I Went No Contact – Now What?

By Kim Saeed | Initiating No Contact

Sep 22
after no contact

No Contact.

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 media 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

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(30) comments

Bradley November 21, 2015

Hi….and thanks to all of you for your sharing. It all helps. I am on Day 26 of NC (ironically my Narc has the initials NC……ironic…but true). My only comment today is that I fully understand the distinction between No Contact and No Response. For the first 7 days of NC…I had not blocked her….and yes, I was watching to see if there was any communication. On Day 8 I blocked her…..from everything. Every avenue of communication. Now I don’t wait…I don’t watch….I don’t hope. Its about me now….and finding myself again. I can tell you that the perspective and awareness gained through effective NC is incredible. It’s not easy….for sure. I have my ” moments”….and then I remember the most humiliating, hurtful, intentional things she did/said to me. It hurts to remember those things….and it is discouraging to think of all the ” good times” which were never real (4 years is a long time …to waste). Then NC becomes easier to maintain. I am trying to move from ” survive” to ” THRIVE”. I’m getting there. Be strong. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Become YOU again. You’re wonderful. I look forward to celebrating Day 30 very soon. And can already do the math on what ” Day” it will be after Christmas….I’m doing this.
Thanks again to all of you….for sharing and helping.

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K October 1, 2015

Hi Kim
Thank you for this post which has been a great help whilst implementing No Contact.
I was No Response and all that did was give an opportunity for The Narc to hoover me back in.. I have been 8 weeks No Contact now and I’m feeling a lot better… Previous to that i hadnt seen him in 9 months but he would periodically text me throughout that time and I finally caved when he said he had issues, that it was all him and had started seeing a councillor, so I decided to meet up which was the biggest mistake I could of made.. The mask slipped within a couple of hours.. I told him to leave me alone and went No Contact.
The hardest part is accepting that they had no feelings for you. I knew every time he hoovered it wasn’t because he missed ME, it was the supply he missed and attention.
I was part of a harem waiting my turn.
I realise now that I derseve better than that and what more than the empty, shallow and barely there relationship I had with him.
I still feel hurt and sadness and I wonder if that will ever go. I’m sure it will eventually.
Your blogs are such a great help Kim.
Thank you 🙂

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[…] Of course, in order for any of the above to be helpful, you’ll first need to go No Contact. […]

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scar11et September 28, 2014

I was with my N partner for 18 months. He found me. Picked me up and saved me. Literally. He moved in with me 10 months later. 12 months later I fell pregnant and then miscarried twins. That’s when it really started. He never asked how I was and when I cried he yelled at me ” it’s always about you!” He then gave me the silent treatment for a week. This is just one example of his behavior. I am sure he was still in contact with his ex and she has always stayed in the picture even with other ex s. However we did get on really well and we had a really good life and up to the night before he went into a rage we were laughing and joking in bed however when he said he was going I calmly helped him pack. Kissed him and said thank you for all you have done for me. I will always be here for you. He sent me a text saying “thank you for being so understanding I will miss you”. I since found out he had pre planned to move out and had put a deposit down on a place. I have also received an email saying from him saying. You must know by now I am not coming back so please stop telling people we will get back. I want to collect a top I left at yours.
I have not said that to anyone and told him he was insane to think I wanted him back! So why am I struggling 6 weeks later? I miss him so much and had hoped maybe in a year’s time we could be friends so maybe I am moarning that idea but over all I feel damp angry. He ruined our good life. We cycled we played tennis … We did everything together. I found your article really helpful but I was going to do counselling but wonder now if reliving is going to be more detrimental?

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    jarwithaheavylid April 17, 2015

    I seriously hope you went no contact.

    Reply
Sue September 27, 2014

About 6 months since I realized I needed to go no contact and finally did. I feel like a bird let out of a cage. Freedom, peace, it’s amazing. Wish I had done if years sooner but it’s a learning process and so no self flagellation. Freedom!!!!! 🙂 It’s wonderful

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    Kim Saeed September 27, 2014

    Thank you for sharing that, Sue! It’s very inspirational and I hope others who are thinking about No Contact will see your comment 🙂

    Reply
Anonymous September 24, 2014

After reading this article, I am no longer able to deny my truth, that I am using No Response rather than true No Contact. My Narc is still able to call, leave voice mail messages and text. The No Response version of No Contact just keeps me in a holding pattern even though I know that I am done with the relationship. I have promised myself that I am going to block him on specific dates significant to only me like my birthday or on the date that I stopped responding to his calls/texts, but I always find a reason (excuse) to delay blocking him. Now I know that by not blocking him, I am only blocking my own blessing and true healing. The denial is over, this article has brought out the fact that I am fooling myself if I believe I have implemented No Contact. I have been hiding behind the No Response and now I must move forward. I am going to block him immediately. I am grateful for this article that was posted on Facebook today and grateful that I paused to click and read on this date.

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Grace September 24, 2014

Probably the most valuable piece I’ve read today……I can’t thank you enough for the wealth of information you’ve put out there.
<3

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merryjoy1 September 23, 2014

After I found the No Contact info on this site I was surprised that I had to ‘learn’ about it. Every time I would get an email or voice message, I would start having panic attacks. Reading emails was just as bad as listening to nasty voice messages. We were going through divorce & I “assumed” I was to respond to his demands/threats. It almost a year since I have had to talk, read or listen to him. I now see I was not suppose to block his emails. I did block him because I was afraid in court he would (and he did) say he emailed me & left phone messages. I also made it so you cannot leave voice message on my home phone. He did not have my cell phone number. For awhile he would say to kids to have me call him. That has not or will never happen;) I guess I didn’t do No Contact the right way at first. Now I do know that if I unblock him & receive an email, I would trash it right away. Same with phone or other sources. So much stress was eliminated when No Contact came into place. Your heart/soul cannot heal & too hard to move on when still communicating with them. I will again thank Kim Saeed for her site & helping me discover what a Narcissist is. It only took a few minutes & suddenly the last 21 years finally made sense. No more excuses, reasoning, or waiting for Him to wake up. I was awaken with such valuable information. He is still causing certain problems for me, but I do know No Contact is the best Contact. Karma can & will be a bitch when the timing is right. Thanks to all on this site for showing we are not alone. Sending some ‘healing’ thoughts to all:)

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Aussa Lorens September 23, 2014

That is always the hardest part when finally getting out of the shit. I’m not surprised that it usually takes 7 attempts. Wow. That sounds like a lot, but when I think back on my own experiences… yep. Seems accurate.

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Michelle September 23, 2014

Love this.

My father is a narcissist. I would have eventually gone no contact, but then he got sick and was left mildly brain damaged and mostly quiet…so it’s easier to be around him now. My heart aches for anyone affected by narcissism.

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    firenice84 September 23, 2014

    Hi Michelle,

    Like you, I have narcs in the family. My mother is a narc, and so is her golden child – my sister. Sorry to hear about your dad.

