Vissisitudes of Living with Narcissistic Rage

Rage.

Rage. (Photo credit: Neil. Moralee)

You have felt the ever sharp knifing through your body innumerable times if you are married to a narcissist, the son or daughter of a narcissist or sibling of a narcissist.  Narcissistic rage is always on a boil within this person. It explodes at full force without provocation. He/she is filled with charm, magnetism, grace, conversation that moves so skillfully—yet when you are alone, in private the dynamic changes 180 degrees.

Now he is rampaging through the house–yelling, screeching, howling like a person gone mad.If you are the child of a narcissist you remember too vividly how close your narcissistic mother got to your face, her eyes gone wild, her mouth fully open, your nervous system quaking–you telling yourself: “This time she is going to kill me.!” Being on the receiving end of a narcissist’s primal rage feels like imminent death. But you don’t die and wish you had because the primitive sound does not stop. It feeds on itself. You run and the narcissist pursues you in the house. You can’t get away. It’s like a recurring dream that haunts you every night.

Finally, this round is over for now but you know that it will return. The monstrous tone, the menacing look in the eyes, the body that feels like it will strike and flatten you will come again. That you know—but not when and there is the terror. There is a dreadful unpredictability about these seizures of rage. As a result you are awaiting annihilation.  Your nervous system is on vigil, in fight or flight mode at all times, even when you are asleep. There is no inner safety, no secure place in your mind and body where you can go when this human Vesuvius erupts.

As an adult who is healing from the narcissistic parent, spouse or sibling remember that you are entitled to change the way you feel inside. You did nothing wrong. You were victimized by a highly pathological human being. None of this is your fault. You could not have nor can you now change this person.Tell yourself each day that you are entitled to lead a life that offers you peace, security, a feeling of steadiness inside. The body/mind is prepared to heal. Be receptive to this process. You may find that excellent psychotherapy, gentle hatha yoga, forms of meditations, healing relationships, using your creative gifts, music, Nature and all of the ways that you intuit will make you whole. Gather your faith and hold it close. Do the work of healing every day. You deserve this inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Don’t Wait for A Narcissist to Get Sick and Die

There are many individuals who lead their lives in indefinite holding patterns in their relationships with narcissists–spouses, mothers, fathers. They suspend their days waiting for the narcissist who has caused them extreme emotional and psychological harm and horrible suffering, thinking that there will be some justice–in effect, waiting for them to fail, to hit a bottom, even to die. This is not going to happen in almost every case.

I have heard from adult children of narcissists who insist on maintaining deeply painful relationships with a narcissistic mother or father because they fear being cut out of the will or estate. They pray that the clock will run out on this parent who has caused them emotional distress and intolerable pain since early childhood. Don’t play the waiting game.

The bell often doesn’t toll for narcissists in terms of whether they become very sick and die. I have seen too many instances in which it is those around them–their children, siblings and spouses who fall ill and become very sick. In many cases it is the extreme stress that they have borne for too many years that has finally broken them. I have heard too many of these life stories and they are very painful.

Narcissists, if you give them the opportunity and they are hell-bent on it, will make you sick–literally. They use people to the max, including  their spouses, children and siblings. If you are married to a narcissist and become ill, they will replace you with someone else. You can take that one to the bank.

Narcissists move adroitly to their goals–never stopping to help anyone but themselves. They may strategically donate money to the right entities or become phony “do gooders” but this is all part of re-enhancing their image of themselves as the “great compassionate man or woman.”

Living with a narcissist over a period of time can make you ill. I have heard and read too many stories of people who have been down this treacherous road. Some have regained their health. Others have pulled themselves back from the brink.

I see narcissists all around me who are thriving physically. I see other individuals who are struggling on every level to maintain their health and well-being. Does that mean that narcissists do not become ill or that they do not fall upon bad times? Of course not.

