Why a Narcissist Creates Chaos (Book Excerpt: “When Love Is a Lie”)

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The following is an excerpt from Zari Ballard’s book, When Love Is a Lie:

Without chaos, the narcissist has nothing. The more chaos a narcissist creates and projects upon you, the more you suffer and the more in control he becomes. The more in control the N becomes, the more he’s able to manage down your expectations and get away with murder – right before your very eyes. By creating a non-stop cycle of narcissistic chaos, the N projects a crazy-making condition upon his victim that is intended to destroy her.

The victim’s reaction to this form of mental abuse – where confusion and chaos is seemingly at every turn –  can escalate from mere frustration to psychotic craziness in a very short period of time and this is what the N counts on. Once you, as his victim, have reached a breaking point, the N then finds a variety of ways to use your behavior (which is, of course, a reaction to his behavior) against you and for his own benefit. The very fact that you are acting “deranged” makes him feel vibrantly alive! For this very reason, a narcissist will always turn a good day into a bad day, keep you on the edge of your seat, and act erratic and unpredictable.

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He wants you in a heightened state of anxiety and uncertainty 24-hours a day. He’ll tell you one thing and do another. Normal everyday functions and responsibilities are intolerable to him. He’s reliable only when the outcome serves him in some way. When you really, really need him, he’ll be nowhere to be found. He’ll make plans for next week and then disappear the day before as if the plans were never made. To explain a disappearance or odd behavior or silent treatment, he’ll create an illogical story in incredible detail and then dare you to question it. Most of the time, you will be so bewildered at the depth of the lie, that you choose instead to “sort of” believe it. The alternative – to stand up for what you know is true and call him on The Lie – would, of course, guarantee his early departure and a feeling of doom and gloom that you’ll do anything to avoid.

Every so often (and usually when he was trying to lure me back), my ex-N would excitedly suggest we see an upcoming concert together. This, of course, would mean making plans, something I was completely hesitant to do since I had been let down countless times previously by promises he never kept. So, each time he suggested a date, I naturally seemed reluctant and I hated the fact that I couldn’t get excited about anything. When I explained my fears about him letting me down again, he always acted insulted (as if he would never do such a thing) and inevitably I’d give in and make the date.

Without fail, every single time, the night of the event or concert would come and go and he’d be nowhere to be found.  I’d be sick to my stomach – again – at the very fact that I let him lead me on to another disappointment. It was such a show of deliberate malice, deliberate neglect, that it hurts now to even think about it.

In normal relationships, the goal of one partner is typically to make the other partner feel good. With both working towards this same goal, relationships enjoy a period of peace and security where both partners seemingly blend seamlessly. This type of relationship is conducive to both partners always feeling that the other partner has “their back”. A narcissist never has your back.

The fact that I could never “count on” my N for anything ever was – and still is, in retrospect – the most hurtful part of the experience. During one three-year stint when my ex worked as a cab driver, I was probably the only person in town that he wouldn’t give a ride to. One scary night, after stalling on the highway and coasting my car down the nearest exit, I found myself smack dab in the worst possible part of town. Terrified, I called the N who I knew was working. He wouldn’t answer his cell. I called again and again. Nothing. Then, I called cab company dispatch and relayed a message to the N and my location. An hour passed. A group of troublemakers had spotted my car and promptly began to circle it (more chaos – what’s up with that?), taunting me. I watched in vain as two police vehicles cruised by but never stopped (like I said, this was a bad part of town). Another hour passed. I called the N’s phone (he ignored it) and dispatch several more times but couldn’t get through. Terrified, I finally dialed a girlfriend who promptly crawled out of bed and drove over 20 miles to rescue me in her pajamas. She would later tell me that the terror in my voice during that call haunted her for days after. As for the N, he would later tell me that he’d been angry at me about something and that’s why he never came to get me or picked up his cell. He simply could have cared less about my situation and never once apologized for ignoring my calls of distress.

From then on, in the rare cases that I needed similar assistance or any assistance, once in a while the N would come but it was never without fanfare. My friends, however, both male and female, always had my back. That’s what friends do. Lovers are supposed to be our friends. The N’s reaction to others helping me (if I even told him), would range from complete indifference (and probably relief that he hadn’t been called) to shock and disappointment that I would call anyone else besides him. Moreover, when I attempted to explain my reasoning for not calling him (complete with examples of his neglect), he pretended to not have the slightest idea what I was talking about and accused me of making him look bad.

Does (or did) the partner in your life have your back? Could (or can) you count on him no matter what – even if one of you is angry at the other? Are (or were) you a team? Think about it. Answering “no” to any of those questions….why is that even an option for any of us?

If you enjoyed this excerpt,

 Download When Love Is a Lie  from Amazon ($3.99)
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32 Comments

  • Janie doe

    March 29, 2017 at 1:09 am Reply

    I could cry reading this. I don’t even have the energy to explain how spot on every word you write details what I am dealing with. I avoid people because it’s to exhausting to even explain what I am dealing with. My situation is unique. He has me trapped. The chaos he creates when I try to get him out of my life is so overwhelming and traumatic to my kids parents and family in general that I give up. It’s easier to let the chaos stop and he continues to manipulate. I finally broke down and explained this to my mother after 10 years. It is to exhausting…I can’t even get into details they’re racing through my head. I cant keep in contact with any of my friends. They all know me as strong. One friend I tried to talk to said “I don’t understand your the last person I’d imagine in this situation.” I was a social worker. I spent years studying psychology.. I saw red flags immediately…huge red flags…I guess I’ve always made excuses for his disgusting obnoxious behavior because he is clearly ill and had a horrible childhood. I always thought he was trying ..he no longer tries. He toom over my home and doesbt work or try to work….now we have a 5 year old child together and he knows threatening to steal my child is my weakness..he says i should have thought of this before i had a kid with him
    ..like having a kid gives him a ticket to mooching off my family forever. I have filed for emergency custody numerous times (and granted temporarily) then he disappears so he can’t be served and the case is dropped…now I look ridiculous going to court. I’m fearful f court because he will make up whatever lie he can to try and get my kids taken away. When we fight he makes up lies to tell my family… he will stop and apologize then in his next breathe call me disgusting names… he has no care for who is around ..it’s traumatic for me to have my father hear a man call me names. I don’t know how this happened to my life or how to fix this. … I dont know where to turn. I consider having him arrested when he acts crazy but Im scared for my child to not have his father who he loves… im scared for him to have his father also. Im also afraid he will manipulate the cops … what a mess. There is actually so much more but ive already written a frantic novel for you lol.
    I’m going to buy your book ..clearly you know what your talking about. Maybe I’ll get some ideas. I didn’t realize there were any other people in the world that could understand what I go through. This gives me a little hope so thank you.

    • Zari Ballard

      April 3, 2017 at 1:49 am Reply

      Hi Jane Doe,

      Please don’t despair, sister. I do hope you buy the book because it will empower you. Also, consider booking some time with me so that we can talk about a sanity strategy. Right now, with each booking, I am giving away a set of my books in PDF or an audio book download. The more information and ammo you have under your belt the better.

      It is clear that he tries to intimidate you whereby creating a culture of fear so that you don’t move forward. Narcs are so so good at this. However, there are ways to deal with this, girl. Don’t be so sure that YOU will look like the fool in court. Document everything…start making a diary of his behaviors with the child, his disappearances, dates, etc. What is there for him to lie about? HE is the abuser. You’ve got to realize your power in this and show no fear.

      Unless someone has experienced this type of weirdness in a relationship, they will never understand. If you can, let’s talk, and I’ll tell you exactly how to handle this. It’s time that you took your power back!

      Zari xo

  • Lisa

    February 22, 2017 at 1:14 am Reply

    My narc managed down my expectations from the start. He always had to make sure the plans were “his way”. My gut was telling me it was a red flag, but my head was telling me I was overreacting. It always was his restaurant choice, his movie choice, his hiking spot, his sexual position.

