What the Hell Just Happened?

 

Image result for picture of bewildered woman

 

–         One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall and called me a fucking selfish bitch –

–         I only asked how his day was and he just turned around and walked back out; that was yesterday evening and I haven’t heard from him since –

–         I mentioned I was going away with my friends for the weekend and before I know it he is accusing me of having an affair and telling me I have to cancel the trip and stay at home –

–         All I said was that the blue shirt suited him better, he tore both of them in half and pushed me over –

–         How did I end up looking like this; I said that maybe he had had enough to drink –

–         I was sat watching television and she came in full of hell and laid into me, I had no idea what I was supposed to have done –

 

The overriding response to such scenarios and others is what the hell just happened? At the time these instances happen, the recipient of the behaviour does not know that they have become entangled with one of our kind. The recipient expects the other person to operate by their standards of behaviour, their own mature and reasonable responses and their own healthy reactions. Not only do they find that the response is anything but like how they would respond, they struggle to discern any logic in or reason in how we have behaved. Common reactions to such instances as the above along with asking what the hell just happened would include

 

–         She blew it up out of all proportion –

–         I don’t know what got in to him, there was nothing the matter –

–         It was such an extreme reaction I am at a loss to understand why she did as she did –

–         Everything was going really well and then wham; I’ve no idea what set that off-

 

Indeed, you would have no idea at all what is going on and why would you? At the time you did not know that you had become entangled with a narcissist and this is an entirely typical and standard response. Even when you ascertain, most likely sometime after the relationship has been brought to an end through a callous discard, that you had become involved with a narcissist, these eruptions, disruptions and volcanic responses still mystify and bewilder. In order to comprehend what on earth has just happened in such instances it is necessary to adopt the narcissist’s perspective. Despite the boldness, the grandiosity and the confidence, we are suspicious of the world. The world has treated us badly. It is a treacherous place which has sought, from the very beginning, to destroy us and this remains our mind set. As we move through life, climbing higher and higher, driving forward and conquering, we remain vigilant, wary and indeed often paranoid. There are those traitors, those betrayers and those plotters who would love nothing more than to do us down, dethrone us and topple us. Hence we often strike first before those who conspire to harm us can do so. Our view of the world means that we see criticism, which we despise and hate more than anything else, lurking around every corner, in the words of those who speak to us and most of all through the actions and gestures of the shadowy snakes who infest the world.

Oh we are not stupid, we know only too well that you prefer to criticise us through actions and gestures, that way you are able to diminish the impact by suggesting that we are over-reacting, reading too much into it and seeing things that are not there. Of course we often accuse you of doing this but we are never guilty of behaving in this manner. We are always right when we see a criticism arising from something. We are finely tuned to pick up on these criticisms and therefore we spot them straight away.

Notwithstanding our ability to spot these criticisms, we are unable to evade them and instead like a serrated dagger they wound us and make us feel weak, vulnerable and pathetic. They are an unwanted and horrendous reminder of the very thing we seek not to be. In order to cope with this unwarranted wounding of us, we have an excellent self-defence mechanism. Fury. Our fury is always there, churning away beneath the surface and when we are wounded by criticism, this fury ignites and manifests either as heated fury or cold fury. This means that we lash out at you and others, smash things up, assault people, stand and glare, dole out silent treatments and so forth. This will nearly always cause the recipient of this manifestation of ignited fury to respond in an emotional manner – fear, hurt, anger, surprise, annoyance, upset and so forth – which of course equates to fuel.

The provision of fuel as a direct consequence of the manifestation of this ignited fury means that the wound caused by the criticism is healed and eventually the ignited fury will dissipate as it has served its function. A Mid-Range narcissist has some control over the ignition of his fury and if he deems that exploding in a certain situation would be detrimental to how he is viewed he may switch to cold fury or even withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere to quell the ignited fury and heal the wound. A Greater Narcissist has substantial control and for instance if he deems it necessary to preserve the façade he will keep the fury under control until there is an appropriate moment to unleash the fury and gain the fuel. Thus in some instances the ‘what the hell moment’ may not happen at the time the criticism occurred but be a time afterwards. You can see now just how bewildering and disorientating it is.

Be aware that a criticism which is allied with emotion is fuel and will not wound us. Thus shouting at us and calling us all the names under the sun only provides us with fuel. Crying and telling us that we are a complete bastard and useless in bed is fuel. That is why the criticism often arises from perception and from actions and gestures as they tend to be fuel free.

Returning to the instances at the outset of this article, let’s examine how the perception of criticism manifested in my kind’s mind.

–         One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall and called me a fucking selfish bitch –

The criticism arose because the narcissist was served with his food behind everybody else thus insinuating that other people were more important than him.

 

–         I only asked how his day was and he just turned around and walked back out; that was yesterday evening and I haven’t heard from him since –

The criticism arose because the speaker failed to smile and look delighted at the return of the narcissist, thus implying that he was not worth shining for.

 

–         I mentioned I was going away with my friends for the weekend and before I know it he is accusing me of having an affair and telling me I have to cancel the trip and stay at home –

The criticism was spending time with other people and therefore suggesting that the narcissist was not interesting enough to spend the weekend with.

