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.