Crazy ex-girlfriend won’t stop calling

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On the Opie and Anthony radio show, Anthony played the phone messages of a woman who has been “stalking” him for the past year. (a replay of this will be on today at 5p on XM202.)

Apparently they met by chance, and gone out on a weekend trip.  Somehow she felt it was more significant a weekend than he did, and since then, she’s called him incessantly.  At first he tried to explain, then he told her to stop calling;  then yelled at her; at some point the police got involved; and now, a year later, she simply leaves long rambling messages on his iphone.

The messages are characteristic and car-crash interesting.  Obviously, she wants desperately to be in a relationship with him.  She feels deeply hurt that he hasn’t reciprocated, or even called.  I think most people have heard, or heard about, such calls.

But in none of the messages does she mention what she likes about him that would lead her to want him so much.  In fact, I defy you to listen to those messages and identify one single thing about Anthony that she likes at all.  We can make right or wrong speculations  about what she likes, but in hours of recordings, she never mentions anything.  (Though not in these messages, sometimes a vague, “no one’s ever made me feel this way” is expressed, but that’s not something, and it’s not something about him.)  Neither do the criticisms have much to do with Anthony specifically.  They detail the perceived sleights but they’re hardly worthy of mention– she magnifies them to justify the power of her emotions.  “You lied to me.”  Even if true– so what, a year later?

She also explains how his treatment of her is just like her past boyfriends; she names them all and details what each did to her.  How this man wrecked her family; how the the other man did this or that to her.   “Why does she keep bringing up stuff with old boyfriends that has nothing to do with me, that happened way before me?” he asks.

The standard answer is that she’s not really angry at him, not entirely, she’s angry at so many things and he just happens to be the man in front right now, so all her anger gets dumped on him.

But the more important question is whether or not she actually likes him.  Because if she doesn’t really like him, then all of this is an obsessive waste.  She thinks she does, but what happens if they get together?  What happens if she gets him?

Just as she’s angry at him as a proxy for everything that came before, so does her liking him have very little to do with him.  She doesn’t like him, she likes what he represents, and if Anthony was foolish enough to fall for her the result would be catastrophe.   Here’s how I know.  When he did something that was explicitly outside her– that asserted his emotional existence as independent of her, e.g. went for a spontaneous drink with some guys from work; or even innocuously wrote something funny to a girl on facebook, it would be a taken as a sign he’s bored/angry/disrespectful of her.  And since he is seen as the direct culmination of all her previous (failed) relationships, the underlying contempt she has for him would frequently slip out in second long increments (“look at this room– you are such a slob!” “slow down, there are kids in this neighborhood, don’t you know how to drive?”)  And the constant passive suppression of his individuality through ways that can’t be readily observed to be controlling: domination of the weekend plans; letting him watch whatever he wants on TV except when it conflicts with what she wants to watch; not consulting him on certain purchases, etc.)

Someone asked how this kind of stalking stops, and the answer was, “they find another victim.”  The problem is, that only works if there’s no communication from his end.  Anthony will say he hasn’t returned one call or text in months, but the problem is he played the tapes on the air– and that is a communication.  If you follow that she’s not really angry at him specifically, and doesn’t really like him specifically, then anything he does in response to her nuttiness is, in fact, a response to her.  If he sees her call on the iphone, and pushes “Ignore” sending it immediately to voicemail– and so she understands that on the other end of her call he noticed her and reacted to her– then it is no different than if he answered the phone to yell at her, or answered it to tell her that he was falling for her.

Anyone who has answered such calls or who’s listened to such a voicemails will agree that despite an hour of words there is almost no actionable information, no actual point.  It is the steady droning of emotion wrapped in prepackaged sentence fragments which mask the lack of content.   “I need to find someone who treats me well”, “the relationship I deserve”,  “I’m not going to allow myself to get hurt like this again”, “you’ve lied to me repeatedly”.  The phrases aren’t explaining anything, they’re just giving substance to the emotion that existed way before he allegedly hurt her.

Anthony shouldn’t communicate with her anymore, at all.  Hopefully she’ll go away, and if she escalates she was probably going to eventually anyway.  Neither, however, should he or any person mistake intensity of passion with passion for them.  It may seem preposterous that that much affect/love/desire/jealousy/hate/hurt can not have anything to do with him since he’s the one standing there, but it just so happens that he’s the one standing there.

