A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 28



Dear X,

I miss you. It hurts. I left you. But it was like leaving a sepulcher. I miss that tomb. Like a womb. You. The regime. Knowing my place. Not knowing my place. The unexpected. Expecting it. Shocked by it. Numbed by it. Soothed by it. The regime. The blame. The fear. And the guilt. You gave me a reason to feel it. Be it. Taste it. Believe it. Become it.

Now I simply doubt myself. My thoughts. My actions. My inactions.  No regime. Constant swirl of enmity turned inward. Your reign obliterated my own primal fears and comforted me in the blanket of yours. All wrapped up snug. Like a tomb. 

I love. I live. I die without you. I died with you. Where were you. Lying next to me. Where are you. Now. Absent yet present. Who are you (with) now. Are they good enough? 

I wish you were here. I wish we were us. I wish it were real. The truth hurts. I want it to be my fault so I can fix it. Us. You. 

Logic stabs my heart and says no. Stay NC. GOSO. New stuff I’ve learned. Wish I could tell you. They don’t replace our inside jokes, fun, familiarity, security, bond or womb like tomb. Not even close. 

But you are the enemy. They say. Whom I love and yet committed treason to. I know. So I can’t tell you. 

One day I will be ok, they say. They only used to be you. I don’t know who they are and I certainly wish I cared about or believed they as implicitly as I did you. 

Yours forever & never,


26 thoughts on “A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 28

  1. /iroll says:

    This is a great confession about ‘life on the edge’ as a trauma sufferer – but it’s missing a guide for how to Get Out and heal. Y is a beautiful person who deserves help.

    Good, even ecstatic feelings are also paradoxically involved in trauma, they work to transform the abuse into love in the mind of the victim like an emotional anesthetic—but that’s also why it’s so dangerously erosive to healthy adaptation over the long term. It’s like having constant stockholm syndrome.

    Lots of people need practical help but also a way through this psychological labyrinth, which likely began during childhood and the abuser is now fulfilling a role in their subconscious pattern. They have to realise that the abuser is not sharing this intense experience and cannot empathise with them, but is only socially isolating them – and isolating them from themselves. Bringing them into the Danger Zone of alienation and subjective destitution. Fuck you, abusers.

    Fear can be very meaningful by actually replacing and overriding the more subtle and complexer meanings, (social skills and boundaries, etc.), involved in the process of identity-building and interpersonal relationships—with far more intense, primal emotions, like a car crash is more intense than say, a boring day at work, followed by house chores and making dinner for your family. They (Y and many of us) became an addict to limbic survival hormones that are now automatically being triggered and produced. The abuser is the drug pusher. The rush of being in that dynamic is very high, but the low is very low low lower (womb-tomb) – the configuration of peak, intermittent ‘lovebombing’ highs and total rejection – erode a person’s will and identity. This is learning helplessness. A sign of which, is no longer participating in life, or only at a low ebb, doing the minimal needed to survive, not thrive.

    I sincerely hope this person gets a better sense of self as a reference point. Right now they have a collapsed-self with no defences against shame for existing, only adrenaline from fear is keeping them present in their bodies and minds, like a light bulb in a dark room somewhere in this maze.

    They’re trapped in a master/slave, primary/replica – or narcissist/echo – X/Y (= very intuitive!) circuit. They need to see that dynamic, rather than the abuser, as the no.1 problem, which is an internalised (suspected pre-existing) one. The abuser cannot be their primary reference point of self, if they wish to survive. The abuser will not give them the key to get out (will they ever love me?), even if they are abandoned – because the victim serves the abuser’s false self-esteem by being in the ‘sunken place’. The victim is a scapegoat for the abuser’s own issues.

    It’s not unusual to strongly desire someone who does this to you, they can seem amazing, the center of the universe – they’re like, having your own personal god, which is the ultimate kind of desire… what could be more thrilling and meaningful than having direct personal connection with the invisible forces of life and death.

    But that’s a kind of immersive fantasy (not a delusion – that’s different), to escape suffering. The abuser has only been able to do this by stealing your power. The power to do this comes from you, not them. Adapted victims with emotional depth and sensitivity, have the power of their addiction to practically deify an abuser. What they need to do, is destroy their own subjective – romantic ideation with the victim position. This is a big challenge, you cannot convert the abuser, you need to change yourself, the very ways in which you identify with suffering, through desire. It’s hard, because it’s also how you saved a connection to yourself through abuse, but it’s reached toxic levels when you confuse yourself with the abuser. There are no boundaries anymore. Without boundaries that separate, we cannot connect to others as distinct individuals and we doubt or falsify our realities.

    Owning your power might feel uncomfortable if you’ve been abused – that’s the problem. It’s a vicious or virtuous! cycle. I also love the ambiguity of that term. What is destructive and illusory can seem virtuous. These are illusory defence mechanisms. The abuser also has illusory defence mechanisms, but they are predatory. That can mimic true intimacy, but is not intimacy at all, projection has overtaken honest connection.

    It’s very very dangerous. This person is now afraid of their own independence, which is one of the subconscious issues of borderline mental issues when they’re combined with early trauma. Not to say this person has bpd, but the symptoms of trauma are often like bpd and the two are very linked.

