Guys, I'm so freaked out right now.

Backstory: In high school, I was stalked by a guy (a friend of a now-ex-friend). We were introduced by that mutual friend and communicated via AIM - we never met in person. He made me feel special and wanted, but it quickly became too much. He'd deluge me with emails and texts and phone calls, and he threatened to hurt himself (and later on, kill himself) so I'd keep talking to him. I'd spend hours talking to him, trying to convince him not to do anything stupid. I did not realize what he was doing. Soon, he started sending me IMs that said stuff like "you looked really pretty today. I was too scared to say hi and introduce myself but I watched you." Then it was "if I came to your house tonight, would you let me in?" I got freaked out. I stopped responding. Then I moved away to college and disappeared into a campus of 20,000+ students. I had to change my email, stopped IMing, changed my phone number to get away. It worked. I was lucky.

Two years ago: I interned with this Creepy Guy - CG, for short. He was incompetent, rude, boorish...and he imprinted on me like a baby duck imprinting on momma duck - well, if baby duck had an Oedpial complex too. He was constantly trying to touch me (ugh), and trying to start drama with the other interns. I wanted nothing to do with him. I thought I'd made that clear. Alas. He followed me around anyway, complaining all the while. He sent me tons of unprofessional emails on our work emails. Etc. During our last intern party, he got sloppy drunk and tried to kiss me. I nearly knocked several people down a small hill trying to get away from him. I told him loudly to get away from me. The internship ended, and he was gone. Good riddance. I tried to forget about him.

Two days ago: he sent me a ridiculously long email, apropos of nothing. In it, he launched into his professional troubles and his health issues. He said he is back in the city. Today, just now, he sent me five texts in a row asking me what I'm doing this evening (I never gave him my number - but I know there's a GoogleDoc or something with the intern class' contact info.)

So basically, CG knows where I work - since it's where we interned. He has my email (the gmail I use professionally), and he can figure out my work email. He now has my phone number.

Advertisement

And I am feeling majorly triggered. I'm freaking out. I'm jumpy and anxious, I have a bad taste in my mouth like I'm going to throw up. This is how my high school experience with cyber-stalking started. Emails and texts. Manipulative details trying to make me feel sorry for him and clearly trying to capitalize on my social conditioning to be nice (CG once told me he liked that I'm Asian because I'm "trained to be polite."). I'm starting to feel this awful Dread. Like I have to look over my shoulder all the time now. Like he'll just be waiting for me on my front porch when I get home from work or something. Like I'm always going to be wondering if he's watching me. Like I'll always be worried about running into him - because, seriously, knowing my luck, I will run into him.

I want to cry, guys. This was a hard winter (emotionally, physically), and I was finally starting to get out of the house more after depression sunk me into my dark basement room. I was just starting to look forward to the spring and the cherry blossoms, but now I want to hide in my apartment and never go anywhere again. Ever. One of my greatest small pleasures is walking to work and I feel like I can't do that anymore - like he's taking it away from me. And that makes me ANGRY. I shouldn't let him ruin my spring and summer plans, ruin my enjoyment of my city. I just posted that I'm learning how to be alone and be with myself, do things by myself - and I couldn't wait to sit at outdoor seating in cafes and eat meals by myself. Now I feel like I can't. Suddenly, I feel so, what's the word, threatened. I can't move away this time. I can't, won't, don't want to quit my job. I can't change my gmail or my phone number...and why should I have to?

(And, okay, am I just overreacting? Being irrational because of my past experiences? This voice in my head keeps saying that he's not that dangerous and I could outrun him if I have to...but...IDK)

I just need...a cheerful distraction because I can't handle it right now. My usual go-tos (which are basically British/Scottish men with beautiful voices reading poetry or short stories - a la Benedict Cumberbatch reading Keats' 'Ode to a Nightingale') are not working.