Narcissists make you feel like you’re worthless and act like they’re better than you and everyone else. They emotionally and psychologically abuse you and then pretend you’re crazy when you react like a normal human. Sound familiar?
Narcissists are manipulative, egotistical, and often cruel.
They get a feeling of superiority by making others feel inferior.
Why do narcissists often get away with their abuse?
Narcissists are experts at using emotional and psychological manipulation to get you to do what they want and to gain control over you. This makes them feel more secure, and when you become their primary source of narcissistic supply, it gives them a sort of emotional dumpster.
Ever tried to explain something to a narcissist, and they pretended not to understand? It’s like speaking another language from behind a brick wall; in other words, incredibly frustrating, to put it mildly.
I should know. After all, despite what the narcissists in my life have claimed, I’ve become pretty successful in my communication skills – I literally communicate for a living. Some people say I’m pretty good at it!
And yet, even with a very simple concept, the narcissists in my life have always acted like they just couldn’t comprehend what I was trying to explain – no matter how many different ways I’d say it.
Narcissists choose to make you feel unheard and misunderstood.
Eventually, I would come to understand that they chose to misunderstand. It was a form of gaslighting, and it drove me insane!
After a while, I had to acknowledge that I was dealing with someone who was showing malignant narcissist traits.
The truth will set you free in narcissistic abuse recovery.
Once I finally figured out the truth – that I was dealing with a malignant narcissist, I felt devastated.
And yet, as painful as that was, it also relieved me beyond belief because it explained so much – and it proved that I was relatively sane despite the narcissist’s claim to the contrary.
Has the narcissist taken your identity away?
Before I discovered I’d been dealing with abusive narcissists in my life, I found myself feeling like I had nothing – like I had become a shell of the person I used to be.
I was so wrapped up in making the narcissist happy that I stopped feeling any desire for things and situations.
I lost myself and didn’t even know where to find myself! Nor did I want to be around other people.
I was overwhelmed by this person’s need for attention and narcissistic supply, not to mention his blatantly clear intention to misunderstand me and make me uncomfortable.
Whatever the reason, when I found myself at the point of being actively devalued, along with occasional silent treatment discards, I was fully focused on one goal: to fix this person and make it all okay again. It was all I could think about.
Of course, the only thing I had any control over was myself – and even though I was pretty sure that I couldn’t make the narcissist become something new, I was also someone who isn’t afraid to do a little work and fix the broken parts of ME.
So, I’d always focus on whatever was wrong with me and try to fix that (in hindsight, it was nothing but deaing with undiagnosed and unrecognized C-PTSD symptoms ).
I thought if I could fix ME, maybe the narcissist would naturally ease up. Of course, I was wrong there. I got a little mad at myself.
But then I did something SUPER dumb…
I tried to help the narcissist.
No matter how hard I tried, I never found a way to fix this person – at least none that worked.
Through the lens of my FOG (fear, obligation, guilt), I figured I’d try to fix the broken parts of “me,” thinking maybe he’d catch up – or that his behavior might change on its own if I was perfect.
Of course, the narcissist was pleased with this development. It offered plenty of chances to both love bomb and devalue in alternating rhythms, the intermittent nature of which is the very basis for trauma bonding.
But it also offered plenty of invalidation; I had zero support during this time, and I felt more alone than ever.
Narcissists don’t want your help unless they want it.
I couldn’t believe how clueless this supposedly intelligent man was able to act, but I must have believed his BS on some level.
After all, I would spend hours trying to figure out exactly how to explain something, I would even write down what I wanted to say and say it as calmly and carefully as possible.
But rather than trying to defend bad behavior, I’d shut my mouth and get lectured by the narcissist on my apparent lack of communication skills.
You can’t fix a narcissist.
For the narcissist, there was clearly no desire for change on his part, and his sense of entitlement blew my mind.
He reminded me often that he thought I was a total loser, someone who needed all this mental health help – and sometimes, he’d even convince me that I wasn’t as smart as I’d led him to believe. It got so bad that I literally started to believe him.
Narcissists do not change.
The fact is that narcissists simply do not change because, in layman’s terms, they don’t think they need to change. Their personality disorder essentially causes it to feel impossible.
Not only that, but their glaring lack of emotional or compassionate empathy for you or anyone else is exactly the reason why the narcissist has no remorse when they flip everything around and become angry with you.
You are NOT crazy!
I “needed help,” they’d say. So obviously, I felt like no one understood me, and I felt alone and completely insane – and the narcissist took advantage of my weakness at the moment and assured me that this might be the only time I’d ever been right.
