Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart. Mother Teresa

While travelling by train to visit a friend in Bristol, I started reading the first book on my Summer Reading List: Untangled by Alexis Rose. It is a heart wrenching story of abuse but also of courage and hope.  One sentence took my attention: “The silence is the worst sometimes. Along with the moment when an abusive event ends the silence is sometimes the most uncomfortable part of being hurt.” It reminded me of all the times when his silence hurt me and made me feel worthless.

Many emotional manipulators use the silent treatment to undermine, invalidate and ultimately control the other person.  It is often exerted to avoid accountability, personal responsibility or conflict resolution. It can takes various forms such as not responding to a text or message, ignoring a comment or question or simply not having any form of  contact, either verbal or physical. It can last a few minutes, hours or can go on for days. It leaves the person at the receiving end with great anxiety as they do not know how long this treatment will perdure and what they may have done to deserve it. Being ignored by the same people whose attention and love you crave is an incredibly painful feeling.

As I was thinking about this, words came to my mind and I wrote the poem below which expresses how I felt when subjected to silence.



A powerful weapon



Requires no effort

Yet so effective

It makes you feel invisible



Silence hurts

Silence is loneliness

Silence is abandonment

Silence is fear

Silence is pain

Silence is death


I speak

He ignores me

A knot forms in my stomach

I speak again

He ignores me

I repeat

He yells

“You don’t have to repeat three times,

I heard you the first time.”




How could I know he heard me

He ignored me

He did not move

Or nod

Or blink

He did not acknowledge my words

My presence

My feelings



His fury

Is better than silence

I welcome the screams

They break the silence

I exist

I am not a ghost



  1. ❤️Thank You for reading Untangled and for mentioning it in your very moving post. Silence is so difficult. You dont know what to do, say, react, not react. I still struggle with the silence. Take good care of you. ❤️


  2. Reblogged this on Breaking Abuse and commented:
    I wish that I had been able to attach a definition to his treatment but at the time, I didn’t. All I wanted was to communicate and find ourselves on common ground. The truth is that if they don’t want that, there’s nothing that can be done to get there. In the end, our power comes from choosing who will be in our lives and who will not. We must surround ourselves with people who are kind and who believe in openness and vulnerability.


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