Category Archives: Devaluation

Six Silent Soul Destroyers

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The use of and imposition of silence are two of the most powerful weapons in our abusive arsenal. Silence is easy to deploy and horrendously effective in securing our aims of compliance, control and fuel.

1. My silence is always meaningful

You may sit quietly because you have no need to say anything. You may remain silent because you are listening to somebody else or just enjoying the silence.  We do not allow silence to be used in such a passive and redundant fashion. Our silence is used to convey contempt. It is used to draw concern and cause anguish in you. When we fall silent that pregnant pause is an indicator of the fury which will be unleashed against you. The longer silence is the imposition of our cold fury as you are banished to a sustained silent treatment. When we sit in silence we are not savouring the lack of noise, we are thinking, planning and plotting, calculating our next step. Our silences are weapons, they are our operations headquarters, our defence against your critical wounding of us. We use silence to hurt you, warn you, scold you and indicate you have overstepped the mark. Every silence has a meaning, it would be remiss of us to use it any other way.

2. Absence makes the silence longer

The deployment of an absent silent treatment where we remove ourselves from you, invariably with no warning or indication is a confirmation to you that this silent treatment will not be short-lived. The need to absent ourselves sends you a clear signal that we will be gone for some time. It is designed to have you come after us, try to contact us and beg and plead so that you fuel us. When we impose a period of absence by vanishing we are reinforcing how easily we are able to consider you gone from our lives. You may not even be able to contact us but we gather fuel from our knowledge that this sudden disappearance will cause you considerable consternation and worry. The absent silent treatment is also a key indicator that we are engaged in the seduction of a new prospect and providing this person with our false love and attention, which we have removed from you.

3. The silent gesture

Our silences are not just occasioned by us not talking to you or absenting ourselves for a period of time. We deploy silence through gestures. We may not turn up when we have agreed to a date with you, in order to reinforce how you mean so little to us and that we have any number of more pressing engagements to attend to than dine with you in a restaurant. Leaving you alone in bed, our side of the bed now empty and cold is also a hammer blow to your confidence and self esteem as we choose the spare room, the sofa or the bed of another in preference to being with you during the night. The silent telephone call from a withheld number, used when we are hoovering you, is designed to put you on edge. Is it us calling you this late? It must be mustn’t it, but you cannot be sure? The failure to buy you a gift on your birthday,  creating a gap which ought to have been filled stands out considerably and allows us to apply maximum hurt through such a silent gesture.

4. The silent presence

By giving you the cold shoulder when everyone else is met warmly and enthusiastically, we cause you to feel completely alone even when you are surrounded by others. You try to carry on as if nothing has happened but you know that people will be wondering why we are not speaking to you. You feel the flush of embarrassment as once again you try to speak to us and you receive only a glare and then we sweep away. You want to challenge us but as ever it is you that will be criticised for creating a scene. You want to upbraid us for our childish sulking but you have learned that the consequences of doing so are not worth suffering. We of course know all this and we know how powerful our freezing you out in the company of others really is.

5. Suffer in silence

You are never to speak of what goes on between you and I to anyone else. Should you ever do so you are committing an act of heinous betrayal and your punishment for such a transgression will be malicious and fierce. You are not to betray me and speak of what you are subjected to. You are to endure it so that you become a better person, one who is compliant and obedient. Do you understand? I also know that you fear the repercussions of speaking out and this enforces my curfew. I also know that you feel compelled to remain loyal because of the golden period and how you feel duty bound to remain and try to resolve matters, work this difficult period through and fix what has become somehow broken. Your indefatigable spirit teeters on the brink of misplaced pride at not telling tales and instead knuckling down, irrespective of what is thrown at you, in order to bring about a resolution to our problems. You cannot succeed but you do not know that yet. For now you must suffer in silence.

