I am letting you see my worldview for your own protection.

 

(Sometimes a repeat course of a medicine is required)

You fell in love with an illusion. You fell hard and deep for something which never existed. The golden days that we created together were the twisted reflections of my manipulative hold over you. I know how anxious you were to try to recover the golden period. You poured your beautiful heart into securing the impossible. I know that my silences, my verbal violence, the cheating and the lies, my perfidious control of you was brutal, malicious and devastating. I understand that the whole avalanche of manipulative techniques I applied to you, in savage wave after insidious wave crushed your self-esteem, mauled your sanity and shattered your world. This brutality was nothing compared to the aftermath.

For now you have slipped away from my tight, choking grip. I know however that you sit looking from the window where you used to watch for me strolling up the driveway, a bouquet in my hands and the pain still wracks you as you remember how you fell in love with someone who was not real. Memory after memory stirs from within, an endless loop of ‘best of’ moments that you want to stop remembering but you cannot. It hurts yet you still want to remember because even as the pain rises in your chest, you still feel the flicker of your love for me and you still cherish that. Like the drug addict, you know that line of cocaine is no good for you but still you need to snort it. The cold silences may no longer chill our living room. The sting of my slap across your cheek has long since faded. The barbed comments I fired your way each day have lost their power to wound. All of that has gone. The one lingering, tortuous pain that still sits deep within you is the knowledge that you were in love with an illusion No matter how much you discuss it with your friends, the earnest hours with your therapist and the pile of books about healing that are stacked up besides your favourite chair (which I always tried to sit in before you), none of them help take away that awful aching.

You can manage the shame of being fooled. You take a strange pride in having given your all to such a despicable person because that is the person you are. Honest, decent and a provider of unconditional love. You do not want that to change. You do not want to lose the empathy for which you are renown. The battered bank balance will repair (eventually) and the dosage of the medication will come down (your doctor has said as such in soothing tones). The strength of character which made me choose you means you can deal with all of these things. The one thing that will never leave is that deep-seated pain that you loved a ghost. Your head will eventually accept what happened, that you were charmed, entranced and enchanted and you never stood a chance. That was why you were chosen. Emotionally, you will never lose that dull ache as you sit and reminisce about our time together and how wonderful being in love with me was. Your heart will never accept that it was not real.

That crack, that fracture, that tiny chink that remains from your frenetic and devastating time with me shall always remain. It is through it that I can return as I slip, shadow like into your heart through that unhealed wound. That is why we did what we did; so we always had a way back in. I placed deep inside you a powerful mixture which when activated by your thoughts about me, your reflection on what happened and any consideration of what we did, had and said, will awaken the addictive qualities which caused you to fall for the illusion in the first place.It is a potent and dangerous mixture. For all of the strength that you exhibit through never taking a call from us, from changing email accounts, from burning the pictures and changing mobile numbers, you are never truly safe. Yes, you manage to evade the snaking tendrils that we uncoiled to try to haul you back under our spell. You will have to maintain that vigilance for the rest of your life. Our polluting influence, through this mixture, if ever allowed near you again, will creep and trickle through the hole that will never seal. You are consigned to a lifetime of wariness and maintain your defences because that damage is permanent.

You will always be in love with the person you thought I was.

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The Silent Treatment. One of our most potent methods of manipulation. Whether it is a present silent treatment where we talk to everyone else around you but not you or whether it is an absent silent treatment where we disappear and cannot be found or contacted, we know that this is highly effective. It does not matter if the silence lasts for ten minutes or ten days the impact on you is considerable and your reaction is always the same. That is, of course, the main reason that we do it. You will repeatedly ask us what is wrong as you fail to understand what it is that we are doing. You will hang around us, if that is possible, asking the same questions over and over again.

“What is wrong, please tell me?”

“What is the matter, I wish you would tell me?”

“What is it? Why aren’t you speaking to me?”

