When one begins to study pathological personality disorders, the idealization, devaluation and discard relationship cycle is one of the first lessons, often experienced when one is unlucky enough to become romantically involved with a narcissist, paranoid or worse, a psychopath. Yet this pattern is also found in any type of relationship entered into with a pathological personally (psychopath, narcissist, paranoid or histrionic). Whether it be a creative endeavor, a business venture or a romantic relationship, the pathological person will follow this cycle with his or her target whether the cycle is conscious or unconscious. While none of us can always avoid pathological people inserting themselves into our lives, we can at least be conscious of this cycle as soon as the devaluation phase begins or better yet, while we are standing on the pedestal the pathological person put us on. Discard will be quick if the target refuses to give the devaluation phase any energy whatsoever. What the pathological person wants is for his or her target to spend a lot of energy trying to figure out what happened and trying to win him or her back so he or she can consume that energy. Nothing happened. The pathological person has just become bored or uncomfortable or paranoid and his or her target may not fit in with the new venture and his or her new persona to go along with it.
A new twist that I have recently observed is the pathological person’s idealization, devaluation and discard cycle following along with the moon phases. The pathological person will pull the rug out from under his or her target on or near the full moon with a surprise attack out of nowhere. The waning moon is a time when the pathological person seems to have a stronger need to feed off the energy of his or her target(s). If the target does not respond with desperate and confused attempts to regain the former happy exchanges, before the “fuck off,” “fuck you,” the “I need a break from you,” the disappearing act or screaming tirade, then the chances of a quick discard are greatly enhanced. A quick discard is most desirable as the longer a devaluation phase lasts, the more damaged the target.
It is important never to allow oneself to be treated like garbage, accused of imaginary evil or devalued in any way and equally as important not to allow oneself to be put on a pedestal.