Narcissist Relationship Recovery: Why ‘No Contact’ is Crucial

Hello everyone and thank you for being here.  After a relationship with a narcissist, there are a few tried and true steps to take that will allow our recovery and healing to progress in the best possible way.  During the narcissistic abusive relationship, we have suffered mightily, and the abuse has taken a toll on our minds, hearts, brains, souls, spirits, and perhaps even caused significant physical health issues.  There is just no denying that being in an abusive relationship (family relationship, friendship, romantic relationship, etc.) DAMAGES the victim. Healing is a MARATHON event, not a sprint.  It is painful. Acutely so. There is nothing most of us have been through that can compare to the emotional pain we suffer at the END of the relationship.  Yes, what we experience throughout the relationship is chaotic, stressful, harmful, and abusive with lasting negative effects.  The END of the relationship is a different ‘thing’ altogether and often is wrought with unimaginable distress, emotional turmoil, and heartbreaking pain.  Having said that however there ARE things we can and SHOULD do to help our recovery and healing from abuse that will assist us in the process.  One of these strategies is “No Contact”. We will discuss what it is, why it is important, and why it works.  There are other topics to be discussed for our recovery and healing of course but No Contact is supremely important, so we’ll start here.  (‘No Contact’ will be capitalized throughout this article for clarification and ease of reading).

Simply stated: No Contact is the ABSOLUTE (100 %) cessation of ANY AND ALL CONTACT with a narcissist through any means, any platform, any venue whatsoever (this will need to be altered for the sake of parallel parenting with the narcissist regarding children, a topic for a different day). No Contact is the NEVER AGAIN speaking to the narcissist (narc), acknowledging the narc, texting, calling, emailing, driving by, and on and on…. No Contact is complete, concrete, steadfast, and absolute – with NO EXCEPTIONS, nor any excuses or alterations.

“A narcissist will keep the ‘game’ of contact going for as long as YOU allow it.  A narcissist will ALWAYS come back in some form or fashion either to punish you further for ending the relationship, or to get their much-needed hit of attention (which can be positive or negative, it does not matter to the narcissist as they thrive in chaos). WE must be the ones to end ALL contact via No Contact and Blocking.  THE NARCISSIST WILL LOVE THE POWER AND SUPERIORITY THEY FEEL WITH EVERY SINGLE CONTACT, whether initiated directly or through other sources (a narc will use friends and family members to reach out to victims).”  L.A. Gilliam

Throw out the window ANY PREVIOUS notions and preconceived ideas you may have had about what the ‘end of a relationship’ should, could, or can look like. These will NOT apply with a narcissist and we MUST adjust our normal expectations for a healthy, communicative, ‘normal’ end to this abusive relationship. WE MUST adjust our own thoughts, behaviors, actions, reactions, and beliefs at the end of a narcissist relationship as everything we ever thought, even in a difficult breakup, just will NOT apply here.  This is important to ACCEPT and acceptance of this fact will allow the ability to adjust your own actions and reactions.  The ‘normal and healthy’ conclusion to an ending relationship is not possible with a narcissist, so don’t expect it. The emotional distance, physical distance, and detachment one normally experiences in a relationship breakup will NOT be honored by the narcissist; it must BE YOU THAT TAKES CONTROL here.

It may be helpful to think of the end of the narcissist / abusive relationship as a deep physical wound that is in the process of healing.  The wound will need time, possible treatment by a professional, and to be LEFT ALONE to heal.  Every single time we pick at the wound, or uncover the bandage to ‘see how it is doing’, prompts the REOPENING of the wound and HALTS HEALING.  Most Moms, Dads, and Doctors will advise their children and patients to leave their wounds alone with statements such as, “Stop picking at it!”, and “I know it itches, but you have to leave it alone!”.  In very much the same way ending the narcissist relationship, full of emotional, mental, and sometimes physical abuse requires this same ‘hands off’ approach.

No Contact is the complete and TOTAL 100% stopping of any action, REACTION, response, or behavior that puts you either in direct or INDIRECT contact with the narcissist (and may need to be extended to mutual friends and family).  Here are some reasons why No Contact is necessary:

