Sunday, April 1, 2007

Invasion of Privacy

A lot of people don't understand what it is like to have another person get too close or too interested in them. By that I mean, someone who copies or stalks you. From personal experience, I learned that most people see intense interest or stalking as something reserved for the famous. Otherwise, it's seen as someone trying to get attention or even flattering themselves. Very strange perspective if you've ever been a victim.

My experience started like most do, from a relationship gone bad. It wasn't my relationship, but my then boyfriend's. His ex was not happy with the ending of their relationship so, for reasons known only to her, she became quite focused on me. After the initial threats and posturing for attention, she apparently began copying everything I did. She did this by using her brother's friendship with us as a way to stay informed. A sort of "long distance stalking" I suppose. It wasn't until many years later that I learned her children have birthdays only a few months after mine. She even had another child after she learned my husband and I had our last, making sure we have an equal number of children. She modeled her clothing, interests, and even her wedding after mine. She continued up until recently to use my information on line as a way to "cyber stalk" me.

It's quite a shock knowing someone is out there doing these things and you don't know it. For a while, I was baffled as to why anyone would even want to do something so strange. I kept thinking I was making a mountain out of a molehill but then when the simularities between us became more than I could ignore, I felt invaded.

I cut off contact as much as possible and except for her knowing some of my business online, I am pretty sure she has no more access to my personal information. Living in the same town is not easy, but I have just learned to become watchful when I go near any common areas. All this for someone I do not even feel physically threatened by. I could never imagine being one of the one out of ten people who are stalked by someone who really threatens them. You'd never feel safe again.

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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