No Contact Mistakes : 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.

20 thoughts on “No Contact Mistakes : Item Retention

  1. narcsurvivor030414 says:

    HG, I have gotten rid of any memento of the narcissist but my narc is still holding on to some of the mementos I had given him over the years. I could see me being the empath as to why I would keep them, but why would he even after all these years still hold onto them?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      His sense of entitlement, it is nothing to do with having an affection for you through these mementos.

  2. December Infinity says:

    I definitely agree with the point made here. I am still purging stuff he left when I ended things with him. I am also stacking up things he gave me which I will either put in the garbage or donate to a charity. There is no good memory associated of the time with him that is for certain.

  3. Asp Emp says:

    The ‘no answers’ was causing the ET to remain for months until I found KTN. Finding out that narcissism existed further than the generic points that I was aware of before reading anything on KTN. The realisation that many of the characteristics recognised in the individual – especially about the Victim MRN. There had been no communication for a couple months then I was getting messages that I could not even read – the ‘hoovering’ process. I did actually not look at any photos because I found it too painful. Until the first message (illegible) arrived, which sent me into total and utter devastation state. These illegible messages were random & very infrequent. I replied. Bearing in mind, at this time, I was unaware of the narcissism in this person. The last message was a few weeks ago – summat about being “ill”. By this time, I was aware of the narcissism and the knowledge of what he was actually doing was horrible. I am quite confident that there will be no come-back. No hoovering. Certainly no Formal Relationship recommencing. As far as I am concerned, he made his “choice”. I don’t accept betrayal or cheating of any kind. I told him that years ago. Yet, he still did it. My LT is good considering I am still new to this site. ET going down.

    1. truthseeker6157 says:

      Asp Emp,

      I know where you are coming from there. I wouldn’t be able to forgive cheating either. The line that must never be crossed with me too. It wouldn’t make me angry. It wouldn’t make me upset. It would make me turn cold. All the walls would come up, game over. I just don’t have it within myself to forgive that, I know I don’t.

      That said, I behaved very differently with the narcissist across the board. I don’t understand why I still miss him now. Not exactly. I understand the mechanics of most of it. I understand why he said and did what he did. I understand why I said and did what I did in response. I don’t understand the intensity of it though. The depth, the missing. I still have bonds to break. I behaved out of character with him. As such, I don’t underestimate his influence on me. That influence will remain I think. It will lessen as I move on but I don’t expect it ever to disappear. So my No Contact needs to be guarded and maintained.

      Your LT is good, your ET will continue to fall and you will feel better and better because of it. Victim MRN is a tricky one. Mine wasn’t victim cadre thankfully. He did at one point claim to be in hospital during a silent treatment though. I don’t know if it was true or not. They have no issue claiming to be in hospital or desperately ill. I’d find that very very hard to ignore even now. The element of doubt and the “What if he really is ill and I didn’t go to him?” I’m not sure that even HG could hold me back in that scenario! I think we just need to be very very careful not to underestimate them and their impact and very careful that they don’t get the chance to make the play in the first place.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Ah bless you for sharing that. I know exactly what you mean about the ‘intensity’. It’s deep & I felt it too (it’s lessening now). Think it’s cos he caused my supanova to occur & that enormous rage is not like me either. I was already ‘detaching’ by then (becoming hard & cared less about his “woe is me” because he actually could do summat about it but chose not to!!).

        You still “miss” him cos the bond was very strong & very deep (at the base of your guts). I’m sure HG mentioned this in a post this week? “The bond is more dangerous than the abuse”?? That is exactly how I felt – I explained it to couple of friends (think they get it).

        Re: the illness thing. Yeah I know. Made it sound really serious (there are some health issues & have been for some time – he wouldn’t lie to all & sundry about it). Do you know what? I didn’t actually get that upset about it – cos I’d seen Matrinarc post & someone talking about narcs faking a serious illness by thr time I got that message! I must admit I did actually question it recently. My ET on that is actually ok. I won’t be rushing to be there for him, otherwise it’s the heartbreak / ET would fking forever to go down! Besides he’s got all the PSSs available so he doesn’t need me!

        Wow. You & I seem to have had similar experience – the intensity thing. It’s a bugger. A real bugger. And it hurt like hell at first. It does piss me off that they won’t ever know what that pain feels like!

        1. truthseeker6157 says:

          Asp Empath,

          I’m similar in that I feel the loss of him like many on the blog do. Honestly, I feel a bit of a fake sometimes though. My ‘relationship’ was mostly online. A couple of meet ups over a couple of weekends. We spoke every day ( aside from the silent treatments) and every night for hours at a time over a four year period. There is nothing I didn’t tell him, nothing I hid, he got all of me, just without the physical side.
          Comparatively, to the experiences and devaluations of others on here, I don’t know I’m born. I got off lightly. I can’t point to anything horrible and claim he did this or that to me. I don’t have kids with him and I wasn’t tied to him financially. Comparatively, really my experiences pale into insignificance. I annoy myself for being so cut up. I am cut up though. Not like I was, not with raging ET and unable to think straight. I know now I was entangled with a narcissist and I know why he played the games he played with me. I never suffered like others here suffered. Much of the time he was my best friend, the one I confided in. That remained until the end. Amongst it though there were episodes of such craziness, such confusion that I didn’t know which way was up. He filled my thoughts constantly, good and bad.

          So, compared to what you are dealing with and what others are dealing with, really you could argue, “ and what would you know TS?” I know the ache, the craziness, the fight to fix, the manipulations and the loss. I read the comments of others here and I do know how they feel, I know how they are looking at things and why because in this sense I’ve felt it all myself.

          I hadn’t seen the comment you mentioned that you read this week. “The bond is more dangerous than the abuse.” Maybe that applies to me. I’m glad you mentioned that Asp. One thing is for sure though, if there is something that you are wrestling with, there will definitely be a reader here who has wrestled with it too. That’s the comforting thing about this place. You don’t have to feel like you are the only one dealing with it.

          You sound like you are doing really well and the articles are helping. I’m really glad. Your narcissist won’t ever feel the pain of things the way you do. He isn’t equipped to. We do feel and to an extreme, and actually I wouldn’t trade. The more I learn about being an empath from HG and from the other empaths here, the more I really am starting to love the fact that I am one. You only need to read the comments here to see how great it is when we all pull together.

          Thanks again for mentioning that quote from the article. I need to think about that x

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Hello Truthseeker,

            Please do me a favour. Do NOT ever class yourself as a Fake!

            OMG. Lucky b’stard to get all of you without the physical side. A bit difficult to have kids with his when there was no physical side 😉 Your experiences matter to you, do not say they are ‘pale’ compared to others. You felt (are still) your pain.

            It was HG who wrote to the effect of ‘the bond is more dangerous’ (sorry HG, cannot recall exactly where it is – there’s been so much I have read – but that one stuck in my mind :-)).

            I’m doing really well? Oh bless you lass. My narc wasn’t equipped to do many things. He certainly fked me up big style though. Still reeling with how he dared to fk me about like that. (I know HG, the ET door was opened earlier, cos of another post of yours). But hey, that’s part of the life of sharing everything with the narcissists – we Empaths are too fking kind.

            Yeah, me too. I love the fact I’m an Empath too (not sure which ‘classification’ but I’m not too fussed about that right now, but would be good to know – (clearing throat here, I know HG may suggest that I take part in the Empath Detector, but maybe I can skip that one and go into the Weaponised version?). Aren’t we blessed to be so? We have feelings, hearts (not to be fked up with though!!), all sorts of positives. I didn’t even know I was one! Not until I started reading on narcissism via the DSM5 (in UK) and came across Empaths. So very interesting to read that Empath may actually be added to the DSM5 – LOL, not surprising at all!!

            I really do appreciate that HG set all this up (the site, blog, so much that you and I would flounder without).

