When you’re living in the dysfunction that is a narcissistic relationship, subject to gaslighting and invalidation and abuse of all sorts, it can be impossible to even imagine what life without all this would be like. Just as a caterpillar cannot imagine life as a butterfly, a DONM cannot imagine a life of freeDONM.
And it can seem so scary; I know this. To cut off contact with your mother, and by extension therefore some or all of your family as they side with her, to be willing to accept her anger and perhaps rejection when she has taught you all your life to please her, and for what? For something unimaginable. So all you know is the price you will pay, but you cannot conceive of the prize you will win.
And so over the last while I have been collecting No-Contact Stories from other DONMs so I can share with you what it will be like. I have been doing this work for eleven years now, and have interacted with many thousands of DONMs in that time, and to my memory, only one ever regretted going No-Contact.
The many others who went No-Contact agree it was the best thing they ever did, and their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner.
Here are their stories. All stories are of course shared with permission.
If you would like to share your story too — good and bad — by all means contact me and send me your experiences for me to include here. Please include in your email specific permission allowing me to share your story, and also whatever attribution you would like – Anonymous, first name only, initials and city/province … whatever you would like and are comfortable with.
"All the consequences"
Unintended consequences of Full contact=. Mother # 1 priority. Husband, kids and grandkids get whatever limited time and attention is left over. Every holiday used up trying to please Mother, an impossible task. Own families’ needs ignored if interfered with what Mother wanted. Pretty sick and sad behaviour on my part. I cared more about what she thought or wanted than my own husband and kids. Sick sick sick.
Intended Consequences of no contact- happy, peaceful, drama less life, time available to establish healthy friendships and participate in activities with husband children and grandchildren. Joy increases on a daily basis. Discovery of a new life and courage to try new activities without fear. I am happier therefore my family is happier.
"Took back my personal power"
I used to fear going no contact. Now it has been 3 years and I am no longer being abused constantly. I took back my personal power as a human being and I feel better for it. My only regret is not doing it 30 years ago! I am glad you did it too and know how brave you were and the price you paid for peace. Hugs.
"I don’t have to perform in life anymore."
I want to tell you about my hairdresser. She’s cut my hair for maybe a decade. Last time I was there [after going No Contact] she told me that my hairquality has improved a lot. I also used to go to the chiropractor and osteopath for backaches between my shoulders for years. I thought about it the other day and I haven’t done it for years. I also have a lot more of energy and I have the peace of mind to take it easy. I don’t have to perform in life anymore.
So I thought about this. It was four years ago I went No Contact. It’s hard and difficult, but these are physical changes. Calmness can come with age, backaches can get better even though you treat them for years before, hair can change depending on what you eat. Maybe it’s a coinsidence, but is it? Or is it just that I feel so much better that I finally start to bloom, because no one is holding my down?
All the extra time!
“I’m off to play pickleball then band rehearsal. Never had time for this before!”
Starting to feel so alive.
I have been “no contact” about 2 weeks or better….and I am starting to feel ….so alive! Maybe its natural but I catch myself missing her just a little! And I want to share my new experiences….Isnt that strange?? … But that only lasts a min and goes away! And its not as depressing or consuming…You literally feel….free!
Im sure this isnt forever! She is my mother….Im sure Ill eventually have a moment of weakness!!! But thats ok! This feels too good and things are starting to not be so heavy ..I think it just might be ok after all! WOW
"Freedom from all the drama"
For me going no contact, whilst difficult and sad at times, has given me freedom from all the drama that had become normal. Life is so much calmer and happier now….. who knew….. I just thought that was how families were.
At first I didn’t even realise no contact was possible but from the moment I decided enough was enough and I didn’t want to deal with the disgusting way they behaved or for my children to think how they behaved was normal it has been a tough but liberating experience.
Whilst it is not understood in “normal” society, and I have definitely felt judged by some, those who know and love me have been so supportive and now very vocal about how they really felt about my family, which actually was a shock as I never realised so many felt like that.
But as I say to myself… love is blind and I just accepted how they were and thought I always had to love them as they were FAMILY!!
Not true at all , as I now know… Love is about caring, respecting and supporting and when people don’t treat you with these , whoever they are …………… Know that you are worth more and you don’t have to put up with behaviour that makes you sad, angry, hurt ……..love yourself and get rid of the poison……….
And watch your life and you bloom into who you should be. It does take time but with patience, time and Danus’ website , things do improve.
My life is still difficult at certain times but so much richer now I have time for other things , rather than dealing with their dramas or trying to please those who can never be pleased!!
Finding Danus’ website days after I went no contact was such a blessing, so much information that finally helped me understand why they behaved how they did and that going no contact WAS an option and I COULD do as I wanted and IT WASNT ME!!!! Liberating beyond words.
