My cyber-stalking horror story

Melissa Dawn By Melissa Dawn, 6th Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/lxihxqeu/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

I've written a lot about on-line harassment, and the personal toll it can take on individuals, families and work places. While dozens of resources exist for children, tweens and teenagers, the arena of adult cyber harassment is wide open. Often, there are little or no laws to protect us.

Introduction to my cyber harassment experience

I never expected to be stalked by a woman, it's just that simple. I've attracted my share of odd balls, the needy, the dispossessed both online and in the real world and generally laughed it off. This however; was different, and the memory of it is likely to remain with me for a very long time. It was a time when I was very scared, a time I look back in wonderment, almost as if this cyber stalking incident was something I read about in a book. Here's my horror story.

In the Spring of 2009 I began to be cyber-stalked by a woman named 'Sarah'. Now under the law, when one adult bothers another online it is referred to as 'cyber harrassment' and never cyber-stalking. This still strikes me as odd because, had Sarah followed me around in real life it would be considered 'stalking' and Sarah might very well be in jail.

Introduction to 'Sarah'

It began with an email, the title read, 'Found you on a writing site', I admit it took me a few days to get to it. I often have multiple projects on the go, and I am a slow responder. In retrospect I wish this had been one I had deleted. The email began, 'Hello my name is Sarah, and I am an ex of.....'. Oh boy. This woman was an ex of an ex. The email (two paragraphs in length) went on to describe how through a google search she had come across her ex's name on a writing forum. Said ex had been posting back and forth to me and wasn't she lucky enough to see my profile and contact me. It went on to say she was looking to communicate with her ex over their then seven? eight? year old daughter who he hadn't seen in a number of years.

Oh boy.

I initially did not know what to think, other than how odd it was to come across this woman. My ex had spoken of her, not in favorable terms, and she lived several thousand miles closer to him than I did. I decided to ignore it, I think looking back, that I might even have believed it was a stunt of his. This idea was about to be displaced.

The beginnings of 'Sarah's' contact

Sarah did not go away. Three days later she emailed again. Same email, this time out right asking me to contact him and then contact her. I thought, 'No way honey'. Again I deleted and got on with my life. I was in the middle of finishing a short documentary film, working part time outside the house, and simply did not have the time for this. I only had very sporadic contact with him, and was questioning whether I really wanted any contact with him anyway. I was not going to help her.

Two more days went by, and then five emails in the space of an hour landed in my inbox. I wasn't online when they arrived, and when I logged in, I thought, 'Now I'm going to have to block her'. The first two emails were relatively coherent, again asking me to contact her for him, and looking back I wish I had read the other three before I did. I sent him an incredibly brief email. 'Sarah has contacted me, bizarre, wants to talk to you, please contact her'. Good deed done, I thought nothing else about it, and it was several days later when I read the other three emails.

The first one said, 'Jordan is a miserable SOB, don't know what I ever saw in him'. I thought to myself, 'You and me both babe', and clicked delete. The second one went on to tell how badly he had treated her verbally and emotionally, and while I could relate a little, the person I had known had been NOTHING near as bad as how she described him. The third really gave me pause for concern; 'Want me to take you to the dark side', it read.

Now in my thirty some years I have heard some interesting propositions but this was just odd! I blocked her on the gmail and thought surely thats the end of it. It wasn't. Through the summer this woman was about to engage in a plan of outright stalking me, to the point where I almost had a break down. I've since learned this is what they do, use information to inflame you, when that doesn't work they use information to alarm you, and then they just get scary.

Sarah didn't contact me again for about a month after the five email incident. 'Jordan' had in the mean time sent a very odd email saying, 'I don't know Sarah ------'. Get lost both of you I thought, and then she hit again. Twenty of them in one day, all the same thing, a link to her Myspace profile and a link to a picture of her and Jordan's child. Again, I have to admit out of morbid curiousity I just had to have a look at her. After all, aren't we all a bit curious about our ex's ex.

