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Thread: Toxic ex works at my favorite store, afraid to go there now

  1. #1

    Toxic ex works at my favorite store, afraid to go there now

    Hi,
    In my senior year of high school, a very close friend who I dated quite briefly decided that he didn't want me at all if not in a romantic or sexual way. To "get back at me," he spread some pretty vicious rumors and lies around the school. I ended up losing a lot of friends to it by graduation, and people who I'd never even spoken to before hated me. He also cyberstalked and harassed me and my friends. Additionally, a mutual friend once warned me that he'd been making threatening comments. Talking about how he would just love to push me out of a fifth story window if given the chance and how he thought it would be great to see me dead.
    This was all two years ago. I have him blocked on all social media, as I discovered this past October that he was still cyberstalking my accounts. Now, I have my best friend go on his accounts every so often to make sure that if he starts saying anything violent about me again, I can take appropriate action. He still posts about me, which is concerning to say the very least.
    I hate to admit it, but I am very scared of him. I don't know how far he's willing to go to make sure I'm miserable, and I'm not too keen on testing those limits.
    While I was away at university, he got a job at my favorite store. Its a two floor comic and memorabilia shop that I've been going to for over a decade now. As an art major (sequential art nonetheless) it's my happy place, I really love it there.
    But now, every time I go, I'm on edge from the second I walk in until the second I walk out, bracing myself for impact if he so happens to be working that day. It's hard for me to enjoy going there when the possibility of seeing him again is constantly looming overhead. So far, I've been lucky enough to not have seen him, but it's really only a matter of time before I do. There's just no avoiding it.
    I keep telling myself that if I see him there and he tries to start anything, I'll shut it down and put him right in his place. I'll be firm and honest, and stone cold, and remind him whose fault it all really was - cuz it sure as hell wasn't my fault. But realistically, I don't have the confidence to do that. I know that I don't.
    I hate that he still has this effect on me. I hate that just the knowledge that he works at that store can so easily deter me from having fun there, or even going there. As long as I'm scared of him, he still his control over me, and I hate that so much.
    What can I do to try and pull myself out of this fear? Realistically, he is likely much more scared of me than I am of him (I think my archery and markswoman status speak for themselves), but I just can't calm myself down enough to think rationally about this. All I want to do is go to my favorite comic shop, and he's ruining that for be by just being there.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    You have every right to frequent the store anytime you want.

    Ignore him. Don't look in his direction, don't approach him nor engage in conversation. Stay far away! Treat him like a total stranger. Both of you mind your own businesses and you should be fine. Do your own thing. Make sure he's not part of your life anymore.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Easy solution, it would be illegal for him to be there everyday all day, the fact that you havenít seen him yet attests to that. Explain your situation to the store manager, Iím sure visiting so long youíve built quite a rapport. Ask what days heís off, go during those times.

    When weíre young we kinda see the world through a very self centered lens, itís just natural, but in the grand scheme of things this guy is a mere blip and if fearful, there are resources to end the bullying, itís unacceptable in the real world, take your power back because truly he has none.

  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by DareToPlay
    I keep telling myself that if I see him there and he tries to start anything, I'll shut it down and put him right in his place. I'll be firm and honest, and stone cold, and remind him whose fault it all really was - cuz it sure as hell wasn't my fault. But realistically, I don't have the confidence to do that. I know that I don't.
    This is not a good idea.

    Do not engage with him whatsoever, especially not in a confrontational manner. If he is as unstable and vindictive as you describe, he would love to get you into a sparring match and then use it against you later. It would trigger him in a way you will not like and it will come back to bite you.

    Ignore him. If you happen to bump into him face-to-face, do not have a conversation. Nod and keep moving.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Completely block and delete him and all his people from all your social media and messaging apps. Completely revise your social media presence and rest All your privacy setting so only known trusted friends can view content and keep a low profile in general. He can see when your friends visit his page so stop asking them to stalk him.

    You need to find other stores, hobbies, interest and places. If you were that terrified of him you would not go there. If you honestly believe you are still or ever were in danger or are being cyber-stalked, you need to tell your parents or some trusted adults and file a restraining order.

    If you are just anxious and yet decide to frequent places he works, then you're on your own. He has the right to work wherever he wants. He's not "ruining" anything for you. If you are that afraid of him stay away. It's that simple. Ask your parents to take you to a therapist if you feel the fear is out of control.
    Originally Posted by DareToPlay
    This was all two years ago.
    While I was away at university, he got a job at my favorite store. But now, every time I go, I'm on edge from the second I walk in until the second I walk out, As long as I'm scared of him, he still his control over me, and I hate that so much.
    What can I do to try and pull myself out of this fear?

  7. #6
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    Why didn't you get a restraining order and go to the police? Do your parents know?

  8. #7
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    You don't want him to cyberstalk you, but you have your friends constantly check his social media? Doesn't that mean that you are cyberstalking him? Don't play that game. And yes. It is a game and you are still playing it.

    If what he posts is threatening to you, you need to file for a restraining order. Otherwise simply ignore him. And tell your friends to do the same. If you want to go to that store, do it. But if you get nervous about seeing him, maybe you shouldn't. He is allowed to be there. You have to take care of you and not let yourself get wrapped up in drama.

  9. #8
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Other than not dating a guy who works at your favorite store again, all you can do is not go there.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Given everything he has done to harm you and the fact that two years out he continues to carry on about you, it's safe to say that you are dealing with someone who is pathological. That means that he is a dangerous person and anyone's wild guess just how far he might go. That said, going to that store, you are playing with fire. Stop it.

    First is discontinue with this checking up on what he is doing. It's quite possible that he knows people checking his social media are your friends, so he is deliberately posting things about you because he knows you will hear about it. So you are the one who keeps perpetuating this sick game and feeding his ego. Stop stop stop. You need to be gone. Disappear in every respect. Fall off the face of this planet as far as he is concerned. Ask your friends to disengage.

    Your best defense is to evaporate from his life. For as long as you keep visiting his workplace, as long as your friends keep checking his social media, you are keeping the game alive, and his obsession alive. That can become dangerous for you for real. Stop, find other stores in other towns. This is about your well being and giving up a store is a small price to pay when you are dealing with a pathological individual.


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