Saturday, December 10, 2016

No Contact

What does it mean to go “no contact” with someone? I had never heard of it before, and when I did hear about it, I didn’t know how you could do it, especially with someone who you can’t actually get away from. But this year, I implemented this into my life, and it has saved me.

There are very toxic and abusive people in life, maybe you’ve met them, or worked with them. When they are outside of your inner circle of people, you can ignore or avoid them.  But, when they are IN your inner circle, and you can’t avoid them, then life gets very stressful.  You try to deal with them, you avoid confrontation with them, and you even decide to forgive and try to repair your relationship with them, only to have it blow up in your face at the next crisis.

I’ve been doing all of that for 4 years or more.  There was no way to have a normal, or at least a cordial relationship with this person. When things went bad, there were all kinds of accusations,  lots of horrible name calling, and I would start to doubt that I was even a good person, that maybe I WAS this terrible person who was ruining their life.  My stomach hurt all the time and I felt shaky and angry! I wanted to argue and defend myself, but it never helped, it only made it worse. I was being bullied and my character was being assassinated! I felt attacked, constantly!  I tried all kinds of ways to cope, but then, it went too far.  A line was crossed when they started trashing me to my own sister on social media. When she tried to defend me, they threatened her.  I was so angry and upset, I finally had enough! I felt it to my very core that it was time to protect myself by going “no contact” with this person. I wasn’t sure how it would work or if anyone would support me, but it has actually saved me!

What “no contact” means to me is having specific personal boundaries that you do not waver on.  If you waver, then the boundaries are gone. I felt extremely helpless and out of control because I never knew what storm was coming, or when. And then when it did come, it was mean and relentless, and totally unwarranted. So I don't have control of how this person acts, and I don't control if others choose to have a relationship with them, but I do have control of ME!  I have the right to create boundaries to protect my wellbeing. I have the right to not be around someone who is abusive, or to have to pretend to have a normal relationship with this person when we do not. I have the right to choose who I allow to be in my home, and who I allow around my loved ones.

The boundaries I have set for myself are that I will not communicate with them in any way. Not by phone, text, email, social media, and definitely not face to face. I won’t be in their presence, so they’re not allowed to come to my home, they are not allowed to be around my parents or my sister and her family.  If other’s in my family want to see this person, they can, just not around me.

My husband has been extremely supportive of my decision, and has only asked about the firmness of my boundaries a couple of times, and now he realizes what I mean and why.

It has been nearly 6 months since I went “no contact” and I have felt better and more in control of my life. I am less angry, less emotional and because of that I am more objective about the situation, and I am sure that this is right for me.

It’s amazing to me of how much power we give to others, especially bullies. They only hold that power over us because we give it to them. I took my power back, and I don’t care what they say or do anymore. They are free to be as hateful as they want, just not around me!

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