I’ve come to realize through some emails that I’ve received and some responses to my posts just how difficult it is for people to go no contact, even though they know that continued interaction is detrimental to their well being. I know how hard it is to truly go no contact, whether it’s with family or a chosen relationship. I tried no contact with NM and failed several times, and every time I decided to give NM one more chance things became even worse.
In my opinion when I still try to maintain some sort of contact with my narcissist, I am still holding out hope that things will change.
Hope and change… sound familiar?
I’m still holding out hope that somehow somewhere someway the narcissists in my life will suddenly say: “Oh My God! I’m so so sorry I’ve treated you so poorly all these years! What can I do to make it up to you?”.
Honestly, is that ever going to happen?
Will my NM ever admit she was completely wrong about me?
Is she even capable of making that admission?
Is she capable of offering me a true, sincere apology?
Let’s see, I’ve been on this rock for over four decades, and I have a hard time ever remembering NM apologizing about ANYTHING, even if she was dead wrong. But still I somehow expect that someday she will change when I have 4+ decades of evidence that she won’t? I continue to hold out hope that she will suddenly see my truth? Am I not distorting reality to suit my own goals? The only way I see contact with my narcissists not being detrimental to me is when I am totally apathetic about what they say to me and how they treat me. If I no longer give them power over me (yes, it’s me that gives them that power), then what they say won’t matter and I will be disgusted at how foolish their 5 yr old tantrum behavior truly is.
Another realization I’ve made is that any interaction with a narcissistic can be used against me, no matter how innocent that interaction might seem. My narcissist mom (NM) was the queen of that exact exchange. My very last conversation with her was two days after I ended my relationship with my ex girlfriend because my ex had informed me I had been exposed to an STD because she had been cheating on me. I had been seeing my ex for nearly 4 years, and she had met NM several times. I told NM that we had broken up. NM, sensing another failure on my part, pushed for details. I didn’t want to tell her anything. Finally, with more prying on her part, I offered that my ex had been unfaithful to me. NM’s response? “These things wouldn’t happen to you if you didn’t have premarital sex”. No offer of empathy or understanding, just another chance for her to condemn my life and a further example of her position of “if you had done things my way, this wouldn’t have happened to you”. Premarital sex has nothing to do with commitment, but that’s not NM’s view of the world. Married people cheat on each other every day, but that doesn’t work with NM’s distorted view of reality, so she chooses to ignore that fact.
My point here is this: These people are not normal. I think this is an area where I have failed. I have made the assumption that my narcissists were truly empathetic like I am. They most definitely are not. I believed that they truly cared about me. The most definitely do not. They lie to everyone including themselves and believe their own lies. They are masters of spin and will take any small tidbit of information you provide and distort it to make you look bad. Even something as simple as talking about the weather can be spun to make me look bad.
Here’s an example phone conversation:
NM: So how’s the weather where your are?
Stephen: It’s been pretty cold. I can’t wait for summer to get here.
NM distorts this IN HER MIND as: Obviously Stephen has issues with it being cold where he lives. If he had picked a decent career and his worthless partner didn’t spend all his money, he could move to someplace warmer, or at least take a vacation to a warm climate.
Did I ever say I wanted to move or take a vacation? No, I was only highlighting that it was cold and I was hoping for summer to get here soon, but NM distorted what I said in her mind. So even asking about the weather can be spun to make me look inferior in her mind. It’s crazy!. Any tidbit of information I provide will be distorted and used against me. The best option: Provide zero information, which is what no contact is all about. They will continue to spin and manufacture their version of reality, but with no information to go on, eventually they will run out of anything to distort. Continued contact provides additional information that can be used against me, no matter how benign I feel the conversation might be. Yes, even my agreeing that the sky is blue can be twisted and distorted into something bad about me.
One other point I’d like to make: As long as I continue in some form of contact, they know that they are getting away with their behavior and that I will continue to “take it”. I prove to them that they can treat me however they want to and I’ll put up with it. Even with limited contact, they know that eventually they can pull out the FOGger (Fear / Obligation / Guilt) and bring me back in line. If I am the one that always offers the olive branch, the one that tries to maintain the relationship, the one that always fixes things, the one that swallows my truth in order to maintain the relationship, then I prove to them that I am continuing to fulfill my scapegoat / caretaker role, which is EXACTLY where they want me to be.
It’s said that when all else fails there’s always hope. The man on death row waiting for his execution has hope that the phone will ring and the governor will let him live. People buy lottery tickets with the hope that they will all of the sudden become rich, even though they have a better chance of being struck by lightning than they do of winning the lottery. When I continue to engage the narcissists in my life, I am HOPING that at some point they will be able to see my point of view. I have no factual evidence that they will ever even be interested in understanding my point of view, but I keep engaging them anyway with the HOPE that someday the dark clouds will part and I will be valued as a true equal and will be respected. It’s not going to happen. Repeat. It’s not going to happen. No one but me has any interest in me being seen as a worthy individual and an equal partner. In fact, my being seen as a worthy individual is exactly contrary to their goals. If all of the sudden they have to accept that I’m not some horrible scapegoat monster and that I am worthy of respect, then that means that they were wrong about me. So I ask you, is a narcissist ever wrong? Do they ever apologize? Yet I still continue in that hope that maybe someday the governor will call.
- Please Come Back, Mr. Scapegoat! (thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com)
- Know Your Role (thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com)