If you’re a chump, you’re wondering what the hell just happened. Why we just can’t all be reasonable here? You’ll doubt yourself. Was it my tone of voice? Maybe I should’ve brought this up at a more opportune time.
It’s not you my chumpy friend. It’s them. Manipulators must. Exert. CONTROL.
Remember the three channel flip — charm, self-pity, and rage.
Rage is usually a good sign you’re emancipating. Can’t have that! So cheaters get ugly to keep you in your place, but it’s also an indication that the mask is slipping and they’re losing their shit. The ugly is really who they are.
You see the advice given here a lot, “Go no contact!” I thought today I’d do a refresher course on why no contact is so effective.
First a caveat about what no contact is NOT. It’s not the 180. It’s not some passive-aggressive silent treatment to get your wingnut to behave. Fine! Harrumph! I’m not going to speak to you! Just watch me not care! Are you watching? Are you? Huh?
No. No contact is willing yourself to not engage with crazy.
Your unhappiness is not my responsibility.
I am not going to try and convince you.
I am not going to appease you.
I am not going to try and achieve consensus with you.
I am not going to be vulnerable with you.
No contact means being DONE. Even if you don’t feel done, it’s practicing the self-discipline of done until your heart catches up with your head. It’s realizing that no good can come from engaging.
When you go no contact, some powerful things start to happen.
1. Your head clears. The longer you stay away from the mindfuck, the weaker it becomes. The spell is broken. Not right away, but gradually and often very painfully. Almost like kicking a drug, you give up the drama, the futility, the hopium highs. Instead you start settling into peace and quiet. You get out of the crouching, cowering defensive posture and regain your sense of agency and self. You remember who you are, and given enough time and distance — you wonder WTF you ever saw in that idiot.
2. Your cheater works harder to exert control. No contact is cutting your freak off cold from kibbles. And that cannot be tolerated. So they will up their game to gain control and centrality again. They might make some “charming” Hail Mary plays. (Bootie call, anyone?) More likely, they’ll punish and rage. Anything to open that shut door.
Why do they do this? Why is no contact so essential?
Because it deprives disordered people of their ability to manipulate you. They need a portal into your head, and when you go no contact, you deprive them of that portal.
When you sob and grieve and implore them to Do the Right Things, and express your litany of hurts? They take notes. Ah, there’s the button to push! There’s a vulnerability to exploit! There’s a fear I must capitalize on!
You’re not a freak, so you don’t think like this. But they’re unencumbered by empathy. They’re detached from you. They just want what they want, and are strategizing how to get it.
If a narc wants your kibbles, you’re still of use to them. Some of them just walk — they abandon. You don’t have to go NC on them, because they did it to you first. That’s a blessing. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it is. They’re not going to toy with you, they’ve either sized you up as too much of a challenge to be worth the bother, or they’ve focused on a new kibble source/victim and can’t trifle with you. Good.
But most of them are sloppier, pathetic users who need many kibble sources. They will test your resolve, see how much you still “care.” They will punish you for your disobedience and their narcissistic injury.
Don’t take it. Don’t engage. If they fuck with you, forward it to your lawyer. If they really fuck with you, get a protection order. Even if you have children with them, you can reduce your contact to the barest minimum. Do it. Your sanity will thank you.
This column ran previously with a few tweaks. Hey, we always need an NC refresher course! (And I’ve been traveling… new column tomorrow.)