Part I

☆ October 15, 2010

OK, finally!  Blogging is a tricky thing for me.  I have started so many topics and series and then never finished them because life keeps going at a million miles and hour and when I find the time to update, it’s about something in the moment (like Sir Baby rubbing his head in the dirt – how could I ignore that?)

But finally, here is the story of the stalker, or at least the beginning of it.  I have no problem sharing this – some commenters showed concern that the man who stalked me might read these posts and get off on them and honestly, I really do not care.  If that’s what gives him a thrill, then his life is very, very empty.  More importantly, he is the least significant part of the story.  His role is generic and not that compelling – I am much more interested in everything that happened in me and in the courtroom.  That’s where the real story is.

But for the sake of background: this guy was a stranger.  He lives in Wyoming about three hours away.  He was a “regular” on the websites – I read every comment I get and if people post often enough I start recognizing names.  He emailed me now and then and it was all very tame and normal.  I responded when I could – those of you who have emailed me knows how this goes.  This guy was no different.

Then, out of the blue, I got an insane, disgusting, INSANE email from him.  And then about six more, tamer, but totally off-kilter.  After a few days I wrote him one line, “Your emails in the past week have been totally outside the bounds of decency and respect, I’m pretty annoyed.”  Silence from him for about a week, then he sent a long apology – so long, I didn’t even read the whole thing.  He was already permanently on my shit list by that point and I wasn’t about to spend my time reading a lengthy apology.  I didn’t care.  And by shit list I mean, I give my energy to everyone until they abuse it.  And then I stop.  That’s it.

Things were mellow and he commented here and there on the sites but nothing weird, and I really didn’t give it or him another thought.  Then, maybe a week later, he sent another series of emails; these were love-obsessive, one after another.  I wrote back and said, “Your emails continue to be in bad taste.  Mike and I find them completely disrespectful to us both.  If you choose to continue I will forward all your emails to the Sheriff’s Department and the FBI, who have jurisdiction over the internet.”

And that’s when all hell broke loose and the full-on stalking began.  Obsessive emails about how much he loved me, sometimes more than 50 in one day.

Now, feel free to discuss whether or not I should have responded either time.  In this case, what’s done is done, but perhaps a discussion will help others know how to proceed if they find themselves in a similar situation.  I know with trolls (hate mail), not responding works really well. Over the past three years, I’ve learned there’s no point in responding to hate mail, and it no longer bothers me – it goes in one eye and out the back of my head.  But this bothered me.

I naively thought, just as I thought three years ago when it came to hate mail, that if I addressed it head on, it would stop.  Ironically, in learning how to fight {more on that coming soon}, I have learned how to temper that impulse in favor of strategy.  I am also quite certain that if this ever happened again, it would not bother me.  It would join the ranks of hate mail, the ranks of “if that’s how people want to spend their time, fine, but it has no effect on me.”  But that’s because of what I….. well, explaining it won’t make sense until I finish the story.

Part II is HERE


114 Responses to “Part I”

  1. Alicia
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    I’m sorry you had to deal with this. There sure are some crazies out there, I hope you have some peace now. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Scargosun
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    So nervous about the rest of the story. At least I know you, Mike and the farmly are safe right now. :)

  3. Milaka
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    I’m SO glad that you and the rest are safe.

  4. Lydia
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    Long-time reader, first time poster.

    I’m so sorry this happened. I hope it never happens again!

  5. darrell
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    Glad to see you have this under control. Or at least I hope it is. Good luck, and be careful. The world is full of evil.

  6. Sandra
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:30 am

    I am also very sad you had to deal with this. I recently read a book, “The Gift of Fear” which has a section on stalkers and how to best deal with them. I thought of it because of what you said about how you threatened to report him to authorities which escalated the situation (the book goes into detail about this). You are totally right — what’s done is done — but it might be worth a read since you really are a public figure in many ways who might sadly have to deal with this type of thing in the future.

  7. Wendy
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    I would never presume to tell you what you should or should not have done. It’s your life, and you must live it. I WILL say that I hope by all that is holy that you are being careful. That you are keeping copies of these emails. That you are vigilant about your safety. Not only because the world is a better place with you in it, but because creeps don’t deserve to win.

    Love & Blessings,

  8. Kathy Austin
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    It’s so sad that some people have no life and have to bother other people. When you are in the spotlight (so to speak) it makes you larger target unfortunately. And sadly, it can not only be very annoying, but dangerous. Can’t wait to read the “rest of the story”. I’m just glad you’re ok. Please be careful.

  9. hello haha narf
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    i have a feeling i would have done exactly what you did (responded in pretty much the same manner). Oh how i hate that you even had to encounter this behavior.

  10. hello haha narf
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    also, thanks for sharing your experience. sadly, i have a feeling it is one many bloggers need to read.

  11. Shirley Allen
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    So Shreve, have you ever castrated a bull? Keep that knife handy, if this guy gets too close, you might show him how it’s done. I don’t post much, but I want to tell you how much I enjoy your pictures and “The Daily Coyote”. Book. I have had 3 coydogs in my life. Smart animals!

  12. Dana
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    The internet is a big, strange world, and I guess every now and then we get reminders of how we don’t really know people or what their buttons might be. Sorry you had to experience this. Looking forward to seeing the resolution.

  13. Lucy
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:44 am

    I had a stalker once. It was someone I knew socially. He wasn’t as dedicated as Shreve’s, thank goodness, but he wrote long rambling senseless letters to me. The letters mostly dissected in detail the meaning he ascribed to various off-the-cuff things that I had done and said in social settings. They never had anything to do with him but in his mind I was sending him coded messages. He also told everyone that he and I had been together in a past life. The past life included a lot of detail, some of it unsavory.

    On the advice of law enforcement, I ignored him and the situation completely. I felt really rude pretending not to hear him say hello and walking brusquely past, but it worked. Thank goodness. I hear many stories of it not working. I guess he was only so crazy. He’s since moved away.

    Shreve has my full support in being a bad-ass non-victim.

  14. Julie
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    I comment occasionally, and have my ears pricked for the ending of this story—I have similar, not same, instance in my life, and how I handled it, well, was not probably appropriate, but when you’re in “it”, you’re in it full on, balls out.

    You will help others with the writing of this tale. From the original reveal of this happening in your life, there were many comments from those of us who’ve dealt with similar situation(s). So, it will only help. And that’s ultimately the point of all this, isn’t it? To pass it forward (the helping) and to gain a step-backed view of what you dealt with.

    It still tends to strike a fearful nerve in me, I know you’re okay now, and that the story needs to come out on it’s own, but my concern (valid or not) is with the guy who’s still out there, and could maybe read what you’re writing about him (oh what a *thrill* for him!, not) and do something else, to you.

    I know you’re going to write to this viewpoint, so I”m just awaitin’. Good thoughts to you Shreve.

  15. Wife of a Sailor
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    I just do not GET people like that. It’s absolutely scary! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Maia
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:55 am

    Shreve, don’t worry that you might have egged him on or brought any of this on yourself. This creap is disturbed and no matter what you did or didn’t do, he probably would have reacted exactly the way he did.

    I say hooray for you. You stood up and let him know you didn’t appreciate his crazyness.

  17. Rachel
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    No one has the right to tell you what you should or should not do, or have done. They’re not you, they did not live through that. You did what you thought you needed to at the time.

  18. Miranda
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    So sorry you had to deal with this. Unfortunately, the Internet is an open door to psychos like this. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them/bar them from emailing or posting, but also keep a record of any threatening emails. Psychos thrive on attention, esp. negative attention. Don’t give them that and they usually turn elsewhere. There are a lot of losers out there who seem to hate strong, independent women! Wishing you safety and peace for you and your animal family. Blessings.

  19. karyn
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    I will be interested in others’ take on this also, as I have responded to stuff in both ways – let it go, and full on confrontation, with differing results. Ultimately, I find if it bothers me, I need to look inward and find that in me which is responding.

    Every day brings a new opportunity to learn, doesn’t it?

  20. Lori
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    What a miserable thing to have to deal with, but it sounds like you’ve got things under control. I’m certainly praying that’s so, and wishing the best for you.

    Having been the butt of attacks by a troll (or trolls) myself, this year, I too dove in head-first firing back. It seems to have done the trick, but I’m ever mindful that putting myself out on the web means I’m an open target for nut jobs and whackos who feel entitled to take pot shots for lack of anything better with which to fill their time.

    The web’s a wonderful thing, but it’s also a double-edged sword. I wish you nothing but happiness and safety. I’m glad to see this unfortunate episode hasn’t dampened your enthusiasm for sharing your world with us.


  21. LJ
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    When I was little, my Dad was in a horrible fire trying to rescue his friend and in the hospital under intensive care for months. I was so frightened, helpless and didn’t know how to handle it.
    I decided to envision guardians around my Dad, not the happy, pretty guardians that are typical conjured up, but guardians with swords, shields, spears, guardians that could do some serious damage to anyone or anything that meant to do him harm. That image helped me, and I use it to this day.
    I am sending these guardians to you and all you love. We have your back.

  22. Jim Corey
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    There are many people out there who are actually crazy, but can appear normal to others. Other people have a mental defect like schizophrenia and are normal sometimes and not normal others. And I am learning that some people who are normal can break down in a stressful situation (like an impending divorce) and do things one would never expect of them.

    As they say in the concealed carry community, you need to maintain situational awareness.

  23. Lorelei Dacus
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    The problem with choosing to respond / reply to emotionally disturbed people is that you can’t really ever speak a language they understand so it is a futile expenditure of energy. It is like trying to communicate with aliens.

  24. Assana
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    So scary. I had a stalker once. All he ever did was send me flowers once a week… beautiful seasonal flowers. Nothing as crazy as this, and yet I was freeeeeeeaked out… I can’t imagine what you went thru. (These days I’m thinking maybe he was stalking the flower shop!)

  25. *GINA*
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    Shreve, you really are supposed to totally ignore the stalker and their attempts at contact with you because you really are just adding fuel to the fire. but you also are to let them know that you and all around you are vigilant to them and that you have taken appropriate steps to arm yourself and you will protect yourself and those around you to the MAX!! Just be extra careful. People are nuts!that’s why I like animals so much.

  26. Anastasia
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    I had a stalker years ago, long before the internet made harassment so easy. He lived about 2 hours away, he was a friend of a friend, and at first he seemed to be just trying to help me get a job where he worked, which would have been great (I thought at the time). But over time, his phone calls and unannounced visits became inappropriate and out of bounds. He’d say very unwelcome sexual things to me and I told him I didn’t like it or want it. I stopped trying to get a job at his place of business, I stopped hanging out with him and I told him flat out he was disrespectful and inappropriate, but it only got worse and he ignored anything I said about stopping and leaving me alone.
    Then, one day he called me and I told him I couldn’t talk, as usual, and he said, “Is there a man there?” and even though I was alone, I said, “Yes, I have a boyfriend now and he’s here,” which wasn’t true. And he hung up immediately and I never heard from him again. I felt like a fool for not thinking of the boyfriend idea sooner as this had gone on for more than a year.
    I guess the fact that you have Mike, and Mike shoots things very well, still wasn’t enough to put off your stalker, and that just shows how much crazier he is than my stalker. I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with this crap!

  27. David
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    In hindsight maybe ignoring him would have been best, who knows?

    If there ever is a next time and I hope there isn’t, give it a try.

    NOTE: If there is a next time, create an archive folder and save all the emails for future law enforcement attention if needed.

  28. Karen O.
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    I think you did the right thing by replying to him. Even if it did provoke him, it feels like that might have been a good thing. Maybe it didn’t feel like that at the time, but it made it possible for you to fully understand the intensity with which this individual viewed you so that you could then act accordingly, i.e. get the cops involved.

    It would seem that with hate mail, the senders are trying to provoke a response. In order to get satisfaction from harassing you, they need you to reply. If you don’t rise to the bait, they fizzle out.

    Someone who’s obsessive like this doesn’t seem to need your input in order to fabricate elaborate fantasies where you’re in love with each other or you have some sort of unspoken bond. Clearly, this individual wasn’t right in the head, and that’s dangerous. If you had ignored him, he might have just shown up without you having as much warning.

    This is just my two-cents. I have never been stalked, so I can only imagine what a horrible experience it must be, but I do think you were right not to ignore danger when it was so apparent.

  29. angie
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    i don’t think your responses to him were “adding fuel to the fire.” any further communication, yes, but you told him it was inappropriate, and then you told him you would report him to the authorities. you let him know you were not going to take this.

    so glad you guys are okay. i liked it better when no one knew the name of your town, and you were cocooned in mysterious wyoming. there are crazy mofo’s out there!

  30. Cristy
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing Shreve. I’m so glad you, Mike and the farmily are safe.

    I been doing some reading about “obsessive love” after you first posted about your stalker. According to what I’ve been reading, you’ve did everything right (set boundaries and tried to sever the connection). The fact it exploded has nothing to do with you and everything to do with how mental ill this individual is. And even if someone disagrees with your approach, you did what was necessary to distance yourself early on. Some people don’t even have the courage to do that.

    I’m amazed at how much information and literature is out there on this topic and yet our judicial system doesn’t have the necessary means to deal with this. It incredibly sad and scary with too little being done to late.

