Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good news about the Movie...

It's gonna happen! I had a phone conference with Anne the executive producer who will be in charge of everything and it's a go. It's all kind of surreal right now and it's such a wonderful feeling when you've set goals for your life, work hard at achieving them and it finally pays off. I am blessed. I am humbled.
Thank you for your words of encouragement. You've all been so kind to me.
Can I brag about something? I know it's not nice to do, but I have just have to say it. Do you know that in the two years that I've had this blog I haven't gotten any negative, unkind remarks? Not even one. (Okay, now that I've said that I'm sure there is a wise guy out there somewhere....)
I have the best readers in the world.
Until next time,
kathie

Monday, February 22, 2010

types of stalking

I feel compelled to finish my posting on stalking. The more educated you are the more you can protect yourself. I don't know if the news is just reporting on this more or if there truly is more of this bizarre behavior going on.


Simple Obsessional - A prior relationship exists between the victim and the stalker which includes the following: acquaintance, neighbor, customer, professional relationship, dating or lover. The stalking behavior begins after the relationship has gone sour, or the perpatrator believes the relationship has gone sour, or perceives some sort of mistreatment then begins a campaign to rectify the situation or seek vengeance. (Please note: there is such a gross misconception that stalkers are always men. Not true. There are plenty of women stalkers as well. One of the most bizarre cases of simple obsessional is women stalking women.
For instance, False Victimization stalking is a sub-type of Simple Obsessional.
This type of stalking happens when someone has a deep affection for an individual and works to 'become' that person. I'm more familiar with this type than I'd like to be as this is what my family and I had to endure for several years.
It all started out very innocent. This woman strongly pursued a friendship. Although there were red flags everywhere (my daughter was on to this woman from the get-go) I was raised to be a 'nice girl' and tolerated her because I wanted to be nice.
When she found out I'd had a stillborn baby, she said she'd had two. She even told me their names and cried when she talked about them. I later found out they never existed. She started dressing like me, wearing her hair like me, doing everything I did which in and of itself is very psychologically draining to the victim. Do you know how bad it makes you look when you're asking for help and you tell someone that this person is trying to 'be' you? It really puts the victim in a bad light. It makes you appear to be very 'conceited' and 'full of yourself', especially as this 'sub-type' of Simple Obsessional is very rare, and almost always women vs women. I can't tell you how many times people would laugh and think it was just 'two bitchy, competitive women fighting over turf', when in actual fact this type is one of the most dangerous types of stalking. The more the stalker realizes they cannot 'become' their victim, the more frustrated they become until their acts become violent. They are delusional and usually have 'histrionic personality disorder'. They will not rest until they destroy their victim whether it be through reputation or actually physically destroying them. Sadly, the victim has to separate themselves from the stalker, i.e. moving, change jobs, etc, as the stalker will never 'give up' their obsession.
Erotomania - The central theme of the delusion is that another person is in love with the individual. The delusion often concerns idealized romantic love and spiritual union rather than sexual attraction, i.e. "a perfect match". The object of affection is usually of a higher status and can be a complete stranger. Efforts to contact the victim are common, but the stalker may keep the delusion a secret.
Love Obsessional - Similar to the erotomanic individuals. The victim is almost always known through the media. The delusion that the victim loves may also be held, but don't necessarily have the delusion that their victim loves them back. A campaign is begun to make his/her existence known to the victim.
Articles on the internet boast that all 50 states now have stalking laws in place. In most states it is incredibly difficult to get restraining orders. While I can appreciate the fact that this prevents crazy people from ruining an innocent persons reputation, I can attest to the fact that even when a victim has proof they are often denied this protection because 'nothing has happened', or 'they're not deemed a threat.' In a lot of states you can only get a protective order against someone directly related to you, and yet in others you can get a restraining order but not until they're proven a threat, or they've already 'done something'.
I know that domestic violence is a huge problem in this country and I am not trying to diminish that, but authorities need to realize that this is not the only type of victimization. They also need to realize that men aren't the only violent offenders.
And those of us that have been victims need to lobby and educate our state legislators to the facts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stalking Laws? Not really.

I want everyone to take a good look at this picture.
This beautiful child, was only 23 and a newlywed when she was gunned down a few days ago by a man who had stalked her for two years. Two years.

Aliss Blanton met her stalker while she was a waitress at Hooters. (First of all, I want to address something for those of you who have never set foot in a Hooters Restaurant. It is not a strip bar. It is a family restaurtant. I would take anybody to Hooters and not be embarrassed. If the Lord decided to come while I was eating fried dill pickles in Hooters I would have a completely clear conscience. But none of that should matter. Even a stripper doesn't deserve the hell of a life that comes with being stalked.)

She changed jobs to get away from this man. He followed her. She moved to another town. Still, he followed her. She got married. He then harassed her husband as well. This man showed up at their house. He once blocked her car at her new job so she couldn't get out, proceeded to walk up to her car window and screamed at her through the glass.

She had 72 pages of e-mails and letters. She documented every single time he'd been to her house, her workplace and other places he'd tracked her down.

Yet, according to Florida's protective order laws she didn't have enough to prove he was an actual threat. Instead, the judge set a date two weeks later to review the evidence to see if there was 'enough' evidence that she might be in danger. Her stalker was then notified that on February 16th there would be a hearing. He ended it before that happened.

What most people don't know is that while, yes, there are anti-stalking laws in place in all 50 states, those statutes are absolutely worthless if you are being stalked or harassed by a stranger, friend or acquaintance.

In other words, here in Virginia, you can get a restraining order against your husband, your cousin, your children, grandparents, any blood relative or anyone that you've ever been married to, lived with, or had a child with. Your next door neighbor or anyone else for that matter can drive you absolutely crazy and there's not a thing you can do about it.

The other states that are more liberal with their protective orders only hand them out if the person has already done harm to you.

Someone made the comment to me that I should be happy it's hard to get a protective order in Virginia. You see, my stalker was a woman who wanted to become her victims. She mimicked their life. Everything from dressing like them to buying the same vehicle, following them to the places they went. When she could not take over their life or become them she would destroy them. Many times this meant trying to make herself out to be the victim. Telling neighbors, police, any one who would listen that she was the one being stalked - by her victim. It's called False Victimization Syndrome. It's related to Munchausen by Proxy - you know, the women who harm/kill their children because they need that attention that comes with having a sick/deceased child. These people are psychotic and they are dangerous. I'll talk about this more in length at another time.

Yes, of course I am happy that this sick person was not able to get a restraining order. When I saw what she was trying to do, though, I was able to take steps to protect myself. I'll also go over that in more detail at another time. Everyone needs to know what to do to protect themselves.

I'll stop for now. But my next post will be about the different types of stalking. If I can help ONE person, just one, it will be worth it.

Someone I know who is an expert on the False Victimization type of stalking told me I should dedicate my life to educating people and lawmakers about this type of harassment. I have to tell you that I'm tired. I am so raw after writing my book, and having to go back and do edit after edit, and delve back into that dark time that I never wanted to give this subject a place in my life ever again.

I am now rethinking that decision.

Please feel free to ask questions or make comments. If you or anyone you know has ever been a victim, please share your story.

Until next time,

kathie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I AM ANGRY!!

AND YES I'M SHOUTING!
I just heard about Alissa Blanton, a 23-year-old woman who was murdered by her stalker.
Okay, for those of you who've followed me for the past 2 years you know my son and I were victims of a false victimization stalker.
You think laws protect you from someone like this? You're wrong.
I can't talk about this right now because number 1 - I am on a deadline. I have a few more edits to do by Friday on my book (which, incidentally is the story of our stalking experience), and number 2, frankly I am so angry right now that I can't even talk about this rationally.
Give me a few days and then we'll discuss this! What I tell you about protection laws will leave you absolutely speechless.
kathie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love is blind.....

Or is it?
William was three years old (1997), sitting in the middle of the floor playing with his building blocks. This was right in the middle of Shania Twain's "Man! I feel like a woman!" craze and sure enough she just happened to be on the tube doing a Revlon commercial. Mr. T, like every other man in America thought Shania was the cat's meow.
In a moment of what I am sure Mr. T. thought would become a male-bonding experience he spouts, "William, that Shania Twain sure is pretty!" to which William abruptly drops his toys, looks at his dad, points to me and in the most chastising voice he can muster says, "Dad, that is the most beautiful woman in the world." I then give Mr. T my best, ha! take that! look, scoop Will up in my arms and give him the biggest hug.
I promise you for the next three weeks every time I passed by a mirror I started to see the close resemblance between myself and the Country Cutie. No, really. I did!
Now, fast forward a month....
We are watching the new game show "The Weakest Link".
I have no clue why a three old is so obsessed with this show, but you can bet your bottom dollar at 6:30 every evening the world came to a stop so he could watch. No, Sesame Street for our kid. No sirree. We had to watch (in his words) "The Weakest Wink."
I didn't mind because it was about the only 30 minutes of the day I could just sit and catch my breath. If you're the mother or have ever been the mother of a toddler boy, you totally understand what I am saying.
Anyway, he keeps looking at the television set and the me, then me back to the television. He does this for about five minutes before he says, "Mommy, that's the only lady on TV that you're not cuter than."
" WHAT?"
He has to be joking, but the look on his face tells me he is as serious as a heart attack.
Shamelessly, I kneel next to the television and put my big fat head next to Anne Robinson, the game show hostess just as she shrieks (in a most unladylike fashion)
"You AH the weakest link!"
"Are you sure?" I ask pointing to myself, then Anne.
"Yes, Mommy. Other than Anne, you're the prettiest girl in the world"
So, I am prettier than Shania Twain, but not near as pretty as Anne from The Weakest Link. Go figure.


Funny, now when I look in the mirror I see the strong resemblance between myself and Anne. That should bother me, but it doesn't.
After all, it's not so bad to look like the 'cutest girl on television', huh? Even if I am a close second. (wink)
Out of the mouths of babes....
Happy Valentine's Day!
kathie


Friday, February 12, 2010

This is true love

I remember as a child wondering 'what exactly is 'true love'.' Of course at that age its akin to spring flowers, birds singing, and butterflies in your tummy. I remember a friends older sister who dated the same boy all through high school. They were always making goo-goo eyes at each other, holding hands and writing love letters into the wee hours of the morn. Okay, I shouldn't tell you this, but one night we snuck into her room, opened up the box she kept under the bed and read every single one of his love notes to her. Hot tamale! From that day forward I knew I wanted a love just like that.

It's not until you grow up that the cold, harsh reality sets in and you realize that true love is really all about not giving in to the urge to stuff a pillow over the face of the person that has been snoring for the past 3 nights. Oh, but we won't get into all that now, will we? After all, it is Valentine's Day and this is supposed to be about romance.


Well, today I have one that will make your heart melt.

It was the spring of 1998. An absolutely beautiful Sunday morning. I'm talkin' about one of those days that makes you feel just happy to be alive. The last of the winter snow has melted, birds are singin', flowers are bloomin' and it's warm. Warm enough to wear your favorite Lily Pulitzer skirt and to tie the cardigan of your twin set neatly around your perfectly pearled neck.


That particular Sunday, we had a visiting preacher I'll call 'Ned.'


When Ned, an elderly gentlemen, probably in his early 80's, stood up to the pulpit he proudly introduced his wife 'Julia' to the congregation. I was sitting about three rows behind and although I couldn't see Julia's face I admired her thick, beautiful, 'still-blonde-with-not-a-hint-of-silver in it' hair. She was sitting next to Wray Smith, a very beautiful, very fashionable, very proper Southern Lady that I, and every woman in the church idolized. Come to find out Miss Wray and Miss Julia had been sorority sisters at a southern university back in the 40's.