    I wish you lots of courage, Y – find your way back to life, by caring about something in life outside yourself, even through very small acts, that deserve your care and teach you to relate to less intense events. That will re-build your capacity to connect and hence, authentically self-build.

    Taking ibuprofen can also help. Physical and emotional pain are linked in the brain. Jungian philosophy describes psychological pain as erosive, we’re like burn victims, dismembered. Unlike bodily harm, we can re-build the psyche with work. Physical pain management and body work (like yoga or running, any kind of self-care), helps with emotional pain management, and is better than relying on instinctive adaptations which are built for short-term survival and link you to abusive patterns. You’ll always have the memory-scars, but that can also help you to appreciate life, cause you’ve seen the other side.


    1. Omj says:

      great answer! Thank you Iroll. My ahah moment was this weekend walking and realizing that he has not been fabricated to bond – other than superficial fuel driven bonding .

      That real connection we feel for 2 – they can’t experience it – even with friends – let alone intimate partners.

      Would I chose a partner incapable of bonding with me ? That was my question of the weekend.

      This aside – I love your response – fear our our own indépendance – wanting to have someone “ in charge “ of us – thus avoiding our own responsibility and carences.

      When you were never protected by your parents and someone come along with that protective aura – that is malignant control in reality – easy to get sucked in the light of the darkness.

  2. LYNN says:

    Fabulous letter, the pain of enduring against the pain of giving up on something you yearn to be real. The agony… so well summed up.

    1. SN says:

      I planned to print it and hang above my desk in a frame, Kathleen!
      And maybe I will.

  3. SN says:

    I hope your day get better soon and tomorrow at the latest, Just Me!

  4. Just Me says:

    “Logic stabs my heart.”
    Four words that sum up everything today. Thank you Y.

  5. Em says:

    Lovely letter, emotional and meaningful. It sounds just how I feel. Thank you.

  6. Cindy says:

    Well put Y. I escaped 2 years ago. Some days I still grieve as I did when I first left him.
    It’s been an extremely slow process. I don’t believe in ‘closure’. We all learn to accept what happened and hopefully move with more confidence.

  7. SMH says:

    Wow. This is me too. The bubble/womb, inside jokes, attachment issues, guilt then finally realizing that it’s nothing I’ve done so I cannot fix it, forever and never. You will reach the other side, Y.

    1. Mary says:


      This letter conveys how I feel too. The “inside jokes, fun, familiarity, security, bond” shared with the narc have to be worth something, right? The idea of leaving that behind is incredibly painful. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. SN says:

    Beautiful and softly frantic, it reminds me a bit of one of my beloved works of yours, smart HG – “What’s It All For”.

    Thank you for this!

    1. Kathleen says:

      Thx for reminding us of “what’s it all for” – just re-read it. It’s brilliant too- the list of “maybe’s’” – should be broadcast to the world relationship sites as a wake up call. I probably thought all of them as I wasted my years in denial.

      1. SN says:

        Àlso, don’t beat yourself up too much – what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger, right?

  9. Bumbles says:

    This is how I feel too. Beautifully written.

  10. Kathleen says:

    Nice! Love this one.

  11. echo says:

    This one resonated very strongly. Well written. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s torture at first, but soon each day of NC will lift the fog a little more, giving you strength and clarity until you shine bright again.

  12. Tappan Zee says:

    Wow. My letter. Again.
    Left him one yr ago today.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Hi Tappan Zee
      I’ve been thinking about you and hoped you’d pop up.

    2. Omj says:

      And how does it feel reading it again? How was that last year ? Lessons learned ? Your nuggets for the people on the blog newly NC?

  13. Omj says:

    Painfully real.

  14. Kat says:

    Thank you to whomever wrote this letter!!! Thank you, HG also for posting it! This was timely for me! After dumping my narc, Ive been in the process of finding my own voice. Just now I used boundaries w my mom, and I got a guilt trip and was hung up on!!! I realize you are right….we NEED a narc to define us, to parent us. We need the guilt, we need to fix, we need the tomb-womb! This is why I have picked little Peter Pan narc boys who have not wanted to grow up. I am successful and mature yet so intimidated by real men because my mom has kept me as her child….kept me from growing up! Thank you!!! Now I am really aware and can make better choices and find my own voice! God bless you for opening my eyes! You also helped me to figure out why I procrastinate and have trouble making decisions. How interesting that narcs have these same wounds, and the empath and narc find each other. The narc and empath are on opposite ends of the spectrum, both w the same wounds. They are both ill and in need of a “doctor”. I wish you healing on your journey. This is the last day Mom will treat me like a child!!!

  15. Jess says:

    Such a good example of the inverse relationship at play. One of my favorite letters.

  16. Melinda Jordan says:

    Wow. This *is* everything. I felt every word of your hearts’ longing, anxiety and confusion.

    Most importantly, it HAS passed. Completely, finally and unbelievably.

    I still learn, read, observe and check myself daily to make sure it’s true. And it is. Bliss is ahead, believe me.

  17. SN says:

    “God said love your enemy. And obeyed and loved myself.”

    1. SN says:


      It should be “And God said “love your enemy”. And I obeyed and loved myself.”

  18. H. says:

    That was beautifully, and captures it all. Tears…

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