Is Loving a Narcissist Our Fault? (Reconciling Blame)

loving-narcissist-blameWhen is loving a narcissist our fault and how do we reconcile the blame…clearly, two of the toughest questions that narcissist abuse victims struggle with. Part of the healing and recovery from narcissist abuse is our willingness to forgive ourselves for our own participation and I’m a firm believer that we have to do this. I’ve taken flack from some about not stressing the accountability factor when I counsel but I honestly don’t give a shit about that – nothing that happened to us was our fault. Sure, we could have done things differently…we could have let go of the narcissist sooner or been more confrontational or we could have moved out of town but this is easier said than done when we’re being conditioned to act differently. For now, we have to look at it for what it really was…a Grand Deception that we couldn’t possibly have caught onto in the beginning. With narcissists, even the red flags are passive aggressive! Nothing but nothing could have prepared us for what was to come.

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Here’s my observation on why we do it…why intelligent women and men (and we’re all intelligent – every last one of us – because narcissists only target the best!) appear to fall for the bullshit over and over, turning a blind eye to the cheating and the manipulation. Clearly, the answer is simple: it’s easier to “kinda” believe the narcissist’s Lies than it is to fathom that this person that we love is actually (and deliberately) trying to destroy us.  What those on the outside don’t understand is that these monsters are very, very good at what they do. Many of us were experiencing narcissistic tactics for the very first time and didn’t know what to make of the bizarre behaviors. Plausible denial becomes the narcissist’s free pass. In my case, I hadn’t the slightest idea what a silent treatment even was let alone think that it could happen to me. The first time that my ex vanished for no reason, I thought surely he was dead. It didn’t even occur to me that he had vanished on purpose….that he was ignoring me just to make me insane! Little did I know that literally hundreds of silent treatments would follow, nearly becoming the death of me. How could I possibly have known? How could you have possibly have known? On the outside these people look perfectly normal!

The bottom line is that a narcissist follows a pathological relationship agenda from which he/she will never waiver and they could care less how much they hurt the victim partner. In fact, the more a victim suffers, the better the narcissist feels about everything. Normalcy is just an annoyance and narcissistic chaos makes the world go ’round…this is the ideology by which narcissists live and breathe and the deception used to push this agenda is, quite honestly, pretty fucking amazing.

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Why shouldn’t we believe what a narcissist tells us in the beginning when they do it so convincingly? We can kick ourselves for “falling” for it but what the hell were we supposed to do? In my opinion, it’s human nature (a.k.a. natural) to assume that a person we care about is telling us the truth. Because a narcissist is extremely patient and methodical in carrying out his mission, he will tell us what we want to hear for as long as it takes. By the time we start to suspect that something sinister is happening, it’s far too late to turn back without emotional repercussions. I don’t care what anyone says…there isn’t a person in this world who wants to give up on love and thus it’s natural to hope for the best when it comes to our committed relationship. My thought is that, over time, we develop a codependency to the hope itself because to actually give up on our investment in the relationship would mean that we’re giving up hope or giving up on love and, again, who the hell wants to do that?

Look, you are worth so much in this world – far more than the narcissist could ever hope to deserve. You must understand that if and when the narcissist returns, it won’t be for any good reason and he/she will make sure the next discard hurts far worse than all the others. There is no more room in your life for that. This is a time of reconciliation and recovery and a time to keep moving forward. No waiting or wondering and no expectations of anything left behind. You did the best that you could given the level of his/her deception. Do not beat yourself up and do not blame yourself because nothing positive will come of that. I’m here to tell you that you did nothing wrong.

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In the months immediately following my ex’s final discard, I created a mental game of Postpone & Pretend that got me through some very tough times. If I felt an overwhelming sadness that threatened a set-back, I would postpone the sadness for 24 hours. After 24 hours had passed, I would postpone the sadness again and then again and so forth and so on. My thought was that there was “always tomorrow” to be sad and then I made sure to keep extending that timeline. At the same time, I would also pretend to go about my business as if all was okay. Silly as it may sound, it works. With practice, if you keep at it, you will realize that somewhere along the way you stopped having to postpone and you stopped having to pretend.

It happens when you’re not looking and it happens when you least expect it but I promise it will happen.

