Thank you so much for sharing. Stalking is one of the most horrible, personal crimes that can be committed, and it is difficult to talk about. My mother was stalked for over 20 years, stemming from a college waitressing job, but was never able to legally prove some of the more malicious crimes were him (slashed tires, repeated late-night calls), so aside from an ongoing restraining order, the courts couldn’t help her. He died when I was in middle school, and I remember my mom crying from relief.
In college, I was stalked for 9 months by a fellow student, and if I hadn’t left the college at the end of that year, I’m not confident it would have ended. We met when we were partnered in a class, and exchanged contact info in order to work on projects. Unfortunately he took this as an opportunity to pursue a relationship, even when I repeatedly told him I was not looking for one. He’d wait for me after classes that we had together so that he could walk with me to the dorms, and then began waiting for me after classes that we DIDN’T have together. He knew I went to church on Sundays, and would wait outside the church to try to sit by me, even when I told him I wanted to sit alone. I felt pressured to be cordial due to our academic partnership, but the more polite and distant I was, the more he tried to push it. I told him that he was making me uncomfortable, and I wanted to restrict our interactions to the classroom, but it only deterred him for a week or two.
On Valentine’s Day, he waited for me after an exam (for a class of mine, not his) to give me a box of hand-folded origami roses, and even though I’d been saying no for months, he told me again how “special” I was to him. If we’d actually been in a relationship, this would have been a sweet gesture. But it felt so manipulative and delusional that I almost started crying. After that, I spent more and more time surrounded by friends whenever I was out, and we’d avoid certain food courts and buildings on campus just to avoid any possible encounters with him. I stopped going to church, and skipped some of the classes that we shared. When I determined at the end of the year that I would be transferring to a different college, I was so relieved. Once I was officially gone, he stopped trying to contact me.
Stalking is something that I believe has happened to many people, and it’s important to share stories so that people know this is NOT acceptable, and we don’t have to put up with it or stay silent. Thanks again.