The discard. The end of the road, or so you might think. I have mentioned previously that I am of the view that the cessation of our current involvement with you would be better regarded as a dis-engagement because it is temporary in nature. When we bring the current relationship to a halt and there are many ways we achieve this, we will, at some point, return ready to hoover and therefore the discard is really a temporary act unless there is some intervening act. Nevertheless, I will continue to use discard in this article because it is common parlance in the narcissistic debate and it is faster to type than dis-engage. The act of discarding you can occur in many ways but they belong to one of the five houses of discarding. Whilst we are creatures of economy and conservation of our energy and thus exhibit repeated and patterned behaviours, we are not so intransigent as to adopt differing methods of discard should the occasion merit it. Those differences may manifest from victim to victim or you may find yourself on the receiving end of several variants of discards from our kind. Whatever they may be, you will find the method used will belong to one of these five houses.
- The Vanishing Act
Probably the most popular form of discard. As far as you were concerned we were both in a relationship. Admittedly, matters had been difficult if not downright awful for some time, punctuated with periods of respite, but now we have just vanished. You cannot get in contact with us. You have rung our number and if it has not been changed or you have been blocked, it has just rung and rung. You have left repeated voicemails asking where we are, each more fraught that the one before it. Your texts have filled up our inboxes. Enquiries of friends have proven fruitless. Your calls have always been held up by the switchboard or a secretary at work and you have seen neither hide nor hair of us. The days accumulate and there is just a void. This discard is a massive silent treatment. It will take you some time before you realise that you have been discarded and often this comes by way of inference and implication. You are not told to your face or in a message that it has ended. Instead you learnt that we have been seen with someone else in a romantic clinch in a bar or walking down the road. You keep trying to obtain answers but they are not forthcoming. It is bewildering upsetting and hurtful. It is all by design.
You may interpret this form of discard as appearing cowardly on our part, that we could not even face telling you that it was over. It is nothing to do with cowardice. This method of discard happens for the following reasons: –
- We are utterly infatuated with the new primary source which we have ensnared so she is all that matters and you are reduced to an afterthought purely for sucking the last few drops of fuel from, before we delete you;
- We draw one last burst of fuel from your frenetic attempts to contact us. We may see your messages, we may listen to your voicemails and we may even watch you desperately knocking at our door as we peek through the blinds. This all provides us with fuel. Even if we do not witness your attempts to contact us, we still draw fuel from knowing how you will have reacted to this callous act. Once we have drawn this fuel we then forget about you (until it is time to hoover) which makes the silent treatment that this form of discard is, easier to elongate;
- The manner in which it is utilised is designed to annoy and upset. You are made to feel worthless. You did not even merit an explanation. We see no reason to provide one to you. You are worthless in our eyes;
- It reinforces our idea of omnipotence. You are a chess piece which is picked up and moved round the board and we decide when and where you move.
- The Savage Strike
This is where you are told that it is at an end. There can be no doubt in your mind with this particular discard, compared to the Vanishing Act. You are told in no uncertain terms that it is over and you are told precisely why we have decided that it is over.
“I am sick of the sight of you. You are pathetic and I realised I cannot be with someone like you.”
“You are selfish. I do so much for you, yet you never think about me.”
“You think more of the children than you do of me.”
“You have put weight on. I am repulsed by you actually.”
“You don’t make any effort anymore. You dress down, never do anything and I hate it when a bitch lets herself slide.”
“You are a parasite and I cannot stand you taking from me any longer.”
These are but a selection of the horrible and harsh words that will be thrown in your direction. You will be the one to blame for the demise of the relationship. We have been forced to take this action and now we hate you for it. We will insult you, label you and lash out with a verbal tirade. Very little of this will be based on a foundation of truth, but this will not stop us. This approach is adopted for the following reasons: –
- To obtain fuel from you by making you upset and angry, hurt and fearful.
- To identify things which are wrong with you so that you obsess about them. This undermines your confidence and means you will struggle (along with everything else) to move forward which makes hoovering you easier.
- If you make changes based on our insults, then when we hoover, we will see this as underlining our power because you have acted on what we have said.
- There may even be some early triangulation by us comparing you to the new primary source if we decide to twist the knife and tell you that we are leaving you for someone else.
- The Wedge
This discard is so-called because it is designed to keep the door well and truly open for our return and an easy hoover at some future juncture. It lacks the viciousness of the Savage Strike but also applies doubt in the same way as the Vanishing Act but you will at least know why (or at least you will be given some suggestion as to why it is at an end). Expect to hear comments such as: –
“I need some space.”
“I have a lot on and I need time to deal with those other things.”
“I am not sure what I want at the moment.”
“I need time apart to figure a few things out.”
We will not point to anything specific but instead we will rely on amorphous and vague observations all revolving around needing time and space. The ideas behind this form of discard are as follows: –
- It makes us seem like some kind of deep troubled soul which is both intriguing (so it keeps your interest) and draws sympathy (fuel);
- It keeps you hanging on because we make it sound temporary in nature. We just need time to work things out (chase down the new primary source) and therefore you are given the hope that we will come back;
- It creates doubt and confusion so you will not move forward but instead you will hang around waiting for our return;
- You will keep trying to “check in” with us during this discard period which will give us further fuel and allow us to triangulate you (“she is just a friend who is helping me gain perspective”).
4. The Golden Wedge
As above but you actually receive a host of back-handed compliments as part of the leaving speech.
“You have been nothing but good for me, but sometimes it is too much so I need a break.”
“You have done more than most, but even that has not been enough and I just some time to figure things out.”
“You are wonderful, wonderful in so many ways. I love you, but I am not in love with you, so I need to be apart until I get that feeling back.”
“Nobody is as special as you are but even then it is too much for someone like me and I need to stand back and decide what I need before moving forward. I know you will understand, you always do.”
Akin to the Wedge this is designed to: –
- Have you think we are still wonderful because we have been so complimentary about you even though we are ending the relationship. Fuel will be forthcoming;
- Sow doubt. If you are so good, why are we ending it? Vague and amorphous answers once again follow to keep you hanging on;
- The terms of departure are as amicable as possible meaning that the eventual hoover is very easy;
- You retain hope and keep “checking in” during the period of discard. We gain fuel.
- Our façade is maintained
5 The False Discard
This is not intended to be a discard although if that does actually happen (although it is rare) we will still manipulate the situation so that it turns out to be a win for us. We will appear earnest and upset as we trot out such comments as: –
“This isn’t working is it? I can see I am hurting you. Perhaps you should end it?”
“Just let me go, please.”
“I am not good enough for you. Please, do the right thing and end it.”
“We’ve taken this as far as we can. It has been wonderful but I think you should draw a line under it, don’t you?”
“Please, just put me out of my misery. I cannot do this to you anymore.”
The intention is to cause you to be alarmed at the suggestion that this should end and therefore you will pour fuel our way with your upset and concern. It allows us to assert more control as we extort from you, your additional submission and obedience as conditions for us staying. Accordingly, we make you upset and anxious before agreeing to continue. We have gained fuel, gained new concessions from you, gained further fuel from your relief but also sowed seeds of doubt which will keep you on your toes going forward.
If in the rare event that you do what we want, we still win. We will have a new primary source waiting as a contingency and then we can tell all and sundry that you ended the relationship. This means we can seek sympathy from other sources, cast you as the villain (assisting our smear campaign) and engaging with the new primary source in the knowledge that you ended it so we are free to choose who we want to be with (conveniently forgetting that we of course had them already lined up and we pressed your finger on the trigger which killed the relationship).