In Depth on the Discard Phase of Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
The discard phase is the final phase of a narcissistic abusive relationship, during which the abuser abruptly ends the relationship and discards the victim. The abuser may move on to a new victim or may return to the idealization phase with the same victim, starting the cycle anew. The victim may feel confused, hurt, and abandoned during this phase and may struggle with feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt.
During the discard phase, the abuser may suddenly end the relationship with no warning or explanation, or they may slowly distance themselves from the victim until the relationship ends. They may also engage in behaviors such as:
Abandoning the victim: The abuser may simply stop contacting the victim, leaving them feeling confused and abandoned.
Blaming the victim: The abuser may blame the victim for the end of the relationship, suggesting that the victim was not good enough or that the victim did something to cause the relationship to end.
Dismissing the victim’s feelings: The abuser may dismiss or minimize the victim’s feelings and emotions, suggesting that the victim is overreacting or being overly emotional.
The discard phase can be especially difficult for the victim, as it often follows the intense emotional connection and feelings of love and adoration during the idealization phase, as well as the manipulation, control, and devaluation during the devaluation phase. The victim may feel a strong sense of loss and grief and may struggle with feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt.
It is important to recognize the signs of the discard phase in a narcissistic abusive relationship, such as:
A sudden end to the relationship with no warning or explanation
Blaming the victim for the end of the relationship
Dismissing or minimizing the victim’s feelings and emotions
A sense of loss and grief
Feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt
If you are experiencing the discard phase of a narcissistic abusive relationship, it is important to seek help and support. It is important to remember that the abuse was not your fault and that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. It is also important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member, a mental health professional, or a domestic violence resource center. Remember that no one deserves to be abused, and it is never too late to seek help and to break the cycle of abuse.