DSC00102He drove up just as I was walking to my packed car with my baby in my arms. He was furious. I was terrified. I ran back into the house and slammed the door and locked it. He pounded on the door. Someone called the police. My dad kept him outside of the front door until police arrived.

They took him aside, and talked for a while. I thought, of course, that they were telling him that it was not nice to beat up his wife, (especially at her parents’ home). Wrong.

He was immediately more calm – he wanted to work things out. The “nice” policemen encouraged us to sit down and talk it over. I couldn’t really say “no” to them. My dad would be of no further help, I knew, because he didn’t want the violence in his home, he was trying to protect the two kids he still had living there.

So, as my husband was allowed to come into the house, the police tipped their hats and wre off. We sat down in the living room, to talk. The baby was on my lap. He reached out to her and she said “daddy” and he said to me, so very, very nicely, “Would you make up a cup of tea?” Sure, I could use a cup of tea.

I came back with two cups of tea, and dropped them both when I was greeted by the wide yaw of the front door. I could see nothing but the black of night. He was gone. My daughter was gone with him.

I became immediately hysterical. Pacing. Screaming. I called the Police. There was nothing they could do. They asked for his license plate number, etc., – maybe they could find a way to stop the car. (yeah, right.)

A few hours later he called me, from a pay phone (yes, it was that long ago), – he wanted to know if I had learned my lesson, and did I want him to come and get me? Of course, I said, Yes! He had my baby. There was no way I was going to just give up.

Later, he couldn’t help himself, he bragged to me that the nice policemen had suggested this strategy to him. Take your baby and run. She’ll change her mind.

So, long story short, he came back for me. I got into the car with him. He handed my daughter to me and started the car. At the stop sign at the top of the hill, I tried to open the door and jump out with her. He grabbed her other arm, and I KNEW, immediately, that he would sooner tear her in half than let her go with me. I pulled the door shut. For the next eleven years I was a voluntary prisoner.

Get out, run, leave while you have that thirty or forty minutes “for sure” to keep you safe. Packing can cost you your life.

Don’t call your best friend. Don’t talk to your mom. Don’t do the laundry.

Just get out.

Run.

Leave.

Once you have decided to leave, remember, whatever time you have is precious. Get away while you have time, don’t waste it packing things that can be replaced.