Category Archives: Devaluation

The Silent Sextuplet

THE SILENT

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.

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Just The One Time

Remember when you would wake up and reach for your mobile ‘phone and find that loving and uplifting message that I had sent you? I always rose before you and ensured that a delicious, tantalising text was sent to you ready for when you woke. Like a morning cup of tea on your night stand it was that little gesture which made you feel special. It told you that the first thing that I thought of when I woke up was you. This message of love, desire, passions and excitement would provide you with the first buzz of the day, a delicious reminder of how wonderful I am and how marvellous we are together. The first text of the deluge that would follow throughout the day, scores of little gift-wrapped presents which you open and smile, laugh and melt over. Little did you realise that these messages had been recycled from your predecessor and would be used again for your replacement. Little did you also realise that two other people were receiving these messages first thing in the morning.

Now there is nothing. There is no chime of that early morning text. There is no winking light denoting the text waiting for you to open it. It is silence. As your eyes open, the conditioning that I caused makes you immediately remember how you used to feel when that text arrived. Where once you woke with excitement in your stomach now it is just the sharp stab of pain as you know there is nothing waiting for you. You understand this is how it should be, the need to stay away from me, but it hurts. It hurts so much and how long will this pain remain with you? Will it ever go away? Those months of daily morning texts has ingrained a pattern and a longing inside you and no matter how hard you try the first thought of your day is always

“Four months ago he was still sending me those wonderful texts.” Last month it was the same sentence only it began with three. You roll on to your back and though you know you shouldn’t, you cannot help but allow me into your mind even further as you recall those mornings where we ended up late for work because of our passionate love-making. That quick dart to the en suite and then back into bed where I was waiting for you. You turn and look at the empty pillow and that all too familiar bitter sweet sensations sweeps across you. You know you should not do this. You know you ought now to seek refuge amongst the ghosts of once what was, but it makes the pain lessen, just for a while and it is just a memory isn’t it, thinking about me just the one time cannot do any harm can it? Just the one time. You give a twisted smile at that sentence which has somehow become your daily mantra as you struggle to escape the toxins that I have left inside you, the legacy of my oh so effective seduction and poisoning of you. Just the one time you check on my tweets and who is following me and who I am following. Just the one time you parked near where I lived and watched slumped in your driver’s seat to see who might appear at my door. Just the one time you sent a friend to watch me at an event you knew I would be attended and to report back on what she saw. Just the one time you re-read the e-mails I sent you. It was just the one time for them all and more, well one time a week then one time a day, but I dont know what you are doing do I, so where is the harm? Just the one time you return to my Facebook profile, scouring it, looking for clues like some desperate detective intent on tracking down the prolific killer. You check what I have liked, a picture here, a comment there, some meme about relationships which could be a dig at you but you are not sure. Any trace of you has been erased from my profile, gone are the messages, the comments and the pictures. Somebody else is there now, although there is some ambiguity. A red-headed woman appears in several pictures, laughing with me. You see one where her arms is draped around my shoulders and you feel the burning jealousy and anger and curse both you and I for this feeling. You fling your tablet to one side, muttering under your breath, just the one look having derailed your day before it has begun and vow not to look again. But you will. Just one look. A journey through the carousel of pictures, checking fingers to see if rings have appeared on them, of both me (it would be awful to see that rings on my wedding finger, something I always denied you) and of the women I pose with (it makes you feel sort of better if they wear a ring, that means that they won’t be with me, doesn’t it?)

You skulk amongst my twitter posts and return to my profile on my work website, reading the biography which you know off by heart. Your fingers rest on my profile picture as you see again the tie which you bought me for that particular photo shoot. Some days you wish it would be updated and then others days this once look makes you feel that perhaps I do not hate you, how can I if I still allow this picture to remain? You try not to think about me but somehow your mind just wanders there of its own volition, snaking through a thousand memories that spring up each day. Perhaps you will stay awhile amidst them, just the once minute of remembering. At the weekend you drove out to the forest path we used to amble along during sunny September mornings. Nobody else was ever there. Just you and I. You walked that path again, it was just the one time you needed to do it, to converse with the ghost of my presence as you found yourself talking aloud to me as if I was still walking beside you, holding your hand. It was meant to be just the one time but you have returned three times since, each time swearing that this time is when you exorcise those spectres.

