This entry has very little to do with my ministry or anything else, really. You can call it a journal entry of my pain, shared with the world. Tonight, my mind is just slightly “bugged” and restless. I am on a month-long break from work so I was very excited last night to be able to go to church for the first time in a couple of months. I work 6-7 days a week so my job rarely allows me to be part of the service I love. I arrived to hear from my youth minister’s wife that my stalker had showed up at church recently. They did not realize who it was at first. He went to the service and church events for a weeks and then he began asking about me and admitted he had hoped to run into me. He told them he was “very sad and was hoping to reconcile things with me and ask for forgiveness”. They told him I had stopped coming to church months a go. This was true. I had been a few weeks prior on Easter Sunday, but nevertheless I had not been coming regularly for at least six months. He wanted to leave me a letter, but was told by my friend that if I wanted to reconcile that was my choice. He has not come back since he was told I was not coming to church any more. I still feel slightly violated all over again. He infiltrated the intimate sanctuary of my church to try to reach me. He must be a very sick man, indeed.
Yes, I definitely have a stalker, unfortunately, and unfortunately I invited this man into my life myself. We will call my stalker Bobo for protective purposes and because it makes the situation seem less threatening :). I met Bobo in 2009 after I returned from my year as a dual student at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked for the same security company I worked for. He was very reserved and shy and seemed like a very nice guy. In fact, every one thought he was a nice guy. He would show up outside my post at the women’s dorm and we would talk about things that interest me like religion and politics. He would ask questions but mostly listened. He was probably the shyest person I have ever met. He was also very innocent for his age. Bobo was 30 and had never had a girlfriend or even kissed a girl. You may find this hard to believe but I definitely can tell you it was true. Bobo and I weren’t really friends. Just co-workers and acquaintances. Then about 6 months later in January of 2010 he started asking me out. I was kinda seeing someone at the time. Someone I had a crush on off and on since high school. When things did not work out with him, I was quite heartbroken. Here comes Bobo on a day when my heart was in the absolute depths of despair. I wasn’t even really attracted to him but suddenly his smiles were welcome. I finally said I “would go out with him, but he had to realize that we could never get serious”. I was most likely going into the mission field and would be leaving the area as soon as school was done. I was a little alarmed when he told me he loved by text the day but I figured he was just being dramatic or funny. He came to pick me up and my parents were “weirded out” that instead of shaking their hand, he immediately hugged them, pulling them into a hearty embrace. They told me later this seemed very possessive. The first date was so awkward as he hardly said anything, but the setting was extremely plush so I was flattered. He took me to the nicest restaurant I have ever been to. The meal alone had to have been hundreds of dollars. He took me to a movie too. We went out a couple more times and then I gave him his first kiss. I was flattered about being someone’s first but things got weird fast. He texted me constantly and wanted to know where I was all the time. I made the mistake of taking Bobo to a close friend’s wedding. He started to see us in his mind as walking down the aisle and kept referring to me as “the love of his life”. It made no sense as I refused to even call him my boyfriend. I had told him several times I was just having fun ( my first mistake – God did not mean for girls to date just for fun. Christian courtship is meant to show someone whether a person is a prospective spouse – not just for fun. I am not seeing this gave him an excuse to stalk me, but it was cruel for me to treat a guy who obviously adored me this way). He was certain “I was in love with him, too, but just hadn’t realized it”. He just knew “I was destined for him”. He said this all by text. In person, he was still extremely quiet. If I asked him what he was thinking it was always, “You are so pretty!” That was just plain, ANNOYING!
