Daily Prompt: Safety First
The truth of the matter is I never really feel safe. Not because of terrorism, or global disasters or any doomsday scenarios, nope, it’s ya’ll. The everyday run of the mill normal quiet neighbor next door type, the one you happen to pass in the mall, or cut off while merging.
The first thing that set me off is when I was eleven someone almost pulled me out of my bedroom window while I was sleeping. It was summer and we didn’t have Air Conditioning, it was hot and I slept on top of my sheets. Someone pulled my sheets towards the window and the movement woke me up. I rolled away from the window and ran screaming to my parents… the person ran off. To this day I don’t sleep with the window open on the ground floor of a house.
When I was about seventeen and working my very first job, and got a phone in my room, it was own line. Not very many people had it so I answered it; you guessed it nothing but heavy breathing on the other end.
UGH!!! I hung up. The phone rang again and again until I turned the ringer off. Eventually I’d turn it back on because I didn’t want to miss my friends calling. The calls grew worse and worse.. now they were talking dirty and other things.. I developed a code for my friends.. call and let the phone ring once then hang up and call back so I know it’s one of the trusted people.
Then he started calling my parent’s phone.. I couldn’t turn it off.. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t ignore thier phone I had to answer because it might be important and we didn’t have a answering machine. I was afraid to walk to work, I was afraid at work. Was my stalker in my line? Was I just waiting on him? Was he in the dining room? I was afraid to be home alone, I was afraid to be outside, hell I was afraid to answer my phone! If it rang I’d shake, I wasn’t eating right. I was only 117 lbs and I dropped to 100lbs
Flowers showed up at work, little gifts of perfume, stuffed animals and no one seemed to know how they arrived. The calls continued and I was afraid to answer the phone. I kept this from my parents until the gifts started arriving, finally I told my father. He said not to worry about being home alone, that the next time he called to say: Dad.. it’s that creepy guy on the phone again!
So I did… And my caller told me precisely when my parents left for their jobs, and what buses they’d taken to get there. This guy was watching my house! I was terrified… I told him: I have a dog! He countered with: I’ll kill your dog and then I’ll cut your heart out and keep it in a box next to my bed.
OH.MY.GOD! At 17 I was not equipped to deal with that kind of thing, I hung up. Grabbed my 4 yr old sister and hauled butt out the front door, we were 1/2 way down the street when I realized she didn’t have shoes on and that I had no idea where to go. We went back home, and the phone rang when I walked in… it was him. I hung up, it rang again I answered with “Leave me the EFF alone!” This time it was my mother… I told her what had happened and she said to call the police.
I did…. they wanted to send a marked car out, I didn’t want that. This man was watching my house, a cop would make him mad and maybe escalate into him doing something instead of just talking. When the police found out I was only 17 they wouldn’t file a report they said my parents had to be there.
Nothing ever happened… they didn’t catch him. They didn’t file a report. My family ended up moving to another state, not to escape him but for a job opportunity. That’s how the harassment ended.
Now I’ve got my concealed weapon license, I’ve taken gun safety courses. I’m better equipped to deal with this sort of thing, and I’m alway conscious of those around me. I don’t like people coming up behind me unexpectedly, I don’t like people to touch me unless I know them very well. I don’t like going places alone…
I never feel safe…. but I am not afraid.