People Share How They Dealt With An Obsessive Stalker.
Stalking refers to any unwanted or obsessive attention given towards an individual or group by another person. It may include using methods of harassment and/or intimidation like following the victim in person or monitoring them. The following AskReddit users open up about what it's like to have been stalked.
Source list available at the end.
My first serious boyfriend stalked me for about five years after I broke up with him.
The reason I broke up with him was because I noticed him becoming increasingly possessive and controlling. This worried me a lot, and I was really young (he was older than me) so I decided to get out. The breakup itself was so brutal that he cried and screamed and begged.
Initially, after the breakup, his behavior seemed like the harmless actions of a bitter ex. Constant texting and phone calls, sending gifts to my workplace, that sort of thing.
After about six months (when this hadn't died down), I started bumping into him on my way home from work or if I was out shopping, so I ended up moving. I couldn't leave my job immediately, but moving house didn't make a difference anyway.
This behavior continued for a few years. His behavior became increasingly worse (I'd rather not go into detail), and the police were very reluctant to do anything.
I moved every six to nine months and changed jobs twice, but somehow he always managed to track me down. I didn't use any social media and even insisted that friends of mine not take any pictures of me (in case they went and posted them on social media). I kept my phone number within my circle of friends, but somehow he always managed to get my new number.
I ended up a paranoid wreck thinking that one of my friends had betrayed me or that my phone company had me listed in a phone book and all others kinds of untrue thoughts.
Another year passed and our encounters got worse (again, I'd rather not go into detail). I decided to report him to the police again, and this time they took some action. At this stage, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat. I couldn't concentrate at work. I was a shell.
About two months after I reported him to the police, I woke up one morning to a story in the newspapers about staff in the national tax office using resources improperly. My ex was the main perpetrator, using his job to access all of my information. In his job he had access to my tax records which meant every time I changed my job, address, or phone number, he had access to the most up-to-date information.
Before the court case began, he committed suicide. I'm not ashamed to say I cried with relief. They were the worst years of my adult life.
One of my older brothers had a stalker when I was younger. She had dated my brother's then-girlfriend and was hellbent on getting my brother out of the picture. She would come to our house at all hours of the night. She would attack our vehicles. She would follow us when we went out. The final straw was the night she tried to break into our house and severely vandalized my brother's truck. The cops were called and she was arrested. She left him and our family alone.
After I broke up with my abusive ex, he kept on trying to run into me or get me to meet up with him for "closure". I didn't feel safe doing so because when I had broken up with him he had thrown me on the ground to prevent me from leaving the apartment while he held a knife to his neck threatening to kill himself. Eventually, he sent me an email threatening to kill my cat if I didn't see him again. I never responded, but I let his parents know what he was doing and never heard from him again.
I had this stalker throughout high school. She would claim that we were dating even when I already had a girlfriend. I'm Asian and she was obsessed with them. We had one conversation once, and we asked each other basic questions to get to know one another and every answer she gave was related to Asians.
The creepiest thing that she ever did was give me an envelope and told me not to open it until I got home, but of course, I opened it right then and there. Inside were pages of creepy stuff about me. She would have creepy love letters. She had a page of graph paper in there that had my name written in every single square front and back. She had drawings of me. One of the drawings she had was a picture of me and her making out in the hallway with my then- girlfriend watching us and crying in the background. I told her to back off after that.
I had one when I was first starting my radio career. I was a reasonably good looking early 20's male with a decent personality. Over my career, I had several "ardent fans," but only one that I would call a stalker.
She started by calling the radio program more and more often, then began hanging out in the radio station's parking lot until I got off work. If I was doing a public appearance she would always show up. Eventually, she figured out which car I drove, and she began following me from time to time. I spoke to the police about it and learned to do small "counter surveillance" things like vary my route from work to home, make random turns, and leave at different times. You know to break up the pattern as much as possible.
She was more annoying than dangerous. Basically, she was a 30 something-year-old woman with the mentality of a 14-year-old who had a crush, but the following me thing was pretty creepy.
One night, I was leaving work dead tired and not paying any attention. She followed me to the apartment complex that I was living in. Luckily, I figured it out before I got to my building. So, I did a tour of the whole complex, then I drove across town towards the police station. I guess she figured out where I was headed because she quit following me about two blocks from the station.
