It was one of James’s favorite little tricks, leave his stuff so he has an excuse to come back at a later date. If you throw his stuff away he will be angry and accuse you of destroying his stuff because you are a vindictive bitch, but to hang onto his stuff leaves you in limbo, he is still controlling you, you don’t know when he will come for it. it prevents you from moving forward and that is exactly what he wants. If he has a slow week or night and needs some supply he knows he can always call on the pretense of getting his stuff. James would call, drop by, be all sweet and friendly, we would talk just like old times and 1/2 the time we would end up in bed and the relationship would be “on” again. But it never really was on again and I never knew if we were back together or what. Half the time he would act like my partner and 1/2 the time like he hated me.

James had stuff spread all over the countryside, years later he would expect to go pickup his stuff and be pissed if it wasn’t there. Even with the woman in Africa he left his guitar with her, it leaves the door open, it gives the woman hope and it makes it easy for the narcissist to make contact and keep his pride intact; if he doesn’t get the desired response, (her melting at his feet adoringly) he can say he was just there to get his stuff. The thing is, he probably won’t take it when he leaves, either you will end up in bed or having a fight either way the stuff gets left behind.

The best thing you can do with the narcissist’s things is to give them to someone he knows, nicely boxed up (so he can’t say you destroyed his stuff) no letter, no card, no text saying you gave it to his friend. Just a cardboard box with his things in it, nothing more, nothing less.

If you have a goodbye letter in the box he will have an opening to reply and blame you, whether it is loving or angry it doesn’t matter to the narcissist; you do not want to have any communication with him whatsoever! Make sure you pack up everything, even stuff you think is garbage, just make sure there is nothing left of his for him to use as an excuse to call.

I know you have been hoping he will use it as an excuse to call but believe me, you are much better off with it gone and not having contact. It is one of the first steps to healing. Remember, to the narcissist life is a game of strategy and control; nothing more. Every thing he does and says is done with an ulterior motive, don’t play the game with him, even anger is playing the game. He thrives on drama, your tears, your frustration, being able to elicit a response from you proves he is still in control of your emotions. Do not give him the satisfaction. By giving his stuff to a friend with no communication (not asking the friend how he is, nothing. Even better if you get s friend to take it to a friend, the more removed you are the better, the only reason I even suggest giving it back to him is because you will feel guilty if you throw it away or destroy it and he will play on that guilt. You do not need any reasons to feel guilty and consequently do something you will regret later.) you are saying without words that you are done with him, you have nothing left to say to him, you do not want him coming to get his stuff, you don’t want nor will you tolerate the drama.

Victims often want the chance to have the final word, you can have the final word by not saying a thing, with a narcissist, that is much more effective than any amount of words.

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Written by Carrie Reimer.  This article first appeared in her blog