I don’t particularly enjoy airing my dirty laundry in public. But as I am often fond of saying, you can’t fix a hole in the floor by throwing a rug over it. Sometimes you have to expose a problem to deal with it. So, that’s why I’m here today, writing to you about my stalker.
A few years ago, I made the mistake of dating someone who lived in the same apartment complex that I lived in. It was a relationship of convenience. I had no money to pay my heat bill, and his house was always warm. The guy was a good cook, and I like to eat. I had no cable, but he did. So, the long weekends spent getting used to not having my kids with me every other weekend while they were at their dad’s went a little bit faster. Besides, the whole thing really pissed my ex off, which was a huge plus. In fact, I probably would have broken it off with this dumbass a lot sooner than I did if my ex-husband had just minded his own business.
It was cool at first. We were really just “friends with benefits,” and at his insistence, even. But then the red flags started popping up. To make a long story short, the guy turned out to be a complete and total loser. Not only that, but he was also a total freeloader. He still owes me like $500 today. I’d be willing to forget about that $500 if he would just go away and leave me alone forever.
But he won’t.
After I dumped him like a pile of bricks, he refused to take the hint. At first, I tried to remain friends. After all, it was going to be hard to live in the next building without seeing him once in a while. I was trying to make things easier on myself. But after a couple of days, he asked me when I was going to change my Facebook relationship status back. I was confused. “Back to what?” I asked.
“Back to ‘in a relationship,’” was his response.
What the fuck? The guy thought we were still in a relationship and that I was just playing hard to get. I basically told him where to go and tried my best to avoid him from then on out. He, meanwhile, apparently decided that the best way to win me back would be to stalk me.
Thus began the constant text messages and Facebook messages. In one message, he would tell me that he knows I really love him, but I’m just scared to be in a relationship. In the next message, he would call me horrible names and tell me what a bitch I was being.
His apartment had a direct view of my parking space, so I started parking on the street. I knew the lazy, now-unemployed bum was sitting in his apartment watching for me all hours of the day and night. It very often happened that as soon as I walked by his building, he would appear on his patio with some excuse for why he was walking in the same direction I was. I became convinced that he kept a bag of garbage by his front door just so he could pretend that he needed to walk to the dumpster when he saw me walking by with my garbage.
In the wintertime, when I had no choice but to park in the lot due to snow restrictions on street parking, I would sneak out of my car, tromp through the snow, and climb over snowbanks to take the long way around the apartment complex to my apartment in an effort to avoid him.
It wasn’t until after I finally moved away from the apartment complex that I learned that he had apparently been doing the same thing to my younger son. Not long ago, my son informed me that he, too, used to sneak around the apartment complex the long way when he came home from school because OUR stalker was always waiting for him and would try to talk him into coming over to his house. I wish I had known that when it was happening, because I ABSOLUTELY would have put that asshole in jail for messing with my kid!
Isn’t it funny how fast we are to protect our children, but we so often fail to extend that same protection to ourselves? Looking back, I know now that I should have gotten a restraining order against him then.
So here we are, several years later. I moved several hours away from him. I blocked him on Facebook. I blocked him from calling my phone after he called me in the middle of the night to tell me that he was looking at pictures of me and just had to talk to me.
He created a new Facebook page so he could keep stalking me. He sent me several messages from that account… long, rambling, SCARY messages that made me worry that he had figured out where I moved to. He talked about stopping by my house on his way through when he went on vacation. It was as if he had totally convinced himself that if he showed up on my doorstep with plans to go on a trip, I would just drop everything and go with him.
THIS GUY IS PSYCHO.
Any sane person can see that this is not cute. This is not in any way attractive. It’s not a turn-on. It’s a turn-OFF. It is creepy and scary, and it needs to stop.
I thought I had taken care of the problem by cutting him off in every way I knew how. I hadn’t heard anything out of him in several months, so I thought it was finally over.
And then, this morning, I got a message from him on my Facebook page. From the sounds of things, he’s Googled my name repeatedly over the past several months until he finally found yet another way to contact me.
What do I do? Get a restraining order? Have him arrested? After all, his actions at this point are no longer just annoying. This guy long ago crossed the line from inappropriate behavior to illegal behavior.
The problem with a restraining order is the fact that I would have to serve paperwork on him that would point him in the direction of where I now live. I wouldn’t have to put my address on the paperwork, but he would find out what county I live in. This would narrow things down for him a bit and make it easier for him to find me. He has nothing better to do with his time.
The whole situation is so unfair. I can’t put my town name — let alone my business address — on my business website, thus making it easier for potential clients to find me, because of guys like him and my abusive ex-husband. When I first started dating this guy, I thought he was different.
But even though this guy never hit me, he is no better than my abusive ex-husband. He seems to think that I am his possession and that he has every right to continue to stalk and harass me long after I have told him to leave me alone. Who the hell does he think he is, anyway?
So here’s the thing. Based on this asshole’s last message, he has apparently found my blog. He has also apparently read several pages into it in an effort to dig up information about me. What do I do, take my blog down? Do I delete my Facebook page while I’m in the middle of promoting the book I just published? Do I give up on ever finding success simply because this one asshole is trying to make it impossible for me to have an internet presence and still feel safe?
Because right now, I don’t feel safe. I am living in fear that this dangerous psychopath will eventually figure out where I am if he keeps digging. And he has proven that HE WILL KEEP DIGGING.
What do I do? What would you do? And since he is probably going to read this, what would you say to him? Please tell him what you think about all of this in the comments below. Maybe you can get through to him because he is obviously not going to listen to me. Ever.