Breaking free from narcissistic abuse.
The first step to breaking free and recovering from narcissistic abuse, once you are out safely, is going 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. We can have a bit of an internal tug of war with ourselves. Were they that bad? As one day, they can seem ok; the next, they can have an abrupt mood change or anger issues, and you never know where you stand with them, but is cutting someone off the right thing to do? What will people think of me?
If someone is toxic, they are toxic, and no contact is the best way to go. Or it could be due to the need for closure, where we have to learn closure is something we give to ourselves by closing that chapter of our life, healing from past pain, so we don’t carry it into our future by going no contact. It could be our self-esteem issues, or the trauma bond, where we have become chemically addicted to them. A need to seek revenge, understandable emotions after all they put us through, just 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 can be painful, yes, it can be a challenge, and it takes practice. It is a learning curve. Some people do get it straight away; for others, no contact takes time.
Start with telling yourself why you need to go no contact and that it will be worth it, short-term pain for long-term gain. 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.
Sometimes going no contact isn’t the hard part; it’s the guilt we feel, if it’s the other parent to our children, a friend, ex-partner, our own parents or siblings, as we care and build a bond, we can feel a large amount of guilt, depending on what extent you’ve been through, some can just feel anger and resentment, or we can work through both, these are all normal emotions after a narcissistic relationship.
Most often, we deceive ourselves into thinking that if we just reach out, if we just try to explain our point of view, if we can just get them to understand, it will not have any negative consequences in any serious way if we break no contact, just once, just to see, Sometimes life just seems far too painful without them, as they’ve downplayed their abuse and shifted the blame onto you, so we have that self-doubt and question ourselves, so we go for that quick fix of gaining relief believing the narcissist will help or wanting answers from them. It can be very hard to resist. In the case of a toxic relationship, most of us become so addicted to those crazy cycles we’ve fallen into with the narcissist, due to the human needs being met in negative ways and the trauma bond, that we find any excuse we can to let them back into our life so we can experience temporary relief from the pain we are feeling.
Because of the six human needs being met in negative ways and the trauma bonding, we are weaning ourselves off a drug from all those highs and lows the narcissist puts us through. But just as the alcoholic who gives in and takes that one drink will likely end up going straight out on a drunken bender, then having to start over from scratch, often when the narcissist comes for the hoover, we end up taking them back. It takes an average of seven attempts for people to get out and stay out of these kinds of relationships, so if you stayed out on the first or the twenty-first, you’re not alone; if you haven’t yet, you can. You will just do so safely; although the narcissistic personality disorder is on a spectrum, those with little to no empathy can be dangerous; some are just mentally abusive, some are mentally and physically, so make a safe exit plan.
If you have already tried no contact or grey rock and broken it, you might already know all too well that we are the ones who pay the price for breaking No Contact. Our only hope for true recovery and freedom is by taking those baby steps each. Every day, riding out the storms of the times we want to reach out, the times we want to defend ourselves to the mass smear campaigns and those feelings of withdrawal and the cravings most of us do have at the start of no contact with the narcissist. The steps to losing the narcissist and, indeed, withdrawing and healing from our past are the same as quitting any other addictive substances. Your addiction and the thoughts and feelings it produces in you are nothing to be ashamed of at all, and you are far from alone in how you feel. Yet it is something you need to, and you will overcome. We have a remarkable ability within ourselves to alter our own mindsets and recreate ourselves, and we have a greater chance of doing so by sticking to no contact or grey rock. So you can lift the brain fog and the toxic spell they put us under, to day by day, start seeing clearly and thinking clearly for yourself while starting then using your present to focus on creating a much happier future for yourself.
Thinking about a brighter future, something to give you the will to drive you forwards, something to focus on when those toxic thoughts of the past pop uninvited to your mind, so you can shift those thoughts out and focus on what you want from life, having the power to control the thoughts within your mind, yes things we don’t want to think about might pop by, we either need to heal from them, learn from them or let them go and part of letting the past go, which is now just a part of our imagination, yes we lived it at that time. Still, now it’s a memory which is our imagination, is to have the power to imagine something we want from our future, something that brings us joy, something that, when those days are hard, gives us the strength, drive, determination and will power to keep moving forward, when tired we might need to rest, we need to quit the things that no longer serve us, the toxic, negative, energy drainers, never quit on you, as you’re worth so much more.
What is no contact, and how to implement it?
No Contact is no contact with someone whom you no longer have any form of communication with them; as we have a history with them, our minds like to trick us into checking their social media, believing this to be no contact, yet keeping us trapped in the painful past. There are several specific things you need to do when it comes to no contact with a narcissist to make sure that it’s genuinely no contact; most of us do slip up at first, as it is Unnatural to most. It’s a learning curve, so please don’t worry if you have or do. Just go again.
1. Blocking them from all of your social networks This, including Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Snapchat, Facetime, Youtube, Pinterest, WhatsApp, TikTok, Clapper, LinkedIn, eBay etc. Make a complete list of all the networks you use and remove them from each and every one. Some narcissists have been known to contact through your bank, depositing a small amount of cash with a short message. So if you can not block, close the accounts and open new ones, yes, it’s extreme, yes, it’s annoying, but you’re dealing with extremely irritating people. The only way to get out of the games they play is to stop playing the games that we didn’t know we were in; once aware of the games, it’s a case of short-term pain for long-term gain. Many of us have a hard time hitting the unfriend button on the narcissist on our social media networks, then hitting delete and block. This is usually due to two things. First, most of us believe it’s cruel. If you find yourself with this thought, write down all those times you’ve needed them and they were not there for you. You’d do well to recognise the fact that, for all the sympathy you may show the narcissist, they are plotting ways to get to you; some will use social media to show you their replacement of you and how well they are apparently treating them.
Another reason that you may find it’s hard to block the narcissist from your social networks is that it might not feel ready or and you may not be fully prepared to completely and permanently remove them from your life; NO CONTACT can feel like a death of a loved one only they are still alive, and if you can just try this, no because whatever you try they will only sink you to their level. In many ways, it is like the death of a loved one. The illusion of the person you thought they were, the dreams you were sold and were never delivered. You have to remove negative and toxic people from your life for your own sanity. Remember that the person you loved and who is now gone from your life was really just an illusion, anyway. Feelings of guilt, from the whole they are family, family or not no one is entitled to treat you like rubbish, those who do, you’re entitled to cut out of your life. Start creating new dreams for yourself and focusing on making those a reality as you can. You’re in charge of your mind and your life. Now is the time to take back control of you.
2. Blocking them from all your email accounts, personal, business, old and new. If you feel the need to explain what you are doing, then send them a final email immediately before blocking them. I would recommend not explaining, as they’re not listening, it’s just feeding their ego, but some of us find it easier to do so. Don’t do it if you want a reply, and don’t look for a reply because doing so will only lead to driving yourself crazy. Don’t talk yourself into thinking you can communicate with them. All you’ll ever get in return is blame-shifting, project and all the other forms of psychological manipulation you’ve been subjected to so many times before. The narcissist is looking for control and will always think they are right, and you are wrong.
3. Blocking them from your mobile phone. Some phones no longer allow the complete blocking of numbers. Do not listen to any voicemails left by the narcissist, as tempting as this may be. Save them in case you need to them for a possible harassment/stalking, non-molestation or restraining orders. Before you delete messages, make sure you’ll not need them for court cases; save them. Some phone plans allow you to call your service provider and block numbers through them using a password. Let a friend or family member have the password so that you won’t have the ability to unblock the narcissist’s number. Sometimes you might have to take the step just to get a new number and let all your contacts know, don’t tell those who you suspect might inform the narcissist of your new number. This method is especially helpful for those who had problems maintaining no contact, which many of us do, and unblocked the narcissist from their phones during moments of weakness; again, please don’t worry if you’ve had those moments; it’s ok, just like learning anything keep going until you succeed.
4. Do not answer the door if they come over, as the abusive narcissist will often do just that when they have no other ways or means of contacting you. But don’t be fooled by them, do not open the door; it only shows the narcissist that they are still in control, which is all they really want; we can often feel and think that ignoring them is being unkind and cruel. Nevertheless, if you open the door, they will be validated in their idea that you are inferior and easy to fool and that they genuinely are superior and can do as they please. Ignore those feelings and remember just how badly they’ve treated you and let you down, not been there for you when you truly needed them, that they do it to cause you psychological pain. You are doing it to remove that pain from your life. If they are persistent and continue knocking on your door, walk away from it, and go to a far room. Call the police. This can be challenging to do, but it’s hard for police to gain enough evidence to charge these people, so building up that record of their games helps you in the future. You are taking a stand; all they want is power and control, so those who persist don’t think that they are doing it because they love or care; they are doing it either because they want to use you for something or realise they are losing control of you.
I’m all for treating people how you wish to be treated, but if they cannot treat you with loyalty, respect and honesty, I’m for treating them in a language they understand, ignoring them, yet not hurting them, to heal you.
5. Not responding to any of the narcissist’s flying monkeys, friends or family that they send your way in order to give you information from the narcissist or in order to provide the narcissist with information about you. You will most likely have to block and delete their family, friends and mutual friends. Only have one trusted friend that you share your struggles with. You will need to inform everyone else who tries to initiate a conversation with you regarding the narcissist that you are moving on and prefer not to talk about the situation. Or if someone tells you something that the narcissist has said, respond with. “Oh, this is very interesting. Please tell me what I did next.” If you have mutual friends, you might have to leave them with the narcissist. The only other thing is not to inform them of anything about you, or if you believe the narcissist is getting information from someone you know, tell those you think it might be a different story and then wait to see which one the narcissist finds out about, their your flying monkey, no contact them, yes that’s hard, but remember they are telling things about you to others. People who don’t respect you are not needed in your life. Joining support groups can help you connect with others who understand what you’ve been through.
6. Any letters that arrive from them to you, give them to a good friend or relative to open and let them see if it’s a legal matter or just another of the narcissist’s attempts at hoovering. If you are being harassed, give them to the police. For any that arrive for them, simply put return to sender and back into the post box. not opening any cards, boxes or packages that they might have delivered to your home or work. If you are at home when the delivery person arrives, determine if it’s something from the narcissist and, if so, refuse the delivery. If you aren’t home and the item is left at your door, give it to a trusted friend or neighbour without opening it. If you think it may have evidence, give it to the police. Or mark it as a return to sender and take it to the sorting office.
7. Do not accept any new friend requests on social networks, as these are often online surveillance cameras for narcissists, especially if it’s a new profile with no picture. The new friend request could either be the narcissist themselves or one of their flying monkeys sent to monitor your Facebook activity. You may find that ignoring friend requests is rude or mean, but you’ll want to let go of this. Now is the time to protect yourself and do what’s right and best for you. You have every right to your privacy and a peaceful and happy life. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept the request.
Finally, no contact is to free yourself from them and your past. To let them go left while you go right, it is not the silent treatment. The silent treatment is what narcissists use to hurt you. No contact is used to heal you, as you don’t want people in your life who wish to hurt you.
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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.
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