But what should she do?  It’s not enough to say she’s “broken” or has a “pattern of intense unstable relationships.”  What should she do?  (And, similarly, what should the obsessive man who won’t let the girl move on with her life do?) There’s been 10 decades of ideas and therapies, take your pick, but I’ll suggest one that may work for some.   At some point in her life, she’ll have to stop asking why these things happen to her and say, nevertheless, I probably shouldn’t be forcing myself into their consciousness every moment, against their will.  It isn’t right.

  

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21 Responses to Crazy ex-girlfriend won’t stop calling

  1. CubaLibre says:

    Don’t you think her fixation on him in particular has at least something to do with his status as a megafamous radio personality? Not that it has anything to do with “him,” in any intimate or personal sense, but that the fact he can play her rambling tapes on air is exactly why she continues to obsess over him instead of moving on to a new target. And of course, he keeps up the “dialogue” for the steady supply of tapes, because it takes up airtime and makes him bank. I know this isn’t exactly central to the point you were trying to make about obsessive personalities in general but leaving it out misses a big chunk of the dynamic in this particular instance.

    • AnonymousAtLarge says:

      Yea, my thoughts exactly.

      She doesn’t really sound borderline, she sounds something way worse than that. She’s delusional. Borderlines don’t fabricate relationships out of nothing, stalkers and crazy people do that.

      She’s stalking a famous person, nothing more nothing less. I do not think it is appropriate to label her a borderline simply because she is female and acting crazy regarding relationships.

  2. silas123 says:

    How should he respond to someone who continually approaches him in person without encouragement and in spite of rude dismissals in the past?

  3. Jackie says:

    Going away for the weekend together, when they’d only just met, is what set the stage for this disaster. It sets up certain expectations — ones that were not shared by the players here.

    I wonder what would happen if Anthony apologized to this woman? Something like, *I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. You’re a great woman. Even though I was never looking for a relationship with you, I know you’ll make the right man very happy. I wish you all the best.*

    All done. Dignity intact. She leaves feeling good about herself.

    • glt says:

      If she has been calling him incessantly for a year, then she is not the type to leave him alone just because he clarified that he is not looking for a relationship. Did you not read this part:

      At first he tried to explain, then he told her to stop calling

      He tried that. It’s been a year.

      And why on god’s green earth should he apologize for a miscommunication about relationship expectations that were as much her fault as his (each party bears half the responsibility for letting the other party know what they expect from a relationship) and her subsequent harassment of him for a year?

    • shaydlip says:

      Yeah… I’m not sure she’d’ve understood that if he even tried to say that.

      Does this mean that anyone choosing to go away for a weekend together means they *have* to start a relationship? She created all those expectations in her head; if you stop having those expectations it brings a host of new opportunities/possibilities into the world .

      • Jackie says:

        I didn’t mean that Anthony had anything to apologize for — unless he really did mess with this woman’s head intentionally. But this has been going back and forward for a year, and she’s still stalking him. He wants it to stop, right? So why not try a different approach? Making an apology would be a small price to pay to make this stop, and it might work — she won’t be expecting it.

        I also didn’t mean that going away for the weekend signals a relationship, at least for most people. But for this woman, it did. Doing the weekend away thing straight out of the starting gate, when you’ve just met the other person, is kinda rolling the dice. In most cases it probably turns out OK but you might find trouble of the kind that Anthony got (a crazy person stalking him) or the kind that leaves you drugged, robbed, or dead.

        And i’m also wondering why he hasn’t changed his phone number/blocked her calls, etc.?

        • TarkaTheOtter says:

          I personally think that any kind of communication from him at this point is only asking for more trouble. It will only give her fuel, something to respond to, a reason to keep up the stalking. Yes, he should change his number, but you have to consider the trouble that could create for him. Having to change your number, if you’ve had it for years, is problematic.

          I think if he stops airing the tapes of her, categorically stops anything he is doing that could be construed as communicating with her, she’ll eventually find someone else to use to vent her insecurities. Because I doubt she’ll actually STOP doing this, to anyone.

  4. Comus says:

    What she is obsessing for is not a relationship. It’s a mirror. Something to reflect herself off of. That is why he in her eyes is every other man she’s dated. He is yet another mirror that reflects the distorted image of herself, and she is lost. It’s as easy as blaming the scale for being overweight, yet knowing that you need the scale just to know how much you weigh. And it’s not pretty. Every scale is faulty.

  5. Spider says:

    I was the crazy ex-girlfriend at one point. Only I stopped calling after a week of no call/text backs and stopped emailing after a month of no replies.

