Stalking – Emotional Manipulation Tactic #11 (PPO Info.)

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Stalking can be defined as the willful and repeated following, watching and/or harassing of another person.  A narcissistic stalker has no sense of boundaries, especially in the face of rejection or abandonment.  Their only goal is to get you back under their control by any means.

He was waiting for me that morning sitting at the kitchen table. While I was making myself a cup of coffee, first words out of his mouth were “How was Roses Cafe?”

I froze, nearly dropping my steaming cup of coffee.  I hadn’t told a soul where I went having met an old friend for a bite to eat the night before after attending a graduation party picnic earlier that day.  I was shaken to the core, which I’m sure was his intent.

I held my cup firmly, careful not to let him see how shaken I was, and took a deep breath.  Calmly I turned around with a smile and replied, “Great, thanks for asking,” and attempted to retreat back to bedroom – my invisible prison.

Not expecting my calm reaction, he jumped up from his chair and followed me hoping to get me to engage.  The third degree continued.

“How was the sex in your car last night?  You left your pants in the car!”

Apparently he had gone through my (locked) car, finding a pair of jeans I had brought to the picnic the day before in case the weather turned chilly.

I had nothing to hide.  No boyfriend. No affairs. No shenanigans.  No sex.  But for the first time in my life, when it was designated his parenting time, I could take off and didn’t need to check-in or report to him!  He hated loosing that control over me.  Which in turn made him even more obsessed.  So many times when I returned home he would be sitting there waiting for me, ready to interrogate.  Even going so far as to set the house alarm alerting him to my arrival.

His comments confirmed my suspicions, that he was stalking my every move.  He also essentially admitted breaking into my car.  I had suspected a while back he was also breaking into my bedroom as well.  Files, a book, even my IPAD had gone missing.

He cyberstalker me.  Our credit card had loads of charges for private people search engines that showed subscriptions, locations, etc. like CFK and Truth Finder, etc.   Somehow he had accessed my files on our home computer as well which I learned by checking the browser history. (It wasn’t until later that I learned and proved through a forensic specialist that he had been hacking my email and attorney correspondences too! )

Over the course of the divorce I found tracking devices, even hidden cameras in the house!  I caught him numerous times listening to my phone conversations outside my bedroom door.  Eventually I had to go outside to make a phone call.  Even then, I caught him listening to my calls through our son’s bedroom window!  I had no privacy.  No security. No peace.

Paranoid, every night before bed I would have to do a sweep of my room looking for cameras and devices.  I went to oil change shops having them check my car for tracking devices constantly.  I even went so far as to hire a PI to check my car thoroughly, always feeling like I was being followed or recorded. I couldn’t comprehend what he was trying to find?

It wasn’t until later that I realized he was actually projecting his own misdeeds/actions and insecurities onto me.  He was the one cheating, having affairs, hiding money, and stealing my personal belongings.  Meanwhile accusing me of all that he was doing himself!

To this day, even though he’s blocked from all my accounts, even this blog, he makes snide comments letting me know that he’s monitoring my every move, my every post.  He threatens repeatedly to sue me accusing me of defaming his character.  He uses fear to control me – the next manipulative tactic #12, which is in part why I haven’t published my book. . . yet.  A narcissists’ ego is huge.  They’re terrified people will see their true colors.  Couple that with rejection and abandonment, they will go to any length to punish you.

So what should you do if you’re being stalked by a narcissist? Don’t engage.  Don’t show them how it bothers you – tramautizes you.  That’s what they want.  They hate to lose control.  They feed off your fear.  Block all accounts.  Shut off your location services on your phone.  Change all your passwords.  Open a new email account.  Get a new phone number or burner phone. Change your locks.  Get a safe or store special files and/or documents with a friend.

During our year of divorce I called the police to my home (10) times!  He knew I wouldn’t press charges because we relied on his income.  That didn’t stop him though! More than 30 times he staged events trying to put me in jail and/or to make me look bad in front of the court.   I had two PPO’s (Personal Protection Orders) in place during our divorce which I believe saved my life, it not at least my sanity during that time.  Below are excerpts from the courts to learn more about PPO’s and if you’re eligible.

