The Immediate Aftermath of Disengagement


You have been dis-engaged from. The all too inevitable entanglement with our kind. Whether we disappeared without a word, told you we needed space for ourselves or hurled insults at you as to why we hated you and wanted you to drop dead, the fact remains you have been dis-engaged from. Your emotions are raw as this event was only a couple of weeks ago.

To exacerbate this unpleasant, bewildering and upsetting situation you know that we have a new love interest. With what seemed to you to be unnatural haste, we have been seen with a new lady on our arm, your stalking of our Facebook profile reveals we have a new boyfriend from the plethora of loved-up comments and repeated pictures of us arm in arm, grinning out at you as if we are revelling in your misery. You have not yet ascertained that as we devalued you, your replacement was being seduced and to all intents and purposes we appear to have dumped you and secured another partner in the blink of an eye. How could we do this? After all the things we said to you and all the deep and unwavering love that you have showed us, how could we be so uncaring, so nasty, such a downright bastard?

Your head is a whirlwind of questions? Why did he end things? Why did she do it that way? Who is the new person? What if they are happy together forever? What did you do wrong? What about sorting out those joint financial commitments? Could you have done something differently? Is there a chance of working things out? How can someone change like that? These questions and hundreds more torment you and it becomes unbearable. You need to talk to us. You alternate between hurt and angry, shifting between wanting to plead with us for another chance and then wanting to kick us in the balls. Most of all however, you want answers.

What then will happen if you decide to approach us during the aftermath? What reaction will you be met with if you send a message asking for answers to your questions or if you turn up somewhere to meet us in person for the purpose of obtaining some explanations? Naturally, at this juncture, undoubtedly unaware of who you have been entangled with, you do not know that you will not be given those answers. In part this is because there are no answers to give – why should we deign to answer you and do something that you want? Furthermore, many times we just do not have an answer because of the different perspective from which we operate. Add to that we will purposefully avoid giving you answers in order to keep you primed for a later hoover, to draw fuel from you and to frustrate you also.

As you may imagine, the reaction of our kind to being contacted during the initial aftermath of the dis-engagement will vary dependent on the school of narcissist that you have been dealing with. Before that is addressed, you should be aware of our general mind set at this time. You failed us. You may not have done anything wrong from your perspective but we regard you as having failed us and this led to our fuel needs being sought elsewhere and once they were secured, you were dis-engagement from. This is the most common reason for being discarded; we found a new primary source and once we were satisfied that this person was embedded, then we tossed you to one side. There are other reasons why you are discarded (see  5 Reasons We Discard You ) but the fact we have a new primary source embedded is the most common one.

When that happens we are infatuated with the new primary source. You are effectively forgotten about. You were once idealised, then you were demonised and now it is as if you do not exist because we have someone new and exciting to focus on. We do not want anything spoiling this golden period least of all the last appliance which failed us and malfunctioned and had to be placed on the scrap heap. Accordingly, if you make an appearance in some way by entering a sphere of influence  (The Spheres of Influence) then our reaction will be based on you being persona non grata and if you persist our view of you is one of antipathy, dislike and you are painted black.

Turning to the three schools of narcissism for their nuanced response to your appearance.

The Lesser

There is a good chance that the Lesser will have blocked you from social media and contacting him as part of him considering you effectively dead to him. If he has not done so and you send a message it will be ignored. He has no interest in drawing fuel from you at this point, someone else is servicing his fuel needs and you are just an irritant. If you persist in ringing or sending messages you can expect the following responses:-

“Stop ringing me I hate you.”

“Stop sending me messages, I don’t want anything to do with you.”

“Fuck off.”

“Keep contacting me and I will come down there and give you a kicking.”

The message is clear; you are unwelcome and the Lesser Narcissist wants nothing to do with you.

If you see the Lesser Narcissist and try to talk to him, he will evade you, tell you where to go and make a hasty retreat. He is not interested in you and if you try to stop him you can expect a savage verbal assault or even a physical assault as he wants you to leave him alone so he can concentrate on his new primary source. He has nothing to discuss with you, has no interest in fuel from you at this point and would prefer you to be dead.

