Ladies...I need everyone's honest input...BM contacted me

lovehadleyJuly 27, 2009

BM picked SS up today and DH walked SS out onto the porch, as usual. SS went out to BM's car, and came back a minute later with a gift bag w/card inside. He came inside and gave it to me and said "this is from Grandma."


I said thank you and he went running back to BM's car and they left. DH came back inside and was, like me, flabbergasted and asked what it was.

We opened it---I recognized the handwriting on the card as BM's immediately and thought WHAT the heck???

It was a VERY NICE apology and a coffee mug with the serenity prayer on it. I am going to type the note out on here for you all to read.

Dear Love,

I know I am not supposed to contact you. However, I owe you an apology. My purpse in life has always been to love, protect and keep my children safe. Until I finally hit rock bottom, it was then when I realized how screwed up my life was and how I was doing the exact opposite for myself and my children. I'm quite ashamed of my actions that dreaded day in April. I feel lucky to have second lease on life. I cannot keep going forward until I say sorry to you. I am very sorry.

____ (she signed her name)

I am shocked, touched, angry and just a whole range of emotions.

I don't know how or what to think. I am touched by an apology from a woman who has spent the last 6 years of my life with my DH trying to make things terrible and causing lots of pain. I am angry that she has just clearly violated the order of protection I have that means a lot to me. I am happy to hear she is trying to get her life back together...but at the same time, this is the woman who only a couple weeks ago was flipping out about SS doesn't like me, etc.

I don't know. I do not want to become an angry, bitter, resentful person.

What should I do? What would you do?

I am NOT going to contact her in any way shape, or form. I have given her chance after chance after chance and I am to the point where I can no longer be *friendly* with her. I do not trust her.

Part of me is ANGRY that she would so brazenly contact me and disregard a protective order. I feel insulted by that. Is that wrong?

My DH says to appreciate the sentiment behind what she wrote and to let it go.

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I would appreciate the letter and would not consider it as violation under normal cicumstances, she could be sincerelly guilty and wanted your forgiveness. But i would not reply to her due to protection order, maybe she has some agenda. Save the letter by the way.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:54PM
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If she is in a 12 step program, one of her steps is to make amends to those she has hurt. While it is a later step, maybe she felt she had to ask for forgiveness earlier. We'll pray that is what is happening.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:58PM
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"If she is in a 12 step program, one of her steps is to make amends to those she has hurt"

I know. My mom has been working the program for almost 7 years. I called her to get her input.

she was a little surprised. She is a sponsor to someone in AA now, and she said as a sponsor, she would not advocate that a sponsee violate a protective order. It says to make ammends to those one has hurt, unless to do so would cause that person further hurt or upset. (or something along those lines) My mom said since I am the one who requested the order of protection, it would make sense for BM to not violate it because in a sense that is "hurting me.'

BUT on the other hand, she said what BM did took guts and she said that her sponsor (if she has one) very well could have told her "this is a risk you need to take b/c you have to face the consequences of what you have done.'

I am inclined to ignore it---the way I look at it my options are ignore it or go to the police. I really do not want to do the latter---BUT I just hope not reporting this doesn't bite me in the @$$ later on.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:05PM
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My first thought was that she's working the steps and trying to make amends. The second thought is that she used her child as a messenger to deliver this message, which IS a clear violation of the protective order, not to mention most custody orders say that children are NOT to be used as messengers. (If she really felt a need to apologize, she could have mailed it or given it to your DH herself, not use a kid to give it to you) That makes me uneasy because it's now on you... She has demonstrated to SS that SHE is being nice and if you don't reciprocate, she can say YOU'RE the one not playing nice back to her... classic manipulation!

In light of recent events, I have to rule out that she's working the program. My reasoning... she still drinks wine but doesn't get crazy. She has not demonstrated anything yet to show she is in recovery or truly wanting to make amends. It would take a lot more than a coffee cup and nice note to gain my trust. As to forgiveness, you don't need to be friendly with her, trust her or even talk to her to forgive her. Forgiveness lives in your heart and letting go of the anger by allowing yourself to forgive, will set you free.

What would I do? I would probably seek legal advice, but I would not want to pay $300 an hour to discuss it. But, the only person that might be able to answer what you should do, is an attorney... that is, unless you plan to do nothing. If you ignore it, that could affect the validity of your protective order if she continues to contact you. But, if you make an issue of it, you may come across as petty or making a mountain out of a molehill. It can really be a double edged sword.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Could you report it to the GAL or your lawyer, but not the police?
What about taking photos of it and registered mailing it to yourself (so the date will show)? You don't open it, you just put it in your filing cabinet in case you ever need it.

If she's genuinely trying to make amends, then it would be TERRIBLE for her progress to have the cops at her door for it.
But I understand why you're upset that she violated the order - especially through SS! - and feel like she trespassed in your life.

I think you should document it somehow, and then ignore it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Ceph, that is a good idea.

I just really don't want to ignore this, and then bring it up in a month if BM does something bad and have the police say "well, why didn't you report it then?"

I am inclined to think the police would act if I went to them. She violated the order, 100%, no doubt. It makes me angry in that respect becuase to me no contact means no contact. Maybe it makes BM feel better to say those things but I asked for no contact for a reason. I also do not like how she was dishonest about getting it to me in telling SS it was from grandma. I would have sent it right back out the door if SS had said this is from my mom.

