A Letter to the Empath – No. 4




Dear me,

I often wonder, if someone were to have warned me what I was getting into in four years ago, would I have believed them? Could I have? Probably not. It’s a thought experiment reflexively performed whenever I see some poor girl getting lovebombed (look that term up) on social, whenever I read or hear the words “relationships are hard but it’s worth it,” etc. I never attempt to intervene with them and I won’t with you now

I know you’re lonely. I’m lonely, too, though perhaps in a different way now. You have so much love to give, so much goodness just festering inside of you, and a heart that aches and longs to share all that with someone. I can tell you that you’re going to miss those aspects of yourself someday, unfathomable though that may seem at present. There’s so much that’s wonderful about you: the way you always seem to focus on the best in people, your trusting nature, the silly sweetness with which you go about each day, the diligence that you bring to helping and healing those who would ask that of you. Would you trade all that away for the vague and empty promises of some charming man you just met? The question is rhetorical, because we both know what you’re gonna do

I know you’re gonna do it, because I did and to be honest some days I know I would do it all over again if given the chance. So instead, I’m going to tell you what happens after: the music comes back, better than ever, your resilience is thoroughly tested and yet remains your greatest and most reliable asset, and you also get way hotter in part because of depression but also because of spite. You discover that, over the years, your life has become cluttered with people like him, and so you will set about removing them one-by-one and in the process find a peace you never knew. You learn the necessity of establishing boundaries and you stop letting anyone cross them. You become as strong and self-reliant as you need to be, because you’re you and that’s what you do. It’s actually pretty amazing, boyfriend or no

I would tell you to enjoy or appreciate the good times while they last, but I know that we did, each and every night before drifting off to sleep. I know you will relish his seduction of us, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous in some small way. But you will also do what’s necessary when the time comes. I know I can depend on you for that, because I always have

Thanks for sticking it out gorgeous,


45 thoughts on “A Letter to the Empath – No. 4

  1. Chihuahuamum says:

    I really love how you said you would realise how many people like him would be cluttering your life and how youd remove them one by one.
    My narc has indirectly given me the best gift of all and thats learning about myself and others around me. He was the catalyst for change. Ive learned so much since the day i first met him and will continue to keep learning. Lifes a journey.

    1. Renarde says:


      The narc my lovely x

      1. Chihuahuamum says:

        Hi renarde
        Yes youre right “the” narc. Thats a bad habit to break but the narc and i are seperate!

        1. Renarde says:


          Good for you!

  2. Renarde says:

    Heart wrenching words. Not just the letter but the comments.

    I’m 44. Never thought my life would turn out like this. I loved with all of my heart the UMS I spent 18 years with.

    He WILL destroy his IPPS. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I want to scoop her and my two children away from this utterly black and deviant psychopathic monster. But I cannot.

    Shes younger than me. But nowhere near my intelligence. I held him to account every single day we were together. She does not. She looks up at him with misty, swoony eyes. Silly cow does not understand that every single day she is with him, she is one step closer to Death.

    Death and I have had many chit chats. I’ve gone over so to speak on two occasions. I did not die. He said to me, very kindly and gently, ‘Ren, you can keep on taking overdoses when it’s not your time’. So, who am I to argue with him?

    So I stopped trying to kill myself, what would the point be? He will just keep on resurrecting me. Waste of his time and mine.

    My prediction is that the IPPS will die before 40. I do not wish this but I cannot stop what will unfold. The UMS has isolated himself to such an extent, there will be no one there to look after my children. He has no friends, no family. He only has me.

    Sorry if my talk of suicide and death has been troubling and disturbing.

    What I do know of the other is that when we do cross, it is a paradise beyond our comprehension.

    My thought and prayers are with those on this material plane who have lost people they love.💛

    1. Presque Vu says:

      God Ren that’s deep! I relate in parts too, more than parts actually.

      Brynn I love your letter because you know it will happen, you cannot stop it nor try to because your younger self must learn and learn she will. I like what CMum said about the Narc teaching you so much and being the catalyst for change. Thank you for sharing ❤️

      1. Renarde says:


        Wise words. Narcs, not ones that come from intimate familial backgrounds and as long as they are not too malignant, can bring deep healing.

        Hope you are ok and sorry if my words were very deep and triggering x

        1. Presque Vu says:

          Not triggering but utterly relatable Ren, no apologies needed, keep being you ❤️

          1. Renarde says:


            Cheers m’dear!

