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Stalkers, Killers and Scars

Occasionally as I sit at my desk at work, I'll hear a quiet, almost hushed tapping on the door at the end of the hall. I close my eyes and dread each tap, not knowing who it is or what they want. It could easily be James or Ricky, my two most current stalkers. I call them stalkers, but they aren't really. They're just overly obsessed grown up little boys with egos bigger than their IQ's. To develop into true 'stalker status' they would have to watch me continuously, threaten harm, try to cause harm and follow me home. Well, by my own definition, at least James isn't a true stalker. Ricky most certainly is. Ricky actually has gone out of his way to cause harm.

James (48 and married) one day last October decided it was a good
idea to corner me in an elevator and confess that he was in love with me. It wasn't love - I knew the signs. It was infatuation and the beginnings of obsession. I tried to put James in his place and failed miserably. I tried again and again I failed. Finally, I gave it one more go and wasn't very nice about it. He still comes around and tries, but he's never going to find me anywhere without back up if he's around, and if I'm ever alone I'll be packing some punch with me, and I don't mean of the fruit flavor variety.

Ricky (42 and married) turned out to be a real piece of work. I befriended him and he fell in love with me. I tried to help him and he took it to be returned love. He grew more and more
obsessed each day, each time he saw me. He developed scenarios in his mind, played out fantasies in his head that nobody else could see. When I turned him away in fear and anger, he tried to sabotage my career with my company. He told his wild fantasies as
though they were fact. He grew spiteful and vengeful. He continued calling me and sending me text messages daily. He would show up where I worked and wanted to 'talk' to me. I avoided him at all cost, for fear of my own safety. He told me that he wanted to move in with me and marry me. Enough was enough... once more I had to put someone in their place and things only got worse.

Things with Ricky are far from being completely over I fear. I know there is more yet to come, but just like James, he'll never find me unprepared for his worst.

When I was only 18 years old, I had a boyfriend who hit me. Instantly I grew scared, but knew that I couldn't leave because there was nowhere for me to go. As soon as I obtained an escape, I took it. I did what I had to in order to escape things from getting worse, and that meant walking away one day without a penny to my name or a thing I owned except the clothes on my back. It wasn't the first time I'd lost everything, and for those who know me well know that it wasn't the last, either.

Months later, having given up my entire life and started over without any bills in my name, somehow he found me. He called the phone belonging to the girl I was staying with at the time. He left a very detailed message stating where I was, whom I was with, what I was wearing, how long I was in the pool, whom I sat in the jacuzzi with and what time I returned to the apartment. The police were called and a full report was made. That was the last I ever heard of or from him. In that case, the law worked.

Why do people develop such obsessions? What turns a normal man or woman into a stalker? In most cases, unless the person is a serial murder or rapist, most stalkers don't have a previous case history.

While on a call setting a schedule to pick up my things from an ex after a break up once, I asked him what it was that made him snap. He had followed me to work and then waited for me to go on lunch. Then he walked into my office with a single long stem rose and a very
morose expression on his face. In a flat monotone voice, he asked the office secretary where I was. From the tone of his voice alone, she was frightened. She told him I was at lunch and secretly planned to call me the second he walked back out of the office and started to head for the elevator.

But he didn't leave.

"Is this her chair," he asked, spotting a picture on my desk identifying it as mine.

"Yes, it is. I'm sorry but you'll have to go. She isn't here."

"So this is her desk," he continued, running his fingertips over my
keyboard, the edge of the desk, the lip of my coffee cup, down the length of an ink pen laying flat...

"Y-y-yeah," she stammered, "but you'll have to..."

"You said that already" he said, cutting her off in that same, flat, monotone voice. "Don't worry. I'll leave. But I'll ask you to do something for me before I go."

"W-what's that," she asked.

"Tell her," he paused, the corners of his mouth lifting ever so slightly. He stood up, placed the rose across the desk in front of the keyboard, and looked back at the secretary with a steely cold stare, "tell her I was here."

As if that whole scenario wasn't scary enough, he then went downstairs and decided to wait for me to return from lunch. All of the elevators in my building were in the same place, so it wasn't hard to figure out how to find me. At some point I would HAVE to walk through the lobby on my way to the elevators.

He spotted me before I even reached the front doors and came running outside. As soon as I saw him, my heart jumped up into my throat and began to pound in my brain. My ears rang with the power of the reverberation of my beating, pulsing heart. I turned away from him and began to walk back in the direction I had come from. I could find salvation in the restaurant with my coworkers. I remembered that I had a friend on their way to see me to drop off my revamped resume, maybe they could help. My ex ran in front of me and I had to veer off to the left, away from the restaurant. He stepped in front of me. I turned around and headed for my office. My high heels prevented me from running, and had I taken the time to remove them I could have easily been thrown off balance and hurt. He jumped in front of me again and I turned around once more. Over and over he paced me, darted in front of me, yelled, screamed, cried, threatened and grabbed at me. People were everywhere - it may have been the only thing that saved me. They started to look, to stare. Who was this madman trying so hard to stop the girl on her way to work? And yet not a soul called the police.

