The Last Word


I often reinforce how the key to understanding who you have been entangled with and therefore maximising your own prospects of moving on is to comprehend that we operate from a different perspective from you. That is why so much of what we say and do appears odd, irrational and downright perverse to you, yet completely normal and understandable to us. One of those ways in which the perspective affects the dynamic between my kind and your kind is the fact that we always want the final word. Now, of course, it may have occurred to you that since we regard the Narcissistic Relationship as one which lasts forever, how can there really be a last word? Once again, this does not matter to us and this highlights the contradictory nature of the way by which we behave. We are the ones in control and we must always exert that state of affairs. Therefore, within the Formal Relationship we want the last word in any discussion or argument. We want the last word when issuing our opinion about something. We want the last word when the Formal Relationship has been brought to conclusion. Indeed, even if you end the Formal Relationship and escape us we will still maintain that we had the last word and we ended it. We will skew the situation to maintain our control and sense of power, irrespective of what might actually have happened. This causes confusion, frustration and astonishment for you, which of course is all good fuel to us.

The need for the last word is also a device which is designed to set us on a collision course with your kind. You also want to have the last word. You want to be able to say your piece. You feel that it is only right that you are heard. You believe it to be a fundamental part of any relationship that you are heard and because you find yourself so annoyed, upset and frustrated with the way that we operate, this desire to have the last word, set us straight and assert your position becomes all the more important to you. If the Formal Relationship has ended, you also want to have the last say. You want to let us know what you really think of us. You want to make some last plea to the normalcy you believe still lurks somewhere inside of us. You want to make us hear you, listen and somehow accept that we are wrong and you are right. This desire of yours to say the last word is considerable and flies in the face of our own desire which of course leads to conflict, drama and opposition, all of which creates fuel which is what we want. You are left infuriated if you cannot have your say. You are furious if you have been denied the chance to articulate how you feel. You are upset that your desire to say what you want to say has been ignored, disregarded and treated in a roughshod manner. You want finality. You want some kind of closure and having the last say as we both stare at one another across the smoking ruins of our Formal Relationship is something which matters to you tremendously. We know this. This is why we make it so damn difficult for you to achieve, either talking over you, shouting you down, walking away or just disappearing. You feel cut-off, denied, unfulfilled and this gives us both Thought Fuel and Proximate Fuel if we stay to witness the reaction.

The need to have the last word also leads to you being susceptible to being hoovered because you feel that there are loose ends which need tying up. We know this and rely on it to keep you hooked and providing fuel to us without ever allowing you to tie up those loose ends correctly. It is all part of the way we continue to manipulate you. No doubt you have found yourself in such a situation. You may now have moved on and know that the last thing you ought to do is engage with us in this way, no matter how tempting it might be. You have learned it will only result in fuel, if handled incorrectly and at worse you might even succumb to our charm once again and be sucked into the Formal Relationship again. Yet the desire to say those things you wish you had been able to say all that time ago or even more recently remains strong and powerful. Of course what you might say now would perhaps differ from what you might have said back then, when you did not know better than what you know now. You did not know what you had been entangled with, nor how you had been manipulated and thus your words would take on a different form compared to if you said them now, armed with knowledge and understanding.

Think back, when the need to say those last words arose, if you could have said them, at the time, what would they have been?

31 thoughts on “The Last Word

  1. Joanne says:

    “Are you just not into me/ into us? Is my being married too messy for you to deal with?” I did actually say these things to which he would reply, flatly, “nothing’s changed” 🙄 Yes of course nothing has changed. You went from love bombing me into oblivion yesterday, to today talking to me about the weather as if I’m someone you’re stuck sitting next to awaiting jury duty. No, nothing at all has changed 🙄

    In a normal scenario, we could’ve had a mature conversation, where he couldve let me down easily, saying he couldn’t deal with the complications of me being married. We’d both agree we had enjoyed our time together, and go back to being friends. No hard feelings. I offered him this “out” two or more times but he simply could not grant me the decency of closure.

    And yes, the desire for us to have a conversation “closing out” what happened between us is still there. Instead we’ll just keep playing idiotic cat and mouse games on social media as if we are kids 🤬

    1. Mercy says:

      Joanne, that closure word! We need it and you’re right, we open the door for them to give us closure. We create situations so that they can blame us but at least we’ll have our closure. “me being married is complicated” “I understand you think we’re not a good match” ” distance is hard on a relationship”. We give them these “outs” and get “nothing’s changed” from them. Those 2 words keep hope alive.

