Varieties of Narcissistic Rage I

Beneath the surface the narcissist is always seething with rage. Some narcissists are clever concealers. No one in their external environment would ever suspect that in the privacy of their homes they are out of control screamers. It is not unusual for them to literally get in your face. You watch the veins of the face and neck bulging, wondering when they’re going to pop. I have heard many horrendous stories of a narcissistic parent’s menacing ways. Some narcissists carry out physical beatings on their children. Others prefer the psychological torture of maintaining an environment of terror and panic. By keeping the anxiety temperature at the highest levels, children and spouses are in a constant state of uneasiness. This makes them easy pawns for manipulation.

One of the most unpleasant varieties is that of the narcissist who creates ugly public scenes to get what he wants, when he wants it. He will accept no authority other than his own. When he is in restaurants, stores, at meetings and his argument is not going well, he simply turns up the volume to full blast. The people around him are first shocked. Then they become frightened. I have seen many narcissists get their way with this full throated approach.

The opposite is the covert narcissist–that charming, gracious, attractive, “humble” individual who pretends to be a saint but has been plotting your occupational, marital or psychological demise for a very long time. These are the tricksters, those double agent narcissists who present themselves as saviors and then go into all out combat to destroy you when the right moment arises. They are the schemers. You may even believe they are your ally. Never be surprised among family members. When it comes to wills and trusts there is often treachery and betrayal. An aunt, parent or sibling has plotted most of his life to acquire the family wealth, leaving crumbs to everyone else. He or she plays up the aging matriarch or patriarch, tells lies about the other family members, fabricates scandals, even crimes. These fictional tales are believed by the aging parent. The villain here makes sure that he maintains his role as savior to the parent holding the bulging purse of gold. He goes out of his way to be unusually attentive. He orchestrates his meticulous moves in such a way that he is trusted completely and given complete control of the estate and all of its holdings. This knowledge remains secret until the parent is deceased.. All hell breaks loose when the other family members learn the truth of the betrayal. But it is too late. This treacherous deed is a way of obtaining the maximum of narcissistic supplies for himself and at the same time disrupting and eclipsing the lives of other family members. The narcissist has achieved his only goal—winning at any cost. This is the circuitous route his rage has taken—the web of lies, deceits, plotting, secrecy, revenge and destruction. These narcissists have no conscience and never look back on what they have done. They easily justify all of their evil moves. They deserve to have everything. They are entitled to all of the spoils and winnings. That’s the way they play their dirty game, stepping on friends and family members to reach their goals.

One particularly egregious type of narcissistic rage is revealed in the endless fight for custody of children that is waged for years. The narcissists doesn’t give a damn about his children with the exception of a child he can use as an echo of himself. His children are possessions to be used to take revenge and destroy the life of the ex-wife or ex-husband. I have witnessed too many occasions in which the narcissist has used loopholes and machinations of the justice system to obtain a substantial amount of custody of his children. This is not done out of love but spite. Even further, it speaks of sadistic measures on his part that are meant to land a final blow to the non-narcissistic spouse who truly loves the children.

Waging these battles is very tough and requires the support of an excellent attorney who has mastered family law and understands the dark meanderings of the narcissistic mind. If you are in this position, do not give up or give in. Gather support around you from every quarter. You may lose some of your financial assets (or not) but you will have saved your children. That is the greatest achievement of all—creating a peaceful, emotionally consistent and calm, affectionate and loving, affirmative and creative life for your children. This is their legacy–the demonstration of the depth of your love. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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