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The Reverse Restraining Order

There is no shame to my game in this article, so please don’t judge cause I know I am not only one out there that have been in my shoes.

When it comes to men that I’ve cared about deeply, and things go South, I’ve struggled with blocking numbers, spamming emails, walking away, and staying away.  I could receive the worse text ever from a guy that should definitely be enough to completely sever ties, but, often times it’s only fleeting cause I start making excuses for bad behavior, or questioning my reasons for completely freeing myself from a poor relationship, so, I think it’s time to try something else.

The reverse restraining order

Sometimes you need to put a restraining order on yourself. Ok, such a thing does not legally exist, but it should. To impose a reverse restraining order on yourself, I find it’s best to sit down and make a list.  You should write out all the terrible texts you received, and emails so you have a hard copy of why you need to restrain yourself from going back to a toxic relationship.

It took me over a year of therapy to realize I have serious issues when it comes to setting boundaries with men, and my tendencies to go back and forth are pretty bad. How many rude texts or emails does it take to wake up and stay away? A LOT. And it doesn’t help when every now and then you get a nice text or email, “I miss you, I love you, I need you.” That sure doesn’t help things cause then you don’t respond, and next thing you know you get blasted, “You’re a loser, you suck in bed, my hand was always better.” Yup, thanks! Now you would think that would seal the deal to terminate things forever but, it’s hard cause next thing you know you get a nice text. And it goes back and forth and back and forth.

You can easily get wrapped into someone’s crazy bipolar behavior and lose your mind. You have a good day and feel strong and block all texts, numbers, and emails then get weak and find your unblocking everything. You wonder what if this, or that, or maybe he’s just having a hard time with the breakup and so make excuses for everything. It’s stupid. So once I actually sit down and write out those nasty texts or emails, that sheet of paper becomes my restraining order against myself. I actually have to make a contract with myself to end the madness. And, as I grow and get stronger, those toxic words become ridiculous. I feel ridiculous when I read some of the mean things that were said in the past, which makes me think, ok, you are moving forward, you can do this, you are not that same person that you were when you originally got that text and still couldn’t let go. My reverse restraining order allows me to make myself accountable for my actions. It isn’t easy, it can be hurtful to read, but the alternative is way worse.

I previously wrote an article on, “To block, or not to block,” and received a bunch of comments from people that struggle with the blocking game. Whether you are the one being blocked, or you are the one blocking someone else, it can be rough and tough.  There’s a lot of shame involved when you find yourself going back to a bad relationship especially when you have concrete evidence of terrible exchanges over email or text, but, it’s ok. It can be isolating when you find yourself embarrassed or  uncomfortable to talk with a friend or family member, cause you can feel like you look pathetic, or fill in whatever word fits your sentiments.

Having said that, no one needs to see, or know about your reverse restraining order. It’s for you, and only you. So, next time you find yourself unable to make a clear permanent break from a toxic person or relationship, get out that pen, take out our phone, dig into your deleted texts, do an email search, and make yourself write it down.

So, bottom line: If you are not able to get a restraining order over someone for whatever reason, make yourself your own reverse restraining order. It’s a start.

 

 

Photo by Seth W.

The Reverse Restraining Order

Erica Loberg


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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2018). The Reverse Restraining Order. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2018/04/06/the-reverse-restraining-order/

 

Last updated: 11 Apr 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Apr 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.