Narcissists love to make us miserable. They enjoy the control they have over our emotions when they bully us, then sometimes play nice, then bully us…. They are in complete control, and we become dependent and desperate for them to just behave themselves.
Or…we quit playing their games and leave. Since we can’t change them, we escape and make it harder or impossible for them to terrorize us. When we leave their mind-controlling situations, it’s the worst thing we can do to them. Trying to reason with them won’t work. Trying to get them to face consequences won’t work. Trying to fight back at their level won’t work.
Leaving does, because it takes away their feeling of control and power. Going no contact and/or playing gray rock with a narcissist is the number one way to get them off your back. It’s also the only way you can “win” a game that can never really be won.
If you leave a narcissistic family, (especially if you are their scapegoat,) they will repeatedly try to draw you back in. They can’t continue their enmeshed dysfunction with someone to blame for all of it! If you leave a narcissistic relationship, they too will be angry about losing their whipping boy/girl.
Long after I left my sociopath ex, he could still terrorize me through third parties. The smear campaign has been relentless, and I always got word of it despite how much I tried to distance myself. Finally, this year, I took the final plunge to get away from even the gossip that reached my ears…and I started dating again for the first time since escaping the abuse.
The sociopath had mostly left me alone for years…only harassing me indirectly. This year, when he saw I was escaping even the smallest hints of his games, and dating someone else, he made big changes. How dare I try to rise out of the PTSD and depression that has plagued me through his smear campaign! Multiple times he called my phone as if we were friends. He suggested meeting up repeatedly. He started pretending that he really wanted my son with him to see us as a family. He started calling me on the pretense of discussing my son. However, it all came back to the same thing. He wanted me to stop using a third party for visitation drop offs, and meet him directly. It had NOTHING to do with my son, and everything to do with trying to get to me.
I had noticed this before in our initial divorce hearings. He wanted to see my son sooo badly…but only if it was at my house. When the judge said no, he lost all interest and ignored my son for a year. So much for wanting to see his child, right? We are back to this game. I have not been alone with the abuser since the day I kicked him out of my home four years ago; however, he kept telling third parties that he and I needed to meet alone when I dropped off my son. He kept saying we didn’t need to have anyone else involved. Ummm, NO. I was not going for that. He has been relentless and more focused on trying to get to me than see my son.
Typical narcissist. For years, he has smeared and trashed me, and has enjoyed knowing that I suffer. But when he got word that I wasn’t depressed and single anymore, he realized he had lost control. Suddenly, he wanted to get to me more than ever. But no, that will never happen. I have learned the importance of completely avoiding the narcissist or sociopath. I can’t make him behave like a decent person, but I can take away the power he wants to have over me by refusing to be in his game.