Thursday, March 17, 2016

I've been cleaning and going through old papers.  Eight years ago I told my ex-husband I wanted a divorce.  A month later he bought a condo in Vancouver.  Two months later I bought a townhouse and moved.  He wooed me over the next seven months and convinced me to sell my townhouse and moved back home, to try again to make our marriage work.  So I did.  I moved back home in April or May, can't quite remember but I knew by the end of June that I had made a huge mistake.

Things didn't get better, they just got worse.  That fall I told my ex-husband I wanted a divorce.  We barely talked.  Katie was living at home at that time and I managed to find an agency that would care for her, the only one I could find who would care for her because of her behavioral problems. 

We rented an apartment for Katie and she was set to move into it on December 28th.  On December 25th, after Christmas dinner, my husband packed up and left.  He had to work that night but declared he was not coming back.  He took one of our pots but left the lid.  Never did figure that one out.

So I moved Katie into her place on December 28th by myself.  My husband went back and forth between our house in Edmonton and his place in Vancouver.  I decided to try dating, partly because I knew my husband would never let me go.  I think he though of me as his property.  Nobody else could have me. 

I ran into a guy I knew at the gym and he asked me out for coffee.  I said yes and we started seeing each other.  One night at the beginning of February I came home around eleven to find my husband passed out on our bed.  He already had a place in Vancouver and was supposed to stay in the spare bedroom when he came to visit the kids.  He had been over at a neighbor's and gotten completely pissed.  When I came home I tried to wake him up and asked him to go into the other room.

He started yelling at me that this was his fucking bed and his fucking house and he didn't have to fucking move if he didn't fucking want to.  At this time our middle daughter was downstairs in her bedroom, right below ours.  My husband sprang out of bed and was waving his arms around and backed me up against the wall as he was yelling.  He scared the shit out of me.  I'd never been afraid of him before but I was that night. 

Then he laid back down on the bed and yelled at me that I was a bitch and a cunt.  At that point, shaking, afraid and now angry, I grabbed a votive holder on the chest of drawers and threw it at him.  I missed and hit the wall, so I grabbed another one.  This one hit him on the elbow and nicked his arm a little, a drop of blood came out.  He grabbed the phone on the bedside table and called 911 and said,  "I want to report an assault!", at which point, I turned and fled the house.

I drove over the guy's house that I had been seeing.  He was sound asleep and not at all pleased to be involved in a domestic dispute.  But I couldn't stop shaking and crying so he took me in and I spent the night there.  In the morning I drove home only to find myself locked out of the house.  When I rang the bell, my husband came to the door and told me that he wasn't letting me in.  I called the police and about an hour later they showed up and talked to my husband.  He wouldn't let them in at first but finally relented.  He made them wait too.

The police came into the house with me so that I could take some clothes and personal belongings with me.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  The police were nice but I felt like a criminal.  A neighbor took me in, and my middle daughter as well.  My husband wouldn't let me back into the house.  That night I had to call on the officer who had responded to my husband's "assault" call and asked me for my side of the story, so I told him the truth.  He said that he knew my husband was very drunk and didn't think any assault charges needed to be laid against me. 

He also asked about Katie.  My husband had told the officer that Katie was not safe where she was.  Apparently my husband had phoned Katie's apartment in the middle of the night, drunk and said things, no idea what.  I had an email from the director of the agency saying that they were not willing to deal with drunk men in the middle of the night.  That it had to stop or another agency would have to be found to care for Katie.

My husband left town a week later.  He changed the locks on the house and barricaded the doors. I remember someone saying how horrible it all was and I replied that it was nothing compared to having your daughter declared mentally retarded.  Nothing was as hard as hearing that.  I was also amazed at how many people offered up their homes for a place to stay.  I had friends, people who cared about me and that meant so much to me.  It was hard but not awful.  I'd forgotten that.

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