It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

No Contact—Should I?

Suppose you woke up one Saturday morning and realized you were sick. You had a headache, abdominal pain and constipation, your joints and muscles hurt, and your fingers and toes tingled…worst of all, your brain felt like you were in a terrible fog and you seem to feel cranky most of the time. First you think it is flu but, upon reflection, you realize that you have been feeling this way for a while.

You make a point of checking your family and find that your husband, your teen daughter and pre-teen son are complaining of similar problems…only the toddler seems unaffected. A good mother, you go onto the internet and Google your symptoms and, of course, you get lots of hits…most of them for infectious viral illnesses that eventually go away.

Cup of tea in hand, brewed in your favourite mug, you go back to the internet, determined to find something more fitting…you’ve felt like crap much longer than any flu virus would keep you sick. You finally find something that looks like it might fit—lead poisoning—but you reject it because you cannot think of any sources of lead that you and your family might have been exposed to. Just to be on the safe side, however, you go to your doctor and when your tests come back, you nailed it…you are suffering from lead poisoning, as are your husband and two older kids. Only the baby is unaffected.

After some investigation you think you have figured out what the source of your lead poisoning is. On vacation in Mexico several years ago you bought a beautiful set of handmade dishes and for the last couple of years they have been your every day dishes. You drink a lot of tea and coffee, and your mug, part of the set, is seldom far from your hand. Your husband, whose lead-levels are lower than yours, only has coffee at breakfast. The rest of the time he prefers cold drinks from glass tumblers. Your older children have even lower levels of lead…they don’t drink any hot beverages and are only exposed to the dishes for breakfast cereal and dinner. The baby has his own “Winnie the Pooh” set of dishes and doesn’t use the Mexican ceramic ware at all. You take the dishes in for testing and, sure enough, they have a glaze containing a high level of lead, which is leaching into the food and drink that you serve from them.

So, what do you do? The dishes are obviously the cause of the illness…you are the sickest because you have had the most exposure, your husband and older kids aren’t showing much in the say of symptoms…yet…and the baby isn’t affected at all. But you love these dishes…they are beautifully designed and made and they are brightly, cheerfully coloured. And you have a lot invested in them…you bought a set for eight, complete with serving dishes, platters, and other accessories. But they are making you sick…and if they continue using them, they are going to make your kids as sick as you are, maybe worse.

You have a lot of choices:

1) Denial. Nah, it’s really not the dishes, it must be something else. Whoever heard of dishes making a person sick?
2) Stop using the dishes everyday: put the dishes in a display cabinet where everybody can see how pretty they are but only use them on very special occasions, like serving the turkey on Christmas Day. A little bit won’t be that harmful, right? Of course, putting them up doesn’t mean your kids won’t sneak them out to use, either. They can’t see the contaminants, so they may not even believe you.
3) Give them away: you could give them to charity or to a friend who likes them…but will you feel responsible if someone else gets sick from using them? Oh, you can give them away with a warning, but do you have any guarantee that your warning will be believed or passed on to others who may find the set attractive?
4) Stop using them altogether and get them out of your home and your life: Break the pieces of the set so nobody else can use them, and throw them away. Buy new dishes, this time by a reputable manufacturer, so you are sure there is no lead in the glaze.

I don’t know about you, but I would choose the last option. Those dishes are potentially harmful to not only me, but to my entire family. My children having contact with them without me knowing can harm them. If my baby starts having contact with the dishes…maybe his brother or sister leave a dish down where he can reach it, he is going to start picking up particles of lead, too. The safest thing for my family is for me to put aside my own reservations…I paid a lot of money for them and I really, really like them…and get them out of our lives, permanently. It makes no sense to knowingly harbour such a danger to the well-being of my family.

Would you feel guilty about throwing out a set of dishes that was giving your family lead poisoning? Would you be tempted to keep them because of what you had invested in them, or would you simply decide your family’s health outweighs that investment? Would you keep them around, knowing your kids might take them out when you aren’t looking, or that baby sitter might use them or that a visitor might? Or would you get them and their contaminating lead out of your house and out of your lives forever?

Now, suppose that set of dishes were a bunch of narcissistic family members? You know they have mistreated you and they will continue to do so, as long as you have contact with them. And they aren’t going to be any better to your kids…the damage may be different, but it is still damage. Keeping you in an anxious state and upset, they aren’t helping your marriage, either, are they? And yet you keep them…you have a lot invested in them and you are afraid of losing that investment so you may put them in storage and only have contact with them on special occasions. But they are there, lurking, tempting your children to have contact without your knowledge, and inflicting their sickness on them.

What do you do?


  1. Ok, Violet, I'll bite. I'm surprised that no one has commented on this post, and perhaps people aren't 'familiar' with No Contact?

    This post of yours is important. No Contact is something that even those who are 'professionals' or experts on narcissism don't really understand. At least in my experience.

    One, I have been No Contact for 4 years with my mother and siblings. She is a path. narcissist with a strong bend of sadism. My brothers have always been the golden children and I the scapegoat. Four years ago I instituted NC because I knew that I couldn't survive their constant abuse. I had it for 5 decades, and had enough. My marriage was suffering from this abuse and that was more important than maintaining contact with people that didn't respect/love/ or want you around. What was to lose?

    What NC does is give you time and space to recover yourself, to realize they will never change (never get the lead out) and that continued contact with a narcissistic pod will only be detrimental to yourself. Continued contact with these toxic people is a fine sort of self-hatred.

    It's not a game you use for 'revenge'....and those who say or use it are wrong. I am finding that many just don't understand the restorative reasons for NC. However, had I not done this 4.5 years ago, I know I would have committed suicide. It was that bad.

    I would smash every dish in that cupboard. And I would institute NC and re-establish my mental and emotional health. Four years out, and my self-confidence and creativity is blooming. You need to remove yourself from toxic people, and how many can claim that path. narcissists can change their stripes? Just my experience and NC was a life-saver.

    Lady Nyo (who is Jane Kohut-Bartels)

  2. No contact is not a game nor an instrument of revenge, although narcissists and flying monkeys may see it as such. To me, No Contact is like fleeing a slow, protracted massacre...its purpose is to save your sanity...and your life.

  3. My new computer ate my first comment, so here I go again. I love this analogy, esp. since something very similar DID happen to me - and I took those lead-filled dishes back to the store, insisted on my money back, and also insisted that they smash the silly things to pieces... Can't take the analogy that far, but you analogy is a wonderful way to show how very toxic these relationships can be for us - and that the only way out is just that - OUT! My belief is that as people age, they become more of who they really are - they get distilled down to their very essence... When I saw early on how horrible my Nparents were to my children, I never again left them alone in a room with them. When my mother-in-law died, my daughter, then 9, bemoaned the fact that she now had no grandparents. I patiently reminded her that my parents were still alive. She looked at me and rolled her eyes! Out of the mouths (or eyes) of babes...

  4. It did mine, and that is proof enough for me.

    Lady Nyo

  5. Hi Violet

    I was in that very crossroads of whether to go NC i convinced myself maybe if i saw them once a month it'll be fine the emotional and mental boxing match would only be 24 hours. I guess its the same as thinking put the plates away and use them on special occasions what's a bit of lead in my system. I haven't had lead in my system for 3weeks now whats one day going to do

    Now im wondering how to go No Contact with my Narcissistic family brought about by the terrible passing of my aunt at her own hands. This aunt and me were treated the same both SG's and both directly emotionally and mentally abused by my mum and other family members. She fled to the usa 4years ago we never heard from her again until this news

    Any hope that these people can be tolerated as "family" has all gone they are using this tragic event to play victims, play dumb and accept no responsibility. They have no line they wont cross no gutter the wont get as low as and no limit to where they'll stop even death isn't a barrier for them

    NC isn't for everybody but its safety its a way to know that you wont be hurt, used, guilt tripped and even driven to suicide. Its a way to build yourself up mentally and emotionally and regrow as the person you were meant to be. Knowing your safe and that you dont have to be on high alert lowers your guard to the world i think

    I now know that going no contact could potentially save my life as its clear my families destruction has already claimed one and it shows the level of inside damage that has been done that it took this for me to feel i should be safe, id smash those plates up in a second, throw them in the biggest trash dump and forget they ever existed in my world


  6. I tried to comment on the day you wrote it, but the tablet ate it :). I wanted to say that your comparison was so profound that it stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to read it out loud to my partner because we have been going through the ringer with my NM. I was just subjected to her flying monkeys and was told that I've been "brainwashed" in my relationship (ironic choice of words don't you think).

    It's been nearly 2 months since I've spoken with my mother, and I've gone through a so many emotions; fear, guilt, obligation.... relief. I guess I was torn as whether or not to go full NC and if I would allow her access to my 5 year old daughter. Your metaphor demonstrates that exposure whether it's been a lifetime or a little while it still has had a negative impact. It's still poison, the jury is still out on what my final decision will be, but in the meantime I'm glad to know that I'm not crazy or making this up. Thank you so much for your mission to help us recover.

  7. I tried to comment on the day you wrote it, but the tablet ate it :). I wanted to say that your comparison was so profound that it stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to read it out loud to my partner because we have been going through the ringer with my NM. I was just subjected to her flying monkeys and was told that I've been "brainwashed" in my relationship (ironic choice of words don't you think).

    It's been nearly 2 months since I've spoken with my mother, and I've gone through a so many emotions; fear, guilt, obligation.... relief. I guess I was torn as whether or not to go full NC and if I would allow her access to my 5 year old daughter. Your metaphor demonstrates that exposure whether it's been a lifetime or a little while it still has had a negative impact. It's still poison, the jury is still out on what my final decision will be, but in the meantime I'm glad to know that I'm not crazy or making this up. Thank you so much for your mission to help us recover.

  8. I just wanted to say that I no longer feel so alone. It took me years to figure out what exactly is so screwed up about my family. I had searched for so long to find the words to describe it. My FOO are all flying monkeys, my brother is the GC, my friends were Normies who never understood why "talking" didn't work or couldn't see what my troubles with my mother were.
    This post made me sick to my stomach and I almost cried. I know NC is the best choice but I have no idea how to make it happen. I have a child under 1 year who I fear for. I have managed to get LC but it is shaky and unreliable at best. My husband has finally witnessed my NM for who she is and understands the the complexity and supports my choices, thank goodness, I am very lucky.
    When I met my husbands family I knew for sure my mother was an NM. My husbands family are all Normal and I am so glad, but I am so envious. I still have the dreadful hope that she will change. I still have the hope that LC will work out, but once a month there is a big 3 ring circus (drama) that makes me a mess and ruins my happiness. I know better then to think these things but I fear the consequences. I will lose my entire FOO.
    I have days where I know it is what's best for me, my son and my husband. And I have days where I feel it is just better not to blow things up.
    Even during LC it is almost like she has poisoned me so that even when we haven't spoken for 2 weeks I can't escape her.
    I was put in therapy for depression as a teenager (it is more complicated then that but this is the short version) and my mom came with me and we did sessions together. She managed to make the therapist what I called "my enemy" I told my grandmother that she tricked the therapist and made me out to be the bad guy. I now know how and why this happened. She made her into a flying monkey.
    Therapy failed my mother but it actually helped me. She weaseled her way out, of course. I couldn't figure it out until now how she was never recognized.
    Many years later I escaped, I married a wonderful man and we have our own house now.
    LC works but not how I want it to. Then it doesn't work and I realize I have to go NC. Then it works it again almost perfectly.. but I am still unhappy. I am happiest when I never speak to her and then I feel guilty because I shouldn't feel that way about my mother. Then I tell myself that my mother is not normal.
    It goes round and round...
    I keep reading your blog and it gives me courage and helps me so much. So many people do not understand.
    I think I am ready to get off this carousel of hell, while my son is still young enough to not get trapped.
    Thank you for your blog and for this post.

