During the course of my stalking incident, I experienced a great deal of emotional and mental distress. Today, I want to share with you feelings that a stalking victim may encounter when they are being stalked.The feelings I will discussed are feelings I encountered. The impact others may experience are subject to that person and can be totally different. If stalking is impacting you please feel free to use me as a resource or contact someone in your community or someone you feel comfortable speaking with. In my opinion, it is imperative you seek help for your safety and your peace of mind.
1. Fear – Fear was the number one factor I experienced. Not knowing if you will live or die from day to day had a huge impact on the course of my life. Not being able to function in your day to day activities both professional and personally affected me the most. To ensure my safety I purchased a gun and enrolled in shooting lessons. I carried my gun everywhere with me. Don’t judge me, but I even carried it into Church with me. At one time I had to switch churches for a while because he would show up at church and sit in the back. Everywhere I went I carried my gun with me. If I went to the bathroom in my home is was right there with me. Whatever room I went in, it was with me. I slept with it in my bed. I was going to protect myself at all cost. If you are having these feelings, my suggestion to you is to first seek the protection of Law Enforcement and find out what steps you can take to protect yourself. I would then suggest to find a support group and see what other victims are doing to protect themselves. Share ideas.
2. Anxiety and Irritability – I was extremely anxious and irritable. I developed anxiety and irritability in the worst way possible. To cope with my feelings, I made a visit to my Doctor and talked with her. I immediately broke down in her office. I couldn’t stop crying. She just kept looking at me. She just let me get it out and suggested I get on anxiety medication to help with the anxiety and irritability. My irritability was to the point that my family did not know how to act around me because I would get irritated by the smallest things. They didn’t know what to say around me. My patience and tolerance level were low. Yes, I prayed and prayed, but I needed immediate relief before I’d do something I regretted and would be hard to come back from, medication helped me controlled those feelings.
At that time I had a friend tell me that black women didn’t take medicine, “We are strong, and all we need is God.” While I agree with relying on God, I disagreed with her opinion of taking medication to help you cope with feelings of anxiety and irritability. I eventually got off of the medication years later but at that time it was what I needed and I’m not ashamed of doing what I needed at that time. At the end of the day, people must do what they believe is right for their sanity. My suggestion for a victim is to seek your Doctor’s help in finding what options are available to you. What works for me, may not work for you. It’s ultimately, about what you are comfortable with.
In the end, I learned Yoga and working out at the gym, has helped me lead a much calmer lifestyle. To keep it real with my audience, I’m still a work in progress but I’m in the right direction towards healing.
3. Loss of Appetite and Sleep - When my stalking first began, I lost my appetite and lost weight. I believe I went down four sizes. All that weight I had fought to gain (I must say I had gotten fine, lol, I needed this humor to survive or else I would stay crying) was now lost without a moment’s notice. There were some days that I only ate one time. Eating wasn’t on my mind, but surviving was and that was all I could think about.
My sleeping patterns were horrible. To get rest I sought help from my Doctor. She suggested Ambien. Let’s just say if you’ve never taken Ambien, DON’T. To put it nicely, Ambien “is the fool!” Literally, I had to learn when you take Ambien get immediately in the bed, don’t text anyone or talk to anyone. I would have conversations and wouldn’t remember. I would have crazy dreams. One time I had a dream, (it was so clear) my dad was walking down the Boulevard with daisy dukes on, tube socks pulled up to his knees, tennis shoes and a headband on. I woke up like “what the hell!” I knew it was time to leave Ambien alone.
After trial and error with medication, I eventually found something that was mild and allowed me to get a little rest. Again, my suggestion for victims is to consult your Doctor to see what’s the best solution or alternative for you. I still struggle with sleeping patterns but I did find relief from the beginning of my ordeal. I eventually, began meditation and started lightening candles, and finding my center within my being gave me peace. Another suggestion I have for victims, is to find an outlet, you know that one thing that will bring you peace. It may take trying several different methods. Trust me when I say it is out there but you have to be diligent in finding it so that you can rest peacefully.
4. Stress and Depression – Stress and Depression was definitely in the equation. I almost lost my job because I didn’t care anymore. I would leave and not say anything and I didn’t let them know what was going on. I had to get on several different depression medications until I found one that worked for me and didn’t make me feel like I was zoned out. I was on one and one time I was sitting at the red light. Well there was another red light and I saw that one change, not the one I was sitting at and I went. I could have lost my life because a car was coming through the intersection and blew their horn. That was definitely not the one for me, I was completely in another world. I said again “what the hell.” I immediately came home and flushed that foolishness right down the toilet.
I would sit in the tub because that was the only place I felt safe. I would just cry. It was really a stressful time for me. Then I was trying to not let my daughter see what I was going through. She was already scared for me. I became secluded to the world. Scared to go to any outdoors functions. I loved the outdoors and attended all of downtown functions. I stopped going all together because he knew I would be there and he would show up. Sure enough I would get a call saying he was there. When I would go I would have an army of family members and I wasn’t allowed to walk by myself because they were scared for my safety.
Anyone that know me know that I’m an only child, a loner and have no problem going anywhere by myself. That’s my solace, my peace of mind. Well, all of that had ceased because of the stalking. That was really frustrating for me, so I just stopped doing stuff. I know people were only looking out for me, but when you have to change your entire lifestyle that’s a lot to adjust to. I eventually was able to get off the medication. I really didn’t like the way it made me feel but I needed them to cope so I did what I felt was in the best interest for me at that time. Seek professional help if you are feeling these same type of feelings and make the right decision for you.
5. Quick Tempered and On the Edge – This goes back to number 2 irritability. I would snap at the drop of a dime. You just never knew what would set me off. I knew it wasn’t fair to my loved ones but it seems like it was just out of my control. I really had to pray and ask God to help me. To keep it real, I still deal with moments of being on the edge. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder and that causes me to stay on the edge. My patience and tolerance level is 0 for foolishness. I still pray and ask God to help me to return to my joyful self, and about always being on the edge and snapping. Because of my stalking, I’ve changed and I don’t like that the people I love feel they have to walk on eggshells around me because they don’t know what might set me off. I’m truly not proud of that behavior and I’m a work in progress. Again my suggestion to you is seek professional help if you are experiencing this type of feelings. Find a support group. Contact me, I’ll be happy to share things that has help me heal and regain some sense of normalcy.
Even though stalking has had a huge impact on my life I find solace in helping others. I have all types of suggestions and ideas that have helped me and that I’ve used to help others. That’s one of my main reasons I started my stalking support group and decided to raise awareness within my community. Making a difference in my community is what I’m seeking to do. If my story can help one person, then that’s a start. I’m solely working on one of God’s purpose for my life. I know when I do my part, He will take care of the rest.If you or someone that you know are going through stalking problems, it’s imperative that they seek help for their safety and the safety of others.
I’m always available as a listening hear and have a lot to share that can benefit and help a victim make it through their ordeal. Even though I’m still going through court procedures, I no longer consider myself a victim, I’M A SURVIVOR AND YOU CAN BE TOO!
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Until next time,
Spread your wings and fly…