The attempts by the toxic narcissist to seep back into our lives during the holidays can be extremely difficult and requires willpower and conscious choices for ourselves.
When we look back, we are astounded by the glaring red flags that were missed, dismissed, and explained away. If it is too soon, too fast, and turns into a whirlwind romance that sweeps you off your feet that is a clear signal.
There was the love bombing. He/she needed to be with us all the time. They wanted to be in constant contact. They lavished us with gifts, compliments, poetry, special music playlists, constant texting/face time, and appeared to be the “soul mate” we had been wishing and searching for.
Their subtle jealousy seemed flattering.
Engagement ring after 6 quick months? We now know. Big Red flag.
We know all these things.
But what about when the narcissistic abuser makes attempts to seep back into our lives during times we feel vulnerable and lonely?
What about during the holidays? What if there is minimal continued contact because of custody agreements? What if we are just feeling horribly broken and are weakening?
The subtle attempts to reconnect during the holidays can appear innocent. They can also take on a threatening persistent quality.
Perhaps it starts as a “simple” request, a slight intrusion, a minor change to a firmly established routine, or a text, conversation, or email with a shared memory: “remember the time the kids…” making attempts to reconnect with us in some way.
These slight intrusions can turn into full on infiltrations and clear boundary violations if we do not hold a firm line.
If you feel yourself weakening in any way or feel yourself justifying and thinking “Oh this one time is fine.” “It really wasn’t that bad” “He has good qualities. The kids deserve a father/mother!”
If you find yourself negotiating with yourself in your head and making deals with yourself “I will only text him back this one time.” “Maybe he/she has changed? He seems nicer.” Or “I deserve this!!! I just don’t give a …” Please remember…
Please remember to read the list of offenses he/she committed against you and/or your children. Turn to this document to remind yourself of the true character of this person. Remind yourself of the abuse you endured; just for these moments when you feel weak.
Don’t languish there but remind yourself.
Please remember that the rules never applied to him. Remember the raging. Remember the threats. Remember his sense of entitlement and lack of remorse. Remember the arrogant behavior and the cruelty. Remember the unpredictability, the instability, manipulation, and gaslighting.
This is when we need to congratulate ourselves for harnessing the strength to leave and to stay gone.
We also need to bring protection and care to ourselves by reinforcing firm boundary lines never giving him/her permission to hurt us again.
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