The Real Reason You Break No Contact (It’s Not What You Think)

The toughest tribulation in detaching from an abusive relationship with a Narcissist or other toxic individual is implementing and maintaining No Contact (or Modified Contact in cases of shared custody).

The word on the street is that, on average, it takes leaving a toxic partner seven times before finally leaving for good. From my experience and that of my readers, it often takes a much larger number of attempts before ultimately detaching and moving on.

Some people never truly leave and instead are placed into the “Friends with Benefits” category while their toxic Ex strings them along whilst living out his or her “real life” with someone else.

So why do we break No Contact?  Why do we monitor the Ex’s social media, looking for any shred of evidence that the person we thought existed might still be?  Why do we ruminate obsessively, sometimes becoming dysfunctional in the process?

Trauma-bonding?  Partly.

Psychological conditioning and manipulation?  To a degree.

Fear that our partner will never approve of us or consider us worthy of love and affection?  Most certainly.

There are many factors that determine why we break No Contact, but one is the biggest underlying factor in this self-destructive cycle. 

When we break No Contact, we are essentially trying to recreate and repair the traumatic childhood memories and emotional injuries we sustained when we, as young and innocent children, couldn’t understand or process why we were ignored, neglected, invalidated, and/or abused.  Ultimately, we internalized the abuse and mistreatment as meaning we were innately bad and there was nothing we could do about it.

Sometimes, we may not have endured what we’d consider emotional abuse, but perhaps had a parent who was a perfectionist or we were in the middle regarding the birth order of our siblings and so didn’t get a lot of personal attention.  

Either way, our early years set the stage for entering into relationships that remind us of how we felt as children.

Childhood trauma and repetition compulsion

Many psychologists and thought leaders have recognized a tendency for humans to be drawn to situations that trigger unresolved traumas from earlier in their lives. A child who has an abusive parent may later be repeatedly drawn to abusive partners.  Someone who was often abandoned may be drawn, unconsciously, to people who will become close to them and then suddenly detach and leave.[1]

In the world of psychotherapy, this tendency is referred to as repetition compulsion, which was coined by Sigmund Freud as “the desire to return to an earlier state of things.”

Narcissists are masters at figuring out what our weaknesses, wounds, and fears are.  Since most of these developed during our childhood, it only stands to reason that they choose to push buttons that trigger our childhood wounds.  In fact, the narcissist brings the childhood wounds that we’ve suppressed from our subconscious mind to the conscious, turning our innermost sufferings into everyday reality. This is precisely how they keep us compliant and obedient – and enmeshed in a relationship with them.

Revisiting the trauma

In most cases of dysfunctional relationships with narcissists, the disordered individual represents a parental figure or caregiver.  When the adult who was supposed to be a source of safety and nurturance became simultaneously a source of suffering, we maneuvered to re-establish some sense of safety. Instead of turning on our parents and thereby losing hope for protection, we blamed ourselves. We became fearfully and hungrily attached and anxiously obedient.  [2]

This perfectly describes the relationship dynamic that plays out with a narcissistic individual and his or her target.  We want to be the “good girl” or “good boy”, literally doing whatever it takes to get a nod of approval or acknowledgement, often accepting deplorable behaviors such as infidelity, perpetual unemployment, pathological lying, and daily emotional torture.

Cognitively, it makes no sense to go back to a person who mistreats and abuses us, but these curious behaviors are driven by our subconscious minds – and have us waiting in vain for our abuser to “rescue” us from our feelings of unworthiness or to give us confirmation of our negative self beliefs, which is a peculiar unconscious desire of countless codependents and narcissistic abuse victims.

And who better to do that than the narcissist we know?

Don’t believe everything you think

The important thing to remember is that the negative, underlying beliefs that we may have regarding our worth are not facts.  Many of the beliefs we hold about ourselves originated in childhood due to repeated disappointments and the inability to comprehend that our parents or caregivers treated us the way they did because they were damaged themselves (or, worse, were narcissistic).

