"Kate Brennan's" new book In His Sights is a first person memoir of her experience being stalked. Even just reading about it in review-form gives me the creeps, because it's a tale of exactly what the legal system can't protect you from and to what links someone will go to prove you don't get to choose to leave a relationship. Kate was a professor when she met Paul in 1991, and left him in 1994. He called, he stopped by, he canceled her mail-forwarding order and then he stopped leaving fingerprints. His friends would call to let her know where he was following her, her accounts were hacked, her place was broken into more times that she could count. He had exactly one conversation with the police who could do nothing more than warn him that if anything ever happened to her, they'd be knocking on his door. It's scary and over-the-top and incredibly hard to prove because it looks to some people like you're possibly just going crazy (and feels to you like you might be). How it feels to be stalked is, sadly, something I know a little bit about.Of course, I know a little bit, too, about using pseudonyms. Bob's not really my stalker's name, and the description of how we met lacks 2 major distinguishing details that would allow those not intimately familiar with the situation to nonetheless identify him — which was not what I wanted. And, obviously, I wrote it while I was still using a pseudonym. I didn't write it to exact revenge, or to get some measure of justice that the legal system can't give me, or even to try to scare him off (since I'm sure he didn't know that I was the "Anonymous Lobbyist" at the time). I wrote it because on that day I received another reminder of him that our brief friendship was not mine to choose to end and that he planned on reminding me of his "rightful" place in my continued existence. I couldn't think about anything else that day but the fear. If he had put my online identity together — or if he's since put my identity and that story together, or reads this now and puts it together — I don't expect that it will stop or start whatever his demented little mind is telling him to do because I realize that none of it was ever about me. But what writing about it did for me — as I hope it's done for "Kate Brennan" — was give me a measure of peace. It was out there, it was off my chest, and it could be put out of my thoughts to a degree. He might leave me alone forever, though I'm not counting on it, or I might get a righteously indignant email ten minutes after this post goes up. His wife could read it and put the story together (though, for her sake, I sort of hope not because she's a really nice woman who doesn't deserve to get hurt) and I might get an email from her. Whatever happens, whatever he does, that's on him now. And so I hope that Kate found the emotional peace in putting her story to paper that she could never get from the cops and, apparently, will never get from her stalker. She might never get actual peace, and I might not, but we've both said to our stalkers: Fuck you, this control is mine. Every minute you're not stalking me no longer belongs to you and even those minutes you are, I'm not going to fear you any more. Stalked: A Decade On The Run [NY Times]