Narcissists, Holidays, & the Seasonal Discard

narcissist-holidaysWith the holiday season upon us, those in relationships with narcissistic partners will be doing some extra special suffering. Narcissists are legendary holiday buzz killers and, if the narcissist is your partner, you could end up in any one of a number of situations depending upon your place in the narcissistic queue. Yes, as the holidays roll around, it’s time for the narcissist’s seasonal Devalue & Discard (D & D) and those who are the most convenient in the narcissist’s life will likely take the hit. Sound familiar?

Although it’s likely that you already know exactly what I’m talking about,  allow me to share a story or two about my own holiday experiences with a narcissistic partner and let’s see how close I get to hitting the nail on the head about your relationship:

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Almost every year for thirteen years, my ex, the Narcissist, would steadily ramp up the narcissistic chaos and turmoil until around mid-October and then, after creating some ridiculous blow-out,  he’d vanish until somewhere in January or February. Every year without fail for thirteen years. It was the most blatant narcissistic behavior  ever – the D & D before the holidays – and truly the most painful. I can vividly remember spending many of those Christmases cowered under the blankets in my dark bedroom, unable to get out of bed, while my son played with his new toys alone in the living room. He would leave every October for no reason at all, shutting off his phone and vanishing from whatever apartment he was living in, never to return to me until well after the first of the next year….long after the holidays were over. The pain of being abandoned at this time of year, every year, rendered me inconsolable. I never got used to it.

In December 23rd of 2009, after my N had been gone two months and I hadn’t a clue where he was living, I became determined to smoke him out. During “normal”, much shorter silences, I could usually do this with minimal effort but this time time I was stumped. I knew it called for drastic measures.  On a hunch, I used Facebook to send a quasi-anonymous message to the girl that he had cheated on me with the year before. If he was with her this year, the least I could do was make his holiday as miserable as he was making mine. As it turned out, my hunch was spot-on but the result was over-the-top. Within two days, the N, determined to keep me at bay, had me served with a Temporary Restraining Order on Christmas Eve at 8:00pm (an TRO, by the way, that he would break just a few weeks later when he suddenly returned).  When I heard the knock, I actually felt a wave of relief thinking it was him. I remember taking the paper from the Sheriff’s hands, shutting the door, and crumbling to the floor in my hallway, sobbing uncontrollably. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get this guy to have a heart even though we – my son and I (his “family”, as he would say) – had been by his side for well over a decade.

Now that I think about it, I’m fairly certain that the 2009 Order of Protection was the only Christmas present the N ever gave me!

You see, narcissists are incapable of handling any time of year or any event (birthdays anyone?) where they might be expected to show responsibility and loyalty to the people that care about them. This is not to say that he doesn’t spend the holidays with someone somewhere -because he does. It’s just that he chooses the environment and/or relationship situation that is most self-serving to his seasonal narcissistic needs – whatever those may be – and that is where he’ll spend his time during that part of the year.  A narcissist is seasonal. Without fail.

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To make it work, the N will likely have at least two households where he is able to set up shop during the year – one being for the spring/summer season and the other being for the fall/winter season. Depending on which season he’s in, much of his time will be spent trying to thwart the current girl from finding out about the off-season girl. To eliminate unnecessary hassle, my ex would prepare for his post-holiday discard (from her) and eventual comeback (to me) in advance by getting a new cell number, a new apartment (or no apartment), and a new job (or no job). He would either connect or disconnect various aspects of his life in various combinations to make it happen. He’d make sure he had  everything in order long before he even thought about hoovering

The bottom line is this: when a narcissist comes back to you, he is vanishing from someone else. Of that, you can be sure. Then, when it’s comes time to dump you again, he has to do everything in reverse. The vanishing acts, of course, are also called silent treatments and we’re all familiar with that narcissistic tactic. At some point, it has to stop. At some point, we have to decide how we really want to spend the upcoming new year. Normal people do not act that way – even in the most dysfunctional of relationships. We become so accustomed to the neglect and abuse that we completely forget what “normal” even means.

