I Filed a Restraining Order Against the Narcissist…Now What?
Filing a restraining order against the Narcissist is often a necessary and unavoidable step in one’s road to independence. The reason why is because many narcissists refuse to respect their target’s requests for no contact, wantonly opposing boundaries and exceeding limits with an alarming sense of entitlement.
Many targets of narcissistic abuse believe that when their abusive partner attempts to break the conditions of the restraining order that it’s out of love and genuine concern. The reality is that narcissists believe they own their target. Further, they don’t want to lose the “respect by association” that comes with being in a relationship with said target. In my practice, I work with doctors, lawyers, therapists, business-owners, and others who are decent, conscientious, respectable, and attractive. By all accounts, most narcissists are seven thousand leagues under the sea when compared to their targets.
And they know it. (This knowledge is the fuel for the oft-ensuing smear campaign).
They cannot tolerate the thought of losing ownership of their “prized possession”. Their God-like sense of power is seriously jeopardized when a target goes through the process of getting a restraining order. This not only causes the disordered individual to become enraged at their target’s attempt at autonomy, they go on a mission to “make” their supply source accept them back into their life, in spite of possible legal repercussions. Of course, because their target is a warm-hearted and forgiving individual, narcissists may not act out in aggressive ways because that wouldn’t be convincing. So, the narcissist may pull out all the stops by delivering endearing comments, such as:
- Why are you giving up on us?
- No one will ever love you as much as I do.
- How could you do this to our family?
- I thought we vowed to stick together for better or for worse.
- You know you’re the love of my life.
Alternately, when the narcissist is in rage mode, they may throw out hurtful accusations designed to make their target feel guilty, including:
- I knew you never really loved me.
- Everyone told me you would do this, but I didn’t want to believe it.
- You act like a goody two-shoes, but you’re really an evil person.
- You’ve been building up to this for months.
- You just wanted me for my money (ironically, they are often epic cheapskates and swindlers)
If you’ve recently had to file a restraining order against your abusive partner, or are considering it, it’s crucial to understand that whether they appear to be heartbroken or try to make you feel guilty, it’s all manipulation designed to get you to break the restraining order and accept them back into your life, which in turn makes them feel God-like (and can also hurt you in court). If you have a restraining order in place, you must follow through with the guidelines and call the police if they approach you. Anything less will only result in making it harder to escape the abuse later on.
**These behaviors are not typical of the cerebral narcissist, whose favorite punishment is the silent treatment. Cerebral narcissists typically disappear without a word. Stalking and violating restraining orders are more typical of overt, malignant, aggressive narcissist types.
Why Do I Feel Like a Traitor?
It’s a long stretch for targets of narcissistic abuse to move forward with filing a restraining order against their abusive partner. They feel overwhelming guilt, convincing themselves that an RO is way too harsh. What they’re not considering is that the narcissist doesn’t hold the same sentiments.
The truth is that once the disordered person gets back in, they will resume their manipulative behaviors. It’s for this very reason that victims who break the restraining order often have a period of self-loathing to work through…due to having been “had” once again. But, more than that, detaching from the narcissist often triggers:
- fear of abandonment
- an overwhelming need for closure
- trauma bond cravings
- feelings of worthlessness due to internalizing the rejection and verbal abuse
These are the same reactions one experiences after initiating No Contact. Instead of reaching out, thereby breaking the restraining order (or No Contact), it’s important to keep in mind that the temporary feelings of relief would soon be replaced with angst, self-reproach, and overwhelming regret. As a substitute, understand that healing from this type of abuse often requires therapy, self-reflection, and active self-care. Maintaining a no-contact policy is vital to healing and recovery.
**If you are in a shared custody situation where No Contact is impossible, consider implementing the Gray Rock method of dealing with the disordered during modified/low contact.
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