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23 Comments

  • Collleen Riddle

    August 27, 2016 at 1:51 am Reply

    Wow-I love the way u write. And u just tell it- there it is, raw n ugly. Just like it really is. I’m only 2 weeks out “officially ” , I got stronger every break up (4 of “em) so I should have some “time served” to add to the 2 weeks.
    I have had a lot of self blaming/how could this happen to ME hang ups with my 13 year relationship. I’m an RN. A PSYCHIATRIC nurse x25 years. I knew the diagnostic criteria for NPD but absolutely nothing about this disorder! U know, u don t ever c a true narcissist n treatment . This stuff is devastating, life changing, and tramatIc…on a “good day”!
    Ur article helped put everything n perspective and releived me of much of the confusion and self blame.
    I NEVER knew there was such evil out there. I thought evil looked llike a Ted Bundy. But for evil to be your soul mate and “love” you –that’s a different kind of evil. Like bn stabbed from the inside ur heart/soul. To not only prey but to delight in the sufferings of the ones who love you the most!
    God don’t like ugly. .just saying…
    Keep writing. U inspire me!

    • Zari Ballard

      August 30, 2016 at 1:07 am Reply

      Hi Colleen,

      Nope, you’ll never find any victim blame on this website! LOL. Look, it’s not abnormal for us to want to believe that the person that we love is telling us the truth or is sorry or whatever. The alternative is to walk around assuming everyone is lying and we’re just not going to do that. It’s hard, I know, but self-blame is completely non-productive.

      I hereby grant you credit for all time served and and you’re free to be free!

      Zari xo

  • Maggie

    December 20, 2015 at 7:02 am Reply

    These posts have helped me to understand what happened to me over a period of 5 years. It was an absolute emotional nightmare. I have for the most part recovered from his mental abuse…. I keep rereading your posts and am astounded each time how it fits exactly what I have experienced. I confronted my N with the fact that I am convinced he is a N/sociopath. His response was that I really hurt his feelings…. Since then not a word… Thank goodness….. I have let go completely now that I understand the dynamics of this ridiculous pretend relationship. I could write a book. I had no idea that people like this existed.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm Reply

      Hi Maggie,

      I’d be willing to bet he’s been silent because he’s sitting at a computer or on his smart phone looking up “narcissism”. When I confronted mine with the same, he became fascinated by his own disorder, as if it gave him a reason to do all that he did. Then, of course, he ran around town telling everyone that I was a narcissist. Unfortunately, telling them doesn’t stop them nor does it make them want to do differently. It just gives them a comfort label…another weapon in the arsenal to use to their own benefit and to use against others. The good part is that he’s leaving you alone. Turn his silence into “no contact” and move on with your life. You deserve to be happy in this oh-so-short life.

      Zari xo

  • Suzanne Moore

    January 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply

    Hi Zari, many thanks for the books and inspiration. People have told me for 10 years that he was a narcissist and I didn’t believe it, but only when I read your books recently did I truly see what they see – it’s so hard and I’m trying to work through the NC. I know I will get there eventually with all the pointers and inspiration from others. But my question today to you is more about finding out about myself, am I truly co-dependent, if I am how to I find myself and move on and not fall into same trap again ? How do you move on. Have you any thoughts on how to heal oneself at the same time please? I hear all what your saying about his personality but what about mine? I question now who I am? I even think over the ten years I’ve learnt to become like him, sad to say.

    Thanks again, your help has been amazing, the stories were all my story!
    Suzanne x

    • Zari Ballard

      January 12, 2015 at 3:41 am Reply

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thank you for the kind words about the book and I sure do appreciate your questions. In fact, the point of what you ask may just be the topic for a future book. I’m going to be honest here and say that when you mention that you feel as if you’ve become just like him, I can relate to that. In my books, I talk about how I would try to date during some of the silent treatments and I ended up being very much like the narcissist (i.e. hanging out with a guy all night, having a great time, and then not answering his calls ever again). A big part of this, of course, can be attributed to the fact that I was, for all intents and purposes, just killing time until my ex decided to pop back in (which I knew he would). That’s no excuse, however, for hurting someone’s feelings and I do regret that. I think I even did it to one guy twice during two different silent treatments. Not good. So, over the 13-years with my ex, I did have fears about that. Would I ever be able to be a normal girl in a normal relationship and would I even recognize a normal relationship if I had one staring me in the face? OR would I be able to recognize the next narcissist when I saw him? I think my answer to the latter question is definitely yes and I do think it will be the same for you as well. Trust me, you will know a narcissist when you see him and – better yet – the narcissist will KNOW that you KNOW (because, hey, they’re psychic like that) and he will stay away. So, to that point, I wouldn’t worry.