Our internal scripts, or the beliefs we have regarding our worth, can be changed.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) can provide effective treatment paths for reshaping thought patterns that lead to self-defeating behaviors. These types of therapeutic approaches focus on bringing awareness to cognitive distortions, irrational beliefs, and negative thought tracks.[3]

Alternative approaches to healing include transformational healing methods such as:  reiki, energy healing, psychic cord cutting, spiritual counseling, and getting help from a coach who can guide you in creating clarity, reality-based relationship analysis, and assist you with useful skills to help you break through to the next level in your healing journey.

Resist the urge to break No Contact

Coming to terms with what is can go a long way in implementing and maintaining No Contact.  No matter how many times you fall for the hoovering or reach out to the narcissist yourself, the relationship and the accompanying damage will not improve.  No amount of forgiveness or compliance extended to them will cause them to look at you or your relationship in a different light.  In fact, with each return to the relationship, the abuse gets worse because the narcissist then sees that there’s no need to put forth any effort for damage control or pretend to have basic decency because they can do whatever they please, yet suffer no consequences.

Nor will breaking No Contact repair your painful childhood.  Only by maintaining bona fide No Contact will you have any hope of healing and finding relief from the very wounds that keep you enmeshed with a toxic narcissist.

Copyright 2016  Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach



[1] THE REPETITION COMPULSION. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2015, from


Van der Kolk, B. (1989, June 1). The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma. Retrieved August 23, 2015, from


DeName, K. (n.d.). Repetition Compulsion: Why Do We Repeat the Past? Retrieved August 23, 2015, from

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  1. Anonymous

    My quandary is : because we have 8 children together, ages 5-24, I’m still financially dependent on him. 7 of the children and I are still living in the home he left. It is an old run down money pit and even health wise bad for us. I’m still unemployed and so unable to make the much needed repairs to make this home adequate for all of us for the duration. He has his own nice place and now wants a better car and wants to sign the mortgage completely over in my name. I’m not sure if it would be wise considering the current state of disrepair its in yet I don’t have another housing option, not to mention I’d be responsible for the full debt of mortgage but the house payment is very low. But I’m wondering if I should see his offer as one more way of separating my life from him no matter how unfair the amount of responsibilities with our children he has left me with and he does provide us with money every month but of course it doesn’t cover all our needs. My ideal is to one day be able to make enough money to support all of us without him but till then… I just wonder how worth it it ever really is to make him accountable since he truly believes he deserves a totally fresh start and can get really nasty and unreasonable defending that belief. And I’ve never been materialistic yet so its not that I want any extras I just know right now I think I’m stuck with lack of adequate finances till I can find a suitable job that also allows me to adequately care for my children’s daily needs.We are not divorced or separated and he has been gone since Easter 2016. He does see the 2 youngest every weekend. The older children don’t want to see him at all. The 3rd youngest sees him on occasion.

  2. Shirley Akpelu

    Right on Kim. What the article said was true. Heal yourself. Forget about the narc. He has forgotten you. He is angry I had the nerve to leave him and put an end to his terror and trauma. There is no need to break no contact with someone who can give you the silent treatment for two or more years. Good riddance! There was no love or relationship. I deserved more than crumbs from his table. This recovery and healing is hard work. I must be healthy to expect a loaf of bread instead of crumbs. Thanks for helping me see that with your insight.

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  5. If it happened to me, it could happen to you! I was super independent and confident before him!

