The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

A narcissist’s silent treatment is one of their favourite games of mind control.  It is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse.  Those who have never been subjected to this form of abuse will find it difficult to understand the utter devastation caused by what is sometimes known as mental murder.  The narcissist will deliberately ignore their target in order to cause harm, often encouraging others to do the same (Ostracism).  The person who is being ignored or ostracised is left feeling worthless with their self esteem lying somewhere in the gutter.

The narcissist will express their disapproval by shutting down, withdrawing any love or affection, refusing to communicate and denying their target any explanation.  Why?  Avoidance, control, disempowerment and / or punishment, punishment for some perceived slight that their target is completely unaware of.  They know how they are making the other person feel but in their sick and twisted mind, they believe they deserve it.  Their emotional maturity is typical of a five year old child who sulks and storms off until they get what they want.  The victim often reaches out to the abuser in an attempt to resolve the situation.  Their phone calls will go unanswered, their emails or texts will be ignored.  All attempts at communication are met with contempt and a deafening silence.  This passive aggressive behaviour is usually a repetitive form of emotional abuse which the narcissist will practice time and time again with each episode of silence often lasting a little longer than the one before.  This is intentional manipulation which conditions the target for future mind control.  Reduce to SilenceThey don’t know if or when their voice will be heard and they will once again be graced with a response or if some degree of ‘normality’ will be restored.

Below are some questions I put to a narcissist  regarding the silent treatment.

Q.  Why would you, as a narcissist, invoke the silent treatment on  a partner or loved one?
A.  They’ve brought it on themselves.  If they have stopped making me the centre of their attention, I can bring the focus back to me by ignoring them.  They’ll be so hurt and annoyed that they’re being ignored that they’ll grovel and beg and do anything to get my attention.  If they’ve done something that annoys me, it’s a good way of pulling them back into line.
Q. Back into line… That statement certainly makes it sound like you think that you should always be in charge, that you should always hold the reins.  Is there ever a time when you can see someone as your equal?
A.  No. I am the boss.  If they want to be with me, they need to know that.
Q.  The silent treatment has been described as mental murder due to the severe emotional trauma felt by the victim.  How can you justify making someone feel totally worthless, as if they don’t matter?
A.  It doesn’t matter to me how they feel as long as they learn their lesson.
Q.  How do you react when your tactics don’t go to plan and your target ignores you right back and doesn’t come running back to you?
A.  That doesn’t usually happen.
Q.  What if it did?  What would you do?
A.  If they were worth keeping, I’d bide my time and gradually draw them back to me.
Q.  How?
A.  By being charming and irresistible again.
Q.  Is it something you do a lot?
A.  Yes, ‘ cos it works.
The narcissist is a cold, empty human being who will show absolutely no remorse or sympathy for the pain and distress that they are causing their victim. To the outside world their behaviour will appear normal. They appear to be in good spirits, calm and in control.  No one would ever believe the person they think they know could act in such a cold and callous manner.  They often portray themselves as the victim whilst the real victim of this dysfunctional relationship gradually becomes a shell of their former selves.  People who they thought were their friends have sided with the abusive personality.  They find themselves rejected by not only the narcissist, but by the narcissist’s family members, friends or colleagues. It’s a very lonely place to be.  The real victim withdraws, doesn’t know who they can trust any more and becomes isolated.  Sometimes they’ll react and who can blame them?  They have been pushed to the edge and they’ve done nothing wrong.  Bam!  The narcissist has all the evidence they need.  Their victim has just shown everyone  how crazy they are.  The abuser has gained sympathy and the victim has shown just how ‘unbalanced’ they really are.
As the victim’s mental health slowly deteriorates, the narcissist knows that they could put an end to this needless suffering at any time.  They don’t.  They often enjoy seeing the results of their monstrous behaviour and its profound effects on their helpless victim.
When does the silence come to an end?  When the narcissist sees fit.  When the target has been punished enough.  When they’ve paid their dues some semblance of normality will return until the next time.  The victim is so delighted that the period of silence has been lifted that they don’t ask why or what happened.  They don’t want to invoke the narcissist’s wrath so they let it slide.  Each and every time someone is subjected to this abhorrent treatment, they become less of the person that they once were.  Their self esteem gets pulled down further and further until they are not a patch on the person they once were.
In the majority of cases this type of abuse is covert and is rarely witnessed by anyone outside the loop. It is considered a very dangerous form of abuse which no one should tolerate.  If you find yourself being treated in this manner, understand that this is not normal behaviour.  People who play these mind games are mentally unstable, full of self hate and are incapable of maintaining healthy, loving relationships.
No one deserves to be treated in this manner by any one.
Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon

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95 thoughts on “The Silent Treatment

  1. But what is the victim to do. In my case, the narcissist is my daughter I recognize the behavior and know it is her and not me. I am moving forward with my life but still want a relationship on some level.

    1. My husband and I are also a target of our daughter. He was her original target when she left. She cussed him out and gave no reason. After a period of her talking with his mother and other family members, she switched the target to me, and alienated all of my direct family from her circle.
      I have gone no contact with her and yet, this past week was the center of yet another target from her and my husbands mother.
      I don’t react, that only feeds the issue. It has been very hard, but we do not, my husband included, respond to her rants and messages. We just keep a book of her rants on her “mother the liar”, tactic.
      She is very convincing and hurtful.
      Now with the help of my narcisstic mother in law, I m the reason she can’t see her father, (even though I am away from home 9 hours per day and we haven’t moved), and he is “grieving himself to death” because I caused all this and he can’t be with his daughter.
      We are going on almost 2 years of this behavior and yet remain targets of the two of them. It is hard to deal with, but if you can find a support group and find a busy outlet, you can get past some of the hurt.

