I apologize to all the women I have ever judged for not getting restraining orders on crazy people who have threatened them. It is hard. And scary. And confusing. I am college-educated, with many resources of family and friends willing to watch my kids, and I have the benefit of not having to work. How would a less wealthy, single mom who has to work and doesn’t have friends or families or resources even do this? The window to file a restraining order is from 1:30-3pm. Are you kidding me? Who can do that unless they take off work?

Even navigating the court website was confusing and I was terribly unsure of whether or not I had the right forms, etc. I think I was also a little too overwhelmed and frazzled because now that I’ve actually gone to court and spoken with a real person (I tried to call but was stuck in automated hell), it doesn’t seem as horrible.

However, as I am filling out the forms, it seems very stupid. I think the Temporary Restraining Order form that I’m filling out actually GIVES this guy my kids’ names and my address!! I mean, if he didn’t know where I lived (I put down my work address) or who my family members were before, HE DOES NOW. Even their full names and ages!! On the one hand, I suppose if he’s going to be restrained from approaching people, he has to know who they are. HOWEVER, that doesn’t make ME feel any better! And if I don’t put them on the order, and he eventually DOES approach them, I can’t do anything about it!!

This is such a fucking Catch-22.

I’m going to a lawyer tomorrow and hopefully, they can figure this shit out. This is much scarier than I thought.

On the bright side, I finally listened to this crazy guy’s voice mails he left for me at work. If I just play these in court, I’m pretty sure he’ll be restrained. Dear Lord, at least he’s polite and not violent – but definitely NOT normal sounding. Plus, he thinks that I want something more than a platonic relationship with him – which is IMPOSSIBLE SINCE I HAVEN’T TALKED TO HIM (IF THAT) SINCE HIGH SCHOOL.

*sigh* Sorry for the capslock frenzy again. This does bother me more than I thought. Did I mention that the guy SHOWED UP AT MY OFFICE on Friday?

*sigh* Again. Sorry. 😦

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So, on Saturday morning, I emailed my father and told him that I loved him, and that unless he does certain things, his mother and he were dead to me. He emailed back that he was sorry he wasn’t a better model but I shouldn’t do this to Grandma since it was not logical.

Since he’s dead to me, I can’t really go back and say what I want, which is, “Oh, you’re sorry now? Well, that changes everything. All is forgiven then. Glad that’s cleared up!”

I especially enjoyed how he apologized without saying he was wrong or that he intended to make any changes to his life. Ah, half-assed apologies! They’re the best! And, if he can’t figure out why his mother is also impugned, well then, that’s too bad. She’s another of his victims, but she also made her own choices.

I knew my dad would forward my email to my mother, and he did. According to my brother, she was flabbergasted. I think she somehow thought that we wouldn’t lie anymore to him, but neither would we go on the offensive. I don’t know how he could know we know if we didn’t say anything. Telepathy? *eyerolls*

She says she is glad now and only worries that my dad may retaliate against her and that he may show up at my front door. Well, this is America and I have a fucking alarm system and I have no problem calling the police on him if he should choose to waste his money in such a fashion. I’ve called the police on him before. I have no problem doing it again (especially while eight months pregnant with a twenty-one month old toddler).

Of course, I have wasted too many tears on this man and what he has done to my family. Fuck him. He is no longer welcome.

I’m on the Executive Board of a local community organization and lately, it seems I’ve finally found my voice, so to speak. Oh, not that I wasn’t vocal before, but my first year as a general Board member, I was just focused on learning the ropes and Yes-Manned most items. Last year, my second year as  general Board member and my first year on the Executive Board, I was a little more proactive and gave more dissenting or new opinions. This year, I am finally taking charge and ownership of my role.

If you’ve ever been in a meeting of any kind, I’m sure you’d agree that people either take too long to talk about something that should really take three sentences, or they go completely off topic. (And most times, it’s a rambling combination of both.) In the past, if I wasn’t the leader of the meeting, I’d sometimes contribute my own funny comment or whatever and just let the meeting meander. But I started to get really annoyed because every time I’m at a meeting, it takes time away from DS and my business.

Well, these past few weeks, I’ve taken charge. Even when I’m clearly not the leader of the meeting, I still try and force people back on track. I try to do it politely and graciously (and thus far, it seems to be the case), but I really barrel through. As a result, we actually get a few things done in the meeting and people get to the point so then I know what next steps we have to take. Plus, I think people really appreciate the meeting going shorter. After all, who likes to waste time?

The point of this post wasn’t to laud my awesome meeting leading skills (albeit, incognito). Or my growing ability to ask more pointed questions and not really just Yes-Man everything. (But while we’re at it, Yay me!) I’m just pleased as punch to see that I am actually embracing the power that I have whether it’s in the roles I inhabit every now and then such as the Board position, or in my everyday role as a mommy or spouse.

Even as late as last week, this new found ability seems refreshing and even incredulous. Who in their right mind put me in charge? But now that they have, too bad! I’m gonna do what I want or think is best. It’s hard not to slip back into a previous mental mode and think I’ve somehow gotten away with something. Like I’m a little kid that just fooled the teacher into giving me what I wanted. When really, all I’ve actually done (and seriously, not even actively – it just happened) is let my self-perception catch up with reality.

I wonder how much power and agency I give up on a regular basis because of misconstrued self-perception? How sad. I am glad it’s starting to change.