My Cyber Stalker, tsk tsk

Nearly a decade ago now a former employee began stalking me through the Internet, though she didn’t restrict herself to the Internet. When “Family Circle” magazine wrote an article about Peace X Peace, the nonprofit I started in 2002 to connect women to women for private conversations through the Internet, the article centered on an interview and photos of me. Immediately after publication, the editor contacted me because an anonymous hate note had come to them. She forwarded it and said, “This sounds like a disgruntled former employee.” That it was and it wasn’t the first time.

The ways in which stalkers can say nasty things about you and to you include by email, texts, posts on websites, comments on blogs, and more. She has used all of them.

All one needs to do this is enough tech savvy to keep getting new email addresses so you can circumvent the bans against your old ones and the willingness to use your precious time and energy to track a person and say ugly things. I say “precious time and energy” because to me everyone’s time and energy are precious and shouldn’t be squandered – exempting necessary downtime and chocolate.

My personal stalker is a master of “ugly,” laden in snark with a dose of cackle. Nothing is taboo for her to create, hinged on some thread of historical “fact” (is it real to her?), and say.

My tech people and I thought we had her banned from my ever having to see anything from her, but – voila! – a change of her email address and a comments section to blogs, and she’s back and active. Who knows how much she wrote over the years that went directly into one of those little trashcan icons with no one knowing the better.

Her comments on my blogs cannot go public without my approving them, but in the past two weeks I have read several – skimmed more like it – on how my husband told her immediately how he wanted to divorce me, what an ego-maniac I am, and so it goes. I pay enough attention to make sure it’s her with the same old same old. Then I photograph and file before deleting to provide the future option of bringing police action for harassment.

Through the years I have not responded. She’s hardly been a ripple in my life except to remind me that there are people who falsify their resumes both before and after working for you, who lie to your face and about you to others, who can hate you and rage. It’s not pleasant but it is true.

And it is sad. And I wish it weren’t true. But it is. And after a decade of silence I am looking at this a bit and with a longer lens.

I know her troubles and rage go beyond me. It should have been a signal to me that she was in two lawsuits when I hired her. Well, I only knew of one of them then, but, alas, I was taken in. Mea culpa.

It raises questions about her:

Does she know she lies? Surely she must.

Does she know she is a stalker and classic harasser? I suspect she doesn’t.

How does one hate so hard for so long? Does she not long to write me off as a monster and go on with her life? As horrid as she thinks I am, I shouldn’t be worth spending time on.

It raises questions about me:

Is there a grain of truth to her charges? It’s not popping out to me but surely she’ll remind me. Is it egomaniacal of me to write blogs that tell of my life, circumstances, and foibles? Isn’t that what most blogs do?

Do I monitor what I say or write, knowing she will read it? I hope not.

Why does someone hate me so much? My answer to this, from life experience, is that people run their own interior movies and they cast you in roles that work for them. We might want the good roles, but they might cast us as bad.

It raises questions about the people around us. Let’s look at the large scale:

How do peacemakers find techniques to bring harmony when some people don’t have the same thought processes, rationales, beliefs, values, or methods of discernment as most of us do and/or they have no taboos? Particularly when such people are most likely a disproportionate number of the rulers of nation, factions, and sub-cultures? Particularly when they often tend towards hate and harm?

This last question is the most important. That is, if there are not commonly held concepts of respect, compassion, honesty, mutual good, and trust, how do we progress? How do “enemies” move toward peace without the currency of common values on how humans should behave towards one another?

Taken to its logical conclusion, this is how wars start and continue. We cannot find a common set of values and beliefs. We are bombing right now because we do not have an answer to this question.

Coming to this understanding of seemingly impossible divides was not easy. I was a committed advocate of deep listening and seeing myself in others but we must find new answers to what to do about evil in the world. Not everyone wants peace.

Given this, how do we or our nation or our ally nations neutralize evil – real or imagined – without becoming the monsters we think we are fighting? And then embrace the conscience-appeasing rationale that our actions are justified and it is our right to defend ourselves? No nation can kill with impunity and not harm their soul.

The “me” we see in the other becomes a circle of “others” who hate, and choose to destroy.

I don’t have the answers. But I do still believe the divide is “seemingly.” This hope is reinforced because I see good people rising everywhere for better lives. I trust the people on the ground more than the people running nations.

For my little issue, forgiveness for real or imagined injuries and moving on would seem to be an answer, but that’s not up to me. I hope some day it happens.

And, no, dear harasser, I will not post your comments to this blog. Know that in advance. This is all you get. I will write no more. You have to come to your own interior peace just like everyone else. Write me a new role in your movie, maybe that of a bit part bystander who walks away, wishing you well.











Does Gravity Have Weight? Or when will insanity stop?

My six-year-old grandson knows the important questions:

“Gramma Trisha, does gravity have weight?”