    Here’s the short version of my story. (Ha!) I’m wondering if anyone can relate? My ex would call me belitting names- all in jest mind you- his favorite was Thumbalina. I used to think it was cute. Right?! He would never use the children’s real names but instead call them names like fats & skinny. Then he switched to the years of their birth and then their name pronounced wrong, or sometimes he would just call them a different name altogether. He would throw temper tantrums if something was stressful- like smash a wall or throw a tool, create drama & uncertainty, use his size and anger to keep the whole family on pins and needles, say one thing & then do another. He always called me crazy no matter what I said and called the children ridiculous if they shared a feeling. He never talked about his feelings or life plans or anything deeper than a project. He was a very secretive person. When he did speak it was to complain that I did the very things he was doing. He would say things like, “I can never win” “You don’t even know what you’re talking about”. He could go three weeks without acknowledging my presence if I did something he didn’t like. He would never talk out a problem or a conflict. I always had to give in to keep the peace in the family because someone would be physically ill from the stress in the atmosphere. He also would keep me awake at night, knowing I had to get up for children but he had a lucrative job that paid no matter his sleep schedule. I slept very little when I was with him and was always feeling like if I could just stop the world and figure things out, I’d be ok. At the same time, I also felt like there was something seriously wrong with me and if I left him we wouldn’t survive. He was the money maker and all my time & attention went to children. He never paid attention to them except during the times he was shunning me. So, during those times it was super awkward as the children craved that attention but knew it was temporary. He would put on a fake personality when company would come – or if his family was in town. It was bizarre because he would act normal, then they would leave and he would go back to not speaking to anyone he lived with! He was always hyper-focused on making money or on his hobbies. They didn’t involve anyone else in the family most of the time and we were thankful for that because we usually ended up feeling awful or being yelled at. His priorities were always what he wanted first. I chalked a lot up to stress from his job, as that is what he would say. But one day I found some really bad stuff on the computer and confronted him. He actually got mad at me for thinking he could do something wrong and a couple of months later brought an image to my attention and asked if I put it there! I finally got the courage to tell him it was over when I realized I just couldn’t go on anymore. I would have died I think. I moved out with the kids. After 7 months he seemed to be a changed man and begged for another chance to keep the family together. He carried a bible everywhere he went and quit drinking. (I think that’s what he thought would convince me!) It was weird. I didn’t believe that for a second but I decided to give him another chance without putting myself totally back under his thumb. I kept my job and my new friends and tried to include him. We began to do things together outside of the house. I didn’t quit my job. I journaled every night to make sure I could tell truth from not truth. He held it together about 3 weeks then began to drink- “just 1-2”; then half the night, then said “I will never give up beer for you”. He also could not handle not having complete control over me. He hated my new friends and found reasons to call them names. He told me I didn’t need a job anymore and did things to make it impossible to continue working- like staying up all night drinking making noise on the night before my job review. I went into work with zero sleep and rocked it anyways. When I told him it wasn’t working between us, I wouldn’t give up my job and that I felt sorry for him because my independence was a threat to him, he immediately implemented a divorce plan he must have had ready for some time. He had the amounts ready of what he would “give me” per month and the papers ready with a 50/50 split of most assets. It was the most surreal thing in the world. I was an object to him! But, I needed to know I stood up for something- so I decided to fight for the family home. It was almost paid for except a small private loan from his family & they had offered to write it off as a part of their estate gifts to their kids. They were not hurting for money but I continued to pay them a year. They said they would hold off if I agreed to sell. What a position to be in! Well that did it and I decided to fight for 1 thing. Our home. The same home I had been willing to get rid of in order to “save” the marriage when he proclaimed it was the source of stress and too much work. Well, that did it. When he heard I stopped the payments to his parents, he proceeded to destroy me as best he could. After months of private mediation, months of collaborative lawyers then court ordered mediation, he would not give in to let us stay in the house. He filed & went into court, portrayed me as the abuser, trapping into needing to work long hours to pay for two homes while living the high life. He looked the perfect helpless victim- even shedding tears in court! He lied and said I kicked him out with nothing when he and his large family had actually come to the house with full access for a whole day with the largest moving van I’ve ever seen. That day the world was upside down. I never bought things for myself or had many possessions. He knew care-taking of the children was my #1 priority. He asked the judge to award him things that he knew I would need to take care of them as a way to punish me or win- like the Kitchenaid & Canner. The judge didn’t go for that but he evidently believed the rest and ordered the family home sold. That will leave him mortgage free with a high paying job and seeing children to attend fancy shows or go on vacation and me facing a 30 year mortgage at mid-life on a low income with all of the parenting responsibilities. So….after a few years without him & all I have been through you would think I would know in my heart of hearts it was all him. But- the trauma bond is so strong and he broke me so well, when I am low I still sometimes wonder if he was right and I am just crazy. I then reach out to a trusted friend who gives me a reality check. All of my current relationships (which are only friendships) are healthy. I’m wondering if the doubt in myself will ever fade or if I will ever trust myself or another person enough to enter into an intimate relationship? My fear is I will be paranoid always looking for the hidden agenda. Anyone else? I haven’t even gotten into how he has changed now. He has created a new persona in a nearby town- the ultimate good citizen, volunteer, excellent dad, always taking kids everywhere, he has everyone (except the kids who remember who he was before) fooled. It’s like living in a nightmare sometimes yet sometimes I wonder has he really changed that much? What got me through the no contact was thinking of him as my heroin. I realized it must have been what it felt like to be addicted to something that could kill you.

    1. Penny

      I am so lost, I know if I stay with him it will destroy me and in a sense has already and its only been 1 1/2 years. Sometimes feels like a lifetime! Last weekend I had my last straw found him at another womens home, banged on the door almost got arrested for it so I block him and was feeling ok, not great but ok. But there I was unblocking him, talking to him last night and today. He says lets go to counseling I love you and yes I know they seem to be just words but how do I tell my heart and my mind it will never be good and ultimately will destroy me. My daughters says Mom he is not healthy for you, he is a waste of time and not worth your tears, maybe not but I can’t seem to just walk away! I feel horrible, sick, physically sick! How do you do it? I feel lost without him! Help!

  6. Everything you mentioned, I experience. It’s been 2 and a half yrs since we broke up. I finally realized the last time the narc came around when he found out that I’ve move on, I haven’t given myself a chance to heal. Throught out 2 1/2 yrs , i was always texting emailing, we wold tlk , then he would go back to ignoring me, putting me in axiety all over again and making me feel like i was the problem. He has done it once again, so I got tired and decided to go No Contact. I’m tired of feeling hopeless and doubting myself whenever i communicate with him. I’m so eaisly triggered due to not healing. I am 4 days into No contact and it feels better each day , although I get those urges to contact and unblock. It’s a fight that i’m willing to win for the sake of sanity and well being.

  7. Ella

    I think, one of the reasons I have always went back is because of the horrible, unbelievable and out of this world smear campaign. It’s like I want to go back so that hopefully he won’t continue saying all those horrible lies about. Hoping he will stop. I know at the moment his smear campaign is in full blown. It is unbearable. I am being portrayed a monster and a dangerous person…. That kind of the comments of his flying monkeys are of ‘amen’ and stuff like that. Good Lord, what in the world he is inventing about me!

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  9. Della

    Phone company will only let me block local numbers. Ex Narcs phone is a cell phone from another state. I have made it 11 days not contact but phone messages/his voice still comes through. What can I do?

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Della. I am sorry for the late reply as I’m just seeing your question. It might be worth changing your number and paying to have it unlisted. Then, only give it to trusted friends and family members. Hope that helps!

  10. Rachel

    Totally, mine is suddenly leaving me. He wants to still be friends and hang out a couple times a week and fix all the things in the house he never worked on before.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing, Persia! 🙂 So good to see you here!

  11. Debra Sutton

    Great Post Kim. It is as though we keep returning to the scene of the crime hoping for a different outcome.

  12. candra

    BTW, I also want to thank you for this post, Kim. I was feeling like such a complete idiot before reading this. I can ease up on myself now. The thing is I was an amazingly strong, no nonsense woman before he came along, I justdon’t see how I fell for everything and kept looking the other way.

