DANGER: Paranoid Ex

Uploaded 6/21/2011, approx. 5 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

The paranoid person's conduct is unpredictable, and there is no typical scenario, but experience shows that you can minimize the danger to yourself and to your household by taking some basic steps.

If at all possible, put as much physical distance as you can between yourself and your paranoid ex. Change address, phone number, email accounts, cell phone numbers, and list the kids in a new school. Find a new job, get a new credit card, open a new bank account.

Do not inform your paranoid ex about your whereabouts and about your new life. You may have to make painful sacrifices, such as minimize contact for a while with your family and friends.

He may be following you, or watching them.

Even with all these precautions, your abusive ex is likely to find you furious that you have fled and evaded him, raging at your newfound existence and autonomy, suspicious and resentful of your freedom.

Violence is more than likely, unfortunately.

Unless deterred, paranoid former spouses tend to be harmful, in extreme cases even lethal.

So be prepared. Alert your local law enforcement officers. Check out your neighborhood domestic violence shelter.

Consider owning a gun for self-defense, or at the very least a stun gun, or mustard spray. Carry these with you at all times. You never know when it's going to reappear.

Keep these accessories close by and accessible even when you are asleep or in the bathroom.

A rotomaniac stalking by paranoid exes can last many years.

Do not let down your guard even if you haven't heard from him for a long period of time.

Stalkers leave traces. They tend to scout the territory before they make their move.

A typical paranoid stalker invades his or her victim's privacy a few times before the crucial and injurious encounter.

So pay close attention to detail. Is your computer being tempted with? Is someone downloading your email? Has anyone been to your house while you were away? Any telltale signs of breaking an entry? Missing or misplaced things?

A typical disorder? Or too much order? Is your post being delivered erratically? Some of the envelopes having been opened and then resealed? Are there any mysterious phone calls? Broccoli disconnected when you pick up?

If the answer to any of these is a resounding yes, your paranoid ex must have dropped by and must be monitoring you.

So notice any unusual pattern, any strange event, any weird occurrence.

Someone is driving by your house morning and evening? A new gardener or maintenance man came by in your absence? Is someone making inquiries about you and your family?

So maybe it's time to move on.

Teach your children to avoid your paranoid ex and to report to you immediately any contact he has made with them.

Abusive bullies often strike where and when it hurts most at one's children.

Explain the danger to the children without being unduly alarming. Don't transform this into a horror movie. Just make sure they are cautious. Make a distinction between adults they can trust and your abusive former ex whom they should avoid.

Ignore your gut reactions and impulses. Sometimes the stress is so onerous and so infuriating that you feel like striking back at the stalker. Don't do it. Don't play his game. He is better at this game than you are and is likely to defeat you.

Instead unleash the full force of the law whenever you get the chance to do so. Get obtained restraining orders. Make sure he spends spells in jail. Ask the police to visit him frequently and to check his violent and intrusive conduct.

There are many laws against harassment and stalking on the books. Use them.

The other behavioral extreme is futile and counterproductive.

Do not try to buy peace by appeasing your abuser. Submissiveness and attempts to reason with your paranoid ex only whet his appetite.

He regards your submissiveness as contemptible weakness, a vulnerability that he can exploit.

You cannot communicate with a paranoid because he is likely to distort everything you say to support his persecutory delusions, his sense of entitlement and his grandiose fantasies.

You cannot appeal to a paranoid ex's emotions. He has none, at least not positive ones.

Remember, your abusive and paranoid former partner blames everything on you. As far as he is concerned, you, recklessly and unstructurally, racked a wonderful thing that you had going.

He is vengeful, seething and prone to bouts of uncontrolled and extreme aggression and rage.

Don't listen to those who tell you to take it easy. Hundreds of thousands of women paid with their lives for heeding this kind of advice.

Your paranoid ex is inordinately dangerous and more likely than not is with you for a long time to come.

How long and how it all ends depends on a few factors out of your control, but luckily it also depends on many factors that are under your control.

