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If you date a narcissist, chances are they saw you as a worthy target, then they love bombed you into thinking they were your perfect match.
They target strong, successful people to prey on partly because they like a challenge, and partly because it makes them look good.
However, then they start breaking down your spirit with their abusive, gaslighting behaviour, then discard you suddenly and brutally.
People who have been in narcissistic, abusive relationships often describe their partner as having a "Jeckyll and Hyde" behaviour — one moment they are acting like everything is perfect and you are the love of their life, but something switches and a monster appears in front of you who is angry, cruel, and threatening.
Therapist Perpetua Neo told Business Insider that the behaviour of narcissists in abusive relationships is so insidious that the victims stop respecting themselves.
A well-respected and cited American psychologist Margaret Mahler studied object constancy in infants.
In her work she noted that once a child starts to crawl, it begins to understand that it is separate from its mother, and starts to develop a sense of self.
The first object children learn is their mother, and how all the different parts of her — her voice, arms, ability to feed — all belong to the same being.
According to Shannon Thomas, a therapist and author of the book "Healing from Hidden Abuse," abusive people can switch between Jeckyll and Hyde so easily because they never take any responsibility for their actions.
This is also why they are able to move on so quickly from seemingly relationship-ending arguments, sometimes pretending that they didn't happen at all.