No Contact is an important first step to get your power back. It also puts your attention back on you and not on the narcissist.
It puts your attention back on your needs and what you can do to heal, recover and better yourself – for your own sake.
Admittedly, doing NO CONTACT is extremely difficult.
In my experience, I found the process distressing specially during the early days, weeks and months I detached from my ex. During that time, my need for him to be accountable was strong.
I also felt an emotional pull towards him which I interpreted many times as “love” when all it ever was was my addiction towards the relationship.
Though I already stopped seeing him and no longer answered his calls, texts or emails, the compulsion to get in touch with him was still strong.
Knowledge about NPD and Narcissistic Supply gave me strength to continually do No Contact. This knowledge made me aware that once I start to communicate with him, I am giving him the permission to hurt me again / suck me back into his web of deceit and manipulate me to go back to him.
Once I made contact, I knew I’d be empowering him and disempowering myself.
The logic behind No Contact
No Contact cuts ties and any form of communication you have with a narcissist. Doing so helps clear the space enough so you can breathe and think on your own.
No Contact is YOU telling your Self:
You can heal, you can live, you can move on, you can start loving your Self right now. No one’s stopping you. You only have to allow yourself to love you.
What No Contact means
No Contact is also the best message you can give the narcissist without ever sending him one. No Contact is the best (non-)revenge
The main benefits of No Contact are two-fold: it empowers you to save yourself and it disempowers any hold a narcissist has on you.
The following are the steps I did to firmly establish NO CONTACT:
I stopped answering his texts despite his constant messages that I respond to him `just so he knows I’m alright.’
I stopped answering his calls despite him leaving messages to my young nieces and nephews saying, “Take good care of your aunt.”
I blocked him in Yahoo chat, Gmail and all other social networking sites I was in.
I blocked and deleted all comments he would leave on my blog.
I literally made myself unavailable to him.
Truthfully, there are difficulties when doing No Contact. The following are a few that I experienced:
1 I felt tremendous angst and anxiety. It was at this time that every emotion and resentment came up. I was angry at my ex for stringing me along, for abusing me, for lying to me. I was also angry towards my self for allowing him to do all these to me.
2 I had a tremendous need for justice, need for closure, need for fairness, need for him to be accountable.
3 I also, ironically, missed my narcissist ex.
But these difficulties are minor compared to the further benefits I experienced with doing No Contact:
1 No New Pain
No Contact saved me from experiencing further pain, further hurt, further betrayal.
Though keeping in touch with my ex would briefly solve my feelings of loneliness and sadness as he could have made me believe that `Everything is going to be alright now;’ `Things are going to change now’ or he could have blamed me / denied that he has NPD / denied that he has ever lied, the simple truth is that once I contact him again, the pain I felt would multiply ten-fold. Plus, the harrowing effects of making contact with him would last longer than the temporary feeling of pseudo-enjoyment.
I didn’t want to be fooled again the way I have been fooled – and allowed myself to be fooled – for more than a decade wherein I tried No Contact many times yet I would always break it and go back to him.
Being firm with No Contact stopped me from experiencing any NEW pain.
Though truthfully, there was still pain. These were old pains I previously denied.
No Contact is life-saving but it is also the time where all the hurt, lies, abuse I experienced came up and poured out that I felt I was going to die – but remarkably, I didn’t! I had to feel all of these to be able to release them.
No Contact helped me be with the most important person in the world – my Self. It also made me realize that the most important person I must spend time with is my Self. I needed to console myself, heal myself, make myself feel and be better – as no other person in the world ever could.
2 Clear Head and a Clear Heart
The freedom brought by No Contact helped clear away my fuzzy logic and confusion. It also made the facts more straight-forward and obvious.
Seen in a more objective light, the absence of my narc-ex’s manipulations and put-on charm helped me further see that my seeming longing for him to change or for us to get back together were actually me “missing” the fictional part of him – his pseudo-nice and charming side.
Truthfully, during No Contact, I also missed hoping and wishing that he’d change or that the relationship could be fixed.
There were even times I thought the relationship could still be repaired if only I tried hard enough. It was devastating yet freeing to finally understand that I have been deluding myself all along.
