The first step to breaking free and recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you are out safely is no contact. It’s not always possible to do no contact. If you can, this is the best thing you can do. If not, it’s grey rock. Yet, so many people do get a little stuck in the no contact stage. Whether it’s due to the need for closure, self-esteem issues, the trauma bond, a need to seek revenge, not being able to let go, allowing the narcissist to contact you by not blocking them, or you find ways to contact them. You are far from alone. This, however, will only keep you trapped in the endless cycle of misery and pain that comes with a toxic relationship. Yes, it takes practice. It is a learning curve. Some people do get it straight away. For others, it takes time. Start with telling yourself after you’ve achieved one day of no contact. You will reward yourself, whatever that reward is for you, to keep you on track, then think of something to reward yourself after seven days, again after fourteen days, then after one month, and keep your mind focused on that reward or that treat, whatever it is for you. You’re not allowed it if you break no Contact, then keep going until your mind can see that life without the narcissist is much more peaceful, joyful and happy. As humans, most of us are incredibly creative in our ability to deny the negative consequences of our own actions and choices. No, you did not deserve the Abuse, no one deserves the Abuse, and with the added toxic words from the narcissists gaslighting, projection, blame-shifting and other manipulation methods, our minds end up with so many different confusing stories. So if we give ourselves a positive reward, it helps us through this no contact step.
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Unwittingly during the relationship, the narcissist learned all they needed to about you, they know all your weaknesses and your insecurities, and they’re going to use each and everyone against you now to bring you down. They remember your emotional triggers, your pain and your fears, and they will use them against you.
When a narcissist wants you back or wants revenge, they will throw all they can at you. You’ve gone into your new life wise and strong you no longer want them, you know you need to heal from trauma bonding, CPTSD, anxiety, and you’re working so hard to do so, then come to the messages, even when blocked some find a way.
When they come at you, if they start nice, you might think back to. “If only I’d have done this or not that.” start telling yourself No ifs No Buts they are toxic.
You might still be weaning yourself off them like the comedown from a highly addictive drug. The more games they throw, the more your mind gets stuck in the past with them. Do they miss me? To what are they going to do next?
If you’ve broken up before and tried to stay free, you might notice they have a pattern of tantrums they go around, the more you go no contact and don’t respond, the more some will escalate, once they have tried them all, the might circle back to the start.
Some are lazy and will leave you alone for the most part, and some will have plenty of other sources and just go all out to hurt you. It all depends on the narcissist you were tangled up with.
Some will play the waiting game, as most often, throughout the relationship, the narcissist will have manipulated through the silent treatment. As they feel entitled and above all others, they will have learned that you are the one to give in, reach out and fix things, so most will wait it out. They do hate being ignored, though, so if they’ve not got someone else feeding them attention, they might try these sooner rather than later. Some can be years down the line.
A narcissist feeds of attention, excitement, drama and control,
Ways they get to you.
1. Opening a conversation up, They might send you a message about a memory of a great time you had together, to bring up the good, to pull on your heartstrings, with an “I miss you, we were good together” and the rest, you do your best not to respond. They will up it, to the fact they have never felt this way about anyone before, now part of you might be pleased that the shoe is finally on the other foot, yet it also confuses you and makes you start to believe perhaps they do care, yet still you do not respond. They might keep going, and at some point, you could respond with a simple “we are over.” Or give an explanation as you’re feeling bad, not responding, then the narcissist has what they wanted. Contact. You might then get more pity plays off. “I can not live without you.” “You said you’d always love me.” “I need you and want us back together.” This potentially can open your heart more, and you might respond more in-depth, giving away the fact you did love them, but they’ve hurt you so much, the narcissist will love this. Now they will try to open up a full conversation with you, and you’ve been sucked straight back into the vortex of doom and gloom.
If memory doesn’t work, they might go for the pity play, and some will even fake illnesses within themselves or the children. They might try jealousy. They will try and try until they find something that gets your attention.
Write down the abuse and the bad things that happened to you within the relationship. Every time you start to doubt yourself and think of responding, look at it and remember just how manipulative they are. If you break no contact or begin to respond, just stop responding and start no contact again. Don’t focus on the slip-up; focus on you will succeed this time.
2. Announce they ended the relationship. You will have most likely spit up a few times in the past. If this time was your choice to end it, you might notice that the narcissist is telling people it was them to leave you and how crazy you are. Facebook status changing, people telling you things they are saying, and it can hurt, yet more lies. Your abandonment issues might kick in.
Stop and refocus, don’t go trying to make your point. You know the truth, we don’t need to be tit for tat on who Finished with who. Yes, it knocks out that sense of pride and ego that you finally made it out, but all you need to focus on is the main fact that you are out, what others think or believe is not for you, know your own truth. And focus on the fact that you are now free, don’t get drawn into the battle of who ended with who. Focus on you’re out.
