A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 36


Dear T-

I remember when we first met.  You were a scruffy 11 year old on the school bus, I was 14 and selling candy for the band.  You wanted me to give you candy for free.  I remember seeing into your soul and thinking how much we were alike.  Both from dysfunctional families, both children of narcs, both desperately needy for someone to love us.
I remember how horrible your home life was.  How needy all your brothers and sisters looked and acted.  How your worn out mother had a string of loser husbands, how the last one locked himself in the bathroom with a gun threatening to kill himself if she wouldn’t take him back.  I remember offering your mother to let you live with me and her giving me custody of you when I was only 18 and single, so you could have some stability in your life.
I remember how completely impractical and silly you were, how we all laughed at your questions and observations.  I remember thinking how you and reality didn’t know each other, how stupid you were but thought you were so smart.  Like when you gave me a pot plant for my birthday, thinking I would raise it for you in ignorance, then your complete shock when I knew what it was.  I remember how sad it made me when I realized you were a narcissist and there was nothing I could do but watch you use people and lie.
I remember how horrified I was when I heard how you had abandoned your two little girls in a commune in Wisconsin.  How the only way their father found them was because the 8 year old knew his number and called him.  I remember how pathetically eager they were to come with me for weeks at a time, how sweet and strong they both were, how eager for knowledge and opportunities to learn.
I remember my shock when your now grown girls explained to me why you hated me and refused to see me, because you resented that I had done so much for them over the years and that they loved me more than they loved you.  I remember how sad it made me feel to hear that they had cut you out of their lives and how they were determined to never marry or have children of their own because of your example.
I remember the last time I saw you, just a couple years ago. How we met for coffee at a Bosnian restaurant and you told me all about your life now and tried to make it sound good.  How as you told me what all you were doing, I sat there looking at you thinking how everything you ever did was really just selfishly using the few people in your life who cared about you.  How we all saw you for what you really are and put up with you as a charity, but you were totally unaware of what we think.  How you still lived in a pretend world of your imagination like you did when you were that 11 year old girl I met all those years ago.  I remember seeing into your soul and thinking how much we are so different.
With love always,

34 thoughts on “A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 36

  1. narc affair says:

    It says a lot about your character how you were there for your neices when their mother couldnt. Instead of grateful she was jealous and envious of your relationship with them. This is a prime example how 2 people can share the same parents or have similiar narc parents but turn out so very different! Ty for sharing windstorm! Youre a strong lady i respect very much and enjoy your posts!
    I totally agree with your theory on narcissists. I think theyre predisposed genetically but upbringing governs the extent of it. It reminds me a bit of autism. A childs born predisposed to developing it but with early intervention the severity can be reduced.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      Thank you, Narc Affair.

  2. Overthinker says:

    This story makes sense to me now I didn’t understand it was a non intamite partner relationship and that both were females not that there can’t be lesbian narcs she was u r friend I get it now I can definitely look back at some if my female friendships and see that some were narcs one in particular stands out the most but there were many worked with a lot of narcs too never thought of it until now thanks for putting it out there changes perspective

    1. Windstorm2 says:


  3. NarcAngel says:


    She would have been 15 then when she came to live with you and it appears the stability and empathy you afforded her was not enough to alter or temper the narc traits she had developed by then. I always wondered at what age (generally) that it is determined which way you will go. I do believe we are born with a certain amount of emotions and susceptibility, and that it is affected by our environment and role models. I adopted some of StepNarcs behaviours for survival, and frankly because I saw they worked in other arenas, but never totally lost empathy (which to be honest is lower than most for me and translates to responsibility as does love). I feel that was still a choice (again speaking for myself) although empathy was never really demonstrated in my immediate environment. Same mystery in choosing whether or not to have children. There are those who experience abuse and yet long for children and are very good to them. Still others (like the one in your letter) who have them and continue the cycle of abuse. I remember forming opinions about sex being about power not love at around 10 or 11 and even younger, thinking why do people have babies-yet I protected them instinctively. HG has said he saw the power his mother weilded and seized it for himself which indicates choice to me. Then there is you who experienced a narc environment and yet is most empathetic and loves her children deeply. All different outcomes and baffling but looks like it might be determined at a very young age.