    2. you need to understand that any relationship you get from her will be on her terms not yours and will be heartache.Save yourself and move on

    3. Just let her get on with it that’s what I do with my daughter she will come round eventually the first time my daughter did it it lasted five year’s I had given up but now she understands that it no longer works with me anymore understanding the condition will help you understand them better

  2. My daughter is doing this to me , But she is making out its all my fault telling others i deserve the way she treats me i have become so ill because of this and cry most days longing for her to speak to me its like she as died and i am in mourning my heart is broken so broken i dont know what to do .She goes round telling others that i tried to control her life but everything i did was out of love for her x

      1. I’m in a very similar boat. Very painful. Having ‘no contact’ with my 2 year old granddaughter is more than I can bare, but so is this. I am at a crossroad and don’t know which is worse, going through this being ignored abuse , or not seeing my grandchild. What a choice. Is there a God??

        1. Yes, most definitely there is a God, who is loving and kind. He would never hurt someone like these people do. They have free will and are choosing to sin and be hurtful. If they were healthy they would communicate in an effective way and be able to work through their problems. God is loving and would never harm anyone. All good things come from God. He has plans to prosper His children and never harm them.

    1. she is non sympathetic as is social paths…she may end up NC you…forget that baby- it is a weapon against you now.

    2. My daughter is the same way. I would like to have a relationship with her. And the saddest part about it too is I have 2 grandsons she will not allow me to see!

  3. WOW, my marriage to a “T”. Thank God I had the resources to do four weeks of rehab for trauma and codependency. I learned to use the “silent treatment” (horrendous to experience, as my body went through the withdrawal of all those addictive emotional chemicals) as my “No Contact” and am coming out the other side of a divorce, surviving a horrendous smear campaign, loss of friends, etc. Doesn’t matter anymore. I have my SELF back, I have a life ahead of me, and get clearer and clearer on what a f****** monster I had in my life. This too shall pass. I pray for all of us going forward and into the light away from the darkness that these “charmers” bring into our lives. WE need to do our own work – deep, healing work, on establishing healthy boundaries and self esteem that this never happens again. Our empathic natures are magnets for these soul-less creatures. It’s OUR responsibility to make sure WE don’t suffer this way again. I choose to view this as the ass-kick that I needed to push me off the edge of the cliff to do my own work.

    1. Exactly like my separation through my divorce. It is sooo important that he “thinks” he is in control of everything. He is absolutely not! He is a psycho. I thank God I am no longer inside the matted mess that my marriage had become. So now.

  4. My daughter, who is now 32, has bullied me all of her adult life but she’s getting worse as the years go on and it’s killing me slowly! Last August it got to the point of punching me and dumping me out of her car in the middle of nowhere. She has ostracized my closest siblings into thinking everything is my fault…hell, I think she’s convinced them, her husband and all her friends that I deserved it!!! Been dealing with the silent treatment now for 11 months while going through horrible trauma (just like this article talks about) and going to therapy for 5 months now. I know NO CONTACT is the way to go with these types of people but how in the world do you do it with your own daughter?!! Especially when I just got a call from her last week telling me she’s pregnant!!! This is my first grandchild and I want to be a part of their life naturally!!! She tells me that she will talk to me occasionally now but ONLY about the pregnancy. She said she will NEVER speak of that day last August again!!! Well, that may fine and dandy for her but I need some closure…I need to know what the hell happened that day…and I need to see/feel at least SOME kind of remorse from her! If anybody had ANY advice, I’d surely appreciate it because I’m a mess over this and feel like this baby will only be used by her as another controlling factor. I’m so down right now and upset because this should be a HAPPY time. Thanks.

    1. You will not get the closure you want. And as for remorse, she doesn’t have any. You have to accept this.

      1. Hey they really don’t .In there minds they are strong,#1 and me I’m looked down on,always have been ! Mental abuse is no way no joke, and they truly don’t care.

      2. Every time I look at that baby’s face, I laugh. The anger is unbllievabee, it sort of reminds me of a former co worker.I think I would rather deal with the a person knowing they were angry, rather than the person who is the sheep in the wolves clothes.

    2. Hi Lisa I’m in the same situation with my daughter,she’s has managed to destroy all my relationships, I have 4 grand children I try to be fair to all, she takes offence to the slights difference, I may do between the grandchildren.It’s Humanly impossible to function under these circumstances, I think she suffers from extreme jealousy,She is very abusive towards me on every visit without fail, I’ve also tried to reach closure on her behavior to be met with no remorse’I ask her to stop her snide remarks and other abuse,It fell on deaf ears, Recently I decided to set limits to her visits, She’s gone off in a rage and has made sure my son’s children have stopped visiting,Over the years she only contacts me when she feels her children need to see me,I’ve come to know when she wants to visit, sends me photo of children texts me to see when I’m home, no conversation.Makes me feel like she dangles her children at me like carrots.I have decided if going no contact is what it takes, worth not being mentally tortured. Very heartbreaking ,I wish you all the best with your first grandchild, If your daughter has such extreme behavior towards you, setting boundaries you are comfortable with from the beginning may help avoid getting trembled on and you can enjoy your grandchild .Wish you a good out come regards

      1. Thank you for the kind words Anna and I’m so sorry for your situation too. I have a feeling she is going to use this baby as a dangling carrot also. I talked to her again today briefly and man oh man…if the conversation isn’t strictly about her and the pregnancy she gets right back into her mean way of talking to me. Tells me I should feel lucky that she even told me she’s pregnant…let alone allowing me to talk to her occasionally…yes, this is after she flew off the handle and punched me in the eye. NOTHING makes any sense and I don’t even get a bread crumb of anything to go on to try to figure this out. It’s a total mind game and I’m losing! 🙁

        1. if you are going to keep seeing her,you really need to bring the police into it.I think you would be happier in the long run without her.Stay strong,and stay safe

        2. Getting therapy for yourself will help you cope. Therapy saved me from terrible depression and helped me to get on with my life. What happens is I was grieving someone who was still alive and yet the person I loved was no longer there so you grieve the loss like a death

