When a person you have continuously told to leave you alone starts to follow you and appear wherever you are on more than one occasion that’s when you realize there’s a problem. This is when an alert should go off in your mind that this is not normal behavior. You assume it is just a coincidence but after several “coincidences” you realize something’s wrong. You don’t know what to call it but you know the behavior is not right. After numerous incidents as the one mentioned and talking to other people about that behavior that’s when I realized I was being stalked.
Remember, according to the Stalking Resource Center a good working definition of stalking is “A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.” It also states that, “Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.” To read more about stalking visit http://www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org.Here are six signs that indicated after much research from the National Stalking Resource Center that I was a victim of stalking:
1. Repeatedly calls you, including hang-ups – This is one of the first incidents that I experienced, the repeated phone calls. The calls would take place all during the day, at night, and during the middle of the night. He would call my job, cell-phone and home phone. I mean sometimes the calls would be back to back. At work it was to the point that I had to turn my ringer off and just received calls from the front desk. The receptionist had already been instructed not to send his calls through. I would also receive calls from different payphones around the city.
2. Follows you and appears where you are – My stalker would follow me everywhere I would go before I realized what was going on. I would look up and either he was behind me or at the same location. I thought I was pretty good with checking my surroundings but I can remember one time, I was going through the car wash and as soon as I received the green light to exit, he was sitting directly in front backed in.
Of course I had the look of fear on my face, and I’m thinking how could this be, I thought I was so careful. There are so many different scenarios’ I could list but hopefully you can understand the point I’m getting to.
3. Sends unwanted gifts, letters, cards or e-mail – In the beginning of the stalking, he knew I loved a particular dish from a certain restaurant, so he would order it and leave it at my door steps. If you are wondering if I ate the food, the answer is NO, but my mother would. Her thoughts were there’s no reason to waste a good meal. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to eat it. You just never know how someone’s mind works, especially with the behavior that was being exhibited, so I was taking all of the necessary precautions to protect myself.
4. Damage your home, car, or property – In the early stages of the stalking, my tires were sliced. There was also incident where my stalker had purchased a used vehicle from a family member to use as a work vehicle. The vehicle was still in my drive way after the relationship was over. I repeatedly asked him to come and get his belongings from my home and he refused to do so. He wanted a reason to be able to continue to come to my home.
After several warnings, I took all of his clothes and placed them in the vehicle. One evening he set the car in the inside on fire. I didn’t realize the car had been set afire. He called and told me.
The reality of it all is that he was not supposed to be on my property. Therefore, how do you know the car was on fire? He tried to say someone else committed the crime but in actuality he was the one that set the inside on fire.
5. Drive by or hang at your home, school, or work – I have had problems with him driving by my home and place of employment. This goes back to my previous post when I stated that before I leave work or any other establishment I do my best to survey the area and check my surroundings. I even started backing my car in everywhere I go. I no longer pull in and park. Because of my ordeal my sense of awareness is heightened more than the average person.
6. Post information or spread rumors about you on the Internet, in a public space or by word of mouth – Spreading rumors is what I experienced in dealing with my stalker. When we started going to court he knew other women that worked in the court house. In order to receive sympathy in my opinion, he told everyone that we had an open marriage and that I was crazy and making all of these accusations up. Of course, he played the victim.
In addition, he tried to bring up because I was on depression and anxiety medication that I was crazy and the Judge told him I would be on medication to if I was dealing with what she’s dealing with, with you. So, that backed fired on him. I was happy to see that the Judge took his behavior into account and acknowledged that the behavior was not normal.
For more signs of stalking visit https://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center and click on the section that say Help for Victims.
One last thing, “You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior.”Have you experienced signs of being stalked? If so, share the signs you’ve previously experienced or experiencing now.
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Until next time,
Spread your wings and fly…