How do you handle the narcissistic discard? 7 Tips to help you!
Discarding is the final stage of the trifecta in narcissistic abuse – love bomb, devalue, discard - although it’s by no means always the end of the line. Their reign of destruction continues with hoovering, flying monkeys and smear campaigns to carry on wreaking havoc in your life, and that’s literally what happens – if you let it. Narcissists discard people like toxic waste and it can be absolutely devastating.
But why do they do it? There are several reasons…
It could be….
because you’re no longer giving them enough narcissistic supply. That’s basically attention, adoration, and unstinting support no matter how absurd and abusive they have been to you. You’ve become boring to them and outlived your worth – and by this stage they will already have lined up or be actively involved in at least one or more new relationships, because they must ensure their supply never runs out.
Or it could be…
You’ve seen through their false self and this undermines the fabricated image they’ve created for themselves, and this threatens their very existence. They cannot deal with real life, in a real way, or with real emotions, commitments, expectations – and most people need to have such expectations in place for any relationship to work. When you start to show realistic expectations, they can quite easily switch off and discard you like you’re nothing, no matter how long you may have been together or how much you’ve supported them. One of my clients had been married for several years to a female narcissist, who was also a spendthrift. She was ploughing through over $30,000 a month on designer handbags and clothing. He talked to her about it and said if she couldn’t curb her spending, he’d have to cap her credit card limit. Within 24 hours she’d packed up her belongings and moved out, and straight in with another man. The divorce settlement cost him $3 million, not including the hundreds of thousands of his money she’d spent on expensive goodies during the marriage. And, she had never contributed a cent to the marriage.
You’ve incited narcissistic rage so they are going to discard you – and worse, they’re going to punish you and will set out to destroy your life. The lengths they will go to, to smear, discredit and ruin you, is shocking. They are truly evil at this stage of their awful game.
And yet, such is the warped mind of the narc, that despite the appalling things they’ve done to you, and the brutal way they’ve discarded you, they will often come back at the hoovering stage, to try to get back into the relationship with you. It seems unbelievable, but remember that narcissists are wired differently to other people and they have no social conscience whatsoever.
Yet another reason for discarding you could be…
that they’ve met someone who is such a superlative source of fuel that they simply consider you redundant now… imagine if you had an old banger of a car, that was getting you from A to B, doing what it was meant to do, and then you won a top of the range shiny new Lexus or Mercedes… how quickly would you want to be rid of the old banger and swan about town in your swanky new car? Unfortunately, you’re like the old banger and the shiny new car, the new supply, is far more desirable.
How do you cope with the narcissistic discard?
Accept the truth
So what do you do? Nursing a broken heart isn’t going to do you any good in the case that you feel way. You must realize that the person you were in love with didn’t exist. Narcissists present false selves – fake selves, fake personas, wearing a mask - because they have no self or identity of their own. What you fell in love with was a false projection of who they wanted you to think they were at the time they met you and started the love bombing. They ensnared you by mirroring who they saw in front of them and fed back all your good qualities. But it was all a massive lie – a pretence. Hard and all as it is to accept this brutal betrayal, accepting the truth is the first step you can take in moving forward.
Learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
My strongest advice at this point is really learn about NPD and what narcissists are capable of. And to thank the universe or whatever higher power you believe in and go no contact immediately. You’ve escaped the cage, so count your blessings and if you find yourself longing for the ‘golden days’, focus firmly on the catalogue of abuse you’ve been subjected to prior to being discarded. Write it all down and read it if you are feeling low, missing them or tempted to go back.
Be prepared for the smear campaign
As much as possible, protect yourself from the potential – and very likely – smear campaign that your ex (or whoever the narc in your life is, for that matter) is going to start but also realize that they will probably have started this long before the discard, and you may well lose ‘friends’ because the narc is so convincing, they’ll believe that you are the crazy, jealous, vindictive, manipulative one.
Think about yourself
During your time with the narcissist, you will almost certainly have lost a lot, if not all, of your confidence, and your self-worth will have taken a hammering. You have to learn how to start recovering your self-worth and value as an individual again. This requires that you start rejecting all the BS you have been hearing from the narcissist for too long. You need to tune into yourself, to reconnect with the person you were before the abuse started. That person is still there, waiting for the sun to come out again. Understand that you are good enough, you are not to blame, and that that there is life after narcissistic abuse. Look for the positive aspects of being free from the constant stress of being with the narcissist. Learn to breathe again, and start putting yourself first. Know that you didn’t deserve this treatment and you absolutely can heal – in weeks, not years! Check out my book, Narcissistic Abuse Healing: The No-B.S. Guide to Healing in Weeks, Not Years, if you don’t believe it, because in that I share with you all the critical information you need to start your healing journey.
It is really important at this stage that you reach out to the real friends and family you know will believe you… everyone else you just have to let go. If they’re going to believe the narcissist instead of you, you don’t want them in your life anyway. If that’s not possible and you’ve burned all the family and friends bridges, reach out to a support group, like those I have here. You are not alone and there are people in these groups who understand what you are going through and they will support you.
Guard against ‘hoovering’
Narcissists frequently try to ‘hoover’ their victims back, even when they have behaved in ways that beggar belief. But don’kid yourself that you can ever get those golden days back if the narcissist invariably comes back to hoover you up again. If you go back, the cycle of abuse will continue and get worse and worse. It can be very hard to stay away if you are trauma bonded, in which case I’d recommend getting a therapist to help you break that bond. Reach out to me if you’d like to find out how that can be done!
Maintain ‘no contact’
Going and maintaining no contact is the only solution (or low contact if you have children, business or property issues that leave you no choice.) You need to give yourself space to allow yourself to start thinking clearly again. The longer you stay away, the more clearly you will see just how abusive the relationship was. It may feel like the end of the world when you’ve been discarded and you’re still trauma bonded, but you have to start focusing on yourself and your healing and going no contact is one of the most vital steps in achieving that healing.