Implementing no Contact with the Narcissists

Sending my sister, “Sissy,” this email on Thursday transpired as a bit of an anti-climax. It dawned on me that this is only the first step towards the ultimate no-contact rule. The next battle for liberation is with the Martyred mother, although she is the easiest person in the world to avoid.

The family fell apart years ago, we’ve barely been in touch for fifteen years, but Sissy always was the strongest link. In hindsight, this only held the family dysfunction together and her habit of carrying stories under a veil of sworn secrecy often contributed to the tense dynamics. It made sense to deal with her first.

I quickly realised on Friday that Sissy would never share the content of my email with the martyred mother. Not only does it reveal truth, it touches on memories of an abusive childhood and Sissy would never risk the explosive response.

It’s highly possible Sissy will mirror the martyred role by slightly twisting my message, “I tried my best… he wants to be alone… I am so upset.” Sometimes, she just can’t help herself.

When I first read about narcissism, the last person I expected to see was my sister. I’m still unsure whether she is a personification of the martyred mother’s “mini-me,” or if she became a narcissist.

Sissy was also a victim of childhood violence and by the time she turned twelve, her fear of the narcissistic mother was so great that she never left home again, other than to attend school.

I’m very aware of my sister’s demons and it’s sad that she’s unlikely to experience the same validating freedom. Her survival as the Golden-child was always dependent on the narcissist’s approval and what better way than to contribute to my role as scapegoat.

Sissy did respond to my email on Friday.

“I have tried to keep the communication open between us but as much as it upsets me I will respect your need to be by yourself.”

I appreciate that the content of my email wasn’t up for discussion, but I couldn’t help wonder if Sissy’s reply suggests, “But, you’re still to blame because I tried.”

An hour after Sissy’s email, she sent a YouTube video about funny dogs, but I was willing to believe it must be a mistake, until today. I returned home from walking Jack this morning only to discover that Sissy had called my home number while we were out.

I feel disappointed and more certain of the no-contact rule until therapy ends in December. It appears Sissy neither respects nor understands the first thing about my email. It’s purposefully vague but truthful and I can achieve nothing from elaborating and ultimately disagreeing. I asked for the time, she understood enough to “respect your need” and my gut instinct tells me to leave it there for now.

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39 thoughts on “Implementing no Contact with the Narcissists

  1. Priceless Joy

    I’m really sorry that your sister is not respecting your wishes. Apparently she doesn’t feel the same as you do about her childhood or she would understand. There is nothing worse than having to add this particular baggage on top of the baggage you already have. I think you should repeat your request of wanting to be left alone (unless you already have told her twice) and after that, ignore the calls. I certainly wish you all the best!

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  2. edwinasepisodes

    Maybe she has realised that you really do want to be on your own, and it has upset her, This might be why she is trying hard to get through to you by sending the funny video thinking it would be something fun that you would like. It must be tough for you Cat.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I am sure she will be upset, but she’s more likely to fire a load of bollocks and emotional blackmail. Narcissists are not “normal” people with feelings and abilities to reason like you and me. It is difficult but it’s tougher to be in touch with them 🙂 It will get easier, for sure. Thanks Edwina

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  3. kat

    so glad you have made the decision to go no-contact with Sissy and Martyr. Unfortunately, there is really no ‘nice’ way to come to a mutual understanding between the parties for them not to contact you. They may say they won’t but they will (as you have seen), they will send emails, phone calls, letters, put others in the middle to communicate to you for them.

    unfortunately, the only way to go no-contact, is to NOT return calls. NOT read or return texts or emails. NOT have them as friends on your social media. yes, you must unfriend them. do NOT read or respond to any form of communication. Pretend that you never received it. Eventually, they will communicate less and then none.

    every time you give in and ‘read’ or ‘answer’ or ‘respond’ to their attempts at communication, it simply encourages them to keep trying. you can’t give them that if you really want to go no-contact.

    just some advice from someone who has been there, done that.

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    1. Cat Post author

      You’re bang on the button, Kat, and I don’t intend reading any further emails from my sister. I just wanted to read that response. I sent the martyr the same email today and this feels a huge deal. It may well cause a narcissistic eruption, but for sure it has cut me off because lets not forget they believe in their own perfection and to be told they’re dysfunctional is like a red rag to a bull.. It’s done now and I’ll breathe a sigh of relief once the dust settles in a few days. Thank you, Kat, I have absorbed every part of your wisdom

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  4. therabbitholez

    You say she basically never left home after being brow beaten into giving in, so your her only link to outside as it were, however by writing and agreeing to your wishes, then ignoring them, to me shows she wants to keep the dysfunction alive and well.

    She no longer has that link, but at the same time can blame you for further estrangement, “mini me” is right, but until she decides to confront her own situation, which I doubt will happen she’s too entrenched, your no contact policy has drawn the line, and their controlling antics will no longer have any impact.

