Are you being stalked?

by Madeline Laughs

keep calm stop stalking

Note: I welcome everyone to re-blog and share this as much as possible. The more that information like this is shared, the more people can learn what their options are. 

Many folks like to throw this term around when someone is bothering them, but few really know what it means. The legal definition of the term is different in each state, but the behavior is always the same. How do you know if you are really being stalked? Here are some red flags you can be aware of and look for in order to know if you are being stalked. If you have experienced any of these actions from someone you have asked to leave you alone, then chances are you are being stalked.  

  • Show up at your home or place of work unannounced or uninvited.
  • Send you unwanted text messages, letters, emails and voicemails.
  • Leave unwanted items, gifts or flowers.
  • Constantly call you and hang up.
  • Use social networking sites and technology to track you.
  • Spread rumors about you via the internet or word of mouth.
  • Make unwanted phone calls to you.
  • Call your employer or professor.
  • Wait at places you hang out.
  • Damage your home, car or other property.

~ What is Stalking, www.loveinrespect.org

If you feel you are being stalked, take steps to protect yourself. Tell your friends and family about your suspicions. Try to block all access to yourself from the person you suspect is stalking you. If it persists, or you feel you are in imminent danger, alert the authorities right away.

Another new development that most people are not aware of is also happening today, right under your own nose. This new thing is called Digital Abuse. This form of abuse can be perpetrated by anyone from someone you date to an online friend.

“Digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate someone. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. In a healthy relationship, all communication is respectful whether in person, online or by phone. It is never ok for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you. You may be experiencing digital abuse if your partner or friend:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
  • Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online.
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
  • Puts you down in their status updates.
  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and demands you send some in return.
  • Pressures you to send explicit video.
  • Steals or insists to be given your passwords.
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished.
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.

You never deserve to be mistreated, online or off. If you’re experiencing digital abuse, we encourage you to chat with a peer advocate. Remember:

  • Your partner or friend should respect your relationship boundaries.
  • It is ok to turn off your phone. You have the right to be alone and spend time with friends and family without someone getting angry.
  • You do not have to text any pictures or statements that you are uncomfortable sending, especially nude or partially nude photos, known as “sexting.”
  • You lose control of any electronic message once someone receives it. They may forward it, so don’t send anything you fear could be seen by others.
  • You do not have to share your passwords with anyone.
  • Know your privacy settings. Social networks such as Facebook allow the user to control how their information is shared and who has access to it. These are often customizable and are found in the privacy section of the site. Remember, registering for some applications (apps) require you to change your privacy settings.
  • Be mindful when using check-ins like Facebook Places and foursquare. Letting an abusive person know where you are could be dangerous. Also, always ask your friends if it’s ok for you to check them in. You never know if they are trying to keep their location secret.”

~from http://www.loveisrespect.org

If you have asked the person to leave you alone and they continue using electronic means to watch you, then you are being stalked.

Stalking is not okay.

What kind of people stalk others?

Stalking is a one sided relationship where one person is delusional about being in a “relationship”, whether it be as friends or lovers, with someone they no longer have open access to. They seek out new information and details about the person in order to feed this need they have to nurture the delusion of being in contact with the other person.

There are several different types of stalkers. The University of Texas has an excellent webpage all about stalking and stalking behaviors. They also provide solid tips on what you can do to protect yourself. Here are some excerpts from that site.

Types of Stalkers
Rejected Stalker
Resentful Stalker
Predatory Stalker
Intimacy Seeker
Incompetent Suitor
Erotomaniac and Morbidly Infatuated

Rejected Stalker

Motivation
(a) Begins to stalk after their partner (romantic or close friendship) has ended their relationship or indicates that he or she intends to end the relationship.
(b) Wants to be in a relationship with the victim again or seek revenge on the victim. The stalker’s goals may vary, depending on the responses of the victim.
Personality
(a) May have high levels of these personality characteristics:
– narcissism
– jealousy
(b) May have:
– feelings of humiliation
– over-dependence
– poor social skills and a resulting poor social network
Stalking Behaviors
(a) Is often the most persistent and intrusive type of stalker.
(b) Is most likely to employ intimidation and assault in pursuit of their victim. A history of violence in the relationship with the partner is not uncommon.
Duration and Criminality
(a) This type of stalker is typically the most resistant to efforts aimed at ending their stalking behavior.