    Reply
Ness September 23, 2014

As I lay here tonight in bed, I am now just recovering from surgery. Surgery for what I think the stress of being in flight or fight response and all the associated negative things you do like smoking and drinking far too much to mask over the pain of feeling stuck creates and of course the changes that adrenaline pumping through your body for so long causes in your body. I have never undergone an operation, let alone been very sick at all until this time in my life. In short my xN used every trick in the book that I have read about. Whenever I left and had just begun to rebuild he would swoop in and after a period of exitement and bliss (shorter each time) go about HIS PLAN of destroying what I had built up to (1) prove to me that I was worthless and couldn’t cope without him (2) feed his need for an ego boost and maybe (3) take pleasure in his vindictive need for revenge to teach me a lesson for being such an awful uncaring partner. I had to reach an all time low, lower than the low I could imagine, as apart from my op. My credit histroy, that has always been clean (48 years of clean) is now crap and I have debts everywhere that I have organised and negotiated to pay off. The worst and I hate to admit this and I know how irresponsible this is, the charge of a DUI, so no car for 6 months. So out of character but due to his constant harrasment i went out recently after months of loneliness to be around people. I wasn’t thinking straight and had too much to drink. It was late by the time I had ventured home, it was dark, I was two blocks from home and completely on edge. As I stepped out I thought I saw him in the carpark, so in panic got behind the wheel to get away. Didn’t even think about any other alternative.I then basically got pulled over 200km up the road. I didn’t stop there, my usually pretty compliant and respectful self began telling the police that they had stopped the wrong person, I was a good person and I had been abused. Of course, because I had been drnking this didn’t come across very well and they felt I was abusing them as I wouldn’t cooperate with the male police officers, requesting only females. In their terms I was thwarting the DUI process. ( I want to rieterate to everyone who reads this that I am normally a responsible person who wouldn’t drink and drive and put others in danger. I would normally think about the consequences) but the stalking was making me go crazy. The judge in my defence, after putting up all the surrounding facts and very good references gave me a minimum judgement stating – Ms H I can see that you have been experiencing somewhat of a nightmare and in your usual life, as I can see you have a clean record, I believe you would not have chosen to get behind the wheel of your car that night had you been thinking clearly. To me, this was the last validation I needed. ROCK BOTTOM!!!! MY SHAME WAS UNIMAGINABLE. This is now what I had become. Bad credit, no money, a DUI charge and it goes on. In the mean time the xN had found another woman better than I. Moved on with her and her lovely home and continued on his way. I am now over him, I am visiting with my family at the moment as I heal physically. They are seeing the person they knew in me before my x. I am in rebuilding phase in every way. It is happening slowly, the hard way, the way it was always going to be but this time as hard as I could have created for myself. I have still hung onto my job as this is my lifeline and I would lose everything if I didn’t have this. I am still focusing and doing very well in my job, this stability in my life has saved me. 3 months without him in my life and things are looking better. I have stated to my family that I am not and willl never be and don’t want to be the same niave person that man met. I have grown through mountains of pain and yes I can see in me, mountains of strength. The old hang ups I had are gone, I sorted them out quickly, if you don’t people will always be lurking around to use them on you. I use what’s between my ears when dealing with all relationships and I am not afraid to speak my truth, especially if someone is not showing the respect I show them. My response is straight foward but not aggressive. I will keep growing and now FOR ONCE in my life I know exactly what I want and what will make me happy and I know I have the personal power to attain it. I was always a better person and always more capable and stronger than my x. I just forgot with all the brain washing who I was. This is my story of NO CONTACT in short, if I let him in now he would keep playing with me even though he now has another woman or women or maybe none, they could be made up, who knows, the beautiful thing is now I don’t care. I still get anxiety attacks and every so often feel confusion about why I endured a relationship so abusive and toxic and destructive for so long. I am finally looking ahead and forward to a better future that I am in control of. I hope those people who are still considering letting there x back into their lives to go another round will read this and see where it can go to if you keep going back. Ask yourself, what will be enough for you? They will eventually destroy you. Is what you think love is truly worth this. It wasn’t for me but I had to get kicked in the head before I woke up. I hope your epiphany comes much sooner. If I can come back from this and I am with hope and hard work, you can. This is my feedback on NO CONTACT – love YOU enough to get rid of them, everyone deserves to be treated well. It’s one sided, it’s no win and it will never change.
On a quick note, I am very ashamed about my DUI and I hope I haven’t insulted anyone who has been affected by drink drivers in their lives by attempting to rationalise my decision. I have received due punishment, which regardless of the circumstances I deserved and would never go there again.

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Elisabeth September 23, 2014

I remember the love bombing I got 32 years ago. He was really the prince on the white horse. I was so in love with him. It went rather well for 23 years and then he changed a lot. We would divorce and I went on holiday with a friend. He got very angry and outrages when I left. After three days he called me and sad how sorry he was and how much he misses me. My friend said to me, he will never change. Only get worse. I went back. He love bombed me for some time, but then he changed again. It took me eight years to really leave him. And now for one and a half year I live alone. No Contact for the last half year. It was like hell. Now for the last weeks I can say, I don’t feel so sick. I can get up and do my things. I am often thinking about him. I loved him so much. I have to much empathy. I am 61 years now. I got myself a place to live. A car and a little job for the extra’s. Take an advice from me, don’t stay to long. It will never work. He will never change. X

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    Cynthia September 23, 2014

    Be strong, Elisabeth! Narcisist’s pick empathetic people and then push them down, making the empathetic person feel they need to try harder, harder harder and all will go back to the love bombing stage…I’m 61, too and just getting my divorce – I no longer want to see him, I wish all the details of the divorce were over so I wouldn’t have to talk to him at all…

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Anonymous September 22, 2014

I have never said thank you Kim but thank you from the depth of my heart. My therapist said the same of stop daily reading and or as you say get out of “narcland” because I am on the verge of reaching the point of healing greater than I realize but if I stay I cannot get to the point she is trying to help me to be because I keep reliving the pain. So before I leave “narcland” which will be hard because as my therapist says I am forced to stand in my truth but I believe I can do it and trust her enough to stand. Therefore, saying thank you is important. I always said thank you to Paula but never you directly and that is more I was grateful for Paula post pushing me over the edge to start to heal and escape. Yet, in the end it is your post that pushed me over the edge to move out of “narcland” to do as my therapist wants so I embrace the happiness I deserve

So truly much thanks and I wish you well and many blessings that you and people like Paula will continue to help others as much as you helped me.

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    Kim Saeed September 24, 2014

    Anon, thank you so very much for your kind and encouraging words. I’m so glad to know that my site has been helpful to you…Some days I wonder if I am following my true calling, and your comment proves that I am. So, you’ve been a gift to me, too <3

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Anne B. Butterfield September 22, 2014

If I continued to live in LA after college I would have had to enforce a no contact – and I mean thru law enforcement. Instead I surprised myself with a move out of the city we had shared. Brilliant – no one knew I was going to do it because it was a surprise to me too! This meant he could not plan a pursuit (which he had done with my other planned forays and departures – he followed.) The best thing for people in need to genuine, deep a permanent separation is to ask themselves, “Now what was the dream I had tucked away? Could THIS be my chance to follow through on that?”

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Jules September 22, 2014

I am 5 months into no contact and I have to say everything I read here is all true. No contact definitely helps you to heal from the narcissistic abuse–the hardest thing to do. He did me the favor of moving in with his next victim (or as he says, “the love of his life.”–but the way he did it left a lot of unanswered questions (note on the kitchen table while I was at work). I accidentally ran into him about a month after he moved out and began to realize this was a very sick individual. Still the self doubt, low esteem, loneliness creeps in late at night and on the weekends and that is when you are really tested. If you can manage through that with no contact, you are well on your way to recovery.

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    Healing September 22, 2014

    I get tested at nights and weekends too

    Reply
Rachel Hernandez September 22, 2014

There was so much info in this article that I could relate to. It also gives me strength to duck to tbs No Contact!

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Healing September 22, 2014

In have been true NC for five weeks now. It feels like 6 months. I still get sad but it comes and goes. When I first left him my friends checked on me continuously and supported me 24-7. But after a couple weeks, much like when there is a death in the family, people move on while I am not 100% healed yet. I feel this is when the real self-healing begins and it is hard. So often I read comments from people who are overcome with sadness while they are commenting and needing help. I recognize that feeling but I also know no matter how sad I get now it is nothing compared to how sad he purposefully used to make me feel. And It is important to point out those other moments when I’m NOT sad and actually enthusiastic and excited about the new possibilities for my future.. I am happy everyday but only because I force myself to be happy – and what I mean by that is when I get upset about a random thought about him, I tell myself it is ok to be upset. I let it go through me and I take deep breaths until that panic-sick feeling in my belly subsides. I walk to a different room or location for a few minutes and look out a window. I tell myself that no matter how upset I am, or how unfair it is that he appears happy while I am left to clean up his crap, that how I feel about it doesn’t matter in the end. It honestly won’t change anything. The situation will be the same. The ONLY way it will affect me is if I let it by contacting him. If I don’t contact him, i win and get one step closer to being ok. I can remember this will pass and I won’t feel like this forever. People always say life is short…but sometimes I feel the opposite is true. Life is long,- and you and I have all the time in the world to heal and make a better life for ourselves. This will pass, you will pull yourself out of this even if it feels like it takes forever and sometimes circles back on itself, you’ll get there. Just keep going. Smile, know you are not the only one experiencing this, and yes, it will be over one day. Despite what he or she may have told you, only YOU are in control of your feelings after NC. I hope this helps some people the way other comments on here have helped me in the past 5 weeks.

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    Finding myself while In the Inbetween September 24, 2014

    Written to perfection, I am printing this as my reminder when I have these days.. Thank you for helping ME today.

    Reply
    Kim Saeed September 24, 2014

    Healing, thank you for posting your encouraging comment. I would love to use your experience for my next LMR Saturday Survivor post, if you’d agree to it. I will keep your identity confidential, only using your ID here on WP. I think your story would help others who are going through NC and feeling discouraged…

    What do you say? 🙂

    Reply
      Healing September 29, 2014

      Absolutely! I would love to help in any way I can!

      Reply
    Jessica September 29, 2014

    Thanks Healing, I’ve been in NC for 2 days but he initiated it through discarding, so I don’t know if it counts, but I’m trying to continue it on. Kim’s comments are so true in relation to ‘it’ not being easy -maybe after the 8th glass of Merlot lol, however that’s when I find myself trying to call him. I find myself doubting me every day as for the last 1.6 years I’ve suffered greatly, emotionally and physically at the hands of what I now know to be a NARC. I’ve left on numerous occasions, got an apartment, only to have that completely compromised by him, even left the country twice (just recently) for up to 6 weeks; and I go back to him always; I find that very frustrating about myself. But what I’m learning after reading this site thoroughly and consistently seeing a psychologist, is that he is a master manipulator who overrides my critical thinking. I went from being a healthy, well adjusted, professional worker (in this industry) who has never been in an abusive relationship or witnessed abuse in my upbringing, to a mere shell of my former self. I have always been fiercely loyal of friends and family; he tried like hell to sever those relationships, more so with friends, family wasn’t such an issue as they are overseas, which I think has made my situation harder. He regularly calls my friends horrible names, that we’re in lesbian relationships etc -he’s met them once. He constantly accuses me of lying, hiding him, being embarrassed of him, never taking him anywhere, the list is endless. The truth is the opposite, I never hid him or was embarrassed of him (he’s referencing appearance), he’s very attractive; I constantly asked him to go places, he always said no. All the red flags were there initially, I missed them; the relationship was one like I’d never had before, I put it down to be him being a bit of a bad ‘ass’ and it was kind of intriguing/exciting initially that he always wanted me around and acted like the big protector; no one was allowed to look at me, we’d actually leave restaurants in the beginning if he thought someone spoke to me or was looking at me; he didn’t want anyone looking at his girl? Then it started with he didn’t like me being on my phone when we were together, which was always, he thought it was rude, so I’d make sure it was put away and slowly stopped responding to my friend’s messages and sometimes family, I stopped posting on facebook and virtually using my phone all together. I learned the hard way, the first time he looked on my face book page and saw a picture of a very good friend who happens to be male; my phone went straight in the pool and him screaming at me endured for hours. There were many other times, where I’d have to sneak off to check my phone as now my friends were starting to worry if I didn’t respond and I’m also occasionally on call for work; I’d turn the brightness on the screen down all the way and often check it while in the toilet; but that usually didn’t work as he’d always come in the bathroom while yes, I was urinating or showering. After losing countless phones and ipads to him smashing them, I gave in and gave up. Initially I would engage in the verbal tirades that would go on for hours and defend myself, then I just got exhausted. Nothing I EVER said did he take on board and I’m convinced now, he could have cared less how he made me feel. Anything and everything set him off, it could be a slight comment about anything really; I went from being super chatty and outgoing to basically just listening to him talk all the time as I couldn’t deal with the yelling if I said something that upset him. Initially it was the controlling behaviours, friends, phone, isolation; then the put downs started, he was always very complimentary in terms of my physical looks (which doesn’t fit some of the stuff I’ve read here), but would call me horrible names, call me stupid, and said I wore clothes that made me look single (I’d be wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans, apparently they were too tight). He’d accuse me of wanting to look single constantly, grossly inaccurate. There were a few physical threats thrown in as well. Months 3-6, when the above really started to get bad, I would always try to leave, after he verbally assaulted me for hours, I’d either leave his house and say enough is enough or he’d throw me out; when I would leave, I’d get 50 phone calls screaming at me to come back and he could never understand why I left; when I tried to be rational and explain, I don’t like fighting, I’m walking away or ‘you’ told me to leave, he’d deny, not listen and scream more or there were the constant crying phone calls and also him leaving voice mails of him actually throwing up, screaming ‘see what you’ve done to me, you’ve made me sick’. This chaoticness went on for months and I got utterly sucked in, I was exhausted, leaving in the middle of the night or up all night because I’d stayed and just got yelled at for hours anyway. Many a nights, when I’d leave I’d book a hotel so he couldn’t follow me and sometimes, after phone call 100, I’d tell him where I was. Other nights I’d go to my apartment, I finally rented (which enraged him as I’d moved out from him), he would just follow me and threaten to smash the door if I didn’t open it, so I would open it, as I have lots of neighbours and yes, now it was becoming embarrassing. He’d come in, throw things around, pick me up physically and put me in his car all whilst saying ‘see what you made me do, if you would have just come over, I wouldn’t have to do this, you idiot’. I look at it now and think, it was virtually kidnapping. I felt trapped, 150% trapped, no where to run, no where to hide, it was easier just to stay; sometimes if it was just him and I with no outside influences ie I wouldn’t talk about anything that didn’t relate to him and never use my phone or never go anywhere, he was ok. That’s what I need to stop remembering the good times (there were some); he presents very well, he’s got a good job, he’s attractive, he’s lovely to his friends and family, he owns his own home; he promised me dreams of marriage and a baby and he’d protect me forever. In the last two weeks, I’ve been kicked, screamed at, lied to, him disappearing, blaming me for everything, dent in my brand new car, broke my new car stereo, taken from my unit against my will, pushed and verbally abused like never before and THEN he broke up with me because I refuse to live with him and I’m a demented little ‘bit*ch’; his words. He’s left me utterly devastated and I look back over the last 18 months and wonder how in the hell, me, who works with domestic violence perpetrators and people suffering from mental illness, got myself into this and why I stayed; I am lucky we weren’t married and we have no children. I constantly forgave him, took the blame (I usually felt bad the next day not him), lied to my friends to hide a lot of the above and family, tried so hard, pandered to him to keep him happy, bought him things, and most of all loved him and after all that (brief summary) I got discarded. Anyway, 2 days NC and it’s pretty miserable, I’ll have to say, but I’m spending time with friends (who are still there for me), talking regularly to family, keeping busy with work, going to counselling, and reading this website. Those are my current strategies and so far so good, it’s all very painful, but I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. For those of you who just left, I know how you feel and we are out there! Love your page Kim, it’s extremely helpful. Stay grounded and never give up except on HIM; that’s my philosophy. Thanks for listening 🙂

