I Spy with My Little Eye…a Blog Stalker?!?!

I see you. Seriously. I see you. Stop looking at me like that.

Hey everybody … it’s time to play “I’m not a doctor, I just play one on Mikalee’s blog!”

(Cue wild applause, a Tic Tac Dough-esque dragon chomping across the screen and lighting reminiscent of best-game-show-in-history Press Your Luck. Hey, don’t judge: that show totally rocked with its “Big Bucks. No Whammies. Stop!” action.)

Today’s episode has us contemplating four diagnoses for our soon-to-be-revealed patient. For your consideration:

Diagnosis #1: Creeper. A person who does weird things, like stares at you while you sleep, or looks at you for hours through a window. Usually a close friend or relative.
(Urban Dictionary, 2010)

Diagnosis #2: Narcissistic personality disorder. A condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves. A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

  1. Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals;
  2. Have excessive feelings of self-importance;
  3. Exaggerate achievements and talents;
  4. Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love;
  5. Need constant attention and admiration;
  6. Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy;
  7. Have obsessive self-interest and pursue mainly selfish goals.

(excerpted from National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine)

Diagnosis #3: Crazy. Mad, insane; passionately preoccupied: obsessed.
(2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated)

Diagnosis #4: Creepy Stalker. A pathological follower and tab-keeper of another person; a scary-looking person who removes the stalks of plants; a scary-looking person who removes the stalks of plants while following and keeping tabs on another person.
(Mikalee Byerman, 2011)

What’s the background of said patient, you ask? But of course…but first, indulge me in some context, por favor.

So at the outset, I’m a total humanitarian. You’re all welcome, in advance.

You see, as part of my reinvention, I’ve become a wee-bit interested in the idea of knowing as much about myself as possible and REALLY trying to be aware of others’ reactions to me. Obviously, I was completely oblivious to these realities in my 1.0 version, what with the husband who pretended to be my best friend day in/out, who dated me for three years pre-marriage, who stayed happily married to me for over a decade…and then decided the woman of his dreams was his ex-girlfriend, as she clearly had been all along.

Oh yeah, and now in the aftermath, it’s obvious that I somehow manipulated him into 13 years of “alleged” happiness. I’m such a bitch.

Should I have seen the signs? I wish. But as I’ve illustrated, there clearly weren’t any.

The thing is, I’d take responsibility for the demise of my marriage and my lack of self-awareness if my then-husband had – oh, I don’t know – shared any of his feelings with me. Seriously. This is an aspect of my post-divorce life that I’ve had to come to terms with: Given his lack of honesty, my primary responsibility in the end is to acknowledge my own naivete in trusting his words/expressions/cues/affection.

I used to beat myself up constantly wishing I had only known, but at the time there was nothing to know.

So anyhow, post-divorce, I’m a little more vigilant about how people react to me, and vulnerability makes me Super-Glue-stuck-to-fingers crazy. Yet one way I’ve totally exposed myself in my 2.0 version – like stark-nudey-naked-bare-assed exposed – is through this blog.

And for those of you who are bloggers, you know what I mean: There’s this way creepy thing called a “comment,” which, when it appears, can inspire some sideways squinting and breath-holding until you realize — phew! — it’s a friendly one.

Not a hater. And not a freaky deaky dude inquiring about how exceptionally soft and supple your feet and legs might be.

Over the course of my six months of blogging, I’ve received about five negative “hater” comments on this blog. But the strange thing is: These comments all seemed oddly alike. All were from “girls” whose names adorably ended in “ee” sounds (Kelly, Sally, Dee, Happy and Kathy … only Dopey and Sleepy seem to be missing) – yet despite these five disparate identities, three were from the same IP address, while two were from another.

And all sounded eerily like…well, something Marilyn might say. (For those of you new to the blog, Marilyn is the silly little pseudonym a friend of mine created for my ex’s once-high-school-girlfriend, now new wife. More context can be found here.)

