Broken is a story that is best read Chronologically to start from the beginning – Prologue
Call it ghosting, call it the silent treatment. This is a favorite weapon of the narcissist. It is to get things back under control, punish you, but also it is used to audition new supply replacements.
As you sit there and ruminate on what happened and why and what will happen. They are onto something else. They can shut you off like a light switch. It is one of the most insidious things they do. It shows the inner child in them akin to taking their toy away at the playground and going to play with someone else.
I am including it before the disengagement/discard piece of the cycle because it has been a staple in Hailey’s pattern every time she had her eyes else where.
As a matter of fact I should have seen that last silent treatment coming. It always precedes some big monumental struggle in her life. Most Narc’s will do this. “Life is tough.” “I am overwhelmed.” “I am so busy.” As if they weren’t busy when they were seeing you 3 times a week and texting every day. Suddenly that is a chore.
The silent treatment seems can seem like a fair thing if someone is feeling down. Maybe they need some space but usually this is a day or two. You can go weeks or months in a silent treatment. It’s abusive. Very. When you experience it I can’t even tell you how hard it is. They always seem to do it when you are just needing or even desperate for resolution.
The silent treatment hurts and here is a great article explaining what the narcissist is trying to do. First it is to punish, then to take back control, open the door for more manipulation and gaslighting. In each of the cases below notice she tries to “blame me” for her need for silence.
HG Tudor further breaks these down to Present and Absent Silent treatments. Hailey’s choice was always Absent. He explains this from the Narc perspective:
“…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.”
If that doesn’t make your blood boil I don’t know what will. Four times I was ghosted and all in a calendar year. Each time with the exception of January I was hurt and missed her. That time I just was pissed and had enough.
My first intro to the silent treatment was that day in the train station in 2 years we had never gone a day without talking until that point…
“I’m feeling bad. I’m feeling unconvinced that you can’t work on your marriage seeing that your ex was unaware and that there in information you didn’t know. I’m unconvinced that you won’t want more time based with your 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.”
Sounds plausible. But she didn’t go to work on herself. She met a guy because she didn’t like that I wasn’t under her control. And I wasn’t giving her enough fuel.
Time 2 was just a short 6 weeks later. Where I assume she followed through to see if this guy was something she wanted.
I will. But right now I just want to not suggest things just to create disappointment. I have a lot on my plate.
Good morning Matt. I’m physically feeling better. I’m not very much in a great place emotionally though. I will get in touch with you around 3/4
Didn’t hear from her for 3 weeks.
Well you could say she ghosted me going back to James. I mean i kind of knew I will give partial credit as we never had an in person conversation. And she never really told me when or what she was doing. This silent treatment wasn’t like the others.
Finally October Surprise.
I’m not looking for a date. I’m certainly not looking to be scolded by anyone at this point in my life either. I’m sorry you find my life draining. Just imagine how I feel living it.
I got a new job. I’m working on an exit plan. The above was to not for an actual attempt at a date. I have no idea how to use the app and have not gone through it.
Ghosted one month later she was at new guys but probably already dating him. I am sure her showing up on the dating app was a shot at getting me to tell her to fuck off and then she wouldn’t have to ‘break up’.
This post is a great reminder of the toll of how terrible narcissistic behavior can be.