Once you have escaped from the narcissist, there are a great many issues you will have to face, and often you read that the worst aspect of having been close to a narcissist is the fact that everything has been a lie. This is true in a sense, so the author argues, which is even worse than the victim might expect initially.
So the question: Why should it be so bad that everything - or almost everything - has been a lie? Well, the problem is not so much the fact that the narcissist has lied to the victim as such, worse is that through the lies of the narcissist that you as the victim have expressed feelings and ideas which were genuinely your feelings and ideas. Hence, you now find yourself in the position where you are not sure about your own integrity and genuinety.
It is one thing to confess to someone that you are in love with her or him and yet quite another to go to the extreme of of claiming soul mateship, ultimate closeness and display feelings and actions which are to confirm such feelings. The problem arises not per se but in the context of finding love and affection elsewhere. This is, the victim, who suffered under the hand of a narcissist, has to ask her/himself the question how (s)he possibly can express feelings previously expressed to the narcissist have turned out to be untrue. So if those feelings expressed previously expressed turned out to be a lie how then can the victim trust her/himself now that these feelings are not untrue.
In short: The narcissist has robbed you, the victim, of your authenticity and integrity. To learn to trust yourself and to believe yourself is a task which will not be easy to accomplish. And the only help at hand is the knowledge that you were genuine with your feelings and that you had been tricked into an emotional situation which ultimately was out of your control. Your task will be to reclaim your feelings and emotions in the real world and to overcome fears of expressing such feelings in the real world. Every little step towards this is a success.
Just remember that the potential for finding a genuine and loving relationship still exists within you. But just as you don't hand out your bank details to just anybody, you do not hand out your affection to just anybody. Most people, so it appears, struggle so badly in life that they are not looking for love but for help. If you offer them your love instead of help, you both will go under. Whether you can afford to offer them help is something you have to consider very carefully too. It might be a better idea to work for social security in general instead of helping someone you think you are in love with.
Dr. Ludger Hofmann-Engl
Chameleon Group of Composers © 2005