Did something just move out the window? Did that light just blink? These people went through the truly horrifying experience of being stalked, usually by someone that they knew quite personally. It was beyond chilling, and it required extreme action to gain freedom from these awful people. Content has been edited for clarity.
Content warning: these stories contain disturbing experiences, as well as online and in-person harassment.
"I’ve had a couple guys have had an unhealthy obsession with me, and it’s one of the nastiest things to happen to someone, but this was one of the worst experiences. I started working in an auto body shop at 17, just getting some low level experience as college credits. There were a couple other guys around my age group, but I was one of three girls in the whole shop. There was this thirty-something guy who did back alley racing in his gross car and thought he was hot stuff, and he started hitting on me.
He just started calling me beautiful and would get like super close, and I would always just move away and glare at him. Then, after a while, he started saying stuff like I wasn’t allowed to wear tight shirts or squat down or do anything suggestive until I was of age. I dismissed him several times and stood my ground. Then he said he couldn’t wait until I was 18 so we could have some fun. Of course, he never said this with anyone else around, so nobody ever believed me when I tried to ask for help. Eventually, it got to a point where I avoided him around the shop and my boss noticed.
He asked me what was wrong and I told him, and I guess he talked to the guy or something, because the next day this creep talked to me about it. He said something along the lines of, 'I thought you wanted it because why else would a young girl be in the automotive industry, if not for attention?'
I left soon after, and I’ll never work in a shop full of men again."
"I had a friend who was a bit eccentric. We were really close until she started going totally off the edge. She hid my bicycle, stood outside my house screaming obscenities, told everyone we had an intimate relationship, belittled my abusive past, and screamed right into my face. She tried to stab our mutual friend twice. The thing that pulled alarms in my head was when I told her that I'll be heading home from my boyfriend's soon, and she can come for a visit in a couple of hours if she wants. I got home in under an hour, and she was waiting near my apartment building and started accusing me of lying to her. There was absolutely no telling her that I wanted to go inside, take a shower, and eat something.
I managed to cut her out of my life. A few years later, she started blowing up my mother's phone demanding for her to give my number, explaining all this petty lunatic nonsense. It turns out that she needed me because I'm one of her apostles, and she needs me to start her own religion. Supposedly, she is 'his son, another of Adam and Eve', and this was not even the craziest thing. It turns out that this girl had a delusion that she was the re-incarnated Jesus. So yeah, that was the point I was more than sure she was obsessed with me."
"I had been friends with a guy for a few years. He's about 20 years older that me, and we met due to being regulars at the same bar. I'll call him Steve. I stayed with him in between apartments for a couple of weeks at one point. To this day I swear he took a photo of me while I was in bed, he denied that. Basically, I saw a flash of light through my eyelids, and when I confronted him, he said he was just using the flashlight to make sure I was okay after hearing a noise. Sure.
Whatever, I've had worse, I let it go and we moved on. Honestly I probably wouldn't have minded if he just wanted a picture at that point, I was single, and I used to do some pretty explicit modeling. Anyway, some more years go by, we're still tight, and I'm about to get married to someone Steve and I both knew, (again, me and my fiancé were bar regulars).
I asked Steve to be my 'Man-of-Honor' for our destination wedding. He came and stood with me, and it was all very picturesque and nice. Not a week after we all get back home, he starts acting strangely. Steve brings up how he 'knew I wanted him', due to a remembered conversation about old romantic partners from years back. I honestly forgot all about that, but he was using it as an example of me being into him because I was comfortable talking about doing it around him? Okay, anyway, no. Steve starts getting really clingy, saying I never should have married my husband, that he only went to the wedding to try to talk me out of it, but he chickened out.
Things ramp up, he's more persistent about me leaving my husband for him, or at least 'helping him get a woman just like me'. I decline to do any of that. My Husband was in the loop on all of this, and finally Steve gets banned from the bar, and I cease contact. That didn't stop him from sending pages long emails to me. I actually still have them, and I'll copy and paste some quotes below, all from fall of 2014:
'Can you think of ANY way I could have a woman EXACTLY like you in my life? I would never be happy with anyone less than someone exactly like YOU. Know what I mean?'
'I would happily compromise long held principles just to be with a woman exactly like you.'
'I think the best way I will be able to show respect to (my husband) would be another long letter.'
'I want to say what I see about him, and what I see him doing to you. I will explain my anger towards him in a straight forward manner with no expletives or characterizations. I will provide information to help him understand himself better, and I will encourage him to seek help.'
'Sorry for the erratic behavior lately. My anxiety has been high. I need time to calm down and focus. This is hard.'
'My wanting you to divorce is partially because of what I know about your relationship, how you were when you were going into it, and what I've heard and seen about him since I met him. It is also partially because I love you deeply, and have recently realized exactly how deeply. I fell in love with you back around the time when you met (my husband). I didn't think of it as love at the time, but I bonded with you then. We've been very close ever since, and my love for you has grown deep and strong. I know everything about you and have no judgements on you. I accept everything you've done (including a husband-related tattoo) and everything you are. I'm in unknown territory with you. I've never felt a love like this before. There's been no head in the clouds infatuation. No sweet romance. It's at such a low level and I feel no apprehension over it. I have absolute trust in you. I don't know yet, but I hope you feel something similar. '
So yeah. I have had no further contact with Steve until years later, where I ran into him at a different bar frequented by neighborhood regulars. We're sitting near each other, and some small talk is exchanged. Then he launches into a saga of how he's gone off all his meds (not good), and he knows and has evidence that I have been hacking his electronics and sending his personal information to private investigators and the government (very very not good, also no I am not). So yeah, I told him that was ridiculous, that I hope he could get the help he needs, and that I would be leaving and if I saw him around again, I would not interact with him.
Not a terribly satisfying conclusion, but that's the story."