Breaking Our Narc Addiction: The Truth About Suffering

no-sufferingMentally letting go of the narcissist is never going to happen as fast as we’d like unless we starting taking credit for recovery time served. If we did that…if we realized that there are phases to the suffering post-break-up with a narcissist and that, for the most part, we’ve moved through them successfully without even knowing it, we wouldn’t be so inclined to give up and go back from whence we came – to the very person that caused us the initial grief.

Simply put, to break our addiction to the narcissist, we have to understand what all the suffering really means. I’m going to try to explain it so that everyone can find a place of peace. Believe me, when you “get it”, you can rest assured that recovery is around the corner.

If we gave ourselves the suffering credit that we deserve…if we weren’t so willing to give in and give up… we’d eliminate – at that point – the compulsion to break no-contact because we would know that it wasn’t the narcissist we were even missing!

Okay, Zari, what the fuck are you talking about?

I’m saying that we become The Suffering. It’s part of the game that we play with the narcissist and we’re left with the residuals. Most of us don’t realize that, when the final break-up with a narcissist occurs, our sadness and grief is actually less about the loss of the relationship than it is about the fact that we’ve become the suffering that was associated with it.

If you think about it, we spend far more time with The Suffering than we ever do with the narcissist himself/herself…so it’s natural to become attached to it. The sadness becomes a familiar connection…it keeps us in the loop all by itself. This is why the narcissist likes to keep us anxious and off-balance. His theory is that as long as we’re suffering, he can feel fairly confident that we’ll always be in the queue. For the most part, his theory is right but we have the power to change that by, say, believing in a “theory” like mine – that we can get past the suffering and out of the fucking queue much quicker if we first realize that it’s not all about him. We just think that it is.

It’s been weeks…months! I don’t even want the motherfucker back. So why am I so unhappy? All I want to do is cry. What the hell is wrong with me?

Nothing is wrong with you but there are two phases of suffering. Listen carefully. Time and time again, in consultations, I hear this: Why am I still so sad? I don’t even want him back! What’s wrong with me? The person I’m speaking with is usually beside themselves with self-doubt. I explain that this particular form of cognitive dissonance is a good thing and that it’s different from the cognitive dissonance that makes us doubt the narcissist is even a narcissist. When you’ve reached the point of feeling nuts over the fact that you still feel sad, the worst of the suffering is actually over. You’ve passed through the first phase. In other words, you are no longer in denial!

zari-ballard-consult-supportIt’s during that first phase that people will ask me “Are you sure he’s/she’s a narcissist? Are you sure?” (to which I typically respond, “The fact that you’re calling me tells me you already know the answer to that.”) Still, they may struggle or choose not to believe me. Two phone calls later, when I hear “He’s a narcissist. I don’t even like him! Why am I’m still crazy sad?”, I know that they’ve moved on to phase two and are now attached only to the sadness itself  and while this attachment is actually more bittersweet than being attached to the narcissist, it’s far easier to let go of!

The problem is that the second phase of suffering is where it becomes dangerous because if we don’t understand it, we can easily give in to the depression and go back. This is why, if right now you are feeling the compulsion to make contact even though you’ve accepted the reality, it is imperative that you pay attention to what I’m trying to say. Listen up – you’re NOT crazy!

The feeling of having to let go – to be free of the madness – is often difficult to appreciate. I didn’t get it either at first. When my ex finally walked out (after 13-years), never to return, I couldn’t even cry – I knew it had to end. Yet three months later, I still felt crazy with undeniable grief. It took me awhile to understand that my attachment to the narc was long over. It was my attachment to the suffering itself that I had to get over…my addiction to the very drama that I hated…and THAT I could handle!

Get Better…Get Zari’s Book!

At first we miss the delusions because although the madness wasn’t pleasant, it wasn’t dull either.  Being caught up in all that drama and chaos sure kept us occupied and on the edge of our seats. When all the narcissistic noise subsides, the silence is so deafening that we don’t even realize that we are coming back to SANITY. And believe it or not, Zen Therapy and Buddhist Philosophy will tell you that after madness, the first phase of SANITY may not infrequently be a form of depression. I swear to you, this is the way it works! Look it up! You don’t need professional therapy, you just to move through it. THIS TOO SHALL PASS – AND QUICKLY!

I’m done with the N and now I’m just stuck on the sadness. Everyone is sick of it and so am I.  How do I get through the final phase?

By realizing this: our suffering changes nothing. When we’re with the narcissist, we suffer because we think it’s going to change something – either with the narc or the relationship – but it never does. For instance, when my ex would disappear or go silent I would suffer like no tomorrow, day after day, until he returned. I just couldn’t help it. The silent treatment was his favorite “punishment”. Then one day, I switched it up, deciding to have a ball while he was gone, and what do ya know? He still returned. Suffering or not, the result was the same. Pretty soon, I was counting down the days until my next “vacation”.

The same way that you were able to move past phase one of suffering (missing the narcissist) without even knowing it – by accepting the truth – is how we get through phase two. Understand in your heart that our suffering changes not a fucking thing. It doesn’t change the world, our world, the narcissist’s world, the past, the future…not a thing. We can curl up in the fetal position, lose ten pounds, and even feel suicidal and the universe and everything in it just keeps moving. As I said, in many ways, the final phase – the final “let go” before mental freedom – is often that bittersweet sadness that makes our heart shatter…like the ending to a really sad movie. But the truth is that the movie is OVER and it’s time to exit the cinema.

