Old boyfriend still obsessed?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 1 stayed with friends last night. They are also friends of easy child 2/difficult child 2's exBF. You may remember, the split was not gentle. ExBF's mates had resented easy child 2/difficult child 2 as a group of males WILL resent the first female who splits up the group and makes one of their number less available. The relationship had been struggling, mainly because both of them were far too immature for a serious relationship; complicated by his lack of parenting by his mother, who really was very neglectful. Passive-aggressive control freak who would leave him to his own devices sometimes for days at a time and without him knowing where she was or when she was coming home. Not a good way to grow up. His only company was two dogs - he really was the boy raised by wolves.

    As a result, he had been using emotional blackmail a lot on easy child 2/difficult child 2 and she didn't take kindly to it. He kept putting her in a mother role and she could never properly extricate herself from it. Unhealthy. He also tried to control easy child 2/difficult child 2, as he could never control his mother.

    So they split - he egged on by his 'mates' who got him drunk one night and had him blog about her very unkindly over the 'Net.

    At that time easy child 2/difficult child 2 was already friends with BF2. I think he had seen the writing on the wall and was biding his time. And now, two years later, easy child 2/difficult child 2 and BF2 are engaged.
    Last night, difficult child 1's friend and friend's girlfriend rang exBF to tell him. He seemed OK with it, but when they rang again an hour later, he was a mess, apparently. He asked that easy child 2/difficult child 2 not be told he knows, and certainly not be told he's upset.
    ExBF is into animé and manga (as are difficult child 1, easy child 2/difficult child 2, BF2 and the friends - it's how they all met). ExBF is a very talented artist, very bright lad and has just published his first manga comic book. difficult child 1 brought home a copy. And when I looked at it - he's drawn easy child 2/difficult child 2. To the life. Same figure, same face, same hair. And the name of the character - it's very close to her name. The personality of the character - it's the darker side of easy child 2/difficult child 2, still cutting, still talking of suicide, still temperamental. The male character - it's exBF's alter ego, complete with the "raised by wolves" thing. It's building as a series, with this comic being the first episode. Clearly he's building to a relationship with these characters, although likely a very bizarre and sick relationship (by Western terms) as you often get in manga.

    Now, it could be argued that because easy child 2/difficult child 2 looks so much like a typical manga female, this is pure coincidence. We don't think so.

    We're definitely not telling easy child 2/difficult child 2 or BF2, I think it would upset them and/or make them angry, with nothing positive coming out of it.

    On one level, it's a non-issue. He's simply drawing on his own life experience to create a fantasy. But on another level - I think he is preferring his fantasy to reality, somehow dreaming that if he can win the girl in the manga, he still has what it takes to win the girl in reality. And now they're engaged he's not coping with this reality.

    I'm not sure what to do. Certainly, not tell the kids - that goes without saying. But is he going to become a problem again? Is he going to be stalking from a distance? Is he going to get more desperate in the plot of his manga? After all, if he is successful, then word will spread. He will be peddling this at the conventions where easy child 2/difficult child 2 and BF2 attend.

    I'm not sure what to think, I'm concerned, worried, feeling very uncomfortable about this. I am worried that he is one very sick puppy.

  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I'd be concerned too. What you may want to do is remind easy child 2/difficult child 2 about keeping her eyes open when she's out and about. You're going to have to talk to her for her own safety, and explain to her that nowadays people get a little too obsessive. Don't frighten her, but make sure that she knows to keep an eye on her surroundings.

    If she or anyone in your family do run into him at odd places or at unusual times, make sure that you ALL document them. List date, time, behavior/circumstances etc. This way if you have to go for an "Australian version of a restaining order" (I don't know if you call it the same thing as we do :smile: ), you'll have plenty of info. to back you up.

    Keep your eyes open, but don't get too worried. The power goes to him if he impacts your life more than slightly!

  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    nv gave good advice.

    It really could be pretty innocent. As you said, drawing from life experiences. Sadly, it is one of those things that will have to play out before anyone knows for sure.

    Being upset, even being overly emotional, is not that unreasonable for young people. It's the nature of the beast.

    For now, I think just warning about being careful is the best you can do. If he shows up in places where he shouldn't then you need to go to the next step and start reporting him to the police whenever he is seen in odd places.

    I hope it is just innocent and doesn't develop into anything serious. Stalkers are a nasty breed.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I don't think so, Marg. I think your first take on it was correct--he's using his life to create art and to create a story line.
    Lots of famous people have done that--Charles Schultz, with-the little redheaded girl; Neil Simon with The Goodbye Girl... I could go on.
    I'd try to let it go. Unless he contacts her directly, it's a non-issue for you and her. It's his issue and his alone to deal with. (And if he makes money off of it, oh well!)
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Marg, definitely have her keep a running chronology of the times or places he shows up and if he says anything, write that down also.

    Last week when I took difficult child to the police to file a complaint against her stalker, that was the first thing the police officer asked her - "Have you been taking notes on when stalker shows up and what, if at all, he says to you?" Of course, difficult child hadn't. I should have thought of that and been taking my own notes. Anyway, I didn't and now difficult child will not be in a position to see stalker all the time or hear from him unless he calls her or goes to our home.

