Healing becomes possible when all parties in a relationship come to see each other as co-creators of the relationship rather then attacker, and victim.
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I'm being stalked ( 17:58:32 TueMay 6 2003 ) |
Please do not even think about closing these forums so guests cannot post. Some of us cannot risk coming out from covering and putting our name behind everything we would like to say. Right now I am in a very difficult situation because my ex-husband appears to be engaged in a campaign against me. My main concern is that our kids are not hurt by any of this.Plus I hope to come out with at least some of my peace of mind. I don't hate my ex-husband, but I also don't trust him and I am learning to wonder if I should be afraid. Any help from this group would be very appreciated.
We were married for nine years. There were good moments mixed with the bad, with a twist of bizarre thrown in when I least expected it. Together we gave live to three boys now ages 16, 14, and 12 . So far they are remarkably healthy kids, with friends and strong interest in life. They seem to like life despite having some really negative experiences. Their father has been out of their life completely for almost three years. Unfortunately this includes not paying child support so the money has been tight at times.
I should say that we thought that Dad was out of our lives. Around Christmas time last year we started having a series of really strange events: the box of presents that my husband's parents sent to the boys never arrived. It was sent Fed Ex and we tracked the package from their house to ours. The driver left it on our porch (same as he has done many other times) but it was gone by the time the oldest boy got home. Right before Christmas my youngest son says that he is sure he saw Dad drive by the school. At the time Dad supposedly was living in the next state. There was no other sightings and he never surfaced at our family home. I concluded that my son was seeing things, but I did not know the nightmare was just beginning.
The next thing that caught my attention was when the card my son sent to his father came back as undeliverable with no forward address. My husband has not been terribly stable ever since the divorce, but I cannot recall him ever just moving and not giving some kind of an address. One of the games he likes to play is making sure the boys no where he lives just in case things get son bad with me that they want to seek refuge.
Things calmed down for a few weeks, than got really weird around the middle of January. My oldest son came home from school early and was surprised to find the front door unlocked. We always, always, always lock the door. At first he shrugged it off, than went in the family room and found a box with our album and many assorted family pictures shoved off to a side. He was sure that it had not been like that when he left in the morning, so he called me with the news of what he had found. I rushed home and invesigated the house. We really could not find anything of value missing. I called the police and they a report about a possible intruder. They said there was no evidence that someone had broken in or picked the lock. My mind was not on my ex-husband at that the time as I was not connecting this to anything associated with Christmas.
Later that weekend the boys and I were going through some of the pictures and we noticed something odd. Several pictures were missing from the album. As we tried to figure out what was wrong it dawned on me that there were no pictures of my husband in the album. We than searched the other pictures and found that all of the pictures that included dad were missing. I mean literally there is no longer a picture of my husband or the boy's father in our house. The significance of this escaped me at the time. I could not imagine why a stranger would steal this pictures. It seemed too far fetched to think that my ex-husband could have snuck in and swiped the pictures. I also struggled to understand why he would make such a move. A friend question whether my son might have taken them and made up the whole story about finding the door unlocked. This also made very little sense to me as it is not the kind of behavior he usually shows. Nothing has ever been resolved and the pictures up and vanished with all the secrecy of the Christmas presents.
I admit that for a while I was watching the shadows to see if some buggy man was preying on us. A few weeks passed with the only strange occurence being that another friend said they had tried to reach my ex-husband and had been unsuccessful. In early March things got very strange. Once again my oldest son came home early and found the door unlocked. I had told him if this ever happened again to call the police right away and than call me. There was a police car in our driveway by the time I got home. My son says that all the computer covers were off and that the family computer was turned on when he checked. This time the police called out a detective team who dusted the place for fingerprints and did some checking to see if everything was wrong with the computer. They had an old set of prints from my husband and said that they were not picking up his or any other strange prints. The police tried to be nice, but I think they were starting to wonder what was really happening.
All kinds of thoughts were going through my mind. I decided that I wanted to talk to my ex and make sure that he was not behind all of this. I called his office and was told that he no longer worked there. They declined to offer specifics other than to say it was a mutual agreement that they should go separate directions. They said they had no idea where he was living or working and that they had tried unsuccessfully to send tax forms and other material to his old address. I know the name of one two "friends" he kept in this community. Each of whom claimed that they had not seen him in months. By now I was perplexed. I had not really put everything together, but I had lots of questions I wanted to ask my former partner.
Sometime in early April I received an email from a friend responding to a message they say I sent them in March. The email divulged several things about our family and me specifically that I have never shared with anyone. Outside of my immediate family (parents and siblings) my husband was the only one that could have known this information. We checked the mail account and ISP info on this message and it was indeed sent from our family computer. I did not write it and the only person who could have is my ex-husband. I check the sent messages file and this message was nowhere to be found. Over the next several days I received a handful of similar emails responding to "my" message. It was clear to me that I was being libeled, so I called the police.
Once again the officers came out and checked the computer. This time they discovered what they referred to as a magic lantern. They claim this is software device that tracks the URL's I visit on the web and can be accessed from remote sources. This particular device might have been designed to monitor keystrokes. The police say they would like to bring my ex-husband in for questioning but have declined to file formal charges. They advised me to get a restraining order, which I have done.
