I have been harassed since November 25, 2017. It’s unnerving. This happened before when I was in high school. A boy I dated when I was 16 decided we were destined to be together forever wasn’t letting me go, so he followed me. Everywhere. He showed up at my school, my church, and in the town where I lived. At the time I was still with my parents, surrounded by more protection. It didn’t seem unsettling. Today, I see everything with merciless eyes.
None of this had to happen. I wasn’t in a relationship. So here’s the thing, if I decide I want to stop seeing someone I say so. And I did. No stringing it out, no rude remarks, and no yelling or breaking of objects. Mature adults. Oh, was I wrong. One-sided maturity. I was slapped in the face with a string of drunken texts claiming there were audio sex tapes. (Illegal alert) Days later I was threatened to be exposed for the vile woman I was and told I gave the man HIV. (He had flu-like symptoms.) During this time, he also had contacted a friend of mine and made verbal sexual advances toward her. (Illegal.)
The court ordered the defendant to pay restitution to the women and certified him as a sex offender. — Forbes
After doing some research I’m surprised by how common this is. Recording audio or video without consent is illegal. Nonconsensual Taping of Sex Partners Is a Crime.
As Stephanie’s Law and other unlawful surveillance statutes make clear, invasions of sexual privacy constitutes a crime. – Forbes
Harassment is a crime, as is slander and defamation of character.
Harassment Law and Legal Definition. Harassment is governed by state laws, which vary by state, but is generally defined as a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety.
Want to read more? Check out Limitations, Boundaries, and those cute Picket Fences or Hope
There really needs to be a television series on bad dates. I’ve had some good ones and some bad ones. I’ve found that if I take a step back, it’s like viewing an old barn that even though it’s dilapidated and rotting, it looks quite romantic. Yeah, just don’t lean too much weight on the wall.
As I told a friend recently, I’ve found a couple of scam artists, a guy with a restraining order, and another guy who claimed to be funny. He wasn’t at all funny. But golly gee I have my mind back.
My first piece of advice would be, Don’t! Do you know where he’s been? So as the new year starts, I’m stepping back and reading other people’s stories.
Here’s a lady that handled it better than I did.
Huffington Post – Online Dating Gone Right
None of that, however, stopped award-winning journalist and digital strategist Amy Webb from attempting online dating after a bad breakup. Determined to find a successful match, Webb decided to use data points to come up with a unique algorithm that she applied to dating websites.
I won’t spoil her punch line, but I think her dates were worse than mine. But she continued going for her dream, just smarter than before. I think the difference is, I really didn’t know what I wanted. I wasn’t looking for a husband. I just wanted to date. Without a goal in mind, your game continues on for as long as you want it to.
As many females of my age group will relate, when I was growing up, love was where you hang your hat. Love was the biggest item on the shopping list. How do you know whom to marry? Do you love him? There you go. My family had a second criteria. Is he a believer (of the same faith)? Yes? Well, you’re good to go. Tie a knot on that man and marry him. It was never thought, do you get along? Does he show kindness? Is he a control freak? Does he like cats? Do you both enjoy music? Like kids? Want to do adventurous vacations or quiet walks? What is your idea of wealth?
We were told in books, by preachers and teachers, and our families, that if God was in control and you loved him, all the other things would work out. I guess someone missed the memo. Or got it wrong. Truth is, God has little to do with any of it. Congeniality and kindness goes a lot further than a religious practice once a week. If one is religious and the other not, considerate people would allow the difference. Dogmatic folk require complete compliance.
I admit, I once was dogmatic. I once esteemed being right over common kindness. It makes me want to hide in shame when I think of this. I wasn’t loud or arrogant about it, only in my mind I judged. I disagreed with my paternal traditional upbringing in some things, like abortion, racism, and feminism, but in most things I thought no differently.
So we got it wrong. Many of my generation got tons wrong. Times were changing and traditions were falling down. If I had to do all over again, I’m not sure if I would change much. It was my roots, and I won’t become bitter about my choices and mistakes.
I’m happy with my life. There is no substitute for satisfaction. The things I would hang my hat on today are different: