Tag Archives: stalking

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!


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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