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.

Children of Narcissistic Mothers–Heal and Evolve

We are always in the process of evolving. We feel the internal gashes, blows and deep bruises of childhood cruelty and maternal deprivation, especially if we are children of a narcissistic mother. This is one of the greatest challenges in life. There are those who have that moment of awakening and recognize that there mother is a narcissistic personality. Something deep inside them stirs and says they must free themselves of this deep wound. They are determined to break from the psychological and emotional shackles of the parent who never was.

This insight about your narcissistic mother puts you on the path to healing yourself. Your are a unique human being—an invaluable one. Although you may share the DNA of your mother and father and your ancestors, you are not them. You will never be on the face of the earth again–Your special imprint will never appear again past, present, future. You have time left to fulfill the evolution of your original self–the person you were meant to be.

Healing often begins with grieving the mother you did not have. You feel like crying. You are infuriated by all of the years of brainwashing, cruelties, put-downs, constant verbal abuse that has made you wonder if you are too blame. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. Always remember this. You didn’t ask to be the child of this mother. An aspect of your healing very many is to sever the “relationship” with this non mother. Other members of the family may object or wonder what you are doing. WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS, NOT THE OTHER PARENT,NOT OTHER SIBLINGS, NOT IN-LAWS –MATTERS. THIS IS YOUR DECISION TO HEAL.

Individuals heal in different ways. Let yourself cry, Give yourself the solitude and time that it takes to move through this process. Some individuals benefit from excellent psychotherapy. Make sure that you interview a couple of therapists and make sure that are not narcissists or people who have a strong money motive.

There are a number of healing modalities including gentle hatha yoga with emphasis on the breath, sitting and walking meditation, the company and contact with a couple of friends who care deeply about you and are available at any time. Spontaneous writing done consistently without editing gives your a portal to your feelings and access to your creativity. If you draw and paint, do this–Start a healing art book. Remember, no judgements. Look at yourself. Give yourself love and credit for your psychological survival under horrendous childhood circumstances. I have a deep commitment to those who are children of narcissistic mothers. I am amazed by their compassion and kindness. I am honored by their presence in the world.

Keep evolving–there are no limits—keep loving–Keep giving solace to others as you have all of your life.

You will find peace and your gifts will expand and deepen. We are so fortunate to share a place with you in the world.

Omg–I Married A Sociopath

You are painfully discovering that the man you married is not only a narcissist, he is a sociopath. (This post applies to male and female sociopaths.) The warning signs were there early but you were so dazzled by his perfect charming irresistible facade that you didn’t notice. He had all of the qualities that you had been searching for. He was confident, intelligent, successful, good looking, socially skilled. And he was so taken with you that you couldn’t say no. There was a part of you that said: “This is the guy; if I let him go I will never find another man like him. I will have missed my chance.” Certainly you had no idea of the real nature of the bargain that you were striking. It was a deal with the devil and you were easy prey. With all of this said, do not blame yourself now. You could not have known that this man was a sociopath (I call them bloodless sociopaths because they don’t commit physically violent crimes) Their crimes are psychological, emotional and financial.

I have read and heard from so many women/men who have fallen into this trap. As the number of narcissists increases every day, the number of bloodless sociopaths swells as well. Being ruthless, lacking conscience (if you can get away with what you want to do without getting caught) stepping on the feelings of others, pushing those who are weaker out of the way, exploiting the vulnerable—–These personality traits and the behaviors and consequences of them have become unimportant to many in the current society today. As long as you get the goods, make the big money, are clever at getting around the laws and have the right connections and an impeccable image, you are praised , raised up, financially rewarded and by some who are mesmerized by you—considered a hero, an innovator.

This is all delusion–the greatest act in the world that most people believe, even the relatives of the victims of the sociopathic husband. In the darkness of your bedroom late at night, you are brutalized psychologically. You are derided, criticized and treated like a piece of trash. You are always in fight or flight mode–there is no let up. Your blood pressure is high; you are getting constant infections and flus. You can’t sleep at night and you wake up with a start. “What is he going to do next?” You keep asking and the answer is– Plenty.

First, recognize that you are married to a psychological criminal –a person who doesn’t give a damn about you and will replace you with someone else if he already hasn’t.

