Monday, April 14, 2014

The Stalker Chronicles; Part Two

Well, here I am again with news of my stalking situation & an update.  I know this isn't a fun read, but it's a big part of my life at this point, so here we go ...

The trial, in which my stalker is charged with violating the protective order I have against him, is coming up Thursday.  I'm told I might have to testify which makes my stomach do flip flops!  I'm hoping & praying he gets convicted, but I'm learning first hand what an unpredictable & unreliable mess our legal/juducial system is.  This trial has already been postponed once (from February 11), and I'm told that might happen again, as the court has 100 cases to hear this Thursday.  Sounds like some pretty bad management on someone's part, don't you think?  

This wicked man works in my church kitchen once a week (he is not a member) -- a venue he has used to spread the most flagrant lies about me and to ingratiate himself to the church members he works with.  I had a strong feeling he would do this, and warned our minister & associate minister to be on the lookout for this behavior from him.  I also asked that they they please keep information about me private, as I also knew he would use the people he works with to try to get information about me.  I'm sad to say that my requests were not taken seriously, and the associate minister & two other people he works with have disclosed personal information about me to him -- e.g. when I would be out of town, etc., hence smoothing the path for him to be able to violate the protective order.  

He can be a deceptively charming man (a common attribute of stalkers I've learned) & is an extremely convincing liar, so I'm sure he convinced them that he was innocent of the stalking charges & therefore wooed these ladies into thinking he was just a wrongly accused & poor misunderstood man.  Nevertheless, this breach of confidence and failure to protect me as I'd asked, has affected me deeply.  I've been crushed by their response, or lack of response to my requests for help in dealing with this terrible man. Of all the people I thought I could trust to help me with this situation, my associate minister & other members of my church are the last ones I thought would betray my confidence & privacy, but they did. It's heartbreaking.  When I confronted the associate minister about this breach, she said 'people will talk' & 'well, I can't lie'.  I never asked anyone to lie for me, but only to say nothing about me to this man.  

After I realized I could not depend on the discretion of certain church members to keep information about me private, and that this man had used the church as a venue to spread lies about me, I told our minister that I didn't think this perverse man should be allowed on our church premises.  The response I got from our minister was to tell me the Methodist church is open to people of all creed, race, religion, etc. -- which, as a lifelong Methodist, I already knew.  There is obviously no mention of the church's open door to all criminals in that statement, and I responded by showing him excerpts from by laws of other churches which state that church members should be protected from any who commit crimes against members and therefore, be able to worship in an environment that is safe.  But, he still refused to take any action against this man.  I am so disappointed in my church.  Frankly, it has been as hard to deal with the church's reactions as the stalking has been.  

I have been a Methodist all my life, but this experience has left me feeling so very betrayed, let down, & angry that I no longer attend the Methodist church, and I'm now looking for another church home.  Hopefully, one with more reasonable policies about protecting members from criminals in our midst.  It's certainlly not my intention to hurt or embarrass anyone by telling my story.  It is my intention to shed light on something I feel is very wrong.  

Some quotes from the Department of Justice Office on Crimes Against Women in recognition of National Stalking Awareness Month in January.

"Stalking is more prevalent than many people realize, affecting more than six million people a year."

"Unfortunately, stalking is still not widely recognized as a dangerous crime that is often a precursor for serious violence, including rape and homicide, and a terrifying aspect of domestic violence. The media too often trivializes it – portraying stalking as romantic or comedic ...."

Stay safe Friends!



P. S.  Now I think I'm going to go put on my footie jammies, climb into my quilt/card table tent, and watch "Stuart Little" ^v^

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy Hikers at Charlie's Bunion

(That's me -- second from the right)

Still snow on a few little shady parts of the trail!  

Insane friend (L's DH) on top of Charlie's Bunion.  Made my hands sweat just watching him!  

A few of us Happy Hikers hiked up the Appalachian Trail to 'Charlie's Bunion' (^v^) Thursday.  Such a beautiful day!  I think we covered about 8 miles -- a good stretch of the legs.  Some of us are trying to to conquer the 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and this hike counts - yay!  Only about 700 miles to go, I think.  I reckon I'll finish when I'm about 92.  But, that's okay -- that just means I've got a lot more lovely days like this to look forward to.

Happy Beautiful Sunny Spring Weekend to you all!



Friday, April 4, 2014

Best Buddy of Mine

 Oh, how sad I am as I write these words.  Our Dearest Old Friend, our Beloved Buddy has passed away.

He was a beloved member of our family who wanted only to be with us -- anywhere and everywhere -- at all times.

He most lovingly and patiently tolerated our silliness (and even cats!) and was always a good sport.

He was silly and and funny and always brought us joy and laughter.

He was truly a blessing to all our family.  He made my mother smile when he visited her in the nursing home, and he snuggled close beside me during the dark days of her illness and passing.  He was there beside us offering his constant unconditional love and unquestioning loyalty at every turn in the road our lives have taken, whether happy or sad, these past 11 years.  Not enough years.  We will miss you always & forever our Dear Friend and Darling Companion.

Run and play now Sweet Boy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yarn Along

Good morning Everyone.  We had snow yesterday!  So, perfect excuse for an afternoon of knitting in front of the fire while watching "Frozen" --  loved it, not to mention, it fit right in with the wintery theme we seem to have going on here.  Again.  Anyhoo, I don't mind.  I know it won't last long, and the sun will be out again soon.  Winter's swan song I suppose.

I've been working on these Aran Socks from "Country Weekend Socks."  They are utterly soft, squishy, and luxurious.  I'm using Lion Brand Merino Cashmere -- lovely yarn!  However, I seem to have developed the habit of running out of yarn lately, so I'm waiting for the delivery of one more skein.  In the meantime, I finished a pair of Toasty Fingerless Mitts from my UFO pile (had been there for years).  I didn't run out of yarn -- yay me!  Finished them last night -- just need to sew in the ends.

And reading -- I've loved the movie, "National Velvet", as long as I can remember.  I was just as horse crazy as Velvet when I was young -- drove my dad crazy until he finally broke down and bought a couple of horses.  And OMGosh, we had fun riding all over h___ & half of Georgia.  My best friend, Bitty, and I were gone from sunup until sundown riding, swimming in the river, riding some more, swimming some more, sitting under trees talking about boys, riding some more.  Finally going home -- with sunburned noses & huge appetites for whatever good things my parents had cooked for dinner. The best days!  So anyhoo, I'm now reading "National Velvet" - a bit different from the movie, of course, but loving it.  I love books that describe the details of everyday home life, and this one does -- as well as so deftly making the characters come to life.  Good book!  

Blessings & happy knitting/reading Everyone,



Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello Spring .... or Winter?

In Texas, our spring is so short -- really just a few days it seems, and then, Bam! Hello summer.  But here in this fair land, spring is what I've always thought it should be --- a season.  A real season.  As I walked around my neighborhood Saturday, I was surprised by all the flowers I saw that had so suddenly come 'springing' up & out.  It seems like, just a few minutes ago, it was winter with snow on the ground, and then suddenly, spring has come. 

I'm told this beautiful tree is a magnolia stellata (thank you Mrs. Curlew Country).  Isn't it glorious?

And aren't these bright colorful daffodils & crocuses & irises cheerful & lovely?

These sweet little thumb sized hyacinth are so cute!

A variety of daffodils -- scattered around the hills behind my house.

Sweet little robin pecking around for his dinner.

Edited March 25 ....

What was I saying?  Something about one day snow on the ground and the next day flowers? Or is it one day flowers, and the next day snow on the ground ^v^?  Woke up to this beautiful snowy scene this morning.  Not complaining.  I love snow and flowers!

Good day for tea & knitting, don't you think?



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Yarn Along

Good morning Everyone.  It's been a while since I've joined in Yarn Along, but I'm still here knitting & reading.

So, a quick knitting update ...

I just finished these leg warmers and mailed them off to Little Ballerina this morning.  The pattern is Beanstalk -- a nice pattern and I like the ribbing which, I'm hoping, helps keep them from sliding down.

One of my favorite recent FO's is Ginny's lovely pattern, the Sunday Cardigan.  I loved knitting this - great pattern Ginny!

And this is Bough from Wool People 6.  

I had to make this Queenie Tea Cozy ( named after the lovely Queenie on "Lark Rise to Candleford") -- can't seem to resist anything bee themed lately.

This 'Fox for the Child' hoodie was a request from one of my Lovable Darlings. I think it turned out kinda cute, and Little seemed to like it.  She's a big fan (we all are) of the film, "The Fox and the Child."

These Hiking Socks were inspired copied from Lydia Gluck's cute Camp Socks.

Anyhoo, there's more, but I'll spare you.  As for books, at the moment, I seem to need totally light happy ending reading.  "The Listening Valley"
by one of my favorite authors, D. E. Stephenson, is perfectly filling my light happy reading requirement for now.  This sweet story sends me off to sleep with visions of dreamy misty Scottish landscapes and lovely lilting brogues.  I discovered this author waaaay back in the 70's (I know .... ^v^).  My late husband's grandmother was a fan of hers -- lovely recommendation from a very lovely lady. 

Happy knitting and reading Everyone!  

Oh gosh, now I've got to try to remember how to do the Yarn Along link.  Good grief, it's been too long!

Monday, March 10, 2014

I Have a Stalker

I intended for my next post to be more catching up -- of the pleasant kind.  But, I just find myself compelled to tell this not so pleasant part of the past several months.  And, I've been told writing about such experiences is good therapy, so here goes .......

