A Letter to the Narcissist who Almost Destroyed Me

Maria Anna van Driel
6 min readOct 3, 2022

Dear narcissist,

I admit that until I met you, I wasn’t aware that narcissism actually existed. That it is a real thing. I had to google its meaning. For one year and nine months I researched this altered reality you are living in. Although I now understand much more about how you view the world and the people in it and, why it is you are treating yourself and others so poorly as you do, your mind-set is not something for me to fix.

22 years ago you started to break my self confidence, my personality and eventually my life. And, like those people you have gathered around you over time, I also believed every single word and every story that you voiced. But no longer will I be available as your personal, so to say, punching bag for you to release your bottled up tensions on. I no longer live for your personal advantage or to be your narcissistic supply. Because I now can see through the haze the masks you are wearing are creating. And even though you never wanted me, or anyone else, to see who you really are, I now know the person that is ‘living’ inside you.

Oh no, I don’t think you had planned the devastating results of your manipulative mind games with full awareness at first or all the time. But the pain you cost and scars you created without showing any feeling of remorse or shame, are real. Looking back, I now see that I gave you these myriad opportunities on a silver plate which you took with a selfish desire and slowly worked towards trying to destroy me for your own benefits.

I now see that I let you, step by step, put me down with your disparaging criticism, both executed publicly and behind closed doors. With shame I must admit that I believed you when you told me that I had to give up myself, my unique personality, my personal interests, beliefs, thoughts, emotions and freedom for me to focus all my energy on you.

You made me believe that I wasn’t worth talking to and that I wasn’t worthy enough to participate in any conversation that was not covering a topic other than yourself, your interests and supporting your false narratives. Because, you are the most important person in the lives of those people you meet, right?

With this same sense of shame I admit that I have let you make me small and unheard. Step by step you presented me to the world as the problem for your unbalanced emotions and deep insecurity you are unable to carry yourself. But you know what, I am not as small as you think I am. My voice is not as weak as you made me believe. And although it is going to take me some time, I am heading towards a bright future in where I will be engaging with people who have a healthy mind-set and are able to take responsibility for their own emotions and actions. People who are supportive and are not afraid of, or offended by, the personal successes of others.

In an email you recently sent me you wrote that you are sending your sincere apologies for what you’ve done wrong over the past 22 years. But, it is obvious the see that, when reading your public writings on social media in where you express your confusion on why I have escaped the toxicity you spread and execute this shamelessly, you pretending to be the distraught victim and listening to how you, still, are portraying me as the one with e.g. the mental issues and is causing all this turmoil, your apologies are purely self-interested, contradictory and thus fake.

These words you have combined with saying that neither an apology nor any efforts to rectify the damage from the mental abuse you have execute for so long, are not necessary anymore simply because I have made the decision to leave your malignant need for control and altered reality and walk towards a bright future in where I can be myself and free from sick and toxic abuse.

Please, don’t try to rectify anything because that requires heartfelt empathy, among others.

So yes, it is clear that your words were, are and always will be empty. They are only showing how you are making the effort of avoiding any guilt/blame on your part. You are not sorry for your behaviors simply because you are unable to empathize with anyone in a sincere and true manner.

It took me almost two years to see the hollowness behind your words, to recognize your false promises and to make the decision to be selfish on my own behalf and explore myself and life other than inside the four walls of your world in which you can freely and withdrawn from the public view, execute your manipulative and sick mind games. But, I finally gathered the strength to stand up and walk away from your gaslighting, mind games and altered reality.

You are a walking lie and that is the truth.

You used to brag to everyone about how I was a “fighter,” because I had been through so much, how you have saved me from my downfall and, how strong our relationship was but, relationships are all about domination and control to you. Yes, it’s true, I was pliable and easy to control for a while 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 and forgot that trauma survivors eventually rise up simply because they know how to. So, by means of you resorting to extreme cruelty and verbal and emotional abuse to try to beat me down so I wouldn’t have any self-worth, you were only breaking your own spell.

And so, while you were convinced that you were punishing me with your silent treatments, I was overthinking the years of how I have lived your illusions. While you were thinking that my silence was you winning your mind games, I was calculating the options for a personal and bright future. While you thought that your criticism and belittling was breaking my spirit, I swallowed my tears, collected the scars and grew stronger. While you were playing the chronic victim with all who provided you a listening ear, I was deciphering you and your behaviours.

What is it like inside your mind? What is it that makes you think you have the right to go through your life treating people this way? What is your drive to exploit people in such a cruel manner? It will always be a curiosity to me.

I know you see yourself as all-important in every person’s life you ever met and are about to meet. And so, I assume that you have spread your altered reality upon many by now while wearing the victim badge. But let’s be honest, these false narratives you are forcing upon people concerning yourself, trying to gaslight them, are nothing more than a reflection of both your splintered personality and twisted thoughts. A fraction of how toxic you really are to any healthy mind. False narratives which only speak of your incapability of being responsible for your own emotions as well as giving anyone the freedom of having their own opinions and making their own decisions. However, life moves on. The only one who stays frozen is you.

Will these words find a way to your Cerebral Cortex? Most likely not. Frankly, I am convinced that you will see this letter as an affront to your ego and intellect. But less is true. This letter is not about you. I wrote this letter for my own closure and to start healing from all the pain that you have cost in my soul and my heart. And although it feels like swallowing broken glass at the moment, I was here on this planet long before you came along and I am still standing strong and thriving without you.

I was convinced that breaking away from your narcissistic toxicity and going no-contact would scald me alive. But now that my brain has cleared, and I have stepped away from your controlling mind games you thought was a healthy relationship, I can look back at the things you did and said to me. For instance, three months ago you told me “If I wasn’t married to you, I would be so much happier and I would have more friends.”

I assume that, by now, you are having a great time and living a happy and sunny life with which I wish you the best of luck.



Maria Anna van Driel

In 2020 I realized I was trapped in a toxic relationship since '00. In Aug. '22 I found the strength to break away, flip my life to become a psychotherapist.