Wolf asking little pig a favour

Something that many people, especially those with people-pleasing inclinations struggle with, is what to do when someone who disappeared reappears to basically ask a favour of you. They want support, help, kindness and basically generosity beyond what they’re due and what the normal run of things is. After weeks, months or even years, this person pops up, possibly with an apology and explanation, possibly not, and then asks for help, money, a place to stay, an alibi, sex or whatever. Of course it’s not what they’re due or entitled to and it’s outside of the norm because normally if one has vanished into thin air or has stopped talking to or is even mad at a person, a favour shouldn’t factor in there.

I’ve been in this situation enough times to know that when a person suddenly conveniently reappears in your life just as they also happen to need something from you, there’s a pervasive air of ambiguity and akwardness. If neither of you says anything about the silence, the absence or their possible prior anger, you end up feeling worried about looking like you’re bringing up old shit / being rude or you worry that you’ve missed the window of opportunity to say something, and so feel compelled to play all nicey nice while they chat to you with faux cheeriness mixed with edge due to them knowing that they need to find an opening to ask you. There’s a part of you that’s thinking that surely they’re going to say something, after all, there’s no way that you would have the brass nuts to just breeze on up as if nothing happened. Maybe there’s some awkward pauses and you think, It’s coming! They’re gonna say something…. And….nope…

Some people don’t really know how to make amends or to address issues so they just hope that their absence takes care of it and that given enough time, they can just act like nothing happened. I was talking with a friend recently about how family can you drive you batty with this kind of carry-on. “We’re family (said in my best Peggy Mitchell from Eastenders voice). If I wanna cuss you down, blank you, have a ridiculous argument with you and then never speak about it again and expect you to act like nothing happened, I can. We’re family!” Of course we’re people with feelings and memories that can’t just be switched off. We might even be adults who like to actually attempt to address things in a mature fashion.

In some cases, it’s a matter of the person relying on the fact they’ve ‘come back’ and the attendant awkwardness to tap into your need to please. If you don’t tend to make waves and are near to chomping at the bit to have them back in your life and to get their validation in some way, the awkwardness is an advantage to them, especially if you have issues with saying no or “Let me get back to you.”

Each time I hear stories about that time that certain someone that disappeared / cut you off / went off in a strop and then suddenly reappeared with their hand out looking for something, there’s often a temptation to say yes out of fear of looking rude or like grudges are being clung to, plus there’s also fear of scaring the person away.

We can feel surprisingly important and needed when we’re chosen, as if we must be really important and they must have been feeling really guilty because they’ve not so much as said two words to us in however many weeks/months/years while they’ve been gallivanting with other people and yet in their time of need, they thought of us. Is it because they’ve seen the light or is it because they’ve exhausted all other avenues? Is it because we’re regarded as a soft touch? Be careful of mistaking being used for being needed.

What we have to be careful of, is saying yes due to believing that in doing so, we’re going to experience some form of reward. If we want to give because we have it and it’s reasonable to do so, plus we’re not going to be offended if we don’t get similar or more back, great. If not, halt.

Often though, these situations can be seen as an opportunity to decline and give a major explanation and possibly tell them all about themselves. Sometimes we do this because we don’t think that no is sufficient. It’s as if we have to have a big reason and a showcase of the issue, to legitimise the no.

We also seize the opportunity because we may not be sure when another will come round and we’re looking for some sort of validation.

We may still feel hurt and angry and are maybe hoping that they will feel small like we have felt during their absence. It’s best not to go down this road though because it only feels good in the moment and a no with on topic (address the specific request instead of bringing up everything but the kitchen sink) and brief reason (if needed) is more than sufficient. They didn’t just fall out of the sky as a fully formed adult – they know why we’re saying no!

The big explanation and possible telling them all about themselves session may be tempting but the clouds won’t part and the angels aren’t going to start singing a big apologetic musical number.

These situations are particularly hard with family or people who you’ve been so ridiculously generous and accommodating with in the past, that they have no sense of the natural consequences that they would experience with someone else. They may feel entitled to your help without explanation or respect of your boundaries, or they are used to coasting on good intentions and crossing the bridge of reality when they get to it. They may even be very charming and convincing. You may feel as if you’re leaving them in the lurch, which when you eventually put it into the context of how they treat you, their absences, and what amounts to one-way traffic, can suddenly seem ridiculous.

It is important to ask yourself, ‘Why me?’ (where are all the other people they’ve been around during their absence) and it’s just as important to evaluate your feelings and thoughts on the situation. If you feel guilty and obliged, why? If you’re worried about awkwardness, why? If anybody should be concerning themselves with that in this situation, it’s certainly not you. What are you worried will happen if you say no? What are you hoping will happen if you say yes? It’s also a good time to evaluate when this person is nice to you or returns to your life – is it always around the time that they need something from you?

Most importantly, does you saying yes to whatever they’re requesting/expecting in spite of their absence / treatment, amount to you saying yes to pressing the Reset Button and mistreating you in the process? If so, say no. Trust me, you’re not the only person that they can ask.

Your thoughts?

Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .

Natalie (NML) – who has written posts on Baggage Reclaim by Natalie Lue.


FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

87 Responses to When someone blanks you / disappears & then reappears to ask a favour of you, it’s OK to say no

  1. Jenni Bell says:

    How true this post and how timely!!! After my Ex AC finally crossed a line that I couldn’t press the reset button on, I told him he couldn’t come and stay with me (again) for the third time in 8 months (free I might add. Before long he was gone and has cut contact with me. He has had money, my roof over his head when he needed it, and love,love,love. I knew this guy for 15 years the first time round and it didn’t work out. Lots of future faking,but henever delivered. I came home back then to find he’d moved out while I was at work. I spent the first year after he left crying but then had another 12 years without him. And I felt ok!!! Then he came back 3 and a half years ago via Facebook. How stupid I was to believe he’d changed. Now I seems I am no good to him so he’s disappeared apbut it’s so hard to come to terms with the fact I’ve been used when I thought he was a friend at the very least. I know I should be happy he’s gone again but I miss him, even though he was no good for me. How bad is that? In all aspects of my life I’m confident and self assured but with him I feel like such a silly fool. I hope I will be strong enough to not get in touch, especially as I’ve weakened a couple of times and left texts/phone messages which make me feel awful after. Hoping for some kind words from the wonderful people here at BR to help me keep going and some ideas on how I can keep strong. Thanks for all your helpful posts and advice so far.

