As I’ve shared, I spent almost 3yrs in a relationship with someone with NPD. And have gone through many of the typical stages after a break up for the past year. Grieving and healing from this type of relationship seems to be more difficult than usual, which I’ve also researched is the norm.
For those in this type of relationship or who are attempting to move on from, I hope the next few weeks of going through the stages and recovery options I’ve learned, will be helpful.
Learning about NPD has helped me accept and start to work through what this person put me through. I’ve watched some great youtube channels and read some great books and blogs that I will recognize throughout these posts. Hearing others experiences, thoughts and ideas for getting past this, has been invaluable.
This is a great post about the stages that happen after a break up that has been spot on in my experience, we will look more at her site as her books have been very informative: (what happens when you discard narcissist)
Today, we’ll just touch on the first stage: Love Bombing
“Love bombing is a seductive tactic, where a manipulative person tries to control another individual with “bombs,” brimming from day one.” (nypost)
This is the stage where you first meet. You are showered with attention, time, gifts, and praise. Where you are constantly texting or talking but to an extreme. Where inappropriate gifts are given. It is not normal to spend hundreds or thousands within a week or two of knowing someone. (not saying all relationships that move quickly or are extravagant are signs of NPD, but something to watch for).
It’s that “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” concept. During the love bombing stage, the Narc spends a lot of time and energy making you feel valued, exalted, praises you often, and showers you with gifts, flowers, trips. They want to be in constant contact. Again the idea here is in excess.
An excerpt from another site:
“The start of a love bombing episode with a narcissist is TOTAL idealization. Valuable and consistent sources of narcissistic supply are necessary for the narcissist to escape into his or her magical world again of being adored, special, unique and ‘wonderful’.
When a narcissist decides a love partner is a valuable source of narcissistic supply – he or she will completely overrate, idealize this person and put them on a pedestal.
Rushing, which of course includes love bombing are all the signs of instant gratification which narcissists are famous for (I need energy / attention / drama / stuff now and quickly to avoid my inner demons and tortured true self.)
Anyone who puts their heart on their sleeve immediately, or asks you for a committed relationship after one date (or even a few), or starts showering you with intense and incredible compliments straight away is VERY suspect.
This is NOT what normal healthy adults do.
When a narcissist is in the courting phase of securing narcissistic supply, he or she thrust all available energy at the target of new narcissistic supply. The narcissist is full of energy, excited, and very forthcoming with future dreams and plans (which of course are everything you want to hear). Energy, gifts, compliments, effort, charms, talents and emotions are lavished on the new target.”
When dating, there is a healthy amount of time and attention we offer a new potential partner. But when dating a Narc, there is no such thing as a healthy balance of time or energy. The Narc wants all your time, all your focus. They have a hard time sharing you with anyone else, including children or family. They will try to convince you that you are “beautiful, smart, sexy, fun, the best they have ever met, etc” so they can secure their new narcissistic supply. Because they need this supply to survive, this love bombing stage is a whirlwind, it needs to happen fast. It is exciting and fun. It feels real and genuine. They are masters at telling you everything you have ever wanted to hear and making you feel good.
This stage is where they hook you. The Narc is charming and overly attentive, making you feel like a “queen.” They tell you over and over how wonderful you are. They often use the words “I love you” very early and very quickly. Again, try to remember if dating someone that “if they seem too good to be true, they probably are.” And if they want to move at what seems lightening speed, this is another red flag.
Love Bombing is where they hook you. Read the signs. Know what is considered healthy behaviors, healthy and balanced ways of courting; of dating someone new. Pay attention, this is where your brain becomes dependent on the “drug” they offer. And you become their source of supply.
In my experience, the love bombing stage was amazing. It felt good to be showered with time, energy, attention. To hear how amazing, wonderful and beautiful I was. To have one be so attentive and want to be with me all the time. He took me shopping, paid for pampering, barely let me lift a finger for things such as meals or cleaning. He took care of everything. He lavished me and my kids with gifts. He pushed to get to know my kids right away. He was the definition of “over the top.” (one note…if your family or friends comment that the lavish gifts seem a bit odd or inappropriate, take this into consideration early, try not to shake this off…your circle knows you, they only want the best for you.)
The reality was, he was building me up, creating a chemical bond in my brain to be attached to him. To need his “love” so I would continue to be his supply. And once he had me where he wanted, he was able to move to the next stage, which we will explore next time.
Some videos to check out: