#426 & #427: E-blasts from the past.

Hey Captain Awkward,

I am the LW of the “how do I break up with my mean ex who scares me?” Recently I have received harassing emails and blog comments from his new girlfriend telling me I am a liar and a bunch of other such things. Also telling me to stop “making up stories of my abuse.” 

I emailed her back and said, “Sorry you do not believe me, but I am not lying. I am blocking your email so you cannot email me again.” Is there a script I can use that is better in case she tries to contact me again. 

I am really upset about this. Not so much because she doesn’t believe me/he is lying about what he did but because it is dragging up things I want to forget. 

Not Making It Up

Hello again, Not Making It Up. I am so glad that you are out of that relationship, and so sorry that he has spun his girlfriend up to harass you by proxy. She’ll probably find out soon enough that you were not making things up, and the thought of that is just so sad to me. I can’t wish that on her, not for anything, even if she is being a jerk to you.

I think what you said to her was just fine. Going forward, my advice is to block her from leaving comments on your blog, and if she contacts you again, just don’t respond at all. Every time you respond, your ex-boyfriend gets the satisfaction of knowing that he’s got your attention again. He’s using her to try to manipulate you, and stories of you to try to manipulate her, so that both of you have to think about him and each other and feel crappy, because he is an abusive lying shitmitten.

If you leave it totally alone, eventually they’ll leave you alone when they figure out that they can’t capture your attention. Someday you’ll probably get a message that says “Sorry, you were right about everything.” Hopefully this will all be so far in your past that your first thought will be “Wait a second, who?

In the meantime, they’ll probably find ways to ping you now and again. Each time, delete/block whatever it is to the extent you can, do something really nice to yourself, and congratulate yourself for getting out from under the thumb of this guy. Your life is so much better now, right? And so much better than this lady’s is. You are brave and smart, and you can definitely handle and outlast this.

Dear Captain Awkward:

A friend and I are in an awkward situation. Both of us share the same ex who is also in the same broad social circle (online social groups & conventions), who has turned out to be what I would call a stalker in the wake of our breakups with him. She dated him first; I dated him a few months later. My breakup with him was partly due to the fact that he was still hung up on her. He would read all her public tweets/blogs/etc. and try to make them conversation, so I concluded he was not ready for a relationship with me, and I ended it fairly early. 

Well, now he is also reading up on me. My friend and I, who both did not maintain friendships with him after our breakups mainly due to his clinginess, have both been told by other mutual friends that he is maintaining the same strangely close, stalking attention to any public accounts he knows to be our own, and will inevitably try to make one or both of us the topic of discussion when he can.

My questions for you are first, is this stalking? And secondly, what recourse do we have against this, if any? My opinion is that he’s stalking us, but my friend questions that because he is doing it in this strange, roundabout way, where it’s entirely likely that if we didn’t have these mutual friends, we’d never have realized he was doing it. It’s certainly an unhealthy obsession, and it’s definitely uncomfortable. Is there anything that can be done, or do we simply have to hope he eventually gives up and moves on?

It’s right on the verge of stalking. It’s probably not enough for any kind of legal recourse (though you document it anyway in case it escalates) and whether it fits the definition partially depends on whether he wants you to know what he’s up to in order to upset you or force you to think about him. Is he bringing you up with mutual friends in the hopes that they’ll mention him to you?

Good news, the definition of what he’s doing isn’t important. His intent is only marginally important. The fact that it’s making you uncomfortable is important.

Here’s how I would handle this:

Block/ban him anywhere you can, and never, ever respond to anything he says anywhere you can’t. If you run into him in public, do whatever you have to to not be alone with him. Say you’re at a con and he follows you or starts horning in on conversations where you are (trying to use the camoflauge of the group and your reluctance to cause a scene), don’t be afraid to cause a scene. Walk away. Report him to an organizer. Say to him (or have a friend say to him for you): “Ex, this is a big event, and I’d like you to go find some other people to talk with. I am not interested in catching up or comfortable in having you close by.” Then do not respond to anything else he says. Ignore him completely. Also tell your friends what’s up, so they can rescue you if need be. 

Many online communities have rules about how members can interact with each other. Take a look at your terms of service, and/or check in with one of the mods. If his behavior is crossing the line (where he’s bringing you up or linking to you in every thread), the mods may be able to put him on notice and edit/delete certain posts. If something like that happened here, or there was a situation where the person was responding to everything you said in a disconcerting way, I would at very least put that poster on permanent moderation and delete all references to you in their posts. If I notified them at all I would say “Your mentions of and responses to x poster have become excessive, to the point that it is creepy and disruptive to the community. If you want to keep posting here, find a new topic.” Any response other than “Sorry” and not doing it anymore = immediate banning. It wouldn’t have to even be creeping you out to creep me out, and I would never even reveal that you asked me to do it. “Freedom of speech” means you can’t be locked up by the government for expressing an opinion. It doesn’t mean you can’t be kicked out of a party where you’re peeing on the carpet.

While how he interacts with your friends isn’t actually your problem to manage, they may be understandably at a loss for how to handle it. When the topic comes up, let your friends know how very, very uncomfortable you are with his continued attention and ask your friends to immediately change the subject if he brings you guys up with them. “I thought it was creepy when he did it to Friend, it’s definitely even more creepy now that it’s me.” They should give him zero attention/approval/sympathy around anything to do with you. And if they feel able & comfortable, they should let him know exactly why. For example:

Him: “I saw that LW and friend wrote that they had fun seeing you last week.”

Them:Huh. Have you read The Twelve yet? Do you know if it’s as good as The Passage? I hope that if they make a movie they won’t try to cast it with white people.

Him:Did you hear what I said? I was asking about LW and Friend. Do you think they’ll be at the con next month?

Them: “Yeah, I heard you. Okay, this is awkward, but you bring them up to a degree that makes me uncomfortable. I hope you can find someone else to talk to about them, but I’m not the right person. Let’s change the subject  – read anything good lately?”

If he persists, “Yeah, dude, I’m sorry, but that was a serious request. Let’s pick this conversation up another time, ok?” and they should bail. No wallowing, no rehashing.

Someone who is actually a good friend to him can level with him. “You seem seriously hung up on these ladies, to the point that I think you should talk to a pro about your feelings. This level of engagement with someone who broke up with you isn’t normal, and I think it’s hurting you and stopping you from moving on. Whatever you decide, I know that I don’t want to discuss them with you, so, new topic.”

In the (sad) best-case scenario he is not malevolent, just fixated and obsessed – the behavior of checking up on you and the mentionitis has become a habit that he can’t break on his own, and he really needs some help to overcome it. Limerence can make a person feel temporarily crazy – I know I’ve definitely kept unhealthily picking some emotional scabs instead of letting time and distance turn them into scars, and it took good friends being very, very blunt to help me snap out of it. That doesn’t mean you have to put up with a single bit of it, or be the one to steer him towards help.

It’s important that your friends own the discomfort themselves and don’t pass on the news that YOU are uncomfortable. Not because you’re not uncomfortable, but because letting him know that (perversely) rewards the stalking behavior. Stalkers have temporarily abdicated shame, so “She is seriously freaked out and grossed out by the way you are constantly mentioning and keeping tabs on her” passes through the Wishful Thinking Translator and comes out the other side as “She’s thinking about me!

The Gift of Fear suggests that if you do not respond at all, eventually he will become fixated on some other unlucky soul and leave you alone. It’s hard to do when he keeps popping up in your peripheral vision, but it’s the only way to shake him.

46 thoughts on “#426 & #427: E-blasts from the past.

  1. “’Freedom of speech’ means you can’t be locked up by the government for expressing an opinion. It doesn’t mean you can’t be kicked out of a party where you’re peeing on the carpet.”

    Awesome! I now want to embroider that on something.

    1. I want to leave that all over the internet in as many places as possible. Perhaps above the comments section on everything!

      LW2, I see shades of my past in your letter. Hopefully he eventually gets bored and moves on. Hopefully your mutual friends are Awesome, and help you out (especially at those Cons! Man, the opportunities for non-Awesome at those are sometimes broad and frequent).

      1. Yeah, if only! Every time some jackass is told to STFU they scream CENSORSHIP! FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Yet strangely enough, mobs like the MRM have no problem at all shouting down or banning anyone who a) questions their rantings or b) has the temerity to own a vagina.

