Over the past 2 years I’ve spent countless hours trying to have the altered images of me taken off the internet. At the same time, both my boyfriend and I corresponded with his ex-girlfriend, asking and then demanding that she stop plaguing us.
In October of 2017, both my boyfriend and I sent her emails that said that if we heard from her again, we would involve law enforcement. She contacted both of us within hours. Soooo...
My boyfriend obtained a restraining order against her and I hired a lawyer to send her a cease and desist letter. I continued to receive anonymous messages on my professional website and so I finally went to the police with all of the evidence of 2 years' worth of harassment.
A judge found probable cause and she was charged with harassment. A court date was set and then rescheduled several times by her lawyer.
In the meantime, I heard nothing from the prosecutor. When I finally did reach him, he told me that he could not find the evidence package I had given to the police. Sigh. So I re-assembled the hundreds of pages of evidence I had so painstakingly gathered in the previous 2 years. And then...I heard nothing from the prosecutor again.
I hired a private attorney (the second lawyer I’ve had to retain over this issue) who contacted the prosecutor. My lawyer found out why the prosecutor was dragging his feet: he really didn’t want to prosecute this case. It would involve a great deal of work and a great deal of paperwork for very little payoff. Yes, the prosecutor believed there was harassment but my harasser lives in another state and he was dubious about whether she would show up for court. And even if she did, the charge was a misdemeanor...hardly worth going through the mound of evidence, from a prosecutor’s point of view.
My lawyer told me that I could hire him to privately prosecute the case (yes, there’s such a thing as private prosecution) and that it would cost me about $4000.
And so I had a decision to make. The past 2 years had made my life hell — I had been hospitalized because the harassment had made my PTSD symptoms unmanageable and dealing with the harassment had consumed an incalculable amount of time and psychic energy. I realized that dealing with the lawyers, court, police, and prosecutor were making the situation worse. Not making the harassment worse, but rather making me feel worse.
After a great deal of thought, I told the prosecutor that I didn’t want to pursue the case against my harasser anymore. The charges are not dropped — I can reopen the case at any time. But, for now, I’ve decided that I need to focus on my mental health and the toll the harassment has taken on it. In short, I need to find a way to deal differently with the harassment.
Biz! Surely the Harassment isn't Still Going On?
Well...actually, it is. My harasser continues to visit this website and my professional website quite frequently, despite having been asked not to repeatedly. Why? Who knows? My guess is that she sees it as some form of intimidation. She even uses her own social media to talk about me although, after having been charged, she is careful not to use my name. Her latest feint: I am defaming her. The thing is, though, for something to qualify as defamation, it has to be untrue. None of what I've written or posted here is untrue. So there's that.
My boyfriend's ex lives in the Los Angeles area. Below is a log that represents 2 months worth of visits to bizcarlton.com. Over 90 percent of the visits to this website come from the area where my boyfriend's ex lives. The other log is a typical recent day of visits to this website from an IP address very close to the ex-girlfriend's home.
As recently as June of 2018, she used my name in her Instagram profile. More intimidation, I suppose.
Yep. That is her Instagram bio, in which she uses my name and implies that I am a bully. This strikes me as beyond ironic. It's kind of like Donald Trump calling for civility in political discourse. I'm not sure what the phrase "I will not be moved" means. Perhaps that she will go on representing herself as a victim, while accusing me of harassing her, without actually using my name. This is, of course, morally dishonest and rather cowardly, but that's not really my business. What is my business is the continued obsession with me, after more than 2 years. I'm powerless over it but let's just say I don't take it as a good sign.
How Does This End, Biz?
It's already ended, kind visitor. Not the posts or the mysterious messages to my website or the mentions of me or the veiled threats against me on social media -- those have continued. But after a severe bout of PTSD that put me into the hospital more than once, I have decided to minimize how much I look at them and how much I take them to heart. I try not to engage with ANY of this because I've learned that the only way I can find peace is to walk away from it all. Even the photos of dead dogs. Even the stories that accuse me of sleeping with married men. Even the hideously altered pictures of me. Even the memes that call me old and ugly and a slut and an enabler. I am aware of them, but I try not to take them to heart and I try not to let them send me into paroxysms of fear or depression. And that's how I heal. Or rather, that's how I'm trying to heal.
If you're being bullied or stalked online, some resources to help: