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Erotomanic stalker

Alice Raven

Alice Raven

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Mar 3, 2020
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886
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USA
To this day I still get hundreds of messages a day. The only direct communication I've had with him was a week and a half ago when he got himself a yet another new burner phone and blew up my phone with calls, texts, etc and I told him to stop, leave me alone and to get help.

Every one of his few remaining friends, his entire family and many of my friends have told him to leave me alone. He has this bizarre fantasy that everyone is jealous of "our relationship" and that is why they are trying to "separate us" and put bad thoughts in my head about him. He sees this epic conflict of the two of us thwarting these bad influences and I will abandon my entire existence and we will run off together and I will bankroll him for the rest of eternity.

There was a point where I tried to help him get his GED and to find a starting job, but that was beneath him and, a year later, he has not done a single thing to move his life forward.
 
M

ManDss

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Arg
To this day I still get hundreds of messages a day. The only direct communication I've had with him was a week and a half ago when he got himself a yet another new burner phone and blew up my phone with calls, texts, etc and I told him to stop, leave me alone and to get help.

Every one of his few remaining friends, his entire family and many of my friends have told him to leave me alone. He has this bizarre fantasy that everyone is jealous of "our relationship" and that is why they are trying to "separate us" and put bad thoughts in my head about him. He sees this epic conflict of the two of us thwarting these bad influences and I will abandon my entire existence and we will run off together and I will bankroll him for the rest of eternity.

There was a point where I tried to help him get his GED and to find a starting job, but that was beneath him and, a year later, he has not done a single thing to move his life forward.
There is no way to some authorities get him and he get institutionalized ? Does his family think he should be locked ? Or not underh is own will ?

Just to know someone like him is bugging you so much annoys me.
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

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Aug 12, 2019
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He was very introverted and socially awkward and I tried to bring him out of his shell. He took that to indicate my perfect, undying love for him in spite of the fact that this was purely out of friendship and that I'm already married.
What I've highlighted in the above quote, taken in combination with other things you've written (e.g. offering to help him get his GED), makes me suspect that this is a person who just isn't used to others taking a genuine interest in his life and welfare. As such, the investment in him that you attempted to make, whilst neutral by normal standards, might well have been significantly greater than he is used to receiving from others... if that's the case, and he lacks the insight/social awareness/whatever to juxtapose his own experiences with 'normality', then your efforts could easily have stood out as something quite special in his life. Something he's not used to. Something he doesn't know how to properly interpret and handle. Something that blew his mind, leading him to think that 'obviously' you are something special.. something more than anyone else can offer (hence the rejections of other women?), quite possibly because - in his head, at least - you actually have offered more than anyone else to date. Without a healthy, normal sense of perspective, he's placed a completely disproportionate meaning on the gestures you've made.

I suspect that this is someone who was never loved, certainly not in a vaguely healthy way, and so doesn't understand love. Which isn't intended to excuse his behaviour... I only seek to try and think of an explanation as to where it might have come from.

Many of his behaviors were consistent with features of Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissism.
By my - admittedly amateur - understanding of the condition, I'm inclined to wonder whether ASPD is a possibility here.

I've talked to the police now and am still hoping the courts open up more fully for a TRO, but I've been told to "manage expectations" when it comes to cyberstalking.
Is 'manage expectations' basically code for 'we can't/won't do much, so suck it up'?

I think back to when I told him that my marriage was in trouble and I think he took that as an in. I am also very open about sex and he asked many questions, which at the time I thought innocent.
So to a confession I'm not proud of, but here I go... I can easily imagine an unhealthy mind taking the above examples of openness as indications that 'something might be there', because in the past I myself have interpreted those exact conversations with someone in exactly that manner.

To this day I still get hundreds of messages a day. The only direct communication I've had with him was a week and a half ago when he got himself a yet another new burner phone and blew up my phone with calls, texts, etc and I told him to stop, leave me alone and to get help.
I don't like making this suggestion because it would require time, effort, and probably money, that it really shouldn't be on you to put in, but if having to 'manage expectations' is the official line, I'm inclined to think that changing your phone number might be worth doing. Especially now all of your mutual friends understand that the problem is 100% him, ergo wouldn't give him the new number.