      Now, having said that, to your other questions…about healing yourself…I can tell you this: time really does heal all wounds (just like all those wise people have been telling us our whole lives). For me, it’s been two years and three months since he walked out never to return and I’ve realized many things. Now, the fact that I’ve been alone this entire time, although it makes me sad because I’m not getting any younger, is, ironically, what has allowed me to heal. For the first time in my adult life, I can honestly say that if I was to find someone right now who I really liked and who really liked me, I would bring no baggage to the relationship. This wouldn’t have been true a year ago but it is definitely true now and I can only credit that to the time that has passed. It’s very, very important to NOT jump into ANY kind of relationship for at least the first year. In my opinion, there’s just no way around it. Now I certainly can’t speak for everyone but I just think it’s the right thing to do. Moreover, it’s not so much about staying away from “a relationship” (although that’s important) as it is about just allowing the mind to heal on it’s own. If I were you, I would seriously cut yourself a whole lot of slack. Don’t forget that you are trying to resolve the fact that you were “tricked” into believing a whole bunch of bullshit by someone who is very good at what he does. How were you to ever have known what would happen? To believe the words of someone that you care for…to trust that this person is not lying to you….this is NORMAL behavior and you have no reason on this earth to beat yourself up over it. It’s HIS behavior that was abnormal and the fact that you are working to end the bullshit and save the rest of your life is to your credit and you should allow yourself to feel that. It’s all about time, girlfriend. It’s all about time.

      So, I guess my answer as to whether you really are co-dependent and all that is to not worry about it and let time handle the healing. Down the road, if you still feel those tendencies, well, I suppose you could look into it further but I seriously think that you will have to. The important thing is to be good to yourself and make the right decisions now because everything we do now will affect our future. Live in the moment and stay aware of everything. I don’t know if this has helped you but I can only share with you the results of my own experiences. I have faith that you are on the right path…so, please, sister, just move forward and stay the course.

      Stay strong and write whenever you need to. And please, if you can, be sure to leave reviews on Amazon for the books (if you haven’t already) because it really helps get the message out there. I appreciate you!

      Zari xo

  • Robert

    December 6, 2014 at 7:28 am Reply

    It’s been almost a year to the day since I made my decision, Either stay with him and have your heart broken over and over again, or break your own heart by leaving him, crawl off and lick your wounds and rebuild your self-esteem over time. I chose myself over him. I do not regret my decision to choose my own happiness, but I struggle coping with the damage he has inflicted upon me. Granted, my situation is not as bad in comparison to others I’ve read online, but is an uphill battle at times. I have my strong independent moments and I have my lonely moments. Him and I we’re not married, had no children together, and we’re not even officially a (gay) couple. We were “together” for about 9 months or so with a break of 2 months somewhere inbetween. During that time he told me he was falling in love with me, loved me, etc and it was the most romantic time of my life. We were both in our mid twenties. He was my first love and the only other human whom I would compromise for (besides close family). Seeing him happy made me happy, and I would’ve moved mountains for that man. I truly, deeply loved him and I hate myself for the fact that part of me deep down is holding on to some distorted sense of hope that he will one day “change” and “comeback” into my life, even though I know it will never happen.

    How does one fully move on from a narcissist and reclaim their self-esteem and self worth? Because when he initially left the first time, All my confidence went with him and I have no idea to get that back. That is the point where I am at in my life (27 years old) I have no clue what my passion is and things that I used to enjoy doing, do not resonate with me or rejuvinate me like they once did. I don’t miss him, I miss the idea of “us”. Where do I go from here?