The truth is that he will never change – a fact that was sincerely heartbreaking yet it was also a freeing. Knowing this helped me finally accept the fact that a pseudolove relationship cannot be fixed. I just wanted to believe it would.
3 Helping my Self
No Contact helped put my attention back to my Self. Not communicating with my narcissist-ex helped me focus on what I needed to do for my betterment.
No longer was I thinking of what I must do to make him happy or to make him love me. My attention now is on what I must do to make myself happy and how to love my Self.
4 Loving my Self
The first step to authentically love my Self was to honor my body, my heart, my mind, my space, my life. In order to do all these, I must be aware of any negative thoughts, actions or utterances I receive from others specially from my narcissist-ex and consciously decide to no longer accept and participate in these.
I similarly had to be aware of any negative thoughts, actions or utterances I direct at my Self and be conscious of instances where I am unkind to my Self.
The process of loving my Self started when I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself “I’m sorry” and “I love you.”
No Contact gave me the opportunity to see myself through my eyes – not from how my narc-ex sees me but from how I see me.
I began to value myself from what I value and not from what my narc-ex values. I was able to see, hear, touch, feel my Self from my perspective.
Finally, how I thought about myself came from MY thoughts. It didn’t come from what I think my narc-ex thinks, it is not according to what my narc-ex likes or doesn’t like. I was able to appreciate myself from MY standards, not from his or others’ standards.
No Contact gave me the golden opportunity to Love My Self fully for no reason other than I just do.
5 Healing my Self
No longer must I suffer from obsessive / compulsive / ruminating thoughts. No longer should I experience pain (physical and emotional). No longer should I feel anxious / insecure / afraid.
No Contact started me on the road to recovery and healing. I needed to clear the space to make this possible. I had to decide to make this possible, I had to prioritize my self – the way I should have long before.
I couldn’t have gone through healing if my narcissist ex was still present in my life as my attention would be on him and not on my Self. He would also do what is necessary to keep me hooked onto him.
No Contact is the first step I needed to reconnect with my body, my voice, my heart.
“When I was a volunteer mute and began to speak again, I realized I had left my voice, my voice had not left me.” Maya Angelou
6 No Contact means I am standing up for myself.
No Contact helped me realize that my narcissist-ex has been projecting his fears and insecurities onto me in order to make me similarly fearful and insecure. His objective was for me to believe in everything he says – and not believe in my Self.
7 He has no power over me
By NOT sending my narcissist-ex any message, I am sending him the most important message of all: He has no power over me.
No Contact firmly established my sense of self-worth. It is also the basic foundation with which to build a future free from sadness and heartbreak.
No Contact also sent the following messages to my narc-ex:
“Nothing you say or do could make me go back to you.”
“I could live without you.”
“I am independent of you.”
“I am my own person.”
“You are not important in my life.”
“For once, I am important in MY life!”
When narcissists realize they are being ignored and once they know they no longer have power over what you think / feel / do, they experience the greatest injury of all – narcissistic injury.
Nothing hurts a narcissist more than knowing he no longer exists in someone’s life.
“The narcissist says, “I exist.” A narcissistic injury is you showing him that he does not exist in your life. Kicking him in the teeth and telling him he is a jerk is not a narcisstic injury– because he must therefore exist.
Let’s say I’m a narcissist, and you send me a 10 page letter explaining why I suck, I’m a jerk, I’m an idiot; you attack my credibility, my intelligence; and you even provide evidence for all of this, college transcripts, records from the Peters Institute, you criticize my penis size, using affidavits from past and future girlfriends– all of this hurts me, but it is not a narcissistic injury.
A narcissistic injury would be this: I expect you to write such a letter, and you don’t bother.
This is most easily seen in the failing marriage of a narcissist.
The reason it’s important is because the reaction of the narcissist to either “insult” is different. In the first example, he will be sad and hurt, but he will yell back, insult you, or cry and beg forgiveness or mercy–he will respond– maintain the relationship. He’ll say and do outrageous things that he knows will cause you to respond again, to prolong your connections, even if they cause him misery. He doesn’t care that it makes you and him miserable– he cares only that there is a you and him.
“He is not the main character in the movie. She has her own movie and he’s not even in it. That’s a narcissistic injury. That is the worst calamity that can befall the narcissist.”
Photo Credit: Furryscaly via Photopin cc