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Need help navigating events with BM

Posted by lovehadley (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 12, 09 at 10:54

I haven't been at an event w/BM since the whole restraining order.

I really don't want to.

But we are having issues w/events that SS has going on and whether I should be present.

There are a number of issues going on here.

1.) DH thinks I should go, but he respects the fact that I don't want to.

2.) He thinks that DD should still go with him, regardless of whether I am there.

3.) DD wants to go to things.

4.) I know there are things SS would appreciate seeing me attend.

THIS is where my frustration lies and maybe I am overreacting? Quite frankly--I don't want my child anywhere near BM. This is partly because DD knows everything that went on. She knows BM is not allowed to come to our home or to contact me. She was very frightened that night and I promised her I would ALWAYS keep her safe.

But the thing is now---DD is past everything. She wanted to go to SS's soccer game last weekend and I wouldn't let her and she was really upset! :( It made me sad. She told me "but mommy, I won't talk to her, I will stay with Daddy, I will be safe!" :(

The problem is that BM does not stay away from DH. And DH does NOT put his foot down with her. Sure as anything, at the soccer game last weekend, DH said BM, her mom, and her dad all stood around and talked to him at the game.

I personally think DH is WAY TOO NICE to BM after all that's gone on---BUT I have washed my hands of that. It is a never-ending argument with him---he thinks he's not "friendly" with her, I think he is, and there is just no point in arguing with him. I cannot change how HE relates to her, all I can do is set my OWN boundaries.

So--now SS has about 5 more soccer games and I know they are going to be issues.

And last night at dinner, he said he wants us all to come to his Holiday program at school. I *might* suck it up for that, provided we (DH, me, DD) sit by ourselves, and I think I will take my own car and leave after the show, so I don't get trapped talking to these people.

I am NOT angry or holding a grudge. That isn't the issue. I just do NOT want anything to do with this woman. I forgive her in the sense that I'm not harboring anger, but that doesn't mean I will be around her. Why would I want to put myself or my child in that position?

And really, it's not just the punching thing--when she made those false child abuse allegations against me, and MY child had to speak with a social services worker, and I (once again) had to have a talk with my child about things I wish she didn't have to know about....THAT is unacceptable to me. In many ways, having the police show up that day and scare DD and upset me was WORSE than the drunk night.

So--I just don't know what to do?

Am I over-reacting in keeping my DD away from BM?

How do I let SS know I wish I could be at more things without bashing his mom?

I am just so frustrated w/the whole thing.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I would go to the school event and pick a crowded spot to sit with dh and dd....that way there is no room for bm and her family to cozy up next to all of you.

As for the soccer games I understand how you feel. I would tell dh that the only way you and dd will attend is if he promises to keep bm and her family away from you. If bm comes nearby he is to tell her that she may not be near you all because of her previous actions. If she does not listen then he needs to agree to walk away with you and dd to drive home the point that he will not tolerate her crap anymore.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Frustrating is right.

Since there is still the order against BM, is it possible to have DH email BM to let her know that you will be attending the sport event along with him and DD and he just is reminding her that the event is for SS and that as all will be present and especially because of the order he expects BM to respect the order and sit away from you/DD/DH and not try to do the usual socializing? The heads-up would be for the woman's own best interest and just a courtesy so no problems or uncomfort is experienced by anyone.

Same with the holiday program. If SS wants DD and you to attend, a courtesy email from DH to BM that the three of you will be attending. I don't know where the event is held but here the school does it in the gym and it's plenty large enough with side entrances that unless one went out of their way, there would be no reason to even come across each other and easy enough to keep plenty of distance.

Neither the sport or the holiday program is about BM, it's for SS. No need for BM to be anywhere near you or to expect socialization between the two different families attending.

I'd stay home if DH thinks you should all be in close contact, he should have your back, you'd only be attending for SS, no need to play 'family' with SS's other side. DH needs to respect your feelings.

No standing around together for photos blah blah.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I guess I'm confused, LH. With the restraining order would that mean BM would have to leave if you showed up to events? Also, if you guys came to an informal truce where she didn't leave I would think that would hurt your credibility should something else happen. I don't think its a good idea in anyway, shape or form regardless. In fact, its almost shocking to me any time you post about your husbands opinions to all this and what he does in regards to BM (still talking to her etc) and what he feels you should do. This woman assaulted you! I cannot honestly imagine my SO (or anyones SO/husband) being ok with ANYONE who assaulted me, ever. I'm sorry, but his behavior is much worse to me than BM's assault in some ways.

