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I Was Stalked: A Personal Story About a Creepy Stalker
He Seemed Harmless at First...
It started with an email.
There was nothing special about the email. It wasn't overly interesting, excessively friendly, or anything else that would have triggered my mental caution button.
It was just an email.
I still had Myspace back then, although I didn't use it often. When I saw that I had an email from somebody named Triple M, I clicked it to see who it was from. Lots of people used code names on Myspace back then, so still, nothing seemed unusual.
"Hey Missy, what's up?", the email read, "I'm having a party with some old friends. Can you come?".
I realized Triple M was a guy I used to work with named Matt - 7 years ago. He seemed like a nice enough guy back then, and although I had no intention of going to his party, I wrote back, "Sure, I'll try to stop by".
I have a hard time telling people no, so I felt like saying I'd try to come was the polite thing to do. I made a bit of small talk, asking how he was doing and how his life was going. We had a few mutual friends, and he asked about them as well.
Again, nothing out of the ordinary - thanks to social networking, I received random emails like this all the time from people I hadn't seen in years.
Just a regular email.
Would you have responded to the email?
From an Email to Facebook Stalking...
A few days went by, and I forgot all about the party. And the email.
Matt sent me a friend request on Facebook. I used to add anybody back then, so I accepted. Like I said before, he was a nice enough guy, and we used to work together.
Things started to get a bit weird after that - not that I noticed right away.
Matt liked and responded to all of my Facebook status updates and photos. Honestly, I didn't think it was that unusual - I figured he was just bored. I'm a social networking junkie, so who am I to judge how much time somebody spends on there?
Then other people began pointing out that his behavior seemed a bit weird. Not only was he liking every status, he was leaving comments. Comments where he started arguments with other males.
My friends started referring to him as my Facebook stalker. I kind of laughed it off - I mean yeah, he was getting out of line, but some people just love drama.
Then the Emails Started...
Matt knew where my house was - I had invited him and some other coworkers over when we still worked together. I hadn't moved since then, and he used to date my neighbor (which I never knew about until he mentioned it) - so he had spent years hanging out in my condo complex, right next door to me.
He began sending me emails that were a bit annoying. I can't handle clingy, needy people, and his emails said things like, "Oh, you can't respond to my email, but you have time to leave a comment on so-and-so's wall".
I'm a nice girl, but I'm not going to have somebody make me feel pressured to be their friend. I'll admit that I went off on him - just completely went off. I'm talking F-bombs and everything.
I was surprised when he immediately wrote back as if nothing had happened and asked if I wanted to hang out. I made up some excuse and said I wasn't home (I had Facebook Mobile and Myspace Mobile back then).
"Oh," he said, "that's weird, because your lights were just on".
Uh oh. Weirdo alert.
Then I remembered he used to date my neighbor. I figured maybe they were still friends and he happened to be in the neighborhood visiting her.
I asked him why he was driving by my house, expecting him to say he stopped by to see her or another friend.
His response shocked me: "To see if you were home".
I went off again. I told him that was just plain creepy and weird and to never do that again. I was like, "That's what stalkers do".
Then the Emails Got Weirder...
He ignored my comment about being a stalker and continued to email me.
Each email was an explosion of bad grammar and intense feelings where he proclaimed his love for me. Keep in mind I never dated this guy or anything of that nature.
I started getting really freaked out and blocked him on Facebook. I didn't check Myspace often, so I figured I'd leave that open and let him keep sending emails there. I was scared that if I cut off all forms of communication, he'd come after me. I felt safer keeping Myspace available to him.
He began sending emails about how much he loved me and how we'd get married one day. Here's a copy of an actual email that he sent:
I just wanted to let you know, that i mean everything i say to you, I wouldn't ever bull you at all, wouldn't want to loose you, and it hurts not talking to you, I know you have the same feelings for me and I'm trying to understand how come I can't see you, or hold you and let you know everything will be ok because it will, you know I really care about you and one day we will get married its just im trying so hard to get my life back on track and its really hard with you shutting me out of your life and your a very smart person and I wish you could help me, because I know your a very caring person, you have always have been to me, I don't want to loose you and I really thinking I just might have already, I want you to have a wonderful birthday, and it hurts so bad for me to think you don't want me a part of it at all, im very serious and always have been to you, I never lied to you and you know that for sure, I have always been honest to you when i see you, you ask me and I tell you everything that's going on word for word, its just I really do love you and it hurts to think sometimes you don't love me like I have always loved you, I have always tried to help you every chance I get, so I would love for you to help me, and maybe we could help each other, I hope you understand that I'm not lying to you, and I hope to hear from you soon love you missy
I'll never know what made him think we were in love. He was just a former coworker.
The Emails Just Kept on Coming...
It got to the point where I couldn't handle receiving emails from Matt anymore.
I also knew he was driving by my house constantly - I saw him several times, and my neighbors even mentioned it.
I emailed him and told him to leave me alone. I said, "I do not love you, I have never loved you, and I never will love you. We've never even dated, and we aren't really even friends. I don't understand why you think that we would ever get married. Please stop emailing me and coming by my house".
But he didn't stop.
In fact, he got worse after I responded to his email on Myspace. He began emailing me from a new account on Facebook, sending messages on Myspace, leaving detailed posts about me on Craigslist, and sending emails to my personal email account. He even started emailing my friends.
