Reflections on 13 Months of No Contact (Re-post)

no-contact-narcissistIt’s been many, many months since the narcissist vanished into thin air, granting me the Grand Finale of Discards that I’d always known he’d give me on his way out some day. However, since I am always asked if it’s really possible to escape the madness, I thought I’d re-post the following article that gave my reflections on my no-contact life at 13-months. As you can see, escaping is more than a possibility and if I can do it, so can you, my friends:)

Reflections of a No-Contact Life

Well, I gotta hand it to him. As far as discards go, I had to hand it to him..he certainly didn’t disappoint. Not a word since he left..no narcissistic hoovering…no nothing. However, I blocked his ass and, for the first time ever, didn’t chase him in desperation. This time simply felt different and I never looked back. But that’s not to say that I’ve had a sad, boring year of silence and tears because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, this past year, although completely free of drama and chaos, was rather interesting in its own normal kind of way. And I have much to be grateful for. So all that being true, don’t you want to know how I’ve really been feeling about all this “no contact“? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway so grab a coffee, soda, beer, what-have you and sit on back.

Okay…so, earlier today I was in a weird, bittersweet mood and I started thinking that I needed to do some reflecting and, more importantly, share those reflections with all of you. I’ve reached and slightly passed a No Contact milestone of sorts and we all know how important that can be.  So, not only did I decide that sharing reflections could possibly be helpful to readers and site visitors, I also determined that it may be therapeutic to me as well considering I really haven’t really shed an actual tear since he walked out. Now, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I think it’s an excellent thing.

zari - narcissist-abuse-support

I’m not going to say there haven’t been times that I’ve been sad because there definitely has been. And during those moments, although they never really quite spilled over, my eyes may even have gotten a bit teary. But why haven’t I cried? Why haven’t I lost it? Why didn’t I start looking for him immediately after he pulled the ridiculous discard after a nice day together that October 3rd in 2012? Why didn’t I start power calling his phone? Why did I allow days to turn into weeks to turn into months…and then a whole year passes? I do speak in When Love Is a Lie about one time in March of 2013 where, after opening an old text message from that October that I had never read, I was so disgusted by what it said that I couldn’t help but reply to it with a simple “fuck you”, never thinking that he would have the same phone number 5 months after the Discard.  To save the explanation and show you what transpired, below is the excerpt from my book When Love Is a Lie which describes what happened:

[One afternoon at work, while playing with my phone, I came across upwards of ten unopened text messages from the N leftover from the October discard. With a knot in my stomach, I opened just one and it was as nasty as I imagined it might be. In a teeny moment of rage, I typed two little words – fuck you – as a reply and pressed “send”, never thinking for a minute that his old number would even be in service five months after the Discard. Sending it, though, was good enough for me because I went about my day and night without giving it a second thought.

Bright and early the next morning, my phone started chiming with text message notifications, one after the other. Even then, I couldn’t imagine who was texting me so early and so urgently. And, sure enough, it was the N …and here is what transpired via text over the next 12 hours:

W: OMG, I just got your message. I can’t believe that you still have hard feelings toward me.

I didn’t respond. I was in shock, I think. Several hours went by and then another text came in:

W:  btw…I’ve found God, Zari. I’ve quit drinking and I have a Pastor and a church group. Our mission is to be one with God. It’s a beautiful thing…not what you think. I’ve quit partying and I can’t be around any of that anymore.

I still couldn’t respond. He found God? Well, isn’t that the boundary of all boundaries to cross? What he found was a group of church goers in recovery who had no clue who he is and what he’d done and where he’d been. Wayne had found himself the ultimate clean slate. I’ll be damned. In thirteen years, I never heard him say a single thing about church or God or praying or anything. It was his last disgusting resort. And he went there.

W: Zari…let me help you. You know, this is a great church. I was thinking about Sky. He would love it here.

Really? You want to take my son – that wonderful person (who has a very personal relationship with God) that you basically neglected for a decade…you want to take him to church?. Now, it was on. I texted back.

Me: You found God, Wayne? Really? I’ll tell you why I don’t believe that. Because I’m pretty sure God would have wanted you to make amends with us…to say you’re sorry for what you put us through..for the years you wasted…for the lies. And by the way, Sky just had a quick chat with God and he doesn’t know who the hell you are.

W: I won’t give up on you. Think about coming to church with us. Really. It’s a beautiful thing.

The rest of the night was quiet and melancholy in a bittersweet way. I didn’t know what to think. Barbie was with me and she knew what I was feeling. It came down to the fact that he had moved on and – pretending or not – he was making it clear that he was a-okay without us. Just another reminder that, for thirteen years, love was a lie and all that time had been wasted.

Maybe he had changed. Was it possible? Could a narcissist really find God and change his evil ways? It was certainly giving me something to think about. And then the morning came and, with a text waiting, I got my answer.

W:  Z [I knew then, when he called me “Z”, that the N was alive and kicking], you want my mother to die? You want me to kill my mother? That’s it, Z. You hacked into my phone for the last time. You’re through! We’ve called the cops and they’re on they’re way. You’re done!

Me: Well, now I’m confused. Is this the real Wayne or the church-going Wayne?

W: You fucking bitch. We’re not playing. You’re going to jail.

Me: There you are! I knew it was you! So, what’s your nonsense today? Blah blah blah

No response. Then, a little later, I sent one more jab for the road…

Wait a minute! Does this mean you’re not taking us to church?

We never had contact again. I understood exactly what happened because, you see, I know who he is. Somewhere during the night and before his last text, he realized, in a panic, that I could – and probably would – expose him for everything he was if he brought me into his new circle. And he was absolutely right.]

Even after that incident – an incident, by the way, that would have wrecked my world had it happened, say, just one year earlier – I didn’t cry, I didn’t get anxiety, and I didn’t try to find him. I didn’t feel a whole lot of anything…and I still don’t. It’s my lack of feelings about the whole thing that has thrown me for a loop but also made me very happy.  My madness and sadness have almost completely faded. Mind you, during the 12 years prior to this past year, I would have been inconsolable until he came back or I found him or we had communicated. I would have crawled under the covers and not come out for days. I would have been agitated and unable to work and consumed with writing letters or doing drive-bys or something. But none of this happened this last and final time. Even though I think about him daily, I can also think about and concentrate on other things throughout the course of the day with no problem. I can laugh and smile and be sociable. I can go out and do things. I can listen to music – and even to songs that were “special” to us. I can hang out with my son without feeling distracted by thoughts of what the N is doing and with who.

So, here’s what I think about this emotional “even keel” I’m on… and once again I’ll lay it out in a Q & A so that it addresses issues/questions I believe we’ve all had about our handling of situations involving our narcissistic partner:

Do I think it’s possible that I feel nothing because I’m just waiting for him to come back? This is a tough question and normally I would have to be honest and answer “yes” because it would make the most sense. However, there is something about the nothingness that I feel that makes me think differently..and that would be the fact that when I think about him coming back…when I imagine the scenario in my mind or imagine me running into him while I’m out and about or when a weird number calls and I automatically wonder whether it’s a hoover…when all those things cross my mind or occur, I still feel nothing. I don’t even get the twinge. So, no, I’d have to say that my nothingness hasn’t anything to do with me waiting for a anything.

How do I think I might be feeling in another year? Okay, this is actually a trickier question and the truth is that I still think about the N every damn day. And I’m not talking fleeting thoughts either….I think about it a lot. Now, the fact that I wrote two books and created a website around the relationship may have a lot to do with that and I do take that into consideration. I literally have to think about it everyday in order to promote, answer emails, etc. but this fact could be the very reason while I feel nothing. Has my relationship with the N turned into a business? Yes, I think it has. Hmmmm…

Do I still feel slighted…like I wasted years? Yes and no. I certainly wish I had my forties back and I’ll never forgive him for stealing that particular decade from my life but the thought doesn’t consume me anymore.

Do I ever think about revenge? Oh, sure I do…but that’s the fun part now. One favorite scenario involves me finding out what church he attends and showing up there early enough on a Sunday so that I could actually be standing at the door to greet the members of the congregation as they arrived. As they walked in, I’d hand each of them a copy of When Love Is a Lie (kinda like a church usher who hands out programs of the morning’s sermon) and say something like Good morning, here’s a book for you. Enjoy the service and God Bless..Good morning, here’s a book for you. Enjoy the service and God Bless…Good morning, .. you get the idea! Wouldn’t that just rock his church world! But I’ll never do it because he’s just not worth the trouble. Always remember that you will never beat a narcissist at his own game. We might feel evil at times with our vengeful thoughts but a narcissist is evil – and there’s an enormous difference.

So, if you had to describe, in one word, how you feel right now, what would it be? Detached – and, this, my friends is the key. I feel detached from the experience. I never thought I could ever feel detached from the narcissist in any way but I absolutely am. Zen philosophy has always talked about feeling detachment about the things that cause us grief and, for many years, I never understood the concept. I do now…and, believe me, it’s lovely. To be detached from the narcissist means that you can look back on it as if you’re watching a movie about someone else. It may make you feel sad but it doesn’t affect your life in the moment…in the here and now.

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You can – and will – feel detached at some point too. Don’t give up. It will happen. It doesn’t mean that you will never think about what happened – because you will – but it will be over for you and it will feel over. And the feeling will be pain free.

I believe that, for the victim of narcissist abuse, there comes a time when it just has to end in your heart. I know now that I knew my relationship was over long before it actually ended. By the time he walked out for good, I was already detached. I had begun my recovery long before that and my reward for all that mental work is the detachment that I feel right now. You must strive to get to that point.  If you’re hurting badly right now, it’s because your heart doesn’t think its over. You must begin to fix that and the relationship doesn’t technically have to be over to do it . My second book, Stop Spinning, Start Breathing, can get you started on the right path to recovery. I don’t have all the answers but I know what worked for me and I’m more than happy to share.

Stay strong and stay educated! Read, learn, and overcome! You deserve to be happy…..

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84 Comments

  • Donna

    February 17, 2017 at 8:19 am Reply

    Zari, your articles and books have been so very helpful! This is truly your gift from above…. Although my relationship was just 2 months, it took the life out of me. My ex narc was textbook Somatic/Covert Narcissist. I met his family in Chicago, he met mine in Texas and I knew this was the man for me. We met on Match and I should have known after the first date when he wanted to be exclusive it was moving too fast. I just felt a connection and we talked for 2 hours the first night…Soon afterwards he began to call all through out the day/night and wanted to FaceTime consistently……He started out perfect but soon began taking little jabs after a couple weeks of dating ( change your hair, you wear too much black, your earth tone colors in your bedrooms are too boring, etc). I’m thinking to myself, dude we just met. Everytime he said something insulting he would come back to admit his wrong doings as though he was so remorseful….. However, I chose to overlook many red flags ( calling his ex wives crazy, changing his number more times I could count, several blocked numbers, legally changing his name and he’s lived in about 17 different residences).

    Around the second week I got the “I love you”, you’re the prettiest, smartest woman I’ve ever met ( I swear the passion he had was so intense, he could win an Oscar Award). The third week he proposed with a ring and wanted to get married before Thanksgiving 2016. I accepted the ring but I just knew it was too fast. Something in my spirit said this is too fast. I told him it was too fast and let’s take it slow so then he wanted to move in. He broke his lease, missed work and had all his belongings in the back of his truck ( I’m thinking who does this?). Finally, I told him we needed to take it slow and that I’m not ok with all the jabs he threw. I also told him I felt like he wanted to move in for an ulterior motive. We seemed to have worked it out, he seemed like he understood. The next thing I knew his number was changed and he disappeared ( I got discarded).

