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  • Writer's pictureLoveday Funck

Renaming the Beast: I Name Thee - "Rageroo"

Have you ever felt like you're being held hostage by a shadowy force? A looming darkness that twists your reality and leaves you feeling powerless? In the face of emotional abuse, that's exactly what it can feel like. But there's a secret weapon tucked away in the arsenal of self-preservation: the act of "naming your demon."

It's not a literal, fiery beast from a legend, though the effects can feel just as devastating. This demon is the embodiment of the negativity you face, the source of fear and manipulation that clouds your judgment. It could be a toxic relationship, a crippling anxiety, or even a self-deprecating inner voice. The key lies in acknowledging its presence, in giving it a form, a name.

Why is this so powerful? Because the unknown is terrifying. When you can't define something, it holds immense power over you. But by giving it a name, a label, you strip away the mystique and fear. You transform it from a shapeless monster into something you can understand, confront, and ultimately overcome. It's a way of taking back control, of asserting that you will not be a passive victim in your own story.

This concept resonated deeply with me during my experience with narcissistic abuse. My ex-partner, the one I called "Rageroo," embodied this negativity perfectly. His manipulative behavior and explosive outbursts left me feeling like I was walking on eggshells. But by giving him that name, I started to see him clearly. It was a weapon in my fight for self-preservation, a way to reclaim my agency and sanity.

Rageroo wasn't some uncontrollable force of nature – he was a person making conscious choices, and by naming him, I could begin to dismantle the illusion of his so-called uncontrollable rage.

"Rageroo" perfectly embodied the core of his toxic behavior. It captured the explosive, destructive outbursts that left a trail of broken objects and emotional wreckage. It wasn't a random nickname – it was a constant, sharp reminder of the reality I was living in.

Here's where things got interesting. Rageroo's rage, far from being a chaotic storm, was a carefully curated performance. The broken items were never his prized possessions, the things he held dear. They were the things I valued – like new outdoor chairs that I'd rescued from a neighbor's toss out pile, a heavy duty cast iron skillet that he'd left out to rust. He'd destroy a fire pit, conveniently forgetting it was already rusted through, then brag about his uncontrollable temper – a performance designed to elicit sympathy and deflect blame.

This selectivity exposed the truth: his outbursts were calculated, a way to control the narrative and deflect responsibility. It was a manipulative tactic, and by calling him "Rageroo," I acknowledged it. The nickname became a shield against his manipulation. By calling out his manufactured rage, I chipped away at his power.

One evening, it became painfully clear. I was relaxing outside when he discovered that he'd misplaced something. This triggered a volcanic eruption. As he flung objects out of his truck in a frenzy, debris rained down on me. Understandably, I fled the scene.

Later, when the dust settled (and Rageroo, inevitably, calmed down), I dared to point out the assault by flying garbage. His response? to become angry again as he told me: "You're not allowed to talk to me like this. I have a mental illness!"

This was a man who admitted to abusing his ex-wife. After a 72-hour hold in a psychiatric facility, he returned with a "diagnosis" of Bipolar II. (The hospital diagnosed him as a covert narcissist, but his enabling therapist told him that maybe he was suffering from Bipolar II).

This supposed diagnosis became his new weapon, a shield to deflect accountability for his actions. He even called his ex-wife and told her about his diagnosis and used it as a "get out of jail free" card for his past mistreatment of her.

This wasn't just a justification for his behavior, but a twisted badge of honor. Rageroo used this diagnosis as a license to escalate the drama, the outbursts becoming more frequent and more unhinged. Every slight, every perceived transgression became fuel for his rage, all excused under the umbrella of his "condition." It was a frustrating and manipulative tactic, a way to absolve himself of responsibility while painting himself as the victim of an uncontrollable illness.

The irony was thick. Here was a man who weaponized his supposed lack of control, using it as a shield to deflect accountability.

After I escaped with my children, I began to refer to him as "Rageroo." This isn't just a nickname; it's a declaration. It's a way to say, "I see through your act. This isn't okay, and I won't be your emotional punching bag any longer."

