A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 100

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I’ve placed your soul inside of myself as if you were a speck of dust. And dust that you are inside of my soul, I am the pearl around. Ingrained though you are inside of myself it is time for you to leave. 

Get out and stay out, mother, and never dare to return.

Did you know that layer upon layer of a coating called ‘nacre’ is placed around an irritant until a gleaming pearl is formed? Layer upon layer I placed my soul around your glare that had me fixed as if I was a sore. 

My mother of pearl, even as I write these words I want to shine – shine for you in search for love, love you never gave.

And shine I did, I shone and shone when hurtful eyes placed their gaze upon me, eyes themselves trapped inside a lustrous coating of nacre. No longer will I shine for such eyes. And no longer for yours because you must go.

When you know, you go.

When you know, you get out, and you stay out. 

But how do you set a mother free? A mother that reigns inside?

What will remain of me, mother, when I let go of you?

Scared though I am to let go of myself: now it is time. Scared though I am of the pain that you’ll cause, it is time to set you free. You may no longer wear me in your hair or tie me round your neck. 

It is time for you to leave.

Carefully, step by tiny step I’ll unharden myself, and I’ll find that searing wound of pain. And as I dress the wound with my own soothing eyes I’ll find you quivering there. 

Nacre that you are around your own wound of pain, I must ask you to leave, now, mother, go. 

Get out and stay out, MatriNarc, and never dare to return.


60 thoughts on “A Letter to the Narcissist – No. 100

  1. E&L says:

    “this means rooting out your own roots”
    This reminds me of replanting orchids, sometimes you have to literally decimate their rotted root system to encourage a new budding. Right now, I have two sitting dormant since repotting them over a year ago. It is like the plants do not know what to do or how to bloom.

    If a lieutenant or another minion “drops” by, calls, or any outreach occurs (like an old neighbor with whom one has not spoken to in ten years stops by) and you even remotely suspect this action has been commissioned by the narcissist, then no response or pleasantry should be extended? Should silence and resolute disregard be extended to the coterie and lieutenants, as well? If you have answered this, forgive the repetition of questions.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Best response – do not engage.
      Next best – do not give any information about yourself to this individual which would prove useful to the narcissist (therefore discuss unrelated topics such as the weather, how crap the local football team is etc), if the member of the coterie makes mention of the narcissist terminate engagement “Must dash, I have soufflé in the oven” or such like.

      1. E&L says:

        Thank you.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  2. Sarah Kelly says:

    I know these words as if they were my own but I have not let go anyone… not yet. Who knows if I ever will be able to.
    Thank you writing. Xoxo 💕

  3. Veronique Jones says:

    I have done this and it’s freeing she has no affect on me anymore she still try’s to get in contact with me every few months but I don’t even read her messages could not have done it with you HG forever grateful 🙏

    1. E&L says:

      When she dies, how will you cope? Any thoughts?

      1. LC says:

        My mother died many years ago – she continued to “reign inside” all the same and I still haven’t managed to rid myself of her toxic influence entirely. It’s a long process. Step by tiny step I suppose… Reading here helps because I understand better that I had no chance to ever win her love. And it helps to know that I can never win love no matter how willing I am to give fuel.

        Love is given freely or it is no love. Still hoping to find such love one day.

        Thank you for posting all these letters, HG!

        1. E&L says:

          Thanks for commenting. I cry everyday about it. Each day, I tell myself today is the day I will rein in my ET. But, I fall short. There was so much enmeshment in my family. I strive for the positioning that Veronique stands in. Zero Impact. Free from guilt.

          1. LC says:


            Like it is for many others here on this blog – first comes the understanding that you have absolutely no chance to be loved by a narcissist. You must accept that it has absolutely nothing to do with yourself that he or she can’t love you. If you are an ACON, you have done nothing wrong, nothing whatsoever that made you the target of your parent’s emotional and or physical abuse.

