In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the main character decides to have his memories of his ex erased. These included ALL memories, good and bad. Did he once love her? Absolutely. When she broke it off with him though, the pain was too great to bear and he decides to erase her altogether. (That was after he found out she had done it first)
The narc has some of that ability without the freaky procedure we saw administered in the film. Just to be clear, this film is not about narcissism. It’s a quirky, bizarre love story. It’s the spotless mind reference that has a likeness to what little can be understood of the narcissist’s brain function.
The narcissist will erase memories of you if they can’t use you anymore. I say ‘if they can’t use you…’ not ‘if they stop using you…’. Because they will never stop using you until you change the terms of the relationship.
Specifically, a narc is not capable of making the decision to end their supply. Rather, the only way they lose supply is when the supply (victim) ends the relationship.
What does this mean?
The Victim Has the Power
The victim has the ultimate power. If you’ve been used by the narc and if you’re a victim of their antics, you have the power to end it.
But be ready to be dropped like a hot potato, if you cease to satisfy their needs. Be ready to mean ‘nothing’ to them. As I say, the eternal sunshine of the narcissists mind—it’s a thing. They select the memories of you that serve them. If you are no longer their supply, any positive memories of you will ‘disappear’. It’s like you never happened. Forget all the things you did for the narcissist because they have already dismissed all of your goodness as being maligned.
What this means is, for the amount of use the narc extracted from you (at a high personal cost to you) it will be forgotten and meaningless in the narc’s mind. If you were to remind them of those things you did (sacrificed or gave), they will have zero recollection. It’s as though it and you never happened.
Makes you think twice about the next time the narc asks you to do something, doesn’t it? Why risk everything, including your heart when it will be meaningless later?
Also, be ready for the narc to take it a step further. You will be the subject of a smear campaign. How so? If you are no longer serving their purpose, and if they have dropped you, they will explain your absence by way of the following;
You’re “mentally unstable”, “need professional help”, “have problems”, “make up lies”, “crazy”, “bi-polar”, “brainwashed by a toxic person”, “dishonest”, or “trying to make me look bad”…etc.
It may not end there. The narcissist is not above interfering with confidential relationships you may have with professionals. Doctors and therapists will be vulnerable to a narcissist breach. Why? To ensure the smear campaign is complete.
Cease to Supply
At this point you may be wondering, is it worth it? Is it worth ceasing to supply the narc in my life? After all, who wants to be smeared and dropped like a valueless piece of rubbish, kicked to the curb for garbage pick-up? No one. However, considering the price you likely paid as a source of supply that alternative is still, better. It will not feel satisfying to begin with but in time you will reap the benefits.
Hold on, though because you didn’t become a source of supply overnight. The narc was using you all along, and you had’t even realized it. They managed to make you feel secure, wanted and important—until they went too far. Something may have happened that made you question their motives, or made you feel vulnerable and doubtful. Perhaps the result was financial loss, or romantic devastation. The point is, whatever the event, the narc has succeeded in pushing you too far.
What now? Often I recommend setting boundaries with this person in your life. But not just setting them, actually implementing them and ensuring they remain strong and steadfast. No one is getting through your protective boundaries. This takes a little practice to ensure an effective, protective measure.
Sometimes our boundaries aren’t enough though. So, we have to finally cut contact with the narc. It’s the only way to protect yourself from further damage (again, that could be financial or romantic). But it’s important to be prepared for the repercussions and find ways to mitigate them.
Eternal Sunshine for You
Don’t underestimate the eternal sunshine of the narcissist’s mind. You will no longer be relevant when you cease to supply the narc. Along with this? Memories of you, both good and bad will be erased and your earlier contributions, and anything you gave to the narcissist will also be deleted from their memory. With this in mind, the victim must consider ending the supply and protecting themselves from further damage. Knowing that your past sacrifices meant nothing, should spur you forward to a new life sans narcissist.
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