Wiretapping, spyware, surveillance. Just about everyone with a cell phone or computer is aware that Big Brother – or Uncle – is watching and listening. Your privacy is violated by governments, companies trying to make money, thieves trying to steal it. And then sometimes, it is breached by people that you loved and trusted. In my case, a husband. His own guilt and jealousy seem to have become hopelessly inseparable from greed and what I can only call obsession. More often than not I feel a bone deep sense of general panic. Where I used to crave a bit of solitude, being alone now only feels unsafe and vulnerable. “Before”, I wasn’t concerned by talk of government and corporate spying. Somewhere along the way, I began to realize how important it is to take all of your rights and freedoms seriously, to not allow the ourselves to be coaxed into complacency. As I learned on a very small scale, personal level, it’s a slow encroachment.
Stay calm, I’m just going to sit over here. Close by, in case you need me. Perhaps I should listen to, and maybe read, just a few random conversations. Just so I have a baseline, and will recognize trouble in the unlikely event that you want a bit of help. Well, you only have to turn your head for a second sometimes for things to go to hell in a hand basket. I’ve decided that for your safety, I’m going to check all of the communication, but just to protect you. No, I don’t really know what from, but because I love you so much, I will go out of my way to peek at everything, so that you can’t get into any trouble. See? I’ve been very diligent, and nothing bad has happened! You are very lucky that I am taking such good care of you. This? Um. It’s some of those old letters and phone calls that we havent had a chance to analyze, I mean glance at, yet. Well, we can’t just throw them away! There’s a lot of information coming in, you know. I am going to tuck all of this away, it will be safer than you could have kept it. Oh, it’ll be in that mountain over there. No worries about it falling into the wrong hands. That’s rather ungrateful of you, though. Wrong hands indeed. And exactly what have you been doing, that you are so concerned about the contents of your messages? Hmmm. Very suspicious. I suppose you think you’re clever, with your cute twitter handle and email addresses. Did you really think that saving contacts as nicknames would fool anyone? Why do you need your exboyfriends number? Or the neighbor that moved two years ago? She’s trouble, that one. Reading treasonous websites, like that wiki leaks. Hiding her undoubtedly illegal activities behind that TOR router. Watching those HACKERS preach their lies on YouTube. And you. Tweeting nonsense at all hours! Don’t think we aren’t checking every one of those “followers” of yours! Bad mouthing the president, calling your sister to rant about congress doing things in private – when you don’t know the first thing about privacy, missy! Those so-called friends of yours? You are better off without them. Because I’m trying to save you from yourself, I pretended I was you and – no, don’t be silly. Pretending isn’t doing anything wrong. I just wanted to show you that I have to be in complete control of…hey! Don’t you walk away from me! Don’t make me mad or…
Big brother bears a remarkable resemblance to my ex. Loving, protective…criminal, dictatorial, entitled, and jones ing for more.
I continue to be sadly surprised by both my ex’s increasingly erratic and unstable behavior, and the amount of effort I, the victim of multiple state and federal felony class crimes, have had to expend to see justice prevail. I am more grateful than I can ever show, to my friends, family, in laws, and several complete strangers for the support and encouragement they have given me.
In the last four years, I’ve talked to over 200 attorneys. Emailed dozens of advocacy groups. Reached out to literally every government agency with an acronym that I thought might have a remote chance of being interested. I’ve contacted news and media outlets across the spectrum of legitimacy. Begged for help from businesses and private investigators who make a living identifying and removing spousal surveillance components.
Maybe I can save someone else some wasted time…a bit of sanity…and help put a self-righteous asshole or two behind bars 🙂
And on that journey, we can both learn to take back our pride, rights, freedom, and privacy when we kick that OTHER lying, cheating abuser out of our home and our life.