Tag Archive | harassment

Nothing can annoy ya like a case of paranoia—cyberstalking!

The title to this blog post should be sung to the tune of ” Carolina in the Morning” if you want to get the full effect.  In the wake of my reblog last night about sociopaths, and how they operate in the world, I woke up to a few new followers to my blog.  Yippee!  A new follower or two to my blog almost always has me over the moon, because this blog is my baby.

Yet, I find that I am only partially over the moon because I know that one of the people following me did not just happen upon my blog and fall in love with it.  I know she is here to watch my every move, or word, more to the point.  Ah, well, what to do?  What I do is to say welcome one and all!  (Then behind the scenes I add a name and email and blog link to my “Comments that must be always moderated list and my blacklist.)  Then I go about my day, which I have been doing.  I ran some errands, and I took a stroll in the woods to collect kindling, because it is just plain gorgeous out there!

Gorgeous, I tell you!

However, how I go about my day has changed to a certain extent recently and that irritates me.  I lock my door all of the time now.  In all of my life I have never done that before.  I used to live in a big house full of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of antiques and jewelry and I never locked my door.  I also lock my car now.  I never lock my car, because the one time I did lock my car, some 30 years ago, it got stolen.  True story.  It was the summer before my last year of college and I was living in Seattle and working as a waitress at an airport hotel.  I drove an old beater that had a homemade paint job, and I affectionately called it The Circus Wagon.

I had given someone I worked with a lift to work that night.  We both worked nights.  We got out of the car and when it was clear I was not locking my car, he said, “You need to lock your car.  You are not in Montana anymore.  This is Seattle.  Go lock your car.”  So I did.  The next morning at 7:30 a.m. when I wandered sleepily out to get in my car and head home it was gone.   I wandered and wandered through the enormous parking lot until the reality dawned on me.  My locked car was gone.  I never saw it again.  I also never locked my car again.

My oldest daughter went to visit her then boyfriend, now husband, a couple of years back and parked her car in a park and ride and locked it.  When she got back after her visit, her driver’s side window was smashed in, and all they had taken were her sunglasses.  They were Mui Mui–I had gotten them for her on eBay for a steal in excellent used condition, but as I told her, had you left you doors unlocked, they could have just opened the door and taken the darned sunglasses, and you would have  had none of that messy clean up!  She still locks her car.  All my kids do, and now I have joined the ranks of lockers.  We will see just how long it lasts.

My friend, Dallas, at Namaste Cafe made this poster and I am using it with her full consent. Who does not love a cute orange kitty speaking our mind for us? As we say in my family, put on your happy pants!

I am not the paranoid sort of person.  I do not think anyone is out to get me, except for those who I know are out to get me.  I do not think people are watching me, or talking about me behind my back, once again with the exception of those who I know are doing just that.  I would love to never mention cyber stalking or harassment again, and yet on it goes, and I take the appropriate measures, and go about my life, but that is not enough.  It is not enough because I know of several other women who are being stalked and harassed online.  It is not enough because teenagers are killing themselves because someone was stalking, harassing, and bullying them in an online settings.

When another teenager takes his or her own life because of relentless cyber-bullying, we all share articles, or videos, or write blogs about hate, but it is time to stop and think about where these young bullies and stalkers are learning their tricks.  The people stalking and harassing me are all of the ages 50 years and up, with two being in their 70’s.  We bemoan the behavior and hatred of the current generation of young people, but they are learning that behavior somewhere, and it is probably right at home.  Is life really so dull that adult people have nothing better to do than stalk and harass people they do not even know?   My life is plenty busy, and very happy, and I also have no desire to go hating on anyone.  I am going to sit here and think of how I could possibly be enticed into hating on someone, or stalking someone, I do not even know.  Enjoy an image of my cat sleeping downstairs while I think…

Yes, she is a big girl. She’s a pretty girl, too!

Okay, I thought about it and I can think of absolutely nothing that could entice me enough to harass, stalk, or otherwise hate on someone I do not know.  I have a hard time doing that with the people I do know.  That is because 99% of  the people I do know are totally lovely people.  I do admit to keeping my eye on a few from the other team from time to time, but that is just to be safe.  It is usually right about at this point in the discussion that I expect someone to leave a comment on the law of attraction–what you focus on is what you attract.  Here are my thoughts on that.  I believe that being happy and positive and optimistic  with get you far, so will hard work.  I do not believe that turning a blind eye to something will make it disappear.  I also do not think that if I visualize something I want hard enough and long enough and with as much love as I can muster that it will appear at my front door.  Were this true, Robert Redford would be outside chopping wood for me and would be walking in any minute to ask me what delicious meal I had in store for him tonight before he heads out to buy me something lovely and eco-friendly.  Please enjoy this picture of what I see when I look out my window while I actually go look out of my window…

I know. I am a lucky gal!