            But it takes time for this understanding to settle. It takes time because “feeling guilty” is a coping strategy. It gives us a sense of control over a situation that cannot be controlled. As in : If we did it the narcissist didn’t. The outcome is not as we desired? Then we must be at fault.

            Guilt prevents us from seeing who the doer is and who the pawn. You were a child! And a child is dependent.

            Keep reading and writing, E&L over time your understanding will lessen your wish to self-flagellate.

            If your mother was a narcissist you must understand what this meant and then learn to care for yourself above anything else. She did not show you. She couldn’t – often not because she did not want to but because she could not.

          2. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

            E & L: Regarding Family and Self-Preservation. I find that we were raised by the media to romanticize the family in the U.S. However, I do not know where you live. We had the Brady Bunch, and Father knows Best, and My three Sons and Leave it to Beaver, And the Partridge Family, and Little House on the Prairie, etc. etc. etc. HG is fantastic at making these lists, and now there is a retro channel on TV that plays only these type of shows and I was watching them for a while, in awe. And then something must have happened and the TV series like All in the Family , and Married with Children, etc. came out to show that there is dysfunction in families. So we can learn from the Narcissists and evaluate what is the dynamic with each family member like I have learned from HG Tudor: Betty is good. Johnny is bad, Aunt Avery is bad, Uncle Bill is bad, My brother hates me, my cousin smears me, My Grandfather is for me, etc etc., and maybe not to the extent of polarization that Narcissists implement, but enough for us to not be destroyed overall by the reality of family versus the romanticization of what family SHOULD be. I have been thinking about this lately. I think I have to do some testing and evaluation to go further into my relationship with my own immediate and extended family. But this time, I have more knowledge to address each family member and make decisions regarding whether or not a certain family member is good for me or bad for me as, a methodology, on a case by case basis. No fairytales allowed. I may have some surprises in store. Painful ones as well. But, at least I have a self preservation foundation and protocol now on how to look at the reality of my own family ongoing with all the shifting sands that may occur, as well.

          3. E&L says:

            You are brave to search for understanding regarding your family dynamics. Mine was not by choice. I was discarded and no familial relationship was extended without approval by, supervision from, and manipulation by the Headmaster. I was to stay in detention, as always, or be expelled. Both punishments I railed against, neither situation was/is tolerable.

          4. LC says:


            “Both punishments I railed against, neither situation was/is tolerable.”

            So you’re still in detention?
            Who puts you there still and what makes you stay?

            You need patience for orchids, don’t you. They kind of do their own thing. The moment I think I’ve sussed them they drop their petals. And it has happened that there are new buds when I’ve given up to expect anything.

          5. E&L says:

            “So you’re still in detention?
            Who puts you there still and what makes you stay?”

            I am going to work on setting myself free. Thank you!

  4. deniseisdone says:

    This touched my heart…HUGS!

  5. Tappi Tikarrass says:

    Such a poetic analogy.

    I’m having real trouble completely GOSOing my father. I have my boundaries around our relationship but I can’t go completely no contact. I feel for him and he isn’t all bad. My sister and other familial narcs, no probs with no contact but dad…..

    Here’s a song- for anyone who’s interested- that resonates very strongly with me regarding familial narcs.

    Jamila Woods- Basquiat


    1. Narc noob says:

      Hi TT. I agree with your sentiment. No contact is not for every relationship we encounter.

      There are some family members, business partners and other acquaintances (for example) that GOSO doesnt really apply. Knowing who they are and where they have come from, and how we encountered these people is always a good therapy session.

      Hello from a fellow aussie😁

      1. HG Tudor says:

        GOSO always applies, to think otherwise is emotional thinking.

        1. Narc noob says:

          HG, I disagree.

          Some Ns offer us Es with some of the same prime aims that you might get, like, for example, residual value. Also, if we were to rid all Ns from our life, and GOSO, not only would it be time-consuming and reduce productivity but it would also limit our freedom. Not only that but it takes away from family gatherings, social events, and business interactions, etc. I just can’t see how it is a viable, logical, option!?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            That is emotional thinking.

            I do not have time in the comment section to “audit” your own circumstances to address each instance whereby you have some form of involvement with a narcissist to demonstrate how that relationship can be removed and any LEGITIMATE exception is managed, but I assure you that it can be done. The fact you cannot see it as viable demonstrates how your logic is being clouded by emotional thinking. Sacrifice has to occur in order to remove the triple toxic impact of a continued interaction with a narcissist.

          2. Lorelei says:

            I know what Narc noob is saying. If 1/6 people are narcissists it’s not realistic to not engage with the world. Isn’t the real aim to avoid a more than superficial entanglement with narcissists?

          3. HG Tudor says:

            I refer to my earlier answer.

          4. Lorelei says:

            I didn’t like your earlier answer. I’m not firing the lawn mower guy because he’s a narcissist! He does a good job and I get itchy eyes (or at least that’s what I claim) if I do it! No!

          5. HG Tudor says:

            You do not have to interact with the lawn mower guy who is a narcissist, therefore you are able to GOSO.

          6. Lorelei says:

            See—a concession. I’m not mowing. F*#% that.

          7. LC says:

            “I just can’t see how it is a viable, logical, option!?”

            Do you have confirmation that your family narcs are indeed narcs, Narc noob?

            I can imagine that you can see it as a LOGICAL option to go GOSO, but that you’re not ready emotionally.

            It took me around 3 years to learn and accept that my younger brother is a narcissist and finally go GOSO. It hurt like hell to realise that I don’t have a brother but a manipulative midrange automaton for whom I am a prop in a cardboard cutout world.

            The first step in going GOSO was to understand that this really is the case (that I am a prop for him even if he claims otherwise). As long as I wasn’t convinced of this I could not cut the ties.

            My analyst had him sussed. She said he was a narcissist. I didn’t entirely understand that this meant that I could never engage with his real self but only ever his fake facade until I found HGs texts about the narcissist’s perspective.

            My brother’s facade is pretty nice, respectable and solid – but it is indeed all fake.

            Pretending that a facade is real, as you must with a narcissist who doesn’t know what he is, is harmful to you though. I chose to no longer harm myself in engaging with him.

            I could picture, reading here, what my analyst tried to say about my brother because like most people I had the wrong idea about narcissism before. My ideas were in the way of seeing what was there to see all along – and what she could see simply from my describing my interactions with him.

            The second step in going GOSO was to accept that I cannot do anything about his narcissism try as I might. That I cannot make him see that there’s anything wrong with the way he relates to people. That I cannot and will not ever make him see that he hurts me and others with the way he interacts. That I cannot make him see that the sole reason for him to interact with me and others is to use me. (I tried and I failed, and the way my miserable attempts played out served as confirmation for my analyst that he is indeed a narcissist.)

            Understanding and accepting why he is the way he is was the third step. I feel deeply sorry for him – that he was a little golden boy lost – and I feel so sad for his children.

            When I interacted with them in his house his facade was up and running. But I know what it must be like when there’s no need for it to be up. I have no possibility to make a difference for them sadly.

            Since I made the decision to go GOSO I feel better. I am still grieving the loss of a brother I never had – but this is less painful than being a pawn in a cardboard cutout world.

            I cannot see what gain there is for me to let myself be used to play the part he designs for me.

            As I say the way to arrive at this conclusion was a hard and long one because I so wished to have a brother.

            When you know you go.

            But it is so damn hard to do when this means rooting out your own roots.

        2. Narc noob says:

          HG, if we all refrained from attending events for business purposes knowing that a narcissist will be present, and we stopped rocking up to family gatherings because of one black sheep or maybe we pull our children from school because their headmaster/teacher is a N – I think kingdom Empath will be labelled “crazy” once more. We would be scrutinised and asked to give an account however “because he/she is a N” doesnt really cut it. Why? Well they werent even the reason for our attendance in the first place.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            I refer to my earlier answer.

        3. Narc noob says:

          HG, not sure if that post I wrote went through?

          Anyway, I think you nailed it when you mentioned the words *toxic and continued*. That is my point. Some relationships are not toxic and neither are they continued. They are not formed to be something that goes the distance in terms of “relations”. They can be rare – such as christmas lunch, or the annual ball.

        4. Narc noob says:

          Thanks for the answer. I see your position hasnt moved. Perhaps I am not understanding, maybe I have ET, or maybe we are speaking the same dialogue but I am not communicating that.

          I refer to what Lorelei was talking about above, which you seemed to agree with. No contact with the lawn mower man may still require a payment, a knock on the door (as it started raining) and he decides to come back the next day to finish off. Not much “fuel” exchanged there I would imagine but an interaction all the same.

        5. Narc noob says:

          HG, you also say in your answer above that there is such thing as a “legitimate” reason. I think we are speaking about the same thing, I am not as sophisticated with my use of words, however.

          Me not knowing a viable way around NOT to attend somewhere that I wish to go, because said N will be present, does not then necessarily mean that I have ET surrounding the topic. There are plenty of other people in the room that I can choose to engage with and my focus is not on (known) N.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Legitimate exceptions are very, very few in number.

            If you wish to extract yourself from the impact of narcissists (and this is not just being badly treated – see The Devil´s Pitchfork in that regard) you must apply GOSO and the reasons for this are significant and have been explained in articles and are too expansive to address in a comment as I have already explained to you.

            If you are not engaging with the narcissist at an event, you are not speaking to the narcissist, you are not looking over at the narcissist, you are not talking about the narcissist, you are not listening to someone talk about the narcissist, you are not thinking about the narcissist, you walk away when the narcissist attempts to engage with you then you are applying GOSO, the problem is, the impact of ET means people cannot do that. Therefore they must avoid the narcissist to reduce that ET to a far less risky level.

          2. LC says:

            Narc noob and Lorelei

            Surely the lawn mower man operates with his nice facade when he mows the lawn and you’re not inclined to detect him as a narcissist. In that case: why even consider no contact. Its a non starter.

            Wanting to know if someone is a narcissist means that considerable pain and confusion has gone on before. So we’re not talking lawn mower man but brother mother coworker boss wife husband friend with benefits and so on.

            My best guess is that there is a narcissist you can’t get away from but should do and you’re using the unimportant lawnmower man whom you give a tiny sip of fuel at best (so little that you wouldn’t spend time on this blog for the sake of him) as an excuse to think that you’re not going to get hurt by engaging with your actual narc or narcs that are capable of extracting gallons of fuel from you.

            Or else perhaps you’re not sure if the individual you have in mind is a narc and don’t want to do them injustice?

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Most perceptive LC, round of applause for you.

          4. Lorelei says:

            Hi LC—the lawn guy does a good job. He’s clearly a lesser due to some issues I don’t need to expand on. I also guarantee if a pipe bursts at 2am he would come help. My narcissist cousin? Avoid her 100% because she’s already proven to be able to kick me emotionally so no need to go there—I’ll never be “positioned” to the lawn guy to “feel” him “bite.” HG’s general advice is to avoid of course for good reason. I am not one to always follow sound advice and I do think exceptions can be made depending on one’s personal risk threshold and advancement in work done here. (He may disagree mostly)
            Just this week I made a very clear decision at work. Of course there will always be narcissists at work. We have had issues recently with a group and they have been disciplined. A behavior occurred by one and it was profound bullying toward a “weaker link.” I had a choice to make. I chose based on my assessment and weighing the potential risks that it wasn’t going to happen. The “weaker link” is a wonderful friend and

          5. Lorelei says:

            LC—I was in the middle of a long reply and it vanished or I sent it inadvertently so I’ll wait to see what pops up and finish it.

          6. Lorelei says:

            Alright I see it got pushed through mid-sentence. Basically I had to make a quick decision. Slink away, give it to an authority, figure, get real direct, etc—I decided to let her know I wasn’t taking it on behalf of my friend. Challenge fuel? Sure? She can F off. She can’t “beat me” for many factors I weighed out. I’ve already since met with administrators. I was an administrative figure and know the game and I’m smarter than she is and while I can’t control her I can help push her out the door. We are already expecting some passive aggressive stuff—I know I can handle she and her coterie of dumbasses. Usually I stay out of stuff but this no. She pissed me off and she can’t win even with “instinctive planning.” As far as my children’s father—GOSO 100%. He will never get a face to face with me. I’ll walk away. As far as my friend being targeted—its a pay back to her for the immense support over the past few years and it is paying it forward. She feels empowered and I’m happy. HG may disagree but I personally wasn’t letting this go.

          7. LC says:


            If you’re higher ranking than this work narc then I think there’s no need to go GOSO because all narcs have a serious need of facade management and they will go punish someone else if you resist their manipulation.

            If I get the work situation right it is more problematic if the narc outranks you or shares your level.

            If a lower ranking narc is able to hurt you emotionally and there is a need to distance yourself then I would think there are ways of implementing a form of GOSO that is GOSO without radical measures as such leaving the town, selling your house, changing work and all that.

            Okay, one sixth of the population are narcs, meaning we’ll probably encounter one on a daily basis whether we want to or not.

            This is why HG goes on about the fuel matrix and repeatedly stresses its importance. There is no need to change your life and indeed go GOSO if your position in the fuel matrix is negligible. (And you don’t invite him or her to change that position.)

            Any narc that makes you want to return to this site time and time again probably has assigned you an important spot in their fuel matrix, and it’s those it’s important to worry about.

            And why discuss the ones you don’t worry about – that would be important to work out I think.

          8. Tappi Tikarrass says:

            I will be doing this next weekend narc noob and HG.

            My intention is to avoid the few narcs who will also be in attendance using the tactics HG discusses here. There are family who I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m completely off grid, social media wise, so don’t keep up with the everyday postings and fam groups. We’re scattered throughout the country and this is a rare event. I don’t mean to sound egotistical but I hold respect amongst most of my large extended family and that will also help. Having my children by my side is the clincher though- my son especially will be like a body guard. He won’t be afraid to deflect potential provocations.

        6. Narc noob says:

          LC said “Wanting to know if someone is a narcissist means that considerable pain and confusion has gone on before. So we’re not talking lawn mower man but brother mother coworker boss wife husband friend with benefits and so on”

          Are we not here to learn the signs, the red flags and avoid getting emotionally entangled in the first place? I do not wish for confusion, pain or otherwise. If we can spot a lawn mower man as said N, than we can better manage ourselves being armed with that knowledge at the onset. Yes, No?

          1. LC says:

            Narc noob

            It’s important to distinguish the type of relationship. If you’re romantically interested in lawnmower man then you’ve spotted the red flags and you don’t get involved. If he mows your lawn and has exposed himself as a lesser (I assume through vitriol and physical behaviour amongst other things) you find a new one, yes. This is a guy whom you let onto your premises repeatedly. Perhaps there are children there who might interact.

            I’m talking about people who are truly exposed narcissists. Not people who act narcissistically at times or have a bad day, are going through a bad phase in their lives or are dicks (but not narcissists).

            But Lorelei is a big girl, she’ll know why she doesn’t want to fire the guy. If she doesn’t know why though, I’d work that out in her position.

      2. Tappi Tikarrass says:

        I have replied to you NN but I can’t see it. A brief reply- hello back and asked you which state you live in…. if you’re comfortable sharing that info. If not, no worries.

        1. Narc noob says:

          Hi TT. I cant see your last comment either. Im in WA, you?