That is one hell of a story. Where do these people come from anyway.
I hate they cant just get over it ! So hard is for them ? I see the news and talk about men threat ex partners, having a 6 months relationship and stalking them for years. So nuts.
To echo an earlier disclaimer, what follows is written to try and explain, not to excuse.

I think a big part of the problem is socialisation - or lack thereof - of boys. Males even having emotions still carries a lot of negative stigma (and from some women as well as from other men, in my experience), so openly discussing the concept - let alone teaching us how to handle those feelings - just doesn't happen. It doesn't make them just go away though, and such 'helpful' yet endemic 'advice' about 'manning up' and 'rejection being a part of life' isn't the panacea to negative male emotionality that it's apparently supposed to be.

Few people understand - or even admit - that some men just aren't cut out to be confident, proactive, and impervious to knockbacks like we're 'supposed' to be, or how it is also the case that lacking in these capacities often leads to outcomes which reinforces the deficiencies, thereby creating a negative feedback loop. I believe that when you combine such a downward spiral with a lack of ability to cope with the negative feelings it evokes, this explains how a lot of men become the way they do.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Nashua NH
To this day I still get hundreds of messages a day. The only direct communication I've had with him was a week and a half ago when he got himself a yet another new burner phone and blew up my phone with calls, texts, etc and I told him to stop, leave me alone and to get help.

Every one of his few remaining friends, his entire family and many of my friends have told him to leave me alone. He has this bizarre fantasy that everyone is jealous of "our relationship" and that is why they are trying to "separate us" and put bad thoughts in my head about him. He sees this epic conflict of the two of us thwarting these bad influences and I will abandon my entire existence and we will run off together and I will bankroll him for the rest of eternity.

There was a point where I tried to help him get his GED and to find a starting job, but that was beneath him and, a year later, he has not done a single thing to move his life forward.
Harassment is a crime. I would go to the police and press charges to make this go away.
 
N

Nukelavee

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Dec 17, 2019
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London, ON
Ozy makes some good points.

For some people, literally any interaction translates to "you have a thing for me". Rejecting them is simply making them work for your love. Details of your sex life and relationships are messages, what you like and don't like.

I read about a study the other day, that basically found most people have no idea what is, and isn't flirting, depending on context.

I'll admit, in some contexts, my BPD puts me in over analyze mode. I've been hanging out a lot with my neighbour/friend this summer, she comes by nearly every day. Usually for company while she walks her dog, or to smoke a little pot. Sometimes she shows up first thing in the morning with a coffee for me, or brings me treats...

So, she could either be a bit lonely for adult company, she's using me for weed, or, at long odds, maybe there is some vague interest.

According to "sources" about how women flirt... some of her behaviour fits. She fiddles with her hair, she says nice things about how I look (which actually normally makes me think somebody is manipulating me), sometimes she shows up looking kinda sexy. And, to a point, we discuss our personal lives/history.

To me, though, for every possible signal she's interested, there are some she isn't. She stresses she like tall well built latino men, I'm an average height white guy with green eyes. My life doesn't really jibe with the future she's working for, etc...

On the plus side, between meds and getting older (possibly wiser, lol), I'm not as stressed as I was 3 years ago going through a similar thing with another woman.

I mean, she could be interested, or not interested. She could be playing a game for other reasons (making her ex jealous, making a mutual ex friend in the building jealous/upset). She might dress up sexy to get my interest, it might be because she trusts I'm not going to be leering at her.

If that seems complicated - it's the really simplified version of my alert system. I mean, I haven't even gone into my own self-analysis of if I'm interested, why I would be, is it even a feasible concept...

Half the building assumes we are a couple, because of seeing us together so much. For me, that's a bad thing, because being aware of a possibility means I have to analyze it as though it has good odds, which can actually tip me into smitten mode.

And I'm not as out of control obsessive as your stalker.

so, short version - keep the police involved, and probably change your number.
 