6. I speak, you stay silent

Never interrupt me, never talk over me, never steal my thunder. When I speak everybody listens because what I have to say is brilliant, great and of tremendous import. You would do well to listen to improve yourself, please me and avoid angering me. You are my sounding board, Horatio to my Hamlet, a listener and in my presence you only speak when it is required to honour my achievements and laud my greatness. You are to be seen but only heard when I deem it necessary. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway? You only get invited to events because of me. They are only friends with you because they are friends of mine. Nobody is interested in you. Nobody. So stay quiet and listen.

Ever So Silent

 

I think I have said enough. I wish you would think the same. You have never shut up asking me about my day at work as I try to watch the sport on television. On and on you have gone asking question after question. It makes me wonder why you are so bloody interested. Fishing for something are you? Trying to catch me out? You won’t do that. I am cleverer than you. Much cleverer. What I do at work is nothing to do with you and you won’t find out about my plans there until such time as I decide that you should know. And it isn’t time, so I wish you would just be quiet and let me watch this game. You keep on going, talking over my television viewing which tells me that you regard my viewing experience as unimportant and that tells me you obviously think I am not important and you really ought to know by now that I am important. I hate you doing this. I can feel the burning from your selfish and treacherous action and it is paining me, but I know what to do. I know how to stop this pain and believe me I am going to do it and do it now.

You never know when to shut up do you? I suppose you think you are being plessant asking me how my day has been, but you don’t care, you just do it for the sake of appearances, to make you look good, the caring and interested partner. I know your game. I have you worked out, you are a fraud. Yap, yap, yap,like some irritating puppy around my ankles, on and on you go. Just shut up will you? I cannot concentrate with your wasp like buzzing around me.

“How is the new recruit getting on?”

“How is the project developing?”

“Where did you go for that business lunch? Was it good? What did you have to eat? Who was it with?”

Just shut up. No, you are still chattering away. I don’t think you are even waiting for an answer are you? Just asking questions to seem like you are involving me in the conversation when all you are doing is engaging in another of your pointless and egotistical monologues. Do you know how boring you sound? If I wasn’t trying to concentrate on this match I think I would slip into a coma listening to you drone on with your worthless opinions and your anodyne observations.

Just shut up. No? Very well. I will. No, I am not saying anything. I am not even going to nod, shake my head or make an affirmative grunt. Nothing. A total silence.

My goodness me, you have stopped. Perhaps you have remembered that you need to breathe? Ah, excellent you have noticed that I no longer appear to be listening. Believe me, I am listening and I am doing so with considerable attentiveness, because I need to listen to what is coming my way. Let me guess, I think you will lead with “are you listening to me?” any second now and yes, there it is as predicted. I am not going to answer. Go on, repeat the question and true to form you do so. Now I have your attention haven’t I? I can see you from the corner of my eye as I stare at the screen pretending that the figures running around with the ball are more interesting than you. They are not because what you are starting to do is what I am interested in. I can see you leaning forward, trying to catch my eye. I know you are there but I am not going to acknowledge you. Sometimes you throw something towards me to get my attention, usually a cushion. It is not a nasty action,not like when I throw things at you. That reminds me, I must replace that coffee mug which I hurled at you. You were light on your toes that day as it sailed past and smashed against the wall. Anyway, that was last week and this is now and I can hear you asking the question a third time. Will it be the cushion? No, you have chosen to stand up instead. Gosh, you must be looking to assert some authority from the get go.

“I am talking to you.”

I know that you are but I am not answering you but already I can hear the mounting irritation in your voice and already I can feel the flames rising inside of me as they burn away the cold, harsh iciness of your criticism. That pain is already receding.

“Will you answer me please?”

No I will not. I have to turn my head so you do not see my smirk at your attempt to be commanding. It amuses me. I can see your hands move to your hips and I half expect you to stamp the ground with your foot.

“What’s the matter? Why won’t you answer me?”

The voice rises higher, signalling your anxiety and frustration and the flames continue to build inside of me. I maintain the stony faced expression, ink black eyes staring at the screen. I can see the movement on the television but it as if I am watching it from very far away as all that I am concentrating on now is your voice and the continuing delicious flaming sensation that is sweeping across me.

