Tag Archives: narcissists
Many narcissists, in particular covert ones, love to portray themselves as victims no matter how badly they have abused someone. They prefer to hide behind the mask of innocent victim than to show people the ugly truth, that they are evil & abusive. Unfortunately countless people fall for their victim act. Real victims act very differently, & those who have bought a narcissist’s victim act think this means the real victim is the one faking it, not the narcissist.
People need to be able to identify a genuine victim from a narcissist’s victim act in order to avoid being pulled into a narcissist’s abusive web. I think this can be especially beneficial when applied to people met online. So many victims join support groups & forums looking to meet others who share their experiences only to learn someone they met in one of those places is actually a narcissist.
There are some behaviors narcissists do that give away the fact that they aren’t real victims. One thing they do is only tell their side of the story. What I mean is narcissists will talk about how the other person yelled at them or called the police on them, yet not share any information on what led up to that scenario. They make it sound like the other person just snapped suddenly for no good reason, & attacked them. A real victim doesn’t do that. They tell the entire story, not leaving out selected parts that might make them look bad.
Along those lines, if a narcissist feels they must mention some bad behavior they have done, they make excuses for it. For example, say they hit their victim in a fit of rage. They will find ways to blame the other person for making them hit them. Or, they will excuse it away, maybe saying the other person hit them first. A real victim doesn’t make excuses or blame others for their bad actions. They admit their bad behavior & accept responsibility for what they have done, no matter how ashamed of it they are.
Narcissists also turn any conversation back to their situation, even when speaking with victims such as in an online group. Real victims support each other. Sure, they share examples from their own life some, but they keep the focus on the person doing the talking.
Narcissists talk about the situation over & over. They tell their story to anyone who will listen, even if the listener isn’t interested. They seem to want to tell everyone how badly they were treated. Real victims don’t talk to anyone & everyone about their story. They are selective with whom they discuss their situation. Even if they are like me & write publicly about it, when it comes to discussing it, they still are selective.
Narcissists want pity. They want to be seen as a completely innocent victim who did nothing to deserve what was done to them, so people will pity them. Real victims don’t look for pity. Empathy is great as is support, but pity isn’t something real victims want.
Narcissists expect everyone to understand their plight & offer them validation. Real victims aren’t like that. They know not everyone can relate to their situation. They know not everyone will care that they were abused. They don’t need external validation. They know what they have been through, & that is enough for them.
Everyone needs to be aware of these behaviors in others, in particular victims of narcissistic abuse. Not everyone who says they were abused by a narcissist is truly a victim. There are plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, who look for true victims to meet the sick needs they have. Consider a person’s behavior rather than blindly believing someone who tells you they are a victim of abuse.
In spite of how it may seem, in spite of the many similarities most narcissists share, when it comes to ending a relationship with a narcissist, each situation is unique.
This is what makes the common advice, “Just go no contact” very bad advice, in my opinion. While it’s true that ending the relationship is often the only solution for a victim, that process shouldn’t be done so glibly, with no real thought put into it.
Ending any relationship creates a narcissistic injury in a person. In other words, it’s a blow to the self esteem when someone tells you they don’t want you in their life any longer. While functional people are hurt & angry, they get through. Narcissists, however, aren’t like functional people. They rage. They often spread vicious lies about their victim in a smear campaign designed to do the most possible damage to their reputation. They also are known for harassing their victims so badly, they sometimes wear the victim down to the point of returning to the relationship. Anything to make the constant influx of phone calls, texts, emails, etc. stop. Other narcissists have no problem stalking their victim or even physically hurting or killing them.
These reasons are why although no contact is usually the best solution when it comes to a realtionship with a narcissist, how you get to that point must be done with great wisdom & planning.
As always, I recommend prayer as the best place to start. God can help you like no one can simply because He knows things no other human knows.
From what I have seen, in these situations, God gives one of three answers:
- “End it now. Just walk away.”
- “Not yet… I will tell you when & how.”
- “Don’t end it.”
“End it now” is the easiest. You simply block the narcissist’s access to you at every turn. Usually, they walk away & find a new victim, not caring they lost you. This solution usually is best for narcissists who are lower on the spectrum or who have a lot of people in their life.
“Not yet” is what happened with my parents. That was tough because I really wanted the relationship over, yet also knew I had to wait on God’s timing. I also wasn’t sure how to end it, but He showed me. Although waiting in these situations is really hard, it also is well worth it. If you follow God’s lead, you will have peace not only about ending the relationship but how you choose to end it. That peace is so important! And, by following God’s lead, you will receive the minimal amount of abuse from the narcissist once you end that relationship.
“Don’t end it” may be the most challenging answer of all but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid answer. I’ve known a few people who received this answer. Rather than ending the relationship with the narcissist in their life, they made themselves as unappealing as possible to that narcissist & eventually that person ended the relationship with them. This seems to be a good option for the most toxic of narcissists. If a person can become so unappealing to their narcissist that the narcissist rejects them instead, they stand very little chance of retaliation from that narcissist. The narcissist feels they have the power because they ended the relationship rather than the victim did. In cases of malignant narcissists, this is a very good option because it will help a victim avoid the potential fallout of an especially vicious & even dangerous narcissistic rage.
Whatever you do when it comes to ending the relationship with the narcissist in your life, please be careful, be wise & most of all, follow God’s promptings. You will get through this time with your safety & sanity in tact if you do those things.
One way narcissists lure victims into a relationship is by paying way too much attention to their victims.
Narcissistic friends & romantic partners alike commonly smother their new found interest (aka victim) with positive attention. They cling very quickly to someone they just met. They claim the new interest is their soul mate or they felt some sort of special connection the moment they met. They shower this person with praise & often gifts as well. They want to spend every possible moment together.
I have experienced this with friends as well as my ex husband. I’ve met several people online who within a day or two of meeting me decided we needed to talk constantly. Probably the first one was the worst. I didn’t know about narcissism at the time & was flattered she thought so highly of me. We used to speak on the phone often as well as via email. When I didn’t respond to her call or email, she would get mad. She’d claim she was just kidding when she said things like how dare I not call her back sooner than I did or “joke” about me being so busy when she clearly thought I never had anything to do.
I was young & naive, living with narcissistic parents when I met my ex husband. He constantly told me how pretty, smart, etc. I was, how he waited all his life for someone like me & expected me to spend all of my free time with him.
Anyone can be extremely flattered when someone treats them this way, but the average functional person realizes quickly this behavior isn’t normal. Those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents however are different.
Growing up with narcissistic parents means you have no concept of healthy boundaries. Even if this person’s attention is overwhelming, you don’t feel you have the right to refuse it. After all, the person is saying & doing what seems like the right things. How can you refuse that?!
Also children of narcissistic parents are neglected. Having someone pay positive attention feels good, & it’s about impossible to resist.
And, narcissistic parents don’t praise their children. These children grow up starving for praise. When someone comes along, showering them with praise, they can’t resist it.
If you grew up with narcissistic parents, you need to be aware of people like this who obsess over you. They’re predators looking for a victim.
