After almost a year of the Silent Treatment, I agreed to meet with him. He doesn’t apologize or accept responsibility for his actions. He just wants to go forward from here. I agree because I just want peace. For a few months, it seems all right. We don’t speak often but there’s no rage. Then, out of the blue, he reaches out for our wedding anniversary.
I wrote about this in my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships: How to Identify, Live With or Leave the Narcissist in Your Life.”
“Then in September 2016, he invited us to dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate our “wedding anniversary,” even though we’ve never celebrated our anniversary together. Upon arrival, he seemed to be busting his buttons, wanting to share something with me. He carried a shopping bag and pulled out a program. He couldn’t wait to tell me he attended the hospital gala the night before. This was the same hospital gala I was responsible for during the 16 years I worked for the hospital. It was also the same one which honored me the year before when he refused to attend and told me he’d “never do anything with that hospital again.” He brought me the program from the event.
I felt the color drain from my face. His blustering the year before had nothing to do with the hospital or him. He didn’t attend because he couldn’t stand seeing me honored. Now, after his ultimatums, he went back to the event as if I was a blip on the radar. He looked around the table, seeing my children and husband’s confused, silent faces. I looked down in disbelief. We were right back to where we were before. My peaceful disinterest disappeared.
My father finally put two plus two together. He got up and yelled to the waitress, “I’ll take my dinner to go.” Then he walked out of the restaurant and our lives, again.”
This was a very dramatic event. My two daughters were watching him like the performance it was. It’s just hard to understand when this is your grandfather. He never even looked at them. The whole restaurant heard him yell. I had tears running down my face. This was the point when it became clear that he didn’t want anything to do with me or my family. This was the point when I realized he was never going to be the father I wanted or needed.
Narcissistic Cycle of Abandonment
Part of the abusive tactics narcissists use on their victims is the cycle of manipulative abandonment.
You see when the narcissist receives any resistance or discomfort, they leave. I had witnessed this behavior my whole life with my father. I never knew it was common among narcissists.
The Silent Treatment
Narcissists love to use the Silent Treatment to ensure control over another person. It’s completely demoralizing and a highly damaging form of manipulation, coercion, and control.
My father was a professional at giving the Silent Treatment. It was always his punishment of choice.
Since I’ve been coaching people 1:1, I’ve found that survivors of narcissistic abuse need to experience all 3: clarity, validation, and comfort. For those of you who are looking for a quick fix to this problem, you didn’t get here overnight. You’re going to need to do the work to survive narcissistic abuse.
I help people begin their healing journey after surviving narcissistic abuse. I give you strategies that will help protect your mental and emotional health as well as navigate narcissists or any high-conflict people you may encounter. This is why it’s so critical to talk to someone. But not just anyone. You need to find someone who’s familiar with narcissistic personality disorder. You see, I didn’t get here by accident. I didn't set out to become a narcissistic abuse recovery coach. But after I’d suffered this kind of abuse, I realized that my story and my experience could help so many people who’ve suffered similarly. When someone tells me about their struggles and their story, I’m not just understanding. I really get it. I’ve been there. I’ve felt those same emotions, that same rage, and loss.
Learn more about me here: https://buff.ly/3wf6tgQ
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