What I used to call the “Love of My Life” I Now Call: “The Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse: The Idealization, The Devaluation and The Discard”
When I look back at my life, just prior to the narcissist – I was a happy woman.
My children were leaving home, I was modeling, auditioning for a couple of tv shows, was considered, kind, gentle, loving, a great girlfriend to a few very nice men – bright, articulate, and above all else, HAPPY! I was often complimented on my very hearty, genuine, belly laugh – and how I always had a smile on my face or was always laughing.
When the narcissist entered my life – he came CHARGING IN! Immediately sweeping me off my feet – I didn’t even know what hit me. LITERALLY. I was boosted so high off the ground (that proverbial pedestal that were put on during a narcissist’s wooing operation”)
Yes, truth is he was married. (Boo hiss at me all you want – I KNOW this was very wrong, very much so and have made my OPEN AMENDS, begged for God’s forgiveness and vow to NEVER EVER make this kind of decision again. Promise. – so save the preaching for someone more recalcitrant)
The story I got, was a complete line of sympathetic, sad, narc bs. He was not “in love” with her – she never made him feel the way I did…he should have never married her…if it weren’t for the kids, we’d already be together…blah blah…It got worse as time went on) But he magnificently orchestrated the role for me that I was the LEAD HEROINE (savior complex on my part – blech) and about to save him from a loveless, sexless, happiness void life.
If you can see now with the 20/20 Vision I too possess, we know this to be his IDEALIZATION of me – the first step in the cycle of a narcissistic relationship. We can clearly see also, that I ALLOWED his behavior and wooing to puff me up. (Ego on my part – as well as the betrayal of the sister bond – of falling in “love” w/ a married person)
I had responsibility back then. I just didn’t ACCEPT it or ACT on it.
I was also falling into the spell of a very strong manipulative influence: a narcissist.
Narcs are engaging. They’re entertaining and believable. The narc in my case makes a living from acting. He’s a hype guy. He hypes himself and plays a certain “character” on his show. He’s skilled at this pretending and SELLING people on whatever it is he’s peddling. He often told me that the products he hypes for people he doesn’t use (ok, call it advertising – I call it lying. Again – two different worlds).
Narcs charisma & coming on strong can appeal to anyone – for who doesn’t want to think that we are so awesomely wonderful that someone else – goes gaga over us so deeply and apparently so strongly? I had NO CLUE; NONE WHATSOEVER that I was being love bombed. I do NOW; now that I know to question this type of pedestal placing and intense whirlwind.
I would say the stage of idealization lasted for approximately the first 6 – 9 months. During that time, another woman he had cheated with approached me with her story – we confronted him. Yet in the end, he wanted to “get rid of her” (his words) and asked me to help him. Good God, this was my 5,000th red flag with him…of course, this woman was a “psycho” “super fan” “listener” – blah blah – I knew it was BS – but I believed (more ego) that it wouldn’t happen to me; not like THAT. All this was, was my unwitting enabling of the discard of another of the narcissist’s victims. In the end, I tried to go back and apologize to her for this – but she had turned coat and went back to collecting free concert tickets from the narc. And well, I don’t blame her for dissing me.
The Devaluation Stage – began after we started seeing eachother regularly. It seemed that whenever I expressed my needs or feelings to the narc that the emotional abuse began – by his discounting them, forcing me to stuff them, always dominating the conversation until he “had to go!” He belittled my emotions by telling me I was silly, or causing me to doubt different perceptions I had of his behavior. I just could NEVER, I mean NEVVVVVVVVVVVVER confront him on his behavior and / or get RESOLUTION.
It was horrible. That very part of it was the absolute worst feeling as a human being – because your whole sense of what you’re worthy of (and you’re encouraged to do so) is all tied up in someone who used to think you were the BEST at EVERYTHING!!!!
Suddenly I couldn’t do ONE THING right. I couldn’t talk right, feel right, look right, do yoga right, talk to him on the phone right, not add the right people on fb, or delete the wrong ones, or look the other way when I’d catch him flirting and CHEATING… (I know…I’m not obtuse; hypocritical of me) but – it hurts nonetheless, he told me we had an “agreement” based on soul mate love. I believed him. I wasn’t proud of the fact that I felt insecure about his dirty, man whore ways – or that he was married. I had some serious denial going on – but still experienced the feelings of devaluation during these behaviors. Every single thing I did, except sex (exploitation) was criticized, belittled and shamed. And…even though the sex wasn’t complained about – he reduced me to that being the ONLY thing I could do right (hmm…) and then, told me that, that is all guys wanted me for. (Projection) Sad that the guy had to ruin my entire perspective on life, love and safety – just to get a piece of ass from me while tricking me into thinking I was the love of his life.
The self-doubt that was created by his invalidating and devaluing everything about me, prepared me for everything that came next. I call this the ODD DEMAND AND REVEALING stage. It’s definitely part of the devalue, but it starts getting sadistic. He KNEW he had me at this point so started asking for bizarre sexual things OR talking about crazy things, or revealing his own insecurities that he KNEW I’d been pretty conditioned to not feel ‘WEIRD’ about or be shocked by:
Sex with his bf, Threesome with my gf, pictures of my daughters (underage) behinds – other requests as well. Those are the ones I remember specifically. Confessions of being fired from therapy repeatedly, work issues, tests revealing lack of empathy, other peoples contempt towards him…confessions of past sins (which weren’t near as disturbing as those I heard from many colleagues and former victims after the fact).
His verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive, jealous, possessive, controlling & stalking behavior towards me increased. Others around me, my family & friends started noticing ISOLATION on my part. Where I was previously always out & about getting myself into the oddest of social situations – and enjoying that in my life…I was now, HOLED UP at HOME. By myself – with my blackberry or computer – just waiting for his message or call.
I was LONELY. I would be at home for all of those 3 years – wanting to hold hands. Go out to eat. Be romantic, sleep till noon together – you know…Normal couple things. He did step up and began taking me out. Again, it always had a strange twist to it, like he was REALLY ENJOYING, almost getting caught. Like he got a HIGH off of it.
He’d give me free tickets to concerts – as well as my kids, friends, family. One event, we were getting our tickets at the window and his marital partner walked up. I texted him – and said, what had happened – he began getting a charge out of it, telling me that he got me and my family better seats than he’d gotten for his wife and mother. This is a very painful memory & very telling of the sadistic pleasure narcs get out of PLAYING PEOPLE.
He said that he liked, that I knew all this “bad side” to him. He took me to work events. A movie premier, and then introduced me as a listener that wanted in the movie free. So we’d sit with each other and he’d touch me slightly with his coworker next to me. We’d go to Yoga class together. He’d lay on the mat beside me and reach over and stroke my hand, or mouth the words, “I love you” to me. (ahh, sad. I actually just felt sad about that). Oh did I think that was such a special moment. I thought, this guy would NOT be taking these risks with me, if it wasn’t special or REAL. 😦
Fast forward, this sadness lasted for 3 long years.
The discard wasn’t just a quick, process when I look back on it. He was planning it for approx 6 or 7 months. I figure he’d probably started seeing someone new at the time, so his only concern was how he was going to ‘GET RID OF ME’ without me spilling his secret.
I want to say something about that. For a narcissist, who thinks they’re “so smart” about strategy…all he would have had to do to win my silence was SHOW ME A FUCKING OUNCE OF RESPECT. (Sorry about the F word, you know I rarely use it – but this deserved it) No joke, I tried SO MANY MANY MANY times, to say, let’s be adult about this: I love you. You love me. Let’s just go our separate ways now, peacefully – and one day, who knows. If it doesn’t work out for your own reasons, get a divorce and come find me. I just wanted a NICE ENDING.
NARCS DONT DO NICE ENDINGS. IN FACT THEY DONT EVEN DO ENDINGS.
The short of the devaluing stage in my case was that the narc set it up to look like I was stalking/ harassing him. (I wasn’t. But YOU KNOW how a smear campaign works) He continued to see me, love me, ask me to go to marital counseling with him, tell me he left his wife, called me 20 times a day, blah blah) but he had an active injunction against me (his CON move) I was silly not to insist he get that bogus injunction removed (he told a judge that I threatened to kill his wife & kids or some crazy bologna) – he told me- ASSURED ME (lied to me) that he’d get it removed – that he’d drop it if it ever affected me but that “he had to play the best offense is the best defense” routine. Anyway…I was naive & ignorant to the state of the “law” regarding injunctions (at the time) and thought – oh this will just be cleared up when the truth is revealed in court. HA HAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I chose to share my story about our relationship, he chose to bury me in a smear campaign, “I’ll show you who’s boss” legal nightmare – and I lost my faith in many things and people as a result. To this day, this is probably the worst part about the narcissist’s nightmare on my life – because it’s the one thing- like an ugly SCAR that isn’t my own – like a branding of a 666 on my life – that I can’t just erase from my psyche. And I’m sure the narc intended it that way. I’ve told you all before – when I was at a low early on, I asked my daughter why it felt that once the narcissist entered our lives, why it felt like there was a black cloud over us. Her answer has so stood out to me, as for out of the mouths of babes, comes the TRUTH:
WHEN HE CAME INTO OUR LIVES, ITS LIKE YOU MADE A CONTRACT WITH THE DEVIL. HE WONT GO AWAY EVEN IF HE’S GONE. IT’S THE PRESENCE OF EVIL.
Not only was this an authentic view of what transpired, but it was very validating that I had a WITNESS to the evil. I didn’t “tell her to describe it like that” She made a value judgment; and that was, that we’d faced evil on earth.
I quickly went out and did smudging and soul tie breaking – which speaking of soul tie breaking – One of his former victims came to me, she THANKED ME and said that she had been suffering silently for YEARS over the continual games he played with her emotions. She said that the very day that she went for a soul tie breaking ceremony for the narcissist she read my story and knew it was “a sign” that she was FINALLY FREE!!
What’s amazing when I look back, now with clarity of thought and knowledge of narcissism, My “story” is not all that “special” or RARE. I was just a girl – pretty naive, had a dark underground basement of narc upbringing and training – that I’d thought I’d taken care of – but narcissists have that special key to open your “crazy cellar” and so it is – I got another chance to deal with and look at “my STUFF”.
I’m a make lemonade of out lemons girl – and as BAD as that narc wanted to BREAK ME…he didn’t BREAK ME. He pushed and pushed, and nearly pushed me to hell – (I think every narc victim thinks about suicide at one point or the other) – but GOD INTERVENED!!! He held me! He comforted me and he made me some pretty solid promises about things that I choose to feel GREAT about and have faith in!
I’m ok with the fact that narcissist’s want to continue to take up the space on earth they do – Im a humanitarian. God will weed these people out of the garden – in the meantime, maybe we could just institute a LEASH LAW.