Relationship Stages With A Narcissist Or Borderline And Triangulation

 January 22, 2017




In Karpman’s drama triangle there are three roles: the Victim, the Persecutor and the Rescuer. Two versions of the triangle exist; the narcissist’s version and the objective reality version. The narcissist sees her- or himself as the Victim, the person they’re abusing and exploiting (the old supply) as their Persecutor and their new supply (e.g., the mistress/manstress) as their Rescuer. In reality, the narcissist is the Persecutor, the new supply is their enabler/accomplice (unwittingly or wittingly) and the old supply is the Victim. At the beginning of your relationship with your narcissist, when you were the new supply/Rescuer, you probably aided and abetted your narcissist in hurting your predecessor. You were once the hero or angel, and now you’re the big old meanie who doesn’t appreciate your Narcissist anymore. The new supply is the answer to the narcissist’s problems just as you once were. Rinse, wash, repeat.

You may be cast again in the role of the Rescuer if you’re foolish and self-destructive enough to hang around and wait for your narcissist to become disappointed or bored with the current new supply. But remember, even if that happens, the narcissist will only become disappointed or bored with you again and around and around you go. Just step out of it.

What about the new supply/Rescuer? She or he is most likely another hapless codependent who sees your narcissist as a poor, downtrodden, unappreciated victim. Don’t envy the new supply. The narcissist will do to them what the narcissist did to you. Alternately, the new supply/Rescuer may also be another narcissist, borderline, histrionic or sociopath who saw your narcissist coming from light years away and then mutual love bombing commenced. If the new supply is another disordered predator or conniver, the two of them will eventually cannibalize one another, in which case maintain a safe distance and pop some popcorn. Or, you can heal, move on with your life and not look back. Okay, okay, enjoy a little schadenfreude then move on and don’t look back.


Originally appeared on SHRINK4MEN
Printed with permission.
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11 comments on “Relationship Stages With A Narcissist Or Borderline And Triangulation

  1. It’s troublesome to me that you lump borderline and npd in together here and essentially equate the two and the behaviors. This leads to further misunderstanding and stigma around bpd that is even more damaging to those suffering it. While bpd is a cluster b disorder, what drives it, the thought processes and triggers are totally opposite from those of a narc or sociopath and their motives are completely misrepresented here and in a lot of current literature about the topic. New studies approached from a more empathetic and understanding point of view would educate you that borderlines are not emotional con artists as you described, as narcs are. They don’t have shallow or no emotions like a narc. They don’t manipulate others for the purpose of getting what they want and then discarding them. They do feel remorse. In fact borderlines experience such deep, intense emotions they have trouble containing them, they’re desperate for love and affection they never received as children and act out in child like ways to achieve it without realizing it, they have severe fear of abandonment and so may never discard even the most toxic relationship let alone one that is providing them love and understanding. They are so remorseful that causing someone else pain can lead them into a spiral of self loathing and even self harm. Their outbursts and rages etc aren’t calculated as a means to an end, they are instant, uncontrollable reactions to triggers that cause them to think irrationally in those moments.
    Please don’t perpetuate the misunderstandings about bpd. One of the hardest things for someone with bpd is always being misunderstood, their intentions twisted, and vilified when all they wanted was love

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