Narcissists spend their whole life constructing a fake life and a fake persona. In their inner imagined life, they are kings. That’s how they want to be viewed by others. This fake persona is supported by a lot of narcissistic supply. That’s what keeps them functioning. The supply is their fuel that keeps them going. And they guard it with their life. This façade is used to bridge the gap between reality and imagination. In their reality they might be very normal and boring human beings, but in their imagination they are special snowflakes that deserve all the respect and special treatment in the world. And the supply is the proof of this specialness. After some time they completely believe in their own lies. They have to because deep down, the narcissist is filled with so many doubts and self-hatred.
However, the façade and the big ego are so fragile. And when they begin to crack and fall down, the narcissist regresses into a child that has lost his favorite toy. They completely freak out and they usually have a nervous breakdown that’s so hard to recover from. Their true persona is uncovered. Their ugly inner feelings of shame and self-doubt keep them awake at night. They were so high on life, so, imagine the fall.
What are the signs of a collapsed narcissist?
The Big Breakdown
A narcissist might suffer a psychotic break where they temporarily lose touch with reality. They will become very paranoid of everyone and everything around them. They feel prosecuted and wronged by the society as a whole. How come everything is not going their way right now?! It must be a conspiracy against them. They think that’s why the narcissistic supply is low right now. They don’t think they changed but the whole world has in a sick, twisted play against them. Everyone has turned against them: their spouses, their kids and people at work. This mental breakdown will leave them disoriented and feeling confused. They will call sick at work because they can’t take it anymore. Why bother. Their track record will suffer and they will feel worse. Their reputation can be destroyed if people think something is up so they try to stay isolated and away from the gossip.
Cue the Deep Depression
As the narcissist starts to lose everything that they wanted, they start to face the grim reality. They are now without fancy materialistic things. Friends have left them. Spouses took flight.
All of this leads them to fall into deep depression. They are now in a dysphoric mood where nothing can cheer them up. They can’t enjoy life anymore. Their energy is way down and their movements are slow like they are moving through molasses.
Collapsed narcissists begin to withdraw into a life of fantasy where the narcissistic supply is never dry. They are deeply ashamed of whom they have become. They would try to isolate themselves from everyone else in an attempt to save face. They are embarrassed without their supply and façade. They feel naked now.
The collapsed narcissist might resort to self-harm like cutting and mutilating. They are trying to replace emotional pain with physical one. They want to distract themselves from inner turmoil.
They may also show excessive real or imagined fear of abandonment especially if they are Borderline too which is another Cluster B disorder. They may want you to prove your loyalty to them. They will try to test you by being argumentative and obnoxious to see if you would stay with them or leave. If you decide you are done they would say “See! That’s what I though!” They would drive you away with their craziness. They have a lot of emotional baggage now. They are high maintenance and they want you to fix them. Remember it’s not your job to help them stand on their feet again. If they are suicidal, they should seek professional help. Don’t let them guilt-trip you.
Collapsed Narcissists Are Dangerous
They have nothing to lose. They have lost what they want the most: their supply and self-worth.
They now dwell in shame and agony. How could they lose everything they think they deserve? They become intensely jealous and envious. They want what they don’t have now. This can lead to resentment when dealing with the envied people. They think they deserve what they have more.
Narcissists will rage and destroy others in an attempt to feel better about themselves.
Lack of empathy coupled with having nothing to lose can be a very bad combination.
Failed narcissists are also paranoid and delusional. They will read too much into any situation. They will accuse you of cheating. They will tell you that you have turned your back against them, just like everyone else. They can’t trust anyone now. They become deranged and unhinged monsters. They are worse than before, if that’s possible.
The narcissist might show up drunk at your door at 3 AM wanting to fight. They will cause a big scene but they don’t care about their reputation now. All the grace is gone. They don’t care anymore which makes them dangerous. You have to set boundaries and cut contact if you can. Nothing good can come out of the relationship with them anymore.
Hoovering – Don’t Take Them Back In
As people around the narcissist begin to walk away, the narcissist finds himself very lonely. They will try to fix past relationships especially romantic ones that give them the supply of adoration and attention they need most.
Never feel sorry for the fallen narcissist. They will try to gain your sympathy. They will tell you how horrible they feel without you. How their life is worthless when you are not around. These are not lies! They are really broken and they need a Band-Aid i.e. you. Or anyone to stroke their ego back into recovery. They are like a sick child that needs his mother to nurture him into health. But you have to remember that they are like a vicious animal that will bite the helping hand at any chance.
When narcissists lose their supply, they are like a drug addict not having access to their favorite drug. They begin the detox process abruptly. They can’t handle it alone so they want people around them. You might be tempted to be a hero and save them from their misery. But you have to know that they will not change after the collapse. When they recover, they will go back to their manipulative and toxic ways.
The collapsed narcissist is someone who lost his beloved narcissistic supply and they were exposed as vain, empty and just “normal”. He is not the special person he thought he was. This leads to a mental breakdown followed by a deep depressed state where the narcissist lives in a self-imposed emotional prison to try to save face after he has fallen from grace.
This person is now considered dangerous as they have nothing to lose. He may become paranoid and briefly psychotic. He will be depressed and irritable. He might try to fix failed relationships through hoovering but to no avail because they are now exposed and people can see them for who they truly are: blood-sucking vampires and addicts of adoration , attention and narcissistic suply.