Category Archives: Devaluation

Ice on the Awake

icing-on-the-awake

The bedroom is one of my favourite rooms. One of my ex-girlfriends used to call it the torture chamber. Another called it the freezer. Their appellations amused me. I don’t like to be touched. Dr O has suggested this is because that touch reminds me too much of what I am missing. I laughed at her remark. I prefer not to be touched, so how on earth would I miss that? I soon learned in the bedroom however that there was an expectancy to touch and hold. At first I would go along with this ritual but I soon tired of it and the thought of ‘spooning’ made me gag. I then learned however that my dislike of being touched and touching was actual a very useful weapon. I initially refrained from touching purely because I did not like it. No more. No less. The person in bed with me however would make such a scene about it that I learned they had to be touched or held to affirm that I felt something for them. Accordingly, by withholding any form of contact this would really upset them. It was marvellous. I was able to turn an idiosyncrasy of mine into a tool to cause upset and distress. If I refused to cuddle up (I’m shuddering just typing that) then I would be met with loud sighs and pleading requests. This emboldened me to not even face their way. In fact, I would lie looking at them and then purposefully turn my back on them. Moments later the sobbing would start and I would feel the power flowing through me before I drifted off to sleep. From what they told me, they endured many a lonely night trying to sleep. If they tried to place an arm around me, I would shrug it off or if really irritated (and this was a body blow) I would get up and sleep in the spare room. I love doing this. Not only do I get to really isolate the other person but then I can criticise them in the morning for forcing me from my bed and into the spare room. That gives me a delightful boost as I butter my toast.

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How Could You?

how-could-you

 

“How could you do this to me?”

“How could you sleep with my sister?”

“How could you just walk out on us like that and never even contact us for months?”

“How could you treat me like I didn’t exist?”

“How could you hit me when you say that you love me?”

“How could you get me into so much debt?”

“How could you stand by and let me suffer so badly?”

“How could you not see what you were doing?”

“How could you not understand what I was saying to you?”

“How could you tear us apart like this?”

“How could you say such awful, horrible things to me?”

“How could you? In our bed of all places?”

“How could you even look at yourself in the mirror after doing that?”

“How could you let me down in such a terrible way?”

“How could you destroy our family?”

“How could you not control yourself?”

“How could you do such a thing to your own children, for God’s sake?”

“How could you disappear like that?”

“How could you be so heartless?”

There is little doubt that you have asked one or more of the questions above, or a variation of those queries when dealing with our kind. Your question will have been asked in a heightened emotional state as your world collapsed and you struggled to comprehend that somebody could behave in such a manner. Nothing made sense anymore.

Everything you thought that you knew had been torn up, re-written and trampled into the dirt. Your alarm, confusion and distress were considerable and your bewilderment and sheer astonishment that a human being could do such things only served to make your position even worse.

Whatever was said or done. No matter how morally bereft, ethically bankrupt or socially unacceptable the act. No matter the level of depravity, the depths to which we sunk and the new low we achieved, you found yourself asking this question. No matter what you did, what you gave and what you gave often, it mattered not one iota because you were left asking this question.

Invariably you received no explanation. Denial and deflection ruled the day. Perhaps there was some mumbled explanation or even a demonstration of false contrition by way of a Preventative Hoover, but whatever our response will have been, it will not have given you the truth of how we could have done those things.

We are able to say those things and commit those acts for several reasons.

