Tag: stalking

When is it Stalking?

I know I am sensitive with this issue. I have been stalked. I have had people chase me with cars, on foot, on the phone, in person, and even show up outside my glass sliding door. I have had things outside destroyed. I have had nails in my driveway, cars vandalized, broken windows, etc. I have had people sneak into my apartment. I know the terror that comes with being stalked.

However, now I am finding stalking in a new arena – online. Has this happened to you? I find myself ‘hiding’ and not wanting to come online. All because someone wouldn’t be respectful. I have had ex’s stalk my Linkedin. I have had old High School people I know nothing about try to message and contact and put something on my FaceBook page everyday. And then when I deny a friend request – they ‘friend’ my brother just so they can post on my page. Did you know that ‘friends of friends’ can see everything on your FaceBook Page? I tried to change it and it went back. I am seriously thinking of deleting the whole thing.

I have had many, many people post negative things – all on my space. I get weary sometimes of monitoring all the online stuff.  Yes, I have reached many – but with a cost.  There are haters, there are trolls – those who hunt you down just to try to pull you under the bridge. And then there are some who will not take “NO” for an answer in this ‘instant’ age.  P.S. I am not your ‘fix’. I am not your ‘drug’. I am not your ‘instant messenger’.

If you text me and I don’t answer – I am busy.

If you call me next and I don’t answer – perhaps I do not want to talk.

If you e-mail me next –  I will not answer.

So why do you send another text?

And then post something on my FaceBook page?  Post on your own page.

And then when I still do not answer why do you message me on FaceBook?

And then when I do not answer you instantly you start calling other people to bad mouth me – really?

Seriously? I didn’t answer.  I am busy, or not available, or I DO NOT want to talk right now.  I get to choose who and when I want to talk to.  Please – respect  my privacy.  Respect my boundaries.  No means No.  I have choices too – it’s not always about YOU!

And the more you do it – the less I will answer.

In my opinion that is rude – and stalking. Knock it off!

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10 Things to Do When an Abuser Ignores Your NO

I have recently been reminded of the fear that returns when you are being stalked.  This is part of my story that I haven’t shared yet.  After separating from an Abuser it is the most dangerous time for a woman who has been in an abusive relationship.  And once we leave, the stalking begins.

What is stalking you ask?  

Being hunted down with the intent to harm or kill – just like an animal.  

That’s what it feels like.  Your phone starts ringing – 15 times in an hour, you get home from work and there are flowers on your front step with no note, you drive to the store and see his car in the rear view mirror, you wake up in the middle of the night to someone outside your patio door – that’s what it is like.

According to WomensHealth.gov:

Stalking is contact (usually two or more times) from someone that makes you feel afraid or harassed.

Examples of stalking include:

  • Following or spying on you
  • Sending you unwanted emails or letters
  • Calling you often
  • Showing up at your house, school, or work
  • Leaving you unwanted gifts
From: archive.constantcontact.com
From: archive.constantcontact.com

So what do we do?  How do we make it stop?  I wish there were an easy answer to this.

10 THINGS TO DO WHEN THE ABUSER IGNORES YOUR ‘NO’

1.  Journal Everything

That means texts, phone calls, times and places where he has been following you.  Get a notebook and carry it everywhere. Make sure your time and date stamp is ‘on’ for your phone.  One of the best pieces of advice I got from a Police Officer is that in court the Judge will be looking for a pattern.  Be sure to note the date, the time, and the place each incident occurs.

2.  Get Your First Restraining Order

There are different types of Restraining Orders depending if you have lived together or not.  And it may vary from State to State.  I can’t tell you how frustrated I was when I went to court, presented my whole case, and the Judge told me that he would love to grant the restraining order – however he couldn’t because I filled it out the wrong form. He said I would have to fill out the right form, and schedule another court appearance, and THEN he could grant the restraining order.  Yeah – really.

And be sure to know the terms of your Restraining Order – how far away does the Abuser need to be, can he call, text, whatever.  And know how long it is in force.  Be smart, use this order to your advantage.

3. Utilize the Resources at your Local Women’s Shelter

Most Shelters have free counselors, free meetings, and access to legal aides.  They are on your side.  They will help you.  I got help with forms, finding local agencies to find a new home, food stamps, bus tokens, etc.  They have been through this before.  And many Shelters offer free living accommodations for yourself and your children for 30 days.  No, it’s not the Ritz Carlton – but it is safe. And they have gates to keep him out!

4. After You Get the Restraining Order – Prepare Yourself – He WILL Break It

Have an action plan of what to do when the Abuser violates the Restraining Order.  Be ready to call the Police anytime and anywhere.  Carry your phone with you everywhere you go – even the bathroom, and be ready to call for help.  Be sure it is always charged.  Remember, the Abuser is in stalker mode now, he feels you are his ‘property’ and nobody is going to tell him what to do.

5. Travel with a friend

Having a witness goes a long way in court.  Be sure to tell your neighbors, friends, family exactly what is happening.  This is not the time to keep quiet.  The more eyes you have on you the better.  And be sure that your ‘friend’ is not forwarding the Abuser information.  I have had that happen too.

