Monday, November 8, 2010

A Stalker Story

Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress recently inquired about my blog domain name/email address. As I told her, the short version is that the string of letters and numbers is a former license plate number. Here's the long version.

Once upon a time, I was a foolish 22 year old. My father had recently died. My boyfriend of a year or so broke up with me because I was unwilling to support his lazy ass while he played dilettante, and he had found someone who would. I had just started my first professional job. Life, to put it mildly, was in a bit of upheaval. One day, I went out to meet my friend at a bar. While I was there, my car died. One of the guys helped me get it started so I could go on to the next bar. At the next bar, I met up with a guy I knew from college - he was with 2 friends. We all hung out for a while, and when I was leaving, I asked if someone could come out and help me if my car wouldn't start. One of the friends...lets call him The Idiot (although the title is really more appropriate for me)...came out to help. He asked me out, and I agreed to go. (Later, I would find out that the other friend and The Idiot were debating over which one was going to ask me out. This is a very unusual situation, as when I was 22, I was generally overlooked by anyone in the bar who was not over 40 and a raging alcoholic. I have a very forbidding air about me.)

So, I went out with The Idiot. Thus began an 8 year saga... The Idiot was a nice enough guy, except for the fact that he would basically be considered a loser. He was a spendthrift. He was directionless. He was generally unemployed and perpetually in college. He drank a lot. But, he "loved" me, and was nice to my niece and nephews as they came along. My mom hated him, but he was very helpful to her, so she eventually got used to him. I knew we had no future, and I told him, but he never believed me. I also knew, though, that since he didn't believe me, I was going to have a hard time getting rid of him, which is why it dragged on for so long.

Eventually, I turned 30. I was re-evaluating my life, and knew that I couldn't continue with him any longer, but I couldn't figure out a good way to make it end without restraining orders. We "took a break" to think about things. And then we went to a baseball game with a large group of friends, some of whom had recently gotten engaged. This made The Idiot start asking me when we were going to get married, and I told him that we weren't. That I was done with the relationship. He wanted to remain friends, so I said that I didn't think that would work. But I didn't want trouble, so I would talk to him when he called. I agreed to go see a movie with him.

Meanwhile, since I had broken up with him, I took up with someone else. My future husband and I started dating casually (well, for him, anyway. I'm more the monogamous sort). We would email each other back and forth most evenings, even though we shared an office at work.

One day, I got an angry visit from The Idiot. He claimed that someone had forwarded him one of the emails between Future Husband and myself, in which the movie appointment was discussed. I was less than enthusiastic about it and The Idiot used that email to get angry. He came over, pushed me, threatened to smash up my car with a crow bar, and generally made an ass of himself. It was at that point that I was smart enough to get my house keys back, at least.

The following Monday, when I went to work, I asked Future Husband if he knew anything about the email - he didn't. So I started digging. I found that little setting that lets you forward email to another account. The Idiot was monitoring my email. And therefore, I had to change all of my email addresses and passwords. I changed my phone number. The Idiot called and threatened Future Husband on his voice mail at work. He called my mom. He called my sister. He called my friends. He called my supervisor (with whom we had socialized in the past) and asked him to talk to me. Eventually, since I work for a police agency, the phone threat to Future Husband ensured a little discussion between agents and The Idiot. We managed to come to an end without restraining orders...at least at that point.

Things had pretty much settled down, except for one thing. I was foolish enough (and hadn't watched enough Judge Judy at that point in my life) to cosign on a car for The Idiot. Actually, I cosigned on one car, which he had had repossessed and later redeemed. Then I was stupid enough to finance another car with him as the cosignor, because he couldn't get financing as the primary on the loan. And then, I started getting parking ticket notifications in the mail. That was annoying, but fine. Then I found out that his insurance had been dropped. So, I repossessed the car myself. This led to more home visits from him (although he couldn't get in), more threats, and finally the restraining order.