          1. I am 45 years old have been going through this for 31 years this is a narcissistic step mom that my dad had married after my real mom passed away I just had my forties as the birthday and I had to call off our reservations that we had planned on Sunday due to my going out it was my fault to cancel cuz I wasn’t feeling well but now I have the silent treatment and they have belted me emotionally how irresponsible I am this is my day and I had to hear about how she had to do her hair and nails and got ready and how irresponsible I am I’m not a big drinker so hunts this is how it happened on one and a half drinks go figure but it happened and I shouldn’t be punished and being given the silent treatment so many stories I can tell this is just a new one and now I’m suffering at the moment of this time for this reason if anyone can give me any help on how to do or make the starter I’ve already went to counseling and did nothing it was like I was talking to a friend and she was just listening gave me no insight my dad has become the same person that’s her and I have no mother no brothers or sisters I have been fighting this battle for 31 years alone and I am just too old for this anymore help please

    3. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Its heart wrenching, I know. I’m going through this too. Not the exact same details but I have two children I’m dealing with. I do not ever walk completely away from someone unless I know it is for good. I’ve had to do this twice in my life and years later I can tell you it was for the best. However, when someone walks away from me its never been because I’m abusive etc. It was because I wouldn’t allow them to control me or because of necessary boundaries I set for myself. In my opinion if they walk away once they will do it again. Unless they come back initially with a changed heart and an apology, I can safely warn you that it will happen again and again. Both adult children have done this to me three times each! One is back in my life but I don’t have high expectations and I tread lightly. The other hasn’t spoken to me in over two years and had a baby in that time I don’t harbor bitter feelings toward her..I love her. But it is better to not see them at all than to ride that awful roller coaster of highs and lows. Its too hard on the grandchildren to have them pulled in and out of peoples lives. I’ve accepted the way things are and I’m happy, at peace and content. I admit..it is hard to let go of them, but, I deserve better too and so do you! No one likes to be thrown away like yesterdays garbage and I’m certainly not going to ask for it again! We can’t replace people that we love but God will bring people into your life to fill the void. Good luck!

      1. Thank you…I hate to say it, but I feel that is the way our relationship is going…me walking away for good someday because I can’t take the roller coaster treatment anymore…way too painful!!

    4. it is true…she will not change..she will most likely get worse and use the baby as a way to hurt you when she decides to NC YOU !!!

    5. I agree with ,this person has no remorse,if you ever want peace of mind,you will have to go no contact.If she is anything like my daughter,she will use that grandchild against you,and the cycle will start all over again with the grandchild.I know it’s hard,I understand completely,I have missed out on my own grandchildren,my daughter wouldnt even let me be there when her second was born.They are grown now and I havent seen them since they were very little.It’s hard,but the continuing heart ache just isnt worth it.Please,let them go for your own sanity.These types of people thrive on your pain

    6. I’m sorry to tell you that it will only get worse once the baby comes along. Your daughter will be able to use the child to further control you. I was in exactly the same situation and it almost killed me. Finally I went no-contact with my daughter and the constant pressure to please her was gone, I was like a new person. I grieve for my daughter and grandchildren but life is so much better without the constant emotional abuse, control and silent treatment. She was punishing me for not being a better mother and would have gone on punishing me forever. Now, my good friends are like family and I enjoy my neighbors kids. I love the people who love me and life is good. I find love right where I am. It was not the end of the world to let go of my grand kids, I didn’t have a real relationship with them anyway.

    7. Forget closure for that episode right now. Keep the lines of communication open if possible. My daughter wont let me see my grandchildren; she has stopped all forms of communication. It feels hopeless!

  5. This is what I am living-my son married a narcissist last year-the mental murder as is termed started3 yrs earlier..I’ve suffered through all of the behaviors that have been mentioned.. I feel like this is a picture of my life. The last I saw my son was at his wedding last year-which I had been kept from being a part of…The narcissist wife even has done this to my 10 yr old daughter, my sons sister, taking her out of the wedding.At the wedding we were both ignored-none of my family was invited, only 4 of my friends…My son and his wife , and her family have cut me and his little sister off completly, even to go as far as blocking me and my friends on every type of social media…Imagine my pain when I was congratulated at my work place-found out that I will be a 1st time grandmother in aug, 10 months after their wedding…still no contact..I feel like I am in some type of nightmare

    1. Hi Debbie Jean,
      My son has also married a narcissist and I was not invited to the wedding. This was 3 years ago, and the receiving of the silent treatment. Blocked on all social media. I don’t know where they live and work. This website was a total eye opener. I don’t know if my son will ever realize exactly what is happening and how he is manipulated. It is not as if you can end a relationship with your child. He is (or will be) a victim just like I am now. I can also not say to my son ‘your wife is a narc’ or ‘your wife is lying’. So I keep my distance and grieve the relationship I had with your son. Whatever happens in the future, the relationship will never be the same again. He is my only child and we used to be very close. But to collect information and educate yourself about what is really happening (and realize that you are not mad) does bring some peace of mind.

  6. My mother does this to me when she gets mad and knows I’m right or I have discovered her lies. She always says, “F. U.” and starts the name calling. This is a pattern she has had for years. After her rage, she goes into the silent treatment and ignores me. She acts like a little girl instead of a woman. I’m a mother of two children and I would never do that with my sons. She is quick to judge others but hates it when she’s the one being judged.

  7. I no longer live with my N.I feel GREAT ! I saw the signs of his next victim. He blamed me for the relationship ending. I ended the abuse. I planned my exist. It cost me a lot to get out of his sick brain washing! I changed my phone number and live 800 miles from him. I don’t repeat my mistakes! I lost a good job and hurt my older sons and family! I HATE this person and I feel good saying he caused my life living hell! I do except responsibility in my choices in the beginning. I just learned the hard way. Happy at last !