On Valentine’s Day, I got the flu and couldn’t go anywhere. He irrationally got very angry at me for standing him up even though I was very sick. It snowed that day, a rare thing for lower east coast. My parents came out to the front door to find a teddy bear on the door step with a card. It freaked me out a little that he would show up at my house unannounced. I told him he was “getting too clingy for me” and he said he would “back off and give me some space”. He did for a few days, but then a couple of weeks later when I wanted to be by myself, on my one day off, he freaked out. He said he was coming to my house anyway. “I couldn’t ignore him!” I went to the mall and he said he was going to drive around and find my car so he could come meet me. Suddenly, I was scared! This guy was a bit of a psycho! He finally went back home after he couldn’t find my car. He apologized later and sent me some really texts. I said it was ok. I did have pretty strong feelings for him at this point. I was an irrational glutton for punishment at this time! I told him I would give him another chance. Things were better for a couple of weeks. Then, He bombarded my phone with too many texts, and I told him I felt “a little smothered”. He got a little irritated. He insisted we get together that night for a talk after I got out of church. I did not go to church that night because I had a head ache. Bobo calls. He said he drove by the church and my car wasn’t there so “I must have lied to him”. He would “forgive me this time cause he was excited to see me tonight”. I had a bad feeling so I stood him up at the last-minute. He waited an hour until I told him I wasn’t coming. He was furious of course! Over the course of the night while I was sleeping, Bobo blew up my phone with over 100 texts. They were mostly perverted, but some of them were very threatening. There were also some accusing me of cheating. I responded by telling him we were never boyfriend and girlfriend so how could I be cheating? He then said something very nasty and explicit things! I responded by telling him that “we could not see each other or be friends anymore. It was ove!.” Bobo was not at all who I thought he was. The next day I received a hundred texts in a matter of hours. Bobo said things lik,”You will never be able to get rid of me. He would show up in the dark when I least expected it! He was never going away!” I texted him back only to beg him to leave me alone in all caps, and to say that he was “scaring me” and that he “sounded like a crazed stalker”. Bobo said, “you should be scared! I am a shark! I hope when you see me you freeze up like a glacier. I will get you alone and force myself on you if I have to!” He also showed his true colors about my faith. He was no Christian. He admitted he hated how I was always at church and talking about God. The final straw was when Bobo said that I was not allowed to decide when it was over, he would. I was still at work and showed the texts to my boss. He had some perverse things about me and another female officer so he was considered to be harassing not just me but the entire staff. Bobo was fired the next morning on counts of sexual harassment, discourtesy, fraternization, and using profane language (I work at a Christian university). He was no longer allowed on the property I worked on pain of arrest. He was actually escorted off the property. Bobo only said to my boss “he couldn’t help it!. Kat was the first girl I ever dated and I just fell “in love”, that’s all!” Such twisted love.
I thought firing him was enough, but I was still afraid to go home. He had driven by my house before just to see if I was at home. I stayed at an aunt’s house out-of-town for a while. It was quiet for a few days and then he bombarded with more texts. I did not answer any of them but saved them all. He said he still loved me even though I ruined his life. It wasn’t me though. His lust lost him his job and career . He sent me tons of disgusting texts. It made me sick to my stomach. He admitted he would watch porn for hours a day (had been for years – had an addiction. Can’t believe I was so blind) and think of me. YUCK! His text would go from sweet and mushy to perverse to go so far as to threaten my family and their well-being. You mess with my family and you mess with my very heart! I wanted to ignore and delete all his words but I kept them for documentation. Girls, this is key if you ever are stalked. Keep everything! You need proof when talking with the police and you must have several instances to get a restraining order in most states. Anyhow, I finally came back home to find a huge bunny and a note on my door step. The bunny was as big as me! Silly Bobo! What girl in their mind would want that (forgive me girls if you like this sort of thing. I find it ridiculous and will never be able to look at a stuffed bunny the same. They are my version of a Chucky doll or clown)! My parents said they had seen a car across from the house for a while when they were doing yard work. Bobo must have waited for them to leave and left it there. I opened the letter. The letter was completely without reason. Saying “he would try to leave me alone” followed by a sentence that “he would never go away!” He said he would “fight this out forever. If you want to fight a love war, you got one!” He then said he would “change” and “loved me”. He said it followed with taking the Lord’s name in vain. I am not sure how he thought it would appeal to me! He signs the letter saying, “I am not a bad person, I just say and do dumb things.” I thought of posting the weird letter but this post is long enough (If there is a request for it I will share it in a separate post). I finally went to the police. They granted me a temporary restraining order. I went to court a month later with a whole binder full of 300 pages of evidence and the creepy 5 foot giant bunny in hand (which has since been donated to a charitable thrift shop. I figured it would not rest in peace after its beginning if I shredded it so I turned my miserable memory into some child’s happiness 🙂 ). My victim advocate said I had enough evidence to put Bobo in jail for a while for “threaten to sexually assault” and “misuse of a telephone and trespassing on my property”. I did not take her advice, because I did wish to drag it on. I went to civil court for a restraining order and it was immediately granted for a year. I did not want to go through months to a year of court seeing him and then later find he got off with community service or risk him coming back to get me incensed after just a few months jail time. Our justice system wouldn’t give him as much time as he deserves I am sure.
