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.

It’s Not Too Late to Leave Your Narcissistic Husband or Wife

I hear from many individuals who have been married to a narcissistic spouse for many years. They are suffering horribly. They feel like their lives are completely eclipsed by this very self involved, over entitled and highly demanding individual who is constantly projecting psychological venom on to them. They live in a state of emotional and psychological siege– never knowing from one moment to the next how ugly the narcissist will become–which big shoe will drop and when. This is a perilous way to lead one’s life. Victims of narcissistic spouses don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

Some spouses make excuses for being treated abusively. They have become accustomed to being victimized. They remember the “good times” to stay in the relationship which is never authentic when you are involved with a narcissistic personality.

There is good news from those who have made a decision to leave a marriage to a narcissistic spouse. The process is not easy but very worthwhile. How much is the psychological and emotional quality of your life worth? You are entitled to develop your creative gifts to their fullest, to experience inner peace, to express your feelings without being continually criticized and demeaned. You are a person of integrity and deserve to be treated this way.

Think carefully about the constricted life you are leading. Narcissists insist on followers and adorers not true marital partners. They are incapable of real love and emotional intimacy. They do not change.

Pay close attention to your intuition and let it guide you as you make this very important decision. Put yourself first. That is what I tell my clients. For some, it is the first time in their lives that they have done this. Consider the pathway of freedom and the beginning of a new life cycle that you deserve. Your personal healing is at hand and waiting for you to say “yes” to your new life.

 

Narcissistic Queen Bee Daughters Rule over Mother, Father, Siblings

It is difficult to imagine that a little girl can control an entire household. Those of you who have been tyrannized by a sibling of this kind understand all too well. From early childhood this daughter was allowed by her parents to kick, demand, scream, bribe, cajole and threaten her parents. If they didn’t cave in to her wishes all hell would break loose. The parents were terrified of “upsetting” their little darling and capitulated to her wishes. This relinquishing of their roles was pivotal in creating a narcissistic personality disorder. With a sense of no limits, “You can do nothing wrong attitude”, “we are afraid to impose respectful behavior on you”—she grew in size, outrageous demands and reprehensible behavior.

Queen Bee narcissists are physically abusive and emotionally cruel to their siblings. They perpetrate their treachery on the younger, weaker ones. When the parents are out of sight, they are free to shove, push, squeeze and hit their younger siblings. The secret threat to this terrified child is: “If you say one word to mom or dad—I will hit you even harder. Mom and dad believe me not you. Shut your mouth, don’t say a word–If you disobey me, you will be very sorry.” Some Queen Bees lock infant siblings in closets for hours when mom and dad are out. The wretched screams of sheer terror coming from the locked dark space doesn’t phase the QB. In fact she gets a certain pleasure and feeling of complete control from these heinous acts.

I have had communications with those who were trip-wired throughout their childhoods and adulthoods by these cruel, ruthless narcissistic queens of the household. These little girls who grow up to be psychological monsters have spent much of their time making the lives of their siblings a daily living hell.

I have known of Queen Bees who wouldn’t invite a sibling to her wedding because she was ashamed of his/her lack of education or how they looked. The Queen Bee always wins these battles. She still has the parents under her control and intimidation. In some cases one sibling will become her servant—a Queen Bee Wanna Be. She follows in her shadow, lapping up any compliments and commands she can collect.

Healing from the wrath and malevolent behaviors of the QB sibling can be done. It first requires the recognition that you were victimized by a very disturbed human being. You are not weak. Your sibling is a severe narcissistic personality disorder and in some cases, a sociopath. Your parents are weak and ineffective and allowed themselves to be taken over by one of their own children. They helped to create a monster who still walks the earth.

This is your time to detach and sever your relationship from the narcissistic Queen Bee. When you take this step, you are renewing your own life, valuing yourself as a unique individual and gaining a sense of respite and inner peace that you deserve. Do this for yourself. Do not be concerned what other family members think or say. This is your business not theirs. If mother and father are perplexed about your decision that is their issue. They never protected you from this dreadful person. Some adult children of Queen Bee sisters find that quality psychotherapy is helpful to them. Be sure you get an excellent therapist. It is worth taking the time and effort and research to do this. Learning how to calm you body and mind through yoga, tai chi and various forms of meditation get you in touch with that interior part of yourself that is at peace and feels secure.

