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)
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!
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)