Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Stalked

Having never really dated in high school, being secretly stalked during my first semester of college was a bit of a thrill. To have someone be interested enough in me to actually write me letters and have them sent to my campus mailbox perhaps cured my homesickness and opened up a world I wasn’t quite prepared for.

Back in the late 1960’s not many parents prepared their daughters or sons for sex and relationships. That is evidenced by the thousands of unplanned pregnancies of that era. You can blame that on the “sexual revolution” or hippies, but I blame it on the lack of sex education.

But back to stalking. As an entering college freshman in September of 1966, I had embraced the meeting of new friends far (two hours) away from home. There were lots of new “girl” friends in my dormitory, but there was one special “boy” friend that I had met at a back-to-campus dance. He was handsome, attentive, and nicknamed “Skip.” How much more 1960’s could you get?

Skip and I never really had a date that I can remember, but we saw each other on campus and at the Student Union. I don’t even remember even ever holding his hand or kissing him. But we kept in touch. It was a small campus and paths that crossed. 

During that first semester, Skip got a job as radio disc jockey at a local radio station, so I did phone him a couple of times to make record requests. Sometime during that first year at university (college at that time),  someone began sending cards and sweet letters to me by college mail. The letters were always signed by a post office box number, and I kind of fell into responding to those letters. It was fun getting mail, but even more intriguing knowing that someone was following me without me really knowing who it was. Eventually somehow or other Skip or his best friend revealed that Skip had been sending the letters. The intrigue was over and so was my contact with him. His “real” girlfriend was pregnant, and there was a wedding in the planning.

Date life picked up a bit for me, but most relationships stayed in the platonic sphere. When things got too serious, I would shy away. One fellow even told me that he asked me to go on a date because he had heard that I had broken my back in an automobile accident in August 1967. And he had never dated a girl with a broken back. Nice guy, that John. Wonder what ever happened to him after I gave back his fraternity pin and got back my favorite portrait?

Then I dated a few nice fellows and kept my social calendar pretty full, but none of the guys were interesting enough to set up a commitment. They weren’t ready either. 

By my Junior year I had gotten deep into my major field of English Education, and the guys I met in those classes were nice but real “bookworms .” One guy named John Perry became extremely interested in me for some reason. Maybe it was the short skirts that my mom made for me. Whatever. I remember that he asked me out, and I said, “No.” Well, John Perry did not stop there. He asked again and again. And each time I declined. Then he began writing me letters professing his admiration for me. He even had his sister phone me to beg me to go out with him. She accused me of “leading him on.” I laughed and told her to tell her brother to leave me alone. He didn’t. I received more letters, and they were signed with RIP. I had to “Webster” that to find out that it meant Rest In Peace. Now that was frightening. Finally John Perry gave up.

Senior year finally arrived, and stalking took on a whole other angle. I began student teaching at a local high school, and a 16 year old boy (not even in my student teaching class) began phoning me and stalking me. His father had given him a Corvette as a 16th birthday present, and he drove it through Northeast campus looking for me. He said that he liked me because I didn’t act dumb like the girls in his class and that I did not wear make-up three inches thick like they did. I guess that I told him to “go away” enough times that he finally got tired of it. 

About that same time, Skip (remember him from Freshman mailbox stalking?) began phoning me again. He had continued his radio disc jockeying while being married to his old high school girlfriend, but was now divorced and “practicing” to become a pastor of a small Methodist church. Although no longer a college student, he, too, had been driving through Northeast campus hoping to get a glimpse of me. WTH? He never asked for a date. He just called to talk. I even heard from Skip several years after I graduated from college. He somehow found my parents’ phone number and called to say that he was homeless and a bum. Bizarre !

After I graduated from college in May 1970 and spent the summer at the Methodist Home Hospital where L. was born, I returned home to find a teaching job in a local middle school. That is when another stalking began. One day while practicing for a holiday program with a group of students in the school gym, I was told that a “male visitor” had dropped by my classroom to check on me. My students described him in detail, but to this day I have no clue who that stalker might have been. “High water” pants? Now, really, who dressed like that in 1971?

I was still living with my parents that school year. Suddenly I began getting phone calls from some fellow who did not identify himself by name but said we had met at a local bar during the summer of 1970. As that was virtually impossible since I spent that summer in New Orleans, I couldn’t imagine who this guy might be. One afternoon he happened to call just as we were preparing to go out to the ballpark to watch my youngest brother play baseball. I boldly made an appointment to meet this stalker at the ballpark. My dad said I was nuts, but I knew I would not be alone. Plus I wanted to put a “face” on this stalker. 

My parents and I went to the park, and I sat in the bleachers and waited. Eventually a lone man walked by the stands and scanned through the fans, but he never looked at me. Whether that was the weirdo or not, I will never know. After I moved to my own apartment, I still received strange phone calls with heavy breathing at odd times. Almost every single time, the call came just as I had entered my apartment. Now this was the early 1970’s before cell phones, so this was too weird. That meant that my stalker was somewhere near where I lived. Could that have been my prinicipal or other colleague from the school where I taught? I just lived across the street from that school.