    Stay safe, Shreve. Lots of positive thoughts and energy being sent your way. And please let us know if there is anything that we can do.

  31. Sara Donadei-Blood
    October 15th, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    Being stalked is a scary thing. Personally I am comforted by my .38 Special (her name is Kali) as well as my protection-trained German Shepherd, Kiri. Someone actually broke into our house last month and Kiri scared them off (from her crate, no less – now she is loose 24/7 to make sure we hear someone screaming in agony, rather than her furious barking should another break-in happen).
    A bad economy forces desperate moves, but crazy is just scary – unpredictable and illogical. Very difficult to protect yourself from…

  32. Chris
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    Thanks for continuing to share this. My heart goes out to you and the other women here who have shared their accounts of being stalked. You are all part of making this horrid violation more visible, which will (hopefully) lead to the law catching up in this area.

    I am very glad that even though you are second-guessing your initial response to the creep, you aren’t blaming yourself. Like you said earlier, you have taken your anger and put it to good use.

    Stay well.

  33. Jenn
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    I (along with everyone else I am sure) am having mixed emotions regarding reading the next part of this story.
    I am glad that you are sharing this awful situation with us though. It has been a learning lesson for me already with realizing how others can really be and whether or not to be trustworthy.
    For me it all comes down to following my gut when it comes to meeting new people and first impressions. I suppose meeting someone over the internet vs meeting someone face to face wouldn’t give your gut a chance to feel right or not.
    It is so unfortunate that something like this had to happen to someone like you. You are so kind to share your amazing life with so many and one person had to try to ruin your life. Glad to see he’s not succeeding!
    I wish you & yours all the best & stay safe!



  34. Lisa
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    You know, thanks for starting to explain this. I have had some strange stalker-y feelings about a couple of people, but they never appeared to materialize into anything.

    This next part of your process – I have no idea what to do next, so thanks for sharing.

  35. Felis Sidus
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    As far as I know, the usual advice from people who specialize in handling these sorts of situations is that it’s better not to respond. However, I also know of times when failure to respond simply enraged the stalker.

    Personally, I don’t think there’s any one approach that will work every time. We just have to guage the situation, then make the best choice we can under the circumstances.

  36. Olivia
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

    So sorry you went thru this. Not exactly related to your situation, but just generally, I do remember hearing the advice to ignore stalkers completely and if you have to speak to them then be perfectly clear and concise that you NEVER want to see or hear from them again. Otherwise, they thrive on attention and think any ambiguity means they have a chance with you.

  37. Carrie
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    I think you responded the way many others would have and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to respond in this situation. I’m probably not going to express quite what I’m thinking all that well, but I do think there’s a difference between the people who send hate mail and this guy. Hate mail people are just angry, grumpy people (to totally generalize)who make themselves feel better by saying mean things to others. Hopefully, they’re usually harmless, esp in your case. And bravo to you for not responding to them anymore. They’re probably not willing to have a healthy conversation, so it’s not worth your time to try and educate them.

    This guy though, I believe is probably pretty mentally unstable and I think ignoring him or responding to him would’ve had the same result. Ignoring him would’ve fueled his fire and I’m sure he would’ve set out to prove his “love” to you; responding to him, no matter how tame and to the point, unfortunately garnered the same response. I honestly don’t think there was anything you could’ve said to stop him (and please don’t take that as anything negative towards or about you, I really think if he is mentally unstable, that he had his mind made up and clearly, he’s not listening to reason at this point… as is the case with most stalkers. They don’t see/understand how what they’re doing is nec wrong.)

    Anyway, from what you’ve shared, I think you’ve done a great job handling this situation; It just sucks that you even had/have to deal with it. I admire you for sharing this with us.

  38. Maggie
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    Everyone else has said what I wanted to say. So.
    I’m glad you are safe and I look forward to reading about your internal process around the whole thing. I’ve never been stalked… I can’t imagine. It just gives me a feeling of *UGH*

  39. Sarah Lopusnikova
    October 15th, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Shreve, I would probably have responded, too. I’m glad you’re not beating yourself up about doing that if you’ve been told it wasn’t the best thing to do.

    To echo some others, KEEP EVERYTHING this guy sends you and keep a log of every single time he communicates with you in any way. If he does communicate with you, notify the police and/or prosecutor immediately. That’s probably a parole violation for which he could be placed in jail again.

    I’m praying for the safety of you, Mike, and the Farmily.

  40. Jim Vaught
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

    ugh ! I used to email ya alot in general myself, but I guess it hit me one day that it was probably “too” much as well, not actually (personally) knowing you and such. That story is just positively creepy, I absolutely believe you did the right thing cuz this person really does sound unbalanced and dangerous. It may be ‘just’ email, but even that needs to have boundaries and sense of decency. With this person living so close to you and sending that kind of garbage… much better that it’s on record and this guy is known to the autorities. It most likely would have gotten to that point either way (sooner or later) from the sound of things. Statistics, studies, experts all say one thing or the other, but can never predict how the perpetrator will respond in YOUR specific situation because everyone is wired a little different. Being safe here & now… always better than trying to figure out how or why something happened after-the-fact. aw hell, nothing you dont already know I guess… y’all take care :D

  41. Siobhan
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

    Once again so sorry you had to deal with this creep Shreve. Glad that you, Mike, and the farmily are all good. Keep care.

  42. DFMM
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    You did the right thing by replying to this guy to tell him that what he did was inappropriate and that you’d go to the authorities if he didn’t quit. When I was stalked, the police actually told me that they couldn’t get involved until AFTER I told my stalker he was out of line and not to contact me anymore or I’d bring the cops into it. The police said that until I told my stalker all this, the stalker had no way of knowing he was doing anything out of line.

    Of course, even after I did what the cops said and emailed my stalker with that message, the police still did their best to try to get out of doing anything about the crazy guy, but that’s another story….

  43. Angela
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    You are so sound and sane, I can’t imagine taking that with such grace and calmness.

  44. Sandy
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Shreve –

    I follow The Daily Coyote and check in on Honey Rock Dawn every once in a while. I am sorry to hear about this, but very glad you are safe!!

    Take Care!

  45. Shara
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    I have no intention on judging how you should or shouldn’t have handled it. Sounds like the guy was enough of a nutter it wouldn’t have mattered if you tap danced in front of him wearing a superman costume and a tutu, the result would still have been the same. Instead, I’d just like to express my support for you, and that I am glad that you appear to be safe. I love reading your blog, but even if i’d never heard of you, my view would be the same. No one should have to go through all this. Many happy thoughts and good intentions towards you and your world!

  46. Penny
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    I will not judge , nor would I try to give advice as I have no experience in this area. I believe that you did the best you could in a bad situation, and that you shouldn’t second guess yourself. Good thoughts and friendship from CO….Thanks for sharing .

  47. Danielle
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    It scares me that this actually happens to a lot of women. I’ve had several friends, one of them really close to me, end up with stalkers like this guy and obviously, as you know, it’s no fun. I’m glad that you and those that are near and dear to you are safe.
    I mean really, what would we do without you? :)

  48. Dana P
    October 15th, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

    I am an aries too and would of responded in the same way. My husband has had to get me out of numerous confrontation that I have charged head down into. I had a stalker for a time till the police finally arrested him for stalking and harassment. It is a scary situation to be in.

  49. Amy
    October 15th, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    I don’t have anything useful to add…except I’m so sorry, and that I’m worried for you, and that at the same time, I’ve never been so sure that a woman could take care of herself as I am with you. Be safe. Be strong. I’ve taken what you said about the brass heart, well, to heart.

  50. cfritz
    October 15th, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    When I first heard of the stalking my mind automatically went to some ‘crazy’ person from a far away state – not one of our own Wyoming neighbors! Makes me even more startled and sad. You must go about in your life- but please be safe in doing so.

  51. Kathleen
    October 15th, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    I think that every situation is different, so unless I was in your shoes I couldn’t begin to make judgement on your choice. I think the only answer lies in letting your gut lead you, if you listen you will know what to do.

    I pop in now and again, to escape the office and live a vicarious daydream of your life. I’ve never emailed. I do read other’s posts as sometimes it can be an interesting study in behavior…I still can’t fathom the mindset people you’ve had just “drop by” to meet you and Charlie, let alone this stalking thing. It’s just unconscionable to me. It reminds me of people I know that talk about TV personalities like they know them personally.

    I think letting it roll off your back is a wise decision. Spend your time, effort and emotions on people in your life who deserve them. Fighting a stranger troll takes energy away from the good things in life. Just hit “ignore” :)

  52. Deborah
    October 15th, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Just creepy. People just don’t get it. They don’t know when they invade an individual’s personal space and safety.

  53. Laurie "Wo" Smith
    October 15th, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    Sending compassionate thoughts to the entire FARMily as I click the keys Shreve…

    Having had a few bad experiencex over the web, I have such empathy for your sitation and am so thankful that you are all safe.

    I learned a little tid-bit that I’ve been using the for last 9 or 10 years and while it has been difficult to do at times, but it does WORK [for me]!

    It’s my 24-hour rule… for negative or hurtful e-mails that come in – I open up my word-processing program and type whatever I feel the need to reply right then and there – and then save the file to my desktop. My feelings get released – but they haven’t gone ANYwhere other than OUTSIDE of me.

    I have a deal with myself – don’t even THINK of clicking on the desktop icon for at least 24-hours. That ususally gives me enough time to really ‘release my words’ and 9 times out of 10 (or maybe I should say 89 times out of 100 – ha) I simply send it right to the trash-can & DELETE the original e-mail without responding.

    There’s just so little time to spend it focusing on the negatives. One hundred e-mails can flow through my inbox – and one ‘bad’ one used to send me over the edge. Focusing instead on all the supportive words and encouraging people out there should far out way that ‘one’.

    Again, this works for me and I hope it’s something that could be useful to someone else who frequents your wonderful website. Thank you for giving me a venue to share this Shreve and I wish all the FARMily a great fall season…. and beyond… of course.


  54. Ticia
    October 15th, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

    I’m sorry you had to go through the experience but it sounds like you’ve learned a lot from it. Actually, I wanted to comment on your first paragraph. I love the randomness of your blog! It’s great to see how many directions your life goes.

  55. Cathy
    October 15th, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

    Shreve, I doubt there was much more you could have done to protect yourself from an internet-stalker.I sincerely thank you for sharing your experience. It makes me feel stronger to know that another woman is strong.

  56. Steph in Oregon
    October 15th, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    Shreve- I think the way you handled this is what I would have done if I found myself in the same situation. One thing I will offer: do not count on the authorities to keep you safe. They will do their best, but they cannot always be there or get there fast enough (I hope you will never need this information).

    I have a neighbor that has gone ’round the bend and has shot at me and been very hostile in other ways. The sheriff’s deputy as been called several times. His final words of advise were to be very aware of my surroundings when in this neighbor’s vicinity and expect anything.

    This must be difficult for Mike as well. I have had many conversations with my husband about how the neighbor situation needs to be handled and what he CANNOT do to the neighbor.

    Thank you for sharing this on your blog.

  57. Laura
    October 15th, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

    Be careful!

  58. julie
    October 15th, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    my heart is with you, shreve … you are brave and strong. thank you for sharing and take good care of yourself and yours.

  59. Mari
    October 15th, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

    Well if that stalker is reading any of these comments, I hope he soon realizes that he acted like a real loser, that he is mentally ill and needs to get some help. The only way he could redeem himself is to realize the error of his ways & completely leave Shreve alone – for the rest of his life. Like most stalkers, he sounds mentally ill so I hope he gets help before he winds up in prison or dead. I know I’m being kind of charitable towards the guy but hey – ya gotta hope for the best. Shreve knows what to do on her end – he needs to change his behavior – or he will regret it. End of story.

  60. bonnie
    October 15th, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

    hi shreve
    yours are the only blogs i read every day, and the only ones i have ever taken the time to leave any comments on. over the years(!) i have become familiar with some of the names of the ‘regulars’ who comment, and i did notice that one of the few male posters has been absent lately — so of course i am suspicious if it is him who has turned out to be such a jerk. if it is who i suspect, i have to say that some of his captions were funny and clever, and because of that , i too would probably have felt that he was intelligent enough to be told if he had got out of line. too bad he turned out to be so mentally unstable — i hope he is back on his meds by now!
    there are a lot of us who love you. and because we do, we don’t want to possess you at all — we want you to continue being the free spirit you are.
    thank you for all that you give.
    blessed be.

  61. Regina Ellis
    October 15th, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

    I think that you are very brave and very caring to be sharing such a personal, scary thing. I want to encourage all your readers, especially the women,to take self defense classes and shooting lessons. If you’re going to have a gun, you need to be comfortable and proficient with it. Otherwise it’s a danger to you. Personally, even though I’m an old lady, I’d never be caught without my 9mm and it’s very effective hollow points…and I pity the person who tries to break into my home or jack my car. He will be carried away in a black bag…

  62. Jenny
    October 15th, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing the fact that something can be done in a situation like this and how to do it. I am just sorry you have to be the teacher in this circumstance. I am new to your blog and I hope you don’t mind me saying so. P.S.
    I really wanted to comment on an earlier post, but this story kind of caught me.

  63. Ray Marotta
    October 15th, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    Hi Shreve,
    I’m a first and probably last time poster here.
    So, first of all, as a guy, please accept my apology that some guys are like this clown. I don’t know if your response was right or wrong. I think a response would have to be tailored to his particular kind of crazy to be effective.
    I have been reading your work since “Vespa Vagabond” hit the net. I enjoy the “Daily Coyote” and even bought your book. My curiosity was piqued by your descriptions of where you live and how much you love the place so last Summer on my annual cross-country motorcycle trip I rode through your town. The thought of looking you up never entered my mind because while I know your work, I don’t know you and the Beartooth Highway was calling out to me. Keep safe and do me a big favor.
    Get “VV” going again. This site is just too girly for me.
    10 miles East of Estes Park, Co.

  64. JoDi
    October 15th, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    I’m not sure there is a right answer as to whether responding or ignoring would have been best at the beginning. When you’re dealing with someone who is mentally ill, they will read their own interpretation into either one.

    I’m not sure ignoring will even work unless you can totally cut off all access the person has to you. I knew a woman many years ago who engaged in “stalker-ish” behavior with men she ran into regularly in settings like work, and even though they flat out told her they weren’t interested and then ignored her (as much as possible), she would still see them at work, and she would read into everything they said and did when they were interacting with other people. She would “see” signals directed at her in the way they said things or their mannerisms or gestures. So whether you responded directly to his emails or not, I think he would have been inventing “responses” by reading your blogs and tweets.

    It’s a scary thing to deal with someone who is mentally ill, but it sounds like you have found growth through all of this and emerged stronger. Be safe and well. You are much loved (in the nice, non-scary way) by your readers. :)

  65. lisa
    October 15th, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

    thanks for sharing. I’ve had a minor stalker incident recently and it somehow makes me feel better that you dealt with something like this and are still going strong at everything that really matters in your life like bulls playing in the dirt :)

  66. Lisa
    October 15th, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    Yep, it sucks that this happened. Stay safe and keep your ear to the ground. I haven’t read through all the comments, but decided to comment after about the 10th “well, the internet” and “well, you’re a public figure” comment, vaguely implying that you somehow brought it on. So, I’ll chime in and say that I’ve been stalked three times. The first was 30 years ago. I tried the ignore route, and the guy called and wrote and sent packages for 2 yrs. I never felt threatened, but I was totally creeped out. The next guy called my work and home #s all day every day for about 6 months (this was the early 1990s and he had been the instructor at an adult ed course I took) and the most recent was last year. I’ve learned to never be too friendly to strangers. It doesn’t take much for an oddball to become obsessed and go off the deep end. And, I’m a “private” figure w/ no internet presence. Stalkers and other obsessive weirdos existed long before the internet, and weren’t created by their targets. No one deserves to be stalked nor brings it on.

  67. Mari
    October 15th, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    As Lisa said – it doesn’t take much for an oddball to become obsessed. I had it happen with a neighbor, which is a real drag because his house is only 4 houses away from mine. He decided that I was his last hope for a friend and even threatened suicide. It’s been 5 yrs since we’ve spoken. His behavior improved after I completely stopped speaking to him or acknowledging his presence. I can tell he still has a thing for me but his obsession seems to have calmed down… at least I hope it has. It was quite disturbing. Unfortunately, it has affected how I view strange men and how friendly I act towards them.

  68. Scotty
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

    If I could impart any wisdom to young people today it would be that in life many people do not have your best interests in mind when they interact with you. I was shocked to learn that not only are there people whose agendas are not only hidden but that they also have no soul or values and will do anything they can to take from you and gratify themselves. There is no way you did anything wrong in being responsive to your audience.

    Your story will help people carry around a bit of mistrust which is after all a survival instinct. Imagine a wild coyote, how truly mistrustful that animal would be, and regrettably for good reason. I come to this site because I love animals and the human interest stories surrounding them. I admire people like you who are bold and willing to put their art and letters out there for all to see.

    “I was at home and should have been most happy
    but I saw too far into the sea, where every maw
    the greater feeds on the less evermore. But I saw
    too distinct into the core, of an eternal fierce destruction,
    and so from happiness I was far gone.”

    by Keats, the romantic, saw what Darwin was later to see and Emerson recorded as ‘the virulence that still remains uncured in the universe.’

    “Nature’s polluted. There’s man in every secret corner of her doing damn wicked deeds. Thou are, old world, a hoary, atheistic, murdering star.” Thomas Beddoes

    My point being, thank you for reminding us about the beauty of nature. We all kind of share this profound sadness and you lift us up from that.

  69. Lesley
    October 15th, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    First, let me say I’m so sorry you endured this and I hope this fuckwit is long gone. He sounds seriously deranged and harmful.

    Re: “whether or not I should have responded either time.”

    With the exception of one tiny element, I think your responses were completely appropriate. Your statements were brief, direct and to the point.

    The only element I think you should have left out was describing your annoyance, i.e. how his behaviour affected you.

    Obsessive crazies do not respond to reason, nor do they respect it. They lack the empathy required to appreciate the impact of their behaviour.

    Further, they get a thrill out of thinking they’ve had an impact on you. That is what they are after because they like to have control.

    Responding in a detached, direct, and businesslike manner is probably the best thing, if you are going to respond. And I would respond only one time, along the lines of “Your emails and letters are inappropriate and unacceptable. Any future correspondence from you will be blocked. The threatening mail you have sent has been forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement officers to handle.”

    I would not tell such a person that they frighten me, annoy me, piss me off and so on and I would avoid giving them any attention. Not because your feelings don’t matter, but because they aren’t worthy of knowing anything about them. And they don’t care anyway.

    That’s my two cents.

    P.S. I had a similar circumstance with a creepy neighbour guy (a family man) who fixated on me and one of my neighbours in our apartment building because we’d complained to the police about his family’s excessive noise. (His wife was creepy, too.) He started dialing our phone numbers day and night and leaving creepy messages through our mail slots. Neither of us responded to him or answered his calls. Everything got routed through the police who told us to not talk to him, respond to him, speak on the phone to him, etc. The police told us to let them handle him. Eventually he moved from the area and we’ve never heard from or seen him since.

  70. Jenny C
    October 16th, 2010 @ 12:14 am

    I’m sorry and utterly disgusted that this ugliness bumped into your life and tried to take it over. It has not succeeded. I am not minimizing the horror of this type of mental illness; I am recognizing who you are and what you do every moment of every day – you are learning and gaining strength. Every day more and more good fills your life and shoves the bad to the distant shadows to lurk and slink away.

    “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… You must do the thing you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

    “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
    Harriet Beecher Stowe

  71. Catherine Chandler
    October 16th, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    I haven’t checked out your blog in a couple months (just realized how long it was since I last was here!), and oh wow…I’m so sorry this happened to you! How awful. I’m truly glad you are safe, as well as Mike. You are strong, a crusader. I admire your tact and bravery, but know that there must have been so many other feelings. May you always be safe and warm, and with the ones you love.

  72. gabip
    October 16th, 2010 @ 3:08 am

    Oh my goodness, please do not now, nor in the future respond to those types of comments or e-mails. By responding you are giving them fuel, no matter how small, fuel just the same, crazy people look at a response as an open door, even if it’s just cracked open they believe they will somehow convince you they are special. Ya, they are “special” alright, just NOT the kind of special most people want. Take precautions, be aware, keep yourselves, your farmily and property secure and the minute things go south document and report all occurrences to the authorities. Shreve, I hate to say this but from my own similar experience you can’t let your guard down or get too comfortable, that’s the opening that they look for. Please ALWAYS be aware and careful.

  73. ihermit
    October 16th, 2010 @ 6:58 am

    Good job of taking the bull by the horns. I am a hermit because I chose to be , I met a lot of crazy’s when I spent a year with a carnival in OR. Best wishes in the future. Barry

  74. Lizzie
    October 16th, 2010 @ 7:43 am

    Shreve, like all of us, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. But y’know… I’m not sure there even was a right way to handle it, or at least a way that would have gotten him to quit. It sounds like he would have taken any opportunity to escalate the situation, and being as brave as you are sends a good message. You’re not gonna take this crap!

    So, I’m not an expert, but I think you did the right thing, and it’s good that you have electronic copies of everything that he’s sent you, in case you need them for the police. I’m so glad you have people and animals around you to protect and love you. Like I said last time… for every one disgusting creep like this, there are a million other people who think you totally rock!

  75. Colleen G
    October 16th, 2010 @ 7:50 am

    I would have probably handled the same way you did. It’s unfortunate that you & Mike have had to deal with this sick freak. It’s also amazing to me, based on your original post, how many women have had to deal with similar situations. God bless and hang tough sister! You are a smart woman and I’m sure you are doing all the right things.

  76. Lindsay P.
    October 16th, 2010 @ 8:12 am

    Thank you for sharing such a private event in your life Shreve…

  77. Holly Shepherd
    October 16th, 2010 @ 8:31 am

    Once again, I can only imagine the feeling that one would get knowing someone out there, is off kilter and obsessed with you. I am so glad you did not go through this alone. Strength in numbers and having Mike with you will make you feel all that much better. Not to mention all of us out here ready to stand beside you. I said this once before, but will write it again. ” We never know how strong we are, until being strong is the only choice we have.”
    You go girl!!!!

  78. Phyllis
    October 16th, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    There are so many pervs in this world and they seem to have no boundries any more.

    I’m sorry when anybody has to deal with this sort of thing.

    I’m glad you and yours are safe!

  79. Anita
    October 16th, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    Shreve –

    You are doing the right thing by telling this story. Not only are you purging the foulness of being stalked, but you show your strength and steadfastness that no one will control your life.

    I just recently lost my husband in May at the age of 55 and had many male friends that my husband and I knew around me for support. Little did I know that one of the friends was stalking me, thinking that he would “slide” right into my husband’s spot while I was grieving. Fortunate for me, he died in his sleep about 9 weeks after my husband. My other friends had been keeping close watch over me without telling me about my stalker. I found out that he was riding past my place at night to see who was there with me, how pissed he was that I had someone other than him there (he had some real anger management issues), his big plans to move in on me, etc. I also found that he was telling me stories about my other friends to make me angry at them and almost suceeded in driving me to confront them. I was so angry when I found out that it was a good thing he was dead! How dare anyone impose on anyone’s privacy to their own benefit without a second thought regarding your feelings or your situation!

    You hang in there girl! You have every right to be angry and every right to tell this story. Your strength will see you through many more hard times. If not, my advise is keep your man and your gun close.

  80. Felyne
    October 16th, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

    I believe that as females it’s our nurturing nature to reply, even if it’s “stop doing this”. Unfortunately by responding we are headlining that they have our attention (wanted or not).

    A reason I stopped blogging was it had attracted a stalker. I told myself it was just friendly exchanges but then a very expensive gift arrived – and the only personal piece of information this person had of me was my unlisted cellphone number and email address. They became aggressively defensive and there was no innocent friendship about it. I sent a final email, put a delete filter on my email and walked away. It’s really inhibited my ability to be me online, my blog was just my own honest ramblings, there wasn’t any specific person trying to be portrayed. Now I feel I need to guard myself away and am leery of people, and that’s not who I am.

    I know you can look after yourself Shreve and “be safe” just goes without saying – so what I’m going to say is please keep doing what you do, you have a horde of real people who aren’t crazy that love to hear what you’ve got to say – please don’t stop. :)

    Much good care.

  81. Laurie
    October 16th, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    I think you were very gracious giving him the benefit of the doubt and a chance to take a hike. And you didn’t wait long after that to get the authorities involved. Glad things are back to semi-okay (didn’t they let him loose on “time served” or some foolish thing?)

    I also had a stalker though he was someone my family has known for decades – a little older than me, a bit younger than my brother, we went to school with this guy. He was always odd (and extremely intelligent). He would call my parents on a Saturday night and ask who I was out on a date with and where we’d gone, and what car we were in. They would change the subject and chat with him for a minute or two about something else. Later I worked fill-in at two libraries, and he made sure he made the trip to each one to find out what days I was in and what hours I worked. It’s a small town and I don’t think he’d have harmed me, but it was VERY, VERY creepy. I guess he finally lost interest.

    I am wondering – had you thought of blocking his emails? Do authorities ever recommend that, or does it make the sender even more angry?

  82. Julie
    October 16th, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    As I was reading the comments from today, I had an odd thought—that somehow/some way, your obsessor might be getting feelings riled up by reading OUR comments, to your situation. That had me thinking even more—maybe this isn’t what you want to have happen?

    But, then there are those who might say, you have the right to keep this open, and going?

    My only ultimate solution to this, if it were me, would be to do like another well known, long time blogger has done (and recently, too) and that would be if you wanted to comment on a blog post, you had to register to leave a comment. That way, in some small way, YOU (Shreve) have some tiny amount of control on who can comment on your blog posts, and also, who can read those comments?

    There are all kinds of schools of thought, and I’m sure, many many things to read on stalkers and whatnot, but I think in this instance, you don’t want to inflame him any further, if possible. Feeding his fire, might only result in further complications. If he gets off on reading all our comments, he’s getting attention. And as we all well know, even if it’s “negative” attention, that’s what they seek, or feed off of.
    Just a final thought . . .

