Saturday, 28 August 2010

Saturday 28/08/10

Firstly, just to say that this is not a London Preppy post. This is not in character. It’s true, and it’s me writing it: NM.

Here goes:

There is a person who has gone too far.

This person has been contacting me for over a year now.

This person was leaving comments on the blog and then started emailing me.

This person set up a fake profile on GRINDR in order to track me down (last year when I was temporarily single and I was using GRINDR), found me, started sending fake pictures and chatting (extensively) to me.

This person discovered my original Greek name and surname (both of which I changed ages ago), set up a gmail address using my full Greek name and started emailing me from it. To put it simply, my current self was receiving emails from the name I used to have growing up.

This person found my sister’s profile on facebook and started sending me emails commenting on my sister’s profile pictures.

This person set up a fake facebook profile and friend requested every single friend of mine there, trying to get access to my information / profile / pictures. He used fake pictures of what gay men consider a hot, muscled guy, so several of my friends accepted his friend request (because I guess that’s what some of them do: hot = accept - it's their fucking prerogative) and he chatted to many of them. I never accepted his friend request (even when I didn’t know it was him yet), because I don’t friend strangers on facebook.

This person has set up at least four different twitter accounts that I know of to follow me on twitter and message me there. Every time I’ve realized it’s him and blocked one, he’s opened a new one.

This person has sent me more messages (via all these sites) and emails over the last twelve months, than any of my real life friends, boyfriend or family.

This person has contacted several of the people I interact with on twitter and my friends on facebook, asking them if they know me in real life and wanting to find more information about me.

I have made the mistake of talking to this person in the past, either because I didn’t recognize the significance of this situation (I have been naïve) or because I didn’t instantly realize it was him in one of his many, many online guises.

Today I found out that he created yet another facebook profile and started messaging friends of mine again, asking them about me.

Looking back over the last year, there is no other way to describe this situation, apart from terrorizing.

I have been naïve and stupid in the past, with regard to allowing access and volunteering information to this person about myself, when I now I realize that I shouldn’t have.

This person has spent a very significant amount of time being online, contacting me and people that I’m close to, using both his real identity and numerous other identities that he created specifically for this purpose. And this has lasted for over a year.

I make no assumptions on what this person’s end goal / motivation is. I don’t know and I don’t want to know. It could be that he’s just very interested in me as person and he wants to be my friend, it could be that he’d quite like to kill me. I’m not really up for either.

I have decided to go public about this using the biggest platform I have, my blog, because I’m a bit sick of it.

I don’t know if this is an exaggeration or not, but I feel that potentially there could be physical threat to me.

My close friends and my boyfriend know about this, of course, and they are aware of the identity of this person. In addition, all the messages I have received over the last year are stored; there is a record of everything.

I don’t know if posting this on the blog is a wise idea. It might annoy this person and give him the final push to come over and shoot me or whatever it is that he wants to do. But I don’t know what else to do – I’ve tried to manage the relationship / be polite and nice / I’ve asked him to back off. But over the last year this person has stressed me out like no one else before and has made me consider deleting my facebook, twitter, blog, stopping writing, etc. I don’t want to hear from this person EVER again, in any way.

I won’t pretend I don’t know what comes with putting yourself out there and creating a public profile like I have done through my blog and my writing, but I don’t think I deserve any of this and I want it to stop.

If I never write on London Preppy again, it will probably be because I’ve been left for dead in a gutter somewhere; but at least everyone will now know who did it.

29 comments:

Tommy said...

Arguably one of the most frightening things that I've heard. I guess I'm too dumb to figure out how to do all of those things so its frightening to me when people can work the system so well.

I know you will be alright, or I will pray for you to be alright. He is probably just s sad and lonely guy who has to decided to make you a sick kind of idol for his own life.

Eddie said...

Dude, that sucks.

The Milkman said...

Dude, call the police and file a complaint. Perhaps you can get a restraining order?