After the sermon I made my way up to say 'how do you do' to Miss Wray and introduce myself to her friend. I gently made my way through the crowd until I arrived at Wray's side. By that time she was talking to someone else so I walked around and extended my hand to our visitor.


When I came face to face with Miss Julia I was absolutely mesmerized. Here before me was a woman old enough to be my grandmother and yet her beauty rivaled that of a women in her twenties. Not only was there not a hair out of place, but her makeup was flawless. Her clothing, her jewelry, even her nails were done to perfection. I remember thinking that she looked like a queen.


"I'm so glad you could be here with us today," I said, extending my hand. She looked at me and didn't say anything, didn't offer her hand. Sort of uncomfortable. But that's okay. Some people are shy.


"My name is kathie." Still nothing. Not even a smile. Okay, officially uncomfortable. I look to Wray for help, but she is still engaged with someone else.


"How long will you be here?" I try again. This time I get a bit of a smile, but then she picks up her pocketbook and greets Ned who is now by her side, whispering something in her ear, then turning to answer a question from someone to his right. Which leaves just me and Julia, making eye contact but not saying anything. Very uncomfortable.


That encounter left me more than a little unsettled. Why was she being rude? Would it have been too much to just say 'hello.'


I have to admit that I stewed over that for most of the day. It wasn't until our small group Bible study that night that I found out as, Paul Harvey used to say...the rest of the story.


You see, Julia was in the advanced stages of Altzheimers. Her flawless makeup? Ned. Her coordinated wardrobe/jewelry? Ned. Her perfectly manicured nails? You guessed it! Ned.


Wray told me that for all of Julia's life she had been a great beauty. At the university she had been one of the most sought-after young women on campus, not only for her looks but her cheerful pleasant personality, and the kindness she showered on everyone. It's no wonder Ned took one look at her and fell head over heels in love!


Because of that enormous love and affection he made it his life's mission to keep her dignity intact. He learned to apply her makeup, do her nails, and even made sure she had her montly colorings at the salon and took her for her weekly styling appointments.


I learned a valuable lesson that day, folks. Actually, two valuable lesson. Never judge - sometimes things aren't always as they seem. But mostly I learned the meaning of a true, true love.


Happy Valentine's Day weekend to each and every one of you!


kathie
















Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love story series....

In celebration of Valentine's Week I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite real-life love stories....


Rachael was never much of a dater. Oh, don't get me wrong. She has always had way more than her share of male attention. (She is not a chip off the old block - her mother was the Christmas Queen and still couldn't even get a date for the dance)

She is an exotic beauty (in this case she is a chip off the old block- her Daddy.) Guys have always followed her around like little puppy dogs. One time she was standing in line at the airport and out of nowhere this very handsome young man slipped her a note and his phone number. He thought he was being so smooth and cool, so the look on his face as he watched her crumple the paper and toss it in the trash, was priceless. (Mother taught her well - ladies don't call guys).

More than one young gentleman walked away with a broken heart. We always had the best looking men at our dinner table, or ringing our doorbell to pick her up for a date. We never saw any of them more than once. There was always something wrong. One had bad table manners. One drove too fast. The next one drove too slow. The hot fireman had hairy arms.

The cute cop was promising. He lasted for all of 3 dates. Apparently, Drexie, the dog didn't think he was good enough.

Next.

One night she tiptoes downstairs, almost shyly, and asks me how she looks. Hmm, that's unusual, I thought. She never asks that question. What is different about this night?

"You see, a group of us are going out and there's this guy." I'm listening.

"He's really cute" she explained. "And I really like him, but he won't pay any attention to me. He acts like I don't exist. He doesn't even talk to me."

Uh-oh. This guy does not stand a chance.

Later that evening, her father asks about her.

"She's having dinner with your future son-in-law." That got his attention.

"No, she isn't...." He looks at me like I am crazy.

"Trust me. This guy is the one." I am very confident.

"Why would you say that?" Mr. Smarty Pants wants to know.

"He doesn't pay attention to her."

Smarty Pants snaps the newspaper to the sports section, "Poor guy, probably won't even know what hit him."

