Tuesday 16 June 2015

Of Mice and Stalkers. The Saga Continues.

Of Mice and Stalkers One would think, after the last blog post on the subject, (which you can find here) I would have heard the last of my stalker. One would think...

To be fair, the past month, since writing the blog post, things have been fairly quiet. I now know this is largely due to the fact my stalker has been on holiday. I know this because, a mere DAY after he returned, he followed me on Twitter. There is, within the Twitter API (programming), a bug which randomly unblocks users who have previously been blocked. What then ensued were a couple of sycophantic, and decidedly creepy, tweets to me, offering to "put the past behind us" since we "have so much in common".

I have made it abundantly clear, time and time again, that I have NO interest in communicating with this individual whatsoever. The mere fact he was aware I (or Twitter, courtesy of the irritating glitch) had unfollowed him proves beyond any doubt that he was checking my timeline. Certainly, one can check in users YOU have blocked (which, for the record, he hasn't blocked me). What you cannot do is see who blocks you, unless you go to their timeline and attempt to follow them.

After an hour of bewilderment and bemusement, I let fly yesterday. I made it ABSOLUTELY clear, in no uncertain terms, that he is unwelcome. He, of course, denied all knowledge of the Twitter glitch, despite the fact he had been put firmly in his place by another user, whom he refollowed, despite being blocked. She made it perfectly clear that she had not unblocked him, so his denials fall upon deaf ears.

During, or shortly after, my tirade, a mental health charity who, he claims, approached him (untrue, as he foisted himself upon them), became aware of the situation, courtesy of another user. They subsequently deleted all tweets to him, and blocked him. I, naturally, am being blamed for that; I anticipated as much.

I would have let things lie, but for the developments of the day. Another user, a young lady with severe mental health problems, blocked him a while back. I suspect the Twitter glitch is responsible for unblocking, as he tweeted her, despite her desire to have no contact with him. I pointed this out, by subtweeting, which he clearly read, as he subsequently deleted the tweet, quietly hoping no one would notice. Unfortunately, at least, for him, I have the screenshots to substantiate this. Just to ensure she knew he was still around, however, he then followed the last person she interacted with, almost immediately.

I'm a big boy. I have broad shoulders, an acid tongue, and can handle anything thrown at me. But when people like Ol' Stalky, as I have come to know him, starts harassing people with serious mental health conditions, AND who have EXPRESSLY stated a desire to have no contact, then I have a real fucking problem with that.

This asshole claims to support mental health charities and sufferers. He claims to be an anti-bullying "ambassador". The truth is, he is neither. He foists himself upon people, and charities, without a thought for their wellbeing, to inflate his own ego. 

His latest tweet is yet another indirect attack on me, for calling out his behaviour. Again. In it, he ascribes the blame squarely at my doorstep, and resolves not to support anyone with mental health problems, or victims of bullying, due to my actions, and a conversation between one of the mental health groups and another user. It is, once again, a precise and deliberate attempt to foster drama and illicit sympathy, for a situation of his own making.

Perhaps, if he behaved appropriately, particularly toward those with mental health issues, people wouldn't feel the need to raise their concerns with organisations with whom he attempts to curry favour. Perhaps, if he behaved appropriately, the aforementioned organisations would not drop him like the proverbial hot potato. I am certain these groups do not simply accept my, or any other users, words at face value. I am confident they have the intelligence to assess the situation themselves, and reach their own conclusions. I cannot be held liable for the conclusions they reach. 

Remember, ALL of this started by him following ME. The fact he has the temerity to then blame ME for him following ME, aside from making my head spin, is laughable. He knows I have no desire to foster any relations with him, and yet, despite repeated, and often colourful denouncements, he continues to inveigle his way into my Twitter life. Being unblocked (deliberately, accidentally, or in my case, and at least one other) categorically does NOT equate to an invitation to follow or interact, particularly when it has been made clear to him that his presence is not wanted. 

To conclude, I will address him directly, as I am certain he will read this. Just stop. For the love of all sanity, STOP. You are embarrassing yourself. People can see EXACTLY what you are doing, and your pathetic attempts to reverse the situation, in order to present yourself as the "victim" simply serve to make you look pathetic. I have no idea what, if anything, is going on inside your cranium. In what world is it acceptable to approach mentally ill people who have expressly told you to leave them alone, and then delete the evidence. In what world do you EVER envisage us enjoying a friendship?

Let me be clear. I have NO DESIRE TO EVER HEAR YOUR NAME AGAIN, much less hear from you, and as sure as water is wet, I do NOT expect to see you following me. As stated previously, I have broad shoulders. To me, you are a pest. An irritant, who, like cystitis, flares up every few weeks to burn my piss. Others are less well equipped to deal with your behaviour, and I am warning you, in no uncertain terms, if you persist, I will take every possible action within the law to put a stop to your activities, even if I have to take legal action. You are NOT the victim in ANY of this. You are the aggressor. The instigator. YOU started this nonsense, by following ME, and then by interacting with people who would rather be left in peace. And now you want to play the victim? I'm sorry, old son, it doesn't work like that. So, bloody well pack it in. I know what you are doing. YOU know PRECISELY what you are doing. Former allies of yours have seen what you do, and have wisely abandoned you. Just behave. That's all you need to do. Leave us alone, get on with your life, stop obsessing over those who have blocked you, and behave.

If your actions persist, my next blog post will name you publicly, and present screenshots of your nonsense, and hang the consequences. Since every word I have written is true, the ramifications would be substantially more damaging for you than for me.

You claim you "respect me". Then respect my wishes. Leave me alone. Go away. Do not contact me again, by tweet, subtweet, email, carrier pigeon or fucking smoke signals. I don't want to know. If yesterday's barrage of expletive laden tweets failed to get the message across, my next course of action, courtesy of my solicitor, most certainly will..!

The original post can be found HERE.

Thursday 4 June 2015


“There's a fire inside of everybody, 
Burning clear & bright,
There's a power in the faintest heartbeat 
That cannot be denied”

I have been pondering how to begin a tribute to Mattie, and each and every time I come back to these words. “There’s A Hero, In Everybody’s Heart”,

This was certainly true of Mattie.  Inside him, burned a fire, a passion for life, for peace and for the future. 

On 22nd June 2004, 3 weeks before his 14th birthday, the fire went quietly out. But by then, the flames had already reached further than anyone could ever imagine.  Anyone who heard the name Mattie Stepanek was gently burned by those tender flames, and I am proud and honoured to be among those touched by his gentle spirit and powerful messages of hope.  Under the frail body that presented itself to the world lay a heart too big for a child, and yet Mattie carried that heart with all the strength of a thousand men.  This heart carried a hero…

If there was ever such a thing as an angel that walked among us, it was indeed true of Mattie.  While confined to a wheelchair, he walked taller than most of us could ever hope to aspire to.  His message stood, and still stands, proud and strong, and nothing, even death can ever change that.

I was first introduced to the name Mattie Stepanek through the music of Billy Gilman. At the time, I had no idea how much impact this pairing of two such remarkable young men would have on my life.  I have had an easy life compared to Mattie’s, and I won’t go into the details of the problems I was going through a few years ago. This isn’t about me.  Suffice to say that Mattie’s words carried all the power I needed to find the strength to work through my own issues.  I wonder how many other people have similar stories across the world.

Just Mattie’s words made me realise how much life meant. How lucky I was, and indeed still am, to be surrounded by friends and a loving family.

It didn’t stop there though.  I had the pleasure, and the privilege of speaking with Mattie through e-mail on several occasions.  I had originally written a short mail to him through his website; I had no idea it would illicit a personal reply, and several more to come…

But that was Mattie. Selfless, compassionate, caring, gentle and loving.  Even as he lay in hospital a few months prior to his death, his thoughts turned to the other children on the ward.  For many, it would have been all too easy to find their comfort in self pity.  Mattie, from an early age, chose a more arduous path.  He found his comfort in words, and in sharing those words with the world.  And the world listened…

Mattie was grateful to be alive.  He knew that every day was a blessing, and embraced each and every day of his short life, making the most of every last minute.  He inspired people, and that in turn inspired him.  He once said “It's a beautiful circle, and we all go around together, with and for each other. What a gift."…

What a gift indeed, and I will always be grateful that he chose to share that gift with the world, and I am honoured to be one of the many people touched by Mattie’s message.  Somehow, listening to Music Through Heartsongs will never be quite the same again….

No longer does Mattie need to fear “it”. He truly was part of the effort, and while the flame on Earth has flickered away, in the sky shines a new, bright star.  He will no longer feel pain.  He is no longer bound by a frail body, and the memory of him runs as a child should, free and strong, a part of the wind that touches our faces, and often, takes our breath away….

Mattie touched the lives of many people, and leaves a legacy which will forever endure, in the hearts, minds and memories of each person 

“Memories offer us opportunities
To laugh, or to cry
Memories offer us opportunities
To smile, or to reminisce”

We will always remember you Mattie.  We will look back on your words and remember.  

“We need to notice, just notice
Notice for a moment
Before the future slips away
into ashes and dust of humility”

I hope that we can all take notice of the future, and embrace it with as much energy and passion as you did.  We need to make each and every day matter, ever striving toward the peace that Mattie so desperately longed for.

Mattie, we will never stop loving you, and will miss you always.  Thank you so much for being a part of our lives, and for continuing to inspire us. Thank you for sharing the Hero in your heart.

Written in loving memory of a very dear and special young man - Rest in peace, Mattie J.T Stepanek.  1990 – 2004.

This tribute was originally written two days after Mattie's passing and remains largely unaltered. It is, therefore, perhaps one of the most heartfelt pieces I have ever written. I have chosen to share it now, as we approach the 11th anniversary of the loss of a truly unique young man.