  2. kirsten says:

    Urgh, good timing (again).
    Last week my most recent ex (split in Feb) text me asking for sex. This is a guy who has serious anger management problems and thinks nothing of abusing me by text (of course big and brave behind his iphone lol) for days/weeks on end, if I dare question him or his actions.
    My friend suggested he may be asking for sex, purely to see if I’m in a new relationship so being the bitch I am I text back and said “no thanks, I’ve moved on and I think you should do the same”…….then god bless iOS7, blocked his number from my phone

  3. Heather says:

    I finally learned my lesson with this one. Tromped back into my life twice over the past 4 years only to retreat (after getting what they wanted) promptly. First for a legal advice in a foreclosure action then a couple of years later he a had a massive heart attack – not expected to live – dramatic – again needed legal advice. I am not on turn my back on those in need in times of trouble but SERIOUSLY – yang my chain – tug those heart strings – get the answers they wanted and and then poof – gone! You are very right – used again and YES there is someone else they can call – plenty in the phone book. No more fallback here and ride the emotional roller coaster because they cannot read a phone book or that I am “free”. Probably should have sent a bill. Next time they can pay someone ELSE to tell them what to do or give a damn. That became clear in the “Don’t call me again” brief discussion. That bridge is burnt.

  4. Sadmom says:

    Currently avoiding being drug in to a drama filled situation involving my 18yo son & my ex bf of 10+ years (20 years older than my son). I’ve placed boundaries (very tall ones) and requested (through the courts but they think its a lil game & denied) NO CONTACT due to threats, stalking and harassment of the ex bff.

    Even though she is “so in love” with my son, she has kicked him out (in the middle of the night, during a snow storm, shredded his clothes, destroyed what little he has, etc.) at least 3 times that I know of.

    As his mom I immediately rescued him the first time but, due to legal issues he (& she) are involved with did NOT bring him back in to my home (thank goodness). I felt bad and he sounded so sorry and he’s my baby… I love my kids more than life itself. He went back to her even though he had filed a restraining order – he violated it to return to her abuse.

    Several weeks later, she did it again. I did not react. I did not rescue, I cried for days wondering if he had frozen in the snow storm… if he was ok, in the hospital… in jail…
    I must be strong, he only comes to me when he “needs” a place to stay, or money… or to use me – he does not call to say I love you or just Hi. He is a user (he was NOT raised this way, we were a tight knit family filled with love regardless of the lies he tells).

    I have a saying that I use often and now have printed in bold letters for me to see:

    I DO YOU NO FAVORS BY ALLOWING YOU TO ABUSE ME

    These things don’t just happen with ex lovers and ex friends… sometimes the knife through your heart is wielded by your own child and it cuts deeper than the sharpest blade :’(

    • welshwonder says:

      I felt for you Sadmom xx cause I am in the same position with abusive partner of my son, its so sad that they treat each other like they do with total disregard of everyone else- until we dare to offer any kind of advice. The worst thing for me is she uses my grandaughter to empower herself and control the situation.I have decided to leave the situation totally, for my own sanity I was always on eggshells with her- horrible and making me feel uncomfortable with trying to please her. It wasnt fitting well with my new found confidence, but all decisions come with a cost. I wont see my grandaughter.
      Natalie I have been on here for three years now and you are still hitting the spot for me with your advice, thank you x

  5. DunrobINE says:

    Another great post Natalie. This hasn’t happened yet, but now I’ve got something to guide me when it does…because I expect the assclown down the street to come calling for something before Christmas rolls ’round. I did No Contact with him 7 months ago today! And I’ve stuck to my word. He tried a few times but gave up relatively quickly because it didn’t get him anywhere….my theme song was “I hear you knocking, but you can’t come in” (Dave Edmunds – PERFECT No Contact theme song!). He lives about 5 doors down from me and is always sure to flash his lights at me and wave when he passes in his car. And I’m guessing that he’ll reach a breaking point because I’m not doing my old pattern of making contact. This is a great post…I’m ready to say no. And if it never happens, I’ll put it on my list of things to be grateful for :)

    As an aside, I love these comics Natalie has with wolves in them!!! In my recovery work from “assclownery”, I referred to assclowns as wolves…dressed in sheep’s clothing.

  6. Little Star says:

    Awwwwww my favorite wolf is back;) I love your drawings Natalie x Thank you for reminding me of what not to do…I would never ever allow my ACs to come back, I rather be single for the rest of my life!!!

  7. Louise says:

    “…that time that certain someone that disappeared / cut you off / went off in a strop and then suddenly reappeared with their hand out looking for something.”

    I’m sad to say I’ve sometimes been guilty of this over the years with friends.

    And now being on NC (4 hellish days) and wanting to break it just to do come back in for a “favour” of validation. I cut him off and now I want to put my hand out for something. I want to text or call and say…what? What the heck do I want to say? WHY do I want to do it? To what end? This article puts my wanting to reach out in a certain perspective.

    I’ve disappeared, again, (but this time, for the first time, he’s blocked me on FB and probably on his phone too), and now I expect to just whiz in with a quick, “hi, hope you’re ok” or whatever bullshit excuse for contact. Like he did to me all those other times.

    So now I want to reappear for some validation? YES. I do. Less now after reading this.

    This article hurts a little because I’ve been an AC a bit myself. But it helps me keep NC alive.

  8. noquay says:

    Sure wish Id had BR when “Grizzly Man” pulled his initial disappearing act for many months then wriggled his way into my life only to evaporate again, literally leaving me and our dogs to the fate of a potentially pissed off Grizzly sow, then reappeared do he could blame the incident on me. The final vanishing act was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Classy. it felt really good last week when AC asked for help on a project and not a single person in the room volunteered including yours truly who answered with an emphatic Nope! Rumors are abounding about a shake up in administration which he knows I am privy to and he tried to pump me for information once again; Nope, sorry, cannot talk about it. More flirting with the new co worker followed by disapproval and snide remarks from both parties about my planned absence at the event. This boy keeps it up I will disclose exactly why Noquay aint going. You are right Nat, hurtful folks need something from you, they do have a tendency to come out of the woodwork. The past coupla years, I find myself no longer so forgiving; maybe I have gone beyond the point of no return, I feel really cold, angry but Nope! feels pretty good these days.

  9. Elle says:

    Interesting read. I recently went through this but I didn’t really have anything to say to the person when he contacted me months after me telling him off. The problem was that I couldn’t decide whether or not I made the right decision ignoring this person. I still wonder if I did the right thing but, due to the track record with this person, I’m more convinced each day that I did. I just remind myself.

  10. noquay says:

    Whoopsie: the aforementioned event is the annual Christmas Party which this woman wants volunteers to help set up. I volunteered to set up, do the heavy lifting but refuse to attend as being there alone with AC and ex friend/latest conquest also present is not a good way for Noquay to take care of herself.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Noquay,

      Good decision not to attend the party as long as you really will be happier at home. I think I would be, too. Take care of Noquay. He’d love you to be there gawking at him and his date. Nope!

    • Pauline says:

      Noquay,
      Why not go to the Christmas party along with everyone else? You don’t have to talk to the dumb ass and his new girlfriend, why should you care what he does! There will be plenty of other people there to talk with, dance with and have a fun time with.
      Why are you letting this guy dictate or influence ANYTHING in your life now? He really isn’t important enough for you to worry about, he’s a worm!
      He couldn’t get any help with his project, what does that tell you about how other people perceive him. That says a lot about his so called charm and popularity.
      Best thing for noquay to do is stop letting this guy get to you in any way shape or form – period! He doesn’t deserve one second more of your time or thoughts.
      Frock up girl and go.

  11. Jessie says:

    Perfect timing…I just heard from someone who ducked out of my life three years ago. Thank you for this article because I have been mulling over what if any response to give him. All that you’ve said makes perfect sense to me. He doesn’t even deserve a response truly and he may get none. I certainly do not need his validation anymore. That was one of my biggest problems with him. He is in another country so I guess he needs some validation long distance wise, he can rot on the side of the road. I felt like he dumped me like a bag of garbage three years ago and now he’s conveniently forgotten that I may remember this.

    • gyserboy says:

      Hi Jessie, do not consider replying and delete the content he has forwarded…out of sight out of mind sort of thing. Three years is a ridiculous time for anyone to get back in touch especially after the horrible way you were treated. Do not be flattered or curious in anyway as whatever he is fishing for means you no good and most likely more harm. Don’t even go there!

  12. DunrobINE says:

    There is a bottom line that you have to accept about assclowns – they are narcissists – and that doesn’t change…they won’t change. A hallmark of narcissism is that they don’t think there is anything wrong with them (hence, why would they even need to change)….their view is that there is something wrong with the world, not with them. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. And regardless of how much time has passed, if they feel like tapping you up for something, they’ll chance their arm at it. And if they succeed, the narcissistic supply they get from you giving in (again!)is even better. They always go the route of least resistance…and that includes anyone they’ve ever been involved with. When they’re in a pinch for a bit of narcissistic supply, better to try from an old source than seek out a new one.

  13. LostInNYC says:

    Timely indeed!

    I have such a hard time with this issue. How can I say no to someone I like/want? If I say yes then he’ll like/respect/want me more. Right? If I say no then I’m disappointing him and being mean and evil. F*cked up thinking and it’s making me miserable.

    I’m having a terrible time getting this EUM out of my system (not to mention that since I posted last week, I discovered that he’s living with his “ex”…whom I suspect is NOT an “ex”). Every other day I swear I’m sticking to the NC rules and every other day it gets broken and I’m happy for a few hours or a day and then he goes m.i.a. and my mind starts reeling and the anxiety sets in and I start asking “what did I do?” “why doesn’t he like me anymore?” I internalize everything and take it personally when I know that it isn’t me.

    Why are my boundaries so weak and non-existent? Why do I allow myself to be used? Why do I need his validation?

    I’ve been reading what Natalie’s words and it strikes a chord in me. I hope it sinks in and I “get it” soon. =(

    • Little Star says:

      Lost,

      I was in the same situation few years back, I could not eat, sleep etc..my mood was depended on AC, if he called me I was happy, if he was not, i would stay miserable;( I was in this relationshit for 5 years, what helped me? I bought all three Natalie’s books, kept myself busy (gym, meetup etc) and met an AC number 2! But funny enough he helped me to forget my AC;), honestly!!! I think you need time and work on yourself, no dating (mine was extreme), and keep yourself busy. All the best !!!

    • Lynn says:

      LostinNYC – I’m 1.5 months into NC and it sucks BUT you need to do it for real for you. Once you start to grieve and start taking off your rose tinted glasses you will start to see the real him. If he’s living with his ex, nothing will change and he sounds 100% EUM. I went back and forth with my ex EUM for 2 years…and finally had to go NC for real. Maybe seek out a counselor. And when you get the urge to contact him, or sad, or anything call a friend, go for a walk, enjoy the city or read baggage reclaim.

    • Allison says:

      Lost,

      I think you need to question, why you still like him?

  14. Revolution says:

    Oh Miss Nat….girrrrrrl.

    Honey, you NEED to stop poking around in my head!!! ;) I haven’t even read this post all the way through yet, but just seeing the title and the illustration (the wolf is back!!!!!) is all I needed. Shit. How the HELL do you do it, mama?

  15. Allison says:

    Love that wolf!!!!

  16. Peanut says:

    The wolf!

    Today I learned how unavailable relationships are like zoos.

    You enter with lofty expectations because that’s how it is on TV, right? And everyone talks about going to the zoo: “Yeah, I took my cute baby, Ian, to the zoo. He wore overalls and painted the donkeys. It was so much fun!” or “Emily wore a onesie, saw a tiger and peed all over herself. It’s okay because she is two and we got cotton candy” (or is that the fair?) and “Todd and I went to the zoo for our first date; we saw a monkey scratching its belly. It was great fun!”

