I couldn't wait until tomorrow to post this on my blog so I put mine up as well. I hope you guys read it and comment. These are both TRUE stories and both have scared the living daylights out of me.
I’ve had a scary situation happen to me twice, yes, the same situation twice which kind of makes you think that maybe I am the cause of the problem but I don’t really think that’s the case very much. However, it has changed the way I view things and what things about myself I reveal online.
Back in 1999, yes a full 10 years ago, I was stalked by a guy I had met on the internet. For this blog’s sake lets call him Jeremy.. This guy seemed rather normal at first and we had met through in a chat room and hit it off and we added one another to the chat program ICQ. We’d talk all the time. He was older than me by a few years and lived in Nebraska, I lived in Texas. We had never spoken on the telephone but we had seen pictures of one another from our wonderful geocities webpages. I hadn’t realized at the time how much information I was giving out over the internet. I had just turned 17 years old and was a little chatter box. I had mentioned the city and state I lived in, he knew my last name from my outgoing emails, I mentioned what high school I went to, and he had seen a picture of me in my wrestling uniform that had my schools name and mascot on it.
I wasn’t really too worried about the things I had told Jeremy because he was talking to one of my other internet friends (who lived in a city near by) and they were talking about dating in real life. Often when I’d talk to Jeremy we’d talk about Kelly and how things were going in their relationship. They spoke on the phone a lot and were planning a trip to see one another. Well one day suddenly Kelly didn’t want to talk to me anymore, in fact she hated me. I didn’t understand why. Turns out that Jeremy had broken up with her because he had feelings for someone else. He had feelings for me. I didn’t return those feelings. I was 17 years old and dealing with my own screwed up relationship. Some douchebag that I went to Homecoming with was spreading rumors how he banged me and half the wrestling team was trying to murder him and he ended up transferring schools. I didn’t need an online boyfriend, the real life one I had proved to be more than enough headaches!
Well, a few weeks after my Homecoming debacle my parents went on two separate trips. My mother had gone to Greece to visit her parents and my father went to South Texas for a business trip. I must had brought that up in conversation with Jeremy because a few days later I notice a black truck parked outside of my house during daylight and night hours. It was a truck that didn’t belong there. The people who lived across the street from me had moved out so it was no way that it was their car. This car would follow me to school and back. The good thing was that I was never alone. My friends were always keeping me company and my house was never empty for that reason.
I went to take my senior pictures with my best friend Amy and the truck followed us again. I rushed into the parking lot of the mall and ran inside. Once I was finished taking my pictures and walked out of the studio Jeremy was there. He started to talk to me and I just asked him basically, WTF are you doing here? He told me had had to see me and he got my address from the telephone book. Seriously, not too many people with my Greek last name living in Arlington Texas. I freaked out and told him to go away, go back to Nebraska and leave me alone. He got into his truck in the parking lot and sped off.
I went home with Amy and we chilled for a while and then she had to go home. I was home alone and I didn’t mind it. I got on the internet, I watched some movies, I just tried to occupy myself. It had gotten late, about 1am, and I finally went to sleep. There was a tap at my window and I froze. I didn’t know how to react. I tried to think quickly if all the doors and windows were locked. There was no way anyone was coming in through my back yard as I had 2 pitt bulls back there. I rolled off my bed quietly and crawled on the floor to our spare bedroom and looked out the window. I saw that the black truck was back. I crawled to the living room and picked up the cordless phone and called 911.
I informed the police that there was a strange car parked outside of my house for a few days, that I knew who it was and know they were knocking on my window. They asked me if they had a weapon and I said, “Not that I know of but I’m inside and they are outside”. A few minutes later the police showed up and made Jeremy leave the state; Something about stalking underage kids that didn’t sit well with the APD.