Narcissistic Queen Bee Daughters Rule Over Mother, Father, Siblings

It is difficult to imagine that a little girl can control an entire household. Those of you who have been tyrannized by a sibling of this kind understand all too well. From early childhood this daughter was allowed by her parents to kick, demand, scream, bribe, cajole and threaten her parents. If they didn’t cave in to her wishes all hell would break loose. The parents were terrified of “upsetting” their little darling and capitulated to her wishes. This relinquishing of their roles was pivotal in creating a narcissistic personality disorder.With a sense of no limits, “You can do nothing wrong attitude”, “we are afraid to impose respectful behavior on you”—she grew in size, outrageous demands and reprehensible behavior.

Queen Bee narcissists are physically abusive and emotionally cruel to their siblings. They perpetrate their treachery on the younger, weaker ones. When the parents are out of sight, they are free to shove, push, squeeze and hit their younger siblings. The secret threat to this terrified child is: “If you say one word to mom or dad—I will hit you even harder. Mom and dad believe me not you. Shut your mouth, don’t say a word–If you disobey me, you will be very sorry.” Some Queen Bees lock infant siblings in closets for hours when mom and dad are out. The wretched screams of sheer terror coming from the locked dark space doesn’t phase the QB. In fact she gets a certain pleasure and feeling of complete control from these heinous acts.

I have had communications with those who were trip-wired throughout their childhoods and adulthoods by these cruel, ruthless narcissistic queens of the household. These little girls who grow up to be psychological monsters have spent much of their time making the lives of their siblings a daily living hell.

I have known of Queen Bees who wouldn’t invite a sibling to her wedding because she was ashamed of his/her lack of education or how they looked. The Queen Bee always wins these battles. She still has the parents under her control and intimidation. In some cases one sibling will become her servant—a Queen Bee Wanna Be. She follows in her shadow, lapping up any compliments and commands she can collect.

Healing from the wrath and malevolent behaviors of the QB sibling can be done. It first requires the recognition that you were victimized by a very disturbed human being. You are not weak. Your sibling is a severe narcissistic personality disorder and in some cases, a sociopath. Your parents are weak and ineffective and allowed themselves to be taken over by one of their own children. They helped to create a monster who still walks the earth.

This is your time to detach and sever your relationship from the narcissistic Queen Bee. When you take this step, you are renewing your own life, valuing yourself as a unique individual and gaining a sense of respite and inner peace that you deserve. Do this for yourself. Do not be concerned what other family members think or say. This is your business not theirs. If mother and father are perplexed about your decision that is their issue. They never protected you from this dreadful person. Some adult children of Queen Bee sisters find that quality psychotherapy is helpful to them. Be sure you get an excellent therapist. It is worth taking the time and effort and research to do this. Learning how to calm you body and mind through yoga, tai chi and various forms of meditation get you in touch with that interior part of yourself that is at peace and feels secure.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissistic Women–Bridezillas at the Wedding–Monsters in the Marriage

The numbers of narcissistic women are growing rapidly today in this current society of   extreme self entitlement, emotional and psychological shallowness and over the top materialism. (There are innumerable successful, bright, compassionate, talented women who are not narcissists.)

You know these women. Remember the drama that lead up to the wedding day from hell. Your acquaintance or friend or relative who was already a blooming narcissist showed her stripes as she morphed into the ultimate Bridezilla. She made constant demands, often screaming at the wedding support crew of people who were helping her.This narcissist got the bit in her mouth and wouldn’t let go. She changed intricate planning at the last minute, throwing everything off. She displayed temper tantrums that would make a two year old blush and run the other way. She shifted her mood every five minutes. She never apologized for her cruel words to her family and friends who were helping her. Everywhere she went Bridezilla caused emotional disturbance to anyone in her presence.

Those who attended this “wedding” were so relieved to exit, they felt like they had entered an enchanted world outside of the Bridezilla’s kingdom.

