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”) He magnificently orchestrated the role for me that I was the woman who was going to save him from a loveless, sexless, happiness void life.
I 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.
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 approached me with her similar story of idealization and discard. He told me 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 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.
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 my whole identity and worth was tied up in someone who used to think I was 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… he told me we had an “agreement” based on soul mate love. I believed him I was in serious denial – 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 and then, told me that, that is all guys wanted me for.
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 Mask Dropping (odd demand) stage. It’s definitely part of the devalue and got sadistic. He knew I was trapped and not going anywhere. He started asking for bizarre sexual things, talking about crazy things, and revealing his own deep insecurities.
Sex with his bf, Threesome with my gf, pictures of my daughters (underage) behinds and other requests as well. 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 a variety 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.
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.
NARCS DONT DO NICE ENDINGS. IN FACT THEY DONT EVEN DO ENDINGS.
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’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!