Something I haven’t shared often, or at all really, is about the stalker I had...
To be honest, sometimes I forget it ever happened, but then other times I’ve felt so ashamed of it that I feel worthless.
I know ashamed seems like a weird emotion for a victim of stalking to experience… so I’ll share with you why that's how I felt.
It started about 6 months before I joined the police force, so at the start of 2011 (fuck that seems like a lifetime ago 🙈). I was working in recruitment and had a study day and my boss called me. She asked if my then boyfriend would leave a naughty message on my work phone.
I was thinking “WTF!” – Um…. NO. Firstly, he wouldn’t ring my landline, but secondly, he would DEFINITELY NOT leave a dirty message on my phone.
Apparently some guy had called my work phone and left message talking about my breasts… 🤢Super fucking weird. I was hoping they had a wrong number.
Anyway, a week or so after that, I got a message from an unknown number. And it was a dirty message. Like... I'm talking REALLY FUCKING dirty.
I asked who it was… They wouldn’t tell me – but then sent a series of really fucking crass messages. Like… I’m talking about messages that you wouldn’t send your partner because they were so filthy. (Well – I wouldn’t anyway). They were gross. Just disgusting.
I instantly felt sick. I didn't admit it at the time, but I was petrified. Who was this person?!
I told them to fuck off…
But they didn’t. For the next week I got a message a day.
I reported it to the police, who did nothing. Surprise, surprise. (Unfortunately not many general duties police are familiar with stalking and the impact it has on victims). They said they tried calling the person but he didn’t answer, so I should just ignore them.
I also should note – this was before you could block numbers on your mobile phone.
Anyway.. So after the initial barrage of revolting messages. They spaced out to once a week for a couple of months. Then once a month-ish.
Every time I got a message I felt sick. I had an anxiety attack. I'd feel like I was going to throw up. I wouldn’t eat for the rest of the day and I’d struggle to sleep.
I had no fucking idea who this creep was. And ironically, that’s what I saved him in my phone as “CREEP!”.
Anyway, this went on for about 6 months and I just had to pretend it didn’t bother me. What could I do? The police “couldn’t” do anything – so what was an everyday person like me going to do.
I happened to join the police force in November 2011, and to my delight, the messages stopped for a few months. I made the mistake of thinking that this perverted piece of shit had gone.
Because the next message I got was not text.. It was a photo... Of his dick. I got sent a photo of his crooked banana like dick hanging out of his red jocks… I vomited. Not because of his penis (like – that’s gross – but whatever), but because for more than 6 months I had this creep sending me messages and I still didn’t know who he was. I had no idea who it was. I felt helpless.
The dick pics continued… once a month for a few months (even a "Happy Easter" dick pic) until the guy I was seeing (who was also in the police force) spoke to one of his mates and they FINALLY decided to do something. Someone was finally going to investigate this guy. They found out who it was, went to his house, did a warrant (looking for his red jocks lol) and arrested him.
He was married with kids. Which makes this even worse.
When the police finally found out who it was, they called and asked if I knew him (by name). Which I didn’t – so was still none the wiser...
** You're probably reading this and wondering why I felt ashamed about it... I'm getting there trust me.**
But then they told me how he knew me. We had met on an online dating site about 8 months prior to the first text message coming through. All I remember of him, was that we talked and I had seen a few photos and we agreed to meet one time.
When I met him, I realised he had lied to me about everything. The photo’s he used weren’t of him and he "OLD"... and if I’m completely honest, he gave me the creeps. Just being near him made me so fucking uncomfortable. I pretended to get a phone call from my gf’s and high tailed it out of there because there was no way I was spending any more time with him.
I deleted his number and I thought that was it.
Now what he told the police was that we used to send really dirty messages to each other when we were chatting. When the police told me this, they said it as if it’s ok for him to continue to send these types of messages to me if this was the case…
I honestly don’t remember if I did or not, and maybe I sent some flirty, non-PG rated messages – but I can guarantee you that they were nothing like he sent me.
What he also told the police was:
❌ “No really means yes”
❌ “Women love it, they just pretend they don’t”
❌ “She didn’t want me to stop”
❌ “She was playing hard to get”
❌ “She would give in eventually”…..
So why did I feel ashamed?
Because I thought it was my fault. I thought I “deserved” it because I spoke to him years before.
I gave myself such a hard time over it. I told myself so many stories… that I brought it on myself, and ‘normal’ people wouldn’t have gotten themselves into this situation and that I always attract drama.
That scenario impacted my future relationships, because it severely impacted my ability to trust people. To trust that I was deserving of a decent relationship. To trust that I didn’t deserve it. To trust that normal people don’t do this…
Working through this took a lot of time. I had to heal. I had to forgive. I had to move on. But I also had to reframe the stories I was telling myself.
So… If you’ve been through something where someone has targeted you, gaslighted you, made you believe that something they did was YOUR fault… Please know that I hear you. I see you. I feel you.
It was NOT your fault.
It was NOT my fault.
You did not do anything or ‘ask’ for someone else to treat you that way. Maybe you’ve blocked what has happened and the impact it had on you, or maybe you feel like you can’t get it out of your head…
❤ I promise you that it is possible for you to move on and it not impact you.
❤ I promise that it is possible to feel really confident and proud of yourself.
❤ I promise you, you deserve to be respected.
If you want to know some of the mindset work I did to overcome this, I’d love for you to join me in my free #masteryourmindset Challenge next week. In it, I'm going to be sharing some of the exact strategies I have used to overcome this, and other painful things from my past.
Here's the link to check it out: https://www.jacirogash.com/master-your-mindset