My creepy upsetting Sunday

I worked early Sunday morning and was reflecting on my ex-boyfriend. We broke up a year ago (after two years serious-but-not-living-together) and even though he dumped me, he’s been obsessed ever since with getting back together. For a few months we went through “let’s be friends” phases, etc, but even then I refused to see him in person or entertain any talk about getting back together. I haven’t seen him in person in over a year and have not talked to him via text or phone since June, except 1 text earlier this month asking him to please return (to a 3rd party) a ring of mine I left at his house. He refused and I didn’t respond to any further texts or calls (he has started texting/calling me 2-4 times/day).
Anyway, Sunday morning I was thinking about how I haven’t heard from him, and how unfortunately that doesn’t mean he is not obsessed, suicidal, who knows. So I pulled into my street–530 a m, dark, Sunday morning, mind you–and there he is, sitting in front of my house in his truck. I couldn’t tell if he was in the truck or had gotten into the house somehow.
I was so rattled I actually went INTO the house (what was I thinking?) and THEN called 911. He was gone by the time police arrived, but they found him nearby and issued something (trespassing warning? not sure what they called it) so that they can arrest him if he comes back onto my property. They said I could file a PO but without any actual verbal threat or history of violence, I don’t know if I really can.
I don’t think he will come back, but I’m still upset and creeped out. I do NOT scare easily, but that frankly scared the hell out of me. In my various relationships, I’m always the strong one, and it’s been very hard to get across to anyone how rattled I am. I feel sick and scared and jump everytime I hear a car door slam. I keep talking myself through it, but I’m so tearful and weak and flat-out exhausted right now. :frowning:

You can get a temporary order just by saying you’re afraid. A p.o.p. requires a hearing and proof he’s a danger to you.

A t.o.p. might get his attention enough to make him leave you alone… probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

Good luck. I hope it works out ok for you.

Does he have keys? Get your locks changed, even if he doesn’t. He could have gotten them without your knowledge.

No keys, I didn’t used to lock my doors but I do now! I probably will change the locks and see about securing the windows better–it takes about 5 seconds to break in with no tools or expertise whatsoever.
I have spoken to the neighbors and asked them to call the police if they see his truck here again.
Truthfully I think he is afraid enough of being arrested that just having the police stop him and threaten to arrest him will be enough. He’s been in jail before and I don’t think he would ever take a chance on going back.
That being said, if he’s suicidal and has nothing to lose, all bets are off. I think I will talk to my cousin, who is a state police officer, and also knows my ex, and see what he thinks.

I can see why you’re upset. Do talk to the police/cousin and see what your options are, and stay safe.

Wow, that is horribly scary. I’ve not had a stalker since I was 15 (and it wasn’t a “thing” then, not known well enough by the public to have a label anyway). And I remember how frustrating and awful it felt.

Do you have family nearby? A big brother ( a really BIG brother?) who can come and stay with you for a few days or something. Or can you go stay somewhere else for a bit? One thing they always says is “document document document”. Keep his text and VM messages as proof, keep a record of when/if you see him near your house and so on.

Ouch! and good luck.

Yes, that is scary, so take every precaution you can. Try not to be alone for a while, stay with friends or family. Maybe someone has a dog you can borrow, or get one of your own.

Is there someone he respects that you could tell about what’s going on, and they could have a sit-down with him? You might not like your private business spread about, but really, the more people who know the better. He’s not responding to you, he’s aiming at you; he could be just scared and hurt or he could be on the edge.

Definitely talk to to your cousin, now. Keep safe, and good luck.

In my line of work, I’ve heard this story a thousand times. Most of the time, nothing really bad ever happens. Sometimes, something very bad happens. In my state, you’d be entitled to a temporary order of protection, and you’d have a decent chance of having it made permanent after notice to him and a hearing. Your state may or may not be similar.

That said, don’t let yourself become a statistic. It’s better to be proactive and take the steps that are available to you under the law than to wind up in the hospital, or dead.

Oh boy. I am really glad nothing happened and you are Ok. I hope he is sufficiently scared off, and I am glad you taking measures to secure your home and yourself.

Please be careful. We care about you!

Install a security camera and prominently post security company signs.
You can purchase these without actually getting a security service, although obviously that is also an option. Just the signs may be enough to scare him off.

I know you are rattled; people showing up unexpectedly to get in your face can do that. I’m not saying that he did this to intimidate you but I do know that some people do as a form of power-trip. They do this Expecting you to be rattled
so you’ll be less likely to react as you would if you weren’t rattled or if you had time to think. It is the edge they use to think that they can do what they feel like without you reacting to them.

What to do.

You can make a plan for what to do if you suddenly see this person unexpectedly or see evidence that he is there. I’m not saying what steps are best for you or your lifestyle; other people here will have better suggestions. Still, whatever
you decide to adopt, commit it to a step by step plan to keep you safe and to get this reported/on record. You can practice/train yourself to follow the steps of your plan, in order, should you ever see him again, but you’d have to commit
to practicing once a day for 3 straight weeks (3 weeks to form a habit).

You want to get so good at this that step 1 should become second nature and occur without thinking as your first response; no pause, no stopping to think, just doing. It will take away his edge and maybe make Him rattled.

Another creepy thought: I wonder how many other times he’s sat in front of your home at 5:30 AM that you weren’t aware of.

This is part of the creep factor. He lives an hour away, so being that early means he was probably up all night, obsessing. That’s his nature–to obsess and brood constantly.
There’s also this. He may have been sitting out there with a gun on his lap or (more likely) a can of gas and a lighter. Or–and this is entirely likely–he is so out of touch with what’s appropriate that he thought I would be flattered to find him there. Which is also creepy but not quite as threatening.
I’m just trying really hard to not be the woman who ignores danger signs because she thinks she “knows” someone. I hear myself say “I don’t think he would kill me, but he might burn my house down”…and I realize how dangerous that mindset is.

I know it’s easier said than done, but I hope you’re giving yourself credit right now instead of freaking yourself out. Except for going inside, you handled the situation very well. You demonstrated that he doesn’t have all of the power in this dynamic, and that you are willing to use the appropriate tools to reclaim your own post-creeper life. Good for you!

I know you’ve probably already heard this, but have you read the book “The Gift of Fear” before? It’s about listening to that little voice, reacting appropriately to different situations, etc., and even if it turns out you were going to do everything right anyway, you may find it reassuring.

I’m unclear on something in your description. Initially you describe him as being obsessive but basically on a more or less annoying and inappropriate level, and you had a prior discussion where you would have allowed him to come to your house to return a ring. So OK… he’s an annoying Jackass.

Switch to Sunday morning when you get to your house and he is out in front in the early morning you react (in your description) as if he is out to literally murder you and call the police in a state of terrified panic.

What happened between A and B that turned from him being an annoying and inappropriate jackass into a imminent death threat? The fact that he was in front of your house in his car? Something else? I can see him lurking and trying to get your attention as being super annoying and possibly worth a restraining order but I’m not getting the death threat part. Where did that come from?

You might want to re-read her posts. Nowhere could I find that she claimed death threats.
She doesn’t know what he might do. She can’t read his mind. She doesn’t want to guess wrong and be a statistic.

That is actually what popped into my mind first.

There is no really good reason for anyone to be lurking outside one’s home at 5:30 on a Sunday AM.

For an ex to be doing that is inherently worrisome. People who want to drop by to visit, or even just to make their presence known, usually don’t choose 5:30 AM for visiting hours.

That timing indicates that he wants to be there, but not be noticed. Which is odd and unsettling behaviour.

Yeah, the timing is the real issue. He lives an hour away and takes forever to get ready to go anywhere. So I can see him obsessing…all…night…long. Like I said: he could, for all I know, be sitting there with a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. But again, he could also be sitting there with a gas can and a lighter. He could be out back stringing my dogs from the trees. Anything is possible, and that’s what’s scary to me. If it were 4 in the afternoon, it would be irritating and I’d be pissed. It is not normal to go lurk outside someone’s house in the dead of night. (Well, early dark morning.) And it was a time that he KNEW I would be gone…my schedule has changed a bit (since we dated) and he would not have expected me home for at least another hour.
I did NOT invite him to come to my house for any reason. I asked him (in a very neutral text) to give my ring to a mutual friend who lives in his town. He has not been allowed at my house in over a year.
For what it’s worth, I haven’t heard from him since. That’s not very reassuring, because he will typically go several weeks with no contact and then bam! multiple calls, texts, etc.
I have a guy coming in a couple of days to install security motion lights and am working on some other plans.

This is one of my favorite books. I’m glad you mentioned it…it’s time my kids read it.