No-Contact Mother's Day Blog

Coping With the Pain of No-Contact on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day can be an extremely difficult holiday, especially if you no longer have a healthy relationship with your mother. For those of you, who have decided to go no-contact, it can be extremely difficult to watch other people celebrating with their mother. You may even still long for your mother in some ways. Here are some tips to help you cope with Mother’s Day if you have a toxic mother.

1) Create meaning.  It’s important that you interpret what Mother’s Day, or any holiday for that matter – means to you. It’s easy to go along with the commercial meaning of the holiday – buying mom flowers, taking her out to brunch, and perhaps even giving a fancy gift. In other words, express love with material gifts. Reconfigure the meaning of Mother’s Day to what works for you. Perhaps it’s just a normal day, a commercialized day that’s overrated, or a day that you celebrate other moms in your life, or a day where you observe the loss of your mother. You decide what works for you.

2) Be authentic and true to yourself. As you reflect on going no-contact with your mother, recognize that this is what is needed for you to thrive in your life at this time. Going no-contact is your way of self-preservation, so that you are able to be the best version of yourself that you can be without having to endure abuse or negativity from someone who is supposed to love you and have your best interest at heart.

3) Recognize you don’t have control over who your parents are. You don’t control over the family that you are born into. Thus, you may have to endure a lot from your mom until you become a legal adult. We develop strategies to survive a toxic parent as children. However, when you become an independent adult, you can consciously choose to cut your toxic parent out of your life. You can replace your toxic mother with a maternal figure, who is emotionally healthy, and fulfills your need for a mom.

4) Decide what a mother is to you. This is another area where you get to interpret what a mother means to you. Figure out how you define a mom and assign the appropriate role accordingly. You may even decide to take denounce the title of “mother” from your own biological mother and give her another title such “the woman who birthed me.”

5) Create a positive space for yourself. Recognize and understand that Mother’s Day is only temporary, and that it will be over in a matter of hours. Plan ahead of time how you want to spend your day. Maybe you would like to stay off social media, or perhaps you want to spend the day pampering yourself, or spend it celebrating other mother’s in your life.

6) Mourn the idea of the mother you lost. A lot of times when people reminisce about their narcissist mother, they often think of the potential of that parent. Romanticizing what characteristics your parent should have had is not uncommon. Instead of fantasizing about the person your mother should have been, write down the positive traits that you wish she had, and use that to identify an alternate maternal figure for yourself.

7) Reflect on what your mother missed out on with you. When you have a narcissistic parent, they spend a lot of time trying to change you or convince you to be something different. Instead of doing that, create a list of all the things that you accomplished. You are a survivor and a thriver, among other things. Your mother really lost a huge opportunity to be a part of your life. List the qualities and accomplishments that you are proud of. Ask others what they admire or like about you if you feel stuck.

8) Practice forgiveness. Forgiving isn’t for everyone. However, when you forgive someone, you let go of the idea that they owe you something, and the feelings of resentment and contempt. Thus, by forgiving someone you no longer allow that person or the negative feelings that you have about that person to take control over you. So forgiveness, is releasing the power that your mother had, and thus you are reclaiming your life back.

Mother’s Day can be difficult for you if you are going no contact. However, by making a conscious effort to take care of yourself and move on, the pain decreases over time. While it may be difficult to be at peace with your decision to go no-contact, recognize that you made the decision to preserve the quality of your life.

To watch the video version of this blog, please visit A Date With Darkness’ YouTube channel. This blog is also available on www.adatewithdarkness.com. Please also see the quick reference guide below for a reminder of tips and suggestions. 

Copyright © 2019 Dr. Natalie Jones, PsyD, LPCC

Disclaimer: Please note that this blog is not meant to be substituted for treatment with a licensed mental health professional. Please also note, that recommendations don’t apply to everyone or every situation. This blog is educational content only.

Infographic for No Contact on Mother's day

Quick reference guide for ways to honor going no-contact with your mom on Mother’s Day.

Unhealthy Methods of Self-Soothing

dysfunctional-self-soothing-habits

Dysfunctional Self-Soothing Habits

Unhealthy Methods of Self-Soothing

This year has been incredibly stressful. Between COVID19, BLM movement, political unrest, racially police killings, salary losses due to budget cuts, and so much more; we find ourselves trying to cope with trauma, stress, and manage our relationships in unique ways. We do the best we can, while trying to stay strong for ourselves and our family – in isolation. Social distancing aka isolation has been challenging for those who desire in person connections. In addition to the new challenges of the pandemic in 2020, the burden of stressors have increased exponentially. Thus, we look for ways to manage our stress which we think will make us feel better; and it does momentarily. We engage in these coping mechanisms to achieve the desired effects of self-soothing. Some common ways of unhealthy self-soothing include:

  • Spending money incessantly. Raise your hand if you have been engaging in more retail therapy to deal with stress. Has Amazon or online shopping in general has become your new best friend? There is something about clicking a button and having something brand new delivered to your house the very next day that is gratifying.
  • Substance abuse. In order to escape the emotional turmoil or relax after a long day, we may come to pour several glasses of wine or perhaps even smoking marijuana. Drugs and alcohol allow us to emotionally escape and feel numb, if even only for a little while. Before you know it, what was once an occasional indulgence turns into an everyday ritual.
  • Emotional eating or abstaining from eating. Food is easily accessible and affordable in most cases. We use food to comfort us when feeling distressed. Feeling upset – eat ice-cream, feeling stressed out after a long day at work – order pizza. We often turn to carb and sugars to make us calm down, relax, or just to feel good in general. On the other hand, there are those who stress out so much that they stop eating altogether. Stress has exacerbated them so much mentally that they physically lose the desire to nourish their bodies.
  • Spending excessive time at work. On the surface, spending a lot of time at work can appear to be a good thing. You feel like you are overachieving, staying productive, and dedicated to getting your job done. By digging a little deeper, one can see that spending copious amounts of time at work is a defense mechanism where one may be attempting to avoid problems at home. Spending time at work becomes a welcome escape to not have to deal with issues at home.
  • Using Band-Aid tactics to fix relationship problems. Instead of addressing relationship problems with our significant others or family members, we use other things to move on past the situation quickly. Some examples include: buying material things, having a baby, taking a trip, relocating, or renewing vows just to name a few things. These things by themselves do not cause issues, however many people embark on these endeavors with the idea that this wonderful thing will fix all of the problems in the relationship.
  • Avoidance of conflict. Sometimes we may avoid conflict or having to deal with a difference of opinion. The way that we do this is by ghosting people or avoiding our obligations to them. With respect to ghosting, in this context, it does not reference toxic people that need to be cut off; but more of the people who avoid coming home after work, who avoid talking to their children or significant others just because they don’t want to hear their problems, problems in the relationship, or deal with the stress of someone else in general.
  • Projecting blame onto others. To avoid dealing with our own issues within our lives, we take it out on the person that is closest to us. We may be a little more edgy, irritable, or pick irrelevant fights with the ones that we love, simply because they are there.
  • Depending on others to fix responsibilities. We avoid our responsibilities altogether because we are so checked out or overwhelmed. We procrastinate and put things off. We may look to our significant others or someone close to us to fix it for us, thereby creating a relationship that is codependent.
  • Self-harm. When someone has difficulty coping with emotions, sometimes they feel better through engaging in activity that physically help them to release pain. Self-harm can come in may forms such as hitting, burning, cutting, scratching yourself.
  • Sex. Sex can be a release. It can come in many forms from masturbation, pornography, hooking up with strangers and various other things that we do to quell anxious energy and fulfill the needs of instant gratification.
  • Gambling. Gambling is another impulsive activity that is easily addictive and can cause you to get caught up in instant gratification – that is until you lose. Some people who engage in gambling are so caught up in the high of winning or winning potential, that they find it difficult to stop and face reality.
  • Refusing to be proactive in problem-solving and leaving it up to a higher power or chance to fix issues. There are those that choose to leave problem-solving to luck, God, prayers, or karma. You’ve probably heard some of these before “give it to God, he will take care of it” or “all we can do is pray about it” or even “karma is a bitch.” While not disregarding the power of a higher being or beliefs about chances in life; there is a dismissiveness about sitting back and not being proactive about problem-solving. Sometimes life requires more than just prayer or karma, and let’s not forget – if you believe in God or some other higher power; there are tools that are placed in your life to help you be more proactive in dealing with things in life.

If this blog resonates with you and you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Natalie Jones, PsyD, LPCC to see how we can work together through counseling, consulting, or coaching, or other media projects please click here for a consultation. Please note that advice is not given during a consultation, and that potential counseling clients must be a resident in California.

If you would like for me to be a guest contributor to a media outlet, please schedule a meeting here.

If you want to let me know what you thought of this blog, please email [email protected].

Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for treatment with a licensed mental health professional.

© 2021 Dr. Natalie Jones, PsyD, LPCC. This blog falls under the intellectual property of www.drnataliejones.com, and should not be copied without the writer’s consent. Please use the appropriate social media tabs to share the blog.

Fighting for Divorce and Custody With the Narcissist, Featuring Steven Peskind, Esq.

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A Date With Darkness Podcast is hosted by Dr. Natalie Jones, Psyd, LPCC, a licensed psychotherapist in California. Join Dr. Jones for an intimate discussion about the effects of abuse and healing from relationship trauma. 

Steven Peskind, Esq. owner of Peskind Law Firm in IL, joins us today for a candid conversation on his expertise in divorce law. Mr. Peskind shares how complicated things get when trying to divorce a narcissistic spouse. He explains how toxic spouses would rather spend more money engaging in high conflict battles over assets, custody, and visitation rights rather than coming to a peaceful resolution. Lastly, Mr. Peskind discusses red flags of divorces that have the potential to have grave consequences.

*Please note: Information provided episode is considered to be educational information and suggestions. It may not be suitable for everyone, and the information provided should not be substituted for treatment with a licensed mental health practitioner.

Books Mentioned:

Divorce in Illinois, by Steven N. Peskind

The Laws of Human Nature, by Robert Greene

To connect with attorney Steven Peskind, Esq., visit: his website
Facebook: @peskindlawfirm
For the video version of this podcast please visit: A Date With Darkness Youtube Channel

Email questions/comments/suggestions to Dr. Jones at [email protected]
Visit the website for more information: https://www.adatewithdarkness.com
Let’s keep the conversation going via social media:
Instagram: A Date With Darkness
Twitter: @Adatewdarkness
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To connect with others who are seeking support from hurtful and abusive relationships please join the Facebook group: A Date With Darkness group

Check out this episode!

angry argument breakup

Conflict Tactics of Destructive Relationships