Dear Ms. Vicki,
I just broke up with my girlfriend, and she won’t leave me alone.
She calls me continually, literally hundreds of times a day. She broke out the windshield of my brand-new Camaro, vandalized my apartment and stole some of my things.
She harasses my friends and family, and she even threatens to make trouble for me and my career by coming to my unit.
I don't know what she may do next. Any advice?
It’s called stalking, and it is a serious crime. Stalking is underreported by men for many reasons. Men report feeling ashamed and embarrassed when they are victimized by a woman.
I don’t want you to blame yourself, but you should take immediate action. I won’t belabor the point, but here are a few quick tips that will help:
- Stop calling her even if it’s to say, “Hi, I’m just checking on you." You are giving her the wrong message.
- Avoid all social network interaction. Do not text her, Facebook, or even connect with her on Twitter. She is bad news. She thinks you are calling because you are still interested in having an intimate relationship. You cannot be platonic friends with this woman. Put mega-distance between the two of you.
- Change your cell phone number or at least delete the outgoing message on your phone. Trust me: She will call just to listen to voice on the message. Hearing your voice gives her a tingle, but her reaction will mean negative consequences for you.
- Tell your family and friends to distance themselves from her. Ask them not to provide any information to her about you. They should simply say, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about him to you." See how easy that is?
- Avoid going to places where she hangs out or where you know you will run into her. You don’t need a confrontation. Besides, she is not grounded in reality. If she has any contact with you, it will send her spiraling downward and give her false hope.
- Report her behavior to the police. This is a tough one for men because they believe reporting a woman for domestic violence or for stalking emasculates them.
Stalking is a serious offense. It's impossible for any psychologist or other psychotherapist to foretell another person’s mental health or what their reactions will be to a certain event. We can only make diagnoses, and give warnings and insight about perpetrators.
Her behavior is not appropriate and could become increasingly more volatile. Because of this, I think you should file a police report and let them give you further advice on how to handle this situation.
-- Ms. Vicki