Cyberstalking is not something to trifle with.

Bill said...

I've heard of a couple of other examples of 'stalking' on the internet before, but this is certainly extremely worrying. I am glad you have a record of everything and do wonder if it is not time for you to involve the police, specially as you write that you know who this person is in real life.

Good luck and stay safe.

London Preppy said...

Thanks for the suggestions / comments.

Right now I find myself feeling very nervous; as in, did I do the right thing posting this?

I'm basically spending my life being scared and NO ONE has the right to do this to another person. I hate this

Anonymous said...

Sad, sad, "this person" needs to go away, we just want the clubbing post :(
Seriously, stay strong and safe.

paul said...

Restraining order. Can't hurt and it sends a clear message

Mac said...

There are laws against this kind of thing. Whether or not this person is dangerous, the impact on your day to day life is the same. It's abuse & assault. Don't put up with it anymore.

Most of us have had someone that we've wanted to know better, be closer to, but there's a line between idle fantasy & stalkinng. I'd suggest that this guy has stepped over it a little.

Mac

AlwaysReadySF said...

Yikes. Sorry, dude. That sounds really horrible.
However, as some other people have pointed out (and particularly so if you have written evidence of this stalking and intrusive behavior) I would definitely contact an attorney and have a restraining order issued against this person.
Most countries have similar legal concepts and you should be able to at least get him in a position whereby anything else he does would automatically end up under a major spotlight. That's a pretty decent defense.
Again, sorry. No one should have to go through that.
It's one thing to want to talk and know about people one perceives as "public" but to intrude so violently into their private lives is just unacceptable.

Simon said...

Can you tell us who it is, so we can go over a beat him up?

Skip said...

Has "I'll crazy him into falling in love with me" ever worked? Ever?

You'd think a warning about that'd be on page 1 of the Stalker's Manual. Followed by "Get many cats" and "Use Comic Sans".

Anonymous said...

This is terrible and quite scary.

Like the other comments, it must surely be time to involve the police. Harassment is harassment no matter if it is done online or not.

I would hate for you to abandon London Preppy. It has brought I am sure for many people much amusement and joy over the years.

Martin
.

Louis said...

Sorry to hear this, but you must still vivre votre vie!

abristolnovella said...

I once had a stalker, who ended up outside my house, not nice.

Anonymous said...

Go to the police. This is not about whether or not you have been naive in the past, nor is it about the contents of your blog. You are not to blame. Please continue blogging.

Rommel said...

I have a feeling that this is the same person who contacted me on Facebook last year asking about you because I posted on Twitter that I met LP during London Pride.

Quite freaky how he managed to find me on Facebook because my Twitter account is not even connected to it at all (having different emails and profile pictures).

He fortunately stopped messaging when I told him I don't know you personally.

I do hope he stops bugging you after reading this.

Take care NM.

GC said...

Hey LP,
I pray for you and a good outcome to this.no harm in seeing what the police can do, you know with IP addresses etc.

stay strong.Good luck!

Anonymouse said...

As you seem to be in England at the moment LP then this might be handy as a starting point:

www.wiredsafety.org/gb/stalking/

I think it is worth getting some advice but I suspect that the difficulty with taking any legal action is that, although you feel threatened, the putative stalker (PS) doesn't seem to have done anything explicitly malicious or threatening. The PS has only used the mechanisms provided by facebook, twitter etc. and although you find it annoying, is it going to stand-up as harassement legally ? Unless it becomes very much more serious I would recommend not involving the law: this will inevitably be time-consuming, expensive and might not resolve the situation satisfactorily. It will be difficult but can I suggest that you try to reduce the significance that the PS has to you ? Try to consider the situation objectively. What, realistically, does it mean and what is likely to happen ? This means not thinking about every possible thing that might happen (your writerly imagination is probably working overtime) but what, given what has so far happened, might realistically be the worst possible outcome. Could it be that this will continue for some time and eventually decline ? You might also try to remember that it is LP that is the PS's target and not yourself (although this division is getting a bit blurred, would it be worth reminding the PS that this is the case ?).

