So there I was many, many moons ago, out Christmas shopping, for the love in my life. I was in a long distance relationship at the time and I use the term relationship very loosely. It had moments of bliss, followed by moments of absolute agony. He kept coming and going from my life and I kept taking him back.
One particular Christmas season, I was out at the mall buying gifts for him and racking up quite a debt, then something very strange happened. I literally stopped in my tracks. I remember specifically being in a particular store and having just chosen something else for him, and the thought of, “What the hell am I doing?” reverberated throughout my entire body.
“Is he going to buy me a gift?” I asked myself. “Hell no. He won’t even send me a Christmas card.” The year before I had bought him an expensive leather jacket, he sent me a nude pic of himself. That was my gift, a nude pic, the likes of which I received every time he needed an ego stroke. I thought about all the days in between the previous Christmas and this one and I couldn’t help but think, “What’s changed in our relationship?”
This is still all about him. He’s boomeranging in and out of my life whenever he wants to. He’s using me and I’m letting him. I’m living in some kind of fairytale, where this is a real relationship, when I’m really just here for his amusement and I’m rewarding him for treating me like this – with gifts. Am I nuts?
He didn’t get gifts that year, nor any other year after that. I’m hearing the same pull in a lot of my readers and clients this month. When you’re an over giver it’s only natural that that trickles down to the actual giving of gifts to someone who clearly doesn’t deserve them.
When I look back, I wonder what was I doing? Was I trying to buy his love with presents? Was I trying to show him that one person really loved him more than anyone else? Was I trying to show him the benefits of being with me? It just defied reason that I was so willing to spend a ton of money on someone, who probably wouldn’t even call me on Christmas day.
As I try to analyze that behavior, now that I am so far removed from it, it’s just so nonsensical. I mean really, he knows how he’s treated me. He knows I should tell him where to go and that I shouldn’t have anything to do with him and yet here I am rewarding his poor treatment of me. What kind of a message was I sending?
I’m pretty sure he would read like this: That Sav is a great friend. She’s so sweet, but she knows how I am and she’s cool with it. So I’ll just carry on as usual.
What it really said was: I have no self-respect, because if I did I wouldn’t buy this guy a clue never mind a ton of gifts he doesn’t deserve. I am so desperate for any type of attention that I’m willing to sell my self-esteem to puff up his ego, yet again. The more elaborate the gift, the more I’m hoping he’ll pick me, pick me. He’s so special and I’m so unworthy.
A lot of my readers see the holidays as an opportunity to sabotage their recovery. They’ve gone no contact for months and suddenly the holidays come around and they’re responding to text messages, sending Christmas cards, and going to visit his/her family, because, you know, they were close to them at one point.
Let’s be real for a second. I don’t care if Jimmy’s mom is mother Theresa, if he has been cheating on you and has dumped you, don’t go over to his mother’s house for tea. That’s his mother – not yours and any need to hang on to his family is just a feeble attempt to stay connected. You’re not fooling anyone – not even yourself. Even if they do the inviting, you decline, send them a Christmas card, they’ll understand, believe me.
I’ve had others tell me that they have a psychic connection to their ex and they could sense something wasn’t right with them, so they had to make contact to make sure they were okay. As an objective third party, this sounds absolutely ridiculous and it is, but I get it. I’ve experienced it myself. When someone becomes the sole focus of your existence and they have shut you out, all you’ve got left is the cosmos. You’re looking for any sign, earthbound or otherwise, that you matter to them. I think on some level, all people do have a psychic connection. I think there is something to telepathic communication, but it’s not just with one person, it’s with all people. If someone has dumped you, or mistreated you to the point where you are completely devastated and you’ve had to go no contact, I don’t care if your Spidey senses are screaming, “Jimmy’s fallen down a well, he needs help,”- Don’t make contact. His/her wellbeing isn’t your problem anymore.