  1. Golden Period. You were given the golden period. You were either spared the worst of our behaviour for a time period (usually the Lesser) or you were given the whole glorious illusion of love, passion and dizzying elation. You received this and you embraced it willingly. There is a price that comes with such largesse you know and now you are paying it through us behaving in such a manner as that which has caused you such distress.
  2. Entitlement. Who are you to challenge what we have done? Who do you think you are questioning us as to how we could have done those things? We are entitled to do as we please, when and how we like and you have to deal with that. Someone as great as us gets to behave as he wants and you ought to know better than to challenge us about it.
  3. Necessity. All we do is as is required by necessity. Whether it was to gain fuel, to punish you, to remind you of your position, to reinforce our superiority, to preserve the façade and so many other potential reasons, what we do is necessary and if that results in suffering for you, then that is how it must be. Our needs matter. Yours do not.
  4. No accountability. Linked to our sense of entitlement there can be no penalty, sanction or reprimand for our actions. We are immune from punishment or consequence. We do not even have to explain ourselves and therefore this allows us to proceed as we deem appropriate.
  5. No awareness. The Lesser or Mid-Range will not even be aware that what they have done is wrong or offensive since their perspective of the world is different to yours.
  6. No admission. The Greater knows what has happened is considered to be wrong by you, not that he cares and furthermore neither will he admit as such. To do so would be a sign of weakness and hand an advantage to you.
  7. You deserve it. You don’t function as you should any more. You have gone rogue and let us down. Accordingly, our response was entirely merited by punishing you.
  8. No conscience. There is no downside, no guilt or remorse in doing what we did. Therefore, we are untroubled by the import of your allegations.
  9. Fuel. We need it. Accordingly, everything is in play and anything can be done to acquire it.

How could you not realise all of this?

No wonder we get sick of you.

My Secret Garden

my-secret-garden

Would you like to know what my garden is like? Before I tell you, why don’t you stop and close your eyes and picture in your mind’s eye what you think my garden looks like? That’s right, conjure up the image that forms when you think of me and what my garden might be like. Take your time, move around it and ensure you have given it due consideration as you generate the image. Have you done it? Did it take you long? I suspect you managed to envisage it rather quickly didn’t you, after all, you are well-known for your amazing imagination aren’t you? I often find I have to apologise for your fantastic tales and over the top comments, but that is to be expected of somebody like you. Anyway, let’s leave your behaviour to one side for the time being (although I will return to it when nobody is looking, you can be assured of that) and let’s consider what you created in your mind.

I should imagine that the landscape you have formulated is one of two outcomes. I expect that some of you will have pictured nothing but concrete. All plant life and flora banished by a solid slab of grey cement that has solidified into an impenetrable barrier that stretches in all directions, lifeless and uninspiring. Once there might have been a flourishing and verdant garden but it has been banished by this concrete covering which has extinguished anything that grew or blossomed. If the concrete carbuncle is not what you saw in your mind then you will have opted for the alternative. You will have pictured solid, barren and lifeless soil which will not sustain anything of beauty. A toxic and poisonous stream flows through the centre of it, dead fish floating on their backs as they drift lifelessly along. Not even algae grow on this polluted stream. The few trees there are in this garden are dead. The bark grey and lifeless, forlorn limbs stretching into a dark grey sky, where there is always cloud. The branches and twigs are leafless. The bushes consist of brambles which hinder anybody who might try and move through this uninviting place. There is no grass and there a few brown, dried-out husks which suggest they might have once been something greener and vibrant. There are no sweet smelling flowers here, only the awful stench which rises from the slow-moving stream which looks more like treacle that water. Even the weeds are few and far between, struggling to find any sustenance from the sterile soil.

Is this what you saw?

