If you don’t follow @LorcaDamon, go right now. She’s extremely witty, original, and above all, a talented author. Her blog is consistently outstanding, so make sure you follow her there as well. Lorca is also one of the strongest women I know. The author of Autism by Hand and It Was Like That When I Found It, Lorca is that rare combination of heartbreakingly real and hysterically funny. Not an easy feat to pull off.
As I do with all my guests (see recent posts by Justin Bog, Toby Neal, and Casey Ryan), I asked Lorca to share something real from her past. Something that would surprise readers, make us think. I’m honored and impressed with the story she chose. I know you will be also. Read, comment, share with everyone you know.
Nobody believed me. Oh, they believed he existed. They even believed he’d gone to crazy lengths to show up unannounced, to follow me throughout the day, even to find out the names of my classmates or find out my schedule. But nobody believed he was dangerous.
“He’s just in love,” they would croon with a hand over their chests. “He’s a poor love-sick puppy. I wish someone cared about me that much.”
And I admit it, it seemed almost cute when he showed up at my church and sat in the front pew with a bouquet of flowers, watching me sing in the choir. So what if we had met literally the day before and it took only a mere ten hours for him to find out where I went to church and what time I would be there?
It was even cute when he sent me love letters written on dozens of numbered postcards because I thought he was just trying to show me pictures of where he lived. It wasn’t until I put it together how every postcard had one word written in all caps that I got scared, how if you lined the postcards up in order and read the capitalized words it spelled out a message: “YOU ARE MINE. NOW. FOREVER. GET USED TO IT.”
But no one believed him to be dangerous. Not my parents. Not my friends. Certainly not the women who worked in the post office who would sigh and smile whenever he sent another stack of letters. The letters came more frequently, almost daily, sometimes in scribbled handwriting that looked like a madman had opened a vein.
“He’s in such a hurry to tell you he loves you that he couldn’t even take the time to write neatly! You’re so lucky to have him!”
But I didn’t have him. I didn’t even want him. A chance meeting on a city bus was all it took for him to claim me, like a dog choosing a bone. From that brief moment through the next two years of my life, a man stalked me, who became obsessed with me. It didn’t matter to him that we had an inappropriate—and illegal—age difference, that at seventeen years old I had to fight off an older man’s advances.
Going through it alone made it even more difficult.
Nobody believed me. Even my parents, the ones I thought I could count on to be furious that an older man gave me attention I didn’t want. Instead, I heard advice like, “He’s just lonely,” or “Make sure you let him down easy.” My favorite: “It’s not like you’re dating anyone, it wouldn’t hurt to give him a chance.” That doozy is how I ended up actually having to sit through a movie with him, an inappropriately sexy romance movie that he chose, of course.
I became frantic. I told anyone who would listen that I was afraid, that I didn’t want this. All anyone saw: a sweet man in love. What about my choice in this? I didn’t want this, but no one seemed to care, least of all him.
It’s weird, I don’t ever remember being afraid of HIM, I just remember being afraid that if he ever did hurt me no one would believe it. I remember having a nightmare in which he kidnapped me; the kidnapping itself didn’t scare me so much as knowing that no one would come to save me because no one would have ever suspected him. I couldn’t even go outside because I knew if he ever turned violent, there would be no one to help me.
After two years of mental torture, of the daily phone calls where he would demand to know every detail of what I had done that day (phone calls that my parents made me answer because “it’s rude to tell him you’re not here”) and where he would drop little hints that clearly told me he knew my every movement, I reached my breaking point.
Eventually he got tired of me, or more likely, tired of trying to play his games across the distance that separated us. Unlike most obsessed animals, he grew tired of me after stealing two years of my life, years where I should have been reveling in the freedom of becoming an adult or making friends in college. I’m thankful for his boredom even now.
While I was lucky enough to have not been harmed—unlike so many women out there—the whole experience made me into the hard-shelled person I am today. I will never again run desperately from person to person, begging to be rescued. Maybe it’s even a good thing this happened, especially when I was so young.
It taught me to never be someone’s victim.
No one else can—or will—protect me.
Please leave your comments or your own experiences below.
If you’d rather contact Lorca privately, feel free to email me at RachelintheOC@gmail.com and I’ll forward your message on to her; or contact her directly via her blog or Twitter.
And don’t forget: I’m offering (via BadRedhead Media) two webinars this week and next!
TWITTER BASICS this coming Saturday, 3/31 12pm PST/3pm EST, just $35. Sign up here.
ADVANCED TWITTER SKILLS Wednesday 4/4, 5:30pm PST/8:30 EST, $45. Sign up here.
- Top 10 Rules To NOT Be A Social Media Douche (rachelintheoc.com)
- Inside the Author’s Mind – A. J. Aalto (edenbaylee.wordpress.com)
- 10 Things Men Should Do and Often Don’t (and a drug test, too) (amberrisme.com)