One of the hardest things to get your head round in recovery from a relationship with a Narcissist is, why would they go to all the effort of building you up just to knock you down again?
Why would they text a hundred times a day at the start of the relationship, only to freeze you out, turn to ice and accuse you of being too needy, insecure, jealous and all kinds of bunny boilery?
Why would they plaster their Facebook page with photos of you together, proclaiming to the world that you’re their soul-mate and love of their life, only to recycle you with their ex or random stranger who appeared out of nowhere?
Why would they claim to be so desperate to spend every waking minute with you, move into your apartment, only to go missing in action, using their place as a bolt-hole whenever they decided to blast you with silent treatment?
Or why would they beg you to give up your family, friends, career and identity, to move abroad, live the dream, only to turn your life into a nightmare?
It doesn’t make sense.
And when things don’t make sense you blame yourself.
It’s my fault, I’m not good at relationships.
Maybe he’s right, I am a bit clingy at times
It must be my fault, I can’t take a joke
It’s my fault, I ask too many questions.
It’s my fault, I’m too jealous.
Blaming ourselves helps us make sense of a nonsensical situation. It’s so much easier to blame ourselves because then we can take control and change ourselves.
And then everything will go back to ‘normal.’
The way it was at the start of the relationship.
Except it won’t.
The truth is that Narcissists are unable to have normal loving relationships. They view people as a means to an end to be manipulated, exploited and controlled.
To the Narcissist, it’s a game of three stages-
Idealize, Devalue and Discard.
Idealize-The Narcissist intentionally uses charm, flattery and praise to place you on a pedestal gaining your trust, love and attention. By bombarding you with texts, you develop an addiction to your cell phone and come to expect the morning texts and multiple calls and messages.
Devalue-The devalue stage starts with subtle criticisms and slight changes in behaviour. They call less often, drop your hand when walking, seem distracted when you talk and seem somehow ‘different and distant’. They seem irritated but deny there’s a problem which leads you to focus on you and start jumping through hoops to try to please them.
The fun part of the devalue stage, for the narcissist, is that while you’re busy practicing ‘hoop jumping’, you’ll have less time to focus on the Narcissist who’s most likely hiding in their bolthole watching porn or practicing bed hopping and lining up their next source of supply.
(Discard) The discard phase is the ultimate disappearing act. Whether they physically leave or just mentally and verbally check out into another room, giving you the silent treatment, the result for you is utter devastation, confusion and feeling like you’re losing your mind.
To the narcissist, it’s all just a game.
A game they have set up to win, while you are left alone, devastated and not only losing your mind but often losing everything.
The only way you can win is by going No/Limited Contact, getting information, help and support and staying out of the game for good.
Take good care
Jacqueline Groves is a counsellor and coach specialising in helping people recover from emotional abuse from toxic relationships.
.Subscribe below if you would like to keep in touch or get exclusive content and information.