Getting to know a narcissist is often filled with their love-bombing of the idealisation phase, with those intermittent reinforcements of those idealisation stages throughout the relationship, just long enough to suck us back into to vortex of doom and gloom, all while getting blamed for everything that’s going wrong. As we work increasingly harder to please them to get those intermittent times when they treat us right, we then believe they treat us right because we got it right when in reality, they only treat us right to manipulate and take something from us.
Often it’s not until we are out of the relationship we begin to see the entirety of the relationship for what it was and not what we wanted it to be.
Once out when they come at you with the game after game, and you just can not believe just how unbelievable they are, how uncaring they are, Yet, they once were so believable, as they played us with their admiration face and treated us better than anyone ever has, with their lies being their reality, they tell them with so much truth and conviction, and sometimes there is some truth to those stories of the tragedy of their past that we can empathise with them, or there’s some truth behind their achievements so we can admire them. As most often, they don’t manipulate everyone, and they can keep that admiration act up around others. We recognise that others can see just how wonderful they sell themselves to be so they can exploit others, as we once believed them to be. Nonetheless, at some point out came their envious face when they didn’t get what they wanted. They suddenly treated us worse than anyone ever had. Yet, with their many manipulation games, such as blame-shifting, gaslighting, silent treatments, to distract us from their actual behaviour, so we took on the responsibility for all their failings as well as ours, we were left believing their behaviour is all our fault, it is never your fault for people to treat you so wrong, the responsibility lays with their disorder.
Most often, it’s not until we are out we truly see and recognise all those red flags, as once we know, it’s easy to see, when we didn’t know we didn’t go, and when we do know it can be hard to go due to the trauma bonding and self-doubt, financial abuse and many others factors that can keep us trapped.
As you and those around them often believe they are good people, understand that we all make mistakes, care about and look for the good in others, we also most likely didn’t even realise people like this existed, then when we work out just how unbelievable they genuinely are, we have the battle of showing others just how believable the narcissists incredible unbelievable behaviour truly is, all the narcissists fake, false, destructive and manipulative ways, often trying to explain yourself to others, all while you are questioning everything that’s happened to you, and with that cognitive dissonance we are often left feeling stupid as we’ve been exploited and duped by the person we believed to love and care for us, also looking and feeling anxious and crazy as we try to explain to those around us the extent of the emotional abuse, while we ourselves don’t fully understand it, and for some of us who have lost everything, for other losing a lot, from those hopes, dreams, relationships, possessions, sense of self, trust, self-esteem, self-love, physical and mental health problems, it’s an incredibly life-draining place to be.
The narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum, so it varies from person to person how much damage they do to you. We are all individuals, so how much we can take and how long it takes for us to work out the narcissist’s unbelievable behaviours, as they twist and turn through everything you go through with them, just to keep confusing you.
As a narcissist steals your love, your memories, your boundaries, your trust, your self-love and self-worth, takes your belongings, and so much more. Some even manage to take the children.
One of the things that we have to get our head around is how believable their unbelievable manipulative behaviour is.
We have to get our heads around those lies, those false promises of the future, those fake apologies from those times they said they’d change, the hope they could change and the belief we can help them, as it’s so unbelievable that someone could treat someone they claimed to love this way, so unbelievable that they can not see how they hurt others, that we can not help them and, so unbelievable they do not and can not change if they have NPD it’s who they are. We will never be able to change that. We can not change anyone other than ourselves, and that hope that we can help others change only keeps us trapped by the pain caused by those who don’t want to change.
It’s unbelievable at the time, and it’s also unbelievable afterwards when you realise exactly who they are and how they operate. During and after a narcissistic relationship, we are often left anxious, confused, as emotions are all over from the highs and lows. CPTSD and trauma bonding are other things to overcome.
As a Narcissist gaslights to keep our reality of their behaviours hidden from us, to brainwash us, to keep us in that trance, and as we often go to the very person who’s sinking us for a reality check, we often make excuses up for their unbelievable behaviours to make it easier on us within our minds about what is genuinely happening, not realising this makes it worse for us as we then put up with more. The worst things about those excuses are within our minds; we make them valid. Everything they do is to keep their control over us, and their unbelievable behaviour starts at the very beginning.
1. The idealisation stage when we first meet them, when they are too good to be true, and perfect in every way, we believe we have met our soulmate, who is loving, kind, thoughtful, and perfect in every way, they are amazing while they are love bombing us, showering￼ us with attention, flattery, gifts, lifting us so high, we don’t want to let it go as it feels so amazing and we want more. As they were mirroring us, they had everything in common with us. As they learned what we wanted from life, they learned to give us the hope by planning that fake future with us.
If the narcissist is your parent, your boss, your friend, they often drop in that idealisation stage, those intermittent play nice, to get their needs met, which usually leaves us more confused, as one moment they can be treating us so right and the next so wrong. Yet, they blame shift it all onto us. When we change to suit them, everything changes, and they are nice again, only it’s short-lived, and they require that constant admiration, that attention, the next best thing to keep their insecurities buried and stop their real selves from surfacing.
