Oh, Internet. I heart your cat videos and your endless amount of both helpful and useless information, and most of the people who hang out on you a lot. But I do not heart disturbed people who make it hard to come hang out on you, as you are a playground for so many with such serious issues. I do not enjoy this about you, Internet. I do not. I do not.

Because the individual who stalked me (and continues to stalk me, though he’s no longer making direct contact now – small blessings, you know) appears to be reading everything I write here and put on Twitter, it’s creating a situation where I feel very very bleh about being on the Internet, but I keep coming back because this is where people I genuinely like and enjoy happen to be and, once upon a time, it was actually enjoyable for me as well and I keep hoping I’ll find that again. (I have, occasionally, in spurts…then something happens and it fizzles back to ick again.)

You can’t see it, because you aren’t inside of me, but inside of me I am hypervigilant and always aware of what I’m saying online – is this going to set him off? is this going to make him mad? will this make him spread lies in the dark about me? what if he misunderstands this and writes a retaliatory blog entry on his blog? why can’t he just STOP??  These thoughts are constant and I don’t feel like myself at all. I’m terrified I’m going to say something and he’s going to use it against me. He’s probably reading this, and going (as stalkers are wont to do) woo! I’m still in her head! Which he is, but I mean it’s not a compliment that he’s there. I don’t want him there.

There is not a single thing I can do about this. IP addresses are a dime a dozen, nearly impossible to ban. I can go private here, but then what’s the point? The whole point of why I started blogging was to connect to other people and tell my stories. If I go private with just specific readers allowed in, I might as well just pick up the phone and talk to them or invite them over for dinner. If I go private all the way, I might as well just sit and talk to one of my walls. Which I actually do sometimes when I’m trying to work out a complicated issue, but that’s not the point.

Ditto on Twitter. Really, the only places I actually feel safe online at this point are Facebook and Instagram. Both are like Fort Knox to get into.

But I feel compelled to write about what happened. I think because this is how I process. I write and I process. When my dad died and I dealt with that trauma, I didn’t know about blogging yet, or believe me: I’d have been posting a buttload of blog thoughts about that all the time, because I journaled about my feelings constantly. On the one hand, I don’t want this place to become the Amy Can’t Get Past the Stalking blog. On the other hand, I’ve GOT to process what was done to me or I will never be able to move beyond it. I do have a journal in which I longhand write my feelings, and trust: you don’t want to see that because if you did you’d be shocked and horrified at some of the intense  rage and depression and fear I continue to feel about what happened to me.

But doing it out loud here, typing out what I’m feeling and thinking and processing for all the world to see, lets me hope: other people are reading and hopefully either understanding and caring about what happened to me, connecting to it because it also happened to them, or are being helped because they’re going through it right now. Or they’re getting a lot of their schadenfreude needs met when they visit. I’m perfectly fine being your roadside wreck attraction, your Jerry Springer guest with the attitude problem. I do it too, believe me. But also, you get to talk about the things that have happened to you. You just do. If people involved in the things want  you to write good stuff about them, then they should have behaved better.

Here’s my pledge to you guys who read here regularly or even if you just stumbled in and are still trying to figure out what the hell’s going on: I’m going to promise to just try to keep it to MY feelings and thoughts about what happened – I’ve been armchair psychoanalyzed by my lunatic (who’s not even near a psychiatric or psychology or even sociology degree) and given the diagnosis of narcissist, so I promise I’ll keep all my stalker talk to me all me, since that’s what all us abusive narcissists like to do.

But I’ve got to talk about it. You all, I’m sorry. I’ve got to talk openly and freely and sometimes really weirdly about it. I’m so tired, guys. I’m so tired of him. I’m tired of his stupid antics and his inability to move the hell on. I remember when it all first started a friend told me I had two options: the short game or the long game. I chose the long one. You know why? Because I didn’t want to ruin the stalker’s life. I didn’t feel he was physically dangerous, just a complete internet weirdo who didn’t get how people and relationships actually work.

The short game involved contacting his family and employer and maybe even having a hard, awkward conversation with his wife about what he was doing. The long game involved waiting him out. Starving him out, waiting for him to grow up, be a real man, and move on. My hope was he’d get it out of his system and then go seek therapy for a very very long time.

When I chose the long game, I did not anticipate it turning into YEARS. I am worried it will turn into years, y’all. I’m trying to start my life over, and when I decided to start a new way of life, my plans did NOT include someone with self-esteem issues at the bottom of an abyss. A lot of what I do online – post pictures to Twitter that are angry and passive aggressive, say stuff here on my blog – is not to egg him on or agitate him or give him hope, it’s to scare the holy shit out of him enough so he’ll go away and move on. Listen: I’m not obsessing about HIM. I’d really really love for him to find a new obsession (preferably not another human being this time) and go be happy. What I mostly find myself obsessing about is HIM obsessing about ME. And I can’t have that. I got other things to do. Seriously.

I read an article (several articles, actually, because in my spare time guess what I spend a lot of time googling…go on, guess) about healing from being stalked. I’ve been spending MONTHS, you guys, MONTHS worried I’m doing it wrong. I should just get over this. I should just move on and be my old fabulous, irreverent self again. Forget him! Just go be free and happy and LIVE.

But I’m having a really hard time doing that. I’m struggling with dark thoughts about the things that happened, about the fact he apparently set up a blog so he can retaliate and come after me for any little perceived thing I do or say he feels is an injustice towards him, and I’m having a hard time knowing he’s out there continuing on his merry way looking for fresh meat while continuing to monitor me and retaliate when he doesn’t like what he sees. He no longer comes to me directly, because at a certain level he is scared shitless of me. I’m about at that point that if he ever stepped back into psycho I would take the short game route. Yet crazily enough, I still don’t want to hurt him personally. One of my favorite thespians was stalked for years and years. I remember reading about that, and him saying that because it went on so long, he learned everything about his stalker: her name, her family information, her address and phone number. And he kept thinking: Maybe I should stalk you, just to see how YOU like it. But he chose not to, because he wanted to be bigger and not stoop to her level.

That’s where I’m at: I don’t want to hurt him. I just want him to move. the. hell. on.

He’s probably not going to be able to do that for a very very long time. So I need to. One of my approaches to life is: if you can’t change a situation, then YOU change. So I need to process what I’ve been through, and I may need to do that here because this is my oasis of cathartic. What I pledge to you is to keep it about that, and try not to be too awfully sarcastic about him (though fair warning, this will be very hard as sarcasm is to me as oxygen is to all of life). And I also pledge to not make every single post about the thing I am grappling with. For everything THING post I put up, I promise to follow it up with a ridiculous, light-hearted, human condition observation one. Or be angry about my water bills. (GAH! I want to knock on my new neighbors’ door and ask them what, exactly, are they washing all the time! Do they NOT UNDERSTAND we share the water billage at this place?!?)

Okay. I’m done! Happy Sunday! Everybody! IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING!! Winter is leaving. Winter is leaving and taking its stupid, stupid coldness and darkness and gunky with it. (Sorry, Southern Hemisphere…your turn.)