Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chapter 13

It was during March break (Gary worked days during holidays) and I was making Bologna sandwiches for the kids for lunch.  As I worked at the counter I just started shaking and crying.  I had reached my breaking point and I couldn't take anymore.  I picked up the phone and called a shelter for abused women in Halifax.

I talked and cried with a counsellor for nearly an hour.  When I hung up I packed a bag for the kids and myself and then left in a taxi that they had sent for us.  We were taken to the shelter and shown to a room on the top floor.  The kids were then taken by a worker into a playroom and I went with the director to her office.  After a long talk and a lot more tears she told me that I had done the right thing, no one should be forced to live the hell that I was.  Because of the extent of abuse and the fact the Gary was nearby, paperwork was started right away to move us to another shelter somewhere else in the province, we would be moved the next day.

After supper the RCMP showed up asking about me.  They had received a call from Gary saying that his family had been kidnapped. Something in the way he talked made them suspicious and they weren't surprised to find me at the shelter.  After me refusing to press charges (it was already so overwhelming just leaving I couldn't even consider more drastic action) they agreed with the director that it was best for us to be moved the next day.

I lay in bed that night in complete shock.  I couldn't believe where I was and how I had ended up here.  This was the kind of thing that happened to someone else, its what you read about or see in a movie, it just couldn't be me!  I was so scared.  Everything was such a mess.  I felt so alone and didn't know how to make anything right.

Sometime during the night I awoke to Elizabeth coughing with her asthma.  As the night went on she seemed to get worse.  I started looking through the suitcase for her puffers and realized that I had forgotten to bring them with us.  As I sat there listening to my little girl I felt a ball of terror forming in the pit of my stomach.  God was going to take her away from me as a punishment for leaving Gary!  This is what he had always said would happen if I tried to leave him!  I started to cry and pray.  I pleaded with God not to take my little girl.  I then promised Him that if He left Elizabeth with me I would go back to Gary the next day.  We weren't suppose to leave our rooms after lights out, but I had to call Gary and tell him I was coming back...God had to know I meant what I had said.

I called the house but got no answer, so I called his parents house.  His younger brother answered and was very unpleasant to me.  It took a couple of minutes to make him understand that I wanted to come home, but that I couldn't find Gary.  He said that he had been with him at the house until midnight and if I gave him an 1/2 hour he would go back to the house and wake him up.  When I called 30 minutes later Gary answered on the first ring.  I told him that I would come home in the morning.  He started to cry and promise that he would change.  He said that he was sorry for all the terrible things he had done to me.  We hung up and I went back to my room and was relieved to find Elizabeth sleeping.  I took this to mean that God had kept his part of the agreement, now I had to keep mine.

There were some very upset people the next morning when they learned of my plans to return home.  They told me that they had seen this happen many times over the years.  Things would improve for a week or so, but then revert back to the way it had been before, most times getting worse.  But my mind was made up.  My children would not suffer because I was to weak to deal with a situation that I felt was all my fault to begin with!

When Gary came home I was in the kitchen.  He started to cry, again promising that things would be different from now on.  Pastor Benson called that evening.  Gary had called him the night before.  Pastor thought that counselling would be a good idea.  We met a few times over the next couple of weeks, but since I was never forthcoming with what the real problems were, nothing got resolved.  Gary's only response as to what had gone wrong was to say that our personalities clashed.  Since I knew that I couldn't reveal more than he did, I stayed quiet.

I had made up my mind that this was my lot in life, my fault and I had to find a way to live with it.  Things went back to "normal" and even worse in some things just as the social workers had predicted would happen.  But my path was set and my children would never again suffer because of my failures.

1 comment:

  1. I think that the fear of a failed marriage, being labelled a failure, makes us stay put in what can only be described as prison!