Dangerous Territory

Full disclosure guys, (maybe you’ve even already read about it so it won’t come as a surprise to you) I USED TO BE A STALKER.

Something I’m deeply ashamed of and given the choice, I keep under wraps and try not to bring up/talk about. It was a dark, confusing time in my life and an illness I liken to being addicted to drugs or gambling – you want to stop, but you don’t know how and the pay off isn’t as appealing as the high you get when you do the thing you’re not supposed to.

I used to stalk Matt.

This was before the internet, so my way to ‘stalk’ was to call his landline continuously at all hours of the day. When Matt’s family inevitably changed their number, I wrote him hundreds of letters instead – each letter getting longer, more “ranty” (my friend Sophie would love that word) while my grip on reality became less so. It’s just as well Matt and his family lived a 5-hour plane ride away or I would have been the crazy girl camped out on their front lawn and following Matt to work/the shops/whatever. I wanted so badly to be with him, I would have done anything.

I look back on it now and “try to see myself with compassion” (something I learnt from “George” my psych and something that was talked about the entire time I’ve been in hospital). I get that I was a lost, hurting girl who just wanted her boyfriend back. When Matt broke up with me and moved on with his life, I felt abandoned. It hurt so much. I felt (and I know how weird this sounds so just go with me on this, ok?) that I hadn’t been considered in his choice to break up and that all I wanted – was to understand why. Why didn’t Matt love me anymore? What had I done wrong?

“I just want closure” I’d tell my worried friends.

I lied. I wanted him back.

A hospital stay and almost daily psychiatrist sessions to ‘unpack’ my obsession helped me to call and write less and less over the following months. Slowly, I pieced my mind back together and although my heart was still in tiny shards, I was able to at least return to Uni, return home to my parents and spend time with my friends without either losing my mind or having a crippling anxiety attack.

Matt and I are in contact almost daily and have been for about…8 years, I think? We’ve both moved on. Matt adores his wife and children and I’m low-key obsessed (in a healthy way, I promise) with Alun so I guess we both thought we were in safe, still waters regarding our history. I wasn’t “the crazy girl” I used to be and Matt wasn’t all over the fucking place with whether he wanted me or not.

All Good.

Until that last message I sent in a time of vulnerability where I told Matt “I think of you constantly and have done since I was 14“. Matt was really, really concerned about that. I honestly thought he’d block me and was bracing for rejection that was going to tear me apart. It always did.

I left it a few days before I just couldn’t hold it in any more. I wanted to know if Matt and I were still going to be “ok” or not.

So last night, I messaged “Oi” (It’s Australian for “hey”).

Matt messaged back “Hey” and I don’t know why, but the relief in getting a response was almost blinding. I had to take deep breaths and look around the room to ground myself from the thousands of butterflies that filled my stomach.

Ping!

He’d messaged again.

Smiling, I looked down at the messenger ap on my phone to see the words:

I hope you’re not thinking about me again. That needs to stop, Janet

OOFT.

Pow. Right in the feels. Thanks, Matt.

“No” I responded – not sure if I was hurt, angry or turned on to be honest. I go through thousands of emotions when it comes to Matt in my life. “I’ve learnt my lesson, Matt – it’s cool” I typed and hit send.

“Good” he responded.

I felt like I was being disciplined and the firey part of me wasn’t very pleased with that.

Ping.

“I am here for you always, Janet – I want you to know I adore you – I just want you to focus on your own marriage and not on me”

Okay. That’s fair. I understand that.

Ping!

“Maybe we could limit our contact to once a week for a while – then once a month and see how we go?” Matt proposed an idea that I personally found offence with.

Excuse me, Matt. I’m not 3 years old. I’m a grown woman who made a mistake. I owned it, I apologised for it and am trying to move past it.

But deep inside – millions of miles deep in my soul – I started to get that panicky, horrible feeling I’d worked so hard to get rid of in my 20’s.

Is he…is Matt…abandoning me…again?

The 22-year-old in me – the one who used to stalk Matt suddenly came to life. It was like Matt’s message re-energised her – exhumed her from the parts of my soul I’d forgotten existed.

Don’t let him leave us again, JD she pleaded, anxious and worried.

I tried to deal with her at the same time as re-reading Matt’s message of less and less contact.

I couldn’t think straight. I was getting more and more distressed.

“maybe once a month for a while” I read over and over again. Then what? Once every 6 months? Once a year? I was losing Matt at a rapid pace and my instant response was to cling as tight as I could to him.

This convo was having a dangerous effect on me and I was quickly spiralling out of control.

It doesn’t help that I’ve just watched over 10 hours of “I am a stalker” on Netflix, either. That was a very bad decision and I wish I hadn’t. I thought it would help me re-write my 2nd chapter about Matt, called “obsession”.

It’s like shooting myself in the foot, really – watching shows on stalking. I’m concerned at how much I related to the stalkers – all in jail, by the way.

The crystal clear waters of the last 8 years being friends with Matt are now really murky. The still pond my little boat was sailing along nicely on has now become rough, tall, scary waves.

What do I do?

I can’t think rationally whenever Matt is concerned. I think this is God’s sign to me that he’s not meant to be in my life, because whenever I think of him, I make terrible connections mentally and find myself acting on really dangerous life-altering decisions.

So. I have to Katniss Everdeen myself and remind myself of the facts.

The Facts:

I’m happily married to Alun and not looking to replace him with Matt. NOT AT ALL.

Matt is making wise choices. He’s recognised the 22-year-old me who moved to Darwin just to fucking stand next to him and he’s taking steps back to allow us both some space to breathe. To think. In my case – to calm down.

Matt hasn’t blocked me (very surprised by this) and he’s doing his best to gently push me away from him in favour of pushing me closer to Alun. That’s actually really wise. Thoughtful. Smart.

I’m in a bad way mentally – hence hospital – so I need to leave this alone and not panic.

The 32-year-old in me that lost her virginity to Matt is warning; “hold your horses, JD…this is familiar, dangerous territory and you need to be aware of this“.

The 45-year-old me that exists right now thinks I should get ahead of the pain and BLOCK MATT. If I’m the one in control of the “Who’s leaving who” maybe it would give me a sense of power rather than waiting around for Matt to do something – something that will probably hurt me deeply.

While I was going through all this mental distress and torturing myself, Matt messaged a few more times:

I’m always going to be here for you, Jan – I’m just worried

Okay. Fair.

I’m going back to work. Goodnight

OK. Night, Matt.

Then he sent heart emoji’s.

Sweet dreams xo”

What the actual FUCK are you doing to me, Matt?

I’m lost, guys. I’m really lost.

4 responses to “Dangerous Territory”

  1. Big hugs! You can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *deep breaths* thank you! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hiiii – I absolutely love your raw and real honesty. For me…this sounds all to familiar. As a drug addict in recovery once I put the substances down I picked up all sorts of other unhealthy addictions. One was…attention from specific men. I wanted the attention and if I did not get it my insides twisted into a knot…I was tortured by my own brain. This is the obsession and compulsion side of addiction- it is a disease. It does not just apply to drugs but to anything that makes our lives unmanageable.
    I have learned in all situations like yours and mine…I have to seek something greater than myself to help me. That something greater can be a friend, it can be god…it can anything just not you and your brain.
    This will pass…you do not have to pick up the old behavior or the phone.
    YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW HOW TO DO THIS BUT SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU DOES!
    Be well and please reach out if you need anything ❤️🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello lovely, thank you so much for commenting and sharing your struggle, I feel so much less alone. I hear you when you say you were “tortured by your own brain”, I feel the same!
      I love Jesus with all my heart so I’ll cling to Him instead of chasing this guy and desperately wanting his approval. You are so right, this is not something I can handle on my own. Sooo blessed by you and your wise advice. Big hug 🫂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: