1000 Miles to Freedom

4 Nov

I live slightly more than 1000 miles from where I once did, 1000 miles from everything I once owned and am replacing, and 1000 miles from my husband. Yes, I live an interesting life if you consider such things.

I consider the events that led me here and I don’t regret them despite their pain. When my mother died of cancer the door was opened for me to move from the county in which I’d spent my life. I’d never have moved if she were alive. My family only moved to a distant part of Illinois which was ALMOST in another state. From a small city beneath Chicago to a small middle of nowhere town on the border of Iowa. This was because my husband’s new job required us to move. I’ve always wanted to move from Illinois, but that didn’t happen. In our new Illinois residence we were invisible. Things I ordered couldnt be delivered to me because businesses have the strange practice of attempting to validate an address, as if I would pay for something and have it delivered to a parking lot. There was no mail delivery, anyone that wanted mail needed a P.O box. The only phone company in town only accepted payment in cash, yet sent return envelopes with the bill. They actually expected me to put cash in it and drop it through their mail slot. There would never be any evidence of any payment dropped in that box. I wondered what madness a person needed to suffer from to find that acceptable. It was unbelievable. There were no stores in town except a tiny hardware store and a convenience store. There were no buses or cabs. I once called a cab from another town, the price of going to the nearest real store was $50 each way. The entire town should be on an episode of the Twilight Zone. In fact, there was a town on that show that was just as ridiculous. My husband had our only car at work 12 hours a day not including the time to travel. All the time he was always too tired after work which left only the weekends for escape out of my tiny prison. Trapped in a small house in the middle of nowhere, I felt I was losing my sanity as my husband was becoming increasingly more hostile. I spoke to him many times about being unhappy, but he told me to find another place for us to live, yet told me that he didn’t have a security deposit. What could I do with that? His hostility exploded into fits of rage about any little thing, yelling things such as “Where the hell is my damn soda?” There was no love anymore, only rage. My refusal to respond to his rage only made him angrier. It was very disturbing, but I pretended to stay calm and remained silent, always retreating to any room he wasn’t in and pretending not to hear what anyone on the entire block should have been hearing.The world was collapsing all around me and whatever remained was closing in upon me. My husband spent more time at the bar as if there wasn’t enough alcohol in the house. I had nowhere I could go, all my family was beyond reaching me, I could only hope that he didn’t return home at all. No physical abuse took place, the verbal abuse only escalated. I felt it in constant danger, but had no event on which to base such feelings. That day, September 3rd, 2011, we were all in the car and there was no escape. He knocked my headphones off because I again wasn’t taking part in his attempt at arguing and struck me multiple times in the face for my reflex reaction of trying to slap him. He blocked my attempts until I gave up and waited for his attack to stop. I put my headphones back on. It happened the same way over and over. I feel certain I didn’t ever get to hit him but once. He was too fast and was too strong when I tried to pry his hand from yanking my hair. For him to let go I had practically begged him to “let go of my hair”. It felt like begging because of the situation, but although my words were gentle as a request, they were cold as a knife to the back. It was a bitter admission that I couldn’t hold up my 25% of the fight he kept starting. Trying to slap him multiple times and missing didn’t provide me any mercy, it was as if several eternities passed as I waited for him to tire of striking me. (I later told the hospital that I injured my thumb trying to pry my hair loose and the lump on my forehead was from the attacks.) All this while he swerved all over the road because beating me was obviously more important than driving. He slapped me so hard that my glasses flew from my face. His slaps felt like fists to me, but I admit that I’ve never felt a fist strike me before. Long story short, 1 temporary restraining order and a little more than a year later, our 5 kids and I are living 1000 miles from everything we have known and the only love I ever had.

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