After that amazingly addictive love bombing stage where you are made to believe that your friendly neighborhood carefully masked narcissist has found their soulmate in you, shit starts to go south…and fast.
I remember the beginning of my devaluation stage with my husband. We were having a discussion about him telling his estranged children “the truth” about this great new person he had become “because of me”. I could get deeper into this but I’ll leave y’all in some suspense and save it for another post. At some point during this very easy breezy super casual and supportive conversation I asked him if telling the truth meant admitting that he had started drinking alcohol. I thought there may be value in telling them the actual whole truth instead of telling them he was telling them the whole truth and leaving out very important information because of their religious beliefs. I know right?!? Who the fuck would have known that telling the whole truth was actually a thing?!?
With this, several red flags were thrown at me all at once. I wasn’t ready for it…I don’t think anybody could prepare for that first rage attack. I had no idea it was coming and all of a sudden my then boyfriend WENT THE FUCK OFF. He yelled at me for an hour. He talked in circles, shifted blame for his social drinking on me, cursed at me, belittled me, accused me of being judgmental and disrespectful and did everything possible not to take ownership of the fact that he was saying he would tell them the whole truth although he clearly had no intention of doing so. The argument left me broken and confused. I hung the phone up and asked myself out loud “who the fuck I was just talking to?”. Surely that wasn’t my super sweet, loving, caring, communicative boyfriend.
I barely slept that night. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I had met The Beast for the first time. The next day though…he was back, or…the mask was back. He apologized profusely and “we” agreed that he misinterpreted what I had said. He actually celebrated the fact that “we” had survived our first argument. Looking back, that shit is laughable. What this was, was the very beginning of our abuse cycle. I fell for the apology hook, line and sinker, man. Enter that stupid ass honeymoon phase and the constant fear of another rage-filled outburst like that one and I was well on my way to continued abuse and devaluation.
He knew exactly what he was doing. See, my secret was out as far as narcs are concerned. I was not, in fact a stepford girlfriend. You know why that pissed him off? Because I actually had my own mind and had the fucking balls to speak my mind. THE NERVE OF THIS BITCH!!
After this initial outburst I went from his perfect, beautiful, genius to not as smart as him. I was no longer as valuable as him. I was no longer as sexy as him. I was no longer as sweet as him. I was no longer as attentive as him. I was always wrong. Everything was always my fault and my reactions to his abuse and outbursts became the only topic he was willing to participate in. I went from “Ms. Perfect Soulmate” who can’t do anything wrong to this Evil, Opinionated, Mind of Her Own Having Ass Bitch who can’t do anything right. It was maddening and soul-crushing.
You know the sickest part though? My broken ass still sang his praises to the people he put on his “new cool guy at work” mask for even up until a week before I left. I’m so sorry for that too because I truly believe I was triangulated into setting his new supply up for abuse. I know that he sees this person as a gold mine. I’m told I have to forgive myself for this but…I haven’t yet. The truth of the matter is, If you only know (or want to accept) their mask…you won’t believe their victims…not until they begin to devalue you. When they do, GET GONE. It’s not a one time thing. It’s a test to see how much you’ll put up with and it only gets worse.
Has anyone ever made you feel devalued? How long did you put up with it in the hopes that if you just “did better” they wouldn’t do it anymore?