Your Anger at Your Narcissistic Parent

Do you allow yourself to be angry at your narcissistic parent? Can you allow yourself to feel that Womam expresses anger at her narcissistic parentseething rage burning deep within you fueled by the neglect and abuse you’ve weathered all your life?

Don’t feel bad if you can’t. I’m positive a lot of us survivors cannot.

Even if you are numb to the rage, it’s there, buried like a murdered informant in your subconscious. But anger is energy and energy will not allow itself to remain pent up.

So how does your anger get released?

Who’s the Target of Your Anger at Your Narcissistic Parent?

When we don’t allow ourselves to feel the anger at our parents boiling within us, our pent up anger escapes and attacks other people. Not sure what I’m talking about? Then think about the following scenarios.

Dan grew up with a narcissistic father who made fun of him for not being athletic. From the age of nine on, he suppressed that anger so that now he is unaware of it. Today, Dan is a supervisor for a major corporation. One morning he receives an email from his dad ordering him to come over Sunday and watch the football game. Dan shakes he head over his father’s inability to recognize he doesn’t like football.

Thirty minutes later he takes a walk through the cubicles. He finds Rita reading a gossip website. Dan starts publicly berating Rita for violating the company’s internet policy. The other employees duck their heads. They know that once Dan starts yelling, he’ll keep yelling as he points out the under-performance of other employees.

Cheryl is sitting by the window and watching it snow. She thinks back to when she was a little girl. Her job was to ensure the walkway and driveway were snow free for her mother, no matter how cold it was. Cheryl’s mother would only buy one pair of mittens for the entire winter. If Cheryl lost one, she had to go without or use a sock.

Sighing she gets up and goes and checks on her eight year old twin daughters. They turned the living room into a debris field of toys. “God damn it!” she shouts. “I’m sick of picking up after you.” The twins start crying, but begin picking up. They’ve experienced mother’s rage attacks before.

Someone Will Feel Your Anger at Your Narcissistic Parent

No matter how hard you try to remain calm, someone will provoke you into an angry outburst. Ninety-nine percent of the time they’re not trying to make you mad. That you respond angrily will surprise them.

It may be someone who darts their car into the small space between your car and the vehicle in front of you, making you slam on the breaks. You start screaming, laying on the horn, and driving on their tail. Middle fingers are exchanged. Meanwhile, your kids are screaming “Stop!” from the back.

Or perhaps it will be the store clerk who makes a mistake and rings up the pants you are buying twice. You lay into her, oblivious that everyone in the checkout area is staring at you.

Possibly you’re out taking a run. Convinced you always have the right of way, you don’t pause at intersections. You’re crossing one intersection and a car zips around the corner and passes two feet in front of you. Cursing at the top of your lungs, you throw the thick wad of keys in your hand as hard as you can against the side of the car in hopes of scratching the paint.

The point is, you carry deep, hot pools of rage within you. And until you deal with it, the rage is going to hurt you and whoever you take it out on.

My Pattern for Expressing Rage at My Narcissistic Parents

You are most at danger of going berserk before and after contact with your narcissistic parent. Your anger may be triggered by past wrongs or because you have to see or talk with them. It may be due to things they say while you are visiting with them. It’s possible that you may be angry due to all three things.

My pattern used to be that I’d start getting agitated three days before I saw my mom or dad (I won the jackpot—two narcissistic parents). I’d start snapping at my wife and kids over small irritations that I made into my mountains of agony.

Two days before seeing a parent and my shouting started. My poor wife experienced most of my anger. I blamed her for everything I was unhappy about in my life. I’ll never be able to make up for those times.

The day before I saw my parents, the yelling intensified. I could find nothing right with the world and the fault of that lay with my wife.

Then the next day we’d go to dinner at my mom’s. I would play my family role as the clown. No anger would be expressed on my part.

Then the next day would begin another three days of yelling and agitation, just in reverse with the first day being my angriest.

My wife asks me when I’m being an ass why I can express such anger at her, yet show none towards the people who hurt me. I only have one answer.

