Celebrating East African Writing!
I have a stalker. Yup, I do. I used to think stalkers were something that only the rich and famous could suffer from. And to be absolutely honest, I was not very sure why the rich and famous made such a big deal about it. Until I got my very own special stalker.
This Internet. And the mobile telephony. I tell you, technology has brought a whole new level to trouble and crazy.
See my work at Storymoja places me at the forefront of all contact between the public online and the company. I deal with inquiry emails, submission emails, angry emails, happy emails, weird emails; and I have to respond to all with professional courtesy and polite patience. PR, you see.
I also handle said company’s social media content. So I am on Facebook, Twitter, wherever else as a brand advocate. And this brings me in touch, well virtual online touch, with lots of people, some not so nice people, and a whole lot of crazy ‘should-be-locked-up-and-key-thrown-away’ people.
I am a writer, to be more precise a blogger. That separate from my job. This compounds the privacy issue. For a long while, I have tried to keep my personal life very very private. I don’t even let people know where I live. I know, crazy right? Dude, you are a blogger, writer, your job is to let people know what you think and where you’ve been. Still, I try really hard to separate my writing/blogging persona from the real me, so I can protect my privacy to a certain degree.
But apparently, I have not been able to protect my privacy too well. So this dude decided to change our relationship from the professional editor and writer status, to god-knows-what. And to make things really bad, he has my phone number, email, Facebook, Twitter…
At first, he would just send me text messages at odd times. Then he went through the call-me-for-no-apparent-reason-at-really-bad-times-of-the-day. Then he’d send me weird emails, like we were absolute ‘best friends forever’.
I got to tell you there’s a whole wide chasm between friendly and stalking friendly. See, you meet someone, online or live-live, and you like them, you don’t get miffed if they call you. But there’s common courtesy even then. You don’t call people after work hours unless they are friends. You don’t call people after 9pm unless they are family and family friendly. You don’t call people who are not your friends to find out where they are going for the weekend, wearing what and with whom!
So I stopped taking the calls. He rolled back to texting me. Same same. After a while, I blocked his number.
He switched to Facebook & Twitter, and I blocked him there as well. So now, he has switched to using my job to get at me.
One of my weekly tasks is to write and send out the Writers’ Blog. As you may know the Writers’ Blog is fed by reader content. So guess what’s happening now. Dude is now writing stories that feature me as the protagonist, or antagonist.
A while back, he raped and killed a character named after me. Now, he is romancing a character named after me.
It occurs to me that this man is a likeable fellow, seeing that he has friends, some whom even I know. I don’t like him, and I have never met him!
It also occurs to me that this man is probably usually a decent rational man. So what the hell is he doing on crazy lane?! Does he even know that he crossed over?
I can assure you, after all the episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds, I am tempted to ask my dad, to ask his friend, who knows someone over at the CID to do something about it.
Anyway I decided to spend a few minutes looking up the different types of stalkers. Here’s what I came up with:
The Erotomaniac: This kind of stalker believes that he is in love with you. To show his keen interest, he keeps calling you, dropping by, writing e-mails, doing unsolicited errands “on your behalf”, talking to your friends, co-workers, and family, and, in general, making himself available at all times. The erotomaniac feels free to make for you legal, financial, and emotional decisions and to commit you without your express consent or even knowledge. The erotomaniac intrudes on your privacy, does not respect your express wishes and personal boundaries and ignores your emotions, needs, and preferences. To him – or her – “love” means enmeshment and clinging coupled with an overpowering separation anxiety (fear of being abandoned). He or she may even force himself (or herself) upon you sexually.
The Narcissist: Feels entitled to your time, attention, admiration, and resources. Interprets every rejection as an act of aggression which leads to a narcissistic injury. Reacts with sustained rage and vindictiveness. Can turn violent because he feels omnipotent and immune to the consequences of his actions.
The Psychopath (Antisocial): Psychopaths regard other people as objects to be manipulated and instruments of gratification and utility. They have no discernible conscience, are devoid of empathy and find it difficult to perceive other people’s nonverbal cues, needs, emotions, and preferences. Consequently, the psychopath rejects other people’s rights and his commensurate obligations. He is impulsive, reckless, irresponsible and unable to postpone gratification. He often rationalises his behaviour showing an utter absence of remorse for hurting or defrauding others.
The psychopath fails to comply with social norms. Hence the criminal acts, the deceitfulness and identity theft, the use of aliases, the constant lying, and the conning of even his nearest and dearest for gain or pleasure. Many psychopaths are outright bullies.
There’s different ways to deal with stalkers. You can find a few on this site which I found to be very informative. But I think the important issue here is: Do your actions make you fall in any of the above categories?
Just so you know, stalking is a crime, stalkers are criminals. And yes, this is a warning.
In this New Age Media era, what is the acceptable code of conduct on the email, phone or social media?
If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Sunday 3rd of April 2011 and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week on Monday 4th April. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.