I was blackmailed by a stalker...and he went to jail

 

So, I never thought that I would write this post.

Truly.

Just wasn't ever sure that there would be an appropriate time or place, and although I am super honest and up front, I think I am sort of closed of on some topics in my life. I also just sort of live my life and don't think about my experiences after they happen. It's not good to dwell on things really. I'm always thinking ahead, for better or worse.


But, when I realized that I told parts of the story on the Almost 30 Podcast, I figured I needed to provide more detail. 

It is also the most talked about topic we've had thus far. Lindsey and I get SO MANY questions about it.

So, I figured I should share my experience.

(If you listen, make sure to note that it's our first episode and it's so ROUGH. It gets better, I promise!) 

(Listen to the Almost 30 Podcast in iTunes here.)


Plus, it's good to be aware, to share what I learned and if you're in a similiar situation, you're not alone.

In short, I was blackmailed, harassed, threatened and violated by a stranger, who had naked photos of me, over the course of 6+ months. 

Yes.


Each week, a few times a week, from various emails I would recieve threatening emails about how I was going to have my career ruined, my life ruined, all of these terrible things happen to me. All of them attached with a photo. That was of...me. 

I'll cut to the chase, basically any nude photos I had in my phone, saved, or deleted, anywhere, I was being blackmailed with.

Photos that I had only sent to Justin (obviously) some flattering, some not (HA) but all very....me. 

I guess I should feel shameful that I take pictures of myself. But really I dgaf on 100 and I'm thankful that my reader babes aren't judgemental of that sort of thang :) If I am feeling good, I snap a photo, and send it to the person I love and plan on spending my life with. 

Nothing crazy, nothing that you really couldn't google right now. We've also seen some T & A.

So to back up. 

One day I was working in my apartment when I recieved an email from a random email that said

KRISTA.

Then the body of it said something along the lines of, I've got something you need to see. You need to respond to me.

Check your Facebook messages OTHER folder.

Then, I go to facebook, check the others photos folder, and there it is. My ass and my titties, on someone I don't know's Facebook message.

I am jaw drop. I get chills actually writing this. 

I was thinking this was an empty threat, that didn't mean anything, and to see it verified blew my fucking mind. One was an old photo, one was a photo from my deleted photos.

I had no idea what this person was acutally going to do to me. I wasn't sure how much they knew, if they hacked my phone, if they had my social security information or credit card information. Where I lived....I had no idea. 

At this point, I'm really shaken up, and really embarassed to tell anyone, even Justin. 

I tried to understand how it could happen.

A few days go by, and I get another threat, more aggressive, and via email another photo sent to me. Another one that I had no idea anyone had. 

This time, I went to the police in Los Angeles County, sat at the police station for a few hours being questioned and to be honest was pleasantly suprised at how nice they were. Yes they did as me if someone hated me and was out to get me, and if I had sent these to anyone else but Justin. But believed me when I said no.

They wrote me a ticket, said they were on it and I was on my way. Not much else I could do at this point but change all passwords and really up my security on every system that I had. 

Did it, check, check. 

I also called Apple and said my iCloud got hacked (Kate Upton style, LOL) and he said "that's not possible"...LOL

But for the next 5-6 months, I continued to get emails from various email accounts a few times a week that were increasingly more aggressive, more direct and more intense.

Each time I was suprsied at the photos they had. At this point I had deleted every one of them off my phone but it felt like they had an endless supply. 

I was scared that they would hack my work email, hack my personal email, send them to anyone I knew on a professional level, because that's what they said they were going to do (among other things). This person was also emailing every email account I had. My work, my personal, my blog and another business account. They had access to all of my emails and contacts. But weirdly, weren't taking money from me, just harassing me. 

Each time it was just as scary, and I couldn't go a few days without a new email emailing something to me.

KRISTA. You need to reply me or I will RUIN your career. I have THESE. 

Sometimes J and I would laugh, and say to each other, "Thank God I was hoping someone would release these". To help alleviate the painful truth that I was being watched and harassed for so long.

At a point it got numb. Just sort of expected it but it never really went away that I was scared. 

It became part of my life, and I wasn't sure what else I could do beyond telling the police. This went on for about 6 months, and the email addresses changed, the Facebook accounts changed, it just continued.

Then, on a random Wednesday, I got the call.

From the Police Department in Santa Monica who wanted to talk to me.

I'm like, um yes WHAT. 

