Monthly Archives: January 2013

easiest place to be asked out on a date should be . . . .

heading out to new york for further facebook travels and as usual, i get the treatment.  but i’m thinking i have a right to be treated as a lady, to be treated as more than just a bootie call (well, actually, i’m the one who initiated the bootie call by buying a plane ticket). . .

 

what’s the worst the t.s.a. has done for you?


a sword pulled like excalibur from my chest by my enemy ativan

discharged from roosevelt hospital. e.k.g., enzymes, blood sugar, platelets, liver function, pancreas, kidneys are all normal. it’s not a stroke, it’s not a heart attack, it’s not a collapsed lung, a wayward pancreas, a liver in revolt. why i should be in agony for thirty six hours, feeling like a sword has been plunged into my chest is a mystery medical science is not yet able to solve. but the solution? intravenous ativan and as it entered my veins i thought “noooo!” because i have worked so hard to be free of this drug and then “please, yes” as the sword–like excalibur by arthur–was pulled from my chest. . . i am without pain, sleepy, and just want to find my way home.

i woke up two days ago and couldn't shake this feeling that i had been the one to plunge the sword into my own heart..

i woke up two days ago and couldn’t shake this feeling that i had been the one to plunge this sword into my own heart.

 

i have worked very hard to defeat ativan and now i am told it is my master.  for a few days, a few months, the rest of my life, i don’t know.

i was first prescribed ativan six years ago while going through a painful separation from my then husband (who is now my ex-husband and one of my closest friends).

i was first prescribed ativan six years ago while going through a painful separation from my then husband (who is now my ex-husband and one of my closest friends).

 

a few months ago, i made a commitment to break up with ativan.  i saw him a little less, refused his blandishments, told him i didn’t want to go out anymore.  i thought he understood.  but he’s a seductive pill.  sweet talking, seemingly harmless, whispering sweet somethings in my ear.  and when he was combined with mr. pinot grigio, i was as pliable as the butter i forgot to put back in the refrigerator after i made the breakfast toast.

what next?  i don’t know.  i have to go down on my own to the airport, and find my way home.  and maybe there, i can shut the door and make the world and its swords and slings and arrows go away.


at long last a book and a very personal book signing

i have been partnering with tate publishing company in oklahoma and i’m happy to say that face2facebook will be hitting to store shelves in april. but you can have a sneak preview (and even order the book) at http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781625630810

it’s all about my year of adventure on facebook and if you buy the book, i have to come over to your house and autograph it.


i really thought it was over: my stalker returns

i really thought it was over.  my stalker had claimed he would never attempt to contact me again.   i started to breathe a little easier, to forget this was happening, to start thinking about planning another trip.  i had been hiding in my apartment.  i had been avoiding facebook, my email, my phone because any one of them could contain another communication.  at his most energetic, william could email me, text me to tell me that i had to answer his email, and then the email might contain a request for me to check his posting on my wall.  this might happen in the course of ten minutes and when i failed to respond immediately he might add on more messages, texts, posts and calls to get my attention.  one day in september, he announced he wanted to quit his job in tallahassee and be with me. he has angered and been defriended by a half dozen of my facebook friends.  please understand i met him exactly once as part of my facebook friends project.  i blocked him on facebook and on hotmail, but wordpress still allows him to message me. 

yesterday morning, i checked my emails and found this message from an address and a woman (jennifer renalds).  i didn’t recognize the address or the name.  i will print it in full:

To miss presser. Arlyn is it? I am writing this to let you know of something that happened last night. My name is Jennifer, and Bill Taylor is a friend of mine. I want you to know that Bill attempted suicide last night. I have known bill for a couple of months and he is the kindest and most thoughtful guy I have ever met. he shared with me a lot of messages and emails you two shared. I admit he can be overwhelming, and he has always troubled himself over this. I also saw a message you left for him a short time ago saying everything was good with your friendships. My sister noticed a message in your blog yesterday, and told him about it. I stopped by his house and found him in tears, saying it all had been a lie. and I found he had taken a whole bottle of some medicine he had there. Miss presser, he will live, but I just wanted you to know what had happened. You let him believe for months that everything was okay and i can see from some of these messages that he tried many times to ask you if things were okay with you guys and you just left him hanging. I think you should be ashamed of your self miss presser! Bill deservse so much better then that. You hurt him. you hurt him very badly. I just wanted you to know. and I think you are a bad person for letting this happen. He never blamed you one bit! He was willing to leave you alone, and you you ended up calling him a stalker from the beginning. In the last couple of weeks, I think I have really come to care about him. I just wanted you to know.
 
