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Leaving a relationship with a narcissist is so hard! Whether the narcissist is a love interest or family member, it’s always hard. They can make you feel obligated to them as if you owe them something, like no one else would “put up with you”, & you’ll lose everyone you love if you end this relationship. It takes a lot of strength & courage to end a relationship under those circumstances.
It’s hard to end any relationship. It’s sad eliminating a person from your life that you once cared a great deal about. If that person is a family member, it’s even harder simply because that person is family. Family is supposed to be full of people who love & support each other. It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact someone in that role in your life isn’t that way at all, but is an abusive monster.
There is also the fact that narcissists make their victims feel like they’ll never find anyone to love them. My ex husband told me once, that I’d never find anyone who loved me like he did. At the time, it was terrifying! I was sure I’d be alone forever. The more years we have been separated though, the more I realized he was right. No one else has so called “loved” me like him & I thank God for that!
There also is the problem of flying monkeys. Whether the narcissist in your life is a relative or romantic partner, chances are excellent that this person has some devoted flying monkeys who think she can do no wrong, & you know they will attack you if you are “mean” enough to abandon their precious narcissist. That can be pretty intimidating, especially when you’re already beaten down by the narcissist.
While these can be upsetting scenarios, it’s still best to abandon the relationship with the narcissist in your life. You will NOT regret it! I have not once heard anyone in this type of situation say they wish they had stayed in the abusive relationship. Not once! In my experience, I have absolutely no regrets either.
When you do end the relationship, you are going to love your new freedom & realize it was worth it.
Suddenly, you will feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. No longer do you have to seriously consider every word you say for fear of upsetting this person. You no longer have to worry about how you style your hair or how you dress being a reason for this person to put you down. You can do whatever you want, have your own opinions, listen to whatever music you like & even eat whatever food you want without the fear of being mocked. It’s so freeing!
When stuck in a relationship with a narcissist, it is hard to see just how bad things are. You’re so busy trying to survive, that takes up all your thoughts. It doesn’t cross your mind that things are really bad. Once you leave it though, your thinking will be much clearer without the narcissist taking up so much of your thoughts. You’re also going to see exactly how bad the situation was, & be incredibly grateful you left it.
If you’re considering ending your relationship with a narcissist, but are afraid, I want to encourage you today. You can do this & you won’t regret it! Ask God to give you strength. Talk to your supportive friends or a counselor & let them encourage you. Look at your past successes, all the times you dealt with the narcissist in your life or her flying monkeys & they didn’t get their way. You can do this, Dear Reader! You really can! And when you do, you are going to be incredibly grateful you did it!
Going no contact with a narcissist is an incredibly challenging thing to go through. As if the agonizing over whether or not to do it wasn’t enough, there is also the likelihood of the narcissist refusing to accept your boundary, & making your life miserable.
Once the narcissist has gotten bored with trying to lure a victim back into the relationship, the victim is left to move on with their life. Although in a way that life is so much simpler without the constant influx of narcissistic abuse, that doesn’t mean all the victim’s problems are over.
After severing ties with my parents, I had more nightmares & flashbacks than usual for quite some time. I believe this is because when there is a narcissist in your life, that person basically takes up all the room in the relationship. You’re so focused on keeping them happy & avoiding their abuse that you have little time to think of anything else. When the narcissist is out of your life, your brain finally has time to think of other things. Since it constantly processes everything in life, it naturally wants to make sense of what happened with the narcissist. It tries to make sense out of the nonsensical. When it happened to me, I realized this was going to happen, like it or not, so I tried to make it work in my favor. I coped with whatever came up as it came up. It ended up being a time of quite a bit of healing for me.
After experiencing stalking & harassment, even after it stops, you still may experience a feeling like, “What’s next?” When your day is filled with constant messages that you don’t want, it can really shake you up! Plus, with many narcissists, they stop but start up again, which puts a person in a state of being on high alert. Even if the narcissist hasn’t contacted you in months, that doesn’t mean he or she won’t start up again. How can you relax knowing that is possible? The best you can do is block all access the narcissist has to you, & save all evidence in case you need it to pursue legal charges against him or her.
