In talking recently with a friend, we discussed my relationship with my parents. To give a very abridged recap to those who don’t know this, I was no contact with my parents when they died. In May, 2016, we had a huge argument which initiated no contact. My father died in October, 2017 & at that point, I hadn’t spoken to him in about six months. My family harassed & bullied me constantly trying to get me to say good bye to him. I prayed a lot, & knew would have been a bad idea, so I stayed away. I didn’t even attend his funeral.
When my mother died in April, 2019 & I hadn’t spoken to her in almost exactly three years. Many times after my father died, I thought about reaching out to her. Again, I knew it would have been a bad idea. The police notified me of her death, & when I went to her home that night, I learned how bad things were for her. The house was filthy because my mother was physically unable to clean it properly. There was very little food in the kitchen & a good part of what was there had gone bad.
The one plus that came out of these scenarios was I learned that prior to my parents’ deaths, they turned to God. Part of what made them do this was me not being a part of their lives. Learning this has been very bizarre & left me with what my friend referred to as strange guilt. I feel guilty for not being there for them, I wish I could have helped them out as their health deteriorated. At the same time however, I am beyond relieved that they turned to God! Talk about conflicting feelings! Guilt & relief all coexist on the topic of my parents.
In the years that I’ve been writing about narcissistic abuse, I have heard plenty of scenarios from other victims of narcissistic abuse who struggle with similar stories of “strange guilt.”
Going no contact is probably the most common cause of strange guilt, especially if the narcissist in question gets terribly sick or even dies after no contact. It is only human to feel badly for your last conversation being negative in these situations. I understand, believe me! But even so, I want you to know that if you severed ties with a narcissist & something bad happened to them after that, it is NOT your fault!
When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, no matter who that narcissist is, it causes tremendous damage to your mental health. They have no desire to improve their behavior so they stop hurting you. Usually this means no contact is your only option if you want to protect your mental health. There is nothing wrong or bad about that! It’s your last resort, & very rarely done without a lot of thought & even soul searching before reaching that decision.
Whatever happens after going no contact is not your fault. Narcissists love to make their victims feel responsible for anything bad that happens to them, but that doesn’t mean that is the truth. They are responsible for their lives, not you. Besides, the Bible says in Galatians 6:8 that a person reaps what they sow. In other words, bad behavior reaps bad consequences & good behavior reaps good consequences. That is how the world works, & not one person can change that.
There is also the chance that you eliminating the narcissist from your life has led or will lead to something good. Look at the situation with my parents. I never had a clue that no contact would be what turned them to God, but He knew that would happen, & that is why He kept me from breaking no contact even though it was very hard for me. Something similar could happen with your situation as well, you just never know.
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