The Hurt it Burns

I cannot stand to be criticised. I do not remember a lot about my childhood but I do recall that I tried very hard to ensure that my parents, in particular my mother were proud of me. This was difficult. She set high standards which of course were for my own good and to ensure that I strove to be the best because as she told me, I was the best. If I fell short then her scathing criticism of me left me crushed. I felt like my insides had been ripped out and waved about in front of my face and I needed to extinguish that feeling fast.

That sensation of utter devastation if I am criticised has never left me. In discussion with Dr O I have learned that it blossoms from two things. The first is that this feeling of massive vulnerability and wretchedness still persists and I cannot stand it. I think this is peculiar to me because God has made me brilliant but He wishes to remind me of my mortality and therefore causes me to feel such an horrendous pain when I am attacked. It sickens me and leaves me wracked with agony. The second is the fact that I should not be criticised and especially not by those who are beneath me. I cannot fathom out how those who are inferior to me have any standing by which they can actually pass judgement on me. That is entirely valid and logical. However, this second element ignites inside me something which I have learned overrides the devastation and that is important to me. The sense of injustice and indignation that arises from this undue and unnecessary criticism ignites a fury that is immense. It explodes inside me with unrivalled speed and then erupts with such violence that the initial wretchedness I feel is blown away within moments. I need this rage. I need it to extinguish the horror of the devastation. It needs to burn with such magnificent fury that it strengthens me again. This rage cannot however sit inside of me. It must be poured out and directed. You criticised me, you created the devastation and thus you must feel my immense rage in order for the devastation to be obliterated. In that time you will be obliterated too by my anger, my rage and my fury. But that is collateral damage to my need to remove the emptiness inside. You caused  my pain so you must feel the cure. I can see it is unpleasant for you, the shouting, the venom, the accusations and vitriol that I send in your direction. Sometimes the cure erupts from my fists. I cannot help it as I must let the rage burn to remove the emptiness. You can help it though ; don’t criticise me.

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18 thoughts on “The Hurt it Burns”

  1. Wow !!!! I felt that !!! I understand how it started with me now. Im a woman who works with lots of men. I can sometimes be very blunt. I’m also tall strong and can be very logical in an argument. X would never hit a woman but physically he knew he wouldn’t get away with hitting me. I would fight back, but he knew I was a sensitive woman underneath ( soft and trusting ) he used this against me. He knew exactly how to hurt me. In fact he is now in a relationship with a woman in the next street ( maximum effect) he had been conducting 18 month affair whilst withholding sex from me for 5 years. I wish I knew this information now !!!! Where was you 6 years ago eh ? I could have done with this then ……..

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    1. We are masters at understanding body language and the way that people think when we know they are empathetic and decent. If you are not those things we are not interested. Yes the conducting of the affair and withholding sex are classic moves. The first garners positive attention. The second is designed to provoke a reaction from you and thus get attention, whilst reinforcing his superiority over you. I can understand your need for my input to assist your understanding.

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  2. I was definitely the chosen one for my empathy, innocence, looks, educated professional medical skills that requires caring for others, first and foremost. Not to mention, happy, friendly, a social butterfly, loveable and with “the in” crowd of friends in my circle, and the mother that showed love and compassion, openly and freely, and encouraged my boys to be happy in anything the do.
    Did my Xnarc not expect me to wake up from his spell and see through him? Figure out his game? Educate myself of the events and actions that were no longer making me happy, but causing hurt and disrespect for the man i once taught was my soulmate, that something was wrong with him and not me?

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    1. Hello Precious Gemini, thank you for your post and apologies for my dilatory response. I have to confess you read like a Grade A Diamond Encrusted Empath. I bet your narc drank deep from you. To answer your question, no he did not. Some people (and I am afraid intelligence and education is no guide here) never realise what they are dealing with. Yes they see the abuse but always make excuses for it and they do not recognise it as narcissism and they blunder along forever. Some work it out but usually after we have become bored of you and gone elsewhere for our main source of fuel. Occasionally someone in the middle of the maelstrom sees it for what it is but this usually more good fortune than design(though this may increase a little with people educating themselves through this blog and the books) and often through the intervention of somebody in the know (who will most likely have suffered). The interesting think with those who have been on the receiving end of narcissistic abuse is that it is more common than people realise but until it has happened very few and I mean very few actually know if for what it is. As a consequence, since we know that, we have little fear of you seeing through the façade. What concerns us is maintaining the façade for long enough to get enough fuel from you before we let it slip.

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  3. Im really interested in this, I’d love to understand why my husband acts like he does. But we have children, and I do not understand how anyone can put their own needs in front of their childs!! Can u please give me some insight? Im not interested in criticizing, I desperately need to understand. I am hurt every single day on behalf of my babies and I’ve never met anyone w no empathy. It is devastating. Why cant he treasure his children like everyone else I know?