Even if the narcissist in your life hasn’t stalked or harassed you, he or she may still send you Christmas or birthday cards as a way of attempting to keep their foot in the door with you. These little reminders can be surprisingly upsetting to a victim. They can make you start to wonder if you made the right decision by going no contact, make you feel guilty for not spending this holiday with the narcissist & bring up a plethora of conflicting, confusing feelings. Unfortunately this is very normal. When it happens, I urge you not to make any rash decisions. Just because the narcissist sent it to you & expects you to read it doesn’t mean you have to read it. Put it aside & pray. If you then believe in your heart you need to read it, & have no doubts, then read it. Otherwise, it is most likely best not to read it. You can throw it out, return it to the sender or even save it if you feel you want to read it in the future. Also, just because it is a special day, doesn’t mean the narcissist has changed. The narcissist is simply using an opportunity to attempt to hoover you back into the relationship.
Even if the narcissist doesn’t try to contact you, doubts after no contact are very normal. Ending a relationship is always hard. Never forget what made you decide to go no contact. Writing it out can help tremendously.
Remember, if you are considering going no contact with a narcissist or have recently done so, don’t expect no contact to mean your problems are over. Yes, many of them will be, but there are some new ones that will come up. You can get through them! A bad day without a narcissist in your life is still better than any day with a narcissist in your life!
When the adult child of a narcissist decides to go low or no contact with the abusive parents, people are often surprised. Narcissistic parents do their best to create an image of a happy, functional family to outsiders, & many people believe this false image to be real. They don’t realize how much serious thought & prayer went into the adult child’s decision. Those people are shocked by the low or no contact decision. They say things like,
- “You were always such a good child!” (children of narcissistic parents are often incredibly obedient in order to please their parent or avoid abuse)
- “You never said anything was wrong.” (abused children rarely do- abuse is normal, & they don’t often realize it’s wrong. Or, if they do know, to survive, they know they must keep the abuse a secret)
- “Your mother/father never said one bad thing about you!” (abusers don’t show their abusive side to everyone- they hide it from those whose opinions they value. Besides, if the abusive parent appears good to everyone, & the child claims this parent is abusive, people are more likely to believe the parent than the child if the child speaks out)
Other people react with guilt, urging the victim to continue the abusive relationship. Often, these people came from abusive backgrounds themselves, & are in denial about it. You facing the truth makes them feel bad for not doing the same, so often, people like this try to bring you down to their level. They say things like,
- “They did the best they could!” (So? Even on the highly unlikely chance the abuser didn’t realize they were being abusive, that doesn’t make the abuse less damaging)
- “Your parents won’t be around forever!” (True, but neither will anyone. It’s entirely possible their child could die first, so why not tell the abusers this fact? And, the Bible says you reap what you sow in Galatians 6:7-8. People can’t abuse someone & expect that someone to tolerate it indefinitely. Everyone has their limits)
- “Your parents gave you everything!” (providing food, clothing & shelter is the job of parents. They may have done these things, maybe even spoiled their child with “stuff”, but that doesn’t make them parents of the year. It also doesn’t mean their child owes them for doing what a parent should do for their child.)
- Some people refuse to discuss the topic with the victim because they have chosen the side of the parent. They often make their displeasure with the victim obvious in snide comments or disdainful looks rather than using their words.
These things can hurt a victim by further invalidating or not believing their pain. These types of responses also send the victim the message that she isn’t important, only the narcissistic parent is.
Dear Reader, if this is your situation, I’m sure you’re hurting. I’ve heard similar comments & know first hand how painful they are. Know you aren’t alone! There are so many of us who understand! This may be a good time to reach out to other survivors of narcissistic abuse. There are online support forums (I have one on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/ ). There are also so many informative websites & blogs available.
When faced with these conversations, it’s best for you to simply walk away. People who blindly defend a narcissist most likely never going to see the light about what she is really like. Defending yourself will only lead to frustration for you. Tell the person you don’t want to discuss the matter, & change the subject. If the person continues to force their opinion on you, walk away.
Know that you don’t have to tolerate any abuse from anyone. Invalidating & dismissing a victim’s pain is abuse! You have every right to protect yourself from it! You don’t need people who treat you this way in your life, & are well within your rights to cut them out of your life if you feel it’s the right thing to do.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (KJV)
So many of us raised by narcissistic parents grew up believing it was our job to protect our parents from consequences. No matter what our parents did to us, we weren’t supposed to be upset about it or confront them about being abusive. We were supposed to tolerate everything they did with a smile rather than take the chance in upsetting them.
Sadly, this awful belief often is such an ingrained belief, it follows us into adulthood. Our narcissistic parents can continue abusing not only us but our spouse & children as well without fear of consequences.
The fact is that this belief & behavior goes against God’s will. God is a firm believer in consequences. The Scripture at the beginning of this post is evidence of that.
