This weekend I received a text message from a stranger. And it wasn’t a nice one.

Over the course of the next half hour, these messages poured in, each with a new reason about why I’m an evil person. I was shopping with my mother at the time, so obviously I was just teeming with delight.

I realize that perhaps not everyone in the world likes me. But it’s rare that a stranger sends me hateful messages via text.

A few minutes after the text messages ceased, a guy I’d dated years ago called me up. He told me that he’d had a misunderstanding with his current girlfriend and apologized for any messages she may have sent me.

Putting it plainly, a man I haven’t seen in over a year, hadn’t dated in at least two, had a “misunderstanding” with his girlfriend that’s so severe that it caused her to go into his phone, find my number, enter it into her own phone and send me messages that are straight out of an after-school special about cyber bullying.

I didn’t press the ex on the cause of the messages or what was going on in his relationship. Yes, part of me wanted to know what I’d done to gain such a horrible reputation, but the other part was just grateful to get off the phone with him and firmly keep him in the past.

It’s not as if he and I had a tumultuous relationship. We dated for a few months and realized that we just weren’t right for each other. Mainly because I like being sober at least one day a week. Whereas he is not so interested in that. We didn’t end poorly, nothing dramatic, nothing hurtful. We just stopped hanging out.

It’s been days since those messages came through and I can’t shake them. I can’t shake the realization that there is a girl sitting thousands of miles away from me who hates me for some unknown reason. That perhaps something I did two years ago is ruining my current dating karma or ruining this girl’s relationship.

So I put the question on you: Have you ever been so mad at your significant other’s ex that you took matters into your own hands? What would you do if you received these messages?

Joy Engel lives and works in Portland, Maine where she tweets far too much and solves the occasional murder-mystery while riding around on a bicycle. Everything she writes is her personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of her employer or its clients.