    Okay, now to turn things around a bit to mirror what we’re fed about being in a romantic relationship: “The right “one” this, “prince charming,” that, “every little girl’s dream is to grow up and be the bride in a wedding, blah, blah, blah.” And let’s not forget the whole “YOU MUST BE A TRAMP AND HAVE BABIES (but we’ll still call you a whore or a dumb, lazy house wife who does nothing but make love to her swiffer and make PB & Js all day long while wearing really bad jeans with annoyingly perfect hair,” says western media.)

    Okay back to the zoo. You walk in high as a kite because the day is sunny and it must be fate that you randomly found yourself at the zoo after getting lost. You pay your $4 to the cute pregnant red-head with the smathering of freckles and enter. You run and see tigers, lions, and bears! (Seriously). And even a steer! You talk to the animals (though you cannot pet them of course/steel fences).

    The world is your oyster. This is how it’s meant to be. Exploring right?! Experiences right!? And new ones at that.

    You see monkeys and they are free! NO CAGES. They are happy; they are grooming each other, hugging and playing.

    Suddenly, it all fades grim at the sound of a distressed cry. You follow the howls. It’s a tiger. He’s pacing and miserable. You notice the bears look heartbroken; one is searching for a way out. The steer looks depressed and defeated. And angry.

    The monkeys begin fighting. A tiny one is fending off another monkey abuser. You ask a park worker, who happens to be maintenance, what is up. He tells you she always gets picked on; she’s the eldest. Her name is Morticia. She sits alone with her head in her hands after attendants run off her perpetrators. She can’t go anywhere; she can’t escape. The fences are electric. She looks as if she’s desperately praying. You bring concerns to the zoo workers and they look at you as if YOU’RE nuts. You leave down trodden, heartbroken and with your head shaking.

    This is how an unavailable relationship unfolds. Sure, I could still be with a shite and cruel man under the basis that he was good to me once in the beginning. It sounded good. The lies he spewed were good. I paid my ticket but the ride was shit; it was hell. When I brought up my concerns, it was all turned on me.

    It broke my heart to walk away from that frail, lonely monkey, Morticia; I’ve never wanted to hold something so bad in my life.

    I’ve also never wanted something to work out as bad as I did with my ex. But it couldn’t be. I had just as good of chance being satisfied with him as I did at getting my hands on that little monkey.

    It can’t happen.

    It’s heartbreaking when something looks and feels so good in the beginning and the illusion is ripped off like a ripe bandaid. But the emotional cuts are far deeper than a bandaid or man can heal.

    If I go back to the zoo tomorrow, it’ll still be the same old house of horrors zoo. If I go back to the ex tomorrow, even after near two years apart, he’ll still be the same ‘ole ex trudging along with the same ‘ole baggage he’ll no doubt want me to unpack.

    • Peanut says:

      ^Oh, God, I did not mean to infer women who have babies are tramps.^ I was referring to how the media tells women to be sexually provocative baby making machines. You know, the whole Madonna and The Whore typecasting. I don’t know if I’m doing a very good job of saving myself here. Oh, well, I think I come across accurately as a whole.

      • Peanut says:

        ^I want a baby, myself, and I am very tired.^

        • kookie says:

          i think the problem ppl attracted to EUM have(probably stemming from our own EUMness) is that we are maximally pessimistic about real, actually mutually respectful relationships and yet paradoxically maximally optimistic about useless waste of space time-wasters. we conduct our lives as if the boundary of our options ends with the eternally EUM.it’s an illusion of choice, because we haven’t wrapped our heads around all the choices of men in our whole wide world, we really just don’t believe we have any other options and it’s a damn shame. if you think you have no options other than these weirdos, you’ll hold on so tight to junk like a drowning man holding on to a small frail branch in what he thinks is the middle of the ocean but is actually the shallow end of a community swimming pool and all he has to do is toss the branch aside and the stand the f- up.

          • Off the Cuff says:

            Don’t go to the zoo high as a kite–ground yourself in reality. Sure the day is sunny, and you might be feeling excited and adventurous, but that’s all the more reason to slooowww your roll, and remember to drink plenty of water, wear a hat, sun glasses–take care of yourself!

            Enjoy your time with the animals, but don’t assume you know anything about them or the zoo. If you want to get to know and learn more about the animals, you need to spend more time at the zoo before you form an opinion.

            Check out the ride before you get on, and if you sense something is wrong with the ride, don’t ignore your gut, get the f– off before you get sick, and throw up all over yourself.

            And remember, it’s just a zoo; it isn’t there to make you happy, so don’t depend on it to make you happy, or to fill the emptiness inside, make you whole, rescue you, validate you, give your purpose, or solve all your life problems; you are responsible for your own SELF and happiness.

            If all else fails, remember you have choices; if you don’t like the zoo, take your butt to the park, take off your rose colored glasses, and read Natalie’s books, and start on a journey of getting to know the most important person in your life–YOU. :)

            • Furry White Dogs says:

              Off the cliff, I love your comment!

              So very calm, sensible, practical and grounded.

              And a great continuation of the zoo analogy.

              I should add I am a lover of zoos, (the modern well run and purposed ones that are there primarily for the care and conservation of the animals, not merely as entertainment for gawping ignorant people).

          • Peanut says:

            kookie,

            That is one of the best things I have ever read. And, yep, that sums it up.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Kookie,

            When you’ve dealt with an AC and then you’re in a relationship that is basically healthy, it feels like a dream. For example, recently I did something that an AC would find unacceptable and probably be extremely angry. But instead, with my current friend he doesn’t feel that what I did was so bad, has been forgiving and understanding and has made light of the whole issue. I’m completely flabbergasted because I’m not used to such a level of understanding, that I am not perfect and may once in a while make a mistake. He knows that we have an extremely close bond and that means more to him than what I did wrong, as I was not intending to cause discord between us.

          • Rosie says:

            Kookie- Ouch. You are so very right.

      • Rosie says:

        Peanut–I think the media does the opposite–wants women to separate sex from its natural consequence, which is pregnancy. Sex is sexy as long as it does not lead to pregnancy.