Your concern mutates into frustration and anxiety and even occasionally anger. All of these states suit us as we drink the fuel you are providing to us. If we absented ourselves then we will face a slew of text messages, e-mails and voicemail messages as you keep ringing every five minutes trying to establish contact with us. After a time the nature of the questioning changes as you shift from asking us what is wrong to hauling yourself over the coals. It is all so predictable. You ask yourself what is it that you could have done which has caused us such offence that we are no longer speaking to you. You analyse everything you have said and done over the last hour, the last five hours, the last day. Did you insult us in some way and not realise? Surely it was not that comment about our tie, that was a joke. Was that the catalyst for this silence? Did you fail to kiss us on our arrival home? You cannot remember but these days you often find that is the case since the days all seem to merge into one as you pad around trying not to tread on those eggshells. If only the tiredness would lift. You might be able to think straight then and be able to ascertain what is going on. You keep providing us with different suggestions and scenarios as to what has happened. You grope around, utterly unsure as to what it was that proved to be the trigger. You issue apologies and it gets to the point that you do not even know what you are apologising for but that does not matter does it? All you want is for this horrible silence, the aching absence to end. It has happened before and then it ended as arbitrarily as it arrived. You cling on to the hope that it will end as it did last time but then there is that gnawing doubt which keeps manifesting in your mind. What if it won’t end? What if this is it and we have gone for good? Surely not and for what reason? The doubt is horrible and you feel a rising sense of panic which causes you to redouble your efforts to find us and offer yourself up in sacrifice in order to get us to come back. Time after time we do this to our victims but they do not realise what our silence really means. They are trapped by fear, paralysed by indecision and this is naturally how we like it. This confusion and inability to really see what is going on servies our purpose.

What is our silence really telling you? It is telling you how we enjoy to play fast and loose with your feelings. It is telling you that we do not care about you. You mean nothing to us other than the fuel you provide. We are reminding you of how inferior you are to us. You are nothing more than an appliance which we can switch on and off, pick up and put down at our convenience. We are trumpeting our lack of respect for you and your identity. We are heralding our flagrant disregard for your well-being. We are telegraphing our disdain for our supposed responsibilities. We are reinforcing that you do not matter. Instead, you seek to eradicate the silence, you plan and arrange to do anything which you hope will dispel the absence of communication. Too caught up in trying to remove the unpleasant sensations that wrap around you, you fail to see the clear message that we convey to you each time we behave in this manner. We are behaving as we did when we were told we could not have another biscuit and we sat sulking until our worn-down parent gave in. Most people grow out of such conduct but not us. We saw the power it would wield over certain people (others of course would never countenance it and we knew never to show it to them or suffer the consequences) but everyone else would flock around us, flapping and attending to us and we realised just how we could wrap people around our little fingers so they gave us what we wanted. It was not the extra lollipop or permission to play out for an extra hour. It was attention and attention laced with emotion. Fuel. We may not have realised it then but we took this childish response and turned it into a weapon which causes you fear and frustration every time we unleash it. If only you could understand what we are really doing, then you would understand just how much we are truly telling you by saying absolutely nothing.

I know you have heard my kind and me tell you that we were sent from heaven to be with you and you ought to know that this is the truth. Only the supreme authority is able to act through us. We are blessed with magnificence and brilliance as we are the conduit for such glorious radiance, such unsurpassed excellence and such clinical judgement. We know you for what you are. Your kindness and your empathy, your compassion and your humility are beacons to our kind. You shine with such a pure light, rays of untainted purity which reach out far into this dark world. Your unsullied nature is a lesson to so many that walk this earth and do nothing to contribute to its needs and its progress. You walk amongst the wounded, the injured, the less privileged and the downtrodden. Through your ministrations you bring hope where there was once only fear. You exude optimism and your gentle hands bring relief to the weary and the woeful. You exhibit kindness to all you engage with, devotees of love and advocates of tolerance and respect. Such laudable attributes send out a strong signal across this accursed planet. The idiotic and the inward-looking shuffle along doing nothing to serve the demands of the human race, but not you. No, you are selfless, caring and tender. You will sit and listen patiently to those in distress as you fight to find the right words, the correct gestures and some kind of solution to strip away that person’s fright and fear. You wrestle with injustice, donating time, love and money to causes which you truly believe in. From children to animals, from the despairing to the homeless and from the disadvantaged to the diseased you keep on giving. You ask nothing in return, an example which many ought to heed.