  2. The Captain is right on both counts when it comes to getting abusive/clingy shitmittens (I’m so going to file that away for future reference, thank you Captain for broadening my insult horizons!) to leave you alone. Short of actually killing them, which is still for all intents and purposes illegal, messy, time consuming, soul eating, and did I mention illegal, dropping them off your radar deliberately is the only way to make them go the fuck away. When you ignore, ignore, ignore and refuse to acknowledge the shitmittens, they eventually move on because you’re no fun anymore. You’re not reacting, you’re not responding, the only thing you’re doing is making it clear to other people that you will not put up with these folks, and you have no qualms, if necessary, to be the bad guy and make a scene demanding removal of intrusive stalkery assholes, or to cut off communication with someone who is attempting to manipulate you. The people who don’t have a problem with refusing to let the assholes bait you and/or stalk you will still be your friends, and hell, once ONE person calls them out on their shitty behavior, sometimes others follow. The people who are keep-the-peace-at-any-cost-including-nice-people people will drop you because you are “making waves”. I’d rather have the first in my life than the second.

    1. Standing ovation for your comment. I want to take mine’s back because this is exactly what I was trying to say but more concisely.
      Feel free to give shitty people the cold shoulder. People who try to make you the “bad one” for causing “drama” by protecting yourself from people’s crap behaviour need to stop asap.

    2. ” Short of actually killing them, which is still for all intents and purposes illegal, messy, time consuming, soul eating, and did I mention illegal…”
      I love you for the casual way you put that.

      Also, “shitmittens”. YES. And Mr Romney was definitely being a shitmitten. He has lots of company in that status in politics, though.

  3. Both LWs are incredibly strong for getting out of their initial bad situations. Hooray! In both cases I knew people in high school who pulled ish like that to some extent (thank goodness for college and finding better friends). The thing that helped me personally the most was weeding out anyone who encouraged/didn’t discourage their behavior. Anyone who wasn’t behind me got the boot. That’s not to say I told people not to be friends with them anymore. People can be friends with whoever! But the second I found out that anyone was aiding and/or abetting these people, they were out of my life. YMMV, of course, and it all depends on how your friend group works. If people can’t do something that may be a little awkward to make a friends feel safer, however, I’d reconsider the friendship.

    Best of luck to you both, Jedi hugs if you want them!

  4. Not Making it up: I’m glad you got out, and sorry it was messy; sounds like you did the right thing and your head is in the right place.

    Yes, this is stalking. He’s moving into spaces where you go to relax and make friends, and he’s constantly reminding you of his existence, and trying to make you look bad in front of your friends, and making you wonder whether posting in a neutral forum is worth the hassle you are going to get from him – that’s controlling behaviour, and a good sign that you are well rid him of him.

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it, and third parties might not recognise the behaviour for a long time. My ex was active online, but after I got out he consistently responded to me in forums that were related to *my* interests: every single post he made was designed to jump on something I did and correct me or mainsplain something or otherwise make me look bad. I saw the pattern because I knew what his interests were, and which forums he had read/taken part in before the split; third parties didn’t until it was pointed out.

    The bad news is that it took nearly five years for this to stop, and I had to withdraw from several venues, and I have no idea whether he still reads my public content, but there’s a reason why I don’t use my name on the internet anymore. (Not that it would have helped, when you’re living together that would be difficult to hide, and you can’t say to someone ‘I want us to share a home but I won’t tell you my internet pseudonym’ – either you trust them or you don’t.)

    1. I disagree with the last bit. “I trust you but I also need some space that is mine.” is, I think, perfectly legit and healthy. I would consider, “If you won’t tell me all of your online usernames, then YOU DON’T TRUST ME {referendum on our relationship}.” to be a major red flag.

      1. Totally agreeing with this, but I think what Mostly Lurking was more referring to was a situation where someone has a pretty consistent pseud/rotation of a few pseuds, so that if you share with someone your email address or your internet whereabouts anywhere, they can then effectively find you everywhere. Not that you’re inviting them to check up on every word you say online, but that if things go South the possibility is now there. I’ve had to change some usernames a few places online for this exact reason.

  5. Not Making It Up,

    Good on you for getting out when you did and for staying out of that relationship. I’m sad to hear that he’s harassing you through his current girlfriend, though. That’s awful. But check how awesome it is that what’s bothering you about it isn’t that he’s got a girlfriend or whatever but that it’s bringing up stuff you are happier not thinking about. That’s a reasonable and balanced response that is all about being detached from his manipulation! Yay!

