"I really need you to stop existing."
November 2, 2013 10:52 AM   Subscribe

A guy I went on one date with (and was a total creep to me) has crossed every boundary that I've ever set. I need to get him to leave me alone, but being direct isn't working. Help? Snowstorm inside.

I had a friend that we will call S. He is a few years younger than me - a freshman in college and I'm a senior. He has had romantic feelings for me for years, and because of his immaturity, I chose not to reciprocate them. Over this past summer, I (in hindsight, mistakenly) went on one date with S after I broke up with my semi-longterm boyfriend. We flirted around for a few weeks or so and I ended up inviting him to a party. I got drunk, and ended up asleep on my friend's couch. The next morning, S and I ended up going to my house to sleep because my friends had prior commitments. I was really hungover and had spent most of the early morning vomiting and being miserable. I passed out immediately. I felt S rubbing my back in my sleep and thought nothing of it really, but then in my dream I felt him groping me. He started with putting his hands on my butt and I moved over because I was in a foggy dream state and wasn't sure I was really feeling these things but if I was I wanted them to stop.

I don't remember the rest of the incident well, but I know that S kept trying to put his hands down my pants even after I rolled over and moved away from him in my sleep. I know you all are probably going to wonder why I didn't wake up and freak out on him, but I felt like I was in a dream. I kept trying to move away and he kept trying to touch me. Finally I woke up and he said to me that he "just had to grab that ass a little" while I was asleep because he "couldn't resist". I was in shock I guess because I had never had anything like this happen to me, even in long term relationships with men I was sexually active with. I got up and told S I had to go to work and he finally left. I confronted him about it a few days later and he apologized but didn't seem to see anything wrong with what he did. I don't even know if it's that big of a deal, but it has been really hard for me to process. I feel physically ill when I think about it, and S keeps texting me and messaging me and trying to get in contact with me and I can't seem to escape him. He also told one of my friends that his relationships didn't usually work because he's "perverted". He's convinced I'm in love with him and I'm his girlfriend (I told him I'm not, that I don't want a relationship and that he needs to stop thinking I am in love with him). He sends me texts saying "we both I need to see him, that it'll make me feel better" and constantly telling me how much he loves me. He's told his parents that we're dating - I know, because my uncle asked me if we were and he works alongside S's dad. I made it clear to S from the beginning that I wasn't interested in a relationship.

The worst thing is that my parents keep encouraging me to see S because they are friends with his parents and know that he comes from a wealthy family. Every time I see them they ask about S and it makes me incredibly anxious and nauseated because I don't feel comfortable telling them why I really don't want to see him. I'm having difficulty sleeping now, especially if I have to share a bed with someone (I will wake up yelling for them to stop touching me). If I feel anything in my sleep/think I feel something I automatically bolt awake and my heart races. I'm becoming seriously exhausted. I know this seems like such a huge overreaction, but I felt so out of control when he was touching me and I have some control issues and pretty significant anxiety/depression issues (currently off medication).

How can I put this behind me once and for all? Being direct with S to leave me alone doesn't seem to work, so is there any other way to keep him from contacting me? Will cell phone companies block numbers?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
First of all, yes cell phone companies will block numbers, but I believe you have to pay for the service.
Second of all, please go to your colleges counseling center immediately because what he did was a violation and not okay! You are not overreacting at all and in fact I would feel the exact same way in your position. Your college counseling center can help you and probably refer you to a therapist if needed, but please go there immediately!
posted by ruhroh at 11:08 AM on November 2, 2013 [20 favorites]


What sort of counseling services does your college/uni offer? There are a lot of things that should be addressed here and it would certainly not be a 'huge overreaction' to get help with sorting out what needs to be done and how to do it.

First step is definitely to stop responding to "S." He's not a rational actor; the usual etiquette for removing people from your life doesn't come into it. He's already made clear he doesn't care about your consent. A restraining order would not be out of line.
posted by kmennie at 11:14 AM on November 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


You need to get something on the record about this guy; the rigid declaration of relationship status and the complete unawareness of personal boundaries between himself and his current target red-flags him for stalking and potential dangerous behavior as he seems to believe he has a "right" to his objective, and that rarely ends well.

So make a complaint about him to the appropriate office of your college - I don't know what that would be security or community or...? but ask your help center who to report this behavior to. Don't let them blow it or you off. Get something in a file somewhere that any future targets can use to get help.

