The Impossible Made Possible

terri_2
Posted March 8, 2018 from United States

It may sound counter-intuitive at first, but my mother taught me what type of man NOT to have a relationship with. I can’t say that it didn’t take me four decades to fully understand what that was. But the minute I got It – I haven’t looked back since.

Today, the unimaginable happened. I could no longer contain myself with Rob. I should have known better, since he was both high and drunk when I finally confronted him about the account in Dominica. He denied it, of course. I found the papers while packing up my house. Right away, I stashed them in my safety deposit box along with a letter pointing the finger toward my husband if I die — or worse, disappear. The mob is known for their cement shoes here in Chicago. Both Lake Michigan and the Cal-Sag Channel are littered with bodies. I had good reason not to piss off my husband. But I couldn’t stop.

“What happened to the money in Dominica?” I said.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said.

“I have the proof. I have the letter from the Griffon Bank.”

“Are you saying that I am hiding money?” he said.

“Yes.”

“Repeat that.” He strode toward me. His statement was a dare, but I didn’t realize it the time.

“I know you are hiding money,” I said.

“You stupid c#@&. I’m not hiding anything,” he said.

           Just then, his hand connected with my ear, although he meant to slap me in the face. My ear rang for about a half hour, and I felt lucky no permanent damage ensued. I stood before him not really understanding what had just happened. And then I realized — he finally hit me. But I think he knocked the sense into me, because in that moment, I vowed to get away. I would take any means to that end. Even if it meant cleaning toilets. Now was the time to act.

The next day I had my resume together. Never mind that I left the corporate world 17 years ago, I was determined to land a job. My world was falling into pieces.

Excerpt from The Ashley Chronicles: My year of living dangerously

This was my second marriage, It took seventeen years to receive that pivotal smack. It was the last time he laid a hand on me. I was scared for my life, because his business partners were mobsters and there was also a fear of their power and possible retaliation, if they thought I knew something and would talk. We have all seen the movies and read books about the notoriousness of their carnage. I did not want to be a victim of that as well.

The first marriage had seen a lot of physical and mental abuse as well.. It also included my daughter seeing her father chase me around the house to evade having my mouth washed out with soap or being hit again. As we were divorcing, he casually told me that he drove around with a rifle in his jeep so that he could kill me. Thankfully, he wasn’t too savvy in the tracking department.

What goes through a child’s mind when that happens? Many years later, I questioned my daughter and she said she felt scared and startled. I would I imagine I witnessed my father pushing my mother around and I distinctly remember him calling her “gordita,” which means “little fat or plump one” in Spanish. She detested that. I could see the pain in her eyes every time. Her defiance to hold back the tears. There always was a little of her defiance in me- “we suffer in silence.” A very bad pattern to learn. This was my example of how to have an interpersonal relationship. It doesn't get much closer than witnessing your father’s abuse towards your mother and feeling that this is “normal.”

In high school the three of us, (myself, my brother and sister) urged her to terminate the marriage to give her peace.  I had no such thoughts – I was determined to get out, fighting maybe crawling if it came to that.

I will tell you that whatever story you are telling yourself on why to stay is fueled by the fear of the unknown.  I can also report back, quite honestly, that every fear you’ve had of the future is or not making it on your own, is imagined. It is not as nearly difficult – in fact, it is so surprisingly easy after enduring that. Anything is. Believe me.

I promise to be right beside you as you walk out that door to freedom.

 

Comments 8

Log in or register to post comments
Olutosin
Mar 09, 2018
Mar 09, 2018

Thanks so much for sharing. I know how it feels. I'm do happy these days that some women are not afraid to speak out, find healing and start all over again.

It may be hard at the beginning but its safer and better in the end.
May we be strong women.

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Mar 09, 2018
Mar 09, 2018

Hello, Terri,

I applaud you for standing up for yourself. There are cases in Psychology that women tend to marry their fathers, meaning they end up choosing a guy like their father.

I hope your daughter who witnessed her father's abusive behavior will not end up meeting a man like her father so that the cycle will be broken.

You are brave for sharing your story. Please keep writing. It is therapeutic.

Jill Langhus
Mar 10, 2018
Mar 10, 2018

Wow, Terri! Welcome to World Pulse:) Thanks so much for sharing your amazing story of overcoming odds. I love your encouragement and safe advice at the end. It's too true that every fear of the unknown is always worse in our heads than in reality. Have you considered submitting your story for the current call for stories, "You Are a Silence Breaker?" I think a lot of people could benefit by hearing your story. Here is the link: https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/story-awards/83055?page=1.

terri_2
Apr 18, 2018
Apr 18, 2018

Thank you J Langus!

I did submit my re-edited version albeit a tad too late for the March 13th deadline. I hope that it inspires women who find themselves in this very trying situation to find strength and courage to their own path of freedom.

Jill Langhus
Apr 19, 2018
Apr 19, 2018

You're welcome:) Yes, it will, for sure. I hope you recover soon and that we see another post from you soon of your new life!

terri_2
Apr 18, 2018
Apr 18, 2018

Thank you Paulina.

I hope to inspire many. I too have a daughter and it perhaps took me longer to leave, but I urge any women who is in this situation to call a hotline for help. Here in the US call 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-799-7233 if you are in imminent danger or in need of a plan to safety.

Wendy Stebbins
Mar 20, 2018
Mar 20, 2018

WOW!

Thank you for your authenticity and transparency. Just amazing. You are such a gift to soooooo many women who are where you used to be and need a helping hand of courage, understanding and inspiration. You are the real deal. You matter.

terri_2
Apr 18, 2018
Apr 18, 2018

Thank you Wendy.

I only represent one of many that find themselves in this situation. I hope that I can inspire courage for at least one person to take charge and take the first step to freedom.