Once that was filed, and The Idiot figured out that I was quite serious about cutting all ties, he managed to restrain himself. However, he sent a message on Classmates.com. He tried to friend me on F*c*bo**k. He forced me to end a friendship with the guy from college, by pumping him for information. He continued to call my friends to ask them about me. While he is a mild stalker, he is still a stalker.

So there it is - how I got my email address. In the need for an immediate and anonymous email address, I used something that I already knew but that no one else would ever associate with me. I was an early victim of cyberstalking. It's also one of the many reasons why I stay very anonymous on the internet.

18 comments:

  1. UGH! Sounds like it was a long, tedious, and I'm sure highly frustrating and at times scary break up. Really - how could he think it might end well if he kept pushing like that?!?

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  2. Holy CRAP! I've often wondered about your email addy. And now I know. Thank you, for sharing that.

    Makes me feel less like a complete tool for shacking up with utter LOSERS all throughout my twenties. Toothless, no-good scumbags. (Because, I was such a prize catch at that time, heh.)

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  3. Bloody hell.

    Was the license plat number the one of the car that wouldn't start (and got you into this whole mess) or a car you cosigned on?

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  4. Holy smokes. That was, like, intense.

    I was on the edge of my seat. Put this in a book and beef it up. I want to buy this.

    It's like we're in some sort of sad loser magnet club together. I once stayed with a man who said if I left him, he would kill my mother. I know how to pick 'em.

    Thanks for sharing this. I subscribe to you, so I don't have to type in your address, but one day I looked up and I saw a string of letters and numbers and I was like, huh?

    So glad to know you...you're fascinating!

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  5. Is it weird that I'm mildly amused that he went to all that other trouble to stalk you, but didn't have your license plate memorized?

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  6. I've wondered about that as well, thinking it was initials and birthdates or some such nonsense.

    I don't understand that whole stalking mentality that goes beyond concern to downright creepy.

    So do you still keep track of HIM?

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  7. That's nuts and makes perfect sense. He's still harassing you through other people?

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  8. This is so understandable that you are anon in the internet, it's a safety and sanity issue. Take good care, thanks, AYKM.

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  9. Wow, that really is scary.

    Following you back from 11-11 wishes. I hope your wish comes true!!!

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  10. I, too, had wondered.

    What a story! I am so curious about the real you. You drop these little pieces in each post like "I have a very forbidding air about me" and I build a fantastic persona around the pieces.

    You are, what's that they say? A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. And I love it.

    Scary about the stalking. When was the last time you heard from him?

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  11. Ooh that bold blogger has ingested my pearls of wisdom. Arg! I hope they don't reappear making me look a twit.

    Can't remember what I said now. Oh yeah! The twenties, eh? Time of great personal drama and ridiculous nonsense you'd never put up with again. Well done for surviving and shaking off the Idiot.

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  12. Was his name Bob? Sounds like the total loser I dated for a while. I was working non-stop traveling most of the time and would get together with him on saturdays. Once I stopped traveling and was home more often I realized that the guy was a complete alcoholic and loser, not to mention freaky stalker. I broke it off with him right before a very good friends wedding to which he was originally invited. Long story short he called and harassed me 43 times that weekend. FORTY THREE! with each call he got drunker and more belligerent. Ruined the event for me and made me look over my shoulder for quite sometime after. Scary stuff.

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  13. I'm really late to comment here, but that was a really scary story. And now I understand why the strange arrangement of letters/numbers and lack of name.

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  14. Oh honey - I know what that was like. I too had a cyberstalker of an ex, who also got involved in my job, my bills, my car, my life...it takes years to extricate yourself from it, and you always trip and find another way that they have info on you, each time feeling like a cold bath.

    You'd think that after that I'd learn to not be too personal on the net and not, you know, use my real name. But no.

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  15. Wow. I've wondered about the random string that is your blog/email addy. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this crap!

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