I broke up with my boyfriend almost a year ago, and we ended on bad terms because of the way he treated me. At first I had the intention of keeping contact but realized very soon it wasn't a good idea. I asked him to stop contacting me because I was no longer interested in being friends, he said it was ok and that he would stop, but now I get a text from him every other month with the excuse that he is worried about me. It doesn't matter if I ignore him or reply asking him to leave me alone, he always comes back. I block him but he finds a way to text me again (using his friend's phones, fake social media accounts, etc.) I can't confront him face to face because we don't live in the same country, and I didn't think we would need a confrontation since we're both 20 yo and should know better. It's starting to scare me and I don't know how to make it clear that I don't want anything to do with him anymore. Every time he texts it makes me feel horrible and I desperately want him to stop. What can I do??
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I seem to recall flying monkeys in the Hollywood movie THE WIZARD OF OZ. I think all of this technology has a negative impact on a lot of people. I think of it as enticing people to think they can set up their personal Central Intelligence agency. I'm being serious -- I don't mean it as a joke... Good luck to Anon...
I have a feeling your ex-boyfriend is nursing the hope that you’ll come around and want to be friends so he can weasel his way back into being your boyfriend again. This is the kind of guy who doesn’t take no for an answer, but he pretends to because he thinks telling people what they want to hear will make it easier for him to get what he wants.
I strongly suggest keeping logs of all of these unwanted interactions. Write them down in a composition notebook and keep screenshots. Make note of when you broke up and when you decided you no longer want to be friends because that will be useful to prove that your ex is just ignoring your request. Note all the times you have blocked him, blocked fake accounts, the times he’s texted you from other people’s phones, etc. (Also, his friends are terrible people if they enable him to harass you. I doubt he has told them the full story about how or why you two broke up and he’s probably fed them a lot of nonsense to make himself look like a victim).
If you know his friends, ask them to stop him from messaging you using their devices. Tell them that by allowing him to do that, they’re enabling him to harass you and you want nothing more to do with him. Screenshot those texts as proof. They HAVE to know what he’s doing and are either too cowardly to say anything or are firmly on his side and don’t care about you. Either way, they should be stopping him.
You’re both 20 and I know you’re trying to go about this maturely, but the truth is, he hasn’t grown up yet and probably never will until he gets the figurative smackdown from someone in authority. Yes, bring this to the attention of a lawyer, campus security, police, anyone who is willing to listen to you. Tell your friends and anyone who is in contact with him to keep him away from you. Make it undeniably clear that you are not interested in being friends with him and that he’s harassing and stalking you.
I have some resources here for some legal definitions and ways to protect yourself:
The best things you can do are:
-Block him repeatedly
-Do not answer his texts, calls, messages, etc.
-Report any and all unwanted gifts, etc.
-Tell off any of his flying monkeys/minions (people who are acting on his behalf).
-File reports, start paper trails, anything you can do with the relevant authorities.
Do whatever you can do to keep yourself safe. People like him don’t back down unless someone bigger makes them back down. Be aware that when he feels he’s losing his grip, he may spiral; this is known as escalation and an extinction burst. This is when a person gets more and more desperate to get what they want and just sort of explode and then fade away (usually). Treat these events like the ticking time bombs they are and ensure you’re far away from the person so that when they go ballistic, you don’t have to deal with the ensuing drama or danger.
If you want to learn a little more about extinction bursts, here is a great article about them: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-dolphin-divide/201205/bursting-through-bad-habits
So in your case, I’m not trying to fear-monger here; I worry that people who don’t accept “no” may actually become dangerous. People like him may never become dangerous, but the truth is, you never actually know, so cut him off as hard as you can now to protect yourself in the future. Do your best to document everything and get all the people on your side to protect yourself from him. Even if he is just a nuisance now, cutting him off completely will do wonders for your mental health.