When YOU Discard the Narcissist FIRST

Uploaded 8/18/2023, approx. 18 minute read

What is the only thing more rare than a narcissist with empathy?

It is a Sam Vaknin video shorter than three hours.

Today is the day you have been waiting for.

A short, relatively short Sam Vaknin video.

I can see in the audience people tearing up, hugging, praying to their gods, sacrificing cattle as a token of gratitude.

Yes, the day is upon us and I've heard your cries and I, as any benevolent god would do, am responding.

Today we are going to discuss what happens to the poor narcissist when you are the one who discards him before he has a chance to devalue and discard you.

And who is better to answer this question than Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology, a current member of the faculty of CEAPS and the list is long.

Okay, let's get straight to the point if we want to keep this one under one hour.

When you discard the narcissist, when you are the one who puts an end to the shared fantasy before the narcissist has had a chance to convert you into a persecutory object in his mind, before he got the chance to devalue you and discard you on his own terms, this of course leads to narcissistic injury.

If you put an end to the relationship, if you break up and you discard the narcissist publicly in a way that involves humiliation and shame, for example, if you pick up another guy in public in front of the narcissist's peers and venture into the night with him, something that has happened to me quite a few times, then this results in mortification.

So the outcomes of your initiative to discard the narcissist could be either a narcissistic injury or narcissistic mortification.

Now these are two totally separate things psychodynamically.

Narcissistic injury provokes the false self to overreact. Grandiosity is enhanced, it's as if the narcissist closes ranks and tries to compensate for the injury with rage, rage that renders him in his own eyes omnipotent and godlike to be feared and avoided and so on and so forth. This is injury.

Mortification on the other hand has much more long lasting effects and much more devastating ones.

The narcissist's false self is deactivated and disabled. Narcissist's decompensates.

In other words, his defenses are no longer able to shield him from reality. His grandiosity suffers a major blow.

Cognitive distortion no longer works. Reality intrudes.

The breakup, the discard, the humiliation, the public humiliation, the shame erupt and they could be life threatening.

Now I've seen all kinds of self-styled experts online with and without academic degrees conflating and confusing narcissistic injury, narcissistic collapse and narcissistic mortification. They are not the same and they don't have the same outcomes.

So you've caused injury if the breakup was in private or you've caused mortification if you broke up with him in public in a humiliating and shaming way and then what happens?

The self-fantasy is put on hold of course because you're out. You've made it very clear that you will not conform to the snapshot, to the internal object in the narcissist's mind that represents you and that is essentially idealized and has become a maternal figure. You have resigned. You have given notice. I'm out of here. I'm bailing out and no longer participating in your charade.

That minute you're converted.

In the narcissist's mind he begins to perceive you as a rejecting and frustrating mother. A maternal figure which is the exact equivalent, a replica and a clone of his real mother, the original mother which wouldn't let him separate and individuate and of course because you had become his real mother by rejecting him and discarding him, this re-traumatizes him.

He goes through the original early childhood trauma again and he perceives you as an abuser.

The original trauma had been caused by a dead mother, a mother who was absent or selfish or instrumentalizing or parentifying, a mother who mistreated the child.

So it's been traumatic.

When you discard the narcissist you step into the shoes of his original mother, his real biological mother who had rejected him and she did this, she rejected him by abusing him and so you become an abuser in the narcissist's mind.

It is also known as the secretary object and then the narcissist as I mentioned compensates and some narcissist act out.

They become essentially psychodynamically, they become borderlines.

No longer in possession of narcissistic defenses against their overwhelming emotions, they emotionally dysregulate with negative affectivity.

In other words their negative emotions take over especially anger, fear, envy and so on and then they act out. They do something crazy, they crazy make, they do something crazy, reckless, defiant, something very hurtful and harmful and often criminal.

So discarding the narcissist before he has had a chance to devalue you might lead the narcissist, some narcissist not all, might lead the narcissist especially if the discard was by way of mortification, might lead such a narcissist to act out and to seek to harm you, revenge or some other way.

In monkeys the numerous strategies smear campaign, the numerous strategies the narcissist have at their disposal when they try to harm someone.

The narcissist dissociates on this, it is too difficult to bear, it's too hard on him.

The re-traumatization is one inch removed from disintegration and a psychotic break to protect himself, to shield himself from the outcomes of your discard, the narcissist dissociates and is likely to forget amnesia, is likely to forget a lot of the things he is likely to do.

So the narcissist would be very surprised if you were to confront him with some of the things he has done.

And so the narcissist essentially, if you want to understand the narcissist following a discard essentially, it's a borderline.

So you would do well to watch the videos in my borderline personality disorder playlist on this channel.

