Need advice-Long story


#1

About 10 years ago when I was very active in the church youth group, my priest asked myself & my boyfriend to be the Godparents of a little boy. The family had just moved to our area & we knew hardly anything about them. I personally was not happy about being put in this situation. I knew this was a huge responsibility & was unsure about being able to handle it. I had discovered that the parents of this little boy were having troubles & selfishly, I didn’t really want to get involved. I also didn’t know them well enough to become a part of their life. Against my better judgment I went ahead & stood as Godparents for this boy. After the baptism I didn’t hear from them… at all. It wasn’t until almost 2 years afterwards that the father of this child showed up at my work claiming he & his wife had divorced & under extremely strained circumstances. He made several claims yet later when speaking to the priest that involved us with this family he admitted there was some abuse going on in the relationship. I kept my distance yet when the father found out I was no longer involved with my boyfriend he began pushing the idea that I would be a wonderful mother to his son. He visited a few times at my job, each visit grew more and more uncomfortable. He would make comments about marriage and laugh them off or would stand much too close to me. My coworkers met him as well as he was visiting during work hours & they too were unsettled by his words & actions, mostly his interest in me. My coworkers actually intervened a few times, at one point a fellow sales person physically stood between me and him while I was working so he would back away. They also would tell him I was away at times as he would stop by to see me or call. He would make comments “in jest” about poisoning his wife and how horrible of a mother his ex-wife was. I spoke to my priest again to inform him of my concern for not only my safety but the safety of the ex-wife and child. My priest told me the situation was under control & I left it in his hands. It was years before I heard from this man again. He showed up at my work with a startling suggestion. I’d like to make it clear that I had no contact with him, nor the child, nor did I have any way to get in contact with them as they moved around a bit. Anyhow he showed up at work again to tell me he was off to Iraq (serviceman) & he wanted me to sign some papers before he left. These papers gave me custody of his child in case of his death. I wouldn’t sign them. Both he and his wife had family which didn’t make much sense to me. I hadn’t seen his wife or even knew where she was & still don’t. He left & I didn’t hear from him for almost 7 years.
Recently he showed up at my work with his son this time. I’ve seen this child maybe 4 times over the past ten years, since he was born. This last time was the only time this little boy could have remembered the visit or me. He was a baby when I’d seen him before. During this visit my husband was there & I introduced him to them. We had a strained conversation for a few minutes, mostly catching up with the little boys activities. My husband excused himself & I started to follow. Once my husband was out of earshot the father became increasingly angry asking me when I had gotten married & why I hadn’t told him or invited him. He also reminded me I was in his will, which threw me for a loop. His son was standing next to him during this one sided conversation and I didn’t want to cause a scene so I simply let him carry on. I thanked the little boy for visiting and excused myself, hoping to never see them again. Considering how angry he was about my marriage I’d thought I’d seen the last of him but he just today called my work. I was not there but he did tell my manager how upset he was that I wasn’t calling his son as he spoke about me constantly & wanted me be a part of his life. The manager & I spoke as she was concerned about the way this man spoke about me & acted on the phone.
I’m torn. This little boy is blameless in this situation but I personally don’t want to be involved in this volatile. This man makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. For lack of a better word he’s creepy. I’ve never known where this child was over the past several years. I’ve had hardly any contact with them, no exchange of addresses or phone numbers. He just today left a phone number for me to contact him. If he is so concerned about the presence of a Godparent in his sons life why hasn’t he contacted his Godfather? The situation has gotten a bit out of hand. I do admit I am fearful of him and would prefer not to speak to him but I can’t help but think about the boy. I also feel a bit railroaded by the priest in this circumstance & I’m not sure involving him now would do any good. Is there a way to take my name off the baptism certificate? Maybe there is someone else in his life that would be able to take this role? Any advice? :confused:


#2

Tell him to cease and desist, to never contact you and if he does call the police.


#3

You definitely have been dealt a poor hand. But being a godparent does not mean that you represent the parent, nor should you be put into the position of being the guardian of this child. As a godparent you represent the church…and your responsibility is to see that the child is taught his faith & that he becomes an active member of the church.

Through the help of the mediation of a parish priest or perhaps someone who is willing to help…Perhaps, the father of the child could be contacted by letter to remind them, that you do not accept any responsibility for the child in the event of his demise.
The best & only route for his child, would be with a member from his own loving family not a complete stranger…like you despite your godparent connection. His effort to seek a relationship is uncomfortable & inappropriate.

If he cannot accept this decision & attempts to pursue any conversation with you, then you will seek legal recourse to have a restraining order against him.