Dear Reader, if you’re suffering at the hands of your narcissistic parents, you are well within your rights to set boundaries & give your parents consequences! Doing so won’t make you a bad person or bad daughter or son. In fact, it means you are following God’s will.
The same is true if you have gone no contact with your narcissistic parents. Although many people will attempt shame you for doing so, going no contact after years of abuse & attempts to improve the relationship is NOT a bad thing. Yes, it’s sad when a relationship comes to such drastic measures, especially when it’s a close relationship such as parent & child, however, it is also often the only resort left for a victim who wishes to be free of abuse. The person in this situation has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about.
Recently I was thinking of something. Maybe some of you remember last December, just before Christmas, my mother had her attorney/flying monkey send me a letter asking if I wanted my father’s car. (here is the post if you missed it: Coping When Narcissists Hit A New Low)
I thought about the letter the other day, & the wording of it all. At that time, I felt a lot of guilt even though I knew with every fiber of my being I needed to maintain strict no contact with her. It was such a difficult time! I also thought about the fact my mother wanted my help with what she was dealing with after my father’s death. She expected me to help her, after everything she’s done to me, & there has been a LOT! Just throwing out a couple of examples…
- My mother threw me into a wall when I was 19 hard enough to give me back pain for 10 years. Why? Because she started a fight with me & got mad when I eventually snapped & cussed at her. She never apologized or even admitted to any of her part in that incident. She also told people I faked the back pain so I could quit working because I was lazy.
- My mother stole the savings bonds her mother left me when she died in 2001. I had to go after her with proof of what the inheritance was worth & copies of the cashed bonds to get it back. When she sent me a check, I saw she wrote in the memo line, “What you claim Grandma owes you.”
- Most recently, in 2016.. my mother in-law died. I hadn’t spoken to her since 2002 because she was so cruel to me. My parents knew this. When my parents learned of her passing, they called me & were mad I didn’t tell them in time to attend the funeral & “pay their respects.” I was stunned that was an option. I expected them to tell me what a great woman she was, even though they only spoke to her twice in their lives. I ended up so hurt & angry that I cried & cussed at my parents, which is not my normal behavior. The more upset I got, the more bored my mother acted. She then tried getting me to feel sorry for her because she has vertigo. It didn’t work. We haven’t spoken since.
These are only a few examples. I have a LOT more.
So anyway, I was thinking of these things & others, & it hit me. My mother has a LOT of nerve thinking she is entitled to my help after not only doing all of these things, but also not once accepting any responsibility or apologizing for any of the abuse she’s inflicted on me. She is still the same abusive monster she was when I was a kid. Her tactics may be different now, but she is still out to hurt & control me as much as possible if given the chance. This quickly got rid of any guilt I felt regarding her.
My point (finally, I know.. sorry!) is this….
If you are struggling with feeling guilty regarding your narcissistic parent, for being no contact or feel like now that your parent is elderly & frail, you should take care of her even if you haven’t spoken in years, I really suggest doing what I did.
Consider your relationship with your narcissistic parent. Think about the things your parent did to you. Has your parent shown any signs of improving their behavior? Has she admitted any wrongdoing at all? If your parent is like most narcissists, you honestly can say no to those questions. And, if you can say no to those questions, then you need to maintain distance to protect yourself & your mental health.
If you’re still feeling any guilt at this point, also remember- people reap what they sow. Galatians 6:7 says:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ” (KJV)
A person who sows bad seeds will reap a bad harvest, period. This means that an abusive parent will not be treated with love & kindness indefinitely as a good parent would be treated. A person can only take so much before they pull away from their abuser, even if that abuser is their parent. It’s the natural way of things. You aren’t being petty, childish or any other awful thing people may say you are by putting distance between you & your narcissistic parent. You’re simply a part of the normal system of reaping & sowing.
Lastly, you are NOT dishonoring your abusive parent with either low or no contact. By maintaining low or no contact, you are removing the opportunity for your parent to sin. Your parent can’t abuse you if you aren’t there. You’re also encouraging her to improve her behavior by giving her consequences for her actions. That is very honorable & loving! Anyone who tells you that you’re not honoring your narcissistic parent or thinks it’s honorable to tolerate anything your parent dishes out truly does NOT know God or understand His word at all.
So remember, Dear Reader… you have no valid reasons to feel guilty regarding your narcissistic parent, but if you do feel guilty, remind yourself of what your parent has done to you like I did.
This post is for those of you in the position of being unwilling or unable to go no contact with a narcissist.