  8. My husband’s daughter who I raised from Little on up when her mother abandoned her turned into this cold black-hearted monster. She alienated her husband from his family. Then started cheating on him with another man. When my husband and I hand to speak honestly with her about morality issues when she then became pregnant with her boyfriend and was still married to her husband she then has no longer allowed us to see our grandchildren. My former son-in-law was allowing us to see their grandchildren butt he had to stop that because of the constant verbal attacks she would make when she found out the children visit with us. The only way my husband and I could get past this and move on with our lives was to just move on. We do not seek her or try to communicate. She uses the grandchildren and has brainwashed them against us as part of her sick game. We Love & miss our grandchildren dearly. Their father and his new wife are trying to turn the children around but it is difficult because of her continual Behavior. I pray that God will look over them and I pray that her influence will not have a severe mental effect on them. This is the only way that we knew how to move on with our lives. I don’t know if we could ever let her back in. For us it was an emotional rape.

    1. Rose … I’m so sorry to read your post and I fully understand your pain. My son is “punishing” me with no contact for imagined wrongs and that includes my two grandchildren. Even worse, he is a therapist and can speak the lingo in his own defense. I feel crushed and hollow. But through this, I can assure you that God does exist and more importantly, He allows free will. Which sadly includes the free will to hurt others. Your son/daughter has that freedom just as my son does. They are making choices that are intentionally cruel, but we too can make our choices in how we allow it to control us no matter how painful.

  9. Didn’t know the true meaning of someone being ostracized ,I do now. I know a few people who have this Narcissistic way of mentally & abusivly abusing others ,they have a way of craving and thriving to be#1 , to always be right, to belittle anyone who might be the slightest timid or passive, like vultures they will try to peck you to the very last peice of possible flesh. I pray for those people and at the age of 53 still do. I pray for them to be blessed to have good health (which they don’t) but still I pray for them for God to calm their minds and for them to not feel worthless or downheartedly . Its been a long and trying road , as a matter of speech. I can and I will fight to overcome the Severe mental abuse, and the struggle is never easy!

  10. My son does this to me, mental murder but I’ve given up trying to figure this out.. I’m simply moving on… I realize what he’s done is thru no fault of mine. I’ve tried to reconnect but he just gives me all his BS, and makes it all about him. So today I took the step I needed to take. I Told him
    I loved him, that he’s full of mixed messages. And I simply cannot do this anymore…Balls in his court now and I know it won’t change… gave up, moving on, ignore…. hardest thing I’ve had to do in a very very long time . Had to give up grandson too. That’s ok he’s been lied to and brainwashed and he’ll glean the truth when he walks away too…

  11. My last relationship was with a narcissist. Out of 4 years we were actually together 17months. He’d drop me for any reason mostly my answering back. He came to my and my sons life after we lost my sons dad to cancer. He couldn’t of been kinder and supportive. He wanted us with him all the time. When my son said ur my step-dad now his answer was I didn’t sign on for more kids. He sold my sons fathers car and kept money. He was the superintendent of the building we lived in. With in a 7 months I was living next door to him making 2 apts 1. That dream was squashed the day I brought a friend to see the place. On sept1,2012 I moved in on sept11,2012 I got the beating of my life. I wound up in mental hospital he got a restraining order. I had to move again and dropped all charges bc I was told he’d have me evicted. Here I am 8/2016 I’m a prisoner of my apt. Fighting to keep my place and he acts like a pillar of the community. He’s engaged he done everything to make me loose my mind. Cut off electric, called DYFUS, had me arrested claiming I broke TRO.he had judge connection through landlord. These people have been made to despise me. My car has been towed and ticketed over 50 times. I had a hidden camera and he backed it with threats and stalking. I spent over 15,000 in legal fees I’m in debt and they want to kick me and my son out. I’m gonn speak to all single moms in housing we need to stand together. Don’t take the evil conniving dirt that a man says in face value. He makes up stories and tells random tents that I dislike them and he did it to me with other woman. Today I friends with one. But God knows how many others he’s doing it to. People look at me with hate.

    1. I have some same problems. Wife 39 yrs a girlfriend of 20 me 3. An who knows how many more. He has done so much for me but has done a lot to me. An been jail to. But because of who he is. Nothing happens retired sergeant police department 28 yrs an fire Marshall with bomb expertise. Im screwed. I got restaining order didnt do any gd. He got 1 2 yrs ago. I moved. He showed in my driveway. After 6 months I said how did you find me. He said known a while where I was. Hes watched me from distance. He makes me feel like crap bout myself. I sleep alone cry alone everything alone. He goes home . Only time he stresses when he thinks might be compitition rediculous. Then im important. No bday gufts or holidays xmas nothing. Me alone.

  12. my mother to a tee…………she’s so very sweet and caring to everyone else. I am 46 years old and just realized how very messed up she is. I offended her when I was little and would count the days of silence. I thought she was wonderful and I was a bad person for not keeping her happy. I called her on this passive aggressive bullshit and it’s left me once again in silence…..however this time, instead of “mental murder” ; it is called PEACE!

    1. OMG same mother over here. I have gone no contact with my whole nutty family. My kids will be 100% better off without their grandparents, because they will have a happier mama 😉 I find distance very peaceful, its being around them that’s mental murder.

    2. Wow Liz, my mom was the exact same way. I can remember being given the silent treatment as early as about 8 years old. My mom would also tell me about the “orphanage ” for the bad kids and threaten that she would call them because I must not love her if I was talking back or “smart-mouthing” her. It was her way or no way, and any opinion on my part was considered back-talk. I now have 3 boys of my own and I can’t even fathom doing this to them. Sending love and light to you and everyone else that has endured this abuse.

      1. I was threatened with a mental institution because I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to travel and make my own decisions, but that meant I was crazy apparently. I’m finally NC in my late 30’s.

