Tag Archives: obligation

The Restraining Order Chronicles

11 Aug

It was Monday morning and I was getting to venture out for the day to try to lighten my spirits after an unfortunate trip to the ER the night prior. I heard a light knock on the door, and while I’m generally inclined to ignore unannounced visitors, I decided to answer on the off chance that the police officer from the night before needed more information.

When I opened the door, there was a strange woman standing on my doorstep with a white plastic trash bag filled with what looked like clothes. She immediately and without invitation began telling me her life story – how her significant other was a meth addict and abusive, how her child was taken away – the ramblings of someone obviously stressed. While I listened patiently, I knew she was surely a runaway from an abusive home looking for a helping hand.

I was right about one part.

She continued to ramble on about how her child had been given to her significant others family, which resulted in a restraining order against her. She explained she had to buy her child, Tracker, school clothes but the restraining order prevented her from giving them to him. She said she didn’t know anyone in the area other than church people, who, according to her, were unfit for the task of dropping the clothes off because of their large numbers of children.

Wanting to help, I obliged and took down her name, her son’s name, the location of the home at which to drop the clothes, and the guardian’s name. She continued carrying on about her other 4 children and their father and having to buy them school clothes. Of course, amidst the blabber, she did find a moment or two to thank me.

I took the white trash bag she’d been holding, and closed the door. As I walked back through my house, I got a sinking feeling in my gut.

Who in their right minds gets in the middle of a restraining order? And who even knows if this lady is in her right mind…she is just as likely to be on meth as anyone with all that rambling.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I completely regretted my decision to help. I heard another tap on the door, and was reluctant to answer it; I had enough crazy for one morning. By the time I mustered up the will to engage this woman again, I moved around the corner only to see her walk across the front of my apartment and look into the window well into the basement. Sinking feeling aside…I now felt worried!

I stepped back around the corner for fear she’d see me, and when I popped back around it, she was walking toward my door again. I answered it, reluctantly, but no one was there. I immediately locked all the door and windows, including the back patio gate. After all, what’s to say that she wasn’t out for something more than help violating a restraining order.

It’s been 3 days, and I decided I no longer wanted to be involved, so a trip to the police department was in order. I had no desire to get this woman, “Tamera like camera”, in trouble, but I also didn’t want to be third-party harassing these people. Alas…the police department couldn’t do anything, and I couldn’t just NOT do anything with the clothes, so onward I went to the Railroad Diagonal.

Tamera like camera had given me two different houses to visit, so I parked my car in between both. It appeared that one of the people I was directed to speak with was sitting outside, so I politely approached and addressed her. I’m not sure if she was deaf, blind in her good eye (the other one had a patch over it), ignoring me, on heavy medication, or all of the above, but all of my attempts to get her attention, which numbered several, were futile. I didn’t even get a glance from 8 feet away.

As it was starting to rain, I trotted across the way to the other home and knocked on the door, first lightly, then harder. No answer.

I set the bag down, which had been labeled, and got into my car and left. If they have any questions, the note I pinned on got ripped off and fell in one-eyed Patty’s yard. Maybe she should’ve answered me.

 

What is something you immediately regretted helping someone with? How did you resolve it?