I don't know. I am inclined to agree with Ima in that, up until today, I have not seen much change in BM's behavior. She still flips out on DH every other week, she calls us nasty names, sends him nasty text messages on the 4th of Juluy about how she is going to make sure SS has a horrible relationship with his dad, etc. But now 3 weeks later she is "fine" and ready to make amends. I personally do not want her amends.

I have forgiven her---I think--maybe not because I still get upset if I think about what my child has been exposed to directly because of BM--BUT I am not ANGRY persay. I do not wish BM ill will or harm. I just want to pretend as much as possible that she does not exist. I want my DH to deal with her, I want to live my life and raise my DD, and help my DH raise SS, and that's that.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:25PM
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What bothers me is how she didn't say that she was wrong for what she did in her note. She also never infers that you didn't deserve what she did to you. In fact, but putting the line "My purpse in life has always been to love, protect and keep my children safe." insinuates that she was justified in what she was doing up until that point because she needed to keep her children safe from you.

I don't buy it. My gut reaction was that it's not a sincere apology. I like Ceph's idea of reporting it to GAL, but not going to the police. You don't want to look like you're holding a grudge, but it looks like textbook manipulation.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:33PM
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The problem with reporting it to the GAL is that the custody case is finished. So I am not sure if he would even be our GAL in the future?

I guess it would not hurt to shoot him an email.

What irritates me the most---is that the no contact order is not there for her to "interpret" and for her to contact me when she feels it's appropriate. She might think apologizing is good, and maybe it IS sincere, it very well could be....but it bothers me that she thinks it is acceptable for her to bend the rules. Not that this is the same situation...but it kind of reminds me how an abuser will send flowers to his wife, even in violation of an order, because it's "nice" so how could she possibly be threatened by that?

No contact means no contact, there is no gray area.


My mom told me that as an AA sponsor, she would have advised her sponsee to wait until the year-long order was up before initiating an apology.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:44PM
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If it were me I would take this as BM does feel really stupid about what she has done. I would save it in case it comes in handy as some evidence in the future, but not report her to the police.

I would definately not respond to it because then she could say your initiating contact with her. If she calls DH and asks him about it he should just tell her you received it and that really she should not be contacting you because of the protective order. And leave it at that. If she asks about forgiveness, etc he should tell her that what she did is unacceptable and is not easily forgiven, and especially not forgotton. Then change the subject onto something dealing with ss.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:52PM
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My guess would be she is sincere, or at least was sincere at the time she wrote it, and really is sorry. But the fact that she contacted you knowing it was not allowed says that she is still not making good decisions and/or is not in control of her impulses. She wants/needs to apologize so she does so even knowing she should not. She wants/needs to drink so she does so even knowing she should not. No big dif.

I wonder if you could contact the police, perhaps seek out one of the officers who responded that night, show them the card and ASK for advice on what to do. Tell them you don't necessarily want her to get in trouble since she may mean well by trying to apologize (if in fact you don't want that), but you are also uncomfortable with the fact that she's violating the order and you just don't know what to do. They may or may not be willing to offer advice, but that way even if you decide not to "officially" report it, you would have confirmation later from an official, impartial witness that she did initiate contact with you against the order if you would need that later.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 3:31PM
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I actually doubt it now that she is sincere. I agree with ashley her letter says that her purpose is to love and protect her children. how does it fit into the sequence of events unless she is hinting that she was acting out of love for her children as to keep them safe, safe from who? you? I wonder if she has some agenda. I changed my mind, I think I would contact either lawyer or police and ask what to do. see what they say.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:42AM
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Quirk gave me a thought... I know that, at least where I live, the police have been cooperative in helping me out without making an official report. I had a guy that decided to start calling me incessantly because I had served him, so I contacted the sheriff's dept and explained I thought the best/fastest recourse might to hear from them that he needs to stop... then if he doesn't, I could make an official report or file a restraining order with the court. The officer was happy to give him a call, let him know that he is violating the law and gave him a 'warning'. Perhaps you could call the officer that took your report and basically ask that he call BM and warn her against possible violations... he could say that if she is sincere, she'll understand your need to follow the order to the letter. Hearing it from an officer may have more impact. I know when I make a report, I'm given a card with the case number & officer's name. I'd just tell them she's your SS's mom and you don't want to get her tossed in jail, but you'd appreciate her respecting the order and when it expires, she can try to make amends if she still feels that way.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:56AM
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I recently had a protective order against a crazy exBF. I also did not report everything that happened. With the ex, it turned out to be the wrong decision but they also advised me to just keep notes of everything. I would say to let this pass quietly and just write all the dates and times and what exactly happened. But if she decides to contact you again then you will need to probably begin filing a report to let her know that you are serious. I wish now that I had filed every attempt to let him know how serious I was instead of just hoping he would get the message and leave me alone on his own. But your situation having the SS in the middle is a little different and I think as long as you keep documentation should anything else happen to report it then you will be fine should she do it again. Hopefully she is genuinely sorry and this will be a turnaround for her as she has told you.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Unless you discover a legal reason not to, I'd let her have this as a 'gimmie' since reporting it now might make things worse again if it was sincere.

She may well be trying to manipulate you, since you have her over a barrel legally, so I'd let this one go, but any subsequent contact, and I'd keep it for future reference. Like someone suggested, I'd photocopy it then mail the original to myself, registered, and keep it unopened. I believe that has some legal standing.

If you are criticised for not reporting it, you can say that you, at the time, believed it to be sincere and didn't want to risk things heating up again.

Quite possibly it's a cynical attempt to manipulate you, but didn't you say she has some sort of mood disorder she takes hormones for? It might have been a 'moment of clarity'

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 3:39AM
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