For every light there is a dark. For every high there is a low. This is the natural balance of the universe in all things. Ok I expect the highs and lows with drugs and alcohol, but should a relationship have similar elements? C’mon is this the universe’s cruel joke? I legitimately fell in love with someone who loved me too. Or at least he said he did. What is wrong with that?
I would eventually see the ebb and flow of dark and light in my relationship become almost total darkness. I trembled alone for long periods in the dark waiting to be loved. I was like an abandoned child desperate for even the slightest sign of acknowledgement. The narcissist doesn’t stay in a relationship without using intermittent love and affection as a method to control. This caused me severe withdrawal symptoms from what was becoming the few and far between blissful times in the relationship.But I believed I could be patient and tough and could survive on his mere crumbs in exchange for a slim hope of love. I told myself we were just going through a phase.
The Devalue/Discard phase is the next level of narcissistic treatment. My narcissist had reliably set up a pattern of raising me to a pedestal only to cruelly toss me into a dark pit of despair when I did not reflect back to him the image he demanded or when I did not live up to his ideal, or just to be cruel. He would easily replace me with someone else playing the correct role, all the while punishing me by throwing it in my face. In my case he liked to date other women.He would leave clues around that something was going on. When I would question it he would deny deny deny. I eventually learned my behavior didn’t matter. This pattern reared its ugly head more faithfully than anything else in our relationship. And each time I went through the gauntlet it only strengthened my desire to do everything in my power to recreate the bliss, to make everything ok, to live up to his ideal, and to be a perfect mirror for him.
I was losing myself, slipping into a full blown addiction that was sapping my life force. From my research, I learned that this dynamic creates what is called trauma bonding (see Peter Walker and Patrick Carnes) and like drugs and alcohol can cause all sorts of chemical reactions in the body that are extremely addictive and can be just as powerful as any drug abuse if not more so. An important point here is that this process is so difficult to kick that it is better to nip the relationship in the bud before any real attachment begins. If you are early on in a relationship and begin to suspect that he/she is a narcissist check out my rules on this blog. They can also be used for screening and then blocking.