Broken is a story that is best read Chronologically to start from the beginning – Prologue
This where most of the abuse lies. The shift is subtle mostly and you don’t even notice it has happened. It occurs just as you start to settle into the relationship. When the fuel is starting to run dry or you challenge their control of it.
In this article by Pheobe Baker she sums up the Devaluation as-
“…You might find this switch happens just as you are starting to feel settled in the relationship. The shift is nuanced and you might not realize when it happened.
This is the stage where the abuse lies, it can be any form of abuse – verbal, emotional, sexual, physical, financial, spiritual or other.”
It will manifest in these forms. And I am only listing the ones applicable to Hailey-
- Gaslighting (making you think you are crazy, paranoid or sensitive when you are having perfectly normal reactions)
- Withdrawing affection
- Seductive withholding
- Emotional appeals (will make you feel sorry for them whenever you raise something that is bothering you)
- Making you feel bad for how you feel and think
- Passive aggression
My first true devaluation came in June of 2019. Hailey became single she used jokes in the beginning to set this up. “You better hurry…”. “I hate your situation.” to “Things have changed.” “It is different I am dating a married man now and he isn’t available.”
While all this is plausible it was said the moment she didn’t have a steady stream of fuel from both me and James. Normally this would take several weeks if not months for this “change” to occur. Not overnight. What changed? Her logistics changed. Did her feelings change? Why would her feelings change overnight if the situation has changed? It’s not rational. You don’t suddenly fall out of love like that.
This was a mild devaluation. And one that ended in August with our Truce but she kept me under control by “accepting invitations”. And her love bombing began again. It was perfect she had license to groom a replacement. And if I managed to get free she would have me. She had the perfect streams of fuel.
My second devaluation was far more insidious. I even missed certain things. I missed them because of my state at the time. I had just left. Then NYC happened and I didn’t run right into her. This was a rapid devaluation but not because I was settle it was because she didn’t have control of me. By me attending to my family as I separated and not committing to her right away. I challenged her control. HG Tudor Says–
“This is when the alternating between hot and cold commences and there are a variety of reasons why this happens.
The first occurs in The Instant and is as a consequence of the ignition of fury. If you say (or more likely) do something which wounds or is challenge fuel then this is perceived by us as a challenge to our control. Bear in mind that it may not seem like a challenge from your perspective, indeed you are usually at a complete loss as to why we have reacted as we have done. The blowing hot and cold which occurs in The Instant is naturally your fault.”
Here is her text to begin my second devaluation period that led to her going back with James.
I’m feeling bad. I’m feeling unconvinced that you can’t work on your marriage… I’m unconvinced that you won’t want more time with the kids. Every time I feel like something is changing there’s a setback. And when a setback happens I feel disappointed and think “ok I’ll see about just meeting someone else so I’m not waiting around feeling disappointed ” but then I will hurt you if I do, So I’m confused.
Also I’m just feeling bad in general about what we did. Although I do not for a second regret knowing you as you are one of my favorite people. So I think as much as I want to be a support for you I think we should take time and space. My heart hurts and I know I’m hurting you too but I’m a mess. I don’t tell you when I’m hurt and disappointed because I don’t want to be a burden on you but that’s not good for me. As your friend and someone that loves you I think you guys should go to therapy so you can say you did the work.
I am translating this for you so you can see what is actually going on. It’s not a verbatim but I will say what she was really saying. But by manipulating and changing the words it sounds plausible but here is what she was really saying-
I don’t like your continued care of your family. Your attention should be on me by now. And when you give them more than I want you to give them, you disappoint me. And now I am in a position if I sleep with someone else because you aren’t giving me the attention I want then I am the asshole. So you are putting me in a bad spot and I am entitled to my attention.
Also I should be a good friend and lover but I need time and space because I am selfish and can’t wait a few weeks and be there for you even though I should. I think if you are going to focus on your family, just go, while I fuck this guy who flattered me. And see if he is an acceptable replacement for you.
Sounds harsh right? Probably aggressive? However the hints around it were there to provide additional context, especially from this text that flew by me at 100 mph. She said she “Craved attention and felt guilty seeking it elsewhere.” And that it was “my situation that made her look.”
Finally the third devaluation period that happened in record time shortly after she came back. She uses her kids and plausibility again-
I love you. I adore you. However I am not sure I will ever have the time and attention that you need. I have so many people requiring my time and attention. I feel incredibly overwhelmed and exhausted. I don’t and can’t prioritize anyone over my kids. I think if you understood how often I need to change plans with friends, family, and clients you would know it’s a form of self care not throwing aside of anyone. I know my limitations and when I’ve spread myself too thin. It’s that simple.
You are one of my favorite fuel sources. But I am too entitled and popular to give you my time and attention. Plus you are supposed to give me attention not the other way around. I am the only one that can be overwhelmed and exhausted and my priority is whatever it is I say it is. That includes friends, family and clients. I am selfish and I am calling it self care. If I continue to break plans with you over and over I am going to use rational excuses but it really means I am looking for someone else. And I don’t plan on apologizing.
Ok so I went a little further and embellished. This is gaslighting 101. Here are the several manipulations she used in a paragraph of text. It’s astonishing-
- She used her kids to shield her bad behavior
- She put me in a category of “everyone else” massively devaluing me
- She acted entitled and showed no empathy
- Claimed herself as a victim of people wanting her attention and that she is some sort of gift to those people.
- She never addressed the root cause. What am I to her? That’s all I ever wanted to know. More on this in a post.
- This was a disguise for her actively grooming someone else
- There is no apology. She never apologized for cancelling for the third time in 8 days
So if I try to meet her where she is at in this scenario, and I did here, I apologized tried to explain further. Tried to smooth it out. Took accountability for me frustrating her. That my friends is gaslighting and emotional abuse. She was creating a reality that was beneficial to her at the time. Simply so she could do what she wants but also keep me around just in case.
And she kept me there in this space for an additional 6 weeks. Constantly in and out, hot and cold. It would go from “I love you” or discussing the potential of a future but then to- victimizing herself and “life was soooo hard” and “I don’t trust love I am not sure what it is”.
And in that process she pretty much hit 8 of the 11 signs in this article that you are dating a narcissist. Every devaluation start continued with an extensive hot and cold period. Constant manipulation and gaslighting. Trying to pin it down to whether this person was in a relationship with you and what your relationship was and what you meant to them. It is exhausting. This period is just awful.
Tomorrow I will break down the infamous “accepting invitations” email and show the manipulation and how just simply changing the words can mask how bad it really is. Keep in mind the reason why I can translate these now is that I know what happened in hindsight. During the time she would manipulate I had no idea what was going on. It takes catching it over and over in order to figure out what she is saying when she is saying it.