Perhaps due to numerous factors, including the fact that since I have been driving it has not been easy to get to me, the harassment seems to have abated almost entirely. Especially in light of the events of today concerning Malaysian airlines, I began thinking about how fragile and transient life can be, and how much I love being alive, and how many blessings I have that make my life worth living. I am so thankful for my health, my intelligence, my incredible kids, the warm summer weather, and the simple pleasures of ripe fruit and sweet tea.
I’ve read in so many blogs about how it’s virtually impossible to protect yourself from this type of harassment, but the reality is, there are a lot of things you can do.
1) Smart phone related
-use signal blocking pouches
-turn off location finders
-set pass words on your phone
-many sites say moving doesn’t help, but the reality is, it DOES as long as you move to a location where you have a lot of privacy
-moving also means avoiding the circumstances in which you are most harassed. In my case it was on the train, so initially after I moved I was able to take the express bus to work. This helped a lot but when I got a car, virtually all of the harassment stopped. I guess it became too difficult to follow me around.
3)Document what you are experiencing as evidence against allegations of paranoia
-there are numerous small sized and “spy” cameras on the market. Use them.
-carry a digital recorder
-keep a log of emails to friends and family
-take photos — this freaks them out to no end. Many of them ran away after I took photos.
-save documentation related to medical care
4)Don’t talk too much to the wrong people
-don’t start telling people about your ordeal until you have a substantial amount of evidence. If they think you are crazy it will affect your credibility in the future.
-tell a few people that you trust, especially if they spend a lot of time with you and can act as a witness to some of the events.
5)confront the harassers
-I wish I had confronted the issue the minute I became aware that something was foul. They need to be confronted in a calm rational manner, and be video taped or tape recorded while you are doing it. They don’t want to be exposed, and often the simple act of turning on a recorder will deter them from their behavior.
6) know your rights
-you have the right to run a video recorder in any publicly owned space
-you have the right to defend yourself against physical assaults
-you do not have to put up with harassment or discrimination in your place of work or at your college, or your children’s school.
7)Keep your cool, but don’t let people push you around or walk all over you either.
-admittedly I lost my cool more than once, however, I think in a couple situations my response was justified.
8)Take extra care of yourself
-get massages, work out/exercise, meditate, listen to music, or do whatever it takes to get you into a relaxed state of mind, in order to counteract the stress.
-have hobbies or interests that you love that can help you take your mind off of things.
-schedule extra time with people who’s company you enjoy.
I am not naive enough to think that all the assaults against me will stop. I believe they will likely try to find some other method, and of course, it’s awfully hard to know if someone is sending emails to people at your work unless someone tells you about it. Of course, nothing can stop people from spreading false gossip unless it is in print or some sort of media, in which case you could sue them for defamation. I think that I have seen the dark underbelly of people who consider themselves to be “spreading the love” and it’s more terrifying than being confronted with a pit full of vipers. At least vipers react rationally to things.