A long conversation later discussing my experience and current situation related to my stalker, the police man asks me 

"Do you go to Yoga at X Location?"

I'm like yeah bro, why.

"The person who has been harassing you has been traced back to working here." 

What?

"He's been taking phones of females the yoga studio and harassing a few girls there. Each time you've been into class, he's been taking your phones and sending himself as many photos as he can.

Then harassing, threatening and blackmailing you with them".

Gulp.

Weirdly, I knew who the person was right away.

He NEVER talked to me when I came in. EVER. I always said hello, signed in and just did my thing, but each time I said hello he would blankly look at me and say nothing. Like a fucking werido.

Chills.

Someone that saw me so much, and in a place where I go to relax and reconnect, took advantage of that, and violated any sense of peace I had.

it's one of the oddest things I've lived through to date.

.....and the guy ended up being convicted of a felony.

He lived with a girl he met on craigslist - who he violated too. That fucker.

He had also been doing this at least 5 other girls that they know of. 

I can honestly see his face in my mind, and it's crazy. I felt confused, and thought through each time I went to class, when I would be in the yoga state of mind, that I was having my stuff stolen, or someone was looking through everything I keep private. My texts, emails.....

Ugh.

I went to court and testified against him.

The police found him, by responding to one of his emails, pretending they were one of the girls. They were able to trace the phone to his. Then they put it together that we all worked out there, and he worked there. 

Real detective work, right?

Felt good that justice was served, and this person was committed at a federal level.

For me, I guess I learned to lock my phone at all times, to keep it with me, and now I am really weird with dudes who work at gyms. 

This is crazy, I know, but I feel like it was a weird karmic debt that I was carrying from another life. That I had to experience in this life.

I guess it made me feel lucky that I am safe.

That I wasn't harmed and that I can be there for any female that's been violated, blackmailed or harassed. 

You guys know me, I am always about reflection and growth and thinking about what things mean on a deep level. 

But sometimes things just....are.

They're just shitty. 

But you need to see things as they are. Technically, it's not personal, and hey, it ALWAYS could be worse. In the grand scheme of things, I am always lucky.

Healthy. Happy and whole.

Also keeping the nudes to a minmum :) and my phone locked always.

Definitely listen to the podcast epsiode of this, it's a light way I talk about it, and if you have a simiiar situation, story or feel like somethings happening to you that's not right, say and do something. Without telling the police, he would have never been convicted or behind bars.

Always act, always.

Okay, felt good to finally share with you. Safe space, right? Now you know the full story. 

With love,

Krista 


In this post I am wearing Ethona Active and the photos were shot by Stefanie Villers of Catching Cali. 

Yoga on crack: Kundalini Yoga is crazy (but I love it)

It's pretty well known that people in L.A. do some weird shit in the health/wellness and spirituality area. 

There are meditation meet-ups for days, crystal shops on every corner, juice potions and elixirs everywhere and almost everyone's a vegan. 1 out of 2 people is a yoga instructor, and energy healing is a legit profession.

*I've never felt so at home* hehe

When I moved to Los Angeles, I knew that I wanted to become a part of a weird hippie community, and really explore more of what there is to offer as it relates to spirituality. Sort of an ode to the spiritual, inspiration seeking, diverse relationship building, witch-in-training, voodoo magic side of my personality. 

As you know, I have been doing ClassPass here, just various gyms and places in the Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Ray area. With ClassPass I discovered Golden Bridge Yoga of Santa Monica

Thinking it was 'regular' yoga, I roll up LuLu Lemon'ed the f out like a Yoga betch that I am, ready to like crow pose my face off, and get into weird binds that make me want to pass out. 

Needless to say, we did none of the above, but at times I did feel like I was going to faint. 

What I realized, a few moments after walking into the room, was that this was not regular yoga.

First, every person in the class, was head to toe in white garb. Relaxed fit, linen pants, flowy large white long sleeves and various white head wraps covering their hair completely. Some wearing beads, some wearing crystals, all of various ages and physical levels. Attendees around me were like yoga trailblazers, hipsters, and longtime devotees to the practice. 

Not to mention the Golden Bridge studio is gorgeous. The inside is super colorful, Eastern inspired and, again very different than just normal mirrors or something that I'm used to.

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Outside of the attendees, the class began with a teaching, where for around 10 minutes we're talking about things happening in the universe (we learned that Wednesday is the day of Jupiter, which means you can manifest good luck better on Wednesday than any other day).

