Moving forward to recovery! No or minimal contact is more like a ‘personal witness protection program’ to protect yourself from the damage that any reconnection with a Narcissist can do to a victim. Once they KNOW you are on to them, they will do anything and everything to pull you back again, set you up for more abuse, and then destroy every aspect of your integrity so that they avoid ANY and ALL exposure for who and what they are!
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
The Narcissist will ALWAYS rob the target/victim of their authenticity, integrity, individualism, and soul – AND even purposely destroy it with backstabbing and a smear campaign. To learn to trust the world again as well as yourself is a task which will not be easy to accomplish. The only help at hand is the reality in the knowledge that YOU were the normal person and genuine with your feelings and that you had been tricked into an emotionally destructive situation which ultimately was meant to control as well as disable you. Recovery is a process to reclaim your feelings, emotions, and belief system in the real world and to overcome fears of expressing those feelings again in the real world. Every little step towards this is a success in your recovery. Just remember that the potential for finding a genuine and loving relationship still exists within you. YOU ARE A PERSON THAT CAN LOVE, a Narcissist can NEVER love and lives in a loathsome and dark world where they will always be alone no matter whether they are physically with someone or not.
Abuse at the hands of a Narcissist can be described in many ways, but the reality of the situation is that we have looked into the eyes of what can only be described as the nearest thing to evil. It is psychological terrorism by a disordered human being that had no intentions whatsoever to be anything to us but a thief of hearts, as well as a thief of our life.
The aspect that is the most damaging about this abuse is that it is essentially subtle, silent, and invisible – in time emotional and psychological abuse has robbed the target/victim of their worth, belief system, their soul, and spirit. Life is no longer the world that we once knew because it does not feel safe, and our core beliefs about one of the most cherished aspects of life (LOVE) has been redefined by a battle that ensued with what can only now be described as a silent enemy. A battle that we never even actually realized was going on. Yes, they are enemies to man/womankind because they act out in a manner to destroy good people, leaving them and their welfare at such a vulnerable place that the recovery is a process that requires time that can compound the abuse even more. Extreme loss that disables the victim are the best words to use here, loss that destroys people and entire families.
Nothing about this abuse can be construed as anything normal. It is an impossible task to wrap your head around the intentions of such a disordered person, yet alone explain the abuse to the world in a manner that achieves a sense of credibility. Narcissists are like a disease that slowly enters the body and spreads everywhere destroying and shutting the body down bit by bit. Unfortunately, there is no cure or medication to stop the diseased Narcissist except to remove the malignancy completely from your life. ALWAYS NO CONTACT and then the process starts to your personal recovery.
Whether you are a man or a woman who has endured an abusive relationship with a Narcissist the best policy AGAIN is the “No/Minimal Contact” rule and the sooner you achieve this the better. You must make a clean break and stick with it so the healing process can begin. It’s natural to feel emotional or sentimental after a breakup however you are in a war zone when you are dealing with an abusive relationship with a Narcissist. Seriously they have the artillery, landmines, and bombs ready and waiting to destroy their target/victim!
This is serious stuff because your time is precious on this earth and once you recognize that your ex is an abusive Malignant Narcissist it is time to get into action to get away from them. I looked at my departure from abuse as the “GREG Witness Protection Program.” These are the basic combat plans and a START to achieve your goals of “no/minimal contact” as well as protect yourself.
1. Ability not to care at all as it concerns your Ex-Narcissist! They are not real and do not exist in the natural and normal world where we all reside. They are an abomination of lies and manipulation, not a person that has emotions, cares, or loves.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to refuse to be influenced in any way by threats, further intimidation, or bad consequences. Leave it where it is WITH THE NARCISSIST hissing in the shadows and NEVER respond. Save any emails, text messages, and journal everything they say as proof. They are cowards and fight with hideous lies meant to cause irreparable damage to your integrity.
3. Take a decisive approach to breaking ALL the connections and sever any and ALL residual communication links like mutual friends or social networking sites.
4. YOU MUST absolutely refuse to feel any “shame or blame” or to be put on the defensive especially in your OWN mind as if ANY of this is your fault or real. The abuse is psychological terrorism and meant to disable your thought processes so the Narcissist can CONTROL you. DON’T ALLOW IT anymore – TAKE THAT POWER AWAY FROM THEM!
5. Insistence from this point on that any discussion of the facts begin with the words “abuse,” “destruction,” and “control” as well as removing the Narcissist’s name from your vocabulary. CALL him/her your Ex-Narcissist and you had NO RELATIONSHIP; it was purely abuse.