Sometimes people meet & they just “click” immediately. My husband & I were that way. The same with my best friend & I. There was no obsessing though. We talked often & were free with complements, but no one was offended if the other didn’t answer their phone call or call back immediately. There was no talk of “soulmates” or anything similar in the very beginning or pressure to spend every waking moment together.
I’ve learned that children of narcissists need to be aware of people like this much more than the average person because of the natural weaknesses that come from being raised by narcissists. I strongly recommend asking God for discernment with people to help you to figure out who is safe & who is not.
Listen to your gut feelings, too. If something doesn’t feel right about someone, that feeling is there for a reason.
Pay attention to people’s actions, not only their words. A person can say anything they want, whether it’s true or not. A person’s actions tell you what is truly in their heart.
If you have doubts, talk to a safe, wise friend about your thoughts. Sometimes an outsider can be very helpful in providing an objective opinion.
Remember, not everyone who pays attention to you truly cares about you. They can be looking for your weaknesses & fears to exploit them & manipulate you.
One thing most people who haven’t experienced abuse at the hands of a narcissist fail to grasp is last straw moments. In fact, they can be odd enough that even those of us who have experienced narcissistic relationships don’t always understand them.
Last straw moments are those things that a narcissist does that seals their fate with their victim. The things may not be the worst thing they ever have done. In fact, they may not be all that bad, especially in comparison to other things the narcissist has done. They simply are something that makes a victim say “enough is enough!”
With my ex husband, it happened on our fourth wedding anniversary. I’d told him I wanted a divorce probably a month prior. He said I owed it to him to give him one last chance. Being naive, I agreed to it. Aside from moving out of his parents’ home, nothing changed. On our anniversary, we watched television. He suddenly said, “So you still want that divorce?”
With my mother, it happened when we had a huge argument in 2016 about me not telling my parents that my husband’s mother died. They knew I didn’t speak to her or her two daughters. I also was more concerned about my husband than my parents, especially since they spoke with my in-laws maybe four times in the 22 years we had been together at that time. I naively thought they wouldn’t care about her passing other than concern for my husband. I felt betrayed that my mother cared more about potentially upsetting my in-laws by not being there than me feeling her attendance would’ve shown she cared more for them than me. When I told her how I felt, she acted like I was the one in the wrong, & was angry with me. I couldn’t deal with her again.
Several months later, I went no contact with my father. One day, my husband & I were having our back door replaced when suddenly my father showed up. My husband told my father to leave, & after some harsh words, he did. Twice the following week, he sent the police to do a wellness check, claiming my husband abused me & kept me from him. My father sinking so low made me realize I’d never break no contact with him.
In all three scenarios, nothing they did was especially bad compared to their other actions. Yet somehow, it also woke me up to how badly I needed to get away from such toxicity.
Chances are excellent that you will experience something similar in your relationship with the narcissist in your life. When this happens, please learn from my experiences.
Don’t beat yourself up. So what this wasn’t the worst thing they have done? They have done plenty. It’s normal that anything, even something sort of small, can push you over the edge, because your patience are worn out.
Don’t think you’re petty because what they did wasn’t as bad as other things. Like I just said, it’s normal that anything, even something sort of small, can be too much after someone continually does terrible things to you.
Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Everyone is unique. Just because your last straw moment was different than someone else’s doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.
Remember that you are unique as is the narcissist in your life. There are no one size fits all solutions. You need to handle the situation from here the best you can. If others think you’re wrong, so be it. If no one you know has handled a similar situation as you feel you need to, that isn’t important. Do what you know in your heart is right in your situation, & don’t let anyone else change your mind.
Both of my parents died not terribly long after going no contact with them. My father within a few months in October, 2017 & my mother almost exactly 18 months later in April, 2019. I have done a LOT of thinking since then because, well, that’s what I do, I overthink things. lol One thing I thought about though made a lot of sense & I wanted to share it with you.
When someone goes no contact with their narcissistic parent, it seems most people assume that person hates their parent. They hate them so much, they can’t tolerate that person in their life any longer. I find that is rarely the case. Every person I’ve spoken with about this topic has said they loved their narcissistic parent deeply. It was the abuse they hated, which is why they felt they had no other choice but to go no contact.
I felt the same way. I hated how my parents treated me so badly, I felt I had no other choice but to go no contact. I prayed a lot, I tried a lot of things, & nothing I did or said helped the relationship. In fact, it kept getting worse.
Eventually I felt no contact was my only option & I prayed a LOT about that. I felt God wanted me to wait, so I did even though it was incredibly difficult. When the time felt right, I eliminated my parents from my life. It was the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever had to do. Later, I learned it was also the right thing to do.
Just before my father died, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. His miraculous story is on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you’d like to read it. Anyway part of the reason he turned to God was because I wouldn’t go say goodbye to him as he was dying, in spite of knowing he wanted me to & the constant harassment & bullying by people trying to force me to. Nothing else in his almost 80 years of life worked to make him turn to God, not even his own near death experience when he was a teenager.
After my mother died, I learned that she too accepted Jesus as her Savior. Apparently she had as a young child, but stepped away from her new faith probably because of the abuse she received at home. Me not having a relationship with her, I believe, helped to turn her towards God as it did my father. During our almost three years of no contact at the time of her passing, I prayed for her daily. During that time, God told me a few times that she was praying, asking God to make me contact her. He said that her motivations were purely selfish, so He didn’t want me to.
I think my story isn’t terribly unique. Many narcissistic parents end up alone in their final years, abandoned by the children they abused for their entire lives. I also can’t help but think many would turn to God in their desperation for help as my parents did. Hopefully they also would accept Jesus into their hearts as my parents did.
Dear Reader, as hard as it can be, please pray for your narcissistic parents. God hears those prayers, even when we pray from an attitude of “I’m only doing this because I know You want me to.” That was my attitude for a long time, yet in spite of it, both of my parents went to Heaven when they passed away. So please, keep praying for your narcissistic parents. Even if prayer is the only thing you can do for them, it is a very powerful & wonderful thing!
Ending any type of relationship with a narcissist is always a challenge. Whether that person is a friend, romantic partner or relative, it seems like the same basic actions happen often.
A person severs ties with the narcissist in their life. The narcissist is upset, which of course is natural. No one is happy that someone no longer wants them in their life. The problem though is how narcissists handle the situation. Most folks walk away, respect the other person’s boundary & move on however works for them. Narcissists aren’t most folks. Rather than simply walking away, they create chaos.
Many narcissists harass their victims after no contact has been implemented. They don’t leave quietly with their dignity in tact. Instead, they demand to know why the victim ended the relationship. Victims usually tell narcissists why, but they don’t listen. Instead they claim they have no clue why the victim is upset. They may cry or beg the victim to come back. They may rage in an attempt to scare the victim into coming back. If the victim will not speak to them, narcissists have no problem calling, texting, emailing, etc. non stop in an attempt to wear down their victim so he or she will come back to them. Having been on the receiving end of this, I can tell you it can be incredibly unnerving. Anyone who spends so much time focused on making another person’s life miserable in an attempt to force that person to come back to the relationship clearly is not mentally stable.
