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I have a problem

SystemSystem Posts: 8,583 Community Managers
Hi,

Please don't judge me, I'm not a bad person and I would never harm anyone else. I'm very embarrassed by this and I don't know where else to turn.

I'm addicted to stalking people online. Normally it's people who I'm not close to in real life but don't know them. I just get so attached to people, who don't even care about me. I've been stalking my counsellor and GP recently. In the past I've stalked teachers, my ex-boss etc.

It's not just on Facebook, I go onto people finders and search them on Google. I would never dream of harming anyone, I wouldn't contact people or want to scare them. I wouldn't want them to know I was stalking them. I know people probably think of a stalker as some creepy person who does it to scare or harm others. But that's not my reason, I do it to people I like. I get obsessed with them and want to find out more information about them.

Also, I was so happy the day my ex-boss accepted my Facebook friend request and I was so upset after I found out she deleted me (although she must have deleted most people from work too). I got so uptight and now I don't even want to stalk her anymore.

I'm very concerned as I've discovered three possibilities for my counsellors address. I've been making plans to phone them to see if she answers. But obviously not say anything and hang up straight after, just to find out which address is hers. I have never got that "obsessed" before. Also I almost bought a subscription to a people finder (to find out more information). Then I got put off that they would need my address so I didn't do it. I guess it is just comforting for me to know this information.

What is wrong with me seriously? Who does this? It's not normal, I know that! Nobody knows that I do it. Also I don't even feel inclined to stalk people I'm know well, this makes me feel guilty, like I don't care.

Also I start imagining some of these people I become attached to/ I stalk being my mum and I start wishing they were my mum. I do love my mum and this makes me feel so guilty.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    First of all, welcome to TheSite.Org I hope you will stay and not leave, but enjoy the forums and sharing with others and their troubles, too.

    I don't know what is causing your stalking habit, but think... in the circumstances you should book a double appointment with your GP, or a different GP than the one you have stalked. Most doctors surgeries allow you to see any doctor; not just the one you are affiliated to as a patient. The GP you see may refer you to a counsellor, and this would be good because you can then talk in confidence to them. I tell you with dead certainty that nothing shocks a counsellor. They have seen it all before and have helped their clients young and old. You may be given Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which your counsellor would expect you to do your best with and work through with them during your next session. From there, given time, your healing will begin.

    You may be suffering codependency, a form of excessive emotional reliance coupled with acute loneliness. However, your intentions as you stated are not to harm the people you follow, but all the same you must talk to a professional. For only they will be able to help you, week by week or whenever you feel able to have another session.

    Best wishes,
    Poppi

  • SarahRSarahR Posts: 213 Two little ducks
    Hi miss swan

    Welcome to The Site :) AccessDenied has made some good suggestions above, including going to see your GP. You mentioned that you're seeing a counsellor at the moment. It might be a good first step to bring up these feelings to them. As AccessDenied says, they won't be fazed by this - counsellors are trained to deal with all sorts of issues, and your sessions will be a lot more useful if you feel able to be honest.

    There could be all kinds of reasons why this is happening and it's not unusual to become interested in the lives of people we don't know. Lots of people buy celebrity magazines or watch reality TV for that reason! However, when a habit like looking up personal information about people online starts to make you feel uncomfortable, it's a good idea to have a look at what's going on so well done for reaching out.

    It might be that it feels exciting to imagine the lives of these people (as there is a certain amount of imagination involved when it comes to looking up information online - the internet can't tell us everything) without actually having an impact on them. How do you feel about your day-to-day life generally? Would you say you feel happy in yourself or do you often feel you need a bit of an escape? Do you have strong connections to friends and family or do you feel lonely? Building up more of a support circle, including hobbies and interests which make you feel good about yourself, will likely be helpful in making you feel better.

    You mentioned that you imagined some of these people who you don't know being like your mum - this might suggest that you're in need of a bit of extra support and protection just now. Are you currently going through any specific difficulties? It might help to get these off your chest in a safe space to understand a bit more about what's going on.

    Let us know how you get on :)

    SarahR
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks AccessDenied and Sarah

    I just feel too embarrassed to tell my GP or my counsellor. I keep thinking that they will assume that I stalk them, even if I don't mention it. I'm already getting CBT for other things.

    I just googled "codependency" , one of the websites had a list of questions - I could relate to them all, even things I haven't mentioned.

    I'm just so ashamed of stalking, I want help but I feel too scared to ask.

    Sarah- I actually imagine myself living another life very often, like living as someone else. Life's not been great recently, been struggling with my mental health. I don't have much confidence, I often want to just run away from all my problems. They overwhelm me!

    I have a few good friends but generally I feel lonely often. I live with my parents, and I spend a lot of time in my bedroom alone. I don't have any brothers or sisters.

    I have a lot of things on my mind, I'm sick of hiding from everyone. I just don't feel able to tell anyone.
  • SarahRSarahR Posts: 213 Two little ducks
    Hi miss_swan

    Just checking in to see how you're getting on? It sounds as though you were feeling scared about bringing up this subject with your GP - do you still feel the same way now? Reaching out to them for support with this might be a good first step in reducing the difficult feelings.

    You can always talk to us here or join us for live chat 5 nights a week f you need to get things off your chest.

    SarahR
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Sarah,

    Haven't been able to tell my GP about it.

    Currently I feel terrible. Counsellor mentioned a small brief piece of information about her in conversation. Then I realised I've been looking in all the wrong places. I've now found out too much information about my counsellor. Although I won't use this, I feel very guilty. I just couldn't stop myself.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey miss_swan :wave:

    It's good to e-meet you on here, so glad you found us :yippe:

    There's some really great advice in here already - I just wanted to check in and find out how things were with you? As Sarah mentioned, it's hard to tell why this has happened, but I imaging your cyber stalking is something of a habit for you at the moment? I know you mentioned you couldn't talk to your GP about it, and that during your counselling sessions, your counsellor discussed something personal about herself. It sounds like you do like your counsellor, as you wanted to find out more about her - I wonder if by finding out about a person online, is a substitute for asking the person about themselves - what they like to do, what they are interested in - and a means of gaining insight into their lives that you might not feel comfortable asking them about directly?

    I wonder if you have talked to your counsellor about your this at all, instead of telling your GP?

    I think Sarah mentioned about buiding new habits for yourself, to try and reduce the amount of online checking you do - which is a really good idea.:yes: It can be hard to break any habit - but it might help you if you think about focusing your energy on creating a self-care habit - one that makes you feel nurtured and supported. This could be anything at all - from taking a few simple breaths, and then making yourself a cup of tea, or to getting some exercise - going for a walk or a bike ride.

    Habits can be tough to break out from, and as such can make you feel bad/guilty. If you feel like you can, perhaps you could tell your counsellor about what happened, and you two could explore your feelings, what motivated you, and how you might go about preventing that happening in the future.

    I hope that helps - please keep us posted with how things work out

    Tam x
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