Once you have one, it is incredibly difficult to stop him. This means that you may have no choice but to incorporate him into your life somehow. Acknowledging that the person exists could be a major first step in dealing with a stalker.
Let’s face it, stalking behaviours essentially are a loud cry from people who want to be heard and whose needs are not addressed in society.
But how do you protect your boundaries? How do you keep your life liveable? How do you stay well and healthy?
Stalkers do not understand or deliberately cross other people’s boundaries. Each stalking case is different. Stalkers are unique people and want to have that uniqueness acknowledged and honoured.
No matter what you do, whether you get angry at your stalker or do your best not to make him angry, it will serve as an encouragement. Ignoring him likely will too as “How dare you!” is a common response. So we, as society and as individuals, may have to learn how to manage stalkers.
I have probably made every mistake possible along the way. Because I never imagined becoming stalked. And also because there does not seem to be much of a difference between sadistic stalking and “English humour”.
It means that I have learned a great deal. It means that I can share and use what I have learned to help others.
One of the hardest parts of being stalked is finding a way to deal with your fear, your anger and depression, also with regard to people who let you down as well as flying monkeys. The powerlessness can be immense.
Anger and rejection are often not taken well at all by stalkers.
Kindness and compassion can help but also encourage stalking. Many mental health professionals face this dilemma every day.
Yesterday, I heard about a case of a stalker who had a borderline personality disorder and was making the treating health professional increasingly uncomfortable. The person talked about wanting to bring a gun that he had bought into the session, to show it, and also started dressing the same way as the health professional.
(It probably means that this health practice was not set up well. Mental health professionals need to plan for how to manage such conflicts and deal with someone’s obsessive focus. They should incorporate it into their business plans.)
This health professional decided to transfer the person to another health professional. This typically does not go down well with people who have a borderline personality disorder. They have what I guess you could call severe abandonment issues. They blame you for all of their problems all the time, even when you had nothing to do with it and maybe weren’t even alive yet when x or y occurred. They can also see the craziest “plots” against them, which of course also plays a role in a clinical setting when a health professional tries to transfer someone to a colleague. This person with the borderline personality disorder became a stalker.
Though this is a different kind of stalking than the typical kind of stalking done by people with psychopathic and narcissistic traits, the latter too suffer from abandonment issues. They play out differently and these types of stalkers will rarely be aware of them, let alone voice them.
We have to start looking at what stalkers want and need – what it is that makes them engage in stalking – and provide that to them in constructive ways in safe settings.
Mine once said “I tell people everything they need to know; what they do with it is up to them”.
He plays with that by issuing many false “warnings”, too, as they are all hidden, to try to mess with your head and make it more fun for him. He does not have coffee with you and says “Hey, listen, the local gossip is that so and so is going to try to do this or that to you”.
He has also let me know that what he does is not so much a matter of breaking the rules, but rather one of constantly rewriting the rules.
He has given me various warnings to “run” and “leave” over the years, except that I had no idea what they were about, at first, and no longer was able to do anything with them, later.
I want to discover how to calm down or redirect sadistic stalking and even prevent stalking or at least lower people’s risk of becoming stalked in some ways.
Stalking risk assessments – particularly with regard to sadistic stranger stalking – will be part of my new services package. I may develop a guideline for what to do to protect yourself (and that guideline will have to avoid including pointers for stalkers, for how to stalk).
Because that is the trouble with stalking. Sadistic stalkers are intelligent people who study each other’s cases, to pick up on new techniques for tormenting their targets. They learn to perfect those techniques and hone their stalking skills. They also cooperate with each other.
The solution may be something along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous, a safe environment in which sadistic stalkers can talk about what they’ve been up to. They will because to many of them, it is all just a game to them. They can be driven by boredom and curiosity and among each other, they may share a lot more than they would with, say, law enforcement or in a clinical setting.
For obvious reasons, non-stalkers would have to be part of such a safe environment. Stalkers could team up, as alcoholics do, with each other to support each other because they would catch on to each other’s shenanigans while on the other hand could also get carried away. I am pretty sure that sadistic stalking can be addictive, that it satisfies one or more cravings for such stalkers and can be hard to resist.
Similar settings might do wonders for stalking targets. Although there are millions of us, and stalking is increasing, we are still a minority and tend to suffer in silence. We also tend to be let down by particularly the people who should be supporting us.
Keeping mum about sadistic stalking does not serve anyone. If you are being stalked, be as loud about it as you can. Do not play the doormat. Do not worry too much about potentially upsetting people with telling them about what is happening. You have no reason to be apologetic.
Stalking is not rare at all. In the UK, too, millions of people are stalked every year. The internet and other digital technologies have changed the landscape considerably.
Stalking does not only target celebrities, does not only target young women, not only attractive women and not even only women.
But most stalking is done by men who stalk women.