The Stalker Part 2

received_10206593908721174

As I promised when I felt safe to come back to this trauma I would share what I could.  It’s a “moment” that I recently worked through in EMDR and I can now share without a trigger.  I have to say that EMDR has come a long way and the process is much gentler and effective than it was 16 years ago.  Here’s my experience.

I was working at the hospital and John was no longer employed there.  He had left a note at my home prior to this moment that we could now be together because we no longer worked together.  I didn’t anticipate this next experience to happen.

There was a celebration at the hospital in the cafeteria with a new menu and roll out of food, so I decided to venture down and have lunch.  I felt safe because he wasn’t working there anymore.  Like most cafeteria’s you go through the buffet style lines and walk to the cashier to pay for your food before entering the dinning area.  When at the cashier line you can see the entire dinning area.  As I stood there in line, which as quite long, I gazed out over the dinning area.  Checking to see if there was a place to sit since there were so many people.  There was a column in my way so I couldn’t see every area.  As I reached the cashier closer I could peek around the column, and there he was.  Sitting perfectly to be able to see the line at the cashier.  I started trembling and shaking and we locked eyes.

My heart is pounding right now as I write this, but I know right now I am safe in my home with my dog and John isn’t here….so I’m pressing on.

When we locked eyes John got this sinister grin on his face, I’ll never forget it.  Creepy grin of ” You see me now and I see you…are you afraid yet”.  I was horrified.  He lifted his right hand and made it look like a gun, pointing his index finger at me with his thumb straight up….then POW!  He pretends to shoot me with his hand shaped gun.  I gasped, locked up and dropped my plate.  I ran out of there through the back area where you enter so I didn’t have to go past him to get out.

I walked/ran as fast as I could down that cold windowless basement hallway crying and saying out loud “Oh my God, oh my God”. My mind racing with thoughts of “He’s going to kill me. Why would he do that? He’s going to kill me.”  I entered a panic attack once I got to my office and sat down in a back closet so he couldn’t find me.  I called security from the phone in this closet that once served as an office.  They came right away and the lead security officer was a friend and he was very helpful.  He comforted me and called for the other guards to have John removed, there was no reason for him to be at the hospital.  My friend “Murray” listened to my story of what had transpired for months prior to this event and he became my biggest advocate.

Murray went to the executive office and spoke with the Chief Operating Officer, they got me an executive parking pass so I could park in a secure area where the executives parked.  They made note of everything and issued a letter to John telling him that he had no reason to ever be on the hospital grounds and if he returns that they would call the police.  They installed a panic button under my desk.  They reassured my safety and were fantastic at helping me.

Murray had a guard get my car from the parking garage and place it in the secure area.  Then he drove me to the County Court House where I resided to obtain a restraining order.  The order was a temporary restraining order, but I thought it was something that would protect me.  As I got the TRO I was reminded that John now worked in the cafeteria of THAT county court-house.  Can you believe it?  This fucktard worked where I was having to legally stop him from coming around me.  I couldn’t believe it.

A friend from high school was on the police force in the city I resided in, and after I told him what was happening he increased police presence on my street.

At this point I was secure at work for parking, panic button placed, security well aware of him; TRO in hand and local police increasing their rounds on my street.  I felt like I was getting somewhere.  I prayed for all of this to scare him enough to stay away from me and to just vanish.

A TRO is a piece of paper…A PIECE OF PAPER TO PROTECT MY LIFE! It was a good start legally for what was going to happen down the road, but pieces of paper don’t stop a bullet, a hand coming at you or any other physical assaults.  IT’S A PIECE OF PAPER…USELESS! So I called Kojak and he came over and helped me order and get a highly effective security system installed in my home.  Panic buttons in 3 rooms, every window and door was activated.  I could have obtained motion sensors in my house, but with my son, a little boy, who wanders in his sleep that wasn’t a good option.  It was a hefty financial burden, but money was needed for protection. Then Kojak and I called my attorney, who in turn wrote a letter to John for a “cease & desist” all contact per the TRO.

Kojak gave me pointers on leaving my home and traveling.  I no longer took the same routes to and from work and my son’s school.  Use different stores each time.  Carry my cars key-fob with my thumb on the panic alarm and keys pointing out between each finger as a weapon when walking to and from my car.  Taught me how to watch for someone following me as I drove.  Taught me to be vigilant of my surroundings.

