How a Cyberstalker Made Me a Better Person

by Michelle Mangen on May 6, 2014

in My Journey

I like my life. A lot.  Of course, there are things, in my life, that could be improved – such as my son not leaving his dirty socks laying in random places or the mess of shoes that lurks at the front door. I also haven’t been to a dance, zumba or yoga in over two months. But at the heart of it all - I’m surrounded by people who care a great deal about me and I’m blessed with a thriving virtual assistant business.

I believe in karma and treating others the way I want to be treated so it was a great surprise to me when I inadvertently (through no fault of my own) attracted a cyberstalker in June 2013. My best guess is that she (Crazy Pants) found me through conversations I was having on Twitter with a guy friend.

Her real name is Leslie Ann Rogers and she currently goes by several known aliases: Kellie Rogers, Kellie Ruggerio and Kellie Levy. She lives in Spokane, WA. Her “real” Twitter, as of the time of this writing, is @KellieRuggerio. Update as of May 6, 2014 @ 8:25 pm EST. She’s now changed her Twitter handle to @KellieLevy18)

Kellie Rogers 300x225 How a Cyberstalker Made Me a Better Person

What has transpired since June 2013 can only be referred to as Crazy (yes, Crazy with a capital C).

Here is just a partial list of what’s happened:

  • She’s set up 38 different Twitter accounts (which also means she had to set up 38 different email addresses) and 10 different Facebook accounts for the sole purpose of harassing me. Some accounts have been set up in my name or my son’s name.
  • She’s morphed porn photos with my face and sent them to a client on Twitter and posted them on a friend’s business Facebook page.
  • I have submitted over 300 pages of documentation to both my detective and my attorney.
  • She was spoofing calls (both to me and then to others with my phone number being displayed) which lead to me changing my phone number.

Because of all of this absolute craziness, which has drug on for 11 long, long months, I have out of pocket / loss of income exceeding $8,000 and my stress levels have reached an all time high; so it may seem counter-intuitive when I say – Crazy Pants has made me a better person.

How has a cyberstalker made me a better person, you ask?

It comes down to one simple thing.

She forced me to say no to others so I can say yes to myself.

What exactly does that mean?

I began a quest to learn all I could about cyberstalking/online harassment and how to pursue legal action. In hindsight I should have kept track of the number of hours I’ve spent with all of the research and other time invested over the past 11 months. It’s been horribly time-consuming and I realized, after eight months, (I can be a slow learner!) that I either had to continue staying up until the wee hours of the morning or I was going to have to let some clients go in order to free up the time I needed. The lack of sleep has contributed to the health problems that have arisen, mainly due to the stress associated as a result of her antics so the only option was for me to let go of billable hours.

I could handle things related to her. I could take care of myself and my son. I could take care of my clients. I could do two of those three things but not all three. There just wasn’t enough time in the day for all three.

Deciding which clients I was going to let go was one of the most heartbreaking and emotional decisions I’ve had to make in my five+ years of business. And if I’m honest about it, I was really angry (at Crazy Pants), for forcing me to decide between dealing with her shit and doing the work I love. Seriously  -  why did I have to let go of income to deal with her Craziness?

But it is what it is and with some re-framing I realized the hand she “forced” for me would allow me to:

  • take a more active role in the investigation and pursuit of the protection order
  • get more sleep as I’m not staying up until the wee hours of the morning doing my research
  • when a friend, who is in a similar situation, called last week for advice I was able to stay on the phone with her for over two hours
  • become a healthier person (more about that in a future post)
  • have some time to write a book about the experience and to help others be safer online

Despite these “hidden benefits” I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. As of Friday, April 25, 2014 I have an enforceable protection order (which is why I can publicly talk about this now) so hopefully my story is over soon. Maybe I won’t have any more of my precious time being allocated to her. The thought of newly found “free time”, and all the possibilities it presents, makes me so incredibly excited!

POImage How a Cyberstalker Made Me a Better Person

Thank you, Crazy Pants, for making me a better person. 

And so I start a new chapter of my life…..

PS: I’ve had a few people ask so I’m adding this update. I decided to use Kellie’s photo so it eventually/hopefully will show up in Google search results. I’m not the first person she’s done this to and I am likely not the last. Hopefully this post will help any future victims. Also, yes, it’s OK that I post this story – I double checked with my attorney prior to doing anything. (not to mention it’s also available via public records)

Related Post: A Look Back: A Year of Cyberstalking and How it’s Affected Me

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  • Tess Strand

    Love you Michelle!! You’re so strong – respect! XOXO

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Tess, thank you for being such a pillar of strength for me during all of this. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

  • http://www.RosevilleAndRocklin.com/ Heather and Steve Ostrom

    Oh @mmangen:disqus what a “crazy” long journey. You have always been fabulous, but I am glad you’re saying “yes” to yourself and your health (and quality of life). Hugs my friend and you’re an awesome lady. <3 – Heather O

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Heather, it has been quite the journey. I’m looking forward to using this stressful story to helping others become safer online as well as hopefully helping anyone who may be the target of Leslie/Kellie’s in the future.

