I had just told her that her only son had died. She said he had told her he’d been sober, and I certainly wasn’t going to take that moment from her. But, I knew the truth.
I also knew my emotions were about to spin out of control.
I talked briefly with my current husband, from his work place, and told him what happened. It was a matter of fact conversation. After knowing that he was aware of the situation, and ensuring I was going to be ok, the men from the coroner’s office left my home.
I curled up on the couch, and immediately called my dad. I don’t remember crying, but I remember a feeling of disbelief. My ex-husband had tremendous potential. I would have never married him had he not, but he never stayed sober long enough to realize it.
My dad’s words pierced my thoughts, and very calmly, and very sternly, he said, “Never forget what he did to you.”
I hadn’t forgotten. In fact, I lived it every day. Even divorced from my ex-husband, and newly married to my high school sweetheart, I lived those moments over and over, again.
I felt tremendous relief. I didn’t have to look over my shoulder any more, and my children could now enjoy more of the freedoms of just being kids.
I could go to the store, and not worry I was being followed. I could run out to my car, in the dark, without worry he’d be there waiting. I could walk around the block, and not worry I wouldn’t make it home.
My kids could answer the phone every time it rang! My kids could answer the door without me hovering over them. They could play in the front yard! And, now, when they took the bus to school, and they played on the playground, someone didn’t need to be assigned to watch over them to ensure there was no threat.
I could breathe, again.
And, then, I felt guilt. I felt guilt for feeling relief.
Domestic violence is prevalent in our communities. If you are being abused, or know of someone who needs help, please find local resources to assist. Please make it your business to help someone who needs you. And, if you need help, please, please reach out. You may read more about my story, and my experiences, by clicking here.