Tag Archives: no contact

When I Miss Him…

One year and 3 months into No Contact, there are still moments when I feel like I miss that jerk who doesn’t deserve for me to miss him for even a moment. So many triggers – Chandler on Friends makes a witty remark in exactly the same way narc used to, a dream brings his face back to my mind, a hike in a beautiful forest reminds me of a time we hiked (which he told me later had made his girlfriend at the time jealous… he sure did love that triangulation).

I’ve been working on the missing/not missing all day and figured I’m not the only one out here doing this, so I thought I’d take a moment to identify the tools in my ‘missing him toolbox’:

1) It wasn’t real. I remind myself that it wasn’t real. The things I miss are manufactured moments he intentionally created to hook me. They were cookie cutter moments he has surely used on many women before and after me.

2) The bad moments were real. The smirk every time he finally managed to break me down. the cheating, the coldness – those were real. I don’t miss that. Feeling small, unimportant, stupid, ashamed – I don’t miss that.

3) I hated the alcoholism. Going out for a nice hike on a sunny day? Let’s find a place to have a drink! Sunday morning at the cottage? Time to drink! Leaving for an all-inclusive vacation? Let’s hurry up and squeeze in a drink at 11am before leaving for the airport. God forbid we don’t drink at every single opportunity, we don’t want to be “buzz killington” (which I was, apparently).

4) Leaving him behind means there is hope for happiness and emotional healthiness. Missing him is part of the grieving and moving forward, but it does not mean I would want to be back in a relationship with him. I don’t miss the real him, and I don’t miss that relationship. Maybe I miss companionship, maybe I miss his sense of humour, maybe I miss cuddling, but none of that means I want him back in my life. No f’g way.

5) The day I broke up with him, before I had fully realized that he was a narcissist and I cut off contact once and for all, I wrote a reminder note in my cell phone titled “Not J” to remind myself of all the reasons I should never want to be with him. Here’s my list – I bet you can relate to a lot of it:

  • Double standards
  • Yelling
  • Alcohol
  • Controlled how we spend our time
  • Made up stories about me, won’t let me explain/correct them (e.g. saying I would rush to see Scott but not him)
  • Didn’t respond when I talked
  • Sang over me when I was talking
  • Wouldn’t have a conversation unless it’s a topic he decides is interesting to him
  • Lied
  • Changes the rules (eg agreed we wouldn’t exchange Christmas presents then in front of my whole family made a big deal that I didn’t get him a present)
  • Doesn’t care if he hurts me until he needs something from me
  • Takes everything so personally, I can’t bring up anything for discussion without him getting defensive
  • No normal friendships
  • Gross farts
  • House smells like cat litter and mold
  • Never said he liked what I cooked
  • Thought it was ridiculous to ask me how my day was
  • No “good night”, just disappeared from conversation
  • Would say rude or insulting things to me in public
  • Constantly contradicted himself – ‘I’m live in the moment guy’ vs ‘I hate that I can’t plan a trip with you’
  • Insensitive, talking about his other trips with exes during and after our trip, even when he knew it made me feel bad

Wow, with a list like that what’s not to miss, right? Line forms to the left, ladies! Oh look, I don’t miss him anymore. 😉

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Ten Ways to Survive No Contact

Today is exactly one year since I cut off contact with Narc. Yahoo!

A year ago I couldn’t even imagine being at this point. I was drowning in darkness and pain and utter confusion, reviewing every moment of my 4.5 year relationship within the context of NPD.

Looking at it from this side now, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight the ten things that were most helpful for me in getting through the last year, in the hopes that they may help someone who is just starting out on their journey of recovery.

1) Online Support. People in real life generally don’t understand NPD, people online understand it all too well. Wherever you ‘live’ online, build your support group. Survivors are everywhere – twitter, facebook, here, everywhere. Don’t be shy to reach out and write about whatever you’re going through – there is always someone there to listen and offer support.