There is also the notorious smear campaign. Everyone has someone in their life that they don’t have the nicest things to say about. Chances are though, that ruining that person’s reputation isn’t exactly a top priority with you even if that person did you very wrong. Narcissists however, will not hesitate to tell anyone & everyone how terrible their victim is. If they don’t have anything that is negative & true to say, they have no problem creating things to say. They in particular seem to love claiming their victim is mentally unstable. If someone tells you that they have crazy exes, for example, that can be a warning sign you’re dealing with a narcissist. Pay attention to their behavior & you will figure out soon enough whether or not this person is a narcissist.
Narcissists also love to send out the flying monkeys. Their devoted, wicked enablers are more than happy to carry out whatever wishes the narcissist has. This often includes trying to “talk sense” into victims to make them return to the relationship or telling them how horrible they are for doing what they have done to the narcissist.
There is something interesting about all of these scenarios. Not a bit of it makes any sense! Why would anyone want to resume a relationship out of fear or guilt? Yet, narcissists do these things anyway, fully expecting their victims to return to the horrible relationship.
If you end a relationship with a narcissist, you need to be aware that these situations are very likely to happen. Their behavior is often shocking, even when you know it may happen. Narcissists take things to such extremes, it’s hard not to be shocked.
If the narcissist in your life subjects you to these behaviors, remember to block all contact they & their flying monkeys have with you, document everything in case you need it to file charges, & don’t respond to the smear campaign no matter how hard it is. Any acknowledgement that the narcissist is affecting you makes them feel powerful, so they will do the thing that made you react as you did more often. Show them no reaction, block all access & enjoy your life without the narcissist in it!
I’ve done something for so long, I didn’t even realize I did it until recently. When I drive past a building with big glass windows or some sort of reflective surface, I look at myself driving.
Recently I caught myself doing this & thought, ok, I’m weird. I’ve known this for years & accepted my weirdness. This looking at myself driving thing though.. wow. I don’t even like looking at myself in a mirror when I put on makeup or looking at pictures of myself. Making my YouTubes is a big struggle for me, so why am I doing this?!
Suddenly it hit me… because when I was a teenager, I had to fight my mother terribly to get a driver’s license. My friends were driving at 16, & their parents often bought them their first car. Their parents put everything in their name to keep insurance costs down. Meanwhile I had to fight my mother badly to get a license. She wouldn’t even let me see my birth certificate. She showed it to the employee at the Motor Vehicles Administration after shielding me from seeing it. When I failed the first test, she told me she knew I would because I wasn’t ready to drive. When I got my permit & wanted to get myself a car, she told me she’d take me shopping one day so I could see how stupid I was for thinking I could afford a car. She picked a car out for me that I absolutely HATED. It was ugly & over priced.
A month or so later, I picked out my first car & got my license.. here is a picture that my mother took of me with that special & I still think absolutely adorable little car..
This is me in 1989 with Baby, my 1978 Buick Skyhawk that I hope to restore one day.
I realized something recently…
The reason I still ogle myself driving when I can isn’t just because I like my pretty cars. It’s because I never take driving for granted. I had to fight hard to get my license. I paid for my first car, insurance, maintenance & everything by myself. I worked hard & accomplished what I wanted to. No one can take that away from me. My first car in particular is a symbol of that which is why she’s special to me & I hope to restore her. Driving any car reminds me of what I managed to accomplish on my own though, no thanks to my parents. I’m proud of that, & seeing myself behind the wheel of a car, in particular my own, is a reminder of that.
I mentioned this to my husband recently & was rather nervous about admitting it. He shocked me by understanding completely & said “You should be proud of that! Celebrate it! Enjoy driving! Take pictures of yourself behind the wheel!” That helped me to see that maybe I’m not as weird as I thought I was..
Is there anything “strange” you do that is like what I do? If so, I want to encourage you to embrace that. Don’t think of it as weird like I have done with looking at myself when driving. Instead, celebrate it! Be proud of whatever it is you have accomplished in spite of your narcissistic parent. You did something on your own without the help of a narcissistic parent. That isn’t an easy feat when you consider you have had a narcissistic parent or two trying to keep you down your whole life. Be proud that you overcame that & still did whatever it is that you did. It’s ok to be proud of yourself! You deserve to feel that way! xoxo
Most Christians, even new ones, have heard of the armor of God that is written about in Ephesians 6:13-17. To summarize, the armor includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of Salvation & sword of the Spirit.
Have you ever considered how the armor is when viewed from the perspective of dealing with narcissists? I would guess not. I’ve been a Christian since 1996 & studying Narcissistic Personality Disorder since 2011 & it never crossed my mind until recently. It’s well worth considering if you have to deal with a narcissist in any capacity.
When dealing with narcissists, you truly need that belt of truth. Narcissists twist the truth around to their advantage, deny the truth or even recreate their own version of any situation & call it the truth. When dealing with them, you must be well aware of the truth rather than accept their twisted version of it. Knowing the truth helps you to avoid being manipulated by narcissists.
You also will need to wear the breastplate of righteousness at all times. Being aware of what is right & moral will help you to stay on the right track with narcissists. They try to force victims into doing whatever they want, & often those things aren’t good for anyone but the narcissist, let alone moral. Being secure in what you know is right helps you not to get sucked into compromising yourself & your beliefs.
The shoes of peace are also incredibly important. Narcissists feed off the emotions of other people. Any sign of any emotion triggers a reaction in a narcissist. If you’re clearly happy, they’ll do what they can to make you sad. Angry? They’ll make you angrier. Sad? They’ll push you to the point of seriously considering suicide. The best thing you can do in any dealings with a narcissist is to remain completely neutral & peaceful. Show them no emotions whatsoever. Naturally, once you’re away from the narcissist, you need to deal with what you’re feeling however works best for you, because holding emotions in isn’t a healthy thing to do long term. I am only recommending holding emotions in while in their presence because it will help you in dealing with them.
You also will need your shield of faith. Faith in God can get you through anything & everything, even the impossible situations like dealing with narcissists. My faith enabled me to find successful ways to cope with my narcissistic parents, to go no contact at the right time & even helped to get my father to turn to Jesus at the end of his life. With God, all things are possible, even when it comes to dealing with narcissists.
The helmet of Salvation is truly invaluable as well. When you are secure in the knowledge that you are a child of God, it helps you in so many ways. It gives you peace, faith & the knowledge that your Heavenly Father will protect you from anything & enable you to survive anything.
The sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is incredibly valuable too. When you know what God has to say about things, it gives you wisdom & peace knowing not only how to handle what you must, but knowing that you can handle anything, even anything a narcissist can dish out.
If you’re wondering how to put on this armor of God, ask God to help you, listen to anything He suggests to you & have knowledge of the Bible. There are some really wonderful email lists you can subscribe to that will deliver Scriptures to your inbox daily. I subscribe to one that lets me read through the Bible in a year. There are also many devotionals available, either in email or book form. Whatever you do isn’t important. Your relationship with God & knowledge of His word are.
In spite of what many people seem to think, there are very significant differences between no contact & the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is a frequently used punishment for either a real or more commonly perceived wrong. No contact has a long list of grievances that have happened over a long period of time. It isn’t done because someone did one little thing wrong, unlike the silent treatment. It also is never used as a punishment.
The silent treatment will end when the person who initiated it feels their victim has been sufficiently punished for their sins. Once it is done, the one who implemented the silent treatment often contacts the victim & acts as if nothing happened. No contact is meant to be permanent, & nothing will make the person who initiated it talk to the abuser.
There is absolutely no honor in the silent treatment. It is simply a passive/aggressive way to punish someone. No contact is honorable. There is also no honor in enabling bad & even abusive behavior.
The silent treatment is immature. Young children use it to get their way but most of them grow out of it eventually. Not everyone does, unfortunately, so they use this childish behavior to get what they want. No contact is mature, well considered & a very viable option in toxic relationships.
Virtually no thought goes into the silent treatment. Narcissists will use the silent treatment for any reason at any time, without forethought. No contact is much different in this area as well. By the time a person has gone no contact with an abuser, a great deal of time, consideration & prayer have gone into the action.
The silent treatment creates conflict. Other people are involved, & picking sides. They tell the person on the receiving end of the silent treatment to fix the relationship, or apologize to the person who initiated the silent treatment. No contact is an attempt to minimize conflict. People who initiate it don’t try to get other people involved or force the abusive person to apologize.
The silent treatment is a power trip. If a victim is unaware of what the person giving the silent treatment is up to, they will do their best to make the abuser talk to them again & to please this person. They will apologize & sometimes even beg the abuser to forgive them. No contact is not a power trip. People who implement it aren’t interested in anything their abuser does or says. They are simply done with the relationship at that point.
The silent treatment is disrespectful. A person won’t treat someone they respect in such a way. Instead they will try to work out their problems. Someone who uses no contact has tried many times to work out the problems, & gotten nowhere. This person eventually realizes there is no other solution, & they end the relationship. They respect themselves enough to walk away from a toxic relationship.
The silent treatment isn’t Godly. It’s so many bad things like I mentioned previously. No contact, however, is very Godly. You are removing this person’s opportunity to sin by abusing you. You are giving this person consequences for bad behavior, which opens the door for them to change. Whether or not they do is up to them of course, but you give them that opportunity.
Sadly, some relationships are simply beyond repair. It takes two to make a relationship work, & when one isn’t willing to do any work, that relationship is doomed. Sometimes the best thing a person can do is to walk away in order to protect their own peace & mental health. It’s an extremely difficult & painful decision to make, but there are times it must be done.
Ending a romantic relationship with a narcissist is tough. Months or years of the constant gaslighting & abuse destroy a person’s self esteem while somehow leaving victims to feel as if they should appreciate the narcissist settling for loving them. By the time a person ends such a relationship, their thinking is damaged, but they do realize that the narcissist was abusive. At the same time, there is often a lot of guilt & doubt involved for ending the relationship. I experienced it myself for quite some time after divorcing my ex husband.
After the relationship has ended though, you will feel so much better. Time & distance from a narcissist give a person clarity & make room for healing to take place. You may be wondering what signs you can look for that you have moved on from your narcissistic ex, & this post will explain some of them.
If your narcissistic ex tries to contact you, you have no desire to respond. Narcissists are known for attempting to “hoover” their victims, in other words, lure them back into the dysfunctional relationship. If you cringe when you see your ex’s phone number or email address rather than get excited, this is a big sign you have moved on. And, if your ex reaches out to you constantly to the point of harassment, be sure you document everything. Harassment & stalking laws are changing, & you may need that documentation if you have to get the law involved.
Having no desire to know what is happening in your ex’s life is another sign you’ve moved on. It can be common when a couple first breaks up for at least one person in the relationship to want to know what the other is up to. They may discreetly check out their social media or ask mutual friends about them. Losing the desire to do these things shows you’re over that ex.
Another sign of moving on is when you no longer compare yourself to anyone that person is dating or has dated. Narcissists love to compare their victims to others they deem more attractive, smarter, etc. Being romantically involved with someone who does this, it can make you feel as if you have to not only measure up to their other romantic partners, but be much better than them. Losing that baggage is incredibly freeing!
Their opinion of you means nothing to you anymore. While it’s normal to some degree to want an ex to think you’re doing well without them, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting your narcissistic ex to think you’re doing a thousand times better without them. When you stop thinking that way & couldn’t care less what he or she thinks of you, you have moved on.
Severing ties with toxic people is another sign you’ve moved on from a narcissistic ex. After dealing with someone so toxic in such a close relationship, it’s easy to become tolerant of toxic people. Deleting them from your life is a very healthy move in any case, but if it’s done after breaking up with a narcissist, it’s also a sign that you have moved on.
Gaining self confidence is another sign of moving on. Narcissists do their best to obliterate their victim’s self esteem. They even destroy their victims’ ability to trust their instincts, feelings & perceptions through gaslighting. Learning to trust such things takes time, & is a big sign you have moved on.
When you end a relationship with a narcissist, you may feel like you’ll never get better, but you absolutely will! Be patient with yourself & don’t try to rush your healing. As time passes, you’ll notices these things happening, & they can reassure you that you are going to be just fine.
Many people believe utter nonsense when it comes to abusive people. This post is about dispelling those myths.
“He/she is a good person. There’s no way he/she could be abusive towards anyone!” Definite myth. Abusive people can be active in their church, work with the homeless, donate a lot of money to charity & even foster children in dire straights. Narcissists are extremely concerned about looking good, & such actions make a person look good. They will do whatever they can to look good. It doesn’t mean they are good people.
“I’ve never seen this person abuse anyone. They can’t be abusive!” Abusers hide their actions from all but their victim. Abusers can appear kind, caring, charming… it doesn’t mean that they aren’t trying to destroy their victim behind closed doors. Again, they are concerned about looking good, so naturally they will hide their abusive ways from everyone but their victim.
“That person has always been nice to me!” Of course he or she has always been nice to you! Abusers don’t abuse every single person they come into contact with. They are selective when choosing their victims. Those they choose not to abuse, they are nice to so they don’t think the abuser could be abusive, & the victim’s claims of abuse won’t be believed.
“But he/she is a pastor, doctor, teacher, police officer, etc!” Helping professions such as those are very appealing to narcissists because they attract admiration from the general public. Being a pastor, doctor, teacher, etc. doesn’t make someone immune to being abusive. Many people in those professions are good, caring people, but not all are.
“All parents love their children. Parents don’t abuse their children.” Just because someone is biologically able to become a parent doesn’t mean they automatically are good, loving parents. Some people are incapable of loving anyone in a healthy way, & that includes their own children.
“Your mother/father always brags about you. He/she must love you!” Another fallacy. Narcissists want people to envy them as much as they envy others. Bragging about their super talented, attractive, etc. children can garnish envy from others. It doesn’t mean the parent actually believes their children are as wonderful as they make them sound.
“But he/she said he/she was a Christian! That means this person can’t be abusive.” People can say anything they like. I could tell you right now that I’m of Korean heritage. I may even participate in Korean customs, but one look at me shows my lineage is primarily German & Irish. I can claim what I like, but the truth is easy to see. The same goes for so called “Christian abusers.” They may claim to be good Christians. They may be active in their church & know the Christian lingo. Their abusive actions however prove they are nothing like what they claim to be. And, many abusers hide in the guise of being religious. People assume someone who claims to be religious or is active in their church is a good person, so that person is usually not watched carefully for signs of being abusive.
“He/she says you’re lying.” No abuser is going to admit their horrible behavior unless they absolutely have to, & then, they’ll offer up excuses.
“It wasn’t abuse. You two just weren’t a good match.” There is a big difference between a poorly matched couple & an abusive relationship. Poorly matched couples realize that fact & go on their way. One person doesn’t abuse another because of being poorly matched.
If someone tells you that they are being abused, do NOT fall for these myths! Look at the situation objectively rather than assuming the person they claim is abusive is too good to be an abuser. Or, if someone has told you these things regarding your abuser, feel free to show them this post if you think it will help. xoxo
Narcissists & their flying monkey enablers have a very skewed view of what is ok & what isn’t ok, what’s abusive & what isn’t abusive. Narcissists are an extremely entitled bunch & they lack empathy, so in their minds, whatever they want is all that matters. Hurting others isn’t important. And, their flying monkeys agree wholeheartedly. So what if someone gets hurt? The narcissist is the important one, after all.
These people act like certain abusive behaviors are completely normal. In time, this can make victims think the narcissist is right, that they are wrong for being upset about something that is supposed to be so normal. More subdued abusive behaviors often fall into this category.
Also, many abuse victims develop a very thick skin when it comes to abuse. This comes from being abused repeatedly. If an abuser isn’t screaming at them or physically assaulting them, they sometimes don’t think they are being abused. Unfortunately abuse isn’t always so easy to spot. It can be subtle, but equally abusive. This post will describe some of the subtle ways a person can abuse.
Taking or relocating your property. When you live with someone, chances are excellent you will move each other’s property at some point. My husband moves my purse if it’s in his way, for example. But when someone hides or even gets rid of something that belongs to you, that is abnormal! It is also abusive if the person blames you for forgetting that you moved or got rid of the item when they are the one who did it. That is gaslighting!
Controlling behavior. Telling you what to say, how to act, how to look, what to wear, hiding your car keys so you can’t go anywhere are all abusive, even if there are no physical threats to go along with the control. No one has the right to control another person.
Sexual violations. Someone who uses guilt & shame to force you to perform a sexual act that is something you really don’t want to do or causes you pain is just as guilty as the masked man who rapes you at knife point. Just because a weapon wasn’t used doesn’t make this ok. It’s not ok if you’re married either. Being married doesn’t give anyone the right to be sexually abusive.
The silent treatment. While the silent treatment isn’t usually considered abusive, it actually is. If you don’t know what the person’s up to, the silent treatment can make you do almost anything to win the favor back of the person not speaking to you. It sets you up to be controlled & manipulated while damaging your self-esteem. Once you understand what the silent treatment is about though, it can be a pleasant respite from the abuse.
Being confusing & unreasonable during a disagreement. Most people try to work together to a solution when involved in a disagreement, even if things are heated. An abusive behavior is instead of working on a solution, talking in circles, trying to focus on something other than the issue at hand, projecting their flaws onto you, bringing up past arguments, & gaslighting.
Please remember not to normalize or excuse abuse. Behavior like this is NOT normal & there is no excuse for anyone to act this way. Even if it happened “only once”, there is still no excuse for it. Instead, admit the truth, that such actions are abusive & terrible. You also need to accept that you have done nothing wrong, & you did nothing to deserve such treatment. You have every right to be upset about what was done to you. You also have every right to protect yourself from further abuse so set those boundaries & take good care of yourself!
This post is similar to the last one, except it helps to identify some of the tactics of covert narcissists.
Covert narcissists are like their name implies, very covert in their actions. Because of that, they can be much harder to identify than their overt counterpart. Their actions can leave a victim wondering if they are being oversensitive or reading too much into things. I’ve said many times that if I have to deal with a narcissist, I’d prefer an overt one simply because I know exactly what I’m dealing with.
Covert narcissists are quiet in how they get attention. They don’t get attention by bragging or being loud & obnoxious like overt narcissists. They get it by appearing gentle & humble. They “let it slip” about how they helped someone in need or that they are very active in their church.
Covert narcissists appear fragile & vulnerable, like they need someone to take care of them. They give off an air of naivete & needing someone to protect them that makes people want to take care of them, in particular, their children. The life purpose of the child of a covert narcissist is to take care of their parent’s every need.
They are always the victim. No matter what a covert narcissist does to someone, you can guarantee they will blame the victim for being so mean to them for reacting as they did. After all, they often say, they were just trying to help or they had no idea that the person would be upset by their actions. The covert narcissist comes away from this situation looking innocent while the victim is shamed & even shunned for being so mean.
Covert narcissists have no empathy. Unlike overt narcissists, however, coverts are quieter about this. They will simply act bored, discreetly change the subject or walk away if someone is talking to them about their problems.
Covert narcissists manipulate in subtle ways. A covert narcissist looking to manipulate someone won’t use fear or intimidation like an overt narcissist. Instead they may use tactics like guilt, pretending to be helpless or even acting concerned. Covertly narcissistic elderly parents also are known to use their health problems as a way to manipulate others, in particular their adult children. They may even go so far as to skip taking medication or taking too much to make themselves sick.
Covert narcissists will ask how their victims are doing & other questions about them or their friends & family, but it isn’t out of genuine concern or love. It’s about gathering information that can be used against the victim. They will use what they learn to smear the victim’s reputation to other people or to criticize the victim & those the victim cares about.
Speaking of criticism, covert narcissists have no problem using scathing, cruel criticisms, but only will do so when no one is around other than the victim. Covert narcissists always want to be seen as good people, so when they are verbally abusive, you can guarantee there will be no witnesses. That way, no one sees their awful behavior, which also makes it harder for the victim to be believed.
Covert narcissists can change according to who they are around. If a covert narcissist is around someone they wish to impress, they will claim to share the same likes, dislikes, beliefs & more as the person they wish to impress. This is called mirroring, because the narcissist is behaving as a mirror to the other person. Mirroring makes a person feel closer to the person mirroring their behavior, because it appears that they have a great deal in common.
While this list isn’t a fully comprehensive list of the many tactics covert narcissists use, it should help you to recognize several red flags, at least, & help you to protect yourself from these people.
Since it’s impossible to avoid all narcissists, I thought I would write a post to help people easily recognize their abusive actions. This post will be about the actions of overt narcissists, the next, about covert.
Overt narcissists are the most commonly discussed type of narcissist. They are known to be very loud, brash & bold in their abuse. They are the easiest narcissists to identify simply because of how obvious they usually are.
Overt narcissists rage. Loudly. When their victim causes them a narcissistic injury by failing to provide them with their narcissistic supply, overt narcissists will be furious & let their victim know it. If the victim fails to complement the narcissist, disobeys the narcissist or commits some other supposed horrific sin, that victim can count on the narcissist punishing them harshly for it.
Overt narcissists like to brag. When dealing with an overt narcissist, it won’t take long before this person regales you with stories of their great accomplishments, their unique talents or the masses of people who admire them.
