It has been a long road and I’ve had many experiences in my lifetime. There are lots I am open and willing to discuss, others not so much.
If you knew me about six to seven years ago, you would’ve seen and noticed some of how I was back then. It took so much of what I’ve gone through to seek more out of life.
I did a facebook live today, talking about an extremely hard time in my life. I’ve been open about my health, my past depression, my immune system issues, the struggles in and out of the hospital, pain and fatigue, but I’ve been through so much more than that.
I know I’ve had a very interesting life so far, and it is the reasons why I am in the work I do, because this is the work that pulled me out of the destructive patterns I had and ways of thinking.
In my video, I skipped over alot because I could feel the emotions rising inside of me, I could see the images flash in my mind over again and I instantly went back to how hard it was. There is a deeper level I need to address soon, and I know I still have these survival coping mechanisms that are no longer helping me.
So here is my story, written in full.
The stalking from this man started when I was about 14, I had met him previously, I was around 12-13. I had been introduced to him by a friend of mine at the time, and I didn’t think much of it.
When I was 14, I started noticing him around much more, I was staying at a friends house and she had invited him and a couple friends over. I was extremely uncomfortable because I knew I wasn’t allowed to be alone with guys with no adult supervision – and then there was alcohol. I remember them trying to get me to take shots on a school night, trying to touch me, and eventually I just said I had to go, it was getting late, and called my mom to come get me.
I explained to her the situation and she was happy I called to get out of there. From there he got my number and at first he was really nice. So I talked to him, despite my better judgement on what had just happened. I was 14, I was new to the attention, at first I thought it was just as friends basis.
He kept wanting to meet up with me when I wasn’t at home. Once in awhile I ran into him. We would talk but when I think back, he never really answered many questions. I never really got to know him. It was all superficial small talk and asking about me, where I lived, my family, where do I go, what do I like to do, when do I hang out with my friends. Of course back then, I was naive. I didn’t realise he was obtaining information to use later on down the road.
He got to know where my friends lived, where I lived. After a couple months, I started to feel really uneasy. My mom had said that she had a bad feeling about him and to stop talking to him. I had expressed that I felt the same, something didn’t feel right.
Then he started showing up at my school. I was in grade 9 at the time, and he was standing around with some people that he knew, and another guy made a comment to me that I “looked pretty” today. He overheard and instantly went on attack mode. He started yelling at the guy and ended up attacking each other. That was when I realised what kind of person he was.
When we were introduced, I had been “single” for a little while – me and my middle school sweetheart broke up and got back together often back in the day. So, while we weren’t together this was becoming more and more of an issue. He began coming to my school at lunch, afterwards, during. I got pulled into the office after the fight and the principal assumed that I was making bad dating decisions and told me he was a narcissistic sociopath and bad news and to stay away, which obviously at that point, I wanted nothing to do with him.
So I told him that – he wasn’t allowed to talk to me or call me or be around me. I made it clear I didn’t want to be friends. He couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t talk to him, why I wouldn’t want to see him, how he was only standing up for me and that he didn’t mean to upset me.
I’m glad I had enough sense to know that was complete bullshit, whether he meant it or not. He then began dating someone else from that school, so I thought GREAT! He will leave me alone now. NOPE. That was shortlived.
The prank calls then began to my house. Illicit, disgusting things were said about me. Him and his friends would call and say that I was a “whore”, that I did all these sexual acts which was completely bullshit, also saying how I will eventually do what he wants. At that point, I had only made out with my first boyfriend, Ryan, and he was never my boyfriend. Regardless, I started to see how rumors spread about women who don’t do what you want, and if they did, that would be the same outcome.
When we began dating again (me and ryan, my now husband) it put alot of fear into me around being touched, I was so scared to do anything for a long time. I was afraid if we did anything, there would be rumors, I’d be dumped, all the stupid stuff that I knew wasn’t him. He was the kindest, most gentle and loving person I’d ever met and still is to this day.
When I was 15, I started working and going to highschool. I had alot of activities, alot of responsibilities, yet he started showing up at my work calling me names, calling me a slut, calling me a whore, you name it. He would be waiting outside of work or school. He started sitting in a car with friends at the end of my driveway. He was in the bushes/trees off the trail by my house once with two friends.
So, me and my brother walked home together. We cut through a trail to save almost 10 minutes of walking time, we always went through there, it was always daylight and I was never to walk home alone. One day, my brother was walking slower behind me, I was further ahead. All of a sudden, he jumped out with two friends and tried to grab me, to which I jumped back and screamed. My brother started running towards me yelling “Run home! Call the police!” So I did just that. I ran as fast as I could, thinking what is going to happen to my brother? Why were they waiting there? Would they be there tomorrow? What did they want with me?
Thank god my brother came home, we spoke to the police to which the response was “Did he hurt you? Did he hit you? Did he attack you?” since I said “No, he tried to grab me but I ran off.” to which the response was “well we can’t do anything.”