Bob is not out there!  Thirty plus years of visualizing him and wanting him badly have not made him appear!  I guess it is nachos tonight, as the child wishes.  I believe in God.  I believe that God is protecting me and that He is using me for His message and that He wants you all to know what He knows.  There is evil in the world and we cannot make it go away by ignoring it.  We also cannot participate in it, no matter how tempting it may be.

We need to love more.  We need to put our cell phones down and love on our kids, and pay attention to them when we take them to the playground.  Get out of your car!  Take your face out of your phone and notice that your 4 and 5-year-old children are running around pretending to shoot everyone in sight, and you keep ignoring them when I ask them to please stop.  Turn off your computer and go outside and see the beauty out there. Get off of your rear end and do something to show someone that you love them.

If you want to talk politics with me, tell me why you love a certain candidate, not why you hate the other.  I do not talk hate politics. Your kids are listening to your every word.  They are seeing your every action.  They are learning from you, and too many are learning hate.  Enough is enough.  Here is a trite saying that I really DO believe.  Be the change you want to see!

If you are as tired as I am of hatred and bullying and harassment in the world, YOUR world, stop ignoring it.  If you ignore it you are tacitly endorsing it.  Stop talking hate.  Talk about what you love, show love, be loving.  Be out in the world and be loving.  Do not get sucked into stalking someone for a friend.  What kind of friend would ask you to do that in the first place?

Act like a good person.  Be a good person so that your kids can learn how to be good people.  If you want to change the world, then go out there and throw around as much love as you possibly can, but at the same time, be willing enough, and brave enough, to stand up to bad behavior when you see it.  I want to end this post on a positive note and so I will finish with this….I baked peanut butter cookies last night!  Oooh, peanut butter cookies!!  Now go enjoy your day!

Cookies!!

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Love, attachment, detachment, and letting go

I have been enjoying a day of silence and solitude today, which has not been as silent as I had hoped, but without the distractions of music, or movies, or too much talk, I have succeeded in being able to listen and hear what I have been needing to hear.  I have needed clarity on the topics of love, attachment, detachment, and letting go.  These thoughts began as a tangled ball of hurt feelings and slowly I have been untangling the ball.  As the knots loosened, I saw that the feelings had to be sorted into different piles, and each pile needed to be named and understood before I could make any true progress towards my goal, which was letting go and forgiving and loving fully.

When we think of love, most of us would be quick to agree that in order to love someone there has to be an attachment to that person.  I am very attached to my children, and I love them deeply.  Siblings, friends, spouses–those people closest to us–we generally feel that in order to love them fully we need to have an attachment to them.  I certainly thought that, and yet I have been forced to realize that the notion of attachment and love may be leaving something very important and valuable out of the mix.  This became especially clear to me as I struggled to come to terms with the Biblical command to love everyone.  Most religions and spiritual disciplines teach something similar.  We are all in this together, and love is the goal we strive to reach.

Love and attachment do coexist in many good and healthy relationships, such as the parent-child relationship, ideally anyway.  The same is true with friends, spouses, siblings, and parents.  There has to be balance in the attachment.  If we become overly attached in unhealthy ways we might become clingy, or domineering, or unable to see and appreciate the person separate from ourselves.  There are those darned boundaries again that tell us where we end and another person begins.  Boundaries are unique within each close relationship, and they shift over time.  If the relationship is a healthy one, this adjusting of boundaries happens fairly easily, as we parents adjust and step back as our children grow older.