            You are alright girl. Yeah, it is so good to talk with other Empaths – we have no fear of being ‘isolated’ any narcissistics. Ehem. I’ve shared so much on this site and it’s good to get it all out. Chat laters Truthseeker x

          2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest truthseeker6157,
            Please don’t devalue, downplay or underestimate the damages your narcissist did to you
            It was very real and you suffered at the hands of your abuser
            The devastating effect is real, no matter how large or small
            Whether it be online, partner, friend, relative, colleague, boss or acquaintance, the psychological impact is enormous
            The fact you’re here means you didn’t get off lightly
            Never feel you need to justify yourself lovely one, especially to us 💕
            Sending you warm hugs 🤗
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          3. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Asp Emp,

            Thank you for your sweet reply. Ok ok no more ‘fake’. My own hurt is very real to me, you’re right. I think I just read some comments and am so shocked or heartbroken by what I read, what people have gone through and wonder how they get past it sometimes. They do though, and whilst helping others in the process. The empathic group is an amazing group, I’m enlightened and uplifted by it every day I spend here.

            I have heard the term DSM5 since being here. I’m assuming it’s a clinical reference to personality types? If so, then that is exciting. If Empath is added to the group then it would hopefully cut down on the pie in the sky nonsense websites that are out there because these really don’t help our cause at all. They’re worse than not having any resources at all. We are real! Ha ha, this site proves that we are.

            I agree, we are very lucky that HG provides this place for us. It’s completely safe to talk and get all of the pain and confusion out. It’s necessary in fact to get things straight in your head. I certainly was floundering before I found my way here. We all were I think.

            I get what you mean about the Empath Detector. Right now it’s important to get things straight in your own mind in terms of what has happened to you and why so that you can make peace with it and protect yourself going forward. You can however also search the different cadres of empaths here on the site from the home screen. The various cadres are Magnet, Geyser, Carrier, Saviour, Martyr. Key those into the search bar and you can read about each one. It’s interesting reading and you might see yourself there!

            Catch you later Asp Empath 🙂

          4. Asp Emp says:

            Truthseeker ,

            You saying “If Empath is added to the group then it would hopefully cut down on the pie in the sky nonsense” actually made me laugh.

            Yes, I hope Empath will turn up in the DSM5 one day – it deserves a placing in there. This site proves that Empaths do exist in personality traits. It would also help Empaths access the support systems, if required.

            RE: you still missing him. I get that. I suppose the best way of describing it – is the fact it’s probably similar to someone very close to you passing away. My father passed when I was 9 years old and I think it’s partly because I was young that made the ’emptiness’ of him not being around anymore lasted many, many years. So it’s possible that you may have a similar ‘reaction’ to your narc. Some people can take years, so allow yourself that, if you need to. It will get easier, eventually.

            Thank you so much for the Empath Cadre ‘sign-posting’ – I will certainly have a read.

            Laters Truthseeker 🙂

          5. truthseeker6157 says:

            Hello Bubbles,

            Thank you so much for your support. Your comment made me fill up and I wasn’t sure why. Then I realised. “Never feel you need to justify yourself….” I did that all the time with him. We get so used to doing it, we forget that we didn’t used to be that way.

            Thank you so much for your kind words Bubbles 😘xx

          6. NarcAngel says:

            Your pain is just as real and valid as anyone else’s.

            I didn’t always feel that way but that has changed as a result of being here. No matter the varying situations or manipulations used, ultimately the pain we feel is about us and not them. We focus on them as the providers of pain and as being the source of it and from where it originated, but often they are just the catalyst. They pick at our scabs to reveal pain that we always had but did not recognize or address. They are good at recognizing that pain in us because they have felt it themselves but deal with it in an entirely different way. A way that we do not and cannot understand. In addressing the issues in ourselves that they uncover we can (admittedly with some difficulty) let them go just as we once embraced them.

            They do not have that luxury. That is something worth recognizing to help in freeing ourselves from any responsibility we might feel, but not to sacrifice ourselves to.

          7. Asp Emp says:

            I like your explanation – thank you for that. 🙂

          8. FYC says:

            TS, To answer your question, the DSM5 is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of psychological disorders. It is updated each year and varies widely year to year. It is frequently criticized for its inconsistencies over time and inaccuracies in retrospect.

