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?