So I was “safe”! He was not the type to want to go jail. Still, I was full of fear. I was a recluse. I stopped talking to and hanging out with my friends without any explanation (now y’all know why! I am sorry for not sharing). I only went to work and often carried my shot-gun in the car when I was off duty. I stopped going to church. I stopped going to the mall. I was especially afraid to go to the movies cause Bobo liked to go to them so much. Before I parked my car I would circle the neighborhood to make sure he was not around. He made me paranoid. It was about six months later that I began to realize that this behavior meant I was letting his win. It was also selfish of me. I regret I lost several friends during this time. They even unfriended me from Facebook. I was too ashamed to tell them what happened. I found strength to live again through Christ. The following verse became my comfort,
New King James Version (NKJV)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
I could not be in bondage to fear. I could not allow myself to become enslaved to my past, but must look forward to brighter tomorrows! I would quote this verse over and over before I went out until I truly began to live without fear. I even began to date a pastor for a while (although that was a learning lesson for another time. I am happily single now). I admit I still have bad nights where I think I hear something outside at night or where I feel the need to canvas the neighborhood before I park, but then I come back to this verse. When the restraining order ended in April I heard nothing for a few weeks. He comes to my door step three weeks later. I had my father go to the door. We were having a steak dinner and my dad went to the door with his knife in hand. A little overkill but it got the point across. My dad told Bobo i wasn’t interested and had moved on and that I forgave him (I really did. I even pray for his salvation and his mental health) but that “I did not want to see him”. FORGIVENESS DOESN”T MEAN BEING STUPID, LADIES (OR GENTLEMEN – WOMEN CAN BE STALKERS TOO)!Cut off all ties if someone is this destructive. It was at this point of failure at reaching me at home that I find out that he showed up at my church. It is an extremely open and non-judgemental fellowship so they were happy to share the gospel with him. I am thankful also that they told him I had not been to church in weeks and that it was my choice not to have any relationship with him anymore. Bobo admitted he was just at church in hopes to find me. He has not been back in many weeks since realizing I was not there. I told the church the full story today and they said if comes back they will send him away. I know it is certainly not safe for such an unstable man to be around the congregation of the other young women. The only place I can think of he might show up is my fitness center, but my work outs are very sporadic and not routine (sometimes morning, sometimes afternoon, sometimes evening). I still feel like I have to be smart and look over my shoulder a little, but this time I will not let it keep me from living my life. My past doesn’t own me or define me. God is in control. I am sharing this with you all (if you read this far) just because it is therapeutic to write it all down. If this was too long or boring, consider it my online journal, written mostly for my own benefit. I am also sharing this in hopes that other young ladies will be smart and learn from my mistakes. I am much smarter now. I will not let a guy pick me up at home unless I know him very well (the last guy I dated briefly never even saw my house). I will no longer “recreationally date”, meaning I will not date some one unless I believe they are suitable for marriage. I have actually stopped the pursuit since I ended things in October of 2010 with the last guy I dated (another story. he was a pastor but far from perfect). I am convinced, if I am meant to marry, I will meet my spouse on the ministry field or in training for ministry. As Elisabeth Elliot says in her book, Quest for Love, “Dating is for the purpose of finding one’s life mate. Period. ” (1.Elliot, 71) This is my standard now. I will no longer date just because I am lonely or just because I have some strong emotions. I will spend time kneeling before God before I make the decision to enter another relationship. If I had been in close relationship with God, I certainly would not have dated someone who 1. did not share my calling in ministry and 2. did not even have a real relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ 3. that was merely an acquaintance I knew nothing at all about. Sure, Bobo certainly claimed to be a Christian, but his actions and words did not back it up at all. I was foolish, but I will rise above my mistakes and let my past make me stronger. I can not do this alone. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me! (2.Phillipians 4:13). No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us!(3.Romans 8:37) If you made it this far, thanks for listening. I feel much better and will sleep well now!
Elliot, Elisabeth. “”A Praying Father’s Word”” Quest for Love. Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2000. 71. Print.
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