Some women are predators. I’m not blaming her. Ok, I am blaming her entirely. I blame him entirely too. My husband was, technically, an adult when they met, even though he quickly regressed into a man with the emotional maturity of a teen in love.
He was gaga.
She can keep my husband.
But the dress she stole from my closet, I want that back.
While away for Thanksgiving, she went into my home and stole my favorite dress from my closet, only a few months after they started sleeping together.
It was bad enough that she came into my house where our child learned to walk, but my closet (!) while I was away with my five-year-old nursing my wounds with family and attempting to figure out why my life was falling apart.
And I want it back. Not him. Not my previous life. The dress.
It was a summer dress from Anthropologie. It was unique. It had thick straps. The straps and the whole top part was navy blue to the waist, the bottom half white with navy blue stitched outlines of flowers. Big, beautiful flowers. A zipper up the back. It was sexy as hell. I can still see it perfectly. I had only worn the dress once.
Of all the terrible things she did, this is the one that still stings.
It is the one insult I still think about occasionally. I don’t think about all the other things she did, just this one.
A closet is intimate (it’s where I keep my intimates also, there’s no other word for it). It houses my underwear, bras, nighties, favorite tees, sweatshirts from college, comfy sweatpants with worn-out patches in the bum. I grab something from my closet to clothe my body every day. To cover me. It is my sanctuary I built alone, and I am the only one who should have access to it.
She went in there, and not only violated that space, but she also took something from it.
It stings because when it happened, I was so bothered she was a person who would do that to somebody. Not only was she the kind of person that would prey on my husband at my daughter’s school, but she was the kind of person that would prey on my husband at my daughter’s school and go into my closet and take my favorite dress.
And I knew that wasn’t going to be the end of it. That it was just the beginning.
It was a foreshadowing of things to come.
An indication of future events and how emotionally unstable this woman was/is and would be, and how emotionally unstable my husband would become.
It was a demarcation line, and I didn’t want to see what was on the other side of that line.
After the dress, things did only get worse.
Here are just a few:
She became my husband’s divorce guru (his words) because, at 30, she had lots of experience with divorce — two divorces on her resume.
She wrote a comment on FB — on a post of my then husband’s. The comment read, I “should be hung up by a rope by their neck.” Again, only two months after “knowing” each other. My husband made her delete it.
When my five-year-old was not transitioning well from my husband to me (he was now living with this woman), my daughter essentially had a temper tantrum — and who wouldn’t. Suddenly, just like that, my daughter was now leaving her father at a different house where he was now living with three other children, two of whom attended my daughter’s school. This woman looked on and laughed at my child while she was screaming.
She started contacting my friends and family.
She texted me constantly. Here is one lovely text verbatim, “get off your ass and get a job,” I responded as my lawyer directed me to, “please stop texting me.” The other 1000 or so texts she sent all had the same theme or some version: “you are a terrible mother, get a job.” I may have eventually added an expletive to the sentence, “Please stop contacting me.”
When my daughter was in a play and thoughtfully wrote out what she wanted to say about herself for the playbill, she went to the director and changed it completely. Her words got printed, not my child’s words.
She called the catering company the day before my daughter’s sixth birthday, said she was my assistant, and canceled all the food for the party.
After three years of litigation (that would have taken six months had she not been my husband’s divorce, and now life guru), I moved out of state with my child to get away from the constant harassment. When I bought a home, she sent me a glitter bomb in the mail. A brown package with nothing on it. I knew it was from her. (By now, I had a ton of experience being harassed by a person who was harassing me unprovoked. I was her full-time job. Just my breathing and living bothered her. I still have no idea why). My partner opened the unmarked package. I wouldn’t. It exploded all over him and our driveway. He had glitter in his hair for a week.
After years of living in another state, she got my partner fired from his job by posting defamatory claims about him on Yelp, Google and contacting his employer directly, not using her name. This is the only time I went on the offensive. Within hours, I hired an attorney. Said lawyer was so offended by this woman’s actions, he wrote the scariest cease and desist letter he ever penned. He said his goal was to make her shit herself. I think it worked because this is the last time she’s harassed me.
It was all very Single White Female and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Like a bad dream. During this time, I thought about those two movies a lot. I’m not suggesting she was obsessed with me — she didn’t know me. We had never had a conversation or been in the same room together that I know of. But whatever I represented in her mind, she was obsessed with.
I have blocked out the rest. There were many more low-brow tactics she used to manipulate the situation.
At the time, my friends and family were worried for my physical safety.
She is the reason — and my husband idiotically taking her advice — why I won the legal right to move out of California with my young child without a custody evaluation, which is almost unheard of.
I want to thank her, she kind of saved my life. I didn’t realize how unhappy I was married to him.
But I still want my dress back.
How My Lawyer and My Husband Taught Me The Gift of Non-reaction
A lesson I definitely needed to learn.
Walking to Trader Joe’s Filled with Rage During the Holidays
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Los Angeles.
Jessica is a writer, an online entrepreneur, and a recovering Type A personality. She lives in Los Angeles with her extrovert daughter, two dogs, and two cats.