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.
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 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?
January 2nd, 2013 at 7:15 pm
I don’t. But wanted to express sympathy and concern.
January 2nd, 2013 at 7:19 pm
thank you! it’s been a reason i haven’t been on wordpress because i have been concerned and scared of comments he has made. my fault entirely and something i want to fix.
January 2nd, 2013 at 7:27 pm
Change your contact information and don’t publish it. Such as email addresses, phone numbers etc. Keep your current only to collect the information from the person that is stalking you. Ignore and do not responded to further interactions with the person. Also do not appease or try to reason with this person.
January 2nd, 2013 at 7:31 pm
yeap OK …
January 2nd, 2013 at 7:32 pm
Oh, how I’ve worried about you! You are so kind and you have so many fiends … yes I spelled that right! You are always welcome to the help of the Irish mafia…central Illinios style. We use potato guns and have plenty of ammo and hairspray. C
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:29 pm
ha ha! i want to have the irish mafia at my doorstep! with the big hair and the potato guns!
January 2nd, 2013 at 7:32 pm
If you haven’t done so already, contact your local police to at least find out what options you have and what help they can provide. And don’t let him think you’re afraid of him; that very well be what turns him on and encourages him.
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:02 pm
Hello Sweetpea I sent you an email and I just read your post. Feeling lot of things which i expressed into email… Please take care.
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:30 pm
many thanks dear wonderful friend!
January 2nd, 2013 at 9:25 pm
Welcome 25 hours of day and 8 days of week
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:27 pm
s**t. not nice, but am surprised that this hasn’t happened earlier – we live in a society where it seems that if you give a little bit some just want and expect to take the lot. Think that marty is right – get in touch with the police, blocking him is good.
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:30 pm
Wrote a comment and stuffed up… take care of yourself – think Marty81646 is right – get in touch with the police – give them the heads up – take a good look at anyone you friend on fb also check that he isn’t getting into your blog via other ip addresses. Not nice…
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:52 pm
ArLynn – many things you can do here:
1. Go to a webservice like Archives.com and get as much information on this guy as you can (they can get it all addresses, past addresses, relatives, criminal records, financials, employment history, etc. for a small service fee ~$29). Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
2. Use this information in a creative way to make his life so complicated that he has to spend every waking moment focusing on survival and disintangling himself from these predicaments. You have many creative friends so everyone on this blog pitch in to help ArLynn with ideas (sign him up for record/book clubs, merchandising, telemarketers, put past creditors, ex-wives on his trail.
3. Get a restraining order out on this guy. Your son’s can do the same.
4. Get a big can of mace and mace the snot out of him if he comes near you. Let him know you will do this.
5. Let some of your biggest steroid-looking friends in on the action. Give them the contact information for this guy and let some good sidebar conversations roll.
Pleany of ideas but have to go to a meeting right now.
January 2nd, 2013 at 9:02 pm
wow, this is some creative thinking! i like this!
January 2nd, 2013 at 9:41 pm
Ok, back from meeting (got an assignment that I did not want to start the year out with so I’m in a mode now). Other ideas from my skunkworks department:
1. Based on information found previously, find out from your nationwide network what he drives (check this carefully).
2. Anonymously report this car as stolen by or involved in nefarious activities from the selections below (try to tie it in to some detail in his personal history).
A. Narco Terrorist
B. Trafficking in child prostitutes/selling child pornography.
C. Noticed him cruising around schools – not sure if that was a gun you saw him cradling – looked angry.
D. Leering at old ladies (or old men). He might be exposing himself.
E. Tossed what looked like his pet out of the window of his car (find the appropriate dead animal on the side of the road as corroborating evidence.
3. Find out what kind of neighborhood he lives/works in. Find, create, or print a bumper sticker designed to inflame/incite to violence the prevalent demographic in said neighborhood.
4. If in the same vicinity of the lurker, find the biggest, ugliest, meanest looking trogladyte thats close by. Express surprise/shock – Do you know that guy? I think he just flipped you off.
January 2nd, 2013 at 9:52 pm
We never answer the door — that’s how we’ve always operated. If we’re not expecting you, you can ring the bell all day and we’re not opening up. Might help to get someone with a voice like James Earl Jones to record your phone message, so it’ll sound like you’ve hooked up with someone this guy doesn’t want to mess with. 😀 Other than that, nothing to add, except lie low and don’t respond to anything from this creep! You know where to reach us, if need be!
January 2nd, 2013 at 11:56 pm
Mmmm I think u should go to the police, definitely, and buy pepper spray or a stun gun!
Maybe also tell ur neighbors about him and show them his picture so if they see him around, they will let u know and they will be aware of the problem. Stay safe!
January 3rd, 2013 at 2:20 am
Take care Arlynn. Be safe. My prayers are with you.
January 3rd, 2013 at 2:28 am
many thanks and hello to sunny quezon city!
January 3rd, 2013 at 4:18 am
I’d start with Smith & Wesson Arlynn… You need to protect yourself. No one else really can until after something drastic occurs! Carry a real can of MACE, and a loud, ear-piercing body alarm! And take some lessons at your local firing range if needed and a course in self defense wouldn’t hurt either…The world is full of crazies running around in sheep’s clothing!
A concerned fellow author.
January 3rd, 2013 at 5:02 am
I’m thinkin’ sniper rifle and a good scope…
January 3rd, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Hey — tried to post a comment yesterday, but it may have gone “poof.” Anyhow, no advice, other than to keep a low profile for awhile — and maybe find someone with a voice like James Earl Jones to record your phone message, so it’ll sound like you hooked up with someone this creep doesn’t want to mess with! In any case, stay safe… and if need be, you know where to reach us…..
January 3rd, 2013 at 4:08 pm
In retrospect, I’m sorry to make light of something that is a serious problem for you and many of ‘us’ in this nation. If you ever need backup I’m always up front. Piece Out- Pbus
January 3rd, 2013 at 5:11 pm
paulibus, i have to be able to joke around. it’s a serious problem but it has its funny aspects.
January 3rd, 2013 at 4:14 pm
Hollywood is correct. To attain my definition of gun control, you also need regular practice at the range focusing on good body alignment, controlled trigger squeeze and getting rounds into center of mass. The Springfield XD 9m, Beretta P4 Force, Beretta Nano, or Glock 26 would work nicely for your needs. “Critical Defense” and “Zombie Loads” take care of the munitions issues.
As a bonus and with concealed carry training/permitting, you’ll find that all agoraphobia issues will vanish into thin air.
January 3rd, 2013 at 9:13 pm
[…] my stalker (arlynnpresser.com) […]
January 4th, 2013 at 11:37 am
ArLynn, I have been reading this and find it disturbing. I am so very sorry for the difficulty you are experiencing with this man. The advice to find out all you can is more then reasonable since you need to know what you are facing. A criminal psychologist would be my next move to find out all you can concerning this behavior since some of the thinking here it off the top of others hat and not necessarily applying to this particular mans behavior; even so he does sound very dangerous. Please take care and I’ll be praying the solution is one that only will be arrived at soon. Bless You. C. Ak.
January 8th, 2013 at 7:43 pm
[…] my stalker (arlynnpresser.com) […]
January 8th, 2013 at 8:25 pm
If it persists contact Safe Horizon http://www.safehorizon.org and you must contact your local Police. I’ve been there and it can be terrifying!