This post was submitted anonymously.
“Murder-suicide sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should try it.” Although the words sent chills through my body, no one believed me. Violent outbursts included ripping the washer out of the wall and throwing it outside, down the back steps, damaging the newly built steps and finishing off the washer, which had needed repair. Other violence included ripping toys out of my oldest son’s hand and stomping on them, slapping the baby, who was happily sitting in the bathtub, and pinning me against a wall with his fist raised. Everything annoyed him. Life involved constantly walking on eggshells. I’m going back there, 26 years later, after reading about the deaths of two little girls. That could have been us.
I thought it was going to be us. I couldn’t get away from him after I left him. He started legal proceedings in short order, which expanded to seven years of constant lawsuits and affidavits the size of phone books delivered almost every Friday afternoon, requiring detailed reply by Monday morning. If that wasn’t on, I was court ordered to drive the kids to Horseshoe Bay, where there was never any parking on a Friday night, run with them and their stuff to the ferry, take the ferry to the Island, face him in the ferry terminal, while handing the children over to God-knows-what fury, and then take the ferry back home, walking by myself in the middle of the night back to my car, and driving back home to Langley. This was after working or attending school all day and picking the kids up from daycare. He was on welfare and sitting in our former home all day, drinking and smoking, and keeping a bible of my transgressions—fuel for the next affidavit.
The boys were neglected on his watch, dirty and hungry and inadequately supervised. The oldest described him drunk, almost falling into a fire after obliterating himself with cases of beer and bottles of booze on a “camping trip.” On that trip, my son saved his brother from a man who was apparently attempting to lure my toddler. My oldest called the younger one, saying “daddy’s calling” and the man went away, but daddy wasn’t calling because daddy was passed out.
In later years, when he was living in his sister’s basement, he showed up at my door belligerent, drunk and threatening, wanting to drive the kids in his alcohol-fueled rage. Through all of this, the police were useless. My lawyer told me no one would believe me—my story would just be taken as retaliation on my part. On one occasion, we ended up in the police station, with him screaming: “there she is, arrest the bitch.” I was taken to a room where a young police officer lectured me on abiding by court-ordered access. I told the officer my ex had driven and suggested a blood-alcohol test. Even though he smelled of booze and was slurring his words, they let him drive away. It would be another 20 years before a cop followed him home and charged him with drunk driving.
Did I contemplate disappearing with the kids for their safety? You bet.
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