Resentful Stalker

Motivation
(a) Wants to frighten and distress his victim.
(b) Stalks his victim to get revenge against someone who has upset him.
(c) Views his victim as being similar to those who have oppressed and humiliated him in the past.
(d) May view himself as a victim striking back against an oppressor.
Personality
(a) Is often irrationally paranoid.
Victim Characteristics
(a) Stalks victims that may have upset him directly or are representative of a group at which he is upset.
(b) May stalk someone he knows or a complete stranger.
Stalking Behaviors
(a) Can be the most obsessive and enduring type of stalker.
(b) Is the most likely to verbally threaten his victim.
(c) Is one of the least likely to physically assault his victim.
Duration and Criminality
(a) Is likely to stop stalking if confronted with legal sanctions early on. The longer the stalking continues, the less effective legal sanctions are likely to be.

Predatory Stalker

Motivation
(a) Stalks his victim as part of a plan to attack her, usually sexually.
(b) Is motivated by the promise of sexual gratification and power over his victim.
Personality
(a) Often has poor self-esteem and is sexually deviant.
(b) Often has poor social skills, especially in romantic relationships.
(c) May have lower than normal intelligence.
Victim Characteristics
(a) May stalk someone he knows or a complete stranger.
Stalking Behaviors
(a) Usually does not harass or try to contact his victim while he is stalking her. He is unlikely to provide any kind of his plan to attack the victim.
(b) May engage in behaviors such as:
– Surveillance of the victim
– Obscene phone calls
– Exhibitionism
– Fetishism
– Voyeurism (Peeping Tom)
– Paedophilia/hebephilia
– Sexual masochism and sadism
– Paraphilic asphyxia
Duration and Criminality
(a) May stalk for a shorter period of time than other types of stalkers.
(b) Is more likely to have prior criminal convictions, most often sexual, than other types of stalkers.
(c) Has a high potential to commit sexual assault.

Intimacy Seeker

Motivation
(a) Seeks to establish an intimate, loving relationship with his victim.
(b) May believe the victim is in love with them. This is a delusion.
(c) Believes that the victim may be the only person who can satisfy their desires.
(d) Believes the victim is an ideal partner.
(e) Is not a would-be lover. He already loves the victim.
(f) May interpret any kind of response from his victim, even negative responses, as encouragement.
(g) May believe the victim owes him love because of all he has invested in stalking her.
(h) Is very resistant to changing his beliefs about his victim’s love for him.
Personality
(a) Is often a shy, isolated person.
(b) Often lives alone and lacks any sort of intimate relationship in his life. He may never have had an intimate relationship.
(c) Likely to have a mental disorder such as:
– Schizophrenia
– Erotomania
– Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Victim Characteristics
(a) May stalk acquaintances or complete strangers.
Stalking Behaviors
(a) If he recognizes he is being rejected by the victim, may become threatening or violent.
(b) May engage in behaviors such as:
– Writing letters to the victim
– Calling the victim on the telephone
– Sending the victim gifts
(c) May become jealous if his victim enters or continues a romantic relationship with another man.
Duration and Criminality
(a) Is among the most persistent type of stalker, harassing longer than any type except the rejected stalker.
(b) Is usually unresponsive to legal sanctions because he views them as challenges to overcome that demonstrate his love for the victim.

Incompetent Suitor

Motivation
(a) Is motivated by a desire to start a romantic or intimate relationship with his victim.
(b) Is impaired in his social skills and courting skills.
Personality
(a) May be cut off from victim’s feelings (lack of empathy) and believe that any woman should be attracted to him.
(b) May have lower than normal intelligence.
Victim Characteristics
(a) Usually stalks acquaintances, but may stalk complete strangers.
Stalking Behaviors
(a) Typically engages in behaviors such as:
– Repeatedly asking for dates, even after being rejected.
– Repeatedly calling on the phone.
– Trying to hold the victim’s hand or kiss the victim.
Duration and Criminality
(a) Stalks for shorter periods, on average, than any other type of stalker.
(b) Likely to have stalked numerous others in the past.
(c) Will likely stalk numerous others in the future.
(d) Will quickly stop stalking if confronted with legal action or after seeking counseling.

