Category Archives: Devalue

Drunk With Fatigue

drunk-with-fatigue

 

Are you reading this through bleary eyes as you desperately await the effect of a caffeine boost to kick start your weary self into life to endure another day? Perhaps you can vividly recall that drained sensation that haunted you and that nagging ache which was ever present behind your eyeballs? The need to close your eyes and slip into a deep and restful slumber. All you wanted to do was to close your eyes and allow the tiredness to evaporate and shrouded in the amnesiac qualities of sleep you would be given respite from the nightmare that enveloped you. Yet, you were never able to achieve that sleep. Your near permanent anxiety meant that as you lay in bed you were tensed, ready to respond to the next jibe or manipulation. You heard a click. Was that me exiting the study at long last and coming to the bedroom or was it just the house settling? You were hyper vigilant and you cannot now recall how long that state had existed but you did know that it caused a nightly battle where you tried to sleep but each sound made you twitch and ready yourself. Sometimes you must have fallen asleep, such was the extent of your exhaustion and you dreamed and then suddenly you awoke. What had happened? Why did you awake so suddenly? You twist and see me there lying fast asleep, unburdened by any concerns. Even now you want to reach out and touch me in the hope that my hand will be placed on your shoulder and then my arm will envelope you, making you feel safe and secure, like it once did. You have learned not to reach out though for the consequences of waking me from my rest are not worth experiencing again. Instead, your shaking hand retreated and you turned to look at the clock and you sighed with resignation as you realised that the fitful sleep you had endured was only about an hour in length.

You lay there, eyes stinging and head heavy giving thanks that it was not one of those nights where I repeatedly jabbed you in the back to stop you sleeping. How did I manage to do that and then bound from the bed refreshed and revitalised as you rose like a zombie? How had I been able to interrupt your sleep through the night by prodding you and yet I was energetic? Was I sleeping during the day like some vampire hiding from the sunlight? At least this time I am sleeping and you have been spared the intermittent prod in the small of your back. It is a small mercy since the questions and thoughts race around your mind, as they always do in the dead of night. Why is this happening? What has gone wrong? Why am I doing this? When will it end? How can you stop it? Should you ask me to talk about it or will that risk another argument? How much more can you take? When did you last sleep properly? These questions and more besides whirl around in your mind, having taken a hold in your head. Your eyes flick to the silent television set in the corner of the room and you debate watching something, anything, just to break the relentless churning in your skull, but even with the volume set at barely audible you know it will disturb me and then it will be your fault again.

You look to the door now closed. You managed to resist a lock being fitted to the bedroom door, wary of what further horrors might be unleashed against you if your exit was barred but each day you fear that on your return that you will see an invoice from a joiner on the kitchen table and a lock has been fitted. You ponder whether you should head downstairs and see if sleep will come on the sofa or at least you can put the headphones on and listen to a radio play or some music. That would provide some sanctuary but yet again, as if possessed of some sixth sense, you know that I will appear and demand to know what you are doing downstairs in the middle of the night. No matter how deeply I appear to be sleeping it as if I sense your absence and come looking for you. It is then that you face the accusations of texting some man behind my back even though your ‘phone is not to hand. It does not matter what the facts are does it? I always find a way of twisting the blame on to you. No, you cannot steal downstairs and instead you must remain board stiff in bed as your eyes watch the incessant march of time and sleep remains evasive. You can feel the hammering of your heart in your chest. Even though nothing is happening and all is quiet and still, that sense of foreboding remains. A cold hand of dread has gripped your heart and squeezes, driving the breath from your body and causing anxiety to spread across you. Perhaps you ought to see the doctor and see if he will prescribe something for this? You will need to do it without my knowledge otherwise I shall accuse you of attention-seeking by going to the doctor without consulting me first. I, of course, know what is best for you and I screen everything you do before determining whether I shall allow it. You know you ought to fight against it but you are so tired, so weary and you need what little strength remains to help you navigate a way throughout the day without treading on a mine and causing an explosion of fury. It is getting harder. You forget things now. Your memory used to be excellent or at least you think it did. Even thinking is becoming arduous and sometimes you just sit, staring into space, caught somewhere between wakefulness and hypnosis. If only one night of rest could come, if only this anxiety, this fear, this wariness would leave you and let you gain some strength, then you would not make the mistakes and I would not be angry. Perhaps then we could be as we used to be. You can still remember that and hope with all your heart that somehow this situation can be retrieved. You never felt tired then. You never walked with a shuffle or placed the milk in the dishwasher in error. You did not forget you were baking something until the acrid smell of smoke jolted you from your daydreaming and had you running into the kitchen, cursing your foolishness and immediately wondering if you could cook a fresh batch before I came home and witnessed another of your failures.

