I’m picking up where I left off on my first Changes post.
So, I got out on September 22, 2019. I left my daughter with him because at that moment, I did not feel like she was in any physical danger. Looking back on it, emotional danger might have been an issue. As I was crying when things were going on, he not only laughed at me, but got my daughter to laugh at me, too. It was humiliating.
My sister-in-law convinced me to come stay at her place. I was grateful to have someone support me, so I went there. We didn’t talk much about things, so I went to bed early. As I was laying in her guest bedroom, I contacted the police department in my city (my sister-in-law lives in a different city). I explained the situation and advised that right now, I was safe. I was urged to make a police report. After contacting the police, I started sending out multiple e-mails to different divorce lawyers in the area, explaining my situation. Then I tried to sleep, but didn’t get too much before it was daylight.
In the morning, before my sister-in-law and her husband woke up, I left their place and went direction to the police station. I made the report about everything that had happened, including the marital rape that happened in June 2019. After getting the report, I met with a social worker who provided information on local domestic violence organizations. I was told that a detective would be assigned to the case and would reach out to me in a couple of days.
Once I was done in the police station, I went out to my car and sat there for a while trying to figure out what to do next. The only thing I could think of was to call my estranged husband’s cousin. She and her family had a big house so I thought my daughter and I could stay with her for a while. I sent her a text and inquired about it. She was confused because she didn’t know what was going on. She said that her parents (who were visiting) would be an issue, and she didn’t know how she would explain it to them. I told her never mind, we would just go to a shelter. She called to talk to me and told me not to go to a shelter, to go back to my sister-in-law’s, and she would come to speak to me later in the evening. She asked me where I was – I just told her a parking lot. I completely left out the fact that it was the parking lot of the police department.
So later that evening, I’m at my sister-in-law’s and his cousin shows up. I’m laying in bed, and she comes to the bedroom. She sits on the bed, and I thought we were just going to talk. She surprises me by telling me that my estranged husband and her husband were there and she wanted to invite them in so we could all talk. I didn’t want to do it, but she kept saying that we needed to talk things out. So I reluctantly agreed.
During this so-called talk, his cousin mediated. At that time, my understanding of divorce law in the state was that you had to be separated for 6 months before you could file. Additionally, divorces are no-fault, always divorcing for irreconcilable differences. I explained this to them. It had been agreed to the talk that my estranged husband would live with his sister, with him even saying in front of everyone that him living with me would “negatively impact” my overall health. I hesitantly agreed to this, with the request that his guns be removed from our home. His cousin’s husband said that he would take the guns and kept talking like maybe in 6 months, we would reconcile. I kept thinking, one, that’s not going to happen, and two, they’re discussing these things with me without even knowing that I’ve already gone to the police.
All of this happened on September 23, 2019. I consider this day to be the first day of freedom for me and my daughter. Unfortunately, things wouldn’t be as easy as that.
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