The period of devaluation will feel like an ongoing onslaught against you as the various methods of manipulation are deployed against you. We know that it cannot be an unending assault, for no matter how tempting it may be to keep exacting the negative fuel from you as a consequence of your tears, fear, frustration and anger, there is only so much that you can sustain before you decide that enough is enough and you depart. Bringing about such a swift cessation of our primary source of fuel is contrary to our needs and therefore the abusive regime must be rationed in order to provide for the maximum return. Furthermore, if we were to maintain a permanent state of abuse then we would also bring about your failure to function as a reliable appliance. Either you would break under the onslaught or you would eventually become de-sensitised too it and no matter how hard we tried to up the ante, it just would not have the same effect. Whether broken or de-sensitised such a condition results in the interruption to our fuel supply and that is of the paramount importance.
To avoid this happening we will provide various periods of respite during the devaluation phase. This creates the push and pull factor that you become so familiar with. This is what creates the sensation of being strapped to a rollercoaster with no capacity to control its direction or speed. You will be subjected to a silent treatment out of nowhere. One moment you will be relaxing on a Sunday afternoon after a pleasant lunch and then you ask us an innocent question. There is no answer. You ask again in case we have not heard but we remain reading the newspaper. You ask a third time and we fold down a section of the newspaper so that we may peer at you from behind it as that ice-cold glare forms. You are immediately taken aback and your look of hurt and confusion provides the fuel as you ask us what is the matter. Silence. You ask again. Silence. You get up and come over to us and keep asking what is wrong, what is it that you have said, please will we talk to you. More silence. You replay the day so far, in your mind and then you engage in asking us whether when you did this was that what has upset us? Or perhaps when you said something else, is this what has brought this silence on? We of course give you no clues, we provide no answers and your anxiety increases. You move away, desperate to know what it is that has caused the sudden silence but you are wary of irritating us further. You fix us a drink but it is left untouched and then when you next return to the living room we have vanished. You call out through the house and search through it but we cannot be found. Our car has gone from the driveway and you ring our mobile ‘phone. It rings but there is no answer. You keep trying and you also send text messages but there comes no response. This lasts a day, three days or even more and throughout this your anxiety and worry has heightened. All the while we know precisely how you will be reacting and we also see the calls, the texts and we are told by friends that you have been in contact with them worried sick. It all provides fuel.
We then walk back into the house as if nothing has happened and smile at you. We see the relief flood across you and the tears of joy welling in your eyes as yet more fuel comes our way. We hold our arms out and like the child being granted access again to a once angry parent you dart into them, the surge of emotion rippling across you as you feel relieved, delighted and happy. This cessation of the silent treatment, or another form of abusive manipulation that we will deploy during the devaluation stage does not end there. We take it further. We reinstate the golden period so that not only are you so relieved that the horrible silent treatment has ended you become elated that this wonderful period has returned. We treat you like we did during the seduction, telling you how much we love you, we buy you a gift, we help out around the house and arrange to take you somewhere special for dinner. That night we take you to bed and make love to you in that delicious way once again and you sleep soundly, feeling safe and secure once again. You give yourself a pat on the back for having endured the difficult period of our silent treatment because it has been worth it in the end. The golden period has come back. You gently scold yourself for having even been worried and rationalise that we obviously needed some space or it was a reaction to being under considerable stress at work. You may have asked us about why we disappeared and you will not have received the truth. You will have been give plausible platitudes such as
“I’ve a lot on my mind and I need room to think.”
“I had to get out before something terrible happened between us.”
“I need some space to breathe, things have been intense as of late.”
These are just excuses that we know you will accept because you are the forgiving type and besides, we are back and the golden period is as well, so you do not want to do anything to jeopardise that by subjecting us to some kind of inquisition. Indeed, there are times, despite your need to know, that you decide it is better to ask nothing and instead revel in the fact that we have come back. We will act as if nothing has happened and you are content to accept that. Peace is so much more enjoyable than war and what a golden peace it is too.
Whether it is the silent treatment, shouting at you, criticising you, intimidating you, messing about with other women or men or all of them, we will call a halt (and there is no logic as to when this will happen so do not think you can see a sign that it is about to change) when we see fit and end the awful treatment by providing you with respite.
This respite prevents you from upping sticks. It prevents you from failing to function. It maintains our source of fuel. This respite provides the contrast so that the positive fuel arising from your joy, delight and relief is powerful indeed. It also provides the contrast for when the devaluation will commence again and it will, so that the negative fuel that flows takes on renewed potency.
Moreover, these acts of kindness which are scattered throughout the devaluation period as a whole act to bind you to us. You feel relief. You also know, when the abuse begins again, that if you hang in there and try to work things out, the golden period will come back once again, you just have to wait and keep working hard to recover it. You are duped into thinking that its restitution is as a consequence of your clingability and something you have done to please us. It is not. You may as well roll a die and the number will equate to the number of weeks of abuse that you will endure before we switch and provide you with respite. Just like the terrorist who takes civilians hostage and frightens and beats them, he will show an act of kindness by allowing the captive to shower or make a call to a relative. The captive then feels warmth towards their captor, despite what they are doing to the captive overall and this engenders hope that another small act of kindness will be exhibited if the captor is kept onside. You are captive to our narcissistic wiles and just like a hostage you will await these moments of tenderness, kindness and the return of the golden period. You will do what you can to keep us onside so that they can return because we have imbued you with the hope that the golden period will return. Thus you remain bound to us and this will allow us to continue the extraction of fuel. This has to happen for the contrast is required to allow the devaluation to be protracted and to continue to provide the fuel.
You are duped into believing that you can influence us to cause the restoration of the golden period and keep it in place. You cannot. You may as well roll a die and the number that comes up will be the number of weeks that you will endure the particular abusive manipulation or manipulations before we suddenly switch back to a period of respite and the golden period.
You will rejoice when this golden period returns and you are given respite. The reality is that it will only ever be a brief period of rejoicing.