Dear Chump Lady,
I read your book and implemented NC as soon as he refused to give me his phone records to prove he wasn’t talking/texting to anyone. (I knew he was, my gut was screaming for months and this was the only way I could figure to “test” my hunch). I ran across Facebook private messages before, and so he went and changed all passwords, so this is my last ditch effort to get relief from my nagging feeling.
I also went to a therapist for my “insanity” and turns out he was a textbook narcissist. I had heard the word, but never fully understood what that meant and now am in the process of reading about this personality. So many things are falling into place, but my problem is it has been five weeks of NC and I am DYING!
I picture him with someone else, his touch, his kiss and I literally fall to my knees crying, panic attacks. My friends tell me to think of the horrible things I had endured, but for some reason I CAN’T! I just think of the good things, good feelings. I can’t even go outside the house for fear I’ll see him at the store, driving, etc. (We live in a small town and he lives ten minutes away from me.)
When I do think of a bad memory, I write it down for when I have these panic attacks. But I thought maybe you and other chumps might be able to shed light on what they DON’T miss being with the cheater/narc to help me start my list and look at the reality, not my image of him.
No contact with a fuckwit never killed anyone. In fact, no contact has probably saved a lot of lives. I know it feels excruciating in the beginning, as all withdrawal from noxious substances does, but keep at it. No contact is the fast track to healing. It is the end of mindfuckery. It’s taking your power back.
The most powerful answer to manipulators is silence. Not only are you denying that person kibbles — the life-force of every narcissist — you’re denying them the raw materials with which to manipulate you. Whatever you do, DO NOT message Cindy!!! Oh really? Now they’re going to message Cindy with renewed vigor. It torques you. It underscores their centrality, makes them feel powerful. Cindy = kibble lever. CindyCindyCindyCindyCindyCindyCindy!!!
See how that works?
No, probably not. Because you’re a nice person (aka chump) and your mind doesn’t work like that. You can’t imagine needing to triangulate fuckbuddies for kibbles. It’s outside your moral ken to torture the people you purport to love or get a contact high of superiority off their suffering. You’re not wired like that. So you try to ascribe meaning to his cruelty. Maybe there is a Very Important Reason he is behaving this way. Maybe I suck and deserve this? Maybe he isn’t himself (midlife crisis, brain tumor, Neptune is in the seventh house…) Maybe this all Serves a Higher Purpose and Will Make Our Marriage Stronger Than Before!
No. No Natalie. He is a fuckwit. What you see is what you get. He’s shady. He doesn’t do transparency. He doesn’t respond with honesty or vulnerability, but with mindfuckery. He’d rather YOU be the crazy one than give up one ounce of entitlement. In short, Natalie, he sucks. Trust it.
I picture him with someone else, his touch, his kiss and I literally fall to my knees crying, panic attacks. My friends tell me to think of the horrible things I had endured, but for some reason I CAN’T! I just think of the good things, good feelings.
It’s OKAY to want to bond. It’s OKAY to grieve when you lose a relationship. Even a bad, horrible, toxic relationship. Every person has their hooks. You’re NOT disordered, so you bond, and severing those bonds is painful. This may seem like a very obvious thing to write, but the whole “get over!” schtick hurts. I know. You can’t just flip a switch — it is a hard fought BATTLE to flip that switch, and you’re going to have to consciously wage it.
When you miss him remember you miss the lie. That he was a fully invested, loving partner. He wasn’t those things. Remind yourself that you deserve those things and won’t settle for a crappy, cheating, disrespectful partner. And remind yourself that it hurts now (THE PAIN IS FINITE) because you’re a loving human being. You’re not a cyborg or a mindfuck. What you want is the most primal human thing of all — to connect. You just misdirected that impulse to the wrong person. Every. Single. Person. on this blog (millions!) have done that too. Chumpdom is not a permanent condition. This isn’t fatal, it just feels like it right now.
So, Chump Nation — help Natalie out. How did you go no contact? Share your tricks. Hang in there Natalie!