When you were raised by a narcissistic mother, & you finally learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the first reaction usually is relief. Relief that you really aren’t the terrible person your mother said you were, that instead it was her projecting her own issues onto you. Relief that you really aren’t the terrible person she always told you that you were. Then, other emotions kick in, such as grieving. You grieve for your lost childhood, the fact that you were so terribly abused, & the fact that your own mother deliberately hurt you to forward her own agenda.
Eventually, you also get angry over those same things.
Recently, I’ve learned that anger changes as you heal. For me, I’ve become angry at people who have hurt & abused me over the years. Many so-called friends, my narcissistic in-laws, my narcissistic ex husband, an extremely controlling ex boyfriend & even my husband for some dysfunctional behaviors he used to exhibit in our relationship. I’ve also been angry with my parents, because if they hadn’t raised me the way they had, I wouldn’t have grown into a narcissist magnet & doormat. And, if I wouldn’t have been that way, people wouldn’t have thought it was perfectly acceptable to abuse me.
After praying about it, I believe this to be a normal part of healing. As you heal, naturally your self-esteem improves. And, people with healthy self-esteem have no tolerance for being abused because they know their value. They know they don’t deserve to be treated in such a way. Plus as you heal, you begin to realize that some behaviors you once thought were normal were in fact abusive. Realizing that will make you angry.
Also, being a narcissist magnet & doormat, you’re often stuck in more than one abusive relationship at a time- I certainly was! This means you are so busy trying to survive that you don’t have time to deal with your anger properly. You’re just trying to get through each encounter with these people with your sanity in tact!
So how do you deal with this old anger?
Some people are fortunate. They are able to ask God to help them let things go & forgive, & then it’s over for them. Honestly I envy those people. I’m not so fortunate- I have to feel things to fully process them, then I can let things go. If you’re like me, read on- I’ll share some tips of what works for me below.
What helps me mostly is prayer. I talk to God about it. I also write it out in my journal if I don’t feel like talking about it. Either way, I let it all out, & He knows what I feel. He listens without judgement, no matter how ugly what I say is.
You can also talk to someone non-judgmental, such as a good friend, a close relative or a counselor. As long as you get the feelings inside, out of you, that is the main thing. Anger is a very strong emotion that demands to be heard. If you ignore it, it will come out sooner or later- it never just vanishes. Either you end up taking it out on those closest to you who have nothing to do with why you’re angry, or you get depressed (depression is often repressed anger), or you can become physically ill. Isn’t it much better to get your feelings out?
I also ask God to help me get rid of the anger. I certainly don’t want to carry it around, & He wants us to forgive our enemies since it’s beneficial for us, so I know He helps me to release that anger.
Don’t forget, too, to ask God to comfort you. This process isn’t a pleasant one- a little comfort can go a long way in helping you to get through it all.
And, don’t judge yourself for this. Anger happens, & sometimes it’s delayed for whatever reason. That is all that is happening- something normal. Don’t criticize yourself for doing something perfectly normal & understandable under the circumstances!