The Mid-Ranger

If you are attempting to contact the Mid-Ranger through messages and telephoning you will also be ignored initially. If you persist in trying to make contact with him or her for the purposes of getting some answers, you can expect the following responses:-

“Leave me alone, I have nothing to say to you.”

“Stop stalking me.”

“Keep this up and I am informing the police.”

“Just stop, it is over, you have to accept it.”

The paranoia of the Mid-Ranger will mean that he is concerned you will wreck things with his new primary source by telling lies (the truth) about him. Whilst you’re contacting him, he will be showing the new primary source that you are pestering him to accord with the smearing you will have already received. This smearing will continue as you are painted as an obsessive who will not let go, a stalker with mental health issues and a bunny boiler who cannot accept the relationship is over. The new primary source, the façade, the coterie and the Lieutenants will all be told about this ongoing behaviour (suitably embellished) so you are regarded as crazy and out of order. The Mid-Ranger thus preserves the façade and creates a toxic environment so if you do manage to see him or her face to face, you will not be believed and seen as trouble maker.

If an in person encounter takes place, you can expect the Mid-Ranger to want to get the hell out of there. He is preoccupied with the new primary source, he does not want you spoiling that arrangement and wants you to disappear. Lacking the aggression of the Lesser, he will wheel out Lieutenants to make you go away, threaten the use of law enforcement and appeal to others to see exactly why he needed to get rid of you in the first place. He also does not want fuel from you, he just wants you to clear off and leave him to get on with his new play thing unhindered.

The Greater

It is the Greater who welcomes you foolishly getting in touch during his new golden period with the replacement primary source. Suitably confident of his abilities and this new entranced primary source, if you begin to message him, he will seize on this chance to triangulate you with the new primary source, to punish you for failing him and to manipulate you further.

Your text messages and calls will be met with a friendly and amenable response. All the while, the Greater, already having smeared you left, right and centre, will be revelling in you trying to broker a meet-up in order to talk. He will be telling the façade and coterie that he feels sorry for you, that he needs to humour you so you don’t do anything crazy and thus paints himself as the good guy to all those watching. His responses will be along the lines of:-

“Good to hear from you, I hope you are well, what do you want to talk about?”

(What he really means is, good to hear from you because I can manipulate you, I know you aren’t well but what do I care, make me feel special by telling me what you want to talk about.)

“Well, yes we can meet-up but you do know I am with someone else now don’t you, so don’t get any ideas okay?”

“I don’t really see what there is to talk about, but I am willing to listen, I am reasonable.”

“Yes okay we can meet up if it will help you deal with what has happened.”

This apparent caring attitude and pleasantness is all fake. You are being strung along.

When you do meet the Greater, you can expect the new primary source to be there to add to your humiliation as the Greater looks lovingly at her, says good things about her and then when she goes to get a drink, the Greater will lean across the table and snarl at you for having the audacity to get in touch.

If the new primary source is not brought along, the Greater will toy with you, like a cat with a mouse. Letting you speak, enjoying the fuel as you plead, cry and become angry with him or her. He will feign dismay at your behaviour whilst inside he is laughing at you, pleased with this further boost of fuel, supremely confident that you cannot wreck his new golden period because you have been smeared and character assassinated to a figurative death. Nobody is going to believe you and therefore he is not going to pass up the chance to draw fuel from you, both positive and negative once again. He of the three is the one who is content to respond and meet with you, not that it will get you anywhere at all.

Tempting as it is to want to contact the narcissist when you have been dis-engaged from and he is in a new golden period, you will get nowhere. He has someone new now and wants to focus on her. You are an irritant, an annoyance, a reminder of failure or in the case of the Greater something to toy with further for the purpose of gaining fuel. Instead, use the period whilst the narcissist is distracted with his new plaything to build your defences, gain understanding and prepare for the hoovers which will be following down the line.

23 thoughts on “The Immediate Aftermath of Disengagement

  1. Kelly B says:

    The ex narc is a mid ranger that’s him exactly. Definitely in the psychopath spectrum. There are 2 narcs in my family. The parental is a greater I have minimal contact with. He does try to draw fuel. I have to remind myself of what I’m dealing with. When I have any interaction with him I listen and observe his behavior. Before I say anything or think about a reaction.

  2. Melissa says:

    Hi HG, this is very helpful. I always thought my ex a Lesser because he has a long criminal history of domestic violence, but he may have MRN tendencies after all. He is definitely in the golden period with the replacement (a hooker), who he happens to have been convicted of assaulting not long ago. He’s posting tons of photos of them together and declaring his love for her, meanwhile she’s got no evidence of their relationship on her page and even just posted that she dreams of a non abusive relationship with someone one day. I know I shouldn’t be looking at their pages.

    I know you’ve written a ton about types of sources. You were spot on about the panic pick. She is the complete opposite of me. In fact, I told him that his choice to interact with a hooker after our breakup was why I’d never take him back. That’s what prompted him to discard me. It’s certainly very dumb to pick someone you’ve been convicted of assaulting as a replacement source. I must have truly injured him.

    Why are some Ns prone to domestic violence? He’s never been this active on social media. I refused to let him be my friend on social media while we were together. Would a Lesser really going this far to hurt someone? It sure feels like I’m the intended audience. He said I devalued him. He even took the hooker to the same city I spent my last vacation in and he posted about doing a morning ritual with her that we started doing while together. It’s like he’s trying to taunt me. It might have worked, if he hadn’t chosen a panic pick and been abusive again, after swearing therapy had changed him. Oh and I’m suddenly getting private calls. I don’t have his cell number; he changed it. He and the replacement had a fight last week (I know because she posts everything on social media and he suddenly yanked their photos down; they’re back up). Isn’t it too soon for him to be hovering me? Isn’t it also too soon for fights with the replacement?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are most welcome Melissa. Some narcissists are prone to domestic physical violence because that forms part of their “skill set” in terms of the assertion of control through the ignition of their fury. If you read the book Fury, more will be explained there about it.

  3. Stacey says:

    Currently going through another round of disengagement with my narc. That is an entirely different post I won’t even address in this comment. I do want to say I have never thought of him as a greater especially after reading your articles and the characteristics of each. I have to laugh because his responses mirror the greater to a “T”. He would never ever tell me to stop calling him, never tell me he hates me. The exact opposite. He wants to hear about how I feel about him and love him-the more the better. Loves to hear me apologize for the things I’ve done wrong. He will also always throw a hoover in the conversation. Let’s get together and talk. Which is basically me doing all the talking and repeating yet again how sorry I am, how much I love him, etc.
    After he is satisfied, then he will tell me the reasons it won’t work and what about the time I did this-he can’t trust me after I acted this way or did this. It was probably a time I didn’t respond to one of his emergency hoover attempts. I am NEVER aloud to bring up his mistakes-ever.
    The level of fuckery that goes on is mind boggling. Thank god for your articles because I used to think I was crazy. It’s also sad because I can’t even talk about him to anyone. My family is an army of his lieutenants. He has one them over with his charm and generosity. But I’m getting off the track. Your articles keep me sane and reduce my emotional thinking so I can actually contemplate a life that is 100% free of him.

  4. Wandering says:

    Hi HG, is it still correct to assume that disengagement is being characterised by eventually being blocked? Or do some narcissists never block? Or is the case here that the presence of a new primary source indicates disengagement?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Blocking in itself does not amount to disengagement, you must look at it in the context of other behaviour. If the narcissist blocks you on the telephone but is messagings you on social media and still Skyping you, then there has been no disengagement.

  5. cogra002 says:

    I wish I had known this during disengagement . I didn’t, so I’m sure I played into it. Now I’m just focusing on that it is over, and feeling annoyed, myself, when he contacts me. But when that happens I know its because some other source has dumped him. This seems to happen frequently. So I just feel like saying “Cant u get someone else off the shelf to whine to about this? I’m busy”

  6. Fuel Shortage (Gabbs) says:

    If Piano Boy is an MRN they why is it that the responses he gave me are more akin to the examples you list of the Greater?

    He did tell me “stop stalking my Facebook page please” however all of the other examples you list under the Greater are also things he said to me:

    “Sure, we can meet up. But we are behaving ourselves and not having sex okay?” He also said “do not get any ideas”

    He always would tell me how good it was that he heard from me, asked me what I wanted to talk about and was insistent on “being there for me”.

