Leave me alone.

I’m posting it here using her real name because I half suspect she watches this site. One of the last points of contact I had with her was when I told her I’d had enough and wanted her to stop ringing me, so she asked me how to join the Straight Dope. I told her not to. She’d never shown the slightest interest in this place until I asked her to quit badgering me all the time, I gathered she just wanted to monitor what I was doing here and to try to avoid the phonecall and email ban by posting messages to me here.

Ok, here’s the deal.

Last year, my best friend Gwen put me through hell. She’s always had her moments, but last year really took the cake. In the end, I decided that I really didn’t want to be her friend anymore, and I stopped talking to her.

Mr Cazzle and I got married in December. I went to a small amount of trouble to try to prevent Gwen finding out though it wasn’t a major priority, I had more important things to think about at the time. I know what she’s like, and I thought there was a real possibility that she would be arrogant enough to show up uninvited, confident that I would weep and wail at the sight of her and beg her forgiveness for trying to shut her out of my life. Well I didn’t take rouge relatives into account, and she did find out, but we informed everyone that if Gwen was to ask about our wedding they were to say “Cazzle asked me not to tell you anything about it because you’re not welcome there”. I figured you couldn’t get more explicit than that.

In March, completely out of the blue, I got an email from Gwen, congratulating me on my marriage and wishing me the best for the future. On the face of it, it was a nice friendly email but it annoyed the crap out of me because I didn’t want her trying to involve herself in my wedding even after the fact. She had obviously discovered that I had changed my email address without telling her, so she’d been to my website to find my new email address (I use a unique address for my site). I also was disturbed by her email, because she sent it to me like it was just yesterday since we’d spoken and there was nothing wrong between us. It had been six months since we’d spoken, I wasn’t expecting to ever hear from her again, and she’s emailing me like there’s nothing wrong. It was weird. In addition, her email From field contained only her initials, like she thought I might have blocked her name so she didn’t use her full name like she used to. I blocked her email address and maintained my silence.

On Friday, she emailed me again. This time she used a different email address so I got the mail. She said:

I’m so conflicted. On the face of it, it’s a nice friendly email wishing me all the best. I shouldn’t be so angry to get a friendly email. On the other hand - it’s been over 8 months since I last spoke to her, and more than two months since I ignored her last email to me. When is she going to get the hint? And all the references to my website and my cats… it’s creepy. I don’t want her in my life, I don’t want her snooping around my website and I don’t want her congratulations or her well wishes. I’m so tempted to pull my website offline because of this. It feels invasive. Am I wrong to feel creeped out by this? I’m very angry, I feel like she’s been peeping through my windows. I put this stuff on my website because I don’t mind sharing it with people who want to get to know me, but this is different. She knows I want nothing to do with her, yet she’s still trying to contact me.

I feel like I’m wrong for being so angry, but this is so far from what I would do that I can’t relate to it. If the situation was reversed and I was trying to make contact with her, I’d be talking about me, about how I felt, apologising or demanding an explanation or whatever as I saw my situation, but I would not be trying to find out what’s happening in her life and commenting on it, and I most certainly would not be offering a critique on the makeover on her website [sub]especially as she told me not to use that design when we were still friends![/sub]

Am I crazy? Am I wrong to feel like this? I suspect I’m overreacting, but her attention feels invasive at this junction. Knowing that she’s been stalking her ex for the last five years isn’t helping that feeling at all. I don’t want to get periodic contact from her for the rest of my life, I just want to be left alone. And the fact that she emailed me about my wedding upset me. I had tried hard to make sure she had no connection to it whatsoever - it felt like she was trying to take that from me, to be a part after the fact and against my wishes. It’s so hard to explain. I must be coming across like a crazy control freak, but I feel like I’ve fought a battle to wrest my life from her grasp, and now she’s trying to worm her way in again, by taking things that are important to me and offering her opinion on them.

Please offer me your thoughts on this situation, I need an outsider’s perspective. Mr Cazzle is no help, he hates Gwen but he tells me he thinks I’m wrong to shut her out because she can be fun to be with sometimes. My mother says he’s wrong to say that, and that Gwen is dangerous and I’m better off without her and that she thinks I’m happier now that Gwen’s gone. My father says it’s all ancient history and to just ignore her - he doesn’t understand how these emails upset me so much.