Yes, the narcissist will ruin every holiday without fail for as long as you allow it. He has no intention of ever doing it differently no matter how he professes that “this Christmas will be different” during your on-season together. A narcissist simply can not keep himself from upping the chaos and turmoil during the events of the year where you or others would most like – or expect – to have his company.  This would include birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths, and, of course, the festive holiday season. The narcissist’s seasonal D & D is one of his/her most prized strategies for breaking your heart because it never fails to do so. Even if every other narcissistic weapon in his arsenal were to back fire, the narcissist knows there will always be a holiday just around the corner where a disappearance or silent treatment would deliver a foolproof knock-out blow.

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Here’s the deal…our suffering changes nothing. You must remember this!

Don’t let it happen this holiday season. If you’re still in the relationship, the chances are that he will leave. While you can’t control his behavior, you can certainly control your reaction. Let him go and enjoy your holidays. If you’re out of the relationship and having a bit of relationship amnesia about his holiday behavior, let this article be a reminder of what you’re missing and be grateful for every moment that you’re missing it!

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Updated from original post of 10/2014.










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  • Amy

    December 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm Reply

    Zari, I a, staying strong and I am reading your books. It has been tough but your books are helping. Got an email at work today how he doesnt want to argue anymore. lets discuss it, and please i forgive you. i love you and I FORGIVE YOU> (He forgives me??) Heh. unreal. He forgives me for the abusive and the crazy making tactics, he forgives me for telling me to leave that night, when i chose to leave because i cant deal with it anymore. How nice that he forgives me. He wants to start the new year right. After blocking, i get fake emails and texts. How he only wants to talk to me and i just have to say sorry/ he misses me and my daughter so much. He never lived with another. I think thats how i got so close and so clued in to how odd certain things are.. like thinking about about finding double same valentines day cards. … Did u ever get fake emails? and his mom texted me, I didnt reply. I have a big heart and i hate anyone being upset but none of this is normal. .
    Thank you SOOOOOOO MUCH .. Your books are really helping me see the veil amongst everything. xo.

    I trully wish everyone the best.. Keep staying strong,.. empowerment to each other.


    • Zari Ballard

      January 12, 2015 at 8:23 am Reply

      Hi Amy,

      Happy New Year to you and I have to apologize for taking so long to respond. I do hope that you came through the holidays unscathed although I know he was hoovering. Please drop me a line when you can to let me know how that turned out and if you were able to keep him at bay. The holidays are the worst because it brings out the “best” in the narcissist (as disingenuous as it is). If you have to, re-read the books because there’s always something you missed the first time around that will help.

      Stay strong, sister! I look forward to an update from you…:)