Another good one is, “We bought concert tickets before we broke up and I’m going. Why should I have to miss this band I really want to see, just because he’s going to be there?” Well the answer to that is pretty simple. He’s going to be there. If you care at all about your recovery, it’s worth a lot more than this particular event. If you must go – buy yourself a different ticket far, far away from the other one and give your original ticket to a homeless person. That would be a night full of entertainment.
I get this one a lot too, “Just because he’s mean doesn’t mean I have to be mean too.“ Huh? Well yeah, it kind of does, if you define being mean as cutting someone out of your life because they’ve been abusing you. If that’s mean then, hell ya, you should be mean.
All people can justify bad behavior. Someone who has abused you can justify what they’ve done and you can also find a way to justify what they’ve done to you, but when you are justifying reengaging with an abuser once you’ve gotten free of them, you need to take a step back. Even if it hurts like hell and you are dying inside, begging the cosmos for any sign of life, you’ve got to use common sense and ask yourself – is this good for me, or am I just setting myself up for another turn on the merry-go-round?
You don’t need to make contact again to get closure or settle things. Closure isn’t something that you can get from other people and if you’re involved with an unsavory type, you’re not going to get it from them, because many of them like to always keep that door open. Closure is the commitment you make to yourself that your top priority is always going to be your wellbeing. People who practice self-care do not put their recovery in jeopardy for any reason. They don’t do things to harm themselves and trust me when I say, breaking no contact and re-engaging with someone who is harmful for your wellbeing, is harming yourself.
Santa knows who’s been bad or good and so should you. Update your naughty list and stop rewarding bad behavior. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Esteemology. Have a safe and drama free season.
Image courtesy of holohololand at freedigitalphotos.net
“If someone has dumped you, or mistreated you to the point where you are completely devastated and you’ve had to go no contact, I don’t care if your Spidey senses are screaming, “Jimmy’s fallen down a well, he needs help,”- Don’t make contact. His/her wellbeing isn’t your problem anymore.” ❤️ Thanks for the laugh and the shot of common sense to the head.
I have been working on becoming independent and conquring co-dependency for a long time. But a few years ago I fell into my old ways and went chasing after two different men I was interested in on-line. I crashed, became hmeless, and had to begin recovery again, for real. At this point, I take sole responsibility for the fact that I have frequently desired men I simply should not have desired. This is to say, my own desire gets me into trouble. Now when I go visit their on-line pages, having several years distance from the situation, I can plainly see there what I DON’T want, whereas before, all I could see was what I wanted. For instance, one of those on-line lovers I was chasing believes the world is going to end any day now, and he is going to be “raptured.” It would be utterly impossible to plan a future with that man, even plan the next day with him, due to his crazy belief that he is one of the people so special God will destroy the entire world for him. THAT is narcissism! The other guy, a former marine, but in his mid-50’s, still posts macho images of himself as though he still IS a “marine.” It is a false image of himself he projects. He puts a cut out picture of his real head on top of a super hero’s body. He’ll post a picture of “Uncle Sam” as a very old man with a really hot bod (so crazy). I suppose when he logs onto his facebook page, he views himself that way. He is looking into the mirror of self-admiration, and it is a completely false self-image. (Actually, this false hero image has been used as military propaganda since WWI).The point is, at some point in the recovery process, it isn’t a “relapse” to take a second, third, or forth look at the situation. At some point, it serves to reinforce the fact that you DON’T “want” this person- for they seriously need to believe that you do, constantly, “want them.
My ex-narc was an Alaskan boat captain with tons of money at his disposal, he was gone a lot and also lived with Mommy so he was able to spend a lot of money on what ever he wanted. One year he bought me a lint roller for Christmas, I am sure it was something he just happened to have in his car so he called it his Christmas gift. I was a single mom and working at a day care making nearly nothing but I managed to buy him a few respectable gifts which he told me were “insulting”. I took 15 years of this abuse and mistreatment before I found a few web-sites that lead to my discovery of narcs and psychopaths and how they operate. Thank you so much for this post, it is so reassuring that I was not alone in this strange world of narcs. NC is the only way to go. Happy Narc-Free New Year!
