It's Not Okay

Imagine that it’s 3 A.M. on a Tuesday and the loud buzzing of your cell phone disrupts your sleep. Your glasses are resting on the nightstand, so instead of grabbing them- you decide to blindly shuffle for your phone instead. Once your phone has finally come in contact with your palm, you pick it up as quickly as possible and bring it carefully to your face.

 

It’s not your drunk roommate asking for a ride home.

It’s not your mom saying that your grandpa is being rushed to emergency care.

 

Who is it?

 

 

Not who you were expecting, was it?

 

And I know what you’re thinking.

“Seriously? Prank phone calls? Who even does that anymore?”

 

Well, it has happened to me, and has been happening for the past year and two months.

EVERY.

SINGLE.

DAY.

 

It’s the same person that has called me from over 1,000 different phone numbers, ranging from Texas to California, Denver to South Carolina, and all the way to my small hometown of Rockton, Illinois.

 

The same person who has created several, fake social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter- and has attempted to follow me on all of them.

The same person that persistently tries, and will even go as far as involving my family members in his ridiculous, yet menacing game.

The same person that has continuously mocked me for my slip-ups and has used the skeletons in my closet to get under my skin.

And it’s the same person that I feel others, like you, should know about.

 

I’ve seen things like “stalking” happen to some of the people I love and care about, but never to this extent. I’ve seen it in the news before and on shows like Criminal Minds, but have never experienced it in a manner, such as this one.

 

The main thing that is different about what I’ve seen on T.V. or have witnessed my loved ones go through, is that in my situation... I know exactly who this person is.

I just feel entirely helpless when it comes to stopping it. I’ve even put my accounts on private and I’ve blocked unknown callers immediately.

 

But what more can you do?

 

I’ve created a list of the four most important things I’ve taken away from this overwhelming and frightening experience.

I can only hope that in doing these things, that this can be preventable in the future.

 

The first of these is to pay close attention. Try assessing any odd behaviors and gather information early on in your friendships and relationships. Be sure to pay attention to what the person does, not what he or she says, and “file it away for future use.” It may come in handy when dealing with situations like this.

 

The next thing you can do is be objective. It’s very easy to get caught up in a new love or friendship, and rationalize or justify in your own mind when they behave inappropriately. Recognize when their behavior isn’t what it probably should be.

 

Another important thing to keep in mind is examining your feelings. You can ask yourself, “How does this person’s behavior make me feel?” If you’ve involved yourself with the right people you should feel good about it. Not worried, fearful, guarded or annoyed.

 

And finally, examine your own behaviors. Are you changing your behaviors because of what this person says or does? You may not even realize that you are adapting to it.

 

Using these four tips, you can end it. Right now.

 

It’s not a joke.

It’s not romantic.

And it’s not okay.

 

Building my life on God's love, choosing joy, embracing family, ceaselessly writing, constantly dancing, raising my pitbull chihuahua, and teaching tiny humans all things.