If an overt narcissist isn’t the center of attention, he or she will find a way to return to the center of attention. An overt narcissist will do whatever it takes to gain attention, good or bad. They will start to discuss highly inappropriate topics such as the details of a recent murder or even body functions. They will make noises such as clapping their hands or even a loud burp. I remember my mother once breaking into song when my father & I were talking & she wasn’t interested in our conversation.
Overt narcissists also have no problem interrupting other people. If a person is talking about something that doesn’t interest the overt narcissist, they have no problem interrupting or talking over that person to change the conversation back to them.
All narcissists lack empathy, & overt ones are very obvious about it. If you have a problem, an overt narcissist will be sure to let you know that your problem isn’t important to them. They will change the subject or say invalidating things to make you feel so badly for being upset, that you don’t discuss this topic again.
Overt narcissists must be in charge of every area of the relationship, period. Overt narcissists are like dictators in a relationship. They will use shame & fear primarily to keep their victim under their control. Many also have a thing for using cars to help them dominate. They must drive, because that way they have their victim trapped where they can’t escape & they are in control of where they go.
Overt narcissists are incredibly opinionated. Whatever the topic is, overt narcissists will have an opinion on it & believe that everyone must hear said opinion. If the opinion is something about the victim, you can guarantee it will be a negative opinion.
All narcissists are envious, but overts are very obvious about it. Anyone an overt narcissist believes to be more talented, successful or attractive than they are is going to be judged & criticized VERY harshly, & usually behind their back in an attempt to turn other people against the person they envy.
Overt narcissists have double standards. Whatever an overt narcissist does is great, but if anyone else does that same thing, it’s bad. For example, if an overt narcissist lied to you, that would be ok because, according to them, something about you made them lie. Yet, if you lie to the overt narcissist, that is completely unacceptable & there is no reason whatsoever for you to lie to them, ever!
Obviously this isn’t a complete list of the behaviors of the overt narcissist, but it should be enough to help you see such behaviors as a red flag. Recognizing those red flags will help you to protect yourself from such toxic people.
Narcissists all love to control their victims. Many use two tactics simultaneously to get what they want. Those tactics are nit picking & changing goals.
These evil tactics work very well together to make a victim feel not good enough, & willing to work harder & harder to please the narcissist. As an example, at the time my ex husband & I were together, I felt I was morbidly obese & disgusting. Looking back though at old pictures now, I see I was a normal weight. Not skinny, not fat.. normal. However, he constantly hinted that I needed to lose weight so I could look better. Our marriage was a nightmare, & I thought that if I just could lose weight, I could fix it. I know, this was very naive on my part but I was young & unaware of the kind of person I was dealing with at that time.
Anyway I lost weight.. 23 pounds to be precise. I fit into a size 6 comfortably & some size 4’s as well. Considering my frame & height, I was too thin, I think, but it still wasn’t good enough for my ex.
During my weight loss journey, my ex did not complement me or encourage me. The closest thing he said to a complement was, “Well your butt finally looks better.” He also made me feel like I needed to lose more & more weight in order to please him. As thin as I was at that time, I still felt that I was disgustingly fat & like if I didn’t lose some more weight, my marriage would fail because of it.
My ex husband’s nitpicking & changing the goals in that area gave me a very skewed view of not only my appearance which damaged my already fragile self esteem, but also my responsibility in our failing marriage. I felt as if I was completely to blame for the problems in our marriage, even though now I know I was not. This is basically the goal of a narcissist who employs nitpicking & changing the rules. If the narcissist can make their victim feel badly about themselves, they are easy to control, which of course is a great thing to a narcissist. And, if the narcissist can convince the victim that something is their fault, they will work hard to please the narcissist. The victim also will be so focused on trying to please the narcissist, they won’t realize that the narcissist is to blame, so the narcissist gets away with their abusive tactics. And, this builds up a tolerance to abuse in a victim, so a narcissist can do more awful things & get away with them.
No matter the relationship, all narcissists seem to use nitpicking & changing the goals as a way to abuse their victims. Parents use this tactic on their children even into adulthood, spouses use it, co workers & friends use it as well. It is wise to learn to recognize this abusive tactic, understand it & find ways to cope with it.
Recognizing it is pretty easy. When someone is excessively critical, even when said with feigned concern, & if the person also changes what they want from you often, these are big red flags.
You also need to keep in mind that this is not about you, it’s about the narcissist’s need to abuse & control you. The things they criticize aren’t necessarily flaws. Probably they are things you’re insecure about, so the narcissist uses your insecurities as a means to abuse you.
As for ways to cope, recognizing what is happening & remembering what the reasoning behind it is will help you tremendously. Stick to your boundaries, too. If you give a narcissist an inch, they’ll take 100 miles, so don’t give them what they want. Also, I firmly believe in praying, asking God to give you creative ideas to deal with a narcissist is always a very good move. He will give you effective ideas that you never would’ve thought of on your own. Let Him help you!
When you first start to open up about the abusive behavior the narcissist in your life has inflicted on you, it can be very hard. You were told to keep everything a secret. My mother used to tell me, “Don’t air our dirty laundry!” as a way to keep me quiet. It didn’t work though. At that time I was only 17, living through sheer hell due to her abuse & didn’t know what to do. I told others in the hopes of finding someone who could give me advice on how to cope or make my mother treat me better. Obviously that didn’t work. I did learn about what happens when a victim starts to open up about narcissistic abuse though.
When you begin to divulge what the narcissist has done to you, the narcissist will be horrified. After all, you’re not supposed to tell anyone anything! The abuse is supposed to remain a secret between the two of you, no one else. Naturally, the narcissist is going to be angry with you, because that is what they think. They don’t think about the fact that you are a human being with feelings & needs & even the right to discuss your own life with whoever you wish.
The narcissist also is going to be very angry at you for making him or her look bad when you talk about the abuse. Narcissists clearly don’t think like normal people, so they won’t consider their actions are what make them look bad. Instead, they’ll lump all the blame on you for making them look bad.
Narcissists feel betrayed when victims tell others about their abhorrent behavior. They all seem to think victims will tolerate their abuse indefinitely, never protesting it, & are shocked & horrified when that isn’t the case. This so called betrayal can trigger their rage.
It also can trigger a myriad of unhealthy coping skills. One of which is reinventing the past. Many narcissists convince themselves that they are awesome people, & never would abuse anyone. After my mother’s death, I learned she knew what I write about in spite of my efforts to prevent that from happening. I also learned she must have convinced herself that I was lying & she didn’t do anything I said she did.
When the narcissist becomes enraged & acts in this way, it can be scary. Some scream. Some harass or stalk. All engage in a smear campaign & are often successful at turning those you love against you or at least damaging some of your relationships. This is a terribly painful place to be, I know. It may even make you think you’re wrong for opening up. Life seemed easier when no one knew what the narcissist did to you. I can tell you something though.. although it may seem easier, it isn’t.
In some ways, not discussing the abuse is easier because the narcissist is appeased. When they’re appeased, they aren’t ruining your relationships or at least your reputation. No one is telling you what a terrible person you are. But, you are unhappy. You’re trying to do everything perfectly so as not to upset the narcissist, which means you’re under intense stress & utterly miserable. Everyone is happy except you, & the people who are happy clearly have no concern for your mental health.