Which Type of PPO Is Right for Me?

Domestic Relationship PPO

To get a domestic relationship PPO, you must show the judge that the abuser is likely to assault, threaten, harass, or stalk you. You must also show that you and the abuser have a domestic relationship.

You have a domestic relationship with the abuser if they are:

  • Your current or ex-spouse
  • Your child’s other parent
  • Someone you live with now or used to live with
  • Someone you have dated romantically

A domestic relationship PPO can prohibit the abuser from:

  • Entering your home or another place
  • Assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting, or wounding you or another person
  • Threatening to kill or physically injure you or another person
  • Removing your children from you if you have legal custody of them
  • Buying or having a gun
  • Interfering with you removing your children or personal property from a place the abuser owns or leases
  • Interfering with you at your job or school, or acting in a way that harms your job or school relationships or environment
  • Having access to your home/work address or telephone number in records that concern a child of both of yours
  • Stalking you
  • Intentionally causing you mental distress or controlling you by harming or threatening to harm an animal you own, taking the animal from you, or keeping it from you
  • Any other specific act or behavior that interferes with your personal freedom or makes you reasonably afraid of violence

You may ask for specific protections in your petition, but the judge will decide what your PPO will prohibit.

Nondomestic (Stalking) PPO

The purpose of a nondomestic PPO is to protect you from stalking or harassing behavior if you and the abuser don’t have a domestic relationship. To get a stalking PPO, you must show that there have been at least two incidents of harassment. Harassment is contact you don’t want. It has no valid purpose and causes you emotional harm or fear. It is also something that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional harm or fear. This could include following you, making unwanted phone calls or texts, or showing up repeatedly at your home or work.

Cyberstalking is electronic stalking. It could mean the abuser posted messages about you or sent messages to you through the internet, a computer, or another electronic means without your consent.

A nondomestic PPO can prohibit the abuser from:

  • Following you or appearing within your sight
  • Approaching or confronting you
  • Appearing at your work or home
  • Going onto or staying on property you own, rent, or occupy
  • Calling you
  • Sending you mail or other messages
  • Placing an object on or delivering an object to property you own, rent, or occupy
  • Threatening to kill or hurt you
  • Buying or having a gun
  • Cyberstalking you
  • Other specific stalking behavior that you want the judge to prohibit

You may ask for specific protections in your petition, but the judge will decide what your PPO will prohibit.

Nondomestic Sexual Assault PPO

The purpose of a nondomestic sexual assault PPO is to protect you from a person who has sexually assaulted you or threatened to sexually assault you when you do not have a domestic relationship with that person. If you are under 18, sexual assault includes giving you obscene material.

A nondomestic sexual assault PPO can prohibit the abuser from:

  • Threatening to sexually assault, kill, or hurt you or another person
  • Following you or appearing within your sight
  • Appearing at your work or home
  • Approaching or confronting you
  • Entering your home or another place
  • Going onto or staying on property you own, rent, or occupy
  • Calling you
  • Sending you mail or other messages
  • Cyberstalking you
  • Buying or having a gun
  • Interfering with you removing your children or personal property from a place the abuser owns or leases
  • Interfering with you at your job or school, or acting in a way that harms your job or school relationships or environment
  • Placing objects on or delivering them to property that you own, lease, or occupy
  • Any other specific act or behavior that interferes with your personal freedom or makes you reasonably afraid of violence

You may ask for specific protections in your petition, but the judge will decide what your PPO will prohibit.

How Do I Get a PPO?

To ask for a PPO, you must file a petition with the court. You can use the Do-It-Yourself Personal Protection Order (PPO) tool to create a petition for any of the three types of PPOs.

The petition is used to give the judge important information they need to decide whether to give you the order you want. As best you can, explain what the abuser has done to you and how you have been harmed. Try to remember the dates or times of year the events happened. You don’t have to have police reports or other documents to get a PPO, but if you do have them you should attach them to your petition. They can help the judge understand what has happened to you.

You might be afraid the abuser will harm you if you don’t get a PPO right away. You might be afraid the abuser will harm you if they find out you are asking for a PPO. If so, you can ask for an emergency order called an ex parteorder. If you get an ex parte order, you won’t have to wait for a hearing to get your order. With an ex parte order, the abuser won’t know you’re asking for a PPO until after you get your order.

If you do not request an ex parte order in your petition, the court will schedule a hearing to decide whether to give you a PPO. Or, if the judge denies your petition for an ex parte order, there will be a hearing if you request one within 21 days. In either of these situations, you must have a copy of the petition and a notice of hearing delivered to the abuser. The abuser will have the opportunity to attend the hearing and respond to the information in your petition. In this situation, the abuser will know you are asking for a PPO before you are protected by an order.

At a court hearing, you and the abuser will each have the chance to speak and may be able to ask each other questions. You may also be able to call witnesses and show the judge other evidence.

If the court schedules a hearing, you may want to consider finding a lawyer to represent you. Representing yourself at a hearing is not easy. You must follow the same rules lawyers must follow, such as the Michigan Rules of Evidence.

To learn more about what you will need to prove at a court hearing on your petition for a PPO, read Domestic Relationship Personal Protection Orders, Nondomestic (Stalking) Personal Protection Orders, or Nondomestic Sexual Assault Personal Protection Orders. For other information about what to expect at a court hearing, see What to Expect When You Go to Court.

What Will My PPO Say?

A PPO will state:

  • That your order is effective immediately and can be enforced anywhere in Michigan
  • That once it is served, the PPO may be enforced anywhere else in the United States
  • What actions the abuser is prohibited from doing
  • When your order expires
  • What happens if the abuser violates your order
  • The name of the specific law enforcement agency that will enter your order into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN)

What Happens After the Judge Signs My PPO?

Your PPO and petition must be served on the abuser. Your PPO can be enforced anywhere in Michigan as soon as it is signed by a judge. Once your order is served, it can be enforced anywhere in the United States.

There are several ways to serve the PPO and petition, but you are not allowed to serve them yourself. You should have service done in a way that keeps you safe. Once the PPO has been served, a Proof of Service form must be filed with the court clerk. To learn more, read Serving Your Personal Protection Order.

Staying Safe with Your PPO

Carry Your Papers

Always keep a copy of your PPO and Proof of Service with you. Keep a second copy in a safe place. You can ask the court clerk for extra copies of the order (or you can make extra copies) to give to your children’s schools or daycare providers, your place of work, and others who need to know about it.

Safety Planning

Your chances of being hurt by the abuser may increase when you leave an abusive relationship or seek legal help. Planning for your safety ahead of time can help. Your safety plan might include things such as:

  • Where to go or who to call if you feel threatened
  • Important telephone numbers
  • An escape plan
  • Checklists of important things to take with you when you leave the abuser

Contact your local domestic violence agency, the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence,or the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help thinking about your safety options and making a safety plan.

Enforcing Your PPO

You might be tempted for many reasons to agree to behavior by the abuser that violates your PPO. Maybe you feel safe now that you have the order. Maybe the abuser promises that things will be different. The abuser may ask to come to your house to pick up the children, but your PPO bans the abuser from coming to your house. Whatever the reason, you should not agree to behavior that violates your PPO. The abuser can be arrested for behavior that violates your PPO even if you have agreed to it.

If you want to change your PPO before it expires, you must go back to court and file a motion to modify (change) the PPO. To prepare your motion, use the Do-It-Yourself Motion to Modify, Extend, or Terminate a Personal Protection Order (PPO) tool.

If the abuser violates your PPO, you can call the police and report the violation. Your local domestic violence agencycan give you support and information about enforcing your order. You can also file a Motion and Order to Show Cause for Violating Valid Personal/Foreign Protection Order to ask the judge to punish the abuser for violating your PPO. For more information about enforcing your PPO, read Personal Protection Order Violations and Enforcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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