We learn to let go and trust and have faith that we have taught our children well enough that they will flourish as adults.  The attachment to the child remains secure, but a certain detachment must come into play if we are going to be able to love them for who they are, and allow them to grow into who they are meant to become.  It is not an uncaring detachment at all, and it is not easy at the start, but it is necessary to maintain healthy boundaries and love in the relationship.  It is respect at the very core of it.  Certainly, this form of healthy attachment-detachment adjusting is far easier with those we are close to, or maybe not…

What happens when someone you love hurts you?  What happens when a marriage fails, and the divorce is nasty, and love is replaced with more undesirable emotions like anger, resentment, and even hatred. The base of all of these emotions is hurt.  How do you love a perfect stranger who has repeatedly attacked you, or someone that you love deeply but who does not show you the same respect that you show them without some overlay of hurt or bitterness to muck up each attempt at forgiveness?  How do I love someone who has wounded me in ways I never dreamed imaginable?  How do I love these people fully, like the Bible tells me to, and do it with purity and compassion.  Here is where the tangled ball unravels, and the three separate piles become more clear.  Detachment is the key to loving someone who has betrayed you, abused you, or hurt you in any form.  Detachment is not an easy place to get to, though.

When I was at the height of my cyber-bullying experience I read a lot of articles on the topic so that I could better understand it, and in order to write an article myself.  One of the best things that I read told me that, while documenting everything, to take a giant step back and to become an observer of the person harassing me.  To be an effective observer, I had to detach from my own hurt.  Once I was able to do that, I saw that the woman harassing me treated everyone the same.  She lashed out easily at anyone who had the slightest disagreement with her point of view.  She often perceived that certain comments were “calling me stupid,” when nothing even close was said.  She had a hair-trigger when it came to feeling slighted, and becoming angry and aggressive.  In short, I learned that her behavior towards me truly was nothing personal.  It was just how she viewed and attacked the world.  This information was liberating is a rather smug, “Well, she is just a miserable person…” sort of way.  I stopped observing and documenting, but I had not reached compassion, love, and forgiveness yet.

To get to that place, I had to detach even further.  I had to step so far back that I was in her shoes.  I had to look at what her life must be like, and feel like.  I had to look at who she was in a relationship with, and what she was going through with her children, and grandchild.  When I looked at her life from inside her shoes my heart hurt.  I am a mother, and I know what it feels like when there are serious issues with a child.  It is scary and it hurts like hell and you blame yourself in some way or another.  I had to look at the grandchild and his behavior that so troubles my son—such anger and aggressiveness at a very young age.  Grandma has to cope with that, and that sort of behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  I felt sad for her in a profound way and I finally reached a place of compassion for her, and the entire household.  With compassion comes the ability to love–the kind of love that the Bible teaches.  It does not mean I want to play in the same sandbox with her, but I no longer harbor any ill will towards her.  I love her for the hurting person that she is and that feels a lot better than anger and lack of forgiveness.

Unfortunately, I have had to use the same process recently with someone infinitely closer to me–someone who I love dearly and always will.  I had to step back and observe a lifetime of behavior on both of our parts.  I had to step back even further to get into her shoes, and feel the anger she feels, and the fear, and the sadness.  I know why she hurts, whether intentional, or not, and I know that her pain is deeper than the wounds she inflicts on me.  I have great compassion for her, and I have forgiven her.  At the same time, I have compassion for myself in a new way, and suddenly a fourth pile comes out of the mix, and into that pile goes expectations.

I would, and have, moved mountains out of love for this person.  Because I would, and have done that, I expected the same from her.  Not everyone loves like I do.  Not everyone is willing to move mountains, or feels that they even can.  I had to release my expectations–detach from them–in order to let go of the hurt and love her fully.  She can only love as well as she is doing, like my mother could only love as well as she did.  I cannot expect more.  I can expect respect, and if that is absent, I will let go with love.

Throughout this process of detaching, and observing, and stepping into another person’s shoes, I was certain that what I was doing was detaching from each individual.  To be sure, there is some truth to that.  However, today I realized that what I had really had to do in order to get to the place of love, compassion, forgiveness, and letting go was to detach myself from my own ego and pride.  I had to tie each piece from each one of the four piles together, roll the ball up neatly, and name it what it truly was–pride and ego.  If I had not detached myself from my own hurt ego, I never would have been able to step into their shoes, find compassion for them, and finally love and forgive them for who they are.

My pride and my mouth have been two of my biggest defense mechanisms when hurt.  I have been chipping away at both bit by bit, but these experiences have taken me forward with a huge leap.  I can step away from my ego and my pride and I can love and forgive as God wants me to do.  I have not given up myself in the process.  Quite the opposite, like the Grinch, I feel as if my heart has grown three sizes today.  It is a wonderful, peaceful, gentle feeling.  The silence has truly been golden. The sun will be setting soon, and I will be lighting my candles.  I am full of homemade bread and soup.  I have nothing to defend tonight.  I am free to love fully from whatever distance I choose.  I thank God for that freedom.

