Tina's Online Stalker Part 2
Tina's story continues about her online stalker...
On top of dealing with the betrayal of a friend, I was reeling from the knowledge I had been so easily duped. Why did I not see the signs? Am I completely ignorant? The answer was this person was a pro – lies flowed so easily and seamlessly, who would have even thought to question them. I mean, who lies about their own mother or how many wives they have had?
Two days went by and no note. I made the mistake of letting emotion get to me and called to demand the apology. I was instead blindsided with a “change of heart” and a please come back to me litany.
The week before I had changed my phone numbers and made the home one unlisted. After being sucked in to a long phone conversation, and blindsided, I was begged to call in a little bit. I didn’t want to call, but felt that I had to. The calls ended up taking hours of my day and night for three days. I wasn’t able to work since I could not focus. I didn’t eat and I didn’t sleep well. Sounds easy enough to avoid, right? Don’t call. He vowed it would be as friends, no pressure, just talk again and again. Plus he hinted the pictures would go out if I did not call.
The demands to make the new boyfriend just a friend started. I repeatedly listened to reasons we should be back together. I wasn’t about to meet his demands, but he told me to think about it and let him know the next day. Well, the time came and I said no, I wouldn’t do it. He said ok, nothing more to talk about and hung up.
I was greeted with emails in the morning to call - he wanted to hear me say it again.
Over a week had passed since the drama started and I was drained emotionally and physically. I did decide to call and was going to be firm about my decision. I said we were done and was immediately met with a “well, there will be consequences. I will make you hate me.”
Thank goodness, the new boyfriend understood, albeit in a reluctant way, that I had to get through this mess with patience, not physical retaliation. I was going by the advice of my attorney and a friend who had been in a similar situation. I was printing the emails I had been receiving, saving the voicemails I was getting (I did break down and give him the new cell number) and all of the phone texts.
The next week he wasn’t satisfied. I was gone and not calling him often enough. I had to completely get rid of the new boyfriend if I wanted our friendship to survive. I know this sounds easy enough to stop, but it’s harder than you think. The conversations Monday continued, with me getting more and more fed up. It boiled over Monday night when he said I was being tested. I had had enough. I hung up and knew I was going to pay for it.
I was angry. I had been pushed and had enough. I was also scared. Is this person going to turn unstable and I end up being a headline story? I didn’t want to go home but I didn’t want to be away either. I could hide at home but I was also trapped. Within minutes, I had a text saying it was done, the email was out and we were through. I shook with anger – fearful over what this new email would entail.
That day I had vile messages on my home phone line – somehow he had gotten a hold of the unlisted number. I went to the police. I turned over copies of emails, text messages, recordings from cell and home voicemail. He was then contacted and told that if he made contact with me, anyone who knew me or anyone who in the future who might know me, an arrest warrant for stalking would be issued.
I held my breath that night. And the next. The anxiety decreased as the phones had stopped ringing. There were no emails. I had hopes this threat from the police would be enough to make him go away. There were no emails or text messages...for a few more days anyway.
Besides headaches, anxiety attacks and tears, this ordeal has also cost me money. I found a spy program tracking all my website activity. I cancelled my cable modem. I took my computers in to be reformatted to erase the tracking software. I had to change all my bank accounts and get new checks printed. I had to buy a new answering machine since the old one is digital and I needed the messages saved. I bought a handheld recorder to tape cell phone and messages left on other people’s phones and machines. Not to mention the time spent in consultation with a lawyer or in the police department away from work.
I was finally getting back to work one morning and the phone rang. The caller ID said “Private Caller.” My stomach dropped. My heart pounded as I thought what to do. Ignore it? Answer it? Run away? No big leap to guess who it was. I didn’t answer it, or any of the following hourly calls.
The phone and cell calls coming in were blocked with *67, so they can’t be traced. I felt exposed again. My anxiety and stress levels were back up. The police said to keep track of how many calls come in over the next few days and maybe they can put a trap on the phone line. That information can be taken to the County Prosecutor and might be enough for a warrant. I’m resigned that I will have to face him in court to stop this...
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