I was stalked nearly 30 years ago when I was 25 years old by my ex-boyfriend.
We first met at work and dated for 2 years. We had a good relationship and our lives were fairly intertwined. My young son attended his mom’s Sunday School program. On the surface he seemed like an extremely nice guy. I thought so, and so did everyone who knew him. He would do nice things like shovel my driveway and clean off my car in the morning without me asking. He would bring over groceries or food, or help me out financially here and there which I appreciated as a young single mother. At one point I really considered a future with him because he took good care of me and I felt like he was truly a good guy.
Looking back, though, I can see that there were many problematic signs leading to him being a stalker. He often tried to isolate me from friends through having arguments with them, or trying to occupy all my time. In retrospect, he was always scheming and planning, even early in the relationship when I thought things were good.
One time, I was leaving work and started having car trouble and he appeared out of nowhere. I hadn’t called him but he knew what time I got off and he was basically waiting for me without me knowing. At first I thought it was a coincidence and was happy because I was in need of help. It often just seemed like he was trying to be protective and was concerned for my safety. Now I know he was stalking me throughout the relationship.
There were other red flags about his character. He would often bring me things like furniture or equipment that he said his job or people he knew gave away. I knew he worked in security, but later found out he was stealing things from his job. He knew where cameras were or would turn them off if needed.
He also didn’t sleep much, and I often wondered what he was doing at night. Now knowing more about him, I feel like he was watching me or possibly other people.
We finally broke up because he started to become too controlling. He wanted to take me everywhere, and wouldn’t let me do things on my own. He did not take it well and he said things like I ruined his life because he wanted me to be the mother of his children and have a future. That’s when the stalking behaviors really increased.
One time I was out with my best friend and realized I had forgotten something at home. When we got back to my house, he was walking outside of it. I told him I was going to call the police and he left, but I started to become really concerned. He would do things like call from payphones and blocked numbers and hang up. He would also borrow other people’s cars to drive around near places he knew I was. I honestly felt like I was in a bad Lifetime movie, but the reality of it all made it much more frightening.
When he thought I was dating someone else, he broke into my house by picking the lock and planted an opened condom in the trashcan of the bathroom, which my son found and that really upset me. He also put cologne under my bed, all in an attempt to make my non-existent new boyfriend think I had another man there. When we were still together, I saw him using these tools he had to pick the lock on my door when I had locked myself out. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but once he broke in it all made sense. He also started doing annoying things like sending flowers to my job, which I would give away. He would even do weird things like sending magazine subscriptions to my house. At this point he was really trying to get to me.
I called the police, but it was my word against his, and they believed him. They actually believed his outrageous story that I was the one stalking him! That didn’t deter me from repeatedly contacting them, though, because I wanted to prove what was happening. I still called the police every time he did something and told them I wanted them to keep a record of these things in case he ended up hurting me. I told my friends, family, neighbors and employer I was being stalked, and to document when and if they saw him. Even though I was really concerned, deep down I didn’t really believe that he would hurt me, but I knew it was a possibility.
This went on for years. Sometimes I wouldn’t see or hear from him for a while, and then I would see him or one of his friends out, and he would ramp up his behaviors again. I told everyone that knew him that he was stalking me, but they either believed him or didn’t care. Again, on the surface he seemed like such a nice guy, so even people that I was friends with wondered why I would break up with him and probably couldn’t believe he was doing the things he did.
Then one day he called me and actually said he was done stalking me. I didn’t ask any questions, and that was pretty much it.
Throughout the years I would see him around from time to time. He would try to engage with me but wouldn't pursue after the encounter. Whenever this would happen I would try to sneak out of the place or make sure he didn’t follow me when I was leaving.
I found out he was dating a friend’s sister at one point, and after they broke up she told me he started stalking her and doing things like putting nails in her driveway.
He made me forever paranoid about where I am and who is around. I often felt like I was being watched, and I still get these feelings today, nearly 30 years later.