You life must come first now. You have been through the narcissistic wars of childhood if you had these impossible parents and if you doubled down and married a narcissist, it is time to change this life pattern which is deleterious to you.

This is your time. Make the most of it. You have innumerable creative gifts and talents and dreams that you have left on hold. You can revive yourself and rediscover and renew your real self. Put the narcissist and the aftermath of these relationships out of your life. There is good news from so many individuals who have renewed their physical, creative and psychological energies and re-started their lives. You are entitled and deserving!

Gall and Hubris–Ugly Core of Narcissistic Personality

Gall and hubris have a lot in common. They are despicable human traits found within the narcissistic personality, especially the classic grandiose narcissist.

Gall is defined as a “brazen boldness.” Hubris, which sounds much like its meaning, is an “unacceptable arrogance” accompanied by behavior that is hurtful and insulting  to others. Narcissists think nothing of these traits since this is an intrinsic part of them. These attributes combined with a lack of conscience or empathy describe a human being who moves through his/her life doing whatever they want by manipulations, deceptions, chronic lying, endless humiliation, psychological sabotage, exploitation and the infliction of terror and fear.

There are many adult children who grow up with narcissistic mothers, fathers or siblings who live in the war zone created by the narcissist–the Queen/King of Gall and Hubris. This world is filled with hidden dangerous mines and booby-traps that can be set off any moment. When you grow up with a narcissist you live in fight or flight mode, always wondering and dreading when the next horrid shoe is going to drop. Tiptoeing through life on a tightrope with no net is a waking nightmare. Those who are married to narcissists are also members of this circle of pain.

The gall and hubris of the narcissist has a relentless quality. These individuals will not stop hurting those whom they perceive as standing in their way.

Today we are experiencing an epidemic growth of the narcissistic personality in every venue of life. Look far and wide–in the culture, corporate climate, social milieu–we are surrounded by narcissists. Learn how to recognize them quickly. If you can get them out of your life, do it. If not, study this personality in detail so that you understand their tactics, uncover their many masks and know their dirty tricks and games. You can become very savvy about them.

Those who grew up with narcissistic mothers, fathers, siblings or are married to narcissists deserve to begin the process of healing from them. This is a different pathway you are taking in your life. Once you have made the decision and know that you will no longer be a part of their psychopathology your healing has begun. They will try to draw you back in with many enticements.

Put your healing and self care first. You will bring individuals into your life who will help you with this process. It is complex and can involve high quality psychotherapy (Make sure the therapist you have chosen is not a narcissist.) Develop a regular healing practice through gentle hatha yoga, guided meditation, exercise that works for you, using your creativity and all activities that lead you into the parasympathetic nervous system—the zone of rest, solace, security and repose—where you belong.

I know you can go the distance on this new path of healing and a gathering peace.

 

Narcissistic Matriarchs Control Family Members with Iron Fist

A matriarch is “a mother who is head and ruler of her family and descendants.” When you have a narcissistic matriarch in charge, everyone is going to suffer psychologically and emotionally, except those who are chosen as “Golden” and often become narcissistic personalities. Generations of narcissistic matriarchs run through some families.

I hear personal stories of those who have had to survive under the absolute control, manipulation, deceit and chronic criticisms of their narcissistic mothers. After years of horrendous pain they have finally discovered that growing up they were molded by a very pathological mother/matriarch who expected perfection from them. Not once in their lives were they hugged, given positive attention, recognized as valued individuals, given compliments, etc. Their lives were pure hell all the time. Other family members bent under the iron fist of “Mother, the Most Feared.”

Those who have awakened recognize their narcissistic mother’s true nature-her dark cruelty, her capacity to inflict lingering terror in the nervous system. As children they went to other family members for help and were scorned and turned away since aunts, uncles, siblings, etc. didn’t believe them. In fact, children who exposed the truth were savagely punished.

