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Old 03-20-2014, 08:56 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I and I feel like his being there with me when everyone knows he's just been arrested for attacking me makes me look as insane as him.
Just a reminder:

It's none of my business what other people think of me.

BTW, say happy birthday to DD from the moose. Yesterday was both my daughter's and her son's birthday. Of course AW called, said happy birthday and then when into a poor me pity fest.

Good thing she lives 1000 miles away

((((hugs))))

Your friend,
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:59 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I'm sorry I'm just so angry for you! It is NOT fair that our court system allows abusers access to their victims just because they have children together. Not fair! In a perfect world, I would agree that you should go... but we don't live in a perfect world and you have to do whatever you need to do for your emotional well being. Put you and your children first and you can't go wrong - whether that's going anyway, staying home, or moving the party back to your house. At some point, you will want to take the power back from him but that time may not be now, so soon after the attack. I hope you have a really good therapist.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:00 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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WTBH, please keep the focus on what you can control. You can't control him. You can control you.

Move the party to your house.
- How did you send out invites? Go back through the list and contact people, letting them know you had to move the venue and hope to see them there. No explanations necessary.
- Contact your ex however, let him know you had to move the venue and the party will be at your house, sorry. No explanations necessary. If he goes nuts, follow the police protocol.
- If anyone asks, "Old Venue just wasn't going to work. We're looking forward to having you!" It's 100% true.
- Get the one big room and kitchen clean, shove everything else behind a shut door. Have the party. Put on music, pick a theme and go with it. Think of the parties of your youth -- a bunch of kids running around being kids. They don't have to have activities and constant activity management. Cake, ice cream, get a bunch of the BIG bouncy balls from the store and a bunch of jars of blowing bubbles. Hang a banner. Done. Why balls and bubbles? They're your party favors, for one. For two, kids can't help themselves -- best kid party I ever went to was balls and bubbles. Do it outside if you can.
- TWO HOURS TOPS. Anything more than that and you'll experience premature grays and/or baldness.

And/or.

Get the court to clarify.
Girl, talk to your damn lawyer. Should the RSO really be limited to not include public places FOR PARTIES YOU THE PROTECTED ARE HOSTING? The best practice is for the protected person and/or the limited person to leave a venue once they realize the other one is there. This current arrangement is totally unreasonable, and I'll bet he and his snake lawyer didn't specify WHY the public places order should be lifted. They're playing the system.

If it's true and it stands? Last minute switch back to your house for the venue. Sorry, Dad of the Year! Throw your own ******* party.

Don't talk yourself out of doing this. He does not have your life and well-being in his hands. If I may be crude, you have to grab your nuts on this one.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:09 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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It is NOT fair that our court system allows abusers access to their victims just because they have children together.
That is so true. The reasoning behind it is that children need both their parents and should not be punished because the parents can't get along. The judicial system has yet to understand that there are legitimate situations where children do not need both their parents -- that children are sometimes better off without an addicted or abusive parent.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:22 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Your reaction to him isn't voluntary... a version of PTSD likely kicks in whether you want it to or not. And that's real. And frankly, it IS debilitating at times. So you might be correct that you can't do it yet. If you know that deep in your heart, that's okay for you.

Ask yourself--if he'll be "charming public guy", and you don't look at him or talk to him, and you have a strong friend buffer, can you do it? Or will it ruin the day?

Secondly...will your daughter have similar reactions? (If the answer to that is yes...then I'd change the venue or reschedule for your house another time, because it would be a bad experience for her. Ultimately this party is about her.)

If she'll be fine and you won't, you can still change it if you want (you're doing the work) or decide not to go. Not going doesn't have to mean he "wins". He would "win" only if you stay home, show him he got to you, and remain PTSD all weekend. If you stay home and keep your inner calm (flippantly: I don't want to be around you, so have at it, here's the list of things you need to do to pull it off, daughter is pleased you'll be handling it (this part so he has to own it)), he still doesn't win. You keeping sane and not allowing him to crash your serenity is YOU winning. And he'll know it.

You're in charge of you. You get to choose your sanity. Oh, did I mention it's so much easier to write this than to DO it? So please bear with me.

Question for you...if he weren't going but you came down with a horrendous, honestly can't get off the floor stomach flu with chills, fever, etc the day before the party and knew it wouldn't go away in time...what would you do about the party? Remember, you are physically incapable of going (none of this codie working through the pain stuff). I'm curious, because I think this may be the same thing. It's just that you don't feel like you can give your current "symptoms" the same weight.