i lost it. i couldn’t stop shaking.  i jumped whenever i heard a sound.  i felt responsible.  and angry that i was being made to feel responsible.  i finally did something that many of my friends have advised:  i went to the kenilworth police station just down the street.  the officers assured me that, based on the correspondence i was able to produce, including this last one, there was a problem.  they called the tallahassee police and ascertained that no william had been admitted or even seen for a suicide attempt.  the tallahassee police visited him at his home and were reassured that there had been no suicide attempt (intriguingly, he claimed not to know a jennifer renalds).  the police told him to never attempt any communication with me whatsoever.  including even contacting a friend and asking for a message to be passed along to me.  that last part is why i am writing this today.  to say please, if you are my friend and you are contacted, tell me about it so i can tell the police. 
 
it is a situation i let go on for too long.  i thank my many friends who have offered a safe house, weapons training, advice, a shoulder to cry on. . .
i have always had a crush on dolph lundgren.  maybe he would volunteer to be my bodyguard!  so if you're facebook friends with mr. dreamy lundgren, have him get in touch.  like really in touch with me!

i have always had a crush on dolph lundgren. maybe he would volunteer to be my bodyguard! so if you’re facebook friends with mr. dreamy lundgren, have him get in touch. like really in touch with me!

 

actually, lundgren aside, i have spent close to six months being afraid and overwhelmed.  i have kept quiet because i didn’t want to hurt anybody.  but now i am worried about being hurt.  and so i want you to know what is out there, what i am afraid of, what i have get past if i’m going to get back out on the road and see my wonderful friends!  if you have any thoughts, share them with me!


poke!

this is right around the time of year when there’s a free treadmill at the gym, when the double stuffed oreos crowd out the kale in your grocery cart, when the pack of cigarettes behind the counter at 7-11 shrieks “buy me!”

the problem with most new year’s resolutions is that they’re hard.  and they’re based on the principle that we have to punish ourselves with a good dose of self-discipline and denial.  and we can only last two weeks before throwing in the towel.  january 14 is the day it all goes south.  well, at least it does for me.

in 2011, i had a new year’s resolution to meet all my facebook friends in person in one year.  that was 325 friends and a lot of travel.  a lot of interesting experiences.  a lot of new things.  13 countries.  52 weeks of packing my bags.  did i meet all 325?  no, but i got the asian f.  90%.

since then i have met new facebook friends.  and this past week i drove 900 miles in less than 36 hours so that i could meet jim hellman and connie conley in ironwood, michigan–just south of lake superior. i felt so 2011!

connie and jim have known each other forever.  well, it feels like forever.

would you believe that connie is younger than me???? i just want to know what moisturizer she uses.

in any event, the duo did not become romantically involved until years later.  and how did they connect?  on facebook, naturally!

connie "poked" jim on facebook and it led to true love and happiness.  maybe you should go to your facebook friends list and see if there's somebody you'd like to poke.

connie “poked” jim on facebook and it led to true love and happiness. maybe you should go to your facebook friends list and see if there’s somebody you’d like to poke.

a new year’s resolution won’t work unless it’s fun.  and i had fun with my two new friends!  they are the 332 and 333rd facebook friends i have met.


apple bacon maple

just a facebook friend.  how many of your friends are “just” a facebook friend?  with facebook, linkedin, myspace, twitter we can have friends from all over the world.  friends we never meet in real life.  friends with whom our interactions occur while we’re in our pajamas in front of our laptop or squinting at the smartphone or playing online scrabble (okay, busted on that last one!).  we think we know someone but we only know their atavar.  we can know them deeply with long heartfelt messages but we really don’t know what they’d be like on a road trip, in an emergency, for the long haul.

it’s especially easy to rely on these friendship when the rest of the world seems chaotic, hostile, and just plain scary.  i think a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia and depressions have to do with how fast and furious our interactions with the real world are.

face to facebook (f2fb) friend number #331 lesley riley did me the greatest favor of coming all the way from california to meet me!  we had a wonderful afternoon together and i encourage any facebook friends to say "hey i'd like to come see you on your own turf" otherwise i show up on their turf!

face to facebook (f2fb) friend number #331 lesley riley did me the greatest favor of coming all the way from california to meet me! we had a wonderful afternoon together and i encourage any facebook friends to say “hey i’d like to come see you on your own turf” otherwise i show up on their turf!

i have  been isolated for the past two months and i knew that i really needed to change.  i was lucky enough to receive an invitation from facebook friends jim hellman and connie conley to visit them in bresmere, michigan—right near lake superior.  connie and jim have been my facebook friends for roughly a year and a half.  i have never met them before but they invited me.  and i am never one to pass up an invitation to visit a facebook friend!

tuesday was sunny and bright.   out the door of the bat girl cave by eight o’clock.  according to mapquest, it would be a seven hour drive, which means in arlynn driving time nine hours at least.

i find that every new geography means a new food.  in this case, something that sounded somewhat disgusting but damn, i ate two of them:

i ended up at the americinn of ironwood michigan and was presented with a slight problem:  i had booked my hotel room for monday evening–the day i was online.  i didn’t read my reservation confirmation.  maybe that would have been a good idea.  luckily, i have my own personal hotel clerk.


