To Feel Safe Again - Discovered (former) church friend has a history of sex crimes & kidnapping

Sideways

Moderator
Prepping for risks is a tricky business with PTSD.

On the one hand, thinking ahead about potential risks, and preparing for them? Is a good thing. Helps keep us safe. So we take reasonable steps. We put on our seatbelt, and have a camera over our front door.

But (and it's a big "but") when you have ptsd on board, there's other factors in play. We have hypervigilence issues (clinical levels - where our being vigilant has reached dysfunctional levels) and we're prone to seeing a threat and losing our shit (our amygdala takes over, we lose the ability to think rationally, and start behaving in irrational ways).

This means that for folks like us? Preparing for risk carries with it additional risk. Risks that we're leaning in to, and provoking, dysfunctional and dysregulated thoughts, behaviours and feelings.

So, what's helpful here? Because not every last step you can do to minimise the perceived risk is necessary helpful.

The risk: there was a dangerous person coming to the house and interacting with your daughter.

Taking steps to reduce that risk? Definitely a good thing. Camera over the door, telling him not to return to your property, and letting the police know about the issue.

Probably the single most effective safety precautions beyond refusing further contact with him? Would be a short conversation with your daughter. Nothing alarming, simply "This guy is potentially dangerous, if he ever tries to contact you, do you think you can tell me as soon as possible." Because, let's face it, the risk we're preparing for? Is that he's going to try contacting your daughter when you're not around to keep her safe.

Done!

The more you report what you have, infraction or not, the squeakier your wheel and the more likely they will take preventive measures.
Stuff like this? Would (IME) be counter productive.

For context: I lived in an apartment complex full of guys fresh out of prison. The guy upstairs was on parole for armed robbery. The guy downstairs was on parole for child sex abuse convictions. And it went on and on. Not a comfortable situation. So yeah, I took steps to protect my safety above what I'd ordinarily do, because I knew of the heightened risk of the people around me.

On occasions, I had to let the police know "this happened...".

One thing that would definitely, hands down, no question, be counter productive? Would be bombarding the police with surveillance of a person who hasn't actually committed any offence against you. That's about the quickest to convince the police that you're the crazy person in this situation, and worse, to ignore you if and when you actually have something of substance to report.

Someone who is long past their parole period and has done nothing beyond being creepy? Is of zero interest to the police. Moreover, if you send them surveillance notes of no one committing any crime? They build up a evidence trove of your irrational (and borderline stalking) behaviour. Which will work against you, rather than in your favour.

Even worse? There's the risks to you personally of engaging in "safety behaviours" which don't actually make you any safer. We know that this feeds paranoia, anxiety-driven states like OCD, along with generalised anxiety. Short version: those safety behaviours actually make us sick (shit!!).

I think you've done an excellent job of getting yourself through that initial panic (that's no easy feat), using your support network, communicating with the relevant people, and taking useful, meaningful steps to keep you and your family safe.

At this point? You're allowed to go back to your normal life feeling safe. That's what we do all this recovery work for. And you've well and truly earned it:)
 

MnM

Confident
One thing that would definitely, hands down, no question, be counter productive? Would be bombarding the police with surveillance of a person who hasn't actually committed any offence against you. That's about the quickest to convince the police that you're the crazy person in this situation, and worse, to ignore you if and when you actually have something of substance to report.

Someone who is long past their parole period and has done nothing beyond being creepy? Is of zero interest to the police. Moreover, if you send them surveillance notes of no one committing any crime? They build up a evidence trove of your irrational (and borderline stalking) behaviour. Which will work against you, rather than in your favour.

Even worse? There's the risks to you personally of engaging in "safety behaviours" which don't actually make you any safer. We know that this feeds paranoia, anxiety-driven states like OCD, along with generalised anxiety. Short version: those safety behaviours actually make us sick (shit!!).

I think you've done an excellent job of getting yourself through that initial panic (that's no easy feat), using your support network, communicating with the relevant people, and taking useful, meaningful steps to keep you and your family safe.

At this point? You're allowed to go back to your normal life feeling safe. That's what we do all this recovery work for. And you've well and truly earned it:)
Maybe it's different where you live, but in one specific experience with the police for something like this, I faxed or emailed reports weekly and the police said they'd been waiting years to get the person and had even set up stings from neighbours' properties but couldn't get proper visuals or identification markers. They used my reports to make multiple arrests across the country (affiliations etc). In other experiences I've had (including the one I am in now and previous with friends), the police have told me to do what I've recommended. So maybe OP is better off asking the police what they need or would need and take that route. Don't throw my response in the garbage just cuz your experience was different.
 
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