How Tracy’s e-mails displayed narcissism

Secondary Arguments. If you decide to withhold raising the white flag, you will find your battlefronts broadening in scope as you engage in “topic warfare.”

The topics of conflict will stray far from the original infraction. Every problem you have encountered since the beginning of your relationship will come up.

Any sensitive information you have shared with her will be misconstrued against you. The attacks become very personal in nature.

You don’t make enough money. You’re a lousy lover. Every relationship she has ever had is better than this one. It goes on and on until she gets a very pivotal reaction I call the “nugget.”

The nugget is any bad or politically incorrect reaction on your part. Heaven forbid if you defend yourself or call her a name.

Unknowingly, you have just been read your Miranda rights. Anything you say can and will be used against you. As soon as she gets the nugget, this theater of operation is over. –Dr. Tara, High-conflict phases of abuse, blame-shifting, distortion, rage and manipulation diagram

Narcissistic Rage is something you, as the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, will no doubt have experienced.

Narcissists hate being challenged. Because they’re such superior, perfect people, how dare you, a mere nobody, challenge them in any way?

This is why Narcissists react out of all proportion to the smallest slight, or perceived slight.  Or even, to the slightest request for better treatment.

Any challenge threatens their wellbeing. Their persona is so fragile that it cannot withstand any challenge whatsoever.

This is why they go on the attack so viciously. They really are fighting for their life, or it feels like it to them.

There are no limits to what they’ll do or say in the throes of this rage.  They’ll eviscerate your personality, your very Self.

It’s like soul-annihilation. It’s so destructive and vicious. It’s a self-esteem destroyer.  Sometimes this Narcissistic Rage can turn physical, but even if it remains at being verbal, it’s terrifying. —Narcissistic Rage

Perceived Insult. It is easy to think of this as the “trigger.” Problem is, this is no ordinary trigger. It is a hair-trigger.

Anything that portrays her as less than perfect or holds her accountable will trigger her for sure. You need to evaluate what triggers your partner.

If you were the one that actually triggered the response, it will be easier to identify. However, sometimes it wasn’t your finger on the trigger. More on that later.

Disproportionate Rage. This phase could easily be labeled “shock and awe.” You will be in awe because in your mind the perceived insult will not warrant the level of rage you receive.

If your infraction is deemed serious enough, she is most likely to use nuclear weapons first. Don’t be surprised if you are subjected to flying objects, yelling, divorce threats, and false 911 calls. There will definitely be memories that last a lifetime!

Defensive / Retaliation. This is basically a scaled down, less violent version of the previous phase. Cluster bombing comes to mind.

She has done nothing wrong! You are wrong! It’s just that simple. Anything you say is wrong. Even an apology would be wrong.

Your recollections of the events are inaccurate. Nobody has ever treated her as poorly as you do.  She claims that all of her friends, doctors, therapists, parents and the mailman agree with her. They all know you are an abusive jerk.

She claims she will continue to do whatever she wants. You will pay for your infraction. She is the judge, jury and executioner all in one. You are not able to get a word in edgewise at this point. All you can do is hunker down and let the bombs fall.

Submissive Route. As previously noted, if you are willing to accept her phony apologies and “drink the Kool-Aid”, you can take a shortcut to the Cloud phase.

Just remember, there is no amnesty granted. You still caused her to act poorly in the beginning. You are basically on parole. If you violate your parole, the conflict will immediately pick up where it left off. —High-Conflict Phases of Abuse, Blame Shifting, Distortion, Rage and Manipulation Diagram

When they are angry for something that they have imagined or misunderstood, you can try to prove the facts to them, you can drag in a hundred witnesses, present undisputable evidence–they will still not change their mind. —Behaviors and attitudes of the narcissist

This blog post on the dangers of apologizing to a narcissist, is just what happened here.  In summary,

Narcissists always have to be right. This makes it your job to be wrong. The trouble is, you’re actually often not wrong.  This annoys the narcissist you know immensely.

The narcissist hopes and prays that you will make mistakes more often, and they can’t wait for you to have to admit it to them.

They look forward to this day “The Day You Will Finally Have To Admit You Were Wrong” just like a little child waits in eager anticipation for his or her birthday. Like an addict craves a fix.

This makes the thought of apologizing to a narcissist feel awful.  What’s most likely to happen when you do apologize?  Well, it’s not generally very good stuff…

Apologize to a non-narcissist, and you’ll probably be forgiven. Apologize to a narcissist, and the most likely result is smug, victorious expectations of more subservience, more apologizing from you, more admissions of inferiority and more demands to please the narcissist.

These actions are all driven by their massive egos, and their egos must remain convinced the narcissist is superior.  You’ve finally admitted what they’ve wisely known since meeting you–you’re completely inferior to them. It took a long time to teach you this, so there’s no way they’re going to let the lesson go un-reinforced.

The Dirty Laundry List 
When you apologize, sometimes narcissists will launch into a list of all the other things you supposedly need to be extremely sorry about. Things you did last week, last month, last year…the list is long, and they are fuming.

You are vastly and immensely wrong on a regular basis, and they’ve been such a good person, never bringing it all up!  But…now that you mention your shortcomings…come to think of it, while they have you, there are PLENTY of other things you need to get oh-so-very-sorry about!

They figure they’ve gotten a few drops of blood out of you, so they feel encouraged–why not try for a gallon and see just how far down they can make you hang your head?

She did make sure to throw in there phrases like, “You were wrong!”–about something I still do not feel I was wrong about.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children

5. My frustrations mount

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing