Never contend with with a man who has nothing to lose, for thereby, you enter into an unequal conflict. – Baltasar Gracian
(Read time 1-2 mins)
A collapsed narcissist is a narcissist who has experienced a severe enough narcissistic injury to have every piece of the scaffolding that holds up his false self, splinter and break, leaving him in a figurative heap on the floor. It may be so severe that he experiences disassociation temporarily. He has nothing to lose, no one to distract him, no one onto whom he project his inner hate, envy, rage and trash, no one to prop him up.
He is alone, and forced to deal with all of the darkness, turmoil and hate that he is typically able to avoid by inflicting it on his partner. He has to deal with himself, since he has no one to foist this onerous, toxic burden upon.
A collapsed narcissist can be dangerous. Being the target of a collapsed narcissist’s emotional frenzy, rage and wrath is very disturbing, distressing, and traumatic.
When a narcissist feels he has lost everything – his partner/supply, his control, his false self, his carefully-crafted reputation, he spins totally out of control. When a narcissist feels he has nothing to lose, it is not unusual for him to fly into a raging frenzy, and even go berserk.
Until she blocks him, it is not unusual for the ex-partner to be on the receiving end of the following (including, but not limited to):
- abusive/raging/sarcastic/self-pitying/I-love-you-so-much/please-give-me-another-chance/how dare-you-do-this-to-me texts and phone calls (even upwards of 30 texts a day, and 30 phone calls a day)
- proxies that the narcissist manipulates into calling the partner to try to facilitate a reconciliation
- threats of suicide, screaming accusations of abandonment, raging screaming fury
- crying and sobbing fits begging for another chance and promising to change, desperate attempts at love-bombing vis-a-vis carrots on a stick such as money, trips, marriage, you are the only one I have ever loved, etc.
- subtle and not so subtle threats of revenge
- attacks on her reputation
Leaving a narcissist can cause a significant narcissistic injury, which can cause the narcissist to collapse. Statistics show that women in abusive relationships are about 500 times more at risk for harm when they leave their abusive partner. Therefore, prior to leaving the narcissist, it is important for the partner to have an exit strategy in place that includes a safe place for her to go, a support system, and documentation of abuse, if at all possible.
The collapsed narcissist that the partner experiences following a narcissistic injury, is the true narcissist, the narcissist without his mask: the raging anger, vindictiveness, threatening behavior, emotional manipulation, coercive control and the dark, frenzied, punitive behaviors.
It bears repeating, a collapsed narcissist can be dangerous.
*Please note: All of my articles are written with the use of masculine pronouns to describe the narcissist. This is solely due to my own experience, and not meant to imply that men are not also victims of narcissistic abuse, as they are too.