        (“Sex is sexy”?? Oh, I’m tired too…)

        • Peanut says:

          Rosie,

          I get so confused about that subject, too. It just makes me tired.

          But, you’re right. When sex is sexy often times in media most of the time it’s about being cheesy and pleasing a dude.

    • Rachel says:

      Heyyyy Peanut,

      Your words strike a chord with me… I think I know what you mean about the possibility of a committed, healthy relationship seeming so real and attainable, only to find that it’s all an illusion that would never have come to fruition.

      Pretty much every relationship I’ve had since I was 17 has gone this way. I think my longest ‘relationship’ in my 29 years of life was approx 8-9 months and he was married (not my proudest moment, but I was led to believe that we would start over again as soon as his teenagers were 18. Yeah right!).

      “It’s heartbreaking when something looks and feels so good in the beginning and the illusion is ripped off like a ripe bandaid.”

      Sums up exactly how I felt about my ex… Everything seemed so perfect at the start and I wanted US to work out so badly! I needed my happy ever after and was tired of always being the single girl (still am). I just wanted to come off the merry-go-round of AC/EUM boyfriends and meaningless flings and experience something genuine.

      However, when things started to fall apart after 5 months, like a crazy woman, I did EVERYTHING I possibly could to hold onto him but he got colder and more distant with each day. I found myself having panic attacks and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, as I couldn’t cope with the fact that my dreams had gone to sh*t. I wanted so badly to be loved and the thought of turning 30 as a single woman with no prospects of marrying, no kids on the horizon – it terrified me worse than death.

      It’ll be a year in Feb 2014 since we broke up and also my 30th birthday. I’ve been NC with him for about 2 months now (he would message me randomly asking me how I was feeling, until I blocked his number). I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and long to experience healthy, lasting love, but I’m working hard not to let my track record and all the negative thoughts and pressure I feel get to my head.

      I love your zoo analogy though, it’s pretty accurate way of summing it up.

      :-)

      • NCincanada says:

        Turned 30 in July with the same mindset, Nice Birthday and the day after it all started to fall apart. I personally think you have made all the mistakes u have and it can only get better from here :-) !

      • Peanut says:

        Rachel,

        Good for you for blocking him; you are one strong woman.

        I turn twenty-nine soon. I am single. Thank God. I am happy to be. I like life single. Sometimes I see a cute, little baby in a pastel adorned onesie and I feel sad. But then I see a screaming, shit filled baby and I feel happy again :)

    • JustHer says:

      Peanut,
      Hilarious comment, but kind of eye-opening when it rings true!

      I think you have a knack for using metaphors which are have a harsh-pull effect back to reality for me!

  17. DiggingDeeper says:

    Ha! Still luvin’ the wolf!

  18. wanda says:

    Good Timing….after six Months of No Contact (Second Time in Two Years)I get a Birthday Card with a Note saying he will call me on my Birthday. This Man that told me I am to Emotional. Told me I make it hard for him to Love me. Thank God my Phone is out of Service at the Moment…He will not be able to contact me. Have known him for 35 Years and now know he is a Narcissistic EUM AC. Happy Birthday to me.

  19. noquay says:

    Tinkerbell
    Nope, no old maid staying obediently at home shite for this kicka$$ chick, will be about full moon about then; will be out in the woods tracking big kitties, sitting (literally) on the continental divide, howling at the moon. Since the wolves were exterminated here a long time ago, someone has to do it. Will have a select gathering at mi casa for Solstice the next week. Noquay doesn’t do Christmas.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Noquay,

      Somehow, when I wrote it I was saying to myself, “She ain’t hardly gonna be sitting at home”. LOL! Be happy, girl whatever you’re doing. Btw, I find your lifestyle fascinating, much as I adore ALL animals and nature.

  20. Sophie says:

    Peanut, I love your comparison of being in an emotionally unavailable relationship to being in a zoo!

    I’d love some wisdom! Can someone please explain to me why EUMs/ACs do silent treatment and blocking all the time? I can’t count how many times, when I was telling my ex AC how I felt about things, he would say “if you don’t stop this I’m going to block you on: x,y,z…” Always always after I told him my problems with his AC ways, he would go into silent treatment mode. Blanking me until he would pop up and act like nothing was wrong, even though I was still upset that we never got a solution to the problem. Are blocking, blanking, silent treatment typical AC things to do?

    My AC quickly ended things with me after promising me a future two months ago, and is now flaunting his new girlfriend after telling me about her and suggesting that I should be happy for him. In our final talk I told him how I thought his actions were horrible and that he didn’t care at all, he wavered between “I’m horrible so why don’t you never speak to me again” (manipulative self-pity!) and, “If you don’t stop this I will block you from x,y,z…” – like I was the problem to be punished!

    I’m doing NC and have blocked him from contacts but the issue is that I would never tell him this or make it like a threat like he has done ever since I’ve know him! And I can imagine him getting in touch after a few months, or when his current girlfriend doesn’t work out, and just saying “hi, wanna do A,B,C with me” like no time has passed and everything is A-OK.

    Thanks! Nat’s posts and the amazing comments are keeping me sane when I feel like I’ve been blindsided.

    • Peanut says:

      Sophie,

      This guy is a two-year-old. Let him go throw his tantrums with whomever.

    • Allison says:

      Sophie,

      Doesn’t matter if he’s an AC! He’s an ASSHOLE!!!

      Please to do not respond to this guy again. He blocked you out because he does not want to take any responsibility, is passive aggressive and manages down your expectations.

      What a waste of time he is. He is sadistic, to boot!!

  21. Smoking-Mirrors says:

    Ohhhhhh, have I ever mistaken being used for being needed, and for a Florence (now ex-Florence, thank you very much, all the AC’s in the house can figuratively kiss my a$$ :) ), look out and hold the phone because talk about external validation on overdrive.

    AC’s know how to stroke it. They know how to make you think you are the best thing since wolfberries, and they are so happy to know you, and “Thank you so much for helping me baby. You are an amazing woman. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You are so different from the other women in my life. You really understand me. I feel like I can be myself with you. I feel like you understand me. I couldn’t have done this without you. I’ll never forget it. Thank you for being in my life. You have been such a form of support,” and on and on with the BS.

