I am Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Your abusive ex is likely to cope with the pain and humiliation of separation by spreading lies, distortions, and half-truths about you, and by preferring self-justifying interpretations of the events leading to the breakup.
By targeting your closest, nearest, and dearest, family, your own boss, colleagues, co-workers, neighbors, and friends, your ex hopes to achieve two equally unrealistic goals.
The first one is to isolate you socially and to force you to come running back into his waiting and loving arms.
The second goal is to communicate to you that he still loves you, is still interested in you and your affairs, and that no matter what you are inseparable. He magnanimously is willing to forgive all the horrible things you did to him and to revive the relationship which after all had its good moments.
All abusers present with rigid and infantile primitive defense mechanisms, splitting, rejection, projective identification, denial, intellectualization, and narcissism. We will discuss each of these defense mechanisms in future videos.
But some abusers go further. They decompensate by resorting to self-delusion.
Unable to face the dismal failures that they are, they partially withdraw from reality.
So how should you cope with a delusional paranoid and therefore very dangerous stalker?
It may be difficult, but the first thing is turn off your emotions.
Abusers prey on other people's empathy, pity, altruism, mercy, nostalgia, and tendency to lend a helping hand.
Some stalkers punish themselves, drink to excess, commit offenses, and get caught, abuse drugs, have accidents, fall prey to scams, or entertain suicidal ideation. They do all these self-destructive and self-defeating acts in order to force their victims to pity them and to get in touch with them.
The only viable coping strategy is to ignore your abusive ex.
Take unnecessary precautions to protect yourself and your family. Alert law enforcement agencies to any misbehavior, violence or harassment on his part. File charges and have restraining orders issued.
But otherwise avoid all gratuitous interactions.
Here is a short list.
Be sure to maintain as much contact with your abuser as the courts, counselors, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate, but only as much as they mandate.
Do not contravene the decisions of the system. Work from inside the system to change the judgments, evaluations, or rulings, but never rebel against them or never ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and against your interests.
Still, with the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous, unnecessary contact with the narcissistic or psychopathic abuser and stalker.
Do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening email messages. Return all gifts he sends you. Refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom. Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him in a single polite, firm sentence that you are determined not to talk to him. Do not answer his letters. Do not visit him on special occasions or in emergencies. Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas forwarded to you through or via third parties. Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at his behest. Do not discuss with him your children. Do not gossip about him. Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire need or dire stress. When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs and do not discuss his personal affairs with him. Relegate any inevitable contact with him, when and where possible, to professionals.
Use your lawyer. Use your accountant. Avoid him. Do not collude or collaborate in your exes, fantasies, and delusions. You cannot buy his mercy or his good will. He has none.
Do not support his notions, even indirectly, that he is brilliant, perfect, irresistibly handsome, destined for great things, entitled, powerful, wealthy, the center of attention, etc.
Abuses act on these misreceptions, and they try to coerce you into becoming an integral part of their charades.
Abuse is a criminal offense. By definition, abuses are criminals.
They lack empathy. They lack compassion. They have deficient social skills. They disregard laws, norms, contracts, and morals.
You cannot negotiate with your abusive ex. You cannot strike a bargain with him. You cannot reform him, cure him, or recondition him. He is a threat to you, to your property, and to your dear ones. Treat him as a threat.
The most dangerous class of abusers is the paranoid delusional. If your ex is one of these, he is likely to believe that you still love him. It's called erotomania. He will interpret everything you do or say, even to third parties, as hidden messages addressed to him and professing your undying devotion. He will also confuse the physical with the emotion. He will regard sex as proof of love and be prone to rape you. He will blame the failure of the relationship on you or on others, social workers, your friends, your family, your children. He will never assume responsibility. He will seek to remove the obstacles to a happy and long relationship, sometimes by resorting to violence, kidnapping, or murdering the sources of his frustration. He will be very envious of your newfound autonomy, and he will try to sabotage it. He will reassert his control over you.
For instance, he will break and enter into your house. He will leave intrusive messages on your answering machine. He will follow you around. He will appear suddenly in your workplace, and he will stay outside in a stationary car, observing your home. He will try to harm you, sometimes himself, in a fit of indignation. He will try to punish you if he feels that no renewed relationship is possible. He will develop persecutory delusions. He will perceive slights and insults where none are intended. He will become convinced that he is the center of a conspiracy to deny him and you happiness, to humiliate him, to punish him, to delude him, to impoverish him, to confine him physically or intellectually, to censor him, to impose on his time, to force him to action or to inaction, to frighten him, to coerce him, to surround and besiege him, to change his mind, to part with his values, to victimize or even to murder him.
These are all the secretary delusions.
The paranoid 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 simple steps.
We will discuss these steps in a future video. Stay tuned.