Narcissistic women don’t change after the wedding. In fact they can become even more demanding, hyper-critical and cruel.

After the psychological and emotional honeymoon period which can be very brief, they start picking away at their spouse for not being perfect like they are. If you are the husband of one of these women you know how frustrating and hurtful it can be on the receiving end of narcissistic rage and projections. You are blamed for everything that “goes wrong” from her perspective. You can do and say exactly what she wants and a narcissist will find a way to make you wrong. Some narcissists are highly dramatic and make ugly scenes even in public, screaming at you, calling you nasty names, humiliating you in front of friends, demeaning you continually. It is shocking to marry some whom you thought you knew. You keep telling yourself that this is a nightmare and you are going to wake up. But the hard knuckle tactics continue. Narcissists are highly controlling and manipulative. While she can do whatever she wants, you are put on a very short leash. Some narcissistic spouses are jealous, even paranoid about their mates. They don’t want anyone to talk with or spend any time with friends, even family members. You are the narcissistic spouse’s possession.

Meanwhile, she is free to do whatever she wants, whenever and is never accountable for her actions. You are part of her perfect image and she insists that you play this role perfectly. You have been chosen for this purpose alone. In some instances the female narcissist chooses a spouse who has large financial assets that she can use to enhance her status in the world, her lifestyle and social status. These spouses are living narcissistic supplies.

There comes a time of reckoning when the psychologically battered spouse can no longer tolerate living under constant siege and fight or flight mode. Their stress is at the max and they feel like their lives have been taken away from them.

You can free yourself of this non-marriage through divorce. This is a challenge and difficult since these individuals are very uncooperative and never want to share or be fair about splitting properties, assets or money.

I hear from those who have been through this process and they report that, indeed, it was hard but worth their efforts. Now they are free to be themselves, to use their creative gifts, to rediscover that their lives belong to them, not a narcissist.

 

 

Narcissistic Parents Sabotage Their Children

By definition sabotage is a “treacherous series of actions. “  Treachery when perpetrated upon a family member means destruction and annihilation. It is beyond ruthlessness.

Growing up in a narcissistic family is like being in the middle of a deadly fire fight twenty four hours a day. The child who survives these skirmishes and all out wars is truly remarkable. I hear and read life stories of those who found survival techniques. Many of them hid in their own hoes, spent time with friends to keep out of the war zone, slipped their minds away into books, video games, drawing, writing, other creative activities. Some children were fortunate to have a grand parent who would give them times of respite.

Some children who have this experience are in a constant state of anxiety–fight or flight syndrome.The narcissist–mother or father or both rule the household. Screams and demands–slaps and threats can be heard and experienced frequently in these homes. The narcissist lives for himself (herself) alone. Narcissists don’t love their children. They use them to prop up their egos if they perceive that a particular child can add to their perfect image. In this case the child is indulged. The rest of the kids are cast aside and neglected or treated abysmally. Some of these children find ingenious ways to save their sacred flame, to camouflage their creative gifts but continue to use them and to keep the inner fire of a sense of self burning brightly. I have known individuals who have been able to accomplish this despite all of the narcissistic pathology of their mother or father or both parents.

Adult children heal through a combination of pathways that they discover work best for them as individuals. There is no one way, given the trauma ridden childhoods that they sustain. Psychotherapy with highly empathic trained psychotherapists is one aspect of this healing for some. Bring the body/mind into balance is essential to this process. This takes many forms including the practice of gentle yoga, meditation, support groups, the re-awakening of your creativity, finding relationships of trust and respect, learning to put yourself first and to practice self love and self care. Learning how to received the affection that others have for you is all part of this healing phase. Healing is a lifetime process, an evolution of the self that takes as many forms as there are individuals.

You Can’t Fix A Narcissistic Mother

If you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother, you have worn yourself out, trying to make her different. She suffers from a severe, fixed personality disorder that does not change. Her lies, the terror that she inflicts, her psychological and emotional blows upon you are unconscious projections of her self hatred. This is not about you; it’s about her psychopathology.