          1. Tappi Tikarrass says:

            I’m in NSW NN
            I’m seriously considering relocating to Margaret River!

        2. Narc noob says:

          TT, I have a family member residing in MR. Lovely place, best in summer! 🤗

    2. E&L says:

      Love this music. Her sound is like Erykah Badu in this song.

      1. Tappi Tikarrass says:

        I replied earlier to you as well E&L…. maybe it will appear soon. Maybe WP is punishing me for called it a narc in another thread.

      2. Tappi Tikarrass says:

        Well, it looks like my reply to you disappeared somewhere E&L…
        Yes, the music is great as well as the lyrics! Yes, she does sound like Erykah in this song. I’m also a fan of Erykah’s. Bag Lady comes to mind for a topically relevant songs of hers.

    3. LC says:

      Hi TT

      Thank you for posting the link – the lyrics remind me of another song someone posted here once and which left a lasting impression on me, and check out the video, it’s eery…


      Stone Sour, Looking Through Glass.

      “How much is real? So much to question.”

      We carry our parents inside but how much of that is real … And if it isn’t real, how much fakery is our own sense of self built upon …

      1. Tappi Tikarrass says:

        A pleasure LC. I missed the Stone Sour comment you mention… will listen to it shortly!

        Here’s another of jamilas that resonates for me… enjoy!

        Jamila Woods- Holy


      2. Narc noob says:

        Hi LC, thanks for your response.

        Out of the 24 adults in our immediate family I would say there are 4 Ns. Those are the ones that stand out, at least. I have not had them assessed, just my reading here has equipped me to draw those conclusions.

        I find it a messy topic, the whole cutting people off fully, esp. those like family, business acquantances and the local barrista. Of course I have ET, I am here so that is a given, however that ET also treats people like they are people. My closest friends, the ones I hang with, those I spend most of time with, they are not Ns.

        I am sure I will get there, eventually. Hot topic since I found this site! Argh

        1. LC says:

          Narc noob

          There’s nothing wrong with treating narcs like people – that’s what they are. People with a personality structure quite different from your own.

          No contact is about not letting yourself get hurt by anybody close to you any longer. Not every narc you encounter will hurt you – no contact is for those who have already done it.

          If this is about your family narcs and you’re in doubt I would get HG or someone else versed in narcissism to check them. You love them to some degree, you engage in self doubt, so you will most likely stay in doubt otherwise, since your doubt will not let you conclude without an outside evaluation.

          Getting HG to check is the quickest and probably most economical solution. I have not asked him to check mine but I have an analyst who worked mine out before I found this blog. And sadly it’s true, once we’ve identified one there are likely to be several…

          I’ve written above that I went GOSO with my brother and how long it took me to do. What I didn’t expect was that I feel so much better now I’ve done it. My analyst said if my brother tries to engage again I will feel and know by the way he engages whether an unlikely change has occurred.

          So far there have only been classic midranger hoover attempts. And these confirm how right it was to no longer pretend that he is someone he is not. (I have translated her words into blog terminology – she doesn’t know HGs works and the thinking is congruent all the same – in most parts – which is very helpful for me.)

          What you probably mean by saying that you treat narcs like people is that you choose to buy into your given narc’s facade still. Not that you treat him or her like a person who is dependent on maintaining a lovely-person facade. Big difference.

          Knowing whether the person really is a narcissist is the key to unlocking the next steps. Without that knowledge you’ll engage in perpetual “I don’t know but what if he’s not even if everything seems like he is one, maybe it’s me” variants of ET.

          1. Narc noob says:

            LC. That is a huge step to take and I bet you didnt do it lightly!

            Are you new to the blog, I dont beleive I have seen you until a few days ago?

            I know what you mean, about getting a second opinion and making sure. I am 100% certain regarding the 3Ns I come here for, so there is no need for confirmation. HG has done a good job of explaining here and so therefore I feel I dont need a N consult. I am looking forward to an audio consult that is coming up shortly, however.