This charity and compassion does not dwindle and there are many beneficiaries of your love. From that special person who often you have yet to find, but who you oh so believe in, through to family, friends, colleagues and strangers. You do not discriminate because you know that there is good in everyone. It just has to be found and brought to the surface. Sometimes that task is easy as the person responds to your delicate overtures and with others the quest for goodness is more perilous and arduous, yet you do not shirk from such challenges. You are not a quitter. You do not give-up. You keep going with that indefatigable spirit for which you are admired and renowned.

This impresses us as we watch from our lofty perches waiting until we see your perfect light flare into life and then we are on our way. Dispatched by the above as we make our way to you direct and drawn by that beacon which shines with such unrivalled brightness. We are sent to you and with our irresistible charm we connect with you. There is no shame in such a swift connection for it is what is required in order to enable us to discharge our obligations. We are sent to establish whether you are worthy. We must ascertain whether you can fulfil a higher role in serving such a divine figure as ourselves. You shine brightly but will it last? Your essence is sweet and invigorating but can you sustain such provision? Are you that true giver or just another charlatan who will only let us and in turn the supreme authority down? That is our task. Each and every time we are to ascertain your worthiness. We are sent to test you.

We see how you respond to warmth, love and light. You do with unparalleled excellence and it is as we suspected but there are many who would react in this way. Many who could blaze with white light as they are fed what they want to hear,given what they want to receive and provided with what they need. That is but a fraction of the rigorous examination we must put you through. Can you keep giving as you have done, at the level that is expected of you or will you start to flounder and fail? Can you do this with the same level of compassion, understanding and grace as you suffer the indignities of malice and hatred? Are you able to dig deep within your very being and ensure that you rise above the flailing fists, the lashing tongues and malevolent machinations so you keep on providing? Will you sacrifice everything else that you hold dear in order to prove to us that you are worthy of our judgement? Will you do what is required of you or will you, like so many before you, let us down. Will you show such promise only to fall at the final hurdle and disappoint? Are you another fraud who believes they can satisfy what is required of them, in order to satiate our demands or are you beyond this, something greater and even purer, the very thing that will save us?

We are sent as divine intervention into your lives. It is a ceaseless task and we must deem whether you are worthy to receive our redemption and be allowed to bask in the golden glow of our brilliance forever or whether you must be cast down into the dirt, failure and a deceiver like so many before you. Will you be judged and survive this intervention? Tell me you will. Show me you will.

Do you remember the evening that we first met? Of course you do. Everybody always remembers the first time they met me. Whether you became my intimate partner after my carefully executed seduction, whether I admitted you to my outer circle or whether you were there to serve me a drink, everyone always remembers the first time they encountered me. It is invariably the beginning of something memorable. But, let’s not be concerned about my coterie, the minions and the strangers, this is all about me. And you. Do you remember on that first meeting what I told you. Yes, I appreciate that I told you many things. Plenty about me, naturally but I also told you many things about you. Yes, you remember don’t you, I can tell. I told you how magnetic your eyes were. You blushed when I mentioned this but I could tell by your reaction that someone else had said something similar to you before. You looked down, those long lashes, defined by the mascara that you applied so carefully a couple of hours earlier. I knew you enjoyed that compliment and I knew that you did think you had attractive eyes. Nobody had called them magnetic before, that much was evident, but you had been told you had beautiful eyes, stunning eyes and such like. Of course I exceeded those standard and quite frankly trite observations with my reference to how “your optimistic eyes held paradise”, “your eyes possessed all manner of desire including the wanton” and “your eyes shone with the inner brightness that so many of us find so delightful.” Great descriptions and they always have the desired effect of prompting a pleased response and a compliment in return. One always looks to give to receive. There is no other way.

