What to Do When Your Family and Friends Disappear During Your Recovery
You’ve done it. You finally moved out, initiated No Contact and so far, you’re holding your position and looking forward to your recovery from narcissistic abuse. You feel unsure of yourself and are having second thoughts, but somehow you maintain your resolve.
You settle down for the evening, but start missing your narcissistic ex. You need to occupy yourself to prevent a relapse (like last time), so you try to call your buddy. They don’t answer, and they don’t text back. You call your cousin because she seemed so understanding the last time you confided your problems in her. She tries to be nice, but you can detect some hesitancy in her voice. She gives you a story about having to shop for groceries. In a final desperate attempt, you call your co-worker, just to have someone to vent to. He tells you to suck it up…that this, too, shall pass.
As you hang up, your ex’s number comes up on your phone, but you don’t answer. Over the days that follow, no one is available to talk, much less for a visit. Although you eventually block your ex’s number from your phone, you receive an email from them because you’ve been so preoccupied, you forgot to block this avenue of communication. Against your better judgment, you click on it. Inside, you read the same sob story about how much they miss you and can’t live without you. You hit delete and then empty your “trash” folder.
A few weeks go by, and none of the people you thought you could depend on can be seen or heard for miles. The only sounds in your new apartment are crickets chirping, and the sudden sound of a call coming in from Skype. You look at the number…it’s your Ex. You kick yourself for leaving yet another crack open. You start to hit “Ignore”, but then…you get the overwhelming feeling that your ex was right. They ARE the only person who cares about you. They’re the only one who’s tried to contact you when everyone else turned a cold shoulder. In a split second, you’re talking to your ex and accepting their invitation for dinner and a movie.
And thus starts the vicious cycle all over again.
Most of us have been through this scenario. Recovering from narcissistic abuse can be a cold, lonely existence. Your friends and family tired of your complaints long ago…they never understood why you stuck with your ex for so long, anyway. They detached themselves from you because you never took their advice, and now you feel like you’ve been excommunicated from everyone you’ve ever known.
It’s because of this that many of us go back to our exes after initiating our recovery from narcissistic abuse. Our poor, fragile minds begin to believe the lies our exes told us over the years.
See how your friends turned out to be deserters, and your family couldn’t care less? It’s precisely in line with what your ex wanted you to believe after convincing you to isolate yourself from everyone.
As hard and lonely as it is, stay strong. Your loneliness was constructed by the narcissist over the years, and they are aware of your plight. They know you likely have no one to lean on and are using the situation to take advantage of your vulnerability.
It’s important to remember that while the narcissist might the only person who will give you the time of day during this phase, it doesn’t mean they care about you.
This isn’t the narcissist’s first go-round. They’ve been isolating their many partners for years and they are keenly aware that you have no one around for support because this was their goal from the beginning.
You feel so lost that you are in a prime position to not only take the narcissist back, but give them full access to all of your resources, as well, because you’re feeling generous now that it seems the narcissist cares about you, after all. This is all part of the illusion.
What to Do Instead
If you don’t have children to care for, get out of the house! Stop wasting away like the Living Dead and start taking care of yourself. Get a new hairstyle, rebuild your wardrobe, and treat yourself to a nice dinner, complete with champagne. Schedule some massages and take up a new hobby. This is the new you.
Don’t hang around your phone or computer because these are subconscious attempts to stick around for your ex. You were conditioned to do this during their unexplained absences and silent treatments, and you may continue these behaviors even after the relationship is over.
The mind and body know how to heal themselves. Our job is to give them the circumstances to do it…
“It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
If you do have children, listen to some guided meditations while they play with their toys in another room. Start a blog, keep a diary, find some MeetUp groups in your area, do some mirror work, and if you’re able… do some online shopping. Try to hire a reliable babysitter. Use a reputable company like Care.com and choose someone with a lot of positive feedback. (Do not use Craigslist to find a babysitter).
This is the time to reclaim your personal power and finally move forward in your recovery from narcissistic abuse. Over time, you will meet new people, make new friends, and have a better idea of the people you can depend on in life…and the first person you need to rely on is yourself.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~ Gautama Buddha