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Sage's Story

I was home all of the time in 2021, sheltering from the pandemic but also recovering from a very serious car crash. I was physically, emotionally and mentally fragile, suffering as I was from trauma and PTSD. I was also socially isolated from the pandemic, as well as isolated within my own unique experience of my healing/recovery from this crash.


Physically, I was also at the weakest I'd ever been with injuries to my feet, knees, pelvis, back, neck, hands and brain. You can imagine how vulnerable I was already feeling.


I was sitting at my breakfast table one day in mid-February when I first saw this man stop on the sidewalk and look in at me. I'd never seen him before in my life and I really just wanted to be left alone. I waved him away and frowned at him. But he was transfixed and just stared at me. Eventually, he left and as he walked away, I could tell he wasn't mentally “all there.”


To my dread, he returned later that afternoon with a bag, and this time he didn't stay on the sidewalk. He came right through the gate, and into my yard, leaving me gifts in my garden, directly beneath my wide-open living room window. This felt way too close for comfort! I eventually went outside and looked in the bag a little more than a day later. He had included $140.00 cash, an empty tennis ball, a box of hot chocolate with no hot chocolate in it, and other such gifts that further proved -- he was not sane. I called the police and reported this incident. They came about 4-5 hours later, took some notes, and left. I told the police to take the money and gifts, I wanted no part of it.


Less than a week later, the man returned. This is when I really started to feel afraid.

I was working at my desk again and I suddenly felt a dark shadow. It was him. He was standing in my light, looking in at me. I quickly closed my curtains, and he ran across the street screaming to people on the sidewalk "She's my wife! She's my wiiiiiiiiife!" and I heard him break something glass onto the street. I closed all of my curtains and, when I was out of sight, he calmed down and walked away. It felt incredibly unstable and eerie, violent and out of control. I was wrecked. Trembling. Terrified.


I called my trauma coach who explained that he sounded schizophrenic and that it was important that I keep out of his sight. I felt so much loss in this moment, aside from my initial panic, because my main pandemic pleasures were


1. walking in the park across the street from my house.

and

2. working in my garden.


Now they would never be safe places for me again. And with my PTSD -- what I really needed was some safe places. I called the police and reported this incident. They came about 4-5 hours later, took some notes, and left.


These scenarios repeated for a while and it was clear they weren't going to go away. It was shattering.


My walking partner, trauma coach, and I started to do some trouble shooting and soon I put up a video camera and some plastic privacy screens over my table. These, unfortunately, made him more aggressive and when he would come by to leave more of his mad gifts in my garden, he would throw oranges, a water bottle, and other things at my windows and doors to get my attention.

I had already seen him screaming and throwing glass in the street and I found all of this absolutely terrifying. I was terrified waiting for him to return and I was terrified when he did return. Which he did approximately every five-seven days. Then I'd call the police and reported this incident. They came about 4-5 hours later, took some notes, and left.


Infuriatingly, he never once appeared on my video camera.


Many of my straight male friends (but not all) thought I had done something romantically to provoke the situation. Their lack of understanding or compassion in this situation made me feel even more alone and less safe. My landlord was also completely unsympathetic. But I was very fortunate to have my walking companion, who was also a neighbor, who understood and witnessed many of these incidents.


Another female friend took me to a store buy some mace which we placed around my home in different locations.


Without this strange man's name, the police weren't able to do much. I would call the police and report new incidents. They came about 4-5 hours later, took some notes, and left.


I believe I called the police about 8 different times in total and only one incident varied slightly, which was when a female officer answered my call. She was the only officer who knocked on neighbor's doors and really tried to discover this man's identity. I think that was the day I felt the most supported and listened to by the police department but still, nothing really came of it.


My nervous system and mental health were unraveling by these new, unpredictable, stressful occurrences. I felt like I couldn't handle it. I had very little support and I could see that neither the police, nor my landlord, were going to protect me. I realized that it was up to me.


By April I made the decision to pack up my house and move for my safety.


I had 3 beloved indoor cats at the time and my terror extended to fears of what might happen to them if this madman broke in. How would I protect us? I constantly feared this eventuality and worried about being attacked, or accidentally shooting myself in the face with my mace while trying to protect myself. I entertained similar thoughts, worries, and scenarios every single night from mid-February through April 28th, 2021. Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of sleep.


By April 29th, despite my physical condition and utter exhaustion, I emptied the bulk of my savings. My walking partner friend, and other friends and neighbors all helped me pack up my home and relocate to a different city.


I left not only my beloved garden and walking partner, but also the park and my friends behind me. Ahead of me was the task of starting again. In a pandemic. In a new home. With double the PTSD I had had before. Double the mental and physical exhaustion and double the fear.


Two years later I am still recovering from all of this loneliness, loss of safety, loss of confidence, loss of finances, loss of community. I moved to a safe and secure building on the 2nd floor, so no one could look into my windows again. I do feel safe in my new home, but I admit I'm not exactly the social butterfly I once was.


I am grateful to have tools in trauma yoga, EMDR, talk therapy and hypnotherapy to work with.

My walking partner has come to visit me in my new city, several times now, since I moved away, and I am starting to re-build my friendships, trust, and sense of community. But it's been a scary, long and terrifying journey.


Thanks for listening to my story.


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2 comentarios


icebluewater7
30 nov 2023

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you’re safe now. I’m dealing with a female manager and her handyman. I dragged them into court with a temporary restraining order but in court the no contact order was dropped because the handyman had a lawyer and I didn’t. They’ve backed off since then, and I’m trying to avoid going into my savings to move to a healthier environment but believe me I think of alternatives to this current situation all the time.


I think stalkers are the scum of the earth and I wish they could be wiped off the planet!

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Dine Bne
Dine Bne
16 ago 2023

Thanks for sharing your story. Unfortunately, I have been going through the terribly traumatic experience of gang stalking by two men decades older than myself for two years now, and I can sympathize with your experience of victim-blaming, as both of my stalkers inaccurately assumed that my behavior indicated that I was romantically or sexually interested in them. I don't know if it would be better to have a schizophrenic stalker, or two (generally) sane but narcissistically abusive ones. I thinn your experience is scarier, but I think mine is a lot crueler.

Again, thanks for sharing your story; I always find reading other survivors' testimonies empowering and comforting.

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