m being and “Jesus Christ can’t I have some space?”. I felt he was punishing me for him hating that he felt some intimacy with me for sharing something so personal. I told him I was just trying to show my concern for his well being in a good way. Then I went silent. 3 days later, i got one of his “Sorry” texts.
    So was it really a matter your mood just snaps, and one minute we’re attentive and you soak it all in. The next it is just completely aggravating to you?
    What could she have done to prevent your silent treatment in this scenario?

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    1. She was failing to recognise I wanted to watch television and was therefore criticising my needs by failing to regard them as important, hence my reaction. She could have avoided it by realising beforehand and shutting up.

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      1. Fiiiiinnneee! Lol
        Again, you are Mr. Articulate with your command of the English language. Remotes have this thing called a PAUSE button. You can pause your sports show for 5 seconds to nicely say you’ll fill her on your day when your game is over. Oh and btw thanks for caring and doting on me.
        That kind of silent treatment is never necessary. Nope. No how. No way. 😝

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      2. No. If you listen and do it my way…no problems. Remember Mommie Dearest and “no wire hangers everrrrr”? With MLA Dearest, No. Silent. Treatments. Ever.

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      3. What do I propose? In this specific scenario? On the premise that this has not become a regular occurrence and you’re still endearing to me and I’m still the Smitten Kitten with you?
        Ok, insert MLA in said house with H.G. being all quiet and sulky watching his game in the other room and not answering when I try to talk about our day.
        MLA will “shut up” but I will still gently communicate so you know I’m respecting your space and will patiently wait for your mood to pass and enjoy your game.
        I’d write a note on a paper airplane and shoot it to bong you on the head during a commercial break. The note will read:
        “Hi there! I noticed this really cute guy watching the Sox play. I’m a huge fan too! How about that? Maybe after the game, you’ll let me make you a drink and you can tell me about your day.
        From the Cute Girl at the other end of the room”
        Now if you don’t think that’s sweet that’s on you.

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  4. “To reconize the need of the other for silence is a virtue to be developped and its very important. It also allows to listen to the soul.” – Nikita London

    These are wonderful words and insights that you share here. As with anything however, we cannot honor in another what we do not honor in ourselves, and I think this is important to recognize. To truly honor another unconditionally we cannot place matter on our differences of meaning, which in turn means that through the unconditional acceptance of our own self, we are open to mutable meanings of our own needs and perspectives.

    Of course in the scenario that HG is presenting in this post, this type of dynamic is not occurring, and when in the throes and deep trenches of an abusive relationship, where by the only means of connection is through the connection of abuse itself, it can be extremely difficult to have awareness to the reality of what is taking place.

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    1. Hi F&R
      Nice words thanks. Its true that I developped this for the others but not exactly ” a l’envers” 😖… Have to work on it!!! Cant imagine the face of my colleagues ” can you please come later” with a cold, serious look 😂😂.

      On the other side to Bethany and your comment.
      Yes its a clearly a abusive relationship the one described in the posting, I suppose with a long background of abuse and boundary breaking behaviours, but in this case the abuse was triggered because of the lack of respect of allowing the other person to watch the game in silence.
      Of course we are only getting a screenshot of the situation and cam just see the 1:1 action -reactiom. I suppose the action of the one who initiated the abuse by talking, talking, talking when its not necessary is preceded by some other kind of abuse like Bethany says ” methodically mind fucking”.
      Its a snowball or chained reactions and at the end you dont know anymore where it started sadly.

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      1. I hit her because she made me do it.

        I threw a plate across the room at you because you asked me a question while I was trying to read the paper.

        I kicked the dog because she was in my way.

        You’re justifying abuse.

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      2. Me???? Of course not. But in this story both people are abusive. I had a BDP friend and I saw this exact behaviour several times. Replace the TV by fixing a bike or whatever. Its is abuse hiddem behind ” i want to know how your day was” . Or I want to know what you think about this urgently, its for the kids.

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      3. Do you consider that abusive? I can see where in certain scenarios that could be deemed inconsiderate but calling that abusive appears a stretch to me.

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      4. If it is like its told in the blog. It is abusive. To start with its very disrespectful if somebody is watching something interesting in the TV, fixing a bike, painting her nails or any activity that provides pleasure, and you are constantly interrupted and not acknowledge the feelings or needs of the others is abusive Bethany.
        “On and on you have gone asking question after question”.
        and I suppose for such a reaction this was done repetitively.
        Its a total negligence for the other.
        Again I am not justifying the abusive behaviour of the other one but yes, interrupt somebody when he is resting is very disrespectful, more than once is abusive.

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  5. Hmmmm I wonder how’d you respond if your significant other never asked how your day was and busied herself in another area of the home while you enjoyed watching your game? I’m comfortable with silence, have little interest in the details of what occurs in my husband’s work day, and dislike watching sports or being in the same room while a game is on. I’m sure a N would berate me for not caring and accuse me of selfishness. You really can’t win with your kind!

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    1. Its true. In an abusive relationship probably if you ask is wrong and if you dont ask is wrong.. But definetly not when a man is watching sports !!! 😂😂

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  6. Nikita …

    Isnt there a wide and vast chasm of difference between respecting another’s space to watch a show versus being deliberately and methodically mind fucked as sport and entertainment in the quest for power?

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  7. HG, this post is a strong dose of that foulest medicine you prescribe. It leaves me sputtering and heaving. It is highly triggering. I will be thinking about this a lot today. I hope to share something meaningful later.

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  8. “…Go silent and get on with what you want to do and I will start speaking to you and acknowledging you once again as I consider a different manipulation to use against you to gather my precious fuel…”
    It would never matter. Games.
    We are but a pawn in your multitude of ever changing rules…sometimes we make it easier with our eagerness and so less of a challenge for the need for you to be so creative.

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  9. “Say Something”

    Say something, I’m giving up on you
    I’ll be the one if you want me to
    Anywhere I would’ve followed you
    Say something, I’m giving up on you

    And I… am feeling so small
    It was over my head
    I know nothing at all
    And I… will stumble and fall
    I’m still learning to love
    Just starting to crawl

    Say something, I’m giving up on you
    I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
    Anywhere I would’ve followed you
    Say something, I’m giving up on you

    And I… will swallow my pride
    You’re the one that I love
    And I’m saying goodbye

    Say something, I’m giving up on you
    And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
    And anywhere I would’ve followed you (Oh-Ooh)
    Say something, I’m giving up on you

    Say something, I’m giving up on you
    Say something…

    I had an hour of windshield time to reflect on this post that first triggered anger and then deep deep sadness. This song came on I think this lyric says it best:

    I love you and I’m saying Goodbye.

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  10. You know, we could sum this up by saying that in order to be in a healthy relationship it requires commitment to ongoing authentic dialogue – in conjunction – with the authentic dialogue at the onset of relation. Most people do not consider these types of scenarios when entering in partnership with another, partly because they are swept away in self delusion, deception,and for the most part are not aware of what their own needs are. The scenario presented here does show ( along with many other things, however I am focusing on this one particular aspect as it seems to be what is being focused on here) an invasion and lack of regard for anothers need, choice, preference ect. A healthy union is two separate people making a choice to walk side beside, which means in most ways that it requires an openness to co- create what works for the two separate individuals as to not diminish their autonomy, which can and is an interference to an individuals life path, goals, personal peace ect, of which nothing should be allowed to get in the way of. Knowing this about oneself does not mean they are a narcissist or abusive. The reaction showcased in this post is however abusive, yes.. The writing style here always blurs lines. Kudos! – as it provides the opportunity for not only the writer but the reader to deconstruct, which gives way to normalizing feelings, emotions, thoughts and their counterparts- behaviours, which have been skewed as abnormal. A couple may not want to sleep in the same bed, take holidays together, have a tv in a common room, have different diets, different religions, not awake at the same time, decompress from their days in an opposite fashion, have different understanding about their own need for silence and noise, the list goes on and on, and can also change over time. These types of conversations occur at the onset of relation so that the parties can move forward in freedom without the anxiety that is created when one is not revered and celebrated in their individual state of being, as they can feel the claws of possessory love taking hold of them. The concept of Love is a completely different conversation. Love yourself.