  13. Kimberly

    Good morning Kim! I just wanted to say I appreciate your website. I was married to a narcissists for 21 years. And helped him Rise 7 of his 8
    children by a previous marriage. A’s welI my two son’s. I went no contact 3 weeks before the divorce. Two days before the divorce he contacted my daughter in law stating he was back in California and couldn’t get in contact with me because I had blocked him from texting or calling me. After he didn’t hear from me he deposited $500 into my account. The old me would have call and thanked him. I spent the money and kept it moving. I’m also a very moral person I couldn’t see how we could mend the relationship in two days. At that time I didn’t know for all those years I had been dealing with a narcissists. It’s been close to 2 in a half years since the divorce or we’ve spoken. I see some of his children from time to time. We love each other so much they have all told me how much they appreciated what I did for them and the love I showed them. And I tell them how much I love them. It was so hard at first to even see them we were so hurt because or family was torn apart. Through prayer and my relationship with Jehovah it’s much better. My Hart has never hurt so much since the breakup. I’ve just been working on my self by reading articles from your site as well as other information I feel is useful for me. I’m even learning a foreign language, Arabic. My problem is I have set backs. I met someone in my Arabic Group that I really like. We’ve known each other since I been in the group. Almost 3 years. We both are spiritual people and both love or God Jehovah and righteousness. We’ve known each other for almost three years. We’re not dating. He lost his wife after only about two years of marriage to Brest cancer. He has been single for 13 years. He’s a very faithful man. But every time I think I’m ready to move on something triggers me to start missing my ex. I think I still have him on a pedestal. Case in point. My new interest tex me for a congregation matter but didn’t say hello he never does even though I always do no matter who it is. I got so upset because my ex would never do that. Even if he called a business he would ask how the person on the other end was doing and at least say hello. I have been feeling depressed a little before this. I think what happened was my youngest step son came to see me a couple of weeks ago it had been two years since he had called me. We were so happy to see each other we hug and hugged some more. I thought i was ok but I see I’m not. This is my problem. I’m grieving the loss. I have thought of calling him but I don’t because we really don’t have anything to talk about. I want a meaningful relationship with someone I can build a solid foundation. So I know it’s over but I’m still grieving. I’m 54, I married him at 32. I have forgiven him. I have prayed for God to keep him far away from me and he has. I do want to get married again. I know my new guy likes me too I know it’s just not one sided he’s even told me something’s he like about me recently. I really find him attractive but every time we seem to come closer I feel further away. In closing I’m really trying to move on with my life. From writing this post I can see two things holding me back. 1) I still have him on a pedestal. 2) all though I can’t see us together I’m grieving over the loss of the relationship. Also for anyone having a hard time with no contact I can tell u from my own experience, it’s has helped me in so many ways. Although there have been times especially in the beginning that I wanted to talk to him. I have a since of self worth. He doesn’t know my feelings. Even though he said I was so predictable he could predict when I was going to be unpredictable. Huh he couldn’t predict I would have ever gone no contact on him, lol. I can go on and on with the benefits of no contact. But the best is I’m in control of me. Even when I feel week, because of no contact he never knows any of my feelings and that puts me in control. I realized the other day that I need to just accept that I will probably always love my ex all though I’m not in love with him. Because I’m a very loving person. And that has nothing to do with him.

  14. candra

    My problem is I’m confused as to what is and what is NOT. The man I’m with has so much in common with my mother who was a narcissist and likely a sociopath. Both were also psychologists, and so experts at manipulating. I have cut off contact with my mother except through emails. Through doing Yoga Nidra for a year I am finally seeing patterns in my life I didn’t see before. Like being trained for “obligation” as a first and foremost need. I finally realized (just today in fact) that since my mother trained me to feel obligated to her and my duties as a daughter, I equate obligation not only with love, but with actual survival. But I still have confusions where the patterns are. I have learned I need to honor my feelings esp. since I’m an empath. I have to honor my physical illnesses (which have been for three years now) as another signal. But, for instance, I now handle the money in our relationship, though he makes it (I’m too weak to at this point). So the other day when he handed me money he earned he also told me that his employer told him he’s an idiot to give it over to me. I don’t go vacationing or do nice things for myself. I pay bills. And I try to save for the next time he loses his latest job and takes us broke. He then said they may be travelling out of the country where there are beautiful women. Okay, who cares, I’m celibate anyway. But just mentioning those things made me angry. It feels disrespectful, and seems like the same intentions my mother had when she used veiled threats and insults. So I packed my things and decided to leave. Then he says he didn’t mean to be that way. He loves me. And he does seem to show some signs of caring. Still, I have to ask myself, if he cared, why am I so broken? I was not broken before him. Even my mother could not break me. In the beginning he was very cruel and yet I stayed. So I know he pushed buttons. Esp. since I was dating two men who were both wonderful, highly successful and adored me. But I didn’t want to actually live with anyone. I am hating myself for then living with this man who treated me like feces on the bottom of his shoe (for twenty years now).