Hmmm…

Here’s something you may not know about me: I’m vigilant. Which means I do my homework. You probably know that every time someone leaves a comment, you see their IP address, right? But did you know you can use the Internet to check an approximate latitude and longitude for that IP address? Furthermore, did you know that IP addresses are oftentimes buried in a sender’s email, so if you’ve ever received an email from someone who has left you a comment, there’s a way to cross-reference them?

And here’s the point at which I become a humanitarian. Because in the course of one hour on the Internet and some super-duper super sleuthing (like the kind Ace Ventura would do – no Perry Mason skills required for this exercise), I developed a tool for all to use.

And now I present to you, Mikalee’s 4-Step Guide to Flushing Out Blog Stalkers ©®™ (FYI, a blog stalker is just like a gob stopper. Just not quite as chewy. Or scrumptious.):

  1. Double click the IP address left with the comment. I had five comments I was checking, with two separate IP addresses – three from one address, two from another.
  2. Go here: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip; find latitude and longitude of the computer used, which narrows down blog stalker’s general location. Not as creepy as it sounds, as it simply gives you an idea of the region. But you can imagine my surprise as the location of said IP address was kinda my home. Or at least, way close to my home. Until you recall that John and Marilyn live three blocks away, in the first home John and I purchased together…
  3. Using information found here http://aruljohn.com/info/howtofindipaddress/#gmail, cross-reference IP address with emails sent from John/Marilyn’s home account. BINGO! That’s a match for three of them…
  4. For the two that didn’t come from their home computer (come on: Big bucks, no Whammies, STOP!), cross-reference IP address with Marilyn’s place of business. You see, she works at a small office, and given the info discovered at http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip, I did a little creative investigating of the company’s Internet service provider to verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that, indeed, the other IP address was Marilyn’s place of business. (Cue flashing lights and raging cheers from the audience…)

IP stands for "Investigating Psychos," right?

Yip, I think you see where I’m heading here: I’ve trashed five comments in recent months — all documented and verified and proven and corroborated and validated to be from either John/Marilyn’s home or Marilyn’s work.

Seriously. Who does this? Are they on glue or something?

So I’ll bet you’re curious. Would you like to see a few of these comments for yourself? One of them referenced my children, so I’m not sharing that one. But the rest, in their unedited and exactly-as-penned-and-not-posted glory, for your viewing pleasure…

A new comment on the post “How my marriage ended with a brick (And no, that’s not me being cute. Or even symbolic. Literally. With a brick. Seriously…)” is waiting for your approval

https://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/the-brick/

Author : Happy Divorce’

Comment:

Seems to me that you are an angry bitter woman that needs to move on with her life. I truly feel sorry for you that after this long you have not let go and moved. Instead of focusing on your past and creating a blog about it, you should be looking at your future and all the possibilities. By focusing on the past, writing about your ex and his girl, you are not allowing yourself to move on and be happy. If you think you are getting “even”, which based on your statement about two people being terrified I would say you are trying to, you probably should realize that they most likely could care less what you have to say. If your ex didn’t care enough about you and your marriage when you were married I am pretty sure he doesn’t care now. It’s time to let go and move on.

Hahahahaha! Clearly you couldn’t care less what I have to say…which is why you’re leaving me a comment. Oh the irony! And btw, my whole blog is focused on reinvention, post-divorce…you’re the only one stuck in the past, Marilyn. Scouts honor.

A new comment on the post “Is she hot?” is waiting for your approval

https://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/is-she-hot/
Author : Dee

Comment:
While I agree that you have a right to feel that this woman is some how inferior, you do know that when we dislike someone you tend to try to find them ugly even when they are not. That is only natural….however I think you are missing the point here…’Is she hot?” really does not pertain to her face it pertains to her body. Basically people are asking (all be it inappropriately) if you were to stand next to her in a bikini and she in hers, would your ex choose her or you?

Divorce is hard and people almost always want to blame everyone but themselves….maybe it is time to stop blaming and starting searching deep inside yourself instead.

First off: Why thank you, Marilyn, for acknowledging that my face is prettier than yours. Much appreciated! However: Oh. My. God. Are you seriously so insecure that you have to leave me a comment to try to make me insecure about my body?!?! Actually, I should expect nothing less from the woman who has inspired my daughter to ponder “How many grams of fat are in this water bottle?” I truly feel sorry for someone who finds her self-worth rising as her dress size plummets … and I will teach my daughter to value herself more than that.

