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Ask the Rock Doc: 
Sound Advice for a Song 
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. B.L.T.  
**** Phantom Tollbooth readers: To sample Christmas Stalking, the one-track soundtrack to accompany this correspondance, visit the Dr BLT record store on or after 12/06/07: 

**** Names, details and mode of inquiry may be altered in the following correspondence to protect the confidentiality of the inquiring party.   

Dear Rock Doc:  
I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas.  Last year, I wrote you and the letter ended up getting published in Phantom Tollbooth.  

At that time I was terribly scared with myself becoming my own worst enemy.  I had two people as a result of abusing cocaine.  I was a Christian--------have been since my early childhood, but I was afraid God would abandon me as I had abandoned him.  

Thanks to your advice at the time, the miracles of Jesus, and to my wifeís steadfast loyalty and companionship, I am still married to the same woman.  My kids were pushed to the brink, but theyíve come around to liking having me around ever since I gave up the dope.  

I was in danger of losing a steady job in the real estate business.  Thanks to an employer who is a Christian, I kept my job, even though I put my company through hell.  

To top it all off, I'm still the lead singer of "Slow Ride," a 70s retro rock band thatís been together for the past nine years.   

I was in deep.  I was worried about losing my wife and kids over this.  Otherwise, I'm still able to keep my head above water.  One year ago today, I had placed my trust in another rock doc, the one that fed me rock cocaine instead of the food for thought that you offer. 

There is one problem that Iím experiencing this Christmas and that has to do with one of my fans who has developed a huge crush on me and has turned into a psycho stalker from hell.  My wife wonders if her and eye (Judy is her name) are having an affair, and Iíve assured my wife that this is not the case.

Weíve tried a restraining order, but that hasnít helped.  We thought she might have the decency to leave us alone with it being Christmas and all, but no.  Now, this is going to sound like a joke, but itís not.  She actually climbed down the chimney on the night we were decorating the tree, and she was drunker than a skunk.  Can you believe it? 

Sheís not a dangerous stalker in that she hasnít become violent or anything.  Itís just very creepy because you never know when sheís watching you.  Of course I would never act on the impulse, but I almost feel like strangling her.  Sheís ruining our marriage.  Can you help?

Christmas Stalking Victim  

Dear Christmas Stalking Victim: 
Iím not sure I can help, but Iíll try.  I do remember you from last Christmas.  Iím very happy to learn that you have overcome your addiction to cocaine.  

You were the midst of killing the 'able' side of yourself with 'cocaine.'  I called the two sides of you Cocaine and ďAbelĒ, referring to the biblical brother.  

Back in 2006, you were taking in poisoning levels of this white stuff, and I prescribed the Dr BLTune called White Christmas. This year, I'm prescribing a song I recently wrote about somebody in your shoes:

Christmas Stalking 

I pointed a scenario of gloom and doom because I was hoping that seeing the darkness up close and personal will make your spiritual and psychological eyes more sensitive to the light. Cocaine is hard to beat, but it looks like, with Godís help and a little of mine and others, you did just that. 

But like the saying goes, ďIf it ainít one thing, itís another.Ē  Now youíre having to deal with the kind of Christmas stalking that you donít hang up on the fireplace, but one you probably feeling like hanging.  Donít go with that feeling.  Being in a powerless can drive you to do things you wouldnít normally do.  

Conventional wisdom suggests that you set boundaries with the stalker, and then stick to those boundaries.  For example, let your ďnoĒ mean ďnoĒ and say "no" only one time. 

What she desires is repeated occasions involving an opportunity for some type of personal interaction with you.  Repeating your restrictions on her allows for an ongoing opportunity for her to secure such a connection.  And itís not a good idea to reason with her either.  Thereís nothing reasonable about her obsession with you.  

Furthermore, it may be tempting to shame the stalker, but shame reinforces the fear that you will abandon them, further fueling the desire to continue the stalking.  You must not blame yourself either.  If you do, you will act like you are responsible, giving her less reason to accept responsibility for her own actions.  

Donít keep picking up the phone either.  Let your answering machine do that so you donít reinforce her behavior by ďpicking up.Ē  If you donít have an unlisted number, nowís the time to get one.  

If you let me know what city you live in (no, I donít plan to stalk you J), I will try to find a support group for you where you can learn what others have done to protect themselves from this sort of privacy violation.   Once you get into such a group, members of the group can pool their resources.  There is strength in numbers.  

But even if you do all the right things that conventional wisdom suggests, you may be left with the stalker.  Stalkers are not easily coaxed to go away, not even with law enforcement at their heels.  

Learn all the laws pertaining to this issue, and call the police as many times as it takes.  Get the community on your side.  

Then, in addition to conventional wisdom, there is unconventional wisdom.  Thereís something called paradoxical intervention.  This is risky because you donít know what the stalker is capable of.  But some go the extra mile in welcoming in the stalker, making it less of a challenge to stalk, and basically taking away the incentive.  

It may be a little scary for you and your wife to have the stalker over for dinner, so save that as a last resort and proceed with caution, at your own risk.  

Finally, use the power of prayer to protect your home and your family from this sort of violation.  
The minute she breaks the law, have her arrested.  You and your family should not have to live in fear in your own home.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  
If you are among the musically-minded in distress, write Dr. B.L.T., the Rock Doc at  

Dr. BLT, aka Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, is a Christ-centered licensed clinical psychologist and university instructor who specializes in the psychology of modern music.  He uses his original songs as well as those of other artists to address the problems of his patients, including his biggest, sickest, most challenging patient--society. 

His face and name recognition, particularly with teens, comes from his short part on a long Cake music video--the Cake video for ďShort Skirt/Long JacketĒ that earned the band a nomination for Ground Breaking Music Video of the Year on the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.   



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