Victim or Volunteer : Part 2



The devaluation. People often regard this as one complete stage that follows the glorious seduction of the golden period. It is in fact made up of two parts. First comes the stranger period. It is so called because to you it seems like you are dealing with somebody completely different to the person that you know and love.

This is when the transition occurs between the seduction and the insidious abuse that is just around the corner. This stranger period should be regarded as the calm before the storm and if you are among the few who recognise it when it happens it is a clear signal to you to get out. Most do not of course recognise it.

They perhaps see it as the relationship moving beyond the honeymoon period and since there is no horrible treatment per se, they do not realise that the stranger period (which is still a stark contrast to the golden period) is in actual fact a warning. The stranger period is at the beginning of the period of devaluation and is a clear marker that there are far worse times ahead.

You are unlikely to query this shift from golden period to the stranger period in any great detail. Should you have done so? Should you have paid greater attention to us (just as we always have demanded)? Should you have wondered why we did not answer your telephone call with the enthusiasm that we once did? Ought you to have questioned why we seemed less interested in doing things with you? Did you see it and put it down to us being tired?

Maybe you just thought it was because we had had a rough day at work? You asked if we were okay and we assured you that we were, but there was no conviction in our responses. They were flat and other worldly but you did not press any further. Why not? Perhaps you should have done?

Perhaps if you had done so you would have taken greater heed of what it was signifying or was it asking too much of you to realise that was coming? Nobody has any idea of what this stranger period signifies when they first encounte it so why would you be any different? Perhaps the view that you failed to heed this warning is a harsh one?

What then of the devaluation proper when the darkness descended and the abuse came? Of course it is the false default setting of our kind that everything is your fault. That is the way that we have been created. That is the way that we conduct ourselves in order to protect our fragility from criticism.

We must project, blame-shift and remain unaccountable whilst ensuring that you are regarded as culpable, liable and blameworthy. It is part of the matrix of control that we deem necessary to apply against you. Yet, if one strips away this all too readily applied blame what then? Would the objective observer reach the conclusion of victim or volunteer? What do you think? Do not think that this is one of our standard exercises of attributing blame, I have already conceded that such blame-shifting is one of our key manipulations, but I am lifting that usual approach and posing the question as to whether during devaluation you might be regarded as a victim or volunteer?

The first time we doled out a silent treatment which lasted a day? Should you have known then what you were dealing with and distanced yourself? Is that unrealistic? What about when there was the second period of being frozen out? Or the third? Maybe not after those, after all, you dealt with them didn’t you? Perhaps you ought to have realised when we lost our temper with you?

When those savage words and insults were shouted at you? That is emotional violence. That is abusive. Why did you not walk away then? You stayed. Could it then be argued you volunteered for more dressings down? How about when we began to gaslight you? We toyed with your reality, confusing and bewildering? Did you recognise what was going on? But you are clever, resourceful and independent, surely you knew what was happening? Besides, this was taking place alongside the shouting matches and the cold shoulders.

Surely the alarm bells were ringing now weren’t they? Did you hear them and ignore them or did you just not hear them? What about the times we took your car without asking? Ate the food you had set aside? Stopped you sleeping properly by elbowing you all night? What about the repeated stopping out late and the flirtation with other women? Surely you noticed all of that, in fact we know you did, because we made sure you did so to enable us to get our precious fuel. So, you experienced all of this and you still stayed. Does that make you a volunteer as the abuse continued?

What about the first time we shoved you back during an argument? No? How about the second time when that shove sent you into a wall and you banged your head? No? Surely when that first slap stung your cheek, then you must have realised what was happening and yet you stayed after that.

Does that make you no longer a victim but a volunteer instead? Of course nobody ever asks to be treated that way. You are not volunteers in that sense but given you realised that certain behaviours towards you were wrong, unpleasant and downright nasty, you obviously spotted them so why did you remain and allow yourself to be subjected to even more?

You are your own person, surely, you should have realised and walked away? You might refer to not being able to because of money, housing, accommodation and children. Perhaps they are considerations but when pitted against your own safety and sanity, which should be protected first?

Accordingly, reflecting on all that happened to you, the repeated manipulative and abusive behaviours which were never isolated examples but rather repeated and increasing violations against you, could it be said that you were a victim or did you in fact volunteer by remaining in the firing line? I would welcome your observations.

Putting aside my usual blaming behaviours I would offer you this conclusion. To volunteer is to be able to exercise a degree of decision-making and control over your own person. You were never allowed that control.

We took it.

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11 thoughts on “Victim or Volunteer : Part 2

  1. Asp Emp says:

    “To volunteer is to be able to exercise a degree of decision-making and control over your own person. You were never allowed that control. We took it.”

    When I read these words – there are many occasions when narcissists in my past certainly ‘took’ control – the Lesser, the MRN, mother, higher-ups at work, so many.

