Words that stir dread and anxiety…
No Contact is serious business. It’s the final step in detaching from an abusive partner and toxic relationship. On average, targets of Narcissistic abuse attempt No Contact seven times before finally implementing it in its true form. Pulling it off successfully takes determination, self-discipline, and the doggedness to see the bigger picture.
As brutal as going No Contact is, what’s even more difficult is the period after applying it. There are withdrawal symptoms, heartbreak, horrible self-doubt, and the urge to reach out. After stretches of liquor consumption, binge-eating, and making a fool of oneself at the local club (or worse, contacting the Ex), it’s time to remember what going No Contact is all about – getting your power back and living a life of liberation and joyfulness.
No Contact is not easy to stick to; it challenges your endurance and is one of the hardest steps you will ever take if you have decided that getting over the relationship is the best thing that you can do. Going into it, it’s crucial to have clear expectations of what No Contact is designed for, and also what to expect in the days that follow
1. Contrary to popular Google advice, No Contact is NOT meant to bring your Ex back when related to Narcissistic abuse
No Contact is not meant to carry out punishment, exact revenge, or teach your Ex a lesson. Using it in this way always backfires and lengthens the time spent in despair. Any efforts made by your Ex to contact you are simply hoovering attempts, and there will be a price to pay for letting him or her back into your life, usually in the form of being ridiculed, discarded, and left in ruin.
No Contact doesn’t make your Narcissistic Ex miss you. What it does is send them into panic mode once they detect they are losing control over you, and they will use any means necessary to reestablish that control. This often comes in the form of divinity-inspired epiphanies where the angels touched down and showed them how wrong they’ve been. Flowers, cards, and perhaps tears will be the theme of the day as they play your heartstrings to the tune of Careless Whisper. Don’t fall for it; it’s only a matter of time before they revert back to the raging howler monkey that you knew.
What it is: No Contact is your conscious decision to stop the abuse directed towards you. It means you recognize the challenges that lie before you, but make the commitment to give yourself the happiness you deserve. You resolve to break the patterns that kept you in the relationship through self-inquiry and self-care.
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” -Deborah Reber
2. Is No Contact easy?
It’s easy after you’ve had that eighth glass of Merlot. It’s easy when you experience a dopamine rush when you see they’ve texted you with “hey”, and you consequently daydream that they’ve been secretly making plans for your wedding in Bora Bora.
Other than that, it’s about as easy as dragging yourself to work in the fashion often associated with one-armed, ground-bound zombies in “The Walking Dead”.
On the bright side: If you execute No Contact properly, you will slowly feel the weight being lifted from your heart and soul. You’ll begin to remember what life was like before becoming the target of emotional abuse. You’ll start to see that you’re not the leprous social reject that your Ex would have you believe. Instead, if you commit to moving on and healing, you’ll discover the gift in the curse. A relationship with the Narcissist is a catalyst for spiritual growth. He or she brings all of your emotional wounds to the surface so you can discover, accept, and heal them.
In order to grow, one must leave their comfort zone. Very often this means that you have to do what you are afraid of in order to find what you didn’t know you were looking for.
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” -Christopher Columbus
3. Does No Contact work?
Here is the formula for determining the success of No Contact:
You + Determination = Success
In other words, whether it works depends entirely upon your actions. Have you really gone No Contact or No Response?
No Contact means they can’t call, text, email, or contact you via any social medial platforms. Those who implement No Contact in its true form have a much higher chance at detaching, healing, and realizing happiness.
On the other hand, No Response means you didn’t block them. Instead, you let them call, text, or email, and you decide whether or not to respond. Those who implement No Response usually stay enmeshed in the hypnotic influence of the Narcissist and are often still stuck in dysfunctional patterns years after the so-called “end” of the relationship. Typically, this leads to being a secondary source of supply and/or still being miserable five and ten years (or more) down the road.
What to do: No Contact is hard because it’s acknowledging that the relationship over. It means admitting it wasn’t based on love, but on control and manipulation. Accept that the Narcissist will not change. Let them go, but do so with the understanding that you are no longer rejecting yourself in conjunction with the Narcissist.
“Letting go has never been easy, but holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.”-Len Santos
4. Stay off the internet and engage in healing practices instead
By the time one has determined they are with a Narcissist, they’ve typically done tons of research and conversed on numerous forums. Education and venting are important, but when it’s time for No Contact, it’s best to take a hiatus from the internet, unless you are researching ways to heal. Resist the urge to visit Narc-land because the more you read about (and think about) your Ex’s disorder, the harder it is to turn the focus onto your healing.
What to do: Stop looking at the closed door. In fact, stop clinging to the door knob in a bawling heap, hoping that the door will open again. Even if it did, you’d want to close it again in no time…get a hammer and nails and make sure that door stays shut.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” -Helen Keller
5. Don’t believe everything you think
In the interim after implementing No Contact, self-esteem is a thing of the past. At least, that’s one’s experience after enduring emotional and verbal abuse. Curiously, survivors of Narcissistic abuse admit that their partner was a pathological liar, yet believed them when they threw out insults and engaged in name-calling.
Stop believing the lies. Understand that the slights about your character, appearance, intelligence, etc., were also deceptions. But, more importantly, stop believing the negative things you tell yourself. The very things we fear keep repeating themselves if we continue to focus on them and give them power. Life will continue to give us lessons until we learn, grow, and move past them.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou