It’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.
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.
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…..