    1. Kim Saeed

      Candra, from this brief background that you’ve shared with me, he does indeed show several of the classic signs of emotional manipulation. He has learned what your hot buttons are and he’s pushing them to cause you grief. If you haven’t gone back, I hope you can find a way to sever him from your life. Easier said than done, I know…but, I believe you can do it <3

      1. candra

        Thank you Kim. We are still together for financial reasons for now. And I started making excuses again. But as I was sitting here looking for yet another place to live (about the TENTH just this year) I realized that he is keeping me unstable by forcing this lifestyle which is probably also a manipulative maneuver. BTW, he was a major pot addict since I met him (I didn’t know, he hid it). He quit now and has gotten better. I wonder, can something like being a pot addict make someone narcissistic and when they quit they can get better? He is actually better, but still selfish when it comes down to it.

  15. Kelsea

    I also don’t believe the “7 times” theory to be true- maybe for some it is or was, but not for me. Try maybe about 16 times. But if it had been at the 7th time, maybe I would have saved myself the added heartache, but it was all meant to unravel the way it did. I finally changed my phone number on the 15th of July and I have made it 41 days of NC. He emailed me earlier this month saying he had something important to talk to me about and begged me to contact him. I know that this was only a ploy to see if he still had control over me because he tried to call me and realized my number was disconnected. He knew that a sob story was a way of getting me to reach out to him like it had in the past. But the key words in that last sentence were “was” and “had”. It’s all past tense now and is no longer a part of who I am today. I am finally on the path of healing and I know now that NC is what has changed my life and opened my eyes to a new level of awareness I have never experienced. I became addicted to the drama, pain and chaos he insued on my life. My life is a bit boring now but I am embracing the still silentness and its so quiet now that I can hear my heart speak to me. I am so blessed by these blogs and the people on here. Please, if anyone is struggling with no contact- keep up the good fight and remember that they have nothing to give that will benefit you in any way. If you love this person- one thing that has helped me- is to have so much unconditional love in your heart that you MUST let them go. I know that loving yourself right now doesn’t seem possible or even important because we are conditioned to help and love others first- but if you tell yourself during NC that you are cutting them off because maybe on the off chance that your absence will open their eyes and they will get the help they need- then it’s worth doing. And in that mean time you will benefit from healing and learning to love yourself again. Just try not to kid yourself that if you go NC then maybe they will realize how important you are to them and they will realize that they have to change and they will come crawling back. It’s not impossible, but with how disordered these people are- they are all they care about and they may not ever realize what they’ve done and they may not ever come to the type of enlightenment that we are blessed to have.
    I never thought I would make it 41 days or even be able to ignore an email from him, but by the grace of God and the hard work of focusing on myself and listening to my heart and journaling my pain when him and I were speaking- has opened my eyes and given me this opportunity. I no longer expect him to ever wake up and change his disordered mind and destructive ways for me anymore and for once I am at peace with that. Hang in there and don’t look backwards, only forward. A better life and love is waiting for you. That, I can promise you.

    1. Michelle

      Thank you for posting your NC experience. I tried that and i gave in on the 3rd attempt from him and it bothered me so much that i feel like i’ve taken a step back in my progress of moving forward. He started seeing someone a week after our 8yr long relationship ended. So who knows when he started seeing/talking to her. I feel as though he keeps texting me to try and keep me on a string just in case his current relationship doesn’t work out. But he talked to many many girls behind my back during our relationship so i’m not shocked he’s doing it to her now. The last attempt in which i responded was only a few days ago and i told him to please please stop texting me and i didn’t hear a response back so i am hoping he finally realizes that what he’s doing is unfair to me. Prayers and fingers crossed this is the end!

      1. Kim Saeed

        Keeping fingers crossed, Michelle. Any way you can block him from texting you? That would make NC much easier as they often reach out when we are feeling vulnerable.

  16. thepinch

    Dear Kim,

    Thank you for your continued encouragement. In large part thanks to you, I am now in my 31st day of no contact. It’s right up there with quitting smoking, in terms of addiction withdrawl. He’s 3 doors down, and the urge to pick up has been excruciating. But he also left me with a little surprise – a (curable) STD. The treatment is not going well and I am quite ill. Now I am both ashamed, and faced with the moral dilemma of whether or not to tell him, which, in turn, will likely result in more abuse.

