When we cut contact with narcissists, especially with our parents, we have usually been putting up with bad behavior for a long time. We have probably been bullied, abused and manipulated for years. We have often chosen to forgive and forget countless times. We have had our boundaries violated on a daily basis. And, we have usually tried over and over to “fix” the narcissist, get them to help themselves, or to repair the relationship. We have told them over and over how they are hurting us, and how we would prefer to be treated. We have tried so many times to have a serious conversation only to have them ignore us, mock us, discount our feelings, invalidate us, distract us and change the topic, deny their own behavior and turn the conversation around to tell us how bad we are. Am I right?!
We don’t just decide we are bored and we are going to cut off our parents, end our marriages, dump our boyfriends or girlfriends, cut ties with our friends. We usually reach that point after months, years, or decades of pain and frustration. Normal people do not cut ties lightly. They only do it after many failed attempts to communicate and save the relationship. But one day, you realize you cannot fix someone else, so you have to take care of yourself…so you cut contact with the narcissist.
And so many times, the narcissist pretends to be so heartbroken and confused. (Narcissist mothers are especially good at this act!) They make you the bad guy, they cry, they whine, and they claim that they just have no idea why you would hurt them sooo badly by cutting contact. Poor, poor narcissist.
Yeah right. They know. They just don’t want to be held accountable for changing.
They may even go on to turn the tables and claim you were the problem so they cut you off. Either way, they become the victim and the martyr. They can complain about how terribly you are treating them, and they swear they didn’t deserve any of it, and they have no idea why you are doing it. This after you know you have tried so hard to make things right and finally had to make a hard decision.
There is currently a story in the online gossip “news” about two famous women singers who have been friends, but are apparently no longer friends. I have no idea if either of them is a narcissist, but when I saw this crazy story about Anita Baker and Cheryl Lynn, with Lynn’s resulting dramatic tweets, I thought of this phenomenon where the people who’ve hurt you for years claim they don’t know why you cut them off. If you’d like an example of silly online behavior, you can see the tweets in that link, but basically, these two singers, (and I’ve only heard of one of them,) are long-time friends, but Anita Baker blocked Cheryl Lynn from her Twitter account. Cheryl Lynn responded by posting all kinds of dramatic tweets about Baker claiming she has no idea what is going on, and that Baker cut her off for no reason. Oh really?!?
I don’t know what’s going on either, but I can say from experience that when one person cuts the other off, the other usually does know, and there is a reason. Now it’s perfectly possible that Baker is a terrible friend who is treating Lynn badly, and Lynn is just acting out and venting after many bad years. We all know that a narcissist loves to poke you until you explode then claim you are crazy, right? That’s one of the ways they muddy the water so onlookers can’t figure out what’s going on. But looking at her reaction, all I can think is “oh…YOU know.”
Like I said, I don’t know if either of these women is a narcissist, but this dynamic where one person swears they don’t know why the other person is upset is not unusual with “normal” people either. If you want to be a good friend, listen when your friends try to communicate with you, and communicate back with them…but not in a one-sided Twitter war! It’s pointless with a narcissist, but it works well with others!