    In any case, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your letter.

    1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

      Temperament and personality are pretty stable – especially extraversion….

    2. Windstorm2 says:

      Your welcome and thank you for your response. Yes she was 15 then. I’d spent lots of time with her from when I first got my license, but she was 13 then. Still too late to make much difference.

      One of the coping mechanisms she always used was to live in her own fantasy world more than reality. She was already doing this by 11 and in many ways still does. But then, isn’t that what they all do? Just maybe not as obviously as she always did.

      It hurts me deep inside that my two nieces refuse to have families of their own. Their dad is a narc, too, though. And even though he took them in when their mom abandoned them at the commune and did the best he could, being raised by a single narc dad is very rough at best. And I understand what you said about the uncertainty and not being willing to take the risk. I guess from their own experiences of family, the risks would just be too great.

      1. NarcAngel says:


        Dont be hurt that they dont choose children. Celebrate their honesty in knowing they had limits in what they could offer. I not only knew that I did not have much to offer children by way of my own experience with love, but what would I also be offering them in terms of the broken family around me? Narc grandfather? Whatever my mother was for a grandmother? An assortment of broken siblings for aunts and uncles? I consider it mercy that I didnt. I did fantasize young to donate an egg and then get in a time machine to see how I would have turned out in a different environment in the future lol.

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!! You’re telling me not to feel hurt for something! That’s like telling the wind not to blow!
          I understand you. I imagine my nieces feel about children about like you do. And it may very well be very wise on their part. But answering another comment a few minutes ago I realized it all comes back to me being one of those empath types that feels the pain of everything/everyone. One of the contagion empaths.

          I feel pain when someone kills a spider. I accidentally flushed one down the sink a month ago and it still bothers me! I feel pain when I see a sad scene in a movie – knowing it’s all make-believe! I feel pain just seeing wild animals worrying that they have enough to eat. I got bit by a garter snake in my porch bed and spent an hour trying to catch him to turn him loose outside without hurting him. One of the stupid lullabies I’ve been playing for the baby makes me cry every. stupid. time. I hear it because it reminds me of a HAPPY memory of my grandmother!

          I’ve learned how to show a stoic face for the most part. I’ve learned to mostly keep my fears and worries to myself. I’ve learned how to pull positive energy from my environment and heal my own pain, but I have never learned how to stop feeling this sympathetic pain for other people’s possible and even future possible suffering!

          I really need to revisit Buddhism and work on non-attachment.

          Thank you for your concern. I really do think of you as a friend – even though Im not sure you could tolerate me if we were actually in the same room! Good thing we live in different countries.

      2. Petals says:

        “It hurts me deep inside that my two nieces refuse to have families of their own.”

        Why would that hurt you? What difference would it make to you?

        I’m just curious to understand the mindset because my mother feels similarly about my asexuality. (The number of speeches I’ve been forced to listen to about “problems with intimacy” and “trauma” is getting downright absurd now.)

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          It hurts me because I have found such solace, joy and happiness from my own children. I would like that blessing for my nieces. Also they are both strong, intelligent, wonderful women who I believe would make great mothers and have much wisdom to pass on to their own children. It also hurts me to realize that they have been so warped and hurt from their childhood that they doubt their worth and ability to raise happy, well adjusted children. It hurts me because it reminds me of their abuse and suffering that I could not prevent. I guess the bottom line is it hurts me because I love them and I feel that they are continuing to hurt themselves out of fear.

          That said, I do not discuss this with them. I have told them my opinion and they have told me theirs. They are both adults and must make their own life choices, just as I make mine. My place is just to continue to love them and support them in the choices they make.

          I guess I need to work more on non-attachment, since it hurts me to watch people I love make what seem to be poor choices, because I feel echoes of the pain I believe they will suffer. I remember a stranger at a little league ballgame telling me years ago when my children were small that the hardest thing I would ever do is to watch my grown children make mistakes. I know not to interfere, and I know what I think is a mistake may well turn out to be a wise move for them, but it’s still hurts to watch it all the same.

