Letter from my Older Self to my Current Self

Dear Current Self,

It’s been thirty years since we lived with the Narcissist. Thirty years have gone by.

The whole horrible experience seems like such a blip now. In the grand scheme of things, the relationship only lasted a very brief period of time. But those are the views of a 70-year-old. It is not what we currently feel.

Yes, we are 70 years old as I write this, while the version of us that first reads this is only 41. When we first read this letter the abuse is recent and painful. We’re still in the midst of re-learning who we are and how to be.

It’s been 30 years, yet we still remember vividly all the confusion and heartache and fear and pain.

There are so many things I want us to know as we heal and move forward. At age 41 we had only barely begun to understand ourselves and how much Narcissistic abuse changed our psyche and our life’s trajectory.

I cannot tell us all the details about what the next 30 years have in store. It would be to our detriment to know how events transpire and our various stories progress before living through them.

I will share this, though:

Everything is going to be okay. Better than okay.

I will share this, though:

Everything is going to be okay. Better than okay.

The decisions we made and the dreams we formed in the aftermath of that disastrous relationship were good ones. We knew what the foundation of our new life would look like, and how to take our first steps onto the path that would lead where we wanted to be. Our knowledge was true, our abilities strong, and our self-awareness accurate.

As I write this, I am sitting in the little cottage we dreamed of. Our home is bright and airy, with all the windows thrown wide open to a warm spring day. Our writing desk is set up so our view out the window includes an expanse of native grasses and wildflowers, which ends in the near distance at a cliff overlooking a vibrant blue body of water. To the left of the window, unseen from this angle, is our garden. It is currently a riot of color from the blooms on the fruit trees and bushes, and it is ready to receive the flowers and vegetables we started in our greenhouse a few months ago.

If I stood up and leaned towards the window a bit I would be able to see the garden and greenhouse, but I dare not disturb the cat. Yes, we do have cats again now. There are several living with us, and right now they are hopping in and out of windows and glorying in the freedom the weather allows. That is, of course, except for the little one who is contentedly dozing in our lap.

We were pet free for many years, wishing desperately to once again have furry pals, but not wanting to subject them to our nomadic existence, nor, selfishly, suffer any impediment to our perpetual roving.

Yes, we do satisfy our dreams of experiencing rootlessness for a period of time. We traveled the world and never spent more than a few months in any location.

Yes, we do satisfy our dreams of experiencing rootlessness for a period of time. We traveled the world and never spent more than a few months in any location.

We earned a satisfactory income with our writing and we made certain to live on the cheap during that period, consistently putting as much as possible into savings so we could afford our cottage when we someday found it.

I can’t tell you the country in which we ultimately reside, or whether we knew immediately upon arrival if it was where we belonged. We have so much exploring to do and adventures to enjoy before we find the spot that will be our home. Knowing where and how the adventures culminate would spoil the fun of the journey.

I will tell you this, though. We do find it.

The cottage by the sea near the little village where everybody knows and helps each other will be where we end up, and where we put down roots after our years enjoying impermanence.

I also can’t share whether we have a romantic partner. I can’t lead us to look at each of our romances with potentially misplaced hope, wondering, “Is this the one? Is this the person who inhabits the cottage with me?” We will evaluate each romance on its merits and decide for ourselves whether the person should be invited to walk our path with us, and for how long they might remain by our side.

I will share this, though. We will not be alone. We will make so many surprising and wonderful friends as we traverse the corners of the earth. Some will become lovers. Some will even become great romances. Whether any of the romances last and are part of our life at age 70 is less important than everything we learn and experience with each person we allow into our world, and all the ways each one will touch our soul.

Finally, this: I cannot reassure you that our depression or anxiety or PTSD will ever go away.

Our experiences of the past few years are life-altering ones and have become part of the multi-layered tapestry of who we are.

Our experiences of the past few years are life-altering ones and have become part of the multi-layered tapestry of who we are.

I know we wish to hear otherwise, but it would be a falsehood. I will share this: It is but one thread of many. It is appropriate that it is the thread that dominates at age 41, but in time other threads and other experiences will be woven in as well. At age 41, this thread is garish and out of place. In time, it will blend with others and soften, and its impact will be less dramatic.

In this way as well, everything will be okay.

Our existence is a content and peaceful one and, at age 41, we set ourselves on the right path.

Our existence is a content and peaceful one and, at age 41, we set ourselves on the right path. I know we had doubts back then. We didn’t know if our dreams were in any way realistic.

And now, as I sit and reflect on all we experience over the years yet to come for us, I feel profound gratitude. I am grateful that I wrote this letter to us today and we overcame our tremendous insecurities in order to pursue our dreams. Our life is such a joyous one. Had we given in to meekness and doubt we would have missed out.

We are making the right choices. Everything will be okay.

Sincerely,

Our Older Self

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