Reminiscing the events of my life has really allowed me step back and see just how much I have been through. I know that out of my circle of friends I’ve probably had the most traumatic marriage. Of course, every one has something they can complain about that their spouse does wrong. Funnily enough, some of what they consider to be a negative about is a positive for mine. So when I listen to their stories a part of me thinks…my complaints aren’t all that bad. That’s only because I’m not telling them the full story. All they hear are surface complaints…”He calls me 20 times a day. He hasn’t finished painting the house.” Etc. None of them have any idea the depth of my anguish.
This whole blog writing thing was just a way for me to get everything I’ve been through out of my head. It’s been bottled up for so long it would’ve been no time before an explosion…or implosion. Only one of my friends knows the real story. My all…my everything. The only person I truly trust and can vent to in the times of despair and who always has a calm and rational way of talking me off the ledge. Who begs for me to leave while I can but also understands my need to prepare and not just “escape”. We should all have such a caring, non-judgmental voice of reason by our sides.
During this journey, I have expressed the big events that have shaped my life and caused me to be where I am at this moment in time. What I wasn’t ready for was all of the little things to creep back into consciousness, the flashbacks to the little things that went on in between the big things. I guess after being through so many traumatic experiences it is inevitable that the little things would creep back in.
One such incident was in the early days, when my husband had gone out after work. He worked the late shift and in reality had only been hanging out for three hours after work. But to me, at the youthful age of 19-20, it was 2:00am and my husband wasn’t home yet. So I kept paging him (no cell phones in the 80’s/90’s – only beepers) and he wasn’t calling back. As a woman, what kicks in automatically is that he is with another women. In that mindset, it means nothing that he abuses you (at least not in the early years), I automatically kicked into being pissed off and now waiting for him to get home so I could start an argument. How amusing. So I can start. What was I thinking? He came in about 2:30am and went NUTS because I kept beeping him. He was out with the guys and they must have been laughing that I kept trying to reach him. Who even knows…but he flew up the stairs in a rampage screaming and threatening me and of course…I ended up on the floor and he was over me holding a knife while he was clearly beyond drunk. I remember feeling like that was it. I am going to end up brutally murdered. Instead he tears off my shirt…with the knife…and throws me on the bed. Now I remember thinking…holy shit…he’s going to rape me!!! Can he be that nuts? I’d much rather take a beating then be raped…no less than by my own husband. I can barely remember how I got out of that. I just recall kicking and screaming “get off me” and he did. Possibly less to do with realizing what he was doing and more because of the need to violently throw his guts up due to the amount of alcohol he consumed. In my head, I can still see the shirt I had on and the sheets on my bed from that night. He, on the other hand, has no recollection of it. I had brought it up many years after the fact and he had no idea what I was talking about and thought I was making up a story to use against him. Amazing.
Another memory that popped up was either from the same night or not too long after this one probably due to a similar incident, but I remember tying sheets together and trying to climb out of the second story window holding my daughter. She was probably only around two years old at the time. I remember throwing the sheets out of the window to make sure they reached the ground. I had secured my daughter to my chest by wrapping her blankets around the two of us. My fear was not that I might break my ankle or leg while escaping this way but that I may drop her. The window I was coming out of was right above the awning of the house that covered the main stairs to enter into my apartment. It was in the middle of the night and so no one was outside to see what I was trying (I remember subconsciously hoping someone would see so that they could help me). I sat on the windowsill and held onto the sheets and put one leg out the window. For a split second I recall thinking how insane has my life become that I am actually contemplating climbing out of a window?! Obviously, I did not carry through with this plan. I’m not sure what I was more afraid of, getting hurt or getting caught by my husband. So I tried the staircase. He was sleeping in the living room next to the steps and I remember getting on to the second step and it creaking and him shifting around in his sleep. So I gave up. I went back to my room, untied the sheets, put my daughter back in the crib and laid down crying myself to sleep.
Memories like this really put things into perspective. The amount of shit I have been through is just astounding. And even though the physical abuse is pretty much nil at this moment in time, it existed. It was prevalent enough in my life that some days I preferred to be dead. Why was I with such a violent man and have not been killed yet? Something was keeping me alive. I didn’t really understand at the time what it could possibly be. I believed we are on this earth for a purpose and my purpose had yet to be completed. At the time, I had never heard the saying “If God brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it.” As an adult, I know it now and must keep the faith and believe that after all the bad…good things are still possible. And I’m looking forward to it all.
Never did I anticipate all of the commentary and support I have received from strangers reading my story. It’s brought on a new level of empowerment to my spirit. I feel more full of possibility now than ever. My time to leave is not today or tomorrow…but it is near and I can see the end closer now than it’s ever been.