6. Refusal to negotiate EVER because you KNOW the absolute truth so NEVER give it up – NEVER! Remember they do not negotiate they manipulate with lies to manage you right back into that place of despair, feeling wrong and worthless! YES, they will drag you back into the abuse every opportunity you give them when you feel that you can fix this relationship or them!
7. You MUST believe that you are strong and be cognizant of the fact that this Narcissist picked the wrong person to “smear” or take down. You are the real person here that is amazing, unconditional with your love and most importantly you possess a quality called empathy which a Narcissist has NONE. Those that believe the Narcissist or engage in the Narcissist’s ‘smear campaign’ are WEAK and abusive as well and not worth your time or energy.
8. Adopt a policy or philosophy and accept the collateral damage as the cost of freedom from this abuse and further evidence of the rightness of your cause and the very truth. It is like RUNNING from them but in an organized and responsible fashion! You are not dealing with a normal person you are dealing with a terrorist with the intent to destroy you and your integrity.
9. Practice extreme patience with yourself always and do not be worn down by any setbacks, surprises, or consequence. We all make mistakes and step backwards. This is not something you have had experience with because it is ABUSE, and that word says it all! Every day is a new day and one more day that you moved forward and nearer to your total recovery.
10. Reconnect with the world and with yourself. Get back in touch with the people you were not allowed to see or those you fell out of contact with. Start doing the things you used to enjoy little by little. Pursue your interests again. Make a commitment to exercise or working out. The goal here is to make yourself healthy and strong in body, spirit, and mind. Do not isolate yourself!
Stay in your own personal “witness protection program” for as long as it takes. This is to get your life back and gain clarity with knowledge, education, and support! No contact or minimal contact is putting yourself in a protective zone to end the chaos and crazy making completely to give yourself the freedom you need to educate yourself, find proper help as in therapy, re-establish a place for yourself in the world, establish healthy boundaries, and to realize that the horrendous betrayal you experienced was forced upon you by a delusional and disordered person over a long period of time. This abuse was slow and insidious, but it is like a cancer that has been growing in your body, YOU MUST do what you can to get rid of the malignancy. This process can only be achieved by the “no or minimal contact” rule.
The Narcissist was special, your prince or princess CHARMING, and the person you fell in love with. BUT after the initial “love bombing” or courtship this relationship turned TOXIC and abusive. Each time you initiate contact or respond to his/her overtures, you must start the healing process all over again. It happens and we do fall backwards but get back up as quick as you can and let it only reinforce the real goal of getting back to the recovery program.
Re-initiating contact will only prolong your pain and recovery and cause more and severe damage because the Narcissist knows that you have their number and will step up the manipulation and abuse to avoid exposure. It is the difference between recuperating in the hospital slowly after open heart surgery or deciding instead that you will skip the recuperation period and go work out at the gym. You are only going to end up in harm’s way if you do not recuperate correctly until you are COMPLETELY healed. In the case of a Narcissist, you want to maintain that “no contact” forever!
If you give a Narcissist an inch, they will they take an arm or leg off with a few swift bites. You may think it is OK to accept calls and/or responding to texts and emails, but it is wrong and DANGEROUS. You are only giving the Narcissist permission to keep abusing you. The Narcissist will interpret your willingness to maintain contact as interest in rekindling the relationship and a WEAKNESS on your part and they will add more links to that chain that is around your neck. If you DO respond to your Ex-Narcissist, he/she does indeed still have you on a chain that will now get tighter to pull you back into the abuse. The Narcissist will continue to gas-light, manipulate, trick you, lie, be possessive and intrusive, and extort everything else they can from you. All that Narcissist needs is the smallest bit of attention, negative or positive to keep them going. If you want that Narcissist to move on, you must starve the beast and that means no contact and no attention.
There are many lists out there that basically say the same thing, but this was my addendum to the generic version or again what I called my personal “witness protection plan.” Everything on this list may not be feasible for everyone especially if you MUST have contact. But even with minimal contact you MUST disconnect from any emotions and stop negotiating with yourself or looking for any other answer than the truth and that you experienced the abuse of a Malignant Narcissist and it is time to get out and away from the Narcissist’s ability to control and abuse you. Be like a programed robot with every battle you MUST have because of legal decisions, or biological children – BUT NEVER negotiate where it involves you personally or emotionally. I think it is a good example of the level of personal commitment No/Minimal Contact requires or at least a model to help bring awareness as to the importance of solutions to separate from the problem of this abuse – the NARCISSIST. Greg