Violated: A Catharsis Post

I never once thought I would be writing a post like this. I am not the sort of person who wakes up in the morning and thinks, hmmm how will I be victimized today. To be honest, I thought I was the last person I know who would ever be victimized, given that I work for a victim’s advocacy program. I know all the safety planning tips. I know how orders of protection work. I know how to file a report and going about pressing charges. This is hard for me to write. It is really hard.

For those of you who are not in the know, I am just going to come out with it because there’s no sense in playing guessing games or beating around the bush. Over the past few months, I have apparently been the victim of stalking. I had no idea that someone was scrutinizing my twitter and my website so closely until last weekend. Upon further investigation, I discovered that this person had a pinterest board dedicated to my partner. The things that were said about me by this stalker over their public twitter were particularly vicious and hurtful. This person knows my partner in real life, so it goes a bit further than say, an author offended by a review. This person likely knows where we live, what Tony drives, and probably even where I work. It scares me, you guys, it actually scares me and infuriates me that someone can be so hurtful.

Here’s the thing, I am 26 years old, I will be 27 in July. I thought I was too old for this kind of drama or thing to happen to me. I lead a pretty quiet life with my books and my boyfriend for company. I just, it’s really really hard for me to write all this down so I apologize if I go on tangents or babble.

This person attacked who I am at my core. They attacked me for liking books and reading. Maybe I do enjoy books a tad too much. They attacked a few things I said about my boyfriend, without even knowing my sense of humor or how I am in real life. After I discovered the existence of this person and their actual palpable hatred for me, I could not read for a week. I felt dirty just looking at my books. I spent this week depressed and anxious. I barely ate. I didn’t really work out. It just was a hard week.

Like, I question whether I deserve to feel this upset. The person said some very upsetting things about me based off my public twitter. Is it really stalking if it’s right out there in public? I mean, it’s not like I have a locked account. Then I get to wondering about my right to exist in an online space without straight up harassment. Maybe if I didn’t have such a large online presence this would not have happened. Maybe if this person was not obsessed with my boyfriend. Maybe if, maybe if, maybe if. That’s what’s rattling around in my brain, the maybe if’s. Like, to me, the answer is not to quit blogging and not to quit social media and not to quit reading. I don’t want to go into lockdown mode with my twitter, that silly social media site is kind of an extension of who I am. It actually really makes me happy and gives me validation and joy. Maybe I am getting too personal on this blog or putting too much of myself out there, but honestly, I think I’d spiral into a dark place without this corner of the internet holding me up.

I guess what I am saying is that it really, really sucks. I’ve never actually felt this violated in my life ever before. I don’t know how to prevent this feeling. I don’t have any easy answers. I don’t know what to tell you if this happens to you. Well, maybe I can give a little bit of advice. Turn to your friends when this happens. I know people hate that whole circle the wagons mentality, but honestly, it was good for my psyche and state of mind to know that there were all these people in my corner who care about me. Take screenshots but keep them in a folder that’s not on your desktop. I had the screenshots all out on my desktop and it was like jolt every time I saw them. Eventually, I put them all into a folder, out of sight, out of mind.

Finally, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m looking into counseling to help me process what’s happened. Because, when someone violates you like that it truly is traumatic and sometimes a little professional help goes a long way.

Ugh, sorry to unload all of this without pictures or GIFs, but it’s kind of serious and all.

PS, I really had no clue what to even title this post. I think my brain is broken.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. That totally sucks and YES you have every right to be upset. A personal attack is a terrible thing, and if your upset then you’re allowed to be. People suck.
    Britt recently posted..Review: The Ghost in the Glass House – Carey WallaceMy Profile

  2. I can’t even begin to imagine how you feel. I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. I’m not even sure what to say, other than keep being you. Don’t let him/her win by making you change your life because of their actions. Let us know if there is anything we can do. Be Blessed
    Aisha
    Aisha recently posted..Non- Fiction Book #Review: HookedMy Profile

  3. I am sorry this happened to you. You have a right to feel upset. I hope you feel safe soon. Pls dont let this person keep you from blogging or anything. I know I dont comment a lot but I really enjoy reading your posts πŸ™‚

  4. Oh, holy cow. That’s horrifying, April!! I’m SO SORRY that this person has decided to make your life hell, to stalk you and to try and make you feel like a victim. Definitely get the help you need IRL but also know that there are so many people out there both online and off who support you and love you. PLEASE let me know if there’s anything I can do to help and know that you’re getting a hug from me when I see you at BEA. For now, though… *virtual bear hug*
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway: THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree DespainMy Profile

  5. What you have to remember is, that horrible though it definitely is, in a strange way it has nothing to do with you. I mean who you actually are as a person. This individual has decided you are like whatever image, they have conjured in their twisted head, and are trying to make you into that image, and control you through it by preventing you from taking joy in your reading, social site activity etc. By being you and not letting fear of this person over take your life you are showing just how strong you are. I’m glad you’ve taken steps by talking to friends and a councilor. Please be careful for as you’ve said they do know you, even though you don’t know who exactly they are. be aware of your surroundings but live your life and never let some stop you from being you. Good luck and keep safe.
    For a title how about: I will not conform