    • Zari Ballard

      December 7, 2014 at 8:32 pm Reply

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for sharing and I’m grateful that you found your way to my website. The pain that we feel when we’re discarded by a narcissist or have had to make the decision to leave (in order to save our own sanity) is very deep indeed. What I can promise you, though, is that you will survive and you will get back all that you’ve lost spiritually, emotionally, etc. It takes time and a whole lot of introspection but it will happen if you allow yourself to recover. It’s been two years for me after a 13-year ordeal and I am alive and well and really okay. Once enough time has passed, we begin to realize that nothing we endured was normal or even acceptable. It’s never acceptable to be abandoned, belittled, cheated on, lied to, etc. We forget what’s normal in a very short amount of time and this is what you must strive to get back to.

      Please, if you can, download my books When Love Is a Lie< /em> and Stop Spinning, Start Breathing from Amazon because they will empower you. Also, through December and only for those who have corresponded here and/or newsletter subscribers, I am offering 1-hour phone consults at a special discounted rate (weekends, evenings, and days available) and with this, all three of my books are free. I will send you a newsletter with all that information after I finish this message. Sometimes it helps just to talk it out and it’s important right now that you take charge of this. There comes a point where we simply have to ask ourselves how exactly we want to spend the rest of our lives. Don’t do what I did and as so many others here have done…get out NOW while you are young and save yourself all the pain and heartache. A narcissist only returns again and again to ensure that you never move on from the pain he has caused – and that is the ONLY reason. No matter what he says or how much he may try to tell you differently, the truth is that he only wants to keep you in the queue as long as you will allow it. Brother, this is no way to live.

      The fact that he was your first love adds to the pain, of course, but, on the other hand, you now know the type of person who will and will not provide you happiness. Narcissists are pretenders through and through and, while it’s hard to fathom that this person never cared for us at all and is, in fact, incapable of doing so, we have to accept the reality for what it is. I know you can make it and the fact that you are here writing and sharing is a huge step in that direction. Stay the course, my friend, and know that you are not alone in the fight. Everyone here has been there and we grieve together all the time because each of our stories is so recognizable. Those who’ve never been involved with this type of partner will never understand the level of betrayal and manipulation endured by those who’ve lived it. We’re all in it together and you will find only support here, I promise you.

      Write me anytime…I’m always here and I really do care:)

      Zari xo

      • Chris

        December 8, 2014 at 7:29 pm Reply

        Robert, You are far better off without him. Tough to hear but I am in the same boat struggling with the pain and hurt, wondering why I didn’t see the signs.
        Stay strong. There WILL be someone normal for you, as there will be for all of us………

        • Zari Ballard

          December 9, 2014 at 12:55 am Reply

          Hi Chris….I posted your message to Robert

      • Catherine

        December 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm Reply

        Hi Zari,
        Thought i would check in!
        It has been almost 6 months since I finally had enough and my life is so much better now.
        I feel sad reading the stories on this website of people going through what I did.
        I follow all the stories.
        The N’s are so interchangeable.
        I know how these people are feeling and it feels like hell on Earth.
        People that have not been through these types of relationships have no idea… they are not like normal break ups… you are left destroyed and almost insane….your sanity pushed to the very brink.
        Thank God we have found you.
        I really wish I could take the pain away and show them that life does go on, that you can be happy and to enforce the importance of “No Contact”
        I would have gone on forever and never escaped unless I made the decision to cut him off and hurt myself initially….. the pain initially felt becomes so worth it months down the line.
        I honestly feel nothing for what I refer to as the devil now.
        He is DEAD to me.
        As I said before, I felt nothing when he walked in the pub the other day and that sealed the deal for me.
        I stilll battle with the closure and what I lost financially, it does consume me at times but I do realise that I have to give up on that to move on.
        I know it sounds nasty, but I am waiting for him to show his true colours to his new victim…. I will be so happy to know this has happened (even though I may never know)… I don’t wish her any harm as she is innocent too… but I do find myself getting bitter from time to time and wanting her to go through what I have been.
        Is that so terrible of me?
        I have these dreams of smashing everything up he owns (as he is so materialistic) – especially that game console.
        I dream of him being exposed to everyone and ending up in a gutter with NOTHING.
        Sadly for me this will never happen as there will always be another “Me” to feed off of.
        He is an evil parasite and if he died tomorrow I would piss on his grave (and I am very religious and would never normally think like this)
        Will this bitterness ever reside?
        I hope you are well in the US and have some lovely plans for Xmas.
        It is freezing here in London at the moment.
        The offer is still here to visit if you ever can.
        Lots of love
        Cat

        • Zari Ballard

          December 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm Reply

          Hi Cat,

          Thank you, thank you for the update and I always love to hear from you! As for helping, the privilege is mine, girl, believe me. This has been a blessed opportunity and we’ve been through quite a journey together since you wrote in here that very first time:) That being said, you’re at the top of the class and I hereby crown you my Inspirational Poster Girl for Narcissist Abuse Recovery (how’s THAT for a title??? LOL). Feel free to pop in here and offer your words of wisdom to others as you see fit. I can always use the help from those who are FREE because the more support this website can provide, the better.

