Thursday, March 24, 2016

Gray Rock...

"You, with your switching sides,
And your wildfire lies and your humiliation,
You have pointed out my flaws again,
As if I don't already see them,
I walk with my head down,
Trying to block you out 'cause I'll never impress you
I just wanna feel okay again..."
~~ Taylor Swift, "Mean"


There must ALWAYS be drama, otherwise, narcs get bored VERY easily.

The abuser THRIVES on your reactions to his/her abuse. 

ANY trait you possess that the abuser is envious of he/she WILL use it against you. If you show strength, he/she will do EVERYTHING he/she can to break it. If you show determination, he/she will make you feel hopeless. If you have strong relationships with family and friends, he/she will break them. And if you show any shred of independence, he/she will take that from you, too. 

Once I was thrown into the abyss of the Devaluing stage of the relationship, I was struggling EVERY DAY to not let him see me cry. If I did, I was incessantly taunted and put down about my "fake-ass tears" and reminded about how I was "too sensitive." "thin-skinned," and "weak."

If I was REALLY unlucky that day, the Beast would come out and I'd find myself on the receiving end of one of his angry tirades that could go on for HOURS. My phone would blow up with calls -- him picking up where he'd left off, yelling and cursing at me -- and texts. And god forbid I hang up on him. Then it WAS game on.

"How dare you! Don't you fucking hang up on me again, bitch!" he'd scream. "Hang up again and I'll just keep calling until you let me say what I've to say."

Well, "letting him say what he had to say" was like putting a foul-mouthed Teddy Ruxpin on repeat for HOURS. Nothing new... Just the same story OVER and OVER and OVER. Repeated put downs, name calling, insults and threats.

If he EXPECTED an apology and I didn't deliver it in the right tone of voice using the right words AND sound "sincere," the hateful barrage of abuse would begin all over again.

He wasn't too good to go off mid-day when he KNEW I was in the midst of doing phone interviews or calling sources. And if he would call during that time and someone would beep in, he would refuse to hang up and if I hung up on him, he would immediately call back.

"I don't give a fuck who it is! Make 'em wait. You ALWAYS put other people above me," he'd scream.

And I know what you're thinking, "Why didn't you just turn off your ringer or shut the phone off?"

Yeah, I tried that... A couple of times. But it wasn't an option.

One, I couldn't do it during business hours and, secondly, doing so would only force face-to-face contact. And I CERTAINLY didn't want that -- I was already mentally exhausted and crying. Besides, during face-to-face encounters his tirades were 10x worse with the finger wagging and his LITERALLY getting in my face to spew his hateful, abusive speech.

I eventually learned to gauge his demeanor and attitude and if I felt an outburst was coming I would do my best to ward it off until I was off work.

In time, I learned these outbursts of his were a genuine Tell. 

From then on, I would ALWAYS know when my abuser was scoping for or courting new supply. He would become VERY distant while still keeping one foot in the relationship. He would get insanely jealous and have fits of anger the likes of which I'd never seen before. 

It got to the point where if I even so much as smiled in front of strangers, and god forbid another man, he would come UNHINGED. 

"Why don't you ever smile like that when you're around ME?!?" or "Oh, you can smile for him... What's up with that? Are you screwing him?"


So, I would cower down. "No, of course not! Why would you say such a thing?"

"Well, I don't know what you DO when I'm not with you."

In the beginning, it never dawned on me that these accusations he was hurling at me were merely projections of his own wrongdoing. I'm sure somewhere in his mind, he figured if he was up to no good then I was, too. Guess it made him feel better to cast me in the same dark shadow as his own.

And, to a degree, he did succeed. He dimmed my inner Light.

Narcs go to EXTREME lengths to cover their tracks to perpetuate their twisted game.

At one point, I found out he had my name changed in his contacts to "UNKNOWN" -- that way if I called or text when he was with one of his other women, he could justifiably say, "I don't know who it is," and wouldn't answer. No harm, no foul. None the wiser, eh? 'Til he tripped up and just happened to let me see it one day. When I questioned him on it he said, "Oh, I don't know how that happened. I think my phone did it." I called BULLSHIT.

