A “Love Letter” From the Narcissist Parent to Their Child 

If one cannot experience love, is an “I love you” even possible?

Dear [____],

You’re my favorite. My star.

You hold the key to the universe that is me. 

Actually, right now I hold the key. 

And I promise to give it to you. 

When I’m ready. 

I’ll never be ready.

It’s cute how you try.

And try.

Your unswerving devotion to me no matter what I do or say.  

It makes me care about your struggles. 

As a means of using them to fuel my power over you.

I just want the best for me.

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is tell me what I need. 

It better be correct. 

Don’t fuss. You can’t become my star if you fuss. You can’t have the key to the universe that is me, either. That’s what you want, isn’t it?  That’s what you should want. Believe me when I say that others want it—and don’t dare ask me to prove it.

Don’t overestimate your value, dear. 

You are not that special.

I’m your parent so your faults are very obvious to me. 

That’s what parents are for—to point out, to notice, and help their children fix their problems.
I care about you more than you care about yourself…and about me. That’s what really hurts. And that you think you’re better than me.

I have news for you: you’re needy, sensitive, and a bossy, manipulative know-it-all. 

I’m worried about you and it’s my job as a parent to let you know.

But I don’t deserve this; I did not sign up for this. When I brought you into the world, into my family, into my life, I expected you to be better than this. I can’t accept it. 

Or you.

Now, now, don’t look so sad and defeated. You need help. All right, you need my help. No, no, I’m not going to walk away from you now. Whatever gave you that idea?

Stop asking me if I love you. It’s a foolish question. You’re my child. When you make me feel worthwhile I love you more than I love myself. Your siblings don’t understand me because they are selfish and immature. You’ve gotten over that. You’ve transcended yourself. You’re so adult. You’re the good child. I know you’ll never leave me. 

My very own little star that shines on me.

Signed, Your Parent 

—Meredith Gordon Resnick

Adapted from: WHEN YOUR PARENT IS A NARCISSIST: Uncovering origins, patterns, and unconscious dynamics—to help you grow and let go
Copyright 2016 Meredith Gordon Resnick

Game Over image credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/