    But he told people I didn’t go away for a year. He threatened me with a restraining order several times over a long and ugly breakup (we were together two years and essentially spent a third one breaking up), and I finally just said, “Bring it. Let’s tell a judge what’s going on.” He didn’t.

    So I have to wonder, is this girl seriously doing this with a year of no feedback? Or has he been to her house and in her bed several times over the last year? Did he spend that weekend saying he never felt this way before, and promised to marry her, and to just be patient? And then turn into a psycho jack ass and act like he never would say any such thing?

    Sometimes women are borderline. Sometimes they’re driven crazy.

    • lockstep says:

      It really doesn’t sound like you stopped calling him though. “…stopped calling him after a week.” does not a long ugly breakup make.

      It is sad that you both wanted the validation of a court of law, (maybe at different points in the breakup) to end your relationship.

      Life is short. Courts are for wasting the time of people far more screwed up than you.

    • TarkaTheOtter says:

      Yes, this girl is seriously doing this with a year of no feedback.

      “Sometimes women are borderline. Sometimes they’re driven crazy” sounds like a comforting excuse for the behaviour. No man, no woman, can be held responsible for another persons actions. What YOU say and do is YOUR responsibility. It’s really that simple. :)

      • Jackie says:

        Anthony was giving her feedback by playing her tapes and talking about (or, to) her on the air. Now, I don’t know when he started doing that, but it may have been for the entire year.

        It would be interesting to hear the whole story, not just what Anthony chooses to put out there. Anthony may be playing everybody, just as he may have been playing this woman.
        What would be the diagnosis for a person who did that?

  6. fireandvice says:

    Let me offer a different perspective: Everything aired on the radio is fake.

    or Voice actors on the radio

    If the whole scenario with this crazy ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t really much of a girlfriend, sounds more like a weekend hookup) is something that was scripted out to be entertaining, how does that change our deconstruction of the segment?

  7. Blackjack says:

    If you want to listen to some of the actual calls and see Anthony’s reaction, go to the link below. The show is “Live from the Compound” an online stream Anthony does occasionally where fans can chat live with him.

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/12554762

  8. Pingback: Is 2012 Real ? Find out the truth! | 2012 prophesy

  9. Trollumination says:

    I don’t know if any of you guys are familiar at all with Eric Berne’s “Games people play”. In his context, “Games” aren’t necessarily fun. They’re something people do because they can’t handle intimacy, yet urgently need contact. As Berne wrote, “if you don’t get stroked, your spine will shrivel up”.

    Read this book and you’ll see that ‘Stalker & Victim’ is obviously a game. It’s a modernized and updated version of the game ‘Rapo’ which Berne described back in the 60s. As culture has, of course, changed, so have our social games, yet the essentials remain. The dynamic is to set oneself up to receive romantic attention , to take offense thereby, and accuse the suitor of caddishness and criminality as a result. The suitor gains the attention of being made a notorious offender. Both parties gain something, both parties play willingly at the subconscious level. There are degrees of this game, the extremity described by Berne as ‘ending up in the courtroom or the morgue’. Sounds like we have some players right here in this discussion thread, too!

    It’s okay. I’ve played “stalker” too. Been on both sides of it actually, at least once in the context of a relationship the same woman. Don’t play it anymore. That’s the only way to win, you know, is not to play.

    The original ‘Rapo’ relied on a certain level of social propriety which is no longer present (oh he has offended my ladylike honor bring my smelling salts!), and has been replaced with the modern victimology (my gender has been disrespected!). Yet it is obvious that the stalker’s “victim” is rarely truly hurt in any way – the “stalker” generally gets the punishment and notoriety – dished out by the “victim” who is no such thing in reality! And no, don’t tell me about your ‘ex’ or about something you saw on fucking Television! This is how is goes MOST of the time. The “stalker” is actually a milquetoast and a weakling. The “victim” is actually a bully. Each enjoys the role reversal on a subconscious level and the attention which results. This is how the game of “Stalker & Victim” works.

    “Stalker & Victim” is fashionable, not eternal. I am not an old man but I do remember a time when “stalkers” were a problem for celebrities and the occasional bitter divorcee, but weren’t present in my life or that of anyone around me. People my age didn’t have “stalkers”. We had unwanted suitors! And they were expected to handle them, dammit. The handling was often rough. “No I won’t go out with you! You’re a dork and a dweeb and a loser and your voice is so annoying and you wear clothes from K-Mart and I hate you and all of us hate you and why don’t you go kill yourself?” Today the recipient of unwanted affection will not say THAT! She’ll simply go to the nearest authority figure and tell a sad tale of victimization and cruelty. Is this really any better? No, don’t think so. These days even middle school girls have “stalkers”. And they’ll tell you about them, when they’re explaining why they just got suspended from school for getting 3 of their friends together to help ambush a boy in the hallway and bloody him up a bit. Damn.

    “I probably shouldn’t be forcing myself into their consciousness every moment, against their will. It isn’t right.”

    This is the new morality. It’s the morality of a 12 year old telling you to get out of their room. Taken literally it means that any unwanted attention is a crime. To take it literally means that if I come home tonight, totally unsuspecting, find my belongings out on the lawn and the lock changed in the door, I have to just up and go, right? Can’t say one word to my wife, can’t try to call her, because that’d be “stalking”. Be a good noncriminal partner and accept that you have no right to anybody’s time! I think this is unlikely. I don’t think this will happen. I wouldn’t stay with my wife if I thought she would ever do this. But if she did, cut me off without a single word, and maybe trash talked me a bit to friends, family, and major media outlets about how bad I am and called me a criminal simply for asking WHY – she’d be RIGHT in the eyes of the majority and I’d be WRONG! Cuz we all believe in this stupid game of “Stalker & Victim”. And I think that people need to grow up a bit and leave it behind. Just my damned opinion here.

    • Balsamred says:

      While I agree with you up to a point that some people use the label of “stalker” where it isn’t warranted and that some people enjoy the attention of being “stalked,” I have had the experience of being stalked by a stranger, and it was a genuinely frightening experience, so I hesitate to paint all victims of stalking with this brush.

      One day a man came up to me in the street and said some weird nonsense to me, and I just ignored him and brushed it off; I really didn’t have anything resembling an interaction with him at all. But then I started seeing the same guy around all the time–if I went into a store, he would come in a few minutes later; if I turned down a street, he would be coming from the other direction. Then he showed up at my work one day and asked for me by name. I still had never talked to this person, had no idea who he was, and I have no idea how he learned my name. The secretary called me down to the waiting room, but as soon as I came into the room, he ran out without saying anything. He came and asked for me a few more times, but he left when the secretary refused to call me again. Then he stopped my boyfriend outside of my apartment one day and said some weird nonsense to him, too. We looked out the window later and saw him hanging around outside, trying to peek in. My boyfriend went out and tried to talk to him, but he ran away. At this point I tried to contact the police, but they said there was nothing they could do if there hadn’t been any physical contact. This situation continued for a few months, with him ringing the doorbell of my apartment and running away, showing up at my work, hanging around the neighborhood to the point that I felt unsafe leaving the house, because I didn’t know where he was lurking. I never actually spoke to him, except to shout at him when he was running away. He never spoke to me after the initial first time. He was just always there for a few months, and then one day he just stopped and I never saw him again. I have no idea why he was bothering me, except for possibly that since I’m a very visible minority where I live, it sometimes makes me kind of a lightning rod for crazy. But it was very stressful, scary, and completely unwelcome. Stalking can be a serious problem that goes beyond just unwanted attention. It can be an invasion of a person’s life.

      • Trollumination says:

        Wow. Creepy story, for real. It’s totally not the Game I’m talking about.

        We know Anthony dated his ‘stalker’ at least for a short time. She knows his name because he made damn sure she knew it. That’s the Game. Also I’d bet you $500 that Anthony has never even once tried to call his ‘stalker’ up and ask her what the deal is. That’d spoil all the fun!

      • Trollumination says:

        You tried to figure out what was going on. You actually had curiosity here, because the situation really was weird and not under your control at all. This is natural. It’s what anyone would do if they found themselves in a strange drama not of their own making!

        The difference here is that – Anthony tells his audience what a psycho his ‘stalker’ is. She calls him and he won’t pick it up. Then he trashes her on the radio some more! The ‘stalker’ is the one displaying curiosity here, trying to figure out what is going on. Anthony has not the slightest interest in talking to her for even 10 seconds, because Anthony understands the situation. Anthony is in control. Anthony doesn’t need to run after his ‘stalker’ demanding answers because, unlike you, Anthony actually is leading this dance. So who is really the victim? This is the Game of Stalker & Victim right here.

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