Come and follow me as I take you into my secret garden. I produce a key from my jacket explaining that very few people ever get to see my secret garden but I am letting you inside because you are special and I like you. I open the thick gate and usher you inside. You do not see me hurriedly lock it behind you since you are busy staring at the beautiful garden that rolls out before you. Capability Brown must have laboured long and hard here. The lawn is flat and even, the grass has been rolled so that stripes have formed and there is not one blemish to be seen amidst the green, green blades. The edges of the lawn have been carefully cut so that no grass overhangs so that there is a distinct line between the lawn and the flower beds. The soil looks fertile, well-nourished and is free of weeds. A dazzling array of flowers grow from this well-tilled soil. Strong stalks reach up towards the azure sky, shiny leaves sprouting from the stalks before the injection of colour appears. Every shade of the rainbow is represented amongst the many varieties of flower that flourish in my secret garden. Brilliant blues, fiery oranges, ruby reds and sunshine yellows abound. The flowers have short petals, long petals which move in the gentle breeze, there are bell-shaped flowers, trumpet shaped flowers and others shaped like stars. White, purple, scarlet and ochre all combine to create this tapestry of beauty. A stream gurgles as it passes through the garden, cutting across the magnificently manicured lawn, so that an intricate bridge has been created allowing one to traverse from one side to the other. Bushes ring the flowers, an expert in topiary having crafted them into sensational shapes. Beyond the bushes are the trees, tall and trimmed so that they form a fence around this paradise. You stand on the edge of this magnificent garden utterly transfixed. The scents waft from the roses, from the lilies and the sweet William combining to create a heady concoction of fragrances. You are over awed by this display.

“Do you like it?” I ask.

You are dumb-founded, unable to speak. All you can muster is a slow nod as you feel a tear trickle down your cheek from your left eye as you are overtaken by how beautiful it all is.

I beckon to you and you follow me to a nearby apple tree which is festooned with fruit. The red and green apples hang from the branches and I pluck one and pass it to you. You smile and take a bite anticipating how fresh and crisp the apple will be. Your teeth easily sink in as you are surprised to find the flesh of the apple soft. You taste bitterness in your mouth and instinctively spit out the piece of fruit.

“What’s wrong?” I ask as I select an apple too.

“It is sour,” you explain. I take a bite from my apple and you hear the crunch as I take a chunk from it. I chew and through the mouthful explain that mine tastes fine. I hand the apple to you and you bite into it. It is soft and again tastes sour. Confusion rises inside you as you look at the apple and see a maggot wriggling beneath where you have bitten into the apple. You hurl the apple away as I invite you to sniff a magnificent rose nearby. You lean in and inhale its perfume, pulling the petalled head towards you. There is no scent and instead you sneeze. As you let go of the rose you give a short cry of pain and find that a thorn is wedged in your finger, the blood already spooring from the wound and trickling down your finger. You sneeze again,your nose irritated by something and you keep sneezing as your eyes water. You stagger away from the rose still sneezing and into a bush but it is not the sculpted creation you saw moments earlier. Instead, you feel a prickling sensation as you are stung and realise you have stumbled into a bed of nettles. Pain rising you stagger away, eyes streaming and make for where you recall the stream is hoping to use the cool, clear water to wash away the irritation you have suffered. You can just make out where it is through your blurred vision as you drop to your knees only to cry out again. You have knelt on some thistles.Where did they come from? This lawn was flawless before. You reach out flailing for the stream but there is nothing, The water has gone and the stream has dried up. You feel something wrap around your left wrist and as you try to wipe away the tears from your eyes with your free hand, you feel pain as a vine begins to tighten about your wrist. You pull trying to free yourself from it and twist around to call to me for help.

The smooth lawn is no longer there. Gone is the rolled grass. Instead you are looking at a mountainside, rugged and steep. You yank your arm as the vine is trying to pull you and look upwards. You can see me standing there smiling at you, looking down from my lofty position atop this mountain which has sprung out of nowhere. A cold wind begins to blow as you shout for help, another vine beginning to snake towards you. I tilt my head as if I cannot hear you, a smile still plastered across my face.

“Help me, what is happening?” you shout.

“Nothing,” I call back, ” I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“This. The garden, it has changed,” you yell above the gathering wind. You see that I am shaking my head.

” Not it’s not, everything is just the same, Beautiful isn’t it?” I reply.

You frown. How can I not see what has altered? The beautiful glade has become a hostile and hurtful place. How has this happened to you? You try and crawl forward and I stand watching you, offering no help as more vines snake towards you, the ground beneath you hard and stony. The vines wrap about you and threaten to pull you into the abyss below you. All the while I stand and watch smiling.

