No Contact has grown centipede feet since its inception, running away from its original intention protecting victims. This is a predictable scenario since narcissists identify as victims. Perpetually. They may stalk, cheat, plagiarize, abuse and betray people, yet consider themselves to be victims, their victimizing behaviors justified. Perpetually. Well, what can you expect from a disorder preventing accurate self-appraisal, inhibiting the capacity for self-reflection? If someone is unable to introspect and own their aggression, they will view people’s defensive reactions as unpredictable and threatening. From the narcissist’s point of view, people are attacking without any provocation on the narcissist’s part. They believe they are defending themselves from aggression. Since pathological narcissism is defined by distorted perceptions, what narcissists see is not what is. Their provoking behavior is outside their awareness. This does not mean they aren’t consciously aware of their aggressive tactics. They believe their aggressive tactics are warranted.
…Being told a friend, family member or partner is using No Contact to protect themselves from YOU is confounding. Reality is turned upside-down when the narcissist refuses your phone calls, deletes your emails, bans you from their Facebook page. Through the grapevine, you’re told the narcissist avoids office luncheons because you’re there. She can’t be the bridesmaid if you’re the best man. He can’t go to the neighborhood picnic since you volunteered to flip the burgers. Your entire social circle from Earth to Jupiter has been informed of this tragic predicament and people wonder how YOU managed to make someone’s life so miserable they had to use No Contact (or take out a restraining order). You didn’t seem to be a dangerous person but who in the blue hell knows who anybody really is behind closed doors? You have now, my friend, entered the surrealistic world of DARVO: Defend, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. DARVO is the terrain of the narcissistic personality which means the No Contact plan has switched from self-protection to the intention to harm.
Now that 45 is president, he oh-so-much reminds people of things we don’t want to remember so we numb ourselves. Any painful memory can be triggered by 45. Memories of trust betrayed; memories of scapegoating, chaos, and a distortion of truth so disorienting you can’t trust your own mind. Memories of being lied to and cheated on and hurt by someone you cared about but could not get away from. We can’t go No Contact with 45 any more than children can avoid an abusive parent. Instead, we look for ways to appease political tyrants—just like children appease tyrannical parents. That’s how the narcissistic relationship felt as a kid and that’s how it feels as an adult; however, our feelings aren’t facts we’re reminded; and we aren’t kids anymore, we tell ourselves. We need to find ways to prevent ourselves from slipping into unhealthy behaviors like suppressing thoughts and numbing feelings—a useful tactic for children, a silencing and powerless tactic for adults. We may feel better in the short term but we are not safe. Speaking thoughtfully and honestly has never been more imperative than it is now.