Victim or Volunteer : Part 2
The devaluation. People often regard this as one complete stage that follows the glorious seduction of the golden period. It is in fact made up of two parts. First comes the stranger period. It is so called because to you it seems like you are dealing with somebody completely different to the person that you know and love.
This is when the transition occurs between the seduction and the insidious abuse that is just around the corner. This stranger period should be regarded as the calm before the storm and if you are among the few who recognise it when it happens it is a clear signal to you to get out. Most do not of course recognise it.
They perhaps see it as the relationship moving beyond the honeymoon period and since there is no horrible treatment per se, they do not realise that the stranger period (which is still a stark contrast to the golden period) is in actual fact a warning. The stranger period is at the beginning of the period of devaluation and is a clear marker that there are far worse times ahead.
You are unlikely to query this shift from golden period to the stranger period in any great detail. Should you have done so? Should you have paid greater attention to us (just as we always have demanded)? Should you have wondered why we did not answer your telephone call with the enthusiasm that we once did? Ought you to have questioned why we seemed less interested in doing things with you? Did you see it and put it down to us being tired?
Maybe you just thought it was because we had had a rough day at work? You asked if we were okay and we assured you that we were, but there was no conviction in our responses. They were flat and other worldly but you did not press any further. Why not? Perhaps you should have done?
Perhaps if you had done so you would have taken greater heed of what it was signifying or was it asking too much of you to realise that was coming? Nobody has any idea of what this stranger period signifies when they first encounte it so why would you be any different? Perhaps the view that you failed to heed this warning is a harsh one?
What then of the devaluation proper when the darkness descended and the abuse came? Of course it is the false default setting of our kind that everything is your fault. That is the way that we have been created. That is the way that we conduct ourselves in order to protect our fragility from criticism.
We must project, blame-shift and remain unaccountable whilst ensuring that you are regarded as culpable, liable and blameworthy. It is part of the matrix of control that we deem necessary to apply against you. Yet, if one strips away this all too readily applied blame what then? Would the objective observer reach the conclusion of victim or volunteer? What do you think? Do not think that this is one of our standard exercises of attributing blame, I have already conceded that such blame-shifting is one of our key manipulations, but I am lifting that usual approach and posing the question as to whether during devaluation you might be regarded as a victim or volunteer?
The first time we doled out a silent treatment which lasted a day? Should you have known then what you were dealing with and distanced yourself? Is that unrealistic? What about when there was the second period of being frozen out? Or the third? Maybe not after those, after all, you dealt with them didn’t you? Perhaps you ought to have realised when we lost our temper with you?
When those savage words and insults were shouted at you? That is emotional violence. That is abusive. Why did you not walk away then? You stayed. Could it then be argued you volunteered for more dressings down? How about when we began to gaslight you? We toyed with your reality, confusing and bewildering? Did you recognise what was going on? But you are clever, resourceful and independent, surely you knew what was happening? Besides, this was taking place alongside the shouting matches and the cold shoulders.
Surely the alarm bells were ringing now weren’t they? Did you hear them and ignore them or did you just not hear them? What about the times we took your car without asking? Ate the food you had set aside? Stopped you sleeping properly by elbowing you all night? What about the repeated stopping out late and the flirtation with other women? Surely you noticed all of that, in fact we know you did, because we made sure you did so to enable us to get our precious fuel. So, you experienced all of this and you still stayed. Does that make you a volunteer as the abuse continued?
What about the first time we shoved you back during an argument? No? How about the second time when that shove sent you into a wall and you banged your head? No? Surely when that first slap stung your cheek, then you must have realised what was happening and yet you stayed after that.
Does that make you no longer a victim but a volunteer instead? Of course nobody ever asks to be treated that way. You are not volunteers in that sense but given you realised that certain behaviours towards you were wrong, unpleasant and downright nasty, you obviously spotted them so why did you remain and allow yourself to be subjected to even more?
