Tag Archives: no contact
Many people have issues with setting boundaries or even severing ties with a narcissistic parent. They say you are being mean, unreasonable, selfish. In religious people, they may also throw in that you aren’t honoring your parent, & they quote Exodus 20:12 that tells us to honor our parents. Or, in Asian cultures, they mention filial piety, which is respecting & caring for one’s parents being the highest of virtues.
People who say this sort of gibberish are either completely clueless or they’re narcissistic enablers. Yet, in spite of that, sometimes victims are convinced that these imbeciles are right. They stop using their boundaries, continue to tolerate the abuse, & are completely miserable.
If you are reading this & in this place of either wanting to set boundaries or go no contact with your narcissistic parent, but feel you are being selfish, mean, etc., you need to know that you are wrong! I promise you that, & will show you why.
Although I don’t know much about religions other than Christianity, I do know that many of them seem to share one common belief, which basically boils down to, “you reap what you sow.” Just look at what the Bible has to say about that…
- Proverbs 11:25 “The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].” (AMP)
- Proverbs 19:19 “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.” (AMP)
- Proverbs 22:8 “He who sows injustice will reap [a harvest of] trouble,
And the rod of his wrath [with which he oppresses others] will fail.” (AMP)
- Obadiah 15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (NIV)
- 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].” (AMP)
- Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.
8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (AMP)
These Scriptures prove that whatever a person does, good or bad, there are consequences. It’s a natural part of life.
I realize as the child of a narcissistic parent or two, this feels so foreign. After all, the child never should upset the parent, burden them with “trivial” things like their needs or let the parent face consequences of their terrible behavior. However, this is so wrong! God has made sure this reaping & sowing wisdom is mentioned repeatedly in His Word. This has to be important to be mentioned many times, wouldn’t you agree?
If you think about this, I’m sure it’ll help you to realize that your boundaries or no contact aren’t you being an awful person, but simply the natural course of events. That is what happened with me. I felt bad for setting boundaries with my parents & going low contact. God reminded me of Galatians 6:7-8. I thought about it & realized it made sense. Every time I so much as started to feel guilty, I remembered that Scripture. It was very encouraging! So much so that I was finally able to go no contact with my parents. I felt mostly sadness because this wasn’t how things should be, which I think is totally normal, but very little guilt. Without realizing the principle of sowing & reaping, I don’t know if I could have gone no contact. If I had, no doubt the guilt would have been about crippling!
Please consider this post if you are struggling with setting boundaries or going no contact with your narcissistic parent, Dear Reader. You aren’t wrong, selfish, unreasonable, mean or anything else. You have every right to do these things!
Many people I have dealt with seem to misunderstand what no contact really is. Since others have experienced this too, I decided I would share some thoughts today on what no contact is & is not.
First of all, & yes, this is directed specifically at those who have said this nonsense to me.. no contact is NOT un-Christian. Enabling bad & abusive behavior is un-Christian. Tolerating abuse silently is un-Christian. Never confronting someone about their abusive behavior is un-Christian. If you don’t believe me, open a Bible. As Christians, we are to love people. Part of loving people is wanting what is best for them & helping them to be their best. When someone doesn’t listen to another’s complaints, they need consequences to make them want to improve their behavior. When normal consequences don’t work, no contact is a very viable option, even for those closest to a victim such as their own family & yes, even parents.
No contact isn’t about being unforgiving. A person can no longer speak to someone & have forgiven them for their abusive ways at the same time. Protecting one’s mental health has nothing to do with unforgiveness.
No contact isn’t taking the easy way out. Far from it! Anyone who has gone no contact with someone they love has suffered a great deal not only due to the abuse, but also making the decision to go no contact & living without that person. If you disagree, consider my story. I went no contact with my parents several months before my father died & almost three years to the day before my mother died. Doing that & not being there for them when they needed me at the end of their lives was horrible. If you think that was easy, you are very sadly mistaken!
No contact isn’t about trying to change someone. Yes, you are giving that person consequences for their actions, but that doesn’t mean you are trying to manipulate them into behaving better. You set that stage & it’s up to them to do with it as they want.
No contact also isn’t about not accepting someone. It’s about accepting that person as they are, yet knowing you can’t have a healthy relationship with that person.
No contact has nothing to do with being disrespectful. Rather it has everything to do with self respect, with respecting one’s self enough to detach from an abusive relationship.
No contact isn’t about hate. Just because you have ended a relationship doesn’t mean you hate the other person. You can love someone a great deal yet not be able to be in a relationship with that person. Some people I’ve spoken with assumed I hated my parents because of being no contact with them. Far from it! I loved my parents a great deal. It was how they treated me that I hated.
No contact isn’t about creating conflict or being dramatic. Every single person I’ve spoken with who ended an abusive relationship, no matter who that relationship was with, wanted the exact same things I did: no further abuse, peace & a conflict & drama free existence. When a narcissist’s flying monkeys go after someone who has gone no contact, fewer things can be more stressful & upsetting. We try to avoid that at all costs!
I doubt there is anyone who truly wants to end a relationship with someone they love, even when that person is abusive. That being said though, there are times when it’s necessary. Some people are so toxic there is no other solution other than no contact. Sadly, this even happens in families. As I said, I ended the relationship with my parents. They were simply that cruel & toxic. It happens, unfortunately, so if it has happened to you as well, know you’re not alone. Many of us understand!
Removing someone from your life is a very challenging thing to do even under the best of circumstances. What makes it even harder is when others criticize not only that you did it but even how you ended a relationship. It is so frustrating when you took this big step & people with no vested interest in the relationship feel the need to tell you how wrong you were. It can make you seriously doubt your decision.
One aspect of this I have experienced is being told how wrong I was for simply backing out of someone’s life rather than explaining how I feel or trying to work things out. Those familiar with the Myers Briggs personality test recognize this as the infamous INFJ door slam, even though all personalities may use it. Others call it ghosting. Whatever you choose to call it, many people call it childish, petty & even cruel when it often is nothing of the sort.
While the door slam isn’t appropriate in every relationship that ends, in many cases is it a very good option to take no matter what others may think.
With narcissists, trying to work out relationship problem is a waste of time. In fact, telling them that you are hurt when they do or say something usually just makes them do or say that thing more often.
They also have no desire to change their hurtful behavior. If something they do hurts someone, that is either inconsequential to them or it brings them joy. Trying to talk things out with someone like this is not only impossible, but it will cause a lot more pain & frustration.
Not to mention, narcissists will try to convince a victim to maintain the relationship’s status quo & can be very good at doing so sometimes. This can cause a couple of unpleasant outcomes. The victim may become confused & stay in the toxic relationship. Or, the victim may leave but carry a great deal of shame for leaving the “poor abuser” or “ruining his or her life” by ending the relationship. Another scenario can happen if the abuser & victim live together. Talking to the abuser before ending the relationship & moving out can give the abuser time to come up with especially creative & effective tactics to keep the victim in the relationship
In cases like this, it is much better for someone to leave a relationship unannounced & silently for their own mental health’s sake.
Not all relationships are abusive, though, & sometimes a person wants to end it simply because of personality differences, moral differences or even religious beliefs. In cases like that, sometimes leaving a relationship silently still may be a viable option.
If someone repeatedly hurts you, you tell them they’re hurting you & they continue to hurt you, they have to know why you’re ending the relationship. They don’t need you to explain yourself yet again. There is no point.
No one should have to explain to someone how to be a decent human being, especially repeatedly. Some people seem to have no clue how to be civil, let alone polite, & are content with their behavior. They say things like, “This is just how I am.” Explaining why you want to end a relationship with someone like this is most likely going to be a waste of your time.
Obviously, people are very different so you need to consider your options seriously when ending a relationship someone. If the person is reasonable, explaining why you’re ending it is a good option. That person may learn that they need to behave in a healthier way. And, who knows, they may teach you something about your own behavior as well. If the person in question isn’t reasonable though, quietly walking away probably is your best option.
When you first learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, one of the first things you will see is many people preaching the value of no contact. It’s true, no contact is often the best solution when dealing with narcissists, no matter what role the narcissist has in your life. They accept no responsibility for their abusive ways, they have no empathy so they don’t care about the pain they cause, & they are more than happy to use & abuse anyone in order to get whatever they want. In other words, they aren’t the kind of people with whom you can work things out.
No contact is a very serious issue, & should NOT be taken lightly. Yet, there are people out there who treat it as if it’s no big deal. You can recognize them easily. They’re the people saying, “Just go no contact” if you mention your narcissist’s abusive behavior. They act like there is no excuse whatsoever to remain in that relationship, & something is very wrong with you for staying.
People like this are not good if you’re in the place of considering going no contact. The reason being people who say this can make a victim feel shame for not wanting to end that relationship or not having the strength to do it just yet. That shame may make them feel horrible & muddy their thinking. It is NOT helpful! This is NOT what anyone considering no contact needs! People in this position need support, love, understanding & even objectivity in the people surrounding them to help them come to whatever decision is right for them.
There is another brand of the “no contact” crowd out there that is even more dangerous. These are the people who say your family is toxic as soon as you say anything about them that is less than 1000% positive, & you don’t need them in your life. People like this are either highly sensitive due to their own abusive pasts or they’re manipulative. One example is someone I knew who sold her home & gave the money to a fortune teller. This fortune teller told her that her parents were toxic, & she needed to get away from them. She should sell her house & give the rest of the money to this fortune teller. The lady’s parents were about as un-toxic as you can get, but she listened anyway. The fortune teller ran off with this lady’s money as soon as the house was sold.
My point of all of this is that you, Dear Reader, need to be wise with people who say, “Just go no contact”. Think about it for yourself before you decide to do it. Is the person telling you this someone who knows you & the other person? Does this person have experience in similar relationships? Does this person have anything to gain if you sever ties with the person in question? Remember, abusive people isolate their victims, so there is a distinct possibility that this person could be abusive & trying to get you away from someone who isn’t abusive (like the fortune teller in my story).
I’m not trying to talk you out of no contact, far from it. Like I said, in many abusive relationships, it’s the only option. What I am trying to convince you to do is to pray & consider it seriously for yourself while not blindly listening to the advice of other people. People who give advice on this subject may not have your best interest at heart, or know enough about your situation to give good advice. Consider what they have to say, but if it doesn’t feel right, trust that feeling.
People often don’t understand what it’s like sever ties with parents. It’s easy to understand how shocking it can be to some people. I want people who don’t understand to understand, & I hope to help them to do that with this post.
Looking from the outside in, most people don’t see an abusive family scenario. They see attentive parents & well behaved children. They see parents who are successful at their chosen careers, kids getting good grades in school, active in sports or other after school activities & their parents supporting such things.
They don’t see what happens behind the scenes, though. Screaming, raging, sometimes even physical assaults. Then there are the scathing criticisms said so often that it destroys the child’s self esteem. There also is the fact that narcissistic parents do their level best to destroy their child’s identity & recreate the child into whatever it is they want. The child’s personality, likes, feelings & even morals mean nothing to that parent, only what the parent wants is what matters. While this may not sound so bad to someone who hasn’t experienced it, I can tell you from my own experience & that of others I have spoken to in similar situations, a child in this situation often considers suicide as it feels like the only means of escape.
When the child in this situation grows up, often, that child who is now an adult learns that their upbringing wasn’t normal. They witnessed other people with kind & loving parents. They have friends whose parents bought them their first car when they got their drivers’ license instead of fighting them getting a license & car. Their friends’ parents celebrated when they graduated from high school or college rather than ignoring the accomplishments or finding some way to trivialize them.
Things like this often make this adult child look for answers. Frequently many abused adult children learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder at this time.
Suddenly, so many things make sense! The abuse, the belittling, the manipulation, the control. Then they learn there is almost no hope whatsoever of changing a narcissist. Explaining that their actions hurt only encourages them to do those things more.
After attempting every tactic they can to make the toxic relationship healthier yet failing, the adult child realizes no contact is the only option. Even after the realization, it often takes a long time to work up the inner strength to go through with actually ending the relationship with the toxic parent.
Eventually, they do sever ties though. Suddenly people they know, or barely know, come out of the woodwork to tell them how terrible they are, how they need to fix the relationship, how badly they’re hurting their parents, how selfish they are & more. The guilt is horrific & people like this make it even worse.
There is also the devastation of betrayal, because most of these people are people you never expected to side with anyone who abused you. Actually society in general often sides with parents in these situations rather than the children they abused.
People assume estranged children hate their parents, & treat them accordingly when nothing could be further from the truth. People don’t realize the pain behind going no contact. They don’t realize the intense guilt or the cognitive dissonance because of doing something so extremely abnormal either. They don’t recognize the loneliness because not only did you lose your parents but also most of your family & even friends by choosing to protect your mental health.
This is what happens when someone goes no contact with their parents. This was my experience as well as that of so many others I’ve talked to. If anyone thinks no contact is easy or taking a cowardly way out, they are utterly mistaken. It’s the hardest decision I ever made, yet also the best one.
I know it seems like it’s only you. No one else is still sticking it out with a narcissist in their life. You probably even feel ashamed & like a coward for not ending the relationship when so many other folks have. Today I want you to know that it isn’t only you, you have no valid reason to feel ashamed, & you aren’t a coward!
So much information says, “Just go no contact” when it comes to narcissists. They make it sound so easy, as do many survivors of narcissistic abuse. The truth of the matter though is no contact isn’t easy!
It isn’t important whether the narcissist in your life is a friend, romantic partner or even a parent. Ending any relationship is very sad & painful. Although that usually is the best solution & often the only one when dealing with a narcissist, even that doesn’t make this an easy or less sad solution.
There is also the fact that narcissists don’t usually abuse strangers. They abuse those closest to them. Ending a relationship with someone you have known for a month isn’t so hard. Ending it with someone you have a long history with however is really tough.
Don’t forget too, that narcissists can behave very well when they want to. It can be so hard to leave someone who has the ability to be good to you! Most people want that good version to come back & are willing to hang in there in the hopes it will happen.
If you believe no contact is the right solution for your situation yet are having trouble taking that step, please know you’re ok. Really! No contact is such a difficult move to make. It often takes a great deal of time to work up the inner strength to end an abusive relationship. Narcissists do their best to destroy their victims’ self esteem. Once that happens, it takes a lot of time & work to rebuild that self esteem to the point of being able to leave the abuser.
If you’re living with the narcissist in your life, maybe you are in the unfortunate situation of being financially dependent on this person. It happens more often than you may realize. Narcissists abuse in every possible way, even financially. They often spend all their victim’s money, run up the victim’s credit cards, create a great deal of debt in the victim’s name then refuse to pay is in order to ruin the victims’ credit & even force a victim to sign their paychecks over to them leaving the victim destitute.
None of these scenarios are your fault. Sadly they are very common.
You will know when & if the time is right to end the relationship with the narcissist in your life. Until that time comes, there are some things you can do to make your situation a bit more bearable.
Always remember to pray. Ask God for help. Ask Him to give you creative & effective ways to deal with the narcissist. Ask Him to help you by giving you whatever you need to go no contact.
Never forget that the primary motivation of anything a narcissist does is narcissistic supply. The less supply you provide, the more likely the narcissist will leave you alone. Think about this person- what provides him or her with that supply? Stop doing those things. Your anger provides supply? Never show the narcissist you’re angry. You looking your best provides supply? Then let yourself look sloppy sometimes. No doubt you can come up with a list of things that provide this person with narcissistic supply & ways to stop providing it.
One tool I found to be quite useful with narcissists is asking logical questions without showing any emotions. You can say things like, “I don’t understand what you mean. Would you explain that?” “Why do you think that is a good idea?” Asking these kinds of questions in a calm manner flusters narcissists. It shows that you’re onto their manipulation, but in a manner that they know if they get mad at you, they’ll look foolish. Since narcissists hate the very thought of looking bad in any way, chances are good they will change the subject to avoid this conversation.
If you don’t know much about boundaries, then it is time for you to learn. You have every right to have reasonable boundaries, such as being able to say no without inciting rage. You also don’t have to explain your boundaries. Doing so only encourages a narcissist to try to convince their victim why their boundaries are wrong & instill doubt. It’s best to state your boundaries without explanation.
Also never forget that the way the narcissist is treating you isn’t about you. It isn’t personal at all. I know it feels that way but the truth is the narcissist behaves this way because they have issues. It isn’t because you deserve to be treated as they are doing. Remembering this can help to take some of the pain out of their abusive ways.
Lastly, if you are able, low contact is a very good stepping stone to no contact. Only deal with the narcissist when you feel able to do so. Give yourself permission not to take every single phone call or visit the narcissist every time he or she demands you do so. Sometimes, narcissists in this position will initiate no contact with their victim since the victim is no longer a good source of narcissistic supply.
Remember, no contact is a very big decision. There is nothing wrong with you for taking your time about making that big step. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise! You will know in your heart when the time is right & have the ability to do so!
After ending a relationship with a narcissist, the narcissist will NOT take it well. No one likes rejection, of course, but narcissists take that dislike to an entirely new level. Many have been known to stalk & harass their victims to punish them for rejecting the narcissist. Most however, do something known as hoovering. Hoovering is when a narcissist tries to lure a victim back in to the relationship. It is yet another very good reason to have nothing to do with the narcissist once you end the relationship.
Narcissists have many ways they try to hoover in their victims. All are sneaky & confusing for a victim unless the victim is aware of what the narcissist is up to.
Often, they will have their flying monkeys talk to you. They will explain how sorry the narcissist is & how miserable life is without you. When I broke my engagement to my now ex husband, several people told me I should get back with him because he was miserable without me. No one cared how I was without him, only about him. The guilt I felt was intense, which obviously was the goal since it made me return to him.
The narcissist may “accidentally” run into you at the coffee shop or grocery store, & use this supposed chance meeting to tell you how much they miss you as an attempt to hoover you back.
Narcissists may use special days to their advantage, such as sending you a lovely card & gift on your birthday, or reminding you that today would have been your anniversary. This is to make sure you think of them favorably & give them an excuse to talk to you
Narcissists aren’t above using a crisis to their advantage either. If you have had a serious problem & the narcissist learns of it, he or she may try to contact you claiming to be concerned about you. Or, if the narcissist has had a crisis, he or she may let you know, saying they thought you would want to know. These are only about getting their foot in the door.
Items also can give a narcissist an excuse to contact a victim after the relationship is over. They may ask if you have some item of theirs, even knowing you don’t have it. It’s merely an excuse to reach out to you.
Sometimes narcissists may use technology to hoover. They may text you, claiming it was for someone else, then try to start a conversation. They may call you, asking if you called them, then when they say they look at their phone, they mistook your number for someone else’s, but since you’re talking, how are you? Some will even send a message, then ignore your response.
If they can open the door of communication in any way, they absolutely will do it. Doing so probably means they will tell you how miserable they are without you & how much they have changed.
When things like this happen, don’t be foolish as I was with my ex! Be aware of what is happening. They are only trying to hoover you back for their own benefit, not because they love you. Remind yourself that they don’t miss you, per se. They miss how you made them feel. They miss how they could control & manipulate you.
Never forget that the primary interest of any narcissist is that narcissist. No one else really matters to them. This means they only want you back because you can benefit them in some way.
Remember the tactics & why the narcissist is doing these things. These things are done only to manipulate you back into the relationship so the narcissist can abuse you further.
Being the scapegoat child raised by a narcissistic parent is a terrible thing. Not only do you have an abusive parent, but other members of the family feel it is their right to abuse you as well. Maybe they believe the lies of the narcissistic parent about what a terrible person the victim is. Maybe they assume because a parent is abusive to the child, it’s ok to abuse this person. Or, maybe they are so blinded by the narcissist’s false persona that they will protect their delusions of this person at all costs, including abusing the victim in an attempt to keep this person from divulging the truth about the narcissist.
In any case, chances are good that the scapegoated child will become fed up & walk away. Setting healthy boundaries didn’t work. Confrontation didn’t work. In fact, most likely such actions only made things worse. Deciding to walk away is the only thing left to do.
What is truly the saddest part of this scenario is the scapegoat is abandoned by their family when they need love & support the most. Rather than receive kindness, most scapegoats only receive tormenting, a vicious smear campaign & abandonment. Some will reach out to the victim only to tell them that they shouldn’t abandon their narcissistic parent because “your parents are getting older..” or “you only get one mother/father”. Some folks also claim the victim needs to fix this or isn’t a good Christian because they aren’t “honoring” their parent. Meanwhile, their narcissistic parent receives kindness, understanding & compassion.
As the scapegoat, you can survive this terrible situation! I know it seems impossible, but it is possible to survive & even with your dignity in tact.
One fantastic way to start is by staying close to God. Psalm 68:5 says, “A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows, Is God in His holy habitation.” (AMP) He will be there for you, to comfort & protect you, & you will need that at this time.
Also, as painful as it is when your family turns against you, try to think of it this way. You aren’t losing good, loving people. If they truly were good or loving, they wouldn’t blindly believe the lies of the narcissist, nor would they try to encourage you to stay in an abusive relationship. Talking about your experiences with a narcissistic parent is a very effective way to find out who your true friends are!
Don’t defend yourself against the smear campaign. I know this is hard! I’ve been there, & I so wanted to tell people off for the cruel things they said. However, doing so only throws gas on that fire. They will think what you say only proves the narcissist is right & you are crazy, angry, abusive, & they will behave even worse towards you. Don’t defend yourself. Let them think whatever they want. Their opinion isn’t important anyway.
Some flying monkeys harass & stalk the scapegoat after going no contact to punish him or her or to try to bully the scapegoat into returning to the relationship. Block every means of contact these people have with you. Block phone numbers, emails, social media accounts. If you are in a situation where you can’t do this, refuse to discuss the narcissist with them. Tell them you have nothing to say on the matter, then change the subject. Do it repeatedly. Be rude about it if you must. But do NOT discuss the narcissist with this person! It only will hurt you to do so!
If someone is stalking or harassing you, they may change their email or call from a number you don’t recognize as ways to try to force you to talk to them. If this happens, block that access too. You do NOT have to talk to anyone who wants to force you back into an abusive relationship.
And, document everything! This information may be useful at some point, especially if you need to get the law involved, so save every single thing you can. Voicemail messages, texts, emails, etc. Save everything either on cloud storage or email it to yourself so even if your phone or computer crashes, you won’t lose your documentation.
There are some things you can expect to happen after going no contact that you need to be prepared to face.
While no contact is incredibly helpful, it doesn’t fix everything. After functioning in survival mode for so long, you will have to adjust to life not in survival mode. It can be difficult. As you feel safer, your mind seems to think now is the time to start dealing with things you couldn’t deal with while trying to survive the abuse. You may find yourself having more nightmares &/or flashbacks. You might be very sensitive & moody, crying or getting angry easier than usual. This is a normal part of the healing process. You aren’t going crazy, even though you probably feel that way at this point. Try to use these things in your favor. Figure out the root of the behavior, nightmare or flashback, & deal with that however works best for you.
You’ll start to question things. Years of gaslighting take a toll on a person! No one can undo that damage & the warped beliefs over night. It takes time & lots of questioning yourself. Get in the habit of asking yourself “Why do I think that way? What evidence is there that this is right?” when you realize dysfunctional beliefs & thoughts are coming to mind.
Along those lines.. most people have a last straw moment that makes them decide no contact is their best option. For many of us, that last straw moment isn’t even the worst thing that the narcissistic parent ever has done. It’s just their average abusive, hateful behavior. For some reason though, something in us snaps & we are done. That can make a person wonder why was this the last straw when so many other things were worse? Well, maybe it wasn’t the worst thing ever done, but after a lifetime of so many bad things, enough was enough. This just happened to be the thing that told you now is the time for no contact.
You’re going to grieve, so accept that. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It means you’re a normal human being! Just because your parent was abusive doesn’t mean you don’t care about your parent. You’ll probably discover though that you aren’t missing your parent per se, but the parent you wish you could have had.
Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel without judgement. Losing a parent in any capacity isn’t easy, but in particular when that parent in question is a narcissist. You’ll feel all kinds of emotions. It’s ok & even normal. Allow yourself to feel all of those emotions without judging or criticizing the feelings or yourself.
If your narcissistic parent is elderly or frail, you are going to feel a tremendous amount of guilt for going no contact. It’s normal. I did the same thing. There is one thing that you need to consider though. People reap what they sow. A person who is kind & good to others won’t be abandoned in their time of need, because they sowed good seeds. The abusive person won’t experience that same harvest because they sowed bad seeds. Everyone has a limit on abuse, so it’s only natural that a victim will walk away at some point.
One beautiful thing you can expect is in time, the fog of abuse will lift, & you will see everything with so much more clarity! You’ll see why your narcissistic parent & other relatives were so cruel to you, & you’ll clearly see that they were wrong. You didn’t make them act that way. That was all on them, in spite of what they told you. You’ll see them as the pathetic & wicked people that they are. You’ll also see that you’re not whatever they said you were, but instead you’re a wonderfully made child of God, made in His image & to do great things in your life!
Those of us who have gone no contact with abusive parents most likely have heard the same invalidating, nonsensical comments.
- “But that’s your MOTHER!”
- “Your father can’t help it… that’s just how he is!”
- “You need to let what they say roll off your back.”
- “You need to forgive & forget/honor your parents!”
- “You only get one set of parents!”
Statements like this make me cringe. People who say such utterly moronic comments truly have zero clue what it’s like to be in the position of feeling no contact is the only option left to protect our sanity.
If you have gone no contact, Dear Reader, then this post today is to remind you of some things.
First, no one has the right to tell you how to feel about anything, let alone your abusive parent’s actions. You know how it feels to you, & that is all that matters. Just because it may not bother someone else so much doesn’t mean you’re automatically wrong. It means you two are different.