Me: “I’m not sure. Why don’t we look it up?”

“And if light has weight.”

Me: “Right, un-huh, that too.”

Well, I couldn’t decipher all of the Google entries and complex formulas re gravity having weight, but the consensus seems to be that gravity does not have weight. So that is what I told Ben with the caveat that we might find out in the future that it does have weight.

Also light does not have weight, except – oh, yeah, those photons when light is being particle and not wave – the ultimate morphing job. So it gets wobbly, but I told Ben that most people believe light does not have weight but maybe in the future we would find out that it does. I give the future free reign to surprise us all, hopefully for the good.

It’s not that I think that public opinion about gravity or light having weight is going to fluctuate like opinions about eating gluten or the efficacy of melatonin. It’s that I believe scientific inquiry will continue to advance in corners of civilization shielded from Creationism, Fundamentalism, war, violence, and other social ills. Little clusters of scientists – and other rational people open to change as new evidence comes in – will continue to explore all the aspects of being alive on our planet. The DNA thread with courage, the one that urges us to learn the truth based on repeatable evidence, will prevail through hard times.

Hard times such as when great factions of people are trying to set back the clock on women’s rights, deny climate change, violate the principles of separation of religion and state, carry assault weapons – omg! – into market places, help the rich get richer without caring for the poor, divert funds away from health care and education, and destroy Mother Earth on the assumption that she will just keep on giving to her spoiled children.

Ben reminded me of the important things: we will not fling out into the cosmos whether gravity has weight or not, and the sun will come up tomorrow whether light has weight or not. We have what we need to make love, give joy, and provide health and safety and justice for others on this planet.

Abrupt change right here:

I am in grieving about what is happening in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. I know that I am grieving more profoundly because I have friends there. It is personal.

The deaths in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and the Ukraine are larger, perhaps more horrendous, though Israel is announcing – perhaps has already begun – massive bombing attacks on Gaza and is talking about land forces.

[A moment ago, as I was doing a final check on this blog, reports came in that bombs have reached Jerusalem, missiles seemingly from Gaza. How horrendous this is going to become is beyond my desire to imagine or ability to face at this moment. It is not impossible that Gaza will be decimated. The below continues more or less as originally written.]

These attacks escalated from the actions of two hate-filled violent Palestinians that Hamas seems genuinely not to have known or to have been able to control. We now know that the Israeli authorities knew within hours that the three settler youth were most assuredly dead. They had the phone tape that included the gun shots and the songs of the monsters who killed them, celebrating their deaths. For a week they didn’t tell anyone, including the parents, while they (re)arrested more than 500 Palestinians, demolished homes, and managed in the process to kill at least 10 Palestinians. Gangs of Israelis – mostly young men by the videos I saw – took to the street chanting “Death to Arabs.”

This is the open warfare that I know the most about. It is more manageable and personal to me than Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Ukraine. I know the territory and can wrap my head around this catastrophe. It just happens to be that way. I have no excuses, just lack of knowledge of the other horrors.

At the same time the US Stock Exchange is reaching new highs. Is this because we feel separated and insular from the fight, therefore safe? We are the island of stability? Or are we grateful that for once we aren’t sending troops anywhere? Let them all kill each other while we will eat cake? Or are investors just oblivious? [Later note: let’s see how the Exchange reacts to today’s suicidal insanity.]

I sold my stock in Caterpillar Inc. a month ago, before the Presbyterian Church divested from its stock holdings in companies like Caterpillar Inc that contribute to Israel’s containment and occupation of Palestinians. I can’t hold stock in a company that helps build nine-meter high concrete walls to hold a nation in and provides bulldozers to level people’s homes.

I don’t think Caterpillar Inc. noticed my sale, though I did send them a note about it. I also told them I would add the sale to my blog. Hence, here it is.

Returning to the light:

Maybe gravity and light have weight yet to be measured. Maybe they don’t.

But death and violence and racism and prejudice and hate do have weight. People fall when they die, when they are battered. So do morals of a culture, so do hopes and aspirations, so do opportunities, so do fragile psyches, so do the minds of children when they lose their parents. (I remember in Afghanistan. You could look into children’s eyes and see immediately who would rise and laugh again and who would be broken for the rest of their lives.)

Light may have weight, or it may not. But it can cleanse and heal and return us to sanity and give us hope and help us to forgive, and that is something of such value that it must have substance.

Whether that substance relates to something in our oh so real physical bodies and brains, or if it is the vapor of an elixir that comes from some great elsewhere doesn’t matter. I believe we can call light into our beings, and into our lives – and we must now. Now.

Each one of us for all of us. Because that’s how light works. It is not exclusive.

If you don’t share light and healing, it will leave you to the dark, which gives you and me only one viable option as I don’t think you like dark and injury anymore than I do.