The Veiled Primary Source

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You were crowned as the Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”) and you enjoyed that magnificent golden period. Those mesmerising days with the narcissist have gone, but the memory remains bittersweet. Blackened devaluation followed and now disengagement as you find yourself cast aside. During the downward spiral you had concerns that the person you loved and still love, was playing around, seeing other people and tarnishing that once professed perfect love. You believe that you have been pushed to one side and another has taken your crown.

Amidst the confusion and mayhem, your quest for answers, being the empathic truth seeker that you are, has led you to realise that you have been ensnared by a narcissist. You dive down the rabbit hole, reading all you can about this extraordinary disorder, shaking your head as you see the similarities of the experiences of other people, fighting back the tears as the humiliation of your treatments weighs heavy on your shoulders and still wanting him back. The wanting, the desire, the need remains and like so many others the questions form and occupy your thoughts on a daily basis.

Your suspicions that the narcissist was seducing someone else as the sun set on your empire with him, remain. You understand from your reading that the narcissist will often revel in rubbing the former IPPS’ nose in it, by parading the new IPPS to all and sundry. There are Relationship Bulletins placed on social media. The new subject of the narcissist’s infatuation is introduced to the narcissist’s coterie, the friends, the family and the colleagues as they get to bask in the golden light and you sob in the shadows. It is unfair. It is unjust. It is wrong. You worry that this new IPPS will be the one to make everything right and that the behaviours you experienced through devaluation will not be repeated. You want to derail the coupling and ensure you are installed back in that vaulted position of IPPS and this time you will strive to ensure you do everything right and avoid this awful fate that has currently befallen you. These are common responses and feelings.

You have been engaged in the customary social media stalking, looking to find out who has taken your place, but you cannot find anything. There are no posts showing the narcissist grinning with the new conquest, cold dead eyes gazing out from a score of posts, tendril wrapped about the new victim. You have not been able to contact any of the narcissist’s family or friends, learning that you had been smeared as an abuser by the narcissist, this litany of lies having been established well in advance of your disengagement. Nobody wishes to talk with you. You have managed to convince a handful of friends, failing to notice their eye-rolling, to try to find out who the narcissist is now with, but they have drawn a blank, yet you still have that nagging itch that someone new is in your place. Surely that is how it works? The narcissist needs that primary source of fuel to ensure that potent, plentiful and frequent fuel is provided to keep the construct in place. The narcissist cannot be without this particular appliance (or at least not for long) if a fuel crisis is to be averted, so what has happened? What is going on? Where is the new IPPS?

There are four scenarios which are relevant where it appears that a veil has been drawn across the new IPPS.

  1. Didn’t Receive the Memo

There is a new IPPS and the narcissist has not gone without the necessary fuel, but you do not know about it because you have simply missed the fact that this is happening. You have looked in the wrong places, you have been kept out of the loop and the side lining and ostracization which takes place following your disengagement has meant that you just have not come across the evidence of the new IPPS. You haven’t been included in the Relationship Bulletins because you have, as the former IPPS, been deleted from the world of the narcissist and you just haven’t learned of the new IPPS although he or she is very much there.

  1. Keeping It In The Family

Your suspicion that there is a new primary source is a well-founded suspicion but you have been looking in the wrong place. You have been looking for the new romantic partner of the narcissist, expecting to see him and her promenading together, dining at the haunts you were once taken to and splashed all over social media. Since you cannot find these indicators you are puzzled – surely he needs a primary source but where is she?

It is possible that the primary source is not an IPPS but a Non Intimate Primary Source and this usually means a family member. The narcissist has not ensnared a romantic primary source, for various reasons and therefore has fallen back on a family member to be the chief provider of fuel (and often considerable residual benefits). The NIPS will usually be a parent, child or sibling, in that order of likelihood. Extended family members can be NIPS but this is rarer.

