It is a widely known rehabilitative step to go “no contact” with a narcissist partner. This means to stop all forms of communication. No phone calls, no visits, give back all gift attempts or mail, cut all ties with that person completely. It is truly the only solid way to break free from the narcissistic emotional abuse and begin on the long, twisty path to healing. I sure wish I could, but you see… I have children with my narcissist.
I have to abide by certain laws of the court, maintaining just the minimum amount of contact as possible. It is a difficult situation, definitely not for the weak and weary. However, coming out of a seven year roller coaster relationship with a narcissist, I am nothing but weak and weary. So what do I do? What does anyone do? I take it one day at a time while building up my defenses.
First, you must find a support system. I am so fortunate to have my amazing parents and my brother to look to. Also, I am so lucky to have good, true friends that were always there but on the sidelines just waiting for me to come back. I lean on them to listen to my tales of woe. Just talking and writing about it has helped me so much. I find that when I speak or write about what I have gone through, somehow it is released into the atmosphere and weights are lifted off of me. I know that I will get through this, and you will too. Daily I am unearthing shreds of hope and strength that simmer under the surface for my two beautiful children. I cannot afford to fall apart. They need me…I need me. We deserve to get through this and live a life that is good and pure and full of possibilities once again.
Second, cut as many ties with your narcissist as humanly possible while staying within the bounds of the court’s requirements. But because of the children, I cannot just change my phone number, or move away. I have a chain that still binds me to my narcissist. However, I have lengthened it as much as possible. It is ironic that when we were together and my narcissist was gone for a week at a time for his work, he would never ask to speak to the children on the phone. Even when I would try to put him on the phone with the children he would say “No, they don’t make any sense when they are put on the phone anyway.” However, now that we have left him, he INSISTS to talk to the children EVERY single day. Interesting that he never cared before, but now that he has lost his power over me, he struggles to hold onto any bit of control he can grasp. He knows that it puts a crimp in my day to have to be available to put the children on the phone. He never says anything different to them, it is always “I miss you, I want to hug and kiss you.” Same old sayings the conversations lasts about 30 seconds. Then when the children do try to speak, he just talks over the them and they get frustrated. They want to get away from him on the phone as fast as possible. It is sad and ridiculous.
Third, go through an intermediary as much as possible. Anyone who was once involved with a narcissist knows how disrupting their communications can be whether text, email or phone. So, it is greatly recommended that you use any means possible to limit these stressful interactions. One resource out there that is helpful regarding child visitation schedules is an online calendar. These are nice so that you don’t have to have gratuitous contact with your narcissist when setting up visitation. A few examples of online calendars include Custody Junction, and Our Family Wizard. In addition, it can be used as a tool to help keep track of your narcissists actions and in-actions.
Fourth, stop caring about what the narcissist says. Easier said than done, I know. But now that I am equipped with knowledge of how a narcissist operates, I am much more resilient to his disparaging comments. I don’t play into his petty, pathetic hands anymore. If he gets out of line when calling to talk to the children, I just say something cryptic like “I am not going to hear this, this doesn’t concern the children” and I hang up the phone. It is actually quite liberating!
In a nutshell, going no contact with your narcissist is not a luxury afforded to those who have children with one. However, there are numerous ways to limit that contact by elongating that chain that binds us to them. With a few changes, a cast iron spirit and a strong support system, facing our future free of emotional abuse is a beautiful prospect. There is light at the end of the tunnel.