A new comment on the post “Is she hot?” is waiting for your approval
https://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/is-she-hot/

Author: Sally

Comment:

I am curious….if you came in second to “Marilyn Manson” how pathetic does that make you? I don’t think I would admit losing to “Marilyn Manson”. At least if you said she was hot you would maybe have an excuse.

No excuse needed, thank you very much, as you and I both know exactly why he left me for you — and it has nothing at all to do with my looks or your looks. (And since this is coming from Marilyn, I think this is tacit acknowledgment that the resemblance really is striking…)

A new comment on the post “Didn’t You See the Signs?” is waiting for your approval
https://mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/didnt-you-see-the-signs/

Author: Kelly

Comment:

I have been sitting here reading through your blog and I am confused and have a question that I hope you take seriously and really reevaluate yourself a little.

If your marriage was as perfect as you claim and you both were as happy as you say, why on earth would your ex have left you for a woman whom you claim is so hideously ugly, and stupid?

I have seen many relationships end although I have never seen a relationship (affair or not) that one person is solely to blame. From reading through your blog I would have to say it seems like there were a lot of issues but they were not dealt with (if there weren’t I don’t think you would have the issues you are having today). And now you have been left and feel betrayed and feel a huge need to blame and accuse.

I think I would take a step back, stop blaming your ex and Marilyn for everything and consider where you might have gone wrong (at least a little).

I was stuck there too and hatred and bitterness only causes you pain. Until you learn to let go and move on you will continue to battle everything you are battling and more.

Dear, dear Marilyn: I have let go. I have moved on. I am only still dealing with this crap because of my serious concerns as a mother for my children and their health, safety and well being. You are the one who clearly hasn’t let go of your resentment over the 13 years you “think” I stole from you. Well guess what? He gave them to me, free and clear. And he never made me aware of any issues. So if you’d like to blame anyone: BLAME HIM!

Well, there you have it. So now, I redirect you to the diagnoses at the top. What’s your guess?

But wait! I have one more diagnosis, for your consideration:

Borderline personality disorder: a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others. These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.

People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. (emphasis added by me – cuz I can. And cuz you need to pay attention to that part…)

(excerpted from National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine)

So, Kelly-Kathy-Dee-Happy-Sally-MARILYN: I’m flattered. But please, wake up to how scary this is becoming. Consider:

  1. You took my husband (yours to keep … and thank YOU!).
  2. You try to take my children (through hair cuts that resemble yours, feathers, deeming them “your children” in every blog you write, etc. – but it won’t work, promise…).
  3. You took over my business name (I gave it up years ago, post-divorce. You chose to assume it for your business. Why didn’t you just get your own?)
  4. You live in my old home (that’s gotta be weird…).
  5. You started a blog in response to my blog. You write blog posts in response to my blog posts. You even emulate the style in which I write my blog posts.
  6. You posted my dead grandmother’s meatball recipe and my secret tip to killer banana bread on your blog (did John ever tell you that he learned these from ME?).
  7. You are now espousing that you are a “freelance writer.” I’ve been doing this for 13 years, have a master’s degree in journalism, am published and actually can write. You? Well, never mind…
  8. …and now you’re following my blog, leaving five comments under five separate identities in the all of six months that I’ve been blogging. Which may just make you my #1 Fan. Numero uno. My favorite blog stalker!

Bottom line: Marilyn and John are taking me to court in part to try to stop my blog. Yet she’s using the very medium afforded by this blog as a personal microphone amplifying her very clear insecurities into my psyche. Or at least trying to. But I’m onto you.

And I just have one thing to ask: Hypocrite much?

Yes, friends. You can’t make this shit up. Your thoughts? Are you surprised to learn how easy it is to investigate someone’s IP address? Any experience with blog stalkers? Anyone else find themselves hyper-vigilant about people’s reactions to you, post betrayal?

I’d love to hear your super-sleuthy analysis … as always!

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