(If you can relate to that, please know that you’re NOT crazy – and know that the narcissist behaved this way on purpose to add “mental health” issues to your plate.
That’s because when you don’t trust your own judgment thanks to their abuse, narcissists will actively try to disturb your peace and, yes, even your sanity. They can’t stand for you to be happy.
Even my friends didn’t get why my relationships were so toxic.
It floored them, they said, because I was so easy to get along with. After all the years of hearing about how awful I was to live with, you can imagine my surprise to hear otherwise.
But my friends weren’t alone in their confusion. In fact, I got plenty of feedback from anyone who had the nerve to offer it.
My toxic parent mystified them, but they’d say in a horrified voice that she was my MOTHER and I had better repair the relationship with her before it was too late. That last part, for the record, means they would shame me.
People would tell me to just get over it and move on.
Some suggested therapy – but that never works with a malignant narcissist.
When it came to my toxic marriage, it was even worse – they were annoyed and would ask, “why don’t you just leave already if it’s so bad?” (NOT helpful, btw!)
Does your life feel like some kind of cosmic joke that makes you dysfunctional?
I have gone through several existential crises during which everything I did felt wrong, off-balance, or just plain crazy. Here I was, living in what felt like a cosmic joke of a life, with narcissists everywhere I turned.
Even friends who weren’t intrinsically toxic were still unable to understand my issues.
I mean, after being so beaten down and being so conditioned to question myself – I really didn’t even know what I believed, much less understand how to figure all that out.
I knew I needed help.
But not just any help. I needed to feel seen and heard. I needed a way to share the times when I did not feel good enough or even like I was a “real” person.
I didn’t know how to find help. I wanted a very specific kind of help. Not from just anyone, but specifically with people who UNDERSTOOD where I was.
After searching and trying out therapists and various support groups and systems, I found no relief: no one could quite “get” what I’d been through.
But something in me told me that I couldn’t be the only one going through this.
So, I got busy and started doing my research, and right about 2012, I learned about narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse. And boy, am I glad I did – these little bits of information were life for me – as in they changed mine.
Back then, no one even really knew the term “gaslighting” – I had to go to the library to learn about it. There wasn’t much information on the internet that was easily digestible. As I began to post about this stuff on my blog, things turned interesting: many people came to me and asked for my help.
How could I help?
I was a journalist by trade, so research and writing were my bag. I knew how to write, I reasoned – and I I felt terrible when I learned how underserved this group of people was at that time. And after a lot of study and research, I took it upon myself, and I got to work creating that much-needed content.
It was a start anyway. But I had bigger plans. I wanted to build an app. And so I did.
Easier, less painful narcissistic abuse recovery is the goal.
My goal in building this new app was to make it easier – or at least far less painful – for our fellow survivors than I had it back then. I wanted to create content that made narcissistic abuse recovery easier to discover, understand, and get through.
I did this by sharing information and helping victims and survivors understand what they were dealing with and what they’d need to do to heal themselves. This led to an entire movement that would eventually be supported by a whole team of fellow survivors.
Over the years, we have really learned who we survivors are and exactly what we need to heal ourselves so we can evolve and thrive from here on out.
Not only do I do my best to be the person I needed in my own recovery for you, but I have simultaneously healed myself along the way.
So, I learned I wasn’t alone – and I hope I’ve helped you do the same. (If not, stick with me – we will get there!)
Because I’ve developed something BETTER to help you in your recovery.
Because after all these years, and after helping hundreds of thousands of survivors get through their recovery a little easier, I’ve created something that will intuitively help you heal and get (and stay) connected!
Narcissistic abuse recovery support that you can put in your pocket and take with you wherever you go.
That’s right! Even better, there are hundreds of narcissistic abuse survivors just like me – just like you– who have joined me, and they are finding (and giving) serious support in our new in-app tribes, not to mention the tools, tips, and helpful information that is designed to walk you through your recovery from wherever you are, right now.
Introducing the All-New Narcissistic Abuse Recovery App
Inside this amazingly intuitive and easy-to-navigate app and its private community, you’ll find a new (and more secure) way to connect with me, my fellow coaches, and our fellow survivors.
You will also find toolkits, trackers, helpful tips and ideas, and more from the QueenBeeeing team – all designed to make your recovery as painless as possible.
You can count on not having to deal with any more judgment. No more shame or worries about narcissists or flying monkeys finding your posts or anything about you.
The app offers you a safe space where survivors are free to share their thoughts, ask their questions, be scared, and stay vulnerable without any judgment or shame.
No longer will narcissistic abuse resemble a lonely, dark crawl out of hell and into the unknown.
Now, you can recover faster and with less pain with our new narcissistic recovery app and the full support of the QueenBeeing Narcissistic Abuse Recovery team and your fellow survivors!
You’ll get immediate access to our support tribes community.
You’ll be given toolkits and complete step-by-step blueprints to help you get and stay safe and healed, from discard to evolution and more.
You’ll be warmly welcomed as a member of this secure community by our amazingly supportive, empathy-filled survivors who truly understand where you’ve been – because they’ve been there too.
What does it cost?
While I usually price my apps at a reasonable $25 per month, this one is different. I want it to be more accessible – so I’m only charging $9.99 a month for now. And as long as you remain a subscriber, you’ll never pay more.
If you’ve used one of my previous apps, I am so excited to tell you this is the VERY BEST and most intuitive one we’ve ever built! You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to customize for your own needs and the level of information, tools, and support you have at your fingertips!
Are you ready to get safe support and validation from your QueenBeeing team and your fellow survivors?
Then there’s only one thing left: get the app now!
You might call a narcissist who has found rock bottom a collapsed narcissist. In general, narcissists hit rock bottom when they are able to no longer manipulate, exploit and abuse others.
In other words, narcissist rock bottom is what happens when the narcissist finally realizes that their abusive behavior will not be tolerated any longer, that what they have done has gotten out of control, or that they’re about to lose everything.
Unfortunately, it is typically later rather than sooner. It can take many years of ongoing manipulation and abuse before they hit rock bottom. Often, it happens when their closest sources of narcissistic supply go away, whether by their own choice or otherwise.
Why do narcissists hit rock bottom?
Narcissists crave power and control like an alcoholic craves their favorite drink. Narcissists NEED to have the people around them feeling weak and unempowered – this way, they’re malleable so that they’re easily controlled.
But when these people walk away and stop doing what the narcissist wants before they’re ready for it, the narcissist’s biggest fears are realized.
A narcissist’s lack of capacity for empathy and emotional depth, paired with a desperate need to feel validated and congratulated by others, will often result in their demise.
They will do just about anything to feel significant and special – so much so that they may lie, cheat and manipulate to get their own way.
So ironically it is their desperation for significance and validation which ultimately serves as the catalyst for their narcissist rock bottom.
What scares a narcissist?
As often as a narcissist threatens, directly or indirectly, to abandon you, you’d think they were perfectly secure in their ability to remain surrounded by sources of narcissistic supply – as in, people who love, admire, and serve them as needed.
But the truth is that while abandonment is probably the most human fear one can have, narcissists aren’t immune.
In fact, if we’re being honest, they’re probably pretty normal this way.
With that being said, the difference between a narcissist’s fear of abandonment and that of the average person is that a narcissist will actively abuse and manipulate the people around them in order to control them and keep them in their place.
How do the narcissist’s fears coming true lead them to hit rock bottom?
Fear of abandonment comes to fruition when you walk away from the narcissist. Now, don’t expect them to recognize this right away – but it’ll relieve some of the tension for them initially – even just the idea that they’ll be able to openly meet new people can be a huge thrill.
At first, they will feel free and some version of happy – but then one day (maybe even the same day the relationship ends), they’ll remember something that you used to do for them, and they’ll want that back.
If your resist (and I hope you do – read this about how to avoid the hoover maneuver), the narcissist attempts to navigate their remaining relationships – often not even personal ones, they grow frustrated and angry.
What does the narcissist experience at rock bottom?
You might think that when a narcissist hits rock bottom, they will finally see the light and realize how awful they truly have been – and you’d hope they’d be SO SORRY for this abusive behavior they’ve been serving up all these years.
As amazing as that would be, it’s rarely the case. Instead:
They will probably feel like their world has been turned upside down and they have no idea how to fix it.
They may become depressed and experience symptoms of anxiety-like panic attacks or insomnia.
They may also lash out at others for no reason at all.
Whatever happens, you can expect them to be acting extremely erratic and unpredictable as they expertly play the victim.
The Narcissist’s Backup Plan
Before the narcissist knows it, you’re off living in a totally cute place that’s a little too far to just drop in. And, you’ll have the nerve to want your privacy, which won’t be tolerated if they are still part of your life.
Eventually, they begin to guilt and shame the few people who remain close to them, seemingly doing their very best to push your emotions aside. This, combined with a lack of narcissistic supply, culminates in the narcissist’s idea of actual hell.
So, the moment any source of narcissistic supply refuses to comply with their wishes or orders, the narcissist has lost control of that person and therefore has no influence over them anymore.
