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The aftermath of living with a Narcissist

Even after your relationship with a narcissist has ended, there may be collateral damage. While I feel pretty grateful for the experience and growth that resulted from my relationship, there’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve observed that seems to be part and parcel of such a life experience…. I wonder if you can relate?

Sometimes in the middle of the night, I awaken and there’s a memory in my head of something that happened while I was with my partner. Tonight it was something I defended him for … when others were asking me about a situation, I vehemently denied his involvement. He would never do anything like that I remember saying … but funny thing, as I look back I recognise even then, there was this little niggling doubt in my gut. It became a thought that was desperate to take root and alert me to the truth. Would he? I mean, he was always doing really out there things. Like he had the right to. Things that required a huge amount of audacity. Back then, I found it refreshing. I had never known anyone who demonstrated such self-assurance, such a capacity to do something which pushes through the ’rules’ of normal in order to expand the joy of the experience. I found it inspiring even though, looking back, there was something in my gut going ‘this is not quite right’.

Like the times we would drive up the driveway of some majestic house and get out of our car innocently, with some story of how we were looking for long lost friends. Sort of fun. Sort of disrespectful. With a narcissist, you go along for the ride, because you’ve already learnt to doubt your own perception, and the alternative, his perception, appears to be so … sure. Unshakeable.

There was a feeling to that fleeting thought of Truth and I refused to allow it to land.

So here I am in the middle of the night now, reflecting on this memory and many years after the end of that relationship, I realise he absolutely was involved in that previously mentioned event. The horror of this realisation is fully felt when, a flood of other memories come in waves … “shite. That means when that happened, he was involved. When he said ‘this’, he was lying. And all those times, he led me to believe ‘that’, it was a con.” It’s like I just pulled out the bottom card, of a well-constructed house of cards and everything comes toppling down.

This is not the first time I’ve been left with such a feeling.

To have another person, convince you of their respect, trustworthiness and honesty, when all the time they were being disrespectful, untrustworthy and dishonest is a hard pill to swallow. It would be easy to blame him and in full disclosure, it still hurts my heart that someone I respected and trusted so much was completely the opposite of what I thought he was. However, I chose him. There was something in me that refused to let those little thoughts take root. Something that refused to question too far, look too deeply, stand firmly when probing for information. I have owned my part in it and seen the way my own emotional wounds led me to that place – which cleansed away resentment, blame and any toxic feeling towards him. Thank goodness. I don’t want to carry that around in my body for the rest of my life. Enough damage to my inner peace and security was done in the relationship thank you very much.  

But how to reconcile these little moments

in the middle of the night, when time itself is showing me the truth of past events; how to appease the clouds of self-doubt that appear as I question my lack of discernment, my blind trust and faith?? I’ve had these moments enough now to take affirmative action… I’m pretty sure over the past few years, my mind has revisited all the events and situations I misinterpreted and shown me the truth. Of e-v-e-r-y single one!

It’s time I freed myself even from these threads that waft into my present experience of life.

From now on, I will say thank you. Thank you for reminding me to stand in allegiance to myself before any others. Thank you for reminding me never to sacrifice my own inner guidance to meet the attachment needs of my ‘wounded child’ within. Thank you for showing me how diligent and discerning I need to be – even with the ones I love. For the short term gain rarely equates to long term peace and harmony. Thank you for reminding me to lean in and be thorough in addressing what does not ‘feel’ right, for my own emotional and spiritual wellbeing and growth.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wake me up if you will, in the middle of the night. I’ll be ready with my thank you. Go on, I dare you.

Sending love,


Lisa Jayne helps people return to their authentic power and free themselves from emotional bondage in their relationships and their lives. She is also an Author and Speaker, living on the Sunshine Coast, passionately fostering heart felt connection in her community. You can contact her at or visit her website

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