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Denied a restraining order, now dead

Kevin Conover shot his wife outside her divorce attorney’s office in Petaluma, California. Then he shot himself.

Read Slain Petaluma wife was denied restraining order, on SFGate.com.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.


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This grandmother was stalked for five years and murdered in her own driveway by her next door neighbor.

http://www.leadvilleherald.com/news/article_1af4d0fe-5e62-11e1-8bfa-0019bb30f31a.html

Colorado created a law because of this incident.

“Vonnie’s Law, will change the current stalking laws in Colorado on two levels.

“First, that before the defendant is released on bail for a stalking charge, the defendant must go before the judge. The defendant must also acknowledge the restraining order.

“And secondly, a restraining order is automatically issued for the victim. The prosecutor can request a hearing to modify the restraining order.”

http://vonniesvoice5k.com/livepage.aspx?page_id=8

A restraining order is a piece of worthless paper. That wouldn’t have stopped this guy anyway. But what I heard on the radio this morning would, which is a new law that would require all persons with restraining orders against them to wear GPS ankle bracelets. Don’t forget to vote!

For some reason (probably my slow connection) I couldn’t get those links to load after a reasonable period of time, and I didn’t get to read them, but I am glad taht at least one state is working on this problem.

I agree with survivor3 that a restraining order probably wouldn’t have helped this particular woman (Kim) but it has helped others. It just depends on the situation.

I UNDERSTAND and I may be wrong, but I have read that California is a good state in helping stalking victims, even helping them with new names and SS#s so they can hide. I know even that doesn’t always work, but it might help in some cases.

I did a bit of research on how to hide when I was having to hide out in my RV the summer and fall of 2007. I got some information on how to “hide in plain sight” if the law is not after you. With kids and visitation orders and all the legal things some stalkers use to keep up with their victims it can be a real problem, especially if the courts don’t respond to the victim’s pleas.

I personally think that an AUTOMATIC no contact order should be issued in any divorce proceedings. In my state, Arkansas,

There are 3 levels of no contact orders and only ONE is a criminal offense, the other two are CIVIL and YOU must enforce them by going to court, the law will NOT help you. Which makes it a moot point in my opinion.

To me you should be able to get a “leave me alone stay away from me” order just by asking for one. Of course, there would be people who would abuse that, as I guess there are today people who abuse an order. And, there are men/women who will ignore a machine gun nest to get to their victim like this guy….and my son.

Godalmighty, it just blows my mind how BLIND the Justice System truly is. Typically, a victim of domestic violence and abuse will recant their complaints – they do this because they don’t want to risk even MORE violence or abuse, which is precisely what happens when they make any attempt to exit or file a criminal complaint.

The police had NO problem arresting me for domestic violence, and the prosecutor was livid when the exspath pushed to dismiss the charges. There was NO history of DV in all of the years of marriage, and I was suddenly a threat to the exspath. Sure, my actions were certainly regrettable, but I am not a batterer.

The laws need SERIOUS overhauling.

When Vonnie’s Law was drafted we wanted to have mandatory GPS ankle bracelets for stalkers because restraining orders don’t always work. It was rejected in the House Committee so we took what they would pass into law. What state is that in Survivor3? It is an excellent idea! Of course this could lead to more hit men being hired, if they are determined..

Because of what I went through with my sister, I know that we have three types of restraining orders:

1.) Temporary – good only for two weeks. A hearing is required at the end of that time. The police can enforce this.
2.) Criminal – the police can enforce – if the person threatens bodily harm to the other person
3.) Civil – which is what I got against my sister. I was told that the police laugh at those because they can’t enforce them. If she broke it, if I wanted anything done, then I had to go to the expense of civil court to sue her for doing so.

I think my sister observed the restraining order because she did so much that I could have sued her for that my lawyer told her if she didn’t return my son to me, he’d go after the house. (And then he told me he’d been wanting to say that to somebody his whole career. Glad I made his day.)

However, she was attempting to contact my son before 10 AM on the morning that it expired (his 18th birthday.) I’ve read that is a good indication that your stalkers are going to continue stalking. How soon that they get in touch with you again when the restraining order expires.

For a lot of people, though, a restraining order is nothing more than a piece of paper. I forget what percentage of stalkers ignore restraining orders, but it’s too high for comfort.

AnnieO – so nice to see you posting here. Welcome!

Maybe you can explain to the other people here how you were involved with Vonnie’s Law?

Wasn’t there a legislator who had been stalked so she understood the need and helped to get it passed?

Thank you G1S!
This is my first time posting here. I have been stalked by my
psychopathic ex for a really long time and when I saw Vonnie’s story on the news I reached out to their family. They had support from a Senator and a House committee representative to introduce a bill to make the stalking laws stronger.

When the law was drafted there was much, much more to it but a lot was voted out as it made its way through the process. One of the items in the bill that the family felt VERY strongly about was the GPS ankle bracelet.

We plan to propose more anti-stalking bills again. If another state has mandatory GPS ankle devices for people with restraining orders against them then that is a strong argument that we could use next time and hopefully get it pushed through.

In Colorado they like to think that they are ‘tough’ on stalkers but they are sadly mistaken. Anyone that has been stalked knows that hardly anything is done until it is too late.
At the Senate Judiciary hearing three of the six Senators had either been stalked or knew someone that had been. During testimony, several of them cried. The bill that was passed was a very small step but at least we have their attention for next time.

Dear AnnieO, Welcome to LoveFraud. Sorry that you “qualify’ for our club but it is a very supportive and comforting group! There’s a lot to read and learn and share, so thank you for sharing this.

If you have more information on stalkers or stalking or how to get away from them, please share it with us. I’ve read some about it but not been involved with anyone who has LIVED THE LIFE. That’s the wondeerful part about LF is that we can share our stories. Again, welcome and God bless.

Thank you Ox Drover!
I wish that everyone effected by a psychopath knew that these ‘clubs’ existed so that they could get support. I don’t know how to get away from my stalker yet because we have a child together so the state keeps us nicely connected. You know, for the “best interest of the child.” I will be happy to share what I have learned so far. Some things work for some stalkers and some don’t.

Yes, living the life of being pursued by an obsessed psycho is a whole different story. It changes everything about how you live. Always prepared for the attack.

AnnieO, Erin Brock, one of our posters here has been stalked by her ex, who was a little league coach/drug dealer/cheat. With the help of her parents, while she was sick with a stroke AND cancer, kidnapped her kids. Her own mother accused her of faking the cancer.

