- a plan to discredit a public figure by making false or dubious accusations.
It started with a “follow”.
I joined Twitter again in June after an editor suggested it would be the wisest move to open up new avenues for my career.
As I started networking with my publications, one guy, in particular, named Kam followed me and randomly started giving all of my tweets an unusual amount of attention. I should’ve noticed the red flag since I wrote about it,
In the following article:
But in this scenario, I paid no attention.
One, because we were online and not in person. Two, because there was no expectation or desired outcome of any interaction with him. He was a complete stranger to me. And he was going to fix that.
We started talking
We were in communication for about two weeks in total. Towards the tail end of our communication, I called him and we spoke for a while. This would be our first and last time speaking on the phone,
Because the very next day I would become the target of a traumatic online attack where my privacy was violated — by someone I didn’t do anything to.
Because of that one phone call.
The Phone Call
When I called him my number popped up under the name of that number’s previous owner, Patricia. This didn’t surprise me because I use Tracfone Wireless, a prepaid plan.
Because of this:
- Every number I have ever had while using Tracfone has never displayed my actual name. Ever.
- For a very long time, no one actually had my number, outside of my mom because I was living off the grid and only got on it to keep in touch with her for safety reasons while I was out.
Therefore, I genuinely didn’t even think twice about it to the point that I forgot that my number wouldn’t show up as my own.
I was also getting calls meant for Patricia
Every single day since I’d gotten her old number.
Apparently, Patricia never picked up her prescription at her pharmacy and they were leaving automated voicemails, every single day.
When I tried to call the number back I got the pharmacy’s automated machine. The one time I finally caught the call, I answered to an automated machine on the other end.
That’s how I know this.
In our phone conversation, I got a call meant for Patricia while we were talking, which prompted me to tell him all about what had been going on before telling him I was thinking of changing my phone number.
Little did I know that pretty soon I’d have no choice.
June 25th, 2022
(My father’s birthday.)
For those of you who don’t know, my father is dead so I wasn’t really active on social media the following day because I was grieving.
I drank myself to sleep around 2 p.m. I didn’t wake up until around 6 p.m. When I did wake up I noticed he had been unusually quiet the whole time. For some reason, something felt very off.
That’s when the text came in.
In the text, he asked me what my username really was,
Sincerelylc or Sincerelylcs.
It was erratic and it didn’t make sense because he knew my username, and it was Sincerelylcs (on Twitter). Sincerelylc was my username on Medium.
He also made the following snide remark —
Oh, I forgot I’m not supposed to text you because “this is a burner phone”.
What he was referring to was a comment I made during our phone conversation.
I told him not to text me.
I said this because I was using a prepaid flip phone at that time.
Speaking on Twitter, via laptop, was easier because I actually had a big keyboard to use. And I explained this to him which is why I knew his tone was condescending.
I was going to respond but something told me to check Twitter and when I did, I saw that I was blocked. This made no sense, everything was just fine.
Now, I was getting a very bad feeling.
So, I checked from an incognito tab and saw something that would change everything;
A screenshot of my phone number (with Patricia’s name as the account holder) and a screenshot of my Twitter profile…
Posted to his public Twitter profile.
A Full-Blown Character Assassination (Gone Wrong)
A screenshot was also posted of my Twitter profile.
This included my personal picture — but I wasn’t alone.
Along with my profile were two other profiles of two other women with one thing in common. All of our usernames were virtually the same.
Apparently, the fact that my usernames on Twitter and Medium didn’t exactly match sent him over the edge. I was being accused of being all three profiles, created just to cyber stalk him.
Here’s the problem:
The three profiles in his screenshot were of women who looked nothing alike. We were literally three different people.
The reason my Twitter profile was @SincerelyLCS instead of @Sincerelylc (like it is on Medium) is that that username was taken by one of these women, long before I ever joined Twitter.
In fact, one of these accounts was made in 2011
The other was made in 2016. I joined in June of 2022.
I couldn’t use the username I desired to align with my Medium account when it was already taken.
Instead, I used @SincerelyLCS, because it was close enough to my preferred username. The only difference is I added the ‘S’ because that’s the first initial of my last name, Sharp.
In fact, my last name was written on one of the poems I posted on Twitter before we interacted.
I also uploaded videos of myself on Twitter reciting poetry (showing who I was and how I looked). Considering how closely he was watching me,
How the hell did he miss this?
Because he was too busy thinking he was playing some kind of game where he would eventually “outsmart” and “expose” me only to realize,
He was actually playing himself.
(Literally and legally.)
An Inside Look at an Overt Narcissist’s rage
Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash
According to his erratic tweets…
He noticed Patricia’s name appear when I called him and didn’t mention it because he was “playing dumb” as a means to outsmart me, so he went along with the conversation.
He did this to purposely “wait for the right time” to expose me. He then accused me of being his ex-girlfriend (named Paige) in disguise as a total stranger… on all three accounts.
Here’s what made this accusation very disturbing:
- He followed me
- He initiated the initial conversation with me
- He also joined Medium, to follow me there (immediately)
All love-bombing tactics.
The reason I didn’t see through it is that, again, he was a total stranger and I overlooked it since there was no expectation or initial communication.
He joined Medium before actually conversing with me
So I genuinely thought he liked the material I wrote and wanted to read more of it. He made every first move, aside from that phone call.
He stepped out of the shadows.
This wasn’t the other way around so how could I be targeting him when I never even knew he existed, until he made his existence known?
How was I stalking him when the actions he took (and would go on to take) proved that it was him stalking me?
How could he think I was his ex when he literally heard my voice and saw my face, and knew I was a totally different woman?