When you get to the point that you still feel sad even though you KNOW you don’t miss the N, believe me, it’s done. Hold all that useless suffering – the suffering that changes not a thing – in the palm of your hand and blow it the biggest good-by kiss ever.

Think about it…if we can come to realize and accept that all the love in our hearts can’t convince a narcissist to care about right from wrong, then we can certainly realize that our suffering changes nothing and choose to be happy.


zari - narcissist-abuse-support




  • Jay

    January 8, 2017 at 10:25 am Reply

    Hi Zari,
    I have been reading your site and it has helped me start my recovery, which is very difficult and so, so painful. I want to share my very graphic and awful story. I am a 26 year old gay man, and he is 42.

    In late 2014, I met my would-be boyfriend. The first date was full of charm, excitement and left me feeling as though this guy really was interested in me.
    We hit it off quite instantly and decided to jump into something more serious. I should’ve waited, but I was so young and completely naive.

    The relationship was fantastic for 6 months, he truly seemed like Mr Right.

    On one night, I woke up at about 2am and wanted to see the time. My phone was flat so I checked his.
    To my absolute horror, I found many emails from a site called C*mtree, a site for people to sell sex for money. The emails were mostly from African male prostitutes/rentboys, with extremely large penises.

    I can’t even begin to describe the pain and anxiety that went through my body that night. It was terror, and shock. I wanted to die on the spot. When i awoke him in my state, he asked me if I had taken pills… I showed him his phone in my hand, with tears all over my face. His response was “OK. Do you want me to leave?” Sure as hell, he left. No ‘Sorry’ or any form of responsibility.

    Shattered, the next day I phoned him and asked why? Who? For what???

    He told me he had not been taking our relationship seriously and would really appreciate it if I could find it in my (broken) heart to forgive him and try again.

    I did.

    Within a week i found new emails from the prostitute site.

    I left him.

    Repeat this process a couple of times and before I knew it, he would say things like “I like sleeping around, you can either accept it or leave, I don’t care!”

    What’s scary is that I did. I was completely devastated and depressed. I lived each day feeling like an absolute NOTHING.

    Then it got worse…

    One day at work, he phoned me, and in a calm voice he told me I needed to get tested. He told me he has HIV.

    Completely broken down and mortified at what I mightve done to my life by staying with this awful person, I went with him to a doctor to be relieved that I am Negative.

    When we got back into his vehicle, he started crying. Showing emotions like I’ve never seen. He told me he was scared to be alone, and he has fucked his entire life up. This trick worked on me and I decided to stay with him, and we would not have sex.

    This didn’t even change him. I couldn’t find evidence of cheating but he treated me like dirt.

    Then one day, I left him. I met someone new, it was shortlived but it helped to distract me from my N.
    Not much longer he managed to hoover me right up with his confessions and apologies, Sorry’s, I love you and only you’s.

    As you can imagine, things got even worse. Every 5 minutes he would be break up with me. I begged him to take me to a counsellor so we could fix our problems. Eventually he did, and it was a bad idea. I opened up so much in the sessions that he would use it as ammunition afterwards.

    He would always tell me that I am not going anywhere in life, my hair looks bad, I’ve let my body go, I need a better job, I don’t make enough money.

    I couldn’t do it anymore. I researched Narcissism (here I am!) and felt as though I had been blind this entire relationship.

    On New Years Day 2017, he told me he does not love me anymore, that I annoy him, I’m immature, and he can’t deal with it anymore. I lost it, I told him he is the epitome of a Narcissist and he will always chase the people that try to love him away, and I feel so sorry for the next person he manages to con.

    He hasn’t tried to contact me again, but it’s early days. I am still depressed but I have hope. Mostly, I’m sad about the last few years of my life that have been completely ruined and left me in emotional pain and devastation. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm Reply

      Hi Jay,

      That is a very sad story, my friend. I understand your pain but I also appreciate the fact that you told him like it is. You told the truth and he didn’t like it. YOU DESERVE BETTER. This guy, especially because he has HIV, is going to have a hard time finding a partner and therefore he will be hounding you until the end of time. Do not allow this…see it for what it is, painful or not. You are going to need support to stay strong. Consider booking some time with me, brother, so we can work on strategies for you sticking to your guns. YOU CAN PICK UP THE PIECES. Do not give up…you sound like a very compassionate, loving person and you deserve to be happy.

      Zari xo

    • Caro

      January 10, 2017 at 8:08 pm Reply

      Wow, Jay. Your ex is a total fucking asshole. I’m so sorry you went through that. Stay strong and stay no contact. This guy is scum, and he doesn’t even sound decent, smart or interesting.