Oh yeah, fauubols stuff there you!
Help!! I’ve been contemplating all wkend whether or not to contact him & say lets put it behind us & move into the new year afresh. But then I think no, be proud of yourself for not breaking contact, & remember he doesn’t care, & is probably busy with new supply. Yet I’ve just logged onto skype & low & behold he’s tried to call me this morning, & now I’ve fallen apart again! I keep thinking there’s nothing he could say that would want to make me listen, but then I’m curious. Infact I’ve just been offered a job back overseas in the summer & have to make a decision this week, but the only problem is its in the same vicinity as him. My head is telling me go for it but my heart is saying dont go anywhere near! Although right now I’m like jelly…… Yes i miss him terribly but I wouldn’t have him back after the way he treated me & I’m still hurting too much, infact I cant even bring myself to get back out on the dating scene again, but don’t want to feel like this & let him control my life for another 5 years! Any advice??
Hi. This blog is now my homepage. It is there as a constant reminder and has, on more occasions than not, stopped me from contacting him. I haven’t read all the articles yet but all that I have read have deeply resonated with me. It is helping me to understand myself better and to let go the need to understand him. I now have 5 rules: stop talking to him; stop talking about him; stop thinking about him (hard one but it helps if I follow the first 2; start getting excited about my life gain; and start working on my issues that allowed me to fall for his BS.
Thank you Savannah and thank you everyone who writes in.
Wow, thanku Savannah/everyone, that’s just I needed to hear, a gentle reminder why NC is STILL the right thing to do, no matter how much it hurts. I’ve just come back from a Xmas vacation as I find this time of year especially difficult, & the first thing I did was check to see whether he may have tried to contact me. We parted ways over 2 years ago, but its taken me another 2 years to realize his Narc behaviours, even though we continued a long distance thing, me still sending xmas/birthday cards & presents, & never so much as anything back. He always made the excuse he was too busy, had forgotten, lost my address or hadn’t gotten around to posting it, that includes cards & presents to his family & friends in the UK. Infact this year I didn’t even get a thankyou until I text him, at which point I found out was because he was too busy entertaining someone else at the same time, whilst I’m worrying that he was on his own. Its now 10 months of NC (on my behalf, even though he tried) yet as soon as I arrived back from my hols I had to look at his work fb & he looks good, but yet again I see photos of him with another Thai girl hanging off his arm, the guy just cant help himself!! But I got the whole texting, nude photos etc everyday we were apart, & he always made me feel that we still had a future together & that he still loved me, that I was the one, even as far as making plans for a holiday away together, whilst all the time he had a hareem of women he was playing. Yes its Xmas, but I still think about him & miss him & it doesn’t feel like its getting any easier, I still hope that he thinks about me, & one day I’m going to get an apology & explanation for what he did, but I doubt it very much, which is why reading your posts is always a reminder to self why he isn’t worth it!!
Savannah don’t you think they won?
he got what he wanted: he cheated and dumped me for a younger one , now she’s pregnant and they’re spending Christmas with his family.
But in the summer he’s going on vacation with his friends cheating on her as well.
I know , what you think, I do the same, but never less he won on me because he’s getting what he wanted: child+family+freedom. He’s just a con artist..
Ortensia you won because now he’s someone else’s problem and you get to heal and recreate your life just the way you want it.
I re-read the harem article and several comments posted by others. I’m really struggling with the fact that i bought all his lies. It is mind boggling now that i put up with this. It’s quite scary actually. I’m finding it very difficult not to be hard on myself. Not to judge myself. Not to feel like an idiot. The number of women, the on line singles sites, the text messages, the naked pictures, the secret “friendships”, and more. How stupid. I know better. I’m smarter than that. I’m so embarrassed. How do you get past this?
Savannah- Thank you for posting this. I stopped several times while reading to laugh out loud. Everything you’ve done and said are things I too have fallen victim of.