I feel torn between guilt that I ditched a friend, embarrassment that I allowed her to be part of my life for so long when she is like she is, vunerability from the knowledge that even a single email full of kind words can torment me so much, anger that she won’t leave me alone, and indecision because I doubt my own judgement. I think that comes from turning a blind eye to her faults so long that now I feel funny condemning her for the same flaws that I used to ignore. I’m very upset by Mr Cazzle’s attitude - I don’t understand why he’s questioning my judgement here when he encouraged me down this path in the beginning. It’s like he only hated her until I’d grow to dislike her too, and then he switched sides on me. He apologised for that tonight, but only after we got into an argument about it in front of my parents, and that’s upsetting too because they didn’t see him apologise later, they only know that we fought and that he wants me to make up with the friend that my mother has hated since the first time she laid eyes on her. That puts friction between Mr Cazzle and my mother, and also makes them think we must be unhappy and fighting all the time if we’re fighting in front of them, but that’s not true… this post is going way too long, but tonight I feel very miserable, and I need some friends. Thank you for letting me vent.

Hmm.

Why are your relatives red?

Playing Devil’s Advocate (whilst totally understanding the way you feel you’re sort of being stalked) maybe Gwen really misses you? Maybe she’s a bit thick-skinned, and didn’t realise that although you’d obviously cooled off, you meant it to be a permanent silence not a temporary one? Maybe she feels it’s best to put the past behind and just move on and trying to seem a nice, bright friendly person so you like her again, and eventually forgive her?

I don’t think you are under any obligation to be friends with her. But for both of your sakes, if you don’t want to continue any relationship with her, maybe email this decision to her and explain why. From what you have said she may need it spelt out in black and white.

creepy as fuck alert!!!

the very post in which I mention playing “Devil’s Advocate” turned out to be post 666 for me…

Could you provide some details as to why you decided to break it off with her? That would make giving an “outsider’s perspective” easier.

Obviously, I don’t know all the facts here. Having said that… you’ve made a definite break, she knows you’ve made a definite break, she’s still trying to contact you… and it doesn’t sound, from your examples, as if it’s “I’m sorry, cazzle, I know I’ve upset you, I want to be your friend again”, but “I refuse to acknowledge that you don’t want to speak to me, and will therefore pretend it’s business as usual”… which strikes me as, well, iffy - I think “passive-aggressive” is the approved psychobabble term?

So, based on what you’ve said, my vote is to keep on ignoring her until the message sinks in (and even after that, if you want). I wouldn’t make any other changes in your life, though - if she sees your website, for example, and sees that you are carrying on your life perfectly normally without her, well, that might just help the message get across. (Of course, if she actually does start peering in your windows, call the police.)

It seems to me that you’ve made a decision that this person is now part of your past. Having made that choice, IMHO you should stick to it. Of course you’re going to have doubts and regrets about it - comes with being human, I think.

I would say… just don’t respond. Don’t email her back. Ignore her. It’s very upsetting right now that somone you don’t want in your life is trying to make contact with you and the best way to deal with this is to simply not let it happen. Don’t reply to her, don’t acknowledge her and she will go away.

Who knows her reason for trying to get back in touch with you again? Perhaps she’s run out of friends because of her behaviour, or perhaps she feels genuinely sorry. But you’ve made your decision to not have this person in your life and there’s no reason why you should change your mind. She may have changed, she may not, but you have no obligation to find out, particularly if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

It’s understandable that you’re upset - this is a person you’ve taken measures to avoid and yet she’s trying to get back in your life. Ride it out, remind yourself that it’s her with the problem and her that wants you back (which must mean you’re pretty cool!) and faced with a lack of response from you it’s likely that she’ll go away. Two attempts to get back in contact with you does not equal stalking, even if she did read your website. I think that when she gets the message that you’re not interested in resuming your friendship in all probability this will fade away.

rouge = rogue

And thanks so much for pointing that out kabbes. I can feel the love.

istara - I have now spelt it out in terms that she can’t ignore. I’m not going to go into details with her why I’m cutting her out - the reasons are too numerous to list, and frankly she should know already. istara, you are wise. Your 666 post does possibly have an element of truth to it. I’m sure she does miss me and hope to sort things out. What bothers me is the way she’s doing this. Rather than saying “I know you told me never to email you again, but I’m really upset that our friendship has come to this and wish we could sort things out”, she’s acting like we’ve been friendly all along and that she’s involved in my life to the point that she knows all about my cats and my wedding. Knowing her, knowing that she’s a control freak with stalking tendancies, this disturbs me. This “I’ll pretend that we’re still friends and maybe she’ll forget that I’m angry with her” routine just feels so strange, and like I keep saying, intrusive. I can’t understand why I have to spell out for her that it’s over so long after the fact.

Oooh, Cazzle, I get bad vibes from this person. I agree with Francesca, she’ll probably go away if you ignore her. Part of cutting her out of your life is no longer allowing her and her actions to affect you. The only way to do this is to simply NOT read the email once you’ve realized it’s from her.