      Zari xo

      • Amy

        January 12, 2015 at 6:25 pm Reply


        Happy New Year. I am doing the best I can and staying strong as I am able.
        I almost caved but by reading and having a close friend who has been reading on Narcissm help me I am overcoming not falling back into the fog. He almost had me convinced. Hoovering, trickery. wow are they good. After sitting outside my work for 2 hours I saw him for 5 minutes. Im sending you the jift of it,. ( It was funny because i prayed that day on the way into the office to please give me a sign. When we were talking his phone rang, and it was another girl. How funny the same name of me._ We spoke to her and she was sommeone who was HIS FRIEND> for 4 years.. married, and someone who they dated each other on and off. how funny i never heard of her. and calling him right at that moment). Anyways, he insisted hed do anything in his power to show me he was sorry. he wanted us to come home. so he said hed go to therapy. I told him IF he did therapy and he admitted his manipulations that id conscider. So we scheduled therapy for Thursday. The time being he got sick. ( Monday) Not justyfing it but he really was sick,. He was supposed to let me get my car back. I even said id make him soup, (god knows why because hellsay im so heartless.) Waited to hear from him, I texted him and he kept walking in circles about he was sick. IM SO GLAD I STUCK TO MY GUNS AND DIDNT GO HOME> (however not once saying ok well how can we get the car to you). trying to piss me off im sure. and it worked. so i told him to forget it. got a ride and told him how pathetic it was.. of course i was selfish and inconsciderate because he was sick . He called me those names, after the day before he was crying out side my work.. Crocidle tears im sure. Then he went to not talking to me for 3days, to not showing for Therapy.. (BUT im sure you guessed, he wasnt showing. even my sister in law guessed he wasnt showing. ).I showed of course. Because being that I actually have a heart and I actually am a kind person I trully hoped he would show. However in that time of not showing it helped me. I am thankful he didnt show because through it all, he said he forgot as I FORGOT he was sick. All smoke and mirrors. RIGHT? I am seeing through it all… This last time of his word and not showing to a therpist, where the therapist felt bad for me. . Right then and there I knew what i knew in my head, i just had to know with my heart. Nothing can ever make me ever go back to the N. now. I dont want anyone feeling bad for me. I just want to get through this. and recover and never deal with him again ever. It has been since December 15th and i have not gone back. . Still at my parents no home or car, but working on establishing it all again for me which is what I once had until i gave it all up for him. I think after reading your books all the things that make sense now. God, so text book. I am picking up from where my daughter and I left off and he continues to send me projections and things of how I NEVER cared. HOW im heartless, he was sick and i just dont care and i never fight for him. but I am staying strong. He even tries to get his mom involved . She texts me and I can almost see how they almost work as a team? can this happen?
        Regardless im starting a blog. and Im starting to do things i used to love to do.. emitting my own frequency and putting out positive energy and loving ME> i gave up so much.
        I will keep in touch. I just want to know if things ive mentioned are things they do.
        They are soo tricky and good at what they do. ..
        Such monsters in trying to make u feel bad and blaming you. .
        BUT in the end. I am staying true and strong. staying by the facts and logic. And knowing that I will never go back.. Only forward to bigger and better. Yes i hurt somedays. but it gets better. and once you at least see through that fog. and I go back into your books and comments and notations and think ALL LOGIC. . We deserve better in this world..
        I am thankful for you and those who help in the fight. xoxox

        Sorry its alot of rambling. But thank you. Im protecting my spirit. and my daughter and I. Im so blessed i found you that day.. Your books have helped me more then you will ever know and I will only ever promote that and try to help others in knowing that there are people in this world that are worse then MONSTERS>

        much love and hugs to you 🙂
        thank you .Amy xoxoxox

        • Zari Ballard

          January 12, 2015 at 11:10 pm Reply

          Hi Amy,

          You and your daughter are going to be just fine, girlfriend:) I can feel it in my bones. I know it’s hard but starting from scratch means that life from now is going to be on YOUR terms and the sky’s the limit – for both of you. Just keep in your mind that the only reason a narcissist returns again and again is to ensure that you never move on from the pain – and that is the ONLY reason. Crocodile tears are just that and they mean nothing. As for the mom, oh you bet they can work as a team. The ex I speak of in the books…his mom was a narcissist too and although I really liked her in the beginning, he did his best to keep us separated, eventually turning her against me, so that he would always have a safe house to do whatever he wanted (and where I knew that I wasn’t welcome). So clever, right? It’s best to simply cut all ties that bind no matter who it is because any connection that has anything to do with him is only going to come back to bite you. It really is like starting with a clean, sparkling canvas on which you can paint any beautiful picture of your life that you want. It’s all yours!

          You’re doing so awesome and I’m really proud of you. I knew you could do it from day one…my faith has never wavered! Stay strong, sister, and always keep in touch with me even if it’s just a quick update because I’ll be wondering:)

          Much love and many hugs back,
          Zari xoxo

          • Amy

            January 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm

            Thank you for your kind words and inspiring support. Yes they are very clever, until you see through it all. I will definately give you reviews on Amazon and continue to fight the good fight. To this day he tried to communicate with, fake texts, fake emails, calls, how i never cared and I am shallow . That he cannot believe a woman would do these things. Now i see its all projection. I know we will be ok. I have a story way even before him, and i will not do anything anymore then live for ME. I will keep you posted. It helps me, and I read everyday new things and your posts, and others whom have been through what we have.
            I really am thankful. and blessed for your thoughfulness that day.
            You really helped.

