Narcissistic Rage


So, on my Twitter feed, if there are old blog posts or articles, then Randy posted them. I rarely post articles. I just rage at the universe or say sarcastic things.

I don’t always read the articles he posts, but I read this one on the 8 signs of narcissistic rage.

When I read narcissism posts, they usually play out the same.

Yep, yeah, yeah, yeah, uh huh…read it already. Nothing new. This one wasn’t much different, but number 8…well, this one triggered a memory.

“The narcissist feels (fears) not in control of their relational or physical surroundings.”

One thing adult children of narcissists often do, is fall into a relationship with a malignant narcissist. It’s completely fucked up, but common.

My second husband didn’t behave like my father. He was not loud. He didn’t yell. He didn’t rage.

There is no doubt, he was a malignant narcissist. There is no doubt that he felt rage. His rage just showcased in a different manner.

I thought, for a while, about which was worse. The sudden, violent screaming rage or this weird, silent, disconcerting anger?

I don’t want to keep you in suspense here or anything. The screaming, violent rage is way worse, but doesn’t negate how unsettling silent anger can be.

My second husband did this thing where, if he didn’t get his way, he would shut the fuck down. It was like being ghosted by someone you live with.

This may not be the first time I saw this behavior, but it was one of the most extreme.

My second husband and I lived in a 3 bedroom apartment on Cincinnati’s east side. We had a routine which rarely varied. Hardly ever.

I did not understand the routine rules. I mean, I knew we usually did a certain thing, but had no idea what would happen if I changed the routine.

For all that is fucking holy.

How our evenings played out is this: He would get home from work and open a bottle of wine and then he would start dinner. He was an excellent cook and dinner was usually an event. We didn’t usually eat until at least after 9:00 pm. He would drink a bottle of wine, and smoke weed. Then, we’d eat dinner and drink tequila.

Then came the lottery tickets. He bought between $50 -$75 of scratch off tickets.

Every day.

I hated this. I couldn’t stand the waste. It was tedious.

But we’d scratch tickets off, drink more, smoke more and then go to bed.

One night, he said he was going to work a little late, so I thought I would take some of the burden off and I cooked dinner.

Our apartment was on the top floor and had a vaulted ceiling. When you walked in, it was a sort of great room. Living area with a fireplace, an adjoining space for dining and behind a counter was a galley kitchen. So, when you walked through the front door, you looked right into the kitchen at the back of the room.

He walked through the door, saw me cooking and said nothing. He didn’t break stride. He kept walking until he got to the bedroom.

I didn’t think anything of it. I figured he was changing clothes or whatever. I kept doing what I was doing. I called out to him to see if he wanted a drink and got no answer.

So, I called out again.

This wasn’t a huge apartment and my voice carries, but I had no idea what was going on.

I walked from the kitchen to the bedroom.

I didn’t see him at first, but then I did.

He was curled up in a ball in the corner of the room rocking back and forth.

He would not respond when I spoke to him.

He would not respond when I yelled at him.

He just stayed there and rocked back and forth.

By the time my food was finished cooking, I was too upset to eat. It seemed very apparent he would not be eating the food I cooked.

I don’t remember if I put the food away or threw it out. I just remember that as soon as the evidence of my transgression was gone, he came out of the bedroom, opened a bottle of wine and started

We ate dinner very late that night.

I didn’t sleep much that night.

I mean, I already suspected I made a mistake with husband number 2, but this behavior was just fucking batshit. I did not understand the behavior at all.

I do now. I totally get who he was.

When I read the part about how a narcissist losing control of their physical surroundings could cause rage, I understood. Sometimes rage is quiet.

It’s still completely fucked up, though.


Photo courtesy of Alexas Fotos.



About the author


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Having grown up with narcissists, this is spot on. My mother vacillated between screaming and silence. And I do see that I have attracted narcissistic personalities throughout my life, namely the ones who resort to silence. This post is…timely. Thank you for sharing – sorry you had to deal with the struggle. Narcissists are exhausting.

  • Arrrggg…. the learning curve is so high.
    And subject to whimsical change.
    And unforgiving.
    And so fucked up.
    I like it when Randy posts your ‘old’ stuff 😀

  • Wow. Just….wow. I’m unfortunately familiar with bi-polar (both mother and oldest brother), but this is a whole other playing field.

  • Narc + control freak = run for your life. You’ll never measure up to their internal standard and why should you? You are a human being just as they are, but will never be afforded the respect or human decency any bright second grader displays as if it were no big deal.
    Turns out it is a big deal.
    So glad you are past that now.
    I just found out this weekend that my new housemate sometimes throws those kind of self-centered narcissistic fits when he’s stressed, and Briana and I spent a few hours after he left talking with his girlfriend about it.
    Turns out she was married to a full blown malignant narcissist who she divorced, and that sort of behavior kind of triggers the fuck out of her, causing her boyfriend to feel trapped by her reaction, wash, rinse, repeat.
    Isn’t it lovely the minefields these bastards leave for everyone else to live their lives within?

  • I can see why the screaming was more terrifying than silence but, yeah, the silence is incredibly fucked up. It’s fucked up that narcissists respond to their fear of loss of control by attempting to control others around them.
    I also imagine the silence was pretty terrifying because you didn’t know if or when the screaming might start.

  • Gah. And the weird behaviors you develop in response to their behaviors are hard to overcome too. I still find myself doing them sometimes, expecting my husband to react the same way as my ex. I’m thankful that he doesn’t, but fuck. It’s been ten years.

  • This reminded me of the times I had a dinner party with my ex. Our dinner parties were always famously elaborate — hell, the snack trays for our Christmas parties were always famously elaborate. I still enjoy cooking, but let’s just say I don’t cook like that anymore.

    [Leaves it big long story about salmon and being in the kitchen for 13 hours straight] He wound up in tears because I hadn’t cooked the fish the way he would have done it. I had to change pans and cooking methods halfway through so he would stop crying and moaning about how dinner was “ruined”.

    I’m a good cook, and used a traditional way to serve salmon. It wasn’t ruined. It just wasn’t *his* way.

By Michelle


RSIH in your inbox