[L] Promised not to kill himself. He didn’t demand I take him back directly but only asked that I be there for him. “[He] knew we couldn’t be together” but he “couldn’t bear to lose his best friend.” He needed me to help him through until he was whole again. He swore he was going to get treatment. He was going to be a better person. He was going to do all of the things we originally talked about. He was going back to [ANOTHER STATE] and he was going to fix himself until we could be together again. He was slowly worming his way back in.
That lasted 2 weeks. He was in this other state for 2 weeks before we both felt lost and empty. I was still in a hazy PTSD, trauma bond, concussion state. I truly don’t think I 100% realized the implications of what I was doing, I just needed my person back. The one person who still knew what I went through and could relate (even if he was the perpetrator) He wanted to come “home.” I agreed to go get him. He told his friends he was living with down there that he had to come home to take care of “legal stuff” and faked that he was going to fly out of the local airport. I insisted on him bringing his dog [T-DUM] with him. To be honest I was still bitter that I had done so much for this dog as a puppy, and I never even got to meet him. I felt that if he was going to be a part of the future we were still trying to create together he needed to come with. [L] resisted, but his friends had already been complaining about having to take care of his dog on top of the ones they already had, and [L] couldn’t afford to send them money for food, [T-DUM] still hadn’t been neutered, I truly thought the best place for him was with me. Even if I had some other bitter reasons why I wanted to meet him and why I wanted him here so much.
[BABY] was away with his dad at the time so I once again drove all night– thankfully not through a blizzard that time– to pick him up at the airport he said he was flying out of. We drove straight back home that day. About 3 hours from home we already started having our first argument. I’m not 100% sure what it was even about at this point but it was clear nothing had changed. I could see he was still the same man who got drunk, had a fit of rage, and savagely beat me.
We continued seeing each other off and on when we could until October. Things went back to normal, he would freak out the second I wasn’t answering my phone calls. He was sleeping on his friends couch and staying with me when [BABY] was out of town. We would see each other during the day when [BABY] was at preschool and every other spare time I could manage. I kept him fed and gave him money when I could. He was working a manual labor job, constantly complaining about the pay and how his friend was charging him rent for sleeping on his couch. I was the one who went to Colorado and got him so I was responsible for him not having a job and being “stuck here.” His dog [T-DUM] had to live with me, his friend’s place didn’t allow dogs, it had no yard, he had no money for food or vet bills. I felt guilty. I felt it was my fault he was now back in a rut in a toxic place with no money. I did everything in my power to help him even still, while still making sure [BABY] was safe. I never did drop the second restraining order (the one I was given after his attempt on my life) I didn’t feel like I could. I knew above all else I atleast needed that bit of protection. Even though I prayed I would never have to use it, I needed that “control” if you will so if things got dangerous again I had a way out.
Turns out I would eventually need to use that escape route.
The last time [BABY] went to visit his dad was rough. Previously when we were together [L] would have minor outbursts in between the major ones: screaming, degrading, shoving, blaming his actions on me, disappearing to drink and not coming home at night. I could tell he was trying so hard to keep the worst of his outbursts in check since I had come to get him. He was still controlling, still emotionally and mentally abusive but not as severely as before. I could feel the tension building, I had a gut feeling something bad was coming, and quickly. It was an impending sense of doom–not to try and be too dramatic but I’m not sure how else to describe it.
In October after a routine visit [BABY] had with his dad I was due to pick him up that night from the airport. [L] knew far in advance that this was coming, he would have to go back to his friend’s couch. Our time together would be limited. When we were together during that time I started to suggest he go back to [OTHER STATE] and try and find work there since he was constantly complaining about his job here. I offered to pay for a plane ticket and found several that were reasonably priced and leaving soon, I offered to send him by bus. He always had excuses, he also didn’t want to leave [T-DUM] and dogs weren’t allowed on the flights I was looking at. I offered to send him later via a pet transport company, or find a later flight that would accept him as cargo, he refused everything. He had no intention of returning. I believe [L] knew I wanted to get rid of him. I wanted him gone before the next major blow up, I now knew the most dangerous time to be in an abusive relationship is when you’re leaving. I wanted him hundreds of miles away before I broke things off. I could feel it coming, it was only a matter of time, he would hurt me again. I was worried with the severity of the past offences that I wouldn’t survive this one. I hid my guns.
He couldn’t be trusted around my son still. He refused. He said no. He wasn’t going back to his friends house either. I was the reason he was here and it was all my fault. If I didn’t want him back in my life I never should have gone and got him from [OTHER STATE]. We were going back and forth about how he could never be a part of [BABY]’s life until I had tangible proof that he had changed. I needed real documentation, letters from counselors, AA meetings, Therapy, so much time sober, (probably drug tests) before I could even begin to justify bringing him back into my family. His response was “I guess you just can’t have [BABY] then”.
This was a bone chilling, goosebumps all over my body, threat. His eyes change at times, it’s so hard to explain to someone who’s never seen it. It’s like a switch flips inside him and I’ve come to recognize that look and I’ve learned when that happens he’s out to hurt me, or someone else. One way or another, unless I find a way to bring him back down to reality quickly and appease him, he will do something horrible. That flash in his eyes told me all I needed to know. He was still capable of horrible dangerous things. I felt it coming but this just confirmed things.
The way he said it, the look in his eyes. I knew not only was he capable of hurting me but I believed he was now capable of actively seeking out my son and hurting him. I have explained in previous posts how he had begun to resent my child as the wall keeping us apart. This was the defining moment. I knew it could never be the same. I was willing to risk my life and safety for the man I loved. But a mother’s love is so much beyond that. I would never risk my child for this man.
I got him talked down and he agreed to go back to his friend’s house to stay that night. It was only one night. He was leaving in the morning to go to a nearby city to work on a project for his job and would be gone for 2-3 days. After what I had seen that night I knew this was my best chance, my time to leave safely, I would be beyond his reach. I knew it was time to sever all ties as soon as I saw that look. I cried the entire one hour drive to the airport, went into the airport and cleaned my face off, and picked up my son. It was a late night flight so my son slept the entire way home and I cried the entire drive back. I was terrified of leaving, of what he may be capable of.
I called him on my way back to town, still clearly sobbing, and told him my father had had a heart attack. [BABY] and I were going straight home to pack our bags and leave to be with him. Sometimes when you’re in a panic you have moments of clarity, that night I vividly remember a moment with my father as a teenager saying if I ever was in a situation where I didn’t feel comfortable I could always use him as an excuse to leave (ie. “my dad just called and is being a jerk I have to go home, etc) so I knew he wouldn’t be upset by the lie and would be proud of me for keeping us safe no matter what I said. I didn’t want to [L] come by the house that night after his earlier threat.
I truly did plan on packing bags and driving to my parents house that night, but on a whim I decided to check the weather and there was a winter storm warning. I parked my car a block away from the house and kept the doors locked and lights off all night to make it look like no one was home. I set fake alarms on my phone so I would send text messages checking in at the right times along the way to make my trip seem legitimate. Just in case. Just until I knew he had left town for work. I texted both of my parents in the middle of the night saying “call me as soon as you wake up, no matter what time it is.” I needed to make sure there was no backing out, no talking myself out of it or rationalizing it, or pretending I just imagined the look and the threat. I needed to verbalize it to make it real.