“Why are you not answering me?”

The questions have altered now haven’t they? A switch from your nosiness about my work to you now asking why I have fallen silent. You can keep asking and I know you will. You will go on for some time. You will storm out of the room trying to force a response from me, but your slammed door just keeps the flames burning. You will come back in. you always do. You will return contrite and apologising although you won’t know what you are trying to apologise for. Still, that won’t stop you going through a carousel of reasons in the hope of breaking my silence.

“Did I upset you?”

“Did I say something wrong?”

“Did I not listen to you?”

“Did I say something offensive?”

“Please, what did I do wrong?”

“Please will you just talk to me?”

“I hate this. I hate falling out. What is that I have done?”

Every time you ask these questions, the pain and concern in your voice keeps adding to the sense of power that I am feeling. The wound you created has long since closed and now I am savouring the growing power that courses through me. You have no idea what you are doing as you try, as you always do, to make things right. I will stay seated here, not even looking at you. You won’t try and stand in front of me whilst I am watching the television. You will not dare do that or switch it off. You remember what happened last time when you did that don’t you and I know you won’t be in a hurry to experience that again. I can sit and revel in my power over you and you just keep adding to it with your pitiful and plaintive questions. You will try to find out what is wrong, you will blame yourself next and start to apologise as you scramble to guess what it is that you have done wrong in the hope that you stumble on the right subject matter and make things rights. But you will fail. Then you move on to trying to bribe me into speaking to you, suggesting we go out, or my friends come round for drinks tomorrow night or that you will cook me something special. Keep at it, I won’t respond. I will not even look at you. You are completely invisible to me as far as you are concerned.

     I wonder how long I will maintain this silence with you? You haven’t worked out what to do yet, I am pleased to say. You keep on asking, pestering and questioning, driven by your own anxiety that causes you to want to ascertain what has happened and make things right. This means you might break off for half an hour but then you resume, trying a different tack. If all you knew you had to so was do exactly what I am doing and it would stop. Go silent and get on with what you want to do and I will start speaking to you and acknowledging you once again as I consider a different manipulation to use against you to gather my precious fuel. Fortunately, your empathic nature which means you want to understand and you want to fix and heal, will make you hang in there and all the while you provide me with fuel and power me. So long as you do so, so long the silence will continue.

Ten Conversational Narc Grenades

1. You never….

The precursor to a criticism of how you do not do something for me. It is a twin explosive assault against you because not only do I tell you that you are failing me by not doing something for me I also choose something that you actually do carry out. By suggesting that you no longer do a particular act or say a certain thing, when you actually do so, I intend to leave you speechless with exasperation and confused as to just how I can say such a thing. You will be stunned by such a blatant contradiction and this will result in your emotional response coming to the fore, rather than a reasoned one. All the better fuel for us.

2. You always….

The flipside of the above and likely to be tossed in your direction not long after the above narc grenade. The allegation of “you always” will be followed by some put-down and criticism highlighting a behavioural trait of yours which we deem unsatisfactory. Once again we will actually highlight something that you do not do in order to perplex you. You will defend yourself against this scandalous accusation and once again erupt in an emotional manner.

3. I’m sick of you controlling me.

Thrown at you in order to project our own rampant control of you. This is also used to deflect any criticism of us when you chastise us for our behaviour. Any attempt from you to point out the error of our ways or even to try to help us in some way will be met with this response. We do believe that you are trying to control us, by trying to break our own control of you and we cannot allow this to happen. It is through our control that we gain what we want from you and therefore any threat to this must be met with something that will knock you off balance. Accusing you of the very thing that we are doing will cause such astonishment and consternation that our aim is fulfilled.

4. My ex wouldn’t do this

A narc grenade of triangulation and who better to do it with than your predecessor. By implying that your predecessor has some form of superiority to you, after all the smearing of her name we did when we first ensnared you, not only will you be taken aback by this sudden volte face, you will also be mightily offended at being compared to someone who we hate so viciously. Drawing you down to her apparent level always brings forth a reaction from you.

5. My ex would do it

Another flipside whereby we are seeking to coerce you to do something for us, something which you are evidently reluctant to do. You have reservations and no doubt with good reason, but that does not matter to us. You are our extension and therefore you ought to be complying with our wishes without hesitation or refusal. By triangulating you again with she who went before you we are threatening that you are inferior to her and raising the prospect that you will be soon dispensed with if you do not do what we want.

6. I love you but I don’t like you right now

This carefully crafted narc grenade will shatter you as it appears as a compliment before ripping your heart out as you struggle to comprehend what we have just said.Surely if we love you, then we must also like you? What do we mean by saying this? It creates confusion and will have you trying to persuade us to both love and like you. What we mean when we lob this grenade towards you is “You say you love me but you will not do what I want.”

7. If you loved me….

We know that you are a love devotee. A passionate supporter and believer in the concept of love and we use this as grenade to about compliance. We know that you take pride in your integrity and decency and therefore you have standards to always uphold. By suggesting that your failure to act in the manner we want or that your disagreeing with us is somehow representative of you loving us less, we are challenging what you stand for. This will always force you to react by stating your case, reacting in an emotional fashion and ultimately doing what we want, in order to prove that you do indeed love us.

8. You are over reacting

A favourite to make you react even more. You take matters seriously and there are many things that we shall do which will cause you to respond in a serious and concerned fashion. By using this grenade, we belittle you and cause the issue to be about your reaction rather than what we have actually done.It acts as a brilliant way to deflect discussion and dissection of our behaviour and instead causes you to try to prove that you are not over-reacting, which will invariably actually heighten your response.

9 I can’t deal with this right now

Our grenade that is thrown in order to provide us with an escape route from any crisis or situation that requires us to be either accountable or supportive. We do neither and we want to keep it this way. We will invent some other reason which means that we have to depart or that you have to deal with this situation as we hurl the grenade, leaving you to catch it and deal with the subsequent explosion as we walk away, free from involvement, responsibility and culpability.

10 I don’t remember

The blast from this grenade is used to eradicate the problem that you are facing us with. Whether it is an accusation that we have failed to do something or evidence of misbehaviour, this grenade is a failsafe way of enabling us to escape the problem. Often it will be used even when it is blatantly clear that we can remember, making your flabbergasted reaction all the more satisfying. There may be irrefutable evidence that we know and can remember but this never stops us from hurling this grenade at you and making good our escape from your attempt to blame us.

The Battle of Going Out

We do not like you to socialise without us. Why would you want to be anywhere other than by our side marvelling at how brilliant we are? Why on earth would you want to spend time with someone who is clearly inferior to us? What are you up to by going out with someone else? You are clearly being disloyal and that does not please us. Moreover, you are not providing us with any fuel by asserting some form of independence and that is a terrible and selfish thing for you to do. We do not like you to spend time with other people since we fear that they exert some malign influence over you. We know they will be trying to undermine us in your eyes and turn you against us. We know it is because they are jealous of what we have together and rather than be pleased for you, they are smearing my good name. You want to listen to them as well, otherwise why would you be going? Our careful and structured control of you, our calculated isolation of you, all stand to be damaged by your socialising with those who we have not got control over. We tried but for some reasons there are two or three of your friends who proved immune to our charm. I should feel sorry for them since they are selfish, bitter and twisted, but I don’t feel sorry for them because I don’t feel sorry do I, only for myself. I want you with me, where I can keep an eye on you and control you. I want you here where you are supplying me with fuel. This is your rightful place and by organising to go out for your meal with these friends you are telling me that I am not good enough to spend time with. You are criticising me and that wounds me. I have to stop you wounding me. I have to stop you going. I have to maintain the upper hand. Thus because of your selfish behaviour the Battle of Going Out is joined.

“You never said that you were going out,” I begin as I see you getting ready in the bathroom. You halt applying your make-up and turn to me.