I think most of your daughters reaction to wanting to go is because of your husbands reaction, he is ok with it so she thinks she it is ok. This is not something I would want my daughter accepting as normal, imo.

I do get that you would like to be there for SS, my thinking is that maybe Dad could tape some events and you and Daughter can have a viewing at home with SS. You can make it special with treats and stuff. It'll serve the same purpose, supporting and being interested in him....but without crossing your boundaries with BM (something else both SS and your daughter need to be taught, people with nasty/abusive behavior are not tolerated by others)


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

"I guess I'm confused, LH. With the restraining order would that mean BM would have to leave if you showed up to events? "

It is written into the order that she is allowed to attend all school/extracurricular events, even if I am there.

Regarding my DH's behavior...I know...I know. I don't like it either. It upsets me and I've tried discussing it with him and all it does every single time is result in an argument.:( I just try not to bring it up or think about it. Like I said, I cannot change him or how he is with BM, and trying to just drives me crazy.

But trust me---I don't like it.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Attending is one thing ... I agree hubby should email her and tell her directly and honestly that you are going and that if there is any contact you will enforce the RO... give her the heads up ... but do not back down if she comes next to you move and take your DD with you and if anyone at the school asks tell them directly that she violated a RO

Does your RO say anything about your DD? no contact with your DD?

Once the email is sent go and have fun she was warned too bad if she doesn't like the rules.

If he won't write it ... do you have a lawyer? write it yourself and send it certified with a copy forwarded to your lawyer. to cover your own hide.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I think DH is just plain wrong. I would be very hurt by how he is behaving if I was you. He is part of the problem.

I think you should be honest with your SS about wanting to come to his events and being afraid of or even just uncomfortable being around his mom. I assume he knows some of what happened too and I am sure he can understand you feeling that way. I also think he needs to be told how much you want to go.

I think nivea is very perceptive with

"I think most of your daughters reaction to wanting to go is because of your husbands reaction, he is ok with it so she thinks she it is ok. This is not something I would want my daughter accepting as normal, imo. "

I think you should talk to DH about this side-effect.

I feel for you. <3


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I don't think you mentioned which turn it is with SS on any of these given events. Even with prior notice, if it is DH turn to be with and to bring/take home SS from the game or program, that might mean in BM's mind (and DH's ?) it'd be maybe, kinda, worth a shot to try a contact with an 'it is my son's event afterall, I am his mother, I'm just letting him know I'm here'.

You might think about letting DH do the take/bring home bit on his own, or attend events byself in his own vehicle and you and DD take your own vehicle and arrive and sit by yourselves. You're there to support and see SS do his thing, so let the guy who can't respect your feelings and the BM do their thing...you still go, enjoy, no chance of contact and SS knows you came just for him. I doubt there is any unwritten 'rule' anywhere that states you must attend by DH's side.

If SS asks you to come, go enjoy, DD and you just go on your own, blend into the crowd and to heck with DH and BM. The video idea above might be fun, maybe DD and you could stand off to the side and do the video, something special DD can do for SS, just the two of you.

The poster above is correct, it's a rotten side effect on DD to see/know DH thinks it's okay to buddy up with someone who has abused her/her mom. Is that really a leasson he wants to send DD?


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Regarding whose night it is...DH & BM both attend "big" functions, as I think they should, regarldess of whose night it is. "Big" functions would be things like the Holiday Music Program, etc.

As far as soccer games, those are every weekend, and the weekends alternate. I *wish* BM would skip the games on weekends when SS is with us, but no...she doesn't. If anything--I think she likes getting a chance to see SS when he is having one of his 5-day stays with us. I know DH does when SS is with his mom for 5 days.

I hadn't really thought about DD's reaction but that is a really interesting point. I think DH & I probably need to have a couple counseling sessions w/our old counselor to work through this issue---mostly, I am concerned about how things will be handled in April when my order expires. I think we do need to come to some sort of understanding before then.

It does hurt that he is not "more protective" of me. :( I really don't understand it.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

LH, have you thought about going to counseling to resolve the part about DH's reaction to this as well? Just a thought, maybe start going earlier than you had anticipated.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound like a negative nancy, I just don't think BM has really healed. I keep thinking there is going to be more to happen and I think the prime time will be when the restraining order has expired. She's smart enough to know when she is on thin ice and has kept you thus far from making any really big waves about her bad behavior. I keep thinking when the ro expires the sh!t is going to hit the fan again and since you and DH have been so reasonable with her, it is going to make it that much harder in the future to prove how threatening her actions are towards SS. Basically, I wouldn't be giving this woman any rope at all in light of her past behavior. And the next time it will be worse because she has gotten away with minor stuff...


