Ever wonder why stuff like this happens? It’s simple. Some people just can’t let go.
Yesterday I was reading a Facebook acquaintance’s status that had to do with someone removing as a friend yet still following her profile. The thing is, she has her post default setting to friends-only, so that reduces the chances of this person seeing what she posts.
I’ve had to do that myself…set my status updates to friends-only, and block the accounts of certain stalker-assholes who like to copy and paste what I write, and take screen captures, and use those to trash me on their blogs and Twitter feeds.
This has me asking myself why I should even have to go through so much trouble. Why should I be made to feel paranoid about the people who send me friend requests on social networking sites, because they might be alt accounts set up by my so-called brother and his friends trying to spy on me online? The most basic definition of terrorism is to instill terror into another person, such that he or she is compelled to behave in a manner that gives control to the person doing the terrorizing. Now, obviously, I’m not talking about the sort of terrorism that is at this very moment going on in the Middle East, or the political terrorism that occurs every election cycle by both Democrats and Republicans. No, this is on a far more personal level. But it’s still a form of terrorism. How else can it be described? When what passes for my life is in shambles and I’m trying desperately to pick up the pieces, and I have to worry about the hate-ridden actions by my brother David, my ex-friend Rick, and their anonymous e-mail stalker friend to the point that I must go out of my way and alter my behavior…really, what would you call it? Certainly not nice, I can say that for certain.
At any rate, with luck, blocking them may at least give me a brief bit of peace.
So, this week I had a couple of interviews, one on Wednesday at a restaurant about five minutes’ walk from where I’m currently staying, and this morning at Dodd Camera, which if I get hired there would be like am eight-year-old getting to work in his favorite candy store. The cameras…the lights…the scrims…
Sorry. Almost did a very public (and potentially embarrassing) Homer drool. Don’t go hating; my major was Film and Digital Media.
Now, speaking of film majors, I registered for the Master’s program at New York Film Academy, which if I’m able to attend will be an amazing opportunity for me because I’ll get to go to Los Angeles and work with equipment that’s used on today’s movie shoots, from 35mm film cameras to the Red Epic. I’ve applied for financial aid and was granted a low-income student’s discount, but moving and living expenses won’t be covered. This leaves me having to raise money in addition to getting a job, so I’m going to be really shameless right now and post a link to my Go Fund Me donation page. If you can spare a few dollars, that would be great. If not, that’s okay. With any luck I’ll get that job at Dodd Camera or the restaurant, and try to save what money I get that way. But every little bit helps, and my unemployed status being what it is, I can’t afford the luxury of shame. Again, thank you.
Seems like everyone I went to college with has, or is in the process of, moving on to accomplish his or her dreams. And here I am stuck, perpetually on the edge of homelessness, unable to get or hold down even a minimum-wage job, hounded mercilessly by psychotic assholes. And it looks like, barring a miracle, I won’t be able to get my Master’s.
So yeah, I’m feeling like a monumental failure right now.
So I’m gonna hurl myself against the wall,
‘Cause I’d rather feel bad than not feel anything at all.
— Warren Zevon
There’s not much I want to tell about the latter half of the 1990s. In 1995, after my wrists were finally healed up, I began working at Faroh Candies as the janitor, at their main factory location on Pearl Road across from Southland Shopping Center. The owner, Mr. Faroh, was already half-senile then, and much of the business decisions were being handled by his son, who apparently wasn’t half the businessman his father was in his prime. His daughter ran the store inside Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted.
That job lasted until spring, when I was laid off for the summer due to the company not making candy during the hotter months of the year. I worked for a week at Eyemaster’s inside Great Northern Mall, but again found myself laid off when their hours were cut down so badly they had to eliminate all extraneous positions. This would be repeated this year, but that’s a story for another time. In June I began working at the Blockbuster Video on Lorain and West 106th.
Before Westown Shopping Center was built in the mid-1980s there had been a large, grand old Sears department store encompassing what seemed like the entire block. I have memories of my father taking my younger brother David and me there every now and then. The store closed up, however, and was demolished in favor of a more “modern” shopping plaza, which was a real shame because the architecture of the Sears store was awesome.
