Going no contact with someone that you once cared about is not easy. No contact is often a last resort that is sadly necessary in order to prevent reoccurring abuse. But just because it’s necessary, does not mean that it’s easy.
If a relationship has come to an end, be it a friendship, extended family relationship or with a significant other, it’s normal to want to have an adult conversation over the matter, even if that conversation involves ending the relationship. It’s normal to want to share your perspective as well as validate the other person’s perspective; even if you don’t agree with the other person’s viewpoint – you can still validate it respectfully. It’s also normal to want to have your own perspective validate – again, whether the other party shares your views or not, there is a healing quality with validation.
However, if the person you are ending the relationship with is emotionally abusive and refuses to respect your emotional boundaries then in order to hold onto your sanity, you have to let go of hoping you can get closure by them; you have to let go of hoping to receive any kind of validation from emotional predators.
No contact may seem drastic, and at times it may feel like it makes it difficult to move on because there has been no ‘normal’ closure – there has only been an emotional amputation so to speak. To make matters more difficult, if you are dealing with a malignant narcissist, that person may have moved on as if you never existed with pictures of them and their new significant other plastered all over social media. If they haven’t moved on they may have made it clear that the breakup was your fault – as if they did everything right and you did everything wrong and they never allow you to explain, or share your thoughts because truth be told, the don’t care about your thoughts or your side – they only care about extracting more narcissistic supply and by you not getting closure, the frustration you feel inside is exactly the fuel they are looking for.
So there you are – no contact – having to swallow the lies they tell, feel the pain of their remorseful disregard for your feelings all by yourself while they have flung themselves into a new supply. No – it certainly does not sound fun and it’s understandable that breaking contact can be tempting.
Sometimes people break contact to simply tell the person off, call out their nasty behavior but sadly – by ‘telling them off’ you are actually feeding them with narcissistic supply. Sometimes people break contact hoping the other person will provide the validation they are longing to hear – but sadly, projecting your good qualities into the malignant narcissist will not enable them to have these qualities.
So what do you do with the burning need for validation? What do you do with all of the feelings that are bubbling up inside you, and since you are no contact, how do you process and release them without feeding the narcissist?
That’s an excellent question and one that I get asked often in my face to face coaching. I always tell my clients that their feelings deserve to be honored, heard and validated. However, I also make it clear that they can do that themselves – the power to provide validation does not have to come from an external source.
Here are a few tips that I often give my clients:
Nobody understands what you're going through more than someone who has been there. I grew up with narcissistic family member and had intimate relationships with malignant narcissists. For the majority of my healing journey, I felt as if I was all alone. I now dedicate my life to being the person for others, that I needed on my own healing journey, so that YOU never feel alone.