I guess on WordPress you need a catchy title to get noticed. I’m not all that keen on thinking of catchy titles. I am keen, however, on writing about things. Having a place to write. Trying not to give a shit about who is reading or why.
The thing is, I always have this one audience in the corner of my mind: Edith.
Edith is a woman in her fifties. She is more rotund than one would probably like in this country. She wears bulky glasses and curled under grey/blonde hair. She maintains her own blog and Twitter and Facebook and who knows what else.
Two years ago, she got some wild hair up her ass that it might be fun to watch me. Everywhere.
It started on the internet. Looking at everything I posted. Reading and commenting on all of my blogs, all of my posts – and commenting about those things on her own pages. None of the posts or comments were… how shall I say it? Nice?
From there, she began reading the blogs I followed and commenting there.
It was as though she was determined I should not have a safe haven in which to write or in which to read.
She constructed multiple fake identities online so that she had further access to me and those I cared about. Her false personas were… nice… and so people bought into them, befriended them, and let them in.
I saw it all with horror – not sure how to take it – or what to do.
Then things began to appear on her sites that were about other goings on… other places I’d been and things I’d done that I didn’t blog about or post about. Of course she had been blocked everywhere I could think to block her and through every persona I thought might be her and some I didn’t but thought they might talk to her… and then things moved to a government level: I went to the police.
We ended up in court.
I don’t recommend going to court if you can help it. Especially if you aren’t the person who actually did anything. Take matters into your own hands. Violently, if necessary.
In our “innocent until proven guilty” justice system, victim blaming is the default setting.
Before I opened my mouth the judge assumed I had dragged this poor old lady to court out of some sort of maliciousness: jealousy, malice, meanness… and it took the bulk of the hearing to convince her that it was me who was the victim… me… the prosecutor. There was no thought for me own feelings or my own fear, though they did allow me to leave the court room ten minutes before her after I had finally won.
And what is it to win?
She was not assigned prison-time, but given a Peace Order. If she broke it, we would both end up back in court. There was no automatic arrest, but me back in court proving again who the victim was here. Proving that it wasn’t me initiating everything… proving…
And proving is exhausting. And when you have to get a lawyer, proving is expensive.
The “in-person” stalking seems to have stopped, though I am certain the cyber stalking continues. Obsession doesn’t die in a day.
There are those who have told me to go at her to the fullest extent the law will allow. One of those persons = Ed.
I understand all of their positions.
And understood them more fully when her postings online were vehemently and purposefully and boldly about me even after the Peace Order was issued.
I filed them away in case I would ever need them.
But made no response.
And they finally stopped.
As though she were the youngest child and I were the oldest and I had ignored her long enough for her to stop poking my upper arm in the backseat of our parents’ sedan.
The fear is all still there.
But this time I have an escape plan, an escape route, and an escape clause – and I am not afraid to use them. Nor will I feel like a coward for running.
Even if she were in prison, I would feel the eyes of her minions on my neck in the grocery store near her home. Even if she were in prison, I would feel the groanings of her brain – the hunger pangs for mischief, and I would feel anxiety and fear each time I heard the creaking of our bus door.
And so I am running.
And so I will run.