5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No 1 Item Retention



It is well understood that no contact is the effective approach to tackling our kind. Whether your entanglement with a narcissist was in a romantic context, familial or a friend, the aim is to cut that person out of your life forever so that the cessation of fuel supply forces the narcissist to seek an alternative source and leave you alone. The concept is an easy one ; have nothing to do with us and cut off all means of contact. Execution is somewhat more difficult. You will have to overcome significant emotional hurdles which cause you to either want to continue some form of contact or leaving a route open for an approach to be made “just in case”. You will have to conquer innate empathic desires for answers, to know the truth of what has happened, to know what the narcissist is now doing, whether he or she is alright. You will have to make changes – whether that is blocking numbers, altering e-mail contacts, staying off social media or more significant ones such as moving jobs and/or home. You will also face a determined opponent who will be reacting badly to the sudden cessation of a source of fuel  and also the inherent criticism that comes with such a bold move on your part. Dependent on the precise nature of your narcissist, you will be hoovered, often in ingenious and intense manners, you will face appeals to your better nature, your sympathy will be milked, you will be threatened and charmed. Resisting much of this proves difficult and even more so when you are ground down, exhausted and bewildered. Nevertheless, should you grasp fortitude and bolster your resolve to execute no contact, it remains the most effective way of forcing us to seek our fuel elsewhere and in the process provide you with a much needed respite

This road to being left alone is paved with difficulties and often they are of your own making. This may arise from under-estimating who you are dealing with through to the complacency which arises as a consequence of the perception that a period of silence on our part means that it is finally and completely over. There are five common mistakes that are made when people implement no contact and we begin with item retention.

1. Item Retention

People like mementos. Whether it is a reminder of a wonderful holiday in the sun, a trip to a concert or a sporting final, people like to collect something which is a tangible reminder of the experience.  A link is made between that item and the experience and picking up that glass lighthouse with different coloured sands inside of it transports the holder back to the sun-kissed shores of a Greek island and the blissful times that were spent there. It might be that pilfered plastic seat taken from the stadium when the football club moved to pastures new and the zealous fans helped themselves to a memento. It may sit in the garden shed, but every so often it is touched or gazed at as the memories of victory (and defeat) come surging back, triggered by looking at this piece of coloured plastic. The associations are powerful. The emotions that were experienced are imprinted on that person and they are able to summon them or indeed the memories and emotions rise in an involuntary fashion just by their eyes looking on the memento. They are transported back to the concert, the triumph of completing a marathon, the first music exam passed, the memory of a relative who in their dying days would sit with that blanket over their knees. Indeed, the blanket is kept in a box so that every now and then, the holder can hold the blanket to their face and smell their deceased relative still and in so doing intense emotions are evoked through such an act.

This is no different with our kind. I have explained about Ever Presence and our instinctive (and in some cases calculated) laying down of  triggers throughout our entanglement. This Ever Presence is very powerful and allows us to linger in your memory, maintain a grip on your heart and pave the way for a successful hoover in the future.

Some people make the error of retaining those items which were both gifted to you and which we purposefully left behind. They think that whilst no contact has been implemented there is no harm in having those reminders of better times. The first present that was given to you as we seduced you, a jumper of ours which we have left in the wardrobe which still smells of our fragrance or a particularly special gift given to you on our first anniversary of being together. Sometimes the item may prove to be expensive and/or practical to you and you are loathe to remove it for those reasons. More often however it is because you still wish to retain some reminder of what we had together, so that every once in a while you can sit and hold that stuffed toy, or let your fingers trace the ornate frame of a beautiful landscape we gave you and conjure up the memories of when we were together. It may be one item, it may be several.

Do not do it. All items – be they gifts or our possessions which have been left – must be purged.

By allowing yourself to retain this connection you are enabling us to live large in your memory. This means that you are allowing emotion to govern you, rather than the cool, hard logic which is needed to keep no contact effective and in place. By giving emotion the opportunity to surface and interfere in your no contact you are weakening it. You allow yourself to consider matters such as

“We had such a wonderful time when he gave me this, I wonder what he is doing now?”