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    1. Hello Amanda and thank you for your post. Our need for fuel transcends anything and everything. There is a deep emptiness inside of us which we must fill with drama, attention and admiration. The filling of this hole (although it can never be achieved) is our sole aim in order to silence the pain that wracks us. From the moment we wake to the moment we sleep, we want fuel to throw into the fuel. This means that our entire lives are geared to securing this fuel. Everything we say and do has to garner fuel otherwise it is not worth doing. Anything which detracts from us receiving attention is at best a hindrance and at worst an opponent. Children require attention, more than anything else. They require his attention (which means he is being diverted from his task to find fuel) and they require your attention (so you cannot give him the total attention he wants). Your husband has no choice. This may be hard to understand but being the creature he is means that he cannot help but act the way he does. The urge is too powerful. I hope this assists you but do feel free to ask further if necessary.

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      1. It is hard to understand but u put it in pretty simple terms. And yes, they do require attention above all else. I appreciate your answer and your honesty, thank you. I feel I’ll be asking you more as I read more of your work. This is really a goldmine of info you are offering to ppl who live amongst narcissists.

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      2. Thank you. You are welcome to ask anything of you. I appreciate my replies may seem a little brutal but my kind did the sugar-coating to reel you in, I see little need for it now.

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  4. Thank you for your honest and really rather heartwrenching look inside a narcissist’s mind. I’m sorry you had to go through what you did with a perfectionist and critical mother(mine was too) and adopt narcissism as the only way you thought you could relate to the world. I have been in the thrall of narcissists my entire life, providing them with a seemingly endless supply of fuel. I’m both fascinated and horrified by what really goes on in a narc’s mind, and in a strange way, oddly drawn to it. That’s because I’m a Cluster B myself (BPD) and have quite a few narcissistic traits. I don’t have NPD but I could easily have crossed the line into it myself. I just try to understand, that’s all.

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    1. Hello Faith, presumably you know a narcissist who has remained married for twenty years and you are wondering how is that possible if our kind become bored easily and move on for fuel? He may be a victim narcissist who is content to reap the additional benefits alongwith fuel and therefore will remain in situ. Furthermore, how do you know he isn’t getting fuel from elsewhere?

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      1. I’ve been married for 30 years, he discarded me 2 months ago, I then discovered he’d had affairs all along. His adult children aren’t speaking to him because of this. He seems ok with this though, he’s having psychotherapy, do you think he can be “cured” ?

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      2. Hello Nellydean, I do not think so no, others disagree with me. He is most likely undertaking the psycho therapy in order to progress his own agenda.

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  5. Noboby should be criticised especially someone who tries so hard like You…on the other hand I still need to learn how to avoid that curvy roads of Your mind where anything can be twisted into criticism. ..I will master that skill one day..

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  6. Has been worth the journey to get it from the horses mouth and precisely what he knows I know and clearly stated backed up here. Exactly as I know to be and have experienced to the point the arguments about his parents will continue to be viciously defended on his behalf yet I never met them. I have met them though, even though they were deceased when I met him. You see I have met them equally both of them through him and I don’t like what was sent out into the world from them because it was not my problem to inherit through marriage.

    From an N that criticises or abuses whether in silence (father) or criticism and (not good enough) mother it is like living with a snake with two heads. One says one thing (mother) and immediately (father comes in) however I find the most responsibility would have laid with his mother as he rarely speaks about his father and has the traits of an authoritarian parenthood yet vehemently denies it yet used it to entrap me into his portrayal of childhood (victim status) yet what, he thinks that I would forget what he said and now clearly denies?

    He screams whilst hurling insults at my parents who raised me without any harsh criticism, a pretty cruisy childhood, that I never knew his parents. My consistent reply, “Well I do now!” Punitive and insensitive background or the scales were tipped in favour of the punitive and authoritarian over empathy and sensitivity. A direct clash and inner confusion, I should think for a child. Indeed, if he is so very sensitive to criticism than he should not dish it out yeah? If the shoe fits and all of that….So why not for the sake of peace just state: Hey I am human, I am vulnerable and I have weaknesses and I am perfectly imperfect and my flaws are many but I will refrain from causing you direct or indirect harm and wish for mutual reciprocation as we are both therefore sensitive!

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  7. Your parents (esp your mother as you’ve mentioned), is the source of your rage. They caused the wound that laid the foundation for any subsequent criticism to be a trigger for you to go into replay, that is, to feel the original hurt over and over again. It is common sense that in order to heal, you need to direct that rage at the source (as catharsis in therapy of course, not in real life) repeatedly till it is all released.

    This shows what that kind of therapy is like.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWW2ISJltV4

    My ex-N has yet to realise how entangled he is with his mother. He is almost 40. I didn’t see it coming as he was a covert narc; I thought he was just a mama’s boy. With my father, the overt narc, he got a little better once his mother passed away but of course, without therapy, never fully healed.

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