    2. Kristin says:


      I can totally relate to and understand the pain you have suffered. It is important that you shared your struggle with suicide as I am sure many others have had those thoughts and may have acted on them as well. Thank God He pulled you from the depths of despair and brought you back. How many times have we said that a punch in the face would be much less painful than the mental anguish we experience as a result of being with a narc(s)?

      Thank you for your honestly and for sharing your personal pain, it has certainly helped me. Blessing to you!

      1. Renarde says:


        Lovely words my lovely!

        I’m not frightened of death. Hes a card and when he does come for me, he will be so gentle.

        HG is a brilliant writer. But so was Terry Pratchet. I was watching at Xmas a drama documentary about him. Beeb.

        It’s one of his later works. Granny Weatherwax is near Death. And Death is sitting with her. Chit chatting. You know.

        Westherwax says, ‘Death, I dont want the end to hurt when it comes’

        Death hold her hand and says, ‘My dear, it already has’

        Crying as I type this. How beautiful.

  3. WhoCares says:

    I love the honesty and kindness – towards oneself – expressed in this letter. More empaths simply need to extend more kindness to themselves.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so right WhoCares! It needs to be a conscience decision to extend more kindness to ourselves and to make sure our needs are met because we can’t rely on others to do so. 😊

      1. WhoCares says:

        Yes, Kristin, and we often make sure the need of others are met before our own. When that becomes habitual, we are always the losing party.

        1. Kristin says:

          Well said WhoCares. I’m afraid some of empath’s admirable traits are the same ones that befall us when involved with a narc.

          1. WhoCares says:


            I have wanted to say this before but perhaps I will say it now. I am amazed at the way you have given to other empaths here, with your thoughtful, caring and supportive comments, especially considering what you are currently experiencing at home in your personal life.
            You come across as very strong – and I am sure that has got you through your years with your husband. I know that your contributions here genuinely represent the person that you are and that as an empath such interactions give strength back to us. But sometimes we do tend to spread ourselves too thin. Just hoping you are storing up some of those reserves for yourself for when you most need it – and actually applying some of the self- kindness that we are speaking of.

          2. Kristin says:

            You are so sweet and your comments are appreciated more than you know. I am trying me best to take care of me while still moving forward. My mother has said the same as you regarding spreading ourselves too thin and she is afraid that she will get a call that I have had a nervous breakdown. This is certainly not about pity, but her insight made me realize that if I don’t move ahead and take care of me, there will not be anything left and I have to be here for my children.

            I learned in the Zero Impact package, I believe, that narcs allow us to be the empaths that we are. It made so much sense and explained, in part, why I am hesitant to leave. I am much more than a wife, mother and friend but being the backbone for my family is a huge part of who I am.

            Thank you again for your support and the reminder that we need to take care of ourselves, I needed that. Hoping you are doing well 😘

          3. WhoCares says:


            You’re welcome. I just know what I went through when leaving my narcissist – I still wanted to keep being the ‘old’ me. I kept making mistakes before I could see it. It may not be the same for others but I had to entirely withdraw my empathy from the world for a time, so that I had enough emotional resources for myself and my son, and to re-learn how to invest it in others safely. This is because I now know I can give it, and other resources, away too easily.

            “if I don’t move ahead and take care of me, there will not be anything left and I have to be here for my children.”
            This is a wise thing to be aware of.

            “being the backbone for my family is a huge part of who I am.”

            After leaving I felt rudderless, because, as you note, our role as empaths is such a big part of our identity. So there is a loss of sense self, and desire to turn back to familiar territory. That’s part of the internal emotional battle HG speaks of in crossing the emotional sea.

            There is such a bright future in store for you Kristin and you’ll see clearer once you’re out of the fog.

          4. NarcAngel says:

            What a powerful gift you have in your mother’s support. You can imagine her anguish if you were to stand in her shoes and it was one of your children.

          5. Kristin says:

            Thank you and I agree wholeheartedly, I do not know what I would do without her. I hear the pain in her voice and know that if it this happened to my daughter I would feel the same. Ironically enough, she became entangled with a narc for 13 years after my father passed but is now a huge HG fan!

            Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe I remember you posting about your mother being a narc? Like HG, that must have given you a very difficult start in life but you are so strong and knowledgeable now. Your posts are very logical and make me think of things in a way that I hadn’t thought of.