          Now, as for the bitterness, yes, it subsides but I doubt it ever really goes away. The good news is that, to me, the bitterness stage is the final one. Allow yourself to feel it and it will dissipate on it’s own over time. Don’t fight it and just be glad it’s not that OTHER feeling, know what I mean? So you have my permission to feel bitter as long as you’re still moving along in your happy life!!! That is the key…to keep moving forward at all costs. Be in control of all reactions.

          Well, you know I love you and, believe me, if I can ever get there to London, I’m letting you know way in advance. I’m wishing you the happiest of holidays too, my sister, and a new year is just around the corner!!!! Talk to you soon xxooo

          Lots of Love,
          Zari xxoo

          P.S. By the way, it’s 78 degrees in Tucson today and I’ve got my tank top on! You stay warm now! LOL

    • Zari Ballard

      December 9, 2014 at 12:56 am Reply

      Chris posted to Robert…..

      Robert, You are far better off without him. Tough to hear but I am in the same boat struggling with the pain and hurt, wondering why I didn’t see the signs. Stay strong. There WILL be someone normal for you, as there will be for all of us………

    • Christine

      December 9, 2014 at 4:53 am Reply

      My heart broke reading this because I’m in the same situation Robert. You sound very intelligent and self aware, so I actually have a lot of faith that you’ll be just fine. No, actually, better than just fine, but great, now that you’re no longer blocked by him. I know what you mean about loving the “idea” of someone. We know intellectually they’re no good for us, but reconciling our heads with our hearts is so hard. I think we’ve been so absorbed in his worldview and his needs that we forget our own along the way.

      But rest assured that with time it is possible. About 4 months later I still struggle, but have regained my interests and time with friends, etc. (that my narc always seemed to undermine). I know how difficult it is losing your first love. However, as someone a bit older than you in her 30s, I can tell you that your love journey is just beginning. Believe me that you’ll find other love again and later on, this guy will barely be a blip on your radar. I dated another guy back in my late 20s who broke my heart (though I don’t think he was a narc he was an ass and still hurt me very badly). It felt devastating back then but now, I barely even remember him. Seriously. In the grand scheme of things this nonsense will end up dissipating with time and distance for all of us. Stay strong!

  • Stacey

    December 1, 2014 at 1:52 am Reply

    I just found this and i am really happy to find current conversations about narcissism. I have been with my husband since we were 18- I am 37 now. We have a 13 year old son. After years of frustration and sadness, now i am just understanding what he truly is. I always just blamed everything on his horrible childhood but after many years of living in a good supportive household I kept thinking how he can’t just get over shit and move on with his life. Always miserable, always blaming me and anyone who allows to be a victim. He will even pick on our pets if it doesn’t work to pick on me.
    two years ago he cheated and i found out and had him leave ..of course he came back but i also played a big role in making myself so pathetic and sad and available. I took him back and it wasn’t long before the mental abuse started again .Slamming things, cursing, acting up when its no big deal, embarrassing me in public, etc Just about three months ago i really started feeling suspicious again. Im pretty sure he is cheating again and to be honest this time I AM READY TO END IT ALL. I am really ready. The only problem is money and our life. We own a house and we don’t have a savings account or any money (well I know I don’t have one) and he just started working again. Im going to have no choice but to let him live here in the basement until he can pay me child support and leave. I want to file for divorce this week but I’m not sure if that makes sense since he is still here. I really just want it all to be without drama but anyone who knows this type of person knows it will be all good and then boom he will erupt. Im not sure what to even do…I have spoken to my son this time around to prepare him. He loves his dad a lot but he seems to understand..he even confessed to me that his dad uses his “other phone” to talk to girls and it makes my son feel like trash to be around. I cannot believe him . its the most hurtful experience for me i don’t even know where to begin i feel ruined and heartbroken but this time I cannot back down. I will continue reading all of these posts because they give me some reassurance and strength.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 9, 2014 at 5:25 am Reply

