I remember the night like it was yesterday, January 9th, 2019. The day I actually dialed 911 and hit the green button for call. I remember the voice on the other end and me hanging up. Still arguing and with his hands on me, my phone rang and rang. It was 911, but I couldn’t answer.
He said, answer the phone, but I couldn’t. I didn’t. It continued to ring and I didn’t answer. I literately stared at him and couldn’t answer the phone. 911 was calling me and I couldn’t answer. Why?
Fight is over and I finally realized what happened. He put his hands on me. Yet, I stood in my house denying to myself why I should call the police. Instead, I start getting dressed. He asked, where are you going repeatedly. I finally say, to the magistrate. *snap* No longer the abuser, but the pleading boy. He begs me not to go because of his job. He blocks the door with his body, begging me to not report it because of his job. I didn’t realize until right this second…but that was selfish.
I didn’t let that stop me, for some reason I was determined and I turned around and went out the garage door. He follows me out and blocks me from closing the driver door of my vehicle. I’m doing my best to ignore it but he said the magic words, I’ll leave. Somewhere in my brain, that was enough to dwindle my determination. He grabs grabs his stuff and drives off.
I’m back in the house for barely a minute and he’s back. My determination comes back and I’m back to square one with him blocking my driver door from closing and I can’t just drive off. I called my friend and asked her to tell him to leave me alone, wth? She tells me, hang up and call 911. I go back in the house and call the non-emergency line.
I sit here breaking this down and realized that the police where already in route due to original hang up call and they arrived shortly after I called the non-emergency line.
One officer arrives shortly followed by another. They each speak to one of us seperately and get our sides of the story. One leaves, while the other remains speaking to him. I sat at the dining room table where I couldn’t see him
was I ashamed, embarrassed or guilty?
About 30 minutes later, officer returns and serves both of us with an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). An EPO lasts for 72 hours, but if a holiday or weekend until the court opens again in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The EPO stated no further acts of violence or physical abuse against the other person.
The police leaves us alone…in the house…with two pets…a gun…and two law enforcement officers (him and I). I feel discouraged. I realize, he’s not leaving and I finally put my pride away, pack a bag, get in my car and reluctantly leave my dogs behind. I stayed at my partner’s house for the night.
The next day, I petitioned the court to extend the protetion order against him.
On January 11th, 2019, I go to court with my head down. I’ve been through this before and was denied after he admitted to serious allegations. A two year Protection Order (PO) was issued giving me full custody of the home (premises), NO CONTACT from him of any kind (texts, phone calls, physically in my presense) and no further acts of violence, threats or harm. But wait…that’s too good to be true.
A week hadn’t gone by before he did something that violated the order (although there was some consentual contact via phone), but it continued to escalate repeatedly and worse. By the end of the month an incident that truly changed me in so many ways occurred. I realized how dangerous it could get and could have gotten. I dialed 911.
I will never forget that night as I sat on the floor with my phone in my left hand, gun in my right, crying hysterically, and both my dogs (Case-German Shepherd and Dash-Dachshund) hovered over and around me, whining, trying to console me.
Two charges were taking out that evening, but not the one that mattered the most to me. Multiple court hearings with continuances until July 2019. Our trial is finally heard, he is found not guilty on both charges. I felt angry, embarrassed, ashamed, disgusted, mislead, and distraught. I couldn’t believe it.
The fact is my attorney filed for divorce on December 28, 2018. First divorce hearing was continued from July 29, 2019 to September 23, 2019. It’s barely the first week of September, but just knowing court is around the corner, I begin to panic and go through rollercoster of emotions.
It is extremely difficult to think that I may have to sit in front of him and testify to everything he has put me through, before the incidents of this year. Today, was the beginning of that rollercoaster.
I showed up to work tired, but okay. I was calm and happy. I finally had a decent second job that will help me get where I need to be. Slowly as the day progressed, I became extremely agitated and began planning the change of my phone number, which I’m holding out until divorce gets finalized. I was thinking about finding another first full time job, because I like the folks that I work with in the back but not so much the ones I work with directly in the front.
Ever since, I realized I wanted to seperate and move on with my life, I’ve had not a single clue of what I want to do now that will make me happy and satisfied while I get my life in order and can officially begin to focus on the career I truly want.
To the point, facing your abuser is one of the most important and crucial first step in stopping the broken player from repeating the same beat over and over again. Reality is though, you will have to face your abuser more than once, specially if your situation has deeper roots. Everyone’s path will be different but fact of the matter is it doesn’t get any easier. I know now I will be faced with sleepless nights, restlessness, agitation, upset moods, lost of appetite, anger, discourage, hopelessness, shame, guilt and embarrassement.
I fake it on a daily, but some days, I don’t have the will or the power to fake it. I will tell you support group has definetely helped me, but I know I need to add individual counseling to it, but you’re not alone.
If you take anything away from this, facing you’re abuser the first time will be the toughest and longest journey. It took me three years before I finally called the police. It took me a whole year to finally take the step to officially seperate and divorce from him.
It will not happen immediately, but recognize the signs and don’t turn away from it, because it will only build his strength and weaken yours.