The Igniters of Fury – No. 4

IGNITER 5

A series that allows you to understand what are the different things that you do which are likely to ignite the fury of a narcissist. Keep in mind that different schools of narcissists have different levels of control over their fury. Use this information to understand why you have been treated to heated or cold fury and to use this information to further your own position post escape.

65 thoughts on “The Igniters of Fury – No. 4

  1. CB says:

    … or even worse, not even opening the message. Leaving it on “Gray ticks”, for a week.

  2. Clary says:

    I’m not a narcicist and that’ll make me furious . I thank my lucky stars I met you Tudor

    1. VFH says:

      HG, could ignoring him also ignite fury? We have not heard from him for months but there is a birthday on the horizon and he reared his head via text at the last one. I batted him off and have not heard anything since but would prefer to ignore altogether if happens again.

      Is this a potentially Bad Idea? In the absence of more specifics from me, one of your broad brush answers would be much appreciated.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Yes it is likely to ignite his fury is you ignore him, either by him contacting you and you not responding and/or when he expects you to contact him (for example inviting him to a birthday party) and you fail to do so.

        1. VFH says:

          That’s annoying.

          Perhaps I could just reply with some word salad nonsense instead that would be too boring for him to bother harassing me further…..

          Or replying by emoji only….agreeing and acknowledging him too how about this….👍💩?

          I’m not a very good Tudent am I. Sad face. Beats self with twigs….

          1. Tudent!! Haha. Love it 😊

  3. Jenna says:

    It never bothered him if i didn’t reply right away. But nicely and oddly enough, he always used to reply as soon as he could (unless he was in class, at work, or sleeping). He even used to reply while driving. “Don’t text and drive!” I used to say.

  4. Patricia says:

    VFH Isn’t it disgusting how they dismiss the kids that way! And the children need to ‘respect’ them just because they are adults ( allegedly) while they treat their kids with total disrespect. My last and final Narc would say “You’re going to listen to a child over what I tell you?”. I’m ashamed to say that his tactic worked more often than I should have allowed, even though I witnessed plenty of his manipulations myself.

    1. VFH says:

      Hi Patricia…..some comments seem to have a reply button and others don’t, can’t work that out but can reply to yours so…. hi!

      Yes indeed….easy to see how the young are so easily groomed, especially online, when we as adults fall for it too.

      Sadly I too was sucked into seeing one of my children in a certain light because of him being used as a scapegoat by his father (when we were together.) He was all “oh you know what he’s like…” when anything difficult with our son’s behaviour arose, and yes I thought I did know what he was like. I was certainly more sympathetic to him than my husband who said things like “he’s manipulative and calculating”, “don’t feel sorry for him he does it on purpose” etc – projection much?! And now I see my son’s difficult behaviour as probably being a result of the frustration and confusion my child couldn’t process about how he was being treated by his father – unbeknown to me.

      It was an awful realisation but at least I had it. I only hope we can both heal enough (me and my son) to make good the damage his father has done.

      1. Patricia says:

        I still have a lot of guilt for entertaining his characterization of my boys as manipulative, especially the son he was most jealous of. Thankfully our children have us to mitigate this damage and teach them how to be real humans. They are amazingly resilient. Mine are all older now and are caring and compassionate young men who even understand the abusive Narcs (their father and step father). They have zero contact with the abusive ex step dad and the contact with their dad is limited. They know how to manage him fairly well now.

        1. VFH says:

          Hi Patricia and thank you so much for sharing that….it’s reassuring to know they are so well adjusted – all due credit to you.

          Them knowing how to deal with their father is my main concern….he doesn’t see them at all (and has painted me as the reason of course, just as he did about why we hardly ever saw my stepson because of his wife before me…..his smear campaign doesn’t bother me) I educate our children about healthy boundaries etc not only because of him but also paving the way for general life lessons – however the sadness they have inside them that didn’t exist before causes me actual physical pain sometimes. When they did spend time with him he did exactly the same as he did with me – gaslit, blameshifting, blank stares plus of course the delightful addition of parental alienation (mummy’s an idiot and so are you etc) and they’d return to me every time in pieces.