And I second getting some counseling, you have a little PTSD, not an overreaction, and you will need some help to work your way through it. A violation of your body when you are aware and helpless is a terrifying violation, and having a strong reaction to that is HEALTHY and NORMAL.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:14 AM on November 2, 2013 [24 favorites]


You are not overreacting. You were violated while unable to consent. No wonder you feel anxious about going back to that vulnerable sleep state. This is a valid reaction.
posted by studioaudience at 11:14 AM on November 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


Tell your parents and uncle that you are NOT interested in him. You do not have to explain why.
If pressed, how about what you've already said:

"I went out on one date and he was a creep"
or for less drama:
" I went out on a date and I am not attracted to him or interested in dating him again."

Do not respond to his texts and check this link for blocking his number.

Please go back to see your therapist or doctor to discuss your medication.

You have every right to feel the way you do and you don't owe anyone any explanation as to why you are not interested in dating him, you are just NOT.
posted by Snazzy67 at 11:15 AM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is stalking.

File a complaint.

Tell your parents he groped you. You don't have to give details but you need to give them enough information for them to know that he is bad news.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:27 AM on November 2, 2013 [47 favorites]


If you have Verizon you can block numbers via the website - last time I used it (a year or so ago) it was no charge, but the blocks have to be renewed every few months. Otherwise, there are apps you can use. A lot of folks I know like "Mr. Number" but I've personally never used it, so can't vouch for it.

I also encourage you to see the counseling center at your school for help processing this. They will also be able to help you come up with a few scripts to deflect your family should they keep pressing the issue beyond "We went out, not interested" if you don't feel comfortable telling them some version of what happened i.e. "completely ignores ALL boundaries/making up a relationship that doesn't exist."
posted by sm1tten at 11:27 AM on November 2, 2013


"mr. number" is free, I have it on my Android, and I put it on there specifically so I could block numbers.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:28 AM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


If you have an iPhone that can run iOS 7, here is how you can block calls & texts.
posted by jamaro at 11:32 AM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


You are not overreacting in any way. Do not blame yourself for anything. He assaulted you. Seconding approaching your college counselling service for help in dealing with this.

As to him, personally I would flat out state "As far as I'm concerned you sexually assaulted me. If you contact me again I am filing a complaint." And if he does, go ahead and do it. Take care.
posted by billiebee at 11:32 AM on November 2, 2013 [23 favorites]


Even if you don't have the option to block numbers, you can simply assign them a silent ringtone and you will conveniently miss all their calls.
posted by kindall at 11:33 AM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


You need to cut through the bullshit so you will be taken seriously.

"I know S, and he made it clear he had a crush on me. I told S I am not interested in dating or being being friends with him. His reaction was to tell friends and family that we are currently dating and in a serious relationship. He continues to contact me via text and cell, repeatedly leaving irrational messages of an intimate nature, despite the fact that we are no longer on speaking terms.

I am being harrassed. I am frightened and I need your help."


Repeat that to every counselor, parent, uncle, and school authority you can think of. Those sentences. No deviation.

When asked for details...

"S and I went on ONE date during X month. A few BLANK later, we were at the same party and we both stayed over at a friends house. We did not sleep together or fool around. The next morning he accompanied me back to my house because I was pretty hungover. When I fell back asleep that morning, I woke up to find S groping me. I got upset and asked him to leave my house. Since then, he's continued to harrass me, repeatedly texting that he "knows what I need" and more, all in a similar theme. In response, I've directly told him to stop contacting me. Now I am finding out that he has told his parents and others that we are currently dating. I'm frightened all the time and worried for my safety."
posted by jbenben at 11:49 AM on November 2, 2013 [77 favorites]


I know this seems like such a huge overreaction...

You're not overreacting at all, so don't beat yourself up your legitimate feelings. Being molested by a supposed friend would be disturbing to anyone at anytime, let alone when you're in a drunkenly vulnerable state. You feel what you feel and that's perfectly fine and acceptable. If anything, you're right to feel disturbed and upset about, because it was extremely inappropriate and flat out wrong on S's part.

Definitely look into counseling or at talking it over with a close friend or three. There's no one correct way to process this, just do it in your own time and in whatever way makes your comfortable. All that I would advise is seeking help and that's it ok to seek help. You don't have to go through this alone.


The worst thing is that my parents keep encouraging me to see S because they are friends with his parents and know that he comes from a wealthy family.

It's completely acceptable for you to tell your parents to not ask you about him anymore, because you're not dating, never were and you have zero interest in ever dating him. Do not ask them to stop, simply tell them to stop, because it's bothering you.

While I realize you don't want to get into details about what happened with your parents, because they're friends with his parents, I would advise you not completely block that path. Especially because S doesn't have any regard for boundaries. It's uncomfortable situation that you're in, on many levels, but try to remember that you're not alone and shouldn't go forward feeling that you have to keep things quiet for others. You are your own person, with your own feelings and personal boundaries and they're as valid as anyone else. Sure, someone else might not be as bothered by this as you are, but so what, they aren't you. This happened. It's disturbing as hell and affecting you in so many ways. Feel no shame about that and seek the help you need.

How can I put this behind me once and for all?

First, realize that putting this behind you may not be a straight and narrow path. You may need to do a number of annoying and/or time consuming things. This isn't fair or right and I'm sorry you have to go through this, but just be aware this process may be hard at times. Here's a number of practical considerations:

1. Make it plainly clear that you're dating him, never were and never will to EVERYONE. He isn't getting the picture, for whatever fucked up reason. Fine, make it plain and clear to any and everyone else.
2. Tell your friends that you do not want to be left alone with him at all, in any way, for any length of time. If they ask, tell them why.
3. Save all of his texts. Like save them to a file on your computer, then email them to yourself and several friends. In the email, make it plain that he's harassing you and what you've done to make it clear that you you're not interested.
3a. Save his voicemails from him.
4. block his number. Let unknown numbers go to voice mail. Delete any from him or if that's too painful, ask a friend to listen to them and if they're from him, delete them.
5. Send him an email, making it clear that you do not want to see him, have no interest in seeing him and he's never to contact you again and he is to stay the hell away from you. Here's the important part: CC this email to yourself and several of your friends and family. Make it plain and clear that you're cc'ing others on this and that he needs to leave you the fuck alone. This way, it's obvious that you told him to stop, you did in a public way. This way, there's a smaller chance of "He said, she said" if there's a public record of you telling to him to not contact you anymore and that there is no relationship.
6. If he attempts to contact you after step 5, save whatever that form of contact is or make a note of it, then file a report. At this point, I'd recommend letting your parents know what's happening, if you haven't already.

Best of luck and I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this shit. But your feelings are completely justified, natural and understandable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:51 AM on November 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


He's a predator.

He waited until you were incapacitated to violate your body. Now he's leveraging every advantage he can to enforce your silence and cooperation. By telling people you're his girlfriend it makes you feel like people wouldn't take you seriously if you told them. He's taking advantage of his social stature to make sure it would be socially uncomfortable for you to tell people that he sexually assaulted you while you were incapacitated. By constantly contacting you, he's trying to make you feel like it would be easier to just forget it happened, because he's never going to go away.

It sounds like you feel trapped - he did this to you, he can do and say what he wants, and you feel like you have to remain silent.

I think it might help to tell other people what actually happened. I think that's the best way for you to regain control of the situation. This is not an easy thing to do, by any means. Try to find someone who you can trust who will listen to you and start with them. Good luck - this is his fault, not your fault, this is clearly a "big deal", and you deserve to feel safe and comfortable in your own skin again.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:12 PM on November 2, 2013 [22 favorites]


This guy doesn't take you seriously. He's taking advantage of the fact that you have fuzzy boundaries, are internalizing your anger at him and experiencing it as self-doubt and anxiety, and believes that this is all part of an elaborate "me Tarzan, you Jane" fantasy scenario that he has built up in his mind. He needs a wake-up call and you need to take the very empowering steps of 1.) going completely no contact; 2.) putting him on notice that there will be consequences if he does not respect your boundaries, if you cannot maintain no contact; and 3.) following through, with the involvement of police or other authority figures if he does not respect the line you've drawn.

Here's how you do it:

1.) No response to calls, texts, social networking messages, visits, nothing. Block him on everything. Take the advice you've been given here about physically blocking him on your phone, e-mail, Facebook, etc. You absolutely must cut him off completely. No talking about him with your parents and, in fact, telling your parents unequivocally that he is a creep, he's not a nice guy, there is no future for a relationship, and they are not to speak about him to you ever again. I am serious. There is no wiggle room with people who do not recognize boundaries. They are draining at the very least, a complete menace and potentially violent and dangerous at worst.

If you cannot go no contact - which you must make every effort to do - and/or he begins showing up unannounced at your work, home, places where your families might interact, anywhere he knows you like to frequent, you must either:

2.) Tell him, in no uncertain terms, in a firm, dispassionate, direct way: "Evan, I no longer want any contact with you. I want nothing more to do with you. If you insist on contacting me, I will call the police. If you approach me in any way in person, I will call the police and I will make a public scene. You are not to call me, text me, contact my family, show up at my home, work or any places I go regularly. If you do, I will call the police and file a formal complaint."

or

3.) Call the police immediately when he approaches you, tell them you are being threatened by someone who has already been sexually aggressive with you, and get to a public, well-lit place until they come.

You're not blowing things out of proportion. This way of thinking is what predatory, entitled creeps use against women like you. They rely on you taking the blame on yourself, making statements like "I know I'm blowing things out of proportion", "I'm sure I'm overreacting", "I feel awful about feeling like this but…" No. This guy is a straight up creep. Statements like, "Just had to get me some of that ass" do not come from the mouths of people who actually love and respect you. They come from people who view you as property, an object, and basically just something a step below living, breathing flesh and blood human with feelings and agency. Repeat - this guy is one hundred percent responsible for groping you. This guy is one hundred percent responsible for refusing to respect your right not to be besieged by him and his entitlement until you surrender to his advances. Hold him accountable, make it clear what the consequences will be if he doesn't stop, and follow through.

Lastly, and pardon the yelling, but this is very important - ABSOLUTELY MAKE SURE YOU INFORM SOMEONE YOU KNOW, TRUST, AND WHO WILL TAKE YOUR PART THAT THIS IS HAPPENING TO YOU. Too many creeps hide behind a mask of propriety because of wealth, privilege and the public face of their "good families" in these situations.

With due respect to the wisdom of folks who've suggested initiating contact to tell him you want no contact, this doesn't tend to work with this type of person. They see the contact as a chance to get back into the good graces of the person whose boundaries they've violated. They learn that the 96th text is the charm, so to speak. In situations where you are forced to continuously see a person who's violated your boundaries - say, a work situation or shared living situation - it's sometimes necessary to have a brief, dispassionate come to Jesus conversation in a well-lit, public place with the same consequence - police involvement if boundaries are not immediately respected.

Best of luck.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 12:13 PM on November 2, 2013 [14 favorites]


You are not making a mountain out of a molehill, AT ALL. What he did is the definition of sexual assault. Now he is using his contacts with your family to stalk you.

You can also get help through RAINN, if your college counseling center isn't doing it for you.

You are going to have to take care of yourself first, and worry about everyone else later.
posted by annsunny at 12:13 PM on November 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Everyone's already given you good advice. I will just say that as a mother, I would absolutely want to know what happened to you. I'd be devastated if I found out later that my girls didn't tell me the truth about something like this.

I can totally understand how, up til now, your parents might have some vague idea that he'd be a nice match for you because they get along with his parents, and he's into you, and so why wouldn't you want to at least be open to seeing if it works? So tell them the truth. "Mom, that guy assaulted me. When I was sick and terribly hung over and only semi conscious, he was putting his hands down my pants. When I woke up enough to tell him to stop, this is what he said: 'I couldn't resist grabbing that ass.' He's a disgusting person, and you need to know that and understand that you have been mistaken about him as a potential match for me." Let your parents step up and be a support to you.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:23 PM on November 2, 2013 [26 favorites]


I'm sorry this happened, but you're going to have to do the uncomfortable thing and tell your parents, or else they have no reason to stop bringing him up. They won't divine it automatically from your behavior. If they defend him, put your foot down hard and be unequivocal: you never ever want to hear about S from them again, and walk out of the room if they bring him up again. What else you tell them is up to you. Let me emphasize: it's up to you what to tell them. You don't need to give them a reason you won't hear about this guy.

But. Without knowing your parents, I'd say there's a better than average chance that knowing what happened would help them change their attitude towards S, and it's always good to have your parents on your side.