            Have a beautiful day!
            xoxoxox Amy

          • Zari Ballard

            January 22, 2015 at 6:13 am

            Hi Amy,

            The best thing we can do is read and learn and write and share…and stick together. There is strength in knowledge and numbers and we’ve got to stay the course. As you say, live for YOU and the person that you were BEFORE he weaseled his way in. In doing this, remain committed to the end result – your sanity – and never give up no matter what distractions he tosses your way. SEPARATION, DETACHMENT, AND INDIFFERENCE……those three are the key!!!

            Zari xo

          • Amy

            January 13, 2015 at 9:02 pm

            The thing that kills me most is the nicey nice to mean name calling. Like night and day. Like a school yard bully because hes finally not getting his way. I almost caved and thankfull i didnt. i saw through it. so now its all my fault now. once again. and how i never wanted anything he did. Like give me a break. its repulsive. All i want is my daughters picures and my family pictures from the house. i dont want anything else. i dont care. . if i could get them id be happy. but i wish theyd magically appear.
            And others reaching out, see how i am. all proxy like u say. Everyone will be cut out. I want no part of any of it. Its maddening.

            Thanks Zari for always listening:) xoxoxo

          • Zari Ballard

            January 22, 2015 at 6:08 am

            Anytime, girlfriend! I’m here to support you….:)

            Zari xo

  • Patty

    December 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm Reply

    I found your website at 3am on 12/26, after sobbing for close to 24 hrs. Now, it took 5 yrs before I heard “narcissistc”, and it knocked the wind out of me. I thought I was losing my mind. I never thought such people existed. The veils of lies and excuses evaporated, and I was a clump of a fool in a pile of emotional ruins. I saw how he sabataged friendships and potential jobs, then used the threat of “get out!” if I didn’t act/ say/ be who he wanted… invisible unless he needed me. The “i can handle this phase” was next, followed by “no I can’t” phase. I decided to leave. No training, no money, no place to go, no money to get there. I got on disability for severe anxiety- quietly banked every dime. Got a small lawsuit settlement- banked it. Then, I screwed up. We’re in a hotel at $1800/month. I found a dive mobile home. Took my savings, bought it, spent $ and 9 months fixing it up. He said “we’ll flip it”. I said the money was borrowed from long lost ex and needs to be paid back ASAP. That was 2 yrs ago. Once he realized I’d get the profits (AKA have money), and 9 months of 12 hr days of me working round the clock on it… THEN he decided we’re not moving. Mobile home is in his name. So, I can hear you asking, “why didn’t you buy it yourself and kick him to the curb?” Because there is lot rent and credit/income checks to be approved. I didn’t have enough income in govt $$ to cover the lot rent. So, here we are…. sitting in a mobile home that is now worth $25k (total investment was $10k and sweat equity). A guardian angel, who knows nothing of Narc, stepped in and said, “let me buy you a house, it’ll stay in my name- if I die, it goes to you”. The issue? How do I get my money out of this mobile home? Part of me (especially 3 am 12/26) has visions of him leaving for work and me having the moving company pull up and take EVERYTHING, down to the wall plates and bathrm vanity. There isn’t much. Street value of about $3k. The other option is to say “yay! we have a house!” and sell the mobile home, and quickly get the money from him through paying contractors, and buying appliances, etc… let hm do some construction work… then wait til he throws one of his infamous temper tantrums and boot him to the curb.

