Stalking stress





Chills, chills and empathetic terror. I am talking about listening to Sandra Bullock’s 911 call that she made last year when she saw her stalker climb the stairs to her attic. She called 911 from a safe room in her closet. Her call reminds us that being stalked can happen to anyone.

Okay, so maybe being a celebrity has its downsides. There have been many reports of stalking, famous incidents like the Queen of England. I wonder why Sandra did not have video cameras that were being monitored or some rent-a-cop surveying the property. But, then again, the Queen of England woke up one night in 1982 to find a guy sitting in her room.

So if a guy can scale Buckingham Palace and get past all the redcoats standing outside, then surely a stalker can walk into Sandra Bullock’s attic. However, if I was high profile, I would have a little extra security, or at least security officers that do not fall asleep at their post.

Stalking, for us, is usually with someone we know. For example, the public safety report this week seems to have an overabundance of unwanted communication. I have heard so many stories of friends who have had guy friends or boyfriends that continually text, call, Facebook message, and show up unannounced after being told to stay away.

Just last week, my roommate told me that if a friend of hers showed up at our on-campus apartment, I should tell him that she was still on spring break. Another friend in high school had a guy message her over ten times a day and send her hand written letters about how he valued their friendship, even after she told him that she needed a break.

So what is it that makes this story familiar? I think it is that so many people have either experienced it themselves or know someone that has experienced it. It must be so uncomfortable. The Campus Assault Resources and Education website says that if you are being stalked, keep a log and make sure that your stalker is not finding you through the GPS on your phone.

I can imagine little else that would make my hair stand on end than the feeling of being followed or watched.  So please, I beg of you, if you feel that either a former friend or partner is stalking you, tell someone, do something. Please do not end up like Sandra Bullock calling from the depths of her closet or end up like the queen waking up with a guy in your room. Try to recognize signs early and trust your instincts if someone gives you the creeps; it probably means that they are creepy.