The many personalities of ‘Silence’

Silence.

Today, at 45 years old, that word brings as much peace as it does painful memories.

I remember, as a child, craving solitude…peace…away from other people. Away from the rest of the world around me. I was so afraid to even look at another person. I was afraid of anger. I was afraid of doing ‘something’ wrong. Of being hurt in some way. I remember walking in the midst of the rest of humanity, feeling horrendously exposed. I would try to sink inside myself as tightly as I could, as a measure of protection. I loved and cared about people. That wasn’t reciprocated, and I was prepared at ALL times, though not arming myself…but holing up in my own mental, psychological fox-hole. At my first opportunity, I would find a peaceful place to go…usually with whatever pet would go with me.

I had a favorite old stump I would sit on to watch the birds. I would study the weeds in the back acreage, notice how the trees smelled in the heat of the day, and pet the animals. There were goats that LOVED it when I would take them for a ‘walk’. My dog was always with me. When I was in tears, my dog stayed closer to me. It could be 100 degrees out, and my dog would still lay his head on my lap.

Silence and solitude is a much-needed thing in our lives. In healthy people’s lives, it’s a way to take a minute and reflect on a stressful day. We need that break to keep from ‘losing it’, and becoming so overwhelmed that we can’t function in a productive manner. In this respect, silence is a necessary, positive thing that allows us to remain internally, emotionally and spiritually, whole. Happier, functional human beings.

Silence. That word also conjures up a few negatives.

Any abuser, whether that be a pedophile, narcissist, psychopath or someone who resorts to violence in the home, requires and DEMANDS their victim to be silent. Especially while away from the abuser. After all, if the victim talks to anyone about what is happening, it means that the abuser will be exposed. The abuse will be known.

The pedophile in my life, learned of my fears of anger and hurting others’ feelings. He used that against me, in order to continue the abuse. I was 7, I think, when the abuse started. He would cry tears, when talking to me about what would happen if I told anyone. He didn’t threaten bodily harm. He said (and showed) I wouldn’t be allowed to come over anymore. He expressed his ‘love’ for me. What I saw and heard? I would hurt HIS feelings if I told anyone about it. I had an internal battle that I remember to this day. “How would I like it if someone hurt my feelings?” Forget about the abuse. I would have been ‘bad’ if I told anyone. To think I caused that grown man to cry, made me feel very guilty. The result? The abuse continued for YEARS, until my family and I moved to a neighboring town. It was there that I told my pastor, who in turn told my parents.

For whatever reason, I have always placed my wants and needs on the back-burner, in order to protect MYSELF from hearing anger, hurting feelings or feeling guilt because of it all. It was easier to allow myself to be the sacrifice, for the betterment of everyone around me. It wasn’t as painful as experiencing someone’s anger, or feeling like I was being ‘bad’ or ‘selfish’. For whatever reason, I didn’t matter. My needs never mattered. Well, they did I suppose, but I learned that enduring abuse was the easier road.

Silence. The enabler of abuser to continue abusing.

You would think that at my age, I would have gotten a handle on this.

Nope.

My life with the Monster proved to be a continuance of everything. I recognize my fears of anger, violence, and the like. I’ve been conditioned to remain silent when someone around me is angry. My X-monster also knew this, and used it against me. One of the first things he tested me for were any weaknesses. He found them. My one major one is the ability to manipulate me by using anger and guilt. I also recognize this, yet I am still powerless to change it. I know I’m not ‘powerless’, as my life is my  OWN to guide and live. I just don’t know how to change it. I’m naturally inclined…conditioned…to react a certain way to particular stimulus.

Then, the anger… He would GRILL me about who I’ve talked to, what was said, and made absolutely sure that I wasn’t talking about HIM or our relationship. Just a thought about whether I’d been talking to anyone, sparked a verbal onslaught that I was neither prepared for, nor was I able to protect myself from it when it happened.

What did I do? I remained silent, both during the tirade and in my interpersonal relationships.

What did this cause? The furthering of the abuse. I willingly ‘fed’ the psychopath his daily caloric intake of ‘ego boost’.

I’m 45, yet still a child in some regards.

I’d much rather have silence and peace residing together in my life, at my own choosing, in a balanced and happy way.

As each day has become since my exodus…This too shall pass. I will learn and be stronger for the lesson.

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “The many personalities of ‘Silence’

  1. Yes, our silence is imperative. It’s breaking the silence that eventually breaks the chain of abuse. It’s frustrating to know I “get” this, and yet it’s a daily battle not to roll over and clam up.

    1. I know what you mean. When someone is angry with me, I instantly clam up. I stay quiet. If I have to say something, it’s in a tone meant to defuse. I don’t stand up for myself, generally, but am learning to do so, VERY slowly. My overall goal is to end whatever tirade is going on. The internal unrest eventually subsides. Easier to deal with than the anger itself.

  2. Peace at all cost, the cost will be high. My counselor taught me to disagree with him first. Then he had me practice on people at work that tended not to yell. This systematic desensitization was a planned out battle plan to teach me how to stand up to a person in the face of anger. Slowly it is working. However, I first had to decide if the cost of peace was too high. I tend to blank out when anger is used. I work hard at overcoming this challenge. You are recognizing what and when this happens. Options are available. Keep practicing.

