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Linda A | all galleries >> Galleries >> Every Day I Write My Book - 2004 diary > 19th April 2004 - Do you hear this breath?
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19th April 2004 - Do you hear this breath?

….it’s an obsessive breath
Can you feel this beat – it’s an obsessive heartbeat
Waiting to be joined with its obsession

I close my eyes but I can’t sleep
The thin membrane can’t veil
The branded picture of you

The signs and signals show – the traffic lights say go
Again you baffle me, pretending not to see…

I broke into your room – I broke down in my room
Touched your belongings there and left a lock of my hair
Another sign for you

You screamed into my face, get the hell out of my place
Another sign for me? Can you forgive me?
For not understanding your ways

You know sometimes you take it all too far
Then I remember – it’s a game between you and me
A divine test for us two

It’s all in my imagination
Yes they even say that our mission…. is only
My obsession

Do you hear this breath – it’s an oppressive breath
Suffocating in the poison – of your obsession
Can you feel this beat – it’s a possessive beat
Your pulse stops in the claws – of your obsession

Obsession – Souxsie and The Banshees, A Kiss In The Dreamhouse 1982

This chilling song has always been totally realistic to me, having had an ex boyfriend ‘stalk’ me for a while (and try to suffocate me on one occasion).

It seems apt once again as our friend Ian has experienced a form of cyber-stalking in recent times. My good friend, Colin sent me a scan of a column from the Times one day last week about a young (34), affluent London banker who stalked and harassed an ordinary Southampton woman aged 50 whom he had never met because they both posted photographs on an ‘internet photography site’ (no name of the site so I don’t know if it was PBASE) and her photos got more comments than his did.

His campaign of hate started by emailing her abusive messages, then progressed to hacking into her private part of the site, changing her profile and getting her personal details so he could send emails ‘from her’ to her family and friends after he hacked into her email account.

It seems the poor woman’s only crime was to be a better photographer than him (or at least one who inspired more comment from others, not necessarily the same thing) and for this ‘crime’ she was subjected to six months of abuse, affecting both her personal and professional life. How terrifying is that?

What interests me (other than the obvious) is that this man, to all outside appearances very successful, was so insecure as to allow her popularity to become so important to him that he threw away reason and rational behaviour and ended up in jail. Surely life is too short for that? I can’t believe his job will be waiting for him after his jail term either so not only has he been to prison but he’ll probably not be able to return to the same lifestyle he had before this either.

What is more disturbing to me is that we have all ended up in each other’s mailboxes on PBASE from time to time (I had recently been having a fairly ‘intimate’ conversation on pmail and my last message was intercepted by someone else that I’ve never had contact with before and he replied – I can only assume this was by his accessing either my mailbox or the mailbox of my PBASE friend without the relevant authorisation). I think it’s time for Slug to tighten down security.

Finally, this isn’t to say I don’t welcome contact from people who like reading my diary – quite the reverse – that’s why I do it – I love getting messages from people I don’t know. If’ you’ve got something positive to say then please don’t be put off by this posting!

NB - Just to make it clear, the intrusion on my pmail was NOT just a title - someone had cut and pasted my body text into a reply - there is no way he could have known the content from the pmail title, which was completely innocuous! I have no reason to suppose this individual had any malicious intent - he's not contacted me since but he MUST have been somewhere he shouldn't have been to have seen my message.

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brother_mark22-Apr-2004 16:52
I have been wondering recently about the use of my full name on this site. Not for secrecy among the regular users, but from the www and google and other search engines. With just my name you can find out...way too much about me. All for free if you are web savvy. I've done it. So I know. I've never used my full name on other sites where I comment, I'm not sure why I thought I should here.