          I’ve no doubt they’re better off without his influence but I find it difficult to shake this sense of dread about him rearing his head again and coming in for the kill.

          Did your children’s father have much to do with them? And if not how did they reconcile that?

          It seems the N. Fathers drop them when younger and then turn up like the prodigal hero (“I’ve made mistakes, I’m different now, I’m repenting for my sins” blah de blah) when they’re older and can’t remember what daddy was like anyway which obviously enables their scot-free escape. And so the duping continues….

        2. VFH says:

          Sorry Patricia, just to clarify I know you said your children’s contact with narc father was limited – was that when they were little too? That’s the situation we are in.

  5. strongerwendy says:

    Like the good student that I am -I’ve been practicing my lessons from HG on my ex narc husband – since we have children and absolute no contact isn’t possible – yet (not the most recent narc – absolute no contact will be adhered to for him).

    I’ve always answered my ex husband’s texts immediately since they could have involved something about one of our three children and probably from grooming/conditioning when we were married and pre-marriage. He can be pretty intimidating or charming when he wants to.

    I don’t reply right away now and many times not at all (my children are now all old enough to have their own cell phones, so I can talk to them directly if I want). I am now very matter of fact when dealing with him.

    He tries to bait me with techniques that were wildly successful previously (trying to evoke both positive or negative fuel but I no longer include any emotion in my reactions – unless it will benefit me). He seems to be confused and followed me around like a puppy dog at the last child related event we had to attend jointly.

    One of my children was singing. My mother was there as well…taking credit for this particular childs talent, of course…eye roll…

    Back to the ex narc husband. Every time I turned around there he was trying to join whatever conversation I was having.

    I observed his girl friend sitting alone at their table downing drinks and becoming visibly drunk. tsk tsk

    I must admit I’m enjoying this. And practice makes perfect ☺ Thank you Mr. Tudor.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  6. Victoria says:

    Hi HG,
    When we ignore the text a few times do they think we have moved on or figured out their manipulation of us? In my situation “before HG” which is how I explain to others where I am in my life, I would always return a call or text-I thought it meant he cared-LOL. So, just curious as to how perplexed he might be to see the contrary to what I’ve done for 10 years.
    Thanks,

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, we just think you are being ignorant and selfish and that we need to move to a different fuel source for a time.

  7. MLA - Clarece says:

    I always answered his texts. I’m responsive pretty quick to family and close friends. They know what time of day I’m tending to my daughter getting her to or from school. It was always me waiting for his texts over time.

    1. Gabrielle says:

      This was me as well. And he made every excuse under the sun as to why he never replied to my texts or took awhile. In the beginning he was immediately replying at all hours of the day. Later on it was excuse after excuse. It is all part of their game. He never got upset or angry at me if I took awhile to reply to his texts. He played his “nice guy persona” all the time. He did however repeatedly check to see if I read the messages (I would see the timestamps on What’s App)….I never got any fury though. Come to think of it I never got much fury at all. Manipulation yes. Projection and blaming…good grief yes. Everything else, yes. Fury? Nope!

      1. Free Bird says:

        Gabrielle, if you haven’t gotten the fury, your narc may be a mid-level or greater, or just have learned how to contain it.. (HG correct me if I am wrong.) My first narc was a mid-level, and would give me silent treatments. He had the restraint to hold in his fury. When he was younger, I found out his fury was unleashed, but he kept it in check around me. My second narc, a lesser, FURY was his middle name. I think of his tirades as temper tantrums, and him as a sort of toddler or young child. I am glad you haven’t gotten to experience the fury, but it did make it much easier to escape, and I got out much sooner. Plus I recognized many of the warning signs having already dealt with one.

        1. gabbanzobean says:

          I consulted with HG who identified him as a mid range cerebral. Fury was absent. Or I guess contained if you want to call it that. I did get the silent treatment and the disappearing acts. But it was always given with excuses about his guilt. He frequently complained about his guilt. Very rarely did he ever lose his cool with me and even when he did he always kept a nice guy personality going. Insulting me or putting me down or blaming me but always in a nice way that made it look like he was giving me advice or helping me. Like I said more manipulative than furious.

          I was a LDR/DLS. I wonder if his wife (the IPPS) got more of the fury.

