You have seen no greater wrath than a narcissist wound. When you take away a narcissist’s supply source, all Hell breaks loose! Make no mistakes; taking on a narcissist is no simple task. Prepare for battle; no, better yet, prepare for full on WAR. You know the saying, “there is no fury like a woman scorned,” well, I contend that a woman scorned pales in comparison to a narcissist being told, “No,” and losing a source of supply. There is no greater anger to come up against than when a source of narcissistic supply turns on their narcissist, trying to grasp a small fragment of what’s left of their self-esteem.
Narcissistic supply to a narcissist is like food and water to a typical person. Due to a complicated set of early childhood attachment trauma, lack of healthy parental attunement, and a psychic “split,” a narcissist develops. His psyche does not understand healthy human interconnection; early working models for healthy intimate interaction have been thwarted and damaged. The only way for this person (the young narcissist) to cope is through psychic splitting and by developing over-compensatory protective defenses – hence, a state of entitlement, grandiosity, and lack of empathy. In the place of healthy empathy, guilt, and compassion for others, the narcissist packs away his vulnerability behind a wall of veiled detachment and charm, settling instead for narcissistic supply. This food provides a pseudo relationship dynamic, which superficially satisfies the narcissist’s need for connection (which he does not really know how to attain any other way.)
Co-narcissists do not see it coming and are ill-prepared for what they are up against. Regular people who love narcissists do not play by the same set of rules as the narcissist. The co-narcissist has empathy, cares about others, and desires to connect with mutuality. Narcissists only know narcissistic supply. When they enter a relationship, their damaged ego is unwilling to share in the relationship with mutuality. Of course, this is not apparent at first. Narcissists appear to care about you, open up to you, and seem agreeable to doing life “with” you. They charm you with how “in” to you they are. They act like you are the best thing that ever happened to them. They sweep you off your feet.
If the narcissist is your parent, the same general principles apply. Your worth is only as good to your narc parent as your ability to feed them their need for supply. Children of narcissists idolize their parent and love them, as is natural. The child is completely ill-equipped and emotionally unprepared to cope with this relationship. As a result, the narc child tends to take on the projected shame from their parent, internalizing a deeply embedded sense of inadequacy.
While being in a narcissistic relationship is an emotional roller-coaster at best, when you finally jump off the ride in order to salvage what you can from your destroyed sense of self, you then plunge in to a nightmare. When you set a boundary with a narcissist, there is no end to the retaliation you will face. You will be blamed, ignored, devalued, insulted, slanderized to all your joint friends, and accused of everything you would never want to be accused of. The narcissist will not ever acknowledge anything good about you, or the good you brought to the relationship, instead, he will become even more committed to making you bad at all levels. He will use your vulnerabilities against you. If the narc is your lover, he or she will attack your sexuality or value as a woman or man. If the narc is your parent, he or she will attack your ability to be a good son or daughter, claiming that after all they did for you, you were an ungrateful, cold-hearted taker. They take the metaphoric knife, stab it deeply into your biggest emotional vulnerabilities, and twist.
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