Do you remember those early, heady days when I first began to seduce you? Of course you do. Those moments have been branded into your memory and can never be erased, no matter how hard you try. So wonderful were those initial months of our courtship as we began our dance together that you cannot help but recall them and feel that bittersweet tinge. Many times as you have fought through your devaluation and discard you have harked back to those magical moments as you sought some kind of solace from them. Somehow, as you sat with tear-stained cheeks you would force a smile through the misery as you latched on to remembering the things that I said to you, those beautiful, loving and mesmerising words which gripped your heart and took it heavenward. It was impossible to resist the love-bombing which I unleashed upon you and similarly it is impossible for you to banish those memories as you sit amongst the debris of our relationship wondering what on earth has happened. You can easily be forgiven for seeking refuge from the misery amongst those golden thoughts. It is the obvious thing to do to try and take away the searing pain which now burns you. Naturally, this is all something which I planned and is a natural consequence of becoming entangled with me. Do not feel any shame in the fact that you keep running to those thoughts and taking hold of them as you seek to ease your agony. Keep doing it. All the others did and all the others will.
As you walk through those wonderful thoughts and memories, replaying our time together like an incessant loop of our “best of” moments do you recall what else you did during this seduction? Can you remember something else that was happening as we created these scintillating memories? Yes, I know you can remember, how could you forget? It was one of the many things that I did for you which drew you closer to me and made you fall oh so deeply in love with the illusion. What was it that I did? I made you feel safe. I created that sanctuary and opened the door and ushered you in. I showed you how this gleaming and beautiful paradise was impregnable to the wretched and woeful world beyond. I assured you that being in here with me meant that you need never worry about those things again. I would keep the wailing tormentors from your door and ensure that those things did not trouble you anymore. That was the sole condition for entry into this haven that I had constructed for you. Tell me about those things so I can shield you from them. You had never had someone make such a sacrifice for you before. The way we understood how badly those things affected you. We really seemed to grasp the impact that those things had had upon you as we listened with patience and comprehension. You were hesitant at first, the mere act of recollection being one that caused you consternation. You had no issue in confiding in us, no that was not the issue. We had banished any concerns you may have had about trusting us with these secrets within moments, such was our assured charm. No, what troubled you was bringing those dark memories, those fragile foibles to the surface once again. Yet as the words came from your mouth and the tears trickled down your cheeks you felt the cathartic effect of off-loading all of those things to us. From the minor concerns through to the deep-seated and life changing troubles you conveyed each and every one to us and it felt wonderful to do so. The burden came away from you and for the first time ever you felt freedom from those things as you passed the baton onto us and we readily took it from you. You exorcised those ghosts and stepped into our sanctuary elated and delighted to have been able to purge those things from yourself and embrace a new start with us. For too long those things had held you back. For too long you had walked a rocky road alone, stooped and bent double under the weight of your concerns. There had been others but you did not feel able to share the load as you did with me. I was different. There was something about me which made you feel like you could tell me anything and everything and I would deal with it. I would flex those angelic wings and extend them to surround and protect you. Unburdened by those things you walked taller, felt stronger and you had me to thank for this process. Your gratitude and admiration flowed incessantly and I was only too happy to wash myself in this fountain of praise although in keeping with the personae I had created I accepted your compliments with humble acknowledgement. You entered my sanctuary and told me all your weaknesses.
This was achieved in such a way that you felt no shame in telling me them. That was another difference. You knew I would not judge you for them. You knew I would not regard you as silly or stupid for having certain concerns.
“It is how you regard them that matters, not how everyone else views them.”
You remember that sentence and how you seized it with great gladness, thankful that at last somebody understood and recognised how to deal with your concerns. Your confidence in me was absolute and I even made it seem as if I actually liked your weaknesses and that gave you great comfort.
All I was doing as you sat there on those many occasions where you shared your concerns, your vulnerabilities and weaknesses with me (for they did not all come out in one session, no, it took weeks of careful extraction on many different occasions to amass them all) was stockpiling my armoury. Your admission that you cannot swim and thus are terrified of deep water was moulded into a missile. Your explanation that you were bullied at school because you had short hair arising from having to have it shorn because your brother poured glue over your head one time became a hand grenade. The fact you suffer a noticeable red flush across your chest and neck when you feel agitated created a bullet. Your confession that you suffer excessive wind formed another bullet. The abuse you suffered at the hands of a family member when you were eight became a thermonuclear device ready to detonate at a later date. Each and every weakness, from your inability to resist eating a packet of biscuits in one sitting through to your fear of public speaking was noted, recorded and fashioned into a weapon. You thought you were safe in the sanctuary. That was just an illusion. You were actually sat in my armoury and I was there with you creating these weapons to use against you at a later date. Each weakness you admitted to me you thought you were handing to me for me to carry on your behalf. The reality was you were giving me the material from which I could create a weapon – be it a sharp stick with which to prod you or a nuclear missile to obliterate you. You thought it was some form of absolution but all you were doing was arming me.
I always want to know about your weaknesses. Your weaknesses become forged into my strengths in readiness for the war of devaluation that I shall wage against you. Keep talking, there is an arsenal to be created.