            Finally, you provide comic relief that always cracks me up! I now have a visual based on your tampon description yesterday that will pop into my head when I see photos of Mr. and Mrs. Sourpuss. Quite the accurate description if I do say so myself.

          6. NarcAngel says:


            I have posted about my experiences with Stepnarc or SN (my stepfather) who was a violent uneducated POS Lesser.

            I’m glad you have found moments of comic relief here. Narcissism is a heavy subject and nothing to laugh at, and it can sometimes miss the mark depending on the recipient and the stage they’re in, but looking for the humour in a bad situation and being able to laugh can lessen the sting a bit. Laughter is the fuck you to pain and music to my ears. There are many humorous people here (including that taskmaster of a teacher we have).

            Call your mother.

          7. Kristin says:

            I completely agree and were it not for humor I would have been in a padded cell a long time ago.

            Not to brag, but my family has its own Jerry Springer episode, just saying.

          8. NarcAngel says:


            A Springer episode? Your family are dysfunctional royalty.


          9. Kristin says:

            Yes NA, my family invented dysfunction, bow appreciated. I love to see the look on people’s face when I say that because there is always a small delay and look of uncertainty as to whether or not I am kidding. It keeps me sane.

          10. Violetta says:

            Kristin: Springer? You put the FUNK in dysfunction!

            (My family only put the diss in dysfunction.)

          11. Kristin says:

            If you’re going to be good at something you might as well be the best! Been there, done that and have the t-shirt.

        2. Lorelei says:

          Butting in (sorry) but whocares—you made me think.. I only stayed with my ex thinking I was putting the kids needs above my own. Yet, the delusional component was how I wasn’t able to assess needs!! Those poor kids—thank goodness they don’t even remember much of my break. Thanks for discussing this with Kristin and making me think of this.

          1. WhoCares says:

            Exactly, Lorelei (and you are not butting in). It was my belief that having two parents (together) was in the best interests of our son that, partly, kept me committed to the future.

    2. brynnstar says:

      It’s challenging, but the trick is to make sure you are taking time to tell yourself the same validating things you take the time to tell others. An empty cup cannot pour into another, etc

      1. WhoCares says:

        Thank-you, brynnstar. That is a lovely analogy 💜

  4. Gina says:

    One thing I did not expect, although I was told it was so, was you will end up losing or getting rid of others in your life. Not just the narcissist. You will find out that some people do not like that you just stepped out and made their lives more difficult. Those people do not really care that much for you, they would rather you stay in a life that is miserable for you but comfortable for them. You will be surprised who some of them are. One or two may come back, but most do not.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Gina says:

        I just said that because it’s briefly mentioned in this letter. It’s a pretty big deal. I had three “best friends”, when I escaped I moved in with one of them. Another was very instrumental in helping me get through, even paying for things until I could get my finances straight. The third told me (while I was shaking and crying, looking like shit at under 100lbs), that she “wanted to support me but also felt she should support him as well”. Gone, my choice. Another couple used to send out texts to the common friends about parties they had, I was taken off of the texts he was not. Gone, their choice. Takes a long time to sort these people out. You will find out who cares about you though, this is a good thing.

        1. cadavera666 says:

          There’s gotta be a better way to find out who cares about us though. These falling outs took me down, almost to suicide. My family sucks and is really small but we’re not close. My mom and my sister are narcs; my dad is long gone by suicide and was a narc too. I’m the black sheep of empathy in my family. lol. Needless to say, my friends have always been my family. I came across narcissistic abuse about 6 months before the falling outs began and that’s when I realized my ex of 15 off and on again years was one. I realized I needed to change my thinking and my energy drastically and that’s when the fun really began. I also had a friend whom I’d known for 25 years and whom I’d been really close with for a long time, pass away 3 weeks after the falling out with my bff and her husband, and this added a whole slew of emotions that I didn’t know how to process and the day after I found out he’d passed, I made the worst move possible. I became the side chick for a somewhat narcissistic (he liked to tell me shit like I’m too negative when I hadn’t asked his opinion) friend. So, adding insult to injury, between the falling outs, the death and the using, my world fell apart. While trying to recover from that plus some, another narc came into my life last summer (actually, he’d been circling around for awhile) and I’m hoping the smear campaign he launched last month has died down. I know, I know, I have narcs coming out of every orifice, I swear. I’ve been surrounded for decades.

