No Contact means that you, totally and categorically, cut off all contact with your narcissistic mother and enabling father.
This is a very big, important subject, and so this is a long page with lots of information – I hope it’s not overload! But it’s possibly the most important page on this website.
No Contact is a very big decision. It has huge challenges, as I share below. But also there are so very, very many gifts as you shall read below – more than you can even imagine.
The first step to No Contact is the heady, but terrifying, realisation that it’s possible! Over the years I so often longed to cut off contact with my parents, but cultural programming made me think it wasn’t – I mean, you can’t leave your family!
The fear was also strong: Who will I be able to depend on if I go No Contact with my family? Will I end up so lonely?
The guilt was also strong: How can I be so cruel as to abandon them by going No Contact?
Other daughters have issues I didn’t have, such as the splintering of the rest of the family, i.e. siblings and/or their father possibly siding so much with the Narcissistic Mother that they cut them (i.e. the Daughter) off. (The reason I didn’t have those issues is because, with the exception of one sister, my whole family was already irretrievably splintered.)
And so, the realisation that yes, it’s possible, and many women do it, is hugely liberating. (And yes, scary.)
The next step is the painful – but ultimately liberating one – of finally giving up the dream, the fantasy, that you’ll ever have a proper mother. I think the biggest thing that keeps us emmeshed in this dysfunctional and damaging relationship is the hope that one day she’ll change.
The reality is that she won’t. If she’s truly Narcissistic, she won’t.
And a hugely important part of our journey is to finally accept that, so that we can walk away. EFT/Tapping can help enormously with this process, as can journaling and freewriting.
There are other issues to think of too.
For instance, how are you going to actually go No Contact. As I explained in the section about me, I was literally sick with nerves wondering how to tell them I didn’t want to see them again.
Some people phone, some write. Others tell their father (although their father, still enabling and protecting the Narcissistic Mother, might not pass the message on).
Others just stop contacting and hope that she’ll get the hint. If she’s an Ignoring Mother, she might (although that has its own issues as I share below), but an Engulfing Mother never will.
In fact, separating from an Engulfing Mother can be very difficult. She’s going to feel threatened at the prospect of losing all the Narcissistic Supply she gets from you.
So she may try all sorts of tricks to keep you enmeshed with her, such as suddenly becoming nice, and seeming to become the mother you always wanted. This is very hard to resist, of course! It’s like all your dreams come together – and just when you had finally accepted it wasn’t going to happen.
But be warned, if she’s a true Narcissistic Mother, then she can never really change. As soon as you’re back involved with her, she’ll drop the ‘nice’ and revert to how she always was – or maybe be even nastier for a while, to punish you for having thought of leaving her. (If you do get sucked in by the nice act, don’t blame yourself. She’s very good at what she does, and we’re programmed to want her love so badly. And don’t forget that you get as many chances as you need/want to go No Contact.)
Or, if she has successfully infantilised you enough, she might sneer at you that you’d never survive without her – and you may well believe her.
Or she may just refuse to honour your decision, and call around, and phone, and basically stalk you. It’s not unheard of for daughters to have to get barring orders for their mothers – not fun.
Or she may try to get to you via others – your siblings, your father, other relatives. She may prime them to phone you and get them to say things like, “How could you do this? You’re breaking your mother’s heart, you know. She’s crying all the time. She can’t believe you’re doing this to her. After all she’s done for you, all these years. She loves you and misses you and all she wants is to see you again.”
It’s very hard to stand up against that.
And of course, it’s up to you whether you do stand up to that, or not. Nothing in this website is about advocating No Contact, or any other action. You need to do what’s right for you. This website is about empowering you, not about being yet another way of you being controlled.
I would just suggest that you ask yourself what is behind their reaching out to you? Is it genuine remorse, or manipulation? Is your Narcissistic Mother owning any of the problem, or is she saying things like, ‘the difficulties between us’, i.e. hinting that you’re both equally responsible?
And if you do go back, does her behaviour genuinely change? That’s the acid test. Anybody can say anything, and Narcissists are very good at saying anything that’s necessary to get what they want. But they cannot consistently and genuinely change their behaviour. (Indeed, deep down they don’t even see why they should change their behaviour!)
See this page for information on what exactly No Contact involves.
What about an Ignoring Mother?
If you have an Ignoring Mother, as I have, then she’ll let you go easily. Really easily. Too easily in some ways. It really, really hurts how easily she lets you go. She makes no effort to keep you. Did you really matter that little?
The answer is, Yes. You mattered that little. But that’s not a reflection on you. It’s part of her having Narcissistic Personality Disorder that you, and everybody, mattered that little to her. You were valuable to her only to the extent that you gave her Narcissistic Supply, and now that you’ve shown you’re not going to do that any more – well, she has no use for you any more.
The Joys of No Contact
So, No Contact can be tough to do. But the gifts are immeasurable. I haven’t spoken to a single daughter who regrets it, indeed most are bubbling over with the joys of it.
For myself, I am experiencing more self-esteem, more joy, less pressure, less negative thinking, more freedom!
There has been sadness, don’t get me wrong. And bereavement, and grief. And anger. It has truly been a journey. (I used EFT to heal those emotions, which really helped).
But the gifts have been so, so worth it.
Another DONM “Light” wrote so eloquently about the gifts of No Contact that I asked her for permission to replicate it here – which she kindly gave. You can read it here – I dare you to read it and NOT get excited about the potential!