What am I doing now? No doubt getting ready for work, perhaps showering and singing away as I once did in the shower we shared. Am I with somebody? Is somebody preparing breakfast for me or reclining in bed waiting for me to return to the bedroom towel draped about me? It seems so long since you have heard from me and so much remains unanswered, unsaid and unresolved. How would I react if you rang me? You cannot bring yourself to delete my number, just in case there was that one final conversation which could take place and put so many issues to bed, slay so many demons and close so many doors. That would all that it would take surely? Just the one conversation. Keep it business like, keep your emotions in check but just to get some answers so you can move on. Surely that is owed to you? You wonder whether I would answer if you rang me? How would I react if I saw your number on the display? You doubt I have blocked you, why would I do that? Your fingers toy with your phone, you need to know, just the once, just to make the hurt go away. You find my name. You want to hear my voice again, talk and no more but you feel anxious and the trepidation crawls over you. You need to know. You need the answers. What about ringing me and then stopping before I answer to see if I call back? Yes, that is a good idea, that would then show that I do want to talk to you, without the fear of having me hang up on you. That’s it. You will telephone me again after these months of nothing and let it ring and then this ever present agony can be eased. The questions can be answered when I call you back. You will not melt into my arms again. No, you are going to resist those sweet charms because you know what lies behind them. You have earned your stripes in that regard but you need to have this conversation, for yourself. You need to know I will talk to you. A text message isn’t immediate enough. I might not see it for some time or delay in replying, but a missed call, that brings a potential for urgency and immediacy and I am bound to respond to that aren’t I. You will call me. You will call and let it ring. Just the one time.

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Razed to the Ground

RAZED TO THE GROUND

I am the master architect. I will amaze you as I create golden cities that reflect the magnificence of our relationship. With glass and chrome I create those skyscrapers that soar high into the air as a testament to the sheer height to which I will take you. Clean, sparkling rivers run through the centre of these cities, spanned by intricate bridges. The stonework on the most elegant buildings bears the hallmark of the master craftsman that I am. My technique and brilliance surpasses anything that you have seen before. Carefully landscaped parks and gardens provide a verdant oasis at different parts throughout these cities, a haven for flora and brought to life with the sound of birdsong. Beyond the city limits lush meadows undulate away to the imposing grandeur of mountain ranges. I keep the sky an amazing azure through out the day, save for sunset when I allow a few clouds to wisp across the horizon and contribute to the breath taking hues of red, orange, yellow and violet that I weave through the sky. My empire is vast. It is resplendent and awe-inspiring. It is all my own work, achieved through my careful application of building something worthy of representing our relationship. It is built on the most solid of foundations, from the most reliable and durable of materials. There has been no corner cutting, no use of cheap and suspect stone, wood or steel. Nothing shall fall but instead it will prevail for ever in tribute to you and me.
Yet for all this splendour that I have single-handedly created I will take a match to it and bring about an all consuming conflagration. I want to see it engulfed in the inferno of my making. It makes no sense. There is no logic to burning down what I have created. The wanton destruction of such beauty is abhorrent and flies in the face of any reasoned individual. The flames burn with such intensity that the steel melts, sizzling drops of molten metal that scar the stone which fractures and crumbles. Glass shatters, blackened shards that collapse to the ground, the noise of destruction masked by the roar of the flames.
I will stand and watch this terrible destruction with a twisted grin on my face, my hollow eyes reflecting the shooting pillars of orange flame. You are knelt beneath me as I hold your head in my hands, forcing you to watch this display of carnage and obliteration. Your tears stream down your face, cutting through the soot that has adorned your features, the heat haze shimmering before you and your sobbing inaudible compared to the fierceness of the fire that will burn for days.
I will build you an empire and then I shall raze it to the ground. That is my way and it shall always remain the case.

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The Faces of Devaluation

THE FACESOFDEVALUATION

Devaluation.

This period of the narcissistic dynamic is regarded as always being part of the dynamic and understandably the worst part of it. Those who consider it as an ever present part of the dynamic however are over-stating its presence because whether devaluation appears at all and if it does, how it will manifest, depends very much on the nature of the dynamic with our appliances.