    Even the nicest of AC’s will take you on a ride, and sit back and watch you smile at the view, knowing d@mn well, they’re getting ready to drive your a$$ off the cliff. But, they’ll be fine because they’ve got it all planned; they’re going to jump out of the car just in time. And one day, you’ll see him, as your’re slapping a fresh bandage on your arm, yep, dancing around, he’s making it–succeeding–he didn’t need your help; he used you to get what he wanted; he’s doing just fine.

    But hey, if you don’t learn your lesson, don’t worry. Go ahead, press the reset button, he’ll be more than happy to take YOU for another ride.

    • Smoking-Mirrors says:

      Oh, I forgot one: “You’re awesome!” The next guy who calls me awesome is going to get punched in the mouth! Yes, of course I’m kidding. It just feeeels good to write it; actually, I’ll RUN!

      • Sophie says:

        Ha ha! Too funny. My ex AC used to make fun of my American accent by saying that I was “AHH-SOME”. What a jerk! Even when he was “complimenting” me he was still insulting.

    • JustHer says:

      SM,

      Your sarcasm is just the dose I needed! “If you don’t learn your lesson, don’t worry.” That’s exactly what my ex-AC has shown me!

      I’ve been super strong for the past few hours, after itching to contact him desperately (my best friend has just left on holiday and I am feeling abandoned). But HELL NO.

      These ACs can go and stick their head into a pile of cow poopoo. (Course, I’m so mature).

  22. Sandy says:

    Ah it’s lovely how the AC’s do this, even just for an ego stroke, another round of sex..maybe a nice dinner and a bed from you if things aren’t going well with the new poor victim…but it’s amazing when you change your number which I have done for the second and last time (no more falling for his bullshit and letting him have the new one like I did last time!!!) how out of sight and out of mind he is :-) I have actually spent the whole week not thinking about him, a first for me in this long nine months since we broke up, it just feels so good and freeing and if he does cross my mind it seems to be fleeting!
    Mind you I have alot going on personal wise, what with having a hard time with the menopause, side effects of hormonal replacement therapy and getting a horrific flu…so there is no room in my head for even wondering about him lol

    • Stacey says:

      Sandy – you’ve posted on my posts before. How I wish I could get to not thinking about my ex EUM all week! I am only 1.5 months into NC. I know it takes time. Think its great that you did not think about him all week! :)

      • Sandy says:

        Hey Stacey,

        It does take time, but after his last lot of ass clownery I think I turned a corner because even though I have only been non contact for a month (cos’ he wouldn’t stop contacting me, but he can’t now woohoo) it just seems different this time..not too sure why to be honest but hey I am not moaning :-)
        Stay strong it does get better!!!

        • JustHer says:

          Sandy,

          Totally in the same position as you! Had been NC for a year “NC-ish” and now have changed my number etc and it just feels different this time, though I broke it again in October, I feel like I deserve it to my own self to see it through.

          Just seems to taking too freaking long. Oh well.

    • gyserboy says:

      I agree too with the one whole week of no images or thoughts of the ex!! How did you do it as it is irritating right now that fleeting thoughts of the ex does still happen 8 months down the line for me. It’s odd when that happens as I am simply going about my daily business like I do and the blasted thought comes through out of nowhere. I have completely moved on and it would be so refreshing to at least have one day without the fleeting thought :/

    • gyserboy says:

      Speedy recovery your way Sandy, sounds like you are going through quite a bit health-wise, and most likely in the process inadvertently purged ex from your system (at least for the week that you did…). Nice!

      • Sandy says:

        Thanks gyserboy,

        I think it is about time I made it about me..always been about him but I need to sort myself out now and I think you are right, having something else to concentrate on has actually purged him!!
        Bloody menopause, if another woman tells me that she just breezed through it I think I will scream..loudly lol

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sandy,

      I well remember those first feelings of total freedom after I blanked him so that he could not reach me. Even though changing your number repeatedly is a pain in the neck it’s worth it. NOW, DON’T GIVE IT TO HIM, AGAIN! Stay strong, he’s not worth taking up your brain space. YAY! HOORAY for you.

      • Sandy says:

        Thanks Tink :-) it is totally worth changing it again I must admit, things feel free and easy now, amazing how much time I spent wondering if I was going to hear from him, if that text I just got was him (it wasn’t even a nice feeling I was getting from all the expectation, it was kind of a sick, sad one…who needs it!) for the first time in along time the weekend has been enjoyable just doing my own thing.

  23. Sue says:

    For me, 4 months NC. I cannot beleive it is still this painful, at times, but I try to keep busy. I started painting again, which I had quit for some unknown reason after we were together for awhile. I haven’t seen him. I had an interim little 4-date thing with a new guy that didn’t work out, so that brought up all the old stuff again for me. Coming here and reading always helps. Sometimes, the only thing that stops me from calling him is that he would probably act cold and stand-offish and hurt me again. He hasn’t tried to contact me. That hurts, for all the wrong reasons.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sue,

      You will alternate through “happy” and sadness, during this NC process. Some days you will have the urge to contact him sooo badly, but don’t do it. The urge will pass. Remember this is NORMAL and many others have gone through this before you, and they not only survived but they’re better for it. You’ll be fine. Even if he were cordial and you got back with him, he will soon make you regret it and you would feel 10 times worse for breaking NC. You’re thinking that you want him back but believe in yourself, YOU DON’T. He will not be changed.

  24. Moving On says:

    Boy did my ex eum try to pull this 2 months ago. We had broken up because he “can’t be what I need” which is a normal man in a relationship that doesn’t exclude me from his life all the time and gets black out drunk every weekend, not much to ask right? Well when he decided he couldn’t be those things it ended and he pushed friends hard even though from day one I told him no way and that we needed time to heal. When I went no contact to excuses for contact came rushing in and he would call me saying “you can hate me, but my mom loves you and needs your help to get a job through your recruiter contact” , what a joke. When he called and left a message and I didn’t answer I literally just texted the woman’s name and number and didn’t even say hi. At that point he went on to day after he talked to her how nice she was, and was looking for every excuse for a way into my life again. Sad part is, his idea of friends was to tell me he loves me, misses me, cry to me about how he can’t change and it hurts so bad, and we even hooked up several times after the breakup. Some friend, Huh!? EUMs use a favor as an excuse back in your life and to break contact and once again marginalize your needs to their liking. We don’t owe them anything, they can get help ELSEWHERE.