Make your plans in secret to get out of the marriage and to protect the assets that you have. That includes your emotional, physical and psychological health. Get ahead of his game. Research attorneys and find one who is so smart, clever and your absolute advocate–a person who is very grounded and remains exceedingly calm in dealing with these vipers. You need a veteran of these ugly divorce wars. Keep your circle of real friends tightly around you and make sure that no one says a word about your plans. Seek short term quality psychotherapy if you think that will provide you with a therapeutic alliance that you need at this time. Call upon a few friends who are there for you at any time.

Keep your plans very close to the vest. Don’t change your mind. At some point he may get the scent that you are on to his game and try to woo you back with enticements.Be faithful to yourself and your future as a free individual who deserves to use all of your creative gifts and energies and to experience healing and deep inner peace.

Unmasking the Narcissistic Personality

Narcissists, especially those who are very successful in the social and business worlds, wear many masks that are highly appealing to most people. Often they are bright and attractive and have tremendous charisma and fine social skills. They learn how to “act the part of the Charmer” when they are very young. Often they are chosen by the mother or father as the exalted one in the family. The other siblings are secondary to this special child.

Early on the narcissistic child grows in the fertile atmosphere of extreme self entitlement. There are no rules for him or her. He is given the run of the house. In some cases the mother and father usurp their authority to this little tyrant to whom they bow. I have seen this happen in some family constellations. In other cases the mother molds the budding narcissist as her possession as if she has given birth to a  godlike living being. The mother is psychologically fused with this “perfect” child. She gives all of her attention to this one and not the others. They are unimportant to her and must fend for themselves.

During childhood the little narcissist learns to put on a number of masks that eventually become the false grandiose self. The child knows that h can do anything he wants and will not be corrected or contained. When he doesn’t get what he must have, he throws royal tantrums and then is rewarded for this obnoxious behavior. Some mothers reinforce their golden child’s cruelties to siblings. This is exceedingly hurtful and damaging to siblings who have not been picked for special positive attention and adulation.

Throughout the years the narcissist develops a false self that is put in place of the real self. The real self resides in the unconscious of the narcissist and is revealed through primitive cruel projections that are pushed on to those who get in his way or try to deflate his enormous ego. These unconscious projections are exhibited and ejected on to others through the narcissist’s life. If you find yourself being the target of this venom it is essential that you find ways to deflect and avoid this toxicity. Often the only way to do this is through going no contact with the offending person. This is difficult if it is a family member but often necessary. These outrageous behaviors on the part of the narcissist are very painful and psychologically corrosive to those on the receiving end of this cruel treatment.

Study the narcissistic personality so that you understand how they operate and why.Take time to appreciate your unique individuality, especially if you grew up with a narcissistic mother, father, or sibling or if you are married to a narcissistic spouse. Begin your self healing now and carry this through each day. Put yourself first. This is not selfish but an essential part of the healing process that will lead you to inner peace and deep grounding in your own authenticity and appreciation of yourself.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

You Survived A Narcissistic Mother–Be Kind to Yourself

I hear from sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers who went through hell and back as children of narcissistic mothers. They psychologically discarded their kids except when it came to harsh torturous punishments. As adults they remember their mother’s screams thundering through the house:”I never wanted you.” “You are a piece of trash.” “I wish I had aborted you.” “You are to blame for every bad thing that ever happened to me.” “You make my life miserable every day.” When children are very little, some narcissistic mothers tell their children that because they are so bad, they are going to send them away. There is never an explanation to the child of what that means but it strikes terror in the heart of the child that lingers as a morbid threat.

The father in these family constellations is often very weak and terrified himself of his spouse. He becomes a workaholic and in some cases an alcoholic. He is completely unavailable to his children emotionally. Some fathers disappear and leave the home early in their childrens’ lives. They are irresponsible and infantile and flee the scene without ceremony.

Moment to moment these children are living in what can be described as a prison. Their nervous systems are constantly jarred by the NM’s demands and intimidations. Some children learn to tune out mother and they become numb to their own feelings. Others are in a constant state of fear, always waiting for the next catastrophe to arrive. Some children leave the home early and find relatives or friends who will take them in. And others stay in NM’s gulag for the sentence of their childhood and teenage years. Some kids act out through alcohol and drugs and sexual escapades to numb the pain and take them temporarily out of their living nightmare. This is self destructive but not surprising.

