Narcissist abuse is intentional, calculating and can be extremely traumatic for the abused. There are stages to the cycle of narcissistic abuse. Look for these signs in your romantic, personal, parental and work relationships.
The first stage is the abuser will idolize you. They will engage in what is called “love bombing”, professing to be everything you have ever wanted, only to turn their back on you. It is a manipulative tactic to reel you in. They shower you with love, affection, and sometimes gifts. Relationships with narcissists often move very quickly.In the first few weeks, narcissists will say things like: “you’re my soul mate”, “I’ve never met anyone like you before” or “you understand me so much better than anyone else.”
The next stage is when they start to devalue you. They will start showing their true colors once they have their hooks in you. This often happens after getting married, getting pregnant, or having a baby when people feel trapped. It starts with subtle insults and put-downs. A narcissist will suddenly criticize things about you that they once seemed to love — everything they say is part of their scheme to shatter your self-esteem. Common statements at this stage are “you’re crazy,” “you’re so sensitive,” “no wonder nobody else likes you,” “what’s wrong with you?” and “you made do this” as they emotionally or physically abuse you. They also devalue and insult your friends, family, and your interests. Narcissists also play anything to their advantage to make you feel inferior. They’ll assert their power by saying: “you can’t wear that” or “you know… I know more about this than you.” At this stage, be careful. Exposing them in anyway can cause them to lash out by punishing you or making your your life miserable.
The last phase is when they discard you. This happens when a narcissist has completely worn you down. They can get tired of you for various reasons. It might be because they have financially drained you, or have simply moved on to their next victim. Either way, at this stage, their insults will reach the worst level, and they will find more ways to tear you down. Their comments get more and more vicious, like “everybody hates you.” “nobody else will ever love you,” “have fun being alone for the rest of your life,” or “you did this to yourself. They twist things around to make you blame yourself.
The only way you can escape a narcissist’s insults and threats is to get far away from them. They will keep you in a constant state of stress, and they know exactly where to dig the knife in deeper and deeper. Please understand that the abuse from a narcissist is deeply traumatizing, and the healing process can take some time, but you can recover. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.