It’s Okay to Feel that Something Isn’t Right
It is 2009. I am newly separated, and still reeling from my husband’s betrayal. I am feeling the relief of being alone, but also the vulnerability of being alone. I am doing my best to cope, with the help of a great psychiatrist and the love of a new puppy.
My puppy and I become regulars at the dog park, where I feel safe and anonymous. The dogs are stealing the show, and that is where I want to be right now — among others, but with a focus on my dog, not me. The dog park people introduce themselves and their dogs with first names only.
Back at home, my doorbell rings. I open the door to a florist delivering 2 dozen long-stem roses. A card is included, minus the name of the giver. The card indicates that the giver “wants to know me better.”
I feel sick inside. I feel that my safe place, my home, has been invaded. So, I call some friends, and their reactions are unexpected: “You must have made quite an impression on someone!” “You are so lucky!” “Two dozen roses — he must have money!” Not one of my female friends shares my concern about this excessive, anonymous “gift”.
I had been married for nearly 20 years, and had no idea what the current dating world looked like, and I could not understand this reaction; that they thought this was somehow an acceptable way to get to know someone.
That was just the beginning. Next, it’s packages left on my front porch. High-end workout clothes — leggings, matching tops and sweatshirts, plus hats. Sets is 3 different colors. Again, anonymous giver, but a written card, “These are to protect you while you are outside teaching.”
Now I am terrified. This person knows where I live and work! This person must be following me. Again, I am astonished by the reactions of my friends. They seem to think that I have struck the jackpot.
Why don’t these friends understand my discomfort? Am I just imagining that there is ill intent behind these anonymous gifts?
I have a scheduled appointment with my psychiatrist. When I tell her what has been happening, she tells me that I am being stalked. She reaches for a book on her shelf and, from this book on state law, she reads: leaving anonymous gifts on a…