    So, why was I crying all through Xmas? Shortly after we met, we spent a lot of the first few years homeless. For the past ten yrs, I pet/ house sat for 3 days over Xmas. Every time I left, or returned, I said “this is the last yr I’ll do this, I want to go to the family cemetary on Xmas”. This yr I stayed “home”. Well, he does hardwood floors, which I am highly allergic to. he used my car for Sept/Oct for work, returning it like the wood aisle at home depot. I dont’ drive much, maybe 3 times/month. (When HE lets me have gas- how pathetic is that?) Now that it is cold, windows are up, heater is on, spores are activated, I’m sick. Didn’t cross his mind that w/bad lungs, raging sinusitus, getting into my car filled with dust was not an option. His solution? Ignore it. Xmas morning- I’m up at 5 am in one bdrm. 7 am- he’s up. 1st-wish FB friends Merry Xmas. 2nd- play video games. 3rd-feed walk dog. 4th Make instant oatmeal. 4th- wish me a Merry Xmas in a sarcastic voice, see that I have been sobbing (I NEVER cry), 5th walk away and not talk to me all day. The turkey, my 1st Xmas dinner in 20 yrs, is still in the fridge, uncooked.

    but the gift he gave me? (Not, “buy and wrap” type- never got one of those). The gift he gave me is finding these books, this website, and finding a way to get myself back. I’ve often thought that I don’t even know who I am anymore- and I don’t have the energy to rebuild me… and where to I start? All I know, have known, for 16 yrs is being ignored, terrorized, threatened, and emotionally raped (emotional boundaries are a joke to him). I will get out of this, I will rebuild, and then pay it forward.

    Big question…. how to get my money back. I really need it for rehabbing my next house.
    The budget for purchase price is low, so it will be a rehab, and code won’t pass title without inspections passing, meaning $$$.


    • Patty

      December 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm Reply

      Update… We haven’t spoken since Xmas morning, though living together. My choice. He’s in the “come closer, so I can slap you” phase of being “nice” by getting me coffee and leaving on the counter, shampoo’ing the liv rm carpet, etc. “Too little, too late, pal!: is my thought. Started reading your books. “Your suffering is a Narc’s reward for a job well done”. Love it! Perfect. Well, i have high cholesterol, he constantly brings McD”s/Pizza/etc home. I’ve learned long again “eat it or starve”. Well, I reclaimed my power! He can throw anything my way…. junk food, dust (allergies), etc… doesn’t mean I have to accept it. So, I’m slowly working on a dozen eggs… lunch/ dinner. He brought McD’s yesterday- put it on counter. I put it in the trash. It’s about not being heard…. about food I can’t eat, holidays, having choices. Incredibly empowering! It’s been three days since a conversation… and a cold day in hell before it happens. OH! I found a support group about an hour away. They have online chat meetings, too! Right now, as I’m slowly getting back to me, I wonder how I strayed so far away from me… and am astonished as to how many choices I have (except what to eat). Come Monday morning when he goes to work, I’m going to get money from my emergency cash and make a beeline to the grocery store!!! 36 hours! Yaaay! So, looks liek he gave me a great Xmas gift… the final knife in the heart that pushed me over the edge of “tolerating”… my turn to ignore- I’ve learned how to do it from the best! LOL!

      • Zari Ballard

        January 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm Reply

        Hi Patty,

        Well, Happy New Year to you and I’m certainly glad to find your update and that you’re feeling better, more empowered! And thank you for reading the books, my friend. Please do leave a review at Amazon when you have a moment – it would be most appreciated:) Now, though, we still have the issue of the trailer and the finances and what you will do to take care of yourself. I’m a little confused about the trailer because of the fact that it is in his name. If that is the case, I fear there is nothing you can do ever to recoup any of the money that he does in fact owe you. If you have any money left at all, please keep it to yourself and make your plan of escape. You know all too well that none of this is ever going to get better and that you’ve fallen into a co-dependency pattern with this person (perfectly understandable, by the way). The fact that you were homeless together for awhile struck me as the perfect conduit for becoming even more connected to the abuse than would happen normally. Being homeless, with or without a partner, is a very helpless situation and I can imagine that when your are with someone and going through it…well…the tendency to want to stick things out with this person must be intensified because anything else that happens after that has got to look promising. I’m not sure if that makes sense and I hope you understand what I’m getting at. The truth, of course, is that it is only the circumstances that make it appear promising and it is absolutely an illusion. The narcissist will not appreciate your history together and all you have been through as a couple. He will be just as mean to you in an $1800.00/mo hotel room as he would if you two were homeless together and he is when you’re both in the trailer. He sees each situation as no different than the other (compartmentalization). They are not capable of happiness except for when they see that you are NOT happy…it is the only thrill they get so therefore they spend a whole lot of time trying to be the asshole that are!

