Toxic people (especially narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths) are often called "energy vampires" because they drain their targets of all natural love, joy, and sanity. Cluster-B personalities are unknowingly lost on a never ending quest to fill in internal void (often referred to as boredom, emptiness, un-feelable emotions, the rejected self).
Similar to an addict, they believe that external factors will fill that void, so they are constantly looking outward for attention and adoration. This also explains the delusions of grandeur, as their disorder convinces them that unlimited power or fame or money or the "perfect" relationship will finally fill that void.
This false self is always seeking external validation, blaming outwardly when the void is inevitably not filled. Like a black hole, they will suck the energy out of you until you have nothing left to offer, then discard you and blame you because the void is still there. The narrative of "you" will always change depending on how they feel.
With time, you must come to understand that this cycle had nothing to do with you. You were neither the "perfect savior" from the idealization period, nor the "crazy" partner from the devaluation period. You were seen as a solution to their void, you were put on a pedestal, you failed to fill the void (no external factor can), so you were devalued and cast aside.
As you begin to understand the sheer magnitude of psychological damage required to cause such disordered thinking, you realize that no amount of your love (or anyone else's) can fill their void, because it is a void centered around a false self.
Imagine a dog who wants to be a cat, running around and trying to get everyone to tell him he's a cat. When they tell him he's a cat, he feels validated as a cat. He praises and rewards the people who call him a cat, grooming them to keep calling him a cat. But no matter how many people tell him he's a cat, he still looks in the mirror and sees a dog. He hates the dog. He cannot love the dog. He wants to be a cat. He blames everyone else for failing to convince him he's a cat, and finds another 100 people to tell him he's a cat.
Do you see that no amount of your love or validation or sympathy will fix this issue?
You also start to see that none of these things had anything to do with you or your worth, but rather the repeated cycle of someone unknowingly living out their own personal hell, over and over again. Part of this hell is that it literally locks them into this false reality, convincing them they are superior, and dismissing or ridiculing actual emotions.
In the process, they leave voids in others, feelings of deep worthlessness, rejection, shame and inadequacy. All of this might be locked away as numbness for a while (PTSD).
You can break this cycle by meeting your own internal pain with self-love and a heartfelt understanding that this experience truly was not your fault. Whatever happened to them to cause this disorder was likely not their fault either, but now you see that your love cannot possibly break that psychological barrier. Your first priority is to turn your focus inward, allowing yourself to feel the emotions you were told to be wrong.
Many survivors doubt themselves, repeatedly seeking external validation at the beginning of the healing process. This is completely normal. But ultimately we must build the tools necessary to carry this pain and nurture ourselves back to health. Therapy can help us to develop these techniques, but we are the only ones who can dedicate ourselves to daily practice and free our hearts from the false prison passed on to us.
We cannot search outwardly for peace, any more than the dog who wants to be a cat.
Why Sociopaths Idealize and Devalue People
Like a black hole, they will suck the energy out of you until you have nothing left to offer, then discard you and blame you because the void is still there.
Article Author: Peace