I was conditioned so thoroughly from an early age not to show a bit of anger towards my parents and that conditioning still makes me suppress my anger around my parents. Fricken remarkable, isn’t it?

What if You Showed Anger at Your Narcissistic Parent?

As much as I hate to say this, it probably wouldn’t matter.

Many of us possess fantasies of confronting our narcissistic parents with how they abused us as children and the wrongs we do today. Part of this fantasy is that they’ll show remorse. We imagine tearful apologies. Then we believe they’ll completely change and become the parents we always wanted.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Your narcissistic parent has constructed a false image of themselves. This image believes it can do no wrong.

Not only does your narcissistic parent feel they can do no wrong, they’ll take every negative thing you say about them and project it back on you. This means they’ll see you as manipulative, uncaring, etc. And they’ll tell you right then and there that you have all the traits you’re pointing out in them.

Think how hurt and angry you’ll feel after that.

What to Do with Your Anger at Your Narcissistic Parent?

An extremely important part of healing from the pain inflicted by your narcissistic parent is feeling your anger at her. Dealing with that anger will allow you to stop taking it out on your family and other people.

Make sure you don’t deny your anger or convince yourself it is wrong to be angry at your parent. You have every right to be angry at what has been done to you by someone who was supposed to love, nurture, and protect you but abused, ignored, and belittled you instead.

When you have some time alone, thing back over the events of your childhood. Don’t make excuses for your parent. Let yourself get angry.

The intensity of your anger may frighten you. It’s OK. The anger cannot hurt you. Do not suppress your rage. When we suppress anger we turn it inward against ourselves. This can lead you to become clinically depressed, which will halt your recovery.

Now you are angry and need to deal with that anger.

The first thing is to feel it. Recognize who you’re angry about and why. Now it’s time to practice releasing your anger.

One way of releasing the anger is to journal about it. Write about what event from your past is making you so angry. Record why it made you angry. What emotions did you feel in the moment the event happened? How did your parent act? What should have happened instead? Were you angry back then? Can you remember suppressing that rage?

Then if you have the time and ability, get some aerobic exercise in. Or if yoga soothes you, do that. Exercise is good for burning off negative emotions. It leaves you with a cleansed feeling inside.

Another option is if you have an activity that you get lost in and soothes you like painting, crafts, or woodworking you can engage in for a while. This allows the anger not to have a hold on you as you generate positive energies by doing what you enjoy.

And if it helps for you to curl up on the bed and cry for an hour, do that. Whatever will help diminish your anger—besides drugs and alcohol—should help you deal with your rage.

Every few days repeat the process with another memory. Articulate as best you can what connections between the past and what triggered your current episode of anger. The point is to feel the anger at your parent and deal with it. The anger will probably never go away completely. But letting it out should stop you from raging at others.

If you can’t deal with the anger seek the help of a mental health professional. A MSW or psychologist will be able to help you process you anger.

Remember, don’t be angry with yourself, you did nothing wrong. Be angry at what was done to you and the person who did those things. And remember that you survived and that makes you amazing. You deserved, and do deserve, to be treated with kindness and respect. Accept nothing less from this point forward.

Who do you take you anger out on? Tell us in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “Your Anger at Your Narcissistic Parent

  1. I ALWAYS stood up for myself with my two Narcissistic Parents. I’d not get any sleep, protected my mother from my Dad’s attacks. Years later at 37 I discovered the extend of my mother’s lying. And that I WASN”T a person who “couldn’t let the past go” but a person who was calling the Bullshit that was present right here right now. nothing had changed. I saw my mother this Christmas first time in many years and she was worse. I made it an hour through and had to leave. But i ALWAYS stood up for myself. It did nothing for me EXCEPT one vital thing – I refused to let anyone invalidate my feelings or reality. I remember. I will always remember. I made it a point to remember. I forgave and went back which was my error. I just want people to know that standing up for yourself will only give you one thing – self-esteem. Nothing else. But I think that is worth it. It’s your ticket to a better future, because you know you don’t deserve to be mistreated this way.

