This is something I don’t like to talk about. I represent 1 out of 45 men, where I am a victim of stalking. Not just harassment, but to the point of being afraid for my life. I’ve had a stalker who looked up where my office is on campus as well as my classroom, and made comments about Wisconsin’s Conceal & Carry laws.
Because my stalker is out of state, my application for a restraining order was dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence. Ever since then, I’ve lived in a state of slight fear because of my stalker. It gets to the point where even a spam email from his email account will send me over the edge and panic.
The reason I bring this up is because of the situation with my downstairs neighbor. He just made a threat against my roommate and in how my neighbor interacts with me and my roommate, it’s very similar to how my stalker has tried to interact with me. It scares me.
I don’t talk to the downstairs neighbor. I try to be civil, but will not engage with him because, well frankly I moved into this duplex for a place to live, not to have a new best friend. The neighbor has called my landlord and is pretty much angry that I won’t be his friend.
With this and with my stalker, I was always told, “It’s all in your head,” and it’s shooed away as if not thinking about the situation would suddenly solve it.
The downstairs neighbor threatened harm against my roommate and against me. I am very afraid to live here now and the landlord is trying to see what to do about the situation, but I am not holding much hope because, you see–this has happened before with this neighbor.
A week into moving in, I was approached by a woman who was standing outside my home. It was the mother of the downstairs neighbor. She gave me her number as well as his, and asked for us to be friends with him. That was something that made me feel uncomfortable, but I said, “I’ll try.” She ended it with, “If he doesn’t answer his phone, call me. You can call me at any time.” 3 months after, the neighbor was playing very loud music until 3AM on a Tuesday when I had to teach the next day. I called him, I knocked (pounded the door really) and even called the police on him (they said “we can’t do anything”), so I called his mother and said, “Hi, John is ignoring my calls, can you call him and have him turn down his music? I have to teach at 7” and finally the music stopped. The next day, I got a text message from him where he threatened me and said, “if you had a problem, you can talk to me.”
I replied back with, “next time, pick up your phone or answer the door.” He claims to not have received a call from me, to which I asked, “then how did you get my number to text me?” That was when he left a threatening text asking me, “Have you seen Basic Instinct? Would be a shame if that happened to your cat. You leave your door unlocked, don’t you?” I called him out on his harassment and he said, “what threat?”
He called the landlord to cover his ass and left the landlord 12 voicemail messages mumbling and ending it with the word “garage.” This man doesn’t mumble. It was manipulative and done so, so that the landlord would think that the entire thing I was going to talk about was the garage situation.
The situation was poo-pooed away and just explained as, “he’s just weird, he didn’t mean anything by it.” I was terrified. My roommate didn’t believe me and would make fun of me for not wanting to go into the basement when the neighbor was down there doing laundry because I am afraid he would hurt me. Now, it took my roommate being threatened and harassed to finally believe me.
What worse is that there’s evidence that the neighbor has gone through my things in storage in the basement. Boxes that were sealed were opened and scattered about. I’m afraid to live here. I’m afraid for my safety, but I’m told that it’s all “in my head” and that my neighbor, just like my stalker “don’t have power unless you give them power.”
That’s bullshit. They hold this over me and it seems that no one wants to help me. I wonder if it’s because it’s a male victim of a male stalker or because in this society where people are told to not get raped as opposed to being told, don’t rape–the victim is always at fault.
I just don’t know what to do.