So this is the first reaction, you're an enemy, you're a replica or a clone of his original mother, you rejected him, you frustrated him, you re-traumatized him, all his defenses crumble, he decompensates, sometimes he acts out in a crazy way in order to harm you, exact revenge and restore justice in his eyes.

He tends to dissociate a lot of this and if it's injury his grandiosity is heightened, in the case of narcissistic injury, his grandiosity is heightened and leads to narcissistic rage. If it's narcissistic mortification he will, he's likely to withdraw, regroup and then choose one of two solutions which I will discuss in a minute.

In the meantime another dynamic that happens is that the narcissist experiences separation insecurity, also known as abandonment anxiety.

Within the shared fantasy you are a maternal figure and even if a shared fantasy is five days old you're still a maternal figure, even in a one night stand you're a maternal figure.

So having discarded the narcissist, especially if you've done this in public and in a shaming way, a way that puts him down and hurts him in public, this leads to an overwhelming sense of abandonment and separation, extreme insecurity, extreme anxiety, uncontrollable, overwhelming, drowning again, very very akin, very similar to borderline personality disorder.

The narcissist needs to restore object constancy.

The narcissist maintains stable introjects. Introjects to remind you are internal objects, internal voices that represent you in the narcissist's mind.

Now as distinct as opposed to someone with borderline, the narcissist maintains stable introjects.

The borderline cannot, she doesn't have stable introjects, out of sight, out of mind.

The narcissist is exactly the opposite of borderline.

The only real thing, the only real things are the interjects.

The internal objects are the only realities in his life.

But now that you have discarded him there is a mismatch, a discordance, a dissonance between the interject of you, the internal object that represents you in his mind and the real you who has just discarded him.

So by discarding the narcissist you have diverged, you have deviated from your interject in the narcissist's mind, from the internal object that represents you, from your snapshot.

And so this creates what I call interject dissonance.

The only way to resolve an interject dissonance is to hover you or to stalk you, to reintroduce you into the shared fantasy so that you can again conform to the internal object.

This is what I labeled coercive snapshotting.

This is one of the forms of coercive snapshotting.

When you discarded him in private or in public, the narcissist will do everything in his power to bring you back so that the interjects in his mind will be kept whole, will not be damaged and he will not have to alter them.

The only exception is mortification.

Following mortification the narcissist will avoid you.

He will convert your interject into a persecutory object, into an enemy and will never see you again or be in touch with you again.

But in the vast majority of cases discarding the narcissist does not create mortification.

It takes a lot to modify the narcissist.

In the overwhelming number of cases discarding the narcissist creates narcissistic injury and to repair the damaged grandiosity, the narcissist needs you and he needs you in a way that affirms and patriches and confirms the internal object in his mind, the internal object that represents you in his mind.

So this is why narcissists hover.

That's why they stalk you and you should be fully cognizant of this and ready to prepare yourself for these kinds of behaviors.

So again, a recap.

You have rejected the narcissist, you have discarded him before he had a chance to devalue you.

That means separation and individuation is incomplete because you are a maternal figure, you're a mother and again there's a failure of separation and individuation exactly like his original mother.

You have rejected him, you frustrated him, you've re-traumatized him, you've traumatized him.

So this creates narcissistic injury or mortification.

He feels abundant, he develops abandonment, anxiety and he wants you back in his life in order to mitigate or ameliorate the anxiety and to merge you again with the internal object that represents you in his mind.

This is the only solution.

In the meantime, the nice narcissist is furiously at work trying to make sense of what has happened.

You see in the narcissist's mind, he's not an abuser, he's not coercive, he's a nice guy, he's helpful, he's loving, he's caring, he's attentive, he's compassionate.

Yeah, he may engage in tough love but that's because he loves you.

The narcissist's mind is enmeshed and immersed in the shared fantasy and a fantasy is a fantasy, it's divorced from reality.

So the narcissist appraisal of your relationship, the way he sees your relationship is dramatically different to the way you see the relationship.

In his mind, having been discarded his betrayal, you've betrayed him.

By discarding him, you have stabbed him in the back.

You've betrayed him, especially if you went away with another man.

So he has to make sense of this.

He feels extreme injustice, he feels that he has been mistreated, he is the one who's been abused and victimized and this of course challenges his perception of himself as invulnerable, immune to the consequences of his actions, godlike, above everything, above it all, above the fray, untouchable and strong and resilient.

So here you are with a single act of discarding him, you've shattered the house of cards which is the narcissist's self image and self perception and he needs to reframe.

He needs to reframe what has happened and there are two ways of reframing.

One is known as internal solution and one is known as external solution.

In the internal solution, the narcissist convinces himself that he is the one who initiated the discard.

He pushed you to discard him, he manipulated you into breaking up. He is the one who has brainwashed you and entrained you and controlled you and brought on this consequence, this behavioral consequence.

So whatever you do, whatever you may do, whatever you may have done, it's all the narcissist doing.