  6. I’m so sorry this happened to you April, that sounds horrible! Of course you have the right to be upset, it’s not a nice thing to go through at all. I think it’s almost worse that this is someone known to you and not some random, and to attack you for reading is crazy. All I can say is, don’t change who you are just because this person is trying to bring you down, you’re awesome and so is your blog. (I’m a long time follower, although I’ve been όber slack on the commenting front)
    I’m from Australia, and if you lived here you’d likely have grounds to apply for an intervention order against this person for cyberstalking at the very least – I think they’re called restraining orders in the US? I don’t know what the law is over there but maybe you could talk to someone about this if you’re concerned for your safety.
    Sorry to write such an essay! I hope the venting helped you, I know it always helps me πŸ™‚

  7. I’m really sorry you had to go through this, April. You’re a strong person to be able to put it all out there in the open. First and foremost, please know that this is NOTHING to be ashamed of. Don’t feel bad about the person you are and the way you’ve acted. There is NOTHING wrong with YOU. This person is clearly a sick individual and they need to seek professional help. Don’t change who you are because of this. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you and your family and I encourage you to take whatever steps necessary to get the support and help you need to feel safe again. I hope this resolves itself soon and know that I, WE as a community, are here to help in whatever way we can. Be safe and BE YOU!

  8. I’m sorry this has happened to you April. I know when I post on Twitter or Facebook I’m putting myself out there but I live with the belief if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. Unfortunately, some people weren’t raised with decent morals. I hope this becomes something in the past for both you and Tony. Remember that for one person trying to bring you down there’s 100 people cheering you on.

  9. April, I’m so so so sorry. I’m not really sure if hearing those words is helpful, but I am truly sorry that you have to go through something like this. If you ever need anything, let me know.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted..Top Seven Most Unique Books I’ve ReadMy Profile

  10. Ugh, and now I want to punch someone, a specific someone…. I completely understand you being upset by this, it’s just awful. I just don’t even understand someone deciding to act this way…. I’m not really sure how I can help beyond saying that I 100% support you and whatever you need to do to deal with this, but I’m here for anything you need.
    Anya recently posted..Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve ReadMy Profile

  11. *HUGS*
    I’m so sorry this happened to you, and you have every right to be upset and to seek help. It is a serious issue – I was stalked when I was 12 by this older guy, and everyone in my family made light of it, and that didn’t help me to get over it, i’ll tell you that.

    I hope thinks get better soon for you and your partner.
    Alex / AnimeGirl recently posted..Book Review: Her Kind of Trouble by Sarah MayberryMy Profile

  12. This is terrible. Take care of yourself.

  13. <333 DUDE I'm still in shock since you told me everything. Like creeped out times 10000x. Just know that we all love you, you are normal and she's the crazy one. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of and you did not deserve all this. I can't imagine how you feel though…how violating that must be. I mean, I felt appalled for you so I can't even imagine. Love youuuu. Always here for you..you know that!

  14. I am so sorry. That is so scary and frustrating and infuriating and awful. Most of us who read your blog just really like to hear your thoughts and wish nothing but happy things for you. I hope you are able to heal quickly and completely. In the meantime, stay safe!
    Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon recently posted..Top Ten Most Unique BooksMy Profile

  15. Oh April. πŸ™ I applaud you for being strong even if you don’t necessarily feel it. You still being here and being you totally proves your stronger than you first thought! By being bookish and so outgoing you’ve encouraged more people and spread more good. I know that I personally have been motivated by your enthusiasm in the past.

    I hope this doesn’t come out weird because I hope you’re still not being stalked, but I hope your stalker sees this post but more so the comments. You are important not only to the people in your real life but also to a whole community of people (most of us haven’t even met you IRL).

    You do what you have to do. Just know we’ve got your back. πŸ™‚
    Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter recently posted..Review: Persuader by Lee ChildMy Profile

  16. Gush, this is terrible! Our world is full of real douches… This makes me sad.
    But stay strong, April! Don’t show ’em your weakness. Because it’s all that those weirdos want.
    I hope this crazy stalking thing will stop soon. And hope you’re feeling better now and will be fine.:)
    DFTBA! I love your blog!:)

  17. I don’t even know what to say to this. I mean for someone to think that it is okay to stalk, attack, belittle or berate a person for who they are and what they love makes me sick. And the fact that this person is a so-called adult makes me even more sick. You should be proud for what you love and how you express yourself and don’t let anyone take that away from you with their cruelty. You stay who you are and keep doing what you are doing! HUGS!
    Andi recently posted..The ABCs #14My Profile

  18. Hi April,

    I’m sorry you had to go through this *hugs*

    Please don’t let them win by giving up or changing anything you love to do. You are you and that is beautiful and more than ok. And please don’t feel like you shouldn’t feel so hurt by it – if something hurts you, it doesn’t matter what it is or what anybody else thinks about it. It hurt you. End of. If counselling will work for you, then go for it.

    xxx
    Melanie recently posted..Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherMy Profile

  19. I am so angry that this happened to you. I am glad you are getting it out and speaking your mind and not letting this person control your life through their hurtful actions. I don’t know if you did or if you can press charges for this, but I do hope they learn a hard lesson regardless. This is SO NOT okay to do to someone.
    Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted..Imaginative Discussions: Why I am Envious of WritersMy Profile

  20. I’m so sorry, April. No one should ever have to be treated that way or be made to feel lesser because they enjoy something. It is an attack and it isn’t right. It’s just awful how some people choose to act. But you have the support and love through our book community. xoxo

    Farrah

  21. Antoinette says:

    That is terrible, you’re absolutely entitled to these feelings and hopefully someone other than you who knows this person is aware of the harassment just in cases it goes offline…. And for sure this person is a one-off. Definitely don’t stop reading/writing. Your blog is one of my trusted go-tos!

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