You’d think with all of this I would be able to sleep, calm down and feel safe.  This is when I became “hyper-vigilant” and my world of sleep no longer existed.  I paced through my house 6-10 times per night checking on my son and windows and doors and security system activation.  This became my new normal and it has stuck with me for 16 years.

I won’t be doing EMDR again for another couple of weeks.  The process takes its toll on me and I have to keep processing the trauma’s slowly.  I’ve stayed away a bit from blogging because I’m so afraid of getting triggered.  I sometimes feel like blogging can be a task on my mind that causes me more anxiety.  I don’t want my readers to fall away as I know there are many who have appreciated these stories for their own healing.  I’m doing my best.  I’m plowing/pushing through as I can.

Right now the evil forces of negative energy has been attacking me recently, through my own experiences, my oldest son, my husband, my father and sister.  This evil doesn’t want me to heal, it wants to suppress me and keep me down.  It attacks my family which affects me.  God is bigger than these evil enemy forces and I trust in Him.  He has my back and I know I will come out of this a better version of myself, His strength is in me and I will be a testament to His love for us.

 

Photo credit: Jeff Garner

http://www.jeffgarnerimagery.com

Advertisements

Back To The Healing Board

maxresdefault-1

How much I wish I could go back to the drawing board and rewrite the stalker story. Didn’t expect the opening of this wound would be so re-traumatizing.  Really makes me want to crawl back into a hole and never face it again, but I’m a warrior at heart and that bastard will not win.

Anytime I’m faced with an obstacle I research it. I learn more about it and make it my mission to better understand it and how to work through it.  During the initial healing of the stalker I read The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker  and The Psychology of Stalking Clinical and Forensic Perspectives by J. Reid Meloy. Both fantastic books for educating and arming yourself with helpful tools.

Now that it’s 17 years later and facing it yet again, I’m on the search for knowledge. I found a great article about being stalked and affects, yet it speaks of only initial treatment, not treatment nor effects some time later. I also can’t help but see that my story would have been more successful if I hadn’t had an emotionally abusive childhood, rape and physical abuse post stalking. I believe having been challenged with Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it’s hindering my recovery process this time. My psychologist said based on my history I could be looking at 3 months to over a year of treatment on the stalker issue alone.

A year? Feels like a lifetime. It almost has been a lifetime of destruction and mental trauma. Going back to square one with this is daunting, frustrating and tiresome. Yet I’m finding the strength through God to face it and fight it.

I recently found this article and the more I researched this doctor the more I’m intrigued to learn more. I’m hoping to contact him and ask him how he feels about his article and knowledge based on pre-trauma experiences in the mix. Stalking victims get VERY LITTLE for help from local victim services, they only pay for counseling and treatment for up to a year. There was more money spent by the county trying to rehabilitate John then heal me. Seventeen years later…no help from VS.  No restitution paid to me for possible returning symptoms or flashbacks. Our court system is flawed in this area. Not enough of this to go around for the courts to notice? It’s ming boggling.

Check out this article.

“What stalking victims need to restore their mental and somatic health”

Give me some feedback if you can. Help me brainstorm. I’m not giving up and I’m determined to survive this once again.

Stalker Story Temporarily Discontinued

discontinued

I thought I was ready to dive into this, I thought after 17 years and years of therapy I could tell this story. It has unexpectedly opened a door that is causing severe hypervigilance, nightmares, triggers and causing a CPTSD response I wasn’t anticipating.

I’m suspending my story until I can safely tell this story without mental and physical repercussions. I feel unsafe and wish someone would just hold me close and give me a safe feeling of security. My dog was that safe point for me, but since his death 2 weeks ago I’m a hot fucking mess.

I walk the house all night, eat through the night, have nightmares, flashing images of his face and events, migraines and feel tortured. I feel broken and unfixable.

I’ve tried refocusing, staying busy, medications, meditation, safe place comfort measures and it’s just lingering. So this story is on hold until I can safely reopen this can of smelly shit.

Will I ever be free of you John? You piece of dog shit! My soul belongs to God, not you. Feeling defeated.

