You probably think I’ve lost it.
I mean, how could answering a simple text message ruin your life?
I know you’re thinking you can handle the heat. In fact, you might even kind of enjoy it when your Ex texts you saying they miss you and you just ignore them. It feels like sweet revenge. Here they are, trying to get in touch with you after you caught them lying and cheating, and you’re able to keep them in the hot seat, wondering if you’ll ever give them a second chance.
Admit it. It feels good, doesn’t it? To think they’re beginning to regret their poor choices?
I remember those days. Even back before I learned about the concept of going No Contact, I would block my Ex from being able to contact me. Then, after a day or two I would unblock him. Then I’d just ignore him when he’d try to call or text.
I’d go on like that for days at a time, thinking I possessed progressively epic degrees of power the longer I held out. I just knew that if I ignored him long enough he’d come around to his senses. Expressly, if I made him stew for a while, he’d come back to me a changed man.
So, I left him unblocked with full access to send me texts whenever he wanted. Then, when he sounded desperate enough, I’d send him a short reply. Nothing too emotional. Just a little something to make him think I’d begun moving forward without him. And it worked.
Or at least I thought it did. I fell for the false epiphany. I fell for his charming smile, the seemingly sincere look of happiness in his eyes, the wonderful makeup sex, and the promises of a brighter future.
I thought I’d played it smart, until…
Fast forward seven months – I’d been thrown in jail for public intoxication and lost my teaching job one month before the end of the school year. I’d only been in my apartment a few months and had bills to pay and three children to provide for.
All because I’d answered one simple text.
It happens every day. People lose their careers, homes, entire bank accounts, children, and self-respect because they think they can avoid No Contact and stay “No Response”. Some become dysfunctional, wracked with debilitating conditions such as cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia. Still others become psychotic and even suicidal. You might be surprised at the number of comments I receive on my blog where someone is contemplating ending it all. (If this describes you, call 1 (800) 273-8255 immediately!)
All because they’d answered one simple text.
Luckily for me, the public intoxication charge was thrown out and I was back to teaching the next school year. However, the humiliation alone was enough that I had to temporarily go on medication. Not to mention the major self-work I had to perform to get over the shame and disgrace of my experience.
But not everyone is as fortunate. Lives are ruined because targets of narcissistic abuse eventually fall prey to the uncontrollable need to defend themselves, make their narcissistic partner see their point of view, tell the narcissist how hurtful they’ve been, engage in magical thinking and various other temptations that go along with being in a relationship with a person devoid of a conscience.
If you’re reading this article, that means your partner has crossed lines, trampled boundaries, and destroyed parts of you that feel irrecoverable. I’m here to tell you that your chronicle won’t be the one that defeats all odds. You won’t be going to your friends and family with the success story of the century.
As hard as it is to go No Contact, what’s even harder is what happens when you don’t.
The lies and cheating will get worse, the abuse will get worse, and if you have children, they will grow up with very unfortunate beliefs about what relationships are all about.
Going No Contact feels crappy. Some even equate it to death. But the good news is that as horrible and crippling as it feels in the beginning, there is an end to it. The body and mind have enormous wisdom. They know how to heal themselves. Give them the opportunity.
Kim Saeed is an Empowerment Blogger, No Contact Coach, Relationship Coach, Certified Self-Esteem Coach, Best-selling Author, Healing Facilitator, and Radio Guest Expert. Her areas of expertise include helping survivors of narcissistic and emotional abuse to detach and begin their journey of recovery through changing their limiting narrative scripts and learning holistic healing methods.
Following her own painful relationships (which she later discovered were with narcissists (one overt; one covert), she left her career as an elementary school teacher to embark on what has now become a world-wide campaign for empowering men and women to leave unhealthy relationships and reclaim their personal power and self-love.