´Til Death Do Us Disengage
The word ‘discard’ is well-known in the lexicon of the narcissistic world. Disengage is actually accurate, but I shall use discard here purely for the sake of familiarity.
It forms one of the four cornerstones of the narcissistic embrace. This embrace applies to nearly all appliances and is most common with the Intimate Partner Primary Source. The seduction, the devaluation, the discard (disengage) and the hoover. Discard (disengage) brings with it a sense of finality. The impression that we have extracted everything we can from you and that we are finally done with you. You have served your purpose and we no longer have any use for you. I do not think discard is an accurate description. We certainly toss you aside with no concern for your well-being or emotional state. We suddenly stop communicating with you. You cannot contact us as we vanish, walking off the face of the earth. If you receive some kind of half-baked explanation, then you ought to consider yourself as lucky to receive even that. We are, however, never done with you. The discard as such is a temporary cessation to the dance that you and I engage in.
I have written elsewhere of the main reasons why we discard (disengage) and chief among them is the fact that we have acquired a new toy. You are old, stale and no fun anymore so you are left at the bottom of the toy box as we become infatuated with our new shiny and glittering toy. Of course your discard is not permanent. Once I selected you, you had a role to fulfil for the rest of your life when it comes to me. You have no choice, so far as I am concerned, in respect of this role. I assigned it to you and I regard you as obligated to carry it out forever. I may decide that I require you again for the purposes of triangulation. I may want the new primary source to pump out even more positive fuel because they feel threatened by your re-appearance. Like some corpse, we resurrect you in order to unnerve the new primary source. We will hoover you and tempt you with the prospect of winning our favour once again. When we triangulate you in this fashion you can rest assured that what is being said to you will have been said in a similar way to the new primary source. We may comment to you: –
“She is just someone to pass the time with, she is nowhere near as special as you are to me.”
Around the same time, we will be telling your replacement primary source,
“Don’t worry about her. She cannot let go. I am not surprised really because I did so much for her, but it is you I want, you are so special, far more than she ever was.”
You are spurred on by such encouragement and double your efforts to please me in the hope of winning me back. The replacement is spurred on by such encouragement and she doubles her efforts to keep me and ensure you prove to be no temptation to me.
We will bring you back if the new prospect turns out to be less effective than we thought. We decide that they need to be consigned to the scrap heap quicker than usual and therefore we will turn to that person we know. You. We know all about you and how you will react and therefore it is far easier to return to you and hoover you than seek someone new again. This has the added benefit that the passage of time will have allowed you to recover from our abuse but also the longing that we imbue in you, when we discard, will continue to gnaw away at you and thus when we decide we have ended the “discard” you are easy to hoover.
We may be utterly delighted with your replacement but decide we will end the “discard” in order to punish you further. At this stage we have no interest in engaging in a romantic and intimate relationship with you again. Your replacement serves that role most effectively. No, we want to punish you. We will hoover you in an unpleasant and savage way, smearing you and parading your replacement around to all and sundry and explaining how wonderful it is to be with someone who truly understands us, loves us and is not abusive as you were.
We may toss you aside and come nowhere near you for weeks, months and even years. We know that the nature of this “discard” is such that no matter how hard you try; you remain vulnerable to being sucked back in. This is because you have not been able to cope with the ever presence we created and your frequent reminders of the golden period. It is also because you want answers, finality and understanding and because we flounced off the face of the earth, you did not get those things and the desire to receive them remains strong even years later.
We do not truly discard you. We push you to one side but you serve many purposes afterwards. You recover so your fuel provision increases again, you are the provider of both positive and negative fuel, dependent on how we hoover you. You are needed for the triangulations we wish to deploy. This cycle of picking you up and putting you down again, as and when suits us, is one that will go on and on until such time as you decide to break the pattern of “discards” and escape instead. Of course when you try to escape us we do not regard this as ending our binding arrangement. You are mis-guided, perhaps listening to the biased voices of others which is affecting your judgement. You, in our minds, do not get to choose when the arrangement ends. All the way through our lives, we will use you and then push you to one side before coming back again at some future point. If you allow us the means of contact by drifting into our sphere of influence again then we will hoover you, because the opportunity is too good to pass up. You are then drawn in, the cycle commences once more and a further “discard” will happen. You can see by the repeated nature of this process that there is no real discard, only a temporary cessation to our entanglement, but one tendril always remains wrapped around, continuing the connection so that we can draw you back in at our choice.
Even if you take steps whereby you expose us for what we are or reveal us to other people who accept what you say, we will withdraw to lick our wounds but this discard is temporary also. We still want your fuel and we want it badly. We also have a desire for revenge. We may not resume matters in a benign method when this happens and instead opt for the malign approach in order to extract fuel, but the entanglement will begin again at some future point.
We put you down but you can always be picked up again. Rest assured that this will happen repeatedly and even if you think the nature of the discard was so harsh, so savage and seemed so final, it was not. We will return, if able and do it all again.
The only true disengagement of our toxic entanglement is when one of us dies. Only then is there finality.
12 thoughts on “´Til Death Do Us Disengage”
Meh. Who do the narcissists think they are? They won’t be able to control everyone they were entangled with forever? Wouldn’t that require a great deal of effort?
MRN has no chance in hell. I indirectly indicated to him that he is a narcissist. Left it at that. He won’t have the gall to face me ever again. I am not concerned about any “hoovers” – no, it’s done, dusted & gone.
High five to that one! You go girl !
Thanks for that 🙂
Urrrggg, this makes me angry too! Who does he think he is to make me “his” for the rest of our lives? He gave me a nickname that I didn’t like, he said “Well, it’s not really up to you, is it?”. Why did I keep talking to him after that? I mean, nobody gets involved with someone new, just a conversation, thinking, oh yay, I get to be this person’s appliance until he or I die! Nobody, especially when we’re not even aware that people like this exist, and by then it’s too late, we’re in their web. Okay, time to sleep. I am going to wake up in a happy mood.
Yesterday I read that if we have any interaction with a narcissist, we are part of their matrix. This helped calm me a bit, it’s just more accepting that this is how it is, how they are, it’s absolutely not personal. Some of these concepts are more difficult to absorb than others but it helps knowing them.
Initially, I was angry to think I’m considered a shelf appliance, but I am not an appliance. They are simply constitutionally incapable of thinking an appliance wouldn’t interact with them.
I mean is your old cell phone going to get up and walk away when you need it while your new cell phone is in the repair shop? No. It will be in the junk drawer where you left it a year ago.
They can think whatever they want. I am not on the shelf. I walked away NC. *shrugs* Sorry bout it.
Yeah, that whole appliance thing, placing that on people, is such an indicator of the seriousness of the malfunction in their minds. Same with the “ownership” thing. I read that it’s a personality disorder but it’s one that affects the thinking so thoroughly that it is also a mind problem, not in the way of a mental illness, I guess, but it is difficult for me to separate the two. Probably within the definitions of each somehow. Anyway, I’m going to do everything in my power to never again be owned or viewed by another as an appliance. It may mean I’m here, on this site, until I’m no longer on this earth, if so, that’s ok.
AV, I find the beauty of the ‘appliance’ thing is that also give me permission to disconnect.
Sometimes we need ‘permission’. At least I find that at times.
If I thought he had feelings for me, was pining for me, wondering about me, missing me, somehow valuing me in my absence, I would likely still be there, still be trying, pining for him, etc. I now have permission to disconnect. At least in my mind! The narc is obviously not going to do that and a recent quote he displayed just goes to prove it:
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past” – William Faulkner.
It’s like Groundhog Day. An infinite loop of possessive insanity.
While he cannot disconnect, I can.
Unfortunately there’s this teeny tiny part of me that wants him to keep a hold. Arrrgh!
Co-dependency is a curse.
LET, I have been considering your comment since I read it. I don’t think I have trouble disconnecting but in letting go, is that the same thing? Lol, it seems different somehow but also the same. Anyway, it’s been interesting to think about.
Hey AV, I understand what you are saying about ‘letting go’ and the difference between that and ‘disconnecting’. Both are actions we take, but letting go in my mind involves a painful disengagement which is also replete with grief. I have experienced this with my most recent narc, so the experience of letting go is definitely in the mix. Disconnecting in my mind is slightly different and I think I’m trying to make the distinction between a more emotional and less emotional response. While letting go of my narc has been an emotional experience, disconnecting from him with an awareness of the narcissistic perspective is much less emotional. Knowing he feels nothing genuine for me gives me permission to reduce my emotional thinking and disconnect from him without guilt, fear, concern or longing, I can be more clinical in my approach, but I need that knowledge (of the narcissistic perspective) to do that. So I guess for me one is more emotional (letting go) and one is less emotional or more clinical (disconnecting). Both achieve the same end, and I have experienced both. But one leaves me feeling a lot less emotional.
LET, that makes sense. And then there is the switch that flips when I’m just done, never to look back and regardless of what they’re thinking. That’s my favorite. Thanks for explaining.