I remember the day I found the recording device in my shower. I was literally shocked! Even though I knew this man told me he’d done similar things to his ex’s, I honestly never thought he’d do it to me. After all, we both worked from home full time so there wasn’t much time that we were apart where he could even really think I’d be doing anything wrong. I learned the hard way that when someone shows you who they are the first time, you should believe them. All those years back when he said that he had spied on his ex’s with a key logger and an audio recording device, I should have believed that it was possible he’d do the same damn thing to me.
Live and learn.
With that being said, the situation reminded me of all the things he’d said he had done and of all the times he had been absolutely terrifying behind closed doors. I became scared. I was scared to sleep. I was scared to go anywhere. I was scared he was peeking in my windows at the place I lived. I was scared of everything.
I must have gone through that house multiple times trying to make sure there weren’t any other devices in that home. I had one of my co-parents comb my van to see if there were any tracking devices on my van. I had a restraining order, and still, do, but it was like he didn’t think any rules applied to him. He would test the boundaries so that no one could get him for leaving flowers down the road from the house. I used to swear I saw him driving past the home from time to time, too. That could have been the paranoia from having someone you let into your life betray your privacy and trust, but I honestly wouldn’t doubt he was stalking the house.
He stalked my online activity and I never, ever felt like I would be able to have privacy or my life back after this. And then, it happened. Time passed, and wounds healed. I still remember what this man did to me and how deceitful it was. How upsetting it was. I still remember how awful it was to do this to a person and not to mention the years of the mistreatment behind closed doors. I still remember how I couldn’t succeed in my own business without him lashing out at me for being successful “on my own” or trying to twist my personal blogging success into something “he helped me with”. It was just insane.
I will always remember the insanity, even if the wounds have healed.
If you’ve never been stalked or had your privacy invaded like this, been in an emotionally abusive relationship before or whatnot, then you’ll never understand the true depths of how I felt when this all unfolded. I felt a sigh of relief that he was going to be removed from our lives, I felt scared that he would retaliate and sometimes I still feel like he will. After all, he spent nearly a year trying to speak out to social media about his “love” for me, even though he never once mentioned all of the bullshit he put me through and my kids. Do not forget my kids. My kids had to witness a lot of the behind the scenes trauma and were there with me at the police station the night I found the recording device.
What it Feels Like Being Stalked
Being stalked makes you feel like you’re never safe. You are constantly looking over your shoulder. You feel like he’s there watching you. You feel like no matter what you do or where you go, he’ll be watching and waiting. Since there was no physical abuse, I didn’t really fear for that at that time, but I was scared to death that he’d show up in a distance and I’d have to deal with it since I have a restraining order. He isn’t allowed within 300 feet of my kids or me; he isn’t allowed to contact us or anyone 3rd party to spy on me.
I’ve thought about switching my social media stuff up, but at the end of the day, I had to move on. I had to keep my social media accounts because I worked my butt off to have them to this point. My social media is my JOB, it’s my INCOME and I started those in 2008/2009 ON MY OWN. There’s no way in hell I can give up that because someone decided that I wasn’t worthy of respect, common decency and privacy.
I no longer look over my shoulder or live in fear. I’ve been able to heal and move forward. After the court put him in jail for 90 days with other terms that he’ll have to abide by when he’s released, I felt closure happened. That closure was the last step I needed to overcome the feeling of being stalked. I’m sure I’ll still wonder from time to time if he’s reading this, watching, lurking in the shadows of the internet, but at the end of the day – I refuse to live in fear anymore. I learned some valuable lessons and now I’ve allowed myself to always remember those lessons and to pay attention to the signs in the future.
3 Tips to Heal After Trauma from an Ex
I was able to get counseling to help through some of the beginning stages of healing from the trauma of this situation. That helped me put perspective on my ex both while in the relationship and after he was removed by the police department for spying on me. They removed him because the courts granted me a temporary restraining order, which is now a full restraining order for three years. These are just a few of the things that helped me heal after trauma from an ex.
I don’t care what anyone says, I’ve gone to therapy many times in my life and with this situation it truly helped me have a better perspective on the type of man my ex is. I was able to learn more about the characteristics of this person and how unhealthy the relationship was. I was able to forgive myself easier by speaking with a counselor. It took time, and I think I’ll forever be a work in progress, but therapy helped me see that this was a unique situation and to not make anyone else pay for his mistakes in treating me poorly.
Phone a Friend
Seriously. I cannot begin to thank the friends and family who spent endless hours listening to me both during this abusive relationship and after the spying incident occurred. They were my rock and I hope that I don’t ever have to repay the same favor, as in they get into an abusive relationship, but I am forever indebted to them. Find that circle of friends who will be firm, compassionate and listen when you just need to work out your own thoughts about this traumatic situation.
Get Some Sleep
After all of this trauma, I wanted to just sleep for days. I was constantly on the lookout for him so I couldn’t sleep very well in the beginning. Once I got out of that house, and was safe with my father and stepmother, I could finally catch up on sleep. This sleep helped my mind relax, and body adjust to being free finally after all of the trauma. Do not be afraid to get some sleep after trauma happens, just don’t let sleep turn into depression. Therapy and friends can help make sure your sleep doesn’t go into depression status.