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Aibu to think this is stalking

(17 Posts)
Nannaboppa Wed 01-Jun-16 19:23:46

A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of hers who she used to work with. He added me on Facebook then started messaging me privately occasionally then up to 5 times a day so I started to ignore him or keep my replies very short, which didn't work so I blocked him. He then messaged a mutual friend asking them to ask me to add him again, so I talked to my original friend who'd introduced us about him, saying he was a bit creepy but she said he's harmless. He even rang me up from his holiday abroard!? My friend eventually informed me he has a slight form of autism, which explained a lot! So I was a lot more understanding, I readded him on Facebook & we chatted very occasionally.
The weekend just gone I went off for the weekend to take part in a challenge with friends which he knew about, due to me commenting on the challenges Facebook page & private messaging another friend. So Saturday morning he turns up at the train station to wish me luck, found it a bit odd but eh oh.
Then on Sunday I'm mid way through my challenge when I hear someone shout my name & it's him stood taking photos & shouting to me! At the end of the challenge he's there again taking photos of me.
I tell my friends as soon as I see them & they inform me they've already spotted him, he turns up & starts following us, we told him we were going back to the hotel to rest & he goes. It turns out he's staying in a hotel nearby. I've closed my Facebook account but I'm torn between feeling sorry for him & feeling downright creeped out! If I didn't know he had autism I'd be very worried.
So am I being unreasonable to shut him off completely considering he's got autism? Had anyone got any advice on how to deal with this? How would you all deal with it?

2nds Wed 01-Jun-16 19:26:56

Has he any real friends? He might just be a bit lonely?

anyname123 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:27:48

I'd call the police if it carries on, seriously. Stalking is often a predecessor to acts of violence etc. Firstly you may need to prove that you have asked him to stop, so message him exploring that you feel really uncomfortable about his behaviour and don't want to be friends, and see how you go. Autism or not, why should you be the subject of this obsession?

QueenoftheAndals Wed 01-Jun-16 19:33:03

I think he is stalking you, and you should keep a record of his behaviour so that you have some evidence when you go to the police.

Don't listen to anyone who minimises it by saying he's lonely or harmless.

WorraLiberty Wed 01-Jun-16 19:36:33

Have you tried actually talking to him and telling him to back off?

Nannaboppa Wed 01-Jun-16 19:41:39

2nds he has a few friends. That's the thing people are minimising it because he's got autism & I guess I felt the same. But as my friend who was there this weekend pointed out, why didn't he tell me he was coming to where we were? she thinks he knew I'd be creeped out but another friend said she thinks he thinks He's been kind by surprising me.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Wed 01-Jun-16 19:43:13

The fact that he's on the autism spectrum doesn't mean he's not potentially dangerous and massively creepy. You need to block him from your life, tell him to back off and involve the police if he doesn't.

Nannaboppa Wed 01-Jun-16 19:45:12

Worral, the friend who introduced us in the first place had a nice chat with him about inappropriate behaviour & he stopped messaging me, but it's started again this weekend

whois Wed 01-Jun-16 19:49:57

Has he any real friends? He might just be a bit lonely?

Give a shit.

Women are conditioned through society ("he's harmless, he's just being sweet") to make allowances for bad behavior like this.

He is stalking the OP.

Tell him outright (via a text of fm msg or something written) that his behavior is inappropriate - the frequency of msg is too much and it scared you when he showed up at the event taking photos of you. Say very clearly you no longer want to have any contact with him.

halighhalighaliehaligh Wed 01-Jun-16 20:04:17

If he has autism he likely has no idea that the way he's behaving is inappropriate and alarming. Do you want to be his friend at all? If not then I would tell him - leaving no uncertainty - that you don't want him to contact you again. If you are happy to be his acquaintance then you will need to set unambiguous limits of the amount and form of contact you find acceptable.

halighhalighaliehaligh Wed 01-Jun-16 20:09:23

And I wouldn't class this as stalking. The op hasn't said anything that would lead the man to think thee is anything wrong with the amount of contact they are having. Short, abrupt replies to messages and blocking on Facebook would be enough for most people to take the hint but this kind of round about way of telling someone to f-off will not be picked up by a lot of people with autism. Re-adding him n Fbook will likely have added to the confusion as well. The man probably thinks he's being a good friend supporting the op at an event.

Nannaboppa Wed 01-Jun-16 20:10:02

That's what I'm thinking Hali then again why didn't he mention he was coming to watch me when he turned up at the train station? No I don't want to be his friend, partly because I think he has a major crush on me & I don't want to give him any false hope.

Boomingmarvellous Wed 01-Jun-16 20:11:31

I think too that him being on the autism spectrum means he finds it very difficult to respect or understand normal social boundaries. I think it's better to sit down with him and explain in very unambiguous terms you don't want him to continue with this level of interaction. Say you want to just say hello on the occasions you see him but he isn't at attend meetings etc as he has done recently.

I know it's difficult for him, but it's really not acceptable for you either.

halighhalighaliehaligh Wed 01-Jun-16 20:20:02

He may not have seen the relevance of mentioning it. Autism is a communication disorder and effects people in different ways. If you don't want to be his friend as mean as it may seem you need to tell him plainly that you don't want to have any contact with him any more.

LittleMissBossyBoots Wed 01-Jun-16 20:22:00

That's what I'm thinking Hali then again why didn't he mention he was coming to watch me when he turned up at the train station?

Because he has autism. This is one of the core deficits of autism. Google 'Sally Anne test' .

yorkshapudding Wed 01-Jun-16 21:47:00

It's not stalking if you haven't actually asked him to stop contacting you or told him (in a way that he can actually understand) that his behaviour is making you uncomfortable. His ASD will make it difficult or even impossible for him to interpret non verbal emotional cues (such as facial expressions, body language etc) and he won't pick up on subtle hints such as the short abrupt messages. He won't know that he's behaving in an inappropriate manner or that he is making you feel uncomfortable unless it's explicitly stated. People with ASD can find it very difficult to understand and conform to social norms and boundaries so he won't necessarily realise that it's unusual and "creepy" to turn up at an event uninvited or how many FB messages is too many.

His behaviour, in the context of ASD, does not necessarily indicate a "massive crush" or even any sexual motivation at all. He may have a crush on you. Or he may simply believe that this is what friendship looks like.

I'm not saying that his behaviour is appropriate, that you are wrong to feel uncomfortable or that it should be allowed to carry on. However, I think it would be wrong to paint this man as some kind off sexual predator when he has not been threatening or aggressive in any way and has not been given any clear indication that the contact he's making isn't wanted. If you tell him to stop contacting you and it carries on anyway, then it becomes harassment and at that point you may need to consider informing the Police.

Pettywoman Wed 01-Jun-16 22:20:44

You don't want to be friends with him, that's all that matters. You shouldn't have to be nice to someone or give more than you're comfortable with just because they want you to.

Message him with a firm back off, not interested, block him on FB and tell your mutual friend why. If he continues trying to contact you, keep a record and tell the police if it gets out of hand.

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