I was confused and betrayed,
While I genuinely thought we were having real conversations, he thought he was catching me in a lie I never told.
Every Interaction With Me Was a Setup
(After that phone call.)
The whole time we were interacting, in the back of his mind he believed he was talking to a totally different person.
Yet, he continued to interact with me.
Just to “expose” me for pretending to be someone else, in order to cyberstalk him but there was one fatal flaw in his strategy,
What he did was actually illegal.
You cannot post someone’s personal number and image as a means of attack — or without consent. Sadly, for him, every one of his tweets revealed his motive as being,
- intentional, and
- done solely for revenge
He was also committing defamation of character.
The reason he made this so easy for me to do was that he was an overt narcissist. I talked a little bit about their fatal character flaw in the following article:
Overt narcissists are the most careless of the types and it backfires on them in such colorful ways because they literally have zero self-control.
Kam was exercising the same pathology in his public smear campaign against me.
Because every single move he made was illegal, I now had every intention of treating it as such. But not without one warning shot:
Once I saw my number and picture posted to his Twitter, along with his incriminating rant, I sent one text explaining the specifics of Patricia’s name showing up, before warning him not to ever contact me again.
I Changed My Number the Following Morning
And removed my image from all of my online profiles (initially and temporarily). I, then, contacted Twitter and my attorney and alerted them about this smear campaign.
Twitter shut him down immediately.
Legally, there’s nothing more I can say on the matter but it was very clear this was an intentionally hateful attack for two obvious reasons,
- He blocked me on Twitter just to post my personal information, to make sure I wouldn’t see it.
- All he had to do was ask — but he chose not to
He wanted to destroy me (my character) instead and jeopardized my safety to do it. To me, this was disgusting for one main reason,
He blocked me just so he could then go on to —
- trash my character
- post my picture to draw negative attention to me, and then
- post a screenshot of my personal phone number to his account
Without me knowing he was doing it.
He was grown enough to approach me but he had to run to Twitter to “tell on me” to absolutely no one, over delusions. This left a bad taste in my mouth and belonged in a special category of disrespect, and immaturity.
If I saw something that I found weird or had any questions, which I did, I asked him — like an adult. I’m highlighting this because I’m 28 and he’s 35.
But I still had one question lingering in the back of my mind. If we were only talking —
Why was my identity or my character a concern to him when he was the one who bothered me, in the first place?
None of this mattered once he actually posted my phone number to Twitter. Now, this was purely a legal situation because he had now committed an actual crime. He would go on to commit another one.
He began cyberstalking (hoovering) me on Medium
After I told him not to contact me ever again.
He spent the entirety of the following day making several accounts on Medium to reach out to me over and over again. Every time I blocked an account another one was made.
I lost count after twelve.
Comments started pouring in under different stories I’d written, which some of you saw. This went on for the next 24 hours.
There was no conversation to have.
This was now a legal matter and his cyberstalking was leaving an online paper trail that would help my case because it included one valuable piece of information I would need:
His Motive Was His Attraction to Me
He publicly wrote that he started falling in love with me and didn’t know how to handle it. He had never met someone like me before and didn’t like the feelings this caused him.
I was so “different”, he thought I wasn’t real.
He also stated that he was now so “in love” with me that he needed to find something (anything) wrong with me.
So he initiated his own investigation and determined that I wasn’t really myself. That’s when it hit me…
It takes a dangerous (and untrustworthy) person living a dangerous life to:
- react the way he did
- think the way he thought, and
- be this neurotic about being set up
(I learned that he used to stick people up.)
He was always looking over his shoulder because he was the kind of person you look over your shoulder for.
He caused all this chaos, publicly and legally, because he caught feelings and… felt triggered by that. Kam went out of his way to look into me,
- hoping he would find something bad, and
- using anything that he didn’t understand as “valid” evidence
Because he liked me?
And that’s what brings me to the most disturbing part of this whole ordeal, his actions actually had nothing to do with me.
His spiral wasn’t dependent on me, in any way. His trust issue wasn’t my problem… but it was a key trait in every narcissist I’ve ever known.
Narcissists Are Notorious for Their Trust Issues
Image by Drew Hays on Unsplash
Narcissists tend to be very suspicious of the opposite sex (and people in general) because they believe the world reflects who they actually are beneath the mask.
This can make them quite irrational and extremist in their line of thought. This distrust will often be displayed in conversation.
It will also be your biggest red flag.
Because it’s their way of revealing to you that they are, in fact, someone who cannot be trusted.
Although most of us can relate to having trust issues, a narcissist will use this distrust in one of two ways:
- Overt and malignant narcissists will usually use it as a way to fuel their superiority complex by making it clear that you have to earn their trust.
- The coverts will use it as leverage to gain enough empathy to motivate you to feel as though you have to “show them a different side of love/people”; thus encouraging you to jump through hoops to gain their trust (it’s the same tactic as number one, passively executed).
The problem is you’ll never earn it.
Narcissists can’t be trusted.
Therefore they will never trust you.
You will never “win” that trust from them because they are always waiting on you to fuck up. They are always waiting for the moment you —
- slip up
- make a mistake, or
As was the case with Kam.
The issue was I didn’t fuck up or fail, he found flaws where there were none to validate his trust issues and make himself right; only to realize he was very wrong about me (literally and legally).
Once this happened, I finally accepted an old adage I once ignored:
When someone chooses to believe the worst about you, they were waiting for a reason to dislike you.
Especially a narcissist.
Gaining the trust of a narcissist is like a game of Temple Run or Subway Surfers. In the end, you will always lose.
So don’t bother trying.
© Linda Sharp 2023. All Rights Reserved.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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