Originally posted on Twitter by Leah McElrath: (@leahmcelrath

Trump's statement is an eerie replica of psychological manipulations made by abusers after episodes of abuse. Let's
break it down.
There are three stages in a relationship with a narcissist:
1. Seduction (or Idealization)
2. Devaluation
3. Discard
Donald Trump has entered the Discard phase of his relationship with the GOP. During the Discard phase, the
Narcissist attempts to destroy/annihilate the other entity within the relationship.
Narcissists are not satisfied with simply leaving a relationship. They are compelled to destroy everything in their path
on the way out. We are seeing this played out at a meta level with Trump and the GOP now. Following in the typical
Narcissist Handbook pattern, Trump is now engaging in a campaign of slander and attack against his "ex": the GOP.
Additionally, we can anticipate Trump will eventually target individual Republicans by name. Trump will select who he
targets individually within the GOP based on three factors:
1. Did the person slight Trump publicly or did he *perceive* them to have done so? (Many fit this description.)
2. Did or does Trump ENVY that person for some reason? For ex: do they have a position or attributes he wished he
had? (Fewer meet this. This can include the obvious like wealth or true alpha male status but also ephemeral things
like integrity or empathy, which he lacks. This ENVY is a CORE aspect of his character pathology and why diverse
people like President Obama, Mark Cuban, Senator Warren & Khizr Khan get under his skin.)
3. Was Trump close (or did he *perceive* himself to be close) to the person he now perceives to have abandoned him?
(Greater closeness = greater rage in response to perceived narcissistic injuries or perceived/actual abandonment.) For
the individual GOPers who meet any/all of the above criteria, Trump will likely engage in a campaign of public and
private slander.
What will the slander look like? We've seen hints of it in the campaign already: he will project his weaknesses onto
others. Directly. (MANY people use projection as a psychological defense under stress, but you rarely see projections
as pure & unfiltered as you do with Narcs.) If he continues to follow Narcissist Handbook, Trump is likely to cast
aspersions on the mental health of his targets and call them "crazy." (I want to be clear here: there is NO actual
"Narcissist Handbook." Their behaviors are, however, amazingly similar & often predictable.
In addition to engaging in campaigns of slander, Trump will likely continue gaslighting as part of his efforts to destroy
his targets. "Gaslighting" is a form of psychological torture in which a perpetrator overtly denies the reality of their
victim. We have seen A LOT of gaslighting in this campaign. Picture Pence shaking his head and verbal denial when
Kaine *quoted* Trump's own words. The GOP as a whole also has engaged and continues to engage in gaslighting of
the entire electorate. For example, by acting shocked by Trump's misogyny, the GOP is gaslighting American women
even now. The GOP has ALWAYS KNOWN (and not cared). Gaslighting works as torture because it makes targets
doubt themselves: their memory, their perception, their judgement, their very reality. Gaslighting is one of the most
damaging forms of abuse because it engages the victim as a self-tormenter on the perpetrator's behalf. Another
(usually early & lasting) effect of gaslighting is the creation of a sense of confusion/mental fog within the mind of the
If you follow a lot of journalists (or are one), how this manifested with Trump was the "nothing matters!"
exclamations by reporters early on.

Let me explain my use of the word "annihilation" in this thread. It's important. I'm not talking about merely damaging
or injuring. Malignant Narcissists often have well-developed personas that enable them to function in the world. A
persona is NOT the same as a personality. A persona is thinner. It's like a wrapper without the candy inside.
All people have many personas. Most healthy people have personas that, while circumstance based, are fairly wellintegrated. So, while we're one way at home with our partner, another with our children, another with colleagues,
we also have a core. We have slightly different, adaptable wrappers, but the candy inside (our core personality)
always remains the same. That's healthy.
With malignant Narcissists, on the other hand, it's all wrapper and no candy. There is virtually no core self. (I'm
coming back to annihilation and politics shortly, I promise. Stay with me. The tangents inform the whole.) The lack of
a core self is a helpful thing for a person like Trump: They can change personas at will, quickly and easily.
The lack of a core self also means the absence of core values. Again, this is functional for people like Trump: it makes
lying easy. (Most of us, when we lie, experience conflict at some level. Without core values, there is no conflict.
Hence profligate lying with ease.) However, there's a drawback to having ONLY personas & no core personality: one is
equipped with only the most primitive psychological defenses. The MOST primitive defense is something called
"annihilatory rage." Picture a newborn infant SCREAMING when its needs are not met. Annihilatory rage is "NO!" at
its most primal form. We ALL have it within us. But people like Trump have little else. Annihilatory rage is NOT anger.
It is the desire for "the other" to cease to exist or to *ever* have existed.
In healthy adults, such rage is felt only in response to real threats to survival. For ex: it might enable us to kill to
protect our child. In people like Trump, who have only the thinnest of wrappers containing such rage, it might be
triggered by... a bad hair transplant.
This is Trump's ex-wife Ivana under oath describing Donald attacking her while in such a rage. (TRIGGER WARNING)

The book, by former Texas Monthly and Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene.
After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then -wife,
who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.
“Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” Trump cried.
What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and
began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He
tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.
“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a
violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he
raped me.’”
Following the incident, Ivana ran upstairs, hid behind a locked door, and remained there “crying for the
rest of night.” When she returned to the master bedroom in the morning, he was there.
“As she looks in horror at the ripped-out hair scattered all over the bed, he glares at her and asks with
menacing casualness: ‘Does it hurt?’” Hurt writes.