I eventually got fed up with the teaching atmosphere at that school and moved to a bigger city. Just before I moved, one last stalker got my phone number. Back in the early 1970’s, getting phone numbers was really easy. No one had even thought of Privacy Acts. Anyway, the birthfather of L contacted me after not having heard from him since early 1970 when he called to asked if he had left a pair of dress pants at my parents’ home back at New Years.  For the next 4-5 years he called me at the least expected times. Mostly at night after I had been asleep for a few hours. The stalking from him stopped when I moved and eventually left the US. 

My husband and I sometimes received “empty” phone calls up until about a year ago. Thankfully those have ended. Now to figure out how to stop the “student loan” Ashley and “credit card” whoever who call way too often. Those are stalkers, too, aren’t they?




Sunday, October 7, 2018

I Don’t Believe

I Don’t Believe

I don’t believe that anyone except a sexual assault survivor can actually understand what it feels like to have those who have always trusted and loved you to not believe you.

I don’t believe that I will ever be able to discuss my sexual assault or anyone else’s without being ready to fight for the survivor.

Sexual assault is wrong. If it does not mess up your life, it can still mess up your mind.


#Ibelievesurvivors

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What I Am (Part 3)

What I am (part 3)

Not a nice person sometimes. (And that is okay, too.)

Not feeling sorry for myself. (Just telling it like it is.)

Not full of  pretenses.  (What you see is what you get.)

Not  planning to MLGA/make Linda great again. (I’ve “been around the block” a few times in my 70 years. Maybe even been a little great a few times.)

Finally fed up with this “what I am NOT” stuff. 

That is what I am❣️


Monday, August 20, 2018

What I Am (Part 2)

What I am (part 2)

Not a good sleeper. (As I have gotten old/older, I can not quite just crash when I am tired. A glass of milk sometimes helps me out in the middle of the night.)

Not a good listener. (My mind is sometimes focused on what I will say next as a response, and I miss the other person’s message.)

Not a lover of extremely hot weather. (How I ever ended up way down here is still a mystery to me. I hate to sweat. I hate to get sunburnt. I hate having showers several times a day. I hate the heat.)

Not a finisher. (I have loads of WIP that I started but never got back to finishing. But no regrets. I just lost interest.)

Not an idle person. (My Dutch mother-in-law said that my hands were never idle, and her husband said that washing clothes was my hobby. Being retired the last ten years has been a challenge. I am always looking for a new hobby.)

Not a good friend. (My dad always said to make friends and influence people. Actually, I would rather not do either.)

Not a reader of books. (Gosh that is hard to admit, since I taught English and reading for 37 years. Ten years ago I stopped reading books, but I still plod my way through at least a couple each year. 😴)

Not a great writer. ( I never even knew how to write an essay until I began teaching my students how to write. Perhaps I learned from them instead of them from me.)


Not a great ender. (I am sure there will be a part three of this.)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

What I Am

What I am:

Not a great cook. (I hate to prepare food and cook meals. But I will bake when the weather gets cooler.)

Not a great seamstress. (I often do not visualize the outcome and make huge mistakes that I must rip out or abandon.)

Not a great housekeeper. (I clean only when something is gross to me or when I know that we will have visitors.)

Not a great car driver. (I don’t trust anyone else’s driving, but I really don’t like to drive either. I broke my back in a vehicle accident 51 years ago. I was not the driver.)

Not a smoker. (I grew up with my father dirtying all of the ashtrays in our house and flicking cigarette ashes out his car window into the backseat window of our family car. I have never even taken a puff.)

Not a drinker. (Back 40 odd years ago I had a steady boyfriend who drank a lot of alcohol and often crashed in a drunken state onto my sofa. As he was also a smoker, kissing him was like licking an ashtray and also a highball glass. I think that I even threw up on him one time because of that.)

Not an animal lover. (Before our two doggies found us, I had never touched a dog, much less given one a good scrubbing. I am good at the scrubbing part, and they know it. )

Not a finisher. (There will be more of these reveals another time. 😉)


Thursday, August 9, 2018

What the Devil?

I usually write my blogpost when I am in a good mood or when I just want to get something off my chest. 
I thought that I was in a good mood this morning. Then I opened my iPad. 
Guess I’ll be putting that “red devil” down for a while. 
I haven’t been blogging much lately, but for my own sake that will change. 
But first I have to find a pad of paper and my pen. ☹️

Linda

Sunday, June 24, 2018

To Be Committed

To be committed has several different meanings. The first one that comes to my mind is be committed to prison. Then there is to be committed to an insane asylum or the like.
But on a Saturday in May as I watched Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding first alone and then later with my husband of 38 years in two weeks, I thought of the commitment that two people who love each other make when they literally “tie the knot.” Just as if you jump out of an airplane to skydive, you had better pull the parachute cord and enjoy the dive, since there is no going back. You are committed.

That cord or rope of commitment or obligation may seem to be strangling or restricting your freedom or happiness, but you agreed to be faithful to that exclusiveness. And as in most wedding situations, you made that commitment in the presence of witnesses and for many in the presence of God.

June is slipping away. That month has always been associated with weddings and June brides. I was a June bride in 1980 and made a commitment. 

I am keeping it.