            My feeling on why the bond is more devastating is, you *believed* it to be real, it was not real. It was an illusion. He fed into your hopes and dreams and gave you just what you needed so that he could obtain what he needed: Fuel. You were looking into a mirror, believing the face on the other side was his when in reality it was your own. The cognitive dissonance is dramatic because the difference between what you believed (due to your feelings and due to your mind filling in the blanks according to your hopes and dreams for a mostly online relationship) and what actually was is huge. Detach your beliefs from him. See him as he is. The bond will evaporate once you achieve this clarity. The addiction to your dream, of what you long for, may not. Just be sure to absorb all that HG offers. That way you will not assign your hopes and dreams to a narcissist again.

            PS: You are missed on the forum, and there are some confection clues that await you from NA and K you won’t want to miss!

          9. truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi NA,

            Thank you for your comment. You do have a way of making me look at things differently. I need to really think about what you said. I have found myself stuck a bit. The last 10 days or so. I’ve started dreading the weekend dip.

            I’m still clear headed, still able to look at articles and comments logically. The narc isn’t always in my head like he was at the start. I’m just stuck in that I still miss him. Despite understanding who is, why he behaves in the way he does. All of it. I still have to say that I miss him. I’m not moving forward in that sense. You might be right in that it might have something to do with me rather than him.

            I’m not looking to forgive or get angry or anything like that. I’m not even sitting and reminiscing about specific things or good bits. What I feel most is just resigned I think. So I am not looking to go back or break no contact, but I’m not shutting off from it either. I’m not sure if it’s just something I have to accept, or, it’s just time, or it’s still ET. Don’t know. Like the ex smoker who doesn’t ever smoke again but always misses it. I hope I’m not destined to be that. I’ll think about what you said. Look inwards for a bit. There’ll be something, I just need to figure out what the link is.

          10. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hello FYC,

            Thank you for your comment and the clarification about DSM5. Not sure how I feel about that. Are we disordered due you think? Don’t know about you crazies but I’m completely and entirely ‘normal’ 😜Ha Ha.

            I think if you are online there is a tendency to fill in gaps, that’s a very valid point. I do understand what he was doing though, I do get that it was just a convenient way for him to get fuel. I don’t feel angry about that. He was just doing what he needed to do. I can see it for what it was from his perspective totally. It just doesn’t seem to make a dent in my feelings though. Maybe my heart needs to catch up with my head.

            Funnily enough I was on the forum late last night. I posted a summary for you in response to NA and Kel’s thoughts. There was a lot of action in a week! I found an azure link last night at 3 am too but was too tired to post it. I’ll pop on tonight and throw it into the mix!

          11. FYC says:

            Hi TS, Haha, of course you are perfectly normal! Seriously though, you ask an interesting question. “Are we disordered?” or “What is normal?” I would say the answer is a matter of perspective. Since its inception, the DSM has declared disorders, removed disorders, redefined disorders, merged disorders, etc. Clearly, they do not have a firm concept of how to apply the term since their own perspective changes year over year. As the numbers of those who test highly in narcissistic function steadily increase, perhaps that becomes the norm? If that were the case, could empathy be considered a disorder? As for narcissism and the DSM, I think you’ll find these articles interesting:
            Great to see you back in the forum!

  4. Gina says:

    I think this means the house too. If you keep the marital or shack up residence, you will constantly be reminded of them.

    1. Tammy says:

      Absolutely the house, my situation allowed me to declare bankruptcy so I didn’t have to deal with any of the financial Hoover which was actually very freeing, the lawyers actually saw the weight lift from my shoulders. My issues all stem from having children with him, luckily he is a lousy father and steps out of their lives for a year at a time plus them all being in their teens now things are starting to look up. I saw a comment about being fake because their relationship was mostly online, please don’t feel that way, bruises and broken bones heal, the mind takes much longer and may require much more attention to fully escape the negative thoughts.

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