Going nuts on October 26, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have a question for you concerning psychotic ex-girlfriends. My boyfriend’s ex, we’ll call her Betty, of MANY years, truly needs therapy. Since the beginning of our relationship, she has done the following to both of us: prank phone calls at all hours of the night and day, followed us, driven by our apartments, mutilated our cars several times, picked a fight with me, and most recently, after much denial, apologized to him. Trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg for what we have gone through with her. Unfortunately, given our vague statutes on stalking and harassment, we could never prove anything to press charges. I have tried with all my might to be mature about this and remain calm. But the longer it continues, the more difficult it becomes to control myself. It’s unfair for me to have to go through this. I didn’t even know the woman before Will and I have never done anything to her, not even in retaliation. It’s not my fault that she cannot accept the fact that their relationship is over and she shot any chance of them being just friends. We are getting married very soon and I am beginning to wonder if this childish behavior will ever cease. What do I do? Why is she like this? What will make her stop, if anything (we’ve tried rationally talking to her, but it only provokes her more). How do I deal? I believe personally that her reasons are for revenge against him. I also think she is trying to split us up to get him back. But don’t you think she would have realized by this point (we’ve been together 5 years) that we are not going to split and all these things she ‘s done to him only make him hate her more?! She denies everything she’s done to us but we KNOW it’s her. We are not the type of people to readily make enemies of people. We just try to peacefully live our lives and let others do the same. All that said, I just cannot figure this woman out and I am now at the point where it’s no longer fun and games. She has had ample time to movve on in her life and get over this situation. I understand that sometimes love makes you crazy and when you lose someone you love, you may do a few crazy things. Good and fine but this is out of control. I have analyzed and analyzed the situation and I am just stumped. My last husband was really a jerk to me, and I loved him of course. When we split, though, moving on was my concern. Which only makes me wonder even more what makes her like this and they weren’t even married. They dated for about one year, give or take a few months. A few days ago I went to see an attorney and really there’s nothing I can do because we have no “concrete” evidence. Believe me BG, when I say we have done everything humanly possible within the guidelines of rational adult behavior to stop this, it’s true. I would also just like to say that when people act this way to others, it only makes them look like the ass. And probably the saddest point: I actually feel sorry for her. My reasoning is that there really has to be something wrong with her to cause a grown woman to act this way. Plus, I work in an extremely fastpaced, time consuming occupation and this situation has skyrocketed my stress level. I am truly stumped.
— Stumped in Boston
Actually, I think you guys need to move on. From that attorney. Now, I don’t know exactly what you all talked about, and I’m not saying you met with some quack, but it’s my understanding that the Massachusetts stalking law is anything but vague. (As far as I can tell, the “problem” you’ll have making a case is that she apparently hasn’t threatened you with bodily harm.) Point is, get a second opinion: what laws do cover Betty’s bad deeds? What kind of evidence do you need to get — and how could you get it? What’s the possibility of a restraining order? Other alternatives or legal recourses? Breakup Girl (1) knows you’ve already spent way too much time dealing with this madness already, (2) can imagine few things more crazy-making, and (3) realizes that it’s not “fair” that you two should spend so much time handling her mishigas, but let’s put that aside: if this really must stop — which it must — it’s time to focus on the nuts and bolts and laws of the land. The behavior you describe is plenty convincing as bad — if not illegal — on its own. Don’t waste your time looking for rational reasons for irrational acts. And don’t waste your time trying to prove to Breakup Girl or anyone else that you two are the stalked, wronged party, that you are Better People who actually pity this poor soul. What-EVER. Align yourselves with the force of law, plain and simple — not the forces of righteousness. Good luck.