  • Pam

    October 19, 2016 at 3:57 pm Reply

    It simply amazes me how these pathetic pieces of s—- ever got born in the first place. I was with a Narc (of the Grandiose Variety) for 8 long years and you just wouldnt believe all the MF hell he put me thru. I didnt know it at first that he was a pathological liar, cheating son of a bitch from hell who would cheat on me behind my back and then try to turn it around and displace his guilt onto me and accuse me of cheating on him and with such force that he would be mean and nasty about it and then tell me time and time again he was going to leave me because he wasnt going to put up with my lies and deceit anymore (wtf?) and he was the guilty one, not me. And then in between sometimes he would suddenly feel guilty for treating me so badly and write me a letter begging for forgiveness ( right) for whatever twisted reasoning in his head and then it wouldnt be long until he started in again being mean, lying to me, cheating behind my back etc.I even had one bitch send me an email saying how she had f…. him and that he said he couldnt stand me and how he wished some of his druggie friends would do me in. (MF Jerk). I hacked into his emails accounts and saw all kinds of infidelity there you wouldnt believe. I couldnt leave the house without coming back and him instantly accusing me of being at some guys house f… him and all I had done was go to a bunch of stores and do my shopping. Things got worse and he started hitting me and one day hit me so hard it knocked the wind out of me. He would chase me down the hall and started breaking my things and almost completely destroyed my computer. He put holes in my walls and stabbed my things with a butcher knife, stuck a gun in my face and threatened me. But Stupid me just had to forgive him after I threw him out. Then when He went to prison for 3 years for not paying his child support. I made the mistake of helping him the whole time he was in there with money or phone minutes anytime he needed it (fool) and I even helped defend his case the first time and helped him get 5 yrs probation instead of federal time (2 yrs) so then he fucks it up and ends up going to prison anyway. I should have known better that his niceness in prison was just another put on phony act to just take advantage of me and believe it or not I found out that this monster was cheating on me behind my back while he was in prison with two other women that I know of and who knows who else and spouting at the same time how he was going to marry me when he got out. Yeah right. If it wasnt for me he would have never even made it thru parole. I got him both of his fucking jobs, I enrolled him in college, I got him into a program for veterans that paid him money while he went to school and he even promised to send me 500 a month to help me out with my bills and I never saw one red cent . He was getting about 4-5000 a month between the benefits and student loans and grants and I was barely getting by and having to do something I wont mention to get by and pay my bills. (the feds made him do his parole 1600 miles away from me). He was even getting high at the halfway house before he got the apt from the housing program I helped him get into and even got him signed up for food stamps at one point. It wasnt long before he was back to his old ways and one night he was so messed up that he didnt realize that his webcam on his laptop was on and I caught him with another woman, I couldnt believe he was standing there telling that bitch that he doesnt know what to do anymore because he just cant seem to be able to get rid of me and that I just wont take a hint that he just cant stand me and that he has been trying to get rid of me for years but I just wont go away (I just about fell thru the floor when I heard that one) and then I watched her get on his bed and lay down and then he got on the bed and I watched him get behind her and start f—- her. And another instance when I was watching him on cam and caught him in another conversation with some other bitch admitting he was fucking her. I even saw emails between them saying what I knew was probably going on between them, I even traveled one time to see him in the middle of the winter 1600 miles and I had drove straight thru and was so tired I was mentally exhausted . I had only been there 6 hrs and all of a sudden he wanted me to leave and I didnt need to be driving in that state of mind but he made me leave anyway . Long story short I ended up having a major accident on the highway when my brakes went out on the ice and totaled my car all because he just had to make me leave and I rear ended the back end of a pick up truck and the airbags didnt deploy until after my head had hit the windshield and cracked the windshield. I had a black lump on my head the size of a grapefruit, my hand were bloody, my left arm and hand were black all the way to my elbow and I had a major concussion, My car was totaled to the tune of $8,000, I had no insurance and when I tried to call him screaming for help he wouldnt even answer the gd phone, I had to call one of his friends to come pick me up from the scene of the accident! The tow yard took and wouldnt give it back even after I paid the tow bill so I lost out on both. And that same night I was in so much pain I was literally screaming in agony because of my head concussion and what doe she do? He leaves for the rest of the night while I am suffering from my injuries and leaves me alone without any help. This monster had even previously threw a rock at my windshield of my car and cracked it and I had to replace it and took a key and ran it down the sides of my car . Fast forward : he finally gets off parole and comes back home and stupid me offers to help him with a place to stay until he gets some housing arranged. What a mistake that was,and what a fool I am, things never change, used and abused should be my middle name, I finally figure out that he never ever really loved me at all, I was just another notch in his belt for him, for Mr Player, cheater, liar, narcissist piece of shit. I even told him that to his face and sent him articles showing him exactly what he is but of course he says he is not the one who is a narc, its me. yeah right. I am sorry but I am NOT an attention whore who makes up lies and fabrications for attention or makes up fake stories to grab attention or calls me in the middle of the night when he is all messed up on something wanting to know what in the hell I am doing and who else is there with me ( and this is long after I finally threw him out for the last time. I had finally had enough of being ignored, he wouldnt even make love to me anymore and he even came into the bathroom one night and told me that I disgusted him so much that I made him sick and he threw up in the toilet right in front of me. I was so hurt it was beyond words. I had NEVER cheated or lied to this man not even once. I dont know how many times I cried and sobbed myself to sleep because I loved him so much iI just couldnt understand how he could be so cruel and hateful. He often got his jollies by making sure I was in misery. It got to the point that he wouldnt even kiss me anymore, all he wanted to do was get on some porn website on webcam and jack off while he was watching some other bitch on there and completely ignore me all night . Now he blames me for throwing him out. He still has the nerve to call me and tell me some lie that he was going to come over and see me but then never does etc etc etc. And if you think that is bad, one night I just happened to walk into the same casino he was at and I saw him and was going to go up to him with a big smile and say hi and I just about gave him a hug and he turned around and screamed at me: STOP STALKING ME!!! and I thought WTF???

