A Brief Period of Rejoicing




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 is 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 now 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 be 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, this 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.

13 thoughts on “A Brief Period of Rejoicing

  1. Bibi says:

    I remember I would send him an email and then he would not respond for days or more, into a week. I’d ask, ‘Did you read that email I sent?’ He’d say, ‘I did.’ ‘Why didn’t you respond?’ I’d ask. Then he would say that part of the email was ‘good’ and then part of it was ‘bad’. I would then ask, ‘Which parts were bad?’ And then he wouldn’t tell me, and instead expect me to read his mind.

    He would use that as an example of how I could never really know or understand him b/c if I really understood I would know what not to say. ‘But what bothered you, so I can know for next time?’ I’d ask. Silence.

    Then out of the blue I would receive a message from him telling me how important I was and that I mattered and that I’ve had such a tremendous impact on him. Basically just fluff crumbs.

    Often after an argument when it got me broken down and really upset, threatening to never speak to him again he would go instantly nice for like 3 weeks or so. He would be responsive and more ‘like his old self’ and in that time it would get me to think that things were ‘coming around’ and that maybe he might ‘open up eventually’ and he would even say, ‘I feel really connected to you now, you are a wonderful person,’ or something like that.

    But those moments were like atolls amid the ocean. You can’t remain there forever. They are those little glimmers of land but you really need mainland to survive. ‘Oh we’ll get there someday,’ but then you’re tossed into the Pacific and having to fend for yourself once again.

  2. Lucia says:

    How long can these respite periods last?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      They vary. They can be very short a few hours, to weeks.

      1. Lucia says:

        Can it be like 6 months or so?Seems to me its such a long period for narcissist to be in “remission”. My husband had few of those during our 12 years marriage and it makes me wonder if he actually is narcissist or just has some other issues. All of the traits of NPD are there, except for triangulation and gaslighting which subside abruptly after I try to leave him. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Unlikely, although possible. More likely you were being devalued and you did not realise (see Stepford Devaluation for one instance).

          1. Lucia says:

            Thanks! I just read the post about Stepford devaluation and it all sounds too familiar. I need to do my profile as soon as possible. Best wishes!

          2. HG Tudor says:

            You are welcome.

  3. Lorelei says:

    “It prevents you from failing to function” **There were no respites. I have a lot of stamina that I fought to stay afloat in so many ways for so long. I honestly think it had to be someone that awful all the time for me to get the message. But it has been at an incredible price. Why do some narcissists actually withhold any respite? Is it out of laziness when the other party compensates independently? I did eventually just collapse though which was the disengagement trigger.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It would be highly unusual, but if there is no respite provided it will be because the narcissist is fighting to control you and keeps having to devalue to do so. Ultimately this would lead to collapse for the victim (thus triggering disengagement) or the narcissist would disengage through repeated and sustained wounding caused by the victim not allowing control to be obtained. You may have received respite but not recognised it as such given the surrounding circumstances you found yourself in, thus it was given, it just did not feel like it to you.

      1. Lorelei says:

        I truly was either a real bitch and he had to keep it up or I did not recognize it. I honestly don’t think there was respite HG. I may have to go with highly unusual. It was like being dunked under water daily. Silent treatment felt almost like a respite because it was less awful. There was sexual contact, maybe that was a brand of respite because as crazy as it was he was very focused on ensuring it was satisfactory. It was bizarre. I’m so glad he’s someone else’s headache.

  4. Gab says:

    Hello HG,

    I have a question-
    Is it devaluation if narcissist after 6 months of your intimate relationship suddenly starts to look for fuel elsewhere, for example increases his social media usage (during first 6 months he didn’t need it and used it ocasionally because he was so focused on you). And even if he used it it was not very deep, rather brief and superficial.

    But now he is looking for fuel from men, women, strangers, everybody. If he talks to woman he doesnt know in real life on platform 1 and she gives him fuel (is responsive, do not ignore him, talks to him), he looks for her on platform 2 to increase their contacts and go deeper (maybe they also talk in private).

    It looks like suddenly you are not enough and he needs more attention from others even if it’s just innocent and friendly at first and it doesnt look like he is directly looking for your replacement. He just have this sudden need to make new friends, even virtual, people who will validate him and amuse when he is bored or something and maybe triangulate you with them because you have this feeling you dont have his 100% attention any more. And of course you start to wonder how deep is their relation, if he flirts with them in private and so on. Also, if he is just temporarly bored (if happens in every relationship), why he is looking for NEW virtual friends if he has wide collection of real life friends he could talk to (this is what normal people do when they are bored). But he suddenly needs a totally fresh new fuel from attractive women (even if innocent from the outside at that time, so innocent you would look like a crazy jealous b**ch if you confronted them about it).

    Is it an early sign to IPPS that initial golden period is coming to an end or that your fuel becomes stale?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are correct. It is Triangulation and Withdrawal of Attention.

  5. WhoCares says:

    I adore this image. It’s lovely but troubling at the same.

    The silences didn’t trouble me; I could focus on my tasks at hand. But ‘de-sensitised’ is accurate to how I felt towards the end.

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