24 May 2009

The Telephone is Screaming, but I am Not... and You Don't Have to Either...

Mother -- The Police

Well, the telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?
Telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?
The telephone is screaming
Won't she leave me alone
The telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?

Well every girl that I go out with
Becomes my mother in the end
Every girl I go out with
Becomes my mother in the end
Well, I hear my mother calling
But I don't need her as a friend
When every girl that I go out with
Becomes my mother in the end

Oh mother dear please listen
And don't devour me
Oh mother dear please listen
Don't devour me
Oh woman please have mercy
Let this poor boy be
Oh mother dear please listen
And don't devour me

Well, the telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?
Telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?
The telephone is screaming
Won't she leave me alone
The telephone is ringing
Is that my mother on the phone?

************************

It's been a quiet, busy couple of weeks. Lots of things going on, but pretty much all external; meanwhile, Inner World has been "... full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."

Only in the last few days have I realized just how deeply I've managed to separate chaos without from peace within. Strangely, it's felt as though it was happening all on its own, without the least bit of effort on my part; but when I actually pay attention, I realize that I've been profoundly involved the entire time.

Just not on a fully engaged and conscious level, most of the time. It's been like keeping my balance on the deck of a sailboat; an automatic, instinctive shifting and balancing. A subconscious awareness of weather and light... while my conscious mind handles other things.

The lyrics quoted above capture many aspects of abuse - its relentlessness, its insatiability, its savage greed. Daily life in an abusive environment can feel like Death By Pestering or worse, depending on how many abusers are in your daily round, how abusive they are [at home, at work, at church, at school], how insistent they are, and how much latitude you have to constrain or ignore them.

That's the secret. To constrain or ignore abusers - and recognize that you have an absolute right to do so.

Many of us who blog or have blogged about abuse [see "Narcissists Suck", "What Makes Narcissists Tick" and "Getting Past Your Past" as examples] are strong advocates of "No Contact" with those we've identified as committed, intentional abusers in our lives. At first glance, it seems like a harsh doctrine, but consider the alternative - really consider it:
-a life spent being sandblasted raw by constant, unremitting abuse;
-being expected to carry the world on your back with no slightest acknowledgement, rest, or recompense;
-and being reviled, punished, or abandoned the instant you fail to produce as per someone else's unilateral specification.
Really, all that No Contact does is reverse the polarity of an already existing harshness that you neither created nor desired. It allows the abusers to own the consequences of their abuse. Which is only fitting, since the abuse originated with them in the first place.

When we won't engage, don't feed the drama, and continue to avoid engaging despite changeback reactions, pressure, and escalation, a surprising thing often happens: the abuser loses his or her hostages, and their power over us is broken. This is often because the biggest hostages they hold are the ones we give them:
our own need to look good to ourselves,
or to have or do whatever we have learned to equate with success.
Once we redefine 'looking good to ourselves' and 'succeeding' as 'being free of abuse', that game is over forever.

And then, even if the abuser keeps on trying to abuse us, it just stops working.

************************

The telephone is ringing;
There's an abuser on the phone.
The telephone is ringing;
There's an abuser on the phone..
The telephone is screaming...
Won't they leave me alone?

Um; no. They won't.
They're abusers, and this is what they do.
So, OK. Enough already,
Just turn the d--n thing off for now.
Tomorrow, change your number.

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