Tell your story. John 8:32 says the truth will set you free. Let it! The more you discuss the abuse, the more you’ll heal. If the narcissist doesn’t approve, that isn’t your problem. Besides, think about this: if what he or she did was truly ok, if it was all your fault & their abusive actions were totally justified, why are they so determined to keep it a secret?
The term sexual narcissist describes a narcissist who thinks they are incredibly gifted in the area of sex. This attitude makes them feel entitled to anything they want in that area, no matter the pain & suffering it may cause their partner. So long as the sexual narcissist gets what he or she wants, that is all that matters.
There are some signs that show you if you’re involved with such a person. Some people are guilty of such behaviors from time to time, but when the behaviors are a constant, that is a big red flag that your partner is a sexual narcissist.
In the beginning, the narcissist is extremely attentive, flirtatious, & complementary. Granted, this is sort of the norm in any relationship. However, narcissists take it to an extreme, leaving a victim swept off their feet. They also stop this behavior suddenly & with no explanation, leaving their victim confused & willing to do anything to regain the narcissist’s attention. This makes the victim easier to control, which is why they behave in such a manner.
Once the newness wears off, the victim’s sole purpose is to please the narcissist. As a narcissist becomes comfortable in the relationship, their focus changes from being this perfect partner to “What can I get from my victim?” Any degrading or deviant fantasy the narcissist has is demanded of the victim. Nothing is off limits, even if it causes the victim physical or emotional suffering. When the victim protests, the narcissist shames the victim for being a prude, immature or not loving the narcissist. Sometimes they get violent & force their victim into doing what they want, & other times they use manipulation & shaming to get it.
The victim is not allowed to have needs or wants. At this point, the narcissist’s mask is off. The victim knows that he or she is there to please the narcissist. The victim also is learning that his or her own needs & wants mean nothing to the narcissist. In fact, victims are often ridiculed for having their own wants & needs. Sexual narcissists think of their victims as inhuman, without needs or wants. How can a thing, an inanimate object have needs or wants? It’s ridiculous. All that matters is the narcissist’s needs & wants. The victim’s are at best shrugged off, at worst mocked.
Narcissists are more focused on their performance than their partner. Since narcissists are so deathly afraid of criticism, they focus on avoiding it at all costs. This behavior extends to the bedroom. They often even focus more on how they’re performing than their partner.
Many sexual narcissists engage in extremely unhealthy sexual behavior, such as pornography or infidelity. Your average person realizes there are unhealthy sexual activities, & avoids doing them. They also realize they can enjoy sex with their mate in many ways without going near any of those unhealthy boundaries. Narcissists however are different. Nothing they want is wrong or unhealthy in their minds. If someone is hurt or offended by their actions, clearly that person has a problem, not the narcissist.
If you’re involved with a sexual narcissist, the best advice I can give you is RUN! They’re dangerous to your emotional health. If you do as they want, your self esteem will be obliterated because of the degrading things the narcissist forced you to do. If you refuse, they will destroy your self esteem by making you feel like the most awful, unreasonable & ugly person in the world for not being a willing victim to their depraved ways. They’re also dangerous to your physical health. They frequently get sexually transmitted diseases from their cheating ways & infect their partners.
Rather than deal with such dreadful outcomes, if at all possible get away from this person! Protect your physical & emotional health!
I recently saw the most interesting conversation on television! In this particular scene, a younger lady was talking with an older lady. The younger lady was deaf, & discussing how things went when she began to lose her hearing in her teens. She said she was afraid & angry, naturally, but her older sister told her being deaf was her super power. She learned how to adapt to this new life which obviously wasn’t easy. She also mentioned how people in their community were learning sign language, & that it was all because of her.
Immediately I began to think of those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse. We have super powers too!
We survived some pretty horrific stuff! Simply surviving narcissistic abuse definitely fits into the super power category! Many people don’t. They end up committing suicide, & quite honestly, who can blame them? Like many others, I sure considered it plenty when I was going through it.
We also not only survived, but we did so with our sanity & humanity in tact. Narcissists pull out all the stops when they abuse their victims in an attempt to utterly destroy them. Surviving that without becoming angry or bitter or continuing their abuse is really impressive! Many people who survive narcissistic parents simply don’t have the strength or courage to break the cycle of abuse, & they abuse their children.
Many of us go on to talk openly about our painful experiences, & by doing so, help other people. We create awareness of narcissistic abuse, which is desperately needed. And, we help other victims to learn what is happening with them when we discuss our experiences. I’m sure you remember how it was prior to learning about narcissistic abuse. You felt like you were going crazy, maybe the narcissist was right & you were causing all of the problems in the relationship & more. Learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder is incredibly freeing because you learn the narcissist is the problem, not you like the narcissist said. By discussing your experiences openly, you’re helping other people obtain that freedom! Also, by discussing narcissistic abuse, we are able to show others what does & doesn’t work with not only dealing with narcissists but the healing process as well.
If you have C-PTSD as a result of the narcissistic abuse, you aren’t exempt from having the super powers. I know many who have it consider themselves weak or seriously flawed, but that isn’t the case at all! You simply have a scar that shows yourself & others you survived some pretty horrific stuff. I know C-PTSD is horrible, I live with it too. But living with something so painful & challenging is a super power!
And you know something else? By being open & honest about your struggles with C-PTSD, you’re helping others. You may help some people who may not yet realize they too have the disorder. They may hear of your struggles & realize this is what’s been happening with them. While naturally no one wants to be diagnosed with any illness, mental or physical, if you’re suffering with symptoms & have no clue why, learning what is happening is incredibly helpful! Having answers means you know what you’re dealing with & can find the proper treatment.
Also, by discussing your symptoms openly & how you cope with those symptoms, you help others find ways to manage their symptoms. It can be so hard to come up with ideas to help yourself, especially when symptoms are flaring up, which means learning what works & doesn’t work for others can be extremely helpful!
Please never forget, Dear Reader, that you have super powers. You survived some of the cruelest abuse a human can survive & are going on to help others. Those are some impressive super powers! That is amazing & you should be very proud of yourself!
As I write this post, it’s May 5. To many people it’s no special day. To others, it’s Cinco De Mayo. To me, it’s a reminder of a very strange day.
In 2016, my mother in-law died on April 30. Two days later, our oldest kitty died suddenly. Three days after that was our dog, Dixie’s birthday & we really did try to celebrate her special day as usual. Not easy with the sadness we both felt, but we tried & I think Dixie was ok with that since she was a very sweet, sensitive & smart little pup.
Then “it” happened. May 5, 2016, I had a huge fight with my parents. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, as you can tell if you read the original post in the link above.
Today, as I was driving home, the date hit me. I had thought of it earlier remembering my sweet Dixie on her birthday (she passed in 2017), but I hadn’t thought about it relating to the argument with my parents. I also realized I hadn’t thought of it last year, either, but in all fairness, my mother had just passed & I was still in shock at that time. I wasn’t functioning very well.
Anyway, when I thought of the date relating to the argument with my parents, guilt about overwhelmed me. I am so NOT proud of my behavior that evening. That argument also was what led to me being no contact with my parents, & that led to them dying without me in their lives in any capacity. It was my final straw. Yet, I know what I did was the right thing. It seems so unfair to be wracked with guilt even knowing I did the right thing, yet, it also makes sense in a strange way.
Going no contact with your family, in particular your parents, is incredibly hard. Many people have no idea just how hard, but those of us who have done it or are contemplating doing it know. It’s brutal. It goes against nature, stepping away from your own blood! Yet sadly, it also is necessary sometimes.
If you’re contemplating going no contact with your narcissistic parent or parents, my heart goes out to you. It’s incredibly difficult! Having been in your position, I can give you some advice though…
Seriously consider your choice. No contact needs to be permanent, not permanent until you need your parent or miss them. Only do it when you are certain you can make it permanent, no matter what.
Don’t do it on a whim or because you’re angry. My story may sound like I did that but it’s not the case. I’d been considering no contact for a while at that time, yet felt the timing wasn’t right until that argument with my parents. It felt as if God said, “Now”. Timing is important. Trust His timing & ask Him to help you figure out when the time is right.
Know that going no contact can lead to tremendous guilt, even when you know there was no other choice. I know, it seems wrong but it’s a simple fact. As I type this, I still feel guilty about going no contact with my parents even knowing it was God’s will for me to do it. The one thing that helps the guilt is leaning on God for reassurance. At first, it was constant.. especially when my father was dying in 2017. It has lightened up a great deal, but even now, sometimes guilt still kicks in.. like today.
Never, ever stop praying for your parent. I know many people say narcissists aren’t worth praying for, they’re a lost cause, nothing can save them, etc. but you never know. Both of my parents are in Heaven!! When my mother died, a stranger, the funeral director who took care of her, told me that he felt God wanted him to tell me she was in Heaven. In 2017, a former friend told me that God spoke to her about my father being in Heaven. I realize not everyone wants to be saved & God honors the choices of each person. That being said though… never stop praying for your narcissistic parents! The worst case scenario is that parent doesn’t accept Jesus, which of course is terrible, but there is at least some comfort in knowing you did all you can do. God heard your prayers. He won’t forget you praying for your parents. He knows you did all you could do. Your conscience is clear, & that is a good thing.
So many websites & authors make no contact sound like an easy decision & once you go no contact, all will be right in your world. Nothing could be further from the truth!! While no contact is often the best & even the only solution, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.
If you’re considering no contact with a narcissist in your life, in particular one in your family, you need to be aware of some things. I am not writing these to make you change your mind about no contact, only to help you prepare for the potential aftermath.
- No one has the right to abuse you, not even your family.
- You are under no obligation whatsoever to tolerate abuse from anyone & yes, that includes family.
- Cutting toxic people out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you someone who cares enough about yourself not to tolerate abuse.
- Just because you severed contact with someone doesn’t mean you hate them. You can love someone but still not be able to be in a relationship with them because they’re abusive.
- No one can fully prepare for what may happen after no contact because all people are different. When I went no contact with my mother, she ignored me & kept her distance. When I went no contact with my father, he continually tried to force me to talk to him, including getting his family to try to force me to talk to him. It’s hard to predict how the person on the receiving end of no contact will handle it.
- You will be depressed for some time after going no contact. No matter how sure you are that you did the right thing or how much you know you had no choice but to do this, ending a relationship especially one with a family member is TOUGH! It hurts!
- You’ll also feel very guilty for a while, even though there isn’t a valid reason to feel that way. This is simply because that is how this person trained you. Their feelings are more important than yours & how dare you put your feelings ahead of theirs, at least that is what they want you to believe. Remember, this person is the reason the relationship fell apart. Yes, you walked away but only after you were pushed into doing so to protect your mental health. There is no reason to feel guilty about this!
- You’re going to have doubts. It’s only normal. Remind yourself of how much thought & prayer went into your decision when this happens. Also remember what led you to make this incredibly difficult decision. Doing so helps a great deal.
- Not everyone is going to understand. Some people are going to judge you very harshly. Those people can be incredibly hurtful & cruel. No matter how convicted they are in their beliefs, it doesn’t mean they are right. Don’t let them make you doubt your decision or tolerate their abusive words.
- Of those who judge you, you will be surprised by who is doing it. Some folks you were convinced were on your side will turn on you, & it is going to hurt badly! You also may be surprised by acquaintances & even strangers who attack you for going no contact. It’s shocking when someone you barely know or don’t even know at all thinks they have the right to tell you what they think you should do with your life.
- Those who don’t understand also will try to guilt or shame you into reconnecting. Don’t let that happen!! Again, remind yourself of what led you to making this decision. Also remind yourself that these people don’t know the whole story, so their input is useless to you.
- Often, these people who attack you are going to be your own family. Family is often the most abusive in these situations. Mine certainly has been. Various members have attacked me like they were starving lions & I was vulnerable prey. Sadly this is pretty normal in narcissistic families. Family members often delude themselves into thinking they’re a happy, normal, functional family. They will do anything to protect their delusions, including attack someone who tells the truth. If they can quiet the truth teller, then their delusions can remain in tact. To them, attacking their own kin is worth it if it protects their delusions.
- You may think if you just did something they wanted you to do or loved them enough, the abuse would have stopped. That is not true! A person changes because they want to. To make an abuser want to change is nearly impossible. They get what they want from being abusive & they lack empathy. This means they see no reason at all to change.
- You also may have days where you miss this person. You may be tempted on those days to rekindle the relationship. You may even want to apologize for going no contact. DON’T DO IT!! Once someone has gone no contact then later returns to the relationship, it gets much worse than it originally was. It may start out good, but it won’t take long before the mask comes off again. When that happens, the person underneath is even uglier than they were before.
- You won’t be functioning in survivor mode anymore, so you may feel much different. You may feel very vulnerable & over sensitive. Little things can make you cry or make you angry that never bothered you before. You may have more nightmares than usual. You may experience changes in anxiety levels by either becoming more anxious in general or less anxious but when you do get anxious those times are harder than they used to be.
- You may feel oddly lost, too, like you don’t know what to do with your life. When in a relationship with a narcissist, they seem to take up all the room in the relationship, even down to including all the room in your brain. Without them, what is there to think about?! It can take some time to feel less lost after survival mode is over.
- At some point, you are going to feel so much better! You’ll experience freedom & enjoy that feeling immensely. If the narcissist in your life was a relative, guilt will come attached to enjoying your new freedom, but in time it will get less & less, until it disappears.
- You’ll also experience peace, possibly for the first time in your life! No more unnecessary drama. No more narcissistic rages. The peace is glorious!!
- You won’t feel on edge all the time, worried about what to say or do to appease the narcissist so he or she won’t rage at you. You finally can relax & not focus all of your energy on this person. It’ll feel like a giant weight is lifted off your shoulders.
- You also will start to enjoy little things more than you used to. When you’re life is totally focused on a narcissist, it’s hard to enjoy subtle things like a bird singing, a beautiful full moon or even a great song on the radio. It can feel almost like you’re reborn, I think is the best way to describe it.
In time, you’ll learn that no contact was absolutely worth it. In spite of all the pain, the tears, the doubts & the attacks from horrible people, it truly was worth it. You will survive it, & be better & stronger for it!
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