Friday, April 5

Idealize, Devalue and Discard- The Narcissistic Cycle

Idealize, Devalue and Discard.  The three most horrific words for anyone who has ever been involved and ensnared in the cycle of a narcissistic relationship.

At the beginning of your relationship, was he everything you ever wanted? Your knight in shining armor?  I bet he was.  Did he shower you with so much affection and praise?  Did he seem to genuinely listen to what you had to say?
I bet he did, perked up ears and all.

Narcissists are the absolute masters of charm and manipulation.  They have the uncanny ability to mirror back to you exactly what you desire, want and need.  Make no mistake, the narcissist cares nothing about you.

When your relationship first starts with an N, all the normal euphoric emotions that one normally feels when starting a new relationship is there.  However, there is an overwhelming feeling of disbelief on the victims part.  The N, once he as deemed you a viable source of supply (please see previous blogs), will come on so fast and strong you won't know what hit you.  You are in disbelief that this person feels so strongly about you right away.  Their charm and constant doting affection is nothing you have ever experienced.  It really seems too good to be true.

We know how that saying goes..............

Idealization is the first phase in this constant cycle that is the Narcissist.  The "pedestal phase" as many refer to it.  This is when the N is totally and utterly pulling out all the stops to get you hooked.  He would move mountains for your very happiness.  He loves everything about you and lets you know it.  He is in constant contact with you, making plans, wanting to see you.  He can't get enough of you right?  Wrong! He can and he will. Soon.
Once the N knows that his supply is on the hook, he slowly reels you in.  Now begins the real nightmare.

Devalue is the second phase.  I personally am not sure which phase is worse, devalue or discard.  They are both terrible.  Now that you are hooked, which with all that attention and loving being thrown your way, was probably fast, get ready because it is time to meet the man you are really with.

The N will either rapidly or slowly and insidiously begin to tear that pedestal out from under you.  He will do it with everything he has in his arsenal.  His arsenal is stocked, locked and loaded.  Stocked with his hatred and rage and inability to take responsibility for any of his actions or misgivings.  Forever angry and blaming anyone but himself because he hasn't accomplished much of anything.  Did I mention the N has a twitchy trigger finger? Research has shown that most N's develop their disorder in early adolescence.  It is often a direct result of abuse or neglect.  Mostly if not almost always from the mother.

The N's inability to maintain the "mask" of this charming impostor he projects, allows you to see just who he truly is.  His own inner turmoil, low self esteem (contrary to popular belief N's do not have the high self esteem they show the world) and fear of abandonment, facilitate the N's very own abandonment.  What he once found so amazing about you now becomes poison tipped barbs that he will hurl at you for seemingly no reason at all.  This causes immense confusion in victims.  They are unable to comprehend why this happened.  How could you be loved one minute and so viciously detested the next?

This is when the N will use everything you have ever confided in him against you.  Remember the N is a predator and he sized you up splendidly in the idealization phase.  All the time he listened so intently and pressed you for more information on your life and your past and your current and future goals, was all field notes my friend.  Research if you will.  All of that time and research will culminate in the final and devastating destruction of the victim.  The N will criticize everything about you, from the way you look, laugh, sleep or eat.  Nothing is out of bounds for this soul sucking sportsman.  He may come right out and criticize you harshly or he may do it very sneakily and underhandedly try and disguise it like he only wants to help you.  He doesn't and he wont.

The N will emotionally detach from you, make excuses to spend less time with  you or come home late or not at all.
All of a sudden his work becomes all engulfing.  What the N is doing is devaluing you.  He is doing this because he is is irreparably broken inside.  A true modern day zombie void of anything other than primal urges and instant gratifications.  He is doing it because he doesn't really want to do all that is required to maintain his supply.  He needs the supply like a drug, he knows this and resents it.  N's get bored VERY easily and like any drug addict needs more and more each time to maintain his high.  The euphoria felt at the onset of any relationship will eventually wear off as it is proven that surges of chemicals in the brain cause this feeling and do not normally sustain such high levels.  Most people by that time, that are in healthy relationships have grown to understand and respect one another and the boundaries that are set.  They have developed and nurtured a loving relationship that creates a fulfilling lifestyle for those involved while still maintaining autonomy.  You will never have this with an N.  It is impossible they will not allow it.  They look at people in these relationships as weak, whipped or pathetic.  This is all because the N's emotional and developmental stages were stunted in childhood/adolescence by some traumatic event.  Not everyone who experiences childhood traumas develop Narcissistic Personality.  He will tear you down in his mind because he resents his dependence on you.

Discard is the third and final phase.  Just when the N has torn you down to the bowels of hell with his harsh words and in many cases acts of violence, he will discard you.  Once he has sucked every bit of your energy and life out of you he will throw you away with cold blooded heartlessness.  Throughout the devaluing phase the victim has tirelessly tried to figure out what they did to make the N turn on them.  The N has made it very clear throughout the devaluing phase that everything was the victims fault.  EVERYTHING.  The victim is tired and repressed.  By this point they probably have become so withdrawn they have little to no social life left.  The N has succeeded in isolating and degrading the victims self esteem to match his own.  Since the victim can no longer provide any source of supply, the N will then leave them without a second glance.  But mark my words they never leave you unless they have already secured another source of supply.  Read that again and again.  It may not be another lover, it can be anything or anyone a new friend, old friends, anything that at that given time the N perceives to be a greater or better source of supply.  They are always looking for better supply. Always. They are opportunistic to the core.  The N will make his final strike at you and vanish, if he lives with you he will pack up and go all the while either giving you the silent treatment or a deadly devalue combo.  He will leave, no closure, nothing.  Just a barren wasteland in his wake.

If he comes back and he will, if you take him back, rinse and repeat.

As always I write from experience and hold no degrees or certifications pertaining to this disorder.
My experience in life with N's on various levels is they come back, they always come back.  When their supply is low or enough time has passed that they believe you have recharged and may offer supply anew, they will come back.
(See Narcissistic Curtain Calls)

If you have experienced a relationship on any level with one of these personalities, it was sure to leave lasting marks.  If you are still involved with this type of personality on an intimate level you need to cut and run and fast.
Your very existence depends on it.  You will never ever live up to the unrealistic expectations forced upon you.

In many of my blogs I use the pronoun he, but Narcissists can be and are female as well.

www.thelamplighters.org