What to Do When Your Family and Friends Disappear During Your Recovery

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

Feb 15


You’ve done it.  You finally moved out, initiated No Contact and so far, you’re holding your position and looking forward to your recovery.  You feel unsure of yourself and are having second thoughts, but somehow you maintain your resolve.

You settle down for the evening and start missing your Narcissistic Ex.  You need to occupy yourself to prevent a relapse (like last time), so you try to call your buddy.  She doesn’t answer, and she doesn’t text back.  You call your cousin because she seemed so understanding the last time you confided your problems in her.  She tries to be nice, but you can detect some hesitancy in her voice.  She gives you a story about having to shop for groceries.  In a final desperate attempt, you call your co-worker, just to have someone to vent to.  She tells you to suck it up…that this, too, shall pass.

As you hang up, your Ex’s number comes up on your phone, but you don’t answer.  Over the days that follow, no one is available to talk, much less for a visit.  Although you smartened up and blocked your Ex’s number from your phone, you receive an email from him because you’ve been so preoccupied, you forgot to block this avenue of communication.  Against your better judgment, you click on it.  Inside, you read the same sob story about how much he misses you and can’t live without you.  You hit delete, and then empty your “trash” folder.

A few weeks go by, and none of the people you thought you could depend on can be seen or heard for miles.  The only sounds in your new apartment are crickets chirping, and the sudden sound of a call coming in from Skype.  You look at the number…it’s your Ex.  You kick yourself for leaving yet another crack open.  You start to hit “Ignore”, but then…you get the overwhelming feeling that your Ex was right.  He IS the only person that cares about you.  He’s the only one that’s tried to contact you when everyone else turned a cold shoulder.  In a split second, you’re talking to him and accepting his invitation for dinner and a movie.

And thus starts the vicious cycle all over again.


Most of us have been through this scenario.  Recovering from Narcissistic abuse can be a cold, lonely existence.  Your friends and family tired of your complaints long ago…they never understood why you stuck with your Ex for so long, anyway.  They detached themselves from you because you never took their advice, and now you feel like you’ve been excommunicated from everyone you’ve ever known.

It’s because of this that many of us go back to our Ex after initiating No Contact.  Our poor, fragile mind begins to believe the lies our Ex told us over the years.  See how your friends turned out to be deserters, and your family couldn’t care less?  It’s precisely in line with what your Ex wanted you to believe.

As hard and lonely as it is, don’t fall for it.  Your loneliness was constructed by him over the years, and he is aware of your plight.  He knows you have no one to lean on, and he is using the situation to take advantage of your vulnerability.

It’s important to remember that while he might the only person who will give you the time of day during this phase, it doesn’t mean he cares about you.  Just like a shark, he smells blood and he’s coming around for the feast.  You feel so lost right now, that you are in a prime position to not only take him back, but give him full access to all of your resources, as well.  Don’t do that to yourself.

What to Do Instead

If you don’t have children to care for, get out of your apartment!  Stop wasting away like the Living Dead and start taking care of yourself.  Get a mani/pedi, a new hairstyle, rebuild your wardrobe, and treat yourself to a nice dinner, complete with champagne. Schedule some massages and take up a new hobby.  This is the new you.

Don’t hang around your phone or computer because these are subconscious attempts to stick around for your Ex.  You were likely conditioned to do this during his unexplained absences and silent treatments, and you may tend to continue these behaviors even after the relationship is over.

It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

If you do have children, listen to some guided meditations while they play with their toys in another room.  Start a blog, keep a diary, join some forums, do some mirror work, and if you’re able… do some online shopping.  Try to hire a reliable babysitter.  Use a reputable company like Care.com and choose someone with a lot of positive feedback.  (Do not use Craigslist to find a babysitter).

When I went through this stage, I became very comfortable with going out alone.  I took myself to my favorite restaurants for lunch, went to the movies alone, and yes, I took myself to dinner and ordered champagne.  After all there was a big reason to celebrate…I had gotten a new lease on life.

And so have you.  This is the time to reclaim your personal power and fall in love with yourself.  Over time, you will meet new people, make new friends, and have a better idea of the people you can depend on in life…and the first person you need to rely on is yourself.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~ Gautama Buddha

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