…..I returned to find all that had I owned , packed away in white garbage bags …. like trash thrown onto the curb at the brink of dawn. I had DARED to defy him, and he was filled with RAGE….
Narcissistic injury is a term I have come across a number of times throughout my quest for knowledge of the world of narcissism. It is an expression used to describe the negative reaction which manifests in response to the narcissist’s perception of criticism or judgement from others. It may also rear its ugly head when the narcissist’s source of supply (the victim) attempts to instil boundaries or hold the narcissist accountable for their negative behavior. Similarly, narcissistic injury occurs from even the most benign of interactions, where the narcissist perceives a normal conversation as a personalized attack against their self-image.
This response is a refection of a loss of control of their emotional stability and regulation, resulting in passive or overtly aggressive and vindictive responses , with the aim of punishing the ‘offending’ party. In most cases , the target for this retribution , is unaware of their insult or is confused by the intense and aggressive response that they have induced.
Narcissistic rage is unnerving. It manifests itself as an unreasonable , disproportionate and aggressive (actively or passively) fit of anger, which develops in response to the narcissist’s idealised self-image becoming mortally wounded. This response has a dual effect; it has the benefit of being used as a tool for the manipulation of others , whilst providing a means of pain-avoidance for the narcissist internally .
Unbeknownst to me , I had encountered this phenomenon several times within my past relationship. My ex-partner would frequently have explosive and raging tantrums , which were often unexplained or highly disproportionate and unreasonable. I recall the times where I had dared to do something ‘wrong‘……an apology was NEVER enough. He would bitterly ask ‘ you think you can just say sorry and thats it !’ , ‘what have you done to make this up to me ! This would be followed by a number of days of the silent treatment. His unspoken statement was clear , I would not be forgiven until I had repented , and paid for my sins !
On several occasions , in pure mental agony , I would ask ‘ What do you want from me ? My blood ??’ I just could not fathom what price I was expected to pay for my infringement.
There was no other expression of his rage which compared to the first and final time that I chose to stand up to him . I refused to bend to his will when he had demanded my return after cancelling our wedding. He packed every item of my belongings into garbage bags ….. we haven’t spoken since.