If the narcissist has lived at home with a parent or moved back to live with the parent and you do not see a romantic primary source, it is highly likely that the mother or father is now the primary source. If the narcissist has children (minor or adult) and they live with the narcissist, one of these children will be crowned as the primary source and this is why you cannot find the new girlfriend.

If the narcissist rents an apartment with her sister or brother, then again, they are likely to be the primary source. If there is no romantic primary source and you know the narcissist is living with a family member, then it is a Keeping It In The Family scenario. If they are not living with a family member and you cannot find a romantic partner, ascertain whether the narcissist is spending a lot of time with a family member. Are they turning up at their mother’s house a lot? Do you know if he or she is popping across every day for dinner? Also keep in mind there are likely to be communications which you are not privy to between narcissist and family member which underlines their status as the new primary source.

  1. Troublemaker

There is a new IPPS but you are not being allowed to see that this person is in place. The narcissist is concerned that you are going to cause a major issue to the new golden period for this new IPPS and does not want you interfering. You have been smeared as a crazed harpy, the lunatic and psycho ex, so that the loyal members of the coterie form a protective wall around the narcissist and his new love interest. The coterie and the lieutenants will have been extensively briefed as to your catalogue of (fabricated) awful behaviours towards the narcissist, but your obsessed investigations as you sought to obtain answers are now used against you. You are painted as the crazy stalker, the oddball who just will not move on and although in part you are unable to move on, it is not for the reasons that have been explained about you.

The narcissist is most concerned that you are going to try to expose him or her to the new IPPS so that the wonderful golden period is derailed. He or she is worried that precious energy will be taken up trying to keep you away, fending off your attempts to display the truth about us as the narcissist seeks to manage the façade and prevent his good name being muddied. You will not find a Greater Narcissist in this position. The concern about you and what you will do is the preserve of the Mid Ranger (most likely) and the Lesser (to a degree) and therefore it is those schools who will be keeping the new IPPS on the down low. They will frequent different places, avoid social media pronouncements, block you on social media and create the appearance of there not being a new IPPS all done to ensure that you do not spoil matters.

This situation is most likely where you have escaped or if you have been disengaged it is where you have shown particular application in trying to have your truth told to many other appliances within the fuel matrix so you are refusing to abide by the expected role of weeping and woeful former IPPS. Show any fight against being controlled in this way, demonstrate a desire to confront and challenge and you will be swiftly labelled as a troublemaker. The narcissist will then pull a veil over the IPPS, shrouding them from you, ensuring the coterie makes no mention of a new girlfriend, avoiding any possibility of detection and thus ensuring that the newly embedded IPPS is not affected by your crazed rantings.

  1. Secondary Sources Rule

You cannot find a new IPPS for the simple reason that there is not one. The narcissist has not embedded a new IPPS or NIPS. Instead, the narcissist is content to operate by obtaining fuel from key secondary sources IPSSs, DLSs and NISSs. There are two instances where this occurs

  1. The narcissist is a Greater and has such an extensive fuel matrix that he can readily juggle various IPSSs and DLSs who provide plenty of fuel and therefore there is not yet a need for an IPPS (Greaters very rarely have NIPSs) . Indeed, some Greaters may operate a fuel matrix of extensive secondary sources and no primary source for several months;
  2. The narcissist is Mid Range or Lesser and has not been able to embed a new IPPS quickly enough and therefore has been forced to rely on the supplementary sources (secondary and tertiary) in the meanwhile. This state of affairs will not last long and the narcissist will be endeavouring to find an IPPS or turn to a NIPS if need be.

Thus, just because you cannot spot the new love interest of the narcissist who has callously disengaged from you (or more rarely you have escaped from) it does not mean that there is not one. Usually that primary source has an obscuring veil placed across them.

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24 Comments

  1. HG I’d love to know your thoughts on how a source of supply can become a different role each time and then recycled back – I’ve experienced first hand the role from secondary to dirty secret to primary – discarded, back to secondary and then primary again. It seems you don’t necessarily remain in the same role.

    1. Indeed. In a romantic scenario you may start as tertiary, becomes NISS, then Candidate IPSS, become Shelf IPSS, back to Candidate IPSS and then IPPS before Former IPPS. Thereafter you remain Former IPPS (unless you become the IPPS again – even if you are treated as a Shelf IPSS, you retain the title of Former IPPS). You become a different role because of your position within the fuel matrix.

  2. He fears the troublemaker, although fear is probably not the right word. more protecting his investment.

    The couple of times I’ve seen him with the new IPPS and he has seen me, he has avoided any public display of affection towards her. He doesn’t want me to know that she is the IPPS. I’ve known who the IPPS was since I found out he had her, but I’m not going to let him know that.

    Funny thing is though he recently asked if I wanted to tell the IPPS that he had been seeing me. What’s all that about HG? Triangulation, wanting to devalue her? New appliance in the wings?

  3. My exhusband definitely is keeping it in the family. He lives in his sister’s basement. I don’t think she’s a primary, though. There are several of us who are all important.

  4. I am constantly amazed at how your writings clear up all of the confusion that I endured during my entanglement with the narcissist, when nothing seemed to make sense. Thank you!

    I never learned who my replacement was. I suspected that the narcissist was waiting to reveal him to me when it would do the maximum damage and I went No Contact before she could do that to me. My disengagement was what you describe as “The Wedge” and after six weeks of absent silent treatment, I was then strung along with crumbs of contact (always on her terms), future faking, cold indifference and passive aggressive malign hoovers which, I now realize were being fuelled by someone. Perhaps it was her son who was 18 at the time and the only one living at home with her. I watched her drive a wedge between him and his girlfriend for over three years (She was sweet to the girl’s face but once said to me, “I hate her! She’s a fucking bitch and she’ll marry my son over my dead body!”), ultimately engineering the demise of their relationship just months before disengaging from me. She used him often to triangulate me, telling me how sweet he was to get and how he always took care of her and that he was the only one that made her feel safe (all things she had said about me during the Golden Period) and she would post photos of the two of them on social media that looked like they were dating.

    It never occurred to me that he could have been the new Primary Source until I read this, but I see now that it’s a possibility. She’s an extremely passive aggressive midrange victim narcissist in her mid 50s who has aged a lot more than she realizes and I imagine it’s getting harder and harder to secure fresh new romantic parters.

    Thank you again, HG, for continuing to clear a path out of the fog.

  5. The greater has never feared any of his victims that I know of. He literally just smiles when met with any attempt to expose or smear him. He wears a Teflon bodysuit and cape.

    I just had a flashback of the times I would see him and would tell him how this and that had hurt me. That he hurt me. He would always smile and say “good”. Not a toothy smile but just a curved lip smile. He was being honest during so much of our entanglement. He told me to my face that he was glad I was hurting but somehow I translated that to a positive thing.

    He could’ve thrown acid in my face and I would’ve spun it as a positive. I admit it. I really liked being owned. That’s fucked up.

  6. Thank you HG for this post. I can see my experience word by word in your writings. I was the trouble maker for sure and had to pay dearly for that. I have to laugh how word by word you describe my personal experiences.

  7. Hi HG! I have a question. If a “victim” has become really strong and confident both mentally and phisically (after a breakup), does the narc actually think that he was the “teacher” in the empath’s life? Does he see the empath’s transformation after an indescribably painful breakup as a “product” of his damage? Is he proud of it?

    1. He would not see it as a product of his damage but rather he would readily appropriate any success and pass it off as his own if there was a useful basis for doing so. He might attack such a recovery also as evidence of selfishness on the part of the victim of caring more about themselves than the narcissist. It would depend on the circumstances and how the narcissist could utilise that to his advantage.

      1. Haha, yeah, I remember the narc I was with taking credit for all the career changes and successes of his crazy bitch exes. He inspired them all. But to give credit were credit is due, the narc experience is truly transformative. I have learned and grown so much from it. It’s quite unbelievable actually… though I wish I needn’t have had this lesson.

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