Her 19 year old son just got a restraining order against daddy-o who has come back to town. It is sad a teenager has to get a restraining order to excommunicate his parent, but at least the young man sees the truth about what his P-sperm donor is really like.

Yea, living not knowing when the other shoe will drop is sometimes tense but I have quit living in TERROR, though I do live in CAUTION.

This is why I didn’t get a restraining order on my spath, I knew it just showed emotions. And he eats emotions for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

To give him any reaction is to inspire him to attack again. His addiction is to emotions. That was clear to me when gray rock was explained to me and I implemented it.

Furthermore, the spath had the cops wrapped around his finger. He called them and had them chase me around. The only way I got rid of a couple of them was when I got on the phone with the FBI. Yes the FBI thought I was a crazy lunatic, but the cops didn’t know that. So I asked the FBI dude if he would talk to the cop and he agreed. Then I held the cell phone out to the cop and said, “I have the FBI on the phone and they want to talk to you.” The cop, who had just finished screaming at me to get off his property or he would arrest me, turned around and ran into his house and slammed the door. WTF?

Then I asked the FBI to stay on the phone so he could talk to the other cop who was stalking me while on duty. But by the time I got to where he had parked his car, he was gone. I’m convinced that he got a call from the first cop, warning him.

Seemona Sumasar’s story, posted here somewhere, was about a spath who used cops to have her imprisoned. It was very validating for me. The judge who sentenced her spath said, “It doesn’t take sherlock holmes to know….”

She’s going to sue the f**k out of the ny cops. I hope they don’t settle because I’d love to see this unveiling. But, I already know they will settle. Spaths value their masks.

AnnieO…..Kudos to you and your efforts!!!!

I have always applied for my TPO’s and extended orders knowing they are NOT the golden fence.
What they do do though is provide law enforcment another avenue for arrest, where the perp might get a warning otherwise.
If there is history, the perp loses the benefit of the doubt…..regardless of his lies or excuses.
We discussed this with the judge today.
You can’t go into a restraining order thinking elsewise.

I also believe ALL of the orders we have attained through the years against the spath have aided in showing him we will follow through, we will not hesitate to contact authorities and we are not going to be harrassed and that if anything happens to us…..the authorities will know right where to look.
There have been periods he has left us alone…..he and his cronies. And when the orders expired, he gives it a bit of time until he ‘shows’ up again. BUT…..he always does….like clockwork.

I am fortunate to live in a small community, who the spath has shown his true colors to…….he’s had numerous contacts with the police here…..he’s had news articles about his drug arrests in another state……and him himself has exhibited odd behaviors that have yanked his mask right off in the center of town.

He has written the judge letters….or had another do it on his behalf, which raised eyebrows……let alone not being admissable. People in my community are well aware of ‘who’ this person is.

Our last order expired about 10 months ago……for a minute I thought it may have been our last necessary order. But alas…….it wasn’t.

After thinking about it all day today……I realized how fortunate we were that after ajornment the judge wanted to ‘talk’…..off record, in order to hear from me. (I wasn’t allowed to speak in Jr’s hearing, as I am not an attorney.) I gave him more info that didn’t come up in the hearing, and he made sure the orders issued were clear and consice and had boundaries.
Maybe this is the blessing of a small town…….or just people paying attention.

This is Jr’s second order against spath-dad, since he turned 18.

It does affect us……all of us. It kills me to see Jrs anxiety. It kills me to see how we all react when we get slammed on the door in the middle of the night and I have my gun and Jr’s have knifes……as we stand there, positioned for our front door to be kicked in.
Thank God we don’t live daily like this……..but when spaths around, it get’s tense.
AnnieO is right…..it changes EVERYTHING about how you live.
The minute I knew spath had left town……it was like a HUGE releif just driving into town. Not looking at each and every car…..coming at you, behind you….at the intersections etc….
Locking doors, keeping 100wt bulbs in the outside lights, setting alarms, having panic buttons on our arms at all times, sitting in front of the security monitors, watching for sensor lights to come on/off…….freaking when the dog barks and feeling exhausted during these times.
It sucks. It does!

Unfortunately the law can’t protect ‘something’ from happening, it can only prosecute ‘once’ it happens.
The laws job is to arrest and prosecute……OUR job is to keep ourselves safe…….Whatever means we must.

AnnieO….I’d love to hear your advise and what you’ve learned from your journey.
Our experiences can be helpful to others and advise shared from our lessons can help to keep others starting the journey safe and/or streamline the learning curve.

this conversation about restraining orders and stalking is getting me riled up.

Stalking is not always violent, but sometimes simply intrusive; an extension of the narcissistic “you are an extension of me so I have a right to intrude upon your space, your peace, your privacy, anytime I feel like it.” That is not to say that it is “merely” narcissistic — it is abusive and awful.

In our case, there is always the threat of potential violence hanging over the stalking by my ex-husband, because he has been violent in the past. It is like disciplining a classroom by making an example of one child: the other children may stay in line out of fear of it happening to them. Even if it only happens once. Now, my ex-husband has been violent towards us more than once, but a lot of time may pass between incidents. How are we to know that there will never, ever again be another incident? How are we to know that the next incident, if there should be one, will not be escalated or worse than previous ones (which were bad enough)?

I now know so much more than I used to, about all this stuff. That is why I am so mad. Because I can see that there are so many people in positions of authority (law enforcement, courts, CPS, therapists, etc.) who do not get this at all. They have a lot of it backwards and upside down. I may not have it all figured out yet, but —

OK, I’m clearing out my house a bit of some of the junk that has accumulated. I have taken a lot of notes over the past few years, like a journal, some of it my feelings, my fears, my analysis of the situation, and some of it is articles printed out about psychopathy, DV, co-dependence, etc…. and I’m looking at this stuff, and I realize: I DON’T NEED ANY OF THIS ANYMORE. I have moved way beyond it. I have reached a point where finally, thank God, I have been able to absorb and synthesize all of it, from all of those hundreds of books I read, and I now no longer wonder about any of those things:

1: what makes him tick? why would he do something like this? what’s wrong with him? can I help him/improve the relationship with our children? is he hurting inside? which is he — Jekyll or Hyde? I can’t figure it out… I need to understand…

2: what is it about me that caused me to allow a relationship with him? is/was there anything wrong with me? can I fix it? was it something about my childhood? am I broken somehow, in my brain or personality? should I change? am I OK? will this happen again? how can I be safe?

And I threw all of my notes away. No, I don’t want to ever look back on them. And… as I said I’m cleaning out my house… one reason is that I’m getting older and also will die someday and don’t want any of my kids, etc. finding these awful notes and reading them. That is not who I am anymore, and I don’t want to leave any traces of that person behind.

But back to the stalking. My ex-husband is stalking our daughter, age 16, who went no contact with him 3 years ago. He pretends to everyone that he never had that violent incident with her in her room, that she must have imagined or misinterpreted it. Thank God I experienced exactly the same thing from him when I was married to him — I completely believed her. It was exactly the same pattern.

His stalking just looks like a normal dad who might be hurt that his daughter is avoiding him. That is what everyone else seems to think, until they see him in action and catch the vibe (creepy vibe). He has so much sympathy from the therapists. But our daughter finds him so creepy (imagine, finding your dad creepy!). He knows where she will be, at after school events, so he goes to all of these and comes up to her and forces hugs on her (even I do not force-hug my children… they are teenagers and sometimes they want hugs and sometimes they don’t).

I now know his patterns, which may not be the exact patterns of other sociopaths. There are lots of different ways sociopaths do their thing. After awhile, there really IS one pattern which coalesces (a deep pattern underlying the surface variations).

He wants to win, by making others lose. He finds out what we fear, and tries to provide that. He finds out what we desire, and tries to thwart that. He feeds off emotions (like you said, Skylar) — it is like fuel to him. He wants to provoke emotions, preferably fear and sadness, in us. Gray rock works best if you actually FEEL gray rock and aren’t just pretending — though pretending works well when you can’t feel the feeling.

He wants power and control. For him, it isn’t simply that he wants it — he believes he is entitled to it (this is the narcissistic part of him) because we are extensions of HIM. At least, his daughter is. But as far as I’m concerned, he wants to grind me out of existence. I believe this is just metaphorical (that he would not overtly try to cause my death) but he would do it psychologically, make me ill or cause me to take my own life (I won’t — now that I see this). He also refuses to interact with me most of the time (pretends I don’t exist).

While that would be a welcome form of no contact, in his case, because of the children, it is abuse — it is the stonewalling thing. Because he gets to me through getting to the children. The stalking he does of our daughter is painful to watch, and he will not ever do anything remotely resembling co-parenting with me.

It is a very broken family. I feel sadness for my children, that they have to endure this type of family. It is so messed up. But I can’t fix it.

I now know that I am OK, and he is a sociopath. I feel sad that I didn’t know about sociopaths when I met and married him. But I love my children, and I’m glad to know them.

Sometimes I wish I could have had a different life, with a normal man, but I no longer believe that it was my fault or that I was too screwed up, or anything like that.

I hope sometime soon that law enforcement, courts, etc. will get a clue. I find it really chilling and astonishing that they remain so WILLFULLY ignorant. What’s up with that? It’s not like this information is not available.

If I can figure it out, they should be able to. I don’t even have a degree in this, LOL. (a very snarky LOL)

20years, I believe that we SHOULD be riled up about restraining orders and the fact that they’re just a token of protection for victims. To me, a restraining order is pretty much like giving someone a placebo in a pharmaceutical trial – maybey it will work, maybe it won’t. But, we’ll just hand one out as a control of some sort.

When I was a teenager, I had NEVER heard of “Restraining Order” or “Order of Protection.” I had never heard of spousal rape and murder. I had never HEARD of stalking. Of course, these things did occur, but I believe that technology and societal shifts have actually ALLOWED these horrible things to become a Social Pandemic. The MEDIA garners attention for whomever is the most violent, disturbed, and outrageous (reality shows? PLEASE). “He who behaves the WORST is awarded cash and instant Celebrity.”

Our legal systems need to recognize that violence and abuse has not abated – it has increased at an exponential rate and is, IMHO, a Social Pandemic. Punishment should not consist of a Judge telling a perpetrator of stalking and harassment that they have been “a bad boy/girl, and you should NOT continue doing these things.”

Restraining Oder Issued? Really? SO WHAT?! Restraining orders offer “protection” as a token, ONLY, and this must change.

Truthspeak, I agree that restraining orders either need to work, or we should be truthful that they don’t work.

I remember the day I went to ask for mine, one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. And it only angered my abuser (husband) more.

I also remember the day I was deposed by his attorney, an even more traumatic experience. I remember enduring 3 hours of questions designed to get me to crumble. I remember the endless insults to my intelligence and this attorney’s attempts to scare me… “you do realize that perjury is a severe offense… you say you have a college degree…. did you talk to anyone about this besides the police?” I am sorry, LF readers that I cannot give the vibe of this man adequately. He was an even worse sociopath than my husband. Three hours of this interrogation, and I did not crumble! The only coaching I had received was to be truthful and give extremely brief answers — a simple “yes” or “no” was perfect. (my husband had a DV criminal charge against him for his attack on me).

The lawyer implied that I’d ‘frivolously” gotten this protective order and that I’d lied on it, and that I was making the whole violent attack up, and that I was an idiot for lying or maybe not knowing how to fill out the form properly, and that I would be in big trouble for lying that the courts don’t take kindly to that, and that I would be in big trouble for having discussed this matter with my friends (people other than “the authorities”)…

I am so glad I held my head up and did not crumble. What worked in my favor was that I was innocent, completely honest, and my husband really had violently attacked me, and I was clearly in shock from his abuse, but still FULLY INTACT MENTALLY and could tell the whole chronological story without crumbling. I trembled — but I did not lose it emotionally (hey, when do I get to crumble? I haven’t had the luxury of that yet, haha)

Bring on the GPS!

And yes, Truthspeak, we will only be getting somewhere when the courts and the police get it through their thick skulls that sociopaths cannot be reformed and they are dangerous, and we need real protection from them.

When I went to the first hearing for the exspath’s petition for a Civil Restraining Order against me, it was heard in DV Court – a court that hears ONLY cases of Domestic Violence. I sat through several cases – some of which were terrible triggers that actually caused me to experience some PSTD flashbacks and I started crying in the back of the courtroom.

What I found exceptionally disturbing was the virtual slaps on the wrists of the perpetrators. A $600 fine for punching a woman in the face so badly that she needed an ambulance? REALLY? A seven day stretch in jail and similar fine for a woman who beat the shit out of her baby-daddy with a baseball bat? REALLY? A restraining order granted against a man who broke INTO the home of his estranged wife, kicked down the door to the bedroom that she was sleeping in, and then ran out of the house and slashed every one of the tires on her vehicle? REEEEEAAAALLLLY????

Restraining Orders are tragically laughable because anyone who has a HISTORY of deliberately harming someone, stalking someone, and/or threatening someone’s safety does not recognize boundaries to begin with. So, do Judges honestly think – does ANYone honestly think – that a RO is going to hold ANY more importance than social and moral boundaries? Puhleeze…..

