Part two in a three part series. This series is dedicated to Jodi’s Voice. a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the crime of stalking.
I met him when I was twenty-nine. He was the quintessential bad boy – tough,sexy, brooding, and a bit over-the-top emotionally. It was lust at first sight. We began to date and things were fine at first. In fact, I thought he was just perfect in every way. (except for that awful temper…) He would get jealous if other men so much as looked at me. I thought it was sweet. It meant he cared.
I had no idea who I was dealing with.
His controlling behavior continued, and I began to get worried. He did not like any of my friends, and did not want me to spend time with them – ever. We lived near each other, so it was not a case of needing to fit him into a schedule, he would show up wherever I was. I began to feel uneasy around him. I had this awful sense of impending doom. Things were not so nice anymore, he was growing critical. He also began shooting heroin. That was new. He was not doing drugs when we met.
He began stealing from me to support his habit.
He was also stealing from others. He had outstanding warrants. He got picked up, and went to jail for non-payment of child support. I was not rid of him. I was busy visiting him in jail. Because I was hopelessly stuck in an abusive cycle and could not break it. He was allowed out of jail during the day to go to work, and one day he did not go back. He was constantly asking me for money to support his habit, so I finally broke up with him.
We were far from done.
He began calling day and night. He would leave awful threats on my phone – he would threaten to rape and kill me. If he could not have me no one else would. He knew where I worked, and would show up there. He knew where I went after work. I was being shadowed all of the time. I went to Court and got a restraining order. I saved his voicemails that he left on my answering machine and played them for the police. I would not go home without a male escort in case he was hiding on the property. He would jump out from a hiding spot just to scare me. I was on edge all the time.
Then he got locked up again
I went to Court to make my restraining order permanent. He was busy scowling at me and threatening to kill me if he ever got out. I left Court that day not knowing what would happen to me if he ever got out of jail. I took action. I changed my phone number. I got into therapy to find out why I was attracting people like this. I began to stand up for myself more. It took a few years, but I stopped looking over my shoulder wondering if he would make good on his threats. I stopped having so many nightmares. Life went back to (somewhat) normal.
I got lucky. My stalker went to jail for other offenses. Many women do not have that luxury. Please donate to Jodi’s Voice. Watch the video. Like us on Facebook. Do something. Together we can make a world where violence against women is no longer tolerated.