I did my best to ignore him, but eventually, it got to be too much.
I emailed him and told him this was his final chance to stop before I reported him for stalking.
He responded by tellng me that he knew deep down that I loved him the way he loved me.
I Started Getting Scared...
Stalking is terrifying. There's no other way to describe it.
And yet I felt silly calling the police to report a bunch of unwanted emails from some weirdo who kept driving by my house - especially since Matt claimed to be friends with several police officers.
The police didn't act like my report was silly, though. "We take stalking very seriously, ma'am", they said when I called.
Within in minutes, they were at my house, filling out a police report.
Turns out my stalker had a criminal record, so they knew exactly where to find him. They went and picked him up, then called and encouraged me to file a restraining order while he was in custody. I did, and he was served the paperwork for the restraining order in his jail cell.
While he was at the police station, he confessed to everything and promised to leave me alone. The police called and said that he agreed to stop, but to still be careful.
I was happy, though. I figured that brief 72 hour stint in jail was enough to scare him straight.
I was wrong.
Stalkers Don't Waste Any Time...
Matt began emailing me again immediately after he got out of jail. He also came and beat on my door for what felt like an eternity. I blocked the door with furniture and hid under the kitchen table with my daughter. I'll never forget how scared she was.
I had kidney problems that landed me in the hospital, so that gave me a temporary break from his craziness. Until I came home and found a note on my front porch from him, along with some presents.
Keep in mind that this guy was already arrested for admitting to stalking me and not supposed to be anywhere near my house.
I reported him again, and the police went to his house. Once again, he confessed to everything. That always confused me - the fact that he confessed each time. I guess he didn't think his behavior was wrong.
They took him to jail again, but he was released after a few days and given a trial date.
I Became Terrified of Leaving the House...
Who continues to stalk somebody after they get arrested? I mean seriously, what was this guy's problem?
I didn't know what was up with his obsessive personality or why he was stalking me, but I became terrified to leave the house or let my daughter go play at a friend's house.
I stopped taking out the trash. I stopped checking the mail. I jumped every time my phone rang or my inbox beeped with a new message.
I blocked his number, but he still found ways to call. I blocked him from social networking sites and my email, but he just kept creating new accounts.
I thought he'd never leave me alone.
Then my friend convinced me that I couldn't spend my life trapped inside, hiding from my stalker. I agreed, and began jogging around the neighborhood each morning after my daughter left for school.
They tell stalking victims to switch up your routine, but I didn't know that at the time. Oddly enough, I felt safer doing things the same way, at the same time, each day. My neighbors knew when and where I jogged, so I figured they'd notice if anything happened.
The neighborhood behind me was under construction, and I often jogged from my neighborhood to the new neighborhood. I was in pretty good physical shape back then.
The emails still hadn't stopped, but I figured my new love for jogging would give me the ability to run away quickly, if necessary.
I didn't realize how true that was until it was almost too late.
He Was Waiting...
Other neighbors jogged during the morning, so I wasn't surprised to see a guy up ahead, near the woods.
I used to jog without my glasses, so he could have been anybody. I continued running until I was about 50 feet away.
The man turned around and screamed my name. It was him.
I froze. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe.
He is going to kill me right now. I am going to die right here. That's all I could think about.
Then something came over me, and I ran faster than I even realized I could. I sprinted up the grassy hill and ran and ran and ran.
I could hear him running after me, but I didn't stop to see how close he was. I just ran and didn't stop until I was safely locked inside of my house.
I still didn't feel safe, though.
I grabbed a knife and checked each closet, as well as under the beds. For all I know, he beat me home and was now waiting to kill me in my own house.
He wasn't, and I was safe.
I called the police, and he was immediately arrested. Again, he admitted to everything.
This time, he didn't get out right away. His bond was set at $20,000, and he was not given a release date.
I Guess Somebody Had $20,000 Lying Around...
The police called to let me know that Matt was bailed out of jail.
I couldn't breathe. I just began sobbing hysterically and hung up the phone.
Even while he was in jail, I was terrified to leave my house. Now that he was out, it was only going to get worse.
To Make a Long Story Short...
Matt slowed down on the emails and messages, but he didn't stop completely.
At his court date, he was found guilty of stalking and received a felony charge. This landed him in jail for more than 30 days, and he was ordered to complete a rehabilitation program.
When he got out of jail, he left me alone - kind of. He began telling friends and coworkers that I was a heroin addict who begged him to come over and bring my drugs.
I'm not sure why he did that, because I'm not a drug addict - or even a recreational user. I have the pre-employment drug tests over the years to prove it.
Anyway, he set out to destroy my name, saying anything that he could to hurt me and make me look bad.
Then he got a new girlfriend. Although I felt bad for her, he finally stopped harrassing me.
I don't know where he is or what he's doing today. I broke my lease and got the hell out of there while he was still in jail. I only stayed at my next place for a few months before moving where I live now. I just didn't feel safe there.
I'm still really paranoid, even though the stalking occurred several years ago.
I hate talking out the trash, checking the mail, or talking to new people. I've recently started walking again, but it took a very long time for me to get to the point where I felt comfortable doing that. Even now, I'm constantly looking over my shoulder.
I have a boyfriend now, but it took me forever to tell him where I live. I was terrified to give him my address or let him come over. We live together now.
I no longer accept friend requests from people I don't talk to frequently, either online or offline. I don't want to take any chances.