  • During the abusive / narcissist relationship, our thoughts, emotions, processing of our environment, ability to concentrate, and perceptions CHANGE.  It should scare the living daylights out of all of us to know this is a fact, and these changes can be measured and quantified via medical  and psychiatric health professionals. Over time, we exist in a FOG where things are no longer clear, we lose track of time, our memories may be affected, we have difficulty in making even simple decisions, we can’t concentrate, we doubt ourselves and others, stability is lost. No contact allows a gradual return to clarity, stability, and assurance of our OWN thoughts, emotions, a return to increased concentration and decision making, as well as returning to solid, accurate, and reliable perceptions, ideas, and opinions.  Remember, during the abusive relationship, we were punished for having our OWN perceptions, opinions, ideas, and thoughts and over time this conditioning literally changes our thought and emotional stability, thought processes, and patterns.  We must have A COMPLETE CESSATION to the very person who created in us these very disturbing changes and this CANNOT be a part-time, sometimes, ‘with exceptions’ endeavor.  It must be 100% all the time, solid, steadfast, secure, resolute, absolute, and CONCRETE.
  • During the abusive narcissist relationship, our biological / anatomical / autonomic / sympathetic / parasympathetic systems CAN CHANGE.  Let that sink in for a minute, or two, or ten.  Sit with that knowledge for a bit, and realize the devastation of this fact.  OUR BODIES SUCCUMB TO EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL ABUSE, and devastating physical abnormalities can develop allowing opportunity to create long-standing health difficulties.  Headaches? You bet. Intestinal issues? Of course. Facial / body / muscular tics that were never present before?  Yes. Neck and back pain?  You bet.  Not getting enough sleep and/or rest?  Obviously. And so so much more.  While in my relationship, I developed a very strange and never-before experienced abdominal rumbling that sounded like thunder.  No pain necessarily, but the sounds coming from my upper and lower intestines were unlike anything I’d ever heard before, OR SINCE.  Do you know, as soon as I was OUT of the relationship and STAYED OUT, I never again – not even ONE TIME – experienced this same abnormality?  I also had developed a tic in my left eyebrow.  Now since resolved, it has never returned.  My body was reacting to the ever-present state of emotional distress, the heightened state of ‘fight or flight’ that was always near.  My body was TELLING me things were not right.  My body was telling me to GET OUT of this relationship.  My physical health was being negatively affected by the EMOTIONAL abuse.  No Contact allows the adjustment, the healing of the bodily systems that have lived under duress.  The body needs FULL and complete healing, which CANNOT be achieved with continued contact with the narcissist.  Any contact keeps us IN THE ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP CYCLE, and our bodies will NOT have the chance to HEAL.  Just like with any other recoverable illness or sickness, our bodies must have TIME, distance, and treatment away from that which made us ill in the first place.  In THIS case, time, distance and treatment (in the form of counseling in many cases) AWAY from the narc is required.  No Contact will allow this process to happen.
  • ANY contact, no matter how benign it may SEEM, has a negative affect.  ANY CONTACT.  Remember, the narcissist will invest time, money, effort and energy to WIN YOU BACK through hoovering (shown through ongoing sporadic OR consistent contact, the continuation of trying to reach out to you, attempts to connect with you, etc.) and love bombing (false promises, gifts, flowers, dates, attention, flattery, etc.). YOU MUST DENY ALL OF THESE ATTEMPTS and the way to do that IS TO BLOCK THE NARCISSIST ON YOUR PHONE, CELL PHONE, EMAIL, SOCIAL MEDIA, and everything else you can possibly think of the narc may use to contact you.  Any contact you ALLOW (and if you are NOT blocking the ex narc, you ARE allowing contact; no need to sugar coat the truth) gives the narc opportunity to WEASEL their way back into your life, heart, head, and soul. DO NOT ALLOW THIS.  You simply MUST protect yourself through Blocking and No Contact.  Do NOT think you are ‘strong enough’ to ‘handle it’. All it takes is ONE bad moment, one moment of vulnerability or weakness, and ALL OF YOUR HEALING AND RECOVERY and resolve flies out the window.  Your life will again return to the chaos, harm, and abuse if you allow this.   NEVER underestimate the lengths a narcissist will go to in order to once again CAPTURE your attention (positive or negative), invite a chance to reconcile, or even a chance to PUNISH YOU FURTHER through blame, manipulation, shame, projection and deflection.  Do you want to know what I was PROMISED if I reconciled?  A BOAT!  And helicopter rides!  A BOAT!  I had never even expressed an interest in a boat, yet – the narc was hopeful THIS would make a difference.  Nope.  ** Again, I understand with children Blocking and No Contact is not possible.  Please research ONLINE EMAIL PARENTING APPS that will allow ANY AND ALL contact related to the children (and ONLY the children) via this platform.  Online emailing eliminates the ‘he said / she said’ issue, and can be used in a court of law as documentation, evidence, and proof.  Using a parenting email app should be NON-NEGOTIABLE.  Please, look into this with your attorney if you have children with the narcissist.
  • Time, space, distance emotionally and physically, and detachment ARE REQUIRED for recovery and healing.  There is NO doing this part time or halfway.  If you choose to continue to engage with the narcissist, your healing will be delayed, complicated, messy, and MUCH WORSE than if you had employed Blocking and No Contact.  Why continue the abusive cycle?  Why do this to yourself?  This is actually considered a form of SELF-ABUSE by some in therapeutic counseling circles.  I will reserve my judgment on this point as self-abuse is far too complicated to handle via this forum.  It does pay to think about and analyze however, the REASONS behind the choice to continue contact, if you do.  CONTINUED CONTACT IS ALWAYS A CHOICE, and THERE ARE REASONS you choose to continue involvement and contact with an abuser.  Those reasons should be addressed with a qualified therapist, skilled in the area of narcissistic abuse.

Here are some examples of what NO CONTACT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE:

  • Checking social media for what the narcissist is doing.
  • Checking social media for where the narcissist has been.
  • Checking social media for who the narcissist is with.
  • Checking social media of the friends of the narc (for the purpose of trying to find a picture or post about or by the narc).
  • Checking social media of the family members of the narc (for the purpose of trying to find a picture or post about or by the narc).
  • Checking social media for ANY reason related to the narc.
  • Looking up old posts / pictures of the narc on social media.
  • Driving by the narcissist’s home.
  • Driving by the narcissist’s place of employment.
  • Driving by restaurants, malls, shopping centers, and other venues on the off chance the narc’s car (or they themselves) will be there.
  • Driving by mutual friends’ homes, friends of the narcs, family members of the narcs, etc.
  • Allowing (or initiating) text messages from the narc to come through.
  • Allowing (or initiating) emails from the narc to come through.
  • Allowing (or initiating) phone calls from the narc to come through.
  • Allowing (or initiating) social media interaction by the narc to come through.
  • Allowing ANY INCOMING communication attempts via any platform.
  • Looking up police records, public records, official records related to the narcissist (in some cases, an attorney may need to do this for court purposes). In some cases, research may be necessary to solidify court proceedings; these are best left to you attorney.
  • ANYTHING that keeps the narcissist IN your life on ANY level, under any circumstance (see above notes on issues relative to children).