Commencing with the Tertiary Source, most of the time our engagements with Tertiary Sources do not include any devaluation. There are two main reasons for this :-

  1. The engagement is brief. We either engage with the Tertiary Source once, for a short time and never again or we engage with them repeatedly but it is only ever brief in nature; and
  2. The needs of the façade mean that engaging with the Tertiary Source in a benign way is the most effective method of proceeding.

It is the case however that Tertiary Sources are devalued. They will be insulted, ignored, triangulated with other superior-ranking sources. This devaluation may be because the Tertiary Source has ignited our fury (for instance a bar tender failing to serve us ahead of someone else) but the devaluation may just occur because we regard it as an expedient response. For instance, we see that it would draw amusement or admiration from our friends (Non Intimate Secondary Sources) if we pour scorn on a homeless person in the street or we insult the waitress in a bar. Neither of these people will have necessarily criticised us but we consider them expendable and by devaluing them we gain negative fuel from them and positive fuel from other sources.

Any devaluation of a Tertiary Source is short in duration. It is a burst of negative fuel but it is not hugely potent (indeed the admiration from the secondary or primary source which it brings about is more potent) when compared to other sources and the quantity of fuel provided is low. This is because the Tertiary Source will not be bound to us and therefore after a period of time of responding in a manner which provides this negative fuel the Tertiary Source more often than not will dis-engage.

The period of devaluation for a Tertiary Source may be less than a minute if they provide negative fuel and then back off. Of course if they continue to engage us and provide Challenge Fuel, we will keep provoking them and also asserting our perceived superiority over them in order to put them in their place. We also of course cannot have some upstart Tertiary source making us look bad in front of other superior sources. We are unlikely to keep ‘pursuing’ the Tertiary Source. Thus, if we upbraid a waiter and he retreats to the kitchen, we are unlikely to follow him and keep the devaluation going. Instead, we take the negative fuel from his angry reaction and let him withdraw. We consider it largely beneath us to keep pressing such an individual. Of course, if the waiter returns to us, we will devalue again and keep doing so for as long as he keeps appearing in front of us.

It is unlikely that the Tertiary Source will be smeared as a consequence of this devaluation because ultimately within our fuel matrix the Tertiary Source is not of significant importance and therefore it is not worth expending the energy and time on smearing them.

We may see this Tertiary Source on another occasion and provoke them again or we may engage with them in a benign fashion. It does not matter to us how we treated them on the previous interaction because of the way we compartmentalise.

In respect of secondary sources, devaluation does occur but if and when it does, it is for a reason which is directly linked to the behaviour of the secondary source.

If someone is a non-intimate secondary source, therefore they are a family member, friend or colleague, they will usually enjoy an elongated golden period. Devaluation of the secondary source will only occur where that individual has sought to expose us, challenge us extensively or has turned off the fuel supply completely. The devaluation will be longer than that of the Tertiary Source because the secondary source will be bound more closely to us. This binding will be as a consequence of the nature of the relationship – the person is in our social circle with other people, they work with us or they are in our family circle – but also because we will have put more effort into binding them to us. Accordingly, the secondary source is less likely to withdraw in the same way that a Tertiary Source would. Instead, the secondary source is more likely to want to try to find out why they are being treated this way, to seek to make amends and to gain our favour once again. Sometimes this devaluation occurs as a consequence of needing to send a signal to other secondary sources that they ought not to cross us so that they realise it is preferable to remain loyal to us than cross us in some way.

The secondary source who is devalued is likely to be smeared by us. We will want other secondary sources of the same circle or ilk to turn against the devalued secondary source and complete their isolation and to ostracise them. We are conscious of the maintenance of the façade and therefore we will look to present a reason for why this secondary source has fallen from favour, is no longer invited, is not welcome at certain gatherings and so forth.

The period of devaluation for a secondary source varies in terms of the actual engagement and the period over which the person is regarded as ‘black’. If the secondary source wants to talk to us to find out why they are treated this way, we will keep devaluing them so this might be a matter of minutes or a couple of hours. If they remain proximate to us and keep providing negative fuel, we will keep devaluing and provoking them. If they retreat and try to engage us on another occasion, they will remain ‘black’ until they do something (or there is an external act) which causes us to regard them as ‘white’ and we welcome them to the fold again. For instance, if the secondary source seeks forgiveness and has a residual benefit we want, we will extend our graciousness to admit them into the relevant circle again. If we see no purpose, other than negative fuel, then they remain painted ‘black’ and they will be dis-engaged from and we will find a replacement for them soon enough.

