I have started and stopped this post more times than I care to count. It isn’t an easy tale to relate. I am still plagued by feeling foolish that I stuck it out as long as I did. Hell, there are other times, when I hear other people’s stories (I say people because it does happen to men as well, as I have gotten to know a few since going to shelter) that I actually find myself grateful because it seriously could have been worse.
I am going to start this with what finally made me see the proverbial light, and then jump back and start way back in May of 2008 when everything first started between X and I. I’m not crazy enough to think that I’ll be able to churn it all out at once. This post is going to be broken into at least two posts, if not more. I’m sorry, but it just has to be. Eight plus years is an awfully long time to rehash. It needs to be done, though. If it helps so much as one person, it will be worth it.
June 17, was the official beginning of the end. I’d finally had enough of all of X’s bullshit to calmly ask him to leave. He argued with me between chugs of beer, but all that did was steel my resolve. I was willing to just let things stay between us. I watched the odds of that dwindle away with every hurled insult, name that I was called, the beer he poured over my head, and all the loogies that he spat into my hair and face. Those came before the pushing, shoving, slapping, and eventual pinning me to the wall, with his hand clamped over my mouth as I screamed for help. All of this in front of Ryli and Landry, who just screamed and screamed, but he didn’t (or wouldn’t) hear. By the time he realized that Landry, a mere three days past his fifth birthday, had slipped out behind him, he was covering my mouth and my nose.
Landry ran to my best friend’s house, where Connor was hanging out for the night. Landry just looked at his big brother and said “Call 911. My daddy hit Mommy and is being mean to her.”
Connor didn’t hesitate. By the time X got out the door to beg Connor not to call the police, the call had already been placed. X cleared out of there as fast as he could stagger. The police arrived, and I made my first report for this round.
June 29, I finally went and met with the detective assigned to the case. I also sent X the last scrap of communication I was ever going to share with him, telling him to leave me alone, stop contacting me, and we were going to resume following every letter of every court order we had, namely the protective order and the custody order. Over the course of the next several weeks, I received seven e-mails, over four hundred text messages, and at least fifty voice mails. All went unanswered, whether they were apologetic or accusatory. I made several calls for violation of the protective order.
I went to the District Attorney’s office to find out about applying for a new protective order and was informed that I’d need to come back in the first business day after the current one expired. The protective order was to expire on a Friday. The next business day was the first day of school. The woman that I spoke with said that I could always go to Family Court, so I did.
On August 18, a friend drove me to the family court building and I went and filed for and got an Ex Parte (temporary) restraining order until the hearing date on August 25. By the afternoon, I was getting voice mails that he knew I’d applied for a new protective order; he was just waiting to be served. What he didn’t know was that I had informed the constable of the warrants that were out for him for what happened June 17 and pretty much every day since. He was booked into jail before noon on the 17th.
August 25 found me, representing me, in court for the two-year protective order. I got it, and I didn’t even have to see him. Things calmed down for a bit after that. I’ll write out the rest of it tomorrow, at least up to the present. Then I’ll take you to how all of this came to be.