My question for you is, why do I still care about a Narcissist thats not worthy of my time and attention? Its like I don’t want to give up on him. I don’t want to accept that he’s simply incapable of being a good person. How do I move past it? Im in therapy and I have a great circle of friends that have been supporting me, but I still find myself spinning my wheels on all the scenarios of why he makes these poor decisions. Its like Im trying to make sense out of his nonsense. Its been 12 days NC–it helps, but I still don’t feel better about the situation. I feel compelled to want to ‘fix it’, but I know there’s nothing left to do. Do you have any advice?
eldub read my post entitled Are you mistaking intensity for intimacy that should answer your question.
This is an outstanding piece of writing that really, really NAILS IT.
As one who is far out of the storm, I applaud and appreciate your effort to help women and men rise up and value themselves and their own wellbeing fist. This realization was a game-changer for me.
Thank you Savannah, and happy holidays to you.
Isn’t it amazing how Narcissists are the absolute WORST when it comes to both giving and receiving gifts?
If your Narc bothers to spend any money on you or takes any time at all to buy you something, it will be either thoughtless, cheap or so out-of-left field and not reflect your likes at all.
Yet, when YOU buy THEM something, even if it’s something that they’ve said they want, they won’t even bother to call or text you to say that they received it. They are the most ungrateful and rude people and are exactly who should receive nothing but a lump of coal.
My Narc had ruined my birthday and every holiday while were together, and even managed to make my birthday all about him.
This Christmas, I’m going on vacation, and this is going to be the best Christmas ever!
I can afford to take trips now ever since I left him.
Being able to have this financial, emotional and mental freedom means more to me than anyone could ever understand. Freedom is the best gift that you could give yourself!
To give, especially to give something thoughtful, requires empathy and imagination. Narcs as you know have neither. To receive appropriately requires graciousness — they register zero on that scale too. I remember a gift I selected carefully and then gave to me narc; she promptly lost it. What is really sad is that I said “oh no problem” — when inside I was writhing in pain to realize she cared so little about something I selected with love and care. But I did not know then that they are just reptiles, brain damaged shells going through life as zombies.
Now we know better. Never again. Each day we are free from them is a good day. Enjoy your vacation and your *hard won* freedom and joy!
I managed to do no contact but I cant completely do it because we are in the same college , same department and as you might guess we are having same classes.Even our way back home is same.Also he is dating his ex before me who used to be his 2.5 year of lover before me and 3 years now.. and even if i manage no contact and believe me I managed it fully I dont even think of him much anymore (yay!) when we cross each other some time and i see him mad at me or with that girl i cant help to have my old thoughts about him , myself and past.I am so sick of this.How do i let it not get to me?
thank you so much for your no nonsense approach to our aftercare. x
This message is to Lisa Amarvizca, I read your post and thought to myself she really needs to thank the good Lord Jesus! He knows each and every page in your life and knows what is best for you. Things happen for a reason and he protects us from NC people. He put roadblocks up for me too. I have to say that I ignored what God was doing until I went with my gut one day after my NC begged me not to come over before I went to work. I felt the urge and a message in my ear telling me to go. Glad I did. He had another woman in his apartment cooking him breakfast! After 13 years with this fool I finally ended it. Yes it hurts, so bad sometimes I want to sit in my car and scream. It’s been a year since then and I’m finally at peace. God knows my heart and protects it from people like him and one day he will have to face the good Lord for all the wrongs he has done. Merry Christmas everyone! I know my will be merry!!
I just realized that one reason I’m feeling so strong and do not feel anxious about what is going to happen if he contacts me. The reason is i come here every day and read. Reading all the articles from Sav and the comments from all keeps me in the state of mind i need to be in to stay NC. Life truly is beginning again. I’ve reconnected with my adult children and my siblings. I lost both parents in the last year of my N relationship. Needless to say i missed out on being with my parents at the end of their lives. My father’s death allowed me to leave my abusive relationship. Dad left me enough money to re-establish my life. The instant the money hit my new secret bank account i was gone. It was not a lot of money but just enough for me to escape. I felt so grateful to my parents for this. I will not squander that blessing by breaking NC. It’s only been about 5 weeks now but what a difference. It took about 15 months for me to finally very to the point that i realize don’t love him and he repulses me totally. It took me that time to finally and truly see all those things i read about here. Again Savannah you helped save my life.