Second, no one has the right to dictate how you should handle the relationship with your abusive parent. They aren’t in the relationship so they don’t need to have an opinion on it, let alone share that opinion with you as if it was the Gospel.
Third, just because you are no longer speaking to your abusive parent doesn’t mean you aren’t honoring that parent. There is absolutely NO honor in tolerating abuse. See this article for more information: What It Really Means To Honor Your Parents
Forth, you have every right to protect yourself from abuse from anyone, including your own parent. There is nothing Godly or holy about tolerating abuse. Nothing.
Fifth, remember that the person saying these things has absolutely zero clue of all the heartache you have endured, all the tears shed, all the prayers & begging God to change things & to show you what to do. This person is talking out of sheer ignorance, & is NOT someone whose advice you should listen to.
Sixth, many people who say such invalidating nonsense come from their own dysfunctional backgrounds. You facing your pain reminds them of their own pain that they are trying to ignore. Seeing you face your pain makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs. Or, it threatens their denial. If they had a decent relationship with your narcissistic parent, you clearly showing the truth about your parent threatens their delusion that your parent is a good person. Either way, they want to shut you down because of their own issues & lack of courage.
Lastly, if you have doubts about whether or not you’ve made the right decision to go no contact with your parent (which we all do at some point), ask God to tell you. He will tell you nothing but the truth & it will help you greatly. Some time back, I was starting to have doubts about being no contact with my mother. Elderly, widowed & on her own for the first time at almost 80 years old, it’s natural I felt badly for her. I asked God one morning if I should resume contact. Immediately, I knew what would happen if I did. I could see it kinda like a movie playing in my mind. At first, she was nice & not very demanding. As time wore on though, she expected me to come by a couple of times a week, then three times a week, then daily. I would be forced to be at her beck & call, unable to take care of my own family & home, & even my writing would be neglected. I knew in my heart God was right, & this is exactly what would happen, because it happened before. My mother’s mother was this same exact way. Physically & mentally, there is no way I could handle this, plus I can’t allow my calling & family to suffer just to provide someone with narcissistic supply. God helped me to stay on the right track, just like when He told me it was time to go no contact with my parents in the first place. He can do the same for you. All you have to do is ask.
Many people don’t seem to realize that the silent treatment & no contact are very different things. As a result, many people shame victims who implement no contact. They call victims immature, spoiled, unreasonable & more, saying victims are pouting or trying to punish their abuser when the truth is, abusers are the ones who are being immature, unreasonable & trying to punish their victims by using the silent treatment.
No contact isn’t done to punish or hurt anyone. It is done because a victim has tried & tried to make the relationship better yet nothing has improved. It’s a desperate, last ditch effort to protect a person’s mental & physical health by escaping an abusive person. Any person can take only so much before it affects their health.
No contact is also permanent. There is no going back for the victim who has settled on no contact as their best option. That is partly why so much serious consideration goes into it. Contrary to what many folks believe (primarily abusers & their flying monkeys), almost every single person who has implemented no contact in their life did so only after months or even years of a lot of thought & prayer. It’s not a spur of the moment decision done in the heat of anger.
This also means that victims don’t want their abusers trying to contact them in any way. They don’t want calls, texts, emails, etc. in some pathetic attempt to lure or scare the victim into returning to the relationship. Many abusers seem to think their victims want this type of harassment & it will win their victims back, but nothing could be further from the truth. When a person goes no contact, it’s because they want NO CONTACT, period. It isn’t some attempt to get the abuser’s attention. Abusers often think this is the case, because that is what they want to accomplish by not speaking to someone.
The silent treatment is done on the spur of the moment. Abusers are spontaneous people, & not in a good way. Anything a victim says or does can make an abuser decide in an instant to use the silent treatment. Or, a victim doesn’t have to say or do anything. Abusers don’t exactly have the most integrity in the world. If they want silent treatment drama, they certainly aren’t above creating it by inventing some imaginary slight from their victim.
The silent treatment is done to manipulate & control. The goal is to make the victim feel so insecure & badly that he or she comes crawling to the abuser, apologizing profusely & being willing to do anything to make it up to the abuser. The abuser rarely tells the victim what awful sin he or she committed, but instead makes the victim guess. This makes the victim easier to control & more willing to try harder. I remember my mother using the line, “If you don’t know what you did, I’m not going to tell you.” Not exactly a healthy or useful way to cope with conflict.
The silent treatment is also done to punish victims. When you aren’t aware of what the silent treatment is all about, it can be devastating! I remember my mother giving me the silent treatment countless times my entire life. It was a horrible feeling when my own mother wouldn’t speak to me or even tell me why. In fact, my mother once stopped speaking to me for 18 months several years ago. Why she did that, she never would say.
The silent treatment is also temporary. It ends when an abuser gets their way or becomes bored with it. A victim knows when it’s over too, because the abuser contacts them acting like nothing happened that was out of the ordinary.
There is one last big difference between the silent treatment & no contact. Victims grow accustomed to the silent treatment. After enduring it so many times, it stops upsetting them. Abusers are always shocked by no contact, no matter how horribly they treated their victims. And ironically, the ones who seem the most shocked by no contact are the ones who repeatedly used the silent treatment.
Ending a relationship with anyone is a huge decision, in particular when it comes to family members. If you read anything about people who are victims of narcissistic abuse, they’re frequently told, “Just go no contact.”
No contact is a very viable option for victims, & usually the best one. However, it also isn’t an easy solution. I have yet to talk to one person who has implemented no contact that came to that decision easily. It often came after months or even years of wondering if there was any other solution & much trying to turn a toxic relationship into a healthy one.
The purpose of this post today is to help you to gain some clarity on whether or not no contact is your best option.
To start with, I always recommend prayer. Ask God to show you the truth about your relationship, what you should do, how to handle the situation & to give you strength, courage & wisdom to do what is best.
Then, consider your relationship. There is a difference between someone who is abusive & someone with whom you just don’t get along. Personality clashes can be very challenging & frustrating, but they also don’t leave a person feeling badly about themselves or even doubting their own sanity. How does this relationship make you feel?
Are you the only one in the relationship who is trying to make it healthy? If not, that’s great! If so, that is a sign this person is toxic.
Does the other person make excuses or blame you for their bad behavior? Do you come away from a confrontation feeling as if you’re the problem every single time? That is a huge red flag! Healthy people accept responsibility for what they do wrong. They also apologize, try to fix things when possible & change their behavior.
How does the other person react to you setting reasonable boundaries? Healthy people are fine with boundaries. Unhealthy people, not so much. They get angry, pout, behave in passive/aggressive ways, ignore & mock boundaries.
Probably by now, you have more clarity on whether or not you should end the relationship. If you think you do need to end it, there are other things you should consider too, especially if this person is a family member.
Possibly the most important thing to consider is this. If you go no contact, will you be able to stay no contact, no matter what? Going no contact then later resuming a relationship with an abuser never ends well for the victim. Reason being is abusers see this as a victim having weak boundaries that mean nothing. They can be trampled over with no real consequences for the abuser. This means an abuser will behave worse than ever when they understand this.
For your own peace of mind, I also believe it’s important to know you tried your best in the relationship. No, one person can’t fix any relationship on their own. However, having peace of mind knowing you did your best is very beneficial. So many abusers do anything they can to make a victim think they didn’t do enough before severing ties or if they just would have done that one thing, the relationship wouldn’t have failed. When you truly know you did your best, those sorts of tactics don’t work.
Going no contact also means losing friends & family who side with the abuser. You need to be aware that will happen, even with those who you never expected to abandon you.
Lastly, what do you feel in your heart is the right move for you to make? Instincts are a wonderful thing & I believe God’s still small voice speaking to us. Trust what you feel in your heart, & you’ll know if no contact is the right decision for you.
When a relationship ends, the average person is sad for some time. They may fondly remember special times with the other person or great conversations. They miss such things, but in time, they’re ok. They move on & get involved in other relationships. This is a healthy way to cope, because it allows a person to heal.
Nothing like this happens with narcissists.
Narcissists are incapable of truly loving. Because of this, a relationship that has ended doesn’t affect them in the same way as it affects your average person.. They don’t miss the person they love, but instead, they miss their favorite source of narcissistic supply. This is why they act differently than functional people when a relationship ends. Narcissistic supply is like a drug to them. When a relationship ends, they’re losing their “fix”, if you will. That isn’t an easy thing for any addict to handle.
To start with, narcissists don’t usually understand why someone ends a relationship with them. To understand, they would need at least some empathy, which most people know is something that all narcissists lack. They don’t understand why their ex would object to them cheating, why that former friend complained that they took advantage of their good nature, or why their adult child was hurt when they cut their child out of the will for simply telling the parent, “no.” Narcissists are incapable of grasping such concepts. In their minds, they’re entitled to whatever they want. Besides, the behavior didn’t hurt them, so it isn’t important to them. If it had hurt them, they’d change their behavior at the speed of sound. Since it didn’t though, they are left baffled why their partner, friend or child ended the relationship. What the other person wanted or felt wasn’t so much as a blip on their radar. All that matters to a narcissist is what they want, which usually boils down to their precious narcissistic supply. Since the wants of the narcissist & victim are vastly different & the victim’s are not even considered by the narcissist, usually the end of a relationship catches them by surprise. Their victims often warn them for months or even years in advance that they won’t tolerate the abuse forever, yet still, narcissists are shocked when someone ends a relationship with them.
Narcissists also don’t like rejection. No one does, of course, but narcissists are infuriated by it. Rejection is a narcissistic injury. It makes them feel badly about themselves, so the person who rejected them must pay for making them feel that way. Rather than walk away from the failed relationship with some semblance of dignity, most narcissists opt for revenge. Overt narcissists often harass & stalk their victim, & get their flying monkeys in on the process as well. They also will unleash a very impressive smear campaign, lying about the victim being the cause for the failure of the relationship because of being selfish, crazy, controlling & even abusive. This often isolates the victim from friends & even family who believe the lies. Covert narcissists are much less likely to harass & stalk their victim, since they prefer to look like a good person, but some will or have their flying monkeys do their dirty work for them. They also don’t have any trouble creating a smear campaign, but it is much different than their overt counterparts. Rather than say outright their victim is crazy & abusive, they phrase their smear campaign in a way so as not to sound critical, but concerned instead. They may say something along the lines of, “I’m not surprised my ex left me. She got so mean when she took drugs. She just wasn’t herself. I hope she’ll be ok…” See how this smear is? It makes the person saying these things sound concerned & as if he isn’t trying to destroy the reputation of his ex girlfriend. People will believe this type of smear campaign very easily, even if they know the ex in question & know she never took drugs.
There is also the likelihood of the narcissist trying to “hoover” the victim back into the relationship. When this happens, the narcissist may do their best to make the victim believe they have changed. They may make promises that they have no intention of keeping such as they won’t do whatever the victim complained about anymore. Some other empty promises are if the victim would only take the narcissist back, he or she will be faithful, they’ll be less selfish, they’ll think more of their victim’s needs. The narcissist also may shower the victim with expensive gifts or love letters. They may send their flying monkeys to tell the victim how miserable they are without the victim, & how desperately they want to resume the relationship. This is a tough one, I know. When I first broke up with my now ex husband, it seemed like everyone we knew was telling me how sad he was, how miserable he was, how much he missed me & how I really should get back together with him. I felt so incredibly guilty at that time that I agreed not only to return to him but to marry him after only a short time apart.
Sometimes, narcissists fall into depression after a relationship ends, too. They have no coping skills & aren’t fully aware of their emotions, plus they just lost their narcissistic supply. It’s normal they wouldn’t handle any break up well when you consider these facts. This can be so hard for the person who ended the relationship. When people tell you how sad this person is or he says he doesn’t want to live without you, it can be incredibly hard to take. It can make you feel incredibly guilty & responsible, which is truly unfair.
If you experience these things after ending a relationship with a narcissist, I urge you to remember that the narcissist is acting this way not out of a genuine & healthy love for you, but because he or she is a narcissist. They are incredibly dysfunctional people. You stick to no contact, & remind yourself often exactly why you came to that decision. Write things down if it helps, since writing can be an incredibly useful tool. Also remember that person’s emotions aren’t your responsibility. Don’t forget to document everything in case you need to involve the law at some point. Even if you don’t, the documentation will help you a great deal to remember why you’re no contact. It’ll also help you to see the way this person tries to manipulate you. And, if the narcissist creates a smear campaign against you, never, ever react to it. Any reaction would give this person narcissistic supply, so you deprive this person of that supply. In time, he or she will get bored with your lack of reaction & give up the smearing. Lastly, if the narcissist sends the flying monkeys after you, remember that few are truly innocent people who are fooled by the narcissist. Most are also narcissists, I believe. Treat them accordingly. Remember to tell them nothing that you would object to the original narcissist knowing, in particular anything about the original narcissist. Chances are the flying monkey will share everything you say with that person, so give them no material to work with. Most importantly, pray & lean on God to help you get through this. He truly will help you!
In a recent conversation, I’ve come to realize something that may help at least some of you who follow my work.
The conversation was with someone who is involved with a very covert narcissist. She has broken off their relationship months ago, but he continues to call & to try to hoover her back in. She has wanted to tell him to stop calling her, but hasn’t. Based on some of his past controlling behavior, she & I both believe that he is one of those narcissists who would harass & stalk her. She knows what that’s like, having gone through it with me at the hands of a narcissist I went no contact with several years ago, so she wants to avoid that if at all possible, & understandably so!
Rather than face the probability of stalking & harassment, she has opted to use the Gray Rock method, in the hopes that her ex will lose all interest in her. So far, it has worked pretty well. He no longer calls her daily, only a few times a week. This is big progress! Even so, she still wants rid of him completely.
As we talked, I had a thought that I think might work well for her, & it might benefit some of you as well..
Obviously, he is losing interest in her, which is why he isn’t calling so often. Now might be a good time to give him some narcissistic turn offs. She is great with not providing narcissistic supply, but I suggested she also try to take some from him using ways that aren’t bad enough to provoke rage. Turn offs, basically.
One thing that he wants her to do to provide him with supply are always look good. Dress well, makeup done.. things like this. When he sees her, I suggested she dress frumpy. Wear sweats & no makeup. Also never call him since that can make him think she is still interested in him thus providing narcissistic supply. He likes to go out or travel, so she will make a point of exaggerating her naturally introverted & home body ways. She can talk about how glad she is to be at home & have nowhere to be for the weekend, things like this.
Little things like this can be explained away easily, like she just wanted to be comfortable which is why sweats & no make up. This means they most likely won’t bring about a narcissistic rage, especially considering he is trying to behave so she will come back to him. But, these things don’t provide supply, they also are big turn offs & they will get under his skin. At some point, he is going to get sick of her lack of supply & my guess is he will discard her. The good part of this is that if he discards her, he thinks ending the relationship is all his idea, so he won’t stalk or harass her. He will leave her alone.
I did mention that if she does this & he discards her, he’ll probably do the smear campaign thing. She said she really doesn’t care what people think of her, so thankfully that isn’t going to be a problem for her.
Dear Reader, I don’t know your situation with your particular narcissist, so obviously I can’t say making the narcissist want to discard you is your answer if you’re having trouble going no contact. Only you know if this will work for you. I urge you to pray & seriously consider it though. So many narcissists, after a victim has gone no contact, harass their victims in real life, over the phone & on social media. Others who are more covert do the same but with less hostility than their overtly narcissistic counterparts. They claim just to want answers, promise they’ll change, use guilt or portray themselves as the victim as they harass the true victim. If this awful behavior can be avoided or even just minimized by acting this way, then isn’t it worth considering at least?
Severing ties with a narcissist is never easy. Not only due to the simple fact that ending any relationship is hard, but also because of the fact they don’t exactly handle this well. While no one likes to have someone end a relationship with them, it can become devastating to a narcissist. They will do about anything to get their victim to return to the relationship, often only so they can later discard their victim on their terms. This article will help you to avoid behaviors that can encourage a narcissist to want you back.
Naturally, do your best to avoid any interaction whatsoever with the narcissist after no contact. Narcissists don’t think like normal people, obviously, so they are prone to taking any interaction after no contact as a sign the relationship has been resumed. Take away their hope in that area if at all possible.
Sometimes even when doing your best to avoid a narcissist, they find ways to interject themselves into your life. One way they do this is by stalking & harassing their victims. They inundate victims with constant phone calls, text messages, social media messages & even postal mail. Or, they may show up places they know you frequent such as your favorite coffee shop. This can be incredibly unnerving. I’ve been on the receiving end of such behavior from two narcissists in my life, & I found it terrifying. I also learned that narcissists often know stalking & harassment laws well, so they stay just barely legal. This means getting a restraining order is very difficult, if not impossible. The most effective ways I know how to handle such behavior are never to respond to anything they send you & to block the narcissist at every pass. Granted, he or she probably will find ways around your blocks, such as creating new email addresses or social media accounts, but block them too. Keep blocking. If they have flying monkeys who tell you to talk to them, block them too. Do NOT engage either the narcissist or the flying monkey at all. Ever!
If you can’t avoid the narcissist completely, always remember the Gray Rock method. In other words, provide zero narcissistic supply. You know this person well, so naturally you know what makes him or her happy. Deprive this person of it. Provide no praise, no complements, no offers to do things for him or her. Also share absolutely no personal information about yourself. If she asks what you’re doing later, say you have plans & leave it at that. How is your job going? “Fine.” One or two word answers are the best.
Show no emotions to this person. You aren’t happy, sad, angry… anything. You are completely neutral in his or her presence. Emotions feed narcissists. If you’re happy, they can destroy it so you’re as miserable as they are. If they make you sad or angry, they feel powerful, so they’ll do that thing again to get their “high”. Deprive them of that feeding.
Show no remorse for anything you have done, including no contact. If you show you feel any sadness, guilt, or regrets, the narcissist will pounce on you like a hungry lion.
Do not give in to anything the narcissist tries to make you do. I don’t care if it’s something silly like passing them the salt shaker over lunch, don’t do it if it can be avoided. If not, do it perfunctorily.
By doing these things, you are essentially making yourself very unattractive to the narcissist in your life. They want people who will prop up their egos, blindly obey them & make them the center of their world. People who refuse to do such things are of no use to a narcissist, so a narcissist will leave them alone.
Narcissists are an incredibly difficult bunch. Usually, the best way to deal with them is not to deal with them. You see it everywhere, “Go no contact.” Sadly, that often is the only solution victims face if they want to protect themselves from the vile narcissistic abuse. However, severing ties with a narcissist is often very complex, & the problems don’t end just because you told this person you want him or her out of your life.
Narcissists don’t exactly handle rejection well, in any form. Many narcissists will lash out in all kinds of ways when their victim ends their relationship.
The smear campaign may be the most common tactic narcissists use after someone as ended a relationship with them. They tell everyone what a terrible person the victim is, how unreasonable, crazy & yes, even abusive the victim is. Overt narcissists most likely will use those words, but covert narcissists are much more discreet. Rather than say something obviously bad, they disguise their insult under a veil of concern. This way, they not only get to insult the other person, but people think they are kind for caring about someone who obviously was so mean to them. For example, they won’t say, “She’s crazy.” Instead, they may say something like, “Poor Sue.. I worry about her mental health. Things were getting really bad before she left me, & when she left, she didn’t even tell me what the problem was.”
Narcissists also may try to lure their victim back into the relationship. They try to accomplish this in various ways. One way is what is known as love bombing. The narcissist will inundate the victim with gifts, promises of change, sweet words pledging their undying love & more. This can be very difficult for a victim to resist, because the narcissist appears to have changed back into the good person the victim thought he or she once was. It’s very important to remember that this is most likely nothing but a ploy! Narcissists rarely see the error of their ways & improve their behavior. If this is happening to you & you’re wondering if the narcissist has changed, seriously examine their behavior. The narcissist should admit their behavior was wrong & accept responsibility for what they have done. They shouldn’t make excuses or blame you or anyone for what they did to you. They should be willing to do whatever it takes to gain your trust back, & be willing to wait as long as it takes to do that.
Another common ploy of narcissists is to stalk &/or harass a victim. If they can’t lure a victim back with sweet words & fake promises, narcissists aren’t above trying to wear down or scare a victim into coming back to them. They will overwhelm a victim with calls, texts, cards, letters, & social media messages. They may show up at places they know their victim frequents such as a favorite coffee shop or at work. The volume of their contact can be absolutely overwhelming & even terrifying. It’s no wonder many victims return to a narcissist at this point. Unfortunately, that is the biggest mistake a person can make, however! If this happens in your situation, ignore all contact. Block the narcissist’s phone number, email & social media accounts. When he or she creates a new one to contact you, block that one too. Keep blocking!
Lastly, another common ploy narcissists implement after a victim has gone no contact with them is their beloved flying monkeys. They send their wicked minions to talk to you on their behalf, to “talk sense” into you about how you should return to the narcissist. After all, she misses you so much, or he doesn’t mean those things he says- it’s just how he is. The best way to handle this situation is to refuse to discuss the narcissist in any capacity with this person. Flying monkeys are only loyal to their narcissist, not you. They don’t care how miserable the narcissist makes you, so this means they aren’t worth listening to.
Whatever the narcissist is doing to you after you implement no contact, I truly wish you the best. You can handle this situation. God will get you through it!
I’m writing this post for those of you who are currently unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.
Almost every article out there regarding victims of narcissistic abuse says the same thing – “just go no contact.” The tone in many of these articles & even some fellow survivors can be downright shaming. They make it sound like being unable or unwilling to go no contact means you’re weak, stupid or something is very wrong with you.
No contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, but that still doesn’t make it an easy solution. It always hurts to end a relationship, even when the person with whom you’re ending it is abusive. The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too. If you’re ending a relationship with your parent, that is going to hurt a great deal more than ending it with someone you have dated only a month. Narcissists usually abuse those closest to them. This is why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are close relationships, such as parents & spouses.
There is also the fact that narcissists are able to behave & treat people right (they just prefer acting the way they do because it gets them what they want). When they behave, they can be so very good & loving! Seeing that, it’s hard to want to leave them because you can’t help but hoping that good part of them will stick around for good.
Not wanting to end a relationship with a narcissist doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak. It means you’re normal!
It often takes a lot of time to work up the inner strength to be able to go no contact. Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can utterly destroy their victim’s self esteem. Even when you learn what is happening, it still takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to sever ties.
Or, maybe you believe in your heart that the timing isn’t right just yet for no contact. That happened to me with my parents. I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time.
A lot of times, a victim who lives with a narcissist is financially dependent on that narcissist. Narcissists love using money as a means of control, so often they take away any access a victim has to money, even if it’s his or her own paycheck. It takes time to be able to find means of supporting oneself in these situations.
There are also some narcissists who are pretty low on the spectrum. Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior. In cases like this, some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with these people than end those relationships, & it is their right to do that.
None of the above situations make a person weak or flawed.
For those of you who are in situations like these, I want to encourage you today.
It’s very difficult at best being in a relationship with a narcissist, I know. Until the time comes when you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your relationship with this person a little easier.
The first thing you should do is ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with this person & also to enable you to go no contact if that is your desired result.
Always remember that narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply. It’s the motivation behind everything they do. Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides supply. Learn to be as boring to the narcissist as possible. Show them no anger, sadness or happiness. Be calm & collected in the presence of the narcissist. Offer simple answers without explanations. Provide no personal information. This is known as the Gray Rock method.
Don’t forget to question whatever the narcissist says. They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say needs to be examined. Ask yourself if what they say is true or not. You also can question the narcissist directly. If you opt to do that, do it calmly in your best gray rock way. “Why do you think that?” “Explain how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.” Logical & calmly asked questions can throw a narcissist off balance. They show her that you’re onto her.
Never forget to keep & enforce healthy boundaries. You have every right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect. Don’t explain your boundaries either, as the narcissist will tell you why your boundaries are wrong, & may make you doubt yourself. Or, if you feel you absolutely must explain something, remember to stay gray rock & keep all explanations minimal.
Never forget that whatever any narcissist is doing isn’t about you. It’s about them. Everything is always all about them! Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better. It’s not because you have done something to deserve it. Also, nothing that person says about you is true. Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims. It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are. In fact, if you listen to what the narcissist says about you, you can learn a lot about that person. If she calls you a liar, it’s because she lies often.
If your goal is to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you. It’s as the name describes – you are in low contact with the narcissist. You don’t take phone calls or visit often, but only when you feel able instead. Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.
While there are no easy, one size fits all solutions for narcissists, these tactics can help you at least. And, don’t forget – there is nothing wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact. It’s a very big decision, & every person has to do it only when & if they feel equipped to do so.
One of the things I love so much about the Bible is it never gets old. Even if you’ve read it countless times, you still will see something new.
This Scripture came to my attention a few minutes ago…
Titus 3:10 “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],” (AMP)
I thought about how this relates to no contact.
Many people think those of us who have gone no contact did so on a whim. The truth is that we struggle a great deal with no contact. It’s a VERY big & difficult decision! Some people go no contact but then later resume the relationship when the narcissist gets word to them that they need help, are sick or maybe even they simply wear down the victim by constant stalking & harassment. Many people who have considered or gone no contact also think it’s not Godly. You can’t be a Christian & sever ties with an abusive family member or divorce an abusive spouse. This thinking is completely wrong though, & Titus 3:10 proves that!
