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.

This entry was posted in Children of Narcissistic Mothers, Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, married to a narcissist, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic personality, narcissistic rage, narcissistic siblings, self help. mental health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Vissisitudes of Living with Narcissistic Rage

  1. David Kelly says:

    Thank you for this post. Your writing is extremely helpful as I get over having a narcissistic mother. The best step I took in improving my life was to cut way down on the communication with my mother. It feels so good not to deal with her drama and constant need for attention. I don’t care if I look like the bad guy to the rest of the family – it’s worth it. I have two questions (and I think I know the answers). Does the narcissistic parent ever realize that they are a narcissist and is it ever helpful to point out that she/he has a narcissistic personality disorder when confronting them about their behavior?

    Thanks,
    David

  2. Anna says:

    Comment:From Anna
    Cats have been great healers for me, birds (I have songbirds living in trees around my apartment), trees and garden – my cat, now 14 years old – gives me more love in a day than I knew in my childhood prison in the whole 15 years of captivity there before I escaped. Nature’s healing power is wonderful. Animals give us the experience of safe and profound emotional connection, they are experts at this :)

  3. Maya says:

    Comment:From:Maya
    MY PARENTS WERE NARCISTIC RAGERS…….i dont live with them anymore, thanx god…..it hurted so much, when i saw those rage eyes of my father and my mother…they were violent toward each other too…and to me….their little daughter…..it hurted so much……they divorced eventually……my memory of that, though, never faded away :-( THANK YOU DOCTOR LEWI TO CLARIFY WHAT THAT WAS, IT WAS NARCISTIC RAGE….NOT MY FAULT, i was just a child….and now i am a 35 year old woman,still unsuccessful ………..i have lived in a rent since i was 20……..i am trying to pick myself up, to get that university diploma…….i never actually belived in myself, my parents made me feel that way…….Pardon my spelling, i am european and not english.

    • David Kelly says:

      Dear Maya,

      First, good for you for getting away from your parents. No one should ever be treated that way. Second, you are successful. You have lived on your own and supported yourself for 15 years. I have found that there is very little in life that you can’t rise up from. You will get that college degree, not just to find a better-paying job but also because you are smart and strong. You may want to look at undergraduate programs like the University of Maryland University College, which have on-line programs and give you credit for life experience. Good luck to you, Maya. I hope you have a happy, healthy, wonderful rest of your life. You deserve it.

      Best,
      David

  4. Mary says:

    Comment:From Mary
    Hi David, I am still married to a narcissistic husband. I am on my way up and out. But ditto some of the family thinking I am the bad guy: hb is always charming and funny, to them. A sister told me “nobody wants to hurt you Mary, not even him (hb). But I think he did want to hurt me and I think he didn’t care how, because my needs and my wellbeing were not on his agenda – unless it was useful to him.
    I have wondered also about whether we should tell them they are narcissists. Maybe we should keep it up our sleeve until the right moment lest they divert the impact and make it all our fault – again.
    Wishing you a happy and healthy rest-of-your-life!
    Love, Mary

    • David Kelly says:

      Thanks, Mary. I’m glad you’re up and on your way out of a difficult marriage. Life will get better and you deserve better. I think you’re right – keeping the NPD to ourselves until/if we have to is the best way to go. They’ll just deny having it anyway. I also wish you a happy and healthy rest of your life.

      Best,
      David

  5. Mary says:

    Comment:From Mary
    Hi David, I am still married to a narcissistic husband. I am on my way up and out. But ditto some of the family thinking I am the bad guy: hb is always charming and funny, to them. A sister told me “nobody wants to hurt you Mary, not even him (hb). But I think he did want to hurt me and I think he didn’t care how, because my needs and my wellbeing were not on his agenda – unless it was useful to him.
    I have wondered also about whether we should tell them they are narcissists. Maybe we should keep it up our sleeve until the right moment lest they divert the impact and make it all our fault – again.
    Wishing you a happy and healthy rest-of-your-life!
    Love, Mary

