Its been a year since my last post...so much has changed. I guess I'll start by saying thank God that I'm not where I was a year ago, or even six months ago. I didn't realize anyone had read the blog since my last post, so I apologize for not responding. Anne, thank you for your nomination...I didnt know it was there! ;) I wrote that post, and then over the next two months, what I thought couldn't get worse, got much much so, and I stopped writing altogether.
Yesterday I got a letter from the IRS saying I was being audited because both my husband and I claimed our children on our taxes, which we filed separately. It was just another blow in the "year from hell." So while I couldn't sleep last night, I started looking up other women's blogs...its helped in the past to find women who've gone through this, and shockingly I stumbled on my own...and realized that people were actually reading it. So, here we are. I've decided to share whats happened in the hopes that another woman or mother can read what I've been through, and not feel so alone. If it weren't for those other women that I "bonded" with during my sleepless nights, I'm not so sure I'd be where I am today. Seeing they survived their situations, and even came out better for it, and with a positive attitude, helped so tremendously I cant even describe it.
So, I guess the best place to start is the...middle...
We got up to October last year. The time between then and Christmas was a nightmare. He had stopped going to marriage counseling, I was still confused. When I mentioned leaving, he would either threaten me, or beg me not to leave. And then on Christmas Eve, everything came to a screeching halt, and I knew everything...our lives together...was over forever.
That day, he was incredibly irritated, for no reason that I could figure out. He was just nasty...name calling, fussing, cursing...for nothing. I had decided to take the kids and leave for the day because this wasnt good for them to see. As I tried to leave, he blocked the driveway. When he did let me pass, he followed me, during which time I called his father and told him what was happening. At some point, he disappeared, and I thought it was safe to go home. I was wrong. He must have been watching from somewhere because he blocked me again. (I know, it was stupid to go home!) This time I took out my phone to take a picture of him and when he saw that, he moved. The kids and I spent the day at his parents house. I knew we'd be safe there, even if he showed up.
He called incessantly that day, but I refused to talk to him. After months and months of this drama, I refused to entertain it on Christmas Eve. About halfway through the day, the baby (who was already sick), started getting worse, and I needed to take him to urgent care (he had pneumonia). I texted him to let him know where we were, and that we'd be home in time for dinner. We got home, and, no husband. For hours, nothing. The kids and I ate, decorated the Christmas ornaments we had made earlier in the week, and I tucked them into bed.
And then he came home. And he was very very angry. He stormed into the house, screaming at me, throwing things, cussing...all in front of the kids who had just been tucked in and were ready for Santa to arrive. I was holding the baby, and he was throwing things at both of us. I took the baby downstairs so the older children wouldn't see what was happening, and hoping that the sight of his infant would calm him down. It didn't. He ranted and screamed, over and over telling me this would be a Christmas I would never forget. I remember just praying that we would survive the night. He's raged before, but this was different. This was unfiltered, uncontrolled, and purposeful rage. At one point, he had blocked the baby and I into the kitchen. I reached behind me for the phone, but he had taken them all off the hook. I couldn't call for help. The panic I felt in my heart at that moment, holding my baby boy, knowing my girls were listening and scared and I couldnt be with them...it was a feeling I will never forget. Somehow, purely by the grace of God, his attention turned for a minute. It was just long enough for me to get past him and to the panic button for our house alarm that I slept with every night. He chased me up the stairs, knowing full well what I was about to do.
There was a moment, where time stood still, when I had the button in my hand and he was looking at me, almost daring me to touch it. I had never called the police before. I had flagged them down in the past (cant remember if I blogged about that one), but I had never called them to our home. He didn't think I would do it. But I did. It was literally the most empowering moment I've felt in our marriage. I had no idea what was to come in the following months, but for that moment, I felt stronger than I've ever felt.
He left the house, and I waited for the police. It was then, those seven minutes or so, that I lost it. I had been holding my son for hours at that point. My arm burnt so badly from the strain, but I wasn't putting him down. Seeing the police lights in my driveway was THE biggest relief I'd felt in a long long time. Finally, someone will know. Finally, he will be held responsible (not for the affair, but for the abuse). I hadn't had a chance to check on the girls before the police arrived. I was hysterical downstairs and just hadn't gone up yet. One of the officers went upstairs to talk to them, and thankfully, he was so gentle and kind with them, that it eased their fears. As the police were documenting what happened, my husband came home. They pulled their guns on him. And I was glad and just kept thinking "how's it feel? How's it feel to be on the other side? To be told what to do? To have someone have complete control over you??"
I didn't get a protective order that night. That was a mistake. The police asked him to leave our home for ten days, and he obliged, but he was under no court order to actually stay away (I'll share what he did during that time in a different post). But by not getting the protective order, it allowed him back into the house after that ten day period was up. Down the road, it gave his lawyer the argument that "things couldn't have been that bad if she didn't get the order." Things WERE that bad, but it was Christmas. I wanted the kids to be able to see him at some point. I was trying to do what I thought was right, and ended up sort of screwing myself in the long run. He had put it in my head that, "a protective order is just a piece of paper.." My advice to anyone reading this, going through something similar, is get the order. Start the paper trail that documents these events. (For the record, prohibiting someone to get away from you or for seeking help is unlawful and I could have sent him to jail that night. The officers wanted to take him to jail that night, and its actually in the police report that I was "non-compliant" because I refused to press charges. I had NO idea....he's held me hostage numerous times in our home, and never did I realize that was against the law!)
And that was it. The day I realized it was all over, for good. What happened next, I could never have even dreamed in my worst nightmare, but that day was a total game changer. The rest, I'll write about later.
So, here we are again! I'm still a mom, social worker, craft enthusiast...but no longer a wife. (Well, technically we are still married, but you know what I mean!)
And for those of you who have been with me since the beginning....this little nugget (and of course, his sisters) has been my peace and sanity through this year. He's grown a little, eh? :)