When reading about narcissists, we learn that behind the mask they portray to the world, there is a very fragile self. These individuals want to always be in control and pretend to themselves and the world that they are strong, powerful, successful, caring, generous & selfless.
In reality, these people are weak, lack empathy and are incapable of deep emotions, especially intimacy and self-awareness. They really don’t like criticism and the more someone criticises them, the more they will fight back, manipulate, confuse and throw a tantrum. They don’t want anybody ruining the image they have so desperately fought all their lives to sustain. If you do not do as they say and continue to tell them that they are sick, crazy, abusive, neglectful etc they will get even angrier or emotional and will try to hurt you even more, to the point of ‘discarding you’ as if you were a piece of trash.
This can happen to absolutely anyone the narcissist has a relationship with, as well as their children.
In my case, when I confronted my mother for the first time after 32 years of holding my emotions in, she became really nasty. I told her that she never put me first, never treated me in a very loving way and that my feelings didn’t matter. I told her that I was sick of her undermining my emotions, that I was sick of her calling me demeaning names and that I was generally very upset that I couldn’t tell my own mother my truest emotions. She started crying on the phone and had a complete meltdown. She put the phone down saying she couldn’t hear anymore, even though I was the one in pain and crying so hard I couldn’t speak properly.I was once again left to feel completely distraught, unloved and unheard and once again her emotions mattered more than mine.She was acting suicidal to her family, because I had hurt her deeply and told them that something must have been seriously wrong with me to act so out of character. This of course really meant that she couldn’t understand how I could turn so against her and that I must be the crazy one. It is never her fault.
Her reaction of having a melt-down is what is known as ‘narcissistic injury‘, as I threatened her self-esteem by telling her that she wasn’t a good mother.
After about 2 days, she called me again to see if ‘I had calmed down’ (as she put it)and to see whether I would become the compliant child she had always trained me so well to be. I told her to speak first and she said that she was disgusted at how ‘vile & hurtful’ my words were towards her and how she had never spoken to her mother, the way I spoke to her. She continued stating her disapproval while at the same time I could feel my own anger and hurt rising to the surface again. I interrupted her and repeated the same things I had told her initially, in the first phone call. Suddenly, she explodes into this screaming fit on the phone and was saying ‘ You are never welcome in my home again’ and some other incoherent stuff..This is what is known as ‘narcissistic rage’ .
‘A perceived threat to the self esteem of a narcissist is categorized as an episode of narcissistic injury. When symptoms of anger or irritation are expressed in response to a narcissistic injury, it results in narcissistic rage’.
At that point I cancelled the call..I’d had enough abuse..and until this day I am rather happy to ‘never visit her home again'(even though she has invited me back)…I’m not a thing that she can dispose of whenever it doesn’t suit her..I am her daughter and I deserve respect, love & validation.
Narcissists are experts at playing the victim and making it the other person’s fault. It’s incredibly infuriating for the other person caught up in their web of lies and it is completely inexcusable for anyone to tell the narcissist that they might be wrong. They are the king/queen of their family, social or professional circle and everyone has to cater to their needs, their wants and their timetable.
The most upsetting thing about these people is that no matter what you do, you will always lose…..So the only solution is to play along and comply or choose ‘no contact’. The latter is obviously the better option for you emotionally..