This is a grandiose defense, the internal solution is a grandiose defense.

Yeah, she discarded me, yeah she broke up with me, yeah she went away with another guy, yeah she humiliated me and shamed me in public by doing this or something else but I made her do it.

She was just a robot, she was an extension. She was at my beck and call, she was under my control.

I am the one who caused all this to happen. It's the godlike, I'm god, it's a godlike defense.

So that's the internal solution.

The external solution is she is evil, she is bad, she is malicious, she did this on purpose, she would do it to anyone and so that's the way she is, she is corrupt.

That's the external solution.

The external solution is persecretary.

I am all good, says the narcissist and she is all bad.

The act of discard therefore is a badge of honor.

Because I'm all good, this all bad person couldn't be with me.

The very fact that I've been discarded by her just goes to show how decrepit and evil and malevolent and wicked she is because I'm a good partner and a good person.

So the breakup is all for the better. The discard is proof of my virtue, of the high moral ground that I occupy.

So it's a badge of honor.

I can go around telling people, wow, I had this horrible partner who's been abusive, who's been malevolent and malicious and luckily she just walked away.

So these are the two ways that the narcissist reframes your discard.

And he is discarded by you. He goes around saying, I made her do it, therefore I'm in control.

Or he goes around saying she was evil, she is bad, there's nothing to regret. I should be grateful that she has walked away. I should be grateful that she broke up with me.

Still the narcissist goes through stages of grief and mourning, but not for you, not for the intimate partner, for the shared fantasy.

The narcissist invests ordinate amounts of emotional energy, affectives in the shared fantasy. He constructs it. He works on the details. He keeps reliving, living and reliving it. He keeps imagining. He keeps hoping. He keeps daydreaming.

And then you just walk away and you just discard him. You just put an end to it.

Crucially, suddenly, abruptly, mercilessly, callously, ruthlessly, the shared fantasy is done and done in mid life.

And there's a lot of mourning and grief involved. The mourning and the grief motivate the narcissist to find a substitution for you, substitute for you, to replace you ASAP.

Now there are two types of replacement, isomorphic replacement and dissimilar replacement.

Some narcissist would go around looking for someone who is your copy. Your replica resembles you physically, resembles you emotionally, resembles you as far as your cultural background, societal background, ethnic background.

Another version of you.

So this is the isomorphic replacement.

Other narcissist would opt for the exact opposite of you. So they would go for an intimate partner who is not like you in any way, shape or form, who is not even remotely reminiscent of you.

Isomorphic replacement is common with narcissistic injury. Dissimilar replacements are common with mortification.

Of course, when I say he, it's a she, when I say she, it's a he, gender pronouns are interchangeable.

And another caveat, everything I say here is about intimate relationships, but it applies to friendships, it applies to workplaces, it applies to church and other collectives.

The narcissist relates to the world only via a shared fantasy. The narcissist converts everything into a shared fantasy.

And so everything I've described here applies perfectly to having been discarded by a friend, not by an intimate partner.

Okay. I will continue.

Faced with the grief in the morning for the stalled, frozen shared fantasy, the narcissist needs to complete the stages.

So he looks for a substitute or replacement.

And once he has found the replacement, he completes the disrupted shared fantasy.

And this is what is known as repetition, compulsion. It simply goes through the phases that are left.

Remember when you are the one to discard the narcissist, the narcissist is still stuck in the idealization phase.

So it's easy for him to transition to another intimate partner or friend or whatever, and continue from the idealization phase.

The narcissist love bombing of you has created in his mind a snapshot, an internal object that is photoshopped, idealized.

He just takes this internal object and applies it to a new partner or a new friend or a new colleague, whatever.

He just takes this snapshot, this internal object and applies it to another person.

And then he takes it on from there.

He continues as if nothing has happened.

That's why I keep telling victims of narcissists, you are fungible. You're like so many pieces of rice, grains of rice. You're a commodity. You're interchangeable. It's the internal object that matters.

The external objects come and go. The internal object is forever.

And so there's new content in the internal object, a new partner.

And then the narcissist continues with a new partner where he has stopped with you or where you have stopped and exited.

And hopefully with a new partner, he says to himself, "I will be able to reach the phase of devaluation and discard. I will then have attained separation and individuation from this maternal figure and resolve the early childhood conflict once and for all."

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Mourning the Narcissist

Victims of narcissistic abuse often struggle to let go of the idealized figure they fell in love with at the beginning of the relationship. When the relationship ends, they experience a cycle of bereavement and grief, including denial, rage, sadness, and acceptance. Denial can take many forms, including pretending the narcissist is still part of their lives or developing persecutory delusions. Rage can be directed at the narcissist, other facilitators of the loss, oneself, or be pervasive. Sadness is a paralyzing sensation that slows one down and enshrouds everything in the grave veil of randomness and chance. Gradual acceptance leads to renewed energy and the narcissist being transformed into a narrative, another life experience, or even a tedious cliché.