Almost every bit of information available for those in a relationship with a narcissist basically say the same thing- “just go no contact.” The tone of some articles & even some fellow survivors who say the same thing can be downright shaming, as if being unable or unwilling to go no contact means something is very wrong with you or you’re weak.
While it’s certainly true that no contact is almost always the best way to deal with a narcissist, that doesn’t make it an easy solution. Whoever the narcissist is in your life & no matter how badly that person treats you, it still hurts to end a relationship. The closer the relationship the more it hurts, too, such as ending a relationship with your parent hurts a thousand times more than ending it with someone with whom you have gone on only a couple of dates. Due to the nature of narcissists, they usually abuse those closest to them. This is probably why the most abusive relationships with a narcissist are the closest relationships, such as parents & spouses, & those relationships are very hard to end.
Abusive or not, it still hurts to end a relationship with someone so close to you. Not wanting to end that relationship doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you’re weak. It means you’re normal!
Even if you want to go no contact, it often takes time to work up the inner strength to be able to do it. Narcissists beat their victims down so badly, they can obliterate their self esteem. Once you learn what is happening, it takes time to repair your self esteem & to build up enough strength to go no contact. Or, maybe you know somehow that the timing isn’t right somehow for no contact.. that happened to me with my parents. I wanted to go no contact with them for well over a year before I felt God was saying it was time. There is also the common situation of a victim who lives with a narcissist being financially dependent on that narcissist. It takes time to be able to save enough money to move out, to find a job & a place to live. None of these situations make a person weak or flawed. It simply means they’re in difficult situations.
There are also some folks whose narcissist is pretty low on the spectrum. Yes, that person causes problems but they aren’t over the top in their behavior. Some people would prefer to learn ways to deal with them than end those relationships. That is their right to make that choice
For those of you in those situations, I want to encourage you today.
I know it’s terribly hard being in a relationship with a narcissist in any capacity. Until such time as you are ready & willing to go no contact, there are some things you can do to make your life a little easier.
As always, I recommend praying. Ask God to show you creative & effective ways to cope with the narcissist as well as to help you to go no contact if that is your desired result.
Always remember- narcissists are all about gaining narcissistic supply to prop up their egos. It’s their primary motivation for everything they do. Any attention or reaction you give them, good or bad, provides that supply. Be as boring to the narcissist as possible. Show them no anger, sadness or even joy. Be calm & cool in the presence of the narcissist. Offer simple answers without explanations. Provide no personal information. This is known as the Gray Rock method. Basically, you become as boring to the narcissist as a plain gray rock.
Don’t forget to question things the narcissist says. They are masters of gaslighting & manipulation, so basically almost everything they say can be a lie. Ask yourself if what is being said is true or not. You also can question the narcissist, but if you do so, do it calmly in your gray rock way. “Oh? Why do you think that?” “Explain to me how that makes sense.. I don’t follow you.” Logical, calmly asked questions like that can throw a narcissist off kilter. It lets her know that you’re onto her games & won’t be manipulated.
Keep & enforce healthy boundaries. You have the right to tell the narcissist no & to expect to be treated with respect. You also don’t need to explain your boundaries. Or, if you feel you absolutely must, remember to stay gray rock U keep explanations minimal.
Also remember that whatever they are doing isn’t about you. It’s about them. Yes, that person is hurting & abusing you, but it’s because it makes her feel better. You have done nothing to deserve it & nothing that person says about you is true. Narcissists project their own flaws onto their victims. It doesn’t mean you actually are whatever the narcissist says you are.
If you are hoping to go no contact in the future, low contact may be an excellent option for you. It’s as the name describes- you are in low contact with the narcissist. You don’t take phone calls or visit as often, but only when you feel able. Low contact can be a really good stepping stone to no contact.
While there are no easy solutions for dealing with narcissists, these tactics can help you. And, don’t forget- there isn’t anything wrong with you for being unable or unwilling to go no contact. It’s a big decision, & every person has to do it only when they feel equipped to do so.
There is a lot of information out there about going no contact, but not a lot of it is good, in depth information. It isn’t always helpful for those who are seriously considering going no contact with their narcissistic parent. The purpose of this post is to provide a deeper look at things to consider when going no contact.
No contact is a very serious decision, & never should be entered into lightly. Never, ever initiate it unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s the right thing for you to do. Never initiate it during the heat of the moment such as during an argument. Only initiate it after a great deal of serious prayer & consideration.
