You’ve done all the right things. You’ve broken up with your Narcissist, you’ve gone no contact and you’ve done your very best to put your focus back on you. But much to your chagrin, your Narcissist is pulling out all the stops, throwing everything at you to try and illicit some type of response.
Unwittingly, throughout your relationship, either through sharing, or information gathering, you have given your narcissist all kinds of clues about your emotional triggers, what your greatest fears are and your most painful hurts.
Your Narcissist knows you. They’ve been doing reconnaissance since the day you met. You may have thought you were getting to know each other through the exchange of information, but really what was going on was that your narcissist was engaging in something much more sinister. They were looking for a way in and the best way to control you. Whether this is conscious behavior or subconscious behavior, a narcissist knows just what information is important enough to be remembered and stored for future use.
So when you’ve finally had enough of their abuse and you tell them to buzz off, don’t be surprised at the extent to which, a narcissist will attempt to hold on.
The Spaghetti Test
When a Narcissist is bent on getting you back they will throw everything at you to see what sticks, much like a chef will throw pasta against the wall to see what hangs on and what bounces off. They will pull no punches and you will see everything you’ve ever said thrown back at you in an attempt to weaken your defenses.
Many of us go into no contact feeling strong and determined to be done with all the madness and then out of nowhere a text message comes in. You’re determined not to open it, but you see it’s a picture. You cave and open it up. It’s a picture of the restaurant you went to on your first date. You roll your eyes and think, pa-leeeeeease, but somewhere, very deep inside, you feel one tiny heart string being pulled. You don’t respond, but your mind starts to travel in that direction. Your phone buzzes again, it’s another text:
Do you remember our first date? It was here. I miss you. We need to talk
You are determined not to respond, because this isn’t the first time you’ve been here and you know how hard it is to get yourself back to this place, where you’re fed up enough to actually take action to end it, but you feel it, there it is, another heart string pulled.
Your Narcissist has determined that this was a failed attempt, since you didn’t respond, so they decide they have to up their game. They don’t want to seem too eager, because that would reek of desperation, so they wait a day, maybe two, hoping that the seeds they’ve just planted might take root.
They’ve tried sentimentality – that didn’t work, so now they’ll try the connection tactic and your phone goes off again.
I’ve never felt like this before. I can’t breathe without you. I’ve never felt this kind of connection with anyone. What we have is special and I don’t understand how you can walk away from us.
At this point you’re upset that they are making you feel things and that they just won’t go away. A part of you is a little happy that they aren’t giving up without a fight and that the shoe is on the other foot for a change, but you’ve made up your mind, you’re done and you want these messages to stop, so you tell yourself it’s ok to reply. You justify breaking no contact because you aren’t giving in, you’re telling him to stop.
Alex we are over. Please stop contacting me. We both need to move on.
At this point your Narcissist has gotten what they wanted – contact. It doesn’t matter that the contact was negative – they got you to respond, which was their goal. So they make a mental note that feeding you a dose of guilt got the job done, so they throw in some more.