    All my life I have done the right thing by donating blood, being a first aider, and being a transplant donor. I know what is at stake. I know that I can go to the authorities and have them contact him. And then he will continue to be aggressive towards me, just as he has been repeatedly over the last 30 days.

    But for now, I choose to do nothing. Why? Because I am too vulnerable right now to deal with the consequences. If that makes me a pariah; so be it; I need time for ME for a change. One fine morning I will wake up and have all the protection I need in place. I have already rehearsed the how, it’s a matter of waiting for the right time.

    Thank you for listening.

    1. Anonymous

      This is a follow up to the above post. I did not get better quickly and went back to the doctor for further tests. Whatever it is, it’s a highly unpleasant version.

      I thought about it another week and made the snap decision to confront the matter yesterday, asking him if I could meet him at 8:00 PM on a very important matter. He seemed genuinely enthusiastic. He was no where to be found, of course, Probably in the shadows, smirking.

      I spent about 10-15 min looking, knocking, looking. His upstairs tenant asked if he could help, and said that he “had just seen him.” The tenant, who was very gracious, said that “you are a very beautiful woman” and that he could not imagine why he would do is. Well, God works in strange ways, and we take the help we need when it’s offered.

      What was the problem? I said it was very important that I speak with him. Finally the tenant pleaded with me. All I said was, “Tell P that he needs to see a doctor.” There. It’s on the table. What did I mean? Was I okay? Could I be more specific? “I’m very sorry to impose on you. Please tell P to see a doctor.” I had the address of a clinic in my pocket, but I never gave it to him. The point was made.

      My plan was to have a civil conversation in front of his church, and now I was in a fetal position in my living room. But I had done the right thing. And I have no remorse.

      Very rough night sleeping; at 4 am I got some air in the backyard and saw he had lit a fire there; some satisfaction in knowing that it was a sleepless night for him.

      Now where do we go?

      I am checking in with the police this afternoon to see if assault charges can be laid.

  17. You wrote: “Narcissists are masters at figuring out what our weaknesses, wounds, and fears are.”
    I’m not sure they are figuring them out so much as we are out right telling them. Co dependent people have a tendency to give up a lot of information about ourselves in the beginning. I mean sure the narc is listening and figuring it out from there. But I don’t like giving them all that power and intelligence as if they are magical beings. If we took it slow and left much of ourselves to mystery rather than telling them our histories in the first week or so of dating, they wouldn’t know so much.

    As far at the behaviors though and the childhood roots of it all…Yup. It’s really true. And for me my family appointed me scapegoat in the long run, so I was really looking for a hero. Big mistake to do that externally. Awesome article.

  18. Leonardo

    Great article, just at all of them. This particular one has to do a lot with what I have been trough.
    I copied and pasted the following paragraph. It is totally my history.
    I really need to learn how to re-parent my self and heal old wounds.
    There is a lot of work to do, I see not ending to this recovery process, but with all your articles and all the information out there we all can trust that there is hope.

    “When the adult who was supposed to be a source of safety and nurturance became simultaneously a source of suffering”

    thanks a million 🙂

  19. Melanie Smith

    Such great information for me. I’m struggling with the no contact – this helps me understand why. I’m also figuring out how my childhood fears/need for approval/never-good-enough thoughts are driving so much of my behavior now. I’m trying to take it easy on my self-loathing and give my healing the time it needs. Thank you for your post. I’m so glad I “signed on” with you.

  20. Great article, Kim. Also, there’s ‘guilt’ involved in no contact, too. We have to believe we deserve a better life to make it happen and stay no contact. It’s not our fault. As victims we have to learn to let go of the blame and this will make us stronger for no contact. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Indeed, Lisa. Guilt due to leaving is definitely a challenge. The important thing to keep in mind is that narcissists don’t need our empathy or sympathy. They only those things to keep us controlled and manipulated. Thanks for your input.

