Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Advice: How Not To Be A Stalker

Q:
Three years ago I put myself through a very messy breakup. I was a 21 year old male desperately in love with a 20 year female, shy, home schooled, and living across the country from me. The writing was on the wall so to speak. In a lot of ways I have never gotten over her, even though I have found pleasant, caring relationships since. The finger pointing has since faded in memory, except one question; did I stalk her? When we broke up I slowly fell into a dark place where I thought I could get her back. In retrospect, I just needed closure, and was going the very wrong way about it. My point is this: halfway through that hell I realized what I was doing, just didn't know how to stop. I guess I should point out I was never threatening, or angry, just love sick and overbearing. It was a lot of emails filled with emotional junk, phone calls to see how she was, checking out her myspace and work site. I even went so far to email her new (or so I thought) boyfriend. All I said was congratulations and virtually shake his hand and ask him to take care of her. At the time I just wanted the pain to end, but I see now I was putting myself through the torture. I finally begged her to make her social webpage private, just so I wouldn't be tempted. I deleted her phone numbers and tried to forget her, but it was hard and still is painful. Even today I wonder how she is, but I only wish her the best. My question is, do they have a group where stalkers (even though I hate that word I don't want to sugarcoat it) can go and support each other? I mean if the is one for sex, and ones for smokers, is stalking too taboo? Do you know of any such group? Just something I was always curious about because I think it really would have helped me, and thus her, through all that junk.

A:
The support groups related to stalkers that I'm aware of are for the victims. That said, from your description I wouldn't classify you as a stalker in the true sense, although you exhibited some tendencies. You were lovesick and inexperienced in relationships.

It's not unnatural to have a strong curiosity and perhaps resentment and jealousy about what an ex is doing. But it also isn't healthy.

You recognize the problem and understand a lot about what you are doing and feeling, just not what to do about it. I think that counseling would really be helpful in getting you "unstuck" and suggest you find a psychotherapist to help you.

If any readers have experienced this problem and found a solution, please share it in comments.

3 comments:

Ms Smack said...

Great advice Al.

I would also ask the reader to consider if he came from a home that grew bad self esteem.

Kids that grow up in bad homes often feel inferior and rejection hurts. So, in order to make themselves look better in someones' eyes (after a break-up) it's common for them to become obsessed. Often it's not the ex that they're craving, it's acceptance.

If you find this relates to you, consider professional counselling to help you remove the inferiority complex and grow to love yourself.

I hope you find peace soon.

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