    My question is how do you get over the Anger? I went no contact ( after I was discarded ) on the 29th of December but I’m always wondering will he contact me again? I want the privilege of discarding him. I also want to contact his ex wives ( the children mothers) to get a better understanding but I’m afraid they will notify him and this will boost his ego.

    Zari, I don’t understand why I can’t get over such a short term relationship… I’m college educated woman with a successful career and I know deep in my heart if he truly loved me he would have been patient ( I get it). However, I wake up each morning thinking about how I was tricked and fooled and I’m angry. I’m not a vengeful person but I want some type of justice.

    I seen him on Facebook (only once). I don’t want to subject myself to the facade I’m sure he’s portraying. However, there’s a part of me that would like to cause a Narc Injury (anonymously) just to make him feel as bad as I did.

    Help me Zari, this is not in my nature,
    What should I do?

    ~Donna L.

  • Minnie

    February 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm Reply

    Holy that’s amazing his texts about the cops. I showed up at his house after texting and fighting and he lost it. Threatened me with cops lol. I literally just knocked on his door. A d then left. He texted for hours. Horrible name calling threatening police. Wacko

    • Zari Ballard

      February 13, 2017 at 5:10 pm Reply

      Hi Minnie,

      Oh yes, they have no problem threatening you with calling the police. In my book, I talk about how my ex, during a long silent treatment, had me served with a temporary restraining order ON XMAS EVE and I didn’t even know where he lived. Why did he do that? Because, on a hunch, I had sent an anonymous FB message to a girl I had a suspicion about. He literally wrote on the order that he was in fear for his life. Needless to say, my suspicions were right (LOL)…and two weeks later he was back at my door, breaking his own restraining order as if it never happened.

      Wacko is right!

      Zari xo

  • Kuldeep

    November 2, 2016 at 9:36 am Reply

    I left a narc about 3 months ago. The first few weeks was hard, I realise now what he was about. A face for the community and a face behind closed doors. Toxic environment and often scary when he went into a rage. Glad I broke free. Still will take time to heal and forget about him.

  • Siol

    October 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm Reply

    Do you think the fact that you actually had a chance in your texts to make it clear to him that you finally saw thought him, helped in letting you detach? You got to have your say; to be heard. I think that is something most of us crave. At least it is for me. I feel foolish, stupid, used. Like he won. He got away with playing this out and using me until he no longer needed to and walked away unscathed. And I allowed it. That is partly what keeps me stuck. That and the fact that on a daily basis, I question whether or not he even is a narcissist.

    • Zari Ballard

      October 4, 2016 at 1:23 am Reply

      Hi Siol,

      It’s possible but the truth is that there were thousands of incidents just like this one throughout the 13-years – texting and verbal encounters where I “had my say”. I made it very clear two years before that I knew EXACTLY what he was and what I thought he was up to and it really made no difference at all. I would say that the majority of people who visit here have had their “say” and that you probably have too. But closure just never happens – we have to make our own. It’s all about understanding how the narcissist really thinks. When I “got” that, I realized my closure had already happened. I was free.

      Zari:)

  • Laura Stewart

    September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am Reply

    Thank you Zari, I received an “are you ok ” text this morning. My head was spinning thinking of the best answer. Although reading enough about narcissists to know no contact is the best response. So I googled to narcissist website and came right to your hovering article. Thank you so much for your eloquence and empathy toward those of us who need it. This is truly something no one can understand unless they’ve been a victim. I still scratch my head and can’t understand how I let someone treat me that way. Not to mention my friends and family not being able to understand.
    Thank you so much for your knowledge and advice.

    • Zari Ballard

      September 10, 2016 at 2:31 pm Reply

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you for your kind words! I had to chuckle when you wrote…my head was spinning thinking of the best answer…how true is that?? They send three benign little words and we’ll be CONSUMED trying to think of how to answer it JUST RIGHT!!! Best thing to do, of course, is to block him so that he can’t so that whenever he feels like it. For him, this game just never gets old.

