Trigger Warning: This essay discusses the experience of having a stalker.
By Bianca Palumbo
Outsiders – they just don’t seem to understand. I have been tiptoeing my way around for months, on edge. I am experiencing something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. I have been followed, disturbed, and thrown off-guard by a man known only as my stalker.
It all started the year I was graduating from High School, 2014. I was always actively pursuing new opportunities and working every event that I could. What I never expected was the possibility of meeting a stranger who would someday haunt me. No young woman can prepare for the endless nights of fear and unknowing that come in reaction to a stalker.
I have been independent for most of my life. I wanted to work whenever I could, joined clubs and sports teams, volunteered in the community, and that all excelled the day I earned by driver’s license. It was the summer I was leaving for college that the first email came through. My stalker had crafted a story about our romantic relationship and all of the bonds we have shared together. Meanwhile, I had no idea who he was. I only realized where we met when he admitted to finding my information in a staffing email. This was the first real time my privacy was violated – I felt I could trust no one.
I thought he would go away; thought it would all end on its own, but I was wrong. For two years he has been sending me stories about our relationship. His infatuation has become dangerous and I have become a victim to the act of harassment and stalking. I no longer work too far from home and am nervous going anywhere alone. My independence has been quickly taken away and I rely on others for personal safety. But, many people underestimate the situation throw my worries to the backburner. The police and the judge questioned my reasoning to the point where I felt betrayed. After endless explanations and pleas, it was hard evidence that turned the law around. Continue Reading…