What to expect after leaving your narcissist and going “no contact”
Once you finish going through the detox phase, which includes massive cravings for your narcissist, feelings of despair and emptiness (caused by a depletion of the hormone, oxytocin,) and the withdrawal phase at the beginning of going no contact, you will come to experience some positive changes in your reality.
Leaving a narcissist is similar to breaking a heroin addiction. It is painful and difficult, but in the end, you get your life back. In order to get yourself through the hardest parts of the initial break, you must allow yourself to experience the discomfort and anxiety, and let yourself grieve your loss. Don’t analyze why or berate yourself for, just let yourself feel your pain and treat yourself kindly as you face the emptiness that enters your life when the narcissist and all his/her chaos leaves.
At the same time, remind yourself that there will eventually be an end to your suffering. In fact, following is a list of what is gained when a person leaves a narcissist or other type of psychopath or toxic person. There are many benefits from extricating yourself from the emotional quagmire created by a narcissistic relationship:
- Freedom – When you can put together a string of weeks and months of going “no contact” with your abuser you will come to realize that you are now able to be yourself without someone constantly causing you to feel guilty, hurt, or ashamed. You are free.
- Peace – You don’t have to argue all the time, and put yourself in constant drama. Now you can have seamless conversations that aren’t loaded with convoluted meanings. You don’t have to feel confused or defensive with every human encounter. You’re finished living in a “house of pain.”
- Everything is as it seems – There is no more cognitive dissonance. You no longer live in a state of mind fu%$ery. You get up in the morning. Have your day. Go to bed at night. There are no hidden agendas or constant implications of your ineptitude. Everything just is.
- Yourself – You eventually realize that you have yourself back and that you like yourself and that you are okay just the way you are. You hold on to yourself and no longer give yourself away to others.
- Your Intuition – You actually pay attention to your intuition and value what it says to you. Red flags are no longer ignored or excused. If someone tries to challenge your reality, you are not swayed.
- Healthy Relationships – Your relationship with the narcissist was so toxic, that now you want nothing to do with toxic people or anything that resembles an unhealthy relationship. You have come to realize that you don’t need to spend time with toxic people and their enablers. You choose healthy connections over “complicated situations.” You actually have relationships that work, with people capable of validation and empathy. You can connect on a real level effortlessly.
- No more walking on eggshells – Your days are not spent feeling chronic unease regarding what is going to happen next or on what mood your narcissist is in. You feel lighter and less worried about everything. Anxiety dissipates.
- No more navigating emotional landmines – Remember those days of wondering, “What will he/she do or think if I …?” Well, you have disentangled yourself from the topography containing these land minds. You walk in a different neighborhood now – one that does not contain booby traps.
- Somatic symptoms disappear – These are all the physical symptoms you experienced, such as migraine headaches, stomach in knots, eczema, mysterious ailments, and the like; all were examples of how your difficult emotions and stress were being expressed.
- Depression is lifted – After years of narcissistic abuse you have lost yourself, dissociated from your emotions, and have been conditioned to a state of “learned helplessness.” Once you leave the toxic relationship and stop reinforcing the abusive relationship dynamic, your energy is no longer spent protecting your psyche from psychological abuse, and you find your voice, free-up your emotions, and begin to feel happy.
- Drama-free interactions – Surprisingly, everyone else is easier to get along with. Your relationships aren’t full of crises or turmoil. There is no longer drama in your interactions with others. Relationships just happen and they work, with no feelings of guilt or obligation on your part. It’s amazing!
- Empowerment – Once you realize you’re free from the opinions and manipulations of the narcissist, you find an inner strength and capacity for self-agency and self-advocacy. You have learned to set boundaries and have gotten yourself free from the narcissist’s web. This experience has taught you self-trust and personal empowerment.
While you’re in a toxic relationship, you feel constantly driven to fix it and improve it, or hold out for the hope that “one day things will work;” but, that day never comes. At some point you realize that you just need to lay it down and walk away – for good. Yes, it’s hard to get to that place. In fact, that is the hardest part of the journey.
After you get to that place of surrender, where you let go of any and all attempts to change the other person or repair the relationship; admit you can’t and don’t even want to try any more, then you start on a new chapter of your life – one of liberty, serenity, and joy.
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Stines, S. (2018). What to expect after leaving your narcissist and going “no contact”. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2018, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/recovery-expert/2018/01/what-to-expect-after-leaving-your-narcissist-and-going-no-contact/