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

nivea has another good point if BM's this bad when the RO is still in effect . . you might want to be prepared for the antics to come, if a person can be . .

she's like a little kid testing the boundaries. *shudder*


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I think we need to get in soon, nivea.

For some reason--I cannot bring this issue up with DH without him getting angry at me.

I tried again tonight to discuss it and he got really mad. He kept saying "how long does it have to be like this?' I said I honestly didn't know. And then he said that I was punishing SS because I'm uncomfortable.

I do not understand. My DH is a great guy and we are soooo close in so many ways. But for some reason, this "issue" is a huge sore point and we absolutely cannot discuss it without him getting mad at me.

It is really upsetting.

So, like I said, I think we do need someone to help us navigate this. I can't even express how long b/c I just don't know? I don't know.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Yes good idea. I have to be honest here, I really think that DH is the problem. I've said it before and I feel kinda bad saying that about your DH because I also believe you guys are so close in many other ways. However this particular issue is a real dealbreaker. If DH had better boundaries for your sake (and he really should) than you would probably be attending soccer games without giving it too much thought. But because he's not you have to be extra strong, also making the point to him that this is not ok. And for that I commend you, I really do. DH might think you are overreacting, but that is only to counteract the underreaction on his part, if that makes sense.

A counselor sounds like a really good idea, good luck Love


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

It does seem like DH is misplacing 'blame' and turning LH into the aggressor, not the victim. It would seem DH finds himself in a place between two women , just wants it to end and does not know how to deal with it.

By being angry everytime LH brings the topic up and expresses her feelings, it's like he just wants to wish it all away and pretend it did not happen... as LH refuses to pretend and DH can't control BM or change what happened, he directs the anger and frustration at LH.

But it did happen and there is a lot of anger/emotion left in BM towards LH (BM displays it all the time with each temper fit and display of rage each time LH so much as drops off lunch money) and LH was a victim of a violent act towards her performed by BM. This can't be wished away.

He seems to not have an understanding or empathy for what it's like to be a violent act victim. I"m sure if BM had a husband that violently attacked him over the SS he'd be putting this all into better perspective. But it did not happen to him , he's downplaying and excusing what happened, he does not know how to deal.

DH may need to seek out some seperate sessions for himself to learn to deal with what has and is occuring in his life.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

We've been through this before;

this is just another chorus of the same old abusive & dangerous song.

You were assaulted & injured by this woman, & the guy you think is so wonderful is making nicey-nice with her & demanding that you do things that'll get you hurt, criticizing you for *not* putting yourself in harm's way, & now he's demanding that your daughter accompany him to events where this violent person will be (no doubt chatting with him).

& I just had a thought:
is it not wife-battering when you don't actually use your *own* fists?

Leave him/them.

or you're going to pay for it physically as well as mentally & emotionally.


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A thought

LH, forgive me if I don't have a thorough understanding of your situation. There is something in your description of your DH's dynamic with BM that reminds me of my DH. Although our BM is kind of the opposite of yours (TOO friendly and feeling TOO much like a member of our house), my DH has had a similar overly nice tone with her sometimes--which seems very, very artificial. Like, how he would talk to a highway patrolman if he got pulled over and knew he was speeding. It occured to me some time ago that he is afraid of her!

I mentioned that once to him and he scoffed. But later he said that he realizes he was afraid of her for a long time. Afraid of what she would do as regards turning the girls against him, afraid of her "tattling" on him to his parents, all sorts of stuff that totally pressed the buttons of his inner child.

So when I think of your DH, who really does have things to be afraid of, I wonder if his "niceness" to BM is the kind of thing my dog does when he thinks he is in trouble--lick, wag, plllllease don't chide me, ha. (I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say your DH is like my pup, but you know what I mean? Fear-motivated niceness.)

It made me sad to read that you feel like he doesn't defend you, though. Ouch. On the other hand, the more he withholds emotional engagement from her entirely, the better, maybe?


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I think if you attend events with SS on your DHs' weekends then BM cannot say anything, she should leave everyone alone. but I don't think you should attend events that fall on her weekends. why would you?