      I’m creating my own closure. I have HG and everyone here to thank for that. Learning what I’ve been exposed to and knowing I’m not alone in this journey is my closure.

      1. Joanne says:

        That’s exactly it. I was fine to take the blame if he needed it that way. Anything to just close the loop. So crazy! It just makes no sense (in *our* world). I’ve accepted there will never be closure from him. I wish it didn’t bother me but it still lingers. And since we are still in contact, there are times that I want to gently confront him but the way he was able to let things fade leaves me questioning his validity/reality of the whole affair to begin with. This space here, and time, is what gets me through!

        1. Mercy says:

          Joanne, it’s just part of the process. It seems like every day is accepting one thing then moving onto the next thing that bothers us. I forgot you are still in contact. I spent a few years with one foot in and one foot out and I still fear a hoover. I don’t fear that I’ll go back, I fear the stress and anxiety starting over from contact. We go at the pace that works for us but as long as we keep moving forward we’re making progress.

          1. Joanne says:

            Thanks for understanding. So many people view NC as black / white and for some there is NO question that it should be implemented. It’s foolish and pointless for me to have this contact but like you said, as long as we’re moving forward, it is still progress ❤️

    2. K says:

      I don’t know if you have read Closure Denied but that may help you understand your husband’s behaviour. Narcissists have an Open Door policy because, from their altered perspective, they own you and want to continue to draw (hoover) fuel from you in perpetuity or draw you back into the formal relationship/narcissistic cycle.

      Normal scenario (your mindset):
      1. You are decent and a truth seeker so you would like answers and closure.
      2. Your husband should be able to provide you with a reasonable explanation regarding his behaviour and apologize.

      Your husband’s mindset:
      1. Gain fuel.
      2. Assert and maintain superiority over you.

      Assert control, stop playing the cat and mouse games on social media then wait and watch what happens. He will switch manipulations.
      Get your validation and closure here.

      The paragraph between the two emojis is an excellent example of gaslighting. It is a complete Volte Face: Love Bomber to Stranger mode.
      That’s confusing as hell. WTF!

      1. Joanne says:

        Thank you for the link. The imagery in the opening – wow 😢

        My narc wasmy affair 😔 My husband is actually a really great guy. But anyway you’re right about the open door policy (good name). The sad thing is that even if we DID have closure, I’d still allow him to come around and draw fuel. As I mentioned in my other comments, I was offering him an easy out – no hard feelings. Maybe I needed to add “I’ll still be here to stroke your ego from time to time when you come around so don’t worry about losing that.” (Just kidding, of course.)

        I know I really need to stop engaging in these social media games. I just keep placing myself within his 5th sphere to see if he’ll take me off the shelf. He does. But then puts me right back. Kind of funny because back in December HG warned me of this. In our consult I asked him how I could keep the narc’s attention/ how to keep him wanting me. He told me that it was beyond my control and that if I allowed contact, I’d remain in this very position and while I wouldn’t be treated badly, this on/off the shelf business would become more and more frustrating. I know it’s up to me to close the portal (or at the very least to stay out of his 5th sphere orbit!)

        1. K says:

          You are welcome Joanne
          Thank you for clarifying, I saw the word married and thought: husband. You are an IPSS and it looks like you are still on the shelf.

          The imagery for that article is great; it is very clear that there is no clean break. Open Door policy was inspired by an article that HG wrote in Elated and Eroded titled: Open Doors, which helps further explain why closure is denied.

          The addiction is strong and I understand why you keep placing yourself in the fifth sphere of influence. It is very tempting to do so. Narcissists do not reject fuel and they are never full so he will gladly take you off the shelf whenever there is a hoover trigger.

          Their behavior is very predictable and you will know when the time is right to close the portal, just keep reading and let the logic take over your ET and then you will be ready to establish NC and maintain it. It won’t be easy, give it time.

  2. Kelly B says:

    The greater parental narc tells me all the things needed to be done to his house. So I tell get this, this and this done important stuff. Trying to sell his house. I said its cool out now its a good time to mow the lawn. He gets in the garage and looks at me. As I get ready to leave. Closes the garage door in my face with him in it. Always the last word…

  3. Mai says:

    Oh yes, the last word…. I know it well. I cringe at the last few emails I sent (after being discarded, told I was blocked on all platforms and GOODBYE Mai!)

    Once I realised I was dealing with an actual narcissist and not just someone with ADHD and rejection sensitive dysphoria, as I once believed, then it made it a lot easier to understand.