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      Anonymous September 29, 2014

      I can relate to almost everything you just wrote. A suggestion that has helped me after 8 glasses of Merlot or just a hard day in general: keep what you just wrote and read it everytime you miss him. Remember what he did to you over and over. It seems so contrary for a nice person to force themselves to remember horrible treatment but it is absolutely necessary. For me its been like retraining my brain and emotions. It does work – everytime a good thought of him pops up and makes you sad, purposefully redirect your thoughts to the multiple times he hurt it. I can say it has definitely been working for me as it is no longer an effort to remember the bad he caused 🙂

      Reply
firenice84 September 22, 2014

Thank you so much for this lovely post. It did indeed take several tries before severing the contact for good.

I went no contact with my sister in 2010. Well, no response from what I read, but not intentionally. She didn’t have a Facebook account when I went no contact – changed my email, my phone numbers, etc. She tried contacting me last year through Facebook saying that she missed having me as a friend, blah blah blah. I hadn’t learnt about narcissism then, but even then I realized that her message was all about her and what she wanted. In my mind, I had a gazillion things I wanted to say to her – not one of them good. I didn’t reply to her private message and ignored her friend request. She tried getting in contact with my husband. She told him that her kids would like to meet up with my kids cos they were going for a holiday in the country where I live. She had used her kids as weapons so many times, it’s not funny. It had lost its power. He replied politely that it would not be possible.

I still have days where I worry about what other things she’ll say during her smear campaign cos she has gotten in touch with some cousins of ours. But I’m learning to realize that if people are going to be swayed by the lies of the Narc, they are people I don’t need in my life.

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CPK September 22, 2014

The concept I did not initially grasp is how many attempts it would take before No Contact would hold. I think 7 is about the right number. In truth, I think this is the most difficult period, because one is in limbo. Which brings up the idea of closure. It’s so hard to realize that’s not going to happen from anything outside. I realize now that in my younger days all this was easier. Picking up and moving always helped because of the stimulation of a new environment. Also, in the dark ages before cell phones and social media it was easier. Relationships kind of ended on their own. Yes, one would hear about the ex through mutual friends, or even run into him down the line at a party…and there might have been the odd phone stalker…but in general I think it was easier to move on. I also remember that what I did when younger was to engage in some vigorous new physical activity…like running, or a dance class…or weight lifting. It made me feel better physically and boosted my self esteem. This leads to a better body, a fresh wardrobe, maybe a whole new look, and it’s all fun.So that’s where I am now…going to stop reading and posting for a 3-month period and dive head first into goal-oriented vigorous physical activity. Good luck to all!

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