  83. Michelle
    October 16th, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

    How scary!! Whether you should have responded or not, there comes a time when the lines have been crossed and you have to speak up. Thankfully you are safe and I’m nervously awaiting part 2 to see how far this went…

  84. RIDivergirl
    October 16th, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

    I don’t think its any of our place to judge whether you did the “right” thing or not. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it’s so easy for anyone to look back and see things now that weren’t known to you at the time. How could you ever know that he would become a stalker? You handled it in the way that felt best for you at the time and that’s how we all have to deal with things that come into our lives.

    I had an internet stalker back when the Clinton impeachment was taking place – what started off as a political disagreement escalated into the stalker threatening to get me fired from my job (he knew my boss’ name from an old e-mail I’d posted, never dreaming that Google searches would one day exist!), and calling me 30-40 times a day from halfway across the country at all times of day and night. It’s incredibly creepy and pretty scary when someone takes something from e-mail or the internet into your real life. I had to file a case with the FBI to get the harassment to stop. That still seems bizarre to me, even typing that.

    I’m just so sorry that your situation escalated to the degree it did – that’s just incredibly freaky and scary. I know from your previous post that he was caught and put in jail for a ridiculously short time and is now out. I know you have a lot of eyes and ears looking out for you and you’re a smart woman who takes her safety seriously. I’m wishing you a safe, peaceful and thoroughly uneventful future (as far as this subject goes!).

  85. Laurie
    October 16th, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

    Julie – really good idea.

  86. Bumblebee
    October 16th, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    Hi Shreve!!
    I am an Aries as well! :) Thanks for sharing and I look forward to the rest of the story.
    So sorry you had to go through all this…
    HUGS sweetie!!
    I love reading your blogs and seeing your picutres!! Thanks!!! :)

  87. Marlene
    October 17th, 2010 @ 12:22 am

    would have done the same…as you did I am sure.50 emails a what a wacko…must be very very disturbed person…stay safe..and vigilant…Marlene from Cambria

  88. A friend in Central Illinois
    October 17th, 2010 @ 3:38 am

    Shreve, I SO enjoy reading your blog. To think this could happen to you just never occurred to me. I know you are being safe and more aware.

    I hope this ugly incident in your life passes soon. You are in my thoughts — hopefully brighter days are soon to follow.

  89. Angie
    October 17th, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    I too am going through a stalking issue. I work at a Public Library so this has been escalating for three years. He finally made enough of a threat to me that he’s been banned systemwide for 6 months. I did some research on handling this issue, most sites advise that you have to be clear in letting the stalker know that you are not interested in the attention, and if behavior continues to completely cut off all communication. You took the right steps, if any indirect threats come from him, send the police to his door immediately.

  90. Maddy
    October 17th, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    HI Shreve,

    I had sent you and email about a recommendation for how to deal with predators. I hope you were able to get some info on the program.
    I could be wrong but I don’t think that responding to them is a great idea. Nor would I have threatened him with the Sheriff and the FBI.
    I would have simply forwarded every last posting of his to both law enforcement divisions. I now have the FBI site on my desktop because of “spam”. The problem is much improved since I started doing this.
    Somehow communicating on a 1:1 with these types does not seem to do any good. It seems that by doing that you are giving them exactly what they want. They have won if they know they are upsetting you. He was going to escalate regardless and I doubt you have heard the last of him.
    Is there any way you can just block him access to the site. One of the women hikers that communicates on the hiking forums started her own blog and was being hassled. We all had to change our passwords and her blog has now been inactive for about 6 months. Our hiking forums are moderated so one infraction and you are gone. Even being disrespectful to each other will result in being blocked permanently by the moderators.
    It’s a real shame that many women have to live like this. Be prepared. Do whatever it takes to protect yourself.
    Take care Shreve.

  91. Teaspoon
    October 17th, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

    The thing to keep in mind is that every stalker, every victim and every situation is different. I ignored and avoided mine, and he went away, but only to go on and be more determined with his next victim, who got the police involved in calling him off. He moved out of state after that, and probably found another woman to plague. I did notify the police after the second woman came forward, so they’d at least know he’d done it before and was working up to more serious levels of stalking, but I doubt it will have had much effect beyond letting me sleep at night.

    I think it’s important to keep in mind that the only person who can determine the right reaction to a stalker is the person being stalked. They’re the ones who know their own ability to fight back, or lack thereof, and who know what sort of danger signals the stalker is putting out, and whether confrontation is likely to make things worse.

    Keeping you and the farmily in my thoughts.

  92. Nancey
    October 18th, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    take care of yourself. I would have done the same thing had it happened to me. I always read your blogs, they are delightful. I’m hoping this comes to an end soon, thinking of you and wishing you well! please be so careful. I worry.

  93. Betty Fulton
    October 18th, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    Please, please look over your shoulder at all times. Along with so many others, I am heart sick you are going through this. Take care –

  94. Lynn L.
    October 18th, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    I know I’m a little late with this but I would
    recommend a little 25 caliber semi automatic
    pistol with a nylon belt holster. They are
    small but powerful enough. And they are fairly
    lightweight compared to other guns that be
    uncomfortable to wear every day. They are more
    of a close range pistol, not so good for distance. I can’t imagine living alone in these
    mountains with no weapons being a sinlge woman.
    Best of luck to you.

  95. Laura
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    I am sorry that you had to deal with that person. Hopefully he will get the psychological help he needs and doesn’t bother you again. There are some sick people out there in the world. Be careful.

  96. Susan M
    October 18th, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    I am a REACT person too. Would have reacted the same way. Putting him in his place.
    I still just want to come up there and kick his ass.
    Thank you for not letting this piece of garbage ruin your site or spirit. The rest of us enjoy the happiness and joy you bring to your site with the FARMILY.
    Thank you again and I wish you the best.

  97. yodaroshi
    October 18th, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    Just caught up with your blog. After reading your Summer 2010 blog, I definitely agree with your position on taking personal responsibility for your own safety, however I’d make a slight refinement; you’re not the only one you can count on for your safety, but you are the only one you can ALWAYS count on (since you’re the only person you’re with 24/7). As someone much wiser than me once said about keeping a gun; “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”
    Continue to be true to yourself.

  98. dusty pines art
    October 19th, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    catching up on the last few days here . . .

    i also think you were right to respond – you certainly couldn’t tell what a lost case he is until it escalated. i do wonder what it is with these guys & writing long letters – one of my stalkers used to write 35 – 50 page letters to me & my family – maybe they think if it’s down on paper that makes it real & justifiable… i’m glad you’re working on strategy – sometimes these characters can be incredibly wily; you’ve gotta be more so, no mater how much you don’t want to.

    thank you for sharing this…

  99. Kit.e
    October 19th, 2010 @ 12:50 am

    While everyone has some wonderful words of wisdom to impart, all I really have to say is I’m glad you and the whole farmily are safe.
    Having read your books, we all know you are a strong spirit and that you will only take the good from the experience you have had.

