When I was 10 years-old my family lived on Regent Court in Stamford, Connecticut. I remember watching one of the local bullies run over to a neighbor’s mailbox, put an M-80 in it, light the fuse, shut the mailbox and run away. A few seconds later there was a large explosion and nothing remained of the mailbox save smoldering shrapnel.
BOOM! INSTANT AGENCY! AN INSTANTANEOUS FEELING OF POWER!
The Internet has provided infinite mailboxes for hurt bullies to blow up.
Some severely damaged people take pleasure in being nuisances, in spreading their dis-ease. This is the only way they can experience agency. They feel powerful pulling the wings off of flies, slapping puppies. Some stalkers and trolls are true sociopaths; however, I have found that the vast majority of them suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder.
Case in point: as you will discern from the below correspondence, I ignored two requests by “Chipmonk” to be one of my assistants at Esalen. Chipmonk took this rejection as a cosmic injustice that could only be righted by blowing up my mailbox, menacingly riding his bicycle past my front window, frequenting my favorite cafes, and leaving the only negative reviews about me on the Internet — anonymously but not really. Textbook Borderline.
When it all started I called a friend who worked for the FBI and he informed me of how to deal with Chipmonk.
Firstly, I had to decide whether I was in any threat of bodily harm that would warrant a restraining order. Is Chipmonk a sociopath or does he suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder and merely craves my attention? Chipmonk has 45 pounds on me, I thought, but his children already do not speak to him so they certainly would not visit him if he were in prison for an assault or murder. I decided to forego the restraining order.
Then my friend at the FBI inquired what I thought would happen if I phoned Chipmonk and allowed Chipmonk to air his grievances. I thought this over for several days while the bizarre and angry texts continued. I showed the texts to the FBI agent, printed them out, and decided that having any further contact with the bully was a waste of my time. I blocked his phone number.
That really stirred up all of Chipmonk’s impotency issues, his impotency issues. Did I mention Chipmonk’s impotency issues?
After a few weeks of myriad other virtual encroachments, I blocked Chipmonk’s email, Instagram and Facebook accounts, went to the Santa Monica Police Department and filed an Incident Report.
If you are being trolled, harassed and stalked by someone who seems to want to disturb your life or cause you harm, you need to decide how far you think your Chipmonk is willing to go. Is he willing to spend time in prison in order to scream to the universe what a terrible injustice was caused when he was first abandoned by his mother and then 40 years later by you? If Chipmonk has nothing to lose and jail is not a deterrent, then I strongly advise getting a restraining order and hiring a sheriff to deliver it.
Thereafter, you have to decide whether you think Chipmonk can be sated and will cease and desist of his own volition. I had another stalker who tried to extort money from me. After being questioned by the FBI, I never heard from him again. So try to divine what other than a Cease and Desist notice would make your Chipmonk cease and desist. If you think there is some possible resolution then have a conversation with Chipmonk, preferably one that just happens to be recorded in case he becomes as dysregulated or agitated as he is prone to becoming.
- If you think your stalker is a sociopath then immediately get a restraining order.
- If you think your stalker will be sated by letting him air his grievances then let him air his grievances.
- If neither of the above apply or work, then you must realize that your stalker is an attention vampire, he craves your attention and will send both flowers and M-80s in order to get any reaction out of you — and he will persist and persist relentlessly until he feels agency the way a heroin addict feels the needle entering his vein. Thus, you must document and save all of his text messages, emails and social media rants (no matter how disturbing they are), then block him on all media.
- From that point on there is no turning back, you will never be friends with Chipmonk and your only interactions with him will be via your local police department. Again, it is most probable that Chipmonk suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, believes that his actions are justified and “normal,” that he is not sabotaging his life, that he is doing “the right thing” by harassing you and showing you who is boss. Any contact you have with him is like blood to a shark. Your only option is to swim away as fast as you can.
- Lastly, all of us carry video recorders on us all of the time. Have your mobile phone ready to video anytime your Chipmonk accosts you for you to record and show to the police.