Also, it sounds like, though you’ve not gone into details, that she’s someone who was not good for YOU as a person, so all the more reason not to give in to your guilt.

In any case, I’d just keep a copy of the emails and if possible, go back and retrieve the ones you sent to her telling her it was over between you as friends.

Geographically, is she someone who you are in a position to run into coincidentally? If not, I’d just be happy with your own happy life, kitties and Mr Cazzle.

All the best.

This bit, IMO, may be a mistake. I think it worth going into some detail, (not exhaustive, but at least somewhat detailed). In my life, the vast majority of times when responds to the question “Why are you mad?” with “You know what you did!” I rarely do. I think it would be worth listing at least some of the reasons so there can be no doubt or confusion (real or feigned) about the reasons, like:

Gwen,

As a result of the Noodle incident, your catching my cat on fire and your habit of stomping on the heads of baby bunnies, to name just a few of the numerous reasons, I no longer wish to associate with you an any way. Do not e-mail, call, write…

etc

If you don’t list the reasons, you leave her the hope that it’s all some sort of horrible misunderstanding.

Fenris

Fenris has a point. Stating clearly why you want her out of your life could be a good idea (assuming, of course, you haven’t already done this). Then cut off contact.

Thanks, Steve and Francesca. Yes, I know it’s a bit early to declare her a stalker, she hasn’t done anything… but knowing her history, I feel nervous about what the future has in store. I alluded earlier to her stalking her ex - despite the fact that they had been broken up for 5 years and that she was engaged to someone else, she would drive back and forward past his house whenever she was in town, and if his car wasn’t there she would check all his friend’s houses, his mother’s house and his workplace. I’ve even known her to cruise the local supermarket carparks when all else failed. With me, she doesn’t have to go to such an effort. Click, click, click, she’s at my website and I’ve provided a commentary and photographs. Who needs to waste the gas driving around when it’s all at your fingertips? However, I have never viewed my website like that before. It’s previously been a great way to further my hobby and to introduce myself to people. I am only now finding that it may give out too much information.

Wikkit, you want a list? Well, I’ve covered a lot of this many times over, but here’s a summary:

  1. She celebrated the fact that her ex boyfriend’s 2 year old was dying of an inoperable brain tumor, because she hated the little boy. She said he held a grudge against her and was mean to her. He was 18 months old when she broke up with his father.
  2. She compared an argument with her ex-fiance to the September 11 attacks only 12 hours after they happened. She inferred that her ex fiance not speaking to her was worse. I was so shattered by 9-11 at the time that I couldn’t believe what she was saying.
  3. When I confided in her that I thought I’d found the perfect girl’s name if I ever had a child, she spent at least 5 minutes chewing me out, telling me it was the most horrible, disgusting, revolting name ever and that it would be cruel to give it to a child. I was really upset. She could have told me she didn’t like it and that would be ok, but she made a huge deal out of telling me how putrid it was and really insulting me over it.
  4. She kept ringing all the time to see if I had visitors. She was paranoid that I was spending too much time with my friend Donna. She tried to come between us by lying about something that Donna had said to her. Having spoken to Donna days earlier, I knew that what Gwen was saying was not true, and the only conclusion I can draw is that Gwen wanted to cool the friendship between Donna and I. It makes me wonder how much influence she had in the breakdown of another of my friendships a few years ago.
  5. She accused me of trying to sabotage her wedding - because I had a pre-arranged outing with another friend on the day that she wanted me to shop with her for wedding dresses. She did not believe that my excuse for not being able to make it was good enough - my excuse being that I had agreed to the outing months earlier with a friend who was visiting from Canada for a month.
  6. She stole my wedding date. She got engaged 3 months after I did, and set her wedding for the date I had been planning on. She knew I had been planning it.
  7. She accused me of willing myself into a wheelchair because I complained that my knees hurt. She told me that my entire illness was psychosomatic. She told me if I got out more, I wouldn’t have so much time to dwell on it, and that it was all I could talk about. This was really very unfair of her, since I was only talking to her about my illness for the first time because she wanted to “understand” what I was going through.
  8. She told me her first loyalty was to me, above her fiance and family, and got upset when I didn’t respond in kind. She disapproved of the fact that I put my future husband first. She felt that she should take higher priority in my life. It bothered me that she ranked me so high. I wasn’t surprised when her relationship with her fiance fell apart.
  9. She shoplifted or attempted to shoplift twice in front of me. I was so furious. I’m 25, not 15, I don’t expect my friends to pull this sort of crap. It also shed a new light on a lot of things that had disappeared over the years, and made me wonder if she was responsible. I’m convinced she stole my glasses a few years back, with this new knowledge of her character. She was always obsessed with my glasses, to the point that she asked to borrow them to show her optomitrist, and also to take them on vacation with her for no good reason. After they vanished, I saw a pair of glasses at her house, but she whisked them away telling me that she’d finally gotten her own, and I never saw them again. I never ever saw her wear them.
  10. She caused a fight between my brother and I, and lied to him in front of me. She denied lying when I asked her. My brother and I have been close the last couple of years, and it was upsetting to fight with him. She created the situation, manipulated it into an argument, and then denied everything when offered a chance to explain what happened.