Welcome to my secret garden.

Eyes Wide Shut

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Will you ever recognise me as I walk towards you, rictus grin fixed across my face, eyes ablaze with love, passion and desire? Will you notice the way I keep you in my sights as my charm flows over you, seeping into your every pore and orifice? Will you take heed of the sugar-coated words as they spill from my mouth, telling you so remarkably all the things that you want to hear? Will you take note of the phrases which have been recycled again and again and possess the novelty of a cliché? Will you look deep into my eyes and see past your reflection or will you remain transfixed by what shines in these dulled, dark eyes? Will you question how is it that I know so much about you, where you live, where you work, your hobbies and your hates? Will you feel the chill down your spine as I appear once again without warning at a location you frequent or will you regard it as the tingling sensation of excitement and the thrill of my alluring personality? Will you question the platitudes that I issue, like confetti sprinkled on the breeze or will you smile and nod and savour the warmth that rises within you as I tell you how wonderful you are and that we belong together? Will you frown at my declaration of love within a day and a night and a day of meeting you or will you accept and swallow those carefully crafted words without a moment’s consideration? Will you wonder how my hands and mouth became so skilled or will you submit to their heady application and give breathless thanks that they are laid upon you? Will you query how this golden light continues to shine and wonder why you were chosen above all the others? Will you see through the veneer of scathing hatred for those who have gone before you or will you become co-conspirator and sneer at her or at him, disgusted by their lack of dignity in the way that they behave? Will you not ask yourself whether their words ring with truth and why they look as if their very essence has been sucked from them, leaving naught but a fractured shell? Will you wonder why the gifts keep on coming? Will you question the forbidden fruits that have been laid before you or will you gorge on them, delirious with desire and elated by the ecstasy of our largesse?

Will you recognise me when I turn my face from you when you try to kiss me? Will you know what is happening when you are left in a tearful heap on the floor for the third time in a week or will you flagellate yourself for your shortcomings? Will you notice as the triangles are weaved around you and your best friend becomes your supposed enemy, but by whose say so? Will you fight back against the control that is exerted on the way you look, what you choose to do and who you interact with or will you accept it and allow your sense of self to evaporate? Will you understand what is happening to you as you crawl alone into that ice-cold bed, this once haven of sexual congress that now lies like an empty tomb ? Will you realise what is going on as you blink back tears as the clock shows 3am and you have no idea where I am?  Will you stand up for yourself when you are labelled whore, slattern, idiot and fool or will you bow your head and retreat, thankful that your injuries are only verbal. This time. Will you remember what you once were ? Will you remain bound by the chains of confusion or will you break them across your knee and free yourself from your cruel bondage?

Will you recognise me as my hand grips your throat and my bile-infused words rain down on you, spittle flecked hatred peppering your face? Will you dial my number for the fiftieth time in two hours as you desperately try to hear my voice and ask me, beg me, plead for me to come home? Will you wince as another dinner set falls prey to my savage fury ? Will you kneel and pick up the pieces, fingers shaking as you fumble for the broken shards that lie scattered across the floor? Will you know what is being systematically done to you each and every day or will you obscure the reality by praying for that golden light to come back and dispel the darkness? Will you recognise me for what I truly am or will you make yet another excuse, wondering what will happen when you run dry of the excuses and hastily constructed explanations for my reign of terror?

Will you recognise me as I cast you aside, shoved into the dirt and sneered at? Will you look up from the smouldering ruins of what we once had and see her (or is it you?) looking back at you with disdain writ large across her made-up features? She seems so familiar, do you know her, there is such a fog now and it clouds so much. Will you understand why you have been forgotten about as your numbed fingers compose another searching e-mail, asking for explanations that will not come, expressing tearful anger that will be smiled at, detailing your abject hurt which will only ever receive a dismissive shrug?