2. Devaluation stage, it’s unbelievable that someone can change from being so loving and caring towards us to someone so horrible and nasty, we can find it so hard when right in front of us they switch to someone so hurtful and negative, we find it hard and unbelievable that someone who loves us so much could treat us the way they do. That first silent treatment, that first sulk, we think we’ve done something to cause it as if someone was to hurt our feelings we might fall quiet not to hurt them, to gather our thoughts, so when we try to work out what we did, they confirm this by their unbelievable gaslighting, blame-shifting and projection.
3. Discard stage, it is unbelievable how they can just up leave and move on so fast, often moving in straight away with some one new, it’s unbelievable that the new person can not see what the narcissist is doing, that they can vanish on us like that, use us the way that they did, that the new person can not see and whatever you try to explain to the new it pushes them closer to the narcissist, unbelievable the new thinks we’re the abuser, that we are the crazy one, not only will they not listen to what we’re telling them, they’re also willing to enable the narcissist to destroy us all the more, helping the narcissist turn the children against us, or helping the courts with many manipulative lies the narcissist is telling them, or how the narcissist can walk from their own children and not even ask how they are, even more, unbelievable when we hear they’re telling everyone it’s us not allowing them to see the children, or when they come back after years of not seeing the children them expecting to be involved. Unbelievable that they portray you to others as crazy, telling others all that they did to you, you actually did to them. Unbelievable that people believe them but don’t understand what you are telling them, unbelievable they can be so cruel, so heartless, unbelievable how they can treat you that way after all you did for them.
4. The hoover stage. It’s unbelievable they can walk back into our lives as nothing happened or like they did nothing wrong. Worse still, they twist it all around with those false apologies of ”I’m sorry you.”. Hence, we believe it was all our fault, unbelievable how much we can want them back, how we miss someone who hurt us so much, unbelievable that we can not let them go, that we can not stop thinking about them, we can not stop caring about them, unimaginable after all they have done, that we still love and care for them and want to help them, that we live in the hope they can change.
5. Smear campaigns stage, it’s unbelievable the lengths they will go to once we finally break that trauma bond and break free, only to discover they’re smearing our name to children, friends and family, sabotaging our jobs, our home, dragging us through courts. Unbelievable just how hurtful someone we thought once loved and cared for us could be so destructive and hurtful towards us.
6. Afterwards, we find it unbelievable how long we put up with their behaviour, without knowing what was happening, for some it’s weeks, months, ten years, twenty years or more, depending on the narcissist you had the unfortunate path in your life of meeting, you find it unbelievable who they are, you find it unbelievable how many are out there, how many have suffered the same fate at the hands of a narcissist, how they all have the same traits and manipulation techniques, it’s unbelievable how you never spotted the pattern they use in all that they do, it’s unbelievable how your story’s and feeling are the same as so many others, well believe it’s true, real vampires do exist, they just come under the name of a narcissist, what they are is true, what they did to you, those before you, those after you, and those around you is all true. It’s more unbelievable that they can not change, that they don’t see what they do as wrong, that as much as you tried, they can not be helped, well you tried so start to believe that they can not be helped, they’ll never see it from someone else point of view, therefore as they don’t see themselves as the problem, they can not change, they change their manipulation, they change their lies, they change their partners, they never change their true selves. They have a disorder, and that is who they are.
It leaves you an empty shell, no longer knowing who you are, no longer knowing reality, full of emotions you don’t know what to do with. You are unable to move forward with your life without them. It’s even harder how those around you don’t always understand what’s happened, or those who had seen signs, don’t understand why you didn’t get out sooner, some even asking why did you stay? Rather than asking the abuser why they would treat someone that way? Or how they can help? When you’re trying to work out what’s been happening in your life, and those around you don’t understand, it makes a difficult journey to re-discover even harder.
There is plenty of people who understand, which is why we need more awareness, and to get the help, support and understanding of those who need it.
You will never get answers from a narcissist if you want answers. You’ll only get more lies and false apologies from them. Closure is what we give to ourselves by learning from the past, taking the lesson with us and leaving the pain behind us.
Don’t think about motives of why they do this until, You learn and really understand what the narcissist personality disorder is, so you know exactly what they are, what they do, so you can make sense of everything that’s happened to you, those with NPD have a different reality to others.
Find people who understand what’s happened, as those who’ve not experienced it first hand will not understand it.
Know who you can trust, who want to help you.
Rebuild yourself, learn to listen to your instinct; if someone is too good to be true, they usually are. We all have our faults.
Try and have evidence if needed for court or mediation. Keep messages, take photos etc.
Accept some people will not see who they indeed are, leave them with the narcissist.
Do not try to out them unless you are fully recovered. You have evidence, and you know that it will plant seeds of doubt in those around them who they’ve also manipulated.
Read read and read some more until you genuinely believe precisely who they are, and you know exactly what a narcissist is, whist recovering, learning about them will help you understand and recover.
At the same time, don’t let them and the past control your future. Use the present to shift them from within your mind, overcome anxiety and CPTSD while focusing mostly on the future you want for your life now. In all the darkness, keep looking for your light. You will find it, what do you enjoy, what things make you want to leap out of bed? Find those things, smile more, create new opportunities for you.
You will heal, and you will have a much happier life.
You can, and you will.
How narcissists distract us from the truth.
Click on the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
The cycle of a relationship with a narcissist