I always harked back to your eyes didn’t I? Referring to them in complimentary terms and then as I held you I looked deep into your eyes, holding your gaze, allowing the silent to speak for itself as your body tingled with the heightened anticipation of such a passionate gesture. You never wanted to break that gaze, your almond-shaped eyes, possessing that scintillating emerald colour, that sea-like sapphire hue, that forlorn yet enchanting grey, that dark brown that simmered with sensuality, remain transfixed by my own stare. Nothing was said. Nothing needed to be said as our eyes remained locked together and the emotion poured from those eyes. Such expression resided inside your eyes and on so many occasions I drank deep of the fuel that sprang, well-like, from your gaze. I would enter a room and the delight you sent my way as your eyes widened was edifying. Such expression. From the narrowing in frustration, the wild-eyed grip of anger, the rounded surprised joy, the burning passion, the simmering elation, the eye-rolling orgasmic and the pain-filled tears. Your eyes had it all. I spent so long in your eyes. I often needed no more than you to look my way. It was unnecessary for you to speak, to gesture or to come closer. The emotion which you managed to gather in your expressive eyes was quite something to behold. Of course, I was always the catalyst. Without me you would have no need to provide such a range of heightened emotions. Without me you would not have been able to experience that wide range of emotions and allow them to form and flow from your eyes. As ever, I taught you and I guided you, ensuring that you did as was required. Expert that I am, I noticed your eyes from the first time that I ever placed my own and you. I knew from that moment that I needed to possess those eyes,make them my own, capture them so that they only ever looked my way. Your gaze was never meant for others. They were beneath you and clearly far beneath me. They were never meant to be the beneficiaries of such magnificence from your eyes. It was not for them to experience the prime fuel you generated. Only I was entitled to this. Only I was to receive such a reward and it was right and proper, for I invested much of my time in ensuring that the looks you gave me covered every emotion and providing that high-grade fuel. I encouraged and guided that use of your eyes, like a conductor with his orchestra. I told you when to emphasise them with mascara, eye liner and eye shadow. I dictated when they should be bare and look up on me in naked innocence. I instructed when you should wear spectacles and when you should not. I forbade excessive drinking for those eyes should never be bloodshot from alcohol, although that condition was permissible as a consequence of your upset.

So yes, back when we first met, it was your eyes that gained my rapt attention, my compliments and my flattery as I sought to possess them. I was most attentive and recognised what I stood to gain from your impressive eyes. I looked upon them and I looked into them and that is where I saw something. I saw something in your eyes which mattered more than anything else in the world. What I saw in your eyes was the very thing that made me know that you were the one who had to be chosen. That something which I saw convinced me to ensure I bound you to me. I looked into your eyes and I saw something. I saw myself.

I have a busy day today. Much to do and many people to do it to but when you have someone’s interests at heart, well, this is what you have to do isn’t it? I have the list of telephone numbers which I have noted down from your telephone when I gained access to it. It was not difficult to do so. Using my famous ability to move around without making much of a noise I stole up behind you and watched you enter the passcode for your phone and I stored that in my memory to enable me to use it when you were sleeping. Naturally I had a good look through all your messages, your diary and e-mails but that is for another discussion. I recognised the names of numerous people and made a note of their numbers inside my little book and then hid that in readiness for when I decided it was time I needed to use it. Now that time has come and it is incumbent on me to take this step.

The first number I enter into my phone is that of Sarah, a friend of yours. She answers after two rings. Like many people she is surgically attached to the ‘phone.

“Hello Sarah it is HG. Listen, I just wanted to let you know, since you are such a good friend of hers, that Gemma is, well I think the easiest way to describe it is that she is not well, not well at all. What do I mean? She has been acting rather strangely. The slightest thing seems to either have her shouting or crying. At first I wondered if it was just, you know, women’s things, but it has been going on for months now. You had no idea? No I know, I have not said anything before because well I was hoping I could help her  deal with it but it is beyond even me. I am going to get her some help. I try and talk to her about it but she just clams up on me, gives me silence and then a little later accuses me of not caring. I don’t think she is sleeping properly either and it takes me an age to get her to eat. Should you come round? No, thank you, that is kind of you, but I don’t want her to do anything which might upset you. She is very erratic in her behaviour but it is something more than just mood swings. I am going to get her the proper help but I am just forewarning you that if she contacts you just be aware that she is not herself. She has been saying things about people, me included, which are not very nice and I don’t want this period of illness to affect her relationship with her friends, you know how some people can be overly sensitive to what someone says and they miss the point they are unwell. Yes, that’s right. Yes I think it would be a good idea if you just give her some space. Yes, absolutely. If she does contact me, let me know, you have my number on your ‘phone now. Yes I will pass on your kind words and thanks for your help Sarah, it is much appreciated at this difficult time.”

I end the call and place a tick next to Sarah’s name. She was most understanding and fully appreciate the need for space in order to allow you to get better. Now, who is next. Ah yes, another of your friends, Helen. I call Helen and explain the situation almost word-for-word as I did with Sarah. She asks more details about what is wrong and I reluctantly tell her about the violence and the lying. She is shocked I can tell and she spends some time searching for an amateur diagnosis as to what it might be. I listen as she drones on, checking my watch and noting I have other names to get through too. Eventually I am able to conclude the call and place another tick. I continue working my way through your list of friends, the ticks adding up. Next is John, your fitness instructor.

“Hello John, this is HG, Gemma’s partner. We haven’t met. Look John, difficult call to make but Gemma is unwell at present. It is pretty serious. Yes, thank you, it is a difficult time but I am doing the best I can to help her. It is unclear at present what it is, I am organising for a doctor to come and see her today but it is making her very difficult to be around. She may be suffering from some kind of breakdown brought on by exhaustion. Yes, it is a worry. I know you would not have thought it to look at her outside of our house but I think this has been brewing for some time, you know, she even started telling me that she was going to marry you. Yes I know that is ridiculous isn’t it? You are already married? I thought you were. Don’t worry, I know nothing is going on, I am sure you are far too professional for that kind of thing, but this is part of the problem, she keeps coming out with outlandish comments and I can handle it but I worry others might not so she won’t need your services until further notice. Payment? Well yes if she has an agreement with you then just continue to take her monthly payment after all this is not your fault is it? I will let you know when she is well again but just in case she tries to contact you I think it would be best if you don’t take her calls, I don’t want her causing you any trouble especially between you and your wife. Thank you John, your discretion is appreciated.”

Another tick and a similar call is made to your choral group and your book club. Next is your employer. I made you take today off under the pretence of you gaining a lie in and then us doing something together. We stayed up late last night so you are still fast asleep upstairs allowing me to make these important telephone calls. Your employer is understanding and I can confirm that arrangements will be made to provide the relevant doctor’s note because I explained this situation is likely to last a number of weeks. My preparation thus segues into arranging for the local doctor to make a house call after I explain to the receptionist, in worried tones, that having you leave the house in your current state might be a risk to both you and other people. She was most understanding and confirmed that a doctor would attend after surgery, around 5pm. Next on the list are your family members. I secured the advantage of persuading you to move with me away from them and they are now a flight away. The inconvenience of having to fly and the distance is something I play on as I call your parents and your sister, forewarning them that they may experience some unpleasant comments about them and especially me given her condition. I assure them that I am taking care of you and there is really no need for them to come all this way. I confirm I will keep them updated and they are pleased I have taken time off work to care for you and that I have arranged for a doctor to attend. I spend considerable time reeling off examples of the terrible behaviour you have exhibited, explaining the awful things I have been subjected to and the lies you have told about me, your friends and family. I explain that I can deal with it but I just feel so sorry for your parents and your sister having to hear such things and in order to prevent it happening again the best thing is to contact me and not you and to keep you at arms’ length. I explain I understand that it is hard but it will be the best outcome for all concerned if you are prevented from lashing out and hurting people. My explanations and good intentions are accepted and thanks is offered for my understanding and support.

The final tick is placed on the list and I place both ‘phone and pen down. I really should go and wash my hands now after smearing all that mud around.