    After all the hell he had put me thru for the last 8 years I have come to the conclusion that I need a man like I need a hole in my head. As far as I am concerned Men are just fucking jerks waiting for places to happen. I just turned 55 a few days ago and I dont need this shit. He is 63 yrs old and a player who will do anything with anyone. (Yes he is Bi and I heard him tell some guy one night he didnt like to have relationships with women) and that is coming from a guy who has been married twice and has 3 children with 3 different women. To sum it all up here is the story I made up about him:
    * This is the story of how ….uses women:

    …. goes thru women like he goes thru underwear. He meets one and
    since he is the type of guy who doesnt like to take responsibility for
    his part in the relationship, he puts all the blame on the woman.
    every time something goes wrong, its automatically the woman’s fault.
    See if he can put all the blame on her for everything that has gone
    wrong in the relationship then he wont have to take responsibility for
    it. And then when it comes time for him to break up with her, he
    wont have to feel bad about doing it because it will be all her fault.
    Yeah thats right. Its the old adage of the classic guilt trip in
    reverse. Every time he tells a lie, he turns it around and makes it
    her fault, he feels so much guilt that he has to place the blame
    elsewhere , so what does he do, he automatically starts accusing her
    of lying to him , knowing full well that she has never done such a
    thing and that is a crock of shit. But hey we have to place the guilt
    somewhere dont we. And then when he cheats behind her back, oh dear,
    we need a way to cover that guilt too so that we dont have to take
    responsibility for it , so he starts accusing her of cheating on him,
    I mean , down right bald face accusory mean shit that he throws right
    in her face with such force that she almost actually feels she is to
    blame for his anger. She is so hurt by his accusations that she
    begins to wonder what she ever did to deserve such treatment. Well if
    she is a smart woman she will realize what a game player she is with
    and wake up and realize that she is being played big time. And along
    with the lack of responsibility crap we have the mind control crap,
    the control issues crap, the do as I say and not as I do crap etc.
    yeah when …. first meets a woman he has to go all out , in order to
    gain her complete trust , so what does he do, he sweet talks her and
    tells her anything and everything she wants to hear just so he can
    get down her pants . oh yeah, hes one of those kind of guys that will
    tell you just exactly what you want to hear even if its not the truth
    just to take advantage of you. And when you have given him everything
    that he wants , then thats when the boredom stage appears and he
    starts becoming tired of you. He finds a way to constantly pick a
    fight with you or find fault with you & everything you say or do etc.
    It doesnt matter what it is, he will find fault with it , with you and
    then pick it & you apart until he succeeds in driving you crazy or
    making you so mad that you go off and scream like a lunatic because of
    how you are being treated , and then you can be blamed too for the way
    he is treating you. Of course it is your fault because you are the one
    acting like a raging lunatic even though he provoked it. Its just
    another shift the blame tactic so he doesnt have to take
    responsibility for acting like a total jerk. You see he didnt have
    much of a role model to follow to learn how to have a REAL
    relationship from , He was never taught that you are supposed to treat
    the opposite sex with kindness , gentleness, compassion etc. He was
    never taught the real way to solve problems when they come up in a
    relationship. The only thing he knows is screaming , yelling, blaming,
    and not taking responsibility for his own bad actions. Apparently
    that role model had no conscious at all about treating women bad, he
    was probably a “male chauvinist” , a man who felt he had to put a
    woman in her place and to make her behave. Kind of like a bad parent
    that bullies a child. He probably saw someone abuse his wife like
    that and was led to believe it was the correct thing to do and taught
    that all women are like children. They need to be pushed around, led
    around by the nose and when they didnt obey, slapped around and made
    sure they were put in their place.

    When he finally grows tired of being with you and he decides to end
    the relationship, then he just starts dropping little hints here and
    there that he is on his way out, or he wants out of the relationship,
    by making crap up that isnt even true, or saying he is planning on
    leave the state soon (even if he cant afford to) making up sordid
    stories that he knows for a fact that you have cheated on him (when
    you havent) finding ways to start bs so he will get into a huge fight
    with you and somehow make it all your fault so he doesnt have to take
    the blame for breaking up with you. Oh yeah and this when it really
    turns nasty. The more he wants out, the more stops he pulls out to
    get to that breakup. and the more you resist and try to keep him from
    breaking up with you , the more he tries to pull away by making up
    excuses of why he cant or doesnt want to be around you, such as faking
    sickness, saying hes got a lot of work to do and there fore he wont be
    available. Calling you all times day and night just to pick a fight
    with you cause he figures if he drives you crazy enough, you may just
    get fed up with him first and then dump him so he wont have to take
    the responsibility of doing it himself..

