Tag Archives: no contact
In spite of how it may seem, in spite of the many similarities most narcissists share, when it comes to ending a relationship with a narcissist, each situation is unique.
This is what makes the common advice, “Just go no contact” very bad advice, in my opinion. While it’s true that ending the relationship is often the only solution for a victim, that process shouldn’t be done so glibly, with no real thought put into it.
Ending any relationship creates a narcissistic injury in a person. In other words, it’s a blow to the self esteem when someone tells you they don’t want you in their life any longer. While functional people are hurt & angry, they get through. Narcissists, however, aren’t like functional people. They rage. They often spread vicious lies about their victim in a smear campaign designed to do the most possible damage to their reputation. They also are known for harassing their victims so badly, they sometimes wear the victim down to the point of returning to the relationship. Anything to make the constant influx of phone calls, texts, emails, etc. stop. Other narcissists have no problem stalking their victim or even physically hurting or killing them.
These reasons are why although no contact is usually the best solution when it comes to a realtionship with a narcissist, how you get to that point must be done with great wisdom & planning.
As always, I recommend prayer as the best place to start. God can help you like no one can simply because He knows things no other human knows.
From what I have seen, in these situations, God gives one of three answers:
- “End it now. Just walk away.”
- “Not yet… I will tell you when & how.”
- “Don’t end it.”
“End it now” is the easiest. You simply block the narcissist’s access to you at every turn. Usually, they walk away & find a new victim, not caring they lost you. This solution usually is best for narcissists who are lower on the spectrum or who have a lot of people in their life.
“Not yet” is what happened with my parents. That was tough because I really wanted the relationship over, yet also knew I had to wait on God’s timing. I also wasn’t sure how to end it, but He showed me. Although waiting in these situations is really hard, it also is well worth it. If you follow God’s lead, you will have peace not only about ending the relationship but how you choose to end it. That peace is so important! And, by following God’s lead, you will receive the minimal amount of abuse from the narcissist once you end that relationship.
“Don’t end it” may be the most challenging answer of all but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid answer. I’ve known a few people who received this answer. Rather than ending the relationship with the narcissist in their life, they made themselves as unappealing as possible to that narcissist & eventually that person ended the relationship with them. This seems to be a good option for the most toxic of narcissists. If a person can become so unappealing to their narcissist that the narcissist rejects them instead, they stand very little chance of retaliation from that narcissist. The narcissist feels they have the power because they ended the relationship rather than the victim did. In cases of malignant narcissists, this is a very good option because it will help a victim avoid the potential fallout of an especially vicious & even dangerous narcissistic rage.
Whatever you do when it comes to ending the relationship with the narcissist in your life, please be careful, be wise & most of all, follow God’s promptings. You will get through this time with your safety & sanity in tact if you do those things.
One thing most people who haven’t experienced abuse at the hands of a narcissist fail to grasp is last straw moments. In fact, they can be odd enough that even those of us who have experienced narcissistic relationships don’t always understand them.
Last straw moments are those things that a narcissist does that seals their fate with their victim. The things may not be the worst thing they ever have done. In fact, they may not be all that bad, especially in comparison to other things the narcissist has done. They simply are something that makes a victim say “enough is enough!”
With my ex husband, it happened on our fourth wedding anniversary. I’d told him I wanted a divorce probably a month prior. He said I owed it to him to give him one last chance. Being naive, I agreed to it. Aside from moving out of his parents’ home, nothing changed. On our anniversary, we watched television. He suddenly said, “So you still want that divorce?”
With my mother, it happened when we had a huge argument in 2016 about me not telling my parents that my husband’s mother died. They knew I didn’t speak to her or her two daughters. I also was more concerned about my husband than my parents, especially since they spoke with my in-laws maybe four times in the 22 years we had been together at that time. I naively thought they wouldn’t care about her passing other than concern for my husband. I felt betrayed that my mother cared more about potentially upsetting my in-laws by not being there than me feeling her attendance would’ve shown she cared more for them than me. When I told her how I felt, she acted like I was the one in the wrong, & was angry with me. I couldn’t deal with her again.
Several months later, I went no contact with my father. One day, my husband & I were having our back door replaced when suddenly my father showed up. My husband told my father to leave, & after some harsh words, he did. Twice the following week, he sent the police to do a wellness check, claiming my husband abused me & kept me from him. My father sinking so low made me realize I’d never break no contact with him.
In all three scenarios, nothing they did was especially bad compared to their other actions. Yet somehow, it also woke me up to how badly I needed to get away from such toxicity.
Chances are excellent that you will experience something similar in your relationship with the narcissist in your life. When this happens, please learn from my experiences.
Don’t beat yourself up. So what this wasn’t the worst thing they have done? They have done plenty. It’s normal that anything, even something sort of small, can push you over the edge, because your patience are worn out.
Don’t think you’re petty because what they did wasn’t as bad as other things. Like I just said, it’s normal that anything, even something sort of small, can be too much after someone continually does terrible things to you.
Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Everyone is unique. Just because your last straw moment was different than someone else’s doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.
Remember that you are unique as is the narcissist in your life. There are no one size fits all solutions. You need to handle the situation from here the best you can. If others think you’re wrong, so be it. If no one you know has handled a similar situation as you feel you need to, that isn’t important. Do what you know in your heart is right in your situation, & don’t let anyone else change your mind.
Both of my parents died not terribly long after going no contact with them. My father within a few months in October, 2017 & my mother almost exactly 18 months later in April, 2019. I have done a LOT of thinking since then because, well, that’s what I do, I overthink things. lol One thing I thought about though made a lot of sense & I wanted to share it with you.
When someone goes no contact with their narcissistic parent, it seems most people assume that person hates their parent. They hate them so much, they can’t tolerate that person in their life any longer. I find that is rarely the case. Every person I’ve spoken with about this topic has said they loved their narcissistic parent deeply. It was the abuse they hated, which is why they felt they had no other choice but to go no contact.
I felt the same way. I hated how my parents treated me so badly, I felt I had no other choice but to go no contact. I prayed a lot, I tried a lot of things, & nothing I did or said helped the relationship. In fact, it kept getting worse.
Eventually I felt no contact was my only option & I prayed a LOT about that. I felt God wanted me to wait, so I did even though it was incredibly difficult. When the time felt right, I eliminated my parents from my life. It was the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever had to do. Later, I learned it was also the right thing to do.
Just before my father died, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. His miraculous story is on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you’d like to read it. Anyway part of the reason he turned to God was because I wouldn’t go say goodbye to him as he was dying, in spite of knowing he wanted me to & the constant harassment & bullying by people trying to force me to. Nothing else in his almost 80 years of life worked to make him turn to God, not even his own near death experience when he was a teenager.
After my mother died, I learned that she too accepted Jesus as her Savior. Apparently she had as a young child, but stepped away from her new faith probably because of the abuse she received at home. Me not having a relationship with her, I believe, helped to turn her towards God as it did my father. During our almost three years of no contact at the time of her passing, I prayed for her daily. During that time, God told me a few times that she was praying, asking God to make me contact her. He said that her motivations were purely selfish, so He didn’t want me to.
I think my story isn’t terribly unique. Many narcissistic parents end up alone in their final years, abandoned by the children they abused for their entire lives. I also can’t help but think many would turn to God in their desperation for help as my parents did. Hopefully they also would accept Jesus into their hearts as my parents did.
Dear Reader, as hard as it can be, please pray for your narcissistic parents. God hears those prayers, even when we pray from an attitude of “I’m only doing this because I know You want me to.” That was my attitude for a long time, yet in spite of it, both of my parents went to Heaven when they passed away. So please, keep praying for your narcissistic parents. Even if prayer is the only thing you can do for them, it is a very powerful & wonderful thing!
Ending any type of relationship with a narcissist is always a challenge. Whether that person is a friend, romantic partner or relative, it seems like the same basic actions happen often.
A person severs ties with the narcissist in their life. The narcissist is upset, which of course is natural. No one is happy that someone no longer wants them in their life. The problem though is how narcissists handle the situation. Most folks walk away, respect the other person’s boundary & move on however works for them. Narcissists aren’t most folks. Rather than simply walking away, they create chaos.
Many narcissists harass their victims after no contact has been implemented. They don’t leave quietly with their dignity in tact. Instead, they demand to know why the victim ended the relationship. Victims usually tell narcissists why, but they don’t listen. Instead they claim they have no clue why the victim is upset. They may cry or beg the victim to come back. They may rage in an attempt to scare the victim into coming back. If the victim will not speak to them, narcissists have no problem calling, texting, emailing, etc. non stop in an attempt to wear down their victim so he or she will come back to them. Having been on the receiving end of this, I can tell you it can be incredibly unnerving. Anyone who spends so much time focused on making another person’s life miserable in an attempt to force that person to come back to the relationship clearly is not mentally stable.
There is also the notorious smear campaign. Everyone has someone in their life that they don’t have the nicest things to say about. Chances are though, that ruining that person’s reputation isn’t exactly a top priority with you even if that person did you very wrong. Narcissists however, will not hesitate to tell anyone & everyone how terrible their victim is. If they don’t have anything that is negative & true to say, they have no problem creating things to say. They in particular seem to love claiming their victim is mentally unstable. If someone tells you that they have crazy exes, for example, that can be a warning sign you’re dealing with a narcissist. Pay attention to their behavior & you will figure out soon enough whether or not this person is a narcissist.
Narcissists also love to send out the flying monkeys. Their devoted, wicked enablers are more than happy to carry out whatever wishes the narcissist has. This often includes trying to “talk sense” into victims to make them return to the relationship or telling them how horrible they are for doing what they have done to the narcissist.
There is something interesting about all of these scenarios. Not a bit of it makes any sense! Why would anyone want to resume a relationship out of fear or guilt? Yet, narcissists do these things anyway, fully expecting their victims to return to the horrible relationship.
If you end a relationship with a narcissist, you need to be aware that these situations are very likely to happen. Their behavior is often shocking, even when you know it may happen. Narcissists take things to such extremes, it’s hard not to be shocked.
If the narcissist in your life subjects you to these behaviors, remember to block all contact they & their flying monkeys have with you, document everything in case you need it to file charges, & don’t respond to the smear campaign no matter how hard it is. Any acknowledgement that the narcissist is affecting you makes them feel powerful, so they will do the thing that made you react as you did more often. Show them no reaction, block all access & enjoy your life without the narcissist in it!
In spite of what many people seem to think, there are very significant differences between no contact & the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is a frequently used punishment for either a real or more commonly perceived wrong. No contact has a long list of grievances that have happened over a long period of time. It isn’t done because someone did one little thing wrong, unlike the silent treatment. It also is never used as a punishment.
The silent treatment will end when the person who initiated it feels their victim has been sufficiently punished for their sins. Once it is done, the one who implemented the silent treatment often contacts the victim & acts as if nothing happened. No contact is meant to be permanent, & nothing will make the person who initiated it talk to the abuser.
There is absolutely no honor in the silent treatment. It is simply a passive/aggressive way to punish someone. No contact is honorable. There is also no honor in enabling bad & even abusive behavior.
The silent treatment is immature. Young children use it to get their way but most of them grow out of it eventually. Not everyone does, unfortunately, so they use this childish behavior to get what they want. No contact is mature, well considered & a very viable option in toxic relationships.
Virtually no thought goes into the silent treatment. Narcissists will use the silent treatment for any reason at any time, without forethought. No contact is much different in this area as well. By the time a person has gone no contact with an abuser, a great deal of time, consideration & prayer have gone into the action.
The silent treatment creates conflict. Other people are involved, & picking sides. They tell the person on the receiving end of the silent treatment to fix the relationship, or apologize to the person who initiated the silent treatment. No contact is an attempt to minimize conflict. People who initiate it don’t try to get other people involved or force the abusive person to apologize.
The silent treatment is a power trip. If a victim is unaware of what the person giving the silent treatment is up to, they will do their best to make the abuser talk to them again & to please this person. They will apologize & sometimes even beg the abuser to forgive them. No contact is not a power trip. People who implement it aren’t interested in anything their abuser does or says. They are simply done with the relationship at that point.
The silent treatment is disrespectful. A person won’t treat someone they respect in such a way. Instead they will try to work out their problems. Someone who uses no contact has tried many times to work out the problems, & gotten nowhere. This person eventually realizes there is no other solution, & they end the relationship. They respect themselves enough to walk away from a toxic relationship.
The silent treatment isn’t Godly. It’s so many bad things like I mentioned previously. No contact, however, is very Godly. You are removing this person’s opportunity to sin by abusing you. You are giving this person consequences for bad behavior, which opens the door for them to change. Whether or not they do is up to them of course, but you give them that opportunity.
Sadly, some relationships are simply beyond repair. It takes two to make a relationship work, & when one isn’t willing to do any work, that relationship is doomed. Sometimes the best thing a person can do is to walk away in order to protect their own peace & mental health. It’s an extremely difficult & painful decision to make, but there are times it must be done.
Many people believe utter nonsense when it comes to abusive people. This post is about dispelling those myths.
“He/she is a good person. There’s no way he/she could be abusive towards anyone!” Definite myth. Abusive people can be active in their church, work with the homeless, donate a lot of money to charity & even foster children in dire straights. Narcissists are extremely concerned about looking good, & such actions make a person look good. They will do whatever they can to look good. It doesn’t mean they are good people.
“I’ve never seen this person abuse anyone. They can’t be abusive!” Abusers hide their actions from all but their victim. Abusers can appear kind, caring, charming… it doesn’t mean that they aren’t trying to destroy their victim behind closed doors. Again, they are concerned about looking good, so naturally they will hide their abusive ways from everyone but their victim.
“That person has always been nice to me!” Of course he or she has always been nice to you! Abusers don’t abuse every single person they come into contact with. They are selective when choosing their victims. Those they choose not to abuse, they are nice to so they don’t think the abuser could be abusive, & the victim’s claims of abuse won’t be believed.
“But he/she is a pastor, doctor, teacher, police officer, etc!” Helping professions such as those are very appealing to narcissists because they attract admiration from the general public. Being a pastor, doctor, teacher, etc. doesn’t make someone immune to being abusive. Many people in those professions are good, caring people, but not all are.
“All parents love their children. Parents don’t abuse their children.” Just because someone is biologically able to become a parent doesn’t mean they automatically are good, loving parents. Some people are incapable of loving anyone in a healthy way, & that includes their own children.
“Your mother/father always brags about you. He/she must love you!” Another fallacy. Narcissists want people to envy them as much as they envy others. Bragging about their super talented, attractive, etc. children can garnish envy from others. It doesn’t mean the parent actually believes their children are as wonderful as they make them sound.
“But he/she said he/she was a Christian! That means this person can’t be abusive.” People can say anything they like. I could tell you right now that I’m of Korean heritage. I may even participate in Korean customs, but one look at me shows my lineage is primarily German & Irish. I can claim what I like, but the truth is easy to see. The same goes for so called “Christian abusers.” They may claim to be good Christians. They may be active in their church & know the Christian lingo. Their abusive actions however prove they are nothing like what they claim to be. And, many abusers hide in the guise of being religious. People assume someone who claims to be religious or is active in their church is a good person, so that person is usually not watched carefully for signs of being abusive.
