Mental Illness and Stalking February 25, 2010Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, Hearing Voices, mental illness, Psychotic, Stalking.
Tags: Delusions, Hearing Voices, Insanity, mental illness, Psychotic
Stalking is a matter of perspective. From the standpoint of the stalker stalking a celebrity, the stalker is convinced that he has a very real, very personal connection to the person he’s stalking. He would be shocked to learn that what he’s doing- trying to fulfill the celebrity’s perceived request for that contact- is viewed by law enforcement as well as the celebrity in question as stalking. How can it be stalking, he reasons, when the person he’s accused of stalking wants desperately to see him? It must be a misunderstanding.
When I was slipping into the final stages of my delusion (right before I was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital) I was absolutely convinced that I had ESP, and that Bill and Melinda Gates were among my many friends-including the Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey- who talked with me via ESP (voices in my head). I used to make beaded jewelry, so it wasn’t surprising that (as part of my delusion) Bill and Melinda Gates had heard of my jewelery-making prowess, and begged me to make some jewelry for them.
I agreed to their request, provided they give me direction on their tastes. One of the capabilities of people who shared ESP with me was their ability to see the world through my eyes. Literally. It’s kind of complicated to explain, but suffice it to say that they saw everything that I saw. So it was natural for Bill and Melinda to wander around the bead shop with me, picking out beads for their own special necklaces as if they were actually in the room with me. When Bill began picking out expensive stones, I balked. But Bill assured me that price was no object, since he (the richest man in the world) would be reimbursing me in the very near future for the money I spent. Payment from Bill established for sometime in the near future, “we” roved the store selecting expensive stones for their necklaces.
“We” returned to my home where I spread the expensive loot out on my kitchen table and began putting the necklaces together with “their” direction. When “we” finished the jewelry, “we” discussed how they were going to get the necklaces from me. Should I mail them? Should I send them via UPS? Should I send them to their house in Medina? Or to Microsoft’s campus in Redmond? At first, “they” directed me to mail them to the Gates’ in care of their (real) nonprofit organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. After further discussion, “we” agreed that I would give the necklaces to them when I met them in person, which was going to be in the very near future. Fortunately, I ended up in the mental hospital before I could do any real damage.
It is easy for a delusional person to cross the line into what appears to the real world as “stalking”. I had lost touch with reality to the point where I was convinced that the Gates’ wanted their jewelry so badly that had “they” insisted, I would have, without question, driven to their home in Medina (about 20 minutes from my home) with the intent of personally delivering the necklaces to them as they had requested. I would have been absolutely convinced that they were desperate for my jewelry, and wouldn’t have believed anyone who tried to tell me differently. Had I followed that plan of action (rather than wait to meet them as we finally agreed), I would have been carted off to jail, labeled a stalker. But in my mind, I would have been absolutely certain that the Gates’ were dying to see me, and I would have insisted that this was so.
In revealing this very personal and embarrassing episode that was part of my psychotic delusion, I hope to show how easy it is for someone suffering from delusions to become a stalker. I ask for the law profession to understand that when they are investigating a stalker, in reality they’re likely with a delusional mentally ill person. I ask for them to show that “stalker” some compassion by getting an immediate psychological evaluation before sending him off to jail. With proper medical intervention, their delusion, like mine, will evaporate and the psychotic individual will return to the real world. And when it’s all over and they’re medicated and back in their right mind, they, like I, will be extremely embarrassed and ashamed of their behavior.