Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Leave me the f#&% alone!



I have a bunch of stalkers.

Technically, they are "relatives" but I'll let you be the judge.

Those who have read my profile know that I am half Indian. My dad came to the US from India 40 years ago for graduate school and never went back. Growing up, all I knew was that my dad hated his family. He calls them "those people." He has around 12 siblings (?) and I never knew their names or anything about them. It was pretty frustrating growing up, because I felt like half of me was a mystery.



Well, about a year ago, I was at work and I received a call from a woman who said she was my cousin. She had a thick Indian accent, so I could barely understand her, but I was thrilled. She told me she had googled my name on the internet and found my work number at the newspaper. We chatted for a little while and I discovered she was my age, but married. I couldn't believe that for the first time in my life, I was talking to a paternal relative. And I knew her name! She asked if she could add me on facebook, and I insisted she do so immediately.

Well, a couple hours later, not only had my cousin added me on facebook, but so had about 20 more cousins and a smattering of aunts and uncles. All of the sudden, I had an entire family on facebook! It felt so surreal.



When I excitedly told my dad, he was FURIOUS. He told me "those people" were very bad and I didn't know what I was getting myself into. He told me I had made a huge mistake. We got into a screaming fight.

The next day, it all started.

Every single status update I wrote, a relative would comment. But the only thing they would write is "I like dat!!" It didn't matter what my status was about. I would write "I had a bad day" and an uncle would write "I like dat!!" or I would write "I have a huge headache" and another uncle would write "I like dat!!" Soon, they began to make comments everywhere. Every time I became friends with someone, an uncle would write "I like dat!!" underneath. Every time someone wrote on my wall, one of my new Indian relatives would comment on that comment, "I like dat!!" My friends and coworkers immediately noticed and teased me relentlessly. It was confusing and embarrassing.



Then, my female cousin kept calling me at work. I let it go the first time, because she was a long-lost relative after all. But I had nicely told her she could no longer call me at work. But she kept calling. And calling. And soon other relatives from India were calling me at work, despite my pleas that they not use that number.

When I got laid off from the newspaper, this female cousin did the worst thing possible. She sent me a gigantic facebook message telling me how I could have done my job differently. She told me I clearly had not been doing my job correctly, otherwise I would not have been fired. She said I should have paid someone to tutor me in journalism because I obviously had no idea what I was doing. It was so incredibly hurtful. The fact she was even trying to tell me what I did wrong in my job was preposterous because she had never studied journalism or been to college! Devastated, I deleted her as a friend. She then tried to add me on facebook again and wrote me another message asking what she had done wrong. Umm...



Finally, her younger brother intervened. He found my twitter and started following me there and started sending me messages there. I have about ten from the past year where he says "Y r u ignoring us yahh???". He created a gmail account so he could chat me up every time it showed I was online. As soon as I would see him online, I would log off. He started writing facebook statuses that said "Every time I go on gmail she logs off!!" He started sending me e-mail after e-mail, even after I told him to leave me alone.

Meanwhile, I had created another facebook. I didn't want to delete my original facebook because I had too many photos and messages from the past six years I wanted to preserve. But it was nice to finally have a refuge from these overbearing relatives.



They noticed my absence on facebook and soon I was bombarded with messages like "wat u doin? Not on internet anymore????" which I just ignored. But to this day, they still post stuff on my wall or comment on my old photos. They post childhood photos of my dad and tag me so I'll be forced to look. And they keep calling my old office, not understanding my former editor when he tells them I no longer work there. They keep e-mailing me over and over again, asking about how rich I am and asking personal questions about my boyfriend and asking for my cell phone number. I ignore them or politely say no but they won't go away!

Recently, I finally broke down sobbing to my father about the whole mess. I had not told him the extent of it before, out of embarrassment. He felt bad but at the same time, told me I brought this upon myself. He said his entire family is crazy and he had warned me. If only I had listened...

Now I'm not quite sure what to do. If I delete them from facebook, I won't have any way of contacting them ever again. And they ARE my blood relatives, whether I like it or not. Plus, there are a handful of the Indian relatives who leave me alone on facebook. So, I don't want to be rude and only delete the ones who pester me but then keep the ones who don't. Or should I? I'm so confused.



I don't know.

I need a drink.

65 comments:

MG said...

