By Susan Heitler, Ph.D.
It takes a great deal of sheer courage for a person who has been domineered his or her whole life by a parent who tantrums and rages, blames, and lashes out when angry, to even attempt to leave their presence when they begin raging at you. It took me until my mid-forties to even think about trying it. The first time that I just left the room when my bpd/npd mother started in having a rage-and-criticism fit at me, I felt scared but very empowered.
And it does work! I really does. Sometimes it takes a long time and many repetitions, and sometimes the behavior gets worse, even, before it gets better, but it does work. Its the same technique you’ve described for handling a toddler who is having a tantrum, its just exponentially more difficult to actually have the guts to DO it when the person having the rage-tantrum is one’s parent.
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