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Ten Things I Would Tell My Narcissist Ex If I Could

Trauma doesn’t go away as if it never happened; it is something you absorb until one day you aren’t thinking about it in emotional terms anymore, until whatever caused it is just something that happened to you.

Once upon a time, I thought the emotional hell of breaking up and going no-contact with a narcissist would scald me alive.  Then the intensity faded to a slow burn and now the entire relationship feels almost like a fever dream.  

Was that actually me back there?

Yes… and no.

Oh, if he could see me now.

Too bad for him — he never will.

Finding therapy for narcissistic abuse is difficult. This article describes the best online therapy to heal from the trauma of narcissistic abuse and PTSD.

Things I Would Tell My Narcissist Ex

The urge to tell someone something usually arises because you want that person to share in and validate your experience, but narcissistic people never can.  They can only twist your words to their own advantage.

So in a universe where I could tell him these things, where he would be suspended in a moment and could only hear, process, and then have to live with what I said for the rest of his life and could never bother me again after I told him, here are the things I would say.

1. I Know Who You Are Now

What’s that cliche again?  

Oh yeah–hiding in plain sight.  

You never wanted me to see what you really were even though you told me every day with your actions and even let it slip out every once in a while.

A relationship does not go from passionate one day to as if it never existed the next. If you are able to treat it that way, that means there was no relationship– I don’t care what you call it.

2. The Fact That I Had to Give Myself Closure Says Everything

You never gave me closure because there wasn’t any for you to give. 

You didn’t share the same view of the relationship.  You couldn’t explain any of your actions.  You didn’t have a true face to show.  You couldn’t even come clean and tell me that because you don’t even face the extent of your lies.

To you, relationships are something you try to flit in and out of to get your needs met, not something with two people who both have ongoing needs and emotions.

There is no closure with you because you either plan to try to come back for more or you’re pissed you aren’t getting it and tear off into the sunset temporarily to lick your wounds.

I was finally able to give myself the all the closure I would ever need and I’m in control now, and that’s what you never wanted.

3. You’re Hollow

You stand on the backs of other people and then stab them in the spot where you were standing.

You’ve got no honor or integrity– and worse, you know it and don’t care. You’re loyal only to yourself.

There’s a certain grace and peacefulness that comes from being happy because other people are happy. 

Instead, you size people up to determine what you can gain from them and get pleasure from seeing what you can get away with.

I hope one day you’re able to look at yourself in the mirror and face that.  

4. But I Don’t Really Care Anymore About Who You Really Are

I know you saw yourself as all-important in every woman’s life you ever met.  However, life moves on. 

The only one who stays frozen is you.

5. You’re Not Special

Now that my brain has cleared, and I have stepped away from this craziness that was our relationship, I can look back at some of the things you did and said to me.

What is it like inside your mind that you think you have the right to go through your life treating people this way?  

It will always be a curiosity to me now that people like you exist.

6. You Didn’t Win

I’ve had to claw my way back from hell, but I did it.

Yeah, you hurt me a lot. It felt like swallowing broken glass, but I was here on this earth long before you came along and I’m still standing strong and thriving without you.

I’ve not absorbed your unkind words about me to try to break me down.

I don’t have a general distrust of other people.

I haven’t sworn off relationships.

I don’t sit in my bedroom crying all day.

I haven’t given up my core sense of optimism and hope.

I’m sorry, but you just don’t have that kind of power. 

7.  I Was Too Strong For You

You were never going to be able to keep me.  But what this really means is that I’m not pliable and easy to control.

Yes, it’s true–I was for a time after you got close enough to me to learn which buttons to press.  Bravo! Nice work.

But you made a mistake — you wanted too much control.  You wanted to control everything about me. 

The same tools you use to control other women in your sphere–money, gender role shame, and religious doctrine–don’t work on me.

So instead you resorted to extreme cruelty and verbal and emotional abuse to try to beat me down so I wouldn’t have any self-worth.

What you never realized is that you were never going to take over and you were only breaking the spell you held over me every time you tried to break me down.  

You used to brag to everyone about how I was a “fighter,” because I’d been through so much, but relationships are all about domination to you and you started to figure out that survivors eventually rise up.

So if I wouldn’t fall in line, I will wear that as a badge of honor because I know exactly what that means.

