I hate feeling scared. It sickens me, makes me feel weak, and it makes me feel like I don’t have control of my life. I don’t even know when it started, but I’ve been having a problem with this guy harassing me. I’ve been struggling a lot with reporting it or accepting that it’s an actual problem. Here’s why….
It’s the internet. I’ve been harassed online before. Called all types of names and have had to block numerous men for telling me I’m a whore for not taking them seriously and not giving them my number. So as someone who has already had to deal with annoying situations, and I say annoying situation because that’s exactly how I see this, this wasn’t a big deal. He’s just annoying, a pest, and someone who just doesn’t understand or refuses to take “no” for an answer. But 50 pages of messages later, I understand that I cannot still hold on to that same mindset. After having more than 10 people message me or send me messages he’s sent to them about me, I can’t ignore that this is a problem.
But it’s just the internet…
This argument has been plaguing me for weeks. I keep going back and forth. Trying to justify his actions, trying to say “I don’t want to put him in a bad position”, or it’s only the internet “everything will be fine”. Even as I write this I’m having a hard time, but that’s good. It means I’m not still accepting my previous “it doesn’t matter” attitude towards the situation. I should be uncomfortable. It’s an uncomfortable situation. I look over my shoulder more now, I worry when I go out and I know I’ll be by myself, and it sucks. My sister has been a big help during this. She’s found information, forced me to face that this is a problem, and reminded me that I have to do what’s necessary not just to protect myself but for my family (because there is a chance that he still has my address).
More than anything, I want my family to not have to deal with this. I have this mentality where I don’t really care what happens to me, but my family, I can’t validate or accept something happening to them; regardless of our strained relationships. It helped that my mentor, whom I was just speaking with, corrected my thinking. I told her that I was apprehensive to file the paperwork because I didn’t want to put this person in a bad position. She immediately cut me off and told me it’s not me putting him anywhere, but him putting himself. She made me look at the position I’m in and see it for what it is. Because she is right, and I need to rewire my brain to understand and accept that I’m not the problem. Which is hard for me, I always think I’m the problem.
The more I think about it, the more I begin to think that maybe this is what started me closing myself off. Being afraid is one of the things I hate the most, so it would make sense that I would rather not feel things than feel afraid. It’s been years since I’ve been in the position where a man was able to frighten me or make me feel like I’m not safe. Even more I hate feeling like the poor little girl who has to use paperwork to fight her battles. Weakness disgusts me when in it’s shadow. I’ve been working for years to feel otherwise, and I’m still struggling with it; obviously. This whole thing is just hitting a lot of sore spots for me. Too many in fact and I’m having a hard time dealing with it, which doesn’t make me feel any better about it either.
All I know is, this is hard, and I’m hoping it doesn’t stay that way long!