17 thoughts on “No Contact: The “Fly in the Ointment” No-One Talks About

  • March 13, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for this article! I feel sort of like an addict when it comes to this. I have relapsed several times and every day is a struggle but I am committed to my recovery!

  • March 13, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Great article Lenora.You express yourself so beautifully that it’s a joy to read your posts.
    No contact definitely does represent a full acceptance of reality as it is.
    Most of us who have finally accepted that “No Contact” was the only solution only did so after untold years or decades of excruciating mental “bargaining”. I grieved the relationship with my parents while I was still in it for over thirty years. Now THAT is what you call SUFFERING! But what it taught me is how resistant I am to accepting reality and how insistent I am on clinging to fiction . I am John Steinbeck’s Adam Trask ! Even after Cathy shot him he remained mourning the illusion for decades. Mourning is NOT a state of acceptance! I’m about 55 years old and I’m aware that those of us who have gone no contact are a relatively marginal minority of people who have met the developmental challenge of psychologically and emotionally leaving mommy and daddy and becoming fully our own person. So that shows you how developmentally infantile the bulk of society actually is? Even people from relatively functional families have not necessarily accomplished this. And frankly….I surmise that it’s very possible that God provided me such a painful, confusing and enduring parental relationship because I am the type of person who probably would have never left my Mommy and Daddy otherwise. And my parents certainly would have never allowed me to break free of their ownership. Indeed they had to almost kill me before I finally went no contact and accepted reality. So, ultimately I found that this perspective is far more empowering than one of helplessness or rage. It was just a necessary stage in all of our development albeit deeply painful and drawn out. But , glory to God…it’s over now!

    • March 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      I learned SO MUCH from your comment. Thank you for writing it.

      In the book/movie 84 Charing Cross Road (which changed my life), the main character is called “a truly Adult mind.” What you said reminded me of that. My family was definitely not grown up!!!

      Thanks again.


    • March 18, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Lisa–WOW! Your comment is so insightful, and reveals a person (you) who has learned so much from your journey with a dysfunctional family and has valuable information to share with the rest of us on this journey. All of these insights and phrases caught my eye:
      – excruciating mental “bargaining”
      – how resistant I am to accepting reality and how insistent I am on clinging to fiction (Don’t we all? it is our way of coping)
      – Mourning is NOT a state of acceptance! (Well said! Yet, grieving the loss of what we needed is still a necessary step to achieve acceptance.)
      – people who have met the developmental challenge of psychologically and emotionally leaving mommy and daddy and becoming fully our own person (<— My FAVORITE part of your comment. It further reinforces my thought siblings' infantile behavior of loyalty to our NM and EF.)
      – God provided me such a painful, confusing and enduring parental relationship because I am the type of person who probably would have never left my Mommy and Daddy otherwise. (I love how how cling to God's perfect parental love and trust in Him to meet your needs. In ACA, we learn that our parents are the biological means of our existence, but God is our true parent.)
      – And my parents certainly would have never allowed me to break free of their ownership. (Same here! I have gone NC with my NM since my EF's death 2 years ago, and now, as in past, most of my six siblings never check in with me, like when my NM would exile me from the family for daring to stand up for myself.)
      – So, ultimately I found that this perspective is far more empowering than one of helplessness or rage. (Hear, hear!)

      • March 18, 2019 at 7:03 pm

        So uplifting to hear such supportive comments. I very much appreciate them. I also appreciate the invitation to the FB group however I’m not subscribed to any social media options. I do peek into the narcissism recovery community from time to time via a youtube video or blog but, since my liberation from my family, I’ve been able to increasingly explore the world and largely to also separate myself from the security of the recovery community as well. I’m thrilled to read of all of your wonderful progress .

        There are so many areas of life which I had not yet experienced and explored . I had been in the trauma fog for most of my life so my world had been quite limited as those unhealthy relationships greatly affected my health over the years. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to grow in new ways now.

        May we all continue make great progress in our journey and soar to every increasing levels of Joy and peace 🙂


  • March 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Sometimes, Lenora, it has nothing at all to do with hanging onto the hope or fantasy that the person you have gone no contact with will magically turn into someone other than who they are, and everything to do with reaching a level of maturity and empathy where it has become unnecessary to your own personal survival to continue to dehumanize the other.

  • March 15, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for this article. I’m pretty sure I came to accept, in my late 50s, that I would never get the love, nurturing, and/or acceptance from my narcissistic mother and enabling father and flying monkey siblings before I went no contact, which started right after my father died two years ago. I feel at this point is that my choices are contact–which entails me pretending that I am accepted when I know I’m really not, and that I’m expected but not welcome, and I will continue to be discussed behind my back; or no contact–which entails peace and freedom, but the cost is not seeing most of the relatives I grew up with. I have plenty of people in my life who love and respect me and who can love and take care of themselves. I don’t need the FOO toxicity.

