The restraining order was approved (it’s automatic when the guy doesn’t show up) and all we have to do is serve the order and it becomes in full effect. Of course, there are a lot of other minor details, but that’s the gist! Turns out that other than my case and my co-worker’s case, he was on the docket under an alias with ANOTHER person. After the hearing, the clerk told us that he is well-known at the office. Apparently, my stalker is completely off his medication, smells because he is homeless, and is in the habit of constantly suing normal people (including his own mother).

It makes me sad. If ever, God forbid, something like this affected one of my children, you can be damn sure I’d somehow find a way to make them take their medication. However, I do have to acknowledge that sometimes, you just have to let go because there isn’t anything else you can do. 😦

On another note, since we were the last case to be heard, we got to witness our justice system (small claims and civil suit style) at work! Utterly fascinating. Our judge was a particularly compassionate judge. He seemed to recognize that many people just wanted to be heard and gave the folks quite a long leash to just blab. He said he had the highest settlement percentage among that particular court (~90%) and it was usually much lower (~40%?). I learned that judgments against a defendant goes on the defendant’s credit report for ten years. Plus, just because there is a judgment, the plaintiff still has to collect. So, it is better for all parties if they can settle on an agreeable amount vs. having a judge mandate something.

He reminded me of Solomon. Wise and funny and casual. The judge seemed to care about the people themselves and tried valiantly (and patiently) to get folks to settle and resolve problems vs. just passing out judgments (and not caring whether or not the situation gets solved on a personal matter). The judge made me very happy. 🙂

Also, I think it would be really weird to constantly have to do your job in front of an audience. The judge and the other court members filled out paperwork, answered phones, looked up things, etc. all in front of us while court was in session. Weird. All in all, this experience gave me faith in our judicial system (even though it is a bit convoluted).

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My court date for the restraining order is tomorrow, Friday at 8:30am. Wish me luck. I’m not too keen on potentially seeing this crazy guy, but I hope it will be clear that he is schizophrenic, harassing me, and needs to stop. I feel bad for the guy because he is sick, but seriously, someone make him take his medication!!

Sorry!! Ok, I have to make this quick (but my brother has been complaining so I want to placate him).

1) Monday: No post because a virus wiped out my laptop. Everything is restored. Wept because I thought all my photos of the kids were gone. How can people be so mean?

2) Wednesday: No post because DH was out of town and I was exhausted.

3) Friday: No post because I forgot and was lazy and wanted to watch TV.

4) Today: Quick post only because we’re having a party in a few hours and I need to buy food. Last minute party planning FTW!

5) The court date was postponed from Thursday because the sheriffs were unable to serve the temporary restraining order. We hired a process server to try again.

Ok, that’s it!

Sorry folks. I am exhausted, still. But, quick update: Temporary restraining order has been granted. Finally made it to the sheriff’s office for them to serve the order. Court date is for next Thursday.

I’ve had a helluva day, culminating in yelling at DS and making him cry more. (Why can’t I remember that yelling at him doesn’t help?) Plus, I finally watched the Season 3 finale of White Collar and I’m all sad now.

That is all.

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. 😦

I was going to post more in detail about today, but I’m too emotionally exhausted. The crazy guy (CG) came to my office this morning and my coworker, in an attempt to reason with CG, revealed that I have children. Thankfully, my friends and family have rallied and offered support and company and babysitting as I am figuring out how to file a restraining order. (Incidentally, much harder and more overwhelming than I ever thought.)

We are safe and DH is coming home after midnight from a business trip. I’ll keep you all posted.

At least, for the next few days (until Friday). DH will be in NC on business and I’m at home with the kiddos. I don’t know how my friends who live far from their families do it. Thank goodness for my mother who lives 6.7 miles away and comes after work/exercise to help me during the bath and bedtime routines. Obviously, it is doable without her, but it’s much better WITH HER!

I am so grateful for her.

The other reason why it’s a bit inconvenient that DH is gone is a little more worrisome. Yesterday, a man called the local Chamber of Commerce (of which I used to serve as a board member) and he told them that I went to high school with him and had witnessed a crime committed against him. He wanted my contact information and the Chamber said they would take a message and his contact information, but would not give him mine. However, just a cursory Google of my name would give my work info, so that clearly only would stop the stupid. The ladies at the Chamber said he sounded strange and called me to warn me. The name they gave me did not click with me at all – and I just thought it was odd.

He then called my work number and my mom answered the phone. She said he raved on and on. He said that I was part of a group of people that attacked him when we followed him to a library and that he had gathered evidence against me and wanted me to call him. He said he was going to pursue legal action or something. My mom said he was yelling and angry and didn’t make sense and that he sounded crazy. She was very worried about my home information being available (it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it also isn’t easy enough to find if someone is determined). She then lectured me in email about making sure I didn’t have my home information in a directory (which I don’t) and some other obvious stuff. At least the guy gave my mom his real name (which I did recognize and vaguely recalled someone saying he was crazy).

So, of course, I called the police. After all, even though the police can’t really do anything until something happens, at least there should be  record and pattern of history established should this situation escalate. The police officer opened an incident file and called the guy up with the number he provided. The officer told the man to stop calling me. This is when the guy said that I had been “peeping on” him at the library and that many people “peep on” him. The officer told him that if he had a crime to report, to call the local police department and file a report, but otherwise, to stop calling me. The guy responded by saying he legally could call me as often as he wanted until I filed a restraining order. The officer told me to file a restraining order if the guy ever called again.

Creepy.

I have no idea how I was singled out for this dubious honor.

I seriously think this guy may be schizophrenic. Definitely mentally unstable – which, of course, is worrisome in itself if I were just a grown up, but even more so now that I have two beautiful babies. It’s difficult to say what to do. I mean, how paranoid and life-altering should this get? I don’t think he will seriously try to locate me, but you never know. So, I’ve taken to having my alarm on at all times and making sure my craigslist habit is transacted in more public arenas (but really, what are the odds that he’s the crazy person behind an ad?). Plus, I suppose I should always give DH or my mom a head’s up about my daily activities and check in with them.

But other than that, (and I suppose, generally being more aware of my surroundings), what can I do? (Oooh, come to think of it, I should probably start closing the garage when I’m unloading the kiddos since I do leave them in their seats to take them out one at a time.)

I’ll likely pray for safety or whatnot, but it is somewhat troubling, no? Thus far, no creepy phone calls today. Let’s hope that holds!