People always struggle with loss. It might be at the top of the scale where you have suffered a bereavement and lost a well-loved family member. It could be the loss of your home where you have lived for twenty years, owing to damage or repossession. It may be the loss of your job, a loss of good health all the way down to something far less important but a loss never the same, of your favourite restaurant when it closes or your daily caffeine injection from a coffee shop because you are economising. Take something away from someone and they will experience sadness, frustration, upset, anger and sometimes confusion. Since people are governed by emotions rather than cool, hard logic, the loss of something often has a devastating and traumatic effect, especially in respect of major losses such as a spouse or partner. Once upon a time your parents seemed as if they would live forever. They were always there. They raised you, guided you and supported you. They let you find your own way through life but if ever you needed them they were always there to listen and help and then one day you find they have gone and you are left with a huge black hole in your life. Your best friend who you have known for over twenty-five years was a huge part of your life. You spoke daily, laughed about your younger selves and the scrapes you got into, supported one another and cruised through life like the dynamic duo until they have gone and you feel a massive void since their departure to the next life or another continent, dependent on the circumstances. Remove something from a person’s life and they are left with hurt, despondency and despair. This is all the more so when it is something or someone wonderful and delightful. Then the emptiness becomes a howling wilderness.
Of course we are fully aware of how loss affects people from our repeated study of people. We also know that being able to gift someone something wonderful and then remove it, is a sign of considerable power. A power that can be wielded with considerable effects. The power of withdrawal, even if just threatened, can bring about an extreme reaction in the subject. This is something we are fully aware of and something which we take advantage of.
We gave you everything in the beginning. We provided you with a love beyond compare, a dizzying array of compliments, a barrage of desire and a tsunami of flattery. We raised you up, higher and higher and sprayed you with affection, passion and generosity. The light was bright, warm and golden and we let it shine every day just for you. We allowed you to bask in this golden period of utter ecstasy and in return you gave us everything that you had in pursuit of the maintenance of this golden period. Without warning we withdrew it. The door was closed and the shutters lowered and once where you had walked happily and freely you too found yourself transported to the howling wilderness where you stood alone beneath grey, leaden skies as a cold and unforgiving wind whipped around you. It felt like someone had died.
Whereas once we uttered such sweet, sweet words to you, there is now only silence. The reassuring embrace of our arms and lips has somehow vanished and you feel stripped and vulnerable. All of the places we took you to and shared seem so distant and you begin to wonder whether they really happened. Alone and distraught,you wander this wilderness searching for us. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of us but in an instant we have disappeared as you stumble along. The kindness has been removed. The long nights of sexual congress which went beyond anything you have experienced before has been taken away, leaving your bed a cold,hard slab where rest is to be endured rather than enjoyed. If we even grace you with our presence in that place where we once coupled each and every night, a writhing mass of limbs and mouths that explored and pleasured, all you know now is our back which is defiantly presented to you each night. That’s if we even come to bed at all. The spare room or the sofa seem to attract us more than you these days.
We know that taking away this passion, desire, interest, largesse and kindness is like a hammer blow. It is as if we have died but yet you can still see us, touch us and hear us which makes the sense of loss even greater and all the more confusing. Like a pet-owner dangling a bone in front of a salivating puppy, we occasionally open the shutters and allow the golden period to return and the joy and the relief which washes over you at the restoration of his oh most glorious time is electrifying and so is the extent of your gratitude and delight. Yet it is ephemeral. It is like a wonderful dream that has transported you away from all the hurt and misery, but just like a dream when you open your eyes in the morning, it has gone.
The power that comes with withdrawal and your predictable reaction to it, mean that it is a method of manipulation that cannot be ignored. To bestow and then deny has you caught in the strings of our puppetry as we jerk you back and forth between granting those things that you desire the most and then taking them away from you. Your reactions and the control this grants us means that it is so simple yet so effective and something we can never withdraw from doing.