    He is the type of guy that will put you thru hell & high water for the
    whole relationship. He will completely destroy your nerves and stress
    you out so bad you will want to throttle him and he will still assume
    that he is not doing anything wrong. when you try to complain about
    how you are being treated, he will find a way to turn his mistreatment
    into fantasy and act like he doesnt even know wtf u are talking about.
    Or if he just happens to catch you off guard , he will try to mind
    phukk you with reverse psychology and try to make you think that you
    don t even really know what is really going on or who is to blame.

    And if all this wasnt enough, we have a little bit of patronizing and
    making fun of you when you are down and out and the best one of all ,
    but certainly not the least.. , the “:drag you thru the mud game that
    leaves you totally broke & down in the gutter homeless game. That
    is the meanest trick of all. Now that he has phukked with your mind,
    its time to make sure you hit rock bottom too, so he throw in some
    physical abuse for an added touch. And of course he didnt do that
    either because you provoked it so that makes it ok to hit you. To
    hear him tell it , that fist of his doesnt have a mind of its own, in
    fact it doesnt even move dont you know. somehow somewhere out of the
    blue , for no apparent reason at all, you decided to attack him and
    thats how his fist just happen to run into your chest so hard that it
    knocked the wind out of you.


    This is the classic description of a user. He will use you for all he
    can get out of you, tell you he loves you when he really doesnt mean
    it or never really intended to mean it , promise you the moon , fully
    knowing he will never deliver, sweet talk you and get you to do
    everything that he wants and then when he gets tired of you and is
    tired of playing you and stringing you along, makes up a load of bs
    excuses for why things went wrong, places all the blame on you so he
    doesnt have to feel guilty for leaving and dumps you. The worse he can
    make you feel about the breakup and that it was all your fault, the
    less he has to feel responsible for dumping you. Dont you know thats
    what its all about ? women arent real people, they are just pawns to
    be used when men need entertainment. Kind of like porn & gambling &
    drugs, just something else to get your rocks off with when you get a
    little bored, just another useful diversion. another notch in the old
    belt? Yeah Women are one of those favorite past times dont you know.
    He’ll drink to that, just ask him.

    Aint that right…….

    Just ask …. Mr Narcissist himself. He’ll tell you all about it.
    But beware it will be all about him and he’ll leave you completely out
    of it. Or maybe you should ask the scared little boy inside of him
    that he hides behind. The one who is so scared of love or being loved
    that he acts like a spoiled brat to keep anyone from seeing his

    • Sick of BS

      January 16, 2017 at 12:08 am Reply

      Yes Pam, you FELL for it ALL…sadly, over & over. Why did U put up with it?…coz, somewhere in ur heart, U wanted to believe they WILL change…like U know U could, if U care enough.
      Welcome to the realisation…of REAL personality disorders…hard-wired brain disorders (registered with Mental Health aurthorities) dressed in a casing that looks normal (even possibly gd-looking), talks normal, may have a decent job, even has nice things to say on occasion. But that’s just it…it’s often just TALK & so easy to persuade ppl if they want U to believe them, esp if they are talking so NICE, at first. Unfortunately, many of us were NOT taught in school, or by our parents…to DISTRUST the person who just talks….even if they sound calm.
      As Dr Phil says…’benefit of the doubt’ is OUTDATED…everyone should be taken with a grain of salt…unless, U see them WALK the talk…not once, but over & over.
      And the old…”scared to be alone story”…believe me…U ARE on ur OWN when U know these psychos. I would rather be ALONE & have the chance to find myself & what I love, without criticism…than be with these controlling nut-jobs….& yes, it takes time. But, don’t allow urself to be delusional that being SINGLE (& healthy)…means u’r a social outcast or some old spinister that is no longer fuckable. A F*** is just a f***….it’s definitely NOT love or care, ESP, with the WRONG person.

  • Tamarco

    October 17, 2016 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Thanks for helping them. I was there before, it’s a mirror to how they see themselves.

  • Colleen

    August 20, 2016 at 2:29 pm Reply

    I love ur way of communicating. U voice my feelings/thoughts perfectly. And the knowledge re forgiveness and recovery is tremendously helpful and fine tuned for assistance in survival of narcissistic abuse.
    Thank u!

  • Debra

    August 17, 2016 at 4:08 am Reply

    Hi Zari,
    Thank you so much for all the insight and information you provide. I just ordered your book “When Love is a Lie” and can’t wait to read it. But I was wondering about your thoughts on Narcissism and alcohol abuse. My ExN was a closet drinker for 20 years. We were married for 25 years and when I stepped up the pressure that he get help, he abrubtly traded me in for another woman. It’s been almost 3 years and I’m still so sad and hurt. I’m really sick of feeling this way. I catch him driving by my house quite often and it is almost comforting to me. How sick is that!!! I have had no contact for over 2 years now but seem unable to totally let go of the suffering. I really hope your book can give me the help I need.Thank you for your thoughts! DD

