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?
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