S

sab1978

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Canada
The first thing that comes to my mind when I read story like yours is total fear. That must be so scary for you. Then I calm down and wonder what the other party must be going through to behave that way. Like, how bad must their mental health be, how bad could their childhood have been. Of course, mental illness or not, we’re responsible for our actions and people WILL react to those actions in an understandably self-protected manner. But at the end of the day, none of us are all that different from one another...that we’re all just at different levels of mental health journey.

Does anyone else go through that thought progression (fear, pity, reality check, compassion)?
 
N

Nukelavee

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Does anyone else go through that thought progression (fear, pity, reality check, compassion)?
Pretty much.

I was sexually abused as a young child, and it took me until my forties to acknowledge it. Which happened after I met my abuser as an adult.

I ultimately decided to pretty much let it go, because I know his father was at least physically abusive, who knows what was going on besides beating his wife and kid, right?

Mind you, what I feel is more pity than compassion at this point.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

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There is no way to some authorities get him and he get institutionalized ? Does his family think he should be locked ? Or not underh is own will ?

Just to know someone like him is bugging you so much annoys me.
I really wish his family would take that step to get him help. They go through phases where they do think he should be, but then they back away. He has self harmed in front of them more recently. At one point, he was telling his family that I was going to take him in and support him and they were more than happy to let someone else take the burden. They were very disappointed when that didn't happen.

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Even though the worst seems to have passed it's still an issue and it does bug me far more than it should.
 
S

sab1978

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Pretty much.

I was sexually abused as a young child, and it took me until my forties to acknowledge it. Which happened after I met my abuser as an adult.

I ultimately decided to pretty much let it go, because I know his father was at least physically abusive, who knows what was going on besides beating his wife and kid, right?

Mind you, what I feel is more pity than compassion at this point.
Thank you for sharing that. It took me until this year (I’m 42) with the covid lockdown to fully acknowledge and process all my childhood abuse too. All the distractions were ripped away. Until recently, I was stuck in the fear part of the process...and that’s an awful place to live. I didn’t know any different though, so I just kept doing my dysfunctional nonsense to escape the real issues.

People do such horrific things to each other, but it helps me tremendously to come from a place of compassion. Not easy, but it’s the only way to peace for me.
 
Zero One

Zero One

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What I've highlighted in the above quote, taken in combination with other things you've written (e.g. offering to help him get his GED), makes me suspect that this is a person who just isn't used to others taking a genuine interest in his life and welfare. As such, the investment in him that you attempted to make, whilst neutral by normal standards, might well have been significantly greater than he is used to receiving from others... if that's the case, and he lacks the insight/social awareness/whatever to juxtapose his own experiences with 'normality', then your efforts could easily have stood out as something quite special in his life. Something he's not used to. Something he doesn't know how to properly interpret and handle. Something that blew his mind, leading him to think that 'obviously' you are something special.. something more than anyone else can offer (hence the rejections of other women?), quite possibly because - in his head, at least - you actually have offered more than anyone else to date. Without a healthy, normal sense of perspective, he's placed a completely disproportionate meaning on the gestures you've made.

I suspect that this is someone who was never loved, certainly not in a vaguely healthy way, and so doesn't understand love. Which isn't intended to excuse his behaviour... I only seek to try and think of an explanation as to where it might have come from.


By my - admittedly amateur - understanding of the condition, I'm inclined to wonder whether ASPD is a possibility here.


Is 'manage expectations' basically code for 'we can't/won't do much, so suck it up'?


So to a confession I'm not proud of, but here I go... I can easily imagine an unhealthy mind taking the above examples of openness as indications that 'something might be there', because in the past I myself have interpreted those exact conversations with someone in exactly that manner.


I don't like making this suggestion because it would require time, effort, and probably money, that it really shouldn't be on you to put in, but if having to 'manage expectations' is the official line, I'm inclined to think that changing your phone number might be worth doing. Especially now all of your mutual friends understand that the problem is 100% him, ergo wouldn't give him the new number.



To echo an earlier disclaimer, what follows is written to try and explain, not to excuse.

I think a big part of the problem is socialisation - or lack thereof - of boys. Males even having emotions still carries a lot of negative stigma (and from some women as well as from other men, in my experience), so openly discussing the concept - let alone teaching us how to handle those feelings - just doesn't happen. It doesn't make them just go away though, and such 'helpful' yet endemic 'advice' about 'manning up' and 'rejection being a part of life' isn't the panacea to negative male emotionality that it's apparently supposed to be.