As older teenagers and young adults some abuse victims leave the home from hell and make efforts to forge their own lives. Some of these children pick themselves up and move forward with their education and careers. On the surface some are successful but inside they carry the painful imprint of their time in the house of desolation with the narcissistic mother. Others have a difficult time functioning in the outside world. Some adult children repeat the childhood pattern by marrying narcissistic spouses who psychologically incarcerate them.

Blame and shame are often the legacies of having a narcissistic mother as well as residual feelings of anxiety and depression. First—don’t blame yourself. You didn’t ask to be born to a narcissistic mother. It happened and it is horrible but don’t take this upon yourself. Focus your attention on a deep appreciation of who you really are and that you did everything to survive and achieved something great and very difficult.  Learn to be kind to yourself. This begins with self care. Acknowledge the wonderful unique person you are. Take time with the basics—good sleep, healthy eating, exercise in a form that works for you. Give yourself time each day to be quiet and uninterrupted where you can meditate, do basic yoga poses with emphasis on breathing through the nose which calms the nervous system. Writing what you are feeling and thinking privately offers many a source of freedom. Listening to music and allowing its beauty to become internalized inside is a source of healing. Some adult children find that excellent psychotherapy can help them work through many of the residual issues. If you decide psychotherapy is a possibility, I recommend that you interview several of them. I have found that there are fine therapists but there are others who are narcissistic and out for the money motive and making you dependent on them for that purpose.

Use your creative gifts–You have them. Be receptive to knowing what they are. Above all, use your intuition all of the time. It tells us the truth and is a companion throughout every moment of our lives.

I hold a special place in my heart for children of narcissistic mothers. I stand with you always.

The following comment is one I just received from a wonderful man, a great survivor of a narcissistic mother. I have his permission to share his life story with you:

My mother is a Covert narcissist. She wears the mask of the do gooder, the angel of mercy, the saint…the community praises and raises her to Sainthood, yet I know the truth. I was the golden child, but never a narcissist. The golden child is chosen as the one who is lavished upon, shown off to friends and family as the smartest, brightest, most attractive. She groomed me to be the best at everything I did yet never for my sake. It was all done for her, so she can say “look at my son, look what he can do, look at how much he knows!” Everything I did, whether it was winning at the swim meets, or running faster than anyone, and specifically in my case, being the most intelligent, was for her. I was quizzed everywhere we went since i was 2. And I reveled in it. This all began to change when I reached puberty. I began the natural rebelling state of pubescent boy. But she wouldn’t have it. She knew she was losing control so she tightened her grip. She became hateful, yelling and screaming. Emasculating me at every chance she could. My father was always working and when around, had no control because he was a victim of this Narcissist, as well. She had won, my puberty was the worst time of my life. I had learned to fear woman, mistrust them. I was looking for affection everywhere I could and a boy my age who had been molested himself, molested me. As deeply shameful as it was, it was still attention and in my twisted mind, affection. I spent 35 yrs. never knowing a woman, always befriending them, but terrified of letting them in. I didn’t think I was gay, but I was a tall, attractive person who spoke well on many subjects and I found friendship and attention in the gay community. I never had a sex with these men, but always went back to the first one who molested me. Throughout my life I used drugs and alcohol to medicate myself and to make it easier to be with this person and not feel the pain and confusion my mother caused. The thing is, I never consciously knew any of this. I had pushed it so far down I didn’t know what was wrong with me. And everytime I’d have contact with my mother, she knew exactly what to say to pull me back in and push me further down. I hated her, but wasn’t allowed to hate her. She is a master manipulator and confuser to such a degree that I didn’t know up from down, left from right. And she reveled in it. I knew something was wrong, but was never allowed to question her, or anything she did. I was hers. At the age of 40 I quit all drugs and alcohol cold turkey. I went through severe withdrawals. At one point I thought I had cancer. I told my mother this and she didn’t say a word. A month later, after my mind was clearing up I told her I didn’t have cancer. She screamed at me “I was going to take care of you while you died, how dare you take that away from me!” Pretty sick. But during my withdrawal, I was also withdrawing from my mother. I began to gain a strength I didn’t know I had. I started fighting back, and with every step forward I took, the less power over me she had. This was and still is a very long process. Today I don’t talk to my mother. There’s no use. She’ll twist whatever I say into something else, she’ll try to manipulate. What I’ve finally learned is that nothing I do, or say is going to help her make changes. So I finally said no more! And with that, my life is changing everyday for the better. I would never have known any of this if it weren’t for finding Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi’s Site. I would have gone to an early grave, which would have been satisfying to my mother because she then would have won. As sick as that sounds, it’s how these people are. My deepest and most sincerest thank you, Dr. Martini-Lewis, you literally have changed my life!