  13. Shout out to all victims of these type of abusers.
    In my case, when I got pregnant with kate, my abuser started doing the silent treatment. He stopped the communication, stopped answering my calls, I got furious and angry at him because he kept telling me that he’s not ready to be a father to kate. I kept calling everyone in his family but they wouldn’t let me talk to him nor even sympathized with my situation. Imagine how frustrating that situation for a pregnant woman, being ignored emotionally drained. But then, I continued my pregnancy with no support from him emotionally and financially. Thanks to my family, I’ve moved on with my life now and Kate is now 1 yr old, and a very cute and healthy baby.
    Ladies! Don’t let this type of men fool you. They will never change. If this happened to me, this will also happen to you.
    This passive aggressive behaviour is usually a repetitive form of emotional abuse which the narcissist will practice time and time again with each episode of silence often lasting a little longer than the one before.
    Ladies, if your man wont get some balls, remove them from your life and be happy without them.
    Share your story too. ✌
    Also, open the link and learn more about these kind of men.
    #StopNarcissisticSociopathicAbuse
    #SisterhoodofSurvivors
    #RaisingAwarenessToSociopaths
    #NeverAgainToNarcopaths

  14. Seems like there are a lot of us in similar situations personally I have done a lot of reading on the subject and have been a target of this behaviour for over 10 years now have 2 gorgeous grandchildren who are used as weapons. I have made the choice to go NC and not enter into the gameplay anymore to save the Grandchildren from a roller coasters situation one day they may want to see me and I will be there for them as far as daughter is concerned she died I don’t know this person in my daughters body …. that’s how I deal with it for my own sanity peace and love for you save your self from further pain

    1. This is my life almost verbatim. Both my daughters are narcisstic. I wait patiently for my grandchildren someday to be able to see me without their control

  15. Hi I am a man..Not A Narc.my ex is for sure. At this moment I am going thrust the Silent Treatment again . Its been 5 months now. Won’t return text or calls..we have a child together. To me this is some of the most painful shit to live with.How a person you lived with loved more than anything else can discard me like IM garbage and walk away. Its killing me. Its how you murder someone you tell them you love them and never speak to them again . Dying like this ,Feeling like I do.. Lonely and depressed for so long . Holding on to a slippery rail and IM getting heavy and tired. She drained my soul &heat&mind. Who am I and who I was not same guy.

  16. Hello everyone and commiserations. My father is a diagnosed malignant narc and I have 2 grown sons who I now suspect to be the same way. They completely wiped me from their lives when I asked them to move out of home because of their completely horrible, disrespectful and cruel behavior. They didnt speak to me for months before they left, and I didnt hear from them again after they left. This was 6 years ago. I tried and tried and tried to make amends (they were telling people it was I so horrible when they were growing up – I was a young teen mother doing it alone) and for the longest time I really did believe it was my fault. My eyes have finally been opened to the fact that they are just like my father. It was a terrible realisation. So many people who knew all of us, both when they were little, and as young adults kept telling me that they were completely wrong and I was a wonderful mother, but my sons had me so convinced the problem was *me*. I have been to hell and back mourning the loss of who I thought they were, and it kills me that I everything I went through, my entire youth, GONE and for nothing. It has slowly been getting better over the last year although the pain never totally goes. My heart aches for their girlfriends. I truly dread to think what they are going suffer at the hands of these now grown men. I also feel so ashamed that I had something to do with bringing people into the world who behave like this. *Sigh*. The conditioning from my childhood taught me to overvalue and over-compensate for their shortcomings and it resulted in these awful people.
    Stay strong everyone. We can get through it and go on to be happy. I am so close I can taste it lol. I am no longer in mourning and I can enjoy holidays again. There is light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

    1. Thank you. Constantly replaying their childhood and wondering how could I have done better almost broke me over my daughter. Its been 15 yrs now of the silent treatment and then she moved to the west coast taking 2 grandchildren who I had been the caregiver for 2 years at one time. She has blamed me for every bad thing she can and my 3 other children know its not true. When she moved she blocked me on FB and I gavnt heard from her since. After a few years I finally reached a point where I made up mind I would not shed another tear over her but it breaks my heart to feel that my grandchildren would think of me as bad . I have other grandchildren who love me and that is what sustains me. What is most difficult is that I will never understand or have closure. All I/we can do is to let go and let God take care of them. God bless you and thanks again for your letter. At least I know Im not alone.

  17. I left my second husband for the same reasons. I was there to be a slave to him and his 6 children. He never said more than two words to me unless it was name calling. He wasn’t like that until we said I do. after it getting to the point where I had no friends left and he tried to keep me from my grandkids I woke up and got out with nothing. thought it was worth it. Now my daughter is just as bad so have almost been completely been shut out except her dad is dying (my first hubby) and she says she needs me but I know its only because she wants something from me then it will be silence. Even though I feel bad for my son I am not giving in.

  18. Day 9 of the silent treatment over here. 26 yrs. Half my life. I blamed so much on alcohol but after being sober for 2 yrs. (yeah me). I just realised recently i was dealing not only with an alcoholic but a narcissistic one. Without even knowing, Ive been through the stages and am done. You really have to see this shit to believe it and even then you cant. Problem is im still prisoner waiting for the other shoe to drop. and the prick wont even txt so i can invoke my no contact thing and at least feel proud.

  19. So very happy now that I am not in the matted nest of constant anger my ex had turned our marriage into. This type of personality, in my opinion, is simply evil and dangerous.

  20. Hi,
    I need an advice. I was a graduate student in Germany, whoever supervised me did this silence teatement with me. I stayed alone for 18 monthes, i got very very few contacts. Anyway, I left, but I left with my body and not with my mind and I m sick of this.
    I m no longer trusting people and I do not want to see anyone, yet this kills me.

    Any ideas how to let go of this isolation that I experienced and continue to have with me?

    He, his students shut me down, they hardly talked to me and when this happen, they told me ugly things about my culture background. What do u call that?

    I was alone in Germany bec I failed to construct any social networks.