Now as adults many children of narcissistic matriarchs are breaking the bonds of the iron hold of this reign of terror. I hear from those who are in the process of self healing. They have started putting themselves first, to insist that they be treated with respect, that they are entitled to feel calm, to use their many creative gifts and to spread the word that you can be free of your narcissistic matriarch and lead the life that you deserve.

Linda Martine-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Rage-Grief-Healing

Daughters of narcissistic mothers have a particularly difficult life road to travel. From childhood they have had to contend with mothers who were cold, distracted, self-absorbed, coercive, dismissive, manipulative, highly critical and psychologically destructive. Many daughters of narcissistic mothers remain in denial about their mother’s true nature. They blame themselves for manufactured short comings and flaws that were the product of the projections of a delusional narcissistic mother. These mothers live for themselves. They come in as many shapes and sizes and styles as there are plants on the planet. But when we look at the essential realities of their natures they are the same. Narcissistic mothers have a severe personality disorder that is not going to change. Their children are at their mercy and whim. Their daughters are a continuing source of narcissistic supply. If they are intelligent, have special talents, athletic abilities, are attractive—the narcissistic mother uses these qualities of her child to pump up her ego and grandiose image. The child doesn’t matter to her—only the perfect performance that will impress those in her circle of social or professional influence. Narcissistic mothers test two daughters to see which one will be the standout. One will be favored over the other and this will become painfully obvious to the daughter who is not chosen. Often the narcissistic mother and the budding narcissistic daughter form a dark alliance designed to psychologically immobilize and even decimate the rejected child.

Adult daughters of narcissistic mothers have to contend with the multiple cruelties perpetrated by these mothers from hell. Rage is often the first reaction of the wounded daughter. She hates her mother. She is furious about this woman who was mother in name only and tried to destroy the life of her own child. Beneath the rage is a gnawing grief—a pervasive feeling of loss over what the daughter never had–a loving protective mother who accepted and nurtured her child as a separate individual with no strings attached.

Some daughters of narcissistic mothers find that working with a highly skilled psychotherapist helpful in working through the narcissistic mother rage and grief. Those inclined to go in this direction must make sure that they choose a therapist very wisely.There are excellent ones but it takes research and the full use of your intuition and powers of observation to pick the right therapist for you.

The next step is healing and wholeness. We are designed to be whole, complete, separate, thriving individuals. When you have worked through the rage and grieving, you discover that the deep authentic parts of you are there ready to be activated. This is a complex process. Some daughters of narcissistic mothers move in a spiritual direction (in the personal way that you define this). They develop a consistent meditation practice that works for them. Many practice gentle forms of yoga that put emphasis on the breath and calm the nervous system. Many do daily journaling and keep track of their dreams. Dreams are gifts of the unconscious that are given to us every night. Become familiar with this part of yourself—It is found gold.

The daughter of a narcissistic mother is very special—–She is a survivor, a beautiful human being who has survived the psychological gulags of childhood to emerge as a vibrant, loving, creative individual.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Parents–The Baby Who Could Not Stop Crying

A few weeks ago I was having dinner in a nearby restaurant. The environment was comfortable, well appointed and service oriented. I had been looking forward to this evening because I knew about their high quality food and Italian ambiance.  There was a large table of people a short distance away. It appeared to be an extended family situation. I heard a cry coming from a baby (less than two years of age)  sitting next to a man whom I believe was his father. The cry grew louder and I noticed that not one member of this group was paying any attention to this child. It was as if they were unable to hear his rising hysteria. There was no move or gesture toward this little fellow. He threw back his face and neck and screamed loudly for some time before his father turned without any emotion on his face and began to quickly scoop food into this child’s mouth. During this time none of the members of this group made a move or looked the baby’s way.