I worked nearly five years at Blockbuster Video, going through something like six general managers. On my twenty-fourth birthday, ten years to the day after my Grandpa died, my cat buddy Miu (pronounced Mee-yoo) died. He was shutting down all that day, but held off death until I’d returned home from work. That same month, the next door neighbor’s daughter died at the age of twenty-seven. Her passing devastated her mother, who turned to drinking to cope, which itself ultimately led to the collapse of her marriage.
All this combined with a stupid crush I had on a co-worker put me in a depression that took me a while to come out of. Needless to say, I was an asshole.
1998 was also the year I got temporarily kicked out over a bottle of shampoo. “Mother” had been complaining about my having my shampoo bottle set on the left side of the upstairs bathtub faucet, where I could reach it easily when washing my hair. The tub had no shower, so I had to stick my head directly under the faucet. Having my shampoo bottle on the right side next to the wall would have meant having to reach out for it blind from water running into my eyes, so I kept it where I could pick it up without having to do that. The shampoo wasn’t in anyone’s way. But “mother” decided she didn’t like having it there and kept bitching about it over and over.
It got so bad she had my father order me to do something about it. This wasn’t the first time she’d had him yell at David and me on her behalf, because she was too lazy to do it herself. Once, she had him crawl up the stairs on his hands and knees (his back had deteriorated to the point he could no longer walk up and down stairs) with a written set of edicts dictating to David and me how we were to keep the second floor. David yelled at my father for his unwillingness to stand up to his wife while I stood by and watched the spectacle with my arms folded. I’d kept my own opinions to myself, mostly.
Not this time, however. When Father began yelling at me over the shampoo, I pointed out that he was losing his temper over a bottle of shampoo. And, before my very eyes, Father, sitting in his lounge chair, spiritually morphed into his wife, saying, “It’s not just a bottle of shampoo…it’s an irritating bottle of shampoo, which a certain person refuses to…yadda yadda yadda.”
I don’t normally lose my temper. I’ve got a pretty long fuse, like my father. But this was simply too much. I told him to take his balls out of his wife’s purse and act like a man so I could respect him. I ended up packing a bag full of clothes and stormed out of the house, and spent the next few days at my Uncle Jim’s house. I eventually had a talk with my father and reconciled with him, and moved back home. “Mother” made a show of leaving, a pair of suitcases in hand, because she wasn’t going to stay in the same house with someone who dared defy her, but as she had nowhere else to go, she was back the same day.
There isn’t much else of note to tell about this period in what passes for my life, so I’ll end it here for now. In closing, I will say this: you know just how weak one parent is when he or she cedes all mental and emotional independence as a human being and becomes nothing more than an extension of the abusive other parent. That’s what happened to my father, and I had the dubious honor of witnessing that.
Cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm. Sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies.
Cyberharassment. Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it may generally be defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual. Some states approach cyberharrassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment statutes, while others have created stand-alone cyberharassment statutes.
It was August 2013. I’d just been given a deadline to leave where I was staying at that time, and I was panicking. I had only started a new part-time, minimum wage job one month prior, and it wasn’t paying enough to get by. At most I was able to make payments on my storage unit, and have a little bit left over for food not covered with food stamps.
The situation was grim but not unexpected. The person with whom I’d been staying wanted her house back, and I couldn’t blame her. I eventually did locate somewhere I could move to, but saving money for the deposit was taking a while, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the deadline. Still, I had to try. So swallowing my pride for what seemed like the millionth time, I posted a link to the GoFundMe account I’d set up and asked for donations to help.
I hate having to beg. In addition to the injury to my pride, it had the effect of generating resentment from others, which was especially depressing for me, but when one is teetering on the brink of homelessness, shame is just another unaffordable luxury.
One day while checking my e-mail, I got the first e-mail from my cyber-stalker-harasser.
