I spoke out for the first time about my 7-year experience of being stalked, on Thursday January 24th at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, CA. It was the hardest talk I have ever chosen to deliver.
The purpose of the evening was to explore the question WHY. Why do I want to row across the Pacific Ocean? I am not saying the experience of being stalked led me to want to row the Pacific, but it has a lot to do with why I won’t quit.
A week later I wrote about the stalking for the online publication, Sailing Anarchy. I wrote for SA from 2006 to 2011. In fact, it was because of Christophe Launay – the man who stalks/stalked me – that I stopped writing for Sailing Anarchy in 2011. He wrote to the editor under fake personas, to complain about my writing. He hit the other publications I wrote for too.
Sailing Anarchy – citing legal reasons – chose not to publish Christophe Launay’s name. That seemed fair. So I named him in an open letter.
For the next 48 hours, messages flooded in.
What I didn’t anticipate, was seeing Christophe again – this time under several new names and in the Sailing Anarchy forum. In the forum (a hotbed of misogyny and trolls on a good day) he leaps to his own defence, using verbal abuse, fake constructs, deflection, diversion and gas lighting – all the tools his personalities know well and that I have experienced over some 200-300 emails.
I spoke out at this time, because to move forward sometimes you have to address what is holding you back. Christophe Launay may stalk me for years to come. He may never leave me alone. Being stalked had become the monster under my bed. It was time to turn on the light.
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