I must state that many of these above items are TEMPTING, and we may in fact not be able to deny every single urge, every single time, every single moment of every single day or night.  WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, not robots, and I FULLY understand that.  Having said this however, we MUST accept our OWN responsibility, and the resulting NEGATIVE consequences, should we continue to engage in any of the above.

Everyone, I know how hard this is.  I know there may be very REAL relationship ADDICTION factors at play that need attention.  Don’t forget, I too was involved with a narcissist.  I too, have gone through this very LONG and arduous recovery and healing process.  I get it, I do.  The intention here is to allow knowledge and understanding to motivate and perpetuate healthy and solid, productive decisions, allowing abuse recovery and healing to progress as smoothly as possible.   This IS a marathon everyone, not a sprint.  It in fact, may be the most difficult recovery and healing journey you ever take.  You are so WORTH any quality decision that will HELP you heal.  Every decision we make moves us CLOSER into healing, or further away.  Please, please take advantage of the benefits (even through the devastating pain) of Blocking and No Contact.   The last and very important point here is that YOU RECLAIM YOUR POWER and strength through these very difficult strategies.  Over time, YOU WILL HEAL.  Blocking and No Contact can help you along this journey.   Remember, the END of a narcissistic abusive relationship is a different ‘thing’ altogether and often is wrought with unimaginable distress, emotional turmoil, and heartbreaking pain.  PLEASE take steps that will lessen these things in your life.  Blocking and No Contact CAN AND DO HELP.   Best, L.A.

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Let Acceptance Free You From Narcissist Abuse

Hello everyone.  Take a deep breath, drop your shoulders if needed, grab coffee, tea, water, and let’s chat.  I’d like to discuss how ‘ACCEPTANCE’ can indeed free you from Narcissistic Abuse, even though I know some of you reading this feel you will NEVER be free.  I firmly believe that acceptance is key here; through acceptance of the truth, of reality, of personality disorders (particularly narcissistic personality disorder here) and the nature therein, we can indeed bring freedom our way.  Freedom from abuse.  Freedom from our own faulty thoughts.  Freedom from false hope, freedom from clinging to dreams that just won’t come true.  This is NOT an easy task as by and large we are sensitive, caring, supportive, and loving people.  It is NOT our nature to ‘leave people high and dry’, or to dismiss others out of hand.  In the case of a narcissist (narc) however, we must fully accept the truth and reality in the here and now, in order to save ourselves from further abuse.  In fact, fully accepting the truth and reality can bring us freedom.

“It is supremely uncomfortable for us to deny our own basic care-giving personalities; to actually turn our backs on those that are abusing us. It goes against our very characters to leave others who we may interpret as needing us, or needing help, or needing supportive care.  In the case of a narcissist however, this ‘turning our backs’ in fact is the VERY thing that will save our hearts, and our souls.  Acceptance of who the narcissist truly IS will be key to the creation of your healthy and happy future.”  L.A. Gilliam

This might be a good time to take a self-inventory, assessing your own thought patterns, your own behavior, and your own hopes and dreams.  In a ‘normal’ and healthy relationship, even one that did not work out, it is likely your thoughts, behaviors, hopes and dreams were appropriate, even if not placed within the ‘right’ relationship or with the ‘right person’.  In a normal and healthy relationship we are REWARDED, supported, and uplifted through shared thoughts, behaviors, hopes, and dreams with our partners and loved ones…. and we START the narc abuse relationship in much the SAME WAY.  This is because in the beginning we have NO idea of who we have become involved with; we were only shown the ‘good sides’ or the ‘false persona’ of the narcissist in the early days/weeks/months of the relationship.  Of course we had thoughts, behaviors, hopes, and dreams surrounding the relationship and person!  That is so normal!  But again, we didn’t know what we DIDN’T know, and what we DIDN’T know was that we were with a narcissist.  So, let me ask a few questions:

  • Do you, or did you, continue thinking you could ‘help’ the narcissist by being even MORE understanding than you usually are, or MORE supportive than you have/had already been?
  • Did you continue to think that if you would ‘just work harder’ at making the narc happy, the relationship had a chance of working out?
  • Did you think, or do you think, that if you could somehow just CHANGE yourself that perhaps over time, things would return to the good times that you had with this person in the beginning of the relationship?
  • Are you hoping, or have you hoped that things WOULD return to their once ‘happy’, fun, loving, and caring state?
  • Do you, or have you, given reasons for the narc’s bad behavior consistently and ongoing?  Telling yourself things like “I really should be more understanding, I know they had a hard day”, or “I really need to be more supportive through this difficult time”?  Is this, or has this been a repeated pattern of YOURS?
  • Do you dread, or have feelings of fear or anxiety, over ‘what might happen today’?
  • Do you fear what the narcissist may do in the future?
  • Do you or have you stayed quiet, when in truth, you really wanted to ask a question or speak out and up about something?

