It was now February.
When I first met Chris, months earlier, he invited me to go on Holy Ship which is music cruise. I had never been on anything like that before or had not even heard of it before I met Chris. Going with us on the cruise was Chris’s sister, cousins as well as dozens of people he knew, most from the Information Security (InfoSec) community. As the date loomed, I felt sick over the idea that a couple of the main suspects would be on a boat, in the middle of the ocean with us.
One of the first death threats I received from the stalker said someone was going to throw me overboard. They had made many references to Holy Ship which meant they knew about it.
My confidence was bolstered knowing Chris’s family was going on the cruise too. Once on board, we spent most of our time with family and a couple of close friends who were cleared from being the stalker. We had a riot together, dancing, singing, and enjoying the time away.
As the days passed and nothing happened, it finally confirmed this troll, this person bent on hurting me, was just a spineless individual who could only try to hurt me from behind a computer. They would never have the nerve to come up to me and say those things in person.
I learned to breathe again.
And then on March 3, I received this:
Well this note revealed one thing. They were on the ship with us!
But something had changed. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was angry!
I wanted to tell them to get a job. Or volunteer, since, if they had enough time to write such hurtful emails, they obviously had too much time on their hands.
The truth was, I had felt wonderful on the cruise. I enjoyed every moment I had with Chris, his family and friends, including the themed costume nights. What can I say, I love costumes and will never grow out of that. I had felt good, I had felt sexy, and I had enjoyed being me – embracing every little flaw I have. My body doesn’t look like it did when I was 21, but I love and accept every scar and extra inch I have.
I may still have been plagued by this stalker, but the symptoms were fading.
I was now back in Canada and the stalking was coming in waves now.
It had been a hard couple of weeks. My beloved dog, Oliver, had a seizure and passed away unexpectedly. Not long after, my heart broke again as my grandmother was going to pass away. She was the most amazing little (I say little since she was short) matriarch of my family and had gone from being a vibrant lady to being in a hospice bed within a matter of weeks. Even while in hospice, this tiny little lady would tell every nurse how amazing everything was, even the food. She would make all of us laugh. It is because of her, I got the love of the word “Amazing!” It was her favorite.
As I faced the heartbreak of losing her, I woke one morning and went to check my emails.
There it was: another email to me, another fake Gmail account with my face attached. I couldn’t even open it. I was so disgusted this was happening right then. Once again, my body started to have a panic attack. Since I can’t control them – even now – I forwarded the email to Chris and tried to get on with my day.
A couple of days later, I learned the email was associated with a Google+ account and there was a new voice recording threatening that this isn’t over.
I just kept getting angrier and angrier. This person, this stalker, can’t even leave me alone when my loved ones are dying. I just wanted to scream, “Get lost! Get a life! And get a job!”
That’s when Chris tells me more Twitter accounts have started up. This time, though, they are being directed at him and us being together, and not just at me.
This person and/or persons were continually dropping hints as to who they were and how sad their lives were.
It is the day of my grandmother’s funeral. I wake to take a shower and get on my computer to get a couple of things out of the way for the day.
Among the messages is one from the receptionist at my former employer saying another envelope has arrived and it looks like the first.
I start to shake.
“Really?” I want to yell. “On the day of her funeral, I have to deal with this?”
It becomes the only thing consuming my mind.
Luckily, my wonderful friends goes and pick up the envelope since I can’t deal with my stalker and also celebrate my grandmother’s life. After many tears have fallen listening to the celebration of her, followed by good family time, I return home to this envelope. Yes it was from them. Along with the WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter and mulitple of other sites they now had up and going.
I have been better at controlling my emotions, but I am caught in a moment of vulnerability.
I do not feel fear anymore. I only feel disgust for this person. They don’t scare me and they cant hurt me!