I drove-travelled for about 3 days. I stopped when I wanted to, napped when I wanted to, ate when (and what) I wanted to. I was 'doing' and 'being' just for ME.
Selfish? Maybe. Irresponsible? A little, in regards to my finances maybe, but since my kids were away with my 'husband' and I didn't have any other obligations so it didn't seem to really matter what I did or didn't do. Good for me? I don't know. I think yes in some ways, the time of solitude and doing just for myself and not for anyone else; but no in some ways because of the solitude, the freedom which wasn't free-ing but empty and purposeless.
I learned a lot in those few days. I was brave, adventurous, challenged and victorious. I faced incredible fears and got through them, mostly, and learned a few limits as well. I experienced things I've never experienced before, both good and bad. And I did it on my own. I found where my bottom line was and I was prepared for that with the phone number and address of a facility that professed to offer help.
When I went to stay at the place that promised to help me, I met an incredible doctor who listened to me, believed me, validated me. I grieve that I only met her briefly and no longer can access her as a resource. A partially retired occasional fill in on call when she wants to be kind of practitioner, I blossomed in courage while under her care. She sent me home. To my real home where he was, where my kids were. She said I should reestablish my place there as was my right. And I followed her advice.
With bravado, a bit of self righteous anger, a broken heart, and having had a respite, I left that place and drove to my home intending to live there until the divorce was finalized and spelled out the division of assets - as I was supposed to have done in the beginning but was too broken to do.
The result was him, coming home, late at night after I'd been there for awhile and unable to reach him. The result was reaching him finally near midnight on the phone, and him arriving home to confront me. It was an intense standoff of him barricading me in the guest room: all 6 foot 2 and 220 lbs of him in the doorway refusing to let me out while yelling and demanding to know where I'd been and why I was back. The result was me, desperate to get out of that room, all 5 foot 4 and 110 lbs of me trying to dive inbetween the door frame and his arm. The result was me on the floor on my back, him above me, a tangle of flailing arms and grabbing hands and me in a flight AND fight escape mode, grabbing the nearest body part (between his legs) and then scrambling, running, falling, scrambling, running, ahead was the kitchen door to the garage, his hands thrusting on my back, me flying through the air not touching the steps downward, landing on concrete, thinking my kids were inside the house terrified at what they were witnessing, desperate to get to them, rolling and turning and scrambling hands and knees back IN the house as his feet and hands kicking, pulling door shut on my head, yelling, and then sudden stopping of everything: a silence. Him turning away, back inside, me pausing on hands and knees at the doorway, and hearing him using the phone to call the police. "Hello? Yes, my wife is assaulting me and I want her arrested." The result was knowing my kids weren't there, not knowing WHERE they were, the sound of sirens in the distance, the feel of stinging scrapes on my knees, palms, forearms. The surreal wavery sensation of absolute disbelief that the man who had held me in his arms while I gave birth to our children, the man who held me in the middle of the night when my uncle died, the man whom I'd held when his mother died: this man had hurt me with his hands, and was calling the police.
I was handcuffed. Escorted down my driveway and into a police car. Driven to the station. Photographed, fingerprinted, and put in a cell. Me. Stay at home mom, foster parent, girl scout leader, church-nursery attendent, church cleaning team member, teacher and facilitator, arrested.
I heard later that he tried to get them to release me but was told they couldn't. I was told that he gave the bail money to the friend who came to pay for my release. I was told that he drove my car a few blocks away so that I could retrieve it upon my release.
I heard all that, but yet none of it stopped him from filing a restraining order declaring I was a significant threat to him and to the children and that I was to have NO contact whatsoever with them pending a hearing. I was served with that order, after midnight, a full 24 hours afterward. I can't even relay the extent of my devestation, shock, grief, bewilderment, disbelief, incomprehension at the events that had transpired in that 48 hours. It was a Lifetime TV kind of moment. A hokey B-movie kind of thing. Yet it was real.
Today I am still here, and I am still the mom. But I need to tell you what happened because even if you don't believe me, it all happened and it was as unbelievable to ME as it might be to you and I have to tell it to bring it to light. I am the mom. I always was, and always will be no matter what happened. And that is only the beginning part...