Few people understand - or even admit - that some men just aren't cut out to be confident, proactive, and impervious to knockbacks like we're 'supposed' to be, or how it is also the case that lacking in these capacities often leads to outcomes which reinforces the deficiencies, thereby creating a negative feedback loop. I believe that when you combine such a downward spiral with a lack of ability to cope with the negative feelings it evokes, this explains how a lot of men become the way they do.
I had a stalker for three years and he was gorgeous and masculine and just beautiful to look at. He did all the manly things really well, but he had a problem with emotions and imitating facial expressions. He also didn't respect boundaries which made him come off a bit crazy. With other people he was so caring and gentle but with me he was over the top masculine and slightly angry which scared me off from him. He clearly liked me and developed some odd obsession with me...I am a bit different looking so that could have been the cause. If he presented well I would have left my husband for him without even thinking about it, but his craziness was frightening and the following me around and waiting for me was unnerving.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

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Again, that's very insightful. You just might be the king of kings because I do look upon your works and despair. :dance:


What I've highlighted in the above quote, taken in combination with other things you've written (e.g. offering to help him get his GED), makes me suspect that this is a person who just isn't used to others taking a genuine interest in his life and welfare. As such, the investment in him that you attempted to make, whilst neutral by normal standards, might well have been significantly greater than he is used to receiving from others... if that's the case, and he lacks the insight/social awareness/whatever to juxtapose his own experiences with 'normality', then your efforts could easily have stood out as something quite special in his life. Something he's not used to. Something he doesn't know how to properly interpret and handle. Something that blew his mind, leading him to think that 'obviously' you are something special.. something more than anyone else can offer (hence the rejections of other women?), quite possibly because - in his head, at least - you actually have offered more than anyone else to date. Without a healthy, normal sense of perspective, he's placed a completely disproportionate meaning on the gestures you've made.

I suspect that this is someone who was never loved, certainly not in a vaguely healthy way, and so doesn't understand love. Which isn't intended to excuse his behaviour... I only seek to try and think of an explanation as to where it might have come from.
L has said these exact things such as, "no one paid attention to me," "my parents don't understand how sensitive I am," "you're the only one who gave me this kind of attention." He even used the phrase, "blew my mind" at how I was trying to help him.

His interaction with women is very limited except for his mother. He has this belief that he can only interact with women to whom he is romantically attached so, other than one girl ten years ago and me as the stalked, no girls who are within his age group. He kept making a big deal of how he is saving himself for me and has rejected even speaking to other women and so I have to do the same for him. My even interacting with you here would be a mortal sin in his eyes.

By my - admittedly amateur - understanding of the condition, I'm inclined to wonder whether ASPD is a possibility here.
That is possible. He does seem to have a bit of a moral center in which he regrets what he did, but then does it again and says he cannot help himself. At one point, after a self harm and blaming me because I dared to talk to man, he said he knew it was wrong but he felt compelled to do it.
Is 'manage expectations' basically code for 'we can't/won't do much, so suck it up'?
Exactly. He has been spoken to and warned by authorities, his family, my family, his then friends, my friends and so on. But the more people who are telling him that this is a bad course of action, the more he envisions this epic struggle of "he and I" against the world.

So to a confession I'm not proud of, but here I go... I can easily imagine an unhealthy mind taking the above examples of openness as indications that 'something might be there', because in the past I myself have interpreted those exact conversations with someone in exactly that manner.
His questions did become more and more explicit and then he started in with revealing his fetishes/paraphilia. He often said that he would ask no one else these questions and would not reveal these to anyone else like it was something special. When it dawned on my that I was heading down a road I might regret by being this open with him I did tell him that I had no interest in him romantically and that my openness was just my personality and a hope that it would help him find someone appropriate. Did your person tell you what they felt?
I don't like making this suggestion because it would require time, effort, and probably money, that it really shouldn't be on you to put in, but if having to 'manage expectations' is the official line, I'm inclined to think that changing your phone number might be worth doing. Especially now all of your mutual friends understand that the problem is 100% him, ergo wouldn't give him the new number.
Oh, I know. I came close, but then I thought he had run out of burner phones. My phone was quiet for two months and all of his messages went to my email spam folder or into a black hole on a gaming platform so I would only get the number of messages that he sent and no content. And it was hundreds per day even though his friend told him that I set my security so that I couldn't read it even if I wanted to. Logically, it boggles my mind to think that someone would do that, knowing that the messages cannot even be viewed.

