|Are You A Hopium
Are You A Hopium
If the question alone was enough to make
you recoil in horror, it doesnt necessarily mean that the term
couldnt possibly apply to you. You may not have heard the term before,
but your reaction may be because you are a closet hopium addict.
What is the definition of a hopium addict?
A hopium addict is someone who puts their own emotional needs on hold,
while they wait for their partner to kick their addiction be it to
drugs, alcohol, gambling, or emotionally and physically abusive behaviour
despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling
are easy enough to identify. The addiction to emotionally and physically
abusive behaviour is generally far less readily identifiable, at least to
the woman who is on the receiving end of it.
You see, women dont intentionally
fall in love with a bully. Theyll fall in love with someone whos
strong, masterful, in control, masculine, powerful, resourceful, confident;
in short, someone wholl complete them, someone who appears to embody
all the old fashioned stereotypes of what a man is. (Or, at least, what a
man was before the feminists started to challenge the stereotype.)
Now, the man who appears to embody all
these stereotypes, behaves in a particular way that allows his conquest to
mode. Suddenly, all the burdens of coping on her own have been lifted from
her shoulders. Suddenly, shell never have to do life alone
By rights, these couples should just
walk off into the sunset happily together, the man chivalrously keeping his
sword slung over his right hip to protect his lady from danger
that its not really like that.
Abusive men start out very charming and
chivalrous and in control. They tend to be fast wooers because the
veneer of confident masculinity is actually rather thin and brittle. Underpinning
the veneer there is a profound sense of personal inadequacy and a fundamental
dislike of women. (If you listen to them long enough theyll tell you
that key female figures in their life have wronged them. At bottom, they
mistrust all women.)
Once the fog of hormones, pheromones
and straight lust starts to lift, things play out rather differently. Abusive
men seek commitment yet loathe the demands it imposes on them. They encourage
their partner to depend on them, then become acutely resentful of the dependency
This resentment, increasingly, reveals
itself in reproaches, fault finding, withdrawal of intimacy and escalating
outbursts of anger. Whether or not physical violence is used, the nature
of these outbursts is violent, inasmuch as it shatters trust and undermines
the womans feelings of self-worth.
The man may, or may not, threaten to
leave. Almost certainly, he will point out to his partner how fundamentally
flawed and unworthy she is. The woman is likely to have difficulty in reconciling
this stranger, who is incandescent with self-righteous fury, with the prince
who wooed her.
An attack of this kind is devastating
and, at least in the early days, the woman is likely to reveal the depth
of her distress. When she does so, the mans fury will subside and he
will revert to being her loving cavalier
for a while at least.
The point is: an abusive man restores
his own feelings of self-worth by cutting 'the little woman' down to size
irrespective of whatever it is that occurred to make him feel small
in the first place.
But theres also a calculation involved:
whether or not he loves her, he desperately needs her, because he uses her
to shore up his feelings about himself. So, he has to do his best not to
drive her away; which is why he reverts back to loving mode
next time. And there always will be a next time - which will always be worse
than before - because in order to get his payoff, he has to up the
Over time, as he keeps knocking her down
(psychologically and perhaps physically also), he becomes more confident
that she wont leave. With all the conflict she loses the energy and
the sense of an independent self that she needs to leave. So the loving
interludes become less necessary, for him, and less frequent.
And thats where the hopium addiction
comes in. He may still mainline her just enough love to keep
her locked in; or else she may be so starved that she stays, when she should
have left long ago, still trying to get the fix she needs; the
fix, that she misguidedly believes, only he can provide.
The hopium addict is the woman who thinks
that her partner loves her really, he just has difficulty showing it because
hes had a hard time. She believes that somehow it will all work out
alright, theyll find a way to live happily together ever after, the
kids wont be affected.
Unfortunately, hopium addiction is
degenerative; like any other addiction, unless you get treatment, it will
Annie Kaszina Specialist Women's Empowerment
Coach and NLP Practitioner. Author of the ebook "The Woman You Want To
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