See also Moral Panic: A Licence to Abuse
Once upon a time, and rather longer ago than I usually realize (I caught myself referring to 2007 as “recent” in the past week) being cyberstalked was an accurate definition of my entire interactive life. In those days nobody believed anything that happened online could do you any damage unless you let it, and besides, I was being stalked by a self admitted expert in the field, with a whole legion of “followers” (some with plentiful sockpuppets) to assist him. Articles like “Psychopath: in Love” were born of that time…honestly?
SCREW “bravely sharing”, I was just trying to find some way, ANY way, to back the b*stard off out of my life – because it was hell on earth!!!
The stupid, sad part is that, once upon a time, I had genuinely liked him, for real reasons…I think…but it is really hard to remember how it felt not to wish him dead, as I still do, safe in the knowledge that when he is leaving me alone someone else is getting hell instead, and that is not on either.
He was clever, he knew what he was doing, and would never leave a way open that I could have him charged or restrained in any way, whatever the law…and he managed to have every moment of my interactive life stalked into the ground, drag such reputation as I had through the mud globally and destroy any chance I had of ever using the internet to overcome my interactive issues for EIGHT YEARS.
At the opposite end of the scale another stalker just reprised who is as subtle as a housebrick and only one step away from listing stalking me is a leisure interest on social media…which raises a different problem, in that the only legal redress available is in the “cruise missile to crack a walnut” class that carries a lengthy prison sentence, that you would hesitate to use against someone who is spoilt, sick and pathetic.
These are not the only people who have ever stalked me, just the two opposite ends of the spectrum, I get stalked far more than most people, and the reason why is a good place to begin examining the anatomy of a stalker.
Obviously, part of the reason why is that my most effective interactive skill is called “running away”. This is what I do, it is how I cope, and it is how I always will cope. It is not, however an excuse to stalk me, nor would I present it as such. It is just a lot easier to stalk someone who is running away than someone who is staying put.
At a tangent to that…stalking is a control agenda, like bullying, and like bullying there is NO POINT in imposing something that does not bother a person.
If you want to terrorise me, don’t waste your time putting a rubber snake in my bed…I love snakes…but there ARE people you could utterly destroy with just the word “snake”.
Likewise there is no point or satisfaction in stalking the indiscriminately socially or emotionally needy unless you really do just want to hook up with them, (in which case stalking is probably overkill) or you are seeking to impose something they would never willingly comply with.
As reclusive and emotionally self contained as I am I am a very soft target indeed – but not in the sense of being boring, because I am a soft target who is virtually incapable of social or emotional (let alone ideological) submission and knows how to fight back…nobody ever got bored with stalking me (except after considerable planning on my part, most stalkers are to a degree, psychopathic in nature and boredom is Kryptonite for psychopaths) – frankly, this is *NOT* a good thing at all.
This week spotting this exact poster for “50 Shades of Grey” all over Dublin in the shadow of the trial of Graham O’Dwyer in the “sex slave” murder of Elaine O’Hara my first honest thought was:
How in the name of all must Elaine’s family and Dwyer’s family (just as much victims) feel looking at that? “Mocked” is too small a word.
My second thought was:
Which born again numpty thought of releasing *THAT* as a Valentine’s day treat? Do they not know the way that stalkers and other control nuts will use it? Do they not know the extent to which stalkers and other control nuts try to use the emotional triggers associated with festivals like Christmas and Valentines day to create vulnerability and push boundaries at the best of times?
…and my final thought was the realization that stalking and grooming are just two different parts of the same spectrum of control related abuse.
Stalking is just another grooming technique, sometimes a prelude to grooming per se, sometimes an escalation when grooming fails, but always, ALWAYS part of an identical agenda. The subjugation, control and abuse of another human being.
In my experience, these abusers tell themselves it is all about you, and their unconditional devotion to you, but the truth is the “unconditional devotion” is to their own drive to control you. Chances are, in real terms they haven’t noticed very much about you at all outside of information that can be used to control and manipulate…nothing else about you even matters.
Trust me, being stalked by one of the very few people I have even got to know who is on my own rarefied intellectual level (but NB I am USELESS at the everyday life most children of 5 handle effortlessly – not better, just different, but different is alien, and alien is a very lonely place to be) – was as hurtful as it was harmful (even typing this I can picture him running around punching the air joyfully yelling “RESULT!!!” because, more than ANYTHING he wanted the power to hurt me at will so he could fell safe, not realizing he had that all along. I hid that, more for pride and self respect than anything, I came to be disgusted by the part of myself that had once liked him.). There was no threshold for surrender (you think I didn’t try?), he did not want a friend, or a lover, or ANYTHING at all but a victim to target like a fly trapped in amber for ever and ever. I think a lot of the time he convinced himself that I was hurting him and deserved it…and if I would only…but I doubt if he ever finished that sentence even in his own mind, because there WAS no “if I would only” that would satisfy him.
Where I would have loved to have a compadre, at last, I got a relentless abuser…
…but then again, where I would have loved to have a family to grow up safely in I got relentless abusers too, so, le plus qui ça change, le plus c’est la même chose…at least I had plenty of practice to fall back on…
This kind of abuser will exploit anything they see as a vulnerability to the hilt…the moments of light relief come in when they stubbornly insist on exploiting vulnerabilities they think you *OUGHT* to have, until the penny drops and they try to punish you for not having the right vulnerability on demand. That part is not so funny. Particularly as they often establish internal justification for their behavior by projecting their needs and vulnerabilities on to you. If they are lonely, they try to exploit *your* loneliness (whether you are lonely or not). If they hurt or fear they try to exploit *your* hurt or fear. The difference between stalking and grooming is probably entirely in how close they have managed to get.
…and, as a general rule, the closer they get the more damage they are able to do. Such people do not make friends, they take hostages. Let them close enough to interact and every interaction is a mental and emotional assault. There is no communication, no exchange of information, no conversation, just relentless manipulation and subjugation.
I have no magic bullet to get rid of them to offer. The only one I ever had was the, now famous, “no contact rule” that genuinely originated in me publicly sharing the only way I ever managed to deal with the family from hell (not an ex at all) in 1998, which, at the time, shocked everyone who heard it by it’s cold bloodedness.
But every crazy control freak and his little brother knows about the “no contact rule” and works around it these days.
How did I get rid of a “world class” stalker after 8 years?
By convincing him there was no hope that I would ever feel anything but loathing for him and wish him dead which I could not do until the minute it was 100% true…though it had been over 90% for at least 7 of those years, there was still a chink of hope. The day it was gone he gave up for good – just like that.
When you pick up a stalker there isn’t very much you can do except learn to loath them as unconditionally as you can, as fast as you can and wait for it to be enough…
…but if you are stalking someone there may be all sorts of things you can do to confront and resolve the reasons why inside yourself to a far happier and healthier conclusion…