  • ~Raven~with no wings to fly~

    August 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Hello everyone! I have the same feelings will this ever be ok again? Whatever ok was cause I barely recall it before my life was made into a big entertaining joke for the enjoyment of the soul sucking spirit crushing vulture aka my husband !?!? I saw the signs like most say that they do!?! But dismissed them as he needs to grow up etc…. But now on the other side
    Of 15yrs just about I feel like he skinned me alive and robbed me of what I had and was gonna be!?! & ran everyone I cared away mostly due to how they always say “‘omg why do
    You stay with him?!” Or “you allow it to happen” and until you have been thru hell that we have they should think before speaking!!! Its just like depression and how they say the worst thing to say “is get over it” …. I know I have so soooo much of a long story to tell and hopefully I can take time & share it here?!? But I feel so stuck and trapped!!! And it has become a daily fight to just live if I can honestly call it living now it is basically is like Groundhog Day over and over and I used to dread his night shift hours but now it gives me peace and quiet but very alone & lonely!!! He recently said out loud to me “you are acting weird? What ARE YOU up to”,…. *probably because I have chased him and begged him to change all while in my “coma” of depression where I only barely get up to pee!! & then search endlessly for answers to all of the fkry he has done to my head over all of his abuse, affairs/cheating, lying if his lips move!!! & the silent treatments that would make other narc/socipaths bow to him as their king!?!!! And then the discards soon after he will say so give me “some or get naked” and not understand whyyyyy I am repulsed and almost hate sex!!! He even says …. Fine if you are repulsed by me then don’t worry I wont bother u or ask again!?! Wtf?!? He knows what he is doing!!! Its insane and disgusting!!! But the original point was he noticed the POSITIVE CHANGE in me and he went crazy I mean nuttier than trail mix nuts!?! He has no emotions and feelings when he fakes them I cringe!!! He went on a “witch hunt” to try and accuse me of an affair with my best friend who happens to be a guy and has been in my life much longer!!!! He did not like when I finally stopped the very things he claimed to hate like searching phone stuff or asking repeatedly what where when why and sad all of the time!?! He also said I did not pay attention to him that I pay all of my attention to this other guy ?!? That my time & SEXUAL ENERGY all went to my friend and that’s total horse shit!!! I can’t even say good morning on Facebook to the friend that he claims gets his due attention and also is why he is not getting some from me now days *and made the one person I can trust and care about his scapegoat and blame him/us for his own “cock blocking” I will never understand how they see that it’s always someone else that is the problem never them!!! And how he saw a positive change in me & how he turned it into a negative and witch hunt as if I were to FINALLY give in and have an affair or anything after 15yrs that will some how give him a redemption of all he has done & he has even gone as far as stalking ME to
    Try and catch something it’s not jealousy it’s insanity and scary!!! He was screaming in my face over it about did u or did u not flirt and make sexual comments to him!?! You sent meme’s with sexual innuendos to them etc?!? And of course I was like so what?!? You have had mannyyyyy fk buddies for years!?! And I stray from your control and you are acting like a crazy person!?!? I can’t even see his point of view guys!?!? Help me!!! I mean and when other guys would be outright gross flirting sending unwanted “dong” pics that was fine w/ him but this sweet guy I guess has a soul and he knows that I don’t care about the money or bling I care about laughing & love etc but he does not give it to me he recently spent about no kidding
    20 or more hours a week TALKING TO HIS “COWORKER” cough cough…. But can’t hardly speak to me without his phone out or a video game on that’s more important…. He made it clear to me & my insticts that “coworker”
    Was fk buddy by over telling the details and also protecting her that’s really another story but how can he even treat me so badly and scare me like this after all his bs?!?! I feel like as crazy as it will sound that either he is acting this way cause he knows how
    Far HE has gone w things or he is not currently able to find a side supply or side piece or my favorite one maybe he is distracting me w/ this whole chaos that he created to one scare me off from maybe being happy finally meanwhile he IS actually up to his usual bs and just hiding it in a new way!?! Cause he plays the cell phone game and he has always hidden apps etc so for all I know he’s been after fresh supply meanwhile making sure I stay down and out?!?!
    I have rambled and not stayed on topic!!! Ughhhh but any help would be great!!!! I know I def need some
    Friends here where I live that know first hand how hard living is with these assclowns…… Thanks for listening!!! ????????

