My family and I are living through a serious situation, something which truly brings to bear all of the skills we have and highlights those we need to improve upon. The short story is this: we have good reason to believe my daughter and possibly wife have a legitimate stalker, someone who has sought them out more than once and has also mentioned (to multiple 3rd parties) trying to find out where they live – and what he would do if he could “get his hands on them.” Because this situation is still ongoing I won’t get into specifics and truth be told I even debated sharing this altogether, but I figured everyone could learn from what we are going through and hopefully our case solidifies just how crazy this world is. It truly is a place where we must remain vigilant and cannot afford to go through life oblivious to reality.
I must clarify once again that the investigation is ongoing and hopefully this turns out to be nothing, if that is the case we will still have benefited from the exercise and walked away with lessons learned. If indeed this proves to be worse than we thought I suppose having all of the pieces in place just helps to keep them safer and provides more information for the authorities.
The father and husband in me wanted to seek this individual out and confront him face to face, give him a stern warning that he stop discussing my family while including a note like: “If I ever see you around my home there would be some serious problems.” Yet I didn’t take that route, but instead went to the authorities and documented the issue and my concerns. This isn’t exactly TEOTWAWKI or WROL so going all vigilante on some dude would probably only serve to get me in trouble. Now I must clarify, if I caught this person in the act or at my home action would be taken on my part and it would be swift. Yet we have not arrived at that point yet, nor do I hope it ever comes to that.
After making sure that the authorities were aware of the situation it was time to address some common sense items with my family so that we were all on the same page with respect to remaining vigilant. I should note that I received valuable information (advice) from a great resource, if you are reading this you know who you are and I thank you. Some of the items we discussed were:
Commo Plan: Basically making sure all of us were aware of each other’s movements. A simple text message works, “I’m leaving work” or “I’ve arrived at my destination” works fine. This helps set expectations for movements and arrival times.
Situational Awareness: We’ve been through this many times, but it basically boils down to paying attention and looking for things which might be considered out of the ordinary.
Alternating Routes: Not bring predictable with routes to and from work, or even times which we leave our home/destination. Mixing it up as much as we can without impacting our overall routine.
Alone = Bad: This especially goes for my daughter since she is not old enough to carry a handgun. She knows that she needs to be with friends, needs to walk to her car after work with someone, shouldn’t be stopping at unfamiliar places alone etc.
Parking: Whether at work or simply going out, we must avoid using patterns. No parking near places which obstruct views or facilitate being boxed in.
Egress routes: What if something happens while at work / school / shopping / pulling into the driveway? We pulled maps out and discussed these options as well.
Action Plans: We’ve put in place action plans in case we think we are being followed, the house is being watched or if a confrontation occurs. Obviously I won’t list out the details of our plan(s) but this isn’t spy vs spy stuff, it’s really common sense stuff which emphasizes safety. While you might think this is over the top I can tell you that I’m about 95% certain we had an incident where we were being followed earlier in the week.
There is more but I think you get the idea. Again I hope this blows over and turns out to be nothing but I’d rather be safe than sorry. How many times on the news have we seen sobbing parents or relatives after someone has gone missing or even been killed? They inevitably question how something like that could have happened in their neighborhood, how they never saw it coming etc etc. This world is full of terrible people, we must remain vigilant and refuse to become victims.