    Of course, this website and HG’s books are also helping enormously.

    It took a few hours, but two days ago I also deleted all our texts (millions of them), photos, emails…. literally anything on my phone and iPad to do with him. This has also been cathartic…. I highly recommend it!

    To my fellow survivors, HG’s book Exorcism : Purging the narcissist heart and soul is a very useful read.

  4. Bekah B says:

    Last word or not, I’ve always taken the opportunity to say what I had to say to him, whether it be through email, text message, or voice message.. It’s so very important to address how you feel or what you may be thinking at the time of the “squabble” or whatever the circumstance is, that way whenever they do come back, you won’t overflow with emotion saying all that you ever wanted to say that has been bottled up for so long..

    I sent HUNDREDS of text messages to my narc when I knew disengagement was on the cusp.. Even after they were sent, I continued to read what I sent over the course of the next few days, just to get it out of my system.. I am very aware there is a high likelihood he didn’t even read what I had to say (he always disliked my lengthy messages and emails).. But that doesn’t matter.. It’s important I got out what was on the inside, just so I could move past it.. A lot of times it seemed I got the last word because he would never reply to me.. But lately, I’ve been allowing him to dial the final phone call, or send the final text message.. These contacts from him are only responses to what I have had to say.. And they don’t directly address what I had to say, ever–I guess they are just acknowledgement of receipt.. Lol..

    In my specific and current circumstance of being pregnant and him refusing to be here or literally say anything about it, I am glad he has put himself in a position to be the one who has ended it.. It looks much worse on him that he left me while I am pregnant and went on to pursue a relationship with another woman.. Although, fundamentally, I am hurt because I was rejected and abandoned, I think it’s better this way than the other way around.. He could *never* make an argument and say to me that I left him or I wasn’t here for him anymore..

    He left me.. He left me and our children.. And I will probably never forgive him for this..

    1. Mercy says:

      Bekah B, I’m sorry you’re going through this. 19 weeks right? Almost half way there! I know this is not a comfort to you now but I think down the road you will be thankful that he showed you his true self. It’ll give you strength to reject him when he tries to come back.

      1. Bekah B says:

        Hey Mercy,

        Yes 19 weeks.. And I get so excited every time I lay down and feel this little baby in here squirming!! That’s one of the greatest joys of being pregnant.. 🙂
        But yes, you are right.. My daughter’s father has given me a lot of time to think about the dynamic of what we had and this disappearing act on his part during this such delicate time is unforgivable.. However, he has taught me how to be without him and it will prove invaluable for the rest of my days..

        1. Mercy says:

          Bekah “he had taught me how to be without him” I love this! Good way to look at it.

    2. Joanne says:

      I think I see what you’re saying. The onus of being the “bad guy” is on him. And you won’t have to second guess your decision since he was the one to leave?

      I hated the idea of mine not listening to me /reading my messages. There were a couple that he left on read which were kind of “sign off” messages, which I felt merited replies. I guess it goes to show they really don’t listen, they don’t care at all about our feelings and what we have to say but rather only take interest in the fact that we are providing fuel 😡

      1. Bekah B says:


        Yes, precisely.. That is it.. I won’t second guess my decision to keep him out of my life and to always fail in consistent communication with him because he was the one to leave me..

        Being in therapy and my counselor, specifically, have taught me it is more important to *you* to get out what *you* have to say, more than it is to expect them to listen, comprehend, and approve of what you have to say.. Getting it out is beneficial because afterwards, you can move on from the issue, standing firm in what you have/had to say with no apologies.. It is one of the strongest forms of self-validation.. It took me a long time to really wrap my mind around this concept, but now I get it and she is right.. We don’t need the narcissist’s approval in anything that we say or do.. We don’t need to set up the expectation in our minds and hearts that they will really consider our feelings and what we have to say to them.. We need to do that ourselves and know that what we say is valuable simply because we are valuable.. It doesn’t matter what they respond with or if they respond at all.. It’s not meant to be a debate or an exchange.. It’s a statement–an expression.. And again, it is of the utmost importance simply because it came from you–the empath.. 🙂

        1. Joanne says:

          Very well said! And at the end of the day, we must be true to ourselves. And if those words are part of our truth, then they should be spoken. I think really believing that is strength in itself. To know you can say something without fearing the narc’s response/ understanding or lack thereof, because it’s not FOR them.