  • mistybelardo

    I love that even through all the chaos that this person has done, you have found a positive lesson. Stay strong. You are an inspiration to me and to a lot of people.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Misty, thank you so much for reading, commenting and sharing this post. I <3 you!

  • http://sarafhawkins.com/ Sara F. Hawkins

    I hope you realize how powerful and helpful this is to so many. In those 11 months when you had to watch your every word, I can’t imagine how you must have felt in that silence. But those who are facing similar experiences thank you for your due diligence and for now speaking out. I hope this is a new beginning for you.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Sara, thank you my friend! The watching every word, as a person who is really open and transparent, was one of the hardest things I experienced the last few months. (especially since I use Twitter for business). I do believe this is indeed a new beginning for me!

  • http://www.myofficeassist.com/ Lee Drozak

    I am still totally amazed at how you made it through the process. You are one of the nicest people I know who totally did not deserve this. Now it’s time to get into bitch mode and serve up a little payback.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Lee, thank you so much for saying that you think I’m one of the nicest people you know. This is fight is not necessarily for me.

  • AS48

    I’m so glad you posted this. This may help someone else in the future to face down and defeat their own “Crazy Pants”,

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Thank you so much my friend! (BTW glad you tipped me off on the incredibly adorable puppy!)

      • AS48

        You’re welcome – I’m so glad to see you getting some closure (hopefully) on this. Puppy…all 100 lbs of him…he’s my monsterdog. Keeps the house safe. We have a sticker on the front door (and the van) – “you might get in….but you won’t get out!” (grin)

        • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

          That is so cute! What breed is he? I miss my dog. It’s so hard to find a place in FL to rent that allows for pets. The sticker…is he a lover?

          • AS48

            He’s a Boxer-Shepherd mix. We got him at a shelter when he was just a baby, so he’s always been ours – his name is Barney. :-) He’s a lover to me and people I know, but he scares the heck out of anyone trying to come into the house – he’s got a huge, deep, aggressive bark, and I am quite certain he’d rip the arm off anyone who tried to get in without my permission. Anyone entering the house has to submit to the Barney inspection – they have to stand still, ignore him and let him check them out, and no sudden moves until he’s ok with them. If I act at all uncertain about who’s at the door, he’s ready to take them out. Sounds scary, but I lived alone with my kids for years before moving in as my mom’s caregiver – I needed a watchdog.

  • http://tayloemarketing.com/ Tayloe Marketing

    No pun intended, but that is just ‘Crazy’. Glad this is over for you Michelle, and most of all, I am sure your clients will be happy to have you back. Best to you, and thank you for sharing.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Brad, thanks so much for reading and commenting. It has been quite a “Crazy” ride!

  • triciacardone

    Michelle, you are an incredibly brave and strong lady! I so admire your strength…I can only imagine how difficult this time has been for you! I always believe that everything happens for a reason (even though we may be wondering what that reason is for quite some time!) and I just know that something fantastic is going to come out of all of this…You will help so many! You are an inspiration!

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Trish, thanks so much for all you’ve done for me with my health that’s become an integrated part of this story/journey. Something fantastic is going to come of this, that I know!

  • http://www.borderlessadministrativeservices.com Patricia Marcero

    Thanks for turning this crazy experience into a positive one for yourself and others. Hoping Crazy Pants learns about karma really soon :-)

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Pat, I do believe in karma (sometimes it takes so long though!)

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  • Mary Ann

    Great article… like it. You are warning others the perils of social media gone sour.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Mary Ann, social can be a good thing but it can certainly have a “dark” side.

  • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

    thank you for reading and commenting :)

  • http://www.tammysoffices.com Tammy’s Office Solutions

    Great article Michelle, thanks for your willingness to share it. I know you must have been through so much and although you share bits of it, I cannot even imagine.

    You mentioned that it began on Twitter, but do you have advice for everyone regarding what to do and not do on social media to be safe? I am sure there is more to come in your story and I look forward to it, but I would appreciate pointers and what to watch out for. Thanks for being willing to tell the rest of us.

    • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

      Tammy, I replied on G+ too but I’m also going to copy/paste my answer from G+ here so other readers can see the answer. :)

      I have several that immediately come to mind: pay the extra $8-10 for your domain privacy, get a PO box if in business, get and use a Google Voice number. Be super cautious about Foursquare, don’t publicly post things on Facebook and select the option to review (and manually approve/deny) tags your friends make on Facebook…be very selective when approving ones your friends publicly make, don’t refer to your children by name….how’s that for a good start :)

  • http://www.thevirtualasst.com Michelle Mangen

    Lillian, it’s def been both scary and crazy! (and what I’ve shared here, in this post, is just a teeny tiny bit of what’s happened).

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