“He/she says you’re lying.” No abuser is going to admit their horrible behavior unless they absolutely have to, & then, they’ll offer up excuses.
“It wasn’t abuse. You two just weren’t a good match.” There is a big difference between a poorly matched couple & an abusive relationship. Poorly matched couples realize that fact & go on their way. One person doesn’t abuse another because of being poorly matched.
If someone tells you that they are being abused, do NOT fall for these myths! Look at the situation objectively rather than assuming the person they claim is abusive is too good to be an abuser. Or, if someone has told you these things regarding your abuser, feel free to show them this post if you think it will help. xoxo
As I write this post, it’s May 5. To many people it’s no special day. To others, it’s Cinco De Mayo. To me, it’s a reminder of a very strange day.
In 2016, my mother in-law died on April 30. Two days later, our oldest kitty died suddenly. Three days after that was our dog, Dixie’s birthday & we really did try to celebrate her special day as usual. Not easy with the sadness we both felt, but we tried & I think Dixie was ok with that since she was a very sweet, sensitive & smart little pup.
Then “it” happened. May 5, 2016, I had a huge fight with my parents. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, as you can tell if you read the original post in the link above.
Today, as I was driving home, the date hit me. I had thought of it earlier remembering my sweet Dixie on her birthday (she passed in 2017), but I hadn’t thought about it relating to the argument with my parents. I also realized I hadn’t thought of it last year, either, but in all fairness, my mother had just passed & I was still in shock at that time. I wasn’t functioning very well.
Anyway, when I thought of the date relating to the argument with my parents, guilt about overwhelmed me. I am so NOT proud of my behavior that evening. That argument also was what led to me being no contact with my parents, & that led to them dying without me in their lives in any capacity. It was my final straw. Yet, I know what I did was the right thing. It seems so unfair to be wracked with guilt even knowing I did the right thing, yet, it also makes sense in a strange way.
Going no contact with your family, in particular your parents, is incredibly hard. Many people have no idea just how hard, but those of us who have done it or are contemplating doing it know. It’s brutal. It goes against nature, stepping away from your own blood! Yet sadly, it also is necessary sometimes.
If you’re contemplating going no contact with your narcissistic parent or parents, my heart goes out to you. It’s incredibly difficult! Having been in your position, I can give you some advice though…
Seriously consider your choice. No contact needs to be permanent, not permanent until you need your parent or miss them. Only do it when you are certain you can make it permanent, no matter what.
Don’t do it on a whim or because you’re angry. My story may sound like I did that but it’s not the case. I’d been considering no contact for a while at that time, yet felt the timing wasn’t right until that argument with my parents. It felt as if God said, “Now”. Timing is important. Trust His timing & ask Him to help you figure out when the time is right.
Know that going no contact can lead to tremendous guilt, even when you know there was no other choice. I know, it seems wrong but it’s a simple fact. As I type this, I still feel guilty about going no contact with my parents even knowing it was God’s will for me to do it. The one thing that helps the guilt is leaning on God for reassurance. At first, it was constant.. especially when my father was dying in 2017. It has lightened up a great deal, but even now, sometimes guilt still kicks in.. like today.
Never, ever stop praying for your parent. I know many people say narcissists aren’t worth praying for, they’re a lost cause, nothing can save them, etc. but you never know. Both of my parents are in Heaven!! When my mother died, a stranger, the funeral director who took care of her, told me that he felt God wanted him to tell me she was in Heaven. In 2017, a former friend told me that God spoke to her about my father being in Heaven. I realize not everyone wants to be saved & God honors the choices of each person. That being said though… never stop praying for your narcissistic parents! The worst case scenario is that parent doesn’t accept Jesus, which of course is terrible, but there is at least some comfort in knowing you did all you can do. God heard your prayers. He won’t forget you praying for your parents. He knows you did all you could do. Your conscience is clear, & that is a good thing.
