It is hard to let go of the idealized image we had of the abuser. Letting go of the perfect partner we once believed we had, is a process, not a single act of will.
The narcissist or psychopath that seduced you into their lair, got into your mind in a way that normal people never do.
The narcissist is especially gifted at getting into your head and learning many things about you. They learn what your ideal is of the perfect partner.
They are able to transform themselves, cleverly and accurately, into the partner of your deepest dreams. They play their role of this perfect partner until they have you devoted to them.
They create a constant connection with you, that makes you feel like you are an important, desired, part of their lives.
They get your happy chemicals flowing, like dopamine.
The constant contact creates an increased need for this dopamine high. This is their design.
Once they tire of the false role they are playing for you, the devaluation stage begins.
They intermittently throw you small scraps of the idealized partner, just to keep that addiction to the dopamine live.
Even after they leave us, or we manage to escape from them, there is still a live chemical dependency on the abuser.
This was their design, in case they ever wanted to lure you back…”hoover” you back in, for narcissistic supply.
The realization that we were thought of as “supply” and had no more value to the narcissist than their computer or their cell phone, is hard to take in.
It is a realization that our entire perception of the relationship, and reality itself, was very wrong.
Months after the relationship has ended, we will feel sudden floods of emotion for the narcissist.
Maybe they were not all bad. Maybe some of the beautiful things they said to us were true.
This is only your brain fooling you. Your memories of the past are often inaccurate. We want to see things in a certain way that matches what we want to believe at the time.
Think of a time that your abuser said something nice, flattering, or kind to you. Your memory of this is tainted by your belief at the time that they cared about you.
If you were able to see that memory more realistically, you might pick up on little things that you did not see, but were in plain view.
Perhaps the narcissist gave you these sweet words as a reward for doing something that complied with their wishes.
In which case, the narcissist wss simply modifying your behaviour through simple bahavior modification tactics.
Perhaps the narcissist needed something from you, some favor to be done, and they gave you flattering words to boost your self esteem about your skills in the area that was needed for them.
After flattering your skill, they may have then given a guilt trip about how they are not good at that, but really need something done.
Then you would have felt guilty and of course, used your skill…possibly creativity, people skills, or business skills…in order to do the narcissist this favor.
There were many times that the narcissist said nice things to you, simply in order to manipulate you.
So, when you are remembering the past, keep in mind that our memories are not always truth. They are perceptions and are influenced by our beliefs at the time.