    2. Lorelei says:

      Gina—I tried to enlist my mothers support in 2010. Received none. I had 7 more years of misery. I’ll never abandon my children so that they appear well put together by society’s standards. (Divorce was the mark of evil)

      1. Gina says:

        I don’t understand your last sentence. Did you leave yet? Why would you have to abandon your kids?

    3. cadavera666 says:

      Gina, you have no idea how much you hit the nail on the head here. OMG, “you will be surprised who some of them are…” yes, more like shocked. My bff and her husband are 2 of them. I still don’t know how this works because I didn’t do anything different but one by one, some of my closest friends and I had falling outs. I’ve never experienced anything like this and I’ve always had a large circle of friends and acquaintances but very rarely any issues or arguments, much less falling outs. The first 2 were actually my fault and I was being really lame–one of those 2 returned and even though our friendship wasn’t the same as it once was, we were ok. Then he moved away last fall so that’s that. The others came in leaps and bounds with my bff and her husband and I’m not sure how many there have been total since I have a hard time thinking about this at all, but there’s been about 8 (with one who’s a narc coming back to do it all over again), including the 2 when I was being lame, with most of this occurring within a 1 year period. It was a 3 year period total and seemed to pick up speed as 2018 drew to a close. I’m not glad you’ve had to deal with this, Gina, but I am glad you put it into words because I had no idea what was going on. Most of the falling outs occurred after I made a decision to heal from my past and the trauma I endured. Then, one by one, my friends of anywhere between 3 and 18 years started falling off. Absolutely devastating.

      1. Gina says:

        Once you escape and exit the funhouse you see that friendship is a smoke screen. The people you think are solid turn out to be mirrors and light; and then you look down and realize there are others you took for granted, those who are your foundation. Sometimes it turns out to be proximity instead of connection that has brought us together. (Paraphrase from Jodi Picoult)

        If you can find a counselor in addition to what you are doing on your own, it can be helpful. It must be someone who understands the narcissistic dynamic, or they just make it worse. I have someone who was married to one and the went on to specialize. Friends get tired of hearing about it and just want you to move on, do not expect them to understand. If you can go no contact its very helpful. The more you are involved with him, the harder it is to see what is normal (the emotional thinking HG talks about). Once you have space, it can provide you the contrast to see how others behave (and how it makes you feel), in comparison to the narcissist.

  5. BonnieLou says:

    Oh that was beautiful! I know when the time came, I did what I had to do xx

  6. Kim e says:

    Brynn. Beautiful and true.
    Also gives me hope of better days to come
    Thank you

  7. Kristin says:

    You have written a letter of hope, for those, like me, who are still entangled with a narcissist and desperate to escape. I am inspired and encouraged by your words and to see what “comes after” is worth more than the pain. Thank you!

    1. Lorelei says:

      Kristin—I always smile to see you here. I promise that nothing but better days ahead. Fear is paralyzing, I remember it well. I know I stayed stuck because I had no support—they isolate us because we lose the energy to stay overly engaged with a support system. You have already established supports. (Here at least) An advantage is that he needs control in the moment—you don’t. Your ability to be strategic is incredible.

      1. Kristin says:

        Thank you for your kind words. Yes, fear is paralyzing and that is my biggest struggle right now. I have had a few setbacks this past week but am still moving forward. I appreciate your encouragement!

        1. Cindy says:

          Kristen, I experienced your paralyzing fear and I promise you it won’t last forever. It may take months, or years (for me) but one day, one comment, one insult, slap, or raging monologue will crack the ice and you will plow thru the fear and do what has to be done. When your situation becomes worse than the fear, you’re halfway there. I know it’s hard so please stay strong. You can do this.

          1. Kristin says:

            Thank you so much! I have days where I think I am absolutely leaving and others where I think there is no way in hell I can go. ET is my/our biggest hurdle and for you to say that the fear won’t last forever really encourages me.

            Thankfully and ironically enough, I am given hourly reminders from the narc as to his sick mind and why I need to escape. I like your “cracking the ice” analogy, although tragic, it describes the situation perfectly and is a necessary evil in order to do what has to be done.

            I have said this before, but once you see what you are dealing with, you cannot “unsee” it.
            Thank you again Cindy 🧡

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