  • Frances

    August 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm Reply

    Hi Zari, thank you so much for all your posts. Ive also read your book ‘when love is a lie. I walked away from my narc 1 month ago TODAY and never looked back. I was with him a year but to be honest for the last 6 months of the relationship I was trying to figure it all out.
    Something felt off from day 1. I know he always lied about how much he was drinking and caught him out several times. He fits every stage and I actually think he was planning a discard as I’d left him and gone back once before. He even conveniently did things like leave his phone ‘accidently’ at work on the eve of the anniversary of the death of my father (he’s stood on his grave with me and TOLD him he’d look after me) he just got worse…if we had a fight he’d ignore me etc message me the next day and say he’s been with his family. Anyone I caught him in a huge lie….always suspected he was cheating but never caught that but several messages and emails I saw on his laptop.
    I already suffered from anxiety before I met him…he’s made me ill for a year whilst trying to study in university!!!
    Anyway it’s behind me now, there’s so much I could tell you but it’s pointless. I KNOW what he is….I can’t Stress the importance of no contact enough to people. The second I gave him his things I left and haven’t said a word since (although he messaged me 2 weeks ago to ask for one of the things he’d left that I’d forgotten)
    I took it but left it there when he wasn’t in. Didn’t reply to his letter either….I told him I was disaffected by his actions and that I’m going to live the rest of my life happy…..see ya!!! And I thank God I never had children with him, because when his ex comes round…he puts there band on playing in the background…..he’s probably never left her alone as they have a child.
    I’m one month free….I DIDN’T break no contact no matter how awful I’ve felt the urge to get in contact. My anxiety has reduced and I’m slowly but surely getting myself out of the house and everytime i do I smile and say in my head ‘fuck you you lifeless soulless narc…I’m about to have a good day…without your soul ducking presence or constant messaging that you blamed ME for. It feels damn good that I don’t have to look at the back of his head and feel I’ve ruined the rest of my life and feel almost suicidal. I’ve got my degree to gain and my daughter to look after. It’s YOUR life at stake. Just get away!! I went back the first time because he threatened to ruin me. NC has given me my life back. I no longer read about narcissism…I’m reading self esteem and the law of attraction. Your life gets so much better the day you walk away and I’m proud of myself for being one month NC. I’ve even changed my phone number!!! Dropped mutual friends on Facebook and blocked all avenues. Every person reading this….I was SERIOUSLY anxious. You can do it for yourself it’s your lifes worth. Read these blogs and self help books…keep going… CAN be overcome. Peace and love to you all and especially Zari….you’ve saved my future xxxx

  • Aurla

    July 30, 2016 at 8:53 am Reply

    Absolutely amazing article! Thank you massively! 🙂 <3

    • Zari Ballard

      July 30, 2016 at 9:34 pm Reply

      Hi Aurla,

      You’re welcome and I’m glad you’re here!


    • Zari Ballard

      August 4, 2016 at 6:07 pm Reply

      Hi Aurla,

      Thanks for the kind words! We’re all in it together, sister!

      Zari xo

  • Steph

    June 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm Reply

    I don’t mean to flood these blogs. This is what I say, I’m a music lover..Listen to Maroon 5…Misery…that’s where we all are…music for me saves me, other than Zari…Adam Levine, can push us to the limits. He’s obviously been there ,if not, how can he write this kind of music…Personally, for me, I love Stevie Nicks…she may be to old, for some..But, her songs speaks to us all… couldn’t love any one more than her…have seen her over 15 times…I appreciate & love all her music..sometimes, this is, what will save us…These artists don’t write these songs for the fun of it, they’ve been in are same shoes. So, I’ll throw a few out there…Ed Shereen Thinking Out Loud, aren’t we all messed up…Narcs, could care less..think Passenger….”Let Her Go” is are victims song….then finish it off with my Stevie…Stand Back, then Dreams is our song, all us narc victims & then one of her new songs, of course, My Stevie, my love….this is it, it’s done, “For What It’s Worth”…Sometimes, we have to bury the hate we for them, bcuz , as my mother would always tell me, “You , don’t hate anyone one, you may dislike them…HATE, is a very strong, bad word…you will be more at peace if you don’t Hate…she was right…She has passed away 7 years ago….and, i still to this day, love all her wisdom…just wish, she was still here to guide me

  • snowarab

    June 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm Reply

    I agree fully to this. I have to look back though, and sort of forgive myself for getting attached to the suffering because it was so carefully created, so sick the way he did it. There WAS true suffering at first. At some point, he texted me though, don’t you have any self-respect. All of these things, after he almost stole money from me, were truly dumbfounding to me. I had never run across someone so horrid because all the things that were positive and good, in the end meant absolutely nothing. But since I could never ever do what he did, it was inconceivable that it was all intentional and it was so easy to believe it was all my fault. Again, carefully crafted but also, I clearly had the right personality or ‘issues’ to fall for it though he deeply trauma bonded me to him. I also went through the very intense phase of how could he do this after claiming he looked for me for decades. thought of me… how could he even risk hurting me again? As you said in another post, because history means nothing to these people.

    But I do remember vaguely understanding what you posted here, that my hurting from real reasons, and continuing to hurt, was the only thing after a while that kept me bonded to him, in my head. I remember once him telling me to stop hurting myself. It blew me away, how does someone KNOW this to say to someone? Well, because he has done it a million times to women, that’s how. He causes immense hurt and then steps out and then easily blames the person for walking around with that big gaping hole. But after a while, it did start to filter through that the pain of what he did (long story) was over. I mean the actual things he did were over and that at some point, I had to accept that he didn’t care at all for me and he was that willing to hurt me. I had to accept I was played. I had to accept how deeply hurt I was an also, strangely, I had to accept that I loved him, trusted him and even needed him (not needy, just needed him). I had to do both, recognize how much he meant to me, despite the hurt (that wasn’t easy to do) he really caused and then learn to let them both go, my care and attachment to my suffering, which is where I am at right now.

    I think this is one of the last things that binds us to these people. If we let the suffering go, are we letting THEM go? I had a friend tell me that love isn’t pain. I had a hard time understanding that as I have spent alot of my life in pain from lack of FOO love. I learned well before him to hang on to pain as it was the only thing I had because without that pain, I would have to face that my family really and truly abandoned me and I was in fact, floating freely in life on so many levels. Its a very twisted thing for sure.