The crying grew louder and louder. The man whom I believe was the father turned away from the child and ignored him for at least five minutes. I was alarmed and wondered what the hell was going on. I thought about telling one of the waiters about what was in plain sight. I wanted to rush over a number of times and pick up the baby and soothe him and never give him back. The other restaurant guests appeared to be ignoring this horrible painful emotional meltdown. The cry became primal, like an animal that is pleading for its life and losing the battle. Finally after at least fifteen minutes the father or father surrogate picked up the baby. This procedure was done stiffly, without any emotional attachment or concern. It appeared that the dad realized that a scene was occurring and wanted to avoid a further public display. The baby stopped crying briefly. Soon dad put baby down and the screaming resumed–head and neck back with full throttled crying—endless waves of severe distress. The dinner guests at the table finished their meal and left with the crying baby. I do not know what happened to the baby after the party left the restaurant. I would not be surprised if they let him scream indefinitely until he got on their nerves so much that they put him in a room far away and let him cry himself to stupor and finally sleep. This scene is indelible in my mind. It was so real yet completely ignored as if it had never happened.

I am thinking about the cries of children of a narcissistic mother or father or both that are responded to with a slap,  a sneer, a snarl, a threat or a removal to a room where the child cannot be heard and therefore will not disturb or disrupt their needs. No thought is given by narcissistic parents to the emotional and psychological needs of their children. Children of these parents exist only as narcissistic supplies for them. They are not loved or valued for themselves. If they are chosen by the narcissistic parent it is because they are attractive, bright, talented, etc. and can be molded as their perfect mirrors. Some children of narcissistic parents are completely ignored and abandoned. They must fend for themselves to survive. 

“A narcissistic parent is incapable of empathy, the ability to understand or care about how someone else is feeling. The focus of the narcissist is selfish and insular. A life dedicated exclusively to self cannot encompass a genuine love of one’s children.”(From Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life)

 I hear from children of narcissistic parents through my blog and book. Their psychological pain and the abuse and deprivations they have endured are immense and often overwhelming. So many of them are healing from this painful legacy. They have great courage and are committed to a healing themselves and do this hard work each day. They are finding their true selves through many healing modalities. Excellent psychotherapy helps them to work through the pain of the past, release it and redefine themselves. The practice of some form of quieting the mind or meditation puts the individual into the calming part of the nervous system where all healing takes place. Others discover their unique creative talents in a form that works for them. They have courageously pushed the reset button on their lives.

 

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Love and Appreciate Yourselves

If you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother, you had a non-mother. This woman was not capable psychologically or emotionally of being a “good enough” mother as D.W. Winnicott, the great psychoanalyst said so many years ago. This is the mother that we all yearn for. She doesn’t have to be perfect but good enough.

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Let Go of the Hurt the Narcissist Has Caused You

Narcissists are very cruel beings. I am discovering endless varieties of their horrid treacheries all the time. It is incredible that they continue to wreck havoc in the lives that they touch and in some cases, destroy. Their projections are meant to be mortal, kicking the air out of your spirit, making you doubt yourself or psychologically throwing you into deep humiliation.

Narcissists are masters of total control over others at all times. Whether they are in the preliminary stages and intoxicating you with their magnetism or intimidating you with their veiled threats or disposing of you when you are at your lowest ebb, the narcissistic personality is a highly predictable human. You are his/her possession. He will manipulate and mold you into the perfect replica of a living narcissistic supply who will be a perpetual source of adulation, praise, even worship.

Narcissists hurt us deeply when we are unable to identify them and psychologically fuse with them. Some of those who become involved with narcissists continue to return for more punishment, thinking that they can change these individuals or believing that they are the ones to blame for the relationship not working. Over and over again their victims blame themselves and return–each time becoming more distressed and feeling lost, confused and depleted.

Once you know that you are dealing with a narcissist—spouse, mother, father, sibling, etc., do your research and learn everything you can about this personality disorder that is growing exponentially within our population.

Be kind to yourself about your self blame, your returning for more pain, your thinking that there is something the matter with you. Let go of any guilt that you are carrying. You will find your burden lifting.

Begin to take good care of yourself: physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. Sleep, rest, enjoy your own company and that of friends who are empathic and understanding and who know how to listen and to give and receive.

