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The Great Escape

October 24, 2009

The day finally arrived for my escape. I had everything boxed and shipped to my daughter’s. I had my one-way plane ticket to Indiana. I would drive Carol’s truck to the airport, her daughter and grandson would pick it up this evening at the airport parking lot. I was scared to death.

I decided to walk down to the house to make sure I had taken what I could. Rick was at work so I knew he wouldn’t be there. I looked around the house which was in utterly disgusting array. There were filthy dishes with dried-on food piled on the table, the counter, even the floor. Ashtrays were overflowing. Empty whiskey bottles and beer cans were scattered everywhere! It sickened me that my home looked like this but I knew it wasn’t my home anymore. It was just his.

I saw nothing I needed. I went back outside and found Henry. I hugged him with all my might. He grunted and squealed, he didn’t like hugs but that was ok–he didn’t understand. My dogs, Big ‘Un and Little ‘Un, walked back up the road with me to Carol’s truck. I hugged them fiercely and told them goodbye. They looked sad like they knew what was happening. I got in the truck and told them to stay so they wouldn’t follow the truck down the highway–a habit of theirs. As I drove off, I saw them in the rearview mirror following me anyway. I stopped the truck and yelled loudly to stay. This time they did.

The drive to the airport was a blur. The tears came and I let them for the first time in many, many months. I was so afraid and sad, yet relieved that it was over. I was afraid of what the future might hold. I was sad for the past and for what it could have been had I done it with a different man. A man who would truly love and care for me and not  love a bottle of booze. The roller coaster ride of Hell was over, there would be no more.

I thought of my mother. When she was 60 years old, my father left her for another woman. No warning at all. My mother had been a housewife for over 40 years, it was all she knew. She never worked, she never learned to drive. When my father left, she curled up in a ball and stayed in bed, crying, for seven days. She was a mess, she was terrified of what she faced and how to get through it. After those seven days, she got up, got dressed, and called a few of her friends. One of them offered to teach her to drive. She got her license eventually and was very lucky to find out an elderly lady who lived 2 blocks away needed someone to care for her. Mom went to see her, got the job and earned enough money to buy a car of her very own. She was so proud of that!

Over the years, she became known for her caregiving abilities and always had a good paying job and did quite well for herself. She’s always said it was the best thing that ever happened to her. She became independent and prospered well until she was 80 and had to stop because of a broken hip.

During the plane trip I recalled all of this about Mom and told myself “If she could do it at age 60, I could do it at age 47.”

And I did! I would go on to learn more about myself than I ever knew possible! I was to become an independent woman and feel PROUD, really proud of myself for the first time in over 20 years!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2009 4:14 pm

    And I’m so proud of you also, dear Barbara.
    You are an amazing lady and it’s an honour to be your friend.
    Thanks so much for sharing your story, you know how much you encourage me.
    God bless you!

  2. October 24, 2009 5:00 pm

    Oh, thank you so much, Jonie–for your kind words and your wonderful friendship!

  3. December 1, 2009 11:11 pm

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  4. December 2, 2009 10:56 am

    Hahahaha! Thanks All Time!!

  5. December 9, 2010 11:58 pm

    I was so relieved to read you got out! I wish my sister could have gotten safely out but she only got out when she died at age 52.
    You had so much courage to leave, and the self esteem to want to go and to even know that you had to go and that was what made the difference. My sis was an alcoholic and totally dependent on her husband, lived in his town near his family and none of her own. And it was her 2nd marriage to the same type of guy who was actually mentally deranged and i think she became complicant because she was the one who “didn’t want the neighbours to know”

    My other sister – she got out….several times in fact….yes; she kept finding and marrying the same types. One of them almost killed her by beating her then pushing her out of a moving truck then attempted to run over her. She got away by escaping down a steep embankment and into the woods.The last one she left just a couple months ago; but he was more like emotionally abusive, no physical crap and i think she’ll finally be ok now at age 64.
    I don’t know how i got so lucky to be married to a great guy for 51 years. I was 15 and he was 19 when we married…..who woulda thunk it!

    Now i’m going to read the rest of your blog and enjoy your awesome art!

  6. December 10, 2010 9:57 am

    Lorraina, I’m so sorry for your sisters. There are those who get caught up in such a mess and they don’t know how to get out. Sometimes, it’s a matter of them ‘getting used’ to that kind of environment and then accept it as it is. And that’s so sad.

    I, too, was isolated from my family and Rick’s family were all alcoholics. I sorta became one, too– drinking with them– until I realized I was falling into their mentality and soooo didn’t want to do that! So, I stopped and, with the help of neighbor Carol, I got the hell out of there and never looked back! I haven’t been with a man since and it’s been 13 years now. I don’t miss the companionship of a man at all.
    You are VERY lucky to have found the perfect man for you! Bravo!

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