Um...ok so I can kind of relate. My aunt pretty much disowned me when I was 5 and around christmas one of my long lost cousins contacted me via facebook. Which fucking enraged me. Why? because i had never met her and her mother obviously told her about me and how to spell my name. Meanwhile i havent heard from the bitch in 21 years and she did some beyond shady ass stuff. Needless to say, I don't know how to respond. I kinda want to tell them to fuck off and where they hell have they been my whole life? I'm almost 30...what does it matter?

I would just send them all a message and tell them that you appreciate their *concern* but you're fine and just trying not to use the internet as much because Facebook is a TIME DRAIN.

Tashrin said...

Ummmmm I know you've had your fill of comments. But please listen to me. I have been through a very very similar situation and the best thing I could ever do was change my privacy setting on FB.

I made sure I deleted each and everyone of the people bugging me. It's rude, but there is no way around it. Then create a list for all the other non pestering relatives and make sure you block them off of the privilege of seeing your photos/ friends/ posts/ status updates. Because if your stalker relatives are friend with your non-stalker ones they will still be able to access your stuff just by clicking on it from the non-stalking relative's profile.

This was you are ensuring you have the people you may want to contact someday on your FB, but avoiding those unwanted comments.

I'm sorry if this was a bit much for you but I just thought I'll share with you what I did.

Take care and I wish you all the best.

Tashrin

Vintage Vixen said...

I don't think I can offer any further advice than the excellent comment Tashrin's just made. xxx

jos xx said...

OMG!! This is stalking! I would be so pissed off! Hope they don't find you here on blogging as well haha :)

I don't think that by telling them nicely that you want them to leave you alone, they will. But I would threathen them eg: thanks for your concern, don't bug me too much or i'll delete you. It's not fair that you have to create new accounts and stay away from the internet just because there are other people you are annoying you. but...i understand that they're family and in a way you want to keep in touch...

jos xx

Fati said...

first rule of being an ABCD -- or generally a person who is not living in south asia but who has relatives there -- you DO NOT add them on facebook, or you make a special facebook account for them. (i know most of my relatives have only added me on their "fake" account, but that's ok, because i do the same for them :D).
at this point, you should simply create a separate list for them, and a list for everyone else. then you have status updates that only they can see, and status updates that they can't see but everyone else can see. they should not be able to see your photos, or your wallposts from non-relatives, etc. play around with the facebook settings, there's a lot more control nowadays. and you can block the worst of them from sending you messages.

essentially i'm suggesting you just create two facebook accounts while still just having one. a simpler thing to do would be to delete them all on your original account, create a new account and then add them all on there.

most importantly though, just ignore everything they say. in one ear, out the other. let yourself be amused at most, but don't let their opinion matter to you, as you can't understand their lives, and they can't understand yours. no reason to let yourself feel hurt by anything they say or do, it's like making contact with aliens, you have to expect misunderstanding and just bizarre behavior. :)

Robin said...

Ooooh. THAT's why you have two accounts!

The white cabbage said...

a nightmare !
good luck


ave

The Shanner of Attention said...

oh my goodness - that's awful.

the social network isn't always a good thing. keep us posted!

Josie said...

Oh, dear. I don't even know what to tell you... I guess the best thing I can suggest is that you make a special list of relatives and change your privacy settings so that they're very, very restricted.
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Kathryn {Sweet Tea and Champagne} said...

I agree with Tashrin's comment above. My word, I'm so sorry! That is such a confusing/strange situation for you. Hope everything takes a turn for the better. xo

Kathryn
http://sweetteaandchampagne.com

Renée said...

This story is so sad to read. You wanted to get to know your family and maybe also something more of you. So sad it turned out this way!

Venus In Virgo said...

OMG! I can totally relate! I had to stop posting on the internet where I knew certain family form overseas can't find me. I gave up so many accounts too. Maybe you can try again with politely explaining to them how you feel? I know you want to reconnect with family but maybe some people shouldn't be in your life, like your dad was trying tot ell you. I hope everything works out for you. XOXO

David L Macaulay said...

OMG Jennifer - I acually found the first part of this funny, these guys saying 'i like dat' but that's so out of order re your cousin when you lost your job. I guess there's a reason why your dad left India.

My Republic of Fashion said...

Aghhhhh... What a horrible situation you are in. I say, delete them. I hate people (even family) pestering me. For your own peace of mind. :)SarahD x

MissNeira said...