This really isn't a matter of toughing it out. Take care of you in whatever way you need.

Too bad I don't actually have that bodybuilder or I'd send him over.

Hugs, and prayers for your peace. Don't forget to eat even if you feel sick. I'd tell you to sleep too, but then you'd probably just laugh at me. So eat something yummy...and if it's sunny where you are today... step outside and just breathe for a few minutes. Just breathe. You'll be okay.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:31 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Praying View Post
Question for you...if he weren't going but you came down with a horrendous, honestly can't get off the floor stomach flu with chills, fever, etc the day before the party and knew it wouldn't go away in time...what would you do about the party? Remember, you are physically incapable of going (none of this codie working through the pain stuff). I'm curious, because I think this may be the same thing. It's just that you don't feel like you can give your current "symptoms" the same weight.

This really isn't a matter of toughing it out. Take care of you in whatever way you need.
I just want to second this.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:38 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
The event is my dd's birthday party w her school friends and I specifically had it away from home so I could lessen stress for me around prepping etc and cleaning etc...
Ok, then, let's turn this around.

Which stress is worse? Dealing with the details of DD's Bday party at home or the agony that you have been in for days & will continue to be in over your Ex potentially showing up?

It sounds like you have already incurred TONS more damaging stress from just the mere mention that he might show up (understandably, not arguing the reasons why) vs. prepping for/cleaning up after the party.

Yes, he sucks, he & his POS attorney found a loophole. But you CAN close it & take back control. Sending you lots of positive vibes today!
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:41 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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WTBH, just wanted to offer you hugs and all the positive energy I can. Do what is best for you!
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:13 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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I already paid to have it at the venue its at and having it there was DD's birthday gift from me... So I guess I need to think, and fast, about whether to move it to my house.

I think that DD will have a blast at the party and with all the kids coming her fathers presence won't stress her (I hope).

She has asked to have a not at home party for several years and is pretty psyched about this one... All I care about is HER having fun... I have real concerns about my ability to not be upset by xAH if he's there.

And I don't want to contribute to her party being unfun and I truly think that it might be best for DD if I "come down with a flu" and offer to xAH to host the party alone...

I will have everything ready to go and will drop off her cake and set up etc... I don't think I can deal with being there with him and if it means I bow out to be sure that there is no possibility for tension for my daughter, so be it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:38 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Maybe next time you plan an event, is it possible to not invite him, don't even tell him about it? Or would the kids tell him? I certainly know how you are feeling, I would not want my AH at my kids event, something bad always would end up happening. Thankfully my H is in recovery at the moment, but I feel your worries. We all know that gut wrenching feeling. I'm sorry!
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:56 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Wantobehealthy, it would not be very healthy if you bail on your daughter. For her sake and yours hold your head up high and be there for her on her BIRTHDAY, you can't get that back. It is in a public place with other people around and your support system. Plaster a smile on your face and suck up two hours for your daughter. Sorry for being a B but I don't want you to have one regret concerning your daughter, and I think faking the flu would be something you will be sorry you did. Screw him and have a great time!
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:21 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I don't think I can deal with being there with him and if it means I bow out to be sure that there is no possibility for tension for my daughter, so be it.
I have a child with PTSD and at this point, he is no contact with his father. Just seeing his father from a distance has sent him into a tailspin with the nightmares, fear, and anxiety. I do think Praying is right that those symptoms can truly be debilitating enough that we need to avoid the trigger for our own mental health.

I do not have PTSD but I do have generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. When I'm really struggling, I increase my alanon meetings (have done 3 in 2 days a couple times), and/or call for an emergency meeting with my therapist.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:35 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
My best friend will be there and she knows he's an a$$. He's caused so much damage to so many friendships for the girls and I and I feel like his being there with me when everyone knows he's just been arrested for attacking me makes me look as insane as him. I'm anxious about all of it....
So H is legal to pop in to party (Fact) and steal the show acting charming (Assumption).
You are concerned you are the one who is going to look insane (Assumption).
This must be the talk of the school gossip chatter (Assumption)?
This will make the party well attended with parents pausing at drop off and hanging around (Assumption)?
How recently was this attack (Fact)? Are you sporting bruises (Visible Facts?)?
You think dealing with him is going to put you over the edge & you have been crying about this for 2 nights (Fact - You are already OVER the edge).
If you don't go to party are you going to sit and fret the entire time or sit in a noncodie zen like state for 3.5 hours? The likely fact is you are going to be sitting around obsessing and being over the edge at home missing your daughter's party & causing regrets and resentment.

