I think I’m being stalked or somebody is just trying to scare me.
For a bit of context, I’m a 22 year old queer dude with a cocktail of mental illnesses and drug problems. The main illness that affects me on a daily basis is BPD (borderline personality disorder) which comes with, in my case, pretty intense paranoia, low self esteem and a confusing mix of wanting affection constantly but also not trusting anybody. I’ve used Grindr, and other dating/hookup apps since I was 18 and have admittedly had a lot of sexual encounters and casual relationships, many of who’s names I probably couldn’t even remember. Please don’t judge me.
So, to my encounter. This all started in late November/early December of last year and has been a constant feature in my day to day life since. I received a message on Grindr from a blank profile, no pic, no info, nothing. The message simply read “I know who you are”, followed by a picture of my face, I believe it was a picture from my old Facebook account. Bearing in mind, my profile didn’t have a face pic as I like to stay under the radar on those kinds of apps due to family and friends and stuff. I had no idea how to respond, so I didn’t.
A day passed and nothing more had happened so I shrugged it off as somebody just fucking around. But then later that day I received another message, “why are you ignoring me?” This time I responded because I was admittedly a bit on guard and starting to panic, I said something along the lines of “yeah whatever, you know who I am, so?” At this point I just blocked them half because it was just a bit weird and half because I was scared of their reply.
Nothing else occurred over the next few days and I was relieved because I had been pretty shaken by the whole thing. It may seem like nothing to some people but it really did affect me, my paranoia and general distrust of everybody obviously played into this. I was at a friend’s house when I received my next creepy message, this time a text, from a contactless number. “Hey you, why did you block me?” At this point the slight feeling of unease escalated into genuine concern and obsessive thoughts about who this could be, why they were messaging me like this and how they A) knew who I was from my Grindr profile and B) how they got my number. I didn’t tell me my friend about this, I just put my phone away and carried on like nothing was wrong. But I think he knew something was wrong because he kept asking if I was ok or if I needed a glass of water because I was pale and clammy and had gone really quiet.
In the following weeks I received more messages off different Grindr accounts (presumably the same person) along the same lines of “I know who you are…. don’t ignore me…. I’ll keep coming back… blah blah blah.” It was coming up to Christmas and I just couldn’t be doing with it anymore so I deleted my Grindr account, made a new Snapchat and changed my number. I was meant to be enjoying time with my family, not being scared and suspicious of everybody in my life. Over Christmas Eve and upto towards the new year nothing happened, I’m assuming they got bored. Fine by me!
Then in early January it started up again with the same old routine, texts this time, which scared me because I had changed my number and I think the number I was receiving them from was different from the first time round. This time, they were much more threatening, not in a violent way, but by the fact that they seemed to know my movements and whereabouts. I’d go shopping and I’d get home and check my phone and see a text that would read “I saw you shopping at Hartley shopping centre today” or “I like your jeans.” The frequency seems to have simmered down slightly however and I’ll now receive a text maybe two or three times a week instead of nearly everyday. But…. They just seem so threatening. As if they’re trying to let me know that they can get to me wherever and whenever they want, whoever “they” are.
So this is pretty much where I’m at now, still receiving those weird threatening texts, sometimes from several different numbers. I’ve run the numbers through Facebook (I don’t have it anymore because I’m scared to make myself an easy to find target) and found nothing. I’ve googled the numbers and again, nothing. I’m thinking they may be using a random number generator. I have no idea who this could be. Is it somebody who I’ve hooked up with in the past that has become fixated (the most likely explanation, though I have moved areas recently and not really met up with anybody since so I’m not sure that adds up), a “friend” trying to fuck with me, somebody I’ve never met who knows who I am for whatever reason?
Please don’t advise me to contact police, it’s not something I do. The thing is, I’m not a small guy, I’m 6’0″ and about 180lbs and have 8 years of martial arts and boxing training under my belt. But I don’t care how big or tough you are when you don’t know who the threat is, why they are doing it or where they are at any given moment, it makes you feel exposed and vulnerable. Especially when they seem to know who I am and where I am. It’s just…. deeply unsettling.
Thanks for reading this, at this point I’m just glad to get it off my chest.