I wrote this letter about a year ago and never sent it. Here is why.
Dear New Supply,
You were at our house today. I came home from the supermarket and you were here.
I hoped desperately it wasn’t your car parked in front of my house when I got home just now. I hoped it wasn’t you. I hoped it was purely coincidental that a car parked in front of my house looked so similar to yours.
I didn’t believe, even now, that he would do such a thing to me as to have you inside our home. He promised me he would never bring you here. He told me he had more respect for me than to do that. He told me he still cares about my feelings. Stupidly, I believed him.
I wonder who you are, how much you know. Do you know that he promised me he’d never bring you here? Does that make it more exciting for you? Do you enjoy it more that way? Are you someone who enjoys feeling as though they’re doing something wrong? Are you someone who enjoys making someone feel sad? Does it make you feel powerful to manipulate the emotions of others, too?
He lies, you know. He lies about all sorts of things, large and small. He promises things so he can be in control of breaking promises. He wants to be caught breaking the promise and to know there isn’t a thing the other person can do except feel the pain and hurt and impotent rage I feel right now. I am rendered impotent because any reaction to him being hurtful has no effect other than to please him. Reacting to him makes him feel more powerful. If I react, he wins. I can do nothing with my emotions except write a letter I’ll likely never send.
This feeling of power over the emotions of others is what makes him feel good about himself. At the beginning, he used this power to make me feel good. I know now that he habitually uses it to make people feel bad about themselves and ‘less than’ far more frequently than he tries to make others, including myself, feel good.
I saw you both walk down my front walk, away from my front door, and watched you get into your car together. I resisted the urge to throw open the front door and fly down the walk after you. I don’t know what I would have done if I had. I am torn between wanting to pull your hair, scratch your face and beat you senseless, and wanting to clutch you to my breast and sob all over you. I want to beat you up and cause you pain for being as stupid and gullible as I once was and yet I want to cry because of how much I understand and how confusing I know it all is. He professes love and devotion and it feels so real and yet there’s something in it that feels so nervous-making in a way that isn’t what butterflies and being in love is supposed to feel like.
It feels like danger and it’s easy to dismiss it as nerves when you’ve been hurt badly by love before. It’s easy to talk yourself out of listening to the small voice that tells you something about him isn’t right. It must be you, your anxiety, your depression, your personal history. He’ll tell you that’s what it is and you’ll believe him. It couldn’t possibly be something that’s wrong with him. He seems so perfect right now. He seems like he is everything you’ve always wanted, everything your ex wasn’t, everything that will complete your vision of the happy life you’ve always wanted for yourself.
I write to you now because I don’t want for you what I am now feeling. I want to save you from being the next me. I want you to get out while you still can, to run from him at the speed of light, to get and stay as far from him as possible.
I can’t fully explain the fog I lived under during the years he and I were together. There is an entire website called “out of the fog” that describes it far better than I ever could. Suffice to say I now realize I became convinced many things about myself were true that were not. He would project his own deficiencies onto me. He would bring up complaints about my character that I knew were not about me, but were things that he disliked in himself. “Don’t worry about me,” he would say when I would point out that perhaps his critique was about himself and was not anything he had actually observed in me. “I’ve got me. This is about you and your issues. I keep telling you about all the work you need to do on yourself and you keep not doing it.”
I was not able to get through to him and I have abandoned my attempts. I have stopped trying. I am done not being heard when I speak and being told my failure to be heard and respected is my fault; that my approach is wrong, that my style is flawed. Over time I started doubting myself and my positive character traits instead of his. I am done with that, too. He thinks me hurtful because I no longer spend all my time and emotional energy trying to curry his favor. He thinks me horribly mean. I do not care. I am done. My efforts never yielded results. He enjoys watching me struggle to please him and he is mad his entertainment is gone. That is all I am to him. That is all any human being is to him. I am done feeling so tired and beat down by it all.
Perhaps things will be far different between you and he than they were in our relationship. I hope so, for your sake.
Just in case, though, there are things I ask you to look out for and be mindful of:
- Should you ever doubt your sanity as I once did mine, in ways you never had prior to meeting him,
- should you come away from conversations feeling confused and knowing his logic is flawed, yet somehow you were talked into admitting you were in the wrong,
- should you feel like your feelings and thoughts are consistently not heard and should he tell you this is your own fault, that you are a poor communicator and this is not something it is appropriate to “put on him,”
- should you feel you are punished severely for transgressions when you aren’t really sure what exactly you did that was so horribly wrong,
- should you feel you are being forced to grovel and apologize to an extreme degree beyond what the perceived wrong seems it should warrant,
- should he refuse to discuss things he has done that have caused you pain and instead tell you that you have no right to your feelings of hurt and should work on your coping mechanisms instead of asking him for an apology or just a bit more kindness, please,
- should you start noticing double standards like this throughout your relationship,
…please be very concerned and take these things seriously. You are not wrong and you do deserve better.
There are three articles that have helped me greatly during this time, and I recommend them to you now. They are:
The Language Narcissists Use To Manipulate And Traumatize Their Victims,
8 Things A Narcissist Cannot Do For You (Or Anyone Else) and
20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You.
I also recommend this video: Signs that he’s a narcissist.
You might not see it yet. Your relationship with him is still very new. His declarations still feel genuine. However, if at any point in the future you ever doubt whether he is speaking truth to you about who he is and his life history, please reach out.
I offer you my ear and the stories I know. You see, we are the same, you and I. You, me, all the overlapping women before us and all the overlapping women who will come after us. We are all just many links in a long chain of fools.
With love and sympathy,
The Most Recent Source of Supply
For more on narcissistic supply: What Is Narcissistic Supply?