When Online Turned Physical (5)
November 20, 2014
I didn’t accept their ultimatum so they decided to start terrorizing in a new way.
I remember the day clearly. My receptionist called to say I had a piece of unusual mail at the office. My heart leaped since everyone around me knew what was going on. Coffee in hand, off I go to collect this piece of mail. I was hoping it was a piece of junk mail but my instinct knew that it was something from my stalker. There it was an unmarked envelope for me. Back to my office I went. For awhile I just sat and looked at the envelope and tried to feel what was was inside the envelope. As my hand passed over the envelope my mind and body was numb. I had to open it. I slowly tore the envelope and carefully pulled the contents out by the corner. I knew I shouldn’t touch it. I find myself shaking with disgust, with fear, with sadness. Inside the envelope a fluid-filled condom with a note asking if I had left this somewhere.
Did you leave this somewhere? Looks familiar to you. You really need to stop cumin’ around. You are about as smart, interesting and attractive as a used rubber floating in a toilet in the bathroom in a truck stop. Your parents should have used one of these. It’s not over “till it’s OVER. Fuck off already, whore.”
I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. The smell of cheap perfume filled my office. They had sprayed the package. I turned it over and studied the post mark. It was faint and slightly readable. We believe the post mark said South Jersey station which turned out was close to Philadelphia. It was so faint that we couldn’t make out the last quarter of it so we might have been wrong too.
I was scared, sad, mortified and disgusted. I puked! All the reactions they wanted me to have. I was in pure shock. After an hour of sitting there looking at the envelope I finally slipped it back into the envelope and into my briefcase. Part of me was happy they sent me something physical, maybe now the police could help me. 2 days later down I went to meet with the Detective. She looked at the envelope but quickly killed any hope I had. Being that it was sent through the United Stated Postal Service it had been handled by many people. She also did not have the resources to match DNA (if they found some) with someone in the USA. Again I was not a murder or child pornography so this was low priority. She did send it to their forensic labs just to make sure. When the tests came back I was informed that they found nothing.
My online stalking had now turned physical. They were progressing. I truly felt I could be physically harmed. They knew my work address and I was sure they knew my home address too since I did not know how to be safe online before this.
As I reeled from receiving this envelope in the mail and things then went from bad to worse – just as the stalker promised in the ultimatum.
At the time I was working for a small start-up oil and gas company. For the past 15 years I had only worked for these start-ups and I knew my job very well. I had worked hard for my titles and loved to bring my knowledge to the table. These companies took everyone’s time and heart to get one going. I set up everything just as I always did. The principals of the company including me put our bios up on the company’s website as well as a description of what the company did.
My stalker once again decided to change tactic and found a new way to hurt me.
They created a fake story and put me, the president and the other director at the company I worked with all over the internet. Suddenly, the small company I worked for was on a number of rip-off sites, saying we had stolen money and threatened the stalker by hacking their information – the exact thing they were doing to me. The used words like Team Fraud, Hacking, Scam, Rip Off, Theft Calgary Nationwide.
Time was going by quickly. I thought things were bad before but this took things to a whole new reality. They were hurting innocent people and ruining other people’s lives. I felt such responsibility. Other co-workers would make comments like if their name was in this they would be so livid and describe how angry they would be because of me. I knew I couldn’t stop it but I would give almost anything for others not to be hurt. People around me blamed me for this abuse that was now transferring over to them. Even work was not an escape anymore! This plague was everywhere and impacting every corner of my life.
I was falling into a dark hole. I wanted to shut out the world and disappear for good.
It would be easier to die. I wanted to die.
I didn’t know how to stop this, to fix this. It was just getting worse.
Chris couldn’t make it go away. Friends were starting to ask if he was worth it. Their only concern was for me; they could see how this was devastating me. They could see how much I had changed. I was becoming a shell of myself. I had lost a over 10 lbs just from the stress of what was coming next.
It was one of those nights when the night felt so black that I decided it was easier to die than have others affected. I couldn’t handle having people who were scared of me, others who were now hurt because of me and I couldn’t stop it. I wanted to take my life. It could all end there. I cried and cried and cried. Chris sat on the phone with me, knowing I couldn’t take anymore and begging me to see that there was still good in the world. He kept me on the phone so long that I finally fell asleep. I woke up with the phone in my hand many hours later.
Looking back, I’m not sure what kept us together. Maybe it was because I wanted to prove I wasn’t that person my stalker was writing about or maybe we both needed to be stripped to the core to have an honest relationship. Either way, we still remained as one and me looking for hope around every corner.
The next day the sun came through my window and it was once again a new day. Chris and I knew how lost my soul was now. That morning morning I crawled out of bed, my eyes were so puffy I could hardly see and drove to my parents to pick up my dog Oliver. All I could do was hold him close. He knew something was incredibly wrong and didn’t leave from my side all day.
10 thoughts on “When Online Turned Physical (5)”
The more I learn about this the more bizarre and completely off the rails it looks. I’ve seen my share of digital bullying and stalking, but your ordeal takes the cake both in the lengths they went to and in the sheer pettiness and pointlessness of it all.
Staci and I are completely mortified for the both of you. You naturally have my resources at your disposal, but more importantly you have mine and Staci’s affection and admiration for your strength and perseverance through this insanity. Big hugs from all of us.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. Thank you so much. Both Chris and I are very lucky to have friends like you.
Amanda….I am so incredibly proud of you being able to write about this nightmare. It is so direct and honest and raw. That takes a lot of courage to do but I’m praying that the release of those deep emotions will come from your sharing. I imagine you can now relate to people like those who are incarcerated even though they have committed no crime, or people being persecuted without cause. What a hell of a thing to have to deal with. But you, my dear, are made of strong stuff and you must stand straight and tall, look the world in the eye and know that this too will pass. You have a true love by your side, a family who supports you in every way and an auntie who would gladly tear the liver out of that SOB! Keep looking up! I love you!
Thank you Auntie. I am truly lucky to have such an amazing and supportive family. AS Ellie would say “Good Prairie Stock”. Love you so much.
Wow, I can’t believe some scumbag would do this to another person. I am so sorry you had to go through this horrible ordeal. You must be incredibly strong and courageous to not only get through this but to post your story online. I truly hope your life has returned to normal and that this incident hasn’t changed you for the worse.
Thank you so much Michael.
The conference that I run, BSidesDE is in 2 days. I am overwhelmed mentally physically and emotionally by the needs of that conference right now. I say this not to brag or belittle or whatever. I say this to explain that I took the time to read your post because it was important to me. Because you and Chris are important to me. You are friends, good friends. You’re good people and we like you a lot. 🙂 I’ve known Chris for many years and he’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him. Honey You Are Family. Whatever we can do from hugs to hacking, it’s at your disposal. I know you two are busy but if you want to show up at one of the closest conferences to Philly and show how you’re not afraid, you’re absolutely welcome. It’s my conference you’re safe there. You shouldn’t be afraid. These assholes are children, and are using childish tactics to get at you. You being open and honest is the adult response and the smartest thing you could do. We’re all proud of you. Much love forgive the rambling I am a bit tired 🙂
Joshua, Words will never describe how much gratitude I have for you taking the time to read this part. I am so thankful to call you a friend.
hey, dahlink! i just sent you the pic of that faithful nite in brucon… i thought, we had more than that. guess, we were too busy dancing our behinds off. AHAHAHAHA! good times.
i just found your blog from your tweet – and now reading it. all i can say is, WOW! i’m so sorry that these F’d-up idiots are after you, and i’m reading more. these are just coward babies, hiding under their mother’s skirts. don’t give up. hang in there. we’re here for you. just let us know, if there’s anything we can do. big hugs and love
I will dance with you any day;-) Thank you for reading this and I just want to raise awareness and have my own voice in this. Sending you lots of love.