Stop blaming yourself, if that’s what you have been doing since you were a child. Free yourself of guilt. If a brother or sister of yours has been treated since birth as a prince or princess, that’s because mother chose them to mirror her belief that she she is perfect. She aspired to create a clone of herself. Having a chosen brother or sister in the family makes life more painful. You were always compared with the perfect one and of course came up short. None of this is true but how could you have known when you were a smallchild. Now you know that this sibling is a full fledged narcissistic personality—another person you want to avoid and who has a complete lack of empathy.

We can heal and change our attitudes toward ourselves. We must develop self mercy and look at the small child inside of us who has suffered so much and soothe and give love to this little one. Great healing takes place by going into the calming mode in the nervous system. This is done in a variety of ways. Gentle yoga with emphasis on breathing through the nostrils brings a feeling of deep relaxation into the body/mind. Cardiovascular exercise (what works for you) removes obsessive thinking and brings us to a state of peace. Some people benefit from working with an excellent acupuncturist who facilitates your dropping down into the most restful state. Listening to calming music, sketching, journaling are all ways to switch us back to where you belong–in  a state of rest and peace.

Cruel Narcissistic Sister Rules Household

Narcissistic siblings do not change. As little children they already
have become self entitled to the hilt. I remember visiting one of these
dysfunctional families. It was startling. Soon after I arrived the
parents’ four year old was hitting her little brother. The parents said nothing to her. They “woke up” for a moment and in a frail voice the mother said: “Dear, that’s not
very nice.” That’s it.

I remember that this pint sized tyrant demanded every one’s attention. She kept interrupting the adult conversation to talk about herself incessantly. The mother listened to her daughter intently. I could sense that this was very common in this household. This child was running the show.

I got reports from other relatives and friends of the family that (let’s call  her  Allison)  had gotten worse. Her brother was the constant target of physical and emotional abuse. The parents still did not intervene. It was as if they were afraid of the tyrant in their midst. Her demands and cruelties continued and became more serious. The
little brother often hid in his room to avoid Allison the Hun. I returned to this home a number of times and found Allison to be a growing tyrant.

Many years later I was invited to Allison’s wedding. She was a Bridezilla on steroids. Her maids of honor were criticized and psychologically beaten down and told exactly what they could do and not do. They were intimidated by the bride.This full grown narcissist was now running the entire family.

Her brother was still traumatized from the years of abuse by her and obliviousness by the parents. He fortunately moved away, married and had very little contact with his abusive narcissistic sister.

If you have a narcissistic sibling, these life stories are no mystery to you. The question is: How much more are you going to take? Narcissists don’t change. They  grow older and crueler. Learn to give priority to your own life, to your talents, your dreams, your personal relationships, your creativity.

Narcissistic Abusers–Their Human Beasts of Burden

A beast of burden is defined as an animal who carries heavy loads or must do very hard work.

Narcissists often put their children, spouses, siblings and others in these roles as human beasts of burden. In effect their children, spouses and siblings are their servants.

The narcissist is imperious. He/she is the ruler in every “relationship.” Children of narcissists lead their lives at the mercy, whim, impulse, psychopathology of their highly disturbed parents. The narcissist gives orders–quite literally–and those close to him/her are expected to obey on the spot. Growing up, children depend on the parent for survival. They have no alternative. Being raised by a narcissistic parent, the child has no real support, validation, emotional closeness, feeling of security or protection or sense of entitlement (unless he is the golden child and adored).  Children growing up with a narcissistic parent(s) describe that they felt like prisoners in their own homes. Often they hid from the narcissistic mother or father, fearing that they would have to tolerate one more screaming session, accusation, humiliation, volleys of criticisms and threats. These children live under emotional and psychological siege. They have trouble sleeping at night. They feel unsafe in their own homes. Some suffer from constant free floating anxiety.

The narcissistic parent is highly demanding of what he or she wants and must have. Angry commands must be responded to. Chores must be done perfectly on the spot. Nothing is ever good enough for the narcissistic parent. He/she always finds flaws and the child is at fault. This is the narcissist’s serious delusional state not the child’s.

The child of a narcissistic parent is likely to marry a narcissist, repeating the psychological pattern of abuse.