Anyway, thankfully, she never did figure out where I lived. Then one day, it just stopped. No more following, no more calls, no more anything. Apparently, a radio station across town had hired a new guy, and she became fixated on him. Once I found that out, I called and gave him a friendly heads up.
When I was about 19, I met this guy who worked at the Subway near where I worked. He was a nice enough guy, and he took me out on a date. Everything started off really well, but about a week into it he started asking me for money. It started off small at first like for a soda or five bucks for gas. Then, he started asking for larger amounts like a few hundred to get him by for a week or so. I never gave it to him, but he started wanting to move in together within about two weeks of dating. When we would go out places, he started to do very weird things. He would start screaming in public or singing nonsense at the top of his lungs. He would always play around afterward and say that he was just having fun, but it was weird and embarrassing to be seen with him. Also, my dog who loves everyone would not let him near me. I've never seen that dog so much as growl at another person, but he would try and bite the hell out of him when he came close to me.
By the end of the second week, I broke up with him over the phone. I normally didn't do that, but at the time, his erratic behavior made me nervous.
He completely flipped out. He started showing up where I worked. It got to the point where my manager had to ban him from the building, and my co-workers had to walk me to my car. He would show up literally EVERYWHERE that I was. Even to the grocery store or the gas station. I started getting text messages and weird emails about how "We were meant to be" and "He couldn't live without me" and such. Then one day, he showed up in the middle of the night and told me to come outside. I told him to leave or I was going to the cops. He literally started sobbing to the point where he was almost hyperventilating. I went back inside and locked the house up.
The next day, I was home alone and just doing some work (at the time I was in college) when I heard some rustling by the front door. I thought it was just the dog messing around or the mailman or something, but my dog started barking and growling. The door bell began to ring. I didn't think much of it, probably just a solicitor. Then someone started messing with the door handle. I grabbed a broom out of all things because that was all that I had, and I heard someone open the door. My dog tried to bite him, and I locked myself in my bathroom and started screaming that I had called the police. He up and ran away. I called my neighbor who lived across the street from me and was former military. He checked out the house and made sure he was gone. My dog had a few scrapes and cuts on him, but he was okay. I filed for a restraining order the next day, and my dad took the liberty of calling his father and explaining what happened.
I received a few other emails from him following that, but he never came to my house again. Luckily, I've moved a few hours away and I'm married now, but it was still a very frightening experience at the time considering this all happened in about a three week period.
My ex had a stalker for two years, one year before I met her and during the first year that we dated. He would never do anything too drastic. A few phone calls here and there with no speaking and following her and making her feel uncomfortable. Whenever we called the police, they said there was really nothing they could do due to the lack of evidence. Really, the final straw was when he kicked in the door WHILE WE WERE HOME. The alarm system scared him off, but we called the police per usual, and they said that they would look into it. I felt like they were taking too long with the whole situation and decided to take matters into my own hands. I know this is extremely dangerous now that I'm looking back on it, but I was a wild guy. Anyways, we devised a plan. My girlfriend would leave the house alone, and she would tell me if he was tailing her. If he was, I would tail him. Well, he was. The fact that he wasn't in jail infuriated me. So I lost it and took matters into my own hands. While my ex went into the local pharmacy, he parked and waited for her. In a fit of rage, I walked up to his car, opened his door, and beat the living hell out of him. I feel like I went overboard because I'm a pretty big guy. Once he was on the ground, I began to stomp his jaw, which in turn, unhinged it. I told him that if he continued I'd eventually kill him, and he never returned. The guy who was stalking her was, get this, a guy who had a crush on her in high school. Not an ex and not a lover. I still have nightmares about the door incident to this day though.
I met a guy while hiking once. We talked for a little while. One thing that I noticed is that when we first spoke was that he spoke with a slight medieval/British accent. After we talked though, it went back to a normal American one. Anyway, we found each other interesting and exchanged Facebook info.
