The benefits of having a stalker

I remember the first comment. It said, “You’re a pity party, a predictable loser,” and I thought it was spam until more arrived. “Piece of shit!” “You think your writing is fantastic? Ha!” All from email addresses with my name, followed by something obscene. I had a stalker, and I didn’t understand why because I’m an obscure writer from India who spends his time romanticising his depression on a blog with a hundred followers.

I was angry and wanted to lash out, but I restrained myself and only warned my readers that there was someone out there trying to break me. Soon, I received a couple of threatening emails, which featured the use of the word ‘scum’ rather intensely. I was terrified and wanted to shut this person down, but they didn’t stop. The last comment called me a porn-addicted, masturbatory writer. That jolted me! I mean, how did they know?

I craved for pity and took to Facebook. I wrote a thesis long, status message about the stalker and the five likes I got helped me get through the day. I deleted my blog. It was only after that that I realised there were benefits to having a hater.

First, stalkers bring out the Luddite in you. These days we spend our lives creating online avatars and riding a carousel of artificiality. But a stalker makes you shun technology, read paperbacks and listen to music on a CD player. Pretty soon, you discover you don’t even use the phone. Someone who is antithetical to a messiah has liberated you from shortening your attention span by staring at text messages all day. A black-robed prophet of hate has freed you from watching nonsensical YouTube videos while you sip on your stale coffee. You want to go out more even if it’s around your apartment complex with your mask on.

Stalkers make you think deeper. You no longer limit your thinking to the last episode of ‘Stranger Things,’ and start pondering on the connections you make with people and how they perceive you. Perhaps you’ve been ostentatious all your life, and only now see the lopsided, smug grin in the mirror for what it is. Maybe the guy who shook your hand last week saw through your facade and always wanted to knock your incisors out. So, while you’re introspecting, you develop the emotional intelligence you lacked. You think about how all humans are connected, and how the threads we spin, catch another and either form a beautiful web or a chaotic mess. You suddenly reach the apogee of your metaphysical reasoning.

Stalkers make you enjoy quarantine when everyone is talking about cabin fever. You’re glad that your hater isn’t stupid enough to defy international travel or the local lockdown (depending on where they are) to beat the bejesus out of you. Yes, they’re brave enough to use an anonymous email client and a VPN, but there’s no way they are daring enough to risk dying to get to you. That very thought fills you with ebullience, and you feel like some celestial hand holds you. You enjoy confined spaces. You look at the sheen of dust that envelops your piano and the guilt of not playing the instrument no longer haunts you. You enjoy the smell of stale food, the body odour emanating from your pores, and the stench of your farts. You look in the mirror at your bearded, unwashed face and love the new look. You don’t even brush your teeth, and there is some weird beauty in those now yellowed chiclets. Stalkers tell you the truth. They say what you need to hear. All your life, you’ve justified mooching off your parents and living a porn-addicted life. And when confronted by your loved ones, you’ve bellowed and screamed. But a stalker drills actuality into your head. You realise you have sown rotten seeds in your life, as they said, and Karma is waiting with a scythe in his hand.

You understand that it’s time to stop wasting your energy writing seedy poetry on a blog, and it’s time to send your work to publishers. Hell, you could be the next Bukowski! And even if you’re not, at least you’re not clamouring for a like or a comment reeking of flattery. You’re a person on a mission now, ready to roar like a lion despite the rejection letters hurled your way.

Finally, stalkers force you to stop watching porn. You’re so scared of the internet that you refuse to even switch your computer on. You’d rather play scrabble or learn how to play bridge than turn to obscene images or graphic videos of cuckolds. You get healthy erections again and can look at women without objectifying them. You’ve changed. You clean the house or make chicken tikka masala with a horrified look on your face whenever the urge sets in. Whoever said love and not fear conquers was wrong. You know you’re getting a partner soon, or you’re at least going to find yourself in the more hopeful sections of the friend zone. You see a significant change headed your way, and who knew that some creep calling you ‘a piece of shit,’ on the internet would align your chakras, or place your stars where they’re supposed to be, or bring the universe to you, or whatever.

16 responses to “The benefits of having a stalker”

  1. Great perspective! I remember this happening to you and how you said it was affecting you.

    I’ve never personally had a stalker and I hope to god I never do, but I have had interactions with a few random people over the years who’ve made me analyse myself to the point of near madness (what I’ve said, how I acted etc). On the back of those interactions I’ve often retreated into myself…until I realised that I although I had a part in it, THEY were the fucked up one.

    I was sad for you when that happened. Wished I could help you somehow, so I’m glad you’ve written this. My daughters gf has just been notified that she will have to testify in a case of stranger stalking on her friend. She’d been stalked for years (4) and has only just found out who her stalker is. Shattering, as he was an acquaintance. Her life had virtually stopped in the meantime. I hope she can get back to living without fear, but statistically there is no guarantee.

    • It was brutal when it happened. A part of me wondered why someone would go to such lengths to disturb another person’s peace. I was angry, broken and frankly fed up. It came at the wrong time too. I was going through some personal crap and then this! But today, I harbour no hate for the stalker. I hope they get the medical aid they require and if I’ve angered them, I hope they can forgive me. I say this even though I know that kindness is often misinterpreted as weakness in our messed up world. I wrote this, not out of spite, but because of a mischievous streak in me. I wanted to lighten my readers’ day and do something different from mooching off my sorrow!

      Yes, these interactions, especially online ones can lead to madness. I’m often worried that someone might misconstrue a nice comment because I flavoured it with humour. I’ve had people misconstrue what I’ve written, thinking I’m a narcissist who demeans others and thinks only of himself. Not all my posts are confessional and even what’s confessional has a fictional aspect to it. But I can’t change the world. I move on and don’t engage with the naysayers. They’ll probably hate me for that too!