      2. CB says:

        I would call the manipulations cold fury, passive-aggression, though. Some move following you not responding to a message.

        Whenever I didn’t respond to a message or didn’t open it at all, he would a week later send a little misspelled group invitation (to restaurant or pub) by email or sms.
        His standard jealousy-bait to make me see how many admirers he has.

        It is very hard to prove that a group email was actually “meant for me”, but it was so predictable every time. Like clockwork.
        After lots of reading in HG’s blog I would say these group invitations were all classic Mid-ranger hoovers.

    2. VFH says:

      Hello Freebird, stronger wendy, mla and Patricia!

      So glad you mentioned these things and yes our children are so insightful…..I’ve been relieved as well as saddened by the things mine have come out with.

      Do mind me asking and sorry if you’ve already explained but I skim read & might have missed it…..do your children still have contact with whoever their narc influence is?

      1. VFH says:

        Mine are all under 10 and have actually used the word Devil about their father, and told me things that they “felt” about him before they could even talk. I hate that he thought he could use the fact they are children to cover up his behaviour – make out they were lying or confused, just as he did with me of course.

      2. VFH says:

        And narseeker, sorry!

      3. MLA - Clarece says:

        My daughter never met or interacted with JN. I had hit the wall and become very depressed for almost 2 months following a very hurtful stunt he pulled. Then I found HG. My then therapist wasn’t making a dent and was under the illusion herself that JN must care and feel a connection towards me with how many times he resurfaced.
        My ex-husband of 15 years who is my daughter’s Dad, I’m still sitting on the fence about. I’ve learned so much here, that I connect some dots. I’ve also adjusted how I interact with him differently. I think he is higher on the narcissistic spectrum but not full blown and not malicious. However there are things he says and does that come across pretty selfish to my daughter, but it’s manageable. We don’t typically have any conflict and never any child support or monetary issues.

      4. strongerwendy says:

        Mine do not.

      5. strongerwendy says:

        Clarification. My children do not have any contact with my most recent narc (of six years) but they do have a close relationship with their father (my ex narc husband). I know HG says narcs can’t love but I do believe he loves our kids.

        1. windstorm2 says:

          strongerwendy,
          My exhusband certainly values our children, cares about their welfare and enjoys their company.

          1. strongerwendy says:

            That could be the case. Could just be me being an empath who always wants to believe in love. Love for children is so different than other love. For example, I’d take a bullet for my kids (but not for anyone else).

          2. windstorm2 says:

            Strongerwendy,
            If I were to read your last comment to my exhusband I know how he would respond, “If I ever took a bullet for one of our kids it’d be because I couldn’t dodge fast enough!” I can hear his laughing in my mind. 😝

          3. windstorm2 says:

            But that of course doesn’t mean that I don’t understand and agree with how you feel. Our children are all grown and I consequently feel much more protective of our grandchildren. If one of their lives were threatened I’d sacrifice myself to save them automatically. As mothers and grandmothers our kids and grandkids are under our protection. We automatically think of them first. It is our job, our responsibility and a big part of who we are.

  8. narseeker says:

    Previous to the entanglement, I had a certain professional interaction with the N. My youngest daughter told me one day: “I hate this person”. I asked her “How come, why, you haven’t met him..” She replied: every time he calls, you immediately pick up, and there is an air of uneasiness, nervousness, and anxiousness in the air, I hate it”. More to come (about my daughter’s observations)

    1. MLA - Clarece says:

      Yes!!!! My daughter too. Although she never met JN, she obviously picked up on his texting campaigns or saw me upset at times when he blew me off. At the age of nine, two summers ago, she said she hated him too. The reason when asked – “He blows your candle out to make his burn brighter.”
      #Truth

      1. Indy says:

        She is a very insightful girl!!

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          Hi Indy! Did you have a chance to get that book the “Science of Evil”?

          1. Indy says:

            Hi MLA,
            YES!! What an excellent book too! I really appreciated the view he took on Zero empathy types(negative and positive bends). It helped with my various experiences I have had with narcissists versus those on the autism spectrum disorder and differentiation between the bvariations of lack of/ reduced empathy. I’m still reading parts. Very happy with this book though!!! Thank you for the recommendation!!
            Indy

          2. karen1303 says:

            Sounds interesting. May I have the author please?

