Idealize. Devalue. Discard.
Over and over. It is quite dizzying and crazy-making behavior, as anyone who has been through this will understand.
First, they seem to adore you. They excitedly talk about the things you will experience together one day or grand plans they have to do some good for you in the future. Next, seemingly out of nowhere, they hate you. They ignore you, avoid you, then find ways to falsely accuse you so that they can feel justified in discarding you.
You weren’t so great after all. No so appreciated. Not so valued. No so liked. Not so loved.
You were used, but you don’t realize it because you spend all your time going over the dizzying details.
What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong?
The closure never comes, or if it does, it is in the form of projection, gaslighting, and triangulation.
You feel all used up, taken advantage of, misrepresented, slandered, and cast away like filth that can’t be rid of quickly enough.
Just when you start to move on and accept that the dream was nothing more, it starts again.
They ask about how you have been or find some other way to initiate conversation with you. You allow it, then they know: you’re ready to be used again. So, they do. But first, they “love bomb” you. They make you feel wanted and for some reason you get sucked back in.
This is probably because you were conditioned from childhood to accept these cycles as normal and your sense of self-worth is so low that you take any form friendship, family, or love that comes your way, false or not, with hope:
Maybe this time it will be different. Maybe I can do better this time. I must be the problem, after all. Look at how nice they are. I’m such a bad person for ever thinking poorly of them. What is wrong with me? I’m just paranoid. I hope they will forgive me.
They have you. Again.
More promises unkempt. More abuse. More coverups and lies. More slandering your name so that no one believes you. More keeping up with appearances so that everyone else thinks that they are so great—and you? You’re filth. Why? Because unlike them, you don’t brag about how great you are. You don’t make shows of how great you are. You don’t flatter people to their face and smear them behind their back. You don’t put on all the right appearances.
You are genuine and they HATE that.
They hate that because they are an empty vessel of lies and their greatest fear is exposure—and you—who they have love bombed, gaslighted, abused, slandered, scapegoated, and discarded, just might reveal who they really are someday. So, they destroy you. Or they love bomb you. Just to keep you happy for a while so they can maintain their false image a little longer.
Unless you have experienced it, it can be very hard to imagine. This is reality for many people who are in relationships with narcissistic people, and for some, this is all they will ever know.
This is who they attract and they cannot help it. They were born into it. They marry into it. They make friendships that are the same. Then they wonder why they are all alone with no one who really cares. Or few.
What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Why am I so unlikable? Why am I so unlovable?
You soul search, looking for the answer. You have flaws, like everyone. Are your flaws really that bad? Maybe. Maybe you are the problem. You can never really tell. So, you do your best to do good to all. Love all.
Trust no one.
And despite it all, pray with all you have that the love in you does not go cold because of the crippling isolation and feelings of confusion and worthlessness.
Trust in Jesus knowing that He can see it all. Then, when you are accused, slandered, devalued, and discarded, you can know: I did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
Maybe, just maybe, despite what they always say as they mistreat you then accuse you of doing to them the very thing they do to you, you can say, it isn’t me. Worse yet, they believe their own lie. They believe they are the victim. They have to be because they can never be wrong. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The Narcissistic Abuse Cycle from a Christian Perspective
First Jesus was praised and hailed when He entered Jerusalem. Then, He was arrested, beaten, mocked, slandered, accused, and crucified.
If ever there was a person who was idealized, devalued, then discarded, it was Jesus. Even now, I think this happens a great deal. Let this not be true for us who believe in Him.
When we first accept the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we idealize Him. We want to serve Him and live for Him. Do we later devalue Him? Do we make light of His teachings and calling for our life? Do we then call His perfect ways evil or unnecessary and toss Him out for the pleasures of sin and of this life?
God forbid, but sometimes we might. We should not. Not ever.
Jesus is all too familiar with what we call “narcissism” today. These characteristics are Satanic. Maybe we have some of them ourselves—those dirty little “narcissistic fleas” as they are called that we have picked up from living in this wicked world and enduring cycles of soul-corrupting use, neglect, and abuse.
He can heal us. He can heal any heart of any wound, so long as His grace is aimed at that person. The truth is, we all have these very same tendencies to greater and lesser degrees. We are all sons of Satan naturally, but through Jesus, we can find forgiveness and healing as He brings us into His family—and there is no narcissistic abuse there.
As for those who carry His name and continue in these things, how can the love of God be in them of a truth? Jesus sees all. He sees what we cannot, and sometimes things seem to be many things that they are not.
Maybe they discard you because they think you are getting ready to devalue and discard them—because this is their past experience with most—so rather than go through all that again, or rather than be a bother to someone who doesn’t really want them, they simply disappear. If someone you love drops off suddenly, find out why. Maybe they have a hard time accepting love from people and any sign of trouble means they are about to be dropped hard, so they run.
Not all things are as they appear, but when a pattern repeats again and again with the same individuals or other entities socially and politically, consider it. Turn to Jesus. He knows.
Sometimes all we can do is our upmost to do good to all and trust in Jesus and Him alone.
Some people will only love you when they need you. They will discard you when they don’t. They will make up reasons to hate you so that they can feel justified in using you and tossing you out. Turn the other cheek and pray for them that use you and hate you, and in so doing, you are as the children of our Father. Take care that you do not do the same to others—and especially—do not do this to our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
I’m not a mental health professional. I write narcissistic abuse recovery articles based on my life experience. This life can teach us a lot about trauma, but Jesus can teach us a lot about recovery and His ways are so much better than anything we find in this world. If you have endured narcissistic abuse, turn to Jesus because He knows exactly what you are dealing with—and He has the answers that will heal.