The clock shows 5am and sleep has evaded you once more. The dull throb in the centre of your forehead remains. You would have to be up in an hour anyway. There is no point trying to sleep now. You can see the first rind of dawn trying to permeate through the curtains and another day has arrived. You may as well rise and weave through this day, whichever day it is, is it Wednesday or Thursday? You cannot quite remember. You slide your feet from the bed and sit up, glancing at me over your shoulder, back now turned to you, my body rising and falling in a steady rhythm as I sleep on, oblivious to your exhaustion. You stand and sway a little as you ready yourself for another day of feeling drunk with fatigue.

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Enjoy the Silence

thUA4YRP4ZEnjoy the Silence is a magnificent song and I hope that Depeche Mode won’t mind me using a picture of their cover. I remember when I first heard this song in February 1990 (yes it is over 25 years old) and not only did I think it was a superb song it epitomised my view of silence. I wrote about how I use silence as a weapon, it is my silent assassin. I enjoy using it because my first deployment of it indoctrinates you to a way of thinking. There are, however, other reasons why I enjoy it.

Firstly, I don’t have to do anything. Yes that’s right. I don’t have to say or do a thing. I just walk away and stay away from you. I love anything that saves me energy whilst provoking a reaction in you and that is why the silent treatment is one of my favourite, if not my favourite method of getting to you. I also know that you won’t just shrug your shoulders and think “Oh well, he will get in touch when he is ready to, I will just get on with my life.” I know this because your type just do not do that. You care about other people so if you think something is wrong (and especially if you then begin to think that you are the cause) you will do anything you can to try and ascertain what has happened and then repair it. That means that you will not stay away. You see, I have it all worked out.

Secondly, once I have given you a concentrated and potent dose of the silent treatment you will be ever anxious to avoid a repeat. You hated it so much you will always be alert to it happening again. This puts you in a state of hypervigilance. You cannot settle. You are anxious. You are always looking to see if there is a trigger for it happening again. You start to try and second guess me to ensure what you are about to say or what you are about to do won’t result in you being consigned to silence again. Thus you become compliant and will do what I want in order to keep silence at bay. Very effective wouldn’t you say? With a couple of ex-girlfriends and a work colleague who I had subjected to the silent treatment, when I was about to do it again, I left them a copy of the Depeche Mode CD and then walked away. The power surge I experienced when I did that was immense.

Silent Assassin

th4NCBJB19When I first subject you to the silent treatment the effect on you is devastating. You repeatedly try to contact me and speak to me to find out what is wrong. What has caused this sudden dropping of the shutters when only the day before we were lying in bed together as I told you how I was so pleased to have finally found the one? Your need to know is so great that it completely overrides any sense of embarrassment or decorum on your part. You call my phone again and again and again. You call my work phone repeatedly but find my secretary (one of my loyal lieutenants) will block you by explaining every time that I am in a meeting. You will call around at my house. I can see you through a gap in the blinds as you hammer on the door and then pace backwards and forwards, frustration and confusion writ large on your face. The text messages pile up. My email inbox begins to bulge and you start shoving letters through my letterbox. I do actually read them as they give me a magnificent sense of importance as I read your questions.

