I was going to stay out of it (as I’ve stayed out of every other blogger/author thing) but I feel compelled to say something.
Kathleen Hale stalked someone after obsessing over an encounter/series of encounters with that person and wrote about doing so, seemingly without remorse. <source>
Kathleen Hale is a victim of rape. <source>
As a victim of a pedophile, I know what it is like to be triggered by something and have less-than-pleasant behaviors result. My behavior following my nearly four-year relationship with a pedophile was self-destructive. I attempted suicide twice and self-harmed for years. I did other things over the years that were wrong and stuff I’m not proud of. I was unstable but eventually I got help.
One thing I began doing a couple years ago is check-up on the pedophile via social media about three times a year. I do this because a) It’s not fair that I have to deal with the fallout of what he did and he does not and I’m angry about that, and b) I’m checking for signs of trouble (a.k.a. it happening to someone else. He’s a junior high school teacher and basketball coach to girls the same age as I was when our relationship began. He was also my basketball coach.). I do not want to interact with him in any way, so even though I’ve thought about alerting the school he works for about his past, I haven’t and don’t plan to. (And I also don’t think it would do anything but harm me in the end. He’s never had trouble convincing people he’s harmless.)
I’m not proud of this, but it’s true. It’s also true that Kathleen Hale crossed a major line, but from everything I’ve read, she is also a victim of severe trauma, and I would wager a big part of her behavior comes from experiencing that trauma. For whatever reasons, Hale was triggered by her interactions with the blogger and did not have the support and tools to deal with it properly. Whether her obsessive behavior existed before her trauma or began after, the point is, like most victims, she craved control and understanding from a real or perceived offense. That does not excuse what she did, but I hope that cries of “crazy” will stop.
Hopefully this whole experience has been a wake-up call for her. From what I know about Kathleen Hale, she probably has the resources to get help, and I hope she utilizes those resources, because continuing to enable obsessive/delinquent behaviors, whether by going through with them or writing about them without remorse, is not healthy. And maybe, eventually, there will be a brighter outcome for everyone involved.