No contact also is a permanent decision. If you resume contact with a narcissist, chances are excellent that this person’s behavior will be a LOT worse than it was before you started no contact. If you let that person suck you back into a relationship or if you are the one who initiates contact again is not important. The important thing is you’re back. The narcissist will start out behaving with you to test the waters, but that won’t last long. They see you as being weak with weak boundaries (easy prey in other words), since you allowed this relationship to be reconciled. Also, since you set that boundary of no contact, you must be punished for that as well. This is why no contact must be a permanent decision! Once ties are severed, accept no communication from the narcissist at all. Block all emails, phone numbers, social media accounts.. any access that person can use to contact you. If they find ways around it, block that access too. You may need to change your email address, phone number or name on your social media accounts.
No contact isn’t easy. You lose people you never expected to lose from your life, even family members. That is incredibly painful, but it’s very common. It seems to me that the majority of people would rather side blindly with the narcissist than stand up for what’s right. Maybe they’re afraid of facing the narcissist’s wrath if they side with you. Maybe they think it’s easier to get you to change than the narcissist & they’re just looking for an easy way out of this situation. Or, maybe they’d rather think of you as bad, wrong, crazy, etc. than admit to themselves that you were abused & they didn’t protect or help you. Whatever their “logic”, it’s still going to hurt you a LOT when they abandon you in favor of your abuser. On the good side though, you do find out who your real friends are. Those who stand by your side even if they don’t understand the situation are your real friends. Those who don’t judge you or tell you that you need to “forgive & forget” are your real friends. Those who refuse to give your abuser the time of day are also your real friends.
Your emotions are going to go haywire for a while. I believe this is because your mind is finally free from constantly having to think about the narcissist. They seem to take up all the room in any relationship, leaving no room for you or even for you to think about things other than them. You are to find ways to appease & please them, avoid their wrath, anticipate all of their needs & wants, prop up their ego at all times & more. Then, once you realize how messed up all of this is, you need to find ways to stop providing them with narcissistic supply, battle their gaslighting so you can keep your sanity & avoid them as much as possible. Any relationship with a narcissist is a LOT of work! Once that is done, it’s like your brain finally realizes it’s free of that, & decides now is the time to start dealing with that stuff it couldn’t deal with when in the relationship with the narcissist. All kinds of memories come to the surface & with them, a ton of emotions. Even when memories aren’t popping up, your emotions can go haywire because finally you can feel instead of only focusing on the narcissist.
If anyone tells you that no contact is taking the easy way out, don’t listen to them. No contact is usually the necessary step to take, but that doesn’t make anything about it easy!
There is a good amount of information out there about going no contact with narcissists. Many articles make it sound like going no contact will solve all of your problems. It definitely solves some. No longer having a narcissist in your life means you are no longer abused, which of course is a great thing. However, even so, it doesn’t solve all of your problems!
When a person has eliminated a relationship, people always seem to have opinions. There are even more opinions when the relationship in question is with a parent. The adult child is often referred to as selfish, spoiled, ungrateful, unreasonable & more. People often act as though you made this choice on a whim, when nothing could be further from the truth! The worst part is this judgement often comes from people close to you that you never expected would behave like this towards you. Not only does what they say hurt a great deal, but some people will side with the narcissistic parent & abandon you. Rarely does a person who severs ties with a parent have many allies.
Going no contact also doesn’t heal the wounds that your parent inflicted upon you. Those wounds are still there. You still are going to wake up each morning with C-PTSD, anxiety &/or depression. If you also were physically abused, the scars aren’t going to vanish just because your abusive parent is out of your life either.
In fact, I found in my experience and in talking to others that after implementing no contact, suddenly they felt they had more issues to deal with than they had previously. Repressed memories came up, they had more nightmares than usual, anxiety was much worse, they were very depressed & more. I firmly believe the reason for this is because when you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, that narcissist basically takes up almost all of your thoughts. You’re so busy trying to figure out ways to please them or at least not trigger their wrath. You may be trying to find a way to escape the relationship unscathed. You’re definitely trying to maintain your sanity in an insane situation. Once the relationship is over, those things are gone. Your mind is free of a huge burden. Now it’s time to process all of what you have been through, & your emotional floodgates let loose. It can be pretty scary & overwhelming. I try to make the best of it, & remember these things that have come up are doing so for a reason. I talk to God about them, & write about them in my journal as ways to help me heal.
No contact is a very viable solution when dealing with narcissists. Often, it is the only solution. However, it isn’t an easy one. Dear Reader, if you’re considering going no contact, please know that it won’t solve all of your problems. It will help you a great deal, but don’t expect it to be easy.