I literally could keep going, but I am hoping you will see where I am going with these points.  When WE change, when we work so hard, over and over day in and day out, to adjust our OWN authentic selves for the sake of another person, or to keep the peace or keep them happy, SOMETHING IS WRONG.  Seriously wrong.  In an abusive relationship with a narcissist, over time we will be CONDITIONED through various punishment techniques to do just what I have listed above.  Conditioning is a VERY powerful mental and emotional abuse tactic that a narc / toxic person will use to positively reward you for keeping them happy, and punish you (see previous articles on the punishment tactics used by a narcissist) when you DARE to question them, go against their wishes (which are actually demands), have a differing opinion that you stand up for, or speak up about something.  CONDITIONING over time can literally change our brain chemistry, our autonomic response systems, our subconscious functioning, as we react to perceived or literal threats to our safety and well being.  This is no joke everyone, and something to think about VERY carefully.  If you have been victim of conditioning for any length of time whatsoever, I can guarantee you, you are suffering mightily.

Now, let’s take a look at the concept of ‘ACCEPTANCE’.  Simply stated, acceptance is the ability to see, realize, understand and ADOPT into our lives the truth and reality AS IS in this very moment, not as we WANT or hoped them to be.  There is a huge mental and emotional barrier to cross here; we MUST cross the barrier into acceptance to FREE ourselves from the above described thoughts and behaviors KEEPING us in toxic relationships.  We MUST let go of what we WANT reality to be and see, realize, understand and ADOPT into our lives WHAT IS.  If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above bullet points, you are misplacing your precious time, emotional and mental energy, as well as effort into a no-win relationship; and in fact, possibly an abusive relationship.  I can assure you if you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you are being emotionally and mentally (and sometimes physically) abused.  There is no mincing words here; there is no need to sugar coat the truth. When you deny yourself REALITY and live in the above described ways, you are modifying your authentic self, giving up so much of who you are in order to maintain a toxic / abusive relationship.

Let’s take a closer look at the awakening of ‘acceptance’, and what it might look like in your daily life with your relationship with the toxic person:

  • You recognize the person treating you poorly has the ONLY responsibility for such treatment; you know YOU are not responsible for this treatment or abuse.  The responsibility rests solely on the shoulders of the abuser.
  • You understand the toxic person / abuser is not emotionally nor mentally healthy, and you will not make excuses for them nor their behavior toward you or others.
  • You begin to understand and SEE that the relationship in the beginning was good or even great, but that it has changed, become unstable, yet YOU are the same.  You realize it is not YOU who is now becoming abusive; you see these things in your partner, friend, or family member.
  • You allow yourself the GRACE and honor of feeling your feelings, and feel strength building as you recognize you have a RIGHT to those feelings, and the abuser’s admonishment and denying you this very right starts feeling even more ‘wrong’.
  • You are no longer trying to ‘stuff’ your feelings, or push them away.  Similarly to the above point, you are allowing them to surface, gaining knowledge and strength in the power of knowing deep in your heart that something is seriously wrong. YOU ARE NO LONGER MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE ABUSE.
  • You are able to recognize more and more words or actions that don’t feel right; more and more moves to the forefront.  What you once overlooked is now behavior that is becoming unacceptable to you.
  • You may feel a DEEPLY CONFUSING battle between your head and heart.  You are starting to KNOW in your head logically that this is a toxic relationship yet, you still DO have love for the person.  This tug-of-war between your heart and head has a name:  Cognitive Dissonance, and it is very hard to reconcile, but we must. YOU ARE STARTING TO AWAKEN. As terrifying as this is, this is a wonderful place to be, for from here – your exiting of the toxic abusive relationship will follow.
  • Perhaps you are starting to do research into the ‘symptoms’ of your relationship, maybe reading articles, blogs, and finding out information that is all quite new to you, but also seems to FIT your relationship.  This is also part of the awakening, and education is KEY.
  • You are beginning to understand that all your hard work is for nothing, nothing is changing (no matter what promises are made), the abuse continues, you seem to be working harder, and somehow – even with all your effort – the relationship is still toxic, harmful, and abusive.
  • You start to ACCEPT that your partner, friend, or family member may be deeply troubled, disturbed, or disordered.

Now, here is the MONUMENTALLY important piece:  You MUST accept this person for WHO THEY ARE in the HERE AND NOW, and understand that in the case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there will BE NO LASTING PERMANENT POSITIVE CHANGE, and the abuse will ALWAYS return.  Look back over the relationship through the months and years; is this true for you?  Do you find that even after some good times, or a pleasant, loving stretch of the relationship, the ABUSE again returns?  That is because the abusive side of the narcissist NEVER goes away. IT IS WHO THEY ARE.  IT IS THEIR CHARACTER; not a quirk, not a ‘bad day’, not stress-related, not because of ANYTHING else.  It is their CHARACTER.  Let that sink in.  CHARACTER.  Their inner being.  Their TRUE selves.   Understanding that this is the truth, this is reality, can bring the ultimate ACCEPTANCE which can lead to your FREEDOM from abuse.