First of all as terrible as it was this has made me crack up, god I love your writing! second I swear its a foreign thing. My family is bosnian and thats all I get too! stalking from the mother country, its something that you just have to ignore! and if theyre going to pester you and JUDGE, then they are not worth listening to! even if they are your blood, its not worth it!

xoxo Miss Neira

Jennifer said...

awwww honey! If they are more toxic than supportive I would just block them? You don't need the stress of it all! Just because they are family doesn't mean they can drive you crazy --- unless they are immediate fam and then you're stuck =)

Hope you get it all worked out in YOUR best interests doll! It's ok to be selfish... this situation is kind of insane ya know? Keep me posted and i'M totally here if ya need to vent! <3 mwah!

Tanvi said...

I think you should take Tashrin's advice. That is the best thing to do in my opinion. Blood or no blood self worth and peace of mind is most important :)

from © tanvii.com

Tabatha said...

OMG, this is horrible! You had already mentioned that you had people on your FB page you'd prefer not to be there, but I didn't know the extent! Tashrin comment is very helpful, you should do it the way she suggested.
I had my share with annoying relatives, too. While I don't have any contact with my blood relatives (thank goodness!) the family of my ex was horrible. If I'd write a novel about them, everyone would say it's exaggerated beyond belief. I'm so happy I don't have to deal with their craziness anymore, because it's pretty hard to stay sane when you're surrounded my a bunch of psychos *lol*

JUST ME said...

I would just erase the weird ones from your FB account and just continue to ignore them until they get bored and fade away.

I don't have a big extended family, and I've just gotten used to it. I talk to a few cousins and an aunt or two over the the Book of Face, but you know, it's okay if you don't have a big, extended bunch of people in your life.

...Less money to spend on wedding day. ;)

Sarah said...

I have the same problem with relatives following and commenting on what feels like my every move on facebook. It's so annoying at times, but nowhere near as constant as what you are having to deal with! Hope it works out for you
x

Couture Carrie said...

Have a cocktail, darling!
Ignore the stalkers :)

xoxox,
CC

BlueVanilla said...

OMG! I would call this a fiasco...thats a good word right?! Everyone has crazy family members...but ones your have never met is just a whole other story...I would create a list on FB for just them and decide what they can and cant see. It can be done..im thinking of you!
xx

http://jenniferfabulous.blogspot.com/

Kavery said...

Wow that's the worst I've heard yet. Never imagined it could get this bad. Trishna's advice sounds the best. I'm not on FB so not much help from me.

L.Voss said...

DELETE the trouble makes girl

jane st. clair said...

wow! i think i agree with tashrin who said to just delete them and then make a really limited profile setting for the others you don't delete.

it's certainly not the same extreme, but i have some long-lost HS/middle school/elementary school friends/acquaintances that have added me. some of them have really different political/personal views or post annoying things, and i consider deleting them because we really don't have much to say and sometimes it gets under my skin when they post things that bother me. (e.g. a girl i used to be in LOVE with is a big glen beck fan. disgusting). but i don't want to lose them forever! however, when i think about it, i don't interact with them now, so what am i really hanging onto?

i imagine in your case it's a chance at knowing something somewhat elusive about who you are. but the reality is, jennifer, that these people are not who you are. they are your blood relatives, they share your cultural heritage, but at the same time, they are not you. they don't hold a secret that you cannot find without them.

i think they're more trouble than they're worth. and as crazy as they are, i bet you could readd them any time! haha!

Wida said...

Holy crap! That sounds so surreal! I would delete them all, change your number, etc. Ask your dad for some advice. That's crazy that this has happened to you! I wish you the best of luck, and have a great drink for me! Don't get too saddened!


Wida
Missing Amsie Blog

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Wow. I can somewhat grasp the craziness after hearing a similar story from a friend about demanding, random relatives.

Use Facebook privacy settings and put them all into a group where they don't see any of your updates in their feed. I think it may also limit their picture viewing abilities and a few other things. My husband does this to certain people he doesn't want to defriend (because you can tell immediately) but also wants to limit what they can view.

Good luck!

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

Nicole✗✗ said...

WHEW! That would drive me crazy. I have had a similar situation and I ended up deleting them from my Facebook. I felt really bad about doing that but they had abused the opportunity of developing a normal relationship at that point. It really left me no choice. I'm so sorry that this is happening to you.

Anya adores said...

You have the right to choose who you interact with and if their 'stalking' makes you feel uncomfortable you delete them. I agree with Tashrin - hope you find a solution. Nightmare xoxo
A ♡♡

Mouthwash said...

