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Us

2020-10-01

This is a story about a couple of social media posts that changed someone’s life forever.

Us

written by: Ashley Flowers

You can read the original story at FullBodyChillsPodcast.com

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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sales for ten percent off your first month, hi listeners, I'm Ashley flowers, and I have a story. I want to tell you a story about. Of social media posts that changed someone's life forever, so gather round and listen clubs. You know they say. Ignorance is bliss and I have now. I believe that more than I do right now, when I I could go back to the days of believing my life was normal, that the word
thing I had to contend with with some very little critter living in my attic were busy traffic. I mean I wish I could go without dreading the thought of opening my phone, but once you put the puzzled together, you can't go back to only seen the pieces, your left with the whole messy picture forever. If I had to pinpoint when they start at eight, I guess I'd say three months ago I mean. Maybe there were some stuff before then, like my trouble sleeping the noises, but honestly I'm kind of questioning everything right now. Nothing feels sure, but I can at least point to a specific date three months ago, when I first felt the change and it's more than that, a day, I'm an I remember the exact moment. even though, at the time it didn't feel one of those moments that would change my life forever. It was a Thursday morning, like nine thirty. I was working from
like everyone because of co bad, and I would just taking a mental breaks scrolling through my stories on Instagram and no, why I do this? I swear it's like my own version of self torture, because I just spend the whole time like rolling my eyes at the cell fees and the means and passing through stories filled with bay he's wondering when me and my friends actually became old enough to be like full on Mars. So after like minutes minutes of this. I know I need to get back to work, so I the the story section and go back to my main profile, and I do all so fast because, like muscle memory at this point and I am doing it. I almost miss it as I'm sorry being up on my screen to close out that, as I see it, there is this then pink and orange circle around my profile picture, but I knew haven't made any stories, because the night before
was a Wednesday and I'm living in Indiana. In my s during a global pandemic, I promise you nothing story worthy happened that I post about. So I clicked back onto the app and watched it fill my screen It's weird, like I distinctly remember this moment of pause like I didn't, want to look at my story and that feeling doesn't quite makes sense when I say it out loud, but it's like something in me. Just just knew when I type in the picture. My face the screen got dark I almost would have thought my phone shut off, but I could see the White bar at the top of the screen moving from left to right, meaning it was plain and then, after a few seconds it just closed out and it was we but I just thought. Maybe I did it from my purse for my pocket look. Like a butt dial. You know, but then I started thinking about,
but story, and I made myself chuckle at but story which then made me immediately wonder. If maybe I was the problem, like all my friends are mature enough to have kids, but I'm still not old enough to be a full on mom. So I deleted this. Before. Turning back to my computer and honestly by like ten, I was so deep in the emails and zoom calls. I almost totally forgot about the whole story thing altogether. I mean you know how Life consumes you with all of its little details, work relationships, this freaking rat in my apartment addict that I've been trying to get rid of for weeks. It was so easy to forget that small little Instagram story it meant nothing then, but then, on Monday it happened again. Three of my close friends had come over and we have like a little Sunday funding thing the day before and I had posted about it in my story and don't even side I mean you know it. You re watch your own stories to so I was just tapping through
you re living the afternoon that I spent with my friends drinking wine and laughing, but I was surprised when I got to what I thought would be the end of my story, but there is still one more that I could tat when I clicked it. It was a their dark screen, but this time there text with it across the bottom. It just said night night and I mean it's weird how you process things in your head, like I've, try and spell out for you what I was thinking, but the way that it went through my mind in real time took like a fraction of a second, new this wasn't a purse post or a but story. I mean I know, there's auto correct, but the odds are no. It's me just not possible but then I remember all the stories before all the wine before I
have had way more to drink than I thought and posted this when maybe I was a little tipsy before bed. So again I deleted the post, and try to shake it off the same way I had before, but this time was harder. Entire rest of the day. I was just off There were times when I found myself just sitting like steering off in. Space behind my computer screen with the words night night, just repeating over and over in my head night night night night I would catch myself doing it, but I never knew how long I've been spacing out and I would try and get back to work only to find myself in the sea. Days moments later night night. Throughout my day, I'd slowly talked myself out of the conclusion my mind had jumped to. I wasn't drunk yes, I'm a lightweight
It also means that when I do drink more than a single glass or two of wine, I can feel the effects the next morning, like three glasses of wine and my head like a little bit, fuzzy four and I had a headache, but it's nothing. Three aleave can't fix, but to be so tipsy or drunk that I dont remember something I posted on line that However, I would have called in sick to work for, but I'm not hung over. I don't even have a fuzzy head. I didn't make that post for the rest, the day. I was all consumed by those two words. I try to distract myself focusing on my work or doing chores round my apartment, but it didn't matter. Just over and over again in my head night night. I just it may be. What I needed was to get out of the house go to the grocery store Sea life outside of my apartment. Maybe in isolation, so long that I was actually losing it, but even in adding didn't help. As I drove back to my apartment.