The Stalking Part 1

received_10206593908721174

My friend the private investigator is an amazing man, for the sake of privacy I’ll call him Kojak. Let’s be honest, Kojak was a badass and so is my friend…he’d be giggling if he knew I named him this.

Kojak came over right away and helped me strategize how to best handle John’s behavior.

  1. We made a plan to make my house safe until I could afford a security system. We put 3 inch dowels into each window. Secured the garage door. Put timers on lights.
  2. We bought disposable cameras and placed them around the house next to all of the windows and doors. In case John showed up, drove by, I could take pictures for proof. Every morning I took a picture of the newspaper with each camera to prove the picture was from that day. I also put one in my car.
  3. We installed night sensor lights around the outside of the house and secured my gate. We even stretched barbed wire across the top of my fence.
  4. I called the local police and had them come over for a first initial report, which they looked at me like I was bat shit crazy and didn’t take me seriously.
  5. I gave Kojak all of John’s information that I could find and he started a back ground investigation on him.

Good start to what I thought would be easy to maneuver and document, and I actually got some sleep that night.

Within 2 days Kojak had this dudes story and it was a weird one. John was a personal chef for a very famous Playboy bunny for about 2 years and left that job to become a chef in a cafeteria in the basement of a not so famous hospital. Kojak spoke with John’s previous employer’s personal assistant and she said “Regretfully I cannot divulge any information about the reason for separation of his employment. I’m so sorry this is happening to her too“. Hmmmmm.

John left the hospital job and was now working in the cafeteria of my county court-house.  He was employed through a food service industry contractor.

Kojak confirmed that John was indeed married and bought his home with a large down payment after he “left” his cush job for the Playboy bunny. John’s record was squeaky clean, nothing else jumped out.

A couple of weeks later I came home to a VHS tape in an envelope at my door. I called Kojak and he came over to watch it with me. John video taped himself driving through the mountains and talking to me and played me “special” songs on his radio. He proceeded to tell me that we could have a perfect life together if I’d just give him a chance. He said he quit the hospital job since I said I wouldn’t date people I worked with and now we could be together.  He said he loved me and would do anything to have me.

I remember being sick to my stomach and shaking all over. Kojak had me call the police and report it, so I did. The police told me that I should just “ignore him” and he’ll get bored and go away. Completely unhelpful and again looked at me like I was crazy.

About another week later I came home to another larger envelope with another VHS tape and a shirt. Kojak was out-of-town so I watched it by myself. This time John was taping himself while riding a dirt bike through the mountains and then would stop and tell me how great our adventures could be together if I’d just give him a chance. That the shirt he’s given me was one of his favorite shirts as seen on him currently wearing in the video, that he wanted me to sleep in it and think of him. That he’d find great pleasure knowing I’d be inside his shirt like he was constantly holding me.

I called the police again, and again there was no harm done, just ignore him and he’ll eventually get bored and go away.

A few weeks went by and it was quiet, almost too quiet. I remember my girl friend coming over on a Saturday night and we watched the movie Caddyshack and drank some wine. This movie used to crack me up to no end, and the gopher bit was hands down hilarious. I remember at the end of the movie it shows the gopher dancing and my friend and I were pretty buzzed from the wine and we got up and danced like the gopher. It was a great night.

Two weeks later I come home again to find a box on my doorstep.  Inside was a replica of the gopher in Caddyshack and a button to push, when you pushed the button it would play the Caddyshack song and the gopher would dance. The handwritten letter stated “I loved watching you dance. I look forward to the day we can dance together. Love John”.

That creepy fucker has been watching me through my windows! I flipped out and called the police again, and they said since I didn’t catch him in the act there’s nothing they could do. Just stay vigilant. I couldn’t sleep and from that point on for years I’ve never slept through an entire night again. I was up every hour peeking out my windows to see if I could see him and I still do it to this day.

Luckily my neighbor saw the truck he was driving the day he delivered the gopher. Another friend who was an attorney wrote a letter to John telling him that he is to no longer contact me through any method, no longer come to my home as my neighbors and I all knew his truck, that the police have been notified and he was to cease and desist all contact, gifts and communication with me. Kojak gave him John’s address and he mailed the letter.