    2. I deal with waves of guilt too. The narcissist for me is the family unit. And it can be difficult to not feel selfish (which was also drilled into my head) for doing what is the healthiest thing for me.

      1. thepinch

        Thank you. It is possible for an entire family to be toxic. You are not alone.

  21. It’s so sad that some waste years, miserable and abused. And then to find out they are addicted to the abuse is kind of unbelievable for many. Great post, thanks!

  22. Ex Puppet

    Excellent post!
    Exactly what I needed today.
    I have been doing do much work on self love and keeping him away.

      1. karenzipdrive

        Kim, I like your vision of evolving and healing as the ultimate objectives of this site. Once I read a thousand books & pieces about how to spot a Narcissist, I was convinced that was my ex’s main issue. Once I read another 500 pieces about the prognosis for a narc in therapy, and discovered the cure rate is extremely low, that was all I needed to put an end to the insanity of dealing with the lies, blame, emotional abuse and overall bullshit. This horrid misadventure has stopped, thanks to identifying NPD symptoms and learning how it includes making the victim feel like they are going crazy. Now the adventure of healing has begun in earnest. Writing in a journal daily and full-block NC help a lot. In my journal I have a few pages titled, “What I’d like to e-mail that %#!^#%” if I wasn’t on NC.” It’s a great way to offload anger and get it off my chest without taxing friends’ patience. Also I’ve learned to spell obscenities in German, Spanish and French..

        1. Kim Saeed

          Hi Karen,

          Thank you for sharing your success story. I especially like your specially-titled pages in your journal…and it’s great that you’re learning new languages 🙂

          Wishing you all the best in your healing journey…


  23. lovereadinginthebath

    I’ve finally separated from my narcissist husband after 20 years of marriage, enduring numerous relationships with other women, emotional abuse and sexual abandonment. I’ve fantasized about being free for so long, and it’s been a huge blow to find myself struggling so much. The day he moved out he took his girlfriend to a wedding, treated her to night in a hotel and left the receipt for his condoms on our kitchen counter, I still miss him every day, but I’m understanding that 20 years of abuse has made me a bit unhealthy, and I’m learning that No Contact is my cure. Thanks Kim for your invaluable advice – when your posts arrive in my inbox my day gets a lot better.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you so much for letting me know that my articles are helping you, lovereadinginthebath! You’ve given me my own spark of inspiration today <3

  24. Only Me

    While I have my doubts about this theory, it probably does apply to at least some of us. I have NEVER went back to my ex psycho boy or broken no contact once I decided to institute it. Yes, I did feel the pull the addiction, but I knew better than to give in to it like quitting cigarettes so speak. Kind of like gritting your teeth and bearing it! LOL.

    I’ve had it out with the people who caused the biggest hurt as a child, and even resolved the conflicts somewhat after talking it out with them. There comes a point, you learn to let it go, and not hang on to the pain and anger. You can’t change the past, and the future isn’t here yet. So that leaves the present to deal with. Deal with it I have.

    Currently, I’m dating someone who is non-psychopathic. Too soon to know where that will go, so I’m taking it day by day. It lacks all the components of the toxic one with ex psycho boy. In fact, it took over 7 months to even get around to arranging a first date!

    It’s based on friendship and respect. No sex yet, but I wouldn’t rule it someday! All things in good time if it’s meant to be. We haven’t even discussed the future yet or even if there will be one. No rushing into anything. We’ll see how it goes.

    Good luck to all in recovery, and best wishes to you Kim. Love your posts, and sensitive insights.! Take care.

  25. tarajoyoung77

    I love your words. They are so straight to the truth and heart of the matter. Your gorgeous work in helping others led me to doing Melanie Thrive module and I am so grateful you referenced her work. The synchronicities leading me to both you and her can be nothing less than divine appointment leading me straight to the root where the my 100% healing can begin and lead me directly to the life I have always deserved. Freedom to love me just as I am. Power inside of me to do anything I an dream of becoming. Thank you for being a part of my complete healing and acceptance of my power to heal and thrive <3

    1. Kim Saeed

      Tara, you’ve made my day knowing that you are realizing your worth and moving forward towards the life you deserve 🙂

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