    Plz help me
    thx

  21. I just want to thank you for this post/article. My father, and some friends children are narcissistic and it is a huge struggle. The mental scars are so hard to overcome, but you can do it! Don’t feed into the narcissist. Make most of any contact about them, ask questions and keep the focus on them… this avoids them turning on you because they are so pleased ‘it’s all about them’. I wish i could recall the name of the book i read that in. You can never trust our fall into their traps of silent treatment, put downs and abuse…then they’re nice and appear loving… that trap is the worst. You think you have them back and they care about you, but BAM, the narcissist cuts you down once again. I’ve been ‘cut out of the will’ and ignored over and over (& over the silliest things, like i couldn’t visit because of car trouble and i suffer from chronic pain). Broken heart once again. I have done alot of counselling. I say affirmations and took up meditation to reverse the mental damage of being told i was just horrible, useless, never amount to anything, etc etc etc etc

    Anyway, thank you!

  22. The silent treatment ugh!! Was there ever a more insidious way to hurt someone? But then again you are talking about narcissists here. They couldn’t care less about the hurt they cause because you are nothing to them. All that flattery, all that love bombing all bull shit . All that you are is supply. When they get tired of you for whatever reason the devalue and discard commences followed by the silent treatment. This can go on for however long the narc feels you deserve to be punished. A week, a month, a year but they will return and start the sick cycle all over again. Protect yourself and go NC get them out of your life before they destroy you. Because as sure as God made little apples they surely will destroy you. Hollow shells and toxic to boot. Nothing human about them. Just robots programmed to be hurtful. Take care Mel xx

  23. I think my silent treatment last for 3 weeks, lucky for me he didn’t live with me 5 days out of a week. But on weekends silent treatments were brutal. I’m a type of person who never shuts up. I still told him what I thought he needed to know. Then I’d get on the phone and talk with friends and sisters. So, he left! I was hur. I researched silent treatment and found other behaviors and bam, I was thankful he left. I thank my protector above he left when he did.

  24. Omg…I have been experiencing this no contact from my 41 year old son for two years now. There is no other explanation except he is a covert… Damage his father caused since he was born…I knew there was something seriously wrong with his father but didn’t know what…No one should have to endure such traumatizing abuse. I left him after 13 years of marriage and thought we were on the road to recovery. I knew the damage he did to me and was aware my children had issues because of their childhood but I was totally blindsided by the changes in my son’s personality a few years ago. Nothing was making sense to me. I feel he started to become unglued when all the lies he told were unveiled along with his mask. He has turned the tables on us and says my daughter and I have to stop our negative behavior and will not talk to us. He has gone no contact with his 9 year old Goddaughter as well… And he was her most favorite person in the world. Extremely hard to explain why to her.
    He also stopped talking to his 87 year old Grandmother. Who is the most loving and caring person .
    He has found God and says he answers to no one but him. We know not what we do. And will talk to us when he is ready.
    He also said that his counselor told him to go no contact with us.
    I don’t know who he is any more, because he is certainly not the son I raised. He has no respect or regard for women, has no loyalty to family, no integrity… I am appalled at his actions and words… Embarrassed at his treatment of people he claims to have loved.
    He broke my heart.

  25. I was in a relationship with my narc after three decades of friendship. After not being in contact with my friend for fifteen years, he contacted me through a relative and we began a long distance relationship. I knew he had grandiose behaviors and made everyone believe he was more successful than he actually was. Throughout our friendship I knew and was friendly with his girlfriends and now exwife. So, I knew of the problems they experienced with him during their relationships. After reconnecting with him I was an idiot and decided it would be different with me. For months he kept after me to visit him, telling me how “perfect” we could be together. So, I went, two days later the problems started. Water on the sink or floor, what are you doing when you go on the other room, what kind of sandwich are you eating, do you know it will cost me hundreds of dollars if I take you to dinner, etc., You get the picture. I was lucky that friend let me in on what really goes on in his life that I didn’t witness. All the women, the rages, the belittling of anyone he’s around, and all of the friends he lost due to his actions. I played it cool while I was still there, five days after I returned home I was tagged on Facebook with him having the dinner with another woman. Had the evidence I needed to block him from my life forever. It has been five months now. I feel like this friend helped me dodge a grenade and I am grateful. I should have known better.

  26. It has been 5 years since my divorce from one of these monsters. I just didn’t see the warning signs. I was only 20yrs old. I fell in love with the idea of falling in love. After 6 months of marriage it started. I am having trouble trusting anyone now. Our two children and grown up. And he would show no respect to me in front of the children. So how do you think I am treated now by them? This is just about as bad as going thru hell and I would never wish this on anyone. Even after 5 years it still bothers me. But I try and stay strong. There is help out there for people like me I just wish I knew where it was. I just feel so alone

  27. My husband, to a T! The last two weeks of our marriage, he ignored me, refused to speak whatsoever or if he answered me at all, it was a gruff, one word bark of a replay. Yet, he walked around, whistling a happy little tune, as if to say, “You have no clue what I have planned for you!” His ultimate punishment (or so he thought) was to walk out on me and waited for me to beg him back. Beg him back?! I was on the road to restored peace and harmony in my home, why in heck would he think I’d want him back. After two months of his so called silent punishment, he called. I sent it straight to voice mail. Haven’t answered and have no plan on doing so. His message was, “This is Mike, I just called to see what you’ve got on your mind. What do you want to do? If you can think of it, give me a call back!” If I can think of it?, he said. Well, I can think of it it and I have no intention of ever speaking to this mentally deranged man again. He made $6,009-$8,000 a month and refused to even contribute towards his own living expenses or a measly $100 a week towards groceries. I’d say he had a pretty high opinion of himself. I was wife #6. He got me into debt and depleted my savings. But, the mental relief that I currently feel is priceless! I will survive!

  28. My Mom did this quite often. When she would get mad at my Dad, all of us got the silent treatment too. I remember trying to talk to her and she would turn her head and walk somewhere else. I remember feeling useless and so sad as a small child. This would go on for weeks and sometimes months. There were 9 of us kids and it affected everyone of us. When this would end, it felt better than Xmas. So so sad!