    I am confident that I would recognise when someone (ie the Lesser / Mid-Range narcissists) is using their manipulations to exert control over me in the future. I will just simply use the ‘grenades’ that I have learned. Or GOSO. It depends on the type of interaction / relationship.

    1. A Victor says:

      App Emp, I have had resistance to these titles. After reading your comment I will re-think. It is becoming more clear to me ask the time that I’ve not been in a position to “volunteer” for most of my life.

      1. A Victor says:

        Asp*…all* not ask. Autocorrect again.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Laughing….. yes, damn autocorrect…… laughing

      2. Asp Emp says:

        Yes, the more you read on this site – the more you ‘pick up’ as time goes by. It’s like re-processing thought patterns, or what you have always known and looking at it in a different way. See it like moving all your furniture in one room to a different room layout but it’s still the same furniture.

  2. Rebekah says:

    Excellent. Really well written. Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  3. MP says:

    Been thinking about Gisele Bundchen because of Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl. I think that her story is inspiring because I believe that she was a victim of a narcissist, Leonardo DiCaprio and was able to escape that and was able to find a normal and healthy relationship with Tom Brady whom I think maybe a Normal.

    A few months ago I saw a video of her talking about her experience with her relationship with Leo. She said that he was her first boyfriend and he was her world at that time. She really looked up to him. However the relationship had taken a toll on her and she started to question her life. She said that she felt so empty inside and very unhappy. She got tired of her lifestyle with him with too much parties, alcohol and other unhealthy vices. She said that she realized that she had been numbing it all down by accepting too much work and drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. She started having panic attacks and suicidal ideation. She was prescribed Xanax but she decided to change her lifestyle instead. She learned yoga and meditation and eventually broke up with DiCaprio. She didn’t seem to want to say anything bad about DiCaprio and my impression is that she still cares about him although from a distance. She said in her book that some people cross our paths to teach us something about ourselves and she said that that is what Leo was to her.

    She seems happily married to Tom Brady and from what I have read, they have different personalities where Tom is very structured and disciplined while Gisele is very bohemian and into yoga and meditation. Sometimes she would just do something out of the blue because she feels like doing it while Tom likes to plan things and keep things structured. But in spite of their differences their relationship works because they have empathy to accept each other’s differences and allow each other to be how they want to be. They are both highly narcissistic in terms of competitiveness and vanity but they have empathy and love for each other.

    Tom Brady was from a middle class family and his parents are still together at old age and still live in the same house where they raised Tom Brady and his sisters. His dad blames himself (in a joking way) for causing Tom Brady to be extremely competitive because when Tom was just a child everything they did was in the spirit of fun competition like who can throw a rock farthest or run faster. Tom Brady was recently criticized for jumping off a cliff with his daughter but observers said if he had let go of her hand and didn’t pull her to jump into the water when she had that last second hesitation she may have fallen into the rocks so they said he actually may have saved her life.

    I don’t think that Tom Brady is a saint or perfect but I think that he is not a narcissist and because of that Gisele Bundchen is able to have a happy life that makes her feel fulfilled. I remember having discussions here about some commenters having apprehensions about being attracted to a non narcissist or having a good sex life with a non narcissist and it looks like it is not an issue with Gisele and Tom.

    I was talking about this with someone and the person told me that Leo has had so many relationships with women and he seems to not be able to have an ability to connect deeply or genuinely with anyone. She thinks he may have been a target of pedophiles in Hollywood when he was a child actor which scarred him for life. But regardless of it being true or not, I think he is very likely to be a narcissist but maybe not the malignant type since I have not heard women complain about him being abusive to them. Gisele Bundchen also said that she was extremely hurt when she found out that Leo replaced her right away after she broke up with him because her relationship with him meant so much to her that it was so hard for her to break up with him and she was shocked that it was that easy for him to find another love.

    1. MP says:

      Another thing that I forgot to mention is that shows Gisele is an empath and Tom Brady may be a normal or an empath is that they have been sending meals to people in Tampa during the Coronavirus lockdown. They have also been co parenting with Brady’s ex girlfriend who had nothing bad to say about them. He broke up with Bridget Moynahan and was set on a blind date with Bundchen and at first was not sure if he was ready to date that soon but they clicked right away. He then found out that Bridget got pregnant with him before he broke up with her and he said that it revealed so much about Gisele as a person and he seemed to say it in a positive light. Gisele have been very supportive and accepting of the situation and has said many times that she loves the boy like her own.

    2. MP says:

      I think this quote from Leonardo DiCaprio is very telling:

      “The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it. It’s a great outlet. As for myself, I’m not sure who I am. It seems that I change every day.”

  4. FN says:

    Not sure this comment belongs here but I have wondered if there is a masochistic element in this, sometimes it felt like that. Another thought, if the empath comes from an abusive background, I thought about it in terms of seeking “shame hits”, just as an addict seeks a hit but it is only fully experienced for me (or was) with one narc that had a powerful hold – I was only an NIPSS. Just some thoughts.

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