      Stay strong, girl! I’m here to support you…

      Zari xo

  • Daisy Collins

    September 9, 2016 at 1:34 am Reply

    Dear Zari, I have maitained No Contact now with my abusive ex for 6 months, he too has not contacted me once. During this time I sent him one short email about 3 months ago, mainly because I felt sorry for him feeling that he was a damaged soul. He did not reply. I feel that I let myself down by sending that, though at the time it gave me huge closure that I needed. His ignoring it confirmed to me he was an ass! But I keep regretting the fact that I broke NC this one time. I dont intend to contact him or anybody that he knows again. He has not hoovered me at all, i wish he did!

    • Zari Ballard

      September 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm Reply

      Hi Daisy!

      Don’t give it a second thought about that email. Forget it. Act like it didn’t even happen. We’ve all done it and who cares what he thinks? Just be grateful he didn’t respond. Now, BLOCK his number/email so that he can never contact you ever. You must do this and it WILL deter you from doing it in reverse any more. Keep going in your recovery…six months is along time and you are well on your way. All you did was stub your toe for a second and it means nothing in the big picture!!

      Zari xo

  • Ollie

    November 25, 2015 at 7:17 pm Reply

    Hello
    I have recently broken up with someone who I believe to be a narcissist. it went through the various stages of idealisation, devaluation. I eventually got the strength to break up with him.
    He lied to me so many times, I now believe everything he said was a lie
    He lied about
    1) having cancer
    2) knocked over by a car
    3) having depression
    4) being evicted from his house
    5) tried to get my attention saying he was in a car accident
    6) lied to me about what he got me for Xmas
    7) suicide threats – came out of the bathroom with a mark round his neck
    8) passport was stolen in Galway and made a whole fuss over it on facebook
    9) accused me of cheating

    I lost 2 stone within one month of being with.him. After I finally caught him out on his lies. He sent me a picture of a rope round his neck with a message “I told you I’d do it”
    He also sent me suicide poems and threats. I am currently going through a smear campaign which is scary. As he knows a lot of my friends I have found them not to speak to me at all.
    It’s like he has totally forgotten about me. He is going on like i didnt exist.
    I get a lot of the flash backs and Im prone to stress a lot more now

    During the break up
    I got a hateful message from his aunt telling me that I am an awful person and that I should be ashamed of myself treating the narc like the way I did. That message dropped my self esteem even.more.

    I am currently no contact 9 months now. And I’m gradually getting myself back. But I am still prone to ptsd symptoms

  • Brenda Engholm

    November 11, 2015 at 10:22 am Reply

    Dear Zari, I have just come out of a very similar situation. Thank you for your article. It is only Day 2 of no contact. However, most pertinent on my mind is will I feel better telling him I cheated on him too. I think it will, but only because I want to upset him; even just a little. And it was what he said was the reason he did all his cheating. But I found out the truth and actually he still does not know. So in some ways I think it would be good for me to tell him. Actually when he blocked me once on his phone, I did send confessional texts which was satisfying to me.
    Having gone through a similar ordeal, what is your opinion on me sending this last piece of information to my narcissist?

    • Zari Ballard

      November 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm Reply

      Hi Brenda,

      Honestly, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing because that’s what it would be – satisfaction. The “emotional” reaction that you imagine getting from coming clean isn’t going to happen because the narcissist does not think like we do. It won’t piss him off or hurt his feelings. All the information will do is make him feel JUSTIFIED and VALIDATED that he treated you so poorly. Trust me, don’t do it. If I thought it would matter, I would say so but I am 100% certain it won’t.

      Write him a letter and get it out of your system but then BURN it. Keep the information to yourself and feel satisfied that you got something over on HIM, girl. Don’t provide him any more fuel for his narcissistic fire.

      Stay strong!

      Zari xo

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