Of the four primary phases comprising the Cycle of Abuse when loving a narcissist, the devaluation phase is probably the most destructive. In this phase, the narcissist has no qualms in sharing just how deeply disappointed they are in you and how vehemently they despise you. But here’s the thing: sometimes it’s overt, brutally honest contempt, and other times the narcissist so sweetly shares what it is about us they can’t stand, we almost feel sorry for them having to put up with us. No matter which approach the narcissist uses, the end result is always the same – we strive to be the one who changes when there’s actually nothing wrong with us.
Category: Narcissists Page 1 of 9
“I can’t live without you. I’ve tried and I didn’t like it.” Those were my narcissist’s, Julia’s, words to me after yet another discard phase in an endless parade of discard phases, about two years into what would wind up being our 4-½ year toxic relationship. The thing is, at the time, I felt the same – life without her was simply existing, it wasn’t truly living. What I didn’t realize was, regardless of how sincere my feelings of longing and lamenting her absence were, she was simply saying what was necessary to hoover me back into her grasp for the sole purpose of continuing to feed off of me. So with the softly lilting lie that slid so effortlessly off her tongue, “I can’t live without you,” it was once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
I wonder, when you first met your narcissist, how did they love you? Was it in a fashion that was foreign to you? Or was it exactly what you needed to be loved? What you needed to feel loved? Was it just what you had been longing to receive? I’d be willing to wager, not only was it exactly what you had been wishing for, even dreaming of, but they probably seemed to love you with the exact same depth and fervor in which you loved them, at least initially. Right? I know Julia, my narcissist, certainly did!
How many times did you sacrifice your sanity and happiness for a few pieces of peace with your narcissist? I lost count with my narcissist, Julia. You see, at the time, I had become convinced that those days, weeks, even months of misery with her were well worth those very few fleeting moments of joy and happiness together. The reality is, they weren’t. And I suspect you found yourself faced with a similar dynamic and mindset whether you realized this to be the case while with your narcissist or perhaps you only came to this epiphany after things had ended via the dreaded final discard phase.
Today’s post is going to be a bit short. I was recently faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to end a friendship of almost 30 years. A very close friend lied about something that was paramount to me. And this wasn’t the first time it had happened. However, unlike before where I overlooked their flagrant fabrication, I decided it was time to draw a line in the sand and execute a decision by which to stand firm.
Did your narcissist fit the mold of the stereotypical narcissist? Mine certainly didn’t. I’d say she was about a solid 90-95% match, but definitely not 100%. Of all the things where she fell in line with the tried and true definition of a narcissist – self-absorbed, unfaithful, egotistical, immature, manipulative, dishonest, and deceitful; a life rife with double-standards aplenty – the one facet of that multi-faceted mold she never filled was the role of financial vampire. However, that’s not to say I didn’t invest a sizable amount of resources into her life and the planned future that would (fortunately) never come to fruition.
I‘ve heard it said, “The hardest apology to accept is the one you never got.” The thing about apologies, especially when they’re not sincere, is they really mean nothing when you know the person was fully aware of their actions when they hurt you. Every sling, every one of their arrows effortlessly pierces your flesh, impales your heart, and our narcissist offers up a mere halfhearted apology as you sit, stunned, staring at this new wound they’ve inflicted? Think about it. Does that apology carry any real weight when they’ve done whatever it was they did a hundred or even a thousand times before? When you know they’ll do it again? Lather. Rinse. Repeat, ad infinitum. After all, an apology without changed behavior is nothing more than manipulation.
After quite a bit of introspection, I’ve decided to venture back into the dating pool. It’s been well over a year since I walked away from my narcissist – time I’ve spent healing, rebuilding, and recreating – and while I’m not eager, per se, to become involved with someone, I will admit to missing sharing special moments with someone special. But then it occurs to me, “How do I know I’m ready?”
In an article a few weeks back, I shared that my narcissist and her husband had moved to South Dakota. Up until news of their migration, I knew one of two possibilities was only a matter of time until fruition: either I’d run into them at some point, someplace in town, or they’d move and I’d (hopefully) never see either of them again. Truth be told, I really didn’t know how I would feel if either or possibly even both events transpired. So when Veronika told me that Julia, my narcissist of 4-½ years, and Arty, Veronika’s ex-fiance of 4-½ years and Julia’s new husband, had moved, a part of me felt great relief knowing I’d never chance seeing them whilst out and about in our fair city.
Hello, fellow survivors, and happy anniversary! It was one year ago yesterday I wrote my first article heralding the chronicling of the before and aftermath of the 4-½ year ordeal that was loving a narcissist. Honestly, at the time, I had no idea where I would be a year later. All I knew with any degree of certainty was that my psychological and emotional fortitude were shaky, at best. In point of fact, even my awareness of a broken self was viewed through a fog-like haze – the lingering aftereffects and resultant fallout of my narcissist’s remarkably successful gaslighting and trauma bonding campaign. The really twisted thing is, even after all of the emotional and psychological manipulation, triangulation, abuse, and multiple infidelities, I still missed Julia, my narcissist. As with most victims of a narcissistic relationship, I had been conditioned to equate abuse with love; and I missed it. Yeah, I was pretty messed up.