The emotional abuse dished out by a narcissist is malicious. intentional and insidious. The narcissists sizes up his victim from the beginning, to see if she is likely to tolerate his tactics.
During the sizing up period, the narcissist puts on a honeymoon phase act, also known as the idealization phase.
He puts his prey upon a pedestal and tells her she is beautiful, talented, compassionate, or whatever characteristics she desires for someone to admire. He reads her body language and asks lots of questions in order to ascertain which qualities he should complement her about.
The abuser gets into the mind of the victim and pries out lots of important information that he or she will later use against the victim. Valuable information is the victim’s desires, hopes and dreams.
What does the victim want in a perfect mate? What qualities do they find most important about themselves and in others?
But it does not stop there. The predator listens intently as the victim tells them about their childhood, their failures, and their deepest fears.
What buttons can the abuser push that will get the strongest emotional reaction? The unsuspecting victim willingly turns over this information to their enemy, without realizing that they are setting the abuser up for the evil yet to come.
The victim willingly gives the predator all of this information because they seem so trustworthy. They appear to be the perfect friend, partner and lover.
The predator has acting skills that are so honed that the victim never suspects that their entire personality is an act.
The abuser takes the information they gather about the core values of the victim and they mirror those values back to them.
When the prey sees the predator, they do not see a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They see someone who believes in them and shares their most important values and beliefs.
As the predator listens intently to the victim, it seems like he is interested in him or her in a way that no one has ever been.
The victim feels like they are finally being understood, in a way that no one has ever understood them before.
This is highly emotional. The conversations are emotionally charged and bring out the bonding chemicals in the victim’s system. Their entire nervous system in affected in a similar way to addiction to a drug.
There is often a high sexual attraction for the abuser, which is amplified by a feeling of trust. Emotional bonding is stronger when there is a high level of trust, and the predator knows how to make the victim feel completely safe with them.
This chemical bonding is both a science and an art to the predator.
They have honed their skills from many trials and errors from their past victims. Now it is Your turn to be the method of experiment. The more they can deceive and manipulate your mind, the more the predator becomes hooked on deceiving you.
The predator gets a sadistic pleasure from this process and feels godlike and all powerful, as they get inside of your head and you willingly hand over all the information they need to destroy you later on.
This idealization phase is enjoyed by the narcissist but it also drains them. They soon tire of all the effort it takes to please you and make you feel good.
They often do a test at this point. This is a test that they design to see if you are sufficiently bonded with them yet. They will often make up some kind of emergency just to see how you react and respond. They want to see you go out of your way, and inconvenience yourself for them.
This emergency is both a test and also a way of them to train you like a dog. They will reward you with praises for the parts you do “right” and they will scold you for anything they wanted done differently. They will imply that they may not be able to continue a relationship with someone who cannot perform to their liking during an emergency they are having.
This emergency, or very urgent situation could be of any sort of nature. It might be a fake medical emergency, it could be a crisis with their business or an emotional / mental breakdown. They will demand your full attention and that you drop everything you are doing, no matter how important it is to you. In fact, they may time the emergency, intentionally, to happen at the same time as something important to you.
They want to see that you will prioritize them over yourself.
They know that most normal people will prioritize an emergency over most other things. It is normal to rearrange your schedule when someone you love has an emergency. This is how they lure you into their training.
Now that they have your attention, they hone your “emergency” skills. They nit-pick at everything you do and the things you do not do according to their rules. They teach you exactly how to respond and how fast to respond to them, when they call you for something urgent.
This way, they can continue to call on you and demand your undivided attention, anytime they cry wolf. Imagine that…the wolf crying wolf!
After that, there are more emergencies.
The narcissists seems to live a life of chaos and they always need you to be there. It begins to erode the rest of your life away. Your needs are never as important as theirs are. Whatever is happening with them is always much more urgent and important than what is going on in your life.
If you respond to the training properly, they know they have you bonded to them. Now they can begin to demean you and treat you any way they want to. Suddenly you are knocked off the pedestal and onto the floor, where they will drag you around wherever they want to.
The devaluation phase has begun.
You now will tolerate all manner of abuse and you will believe their lies because of your addiction to the abuser. The more they abuse you, the stronger the addiction becomes. This is trauma bonding.
The abuser alternates between periods of the love bombing stage (the idealization phase) with periods of abuse.
This is designed to confuse the victim and to increase levels of chemicals released in the body.
Cortisol and adrenaline are designed to be released during an emergency or when you are under a threat. The brain soon becomes confused as the frequent need to release these chemicals in alternated with periods of uncertainty.
Your brain learns that a threat could occur at any time and stays on alert for any threat. The abuser screaming at you, threatening you, and changing the rules as they choose, thrown your nervous system out of wack. You long for the periods of reprieve from the abuse.
There are days when the abuse is nice to you and this brings back those feelings from the idealization phase. You are reminded why you fell in love with them in the first place. You want to believe that the person you first met is still under there somewhere.
The brief interludes of the idealization phase, feel like love to you.
It seems like the abuser actually loves you, but that you seem to bring out the angry side of them a lot. If you could just “get it right” then they would return to the person you fell in love with.
The attachment grows stronger during emergency situations and struggles. You feel like you have “been though so much together” and it never occurs to you that it was all a strategy of the narcissist to hook you. It is all so that they can have power over you.
Power and manipulation is the game of the predator.
They know that by alternating the abuse with “being nice” that the trauma bond will keep you coming back for more. You give everything up for them just to keep them happy.
Make no mistake this is all intentional and calculated.
The predator loves to be in control over you. They love to play god because they see themselves as better than you are. You are nothing but another victim for them to scratch out another notch on their bedpost.