If you’re in this situation, then I urge you to consider your situation. Have you prayed about it? Chances are, if you share my faith then you have. A LOT! Yet, you still are leaning towards no contact or you have followed through with it… doesn’t that tell you that it’s ok? I mean, if it wasn’t, God would find some way to let you know it’s a bad idea. At the very least, you’d have a feeling inside that it’s not a good solution. God’s voice may not always boom loudly in our ears, but He does have the Holy Spirit quietly let us know if there is something we should or shouldn’t do.
Also, have you done as this Scripture said? Have you spoken with the narcissist in your life, explaining that their abusive behavior has hurt you? Again, chances are you have. Every single person I’ve spoken with who has survived narcissistic abuse whether it was at the hands of a parent, spouse or relative tried talking things out with that narcissist many times. They didn’t simply end the relationship, & I’m sure you are the same way.
Everyone has their limits, & there is nothing wrong with reaching the limits & eliminating toxic, abusive people from your life. The above Scripture from Titus is only one of many that say this in the Bible. Here are other Scriptures that show God wants us to be in good, healthy relationships.:
Psalm 1:1 “Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],Nor stand in the path of sinners,Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of [b]scoffers (ridiculers).” (AMP)
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.” (AMP)
Luke 9:5 “And as for all those who do not welcome you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet [breaking all ties with them] as a testimony against them [that they rejected My message].” ” (AMP)
Luke 17:3 “ Pay attention and always be on guard[looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.” (AMP, emphasis added)
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (AMP)
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (AMP)
2 Corinthians 6:17 “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor],” (AMP)
I think it’s a very safe assumption that almost everyone who has gone no contact with a narcissist, in particular a narcissistic parent or other family member, has had more than their share of doubts. Ending relationships is tough, but especially when the relationship is a close one such as in the case of family.
What makes the doubts worse is when after not speaking for some time, you learn through the grapevine that the narcissist is sick, lost their job, or going through some very difficult situation. Considering this is someone you were once very close to, it’s only natural to want to help them & to feel bad they are in this situation. Those desires may make start to override the terrible things that made you sever ties in the first place.
Today, I want to tell you.. DON’T DO IT!!
No, I don’t know you or the narcissist personally, but I do know a lot about narcissists & have more than a little experience with them. I have learned that once you end a relationship with a narcissist, resuming it will only cause you heartache as it did me.
At first, the narcissist will behave, & probably even be respectful & caring. This lulls you into thinking this person has changed. All is right in the world now. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth!
In time, little things will change. Maybe a comment here or there about how you shouldn’t have left in the first place. Or, instead of 10 complements a day, it’s dropped to 9 & a nasty criticism. Everyone has a bad day sometimes, so you rationalize the comments as nothing more & let it go. After all, things have been going so well.
Gradually more things change. Things get worse. There are more criticisms. Now there are also some manipulation attempts too. “I never did that.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” There are also guilt trips about you “abandoning” the narcissist in the first place. They may even have their friends or family mention how hard it was for them when you weren’t in their life. You begin to feel guilty for hurting the narcissist, so you go along with what they do.
Before you know it, the relationship is as bad, if not worse as it was before you went no contact in the first place.
Maybe you’re thinking this won’t happen to you but I can tell you, the chances of it happening to you are excellent. I was fooled into thinking that myself in three very different relationships.
One was a friendship. Upon meeting, she told me we were going to be best friends. I was young, naive & knew nothing of narcissistic personality disorder, so I blindly obeyed, & became her good friend. The friendship ended a couple of years later, then a couple of years after that, resumed. At first, things were good. We had a lot of laughs together. Then things changed. She constantly demanded my attention. I spent a lot of time with her, no matter what I had going on. She expected me to watch her small kids while with her too, which is something I’m not good at doing. I ended that friendship again after about a year & a half.
One was my first marriage. I broke my engagement to my ex husband because I realized I wasn’t happy with him. While we were apart, he insisted we remain “friends.” We spoke often & he told me how miserable he was. Our mutual friends told me the same. We got back together, & married a few months later. I knew that although he was acting better, I shouldn’t marry him but I did. He made me feel like I owed it to him. In fact, when he proposed again, he said, “I’m not letting you go this time.” We separated a bit over 4 years later.
The other one was my mother. In 2001, I had enough, & finally cut ties with my mother. In 2007, my father told me that she needed heart surgery. I said I’d pray for her. Once she got home, she called me to thank me for praying for her. I honestly believed at that the change in her personality was from facing a near death experience. The more time passed, the more she regressed into the abusive person she’d always been, which is why when I went no contact in 2016, I determined this time, it’s forever.
My stories are very typical, Dear Reader. I told them because you need to know that if you have doubts about being no contact, they need to be ignored. Take care of yourself. Your mental health is very important! Resuming a toxic relationship does no good to you or the toxic person in question. It simply enables their awful behavior while you sacrifice yourself. There is NOTHING good about that!
As I’ve said many times, my heart goes out to those in the position of being unable or unwilling to go no contact with their narcissistic parents. You’re in a tough, tough place, & I understand since I’ve been there. I want to help you if I can, & that is what today’s post is about.
There are some small, easy ways you can set boundaries with your narcissistic parent while not eliminating them from your life entirely.
For starters, reduce the amount of time you spend with your narcissistic parent. Don’t visit or have your parent visit you as often. Stop taking their calls every time they call. Ask yourself if you feel up to dealing with your parent, & if not, don’t take that call or visit.
When you must visit or speak with your parent on the phone, set a time limit. Don’t allow your narcissistic parent to waste half your day when that is so hard on you! Set a limit, then say “I have to go” & go.
Also if you visit your narcissistic parent, have a way out. Plan something to do so you only have a limited time to spend with your parent. If you can’t think of something, say you just remembered something you have to take care of & go. It’s not a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself!
Remember to keep the conversation away from you. Your love life, in-laws, job, troubles & even your mental & physical health should be off the table for topics to discuss with your narcissistic parent. Giving any narcissist personal information is just asking for trouble such as criticism & unasked for, useless advice. Change the subject if your parent wants or demands to know something personal about you. If all else fails, ask your parent about something that matters to her. Chances are excellent she’ll drop the matter at the opportunity to talk about herself.
If you’re dependent even slightly on your narcissistic parent financially, find ways to put an end to it. Narcissists love controlling their adult children with money, so remove that tool if at all possible. If not, then at least find ways to reduce the amount.
If you have pets or kids, have strict boundaries in place. It is your job to protect them & that includes from abusive & narcissistic parents.
When it’s time to set boundaries with your parent, remain calm. Show no emotion, simply state the facts. Any signs you are upset will fuel your narcissistic parent’s behavior. Stay calm, state your boundary & the consequence of your parent not respecting the boundary, then enforce it if necessary.
If you’re friends on social media, unfollow your narcissistic parent. You will remain friends, but you won’t see her posts which can reduce stress.
If you must go somewhere with your narcissistic parent, drive separately. That way, you are free to leave at any time if need be. Also, cars are a great weapon for some narcissists. There is no escape- you have to put up with whatever they do when you’re in a car together. My mother loved having me trapped in her car, & used it to scream at me when I was a kid or belittle me as an adult.
Always remember the Gray Rock Method. Think about what gives your narcissistic parent narcissistic supply, & refuse to provide it. Basically, you need to be boring to her. Don’t admire her. Don’t praise her. Don’t get angry at her so she can portray herself as the victim. Don’t coddle her. Don’t share anything personal about yourself that she could use against you or as fuel to spread lies about you. Don’t empathize with her if someone has hurt her. Show no real interest in her problems. If she needs your assistance with something, do the bare minimum, don’t go above & beyond. Gray Rock can be hard at first because every tiny thing can provide narcissistic supply, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Lastly, pray & pray often. Ask God to help you cope with your narcissistic parent, to give you the right words to say, & to give you effective, creative ways to cope with her behavior. He will NOT disappoint you!
Many people tell victims of narcissistic abuse things like “You need to be the bigger person & let it go.” “You just don’t understand- she had a bad childhood!” “You just need to forgive & forget.” “The Bible says to honor your parents. If you call your mother/father out on their behavior, God doesn’t approve of that!” Such statements are often said for the following reasons…
- The person has come from an abusive past, & refuses to face the pain. You talking about it reminds that person of his or her pain. That person wants to shut you down so you stop making that person uncomfortable.
- The person knows the narcissist, & like all flying monkeys, is protective of that narcissist. If the narcissist is related to this person, this is a very likely scenario. Families are extremely protective of narcissists. You can see a post I wrote on the topic here: How Families Protect Their Narcissist
Whatever the reasons these ludicrous statements are said, they not only hurt, they confuse & frustrate victims. As if it’s not bad enough we’ve been abused by the narcissist, now other people are being abusive as well by invalidating our pain as well as judging & criticizing us for speaking up to the abuser.