Oh my. I am so very sorry! I seem to have the opposite problem with my fathers side of the family. We had a falling out a few years ago (over a dress of all things. A cheap Alloy dress. Not even that big of a deal!).
And you know what? BOTH my aunts (who are both less than 3 years older than me...)Got married and never invited me. They live less than a hour away! I literally grew up with those girls! I even spoke with one of them a month before they walked down the aisle. I directed my very first fashion show and raised $10,000.00 and they never came. For my college graduation (2 degrees!) I sent invites, left messages, sent out texts, no response...until 3 weeks later I got a "hey! thinking of you" text.
The worst part? My aunt, was pregnant and gave birth. And I was never told. I mean, we were like sisters. Saddest thing ever.

shooting star said...

first time on ur blog and i read this!!
well...im a full indian gal and have faced such nosey relatives not only online but in real world too!!....
my advice, ignore them and delete them from FB...relatives are as good as their behaviour towards you and if u dont like them , u have the option of not staying connected with them!!!
it doesnt matter if they are your blood relatives!!...
i completely agree with tashrin's comment too!..
hoping to see more posts from ya!!

Leia said...

Oh. My. Goodness. This sounds absolutely awful! I wish I knew what to say or how to make the situation go away but I'm really at a loss! If I were you, I would just delete the old facebook (and maybe try to move over the albums and other sentimental stuff) and close the chapter. Hugs my dear... I am SO sorry all this happened to you! (And I SINCERELY hope they never ever ever find your blog!!!!!)

Leia

Vanilla said...

Sounds like a difficult situation... I don't really know what to say... you might be able to put restrictions on certain people on facebook, so they can only see certain things or comment on certain things etc.... I hope it gets better, keep us posted

Love, Vanilla

a woman's right to shoes said...

I feel so sorry for you, I don't know what to say. It is a very difficult situation and I just think you have to think about what is best for you, no matter what. Some of your friends here on your blog has given you some great advice, I suggest you take them.

{Selma} Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

I am so incredibly sorry to hear this. :(
What Tashrin said makes the most sense. :) I would do that, and I actually did that too. Not everyone sees my wall, and therefore cannot comment on it or harass me. Related or not (who can prove this?!) if I don't know the person, I do not add the person. I get weird requests saying they know me or we are related or something, but nope. If I don't know you you won't be added on FB. I've told them off many times. Some understood, and got mad (I do not care b/c I don't know them) and some just didn't understand and still try to bug me, but since we're not friends they can't fully bug me that much.
Go with Tashrin's advice.
Create groups of friends (only visible to you) that you fully trust and let see everything, another maybe you don't want to hide too much but don't want to share too much either, and literally block the rest from seeing stuff...wall, pictures especially, etc etc. You can also hide your friend's list but I don't know if you can hide it from specific people or not. It's a hassle but it's worth the trouble. Trust me. :)

Hugs to you.
Positive vibes sent to you.

Cafe Fashionista said...

I'll be honest, my family doesn't keep in contact with many of our extended relatives for the sheer fact that my mother has had bad experiences with them in the past. Over the past year, many have sent me bizarre messages on Facebook, and I have elected to ignore most of them. Who needs extra drama in their life, right? :/

F. said...

Omg! What a situation..

xoxo F.

Sherin said...

Oh gosh! Sounds horrible. I have relatives from Pakistan and I refuse to add them on FB.
I would be harsh and delete the ones that keep pestering you. There's no need to put up with them and have them invade your life like that. They'll call/email for a while asking why, but they'll eventually get over it (hopefully).
There is seriously no need to have someone bug you like that.

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

WOW..sweetie what a nightmare! don't think I can offer any more further advice everyone had already done so and so well may I had.
You're a strong beautiful, amazing human being no need to know you in person to see right thru your soul and you only let them into your life because you have a huge heart and completely understand where you coming from from having no family to all of sudden having (too many)!! YIKES! good luck girly and wish you the best!
Stay strong!
XoXo
Marina

daisychain said...

Oh man, what a horrible situation to be in...I wish I had some advice. xxx

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Man, that's just crazy. I thought Indians were totally sane.

You're sweet to consider keeping in touch with them, even after that salvo of crazy commenting.

Tights Lover said...

Wow. What a crazy story. I'm sorry you have all these overseas stalkers!

I'm not a big FB'er so I definitely don't have advice beyond what you've already heard from the other comments. It sucks if you have to set up a second account. It's incredible how toxic FB can be sometimes. I have an account, but I pretty much never log on, but I can't believe some of the stories I hear from people who use it alot...including yours.

