Dear Chump Lady,
Holy crap, Chump Lady, I feel like hell today. This No Contact is killing me. I woke up with a sense of dread and the whole day sucked. I could barely function. I was out of my PJs long enough to go for a drive but that’s it. All I did was stare at my phone and check my email all day long.
I managed to ignore his calls last night. But now when he doesn’t even try to contact me it’s so hard! I know he went out tonight and is probably living it up getting kibbles from all sorts of colleagues and pretty waitresses. The thought of that makes me want to pick up the phone and freak out at him. I feel like turning into the psycho bitch he liked to accuse me of being. I am so close to getting all weepy and sad and desperate. I’m about to do the “Pick me” dance.
What has actually been the hardest part is the fact that he told me at first he had wanted to work things out but now he just doesn’t seem to give a shit. He doesn’t even want me to come home anymore. I know his indifference is no different than it was when we were living together — and of course, I will be significantly better off being away from him in the long run — but it’s giving up ALL HOPE that is so tough. I was still flirting with hope last week. I was still chasing unicorns last weekend. And now it’s all coming crashing down and I have to face the truth that he just doesn’t care. He never did.
I know I have always been completely helpless to control him, which I found out the hard way, but I thought he would realize I’m a worthwhile person. I thought this time apart would make him see what he’s losing. Instead, he just doesn’t care. He never cared.
How do I move on when the whole game has changed? There are no more promises from him, no more plans for the future. This has just gotten serious and final. How do I accept it without going insane?
Sad in Seattle
Dear Sad in Seattle,
No contact isn’t killing you — it’s the dawning realization that he’s not who you wanted him to be, that your life is going to be a lot different than you’d hoped, and you’re scared as hell about how to start over. FEAR is what’s “killing” you — not no contact. No contact is helping you HEAL.
So, let’s address your fears:
1. He’s having a great time without you — Uh, Seattle? That was how he was living when he was WITH YOU. No change there.
2. He wanted to “work things out” and now you’ve missed your opportunity. Ye-ah. He was never going to work things out with you Seattle, the guy is a fraud. A flaming personality disorder sex addict (as we learned from your other posts). A serial cheat. Insofar as he wants to work anything out, it’s to figure out how to eat cake again and not incur the expenses of divorce. But mercifully (I know it doesn’t seem that way), he may be directing his attentions elsewhere to hone in on his next victim.
The thing with narcissists is, once exposed they never really sparkle again. Once you’ve seen behind the the mask, you’re useless to them. You’re bad kibbles. They need fresh supply. If they sparkle for you, it’s only because they want something, they want to manipulate an outcome. But they won’t sparkle long. It will get ugly fast. That’s how they are. If they want something, they’ll try charm. Charm fails, they’ll try threats. Threats fail, they’ll try self pity. They just cycle through those three tactics. The only one that matters to you is the sparkle — you’re fucking hooked on it. It’s your drug. Oh, please be the Wonderful Visage I Thought You Were! Bring back the dream!
No contact is making you go into sparkle withdrawal — which is ESSENTIAL to moving on.
3. You thought he would miss you, and he doesn’t care. That’s right, Sad. He DOESN’T CARE. Yep. That’s the truth of it. You were of use to him. A satellite to orbit planet Narcissist.
Stop looking to him for validation that you matter and start building yourself up NOW. You DO matter. You are worthy of love. You will love again. It just won’t be him, and thank GOD because he’s an abusive mindfuck of a man.
How do you accept it? You just do. Every day you work in word and deed to accept it, until one day (it’s a Tuesday) you ACCEPT it and you’re there. Have faith in the process.
But I’d start by getting out of your pajamas and having more to do with your day. Fill those days UP with activity. Make up activities. Go volunteer for everything you can. Join meetups. Fill the void of your life with something other than longing for him.
When I went through it, I had a newspaper to put out each week. Deadlines kept me sane. Raising a kid kept me grounded. People were relying on me to not lose my shit. You need to go make yourself USEFUL in this world — yes, of use to someone other than a narcissist. Find a better master to serve. Start with yourself.
I think your fear is about recreating yourself, your new life — get busy with that and I promise you, the no contact will get a lot easier.