"You know you really should trust me," he said. "I've given you no reason not to."


Then true to narc form he deflected, veered off topic and threw up to me the hundreds of contacts I had in my phone. Well, being a journalist you DO acquire a LOT of contacts. And, I'm sorry, but NONE of my contacts were listed as "UNKNOWN." And I'm not ashamed to answer my phone in front of anyone.

I had to do something and going NO CONTACT wasn't an option at the time b/c I was still too traumatized and scared of what he might do if I left.

Things had begun to turn physically violent. And before it was over I was sexually and physically assaulted.

So I became like a rock.

I began to distance myself and adopted what's called the Gray Rock approach for dealing with narc abuse.

Think about it, when you look at a rock bed strewn with similar colored rocks, nothing stands out... All you see is a blanket of gray and neutral tones... You want to be like those rocks... Not standing out... Nothing shiny or distinguishable to make you noticeable to your abuser. You want to blend in.

The intended Goal is to become so boring that the abuser moves on to find new supply -- permanently. Face it, if they aren't getting a reaction out of you and you're no longer fun, what's the point in staying? Or returning?

Here are some examples of utilizing the Gray Rock method:

** Keep it BORING. Talk about doing chores or something as equally uninteresting.
** DO NOT talk about anything you have coming up, like meeting with friends, a movie you want to see, a vacation, or concert, etc...
** If the abuser resorts to pushing your buttons -- as hard as it is -- DO NOT REACT.
** SHOULDER THE BLAME. Make the abuser think you genuinely believe it IS you and NOT them.
** DO NOT say anything the abuser could use as an excuse to become jealous or angry.
** Figuratively, KEEP THE BLINDS CLOSED. Do NOT discuss anything about your personal life with the abuser. The less he/she knows about you the better off you will be and the less powerful he/she will feel.

I employed this tactic for several months. My abuser took it as ammunition to then twist to make me sound like the most cold-hearted bitch to ever walk the face of the earth. According to him, I no longer gave a damn about him. To a degree he was right.

Truth is, I DID care about him. I DID love him. But the difference now was I KNEW he didn't give a damn about me. I was just a toy. Something to amuse him. Something to feed his ego. A pawn. And that was NOT healthy for me.

In time, he DID go on to find new supply. Now that doesn't mean he didn't STILL try to return every now and again to test the waters to see if I was still that "cold-hearted bitch" or if I'd forgiven him and would offer yet another shot to revive a relationship that had been D.O.A. for MONTHS.

He would attempt the tired "I'm sorry, I know I hurt you... It won't happen again, I PROMISE," routine. Suffice to say, as much as I wanted to believe him, I knew it was lies.

It takes time to finally work up the strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship. But TRUST ME it IS worth it in the end. The abuser is NOT going to change. The Toxicity of the relationship will not suddenly become Pure. There was no purity to begin with.

If going NO CONTACT is not an option for you, then be a Rock. With time, NO CONTACT may become an option, but there are situations where it is simply not possible, like if you have children with the abuser. The best you can do is to get as much control as you possibly can over yourself and your reactions to the narc's behaviors. The less reaction you offer, the better.

It is OK to still feel. BUT you CANNOT continue to hold out hope that he/she will change... By doing so, you are only hurting yourself. And you have been hurt ENOUGH! You can love someone and NOT be IN love with them... And when dealing with a narc, the more distance you put between you the BETTER. Look back at him/her from that distant shore -- where you are SAFE -- with compassion and love.

Second to YOURSELF... Narcs, abusers and their ilk are in need of compassion the most.

"Silence the angry man with love.
Silence the ill-natured man with kindness.
Silence the miser with generosity.
Silence the liar with truth."
~~ Gautama Buddha

In Peace and Love,
Namaste <3

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