  29. My Recent Ex Did this to me for most of our 3 year relationship i would just keep talking to him pouring my heart out i didnt know what was going on. Ive only recently figured he was a Narcissist he would withhold everything. This is the hardest part for me to deal with and i replay it over in my head how he made me feel i was discusting worthless i dont know how to get over all of the relationship because what happens consumes me. I have 2 kids still at home and they need me to be happier and strong but all i am is a weak mess. To make it worse at the start i thought he was my saviour he got me away from my ex before him who was a diagnosed Psychopath so i was already broken. The only thing that i have found that gives me a little happiness is the information pages they have explained everything that he wouldnt. I wouldnt wish emotional or physical abuse on anyone and if i can stop someone else going through it j will

  30. I suffered the silent treatment from my mom and older sister…14 years older. I am 67 and my sister still brings up that when I was 4 mom purchased an Easter dress for me, but couldn’t afford one for her. She blamed me, a 4 year old for being alive I guess, so she couldn’t have a new dress. After years of hearing this I finally became brave enough to say “I did not make any financial decisions at 4, so it’s mom you should be mad at. Haven’t heard a word about it since. If you say you don’t appreciate the way she is treating you she will violently attack you verbally and will then suffer the silent treatment generally for months. She also “shunned” one of her daughter who was marrying a man much older than she. My sister wouldn’t go to the wedding. My sister also shunned her other daughter when she found out she was gay. Her daughter was no longer welcomed in her home and she didn’t see or talk to her for a year. She came around and now, years later she has a relationship with them.
    I have been cut off once again, I don’t know why, only this time she has blocked my calls and will not reply to texts. I am done. I want a normal life. I am divorced and have no children. She is on her 2nd marriage, has 5 girls, 4 grandsons, 4 great grandchildren and has told me she is more blessed then I am. She usually pulls a silent treatment before holidays so I am not invited to dinner, or before my birthday which is this Thursday. Not going to be held captive by this pysyco any longer. She is an incredibly sick lady. You always want to be a part of a family so you keep trying….no longer worth it. Break free, you will be mentally healthy again.

  31. I realized my mother was a narc in 02, I was 40, I always knew from early on that she was off, easily angered & insisted she was/is always “the boss”(even my co-dependent father), no one was ever to disagree or challenge any of her opinions or criticize her, everything she gave or did for ME had strings attached ( but not for my older bother), but in 02 I was moving to another state & she went into a major narc rage because “who was going to take care of her?”. That was what my worth was to her, a caretaker, to put my life aside & wait until she needed me. My Brother is her golden child & is a sociopath, (checks all the boxes, including childhood arrests & just recently federal prison) & he was available to care for her even though she would never allow anyone to do it, that would be like giving up control. Here it is 15 years later & she’s still doing fine. Sorry this has gone on so long, after the rage she didn’t talk to me for two years. I was an emotional wreck. My life was much more peaceful though & that’s when I realized what personality disorder she & my bother have. She finally gave in & had my bother call me. We were ok for a while but again she found another reason not to talk to me which went on for 5 months. The 3rd & Latest silent treatment is happening right now. I think of her as a child trying to get her way. There are so many feelings that run through my head about this but the one I can’t seem to get over is how little I mean to her. That she is willing to never speak to me again before she’ll ever say she’s sorry or that she loves me. I have two grown daughters who I love more than life itself & I would never behave this way to them. I’m also thinking of going nc …..would be a great time since she’s already not speaking to me!

  32. Still going through this with my parents. It’s been 1 year and 2 months since my father told me they no longer wanted to have anything to do with me. All because I had the nerve to ask them, very politely I might add, not to post on FB where my teenage daughter was located. As always the problem is me and not my mother. That’s the story of my entire life! I’m sure they are telling people that it is I that cut off contact with them! I thought I meant more to at least my father but I guess not. My father has been putting up with my narcissistic mother for 48 years now and I’ve watched him slowly lose himself as he does everything to keep her happy. He’ll never stand up to her, it’s like he’s been brainwashed. I have 3 children ages 22,19 and 16. The favorite grandchild has always been the 22 year old. My parents chose to not keep in contact the other 2 grandchildren. I told my kids they could have whatever relationship with their grandparents they would like but their grandparents have cut them off without explanation. That must be my fault too! Now I see through a friend’s FB account that my mother changed her profile picture on FB to one of her, my father and my 22 yr old son. She literally cropped the other two out of the photo!! I feel bad that my kids that they don’t have a relationship with their grandparents but maybe they are better off?? Thanks for listening to me vent

  33. Thank you for writing the article that everyone here posted a response to. I also want to thank those of you who posted. I thought I was alone in dealing with this, and have really been struggling with it, trying to move on but sometimes immobilized with feelings of loss. My husband of 22 years used the silent treatment, along with a variety of other behaviors that are consistent with narcissistic personality disorder. When his behavior toward our youngest child crossed a line legally, I set a boundary and told him that he needed to see a psychiatrist. This is how our marital separation and divorce began twenty-five years ago. I was relieved when he left, knowing that I would be harmed if I initiated the separation. Two of our three children were in college and the youngest was only seven. He rarely visited the younger one whom I raised essentially alone. I never expected that all three of my children would go through a phase of imitating their father’s narcissistic behaviors as adults, but this is exactly what happened. Each one, has gone through a phase of acting-out the worst of what they observed in their father’s sense of entitlement and grandiosity. I’m generally the target, although I know that their spouses have struggled with their narcissistic behaviors at times. I love my kids, though, and have confidence that the seeds of empathy and constructive conflict resolution planted will eventually choke out the worst of what they internalized from their father’s behavior. This has already happened with one of the three. The hardest part, for me, is knowing that my three young grandchildren have been exposed to this kind of relationship trash and that this puts them at-risk. I keep the doors to my heart, mind, and home open to my adult children, but refuse to grovel or give to them materially when they treat me in ways that are discounting. I know that this brings on more rage directed toward me, but it is the only way I know of to protest. They received so much from me during their childhood, adolescence and young adult years. Now I only give to the one who gives back emotionally. Instead of focusing on the loss of the other two, I try really hard to just be grateful for the joy having been able to parent them when they were young and still open to guidance from me. I hold onto the hope that the two who appear to be lost will find their way back to this side of their family so that we can all learn and grow from the mistakes we made, have a good laugh over it, and work together to insure that relationship trash isn’t passed onto the next generation. I’m not calling my ex-husband “trash,” but just saying that the relationship dynamics were trash. For those of you who think that you have to go “no-contact” to put a stop to this type of relationship trash, don’t do it. Relationship trash always empties itself once you set a boundary. The person who creates relationship trash will leave all by himself/herself….