Inevitably the tenor of your attempts to contact me alters. From starting with questions such as “What is wrong?” and “Is something the matter?” you then begin to examine yourself. You query what you might have done to upset me and cause this cessation. Without fail, every time I have deployed this weapon, you have scrutinised yourself to such a degree that you eventually find something that could have caused my reaction. You do this, demeaning yourself, because you need to have an answer as to why this has happened. You must. If you cannot get an answer from me then you turn on yourself and find it there. “I’m sorry I didn’t cook your steak the way you like it” or “I’m sorry I left without kissing you” or “I’m sorry I used the last of the milk and did not replace it”. Then come the promises to make things up to me if I will just get in touch. The promises not to do it again and to be a better person. The pattern is the same every time ; demand an answer from me, find an answer within yourself and then show contrition and desire to improve. Once you have passed through those three stages then I know you have become indoctrinated with the way I want you to think and then and only then will I end the silence. Well, perhaps, another week won’t hurt me will it?

The Tide Turns

thU0N9FT8PDr E was asking me about my relationships and how they always fall. Within this discussion, he wanted to know what happened when I decided that I was no longer interested in somebody. Through our frequent discussions, it is fair to state that there comes a point in all of my relationships (be they lovers, friends, colleagues and so on) that something happens where I lose interest and instead feel an overriding need to demean and belittle. Dr E wanted me to identify what it was that brought about this volte face.

I actually gave this quite a bit of consideration. I was thinking for so long that the silence clearly got to Dr E as he started to question me. Is it because I am no longer getting attention from that particular person? No. Often they are showing me the usual levels of adoration and attention. Moreover they will increase that once they sense I am losing interest. Try all they might they cannot rekindle my enthusiasm. Perhaps it is because they do or say something that you dislike? No. They often do this but this tends to happen after I have lost the passion for them, it is not the cause. Dr E groped around. Maybe then that it is because something more interesting comes along (notice how he said something rather than someone – he is starting to learn my vocabulary now). Again, no. Admittedly this often happens but it is not the cause. Dr E tapped his notebook with his pen.

“Do you know what it is then or perhaps you just don’t?” he asked.

I don’t like him suggesting I don’t know. I know everything.

“I do know,” I replied.

He waited.

“It is because I can.”

Spoiler Alert

When I was with Siobhan (an ex girlfriend) her birthday arrived just four weeks after we had begun seeing one another. I took her away for the weekend, bought her a beautiful Tiffany bracelet, organised a huge bouquet to be delivered to the suite where we were staying in our hotel and then took her shopping for a couple of new outfits and some new shoes. She was swept off her feet. Just as I intended.

When it was her birthday a year later I didn’t give her a present and begrudgingly went for dinner with her that evening. I ensured she paid. I talked down to the waiter and insisted we leave without dessert and subjected her to silence on the drive home. I wanted to spoil her birthday because it was about her and not me. I hate attention being focussed elsewhere. My nephew told me he had come first in his school’s 100m race. I told him I ran a faster time than him when I was at school. A colleague showed me his new watch. I told him I had one which was similar but mine was better. You’ve got tickets for a performance tonight? I went last week and it was rubbish. You recommend a new Mexican restaurant that has just opened? I tell you that it is attracting the attention of environmental health. Bought a new car? I don’t like the colour and criticise its miles per gallon ratio. The thing is that these comments just spill from my mouth before I even have a chance to think. Whenever the spotlight is shining elsewhere I need to smash it and train a new one on me. My response is automatic.

If you have an important function you want to attend, I will pick a fight with you before you go and then text you incessantly whilst you are at it so you do not enjoy it. I have to ruin it for you. I cannot control this urge. Sam (an ex girlfriend) loved to garden. She would spend hours at the weekend tending her beds. I would call round during the week when she was not there and take a strimmer to her plants. As the stalks and stems were obliterated I could feel myself feeling better. I have to cut people down. From my extensive discussions with Dr O I have come to realise that this is wrong but I cannot help myself. The urge to destroy, denigrate,criticise and belittle is overwhelming.

I have to spoil. There is no hope for an alternative.