“Fire and swords are slow engines of destruction compared to the tongue of a gossip.”
– Richard Steele
True words indeed.
Gossip is a sure fire way to destroy your imposition of no contact.
When you have implemented no contact you will have most likely have ensured that you stay out of our way. You may not have been able to move house but if you see us standing outside of your house, you call the police or if we approach your front door you do not open it. You block our numbers on your ‘phone and do not answer any number which you do not recognise. You use your voicemail to screen calls and if you hear our voice on the recording, you immediately delete it. You shut down your social media to keep us at bay and you may even leave social media altogether. You change routes so you do not pass where we work or frequent. You make the appropriate changes to ensure that we do not approach you in person or through technology. You may not be able to move house or job, but you put in place all other steps that you can to effect no contact. If we cannot engage with you then that is an effective no contact is it not?
To a large extent it is indeed, but one of the common mistakes that our victims make is to continue to talk about us to other people. It is an understandable mistake. You have just experienced the hellish rollercoaster of being entangled with us. Whether you know exactly what we are or not, you realised you had to get out and stay out and thus you have. Nevertheless, so much of what has happened still does not make sense to you. So often you still miss us, the brilliant warmth of the golden period now missing and the frozen wasteland it leaves behind is hard to endure. It is inevitable that you discuss this with other people; your friends, your family and your colleagues. After all, they have listened to you during the tortuous ensnarement. They were the ones who comforted you as you wept, as you seethed with frustration, as you bellowed with rage. They helped you follow us, gather intelligence on other people that we were interacting with and they played detective with you as you sought to work out what was really going on.
Barely a day went by without you espousing how wonderful we were.
Barely a day went by without you bemoaning how bewildering we were.
Those around you listened. They were involved and they were living your torment too.
Accordingly, it is little wonder that your friend, who cares about you, asks when they telephone you,
“Have you heard anything from him?”
It is not a surprise when your mother rings to make sure you are okay by asking,
“Is he troubling you still?”
It is expected that your colleague brings you a coffee and his first words are,
“Any word from you know who?”
However well-meaning these people are, their continued mention of us to you acts a form of ever presence. They are continuing your addiction to us. As they recount with you the things that happened, as you revisit for the twentieth time that strange night a month ago, as you recollect what went on between you with shakes of the head and open-mouthed disbelief they are spreading and reinforcing our ever presence. We remain with you as if we were standing in the room. Your emotions remain poisoned by the mention of our name and the memory of our behaviours.
In the same way as looking at an item which we gifted you maintains the ever presence, the continued discussion of us amounts to the same thing. We remain in your mind and heightening your emotions. Accordingly, this continues your susceptibility to being hoovered. You keep being reminded of us so you may want to have some more information on us, thus you look at our social media or even message us when that half bottle of pinot grigio starts to impact on your reasoning. Your no contact remains under threat by these repeated discussions about us and even if you do not crumble and reach out to us, the fact of you still thinking about us and remaining at risk of emotional thinking means that when the hoover comes (and it invariably will) you are at a greater risk of it working on you.
Talking about us is not a solitary risk however. It is not just the risk that you are reinforcing ever presence but you are also risking the provision of fuel and the drawing of our attention.
Be under no illusion that we will have at least one Lieutenant in your camp and of course several in our own. Should you meet one of our friends, you can be guaranteed that he or she will talk about us. They will mention how we are, what we have been doing, who we are with and they will take note of your reaction. They will also be asking about you. It may seem pleasant and polite as they ask where you are living these days or how work is doing, where you have been, do you go to Rico’s any longer and if not where do you go instead. What passes for a pleasant conversation with someone who you wish to remain on good terms with, even if they are perceived as being in ‘our camp’ is indeed an information gathering exercise.
This Lieutenant in our camp will report back to us. They, for the most part, will do so innocently enough, wanting to tell us that they have seen you and to update us on what you are doing as part and parcel of the normal discussion about someone that counts to social lubrication.
The Lieutenant in your camp is there as a spy. He or she is tasked with feeding back information about you on a regular basis. What are you saying about us? How are you feeling about us? Are you hurt still? Do you pine for us? Do you curse us or want us back? Your emotions as our name comes up are noted and then fed back to us and this will provide us with some fuel because we are being told how you have reacted to us.
Furthermore, the fact you are providing fuel and information which can be used, for instance where you now work or live, who you socialise with and where, even obtaining your new contact details, puts you at an increased risk of being hoovered and your no contact failing.
You talking about us to a Lieutenant or even a member of our coterie means this occurrence will reach us. Thus we may well gain fuel but most of all you have entered a sphere of influence and thus there is the activation of a Hoover Trigger. In terms of the Hoover Execution Criteria, the bar is being lowered. This is because you have provided fuel for us and like a shark scenting blood we know that there is more fuel to be had. You remain vulnerable to us. We have also gained knowledge of a way to contact you and thus the bar falls lower still. Your interaction with somebody who is a conduit for information and fuel means that you increase significantly the risk of a hoover being deployed against you. We are emboldened and bring our seductive powers to bear on you with a Benign Follow-Up Hoover and in your fragile state there is a risk that you will fold and thus the act of gossip has destroyed your no contact.
In the way that we delete you effectively when we have a new primary source, you ought to apply the same principle when you effect No Contact. Ban the use of our name. Explain to all of those around you that you do not want to hear about us in any way. Do not, however tempting, discuss us with people around you. You may think that you can trust those in your circle but we are often able to place ‘Our Man’ in among those you think are on your side and this fifth columnist will be working against you. If you say nothing about us, this deletion will be conveyed to us and this will irritate us and raise the hoover bar on the Hoover Execution Criteria.
Even if you have not been infiltrated, you ought not to mention us in order to diminish the effects of ever presence which are caused by repeated thoughts and discussion about us.
Banish us from your mind, from your words and from the gossip of others in order to avoid weakening your resistance and causing your no contact to fail.