8. I Feel Sorry For You

I have thought about what it must be like to be you, to have my mood so dependent on what other people think of me and to have to constantly seek out the most shallow of interactions or else I feel completely nonexistent.

You can’t get by without other people and yet you despise other people for needing them so much.

For some of us, our own solitude is a place of peace. For you, it’s a prison.

You’re constantly on the lookout for imagined disrespect, and yet you drive people away and cause your own suffering by raining down chaos and misery on everyone around you.

You desperately crave love, but feel contempt toward anyone who shows you any because anyone who actually loves you is, in your eyes, foolish. 

It must be exhausting to run through all these mental gymnastics to avoid having to feel so empty, or to be so anxious all the time that people will look at you and see an imposter.

Did I nail it?

9. It’s Your Loss 

If I ever come up in your thoughts or conversation, I’m sure I’m talked about as one of those disloyal exes in your past. 

I know what disloyal means to you now, and what you conveniently leave out about yourself.  As if somehow the dynamic was ever under my control and I wanted things to turn out this way– not that I’d expect you to understand that.

I was only valuable to you if I looked the other way while you did whatever you wanted, put myself in a box and ignored my own needs, and let you talk to and treat me however you wanted without speaking up.

In other words– an object. No one can live like that– at least not happily and with good physical and mental health.

So what, exactly, did I lose?

You, on the other hand, threw away love. 

It’s not even a fair trade. I get my life back and you destroyed a perfectly good relationship and lost someone who loved and cared about you.

10. The Next Guy I Fall In Love With Will Be Glad I Was With You First

I once thought you were the love of my life. 

Now I know you weren’t, because the love of my life would never have treated me the way you did. The “love of your life” can’t be a one-sided relationship. That doesn’t even make sense.

And yet, I learned a lot about love in my relationship with you.  

I also learned a lot of things about myself emotionally and physically while in a relationship and I gained knowledge about becoming a better partner. 

Most of all, now I know I’m capable of giving someone that much love.

So I guess I have to thank you for showing me what was possible. My next boyfriend is going to benefit from that and I’ll be a better woman for that man, so he thanks you too.

 

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Kristen Milstead

Kristen Milstead is a narcissistic abuse survivor who has become a strong advocate for finding your unique voice and using it to help others find theirs.

13 Comments

  1. Your words seem to have come straight from my heart. Thank you so much for sharing. I am comforted knowing that I am not alone and I can & will survive. Much appreciation, Pricila

  2. How did you put into words the EXACT thoughts and feelings I have held in my heart and brain for five years?
    Thank you for reinforcing – in absolute perfection – that I am not the only one who has gone through this … and crawled my way back to the other side.

    1. You are welcome, Maria. Thank you for taking the time to read the article. Stay strong! -Kristen

  3. Hi Kristen,
    Thank you for this article, it hits the nail right on the head. It’s everything I and I think a lot of others had to realise and think through over months or years.
    I was wondering if you could use a gender-inclusive language, like using “they/their” and “partner” instead of husband/boyfriend. Not all of us have been in a narcissistic relationship with a male narcissist, mine was a woman, and reading it that way, though everything applies and rings true, then sounds off . I hope you get my meaning.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Kalan: Thank you for reading the article. If you read a general article that is written in the third person about narcissistic relationships in general, that might make sense and 99% of the time, that is exactly what I do, as you will see if you read others on my website. However, as the title gives away, this is an article written in the first person about my personal experience. I was in a heterosexual relationship with a man, so it wouldn’t make sense to even use neutral language in this one. As a woman, I would never write to a man who has been through one of these terrible experiences and ask him to write his articles in a way that makes me feel more comfortable. If male pronouns feel off, their/there should feel off as well, since they don’t apply to women or to men. So perhaps you can perform a thought exercise and put yourself in my shoes since our experiences have been so similar — it doesn’t seem as if it should be that hard. I’m sorry for what you have been through. We’re all in this together — let’s direct our healing energy in the right direction. Peace and light to you. -Kristen

