If at First You Don’t Succeed… You Probably Should Stop

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, after only three months on his job, in July of 2013 my husband was let go from his job.  Though he never offered a dime to me or the children over the summer, I decided that I would call off our separation so that we could save our family home.  I allowed his sister to sublet my apartment while we moved back.  He seemed to have more cheer in his step and more optimism in his eyes regarding our relationship and our future.  We even went to an indoor waterpark/hotel for our oldest son’s birthday and had a great time.  When we returned, our oldest decided that he wanted to sign up for the township’s junior’s football team and we got him on board.

The cheeriness didn’t last long.  My oldest had a couple of good practices over the weekend and we always walked to them and watched him as a family.  As I was the only one working, I didn’t get home until about an hour after the children were out of school on the weekdays.  On the way home one Wednesday, I saw that I had a voicemail.  “Hello, this is Coach “DJ”.  Your son is here at the field and he’s crying.  Something about his dad won’t let him come home.  Give me a call.  Thanks.”  I was so confused.  What the hell is going on now?  So I sped to the practice field to see the senior players practicing and my son sitting in the middle of the field.  I parked and ran to him.  Dried tears decorated his face.  The coach approached me and I asked what was going on.  He told me that my son relayed to him that his father would not let him go back home.  I asked my son what happened.  I allowed him to speak bluntly, “My team doesn’t have practice today.  So I walked back home.  Dad said, ‘get out of my fucking face.  You just don’t want to go to practice.  I don’t want to see your fucking face until 6pm’, and made me come back here.  He sobbed more.  Why isn’t his dad here with him?  Why didn’t he walk him up here?  It’s only around the block.  This is his first big boy thing to do and he just left him to his own resources?  I helped my son to wipe his face.  I told him that I would discuss it with his father and for him to stay far away when I did.  I thanked Coach “DJ” and we started on our way home.  When we returned to the house, I saw that my husband was in a mood and I decided that that night would not be the best night for the discussion.  So I held my tongue, cooked dinner and prepared myself and the children for the next day as my husband played Tekken.

That Sunday was a good day.  I walked my children down to the field to watch my oldest son practice and when he was done, we ran to the grocery store, grabbed a filet of salmon, a bottle of white wine and returned home so that I could start dinner.  Though my husband didn’t attend practice, when we returned home, we actually started having a decent time as a family.  We all took our showers and changed into pajamas.  We danced to music and the little ones helped me in the kitchen.  After dinner, my daughter wanted to play a word guessing game.  So after cleaning up after eating, we retreated to my bedroom to play because it was close to bedtime anyway.  My husband, glass of wine and Tequila mixed in hand, came in there just in time to have us guess a word.  He expressed irritation that he did not know how to play the game.  I said, “Come on, dude.  You know how to play.  We’ve had this game a year.”  He looked at me and said, “So… you’re calling me stupid?”  I said no such thing and I knew what he was trying to do: start another argument.  I resisted the bait, told my daughter that we would play tomorrow and turned over to go to sleep so that I could be rested for work the next day.  He continued with his rant and claim that I had called him stupid.  He told me that I always took it ‘there’ and that if anything happened, it was my fault because I make him so mad.  I still kept my mouth closed.  That’s when I felt the wetness on my face.  He poured his entire glass of wine and Tequila on my face as I laid there.  I felt it seep into my eyes and down my nose.  It burned so much.  I huffed and puffed trying to get the alcohol out of my face. I got up to wipe myself to find him sitting on the bed as if he had done what he was supposed to do; is hands behind his head, elbows up, legs crossed down the bed comfortably.

I got off the bed and just stood there, drenched.  I asked him, “What the fuck did you do tha—“, and before I could even fully ask the question, I felt my body hit the floor.  He got off of the bed so fast and body slammed me so hard, I saw lights.  He picked me up and body slammed me again onto the bed and held me there.  I yelled for the kids to call for help, but he told them not to come into the bedroom and they did as he told them to.  He was holding me down so hard, I could barely breathe.  When he finally let me go, I remembered something and my eyes darted to the pocketknife that he had atop the armoire that was in our room.  He was standing between me, the phone and the exit to the bedroom.  I was trapped.  I scrambled to my feet lunged for the knife and struggle to get the blade out.  He was quicker than me.  He grasped the blade of the knife and pulled it towards him, and wriggled the knife from my hands.  He tossed the knife away and slammed me to the floor again.  He shoved a cold iron into my face and told me what he should do: burn my face off.  I hoped and hoped that my children were somewhere they could not hear us fighting, but the house wasn’t that big.  I know they were scared and I couldn’t get to them.  He screamed and shouted at me about how much he hated me and how sick of me he was.  When he was finally done yelling at me, he walked to the dining room table to roll a blunt.

After I stopped shaking a little, I was able to get up and walk into the living room. I saw my escape at the front door.  I wished that I could grow super long arms and super huge muscles so that I could grab all of my children and get them out of the house, but for now, I could only get myself out to get help.  I darted for the front door… I heard the dining room chair he was sitting in hit the floor and then I heard him behind me.  He grabbed hold of my right arm and right ankle and almost pulled me back in, but I wrapped my other leg around our porch banister and screamed for help.  Of course, no one heard my cries, and he let go.  Slamming the door, he called me a ‘stupid bitch’.  I walked in the night in pajamas and with no shoes. It was the middle of August, so the nights were mild.  I kept checking over my shoulder to make sure that he wasn’t following me and I walked faster every time I heard the sound of a dog rustling grass or the wind blowing.  I finally made four blocks to the nearby liquor store in order to call the police.  The young male cashier behind the glass looked at me with pity and handed me the cordless phone. I must have been quite a sight.  My hair was all over the place and my eyes were swollen from crying.  My head throbbed with pain.  I dialed 911 and I was connected to the police department.  When I told the dispatcher of the situation, I heard the woman on the line say, “We know, your husband already called.  We are on the way.”  I was so confused.  What would he have called the police for?  ……..

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