So – here you are.
The usher didn’t help you to your seat, you found it yourself.
You have your play bill, your cell phone is off, but you are NOT ready for this performance.
You didn’t purchase tickets to this event; you didn’t even order season passes but once again you have been subjected to another performance of Devalue and Discard by the Narcissist.
You weren’t in the audience, you were on stage. You were unknowingly cast in this black comedy. You didn’t audition; you were hand picked by the Narcissist and you just experienced what you hope is your last D&D. How many times does this make now? I know, I lost track myself. You say to yourself, “I have been abused by the Narcissist for the last time!”
An experience of Devalue and Discard at the hands of the Narcissist is like riding California Screaming (a roller coaster) but after 2 1/2 minutes the ride isn’t over… the ride operator says, “Let’s go again!” (Comparing the Narcissist to a roller coaster is not original, but oh so descriptive.)
Right now you are raw with emotions. Your thoughts may not even be clear enough at this point to be glad that the relationship is over. You may be thinking of ways to “fix” the situation, to “fix” him…you may be ready to go groveling back to him.
Please don’t do it. It will only give him more opportunities to devalue you. You will make it easy for him, requiring little or no energy on his part. I speak from experience, because I tried it.
That’s why I will say again, “Don’t do it.” The sadistic delight you will see on the Narcissist’s face will be evident while you try to make everything right…..because everything about the Narcissist is wrong.
You may not even know that your friend, boy friend, girl friend…fill in the blank…was an N. You may think that the abuse you suffered was warranted; that you did something to deserve this. But trust me, you didn’t. You didn’t deserve to have the stage curtain dropped on you.
You may not have a clue what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is…but you will. Believe me, you will…and when that light bulb goes off in your head, so many things are going to start falling into place. Soon, when you go on line and start doing research, so many things are going to make sense…as much sense as an emotional disturbed Narcissist can make.
While a part of you is dying to get the N back in your life, another part of you, perhaps your subconscious, is more grateful than you will ever possibly know that he’s gone. I called this point of time in my recovery “Missing Pretend Guy.” It’s not original. It’s a phrase and thoughts from an individual named Alexandra Nouri
You have started start to move on, making connections with others who have been through similar circumstances. Those connections will be a blessing to you. Trust me. You’ve figured out what the N is…and more importantly, what he isn’t…and you have begun the slow healing process.
You cautiously believe that he is gone from your life for good. Reaching this point of acceptance has taken a long time. Some days, you might even feel “normal.” Then, out of the blue….or more appropriately black….here he comes again…and you are hit with his one two punch of D & D.
I call this “Narcissistic Curtain Calls.” Just when you think he’s gone he appears at the side of the stage to take another bow….or give another blow to your fragile self esteem. “Hoovering” is a similar phrase, but when he’s “Hoovering” he’s trying to get back into your favor, for a time.
Don’t worry, his nice behavior won’t last long.
In case you have been fortunate enough to not have experienced an N at his full rage and power…here’s an example of how he spins his web of deception….personal experience…
The N befriends his target, his victim…usually female. Sometimes the N has an adequate amount of supply, so he may have many little minor sources of supply….sources that he may choose at some point in time to cultivate into major supply. Sometimes the N comes on slowly, maybe this is so we will be less suspicious of his true motives. Maybe he actually learned from previous “relationships” that swooping in on his quarry gets him supply for a much shorter period of time. Or, gets him nothing at all. Scaring off his victims before they are under his ‘spell’ means more work for the N. And, if there’s one thing that tires out the N, it’s having to cultivate fresh, new Narcissistic Supply. He has to be on his best behavior, keeping his mask securely fastened…”Ho-Hum” this wears him out.
I don’t know if anyone has ever figured out why the N starts cultivating his ‘minor’ supply into a major, perhaps his main source of supply. I know in my case, the N had suffered the blow of losing, granted temporarily, his main source of narcissistic supply and comfort…I was in the wrong place at the right time. Or – perhaps that should be worded…I was in the wrong place at the wrong time…..