“Oh great,” I said to myself. “Just what I don’t need.” Clearly this person had an axe to grind. What’s more, he or she was hiding behind an anonymous user handle. I read the message over again. “This has got to be Dave,” I thought. “It’s exactly the kind of nonsense he’s written before.” But how had he gotten my e-mail in the first place? We hadn’t spoken in nearly two years, not since he’d had me evicted from our parents home (I’ll go into that chronicle in more depth another time). Why contact me now, except to kick me while I was down?
But, on the chance I was wrong, I decided to play a little dumb, and play it civilly. After David had given himself away, I took the gloves off and told him what was on my mind. His responses from then on were typical of him. He claims he’s been nothing but civil in his messages to me, and in his blog posts. I’ll post selected screen captures of our back-and-forth, and you can decide for yourself if this is true. I’ll also post comments as to why I’m sure this is David, Rick, and my eldest niece on at least one occasion, collaborating. Maybe I’m wrong, but perhaps a full and truthful confession by them would make everything clear.
By this time it was pretty obvious this was David. The content and writing style seemed to change every now and then, indicating more than one person was writing all this, but my younger brother’s words were undeniably in there. I took off the proverbial gloves and let him have it in my next reply. The response was:
Now, how did this person know that David is bisexual? I hadn’t told him; I’d made reference to my opinion that David’s boyfriend had likely gotten sick of his crap and kicked him out of the place they’d been sharing, but that could have indicated to my e-mail stalker that Dave was homosexual, not bisexual. How did he know this bit of information?
So not only was David sending me hate-messages, he had my niece Mallory taking screen captures of what I was posting on my Facebook page and sending them to him. Unbelievable. That was followed up with another message that stated, in part:
Now why, given everything that transpired in the e-mails up to that point, would a sane person not make the reasonable conclusion that this coward, who refused to self-identify, was collaborating with two relatives who bore grudges against me? There’s more to this, of course. here are more screen captures.
These aren’t all of the content of the e-mails. Some of the info in them is rather personal and below-the-belt on both sides, and some of it involves people I’d rather were left out of this feud because they don’t deserve to be dragged into it. I will say this, however. David says I’m being paranoid and following his blog. He claims I’m seeing a conspiracy and that this is further “evidence” of mental illness on my part. Let’s put that to the test, shall we?
So, David is following my blog. He, or this “other” person he says isn’t him, is hiding on my Facebook friends list, and refuses to self-identify so I can block the account from viewing what I write. But there’s a bit more to it. it seems that David, my ex-friend Rick, and my niece Mallory are on each other’s friends list.
What’s more, there was a fake Facebook profile set up solely for the purposes of mocking me, which had both David and Mallory on its friends list.
So, who’s really being paranoid, when at least three people are doing all this to me? Fortunately, I have some friends who cared enough about my well being to send me a few screen captures, because they wanted to know what was going on when I mentioned about all this. That last screen capture is from last year, I think, or earlier this year.
Sitting here at a public library terminal, looking at what I’m writing, that I even find myself having to post all this…it’s childish. Utterly, completely childish. I’ve been dragged into a child’s war, and like anyone who’s been attacked, I’m letting my natural instinct to respond take over. David, Rick, and this other person know this, and they’re taking advantage of it.
I really meant it when I said I want this to stop. I meant it when I said I would be getting a restraining order. Both David and the user(s) of the anonymous e-mail account claim there’s nothing illegal in what they’re doing. Ohio state law disagrees. You can look up the relevant revised codes here, here, and here.
Consider this your final warning, kids, before I pursue further legal action.
“The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life.”
— Frank Zappa
Dave, how many of your hate-ridden, lie-filled blogs are you going to post about me before it sinks into that deranged brain of yours? Stop following everything I post on Facebook, stop lying about me to my friends and acquaintances, stop ordering me to go get mental help, leave me alone. You are the one who started cyber-stalking me. That is your doing, not mine. I am not to blame for the things you do to me. If you’re going to lecture anyone on accepting responsibility, lecture yourself. You are in no position to lecture anyone else on anything.
