I’ve debated this post for months now. Weighing the drama vs the ‘could this help?’ aspects. Finally, I decided to just write the bloody thing. I’m not seeking attention, nor do I want any. I just want help or at least a bunch of eyes on this issue.
A long story (literally over a two-year span) short is there is someone with access to my car who really doesn’t like me. In mid-ish 2017 someone took a black sharpie and wrote a bunch of homophobic death threats on my white car. This happened a few times and then stopped. I attributed it to a scared WWU student as it stopped right after graduation.
Fast-forward to February this year where “Die Fagg” was written in sharpie on my trunk. I thought ‘well maybe they are finishing their masters?’ and moved on.
However, less than a week later is when I actually got scared. As in 70MPH up Rose street at 1am scared. A note reading “We know your route” was crumpled in my car door handle. Homonyme error notwithstanding, this crumpled note was enough to inspire me to alert the police.
Part of me (okay, more than part) knows this won’t trip any alarms. A nervous gay guy in Walla Walla isn’t high on the police priority list. Nor should it be. And, I can only imagine the paperwork involved with the multi-jurisdiction issue. Alas, I’m nervous walking to my car late at night and — hate that fact; I’m not a frightened guy. I don’t know how to deal with this type of fear.
Every 10 days, on average, a note in my car door appears. I missed this once by 20 mins after returning to my car to get something for a friend’s birthday party.
Logically, I know people who are going to do me harm aren’t going to leave a note ahead of time. Psychologically, a small part of me is always scared. I wish that would go away, but it isn’t. I’m left with fear, which is a feeling I’ve not expressed much historically nor do I know how to discharge.
Because of the nature of the notes, and the fact they follow my car around downtown Walla Walla, their composer obviously knows me (super creepy there). Perhaps I’m writing them now, I don’t know. I’ve questioned everyone I know either directly or in my mind. The pseudo-erosion of trust is also an element of this which causes much dissonance in my mind.
So, as depressing and scary as all that is, I focus on the army of friends I have who would all love a chance to meet this inept, frightened, coward. Their words, offers, and passion are what resonate when I feel the fear tending to overwhelm. My friends have my back and stand with me, which is a feeling I’ve tapped into frequently as of late.
Remaining functional, and optimally beyond that, has proven challenging. Fear is a potent emotion which permeates even the seemingly simple elements of life. Quarter 1 of this year was dense. Not only was my work life in it’s busiest time, but there were other opportunities and obligations which required my most focused attention. Those distractions were a mental tamponade. I was very distant from the impact of the hate crimes (perhaps too dramatic of a description there) becoming a part of the normal routine.
Once all that demand subsided, I was left with an opportunity to feel the full impact of the happenings with my car. I’m losing sleep and focus which causes a familiar loop. I’ve retreated (likely at or near the threshold of social acceptance) with every intent of regrouping. That process is proving more challenging than I’d anticipated.
I’ve found solace in the new ventures and ideas I get to explore, and, the army of friends who remind me of the value they place on the friendship we enjoy. There are some days where remaining focused on that is a challenge. However, I tend to get a text from a friend around that time and am reminded of the much stronger bonds involved in friendship.
I’m working on not being embarrassed by the fact this is happening to me. This is my step to overcoming it. It’s a big one for me as I like being the guy that helps, not the one who needs.