    Captain’s advice is great for dealing with them. I hope you find other ways for dealing with the unwanted feelings in yourself, though. Have you worked through them in the meantime, and you’re just getting echoes? Have you just shoved them down in a box and pretended they’re not there? If you haven’t dealt with whatever reaction you have from being (however briefly) with an abuser, it’s more likely to pop up and distress you at inconvenient moments.

    I don’t know what tools you use to work with emotional reactions in your life. I do therapy, meditation, and mindful awareness myself, and also I talk things out with friends (although you have to be careful what friend you talk to about abusive exes). Other people go for long runs or play music or do whatever they do.

    Even if you’ve done most of the work to deal with these feelings and you’re only getting echoes, you’re still getting annoying echoes. You can use the same tools to address them.

    Mostly, though, the coping mechanism that works least well is to pretend it didn’t happen or pretend it didn’t matter, if it actually did.

  6. In relation to #426, has the LW any evidence that her wanker of an ex is inducing this girl? Until she does, I don’t think she should assume this girl is. I mean, it’s very possible she could just be moaning “but how could you say this about my wonderful boyfriiiiiiiiiiiiend.” But the Captain is right, you’ve handled this wonderfully so far. Unfortunately if you mail her back, she gets the satisfaction of knowing she’s got your attention. If you set up a filter so all her mails to you go into your trash folder, you’ll never know! With forums and stuff, I think you can PM moderators and report her and block her your blog.

  7. For forums: user ignore extensions exist for most fora-these will simply block out their posts. In case of public accounts, block where you can, use different aliases, your standard privacy protection stuff.

  8. (Long-time lurker, first-time commenter – hi, everyone!)

    LW2, I’d like to second the Captain’s recommendation to get some of your mutual friends involved. Without knowing you or all of the details, your friends might be less hesitant than you to be really firm when talking to your ex about why his behaviour is inappropriate. Plus, if he hears from multiple, uninvolved people that his actions are inappropriate, he may be more likely to listen. He might just view himself as being a sad romantic sort of person (see also: the Sorrows of Young Werther), and not realise that you know about his stalker-esque behaviour or that it’s creeping you out.

    LW1, I don’t have advice, but props to you on getting out of an abusive situation! I hope that you are taking care of yourself, and getting support where possible.

    Maybe this is slightly off-topic, and I understand if new questions in the comments are frowned upon (please delete this, if so). But: does anybody want to talk about their thoughts on limerence/unrequited love? When the Captain mentioned it in her response, I went to look it up, and the concept sounds, umm… familiar. I’ve been on the receiving end of it, and am currently feeling limerent (?) towards a friend of mine who used to flirt with me a bunch, but is now just friendly (bad timing, etc.).

    I’m wondering whether anybody has stories about how they dealt with those feelings? Specifically, can it just be a case of learning to manage your anxiety and to respect personal boundaries, or did you find you had to cut the person out of your life for awhile?

  9. LWs – I’ve had people suggest blocking people on social media before, and I resisted for a super-long time. I don’t know if this decision is something you are struggling with, but I wanted to throw in my experience.

    I was resistant to blocking for lots of rational-seeming reasons: It didn’t seem fair that I’d have to do that, why was it still affecting me so much, shouldn’t I be free to do what I want, etc etc etc. And finally (FINALLY) a few things actually sunk in: Days that I didn’t encounter anything from that person were good days. Days where I did, no matter WHAT it was, were not. And, in addition, if I’d have seen this person, say, at the grocery store, I would totally walk out of the store & get my groceries later — and no one would ever find that socially weird — and so why did doing the equivalent on the internet seem at first different? It is not different.

    Blocking & Chrome-Nanny later, days are generally easier. And you can always try it for a week or two, just as a test, and see how it works for you, if you don’t want to commit yet to blocking-forever. Definitely figure out how to preemptively block specific posts in your blog / online social group, with whatever option so that you don’t even see that the posts were made. In your particular situations, there is literally nothing you need to see from them.

  10. LW2: you say that if you didn’t have these mutual friends, you wouldn’t know what he is doing. So why don’t you ask these friends to stop telling you about him. From your letter it sounds like perhaps he’s just having a hard time getting over you, and since he hasn’t contacted you directly, or shown up at all the places you’re going to be, he might be just thinking/curious about you. Block him on all social media, tell your friends to stop talking about him to you and to him about you, and enjoy your life! If things escalate, then I would follow the script the captain has set for you.