I am trying to put what’s left of what passes for my life back together. I do not have the patience or the tolerance for your crap. I am under no obligation whatsoever to be nice, civil, or polite to you after everything you’ve put me through. You can play at being an innocent victim of somebody else’s aggression all you like, but when you choose to spend your time harassing me and lying about me to anyone and everyone who will listen, to the point that I have to take time from looking for a job to correct the record, guess what? I am going to respond to blatant hostility in kind. You’re even crazier than I thought if you think that talking crap to and about others should be met with anything other than the outrage, scorn, and hostility it deserves.
You lost all right to call yourself my brother years ago. You have no authority over me. You have never had any authority over me. And you sure as hell aren’t motivated in your actions toward me by anything other than pure lifelong hatred.
You, your new friend Rick, and this third person who still chooses to be a coward and self-identify (although, given your likely mental state, for all I know it could be your alternate personality), are all pissy for one reason and one reason only: I refuse to let you bully me. It’s that simple. The three (two?) of you are nothing but psychotic, obsessed bullies who, in typical bully fashion, cannot abide anyone who stands up to you.
By the way: yes, Dave, it was you who explained to me exactly how Father’s Uncle Joe was killed. Stop your lying. I told you what your father told me, which is that he’d been sick for a while. That itself turned out to be a lie, something you and your parents excel at even when everyone else knows the truth and you somehow think you’re being clever. You were the one who called me and said Uncle Joe had been murdered. I realize your insane obsession with making me into your Ultimate Villain requires flat out lying just to make yourself look good and me look bad, but there is no need to keep trying to rewrite the past to suit your delusional vendetta.
You and your friends have been sending me hate-ridden e-mails; stalking my every online move it seems; posting your flame comments on my blogs; taking screen captures of what I post and sharing them even after I blocked your accounts so you couldn’t bother me; posting libelous blog entries; demanding that I reply to you on your blog on your terms, so you can get my IP address and God only knows what else, not to mention control how and when I’m allowed to defend myself; taunting me over my job and living situation (the latter of which YOU put me in, by the way — something else you shirk responsibility for); even attacking my choice of college major. You people have been doing this for coming up on one full year next month. But you have the unmitigated gall to call me crazy, and demand that I try to prove a negative just to show I’m not screwed up in the head like you are?
I want you to stop for a few minutes, Dave, and think about everything you’ve been doing to me for the past few years and especially these past months, all for the “crime” of not taking your shit. What in all of your actions is not completely, bat-shit insane, hateful, or vindictive? You admit that you’ve got mental issues, and claim you’re on medication and trying to keep it under control, but this cyber-stalking vendetta you’ve been pursuing only proves just what a liar you are in that regard. If you were really trying to keep your insanity in check, you’d be making a serious effort to get your own life in order instead of constantly interfering in mine.
Get this through your head once and for all, David Alan Kwiatkowski: I am not responsible for you. You are. You want to talk about taking responsibility, boy? Try doing it yourself. Grow up, stop stalking me, stop talking shit about me, and leave me alone. If I have to go to the trouble of getting restraining orders against you and your friends, I am only too happy to do it. You know as well as I do what the laws are regarding cyber-stalking.
I am really getting tired of having to respond to your endless bullshit. At this point all you can hope to do now is try to get in the last word against me, and even that is just another of your delusional fantasies.
By Kenneth Justice
“I haven’t talked with my mother in 40 years” he said
~ Over the course of 200 coffee houses I’ve visited this past year, I’ve ran into a number of different high schoolers who told me they couldn’t wait to move out of their parent’s house,
—) “My dad is so controlling, I can’t wait till I’m old enough to live on my own” said a 16 year young man
—) “My mom gets in my business all the time, she’s always putting her nose into things that are none of her concern” said a 17 year old young woman
—) “My step-father is a jerk. He treats me like shit and the minute I’m legally allowed to move out I’ll be gone” said a 16 year old young man
We’ve all heard the Proverb, “Familiarity breeds contempt
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