Cyberbullying and Adults

Bullying and cyberbullying are hot topics both in the media and in schools across the country.  Many states are enacting stiff laws that address bullying and harassment, and those laws usually include cyberbullying.  In some states, cyberbullying can result in jail or prison time, and may be a felony.  But, the reality of cyberbullying is that it is not confined to teenagers.  Adults are victims of cyberbullying, and more and more adults are becoming cyberbullies.  What is the fastest growing population among those who cyberbully?  It is adult women.

So, what is cyberbullying?  It is bullying and harassment but instead of being done in a real life setting, it is done over the computer, in chat rooms, social networking sites, or via text message, or emails.  In short, it is bullying done using  a piece of electronic equipment.  Now, in real life, we can walk away from a bully, disconnect ourselves from that person, at least in the best case scenarios.  But because the internet is everywhere, providing endless forums for the bully to use to perpetrate their crime, cyberbullying can be far harder to stop, and can exact an even higher emotional toll on the person being cyberbullied.  We are well aware that cyberbullying has lead to suicides among teens, and while most adults have more resources and life experience to withstand the cyberbully, there is still a toll for the adult being bullied, be it emotional, physical, or spiritual, or the attempted ruination of a reputation.

Insults, name calling, attacks on race, religious beliefs, physical or emotional disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, or ANY OTHER PERSONAL CHARACTERISTIC are all considered bullying, and when done via the internet, or cell phone, comprise cyberbullying.  Generally, there is also some form of cyberstalking involved in the cyberbullying, as well.

What can you do if you are being cyberbullied?  First off, do not respond in kind–do not cyberbully back.  That rather goes without saying, but in the heat of the moment, when feelings are hurt, and emotions are raw, it is easier said than done.  Gather evidence, including saving text messages, taking screen shots of cyberbullying comments and posts, and keep all bullying emails.  Contact the site on which you are being harassed and bullied.  Most have very strong anti-harassment policies.  Some are quicker than others to respond.  Tell someone you trust, and if you have an attorney, forward all of the evidence to him.  Contact law enforcement if you are threatened.  If the bully does not stop, you can seek a harassment order.  Check out your local state laws to see if cyberbullying is addressed, and what legal measures can put a stop to it.

Why do adult people cyberbully?  Usually, the bullying comes from anger, jealousy, and a need for revenge.  Many adult bullies do it for entertainment purposes.  They enjoy bullying.  It makes them feel better about themselves somehow.  Often, these people have too much time on their hands, and not a real, meaningful, life to speak of, so instead or reading a good book, or knitting, or just loving on the people in their lives, they use their free time, and often work time, to engage in cyberbullying.  These are truly sad people who have yet to reach an emotional stage of development that dictates a life of kindness, integrity, and compassion.  They are unhappy people.

Yes, I am being cyberbullied right now, and while I’d love to think that I am six feet tall and bullet proof, it hurts.  That the person who is doing the cyberbullying does not know me at all baffles me.  It would seem that she is so weak in her own personal character that she is easily swayed by information provided to her by people who are not trustworthy sources of information about me, or are they even close to honest and objective.  And yet, she allows herself to be their puppet, or she is just unhappy enough to need no encouragement.  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  In any world, and for whatever reason, it’s wrong.

That this same woman claims that she was bullied as a teen, writes articles and blog posts about the experience, and is using a site to raise money to have anti-bullying pamphlets printed, so that she can go into the schools to talk to children about bullying is the ultimate irony.  This woman has wished me dead, and openly expressed her desire to be able to hasten my death.  I think that somehow goes far and beyond bullying.  What is she modeling to her own children with her bad behavior?

I have seen adults bully other adults. Prison was a great place for that.  When I saw it happening, even if I shared a dislike for the person being bullied, I always confronted the bully, if it was safe to do, and it usually was.  There is no excuse for bullying or cyberbullying.  What you have to say about others speaks far more to your own character than to the person that you are insulting, degrading, and trying to tear down.

I don’t play with bullies, or cyberbullies, but I do take appropriate actions, and those actions may soon have to reach an even higher level if I want this to stop, and I do want it to stop.   If you are being cyberbullied, do not sit back in silence.  Tell some.  Speak out.  Get help.  Below are some links to organizations with information on cyberbullying.