Think about your many gifts–those that you know about and others that have remained in the background while the narcissist took center stage and stood in your light.

Feel your individual power—your healthy narcissism—a deep respect for yourself. Be grateful for the life that you have and the one that is ahead of you. Cry when you need to–without shame or holding back. Sing when you feel the tunes coming through you–write freely without editing—go inside the music that you love and sing tunes that you create on the spot. Do this and so much more–Use your imagination–let it fly!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissists Psychologically Feed Off of Your Life–Protect Yourself!

Narcissists are parasitic. Using this word makes be feel nauseated but it aptly describes their process of feeding off of your life. When we live with a narcissist–mother, father, spouse, sibling or are involved with them, our psychological energy is continually sapped. Some victims of narcissists describe this process as trying to destroy and annihilate them, taking what is most precious inside away with their cruelties, chronic deceptions, hidden agendas, humiliations, threats and ambushes.

The narcissist steals your creative ideas and spins them into his own. He or she gains power over you psychologically by hitting you below the belt on the issues where you are  most vulnerable. This is especially destructive if you are a highly sensitive individual by nature. Although the narcissist has no true insight, he/she is exceedingly cunning and knows just how to make you feel hopeless and helpless. Narcissists are bottom feeders.
They play dirty and catch you by surprise, using the shock factor. They initiate contact that appears to be friendly and innocuous. This is the opposite of their intent. Their “communications” are designed to show their superiority over you, to make you feel like a failure who is seriously flawed. All the while they are innocent and pretend like they didn’t lay a hand on your psyche. That’s how dirty and nasty they play it. They spread lies about you to your family and friends, pointing out that you are unstable, that you have a defective character, selecting lies that will harm you the most. This is despicable behavior but narcissists can be very convincing to others who remain ignorant of their true natures.

Study and learn to identify the narcissistic personality. It is worth doing the research on this character disorder. The woods are crawling with them. Once you have made the identification, spend as little time or no time with them if that is possible. If you have to interact, make it brief and do not engage them in a personal manner. I recommend that you try not to be alone with a narcissist since these are the occasions when they project forcefully on to you or other victims of their wrath.

Practice self care with guided meditation, getting the sleep that you need, doing practices like gentle hatha yoga, tai chi and activities that activate the calming part of the nervous system. Learn how to set boundaries with these individuals and stick to them. You can never please them so don’t make a fruitless effort. Remember, the narcissist is constantly projecting his unconscious rage on to others.Deep down he/she feels psychologically empty and worthless.

Get in touch with your creative gifts and learn to appreciate yourself as a unique individual who is capable of empathy, compassion, emotional intimacy and authenticity.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Stand for Yourself to Heal from the Narcissist in Your Life

Whether it is your narcissistic mother, narcissistic father, narcissistic spouse, narcissistic sister or narcissistic brother or an entire narcissistic family, you have been through Hell with this dreadful life experience. As a young child you endured too much and too little at the same time. There was no emotional and psychological nurturing, no one to wipe your tears so you learned not to cry or laugh or even feel. You internalized what was real  and alive inside of you so that you would not be punished and shamed and humiliated even more.

You are still licking your wounds and finding other crevices of open sore memory traces of emotional and psychological pain.

There are times now after your hard fought inner work on your psyche and soul when you perceive and appreciate what you survived. Be kind to that small child inside of you. Give him or her comfort and reassurance and validation. What an individual you are! Healing ourselves is a life process.

Practice self care–You deserve to sleep quietly at night, rest when you are weary, write without editing, freely using your unconscious without effort but ease, digest your dreams from the unconscious, meditate or pray, use your creative juices and let them flow with interruption, feel the cool air coming through your nostrils on the inhalation and the warmed air from you body at the exhalation–notice that you feel calmer.

You deserve to lead life in the full color spectrum of your psyche and soul. With Love to You.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.