To echo an earlier disclaimer, what follows is written to try and explain, not to excuse.

I think a big part of the problem is socialisation - or lack thereof - of boys. Males even having emotions still carries a lot of negative stigma (and from some women as well as from other men, in my experience), so openly discussing the concept - let alone teaching us how to handle those feelings - just doesn't happen. It doesn't make them just go away though, and such 'helpful' yet endemic 'advice' about 'manning up' and 'rejection being a part of life' isn't the panacea to negative male emotionality that it's apparently supposed to be.

Few people understand - or even admit - that some men just aren't cut out to be confident, proactive, and impervious to knockbacks like we're 'supposed' to be, or how it is also the case that lacking in these capacities often leads to outcomes which reinforces the deficiencies, thereby creating a negative feedback loop. I believe that when you combine such a downward spiral with a lack of ability to cope with the negative feelings it evokes, this explains how a lot of men become the way they do.
I think that is the meat of what I am hoping for is to better understand this whole thing. I know there is nothing I or anyone else can do to alter his course of behavior so I think understanding it is the best I can hope for and it does really help me.

I do appreciate your insight on this.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

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Ozy makes some good points.

And I'm not as out of control obsessive as your stalker.

so, short version - keep the police involved, and probably change your number.
I do still beat myself up over the signals I may have sent and I find myself ruminating on where I might have given him the "ok" to go into overdrive. But, at one distinct point I gave him clear and unmistakable messages that I was not interested.

I did send the PD the latest round of messages. I'm not hopeful, but I think it has served as a deterrent from him trying to visit me in person.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

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The first thing that comes to my mind when I read story like yours is total fear. That must be so scary for you. Then I calm down and wonder what the other party must be going through to behave that way. Like, how bad must their mental health be, how bad could their childhood have been. Of course, mental illness or not, we’re responsible for our actions and people WILL react to those actions in an understandably self-protected manner. But at the end of the day, none of us are all that different from one another...that we’re all just at different levels of mental health journey.

Does anyone else go through that thought progression (fear, pity, reality check, compassion)?
Thank you so much. I'm not a person prone to fear, but yes, this one gets me. His out of control, violent behavior was absolutely terrifying. It's so out of the realm of anything I can understand. He's been careful to never threaten me, but has self harmed and destroyed property.

I was very sympathetic in the past because I know that his childhood was pretty bad. But I now know that at least some of that was self induced. His older and two younger brothers are favored because of his behavior. There is a lot of physical violence in his home where his whole family will attack him, but I've learned that this will happen during his tantrums. Still, it's how he understands family life. His viewpoint is what I would say is "shades of truth" to where some of what he thinks is true, but in such a warped, skewed way. For instance, my openness and enjoyment of sex was, to him, an invitation to become hyper sexual and sexually aggressive to the point of me telling him to get out of my car even after telling him to stop multiple times.

For half a year after his behavior became unacceptable to me I tried to see things from his point of view and find some level of sympathy. This is much of why it's so difficult for me too in that we were friends and I was very sympathetic.

I absolutely went through a similar thought progression. I am at the point where my sympathy has been exhausted and I have no compassion left for him.
 
Alice Raven

Alice Raven

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I had a stalker for three years and he was gorgeous and masculine and just beautiful to look at. He did all the manly things really well, but he had a problem with emotions and imitating facial expressions. He also didn't respect boundaries which made him come off a bit crazy. With other people he was so caring and gentle but with me he was over the top masculine and slightly angry which scared me off from him. He clearly liked me and developed some odd obsession with me...I am a bit different looking so that could have been the cause. If he presented well I would have left my husband for him without even thinking about it, but his craziness was frightening and the following me around and waiting for me was unnerving.
Wow! Three years! I'm closing in on one year now after one year of friendship. I take it he is no longer a problem now? We've both been through some scary things like that. I can still envision mine beating his guitar on the ground for about 30 minutes, screaming at me because I had a conversation with another guy.

Yeah, mine has an inability to control his emotions at all. Even several of his ex friends confirmed this to where the smallest thing became huge and he wouldn't let it go. Everything was either the greatest or the worst. Oddly, L presented as more feminine in many ways. One thing I probably shouldn't have done was, when he was demanding that we get married, I said that he acted more like a girl and I and he would wear the dress and throw the bouquet.

And L was not good looking at all. Not that that is a huge thing for me, but I told him, as a total package, he would not be a good match for me and vis a vis.
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

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For some people, literally any interaction translates to "you have a thing for me".
This made me think of something else that - in my opinion - can be a problem with a lot of men, which fundamentally stems from the expectations placed upon us in this context. The onus - on balance - remains very much on males to make the first approach, and in order for us to do this we need to possess hope. After all, if you think there's no chance of any effort you make leading to a positive outcome - in pretty much any endeavour, not just this one - you'll either do so in a way which hinders you (i.e. leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy), or you simply won't bother at all (which is where I've personally gotten to when it comes to finding someone).

However, another way in which an unhealthy mind can warp a person's sense of hope is by blurring - and even eliminating - the line between optimism and delusion. I believe that this is the explanation as to why you have men who go for women that everyone bar themselves can see are completely out of their league (or, to put it more crassly, the 5/10 who chases 10/10s).

Also, an unhealthy mind can greatly weaken an individual's hopefulness, which I think could help to explain men who can't/won't take no for an answer. A person with limited/fragile hope can come to see - and fear - rejection as a potentially destabilising force, and so simply refusing to accept even unequivocal knockbacks is employed as a defense mechanism against that outcome. However, in order for it to be effective (at least in the individual's mind), a false - and extremely vehement - reality needs to be created, and then imposed upon other people as strongly as possible. The important thing is to minimise - and ideally prevent - this alternative reality from being challenged, as the stronger the delusion, the less critical scrutiny it can withstand before beginning to break down. Many men effect this by using intimidation and violence.

Details of your sex life and relationships are messages, what you like and don't like.
Yes... and, I'm embarrassed to say, a certain - unhealthy - mindset can begin to wonder whether another person telling you what they like and don't like in this respect just might mean that you'll have a chance with them, if you can fit into their stated paradigm.

I read about a study the other day, that basically found most people have no idea what is, and isn't flirting, depending on context.
That doesn't surprise me... the way in which some people flirt can be pretty much identical to how others display aloofness, just as there's little to no difference between how certain individuals play 'hard to get', and others attempt to gently encourage interested parties to back off. What makes things ever harder still is how this is a very 'first impressions'-based arena, so you're trying to decode such fine - yet polarised - distinction in people you barely know.

I think the reason men get such a bad rap for being bad at reading 'the signs' is simply because - again, due to the continued onus upon us to make the first move - we're the ones who overwhelmingly have to do so. Women of course have to make their own snap judgements about us based on very little, but those are different evaluations... however, I'm not sure females are particularly good at reading us, given how many seem to struggle with separating genuine confidence from self-aggrandising gobshitery, or plain and simply sociopathy (some people can handle others' opinions of them with ease not due to them being confident and carefree, but because they simply don't care about what other people think).

I'll admit, in some contexts, my BPD puts me in over analyze mode. I've been hanging out a lot with my neighbour/friend this summer, she comes by nearly every day. Usually for company while she walks her dog, or to smoke a little pot. Sometimes she shows up first thing in the morning with a coffee for me, or brings me treats...

So, she could either be a bit lonely for adult company, she's using me for weed, or, at long odds, maybe there is some vague interest.

According to "sources" about how women flirt... some of her behaviour fits. She fiddles with her hair, she says nice things about how I look (which actually normally makes me think somebody is manipulating me), sometimes she shows up looking kinda sexy. And, to a point, we discuss our personal lives/history.

To me, though, for every possible signal she's interested, there are some she isn't. She stresses she like tall well built latino men, I'm an average height white guy with green eyes. My life doesn't really jibe with the future she's working for, etc...

