The reason why some people fall victim to narcissistic hoovering and get back into a toxic relationship is because they don’t manage to recover completely and forget the narcissist after going no contact.
In this article I will tell you how to erase a narcissist from your mind after you have decided to go no contact. But before that, it’s important to understand how recovery happens from a psychological point of view.
How recovery happens
Right after breaking up, each person goes through certain stages of recovery before they forget the person they broke up with completely. These stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and recovery. You can read more about stages of recovery on this Psychologytoday article.
Some people recover from a break up after a few weeks while others take months or years to recover. You may be thinking that people who take so long are those who were so much in love with their partner but that’s not true. The reason why some people take so long to recover is because they have false beliefs about relationships. Taking wrong actions after going no contact can also get you stuck in a certain stage of recovery.
For example, a person can get stuck in the denial stage for months after getting dumped because she believes that only worthless people get dumped. In this case, accepting the fact that she was dumped would mean that she is unworthy. This makes her stay in denial hoping that her partner will change his mind and come back.
Trying to forget your narcissist ex and getting stuck in the anger stage
Denial is usually not a big problem when someone has decided to go no contact. This is because they usually accept the fact that the relationship has come to an end even before they leave. The stage that many people get stuck in is the anger stage.
This stage is where a person thinks about revenge, making his ex payback or even inflicting the highest possible pain on the narcissist. There is nothing wrong with these thoughts as long as they don’t last for months or years. This is a normal stage of recovery but the problem is when you get stuck in it that it slows down the whole process of recovery.
How to get over the anger stage
Actually, you don’t need to take appropriate actions in order to forget your narcissistic ex, instead you need to stop taking the wrong actions. For example most people who go no contact keep telling their friends how their ex narcissist was mean and how he mistreated them. Others join online recovery forums to meet people who have been through the same experience, etc.
You may be thinking that there is nothing wrong with joining a recovery Facebook group, after all people on those forums are usually supportive. But let’s see how it affects you. If you were trying to forget your ex at the same time exposing yourself to events that remind you of your relationship then recovery would become impossible. see: how to make an abusive narcissist discard you.
In those forums there is usually little to no professional help but people who keep talking about the bad experience they had with a narcissist. This constantly exposes you to reminders. This can reset your recovery process whenever you are about to forget the narcissist. Avoiding such reminders is a crucial step of recovery.
Don’t get this point wrong. I’m not saying that online support forums/groups are useless. They can be very helpful especially if you are trying to recover from emotional abuse but if your goal is to forget the narcissist ex and move on then you should avoid them. See: why do narcissists seem to move on so quickly.