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    1. Wow! Just wow! This is sooo like it is, soo spot on, sooo true!!!
      Possesion creates anxiety, defensiveness etc because we are born and will die as individuals.
      Great great comment

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  11. “I know you are there but I am not going to acknowledge you.”

    I was faced with that attitude several times. But I never ever kept asking him “What’s going on?” or the like. I asked exactly one time and if he did not react, ignored me, stone-walled or tried to gas-light me, I just mirrored his behaviour and thereby projected it back onto him. Ie if he ignored me, I left the room or even the appartment and busied myself with something else: reading, listening to music, writing or drawing, phoning up a friend, chatting and laughing over the phone with that other person – he hated it when I did THAT – doing my nails, slipping into a beautiful dress and going out to town without informing him where I’d go and for how long I’d be gone. He never followed be, but when I came back, I’d go back to normal (as if nothing had even happened), I’d act as if I were happy and relaxed (and sometimes I really was, because it was such a relief to escape his presence, albeit momentarily).

    Usually, he’d be quite welcoming and sociable at my return. If I had stayed in his appartment, I’d usually stay in another room or calmly ignored him until HE would come back to me to talk or otherwise get in touch with me again.

    Following this, I never (!) adressed anything in that particular moment and he didn’t either. I’d keep that for a more appropriate, later moment, like when he’d address the situation himself – mostly on a different day and in a different context. Typically after making love or when he started ‘folie à deux’ conversations or a pity ploy on how his boss was mobbing him or his ex-wife was draining him financially. That’s when he usually inserted some sort of half-apology (which I didn’t even ask for, but he seemed to be eager to deliver it):

    “You know, if they weren’t mobbing me in that way, I wouldn’t have reacted as I did yesterday.”

    “If my ex-wife/XYZ weren’t such a trouble-maker right now, I would have reacted differently with you yesterday.

    “If I didn’t have to deal with that depression/CPTS/new meditation, I could have reacted in a more normal way. But I was cut from my feelings for you yesterday.”

    I usually just replied: “That’s ok. I know something went wrong for you. I didn’t want to be faced with that icy mood though. That’s why I left. I do not take it personally, but it hurt me and it makes me doubt the relationship.”

    When I let things pass by and him get away with bad behaviour in that way, he was usually very relieved and reinstalled a short golden period again. I thought to myself “he has that warped way of dealing with conflicts, that’s because of his childhood abuse he endured. I can’t fight that with words, only with my (non) reactions. One time, he even said: “You have such a high IQ and EQ. Especially EQ! I love that about you.”

    That was after we had sailed through one of those terribly emotionally abusive moments. Of course, this was a crazy, nerve-wrecking, exhausting and terribly draining roller-coaster ride! It sucked my soul and life-force out of me. It left me energetically depleted every time. But I knew how to ride those aleatory waves of abuse all-too-well, because I’d been conditioned by my Cluster B mum in my childhood.

    Him and I played out the exact same patterns as in our childhoods (from what I know, his father’s was a narc and his mom was the co-dependent enabler; his oder brother was the golden child but went into freeze/protection mode and developped a dependent personality). We even spoke about all that occasionally. But we were totally unable to break the patterns while staying enmeshed in that way!

    That’s why I left and stayed away for 1.5 years now. I wish him well though, because I know he too is suffering in his particular way, which is different from my pain, but possibly the greater pain.

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  12. I do not miss being treated like this. I was not allowed to ask questions. I was not allowed to repeat myself for any reason. If I asked a question it was attributed to me trying to catch him at something. I am so thankful I have feelings, emotions, and regard for other humans. I will never let a person like this near me again.

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