I had been at my new job for 2 ½ weeks when I started getting phone calls and voicemails to my direct line. This doesn’t sound terrible I know, but the phone calls were not normal, numbers being pressed in tunes and a man laughing- that man was M. He had found me at my new job and it was starting all over again.
Just like last time he was making plenty of phone calls. But this time straight to my place of work, the first time I heard him laugh on the phone I had a panic attack, I dropped the phone and tried to move to go to the toilets. People were looking at me, curious and concerned and I desperately didn’t want them to see this, to know that I had a stalker and to see me fall apart.
My manager followed me out to the hall, and tried to calm me down. She had no idea of the cause but eventually she managed to help me regulate my breathing and I was able to explain. I realised if he knew where I worked I would have to tell her.
My fresh start was no such thing, I realised then that I couldn’t run away from this. I had moved, I had changed jobs, I had changed mobile numbers 3 times and I had changed my email and yet M was still there taunting me.
He may have just been laughing down the phone but to me it was as sinister as him telling me he was going to kill me. It was also humiliating.
I wanted to impress my new boss not cause problems. But here I was less than a month in having a panic attack and having nuisance calls to my direct line.
At lunch time called the police, I didn’t want to do it at the office so I walked outside and down the road. Only when I was about 100m from the office did I realise that if he knew my direct dial he knew the office address.
My chest grew tight again as I wildly looked around, there was a man walking up the street in a hoodie and I had a flashback to the day M had attacked me at my old office. As I was transferred to my case officer I hung up and I turned and ran away from the man. I tore into the office, tears running down my face.
What should I do? People were coming back from the shops and looking at me with curiosity, I bolted to the toilets. I was having another panic attack. I tried desperately to calm myself down and I dialled my mum’s number. She answered and realised I needed help to calm my breathing down and she succeeded.
That day I left work early, I didn’t want to but I was such a nervous wreck my manager told me to go home early.
Walking to my car I clutched my phone and my car keys to my chest and walked as quickly as I could. Everyone who walked past me seemed to be too close and I kept thinking I had seen M.
I saw the police that night and they arranged for me to have a special alert phone. I could hold down any key and it would send out an emergency response request to all nearby units and the nearest had to respond. They would have all the details of my case.
Finally they were taking this seriously! But that scared me even more, M had attacked me once and threatened violence what was to stop him doing it again?
From then I almost ran flat out from my car to the office each morning with the phone in my pocket and my finger ready to hold down a key. I did the same in reverse each evening and I never drove home the same way for fear of being followed.
My home was my one last safe place, despite my continued nightmares and manic night checks of the locks. I knew that if M knew my address he would have turned up by now.
The magistrates’ court date was due in early December; several more calls came through each week. But M didn’t show up, well I didn’t see him; as far as I knew he hadn’t come to my office.
I just had to wait it out, the court could issue a restraining order and that was my goal. If I had one M would be in serious trouble if he continued to stalk me.
So I waited.
©2015 C xo