Thought flooded my mind. You wouldn't know this about me, but I'm a little bit of a conspiracy theorist I mean I think big brother is always watching, this documentary eighteen years ago about the privacy policies that we just agree to without thinking twice and for a solid three months that I wouldn't sign up for anything new. But that's the thing about us humans. We the short memory thing seems so important and all consuming, and then a couple of days, weeks months later, we somehow go right back to our old habits and pushed scary thing out of our minds. We think ignorance is bliss, but this isn't bliss. What had I agreed to? Who did I get Access to good, they have gotten more than just my phone. I mean I was spiralling deep into a rabbit hole that was feeling like my own episode of the twilight zone. When I realized, I was actually already back home I don't even remember stopping in any of the normal intersections or making any of the time to get to my house get
sure I was in my driveway safely home through sheer muscle memory by the time they put my car and a park. I come up with the one and only logical conclusion for all of this. I've been hacked why someone hacked and account host a couple weird stories is told beyond me. Maybe it was someone new, just messing with me. I mean for anyone who didn't know me even a little bit. My password wouldn't have been that hard to guess it's just my middle name and the year I was born Chloe. Ninety mediate politics when all of two seconds to figure out now, I still can see why one of my friends would want to do that. But really even a hacker could have you're out with a little snooping on my profile, which up until that point, hadn't been private, maybe whoever hacked it was just like testing the waters to see if I notice before they did something else. Whatever else hackers do, I don't know I didn't
here. I was just going to change my password and just be done with this whole thing, and so I did I buys some nonsensical mash up of letters, numbers and special characters for my new password and I went to bed or I tried to go to bed at least that My paranoia was at an all time high. I was tossing and turning in my bed, just with the words night night, peering over and over what if this hacker could change it back, somehow what if I was too late, what if right now we're already in all of my accounts, wrecking havoc. My mind was of so many what? If I was up for hours and to make things worse ass. It was in these late hours of the night or my nocturnal apartment. Just on a new life, I mean, echoing The walls were the rushes of water, my rattling a sea and my paranoid turn that feed hitter pattern.
Four legged very intruder into a maniac serial killer. I was sure, was gonna jump from the attic at any moment to rip me to shreds by three. Am I couldn't take it anymore? I know this sounds counterproductive to some, but I decided to get I too. Let me fall asleep. Any time get worked up. We always helps me sleep and it worked. I was out within minutes, but when I woke up all of my feet and paranoia came rushing back instantly. I had pulled up my instagram before even got out of bed that morning, like something in knew that the password change wasn't going to make this go away. I literally felt sick my stomach. When I tapped my picture framed by that orange and pink circle again, the screen was dark and this time the text across the screen red sleep tight. When I read those words, it was like,
my phone turned a hot lava. I couldn't get out of my hand fast enough. I tossed it across my bed, so hot if Bell onto the laminate floor and before I even heard it hit the I I immediately regretted it when I went to pick up I literally let out this. Oh thank God. When I saw that it had landed not on the screen. I picked it up and checked both sides for any damage and a booming expletive shot out when I realized there was a small nick on my camera lens. I was You mean like half. The reason we even have smartphones now is the the even even my screen works. Work I was to have have to get a new phone was the last freaking. Thing I needed right, then I opened camera app and I started snapping random pictures around my room and after like three or four I went to my photos to see how badly they actually looked. I opened up the most recent pictures and it was freaking worse than I thought,
with the exception of the top left corner. The whole thing was an indistinguishable blower. I kept swiping right see the other posts like some, how every single one wasn't going to look exactly the same. My blood pressure rose with Greece White and I started to think about how on earth I was going to pay for a brand new was a dollar phone and just like that, my boiling blood turned icy cold. My third swipe opened up a dark image. The image from story. It looked a little different than it did on Instagram. I always thought the backdrop I my stories was just like a black boy ground like if you create your own story, but this was an actual image of something I turned up Phones brightness as much as I could buy, only see a very faint outline of something, but the entire image was just a charcoal laughed like it had been taken.
Dark without any flash. I got an idea then that maybe I could edit the photo in one of my apps to make the picture like a little bit better mean mostly. I use these. Relax, smoothing out my skin and adding a filter, but I played around with them enough to know that I can actually make photos brighter too. I selected the photo and went to the shadows section of the editing tool and pulled the sliding bar all the way to the right, the brighter than major got the granier it got too, but I saw it instantly. It was my room. My bed me I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I wanted to cry and scream and run and crawl out of my skin all at the same time, but all I could You was run to my bathroom and lock myself inside I sat on the. Toilet, holding my breath with my phone clutched in my hand, and my arms wrapped around my knees at my chest is trying to be still
