Saturday, May 15, 2010

TALES OF THE STALKER

It is not uncommon to hear someone talk about their ex as a “crazy explicative” In fact, most of the time, the short and simple reason they broke up is because (a) one of them went crazy or (b) one of them finally realized the other was crazy. Most of the time however, “crazy,” actually means they argued all the time, were possessive, were cheating, or something on the scale of  "normal," as opposed to insane.

 
But there is something we can learn from the experience of others. There are instances where the Crazy factor cannot be denied. The statement that your Ex is Crazy becomes legitimate when your Ex becomes a stalker.

Here are several instances** of stalking from what appeared to be "normal" people and what you can do to avoid going crazy yourself (along with images from movies that help drive the point home - you're welcome).



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THE EMAIL

The internet, computers, and technology are not always your friend when it comes to failed relationships.

 
Ex sends you an email. You broke up with him over six years prior. The email was strewn with the cute little names you called each other. Ex thought this to be an ice breaker. You thought this was creepy. Ex added the link and name of a song he wanted you to listen to, asking if you still thought of him. Ex ended the email with a request that you contact him. You do not respond to the email.


Solution: Don't freak out. It's just and email. If you get more than one, block the emails or get rid of that account altogether. Alternatively, avoid reading the emails from your stalker and people you don't know. Don’t delete them. The Police may need them later (I’m just saying).


THE PHONE CALL

You will at some point regret having kept the same number after all these years.

Scenario: Ex called you and left a message to see how things were going. You were surprised that Ex called, considering you broke it off with him ten years ago and he is married with children. In the message Ex referenced your new boyfriend, stating he hoped you two were doing well. Ex searched you on facebook /  twitter to find out who you were dating. You didn't return the call.


Solution: Change your number. You can also temporarily change your voicemail to sound like that operator that says, "the number you have reached has been disconnected." Again, don’t delete the voicemails because they're proof that your ex is seeking you out. And take this is a lesson to not be so open on the web.


THE VISIT

If you still live in the same place or if your parents still live in the same home where you once lived, the visit is inevitable.

Scenario: Your mom  got a visit from your Ex who dated you when you were a teenager. Not thinking anything of it, your mom invited him in for tea. She was plagued with questions about you by Ex. Your mom thought this odd, and answered politely but cautiously. Ex expressed his interest in contacting you. Your mom instead got his information and told him that when you come back into town, she will let you know.

Solution: If the ex has the nerve to visit once, he will have the nerve to visit twice. If you have a video camera on your property (which at this point you should), save the footage from the visit. Also, prep your parents to invent the story of how you live an eternity away with your seven kids and spouse.

THE LETTER

When all else fails, leave it to the United States Postal Service to deliver messages you’ve tried to avoid.

Scenario:Your Ex is in jail. He is contemplating his life and is writing to everyone, including you. In his letter to you, he recounts stories from when you dated, expressing sorrow for his past mistakes, and hoping to hear a response from you. You just moved to this address, you don't know how he found you and you are freaked the hell out.


Solution: Never open the letter, especially from jail. Pull a “Return to sender, Addressee Unknown.” If curiosity got the best of you, do not respond. Put it away with the envelope in a Ziploc back marked “evidence.”

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If you sound like the stalker in any one of these scenarios: STOP IT. The relationship is over. Move along, there’s nothing left to see. Just because the character in The Notebook sent a thousand letters to his beloved over the course of a year and then went looking for her, doesn’t mean your life will end up the same way. In real life, that movie would’ve gone a whole difference direction - your ass would’ve been kicked by her fiancé.

If you're being stalked, the best thing anyone can do is ignore the email, the phone call, the visit, or the letter. But if you've gotten all four...honey, run! At that point, you definitely have a stalker* and, well, you’re in my prayers.





*caveat: none of this advice is real – it is intended to shed light on the bull the ex’s pull after the ashes of a relationship have long been dispersed in the wind. If you actually have a real stalker, you shouldn’t even be reading this. Just go to the cops instead of browsing the web for goodness sakes!

**These stories are based on real events that happened to me or to people close to me.