After a month of not hearing from him I thought “it” was over. Wrong. It just made things worse. I’m stopping for now, it was hard enough to build up the courage to blog about this part.  I appreciate all of the encouraging words I’ve been getting from my readers and followers, it’s very helpful.

The photo featured in this stalker series was taken by a lifetime friend who has mad talent and with his permission I am using this picture. It represents so much doom and darkness and fear to me and resonated with me down to my bones.

Photo credit: Jeff Garner

http://www.jeffgarnerimagery.com

 

 

The Stalker

20170209_161015

Seventeen years ago I worked in the administrative offices of a hospital managing all of their satellite medical offices. My office was on the main floor across from the sandwich deli, so I had a lot of people traffic that would walk by and see me at my desk. I could see the deli counter through their window when at my desk. I didn’t utilize the deli often, as a single mom I couldn’t afford to eat out ever. I was well-known by all of the hospital staff since my work was directly with many of the physicians and their support staff, and I’m a friendly person that used to be very talkative to anyone and everyone.

The main cafeteria was in the basement and it staffed the deli upstairs. Our cafeteria had moderately good food and they were promoting a new chef, often we would get lunch vouchers to try out the food and then were encouraged to recommend it to patients families or visitors.

The new chef started spending a lot of time in the deli, I only noticed because he’d always have a white chef coat and hat on, which was different from the other employees.  I have named him John for this blog, because of the notorious Jodie Foster stalker John Hinkley Jr. back in the 80’s.

John started making me food and bringing it over “to try it out and let me know what you think” line. No red flag, just thought it was a normal behavior.  Then John would come over and visit, asking questions to “get to know me”. No red flag, had a wedding ring on and seemed nice. One question was asking me my favorite dessert, which is Cremé Brule.  He showed up the following week serving me this dessert on a full silver platter, china and a rose. Hmmmm…red flag. I knew something was up, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I accepted this gift and ate it and of course had to call him to come back and get the dishes. That’s when he asked if he could take me to dinner

The answer was “No, your married and I don’t date people I work with.” I got the most dejected look and uncomfortable vibe from him that red flags popped up left and right. I always kept my office door open, as it helped with fresh air, allowed visitors to feel comfortable asking for directions and physicians liked the opened feeling of coming and going. That day I closed my door, bought a fan and kept it closed. This stopped the direct line of sight to me from the deli and became my barrier. The visits from John stopped and I avoided the cafeteria like the plague. Then I ended up hearing through the office grape-vine that John no longer worked at the hospital.  Thank God! I was free to open my door and not feel confined nor watched. It was truly a freeing moment and I couldn’t have been more relieved.

Two weeks later I left my office and headed for the parking garage to go home, it’s dark out and in the garage, get in my car and there’s a rose on my windshield with a note. “Just wanted to say hello and I miss you. ♥ J” Red flags popping up in my head:

  1. Why is he leaving me a note?
  2. How in the hell does he know what I drive?
  3. Did he walk the WHOLE garage looking for my car?

I was freaked out! If I was 16 I wouldn’t have been upset, I would have been flattered. As a grown woman and single mom…freaked out!  The next morning I went to our security office and filed a complaint and let them know what happened and prior to. They immediately got special permission to let me park in the physicians lot that no one could get into. Gave all of the other security personnel his picture and name and to have him removed from the premises.  Now I feel better and safer at work, and let it leave my mind. Deep breath and relief.

Month later I get home from work to find a bag on my doorstep. Sis lived across the street, so I figured it was from her. My son was 5 and he and I opened it and it was a large remote control race car. With a note “I’m sorry I upset you, please forgive me. ♥ J”.  Red flags:

  1. How in the fuck does he know where I live?
  2. How does he know I have a son?
  3. This is bazaar abnormal behavior and I need help.

Called a friend who is a Private Investigator for help. He did a full back ground check on this guy and then helped me find ways to prove it’s him coming to my house, started driving different routes to and from work every day, became extremely vigilant of my surroundings and if someone was following me.

This was just the beginning stages of his stalking. What’s to come became an extremely intense nightmare that has altered my life in the most negative way. I can only write this story in small amounts because HE is why I live in constant fear and anxiety and telling the story scares the shit out of me and what it’s going to bring up in my mind.