Will you recognise me for what I am when I reach out a hand and lift you from your broken existence? Will you know what truly is going to happen as I lead you once more towards the brilliant, burning golden light? Will you feel the prick of caution in your mind or will you gladly race towards the promised land once again, concern and hesitation thrown to one side? Will you notice the rictus grin once again as you race ahead of me? Will you pay attention to the darkened glint in my baleful gaze or will you charge headlong towards the paradise,  addicted to its warmth and glorious sensations? Will you recognise me as I close the door behind us, bolt it and turn the heavy iron key in the lock as the thick drapes are pulled across the dirt-smeared windows? Will you notice the sharpened dagger that I have produced and hold behind my back?

Will you stop and glance in the shattered mirror that dominates this place and if you do, will you recognise yourself?

A Brief Period of Rejoicing

 

a-brief-period

 

The period of devaluation will feel like an ongoing onslaught against you as the various methods of manipulation are deployed against you. We know that it cannot be an unending assault, for no matter how tempting it may be to keep exacting the negative fuel from you as a consequence of your tears, fear, frustration and anger, there is only so much that you can sustain before you decide that enough is enough and you depart. Bringing about such a swift cessation of our primary source of fuel is contrary to our needs and therefore the abusive regime must be rationed in order to provide for the maximum return. Furthermore, if we were to maintain a permanent state of abuse then we would also bring about your failure to function as a reliable appliance. Either you would break under the onslaught or you would eventually become de-sensitised too it and no matter how hard we tried to up the ante, it just would not have the same effect. Whether broken or de-sensitised such a condition results in the interruption to our fuel supply and that is of the paramount importance.

To avoid this happening we will provide various periods of respite during the devaluation phase. This creates the push and pull factor that you become so familiar with. This is what creates the sensation of being strapped to a rollercoaster with no capacity to control its direction or speed. You will be subjected to a silent treatment out of nowhere. One moment you will be relaxing on a Sunday afternoon after a pleasant lunch and then you ask us an innocent question. There is no answer. You ask again in case we have not heard but we remain reading the newspaper. You ask a third time and we fold down a section of the newspaper so that we may peer at you from behind it as that ice-cold glare forms. You are immediately taken aback and your look of hurt and confusion provides the fuel as you ask us what is the matter. Silence. You ask again. Silence. You get up and come over to us and keep asking what is wrong, what is it that you have said, please will we talk to you. More silence. You replay the day so far, in your mind and then you engage in asking us whether when you did this was that what has upset us? Or perhaps when you said something else, is this what has brought this silence on? We of course give you no clues, we provide no answers and your anxiety increases. You move away, desperate to know what it is that has caused the sudden silence but you are wary of irritating us further. You fix us a drink but it is left untouched and then when you next return to the living room we have vanished. You call out through the house and search through it but we cannot be found. Our car has gone from the driveway and you ring our mobile ‘phone. It rings but there is no answer. You keep trying and you also send text messages but there comes no response. This lasts a day, three days or even more and throughout this your anxiety and worry has heightened. All the while we know precisely how you will be reacting and we also see the calls, the texts and we are told by friends that you have been in contact with them worried sick. It all provides fuel.

We then walk back into the house as if nothing has happened and smile at you. We see the relief flood across you and the tears of joy welling in your eyes as yet more fuel comes our way. We hold our arms out and like the child being granted access again to a once angry parent you dart into them, the surge of emotion rippling across you as you feel relieved, delighted and happy. This cessation of the silent treatment, or another form of abusive manipulation that we will deploy during the devaluation stage does not end there. We take it further. We reinstate the golden period so that not only are you so relieved that the horrible silent treatment has ended you become elated that this wonderful period has returned. We treat you like we did during the seduction, telling you how much we love you, we buy you a gift, we help out around the house and arrange to take you somewhere special for dinner. That night we take you to bed and make love to you in that delicious way once again and you sleep soundly, feeling safe and secure once again. You give yourself a pat on the back for having endured the difficult period of our silent treatment because it has been worth it in the end. The golden period has come back. You gently scold yourself for having even been worried and rationalise that we obviously needed some space or it was a reaction to being under considerable stress at work. You may have asked us about why we disappeared and you will not have received the truth. You will have been give plausible platitudes such as

“I’ve a lot on my mind and I need room to think.”