In some instances the secondary source may dis-engage and have nothing more to do with us, thus a friend never socialises with us, the family member withdraws or the colleague moves workplaces or department. Sometimes they may not have such an option and instead they remain in effect a scapegoat for us, remaining ‘black’ for years and are devalued further each time there is any interaction with us. Thus, every time there is a family gathering they will be subject to contemptuous comments, triangulation or silent treatments. Of course, this long-lasting devaluation may be intermittent as we may only see this secondary source at certain events or places. Similar to the tertiary source we will rarely keep seeking out the secondary source to devalue him or her.

Where the secondary source is of an intimate variety, either an IPSS or DSIPSS, then the dynamic alters. There are two potential forms of devaluation.

The first is used as a corrective measure to bring the IPSS or DSIPSS back into line. Thus devaluation and dis-engagement is not a certainty but instead, if the IPSS or DSIPSS responds favourably to this ‘warning’ then the devaluation will halt and the golden period continues. This is because the IPSS or DSIPSS’s fuel is regarded as still valuable and not stale and devaluation is used because they are not complying as they ought to do. This corrective devaluation brings them back into line and thus the corrective devaluation halts.

The second is where the IPSS or DSIPSS does not respond to the warning and thus their failure and treachery means that he or she must now be punished as we head towards dis-engagement. The devaluation in this instance will be more intense than the corrective devaluation but it will not last for long because either the IPSS or DSIPSS stays out of our way or if they do not, we want to turn to a different IPSS or DSIPSS (or find a new one) and therefore dis-engagement comes along quickly.

Finally there is the IPPS. The Intimate Partner Primary Source is the person who suffers the longest devaluation, the harshest devaluation and is the one which is recognised by most people. This happens because

  1. You promised to be The One. Your failure to live up to our ideals mean you must be punished, we are not going to let you off the hook easily;
  2. Your negative fuel is potent, plentiful and frequent and therefore we want to keep drawing that from you;
  3. This negative fuel also provides contrast and the motivation for our seduction of your potential replacement;
  4. You are bound to us and therefore you are far less likely to withdraw from us. This binding is both emotional and non-emotional. Emotionally it arises because you want to return to the golden period, you want to make everything alright, you are a love devotee and want to have love triumph, you may well be co-dependent, you do not want to admit defeat and you are addicted to us. The non-emotional are matters such as finances, children, house, family pressures and so forth. The combination of these factors means that you cling to us and because you most likely live with us your devaluation occurs each day;
  5. We grant you Respite Periods. This takes place within the umbrella of the Devaluation Period and means that you are given renewed hope (so you stick around) and also it means your potential for becoming numbed and unresponsive is reduced by these periods which allow you to gather some strength again;
  6. The IPPS may be the only person in our fuel matrix who is being devalued and this will usually take place behind closed doors to preserve the façade so there is less likelihood of external interference which will disrupt the devaluation.

The devaluation of the IPPS is the most brutal of all the devaluations of appliances, it continues for the longest, it can be years, even decades in some instances and within this devaluation comes a whole host of manipulations and abuses which cover the emotional, the financial, the sexual and the physical.

 

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The Fear

 

THE FEAR

 

