Just leave me alone!
March 4, 2010 10:08 PM Subscribe
How can I get my ex to stop harassing me?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Long, probably beanplatey. Apologies in advance for both length and the poor decision-making that led me here in the first place.
Last May, P and I broke up after months of mutual misery. We share lots of mutual friends and saw each other often. It was tense, things coming to a head when he pushed me down a small (3-4 steps) staircase after I threw a drink at him when he said he was giving what was my cat (in his care after I moved in with an allergic roommate) to the humane society. He didn't give away the cat and we did not speak for a long time after that. He apparently told our mutual friends that I fell intentionally(!) and was lying about being pushed. Calls me a crazy bitch, that sort of thing.
Somehow we become tensely friendly again. However, whenever we saw each other things seemed okay to me but he would often email or gchat me the next day complaining that I was awfully rude to him and that everyone noticed. I would apologize, even though I feel I did nothing wrong. I have poor social habits and especially do not like seeing him, but still at that point wanted to be around our mutual friends so I tolerated seeing him. Plus, if I block him on gchat or ignore his emails/calls/whatever, he would badger others into asking me to unblock him, which is embarrassing to me and he knows it. This happened about once a month.
Now, last week, my roommate (who is close with P throughout all of this) throws a small party. I was getting ready to go on a weekend trip with my new boyfriend and his friends and I was nervous about it and not very talkative at this party, but I thought I was friendly enough to everyone. No, apparently not. On Monday he told me that I was unspeakably rude and everyone noticed. I am getting better at this and kind of shrugged it off, offering to explain and apologize to anyone who I've offended, then blocked him on gchat. A few hours later I received an email telling me that if I don't "behave in a manner that is anything less than friendly and polite in the utmost", he will humiliate me so badly I will move out of state, and also not to talk to anyone that was at the party, because they know how crazy I am (I don't think I'm any crazier than your average 24 yr old girl).
I don't respond to these, just cry a lot and freak out about being humiliated. I have no idea what he'd have in mind, but I really don't like being the center of attention, especially negative attention. I panic easily.
But wait, there's more! Some friends of both of ours (what I have left, he has convinced many people that I am psycho. He's charming and outgoing, I tend to avoid people I don't already know. I don't blame them for being convinced) are visiting in a few weeks and I had made plans to see them. He emails again, telling me that they are his friends and not mine and that I have no grace or dignity in contacting them at all, let alone wanting to see them. He reiterates that everyone that we both know hates me and doesn't want to see me at all. Telling me that no one actually liked me and that they only tolerated me because they wanted to see him happened often when we were dating. He was (is?) very good at reducing my opinion of myself and it's only recently that I've been able to feel confident in myself again.
What do I do with all of this? How do I get him to just leave me alone? If something akin to this has happened to you or someone you know, how did they handle it? I've given up on that entire group of friends (except for the fact that I live with some of them and can't move out until September). I've told him not to contact me, he calls me a coward and keeps doing it and/or badgering other people about it. I have no idea how or when he will humiliate me, but I am sure he will follow through with that threat. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never see that cat again.
I have contemplated a restraining order. I have photographs of the cuts and bruises from the stair incident, but no eyewitnesses (we were outside, everyone else was inside). It's his word against mine. I can't afford a lawyer, and I am scared of how he would retaliate anyway.
If you need more information, I am available at trainmap[at]gmail. Thank you.
(on preview: there are a lot of verb tenses going on here. I think I fixed them all, but I may have missed some, I'm sorry if it's hard to read.)