I’m sat here writing this on a chilly October morning. Once again I am lying in bed wide awake, unable to sleep and, as ever, I’m hoping that writing may help. Everyone says it’s good to get words out and put pen to paper, as it were. I’m still not entirely sure it’s the case, but it at least goes some way in to explaining why I’m taking a step back from social media for a bit, and maybe even lets me reclaim a small piece of sanity, albeit whilst feeling a little open to the world.
I’ve had a stalker for 8 years. It’s not a new thing, I even once wrote a post about how to deal with it, after getting lots of messages asking if I could help people in similar situations a couple of years ago. I’ve mostly always laughed it off which, in hindsight, was not a healthy coping mechanism, but in August this year when he popped up again, and I had just got home from a great holiday in the Alps, something changed and the levels of stress reared their head again. I reported it once more to the police, adding to a neverending crime log and that was that. Thankfully, I had plenty to distract me in work, my personal life and university. Then last weekend he reappeared.
To many, the idea of someone making facebook accounts and adding you as a friend is pretty normal, standard behaviour. To me? It brought back thoughts of stress, of a time the police called me at work asking if I was safe as he’d spoken with his Drs about traveling to Southampton as he wanted to kill me. It was never about someone making a social media account. I blocked it, another appeared. I blocked that and two more appeared. All using images of me, from my blog, some with captions about being in love with me, or calling me stunning. I felt sick. I still do. I met this person once, with friends and never wanted to see or hear from him again after a group day out at an air show, but that was never the case. Friends messaged me saying they had blocked and reported but, to date, nothing has been done by Facebook. Since then, a number of people I know, who it seems have also had dealings with him, have messaged with weird stories, and it appears I’m not alone in it. Things came to a head when he messaged a load of weird things and said he would find me.
Deep down, I know he won’t and, thankfully, I have a very strong support structure of friends, family and internet strangers, it would appear, but after 8 years of bottling everything up something this time snapped. I spent most of Sunday sat on the sofa in tears, after what had been a lovely Saturday afternoon. I was trying to do my usual Kate thing of laughing it off and not letting it get to me, but I just couldn’t. I sat shaking, feeling sick and feeling incredibly alone in all this, as nobody I could speak to would even understand. This man is dangerously ill, with schizophrenia, and was previously sectioned. I had no idea if he would turn up at work or anywhere else. Who knew?
I don’t tend to be someone who shares emotions easily, certainly less so talk about them, and maybe it’s because in other areas of my life I did this for the first time in a while that on this occasion everything hit me. Maybe not. Maybe it was just that enough was enough after 8 years, but being told to go home from work after having a panic attack this week meant that something had to give. I’m not stopping posting on social media, I’m just lurking I guess, which, given the circumstances, seems the wrong word to use. I haven’t slept more han 3.5 hours a night. I sat welling up in the office all day yesterday like some kind of sap and got snappy with friends and family, who only tried to help.
On which note, thank you so much to everyone who has messaged offering help in any form. It is appreciated more than you know. Unfortunately, people offering help makes me more of an emotional mess today, for a multitude of reasons, but thank you.
Thankfully, I’ve been told he’s now back under section, in a psychiatric intensive care unit. It’s a weight off my mind, but it does’t make me feel any less stressed, and I have no idea why. I don’t think anyone will read this, nor perhaps should they, but the simple means of venting it all out is what I’m hoping will help. I’m never one for playing the victim, in fact I told the police it wa stupid this week when they suggested I needed victim support, before crying down the phone at them and being sent details anyway. If nothing else it causes me to overthink. Something I’m incredibly good at anyway, but then leads to me thinking about every possible scenario, in every aspect of my life.
I feel like now I know he’s locked away again that I am marginally less stressed, but it’s only a matter of time before he pops up again, despite me being in close contact with the police once more. It’s affected my sleep (and I am in dire need), my health (I want to be sick, all day, every day) and my whole aura of being dead inside!
Throw into the mix some university deadlines, a talk to finish, a potential speeding ticket, a chaotically busy work week and something else making me sit here questioning every single aspect of myself and you have the potion for a shit storm.
I’m a pretty chill, pretty strong person, I like to think. The fact I’ve managed to deal with this BS for so long without a mini breakdown happening is, I think, some kind of weird testament to that. I just needed a little vent, a bigger cry and to give some power back to myself. Otherwise he wins.
Now, I’m off to find a giant coffee, before spending the day being an emotional mess for a whole raft of other reasons!