The screams came from a memory. The type of memory that surfaces during the transition between the Sandman’s realm and the waking world. The one that brings clarity. New perspective. It was myself, five years younger. Mid-way through my stalker, The Neighbor’s attempts to destroy me. Desperately trying to get help, and being dismissed.
My witnesses? Refusing to help.
The Neighbor’s past victims? In the police reports, at their request, firm black marks obstructed their names. Preventing me from contacting them, saying, “We share a stalker. Can we work together to stop her?”
That missing piece of information especially jabbed me. I grasped my hair. Until knuckles turned white. Desperate. So very desperate. For someone to come forward. To acknowledge. Collaborate with my experience. Why didn’t any of The Neighbor’s altercations make the news? Why didn’t her past victims go public with the information? Without that public witness, I was only one frustrated woman bellowing outrageous claims. Yelling loud enough …
… for the echoes to reach me, five years later, while pulling out of sleep. The day after writing my last post. Where I (somewhat logically) spelled out why I’ll never (ever, ever, ever) reveal my stalker’s name. The younger Amy read that post and freaked out. Then, confronted me: “How could you write that? Why did you go silent? Knowing how much I needed that information! Your silence protects The Neighbor. It is killing me.”
Younger Amy was right. Demanding I spill the beans. Knowledge is power, or in her case, much-needed evidence. Leading to protection.
But. Now that the Dark Years are behind me, I've changed. Erring on the side of caution, and not being a public bastard. Fearing consequences of drawing too much attention to The Neighbor. I acknowledge that by adhering to sense and sensibility, if The Neighbor is now fixating on a new victim, that victim would have to fumble for evidence like I was fumbling.
That means I’m passively protecting my stalker.
Which makes me a jerk.
Used Car Salesman also didn’t like my writing. He began badgering. My blog wasn’t cutting muster. I needed a different angle. One that was truly helpful to victims. Like him.
My hackles always rise whenever an outsider tells me how to write. Victim or no, I snarled at Used Car Salesman’s suggestions. Thought to myself, “Don’t like my approach? Write what you like your on own damn blog.”
Then Used Car Salesman’s stalkers contacted me, as well as others on his social media feeds. They forwarded articles about the innocents he crushed. Turns out, Used Car Salesman was a con artist of the worst kind. What he called “stalking” was actually all of his victims coming forward. Unmasking the fraud.
I blocked Used Car Salesman from contact. Stopped writing this blog for about a month. Cutting him off from new information. When I returned to the keyboard, I focused on writing details from a story that was uniquely mine. I couldn't keep him from lifting ideas. But I could force him to re-write anything I posted.
And who really wants to work at a con?
His blog died immediately.
Never heard from him again.
After writing that last paragraph, felt myself stiffen. It just doesn’t feel right. Outing The Neighbor like that. Despite remembering my desperation during the Dark Years.
It’s one of many gray areas I encounter. Amy of the present wrestling with Amy of the past. On days like this, we disagree sharply. One demanding truth. The other demanding caution.
We don’t like each other very much.