“So I have a stalker,” is a sentence I’ve said to numerous people in the last year and a half. It’s not a sentence I ever thought I would say. It’s not a sentence I ever wanted to say. Yet here I am, repeating it over and over and over again. To friends, to roommates, to coworkers, to my employers, to my sister, to my brother, to my parents.
I have a stalker.
It’s always an awkward conversation to have; it starts with a desire to reassure whomever Ii’m telling that I’m fine – physically. A quiet and tentative, “so I have bad news, but it’s alright and I’m not hurt”. To let them know that I’m not in immediate danger – that I know of. That they don’t have to worry – I’ll worry enough for all of us. Then comes the reveal.
Four years ago, I moved out of my parents house and took those first steps into terrifying independent adulthood. Living with people other than my parents for the first time with nothing but some savings and a brash sort of reckless hope that things would work out. I didn’t tell my parents that of course, when I told them I was moving out it was with the assurance I had a plan, a job lined up, and would be fine.
I didn’t really have a plan, nor a job lined up, but I was fine. Better than fine. The independence was what I needed to grow, and I don’t regret it for a second. My new life wasn’t easy, but it was mine and soon became my new normal.
Then I got an email.
Out of the blue, from a name I hadn’t seen in years, I opened it, curious. I thought nothing of it at the time; just that it was an old high school acquaintance attempting to get back in touch.
I don’t remember exactly what the email said, it was lengthy, and at times difficult to follow. I do remember what I felt while reading it: freaked the fuck out.
Passages that described how I was this person’s “perfect woman”, a clear idealized image of me that wasn’t rooted in any sort of truth but a made up fantasy. A rose colored remembrance of a one year high school friendship. I had remembered those times fondly, it wasn’t a deep friendship but it had been a nice one. Now those memories were twisted, tainted by obsession and dehumanization. Coupled with the creepy obsession notes, were entire paragraphs dedicated to faith and his finding God. Apparently God had created me just for him, who knew?