    Of course, you know your actual situation, so I could be really wrong, and if your spidey sense is tingling you need to take care of yourself. But I know I get curious about people who I used to date (especially if they broke it off) and I do talk to mutual friends about them just to find out what’s up! And because I care, and because maybe I gossip too much. Just an idea. . .

    1. I think the clue is that LW and her friend’s mutual friends have seen Ex doing this to both of them, and found it disturbing enough (as I read her letter) to tell them about it. I wouldn’t put this into a case of ignorance being bliss, because what if he escalates? I can agree with “Don’t tell me any more about him now” unless it’s something serious, just as another way of blocking him. But overall I’m more of forewarned being forearmed with his behaviour.

      1. Yeah, I agree. With a trustworthy friend it might be possible to say, “Don’t tell me if it’s more of the same, but do tell me if it gets even weirder/more scary/more intense.”

    2. <So why don’t you ask these friends to stop telling you about him.

      Totally seconded. With the caveat that I needed to know in a stalking situation that someone was looking at the posts (but not me) so that I could be sure that there wasn’t anything threatening. No matter how you handle it, you are totally within your right to say, “Guys, please do not tell me about X/what he says about me/don’t tell him what I say about him.” A good boundary to have.

  11. “shitmitten”

    Made my day. Thanks. (And everyone should read “The Gift of Fear” — brilliant and appropriate in all cases of dealing with shitmittens.

  12. Just an fyi b/c it’s relevant:

    Details differ from state to state, but generally, legally speaking, stalking is when the stalker contacts the victim and waits for them in places that they are known to go – work, home, sewing circle, etc. Harassment is when the perp contacts the victim, but doesn’t wait for them physically. If there is no contact, just reading and talking, I don’t think there is any legal definition. Knowing these distinctions is important if the LW ever wanted to take action.

    As CA says, document any contact he has with you, and your response, if any (I recommend one solitary response along the lines of “leave me the fuck alone forever” and nothing further). If it escalates into something with a legal name, you want to have that history established.

  13. To “Not Making It Up” LW … wow do I feel you. Several years ago, I played right into this very same script. Date a guy! Break up/get dumped by the guy! Hear rumors circulating from and/or about the New Girl! Cry/re-hash drama/make New Girl my SWORN ENEMY FOREVER!!!

    Of course, my terrible script was followed up with getting back together with the guy, wash, rinse, repeat for 3 years with a changing cast of characters, culminating in actually marrying the guy (DO NOT DO THIS) and divorcing him 4 months later.

    I just want to tell you that you are so far ahead in this absurd thing we call life, for recognizing abusive people and behaviors early on and gettingTFO like you did. I don’t know who you are, but in my head I can almost imagine you as one of the varied cast members of that horrible chapter of my life. I am cheering for you.

  14. LW1: just some notes about discussing your abuse with mutual friends without sharing your partners story too much. I thnk it’s important for you to speak up and make people aware if your situation back then. Not everyone copes this way – your partner is processing it differently and doesn’t want to talk about it. The fact that you have the urge to be open about it indicates to me that sharing your story is very important for you, for your own healing. Just because you and yo up partner are approaching this very differently, I want you remember that your needs about this are as valid as his.

    What I think you should do is decide before you talk to anyone what parts of the story should be off limits – abuse that occurred before you we’re involved but that you heard about, abuse that happened directly to your partner that you didn’t witness for example. These things still affected you and your relationship, but that may be where you can draw that line. This is something you should decide for yourself, and be open with your partner about. He needs to understand that it is hurting you to pretend all is well when you are dealing with abusive fallout too. Give him the opportunity to tell you if there are certain incidents he doesn’t want shared, and respect those wishes. He does not get to put a blanket ban on all discussion of it. It happened to you too. He may not be thrilled that your talking about it, but if you respect his requests to keep some details about him quieter, he should respect your need to discuss what happened to you too.

    Then when you discuss it, choose people you trust and have a line handy that can encompass all the details you can’t discuss about your partners situation that doesn’t smoothe it over or pretend you we’re ok with it like “there was a lot of nastiness I witnessed towards him too. I won’t go into it, because he needs to talk about it in his own time if he chooses to, but suffice to say I didn’t agree with the way he was treated and that’s miserable to have to see happening to someone you love”. You don’t have to lie and ignore that his abuse was a big part of your life too, but you can leave the details out and focus on the horribleness that was inflicted directly on you.