There is a verse in Isaiah that can shut down the argument that a victim shouldn’t speak up:
Isaiah 1:16-17 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, REBUKE THE OPPRESSOR; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.” (NKJV) (emphasis added)
Notice the part in all caps. “Rebuke the oppressor.” God said that! I just capitalized it for emphasis. Pretty cool, huh? According to God, we are not only allowed to confront someone about abusive behavior- we are supposed to do it. Do you really think God would’ve included that in the Bible if He didn’t want people to do it? Also notice- it doesn’t say, “Rebuke the oppressor, unless the oppressor is a parent.” There are no exceptions in this verse!
Now I realize with narcissists, many times it’s easier to let them do something than confront them. They love turning things around where the victim is the blame or telling others how mean & unreasonable a victim is for not tolerating their abuse. It’s frustrating but such behaviors mean that sometimes we shouldn’t confront them. But, even so, there are times that we know in our hearts we need to speak up to them no matter what they do. During those times, you can rest assured you are doing the right thing. It’s even in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah!
If anyone judges or criticizes you for speaking up to the narcissist in your life, although it can be painful, try to ignore it. If God Himself has said we are to rebuke an oppressor, who is any mere human to tell you it’s the wrong thing to do? You do what you know that God would have you to do, even if that includes confronting a narcissist, & you do it secure in the knowledge God approves of what you’re doing.
While no contact is often the best solution for a person with narcissistic parents, sometimes it isn’t an option or at least isn’t an option in the near future. This post is for those of you in that position.
I understand how difficult it is to be in that situation. I wanted to sever ties with my parents for over a year before the timing felt right. I did learn some things during that time though, & I hope what I learned can help you.
I think it is a good idea first to get to the root of why no contact isn’t an option & eliminate the problem if at all possible. Are you financially dependent? Then try to find other means of supporting yourself. Are you afraid of being alone? It is better to be alone than to have abusive people in your life! God can send you new friends who genuinely love you & become like family. Are you afraid of what may happen if you go no contact such as relatives attacking you? I know that can be pretty intimidating, but think about it- what can they really do to you? If all they can do is tell you what a terrible person you are, that is something you can handle. After all, didn’t your narcissistic parents tell you that often growing up? My mother did. Although it bothered me when the flying monkeys told me the same things, I realized their words only upset me because they reminded me of when my own mother said worse to me. Once your own mother has called you horrific names, you develop a sort of armor to that verbal abuse. Do you somehow know that the timing isn’t right like I did? Then keep praying & follow God’s promptings. When the timing is right, you will know it & He will enable you to follow through with going no contact.
If you are unable to go no contact at this time but want to, then try for low contact. Limit your exposure to your narcissistic parent as much as possible. Don’t be available every time they call. Don’t visit or invite them to your home often. Follow your heart & deal with them only when you feel you are able to. I used to pray before answering my parents’ calls. I’d ask God if I should take it or not & if I felt His answer was yes, I’d ask Him to guide my words & enable me to handle the situation in the best possible way.
When you must deal with your narcissistic parents, there are some helpful skills you can use.
Always remember that your parents are narcissists. You aren’t dealing with normal, stable, healthy people. You can’t expect them to behave as such. Get rid of any expectations for them to behave normally or show love to you.
Also remember- with narcissists, everything boils down to how can they get narcissistic supply? You’re best off depriving them of that supply, but in ways that can’t trigger their narcissistic rage. To do this, the Gray Rock method is best.
I think of Gray Rock as becoming boring to narcissists. What interests them? Deprive them of that. In other words, don’t tell them personal information. In conversation, stick to superficial topics like the weather. If you’re out of ideas for superficial conversation, ask the narcissist about herself. They love talking about themselves, so you might as well make it work for you. In difficult situations, you can ask the narcissist about herself & that should divert the attention off of you since most narcissists can’t resist an opportunity to talk about themselves.
Always stay calm, cool & collected around your narcissistic parent. Narcissists see displays of emotions as weakness, which makes them attack their victim like a hungry lion attacks a weak gazelle. In their presence, show no emotion. Always be cold & emotionless.
Keep firm boundaries in place & offer no explanations for them. You can say NO without explaining yourself further. If your narcissistic parent demands to know why you say no, change the subject. If your narcissistic parent hints at wanting to know, ignore the hints.
Keep learning all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It will help you to keep a healthy perspective of your situation. It will help you not to take your parents’ abuse so personally & it will help you to figure out effective ways of dealing with them.
And, never forget to pray often & talk to your safe, supportive friends who understand your situation. A good support network is extremely important in these situations. Avoid people who tell you what to do. People who don’t understand why you won’t go no contact or think no contact is wrong are not people you need to deal with, especially as you are trying to go no contact.
I read a really good article the other day. It gave me another reminder that it’s ok to cut toxic people out of my life, even if they’re so called “family.” I thought I’d pass this excellent reminder along to you, Dear Reader.
Although family is supposed to be a safe haven, that isn’t always the case, as no doubt you are well aware. Many families are downright cruel & abusive to their own family members. When their victims defend themselves, they often are shunned by other relatives (even ones who know how the abusers are), friends & society in general. Why people seem to think you should tolerate abuse from someone because you share some genes & maybe a name is beyond me!
Being related to someone by blood or by marriage does NOT give a person the right to be abusive. In fact, there is NOTHING that gives any person the right to be abusive.
As the victim of an abusive person, you have rights…
- You have every right to protect yourself from all abuse- spiritual, mental, emotional, verbal, financial, physical & sexual.
- You have the right to expect people to treat you with basic respect- be polite, not try to cause you harm or pain, etc.
- You have the right to be upset when you are mistreated or abused.
- You have the right to say no & to have healthy boundaries & to expect them to be respected.
- You have the right not to tolerate guilt trips, manipulation & attempts to control you.
- You have the right to be in a relationship without losing yourself, to maintain your own identity & independence that is pleasing to you.
- You have the right to live your life in a way that is good & healthy for you, even if others disapprove.
- You have the right to end a relationship with an abusive person, even if that person is “family.”
Remember these rights, Dear Reader. If someone in your family is abusive, you absolutely have every right to eliminate that person from your life if you have to do so to protect yourself.
Some very naive people think that being a Christian means some pretty awful things. One of those awful things is that as a Christian, you are to tolerate any & all abuse because calling people out on it is “un-Christian” or unloving. These ingenuous people actually think that removing yourself from an abuser’s life isn’t Godly behavior, especially if that abuser is a parent. It’s much better to allow that person to abuse you indefinitely! After all, the Bible says you should honor your parents, & it’s honorable to tolerate anything they dish out!
I am certainly not claiming to have all the answers to all things Christian. I am well aware that I don’t. But, I have been a Christian for 22 years now & have learned a few things.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are better than other people or that you’re perfect. Far from it. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus. And, just because we have Him in our lives & hearts doesn’t mean we’re perfect. No matter how perfect an artist may be, if the canvas is flawed, even the greatest artist can’t paint a perfect picture on a flawed canvas.
Another important thing I have learned is that being a Christian also means we need to love God’s way, which is very different from loving people’s way. God’s love wants what is best, not what is easiest. Confronting abusers is best because it encourages them to make appropriate changes in their behavior. Granted with narcissists, the chances of them making positive changes is very slim. However, it is not your place to force them to change. It is your place to encourage them to change, which is much different than forcing someone to change.
But it’s certainly NOT easy! Tolerating bad behavior & even abuse is much easier than standing up to someone about their behavior. As painful as tolerating abuse is, at least you won’t lose your friends & family so long as you tolerate it. Once you stand up to an abuser, chances are excellent that you will lose people you love. They will call you unreasonable, unloving, cruel, abusive, a bad son/daughter/friend/etc. & yes, even attack your faith by saying you aren’t a real Christian or are a bad one. People who stand up to abusers find out quickly who really loves them & who doesn’t.
I believe many people, Christian or not, have misinterpreted the Bible when it comes to love. Yes, love is patient & kind & other wonderful things. However, love also must be tough sometimes. God proves that! He doesn’t let His people get away with any old kind of behavior. He lets us suffer consequences of bad actions or be blessed with good actions. As His children, we are supposed to behave like God- Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (KJV)
Dear Reader, if your faith has been judged & criticized because you have removed an abuser from your life, you are most certainly not alone. Many people have been, including me. When this happens, I try to remember Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (AMP) As painful as it is when people side with your abuser over you, & even shame you for no longer tolerating abuse, it can bring comfort when you remember God is all too aware of what is being said to & about you. He will reward you one day! Those who said such cruel things however?? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes…
2 Thessalonians 1:8 “dealing out [full and complete] vengeance to those who do not [seek to] know God and to those who ignore and refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus [by choosing not to respond to Him].” (AMP)
Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” (AMP)