I mentioned in Narcissists Are Like Cockroaches that I happen to have a narcissistic neighbor. Between dealing with her, my mother, and Samantha, and reading the blogs in our community here I have come to believe there is one thing narcissists can't stand above all else.
It's not being called out for their behavior, it's not being proven wrong. What they seem to hate the most, what eats them up from the inside, I think, is being silenced. This is why No Contact drives them to extremes and they constantly try to find ways around it. They feel that people have to listen to them, that they are entitled above all else to have their say. Everyone is apparently entitled to the narcissist's opinion whether they want it or not. It's why my NM has gotten so pissed on the few occasions I hung up on her or that time I didn't answer and she called my DH. It's why Samantha refused to answer if I was still in the wedding party or not; she desperately needed something to use to keep the communications opened. Of course, that didn't work. I just assumed I was out and didn't keep asking her to verify.
Which brings me to my neighbor. After DH and I have finally gotten management to resolve an ongoing issue she was causing, my neighbor has taken to being hostile toward us on the rare occasions our paths cross. Before that she had always been polite, although annoying. But last night she arrived at our door swearing and complaining we make noise every night. This is of course absurd, especially given we spent most of last week at the hospital caring for DH's mother after a routine surgery. I would stay there from morning to evening, and then DH would take over until around 10 PM. He'd come home and we'd go straight to bed, exhausted.
Anyway, just before 11 PM last night she came knocking on our door and DH answered and I was nearby. The hostile way she was acting and talking to him caused him shut down, as it reminded him of his mother and his childhood. His mother wasn't a narcissist, but was abusive when he was growing up. But I digress.
I've put up with a lot of crap in my life and I can still tolerate a lot of shit. But I have my limits and I have things that set me off. One of those is when you target my loved ones. Do it to me? Sure, fine, whatever, I can take it. But when you go after somebody I love, well, that's a different story. Coming to my door and swearing at us while making exaggerated accusations is something I won't stand for these days. In the past I would have stood there waiting for her to finish and go away, then been angry afterward. Today though I am much better and enforcing my boundaries. I feel pretty proud of how I handled things. Often a ruminate over these things and think of what I could have done differently, or done better. Not this time!
What happened is a deathly calm came over me. There was anger, ridiculously calm. I slipped in from the side, placing an arm on the open door between her and DH and started closing it slowly and quietly as she went on and I told her politely to call management, nodding as she was making threats to do so. She really should have done that in the first place if she had a problem instead of trying to bully and pretend like sparing us from management was some kind of magnanimous favor she was giving us in spite of our horrible transgressions against her. Anyway, I was calm, cool, collected. It was smooth, I was smooth. I heard her storm away down the hall and I knew she was pissed. How dare I, at least two or three decades younger than her no less, deprive her of her divine right to tell everyone what for! To be silenced is a fate worse than death to the narcissist. As they have no true sense of self, when you take away their access to you as their mirror it's like you have literally destroyed a part of them.
Of course then my blood pressure spiked afterwards as it really sank in what an audacious boundary violation the whole thing was and just how distressed she had made my DH. That's the anger I'm more familiar with. The deathly calm, extremely productive anger isn't yet something I can call upon at will. Still, anger is a warning something isn't right and also energy to act on or change the wrong if you can just tap into it the right way. And that's exactly what I did. I protected my loved one without becoming aggressive- I was able to be assertive and enforce my boundaries in the face of a narcissistic rage.
I have already spoken to management this morning and in my
book this issue is resolved. However, in the event my neighbor refuses to cease coming to our door and/or being vulgar to us as per management's instruction, I've already looked up the paperwork I need to file for a restraining order. My bite is way worse than my bark.