Yepper – I’m pretty riled, myself. ;-}

looking through the seething haze of riled-ness, I am thinking…

…all of this stems from the legal system’s denial of sociopathy in domestic violence cases. Even though a huge number of people caught up in the legal system are sociopaths/psychopaths.

…and simultaneously, our society’s current worldview (incorrect, as we know!) that there are two sides to everything, that everyone deserves a second chance, that everyone can be reformed if we can just find the magic key get through to them (therapy, halfway houses, a slap on the wrist to “teach them a lesson” and make them see the light).

But as we all know, sociopaths CANNOT be reformed. They DO NOT CHANGE. It is no use to try. The fake “boundary” of a protective order is even an inviting challenge to many of them.

If the violence is DOMESTIC, somehow the victim brought it on? So the perpetrator was goaded into it?

Seriously????

I think some people leave their brains at home, who think this way.

They think, they don’t know whom to believe, OR they will choose to believe the earnest, calm (lying) one instead of the agitated (truthful) one…

Again, this is WILLFUL ignorance. This information is out there. They just don’t want to hear it.

Oh, and Truthspeak: I shoved my husband once (not hard, but it took him by surprise)…. yes, I was “goaded into it” by his gaslighting, gloating, emotional abuse of me. As soon as I did it, I immediately regretted it and felt horrible and ashamed, I apologized… I NEVER did it again. I am not a “violent person.” But I also knew, “dammit — now he will always be able to say, ‘she does it, too'” with that smirk on his face.

And I was right. He has always, ever since, said, “yeah, there was some physical stuff between us — we both did it — !!!” and he shrugs as though it is no big deal and he’s no worse than I am.

and it is maddening. I still know I should not have shoved him. It was a wrong thing for me to have done. It was an impulse that happened before I realized what I was doing. But I know that my one incidence of it does not absolve him for his longstanding, repeated pattern of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of me.

Because I one time overreacted physically towards him, that prolonged my period of self-doubt and delusion over the truth of the relationship between us. I had SO MUCH self doubt and also alarm over “what I was capable of.” And “I’m no better than he is.” It has taken much time and healing and NO OTHER INCIDENTS BY ME, EVER for me to realize that no, I am NOT what he is, or says I am/was.

So… for any of you who ever get pushed into reacting physically ONE TIME, please know that what they do to you is so inhumanly awful, it is not right for you to do this, but at the same time, it is not the same thing as repeated cycle of abuse with you as the perpetrator. Forgive yourselves.

20years, indeed, your insight is spot-on. As I’ve mentioned, there was never a history of violence throughout the marriage. No beatings, no verbal abuse (that was obvious), etc. – it was a slow and inexorable demise into crazymaking. When I confronted him with the final evidence of his activities, plans, and playmate(s?), he shrieked “IT’S ALL MIND GAMES!” Mind games? Was that the only truthful statement that he’s ever made? Gaslighting, setups, and the whole 9.9 yards was all put into a four-second-outburst.

“Mind games” is the term that sent me over the edge. It had ALL been mind games. The marriage, the finances, the promises, the false assurances that he was “NOT (my) EX!” and so forth. I had no income, no prospects of employment, and my assets had simply vanished in about 2 years. Yeah….it was “mind games” alright.

They DO set us up. They do it, inentionally. They do it with malice, and they do it because the know how.

And, DAMN that despicable, steaming pile of cow-flop! He is, and always will be, mediocre at everything that he attempts. He is, and always will, taint and ruin everything that he touches. He is, and always will be, without a human soul.

Whew….. I need more coffee, it seems! 😀

cat and mouse games. yep.

of COURSE they can’t be reformed!!! they will only stop:

1) if they get bored and find another, more interesting prey
2) if we die

They will NOT stop:

1) so long as the challenge we present to them is fun and interesting
2) if they perceive that we have WON… they will be so pissed and have to keep going until they perceive that they win. the game is not OVER until they win and we lose.

The ONLY game they want to play is, “I win, and you lose!” but the game itself can be so much fun that they like to drag it out as long as they can. One way of doing this is to be as subtle as possible about it (multiple masks). Another way is the Jekyll/Hyde wearing down of the victim, holding one hand out to us while slapping us with the other. Not only does that keep the fun going, but prolongs the agony AND increases the pain of the torture for the victim.

Thus, increasing their pleasure!

Again, EVIL EXISTS but most people don’t know what it looks like. Sneaky, huh? Well, did you expect that Evil would come bursting into town with a great fanfare, “I am Evil and I have arrived to inflict unspeakable horrors and pain on you!!!” Really???

Mind games. Ain’t that the truth.

And how do you convince the police that is what is going on?

They tell me that it isn’t against the law to send cards or emails. I pushed back with, “It is if there is a restraining order.”

And the swarmy, icky cards and emails that they send that are an obvious fishing expeditions for contact information. I feel like the wolves are circling, waiting to pounch and drag away their prey.

All the police see is somebody sending a card or an email – and for God’s sake, woman, this is your son’s grandmother and aunt. What’s wrong with you?

Yeah, sure. It’s our fault.

20 years,

Can you talk to your daughter and when he comes up to her have her hold out one arm stiffly in front of her, look him directly in the eye, and say “NO!” and then turn away and walk away from him? If he follows her, have her stop (once) and turn around and repeat the “NO!” and the arm outstretched. then go to a safe place with other people or where she can lock herself in.

Maybe that would empower her to defend her own boundaries and her own space. She is surely old enough to be able to decide who hugs her and who doesn’t.

Oxy, that is a good idea, and I will tell her. She is pretty good at being assertive to him. Thankfully, for now anyway, this mostly happens at school, at after-school/evening activities where he knows she is likely to be, and where parents are not out of place.

So there are people around, and he also gets in the door. He also comes for parent open house/visiting day…. and around here anyway, parents really stop doing that sort of thing by the time their kids leave elementary school. She is in 10th grade, and he stalks her throughout the day. (yes, it is stalking. It is not simply a dad who misses his daughter and is so very sad that she is being parentally alienated by me… sigh).

He also tries to arrange school meetings with her counselor and other adults at the school, which she is supposed to be pulled out of class to attend with him…. I told her, just refuse to go. You don’t have to. (although, she finds it very embarrassing that he brings this stalking behavior to the school and enlists other clueless adults to be his accomplices).

At the after school events and activities, she is good at surrounding herself with people and ignoring him, for the most part. But you are correct — sometimes a direct “no, get away” or “stop” is the most effective maneuver (as in child abductions… we are supposed to teach our kids NOT to “not talk to strangers” but to look them in the eye and say, “get away from me” and yell to anyone listening, “this person is not my dad!!! help me!!!” etc.)

I’m just throwing that in there. I do not fear that he would abduct her. But he could be physically inappropriate with her (and yes the hugs ARE physically inappropriate) if he gets a chance.

I’m having a bit of a boundry problem guys. I could use some input.

There is a woman that I’ve recently become somewhat friendly with. We’ve gone to lunch a few times and shopping on occasion. She is a member of my daughter’s x husbands family, and we are related through my grandson.

Before I got myjob, she had a family crises and was kicked out of her life long home. My daughter cares a lot about this woman, and I tried to help her too, as much as I could through just lending her emotional support and as ear that would hear her.

Her situation, at the time was long term dysfunction that encompassed the entire family…and yes, she’s just not right. But, in some ways she reminds me of me, so I could certainly identify with her troubles and I felt sorry for her…But she has other traits that absolutely drain me. She talks constantly. She interupts, changes the subject on me. If she catches herself and redirects, asks a question to show her interest, she can’t even wit for a response, before she’s off and running, again.

She’s very negitive and likes to rain on my parade by interjecting the down side of everything and expressing concern. For instanse, my new electric bike I bought to take me to and from work is “dangerous”.

She is a nay sayer. Any suggestion I can make to her about how she might better her circumstances is met with, “yeah, but.”

And she wants to monopolize my time. She will call 4 or 5 times a day and I have gotten to the point that I just won’t answer. Then she’ll stop by. She has even tracked me down at the library and when she does I feel angry.

Yesterday she called three times and I didn’t answer. Then my daughter called and said M had called her, and wanted me to taste some terrific pound cake. D told her I was probably at work. At this point I got up and closed my shutters, locked my doors and turned off my TV…I thought she might drop by. An hour later D called to say M was worried sick about me, to please call her. I was getting angry again. I felt I was being forced into having contact with her when I didn’t want to. I absolutely refused to call her or answer my phone.

I guess I also feel guilty for treating her this way. It’s not fair to try to hold on to a freindship (I use the word loosly)
when I want it soley on my terms, but I do. I want the choice to have contact with or not.

I guess I need to be honest and tell her what I’m feeling. Any suggestions?

kim:

She sounds like one of those extremely needy people who probably doesn’t have anyone else much in her life who she can depend on and when she finds someone like you, she latches on for dear life. Sometimes these types of people don’t even realize they are sucking the life out of others, but that doesn’t mean you should feel guilty about it.

I used to be like you…I used to feel guilty about these things, but I don’t anymore and YOU shouldn’t either. If you don’t want to answer the phone, don’t answer it. It’s your phone and YOUR precious time. Same way with the door…don’t answer it if you don’t want to be bothered or better yet, answer it and tell her you just don’t have the energy to have company right now…be honest. I don’t condone lying. I was never able to do this in my younger years…I was always too “nice,” but I can do it now. I have realized that my life is MY life. Trust me, anyone else would not have a problem doing it to YOU if the tables were turned and you were demanding someone’s time.

I hope this helps.

Yes, you need to tell her that you want and need to do things on your own, by yourself. She’s monopolizing you for herself, and instead of listening to advice to help her own life, she’s starting to meddle in yours. I’ve had a few female friends like that… I felt sorry for them, wanted to give them emotional support. They responded to me as if I was their saviour and yet didn’t fix their issues, but tried to meddle in my life instead. Before I knew it, they actively meddled behind my back (because they didn’t think that was a good job for me, or feared the guy I liked might not return the feelings). I was then left to deal with the consequences for actions I didnt condone, never asked for, let alone instigate. The result was that I had to break their heart and go NC. Eventually most of them did turn their own lives around on their own.

I would make an appointment with her and explain to her that though you enjoy her company (well only say that if you actually do), you also very much enjoy your time by yourself and want her to respect this need.

Depending on how she responds you either cut ties or not. Basically you’ll be saying: I’m ok with being friends and talk or meet occasionally, but no more. It’s for her to take or leave it. If she cannot take it, then that is her problem. She’ll either grow out of it, or she won’t.

kim frederick, I’m going to offer the “nice response.” That is because you said she reminds you a bit of yourself. And you know it would be very painful for her if you suddenly drop her or shun her (though you certainly could do that, under these circumstances!)

A question: your daughter is being used as a go-between. How are your daughter’s boundaries, how close are you to your daughter, how close is your daughter to M? Can you ask your daughter not to be a go-between?

So my suggestion is exactly what you said in your last sentence, “I guess I need to be honest and tell her what I’m feeling.”

Yes, I think you should try that. If this works, you call her up and either invite her to your house and she can bring the pound cake, or invite her to meet you at a neutral location like a coffee shop (or lunch, or something).

And tell her, “you know M, you may have noticed that lately I seem to be avoiding you…” and see if she agrees or not. Tailor your response accordingly.

“well, it’s because I’ve been wrestling with some feelings I’m having, and it took me awhile to figure this out. So, I’m sorry if I have caused you to feel hurt by my avoidance….” and see what she says, tailor appropriately.

“well, I DO have something I want to say, and that’s why I invited you here. You are going through an awful lot, and I’m finding that, as an highly empathetic person, I’m getting very emotionally pulled in by it, and it’s just too hard for me — it’s kind of suffocating/triggering/etc. I care about what happens to you and what you are going through, and I want you to feel better about your life, but I just can’t help you, in the way or to the degree you seem to need me to. I can help a little, but not 5 times a day, every day. It’s draining on our friendship, and too much responsibility for me. Do you know what I mean? Your friendship is important to me, but I am feeling stress right now from not really being able to provide what you need. I’m sorry if this is coming out awkwardly; it’s kind of hard to say these things. I need things to be more in balance, and to be able to have time for myself, my work and my other friendships, as well as time for you. I wanted to tell you this, even though it’s hard to voice, because the alternative is that I’m feeling like I need to escape from you, and I realize that’s NOT conducive to a healthy friendship. What do you think we can do about this?”

I don’t know if she is receptive to this or not, but if you ever availed yourself of any counselling services to help you through, you are in a great position to suggest the same to her and give her some names.

Now, my suggestion above is only because you said she is “nice and needy” — so it is designed to be as kind as possible, and that way in the future you can say, “just can’t do it today, M” and maybe she will catch on and things might get in balance. If that is not what is going on, if she is more obtuse and won’t get it at all, then… probably there is not much of a friendship.

Do you get anything out of this friendship? Do you think there is any future to this friendship? Or is it likely to just keep sucking you dry? Think about what you really want to have happen, before you approach her.

Good luck — not easy.

First of all, Kim, that “friendship” isn’t much of a friendship. Feeling sorry for someone does not a friendship make.

You don’t get to keep only the parts that you like and push away the rest. Whatever it is that you enjoy from being with her, and I didn’t see anything, you can get from somebody else who isn’t so dysfunctional.

It isn’t fair to anyone to say, “I only want you to act like this. Don’t do this around me.” You can certainly set boundaries. This woman doesn’t seem capable of understanding boundaries.

Based on my hard-earned experience, relationships worth having, where we can trust the other person and feel comfortable, don’t need to have boundaries established.

If there is a potential boundary issue, the “offender” should be able to recognize that possibility.

The “offender” will seek to define the boundaries via asking things like, “I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.” or “Have I been calling too much? I don’t mean to overwhelm you.” “Is there a better time for me to call?”

That goes for visiting, too. “How do you feel about people dropping in unexpectedly? Some people really enjoy friends popping in, but I know people who don’t care for that at all. Their homes are their sanctuaries. They want their privacy. Where do you fall on that spectrum?”

That woman comes with the whole loading cart of baggage. From the sound of things, she is only intends to keep adding to it.

That kind of neediness will never be satisfied by others.

There is something amiss internally. Until she addresses that on her own time, with the help of a professional trained in her specific issues, she is never going to change.

If she thought she should be acting differently, she would be acting differently. She acts the way she does because she sees nothing wrong with it.

The person who needs to get out of the dynamic is the person who doesn’t like it – you.

I assume that you have enough of a relationship with your daughter to tell her that you cannot handle this woman anymore.

If your daughter argues with you, just say that she’s entitled to have whatever relationships that she wants, but this woman doesn’t work in your life anymore.

As for this woman, tell her something vague like other things are going on in your life that are demanding a lot of your time; you need to focus on those.

This woman sounds incapable of respecting boundaries so she might come back and ask what is going on, maybe so she “can help you find time for her.” Oh goody!

Don’t fall for that. Just push back. Say you’d rather not say, it’s personal, and that you need to get going. Then end the conversation – either by hanging up the phone or walking away.

She sounds like the type of person that I identify as a “psychic vampire.” They suck your emotional energy out of you. Their demands are ceaselss. You can’t give them enough. The more you give, the more they want.

On the bright side, they are only concerned in getting their fix (feed) so if you don’t provide that, they’ll just move on to someone else.

Thanks, guys. All very good advise. Yes G1S, I do need to ask D to stop the triangulation and to make sure I’m not triangulating, myself.

I have been needy and lonely and bored in my life, too and that’s what I identify with. You know about Jung’s theorey of the shadow? She may well be my shadow. She aggrivates me because I’m seeing the things in myself that I don’t want to accept.

And also, I have this image of myself as a “nice” person and I’m angry at her for bringing out the part of me that can’t just be nice all the time. It’s anger at her for making me set boundrys…And part of this being nice thing is telling white lies, like I have a head-ache, when in reality I just want to be alone…that makes me feel dishonest and like I don’t have a back-bone, sigh. Yes, I need to talk to her. Thanks.

Kim,

That last paragraph is a learning opportunity for yourself, in general. Note… I’m not saying the points underneath with this needy woman in mind.

a) you DON’T have to be nice all the time… irregardless of whomever the other person is. You certainly don’t have to be nice at the cost of your own needs.
b) you always have to set boundaries, even to people who’ll automatically respect them if they can help it. But you can’t expect people to read your mind or needs. It’s something you can do pro-actively! And the sole people who’d be offended by pro-active boundary setting are those who cannot respect boundaries for whichever reason. In any case, pro-active boundary setting avoids confusion.

Not being nice and setting boundaries is not a bad thing. It’s reality, necessary and ultimately a good and more healthy attitude.

Good luck on the “talk”.

Kim,

What’s wrong with saying that you want to be alone? Lots of people like time to themselves.

Just last night I had a conversation with someone who told me how she was responding to somebody who was treating her like garbage because she was trying to be nice.

I asked her, “Where is it written that we are supposed to be nice to people who are rotten to us?”

Kim Fred, the unfortunate thing about having “family ties” is that we tend to feel obligated to tolerate their behaviors and carry their burdens……for the “sake of (whomever).”

When you leave this person’s company, are you exhausted and feeling utterly drained? If so, she’s an energy parasite – she takes what YOU have worked so hard to create for yourself.

I used to allow these types of people to run ALL over me – dominate the topic of conversation, ask for (then, REJECT) advice/suggestions, and the whole nine yards. I would feel (FEEL, now) that I was somehow responsible for “helping them” or being a “good friend” by listening to their endless negativity. I can no longer do that. It’s not because I want to cut myself off from people who seem to be in need – cristalmighty, I’m in NEED, myself! But, being a “nice person” doesn’t mean tolerating behaviors that, in the end, are harmful to ME and my healing processes.

OxD’s “New Rules” clearly define being honest and Truthful. I’ve rather taken a GREAT liking to the Quaker philosophy – “plain speaking.” “Plain speaking” does not refer to using simple terminology or dumbing-down someone to whom we’re talking. “Plain speaking” is about speaking truthfully and honestly without any malice or hostility. When I speak truthfully, I am NOT placing my own needs and boundaries on hold so I can be perceived as a “nice person.”

NOT speaking plainly would be this:
Coworker: Listen, I know you have a couple of weeks off in July, but I bought a plane ticket to Seattle, and I want to go visit my brother. Can you cover for me?
Me: Sure, I suppose so.
This results in my resenting this person for asking me to work a double-shift and do all of their tasks while they’re on vacation, and resenting myself for not being able to say, “no.”

Speaking plainly would be something like this:
Coworker: Listen, I know you have a couple of weeks off in July, but I bought a plane ticket to Seattle, and I want to go visit my brother. Can you cover for me?
Me: Actually, I won’t. I covered three days for you, already, and I won’t cover any more of your time until you’ve returned the favor.
Result is that I have set clear boundaries, indicated that I am NOT unreasonable, and that I am not going to allow myself to be used. If you don’t like it, then ask someone else.

Darwinsmom put it perfectly: you DON’T have to be “nice” all of the time. Is the being “nice” being reciprocated, or is this person just draining and draining and draining your energies?

So, when I’m in that kind of a pickle, I try my hardest to distance myself. Although I care about what’s going on in their lives, I have my own onions to mince and I have stopped GIVING of my time and energy to people who are simply using me as a source of any kind.

Blessings!

Kim, well then this talk will be good practice for you. You can be nice AND set boundaries at the same time. and then judging by her response to your boundary setting, decide if there is any hope or not in transforming this friendship into something that is workable for both of you.

It has to be good for BOTH of you. You can also be even more direct and say that you are learning to set better boundaries, and your feelings of wanting to avoid her are telling you that you have not been attending to this. But you are new at it, learning, and so you want to see if she knows what you are talking about, and would she like to work on this friendship with you?

I mean, if she gets angry or gives you a blank stare, then you know it’s not going to work. If she listens and responds thoughtfully, then you might have something worth pursuing.

You can (if you want) be “nice” in this talk with her, and also assertive about what is and isn’t working for you. And ask her what she thinks she needs from you. Etc.

It’s all practice.

K–
Talk to your daughter about your feelings. You don’t want to blind side her because the woman who is driving you crazy may start calling her to talk about you.

It sounds like there may be problems and if they are what they sound like, this person is a lot of work and the next day a lot more of the same because she just can’t “get it”.

I’d think it would be fair to mention to your daughter that it seems a little much for M to “get worried sick” quickly. And that you’re going to ask her not to go so far unless you haven’t called her back for a couple of days.

And then I’d tell M gently but firmly, this is too much and you don’t feel obliged to answer her every call and you think its overboard to get frantic and get your daughter to call you or to come to your house or hunt you down like this.

Tell her what you prefer and if she can’t work with your boundaries, you’re going to have to speak more directly.

If its what I think, she may be quite the handful.

Kim,
you got some good advice here. Especiall the part about not being part of a triangulation. That seems to be a pattern.

I would also add gray rock. This person is obviously trying to control you. She has no right to have constant contact with you. Why is she doing this? It’s a sign of an unhealthy person. I would gray rock her, I’ll bet she goes away if she gets no emotions.

20years,
your post at 11:21 was spot on.

You described everything we need to know about evil.

Unfortunately, unless you’ve experienced it, it’s hard to fathom the utter truth of it. People will try to qualify the word “evil”:
“like, what do you mean, evil?”
Evil is evil. How can you describe it? It feels like slime.

There was a song many years ago, which I tried to find again but couldn’t, that hit me back then how easily evil deceives us.

The first lines of the song went,

“Somebody’s knocking. Should I let him in?
Lord, it’s the devil, would you look at him?
I’ve heard about him, but I never dreamed,
he’d have blue eyes or blue jeans.”

That’s all I can remember from that part.

Somebody told me that it was probably the B side of a released song that is now long forgotten.

Just searched again. I found it!

It’s “Somebody’s Knocking” by Terri Gibbs. It came out in 1981 and is on her Miscellaneous album.

OMG – it’s a stalker song!

One of the verses says,

“He must have tapped my telephone line
He must have known I’m spending my time alone
He says we’ll have one heavenly night
My fever’s burning so he ought to be right at home.”

There is another verse (the chorus keeps repeating)

“Well, somebody’s talking He’s whispering to me
My place or your place which will it be?
I’m getting weaker, he’s coming on strong
But I don’t want to go wrong.”

Ayup – stalker song for sure.

Hey, you can download this as a ring tone.

I wanted to set “Smiling Faces” by the Undisputed Truth as my P sister’s ring tone, but we have no contact so she never calls.

What a waste of a great ring tone. Just kidding!!

G1S:

I always liked that song! I guess I never really “listened” to the words before. Thanks for bringing it up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJHV8fLAuGo

Today I am deciding to look at us all a different way. I am seeing us as “highly empathetic” people, at the opposite end of the continuum from those who are low in empathy (or lack it entirely).

It is like being high on the IQ bell curve. It is not a bad thing. It can be a difficult thing. Like being gifted-intelligent is not a bad or pathological thing — but it can be challenging, if most of the people are somewhere in the middle and think you are weird. But you kinda can’t help being who you are.

So, I’m sick of being blamed for being “too nice” or as I am thinking of it today: highly empathetic, tolerant and willing to work on relationships. I’m high in all of those things. And those are good qualities. I’m not a doormat. I’m assertive and sensitive to etiquette and lots of other really good things. I’m conscientious and I try hard. I’m a good employee. I’m a good hostess. I’m a good leader. I’m a good follower. I’m a good team player. I’m especially good at customer service. I’m even pretty darned good at getting my own needs met. All good things — see?

I think that type of person is the ideal spath target. They target the ones who are the most unlike them, the least likely to tell them to get lost.

My only problem was that I didn’t really understand that spaths existed, that they were THAT different from me, and furthermore I did not appreciate the fact that I am unusually empathetic, tolerant, cooperative, willing, etc. I sort of assumed that most people were pretty much like me.

And I no longer believe that. But I’m still ALL of those things, which today I’m choosing to think of as very good things. I don’t wish to change myself — I don’t even think I can.

And that’s my point: I don’t think spaths can change. They are pretty much stuck where they are, with no empathy. And I think I can’t change who I am — I’m highly empathetic, thank goodness. I’m not inclined to think, today, that there is ANYTHING wrong with me.

Or you guys, either.

I think these are our gifts, and we can think of it that way, instead of our being too “this” or too “that.”

20years:

Awesome post! I could have written it as every single word you wrote sounds just like me to the T.

I will add one more thing to the end…we don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with us and they don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with THEM. They don’t want to change either and they don’t even think they can.

Great stuff…thanks!! 🙂

Oh, G1S THAT’s my song!!!!! Oh, goodness I love it! What a great song! Yea, never thought about it though but it is sort of like a stalker song!

Kim, I agree with what the others have said. If this woman is “stalking” you (and calling up your daughter “worried to death” about you) then you need to set some boundaries.

Maybe the reason she is living a dysfunctional life style is she has no boundaries and doesn’t know how to behave. Her INSTANT BEST FRIENDING of you sounds pretty much BORDERLINE PD to me.

When anyone wants to become my NEW AND BEST INSTANT BEST FRIEND I run screaming the other direction. It is love bombing at its best and Borderlines are great at it just like psychopaths are, but the difference is that BPDs usually start punishing you pretty quickly if you pull back. My husband rented one of our rental units to a BPD and the woman stalked me for months…I even came out of the doctor’s exam room once and she was standing outside in the hall way waiting for me. She had called my house when I didn’t answer the phone and my husband had told her I had gone to the doctor with my dad, and she found out which doctor and talked her way into the hallway outside the room. Needless to say I set some BIG boundaries on her. She made my skin crawl.

Any time you deal with these ENERGY VAMPIRES you will lose blood so I suggest you set strong boundaries. Kindly but as strong as fort Knox. FIRM BOUNDARIES.

When people tell or show you what they are, BELIEVE THEM.

You already see she has a dysfunctional life style and is big into triangulation and has poor social skills…too bad, but you are responsible for fixing these things why?

Hey Louise, I have a long story for you, and this one is waaaaaay from my past. It is one of my most fun experiences to think back on… you know those times when the right words just come out of your mouth, the right come-back, and you weren’t even thinking of it? Well, this is that kind of story:

When I was 20 years old I worked at a fancy department store part-time while I was in college. There was another young lady who worked in my department, “Tammy,” who was 2 years younger. Back then, I was one of those highly empathetic, earnest, “nice” girls who was so easily taken advantage of by the bad boys… but I still wasn’t broken or jaded. I was open and excited about the world. I think I really came across as spath-bait.

But totally naive to that fact. I was just shining my little light out into the world.

Well, this fancy department store threw some pretty fancy Christmas parties — a country club, 2 live bands and limitless, amazing food and alcohol — all included, free-flowing. Cool party, on a Saturday night. We shut the store early for this party. And we all dressed up.

Tammy didn’t know that I was majoring in fashion design. Usually I’d come to the store in an oxford shirt and a corduroy skirt, no makeup. College student, you know. Early 1980s.

But for the party, I made myself a very beautiful, extremely sexy dress, pale peach silk shantung skirt, very fitted, with a drapey metallic gold top, that dipped very low in the back. I looked hot. Hair, makeup, shoes, nails, etc. to match. I thought nothing of it because I know how to dress appropriately for different occasions. So… let’s just say I was happy, glowing, confident, and NICE.

Tammy came with her boyfriend. We sat at a large, round table with the rest of the people who worked in the department. I was having fun. Then Tammy spoke up, in a loud and taunting voice, “ooooh…. look at 20years…. she thinks she’s sexy…”

(not a nice thing to say, right? well… naive and nice me didn’t realize that it was bait, because…)

Tilting my head slightly to one side with a mildly (and genuinely) confused look on my face, I said, “No, Tammy, I don’t *think* I’m sexy… (then I smiled a very nice, happy smile) I KNOW I am!”

And so, haha! take that, Tammy! But seriously, I didn’t know I was being messed with. Everyone else at the table did. And thank goodness, I was able to say the right thing back at her. She kind of slunk away, and I got a lot of “whoa, good job!” comments. Tammy’s boyfriend even asked me to dance and told me that HE thought I was sexy (no, I didn’t pursue that. Ick.)

So, this long story I’m thinking of tonight, basically it’s about my remembering how “nice” and happy I was, back then. And I’m still “nice.” A different sort of happy…. but I no longer want to be naive about spaths (I’m not) and I no longer want to have any self doubt, that there is anything wrong with nice old me. I want to be myself, and not allow anyone to mess with me. Ever again.

And I think there are some clues in the way I responded to Tammy, that told her I was not the easy mark she had thought I was. I still wonder how those words came out of me — but I think it was because I really did know I looked good, so my confidence didn’t falter. I was just confused by her statement. And she misjudged me because she wasn’t used to seeing me all dressed up.

So… having self doubt really doesn’t work in our favor. I think we should be confident in ourselves, in who we are, and if we are nice people, then so be it. I don’t think we have to change. And anyone who tries to tell us that we are not to their liking, well that’s just a sneaky tactic to try to control us. Don’t fall for it.

“Being blamed” for being a nice person is a judgment call by the speaker.

It is not a character defect. Yes, 20, all those things you listed are good things.

If somebody wants to “blame” me for being that way, I’m going thank them.

In fact, a family member once noted that I have the same gentleness as my father so to me, that’s always been “something that runs in the family.”

Ayup, that’s what I am.

20years:

Great story! Thanks for sharing this.

What I got from it is that she was jealous of you and especially because she had her boyfriend with her…she didn’t want him to think you were too hot…and he DID! Hahaha, I love it!

Your description of yourself reminds me so much of myself when I was that same age…just being who I was, shining my light and not realizing how other people were viewing me. I am so different now. I guess life beats us down and we become different people.

It is ALL about confidence for sure. People who try to undermine our niceness are jealous of that niceness because they know they can never be us!

Right on, 20years! The best answer you could have given!

I once had a similar convo with a pupil in his last grade who was always being annoying, but I could never catch him at it… especially because he’d stir up others to make trouble… Anyway, after months I was finally able to catch him in his disrespectful behaviour and confronted him about it at the end of the lesson. I asked him point-blank what issue he had with me. He told me that he felt as if I tried to be liked by the pupils by “trying to act cool”. Like you, I put my head to the side and smiled. Then I said, “I know that at your age it is important what peers think of you and how you come across. But you see, because of this you also cannot fathom yet that some people just ARE COOL.” The look on his face at that response was one for a picture. He never caused trouble anymore in my classroom after that though. That was my 2nd year as a teacher, and I was 29-30 at the time.

Regarding triangulating: Last night, I talked to a Belgian acuaintance of mine who’s been one of my spath’s exes a couple of years before me. Somewhere along the convo she suddenly mentioned how he had approached her several weeks ago, asking her to ask me to get rid of it, but she also said she hadn’t wanted to do that… thinking “He’s a grown man, he can ask himself.”

A part of his email becomes clear now. It looks like he told everyone he could what I had done and asked them to ask me to delete it. He even seems to think they’ve all asked me. But, except for his sister and his gf, nobody asked me to delete it, let alone initiated a convo with them. Of course he twisted it into a version where the “girls” were asking him about it first, while he pointed it out to him.

Better even for me… They never asked me anything, instead it spread like wildfire and even expat Nicas all over the world responded with “he got what he deserved” for the way he treated me.

It turns out that his attempt at triangulating and wanting to tell them that I’m not as “nice a woman as everyone claimed” just backfired on him.

Darwinsmom, TOO COOL!!! Hahaha. You are right. Also, the “at your age” part can be pretty effective. My son (I’m watching him closely because of the genes) sometimes tries to put me down because I’m old, and I just smile slyly, look him in the eye and say, “yes I am…” (so far, this approach works)

When I think of teachers, I like to think of the examples in Harry Potter (as they are portrayed in the movies, especially). There are lots of great interactions between the teachers and the students where you can see one-up-manship (and COOL-NESS) in action.

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