I've been in Jeanne's mailbox a few times, couldn't read anything, but figured out who's box it was. And I received a pmail from Joy with Jeanne's name in the sender field. I could have replied to Jeanne. Have you reported this instance to Slug through the help address? Perhaps for personal conversations we should switch to e-mail.
virginiacoastline21-Apr-2004 00:36
Things like this remind me that I must not be TOOOOOOO trusting . .I do need to watch what I say/write sometimes . . .I get careless with this group . .romping & playing as if I'm in a protected environment. And I'm NOT . .I'm out there playing in the middle of the street, so I need reminders like this to reign it in a bit & look both ways. Pay attention. Thanks for posting this . . I need to be aware . . .
Carolyn B.20-Apr-2004 23:03
Wow, Linda, that's a very scary. I actually debated a lot about using my real name but then at the last minute just put it in...and then after a while it looked silly to remove my last name. LOL! So far so good, I haven't had any problems. The people here have been nothing but polite. Neat picture, Linda.
Guest 20-Apr-2004 19:40
Hmmm... Takes all sorts these days Linda and nothing surprises me anymore. I really don't know what to say (for once) I don't understand why people have to treat others this way and to be honest I don't really want to? Personally I love having a look at your photos (and others of course) and feel I can learn by them? Yours has the added value of an interesting read - just don't let anyone put you off? All the best..
Guest 20-Apr-2004 12:50
Powerful message... I've gotten several pmails that made absolutely no sense and hadn't realized it was some sort of glitch in the system and they were probably intended for someone else.
Eric Hewis20-Apr-2004 12:09
Sad b*****d, (the stalker that is!) If I was to be rude about every body who took better pictures than me I'd never have time to take any.
Guest 20-Apr-2004 07:52
some people are just such sickos....
Lara S20-Apr-2004 01:28
Yikes. Don't like to feel violated in any way. I just got chills
mikiruaq19-Apr-2004 23:53
WOW, it reminds me that in everything good there is some bad. It stinks getting reminders like this. I love the gear on display :)
Guest 19-Apr-2004 19:56
Until now, I didn't have any "attack" by mail,(I’ve got my fingers crossed ) but every day I am invaded by the "bad" publicity..
I can see the 300D + 70-200 and 100mm, there are very good "tools".
K19-Apr-2004 19:18
OH yikes!! How freaky! I have had someone hack into a chat account of mine, and I was then banned from that chat site. Not quite the same scale, but this kind of thing really makes you think!! (OH but the picture is good!! :D )
Guest 19-Apr-2004 19:16
Very disrurbing experience. Look to the future though.
penny roots19-Apr-2004 18:52
Wow , scary stuff indeed , i didn't realise that could happen with pmail .Its easy to forget when you speak to so many nice people on pbase that there might be people like that out there , I suppose it leads you into a false sense of security .
Guest 19-Apr-2004 18:33
Good grief ... there are some really disturbed people out there ... thanks for the reminder to be careful.
Guest 19-Apr-2004 18:19
Very scary stuff! I have only had the Pmail bug happen to me once. I backed out of their pmail, and resent the message and it went through w/o any problems. If it helps at all it happend when I replied to that person for the very first time. Since then it hasn't happend when we send Pmail to each other.
Ray :)19-Apr-2004 17:48
I've never experienced any of these problems, but am well aware that such sad indivduals do exist. We've certainly got to be on our guard and consider other communication methods for certain sensitive information.
Thanks for the heads-up.
Guest 19-Apr-2004 17:30
Great song, terrifying story! A ridiculous reason to stalk someone! I hope she's fairing well now after seeing him put in jail. I'd never heard of the Pmail invasions... does that happen? Wow.
virginiacoastline19-Apr-2004 17:28
THAT is scary . . . this requires some thought on my part . . .I need to ruminate over this revelation. I'll be back to comment later . . .
Guest 19-Apr-2004 17:18
Uh....Scary stuff. I have to say, having met 6 people from PBASE already, with plans to meet many more when I finally get to the UK, I haven't met a bad person yet! Everyone has been WONDERFUL! And the friendships I have made with those I ave YET to meet in person are extremely important to me.

As for getting into another's "INBOX", it does happen, although you can only see the message title, not actually READ the message. But that is a little unnerving as we may tend to chat a bit freely here.

Thanks for the reminder to be a bit more careful, Linda. OH, and the song! Haven't thought about that one in a long time!