It's going to be uncomfortable either way, but not as uncomfortable as having to endure their mention, out of ignorance, of S as a potential relationship. Their perspective on S is that he's a faultless friend of the family. You know he's a big ol' creeper. They aren't going to see it your way without information.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:24 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I were you I would:

1. Tell your parents about the assault and harassment
2. Next speak with a lawyer who specializes in harassment/stalking and see what you can do to get the assault on record and/or file a restraining order to keep this guy within a safe distance of you
3. Tell anyone at your school who will listen (counselors, mediators, RA in your dorm, etc.)
4. Call RAINN or other hotlines to get advice about the safety aspect

Note: tell all of the above people to not speak up without your explicit permission so you (and only you) can decide whether to go public and in what way.

He has absolutely no respect for you and can only hurt you. You might decide that ignoring him is better than taking legal action, because legal action might stir him up and make him more dangerous. Either way, he needs to be out of your life.

Also read The Gift of Fear.
posted by htid at 12:30 PM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Whoopsie!

It's OK that you went on a few dates, flirted with him for a week, and invited him back to your house.

In the script I mocked up for you, I got a few details wrong. These don't matter, tell the truth.


The most important thing is that you stop hiding the truth.

"I've told him to stop contacting me. His response was to tell friends and family we are dating, and to ramp up his phone calls and text messages to me.

I'm scared and I need help because he won't leave me alone."

Nthing RAINN for resources to help you process the assault.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 12:47 PM on November 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is where being discreet, kind, or ashamed could be actively putting you in harm's way. He's told people you are dating? If people accept that story, whatever he does now will be seen within the framework of "they were a couple," or "they were sexually involved" instead of some criminal freak forcing freak things upon an unwilling and unwitting victim if something worse were to happen.

This is so wrong in about a hundred different ways, but if he continues pressing this scenario it's important for you to be extremely vocal now, and leave nobody at all confused about whether you are dating, or "interested,"or if you're his girlfriend, or if you were having casual sex, or intimate in any way. Be scrupulously clear to every single person who wants to discuss it with you at all that you went on one and only one awful date, it was terrible, he creeped you out, crossed boundaries, and you would never go out or be alone with him again under any circumstances. Be as specific as necessary. Do talk to a rape crisis or counseling service to get more advice.

As much as he tries to establish a narrative of you two being a couple or sexually involved, you need to double or triple that with the fact that no you are not, never were, and he needs to stay the hell away from you. Don't shut up until he shuts up. Be crystal clear, and make sure there is absolutely no one among your family, friends or social circle who is confused about this.
posted by taz at 1:28 PM on November 2, 2013 [27 favorites]


He sexually assaulted you, now he's stalking you.

You are by no means overreacting.

Please reach out for help to whomever it feels most comfortable to do so. You can call 1-800-656-HOPE(4673) to get connected with your local rape crisis shelter, or you can use the online chat at RAINN for support.

It's absolutely your own decision whether you tell anyone else in your life, including your parents. You know them, we don't. Do whatever makes the most sense to you -- you can always tell them later if telling them now seems overwhelming, or if you're worried they'll blame you, or if you're worried about something else entirely.

I think blocking his calls is a great step, as is telling everyone that you and he are not dating. Your rape crisis center can also help with obtaining a restraining order, which would not be out of line in this case. If you're comfortable talking to someone at your college, they're likely to have a Title IX coordinator who should (in an ideal world) be able to work out making sure he's not in any of your classes, if that's a concern. I know that some colleges are better than others about this sort of thing, though, so again, do what makes sense given the information you have.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. You didn't deserve it, you don't deserve it, and all of this is entirely S's fault.
posted by jaguar at 1:42 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Also it's unlikely you're experiencing PTSD, since the abuse and harassment are still ongoing and PTSD requires that the event was at least six months ago and not ongoing. You're experiencing a completely normal reaction to a traumatic event and ongoing harassment. Please don't feel that you're broken or sick or reacting badly -- you're reacting entirely normally to a traumatic event. It's helpful to get support, because the event and harassment are traumatic, but again, that doesn't mean you're broken or wrong or sick.)
posted by jaguar at 1:46 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't use the term harassing. Plain out state that he is stalking you, and that he's doing it in an aggressive and frightening manner. Let everyone know about it--your family, friends, his family. If anyone blows you off or tells you you're mistaken, firmly state that you want NOTHING to do with him, and that you don't appreciate their response. You don't have to go into detail about what happened--I think it would be best if you didn't.

