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Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting Out – The Aftermath

Right after I left the house, I met up with Anna’s husband and we all agreed to go to dinner. Anna had gifts for the kids, and we all ate and tried to act like things were normal, even though they were far from it.  I was worried and tired. At some point the kids asked where Daddy was, and I told them he was on a trip. I contacted Kimberly and told her we were on our way. I told the kids we were going on a sleepover at Kimberly’s house. After we got there, I settled the kids in watching some TV to relax and wrote this email to my immediate family.

Subject:

All,

I have filed for a divorce and have had Brad removed from the house with a protective order. I am OK – am staying somewhere else tonight. 

It has been the most difficult decision of my life. He has been repeatedly verbally abusive and sometimes physically abusive to me alone and in front of the kids. He keeps promising to change, but it has not happened. It has taken a long time for me to give up hope that he will change, but I am finally at that point.

It has steadily gotten worse over time and Monday night he picked up the kids unexpectedly because I was not answering the phone to listen to him rant and rave about what is wrong with me and how I have to change to make the relationship work. I was afraid to go home, but I had to, and luckily nothing happened that night because I apologized to him to get him to calm down. I decided I cannot live like this anymore.

So I started all of the proceedings on Tuesday.

I have a new cell phone for now that he does not know about 999 999 9999. I am going to bed now, but will contact you all on Friday.

Love to all,
Isabelle


I knew they would be supportive, but it was still very difficult to write. It seemed so final. I thought that they might feel betrayed that I had not told them what was going on earlier.  The kids and I spent a very sleepless night.  Three of us, transplanted all of a sudden, and all the new toys! The next day, Friday, I took the kids to daycare. I was very nervous Brad might try to intercept me at drop off or pick-up, so I dropped the kids of much later in the morning than normal, while watching out for his car.

I went hesitantly back to my house, sent an email to my boss saying that I had a family emergency and was taking the day off. I contacted a locksmith to change the locks. Brad had given the constable his house key, but I could not be sure he did not have another one. While waiting for the locksmith, I contacted a security firm to come activate the alarm system that was with the house when we bought it, but they could not come out until Saturday.

Then the phone calls from my family started coming in. They were all very supportive and offered help if I needed it. I was anxious the whole time and kept looking out the window for Brad’s car. It was nerve-wracking. After the locks were changed, I grabbed a few things from the house and went to the store to get some cheap curtains to cover the big picture window. The last thing I needed was Brad lurking and looking.  I picked the kids up early from daycare and got some takeout food. We went back to Kimberly’s house and chilled out.  Another somewhat sleepless night. Saturday morning, armed with coffee, I took the kids to a drop-in child care facility that they had been to before, and went back to the house to meet the alarm guy.  Again, I was nervous and constantly checking out the window for signs of Brad.

After the alarm guy left and I'd hung the curtains, I picked up the kids and went back to Kimberly’s house. This was Saturday, and for the first time since Thursday night, Cassie asked where Daddy was. The truth was - I had no idea. I told them he was still on a trip. They accepted this without question. We ate dinner at a restaurant for a break, but it was very stressful for me being out with them. Starting this weekend and for the next five or six months, I was constantly looking over my shoulder for Brad. I saw his car everywhere, or so it seemed. I had no idea where he was or what he was doing. We slept a little better Saturday night because we were all exhausted.

We agreed to do something together with Anna and her kids on Sunday for a little normalcy. Before we left Kimberly’s, I had packed the car. I was pretty sure that it was time to get them home and back into their own beds before school and work on Monday. Armed with even more coffee, we went to the zoo. It was nice for the kids to do something fun, and I felt comfortable enough that I thought going home would be okay. I knew I was taking a risk, but I felt with hyper-vigilance and the new locks, it would probably be fine. Luckily it was.

One of the most stressful things about this weekend was the not knowing. Not knowing where Brad was, not knowing what he was doing, not knowing how mad he was that I had use the ‘big guns’ against his specific orders. I was plagued with doubt about that decision. What if it made him even madder? What if he tries to take the kids? What if he tries to kill me? The worry was endless. I kept the protective order with me at all times. I had no doubt I had to leave him and that the time was right, I was just unsure if there might have been a better way that would have made him less angry.

Bottom line, I was stressed beyond belief, but I kept going because I had to; making decisions the best I could and moving forward. I was very fortunate to have such good friends helping me, and such a supportive family, it made all the difference in the world.

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