It won’t be long before you will become privy to your narcissists frightening temper. At first their rage will be indirect, aimed at someone else. This demonstration of their power functions in such a way that it serves to intimidate and control others, including you. You are also likely to witness physical outbursts, like demonstratively putting their fists through a solid wall, breaking or throwing things, hurling abuse; and it won’t be too long after that when you will be on the receiving end of the violence. All of these tactics, along with their scathing criticism of you are designed to erode your self-esteem, your confidence, and give them even more control over you. The more fearful you become, the more they will rule by fear, it is as if their power is an aphrodisiac to them. As a result of the fear you will be subjected to, you will find yourself becoming highly vigilant, nervous and overly sensitive to every threat, walking on eggshells around your captor. The more insecure you become, the more powerful your narcissist becomes.
Bit by bit you will become isolated from all your supports; your family, friends and colleagues. The isolation is likely to happen without your realizing it; it may be through covert and overt acts of criticism in an attempt to turn you against the people you are closest to. Truth is that your narcissist can feel threatened by outsiders influencing you to see through the illusion they have created, so they need to isolate you. Their behaviour will become so demanding that you will withdraw rather than go through this punishing and tortuous interrogation every time you want to meet up with anybody. Friends and family tend to become tired of all the excuses you make, and they step back from you. Before you know what has happened, you are isolated, and job done for the narcissist.
Throughout this crazy behaviour, just to confuse things more, your narcissist switches to being a sweetheart. You see the person you fell in love with suddenly emerge once again. You’re beautiful Dr. Jekyll returns, and the evil Mr.(s). Hyde disappears out of sight, and your heart begins to sing once again. Your guards come down; you move close to your beloved once again, this move towards them melts away all the hatred and frustration you were feeling. You are filled with hope and a renewed optimism for the future, and you cling on with all of your might. But this phase does not last for long, and very soon you are back to the downward spiral yet again, and along with the fear comes renewed criticism from an even more enraged Mr(s) Hyde. It is this duality in the human nature of the narcissist (the “pull and push” behaviour) that leads to the Trauma Bonding (Stockholm Syndrome) and co-dependency needs that is so damaging for the victim. Whatever caused the change to the narcissist’s behaviour, you can be sure it will be your fault, because your narcissist never ever takes responsibility for their behaviour. Ultimately you are the blame; somehow you provoked whatever “bad” happens.