*This is a reminder that this is a fictional story. Any and all advice depicted in this post or throughout the entire story should NOT be considered as advice from a certified medical professional. Understood? Good.*
Do you know how hard it is to NOT respond to someone when all you want to do is tell them to fuck off?
It was very, very hard.
Kaley was super sweet keeping in contact with me whenever she could, even with the crazy time zone difference. She was willing to lend me a friendly ear and I appreciated her daily inspiring texts reminding me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. But though she was sweet, Kaley was strong and unflinching when it came to one piece of advice she had given me – the “No Contact” rule.
This is how she explained it to me.
‘No contact is the only option in a situation like this. Under no circumstances should you respond to his texts, emails and phone calls. All he wants is to get an emotional response from you to keep you attached to him. If you give into the temptation of answering him, you are validating to him that you still care enough to respond and he will never leave you alone,’ is what Kaley said.
But the “No Contact” rule was freakin’ hard and I messed up a bunch of times during that first week when Dex was calling and texting non-stop. And when I say non-stop, it was at least a minimum of a dozen times a day.
I’m not kidding.
I love you.
We were meant to be together and I’ve put up with a lot of your crap too so you need to understand.
I know now that you would never cheat on me. We can get some kind of counselling together if you want.
I promise that I’ll get help for my anger issues.
All relationships have obstacles and no relationship is perfect…
These are all things that he would say in his messages. And like a loser, I would respond with things like:
Leave me alone.
Stop texting and stop calling me.
I want nothing more to do with you. I am done with you.
I don’t know what I ever saw in you…
My quick angry responses were satisfying in the moment but always left me feeling completely drained.
Yeah, like I told you, I royally messed up that “No Contact” rule in that first week. Kaley sent me this interesting graphic about “No Contact” but to be honest, it didn’t sink in until much later for me.
Graphic found at and credited to: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/302656037434076322/
With all the support Kaley had given me, I felt compelled to confess to her what I had done. And almost as soon as I sent that text to her did my cell ring with a videocall. I was totally embarrassed to face the look of unhappiness etched all over Kaley’s face. Without even a “hi” or “hello”, she went straight into help mode.
“Cara, I know it’s hard but you have to stop responding to him. You need space and time to clear him from your head.” With the frustrated look on her face, I could feel my face burning with shame. “I know from experience that it’s like a knee reflex to tell the asshole off. But believe me, it will get you nowhere. Dex wants you to keep thinking about him and that’s exactly how he will break you down to get the attention he needs from you. You’re pulling away, he’s losing control of you and he hates it. You know, maybe you should just change your number…”
There was no way that I was going to do that and told her so. “No! I’ve had that number for too many years. Why should I get rid of it because of him? I would be letting him win!”
“Well, it’s about your sanity, not “winning” over him. You also have the option of just blocking his number and that would remove your temptation completely. With my ex, I didn’t do that. From my therapist, I knew that the day I stopped hearing from him would be the day that he’d found himself another victim. It was my way of gauging whether he was done with me or not. But the consequence was that my ex had this weird way of resurfacing whenever I was getting myself back to happy in my life. It’s like he could sense it. After a while, I got fed up and took myself off of his radar. My contract here in Japan has cut him off from the knees. Believe me, I know. Promise me that you will try your best not to respond to him. Or even better, whenever you feel the need to respond, text me instead, okay?”
I nodded and felt Kaley studying my face through the screen.”Okay, I will.”
“And each time you’re able to rise above that temptation, just picture Dex going crazy, wondering how you suddenly got strong enough to resist. That visual should help to motivate you even more. Just remember how scared he made you feel and you’ll be able to do it.”
The image of Dex getting frustrated at my silence and wondering how I had grown a backbone did help to keep me on track. That very same day, I wiped my slate clean of him. I blocked him and the few friend of his I had connected with from all of social media accounts. I deleted all of his old texts, voice messages and emails. I even packed up all the different gifts he had ever given me and dumped them into the charity bin down the street.
For the next three weeks, I was able to resist the temptation. When he threatened to turn up at my job, I resisted the fear of him embarrassing me at work and did not respond. And even when he called crying, saying that I never loved him, I did listen to his voice message but hit “7” to delete. I was so proud of myself at having lasted that long. The fog was finally lifting from my mind and I was starting to see a little clearer with each passing day.
But on Day 32 of our breakup, something happened.
After all of the obsessive texts, calls and emails, it was as if Dex had suddenly dropped off the face of the earth.
There was silence.
And I couldn’t help but wonder why.
Continuation: O is for “Obsession”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.
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