 

–         All I said was that the blue shirt suited him better, he tore both of them in half and pushed me over –

The criticism was to suggest that the shirt he preferred was not the one he looked best in. This not only criticised his choice but also how he looked.

 

–         How did I end up looking like this; I said that maybe he had had enough to drink –

The criticism is to suggest that the narcissist has a drink problem and that his activities ought to be curtailed, by you, somebody who is inferior to him.

–         I was sat watching television and she came in full of hell and laid into me, I had no idea what I was supposed to have done –

This may be an example of delayed fury arising from an earlier criticism and/or it might be the fact that the person was watching television and not providing attention to the narcissist.

 

You will have no doubt deduced from this that occurrence of a what the hell just happened moment can happen at any time, can come out of nowhere and is not based on anything significant, from your perspective. From our perspective there is the potential for criticism on a repeated and frequent basis. This is what leads to the second-guessing, hypervigilance, anxiety and treading on egg-shells that is so often associated with our kind.

In terms of dealing with it, is nigh on impossible to predict. You will at least know what it is and why it has happened. In certain circumstances it can be used to your advantage to cause a wound and then not to provide fuel when the ignition of fury takes place. This will weaken us and cause us to go elsewhere, but care should be exercised in doing this as it may escalate the reaction initially with severe consequences. The most appropriate way to deal with this is to be able to know what it is, understand why it has happened, that it will blow over and that you may be best providing positive fuel, rather than becoming scared, bewildered or upset, since you know what is behind it. You can then manage it in that way until such time as you can escape the effect and influence of the narcissist as a whole.

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29 thoughts on “What the Hell Just Happened?”

  1. Wow, your article just described a childhood friend that I reconnected with after 35 years! He would blow up like a volcano when he didn’t like something I said or turn down his advances (I’m married) but he didn’t care, he would give me the silent treatment or call me horrible names at any given time during our conversations (texts). I really thought something had to be wrong with him to act so out of control. It wasn’t until I stumbled on a this article that I realized that he probably suffers from narc personality disorder. Thanks for the insight – I have since blocked him out of my social media.

  2. NOW i finally understand! such a wow-effect! I would have never guessed, that my ex had such thoughts. Thank you so very much for helping me to understand. many greetings.

  3. delayed fury is something I could feel in the air straight away and be prepared for a strike…. I’d call it “awaiting fury” as I knew if he hasnt blown out straight away he will later ALWAYS.very very good article dear G!

  4. HG you are saving so many lives! Brilliant! Fate saved me death by evil . I’m a survivor…. I won’t be defeated ever!! An that fucker will never succeed in hoovering me. Not a chance! because of you I totally get it! Yes it’s a hard , bitter pill to swallow …but because of you I’m certain I will never be fooled again! People are so transparent to me now . I see who they really are. and of course with the knowledge an understanding I’m gaining from you I will educate others . This narcissistic epidemic is scary though 😳😳

  5. This did take me back to a place, needed a little HG a couple of years ago, would have made the sting a little less.
    Glad your here now thou HG 🙂

  6. “One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall… ”
    My grandmother used to tell me about these episodes when she was young and her family was having lunch. She said she could not understand why her father used to do that.

    *Delayed* criticism – I have experienced this one repeatedly, especially with narcissistic women. There are two posibilities:
    a) They start a smear campaign and turn people I know against me. or
    b) They lash out at me.
    I usually do not know why.

  7. Oh my god…in a strange twist of fate I have stumbled here. Right now I am completely numb from reading every word carefully. You have just described the last 12 years of my life to a perfect tee. This is my husband. After 12 years I am still in complete fear of even speaking to him. Trial and error have shown me what proper reactions to give, what voice inflections to use, when to smile and when to laugh, how to walk, how to talk, even when and how to breathe.

    Thank you, omg, thank you for sharing because I am clueless and you can help me help him by knowing…

  8. I can vividly recall many such incidents with #1. I remember being totally bewildered by it. It also frequently led to me being assaulted as I would usually react negatively to his behaviour.

    You say HG, that it may be better to react by giving positive fuel. I’m wondering if you could use your scenarios to give some examples of this please.

  9. I have lived this many times before fully understanding what I was dealing with. In fact, the final discard was one of these moments. I can only be thankful for the fact that I had already been educating myself. I was able to finally just walk away. God it makes me sick to my stomach just to read this. It’s necessary to see it in black and white but still a very bitter pill to swallow.

  10. Wow! Yes hard to read . My heart is skipping beats . Wish I had this knowledge prior to 3 months ago! Before the ticking time bomb went off!! ….. it Could of saved me a lot of pain …. Brilliant HG thank you!

  11. Yes, never knowing what each day, or even what each moment, will bring about. It can be something to change one’s whole life so completely as to set that person into a permanent state of confusion, numbness, and dissociation for the rest of their life.

  12. This is what helped me understand some instances in which my ex used fury. I was able to put myself in her head and listen to the criticism that she was hearing. It was completely different from what I meant. And I found that most of the time she was hearing her mother critiquing her through my words. She was then wounded and took it out on me. Those were great examples. Your perspective makes the world of difference. There were so many “what the hell happened moments for me”
    Thanks HG for another great post.

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