Fear comes in many forms. It has the capacity to cause dread, anxiety and nervousness. Fear is one of the most powerful tools that exists to facilitate control over somebody. Think back to when you were a small child and the things that frightened you. Many of them have a universal applicability. How many times did you cry out to your mother and father in the night because you were frightened of the “monsters under the bed” and you were terrified that once the bedroom door was closed that something would come creeping out of the wardrobe and induce utter fear throughout you? Perhaps it was the strange shapes that formed once the light was turned off with only moonlight streaming through the crack in the curtains so that the shadow thrown across the room appeared like some old crone waiting to come and take you away and eat you. How many times were you warned as a child never to speak to strangers, never to get into a car with somebody you did not know and never to accept sweets from a stranger? Do you recall how this conjured up images of smelly old men in stained raincoats who waited to abduct you and spirit you away to be locked up who knows where? Perhaps there was that house on your walk back from school which had attracted a certain reputation. It was run-down, the garden overgrown, with bushes spilling onto the path, the windows grimy and paint peeling. You were never sure whether anybody actually lived there. Some said that a witch resided there and she waited for children passing on their own before grabbing them and stuffing them in her cellar to starve to death. Others told tales on stormy afternoons which made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, about the spirits that haunted the old house. A friend would swear that he had walked past, one wet and windy evening, just as it was going dark and he saw the face of a ghostly child staring at him from an upstairs window, the child’s spectral hands knocking against the window as if requesting help. After hearing that tale you took a different route home from school so you did not have to pass this particular house anymore. If that was not possible, you would run past, head down, shouting at the top of your voice to drown out any strange sounds that might come from the trapped ghost child, as you dared not even look towards the house. Fear often stalked your childhood and resulted in sleepless nights, nightmares and a reluctance to go to bed. Do you remember being sent to bed and staring up the stairs towards the darkness wondering what was waiting for you? How you did not want to appear scared in front of your parents (especially since they had let you stay up a while longer because you were a “big boy/girl” now). You wanted to hand those words back as you hovered at the base of the stairs, the hallway colder than the living room from which you had ventured. How many times did the noise of the house settling, resulting in strange groans and creaks convince you that somebody was waiting out of sight in a doorway, their heavy booted foot resting on the squeaky floorboard, rusty axe clutched in greasy, long-nailed fingers?  Did the sight of a clown have you running to hide in the folds of your mother’s dress, that strange leering and accentuated mouth creating panic in your tiny mind? What did that eerie clown have in mind for you?

It might have been a reluctance to paddle barefooted in the sea or a river because you could not see where you were putting your feet. You felt something brush your foot, most likely seaweed, but in your mind some razor-toothed fish was about to take a bite from your ankle or a crab was about to affix a pincer to your big toe. You turned and ran hollering from the edge of the sea back to the safety of the sandy beach. There may have been a murderer’s alleyway in your town, a badly-lit passageway between two roads which was a convenient and easy short cut during the day but a night the purported preserve of lurking knife merchants and yellow-toothed stranglers who were just waiting to pounce and take your life. You stood staring down the alleyway trying to drive the rising fear from you but it just would not go and instead you opted to walk the long way around. It took twenty extra minutes but at least you got home safely.

Fear continued to stalk your life as you grew older. You might not be worried about the bogeyman anymore but he has shapeshifted into the fear that comes with finding a lump about your body and not knowing what it is. Uncertainty about the business for whom you work has you tossing and turning at night. Wondering where the next pay check will come from has you similarly fearing for the future. Walking alone along a road at night and hearing footsteps behind you still causes your heart rate to increase. A glance over your shoulder as you cross the road to the over pavement only serves to heighten your worry as a hooded figure also crosses the road. Your step quickens as your fear increases and your mind floods with images of robbery, rape or murder. When alone in the house at night the sound of a bang from downstairs has you sat bolt upright in bed. What was that noise? Did you dream it? Was it somebody breaking in? Was it something not of this world, a poltergeist perhaps hurling a book against a wall. You cannot see what caused the noise and immediately the fear forms in the pit of your stomach, your racing mind conjuring up a score of unpleasant scenarios as you debate creeping to the top of the stairs and peering down to see if you can ascertain what it was.

Fear takes hold of you and makes your reasoning faulty. It tightens around your throat stopping you from calling out and turns your legs into stone so you are figuratively petrified and unable to escape that unseen tormentor. Fear withers you, paralyses you and you will do anything at all to escape that sensation of fear. It is pervasive, damaging and controlling.

Your greatest fears always stem from the unknown. It is that which you cannot see which causes you the greatest terror. When you cannot see something you are plunged into fear, its icy grip takes hold and you crumble. The unknown and the unseen create the fear. That is why we are so devastatingly effective in our control of you. That is why we create such numbing fear in you.

