Stalking After Six Years?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I broke up with someone 6 years ago. After we broke up, he become so angry that I told him over the phone that I would not allow him to speak to me this way, and that I was going to hang up the phone, and we would never again speak to one another. Ever since then, he has continued to pursue me. Initially, his pursuit was more aggressive. He would call me from his cell phone, but I would not answer his calls. He would leave messages saying that he still loved me, etc. He left me a note on my car stating his love for me. He sent me text messages and he would email me. This eventually waned off to the point that I thought he had moved on. Then I began to receive restricted phone calls, and I believe that it was probably him calling. He would forward emails that I had written to him when we were together, in what I believe is an attempt to remind me of my once love for him. I always think that his pursuit of me is over, & just when I do, I begin to receive emails from him again, and the restricted phone calls. I’m tired of ignoring it. I do not believe that this will ever stop, as it has been 6 years! I do believe that he is looking for me, because I took a new job in a new city just about 1 year ago. I have recently begun to receive emails from him on my work email account. The only way he would have that email address is if he were looking for me. That also means he may know where I live, although I have not seen him since we broke up. I don’t want to assume that he would come to my residence.

I do not want to label this as stalking if it isn’t, nor do I want to jump to any conclusions. But it has been 6 years since we broke up, and 6 years since I have had any contact with him. I am happily married, and it is inappropriate for him to be pursuing me. I feel trapped, helpless, angry, anxious, confused, and alone with this.

Please help me, or direct me to someone who can help me.

A. No one has the right to harass you. He has been keeping tabs on you for the last six years. Technically this behavior may fall under the definition of stalking.

I’m concerned that your reaction to this situation may not be appropriate. It’s important not to overreact but based on the tone of your letter, you seem more concerned about offending your ex than you are about your safety. I know you don’t want to jump to conclusions but it is a distinct possibility that he has been stalking you for a significant length of time. Don’t take this lightly.

Stalkers can be dangerous. It’s important to be realistic, to act accordingly and to protect yourself.
Your suspicions should be reported to the police. Filing a police report doesn’t mean he will be arrested. The police will investigate, review the evidence, advise you about your rights and determine legally how to proceed. When you file a police report, be sure to bring with you any evidence you may have gathered such as letters, e-mails etc. This evidence will be an important aspect of their investigation.

Understandably you want this to harassment to stop. That is your right. I hope you will take the necessary actions to investigate his behavior by reporting this situation to the police. Even though it’s a cliché, it’s fitting in your circumstance: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Aug 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Stalking After Six Years?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/08/20/stalking-after-six-years/