So no matter who judges, I am secure in the knowledge it was the right decision for me ……. and 3 years on I still feel the same.
Much more energy
“Shocking how much energy I have now to do things that improve my life. My life has completely changed.” –
Life is actually worth living.
It was preferable to think something was wrong with me since if I changed myself all would be ok with this relationship. There would be hope since I know that I cannot change Mom only myself. Maybe I am not patient or forgiving enough. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough.
I changed alright! I became this pathetic victim putting up with any type of abuse. I said yes to anything she wanted rather than risk her sudden rages and tirades or sudden silent treatment. I watched every word I said since you never knew when you might have committed some unforgivable “sin” against her. She was constantly offended by somebody or something.
I was very sick. I put her needs before my own needs and the needs of my family. My friends, I am sure were tiring of all the “ you won’t believe what Mom did now” stories. Exhausting and time consuming trying to make Mother happy. An impossible task. Nothing would ever be enough.
Well this all came to a sudden stop. I said no to her in order to be available to do something with my grand daughter. An unforgivable sin. Then came the silent treatment. The passive aggressive punishment. The difference this time though was that I chose not to chase after her and ask her forgiveness for this imaginary sin in order to keep her in my life. Easy to go no contact in this situation! Lol. Only after reading the info on your website was I able to recognize what was happening in my life.
Unbelievable how much time I have now to build a new healthy life. I have new things to talk about now too besides “you won’t believe what Mom did now stories”. lol.
I lost 40 lbs and am recovering from a food addiction. I exercise daily and I joined a few community organizations. My friends say that I “glow” and it is obvious that I am happy. My husband said he is glad to see that I am no longer in so much pain.
Life is actually worth living. I am sharing this info with the hope that it may help another person escape this madness.
Further thoughts from Carrie
Of course people have to make their own decision about going no contact.
I found for myself that I could not begin my healing and recovery until I stopped the pain. I could not make her stop, of course I have no control over her. I tried to stop the pain by becoming numb and ignoring what was going on. I ate huge quantities of food instead.
It was like having a bandaid on a bad burn that was constantly ripped off to put my hand back in the fire again for further scorching. Every time a new incident occurred there was not just current pain to deal with but this brought back bad memories from all the previous incidents. An accumulation of burns!
I thought I was forgiving and forgetting by continuing to allow my mother’s abuse. What a saint I was! I never expected any apology, of course this would never happen.
I instead was a pathetic very sick victim believing I had no choice. I am now dealing with forgiving myself for allowing this behaviour to not only effect me but my husband, children and grand children.
The recovery and healing is finally possible now with no contact.
I hope this sharing will help another person that believes they have no choice but to stay in hell. Life was not meant to be lived this way. Life is worth living.
"It is truly empowering"
Going no contact is what finally helped me let go of it all…..the guilt, the anxiety, the awful hold she had over me. It is truly empowering to go no contact and I would highly recommend it to anyone trapped in the healing process.
More No-Contact Info:
If you are having difficulty with guilt around the prospect of going No Contact, I offer you to check out my No Contact Bundle. Click on the image above, or click here for full info.
This resource consists of two downloadable videos to help you to use the power of EFT/Tapping to erase this unjustified guilt.
Mothers With NPD:
Info & Resources:
What other DONMs say:
The Mega DONM Resource Bundle
Over $200 of my best resources for immediate download ~ only $37
(Complete no-quibble 60- day money-back guarantee so you can check it out fully and see if it’s for you.)
You’re Not Crazy – It’s Your Mother
The best-selling, life-changing book, now substantially revised and extended.
100 letters of wisdom, warmth, humour, validation, support and encouragement.
Notes From Your Inner Mother
Little notes of wisdom, encouragement and support. In your inbox for free, or all at once in this wonderful book.
EFT Recovery videos to download individually. The next best thing to individual EFT sessions.
"No-Contact has saved me."
“I thought at first I was doing the wrong thing by no contact. It has been a year now. It is the best thing I could have ever done for me. “
No contact has saved me. I do not fret worry and stress myself as to what is wrong with me anymore. I have always thought it was me and I needed to fix me. I tried earning love over and over and that never got me the love I deserved. Unconditional love is what every child deserves from their mother. You don’t earn that. I haven’t had the battles and controversy for 1 whole year. It has been a peaceful year for me. I am at peace for the first time I can ever remember. For the first time in my life I am ok with me.
"My energy is coming back"
I felt like when I went No Contact, it was at a time in my life when I realized so much time had passed and things were still the same, worse even, and I exhausted myself – tried everything.
It’s been 1 year No Contact. Most of that time was spent grieving, learning, analyzing and now I’m onto recovery because my energy is coming back and my mind is clearer.