    I also really really recommend you finding as pace where you can discuss this openly and without censoring yourself or self editing for your partners sake. While it may not be the best idea now to tell your mutual friends all of it, you do need to be able to with *someone*. Whether that be a friend or family member of yours that is outside this social circle you and your partner share, a mental health professional, a support group or even an online support forum or blog where you can write it anonymously.

    Be really really kind to yourself and keep remind yourself that you are allowed to speak up. Your partner doesn’t have final say on this because it happened to you. Be really kind to your partner too, but don’t let your different coping mechanisms mean your healing is dictated by his.

    1. I disagree, abusers thrive on secrecy and they will lie to others about what happened. The “poor” abuser will even make themselves out to have been the one abused (my ex did this, it’s a way to co-opt friends and leave you isolated). What happened to me included what my ex DID TO ME. I have every right to tell whomever I desire about MY experience, as does LW1.

      Elody, the rest of your post I don’t get, LW1 is not in a relationship with her abuser, he is not her partner.

      1. I think this comment was meant for a few CA posts back, with the two poly relationship letters. LW 1 on that post was in a relationship and both her and her partner had been in a poly relationship with an abusive partner, and were navigating the post-breakup relationship with said abusive partner differently.

        1. Moi, your absolutely right. My most major apologies to both lws and commenters on this thread. I book marked what I thought was the poly questions to respond to later but clearly clicked on the wrong thread.
          I will post this on the correct thread now, but I hope my response hasn’t upset anyone here. The situation I was commenting on (I thought) is completely different and I definitely don’t advocate the LW in this one considering her creepy exes feelings in this. This has the potential to escalate and LW is well within her rights to be up frot about it to the people she socialises with.

    2. Hey, Elodie, I am LW1. (had to post this with a different email so it didn’t link back to my blog)

      Just want to clarify. I run blog where I discussed the abuse my EX-partner -did to me- in some of my posts. His new girlfriend found the blog (possibly through ex) and began to leave comments on my posts about the abuse. I had no idea who she was. I emailed her directly the first time, which I did not write about in the letter, and said (paraphrasing), “Hey, I don’t know who you are but you do not know the whole story about me and my ex. So please stop leaving your evil comments about me. Thanks.”

      She emailed me back multiple times harassing me, blaming me for “fucking up” ex, saying if he really would have abused me, because he was stronger than me he would have killed me (so he must not have actually touched me). She said I was weak and lying to save face. That I started making up my abuse when I got back home (January) when that doesn’t make sense because I sent the original letter to Captain Awkward in December. She said other such things that made it sound like I was in fact the “emotional abuser” to her poor, strong, manly boyfriend and I was the evil and vindictive person and not him. Amongst other things like “he doesn’t think about you anymore,” “that is why you say these things, you’re jealous!” etc.

      She commented using a wordpress account and I wanted to see if she created it just to harass me. She wrote blogs directly about me calling me a liar etc. Saying I was playing a victim when the real victim was my ex (her boyfriend). And other such horrible things. I haven’t looked at it since. But it made me feel really shitty.

      So I emailed her the above script. Because I don’t think about him. I am happier now that I left. I do not care about him or what his life is. Etc. I want as little to do with him as possible because he brings me down.

      1. Oh, I bet he is mistreating her but blaming it on how you broke his heart, he would be sweet and kind but he is so hurting, blah blah blah.

        You did not ask to be the super villain of their relationship, and of course we all know there would have been something else he used to justify his behavior.

        I guess the only thing I would add to the other advice here is that it might be helpful to have someone else monitor her blog for you, because when things get more rocky between them is when they will blame you more and harassment may follow. This person should not be you and should never give you an update unless they see biiiiiiiiiig changes.

      2. Hey LW, I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I owe you a huge apology, in that my comment above was intended for another question entirely. I’m so sorry that I wasn’t more careful, and I hope reading it hasn’t made you feel icky and like you should care at all what your prick of an ex and his new girlfriend think or feel.

        I wasn’t going to comment on yours in particular, because while I’ve had jealous ex or new girlfriends contact me in nasty ways in the past, it was never in the context of my abuse, so I didnt feel I was quite as qualified to help.