Each day, I just keep praying for this woman, and the family endorsing her cyberbullying.  I pray that someday they will open themselves to the concepts of love, kindness, forgiveness, honesty, integrity, and compassion.  That’s a tall order to fill, but with God, anything is possible!  In the meantime, I will continue to live my own life fully using those concepts.

My ex-husband terrifies me….

 

I have been MIA for a few weeks, in the trenches, battling the sociopath.  One of the downsides to being an idealist is the way I think.  I do not think in mean ways, nor do I think about harming people—even people who have hurt me greatly.  So, when I find out that others have such violent, vindictive, hateful thoughts, and perhaps even plans, it throws me for a huge loop almost every dang time.  I’ve been forced to face a scary reality in the past few weeks; The sociopath and his girlfriend would like me dead.  This has pulled me right out of my happy little dream world and into a world, and day to day mode, that I am finding less than enjoyable.  I am terrified most of the time now, and that is just “so not me!”  After all, I HAVE been to prison, and I have lived through many, many hell-on-Earth experiences, and I have gone through these experiences almost blithely without fear.  But now I am scared, quite a lot.

I have had to come to terms with the fact that the sociopath is a lot sicker than I thought, and that his behavior is escalating.  His girlfriend appears to be completely obsessed, and is doing most of the dirty work for him, with his father lending a huge hand, as well.  What I have discovered, and uncovered, and continue to find over the last couple of weeks what  amounts to four Facebook pages, blogs, newspaper articles, and extensive Tweets regarding me, and the Guardian ad Litem in our divorce, and they are working to destroy us both.  The sociopath depersonalizes me by referring to me as “Mom,” in quotes.  Something new pops up every day.  Yesterday is was listing on Craigslist sites around the country.  What will it be today?  While they cry “censorship” and “free speech,” I refuse to feed the trolls and stoop to their level with personal responses, but I will not tolerate hate speech, libel, or defamation of character.  All of the newspaper editors that I have had to contact have agreed and have shut them down.  I have learned that I can speak the truth, honestly, factually, and without emotion, and people will respond with the right and proper actions.

I have Facebook posts, Tweets, Blog posts, everything, all saved to my computer, and all has been sent to my attorney, including the website the sociopath has on a place call GoFundMe where he “pimps” out our son to get people to donate money to him under false pretenses.  My attorney is afraid of “starting World War 3,” because everyone is scared of this family.  He tells me that the sociopath doesn’t have the balls to do anything for real.  I bet someone has said that to every woman, protecting her children, who has been murdered by her abuser.  I have made it clear I want a protection order, and yet nothing happens.  Any my son has to be around these poison people for some period of time, three out of four weekend each month.

The truth is that when we lived with him we never had heat in the winter.  I’d awaken with a baby to a house that was 38 degrees, and if I was lucky, with the cook stove, I might get the loft up to 54 degrees by mid-afternoon.  The washer broke and he wouldn’t fix it, so I washed all of our clothing, including dirty cloth diapers, in our kitchen sink for over 2 years.  A huge hole developed in front of the toilet, with a view straight down to the dug, dirt, basement.  No one would use the toilet but me.  My son had to use a potty chair until we fled when he was 4.5 years old.  We had no working oven, and three month prior to my leaving, the water pump broke and we had no running water.  We had farm animals, sheep, goats, a mama llama and her cria, and an alpaca.  Over the winter before I left, he left half of them starve to death.   I estimate we lost 25 animals.  He killed 25 animals.  He’d told me they were all fine, out in the back pasture, as I could not get to them because of snowed in fences and gates.  One day I went out to investigate a barking dog, and pushed beyond where I would normally go to find heaps of animal corpses.  Of course, there is more to tell, all sick and twisted and scary as hell, but I wasn’t scared then.  I was too numbed by the effort needed to survive.

The truth is also that, since we fled nearly 3 years ago, my son has never been cold.  He has always had running water, a full functional bathroom, and he can take a hot bath anytime he likes.  The house is not filled with a million flies, nor are there soda bottles filled with urine everywhere.  All of his issues that emerged after we left, some pretty severe, have been discovered, assessed, and dealt with to the point where he is a normal, happy, functioning child.  But, he remembers…he remembers it all, and at 7 years old, he’s begun to ask questions about what he saw and experienced.  I have no answers.  Daddy’s sick…  And now, Mommy’s scared, but I’ll be damned if my son has to feel that even for one moment.