      Hi Stacey,

      I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Your situation is heart-breaking and I have no doubt that you are in a dilemma trying to decide what to do. Perhaps you’ve already decided since you wrote (a lot can change in a week) and if you have please let me know what happened. Honestly, I can’t see a divorce ever happening if he lives in the basement. I do know some women who have “separated” from their partner that way in preparation for a divorce but I can’t say that any of the “bad” partners were narcissists. Your husband being a narc – which he obviously is – changes everything because, as you know, everything is about manipulating and controlling YOUR reality. I can only imagine the narcissistic rage that would ensue once you sent him to the basement. And it wouldn’t be over the fact that he is grieving the end of the relationship. It would be over the fact that it’s your decision and he would take full advantage of the fact that he still physically lives there. The only divorces that actually work like that (after a live-in separation) are those where the couple is on completely amicable terms and both want the divorce but also wish happiness for the other. So, in other words, it doesn’t happen very often! Do you know what I mean? I’m sure that you do….

      I don’t know what state you are in and I’m by no means a lawyer but if you kick him out (for cheating – which I’m sure he is doing. My son also once told about my ex on his “other phone” talking to women) and file for divorce right after, I have no doubt you will automatically get to stay in the home because of your child. He would have to really put up a fight to have it happen any other way. As for affording the house, you didn’t say if you work or not but child support and/or alimony will be decided by the court and, worst case scenario, you’d have to sell the house, take your half and move yourself and son into a smaller place that you can afford. Nothing about it is going to be easy but YOU DESERVE TO BE FREE OF THIS BULLSHIT. You kicked him out once before, you can do it again.

      Do NOT feel ruined and heartbroken. Create a plan and stick to it. There comes a time when we simply have to ask ourselves if this is really how we want to spend the rest of our lives. It’s basically a yes or no answer that always sets the pace for the immediate future. If you really want it to be DONE, start the ball rolling legally and with finding work (if you’re not working) and things will fall into place legally, financially after that. Your heart will hurt but only during fleeting moments because he will, I guarantee, remind you many times over exactly WHY you did it before the divorce is finally final. You deserve to be ahppy and there’s no time like now to get started. Life is far too short for all this chaos and neglect.

      Stay strong, sister, and write anytime that you need to! You are not alone in the fight!

      Zari xo

  • Christine

    November 25, 2014 at 5:20 am Reply

    Thank you for this article. Right now, I’m at the stage where I still think about what happened, because I want to learn from the experience to avoid repeating it. However, I’m also trying not to wallow in it too much or blame myself for “falling” for it either. These narcissistic tactics run contrary to every decent, NORMAL human behavior we’re accustomed to. So no, I really didn’t know about any of this before my narc It really helps having sites like these to educate ourselves with. It’s not like they teach this in school alongside the 3 Rs (although maybe they should!)

    Before this nonsense, I never would have thought that someone would date me and court me for the purpose of destroying me–especially someone who I never harmed or “did” anything bad to, and in fact, did a lot of nice things for (i.e. the weekends keeping him company, massaging him when he was sore from his workouts, etc.).

    Not to mention, mine was also very skilled at initially telling me what I wanted to hear. Later on, he was adept at alternating the carrot with the stick to keep me holding on with false hope, despite the bad behavior. He even also bamboozled some of my friends into thinking he was a great guy (and we’re not all a bunch of gullible idiots either, but also educated professionals like him). I did the best I could with what little I knew, in the face of his duplicity and manipulation.

    • Zari Ballard

      November 29, 2014 at 9:33 am Reply

      Christine wrote... I did the best I could with what little I knew, in the face of his duplicity and manipulation.

      Hi Christine,

      I love that closing statement. It’s very powerful and also very sad…it is so true that for a good part of the time that we suffer, we don’t have a clue as to what we’re dealing with. We can’t fathom that this person we love as a partner and friend is actually hell bent on breaking us down piece by piece. We do the best we can in the only way we know how…in the way we’ve been conditioned and in a reality that the narcissist has manipulated.