      What I’ve realised over the years is that people who admit that they’ve made mistakes are more real than the self-righteous ones who go on harassing everyone and try to start feuds. Nobody is perfect. We learn and we grow. I’m glad that you realised how messed up these people who made you question yourself were and moved on. It’s the best medicine. Simply moving forward, and letting the haters’ screams echo in the darkness. The people who deem you this and that are forever going to, so forgive them and pray for them.

      Thank you Allane. You’ve been one of my friends since my early days here, and I’m glad you are. I find you very empathetic and kind. The incident about your daughter’s gf and her friend made me sad. It’s terrifying and I don’t understand why people can’t move on. There’s a world out there filled with people, but they end up being fixated on one. I think people need to live more, meet more people, read more and learn to relax more. I really hope your daughter’s gf and her friend can get back to living life without this thing hanging over their heads. I believe that time heals these things.

  2. I do too. Sometimes only a little time is needed. I also agree about humour lightening writing. I have a dry, often sarcastic sense of humour which many don’t appreciate (even if I can appreciate why they don’t ‘get’ it) but I was particularly drawn to this piece of writing because of its positive vibe. This piece also shows YOUR capacity for empathy and kindness. 💜

    • I enjoy your writing Allane. I love the dry wit and the prose that isn’t purple and says what it needs to. In fact, I await your postings because they take my mind off the melodrama that is present here sometimes. And thank you very much!

  3. Lol 👍
    Not quite my reaction, I wrote an intensely sarcastic blog about it instead deep in the throes of the stalking. It wasn’t posted here but on another site that created the stalker in the poor man. I might have shared it with you before. It was called ‘not stalking 101’ but I would have sent it through email.

    • If this were few years ago, I would have written a scathing, extremely sardonic, vicious ode. I was angry and unsettled those days, rancorous and spiteful. I didn’t like myself but I went on targeting people who provoked and hurt me. But now, in my mid thirties, I’m more disappointed by people who stalk than angered. Perhaps I’ve mellowed and it’s a resignation that says, “This world is never going to change.” I don’t know what caused this person to go to extreme lengths. Maybe something I wrote during those mad-at-everyone-and-everything days triggered him. Or it was a sarcastic comment I left, which I’ve done in the past and now regret terribly, or perhaps he was going through some crap in his life and projected his hate on me. Whatever it was, I direct my sardonicism towards ideas and fictional characters than people nowadays. I guess I’ve grown soft, but I think it’s a need to write in my little corner of the blogosphere in peace. But I completely understand how painful it is when someone stalks you. How frightening and harrowing, and I understand a sarcastic reaction. Sometimes it is the best reaction. I’m guessing this took place when you became PC for a while. That was cute lol. I remember commenting on that blog calling you EC and then thought, Wait she’s PC now! 😄 I haven’t read not stalking 101. I don’t remember you sending it to me by mail, or I’ve forgotten. I forget a lot these days.

      • I’ll send it, it might make you smile. It was sarcastic but it was actually exactly what happened to me. Funny when I spelled it all out after hiding from it for so long it looks as though no one old man could do that to one very young woman, i was 19 through 25 he stalked me, but yes, he did exactly what I described in somewhat humorous yet in reality, horrific experience.
        I actually wrote it after I was so embarrassed and overwrought and trying to be the nicest I possibly could to him, giving him chance after chance to stop harassing me. Finally, I spilled over 🤷‍♀️
        I was actually another blog site I was on for five or so years prior to WordPress.
        I am in agreeance with you about the world, especially an online one, it’s beyond us and doesn’t have to shape our reality when it comes to viewing humanity. They are the same humans here we experience physically, behaviors are just slightly different. Core reasons for them, the same

      • I just read it, and yes it’s funny, but it stems from so much hurt. I’m sorry you had to go through that. That guy sounds like a diabolical psychopath. He needs psychiatric help. It seems incredible that he went to such lengths. And frightening. A part of me was scared after reading that.

        I think in your case, writing that was necessary. It wasn’t some hate comments and mails like in mine. It was a thought out, planned out thing. I would have gone to the police if I were in your place. Giving him chances shows your patience and strength.

        I think the problem with these people is that their dreams (the sick ones) merge with their actuality and they can’t tell right from wrong. That and the need to control someone who is vulnerable.

        One of the reasons I deleted innumerable blogs over the years is because the online world started affecting my moods, seeping into the one offline. And writing started draining me. But I’ve reached a stage of balance. I can’t change people. And my views of humanity aren’t defined by what someone says here about me or anyone else.

        And yes, though the world is a terrible place it’s experiences that make us. And yes, even though the offline world has similar devious characters, I think there’s life in going out there and finding oneself. Beauty in nature and the myriad experiences one goes through.

        So I’ve decided to take breaks. The blog will be here but I might disappear now and then, and hopefully meet some nice people (there are a few of them in this world).

  4. Yeah…adding to what others have said. I remember this. I’ve already got my phrase planned for when (if?) I get the hate. I feel like you have to either get unlucky to catch some jerk’s attention or you get known enough to draw the hate. I will thank each one for their “perspective.” That’s it. I won’t get into it with anyone who trolls me. BTW, you write a ton.

    • Yeah I’ve decided to be that way too. To thank the troll for their perspective and move on. Sometimes these trolls are drawn to adult themes, or depression related posting. Then they act like the voice of righteousness, or try to comfort the sufferer (if it’s a woman) before unloading on her. The thing is that I have started participating in prompts, and so I write as much as I can. And I’m having fun with this blog. But there’s a part of me that wants to cut down on the quantity, and focus on a few longer posts.

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