            How did you approach the topic (to others in your family) when they asked why you dont associate with your brother anymore? Do you have a partner who might have been indirectly affected by that or other friends?

          2. Narc noob says:

            LC, funnily enough, seems my analysis agrees with HGs stats! (4 in 24) Ha ha..

          3. Narc noob says:

            LC, after 5 years of little contact and no more “hurt/confusion” I am at a crossroad due to other family members that I do love, and who ARE involved.

            I realise I am responsible for just myself. It hurts seeing what is unfolding before my eyes, though. It might eventually trickle back to me also.

            I guess I am concerned with what will happen given I will be the one stepping up. Causing waves automatically makes you a black sheep in some family units, and that isnt my nature.

            Any more tips given your experience? Cheers. 👍

      3. Narc noob says:

        LC, I can’t see where to respond to you so here will have to do.

        “What you probably mean by saying that you treat narcs like people is that you choose to buy into your given narc’s facade still. Not that you treat him or her like a person who is dependent on maintaining a lovely-person facade. Big difference”

        I think I understand what you are saying. When I say I treat people the same, I am meaning that I am amicable and don’t go around knowingly pressing buttons.

        Being a truth seeker and honest person my personality is not capable of *engaging* with someone when I know who they are, what they are. etc. I just get tongue tied as there isnt anything to talk about, I cant ask questions or share due to a knowledge that it is detrimental and I cant accept what they talk about either, as the whole conversation is constructed on a lie, which I am not comfortable with.

        1. LC says:

          Narc noob

          You asked if I’m new here – relatively, I’ve been here since roundabout October. It was read only for quite some while, except for the occasional comment. I mostly comment on the family related themes, and the ones on self awareness because these I’m most passionate about – not about the partner related ones so much.

          “I guess I am concerned with what will happen given I will be the one stepping up. Causing waves automatically makes you a black sheep in some family units, and that isnt my nature.”

          I can understand that. I don’t know what’s at stake for you. If it is “only” relationships then there’s nothing much to lose if you step up. Those who care for you will remain with you. Those who choose the narc side you cannot influence. They might however come round later.

          You say being a black sheep is not in your nature. I was a black sheep from birth and am no longer of the opinion that I have to accept such roles. Who wants to regard me as a black sheep is welcome to do so, I can’t and won’t change their mind for them, but I don’t need them to view me in a certain way either.

          Parts of my extended family are entirely dysfunctional and I seem to be the only one who wants to do anything about it. But I don’t go round telling people that my brother is a narc. That’s not my business, everyone has their own relationships to look after and I focus on mine, and mine alone. By mine I mean the ones that truly matter to me.

          I have stayed away from family events were he turns up. Including funerals. It was hard to do but in the end I knew it was the right thing. He will have said he’s really worried about me, he really tried to find out what the matter is with me blablabla. Such gatherings are central for my brother’s facade/self-image as decent loving caring family man. This is why I will get hurt having to resist him trying to draw me into his scheme. Aunts and uncles will say to me isn’t your brother a wonderful person. They don’t understand what narcissism means so there is no point in trying to expose him.

          Anyone who cares to know why I don’t turn up can ask me and they will get an answer if I get the feeling that they really care for one.

          As regards my brother the people who were most upset were my (adult) children, because for them he seemed a nice enough uncle. I told them – not using the word narcissist – that I have been hurt by him repeatedly, that he refuses to understand this and that I therefore chose to cut ties. My children understood my point of view. I gave them one example, explained how I felt and what I ‘d done to explain to my brother. I left it at that but said that there were similar situations and that he could not understand my point of view.

          They offered to be ambassadors and I refused. They were upset about this, went and tried anyway. They came back saying my brother is indeed a bit weird. They have begun asking questions about past events. My answer is always that I have cut ties but that they have their own relationships with him. If they feel good with him that’s okay and I certainly am not in the way of their meeting him.

          Last I know is that one of my children came back from one of my brother’s family events and gave me a detailed analysis of the weird things my brother says to his children. How one cousin is ever so wonderful and can’t do anything wrong in his uncle’s / my brother’s eyes, whereas the other child can’t get anything right…How the third was not important somehow. I could then explain a bit more about the way my brother and I were treated by our narc mother (whom they never met). And I talked with them about what went wrong when they were small (acknowledged my own inheritance of dysfunction that I hope will stop with them).

          You asked for a tip, Narc noob – I’ve only got the strategy HG posts here in various pieces about romantic relationships – I’ve adapted it for my situation and it’s of course also that advocated by my analyst.

          Ok here goes:

          Focus on the relationship at hand and see what happens. Deal with one relationship at a time. Do not try to persuade anyone that you’re right about your decision to GOSO. You don’t owe explanations. You don’t need to defend yourself. Do not try to doctor the way how people see you. And you cannot fix or heal a dysfunctional family system alone. That’s a mission impossible.

          But you can fix yourself and you can fix relationships you care about that are fixable. Those who indeed care will want to form their own opinion and come to you asking you caring questions. And then it’s good to stay with your own feelings and experience of which you needn’t disclose much. Don’t label, don’t smear – don’t use the word narcissist because they will regard it as an insult if they hold the narc in high regard. There may come the time to mention the word – but not when family members cannot (yet) see for themselves that there’s anything wrong with the person you’re suffering from.

          Your decision might cause a stir – it didn’t in my extended family. This didn’t actually surprise me.

          Good luck to you, Narc noob, I wish you courage, too.

          1. Narc noob says:

            LC, thanks for your lengthly response. Appreciate your efforts.

            I came here not long after you, maybe Dec/Jan.

            At this stage, 3 of the 4 N members of the family are not an issue at this point in time. I can come and go as I please, they have enough fuel elsewhere and our interactions are very minimal, plus we havent had a situation where things have been of the push-pull variety.

            You are right about relationships and the real ones surviving. If I am to implement GOSO with a certain individual however, the one closest to me will be deeply hurt and not explaining myself nor them being able to explain to others, wont be taken lightly or looked on favourably. I guess I am going to need to make a decision sooner or later, however.

          2. LC says:

            Narc noob

            “If I am to implement GOSO with a certain individual however, the one closest to me will be deeply hurt and not explaining myself nor them being able to explain to others, wont be taken lightly or looked on favourably.”

            The one closest to you is your partner I take it (because you asked if I had one that might be upset about my GOSOs; I don’t right now).

            Your partner needs a different explanation than children or anybody else in the family. If you have a good partner s/he will want to see you happy and accept boundaries that you draw, and GOSO is a boundary you draw for your wellbeing. S/he might not like your decision but will accept it. If not I would begin to wonder if my romantic relationship needed some serious work.

            This would not be unusual by the way. Beginning to get immersed in ‘narcology’ means dissecting all one’s relationships. It means wanting to lead healthy ones and healthy ones alone. It does for me at any rate. A strong relationship with your partner will mean that s/he will understand. Perhaps you’re not so good at talking to one another at this present moment but you can (re)learn (perhaps with some outside help). It’s one of the reasons why I still see my analyst. I never did have a healthy romantic relationship so I have quite some path ahead of me.

            Gotta go now!

          3. Narc noob says:

            Thanks LC. Much obliged. You have made me more interested in your therapist but maybe that is for another conversation.

            You are right about when another person wants the best for you, they will find a way to listen and in some way understand or accept that its another perspective. I will let you know how I go – so far, so good.

            You sound like a decent person and being here (and reading your posts) would mean that my assumption is likely to be accurate. Thank you for your words of encouragement and I wish you all the best with that romantic relationship you speak of.

            Btw, what empath cadre/school are you?

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