The journey to escape Rageroo's clutches wasn't easy. But by giving him a name, one that embodied his destructive nature, I started taking back my power. It was a small act of defiance, but a crucial step on the road to healing and self-respect. Rageroo may have stormed into my life, but I refused to let him be the one to define it.

A fictional snippet of a relationship with a narcissist:

In the moss-draped swamps of southern Louisiana, where the Spanish moss hung heavy and the air thrummed with unseen things, Eliza wasn't haunted by ordinary shadows. Hers was a clinging dread, a formless entity that whispered its darkness into her dreams and choked the sunlight from her days. It wasn't a monster under the bed; it wore a familiar face, a charming mask that hid a monstrous core – Rageroo.

Rageroo wasn't just quick to anger; his temper was a demonic tantrum, a tremor that shook the very foundation of their ramshackle cottage. The things he destroyed weren't collateral damage, but offerings to the hunger that gnawed at him from within. The ornately carved rocking chair, a gift from her late grandmother, splintered under a particularly vicious outburst. The cast iron skillet, seasoned with love and laughter from countless meals, lay cracked and useless – its warmth a bane to the chill that radiated from Rageroo.

One starlit evening, as fireflies danced around the crackling flames in the backyard, a misplaced flint ignited the storm within him. The air grew thick, the flames sputtered, and Eliza felt the familiar icy tendrils tighten around her heart. "Where is that infernal lighter?" Rageroo roared, his voice a tremor that shook the trees and sent a shiver down Eliza's spine. Panic, a familiar companion, clawed at her throat. But this time, something unexpected happened.

Driven to desperation by the suffocating dread, Eliza blurted out, the words tumbling from her lips like a desperate prayer, "You're Rageroo, the hunger that feeds on fear!" The words hung heavy in the air, a challenge echoing in the stillness. For a heartbeat, everything stilled. Then, Rageroo recoiled, a hiss escaping his lips, a sound that sent shivers down her spine despite the newfound resolve blooming in her chest. A faint outline, a writhing mass of shadow, flickered beneath his skin, a horrifying glimpse of the entity that had been masquerading as a man.

"What... what have you done?" Rageroo snarled, his voice laced with a tremor of fear that Eliza had never heard before.

Eliza, emboldened by the shift in power, took a tentative step forward. "I've called you by your true name," she said, her voice surprisingly steady. "The name you hide behind, the name that gives you power."

Rageroo whipped around, his eyes blazing with a malevolent light. "Silence, you foolish woman! You don't know what you've unleashed!"

But the damage was done. With each subsequent utterance of his name, Eliza felt a sliver of her strength return. Rageroo, weakened by the power of true identification, became a caricature of his former self. His tantrums grew impotent, his justifications hollow clanks against the shield of her newfound awareness. The once vibrant darkness that clung to him began to dissipate, revealing a pale, shrunken man beneath.

Leaving was no longer a terrifying prospect, but a necessary escape. As Eliza packed a meager bag, the tendrils of fear that had bound her for so long finally snapped. Rageroo, a pathetic wisp of shadow, shrieked in defiance, but his power was gone. The weight that had burdened Eliza for so long lifted, replaced by a lightness she hadn't known existed.

News of the "demon man" spread like wildfire through southern Louisiana. Whispers turned to warnings, tales of a creature weakened by its name. Eliza, the woman who had stared down a demon and spoken its true name, became a beacon of hope for those trapped in the shadows. The hunger that once stalked her now cowered in the darkest corners, forever diminished by the power of a name, a testament to the courage it took to face the darkness and claim her own light.

Years later, on a crisp autumn evening, Eliza sat on her porch swing, the rhythmic creak a soothing counterpoint to the chirping crickets. A young woman, hesitantly approaching, clutched a worn copy of a local newspaper. The headline screamed: "The Taming of Rageroo: Local Woman Breaks Curse with a Name."

"Excuse me, ma'am?" the young woman began, her voice barely a whisper. "Are you the one they call the woman who banished the shadows?"

Eliza smiled, a warmth spreading through her chest. "I am," she said. "And you, my dear, look like you have a shadow of your own to face."

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