2) Education. I spent countless hours reading about NPD, sociopathy, psychopathy, watching videos about it, reading other people’s stories – matching up all the information to my own experiences, analyzing his hoovering tactics to spot all the techniques I was reading about. Like they say, knowledge is power, and practice makes perfect. If we learn it and practice spotting it, we’ll stand a much better chance of avoiding falling into it again.

3) No Dating. In those early days, we are so hurt and confused and we want someone to make the pain go away, but the only way to really heal ourselves is to work through the pain. We don’t know who or how to trust, we need to slowly make sense of our lives, of our selves, and that will not happen with the distraction and added confusion of adding new people into the mix. Plus, narcs can sniff out vulnerability a mile away so dating before we’re ready just makes us easy targets for them (I believe). Take a break from dating for a while and focus on yourself.

4) Feel Your Feelings. So what to do with yourself when you’re sitting at home, not dating? Ride the waves of feelings – cry when you need to, for as long as you need to. There will be little rhyme or reason for when or why you cry, but you need to get all that accumulated pain out of your body. Grieve the lies, the loss of the relationship, the loss of your belief that the world is a good and safe place. Feel the anger, feel the hate, every feeling is OK. You have spent too long suppressing your feelings to try to keep the peace in your relationship, it’s time now for all those feelings to come out. It probably feels like they will never end, but they will.

5) Take Your Time. There is no formula for this, no timetable for recovery. Don’t let other people pressure you or guilt you into doing anything you don’t feel ready for – dating, hanging out with friends, acting like you’re ok. This is your life, not theirs, and you need to live it your way. Give yourself permission to do whatever you need to do to get through each day. I ignored some friends, I cut off others. The ones that really matter understood that I needed to go through this in my own way and they are here on the other side, telling me how proud they are of me. They’re not mad that I was a hermit for months. So take your time and do things your way for as long as you need to.

6) Exercise. Yes I know sometimes all you want to do is lie in bed and either starve yourself or eat crap and drink wine, but make sure that once in a while you force yourself to exercise. Endorphins are hugely helpful for your mood, and exercise is great for self-esteem. Even if all you can do is go for a walk, it will make a difference. I always say to myself, ‘something is better than nothing’ and it’s true. Every little thing you do to take good care of yourself makes a difference.

7) Journal (or blog). When a memory hits you hard, when a tidal wave of feelings starts to drown you, when you feel tempted to break No Contact – write about it. Sometimes you have a lot more to say than you feel you want to say in a facebook group or you can fit into a tweet. Get all those thoughts and feelings out of your head and heart by writing about them. The more you can get out from inside of you, the less you will carry forward, and that’s a good thing.

8) Investigate Your Past. This is going to get messy, you may want a therapist/counsellor for this. We need to understand why we accepted being in a relationship with an NPD for any amount of time. Why we chose to set our needs and feelings aside to keep the peace with him (or her), and loved and supported him (or her) at our own expense. We need to look at family of origin, at past relationships, and work through unresolved pain. They say if we don’t do that, we’ll keep repeating patterns, and given my history I’m inclined to believe them. Two books that I found helpful: Dr. Phil’s Self Matters and Dr. Karyl McBride’s Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

9) Trust Your Gut. As you analyze your whole relationship, you’ll start to realize you had lots of red flags early on and throughout the relationship. There were lots of times your gut was telling you something was not ok, and you set it aside to try to make things better with narc. The good news is, your gut is in perfect working order! Now you just need to start trusting it. Stop talking yourself out of it and making excuses for other people. If you trust your gut, you will naturally have better and stronger boundaries and reject unhealthy people even if you can’t put your finger on why you need to reject them. Your gut doesn’t need labels for things, it just knows “safe” or “unsafe” and ultimately that’s what really matters.