    Also “We have been over this so many times but I know how difficult this is for you. I made a promise to be your friend and be here for you so whatever you need to say I will listen and whatever you want to talk about I will talk about with you”

    So if he is so mid range why does he talk like a Greater? (minus the “stop stalking my Facebook” comment)

    He has to know what he is doing. He just has to if he talks like that, admits he has a problem, and so on. He even used the word “narcissist” with me too but he said “If I was actually a narcissist I would have been totally done with you a long time ago…”

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are focussed on the wrong aspect.

      There is little point me explaining that since he is a Mid Range Narcissist, why does he appear to be a Greater. I can readily explain in detail.

      Until you apply no contact properly, all you are doing is continuing to engage and you will not be able to understand the explanations provided, not because you are unintelligent but because your ET remains far too high, since you do not impose no contact.

      1. Fuel Shortage (Gabbs) says:

        Fair enough. Your articles are helpful HG but they make my brain spin around in a circle at the same time and re-question everything. 🤯

        1. HG Tudor says:

          As explained previously, you are trying to understand the articles when your ET is too high. There is no room for the logic to take hold. As stated many times, he is a narcissist. You must impose no contact. You have to do that and do it properly. Thereafter, you will then reduce your ET and the articles can be re-visited and you will then be able to apply logic owing to reduced ET. Some people can do that far earlier in the interaction than others.

          What you are doing is standing inside your house as it burns wondering “Was this started by an electrical fault or a candle? I am not sure which it is.” Rather than noticing, your house is on fire and therefore you need to get out of your house and stay out of your house. That is what the immediate response must be.

          1. MB says:

            I love your analogies, HG. And thank you for taking time with Gabbs. (I’ve always had a soft spot for her.) There are probably many like her that needed to hear that information.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            You’re welcome

          3. lisk says:

            Excellent analogy. One of the most clarifying.

  7. BL says:

    I went back to the 5 reasons we discard you article you referenced here, and I was wondering if you could provide an example of an emotion free criticism (wounding with intent).

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hosting a dinner party which the narcissist would expect to attend but is not invited too. Possibly inviting the narcissist´s spouse but not the narcissist to said dinner party.

    2. liza says:

      _he introduces you his femal best friend, you try to know her thus not speaking much with him= how dare you ignore him, do you imply that she is more interesting than him?
      _he wants to go to a place and you tel him your mom doesn’t want you to go there= you don’t care about he wants, you are so heartless.
      _his friend (female) wants you to acompanie her for shopping= so now you replaced him by his friends.
      _ you complement a class mate’s code =are you saying he is smarter than him?
      _it your friend’s anniverssary and you make her a cherry cake (he prefers lemon )= you don’t want him to atend, do you ? if you did, you would have made his favorit not hers.
      and many other insignifiquent (from you POV) events of the same style.

      1. BL says:

        Ah, ok! I thought it might have been something said innocently like, “you look handsome with your hair short” taken the wrong way to imply he doesn’t look nice with longer hair. But it’s things completely unrelated to him! Wow! Thanks!

        1. Liza says:

          if he choses to cut his hair short and you complement him on it, he will like it, but if he decides to keep his haire long and you tell him that you like him with short haire he will most likely hear ” you look ugly with short haire”.

          1. Liza says:

            sorry,i mean ” you look ugly with long haire”

          2. HG Tudor says:

            And his narcissism hears “This is a threat to my control.”

          3. Liza says:

            and of course, if his narcissism hears such a thing, it is verry verry bad new for the perpetrator of the crime.

  8. liza says:

    after disengagment, i was picturing myself as a vase with so many holes, and my emotions like some liquid inside the vase, i was trying my best to plug the hols but the liquid keeps flowing from other holes, and it seemed like it will never end, the more i try, the more holes appeared, and the liquid didn’t seem to dry. it took me back to how i felt as a child, helpless and unablle to manage or explane my irrational and eccecive emotions. i was so disapointed with my self that i wanted to be away from me, i couldn’t stand how stupid, and weak i felt.

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