"I know," I agree. "He thinks it's just another night out with friends. He has no clue his fate is being sealed."

March 1, 2008

Christmas 2009


Monday, February 8, 2010

As Hillbilly Debutante Turns.....

After one treacherous night in Phoenix, recovering from the whole day at the pool,

and two nights in Kansas City where it is indeed cold, but not near as much snow as his Kingdom, Kathie's Prince Charming finally makes it home...
but will their marriage survive snow shoveling together? After three nights of being cooped up with no electricity, cooking food in the fireplace, almost burning the house down when realizing the fireplace flap was closed, bravely sticking hand through open flame to open said flap, will Kathie ever be able to shovel snow the way the Prince thinks she should? Will he live to tell it about it if he complains?
(Chamber music, please)
Tune in tomorrow for another episode of ...
As Hillbilly Debutante Turns...
and now
a word from our sponsor.
Align Center




Friday, February 5, 2010

Sweet Revenge.....


It's the Snowpocalypse here in Virginia this weekend. Literally. We're supposed to get 12"-36". All flights into Reagan National have been cancelled - incoming as well outgoing.

So, guess who's stuck in Phoenix (poolside). I'm glad Mr. T is safe and has a few days to enjoy himself someplace warm, but come on! Did he really have to go and brag about it?


Now I don't feel so bad about telling him I've fallen in love while he was away and 'his' name is Henry Hunt.


Henry specializes in the ever-elegant English country look. I wear a lot of clothes like these and would wear them 24/7 if my lifestyle allowed, but I think the boss might frown on the casualness of the half-chaps and wellingtons.

The website is: henryhunt.co.uk.com
Relax honey. So far nothing has happened between Henry and myself (read: I haven't spent any of your $$$$) - yet. Right now it's just lust but send more pictures like the one above and I might just have to cross that line.
Til next time
Kathie
psst: Don't tell Mr. T, but Henry Hunt is actually the brain child of a young lady by the name of Phoebe, dedicated to preserving the look of the traditional English hunt country/sporting look. (wink!)





Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I am just fat...

I am not 'fishing' for compliments. Just stating fact. On the the other hand I don't really need any of you to send a message of agreement, either. (I used to work with a lady that loved to tell people when they were gaining weight, or when their hair looked bad, or wearing the wrong shade of lipstick, etc, etc)
I tell you because I need someone to hold me accountable. I can't count on Mr. T. You see, I need motivation. I have told him if he would just repeat the following words, "Honey, you disgust me and I can't bear to touch you until you lose at least 30 pounds," I KNOW I would get up off my butt and do something. But no. He won't cooperate at all. His response at my request? "Do you think I want to remain celibate for the rest of my life?"
So, you my dear readers, are the only ones left who can help me. After all, if I pour my heart out to you and promise to lose...say 30 pounds... I have to do it, don't I?

I have a class reunion coming up in July. My 30th. I know exactly what you're thinking and you're wrong! I got the boy in high school. Yes. I. Did. And I don't give a hog's fanny about the mean girls, either. I have nothing to prove and no one to impress.




the boy I 'got' in high school with our son, Will

The weight is becoming a nuisance, and it's not healthy. Unfortunately, I'm not one of these people that can just diet/workout/cut-back at the drop of a hat. I need something to work towards. I need to give myself a time limit and a goal otherwise I'll still keep eating bags of chips, cartons of ice cream, and packages of marshmallows. You think I'm kidding, don't you?

Class reunion is end of July. I should be able to lose a considerable amount by that time.


So, ya see those hips right there? Buh-bye!




And that double chin? And chubby fingers? Yuk! So long!

Don't worry, this isn't going to become a diet blog, or daily calorie counter. I promise not to bore you with what I'm eating, or a weekly countdown. Nope, nothing of that sort.

I'll just drop a note once a month, just a one-liner to let you know how much I've lost so far...just to let you know I'm committed.

And for all you anonymous-ers, all fat jokes will be deleted. Don't push me.