Out of self-preservation, I had been practicing the gray rock method long before I knew it was a technique to use against a sociopath, narcissist, sociopathic narcissist, psychopath or any other drama craving personality. I only knew that it kept me from being verbally ripped to shreds.
The premise is this…you become a gray rock around the person who abuses you. I am not talking about physical abuse. I am talking about the verbal assault that doesn’t stop. The insults, the snide remarks, the negative commenting on my hair, my make-up, my clothing, my parenting skills, my house cleaning, my cooking…. you get the picture.
Think about a gray rock. It’s boring. It’s uninteresting. You walk right by it without noticing it is there.
By becoming a gray rock you send the quiet message that you are not any fun to bat around like a cat playing with a terrified mouse. You no longer give an emotional response to anything your abuser says to you.
That’s what Mister wants. He enjoys upsetting me. It makes him happy and causes him to feel powerful because he can manipulate my emotions. I see it on his face when he’s successful.
Before gray rock, Mister once took a fresh load of laundry out of the dryer and tossed it into the cat litter box. I hadn’t cleaned the box yet that day. I was beyond angry! Who does that? There was an empty basket beside the dryer to put clean clothes in but he purposely turned around and piled them in the dirty litter box. Then he went to his room and waited for me to find the laundry while he watched T.V.
I was livid! I marched right into the bedroom and told him exactly what I thought of him. He just sat there, smiling. He got exactly what he wanted. Not only had he created more work for me to do, he got an emotional response that made him feel powerful.
After I started practicing gray rock, I had cooked a large dinner. Two big pans of chicken enchiladas from scratch. It had taken nearly three hours of chopping, cooking the chicken, shredding it, and rolling all of the ingredients into the tortillas before baking. I wanted to freeze half for a future meal and serve half for dinner and lunch the following day.
I had taken both pans out of the oven to cool just before Mister got home from work. His way of letting me know that he has had a bad day is to stomp through the house without so much as a ‘hello’ before finding a way to take his mood out on me.
I hadn’t washed the dishes yet. That was his excuse. He started screaming at me for being a horrible wife and yelling that I should be ashamed of myself for not having the dishes done. Then he threw both pans of enchiladas on the floor and screamed, “Now clean it up!”
I gave him no response what so ever. Inside I was boiling! I had mentally punched him in the throat about a dozen times, but outside….nothing. Not a surprised look. Not anger. Not hurt. Nothing.
It confused the shit out of him. He just stood there, ready for a fight, and got nothing. He finally went to his room and slammed the door.
A few hours later he came out and asked what was for dinner. I told him, with no emotion, that he had thrown his dinner in the floor so I let the dog eat what he wanted and threw the rest in the garbage. I then calmly walked out of the room like it just didn’t matter. He didn’t say another word. He wasn’t sure what to do. He stood in the middle of the living room for another minute and then went to bed.
The next day, he offered to take me out for dinner.
It doesn’t matter if your blood is boiling or if you are crying inside. Give him or her, which ever the case may be, nothing. I learned the hard way that if I allow him to feed on my emotions, the situation will escalate quickly. I can defuse it just as quickly by giving no emotional response. I am a gray rock. Just pass me by without noticing me.