Thanks for reminding me why I shouldn’t be with this loser I still think about every night before I fall asleep after a year and a half of no contact. In the six years I knew him he never even bought me a card for any occasion but made sure to point out the $100 shoes he wanted for Xmas which I stupidly bought. I need the weekly reinforcement your blog gives to keep me thinking straight and to remember just how awful he was. I never want to feel like that again. Someone mentioned sadistic glee, whic really struck a chord with me. I remember thinking the only things he thought were funny were mean in some way. Otherwise, no sense of humor.
Thank you and everyone that has written. It really has helped me understand what happened, why I felt as I did and most importantly, that I am not alone. Happy Holidays to all my sisters (and brothers ) in anti-narcdom!
All I have to say is “AMEN!” It was a shock to realize how much money I saved after cutting off the gifts and goodies to my narcissist. I craved any recognition from him even if it was be able to call and ask if he received his latest treat from me. Then I would feel bad because he basically wasn’t that thrilled to get it in the first place. He wouldn’t buy me a gift because he said he didn’t know what I liked and he was afraid to get me something that I wouldn’t like!! He would ignore me when I did tell him what he could get me.
Thank you 🙂 going through these challenges. Had energy sucked out of me twice. No more.
If you don’t mind my asking, how did this guy classify your ‘relationship’ both to you and to others? Did he refer to you as his girlfriend or were you just ‘some girl I date.’ In other words, did he lead you on into thinking he might ‘commit’ to you fully someday or were you under the false impression that he was ‘committed’ to you, only you’d find out he was cheating?
Lola: He future faked with me a lot. I believed I was ‘the gf.’ I believed we were headed towards something serious. We did the “I love you’s,” talked, texted every day for hours and hours. There was some obvious fairytaling on my end no doubt. I have to own part of the fantasy that was created, but he weaved a nice tale.
I’ve been reading your blog for over a
year now and it’s helped me far more than my psychologist. It’s actually given me the strength to ‘want’ to end my toxic relationship with the abusive man of my dreams. I seem to have a spiritual connection with you ( tongue in cheek) as your blogs always are so relevant to how I am feeling about my ex partner. Thank you for making my crazy feelings make sense and for explaining why I feel the way I feel. I wouldn’t be the strong independent woman I am today without your inspiring and helpful words. Merry Christmas!
Awesome reminders. I love it “Santa knows who’s been bad or good and so should you. Update your naughty list and stop rewarding bad behavior.” When I want to over-give, I get in the kitchen and make something for someone who really needs it, like a friend in the hospital or a single mom working overtime trying to make Christmas happen. The guy who is treating me hot and cold will get nothing and like it.
This article really resonated w me. 1st of all, the somatic I knew once told me he helped a gay male friend of his move and as a ‘thank you’ he sent him nude pics. Somatic was straight. Attention can some from anywhere and they don’t care.
Also, I remember after I uncovered my narc ‘friend’s web of lies, initially I wanted to make peace and to ‘prove’ to him that this entire time I had been trustworthy and somehow win his approval. I actually thought of sending him a little trinket of mine that meant something to me as a ‘token of our friendship’ or some nonsense.
Then I stopped myself. ‘What the hell am I thinking?’ This is before I went NC. I said, ‘I don’t need to send him shit, I need to cut this toxic asshole from my life.’
Meanwhile, he never apologized nor did he ever admit his deceits were deceits and that it was in his right to lie to me about a host of things. He should have been the one sending ME a gift, begging me for my apology. Had I sent it, as I most would have gotten a, ‘Hey, cool, thanks.’ And that’s it. Meanwhile we’re left thinking it means so much and they don’t even process it as anything above a perfunctory, ‘That’s nice.’
Hi, first I’d like to say Merry Christmas and also God Bless you !! Its been exactly 1mo today since I left and initiated no contact its been hard not to answer calls can’t block that off we have 6mo old construed as kidnapping but only have to take vm the sec I hear its not about our son and our 5 yrs of.marriage (more like hell) now that ive thought anout it .I threw away DELETE!! The reason I responded to this esp great post is because I was actually texting him to see if he still wanted to spend our sons 1st Christmas together like he asked , crazy thing rite when I was done with message and gonna send it my phone died?? Even crazier when it recharged the first thing I did was go to email to look for what specials may be going on if I needed to buy him gift if he said yes and the first email I had was from you!! I read it and knew the phone was supposed to die and your email was supposed to be all i be all I read to wake up!!! I’m blessed to have a higher power and awesome sites and people who run them like you savannah!! Thank you for being part of today epifany and a very merry Christmas to you and all your readers!! PS were going to Disneyland instead with best friend and her lil one. 😉
Nice. This is the second Christmas since my divorce and I still felt temptation to get him a gift. Last year I didn’t,but he came with multiple expensive gifts for me, I returned to him. He is staying away now, yet I still find myself thinking, “he must have really cared about me to get me such nice presents.” No, he wanted to buy me back. And I catch myself thinking, “Maybe we could get along now that I have done so much work on myself.” No, that work is to keep me strong and not desperately take him back “because he likes me.” Yikes. Again, I seem to need a fresh reminder every week!
Ye Gods, I thought it was just me who wanted to buy special pressies for the narc men throughout my life. That and the ‘psychic’ thing were both things I’d kept quiet about as I was embarrassed about them.
A few examples…the factory owner who I gave a gold plated pen and pencil set to, and his present to me was a children’s nursery picture of a fluffy duck, lol. Or the one who got a beautiful woollen jumper and a zippo lighter, whose pressie for me was a boxed set of tiny bottles containing very cheap and nasty perfume. Not forgetting the one who was about to spend £800 on a camera lens then in the next breath said that a good christmas present for me would be a set of guitar strings! lol.
About the psychic connection, I had a very deep and strong feeling that my last ex was going through some really difficult decisions. He’d broken up with me some six months before, yet I sent him an email to tell him that I understand what he’s going through…silly me, as he wrote back to say that I can’t possibly know what his situation is. That was a bit of a wake-up call. Good job, as when we were together he once told me that he wanted an actual proper sword for whe he comes into his rightful inheritence as the person he’s supposed to be, lol. I should have twigged then that he wasn’t right in the head, but what’s worse is that I’d actually considered buying him one even after we were together! Hahaha…I sometimes wish I could go back in time and smack myself across the ear for being so stupid.
That was really good to be able to own up, and to really see the funny side of it. Thank you Savannah for a great article. A very loving and peaceful christmas to you and everyone who comes here. Love and best wishes to you all…to us all. 🙂
Your articles always help me. This morning was perfect timing . I feel very alone having moved across the country and very tempted to “check in on my adult son who lives with my ex. Twenty eight years trying to prove myself worthy of his love . A very hard habit to break but your writing helps.
This is so pertinent at this time of year Savannah. Thank you! Christmas being the season of Good Will to all men – was encouraging me to let bygones be bygones and send my seasons greetings to my ex, but….. why should I? It’s been 6 months now since that day when he said he wanted to explore other ‘possibilities’ with other women before he was much older. After all he is 63!! So off he went to pursue the objects of his desire. I haven’t heard from him since. Christmas Greetings? I don’t think so. I like your comment about him not owning the extent of the heartbreak he has caused. He isn’t concerned about that. As long as he has his holidays and extra-curricular activities arranged. So be it!
Special greetings to all who come to this blog seeking comfort and reassurance that we are not crazy!!
This year is going to be extremely hard during the holidays. My Mom passed away at Thanksgiving and my ex narc husband showed up at her funeral and wake.