  6. Mel says:

    Comment: From Mel
    I was raised by a mother with narcissistic tendencies and I am in love with a man with narcissistic traits; he could have the full blown disorder. It has been very difficult because he blows hot and cold. He blindsides me with break ups and then is desperate to get me back. He has made empty promises to win me back and this in addition to the break ups has eroded my trust. He sometimes ignores me and then tries to convince me that he is not ignoring me by giving me excuses that he was simply sleeping or too busy. I can tell when something is wrong but he distances himself and withdraws and acts like everything is fine. He presses my buttons and gets me upset during arguments and interrupts me to deflect my point or to defend himself and then tells me to calm down. I feel like I am not heard or listened to and I feel like whatever was upsetting me was turned around on me and now he is the victim and he is so upset that we have to end the conversation. End result, my feelings were not acknowledged or addressed. Next comes the distance, his narcissistic rage is manifested in silence, ignoring, withholding love, breaking up with me as opposed to yelling and physical violence. I see many good qualities in him and we have a great connection and friendship during the good times and on his terms, but these good times dissolve into an angry silence and can not be sustained. I don’t understand why and I don’t know how to change things so that this will stop happening. I feel like I am dating a Jekyll and Hyde. I can’t help but feel punished by the break ups and the distance and the silence. He just started therapy for his narcissistic traits and he wants to go to couples counseling with me to prove that he is committed to me. I hate to admit it, but I am having difficulty trusting him because of the empty/broken promises and past history of break ups. Is there any hope that he can change this destructive behavior? What can I do to try to trust him again?

  7. Barbara says:

    Comment: From Barbara
    Absolutely agree with LM Lewis. As a person who was an RN (active in the profession) for 42 years and have a son who fell “victim” to this personality disorder. I can tell you first hand the disabiling effect this has on a “normal, well adjusted” individual. My son, through, unwavering love of his family and a few good friends, has been able to free himself of the torture and torment of his wife. Unfortunately his son, because of the laws governing parental right, is left in the custody of a Narcissistic Mother. We are working day and night to have the Court help us free this child and return him to his father so that he may lead a wonderful and loving life, which he deserves.

  8. Doug says:

    Comment: From Doug
    Hi, David. I was also the child of a Narcissistic mother. Her pathology was covert, as it sounds your mother’s was, as well. They’re the master of disguises…Saints to some, nicest person ever met to others, a wonderful person who’d do anything for someone else, but we know otherwise. So when you try to explain what’s really behind the masks, no one believes you and you look like the bad guy. I gave up on caring what family members, or friends care. And when I have a chance to show absolute proof, I don’t hesitate a second to expose it. To answer your questions and I hope Dr. Linda won’t mind, but no, they can never change. It’s too deeply engraved in the subconscious and if you do attempt to expose themselves to themselves, you’ll either get total denial, or full on rage, or both. Nothing that any of the experts in this field see can change in any way this disorder with therapy, or anything else. They have learned to protect everything about themselves and it’s become themselves. Linda can certainly put it more gracefully than myself and I pray she will, lol!

  9. Bobbi says:

    Comment: From Bobbi
    I was raised by a narc and later married one. They are all the same. They do not self reflect and have rage’s with any kind of confrontation. If you decide to tell her this you may find her projecting the problem on you later. As humans without self reflecting we don’t change. I have to stay away from my as much as possible. Even a phone call can turn into a nightmare if she needs her narc fix of hurting someone. Usually me the daughter. Sorry you had to go through this to. It stinks for a childhood.

  10. Abby says:

    Comment: From Abby
    My mother probably had Narcissistic Personality Disorder and I just left a 20 year marriage to a narcissist. Dr. Martinez’s description of their special brand of rage is spot-on. Thank you for putting it into words. I’ve been on the receiving end countless times, but have found it difficult to describe to anyone else.
    Mary and David – telling a narcissist they are narcissistic is sadly a waste of time because they are incapable of seeing flaws in themselves (I understand). My husband found one of my books about the condition and blew up. He ranted at length about me thinking he’s crazy and why did I think I was so perfect…etc, etc. I fantasized that he’d be relieved to have a name for his unhappiness, but no, his illness doesn’t have room for ‘owning’ his own issues – all his problems are someone else’s fault, usually mine. But not any more. I’ve been gone 25 days and my life is just getting better and better.

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