          HG, rereading this comment, I guess the real reason I feel all this pain for possibilities, future and past, is because I am a contagion empath! That at least has made me laugh. 😄

    3. Petals says:

      Oh, this discussion is getting good.


      So was your choice to retain the last vestiges of empathy while adopting other narc behaviors a conscious decision (like thinking “I’m not like you! I’ll never be like YOUUU!! …but, uh, I’ll just appropriate these few things.” to your stepnarc) or unconscious?

      For me, things happened mostly unconsciously. For example, when I framed the girl who had the highest grades in the class (I had the second-highest) for cheating, I wasn’t thinking “What would Dad do?”…though he probably indeed would have done something similar. I was thinking more along the lines of I NEED that award at the end of the year, and I NEED my father’s praise for it, and if that means knocking one pretentious bitch down a peg, all the better. Decisions like these over time kind of set one on a certain path.

      The best analogy would be how your mind creates the imaginary world when you dream, but it does it so well you don’t realize what’s going on as it’s happening, only after the fact.

      On the other hand, the gate to Empathville was kind of slammed in my face when I was 9 and the pet chickens I had spent a year and a half with and was at the very least enjoying were beheaded by my father and then served at the dinner party that night (courtesy of my mother’s cooking). I actually begged my mother to help me originally (before my father said if I didn’t give him permission they’d get into a huge fight and might get a divorce), but my pleas fell on deaf and cowardly ears. It’s like, if my life was a movie (which I often imagined it was) and you thought this would be the moment of the protagonist’s redemption…well, this is NOT that movie.

      Sometimes the way things turned out feels like a choice, and other times I’ll swear it was forced. It was both.

      But when I was 17 and my mother finally decided to try, she didn’t have a chance. At 15 or even 13, T was likely set on her course.

      1. NarcAngel says:


        I knew I was not like him but I saw that some of his techniques were effective and could be used in situations outside of my family to my benefit. For example: intimidation. I learned how to watch for weakness in others and use that in a preemptive stike to get the upper hand if I sensed it would be needed. This was most effective in the playground or schoolyard. Later, in the workplace I would use that tactic and pair it with delivering a quiet and menacing threat while smiling and having it understood by the target but having my outward demeanour say that they must have misunderstood if they repeated it to others. These were concious decisions at the time but I justified them as being necessary as a defence and not used on anyone unless I considered them crossing me or abusing power.

        I never cared about awards or recognition. That related to approval and seeking approval to me in this way was weak and pathetic. It was saying that you needed to be validated and being validated by someone else was beneath me. This was of course because those things were of utmost importance to him (big on medals, trophies, and awards) and I certainly didnt need his or anyone elses approval or validation. You could say that that backfired in a sense because it caused me to be uncompetetive and that can make it harder to be successful in a lot of arenas. Healthy competition is good to a degree but not when your worth is hinged on it as narcs are.

        As time went on I went from conciously applying these techniques to defend myself (and others) to actually engaging further with those who displayed abusive behaviours in order to toy with them, find out more about them, and then give them a taste of their own. I viewed it as exercising and confirming that he had not taken mine from me nor would anyone else.

        I told him on his deathbed that I volunteered to put his awards, medals, and trophies in storage but that I had secretly smashed them all to pieces so there would be no evidence of his achievements-just word of mouth until they were forgotten. That got a visible reaction. I thought he should be pleased. After all-its something he would have done. See what I mean?

  4. Petals says:


    What do you think the percentages are of (a) narcissists (b) empaths and (c) normals?

    With the amount of undiagnosed narcissists out there, the figures one can look up are almost certainly inaccurate. And of course there is no scientific data to be found on percentages of empaths and normals (as defined here) at all.

  5. Petals says:


    Interesting topic, Windstorm, how you and T came from such similar backgrounds but turned out so differently in the end. Given the multitude of narcs in your long life, surely you must have a working theory about what causes some of the children of narcs to become narcissists and others not.