And that’s one of the narcissist’s OTHER biggest fears: that they’re so insignificant that no one cares what they say, do, think, or feel.
This right here is exactly what causes them to tend to need a backup ‘source of supply’ (since they can’t be alone), so they very often attempt preemptively replace a source of supply.
Unfortunately, it can be one of the most dangerous times for you. Because a narcissist who has hit rock bottom may feel as though they have nothing left to lose. They don’t even have the narcissistic supply they need to function – so their desperation can lead them to lash out.
The narcissist eventually hits rock bottom and they feel unbearable sadness, grief, or remorse because they can’t continue the way they are going anymore. In order to keep this grief or pain at bay, they will stoop to any level.
The Narcissist’s Rock Bottom Patterns
When the narcissist finally hits rock bottom, there is a predictable pattern that emerges. This pattern is so predictable that it can be used as a roadmap for how to deal with the situation.
The narcissist’s life will begin to crumble under the weight of their own lies and deceit.
This collapse may occur because of something external like losing their job or a major financial setback or some other traumatic event in their life.
It could also happen because they have become so absorbed in their own self-image that they cannot see reality any longer – they live in a world of illusion created by their own ego which is beyond their control.
As they begin to realize that they are no longer able to maintain this illusion, they become increasingly agitated, depressed, and angry until they reach a point where there is nothing left but rage at themselves for being so stupid as to believe such obvious lies about themselves as well as rage at those who duped them into believing these lies were true.
Should you support a narcissist who is at or near rock bottom?
Believe me, I get it – as an empath, you naturally want to support someone in pain, especially when it’s someone you love or loved so deeply.
But listen to me, don’t do it. Not this time. Hear me out.
As much as helping them would serve some codependent part of yourself, the narcissist is likely to cruelly reject your offers for help. This will make you feel rejected – again- and that’s going to do a real number on not only your self-esteem but also your psyche – triggering would be putting it mildly.
Personally, I don’t think you owe them any of your time or support, but if you must give it to them, try giving them space and let them know when you’re available if they want to talk about anything (without pressure!).
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a lack of empathy, combined with extreme self-centeredness and a need for constant attention. It’s a disorder that can have a profoundly negative effect on people, and it can be difficult to deal with someone who has it.
Today, we’ll dig into the collapsed narcissist and identify some of the red flags or signs that you might be dealing with a narcissist who might be what psychologists call a collapsed narcissist.
What is Narcissistic Collapse?
When someone with NPD (or even toxic narcissist traits) loses the ability to get their unrealistic needs met through their usual methods of manipulation and deceitful behaviors, they will often begin to exhibit signs of collapse as they struggle to maintain control over the situation. A narcissist may also collapse if they’ve been confronted about their behavior and are forced to accept accountability for it.
Collapsing is a painful process for them since it’s often a point of extremely high stress and anxiety in their lives. In so many cases, the narcissist may have developed an entire persona around being superior to everyone else, but when this starts to break down, so does their false self.
While there are many signs to watch for, most are related to how a narcissist experiences a significant event or loss of supply; or in many cases, they just fail to maintain the normal amount of narcissistic supply.
Another form of narcissistic collapse occurs when a person becomes depressed without their narcissistic supply. This happens usually post-discard when the narcissist feels that he/she has lost control over someone’s admiration and adoration.
When someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or narcissistic traits can no longer uphold their grandiose, confident image, they feel profoundly threatened due to the lack of narcissistic supply – or even the potential of lack.
As a result, they tend to become enraged, resulting in impulsive behavior, intense lashing out, or hurting other people.
In severe cases, a person with NPD or NPD traits may feel so wounded they become suicidal or homicidal. They may see suicide or murder as the only way to get back at a perceived slight.
Narcissists who are in collapse also tend to become enraged, resulting in impulsive behavior, intense lashing out, or hurting other people.
What does a collapsed narcissist look like?
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this kind of narcissistic rage and have wondered what prompted it, then you’ve probably seen a collapsed narcissist in action.
This is especially true if you’re involved with a narcissist who has been removed from their primary sources of supply: family members who have wised up to their manipulation and gaslighting; former friends who have rejected their lies and abuse, or even employers that have caught on to their toxic ways.
They have become devastated, hollow versions of what they once were. You ALMOST feel sorry for them. Of course, the specific reaction will also depend on the type of narcissist they happen to be.
Vulnerable narcissists tend to be shy and self-effacing. They are also hypersensitive to how others perceive them, which means they are easily hurt and offended by criticism. They tend to be pessimistic, insecure, and fragile. A vulnerable narcissist will respond with shame or anger when their sense of superiority is threatened or injured by criticism or rejection.