10) Tell Yourself “I Love You” – A Lot. We’re pretty good at being hard on ourselves, and we’ve heard a lot of not nice things said to us throughout the relationship (and probably throughout our lives). Let’s start changing the soundtrack. When you wake up, tell yourself “good morning, I love you”. When you do something well, or make a healthy choice for yourself, tell yourself “good job, I love you.” When you’re going to bed, whisper “sweet dreams, I love you.” Even if you don’t really feel it right now, the more you say it to yourself, the more you will start to really feel it on the inside. And besides, isn’t it way nicer to hear that than all the other self-critical stuff you say to yourself? You’re an awesome person and super lovable, so you may as well tell yourself so!

I hope this has been at least a little bit helpful. Somehow, day by day, things do get better and eventually you find yourself celebrating an anniversary you never thought would come.

I wish you all love and strength in your journeys.  xo

7 Months

Today is exactly 7 months since my breakup. Yay me! I was cleaning out some old emails and came across my last exchange with narc a few weeks after our breakup. I’d found a Narc abuse Facebook page that confirmed for me once and for all that he was a narc, and I finally understood that my only chance at survival was to go No Contact. At the time it felt like I was jumping off a cliff into a great abyss, but looking back I know that was the day I decided I was worth more, and my life was worth saving. Thought I’d put up this last exchange for kicks.

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February 19, 2014

Him (11:24am): I don’t know whats happened between last time we spoke and now that has made you go dark.  Why do we have to repeat the same cycle over and over.  I’m just confused.  I am trying not to be angry but its just this crazy back and forth stuff I don’t get.  Like you love me then you hate me  you want me then you don’t    Whats happening?   Are you dating and don’t want me to get mad and call you a liar for saying it would be a long time before you started?

The last time we were separate you gave me some story about taking months and months to be able to deal with it,.   stuff like that makes me think we are obviously supposed to be together if there is that must attachment.  but then when you seem to so readily end everything it makes that seem all like bullshit.  I just don’t get it.    You tell me you hate it when I say “your crazy” and yes name calling is bad.  I just can’t wrap my head around the rationale of what is going on
 

Me (12:45pm): Hi. Sorry for not giving an explanation, I’ve been trying to sort things out in my head to make sure of what I’m thinking before I say anything. So here it is.

I’m sick to death of the stupid rollercoaster I/we’ve been on for the last 4 years. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about NPD and everything I’ve read matches your behaviour to a T. I still see it happening since the breakup and I hate it. I don’t believe it will ever be possible for us to have a functional friendship. I had thought maybe limited contact would be ok but everything I’ve read says the only option is no contact and because I don’t see any hope of things changing in any significant way, I believe that’s true.
I don’t expect you to understand or agree with it or not be angry about it, it’s just what I feel I have to do. I suppose you’ll decide if you want to pepper me with insults or tell me all the ways I’m wrong. I’m hoping you’ll just accept it and let this be the end, but if you do then you would be the first person ever with NPD to do that, so I don’t have high hopes for that.
Anyway, I know you have lots of people in your life to talk with etc, and I know you will find someone new soon enough, you will be as fine without me in your life as you ever were with me. I hope (your son) will be ok too.

I still have no intention to start dating. I just very much looking forward to having peace and stability in my life for a while. I’ve never had to cut off an ex before like this, but I’ve never known anyone before who behaves the way you do. So much drama. I’m just so done. I won’t be responding to any future communications.

Bye J.
 
Him (1:01pm): No insults.    However I would like that bracelet back.  It was a mistake to give it to you.  I will feel used if you were to keep it.

Him (1:26pm): oh god I don’t know  maybe its dickish of me to ask for the bracelet back.  I don’t know   ok maybe I am NPD or whatever  I m sorry I can’t help it  I just have this overwhelming feeling I’m being taken advantage of. I have to protect myself  thats what that’s all about.   I feel bad that you seem to have spent so much time reading about what I am all about.  this should be time for you to focus on yourself.   anyways I don’t know  I just feel used.   Just do what you think is right

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Bracelet and I are celebrating 8 happy months together. 😀

tiffany bracelet