We know that generally speaking, it is the N who does the abandoning, not the supply/victim. The N must be careful in the beginning of the ‘relationship’ to have you reeled in before begining the D&D. In the beginning the N will make you feel like you are the best thing since sliced bread…with or without the peanut butter.
I would hate to see/or to have experienced what would have happened if I had been the one to abandon the Narcissist.
The N idealizes his victim…for a while. He brings out the best in his target. He mirrors our good qualities back to us…I think the reason we think he is so fabulous…is because he is mirroring us! We are seeing ourselves…Hey, what’s not to like? The qualities we are seeing displayed…are us! These character traits are sadly lacking in the N.
We thrive for a time on his adulation. What human being doesn’t want to be valued, treasured, recognized for doing a great job? It is easy to be enticed by all the praise….what’s not to like about compliments? And well, gosh darn it…we think to ourselves “you know, I really am quite a remarkable human being….”
I admit to my fragility. I wonder…..What was it about me, at that moment in time that drew the Narcissist to me? Why did he target me? What was it that made me so very vulnerable to his friendship?
How can I be sure to never do it again?
He is effusively complimentary of us at times. He may have started to compliment and degrade us in the same sentence. These underhanded verbal jabs can leave us confused…as confusing as the gaslighting.
As time goes on, the compliments are less frequent. The verbal put downs, the sarcastic comments and simply the body language, make us feel that we have done something horribly wrong to fall from grace in the eyes of The N.
I’d like to know why we I valued the opinion of the N?… Why did I care about falling from grace in the eyes of one so evil?….Why did I care so much that I tormented myself into to thinking that it was me and not him? Falling from the “grace” of the Narcissist was THE BEST thing that could have happened to ME!
The abuse continues. As is the N’s protocol, he might throw his target a ‘bone.” He might give us a ‘moment of value’ and maybe we’ll even get a glimpse of “Pretend Guy” (thanks again Angel Fire). He is now constantly devaluing his victim….
…..as was my experience, this went on as long as it amused him. It was sadistic… he devalued me time after time. When I had been drained dry…it was time for the final Discard.
Discard…..that word reminds me of playing a card game with friends…a pleasant evening, and you have an opportunity to discard. Perhaps without even much thought, you throw those cards you no longer want into the pile…..the ones that don’t give you a ‘good hand’….without another thought.
After the Discard comes the feelings of being worthless, when it is the N who is worthless. We are weak and fragile, but we will call upon an inner strength that we didn’t know we had. The N is a weak and fragile toddler, with no ability to grow any further.
It is while you are feeling these things…weak, fragile, confused…that the ‘curtain calls’ start. At least they did for me.
Here you are trying to pull yourself together. You are trying to fix the broken pieces of your self esteem and your life; when he returns to the stage.
You think, maybe things will be okay… Maybe he will let me apologize, maybe he will tell me what it was that I did wrong. Once again-assuming all the blame…he adores that, since he is better than everyone and anything else. We are mistaken, he isn’t back for reconciliation, he’s back to twist the knife again.
The phrase Curtain Calls seems to be very appropriate for the Narcissist….with their flair for the dramatic, their mask and costuming…a wolf in sheep’s clothing…their repeated appearances in your life…I thought it was something I came up with on my own until I read a post by Dr. Sam Vankin…..
“But the narcissist is slow to abandon its victims. It is there, lurking, rendering existence unreal, twisting and distorting with no respite, an inner, remorseless voice, lacking in compassion and empathy for its victim. The narcissist is there in spirit long after it has vanished in the flesh. This is the real danger that the victims of the narcissist face: that they become like him, bitter, self-centred, lacking in empathy. This is the last bow of the narcissist, his curtain call, by proxy as it were.”
Fortunately for me and those around me, I did not become like the Narcissist. I think his “curtain calls” would have continued, except I stopped attending his performances….when he left the stage…while he waited in the wings…waiting for the applause…the standing ovation….that never came…waiting for a narcissistic encore…
I left the theatre.
The house is dark….the Broadway tour is over….
I fervently hope there will not be a revival.
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