Finally - at last, you terrible old windbag I hear you cry - lots of work, exercise, time with boyfriend and friends, travel, reading, shiny toys, drugs if you must, gigs (you dont seem to be going to so many), more work. Live !

Is your Amazon wish list uptodate ? I'll send you something jolly next time I order.

Anonymous said...

Hi LP/NM

I've read your blog for years (!) now, but never commented. And something coming from someone, anonymously, may not be what you need or want right now.

But - this is happening to a friend of mine in 'real life' at the moment. That is, she's getting followed to her home by some one (probably with some kind of learning difficulties and/or mental health issues) that she has been, passingly, kind to in the past. And she's noticed him loitering on various routes she uses when walking her dog, outside of her house, and he's been writing to her too.

This has, obviously, freaked her out completely. She went to the police (here in the UK) - who offered to speak to him and were incredibly sympathetic, noted everything down and gave her lots of advice.

Though you're suffering something slightly different, in that it's your 'cyber' (yuck!) self, rather than physical self under unwanted attention I would strongly recommend, as others, that you talk to the police. At least you will get some advice on what to do and some reassurance on the actual risks.

Hope this hasn't freaked you out too much.

Regards
GL

Alex T. said...

Time to call the police! NOW!

Jake said...

Name and shame, because if you do get killed, we won't know who did it!

Not considered taking out a court injunction or whatever it's called?

Man laying down said...

Go to the police. And stay strong

Ben said...

Stalkers are weird. Like most people, I'm far too self-obsessed to have time for obsessing about anyone else. This makes it hard for me, and for most people, to identify with that alternative mindset, which in turn makes those behaviours disturbing to us.

On balance, I think your blog post is a proportionate response to what has clearly gone beyond the realms of reasonable behaviour, and may be the jolt back into reality this person needs. I hope so, because he's almost certainly not a bad person, and police involvement ups the ante in a way that could end up being even more traumatic for you both.

Good luck with it all.

Mac said...

The problem with naming & shaming that comes to mind is that this guy obviously knows LP's real details & location... I'd be more concerned with those being released.

While I enjoy the writing and wonder about the person who creates all of this, I'm not so sure I need to know everything. Also, this guy may be harmless but there are others who read the blog/twitter/etc who may not be.

Oldyeller said...

I think you did the right thing by doing this post; it should embarrass and scare him off for a good while. It doesn't sound like he intends to try to harm you--I think he would have indicated that in some way in his many communications (easy for me to say). I bet you have an attorney friend who can advise you of your legal rights in this kind of stalking situation.

dccised said...

i always thought i was your most annoying and obsessive and emotionally unstable reader.

Brandon said...

NM- I am so sorry. No one deserves this kind of torture. Especially not someone that has been so influential in my life. When I was 20 and struggling with my sexual identity, I turned to you. I read your nihilistic posts with angst and wondering about what life meant. I was there arranging my desk with Voss and expensive journals, and going on extreme diets and strict work out regimes. I was there listening to the music you would list, there when you got the cover of some magazine, there when you decided to lay down the LP persona for a while. I connected to you. I know I am not the only one. My life has changed and is steady and solid. I still think of you sometimes and only wish you well. Get the police to help you out, cyberstalking is dangerous. Know we all love you your prose, your character, and relatable nature. Please dear God be safe.. Love you from here in the States.

James said...

If you have an obsessed stalker, the chances are there's nothing you can do which will make him no longer obsessed with LP except for finding him a new obsession. It's unlikely that he's going to do you any harm, but if it's making you uncomfortable and fearful you should start the legal process of ordering some kind of restraint sooner rather than later.

speranza1986 said...

I agree that you should contact the police, or at least pretend to this person that you've gone to the law. It might scare him off, if noting else.