As best I can tell, around February 2010, my husband began a life of crime. For less than the cost of our monthly cell phone bill, he obtained a program called E-Blaster, made by SpectorSoft. He installed it on the Gateway laptop that he had purchased for me – ironically during marriage counseling – and began his long siege on my sanity.
E-Blaster and its ilk have legitimate and legal uses. Government agencies and privately owned businesses use such software on computers used by their employees, and monitor those employees internet usage as well as general time wasting activities. I can certainly see the value in making sure that your employee isn’t using a company computer to access kiddie porn or purchasing illegal goodies on a Silk Road type venue. Parents of minor children may also legally use such software to monitor the internet activity of their kids. SpectorSoft quite explicitly states on their website that using their product to monitor a spouse is almost certainly illegal in the United States, and to be safe, any adult using any computer that the product is installed on should be notified that such software is monitoring their every cyberstep.
My hubby neglected to mention this installation. In the early summer of 2010, I was pretty sure that I was going nuts: my husband began quoting, word for word, excerpts from my AOL email account, my Facebook private messages, and my text messages. These were in addition to apparently “following” my sisters and friends on Facebook, and commenting to me on THEIR activities as well.
I’ve learned a few things over the last few years in dealing with being stalked – both in the cyber and real world. I am nearing the end of my journey with uncooperative law enforcement, the bureaucracy of various Alphabet Soup government agencies, a narcissistic ex, and figuring out who has your back. I sincerely hope that I can help others avoid some of the unnecessary missteps I have made.
Lesson #1: You will sound crazy. Really. Get used to the eye rolling when you try to tell your family, friends and various law enforcement personnel that you are being spied on, cyberstalked, followed etc.
Lesson #2: It is NOT a “civil matter”. It IS a crime – from a selection of state and federal felonies, in fact. Law enforcement does NOT want to get involved in the crime if you are involved with the perpetrator. Be the squeaky wheel.
Lesson #3: Document everything. Call the police or sheriff’s department to document when needed. That is, in fact, their job.
Lesson #4: Don’t stoop to his level. Nothing will stop your progress faster than law enforcement believing that YOU have violated any law, but particularly a law you are trying to bring him to justice for.
Lesson #5: Be patient. This has taken me FOUR YEARS. But in the immortal words of my dad, “Give ’em enough rope to hang himself”. It works, because this type of person is so arrogant as to believe that they have the right to terrorize you, are too smart for someone like you to catch them, and won’t really get in trouble anyway.
Lesson #6: Be safe. This is a sickness, and becomes an obsession. Eventually, my hubby couldn’t NOT monitor my activities. I literally am never alone, nor do I plan to be until he is safely wearing an orange jumpsuit. See #1; yes, some people still think I’m overcautious and maybe a little crazy. Those closest to me have had enough “coincidences”, odd happenings with their cars, computers, cell phones,
home alarms, vehicles following them…. Better thought of as crazy and alive to testify than have your headstone read “She Was Right”.