If you are reading my blog for the first time, I would like to say thank you. I am still new to the scene but I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. This forum is being used for me to unravel my past. To help figure out … I don’t know … myself? All of the years of this nonsense have led me here and maybe by sharing my story and learning yours we will all heal just a little and the end of this journey and the start of a new one will unfold before me.
So picking up where I left off….
Now that I knew how my ex felt it was almost soothing. Even though he was not the type of man to step in and take me out of the situation – nor would I ever want him to put himself in that danger – that was okay with me. I knew my perpetrator. I could handle what I was given. If my ex got involved and my husband attempted to or succeeded in hurting him in any way…I could never live with myself. And I refused to put him in a situation where I could lose him twice. So…I continued on with my plan. To raise my daughter and hold on to hope. Only now, I had a light at the end of the tunnel. Something so much better to look forward to. My soul was at ease.
By now, you may have wondered…why did I stay? Aside from basically being paralyzed with fear, my concern was my daughter. If I left, I may have to hide. If I took his child and fled and hid…he absolutely would have quit his job and hunted me down. No question. If I stayed and went through a normal separation, divorce, the good old legal route…I would’ve had to deal with him on a daily, weekly or whenever basis. If he would’ve had visitation I may even have to hand over my child to stay with him for a weekend. None of the above was ever a contemplation in my mind. I would stay. I would teach her how to survive on her own. When she turns 18 she can move out and I will disappear. Maybe, in the interim, he may even change. At least it would make the time a little more peaceful, right? Ha. Yeah…exactly what you’re thinking. Good luck with that.
In fairness…I did leave. The one time. Even though it didn’t last for 24 hours. But there was a second time. I think my daughter may have been about 2 1/2 at the time. (The early years are all a blur to me at this point.) I guess things peaked and I took my daughter and my father drove me to a women’s shelter about 5 hours away. It was run out of an old colonial style home. In the suburbs. I remember when we got there he was not allowed to help me in. He was a man after all. Men were not allowed in the house. I was taken in and shown around. There were two bunk beds in each room. The woman handed me a ziploc with a travel size toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, etc. The essentials. She showed me a make shift classroom for the children to learn and play in during the day while the women were to do chores around the house. As well as group therapy sessions. They would teach us how to apply for welfare, food stamps, medicaid…whatever was available to us in order for us to get back out there on our own without struggling. (Until we were back on our feet of course.) Then there was the kitchen. She showed me the cupboards and fridge and how to make sure I put my name on everything so that there are no issues with the other women in the house. It was all very overwhelming. I was in a strange town with strange people in a strange house and I was not comfortable. I did not want to stay. Before the night was over, I called my friend and asked her and her boyfriend to come get me. They did. I spent the night at their apartment when we got back. I called my husband and told him that I rented a hotel room for the night and that I’d be back in the morning. I needed sleep.
In writing this, I can feel the turmoil from that day. I wondered then as I wonder now…how the hell did I get myself into this fucked up situation? Why could I not just walk away and say – it’s over? I mean when this was going on…I was 21 maybe 22 years old. I just came back from a BATTERED WOMEN’S SHELTER. Are you kidding me? Insanity. Sheer insanity. None of this makes any sense. But…I knew then as I know now…it is pure, 100%, straight up…fear. Fear is a bitch. How the hell could I be so afraid that I’d allow myself to get beat and spoken to like I was garbage? Damn…it’s like they come with a handbook…Abuse for Dummies. Chapter 1 – How to Control Her. Sick, twisted, psychotic bullshit. All of it. I was tired then….I’m tired now.
So here I am. Still. I tried leaving twice. I was young and naive and unprepared. Now I am older and wiser. The fear is still there but it’s like a sand castle and the wind is blowing. I am preparing. The third time will definitely be the charm.