        I want to try as best that I can to give you advice about the money so maybe you could explain it a little better. What do you think that your options are?

        Zari xo

    • Zari Ballard

      January 2, 2015 at 10:32 pm Reply

      Hi Patty,

      Please see my response to your “Update”/2nd post. Thank you!

      Zari xo

      • Patty

        January 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm Reply

        Thanks for the reply. I reread my posts, and can see how it was confusing. My reason for saying “$1800/month hotel” was that it was a dive for NE USA, and my taking my “savings” and getting us into a mobile home at one third the monthly expense. Of course, I told him “I borrowed it and it needs to get paid back”. Income- many years ago I got onto disability, which isn’t much monthly income. Not enough for a room in a rooming house, let alone an apt. So, the new house that was offered by a friend- I would just pay taxes and utilities. The issue is getting my money back from the mobile home to pay for the repairs/ appliances. I thought maybe if I tell the SOB that “the money needs to be invested in the house or he’ll (the buyer) will throw us out” would work. But, knowing him and his unscrupulous nature, he’d say “don’t care, see ya” and take the money and run. Or, working from his “what is yours is mine” perception, while the excitement of moving is still fresh, I could tap him for most, if not all of the money from the sale of the mobile home- then boot him out. He really has no place to go, so that’s in my favor that he sticks around until the upgrades are done on the house with the proceeds from the sale of the mobile home. God, I want this to be over…. At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Jean

    December 25, 2014 at 6:44 am Reply

    Girls im honestly sorry to read all your stories. Men like this are evil. I’m going through this at the age of 20 (just turned) I spent 3 years with a narcissit who is 8 years old than me. I left him after he asked to borrow my inheritance money I recieved. It’s a long story but he’s a piece of shit. I can completely understand what some of you mean when you say they take off or turn distant and you expect it every so often and You’re so conditioned to thinking its normal and he will come back. No! Once your out of this tangled web of lies and abuse you see how messed up HE is. My ex tried to blame me for every bad thing in his life, he made good money but his terrible money management was my fault, him missing rent after I gave him my portion and he was paid, after he came home from a work trip broke somehow it was my fault for making him depressed about his money issues when rent was due the next day and I find out he has no money. Three days after I got inheritance he was asking for almost half of it. Ladies these men are SCUM. I’m disgusted by the way he treated me and even I still have moments of sadness for the relationship I HAD. not the one we shared because his feelings and what he contributed weren’t genuine like mine were to him. Christmas is a funny time of the year, last year was our first Christmas together in our new place, I spent 500 dollars on his gifts (a whole cheque) he had a new gold watch, clothes, everything he asked for. What did he get me? Three things from the dollar store along with dollar store candy some cheap makeup and said he would pay for my personal training (I thanked him for the dollar store gifts) when I asked him for the money so I could pay my trainer I found he told me he would only be able to go half with me… When he said he would pay for it. This Christmas I have plenty of money in savings, was able to buy some beautiful gifts for my siblings and parents and not blow my budget. It’s only been three months since I left him but I know once I get through New Years and Valentine’s Day I’ll be good. I hate holidays like this simply because im single, but i think if any of us think back on pervious holidays they were full of drama or didn’t pan out to be what they should have been. I love this article! Definitely going to keep reading on here, knowledge is power and we will ALL get past these people. Merry Christmas everyone focus on the people in your life who love you truly. They’re what’s important.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 1, 2015 at 10:52 pm Reply

      Dear Jean,

      At just barely 20 years old, you are so wise, girl, and there isn’t anything to add to your words of wisdom. It’s obvious that you understand what happened to you and that you “get” the dynamics of this kind of relationship…that it’s all about the narcissist and that these types of creatures will never ever change. More importantly, you’ve clearly got a grasp on what and who is REALLY important in this life. YOU, sister, are going to be just fine!