Sarah was pretty in a morbid kind of way. I can't say she was a Goth, although she was leaning that way. She had shoulder length black hair and I believe dark eyes, which were heavily painted in black. She wore bright burgundy lipstick and this odd little smile was on her lips, like she was hiding some secret. Tall and thin, she possessed a certain kind of charm that would draw in some men. I had to ascertain my ex had done a relative 360 when he met me. I'm pale, with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes. This done, I looked at her picture with the little girl. This was the first inkling that something was off.

'Sarah's' cyber harassment escalates

The little girl in the picture could not have been more than two years old. Sarah was holding her by the arms, and this gurgling two year old was smiling happily for the camera. Either way, I had had enough. I emailed Jordan one more time on this matter. 'This is Sarah and your child. Please leave me out of this'. He never, ever commented on the link I sent.

The next week the emails came fast and furious. Jordan wouldn't contact her, Jordan wouldn't give her any money for this little girl etc etc. 'Aha', I thought. Now were getting to it. I decided it was time to respond. 'Dear Sarah, Jordan and I are not together, I cannot help with you this. There are however; law Courts that can'. Then I reblocked her.

A couple more weeks went by, and then the emails started coming again, from five different email addresses. 'Why did I block her, was I not her friend, why wouldn't I help her, why didn't I become her friend on Myspace (I didn't even have a Myspace account) and did I think she should dye her hair the same color as me', as she had seen my picture online and liked my hair. I have to admit I was unhinged.

I began mentioning this to a then girlfriend. We didn't have a long discussion on it at first, just that it was odd. I even gave her the link to have a look at her, and thats' when she directed me to some rather odd graphics on her Myspace page. Didn't I just have to go and look again? And there she was, she had cartooned herself, and in the cartoon she was wearing a leather outfit with a dog collar round her neck, and blood spurting out of her mouth. The caption read, 'What can I say, whips and chains excite me'. I decided the girl was a looney.

The next couple of months the emails kept coming and coming and coming. They would alternate between a whine that I wasn't helping her, a whine about Jordan, followed by normal emails of how she spent her day with her children. My girlfriend remarked something to the effect that perhaps she should be spending more time with them, and less bothering me! The real clinker came in late July, when she sent me a link saying she had just had a new baby and she and her husband were very happy with this little girl.

Defining moment of being stalked

They say there's always a defining moment when you are cyber-stalked, and believe me this hot July morning was the moment for me. Here was a woman, married only six and a half months to the 'love of her life' with a new baby, two other girls (one the ex's) and yet she had the time to pester me. It was time for serious action. I sent her a very firm email saying I wished her well, and please please, not to EVER contact me again. Again, I blocked every email address she had ever used. Again she re-emailed me.

'Will you come visit me', was the request in early August. No directions on where in this Southern State she lived. No telephone number, just this one line'. Had she included them, I might have been able to get something done about her behaviour through legal channels. I ended up talking to another girlfriend, (not mentioning this email) and asked her to take a look at her. She asked me if she was a Satanist, due to all the black. I had to reply from my now intensive searches around her Myspace profile, that she was just odd. She had poetry about God, poetry about life, and although it seemed to miss the mark of what she was saying, it was coherent.

I did my own google search on this woman. Nothing. I tried white pages, reverse directories, even the paid site where you can search someone if they have a criminal record. Nothing. I knew this was her real name from the ex, so the only conclusion I could come to was that everything, telephone number included was in her husband's name and unlisted. My ex was no longer talking to me, and tired, jumpy every time I opened my email, I decided the only thing I could do was put them both behind me and concentrate on promoting my film.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew she was going to cyber harrass me again. I just knew. I opened up a separate hotmail account so I could receive business correspondence, and correspondence from my film work. I just couldn't open up the gmail. After the film was done in early September, a family member required intensive surgery and I took some time off work. It wasn't until early October that I opened that gmail account again.

'Sarah' escalates even further

I had 1400 emails. Fifty six were from friends/co-workers/online friends wondering if I had fallen off the face of the Earth. Thirty six emails were from groups/websites that I subscribe to. Approximatly two hundred were spam, and over eleven hundred emails were from her, done within a three week period of time. The last one had come a week before I had come back to the gmail account.