Victoria Rodriguez, California
"The benefits continue to unfold"
“both me and my sister – both of us nurses – have reflected that in the last year and half of no contact with our Mother, we have observed ourselves becoming kinder,more compassionate,less prickly and reactive in the world and our interaction with others – the benefits continue to unfold in unexpected and unusual ways.” – Ali
All is better.
“Since I went no contact, I have been able to quit drinking and have received a masters degree in guidance and counseling and a doctoral degree in educational leadership.” Dorry, Palm Springs
"It's been wonderful"
” it’s been two years it’s been wonderful truly wonderful takes a while to realize how freeing it is but it really is wonderful. “
"I belong to myself"
“I feel incredibly guilty, lonely, angry, sad. I also feel more peaceful, confident and secure. I m no longer an extension but I belong to myself. “
"... finding and cherishing the light within me."
“I have not had communication with her for five years now, and although it was a hard decision to make, it has allowed me to put my energy into recovering and finding and cherishing the light within me.”
"It's been my saving grace."
Thank you for letting me know I could go no contact. It’s been my saving grace.
"It's been my saving grace."
I am happy and at peace since no contact. Mostly I have found myself, as I feel there is space to breathe and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can explore things that matter to me without her judgement and negative energy. And focussing on new, healthy interests helps me heal. Overall there is less drama in my life which makes it more peaceful. As time goes on I feel less wistful about the Mother I needed, but didn’t have. That image on Danu’s book says it all – a free bird, out of her cage. That’s where I’m at.
(Anonymous By Request)
"I am a happier, freerer and bigger person"
“It has been such a tough 3 years and yet I am a happier, freerer and bigger person as a result of 3 years of no contact. That says it all for me. “
"No contact is so liberating."
I want to share a brief story of FINALLY going no contact with my narcissistic mother. Being an only child, and parents were divorced, I had zero family support. Was controlled, verbally and mentally abused my whole life by my crazy mother. Now I’m 53 and cut her off this past August after she said and did some horrific things to all but destroy my very close relationship with my grandma (her mother).
She accused me of lying, cheating her out of money when in fact I had done just the opposite. This happened over the phone. She hung up on me. I put my face into my hands, prayed for strength and said out loud, It’s done. It’s over. I have not spoken, seen or had any interaction with her since. She is blocked so no calls, texts etc. come through.
In fact, a neighbor called to tell me [my narcissistic mother] was in the hospital. The nurses called me telling me what personal items she will need while being treated. I told them I do not have a good relationship with her. Said someone else will have to fetch her things.
This was empowering for me. I felt such relief. No guilt or shame anymore.
What was a struggle was that I felt bad for not feeling bad at all about not going to see or help her during this time.. That’s a lot of negatives that are truly positive, if that makes sense.
The narc did call and left a message (saw my blocked call). She told me how much she loves and misses me. She apologized for ALL the bad things she’s done… Blah, blah blah.. You know the typical hoovering to suck me back. This time it didn’t work! I did not return the call rather deleted the message and deleted her. I don’t think about her and feel great.
I have been so happy, free in my life. Self confidence hasn’t been an issue. I am successful, well liked, have my own home, just bought a new car and have been able to date freely because she isn’t around to judge, criticize or worse, I suppress my happiness so she won’t know what is going on in my life.
Had been seeing a guy for 6 months and broke it off with him last week as signs of narcissism were rearing their ugly head. I completely deserve, love, respect kindness etc. and believe because I was deprived all these years the best is yet to come. He also is complete and total no contact.
I believe if I still was in contact with [my narcissistic mother] I would not have seen the early signs from the guy exhibiting the same behavior as the maternal narc.
Please share my story with other beautiful ladies out there. No contact is so liberating. I am finally able to live my life.
All the Best,
"... by far the hardest yet the most empowering decision I have ever made."
“If someone told me 10 years ago that I’d be no contact with my birth mother in the future, I would have thought they’d lost the plot. I was so enmeshed with that woman that I had no sense of self or my own personal identity. I literally had no idea who I was or what I wanted. Her wishes and dreams were mine (or so I was told). Her preferences were mine too. This was the conditioning that I grew up with and it was sick, insidious and abusive. I have been no contact with my birth mother now for nearly 5 years and it’s been by far the hardest yet the most empowering decision I have ever made.
Sure – there have been moments of deep grief, pain and sadness along the way and to be honest those moments still arise from time to time. But I know in my bones that I’ve made the right decision and will say that it gets slightly easier every day.
The woman I am today in comparison to the woman I was 5 years ago is unrecognisable. I have joy and autonomy over my life and energy now, which is powerful in and of itself. So for anyone that is new to this journey – your personal experiences with your narcissistic mother are all valid and you get to decide what is right for you. This is your moment to take your power back however that looks for you. There is life after no contact and I can say with full confidence now that it’s a very good and peaceful one.