My Ex Started Stalking Me & It Was Terrifying

I was in a one-year relationship with a sweet guy, but to say it had “run its course” would be a massive understatement. It was one of those situations where he was clearly more invested in the relationship than I was and it wasn’t fair to either of us to stay in it any longer. Unfortunately, he wasn’t giving up without a fight.

  1. Our relationship felt like owning a puppy for a year. I know, it sounds harsh and maybe I’m a terrible person but honestly, he hardly had any friends of his own and wanted to follow me everywhere. Everyone knows that it’s unhealthy to solely rely on your relationship for a social life. On my weekly girls’ night, he moped around the apartment in his sweatpants and checked in every 30 minutes.
  2. The breakup felt like something out of a movie—a horror movie. Breakups are no fun for anyone involved. I knew that he’d be absolutely crushed, so I did it in the most compassionate way possible. Unfortunately, he didn’t take it well. He sobbed. He got on his knees and put his head in my lap. He BEGGED me to reconsider. I was absolutely speechless because I’d never seen a man get this emotional before. I wasn’t even a great girlfriend, you guys.
  3. The first occurrence of stalking was the most shocking. I was staying at my parents’ house for the night. They live in a true suburban home in the woods that always creeped me out. Well, one night it got creepier. I got a call from him around 2 a.m. He said that he was outside my window. I asked him to please leave and he said, “I just really need to see your face.” I panicked, closed the blinds, and crawled into my parents’ bed like a 5-year-old.
  4. He “happened” to be at the same restaurant where I was eating with my date. Aside from uncontrollable diarrhea, there are few things that are less appealing than having your ex at the same restaurant as your hot new date. Imagine my surprise when we were halfway through our meal, having an amazing time and my ex walked in alone to sit at the bar 20 feet from our table. As he sipped his whiskey, he glanced over at our table to see how things were progressing. WTF?
  5. I found out that he was going through my emails. Knowing that someone has gone through your personal email is an extremely violating feeling. I received an email alert saying that my account had been logged in from the city that he lived in. I didn’t think much of it as I was incredibly busy at work at the time. It wasn’t until two weeks later, after the debacle with him showing up on my date, that I finally put two and two together. So THAT’S how he knew where my date would be. I changed my password and sure enough, I soon received an email alert saying that there was a failed login attempt.
  6. He left notes on my car when I was out running errands. Like, HOW did he know where I am all time? Did I have a tracking device on my phone? There was no way that this could have been coincidental, right? I would come out to my car from lunch with a friend, or after a Target run, and find a note on my car. They weren’t signed by him but I knew his handwriting. It would say things like, “You look beautiful today” or, “There is nothing more stunning than your smile—have a great day.” These were things that would otherwise be sweet if it wasn’t coming from your creepy stalker ex.
  7. He went from being someone I cared about to someone I was terrified of. The man I dated for a year was sweet and charismatic. He was thoughtful, kind, and relatively normal. All of those characteristics were a distant memory now that I was absolutely terrified of him. In the few months that we were truly happy together, I never could have imagined that he would pull something like this. If you told me this would happen at the time, I would have had a good laugh.
  8. Almost six months after the breakup, he threatened to kill himself. While his behavior was suffocating, to say the least, he never picked up the phone to call me. One night, while I was out with friends, he called me. They bullied me into answering so that I could give him a piece of my mind. When he started to speak, his voice quivered with almost a whisper. He told me that he couldn’t move on and wanted to give up. I asked him where he was and immediately hung up the phone and sent the police to his home. As much as I wanted to be the one to help, I knew that no good could come from it.
  9. It was finally time for a restraining order. Once I knew that he was capable of taking his own life, I knew that I needed legal help. I didn’t want to further depress him by filing a restraining order but I was urged to do so. This is not how I imagined any relationship to end, but I guess you never know how much a person can handle until things come crumbling down around them. While I’ll never know for sure, I’m hoping he found the help he needed to move on.
Caitlyn is a freelance writer living in Washington D.C.