Peace after going ”no contact”

I’ve been thinking about the “no-contact RULE” lately. The reason being is, that I don’t believe there is an actual defined and definite rule that fits for everyone. I have read blogs that were for meant for talking about “hard” subjects, in accordance with the journey we all go through in the aftermath of a psychologically abusive relationship. These blogs are wonderful to help survivors to be able to expedite their own recovery. However, as to the subject of “no contact”, these same blogs were condemnatory toward survivors who were still struggling with that very subject.

In the process of ending contact with my last fiasco, as I have always done, I analyzed every response and attempt I tried. I “watched” as an outsider, taking notes on my own struggles, what finally worked for me to go no contact, and what happened as a result. I must tell you, though, this time around, for whatever reason, was more freeing for me, in the end!

One would think that I would have to completely rebuild, start over, etc. after a second go-round. At first, I was truly in a horrible place, again, fighting to make sense of things. Why someone who claimed to love me so much, could go through such extremes to hurt and bait me into a reaction, for no other reason but his personal “need” to be satisfied, much like a vampire. I felt like the entire “coming out” of my heart, was a complete waste. I was robbed and cheated. As if I would never get another chance to be whole again. That I would be bitter forever. Jaded. Cynical.

After each time of manipulation, gas-lighting and baiting for a reaction, I attempted to go “no-contact”. But I loved this man, as he SHOWED ME a man I longed for my entire life. I missed “that” person. That person disappeared as quickly as I fell for him. It was as though the initial love I developed for this person, was exactly what he wanted to see. You see, even THAT was something he used to get a reaction. The mirroring, tailoring everything he said and did, after my deepest desires, really was a baiting session. His desired reaction from me, WAS to have me fall deeply for him. Once he got that reaction, it was time to move on to harder, more hurtful ones. Since he already got me to fall for him, he could stop all the mirroring and caring gestures, and replace it with malicious mental and emotional games, hurting me for a reaction. Repetitively.

He played me like a deck of cards. He didn’t win, though for a time, he had the upper hand. I would go silent after each session (I don’t know what else to call it). I stayed silent, at times for as long as a week. Even though he blame-shifted directly following my over-the-top reaction, when I went silent and stopped talking to him, he would counter with texts and phone calls full of self-loathing and begging. Empty promises were his next playing field. He played into my natural empathy and sympathetic heart, still believing that this person was “normal”. He would beg for second, third, and forth chances to prove his love for me. To “earn” my trust. The thing is, each time I fell for those stupid lines, never once did he actually work to win my trust. He still had me where he wanted me, and it was back to business as usual.

Again and again, I tried to initiate ‘no-contact’. Again and again, I fell for his seemingly sincere remorse for hurting me.

I was in a mental and emotional war at this point. I KNEW and RECOGNIZED that what he was doing was, at least, manipulative. I mistakenly thought the problems lied in the subjects, or his chosen responses. Lying, stupidly, about gawking at another woman’s ass, as she walked past us. He made both disgustingly obvious. It wasn’t that he wasn’t able to control himself in either the gawking, or the lies immediately following. Both scenarios were put in place by him, to see how I would react, and nothing more. The reason he made both so unmistakably obvious, is so I wouldn’t mistake them as innocent. So I would KNOW he lied and KNOW he gawked. I didn’t see that right away. It was actually after his last stunt, that he himself gave me the answer to every other time, and finally my eyes were opened to the “real” story. It wasn’t in the act. It was his intentions BEHIND the act. He just skillfully and methodically put those actions into play, as a chess player would do, to get his opponent to counter with  a move he could use. It’s strategic, methodical and malicious. I was a toy and a tool. Nothing more than that. 

Still, even with all of this knowledge and epiphanies, I was still struggling with no-contact. I analyzed this, too, while I was in the middle of it. Why did I still feel the need to contact him? I was angry. I was hurt and I had insatiable questions that longed for answers. I needed to know what I was looking for from him, when I would, again, text, call or email him. I couldn’t completely define what I was looking for, but I knew the direction. I wanted to see remorse, that so far he was so devoid of showing, except for those times I would go silent. Silence from me, initiated the fake remorse response from him. Every time. I wanted him to admit to what he had been doing and understand how he was hurting me. I already knew by his habitual actions, hurting me was just a consequence to his game. His intention wasn’t necessarily to hurt me, though he knew he would.. it was all for the reaction. He knew it would hurt me, and didn’t care. It was the “all’s fair in love and war”. I had given up on getting the man I fell for, back, as he never existed in the first place.