  4. Your articals have helped me finally see the truth of the 3 year dark relationship i was in. I can now finally move forward, heal and except it wasnt my fault. I couldnt see the relationship for what it was untill he walked away with out a good bye and has never looked back at the financial , emotional , mental turmoil he left me in. Im fortunate he isnt hoovering , and hasnt tryed to contact me. Why would he ? He left me in such a severe debt.. Im thankful every day that i have the ability to see the truth, find the knowledge i needed, to learn from the 3 years and the ability to know i deserve better. I will continue to read all you send to me, so that i can continue to have that knowledge and not repeat the last 3 dark years. Again Thank you for the articals. Theresa

  5. This is so incredibly spot on. I’m not only healed, but thriving now since my abuse so haven’t been reading many narcissistic articles, so I’m glad I took a random plunge to read this one this morning. Reminds me of what an amazing place I have made it to of self love and how far I have come since that torture started almost exactly a year ago today “out of no where” (or so I thought at the time). We are the ones full of love and joy, I too feel sorry for them for being incapable of that love and happiness. I’m also thankful for the torture, as it made me learn things I didn’t know I needed to. I’ve actually saved this to read back on if I ever need to. Some statements like feeling peace and calm in my body, that they are incapable of, that hit me. I now enjoy my solitude, when they can never ever feel that amazing place. Have a great day beautiful and keep helping others xx

  6. Kristen, If I could talk to my ex narcissist I would copy and paste your letter. You hit everything and more of what I would want to say to him. Below is what I have learned from the beginning and how I look at it now. I want to thank you for helping me in my recovery.

    He blindsiding me and abandoned our family for a new family much younger and needier then his own. I needed and wanted answers. He was not around to give me any or even capable if he was around. The things that he was stating and still stating were false and downright cruel.

    What I discovered was at first I looked to him for the answers and for him to be a normal Person. Because he left with no conversation and moved on so abruptly and left me with a zero relationship and in a state of confusion. I had to find the answers myself. I know now that I’m blessed that he did not taint my recovery (face to face) with his lies, cheating ways, manipulation, cruel tricks and his triangularsation that he uses on everyone he meets.

    I’m blessed that we did not have a relationship anymore and I did not bite to beg him back or be put in that triangle. I no longer trusted in a man that I was married to for 30 years. Oh don’t get me wrong, he still did all the things I talked about but it was done at a distance, much easier then up close and personal. I don’t know if I would have been able to educate myself about his behavior and see it clearly if he was still around manipulating me, feeding me crumbs of compliments to make me question myself in believing he could be capable of this type of behavior.

    I learned that I was groomed for 30 years and I thank God for directing and protecting me. I’m blessed that I could process through this in His perfect timing. I did not have all the answers at first and nor would I have been able to handle them if I had them.

    What I have learned is that there is no timeline in recovery from this abuse. As long as you are seeking help and moving forward you are on the right track of recovery.

    Again! Thank you for helping me in my recovery.

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Tori: You are so welcome, and I’m glad you found it helpful. I’m so sorry to learn about what you went through, but I’m glad to hear that you are no longer with him and are on your way to recovering. I wish you peace in your continued journey. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Stay strong! -Kristen

  7. I liked this info & would like to learn & read more.
    Thank you

    1. Kristen Milstead

      Hi Christina. I’m glad you enjoyed it. What type of info are you looking for? At the top of the page, under “Articles,” there are some headings that may help you find the kind of information about narcissism or narcissistic abuse that you are looking for right at this moment. Feel free to comment again to get more specific. Thank you for reading and commenting! -Kristen

  8. Searching for hope...

    Kristen, If I was to write of what I would say to the narcissist I was with, it would be plagiarism. I am a broken record when I tell you that once again you have captured everything I feel. I don’t personally know you but it seems everything you are going through is parallel to what I’m experiencing. My ex abuser has now resorted to extortion thinking he could force his belief down my throat because he and his entire family lack empathy and live their life protecting their facade. The fear of losing that facade led to extortion message I received via WP threatening to “publicly shame” me not realizing I don’t operate that way. They also didn’t recognize what they are threatening me with is legally considered extortion. So, thank you for putting words to what I’m feeling exactly at this moment.

    1. Kristen Milstead

      I’m sorry to hear they are doing that to you! That must feel so scary to be up against all of them. Your writing is a powerful testament to all you’ve been through, and it’s been an inspiration to me. Thank you! -Kristen

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