Bloodshot eyes. Angry yells turning into pitiful howls. This is an altercation that can go on without an end in sight, each round plunging you both deeper down a toxic spiral. In worst cases, it can be like an encounter with a pure evil force.
When the narc rages, it’s tears, spit and shit flying everywhere. Even blood. This is crazy-making taken to the n-th degree. How can someone get so far removed from how they were in the beginning? It makes no sense!
Perhaps you caught them in a lie. Perhaps it was another affair. Maybe you just discovered that they’ve been blowing your hard earned money. Maybe it was simply one too many criticisms that damaged their impeccable persona.
How dare you undermine their status with your nagging complaints?
Confronting a narcissist can be a frightening encounter. Any form of narcissistic injury can trigger a rage of magnanimous proportions. Even the unintended trigger word (such as the word ‘crazy’) can send them flying off the handle.
Fights with the narc tend to get worse over time. Especially once the honeymoon stage is over. I remember in my marriage, there came a time where there was not a single day when we didn’t argue about something. And I thought we had a wonderful relationship! This is how brainwashed I was.
Once the narc/psychopath/borderline feels comfortable enough to relax the demanding strain of keeping up their good face, the ‘mask-slipping’ episodes gain in frequency and intensity.
Until the big one comes. The one in which you literally feel the ground shake beneath you. And like you are staring in the face of a demon.
Can narcissists get possessed? While I don’t discount the possibility, exploring this idea from a spiritual angle can be like entering a labyrinth. For the sake of this piece, I prefer to venture towards the more grounded scientific territory of brain research.
Research shows that narcissists have an imbalance in their brain that makes them dwell in a more-less constant state of threat. Their amygdala tends to be larger in size than that of a healthy person, making it easier for them to slip into a hyper vigilant state at the drop of a pin.
Their default is to ‘fight.’
After digging into literature, doing lots of personal work, talking to people and having an encyclopedia of personal experiences to draw from to boot, I came to the conclusion that the reason narcissistic rage resembles an earthquake is because of how much is at stake for the narc during a confrontation.
The Making Of…
The best explanation I’ve come across regarding the genesis of a narcissist is a demeaning childhood trauma combined with an overdose of superficial praise.
For example, a child could be raised in a toxic household where one of the parents is constantly demeaning while the other tries to make up for it by over-praising the child. Note, that this praise is superficial and not grounded in reality. On one hand, the child is taught to feel worth-less. On another, like they are a superhuman.
Worthlessness gives rise toxic shame. The child learns to cope with it by focusing on the other side of the coin — the praising. Over time, this will forge a belief in grandiosity. And because feeling superhuman feels way better than cold, wet shame, they eventually form a persona around it.
Both sides are false: the shamed, worthless child (no child is worthless!) and the grander-than-thou persona of the narcissist.
This IMO is the origin of cognitive dissonance, with which so many victims of the narcissist’s abuse struggle so much in the pre and post-mortem stages of a relationship. Once it is resolved, it breaks the trauma bond and healing can advance to a new level.
Fight to the Death
The toxic shamed based persona, since it’s never resolved grows in size and power. It acquires it’s own gravitational powers. As it haunts the narcissist, they need to work harder, get smarter, more attractive, accumulate more supply, etc. in order to keep the shame under the lid.
That’s a lot of work.
The comfort the stability your relationship affords them, once they got you trapped, allows them to relax a little. Inevitably, it is just the matter of time before the toxic sludge will start to leak through the cracks and pollute your space.
Unwilling to put in the work to clean up their own mess, the narcissist will blame you for what’s really their responsibility. It is so much easier to live with everyone doing all the hard work for them, whether it is mental, physical or emotional.
The narcissists who do manage to get successful, tend to feel it is their right to have an abundance of lovers, gadgets and toys at the expense of their ‘main’ partner. After all, the work so fucking hard.
So when you finally catch up, consciously or not, that most of what you’ve been fed all this time is a pile of crap concealed as ‘love,’ they lose it. What comes out is insanity so bizarre, violence so intense, manipulation so convoluted that you think you have just met the dark one.
The Face of a Demon
The reason why narcissistic rage can make it seem like they are being possessed, I believe comes from the fact that in an effort to not let the toxicity be seen as their own, they are fighting to the death, guarding the other side of their fake persona — the grandiose facade.
This is where the limbic brain and the amygdala take the stage. It is pure survival. You have just entered a gladiator’s arena and they are out to slay you. Their life (read; ‘reputation’) depends on it.
This idea of a demonic possession makes me wonder whether back in the olden days, people tried to make sense of psychopathic encounters by labelling such people as demon possessed. Perhaps this is why demons often have animal heads? Could it be because devoid of more refined emotions and balanced expression, narcissists plunge right into the zone of animalistic reaction?
Maybe it is because our ancestors, lacking medical research, dealt with psychopathy by weaving myths in order to warn younger generation of a danger they couldn't quite wrap their heads around? Hence, they deemed it otherworldly.
This, I do not know. But perhaps you have some ideas. If so, please share below!
One thing is certain, narcissistic abuse isn’t going anywhere until we are able to recognize and disable it by not playing this toxic game. So next time you see those bloodshot eyes, leave. It is their shit. Let them deal with it.
I hope this post was helpful to you and look forward to meeting you in the comments. Your 👏🏻 are the rocket fuel that inspires me to keep up this work.
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If you are suffering from the shock of being subjected to narcissistic abuse, have a look into my FREE three-step SOS program available on my website.
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