You are your own person, surely, you should have realised and walked away? You might refer to not being able to because of money, housing, accommodation and children. Perhaps they are considerations but when pitted against your own safety and sanity, which should be protected first?
Accordingly, reflecting on all that happened to you, the repeated manipulative and abusive behaviours which were never isolated examples but rather repeated and increasing violations against you, could it be said that you were a victim or did you in fact volunteer by remaining in the firing line? I would welcome your observations.
Putting aside my usual blaming behaviours I would offer you this conclusion. To volunteer is to be able to exercise a degree of decision-making and control over your own person. You were never allowed that control.
We took it.
23 thoughts on “Victim or Volunteer : Part 2”
I guess I like to suffer …
Rising from the hole gives me strength, power, energy that my narcissist can only dream of.
Every blow makes me grow. I want more…
We both drive ourselves.
I am just being vacuumed after 13 years without contact, during which I raised his child myself …
I always knew he was coming back.
It’s terrible … and it’s gorgeous.
Thank you for this page, it allows me to control this chaos at least a little.
The Golden Period correlates with “grooming” as the police call it when it is used by pedophiles on children they pick out to molest. Those pedos are likely narcs too. But, for the narcissists that do it to adults, it is the same behavior and the same outcome, good before the bad. We are victims until we learn and stop it ourselves. My opinion.
yep! I just blocked a nusiance Narc that I once had a short entanglement with. The devaluation began in about a month but this was after he had told me he loves me and always had for year, heady stuff.
NArcs are so boring when you get to know their tricks. They all trot out “I love you”, these words are a trap. I was so broken I was looking for love ha! So I fell hard, talk about grooming.
Anyway It was long distance and I was at the time pursuing a masters program. I didnt need anything to affect my school work cos I in the past, I am an emotional wreck in relationships. I called it off and he said ok very coldly. This happened in 2015, still hoovers me till date. I saw a message from a new number yesterday. I saw it was him again. I simply blocked the number. I mean how desperate are they for fuel?
Smart to block the number. If he shows up, don’t open the door! I made that mistake and once and he was still there almost 20 years later! Yes, they are boring, we can do much better!
I remember exactly when this happened with MMR. The daily communication stopped. Silence for two days.
Years later the silence is what triggered my escape. It got to be too long a period. He wagered wrong.
Wow. “To volunteer is to be able to exercise a degree of decision-making and control over your own person. You were never allowed that control.” This is so true. Control was taken through seduction and manipulation. If you are a decent person, you dont just walk out of a relationship with a man you have shared your body with, you stay and try to take it back to the golden period believing that they man you fell for actually exists. Ugh.
So a few days ago an acquaintance told me her husband curses at her. Words like F.. Off and Get out! Now that is beyond the pale I wouldnt take that from anyone least of all my husband. Same man doesnt help her around the house so all the housework is left to her. I questioned why she allowed this verbal violence to happen and she said she didnt know what to do to stop it. She added that she feels bad for telling me because he is a good guy! That stunned me. A good guy who doesnt help you around the house and is also verbally abusive?
So she shared one thing he did recently which was the good guy side of him. Well I have one clue for identifying narccisists or narcissistic people and it is lack of emotional empathy. No one who has emotional empathy will repeatedly engage in verbal violence or refuse to help around the home with housework. Whatever other good things he does is just a facade.
What say you all? Banter along pls!
My first thoughts were Stockholm Syndrome or masochistic tendencies
What say you ?
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Healing my attachment disorder from emotional neglect (since birth) has been life-changing. I had C-ptsd, Stockhom Syndrome, 30 years with a psychopath, 3.5 years with a covert narc, 6 years single. I finally have agency, i needed to be alone, self-parent. I focused on healing myself so i would not be a victim or volunteer, have boundaries, and respond appropriately to red flags. I went back to school, got a new degree, changed my career, and now focus on my goals. I still crave the covert narc so I still have inner work to do, but I am better by not focusing on them or what they did to me, i focus on why I put up with it and how to improve my life and health.
