It is Well with my Soul BYU Vocal Point

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paranoia Self-Destroyer

Last night ....the memory of it at the end of this day of sun-drenched sand, umbrellas and beach chairs seems unreal and other worldly; the scent of coconut tanning oil oddly conflicts with the scent of the terror and the pounding of my heart in my ears last night.

In the afternoon...I went online and opened an email message...and my computer froze. I logged off (cntrl; alt; delete)...and then reopened my Firefox to try again. All was well, until I again opened Gmail...instantly my entire browser froze....and Firefox crashed. I realized that it had somehow gotten corrupted and most likely via Google. I uninstalled it and tried to open it in Explorer....Same thing. Explorer now crashed as well. I reinstalled Firefox and went into my settings on Google. I thought about the stranger who'd begun to follow me on Google+ who'd sent me the odd "joke" which ended with the words, "BE WARNED"....I reasoned to myself , that this man had somehow infiltrated my Google account and stolen my password and then corrupted my browser. Why me? A shiver of fear ran down my spine.

That night my family all went out leaving me in the house alone. I laid on my bed, reading with my bedroom windows open, hoping for a small breeze....and I heard footsteps on my deck. Not the sure footsteps of a visitor...but slow furtive ones...ones which were attempted to be silent and unheard. But I heard them. Clearly. I look out the window at the small section of deck that was viewable from my window...No one. Again I heard the footsteps. I carefully, quietly opened my bedroom door and with the phone in my hand, ready to call 911, with heart pounding, tip toed into the darkened living room and quietly approached our front window....which extends the length and height of our house and is covered inside by long vertical blinds. I peeked out onto the deck and did not see anyone. Just then, our motion sensor deck porch light went on but where ever he was...I could not see him.

"RELAX" I commanded myself. "There MUST be a logical explanation." Yeah. Like the guy who'd broken into our house and against whom my daughter testified in court just the other day, describing how he'd attacked and beaten her up in a struggle....well this dude had obviously come back to finish the job. I became frantic. I kept hearing the footsteps...traveling the length of the deck and back. Hurried, terse and nervous steps...or furtive tiptoes...the steps altered in sound but persisted...Yet, NOT a single person was in view. Finally I picked up the phone nad put it on speaker phone to dial...I dialed the emergency hub number for the 911 of our local area....And did not push "send" I spoke quietly...but loudly enough for the skulking man on our deck to clearly hear me ....I "reported" the intruder...and I hear, with gratitude frantic, hurried steps descending our steps and the sound of a car tearing away from the front of our house...and as he' d passed our motion sensor.., once again the light glared. I tried to catch a glimpse of the fleeing man from my window but once more, failed to do so.

I laid down and attempted to sleep. Sleep was fitful and broken...and lasted exactly two hours before I got up and gave up the idea of sleep for the night. I opened my email. There was a comment on my blog post, "When your friend commits Suicide"...and I read the message with growing horror. It was a letter written by a desperate person. A desperate suicidal person who reported multiple attempts on their life in the past week and a clear threat to finally succeed. There was an email address, name and a website. Foolishly, I clicked on the website...worried for the person who seemed to be in such great pain. Suddenly , my worry became for myself. The website was full of Script commands...and appeared to be some kind of virus or such thing. I quickly shut it and deleted the email which contained it. I started to switch to my Google account to try to report the email but then realized the need to empty the trash which now contained the corrupt email.

I returned to my Google email and opened the trash. I looked for the offending letter and it was GONE. Could it have gone straight into the brain of my computer ? Was the hacker even now reading my information? Ready to go and empty my bank account?? Panic hit me,...Hard, like a freight train. My hands were ice cold. And Sweat beaded my lip.... Quickly I went onto Google's help desk and reported the hacker ...in a letter that reeked of panic and fear I pleaded with someone to help me to stop the advances of this malignant hacker/stalker...In complete terror, I suddenly heard, once again, the return of the deck -treader... Sneaking up the steps...God knows what he's going to do.

Inexplicably..I felt that if I could mitigate the damage online he could do to me, that somehow this too would keep me safe from the intruder on my deck. I sprang into action. Deleted my Google+ account. Changed Google's password, Then went to work on my email. I copied my contact list, pasted it into a document...and then deleted every contact from Gmail. I deleted every single email from years back until now. Working at a panic pace. Breathing quickly and hard. Fearful gasps , really. I was shaking with terror. Then having done all I could do , including changing a bunch of setting s for Google mail as well.... I completely signed off and shut the computer down...I put it down fast as though it would bite me and sat down, hearing the footsteps coming closer and closer.

I can't stand it. I am going to have a heart attack from terror.

I thought of one more thing I ought to have done...but I was too fearful that my computer would erupt into flame or something equally dramatic and equally absurd.... I went into the living room and , without turning the light on , turned on the PC and signed into Google. I deleted the secondary email for the account and then went to that email's site to make sure it had not also been corrupted. AS I opened the email...I saw with disbelief the email that had initially caused the panic. that meant that the comment on the blog was for my OTHER blog...both of which had run the article in question. And THAT meant...that I'd just decimated my Google accounts FOR NOTHING. The spam filter had already snatched that comment and thrown it in the spam file where it belonged. IT WAS A SPAM MESSAGE. THAT'S ALL ,...NOTHING MORE. There was no hacker. no attack on my computer. NO ONE ON MY PORCH.

I sat there torn between disbelief. Feeling foolish. And feeling amazement at the level of paranoia I'd just displayed. And terror and now had terror that my psychosis is once more on the move. And that it would soon engulf me in a whole world of fear and insanity....like I'd been through last night.

I refuse to go back onto the other psych meds...which had made me fat; which had totally drained every drop of motivation and energy from my body. I refuse to go back into the hospital. I refuse to go into the state institution that I'd so narrowly escaped last time..and which had been promised to me to be the next step .... God, I'm so afraid.
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