The narcissist sees you as an object or as an extension of them. They only care about what you can give to them or how you make them feel. They do not see you as a separate human being with your own needs or emotions. They don't really care about what you need or how you feel. The narcissist sees you as a material thing that can be seen and touched. You are also a thing to which a specified action or feeling can be directed. Whether the narcissist is looking at you, touching you, or directing a specified action or feeling towards you. This all revolves around regulating their self esteem and their emotions. Whether it is positive or negative attention, it has nothing to do with you personally, because the narcissist does not see you as a person, they see you as an object. Like any household item, you are there for when they need you. As an object, you are expected to serve them.
The narcissist might give you what you need initially to take care of you and ensure that you are operating at peak performance. They don't think of it as developing an emotional connection or doing something beneficial or favorable to you. It's more like a man polishing his new car or putting fuel in the car. The narcissist sees you as a prized possession. You are meant to look good and you are meant to make them look good. So that people will admire and compliment you. At the beginning of the relationship, the narcissist will see you as an object, but also as a positive extension of them. In their minds, if people are admiring and complimenting you, they are admiring and complimenting them. They use you as a prize possession to extract supply from the people around them. You are providing them with what they need, so they are taking care of you, ensuring that you are operating at peak performance. They also recognize from past experiences that unlike a car, you could leave at any moment if they do not give you a certain standard of treatment. But they still see you as an object. As time goes by they may begin to neglect you or not provide you with the same treatment that they were giving you initially. Like with an object, they may get bored of you. This will affect your performance. You will no longer accomplish or fulfill a certain task or function. The narcissist will not assume responsibility for the drop in your performance. They will not recognize that their change in how they treated you or neglected you, could be the reason why you are no longer accomplishing or fulfilling a certain task or function. The narcissist will not assume responsibility because that would mean that they made a fault or mistake. Narcissists are shame based individuals doing everything they can to avoid reflecting on their shame, so they are not going to accept that they have made a fault or mistake. If they're not to blame, it must be you. You must be defective or not good enough. This is when they begin to devalue you and give you put downs or backhanded compliments.
The relationship is no longer performing as well as it did in the beginning. Although it may be due to the narcissist's change in how they treated you or because they neglected you, they are not going to acknowledge this. They are shame based individuals doing everything they can to avoid reflecting on their shame, so they are going to blame you. They are going to start devaluing and degrading you, telling you how you are not good enough for them or you can't do anything right. At this point deep down they actually believe that they are not good enough for you, but they are doing everything they can to avoid reflecting on their true beliefs about the situation. They are actually envious of you and the qualities, talents and traits that you possess. But they cannot acknowledge this because that would trigger them to reflect on their shame. Instead they will treat you with contempt and act as though you are worthless or beneath their consideration. They will still keep you around while devaluing and degrading you, because it is helping them to regulate their self esteem and their emotions. But if you start confronting them about how they are treating you, it will trigger them to reflect on their shame. They may also assume that you are going to leave them. At this point they will discard you, just throw you in the trash. Because unless they want to face the painful realization that they were at fault and reflect on their shame, they are going to have to get rid of you. So they will discard you as though you never meant anything to them. It doesn't matter how many years you were together, or if you were married or had children.
The narcissist saw you as an object, in their minds you exist to serve them. The object no longer no longer accomplish or fulfill a certain task or function, so it has no use to them. They will then look for a new object, if they don't already have one, which can accomplish or fulfill the same tasks or functions that you once did. When you are expressing your feelings to them, they might pretend as though care about what you have to say. But they really don't. Narcissists are self absorbed and lack empathy. They are imitating what they have seen someone else do or what they have seen on TV or in a movie, where there was a similar situation. They don't really care about what you are expressing to them. All they care about is what they can get out of you or how you can make them feel. But if creating an illusion of love or significance will make you stick around and give them more time to extract what they need from you, they will create an illusion of love or significance. This does not mean that they really love or care about you, although they will say that they do. When they say these things, it's because it helps to secure you as a source of supply. They also expect you to say the same thing to them in return, which makes them feel better about themselves. It's all about them and what they can get out of you, or how you can make them feel. They don't even acknowledge that you exist at a human level. When they try to fulfill your needs or give you compliments at the beginning of the relationship, this is all designed to either secure you a source of supply or they are seeking validation or compliments in return from you.
The narcissist recognizes your value, but they do not appreciate it. They see you as a valuable object, rather than a valuable human being. The more time you spend with the narcissist, the more this value will depreciate. The abuse and manipulation will also have an affect on you.
One day the narcissist will leave as though you never meant anything to them. Because there was no real emotional attachment. The narcissist cannot emotionally connect to you. They can only plan or coordinate the elements of a situation to produce the effects of an emotional connection. The narcissist does not see you as a human being. They see you as an object. This is how they can leave you as though you never existed or meant anything to them and find someone else to replace you. No matter how many years you have been together or if you were married or had children. They do not miss you as a person, because they see you as an object. They might miss what you provided for them or how you made them feel. But they will find someone else to provide for them and regulate their self esteem and their emotions. There are no real feelings involved, only the illusion or simulation of feelings. Sometimes it can seem real, but narcissists will lie to themselves and act as though they are in love. That's why it may seem like they love you one day and then the next day they're gone. Narcissists are shame based, they are not capable of experiencing emotional connections or love, they can't even have a genuine conversation. All they can do is feed off your energy and emotional reactions and take whatever it is you have to offer them. They are transactions where you are always giving more value to them than they are giving to you.
And that's why we end up feeling drained and lifeless at the end of these relationships. Because the narcissist is feeding off us, taking everything that we have to offer to sustain them. But nothing is ever enough, because they have a huge void within them that can never be filled. This is why they will constantly change jobs, locations, relationships. They're always seeking attention from people. Always wanting to be admired. They are trying to regulate their self esteem and their feelings of shame. Trying to fill the void within them. The irony is, it is these desperate behaviors which are preventing them from healing from narcissism.