Let me tell you a 100% true story that is going to feel so contrived, you'd scoff if it were fiction.
It's about a stalker named Anthony.
Anthony camped in the site next to me back in Kitty Hawk. Our dogs greeted each other. We spoke briefly, but then I had to go to my RV, because I had a few calls that morning.
During one call, I didn't need my computer anymore, so I took my dog down to the beach so she could run free like a wild wolf while I worked. While I was there, Anthony climbed over the sand dune, handed me a latte from Dunkin, and said, "Call me."
I thought, but didn't say, I don't know your number...
But it turns out he'd written it on the coffee cup. Cute, right?
After the call, my plan was to head to a museum. As we're both solo travelers, I invited him to join. I have a National Parks pass; I suggested we carpool so he wouldn't have to pay the entrance fee. He wanted to grab lunch on the way. I offered to split the tab, but he said he would get it. I was okay with this, because my National Parks pass saved him $20, so it evened out.
The museum was fun, and he was funny. We laughed a lot. Aside from a brief moment that seemed a little off (he said he used to be a cop, but his real passion is cars, so now he sells used cars... it seemed like there was more to the story, but whatever), I had a great time at the museum.
But then I had to go home because I had work for the rest of the night. Initially, I thought I might be done by 11pm, and said I'd let him know if I was going to karaoke after, but that I might not be done till 1am.
That was when the completely normal-seeming guy went from normal to crazy.
During my calls, he knocked on my door no fewer than four times.
He repeatedly stood outside my window and called my name.
He called and texted, starting out sweet but quickly becoming bitchy and agressive messages about how bored he was because I wasn't entertaining him.
Eventually, I messaged back, even though I was still working, to tell him I'd be working till 1am, so he shouldn't wait for me. He continued calling and texting for the rest of the night, and even commented on one of my blog posts at 3am. Because I'd stopped answering his texts, he began sending message requests on social media, asking if I'd received his texts.
I did not answer.
When I woke up the next morning, I went to the beach with my puppy, as is our custom. (Who needs coffee when you have an incredible beach steps from your door?!)
Anthony and his dog were sitting there waiting for us.
I hate to admit it, but despite all of my posts about how women need to stop being polite to placate men (it's a behavior that gets us killed!), I refrained from telling him off. I only had 20 minutes until my call started, and our dogs wrestled nicely together, so for her sake, I tolerated him.
At first, the conversation was surface-level. What a lovely sunrise it was! What a lovely day it is!
Then it got a little weird. "I looked up your rates on your website last night."
"Did you see the comment I left on your blog? About how women are more likely to be murdered by their boyfriends than strangers? The reason is simply because women spend more time with their boyfriends than strangers, so the odds of being murdered by them are greater."
As though murder is inevitable, if you just spend enough time together...
"I have to ask you something I've been wondering about all night. Yesterday, at the museum, when you were trying out that exhibit — why did you glance at that man out of the corner of your eye?"
I.... I just have no ides what he was talking about, and find it disturbing he was thinking about an imaginary man I supposedly glanced at in a museum his whole night.
"I have to tell you something. Sometimes, when I meet someone, and I'm feeling it, I'm all-in. And I know that's a mistake when there's no reciprocity —"
At which point I had to interject.
"Let me stop you right there. The problem here isn't reciprocity. It's that you've been repeatedly and blatantly disrespectful of my work and my time. Do you really think it was appropriate to knock on my door and text me so many times while I was working? Did you really think it was appropriate to send me bitchy messages when I didn't reply fast enough — especially considering you've apparently looked up my hourly rates, so you know how much those kids were paying? It was disrespectful to them. It was disrespectful to me. And THAT, not 'reciprocity,' is the problem here."
It was like he didn't hear anything I said. "Well, I just need to know if you're going to have time to hang out today. I really want to spend more time with you, and I don't want to spend my whole day waiting for you."
"Don't stay for me. I am working all day, and whatever free moment I have, I'm going to be surfing. The report is gold today."
With that, I went back to work.
Like our previous conversation hadn't happened, he almost instantly began calling my name through the window. When I didn't respond, he knocked on my door. He texted. He texted again. Finally, in a huff, he packed up and left.
I thought I'd dodged a bullet — but he continued messaging me the whole day, even saying he was going to turn around and come back to he could "try again."
That night, he called me at 2am, 7am, and 8am. He texted to say,
"How do I move on when all I think about is you?"
"I want to be with you."
"Can you please say something?"
Let me just remind you real quick: I'd literally just met this guy. We'd spent a few hours at a museum and then I went home to work. That was the extent of our interaction. He'd seemed normal, but he is clearly disturbed, obsessive, and not even sleeping, as evidenced by the missed calls I had from him at all hours of the day.
