Sunday, October 5, 2014

I Almost Didn't Live to Tell This Story - part 3

****TRIGGER WARNING**** Do NOT read this blog post if:

  • you cannot stand reading adverse stories about U.S. military personnel.
  • you cannot stomach accounts of attempted murder
  • you have not fully processed your own experience with abuse and are in the beginnings of the healing phase.
This is my story. it is your responsibility to stop yourself from reading the things you cannot bear to read. You know your own strengths and weaknesses and by reading beyond this point you acknowledge that you are capable of reading this story without occurring additional trauma in your own life.

After his blank, emotionless response to the email, I told him that our marriage could not continue on. I was no longer going to be the subject of his aggression or an object he could control. He had the audacity to tell me that he had been thinking for quite some time that he hadn't been treating me right and new he needed to change. I told him I was no longer interested in change.

You may think it cruel for me to wait for him to leave for Iraq but I did not feel safe telling him anything while he was in the country. I needed to know he couldn't come back to finish the job. I was naive as even the distance didn't keep him away. I also didn't realize before this time just how narcissistic he was nor his level of PTSD.

Almost instantly he began trying to hold me hostage by phone. He demanded I be on the phone, on Yahoo! Messenger or on Skype at all times of the day so he could know what I was doing. I refused. That didn't stop him from calling every few minutes and IMing me constantly. If I didn't answer, his attempts only increased. If I continued not to answer, he began calling his family members and sending them to my home.

He stopped going to work - yes, in the middle of a war zone - and his attempts became more aggressive. His command became increasingly concerned and had him evaluated for instability. Whatever they found led them to put him on the first plane home and he convinced them he needed to go to my house. He had his mother pick him up and he showed up regardless of me telling him he couldn't stay there. I called my mother and asked her to come and take the kids for a few days. I didn't want them to see whatever he had become. (This was a huge mistake btw.)

He walked in the door and that's when the horror began. In an obviously fake manner he began to try and convince me he was lost without me but there was no emotion. His eyes were blank. He even faked crying. I told him he needed to go stay with his mother, I didn't want him in the house. He refused to leave. I barracaded myself in my bedroom and he stayed awake all night long on the couch.

I didn't sleep either. Memories of him saying how he would kill me if I ever left him kept playing through my mind. I remembered all the times he talked about friends hiding out in the attic to spy on their wives and him bragging about how he was able to purchase a gun despite having been just sent home from Iraq.

The next day I got to see the gun he had bought. He tried to get me to hold it. Not knowing how crazy he  could be, I refused to touch it. That day he left for his mother's and I did all I could to secure the house, especially my bedroom. He came back from his mother's with a rifle he had purchased the summer before. He walked into the house and straight to my bedroom. He promptly laid the rifle on the bed and proceeded to tell me how most people who tried to shoot themselves with a rifle weren't doing it right.

They would be more successful if they held it a certain way. He told this story as he was opening the case and blocking my only exit from the room. He got the rifle out of the case and started to demand I hold it so he could show me the right way to shoot myself. I refused, he kept insisting. I became increasingly scared and as he walked toward me with the rifle, I jumped up onto the bed, crossed over it and made my way out of the bedroom and then out of the house. I ran over to the neighbors house and was safe for that time being. While I was there, he left.

I went back home later and again barricaded myself into my bedroom. I was too scared to sleep that night. The next day was uneventful and I dozed off a few times and got a little rest. That night I awoke to the sound of him coming into the house around 3 AM. He walked across the house, his footsteps instilling fear deep within me. He stood outside of my bedroom door, I could see his boots and I was frozen in fear. I pressed 911 on the keypad of my phone and he began walking away and he left. It was one of my biggest mistakes not hitting send.

After almost a week of no sleep I crashed hard one night. I had been barricaded in my room all day and fell asleep before the sun went down. I woke up sometime during the night and he had gotten into my room and was in my bed with his head laying on my inner thigh facing my nether region. He was talking under his breath in one of the creepiest tones I've ever heard about how he prayed I never found out what he did in Iraq. I couldn't focus on what he was saying out of the intense fear I felt in that situation. I had my phone in my hand but I couldn't let him know I was awake until I could figure out how to get out of the situation safely. I was sure I wouldn't be able to dial that phone without him stopping me.

He kept talking like that for a while. Then he just stopped, turned himself around and laid down on the pillow next to me and asked me if I was awake. I pretended to still be sleeping for a while, then I got up and went to the bathroom. He got up and moved to the couch with a view of the bathroom door.

By this time I was able to get my wits about me and I came up with an idea. I came out of the bathroom and confronted him. In a calm voice I told him that he was sick and maybe that he was suffering from PTSD. I fed into his desire to keep me from divorcing him and I begged him to let me take him to the hospital. I was praying they would keep him but they didn't. They did however sit him down and tell him he needed help and I managed to convince him that if he got help, I would give us another chance.

After that he left and went back to his mothers and he left me alone for his remaining few days at home. Then he went back to the base and his command got him help. Things seemed to get better and then one day, I went to buy milk on the way home from counseling and discovered he had locked me out of my own bank account. That was the final straw. I called him and told him it was over. 100% it was done. I didn't want anything else to do with him. I told him to draw up the divorce papers and I would sign them.

As it turned out, his soon to be second wife had advised him to do that. She had him believing I was using him for his money - money he hadn't even given me! I changed banks, put passwords on all of my accounts and told him my demands for the divorce. We wound up having an amicable (peaceful) divorce. I didn't ask for anything but child support. I wanted him out of my life in every way possible. But that wasn't the end.

Things went well for a while, while he was on the medication. Then he stopped taking it. His new wife had convinced him he didn't need it. They both began plotting ways to destroy me. The child support stopped - even though he was military and I contacted his command. They stole money and accounts from me (all the way up until this year these things are still happening). He took my identity and racked up debts in states I've never even been to. He even used my identity to obtain medical care for his second wife. Can you imagine the audacity this takes?

2 years after the divorce he had succeeded in making me homeless. I couldn't rent a home because my credit was destroyed and when I rented something from a slum lord he had the house broken into on several occasions. (And yes, I know it was him because of the items that were taken, he was leaving me signs but my knowledge of his behavior does not constitute proof in the court systems.) He made sure I wasn't safe no matter what. I couldn't go back to my mother's because that would mean giving up my job. I couldn't go back to my father's because he had his own mental health issues and couldn't handle having 3 kids in the house.

I went to the courts, the state, and anyone I could find for help. I was turned away because instead of calling the police those times he terrified me, I had ran away. The judges told me that I didn't need their protection if I was able to get away on my own. Social welfare organizations couldn't accommodate me on short notice. He knew what was going on and started a fear and intimidation campaign to get the children. He pushed until the point I had no choice. I either had to voluntarily let them go live with him or force them to remain homeless and give him the opportunity to take away my parental rights permanently.

Some of my long-time readers will remember an emotional post (which I have since removed) in which I wrote about losing my children and being likely to never see them again. I've never been so down as when I wrote that post. I knew the day he took them, he would begin turning them against me and the relationship I had with them could be permanently destroyed. I didn't have the support system I needed because during the entire marriage he had systematically destroyed all the bonds I had with my family. I had become estranged and many of my family members no longer wanted anything to do with me because I had started dating an Indian. be continued....

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