“I have always loved this item, I could never get rid of it, we had some special times together”

“It is bittersweet holding this now and thinking of her, but I still crave her. It wouldn’t do any harm just to chat would it?”

“I remember this so well, seems like such a long time ago, I can put it behind me now, so it would not hurt if I contacted him.”

As I have repeatedly explained, there is a reason you were ensnared by our kind. You have an innate ability to attract our kind and be susceptible to our overtures and that will never leave you. Yes, you will become adept at recognising our kind and knowing you ought to stay away from us, but many of you will fall for us again if you allow yourself to interact with us. You cannot help it. Some of you have greater resistance and may well be able to interact without plunging back into the quagmire you once struggled in but why would you ever want to risk finding out what the outcome would be? The fact that you were once ensnared means that there always remains a risk of it happening again. You have acquired the knowledge and that knowledge tells you what we look like, what we do and why you must maintain no contact. That knowledge is based on icy logic and that is why it is effective. As soon as you give any emotional thinking the opportunity to govern you, then this icy logic is abandoned. You may even be thinking “i should not do this” but you are unable to fight the emotional thinking which has taken you over and is drawing you back into our grasp. You will always remain vulnerable to us. That is how you have been built, in the same way that I have been built to always need fuel. You are able to protect this vulnerability by staying away from us and evading the new vultures which come sweeping towards you.

By allowing yourself to retain some kind of trinket, trophy or object you are giving the emotional contagion that we placed inside of you the chance to surface. This then wants to govern your thoughts and once it does, it will create a considerable risk that you will make an approach to us and thus break your no contact. Even if you do not place yourself in a sphere of influence in that way, your nostalgic interaction with this item places you at risk that if we execute a hoover against you, you will crumble and respond to it.

If you keep some totem of your supposed love, a memento of those fabricated ecstasies, you are sitting with a time bomb. It will keep reminding you of us and this will hinder your forward advance which is required to enable you to recover. As you know, much of what we do is designed to paralyse you so that you cannot escape us. This paralysis is caused by our varied manipulations. The keeping of a memento is self-inflicted and a potential for us to infect you again.You are keeping the ghost of us with you. Our haunting is allowed to continue and by glancing on this item, holding it, touching it, smelling it or caressing it you are allowing the poison to continue to flow through you and in so doing the experience which may feel reassuring to you amidst all of the pain that you are enduring, only serves to weaken your resolve. The greatest risk is that you are puncturing holes in your logic vessel as you try to cross the emotional sea (see The Post Discard Battle – Part Two ) and in so doing you will fall into that emotional sea once again. Once that happens it becomes far easier for us to ensnare you.

No matter how strong you might feel, no matter how much you feel that a mere object cannot have such an effect, you ought not to take that risk. Whether it is a gift we gave you, something created through the golden period or a trinket of delightful times then it poses a risk. If those items belong to us, you are exposing yourself to a double risk. Viewing those items has the potential to affect you in the way that has been described above. It is also provides us with a ready reason and excuse to make contact with you and to see you for the purposes of collecting those items. By enabling us to appear directly in front of you, from our point of view at worst we will gather fuel from you and at best we will successfully seduce you once again and resume the Formal Relationship. Once you give us a toe hold, we will take it and use it to hoover you and apply our manipulations once again. Combine this determination on our part with your inherent susceptibility to our kind and the fact that you are allowing emotional thinking to surface and override your logical thinking, you are exposing yourself to danger once again.

Do not keep those items. Purge them all. Return our property and expunge everything else. Retention risks infection.5-common-no-contact-mistakes-2



58 thoughts on “5 Common No Contact Mistakes – No 1 Item Retention”

  1. Yep yep yep! Duh! So damned true. He gave me gorgeous bedside lights while in the golden period. I loved them. Now nearly 3 years later, in one of the many hoover letters, these lights get a mention. WTF? Now it makes sense. Yes yes yes, I know I can be a bit slow on the obvious, but holy crap HONESTLY??? Like REALLY???
    ffs!! Out they go then……sheesh!
    Thanks HG…