    • I can totally indentify with you. Only those who have really experience having a Narcisistic parent will ever know what it’s like. Better to Hv no contact with them & concentrate on yr own life with yr own children , spouse or just loving yourself. Take care and know that there are many victims of narcissists like yourself n we empathize with you.

  2. I hate my narcissistic mother with a vengeance and I hate her children, my siblings, who she allowed to emotionally and physically abuse me and when I complained told me that I had a problem and that I would end up alone for not “forgiving and forgetting”. What I have done since adulthood is to challenge her and shout at her, trying to express my point of view. I have never once been validated or apologised to. In the end I feel like the bad person, and since everyone adores her I am sure no one would believe me if I told the truth. Everyone is entitled to their anger and pain – don’t stifle it but at the same time don’t ever expect to get a narcissist to change.

    • Very wise words Dee. A narcissist will never change because they see no reason to do so.

      Your mother will also never validate how you feel. She will probably accuse you of the things that she is doing.

      I recommend putting a thick boundary between your family and you. Spend as little time as possible. Think about breaking off contact with them.

      I wish you peace and happiness

  3. My mother
    Treats me very differently to my two siblings, she mostly criticizes, she constantly is saying I am wrong to others saying I must have dreamt things up because she cannot remember xy and z. Three years ago she came to an event and her and my dad took me to one side and she admitted she did that with me and my uncle (her brother). she was a surrogate mum to her little brother so in effect my mum describes that she brought him up and did all the cleaning in the household.
    My mother is at times although not always self centred and can be really nice for an hour or may be half an hour and then she starts disagreeing with everything. Part of the problem I felt was she remembers things very different to what actually happened or chooses to I am not sure, but I know half the time she will outright disagree with what I have said or put doubt in everyone’s mind by saying that’s not quite how I can remember it but I could be wrong. In short I feel she is very proud of my accomplishments it what I have accomplished in my life and tells all her friends etc, however due to the constant belittling which ironically is what she accuses me of when I do loose it with her.
    A good example of her self centred ways are my family put on a surprise party which my mum helped to organise (which I really did not want, if she was going to be there, as it turned out to be one constant disagreement). My siblings had made a special effort to travel to be there so I was thrilled as I blew the candles out, my mother jumped up and down all excited and exclaimed “Pictures with my brothers” there were no pictures of me on my own birthday done by her or as my sister said it would have been nice to think that she wanted a picture with her and my siblings as we were all together. I thought I was being really paranoid, I did ask did she have any pictures of my party she sent me lots of pictures wit her on and one picture with me in the distance.
    I have tried to speak to my sister and brother about this but they don’t understand as most of her family don’t apart from my uncle who does not really want to speak about it.
    both my parents have helped me greatly in some ways which I am very greatful for and in some ways that greatfulness makes me not want to let go as what would people think. I love my dad dearly and as I grew up he would always stand by and stuck up for us, however recently he is taking sides of mum.
    Here are a few examples of comments
    1. In front of all her friends age 22 years old, owh dear look at you Zoe all your makeup up smudged under your face. said in a condenscing tone.
    2. I was not treated to the family dads taxi or lots of new clothes but I did realise that I was the eldest and therefore money was sparser than when my older brother came along ten years ago.
    3. Constantly talking about how much all her friends think of her
    4. Constantly reminding me it is doable to have a full time job cook family and keep your house very tidy (as mine rarely is). I just routinely have pointed out that that’s because dad did not work and would cook and I would go around and clean with dad.
    5. She became very defensive and hostile to some gay friends of hers that came to visit that mentioned that I was good fun and very vivacious and starting going on about how she always used to go clubbing with them 30 years previously etc (the truth of the matter she went out with then about five times). No one really said anything but it did feel a little bit like they in her eyes had insulted her by complimenting me instead of being pleased that her friends liked me. After they went she was obviously not very pleased with what had been said as several hours later still going on about this new boyfriend she did not like.
    6. Constantly preening herself around my boyfriends and making allsorts of sexual innuendos to them. They would obviously tell me and say what a one she was.
    7. Constantly telling me how the kids should sit upright in her house and generally making my kids life miserable when she was around as they got older. She was constantly taking them on trips out somewhere with my dad.
    8. Constant bickering between us such as,
    me ” you don’t drink caffeinated coffee as it gives you migraines”
    Mum ” no it doesn’t ” ???
    9. appears to have moved into a new phase with every ailment has to result in a specialist doctors consultant and lots of prompting for an operation. I am not saying the operations are unnecessary, however they could have been avoided altogether had she taken the advice given by myself eg
    Incontinence of urine could have been avoided by doing pelvic floor exercises
    Amputation of hammer toe and reduction in bunions could have been avoided by using the inserts as instructed
    Pain from arthritis could have been avoided by taking prescribed antinflammatories (she did nt want to as she felt she had to feel the pain? WTF)
    The shaving of the arthritic thumb I am absolutely there is no need for that. Some simple night time splint would have sorted that out
    One from a few years ago was telling me and inlaws that she needed knee replacements, however when asked about this recently totally denied it was on the cards and she had never said that and went crying to siblings that I was making her out to be a hypochondriac (her words not mine she just appears to love the attention an operation brings)
    10. A discussion about a type of cream my husband had told my me to get for my dad. In front of all the guests at my party
    Mum “You told us to get that cream”,
    Me “No I did nt I don’t advocate that type of cream at all”,
    “yes you did you was telling me about it yesterday ill get your dad”
    enter dad ” Yes you told your mum yesterday to get the cream”
    me “It must have been Husband as he uses that cream I do not advocate or use it”
    mum ” I will get Husband so he can tell you it was you that said that”
    me ” Just stop it and leave it” I just could have seen it esculating beyond all silly proportions as she was getting really angry in front of everyone now, I just did not wish for her to look really stupid in front of everyone.