I remember clear as day, the non-chalant nature of this phrase, “Til you wind up dead in a ditch, there is absolutely nothing we can do to help you.”
Try being a teen and hearing that. I immediately went into victim mode. I panicked. I was scared. My mom and dad were angry. There had been a prank call to which my dad had said “If you ever call back here again and say anything about my daughter, I promise you I will reach my hands down your (insert choice swear words here) throat and rip out all your insides.” To which the cops said “that can be perceived as a threat, you could be charged with that.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Charging my dad for protecting his daughter against someone who is stalking, shaming, spreading rumours about and almost attacking? This is when it starts getting worse. Every single day it got worse. Every week it was another phone call, another sighting and more badgering. More witnesses but nothing being done. I was documenting, visiting the police station often.
He had tried to break down a friends door to get to me because he just wanted to “talk” after screaming and beating down the door to which I actually got hit by the door at one point, it tore the skin off the top of my foot and took off half of the nail and he had pushed me against the wall. Somehow managed to get out of the situation by pretending to be nice and talking my way out of it, by saying I wanted to talk more but I just had to get home…so once I got home I again filed complaints.
I remember sitting in the police station, writing a statement, my mother beside me, reading everything and I had nothing to hide.
The police officers interrogated me, asking if I had performed sexual acts to which the answer is no, they asked if I was sure about that, that I wasn’t making this up, they even laughed and asked me what “audacity” meant in my statement. They weren’t taking this seriously. They thought I was another overexaggerating woman and this was no big deal. They were basically saying, if I had any intimate relationship with him prior, it would make sense for how he is acting, but because I didn’t, why is he so infatuated with me? So they insinuated I was lying – and once again – nothing could be done to help me.
I was constantly crying. I was constantly afraid. I kept saying this isn’t life. There was a point in time where I thought not living would be easier than dealing with this and I would be free.
I was scared to go to work in the morning when I began driving and working more around the age of 17. There were 3 different instances where I had to get up at 5am for work on the weekend and my car doors would be open, the trunk would be open, and I knew it was him. I knew, because the bear spray I kept in my car kept going missing, so I would get more, I’d forget it in my car and the next day it would be gone.
When I was in about grade 11, I had 5-6 girls try to jump me to beat me up, because he told them to. He played the “poor me” card, saying I was spreading rumors and lies, I was ruining his life, I wouldn’t leave him alone and all that crap. I was able to talk them down out of their rage and tell them exactly what was really happening. They must have known on some level, because they listened to everything I said. They watched me cry and explain my frustration..They actually apologized and said they wouldn’t bother me again. So now I had to worry about if some random person was going to try and hurt me for him.
Once again- nothing could be done because they didn’t want to talk to the police. I think they were slightly scared themselves.
This is when the death threats started. I was terrified to leave my house. If I woke up because of a noise in the middle of the night my first thought was, “hes broken into the house, hes going to hurt my family, hes going to hurt me.” He had grabbed me a few times, tried to pull me close to him, but that’s not considered assault although being touched wasn’t welcomed and was told no plenty of times.
I was constantly shaking. Every day I went to high school, I was afraid. Anyone tall with dark hair I would avoid, I remember looking at everyone’s faces to make sure it wasn’t him, I remember running to the bus and immersing myself in the crowd, running to my car when I started driving, always carrying a flashlight, CONSTANTLY looking over my shoulder. Me and ryan had broken up again at about age 17, but when we were dating, he was constantly yelling at Ryan, saying very inappropriate things and saying what a bad person I was.
He came into work and with plenty of witnesses had said “Ohhh hey look who it is! I just want you to know, that I have a bullet with YOUR f*cking name on it, and it will be coming for you when you least expect it”, he then made a motion with his hand like a gun and I ran to the back to call the police.
They came, took my statement once again, and their exact words was “He is clearly good at this, because he didn’t specifically say ‘I am going to kill you’, this can’t be perceived as a death threat, no action can be taken here.” Because of technical wording even though the intent and nature of it, can’t be considered a death threat and nothing could be done.
This seemed to be the story of my life until I was around 19. At that point, the incredible man at the police station finally managed to get me a female police officer after expressing his deepest sympathy and dismay for the lack of attention and care given to me.
He was always so incredibly nice, he was always helpful and always listened to me.
So finally – I got a restraining order. I got criminal convictions. It went to court, I wrote a victim impact statement which was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do — explaining how awful life has been since the age of 14, how every day I’m terrified to be alive, I’m terrified to go to school or work or to a friends house. At this point, I was very angry. Very cynical. I hated life. My health was deteriorating more so, not that I was ever really fully healthy. I hated everyone and everything. This is when I began drinking and partying because I thought, if my life is at stake I might as well live it up before I die young. That was my mentality, I would never be married, have a family, I would die before 25. Even with the restraining order and convictions, I didn’t feel safe. Every time I went to the police it got worse so I was expecting that. Although he left me alone for that year, I still was so deeply angry and hurt.