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Bring Down The Shutters

SHUTTERS DOWN

 

Once we commence our devaluation of one of our victims there is a vast array of manipulative techniques that can be used to fulfil our aim of extracting negative fuel from you. Some of these methods are subtle and may not be noticed by the subject, such as triangulation with an object. Others are brutal involving the smashing of property and the flailing fists and stomping boots. It is often the case that you do not realise that devaluation has commenced because you have yet to have any familiarity with this word or even with what it signifies. You will notice however a change in our behaviour. One of those changes is akin to us bringing down the shutters whenever we deal with you.

Once upon a time we exited our car and cantered across to where you stood waiting in the doorway as we wrapped our arms around you and embraced you passionately. Our face had lit up and our delight in seeing you appeared genuine enough. This happened each time we came to see you, as if we had not seen you for months on end, even though it was only the day before when we last held you. Now when we meet you there is no joyful skip towards you, the smile seems forced and there is no light in our eyes anymore. Whereas they once lit up a brilliant blue and sparkled, now they just seem lacklustre and dull, darker than usual. You try to lift our spirits in that indefatigable way of yours. You ask what is wrong and you are always met with an answer of “nothing”.

“Are you sure?” you ask, “you seem unhappy.”

“No there is nothing the matter.”

“You can tell me.”

We realise we must say something but we are pleased by your concern and the fuel that it provides.

“It’s okay. There is nothing wrong.”

“It does not seem like it. Please, tell me what is on your mind.”

Time to step it up a little and extract some further fuel.

“I said there’s nothing wrong,” I snap and pull my hand away from yours. Your face turns from concern to upset and the fuel flows.

This continues as once we used to talk for hours on the ‘phone about all manner of things and laughed and planned, now we still talk for a long time (or rather you seem to do more of the talking this time) as we draw the negative fuel from you. You try to find new topics to keep the conversation going but our responses are limited, our tone flat and then irritable as you try to remain chirpy and upbeat but the sadness and confusion is all too evident in your voice. It needs to be. We need that.

“I just don’t understand, “you protest pleasantly, “you seem so different these days.”

“Really? In what way?”

“It’s like, it is like I am dealing with someone else.”

“Well that’s nonsensical, it is me.”

“Yes I know that but you are not the same.”

“Of course I am the same, you are imagining things.”

“No I am not. You don’t seem to be into me as much as you once were.”

“I am, it is just, you know, I have a lot going on at present.”

“I understand that but it is more than that. It is like I am talking to a different person. You don’t seem to connect with me the way you used to.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

“How can I put it? It’s like you have made a conscious decision to distance yourself from me and you do not say the things you used to. You always used to sign off your texts with three kisses and now it is only one.”

“You are concerned about how many kisses I put on my texts?” I ask in disbelief.

“No, well yes, well it is not that. That is just a symptom of something else. It concerns me because I love you so much. It is like you have brought down the shutters and put up barriers when we are together. There is a distance between us that wasn’t once there.”

“I haven’t noticed it.” (Of course I have. I know precisely what you are talking about.)

You then spend many minutes trying to convey this sense of distance and alienation as I listen. I am not hearing the words that you say, nor do I pay attention to the explanation, I am too engaged focussing on the hurt in your voice, the frustration and the exasperation as I suck the fuel from your sentences. This technique is subtle. It is easy to implement and enables us to draw negative fuel from you without you realising what we are doing. It is often the beginning of the devaluation period when the simple cessation of the golden behaviour produces in itself a reaction which provides fuel. We do not need to shock you, we do not need to shout or yell, there is no need to lead you on a confusing and merry dance with our denials and deflections. The simple act of pulling up the drawbridge and no longer allowing you access to the wonderful part of us, illusion that it is, remains highly effective.

“I just feel like you bring the shutters down and I am dealing with somebody different. You are not the HG I know and love. You are someone else.”

Time to throw you a little lifeline to give you hope.

“I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less. Just last night I was staring at the chair where you usually sit wishing you were there opposite me talking to me.”

That should do it.

“There you see, that is the HG I know, back in an instant. I wish I had been sat in that chair too, I missed you so much last night.”

It really is so easy.

10+

Pet

pet

“Sexpot”

“Angel”

“Babe”

“Honey”

“Princess”

“Babygirl”

“Penguin”

“Corky”

“Glow worm”

From the obvious and well-used to the corruptions and bastardisation of your first name through to the downright bizarre, pet names are a standard feature of relationships. Parents may have a nickname or pet name for their child, we use nicknames for our friends but most often they are used in the context of an intimate relationship. Their use is to denote endearment and to highlight something special and unique (although using babe is not going to win awards in that category) between that person and their significant other. When used in the context of a non-narcissistic relationship they are relatively harmless, perhaps hinting at something which teases and might be mildly embarrassing (e.g. calling someone glow worm because they go red and become embarrassed easily) but generally they are used as a fond and kind epitaph. That situation becomes corrupted and entirely different in our hands. We regularly use pet names for our primary sources, but our motives for doing so are not about being genuinely endearing but for a host of more nefarious reasons.

  1. It is done to appear to endearing to you so that you think you are special to us. You merit being given a pet name and therefore you are led to think that we naturally care and love you since we have taken this step. This is done because it is a standard step in many intimate relationships and all we are doing is mimicking that for the purposes of making you think that the relationship between you and us is wonderful, special and marvellous.
  1. You are our possession. By giving you a label in this manner we are branding you and stamping on you that you belong to us. It enables us to exert control over you.
  1. We objectify all of our appliances and by giving you a pet name we are reinforcing that. We may call you “angel” but in our minds you are just an angel, one of hundreds no thousands out there. In the way that those who find themselves in a perilous situation might use their name with an aggressor of kidnapper in order to humanise themselves and the other person, we utilise pet names to dehumanise you. It is our stand point that you are an object to us and it is far easier to control and abuse an object.
  1. We use the same pet names for many of our appliances. There will be differences when for example the pet name plays on your name, so if you are called, Rebecca, we may call you Beccipops, but if it is a pet name which is nothing to do with your actual name or a distinct attribute of yours then you should be aware that several primary sources before you all got the same name and the ones that comes after you will as well.
  1. By using a pet name and keeping it the same for all our primary sources we minimise the risk of calling you, accidentally, by the wrong name and bringing about questioning and a challenge. Thus, if we call you “Sugarbumps” and we are having an affair, the other person will also be called “Sugarbumps”. If you were ever granted access to a narcissist’s phone, do not be surprised to see Sugarbumps1 and Sugarbumps2 in the directory.
  1. As with many things narc, what we grant we then take away in order to upset you and exert control over you. Thus if we always referred to you as “Hot stuff” you can expect that come devaluation you would be referred to by your actual name instead of there may even be a corruption of the pet name, for instance calling you “Cold stuff” instead. This is done to make you react and feel hurt by this change in the affectionate pet name.
  1. In some instances, the pet name may actually seem like a compliment to you but actually has a hidden meaning to our kind and whilst you smile when you hear this name being used, we are actually laughing at you on the inside because you do not realise that you are being insulted. One example might be by jokingly referring to you as the boss. Thus in front of you and our coterie we may say,

“Thanks for asking, I will have to run it by the boss.”

You smile at this affectionate deference to your authority oblivious to the fact that my coterie and I know is means Best Of Seven Sluts, being a reference to how we regard you sexually.

  1. In some cases, we forget who you actually are (because we regard you as an object) but if we call all objects “Munchkin” then we can fall back on that and refer to you by this name without appearing stupid for forgetting what you are called.
  1. We may invent new and different pet names which are insulting, disrespectful and unpleasant when we embark on our devaluation of you. We may call you The Rash because you keep appearing everywhere when we do not want to see you. We may call you The Pirate because you have small breasts, e.g. a sunken chest. We may label you as The Thorn because you are a pain in our side or we may just go for It as regular readers will know from my treatment of Lesley.
  1. We will also insist that you use a pet name for us but we will choose it. Nobody normal chooses their nickname and then tells people to use it. Nicknames and pet names evolve from characteristics witnessed by those around the recipient of the name. The fact that we appear and tell you to call us “Goldenballs” is evidence of our sense of entitlement and grandiosity.

The use of a pet name by our kind is never to be regarded as pleasant and complimentary. It is a device for demeaning you, upsetting you and exerting our control over you, in the same way that one keeps a pet animal, that is how you are regarded as we keep you in one of our gilded cages.

Listen to ‘Pet’

7+