Stalkers

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Dear Mark,

I just got off the phone with my best friend who suggested I contact you for advice. I’m having issues with a guy who I think is stalking me. He and I briefly dated, approx. 1 month, about 7 years ago. I was in my 30s and had been out for almost 2 decades. He was 38 and I was his first male relationship. He was a nice guy but we were just in two different places in our lives. I thought I ended things amicably but I guess I was wrong.

Dear Mark,

I just got off the phone with my best friend who suggested I contact you for advice. I’m having issues with a guy who I think is stalking me. He and I briefly dated, approx. 1 month, about 7 years ago. I was in my 30s and had been out for almost 2 decades. He was 38 and I was his first male relationship. He was a nice guy but we were just in two different places in our lives. I thought I ended things amicably but I guess I was wrong. At the time, he was sad but I thought we had come to an understanding. About 4 years ago, out of the blue, he sent me an email after a relationship I had been in just ended. The email was nasty in nature. He said something like “you deserved it”. I wrote him back and said I didn’t appreciate it and asked him to not contact me again. Flash forward to about a week ago. I had moved to Florida from NY and had just ended another relationship with a man I loved very deeply but was losing his battle with alcohol addiction. For my own sanity, I needed to end it after he crashed his car while under the influence and was arrested. Somehow this guy from all these years ago found out about the arrest record and sent me a copy of it along with some very disparaging words about me. I wrote him back and asked him why he was doing this. I tried to appeal to his sense of reason. I reminded him that we had only dated a few weeks and that had been years ago. Why was he trying to harass me? He wrote back with one of the most hateful emails I have ever received. Saying things like “we all have parties where we sit and talk about you and laugh about how pathetic you are” and “you will rot in hell” and “one of the worst mistakes your mother ever made was giving birth to you”. It really scared me. I’m not sure what to do. Should I write him back? Leave him alone? Call the authorities? I’m really at wits end and was hoping you would have some insight.

Signed,

Desperate in Delray Beach

Dear Desperate,

First off… don’t respond to him again. No matter how much you think you will be able to reason with him, you will not. He is clearly angry and not thinking rationally. Any response will just incite more angry responses from him. From your description, he does fit the profile for a stalker. Emotionally unstable and developmentally delayed. For his sake, I hope he seeks some help. But for your part, you should really think about contacting the authorities. Save those emails. Make sure you have some complaint filed on record. I would also think about obtaining a restraining order. He seems to have worded his emails very carefully (another trait of a stalker) so as not to be read as an overt threat. He never came right out and said “I will hurt you” but the implication of his words are ominous. Cover your bases here. I would block him on your computer and your phone. Stop any contact. Hopefully these measures will discourage him and he will just go away. If he continues to find ways to harass you, talk with the authorities about stepping in. Often a contact from the police is enough to scare these kind of guys away. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions.

Sincerely,

Mark

Sincerely, Mark Rutherford LCSW

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