  2. I contacted mine a year and a half after split thought we could be just friends but he hoovered well and I fell again he was homeless before Xmas crying literally so I let him stay. Big mistake. My son ran around Xmas day dropped him off to see his kids he bought his ex a present but not me ate drank skint me out! Then starts taking her out behind my back lied about owning a garage lied about everything! Had his belongings here not much for 6 weeks now I said he could have it if paid some money owed or get police (after he had hit me) to be present and he collect it. Well he chose police and mutual time got a friend of his to do then neither turned up! Well then he hoovered me last week got in door took tools left clothes and pics now he was vile again so put bags at front door photo it sent it didn’t turn up after 2 days, now I said enough it’s in the bin ( it’s not) what happens he kicked off wants it all of sudden what do I do he in my head one min I’m so angry then feel sorry for him let him back I’m broken and acting crazy now

      1. He told from the onset of meeting him that he is a keen observer, he was known to his friends to be at a bar and hear conversations between people at a distance. He would study everyone of interest. I didn’t pick up on any of this as odd, I was drawn to it

      2. Hi I wish you could answer me , I mow your busy. But I’m kinda confused. I know you won’t feel empathy for me . But loved to have your insights . When a narc says to me I act and think I am untouchable ? What does it mean when says that in raging mood?

  3. I got rid of everything that had sentimental value. There are a few things I have, one of which I can’t get rid of (peep hole he installed in my front door for safety sake and can now be used against him if he ever tries to hoover in the future). I also kept a nice set of tools he bought for me when I purchased my town home and a birdbath I purchased with a gift card he gave to me. These things have absolutely no sentimental value to me.

    I often wonder, HG, do you think reading your blog every day is in a way keeping the ghost alive? I try not to think of it that way because I’m learning so much by being here, but at the same time, it does make me think of him all the time.

    1. One might argue that it is but at the end of the day the benefits in reading here far outweigh keeping the ghost alive. If you did not read here, you would be making far graver mistakes. By being reminded of your narcissist when reading here it is done in a way that you are not looking at them in a golden way but instead being reminded just how damaging your ensnarement was. My words stop you drifting into complacency.

      1. I appreciate most of all the advice you provide. Such as the one about dealing with a sulk, and not talking about your narc or keeping any objects that hold memories.

        Any advice is very gratefully received.

    2. Hello Bravehart!!!!
      I have thought the same thing but I am still learning and I need the daily reminders of why I should stay far away from my ex.

      Even though I think of her it continues to help me get all my emotions out. I still need to cry and if I didn’t have this forum it would be all bottled up because no one else wants to hear that I’m still crying over her on some days. I have no one else to talk to except my counselor and that’s only one day a week.
      Not near enough. lol
      This is the first place I come to if I need to ask questions, vent, to be emotional, and to get the brutal truth.
      I stopped journaling as soon as I started writing here and the topics here often coincide with what I talk about in therapy.
      My counselor even encouraged me to write about how I feel about purging some things on this blog and up popped HG’s article about sentimental things. I will be going over his series of Hoover mistakes this week with her.
      He is sooooo good. Lol
      Hope you are doing ok and sending you hugs ❤️🍎❤️

  4. I dont think getting rid of these items and a couple of belongings he left of his would make any difference . Since texting me its over 5 week ago and blocking me from everything (its been no contact on his part ) all ive done is think about him , my brains not giving me a second to thnk about anything else, when im at work , when im with friends, visiting relatives, shopping, icmt switch off , and when im asleep i dream about him .When am i gonna feel normal again .

  5. I kept the gold unicorn brooch and the two other ones that are very nice too. At first I wanted them gone and but I held fast and now I have 3 beautiful pins for my coats and I feel nothing to wear them.
    It is just material possesions with no attachments. No strings to my emotions.

  6. HG, I’ve a question for you if I may?
    My ex, who i now clearly see as a Narcissist, married me…why would he do that? I actually recall him saying before we married that he didn’t end relationships, he just ignored the partner or became so unbearable that they quit first…sadly I thought nothing of his comment at the time. I wasn’t seeking marriage, in fact the first time he asked I said no as it was only 6 months into the relationship. Can you offer any insight? Thank you in advance

      1. It just seems such an extreme step to take given he was getting what he needed anyway. I believe I prompted the discard by calling him out on his actions 7 months before the final act took place…after he had set up his next primary source of course.
        I find your writings fascinating. Once the first few dreadful months had passed and I fully realised just what I had been involved with I read and read on the subject of your kind, your writing adds that extra personal touch that really helps to combine all the little learnings into one big pile of knowledge & understanding. Thank you

  7. Spot on! I’ve been asked why I’m selling a pair of beautiful diamond earrings…he ‘bought’ them for me, but with my money. Every time I see them it reminds me, they’ve got to go.

  8. It is difficult to get rid of everything… just as you would not want to remove all that reminds you of a loved one who passed away… it is not about him anymore… it gives me solace, knowing I once loved fully, and faith in what is to come.

  9. No matter what. We will all have memories of our entanglements and not just that of our experiences with the narcissistic relationship. HG as you clearly state. There are two perspectives. Even though there will be, I believe triggers that will always jog the mind. I have compartmentalized the reality of events. Mine genuine feelings and emotions, hers a big lie …all of it! We exchanged gifts (which) are now removed or discarded. It took some time to let go. But, how I processed and let go, was based on one very simple decision. Material items hold no value if the intent was malicious. That shit’s long gone!

  10. He sent me a gift with his perfume sprayed on it. I need to throw it away. Whenever I smell the fragrance, I wonder why I had thought it so wonderful when he first sent it to me. Now it just smells like Man-Whore… very musky, and too icky sweet.

  11. I have boxed all 4 things he gave me during our 5 yr entanglement… I am considering having a burning of the box ceremony once the fire bans are over… and post photos to his social media walls.

    or… posting said box to his new lovenest

  12. I actually like the new look. I do miss the snow. How about blossoming flames for spring 🔥🌹🔥🌹? Or am I back in naughty dungeon? 🐉

  13. Well at least I did one thing right 🙄. I was abruptly discarded, called him and he had his new girlfriend answer his phone. Talk about a knife in the heart. No warning whatsoever and I’m a very observant person. But I packed up everything he’d had given me plus pictures etc. put them in a box and mailed them to Him. When he received it he called …”why did you send all of these back?” I said ” what’s the point in keeping them?” He was really taken back that I had done that.
    Of course I cried for 3 months.

    HG, why do you think it bothered him?

  14. HG, do you think that since ExN always told me how extremely difficult I was (haha) that I was gotten pregnant on purpose to solidify the Ever Presence? I mean he made it practically to his 30s without one and I’d so why do you think? He told someone short after I delivered that “I could hate him all I wanted but I’ll always see him when I look at her” which is the ABSOLUTE truth as she is his spitting image 😔😂

      1. None of his mechanisms really worked on me, he’d do something that was inappropriate and I wouldn’t speak to him for weeks he would always have to beg me to talk to him! He abandoned me when I was pregnant and broke up with him and not once did I call him even when I went into preterm labor and was in the hospital. I think he felt as if that was the only way to bind (break) me because I will lay my life for my children and he knew family is extremely important to me; Everything else I could care less about including him and I made that clear 😂! I told him I was done with him for the last time a little over 3 months ago and he hasn’t once reached out about the baby and surelyyy enough I have been feeling like I should contact him bc she is crawling and trying to talk and I want to share that with her Father. But I know he knows my heart and that’s what he is counting on me to do, so I haven’t. That is the only way to get me, through my children. I feel like if he hasn’t cared enough to inquire about her then he must not be concerned. It is hard to fight the urge to contact him at times, She is He and I’ve never been in a situation like this. But given how I had him served with no trespassing and put him on child support he is waiting to burn me GOOD the minute I do. Sorry this was so lengthy lol ☺️ Any ideas why he would have chosen to bind Me, HG?

  15. Oke, I get it. But…….. what If ‘your kind’ still has My stuff? I know that they steek My attention, they know it’s mine. I also know that when I let them know I want it back they will come up with a nonsens story like that it was a present. Truth is that I had to bye some furniture for My mom’s New home. I still have the cash receipt. Some of the stuff they already sold after My moms recent passing away. Fucking narc sisters. Any suggestions HG?

    1. Hello Ittam,

      1. Either write it off;
      2. request it back in writing – create a paper trail evidentially and if no result then ask a friend or family member to collect, if no result consider seeking the assistance of the police;
      3. Alternatively bring legal proceedings for delivery up or a damages claim for the value of the goods – but keep in mind the cost of doing so and the opportunity this gives our kind for further fuel gathering.

      The reality is most of the time you are better served by writing it off and focusing on no contact and moving forward.

  16. I really needed to read this. I have been hanging onto some things. Not many because he never bought me very much. Today has been a bad one..the thoughts of contacting him has been overwhelming at times. Thanks for your posts…sometimes they are what I need.

  17. This was one of the most powerful pieces of advise I had read early on from you that really helped me prepare to leave. Its my top three of yours. It was prior to hopping on the blog, when I was just reading books and peeking in on FB. I dumped everything…except the kitty and my engagement ring (which is still hidden and needs selling). I remember you telling me, kitty was ever presence.

    However, I did do one thing you did not say to do, which could have had two different effects. One positive and one negative.

    Prior to my official leaving, I started leaving the stuff he gave me at his place. Books, art, clothes. Then, I purposefully left stuff to hurt him knowing he would look at it (like MY ever presence). However, I think what I did, (silly me) was set myself up for that intense hoover fest in August (remember the 300 calls/texts week?). I think I kinda set that up unknowingly.

    Oh well, brush off the shoulders.

  18. I wonder if I caused a injury when I sent back every last memento? He already had my replacement in play but at that point I had no clue what was wrong? I had already pulled away. Also please tell me when he posted his new love of his life on social media an I only sent a text once congratulating him but nothing else after. Did that cause injury? Thank you for all your blogs,videos they have helped me through pure hell!!!

  19. HG, did my therapist call you this week????
    This was exactly what we talked about.

    This was an excellent article and describes how I feel. We talked about your book “Exorcism” and what I had already gotten rid of and what I was now willing to purge. I still have pictures on my phone and some clothes around my house that she gave me. I also have the jewelry she gave me.
    She asked why I still have these I and said I don’t know. I am supposed to pick an item a week and get rid of it.
    As usual you can write in a way that makes sense to me and gets through my thick head. I can admit that I’m still emotional when I think of erasing her memory and that’s what hurts.
    Even with the thousand reasons why I should hate her and would never go back I don’t want it all to be erased and that’s my confession of the day.
    I don’t see me getting rid of the one necklace anytime soon.
    I will show my therapist this next week.
    I loved every word and I know that it’s 100% the truth. There’s no one else I would believe.

      1. Well you did get me to stop looking at and inquiring about her FB.
        I’ve been clean for three weeks now and I don’t miss it.

        I will work on the necklace.
        I don’t want any visitors.
        I do think there was some evil planted in it like a Horcrux.

  20. Does it count that I kept the WoodWick candle with its handy lid to use as an ashtray for outside?

    Or the birthday champagne I kept to enjoy when my cousin comes down for a girlie weekend on Saturday?

    It’s probably very telling that I was only given things that are consumable and cannot be saved.

      1. I disagree – just because I kept something doesn’t mean I am holding on to him. Although I will admit to a delicious sense of irony when I use the candle as an ashtray as he hated smoking. (The candle itself has long been burned down – it’s just a handy glass receptacle with a lid)

        I had originally planned to save the champagne for us to drink together but then the discard (or putting back on the shelf) happened. I deemed it too frivolous to drink it on my own so, knowing I had this weekend planned with my cousin, decided to save it for then.

        I can understand holding on to things for sentimental reasons – I still have the stuffed Tigger that bounces that my ex-husband gave me for my 30th – it’s party because he gave it to me but mostly because it’s Tigger! Who throws away a Tigger! But then he was not a narc….

  21. Well done HG. I did imagine the scene in Men In Black where the Edgar alien yells “don’t do it!” at the morgue tech swatting bugs. Seriously, I do agree you should purge. I don’t agree that we remain “created” to gather fuel or be vulnerable. I think we can change if we want to.
    I 💜 your use of
    icy 🌣 logic 💫 !

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