    I think the hardest thing though is to face who and what these people are. Absolutely nothing made sense at first. The hot/cold, the love/hate, the drama, the lack of honestly and care. How could anyone be so incongruous and not see it was the problem? I pointed them all out to him as we all did, but in the end, this is who he is and not a thing will ever change it. Ever. Holding on to the hurt and “trying one more time” wasn’t going to change a thing. Neither the hurt and suffering and the effort was bringing anything positive to my life. And I also realized that if I “played right” he could be in my life. If I treated myself as his doormat, pretended what he did hadn’t happened, then sure, he could be in my life. But that is how I slowly realized there wasn’t a damn thing there for me. No one should have to live life ignoring this kind of abuse just to keep someone.

    I think, once I accepted that history didn’t mean anything, he didn’t care whether I lived or died, and that nothing about me would change a thing, even the beautiful parts of who I am or my sadness or suffering, did I understand that this person has absolutely nothing for me. Maybe someone else (but I also hear that he can’t hold on to any relationships) but all I need to think about is ME and what he can give to me and it was nothing.

    And, strangely, I am still here even though I have given up the suffering. And strangely, he is still there if I ever want him back in my life. But he’s there for all the wrong reasons. Not for love, but because I am just one other person of many in his queue.

    • alightthatnevergoesout

      August 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm Reply

      Snowarab, I must say I truly and deeply rely to your comment. I do not know the details about your Narc or even the details about your relationship, but when I understood you went through some issues with him trying to steal money from you for example, I felt something about your story would be applicable to mine.

      I am just getting into this phase of realising that the only thing that is holding me back, that is preventing me from truly moving on and letting go is the suffering and the sadness. They are the only things I still feel. The emptiness that comes with it, the crippling anxiety and self-doubt, the open hole bleeding out as I try to walk through life.

      Our story ended 4 months ago, but hell, I think the sadness I felt in the very beginning has nothing comparable with what I am going through now. I feel full on crazy, weak, stupid. It’s draining my own energy. Why am I reacting like this? Now?

      We never got in contact through the 4 months. Maybe in the beginning, because we were engaged in some professional endeavours together, and also he tried stealing money from me. Winning this fight against him has meant a lot to me and gave me some drive and strength to move on. At first.

      I am so scared of my own thoughts now. I can’t fall asleep at night. I am simply obsessed with the thoughts of our past relationship and all the damage that has been done. Is it possible to ever heal from the mental and psychological consequences? Why is this so painful now?

      I cry every day thinking about it. I am just so sick to not be over it already.

      When I read this article at first, I burst into tears again when reading about the Budhism principles saying the first step into happiness is depression.

      I was sure I had got over it already. Living my life to the fullest and be able to live for myself. I am in total relapse and absolutely frightened. It is good to hear from people who qualify it as the “last phase”, the “last step” before full recovery.

      • Colleen

        August 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm Reply

        I used to feel like someone chopped off my legs or something when he left me- like a necessary part of my being was missing and I couldn’t make it. It’s absolutely the worst. And I’m soooo sorry that ur going thru this. Keep reading, reaching out, keep trying- don’t give in or give up no matter how many times u fall. Get back up. There’s hope!

    • Sick of BS

      January 24, 2017 at 12:14 am Reply

      Well, I think the strongest thing for ME that registered from ur comment…was your recollection – how he coldly suggested U should “stop hurting urself”, obviously making a mockery of ur emotions, feelings & adult concerns…I had a visualisation (from exper)…HOW he most likely said it, as he just glared at U, while U were in dis-belief to his sudden change of attitude….not an emotional bone in his body, as he just let his ‘mask’ slip. How, he most likely gloated to himself, watching ur emotions emerge (alone with him) – not hysterical, just hurting (the ones he doesn’t have & never will) & just trying to figure – WHY, the turn?
      And PURE dis-belief u WERE IN…knowing u’d been intimate with this person, had laughed together many times, told him ur feelings about all sorts of stuff, esp the stuff U loved…& believed he fully shared those moments & agreed. Oh, he shared them alright…patiently waiting for the moment when he’d just smash them into the ground. Yes, I know it…pure Norman Bates with the switch.
      Take care sweet….the world IS getting wiser to these bastards….& U are already one step ahead of everyone….they are VERY SIMILAR in how they react with ppl. I just wish I had the knowledge & official label of these types when I was a child…the only types that ever came close – were the serious bully types at school, for no real reason except gain popularity thru their pranks…& I avoided them, then. We ALL recall how they had minions, or some weak person who stood behind them. We were never warned these juveniles, may never grow up – just how lil they’d conform to be adults…some very smart (high IQs) & going onto Uni…yet, entering their 20s, they were also learning how to play down their nasty souls…to gain better effect. However, mentally – they are stuck in juvenile…even with a Uni degree….pretending they are playful outside work. PRETENDING is their occupation…it’s a full-time job.
      Even tho the statistics are high…1 in 25…they are STILL much less than us (the ppl with care for others & feeling)…so, there is better hope out there, but realise they are ALWAYS out there (esp now with internet)…since they can’t hold relationships & always, looking for prey…just, be careful. Watch the bragger or sudden pity-player…& esp the fast love-bomber! Or the one who suddenly wants U to jump into a cause.
      Is he really into U, by his behaviour? Always ask urself, that question.
      Take care

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