The Cyber Stalker

A few years back I dated this guy. Let’s call him Cyber Stalker, or CS for short. CS seemed totally normal at first. He was good looking, charming, well-educated and intelligent. After awhile, though, he started to creep me out. He would make comments about how often I went on the dating site where we met. He wanted to know how many other guys I was seeing. Then he told me he found my profile on another site. CS also knew stuff about me I had never told him. Apparently he had googled me, looked at my resume and found articles I had written in college. I had a blog at the time and the page hits went up exponentially after I met CS. I’d love to attribute this to something other than CS combing through every word I had ever written, but I know the score.

One night I was on the dating site where CS and I had met. I got an email from a man that, based on his profile, seemed perfect โ€” tall, creative, successful, rich, intelligent. I talked to Mr. Perfect for a few days on messenger. We talked for hours. The only weird thing was that Mr. Perfect never wanted to talk on the phone.

I eventually found out why when CS called me up screaming. He called me a lying bitch and a whore. See, there was no Mr. Perfect. CS had created a fake profile and I had been talking to him the whole time. Not that it was any of his business, but a couple of times I had told CS I was going to bed, then stayed up talking to Mr. Perfect. I’d also told CS I was only looking for a casual relationship, but then told Mr. Perfect I was looking for a long term relationship. This is why CS felt justified in calling me a liar. It never occurred to him that his lies far outweighed mine.

I don’t know why I kept seeing CS, but I did. After we broke up, I found out that Mr. Perfect wasn’t the only fake account he created. He also created a fake female account to talk to other men on the dating site that he suspected I was seeing.

Around this time I made the mistake of agreeing to meet a different guy in public without ever hearing his voice on the phone. I went to the coffee shop where we had planned to meet and waited and waited, but the guy never showed. Later I found out that this was another account that CS had fabricated. He sat home laughing his ass off while I got stood up by a phantom of his creation.

We finally broke up. CS left me alone for awhile. But once and awhile I would get these texts from numbers I didn’t recognize saying things like, “sorry babe, my test results came back positive.” This was CS’s sick idea of a joke. I learned to ignore him.

Six months after we stopped seeing each other, I was living in a new apartment. I was in a wild mood one night and put ad on Craigslist looking for a casual hookup. Stupidly I let one guy come over to my house without first meeting him in public. We had talked on the phone, and he sounded cool, but the private number he called from should have been a red flag. I’m sure you can guess where this is going. When my doorbell rang it was CS on my doorstep. The strangest thing about this was that I didn’t even post pictures in my ad. How could he tell it was me just from my words? I was freaked out, but ended up having sex with him anyway.

After that, CS came over a few more times, almost always unannounced. I knew he was crazy, but I was crazy too. So even though I was angry, it never stopped me from sleeping with him.

***

All of the above is true, except for one major detail.

In real life the roles were reversed.

My ego likes to portray a certain image, even in recovery. I am the sweet little girl who was dealt a shitty hand. I was abused, neglected, abandoned all throughout childhood. Then as an adult I was constantly victimized by men โ€” raped, used and abused, lied to, humiliated. All of that is true, but I’m also a perpetrator.

I attempted to control, lied to, and violated men that I was obsessed with. I hate, hate, hate the word stalker, but that’s what I was. At least it’s what I DID. Because at my core, I’m not a stalker. Stalking goes against every moral code I have. I would never ever violate a friend, a family member, a coworker, a neighbor, or anyone else by invading their privacy. But every conviction I have goes out the window when I am hooked on someone. The addiction takes over and my authentic self is lost. It’s an extremely dark place that I could easily revisit.

But every day spent in recovery brings me farther and farther into the light.

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27 comments on “The Cyber Stalker

  1. Unfortunately, I totally get it. I started doing this stuff back in the 70’s when I was a teenager. I would call my boyfriend (there was no caller ID) and pretend to be some girl and ask him if he wanted to go out with “her” just to see what he would say. This type of behavior has carried over into adulthood. I haven’t done anything in a while but I still struggle with it and have to stop myself.

    Hope you are well.

    • Imperfect says:

      You raise a good point. I used to try to justify this behavior by telling myself that this is what everyone does in the age of google. While googling someone you are dating might be the new “normal,” pretending to be someone else online isn’t.

      If the Internet hadn’t yet been invented, I’m sure I would have found other sneaky ways of extracting information.

      Btw, it’s great to see you on wordpress again.

  2. Castimonia says:

    I can totally relate. In my unhealthy days, I did many things similar to what you wrote. I thank God every day I am living outside of the addiction-filled fog I once lived in.

  3. You really have a flair for narrative, Imperfect, and this post is no exception. It’s riviting, and I hope the telling of it is healing, also. I know a guy who described the 4th step as, “Opening a wound and seing how infected you are. It hurts, but the moment it’s out is the moment healing begins.”

