STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon

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.

About Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check out Author Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, bitrebels.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Rachel is the creator and founder of #MondayBlogs and #SexAbuseChat and an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Comments

  1. It’s so interesting how you know something isn’t right, but no one takes it seriously. I’ve never been stalked, but I was harassed by a manager at work. I remember telling friends “If he wasn’t married, I would think he’s flirting.” Which of course, he really was. And when two dozen roses and a piece of jewelry arrived at my house as a “work appreciation gift” it was finally obvious to everyone else that this man had crossed the line.

    I’m so glad the man who stalked you wasn’t dangerous- at least to you. Reading your piece made me tense and got my back up, because of course it was inappropriate, and you saying you didn’t want it should have been enough to stop it there. It’s a shame you didn’t have the support to help you end it.

    • Yea, that’s definitely an abuse of power and crossing the line for sure, Ashley. Creepy.

      I can’t speak for Lorca, but reading her post made me feel this guy WAS dangerous. The postcards were especially concerning. My opinion only, but non-dangerous person doesn’t stick around for two years with daily phone calls tracking one’s every move. I mean sure, he didn’t harm her. But it could be simply because he either didn’t work up the nerve or never got the chance.

      Thankfully, we’ll never know.

    • Even now my response to remembering the whole thing is more of a disbelieving, “WTF?” I was even still living with my parents because they had not yet decided to let me move off to college! It wasn’t a horrible, controlling upbringing, but it IS another blog post for another day! You would think parents whose college-aged daughter had not been allowed to move away to school would be all the more concerned about an older man displaying unwanted affection. Thanks for reading and for your words of support!

  2. I would say it’s unbelievable that her parents didn’t take it seriously but I can’t because although I never experienced that I have been in situations where even my own family didn’t take me seriously.

    In college I had an experience where a man would always sit about two tables away from me in the library. I never paid attention to him until I just had that uncomfortable feeling that someone was staring at me. I looked up to see him, an older man with a large camera around his neck pointed straight at me. I immediately got up and left the library the feeling was so creepy. Well from then I started to see him in more places around the campus every time his camera was pointed in my direction. I told my friends about it and they just joked it off. One day i went to the piano lab to practice and for some reason the entire hall was dark. As I stepped off the elevator I had such an eerie feeling that I wanted to get back on but it had already closed. I proceeded down the hall to my usual lab. As I was walking I could hear footsteps behind me. I turned around and I could see his shadow with that camera protruding from his chest. It took me no time at all. I raced down that hall to the nearest stairwell and sped like lightening down those stairs. I immediately went to the campus police and told them what had been happening. Two police officers went to check out the lab. I am so thankful I have no idea what happened but I never saw that man again.

    Sometimes in life we experience things to grow our shells doesn’t mean its hard just mean its meant to protect your character. I’m glad Lorca was able to come out of that situation Okay.

    • Your story is scary but sadly, not all that uncommon. Thank goodness he never cornered you and you went to campus police. So many women have similar stories — which doesn’t make yours any less terrifying.

      I appreciate you sharing yours and hopefully someone will read it and it will resonate enough for them to share with their daughter or son.

      I’ve shared my own stories here on my blog and am currently gathering many of them up into my third book, BROKEN PIECES. College is a wonderful time of discovery and independence for many women, as it should be. It can also be terrifying, as many of us found out. Thanks again for your honesty. xo

  3. I am terrified for you even now! How horrible, especially when your final encounter with him was in a place so tied to who you are as a person (the music building). I, at least, had the benefit of knowing who this man was and what he wanted. You had a stranger, sometimes a faceless stranger, tracking you like an animal. I’m so glad it turned out okay.

  4. Lorca, I’m so glad he finally left you alone. I can’t imagine how frightened you were with no where to turn. It makes me wonder who he picked next. I hope it was someone with a big, bad father.
    My daughter had a similar situation when she was 16. She worked with an 18 year old boy. They were friendly at first. He asked her out, and she told him she wasn’t allowed to date yet. He started following her, not getting close, but he was everywhere she went. When we looked out the window and saw him sitting on his motorcycle at the end of our driveway, my husband had a not-so-nice talk with him. We also talked to the manager at work. Luckily, he took the hint and she didn’t see him again. It was one of the scariest times I can remember.

    • Wow. I look back on this now almost 30 years later and ask myself, “Was it REALLY that scary? Was he REALLY dangerous?” I cannot IMAGINE this happening to my daughter! I really hope after the experience I had that I don’t go overboard and embarrass my daughters. That would be terrible. It’s awful that you had to even consider someone hurting your daughter. I’m so glad your husband stood up to him and made it stop.

  5. Wow, what a story and I think yes the scariest part was the parents ‘pushing’ their daughter into a relationship with a stranger but maybe also Lorca wasn’t as good back then of articulating her fears to her parents, but still…. glad it turned out well for her in the end

  6. I know. On the surface you would be tempted to think, “There’s no way any parents wouldn’t put a stop to this. She must not have really told them how upset she was.” But I did. That’s what makes some of these people so dangerous. They are absolute charmers. That’s what prompts women to strike up long-distance postal relationships with convicted killers in prisons. No one would be your victim if you were scary looking and jumped out of dark alleys at people. They are good at what they do.

  7. What’s craziest of all — of course your parents love you, loved you. Of course they wanted to protect you. They just didn’t think there was anything to protect you from, as you said. He was just a lovesick little harmless puppy.

    If your mom read this now, today, how would she feel? Terrible, I’m sure. Or maybe not. Denial is a powerful emotion. Nothing happened, all is for the best, sweep it under the rug. After all, it didn’t happen to them.

    But it did, dammit. Because you are their blood. I know they love you and care about your well-being. If you ask them, ‘of course’ would be the answer. Which makes the fact that you were forced to talk to him and even go on a date with him so, so wrong.

  8. Lady Quixote says:

    Lorca, your story disturbs me on so many levels — as a woman, as a mother, as a grandmother. But the postcards, each with one capital letter, spelling out “YOU ARE MINE. NOW. FOREVER. GET USED TO IT.” Oh.My.God.

    I do not understand those parents of yours, either. What, was the guy filthy rich? NOT that THAT would make it OK, I’m just saying… WHAT THE HECK? “It’s rude not to talk to him when he calls.” OH jeez.

    I need to go breathe into a paper bag for a while. After that, I’ve got some windmills to whack.

    • No, he wasn’t even rich or “well connected” or overly handsome…nothing like that, and like you said, it shouldn’t have mattered in the least. He was just exceptionally good at what he does…charm people into believing he’s harmless. Whack a windmill for me!

  9. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/cGyErrHe via @RachelintheOC

  10. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/MMj8xztK via @RachelintheOC

  11. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/T9QpOiVk via @RachelintheOC

  12. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/vqfA1LLU via @RachelintheOC

  13. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/tyDHbH4H via @RachelintheOC

  14. Lady Quixote says:

    Your evil windmill done bit the dust, Baby!

    Elaina

  15. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/Sc90kkAa via @RachelintheOC

  16. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/QWzQM5nH via @RachelintheOC

  17. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/ZFCfJxCt via @RachelintheOC

  18. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/lCHrS8md via @RachelintheOC

  19. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/xDpSjjc6 via @rachelintheoc

  20. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon http://t.co/qWCBk0CM via @RachelintheOC

  21. STALKING: ANOTHER SHADE OF FEAR by guest @LorcaDamon via @RachelintheOC http://t.co/Op6HRxav

Speak Your Mind

*

Sign up to get all the news
Subscribe