The female officer had said, “Self defense is a great thing. If it ever comes down to you or him, make sure it is him. With all the evidence, it would be an open/shut case, it wouldn’t even be a question…Dead men don’t talk”
Hearing that also had a traumatic effect and I thought, I may have to inflict a fatal injury just to stay alive and out of jail.
My bosses were great – they enacted a ban near the end and delivered it to the police which was delivered to him, saying he was not allowed to be anywhere on the property of any of the locations they owned and gave the list. I felt a little empowered over that, they would have to choose to press charges if he went against that.
A year went by, I began saving for a house and bought my condo at the age of 21. I thought, if I move out of this town he won’t find me…right?? WRONG. He showed up at my condo more than once. He continued showing up at my work. After the year restraining order, they said I had no right to fear for my life. I had no reason to be afraid. Even after it continued, they still said I had no reason to feel the way I felt despite the history. They refused to enact another restraining order or harassment convictions. This was when I decided to leave BC and go to Alberta.
I saw him one last time before I moved and it was the most bizarre situation…normally when I saw him I went into extreme fear mode, panic, stress, I wanted to run. I had been in BodyTalk for two years already and had quite a bit of work done around this.
So this time, I was 24. I was SO sick and tired of this shit after 10 years. He walked in, I saw him, and instead of running and calling the police, I thought, “Try me you son of a bitch. I am no longer allowing you to control my life.” I continued to do my work, serve customers, and I stared into his eyes for as long as I could. I held my stance, my posture, and thought, if he’s going to hurt me, just try it. There are so many people around that he would definitely go to jail no questions asked. I for the first time, felt empowered. I felt a surge of energy run through me like never before and I kept saying over and over, “You have no control over me. I am my own person, I am strong, I am no longer your victim.”
He looked like a deer in the headlights. He said nothing. His face was blank. He looked like he saw a ghost, and he literally turned around and rushed out of my workplace.
I did see he was illegally selling goods, being charged with breaking and entering since he was a teen, it kept going into young adult years, he even ended up in the city I was living in – but I never saw him. I just saw through other ways that he was out selling stolen property and probably getting caught at the same time. Even though I knew he was going back and forth – I wasn’t too worried until I got pregnant. Then all the fears came back because it is no longer about me, its about protecting my daughter.
We also decided to move back home which opened all those fears around running into him, he harming me or my daughter, finding where we live all of it, and I am working through these extreme fears and moments of panic.
Throughout all this, I was in a deep depression for awhile too. I couldn’t help but think poor me, my life would be so much better if this never happened, and I kept telling myself it was my fault and that I was really stupid. I beat myself up. I criticized myself.
Like I had said in my video, I want to empower others. Do not take what someone says as “this is how it is” as fact. It’s bullshit. There can be a different outcome, you have to fight for your rights, your safety, for convictions, to be seen and heard. I also want everyone to know that your choices of what you wear or do, does NOT make it okay for someone to cause bodily harm. It is NOT your fault if you say no and they continue. Too many are scared to speak up against the police, against those in authority figures and that’s where so much abuse of power and abuse in general lies. If I had my time back, I would’ve raised HELL in that police department. I would’ve went to the news, the papers, higher up for someone to listen to me but I was timid, I was scared. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I was afraid to even do the reports but knew I had to. Do not let fear ever stop you from getting justice, from getting help. DO NOT let anyone tell you they can’t help you. If so, move on and find someone who can. They kept saying that they couldn’t help me, but for some reason, another police officer was easily able to obtain a court hearing, restraining order and 3 criminal convictions of harassment.
It is so sad that this still happens, but I want to be that voice that it doesn’t have to be this way. There needs to be a change, and it starts with each one of us, standing up for ourselves and demanding justice be served. If only I knew back then what I knew now, and I’m sure my parents feel the same.
Going from sexual harassment to rumours, to being physically grabbed, to death threats to break ins, to extreme fear and panic about being alive-it is no way to live. We all deserve to have quality of life without looking over your shoulder, without someone trying to control your every move, tracking every second of your day. It is our right to hold those people responsible for their actions and I know in the future I will know what to do differently.
Use your anger, your hurt, your fear as movement for CHANGE.
Since then, I’ve let go of the majority of fear, my insecurities, my negative views, my deep seeded hate, and I am able to see the learning lesson in this…about seeing others for who they really are and not being naive. I can say this for myself, I can take responsibility for my part now that I understand. It isn’t the same for everyone else but in my case I played the part of being the victim and playing into his manipulation of fear.
Love to everyone who has ever been through something like this, you are stronger than you realize. I hope this helps you move forward, to make a change, or to even start thinking about working through anything you may have suppressed or not let go of yet. Your experience of life is valid, your emotions are valid, and it is up to you where to go from here. ❤