“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.”
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.