    He was NEVER there for me! Three weeks after my breast cancer diagnosis, I caught him with another woman. He had no remorse or empathy. All these games at his 53 years on this earth. He never even called my mom to ask him I did through surgery. I caught up with the other woman and found out the entire year I was with him, he had her. Actually, he had her as FWB for the last 18 years!! She was shocked that I existed, because in the past he would stop seeing her when he had a girlfriend. We confronted him together on the phone, but in all honesty I doubt she could ever break her addiction to him. And that is okay; she can have the toxic bastard. I will never forget what he did to me. It’s now been 17 months, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about what he did. I got rid of two cancers; so I’m feeling like a bad-ass warrior.

    • Zari Ballard

      March 1, 2017 at 12:01 am Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      You ARE a BAD-ASS WARRIOR, sister! After surviving two cancers, the narcissist ain’t SHIT!!! Rock on and be happy…you so deserve it…..you’re a survivor to beat all survivors!!!

      Zari xoxoxo

  • Melissa

    November 26, 2016 at 7:43 am Reply

    Hi Zari. You really opened my eyes. I’m married to an narcissist and I never knew it. He has again left right before my birthday Nov 7. Before Thanksgiving and Christmas of course. Does just about every year. He left told me and my 4 yr old daughter to get out of the house he’s giving it back to the landlord. I’m in a new town which I moved to for him. I know no one. I had to put an ad on Craigslist for a place to live. Charity of strangers I was so scared. He didn’t care. Told by him to go to a shelter. He says it’s over and I cannot believe I’m crushed even though of what he did to his own child is unforgivable. He says he’s done and rubs it in my face how happy he is. He’s encouraging me to date all the time which makes no sense. But then he will act jealous accusing me of having sex with men. It’s killing me how extremely happy he is and rubbing it in my face. It’s been a month this time we have been apart. How can someone move on so fast. He doesn’t see his daughter hasn’t in a month and rarely calls her. But will text me all the time now. Doesn’t ask about her. Just me. I’m so confused. I try to do NC but having my daughter it’s hard. He will flirt with me one minute then tell me how done he is. Is this normal? How do I handle it? I’m dying inside trying to survive. After he left I found out he wasn’t even paying for my car. I lost it. Do narcissist care at all even about there children? He’s always bragging about his new girlfriend, new clothes he bought and how good he looks, about his new car and just how happy he is. Is he really happy? I’m so confused. Any advice from anyone would help. Been dealing with this for 7 years. I don’t know what to do. I’m so lost.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      I apologize for the delay in responding, girl. It sounds as if you have quite the situation. If he has “moved on”, let it happen. You say you can’t go no contact because of your daughter but it appears that he doesn’t see or care for her anyway so it shouldn’t matter If you allow him to interfere with your life by texting and calling, he will do it until the end of time. Does he pay child support? Because if he doesn’t, he should. Take it to court and have the money come right out of his paycheck. No, they don’t care about their children. They pretend to so that the outside world doesn’t see the truth but it is all a lie. What is happening to you is a perfect example of that. Do not allow him to get out of it financially. There have to be consequences to what these creatures do but measures are rarely taken by the distraught partner. Don’t allow this to happen to you, sister!

      Stay strong,

      Zari xo

    • Karen

      December 8, 2016 at 7:18 am Reply

      Your first responsibility is to your daughter.

      Seek financial provision for her (3rd party; maintain NC). Don’t allow her to be a pawn, and don’t hold out an olive branch waiting for him to demonstrate paternal love – paternal love will not land on that olive branch and he is s****ing on it from a great height.

      You are not responsible for his relationship with his daughter. He is.

      You are responsible for her well-being. Show her what love really is by your words and actions. Be careful not to make her responsible for your feelings.

      Demonstrate to yourself and to your daughter what love is:
      Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

      The truth is that you are out of that relationship. NC. Forgiveness is not the same thing as going back onto relationship. NC.

      Love. NC.

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