          3. MLA - Clarece says:

            Author is Simon Baron-Cohen.

            @Indy – I have 2 chapters left on the book and will respond to your comments on it in a few days hopefully when I finish.

          4. Karen Comfortably Numb says:

            Thank you.

          5. VFH says:

            That book sounds interesting MLA, thank you for mentioning. I think Simon Baron-Cohen is fascinating but not read any of his books.

            If anyone is interested in another recommendation, especially following on from the subject of educating ourselves and our children – I read a great book called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. Focuses on our gut instincts and how to tune in and use them effectively. It’s a really easy read too.

            Sorry HG that I’ve not bought any of yours yet….I’m getting closer to arranging a consultation but a bit hesitant still. I’ve certainly pointed lots of people to your blog though!

          6. Indy says:

            Hi VFH,
            Yes, I second that recommendation. I just started reading the Gift of Fear. Great book. Narcissistic abuse fogs our minds to separate us from that natural survival instinct. Puts us in Emotion Mind and out of Logic mind….and we no longer hear our gut instinct. Mine is coming back slowly.

            Definitely not to distract from HGs awesome and invaluable books. Often we need HGs books first to see what we are as we are fogged over typically already. He helps us through the fog. So grateful.

          7. VFH says:

            Hi Indy…..I’m so glad you’re enjoying that book. Despite it’s context i feel it has such a positive and empowering vibe.

            You’ve totally hit the nail on the head re the emotional vs the logic…the fog can really bog us down and it’s very easy to get sucked in to a vortex when trying to understand what’s happened/happening in a toxic relationship. HGs site is a one of a kind resource on that front, providing answers and validation that I haven’t found anywhere else.

            For me, it was a stage of recovery to pick apart the why’s and wherefore’s of toxic personality types and i still have questions around some issues but I definitely started feeling much more balanced as I looked at healing myself and how to do that. Switching my focus to Me. Not Him. It’s a journey!

          8. Indy says:

            Here’s to our journey, VFH!!! Cheers *clink*

          9. VFH says:

            Cheers! X

      2. narseeker says:

        Hi Clarece, I had planned to talk about this at a later stage, but I need to share. Same here. Mine said at one point “What is happening to you mom?, Devil go away!” (Now, you need to understand that she is a happy, intelligent and very down to earth child, so imagine my surprise when she was talking exorcism to me)

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          I completely get you. My daughter is happy, well-adjusted, and according to her teachers very compassionate towards her classmates. She’s not the most popular but she is kind to everyone and well liked. She has never used the word hate, except when talking about JN.

          1. narseeker says:

            Amazing, isn’t it? My daughter too, she is non-judgmental to the core (I never EVER heard her pass judgment -unlike me), and then THIS. I wished I had her willpower and strength of character.

      3. Free Bird says:

        Our daughters are perceptive. Mine too. Saw right through him when she met him, but by then it was too late, I had been lovebombed; the blinders were on and I wasn’t listening to anyone.

      4. SUSAN says:

        WOW! from the mouths of babes…. what an excellent statement! you have a gem there MLA!

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          Thank you! She is a Good Egg!

    2. Patricia says:

      It is amazing that our kids see the things we couldn’t see isn’t it? Mine had many negative observations about my Narcissist which in hindsight were completely accurate. Once my oldest son told me my ex was not a real person and he reminded my son of a robot….

      1. MLA - Clarece says:

        Our kids are extremely perceptive even when we think we’ve shielded them from certain ugly truths. They completely read non-verbals.

    3. strongerwendy says:

      Yes, our (at least my) children have this figured out way before we do. “From the mouths of babes” and all that…

    4. K says:

      narseeker,
      That was eerie. She picked up on it before she even met him. Teach her everything you learn so she can protect herself.

