As this brave domestic violence survivor describes the day she left, the day she found her freedom I am sure many of us can relate. Leaving is the scariest and hardest thing to do. I want to say thank you to this brave, amazing, inspiring and wonderful survivor for sharing her story with Memoirs of a Broken Woman. I continue to be inspired by so many of you that have reached out and shared your story. It is when we speak out that we stand No More for Domestic Violence.
“My story from pain to healing. Leaving with no regrets.”
Once I decided to leave my abusive marriage I started to work on a plan and a schedule. I reached out and had a conversation with the priest who performed our marriage ceremony. While talking to him on the phone he quickly became very concerned for my safety and my well-being. He asked if I would be okay staying there and if I had money to leave? He guided me the best way he knew how. I called the police and a police officer came to the home and took a police report of the abuse perpetrated against me. The officer then handed me a pamphlet and directed me to call and speak with one of the Domestic Abuse counselors. When I called I spoke with a very kind and comforting woman who took a report and talked with me about the issue. I got off the phone and began to load up my car with my belongings and other items that I could carry. I suffer from a debilitating illness that quickly exhausts me. So climbing the stairs up and down carrying load after load out to my car my health quickly became an issue in that moment. It turned into even a bigger challenge the more I tried to do.
As I sat on the couch in the living room in this strange house in a strange state with no friends or family to turn to, I became despondent as my hands reached for my phone. I had come to the realization that I was losing my Identity fast and staying with him meant I had to compromise my morals and integrity. I landed up calling my adopted daughter who was also my maid of honor. She answered the phone as soon as I said hello she said mom are you okay and I said no, she said tell me your address and I will be there. She drove from our home state to the neighboring state where I was and was there that Monday morning at 4:00 am to help me escape. I was showered and ready to go as she finalized the loading of both her car and mine in the pouring rain that soggy morning. She went around the house entire house and took pictures of every room so that we can cover ourselves just in case my subset decided to trash the place and file a false police report.
We then got into our separate cars as she followed me to the courthouse. We arrived there earlier than 9:00 am and the police officer let us in as they checked us through the metal detectors and had us wait inside the building rather than outside in the rain. You see we had gone to the courthouse to apply for a Restraining Order against my perpetrator because I didn’t want him near me, as the night before the police officer had given me information and directions to the courthouse. I appeared before a judge who was very kind and was very worried for me as I was alone in a strange state. It was mentioned that I had secretly audio taped three of the abusive attacks in the car. I had inconspicuously hit the video button on my cellphone and turned it downwards as the recording captured both of us. I had to convinced the judge that I would be okay that I do have my own home in another state and that I live a very good life there. He then stated to me that I was such a strong person and that he felt for my situation. He then said, “I am granting you this restraining order.” In the restraining order it was stated that I had this evidence. In that moment the judge looked straight at me and said, “Please take good care of your-self.”
My adopted daughter and I then left the courthouse and went to a nearby deli for breakfast after that we got onto the highway and bolted for home one state over. At one point the highway came to a split as she went one way trying to get to school and I went the other way going home. As I continued on my way home a tractor trailer container swung right into my path as I was going in the opposite direction it came right at me. I bowed my head down covering my face and braced for the impact of a head on collision, but when I looked back up momentarily I saw that I was alive and untouched and that the trucker was also back straight up in his lane. I pulled off the highway and sat for a bit to regained my composure, as I was shaking like a leaf.
I started to drive the rest of the way home and as I pulled up in front of my home, I jumped out of my car and ran into my home turned on the computer and quickly took steps into blocking my abuser on social media and the rest of his people that was a part of the abuse. He was served with the restraining order and we appeared in court in 10 days where he begged for me to drop the charges, as it would definitely affect different areas in his life. I ended up dropping the charges which was written into the divorce he was instructed to not make contact with me. However that didn’t stop him. It was hard but I made the choice to never respond to him. I divorced him and I resumed to my beautiful life which is now filled with so much positivity. .
On my way home that day I called both of my children who are young adults living elsewhere and I broke the news to them. They were both shocked. My children from my 1st marriage were also shocked to hear of the abuse, because I had never said anything and kept it to myself.
In those initial days I was completely dazed and zoned out with stress and numbness but I never lost focus and I stayed on track. I had to stay functioning at work and little by little it started to get better. Music was a way for me to find healing. I remember listening to Broken Wing by Martina McBride over and over, it gave me strength.
Here I am today living a beautiful life of freedom and each day I continue on my journey of healing.
Domestic Violence Survivor