“I had to get out before something terrible happened between us.”

“I need some space to breathe, things have been intense as of late.”

These are just excuses that we know you will accept because you are the forgiving type and besides, we are back and the golden period is as well, so you do not want to do anything to jeopardise that by subjecting us to some kind of inquisition. Indeed, there are times, despite your need to know, that you decide it is better to ask nothing and instead revel in the fact that we have come back. We will act as if nothing has happened and you are content to accept that. Peace is so much more enjoyable than war and what a golden peace it is too.

Whether it is the silent treatment, shouting at you, criticising you, intimidating you, messing about with other women or men or all of them, we will call a halt (and there is no logic as to when this will happen so do not think you can see a sign that it is about to change) when we see fit and end the awful treatment by providing you with respite.

This respite prevents you from upping sticks. It prevents you from failing to function. It maintains our source of fuel. This respite provides the contrast so that the positive fuel arising from your joy, delight and relief is powerful indeed. It also provides the contrast for when the devaluation will commence again and it will, so that the negative fuel that flows takes on renewed potency.

Moreover, these acts of kindness which are scattered throughout the devaluation period as a whole act to bind you to us. You feel relief. You also know, when the abuse begins again, that if you hang in there and try to work things out, the golden period will come back once again, you just have to wait and keep working hard to recover it. You are duped into thinking that its restitution is as a consequence of your clingability and something you have done to please us. It is not. You may as well roll a die and the number will equate to the number of weeks of abuse that you will endure before we switch and provide you with respite. Just like the terrorist who takes civilians hostage and frightens and beats them, he will show an act of kindness by allowing the captive to shower or make a call to a relative. The captive then feels warmth towards their captor, despite what they are doing to the captive overall and this engenders hope that another small act of kindness will be exhibited if the captor is kept onside. You are captive to our narcissistic wiles and just like a hostage you will await these moments of tenderness, kindness and the return of the golden period. You will do what you can to keep us onside so that they can return because we have imbued you with the hope that the golden period will return. Thus you remain bound to us and this will allow us to continue the extraction of fuel. This has to happen for the contrast is required to allow the devaluation to be protracted and to continue to provide the fuel.

You are duped into believing that you can influence us to cause the restoration of the golden period and keep it in place. You cannot. You may as well roll a die and the number that comes up will be the number of weeks that you will endure the particular abusive manipulation or manipulations before we suddenly switch back to a period of respite and the golden period.

You will rejoice when this golden period returns and you are given respite. The reality is that it will only ever be a brief period of rejoicing.

Oh No, Not I!

oh-no

 

It is fundamental that we remain unaccountable for our actions. Not only is it the case that we believe we are entitled to complete immunity for what we say and do, occasioned by our innate superiority, we also believe it to be necessary for us to be able to gather fuel as often and as effectively as we do. If we were slowed down by having to make meaningful apologies, explain ourselves, account for what we have done and accept responsibility for the consequences this would absorb time that would be far better spent in the pursuit of fuel. Hampering us in such a way would result in us becoming weaker since we would not be able to gather as much fuel as usual. It is therefore necessary, so we remain sleek, effective and light of foot, for us to never be concerned about accountability and also to never allow responsibility to rest with us. As with many of our machinations, this approach also allows us to gather fuel in itself by the imposition of blame on others, usually you and the astonished and outraged emotional response which then flows from this staggering act of walking away scot free. As ever, words are our best allies when it comes to throwing off the attempt to make us assume the mantle of responsibility. Here are five of our favourites.