    • Imperfect says:

      Thanks Stephanie. This is so apt. It makes me cringe even typing the word “stalker.” I don’t want to admit to anyone, most importantly myself, that I have done anything that could be considered stalking. I am so ashamed, and I want to pretend it never happened. But I can’t heal a wound without first acknowledging that it exists.

  4. lexiconlover says:

    I love your honesty and candor. You shine

  5. bossymoksie says:

    Wow what a twist!
    So I wanna know, how did you know that it was him on cragslist casual encounters then???
    At least you are being honest with yourself, and that’s always the first step to finding the right dude for you. And for your recovery of course.

    • Imperfect says:

      Good question! The “I” in this story was actually a composite of a few different men. I did all of those things, but not just to one guy.

      Whenever I would meet a guy on craigslist it was always easy to find his other ads. Some guys just copied and pasted the same text over and over again, but most of them completely rewrote their ads each time, or they would post for a multitude of different things. One guy would post one day looking for a “BBW,” the next day looking for a “petite princess,” the day after an “ebony lover,” then a “sexy asian” (ugh, typing all those quotes makes it hard to ignore what an idiot he was). Even though all of his ads were different he would always use the same verbiage. He would describe himself as “hot,” “fit,” “hung,” “creative,” and “professional” (ugh again). Every ad, regardless of what it was for always included those words.

      Another dummy always made sure to say he was 100 percent “str8” (he wasn’t, btw; far from it), but instead of writing 100%, he would write %100.

      I could write a whole post on innovative ways to stalk your lover online. I could teach an entire Learning Annex class on it, even. But, I don’t want to encourage this kind of behavior, so I’ll keep my more advanced techniques under wraps, where they belong.

      • bossymoksie says:

        I was just wondering how someone could do that. It looks like you could teach a class!!! Maybe one day you’ll be able to put those skills to kick ass use, like finding kidnappers or terrorists.

      • Imperfect says:

        Ha. I’ve actually thought about using this skill set to open a private detective agency. The truth is, if I had devoted this much time, energy, and obsessive focus to ANYTHING, I would have excelled at it.

        Entire novels, probably entire series of novels could have been written if I had diverted this compulsive energy to writing.

  6. highpriestess0713 says:

    Very rarely can an author really suprise her audience now a days. Everything’s been done really, but this…. This was beautifully captivating and luring. I loved it. I’ve struggled with severe paranoia in my addiction. It’s never reached stalker status, but I have definately kept tabs on past flings/love interests/mistakes/unhealthy people. I enjoyed this though. I look forward to combing through your archives ๐Ÿ™‚
    ~Page

  7. petrichoric says:

    Hello, “Imperfect”. I just discovered your blog a few days ago after you “liked” one of my posts. I’m really glad that I came here to check your blog out. I love your writing style (Stephanie Walker is totally right about your having a real flair for narrative) and I’ve already read nearly every single post. Yes, you’re that good. Your blog has also provided a lot of solace. I have not yet attended any SLAA meetings (well, I did some years ago but never went back) but I feel that I am ready to right now. It is helpful to know that there is somebody out there like you with whom I share so many traits (good and bad). It helps to know that you’re working the steps, and are getting better.

    • Imperfect says:

      Hi Petrichoric. Thank you so much for commenting. I started attending SLAA meetings back in June 2011, but before that I went to a couple of meeting in 2009 and never went back, and had even attended one meeting in 2006.

      Sometimes we still need to do some more acting out to realize we really are powerless.

  8. petrichoric says:

    “Imperfect”, write another post! I’m having withdrawal symptoms. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Imperfect says:

      Lol. I’ve been crazy busy and pretty overwhelmed. I am working on something, though. Will try to have it up in a couple of days.

  9. l0velyjune says:

    Good job in recognizing your behavior. And it’s really hard to get over the “victim” mentality and the “sweet little girl who was dealt a shitty hand. But those ways of thinking don’t help you. They only hold you back.

  10. bella rose says:

    I have a question as I am going thru this right now as when I go on to a site and create a user name I find it posted on a site that has and is harrassing me.

  11. ThruTheRinger says:

    I’m a guy who can identify with all of the above. It’s nice to be attending meetings, getting honest and not doing this stuff anymore. What a relief!

    • Imperfect says:

      Hey, thanks for finding my blog.

      So good to hear from another addict in recovery. Sorry you had to experience the same things I did, but happy to hear you are free of it now.

      • Thanks. I was at an SLAA meeting this evening and I realized what a weight living with that addiction is. I couldn’t imagine going back to the humiliation and self degradation. That being said, it’s one day at a time and constant vigilance.

      • Imperfect says:

        I just got home from a meeting. That’d be funny if we were in the same meeting.

        The cyber stalking is the bottom line I’ve had the most trouble maintaining. It is one day at a time, or some days, one hour or one minute at a time.

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