6.  Change Your Routine

Many times the Abuser knows where you will be and when. Change your routine.  Go to work a different way.  Park in a different place.  Go to a different grocery store.  I have had to quit jobs, leave cities, change my phone, etc. No, it was not fair. But it was worth it.

7.  Change Your Phone Number 

Yes, really.  It is one way to stop the calls.  And do not give this new number out to everyone.  I made that mistake once and the Abuser got my new number from a ‘friend’.  I got another phone, and another ‘friend’.

8. Change your Locks and install Motion Sensors and/or Cameras.

Definitely change your locks both for your house and car.  Seriously.  If the Abuser still has a key, he WILL use it. Use technology in your favor. These days motion sensors and IP Cameras are very inexpensive and easy to use. Yes, he may break it, but then call the Police – report it. I had left my bicycle outside my apartment.  When I went to go to work, I noticed that ‘someone’ had jumped on the back tire and bent it.  I called the Police and reported it.  They will know who did it, and will most likely catch him doing it again!

9.  Print out a Hard Copy of Any Online Harassment

With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and everything else this WILL be an area where the Abuser will ‘talk trash’. They seem to have to prove to everyone their side of the story.  And DO NOT RESPOND to them.  You have to abide by the rules of the Restraining Order as well.  If you talk or respond to the Abuser you may inadvertently hurt yourself.  The Police will have a hard time enforcing the order if YOU are the one who broke it.  And yes, the Abuser will use it against you. Don’t believe his words – believe his actions!

10. Call the Police

More than likely the Abuser will break the terms of the Court Order. Be prepared to call the Police every single time it happens.  You got your restraining order for a reason.  And if you don’t have one – get it now!

I thought once I had that piece of paper the Abuser would leave me alone.  I was wrong.  His attempts to contact me or see me INCREASED!  I don’t know why this surprised me.  But the Abuser is after control –  of you.  And in their mind they ‘own’ you.  Hearing ‘NO’ from a Judge or Police Officer will often motivate the Abuser to break that rule!  They don’t hear the word ‘NO’, they think ‘Yeah right, who are you to tell me what to do?”  Use this to your advantage.  Be ready.  Be safe.  And Be well.

Here is the post that reminded me what this was like.

THE FEAR: my stalking abuser is back.

WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION:

(Featured Image Source: www.metrodenvercriminaldefense.com

Photo above from: archive.constantcontact.com)

Don’t Make Me Cross That Line

Sometimes a girl just has to say NO.  Enough.  Nada.  My friend Penny from Vermont wrote this song and it is exactly how I feel today.  Sooooo much going on for Ms D.  My daughters wedding is in 1 week, I have a big Festival to play at on Sat, and sometimes life just has a way of hitting you back.  Not looking forward to seeing EX#1. I just don’t want any issues.  Last time I saw him was at one of my daughter’s High School Graduation.  Always the glare/scowl and still cuts me down every chance he gets. I even had to block his e-mail because he was still sending me garbage.  Seriously – he is still trying to fight even though it has been over 20 years since the divorce.  This is the guy who, just for spite, took all the things I had given my girls and burnt them in the fire pit – while they watched. The one who would ‘sit me down’ at the kitchen table and lecture me for 2 hours about how I was not a good wife or mother.  And the guy who after he broke up with his girlfriend – peed on her stuff.  And the guy that took a table and chopped it up with an AXE – in the house.  Ugggh. I just don’t even want to see him. Have you ever seen someone with BLACK EYES?  I know that they were blue – but God gives you the vision to see the evil?

And now he has viewed my LinkedIn profile – really????  He is probably even reading this…whatever.  I’m gonna keep writing and singing anyway. 

But how do you protect yourself online?

Please pray for Ms D for protection  – thanks!  So, Penny’s song is my Mantra today – DON’T MAKE ME CROSS THAT LINE!

Now I’ve given you fair warning
I’ve given you the news I’ve made my resolution
now you have got to choose
You’re driving me crazy
Better change your careless ways
Use your imagination
This is the last time I’m gonna tell you
Don’t make me cross that line

Penny has made this a free download just for you today – Thanks Penny!  Be sure to click on the title or her picture for your free song!

penny

Don’t Make Me Cross That Line

© 2012, Michael Palumbo and Penny Towers Wilber

It was 3 am in the morning
and you weren’t there
vacations over
now this ain’t fair
You’re driving me crazy
better change your careless ways
Use your imagination
(You know what I’m talking about)
Don’t make me cross that line.

Thelma and Louise
got nothing over me
Because what I’ve been thinking
You don’t want to see
You’re driving me crazy
Better stop while there’s time
Use your imagination
(Think about it baby)
Don’t make me cross that line

Remember when you told me
Remember when you showed me
those good times
Never had to worry
Never had to hurry
things were fine
What’s the situation?
Use your imagination
(You must be getting the picture by now)
Don’t make me cross that line

Now I’ve given you fair warning
I’ve given you the news
I’ve made my resolution
now you have got to choose
You’re driving me crazy
Better change your careless ways
Use your imagination
This is the last time I’m gonna tell you
Don’t make me cross that line

  
Lyric Credits Penny Towers Wilber
Music Credits Michael Palumbo
Producer Credits Penny Towers Wilber and Protilius Productions
Performance Credits Penny Towers Wilber and Michael Palumbo