The days after the Facebook hack were very hard for me. I couldn’t sleep, the image of my Facebook page haunted me and I continued to feel humiliated. I obsessively counted the number of texts and calls I had received and worked out how many people had seen it, I burned with shame. I had sent those photos to M willingly!
I just wanted to hide away, looking anyone in the face was hard, especially my brother. He was being so sweet and supportive. But I couldn’t feel comfortable; I hid away in my room, despite many messages of support from friends and my family trying to rally around me.
It only dawned on me the following Tuesday that M had seen my inbox and that he would have seen emails with details of the houses I had been viewing. My new number was on emails to agents too.
Sure enough the calls started again.
M had been arrested and charged with harassment again over the Facebook and e mail hack but the police had no grounds to hold him so he was let go and a court date was pending. They needed time to put evidence together. I spent hours with the police detailing everything and my brother had to make statements too.
This time M left messages on my phone mentioning areas in south London he liked to visit, areas I had viewed houses in and my plans of another new start seemed to fade. I didn’t know what to do, it seemed that he was there at every turn.
Everything I did to try and get away from him failed, I didn’t know what else to do. I had changed my email of course, which is actually not an easy task, and again I changed my mobile number, that I was getting used to. But I held out little hope that this would be the end of things.
I became more and more paranoid, especially on my way to and from work and regularly spent a good 10 minutes looking outside through windows before I left the house. I didn’t feel safe at my mum’s alone anymore and so my family tried to make sure I had company all the time. I closed down my Facebook profile realising that I couldn’t stand another night like that of the previous Friday; I didn’t want to see my profile page anymore anyway. It haunted me.
My life wasn’t much fun; at work I was withdrawn and quiet. I didn’t want to share my private life and I was often upset. I was very jumpy and often got shocks just from people walking the other way through a door towards me, or slamming a book onto a desk. I was a nervous wreck.
Then the emails started at work, M had worked out my work email and on the first day he sent 10 messages, I fled to the loos as the e mails appeared in my inbox. I was such a wreck that just a few words set me off having a panic attack or bursting into tears.
I had to carefully print and save each message for the police and then block the email. All I wanted to do was hit delete each time a new one popped up. But I knew I couldn’t.
Sadly blocking his email had little effect as soon M just made a new e mail address and started emailing me from there, I blocked it and he made a new one and carried on sending messages until I blocked that too, and then he created another one.
Some were about missing me and how much he still loved me and others were aimed to provoking fear, which by now didn’t take very much.
It seemed I could do nothing to stop him invading my life.
The one chink of light in my life was that I had found somewhere to live, I found a house share in south London that was affordable and the house was big and bright. I didn’t have the details to it in my emails when M had hacked them so I felt that it was secure. I moved in not having met any of the other 10 people living in the house. It was scary but I felt a little bit liberated.
Knowing that my journey to work would be totally different meant I could relax a bit, which made a big difference to me. I relaxed a bit as we drove my things over, my mum and T helped me move and soon I was unpacking in my new room.
It was the 10th August 2012 and a beautiful sunny day, my skylight was wide open and sunlight flooded my new home. I had meet 4 of my new housemates and they were all really friendly. My Mum and T took me to lunch to celebrate the move and left shortly after. I was so grateful for their love and support, but I was glad to have my own place.
I set about unpacking boxes and I looked around me and for the first time in what seemed an age I felt safe.
©2015 C xo