Most people have heard of the notorious narcissistic smear campaign. This happens when a victim ends a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists can’t handle rejection, so to extract revenge on the one who rejected them, they tell anyone who will listen the most terrible lies they can conjure up about the victim. Sadly, many people believe the lies, & victims often end up losing relationships with people they love. In many cases even some of their close friends & family believe the narcissist’s lies. This is why smear campaigns can be one of the most painful things a narcissist can do to a victim.
When a smear campaign happens, many victims try to explain their side of the situation. It’s only normal to want to be believed, after all, & prove that they are nothing like the narcissist says they are. Sadly though, people who wish to explain themselves are often met with disbelief. Worse yet, when they become upset about not being believed, people take their righteous anger as proof that the narcissist was right, & the victim really is crazy, irrational, or even abusive.
Rather than frustrate yourself, there are some much better ways to handle this awful situation.
First, pray. Ask God for whatever you need in the situation & in particular, His guidance in exactly how you should handle it. This is the absolute best place to start in any situation, in my opinion, & especially in such a tricky one as dealing with a smear campaign.
Second, you need to shift your perspective a bit. Someone who genuinely cares about you not only wouldn’t believe the narcissist’s lies, but would defend you. Anyone who doesn’t do this & believes the narcissist’s lies clearly doesn’t really care about you. Knowing that, why would you care what people like that think of you?
Third, it bears repeating – never defend yourself to anyone who believes the narcissist’s lies. There is no point. Some people prefer to believe lies to the truth, so defending yourself to them will only serve to convince them that you are as bad as the narcissist says you are. I know it’s tempting to defend yourself, but truly, you will be better off not doing so! Let these deluded people believe whatever they want.
Fourth, rather than worry about the lies being told about you, try to focus instead on living your life in such a way that no one with any sense would believe the lies. Just let your good character shine through. 1 Peter 2:15 says, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” (ESV) Doing this will prove that you are nothing like what the narcissist has said you are, & in fact, contrary to what the narcissist claims, you are a very good person. Some people are die hard, excessively loyal to the narcissist, & they will refuse to believe anything but the lies. The more rational, reasonable & functional people though will see the truth. These are the people whose opinions you should value rather than those who blindly accept the narcissist’s lies as truth.
I know smear campaigns can be very difficult & painful to experience, but truly, you can & will get through it. You will come out stronger & wiser from the experience too. Your relationships most likely will be better as well. The unhealthy ones will be weeded out by the narcissist’s lies, leaving you with the good ones. Although smear campaigns are awful to go through, usually these good things & more end up coming from them. Oddly, they really can be a blessing in disguise.
So many websites & authors make no contact sound like an easy decision & once you go no contact, all will be right in your world. Nothing could be further from the truth!! While no contact is often the best & even the only solution, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.
If you’re considering no contact with a narcissist in your life, in particular one in your family, you need to be aware of some things. I am not writing these to make you change your mind about no contact, only to help you prepare for the potential aftermath.
- No one has the right to abuse you, not even your family.
- You are under no obligation whatsoever to tolerate abuse from anyone & yes, that includes family.
- Cutting toxic people out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you someone who cares enough about yourself not to tolerate abuse.
- Just because you severed contact with someone doesn’t mean you hate them. You can love someone but still not be able to be in a relationship with them because they’re abusive.
- No one can fully prepare for what may happen after no contact because all people are different. When I went no contact with my mother, she ignored me & kept her distance. When I went no contact with my father, he continually tried to force me to talk to him, including getting his family to try to force me to talk to him. It’s hard to predict how the person on the receiving end of no contact will handle it.
- You will be depressed for some time after going no contact. No matter how sure you are that you did the right thing or how much you know you had no choice but to do this, ending a relationship especially one with a family member is TOUGH! It hurts!
