Illustration by Kalah Allen

I had a stalker for years. The kind that breaks into your house and shows up at your job so often you get fired. Threatening calls, disturbing letters, and an attempt to kill me with a butcher knife. I moved over 1,000 miles to get away from him, and hopefully into a city where the police would take it seriously. He found me. I want to thank the Portland police for treating me with respect, and the court system that granted my restraining orders every January. I want to thank the neighbors who called 911 when he threw a brick through my daughter's window, and the landlord who put in the motion-sensor lights, and my old employers who made sure security had his picture and aliases. I want to thank Child Protective Services, for never buying his BS calls, and my doctors for the same. Thanks to the detectives who worked so hard. And finally, to the city that never once asked me what I had done to "deserve" this. It's been three years since he overdosed on heroin. Somewhere between then and now, I stopped looking over my shoulder, and I don't jump when there's a knock at the door. I don't keep mace by the door, and I don't sleep with a knife under my pillow. It's overdue, but I want you all to know: it's appreciated.—Anonymous