After a few days of talking online, we decided to meet up at a library. Everything seemed fine and no red flags were going up… yet. He was nice, and the first thing that I began to notice was his eccentric way of talking. He talked like an old school philosopher where you would ask him a question, and he would respond with a question. It got kind of annoying, but I brushed it off as him just being silly. I went to his house after our first "date". I met his mom. She was sweet, but she hoarded cats and was a chain smoker.
I went to his room. After a little while of talking, he stood up and soliloquized,"Ok, so YOUR bed is going here and my bed is going to be arranged there." I was like, "What?!" He said,"You're going to move in with me. I'm just trying to figure out where our beds should go." "Dude, I JUST met you like two days ago. What makes you think that I would be moving in with you?" and he said,"I desire a queen" with the creepy medieval tone.
So once I had enough of him, he kept on messaging me on Facebook non-stop. I, of course, blocked him. That wasn't enough though. I recall him creating about a dozen Facebook accounts with weird play on word names like "Miss Terry" or "Olive You" and such. Creepy. He kept sending me messages at all hours of the night, and I kept on blocking and reporting each one. I remember one saying that he was out to destroy my reputation because I had the "gall" to leave him.
I remember the last message that he sent me after the dozenth time that he decided to stop. It went something like this, "Philospher_stalker, you got me pregnant. I can feel our child growing inside of me, in my belly. It is a beautiful thing we have created. I will see you in the next life, forever."
I am female, I couldn't have gotten him pregnant.
Added me on Facebook, asked for a date, and got turned down. Found out where I lived, worked, my phone number, and followed me everywhere. Each night, when I turned the lights off, I'd get a good night text within a minute, but it was always from a different number, followed by threatening, degrading, and insulting messages. I also received up to thirty calls a night where they would just hang up. Ended up contacting the police, it freaked me out pretty bad. I still hate it when my phone beeps at night.
I was in middle school (the 8th grade) when Formspring.me became popular. It's just one of those anonymous question asking websites for those who don't know. Anyways, I had one of those, and one day (Monday specifically) I started getting these creepy submissions saying stuff like, "I watch you going down ***** Street after school all of the time" and "You're so beautiful. I want to do stuff to you so badly" sick stuff like that. But at this point, it kind of just weirded me out, and I didn't think too much about it since it was likely just a friend of mine screwing with me. So, I took down my Formspring site and went about my day. But the next day, I started receiving really creepy emails from someone that I didn't know. They started to get really creepy, mentioning my teachers' names, asking me to meet them at the park, counting down the days until I would die (Friday), describing in detail what he wanted to do to me, and then kill me and anyone else that was with me. So, I started getting really freaked out and blocking the emails, but he realized this and started making new emails to send me every day. Every day, he would count down the days until Friday, until my death. I really didn't want to tell my parents this since I still thought that it was maybe a joke, but I ended up breaking on that Wednesday after my school administration did nothing about it. They kept me in from school on Thursday. On Friday, they called the police. The police eventually found out that it was just some random quiet kid in my math class who I had never talked to nor had any mutual friends with.
This was probably the scariest thing that's happened to me just because the emails were so descriptive and because the kid was just some random guy that I didn't know at all. I was so young, and all of my friends never took it seriously. I really couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and I was always shivering (from the fear I guess?). Even thinking about it just makes me feel really uncomfortable.
I don't know if he counts as a stalker exactly, but there was an extremely weird kid that I knew from the eighth grade. He was new to our school and seemed very quiet at first, but then he began to talk. He spoke about murdering his family and the various methods that he would use to do so, which included arson and arsenic poisoning. My friends and I reported him to the administration, and he left school for a week to go to therapy. He came back and all seemed well. I did not hear from him for a long time. But freshman year, he and I ended up going to the same high school. We were in the same English class, but we did not speak at all the whole year. Then, on the last day of freshman year, I walked out of my house to go to the bus stop (the same bus stop he went to) and laying on the sidewalk outside of my house was a letter with my name written on the envelope. I didn't think it was for me since it only said my first name, but I picked it up and opened it anyway. Inside was a seven-page letter and several drawings. The letters detailed my activities from the year and talked about how I was "always his target" and how he wanted to gain power by taking my power or something like that. The drawings included one of me being hanged while he watched. There were also several bible verses about Satan quoted. I showed it to my dad who took it to the police. They ran his name through the system, and it turns out that he had a previous record with them. Nothing has happened in the two years since, but I am now entering my senior year with him still at my school, and I can't shake the feeling that this is the year that he will finally try something drastic.