My last attempt to contact him was with a defined purpose. I emailed him with a proposed excuse he could use. It was designed to bait HIM into answering MY questions. I suggested that he had emotional issues left over from abuse he endured at the hands of his mother. Psychological and emotional abuse. I was partially serious, in that I truly believe that it is at the root of all his compulsions to manipulate and control a woman’s emotions, just for kicks. I knew how he would respond. He didn’t address my proposed excuse. He immediately took the subject to blaming me, because “some people might take certain things wrong”. He recognized that words “mean things” and he needed to be more careful of MY feelings… as if everything hurt me, still, only because I was over-sensitive. AKA: blame shifting. Ladies and gentlemen, this man is in his mid-50’s. If he didn’t get the understanding that ‘words hurt’ by now, he would never get it. He was feigning innocence. I kept directing the conversation to his repeated actions, actually telling him about baiting me for a reaction. In his frustration, he counted each time, himself, and named each instance for me, while still claiming innocence and remorse (covered by sugar-coated blame-shifting and subtle accusations).

He knew. He knew all along, what he was doing. But I already knew that. In that texting conversation of ours, I got the validation I needed from him. #1, that he knew what he was doing and could recount each time without provocation from me. #2, Even though he claimed the desire to change, the fact that he was still shifting blame, told me he still had absolutely no desire to change. He would continue in his sadistic game, with me as his subject… as long as I allowed him to.

This was what I needed to finalize everything in my heart and mind. I found disdain and disgust for a man, where “love” used to be. My final text to him was two words, “Go away”. I meant it, and have had no desire to talk to him ever again. He actually turns my stomach.

I DO NOT recommend doing this, in order to help your situations at all!! I was lucky and understand that completely. It is exponentially better to TRUST WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW without needing any validation from any source. Your gut will tell you whether the person you are with is “bad” or “good” for you. Whether or not you are in extreme anxiety when you are with this person, or if you feel safe and content, should tell you when to walk away or stay. In taking the route that I did, that final day, I placed myself at risk.

The validation we crave, is found in the CYCLE OF ABUSE! His repeated offences without verifiable remorse or any inkling of a conscience, should be all the validation we need, in order to cut ties completely. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, many times we are still not satisfied with the obvious. We have to beat it to a pulp before we exhaust ourselves into having no other choices. Then, in our exhausted state, we are able to go no contact for a short time. We are weary, then. We are heart-sick. I understand this cycle of abuse/survivor. It’s all in the trauma bond that we inherited.

For me, the aftermath of this last fiasco has brought me PEACE! I don’t understand exactly what enabled that, or why. Once I was able to view him as pond-scum, I stopped caring about any potential smear campaigns. I stopped caring about being shunned at work. I am still ever vigilant in keeping a watchful eye, but not so much with fear. Its maintaining control. Not over everyone else, but in being aware of who is around me. Even those areas that were still being affected by the psychopath of my past, have changed into something else. I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not afraid of others, what they might say or do.

I’m finally, truly free. I don’t care about how my most recent ex-boyfriend is feeling, or whether or not he truly loves me. i don’t care anymore, that he’s still scheming for something or someone to continue to feed him his meal of emotional reactions. He’s sent me 3 texts in the last 2 weeks. The latest one(s) are exclaiming his undying love for me, begging me to talk to him again. I see him as pathetic, now, with absolute disgust for his attempts. He has to know he failed in the game.

I will give him time to walk away, and honor my request that he leave me alone. If he continues to call or text after a certain amount of time, he will be met with a letter, certified return receipt requested, demanding that he honor my wishes. It will be notarized. From there, I will take whatever steps that are necessary. It still is painful to some degree, when he tries to contact me. It keeps those painful spots inside of me, still raw. I don’t want or need that in my life. It’s unfair of him to continue to try to bait me for any reason. But, he was never “fair” or “just” in his actions to begin with, was he?

5 thoughts on “Peace after going ”no contact”

  1. Thank you for this really insightful and honest post. I am in ‘no contact’ with my abusive ex, and sometimes I have missed him so desperately I just longed to pick up the phone. But I haven’t, and I’m convinced that this is the most powerful tool I have to keep him out of my life.

    As you say, ‘no contact’ is extremely hard, because of all the questions we feel we want answers to. I guess I’m learning to accept that I’ll never get those answers – past experience tells me that all attempts are futile because he was so expert in telling me what I wanted to hear and guilting his way back in.

    This bit of your post especially helped:

    “It was as though the initial love I developed for this person, was exactly what he wanted to see. You see, even THAT was something he used to get a reaction. The mirroring, tailoring everything he said and did, after my deepest desires, really was a baiting session. His desired reaction from me, WAS to have me fall deeply for him. Once he got that reaction, it was time to move on to harder, more hurtful ones.”

    1. Soulsurvivor.. Thank you for commenting and reading 🙂 As you are probably aware, there are going to be those days that ‘no-contact’ will be so easy, you’ll wonder why it took so long! But, be prepared for him to pull out the stops, just to (again) get you to respond. In leaving him, you have also taken away that which he craves the most… control of you and your emotions. When those days come, remember this; Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. That includes those people who “used” to be his friend or are claiming to be unbiased and love you both equally. Don’t get tricked into saying anything about your relationship or how you are doing, unless it is to say, “I’ve never been happier!”. Even though your X has now been discarded and can easily move on, he still wants any reaction he can get from you. Just be prepared and remember to take TIME when answering to any question from anyone who has ever been associated with him, or reacting to anything said by those people.

      Stick to your guns! Remember to breathe and keep moving forward with your life, away from him… Keep in mind, he truly is nothing but pond-scum. The slimy ooze beneath your feet 😀 Hatred for anyone winds up burying you, psychologically and emotionally. However, holding someone in complete disdain is empowering and strengthening for you. I get a kick out of the definition.. and it does hold true!

      dis·dain (ds-dn)
      tr.v. dis·dained, dis·dain·ing, dis·dains
      1. To regard or treat with haughty contempt; despise. See Synonyms at despise.
      2. To consider or reject as beneath oneself.
      A feeling or show of contempt and aloofness; scorn.

      Keep on going! You’re doing AWESOME!!

  2. Hugs to both of you!!!
    I went to No-Contact in the spring of 2010, 4 years ago, and was able to maintain it (with a few minor exceptions) to this day. It was and is hard, on more than one level. I was only able to detach negatively, which can lead to OCD, anxiety, depression etc. In my case depression, for several years. But it is ok, because that is all that I was capable at the time. And that is good enough. I did the best with what I had under the circumstances. “Be gentle with yourself”
    I recently revisited the relationship, after finding some stuff he had posted about me online. I read his blogs and — drum-roll —- a light came on! My ex is not capable of empathy. He was never empathetic to me, because he doesn’t have the ability to be empathetic. I checked his blogs, checked all of the emails from him that I still have for any signs of it. No sign of empathy, not for myself, not for anyone else.
    As soon as I figured it out, I wanted to contact him and tell him. Figures, right?

  3. sartez

    I just found your blog and this post. As most of the people who google “abusive relationships” I have been a victim. I am still struggling to accept I was. At 33, I realized all the pain I’ve felt for the past 5 years was due to a manipulative person who claimed (and still do) to love me immensely. Three years ago, we broke up and after on and off dating with him, I suffered a miscarriage while he was dating another woman, a few months later, after traveling across Europe to find some perspective and talking to a therapist for a couple of hours I decided to ask him to set up a day in 6 months to talk, and during that time to avoid any communication. He still emailed me songs and general stuff, without me really responding. It was after meeting each other at a dinner that he seduced me back, showing he had been learning Italian (my native language) and telling me he kept thinking about me. We started to date again, him putting an end to the semi-relationship he was having with this other girl, and me keeping track on my journal of each one of my feelings on a daily basis. In transitioning between two apartments I spent almost two months in his apt with his best friend. After a month we had a bad fight, triggered by the fact he didn’t want to join me to some of my friends party, and me asking him was meaning I wasn’t independent and forcing him to do things he didn’t want to do. The way he blamed me caused him to wake up the morning after saying I had to leave the same day. And I did. I moved into a coworker place who was traveling abroad. He came to pick me up 5 days after, saying he was sorry and he wanted to try again. The day I moved out was sudden, we woke up in the morning and I had to leave. I was literally dropped with all my stuff in my new apt, nothing assembled, and his word he would have been back to help but not before 6pm (I moved in at 10am). As he left, I called him to ask him if he could meet me earlier, but he said to stay calm and that he would have called. Forcing my self to assemble at least the bed, I realized some parts of it were still in the apt and asked him if I could pick them up. He left them in the lobby, but he forgot other things. His roommate let me in, but once I was in the apt I realized he was playing video games. I faced him, asking him if he realized the gravity of the situation, and he pushed me out of the apt with an angry face saying “It’s over”, hurting my arm twice closing the door. I had bruises for a month. The rage of him pushing me out, the violence of him shutting the door (by accident, if it was such) on my arm and his voice scared me to the core. He apologized the day after. Since then, things were going better. Until a year ago in spring he disappeared for over a month after an argument on us living together. He reappeared after sending me a love letter. Few months later we travelled to Paris, as soon as we were back, he decided to move into a boat. At first we argue, he threatened me that he would have called the police if I didn’t leave the apt and the reason was that he didn’t want to hurt me. After that, I tried to be supportive. I did my best, I was getting my PhD done, submitting my application for the Green Card, I was starting the new year with a lot going on. Until he stated one night in March that he wanted to have couch surfers on the boat, two women from Montreal. I broke up out of exhaustion. I regretted after 1 night, asked to talk and he pushed me away. Two weeks after I received a love letter, but I didn’t reply. Then a few texts, no reply. One email, no reply. I met him in May at a party, we talked, he said he wanted to move back in the apt and have me move in with him. He changed his mind after two weeks. Then we stayed in touch casually. In that period of time I met a guy who was very nice and I decided to hang out with him to see how I was feeling. Nothing serious, just as friends. I was honest with my ex explaining I was seeing someone and it was tough. Even saying he didn’t want to move in with me and he didn’t know what he wanted, he was texting regularly and calling me “Amore” etc. We slept together a couple of times. After my birthday he told me he was sleeping and dating a woman who was in a relationship with another man since April. The reason he was telling me that was that he realized he was ready to move in and he wanted to marry me. For two weeks, I tried to think and listen to what he had to say. Until the day she called him saying she broke up with her boyfriend, and he stated that he wanted to live with me but he also wanted to date her to understand why he was so attracted. Since then, a few calls happened. We met once, and ended up talking about all the intimate details of sleeping with her. It was a torture. Another couple of calls happened after that meeting, both excruciatingly painful. He loves me, I am the most important person in his life, he wants me in his life, but he needs to figure out why he also loves her. He said it’s better if we leave each other in peace for a while, that things between us can never be over, but maybe we are not a good match…even if I know he is right, this sort of superior speeches where he tries to make me understand it’s for the both of us and he realized he is not being good to me is destroying me. I lost myself. I don’t know who I am, what I am worth, why this happened, how he felt he could do it, why I was so wrong about him, and since when this circle of lies and manipulation started. My self esteem is below zero, I don’t have self confidence in being able to love someone or pick good people in my life. I wish there was someone out there able to tell me with the right words what I need to hear to stand up again and move on. All I was able to do was to delete every image, every email, every text, block his number, his FB profile, his email address. I know he is not going to email me or reach out (even if a part of me wishes he would), but I feel so mistreated, abandoned, offended and humiliated. I really don’t know what to do.

  4. I know this was from 5 years ago but I just stumbled across it today. Thank you for such an insightful article — it spoke volumes.
    I just broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years and it’s been traumatic to say the very least. He cheated on me in the beginning of our relationship and I did so just recently out of sheer anger and revenge; I had a feeling he wasn’t being loyal again. Anyway, he ended things immediately once I had been found out. He would send me a text about once a week either reflecting on our good times, expressing his pain or sharing a photo of us. I would react but it only re-opened my wounds. I sunk into deep depression all while his life was going great. It took me to hit rock bottom to realize how manipulative he was being and that’s when I completely blocked his number. Your post was confirmation that I made the right decision to finally stand up for myself and fully start the healing process.
    Thank you!

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