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I think I need to send you the forum lamp to smack DH upside the head with. I'm harsh today, but I could not stay with someone who wouldn't even consider my feelings. I'm not saying he has to do everything you want because you are always right, but the fact he blows you off like a silly child makes my blood boil. BM can only cause as many problems as she does because he allows it. Simple as that. Starting to think he really does like it.

I'm sorry, Love. You ARE a Love and you don't deserve to be dismissed like that.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

UGHHHH.

I don't want to leave. I know there is a ring of truth in what you're saying, and I don't know how to process it all. The end of the day is, I pray that serious counseling---and whoever said DH needed some individual is right--would help us to navigate this huge problem in our marriage.

I have spent 6 yrs of my life building a family with this man. I can't/won't walk away from that without a fight. I hope it doesn't even come to that---I hope counseling would not be a "fight" about this issue, but rather a way in which we can understand each other better and come to a resolution. I do feel I am 100% right about THIS issue. I also totally agree with whoever said that if DH would set better, stronger boundaries FOR HIMSELF and FOR ME, then I would not have to react so strongly myself.

I WOULD be attending events with him if I felt secure in the fact that he would protect me and DD from interaction with BM.

I DO think he is misplacing anger/blame/frustration onto me, and I think a good counselor should be able to help dH delve into that.

On a good/bad note, today I told DH I would go to SS's game, provided he speak to BM and make it clear to her that he was attending with his WIFE and DAUGHTER and thatBM needs to respect his space and my boundary and STAY to HER SIDE of the field.

Initially, he said fine, he would do so. And he told me he appreciated that so much. ( I had him read the responses on this thread the other night btw.)

But then---30 mins before the game, when it came down to it, he said he did not want to have a "confrontation" with BM today. He said it would be better for him to do this another time.

I called him on it and pretty much said "look, it should NOT be a problem for you to say something matter of fact to BM about this. I am your wife and if you have THIS much of a problem sticking up for me, then we have a serious problem in our marriage."

So he said ok, he would do it. And the game is starting in 15 mins and he just called me (he took SS early to warm-up) and said to meet him on the left side of the field. He said he told BM to stay to her side of the field. Apparently, she was a b*tch about it, but that's to be expected. HE needs to learn to not give a cr*p about whether she is mad or not--WHO CARES!


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

lovehadley,

In one of the posts above you asked if you should allow your DD to attend events where BM is present. I say no. Put this woman in the same category as any other adult that you don't like and that you don't want your DD to be exposed.

If it's really important to DD to attend SS's various events, then definitely sit apart from DH and BM. I'm sorry to say this but DH is making a choice for you all by not standing up for you. DD doesn't need to get that message from ANYONE.

You sound incredibly patient with some really crazy stuff. Good luck.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I think Ulrike has a lot of good points, about your DH being "afraid" of BM. I think he takes the "path of least resistance" because you are nice and BM is horrible so he just tries to do what BM wants and tries to stay on her good side so there is no fighting and no big scenes with her. It is out of fear, I have watched my own DH do it for years. Only since I have been coming on here and thanks to listening to you guys have we started to change the pattern...

I think too that it's really good that he listened to you and I hope that the game went well. Good for you that you stood up for yourself, you sound a lot like me, too patient and nice and not wanting to make "trouble". You are NOT the trouble, she is and he is your HUSBAND and he needs to start acting like one. He is your champion, your defender. You didn't attack her, she attacked you. You have done nothing but try to be nice to her and she repays you with crap after crap after crap. Great that he stood up today and I hope he continues, and good for you that you will not let your DD go without you. We had to change my DD's school, because she went to the same school as DH's daughter and BM was so unstable, we were both afraid that she might harm DD. BM went after two teachers in front of students and other teachers and parents a few years before DH and I were together, so we could only imagine what she could do to a six-year old girl!! ugh....I am thinking of you and hoping things get better!! (((hugs)))) LH!!!


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Thanks. It went really well, actually.

DH got there first w/SS and he spoke to BM in front of HER mom. He just said "look, LH & DD are coming and it would be best for everyone if you stayed to your side of the field. I'm bringing three chairs over to that side, so you need to stay on this side."

And apparently BM got all p*ssed off and told DH that it ruins it for her if I am around and that "the past is the past" and I need to get over it. Then DH actually said "you assaulted her and things will never be the way they were again, you have no one to blame for this but yourself." And the cool thing was---BM's own mother stood up for me/DH. She told BM to chill out and be quiet, that DH was right and that BM needed to respect our family.