Doug

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.

 

Narcissistic Spouses–Go into Training for the Divorce Wars

I know several people who have trained for and run marathons. This is a tough, disciplined process that takes many hours and hard grinding work. The goal is incredible–over 26 miles of running–one footfall after another. I have seen great runners reach the wall and writhe in agony.

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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.

 

Sadistic Narcissistic Husbands and Wives Take Revenge during Divorce

I know of a number of cases, especially during custody disputes when the narcissistic husband (or wife) turns sadistic and gains pleasure and narcissistic supplies by threatening to take your children away from you. In some instances he/she succeeds because he/she has the financial resources and the charm and raw confidence to persuade mediators and judges that he is the better parent. This man or woman doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of your children. He is out for revenge because he gets pleasure from watching you suffer. The narcissist builds a strong case in the role of the “good mother” or “good father.”” He/she spreads lies about you and may even turn your family members against you.

Arm yourself with as much in-depth information as you can about the narcissistic personality. Make sure that you have a very savvy attorney who specializes in family law and is unintimidated going up against the narcissist. He or she will have hired a barracuda of a lawyer who is out to win despite any human cost.

Go into battle fully armed with knowledge about the narcissistic personality. You need to know this person a whole lot better than they know themselves. Take good care of yourself during this process and beyond it. Keep your eye on the prize—getting your life back after the narcissist. Lead the life that you have always deserved—filled with warmth, authenticity, the full use of your creative gifts and the freeing of your spontaneous spirit.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Primitive Projections of Narcissists Inflict Pain and Harm

I am frequently reminded that narcissists are projecting their psychological venom on to others all the time. This kind of behavior cannot be overstated. Deep down in the unconscious, the narcissist is filled with self loathing and an intolerable emptiness.

Churning with self hatred, he or she ejects it out on to others, especially those close to him–spouses, children, siblings, co-workers, acquaintances. A projection is a defense mechanism, an unconscious process that the narcissist  uses to instantaneously get rid of aggressive, intolerable and threatening feelings and impulses on to another person.

This incoming fire can be completely unexpected and that is a vital part of why the power punch can lay you flat. There are times when you know that the narcissist is in a particular mood and know to steer clear. Or you have intuitive messages to keep your distance. But are other times, when there is no warning and these are the toughest to take.

Not long ago I was the recipient of a psychological punch (a primitive projection) to the gut from an acquaintance. The sky was blue and clear in my world with this person  at the time. We were conversing and I felt that it was going well. Someone else was wanting his attention. I made mental notes of this a couple of times but waved it off. That was my oversight. Suddenly—incoming fire hell missiles. He delivered verbal mortal blows designed to knock me out and put me away. I was shocked and at first had to review his primitive message which translated was: “I hate you. Get the hell out of my life now! ” His seething rage and annihilating intent shot into me so fast that I spun inside. I made a quick appraisal and decided that making any kind of retort was useless. For my welfare I left the scene. I think this was a good self care move as I look back. This guy would never understand my point of view. He had a perspective ally beside him. The best action was immediately gaining Distance Away from the Toxicity. I was still reeling. I got into my car and felt like hell but began to think  about what had just happened and what it meant.

This event and there have been many by others, gives me the opportunity to acknowledge again the horror that you go through with narcissistic spouses, what you have experienced and still do with narcissistic mothers, fathers and siblings.

Learn all that you can about the true nature of the narcissistic personality–the character disorder of our time.

Take good care of yourself. When you are ensnared by one of these horrid projections, give yourself credit for identifying what it is–it is not coming from you–do not blame yourself–this is the putrid message coming from the unconscious of a narcissistic personality. Celebrate your victories. Keep your psychological, emotional and physical distance from these individuals when and if you possibly can. Maintain good boundaries from this venom machine.

Spend time with people who are more self aware, are not as subject to projections and who admit when they have done this and take them back. Recognize that you are growing, a wonderful living work in progress. Pay close attention to your intuition. Seek your dreams and know that you can fulfill them.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.