Other than that they have no suggestions so we wait and wonder just what in heaven's name is going on. Now I wonder if my son was right about seeing his dad drive by back in December? Did Dad steal the presents? What is going on with him and his job? If we are correct that this is him what on earth do you think he is up to? Although we were married for 9 years there is a part of him that I felt as though I never knew. In all honesty that contributed to the divorce. I know he entered therapy late in our marriage and there was some talk about narcissism. His therapist has never been willing to say anything to me, including confirming a formal diagnosis. I have done some reading on narcissism and there is little doubt in my mind this describes him.
I don't hate my ex-husband because that is not in my nature. Somehow I don't think it is healthy for me to hate someone who is obviously in a lot of pain. I will do everything I can to protect my children ,but I would like the end result of this to be their father getting whatever help he needs and has not yet received.
I have visited this community a few times and I have some hope that the people here might help me through this mess. I do not like being afraid of the shadows. That is not how I want to live and it is not how I want my boys to grow up. Right now I honestly don't know what to do.
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Re: I'm being stalked ( 15:37:36 ThuMay 8 2003 ) |
Perhaps you have already put dowels in the tracks of your sliding windows and doors-If not, it's a good idea. Are the police doing drivebys at your house? Do you have the police station on your speed dial? Have you called around to hotels and apartments near to you to see if he is registered or renting there? Also, since some people use the same password for everything all of the time, you may be able to find his online bank account with his SS number. Not to mess with his money, of course, but to see WHERE HE SPENDS IT. If he's always stopping by the Starbucks on the corner of fifty third, you have a pretty good idea of where he's staying. Or...I don't know how private investigators work, but can't they access credit card purchases to track people? Just random thoughts. Hang in there. I'm sorry that you are having such a creepy experience.
Re: I'm being stalked ( 15:11:14 FriMay 9 2003 ) |
I think the other posters have pretty well covered security issues - except: though you may not expect much from a restraining order, do it anyway. Take every step, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to protect yourself and your children from serious harm.
I am so glad to hear another person be unprepared to hate...I share that with you. I have had (and am still having difficulty) some really traumatic experiences with my husband (though yours may be worse), but I don't hate him. Couldn't. Lots of history, not every moment of which was awful. In many ways, I have benifitted as would not have elsewhere.
Those who hate are harming themselves most of all. In my opinion, hate is a spiritual cancer that can suck the life out of not only the hater but all those close to them.
However, this does not mean that you should not protect yourself and your children - both physically and emotionally.
Key: Don't look for an explanation. Your ex's behavior is inexplicable and will never make sense to "normal" people, no matter how hard you try. Put on your zen hat. You're right - this is not his fault, as no one would choose to have such serious problems, but it is not your responsibility, either. Your own health and welfare and that of your children come first.
This goes for your kids, too. Don't demonize your husband or make excuses for him. Unless necessary, as in threat to safety, don't even mention your ex's behavior to your kids and avoid explaining odd events as "possibly" being your ex.
But if you must or if you are asked, be truthful and direct - "I don't know if your father is responsible/ why your father does what he does. Sometimes we just don't understand what motivates others or what they are trying to accomplish - and we can never really see into another person's heart or mind. He has to work out his issues on his own. We can only hope he is ok. I love you and I am here for you."
Help your kids through these hard lessons:
"Parents are not perfect."
"You are not always 100% safe."
"Sometimes you just lose."
"Sometimes the people we love hurt or frighten us."
I don't recommend that you explain these things to your kids proactively - just when the situations arise. They are not the lessons we ever want our kids to have to learn, but sooner or later they must - whether now at the hands of your ex or later in their own adult lives. Inevitably, they will encounter all these things and more, to some degree or another.
I think the example you set with your objectivity and your resistance to hatred is the most loving thing you could possibly do for your children.
I applaud you.
|Mood:||Mood Now: ( Peaceful ) |
Guest [UnRegist |
Re: I'm being stalked ( 15:18:33 ThuMay 15 2003 ) |
Many thanks to everyone who answered my original post. I very strongly agree that hate is like a cancer. Sometimes I do a better job at avoiding this cancer, while there are moments when the anger takes over.
We do now have a restraining order and the situation gets more bizarre. This past weekend a friend says they are sure they saw my ex walking a few blocks from our house. She is somewhat aware of what is going on and called me with the news. I immediately called the police and they had a car patrol the area randomly for about an hour with no evidence of him in the neighborhood.
Over the last several days we have received several telephone hangup calls. I'm not positive it is related to my husband, though I cannot say its not. I called the police and they told me to call the phone company. We were able to skip some of the steps and now have a trap on the phone. I just want all of this to end.
I understand that answers may never come. I just it to go away.
Guest [UnRegist |
Re: I'm being stalked ( 18:14:13 MonMay 19 2003 ) |
My ex-husband was arrested very early this morning. The police received a prowler call from a neighbor and they found him hiding in the bushes beside our house. Our sons know that their father was arrested but they don't know any of the details. Lord, I'm not convinced I now the details. The only person who might be able to explain the last several months is the one person in this world whom I've learned never to trust under almost any circumstance.
The question before me is whether or not to sign a criminal complaint against him. The police want to charge him with trespassing, stalking, harrassment, harrassment by telephone and a couple counts of theft. I am not sure what to do. Will filing criminal charges improve anything? My sons already have a lot of anger and more questions than answers. I feel there is a real danger that this could get so much more ugly if we drag it through the courts.
My heart says not to file, but my brain is uncertain. Is there a way we could use this as an opportunity to really make changes in the family? Maybe even start some healing? God knows we need it.
Thank you for listneing to me and your support through this insanity.
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