I bought my babies freedom for $300.00.
I can’t say leaving my home saddened me. It was the home I shared with my husband and two children. It was also the home that held a dark secret. It was far from a happy place. I lived with an abusive alcoholic.
I can remember the last fight we had like it was yesterday. It is imprinted in my memory. It’s also a memory deeply ingrained in my daughter’s mind. That is the story for another snippet.
After the blowout, I called my dad and told him I needed to leave Wisconsin. I also told him my husband tried to throw me backwards down a flight of stairs after choking me. It’s unlikely I would have survived it. Surprisingly, he said he would send me $600 for gas and hotel since I was driving to New Jersey. He also said he wanted to talk to my husband. I left the house to go to Western Union and pick up the money, while my children’s dad watched them. Apparently my dad called and contacted my husband and to this day I have no idea what the content of that conversation was, I just know my dad told him he was sending me the money to move.
When I got home, I was greeted by a much calmer version of the person that had just tried to kill me. He said my dad informed him he was sending $600 for my trip to New Jersey and that if I thought of leaving, he would call the cops and tell them I was kidnapping “his” children. I was terrified as I’d been through this before with my first marriage and had lost my child in the process; I was NOT going to let it happen again. I asked what he wanted and he said half of the money. I agreed as long as he wrote a note saying I could leave with the kids. I gave him $300 and he wrote the note. The next morning I was on the road and within hours I had arrived at the state line. I inched over that imaginary line, pulled my car to the side of the road, got out, knelt on the ground and kissed the dirt through a torrent of tears.
I was free. I had my kids. My life was forever changed. I made the remaining $300 get me home (ironically it was a foreshadowing of sacrifices I would have to make for my kids in the not too distant future), by putting gas in the car, finding a flea bag motel, and foregoing meals so the kids could eat. None of that mattered. What did, was that I was free of my abuser and on my way to a safe place.