I’ve been a little bit a little bit MIA and have taken a step away from Cultured Kam. This year was a lot, and I contemplated on whether or not I wanted to tell my story about being stalked in Portugal. I initially recorded a video in June, but I found myself still very emotional about what happened, and I wasn’t really ready to share. So this is my second attempt at sharing what happened to me earlier in 2022.
Here’s a little backstory about my life in Portugal:
I’ve been living here for about a year and a half now. Last year, November, I was in a transition period, trying to find housing, setting my life up in a new city/country, trying to make friends, unpack the after effects of the pandemic — just kind of all over the place. It takes a lot to move to a new country in general, and I was doing the best I could.
Last year in November when I was searching for an apartment in Lisbon, I joined a housing group on Facebook. After posting I was looking for a place, this guy messaged me in Portuguese. He was complimenting me. Although there was a language barrier, he seemed really eager to meet up and wanted to get to know me. Me, not really sure I was interested brushed it off for a week or so.
In my mind I wasn’t that interested.
We didn’t speak the same language but he was persistent in a charming way.
I invited him out to meet up with my friends and I, so he brought his brother. The vibes were there, I’m not going to lie. Although we couldn’t hold a conversation, he seemed very sweet. After that night, we proceeded to get to know each other, and things moved a lot faster than I anticipated they would.
Next thing I know, about a month later, he asked me to be his girlfriend and really wanted to intertwine my life with his. I was all over the place because I was in a transition period, so I ended up going with the flow. There was so much going on, and he showed me a lot of support that I needed. He was there for me when I was most vulnerable.
In hindsight, our worlds were so different.
Although it’s okay to be with someone that’s different from you.
The problem comes when someone tries to change you or make you feel bad for who you are, knowing that this was who you were when they met you. I knew that I didn’t want to be with him long term, because he had disclosed some things to me that were ultimately a deal breaker. After finding certain things out, I was trying to get out of the relationship, find my exit immediately. Thankfully, he broke up with me because he didn’t trust me and I was too much for him.
I am someone that is very social and involved in my community. I co-founded an organization where I host events. I have to be social, I am continuously meeting new people. It’s just the nature of who I am, but I will obviously respect my relationships and act accordingly.
He could not handle that.
He accused me of doing a lot of things, messaging a lot of men, sleeping around. No matter the amount of proof I provided, it wasn’t enough. At that point, it further confirmed that I didn’t want to be with him or anyone that thinks so little of me.
We broke up. We did the tango. We did that thing that people do sometimes when they break up — they go back and forth and try to salvage the relationship.
If only I could reach back to my past self and tell her she didn’t need to do all of that.
At one point, he tried to talk to me while I was at work. Sending message after message, paragraph after paragraph. I let him know that I was at work and couldn’t have this conversation in full at that moment, but would message him once I was finished.
Next thing I knew, he blocked me. At that moment, I felt overwhelmed but also happy he blocked me. It was becoming too intense too quickly.
I remember feeling so suffocated.
Only two days had passed and his sister messaged me and tried to figure out what happened between us because he didn’t tell her. She was trying to mend the relationship.
She told me “if you love and care about each other, you’ll make it work.” Mind you, we only dated for three months at this point. I didn’t have the capacity to deal with that.
Later that day, he unblocked me.
I see that he tries to text me late in the evening, but I ignore it. I had work in the morning and it was almost midnight.
I was fed up and decided I cannot continue to go back and forth with someone on their own time when they disregard my time, space, and boundaries.
Next thing I know, that night I got a ring at my doorbell, and I was wondering, who the heck is ringing my doorbell at midnight?
I saw that he called, so I texted him, and I asked “is that you outside?” He told me to let him inside.
I told him “no, I’m not going to let you in because you did not give me a heads up or ask me if you could come over.” This was a really hard boundary to set because obviously I did care about this person. At the same time, this was weighing heavily on my mental health.
A few weeks before this, he came to my house. He popped up unannounced, and he brought me food, which at the time seemed sweet.
But I later found out that he thought the previous night that I went to a concert with my friend, that I was out meeting men. He was trying to check on me to make sure that nobody was at my apartment.
So him coming to my place at midnight after blocking me wasn’t the first time showing up unannounced. He continuously asked me to let him in while standing outside of my building.
It was really hard for me to keep saying no, but I was firm. I called my sister because I knew she would support me in my decision. Me and her stayed on the phone for over an hour while he continued to try to pressure me into letting him in.
Eventually someone let him into the building, and he proceeded to go outside of my door and ring my doorbell from inside my building.
I remember shaking profusely because he was emotionally charged. He was crying at my door, and I felt really bad. A part of me wanted to let him in, but at the same time, I saw his emotions flip. It went from extreme to another, and I was scared. I didn’t know what could happen.
I texted my friends and they encouraged me to call the police, but why? I didn’t want to call the police on a black man and somebody that I really cared for at the time. This was a lot at once.
He tried to manipulate me into letting him in — saying things that would make me feel bad, pulling at my emotions.
I did not cave in.
Instead, I ended up ordering him an Uber so that he could go home and as soon as he got in the Uber, he flipped on me. He switched from begging and pleading, to degrading me and sending me messages on both of my Instagrams and both of my WhatsApps.
I’ll spare the details, but I’ve never heard anything more hurtful.
I started to think “maybe I am a bad person. Maybe I am contributing negatively to his mental health. Maybe I’m all the things that he says.”
The next morning, I offered to go to the hospital with him, because obviously something was not right, and he seemed like he needed some support mentally—he agreed.
And then next thing I know, he flipped on me again. This cycle continued for a few weeks — he harassed, degraded and accused me.
One weekend I went away to Morocco, a trip we were supposed to go on together. When I returned he was outside of my apartment wanting to talk.
Looking back, I didn’t owe him that conversation.
After firmly telling him, I cannot be in a relationship with him he said he understood.
But little ole naive me, thought we could be cordial. I forgave him but that did not work at all. The accusations started happening again. Him going through all my followers on Instagram (1k+) and asking me about different men I followed. I cut him off once and for all.
I finally felt like peace was coming back into my life and I wouldn’t have to worry about this anymore—things were looking up for me. Then later that month, this man rings my doorbell again and is outside my door.
My friend came to get me and distract me for the day. We left my apartment for 12 hours in total and when I returned home — there he was. He followed us into a restaurant begging to speak to me and causing a scene. At this point I had to involve his family, my family, my friends, and the police.
Long story short, I ended up filing a police report and getting a restraining order against him. I couldn’t live my life in fear that he would show up. I finally understood this wasn’t the type of relationship I wanted. Thankfully I chose to walk away, and to heal past this horrific situation.