my stalker’s response

i posted about my stalker a few days ago.  william is a facebook friend (well, unfriended now) who became obsessed with me.  we are all so easily connected with facebook, email, cell phones, etc. that it’s hard to know the proper distance of friendships.  over the course of six months, william pressed so hard that i became frightened and overwhelmed.  i became completely unhinged when he suggested that he would quit his job in tallahassee and move to chicago to be near me.  this was not a romantic obsession, but rather an obsession of friendship.

i blogged about william because i had reached my breaking point.  i had not been posting on facebook because i didn’t want to deal with him.  i had not been blogging or even turning on my phone for the same reason.  and i had taken to being extra cautious about leaving and returning to my apartment.  i thought of going to the police but then i thought i would trust my friends.

in blogging, i was contacted by a number of friends who had been contacted by william.  i heard from friends who advised restraining orders, firearms training, mischief, and mayhem.  i received many offers of safehouses, bodyguards, and friends who wanted to speak to william.  then i heard from william himself.

he posted a comment to my blog.  i made a decision to not approve the comment because i want to protect william’s identity–although, to be fair, facebook friends who have been reading my posts can easily figure out who he is and some have already had interactions with him.  this is what he had to say:

You are not responsible. This is my fault, and mine alone. I had no idea it was nearly this bad. I wish someone had made it clear to me. You have my word it front of all these witnesses, that you will never hear from me again. And I’m sorry.

i will take him at his word.  any suggestions or comments?


my stalker

stalkers are charming.  they have to be, at least at first.  because they must scoop up contact information–email addresses, phone numbers, facebook friendship requests, blog subscriptions, street addresses–while the prey still thinks they’re harmless.

in 2011 i had a new years resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends no matter where they might be.  sometimes people would ask me if i was afraid of "crazies". . . that actually wasn't a problem until this year.

in 2011 i made a new years resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends no matter where they might be. sometimes people would ask me if i was afraid of “crazies”. . . that actually wasn’t a problem until this year.

the target of a stalker has to be, at some level, polite.  a polite person doesn’t unfriend a friend on facebook.  a polite person answers emails.  a polite person writes thank you notes, even when the flowers, candy, gifts are sprinkled with discomfort.

politeness on the part of one party and charm on the part of another.  makes for a continuing relationship even when both parties don’t want one.  while it’s easily understood that the target doesn’t want a relationship with the stalker, it’s slightly less apparent that the stalker doesn’t want the obsession.

i’m not sure when i became aware that i had a problem with a stalker.  my friend bill started off as a facebook friend after he saw me on a television show.  he commented on my posts.  he poked me.  he sent messages.  all perfectly harmless and always charming.

he lives in tallahassee, the same city as my father.  william sent me a message asking if i would mind if he sent a facebook friendship request to my father.  that seemed somewhat reasonable.  then he asked if he could friend my two sons.  that seemed less reasonable.  and then he asked if he could send friendship requests to my friends carolyn, kimberly, and andrea.

i went to tallahassee in the summer to see my father.  i posted about how i would be happy to meet facebook friends in the area.  william asked to meet me.  totally cool.   we went to lunch with my dad.  i brought flowers, which is what i often do when i meet facebook friends.  he brought me a cake, a t-shirt he had tie-dyed and a copy of a book my grandfather had written.  william was charming in a sweet, ungainly, awkward sort of way.

when i came home from tallahassee, i started to notice that he was ramping up contact.  he might comment on a status update, send a facebook message with a question, then a text with a demand that i respond to his facebook message, then an email to my hotmail account to follow up on the texts.  all within the space of an hour. and there’s a cycle of charming, flattering, sweet, needy, demanding, angry, hostile and back to charming.  william was being unfriended by my circle of friends and family who couldn’t stand the obsessive, needy, shrill contact.  one of my friends went to the police in her town in order to be reassured that he wouldn’t contact her any more.  he claimed to have made plans to quit his job in tallahassee and move to be near my home in kenilworth.

i would sort of understand this situation if there had been any romantic interest within either of us.  but that's not the case.

i would sort of understand this situation if there had been any romantic interest within either of us. but that’s not the case.  at least, not with me.  and he’s never suggested that he is interested romantically in me.

i shut down.  i stopped checking my facebook account, stopped logging onto email, dreaded the pop up of the text message notification icon on my phone. i stopped responding which made him angry.  finally, i unfriended and blocked him on facebook  and wordpress.  i monitor my hotmail account and my phone for messages because i am concerned that he might decide that he really will come up north from tallahassee.  i worry when i leave my apartment and when i return.  if there’s a knock on the door, i get scared.

i have absolutely no idea why he is obsessed with me.

i have only myself to blame because i ignored every piece of evidence that suggested he was and is nuts.  i am scared.  really scared.  with every tool in the internet toolbox, he knows exactly where i am and how to get to me.  and i have no idea how to make him stop.  do you?


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