Now fast forward a few years. I’m now older and more aware of things. I no longer use my full name on emails unless I know you personally (two email addresses) my Myspace and Facebook profile don’t have my full last name, I’m very vague about where I live and work. (Right now my FB profile has my full last name but is on a private profile, reason for the full name is for high school reunion, people are looking for me!) Well in 2006 on Myspace I had bumped into a few kids from high school and they got me in contact with others and we all started talking again. We went from Myspace messages to MSN conversations and occasionally telephone conversations. One kid (we’ll call him Ruben) that I had graduated with (and went to elementary school with too) and I realized that we had a lot in common in regards to our favorite t.v. shows, what we ate and what we didn’t. We just had a lot of similarities. He started to call me at all hours of the day and night, he would message me all the time on MSN and basically wanted to know what I was doing every minute of my life. It didn’t bother me too much because he was in Texas and I was in Montreal. Not too much he could do right?
Yeah…right. That is until I decided to take a trip to Texas to visit my parents and of course friends. At first everything was okay. Ruben would call me to see if I needed a ride out to where all of our friends were meeting or if I wanted to pick him up (oh at this point I really should mention that we live on the same freaking street, just different blocks! Like I lived on the 1400 block of Noname St. and he lived on the 900 block of Noname St.) Once, I agreed to let him pick me up because I had decided that I would drink that night. Big mistake! He ended up trying to put the moves on me and I wasn’t having it. I was like, oh no…. I stopped hanging around him and I told our friends that if he was invited somewhere I could not go because I refused to be near him. Our friends obliged and they wouldn’t invite him out with us (they saw how he was acting towards me and the entire situation and he ended up alienating a lot of people because of his attitude).
Well a while into my trip it was time to celebrate my sister’s birthday (Oh we drove from Montreal to Dallas TOGETHER…ALONE!) and I had a surprise party for her. I had invited a lot of her friends and one of her friends brought a guy friend, lets call him Guy. Guy and I really hit of off and we ended up dating while I was in Texas (3 months folks!) I decided that it was time that Guy met my friends from high school because although we had gone to the same high school Guy graduated in 1995 and I graduated in 1999 so we ran in different circles, but some circles crossed. My sister graduated in 1996 and I dated guys from class of 1997 and 1998 and we ALL hung out. Well my friends had invited Ruben out to the place that we were all going to be at. Guy and I were sitting there talking with everyone and occasionally stealing a kiss here and there. Ruben was there and he just straight up stood up and called me a bitch. Guy wanted to beat his face in but I told him to relax. Guy and I left and went to another party where his friends were. It was about 3am when Guy dropped me off at my parents house and I noticed a black truck parked across the street (déjà vu anyone?). I recognized the truck instantly. It was Ruben’s. I passed his house EVERYDAY going anywhere as it was on the way to the high way. I ran into my house and sent him a text message asking him to leave. He wrote back saying no. I wrote back asking how he’d feel in about half an hour, when my dad gets up to go to work, when I tell my father how some strange dude is parked outside of my house watching me? I heard the ignition start and Ruben was off.
I woke up the next day and the truck was there again. I’d go to the mall, I’d go run errands, I’d go to Guy’s place and he’d follow me. The problem with that is that Ruben lived in my city, he had all the rights to be on the same roads as I was, he lived on my street and had the right to be there. There was nothing anyone could do and the last thing I wanted to do was tell my father. My dad would end up in jail for beating the crap out of Ruben.
Final straw was when Guy and I had headed to a party in a city about 45 minutes from my house. We are on the high way and I noticed the truck. I didn’t pay attention at first thinking maybe he was going somewhere and would get off at a different exit. He continued to follow us even though I was making Guy take weird exits, random turns, and just aimless driving. Guy picked up the phone and called the police. The police were made aware of this situation, for the second time now, and we told the police where we were, what we were driving, and what Ruben was driving. We told the police about the route we were taking and they met up with us and pulled Ruben over informing him of the laws about stalking people. They had a stern talking to and the police were monitoring my street even more for the duration of my trip.
I think the second stalking was worse then the first case because it was soooo obvious and it was being done by someone I grew up with. One would think that if you get stalked twice that you have something to do with it but that couldn’t be more wrong. People just get obsessed.