    • Little Star says:

      Moving, thank you for your post, especially the last centence: “We don’t owe them anything, they can get help ELSEWHERE”. Oh yes, no more headaches, sleepless nights and fleeting thoughts (as Sandy mentioned) for me about these useless assclowns !!! Alliluah;)

      • shattered says:

        I know I don’t the ex AC anything after he did a disappearing act – then reappeared at a social event with another woman – who he introduced me to as a ‘good friend’. After sleeping with me for 2 years! NC is OK but he sent me a text to say he’s in hospital, so I replied saying hope it all goes well. He’s probably home now but my best friend is horrified that I haven’t been in touch with him to see that he’s Ok or send him a card. I don’t feel inclined to, after the way he treated me. I don’t hate him but I don’t want to keep in touch. Am I being horrible?

        • shattered says:

          I meant to say I don’t OWE the ex AC anything!

        • JustHer says:

          Shattered,

          NO. You’re not being horrible. He’s HER problem now. If you want to feel sorry for someone, start by donating for the typhoon in Philippines. They could do with better care than he deserves.

        • Allison says:

          Shattered,

          YOUR FRIEND IS WRONG!!!

          Hell no! You do not owe this man a thing. He disappeared on you, after two years of dating. Terrible!

          • shattered says:

            Thank you both. You’re right. I’ve resolved to keep NC.

            • gyserboy says:

              Please do keep your resolve and listening to your gut makes more sense i.e. your inclination to not do anything considering his past less than honourable behaviour of you. He has been released from hospital meaning he is perfectly fine with time obviously now going to take care of his recovery. You were too polite to even respond to his initial text of his hospital stay. Your best friend really is not thinking of you rather him which is quite odd and sad on her part. You know what is best for you so please do stick to your resolve!!! He did the most cruelest of things in fading-out on you after two years so best you remain that way…faded-out and genuinely disinterested. Much strength and warm smiles your way :)

        • gyserboy says:

          And a resounding NO you are not being horrible. People will come and go in your life, you treasure the ones who bring much meaning and definitely learn from those who do not with an additional no contact/no keeping in touch response.

  25. Moving On says:

    Kristen,

    I blocked my ex with IOS 7 too! It’s a world of peace isn’t it? I’m sure he’s going nuts not being able to control me :) sucks to be him!

    • Peanut says:

      Moving On,

      YES. I come across women who complain, “My ex contacted me last night, then three nights ago, and such and such…” (They want the attention.)

      My response, “Block him.” I get, “But, I did and he called my mom’s house so that doesn’t work; why bother?”

      My response, “Block him from your mom’s number and re-block him from your phone.”

      I did it. Yeah, it was incredibly painful, but we are the ones who control if we move on or not.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        When you block you have to be thorough, making sure they can’t get to you in any way, shape or form because they will try. They can’t take the rejection. This is why when you go NC, YOU hold the power, not them.

        • Peanut says:

          Tink,

          YEsss. It is not about us or how awesome we are; it is about their suffering egos.

          They don’t give a flip about us. If they did they wouldn’t have been jerks in the first place.

  26. Moving On says:

    LostinNYC-

    The answer is loving yourself. You won’t need that validation after you begin to. Once you love you, you don’t care what these losers think. He’s not worth it, I would cut contact permanently. Go out with you friends and family and enjoy life. It will not only get you to forget this guy but may bring new ones into your life. Just focus on how he makes you feel during those anxious times and you’ll soon realize you’re better off forgetting him.

  27. espresso says:

    I love this description about the waiting when you KNOW they are not going to say anything real or that would address what happened but they want something from you and are dependent on you being flattered by their attention or a few little crumbs being tossed your way…..

    It isn’t holding a grudge to be distant and not want to get involved again if they can’t even show respect for or acknowledge how the relationship ended. I can see this outside my marriage and don’t fall for it (I hope) but I lived a different version in my marriage. My ex moves through life without a memory of his impact on others like a goldfish in a bowl reacting with surprise each time he sees the underwater plant, so he would say and do very unsupportive things and then let time go by and instead of EVER bringing anything up he would act all nicey nice a little while later when he wanted to pretend everything was all right cause it made HIM happier and of course was a way of him believing that I was “all right with what had happened.” It happened all the time and actually made me ill but it confused me and got me back into the “am I overreacting question spiral and if I did raise it I got emotionally pulverized so it was just a huge big battle. It is just one of the things that when I think about it – brings hot, white seething fury at his manipulation, dishonesty and the way I responded although I felt I was sort of like a boxer trying to “figure my way” out of things. Ugh.

    I had an old friend turn up in my life a few months ago…who cut me off years ago when we didn’t hire her husband to do a house renvo project although it was clear to him and her that we were entertaining several bids. He bid 50% more than the person we chose and even PAID him for putting in the bid but this woman never spoke to me again or tried to make contact although we worked in similar areas. She moved away but has come back to my city wanting to resettle here and has been writing to say that she wants to see me and have me in her life because I am “one of her most favourite people ever.” What a joke. That is shameless and I haven’t bitten.

  28. noquay says:

    Pauline
    No there won’t be anyone to dance with. Our campus is quite small, I know everyone, their spouse, their dogs. Yep if I had a guy of my choosing on my arm, that I could dance with, I’d dress to the nines and go. I really feel my pretty limited spare time should be spent either trying to meet someone of my choosing, which would need to by way outside the community or being in the woods, not stuck at the singles table, having to watch others dance (I am a terrific dancer) and feeling horribly alone and sad. Yep, to a degree, he has some measure of control, at least in a limited social sense. The lack of desirable options for me is the far bigger issue and the cause of responding to ACs advances in the first place. I feel that I no longer can play the “OK with being the old maid” role any longer. If I am going to be uncomfortable with a social situation, especially work related where I know I am going to feel alone, I don’t go. New folks do not show up at these things. I do put on gatherings of my own where good folks are invited and go to other’s homes as well where AC will not be. Otherwise I now try and keep my social life as far from work (generally about 100 miles away) as possible. Since my reality is that leaving the area right now would destroy my retirement savings and I really do not wish to work in my academic field in my old(er)age, I am doing what I can to minimize my sadness.