I responded to his message to say, "Do you really think it's appropriate to call people at 1:51am, 7:37am, and 8:26am? Knowing I've been extremely busy? Knowing I work until 1am? You really think that's appropriate? Do not contact me again."
With that, I blocked his calls and texts. I blocked him on Facebook and Instagram, on which he'd sent me message requests. I blocked him everywhere I could think of...
So he started commenting on my blog.
I mentioned before that writing this as fiction would feel too contrived. I promise I am not making this up. He literally began posting threats, followed by apologies, followed by ad hominem attacks and lies, ON THE BLOG POST I'D WRITTEN ABOUT HOW WOMEN ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE KILLED BY MEN THEY KNOW THAN STRANGERS.
Most of these comments go straight to my spam folder, but the initial one remains.
Hour after hour, he would post angry comments, fluctuating wildly between threats ("Don’t bring the Brooklyn out of me. I’m sure the Idaho in you will lose." "Just be careful. Around the corner might just be someone with nothing to lose. You’re tough, I give you that. But guess what sweetheart? There’s always someone tougher."), lies ("The day I left, I was literally pulling off and you dragged me to take a walk with you." --> Err... he was waiting for me at the beach, and did not leave the campground until 1pm; I know, because I heard John, the camp host, telling him he needed to leave because checkout was two hours ago; "I called you twice the day I drove home." --> This is verifiably untrue), and random insults that I think he just pulled out of a thesaurus, because he doesn't actually know me well enough to accurately insult me ("You’re a leech, a freeloader, a mooch, even worse, a cock tease." "You lack structure and discipline. You’re so desperately seeking validation. When someone tells you about yourself, you run scared. The guy you glanced over at while you were in the balance thing at the wright museum. Who did he represent? Dad? An ex? A professor? A guy in traffic? Why did you need his validation?" --> Again with the weird delusion about the man I supposedly glanced at at the museum; "Ever wonder why your IG posts receive such little adulation? You post epic pics in legendary locations and get on average 14 “likes”. My guess is, people “follow” you because they’re waiting for you to become a statistic." --> Yes. All my friends think I'm living a dangerous life and are salaciously waiting for me to die, LOL).
The guy is clearly deranged, and it is worrying that he's spun so out of control following such a brief interaction.
It's... it's basically the guy from Netflix's You.
It's basically the creep I've described in several blog posts that have gained me so many hate-readers from the incel community, including Creepy isn't about Attractiveness — It's About Reciprocity; What Men Don't Understand When They Complain, "It's Only Creepy If the Guy Isn't Hot; and Just Because You're on the Spectrum or Neurodivergent, Doesn't Mean You Have the Right to Be Creepy.
The hypothetical creepy dudes I described in those posts are SO similar to Anthony that one of my devoted hate-readers even commented to say he thinks I made Anthony up! I know he didn't mean it as a compliment, but he's basically saying I described a stereotypical creep so well that when a real-life creep showed up on my blog, he was indistinguishable from the creeps I've been describing for years.
Though to be fair, this particular incel thinks everyone who comments on my blog is made up, even though people have repeatedly offered to meet the incel on Discord, and the incel won't do it, because he's clinging so desperately to his little delusion.
But guys. Here's the thing.
You really can't make this shit up.
Anthony really did go from normal to crazy like a switch flipped. He really did post threats and bullying messages on my article about which men are most likely to murder women. And the incel really is in such powerful denial about his delusion being a delusion, that he refuses to meet with Joe and see the truth.
I've said this so often about beautiful sunsets, incredible wildlife, and deep, spiritual encounters — but I guess it can also be said for incels, conspiracy theorists, and psychostalkers:
Sometimes, the reality is more fantastical than fantasy.
11/5/2021 01:09:35 pm
Jesus. I'm so sorry he did this to you - that is so abnormal and beyond messed up. I wish it were more feasible/actually helpful to get police involved, but as most women who have gone through a stalking experience have found, it's often not. What a horrible experience.
11/6/2021 10:09:19 am
OMG!! Thank goodness you’re brave and strong enough to survive such an encounter!! You are an inspiration to us all girl!!
11/9/2021 04:58:13 am
I'm really sorry this happened. I hope you're OK.
11/9/2021 09:10:36 am
Thanks for this piece. Very thought provoking. Your assertiveness is perhaps a large part of your appeal to men. Most women just try to act coy and leave men guessing what is going on. But this could all be because men just don't listen anyway.
11/9/2021 04:30:39 pm
Do you have his full name? I think it is good you are documenting this all so he would be an obvious suspect if he tried anything. It might discourage him from doing so. This is seriously just crazy.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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