  9. karen1303 says:

    It’s funny. I told a story here about me not picking up my phone because I was driving. It made me laugh looking back on it now I’m out of the other side but it also got me thinking. We argued that night because of it and I technically won the argument as it’s absurd to get angry with someone for not using a phone when driving. Even he couldnt argue with that (without revealing himself! )He obviously went into victim mode when he had no arguement. “Its because my ex never used to pick up and now I know it’s because she was with someone else” “im just so scared I’ll lose you” etc etc.
    That was probably within the first 2 months of us being together. I let it go because I felt sorry for him.
    I say I technically won the phone arguement but OMG I didn’t at all did I! From that moment on hearing my phone made me instantly anxious. Be it a text or it ringing. I made sure that no matter what I was doing I answered/replied straight away. Even if I was at work or speaking to a friend or whatever I would drop everything to ‘tend’ to him. And I hate rudeness! It grips my shit when you’re speaking to someone and they start looking at their phone! But this is precisely what happened with me. I was that rude person. 😕 I also made sure if I was going to be driving somewhere I would text him to let him know just in case he was going to ring and I couldn’t pick up. Total bloody control!! I played into his hands so easily. There was me thinking I’d won the arguement with simple common sense but actually it took him no more than that one phone call and subsequent text to assert his control over my phone use for the next 4 years.
    Today I feel stupid. Yet again.
    Again, so subtle. He would argue he never once told me to text him if I was driving and there’s no way he could’ve made me feel panicky if my phone bleeped and of course, on paper he was right! He DIDN’T tell me to text him, he didn’t do anything solid to make me feel anxious when my phone bleeped.
    The more I read the more I realise how obvious it all was. And the more obvious it becomes the more ridiculous and embarassed I feel. 😩

    1. K says:

      karen1303,

      Yes, I read your previous post about not answering the phone while driving, and I agree that when you are able to step back from the situation, you are able to dissect events with a lot more clarity. There were many arguments that I thought I had won, too. Now I realize that isn’t the case at all, quite the opposite actually. Your assessment is correct, the manipulation is so subtle that we don’t realize it is happening. Don’t feel stupid or embarrassed; we were all duped. Let’s making sure it never happens again.

      1. karen1303 says:

        Oh it definitely won’t happen again. I’m joining a convent lol.
        Bit by bit they cleverly wear you down so anxiety and walking on egg shells becomes a constant mental state. Subconsciously waiting for ‘ the next thing’ without actually realising it at the time. Emotionally trapped and held hostage.
        I tell everyone else not to feel embarassed and that it wasn’t their fault. Why is it so hard to take our own advice?

    2. VFH says:

      Please don’t feel stupid Karen1303….within the first month of starting my dance with my ex N husband, he told me he had a “thing” about people not believing him after being wrongly accused of something when he was younger! Er…biggest red flag ever?!?

      One of so many many MANY throw away comments that were him basically telling me the actual truth. I will take all seemingly throw away comments from people much more seriously now!

      1. Karen Comfortably Numb says:

        VFH, absolutely! The ex told me that his ex hardly ever cooked for him, always wanted to be out with friends and never invited him, always questioned his every move etc. And good little obedient Karen here made sure he was served excellent meals, stopped going out with her friends and never questioned his moves because she wanted to be ‘better’ than his ex and treat him better and make sure he knew he’d made the right choice choosing her. Oh how he must have laughed!!
        Hindsight. It can be bloody cruel.

    3. windstorm2 says:

      Karen,
      Your comment, “Why is it so hard to take our own advice?”struck a chord with me. It really is hard. I think it’s bc we respond to others feelings with empathy, but not to our own. For whatever reason we don’t have understanding/acceptance for our own feelings and emotions. In fact we’re often way harder on ourselves than we would be on anyone else. I don’t know why this is, but it doesn’t seem very rational. It is, however, all to common.

      1. Karen Comfortably Numb says:

        Yep. How sad we don’t afford the same empathy to ourselves as we do others. Even abusers!

  10. Gee.G says:

    I thought it was going to say “asking to see our phones”. When i asked this once I saw the wrath of fury.

  11. Gabrielle says:

    But I always did. He was always the one who ignored MY messages.

    1. noah80 says:

      Me too…
      I tried to not answer to his messages…but at least after 24 hours i fall and answer to him… the anxiety was mine if i didn’t answer… but he often didn’t answer to me…

  12. 1jaded1 says:

    Fnright…i wonder why i bother texting you…my response…if it is a bother…don’t bother.

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