“Yes I did, I told you last week and again this morning.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes I did, I remember.”

“No you did not. I would have remembered if you had told me,” I answer.

” I put it on the calendar.” You walk to the kitchen and return holding a calendar with the words ‘Girls meal out – Leonardos’.

“See?” you ask and jab a finger at the words.

“That? I thought that was referring to your nieces, not you, you never said.”

“Seriously? Come on, why would my nieces be going to Leonardo’s on their own?” you ask.

“You’ve just written that in when you were fetching the calendar. Look, the ink is still drying.”

You sigh in exasperation.

“I told you about it, it is in the calendar. I have not been out in weeks.”

“Well neither have I,” I comment.

“What? You were out last Friday,” you answer voice rising.

“That was with work.”

“It was still going out,” you reply.

“That is not the same. You know I have to schmooze clients, it is hardly pleasure. I have to do that for business reasons so I think you are being unfair by saying that is a night out for me.”

“Those clients you were out with are your friends, it was a right piss up.”

“Oh sorry, I forgot, you were there weren’t you, you know all about how I conduct my business don’t you?” I declare.

“No I don’t but they are your friends.”

“So I am not allowed to have clients who are friends now am I? Jesus, why don’t you just stop me from having any friends at all eh? Why not stop me going anywhere? You would like that wouldn’t you? Just having me stuck in here all the time.”

“What are you talking about, I let you do as you please.”

“No you don’t. You are determined to keep me on a leash. My friends take the piss out of me for how little time I get to spend with them.”

You halt your application of the lipstick.

“Who has said that?”

“Several people. Jim, Richard and John. They say I am under the thumb.”

“Huh, they have a cheek, Jim is completely under the thumb of Jessica.”

“No he’s not, but you just change the subject why don’t you. You should be staying in with me you never want to do that anymore.”

“Don’t be silly, I am with you most of the time. Look it is just an informal meal with a few of my friends, it is no big deal.”

“If it is not important then why do you have to go?”

“Because I want to,” you answer.

“Where are you going?”

“You know that Leonardo’s.”

“Really? Who with?”

“Jane, Sarah, Mary and Stephanie, oh and Carrie.”

“I don’t believe you, you have just made that up.”

“What? No I haven’t.”

“You are meeting a man aren’t you? Come on who is it?”

“No you are being stupid.”

“Don’t call me stupid. I am not the one going out and leaving their other half on their own,” I begin to shout and you jolt at the sudden change in volume.

“You are up to something, you have a different perfume on. Who is he?”

“Seriously, you are paranoid, I am meeting the girls.”

“No I am not, who do you think you are saying that to me, you are messing around. I know you are. You have been acting strangely the last few weeks. I know you are. Admit it,” I move towards you and stand over you barking into your face. You back away, eyes widening fearfully.

“I haven’t, honestly, I haven’t.”

“I should let you go anyway you whore, I don’t know why  I bother with you. I was planning a pleasant evening in for us. I was going to cook you your favourite and I have a delicious bottle of Chablis chilling but as usual you are being selfish.”

“Please don’t shout at me, I am just going out with my friends, I am allowed to have some friends aren’t I?”

“Not those harpies, they have it in for me, I hate them. I hate you.”

“Oh please don’t be like that, look I will be back by ten at the latest so we can still have some time together,” you suggest.

“Is that supposed to make me feel pleased? Why would I want to spend time with you, you slut. I see, you want to have your way with him and then rub it in my face. You are such a bitch.”

You have backed away from my tirade, wincing with each bellowed sentence. This allows me to snatch up your clutch bag.

“You can’t go out with no keys and no money,” I say holding the bag aloft.

“Please I only want to see my friends, I rarely see them as it is, please give me my bag back, why are you being so horrible?”

“Because you are cheating on me. I am not having you spend our money on some other man.”

“There is no other man, how many times do I have to tell you? Please let me go.”

“No. You are not going. You are staying here with me.”

“I can’t cancel, not this late,” you say in dejection.

“Of course you can. He does not matter.”

“There is no he. It is the girls.”

“So you say. You are not going. If you do that it is me and you finished.”

“What, just because I want to see my friends?” You slump on to the bed, shoulders hunched and your head in your hands.

“You don’t need them, you have got me.”

“Why does it always have to be like this, every time I try and do something you do this,” you protest and your voice breaks with the first sob of frustration.

“No I don’t stop trying to blame me when you are at fault,” I growl.

“You always do this, make feel guilty or do something to stop me going out.”

“Rubbish, you are making things up again. You are just trying to make me feel bad for you. It won’t work you know that.”

You begin crying as I stand power surging through me.

“Here,” I order as I pull your phone from your bag and throw it down on the bed besides you, ” ring them and tell them you can’t make it, say you don’t feel well or something. I will pour the Chablis.”

Still sobbing you fumble for the phone and pick it up before dialling the number. I stand triumphant drinking deep of the fuel you have given me during this exchange. I have won the battle once again and this time I did not even have to escalate it like I did last time. I suppose that was just as well really seeing as how you had only just replaced those mirrors I smashed.

Mobile Weapons

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I love my mobile phone (or to our transatlantic cousins, I love my cell phone). Technology is so useful to me and my kind and you will notice it is a theme I will often return to. Today I want to give centre stage to my phone. It is such a brilliant weapon in keeping you on your toes and in a heightened state of confusion.

You will see it repeatedly stuck to my hand as I text away, surf the internet and I will often take calls when I am with you. Naturally, I do this to keep you wondering who I am engaging with and also to show they are more important than you. Other times I will keep the ‘phone about my person, away from your prying eyes. I know you want to look at it and see who has been contacting me so I keep it away from you to increase your frustration. I also don’t want you looking at it and knowing precisely what I have been doing. I will turn it off and claim I could not get a signal so that would aggravate you. I will also say that it is not working and then feign amazement when a call arrives. Other times I have run out of credit (even though I am a contract) so I could not call you. You ask why I did not text. I explain that the texts were not sending for some reason. Other times I pretend to lose it so that’s why I was out of contact although I suddenly find it again soon after. You tell me it just rang and rang (I turned off voicemail and put it on silent) or you managed to leave a message but I explain the voicemail function is not working. It really does provide me with a myriad of methods to infuriate, confuse and unnerve you. My favourite tactic of all however, which really gets to you, is to change my number and not tell you. I usually save that for when I am doling out the silent treatment to you.

World Building

thNZ3EF0VFWhen I first seduce you, you I will tell you with such great earnest that I want to be your world. I really do mean that. I want to create the world that you live in. I want to formulate your reality so that it is shaped to what I want and thus it will grant me what I require far more readily. I achieve this (and believe me I always succeed because as I keep telling you, I chose you because you are grade A material for my machinations) through a number of means. My total seduction of you results in all your focus falling on me. You will ignore what others say to you. You will hear only my voice. You only want to hear my voice. I will carefully an methodically remove your support networks so there can be no outside interference from the real world, in the reality that I am creating for you. With the distractions utilised and your mind set on me and nothing else, you are a blank canvas for me to weave my magic upon.

Utilising my trusty friend silent treatment I will have you anxious. I will throw in the occasional bout of unprovoked rage which will similarly heighten your anxiety and ensure you want to avoid any repetition in the future. I will then push and pull and push and pull, just as I might if I were kneading some dough until you have delightfully pliable and malleable. You will begin to see the world through my eyes because you will want to ensure you know the right thing to do. You will second guess me. I will play my games (gaslighting as I recently learnt) so that you are perplexed, doubtful and your sense of self-worth disappears down the plughole. You become utterly reliant on me for anything and everything so that I become your world. See what a magnificent world you and me have created together. The astonishing thing is that you don’t even realise what is happening to you as this world of mine springs up around you. Suddenly, it is complete and you are stuck inside it. Scream as loud as you like because this world is soundproofed.