    • March 17, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      I can relate to your remarks so well . Especially the part about being “expected but not welcome”. Thats a very painful “double bind” to always be trapped in. It actually causes a lot of mental torment. We always felt that way among my husbands family. The level of expectation on us was overwhelming and yet we never expected a single thing from them? We never asked for or received anything but there were always demands made on us. But ultimately it also gave my husband and I the freedom to walk away when we were finally ready. May you continue to have peace !

      • March 18, 2019 at 10:39 am

        Lisa–Yes! That “expected but not welcome” thing also made it easier for me to go NC and to stay that way. Previous to that, I never thought about how I had no expectations of them. I had to *learn* that our relationship was dysfunctional, and I’m still learning, and I’m in my 60s! (Thank God we don’t stop learning.) So, even now, at your mention of how we never had expectations of them, I reflect. I think I came, finally, to realize that they would always say, “Love you” when saying goodbye, but their actions didn’t match the phrase. Thanks to my NM and her spell over all of us, when she would bait me, then rage at me for either not agreeing with her 100% on any topic or for standing up for myself without simultaneously exhibiting an adequate amount of self-deprecation, then exile me, then smear campaign me, her flying monkeys (my siblings) would *not* check in on me to hear my side of the situation or see how I was doing. When, through therapy, it became obvious to me all that was repeatedly happening, probably from the time I was a teenager (when NM could no longer control her daughter-nemesis), I came to realize that *I* had done the same to the other SGs in my family: just ignored their pain and blamed them for “making” my victim-NM upset. Oy! However, I also now realize if I had known better, I’d have done better.

        If you aren’t already in the group, I wanted you to know there is a secret, private FB group called “Secret Narcissistic Family Support Group” to which I belong. I think your insights would be so valuable there. 🙂

  • March 16, 2019 at 8:43 am

    I’m very happy with my no contact choices. And when someone died I was very happy not to deal with abuse and all that nonsense I left behind. I have moved on and don’t need to look back. I have plenty of support with my current relationships. I most certainly am not “dehumanizing” anyone. I am living a happy life and don’t feel the least bit obligated to be around toxic people.

  • March 17, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I freed myself from my toxic father about 5 years ago at age 59 by going NC and have rarely looked back. I did not attend his funeral because my flying monkey little sister invited my abusive, adulterous, and narcissistic ex-husband whom I had divorced 30 years ago to the funeral, without even telling me that she had done so. Instead, she called my husband at his job to ask him to warn me that my ex-husband had already arrived for the funeral. Can you imagine how my husband felt about that?

    Her act of inviting my ex-husband blew up in her face. The minister and the community immediately contacted me to express amazement that she would do that to me and offering their friendship and support to me. Those “outsiders” also recognized the toxicity of my father and little sister and understood why I chose no contact in lieu of constant abuse and manipulation. I have no guilt about cutting father and sister out of my life and have plenty of love and support from other family members and good friends.

    I will not attend my sister’s funeral when she dies, either, and I have excluded her and her children from my will. She no longer exists for me despite her occasional efforts to hoover me back.

    I have always been alone, even when I lived under my parents’ roof, so there really is no change in that circumstance.

  • April 20, 2019 at 9:19 am

    After no contact for over 35 years I learned via internet of my NM’s death several months ago. While I have grieved over not having a healthy mother/daughter relationship, her removal from this earth has simply been a huge relief for me. I have never regretted deciding to go NC. For me it was the only choice left after years and years of trying to please and be loved by someone who did not know how to be pleased or to love another in a healthy manner. I finally chose myself and my mental/physical health over a very sick and unbalanced individual who did not deserve a place in my life.

    • April 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      I can relate. For me, it was actually a relief when my EF died. I had been tormented with trying to get love and acceptance from him for so many years, and it wasn’t until around the time of his death that a big part of his reasons for rejecting me were because if he showed any kind of love towards me, my NM would be jealous and make his life with her more hell than it already was. Whenever she was a total B to me, baiting me, raging at me, exiling me, smear-campaigning me, he would sit quietly by and allow it–even when it was obvious she was in the wrong, and she was being toxic. He was such a coward. I gave up trying to get anything from him about 1 year prior to his death when I asked him if I would take him out for his birthday and he replied, “If you must.” WTF?!? He was depressed and codependent, and he would *not* get help.


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