I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the first number in my phones
memory, the person coming with my resume. He grabbed the phone out of my hand - but not before the person on the other end picked up. I yelled at the phone as he thrust it at me, yelling, asking who it was I was calling.

"Help!" I screamed at the phone. Then, as easy as sitting on the porch sipping a glass of iced tea in an Arkansas summer, I relaxed and continued the exhausting pace of walking back and forth along the sidewalk, waiting for someone to help me. I showed no panic, and in fact smiled, despite my abundant fear. That only angered him more. I didn't respond. I wouldn't look at him. I just kept walking.

Suddenly a large green SUV pulled up to the curb not far away from me. I turned my ex before he jumped in front of me again. I walked about three paces before I suddenly spun around. In spite of the high heels I took off at a dead run, grabbed the passenger side door handle and yanked the door open. I jumped in, slammed it shut behind me and locked it securely as I did. The green SUV tore off around the corner, squealing tires as we went. My friend had shown up, just in time.

I got a restraining order against this guy the following day. It wasn't even by choice, but was decided at work that if I didn't get one, I wouldn't have a job.

"I don't know why I did that," he replied. "I've never been like that with anyone else. I've loved people before, but not like I loved you. Like I LOVE you. Something about you disarmed me and threw me off balance. I felt the need to always be near you, to be with you, and that if I couldn't have you I didn't want anyone else to have you either. You belonged to me and to no one else. You were mine. You ARE mine."

I believe that people are made of an electric energy, hence the subtitle for my blog. We have this magnetic attraction to certain people, just as magnets have attractions and repulsions to
other magnets. Sometimes the attractions are stronger than others, sometimes the object of the attraction isn't attracted in return. Take the case of the magnet and the safety pin. The safety pin doesn't have any magnetic properties, but the magnet will still attach firmly to the safety pin, taking it wherever it goes. If you leave the safety pin attached to the magnet long enough, it starts to draw on some of its powers. Later, the safety pin will be attracted to other metal objects, whereas before it was not. Something inside the safety pin changed. It 'snapped' if you'll pardon the expression.

I think with the electric energy we possess, sometimes we can change something in the others around us, forming them into someone or something they aren't familiar with. In the case of my ex, he had never been a scary stalker type of person before. He had loved before, but he had never 'snapped' on someone before. Something inside of him had changed. Something inside of him, long dormant or previously non-existent, came raging to the surface, causing him to become someone else entirely. He transformed into an innert safety pin into a magnetic force, sharp, cold, precise and frighteneing.

People with no previous case histories, like Joe McArthur of
Duncanville Texas, can suddenly snap like he did in 1999. His wife left him for another man, and in a few months time he crawled on his stomach through an empty field toward her house. He carried a rifle and a Bowie knife. He shot and killed her mother through a window, shot her father, leaving him in critical condition, shot her new husband and left him in a coma, and shot her brother, leaving him paralyzed for life. Finally, after chasing her around the house in circles, he pinned his ex-wife in the bathroom. He took the Bowie knife off of his belt and cut her from stem to stern, gutting her like a deer. He left her there, bleeding in the bathroom floor.

With no previous case history, why would a man snap like that? There's really no way to predict who will do something like that. Sometimes it's the abusive man like the one I knew when I was only
18 years old. Other times it's the gentleman with the child-like temper, like the workplace incident I had. Often it's a woman, mad with jealousy, out of her mind with 'love', or her version of it, anyway.

In each case, the stalkers and killers leave scars. They may not always be visible. I've never been given a physical scar by an ex, thank goodness. I've been hit, smacked around, thrown by my hair and jostled, but I've fought back, refusing to succumb to the temperament and violent tendencies of someone else. No, all of my scars from previous relationships are internal. They're scars though, none the less.

Some of the scars will heal with time. Others remain just below the surface, and yet others never develop that protective layer. They are always on the surface, always raw to the touch.

The scars are marks of character for each of us. They are the reminders of life's many lessons. They keep us in touch with who we are and where we came from. Without them, I wouldn't be the same person. Sometimes I may wish that one scar in particular didn't exist, but if that were the case I wouldn't be as cautious. If I hadn't been burned by the Tupperware Fire of 1989 and lost the feeling in the tip of my thumb, I may have lost my entire arm in the Potholder Pyrotechnics Fire of 1991... the Tupperware made me more cautious.

Because of my past run-ins, I can handle James and Ricky much better now than if I'd never had that sort of a past. The scars made me just that much more cautious.

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)


  1. Wow. I have no response to this, I can't imagine what you must've gone through....

  2. You know better than most it is a rare time I'm lost for words, this would be one. Your blog has left me thinking. At first I thought this guy that was doing this to you was a horrible person, but then you showed a human side to him. You told us about his lack of a previous history and that changed my thoughts.

    I guess it's like I always say...there's two sides to every coin and two ways to tell any tale.....


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