As we finish here today, a few considerations for you.  How long have you already lived in an abusive relationship?  Has anything YOU’VE done made a lasting difference to the relationship?  Has there been LASTING, positive change with no instances of abuse?  If the answer is ‘no’ to the last two questions, you may indeed be involved with a narcissist, or another Cluster B Personality Disordered individual.   You MUST accept the truth and the reality of this very day, this very relationship – AS IT STANDS here and now.  You must accept the very nature of the person, friend, family member for WHO THEY ARE.  Only then, can you make a quality decision for your own life, letting this acceptance lead the way to positive choices that will ensure your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, safety, and stability.  You have this ONE life.  Just ONE!  Let acceptance of what we’ve discussed here today lead all your future decisions, knowing that last positive change will not happen with a narcissist.  It just won’t.  How much longer do you want to invest in an abusive relationship, with an abusive person, when there is truly no chance of lasting positive change?  Only you know the answer, and I hope your answer is NOT ONE MORE DAY.  Please, please.  Let acceptance settle in your heart and soul.  I know this is a lot to digest.  A lot to understand.  A lot to ACCEPT.  Accept you must however, because to do otherwise is to continue to invest your heart and soul and effort, energy, emotion, and time into thoughts, behaviors, hopes, and dreams into a relationship and person that just have no way of providing you loving care, respect, understanding, support, and positive regard.  Don’t you deserve those things?  Of course you do! Ultimately, it is OUR responsibility to create the life we desire, regardless of others who are in it, regardless of what it TAKES to ensure a healthy, happy, and safe life. It is OUR responsibility.  Make a decision today that you will not live ONE MORE day in abuse.  You can do this.  Best, L.A.

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The Narcissist’s World: Welcome to Hypocrisy

Hi everyone, and thank you for stopping by!  We’ve had plenty of discussion, thoughts, and analysis about the ‘Narcissist’ (aka ‘narc’), and there is more yet to come.  Today, we’ll be talking about ‘The Narcissist’s World: Welcome to Hypocrisy’.  As the title suggests, narcissists are the BEST at holding other people to task (real, OR imagined), accusing others of real or imagined slights, having the expectation of perfection of the other people in their lives, have a million rules for everyone else to follow – yet we learn over time – the narcissist do none of these same things, have none of these same expectations, for themselves.  Welcome to HYPOCRISY.  Welcome to the world of the narcissist NEVER holding themselves accountable in the same way, never following the rules they demand of others, and demonstrating a hypocritical world of “YOU must do and act as I say, but you must NEVER hold me to the same standard”.   Needless to say, having one of ‘these people’ in your life, living under these conditions, is unhealthy, emotionally and mentally draining, and can cause long term negative health issues.  *I must also state here while we primarily discuss Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), many of these characteristics would also hold true of other Cluster B personality disorders ie. Borderline, Histrionic, Anti-Social, etc.

“Know someone who lives one way, yet holds everyone else, or even just one person, to a higher/different standard, one they themselves never exhibit?  Know someone who expects perfection and holds you to task, while completely denying their own faults and shortcomings?  Know someone who is quick to point out ‘what they think you have done wrong’ (remember, much of this is projection; they cast THEIR own issues upon others), yet NEVER own up to their own mistakes?  This is a narcissist in a nutshell; the disordered individual casting rules and expectations upon others, while living up to none themselves (unless for an audience, of course).”  L.A. Gilliam

In any relationship, friendship, working relationship, etc., there is a standard of behavior expected on both sides.  Normal people are able to understand they have rules by which they must abide, understand how to treat others with respect and honor, and for the most part treat others well, without causing harm.  This is a social moray found in our daily lives, although it would seem through news coverage and social media, the days of neighbors and strangers treating each other well are few and far between.  All in all however, there is just a ‘code’ among humans of do no harm, help where and when you can, and be kind to other human beings.  Often in the case of a narcissist however, we only find out TOO LATE that the person upon whom we have placed these very healthy and normal expectations CANNOT uphold their ‘end of the bargain’.  In this case, you may be subjected to the ongoing lofty and unreasonable demands of the narcissist, who in turn doesn’t seem to feel ‘honor bound’ to live in the same way they are demanding of you.  Enter:  Frustration.

Let’s break down some fundamental ‘behind the scenes’ motivation and examples of this narcissistic behavior, as well as a few ‘Survivor Strategies’ for handling such demands:

  • In the unbalanced power dynamic the narcissist (narc) will try to employ over you, it will be UP to you to enforce strong boundaries.  A narc will often demand daily attention, fawning over, and assistance with every day tasks to ‘help’ them (often it is to alleviate their own responsibilities, shifting those to you, if you allow it).   This may look like the expectation of always preparing their meals, or coffee.  It may look like requests for assistance in picking out clothes, shoes, ‘what to wear’, etc.  This make take the form of running errands on their behalf because they are ‘too busy’ or have a meeting or some other demand on their time.  Here’s the thing:  The MOMENT you ask for a return ‘favor’, or the moment you ask for assistance, it is highly likely you will be brushed off, your request denied, even if you state it is important to you.  This is the narc’s attempt to control your time, actions, while ensuring their needs never go unheeded.  It ALSO depletes YOUR wants, needs, and desires; the narc will make it clear those things are NOT important to him/her, but YOU are held accountable for always being available for THEIR requests.  What a twisted dynamic and the narc will take, take, take all you allow them to, and then ask for more – while never providing the same courtesies for you….  HYPOCRISY personified.  Survivor Strategy:  Say ‘NO’.  You don’t have to be mean nor rude, but a simple statement of “No”, or “No, I can’t right now”, or “That’s not possible for me” will take care of it.  Oh, you can expect some kind of punishment to come your way; the narc may pout at not having their demands met, they may ignore you for a time, they may get angry or even show rage.  You MUST learn to say “NO” to narc requests, or eventually you will be so depleted for caring for their requests, that you no longer have energy to  take care of yourself.  This is one illustration of the imbalance of a narc/abuse relationship.
  • A narcissist will demonstrate HYPOCRISY by accusing you of doing what THEY are in fact doing, and while they are at it, will bring in third parties (known as ‘minions’, or ‘flying monkeys’) to smear your name and good reputation and positive regard.  Here’s the thing:  Narcissists LIVE differently and process the world and people in it DIFFERENTLY. Often their lives are nothing but chaos day in and day out; night in and night out.  They process normality as boring, and will create chaos where there wasn’t any – just to feel ALIVE.  When they do this and you become their target however – all the blame will be placed upon YOU, and the lies and smear campaign will become part of their HYPOCRISY.  They will be so quick to talk behind your back, fabricating 1/2 truths or outright lies altogether, yet NEVER take responsibility for their own part in the issue.  They will DENY wrong doing at every turn while painting YOU as the guilty party.  They will assume the victim mentality to everyone who will listen (often those with weak boundaries, or who have been ensnared by the narcissist’s web), when in actuality, YOU are the victim.  HYPOCRISY; the name of the game with a narc.  Survivor Strategy:  You may decide at some point to let others know what is happening, or what has happened, however, keep your expectations reasonable. Those ensnared by a narc are likely to be caught in the web of hypocrisy themselves and are unable to recognize it as such.  You must disengage from the narcissist, but be ready for punishment and revenge.  NARCS CANNOT BE DISMISSED OR REJECTED; THEIR VERY FRAGILE SENSE OF SELF AND SELF-LOATHING CAUSES THEM TO RAGE AND REACT POORLY, AND THEY WILL WANT YOU TO SUFFER for your rejection of them.  STAND TALL.  Hold your head high.  You KNOW you are not the responsible party here, you are NOT the one causing chaos through deceit, lies, manipulation, and triangulation.  That ALL falls upon the narc, and it will help greatly to RELEASE any sense of responsibility back to where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of the very disordered person who is acting in such ways.  ANY disengagement from the narcissist, no matter how it happens, is a BLESSING.  Trust me on this!  
  • Rules, conditions, stipulations, and demands of others are part and parcel of the narcissist, yet they will not be reciprocated.  Here are some examples of what this may look like:  You may be ‘required’ to dress in a certain way (which you might feel like you want to do in order to make the narc happy), yet the narc has no interest in what YOU suggest them in their clothing choices.  You may be required to speak to them in a certain way, with a certain tone, using certain words, in an effort to ‘keep the peace’.  Meanwhile, they hold themselves to no similar requirement; they are not willing to change THEIR words or tone of voice for YOU.  You must do it for them, not the other way around.  WELCOME TO HYPOCRISY.  Perhaps it has been requested that you become involved in a hobby of theirs, or perhaps ‘help’ with a part time job, or side work of some sort.  You on the other hand, upon request of the same courtesy, will be denied.  You have rules; the narc has none.  You have requirements; the narc has none.  You must abide; the narc does not.  See how this works?  Survivor Strategy:  STOP placating the narcissist in your life.  You do not have to do one single thing you do not want to do, nor SHOULD you.  Reciprocity is one of the greatest blessings of ANY healthy relationship or friendship; you will learn quickly who may have demands for you they are unwilling to reciprocate.  Do not stand for this, for if you do it even one or two times, the expectation will be there for you to continue, while your wants and needs go left unmet.  HYPOCRISY.  Do not allow this in your life.  If you do have a narcissist in your life presently, STOP the people-pleasing behavior which leads to that imbalance of power, immediately.  Disengage.  Make CLEAR, short statements. Remember though, pointing out a narcissist’s faults and lack of reciprocity will give THEM an opportunity to further abuse you…  you may choose to just start saying ‘no’, while not giving specific reasons.  The narc won’t ACCEPT your reasons; remember – they process the world and those of us in it DIFFERENTLY.

So friends, here we are.  ‘The Narcissist’s World: Welcome to Hypocrisy’ gives you a snapshot of some of the inner-workings of a narcissist and how their lives (and those of us connected to them) are touched by imbalance and dysfunction.  No healthy person on the planet acts this way. It is NOT normal, it is abusive, and you are so much better skilled and adept to live a healthy life than any narcissist.  As always, it is UP to US to ensure our own mental and emotional (and of course physical) safety through the creation and upholding of strong boundaries.  A narc WILL retaliate – oh yes, they will.  Expect that, and let them go.  They are unworthy of any effort you may send their way; they are incapable of change and are much HAPPIER making YOU pay for their misdeeds.  That is truly the final hypocrisy; their attempts to cover up their very shallow, self-loathing existence by the extolling of their misdeeds onto their victims.  They are such jealous, insecure ‘beings’ who parade their superiority as a supreme cover up; until they are uncovered and outed to the world.  Just say ‘NO’ to their hypocrisy.  Your life will be so much more PEACEFUL!  Best, L.A.

