My Survivor Story (Part 3) I woke up!
Read My Survivor Story beginning at Part 1 here.
I am almost 30 now and I feel strong, but I still am haunted sometimes. I decided to write down this story over the past week. It was empowering to finally write it down and think through all of it. I survived. I have three beautiful children now, I am working on a Master's Degree and I have a job at a prestigious college, I am an awesome and strong woman! Below is the last part of my story that I finally had the courage to face and write:
After I returned from the hospital, times were tough. There was no money, at least not for me. He had money to buy himself beer, cigarettes, and whatever else he wanted, but when I would ask for money there was none. There were days that I had to take money out of the piggy bank in order to buy diapers. I realized that I needed to start hiding money whenever I got my hands on it; I would hide it in picture frames and plants. I got a hold of $50 and hid it in a plant in the master bathroom. I did not know at the time the significance of that hide.
In December I started seeing a psychiatrist because I just could not keep my emotions together and there was something seriously wrong with me. Why was I always tired and crying? He told me I was crazy. I was diagnosed with depression and was medicated. I had to stop breastfeeding my son. I was the one that was flawed.
Now it is a couple of days before Christmas. We are supposed to be leaving for Maryland the next day so I can spend Christmas with my family. My son ran out of formula. He had enough for one bottle. I ask my son’s father to run out and get more. My son’s father left to get formula and never came home that night. I started calling his friends. Finally that 16 year old girl from a few months back showed up to my house with formula for my son. She explained that he was heavily using drugs and that he was at a house in town that everyone goes to in order to get high. My friend that lived with me agreed to babysit my son so I could go bring my son’s father home. I went. He was high. I cried and pleaded that he comes home and we go to Maryland for a nice Christmas. He threw $200 at me and told me to go alone. I continued to plead with him that my son should not spend his first Christmas without both of his parents and that he needed to come home. He yelled at me and took the $200 back. I got angry and called him worthless and a crack head. That is when he grabbed me, and threw me across the room like a rag doll. The punches and items thrown at me in the past had never physically struck me, but this time they did. My glasses were knocked off my face, my eyes filled with tears as a sharp pain filled my shoulder. On my knees, I felt the ground, like a blind man, searching for my glasses while the high people in the room laughed at me. At that moment, I realized “What the hell kind of life is this? Is this what life my wonderful son deserves? Is this the life I deserve? Get the hell out of there!” I finally realized none of it was okay, and I was done.
I went to my car that he drove there in. He was so high when he got there that he had left the car running all night and it was out of gas. I had to walk back inside and ask one of the other high people in the house to drive me to the gas station. One woman got money from my son’s father and drove me and I put a little gas into a gas can. I went home. When I got there the other couple was there with my son and explained that his father called and offered them $100 to keep me there. Fear struck me as they told me this, were they going to choose the money over me? Then I saw the love in their eyes and they said you better hurry and get packing. I got the $50 I had stashed away. We packed my son’s clothes. We packed my clothes. We packed some toys and stuffed my little red Chevy Cavalier with everything we could. I left.
My tire blew about 2 hours into the trip. You see, we were supposed to get the tires aligned before our trip because the car shook so bad. That never happened and my tire blew on the interstate. It was dark and I rode on the rim to the nearest gas station. A spare would not get me the rest of the way home. I was going to have to go back! I finally was leaving and now I have to go back! I could be destroyed.
I got to the gas station, grabbed the car seat with my son in it out of the back and walked in. The lady at the cash register was surrounded by friends. They were talking and having a good time. I came in worn out and done. She said “How can I help you?” which is when I lost it. I broke down crying that I had a flat. They smiled and said “Oh honey, it is just a flat! It is not the end of the world.” I responded “It is; it is the end of my world! I am running! I am trying to get away from his father! I can’t go back! I am going to have to go back! It IS the end of my world!” That group of people surrounded me and I was embraced. They looked me straight in the eye and said “Oh honey, you are NOT going back!” I explained that I left with only $50 and I couldn’t even afford a new tire. One hopped in their truck and ran up to their house to see if they would have a tire that would fit. They didn’t. The cashier called my dad and explained. He told her if they could get me to a shop, he would cover the tires. It was late and the cashier started calling shops. She finally had one answer the phone and they were 5 minutes to closing but they were 30 minutes away. She explained my entire story and the manager agreed to wait for me. One of the ladies at the gas station said she would show me the way. I followed her there. When I got there they took my car in and realized that I needed two tires replaced, not just the one. The manager asked if I had eaten and when I told him no, he went to the subway across the parking lot and bought me dinner. The other woman held my hand and told me I was so brave and I am inspiring. I just cried. I felt so blessed; they were there to help save me.
I made it the rest of the way back home to my parents’ house. The following day I woke up and got a job and was able to start the very next day. December 24, 2005. December 25, 2005 came and I had nothing to offer my son for his first Christmas. I felt ashamed, but I did decide that Christmas that I was really going to give him the life he deserved. I was able to stop taking the antidepressants and realized that anyone living in the life I was living in would be depressed; I was not the crazy one. I was strong and I was changed.
I envisioned the life I wanted for my son. I wanted him to have a mother he could be proud of which is why I work hard to further my education and my career. If I was going to marry, I made a list of the qualities I wanted that man to have. If the man did not have those qualities, then my son would be better off with just me. After all, I am a survivor, and I am enough.
Read My Survivor Story beginning at Part 1 here.Return to the Get Domestic Violence Help home page for more domestic violence redemption stories like this one.