By contrast, grandiose narcissists are those most people think about when they hear the word “narcissist.” Grandiose narcissists are arrogant, indifferent to others’ feelings and needs, and expect special treatment. When criticized or challenged in any way, they lash out with contempt and rage.
Can a collapsed narcissist recover?
Sometimes we’ll see a narcissist who has “collapsed” or otherwise seems to be going through some kind of emotional upheaval and distress. This begs the question: Can a collapsed narcissist recover?
Is it possible for a collapsed narcissist to become normal again?
Sadly, the answer is no. A collapsed narcissist is not able to recover and be normal, because they do not understand that they are a narcissist or why they have become a narcissist.
In other words, they almost completely lack self-awareness, at least when you compare them to non-narcissists.
This lack of self-awareness, combined with their natural sense of entitlement and other typical narcissistic traits makes it nearly impossible for a malignant narcissist to recover from collapse.
In fact, most of them will never realize the truth about themselves, even if their life depended on it. It is difficult for anyone to admit that their entire life has been a lie and a waste of time and energy.
The narcissist, a highly disordered personality, is incapable of having a healthy relationship with anyone. Because of this, their relationships are toxic and riddled with abuse.
Perhaps even more confusing, narcissists can be incredibly charming and enticing when they want to be. They’re also extremely manipulative and adept at grooming you to meet their needs. They do whatever they can to suck you in and hold you tight, to use you up until there’s nothing left.
When they “move on” or the relationship ends, they will often discard you without another thought. This is because they have no empathy or regard for anyone but themselves. In fact, they’re quite pleased with themselves when they can leave you utterly shattered as if it were some kind of game to them.
What triggers narcissistic collapse?
In the end, the collapsed narcissist is someone that has had their self-image severely damaged so much by a particular experience or situation, that they’ve begun to lose all sense of who they are. This often leads them down a path of anxiety, depression, and an inflated sense of oppression when dealing with others.
Narcissistic collapse is often triggered by narcissistic injury – a perceived threat to their self-worth or self-esteem. When this happens, narcissists typically respond with rage and contempt and may engage in destructive or self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, suicide threats or attempts, violent outbursts, or physical violence directed toward themselves or others.
The Empty Shell Person
The best way to gain a better understanding of what is going on with the collapsed narcissist is to use the term “empty shell.” That’s because the narcissist in collapse very much appears to be a hollow shell of what they once were.
Most people have a solid sense of who they are. An empty shell person has lost their sense of self.
Because they’re so afraid to let their facade down, it’s hard to understand what is really taking place because underneath.
After all, beneath the ego structure of most human beings lies a sensitive and vulnerable narcissistic child. This can be a very painful place to be, and if this child was neglected or abused enough, they may have collapsed into themselves in order to survive.
This means that a lot of the personality structure and defense mechanisms had to go away in order to just cope with life day by day.
This affiliation is part of an effort to provide more effective and useful solutions for healing from narcissistic abuse.
Who is Dr. Judy Rosenberg?
Dr. Judy Rosenberg is the founder of the Psychological Healing Center and the Be The Cause® Mind Map System to help “Heal Human Disconnect,” the cause of most psychopathology. By helping people identify their problem and dismantle it, Dr. Judy helps her patients to paradigm shift from the problem into the solution. She completed her undergraduate work in psychology at UCLA and her graduate work at CGI (California Graduate Institute).
Dr. Judy is currently in private practice in Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills, CA, and continues to help people with various psychological issues. You may also know her from YouTube as Dr. Judy WTF?!, as she has a weekly call-in radio show titled Dr. Judy WTF (What The Freud?!). Her focus there is on healing the “hole in the soul” that results from Human Disconnect.
She is a consultant to the media and has appeared on several television shows and is often interviewed by high-profile publications. Her recent appearances include Huffington Post, MTV, E Entertainment, KCAL News, CBS News, CNN, and Animal Planet. She has been in private practice as a clinical psychologist since 1996.
What is QueenBeeing?
QueenBeeing is an online, comprehensive Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support System created by certified life coach Angie Atkinson and continuously supported by our team of fellow survivors, certified life coaches, and mental health professionals. QueenBeeing also features a strong, vibrant, supportive community for survivors of Narcissistic Abuse that offers support in the form of support groups, counseling, coaching, and a number of courses and tools available for low or no cost.
In addition to the mission of empowering survivors of narcissistic abuse to become thrivers and to create the lives they want, QueenBeeing.com has launched a movement to spread awareness and to help survivors create change in their own families and social circles to prevent enabling and creating toxic people in this world.
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