The narcissistic spouse is impossible–making outrageous demands, throwing criticisms right and left, making the partner feel unworthy and defective. Many spouses of these narcissists stay married to them. They continue to take the psychological blows and to become human beasts of burden who will do the bidding of the narcissistic partner, regardless of how depleted, exhausted or frustrated they are. They are devoted to someone who is hurting them. They feel the stress and pain in their bodies and the mental distress—yet they continue in these roles, often throughout the marriage. When the narcissist gets too bored with someone he/she can kick around too easily, this person will be discarded and replaced.

Some narcissistic spouses keep their human beasts of burden indefinitely. They have found someone who is loyal, will always fulfill their every need–regardless of its outrageousness and continue to adore and provide the narcissist with cascades of narcissistic supplies.

Adult children of narcissistic parents have a long road that they travel to recovering their true selves and repairing their psyches from their exposure to emotional and psychological battlefields. Many find wholeness and inner peace through a variety of practices including guided meditation, gentle hatha yoga, exercise that works for them, finding support from those whom they trust and understand what they have endured, through creative spontaneous writing, music that soothes them, acupuncture that puts the patient in the parasympathetic nervous system, etc.

Those married to narcissists who awaken to the truth that they have been the victims of narcissistic abuse, sever these relationships, go through the divorce process and begin to put their lives back together in the ways that are healing to them. They no longer live under the control of a narcissistic partner. They are human beasts of burden no longer. Their role now is to lead the life that they deserve–to awaken to the fact that they are entitled to inner peace, a healthy sense of entitlement and a strong knowing that they are more than good enough. Remember that if you have been in one of these dreadful marriages, you can and will heal.

 

Staying with Your Narcissistic Spouse–Running on Empty

Those who are married to or living with a narcissistic personality are psychologically compromised if not imperiled. Your life no longer belongs to you. Your private thoughts are constantly interrupted by the delusional noise, the tantrums, accusations and ill will of the narcissistic partner. If he/she is in a bad mood you will get the brunt of his cruel projections. (This post refers to male and female narcissists). He is in constant denial about reality. He insists you view everything from his distorted perspective–how you lead your life, where you live, how much psychological freedom you have, even the activities of your days and nights can be dictated by a narcissistic spouse. It is remarkable that they appear to get away with being among the cruelest, insensitive human beings on the face of the earth. Once. they walk outside wearing their highly convincing mask they are greeted like heroes–a person who can do no wrong, who is lauded by his professional colleagues, respected by the community, lionized by his adoring inner circle.

What happens in private is totally different–and appalling. Once he enters his abode, the narcissist changes his tune. He is screaming, barking out demands, making accusations, non-stop criticisms, projecting venomous unconscious material from deep inside of him on to you. You have absolutely no peace, even when you are asleep at night. You lie there and frequently awaken and wonder if you can tolerate another day of this hellish nightmare. Many spouses of narcissistic keep taking this abuse year after year, decade after decade. They become more weary, doubt themselves more, swallow the rage that is caught in their throats, stifle tears that demand to pour, question if they are good enough. This is a dizzying merry go round type of living. The spouse is caught in the narcissist’s delusion and doesn’t understand that she is entitled to break free and get out. She sees no options of escape or the promise of a different life.

There are instances when the non-narcissistic spouse has a health crisis, or an incident occurs in which the narcissist has lost his temper once too many times and become very frightening and menacing. This is a crisis point when the spouse can see the narcissist clearly for whom he really is. At this point she asks herself:”Do I want to continue living this way?” “My spouse is not going to change, in fact he is getting worse- colder, crueler, more dismissive–”

At some point the injured spouse decides that she will sever her life from the narcissist. Often these spouses make plans in advance of the actual separation so that they can get out with out major ugly scenes and engagements with this volcanic personality. Many of these spouse report the relief they feel—they can breathe and think and dream once more. The route toward final separation can be tough but with a strong support system and some professional help if needed, this renewal of their lives does happen. They are now evolving fully, using all of their potential. They are blooming and moving forward creatively at the same time that they have found peace inside for the first time in their lives.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.