    Good for you:)

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    1. Cat Post author

      I’m sure it’s very tough for them to hear because they believe they’re all right and I’m all wrong. They will see me as the misguided one ungrateful, selfish… the works! Only a month or two ago, this would have been unthinkable of me to do… telling the truth to narcissists actually feels a little scary, but I’ll live with that 🙂

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  5. cardamone5

    Dearest Cat:

    I know how hard it is to enforce no contact rule with narcissists. Remember that your boundaries are for you, not them, because they will never respond appropriately to such actions. They will simply continue to operate by the same rules, and thus ignore or try to breach your boundaries. Hold fast, and know, through the doubt and hardness, that you are being the best, most respectful friend to yourself you can be. That is what matters. That takes guts and is a source of pride. You are strong, and your love for yourself is growing. I say bravo, friend. Sending hugs from across the pond.

    Love,
    E

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    1. Cat Post author

      It’s so true, Elizabeth, they were never able to accept boundaries and having them enforced now will trigger one of two responses; kick off or disown and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s both, but I am prepared and my boundary feels strong, for the first time ever! I am sure I will recognise the strength and pride once the dust settles. Thanking you 🙂

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      1. lynettedavis

        I like the part about being the “best friend you can be to yourself.” I hadn’t thought of it in those terms. This really helps with any lingering feelings of guilt. Love takes many different forms.

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  6. Andi

    Well that’s frustrating. But I think you are absolutely doing the right thing. You deserve to heal. You deserve this time and space.

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  7. sensuousamberville

    Go with your gut feel now, it is hard to build a wall that keeps family out, perhaps you will be comfortable letting your sister in at some point Cat. Who knows. You would have to have a careful talk with her, to see how she reacts. I am sorry that your mother is unlikely to change. You are number one right now. Heal, build strong walls and then possibly open the screen and peek out.
    I hope you are sleeping peacefully now, across that big pond and all. 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      I always sleep okay, oddly enough. Once the dust settles, I’ll feel a little less anxious. I sent the martyr the same email today. Part of me feels cruel and heartless, but I know I need to stick with my instinct. It’s not only about instinct, but when I read about narcissism, I couldn’t deny that’s what I was dealing with. Whether the no-contact ends in the future, I have no idea or concern. Give it a couple of days and I’ll feel better about it. Thank you, Amber

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    1. Cat Post author

      Well, that’s just narcissism in my book…lol… I’m seeing narcissism every-friggin-where. Yer, I have no intention of responding, but it does feel cruel and heartless, although in a way, I’m glad I feel cruel and heartless otherwise that might mean I am also a narcissist 🙂 Thanks AM

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  8. Glynis Jolly

    The ‘no-contact’ until December sounds kind of short to me. I have a question for you and you don’t have to respond. It’s more for contemplation.

    Do you have time in your life for their nonsense?

    ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. Cat Post author

      Probably not, but they won’t come running, anyway, and if they do, I doubt they’ll get a response. Thanks Glynis

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  9. Priceless Joy

    Hi Cat! Don’t kill me please, but I have nominated you for the challenge, “Allergic to E.” I think you will have fun and do an awesome job (I didn’t. lol) I hope you will accept this challenge. For more information, please read my post. 🙂

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  10. Susan Irene Fox

    Cat, if you were giving ‘no contact’ advice to a younger you, you wouldn’t think it was cruel or heartless at all. You would encourage “no contact” because it was emotionally and physically healthy. You would understand that it is a choice of life and survival.

    “Contact” depletes energy, health and life from you and gives it to the narcissist, allowing her to gain strength and power. “No contact” depletes nothing from the narcissist (though she will lie and say it does), but “No contact” gives you life and energy and health.

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    1. Cat Post author

      And that is precisely what I thought of when I finally sent mother the email yesterday. Finally, it is over! Thank you, Susan

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    1. Cat Post author

      Yes, it was a disappointment, but maybe done in the heat of her moment, who knows. I don’t plan on responding, anyway, but hopefully she won’t push it

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  11. gentlekindness

    I have found No Contact to be a constant process, dare I say Lifestyle Choice, rather than a decision.
    Every day is a new No Contact day, with its own perils awaiting you.

    Some days are very easy. Other times, unexpected swells that feel like waves come over you, and the urge to break No Contact, almost overwhelms me.

    There are sudden very deep Stockholme Bond chemical attacks on my brain. If you have never looked up Stockholme Syndrome, you will need that info to survive this.

    Anyway, it is a day to day resistance of an addictive situation. If they are actively trying to manipulate you, through calls or by proxy ( watch out for that tactic ) then it will be bad, but not necessarily worse than if they go No Contact completely.
    I might write a post on this later, but I have to get my laptop looked at.
    It is too hard to write on my cell phone, which is what I have been having to do.
    Much love to you,
    from another scapegoat (in the house where I am living with these narcissists ) ,
    Annie ❤

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    1. Cat Post author

      I imagine it will become more of a constant process, but right now it feels more like being on holiday but maybe the novelty will wear off. We were almost completely estranged for the last 15 years, so I’m hoping it won’t be as much of a challenge as it is a relief.

      Yes, I’ve heard more than read about the Stockholm theory, but I read more about Trauma Bonding with Narc parents; Stockholm comes under the Trauma Bonding, as you probably already know. I’m really new to narcissism and all the other connection, but it is a validating journey to learn more, so I will look forward to your future post. I couldn’t write from a phone

      Thank you for your supportive comment

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