Good luck I guess is all I can say. I hope you get out from under the weight of all of "those people".

Kristy said...

Haha WOW that was intense. I would probably keep the good ones and delete the bad ones. My dad also has a big family, well of 10 and I picked and chose between them to decide who I wanted to contact or not. I think its fair because its your facebook so who cares anyways! Good luck though! x

myheartstumbles.blogspot.com

Bonnie said...

I am not a stranger to stalkers.
I tend to get violent and threaten them.
Otherwise, I call the police.
I had a pot head stalk me one time. It was awful.
So yeah ... If you need advice, I have experience.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Venus In Virgo said...

When we hit the jackpot, we'll go shopping for Le Mer together! XOXO

drollgirl said...

dude, your relatives are PSYCHO!!! you are better off without them!!!!

don't feel too bad -- my relatives are religious nuts and they are exhausting, too. blergh.

btd. said...

Wow, this is quite a dilemma... I found my Filipino side of my family through Facebook but they never did this to me. Maybe you can delete the ones who are pestering you to the point of no return and keep in contact with the ones who aren't. That sounds reasonable!

lauren lanza osias said...

holy effing bananas. omg lady. i am actually in shock right now. i am all about my family, but this seems a bit ridiculous and i don't think that i, personally, would have a problem deleting them from my life... this is just out-of-control-crazy... good luck my fabulous friend.

http://laurenlanzaosias.blogspot.com
the "it" bag...

Stephanie said...

Oh my goodness. I can't even imagine. I honestly can't offer any advice...just some sympathy. Sorry. :(

Olga said...

This situation is really complicated.
But I think you should protect your privacy and delete the stalkers. I hope you find the best solution.

issa said...

omg that's pretty intense.. i hope things work out for you!

Alee. said...

Social networking is a bitch! Is there a way for you to adjust your security settings so you won't be so accessible?

Love your blog BTW, I follow you now! Stop by Alee's Perspective sometime and say whats up :)

FashionJazz said...

I am speechless.... I am sorry you are going through something like this, they are psycho! I wish I could offer advice, but Tashrin gave you some good advice :)

Alexa said...

That's pretty messed up.. I say go for a nice and dirty martini!

www.cashmereandcandy.com

Kristin said...

Oh good grief. You poor thing! I had to make myself unsearchable so as to avoid undesirable relatives. I also blocked people that I knew would be problematic. I'm so sorry!

Oh to Be a Muse said...

wow--what a story! some people are just super weird, especially relatives.

i think you should just delete them from your facebook. if you feel the need to really connect then they will probably find ways to find you! or you can always go back to your dad.

but it sounds like they have only brought you more negative than positive, right?

good thing they don't seem to know about this blog! <3

Christopher said...

Don't you just hate it when Dad is right? I don't like the idea of facebook at all really, I've got a personal one but I only log onto it once a week or so. I just don't like people being in my business, I'm a private person, so this whole situation would drive me insane.

OceanDreams said...

oh my goodness i don't know what i would do but i feel for you girl! hmmm, maybe defriend the ones that keep on pestering you? that is what i would do. i don't think you should have to get rid of all of them if there are just a few that are the main hindrance. i don't think i've heard of crazier and stalkish people! you poor thing!

Simply R1y4* said...

Wow great blog you have here it really is great. You are indian and swedish thats such an awesome combo!!! Maybe we can follow eachother? I would really like that
from your latest followr =)

oystergirl said...

Wow, that's crazy!! I wouldn't know what to do either... how can they be so relentless??

Yvette said...

oh my this must be very frustrating for you! I think that tashring's advice is the best..

Take care and stay strong!

xoxo
www.afashionhouseofcards.blogspot.com

thechyrelgomez said...

that is really a big dilemma. i suggest you really remove those people regardless if they are your relatives or not. they're not doing you any good and they're becoming a problem. pardon me, if i may sound harsh and if i may be crossing the line. :)

Heather Taylor said...

Lock everything down. Change your privacy settings on facebook, twitter, everywhere you need to. Family or not, you told them politely to leave you alone and now its time to bring out the big guns to show that you're serious. This can't go on!

Movies on my Mind said...

This sounds like a very Asian thing. It's just the way they are. It's the culture. There is great beauty to that culture but also a shadowy underbelly that sits uncomfortably with Western lifestyles, though if you are Indian I suppose you wouldn’t see what the big deal was in being so interfering.

Blogger said...

Sprinter - ChokeLine (170BPM)