Stalking

“You crazy, psycho stalker, just leave me alone!” Haven’t we all wanted to scream this at the Narcissist/Sociopath in our lives? My ex regularly finds some reason to contact me via email (the only method he’s legally allowed to use), text or phone. I’ve even attached a screen shot from my phone of his emails to me. You can see the subjects are things that don’t require contact with me and that he sent email after email, day after day. This is just a snapshot of what I deal with daily. There is no rhyme or reason for Bruce’s need to contact me. He is compelled to constantly find a reason to maintain contact regardless of whether I respond. I rarely respond and when I do keep my responses to 1-2 sentences, business like, and devoid of emotion.

Aside from cyber stalking it is very common for NPDs to utilize traditional stalking methods. Bruce has been seen driving up and down my street, parked down the street from my house, employing his fellow law enforcement friends to follow me or my guests. After we broke up in high school Bruce used to park in front of my parent’s house and monitor my activities. Then while he was married to his first wife he would patrol streets he thought I may travel through in hopes of pulling me over. FYI, he admitted these actions to me while we were married. Even as recently as a few weeks ago he erroneously (and without any basis of fact) told one of his colleagues that I was dating her ex-husband (she’s kind of the jealous type and once Bruce realized this was a hot button for her, he kept pushing it) and decided to have many conversations with her, lying to her, about all the things he “knew” her ex and I were doing. Of course I haven’t ever dated the individual Bruce said I was dating. And why almost two years after he walked out on the kids and I, he would have any interest in whom I may or may not be dating is not something I can begin to answer except to say it is not something a normally sanely functioning individual would do.

But stalking is very common when dealing with NPD/Socio/Psycho. In a New York Times article, Dr. Kristine Kienlen, a psychologist in St. Peter, Minn., who evaluates criminals and patients who are mentally ill and dangerous, discusses the prevalence of stalkers with narcissistic personality disorder.

“Most of the stalkers Dr. Kienlen interviewed also had extreme personality disturbances. The most frequent one encountered in stalkers was narcissistic personality disorder, which Dr. Kienlen said gave stalkers an inflated sense of self-worth and an intense need for other people to compliment and idolize them.”

Stalkers with NPD typically fall into the “dismissing” stalker category.

“The ”dismissing” stalker thinks of other people as jerks and usually remains distant from them to maintain an inflated self-image. The stalker with dismissing attachment disorder who does form attachments become angry when a breakup occurs and may stalk out of revenge, to retaliate for being mistreated.”

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/25/science/researchers-unravel-the-motives-of-stalkers.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Being stalked is a demoralizing battle. Regardless of the level of intimidation and the amount of unwanted contact it is typically hard to get law enforcement to act unless there is a clear, immediate physical threat. The problem is how many of us are going to be lucky enough to survive that encounter. I know that when Bruce finally decides to physically threaten me it will be with a gun and I there is a very good chance I may not survive the encounter. And because he is a local law enforcement officer it has been damn near impossible getting anyone to take any actions against his abusive behavior. I have found and included a wonderful list of “Dos and Don’ts” if you are being stalked. It’s from a wonderful website that I recommend called Out of the Fog.

What NOT to Do:
If you are being stalked, harassed or your privacy is being invaded:
•Don’t ignore any acts of violence, threats of violence or destruction of property. Avoid the tendency to write it off as “an isolated incident”. Most victims of domestic violence have written off incidents and haven’t seen “the worst” yet. Report it to the authorities immediately every time. That is the only effective way to protect yourself and make it stop.
• If the person is violent or threatens violence towards you do not confront them. Let a restraining order and a police officer do the talking for you.
•Don’t go it alone or keep what you are experiencing a secret. Stalking thrives on isolating a person.
•Don’t nominate yourself to the position of the person who must help the stalker, make them feel better, change their ways and heal. You can’t do it.
•Don’t give up any healthy relationships with family, friends and acquaintances or let them slip away because of pressure from another person.
•Don’t give up a good job, good habits, career, hobbies or interests for the sake of another person. What is good for you makes you stronger and is good for your loved-ones. True Love never asks a person to sacrifice something that is good for them.
•Don’t immediately fall for a “hoover” if a stalker suddenly promises reform and a change of their ways. If they ever do change their ways they will need a long time to work on their stuff and your involvement will only slow them down.