      Thank you for sharing that little piece as I think it applies to all of us who write here. We really do only the very best we can with what little we know. So sad and so true. Makes me wish I could take us all in a big group hug…we deserve to be happy.

      Zari xo

  • Anonymous aka Diane

    November 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm Reply

    …During one silent treatment a year or so ago, I created an excuse to reach out and touch and lied that I had been in a car accident. “Not hurt–but I am really shaken up.” He was unfazed. Silent. Blank. Expressionless. Monotone voice. I took that as a sign that he actually felt so bad that he was speechless.

    This should have been a sign to me to head for the hills and never look back. It only confused me even further. Furthered my determination to be the person that would one day touch his barren soul and be the embodiment of the love and joy that he clearly needed.
    This was before I did all the googling and reading. God bless me. Always trying to understand the incomprehensible. This Thanksgiving, with real friends around the table, I will express my appreciation and gratitude that I have lived to grow from this awful demoralizing situation.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 3, 2014 at 1:24 am Reply

      Diana wrote...This was before I did all the googling and reading. God bless me. Always trying to understand the incomprehensible. This Thanksgiving, with real friends around the table, I will express my appreciation and gratitude that I have lived to grow from this awful demoralizing situation. Amen!

      “Always trying to understand the incomprehensible…..” is a excellent way to describe what we all did over and over and over. Gotta give us credit for paying our due diligence!

      Zari xo

    • Christine

      December 3, 2014 at 3:41 am Reply

      This is eerie. Do these people all use the same cold hearted playbook? I really did get into a car accident when I was rear-ended on the freeway. My car was totaled and I was lucky to only get off with a minor gash on my head (which is now healed). But you can imagine how unsettling it was to go through that. My friends and family all freaked out, worrying about me. Even the other driver worried and wondered if I was okay (she actually was a sweet girl, just was careless and made a mistake that day). But my guy’s cool reaction should have told me something. First thing he asks isn’t if I’m okay but what happened to the car and if insurance will pay. He didn’t ask if I was okay until the next day. Even that felt perfunctory, like he only asked because he “should” to avoid losing me…not real concern. Whereas my true loved ones asked immediately and my welfare was their first concern, not my car! I hate saying this but I think perhaps nothing can truly touch their souls. They’ll just exist in a state of ennui for all their lives…once in a while grasping at people like us in a futile attempt to escape it.

      And never mind those non victims and however they may judge us…they haven’t walked in our shoes and it won’t matter what they think. It only matters what we think and how we treat ourselves going forward. None of us had a crystal ball and could have known back then what we know now. So let’s be grateful we’ll grow from this, in a way they never will. I’m also even more thankful for my real friends and the real love I have in my life, after being shown the fake kind. I wish we could do that group hug too, we deserve so much more!

  • Anonymous aka Diane

    November 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm Reply

    At times. in my weaker moments, I am ashamed of how I let myself accept such mistreatment and abuse. When I share with other — non victims–they look at me in amazement that I could allow myself to tolerate such mistreatment. The world looks at me and see a success. They don’t know the ancient childhood abuse that got me to this place. We are all doing the best we can. Personal development, growth, self knowledge, the courage to confront those early childhood trauma and the unwavering faith and hope that there is a a better way to be, a healthier way to leave will move us forward. I firmly believe that is our purpose in life. To grow, to experience real love.

    Thank you again Zari for your commitment to giving me a helping hand.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 3, 2014 at 1:21 am Reply

      Diana wrote… Personal development, growth, self knowledge, the courage to confront those early childhood trauma and the unwavering faith and hope that there is a a better way to be, a healthier way to leave will move us forward. I firmly believe that is our purpose in life. To grow, to experience real love.

      Hi Diana,

      Please forgive me for being so late in responding. The time is flying faster than I can keep up with it. I love your statement posted above because it’s sooooo true. Real love comes in time and the ticket for us is to have healed enough during our recovery so that we 1) recognize it, and 2) know how to embrace it so that we can enjoy it! Love, after all, is supposed to be fun and joyful, right? How easily we forget all that when we become involved with a narcissist.

      This is your time now, girl. Keep moving forward and stay the course…..I’m here and I care…

      Zari xxoo

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