I can remember feeling shaky. I can remember my fingers literally not moving properly over my computer keyboard, and most of all I remember finally having to put my head between my knees. This was the first panic attack of my life, brought on my a woman cyber stalking me. I decided I had to get some help with this.

A family member went through her emails. For some of it, I looked over her shoulder, at other times she directed me to sit down and look away. All of them got printed off. The eight new addresses Sarah had used got blocked, and the police got called. By now I was certain that something would be done. While laws regarding Adult cyber harrassment are quite vague, I did know that this amount of emails were almost guaranteed that a criminal harrassment charge would be laid. I was about to be proven wrong.

The law did not help me

First of all, under the rules I had to contact the Police in the City/State she lived in. I knew this. I was prepared to do this, but the Police down South said they couldn't find her. I directed them to her Myspace page, they said they would have to get a Court Order to get Myspace to release her personal information, and this was extremely unlikely because I had never communicated with her on Myspace! Also, because she had never threatened me physically, attempted to extort money from me, or threatened to harm herself, the ex, or my family I probably couldn't get anything done. And the real clinker? Because of the fact that the emails from over thirteen accounts, were set up by free email providers, and were sent from multiple ip addresses, I couldn't prove they came from her, and not someone else. If I wanted to prove they had, it was suggested I hire a Private Investigator, at my own expense.

In the end

I was horrified, but not suprised. And then the most incredible thing happenned. She went away. After the eleven hundred email incident (95% of which I never saw, but am told by a family member were odd...but not criminal or threatening) she went away. I never heard from her again. I've learned this is not unusual. If you don't respond, and don't 'feed' them, they do get bored eventually. It took this woman a long time. I got emails saying she had seen my home on Google Earth, and told me what color it was, and how she had found my name and home phone number in the online white pages (oh my gosh is it out there I thought), and yet she never telephoned. She never emailed me from a gmail account, and she never sent me anything in the mail.

It took me until Christmas of that year, to actually want to use a computer. I didn't close my gmail because it's one I use for freelance work, yet her thirteen email addresses remain blocked. In the end, there's no explanation for Sarah, yet at times I felt like I was a voyeur into her life with all the information she gave me. Information I didn't want, and while I am so sorry that this woman was so lost and deluded I was more sorry for me, and what this did to my life. For months, I was tiptoeing around the Internet, and it took me until February of this year to put my photograph back up online. I used to fear meeting another Sarah, but in the end let it go.

And you might wonder where 'Jordan' was in all this. He ran. He didn't remove himself from my email accounts, he just refused to deal with 'Sarah'. I decided if he wouldn't stand up for me over this, he wasn't my friend, and I deleted him.

Most of all, I'm grateful to God that she let me go......

Tags

Cyber Bullying, Cyber Crime, Cyber Harassment, Cyber Law, Cyber Stalkers, Cyber Stalking

Meet the author

author avatar Melissa Dawn
I have been writing ever since I can remember, and currently focus my attention on articles, how to guides and e-books. Check out my group e-book at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/488536

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Comments

author avatar Paul Lines
7th Nov 2010 (#)

A real frightening story Melissa. I feel for you

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Nov 2010 (#)

Eileen, my wife, is always telling me that I'm a man and no man will be able to understand how vulnerable a woman feels. In the end I have to agree that she's right I can't identify with these kind of feelings but I do understand them intellectually. Intellectually I can perceive how harrowing a time it must have been for you. I'm glad she finally decided to leave you alone.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
7th Nov 2010 (#)

THanks Paul and Jerry. It's long over which is why I wrote about it! I'm now a keen ambassador for adults who are beign cyber harassed.

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author avatar tootsieharveystories
7th Nov 2010 (#)

I can't even begin to imagine what I would do in a situation like this. You showed amazing strength through all of this.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
8th Nov 2010 (#)

Starrleena that has to be the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time. Thank you my friend.

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author avatar Retired
9th Nov 2010 (#)

I feel lucky I haven't had the same experience.

I think that you're right that ignoring them is the way to go. AFter a while they get bored.

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author avatar Retired
9th Nov 2010 (#)

I know you are right, teh best way is to just ignore them.
I know it's a job, but sometimes... I know you are such a strong person.

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author avatar krrymarie
11th Nov 2010 (#)

What a horrible thing to happen to you!
There are some odd people out there on the net and we have to be so careful.
I amnot sure how i would have handled your situation, but hoping this has made you stronger as a person.
The strength you showed through all of this was amazing.
As far as your ex goes I would have deleted him too if he wasn't prepared to help you.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
11th Nov 2010 (#)

Thanks krrymarie. I figured if he wouldn't stand up for me about this, he would never stand up for me over anything.

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author avatar Denise O
17th Nov 2010 (#)

What a awful experience you had to endure.
Also what strength you showed through it all.
I'm glad she is out of your
life and I am so happy
you're back with us,
in cyber world.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
17th Nov 2010 (#)

THank you Denise, hugs to you!

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author avatar Greenfaol
21st Dec 2010 (#)

You see, things like that make me want to never go on a computer again. As someone said before, you show incredible strength not to have let this control you x

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
21st Dec 2010 (#)

THanks Greenfaol! I certainly didn't want to go on a computer again for a long time.

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author avatar Maurice G
4th Jan 2011 (#)

The net is open to all sorts of abuse and it is a pity we can not do more to stop it ! Maurice G
Keep smiling life is too short, and well done.

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author avatar Ronnie Hobby
19th Jan 2011 (#)

Hey Melissa, looks like we have a lot in common! Read my true story which is leading to a U.K landmark trial on 10th Feb 2011.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victims-of-Cyber-Stalkers/118154191586158?v=wall

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author avatar Sec
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Hi Melissa, you have one of the most sociopathic cyberpathic stalkers imaginable on your comments wall. What he refers to was not a landmark trial, it was in fact a gross miscarriage of justice and homophobic prosecution that is to be challenged with significant new evidence. Your commentor was the one who should have gone to prison, not the innocent man he refers to. Read the truth about him here http://leeandmanalienversushenriettajanedarcyausten.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/463/ and here http://leeandmanalienversushenriettajanedarcyausten.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/341/ and read the rest of the blog about him and his international gang of sociopathic cyberpathic cyberstalking Trolls.

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author avatar Sec
7th Jan 2014 (#)

New Address for the proof of what Ronnie Hobby did to his victims http://2013retribution.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/actus-reus-ronnie-hobby-again-inciting-violence-by-trying-to-manipulate-dave-courtney-celebrity-gangster/

http://2013retribution.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/actus-reus-ronnie-hobby-the-kinky-faceparty-com-profile-he-converted-to-one-about-robert-christopher-his-own-bi-sexual-kinky-profile/

http://2013retribution.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ronnie-hobby-the-actor-playing-the-part-of-a-fake-victim-supported-by-protection-against-stalkings-tricia-bernal-laura-richards/

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author avatar Elaine Doxie
4th Feb 2011 (#)

Hi Melissa, I've seen your writing before on Helium. I had no idea that you'd been through anything like this. I'm glad you pulled through ok.

I'm currently going through something similar myself with my ex husband's new wife. I frequently find defamatory statements that she has posted about me after I have posted any comment on a website. She's even written several defamatory articles about me on websites like Helium and Associated Content. She uses a pseudonym, but has made it clear who she is. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do about this?

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
12th Feb 2011 (#)

Hi Elaine, so sorry it took me so long to see this comment! Please accept my apologies. First, you need to send her a warning email. Stop this now kind of thing. Don't reference hubby, or anythhing just her behaviour. If she doesn't report her to the authorities. Send me a helium message and I can give you more detail

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author avatar Revealer of the Truth
28th Feb 2011 (#)

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=30199&post=1855905&uid=370142048888#!/home.php?sk=group_131501636918811

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author avatar Brad
6th Apr 2012 (#)

very intense story, gratefull that you shared it with us, i'm going to school for criminal justice and am doing a project on cyber stalking, it's affects and how to prevent it, again thank you

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