Hard to believe, but even here in this most idyllic & beautiful part of the world, 'there be dragons'.  Since last July, I've had a stalker -- a man I met on a church hike!  Believe me, I tried every way on earth to kindly get him to leave me alone, but he refused.  So far, I've had to get a restraining order, have attended 3 court dates & have reported several recent violations of the order to the police.  I will have to go to court again in April regarding the last violation.  I'm told by the DA that the stalker intends to lie by saying he didn't know what he did was a violation of the restraining order.  This man has spread the most horrible lies about me in an effort to make me look like an overreacting crazy person (and a loose living hussy), in an attempt to make himself appear to be the victim, and therefore, redeem his tarnished public image.  

(The encouraging gift of a 'brave' bracelet -- an always present reminder to be brave & fight the darkness!)

I can hardly express how exhausting, frustrating, & disheartening this has been and is still.  I'm told the psychological & physical effects from being stalked are comparable to "a prolonged rape", with long term effects, such as post traumatic stress syndrome, that can be equal to that of war veterans -- I hope not but......  All I can say at this point is -- I live with the constant fear of never knowing what he'll do next, and I feel like I'm always in 'fight or flight' mode -- always looking over my shoulder, looking around every corner, locking every door, scanning parking lots for his car, scanning stores to see if he's followed me inside, and on and on and on.  He once told me (and I quote) he had 'killed people when he worked overseas, and that he had no conscience, could kill anyone without it bothering him -- even me -- if he didn't love me."  So, I carry pepper spray at all times, always have my phone on voice memo, & never go out at night.  I've even seriously considered getting a gun. My life is consumed with meetings, research, & conversations with a variety of people -- psychologists, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, liaisons of organizations who advocate for women who are victims of crime, and more.  This week, I have 2 appointments with professionals who, I hope, can help me put an end to this insanity.  At times, I think it will never end.  I just hope and pray this evil man will finally give up & leave our beautiful valley.

(My message tee of the week -- tell the (hturt ^v^)  Truth!  I don't understand how someone can lie so easily & viciously, do you?)  

Anyway, I feel kinda strange talking about something so unpleasant here, but I think this situation has given me a desire to have this little place of mine be more of a 'warts & all' kind of place.  And, no I certainly don't intend to make this the stalker blog!  Happily, although this man is trying to steal my happiness & destroy me, I'm still enjoying the beautiful outdoors with my lovely hiking friends, knitting, attending my sweet little church, & messing about in my little home as always.  And, who knows, maybe there's someone out there reading this who might be having a similar problem -- and maybe knowing I'm out here surviving this experience will help someone else.  

(I'm learning to be a fighter -- so wish it wasn't a necessity in this world of ours!)

Also, I have to say, God has shown me over & over that I'm not alone in this awful mess.  The minister at our cozy little church has been amazing -- faithfully praying for me and constantly offering his listening ear & practical help at every turn.  And I have some of the most awesome friends here -- those who put their own concerns on the back burner in order to pray faithfully and stand by me.  A little funny -- one day, when I walked into our little bible study group, someone asked me how things were going with my stalker.  I told them he had just followed me there -- to church.  One of the ladies (she's 92 years young!) said, 'Where is he now?  I'll go home and get my gun!'  Gotta love it!  

(People are not always who they appear to be -- sad to say!)

Anyhoo, enough about that! 

Wish you all a most lovely, peaceful, joyous week!



P. S.  I'm posting this from my ipad with the Blogger app!  Hope it works & this post doesn't disappear into the mystic.

P. P. S.  Just wanted to say -- if you are in a similar situation (and have stumbled across my blog in an attempt to find help for your dilemma), let me stress the importance of taking action and standing up for yourself. Tell everyone close to you about your stalker. Impress upon them the serious necessity of keeping ALL info about you private -- be assertive about that.  Do not hesitate to go to the police.  Do not try to reason with a stalker or expect him to finally 'get it' and bow out graciously.  He won't!  From what I've learned, most are not mentally stable, e.g. I believe the man stalking me is a sociopath.  The old conventional wisdom that tells us to ignore a bully, and they'll go away is NOT true.  Especially in cases of stalking, these bullies need to be held accountable for every single they do that violates you.  I think, those of us who were raised to be nice Christian girls are especially susceptible to these creeps.  In fact, I've learned that these predators befriend folks in churches for this very reason.  In our efforts to be nice Christian girls, I believe we are sometimes not assertive enough.  The bible is full of stories of strong fighting women.  Take a cue from them, and  stand up for yourself -- fight like the warrior princess you are -- a daughter of the King.

I'm thinking about dressing like this -- think it might scare him off?  Might scare everyone away, you think ^v^?

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