        Suffice to say that I agree entirely with the captain at her suggestion that as little contact as possible with this girl who is harassing you, keeping kind to yourself and not letting her get under your skin. You know what you went through, and like carbonatedwit said, it’s likely he has spun it in his own head and hers to make you the bad guy.

        I don’t at all advocate censoring yourself in this situation. Keep communicating it at a level that is helping you heal, and document her messages and attempts to contact you in case she escalated to finding phone contact etc so you can present a case to legally restrict her contact if you ever need to.

        I hope she moves on, and I sincerely hope that she escapes from your ex too. No matter how awful her behaviour is, I wouldn’t wish abuse on anyone and it sounds lie she’s in the throws of a big emotional manipulation already.

        Once again LW, I’m so so worry for my error here and I hope I haven’t hurt you with my comments. If I have and it helps to have a bit of a vent at me I completely understand and I doubt a single person here would hold that against you

      3. LW1, don’t let any of that BS he is spinning to current GF get to you, my abusive (now ex) said all those things about me as well (vindictive is his favorite word) – he even got me arrested for domestic violence when he attacked me and I called the cops. It is classic abuser stuff, they always tell you the last woman they were with was crazy, or hurt them or whatever, that’s why the GF is going off on you. Feel sorry for her, her time will come.

        I am particularly feeling this right now because the ex violated my protective order (again) and I have to go to court in a couple of weeks – I KNOW he’s telling his GF that I’m vindictive and evil and want revenge because he does not take responsibility for anything and everything is my fault (until he decides the new GF is the problem, no doubt). And I can almost hear him saying that his email invitation to a social network was so innocent and I’m just a mean ass bitch trying to fuck up his life. NO, I’m afraid he’ll show up on my doorstep if I don’t make it clear (again) he is not a part of my life. And guess what? he now has another protective order issued against him by the GF he was living with. Poor guy just can’t catch a break with those mean ass bitches who don’t want to die…

        Elody, no worries, I kinda thought you were posting to the wrong thread, I just pointed it out for a fix.

        1. I recently found a mnemonic(“DARVO”) that describes this dynamic with abusers. Jennifer Freyd refers to this in her paper:

          DARVO = “DENY the behavior, ATTACK the confronting person, REVERSE the roles of VICTIM and OFFENDER

          (ie the abuser plays the victim, and accuses the abused of being the perpetrator). It is a really sickening dynamic, like ultra gaslighting, but all too familiar to many who have dealt with a bully or abuser.

      4. Oh geez, I think I typed some bad language so the filter stopped my post – I can’t recreate it, Captain, please delete anything that is not cool to post in it.

  15. Oh God.
    The second post relates too much. I certainly feel LW’s pain.
    Unfortunately, I was in a position where our shared friends wouldn’t tell him to stop.
    I also felt really bad because not only did his behaviour make me feel really creeped out, but I could also see how self-destructive it was to him. Which lead to the very awkward conversation in which I felt like I had to be the one to tell him that his obsessive behaviour needed to stop because not only did it make me uncomfortable but it was obviously not healthy for him.
    Which resulted in a “Oh you think you’re so amazing. Not everything is about you!”
    Which made me back off and feel bad for trying to ignore him. But it was also then followed by some more creepy/obsessive behaviour.
    Lucky for me, my problem solved itself just as it was getting out of hand. I was coping – by blocking him everywhere I possibly could and trying to get people not to talk to me about how “cute we were together” + undertones of “You killed my OTP” (though they continued) and being super cold when we did have to be near each other (bitch mode on. I felt bad but it got the message across). He moved schools and didn’t attempt to keep up contact with anyone (apart from me, surprise surprise) several of whom were super upset so didn’t talk about him so much.
    But my luck aside – the method of cutting off as much contact as possible is very effective. Also, being cold seems cruel but if people know he’s been creepy, then it’s perfectly within your right to not respond enthusiastically if he tried to engage you, and not in theirs to make you feel bad. That for me was the hardest part. Not letting the fact our friend group felt like I was being rude effect me. Most of them didn’t fully understand the extent of his creepiness, so although it really hurt, I just had to let it wash over me.
    Which Is my advice to LW and people in their position. If you feel the need to be cold/unresponsive when you are forced to interact, (especially when you’ve given all the “please leave me alone” signs) be prepared for people’s reactions and be able to ignore them.
    😦 I feel for LW, and I hope things do improve!

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