HAS THE NARCISSISTDISENGAGEDOR IS IT ASILENT TREATMENT?

I am often asked how somebody is able to distinguish between being subjected to a silent treatment or whether they have been disengaged from (discarded in old money) ?  There are clear similarities between the two and of course, they are both instances which are common in respect of the narcissistic dynamic between our kind and the intimate partner primary source.

Silent treatments come essentially in two forms. There is the Present Silent Treatment (“PST”) and the Absent Silent Treatment (“AST”). The PST manifests as us standing and glaring at you but not saying anything, or walking away from you every time you come near us so we go to a different room or we just sit in a chair and watch television acting as if you are not there, even though we may speak to other people. Whilst the PST is unpleasant to the recipient, it is often used because it is a manifestation of cold fury. The PST is used by all three schools of narcissist, but is heavily used by the Mid-Rangers as part of their passive-aggressive repertoire. The advantage to us of the PST is that we can deploy it with very little effort (thus conserving energy) and also because you are either in the same room as us or nearby we gain significant Proximate Fuel from your upset, anger or irritation. A PST’s duration is less than that of an AST. This is because the fuel drawn from its application is strong and therefore any wounding that has been caused will be addressed sooner. Accordingly, the PST may only last half an hour and at most until the next morning after you have endured a night in bed alone as we slept in the spare room or on the settee.

The short duration of the PST and the very fact that we are in the same room as you or same building means that it is clear that it is a silent treatment and there is no discard. Indeed, the PST will not even be the precursor to discard. The PST has one function and one function alone; to draw fuel from you and it is very effective in that respect.

Turning to the AST. This occurs when we disappear and you do not know where we have gone. We may head to a local bar for the night, book into a hotel, stay at a friend’s, leave town, return to our own property or head to the Intimate Partner Secondary Source that we are cultivating. The key components of an AST are as follows:-

  1. We are not proximate to you;
  2. You do not know where we have gone;
  3. You are desperate to find us (be that because you are worried, upset, concerned or angry); and
  4. You will try to contact us.

The AST allows us to draw two types of fuel initially. The first is Proximate Fuel. Although we are not next to you, if we receive anxious voicemail messages from you, we read angry text messages demanding to know where the hell we are,  mutual friends get in touch explaining how you have contacted them worried sick as to where we are and/or we see you stood on our doorstep banging on our front door as we watch with a grin from behind the curtains, then we draw Proximate Fuel at ‘witnessing’ your emotional reaction.

Secondly, knowing that we have left you in a state of anxiety or annoyance provides us with Thought Fuel. Even if we do not answer the ‘phone, pick up the text messages or voicemails, the fact we see you are calling us will provide us with this Thought Fuel as well. Accordingly, the AST is a low-energy/high potency method of gaining fuel from you.

We revel in knowing you will be pacing up and down concerned as to where we have gone to, you will be ringing around friends and relatives to try to track us down and alternating between anger and upset. We have caused this in you and this makes us feel powerful.

There is a third fuel line to the AST as well. The reason we opt for an AST and not a PST is also because we use the time away from you to either spend time with Non-Intimate Secondary Sources (our friends and family- quite probably smearing you at the same time) and thus we gain fuel from them but more often we use it to cultivate the Intimate Partner Secondary Source that we are considering for promotion to Primary Source.

The attention from this person or these people gives us additional fuel. We are therefore edified by this triple supply of fuel. No wonder the AST is so tempting. We gain fuel and we are also progressing the seduction of the prospective primary source, working on embedding them.

How long might an AST last? It could be an afternoon, it might be a month, it might be three months. However, as the time period lengthens this is when people begin to wonder if this is now a discard. The question arises, when is this behaviour no longer a silent treatment and when does it become a disengagement?

Would it be a discard after one day? One week? One month? Three months? Six months?

The answer is that you may have ASTs which last those periods of time and an absence of just one day may be the start of the disengagement.

If we are drawing fuel from you then it remains a silent treatment. Keep in mind that the potency of the Thought Fuel will only last so long, so we will need some Proximate Fuel which means we need you to keep knocking at our door and ringing our telephone. Of course, since we are not engaging with you, how do you know that we are still drawing fuel from you and it is not in fact a disengagement? You could be calling us and it is actually a discard, so how then could you tell the difference?

As you know, we will often not tell you that the Formal Relationship is over. We just disengage without telling you. If you are trying to get in touch with us and you find that you have been blocked from our mobile number, we have blocked you on social media and none of our friends can shed any light on where we are, then you should realise that this is not a silent treatment but you have been disengaged from.

Since we need fuel during a silent treatment we keep the avenues of communication open but we do not respond. Thus we let you text, ring, drop notes round, send messages through friends and knock at our door. This gives us the fuel. If you have been disengaged from, we have no need for your fuel anymore (indeed you may not actually be providing it – see below) because we are drinking up delicious fresh positive fuel from the new primary source. Accordingly, we do not need to or want to hear from you.

if you turn up at our door, you may be ignored but more likely you will be confronted and be told in no uncertain terms to go away and leave us alone. You will be threatened with the police and restraining orders or our lieutenants will turn up to warn you off. We don’t need your fuel anymore and we do not want you hanging around like a bad smell and posing a risk to our harmonious new relationship with the new primary source.

Accordingly, a chief determinant between a silent treatment and a disengagement is whether you can contact us (albeit not actually get a response) if you can it is silent treatment. If not, it is a disengagement.

There will also be occasions where the absence starts as a silent treatment and then becomes a disengagement. This is where we have doled out a silent treatment to obtain fuel and bed in the person we are seducing and that seduction has been deemed to be successful, hence we install them as primary source, you are disengaged from and the blocking will begin. The silent treatment shifts to become a disengagement through the period of absence.

A further way of determining whether this period of absence is a silent treatment or a disengagement  is to consider what has happened in the run up to the period of absence. As I wrote in 5 Reasons We Discard You there are five primary reasons  which bring about your discard. If you can ascertain that this has happened (admittedly it is not always obvious) prior to the period of disengagement, you will have a greater idea that you have been disengaged from rather than being subjected to a silent treatment.

Accordingly if you have

  1. Worked us out and reduced your fuel provision considerably;
  2. Realised that there is a new primary source;
  3. Become broken and numb so you are not functioning;
  4. Caused a major exposure of our behaviour; or
  5. Intentionally wounded us repeatedly through fuel free criticism

then these are reasons for you to be disengaged from.

For those who wonder why I state disengage rather than discard, well,  the reality is that there is no such thing as a discard. It is instead a dis-engagement. If you are the primary source we are no longer interested in you and it is as if you have ceased to exist and we have (at the point of disengagement) no desire to interact with you ever again (of course this attitude changes at a later point when we commence our hoovering of you when we start our devaluation of your replacement). If you are an intimate partner secondary source, you will be placed on the shelf as we focus on the primary source or another intimate partner secondary source who we think will make a better prospect for promotion than you.

We eventually come knocking and therefore this dis-engagement ought to be treated as a long period of silence whereby you can recover and build you defences. Of course, it is more usually the case that you have no idea why we have departed and in your confused and emotional state you do not know the difference between a silent treatment and a discard.

Now you do.

 

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POLLHG WANTSTO KNOW

The hoover. Infamous weapon of our kind.

Which type of types of hoover have you experienced? This poll is by reference to either those hoovers which formed part of the Initial Grand Hoover (when you escaped) or the Follow-Up Hoovers, down the line following disengagement or escape.

Did you find yourself in receipt of repeated text messages or was it a hand-written letter?  Did the narcissist speak to you in person, turning up at your home or at your work place for instance? Perhaps you experienced The Spectre where the narcissist would make their physical presence known but would not speak, standing outside your house, driving past your home, hovering nearby as you collected your children from school? Maybe it was done by proxy, through a friend or family of yours or the narcissist? Were gifts sent or did you find that your property was damaged or stolen? Perhaps you could not resist looking at the narcissist’s social media where you saw various posts which were aimed at you in the hope you would see them, through this passive form of hoovering? Was it a Reverse Hoover so that you were invited or caused to contact the narcissist because he would not return property or kept a pet?

It isn’t the detail of the hoover but the methodology, so if the narcissist opted for a Fake Emergency Powerplay Hoover and did so through a text message, then it is the methodology of text message which is relevant for this poll.

As ever, please do expand on your experience in the comments section and you can choose as many answers as are applicable before pressing vote.

Thank you for participating.

How have you been hoovered? (Initial Grand Hoover and/or Follow-Up Hoovers)

View Results

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A LETTER TO THE NARCISSIST -JJ'S LETTER

I recently invited readers to pen the letter that they would like to send to the narcissist that they entangled with. Here is the letter which ‘JJ’ would like to send. Does it mirror your sentiments and experience at all? How do you think the narcissist would react to receiving this?

“Hey sorry I didn’t respond to your text. I wanted to, but I wasn’t sure what to say. I mean what do I say to someone as amazing as you. You’re so much better than me. I didn’t want to disappoint you again so I didn’t respond.  I hope you didn’t think it was because I wasn’t interested. I will always love you and I have thought about you every day. I know you are busy with law school and I have no idea how you manage to balance it all. You were always so much smarter than me.  I feel terrible about the way things ended but you were right to break up with me.  You were so good to me and I didn’t deserve you. I was so insecure and dramatic, always starting fights with you. We were so different. You with your superior etiquette, wealth and private schools and me with my inability to keep up. You were right, I took out my insecurity of not being good enough by accusing you of still wanting your ex and for that I was wrong. Of course she still texted you and wanted you. Who wouldn’t. How could I not see that you starting law school in February after quitting your job and deciding to apply in January was way more important than our June wedding. I should have just changed the date like you wanted. You were right. I was so dumb to think you should have discussed it more with me before you quit your job and changed careers.  You decided you wanted to go to law school and I should have not been so selfish to expect you to worry about something as trivial as our wedding. I can’t believe I didn’t listen to someone as smart and cultured as you. Any girl would be lucky to have you. I was so poor and unpolished when you found me. I was insecure about my family not being able to pay for the wedding and I took that out on you. You were right, you were doing my family a favor by paying and planning a wedding we could never afford without you. Everything I am I owe to you. I know you spent a lot of money on the engagement ring and I want to give it back to you. I don’t deserve to keep such an expensive ring. You’re right, you should give that ring to someone who deserves your love. On the back of this letter I wrote down a time and a place for us to meet and for me to give you back the ring. I know it sounds silly but I just want to see you. Please meet me at the location and time on the back of this letter. Hope to see you soon.
Forever yours,
JJ”

(Back of letter)
“Just kidding you lying piece of shit. I know you cheated on me our entire relationship with your fat ex and probably a dozen other people at least. I say people because I am not sure they were all women.  That’s ok though because I know you probably didn’t have sex with any of them since you’re some asexual freak. I also know you didn’t break up with me because I was stressing you out with wedding planning, we were all of the sudden incompatible and you just needed to be single for awhile while you get through law school. It was because when you asked me if I think you are stellar I said no. Who asks someone if they think they are stellar. You are so pathetic. I bet you even thought I really meant the front side of this letter too. Don’t contact me again when you fail out or decide to change careers for the tenth time because I don’t care about you anymore.”

 

A LETTER TO THENARCISSIST -CORDELIA'S LETTER

I recently invited readers to pen the letter that they would like to send to the narcissist that they entangled with. Here is the letter which ‘Cordelia’ would like to send. Does it mirror your sentiments and experience at all? How do you think the narcissist would react to receiving this?

“There’s really nothing I need to tell you. But there are a few questions that it would be fun to have the answers to. Please tell me: how does it feel to have been out-maneuvered?

 

I was one of two shelf IPSSes you kept at work. After I realized what you were, I shared that knowledge with the other.  I heard she had fallen from grace and you were already trying to destroy her reputation by lying and saying that she was stealing equipment. I warned her. Needless to say, she’s not talking to you anymore. You’ll never know for sure whether or not her informant was me. You didn’t know it was me who told her, did you?

 

Me, me, me. You seduced me. We had a little romance and you promised sex eventually but that last part never happened. My husband isn’t bothered that we had a brief fling because he had given me permission to have one. He and I opened up our relationship two years ago–don’t you remember mining me for that little detail? You started adding a romantic side to our seven year-long friendship as soon as you dragged that tidbit out of me. You later lied to me about having your wife’s consent. You also hid her pregnancy from me, and that was when I left. But this is where you think, again, that you still have power. Again you are wrong.

 

I have no need to tell your wife about what happened because I know her reaction will just give you the fuel you need. I know you got her pregnant as a way of binding her to you permanently. She financially can’t afford to leave and won’t want to raise another son in a single-parent household. It’s why you chose her, yes? Telling her about us will just drive her closer to you. I think you were counting on that. I won’t tell her.

 

It wouldn’t surprise me if you tell her, though (and blame it all on me). After all, you want a catfight. I know, honey, I know. It’s amazing how I know it all, isn’t it? How does it feel to know that I’m not falling for it? You’ll only get to have one woman screaming at you, though I know you wish it were two. But take heart. You know just how much you can abuse her emotionally and still keep her around. You almost figured it out with me. But knowledge does not equal intelligence. The fact that I escaped, and the way I escaped, proves to me that you are not as smart as I am.

Therein lies the denoument. During that tepid, one-sided relationship, you were stupid enough to try to physically force me to kiss you at the office. I refused because I don’t mix work and pleasure and I wasn’t that into you at the time. You have terrible bad breath and your desire to extract my tonsils using your tongue is rather inefficient and unromantic. After I ended it and found out what you were, I knew you would be back for more.

 

I let the company know about that coercive stunt you pulled. You attempted to force me to do something that I didn’t want to do and you did it on company time (I was off the clock; you weren’t!) That’s sexual intimidation, regardless of how involved we were. You thought it was funny at the time. I think it’s hilarious that HR and I have harassment paperwork ready for you if you so much as look at me again. Who’s laughing now? I would love to know: What was the expression on your face when you got the email from me informing you that you were never to so much as say hello to me at work again or you’d be faced with a harassment suit? You replied back, begging me to meet you to sort all of it out. Did your blood boil to read the word ‘no.’?

 

At the moment I have the last word but I know it won’t be the last word from you. It is the last one you’ll ever get from me. All I need to do to wound you is simply to do nothing. My dear, you were in the military. How is it that I became the master of strategy and you are the one who is “outflanked and outgunned”? Do tell. How does that make you feel?”

Cordelia

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.