Posted in NPD

The after game—what happens after a “break-up” with a Narc

As we have discussed the stages of a relationship with someone with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) for the past few weeks, we have been able to see the stages that happen during the relationship.  How it begins, what it looks like to be love bombed, the middle when we are devalued.  And the discard, where we think the end, the period lands.  However, when dealing with a Narc, the relationship doesn’t stop at the break-up.  

A Narc has to have a supply.  Narcissists lack empathy and have a desire to win above all else so much so they do not care about the consequences of their behavior.  They will behave in a way after the break-up that will still be a form of abuse.  The Narc views themselves as the victim, every time.  They can’t be exposed; can’t have the real face behind the mask revealed.  And they can not have someone leave them, they cannot be without a source of supply.  

So when you break up with them or even they with you, there will be another stage; more cycles to this toxic relationship.  This is a whole new level of abuse tactics they will use to keep you as a source of supply.  Even if they no longer want a relationship with you, they still want to control you.  The Narc still sees you as someone who belongs to them, they will do many things to attempt to keep that control. 

These are the stages I have researched and many I have experienced myself.  My Narc followed these, in a textbook fashion.  It’s a shame I had not recognized or known about NPD prior to this; it may not have taken close to a year to finally accept the truth and be able to recover and heal. 

The Post Break-up Narc Game: 

  • Hoovering or Boomeranging– “a technique that is named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner and is used by Narcs in order to “suck” their victims back into a relationship with them.” 

    This can come at any time, even months or years later. The Narc does not care about any boundaries you may have set, or if you have a new life, they need to see if they can still use you as a source of supply.

    In my Narc experience, this would happen when I would go silent or not reply to any messages for quite some time (really only about 6weeks) and he would attempt to suck me back in.  He was often successful.  Even after meeting the newest source of supply, even after “re-committing” to her after each time of seeking me out to clear the air, say goodbye or be civil, even when he would create issues in his home, he would still attempt to Hoover!  The latest being 6 weeks ago. 

    Thankfully this time, I finally realized exactly what was happening, he had hoovered me yet again.  After weeks of no contact, coming back to work, he used some of the same old tired lines to reel me back in.  And because of my caring nature, who I am, the affection I had, I started to fall for it.  But because of educating myself and researching NPD, I was able to see that once he thought he had me “back”, he had won again and his usual behavior returned.  Just about instantly.  He didn’t even waste time to pretend, we had done this cycle so many, many times. 

    And once he thought he had me back under his control, he was able to devalue and discard, threaten and just continue the same cycles of abuse.  Having educated myself though, I was able to stop the cycle and go no contact.  Finally! 

    Read this article, it lists common ways in which hoovering is accomplished; EVERY SINGLE one on this list, he did, multiple times:  http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/narcissists-hoovering-techniques/

  • Triangulation— is the act of bringing another person or a group of people into the dynamic of a relationship or interaction to belittle the victim and make the victim “vie” for the attention of the narcissist.

    Good article about this:   https://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/05/3-powerful-ways-to-heal-from-the-toxic-triangulation-of-narcissists/ 

    This is often done once the Narc has secured a committed new source of supply.  Once he has sealed that attention he still wants to make sure that his old sources are available as well.  You know, just in case the new source says no, isn’t available or they are bored.  This also creates a triangle where the Narc is at the center, allowing for even more of an ego fix.

    I recall one of the times we were in the middle of a hoover moment, around 8 months ago now, when the new supply was relatively new.  When he had me back where he wanted me and I was wanting to believe all the “I love you” lies.  I was back to showing him love, that he said: “it seems that she wants me more, knowing that you still want me.”  He enjoyed the attention.  He enjoyed attempting to pit me and the new supply against each other.   This was not the first nor the last time he would do this.

    He had done this to me as well when I was the fiance~.  He had been involved with another woman right after one of our breakups, of course, he had to get a new source of supply within a week or two.  But once he and I were back together, he ended it with her, or so I thought.  She was suddenly pregnant and contacting me, telling me he was still sleeping with her, that he loved her, etc.

    In my experience, the Narc really likes to use triangulation.  By having more than one person “fighting” over him, he was able to get a fix from all sources of supply. And reaffirm his narcissistic views. 

  • Slander or Smear campaignit is an intense campaign designed to humiliate an opponent while simultaneously elevating the narcissist

    Article with definition and examples:   https://pro.psychcentral.com/exhausted-woman/2017/03/5-ways-narcissists-smear-others/

    Oh, how this one can blindside you.  If you are not the Narc and just going through a “typical” breakup you might tell your close friends what happened between the two of you.  You will have your side of the story and if being honest, you can admit your own faults as well.

    But when a Narc feels rejected, their supply has left them, gone no contact or exposes them, they will become vicious and make up all sorts of lies to attempt to smear the victim to make them look bad and the Narc good. 

    What I find so amazing about smear campaigns, the Narc often attempts this with folks who know the victim really well.  So they usually know the truth and are able to see right through the made up stories. 

    When the Narc I was involved with tried this, he contacted family and friends who have known me for so many years, they could see right through it.  They have a loyalty he couldn’t understand because Narcs are only loyal to themselves.  And the lies are often times so outrageous, no one who knows the victim usually believes them.


During these moments, these cycles, one other way the Narc will cause abuse and harm to the old and new supply (in my opinion), the Narc will often also use their new source of supply to attempt to smear, devalue or threaten the old supply as well.  They will get the new supply to do their “dirty work” for them.  He has had the latest supply and even had me do it to the aforementioned ex-girlfriend.

By hoovering, triangulating, and smearing, the Narc is able to still keep you are as a supply source.  Those with NPD do not have nor care about boundaries that you may set for yourself to heal and recover from the abuse they have put you through.  They just continue with new ways to cause you harm.  

In order to heal, we must not participate in the post break up game.  We have to become educated and learn to apply the information.  With knowledge and boundaries, we can heal, we can move forward and can find healthy relationships again.  

Next time we will explore ways to heal and how to create a No Contact plan to keep on the road to recovery.  And we will take an honest look at how breaking no contact makes you feel and how you can use that to fuel you to reset those boundaries. 

 

 

Posted in NPD

The next stages of NPD abuse

Last week, we started discussing the stages that occur during the initial relationship with a person with NPD.  The first stage was the love-bombing;  the beginning of the relationship, where you meet and “fall in love.”  Where there is over-evaluation to an extreme, things move exceptionally fast and the Narc hooks their latest source of supply.

This week, we explore the next 2 stages that occur during the relationship.  Next week we will look at all the things that come after a break-up, because by now we know that a Narc is not able to just end, process and let go of a relationship in a healthy fashion, there are consequences for no longer being willing to be a source of supply.

So after love-bombing their victims, a Narc will move into the Devaluation stage as it is often called.  One example of the definition of this stage is:
“They become moody and agitated easily, blaming you for even the slightest transgression. They start to disappear more frequently and they give you the silent treatment in an attempt to create distance. As the Narcissist withdraws, the target starts to cling and your demands for his attention and your need to understand what’s happening, grate on his nerves. The harder you cling the more the Narcissist pulls away. They start to blame and criticize the target for everything, treating them like an emotional punching bag.”

This is when they start to show signs of abuse.  Name calling, anger, rage, cheating, not taking responsibility for actions, or blame shifting, and many other things that make their victim question the “love”.  This is also when there is a lot of back and forth, Jekyll and Hyde behaviors.  Fights may be more frequent, but then so are the make-ups.  The Narc is showing their true self and the supply is kept in a yo-yo of emotions.  The mask of a Narc is hard to maintain once they are deeper into the relationship.  Their true self starts to shine through the facade they have created and that is still shown to the outside world.  But at home or in the private of the relationship, a person with NPD will exhibit behaviors that possibly no one else will believe or see.

The last stage during the relationship is to Discard.  This is basically when you as the supply no longer serve the Narc’s purposes.  You may be in a place of attempting to set boundaries, to have a healthy relationship where partners take responsibility for their actions, compromise, build each other up, etc. but the Narc does not like this and they will pull away.  They will behave as if they never valued you. In the discard stage, even if you broke up with them, they will create havoc and harm as you attempt to walk away from them.

A Narc has to be in control.  Once they feel that you are no longer of value to them, they will throw you away, in an a way that often leaves you questioning the entire relationship.  The discard stage is often cruel and abrupt.  But as we will see in the next week, it doesn’t stop here.  Even after discard, the Narc still needs to be in control.  Will still abuse.

This is also a great description of the stages of abuse:
https://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/idolise-devalue-discard-the-3-phases-of-narcissistic-abuse-part-1/

I have included a short video explaining my view of the devaluation stage with the Narc I was victimized by.  He was great at love-bombing then blaming me for questioning anything or being my own person.  NPD people are not able to accept individualization. What they so loudly proclaimed as your strengths, they will use to tear you down in this stage.  The Narc gained a lot of information during the love-bombing stage and will now use that against you.  The devaluation stage is where you start to question the Narc, the relationship and start to feel like you are going crazy.   When the anger and rage comes out.

I have referenced this site before but it has a great description of the cycles or stages of abuse and a great description of the reality of life after the break-up or discard.  If you have not checked this site out, it is worth it wanting to understand more about NPD abuse:    http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/cycle-of-a-narcissistic-relationship/

In the next couple of blogs about this topic, we will explore what happens after discard.  These stages are where I have wandered in most of this past year after the break-up.  After I called off my engagement. Thankfully I can say now that I have moved on, am healthier and have absolutely zero contact with the Narc.  And the desire to have any has dissipated.  I have accepted who he was, that how he treated me was not love and that he is still this person.

As we get healthy together, as we learn about abuse, as we recognize the signs of a Narc and we can evaluate exactly what love is and is not, we can grow, we can heal and we can have a healthy relationship…with ourselves and with a new partner.  Let’s keep growing.