#4

Tell him, or have your husband tell this man, never to contact you again. He sounds unstable. I would be sorry for the little boy but that is out of your hands. Your first priority is your safety and well-being and you owe nothing to someone who is trying to manipulate you. You also have to give priority to your marriage. If this man continues to contact you, get a restraining order.


#5

Get a restraining order. And if pepper spray or mace is legal where you live, get that too.

Your husband needs to step up to the plate and put himself between you and the unstable guy instead of “excusing himself”. Part of his role as a husband is to protect you. Buy him some boxing lessons at a local gym for his birthday or Christmas if need be.

And that priest you were talking about - all I can charitably say is, “What is he thinking?”.


#6

Go to a lawyer and get a barring (restraining) order against him if the police won’t tell him to stay away from you. You are not responsible for the little boy and as you say he has family. You must think of your own safety and the safety of your family and friends. This man sounds a bit dangerous.


#7

Wow, this sounds dangerous. I’m sorry for what you’re going through and will keep you in my prayers.

It sounds like this problem is not going to disappear unless you put a stop to it by taking some serious action. I agree with all of the other respondents about obtaining a restraining order - especially doing so through an attorney. Hopefully, this will keep him away from you, but even this doesn’t always work. I suggest you change your telephone number and get an unlisted number. I hope he doesn’t know where you live. You’ve mentioned he’s come to your workplace. If he knows where you work then he can follow you home without you knowing. Be very, very careful. It sounds like he could become a threat to your husband, too and especially if he can’t get to you, so I would be a bit fearful of him hurting your husband if your husband confronted him. It doesn’t sound like he’s been a threat to your husband at this point but I’d watch out for this. I don’t mean to scare you by mentioning this but it’s better to take the necessary precaution. As soon as your husband could get a restraining order from this man, too - the better.

As a godparent, praying for the mans’ son and keeping a distance from this man so that he can’t hurt you, is the best thing you can do for the child. Keep the child in your prayers. I hope the child has a better example in his life than his father. Pray, as I’m sure that you already do, that God sends the child a positive role model in his life, if he doesn’t already have one.

You’re in my prayers. God bless you.


#8

I totally agree. It is not to scare you, but you have to pay attention to the signs and the signs are very clear here. Specially if he went off to Iraq, who knows if that affected his personality/ways even more!

Be very very very very cautious. Do whatever you have to do to avoid him. Report him to the police or whatever to let people know and authorities as well of this man. If anything happens to you or to your loved ones that he should be the first suspect! Tell as many people as you know about this man. This should not be kept so that there wont be any misunderstandings in the future for whatever reason.

I am sorry that you have to be in this weird situation :frowning:

God Bless You and you will be in my prayers.


#9

Thanks everyone for your posts. I appreciate your concern and prayers.
It’s one of those situations where…. I know what I need to do but I had hoped it wouldn’t have gotten to this point. I somehow thought there might be a better solution.
I spoke to a friend of mine in law enforcement and she too suggested a restraining order. My husband is now aware of who this guy is too. When they first met he didn’t draw the connection and is more than a little ticked and concerned about the situation. He suggested also that he call and speak to him but I’m not sure I want to put him in that spot. I have no idea how this man will respond if pushed. If he does call again and my husband is nearby he will speak to him. Maybe a mans voice will make the point a little clearer.
This guy doesn’t know where we live and doesn’t have our phone number. I would never give it to him. It’s the work visitation I’m worried about. I hate to bring drama to my workplace.
I thought I was doing right by accepting this responsibility when I was younger but knew something wasn’t right with this dudes head. He’s about 20 years my elder and his advances were highly inappropriate then (and still are). The priest was sort of pushing that I was being a good Catholic by listening and getting involved in the first place. Trying to save the world again. Dumb.
When I did see him on his more recent visits (not to mention the fact that I had no contact with him) I had thought it was clear that I was uninterested in any involvement with this situation. I may just have to make that crystal clear and if he persists & follow up with a restraining order.
I hadn’t really thought about the fact that he would be following me home from work. I appreciate the heads up. We are aware and leery and have taken precautions. It’s a little scary but we know what we need to do. The fact that he is a trained soldier (more of a suit from what I remember but still important) hasn’t wandered far from our minds too. Many people know about him, what he looks like and the situation. A lot of the suggestions mentioned have already been acted on. Thanks.
I will keep praying for this little boy. Please if any of you have the time, mention him in your prayers too. Thanks for the suggestions and God bless.


#10

And get that order of protection today! This is stalking!


#11

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