I’ve always been a straight shooter with people. I never mix words and I tell it like it is. Take it or leave it.
That is, unless it’s my story. I don’t often ask for help. I’m the “helper” for others. I am stubborn to the core and independent by design.
A decade or so ago, I was scared. Scared and not sure I could tackle what I was dealing with alone. In a moment of weakness, I opened up to a colleague about an uncomfortable situation with another “associate”.
Based on my true nature and ridiculous ability to down-play the extent to which I am struggling, I found myself making excuses for this “associate’s” behavior.
I remembered the look of both shock and bewilderment on my colleague’s face, wondering how I could possibly think that the person who was stalking and harassing me was just “a hurting individual who read more into my kindness than was intended”. But, that’s who I am. The fixer, the benefit-of-the-doubt giver. I mean, I was a counselor. That was my job…to understand and help people.
It wasn’t until my trusted colleague and confident looked me dead in the eyes and said “Lee, if you were watching this story on a Lifetime Movie you’d be screaming at the main character and telling her she was being an idiot. This isn’t going to end well on its own. It’s not ok”.
Lifetime Movie? Hilarious use of an analogy, yes…but he was right. I would have been screaming.
I’m not going to delve into the outcome, nor the journey it took to get there. That is my story to share another day. And, frankly, the details are not important.
But, what I am going to tell you is this: it happened again recently. This time it was cyber based. Again, the details of the stalking are not important. They’re just fodder for gossip and conjecture. And, once again, I admit that I poo-pooed it and tried to ignore it. Until I no longer could.
When this person commented on one of my posts on this blog…the blog I use for my creative outlet, my enjoyment…I began to feel the panic again. I stopped posting here. I focused on my work in other venues. If I ignored it, it would go away. Right? I wouldn’t admit it was bothering me. No way.
In what seemed like a flash in time, this person had infiltrated my social media accounts. I considered eliminating them all, knowing full well it would be a detriment to my career which is mainly internet based. In reality, I knew I could not let that happen.
I swallowed my pride, took a deep breath, reached out and confided in someone that I trusted looking for advice and options. I realized I had to take action. I wasn’t ready to give in. I remembered that this was NOT the Lifetime Movie role that I wanted to star in. I would not be the victim in this story, rather the heroine.
Due to an unbelievable series of events, the situation was resolved. I was extremely fortunate…this time. And I am eternally grateful.
Why am I sharing this now? Because I know I am not the only one going through this. I know there are others who are being victimized, and I urge you to stand up for yourself and reach out. Take necessary action. Please. No matter how stubborn or scared you may be, this is not a matter to be taken lightly.
Stalking is not ok. Harassment is not ok.
The cyber world has opened a Pandora’s Box of opportunities to unsavory people, and anyone can be a target.
Remember YOU and only YOU are the author of your script. What type of movie do you want to star in?