Mari, you’ve certainly had some experiences in your life. I was compelled to comment on what you had to say. RE: “I am better by not focusing on them or what they did to me, i focus on why I put up with it and how to improve my life and health” – that is a really positive and constructive outlook / plan for yourself. It is similar to my view – not dwelling on past narcissists but look forward with the education in my mind. Good on you 🙂
This is from books I read, from genuine victims:
Both victims were love devotees, with a little bit conservative attitude towards marriage. Both victims hated to be single, they wanted to find a man and get married quickly and raise a family. Marriage and family was extremely important to those victims. Both victims were about 25 years old when they were desperately looking for a man to get married.
They received a golden period of about 6 months. One victim was overwhelmed by this successful, good looking and charming man (probably Upper Mid Range Somatic). There were huge red flags, but victim #1 found excuses, she was clinging on her dream to find a good man, get married and have children. Her fear to be alone and the impact of the golden period let her stay and cling on, even though after 6 months she received the first Silent Treatments, got triangulated with other women, and got asked for a threesome. She hoped that this would change as soon as they got married. She was granted respite periods every now and then which let her hope. The abuse was horrible, the narc called her a “fat cow” while triangulating with other women who were of course “hot chicks”. He abused her financially, she got pregnant, couldn´t work full time and so, she was bound financially. The sexual abuse is exactly what is written in “Sex and the narcissist” – the Somatic. She stayed 11 years, she was too proud to admit, that this won´t work out and she really wanted marriage and family. So she clinged in there.
Victim #2 the same but she did everything for her narc right from the beginning. She got really treated like mega shit, got sick several times and stayed because of her conservative attitude, her children, and because of great fear being alone.
I wouldn´t say volonteer, I would say: victim with the wrong attitude.
OMG these conservative women who believe in family values are the ones who suffer the most. I was one of them. Good born again christian gal. got married in my 30s cos I was holding out – no sex before marraige. The monster I married cudnt didnt actually want sex after the marraige, was verbally, physically and spiritually abusive. Oh the silent treatments but I mirror those well. U give me a silent treatment, I give you a while course of treatment. I cannot stand people who do silent treatment.
Luckily for me I fled after 1yr 10 months and with that dropped my religion cos I believe it led me astray and silly christians kept telling me to pray. Na!
Sometimes religion is misleading because many things are totally outdated. I believe in God but I think many many things the Christian church preaches is totally outdated. I read from a victim who stayed 40 years with her narc because of religion. He treated her like the last piece of shit. She did not leave! Of course divorce is not nice for anybody, but if you´re unhappy in a relationship for a long time, you should GO, even no matter if narc or non-narc. If the relationship is not working then just leave it! I escaped my ex-narc (my only romantic relationship) after a bit more than a year. When devaluation commenced, it was terrible! But very soon I realized that this is not going to work out. I didn´t even know that he was a narc (Upper Lesser A Somatic). I just realized that NO! This is NOT gonna work out. NEVER! I left.
I think a lot of narcissists look for Christian women because those women will stay in the marriage. It’s really sick. Also, I think the church does a disservice to women not teaching them to look out for these people.
Exactly! Yes, narcs look for religious women, exactly because they STAY! They are against divorce so they will hang in there desperately trying to fix the “sacred bond of marriage”. Sad! 🙁
Faith is actually a very good thing, BUT: Faith without critical thinking can be extremely dangerous and misleading! This is exactly what “my” ex MMRA is looking for: A religious woman of the “Madonna”-type, not emancipated, gullible, love devotee, low self-esteem (low in narcissistic traits), clingy, religious values. He himself reflects the overwhelming religious angel. This and huge Pity Parties is his TRAP! This is the honey coated web of the spider!
While the woman stays, hangs in there, believes his lies, does not notice the deceit, is his 24/7 servant and tries to heal and fix while she´s being devalued and treated like shit, he gets the carte blanche to do whatever he likes: lie, abuse, cheat (by porn and masturbation or through technology as he´s dominantly cerebral).
Yes Leela, I agree with this. The ULA I was involved briefly with was a “Christian” and said all kinds of stuff about it but was one of the most obvious hypocrites I’ve ever known. He and my mom. But, as HG says, they will be anything they need to for the victim to fall for them. When I would ask him about his contradictory comments and behaviors I’d “see” the 404 over the phone line. Haha! He had no explanation and as such no words! He would just say something to distract and move on. It was weird to me at the time but now I understand what was happening, at least somewhat.
Jasmin I think described the ULA as something like energetic and exciting. I only wish he could’ve not been a narc, so much fun! Ugh. And I think this is still ET, we were so perfect for each other! But I know that was all fake now and he would’ve not been fun at all had I stayed in contact with him.
This person who would be “perfect for you”, doesn´t exist. My ULA ex was not “religious”. He was not looking for Christian women, his type of woman was the blonde, tanned gym-bunny, the “Barbie doll”-type. 😆 I do not look like that by the way. 😁
All the Somatics I knew were looking for the not exactly so intelligent sexy chicks dressed up to the nines 😄
Only the MMRA definitely cerebral leaning elite was looking for a faithful, religious woman and God forbid she is dressed up well or even takes pride in her appearance! No way!
Leela, yes, I realize that now, but at the time it certainly seemed that way! And he would always say it too, to make it seem even more so.
I have only been involved with Somatics romantically. I actually find this embarrassing and a bit offensive (aimed at them) since I am not unintelligent. But, I am gullible, working on changing that a bit, and I think I look unintelligent, I am blond, which carries a stereotype for many, often lost in my own thoughts, and I don’t voice a lot. The combo is deadly, people think you’re not smart and feel the need to tell you how to do everything. The not voicing a lot leads a lot of people to think that I have no opinions, so annoying. I really need a (non narc) guy who can think and hold a conversation, who doesn’t think I’m stupid. The Summer Narc, for all his failings, haha, while he was a Somatic, he was very intelligent and he realized I understood what he was telling me about how to do different professional, technical and mechanical aspects of his job. I appreciated someone who recognized that and he probably knew, instinctively, that this would be the case and so ran with it. So, it wasn’t even genuine. But, it was fascinating and I learned a lot about that particular business. Thank you for letting me voice this annoyance, about being pursued by Somatics! Silly right?! But it still bugs me, I was so disappointed when I found that out. And, to top it all off, I didn’t even get the great sex everyone talks of with my ex, a Somatic, I would’ve been better off with a Cerebral in that instance!
Oh, don´t say you´d be better off with a Cerebral. I found my non-romantic encounter with the cerebral leaning elite WAY worse than those with the Somatics. And not all Somatics are stupid, Patri Narc is smart, he not only put his focus on sports and appearance but also on career. Not all Somatics are stupid. And blonde does not mean = stupid. No way! I have always envied blondes, especially natural blondes. I have the least popular hair color, 👩🦰
No, we are better off with no narcs of any kind.
Yep I had better boyfriends when I wasnt a born again christian. When I became born again good men disappeared and the cruelest of Narcs appeared. Becoming a christian was the worst thing that happened to me. It magnified my empathic traits and my emotional thinking was through the roof. When someone did me bad, I would hear a voice in my heart encouraging me to love them and pray for those who despitefully use me.
As far as I am concerned, the bible was written by a group for Ultra Narcissists. It works and is so effective creating emotional thinking, keeping victims ensnared and perpetrators empowered,
Yes, there needs to be teaching to women that we are valuable and should only accept good treatment, and also what that treatment looks like, and what it is not. Not love-bombing! I think Christian women are particularly susceptible to the fairy tale idea of romance and it is a dangerous mindset to have. But, as you said, the teaching is to be kind, loving, patient etc. It can really set someone up for abuse.
And you know what is the worst of the worst? “My” ex Middle Mid Range Type A narc (non-intimate relationship) MIRRORS exactly this! He perfectly mirrors that to find exactly THIS type of woman. Terrible! 🤦♀️😌