  100. Theresa Szpila
    October 19th, 2010 @ 9:37 am

    Shreve, don’t waste your energy second-guessing yourself. You handled the situation to the best of your ability, making your decisions based on the information/knowledge you had at the time. That’s all anyone can do in any given situation. And I don’t believe anyone could or would have handled this situation any better than you did. While I am deeply upset that you have been put through this, I am also extremely proud of how well you have dealt with it. Stay strong, stay armed, stay alert, and know that you are surrounded by love and support!

  101. Figgy
    October 19th, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    I really don’t think there was any right or wrong action you could have taken in this situation. He was probably prone to start issues for you from the beginning and who knows when that would have started with or without the return e-mails. At least you took SOME sort of action where I suffer from inaction most of the time.

    You are a strong person. <3

  102. esperanza
    October 20th, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    Shreve- Thank you for sharing this story. I may have a situation developing with a person who has become obsessed with me. I do not know if it was through my blog…I am beginning to think so. They are just beginning to show signs of being off kilter. There has not been any overt violence. However, this person is feeling aggressive, manipulative, and threatening. I am not sure if this is enough to file a police report or what happens when one does that. I was hoping you might be able to reply and let me know.

  103. shreve
    October 20th, 2010 @ 9:45 am

    E ~ just sent you a private email.

  104. mlaiuppa
    October 20th, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    I would say you acted appropriately and with restraint.

    I probably would have reported him earlier and not warned him. But then that’s me. I’m a Libra but I’m also Sicilian.

  105. CathyA
    October 21st, 2010 @ 7:03 am

    Shreve, no comments on right or wrong way, you do what you gotta in the midst.

    That said, trolls are not the same as stalkers. Trolls would never confront you to your face. By and large stalkers are mentally ill and I don’t think you can really predict what they will do no matter how you act. (And isn’t that the kicker, that you have zero control over the situation.)

    It’s hard not to have fear as a response to events such as this. Being aware of everything around you without fear is the key. You traveled by yourself across the country, so you already know how to do this. Most of my travels have been solo, and I know a lot of women who think that’s brave – to me it’s just normal. There’s actually a bonus to being totally present in the “now”, you see a lot more!
    All the best to you and yours……..

  106. Angela
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    In situations with stalkers, abusers, or anyone who preys on others, the answer is always “whatever you did that allowed you to come out okay on the other side was the right thing.” Period.

  107. carmel
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

    …it’s hard to know how to deal with the situation, when you’re going through it…as they say, “hind-sight is 20-20” …cutting the loser off at the pass…maybe would have cut him off…..who knows ?
    …stay safe girl, you and yours…

  108. Gabrielle
    October 23rd, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    When I got to the disclosure that you are an Aries I had to laugh. I am an Aries too, and I can totally relate to the headstrong replies that are blurted out, in writing, or verbally, and later are thought to have perhaps, just perhaps, been not very good ideas!

    You did what you thought was the right thing – but psychos have no such concept of “right things”. Looking foward to reading the rest of this.

    High five, fellow Aries! :)

  109. Maddy
    October 24th, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    Talk about a messed up legal system but we can’t fix that at the moment.
    What concerns me most about stalkers, predators, and abusers is that for many of them the only thing they comprehend is life behind bars. The problem is they don’t keep them incarcerated. You hear it on the news every night. They let them out and it’s back to the old tricks. They just seem to escalate and this one proved he would do just that when he sent even more emails, and tried to manipulate the police, and the “victim”, with meaningless apologies. You can’t believe a word coming out of their mouth EVER!
    I believe in nice big dogs and self defense courses for women. A gun is handy tool as well and very accessible mace or pepper spray.
    I don’t set foot out my back door without my Akita at my side, not even to empty the trash. I don’t live in a “bad” neighborhood but it seems there are no longer any “good neighborhoods”. No one is exempt, and we are being very foolish if we think we are.
    In a nice small rural community near my home, a woman was out fixing her fence. A predator came along and tried to abduct her. SURPRISE! Two German Sheppards rounded the corner from back of the barn and took a piece of his leg. He could not get out of there fast enough. This happened soon after two young women were abducted, raped, and murdered in towns where people do not feel a need to lock their doors. They still don’t know who is responsible. One of them was stalked.
    Our mission as women is to take whatever steps we need to protect ourselves. These types are not going away. If one happens to move on, another seems to pop up taking his place. We just had a 78 yr old woman in the Northeast Kingdom of VT (God’s country) abducted from her home and murdered. FBI is involved. Not a clue who did it. So far in NO NH and NO VT we have 2 dead and three vanished without a trace. Age range 20 to 85.
    You absolutely cannot take too many precautions Shreve.
    I see more and more women hiking alone with Pit Bulls. I have heard it said that people are more fearful of a dog than a gun. A bullet is fast, a dog inflicts much more pain and suffering.
    You go girl. I am very sorry that you have to experience this so personally, but it serves as a powerful lesson and reminder to each and every one of us. For-warned is forearmed!

  110. Victoria (of Boston)
    November 7th, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Quoted from above:
    And I’m an Aries. I charge in and will headbutt the #@%* out of things I perceive as wrong.
    I naively thought, just as I thought three years ago when it came to hate mail, that if I addressed it head on, it would stop. Ironically, in learning how to fight {more on that coming soon}, I have learned how to temper that impulse in favor of strategy.

    As a fellow Aries, I offer my sincere congratulations on learning this lesson. It’s one of the toughest, and don’t be surprised if you need to re-learn it periodically.

    I’m sorry you have to deal with the nuts in the world, but I thank you for sharing your adventures nonetheless. You are an inspiration to many.

    ~ Victoria (of Boston)

  111. Scott
    November 13th, 2010 @ 8:31 am

    Crikey! That’s awful, and I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with something like this. :(

  112. Joanne Miller
    March 2nd, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    Typo |

    million miles and hour

    Pardon my obsession.

    Love your work.


  113. Of fear, intuitions, and possibilities | Железная
    January 12th, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    […] one of those thesis-work moments during which I want nothing more than to be distracted), about a blogger facing down her stalker. It was a gripping and well-written story–I read every part in one sitting. It began a […]

  114. Of fear, intuitions, and possibilities – PolyArchive
    February 3rd, 2021 @ 2:40 pm

    […] one of those thesis-work moments during which I want nothing more than to be distracted), about a blogger facing down her stalker. It was a gripping and well-written story–I read every part in one sitting. It began a […]

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