    So…care to share? 🙂

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      Yes, I do have a theory on what makes a person become a narcissist. Having watched several narcs from birth to adulthood, I could see differences even as infants in the little future narcs – although I didn’t realize what these differences meant at the time.

      Based on my observations, i believe some babies are born lacking the full spectrum of emotions. I believe these babies will be narcissists, but it is their environment that determines the severity of their narcissism. If they have loving parents who see this lack of empathy and work hard to teach cognitive empathy and how not to be abusive, then these children can grow up to lead fairly normal lives and keep their narcissism mostly non abusive.
      I have witnessed this in my own son and now a grandson who is five. My daughter is working hard to teach him how to be kind and show cognitive empathy. He has certainly never known abuse or neglect.

      If however, these children lacking all the emotions suffer abuse or neglect, they seem to fall back on their narcissism as a comfort and coping strategy. It seems that the more abuse/neglect they suffer as very young children, the more abusive they become as adults. I have never watched a baby grow into a highly abusive narc, though, so I have only anecdotal evidence for this (looking at various family narcs and learning about their childhood situations).

      I have no idea if a baby born with all the emotions can still become a narc if he is subjected to abuse/neglect. I have never witnessed this, but I have seen many empathic children who were abused but who did not become narcs, myself included.

      1. Petals says:

        Thank you for such a thorough reply. That was a genuinely fascinating read.

        Some of my earliest memories are of my mother trying to do what seems comparable to what your daughter in-law is attempting with your grandson. Probably the most vivid one is her explaining over and over again why…something (I really don’t remember) I did to this woman was a Very Bad Thing, and me not getting it at all. Oh, and her trying to make me say I’m sorry for things, and me continually refusing to do so. “We don’t have secrets, only surprises.”

        And my OTHER earliest memories are of my father telling me not to listen to everything my mother said, and that only the very simple-minded are bound by such things.

        I didn’t realize it at the time, but there was kind of a cold war (well, mostly cold) going on between my parents. My mother wanted us to be empathetic and normal, and my father was deliberately trying to raise children “like him.”

        “I have no idea if a baby born with all the emotions can still become a narc if he is subjected to abuse/neglect.I have never witnessed this, but I have seen many empathic children who were abused but who did not become narcs, myself included.”

        Well, if a child is naturally empathetic, it would be pretty difficult to nurture through abuse/neglect them ALL the way to the other end of the scale. Conversely, other children…one good push of nurture, and well…there they are.

        And as for your last sentence, I know that. My mother for instance endured regular beatings with a belt by her Mid Lesser father and was sexually abused and witnessed the sexual abuse of her sister at the hands of her stepfather (another Lesser). She’s still an empath (with all of the flaws and weaknesses thereof).

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          It is very complicated with many factors involved. And it’s my daughter with the 5 year old mini-narc, which puts paid to the idea that all narcs have a narc parent. Neither she nor my son in law are narcissists.
          My oldest narc son has two daughters. His oldest (4) is empathic. Too early to tell with his 20 month old. She is definitely nontypical. Only time will tell.

  6. Annie says:

    It is sad and scary. What was the pot plant? 🙁

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      Marijuana. She knew I’m a goody-goody, obey all the laws kind of person, so she figured I wouldn’t know what it was and would care for it until it was grown. Then I’m sure she planned to take it back under some pretext.

      That she would use my birthday as an opportunity to take such advantage of my trust – knowing full well how much having an illegal plant in my home would upset me – was a big blow to me and made it impossible to deny that she was a narcissist. We all know how hard it is to realize and to acknowledge that someone we love really, truly doesn’t care about us or our feelings.

      1. Catherine says:


        I can relate to the sadness of this letter and you are so right about the hardships of realising that someone we love with all our heart and soul doesn’t care how we feel. That’s been one of the worst things working through for me, I guess I am still stuck there in a way.