  1. What do you expect me to do about it?

 

I regularly brag about how brilliant and special I am. That I have many talents and if I so chose I could remedy many situations within moments, but notwithstanding this being the stance that I adopt to the world at large, I am not going to do that with you. Not a chance. I am not here to pick up the pieces after you, although I expect you to do so for me repeatedly. I can do as I like and you are obliged to make good the damage that I cause – collect the broken pieces of crockery, apologise to the shell-shocked friend after an outburst, try to solve the financial headache that we have left. If you have caused a problem, and let’s face it, it is always your fault anyway, you cannot expect me to do something about it. I am above such menial tasks. I have important and bigger things to attend to. Such as? I don’t have to explain myself to the likes of you. If I caused the problem (which in reality is usually the case) I am not going to do anything about it.

  1. Deal with it.

That’s the way it is and you had better get used to it. This haughty declaration is par the course for our sense of entitlement to do as we please. We bulldoze through everything and you just have to put up with it. You can’t walk away; we will not allow that to happen. Issuing this barked instruction at you is an effective way of upsetting you. It is telling you that you are useless and you should just be getting on with the situation rather than complaining about it. You shouldn’t be complaining; you should have already guessed that you needed to sort the situation out. Don’t ask me for help because I just do not have time for this mickey mouse nonsense.

  1. You caused this to happen.

We like to maintain that we act with the omnipotence of a god but how many times have you found that you have somehow caused something to happen so that it would suggest that you exercise the powers of a deity? My late arrival was down to you. My failure to remember something was caused by you. My infidelity for the sixth time was wholly as a consequence of what you have done. At its most brutal this declaration is issued without any explanation as to why it is that you caused the problem to arise. We say that it is the case therefore that must be right. Does this exchange seem familiar?

“Why is that the case?”

“It just is.”

“But why?”

“Because I say so.”

Other than our kind, who comes out with such assertions bereft of reality or explanation? That’s right, children. That tells you all you need to know about our mentality when we accuse you of being the one who has caused the problem. If you are “fortunate” enough to be given some kind of explanation it makes perfect sense when viewed from our perspective, although it will not from yours. That is deliberate. We want you to feel astonished, bewildered and annoyed at our sheer audacity to make the connection between our wrongdoing and your causation.

“If you were more loving I wouldn’t go elsewhere.”

“What do you mean by that? I couldn’t be anymore loving towards you.”

“Oh that’s right, deny it is anything to do with you and make me out to be the bad person.”

“Well, it is you who had the affair.”

“Caused by you.”

“How?”

“I have already told you and if you cannot accept that then there is no point continuing with this conversation.”

You get no answer no acceptance of blame. All you get is a tenuous (in your world but not ours) explanation as to why our wrongdoing is all down to you.

  1. Why do you have to spoil everything?

A cousin of the third shirking above but with an added layer of blame. In the above example, you have caused the problem although you may not necessarily have intended it. With this statement we are telling you that not only is the problem not of our doing, it is your fault and guess what? You meant to do it because you are such an awful and horrible person. Our rampant paranoia causes us to believe that you are out to get us, to topple us and that you are plotting to unseat us as a consequence of our behaviour towards you during devaluation. This is why whenever anything goes wrong you are the architect of that misfortune as you have purposefully set out to cause a problem for us, driven by your innate nastiness and jealousy.

  1. Why do you make my life so hard?

Poor us. Put upon by you and your terrible behaviours. This is often thrown at you when you begin to wise-up to our manipulations and either through choice or out of sheer exhaustion you are no longer engaging with our provocations and machinations. What we are actually saying to you here is, “Why do you make it so hard to extract fuel from you?” Your failure to play ball and do what we want is causing us to expend more energy in order to get the negative fuel from you and in accordance with our outlook as a victim, you are doing this on purpose. We need to get that fuel and you should be helping us, not hindering us, no wonder we lash out at you as we do because you are horrible and you make our lives far more difficult and hard than you should or once did.

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.