He broke up with me (again as we tried to work things post divorce), right after my Mom suffered a debilitating stroke. For 15 months me and my family struggled with her medical problems, watching her slip further and further down. My ex could have cared less, as he already found a new girlfriend.
When he showed up it set me further back. I was already in a downward spiral with my beloved Mother’s death and then he showed up to make me even more messed up. His show of concern and respect nauseated me and still does. He used my Mom’s death and funeral to make himself look “normal” and caring to other people. He even walked up my former boyfriend that I dated prior to marrying him and introduced himself saying it was nice to see him. I was aghast. He took a very hard moment in my life and had no problem making it even more stressful. What is wrong with these people? Have they no shame? No decency? No heart? Turning a sad moment into a social event?
I am so so sad by the loss of my Mom and trying to have some spirit of the season is very difficult. I feel like a zombie. But at least I have no intention of reaching out to my ex. Being situationally depressed is still better than going back to, or trying to get back with, my ex narc..so this Christmas will be a quiet one, with a small gathering of family and friends that I truly care about and who truly care about me. And any tears I will shed will be for her ( and my believed Dad) , and none for him.
Hi Sandy. Firstly, I’m so very sorry about your mum. About your ex, something I’ve noticed about narcs is that they like to make everything all about themselves. It’s typical for them to suddenly be the ‘wise and caring’ person as part of their strategy to be the centre of attention. I’m sorry that you went through that at a time that should have been for you and your family.
One of the things that kept running through my head (when I was healing from the last disastrous romance) were the words of a song that went something like this…’if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with’. I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t even remember the song title or artist, but it kept reminding me that the people who really matter are those that are with you and there for you. For me it was the start to seeing value in people for who they really are and not what they did or how they looked.
I wish you a peaceful and loving Christmas to you and your family. 🙂
In really doing hard core, at times gut wrenching reflection, I find that joy is the most important thing we never want to lose, never want to sacrifice for anyone or allow anyone to bully, pity, shame or guilt out of you. Your joy is your compass… If you haven’t felt it in a while, sit quietly and let it come to you….. That true joy (and within most of our joy there is the essence of true love) it will lead you to your passions, your peace, your person, your purpose and your profession….. When you take care of your joy- you take care of you.
Well said Niffer.
A year ago I was pulled into a “relationship” like this. By February, I had gone no contact with him. But in the short months between I had a breakdown as I realized how I’d been used as a rebound to make an ex jealous and taken advantage of. And he wanted to keep the relationship going, even as he “came clean” to me.
He didn’t count on my personal sense of ethics, even as he counted on my damaged self-esteem following the end of an abusive marriage two years earlier. I was in recovery, but very, very vulnerable to “kind words” and love bombing.
Anyway, I have spent a very painful, very important year pulling myself together and I’m getting there. I got EMDR help for complex-PTSD, worked with two counsellors and am reaching out to others in a healthy way even as I learn to set boundaries.
No contact has been part of that. I had some very tough moments — panic attacks that lasted weeks — because he had been so plausible, so convincing. And I am still working on getting him fully out of my head.
I will never understand anyone who goes to the trouble of building a bond with you and then abusing it. A monumental waste of time, love, and good faith.
Thanks for your blog, S, I recommend it to others and have gotten so much out of it myself.
Merry Christmas to you and your readers.
So many things in this post ring true for me – wanting to break NC because it’s Christmas time (reminiscing), to reach out to his family by visiting or sending cards, considering going to the annual Christmas party just to see everyone “one last time.” But, I didn’t do ANY of them and have been working through the uncomfortable feelings. I especially love the paragraph about closure – that it is not something you can get from other people, but rather a commitment you make to yourself that your top priority is always your wellbeing. I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about needing closure lately so this couldn’t have come at a better time. I will be reading and re-reading these words until I know them by heart. Exactly what I needed to hear today – thank you!
