Category Archives: golden period

I See Sanctuary

ISEESANCTUARY

When I first meet you and I look into your eyes I find a certain sanctuary. Your optimistic eyes seem like paradise to me. I can see the hope, the desire and the adoration burning in your eyes. Be they brown, blue, green or grey I can see the promise of salvation. That is why I try so hard to win you over. I apply everything I can think of to ensure that you stay with me so I can gaze deep into your eyes and drink the delight, trust and admiration that flows from them. You have no idea how much I need to see those things. The more I show you love, affection and how interested I am in you, the greater the radiance that shines towards me and the sanctuary that you have created for me remains in place. It surrounds and protects me, keeping the pain and the hurt at bay. It is a simple formula; I shower you with affection and attention and you return to me that magical protection in the form of how you look at me. The admiring glance across the restaurant table, the wide-eyed desire when we are in bed together, the simmering passion as I undress you and the sheer adoration as you quicken your pace to cross a room or a road to meet me. I need that place of safety and respite. A sanctuary where I know that the whispering, taunting voices will be silenced. A place of salvation where that cold-fingered dread cannot grip my throat and silence my scream of terror. Those draining shades that manifest from a past which I try to consign into oblivion cannot reach me in this place. That is what I hope for and believe every time somebody new enters my life. If I can just keep you sending me the power and the protection arising from those magnificent eyes then I will be safe. I apply my every effort to maintaining that gaze which will keep the darkness and the foul creatures lurking amongst it at bay. Everything I do is geared around making you feel happy, loved and wanted so that you will keep looking at me in that way and preserving my sanctuary.

Yet, no matter how hard I try, notwithstanding every effort I apply to maintaining your state of joy and happiness, you let me down. Each time someone new appears I am given renewed hope that this time the sanctuary will be permanently preserved and each time you fail me. Why do you do this to me when I try so damn hard for you? The burning admiration that you exhibited towards me suddenly dims. The adoration that blazed across the room has lost its intensity. The shining lustre of desire has become dulled. You do this to me and in so doing you turn the key of the gates, lift the heavy bar and push them open. You do this on purpose don’t you? You breach the citadel so that the screeching, moaning and howling tormentors that have gathered beyond its walls are admitted to assault me once again as they try to pull me into the abyss of insanity. The craven creatures slither forward, their mucus-covered tendrils slipping and sliding as they seek me out, determined to coil about me and drag me silent with terror into that place I must not go. Why do you do this to me? What have I done to deserve this treatment? All I have ever done is love you with a perfect love to cause you to generate that sanctuary and now, with no warning or help, you allow the paradise to be violated by those that seek to harm me.

I am left with no option but to fight them. To muster my strength and seek to defeat these agents of darkness by gathering my rage and anger. I must lash out in all directions, often and without restraint in order to stop my tormentors from destroying me. It matters not who is caught up in this frenzy, it is incidental whether you or anyone else finds themselves collateral damage from my necessary defence of my being. I fight and fight and fight, it is exhausting but it must be done. I have to survive until the next promise of sanctuary is identified and drifts my way. There I will find peace and a place to restore my waning strength. Is it you? Perhaps this time the sanctuary will remain intact.

 

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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.

Acting Up

I recall one occasion when a particularly upset girlfriend of mine, Hannah, descended into one of her typical fits of hysteria. Hannah was an actress. She had been involved in acting since she was a teenager and had also appeared in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. She played Ophelia. I found this rather apt. She loses her mind over the Prince of Denmark and drowns. Typical self-centred response. Poor Hamlet. His father dies and his mother shacks up with his uncle. Not only this but his uncle murdered his father and has taken the throne of Denmark leaving Hamlet cast adrift and mired in woe. His girlfriend Ophelia is meant to support him but what does she do? She gets all worked up about Hamlet telling her “Get thee to a nunnery” and climbs a willow tree and falls in the water below and drowns. I found Hannah to be prone to such similar histrionics. I put it down to her being an actress and her desire for everything to be achieved in one take. She was meticulous in her preparation for her acting. At first, I would help her and play the other parts to help her learn her lines. She was so grateful for my support in this regard, remarking how hard it was to find someone willing to do this and so often. If truth be told, I revelled in it. Not only was her gratitude all good fuel, I am of course something of the actor myself and the opportunity to grab the script and play a part was something I enjoyed. I did not pay much attention to Hannah’s delivery, only listening to what she was saying so I knew when to speak my lines. I was too concerned with ensuring I delivered a masterful performance. This would often draw praise from Hannah and she commented on a number of occasions that I appeared to have missed my calling. I was in agreement.

Of course, over time I grew tired of her repeated declarations of how good my delivery was and I began to look for ways to irritate and annoy her. I knew she put so much effort into her rehearsals and preparation because she wanted the final performance to be outstanding. Whether it was filming for a TV show (she has appeared in a couple of rather good British television dramas) or a stage production of a famous play, her performance had to be the best. I often gained the impression that she was doing this in order to outshine me. I may not be recognised as much as Hannah but that did not mean that what she did was better or more important than what I did. Quite the opposite. She needed to be reminded who was the leader and superior mind in our coupling. I began at first to fluff lines or speak when it was her turn to say her line which drew sighs of exasperation. I delighted in her irritation as I knew that it would soon become annoyance and she would erupt into one of her tirades. I would jump places in the script, says words incorrectly, use the wrong tone for questions and statements and then I began to hide her scripts so she could not practise. A meltdown was inevitable and foolishly she aimed all of this at me. I just continued to make comments that would keep her in a frenzy. You would be surprised to see this waif-like lady who usually is the picture of serenity on television react in the way she did. My goodness, did she have a foul mouth on her.

I rarely got angry with her. Her performances were so gratifying and amusing that I just could not generate a spark, even when she was blaming me. It was actually easier to keep trying to get it right and purposefully messing it up again. Several times I had to exit the room under the pretence of being upset so I could lock myself in the bathroom and stuff my hand into my mouth as I collapsed in paroxysms of mirth, her shrill voice echoing through the house.

The occasion that entertained me the most and which I began this post by recalling was when she was rehearsing her part for a six part dark drama that was part of a major channel’s Autumn drama selection. It was a fantastic piece of writing and Hannah had a chunky part. I got her so worked up and histrionic as I messed about, murmured the lines, said sections incorrectly and so on that she erupted into one of her fits. As the insults flowed I drank the fuel she poured over me and then she made a strange croak and gripped her throat. Feigning interest, I went to her side and she pointed at her throat, eyes filling with tears. It transpired that she had badly strained her vocal chords and a doctor instructed her to rest them completely. She could not rehearse and was unlikely to be ready for filming. The producers replaced her with another actress and dismayed by her fall from such a prestigious production, I sought out somebody else to entertain me.