      Happy New Year to you and please do stop by to write here any time!

      Zari xo

  • MovingOn

    December 25, 2014 at 1:19 am Reply

    I met my N last April and dated him until the end of august, after becoming fed up with all his lies. A week later he rented out the house next to mine and a week after that I found out I was pregnant (later found out he sabotaged my bc). I tried to make a go off things for our child but had a horrible pregnancy, sick the entire time and contractions the last two months of it. Around March I tried to discuss my fears of us being parents, not 5 sentences in he screamed if you can’t trust me we are over. I continued to hang on and gave birth prematurely a month and a half later. He helped out very little and went about his life, finding other women. Mid-June I gave the ultimatum that is was me or his other girlfriend, he chose her and has been with her ever since. He brings her home constantly and flaunts her kids every chance, playing with them in the yard, babysitting, etc while only spending the court order 2 hours per week with our daughter. At our child support hearing he had said he would be moving in sept (end of his lease) but here it is I am glad that I didn’t end up with him and have been using our lawyers for commu dec and he is still there. I never let on that him living next door irritated or bothered me and have been using our lawyers for communication the last month but feel stuck in my recovery. Normal break ups you don’t have to see your ex every single day, I am lost on how to get the mental space needed to move on fully and would love whatever advice I can get.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 1, 2015 at 10:44 pm Reply

      Dear Moving On,

      Welcome to 2015 and I hope your ex moves away! I am at a loss as to what to tell you to do that you haven’t already been doing. When I respond to letters, the first thing that I do is put myself in the shoes then person writing and your shoes, I must admit, made me very uncomfortable. How the hell do you do it? I can’t even imagine having to live next door to that monster because I know exactly how he thinks and, yes, I have no doubt he is flaunting his life in front of you. I am also shocked that his new “girlfriend” would even be okay with the situation…what kind of girl would do that and what has he told her that would even convince her that any of it – ANY of it – is okay?

      Now, having said all that, let’s figure out what your options are. Given the fact that you still live there, I am assuming that you own this house or are in the process of owning it (have a mortgage), right? If you were only renting, I would think that you would have moved out long ago to get away from such a horrible situation. Is it at all possible for you to perhaps rent out your house for a few months (on a month-to-month basis or short-term lease) until he leaves? Or perhaps, do you have a close friend who lives in a decent/convenient area who would swap with you? I know it sounds crazy but I can GUARANTEE that if you leave that house, he will also leave because he is ONLY living there to ruin your life and the life of that baby. It’s none of his business where you move to or why you are leaving or who lives in the house while you are not there so it’s not as if you owe him an explanation at all. Believe me, I understand that to do any of this with a baby is overwhelming but, My God!, what choice do you have?

      Other than the above, I have to say that not letting the bastard know how you feel about him being right next door is all you can do. Personally, I would be a lunatic and probably to the point that he would leave on his own just to get away from me. That of course could be your other option. SHOW him and his girl how much you hate it and he just might leave overnight. Right now it’s all too easy for him to stay there. He only has to walk next door for a two-hour visit and the rest of the time, since you act normally, he gets to fantasize about how miserable he is making you. Maybe you should give him what he wants. Turn it around. Make him sorry for what he wishes for. Other than that, girl, I would find a way to get out of that house. How much do you really love it? Is it worth your sanity to stay there? This is what you have to figure out.

      Please let me know your thoughts on this….