I think that’s enough.

Cazzle, I agree with Fenris and Tavalla. You need to go one step further and reiterate to her that you do not want to have contact with her anymore. End of story.

You may have to go one step further, however, and resort to going to the police and getting a restraining order (obviously that’s only going to work if she lives nearby) or seeing a lawyer regarding this problem.

Maybe you need to confronted her with this as a united front (with yourself and Mr Cazzle).

I wish you luck - I hope she finally gets the message and buggers off.

Ah, sorry. That was a bit inappropriate of me, though it seemed funny at the time. Bad kabbes.

FWIW (and with myself and the kabbess both having been in this situation before), I’d follow Fran’s advice. Just no response is best. Even the most persistant hanger-on will tire in the face of no reply at all.

pan

Quite. Clinically speaking, she’s crazier than a ten-pound sack of hammered assholes.

You had my vote after point #1. Point #2 reenforced it.

As for point #3, perhaps I can take a bit of the sting away: you may have been tormented for five minutes for the name you suggested, but I’ve been randomly henpecked for the last two years after having suggested the name “Ophelia,” in a fit of well-intended but (apparently) short-sighted inspiration.

My advice? I’ve seen too many “Single White Female” type movies. Buy a big dog.

How about this as a draft email:

Gwen,

Have a look at this: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=114903

Now go away.

Regards,
Caz.

Thanks guys. I’m feeling better. Some quality time with Mr Cazzle has helped too. I was feeling very down today. Kabbes, you’re alright mate. Thanks for the follow up post.

I guess I agree with you all. The contact I made after the last email is the last contact. I’m not interested in getting into an email war with her. I think I was just so shocked and surprised that she tried again after her previous email was given the silent treatment that I felt I really should repeat the point that I didn’t want to hear from her again, and of course it set off all my fears that she’s going to treat me the way she treats the ex that she stalks. It’s helpful that she now lives a long way away, but her parents are apparently local again so I may encounter her from time to time (unlikely, but possible).

I’m sure I over-reacted, but after the last time, I honestly thought I’d never hear from her again. I figured rejection (not responding) would do the job. It’s also vaguely startling to open an email from someone you haven’t seen in 3/4 of a year and find they know about the things that are currently happening in your life - realising that information came from the website doesn’t change the sensation that they have knowledge of things that they shouldn’t be aware of. Anyway, that’s done with now, and I trust that my email telling her to leave me alone will have done it’s job and I won’t hear from her again. I appreciate the time everyone took to read my huge posts, and to those who emailed me messages of support - thank you. I think even if she did contact me again, I would cope better knowing I have people I can talk to about it.

I’m going to bed now to have a peaceful night’s sleep. See you all tomorrow :slight_smile:

I have to say, with nothing but an outsiders perspective, that trying to permanently stay out of contact seems like a very Good thing. I hope she gets the idea and buggers off for good.

Sorry for making you rehash the nasty bits. I’m a bit of a newb, you see, so I missed the earlier stuff.

“Sleep with dreams,” as my Australian friend always said.

I’m just now getting back to the Pit after a very busy few days. Cazzle, I think you should stop all contact with her! It sounds as if you’ve been doing that, but if she doesn’t get it, you’ll just have to ignore her altogether and not respond to anything she attempts to say to you. Frankly, she sounds like someone I wouldn’t want to get too close to. :eek: That list did it for me.

I support you in ignoring this person. You’ve worked hard to keep her from knowing various facts about your life, yet she still knows about them. With her past behavior in mind, I think you should just pretend she doesn’t exist. Block all her email, screen your phone calls, etc. I don’t know what to do if you saw her on the street, except to hope you saw her first and she didn’t see you at all! (gives you more time to get away, you know) Best of liuck!

:eek: She’s bad news.

I don’t know what you want to do about your website. Maybe change it? I know it’s probably a bitch to do that, but if it would make you feel “safer”, maybe you should look into it.

Best of luck and keep us updated.