A lot happened. All at once. In a rush. Burying me. My energy compartmentalized between outwitting my stalker and holding onto the little that remained of my normal life. Convincing authorities that I needed help. Fighting to not let it consume me. As Pat and I discuss, several questions linger: could anything have ended it sooner? Caused me less fear? Gotten The Neighbor to stop?
The second step: finding the words that identified the crime. Tying it to a law. Pin-pointing how to get help. How incredibly hard it was to prove. Nobody was able to make it stop.
The third step: realizing other stalking survivors surrounded me. At last count, it’s about nine or ten people. (I’ll probably remember more people after I post this segment.) That’s a lot of people for a crime that’s associated with celebrities or freak occurrences.
I didn’t stop for a head count until just recently. That’s a year after all courtroom appearances with my stalker ended. I should have remembered them after The Neighbor declared war. Like, immediately. Should have taken notes from their experiences. Should have applied them to my own experience. Identified more quickly what was happening, and stuck to it, despite the pushback I received.
Chalk it up to the learning curve. At the time, I was too busy focusing on my own survival to really stop and think. I want to kick myself for not realizing it sooner.
To be continued ...