Erotomaniac and Morbidly Infatuated

Motivation
(a) Believes that he is loved by the stalking victim. He believes this even though his victim has done nothing to suggest it is true, and may have made statements that she does not and never will love him.
(b) Reinterprets what his victim says and does to support his belief that she loves him.
(c) Makes the imagined romance with his victim the most important part of his life.
(d) Believes that the imagined romance will eventually become a permanent union.
Personality
(a) May suffer from one or more of the following psychological problems:
– Acute paranoia
– Delusions
(b) These psychological problems may be the result of numerous forms of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
Victim Characteristics
(a) Typically chooses a victim of higher social status.
Stalking Behaviors
(a) Repeatedly tries to approach and communicate with their supposed lover.
Duration and Criminality
(a) May sometimes respond well to psychological treatment with drugs and talk therapy.
(b) Is typically unresponsive to threats of legal action or legal action short of time behind bars. Without psychological treatment, he is likely to continue stalking his victim after he is released.”

~from University of Texas

What can you do if you think you are being stalked? Believe it or not, there is help out there. Stalking is being exposed more and more these days as electronic surveillance has become commonplace. Follow this link to some helpful tips and legal alternatives:

http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/group/busslab/stalkinghelp/StalkingWhatCanI.html

I recently turned the tables on my stalker after allowing her the freedom to do as she pleased with continuing to stalk my Facebook fanpage and my blog posts, bullying me and maligning my reputation for almost a year. I kept thinking she would go away eventually, but she didn’t. Once I showed her that I knew what she had been doing and that I would no longer allow the behavior to continue, she knew I was serious.

Do I think she’s gone for good? No, unfortunately this type of behavior does not vanish overnight. Hopefully this person will get some professional help to figure out why she felt the need to do this to another person.

Saying “Oh, it’s just Facebook! Get over it!” is no longer acceptable. Using Facebook or any other electronic means to stalk someone for the purposes of bullying them after they have asked you to leave them alone…is criminal and deviant behavior.

Don’t do it.

Is there help out there if you feel like you have become a stalker and want to stop?

Yes, there are numerous options you can explore!

Start by admitting what you are doing, which is stalking. Truly want to stop stalking. Unless you want to stop the behavior, nothing you do will help you stop.

You can apologize to the person you’ve stalked, but I’d leave that for another day when you’re healthier.

Seek professional counseling and find something more socially acceptable to replace the time you used to spend stalking.

It’s not the end of the world to admit you’re a stalker. It could be the beginning of developing more appropriate behaviors. There are so many more benefits to stopping the addiction to stalk, then there are to continuing. Stalking carries criminal charges that can be brought against you now, so is it really worth that to you?

Good luck out there and remember that no matter which side of the stalking field you’re on, whether you’re the stalker or you’re being stalked, there is help out there for you. Now go out there and find it!

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Personal Boundaries Primer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Are you being stalked?

  1. JackieP says:

    I wish I would have known all this when my ex stalked me for 5 years. But now that I’ve moved to Canada have not seen or heard from him!

    Like

  2. Papizilla says:

    Reblogged this on The Ranting Papizilla and commented:
    Very informative. And yes, I see you in the bushes, read this and as Clint Eastwood said. “Get off my lawn!” 😀

    Like

  3. Wow. Great, informative post – thanks.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on In the Net! – Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival and commented:
    This is a very informative post from Madeline Laughs.

    Like

  5. mariadesuede says:

    I don’t really understand “stalked”, but English isn’t my language either…. I know surely other words for it in others languages… But I understand a little of your text…

    Like

  6. whine-wine-whatever says:

    Great info!

    Like

  7. Having been stalked for about 6 months, I went through a couple different emotions. First I was afraid (I was petrified…tee hee) then I was complacent, and finally I got angry. Really angry. I recently posted a scathing message, calling him out, and letting him know I was on to him…on my other blog. Was it mature? Not exactly, but I decided not to let him have the power anymore. I think it worked.

    Like

    • Calling them out definitely has an affect on them, I noticed. Mine went underground with her smear campaign, but I’m hoping she is starting to realize how silly she’s being. She’s a grown woman and should know better.

      Like

  8. I was guilty of ‘stalking’ my ex for a while via emails and text messages…then I came to my senses 🙂

    Like

    • I realize that sometimes it’s hard to let someone go, but if you keep telling yourself that the reason they left was a good one and that now you can move on to something better, perhaps the compulsion to stalk never happens. I have never wanted to stalk someone, but I can see where it might be tempting. Any time in my life that I have done anything even remotely like stalking it has always left me feeling sad and empty because that’s how it should feel.

      There is always something or someone out there better for you.

      Like

  9. You do realize that I’m now going to be constantly looking behind me and into every bush! This is actually quite frightening. Thanks for posting it.

    Like

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