        Your letter and your comments are always filled with such wisdom Windstorm2. I of course discovered this great and helpful blog because of a narc intimate partner who hurt me immensely, wanting to put a name to him and what he did to me, finding an opportunity to still obsess over him all the time, but even though that may still be the case, I’m dwelling more on the far past now, trying to put a name to me, realising I’ve been a codependent all my life, focusing finally on who I am, what made me become me. As to my narc he’s just a looser anyway😊

        Thanks for all the wisdom. I read and appreciate everything you write!

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          Thank you for your kind comments!

          You’re right about the hardest thing being having to accept that the ones we love best never have and never will love us. It’s so hard when we first realize this. And for me at least, it takes a few years for the pain to stop. Eventually though, I come to terms with it and can interact with them without pain – although sometimes I do amuse myself by imagining a large man beating them about the head and shoulders with a thin stick. 😝

  7. Peaceful says:

    This letter makes me think back to when I was 11 or so… I was terrified of boys. I never knew why… and I wonder how many narcs I came across that could see through me knowing I was an injured empath… I guess many of my friends… as my friends were narcs… wow… I’m getting such an education here. Reading these letters brings up something different in me every time… a repressed memory… repressed emotions… connecting more and more dots….

    Thank you for sharing this MOI.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      You’re welcome. I’m like you, I’m constantly learning/realizing things about my past from what I learned here. Most of us probably come to this site because of a narc intimate partner, but if we begin examining our pasts, I imagine many of us can see that we’ve been dealing with narcs most, if not all, of our lives.

  8. Ratatoskerin says:

    I wonder what are the dtermining factors that lead children of narcissists or abusers to become empaths or narcs. The backgrounds are often similar, yet the results so different!

  9. Overthinker says:

    This sounds like the story my mother told me of meeting my father other than that its kind of confusing to follow will have to read again

  10. Noname says:


  11. (That is a narcissist)

  12. When you have built a self around abandonment, there is nowhere to go. Most definitely, nowhere to grow. and so the only place to turn is self hatred, passing it on to everyone while protecting the illusion of safety.

    1. Catherine says:

      Pure wisdom there africanviolet!

  13. I like this, “thinking you and reality had never met each other.” This was my introduction to the world, seeing my parents, and I was both amused and fascinated – jealous of the pain they’d miss, grieving for the death of who they wouldn’t be, laughing at how hilarious it was, confused as I automatically disassociated and then didn’t, proud of what I wasn’t, happy I could manage reality, sad they couldn’t, and waaaaay too much responsibility and guilt for what wasn’t mine, just to create the illusion of control as a baby and protect myself from psychosis.
    Things are so much more powerful when you meet someone at that age, and I can imagine what she must have meant to you. All we want as a child and teenager and adult is to be seen and understood, experience the best of life. Thanks to movies, our expectations are too high and (well from what I understand) most of it is unattainable because life and humans are imperfect.
    My mother tried to convince me that my PTSD symptoms were a sign I was unable to love someone ever again. I believe now, she was seeing perfect love as the child, not as the adult. That is, complete openness and vulnerability and an aligning of everything. I don’t think this is love. I think love is appreciating the other for what they have been able to make of themselves, what they believe. Not what happened to them.


    I would honestly think this letter is from the actual narcissist. Very cold & bitchy .

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      Ha, ha! First time I think anyone’s ever said they thought I was a narcissist!

      My feelings writing this were all sadnesses. Sad for what she suffered as a child. Sad for how she made her girls suffer. Sad that no matter how I tried to help her, it didn’t seem to have much effect. Sad that while we had so much in common as children, whatever saved me from becoming a narc didn’t save her. No bitchiness felt or intended. Just deep sadness and resignation.

      Maybe my detachment creates a sense of coldness in the observer. It’s sort of an automatic response anymore whenever I talk to any of my narcs to detach and try to project no emotions – probably a self-defense response. In reality I have always cared very deeply for this woman and consider her my sister and her daughters my nieces.

    2. Ratatoskerin says:

      Seriously? I disagree wholeheartedly.
      It isn’t bitchy, it sounds sincere, perhaps blunt, but I would definitely not think of this as words from a narc.

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