          Unfortunately mine will probably have to stew inside me until it dissolves as I don’t fully trust him not to be storing screenshots someplace to use to ruin my life at some point😔 And, of course, I’ll be repeating myself here over and over lol

    3. K says:

      Bekah B
      Your lengthy messages and texts were challenge fuel so he deployed the Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence to assert superiority and gain fuel and control.

      This is a Silent Treatment: A lot of times it seemed I got the last word because he would never reply to me..

      These sentences are Invalidation/Gaslighting: These contacts from him are only responses to what I have had to say.. And they don’t directly address what I had to say, ever–I guess they are just acknowledgement of receipt.. Lol..

      him refusing to be here or literally say anything about it, (the pregnancy)

      The is your mindset:
      He could *never* make an argument and say to me that I left him or I wasn’t here for him anymore..

      His mindset: Bekah was manipulative and abusive and she only cared about the children and I tried to make it work, I really did! But nothing I did could please her. It was just too much and I had to leave for my own sake. I didn’t want to, but she refused to change/go to counseling.

      (Blameshifting, lies, facade maintenance, and pity play. He is the victim in all of this. You are the aggressor.)

      1. Bekah B says:

        Thanks so much, K, for this breakdown.. If this is really what he believes, he is sadly mistaken.. But, I must note there is nothing I can do to change his perspective on the entire situation, therefore it is best for me to continue to maintain this distance he has created between us.. I cannot allow him to come back and act like nothing has happened, as he has tried to do so frequently in the past.. This has got to be it.. One of the hallmark deal-breakers for me in any type of relationship is abandonment.. After I feel I have been wholly rejected and subsequently abandoned by someone who was important to me, I never view that person as I once did before and I never allow them a place in my life again as they had before.. This has proved itself over and over again in my life–from my father, ex best friends, my son’s father, and ex boyfriends..

        1. K says:

          You are welcome Bekah B
          Abandoning someone, especially when she is pregnant, is an unforgivable act. That is a definite deal-breaker and he will forever be “viewed black”.

          They all act as if they did nothing wrong and they can pop back into your life whenever they want. Gaslighting at its finest.

      2. K says:

        Add on: projection, smearing and gaslighting. We know he abandoned you and the children for his IPPS; he just rewrote the script to fit his reality.

  5. KatyAsks says:

    I think many victims escape because of their pride not because they truly want the break up. In this situation they hope the narcissist will fight for them and prove their love.

    HG – what can be the scenario in this case?

    A girl escapes in the early stages of relationship because despite the love bombing she sees the narcissist (mid range) isn’t ready to commit (likes to flirt with others) and it pisses her off so she escapes and goes no contact.

    She is very proud and want to give him a lesson so no contact lasts a year. Of course during that time narcissists plays with many different appliances but somehow he manages to break the former’s victim no contact regime (grand gestures, flowers, promises he has changed and is ready for a relationship).

    What if she agrees to give him a chance? Will it be better than the first time? Does the one year no contact teaches him anything? Or will he feel that urge to start the devaluation and punish her to make him in control again?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      On the basis that the narcissist is Mid Range (the most likely school in the suggested scenario) his behaviours will be dictated by the ‘here and now’ and not what occurred in the past.

  6. Butterfly says:

    I’ve always been ashamed of you. I was also looking for some fuel and you started to fail me when you thought I could be replacing your IPPS. Please take a look at you…and take a look at me… Do you get it now?

  7. kel says:

    HG, Do you suppose Ted Bundy might have done his serial killing sprees to create a legacy? He enjoyed the attention he got from his arrests, he escaped prison twice and went right back to killing- it was a game for him. He definitely created a legacy, do you think it was on purpose and maybe a reason why he killed- because he was good at it?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a possibility and would accord with his narcissism.

  8. veronicajones1969 says:

    Getting the last word is not that important to me it’s more about being considered and respected by someone who is in my life that is more important than the last word

    1. Joanne says:

      I agree. I didn’t need the “last” word, but I did want there to be a simple 5 minute conversation (live or even via text) where we could BOTH have final words, closing out what had happened between us. But no, he wouldn’t give me that, would just evade my attempts, or tell me I was being “silly”/”nothing changed” until so much distance built between us that it all just stopped by way of a slow fade 🙁

      1. shesaw says:

        Lol, we are like stored boxes of potential energy to our ex-N’s. Eternally potential.

  9. Iisbeth says:

    I did have the ast word.

    Isaid. , could you please honor that I no longer desire you in my life!! Your actions speak volumes over your words! Although I believe there will never be a place of complete comfort for you, I truly hope you find one to satisfy your urges!!

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