As I’ve mentioned before, my parents have stopped speaking to me recently. Since, I’ve been experiencing a plethora of emotions, & I’m going to hazard a guess they’re pretty normal under the circumstances. I also realized when a narcissistic parent goes no contact with you, it feels a lot different than when you are the one to go no contact. In 2001, I went no contact with my mother (she initiated contact with me in 2007, & I allowed her back into my life at that point). Seeing both types of going no contact has been eye opening to me. I’m hoping sharing this with you will help you if your parents have gone no contact with you.
When I went no contact with my mother, it’d been after a great deal of prayer & consideration on the subject. I knew in my heart it was the best thing I could do, & I was as prepared as I could be to sever ties with my mother. And, I only went no contact with my mother. At the time, I had no knowledge at all of narcissism. Naturally I didn’t realize my father was a covert narcissist & abusive in his own way that was different than hers, so I kept in touch with him. Anyway, I was able to grieve losing my mother, then face some of my own issues stemming from her abuse. The time apart was just what I needed at that time. It was a good thing for me.
Fast forward to this year. I answered my parents’ phone call not expecting the huge fight that followed. It was a complete surprise. I’d expected a bit of a disagreement, but not in the really big fight that actually took place with both of my parents.
I wasn’t surprised my mother stopped speaking to me afterwards. She is the queen of the silent treatment, & I’m sure me defending myself to her was a huge narcissistic injury worthy of the silent treatment. What did surprise me was my father. Since he always wants to look like the good guy, I never expected him to stop speaking to me.
Another big surprise is when praying about the entire situation some time later, God told me He wants them out of my life. I’m not sure if He means forever or a season just yet, but either way- that was a big surprise too. He’s showed me repeatedly that I need distance from their toxicity.
The element of surprise can be pretty intense in such a situation. For one thing, since narcissists are so obsessed with appearances, they seldom want to end contact with their own child because it might make them look bad. Can’t have that now can we?! So when they do sever ties, it can come as a complete shock. Even though some time has passed, I still feel quite shocked at the turn our relationship took.
Also, any loss can trigger grief, even when the loss is your own dysfunctional & abusive parents. When I first felt this grief, I wondered what was wrong with me. These people have made my life a living hell ever since I can remember. I should be glad they’re gone! Why wasn’t I reveling in them being gone, I wondered. God showed me that abusive or not, they’re still my parents. Losing your parents, whether they’re loving or abusive, is a hard thing to handle for anyone.
No contact has triggered a lot of anger in me, too. I’m angry my parents had the unadulterated gall to get mad at me when they were the ones clearly in the wrong in our argument. It’s glaringly obvious to anyone who knows the story that they were wrong, yet they would prefer being wrong & pretending to be right than have me, their own daughter, in their life.
I’ve found too, that triggers are everywhere, & in strange places. When I hear or read about a parent showing concern for their child, no matter the child’s age, it upsets me easily now. It makes me sad since that’s something I’ve never had & never will have. It also makes me angry because the reason for our fight, my late mother in-law, was never a source of concern for my parents when it clearly should have been. I told them for years how cruel she was to me, & they truly did not care. I know my mother didn’t even believe me when I said she choked me when my husband & I told her we had eloped. (As if I’d make something like that up!) You’d think a physical assault might warrant some concern from my parents, but it never did. Anyone else I told that story to was shocked. My parents? Bored.
Intrusive thoughts have been a constant as well. Things I’d really just as soon not think about pop into my mind constantly, against my will. I can’t even escape at night because I have nightmares every single night. I may not remember details of them, but I remember my parents were in them & I wake up feeling the anger, fear or depression I felt in the dreams.
There is sadness & depression too. I think my parents’ going no contact with me has really made it sink in how little they have been there for me in my life. This is just one more of those times. Sure, growing up, they provided for some of my needs- I always had food, clothing & shelter- but there was no emotional nurturing or genuine love. In fact, there was more abuse than anything else.
I also think these things were magnified because of the fact I was going through a particularly hard time at the time of our argument. When you’re already stressed or upset, any little thing can feel even worse. So when you experience something very painful, it really hurts, even worse than it would under better circumstances.
In spite of all of these negatives, something absolutely wonderful has come out of it all, & makes it all worthwhile. Freedom!
Without my parents in my life, I have found a new freedom. For the first time, I’m finally free to be the person God made me to be. No longer do I need to be “on” so much. After all, when dealing with narcissists, that’s how it is- you’re on your guard the entire time you’re with them. You also have to mentally prepare when you know you need to interact with them in the near future. Finally, I’m able to relax.
I’ve also been able to get to know myself for the first time in my life. Growing up, I was told who to be. My ex husband tried to mold me into what he wanted me to be. Later when I married my current husband, I tried to be what he wanted me to be & even what his mother wanted me to be in the hopes of making her hate me less. In the last few years, I’ve tried off & on to be me, the person God wants me to be, & while I had some success with that, it’s been much more successful without my parents in my life. The constant disapproval of everything about me I think made me feel like who I am is a bad person, wrong, etc. Without that disapproval, I’m free to be me.
I’ve realized something else good that came with this freedom. Because I stood up to my parents during that argument in May, it’s given me a new confidence. If I could stand up to them at that time when I felt weak & was caught off guard, I can stand up to anyone about anything now. In fact, that confidence even stirred a new fire in me to speak out more against narcissistic abuse. I think that’s pretty cool!
God has been using this time apart in a great way for me. As hard as it’s been, He has been carrying me through. He had reasons for removing my parents from my life. Allowing me to heal, enabling me to be more the person He created me to be & less who they want me to be & giving me more confidence to speak against narcissistic abuse have all been a huge blessing for me.
If your narcissistic parents have opted to go no contact with you, then please know it can be a blessing in disguise. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s mind boggling that they treated you so badly & had the gall to act like you’re such a bad person, they had to go no contact with you. Yes, it makes you angry. But, one thing about God is He can make good things come from bad situations. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV) If you’re not seeing anything good, ask Him to make good come from this situation & to show you the good you need to see.