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.

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.

Covert Narcissistic Sisters Play and Deceive with “Poor Little Me”

Covert narcissistic sisters play the “poor little me” role in their families to psychologically unhinge and wreak havoc on their non-narcissistic brothers and sisters. They start very early telling lies to the parents about their siblings while playing the innocent role to the hilt.

As they grow older their sabotage escalates, causing great pain emotional and psychological pain. They plot and take boyfriends away from their sisters by telling lies or revealing secrets or conjuring up dirty secrets. They are believable; their lying skills are impeccable.

Parents often make excuses for them especially if this the Golden Child:”Oh, she is shy and dependent; she is not capable of lying; give her a chance; she’s unsure of herself; you have to be kind to her.”

As she grows older and her psychopathology deepens the CNS becomes even bolder. As the parents age, the CNS  becomes “indispensable” to them. In secret she plots and gains power and access to all of their financial assets—properties, investments, etc.
When the parents are gone, everything is left to her—a pittance or less to the other siblings.  Who’s saying “Poor Little Her” now!

Covert narcissists are difficult to detect. Learn to recognize them. They are too “good” to be true. Always trust your Intuition, your Gut, that Sense of Knowing you have that is a great gift. 

 

From Budding Narcissist to Adult Narcissistic Scourge

Many of you have had the experience of watching a narcissist grow from early childhood into adulthood. You heard the ear shatteringtantrums, saw the parents make no attempt to get their “golden child” to behave. Their efforts were feeble because from the beginning he/she was never corrected for inconsiderate and boorish behavior. This child was considered special from the beginning–a little king or queen who was raised to the highest pinnacles. I have been astounded and chagrined by the outrageous behaviors of these chosen children. (This post refers to both male and female budding narcissists).

I have bitten my tongue in social situations to not say: “Make that brat behave. He is not the only one on  the face of the earth.” “You are growing a monster who will come to hate you, exploit you and make the lives of others intolerable.” But in social situations I have kept quiet in the past. Now I refuse these invitations. I would be watching a parent creating a mini monster who will grow into an abominable human being.

Adults especially  parents make excuses for their unempathic, selfish, materialistic, cruel, sadistic children. And others in the family go along with the charade. After all this child is so bright and attractive, what could be wrong with him. He is excelling in school as he charms everyone. What else can a parent want? You as a member of this family are expected to believe this delusion and to adore the child as much as his parents. Beneath the surface, the budding narcissist, day by day is becoming more self obsessed, grabby about what he must have, more grandiose that he is superior to everyone else and cannot make mistakes. He lies impeccably to trick others and make fools of them. He intimidates his brothers and sisters who live in sheer terror of his footsteps. Mother and father are oblivious and reluctant to correct or criticize the little prince. He has become a  reflection of their perfection. They cannot be objective. The family image rides on the their son’s (daughter’s) perfect narcissistic facade.

In the current societal climate today,narcissists are ruling. They get away with their treacheries because they exude confidence and are often very clever and forceful personalities that no one will buck them. If a member of your family is a narcissist and you have known him/her since childhood—-he is not going to change. Now as an adult he is a larger, more ingrained, more vicious facsimile of his younger self. In fact many narcissists become meaner with age, more duplicitous and malicious.

Do you need this person in your life? Is it worth all the  hurt feelings, cruelties to be a part of this pathological drama. Ask yourself these questions and trust your inner response. You don’t deserve this savage treatment. Learn about the inner workings of the narcissistic personality. Protect yourself and insist on respect even if that means no contact. You deserve to move forward with your life.

Narcissistic Brother Intimidates His Siblings

Having a narcissistic brother in your family is exceedingly painful and frightening. There is no way of controlling him. If he is the Golden Boy,mom and/or dad view him as perfect and make no effort to create psychological boundaries that must not be crossed with his siblings. He has been chosen for a variety of reasons: he is very attractive, bright, confident, even cocky, has athletic skills and is socially adept. The parents who are often narcissistic themselves and  have found the perfect son who reflects them and enhances their external image.

He is not taught to respect his brothers and sisters, to be kind, to learn how to be empathic.  The narcissistic brother rules the household by intimidating his siblings. He strikes fear in them, goads them, laughs at them, humiliates them.  Some narcissistic brothers are monstrous. In public they can win anyone over. They know how to make people like them. It is one of their well honed skills that they use to get whatever they want.

I hear and read many life stories of children who grew up dealing with narcissistic golden boy brothers. Some kids hide and stay away from the house as much as possible. Others literally find a place in the house where they will not be discovered. These children are always frightened, wondering when this monster will appear and terrorize them. Children who grow up in these households are in a state of fight or flight much of the time. They cannot relax. They don’t feel safe or secure. In some instances the siblings create alliances to protect one another.

Some children learn to create entire worlds with their imaginations and to tune out the ugliness of their narcissistic family members. These kids learn early that they must go it alone to survive. They call upon all of their resources and strengths to get through each day. Many children leave these homes early to escape the wrath of the narcissistic brother and their enabling parents.

I have great respect for the children who must live with these loathsome siblings. They are courageous and inventive. As adults children from these highly dysfunctional families benefit from high quality psychotherapy to work through the core issues of growing up in a constant unprotected psychological war zone.

Don’t wait for your narcissistic brother to “get his” as they say. They best way is to create your own life and to be proud of yourself as an individual of integrity with many gifts.

 

Renew Your Life–Go No Contact with Narcissistic Sister

All of your life, your older, younger or twin sister has been putting you through hell–The reason—She is a Narcissistic Personality and in some family constellations, she was chosen to represent its sterling image. You felt psychologically dispossessed, a stranger in your own house that was not a home to you. In every way your narcissistic sister undermined you. When she wasn’t doing that, she was scaring you, intimidating you, demeaning you, humiliating you, threatening you. She was going to get you into trouble with mom and dad no matter what. Not by telling the truth but by her very convincing lies. Narcissists lie about everything in order to get exactly what they want. This is easy for them since they do not have a conscience. And—They Get Away With It!

Now that you are an adult, your narcissistic sister has continued her Weird Sister act and she is never going to stop. The NPD is a fixed personality disorder that does not change.

It is time to stand up for yourself by focusing on taking very good care of yourself. I mean that you decide on the best program that helps you to heal from your narcissistic sister’s ongoing abuse over a long period.

Spend time in a quiet way with yourself. Listen to music that you love and has meaning to you. Get the sleep that you need and deserve. Sleep puts us into the quieting mode of the nervous system and is essential to healing on every level. Let your creativity flow. Write spontaneously every day or when you can, the thoughts and feelings that come through your mind without editing. Do exercise that you enjoy or at least can tolerate. Think of other ways that you relax–Cooking, Gardening, Sewing, Reading, etc.  Spend time with individuals whom you trust and that contribute to your healing. Go with the givers and cross out the takers.

This is the beginning of a new life cycle for you.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissists’ Tyrannical Control

“The narcissist is a tyrant who controls the world that he/she creates…The iron grip of the narcissist’s control extends to all the significant people in his life: spouses, partners, children, ex-spouses, siblings…Those under his control are not free to lead their own lives, to make decisions and mistakes, to use their talents and energies, to have their own dreams.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life).

I hear from individuals who are married to narcissists–They can’t win. They are too afraid to divorce their captor and in the other case, terrorized through each day, year, decade of confinement. Some spouses have identified with the aggressor and told themselves that they have it “good” with the lifestyle and all of the entitlements that come with it.

Children of narcissists are savagely trapped, especially when they are young. Where can they go? They are surrounded by the enemy–the narcissistic parent. Often the mother or father married to this person will not psychologically and emotionally support the child due to intimidation. The non narcissistic spouse  caves in and “abandons” the child out of fear and denial.

The controlling narcissist will do whatever it takes to remain in charge. He/she will lie, threaten, verbally, psychologically and emotional abuse whoever is standing in his way. Retribution is sought and paid if you defy a narcissist and even think and share your own thoughts. Narcissists squelch any joy or feeling of comfort in the home environment. It is living in a war zone or  being in captivity behind enemy lines and the military forces are not coming to save you.

The need to control on the part of narcissists speaks of their unconscious fears of losing power and influence. At their core beneath the steel defenses they feel worthless and empty.

When you recognize and identify the true nature of the narcissist, you are further along toward liberating yourself from their iron grip. Remember, you deserve to lead a separate life and experience inner peace, the full use and enjoyment of your creative gifts and energies. Take charge of your life and your entitlement to lead a good one that is unfettered by fear, intimidation, control, deceit or tyranny. Move into the zone of freedom where you belong.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Healing Memories of Narcissistic Sibling’s Deceptions and Cruelties

Although many years and decades have passed since you grew up with your narcissistic sibling, there are painful memories etched on your psyche. You remember the pain and feel it keenly–all of those times when you were treated deceptively by a narcissistic brother or sister–the taunting, baiting, bullying, even sadistic cruelties–they crowd your memory. You try to distract yourself but the scenes replay in your mind.

In order to heal childhood memories it is important to acknowledge that they happened. Many individuals remain suspended in disbelief or complete denial that they were treated so cruelly by a member of their own family–someone who was supposed to love them. Denial is not you psychological ally. Rather, it is in facing what you know happened to you, the true reality, that is the beginning of the healing process. Don’t expect other family members to understand the truth about your narcissistic sibling, especially if he or she was the chosen one. Mother and/or father or other siblings will immediately come to his defense. You will be the only family member who knows and holds the truth. This is a very difficult position that you hold but the truth is powerful and essential to you and always has been. This knowing is a manifestation of your authenticity and your precious unique individuality. These are great gifts that flourish inside of you.

Allow yourself to feel sadness and regret for the brother or sister you did not have–the parent(s) who did not protect you from them and the little child you were who was subjected to horrible undeserved pain.

Hold yourself close and know that you have survived and are prevailing. Remember, none of this was your fault. You are not to blame. You were an innocent child. Love that dear child inside of you and comfort him/her.

As you move forward, one of the most powerful tools is in finally putting yourself and your welfare first–for the first time and the rest of your life. Create a program of recovery that includes eating nourishing food, getting the sleep that you need, exercise that you like or can tolerate, doing some form of quieting the mind–this can be guided meditation, relaxing music that you love, journal writing done freely. Pay attention to the intuitive messages that you are receiving—These are gifts from the unconscious that are always guiding us, helping us to evolve, create new directions in our lives. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from you forward  momentum. Take no detours, even if a narcissistic charmer finds you irresistible.

Your striving each day is part of healing those old memories and creating new ones. Have faith in this process and give yourself enormous credit for following this pathway of higher consciousness and recovery.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Hollow Men Trample Our Feelings

T.S. Eliot, the great prescient poet wrote in “The Hollow Men”: We are the hollow men, We are the stuffed men, leaning together…Our dried voices, when we whisper together are…meaningless…”

Eliot intuited the ascendance of the narcissistic personality in our society. That time is now and has been coming, growing to epidemic proportions.

I am in communication with many individuals who are suffering from the rampaging of narcissistic personalities in their lives: daughters and sons of narcissistic mothers and narcissistic fathers, narcissistic siblings, those married to narcissistic spouses. Their pain is deep and continuous as long as they are in contact with and part of the narcissist’s life. They are living too close to an individual who is empty and “hollow” inside and who lives in a way that has no meaning, warmth, empathy or truth.

Narcissists trample on our feelings. They make every effort to destroy what is deep inside of us and gives us meaning. They have overwhelming personalities that are forceful, manipulative and cruel. They constantly lie and exploit those closest to them.

Being the child of a narcissistic mother or father is one of the most painful fates. The narcissistic mother hates genuine feelings, even in her infant. When the child cries she ignores her/him, makes the little one feel ashamed, screams and threatens the child if he does not “shut up.”

Those married to narcissists are continuously gaslighted–told that they are crazy, especially if they express deep feelings of sadness, fear, joy, anger, etc. No feelings are allowed in this household–except for the narcissist who bubbles with constant fire hot rage. Day after day–rage after rage—the spouse takes this abuse and feels herself getting weaker. She tells herself that she needs to be more understanding, that she is the one at fault, that there is something intrinsically the matter with her. NO! That is not the case if you are married to a narcissistic personality. Yes, you are imperfect. You are the frequent recipient of the narcissist’s insidious projections that wound deeply and leave scars.

Your narcissistic sibling is the king or queen of the family–the special one chosen. There are no rules for this child from the beginning. You are treated by your parent(s) with strictness. You are often criticized and demeaned but the chosen, budding narcissist can treat you like dirt and the parent will not defend you.

God help you if you cry–that is a serious sin in this kind of family. Often the mother or father in this constellation is a narcissist. You become the scapegoat, the one everyone targets for cruel comments especially when you show feelings.

Expressing feelings –all of them is part of being an authentic human being. I don’t trust anyone who is incapable of expressing feeling–genuine ones. I know that many are taught very early that showing feelings is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. Being comfortable with our feelings is essential to evolving and growing as an individual. This doesn’t mean we make out of control public displays. We learn to have good manners and to be considerate of others.

Remember that the narcissist is a Hollow Man, a dry, empty, personless being who can neither give nor receive love, compassion or empathy. This personality disorder is fixed and does not change. Hollow men are made of stone. I always look and feel into the eyes of others. I know them by the expression in their eyes and the energy that I feel from them. When we look deeply into the eyes of a narcissist we experience what Eliot saw in The Hollow Men: “The eyes are not here, There are no eyes here in this valley of dying stars….”

Feel your authenticity, celebrate the real self within you that continues to evolve, learn, create and, always, Feel.

Narcissistic Siblings Steal Your Psychological, Emotional and Financial Inheritance

One of the most painful familial situations is to be the brother or sister of a narcissistic sibling. From the beginning they “have it in” for you as the old saying goes. I have heard from so many of their victims. The stories told are hair raising. Even in early childhood there are memories of being pinched, squeezed, shamelessly slapped. All of this is perpetrated with impunity. The parent(s) of the victimized child is often a narcissist and gives the special , golden holy terror free reign in the household. There are no rules for this brat turned tyrant. The embattled child is always in fight or flight mode. There is no letting down, no relaxing of hypervigilence, no rest or freedom to express oneself authentically in this family constellation.

In some instances in adulthood the narcissistic sibling far in advance plots how he or she will deceive the parent (s) and gain full control over the family finances or trusts. This is shocking but it happens more often than one would think.

There are cases in which the golden narcissistic sibling intimidates brothers and sisters into taking his/her side against the scapegoated children. These battles become very ugly and can eventually rip families apart.

Rather than live in these dreadful circumstances many siblings break completely from their family of origin and move into a no contact mode. This is often painful since it is difficult for some to believe that a sibling with whom we share our DNA could be so treacherous. Coming to terms with this reality is essential to the healing process.

Learning about the psychological core and dynamics of the narcissistic personality recognizing their specific traits and the naked truth about them is the beginning of healing.

Acknowledging and appreciating your authenticity, the fact that you survived this series of hells is a huge step toward becoming whole. You went through these wars since childhood and have survived into adulthood. You deserve tremendous credit and acknowledgement for this achievement. So many of these survivors are among the kindest, most empathic and intuitive individuals I have every known. Here is to your continuing healing, your triumph as an individual and the unbounded use of all of your creative gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.