My junior year of college, I was a manager at a well known retail clothing store in NYC. It was a very busy day. I was helping the cashiers and had one customer who had a large purchase and tried using multiple credit cards, which all declined. The cards all had "his name" on them, but each one came up with another name on the screen. I had security call the police who eventually found and arrested him. I had to testify against him in court. Afterward, his friends (crime partners?) would not so discreetly follow me around the city (school, work, when I went out at night). It wasn't all of the time, but often enough to notice. Nobody believed me. Months later, while opening the store alone (doors were locked), something felt "off." I looked at the security cameras. One of the guys was walking upstairs and coming in the direction that I was in. I hid behind boxes of clothes and called 911. When the police arrived, they found a knife on him. Not long after, I quit my job that I was doing really well in, started doing worse in school, and eventually moved out of NYC. Life is okay now, but had that day never happened I feel like things could have been a lot better.
I dated a girl in high school. We lost our virginity to each other. Once we started having sex, she started getting very possessive. She tried to ban me from hanging out with my friends and wanted me to spend all of my free time with her.
After a few months of this, I broke up with her. That's when it really started. She started showing up at my house and just standing outside. Then, showing up everywhere that I went. Then, she had her mother call me and tell me we were supposed to get married because we had sex.
She scratched up my car and threatened to kill herself if we didn't get back together. It had gotten so bad that my mother called the police a few times, and I tried to get a restraining order.
Anyway, after a year of this, I gave up. We got married and now have two kids. Joking.
It finally ended when she tried to attack me in a mall parking lot, and I knocked her out defending myself. Apparently, her mother told her that I was no good because a man should never hit a woman.
Never have sex with unstable people.
When I was in high school, there was this really creepy guy who wanted to date me. He really creeped me out, so I always said no. The first time I said no, he punched a nearby locker as hard as he could and ran away. After that, he started joining all the after school clubs that I was in and would follow behind me as I walked home from school. I would kind of answer back as he talked to me, and I'd tell him that I didn't really like that he followed me, but I was too shy to be really upfront about wanting him to stop following me. He would usually turn around and leave once I had turned onto my street, so at least he never went all the way to my house.
There were two incidents that are equally scary in my mind:
After a few months of me turning down dates, he told me that if I did not go out with him that he would kill himself. I still said no. Then, for the next few days, he was absent from school. When he returned, he had bandaged wrists. He found me when I was in an empty hallway going to lunch. He cornered me, held his bandaged wrists up to me, and told me that I made him do it. I didn't reply and just walked away.
Another incident near the end of the year. He was graduating, and I was two years below him so I was not. Well, after a club meeting I had stayed behind to clean up a little bit since I was the president, and my friend had stepped out to go grab something from their locker. I didn't see him come back into the room, but he came up to me and grabbed my chest. I don't remember what he said, but I was absolutely freaked out. I assumed he did it cause he didn't think he'd see me again and he was "taking all that he could get" at the time, but he ended up showing up all over the place for the next few years cause he transferred to my college. I became absolutely paranoid with him there. He exhibited every possible behavior of a controlling and manipulative sociopath, and I was terrified he'd try something worse.
I finally transferred schools, and about a year later I started getting emails from him, most of which were apologies for how "mean" he was to me and asking if I had forgiven him. The emails quickly turned into him begging for my Facebook info. I had him blocked on Facebook since high school, and I absolutely didn't want him to know where I was going to school, so I ended up blocking him on my email too. Since then I have not heard from him again, and I have also moved across the country for other reasons. The move has honestly brought me a lot of relief that I won't accidentally run into him sometime.
Those of us who live in New York live this truth on a daily basis.
Sometimes, you just meet a person who isn't quite all there. It's hard to tell at first, but then you talk with them for a little while and it just becomes abundantly clear if they're two eggs short of an omelette.
The stories of how you find out are so interesting. But yet, they teach us to look for clues when we interact with others.