How I Spent My Christmas Vacation, Part II

Cat recently commented:

Sounds almost like somebody I knew who stalked me for a while. He could say the most awful things to me, then would be the sweetest, most awesome innocent person ever around my friends and family. Practically nobody believed my story because how could such a *nice* guy do such things? Maybe, they reasoned, I had done something to deserve it?

I’m glad the police didn’t fall for his “poor innocent me” act and that you have continued to remain organized and determined. I’m sorry Auby has to go through this. I am glad she has somebody around to help protect her and be her advocate.

I’m glad you had a good holiday that no jackass could ruin!

Yea, I suppose lots of women have a hard time with stalkers who seem nice at some point in their lives. I can say that my vacation gave me more experience with Restraining Orders than I thought I would ever get. 

Here’s a few tips for people who find themselves in this situation. First, the State of California issues a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in order to protect someone from someone else. Other states issue what they call a Protective Order, and the term Restraining Order is just used for civil procedures. This lead to some complications when we followed the advice of the Office in Charge and took the restraining order to the police. They were not able to act on it because it was not termed a protective order, which is what they were used to seeing. 

But when you look at California’s TRO and compare it to other state’s Protective Orders, it is clear that California’s TRO actually goes beyond what other states Protective Orders do. It’s just called something different here, but it can be hard to communicate that to Police Officers. At any rate, after the hearing regarding the TRO, the state can issue a Permanent Restraining Order/Protective Order. Now you have something that law enforcement in other states can recognize, but you’ll need to contact a district attorney for the state in question in order to get the Protective Order “domesticated” (i.e. put into their law enforcement computer system so that his name will come up whenever he’s stopped and they can check for guns). A Texas DA told us that all we had to do was send the Protective Order to Law Enforcement, and that that was all that’s needed. Oh, that’s another thing about the California Protective Order, it says you can’t own a gun for the entire length of its term. 

The issuance of the Protective Order is apparently what the Office in Charge of the case was waiting for, because he brought jackass in for questioning the very next day. He explained to him, over his continued protestations of innocence, that if he continued to contact Auby that he would be in violation of the law and that he would arrest him. We haven’t heard much from him after that. He did sent a few lines of anonymous text one day, just to prove that he was undaunted, but the it seems that he has gone away.

This is a dramatic change from how he was acting before the Office in Charge did that. He was constantly sending her messages. In order to further build the case against him, I thought it was best to engage him and allow him to give himself away, but Auby was so disgusted by him at this point that she would have none of it. So, in order to build the case, I impersonated Auby when he would contact her. 

It’s strange, but it seems he fell in love with me. I’m only partly kidding. In order to see what he would do I told him (as her) that she was breaking up with me and that she wanted him back. His tone changed immediately and he henceforth started playing hard to get. Auby explained that she expected this of him; that he wanted to be emotionally unavailable in order to punish her for leaving. Therefore he behaved in a perfect paradox: he would not go away when he was unwanted, and would not be available when it was indicated he was desired. In some moments that I find the most clear about this case I asked him (again, as her) just how it was possible that a relationship might work between the two of them. He indicated that he had no idea. Which again goes to show the absurdity of the situation. 

Jackass was pursuing a relationship he was himself unprepared for with someone who was more than done with him. He had delusions that he would win her back and would, in fact, say so on many occasions. In some of his more bizarre ramblings he would indicate that he had evolved beyond taking no for an answer and that she would eventually come crawling back to him. But when the prospect was put in front of him that he might really have a chance to get back into her life, he really had nothing to say. He softened his tone considerably, but he had nothing to say. 

We maintained this illusion till the end. I felt that if he felt that his plan to win her back through constant harassment and threatening behavior was going according to psychotic plan, then we would be less inclined to pursue any violence against her. Others cautioned me that we might be demonstrating that I we were in fact not afraid of him because we were engaging him, but as we had previously met with law enforcement and were acting in cooperation with the authorities in trying to build a case against him, I felt that we had little to fear in this regard. The night before the hearing, he contacted her again. Again he had little to say. I’m sure that the hearing date was on his mind and he was just trying to stall and give her assurances so that she wouldn’t go through with it. 

How hard it must have been for him to have his bubble pricked in such a way. To find out that not only does your ex not want you back, but that she has sent all of these communications to the police who went over them with him line by line. To discover, at the hands of the law, that she wasn’t coming back, and that if he pursued her any further, he would be arrested. Though I wasn’t able to witness that moment, I know it  must have been crushing for him. I can’t say that I’d have it any other way.

2 thoughts on “How I Spent My Christmas Vacation, Part II”

  1. It sounds dreadful. I hope you both are safe and will remain so.

    Psychologically speaking, I think you still need to remain somewhat vigilant. This guy sounds like he is living in a fantasy. He has constructed a fantasy idea of himself plus a fictionalized version of Auby in which everything is perfect. When confronted with the reality of the true relationship, he acts confused but still holds on to his fantasy. He seems disturbed and not at all grounded in reality or checked by self-reflection.

    Puncturing a fantasy bubble has a way of hitting people pretty hard. Perhaps the forces of the law arrayed against him will keep him mute. Maybe he’ll go into chronic denial and do nothing but nourish his cherished fantasy privately inside his head. Maybe he’ll bide his time and plot. His paradoxical reaction is a cause for concern, as if the harder she pushes away the harder he will try to strike back. I’d worry that he has that extremely rare chance to be a murder-suicide. Reality is too ugly for people used to living in a fantasy. He may rationalize that it is “kinder” to remove himself (and perhaps Auby) from an imperfect world where they cannot be happy together.

    If he is in any way likely to be a sociopath, cutting off all contact is probably best. Sociopaths don’t love people or have relationships with them. They use them to feed their ego needs. When a person stops being willing to perform that role, I think that a sociopath will often find somebody else to use. Baiting him might keep him targeting Auby longer than necessary. The resounding rejection of the protective order may have been enough of a slap for him to look elsewhere.

    It’s a topic that could be worth reading up on, since I don’t know this guy and therefore don’t know what sort of emotional disturbance he is going through. I hope the tone of this response is not too alarming, since sociopaths and murder-suicides are extremely rare. I just wanted to caution you against continued baiting, since you are playing a potentially dangerous game. You both might benefit from a few sessions with a counselor who is trained to recognize signs of danger from a stalker. Showing a psychologist the communications and threats could help categorize whether he is likely to go meekly away or return with a vengeance.

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