On a Darker Note...

I have a confession. I know I have been sharing with you my amazing experiences on the cruise, and the beautiful photos from the places that I visited, but there was also something rather dark and frightening that came along with my time at sea.
I acquired a stalker.

It began with a simple request to dance. My sister and I had discovered the rather addictive appeal to Karaoke, and had just finished "supporting" another performer by dancing while she sang. I sat down in my seat, as another got up to sing. A man made his way across the room and asked me to dance. Innocent enough right? I said yes, we introduced ourselves, and when it was over I sat down. I thought that was it.

I thought wrong.

What followed quickly turned into a cat and mouse game. He found me the next day in the lobby and wanted to hang out  - since he was with a group of people, I made the incorrect assumption that "hanging out" meant with him and the others. When I found out that it didn't, I excused myself.


Things started to get uncomfortable when I caught one of his friends secretly photographing me when he thought I wasn't looking. He had come with a group of 95 other people - what was my photo being used for? At first I thought I was being paranoid; until he began showing up everywhere I was. The scenario was like this: I'd see or pass by a person from the group (that I knew of), and 5 - 10 minutes later, he would show up. He showed up in the lobby, the pool (and there were 6 of them), the jacuzzi I was in, my stateroom floor. 
He wanted to know my room number, my last name (none of which I gave), he would follow me to where I ate and sit down wherever I was seated, he'd appear on the dance floor when I was with my mother.I would have perfect strangers come up and tell me where he was - as if he were looking for me, and wanted people to direct me to him. Had he and his 95 friends distributed my photo amongst themselves? His friends began coming up to my mother and asking her questions about me. I spoke to the staff, and they offered to have security follow me so that they could idenify him, since I basically didn't have any information on the guy.

Here I was, on my very first cruise ever. I was absolutely loving the ocean views, the travel, and the new experiences. I was loving the crew, my waitstaff, and the friends I was meeting along the way: but this man and appartent lack of personal boundaries was threatening to ruin my entire trip. It goes without saying that being on a boat, I felt trapped.



Finally, I got angry. Here I was on this incredible, once in a lifetime cruise with my family, and here was this creep who couldn't take a hint, making me feel violated and uneasy. I was checking over my shoulder everywhere and he was behaving like he owned me.

The last night of the cruise, he snuck up behind the couch I was seated on an leaned over me. And I snapped. Afterwards I was so shaky that I just wanted to go back to my room. I was sure that I had been firm, and that I had put him in his place, and that now everything had been settled. 

The night I disembarked the ship I had a friendship request from him waiting for me on Facebook. How on earth has he gotten my last name?

I had honestly thought that I had left him, and his pathetic drama on the boat, out at sea. But really, he had followed me home. I've had nightmares of seeing him here in my hometown. And while part of me feels foolish for letting the experience affect me in such a powerful way, I also have to come to terms with the fact that it really did frighten me. It's taken an emotional toll that I didn't expect, and it's affected my blogging as well. I can't help wonder if this man is now reading my blog.

10 comments

Mila said...

gorgeous photos!

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Dear Amber. I am a new follower and found you through Jenny (I know, right?) I loved the photos in your post but felt sorry you had to experience this on your first cruise. That man was, indeed, a creep. He probably thought he was being charming, or funny. I hope you can put it all behind you soon. Take care, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Pandora`s Box said...

Oh Amber.I'm so sorry you had to go through this ordeal.He has no right to make you feel this way,violate your privacy or ruin your cruise.What a creep.Cant believe he still insisted on messaging you on FB after you told him off.I can't believe the nerve of some people. I think you should ignore his messages and tell your family about this harassment.Hopefully he will tire of this game and focus his attention elsewhere soon.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Okay, reading the full story here now, HORRIFIES ME.

I'm so sorry you had to deal with something so scary and so unfair.

This guy did not merely have a crush on you, but a full-blown obsession and I'm really disturbed that the 95 people in his group were helping him stalk you!!

I have a question, I really hope doesn't make me sound racist, but was this guy of foreign descent? In college, I had a similar kind of stalker, but he was Indian. I found out after talking to numerous Indian people that this was merely how Indian guys acted when they wanted to be with a girl. I was shocked.

If he is foreign, that doesn't make it okay, obviously, but it could help explain his scary behavoir...

I'm also really concerned that he still has photos of you and also that he managed to secure your last name. I looked on facebook and there are literally thousands of girls with the same name as you. This meant he either had another way of finding you on facebook (e-mail!!) or he spent a shitload of time sifting through every single Amber ***** in order to friend the correct one.

Keep an eye on your stat counter and make note of anything that looks suspicious. Do you know where this guy is from? The last thing you need is this asshole to find your blog. :S

Let me know if there is anything I can do or if you need help. I'll be more than happy to help you do ANYTHING.

I love you! Hugs!!

Bonnie said...

Gahhhhhhhhhh. I have had stalkers before, but never to this extent -- worse because this is on a friggin' boat. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I mean, you are so beautiful and such a sweet person that I can see why people are drawn to you, but there is no excuse for such bad behavior from someone. I really hope that things work out, and if you need anyone to kick some ass, I'm here for you. :)

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Anonymous said...

Dear Amber,

So sorry to hear about your experience! I had something similar happen to me in my French class - but he did not find me on facebook or elsewhere but i do see him about town every so often. Even the fact that i am happily married did not deter him and he told me that I shouldn't feel uncomfortable - really!?

Ignore the friend request and if he follows up with anything at all, I would call the cops and see if there is anything you can do.

Love
Weezy

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

OH NO honey can't even imagine going through something like this myself. Hope you can move on from such awful experienced soon girl. Take care my doll and thinking of you.


<3 Marina
Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle

SassyUptownChic said...

Oh gosh! That is super scary! You can't even be nice to people without them taking crap further. And I can only imagine how you felt on a boat. What is so disturbing is that there was a group of them acting that way. Glad you told the authorities and your family. At least people were aware. Hopefully he's gone on with his life and POOF disappears! ((HUG))
http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

Vasu said...

thank u for such a lovely commetn....reading all tht did frighten me too...what a creep...i hope u are better now...dont worry too much...i hope its all over


www.etsy.com/shop/Rosabellebyvasu

Barry said...

Amber, I missed this post and didn't know what you've gone through. I got angry as I read it, it's not only creepy and unsettling but tremendously unfair to put someone through this on what's supposed to be a relaxing time with friends and family. To have it carry on beyond the ship is unbelievable.

It saddens me that you've endured this, but above all else your security and piece of mind are most important. I had someone harass me on my blog for months. If you're concerned about privacy have you considering restricting access to your FB account or making your blog invite only?

If there's anything I can do just say the word. Is there a way I can share the FB tips without linking to your name on my wall?

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