I receive a lot of questions on when and how do you decide when is the right time to officially call it quits.
And I get it.
Going no contact is a big decision.
It’s a personal decision.
It can be a confusing decision.
It can be a really painful decision.
Even if you’re at the point where you’re so worn out that you just don’t give a fuck anymore, it’s still a big decision.
And truth is – I think we all know what is the healthier option but it can still be really difficult to follow through.
There’s just so much involved.
In my relationship with my mom, we spent years on years battling each other.
In our worst of fights, I’d tell her I just couldn’t wait to never see her again.
She would agree and we would retreat to our areas of the house and ignore each other for weeks.
I would constantly ask myself ..’why am I still involved in this?’
She brought out the worst in me.
I always became calculating and insensitive.
Sometimes I would black out from my rage that even I ended up being afraid of me.
Yet, I still battled the confusion, the shame, the financial worry and often times the codependency on whether or not she would survive without my involvement.
The thought of, then followed by the guilt of, putting myself first — was excruciating.
I intellectually knew that it was the right thing to do but the rest of me wasn’t on board yet.
I felt selfish, mean and often times would bend on my position and check in with her to make sure she was getting her shit together.
Honestly, I needed her to get her shit together.
In the years leading up, I tried so hard to have things go my way.
I assumed there was something left for me to do to make it better.
To make the transition easier.
I almost wanted it to be her idea so I wouldn’t have to face the day when I would be the one shutting the door.
I hated being in that position.
I wanted her to get it.
I felt responsible for her getting it.
I also wanted to be able to ‘fully heal’ even though being around her constantly made me feel irritated and entirely closed off.
Still, … I kept trying.
I kept trying to bring the education, the patience and the understanding.
I brought the 95% and only required her to bring the rest. (still came up short!)
And I learned the hard way that it doesn’t matter how perfect I show up, what article I bring forward in hopes to shine some light or how nice I am, — her behavior and experiences should not solely be a reflection of my desire for her improved well-being.
That was the codependency dance and I was finally deciding to turn the music off.
I let her know 10 months in advance when I needed her to leave our shared space and made sure my sister was there as my witness – just to avoid any selective amnesia. (You know what I’m talking about.) And I went to work. Literally and psychologically.
I studied my ass off to really understand the dynamic.
I wanted to understand the confusion.
I wanted to be clear on my boundaries and where I was headed so that no matter what, for better or for worse, I was able to stand firm and not go back on my word.
(I didn’t fully trust myself yet so this step was major for me.)
She dramatically would make statements about how she was overwhelmed with joy about moving out and that I had nothing to worry about.
I offered to pack her things for her.
I still checked in to see if she had a place and what she was doing to prepare.
She told me over and over to mind my own business.
Yet I still searched online. I still sent her links of places to look at.
I still was tangled up in the stress and the worry and honestly just feeling …so badly.
But I kept reminding myself of what was happening.
I knew that I felt responsible for her.
I knew that I was highly codependent and in a role with her that was too difficult for me to interrupt unless I created a ton of space.
I reminded myself of how I felt on my worst days with her to keep me on track.
I did whatever it took.
I had the money ready. I had the strategy down pat. I expectedly had a ton of anxiety in the days leading up but the day that it actually happened – my anger towards her didn’t help me as much I thought.
She walked out and I fell to the ground.
I started crying.
It was so confusing.
I felt relief but also extreme sadness.
I couldn’t stand her but the part of me that still felt so incredibly responsible for her was in so much pain.
But I knew that no matter how I felt, I had to let go.
I had to let her go if I was ever going to give myself a chance at living a real life.
A healthy life.
And months later, I can honestly tell you that I never think about breaking my commitment.
Physically separating from her was a non-negotiable.
I needed my own space. I needed to breathe. I needed to know what peace felt like.
Going no-contact with her was a decision I made solely because I knew I needed to break the cycle.
I knew I was strong enough to do anything but I was tired of wasting my energy in places where there was no growth.
I was tired of sitting with fingers crossed hoping shit would change.
I didn’t want to hear it anymore.
I didn’t want to live it anymore.
And I realized that I am in control and I didn’t have to.
It was enough with the back and forth and just time to break the fuck up.
I do think about her from time to time but the guilt and the codependency have run their course.
Because by the end of our long, long journey together – the fatigue really set in.
I knew that I tried.
I knew that even in my most difficult of moments, I needed to outgrow my previous identity.
I also knew she needed to learn how to live without me.
She was so mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially dependent and it was her chance to finally live and be on her own.
I wanted that for her.
I still want that for her.
But most importantly, I needed that for me.
My whole life with her and coming to terms with what has happened and how it has affected me has not been easy.
Sometimes I get down on myself for why I didn’t know earlier.
Why I didn’t pull the plug earlier.
But the truth is – the timing wasn’t right.
So instead I stand in full gratitude.
I’m so grateful I set myself up emotionally and mentally before I finally went that route because I can just imagine how much more painful it is.
How much more confusing it is.
I built a system within myself that I was able to navigate the experience with much less turbulence that I anticipated.
Even when she tried to extend her stay, I already expected it and slapped down a firm ‘HELL NO’ that I left no room for any push back.
The best advice I can give to any who is battling whether or not it’s the right time or the right thing to do is;
Do your research.
Find a coach / therapist or a mentor to help be your guiding voice.
Start understanding the dynamic.
Get very clear on your attachment style and the fucked up dance of codependency.
Start understanding what is healthy and what is not.
Make the commitment to do what it takes.
Figure out the finances.
Understand that your success in this will take more than your anger.
Come to terms with your efforts and understanding that you can’t do the work for two people.
And also get very real on how you feel when you are around her.
In fact, this applies to everyone in your life from here on out.
What comes up? Do you feel free? Do you feel safe? Do you feel understood?
Not even the most enlightened person can bring their best everyday living in a toxic environment.
It’s just too damaging.
And just because we know how to do it – doesn’t mean we should.
Some of your family members or friends may not agree or understand but again, — the work you do to understand it and start feeling solid in what you know and how you feel – the less impact their opinions will have.
The less likely you will even allow this behavior to continue around you.
Losing your mom fully and completely is a pretty devastating situation. Especially when you’re grieving the death of someone who is still alive.
It takes the most strength, commitment, clarity and resilience to take a stand and say no more.
I can’t tell you what to do and I also am not going to tell you all that all narcissists are the same because I don’t want to make statements I can’t back up.
But what I can tell you is that you deserve to know what life is like on the other side.
You deserve the opportunity to get to know yourself and what you’re really like off the battle field.
You no longer have to bargain or compromise your way to getting everything you want.
It’s not easy but it’s truly and undeniably fucking worth it.
Struggling with this? You’re not alone — click here to schedule your free recovery plan audit and we’ll figure it out together XO.