3. The emergency. They might come to you with a crisis again, pulling your empathy of wanting to help people. They might claim to have an illness, knowing you’ll want to help and feel bad for not doing so.
Remember, first. This is possibly a complete lie. Second, if it’s true, you can not help them, you’ve tried too many times before and it will only ever hurt you, they’ll get help if they need it. Ask yourself. How many times has that person truly helped me with good intentions? Work on you and leave them to it, do not get drawn into the games. When a narcissist promises to change, they will change just long enough to suck you back in, and then once you are back in, they will punish you for making them seek therapy as in their minds it’s all your fault. They do not change, only their lies, their manipulation or their partner, never themselves.
4. Abuse by proxy, damaging property, smearing your name, having flying monkeys or enablers come at you, dragging you through the court. Changing passwords on your social media, hurting those you love, threats, financial abuse again through courts or stealing from you, stalking you, hurting you and trying to destroy you any way they can. They want to punish you for walking free. Also, as they project and believe in their reality that what they did to you, you did to them, they want revenge. If you’ve had to take the children no contact because they are not safe around the narcissist, the narcissist will blame you to all others, and if you do not let them pick children up when it suits and ignore children when it suits, they will blame you as to why they don’t have them. They are never accountable or responsible. To them, the faults within themselves and their lives are always someone else fault. They want your attention and a lot enjoy the court system as they can be the star of the show and remind themselves that they still exist to you.
If it’s court and the clown wants to drag you to the circus, prepare and learn to become the ringmaster, focus on the outcome you need and get as much support and backing as you can, get rest and take care of yourself. Pull away when you get drawn in, heal any wounds, look at your true reality and beliefs, look for the opportunities, for example, if it’s divorce, focus on what is rightfully yours and stand firm, children if you had a belief that children should always see the other parent, focus on the fact that’s only the case if the other parent is safe, look for the positives on how well the children are doing without them, how the children anxiety and attachment is healing, look at it as the last bit of the puzzle and finally getting closure, they are not looking for compromise they are looking to win, write the outcome you want and go all out to get it. If they are smearing your name, leave them to it, focus on you, don’t get drawn into the battle. The truth will come out far quicker. Write down any triggers and heal them within.
5. The new relationship. Most move on fast with a new person, often making sure you know. Some will even move in with someone close to where you live. If they believe they are losing control over you, they’ll have a backup or three waiting. They will go all out to flaunt this to you, to try and cause your pain and trauma, they will be looking like the happiest loved up a couple you ever met, to leave you questioning what was wrong with me? Where’s my dream gone? What’s so special about them? Might they move them into your home? Playing happy families with your children?
Don’t try to get into a new relationship fast yourself; it will only hurt you more. Don’t try to warn the news. They are being sold the dream they’ll not listen to you, if they come to you when it becomes their nightmare you can help, other than that stay out of it, you need to heal you, so outside situations no longer affect you on the inside. Cry it out, scream it out, know the narcissist is only doing to them what they did to you and work on loving who you are.
6. Leaving belongings behind or keeping yours as a way of staying in touch with you.
If they are yours, try to get someone else to get them, if at all possible let them go and move on, if it’s theirs, return them, remove from your home and give them back, leave at their home and take a photo and send, or deliver to a friend of theirs.
7. Making contact about random things, asking about unimportant random things.
Ignore ignore ignore.
8. Claiming they will change. They might promise change, offer a long deep conversation and offer to see councillors, work on their issues, get themselves help and want your support, they are pulling you in on your empathy towards others. It can be hard to resist as it goes against your nature.
Don’t fall for their manipulation and lies. You need to heal yourself. Remember how many other times they’ve promised a change only to cause you more pain. Focus on the fact you can not help them. You’ve tried so many times just to get further hurt if they want to go get help. It’s none of your business. Leave them to it and focus on helping yourself.
It did not start with you, and it will not end with you.
9. They might get with your new partners’ ex to play games, especially if you all have children.
Try to avoid them finding out about your new life in the first place. If they do this, then there will be a storm you have to ride out until the narcissist gets fed up and leaves them for someone new.
Get a good support network in place, people who understand what you’ve been through, get reality checks from good people if you are struggling to give them yourself.
If you can ignore all attempts for communication if the children still see them, limited contact and are incredibly dull.
Unfollow on social media. They will post things to trigger you.
Be careful about mutual friends, it’s hard, but you might need to remove some from your life.
Stick with no contact, stick to observe, don’t absorb if you can not go no contact, go grey rock, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so. Keep working on who you are, creating new routines and new dreams for you.
The two sides to a narcissist after no contact.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Anger and resentment.
How to leave.
Why they always think they are right.
Why the can not compromise.