    • Pauline says:

      Noquay,

      After reading BR for some time and the stories from everyone where we have all been screwed over, abused, used and being treated with a total absence of love care and respect by these shady assclowns I get angry, really angry at times, when we are still trying to pick up the pieces of our lives and the assclowns blithely go on to their next victim without a care in the world.
      It also makes me angry when bright, smart and intelligent women are treated like some sort of social disease or threat because we’re single. I was recently at a catered luncheon where all the single people were told to wait until all the married couples had sat down first and then we could see if any seats were left for us.
      WTF! We had all paid our money but it seems they can’t add simple arithmetic and they had only catered for x amount of people and too bad, so sad if you were single, you would miss out. Suffice to say we ignored this piece of stupidity and sat down anyway. BTW the lunch wasn’t that good, neither was the champagne! Can’t see these people getting any more business, that comment offended a lot of people not just the singles.
      Single men on the other hand are treated as social assets even if they are actively dribbling down their shirt fronts, or can’t keep it zipped up in their pants and are then somehow excused for their appalling behaviour, usually by other women who are only too happy to scoop them up, god only knows why.
      I’m raving here so I’ll get off my soapbox.
      All the best in your difficult situation noquay, I’m sure you will have a great time no matter what you do.

  29. Namaste says:

    “We’re family (said in my best Peggy Mitchell from Eastenders voice). If I wanna cuss you down, blank you, have a ridiculous argument with you and then never speak about it again and expect you to act like nothing happened, I can. We’re family!”
    There’s a member of my family that seems to think the above ‘we’re family’ excuse is reason enough to carry blithely on and that we’re supposedly in agreement. To avoid an argument I don’t call her on it but I feel like this statement has gotten in the way of my relationship with her ever improving. She has now moved to another province which doesn’t solve anything, just leaves me feeling sad about the situation. I am in contact but I feel awkward when we do talk.

  30. noquay says:

    Pauline
    You’re speaking truth girl. I have never felt so devalued as I have since I’ve come West. Ironically, I was talking to a male colleague and friend about another male colleague, a real wounded bird who had to be thrown out of a meeting due to extreme inconsiderate behavior. This guy is far from attractive, often a real “Debbie downer” yet colleagues bend over backwards to set him up with women. Noquay, on the other hand, is expected to totally embrace being alone and if I dare even mention that I feel alone, I am being “negative”. I am sure that if I pulled even half the crap this guy does, or one quarter of the crap the AC does, my brown a$$ would be outta there pronto. In many places, it truly is still only a man’s world. Yep, Pauline, if I can avoid people and situations that make me feel uncomfortable or hurt, I do just fine. Went to an eco film showing that was AC free; even though I am 20 years older than most of the attendees, who were family types with toddlers (very different from Planet Noquay) I did just fine. Some of the younger generation does give me hope that this community may one day heal and be whole.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Noquay,

      Just saw this post while looking back over old ones. I don’t agree with Pauline when she said you shouldn’t allow him to dictate where you go, etc. That thought didn’t occur to me, because I’ve known you a wee bit longer on BR and I “get” that you don’t give a damn about him or what he thinks. Therefore, he doesn’t have the power to influence what you do. I understand your tremendous love for peace and harmony, the quietness of the outdoors at night, caring for your hen or other animals. You are at such a higher level of humanity that I’m sure most folks around you cannot even fathom. Enjoy your night doing what YOU want to do. I can’t see you doing anything to create a false impression for ANYONE much less trying to show the AC that you’re so unaffected by him, etc. Who cares? Not you. Go, girl. Be blessed.

  31. Peanut says:

    This is a tough one for us inverted ego sufferers. “Where will they go?” “What will happen to them?” “I’ll be so responsible for it.”

    NO.

    This reminds me of a recent personal horror story. I moved in with my grandparents about five years ago. At first, I remember seeing a roach or two in the kitchen. My response: “Oh, hey there friend. Aren’t you cute. I won’t hurt you like those others.” (Sound familiar?)

    Fast forward a year or so and I kept noticing more and more. Then, one night I opened our garage door to find fifty or so, who no doubt wanted to make their way into the house.

    After countless run ins with the little fuckers, I am done. I called a trusted exterminator, and I hope he kills every one of them and their babies, too.

    The thing is, with these creatures, unlike a spider or two, or a lady bug and such, they will take the fuck over. Seriously, I’ve seen houses coated in them. They have no limits to how much they breed. Again, they will coat an establishment.

    These roaches don’t give a fuck about me. And, yes, they can carry and spread disease. They don’t care if they make me or my grandparents sick. They’re just happy to take what isn’t theirs.

    Sound familiar?

    Unavailable men are just. like. roaches.

    It’s uncanny.

    • Peanut says:

      Correction. It’s not that there isn’t a biological limit to how much they can breed. It’s that there isn’t (that we know of) any logical thought process like, “Geeezz, we should probably stop having all these babies before the inhabitants of this house try and kill us all.”

  32. Peanut says:

    I used to basically be on call to my family, friends, and anyone who give me attention. Now? Not so.

    It’s so funny to watch how pissed they get and then it’s incredibly gratifying to hear myself reasonably and assertively stand up for myself every time they get shady and disgruntled thinking they can pull a one over guilt trip on me. Not gonna happen. Not gonna work.

    I am nobody’s call girl or bitch in any way and assigning this role to me will get you a truth whipping real, real fast. Sheesh. The audacity.

    I may be a cute looking small in stature adult, but nonetheless I am an ADULT. Thanks to BR I’m in the know about how to expect and demand reasonable treatment or I’m out. Just because I’m quirky does not mean I don’t know the ropes of how to be treated healthily. I get typecasted and need to show people I’m not ineptly nuts, just different, eccentric and I am not a child.

  33. […] really liked this post by Natalie over at Baggage Reclaim about dealing with people who disappear from your life, and […]

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!