Thanks all for your wonderful comments and support these past two days. I really did appreciate it more than you can imagine.
See, I hardly ever talk about my experiences as a stalked person, because of the way that people react to it. I think it's the first time in about five years that I ever wrote about it, and the previous time was a mention in some or the other blog comment.
I've been shocked multiple times since Monday. I thought I had contact with one blogging lady who was stalked. Turns out that it's closer to twenty. And those are only the people who a) read my blog post and b) who were brave enough to admit they went through stalking too.
So this is definitely something that Stina's blog hop brought home to me. Not only is stalking worse than most people think. It's much more common than people think.
Unless stalkers are particularly attracted to creative, writerly-types, odds are that you know someone, or more than one person who is being stalked right now.
It's a terrifying thought.
So I have one favor to ask. I know how alienated and alone a stalking victim feels. Keep an eye out for people suffering in that way. Try to reach out to them and support them. Everything feels better when you don't have to face something alone.
Please. Be that friend who convinces someone that yes, being stalked is bad enough to go to the police for. That it isn't a the victim's imagination. Be the person who keeps a lookout for a person's stalker. Be the witness that gets the guy arrested before it's too late.
I especially want to ask that you keep an eye out for male friends, colleagues and acquaintances who are being stalked. People tend to think that a man can handle a woman, but the fact is that no one can handle a crazy woman wielding a gun, or who sets fire to his house with him in it. 15% of all stalking victims are male. And a higher percentage of them die at the hands of their stalkers than female victims.
Being stalked is not a form of flattery. It's not an extreme crush. It's not an example of devotion.
Stalking is emotional and/physical abuse. It is fatal.
As long as people pretend stalking isn't that bad, it seems okay to stalk. And it will most likely continue, escalating someone dies or gets hurt.
I'd much rather see a stalker go through counselling or institutionalization than to see another person get killed because everyone told him/her it wasn't so bad.
Stalking can and does destroy at least two lives at a time. Both the victim's and the stalker's. Especially when it ends in murder. Please let's try to stamp cases out before they start.