  34. Wow, so therapeutic reading all of this. My father was the Narcisist in my life. I’m now 60 years old, and as a child living in this hell words like emotional abuse and narcissist were not in my vocabulary. I will admit that because I was the mouthy child I invoked the wrath of my father most of the time. But the family always paid the price as his silent treatment went on longer and longer. To outsiders my family was such a perfect family. Nobody ever knew what it was like behind our closed doors. My father was loved and reveared in my community, but I remember my fathers rants about all the neighbors, coworkers, just about everyone who he knew. He had no respect for anyone. But they all loved and respected him. At his funeral I remember thinking, why are these people even here acting all sad because dad is dead. THey don’t know all the ugly hateful things he always said about them. I sometimes wish I had the guts to tell them. I guess that is why at my age, and dad dead for 5 years now, that I’m going through some really hard emotional stuff. Because I lived in that perfect family that was well respected and loved by all, because my dad was such a wonderful and charismatic person. To everyone else. Nobody saw how we all walked on eggshells afraid that any minute the happy times were over, back to the silent treatment, and how long is it going to last this time. How miserable can he make our lives this time. How long can I talk myself blue in the face, just hoping for some kind of a reply. Show me you love me dad, just respond to something, anything, please! But nope, not till it’s on his terms. I never knew about all this no contact stuff, I hoped for dad to love me up till his dying day, and never confronted him about his abuse. But I have scars, deep scars, as do the rest of my sisters. The more I learn about this, the madder I get. But like most sons and daughters of a narcisist, nothing was ever said until dad is dead, and it’s too late to confront him. He got away with it for his whole life.

  35. My boyfriend of almost 2 years decided right before Thanksgiving that we needed a “vacation” from each other. This has extended through Christmas. I didn’t know anything about narcissists until I stumbled across this site. This “silent treatment”….or “vacation” as he refers to it is horrible. I am devastated and still reeling from the pain and hurt it is causing me. How can anyone be so cruel?

  36. Everything you describe right now I’m pretty much going through it right now with a exfemale narcissist . Last couple of months silent after 3 years of a relationship. I’m pretty much understanding all this now And I’m on the road to Recovery. This was a devastating experience If you can only imagine.

  37. I have recently started No Conntact with my SIL , she gave me and one of her sisters the silent treatment for 4 years , then when she needed me (emigrating to Aus where I live) my brother told me she wanted to mend bridges – there was never a Sorry or an explanation for why she had ousted me and when I asked , during our first conversation, “do you want to do the hard conversation now ?” (As in what happened these past years) she replied that she didn’t need to !! So there was never a reason given ………and yet we welcomed her back in to our lives , I took her on all my outings with friends , gave her a job and made her transition to Aus easy and all was good. That is until a year ago …..when I questioned something she had done once again I find myself on the receiving end of this silent crap. My health has suffered and my doctor has referred my to see someone for anxiety/stress ! A couple of weeks ago I took control and have cut off all contact , blocking her on FB and on my phone ……..I have to say I didn’t realise how unlike myself I had been feeling this past year and thank goodness I was strong enough to finally make a break . The one thing I really struggle with now is my brother – he is the most laid back gentlest guy who has the misfortune to have married someone like her and I pray that one day he sees her for what she is ……….I mourn my relationship with him , we were more than mere siblings we were friends ……

  38. My mother to a T. She and my dad were divorced when I was 12; my dad remarried when I was 22. He sadly passed away 2 years later and after that, my stepmom and I were cleaning out the attic. I found a box of letters my parents wrote each other during college. They were in separate towns and my mom would threaten to break up with him or kill herself if he wouldn’t come see her. No doubt he would get the silent treatment too. As a child, I remember her gathering me up and taking me to a local hotel when she wanted my dad’s attention. With me, she is very generous but every kind act (other than Christmas) has a steep price. Compliance or silence. If I get upset at her anger, I am called an adolescent. She is judgemental and has lost just about every friend she had no doubt because she treated them with the same “my way or the highway” attitude. I never know what will set her off and when I do, I know it immediately. I am appproaching 50 and she 80 and there is no end in sight. I love her but I am tired of trying to live up to HER standards and being punished with lectures, silence or wails of “I wish I were dead!” If I dared tell her SHE is the adolescent… or worse, mentally ill…that would be the end. Too bad it’s a crime to crush psychotropic meds into someone’s juice because it would probably solve 95% of our issues and make her life happier.

  39. I have a narcissistic mother in law. She is one of the meanest people I have ever known. She has told lies about me and most people, with the exception of two relatives, give me dirty looks at family gatherings. We have a two year old. She sees our daughter quite often but I wont let her babysit. So she flies into a rage about this. I won’t budge on this as I feel she seriously is mentally unstable. I know quite a few daughter in laws where if you piss them off, they won’t let you see the grandkids st all. Trust me when I say I have reason to cut her off. She is the most ungrateful human being that ever lived. Never a thank you for anything so I stopped going out of my way. That makes her furious too. I just try and avoid the woman. My husband takes our daughter over to his parents house alone mostly. I feel guilty but I am so tired of all the negativity thrown at me. Should I still have them over or is throwing in the towel the right thing to do.

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