Resolution: How Mindfulness really helps recovery from being with a man with NPD

When I started this blog I wrote how I had experienced the pain of being with a ‘Wolf in sheep’s clothing’ – a man with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

It is 5 years on from the end of the relationship and I can honestly say, and demonstrate, that Mindfulness really does work where recovery is concerned!

The web is full of the experiences of lovely women duped into thinking they had met ‘the right man’ only to discover just how damaging he was, so I am not going to repeat the signs or the stages of the relationship here. I simply wish to report how my life has changed because of Mindfulness (bless you Akong Rinpoche, my guiding light, who pushed me in this direction when I needed it most).

A few months ago I started to feel that the scruffy little house we owned in Spain had to go – I had spent £6,000 on doing it up and just wanted to recover my loss and move on. My soul was reminding me that co-owning a house with a man I had escaped from was holding me back. Indeed, when I had spoken to Rinpoche about this 5 years ago he told me I should ask for a small payment and let go.

Imagine my delight when the Narcissistic ex started contacted me with a seeming sense of urgency, wanting to sort it out. I rapidly accepted the reimbursement of my expenses on the house, and the expenses to travel to Barcelona – it was as if putting out my soul’s desire to be totally free from this man had worked.

When you have been in a relationship with a man with NPD there is one phrase that everyone tells you that you HAVE to obey “NC NC NC” – standing for “No contact….”. It is essential. Contact with these duplicitous and manipulative individuals, even after 5 years, is absolutely discouraged. So I asked my lovely friend, Jo, if she would be the post box. And so it was that I drafted e mail after e mail to sort this situation out, which Jo sent as if she had written them so I did not have to e mail him directly. It worked like a dream – he wanted to be on his best behaviour to show my friend how nice he really is (i.e. how wrong I am), and within no time he was all over her like a rash, thanking her and telling her how wonderful she was. She wrote not one word.

When I first met him, his story of hurt was that ‘No woman has ever been faithful to me’. Of course, I believed him. During e mail exchange with Jo number 3 he suddenly announced that ‘I now know that when Jackie went to Italy she had a relationship with another man. Our relationship went downhill from there. It is not relevant now, but it is good to know’. I looked at his words in utter disbelief – did I? What a shame I didn’t! Of course it was utter rubbish –  yet another confirmation of his twisted logic. I realised that he wants to convince his present Narcissistic Supply that what they have is pure and lovely compared to every other woman…

I arrived in Barcelona practising Mindful breathing, being in the moment and feeling well, relaxed and happy. And that is exactly how I was during the whole of the 4 days I was there – I met interesting people, went to lovely gardens and jazz clubs and had one of the best holidays ever. The day I travelled on the train to the lawyer’s office I Mindfully looked out of the window at the sea, read Thich Naht Hanh’s ‘Be here now’ and practised Mindful breathing and gratitude. It worked a dream. By the time I arrived at the lawyer’s office to meet the Ex I was the best I could be. And he looked awful. I remember a friend saying to me, in an ironic way ‘What do you think he learned between the end of your relationship and getting with the woman who had chased him for 2 years?’ Of course the answer had to be nothing – he had jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

So there I was, sitting around a table with the lawyer, the Ex and a man from the village who was there to look after him. The Ex looked shakey, pink, blobby and suffering. He is so obviously still drinking to deaden his pain – and I gave up drinking 3 1/2 years ago. I felt compassion! Absolutely no negative thoughts at all, just compassion for this poor man who will never know the joys of living in a Mindful way. I was very surprised and felt so relieved.

They say that time heals. In 5 years I have changed a lot: practising and teaching Mindfulness has obviously made a huge difference to my life. If I had met him even a couple of years ago I may not have handled the encounter so well.  But there it was – me finding just how much I have changed and grown, and putting up my thumb, smiling broadly, I said “And now we never have to see each other again “and walked off into my exciting future (with Aflie the Wonderdog, of course)