Thursday, February 25, 2016
Today marks the 7th year we have been free and safe from our abuser!
This date has turned into a day of remembrance for me. I don't wish to put on a party atmosphere. Its not.
It is a day that will be forever etched in my mind.
If you hadn't read my story previously, you can find my story in earlier blogs.
The months and days leading up to our leaving was intense. I had finally made up my mind for the final time in the Fall of 2008 that my children and I were leaving and not coming back. The final straw came in the form of a panicked phone call from my middle child, yelling in my ear that my ex was chasing our Eldest around the yard in an angry tirade. She called me when she saw that my ex had caught him and he was choking our Son!
I tried to calmly tell her to sit tight and told her to call the police. I also said I would be right home. By the grace of God, I didn't have anyone at the store that day, so I closed up immediately and raced home.
I had a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. More then usual. I never liked coming home. You never knew what to expect when you walked in the door. I loved my Kids. They are why I came home.
I pulled in and jumped out of the van. My heart was beating so hard that I could hear it in my ears! I was sweaty. The fear churning in my stomach making me feel like I was going to throw up. I walked quickly to where I heard talking in the backyard. All 3 kids and my ex were out. Chatting and playing!
My ex looked surprised to see me. I told him there were no customers for hours and I decided to surprise them! He looked suspicious but didn't say much. I asked how everything was going. I didn't want to come out and ask if he had attacked our Son. I didn't want to let him know I knew or he would have given Jess hell for telling me.
He admitted there was a incident in which he flew off the handle and had issue with M, ou Son. He said he later realized he had taken it too far. He said he apologized to M. M came around the corner. I cringed inside. I could see red marks around his neck. His eyes red rimmed, nose still red from crying. I hugged him and asked if he was okay. He looked at my ex as if to check for approval to speak. He quickly nodded.
My heart was broken. I felt angry.
This man that stood next to me lying that he was sorry and it would never happen again. He thought it would be a good idea to have a code word (Banana Splits). So, if he ever got out of control in the future I could say this code word as a reminder to him to calm down.
I nodded. Inwardly, I was thinking to myself that I didn't want to spend the reminder of my life worrying about the next time also keeping him in check with a code word! I had enough. I felt so guilty and small for allowing him to bully the kids.
The next day I called my Sister and told her I was needed to leave.
I was done.
Funny, a wait felt like it was gone from my shoulders. It felt good! My only issue is that I couldn't leave right away. I needed to wait. My family was nervous for me. They guessed how unstable my ex was. They worried I wouldn't leave alive. Those words haunted me as a Friend had told me if I didn't leave soon that I wouldn't be around by the time the end of 2009 came around.
Since leaving him in 2007, he had changed some. He became more paranoid. His outbursts were more erratic and scary. We had countless talks about how unhappy I was. How I wanted to leave. He needed help and I couldn't give him the peace he needed. We fought and argued all the time. The kids were annoying to him. The following Fall was it.
I am unsure how we started arguing about me and the kids leaving. It was late. I was tired. I was scared. I was in bed trying to blow off the conversation by telling him that I wasn't going to leave. That we would work it out and to come to bed.
I had been lying in bed for a bit praying he would let it go. I prayed he if he was going to kill me that it would be quick. I prayed he wouldn't hurt the kids. I squeezed my eyes shut pretending to be sleepy. Fear had a tight grip on me. I couldn't breathe.
He stood on his side of the bed watching me. I could hear him crying. Minutes crept by. Time seemed to stand still. It felt like an eternity.
It got quieter. Next I heard something hitting the wall and my ex grunting. I shot up from bed to see him slamming his head in the wall over and over again. Muttering that I was leaving and didn't love him anymore. He stopped suddenly and went to the opened window and punched the screen out of the window.
I grew balls for brief moment, asking if he felt better and to come to bed. I was surprised to hear the words leave my mouth!
He just stared at me and started crying. I managed to reassure him that I was staying and we would be fine. All along knowing we needed to leave as soon as we could.
I had to plan. He didn't allow us to leave his sight anymore and he was laid off from his seasonal job.
As soon as I could I began packing things, squirreling away money and opened up an checking account in my name. My Dad would come and pick things up when I was at the shop early in the morning so no one was none the wiser. I shared my situation with some of the vendors. I felt I owed it to them to be honest. I wasn't quite sure the day I was leaving but I knew I would jump the first chance I could!
My ex got the call they had a job for the first time of the year. I called my Sister the next day to let her know we were ready!
The night before we left I did tell the kids what was going on and asked each if they wanted to come with. Why? I had been reading other blogs and some victims had been in trouble for taking the kids without giving the kids a choice. Our kids were older and though it pained me to ask. I did.
The kids couldn't wait and were excited! I had already made arrangements with old and new schools days before. I didn't like to take them out but had little choice. I wanted to start anew.
I was nervous and tried to play it off the whole night and prayed my ex couldn't see through me.
The morning couldn't come fast enough! We did the normal routine of breakfast, getting his lunch together and getting him out the door. As soon as he left I sprang into action moving things, getting kids ready and making sure I had what I could.
A nervous clammy sweat coated me. I felt nervous and anxious...
It ended up being a long day. My ex still found us that night.
Since that time, it played out like a daytime talk show:
My ex attempted suicide on 2 occassions.
My ex hired someone to follow me and gave money for this person to kill and bury me.
Our Son started a fire in my apartment and threatened to kill me if he didn't get to live with my ex.
My ex stalked and threatened us.
I had a confrontation with my ex in which I ended up with bumps and bruises. But I managed to punch, scratch and kick him.
During a meeting at the courthouse between my ex nd I. Our Son attempted to fight Terry.
In which Terry was unharmed and our Son was held briefly but not charged.
My ex was given Parental time that was supervised but that went south several times.
He threatened to slit the kids throats if I got custody.
He threatened to blow up his parents house if they continued to speak with me.
He continued to harass me by calls, texts and emails. I filed PO's each time. My final PO was from last year. My ex is not supposed to have any contact with me or he will be arrested. It does expire this year.
We went through 1 Counselor and GAL as my ex had threatened them. I am not sure what transpired. Our case was sealed. It was also labeled as one of the longest and worst cases that county had ever seen. Hope that doesn't sound like a brag.
Crazy right? There is other situations that went on during these years. Almost surreal situations! I scratch my head to think of them.
So what had all that done for us?
I found out Jess was molested by my ex. No charges were filed. Why?! I scratched my head too! She had begged me not to turn this already crazy circus into something further. I honored her wished though a big part of me wanted to nail him for that. She states she has forgiven him and wanted to forget.
Both girls and I have PTSD. They aren't fully ready to put the past to bed by sharing it with counselors. Though I have tried! Jess had a suicide attempt and both girls battle from depression.
I have health issues. My Adrenals and Thyroid is shot. Poor things worn out from stress. My other unrelated health issue is Lyme's disease. This is another story! I haven't wet the bed or had bad dreams or panic attacks in a year! I feel better about myself. I never was lost. I hid for a long time. Sounds funny? While living in the abuse there were times when I would go numb, slipping out of my body to watch the situation from outside myself. I would watch in horror or in sympathy for me during whatever unpleasant experience was happening.
I have said it many times here about how surreal that time seems to me now. Those moments when we hear from my ex rocks me back to those days of sadness.
Though guilt had plagued me for so long for staying. Guilt for not seeing the sex abuse of my Daughter. Guilt for dropping off my eldest Son with Rob.
I have made peace with myself. I forgave my ex but took that forgiveness back after finding out the devastating news about our Daughter. I am still working on this!
I'm loving the life I'm in. We still have hiccups. This is a part of having teenagers and a toddler.
I feel sane again.
If you are in a abusive situation I want to remind you that it is not easy to make the decision to leave. I would do it again in a heartbeat. YOU are IMPORTANT! Please consider talking to someone you trust. Remember you are not alone and you are WORTHY of love and safety.
BIG HUGS! Stay safe!