DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN, LADIES. There are a lot of crazies out there, men with dark twisted motives who mean to harm us. I encountered one last week, as did my friend, Tammy. You may remember my blog about her and her son who’s been in intensive care since December 4th.
As if she’s not dealing with enough life and death drama, now she has a stalker.
For the last two months, Tammy’s been staying in her son’s ICU room, snatching bits and pieces of sleep on a small cot in his hospital room. Tammy is a woman of great faith, but even with God’s help, I’m amazed she hasn’t collapsed from stress, a serious lack of sleep, and hot nutritious food.
She keeps a room at one of those “home away from home” places that have a kitchenette. Last week, she hired a private duty nurse to stay with her son so she could return to the hotel and get a hot shower and a good night’s sleep. She’d stopped at Walmart, late, then returned to her room. When she climbed into bed, it was 1:00 am, and being long-term exhausted, she went to sleep almost immediately. Ten minutes later, she was awakened by knocking at her door.
When she looked through the peephole, a man dressed in all black and wearing a black baseball cap was standing on the other side of her door. His head was down so she couldn’t see his face.
“Who is it,” she asked.
“Janitor,” the man said.
She moved away from the door, but he kept knocking. Thankfully she’d locked the deadbolt in her door. She was scared and disoriented from lack of sleep, so she called her husband. A few minutes later she called the police, but by then he was gone.
Later, she viewed the security footage from the hotel’s video camera. The man entered the building—the hotel doesn’t have a card lock on the external doors to the hallway—and made a beeline for her door. He knew exactly which room he wanted. He was in black from head to toe and wearing combat boots. The police believe he’d followed her and was watching her, waiting until she turned out her light. Tammy said it was surreal, watching him on the video, knowing it could have been a horrific event if she had been disoriented enough to open her door.
The thought that someone might have been stalking and watching her is terrifying, but that could have been any one of us.
One in five women in her lifetime will be sexually assaulted, and that doesn’t count the wackos who might kill us like the alleged freak in Montana who stabbed four university students in their beds.
My encounter last week with a suspicious man unfolded in a very different way. I scheduled him to come to my home—via Home Advisor, formerly Angie’s List—and give me a bid on work I need done outside. He entered my yard through the side gate I’d opened for him, and within ten seconds of standing in my yard, away from the views of my neighbors, he asked if I was the only homeowner.
“I don’t want to go through this again if there’s someone else I should talk to.”
At best, it was a misogynistic thing to say, but when I said I was the homeowner, he replied with, “Oh, you live alone.”
Before I could reply, he suggested we go inside so he could give me his “two-hour presentation” about the company and the work they would do in my yard. It’s a relatively small job. Not one that required a two-hour presentation. By then my alarms were going off, and I said, “This isn’t a good time.”
Then he reached for my arm, but instead of pulling away from him, I pushed my hand and arm into him. “Shoved” is more like it… A defensive move I saw on TV years ago. A predator is expecting you to pull away from them, so they’ll automatically tighten their grip, but because he wasn’t expecting me to do the opposite, I caught him off guard and he let go of me. I turned and ran to the street in front of my house. I may have misread his intentions, but I don’t think so.
If something seems off, don’t wait to see if everything’s okay, because it may be too late, and don’t be afraid of offending someone. You can always apologize later if everything’s on the up and up.
I told Tammy if I’d been in her position, I would have said, “If you don’t move away from my door, NOW, you’re going to get a 45-caliber bullet in your gut. You got that?” And make it sound like you mean it. Like you’re a 300-pound fullback, not a petite 110-pound woman.
This is your life, ladies! React immediately, and don’t sound or act like you’re timid and scared.
Whether you’re at home or someplace you go frequently, BE AWARE of your surroundings AT ALL TIMES. It’s so easy to get complacent and assume we’re safe.
After what happened to Tammy and me, the next man who comes to my house, Angie’s List or not, I may meet him at the door with a pistol in my pocket.