- You’ll also feel very guilty for a while, even though there isn’t a valid reason to feel that way. This is simply because that is how this person trained you. Their feelings are more important than yours & how dare you put your feelings ahead of theirs, at least that is what they want you to believe. Remember, this person is the reason the relationship fell apart. Yes, you walked away but only after you were pushed into doing so to protect your mental health. There is no reason to feel guilty about this!
- You’re going to have doubts. It’s only normal. Remind yourself of how much thought & prayer went into your decision when this happens. Also remember what led you to make this incredibly difficult decision. Doing so helps a great deal.
- Not everyone is going to understand. Some people are going to judge you very harshly. Those people can be incredibly hurtful & cruel. No matter how convicted they are in their beliefs, it doesn’t mean they are right. Don’t let them make you doubt your decision or tolerate their abusive words.
- Of those who judge you, you will be surprised by who is doing it. Some folks you were convinced were on your side will turn on you, & it is going to hurt badly! You also may be surprised by acquaintances & even strangers who attack you for going no contact. It’s shocking when someone you barely know or don’t even know at all thinks they have the right to tell you what they think you should do with your life.
- Those who don’t understand also will try to guilt or shame you into reconnecting. Don’t let that happen!! Again, remind yourself of what led you to making this decision. Also remind yourself that these people don’t know the whole story, so their input is useless to you.
- Often, these people who attack you are going to be your own family. Family is often the most abusive in these situations. Mine certainly has been. Various members have attacked me like they were starving lions & I was vulnerable prey. Sadly this is pretty normal in narcissistic families. Family members often delude themselves into thinking they’re a happy, normal, functional family. They will do anything to protect their delusions, including attack someone who tells the truth. If they can quiet the truth teller, then their delusions can remain in tact. To them, attacking their own kin is worth it if it protects their delusions.
- You may think if you just did something they wanted you to do or loved them enough, the abuse would have stopped. That is not true! A person changes because they want to. To make an abuser want to change is nearly impossible. They get what they want from being abusive & they lack empathy. This means they see no reason at all to change.
- You also may have days where you miss this person. You may be tempted on those days to rekindle the relationship. You may even want to apologize for going no contact. DON’T DO IT!! Once someone has gone no contact then later returns to the relationship, it gets much worse than it originally was. It may start out good, but it won’t take long before the mask comes off again. When that happens, the person underneath is even uglier than they were before.
- You won’t be functioning in survivor mode anymore, so you may feel much different. You may feel very vulnerable & over sensitive. Little things can make you cry or make you angry that never bothered you before. You may have more nightmares than usual. You may experience changes in anxiety levels by either becoming more anxious in general or less anxious but when you do get anxious those times are harder than they used to be.
- You may feel oddly lost, too, like you don’t know what to do with your life. When in a relationship with a narcissist, they seem to take up all the room in the relationship, even down to including all the room in your brain. Without them, what is there to think about?! It can take some time to feel less lost after survival mode is over.
- At some point, you are going to feel so much better! You’ll experience freedom & enjoy that feeling immensely. If the narcissist in your life was a relative, guilt will come attached to enjoying your new freedom, but in time it will get less & less, until it disappears.
- You’ll also experience peace, possibly for the first time in your life! No more unnecessary drama. No more narcissistic rages. The peace is glorious!!
- You won’t feel on edge all the time, worried about what to say or do to appease the narcissist so he or she won’t rage at you. You finally can relax & not focus all of your energy on this person. It’ll feel like a giant weight is lifted off your shoulders.
- You also will start to enjoy little things more than you used to. When you’re life is totally focused on a narcissist, it’s hard to enjoy subtle things like a bird singing, a beautiful full moon or even a great song on the radio. It can feel almost like you’re reborn, I think is the best way to describe it.
In time, you’ll learn that no contact was absolutely worth it. In spite of all the pain, the tears, the doubts & the attacks from horrible people, it truly was worth it. You will survive it, & be better & stronger for it!
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.