On the plus side, between meds and getting older (possibly wiser, lol), I'm not as stressed as I was 3 years ago going through a similar thing with another woman.

I mean, she could be interested, or not interested. She could be playing a game for other reasons (making her ex jealous, making a mutual ex friend in the building jealous/upset). She might dress up sexy to get my interest, it might be because she trusts I'm not going to be leering at her.

If that seems complicated - it's the really simplified version of my alert system. I mean, I haven't even gone into my own self-analysis of if I'm interested, why I would be, is it even a feasible concept...

Half the building assumes we are a couple, because of seeing us together so much. For me, that's a bad thing, because being aware of a possibility means I have to analyze it as though it has good odds, which can actually tip me into smitten mode.

And I'm not as out of control obsessive as your stalker.
Been there, more than once... I really feel for you :hug:

My experience is that it goes round and round and round in my head, enough that it can be hard to concentrate on anything else. So much time and energy going in endless circles, never reaching a destination. Constant weighing and re-weighing the reasons to think you might have a chance against the 'evidence' to assume you don't, and when the balance feels in your favour I go up - way up - but when the scales feel like they're weighted against your hopes I go down. Way down.

The worst is when the balance feels so fine that any one little thing can very suddenly and vehemently launch my mood skyward or bring it crashing down to earth... tiny things can have huge effects. I've been in a situation - many times, with many women - whereby I have a good interaction with them, and feel genuinely happy, but I wish time could stop because I know that within hours I'll be on the back foot, dreading that the next interaction will feel negative - or even good but not quite as good. I end up simultaneously wanting to see the other person again - of course I do - I 'like' them, and so want to be around them - but not wanting to see or even hear from them again - ever - for fear that the next time will bring me down and I'll never get another high from them like the one I'm experiencing in that moment.

I've got a lot of those last 'highs' associated with a specific person burned into my memory. Sometimes I go back to the places where I had those moments... not to stalk people, just to be very clear, but because I want to try and feel what I felt before, when I still felt hope with the people I was originally in those places with. If nothing else to remember what it was like to feel happy, and optimistic, because those concepts are now long lost to me... there are just black holes in me where they once where.

It's only in the last half decade that I found words to describe this... pull; there's no one word for it in the English language - and not even any sort of eloquent description - but there is a Portuguese term - saudade - and a Welsh term - hiraeth - which both seem to accuately delineate the yearning.

I don't think I'd ever want to lose those memories, bittersweet as they are, but at the same time I don't want to risk making new ones... what I go through is all just too much. Easier to be careful. Avoidant. Safe...

Does anyone else go through that thought progression (fear, pity, reality check, compassion)?
Yeah, completely... in general I've always been driven to try and understand other people (I used to want to be a psychiatrist), and I do have a natural capacity for empathy. Specifically here though, in this thread - I have a lot of sympathy for what Alice is being put through, and I'm sad at how unfair it all is, at how it comes from her trying to be kind to someone, trying to help them improve their life. If it makes her more careful and cynical regarding other people I don't think anyone could blame her, but at the same time it's always a shame when good people harden, even when they've got good reason to.

Conversely though, I'm a... refraction, I guess... of her stalker. Not quite so monstrous, but I don't think my mind and his mind are so different... all I can say is that I've become sufficiently attracted to people - more than one person - that I've become obsessive, and have decided that it's them or no-one, and when they haven't wanted me I've reacted badly enough as to completely destroy any kind of friendship with them (I tend towards the opposite though; my instinct is to ghost rather than stalk... fight rather than flight, but those responses are just the opposite sides of the same shitty coin). I regret every single time that's happened, but at the same time I can't guarantee it won't happen again. So, to repeat what I wrote above, it's easier - and, additionally, better, for everyone - for me to be careful. To keep my distance. To be avoidant; it's safer, easier, more peaceful. I can actually be a vaguely decent human being provided I don't let myself care for anyone beyond a certain degree.

Is it wrong that I think I can 'get' the hell in that stalker's head which has turned him into what he is, and as a consequence I feel pity for the guy even though it's driving him to put another person through hell?
 
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