    1. Thank you, Ruth. I’m happy to hear there is a way through it. I’ve thought about this idea, myself, though I don’t have anyone to “safely” practice on. You’re right…the cost is insurmountable, in the face of sacrificing myself for “peace’s” sake. Balance is my goal. It’s a tough one to gain, but attainable.

  3. His last tirade (the day before I left) I just sat there and gave him the evil eye. I was prepared to attack him physically if he shook me one more time. Even after I left, I remained mum. I was lost and confused and didn’t know what I was feeling. I started by emailing his friends some lies he was keeping from them and then emailing his sister-in-law who allowed him and his mother to watch her daughter while she worked. Nothing was satisfying until I started talking to me mother and receiving responses and real reactions. (My emails had been ignored COMPLETELY!!) Then writing my blog and my story and some final nasty-filled emails and texts to him which I copied his disgusting mother on, too. Speaking up never felt so good. 🙂

    1. It’s a wonderful release when you bring some ‘light’ on the subject, isn’t it? It seems you and I were left with blurting everything, in the end. It was the only way we could protect ourselves. Unfortunately, many still don’t believe me though I know inside that everything I have said is 100% truthful! The fact that I (we) opened up and let out the TRUTH is vindicating, in and of itself…regardless of others’ viewpoints. Good for you! My X’s mother is a sweet woman, who wouldn’t ever allow herself to believe or accept anything negative about him. she’s quick to ‘understand’ and ‘excuse’. Poor woman doesn’t realize she’s living the life of being perpetually abused. To ignore, is her coping mechanism. Maybe that’s why he chose to run to her at every turn, when I started standing up to him. He knew she would vouch for him.

  4. If I had to go back, and if I had to choose, the silent treatment would fall at the bottom of the list…
    I was once in a car accident in my X’s truck, the one he insisted I drive and I insisted was too big, and he refused to speak to me after I called and told him.

    1. Wow! I can imagine how that made you feel. You were just in an accident in a truck that was too big, at his choosing! Then, he wouldn’t speak to you because of it. The silent treatment was used for just that purpose…to make you feel off kilter, and insignificant. Unfortunately, it works…until we realize what we are dealing with, and that all of those head-games are a ploy to beat us down into a more easily controllable pile of goo. It sounds like he wasn’t concerned for one second, about your well-being…from the beginning to the end. You are free from ALL of that, dear heart!

      I hated the silent treatment! that’s a great one to add to the list, though. When mine would use the silent treatment…”ignore” treatment… it was for absolutely NO reason and always out of the blue. Another one of those many “WTF!?” moments of our life together. It always made me wonder what “I” did wrong, and why he was so upset with me, to ignore me. by ‘ignore’, I mean that I didn’t exist inside the same room. I didn’t exist when I would speak to him, or try to hold his hand. He just stared straight ahead, silently, stiff as a board. A few times, I would go home as a result. Other times (when I was staying at his house) I would go to bed (7 pm) and cry.When he did give me a reason for it, it was “I was tired”. Really? Other times it was a precursor to an out of the blue attack, about nothing real…nothing tangible…but I paid for it.

      It’s a wonderful thing, to be free from the torment!

      1. Staying silent, in the end, cost me my children. Because I didn’t speak up until after I left him, the courts returned the children to him. Silence is deadly, but breaking it can be so horrible. It’s got to be the worst Catch-22 ever.

        1. Im sorry you are going through all that! If the courts would recognize when someone is psychologically abusive, and make allotments to KEEP from awarding children to the abuser, a victim would be better able to protect herself and her family. In my case, I wasn’t awarded a much needed restraining order. Why? Because I chose to try and remain cordial with the man…continued talking to him until the end of everything. There wasn’t enough time to explain WHY I was NOW as afraid as I was. I was scared of the man, before, but I finally FULLY realized just HOW dangerous he really is, in the end. that’s why I filed for the restraining order…and the stalking that he was continuing to do. I understand the catch 22. Silence continued our abuse, cost you your children, but on the flip side…continuing to talk to the man, for me, cost me my peace of mind in my home and potentially my safety. I didn’t know what he would do. I knew he was capable of anything, totally unpredictable and extremely vindictive. If you talk…it continues the abuse, if you are living together, or makes it even worse at times. If not? The abuse continues but it’s done secretly.

          Is there any way you can take him to court and get your kids back? I’m so sorry you are living without your kids. Must make you very afraid for them! It’s not your fault that you lost them. i hope you realize that. psychopaths are really good at their game. They put plans into motion, months before a desired end, to sway the beliefs of other’s around them, eradicate any information (or twist it) to make it look completely opposite from the REAL facts, and IT WORKS! We can see every step, and how they did it, in the end, but we can’t see it while the plan is being formed and implemented. our major mistake? We assume these monsters are human, placing them into human molds, believing that they will act in human ways. “People just don’t do THAT”. It’s natural to expect all homo-sapiens to be human in all things. Its only after they see a scheme to a desired end, do we realize how wrong we were. Usually we are part of that scheme, and even the subject they are trying to hurt. Don’t stop fighting!!! You WILL win, and hopefully very soon!

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