The structure of the class was like this:

10-15 minutes of spiritual teachings from the instructor

30 minutes of the actual 'workout' called kriya

5 minutes of Savasana

15 minutes of chanting/singing

So the workout, kriya, isn't flow at all. You're doing various poses through classes, for between 3-5 minutes each. It ranges from stretching, even screaming

Kundalini Yoga a kriya is a series of postures, breath, and sound that work toward a specific outcome. Practicing a kriya initiates a sequence of physical and mental changes that affect the body, mind, and spirit simultaneously. There are kriyas that support the liver, balance the glandular system, make you radiant, stimulate the pituitary, increase the flexibility of the spine, and many more. Each kriya has a different effect, but all work on all levels of your being.

I wouldn't say I was sweating per say, but the fact you incorporate breath, and the holding of poses for long periods of time, make it challenging. 

The difference between kundalini yoga and other yogas is explained well by Heaven Meets Earth Yoga:

Hatha yoga focuses on the asana, or postures. It focuses on the angles and triangles of the body; to get the angles in correct alignment so that energy can flow freely through the pathways.

Kundalini yoga uses not just asanas. It uses mudra (hand positions that guide energy flow to the brain). It uses mantra – what we vibrate is what we attract. It uses sound to vibrate the Highest Self. It uses drishti (eye focus) to stimulate the glands, which secrete hormones. And it uses pranayama as its fundamental tool and is practiced in depth. Consider the reasons for practicing yoga: peace, stress management, clarity, self-reference, focus, joy, etc. This synergy gets you there faster, making it very practical for individuals with relationships and careers.

Basically, it's less physical, more mental and more spiritual. 

So why do people even do kundalini? Like why do the white clothes, why do the chanting, and weird postures. It's believed to be an ancient 'technology', that's believed to help:

  • Improve mood
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Help with exhaustion (even fertility issues) 
  • Cleanse your subconscious and your conscious mind
  • Feel happier, healthier, be more productive, more creative
  • Transform your life and relationships, and feel more fulfilled and satisfied
  • Boost your energy levels and enjoy greater levels of physical well-being
  • Become more intuitive and able to attract new opportunities

*girl with her hand up emoji* Yes please! 

But all that aside, you do weird shit in class.

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Like in all seriousness, my first class, I spent the majority of the time trying to catch on to the songs we were singing, and the phrase being said in a language I didn't know. Also, to chant for longer than 5 minutes is difficult because I'm so all over the place ADD.  

Things to know before going into your first class: 

  • You also do most poses for around 2 minutes. Whether stagnant or moving, you're going to have to get comfortable doing whatever interesting pose, for a long period of time.
  • At the beginning of class, there's a teaching, which can range from something related to the kundalini community to super hippie things like moon cycles. 
  • Each 'pose' is completely different. In one of them, we screamed for 2 minutes, in another you hang over your legs just limp, in another you propel your arms forward like you're flying (to cleanse your auric field) and in most you do 'breath of fire' to increase pranha. 
  • Everyone's in white, or wearing a linen to cover their head, like I said earlier. I read up on this to see what it was about, and the linen on your head is to "move energy in the body upward during practice then keep it there" rather than have it leave through the head, or crown center. For the clothes, it's to protect from negative projections, and expand the aura.

Basically, the vibe, is just less focused on physical and more on spiritual, ya know?  

I've been doing it for like three weeks now (yay!) and have weirdly noticed that I am happier and feel more centered than before. I also have fallen out of yoga in NYC, so it could be that I'm getting back into it...but whatever it is, that I can't really put my finger on, I like. 

I'll keep you posted on whether I rock the all white soon, fo sho and let me know if you've ever tried it? 

Where you can go for kundalini in:

New York City

Golden Bridge

Beloved Yogi Harlem

Kundalini Yoga East

Hari NYC

Kundalini in Park Slope

Integral Yoga Institiute

Chicago

Sat Nam Yoga

Kundalini Yoga in the Loop

Spirit Rising Foundation

Los Angeles

Golden Bridge

Atwater Kundalini Yoga

Ram Dass Bir Singh Khalsa

Yoga West

Kundalini Boot Camp

San Francisco

Kundalini Yoga Center

Kundalini Co-Op

Also what is everyone doing this weekend? I'm excited to see everyone's Labor Day Activities! I'll be in Joshua Tree, with friends, so hoping to get some good hiking and photos in. Will post soon! 

Talk soon. 

Love,
Krista xx