Signs Narcissist About to Discard, Devalue You

In a narcissist's mind, the sequence of idealization, discard, and devaluation is reversed compared to their behavior in reality. They idealize their partner, then emotionally discard them in their mind, and finally devalue them to justify the discard. However, in reality, they must devalue their partner before discarding them to keep them around for the devaluation process. This discrepancy occurs because the narcissist needs their partner to be present during the devaluation phase, which wouldn't be possible if they discarded them immediately after idealization.

Narcissist Pays Heavy Price For Betrayal Fantasy

The Narcissist Betrayal Fantasy is a strategy used by narcissists to get rid of their intimate partners by pushing them to cheat or betray them. This allows the narcissist to maintain the high moral ground and dissolve the shared fantasy, which is highly addictive and difficult to break. The narcissist experiences pain in the form of narcissistic injury or mortification due to the misinterpretation of their actions by others, but this short-term cost is outweighed by the long-term benefits of a victimhood narrative. This strategy is also applied in other relationships, such as friendships and work collaborations, by engineering situations that set people up for failure and then pointing to their misbehavior as justification for ending the relationship.

When Narcissists Become Codependents

Living with a narcissist can be harrowing, and the partner of the narcissist is often molded into the typical narcissist mate, partner, or spouse. The partner must have a deficient or distorted grasp of herself and of reality, and the cognitive distortion of the partner of the narcissist is likely to consist of belittling and demeaning herself while aggrandizing and adoring the narcissist. The narcissist is perceived by the partner to be a person in the position to demand these sacrifices from her. The breakup of the relationship with the narcissist is emotionally charged and is the culmination of a long chain of humiliations and subjugation.

Narcissist's Insignificant Other: Typical Spouse or Intimate Partner

Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, but it is always onerous and often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist, maintaining a relationship, preserving it, insisting on remaining with a narcissist, indicates therefore the parameters of the personality of the victim, of the partner, of the spouse. The partner, the spouse, and the mate of a narcissist who insists on remaining in the relationship and preserving it is molded by it into the typical narcissistic mate, spouse, or partner. The two, the narcissist and his spouse, collaborate in this dance macabre.

You! Be GRATEFUL, HONORED That Narcissist Lets You Serve, Witness Him (Sacrificial Entitlement)

The text discusses the concept of sacrificial entitlement in narcissists. It explains how narcissists believe they are sacrificing their divine qualities to be with their partners and expect gratitude and obedience in return. The text also delves into the narcissist's perspective on the breakup, viewing it as ingratitude from the partner. It highlights the narcissist's belief that they have given their partner everything and the partner's rejection is seen as a form of devaluation.

Negative Hoovering, Narcissistic Probing: YOU, the Enemy (Persecutory Object)

The process of devaluation and discard exposes the fragile, vulnerable underbelly of the narcissist. The collapse of the shared fantasy leads to a period of decompensation, where the narcissist becomes more vulnerable and passive-aggressive. Narcissistic probing involves hesitant tests and attempts to gather information to ensure the success of hoovering and avoid rejection. The narcissist may oscillate between attempting to re-idealize the target and treating them as an enemy, and may use various methods, including grooming and log bombing, to test and manipulate the target's behavior. It is important for the target to maintain firm boundaries and not engage in aggressive behavior when responding to the narcissist's attempts at communication.

Victim of Narcissist: Move On!

The narcissist lives in a world of ideal beauty, achievements, wealth, and success, denying his reality. The partner is perceived as a source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissist pathologizes and devalues them to rid themselves of guilt and shame. Moving on from a narcissistic relationship involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, educating oneself, and gaining emotional sustenance, knowledge, support, and confidence. Forgiving is important, but it should not be a universal behavior, and no one should stay with a narcissist.

Self-hoovering, Narcissism: Trauma or Role Play?

Narcissists devalue and discard their intimate partners, but in long-term relationships, the partner may engage in self-hovering, refusing to leave despite being discarded. This self-hovering is a trauma-bonding response, allowing the partner to remain in the relationship. The narcissist's voice in the victim's mind re-idealizes her, leading to a continued relationship with the internal representation of the narcissist. Narcissism is both a post-traumatic condition and a choice-based role play, with the narcissist unable to modify most of his traits but able to control his behaviors and the roles he plays in different social settings.

If You Love a Narcissist, This is For You

The text describes a relationship with a person who is emotionally unavailable and causes pain and rejection. The person craves love and intimacy but pushes the other person away and hurts them first. The relationship is described as a form of self-harm, but the other person cannot let go. The relationship is a mix of good times and bad times, and the person is described as fleeting and penumbral.

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