On Valentine’s Day 2007, I attended a corporate radio event at a baseball stadium as a volunteer for the station’s morning show. There I met the weekend disc jockey; we introduced ourselves, had a brief chat, and went about our specific business at the event. It was brutally cold that morning and by the time the outdoor event had ended, everyone was frozen. I went back to the radio station building with the morning show staffers after the event had ended.
Little did I know then that the weekend disc jockey was already researching how to contact me.
By the time I'd left the building, gone to lunch, gone home and checked my e-mail, I found a message from the weekend jock. In it he spoke of how he thought 40-year-olds were hot (I was 26 then), how he left his first wife for the second (again, I had just met this man for the first time) and how he was attracted to me. The whole scene was weird, but I thought maybe the cold had frozen my common sense. I ignored my gut instinct regarding the weirdness and replied. When this man learned I was two months older than his daughter (he was then 52), he admitted feeling “ashamed” of his feelings for me. I just assumed from there forward he would be another radio associate I knew in my role as a volunteer.
Throughout 2007, he and I communicated via e-mail every few months; everything seemed cool and kosher. His mother passed away in November of that year and I called the funeral home to offer my condolences – which to me was the right thing to do. About a month before his mother’s passing, he told me about meeting a woman through a personal ad and how she did not want him to care for his mother, how she was a mean-spirited woman, unlike me – a sweetheart. He made the first reference to him and me in a relationship; I laughed and blew it off.
I saw the man for the second and last time in my life on Valentine’s Day 2008. Again, we spoke briefly. A week after that, I left my volunteer position at the radio station. Despite this, the DJ and I remained in contact, speaking every few months, with no major concerns. There were loose references made by him in which he discussed how I’d be a great fit in a porn film or how I’d look good in black lace, but I blew this off as a joke and never let it faze me. One day, he mentioned us and a May-to-December romance (which he said would be July to December because he ages slowly) and I laughed, blowing it off with an “uh, no” response.
In 2009, the man was arrested for possession of marijuana on school property (he worked for the school system, besides the radio job). I did not believe the charges and supported him, only to later hear him say, “A little weed every now and then hurts no one.” Then, I doubted him.
In 2010, the man – still involved and living with the woman he met three years before – invited me to his lake house for a weekend. My radar for odd again screamed as such and I declined the request. I did not hear from him for five months. When I did, it was the same thing: references to how I’d look good in “movies,” how he thinks I’m hot.
Just after Christmas last year, the man e-mailed to say that his girlfriend and he were fighting a lot and that she was an iceberg in the bedroom, making his life miserable. I listened to his e-mail “story” and said I was sorry he was hurting, but he had the right – since he owns his house – to kick her out. The next thing I knew, he said, “I would feel better and would even have a little fun going lingerie shopping for you.” I ignored the suggestion.
On New Year’s Morning at midnight, he texted me with a “Happy New Year, sweetheart." I was the first person he thought of to begin this year. Later New Year’s morning, the man – from work – e-mailed me approximately 40 links to ads for lingerie, dildos, and vibrators to ascertain what I liked. I began deleting these unread after I realized what he was doing and I never replied.
A few days passed and he announced that he didn’t have my size but planned to guess and was heading to Victoria’s Secret to shop. I – to this minute – did not think he was serious.
On his birthday, January 5, I was very busy with work and told him I did not have time to speak to him. He said, “Well, if you’re working your ass off I’d like to see that ass someday.”
On January 6, the Priority Mail box addressed to me in his handwriting arrived on my doorstep. Inside, there was a teddy, three pairs of thong panties, and a vibrator with batteries. I was furious and sickened. I contacted him and said that I didn’t know what I ever did to make him think that I was interested in him but I’m not and the shipment was not cool.
He said, “I’m just a friendly pervert who thinks you’re hot and I’m living out a harmless fantasy in my head.” The good heart in me wanted to believe him, even despite the weirdness, so I forgave him, but I was still disturbed by the box.
Over the next week, he began texting me at all hours, calling at all hours from job interviews, e-mailing me and if I did not reply, e-mailing again asking if I was angry (with no regard to my work schedule at all). In every text, e-mail, and voicemail, I heard, “Where are my pictures? You know I want pictures of you in your gifts.”
During this same time, he also typed a dream he had about a woman identical to me walking naked from her shower and how he had sneaked up behind her, totally turned on by it. He said he could not type what he and this “identical woman to me” had done after that due to being on a work computer. Instead, he called me to tell me about it. I, figuring what this was about, ignored the call.
He said he guessed I’d never know the dream but that it would live with him and asked again where his pictures were. Pictures, pictures, video – I heard this probably 300 times in one week. Finally, he said, “If you give me what I want, I’ll leave you alone.” I cued my webcam, put on the stuff, and trusted that he would stop. All the lingerie pictures did was make him tell me how hot I am, what all he did while viewing them and how he wanted more than that to “make it stop.”
I felt so cheap, so used, and so emotionally empty, hating myself for what I did by believing him.
A few days later, his boss (a friend of mine) e-mailed me about the annual event where I’d met the guy years earlier. (I now work for a different company involved in the same event). I confessed everything to his boss, typing it up in an e-mail.
A week later, he (the DJ) e-mailed to ask for the names and contact info of all the places I’d lived, people I’d dated, because he was “curious” and “wanted to research” it.
I immediately blocked him, putting myself into counseling to deal with the pain. My counselor had me unblock him once to see how long it would take him to communicate with me, and so I could tell him I wanted no further contact with him or else I would call the authorities; it took him less than 45 minutes from when I unblocked him.
It has been nearly eight months since I was coerced into posing for the pictures. I still struggle with guilt, shame, self-blame, and remorse over my actions - some days more so than others. I know this was not my fault. I know he is an ill individual. I know he abused me but the pain still remains. He stole a piece of my innocence that I will never know again.