So-What can you control?
Get everything ready for the party. This is important. Get the stuff organized and together bc this is YOUR gift to your DD!

You can control you and your appearance.

If you decide on the flu - agree with your friend on HER taking everything and your kids to the event and ensuring she gets your kids home with all the post party load of stuff. No opening for H to act charming or insinuate him into taking credit for party or helping out... Set up a plan now with her and as many friends you need to pull in.

If you decide to go - go in there with your head held high. Personally I WOULD hire some broke but buff guy and have him just hang by your shoulder the entire party... Call the police station - they might know of some cadet who could use $40 or some cop who does something like that on the side. Heck call a stripper service and see if they'd be willing to help out for a small fee and keep their clothes on. Or walk into a gym and talk to one of the managers - they might know who might look the part and is in the gym. Then figure out something to wear. Something that feels like armor. Something that makes you happy. Charge your phone and camera and get ready to run around taking pictures the entire time so you don't sit still and can't get cornered.

You are going to be anxious either way. People are going to talk either way. Might as well make the most of it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:36 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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DDs wishes for this type of party surely changes the reasoning for keeping the venue. The last couple of posts made me wonder - how will your kid(s) handle NOT having you there? I'm not sure where they are right now in terms of their comfort level with your ex... will your absence affect either or/both? (especially the Bday girl?)

I really am sorry that you find yourself in this position. (((hugs)))
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:02 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Letís talk about this public place stuff exactly what does your restraining say? Does it say he must stay stay at least a certain # of yards away from you?

I would clarify with legal aid, an attorney on exactly what that means. A public area is a shopping mall, an amazement park a school sporting event, a park, etc. etc.. Which then means he can be there but it still doesnít mean he can be near you or converse with you.

This is not a free pass for him to harass you further. Iíd seek legal advice and gain clarity on EXACTLY what it means and what your rights are.

The narcissist that he is could make him believe he has the upper hand when in fact he could actually violate the restraining order and you could have him put in jail.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:17 PM
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The narcissist that he is could make him believe he has the upper hand when in fact he could actually violate the restraining order and you could have him put in jail.
^^^
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:33 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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I moved 200 miles away from XH. It has helped my freedom and my emotional state immensely.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I understand how having an oppressive and antagonistic force in your neighborhood can significantly limit your world and your children's worlds.

You may have to take your daughter and a handful of buddies to the attraction site on another occasion, and move the birthday party to your house.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:29 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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WTBH, is there a distinction between a public event vs an event at a public venue? I'm kind of thinking/hoping there's a definition somewhere to clarify "public event." Like a school play your daughter is in, a major league baseball game or an opera you're attending...

Because, depending on the venue, a public venue can be the site of a private event, and while one could be admitted to the public venue, unless that person was an invitee to the private event, they're not getting into that section. Like a wedding held at a museum... Joe Schmoe might go to the museum the same day as the party, and he's welcome to browse all of the exhibits, but he's not automatically a guest at the wedding.

IDK. Just because I host DS's birthday at Chuck E Cheese, and I pay admittance for DS's friends, it doesn't mean I'm paying for ALL of the kids running around who weren't invited, so I'm kind of thinking that's a private event at a public space... I don't know... but maybe that's a point that can be clarified in the RO?
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:05 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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I totally relate to the panic and anxiety you are experiencing, especially knowing how calm your A will be. That happens to me constantly - in my head as well as in court.

An abuser gets right through to our most vulnerable places and throws us off balance at the most critical times on purpose. He's attending this event to mess with you.

Your best strategy for now and in the future is to grow healthier and more confident in yourself. Some of this will happen as the natural result of restarting your life and getting as far away from your A mentally and physically as you can.

For the party, keep breathing first of all. Then calmly look at your options. You are being offered the best advice here. I agree. This is a private event in a public place.

Whatever happens is precedent setting. Throwing a curve ball on the A at the last moment would be a great way to get him off guard. You don't want to give him control - whatever you do!

Positive affirmations and blessings your way! And hugs galore!!!
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:04 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Does the venue have a security guard of any sort? If not maybe check to see how much it is to hire one for the duration?? May be a small price to pay for some peace of mind. I know here a lot of police do it on the side for extra $$. If YOU hire them (vs the venue) then you could brief them before hand.

IDK, just throwing something out there.
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