I distinctly remember the first time I realized I had a stalker. Sadly he wasn’t my first stalker, however it was the first time I realized the term Stalker was appropriate. He was the UPS delivery guy at my office; we had interacted on a friendly basis for several years. I was recently married when his behavior shifted. I have since learned he was going through a divorce and that may have played a role in the shift in his behavior.
He went from friendly to overly friendly. I received two dozen long stem red roses on my first wedding anniversary, the card simply read “happy anniversary dear.” I called my husband ecstatically thanking him for his thoughtfulness. He had no idea what I was talking about. I thought it odd, I called the florist and they told me the credit card used to pay for the flowers was for someone named Rod. The only Rod I knew was the UPS guy.
Seven months later I gave birth to my first born son, a delivery was made to my home, a lovely sterling silver hairbrush, comb, cup, and a mirror all engraved with his initials and date of birth. A simple note stating “Congratulations” was the only hint of who might have sent the gift. I called the boutique that had delivered them and was again told they were from Rod.
I didn’t know what to do or how to react so I ignored it. The gifts made me feel awkward yet I was on maternity leave so I wouldn’t see him for several months. I thought it would go away. I was wrong, so wrong. He showed up at my church two weeks later, and then he dropped by my parent’s home, then my in-law’s home (they lived next door to us). I became very concerned.
I confronted Rod; he said he was just being friendly. I told him he was crossing a line. That he needed to focus on his own issues and stay out of my life. He persisted, showing up at my home at random times, never when my husband was home. So, one day I called his supervisor at work and the next day he lost his job. I felt horrible however I never saw Rod again.
When my marriage ended “stalking” became a daily occurrence in my life. My ex was very controlling when we were married and yes, he stalked me from time to time throughout our marriage. However the separation and divorce brought out an entirely different level of unhealthy choices. Whether he was sitting out on the street in front of my house all night, breaking into my house, hacking my email account, hacking my bank account, having some woman call and provide all my information to access my medical records, and once to cancel my car insurance, slashing my tires, coming to my place of employment and sitting in the parking lot to make sure I was actually at work… he turned into a full on stalker. A scary stalker.
A stalker with friends to help him. My contact information on my credit cards was changed one day and everything was sent to his aunts home (out of state). The brakes on my car were messed with one day, another time my power steering was mysteriously disabled. His stalking and manipulation was never ending.
I worked full time and was the sole care giver for our four children. He doesn’t work, hasn’t worked in years he spent all of his time figuring out ways to torment us. We lived in fear. Literally. I never slept, our children didn’t sleep. We had locks and alarm systems and dogs and he would still break into our home.
He broke in enough times the police stopped coming out to take a report. I would call, they would ask if it was him, I would tell them most likely it was but nothing had been taken just things rearranged and the door or window broken. They would write the report over the phone. He wore gloves so there were never any fingerprints. He memorized the neighbors’ license plate numbers; he knew their schedules and was very good about not being seen except when he wanted to be seen.
The judge ordered him to stop stalking us, she wrote very specific instructions about his behavior yet it changed nothing. The police chief told me “I expect him to kill you one of these days so make sure you are consistent filing reports when he does things so it will be easier to convict him after he kills you”. Comforting words, right? Oh wait no they scared the hell out of me.
Thankfully he has calmed down over the past year or so, he still makes his presence known and continues to stalk us, however, the life threatening behavior has slowed down. He has a girlfriend that distracts him. I still live my life in fear of him. I am confident that my death will be unnatural and that he will be the cause. I try to protect our children from his choices yet our daughter came to me the other day and said she knew he was going to kill me one day, said she visits with him on a regular basis to keep a check on his “sanity.”
So when I heard Producer Kevin Williamson, had a new TV Series, Stalker I was grateful. Williamson did a phenomenal job with Scream and frankly The Following series scares me to death. I knew Stalker would allow everyday people to see what that life is like under those conditions.
How quickly some can let their emotions turn into stalking behavior, how their choices affect the one they are stalking. How innocent lives are ruined when someone turns into a stalker. Williamson has done an amazing job; this series raises awareness for a topic many people joke about.
Stalking is a serious crime, it isn’t something we should make light of.