I was dragged back to hell just prior to this holiday season by my 14 year old sons antics! Thinking that his Narc Father would be of some assistance in getting him back in line, only made things worse for me! I feel like I have digressed and lost yardage, fighting hard for a first down today. I really think my son is a Narcissist as well, but being a 14 year old, i assume that’s he’s attempting to “find himself” and claim his independence from me. I appreciate this article, it has put things back into perspective for me.
Salty your football analogies make me giddy inside. Go Packers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great post Savannah. Did you intend the well and wellbeing pun? That made me laugh. Leave him down there.
I haven’t yet really managed to feel joy in my own existence but that may be to do with the weather. Am so glad to have nothing to do with Mr Narc this holiday.
Claiming to be busier than everyone else so can’t write cards; last minute picking up cheap gifts in charity shops; texting graphic details of strange illnesses suddenly contracted on Christmas day.
Sure he will be doing all this – but not with me. Wheee!
Thanks Savannah for brilliantly helpful and supportive blogs and thanks all fellow travellers on the post-Narc road for enlightening posts. I so hope we are all able to look hopefully into the New Year.
Savannah, I am finally, finally NC with a boomerang covert narcissist. I read your articles over and over and thank you for giving me the knowledge to help me chose myself over him and the dignity to go no contact. I already expect a Christmas hoover and realize its all about him trying to keep in my head. I get it now that he has shallow, fleeting emotions and his strongest emotion is sadistic glee. Finding your website and learning through your experiences and articles has been a gift. Thank you friend.
Hi Savannah your posts are always great! What about if the ex Narc is stil with the woman he cheated me with and they’re expecting a baby and will announce it on Christmas.? He’s 50 years old and I thought he would never do it.. I was wrong.
I moved on with my life, 2 years of NC , but it still hurts me.It seems that his life is going great. But I know that he’s such a con artist in everything he does (job, personal life..). Why people do not find out?
I wish you a serene and peaceful holidays
Nude pic of himself, huh? Such a sweetheart! Hahaha. I know these toxic relationships are serious and recovering from this type of abuse isn’t funny, but we have to laugh a bit once we’re this far out and healing well. I remember one Christmas, buying a really nice camera, and several other special gifts, overspending when I struggled to keep a roof over my head. I got in return, a travel-sized socket tool set. It was presented to me in a plastic bag, no name tag or bow but interestingly it had a tiny bit of wrapping paper & tape left on one corner. Apparently re-gifted from his office party the night before. So generous. Of course I was gracious so he wouldn’t “feel” bad. Then… I craved his love, affection, and approval at the expense of losing myself. Now… thinking of those times turns my stomach. But, it also is a great reminder at just how far I have courageously found my way back after the abuse. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!
Ode to Narc
You as a person are not as good as me as a person.
Most people would agree with that, even you.
But you as a person are making me as a person ‘not so good’ too.
I have become a worse person since being with you because you are always a ‘not so good’ person – you don’t even know how to be good.
So I would like you to take your ‘not so good’ person out of my life, so I can go back to being a better person than you.
This comes with love from the best person you will ever know, because I love myself, even if you don’t.
But you not loving me doesn’t matter, because I do not want or need the love of a ‘not so good’ person.
And so now you can have your ‘freedom’ to be a ‘not so good’ person all by yourself.
Words could never adequately illuminate this gift you have and share… suffice it to say that I get an overwhelming sense of the Presence of Love/Truth/Grace as I look into the reflection created by your words. I was laughing out loud when you “busted” me on the “psychic” connection thing … actually all of it just kicked my denial in the teeth!! 🙂 This whole dynamic is so non gender specific, I know that there are elemental differences between men and women and the egoic conflicts/resistance and I would never want to diminish the complex trauma that accumulates at the hands of physical violence… that usually isn’t a part of the dynamic with male targets… (though on a bad day when self pity is running high I whine that I would have preferred a black eye) … Anyway… I can’t say thankyou enough times to emphasize the beauty of this gift/reflection you share.
May your holidays come and go with little effort or conflict