What TO Do:
•Report all acts of violence, threats of violence or self-harm to the authorities immediately every time.
•Learn what you can about the personality disorder your loved-one suffers from, and how that is likely to affect their behavior, their thoughts and their moods.
•Confront the person who is doing the stalking. Preferably do it in daylight, with a friend by your side, in a place where you can easily get out – like outdoors on a sunny street or in a cafe. Tell them simply, gently, but firmly, that you do not want them to continue that behavior. Try to criticize the behavior rather than the person. Tell them that it is not welcome to you and you are moving on. Don’t wait for them to understand or try to get them to see your side. Just tell them plainly that that’s just the way it is and leave it at that.
•Talk to trusted friends and family about what you are dealing with. This helps to compare your thinking with other people who can perhaps see things in a different light and can tell you if what you are dealing with sounds reasonable.
•Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Develop an emergency plan for any scenario that may include violence or abuse being directed towards or your children.
•Maintain your healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships. You will need them. Explain to your loved one gently, if necessary that you have made your decision and that is that and then move ahead. If they really do love you they will be happy to support you in what is good for you.

http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/Stalking.html

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Manipulations List

I had the most amazing therapist while going through my divorce and recovery from Narcissistic Abuse. He really “got it” when it came to the trauma I went through. Below is a list of manipulations typically employed by narcs, socios, and psychos. Below the list I have sited his website.

“Secrecy is what gives manipulators their power. But when we recognize and label how someone is manipulating us, we strip the manipulator of his or her power over us, which gives us more choices; empowering us. Below is a list of 23 manipulative techniques. See how many you recognize in others, and in yourself.

1. Physical Aggression, Anger, Intimidation, Threats – “If you don’t do what I want you’ll be sorry.”

2. Guilt – “Oh fine, you go off and enjoy your football game while I slave away in the kitchen.”

3. Constant Criticism – “Sure you did the laundry, but you folded everything the wrong way.”

4. Name Calling, Personal Attacks – “You’re a total moron. I can’t believe I married such a loser.”

5. Passive Aggression – “Well yes, I threw your old wallet away, but I didn’t know it had money in it.”

6. Over-Dependence – “But I can’t do it without you. You have to help me.”

7. Distraction – “Sure you’re upset about my lying, but what about your affair last year?”

8. Unwillingness To Forgive – “I know you said you were sorry, but I don’t think you meant it.”

9. Over-Intellectualization – “There were 18 reasons for my behavior. Let me list them for you.”

10. Splitting hairs – “Technically I bought the TV, so I should have the right to decide what we watch.”

11. Psychiatric Labeling – “You’re crazy. Everyone else agrees with me.”

12. Withdrawal – “I don’t want to talk about it.”

13. Empty Promise Procrastination – “We can talk about it some other time – just not right now.”

14. Naiveté – “I don’t understand. You’re going to have to explain it to me one more time.”

15. Rapid-Fire Responses – “Then there was your DUI, then the affair, then the gambling…”

16. Double Binds – “So which is it, are you just stupid or are you deliberately trying to hurt me?”

17. Spin & Distortion – “But you always get your way and I never get my way.”

18. Unwillingness to Compromise – “It’s either my way or the highway–which is it going to be?”

19. All-or-Nothing Thinking – “This is a complete disaster. Now we’ll have to start all over.”

20. Mind Reading – “I know what you really meant by that, despite what you said.”

21. Isolationism – “You don’t need to be spending time with family or friends. I’m all you need.”

22. Rhetorical Questions – “Why do you always…”, “Why can’t you ever…”

23. Appealing to a Higher Authority – “It’s not just my opinion, look at what the Bible says about it.””

http://www.villagecounseling.net/manipulations.shtml

When the Narcisisst is not in Control

Just yesterday I was given the perfect example of what happens when a Narcissist/Sociopath is not allowed to control a situation or some aspect of your life. This is my week with the kids. Bruce is only (as per court order) allowed to contact me via email (no phone or text or in person) and it has to be only about the children. On Tuesday he called my phone several times, leaving no messages and sent a few texts demanding that I call him back. Since my children’s school normally calls me in the event of a problem because I am easy to get a hold of and available, I knew it wasn’t an emergency regarding the children. So I waited for the email. Bruce sent an email that evening stating that Adam (my son) had a dentist appointment this Thursday, he made 2 appointments, one around 8 am and the other around 10 am, which one was I going to take him to? This was confusing to me because the children had just seen a dentist the previous week and the only reason I knew that was because the children informed me they had seen the dentist after the dental appointment. Bruce, however, did not notify me of the appointment nor did he provide me any information about the outcome, which dentist, what happened, he basically kept me completely in the dark which is also completely against our court order. But since both children are healthy and nothing seems to be amiss, I didn’t say anything about it (maintaining the no contact rule of dealing with a narcissist.)

So understand my confusion at this email about another dental appointment only a week later and Adam hadn’t complained about any problems or pain nor did he mention that he had any problems at the dentist last week. I emailed back that evening with a list of questions. What dentist was Adam suppose to see? Why was he seeing the dentist again so quickly? Why is this appointment such short notice? What was the outcome of the appointment last week? And lastly, could he provide me copies of the updated medical and dental insurance cards?

On Wednesday I received Bruce’s reply, he didn’t answer any of the questions and only stated that he would be there to fill out all of the paperwork. So I replied on Wednesday that due to the lack of notice I would need to reschedule the appointment and ask if he wanted to take care of that or could he send me the dentist’s information so that I could reschedule. He then emailed me later Wednesday claiming that I was denying my son necessary medical care and that he would pick my son up from school (violating the custody order) and take him to the appointment. I emailed back and informed him that legally he couldn’t do that and if he did he would be in violation of the custody order thus forcing me to file another police report. He never responded. Of course this worried me because it wouldn’t be the first time that Bruce had taken one of the children without permission and refused to give them back resulting in me having to file a police report with the sheriff’s department.

On Wednesday afternoon I called every pediatric dentist in the county to track down Adam’s appointment to reschedule and successfully rescheduled the appointment for the next week that the children were with me. Thursday morning I email Bruce and informed him that I had rescheduled the appointment. Now remember, he thought he was in complete control of this situation by refusing to provide me any information and then I removed him from the situation all together. I received the following email in response to my notification of the appointment being rescheduled. Note the arsenal of “narcissistic tools” that are deployed. You will be able to see a real life example of gaslighting, bullying, manipulation, passive aggressive provocation, grandiose sense of self importance (thinking the rescheduling was done to hurt him), expecting automatic compliance and ultimately extremely abusive language meant to intimidate all because the narcissist/sociopath has lost all control over a simple dentist appointment.

Thorne Rivers Sep 26 (1 day ago)
to me
“You are a horribly despicable human being and a worse mother. Your son is in pain and needs to see the dentist and you cancel his appointment just to spite his father? First apparently three days notice is not enough time for a loser unemployed person to take her son to the dentist. Fine, no problem, so Ill do it. You say no? Then threaten to call the police because I’m going to take him since you are not willing to? Now my son has to suffer another month because of you? Don’t you care about him at all? Or do you only care about hurting me? Your rage blinds you {B}. You are a disgusting and pathetic excuse for a mother.”

Obviously, I did not reply to this abusive attempt to elicit an emotional response. This is a typical example of how a narcissist/sociopath/psychopath will lash out when they feel as though they are not getting compliance from their victim. They completely lose control and say anything to elicit an emotional response. The best thing the victim can do is remain silent otherwise they will open the door for further abuse. As a survivor of Bruce’s continued abuse and rage, I know not to allow any of these things to bother me. I know what the truth of the situation is. My child is not in pain nor have I denied him the opportunity to see a dentist. I simply rescheduled the appointment so that I could obtain all the necessary facts and insurance information. Any normal sanely functioning individual can see that. Unfortunately, narcissists/sociopaths and psychopaths are not normal nor do they function sanely. As a survivor of this type of abuse it is essential that you always remember who you are and that these abusers have no power over you.

The Reptilian Stare

The narcissist, sociopath and psychopath have a stare. We’ve all seen it. Initially it is meant to captivate or secure their new victim however; once the victim is obtained the stare becomes predatory and menacing. It is used to unnerve their victims. It’s a hollow, unsettling look that doesn’t look at you as much as it looks through you. The narc will remain calm and emotionless in an attempt to stare you down, intimidate you and put you back into a submissive state. My ex loved to deploy this especially when I was upset or emotional about something. Whether I was upset at having just caught him in another lie or whether I was upset because a loved one was in the hospital he would become silent and stare directly through me. It almost seemed that my emoting was completely disgusting to him even though I was behaving like any normally functioning human would. When he deployed the reptilian stare I knew there was a definite possibility that I might not live through the night and that this man was capable of absolutely anything. It was haunting.

I remember distinctly one night I came home to find him texting his latest girlfriend. I was devastated, we were supposed to be working on our marriage and I was staring at the concrete evidence on his phone that he was cheating. I, like any wife would, became extremely emotional. I started yelling and crying, pleading and begging. He sat there completely devoid of any emotion, didn’t say a word and stared right through me. He looked at me like one would look at a TV documentary about a lion kill, hollow and somewhat disgusted that I was emotional. Yet I had every right to be upset, my husband, the man I loved and had given everything to, was having another affair and not even taking precautions to hide it from me or our children. The more pain and emotional anguish I expressed the deeper he stared into me which only increased my anguish because he refused to respond except to ask for his phone back.

It was only after he found out that I had contacted his latest conquest via his cell phone that he became enraged and abusive. He began calmly telling me, while still deploying the reptilian stare, that I was crazy and an embarrassment, that he couldn’t possibly love anyone like me because I was obviously unstable and too emotional. He told me how dare I question him or touch his belongings and how dare I contact anyone listed in his phone. He told me that he was appalled and disgusted by my behavior. He also reminded me that this was exactly the reason why none of our friends liked me and why my family couldn’t stand me and thought I was a total failure.

Now keep in mind I had just caught him sexting some poor bimbo and called her to let her know that she was being a whore with a married man. I’m not sure what in my actions were uncalled for considering any significant other in my position, regardless of gender, would’ve reacted the same way if not worse.

But it was the reptilian stare that completely unnerved me. That night I slept in the guest house, door locked with a chair pushed up against the door just in case. I knew he was furious with me for having exposed and embarrassed him and I wasn’t sure what he might do.