God forbid your parents don't take your side in this, but ask them if his money and social standing are worth you being raped and injured? If this doesn't set them back on their hind legs and make them think, I'd really be pissed, and let them know in no uncertain terms that they obviously don't respect your instincts or your decisions.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:52 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Get the Mr. Number app for your phone. It's awesome. You can set up rules for either specific numbers or classes of numbers (e.g. people who are or are not in your contacts list or particular area codes) and have the app send calls straight to voicemail or even pick up and hang up.

Personally, I have my phone set up so that only a handful of people can call me and make it ring. Other people I never want to talk with again get the pick-up-and-hang-up treatment and everyone else is sent straight to voicemail.

Block him on social media and set up a filter to auto-archive any emails he might send you.

If you have a record of him persisting to continue to contact you after you've told him to stop you might consider seeking a restraining order. If you're able to get a restraining order that will go a long way towards helping other people to understand how serious the situation is.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:26 PM on November 2, 2013


Do you trust your mom?

Go to her in private. Tell her that this guy did something bad to you and now he won't leave you alone, and that you don't want to tell her what he did because you don't want to overreact, but you don't know what to do. The rest will come out and if she's trustworthy, she'll help you through this because that's what moms are for. The thing is that your mom isn't just a lady who is friends with his parents, she is also a woman and there's a good chance that she or someone she cares about has been through something like this before- most women have.

If you don't trust her or are afraid that she won't believe you, go to a counsellor or contact a women's centre or rape crisis centre or hotline. Your school probably has one, and you weren't raped but you were sexually assaulted and are now being harassed- they'll still help you, and it's still the right place to go.


You are NOT overreacting. You were violated. I'm so sorry this is something you are dealing with.
posted by windykites at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Go to her in private. Tell her that this guy did something bad to you and now he won't leave you alone, and that you don't want to tell her what he did because you don't want to overreact, but you don't know what to do."

I know this advice means well, but OP you have NOTHING to be ashamed of. This approach is the one you'd take 40 years ago to protect the predator, in the guise of sparing the families and victim public shame.

Good thing you have nothing to be ashamed of here, and this advice does not apply to you in 2013..

If you matter of factly report to everyone that you are not on speaking terms with this fellow, and you haven't been since he acted creepy after a party X number of weeks/months ago - that's a pretty dispassionate and faithful reporting on the situation. No shame or secrecy required on your part.

Taz is correct that the longer you keep this secret, the worse it looks. You do not need to disclose the assault, but you MUST make it clear you are not on speaking terms and he is both lying about you and harrassing you.

You need to be kept safe, and step one is making sure your friends and family protect you instead of inadvertently encouraging S because they don't know you are not on speaking terms with him.


-----
I had a stalker, it only escalated because I felt ashamed and kept it secret.

Because I kept it secret, it went on for years.

In 2011 I finally got vocal and told people what had been going on. I stopped acting ashamed, which eventually helped me stop feeling ashamed. I took action (blocking, lining up a lawyer just in case, etc.)

Everything improved because I stopped acting (and secretly believing) this creep's actions were my fault.


I feel much less jumpy these days, FWIW.
posted by jbenben at 3:18 PM on November 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Everyone here is giving you such good advice. Please listen.

Please, most of all, don't feel ashamed about what happened. You did nothing wrong. He did. It's sickening to me that you're the one feeling shame and embarrassment over this. He's the one who should be ashamed. He should be worried and afraid right now, because he's the one who did something wrong.

And the fact that he doesn't understand why it was wrong, and that he is continuing to harass you means that he is an ongoing danger, to you and to others. You're under no obligation to tell anyone anything you're not comfortable telling them, but I hope you can at least let people know in no uncertain terms that he is exhibiting stalkerlike behaviors with you and that you won't tolerate anyone trying to push his agenda.
posted by ernielundquist at 3:30 PM on November 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


This doesn't seem to be your style, but if something like was happening to me, I'd tell the whole world, in a loud voice in every public place. ("Can you believe that little shit actually told people we were DATING?! How pathetic can you be? Ugh. It sucks but it's getting to where I'm actually going to have to get the authorities involved!")

And to him I'd probably go off (loudly and in public): "WTF is WRONG with you? What makes you think this is anything but Creepy McCreepersons? Am I going to have to go file a police report? Jesus Christ, just stay the hell away from me."

(Basically, take the offensive instead of letting him put you on the defensive)

Oh- and you are COMPLETELY not overreacting. He's lucky you don't have my dad, or even me, now that I'm older and bolder. This is a violence-inducing level of bullshit he's pulled on you.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I didn't read all of the responses here but I agreed with most that I read. I've been in similar situations and I'm sorry that you're going through this. The best advice I have to offer is, in addition to the things mentioned above, don't be nice. Use strong language. It shows you're serious. "He's a fucking creep. I fucking hate him and I never want to see him again." If you want to exchange the profanity for something else, by all means but variations on that might help. Practice saying it in front of a mirror, telling your friend, and thinking of what you would say to him if you saw him.

With your parents, it might be helpful to redirect. I'm guessing that they're not trying to be jerks or make you feel uncomfortable. It might be helpful with them to use the script above and add something like, I did [go on a date with a guy] or [met a guy in class] I like who is not a fucking creep, don't know if anything will come of it but who knows.
posted by kat518 at 5:07 PM on November 2, 2013


I am so very sorry that you're dealing with this and in no way are you overacting. Let's call a spade a spade: he sexually assaulted you and now he is stalking you.

The only thing that made my stalker stop- and what I wish I'd done right after things escalated- is to go to the police and start an official paper trail. If your campus has cops, they have usually been trained to deal with complaints of this nature. Phone harrasment is a legitimate complaint (needless to say, sexual assault is as well but I understand why you might be reluctant to file formal charges). When you file your complaint with the police, ask what the next step is if the behavior continues. The answer is: a restraining order, which - as I discovered- judges are actually happy to give since they don't want a woman winding up in the dumpster on their watch.

After you have done this, write him one message, which you cc friends. Tell him that you have filed a complaint with the police and that if contacts you again you will get a restraining order, which will be served to him in public by uniformed officers.

You might also wish to contact Residential Education, Student Services or their equivalent ( some schools have a dedicated reporting sust for sexual harrasment and they generally are very supportive of students in your situation). They will be able to assist you with details such as making sure the guy isn't showing up where you are all the time and other similar behaviors.

This worked very efficiently for me. I hope it works. Protecting yourself isn't an overreaction.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:30 PM on November 2, 2013


I'm going to counsel against shit talking this guy, histrionics, or using foul language.

All of that plays into his agenda and makes you look like the crazy one. I wish this wasn't true, because you deserve to show it if you're outraged.

This guy is a wack job. Do yourself a favor by keeping the drama out of it.

Be Firm, not frenzied.

Staying firm but calm will help descalate things. Showing fiery outrage is like pouring gasoline and lighting a match, resist all urges in that direction.
posted by jbenben at 5:41 PM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


i used to tell my clients all the time...

1. build a record.
2. protect the record...
3. AND THE RECORD WILL PROTECT YOU!

you've still got him texting and emailing? terrific, because maybe you can coax him into admitting the FELONY he committed against you on the record. taping phone calls at this stage is more problematic, one-party state versus two-party state and we don't know where you are. this guy is going to end up raping a woman unless someone stops him, and you may be in the best position to do that. once you get him on the record, launch a multiprong attack: criminal charges, a civil suit, and maybe a full-bore social media blitzkrieg. burn this motherfucker to the ground.
posted by bruce at 6:20 PM on November 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


I just want to also vouch for the Mr. Number app if you have an Android phone. You can enter in the phone numbers that you want blocked, then choose "hang up" or "go to voicemail" for those phone numbers. It's awesome.
posted by foxjacket at 6:39 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So i kinda skimmed a lot of the replies to this, and this may have already been said, but i was kinda !!!! at how fucked up this is.

The main thing i wanted to say is that while i agree with jbenbens script, i think you should for now only tell people who won't tell anyone who will tell him.

I think the shittiest thing that could happen right now would be if he found out that you've been telling people anything that doesn't jive with his fictitious version of reality, and would be what could possibly make this into a dangerous situation where he does another fucked up stupid "why are you going around telling people you're not my girl baby?" climb in your window and yell at you kinda thing.

Because i mean, what's happened thus far even crosses the territory from predator in to person who needs legitimate psychiatric help. Going around and telling his friends and family that you're dating and making up that whole story after acting this way is serious kinds of fucked up. One or the other by themselves would be a problem, but i'm actually worried that this guy could be legitimately dangerous now and in the future, not just dangerous in the ways he already was.