    What had actually been said the day before was my husband had seen a gash on my dads leg and suggested he used savlon to my mum. My mum said to my dad owh Deborah said to use savlon, I interjected with well I would keep it moist with something and cover it up. as were all just sitting down to a big family meal I did not want to start another row.

    My memories of my childhood although in the main very pleasant I grew up with a family that were generally very supportive and a father that always was supportive although strict and immoveable when his mind was set.

    Her own mother was very abusive towards her in some aspects and treated her very different to the two younger brothers. it was like she was a cleaner for my nanna and helped to bring her next younger brother up as my nanna had mental health problems. She was constantly seeking love from my nanna and has just come to terms with the old lady now at the age of 89 years old. The old lady nanna is very spiteful and says nasty things to my mum and we have all really felt that for her. However as my husband says she cannot see that she has traits although does appear to have a filter as often she does say things that she knows are really upsetting for me but no one else would suspect as she would say it in a jokey way and so is able to laugh it off. An example of that is, she was saying speech at my surprise birthday party but then when I started and said ” Dear family and friends” she quickly interrupted laughing and said “I cannot see any of your friends here” I didn’t know what to say I wanted to scream and swear and say go away you nasty cow. Instead I paused and said Owh right I shall start again Dear family thanks for coming again. It felt like she was that was trying to say to everyone that I had no friends there as when she said it she spun around and said it to everyone else as opposed to me.

    Any tips more than what I am doing what I am doing is trying to limit my time away and if I do restrict it to short periods. however my dad is talking about coming away with us for three weeks in the new year. I filled with dread.

    • Zoe,

      My advice to you is to set up some boundaries with your mother. Let her know what behaviors are unacceptable to you and lay out consequences if she violated the boundaries. You’ll face a lot of resistance at first but it’s worth it to hold strong.

      You can also place boundaries around how much time your mother spends with your family. This requires strength as a narcissist does not easily accept rules from someone else.

      It sounds like you have to deal with a good deal of frustration. I wish you the best in dealing with it.

      May you find peace.

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