Hypocrite Spray

 

After Narcissistic Abuse: Things To NOT Do

Hi everyone, and thank you for stopping by today.  After having gone through however many weeks, months, years, decades (in some cases) of a relationship with a toxic narcissist, it is important to carefully navigate our way through the recovery and healing ‘road map’.  The issue here is that we don’t KNOW what we DON’T know.  Many of the steps we take on our path to healing are by trial and error, and some of those ‘errors’ can in fact bring more pain, more frustration into our lives when we are already so so emotionally low.  The abuse-cycle driven narcissistic relationship has taken so so much from you already, there is just NO doubt about that.  I know, as I’ve been there.  I have.  I am now nearly three years of being out of my relationship, and there ARE things I’ve learned that I’d like to share here.  We wish healing and recovery would just ‘happen already’ (!!), but alas it takes time, effort, using our heads instead of our hearts, and so much more.

“Accepting that healing after an abuse-cycle driven narcissistic relationship is NOT like any other healing / grief process we’ve been through before allows us to open our minds to new ways of handling our emotional pain. There are things you may wish you could do, however the end of THIS relationship is not like any other.  It will help GREATLY to abide by the strategies here to minimize adding even more traumatic chaos during this already stressful, and emotionally difficult time.”  L.A. Gilliam

Road Map 1

Okay.  Let’s take a look at some strategies of things TO NOT DO, after your breakup from the narcissist:

  • Never ever, EVER talk to the narcissist to find closure. Everyone, this is SO SO IMPORTANT.  Please, listen to me and countless narc-abuse survivors on this topic.  You want closure, of course. You NEED VALIDATION of what you lived through, what you have suffered through, and that is human, understandable, and is your RIGHT.  THESE THINGS CANNOT COME FROM THE NARCISSIST.  Ultimately, your efforts at talking to the narcissist only gives them MORE time, more opportunity to abuse you further through blaming you for everything that went wrong, shaming you for all the things you could have done better, and opens up your already HURTING heart for more pain. Do not EVER return to the narc at the end of the relationship for closure.  Talk with a counselor who is skilled in narcissistic abuse trauma.  Talk with one or two close friends or family members who GET IT.  The main point here is to NEVER go back to the narcissist (narc), not even ONE time, to try to explain your side, your feelings, your emotions, your pain. It will backfire and you will feel even WORSE.  Don’t do that to yourself.
  • As stated before, do not vent, or try to get support from people who are not able to understand what you have been through.  This is awful – I know it is – when you are in touch with your best friends, trusted family members, and they say things like, “Oh, everything will be okay”, or “Isn’t there some way you can work this out?”  Not everyone who is close to you WILL understand, so pick carefully who you vent to.  The platitudes that well-meaning friends give you are NOT helpful, and can leave you feeling even lower – in that we so hope and sometimes expect the people we love can HELP US THROUGH this difficult time.  If they themselves have not LIVED THROUGH a narcissistic abusive relationship, do not expect them to understand.  BE CHOOSY with who you talk with, and by all means, find a counselor skilled in abuse / trauma therapy.  Talking things out is so so helpful, makes us feel understood and supported, but this will likely not come from even some of your best friends and/or family.  Please don’t expect everyone, even those closest to you to be able to understand.  They just can’t.  LET THEM LOVE YOU as best they can, and by all means, spend time with those who love you most.  Just watch your own expectations at how much you ‘vent’ to those who haven’t been through emotional / narcissistic abuse.
  • Do not look at ANY social media, ever.  The narc will be moving on quickly, will be posting things to social media portraying that their lives are wonderful, they are out doing all these great things, having the time of their lives – without you.  This accomplishes several things for the narc; shows the ‘world’ – their audience – that they are just fine, and better than ever, and since they are NOT hurting, everything that went wrong in the relationship MUST’VE been your fault.  You will see pictures of new men or women, new victims who don’t know they are ‘replacements’ for you.  You will see adventures, trips, vacations, and even PRESENTS and gifts that YOU were promised, but never received.  DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF.  BLOCK your ex on every single platform of social media you have, and NEVER undo the block.  You must devote EVERY SINGLE action to your healing and recovery, and I mean 100% of every ounce of energy, emotion, and effort you can muster.  Looking at social media is allowing the ‘feeding’ of the relationship addiction, and you must BLOCK on everything in order to have the best (and fastest!!!) opportunity at a smoother transition into healing.  Every single time you just want to take a small glance, is another opening of the emotional wounds.  Don’t do that to yourself!  Over time, living with these blocks become easier.  You will thank me later for this, I know you will!!  Trust me when I say that looking at pictures, social media, posts, and all the rest HURTS YOU each and every time, so just don’t do it!  As an adjunct, you may need to block mutual friends or family members as these people are OFTEN asked to ‘report back’ to the narcissist from your social media. Friends and family members most likely do not realize the depth of the narcissist’s abuse, and may actually provide information about you without your knowing – gathered from your social media – and report back to your ex.
  • Don’t explain yourself to the ex’s family nor friends.  I can assure you the narc has already told a gazillion lies about you, how you let them down, how you are this and that, and how they are better off without you, and how ‘crazy and unstable’ you turned out to be.  These are lies of course, you know they are lies, however family and friends of the narc will likely BELIEVE these lies.  They have ties with the narc that likely go back years and years, decades, and they are invested in BELIEVING THE NARC.  They may make a supportive statement here and there to you, but they are likely unwilling to take your side.  Please, don’t even ‘go there’ with them.  They will NEVER SEE the truth of the relationship that occurred behind closed doors; their relationship with the narc is a different relationship altogether.  In the most extreme cases, of the narc abusing you by proxy (meaning, they use their friends and families to get back at you) you will need to COMPLETELY detach from these people.  I know how hard it is to let go of people you have loved, people you continue to care about, but I assure you if they are still friends or family of the narc, they will side with the narc.  Of course they will.  And the lies being told, the smearing of your name and personal qualities, will only make it worse – for YOU.
  • Do not hold onto any personal property of the narc.  Get every single thing back to the narcissist as soon as you can.  Keep records, take photos, send certified or return-receipt.  Document everything.  A narcissist will use material belongings against you – make sure you also get YOUR personal belongings back, and ask a friend of YOURS (not the narc’s) to pick up your personal items. (In the case of a shared household, this of course is much more complicated.) My Bible, yes, my Bible was ‘held hostage’ by my ex, now a practicing Pastor in a local Methodist church.  I mailed belongings back to the ex within 48 hours, yet my Bible was held hostage for SIX WEEKS.  A narcissist ENJOYS the sense of power they get from knowing they have something of YOURS that you want back.  This is tricky territory.  At times, a narcissist will destroy items or throw them out, later feigning innocence at not knowing what happened to the item(s).  This is the power and control game of the narcissist.  The ex-wife of my ex wasn’t even ALLOWED back into the house to reclaim her items, with threats of law enforcement being called if she tried to do so.  Believe me, these games of the narcissist give them power, enjoyment, and they love the chaos.  There may be a time when you have to say “my mental health is worth more than such and such item”.  If it is something you can live without or replace, you may in fact be better off letting it go.  When possible, have your friends/family take care of this task for you.  NEVER GO TO THE NARCISSIST’S HOME TO GET YOUR THINGS.  EVER.  Some do not make it back out.  If you MUST see the narc to make a property exchange, or go to their home for any reason, call law enforcement for a ‘citizen’s assist’ procedure.  They can and will meet you there, and ‘keep the peace’ while things are exchanged, or while you collect your belongings.
  •  Do not put yourself in harm’s way, or in situations or places where you will have to interact with the narc.   This will be particularly important in the very early weeks and months post-breakup.  If the two of you are in the same city, stay away from local stores you know the narcissist frequents.  Stay out of shopping plazas, movie theaters, gas stations, and all the rest if there is even the slightest possibility of running into the ex-narc.  Just don’t take the risk when you are so emotionally fractured and fragile after the breakup.  In time it won’t matter as much, but initially you will want to drive to your daily-life locations where you know the narc is UNLIKELY to be.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard many stories of people being in the same work place as their ex, or somehow otherwise required to be in the same place at the same time.  You will absolutely need to consider your overall well being and mental health in assessing whether you are able to work in the same environment, or for the same company.  These are tough decisions of course, however NOTHING matters more than your mental and emotional well being and health.
  • Do not do ‘drive bys’ of the ex’s home, place of work, friends’ homes, etc.  This goes to ‘reopening the wounds’ as you are trying to heal.  Keep in mind that ANY exposure to anything having to do with the narc will intensify the negative and hurtful emotions.  There will be temptation of course, there usually is.  We might want to know if they are home, who might be over at their house, if their car is parked there, if their car is at their place of employment, etc.  Just do not do this to yourself!  Each time you allow yourself to check up on what the narc is or is not doing, you are KEEPING YOURSELF IN THE ABUSE CYCLE.  You may have to fight this impulse with everything you have, but fight it for as long as you have to, as hard as you have to.  I’ve heard of stories of even months and months of healing being undone by someone doing one of these ‘drive bys’ – simply because the woman couldn’t help herself.  I get it, I do.  That temptation – that hit of knowing just a little something – is SO difficult to deny.  But, deny you must.  If you engage in these behaviors, you are placing yourself smack dab right at the VERY BEGINNING of healing.  You will reopen that wound, healing will be lost, and you will feel even worse than before.  You don’t NEED to know what the ex is or is not doing, and it is not your business.
  • Do NOT consider a reconciliation. Ever.  In the one and only reconciliation attempt with the narcissist, I was literally treated like a 2-year old.  And you want to know why?  Because by my going back, my attempt at a reconciliation, told the narc that everything that had already been DONE WAS OKAY, and here I was, BACK FOR MORE.   You MUST believe me when I say that you have already received the BEST this person has to offer, and NONE of it was the REAL PERSON.  Do not think that because time has passed, because he or she has been single for however long, that things will somehow magically be BETTER.  A toxic narcissist IS WHO THEY ARE, and that will not change.  Simply stated, do not give the narcissist even MORE opportunity to abuse your further.  NO RECONCILIATION will work, nothing will be better, and you will find after an initial love-bombing / honeymoon phase, the abusive behavior has returned, only worse ‘this time’.  By going back, we are essentially telling the narcissist everything that has already been done to us is acceptable, and we are back for more.  DO NOT DO THIS to yourself!

Okay everyone, here we are.  This is NOT an exhaustive list by any means, but these are the initial items that seem to come up for people who are just starting their healing and recovery journey post narcissistic abuse.  We are human of course, we have our own failings and challenges, but BY NOT DOING THESE THINGS, you can ensure not adding to the already very complex healing process.  You must do EVERYTHING in your power to keep on track, and DISALLOW anything that will compromise your healing.  The ‘road map’ through to the destination of healing is winding, tricky, and full of ‘hits and misses’, but these few items here CAN help save your from additional pain, hurt, anger, and frustration.  I KNOW you have had enough of all those things; give yourself, your heart, soul and spirit the break that is needed to further your HEALING.  Best, L.A.

Road map 2