What happened that made you decide to leave?
I started reading posts on this site because I felt very sad and alone like nobody could possibly understand what I was going through, but I know see I’m not alone. I was with my abusive husband for 25 years. I have two grown kids and grand kids. I had always thought about leaving, but he always said if I left he would take my kids and I would never see them again. He threatened me physically and blamed me for everything. I always did or said the wrong thing. I spent so many years thinking I shouldn’t have said or done that.
For the first 10 years, it was just a blow-out every few months and he would say sorry and I would forgive him. Then it got so much worse. He quit his job, drank all day and did drugs. He accused me of cheating on him all the time, but I was faithful. I spent the last few years defending myself daily for things I hadn’t done.
The last two years, the kids had moved out and it was just him and me. That’s when things got really bad for me. He held guns to my head and explained in detail how he was going to kill me. I still have nightmares and I’m very afraid to be alone. I slept with my cell phone and keys in the front of my jeans just in case, and yes, I slept fully dressed so I could run if I had to.
The physical and verbal abuse go so much worse. I never reported it – I was too afraid. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going through – I was sure they wouldn’t believe me. Finally I decided if I didn’t leave he was going to take my life. Unfortunately I didn’t plan anything I was just waiting for the one day when I could get enough courage to leave.
He came home drunk and stoned and started on me. He took my cell phone and keys so I didn’t have a car. I had a bag packed in the closet with a few things I would need to be sure I could go to work everyday. I grabbed my bag and ran to the neighbors’ house. They were all outside. I needed to go some where with people because he was always very careful to do nothing in front of anyone else.
He followed me over and talked very quiet to me telling me to get back home or I would be dead. My neighbor unlocked her van and told me to get in. We just drove. I didn’t know where to go. I had her drop me off at a mutual friend that always told me she would be there for me…well that changed real fast. They paid for a hotel for a few days so I could hide. She got my vehicle back for me, so I slept in that and went to family to shower and change for work.
My boss at the time had a house that was empty while they were selling it so I stayed there for a while. He kept finding me, but I couldn’t figure out how! Then I found out that my kids were telling him everything he needed to know to find me. It hurt to find out that my family was helping him. I lost my family, my kids and everything else I felt was important to me. It was so hard and lonely, but I didn’t go back.
How did you feel about your abuser and/or your relationship in the days before you left?
I felt there was no more love left when I looked at him I had hate for him. I was angry at myself for trusting the people that I did and for staying for so many years. How could I be so stupid.
What three emotions did you most experience in the days closest to leaving Abuse? How did you deal with them?
Fear, Hate, Depression
What planning did you do before you left? Who knew you were leaving besides you?
I packed a small back pack. Nobody knew until I was gone. I had no money and I had nobody left that I felt I could trust
What were the one or two BEST things you did before you left?
The one thing I did that felt the best was finally I argued back when we had our last fight.
If there was anything you wish you had not done before you left, what was it?
I don’t think there was anything I had wished I hadn’t done.
How long ago did you leave? How do you feel today?
I left him 2 years ago and I was starting to feel a bit better about myself until recently. My daughter moved away to get away from her dad to try and start her life over. She moved back and stayed with me for a while and she finally got her own place right behind me so she was close to me. I just found out that her dad moved in with her. He lives right behind me now. All of my fears have come back again, so once again fear is taking over my life.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
He always told me he will wait and take his time and plan it properly. He said without me he has nothing to live for and swore he will take my life and then his. I have gotten a restraining order, but just found out that there is no distance on it. He just isn’t allowed to speak to me.
The police talked me into charging him after I left just one of the times he breached the restraining order so I did. He had lots of serious charges, but he only got 15 months probation and its now done. He has no record because he was good while on probation. The police have basically told me there hands are tied unless he does something to me…well then it will be too late… What to do????