I was trying to listen for any sign of any one else in the apartment, but blood was still humping in my ears so loudly and my breathing was hard and fast making every single inhale and exhale echo. I waited, and I listened I didn't hear anything but myself. I couldn't even process was happening in that moment. It's like my brain, wouldn't allow me to think. The thing that it had to have known was true, the only logical conclusion someone had been in my apartment. While I was sleeping, I didn't know what I was supposed to do. I thought about calling the police, but I mean no one's here, think, I'm crazy. That is just some dark pictures that I can improve or of me or that I didn't take myself. I looked back down at my feet.
Staring at the photo listening to that thump in my ears. That's when I remembered there has been another picture The first one that I found on that Monday morning. I backed out App and hurriedly went back to my recent photos scrolling up to the ones I took on Sunday and there it was the other photo I draw two into the same editing tool and another still grainy image appeared of my room this time it was from a different angle. Because you could now make out the outline of my face above the covers. I went back to the most recent images, the one from just a couple of hours ago, looking for some kind of explanation that wasn't this Just then a prompt popped up, my phone. Do you want to add this to the album? You
now I didn't know what this and like. I know my phone has a feature that will recognise patterns like especially in photos. I use it all the time to organise my albums by friends or events, the prompt for the Alps. Wasn't what I didn't understand. It was the album me I did not have an album called you I bet out of the single photo than out of all my recent photos, and I made a violent swiping motion to zoom past all the albums which I have organised alphabetically and there it was the very last one you I tapped on the black square and the album opened filling my screen with small black squares Scrolled school rolled feeling bile rise up through my esophagus, with each flick of my thumb. These went back months.
I backed out of the album? I was too afraid to keep looking and I didn't need to put them in the editing app. I knew exactly what they would be. I was getting need to close the app and call my dad. I mean he lives, but two thousand three hundred miles away. I know he can't get here, but I was terrified and I just needed to talk to him, but just was about to close out of the pictures another. One caught my eye s, just the site of the album cover thrill me in a spin off that Will it and in almost the same moment, I lifted the seat with my free hand and vomited into the bull coughing and crying I stared back down at my phone at the small album cover without even opening it. I could tell what it wise taken in the dark, with a flash on or two hands intertwined my finger being engulfed by strangers. All
wanted was to call my dad. I dialed his number. He picked up on the second ring, but the instant I heard his voice. I just burst into tears. I try to get out the words to tell him what was happening. What had apparently been happening for months, but it was all just A blubbering mess in between unintelligible words like help or he's in my apartment by the time I caught my breath my dad was more scared than I was and I kept telling him. No, no, I'm I'm fine, there's no one with me, but someone was here. My sobbing turning was steady stream of tears and sniffling. As I told my dad exactly what had happened, I was just heart about editing the photo when I heard something I held my breath.
My dad's voice filled the silence with repeated hello. Are you there and they grew more and more panic each time he had to ask. So I turned the volume on my phone all the way down and whispered into the receiver. Hang on the noise came from my room. My mind was racing trying to place that noise was it from above me I mean it sounds like something moving almost who like and that's when it hit me. The attic.
Just then I sprung up for my place on the bathroom floor and yelled into my phone. He is here dad is in my apartment. I hear my dad shouting for me to get out of there as fast as I can. As I reached for the lock on my door, I sprinted through the living room toward the front door and drop my phone to the ground as I reach to undo the deadbolt with one hand and the chain laced with the other barefoot and in nothing more than an oversized tshirt. I swung the door open and bounded down the hall down three flights of stairs taking them two or three. At a time when I got to the bottom, I ran up to a young mother loading, her baby into a car seat and through tears I begged her to call police when
at least finally did come. They searched my apartment, but they said they didn't find anything. No one in my bedroom, nothing in my attic. There was no sign that anyone had ever been in there, but me, and they said there was nothing that they could do. It was hard to even convince them that there had been someone there, because the story was just so bizarre and the questions they had are the same ones. Everyone has. Why would a man break into your home just to take pictures of you and if you never knew that he was there? Why would he let you know by putting them all over your social media, for you to find I've thought about that last question a lot since that morning and I think he got tired of just the fantasy. He wanted me to know he was there because he wise there
I know he was the real question that stays with me aren't the wise, but how? How did he find me? How did he get in and out without me noticing and how did he stay there for months and how will he find me again? I mean maybe he won't try to and that's what I have to tell myself. The police never found my phone and I think that's because he took it. He got to keep pulling all the pictures of us, and hopefully that will be enough for him. This series was produced by Ashley flowers in David flowers, and this episode was written by us as well.
Story was modified slightly for audio, be telling being confining original on our website. Full bodied it is an audio chuck production. So what do you think Chuck duped thanks to our sponsor better help for their support, a full body chill join the over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional, get ten percent off your first month by visiting better help, dot com, slash full body chills, that's better h, e lp dot com, slash full body, chills
Transcript generated on 2020-10-12.