    I hope this resolves itself, but in the meantime, have your daughter on high alert when she's out and about, even when she's with friends. I think it's creepy what he's doing. He sounds troubled.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I tend to agree with Terry.

    I think he's using his life experiences in his art which is a pretty common thing. Some of this "new series" might be his way of working thru his feelings of difficult child and his relationship.

    I wouldn't worry overmuch unless he starts displaying stalker like behavior.

  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    If the ONLY thing he has used 'against' here is the cartoon drawing - then I would watch what the next issues have in them. If it gets creepy - act then.

    This is something to watch in my humble opinion to be sure. At this point I would just observe him and make some notes with times and dates.

    If the story in the comic book unfolds unfavorably, THEN I would arm my kid. At this point I think you are very wise to keep mum, as kids can be cruel and someone saying something to him may get taken out of context. He's already sick I wouldn't egg him on.

    Hope this resolves itself.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Thankfully he currently lives interstate. And he IS in regular contact with difficult child 1's old school buddy/best friend.

    I have no problems with him making money from his animation - not even much of a problem with him drawing pictures of easy child 2/difficult child 2. And as a writer myself, I do recognise that NOTHING we write, is original, all of it comes from within our own tortured souls (something which worries difficult child 1, he says, when he reads some of my horror stories).

    What has me mostly concerned, is the DEGREE to which this seems to be a publicly played-out fantasy CLEARLY involving easy child 2/difficult child 2 (I mean, he could have at least changed her hair colour, and her life story!) and himself as love interest/protector. The relationship as described in the comic is unhealthy, but it reads as if the author himself sees it as normal. The girl in the story is a cutter, is at times suicidal (which I don't think easy child 2/difficult child 2 ever has been) and interestingly, plays the same mind games he always played on her. His character seems to be reading things into her character's behaviour that are 'leading him on' or 'deliberately torturing him'. NEVER her style in real life, but it is as if that is how he sees her now.

    The degree here smacks of total obsession, rather than "I am basing this character loosely on a pretty girl I once knew and loved."
    They broke up two years ago. I heard he had a girlfriend since. Why isn't he drawing her? In this comic, there are only two main characters, it's not as if she's a minor character appearing somewhere in the background. Even the clothes worn by this character - her own created fashion designs.

    Despite his faults, I quite liked the guy. I didn't want him for a life partner for her since we could see how he hurt her, but he really didn't know any better, he had no frame of reference for a normal relationship. "Go away and practice on someone else," was how we felt about the break-up. I'm concerned for his health, I think of him like a good friend of my son's - which he is - I don't think he would hurt her physically, but what of the future?

    I might ask difficult child 1 to express to him my concerns for him, next time they meet (usually when he comes to Sydney for the conventions - something he really will be wanting to do to promote his comics). I won't be specific, and I don't want to ban him from using anybody he wants as a template for his characters, but he should (as a writer) be using a TEMPLATE, not using real people. You should disguise them, if you use real people. Change their gender, change their physical characteristics, turn it into fiction, after all. I've written stuff using characters strongly based on people I know, but nobody has ever come close to recognising themselves.

    At this stage, Issue 1, the story is barely fleshed out. Already it's very dark. I'm hoping it doesn't progress into the more porn version of manga, which it very well could.

    We do have protection orders here, but it would take a lot more than this. At least he doesn't carry weapons - doesn't really need to, he's a very imposing figure physically. Also into martial arts (it figures) but not in any really heavy way.

    We will watch and keep our ears to the ground. I think I'll get difficult child 1 to ask his friend to tell him when exBF is visiting Sydney "so we can catch up and hang out together". That way we can warn easy child 2/difficult child 2 where he will be so she can avoid him.

    If he becomes a problem by contacting her, "dropping in" to see her at work (or anywhere else) and she asks him not to and he keeps doing it, THEN we can do something, and THEN the comic book could easily be used to demonstrate the possibility of an unhealthy obsession. But on its own - not enough, I don't think. Not with our laws.

    But I am going to really watch for future issues, to see what he writes and to make sure that if it gets any darker, life is not going to imitate art.

  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I would be very creeped out in your situation. I think you are right to be concerned and vigilant, and are handling it well, although I am not too sure about having difficult child 1 contact him to express concern -- could that backfire? If he's trying to get difficult child 2's attention, let her know that he is obsessed with her, it would confirm that he is "getting through" and possibly invite more unwanted attention? Just a thought. I hope and pray he works out his issues without causing you all any more problems.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 1 is VERY closed-mouthed and exBF knows this. If difficult child 1 tells someone that he's not said anything, then they believe it (if they know him). ExBF did ask that easy child 2/difficult child 2 not be told that he knows about her engagement and especially not be told that he's upset about it.
    She posted about her engagement on her favourite website, he knows her ID and posts regularly himself. She intended him to know (along with all her friends on the site). That was the site where he blogged so nastily about her when they broke up.
    So from her point of view, she would expect him to know, but doesn't really care.

    I think it's watch and wait time.