This situation is like when a fire has been put out, but there's still hot spots that could re-ignite the flames. It looks like it's over and you just have to sweep up the broken pieces and slam dunk it into the dumpster, but the potential for more fucked up things to happen is ongoing.

For this reason i'd say the cops and then school authorities(who might want to do some sweep it under the rug "we'll handle this" bullshit or mediate it through their own weird tribunal crap) and then your parents, unless you are 100% certain your parents will have your side and not go blab to his parents because "he's a family friends son!".

I know it's a fucked up situation to be in to have to sit down and think and ask that question of whether your parents would fuck you over here by calling them, and causing his parents to call him and stir the pot... but really think on it.

Because i really think the last thing you want is for him to know that you're "talking shit and telling lies" before you have some kind of pre existing record of whats up and support system in place. I would almost say go stay at your parents house for a few days if that's geographically possible(or even a not-your-place spot that he doesn't know the location of) until steps have been taken here, while you're in the process of really setting things in motion. Because what the fuck is to stop him from coming back all angry and shit? he knows where your place is.

This is the primary reason i'm against the "tell everyone and publicly shame him" option, and even hesitant about the "tell your entire family and anyone at the school offices that will listen".

i'm not trying to freak you out here, this is just something that would legitimately concern me if i was in a situation like this, or if any of my meatspace friends came to me with a situation like this wondering wtf to do.
posted by emptythought at 7:24 PM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


If you are in America, your college probably has an Office for Equal Opportunity that handles complaints of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and discrimination. They would be able to give you advice relevant to your school. They know all of the university's relevant policies/guidelines, and the OEO should also have policies in place to deal with things like stalking. The OEO is not just for university employees, at least at my school. They can go after stalkers and they can set stuff up to protect students being stalked by preventing contact between stalkers and the stalked.

What happened (and what is happening) is not your fault! I repeat: It is not your fault. Please go to your school's counselling center, and please tell them what you have told us. Don't be afraid to talk to the campus police, or the actual police if things escalate or if you feel that you are in danger at any time.

Don't be afraid to tell your parents what happened. Please tell them what happened. I'm really sorry this has happened; groping and stalking are awful, awful things that shouldn't happen to anyone.
posted by topoisomerase at 9:54 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry I'm responding so late. I would have sent you a personal mefi message if you weren't anonymous so I hope you read this. As someone who's been through something similar I strongly advise against Mr. Number or any other number blocking app. EVERY time he tries to call you is evidence of your being stalked. Definitely do not respond -EVER, but don't block the calls either. They need to be on your phone record and you need to be able to show his refusal to stop contacting you.

The second thing you need to do is get something called a Cease and Desist. They are cheap and easy to get. Just go to a lawyer- tell him/her everything you've told us and ask him to write your Stalker a Cease and Desist. Ask the lawyer to both email AND send it to your predator (which he definitely is) via certified mail. In my experience getting such a letter from a lawyer is enough to get the person to back off for good. Certified mail is the most important of the two and this is usually enough to prove that the person received it, but just in case he's not the only person to live at the address, sending it to his email as well will put the last nail in the coffin as insurance. This way if he lies and says he didn't receive it it won't fly. NO authority will believe that he did not get the certified letter OR the email no matter what he says. Never contact him again... If he continues to contact you after the cease and desist you may then have the clout to be granted a restraining order depending on your state.

Tell EVERYONE about how you feel. Including the guidance counselor at your school. NO one should be confused as to whether or not you two are together.

Tell your parents. The fact that they don't seem to care that you don't like him and keep hounding you to date him anyway troubles me some, but once they hear about what happened if they are good parents they will not only not want you to date him- but they will FORBID you to date him. If they continue to pressure you or take sides with your abuser after that then that will give you an idea where you got this inability to be yourself and stand your ground from and you should seriously consider limiting your contact with them for your own sanity. If this is the case they are not a healthy influence. And you need to proceed without their help. If you are open enough to others about what he's done your parents might back off you anyway because the last thing crappy parents want is to let OTHERS know they are crappy selfish parents. (not saying yours are, but since I don't know them I just mentioned that possibility.) Take this SERIOUSLY. You have not been over-reacting, you have been under-reacting to this.
posted by manderin at 9:34 AM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


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