      Zari xo

  • Anonymous aka Diane

    December 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm Reply


    Something I did not share in our consultation, which makes this holiday especially painful is that I am also estranged from my adopted daughter for similar reasons I am going no contact with the ex. There was double trouble here with two non empathetic people who I have tried to enable “to death.” It’s different with a child of course. You can just stop speaking when they are young. I should have terminated the adoption before it was finalized. But you know me. I will stick with a bad situation through thick and thin. But as she grew older –she is now 23 — and slowly pushed me away with her lack of caring, lack of respect, stealing, lying and conning her way into a pregancy with her Facebook friend, I have had to distance myself physically and emotionally from her. Just let it go.

    She has returned to live with her birth mother who lost custody of her when she was a toddler and this past October, around the same time the ex launched his silent treatment, she delivered twins.

    She is unmarried, and has no education or skills to speak of and in spite of what she told the babies’ father about the $400K trust fund I have established in her name (one of many lies) literally doesn’t have a pot to piss in. Neither does the birth family she now lives with on the opposite coast. Thank God for tax payers.

    Between the narcissistic ex boyfriend and the naricissitic estranged daughter I am experiencing ferocious mood swings. I go from despondency to joy. The joy is finally understanding that my co-dependency in these toxic relationships is what extended them far beyond their expiration date. I am what you call an over nurturer–all in the name of love. BUT I DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT ANYMORE.

    Yes, it is a profound disappointment not to have what I always hoped would be the picture perfect Christmas. The handsome boyfriend. The beautiful daughter. The even more beautiful twin grandbabies. The big Christmas tree with lots of presents underneath. The dog, the cat, my 90 year old mother.

    Well I still have the pets and the mother — my initial toxic narcissist who has mellowed with age. Thank God for that! At the end of the day, I guess I have a lot to be grateful for.

    Happy holiday to all of you and thanks for listening to my pre Christmas rant!

    Wishing all of you an empowered life in 2015!

    • Zari Ballard

      December 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm Reply

      Hi Diane,

      You can rant pre-Xmas, post-Xmas, anytime that you need to! In fact, we did discuss your daughter and the painful estrangement (albeit briefly) and oh-my-God of course this is causing you additional pain. I am so sorry! The female narcissist is even more sinister and cold than the male narcissist and especially to family members. There is no way you could have ever known that things would turn out this way with her….you went through with the adoption because you wanted to give this person a good life. I imagine that her increasing coldness and deception must have been very disturbing over the years. We expect that of teenagers and maybe even young adults and in the early years we can blame it on adolescence and peer pressure and a number of things. Eventually, things level out and relationships with parents connect again but this isn’t the case with narcissistic children. Just as they will do as adults, the compulsion to follow that awful agenda is seemingly ingrained somewhere in their brains. Although it is only my opinion, I do think it has much to do with the very initial birth environment….the distance…neglect…who knows? Their awfulness is somehow predetermined from day one and from then on, it never waivers. It’s mind-boggling when you realize that justifying their own false sense of entitlement in life is the one thing that they ALWAYS follow through on.

      At some point, you know, your daughter may hoover as well and you may just end up having a whole lot to do with those twins! You are absolutely correct in backing away – especially now while the situation with that other fool is so fresh. This is such a weird time, Diane, and, as I type this, I’m thinking that perhaps the fact that Xmas has passed and now New Years is rolling around is a blessing in disguise. It’s best to get the hardest times out of the way RIGHT NOW so that next year it won’t be nuthin’ but a thing! And a new year is a fresh slate no matter how you look at it. Be diligent about your plans for the upcoming months. Break 2015 into “chunks” – maybe four chunks of three months or 3 of 4 – and take it one chunk at a time. Create an attainable goal/accomplishments for each period and focus only on that during that time. It could be something as simple as “I’m going to meditate every morning for 20 minutes” or “I’m going to create a gratitude journal and write in it every morning and night” or “I’m going to go to Jamaica and lie on the beach and do nothing but soak up the sun” or “I’m going to sign up and start a class or TEACH a class or…” anything you want. But do it for yourself and no one else and you’ll discover a whole other version of perfection that simply makes a lot more sense. Girl, your people-pleasing days are over!!! LOL

      Here’s to getting back to normal and recognizing it when we get there! I’m thinking of you:)

      Zari xo

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