It worked! DD & I got there about 10 mins after the game started and sat at one side of the field. BM and her DH and her mom were at the other end and they didn't come near us. At the end of the game, SS came running over to us first---DH told him to go say goodbye to mom and grandma, so he did. Then he came running back to us, and DH & I actually stayed and let the kiddos play on the playground for a bit. BM and her mom hung out by the parking lot for a minute, like they were going to come over, but then they just left.

I am soooo glad that boundaries were set and I hope this sets a precedent. SS has a holiday music program at school that he really wants us all to come to. He's starting to be bothered by the fact that I obviously go to all DD's events but not his...he has mentioned it/complained about it several times.

I alos had a talk w/DD before the game about how BM was going to be there, but we weren't going to be around her. I explained that I am not angry at BM, but that when someone does what she did, that means she is a person I do not feel comfortable around. DD seemed to get that.

Thanks for this thread---I showed it to DH a few days ago and I think some of it hit home w/him.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

I am so glad this worked for you. This woman makes no sense. If she doesnt want you around, I'ld think she'ld rather you guys stay on different sides.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

--"And apparently BM got all p*ssed off and told DH that it ruins it for her if I am around and that "the past is the past" and I need to get over it. Then DH actually said "you assaulted her and things will never be the way they were again, you have no one to blame for this but yourself." And the cool thing was---BM's own mother stood up for me/DH. She told BM to chill out and be quiet, that DH was right and that BM needed to respect our family".--

Woo-hoo! Glad you and DD had a good time. Realy glad to hear it went well and that DH seems to have taken his first steps in understanding and respecting the seriousness of the situation.


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Wow, LoveHadley, good job, that is great news that it went so well!! Your DH did great!! :D I'm so happy that it went well!!


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

Her reaction was/is bizarre, KK. That is how she is, very irrational and wacky. You would think SHE wouldn't want to be around me anymore than I want to be around HER. If I were in her shoes---I would personally be really embarrassed/ashamed and would NOT feel comfortable being around the person who has a restraining order on me.
I think it's also a stubborn child reaction. She is angry that I don't want to be around her---because it "hurts her feelings." I am guessing (in her mind) that she feels she's changed and that she has "made it up to me" by sending me that stupid card, etc.

I think, as always, she has this weird hate/jealousy/like thing with me. She genuinely wanted to be friends with me for a long time, and I did try to be kind to her. It got out of control, to the point where she was calling me all the time and chatting about personal stuff, and asking for support/advice. I tried to give it, but then issues w/SS and DH would come up, and BM would get angry if I sided with DH, which I always did.

It finally became clear that I couldn't have ANY kind of relationship/friendship with her, so I cut her off. I just told her the boundary was too blurry, that I could no longer be so chatty-cathy with her and that any communication between us needed to be at a minimum and needed to be pertaining to SS, NOT any of BM's personal drama.

Well---I guess this really hurt her feelings---because that night in April when she showed up, she cried in my kitchen about how she didn't have any friends and she thought I was her friend, and I had hurt her feelings so badly....ughhhh. She is just wacky. But then, of course, she showed me just how "hurt" she was and how much of a "friend" she wanted to be by punching me!

So--my point is--BM has a love/hate thing going on with me. DH has said that for years---it's like on one level she really wants me to like her and be her friend, but on the other hand, she is just so threatened by me/jealous of me with DH and SS, that she can't stand it.

It is honestly scary to me---her feelings about my presence in SS's life are SO mixed up and strong. IF ANYTHING her strong reaction yesterday just underlines the fact to me that she is still capable of violent, unpredicatble behavior. So it reminds me more than ever that I CANNOT let my guard down with her.

Her comment about the past being the past and me needing to get over it shows me she is NOT in recovery from alcoholism. If she truly were, like she claims, she would understand that her actions have consequences, and she would respect the fact that I am uncomfortable around her.


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Hurting her feelings

Lovehadley, that is just awesome that your DH managed to overcome his fear and put that boundary into place! And who knows, maybe BM will learn something from all this? About there being consequences for one's behavior?

I am thinking my DH will be having a related conversation soon. He seems more and more certain that he is going to talk to BM about backing off some. I know it is going to hurt her feelings, a LOT. I'm not relishing the thought of this happening, not at all. I feel like a rat already.

Or, maybe I am making to much of it, and she won't be upset? I shouldn't lose sleep over it until it happens!


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RE: Need help navigating events with BM

lovehadley,

I'm glad you stuck by your guns, that DH did the right thing, everyone had a good time and that DH seems to be getting some useful perspective on the situation.

Good for you!


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