Make the best of it.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Paranoid Stalker Ex

Abusive ex-partners often resort to lies and half-truths to cope with the pain of separation. They may also resort to self-delusion, which can make them dangerous. The only viable coping strategy is to ignore the abusive ex and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family. Avoid all gratuitous interactions, and do not collude or collaborate in your ex's fantasies and delusions. If your ex is paranoid delusional, he may be very dangerous, and you should take steps to minimize the danger to yourself and your household.

Stalker Psychology

Stalking is a form of abuse that continues long after a relationship has ended, with the majority of abusers getting the message. However, a minority of abusers, the more vindictive and obsessed ones, continue to stalk their ex-partners for years to come. These stalkers are typically lonely, violent, and intermittently unemployed, but they are rarely full-fledged criminals. Contrary to myths perpetrated by the mass media, studies show that most stalkers are men, have high IQs, advanced degrees, and are middle-aged.

Stalked: Your Getaway - Planning and Executing It

Victims of abuse should prepare thoroughly before leaving their abuser, especially if the partner is violent and paranoid. The province of Alberta in Canada recommends copying all important documents and storing them in a safe place, making a safety plan, and taking essential items such as prescribed medication, personal hygiene products, and money. If fleeing with children, bring their various medications, favorite toy or blanket, and clothing. It is also important to secure transportation, agree on codes and signals with friends and family, and avoid confrontation over the departure.

Coping with Stalkers: Psychopaths, Narcissists, Paranoids, Erotomaniacs

Stalkers come in different types, including erotomaniac, narcissistic, paranoid, and anti-social or psychopathic. Coping techniques suited to one type of stalker may backfire or prove to be futile with another. The best coping strategy is to first identify the type of abuser you are faced with. It is essential to avoid all contact with your stalker, but being evaded only inflames the stalker's wrath and enhances his frustration.

Narcissist: Set Firm Personal Boundaries!

Personal boundaries are essential to protect oneself from abusive behavior. It is important to set boundaries clearly and communicate them to others, including the consequences of violating them. It is crucial to enforce boundaries consistently and involve law enforcement or friends and colleagues if necessary. One should be vigilant, doubting, and not gullible, and expose the abuser to their collaborators.

Spot a Narcissist or a Psychopath on Your First Date

There are warning signs to identify abusers and narcissists early on in a relationship. One of the first signs is the abuser's tendency to blame others for their mistakes and failures. Other signs include hypersensitivity, eagerness to commit, controlling behavior, patronizing and condescending manner, and devaluing the partner. Abusers may also idealize their partner, have sadistic sexual fantasies, and switch between abusive and loving behavior. Paying attention to body language can also reveal warning signs.

Stalked? Restraining Orders, Peace Bonds, Courts

Professor Sam Vaknin advises victims of abuse to involve the courts whenever possible. In many countries, the first step is to obtain a restraining order from a civil court, as part of divorce or custody proceedings, or as a stand-alone measure. The difference between a protection order and a restraining order is that the protection order is obtained following an incident of domestic violence involving injury or damage to property. The wording of the restraining order is crucial, and it is important to seek a new restraining order if you have moved.

Stalked: Get Help

Victims of abuse should seek help from family, friends, and colleagues. However, the legal system may not be effective in dealing with stalking and domestic violence. Victims should document the abuse and report it to the police and building security. They should also hire a security expert if the threat is credible or imminent and rely on professional advice from attorneys, accountants, private detectives, and therapists. Joining support groups and organizations for victims of abuse and stalking can also be validating and empowering.

Body Language of Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuser

Abusers emit subtle signals in their body language that can be observed and discerned. They adopt a posture of superiority and entitlement, and they idealize or devalue their interlocutors. Abusers are shallow and prefer show-off to substance, and they are serious about themselves. They lack empathy, are sadistic, and have inappropriate affect. They are adept at casting a veil of secrecy over their dysfunction and misbehavior, and they succeed in deceiving the entire world.

Coping Styles: Narcissist Abuses "Loved" Ones Despite Abandonment Anxiety

Narcissists abuse their loved ones to decrease their abandonment anxiety, restore their sense of grandiosity, and test their partner's loyalty. Abuse also serves as a form of behavior modification, as it signals to the partner that they need to modify their behavior to avoid abuse. Coping styles for dealing with abuse include submissiveness, conflicting, mirroring, collusion, and displacement, but some of these styles can be harmful and should be avoided.

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