    Excuse my seemingly disorganized rambling, I am still in the middle of realizing the truth.

    1. Satori, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is, you have ALREADY lost your entire FOO.

      Think of it as a war and people have to choose have your husband and his family on your side...your FOO is on your NM's side. You have a choice of opening the gates to your castle and letting her in, or closing those gates and keeping her out. There is alway a prize in a may be thinking you are the prize and that probably was true at one time but now you have a child--HE is the prize. I am not the only person whose children have been damaged by the appears to be more common than not.

      At this point, your feelings matter less than the well-being of your child. My children were 3 and 5 when my NM suddenly began taking an interest in them and they were 4 and 6 when she stole them. I have friend whose NM ignored her daughter until she was in her teens, and then she started her campaign to woo the daughter away from her mother's arms--and it worked. The ONLY way you can come close to protecting your child from her influence is to stop her from having any contact of any kind with him. And for that, you have to be willing to recognize that SHE has declared war against you and she recruited the entire FOO against you.

      The choice, of course, is yours to make. If you truly believe that LC can give you what you want without putting your child at risk, then you can make that choice. But from what you have written, that ship has sailed and your entire FOO is already on it.

  9. Hello,

    I've been reading from your page for a couple of weeks now. It gives me hope and motivation as I'm in the early stages of NC with my NM. I went NC from her before about two years ago. At that time I hadn't realized it was NC, I was just trying to get the hell away from her.

    So my NM is a retired police officer, so with a profession that "noble" she was able to be a mini-god with her little projects of humanity that was nothing more than feeding her narcissistic supply.

    I gained enough confidence after the birth of my daughter to relocate to another state and begin to live my life authentically, finally establishing a separate identity. Within two months of my leaving she comes to visit and discloses an affair that my enabling step-father was having. Within 8 months she came to stay with me for a month. 30 days after that she had moved to the city that I am currently living in, in an apartment right around the corner from me. Once again she was trying to regain control in my life. But this time something was different, I fell in love and my partner, who grew up with an N-aunt instinctively knew that something about my NM wasn't right. It was at that time that I began to learn how to stand up for myself.

    NM knowing that I wasn't that strong without my partner cornered me one day after being asked to watch my daughter while I went to a craw-fish boil. While at the party she called me multiple times stating that my daughter was sick and that I needed to come and get her to take care of her. Then she said that it was getting late and that I needed to come and get her (it was 8:00PM) of course when I picked her up she wasn't sick at all. She wanted me to not have a good time, as I rarely went out because I'm a homebody. When I went to pick my daughter up my NM ripped me to shreds about how my relationship was perverted and how I'm neglecting my daughter (funny that she can identify neglect now, about 32 years too late).

    So the next day she came over my house as though she didn't have that conversation with me, walked past us and went right into the room with my daughter. My GF confronted my NM and that began 6 months of my first NC. Now were back at that point due to my kicking my GC sister out of my house. She shouldn't be expected to pull her weight because she was never made to do that. NM proved her point by telling me that she would come for Thanksgiving Dinner, but didn't show and instead cooked dinner at her house for my GC sister and my cousin in efforts to compete with me. Whenever I tried to express my hurt to my other siblings, now it's "You have to understand that your relationship is still hard for mom to get used to." How is that hard, she doesn't have to sleep with anybody in my house. It makes her look like a "bad Christian" in front of her adoring fans.

    Now I'm "brainwashed" to the entire family. She is dispatching her flying monkeys to get access to my 5 year old daughter. She has even been reaching out to my friends to vilify me as being crazy and a threat to my daughter. At this point I'm unsure of the lengths she would go in order to regain control over me and my daughter. She has been in competition with me since living here. I moved into a house after about a year of being here. She had to get a bigger house, that she cannot afford. Her house back home is close to facing foreclosure because she is living way beyond her means. When I got a car, she went and got a car. When I moved to another city, she moved to another city. It's like she has me in her sights as someone that she has to one-up all of the time. All I know is that I'm tired of her shit, I'm ready to have a separate identity from her. I guess I'm just venting and trying to see what should I do next? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as this is my first time reaching beyond my shrinking circle. Thank you for being motivation to freedom.

    1. I think you know the answer.

      You are not going to be able to control her or her behaviour...the only thing you can do is set boundaries and enforce them. The boundaries have to be realistic: you can't tell her to stop copying you because that may be annoying to you, but it isn't threatening. You can, however, set limits as to when she can come over, call you, contact you. You can limit what she says to you...or how she speaks to you. You say something like "That was a very disrespectful thing to say. If you cannot speak to me respectfully, do not speak to me at all." Then put down the phone or leave the room.

      Stop setting yourself up. Do not call her for ANYTHING...start making new friends with whom you can share things like rides and babysitting. Do not accept her offers or accede to her demands. Do not listen to her threats or demands. Do not behave defensively because when you do, she gets the upper hand. You are an adult, it is your life, YOU make the rules. So make them. And if she won't obey them, give her a that is meaningful to her. Stick to your guns and don't let her intimidate or undermine or bribe or sweet talk you.

      Forget the one-up is a non-issue. Pay attention to the important stuff: her manipulation, her undermining, her disrespect. Address them...that is the path to resolution

      You cannot change anyone but yourself so stop looking for ways to change her, make her stop doing this and start doing that. Her life is none of your business, anyway. If she wants to be financially irresponsible and go bankrupt, that is her problem...and it is no concern of yours. Pay attention to your own life and well being and the well being of your immediate family and do not allow other people to control you or make yourself feel bad for taking proper care of yourself and your child.

      You can't blame her for her incursions into your life as long as you are allowing it. She has no limits, so if you don't put the brakes on her, she won't stop herself. She will do as much as you allow. So YOU must set limits, create meaningful consequences and them apply them ruthlessly. Nothing else works...and if this doesn't work, then it is time to seriously consider NC.

  10. I've been NC with all of my FOO for a little over a year now. LC just didn't work, even living 3000 miles apart from each other. It wasn't until I made the decision that I never wanted to subject myself to their abuse again that I began to heal. I'd told them of my decision in no uncertain- but polite- terms and never heard from them again. It felt odd at first because I'd always hoped to work things out and giving up that hope caused a feeling of loss and emptiness, but that didn't last very long and I felt really good about standing up for ME! Since then I've been very careful about whom to let into my life and I get treated with a lot more respect by others as well. With all that stress and anxiety out of my life I'm a MUCH happier person and can allow myself to BE myself without the negative input from Mommy Dearest and her flying monkeys. Amazing!!

  11. I decided to use the dishes on Very Special Occasions (LC). It works because my NF and his Enabler Girlfriend are Ignoring, not Engrossing narcissists. We see each other rarely and my children don't (and can't, really) establish any contact.

    It's better than No Contact for us, as my culture is horrible to people who estrange their elderly parents. Is there an option where getting rid of the dishes would get you ostracized from all polite society?

  12. My parents are currently going through a divorce. There are six of us children caught in the middle; I'm the eldest at age 18. Long story short: she walked out on us, claiming to be "fleeing" my father who is "abusing" her. And she has not stopped harassing and berating and guilt-tripping us to come with her. She took my two littlest brothers with her, but the four of us older ones stayed with my dad in our home where things were familiar during this time of divorce, we had our farm to take care of, and did not want to leave our daddy.
    She's recruited all sorts of friends who stand behind her and cheer her on. She has a few especial Flying Monkeys who just as bad in treating us as she is. Until we got an order of protection from a judge, she was emailing, calling, and Facebooking me with so much weeping and guilt-tripping, and when that didn't make us come running, she was screaming and lashing out, and then she would resort to "pitying" me and putting me down when I tried to find my voice. She screamed and cried whenever she saw us, told me she was dying, told me I was being brain-washed and manipulated, told me I was 17 and didn't understand my own mind, and then began blaming me for my siblings not wanting to see her, calling me "The ringleader".
    She's called me everything from self-righteous to a little hussy. One day she would be a super sweet, scared little victim, and the next she would be this cold warrior woman tho was going to take down my world.
    Now we have visitation with my little brothers once every two weeks. And I cannot handle seeing her. She breaks every single court rule she can, just to prove that no authority can leash her. She makes me feel so guilty, like I betrayed her. Like I don't understand her situation and have abandoned a poor woman in need. Her friends enforce this.
    I wanted to honor and love both my parents through this. The only reason I "chose" my dad was because it was my home. I'm glad I did, because I have no idea where my mother went. She turned into Anikan Skywalker, "If you aren't with me, then you are my enemy." This woman now is like a vicious animal and I just want my mother to come back. What kind of mother turns on her children and blames them?! She assumed no responsibility or fault for her marriage crumbling or her children not agreeing with her methods.
    Even the thought of seeing her makes me physically ill and shaky, and getting an email sinks me into depression for weeks. The only reason we see her is to see our brothers. She uses them as pawns, her only control over us. She throws herself all over us with affection and weeping, and acts offended and hurt when we aren't receptive. It all gets turned around so that I am the evil retch who dishonors my mother, the one who turned my back on her, and won't just be forgiving and kind.
    I have forgiven her. I love her. But I don't know her anymore and I cannot trust her. I want time to heal my wounds, and each time I see her or hear from her, she slashes them reopen. My sense of security and self-worth is devastated. And she labels all of her actions as Love, and says I just don't understand. There are very, very few people in my life who understand what she is really like, because she has such a good reputation. Even my own dad thinks we're being unreasonable sometimes for not wanting to see her.
    Someday, though. Someday I need to cut the contact. I have a beautiful life ahead of me with an amazing young man and hopes for the future... and I want to protect us and our children from this. Without having to feel guilty about it and be told by everyone that I am just being bitter and unforgiving and looking for revenge.
    Revenge is the farthest thing from my mind. I just want peace.

    My siblings and I have come a long way in recognizing this situation for what it really is. But there are still hard, confusing days where you forget that we aren't the bad guys. Narcissism is so poisonous.

    1. Sounds like you are pretty clear on what is going on here.

      So I have a few questions for you:

      Why doesn't your father pick up the other two children by himself and bring them home to visit? HE is the one who has visitation rights, after all. Allowing your mother to whip everything into an emotional frenzy as she tries to manipulate the rest of you kids is not only not good for you, it is not good for the younger kids, either. You father should be going to pick up the children and bring them home to the rest of you so that they see visitation day as a respite from the drama, not an escalation of it.

      Are you using your phones to video her breaking the rules and having tantrums? This can go a LONG way towards getting custody of those younger kids away from her so she cannot damage them further. Additionally, they can be used to demonstrate why she should not have unsupervised visitation with them after the custody transfer.

      I was in a similar situation to yours once and mistook her desire to have me come back to live with her as an expression of her loving me, as she claimed. You know what it was? Two things: 1) it meant she "won" over my father, making us kids want to live with her instead of him--narcissists turn everything into a competition and to them, winning is essential. And 2) every child under her roof meant more money in her pocket in the form of child support.

      You have nothing to feel guilty about and do not let her plant it in you. SHE is the one doing wrong, she is the one who is behaving badly. Record her outburst and tantrums on your phone, hand it over to your dad, and get those other two kids away before she ruins them for life.

      Whether or not your father thinks you are being unreasonable is beside the point. It is his job to support you. Some videos of how she treats you could change his attitude. If it doesn't, then you are dealing with more than a narcissistic mother, you are also dealing with an enabling father.

      Aside from those videos, my best suggestion to you is to find some family counselling (do not include NM) for yourself and your siblings and, if you can get him there, your father. He may need to hear, from an authoritative voice, that what your mother is doing is wrong and damaging and what HE needs to do to help his children.

      Best of luck to you.

  13. Violet,

    This was a really good analogy. Thank you. I enjoyed reading and thinking about it. It hit home.

    Waking up and realizing that you are sick, and have been that way for a long time, is key. I was Low Contact with my N-mom for many years. I had had some confrontations with her. She had never admitted to any wrongdoing or changed. But she had slightly modified her behavior to at least try to avoid the subjects - so I wouldn't talk about them and she wouldn't have to face up to them. And she had tried to be on her more or less "best behavior" during the couple of days a year that she did see me and my kids.

    But even at her best, she was still pretty terrible to my kids. Yelling for no reason once, and ignoring their when they were (I could tell) trying to share something with her. I could see her treating them the exact same way she treated me growing up, like they are not actual people, but just objects for her entertainment. And their personal talents she didn't really appreciate, either. Those were just there to make her look good, for the sake of her own status.

    For years, I put up with this and rationalized it by telling myself, "Well a crappy grandmother is certainly better than NO grandmother." I also lied to myself and told myself that I could manage her, as long as our interaction was limited.

    Both ideas are false. I can't "manage" her at all. When she's around, I slip back into those subservient, fearful childish behaviors I always slipped into. And as far as the kids having a grandmother goes... Honestly, what was I thinking? Having an abusive grandmother is NOT better than having none! To think that is really fooling myself.

    I finally realized after so many years that I had been deluding myself. I asked myself why, and realized that Hope was the reason. I still had held on to Hope, after so many years. I said that I knew my mom would never change, but there was a part of me, deep inside, that refused to let go of that tiny little sliver of hope that ONE DAY, things would be different...

    One day, my mom would realize she is in the wrong. One day, my mom would actually apologize to me for something. One day, my mom would realize how many different ways that she's hurt me. One day, my mom would actually love me.

    That one thought - not consciously even acknowledged - is what kept me tied to this woman for years and years.

    With recent circumstances we had, I finally let that hope die. As strange as it sounds, that feeling of letting hope die has been extremely liberating. When I let hope die, I let all expectations of my mother go. It has allowed me to finally at least begin to get free of her - mentally.

    I hadn't spoken to her since December. She's been punishing me with the silent treatment, for confronting her about something. But on February 5th, I took the terms of our relationship back into my own hands, by deciding to go No Contact.

    It's been good, so far. Tough at times. But it's allowed me to focus on what I need to focus on the most: My own wife and kids.

    It's weird because before when we've fought and not talked, I've always felt compelled to go back to her and try to make things right somehow. I'm really not feeling that at all anymore. Not having hope is freeing that way. She will never change. That's a fact. From now on, she'll just have to live with the repercussions of that herself.

    Part of the difficulty was also realizing that I had to cut my ties with her two Flying Monkey sisters also - my aunts. That was hard to let go. But now I'm realizing that I was never really loved by them anyway, so what have I lost? Nothing. So much of No Contact is just facing the truth about your own family. They haven't changed. The only thing that has changed is your understanding of the truth of the situation.

  14. I had limited contact with my NM and narcissistic/enabling brothers/sisters/father for years, having moved across the country to get away from that hell. I would get together for Christmas or Thanksgiving with them some years, but of course, there was always drama and hurt feelings at each meeting. I'm so glad that I didn't remain in close proximity of my toxic mother and family. When I was giving birth to my second daughter, my mother wanted to fly out and take care of me. My husband and I asked her to take care of my 4 year old daughter while I was in the hospital giving birth to second daughter. Well, out of the mouths of babes... My 4 year old daughter told me the next day that "Nana had broke my arm." I understood it to mean that my mother had hit my daughter while she was taking care of her. My NM couldn't even last a day without abusing someone she saw as weaker than she was. I looked at my mother and she just dismissed it as a child's fantasy. I felt bad that I hadn't protected my daughter, but I hadn't anticipated this and I, as of yet, didn't see my mother as a narcissist. I believed that I was the defective one, as she had taught me. I am grateful that I was far away while my children were growing up and that she couldn't hurt them. My NM was on her best behavior when we did return home for the holidays, because I was always with my children and she couldn't get away with the abuse. My children like their grandmother, but aren't very close to her. That is precisely why they do like her. They don't know her. I am grateful for that.


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